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Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’

traditional chickpea hummus

Hummus is a chickpea-based dip and spread that is a staple food and popular appetizer in many Middle Eastern nations such as Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Today, according to the USDA, hummus is growing in popularity in the United States, too! This trend is driven by consumer demand for healthier snacks and gluten-free products.

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are naturally gluten-free; high in fiber, folate and protein; and they contain nutrients such as iron, calcium and magnesium.  Consequently, hummus provides more nutrients, more healthy fat and less unhealthy fat than many traditional American dips and spreads. The protein, healthy fat and fiber it contains can help you feel full, which can help with weight control. These nutrients can also help prevent heart disease and stabilize blood sugar. However, portion control is important with hummus, as the calories from the healthy fat it contains may add up quickly. A two-tablespoon portion of hummus contains about 70 calories. Hummus sold at the grocery store may contain large quantities of added sodium, too.

Luckily, hummus is not difficult to make at home. Classic hummus contains chickpeas, olive oil, tahini (a sesame paste), lemon juice and spices. For additional flavor or color, try including fresh herbs or vegetables such as roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, beets, edamame or artichoke hearts in your own personal recipe. Mash the ingredients with a fork or puree them in a food processor to obtain a dip-like or spreadable consistency. hummus plate with celery sticks and crackers

If you don’t have tahini at home, can’t find it in your local grocery store or simply don’t like its flavor, try this easy hummus recipe that utilizes plain, non-fat yogurt in its place.

Serve hummus with whole grain pita chips, wedges or crackers, or fresh cut vegetables like cucumber slices, carrot and celery sticks, bell pepper spears, grape tomatoes, or broccoli and cauliflower florets. You can also spread hummus on your favorite sandwich or wrap, or use it in place of mayonnaise in making a tasty tuna salad. Need more inspiration? Check out this list of 10 Ways to Enjoy Hummus!

Sources:

Fruits & Veggies More Matters. Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans): Nutrition, Selection & Storage. https://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/chickpeas-garbanzo-beans

Fruits & Veggies More Matters. Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Hummus. https://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/top-10-ways-to-enjoy-hummus/

Goldstein, J. Hummus. The Nutrition Source, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/hummus/

Gottfried, S. (2018). Is Hummus Actually Healthy? Here’s What the Experts Say. Time Health. http://time.com/5331376/is-hummus-actually-healthy-heres-what-the-experts-say/

Spend Smart. Eat Smart. After-School Hummus. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. https://spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/recipe/after-school-hummus/

USDA Economic Research Service (2017). Pulses Production Expanding as Consumers Cultivate a Taste for U.S. Lentils and Chickpeas. https://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2017/januaryfebruary/pulses-production-expanding-as-consumers-cultivate-a-taste-for-us-lentils-and-chickpeas/

Written by: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

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beets

Numerous health and wellness media outlets have printed various “The Best Foods You Aren’t Eating” articles over the last few years. Included in many of those lists are beets.  I have to admit they were not on my ‘favorite’ veggie list when I was a kid. But I’ve grown to like them as an adult, and would like to encourage you to think about incorporating them more often into your diet.

What nutritional benefits can you get from eating beets? 

  • Beets are part of the chenopod family. Other members include chard, spinach, and quinoa.
  • The reddish purple pigments in beets contain phytochemicals called betalins. Betalins help lessen growth of tumor cells in the colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate, and testicles.
  • Beets are especially protective of our eyes and our nervous system. They also help protect against heart disease, birth defects, and cancer.
  • Beets are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and manganese.
  • Beets help reduce inflammation. Heart disease and diabetes are two chronic health problems aggravated by inflammation.
  • The fiber in beets is unique, and may provide health benefits in the digestive tract and cardiovascular system.

Preparing Fresh Beets

Cut the majority of the leaves and stems off.  Leave about 2” of the stems on to prevent bleeding.  Do not wash before storing.  Place in a plastic bag or saran wrap and wrap tightly to keep out air. They will keep about four days in the refrigerator.

Raw beets do not freeze well.  However, you can freeze cooked beets. To begin preparing beets, run them first under cold water to clean. You may notice that beets “bleed” a little and turn your hands red.  You can remove the temporary dye by rubbing your hands with lemon juice.

Cut beets into quarters, leaving 2” of the tap root and 1” of stem.  Cook as lightly as possible by steaming or cooking in a small amount of liquid. When you can insert a knife or fork easily into the beet, they are done.  Peel beets on a cutting board and use gloves to prevent staining your hands. You can also eat beets raw by grating and adding to salads.

