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Posts Tagged ‘Nutrition’

A bowl of raspberries

It’s 3 pm – a few hours since lunch but not quite time for dinner. Your stomach starts to rumble a bit and you are low in energy. You open the fridge and cannot find anything you want so you turn to the cupboard and end up mindlessly snacking.

I know I am not alone when I say this: I often need a snack in the afternoon! However, a snack can turn into an additional meal if you do not have the right snacks on hand. On average, about one-fourth of daily calories are provided by snacks.  In fact, snacking more times in a day has been found to be associated with consuming more calories. For this reason, it is important to have healthy snacks available so that when you do get hungry between meals, you have something nutrient-dense ready. Follow these three simple tips to improve your snacks and avoid mindless snacking:

Plate of Hummus, sliced vegetables and pita chips

1. Plan your snacks

Next time you go to the store, make sure to add your snacks to the grocery list. Preparing single-serving snacks can help you have just enough to satisfy your hunger. Some staples that I keep on hand in the fridge are baby carrots and hummus or guacamole. Rather than eating out of the tub of hummus or the bag of carrots, portion some out onto a plate or cup. This will help you avoid excessive snacking.

2. Make healthy shifts with snacks

Try different fruits and vegetables to find the perfect snack for yourself. Foods and beverages that contribute the most calories for snacks are not the most nutritious options. By opting for a more nutrient-dense snack, you are making a healthier choice for your body and can improve your health. Rather than opting for chips and nacho cheese, try cowboy caviar and fresh veggies. Instead of opting for a granola bar with added sugar, try eating fresh fruit. Switch any refined grains to whole grains. Transition beverages with added sugars to no-sugar-added beverages. These small changes can make a big difference over time.

Plate of bean, corn and veggie salsa

3. Keep temptations out of sight

Keeping tempting foods out of sight may help you avoid choosing them as snacks. It may also be helpful to keep them out of the house altogether! If you don’t have them in your house, you cannot have them unless you go to the store to get them.

What changes can you make to enjoy healthier snacks? Are there any Healthy Snack Hacks you will try?

Written by: Miriam Knopp, Dietetic Intern, The Ohio State University.

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

Sources:

USDA Choose MyPlate (2016). “10 Tips: MyPlate Snack Tips for Parents.” www.choosemyplate.gov/ten-tips-snack-tips-for-parents.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020, 8th Edition. “Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.” https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-10/DGA_Shift-to-Healthier-Choices.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). “NHANES – What We Eat in America.” www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/wweia.htm.

UCSF Health. “Behavior Modification Ideas for Weight Management.” www.ucsfhealth.org/education/behavior-modification-ideas-for-weight-management.

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picture of an apple

No it won’t, but it might help if you get infected, and over time might help your overall quality of life. I saw an interesting post on social media suggesting that following a healthy diet might protect us from coronavirus in addition to social distancing, wearing masks, etc. Science right now doesn’t support the idea that there is one “super-food” or special diet that can protect us from viruses, bacteria, and or other pathogens. Rather, having good dietary patterns, in addition to other healthy habits gives us better chances for positive health outcomes if we do get infected.

At the heart of immunity is the chemical process of inflammation that occurs in the body after exposure to a foreign pathogen. The response is complex involving white blood cells, antibody and antigens, clotting factors, and chemical signals that increase blood flow and blood vessel permeability. Nutrients we get from foods that are critical to this process include Vitamins C, D, zinc, selenium, iron and protein. Following the dietary guidelines and eating a variety of nutrient dense plants, meats, and fish ensures that you would get enough of these vitamins and minerals to support the immune response.

The gut microbiome is also important to the immune system. Bacteria in the colon break down fiber into substances that are helpful to your immune system. These bacteria are supported by prebiotic foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Probiotic foods such as yogurt can also be helpful. Alcohol, highly processed and fatty foods like sweets, chips, fried foods, and red meats aren’t helpful to colon bacteria thus weakening the immune system.

Following the dietary guidelines is one of the best ways to ensure that your immune system can succeed. Some high-risk groups though, such as the elderly, pregnant women, the critically ill, and low-come households may be at risk for dietary deficiencies and therefore should consider vitamin supplements in consultation with a physician. Multi-vitamins have not been proven to be effective in otherwise healthy individuals and are not a substitute for healthy eating. There is some evidence however that Vitamin D supplements might be especially helpful to many to promote immunity and protect against chronic disease.

