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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

Pick a Peck of Apples!

According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, the United States produces roughly 9 billion pounds of apples each year, a distant second from China. While the state of Washington is our lead producer, it may be surprising to hear that every state in the U.S. produces apples. The availability of apples is convenient, but with over 7,500 different varieties, it leaves questions as to wh...

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Stir-Fry Up a Quick Dinner!

Posted by Jenna Smith -
When you have a craving for an Asian-inspired meal, consider stir-frying. The pleasant aroma of garlic, ginger and fresh vegetables will send the whole family into the kitchen begging for food. It's not just a winner for the kids, parent's love that it's a quick, easy, veggie-composed meal that can even turn leftovers into a whole new dish. Here are some helpful hints: Before you...

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Why are there so many different waters?

Posted by Jenna Smith -
Water is pretty straightforward. That is until you realize that you can not only drink tap water, filtered water, spring water or natural mineral water, but you can also buy sparkling water, seltzer water, tonic water or club soda. Are you confused by the differences? You're not the only one! Sparkling water can be any water that is carbonated, which means that seltzer water, tonic wate...

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Cilantro Lover or Hater?

Cilantro is an herb that most people either love or hate. And some studies have indicated that the haters may actually have good reason; people with certain odor-detecting genes pick up a soapy smell and taste when they eat cilantro. However, scientists agree that although someone may have this particular gene, he or she may still be able to overcome their distaste for cilantro. Dependi...

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Grilled Peaches

Stone Fruit 101

Some southern Illinois orchards will be booming with stone fruits, including peaches and cherries. But because these fruits along with apricots, plums, and nectarines prefer warmer climates without as much risk for a spring frost, they may be few and far between in Illinois backyards. Nonetheless, they should not be forgotten, and if you find a local source, hold on to it! The name, sto...

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Green Beans Galore!

"I have green beans coming out of my ears!" This is the time of year when the garden is lush that I hear that phrase often. It makes me reminisce back to my childhood days of snapping hundreds of green beans until my tiny fingers hurt. Green beans are actually immature dry beans that taste the sweetest when they're young. Green beans are sometimes still referred to as string beans because of th...

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For the Love of Basil

When asked what my favorite herb is, I'd have to go with basil. Not only is it fragrant and flavorful, but it's also a beautiful plant. Basil is an annual herb belonging to the mint family. It's so easy to grow that even I, a wannabe gardener with a black thumb, cannot kill it....

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