Berry and Greens Smoothie

Serving Size: 8 Ounces | Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium bananas
  • 2 containers (6 ounces each) nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 3 cups leafy greens, washed (kale or spinach)
  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen berries
  • 1 cup nonfat milk

Directions:

  1. Put bananas, yogurt, and greens in the blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Add berries to blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add milk to blender. Blend until smooth.
  4. Serve immediately or freeze in individual servings.

Nutrition information per serving:
90 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 50mg sodium, 20g total carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 1g sugar, 4g protein
This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Snack Smart This Summer!

In the summer, eating several small healthy snacks throughout the day is often more comfortable than having bigger meals. Choose nutritious snacks that give you energy as well as help you with focus and memory. Healthy snacking especially benefits these three groups of people:

  • Older adults tend to prefer to eat light meals or snacks instead of bigger breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals. Choosing nutritious snacks helps maintain their ability to live independently. Snacks high in protein and antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, help the immune system to recover from illness and aids in wound healing.
  • Children need the calories and nutrients from snacks to get energy for summertime play and sports. Snacks nourish their growing bodies and minds. In the fall, snacks will help kids feel full so they can focus on academics. Read Snacks for Healthy Kids, store.extension.iastate.edu/product/4605, for more information.
  • Pregnant women have varied appetites, depending on the woman and stage of pregnancy. Snacks can provide quick, easy nutrition for both mother and baby. Smaller snacks rather than larger meals may help reduce the nausea or heartburn some women have during pregnancy.
Fruit smoothies

Here are some easy, healthy snacks:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole-grain crackers and cereal
  • Low-fat cheese, Greek yogurt
  • Hard-boiled eggs, unsalted nuts or peanuts
  • Want a cool summer snack? Enjoy a smoothie!

Do you know a child who needs healthy food this summer?

Check out the Summer Food Service Program meal sites in Iowa, educateiowa.gov/pk-12/nutrition-programs/summer-food-service-program#Summer_Meal_Sites.
211, www.unitedwaydm.org/211, is a one-stop source of information for people looking for help. This phone and online referral service can help people find food, housing, clothing, and much more.

How to Know if a Recipe Is Safe

We see many video and print recipes on social media. How do you know if a recipe is safe to use? Fight Bac, a partnership of organizations devoted to food safety, has these tips to ensure your meals don’t include a side of foodborne illness.

  1. Wash your hands. Up to 99% of people don’t correctly wash their hands when preparing food at home. You should wash your hands for 20 seconds. If you sing “Happy Birthday” twice, that is about 20 seconds.
  2. Cook the food to the correct temperature to ensure it is safe to consume. Poultry should be cooked to 165°F; ground meat to 160°F; steaks, chops, roasts, and fish to 145°F. Cook all other foods to at least 140°F. Check our “How to Use a Food Thermometer” video and handout to learn more about taking the temperature of food, spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/video/use-a-food-thermometer.
  3. Don’t cross contaminate. Cross contamination occurs when foodborne bacteria and viruses spread from one food or surface to another.
    • Wash the cutting board, counter, utensils, and serving plate thoroughly with hot, soapy water immediately after they have touched raw meat, poultry, or fish.
    • Do not rinse raw poultry or meat. Rinsing meat can cause bacteria on the meat to spread through the air.
    • Do not use marinades previously used on raw foods for the cooked product.
  4. Wash fresh produce, unless it’s prewashed salads. This video shows you how to properly wash produce: spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/video/clean-fruits-vegetables.

Sources:

Safe Recipe Guide, www.saferecipeguide.org
Food Safety and Inspection Service, www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/featured-campaign/superbowl/talking-points

Frozen Pudding Sandwiches

Serving Size: 1 Sandwich | Serves: 25

Frozen Pudding Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fat free milk
  • 1 package (1–1.5 ounce) fat-free, sugar-free pudding mix
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 50 graham cracker squares (25 crackers broken in half)

Directions:

  1. Wash hands.
  2. Stir milk, pudding mix, and peanut butter together with a whisk or fork. Stir until mixture is thick and smooth.
  3. Use a clean tablespoon to spoon mixture onto 25 graham cracker squares. Top with remaining crackers.
  4. Place sandwiches on a baking sheet and put in the freezer. Freeze until firm, about 3 hours. Put in freezer bag or airtight freezer container. Label, date, and store in the freezer.

Nutrition information per serving:

130 calories, 7g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 180mg sodium, 15g total carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 6g sugar, 4g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Orange Dressing with Fruit

Serving Size: 3 cups salad with 2 tablespoons dressing | Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 8 cups greens (romaine or spinach)
  • 2 cups vegetables, chopped (broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, peppers, onions, or tomato)
  • 2 cups fruit, chopped (apples, berries, grapes, or oranges)

Directions:

  1. Combine the first four ingredients (dressing) in a container with a screw top. Close tightly and shake until combined. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use (up to 1 week).
  2. For each salad, top 2 cups of greens with 1/2 cup vegetables and 1/2 cup fruit.
  3. Take dressing from the refrigerator and shake hard to combine ingredients again. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of dressing onto each salad.

