Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill

Are you looking for ways to slash the amount you spend for groceries?  Here are four simple, conventional steps to cut the amount spent for groceries without compromising on nutrition or health:

  1. Plan Your Meals.  Always go to the grocery store with a plan.  Begin by planning meals for a week and grow that to a month.  The website, http://moneysmartfamily.com/recipes/ is a good place to start with this venture offering recipes and tips.  A shopping list is a must.  Consider using frozen fruit and vegetables as opposed to fresh and adding occasional meat-less meals in your plan.  Moneysmartfamily.com also offers a preprinted list of all the things to buy which also serves as a mental cue to check stock items making sure the amount needed is in your stock.  Use your leftovers wisely.
  2. Shop the Deals. Watch the weekly sales ads.  Buy in a larger quantities if it makes sense to keep it on your shelf or in your freezer when you spot a deal.  Be aware of expiration dates and rotate your stock so that it is used in a timely fashion.  Be savvy with coupons and buy only items that fit your plan.   Consider discounted “must-go” food items; grocery stores usually mark down products, produce, and meat when they get close to their sell-by-date.  These discounted items are still perfectly safe for you to purchase.
  3. Minimize Grocery Store Visits. Frequent trips to the grocery store usually result in impulsive purchases.  Attempt to cut your visits to once a week or longer; with a plan this usually is not hard to do.
  4. Pay with Cash. With cash in hand, you know exactly how much you can spend.  This will force one to seek out the necessities or only the items on the planned list.  The little extras are okay as long as they are part of the plan.

From PennyHoarders.com comes some not-so-conventional  means of lowering your food bill. All of these options are available for free.

  1.  Become a Nielsen  Consumer Panel member.  The Nielsen company will pay you to scan your groceries weekly.
  2. Inbox.com pays 10 cents for every coupon you print from their website.
  3. Buy common meats and meat cuts in bulk from Zaycon Fresh.
  4. Sign up for Pillsbury and Betty Crocker emails to received $250 in coupons and access to free product samples.
  5. Register with Kelloggs for $150 in coupons plus points for buying Kellogg products that can be turned into grocery money.

So regardless of whether you choose conventional or non-conventional options or some combination, you will save grocery dollars that can be turned into cash for saving, paying down debt, or for something fun.

Marlene Geiger

Marlene Geiger

I am a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BS in Home Economics Education and Extension and from Colorado State University with a MS in Textiles and Clothing. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening, quilting, cooking, sewing, and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

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Making Granola Bars a Healthy Treat

Crunchy, chewy, chocolatey, fruity Granola Bars are an American snack and breakfast staple and favorite.  In fact, granola bars are so popular, they even have their own annual day of celebration in January.  Pitched as a healthy food (and they can be), the nutrition label often tells otherwise—most are little more than candy bars in disguise!  Many are loaded with sugar and high fructose sugar and short on fiber and protein.  The satiety value is low—in a short amount of time, hunger sets in again.

So how can you enjoy your favorite snack without leaving you hungry or wanting more?  Here are a couple of ideas to up the granola bar game:

  1. Look for a better bar.  Check the ingredients and nutrition label.  Specifically look for bars that are high in fiber and protein, sweetened with honey or natural syrups, and include nuts, grains, seeds, and fruits.
  2. Make or concoct your own. There is an abundance of recipes to choose from.  Groovy Granola Bars from Oregon State University is an easy recipe to get you started.  Not only is it packed with fiber and protein, it also provides half of your daily value for Omega-3’s.  Change it up with other dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and even a few dark chocolate chips. Coconut palm sugar can be used to replace the brown sugar without altering the flavor.  However, the American Diabetes Assn cautions that coconut palm sugar but should be treat the same as brown sugar for those needing to count calories and carbohydrates.

We’d love to hear your granola bar story.  Please share in the comments!

Marlene Geiger

Marlene Geiger

I am a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BS in Home Economics Education and Extension and from Colorado State University with a MS in Textiles and Clothing. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening, quilting, cooking, sewing, and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

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Removing Grease from Painted Walls

AnswerLine calls are a great resource for blog topics.  Today’s blog comes from an AnswerLine caller who wanted to know how to clean cooking grease from a painted kitchen wall.

