After School Hummus

Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 ounces) reduced sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves (minced) or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or olive)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

Instructions:

  1. Use a blender or food processor to combine all the ingredients except yogurt. Blend on low speed until beans are mashed.
  2. Stir in yogurt with a spoon.
  3. Refrigerate several hours or overnight so flavors blend.
  4. Serve with pita chips, crackers, or fresh vegetables.

Tips:

  • Mash the beans with a fork, chop garlic finely, and then stir ingredients thoroughly before adding to the blender.
  • Store hummus in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use within 2 to 3 days.
  • Add 1/3 cup chopped red peppers

Nutrition information per serving: 70 calories, 3g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 80mg sodium, 9g total carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g sugar, 3g 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

Online Tools for Healthy Choices

The ChooseMyPlate website, ChooseMyPlate.gov, includes a list of reliable online tools for making healthy choices:
www.choosemyplate.gov/supertracker-other-tools.

  • SuperTracker can help you plan, analyze, and track your diet and physical activity.
  • What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl is an interactive tool to help with healthy meal planning, cooking, recipes, and grocery shopping.
  • MyPlate Daily Checklist shows your food group targets—what and how much to eat within your calorie allowance. Your food plan is based on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level.
  • ChooseMyPlate quizzes let you test and expand your knowledge about the MyPlate food groups and making healthy choices.
  • Portion Distortion quizzes you on changing portion sizes over the past 20 years and how much physical activity is required to burn off the extra calories provided by these larger portions.
  • Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator helps women determine suggested weight gain for pregnancy.
  • Preschool Growth Charts are online growth charts that you can personalize for your child.

Build a Better Bowl

“Meals in a bowl” are a popular trend in the food world, providing both sweet and savory options. Look around at your local restaurants or browse through Pinterest and you will see burrito, rice, salad, and even smoothie bowls!

Bowls are a good way to incorporate a variety of food groups, but the calories can add up quickly. Consider the tips below to help you build a healthier bowl.

Bulk up the “bowl” with fruits and veggies

  • Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories, and eating them can reduce your risk for chronic disease.
  • Aim to have at least two color groups represented in your fruit and vegetable selection.

Incorporate a whole grain

  • Whole grains pack a nutritional punch by providing fiber, B vitamins, and phytochemicals (compounds produced by plants that may help prevent disease).
  • Easy whole grain options include brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain pasta, kamut, quinoa, or bulgur.
  • Check out our Whole Grains publication, store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/FAM12, for additional ideas.

Choose a lean protein

  • Protein in your bowl means you will stay full longer.
  • Eggs, lean meats, tofu, beans, Greek yogurt, and nut butters are great go-to options.

Top wisely

  • Select toppings low in added sugar and sodium, such as dried fruits with no added sugar or plain nuts and seeds.

Source: www.cbsnews.com/media/diet-paleo-low-carb-low-fat/9/

Healthy Gifts from the Heart

img_1836_r1-low-resGiving gifts of homemade cookies, cakes, and candies is a happy holiday tradition. But for many people, the gift of a plate of high-sugar, high-calorie goodies may not be as welcomed as it used to be. Two-thirds of adult Iowans are overweight, and many of them are struggling to keep a healthy weight. For them, the holidays can provide too many temptations to overeat.

So how can you give a delicious food gift from your kitchen that will also support the health of your loved ones? Think outside the cookie box. You can make these healthier treats packed with good flavor and loving care:

Less Waste, More Money

Woman Throwing Away Out Of Date Food In RefrigeratorIt’s that time of year when lots of food is made and enjoyed at holiday gatherings. However, sometimes too much food is made and then thrown away before it can be used. About 90 billion pounds of edible food goes uneaten each year in the United States. Yet 1 in 7 Americans struggles to get enough to eat. On average, $370 worth of food per person per year is thrown away. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) breaks this down by types of food:

Grains (bread, pasta): $22 per year
Fruits (apples, bananas, oranges): $45 per year
Proteins (beef, chicken, pork, fish): $140 per year
Vegetables (onions, lettuce, peppers): $66 per year
Dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese): $60 per year
Added Fat and Sugar (chips, candy): $37 per year
Total: $370 per year

The main reason food is thrown away is because it spoils before it is eaten. The USDA has created a resource called Let’s Talk Trash. In it they offer tips on how you can put a stop to food waste in your home.

  • Plan and Save: Plan your weekly menu. Then look in your pantry, freezer, and fridge to make a list of what you need to buy before grocery shopping. This can help you buy only the food you need and keep money in your pocket.
  • Be Organized: Keep your food pantry and refrigerator organized so you can see what needs to be eaten first. Write the dates on food containers so you know what needs to be used first.
  • Repurpose and Freeze Extra Food: Reuse leftovers in another recipe. Use leftover taco meat to make a taco pizza. If you chopped up vegetables for a salad, use leftover vegetables to make a vegetable soup. Make a smoothie with overripe fruit. Freeze extra food to enjoy at a later time.