Other factors that can improve your immune system include:

  • Avoiding too much alcohol
  • Getting 7-9 hours of sleep
  • Getting 150 of moderate physical activity every week
  • Quitting tobacco products
  • Practicing mindfulness techniques when stressed

Wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing hands frequently as recommended might prevent the coronavirus. Adopting one or two new healthy habits will also give you better chances of positive health outcomes in case you get sick, as well as give you a higher quality of life.  Consider setting a SMART goal to improve your health. Now is the time to get healthy!

Author: Dan Remley, MSPH, PhD, Associate Professor and Field Specialist, OSU Extension

Reviewer: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Fairfield County, OSU Extension

Sources:

Harvard School of Public Health. Nutrition and Immunity. Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nutrition-and-immunity

United States Department of Agriculture. Choose Myplate. Retrieved on 8/3/20 from https://www.chooseMyplate.gov

Harvard School of Public Health. Vitamin D. Retrieved on 7/30/2020 from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/

BeWell Stanford. Setting A SMART goal. Retrieved on 7/30/2020 from https://bewell.stanford.edu/achieving-your-smart-health-goal/

 

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We have all been impacted one way or another by the Coronavirus pandemic. During a health crisis, taking preventative measures is important. The CDC has listed precautions people should be taking right now. These include washing your hands, staying away from people who may be sick, and protecting your nose and mouth with an appropriate mask. Another way to protect yourself from sickness is keeping your immune system strong, which is your body’s defense against illnesses.

The Cleveland Clinic notes 3 vitamins to boost your immune system:

Vitamin C: found in many fruits especially melons, berries, and citrus, bell peppers, and dark leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, anFresh Vegetablesd spinach.

Vitamin B6: found in chickpeas, green vegetables, chicken, and fish.

Vitamin E: found in spinach, seeds, and nuts.

Additionally, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states these nutrients listed will also help boost your immune system:

Vitamin D: found in fortified milk and juice, eggs, and fatty fish.

Zinc: found both in animal and plant sources such as meat, beans, tofu, and nuts,

Beta carotene: found in plant foods such a potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, and mangos.

Probiotics: found in cultured dairy and fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut.

Protein: both animal and plant-based sources, such as nuts, eggs, meat, beans, and fish.

Eating healthily during a pandemic can be tough but having long-lasting food on-hand is a great way to ensure you and your family are fed when practicing social distancing. There are also ways to focus on consuming the food listed above to keep those immune systems in tip-top shape. Before you stock up on all the frozen and non-perishable foods you can find, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Frozen meals: Be sure those frozen meals include some of the foods listed above, for example fruits and vegetables.

Pasta: Add some razzle dazzle to pre-packaged pasta meals such by adding vegetables to the dish or pair it with your favorites on the side. You can also try this stir fry recipe that includes meat and vegetables with packaged ramen noodles for a yummy twist.

Canned goods: great way to add some fruits, vegetables, and beans to any meal. And make sure your canned soup has vegetables in it for extra nutrients, and always look for the no-salt added version.

Smoothies: Make a smoothie with your favorite frozen fruit and be sure to use a little yogurt and orange juice for some added nutrients.

Snacks: Snacking is inevitable! Snack on things such as dried fruit, nuts, seeds, hummus, raw veggies, and more!

Below are two family fun snack and meal recipes that are sure to give you those nutrients that could give your immune system that extra boost!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Fruit and Veggie Snacks

All in all, you eat your way to a stronger immune system. Note that supplements are not recommended unless necessary. And always consult with your doctor or a registered dietitian first. We will get through this uncertain time together!

About the author: Carmen Bell is a senior Nutrition and Food Science-Dietetics student with a Health and Human Performance minor at Middle Tennessee State University. She is a part of the MT Nutrition Team where she works to provide nutrition education to children, students, faculty, and staff on campus. Beginning summer 2020, she will be an Iowa State University Dietetic Intern and upon completion of the program will continue her process of becoming a registered dietitian. In the future, she will obtain her master’s degree in Leadership in Nutrition and wants to work will all ages on their health.

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

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Did you know there is a whole grain for every month, according to the Whole Grain Council? This month, quinoa takes center stage. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a nutritious, versatile whole grain. It’s becoming quite popular on salad buffets and in many household favorite recipes.

Quinoa is considered a whole grain and a complete protein packed with nutrition. In fact, it is the only plant food providing all nine essential amino acids needed in the human body. Quinoa is high in potassium and full of antioxidants. This grain provides at least 20% of the recommended daily values for magnesium, phosphorus, folic acid and manganese. As a whole grain, quinoa is unique in that the germ makes up 60% of the grain (compared to 3% of wheat germ). One quarter cup serving of quinoa has 160 calories, 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Quinoa is a gluten free grain and provides a healthy alternative for people who must avoid gluten.

