Posts Tagged ‘Fruits’


USDA’s People’s Garden Initiative has some great gardening tips to help you get started. Learn how you can make having a garden a fun and positive family activity.

Visit their website http://go.osu.edu/PeoplesGarden for recipes, tips and ideas for starting a garden.

• Make It A Family Affair.
Enlist your family as you select seeds and plants. It is a fun way to spend time together. You’ll be physically active as you plant, weed and harvest your garden.
• Gardening To Fit Your Space.
A good gardening space receives at least six hours of sunlight every day. Consider container gardening on your porch or balcony if you’re low on outdoor space.
• Sowing Into Good Ground.
Mulch the soil around your plants to improve your soil quality, lock in moisture, and keep out weeds.
• Map it Out.
Start small when deciding what you would like to grow. Consider foods your family enjoys and the space you have available. If you buy starter plants (ready to put in the ground) and don’t need all of them, share with a friend. For example, you may not need six zucchini plants. Go together and buy the packets and split the costs.
• Plant Your Favorites.
Your local Cooperative Extension office is a great resource for finding out which crops are specific to your local growing region. Here are some easy-growing crops for your kitchen garden:

• Lettuce
• Onions
• Radishes
• Peppers
• Tomatoes
• Collards
• Peas
• Herbs
Herb Garden

Think Spring and Start a Garden!

Source: USDA, The People’s Garden Initiative retrieved from http://usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/?navid=PEOPLES_GARDEN
Top Photo from USDA The People’s Garden Initiative website

Additional Gardening Resources:
Ohio State University Ohio Line http://ohioline.osu.edu/ Use the search option to find helpful information.

Container Vegetable Gardening Fact Sheet http://go.osu.edu/containergarden

Growing Cucumbers, Peppers, Squash and Tomatoes in Containers http://go.osu.edu/cucumberstomatoes

Writer: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

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saladWas your New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier in the New Year?  If so, you are not alone.  Many people set improved nutrition and increased physical activity as goals.  One way to improve nutrition is to eat more fruits and vegetables.  Adding more salads to your meals or making a meal out of a salad is a way to increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables.  But, are all salads healthy?  It really depends on how you build it – it could be 100 calories or it could be 1000 calories.  Choose wisely!

How to Build a Salad




Fresh or frozen vegetables

Meats – limit to 2 oz.

Full fat salad dressing

Fresh or frozen fruits

Hard cooked egg – limit to 1/2


Herbs and spices in place of salt

Reduced or low-fat cheese – limit to 1 oz.

Pickled products

Dry beans and peas (cook from dry or rinse to remove excess sodium)

Imitation bacon bits

Macaroni, potato and other creamy salads

Low-fat whole grain breads

Low-fat salad dressing


Whole grain rice, bulgur or couscous

Crackers and croutons

Gelatin made with sugar

Source:  Build a Better Salad Bar, Child Nutrition and Wellness, Kansas State Department of Education, July 2012.

Author:  Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, goard.1@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D., Program Specialist, SNAP-Ed, Ohio State University Extension, West Region, spires.53@osu.edu

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Fruits and Vegetables

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day.

Health organizations recommend eating at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day to decrease the risk of cancer and other diet related diseases as well as to help maintain weight. According to the 2013 State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio adults on average are only consuming about half the vegetables and fruits their bodies need. In fact, 40% of adults reported eating less than one serving of fruit per day, and 26% reported eating less than one serving of vegetables per day.

So why are vegetables and fruits so good for us? Fresh vegetables and fruits are packed with antioxidants, nutrients and fiber, yet are low in calories. One of the best ways to get fresh vegetables and fruits is from local farmers markets. There are many advantages to buying locally. Buying local produce benefits the consumer, the economy and the environment.

Foods grown and sold locally are more likely to be fresh. Many growers pick their produce right before selling, allowing the food to have the fullest possible flavor. Buying local foods keeps dollars in your own community, supporting the local economy. Additionally in many cases, you are supporting the strong American tradition of the family farm. Buying local also helps the environment. Because these foods are sold close to where they are grown, they do not have to be shipped long distances, diminishing the environmental impact.

To find farmers markets in your community, check your local Ohio State University Extension office in your county or your local chamber of commerce and ask if they have a local foods guide. Some great websites to check out to find local farmers markets in your area include:

The Ohio Market Maker: Connecting willing markets and quality sources of food from farm and fisheries to fork in Ohio. http://oh.marketmaker.uiuc.edu/

The Ohio Farm Bureau: The Our Ohio Buying Local Directory connects customers to the farms and farmers that produce local foods, plus agritourism opportunities, plant nurseries, wineries and Christmas tree growers. http://www.ourohio.org

What fresh vegetable or fruit are you going to buy local this week?