Easter Tradition

You may want to try this unique beet recipe for Easter dinner. “Beets and horseradish” is a side dish used on ham. I learned how to make it years ago from my father-in-law whose ancestors came from Czechoslovakia. It is an Eastern European tradition.

Beets and Horseradish

1 bunch fresh beets (4-5)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

4 tablespoons vinegar

1 tablespoon grated horseradish

Boil beets until soft.  Skin and cool to room temperature. Grate beets by hand, do not use a food processor. Add remaining ingredients. Refrigerate. Canned beets may be substituted for fresh (save the beet juice to make pickled eggs).

Written by:  Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, green.308@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Beth Stefura, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu

Sources:

https://www.health.com/nutrition/beets-health-benefits?slide=327494#327494

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311343.php

https://foodandnutrition.org/november-december-2015/beets-deserve-spotlight/

https://www.justbeetit.com/beet-nutrition

 

 

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a plate with salad on one half and French fries on the otherA few months ago, I was treated to dinner at a former neighbor’s house. The host served sweet potato fries – one of my favorite sides! These fries were extra special, though, because they were prepared in an air fryer, without any added fat. Air fryers work by circulating hot air around food using a fan that cooks the food and produces a crispy outer layer while keeping the inside moist. They can be used to create foods like French fries, falafel and crispy chicken without the extra fat and calories that come from frying in oil. Air fryers do not replicate the flavor or texture of traditional deep fried foods, but if crispiness without excess calories is what you’re going for, they provide a way to “fry” small batches of food without the hassle or danger of deep-frying in large amounts of oil.

the USDA MyPlate iconA simple online keyword search will yield dozens of air fryer recipes and suggestions. When preparing to experiment with an air fryer, though, keep in mind that a crispy texture without added fat doesn’t necessary equate to healthy! To be sure, air-fried dishes are typically more healthful than their fried counterparts. But, dessert-like dishes made in an air fryer will still be high in sugar and low in nutrients and should be viewed as occasional treats, just like other types of dessert. For foolproof meal planning, use MyPlate and aim to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy in your snacks and meals.

crispy baked chicken on a plateIf you don’t yet have an air fryer and are not ready to purchase one, know that alternative versions of some traditional fried foods can be prepared in an oven. For example, there are many recipes available for oven-baked crispy chicken, such as this tasty recipe for baked, flaked chicken.

If you think you are ready to try out an air fryer, there are many makes and models of air fryers available for purchase. They can be found at most home and kitchen stores, ranging in cost from $40-$100 for simple, compact models to $250-$400 for larger, multifunctional models. Most air fryers need to be pre-heated for three to five minutes before cooking, and cooking times and temperatures will vary based on recipes created specifically for your fryer. If you want to try to adapt a deep-fryer recipe for air fryer cooking, a good rule of thumb is to decrease the temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit and use a food thermometer to check for doneness five to ten minutes earlier than the recipe recommends.

Cleaning instructions may also vary from one fryer to another, but in general, you will want to clean the interior basket with hot, soapy water and a brush or sponge after each use. A moist kitchen towel can be used on the exterior of the fryer, and a hard-bristled brush can be used to remove any food particles from the cooled heating element.

Have you ever used an air fryer? If so, share your experience by leaving a comment in the box below!

 

Written by: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Pat Brinkman, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Fayette County, brinkman.93@osu.edu

Sources:

Cooper, E. (2018). Air Fryer: A Healthier Alternative to Oil-Filled Frying. Food and Nutrition Magazine, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. https://foodandnutrition.org/from-the-magazine/air-fryer-healthier-alternative-oil-filled-frying/

Steed, M. (2017). Air Fryers. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. https://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/answerline/2017/09/07/air-fryers/

USDA (2013). Deep Fat Frying and Food Safety.  https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/deep-fat-frying-and-food-safety/ct_index 

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We have all heard the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. When I was younger, I did not eat breakfast before going off to school. Like all families, we were busy in the mornings and my mom did not make it a priority for us to eat breakfast. Several years ago, I started taking medicine in the morning. I realized quickly that if I did not eat breakfast with it I would get sick. I still struggle with eating breakfast each morning.

Next year my daughter will be starting college. So I have stressed to her about how important it is to eat breakfast each morning. To meet our needs I have been looking for quick and easy ideas. I have discovered there are many great web sites out there to help in getting ideas for healthy breakfasts.

The American Dietetic Association states that children who eat a healthy breakfast are more apt to have better concentration, alertness, creativity, miss fewer days of school, and be more active.