Image of quinoa growing in Andean Plain

Considered an ancient grain, Quinoa originates from the plains near the Andes mountains of South America. Now it is grown in over 50 countries. Quinoa seeds grow on plants with stalks that can be three to nine feet tall. The seeds are harvested by hand, because they mature at different rates. There are over 120 varieties of quinoa grown today, and a variety of colors. Interestingly, quinoa seeds are coated with a layer of saponins which provides natural protection against pests. The saponin can taste very bitter, therefore quinoa is rinsed during production. Often recipes will instruct to rinse quinoa before using to wash away any remaining saponin.

There are many ways to prepare quinoa, including as a whole grain, flakes and flour. To cook quinoa, use one cup of dried grain and 2 cups of liquid, such as water or soup stock. Boil, then simmer for 12- 15 minutes to yield 3 cups of cooked grain. You may see a small white ring ‘pop’ out of the grain when the quinoa is done. This ring is the germ.  You can also prepare quinoa in a rice cooker, using 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups liquid. Quinoa works well in cold and hot grain salads, side dishes and pilafs. You can cook quinoa as a hot breakfast cereal, stirring in cinnamon and diced fruit or nuts. You can swap rice for quinoa in dishes. Try serving quinoa on salads or using in place of pasta in salads. You can even ‘pop’ quinoa using these instructions from Harvard School of Public Health. You can use quinoa flakes interchangeable with oatmeal in many recipes like granola.

Colorful quinoa salad

My favorite dish is Mediterranean Quinoa Salad. You can search for that title and find many yummy recipes. Mmm makes me hungry just thinking about it. Try a few recipes and see which is your new favorite.

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

Reviewed by:  Jenny Lobb, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, County

Sources:

Quinoa. 2020. Harvard School of Public Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/quinoa/

Quinoa – March Grain of the Month. Whole Grains Council. Retrieved 3/20 from https://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/grain-month-calendar/quinoa-%E2%80%93-march-grain-month

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Picture of toy teeth eating candy

Although I’m the son of a dentist, I can’t say that I practice the best dental hygiene all of the time. I love sweets, sometimes forget to brush on weekends, and don’t floss every day.

Oral health has been associated with overall health. Gingivitis (inflammation and swelling of gums), for example, has been linked to cardiovascular disease, arthritis, poor diabetes control, and even memory function. Therefore, in addition to preventing cavities and bad breath, there are many other reasons for practicing good oral hygiene.

Have you ever had arguments with others about how often, when and how to brush, floss or visit the dentist? There are many myths about brushing that should be addressed….

  1. If you don’t eat candy, you won’t get cavities.  Cavities form when bacteria in plaque form acids that wear away your enamel. Harmful bacteria like simple sugars, but they also like other carbohydrates such as the starches found in potatoes, pasta and breads. So yes, it’s better if you can cut back on sweets, but don’t think that brushing and flossing still aren’t important. Generally, it’s better for your teeth if you consume sweets during meals and have less sweets and snacks throughout the day.
  2. Diet Sodas won’t hurt my teeth. Diet sodas are better than regular soda because they don’t have the sugar. However, like other carbonated beverages, juices, wine, and coffee, they are acidic, which is harmful to your enamel. In fact, dentists recommend brushing 1 hour after eating or drinking beverages such as coffee in order to avoid brushing away small pieces of enamel.
  3. I should brush and floss after every meal. Actually, experts recommend only brushing in the evening (before bed) and one other time during the day, for at least 2 minutes. The evenings are important because saliva production decreases during the night, leaving the teeth more at risk for decay. Rather than brushing after each meal, chewing gum throughout the day can increase saliva production which can be helpful, as long as the gum is sugar-free. If you do brush after a meal, wait an hour to do so, and remember to floss once a day.
  4. Natural tooth pastes are better for you and better for the environment. There are many products marketed as eco-friendly or natural. If you choose these products, make sure they contain fluoride; otherwise, they won’t be as effective at preventing cavities. There are toothpaste tablets with fluoride that you can also purchase, so that you don’t have to use the disposable plastic tubes. Biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes are also available. Speaking of fluoride, it’s better just to spit, rather than rinse, so the fluoride stays in your mouth longer.
  5. I don’t need to visit the dentist if I don’t have any problems. See your dentist regularly. Cavities don’t always cause toothaches, and dentists can remove plaque which will prevent cavities. Most adults need a check-up and cleaning twice a year. A dentist or hygienist can discuss and demonstrate the best ways to brush and floss.

Author: Dan Remley, Associate Professor, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition and Wellness, OSU Extension

Reviewer: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Franklin County

Sources:

WebMD. The Mouth-Body Connection: 6 Ways Oral Hygiene Helps Keep You Well. 2017. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/gum-disease-health#2

WebMD. Myths and Facts about Cavities. 2016. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/cavities-myths#3

Oral Health Foundation. Diet and My Teeth. 2019. https://www.dentalhealth.org/diet-and-my-teeth

American Dental Association- Mouth Healthy. Your Top 9 Questions About Going to the Dentist—Answered! 2019. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/questions-about-going-to-the-dentist

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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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chia-2119771_1920

It’s been over thirty years since Chia Pets were all the rage, and today, chia is popular once again! This time around, though, chia seeds are trending in the food world because of their nutritional benefits.

Hailing from a plant in the mint family, chia seeds have long been cultivated and consumed in Central and South America, and they were once a major food source for people in Mexico and Guatemala.

These tiny seeds pack a nutritional punch as they are high in protein and fiber, rich in antioxidants, and a source of omega-3 fatty acids. A 2-tablespoon serving of chia seeds contains 190 calories, 4 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 11 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of fat, along with numerous vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds are thought to help with weight loss because of their fiber and protein content; when added to foods, they can help you feel fuller for longer and eat less. However, nutrition professionals recommend substituting chia seeds for items in your diet rather than adding them to your diet, as even a small serving contains a significant number of calories.

So, what are some ways to incorporate chia into your diet? You could: chia-3297309_1920

For a seemingly indulgent chia-based treat, try this recipe for Mango-Vanilla-Chia pudding:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons sweetener of choice, divided
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups frozen mango chunks
  • Fresh mint leaves and berries, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together chia seeds, 2 1/2 cups milk, vanilla, 1 teaspoon sweetener and a pinch of salt. Let sit 10 minutes, then whisk again. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Place mango,1/2 cup milk and 1 teaspoon sweetener in a blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Scoop chia seed pudding into dessert glasses, then top with mango puree. Garnish with berries and mint if desired.

Do you have a favorite use for chia seeds? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below!

 

Sources:

Point, C. (2018). Chia Seed Pudding 3 Ways. Food and Nutrition Magazine. https://foodandnutrition.org/blogs/student-scoop/chia-seed-pudding-3-ways/

The Nutrition Source. Chia Seeds. Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/chia-seeds/ 

The Nutrition Source. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution. Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/omega-3-fats/

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

Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, barlage.7@osu.edu.

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Meal prepping for your week ahead has become a very popular trend lately. This can help you to stay on track with your nutrition and budget, and save time. Before you can meal prep, however, you need to effectively make a meal plan. This includes your grocery list and deciding on what all your meals will be for the week.

In order to keep within your budget, begin by looking at your local grocery store’s weekly ad. This circular indicates which items in the store are on sale or have special discounts for that week. In addition to  weekly ads, many grocery stores also offer coupons, either in the store or online, that can help you to save even more! By looking at these resources, you can utilize many food items that are on sale, resulting in a diverse yet equally exciting meal plan. In addition, it’s a good idea to be aware of what produce items are in season throughout the year. Those items also tend to be cheaper when they are in season and more abundant.

produce-2472015_1920

Once you have determined which food items match your taste and budget from grocery store ads and coupons, it’s time to put those food items together to create complete meals. In order to achieve a healthy, balanced diet, start with including at least three food groups in every meal. Here is an example of typical meal prep menu that my husband and I really like to eat in a day:

Breakfast: Overnight oats – old fashioned oats (grains), non-fat milk/Greek yogurt (dairy), topped with fruit (fruit)

Lunch: Turkey taco salad – mixed greens and pico de gallo (non-starchy vegetables), ground turkey seasoned with taco seasoning (protein), and low-fat shredded cheese (dairy), with lime juice

Dinner: Baked garlic lemon chicken (protein) over rice (grains) with asparagus (non-starchy vegetable)

An interactive plate tool is a great way to check how many food groups you are including at your meal: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/create-your-plate/?referrer=https://www.google.com/ You can be as creative as you want to be, and this tool will help to ensure that you are getting nutrient variety at every meal. Give meal planning a try, and share with us some of your favorite meal prep ideas!