Grease stains on any surface can be an intimidating problem.  They are both unsightly and difficult to remove.  Due to meal preparations involving cooking, sauteing and frying, the kitchen is the most common area in the home where grease stains occur; not only are the spatters of concern, but also the fine mist that gradually collects on walls and other surfaces.  The longer grease, and especially cooking grease, is left on any surface, the more difficult it is to remove; over time it tends to gel and bond to the host surface.  Further, the more porous the surface is, the more difficult the grease is to remove.  Even after the stickiness is gone, there is often some discoloration to the surface, especially a painted wall, which will likely require repainting.  Since one can never be totally sure that all the grease has been removed, it is a good idea to prime the wall with a KILZ paint to make sure that the stain will not eventually show through the new paint.

Here’s some common household items that will help remove grease stains from painted walls:

  1. White vinegar.  Mix one part white vinegar with one part hot water.  Use a spray bottle to apply the solution to the grease.  Allow it to set for several minutes and then wipe with a clean rag.  Work in small areas and repeat as many times as necessary to get the wall clean.  If the area is large, use several rags to collect the grease.
  2. Baking soda. Make a paste of three tablespoons of baking soda with one cup of warm water.  Work the paste into the grease stain.  Gently rub the area with a nylon scrubber until the stain disappears.  Wipe clean with a clean damp rag.
  3.  Ammonia.  Mix two cups of household ammonia with one gallon of hot water.  Use a spray bottle to apply the solution and scrub with a nylon sponge or brush to remove the stains.  Gloves and ventilation are a must when using ammonia.
  4. TSP (Trisodium Phosphate). TSP is a strong cleaner.  It can cause irritation and even burn if it is used incorrectly.  Wear rubber gloves, safety goggles, and long sleeves to protect your skin and eyes.  Surfaces outside of the affected area should be protected from TSP splashes as it can discolor or de-gloss paint, wood, and metal.  A solution of ¼ cup TSP per gallon of very warm water is a good place to start.  For heavy grease build up, increase the ratio to ½ cup TSP per gallon of water.  Use a sponge to apply the solution, wringing out the sponge to avoid dripping.  Working from the bottom up reduces streaking.  Allow the solution to sit on the wall for two minutes to soften the grease before scrubbing with a nylon scrub pad.  Rinse the affected area thoroughly as any residue left on the wall could prevent paint from adhering.
Marlene Geiger

Marlene Geiger

I am a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BS in Home Economics Education and Extension and from Colorado State University with a MS in Textiles and Clothing. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening, quilting, cooking, sewing, and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

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Add Some Avocado to Your Meals

Avocados have been a great price at the grocery store lately. I love to make guacamole and cut them up to put on salads but there are many other ways that you can eat them.  Here are a few suggestions to add more avocadoes to your diet.

  • Slice and put on sandwiches.
  • Add avocado to a homemade salad dressing.
  • Mash it and spread it on toast.
  • Use avocado instead of mayonnaise to make chicken salad.
  • Spread on bagels.
  • Use as a topper for baked potatoes.
  • Add them to a smoothie.

Avocados are harvested before they are ripe so expect that they will be firm to touch at the grocery store. To tell when your avocado is ready to eat place them in your palm and they should yield to gentle pressure. Avoid using your fingertips to tell if it is ripe since that could cause bruising and dark spots on the inside.  If your avocado is still firm and you want to use it more quickly stick it in a brown paper bag with an apple in it at room temperature. That will speed up the ripening process.  Remember don’t put your avocado in the refrigerator until it is ripe. Once ripe they can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Once your avocado is cut and exposed to air it can start to turn dark. To help keep it from turning dark after you cut it sprinkle or brush lemon or lime juice or white vinegar over the exposed area.  Then wrap with clear plastic wrap and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.  If it gets dark cut off the top layer and the green fruit underneath is perfectly fine to eat.

Hopefully these suggestions have given you some ideas on ways to add avocados to your meals. They are a healthy and tasty addition!  For a few tips on cutting and peeling watch this video from the California Avocado Commission.

Beth Marrs

I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Adult Home Economics Education. I love to cook and entertain and spend time with my family.