For more tips on reducing food waste, visit Spend Smart. Eat Smart at www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings.

Source: Let’s Talk Trash, www.choosemyplate.gov/lets-talk-trash

How to Get Your Vitamin D

Sour cream, milk, cheese, yogurt and butterMost Americans are not consuming enough vitamin D. A study by the Centers for Disease Control found some groups of Americans were deficient in vitamin D—a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for human health. Vitamin D helps sustain bone health, but it may also prevent chronic disease (e.g., heart disease, diabetes) and cancer. It is made by the body when skin is exposed to sunlight and is found naturally in very few foods. Therefore, fortified foods are the primary way we can get enough vitamin D through the diet. It is recommended that people up to the age of 70 years consume 600 International Units (IU) and those over the age of 70 consume 800 IU of Vitamin D.

Vitamin D has been used in milk and soy beverages for some time. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an increase to the amount of vitamin D that may be added as an optional ingredient to milk; to plant-based milk alternatives like rice, almond, and coconut beverages; and to plant-based yogurt alternatives. This new allowance by the FDA for increased amounts of vitamin D for milk and milk alternatives will be another valuable source of this important nutrient that is not always easy to obtain.

Source: FDA.gov

Carver Dip

carver dipServing Size: 1/4 cup
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 ounces) sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions:

  1. Drain the liquid off the sweet potatoes.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Cook in microwave for 1 1/2 minutes or until heated through.
  4. Stir until smooth.

Nutrition information per serving: 70 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 20mg sodium, 16g total carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 5g sugar, 1g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. Visit the website for more recipes, information, and videos.

Healthy Choices for Healthy Events

Fresh fruits and vegetablesEveryone has a role in helping to create and support an environment for healthy eating. Try these tips to encourage healthy choices at meetings, conferences, parties, and other events.

  • Strive to provide half of the food served from a variety of fruits and vegetables. Fruit makes a great dessert. Beans and legumes, such as black beans and chickpeas, are vegetable-based protein sources.
  • Provide 100% whole-grain products in a variety of forms such as breads, rolls, crackers, or tortillas. Include whole-grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa, and other whole grains as part of healthful salads, mixed dishes, and casseroles.
  • Serve smaller portion sizes such as mini bagels, 6-oz. bottles or cartons of 100% juice, or 3 oz. of meat, fish, or poultry. For more information about portion sizes, visit https://store.extension.iastate.edu to download publication PM 3024, How Much Are You Eating?
  • Limit availability of processed foods, which tend to be higher in sodium and added sugars. Instead choose less-processed snack options like raw or dry-roasted nuts, fresh fruit, whole-grain chips with healthier dips (e.g., salsa, guacamole, or bean dips), or whole-grain baked products.
  • Go green; provide pitchers and cups for drinking water during the event. If needed, offer non- or low-calorie beverages (40 calories per 12-ounce serving). Try water infused with fresh fruit, vegetables, or herbs.

Sources:
Tips for Offering Healthier Options and Physical Activity at Workplace Meetings and Events, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/downloads/tips-for-offering-healthier-options-and-pa-at-workplace.pdf

Apricot Pops

ApricotPopsServing Size: 1 pop (1/2 cup)
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 ounces) apricots, packed in juice or light syrup
  • 2 cartons (6 ounces each) of low fat, sugar free vanilla yogurt

Supplies:

  • 8 small paper cups
  • 8 plastic spoons or wooden sticks (for handles)

Instructions:

  1. Drain apricots.
  2. Chop the apricots finely and mix with the yogurt or blend the fruit and yogurt until smooth with a blender or food processor.
  3. Pour mixture into 8 small paper cups and put in freezer. After half an hour (when they start to freeze), stand a plastic spoon or wooden stick in the pops.
  4. Freeze 3–4 hours or until pops are solid.
  5. Remove from cup to serve. Place bottom of cup under hot running water for 20 seconds. Peel off paper cup.

Nutrition information per serving: 60 calories, 0.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 30mg sodium, 12g total carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 8g sugar, 2g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. Visit the website for more recipes, information, and videos.

Surfing the Web for Accurate Nutrition and Health Information

tablesThe internet can be a great information resource that is quick and easy to use. You can find breaking nutrition news, healthy recipes, and sound nutrition advice. Like other media outlets, however, the web can also be crowded with misinformation and poor nutrition guidance. Here are tips to help make you a whiz on the web in searching for credible nutrition and health information.

Perform an “advanced search” to help limit the search to be more specific to your needs. For instance, you can search within a specific site or domain. The three-letter suffix on a website address such as “.com” or “.edu” is the domain. Some domains may be more credible than others.

Remember, dependable sources often state where information is coming from, who funds the studies or organization, and what credentials and education qualify the writers on the topic. For more information, download the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach publication.

Survivor’s Guide to Healthy Web Surfing and Phone Apps (N 3418), store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/N3418

Sources:

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