Buy Local Buy Fresh http://www.buylocalbuyfresh.net/displaysection.php?section=About

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/downloads/State-Indicator-Report-Fruits-Vegetables-2013.pdf

Local Harvest http://www.localharvest.org

Written by: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County, carter.413@osu.edu.
Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, barlage.7@osu.edu.

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Have you tried grilling vegetables and fruit?  Grilling can bring out the flavors in fruits and vegetables, but watch out as they quickly burn.  It’s important not to get the food too close to the coals (or gas), so it heats before it starts to blacken.

Here are some suggestions from Julie Garden-Robinson, a food and nutrition specialist with North Dakota State University Extension Service, in her online column “Prairie Fare.”  She suggests trying these ideas to help add flavor, color, and fiber to your grilling menu with grilled fruits and vegetables.

  • Sprinkle wedges of apple or pear with cinnamon and a touch of brown sugar.  Grill for about five minutes per side.
  • Brush peeled, whole bananas with vegetable oil (preferably canola) and add to the grill just until it turns golden about five minutes.
  • Cut peaches or nectarines and remove the pit.  Place cut side down and grill.   You can use as a side dish with steak or pork tenderloin or cut the fruit up after grilling and make a salsa by adding fresh herbs, chili peppers, and lime juice.
  • Cut vegetables into large, pieces of even thickness and grill.  After grilling,  You can cut into smaller pieces, if desired.
  • Cut the top and bottom off of bell peppers.  Remove the core and then cut the pepper in half from top to bottom.  Grill skin side down.
  • Brushing vegetables with olive oil and seasonings can add delicious flavor.  Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush with oil and season as you start to grill.  Turn them over and repeat the other side.  Asparagus is delicious this way with some garlic and thyme.
  • Marinades can add flavor.  However, sugar-based marinades will cause the exterior of the vegetables to blacken.
  • Try this for dessert, cut a ¾ inch deep slit down the length of an unpeeled banana.  Carefully, open the slit to stuff it with 2 tablespoons of chopped dark chocolate or your favorite candy bar.  Wrap the banana in foil and grill for about five minutes on each side.

You can use both moist and dry heat to cook your grilled vegetables, by grilling and then placing them in a bowl or pot.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap to prevent the steam from escaping for five to ten minutes.  This will finish the cooking and keep the vegetables from drying out.

What suggestions do you have for grilling fruits and vegetables?   I hope you enjoy grilling out this season.

Submitted by Pat Brinkman, , Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fayette County.

Reference: Garden-Robinson, J. North Dakota State University Extension Service, downloaded at  http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/news/columns/prairie-fare/prairie-fare-fire-up-your-grill-menu-with-more-fruits-and-vegetables/?searchterm=Grilling%20Fruits%20and%20Vegetables.

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The exact cause of cancer is unknown but we do know what makes it more likely to occur.  This blog message recommends that you choose and prepare healthy foods and be more active to cut the risk of cancer.What are some likely causes of cancer?

• Smoking                          • Sunlight
• Viruses                            • Chemicals
• Air Pollution                   • Radiation
What may help cancer grow and spread?

• Alcohol

• Being overweight
• Hormones
• Pollutants
 Cancer and Diet
Cancer experts believe that up to 20-40% of all cancers may be influenced by what we eat. This may be particularly true if several members of your family have suffered from cancer.

What may lower risk?

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Physical Activity
  • Weight Control
  • Soy, especially early in life
  • Plenty of fluids
  • Fat free or low fat dairy foods

What can YOU do to lower your risk?

Eat more fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and Vegetables

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day.

It is easy to eat more during the summer.  Many local fruits and vegetables are available.  Make sure you fill at least
half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
Eat them as snacks and make sure you start your day with a fruit or
vegetable.  That helps you get a head
start on your fruit or vegetables.

Move more.  If you haven’t been physically active in awhile, be sure to check
with your doctor first.  Start slow &
add minutes to your walking or activity routine.  You won’t become a marathon runner overnight.  Find activities you enjoy such as walking,
biking or swimming.  Aim to be active for
60 minutes most days of the week.

Charred FoodsLimit your intake of blackened or
charred food. 
 Research shows that substances that develop on
foods that have been blackened or charred also increase cancer risk.  Enjoy the summer grilling season but do so in

Watch your fat intake, especially
saturated fat. 
Saturated fat comes from animals and
animal products.  If you have a high fat
intake you may be more prone to cancer and cardiovascular disease.  Season with herbs and spices and reduce the
amount of fat that you add to foods.

Drink more water.  Aim for 6-8 glasses of water each day.  Fill the glass with ice, water, and add a
sprig of mint or a lemon wedge and enjoy this refreshing drink.

Start your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.  Pick one or two tips that you can do and begin today.  As you make these habits part of your routine, add another healthy lifestyle tip.  In a few months you will feel better and will have developed some healthy lifestyle habits that are part of daily life.

Begin your journey towards health today!

Sources:  The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, The American Cancer Society, The Georgia Department of Human
Resources and The Cancer Information Service.

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