Nutrition information per serving:
160 calories, 7g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 60mg sodium, 21g total carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 14g sugar, 3g protein

Recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. (spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu)

Washing Leafy Greens

Leafy greens need to be handled safely just like any other food. Start with washing your hands with soap and water. Cut away any damaged areas on the leaves or stems.

If the label on the leafy greens bag DOES NOT say “prewashed” or “ready to eat,” thoroughly wash the greens under running water just before chopping, cooking, or eating.

Washing greens in water

If the leafy greens label DOES say “prewashed” or “ready to eat,” use the greens without washing. If you wash leafy greens before storing, you can potentially promote bacterial growth and enhance spoilage.

Wash only what you intend to eat. After washing fresh greens, pat dry with paper towels or a fresh clean towel—or use a salad spinner—to help remove excess liquid. Never wash leafy greens with soap, detergent, or bleach because these can leave residues. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not recommend using commercial produce washes because these also may leave residues.

Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, March 2018, (www.eatright.org/homefoodsafety/four-steps/wash/washing-leafy-greens)

Farmers Market Food Safety

While farmers markets are a great source of fresh produce, here are some tips for keeping those foods safe:

  • Choose produce that is free of bruising and spoiling. Do not purchase if the skin is broken, is slimy, or has soft spots.
  • Go home directly from the market and store produce according to the fruit and vegetable storage guide, spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/video/store-fruits-vegetables. The quality of produce will decrease if left in a vehicle for too long.
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before preparing produce.
  • Wash produce just before use—not before storing. Washing prior to storing will cause the produce to spoil faster. Before use, rinse produce with clean running water. Rub briskly to clean surfaces and dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Spend Smart. Eat Smart.offers more information about cleaning produce, spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/video/clean-fruits-vegetables.
  • Wash reusable grocery totes frequently in the washing machine or by hand with hot, soapy water. Clean all areas where you place your totes, such as the kitchen counter, to reduce the spread of illness-causing microorganisms. Store totes in a clean, dry location, not the trunk of a vehicle.

Sources:

Eat Right, www.eatright.org/homefoodsafety/four-steps/separate/reusable-grocery-tote-safety
University of Minnesota, extension.umn.edu/farmers-markets/shopping-farmers-markets

Chicken Salad

Serving Size: 3/4 cup | Serves: 4

Bowl of chicken salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 apple (cored and diced)
  • 1/3 cup celery, chopped (about 1 rib)
  • 1/3 cup light ranch dressing or creamy salad dressing
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Combine chicken, apple, and celery in a medium bowl. Add dressing and ground black pepper and stir to coat. Stir in pecans or walnuts, if desired.
  2. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Serve on a lettuce leaf; spread on bread, tortillas, or a sandwich; or spoon into a halved tomato or cucumber.

Nutrition information per serving:

170 calories, 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 50mg cholesterol, 340mg sodium, 11g total carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 6g sugar

Recipe courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website, spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu. Visit the site for more information, recipes, and videos.

Scrub by Scrub: The Importance of Washing Your Produce

Strainer of asparagus

As we transition from winter to spring, many fruits and vegetables—like asparagus and strawberries—start to be in season! It is very important to remember to wash fresh produce prior to eating in order to remove any harmful bacteria like E. coli or listeria. The next time you reach for a fruit or vegetable, use these strategies to ensure it’s clean and fresh:

  • Wash your produce immediately before eating. Washing some produce—like berries—before storing actually hastens spoilage.
  • Wash all produce in cold water; do not use detergents or soap to clean the outside of your fruit.
  • Try using a vegetable brush for fruits and vegetables that have a thick skin.
  • Produce that has tiny nooks and crannies—like cauliflower and broccoli—should be soaked in cold, clean water for one to two minutes.
  • You don’t need to rewash products that are labeled “ready to eat” or “triple washed.”

For visual demonstrations of other ways to select, store, and prepare food, check out the Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website (spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/videos).

Eat Right, Bite by Bite

March is National Nutrition Month, a campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s theme is Eat Right, Bite by Bite.

The first “bite” is knowing portion sizes. Use common items to help guide your portion sizes:

  • Baseball or fist = 1 cup salad greens or cereal
  • Deck of cards = 3 ounces of meat, fish, or poultry
  • Four stacked dice = 1 1/2 ounces of cheese
  • One die = 1 teaspoon of margarine or spread
  • Ping pong ball = 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
Spoonful of yogurt, fruit, and granola

Do you like to bake breads, muffins, or cookies? Another “bite” to consider is increasing your whole grain intake. Simply substitute whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour. Start by substituting one-fourth of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, then one-half, three-fourths, and possibly all!

Another “bite” to consider? Replace some or all of the oil in breads, muffins, or cookies with fruit canned in 100% juice. This will help limit fat intake. Pureed fruit, like applesauce, works best. Use the same approach as the whole wheat flour—start by substituting one-fourth of the oil with fruit and work up to one-half or three-fourths.

Small changes do have a positive effect on your health, and every little “bite” is a step in the right direction!

Sources:
Eat Right (www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month)
National Health, Lung, and Blood Institute (www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/downloads/servingcard7.pdf)

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