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Preventing Cellphone/Smartphone Robocalls

This week is National Consumer Protection Week which makes this the perfect time to talk about ways to protect yourself from those annoying automated telemarketing calls, known as Robocalls, which have long been a landline nuisance and now are the bane of cellphone users.  With consumers discontinuing use of landlines, those shady marketers are making those same calls to our private cell phones/smartphones.  The FTC says it is the number one consumer complaint the agency receives.   Not only are the calls a nuisance, Consumer Reports that deceptive marketers use robocalls to commit fraud and rip off vulnerable consumers to the tune of an estimated $350 million every year.

With  VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or in more common terms, phone service over the internet, marketers, scammers, and phony agents can make millions of calls a day at no charge.  The DO NOT CALL Registry does not stop VOIP calls.  Making it worse, is that these fraudsters can spoof their number to make it appear as a call from your neighbor, family, FBI, IRS, or any other legitimate source.

While the cell phone companies say they are working on the problem, they do not agree on an immediate solution to solving the problem even though the technology exists to bring it to an end.  Therefore, it is up to the consumer to protect themselves.

There are ways to fight back and the good news is that there are several apps that will block these calls.  As always, only use apps provided by your phone manufacturer such as the ITunes store or Google Play.  CITA (Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Assn, a Washington DC, non-profit, advocacy group representing the wireless communications industry that enables Americans to lead a 21st century connected life) offers a listing of apps for Android, Blackberry, iOS (Apple) and Windows.  Some top rated apps from these services include:

NoMoRobo

Mr Number

Privacy Star

Calls Blacklist

True Caller

Burner

Hiya (formerly Whitepages)

Before downloading/installing an app to your research.  Be sure to read carefully to understand how the app works, make sure it meets your needs, understand costs, if any, and know what personal information may be requested from your phone.

Trying one of these apps on your smartphone may well add more ‘smartness’ to your phone.

Marlene Geiger

Marlene Geiger

I am a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BS in Home Economics Education and Extension and from Colorado State University with a MS in Textiles and Clothing. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening, quilting, cooking, sewing, and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

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Baby Proofing for Cameron

Our grandson has just turned one and is starting to walk more. As exciting as that is, it also reminds me that I need to do even more babyproofing to our house!  With the help of several wonderful Extension publications these are the steps that I have taken so far:

  • I have purchased baby gates for the stairs going both up and down. Even with a door that closes it could still be opened by a toddler. The basement baby gate can be moved to the bottom of the basement stairs when we are playing in the basement.
  • Latches have been attached to my kitchen and bathroom closets where I keep cleaning supplies.
  • Medications have been moved from a lower drawer in my bathroom to a high cabinet.
  • Furniture has been moved away from windows.
  • Cords for the computer, television, phone chargers etc. are out of reach. This includes keeping the baby monitor far enough away from the crib that it can’t be grabbed.
  • The cords on the blinds have been securely attached to the wall.
  • I discarded the car seats that I had stored in our attic from our kids. They now come with expiration dates and are made much safer! That was the same for the crib that we used raising our kids. The slats were too far apart so I opted for a new portable crib that is easy to set up.
  • I keep my purse off the floor when I am babysitting so there is no risk of getting into medication I keep in there.

One thing that really helped me was to look through the house at a toddler level. By getting on your hands and knees you can see things that might interest a toddler that you don’t notice when you are standing up.  I want to have a child friendly house where our kids feel comfortable leaving our grandson with us and they know that we have done everything we can to keep him safe.  Here are some resources with even more ideas for babyproofing.

http://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.cfm?number=C1049#title6

http://umm.edu/programs/childrens/health/about/child-proof-your-home

http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/safehome.htm

Beth Marrs

I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Adult Home Economics Education. I love to cook and entertain and spend time with my family.

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Peanut Butter-Is it the enviable food?

