Produce Basics

Preparing fresh produce is easy if you have the right information! Spend Smart. Eat Smart Produce Basics, go.iastate.edu/EXKVVD, describes how to store, clean, and prepare fresh produce.

  • Corn on the Cob, go.iastate.edu/UIOFP4: A summer staple that is high in fiber.
    • Choose ears of corn that have a bright green husk.
    • If husk is removed, refrigerate in tightly wrapped plastic for 1 to 2 days. If husk is still on, store uncovered in a refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.
  • Onions: This vegetable is high in vitamin C and fiber.
    • Choose onions that are dry, shiny, and firm, and do not have dents or bruises.
    • Store whole onions in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place and use within 4 weeks.
    • Refrigerate cut onions in a tightly sealed container and use within 7 days.
    • Rinse onions under cool running water before use.
  • Zucchini, go.iastate.edu/ZAC1CS: This food helps heal cuts and wounds while helping the immune system.
    • Choose zucchini that have shiny skins and firm flesh.
    • Store in a plastic bag in the vegetable (crisper) drawer of the refrigerator and use within 4–5 days.

Grilled Vegetable Packets

Serving Size: 3/4 cup | Serves: 5

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini, small (sliced)
  • 2 yellow squash, small (sliced)
  • 4 red potatoes, small (scrubbed well and sliced)
  • 1/2 red onion (sliced)
  • 1/2 bell pepper (red or green, seeded and sliced)
  • 1/4 cup Italian salad dressing, light
  • salt and pepper (optional, to taste)

Directions:

  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Heat grill to medium heat or 350°F.
  3. Wash vegetables and slice.
  4. Toss in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss until vegetables are coated.
  5. Tear 2 large squares of aluminum foil and place half of the vegetable mixture on each piece. Place an equal piece of foil over the top of the vegetable mixture and fold bottom piece with top sheet to form a packet.
  6. Place on heated grill for 20–30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. If you don’t have a grill, bake Veggie Packets in the oven at 400°F for 20–30 minutes.
  7. Before you open the packets, poke holes in the foil with a fork. Be careful opening the foil because the steam will be very hot and could burn you!
  8. Empty vegetables onto serving plate or serve from foil packets.

Nutrition information per serving:
133 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 144mg sodium, 29g total carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 5g sugar, 4g protein. This recipe is courtesy of MyPlate website, USDA MyPlate Recipes, www.myplate.gov/myplate-kitchen/recipes.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin | Serves: 12

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat four
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup oil (canola, olive, or vegetable)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup zucchini (washed and shredded; about 1/2 large unpeeled zucchini)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a muffin tin.
  2. Whisk together four, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk together applesauce, oil, milk, banana, and brown sugar in a separate bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until just moistened.
  5. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
  6. Divide the mixture between 12 muffin cups. Bake until a tester (knife or toothpick) comes out clean (about 18 minutes).

Nutrition information per serving:

160 calories, 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 140mg sodium, 26g total carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 9g 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

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