Here are some ideas from the Eatright.org web site on how to insure you and your children are getting a healthy breakfast each morning.Yogurt and apple slices

If You Wake Up on Time, Eat …

  • Scrambled Eggs: Serve with turkey bacon, fruit and whole-grain toast.
  • Whole-Grain Waffles: If you have a waffle iron, try a whole-grain waffle mix from the grocery store for a special treat. Serve topped with fresh fruit.

If You Hit the Snooze Button One Time, Eat …

  • English Muffin Sandwich: Toast a whole-grain English muffin. Put low-fat cheese and sliced deli ham on the toasted muffin. Warm the sandwich in the microwave to melt the cheese. Grab a piece of fruit for a complete breakfast.
  • Breakfast Tacos: Scramble and cook one egg (or two egg whites). Serve eggs, salsa and low-fat cheese in corn tortillas.
  • Classic Cereal Gets an Upgrade: Cut up some fresh fruit and add to an unsweetened breakfast cereal.
  • Yogurt Parfait: Layer yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit and granola.

If You Hit the Snooze Button Three (or More) Times, Eat …

  • Instant Oatmeal: Look for varieties without added sugar and just add boiling water.
  • 45-Second Scrambled Eggs: Put eggs and a splash of milk in a bowl, whisk it up and put it in a microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and put back in for another 10 seconds.
  • Peanut Butter Sandwich: Grab a banana while you’re at it.
  • Cream Cheese on Whole-Grain Bread: Try it on a bagel or tortillas.

Sources:

Breakfast Ideas for Busy Mornings, eatright.org
https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/snack-and-meal-ideas/breakfast-ideas-for-busy-mornings

September: Breakfast Month
By Lisa Franzen-Castle, PhD, RD Extension Nutrition Specialist UNL Panhandle Research & Extension Center
https://food.unl.edu/documents/Sept_NatlBreakfastMonth_8_26_2010_Web.pdf

 

Written by: Brenda Sandman-Stover, Extension Program Assistant, 4-H and Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Greene County

Reviewed by: Melanie Hart, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension,

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When was the last time you paid attention to something you ate?

That might seem like a silly question, but all too often, we rush through our meals and snacks without stopping to think about what we’re doing: how our food looks, smells and tastes. I have to admit, even as a dietitian and food educator, I am just as guilty as the next person! I often eat lunch at my desk while working, since my office does not have a formal break room or lunch hour. Consequently, because my mind is focused on tasks other than eating, I consume my lunch without noticing its taste, appearance or texture.

pasta-salad-1967501_1920One day while eating lunch at my desk, though, I was struck by the saltiness of an olive in a bite that I took of Mediterranean pasta salad. The taste caused me to pause, eat my lunch one bite at a time, and pay more attention to the dish. In this instance, I was practicing mindful eating.

Mindful eating is a form of mindfulness, which is the practice of paying attention in the present moment without judgement. Mindful eating is the practice of being more aware of your eating habits, the sensations you experience as you eat (tastes, smells, textures, etc.) and the thoughts and emotions you have about your food. When you eat mindfully, you:

  • Use all your senses
  • Acknowledge your responses to food (i.e. like, dislike or neutral) without judgement
  • Become aware of hunger and satiety (fullness) cues

When you practice mindful eating, you allow yourself to choose to eat food that is both satisfying and nourishing to your body. And, not only do mindful eaters tend to enjoy their food more than distracted eaters; research suggests that mindful eating can help with weight control and also steer people away from processed food and other less-healthful food choices. The underlying premise here is that it takes approximately 20 minutes for the brain to catch up with the stomach and register fullness after eating, so slowing down your eating may help you to realize when you’re full before you overeat.

If you tend to eat too quickly and need some strategies to slow down, try: cutlery-908480_1280

  • Eating with your non-dominant hand
  • Putting your fork down between bites
  • Taking a sip of water between each bite
  • Using chopsticks if you don’t normally use them
  • Putting away cell phones and other electronic devices
  • Practicing gratitude for your food as you think about where it came from and all the people who worked to bring it to you
  • Eating with others and having a conversation over your meal

 

Sources:

Carter, S. (2013). Mindful Eating. Live Healthy, Live Well blog. https://livehealthyosu.com/2013/10/21/mindful-eating/

Harvard Health Letter (2011). Mindful Eating. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/mindful-eating

University of New Hampshire, Office of Health Education and Promotion. Mindful Eating. https://www.unh.edu/health/ohep/nutrition/mindful-eating

 

Written by: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Shannon Carter, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County

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In Buckeye land it is time for football games, tailgating or viewing parties. With those parties often comes heavy snacking. Why not start the season off right by making the switch to healthier food choices for future parties?  We are each responsible for making a few food or drink choices for the next party that we host or attend to help everyone maintain a healthier (not heavier) diet. Photo from Ohio State University football game

When you plan your party keep in mind that a few healthy options can go a long way in contributing to the health of all Buckeyes (or Bobcats, Bengals, Browns, Bearcats, Cavaliers, Flyers, Monsters, Zips, Falcons, Flashes, or your home town team).

