2 apples (peeled, cored, and sliced; about 2 cups)
4 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
4 ounces low fat cream cheese, cubed
Wash squash and pat dry with paper towel. Prick skin 6–8 times with a knife or fork. Place on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 5 minutes.
Cool squash enough to touch it, then cut off top and bottom of squash. Cut off peel and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Cut squash into cubes.
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes.
Add squash, apples, and broth. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 25 minutes until squash and apples are tender.
Blend soup until smooth using a blender or food processor.
Return soup to saucepan and add cream cheese. Cook and stir with a whisk until cheese is smooth.
Nutrition information per serving: 210 calories, 7g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 440mg sodium, 35g total carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 12g sugar, 6g protein. This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s SpendSmart. EatSmart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu
Diabetes and prediabetes affect many Americans. Diabetes is when blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high in the body. There are many factors that lead to diabetes such as genetics, body composition, and lifestyle.
Prediabetes is when blood glucose is higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes. Lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet (i.e., produce, lean meats, whole grains, low fat dairy) and being physically active can help prevent prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes.
There are three main types of diabetes:
Type 1 is when the body does not make insulin (hormone that helps glucose get into the cells). Insulin therapy is used since the body is not producing it.
Type 2 is when the body does not use insulin properly. Some people can control type 2 with healthy eating and exercise alone, others need medicine or insulin.
Gestational Diabetes occurs during pregnancy. Treatment varies from healthy eating and exercise to medications or insulin.
Diabetes can be managed through diet, exercise, and medication. People with diabetes should work with their diabetes care team to improve overall quality of life.
Inflation has hit America’s dinner table. Consumers are paying 11.9% more on groceries now than last year at this time. Supply chain shortages, bottlenecks in shipping and transportation, and a tight labor pool have all led to rising food prices.
Inflation means the buying power of your money is decreasing. To fight inflation, build an inflation fighter budget with The Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator, www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm, or use this cutting expenses tool, files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_your-money-your-goals_cutting-expenses_tool.pdf. Inflation won’t last forever; in the meantime, be proactive in your fight against rising food costs with these tips.
Having access to safe and nutritious foods is important in all stages of life. About 250,000 Iowans do not have enough money to buy food! The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest hunger prevention program in the United States. Misconceptions are preventing older adults from using SNAP benefits.
“If I use SNAP, I’m taking it away from someone in greater need.” All who are eligible and enroll in the program will receive assistance.
“I won’t be able to use SNAP where I live.” SNAP is accepted in many places, including grocery stores, convenience stores, Schwan’s, farmers markets, and Meals on Wheels. Look for an EBT sign to determine if a vendor accepts SNAP.
“Applying is hard.” There is help available during the application process. To see if you, a friend, or a family member qualifies for SNAP, call 1-855-944-3663 or visit SNAP Eligibility, dhs.iowa.gov/food-assistance/eligibility.
Plant-based diets are growing in popularity. Eating plant foods may protect from chronic diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
The goal of a plant-based diet is to consume more whole plant foods—like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains—that will provide adequate nutrition overall.
Some people may choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, while others may just eat one meatless meal a week. Eating a vegetarian diet means not eating flesh foods (meat, poultry, seafood, wild game) and may or may not exclude eggs or dairy products. A vegan diet excludes all flesh foods, eggs, and dairy products and may also exclude honey.
There are many plant-based foods that make eating a plant-based diet easy. Check out this list of meat alternative products, www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/1021p42.shtml, on the market.
Be a smart shopper, though! Choose mostly whole and minimally processed food from a variety of food groups to have a well-balanced diet.
Food prices are on the rise, and food pantries are serving more people than ever before. This means food pantries and food banks are in need of donations. If you want to donate to your local food pantry or food bank, here are a few ideas to help get started:
Ask the food pantry what they need.
Before donating fresh produce, check to see if refrigeration is available.
Double check the expiration dates because food pantries will not accept expired food.
Consider donating your time and/or money.
For more donation tips, check out these two great Iowa State University Extension resources:
Storing food correctly helps prevent food waste. The refrigerator is the most important kitchen appliance for keeping food safe. Refrigerators should be kept at 40°F or below while the freezer needs to be set at 0°F or below.
Where food is stored in the refrigerator is just as important as keeping it at the correct temperature.
Door shelves are good for storing condiments and salad dressings since that is the warmest part of the refrigerator. Do not store eggs or milk here.
Sealed crisper drawers provide an optimal storage environment for fruits and vegetables. Vegetables prefer higher humidity and fruits lower humidity, so adjust drawer controls accordingly. This will help the produce last longer.
Middle shelves are good places to put ready-to-eat foods like salads, desserts, or leftovers.
Lowest shelf is where you should place raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Place them in a sealed container or wrapped securely to prevent meat juices from dripping and contaminating other foods.
2 medium tart apples (Granny Smith, Braeburn, Cortland, Jonathan, Fuji)
1 teaspoon white or brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons oatmeal
2 tablespoons (total) raisins, sweetened dried cranberries, chopped walnuts or other nuts
6 ounces low fat vanilla yogurt
Cut apples in half lengthwise. Use spoon to remove cores and hollow out a space 1” or more deep. Arrange apple halves, cut sides up, in microwavable dish. Cut thin slices off bottoms to keep from tipping.
Combine sugar, cinnamon, oatmeal, raisins, cranberries, and nuts. Fill each apple half with sugar mixture.
Cover with plastic wrap. Fold back one edge 1/4” to vent steam.
Microwave 3–3 1/2 minutes or until apples can be easily cut. Remove from microwave. Let sit a few minutes.
Spoon yogurt over the top.
Nutrition information per serving: 110 calories, 1.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 20mg sodium, 25g total carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 15g sugar, 2g 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
The nutrition facts label got an update this year! The new label was changed because of new nutrition research, updated science, and consumer input. The four big changes are the following:
Serving size is now how much is typically consumed in one sitting. For example, a 20-oz soda is now 1 serving instead of 2 1/2 servings.
Calories are now in larger and bolder font to make the information easier to find and use.
Daily values (DV) for nutrients have been updated. As a general guideline, 5% DV and less per serving is deemed low and 20% DV and more per serving is considered high.
Added sugars, vitamin D, and potassium information is also now included.
The nutrition facts label is a great tool to support your dietary goals. Select foods and beverages that reduce the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and anemia. Choose foods that have more of the nutrients you need and less of the nutrients you may want to limit. For example, use the updated nutrition facts label to choose foods high in dietary fiber and lower in saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.
To learn more about the updated nutrition facts label, watch this Spend Smart, Eat Smart. video, spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu.