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Posts Tagged ‘seasonal eating’

Juneteenth flag

What do you do to celebrate Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a holiday signifying the date June 19, 1865, when a Union general told the slaves in Galveston, Texas that slavery had been abolished ­– two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves. Last year Juneteenth became an official national holiday, after congress passed the Juneteenth Act and President Biden signed it into law on June 17, 2021.

According to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, “Juneteenth is a time to gather as a family, reflect on the past and look to the future”. You can celebrate this holiday in many ways, including music and food!

Juneteenth celebrations often include picnics or cookouts, customarily celebrated with foods red in color. The color red signifies ingenuity and resilience in bondage and it’s also a nod to drinks traditional to West Africa that were made with hibiscus flowers and red kola nuts, according to historian Adrian Miller.

Some red produce options for your Juneteenth celebration include:

water infused with strawberries and fresh herbs
  • Strawberries – in-season right now, you could celebrate Juneteenth by visiting a strawberry patch to pick and enjoy this fresh fruit. Strawberries can also be added to fresh squeezed lemonade, combined with basil to make a refreshing infused water, or used in desserts like strawberry shortcake.
  • Red cabbage – you could make a crunchy red cabbage slaw with a red wine vinaigrette.
  • Watermelon – eat as is, make it the centerpiece of a fantastic fruit salad, or create a fun fruit pizza.
  • Beets – roast and add to a salad, or puree into a colorful dip.
  • Red beans – try a traditional red beans and rice dish.
a plate of watermelon slices

Other traditional foods served at Juneteenth celebrations include collard greens, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, corn bread, red velvet cake, strawberry soda, and smoked or barbecued meats.

Whichever foods you choose to add to your Juneteenth celebration, I hope that you enjoy your holiday!

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

Reviewer: Lisa Barlage, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Ross County.

Sources:

National Museum of African American History and Culture. Juneteenth. https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/juneteenth

Turner, T. (2021). Chow Line: Healthy red food options for Juneteenth. https://cfaes.osu.edu/news/articles/chow-line-healthy-red-food-options-for-juneteenth

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asparagus, spinach and strawberries arranged on a plate

It’s spring! The weather is starting to warm up, and outdoor farmer’s markets are preparing to open. Whether you shop at the grocery store or from a local market, spring provides many great options for produce. During the spring season, strawberries, radishes, asparagus, and spinach are just a few produce items that start to make an appearance. Knowing what is in season has benefits: not only does fresh, locally grown produce taste good, purchasing seasonal items is a great way to save money.

Springtime is often seen as a time of renewal. What a great opportunity to try a new recipe that features spring produce! Many dishes that feature spring produce are light, bright, and vibrant, such as the spinach strawberry salad displayed in the video below.

If you’re not a salad fan and would prefer alternate ideas for using spinach and strawberries in your spring cooking, check out these suggestions to Make a Fresh Start with Spring Foods.  

Radishes are another colorful, nutrient-packed spring vegetable worth bringing into your kitchen this spring. Before you knock them, give them a try! Although grocery store radishes are often red and bitter, fresh spring radishes come in a variety of colors and flavors. They can be eaten raw or used as a garnish, and they can also be pickled, roasted, grilled or braised, to name just a few options.

Spring provides many great options for produce. Do you have a favorite spring produce item or recipe? If so, leave a comment to let us know!

Written by Skye Pietrzykowski, Dietetic Student, Middle Tennessee State University and Jenny Lobb, MPH, RDN, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Franklin County

Sources:

Kiefer, G. (2022). Respect for the Radish. Edible Columbus. https://ediblecolumbus.ediblecommunities.com/eat/respect-radish

Klemm, S. (2022). Make a Fresh Start with Spring Foods. Kids Eat Right, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/cooking-tips-and-trends/make-a-fresh-start-with-spring-foods

USDA SNAP-Ed Connection. Seasonal Produce Guide. https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide

USDA SNAP-Ed Connection. Spring Recipes.
https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-education/snap-ed-recipes/spring-recipes

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