Did you know that peanut butter, the “adored by millions, everyman’s staple”, contains neither butter nor nuts (peanuts are legumes) and originated as a health food of the upper classes?  First created by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg for use in his sanitarium, it satisfied the need for a protein-rich food that did not have to be chewed. Wealthy spa guests popularized it among the well-heeled.  A patent for peanut butter was granted to Dr. Kellogg on November 4, 1895 which is now celebrated as Peanut Butter Lovers Day in America.   After the boll weevil devastated cotton production, George Washington Carver encouraged southern farmers to adopt peanuts as a replacement crop.  With quantities of peanuts on the market, peanut butter was no longer just for the privileged and began to appear as a snack food.  It was featured at the St Louis World’s Fair in 1904. Hydrogenation in the 1920s gave rise to our modern day peanut butter by stopping separation of oil and solids and extending the shelf life.  The Food and Drug Administration gave peanut butter a food status in 1940.

Americans love peanut butter and consume approximately 65 million pounds of peanut butter each month. As beloved as peanut butter is, it has not escaped the perils of food industrialization with a spike in peanut allergies, deaths from salmonella contamination at processing plants, and concerns over its sugar, saturated fat, and sodium content.

With recent announcements from the National Institute of Health regarding peanut allergies in children, peanuts and peanut butter are back in the news and on the menu for infants and children.  Despite the concerns, peanut butter is heralded as a healthy food.  It’s packed with nutrition (protein, fiber, iron, Vitamins E and B6, potassium), has a high ratio of unsaturated to saturated fat ratio (heart-healthy monounsaturated fat), has a high satiety value, and potassium outweighs sodium in most. The downside to peanut butter might be the 190 calories, 16 grams (g) of fat, 7 g of carbohydrates for two tablespoons for those concerned about their waistline. If that is a concern, peanut butter powder may be a good alternative.  An article published by Michigan State University discusses the pros and cons of powder.  Further, studies show that peanut butter can actually help with weight loss.

Whether you’re a kid or otherwise, peanut butter is the perfect go-to food or on-the-go snack.  Because peanuts and peanut butter have the enviable combination of fiber and protein that fills you up and keeps you feeling full longer, they fuel a workout, a starving tummy, a meal, or even a dessert.

Peanut butter is a very versatile ingredient; as such, there is no shortage of delicious ways to pack peanut butter into you day.  Here are a few quick ideas for starters:

  • Add PB to smoothies
  • Make a PB and J (honey or fresh fruit) sandwich for lunch, workout, or after school snack
  • Stir PB into yogurt
  • Add PB to sauces or salad dressing
  • Add PB to oatmeal for breakfast
  • Spread PB on toast, pancakes, and waffles
  • Bake a batch of peanut butter cookies for dessert

One can find more creative ways to enjoy peanut butter at PB My Way sponsored by the Southern Peanut Growers.  For a fun twist on the everyday apple salad, try this family favorite:

Apple and Peanut Salad 
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup honey
¼ cup peanut butter
1 apple, cored and diced
1 carrot, grated
¼ cup celery, thinly sliced
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped peanuts
Combine mayonnaise, honey and peanut butter.  Stir in remaining ingredients and chill.
Note:  half of the dressing mix is enough for our family and sometimes plain yogurt is substituted for the mayo.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy peanut butter?

Marlene Geiger

Marlene Geiger

I am a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BS in Home Economics Education and Extension and from Colorado State University with a MS in Textiles and Clothing. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening, quilting, cooking, sewing, and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

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Choosing a Home Air Filter

Recently AnswerLine received a call about furnace filters.  The caller wanted to know the tradeoffs of the various kinds of filters with regard to efficiency and air quality.  And further, how often did an air filter really need to be changed.  Great questions!  However, I didn’t have all the answers and requested time to do some research and get back to the caller.  In doing so, I learned a lot.

In by-gone days, there was only one thing to know when purchasing a filter for your heating/AC system (HVAC)—the dimensions.  It certainly is a different story today.  The wide range of filter options, numbers, and prices can be overwhelming and confusing.

The original purpose of the HVAC filter was to do one thing:  protect the equipment.  Since then, a second function has been added as an option:  reduce indoor air pollution.  Therefore, the filter’s real job is to reduce the amount of dust, dirt, and debris that is in the air so that it does not accumulate on components inside the HVAC system; and as an option, prevent those inside the home or building from inhaling dust, allergens, and other irritants.

Changing or cleaning the air filter when appropriate increases the efficiency and life span of the system and decreases energy costs. Dirty, clogged filters block airflow and cause the system to run longer; further, they also allow the dirty air to get past the filter and make its way into the fan motor, coils, and other parts of the system along with the home environment and into the lungs of humans and pets.