  • Start your party prep by purchasing a medium size plate, I know those tray size plates seem like they should be wonderful, but often contribute to over-eating or waste (you take something, but don’t eat it).
  • Plan beverages so you can serve infused water rather than soda. Make ice cubes or rings out of fruit in your team colors.
  • Switch burgers to leaner meats and serve them on whole grain slider buns. The bun switch alone can save you 180 calories.
  • Always serve fresh veggies and fruits with a low-fat dip.
  • Serve pizza with vegetable or fruit toppings; limit the extra meats and cheeses. If you are making your own consider a whole grain crust.Photo of vegetable chili
  • Modify your chili to include 2 types of beans, turkey sausage, diced sweet potatoes, and chopped peppers.
  • Serve quesadillas on whole grain tortillas, filled with chopped vegetables and low fat cheese.
  • Serve grilled chicken breasts or lean pork loins.
  • Switch your chips or pretzels to baked, veggie, or whole grain.

Don’t forget to be food safe at your tailgate or party too! Use coolers or tubs of ice to keep cold food cold on those first warm fall games. Ensure that grilled meats reach safe temperatures by using a meat thermometer: ground beef or ground pork should reach 160 degrees, all poultry 165 degrees, and steaks or chops 145 degrees.

We can’t wait to hear what you will be serving at your next tailgate. If you are looking for ideas here are a few http://go.osu.edu/healthtailgate. Comment with your healthy tailgate tip or recipe.

Sources:

Alabama A & M, Auburn University: http://news.aces.edu/blog/2016/10/05/host-healthy-tailgate-season/

University of Washington, https://www.washington.edu/wholeu/2014/09/30/healthytailgatefoods/

Vanderbilt University Medical Center, https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2014/10/09/vanderbilt-health-educator-offers-tips-for-healthy-tailgating/

Army HEALTH, http://blog.armyhealth.pbrc.edu/post/Healthy-Tailgating

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewer:  Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fayette County.

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Is exercise contagious? In a sense, yes it is, and so are other health behaviors!

Many health behavior theories incorporate the concept of “social norms”. Social norms refer to the way people typically act and believe they should act. In reference to health, social norms include people’s beliefs about how often healthy behaviors are practiced in society or among their families and friends. Health behavior theories suggest that people tend to make healthy choices when they believe that family, friends and others in their community are doing the same thing.

In a recent study of social norms among women living in Australia, those who perceived others in their community as active where more likely to engage in physical activity themselves. Similarly, those who stated that many people in their community were frequent consumers of fast food and soda were most likely to eat fast food and drink soda regularly, and those who stated that many people in their community were healthy eaters had the highest intakes of fruits and vegetables.

In a study out of Cornell University, individuals ate more unhealthy food and less healthy food when eating with or near an overweight diner. The study findings suggest that people may be less likely to make healthy choices if they don’t believe the people they are surrounded by are making similar choices.

Recently, I have been experiencing the positive pressure of social norms firsthand because I am Facebook friends with a few of the fitness class instructors at the studio where I go to work out. These instructors post encouraging messages before their classes, often tagging members of the studio to remind them to attend. After their classes, the instructors post photos of class attendees in action. As a result, every time I log into my Facebook account, I see pictures of people I know working out! These photos reinforce exercise as normal and expected, causing me to want to join in more often!

MNHHF

Do your friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers encourage you to make healthy choices by modeling healthy behavior? How about your social media contacts? If you need more positive behavior reinforcement in your social media feed, consider following the Live Healthy, Live Well team and the Live Smart Ohio blog on Facebook or Twitter! You may also want to check with your local Extension office to see whether they have a social media presence.

Author: Jenny Lobb, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

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

Sources:

Ball, K., Jeffery, R.W., Gavin, A., McNaughton, S.A., and Crawford, D. (2010). Is healthy behavior contagious? Associations of social norms with physical activity and healthy eating. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity; 7(86). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3018448/.

Rural Health Information Hub (2016). Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Theories and Models. https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/community-health/health-promotion/2/theories-and-models.

Shimizu, M., Johnson, K. and Wansink, B. (2014). In good company: The effect of an eating companion’s appearanfe on food intake. Appetite; 83, 263-268. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666314004450.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2011). Social Norms. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/social-norms/.

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