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Category: August 2016

It’s Peach Season!

peachAs summer moves forward, peach season approaches. Whether you pick your own or buy them from your local grocer, it is hard to beat this juicy summer treat!

Peaches can be in any meal and more. Here are some ideas to incorporate them into your meals.

  • Add peaches to breakfast on your cereal, pancakes, waffles or yogurt.
  • Grill peaches for a sweet dessert. The heat will bring out their natural sweetness.
  • Make a smoothie with other fruits, yogurt and ice with a peachy twist.
  • Preserve peaches! Learn more at
  • Make a cobbler or crisp with fresh peaches. It’s a classic dessert for summer.
  • Add peaches to water, tea, or lemonade for a refreshing beverage.
  • Make a fresh peach salsa or preserve a zesty peach salsa. See the link above to preserve peach salsa.



Wonderful Watermelon!

watermelonSummer also brings us watermelon! Made of 92% water, it is a refreshing way to stay hydrated on hot days.

The entire watermelon is edible. Grab and go with spears, wedges, cubes and halves. Toss chunks into salads and beverages.

The rind is also edible. The rind can be added to stir-fries, stewed or pickled. Use the rind as a bowl to hold a fruit salad.

Learn more on how to make the most of watermelon at


Back to School!

Girl holding sandwichesSchools are busy welcoming kids back to the classroom! If you are packing them a lunch, keep these tips in mind:

  • Introduce children to a variety of whole-grain breads and rolls. Try an unassembled one they can eat in stages.
  • Veggies and dip are always a hit. Cut up carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, or cauliflower and pack with a small container of your child’s favorite low-fat dressing.
  • Include a favorite item along with new foods. This way if the child doesn’t care for the new item, he or she will still have the old favorite.
  • Keep foods safe. Use insulated bags with reusable ice packs to keep foods cool. Use a lunch box with rigid sides to keep foods from getting crushed.

More ideas and tips at


Sprouting Up: Wheat Foods for Kids

Looking for a way to teach kids about wheat and foods made with wheat?

The Wheat Foods Council has a fun and informative resource that shows how wheat is grown, harvested and made into flour and foods. They also have a presentation, recipes and games to help kids learn even more.

On this website,, look for this resource and other ideas for all ages.

The Whole Grains Council has more information and ideas on wheat at


Try Shishito Peppers!

shishito peppersOn the outside, they look like hot peppers. But don’t be fooled! These small, sweet peppers have very little heat. But they pack flavor!

Shishito peppers are mainly mild in flavor, but one in ten may have a little heat. The Japanese name for these is shishi which means lion. The tips of the peppers are puckered and looks a bit like a lion head.

Farmers markets and some grocers may carry these. Look for peppers with wrinkles and twists, a narrow shape and about three inches long. They are usually green, but may have red and orange color also. Store refrigerated in a paper bag up to two weeks.

Grill, roast, or sauté to blister the skin with a little vegetable oil, season with salt or other seasoning and serve immediately.

Source: Fine Cooking, Aug/Sept 2016


When the Power Goes Out, Can Food Be Saved?

  • Never taste a food to determine its safety!plug
  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.
  • The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed).
  • Food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below.
  • Obtain block ice or dry ice to keep your refrigerator and freezer as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic-foot full freezer for 2 days.
  • If the power has been out for several days, then check the temperature of the freezer with an appliance thermometer or food thermometer. If the food still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below, the food is safe.
  • If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, then check each package of food to determine its safety. If the food still contains ice crystals, the food is safe.
  • Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers, and deli items after 4 hours without power.

When in Doubt, Throw it Out!


Is Your Chicken Chewy?

If you’ve had a tough, chewy chicken breast, it may not be how you cooked it. That toughness could be from a condition called “woody breast.”

This condition has unknown causes. It makes the meat tough to cut or chew; it resists uptake of marinade; and has a high cook loss of moisture.

Speculation is that this condition is related to fast growing chicken broilers. While unpleasant to eat tough chicken, there are no food safety risks with this condition.

Source: Poultry Science, Poultry Science 2016


Start with Good Food when Canning

Use the best quality for best results
Use the best quality for best results

When preserving food, begin with good-quality fresh foods. Quality varies among varieties of fruits and vegetables. Examine food carefully for freshness and wholesomeness. Discard diseased and moldy food. Trim small diseased lesions or spots from food.

Can fruits and vegetables within 6 to 12 hours after harvest.  If you must delay the canning of other fresh produce, keep it in a shady, cool place or in the refrigerator for one to two days.

Most bacteria, yeasts, and molds are difficult to remove from food surfaces. Washing fresh food reduces their numbers only slightly. Peeling root crops, underground stem crops, and tomatoes reduces their numbers greatly.


Are All Disposable Wipes Equal?

lysol wipesDisposable wipes are a convenience in many ways. But they are not all the same. The key is to use them for their intended purpose such as personal care, hand cleansing, or disinfecting at home, work, or other places.

Wipes are made of polyester, polypropylene, cotton, wood pulp, or rayon fibers formed into sheets. They are moistened with water and other ingredients, such as cleansing and moisturizing agents or preservatives to prevent the growth of bacteria and molds.

Some safety tips for using wipes include:

  • Use only on unbroken, intact skin.
  • Let skin dry thoroughly after use.
  • Keep containers closed to keep wipes moist.
  • Discard used wipes to prevent cross contamination.
  • If you have sensitive skin or specific allergies, always read the label before using wipes.



Kids Eat Right Month™

August is National Sandwich month too!
August is National Sandwich month too!

As August rolls in, school will be starting again. It is a good time to get kids started with healthful eating and active lifestyles.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates Kids Eat Right Month™ to focus on kids.

To help encourage kids to eat right, get them in the kitchen. Kids as young as three can help do simple tasks to have them help make a recipe or prepare a meal. When they help in the kitchen, they are more willing to try new foods.

Look for ideas and resources at