Air filters are either mechanical or electrical.  Mechanical filters capture airborne pollutants on a filter medium; their effectiveness is dependent on both media and design.  Information provided by University of Illinois Extension shows that fiberglass filters remove up to 2%, washable/reusable filters remove up to 6%, thin pleated filters remove up to 11%, deep pleated filters remove up to 25%, and pleated electrostatic filters remove up to 49% of sub-micron particles.  Electronic filters use an electric field to capture debris like a magnet and remove up to 94% of sub-micron particles; ultraviolet or HEPA filters may be built into or added onto an electronic filter.  Most homes use a mechanical filter due to cost unless additional filtration is needed for health reasons.

Filter rating systems devised by individual companies make it hard to compare filters and should be avoided as there is no standard.    Rather consumers should look for the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) which sets a standard for rating the overall effectiveness of air filters by measuring the filter’s ability to trap particles ranging in size from 3.0 microns to 10.0 microns. Every filter has a MERV rating.  (If it is not on the packaging, contact the manufacturer.)  A residential filter commonly has a MERV rating of 1  to 12.  A higher MERV rating means finer filtration with fewer dust particles and other airborne contaminates passing through the filter.   Here in lies the caveat.  A filter with a higher MERV rating will also restrict airflow more than a filter with a lower MERV rating and will likely increase your systems running time and energy use.  Remember, the filter only needs to keep the coils and blower free of dust and debris.  All HVAC systems are designed for a specific CFM (cubic feet per minute) airflow rating. If the airflow is restricted by say 10%, that could equate to a 10% loss in efficiency, and 10% higher energy consumption along with longer heat up or cool down cycles; or in worst case, if the system is struggling with the CFM due to restriction, the blower motor may eventually over-spin and burn out.

Most home systems require modifications for filters greater than MERV 8.  Studies show that medium-efficiency filters strike the best balance between allergen removal and filter cost.  Flat, disposable, spun fiberglass filters (MERV 1-4) protect the HVAC system from large particles but cannot block the microscopic particles that are most irritating for allergy and asthma prone humans and pets.  Medium efficiency pleated filters made of polyester or cotton paper offer a MERV rating of 5-12 due to the larger and denser surface area thereby allowing them to capture smaller and greater numbers of particles without impeding air flow to the unit. High efficiency pleated filters have MERV ratings of 13-16. Electronic filters do not have a MERV rating.

Most experts recommend that consumers use a filter recommended by the furnace manufacturer.  If a manual for the unit does not exist, call the manufacturer or the HVAC dealer.  Should additional filtration be needed beyond that designed for the unit, consult the manufacturer or dealer for technical assistance.   A flat, fiberglass filter will serve the basic need of protecting the system.  If additional air filtration is needed, a flat, pleated filter that fits into the HVAC systems’ slot with a MERV rating of 7 or less is an acceptable filter for most systems; the pleats provide a greater surface area to trap particles thereby protecting the system and improving air quality.

Lastly, no manufacturer can predict how long its filters will last because none of them know the dust conditions in individual homes.  Checking the filter often is advised with the rule of thumb being, “if it looks dirty, it is dirty.”  A general guideline is to change filters at least every three months to maintain maximum efficiency but monthly checks are encouraged.

For more in-depth information consult:

EPA technical document, “Residential Air Cleaners:  A Summary of Available Information”
American Lung Association, “Health House Furnace Filters: Tips about Your Furnace Filter”
University of Illinois Extension, “Healthy Indoor Air”

Marlene Geiger

Marlene Geiger

I am a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BS in Home Economics Education and Extension and from Colorado State University with a MS in Textiles and Clothing. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening, quilting, cooking, sewing, and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

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Subscription Meal Kits

It would be hard to miss the new trends in meal preparation. Everywhere I look, I see ads for subscription meal kits sent directly to the home.  I’ve wondered for a while just how expensive these prepared packages are, what kinds of foods are included, and just how fresh could the foods be in that sort of system.