Written By: Amy Meehan, MPH, Healthy People Program Specialist, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences

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

References:

http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/create-your-plate/?referrer=https://www.google.com/

http://www.choosemyplate.gov

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Spaghetti squash is a vegetable that can be used in place of traditional spaghetti pasta with your favorite sauce. It is full of folic acid, potassium, beta carotene, fiber, and Vitamins A and C – with a one cup serving coming in at 42 calories, versus the almost 200 calories a traditional cup of pasta contains. Photo of spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash is an oblong winter squash that is ivory-yellow in color and weighs 2 to 3 pounds. A mature squash will be 4 to 5 inches in diameter and about 8 to 9 inches long with rounded ends. When selecting squash, look for a hard rind, free of bruises, and heavy in comparison to others. Squash can be stored at a mild temperature (50 – 60 degrees) for up to 6 months.

To prepare spaghetti squash, cut the squash in half lengthwise, and scrape out seeds. Place cut side down on a roasting pan in a 375 degree F oven for 45 to 60 minutes. Hull will be soft to the touch and beginning to brown when ready. Let cool about 30 minutes and spoon squash strands out, separating to form spaghetti like strands. Microwaving is also an option – place cut squash in a glass dish (cut side down) with ½ inch of water and microwave for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool and remove squash strands.

Try serving your spaghetti squash with a Roma tomato sauce or your favorite jar sauce for a quicker meal. Ohio State University Heart Hospital has a wonderful Oven Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Roma Tomato Marinara if you are looking for an option. To see a video of how to prepare spaghetti squash go to http://go.osu.edu/spaghettisquash.

Let us know your favorite way to eat spaghetti squash!

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

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County.

Sources:

The Ohio State University Heart Hospital, https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/

University of Illinois Extension, http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ccdms/facts/140218.html

Michigan State University Extension, http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/spaghetti_squash_also_called_vegetable_spaghetti

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Many people forget how important it is to start your day with a fueling breakfast. We often forget to include this meal due to lack of time and planning around hectic schedules. One versatile breakfast item that my family and I enjoy is a veggie egg muffin. This simple dish has fresh ingredients, is easy to make with only a few ingredients, and is packed with protein from the eggs and fiber from its veggies. One large egg has 6 grams of protein, including essential amino acids and only 70 calories. Eggs also provide a rich source of vitamin D, phosphorus, riboflavin and selenium. Additionally, eggs are very economical to make; one egg has an average cost of approximately 8.5 cents in today’s market.    .

Vegetable Egg Muffin on a Plate

Veggie Egg Muffins

I like to make many versions of this recipe, depending on what I have available in my refrigerator. I always start with 10-12 eggs, and add milk and various veggies on hand. I also add additional spices to enhance the flavor. Spices include fresh garlic (or garlic powder), onion powder, parsley flakes, and sometimes fresh or dried basil.

Here is an egg muffin recipe that I would to share to get started. This can be modified based on your veggie preferences and items you have on hand.

Veggie Egg Breakfast Muffins
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 12 large eggs
  • ¼ cup nonfat milkEggs in a bowl. Peppers, onion, spinach, broccoli, and mushrooms on cutting board
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • 3 medium-size mushrooms
  • ½ cup broccoli
  • 2 peppers, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Cooking Spray

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, nonfat milk and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir in the spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, diced peppers and onions. After vegetables are mixed together, add your cheese to the bowl.Egg mixture with veggies in a bowl

Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin pan cups and bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the egg is fully cooked. Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes in the pan then use a knife to loosen the muffins from the cups.
*Adapted from Just a Taste

These healthy egg muffins taste good by themselves, but I often will make it into an egg sandwich to add more fiber. I start with a whole grain sandwich thin, and then add guacamole, taco sauce, 1 slice of cheese, and sometimes a thin slice of deli turkey. After I’ve assembled my sandwich, I warm it up in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds. This is a great sandwich to start the day. They can be made the night before and put in a sandwich bag for a quick grab-and-go breakfast or afternoon snack. My husband likes to have it as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up snack.

If they will not be used in 5 days, plan to put them in the freezer for a later date.

Why not give it a try this week, and leave a reply in the comment box below to share other ideas for a healthy breakfast egg muffin.

Resources:
http://www.eggnutritioncenter.org/egg-nutrition-basics/

http://www.aeb.org/news-trends/incredible-breakfast-trends/new-consumer/millennial-evolution

https://www.justataste.com/healthy-breakfast-egg-muffins-recipe/

 

Written by:  Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County, zies.1@osu.edu and Shannon Smith, RD, LD, Program Coordinator IGNITE Grant, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County, smith.11604@osu.edu

Reviewed by:   Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension,   remley.4@osu.edu

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