I had the opportunity to check this out first hand when I received a coupon for 60% off on one of those websites. We were looking into this one day at work with the thought that we may want some first-hand knowledge at AnswerLine. We wanted to compare some of the different companies to compare cost, shipping, and available plans.  There are a larger number of companies that I realized.  The costs are similar and most companies offer meals that can be ready in about 30 minutes.

I ordered 3 meals for the week from one of the companies and thought that I might make the meals for my husband and myself. The package arrived shortly after noon on the day of the week that I chose in advance.  The food was well packaged and included 2 large ice packs that kept the food at a nice, safe, cold temperature.  The food was packaged in a very organized way, meats were double sealed—vacuum packed and then inserted into a second plastic bag to prevent cross contamination.  Vegetables were very fresh and appealing.  Small bags labeled for a specific meal contained small amounts of several different ingredients.  The only ingredient that I needed to have on hand was olive oil.

The recipes and directions were very clear and had step by step directions. Techniques that might be unfamiliar were demonstrated with videos on their website. I would recommend reading through the directions a time or two before preparing the meal.  It can be easy to be confused and forget as step or do something in the wrong order when working with unfamiliar ingredients.

After sharing the first meal with my husband, I thought it might be fun to gather the AnswerLine staff to prepare the other two meals. This would give us all some experience with meal kits and it would be a good opportunity for getting to know each other even better.  Marcia volunteered her home so we all met after work on a Monday night.  We worked together to make the first meal, enjoyed it and then prepared the second meal.  It was fun to work together as there is usually a fair amount of washing, chopping, and mixing to do with these meals.  The food was delicious, serving sizes were ample, and the preparation fun.  The meals are not inexpensive, but compared to picking up some fast food or restaurant take out the prices are comparable. These meals allowed me to try some new foods that I likely would not try on my own and to save some time by not going to the grocery store.  I also liked that there were not any left-over foods to deal with; either ingredients or leftover entrée.  Most companies will allow you to skip weeks of delivery so it could be something to use when you know in advance you will have a busy week.  I tried two more weeks of meal deliveries and I have to say that all the meals were tasty.  It is not something I plan to use on a regular basis, but I can see a place for this system.

This blog in no way endorses a specific company, but is designed to look into this new food trend. Let us know what works for you and your family during  busy times.  We plan to look at other ways to provide healthy meals in a hurry for your family.

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Liz Meimann

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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Cauliflower!

Cauliflower has recently seemed to be getting a lot of attention. A friend and I are looking forward to making time to try a new pizza recipe using a cauliflower crust. Because of all the recent attention I thought it would be interesting to re-visit cauliflower.

Cauliflower is a flowering member of the cabbage family and can be found year round. It is rich in vitamin C  providing 85% of the daily recommended amount in 1 cup. It is also a good source of potassium, fiber, and folate. The white edible portion is called the “curd” and the heavy outer leaf covering is called the “jacket leaves”. A whole cauliflower weighs @ 1 and 1/2 pounds and yields about 6 cups of florets.

When selecting fresh cauliflower choose heads that are solid, heavy, and unblemished. They should also have fresh green leaves. Store cauliflower in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and for best quality use within 4 days. It can be eaten raw, steamed, roasted, sauted, microwaved, or grilled. You can use it to stir-fry, in soups or added to mashed potatoes. I also just recently saw a segment on TV making cauliflower “steaks”.

Cauliflower can be cooked whole or broken into florets. You may want to add milk or lemon juice when cooking to help maintain whiteness. If steaming, allow @20 minutes for whole and 6-10 minutes for florets. To microwave, use a covered dish with 1/4 cup water in. Microwave whole cauliflower 8-10 minutes and florets 6-8 minutes. The trick to boiling cauliflower is to cook head down to keep it under water. Boil a whole cauliflower 10-15 minutes and flowerets 3-6 minutes. My favorite way to prepare cauliflower is to roast it. I feel that really brings out the sweetness. Toss the florets onto a rimmed baking sheet and mix with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated 425 degree oven for 35-40 minutes stirring occasionally.

The pizza crust my friend and I are looking forward to making involves ricing/grating the cauliflower and cooking it a little bit in the microwave. Hope it turns out to be blog worthy!

Marcia Steed

Marcia Steed

I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Home Economics Education. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and traveling.

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