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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

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

Healthy, Festive, and Easy: Quick Nutritious Appetizers for Your Holiday Parties

I'm pleased to introduce guest blogger, Virginia Luchini! Virginia is an undergraduate student at Illinois State University studying Food, Nutrition and Dietetics. While we would all love a relaxing, peaceful holiday season that's rarely ever the case. There are too many things to do, presents to purchase, people to see, and food to prepare. And when you're the one hosting the...

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There's Always Room For a Gelatin Salad

Does Aunt Bethany's green Jell-O® mold with bits of cat food in it on "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" make you turn up your nose to gelatin salads? Well, most gelatin salads aren't filled with pet food but rather various fruits, vegetables, nuts, marshmallows, whipped topping, pretzels and more. Jell-O® has a long standing history, stemming back to the late 1800's. Flavo...

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From My Kitchen to Yours: Giving the Gift of Food

The holiday season is a time of giving, and what's not the perfect gift but a homemade treat from your kitchen? While peanut brittle, fudge, and cookies are a popular and generally safe choice, you'll need to consider a few things before giving away homemade jarred goods, such as jams and jellies, dessert sauces, and even cake in a jar. Food safety is of paramount importance when it com...

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Sweet Potato

Keeping the Thanksgiving Meal Safe

Although it is the season of giving, foodborne illness is a gift nobody wants! Many of the favorite holiday foods pose a potential health risk if not stored, prepared and handled properly. Two of the most important rules to remember are: 1) keep hot food hot and cold food cold Never leave prepared food sitting out at room temperature for longer than two hours. K...

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canned food

Top Canned Food Picks

While some might turn up their nose at canned produce or canned meats, they do have their advantages. They're inexpensive and convenient, making them an easy pick to stock your pantry. And while some foods lose nutrients during the canning process, there are others that actually increase in healthy compounds. For instance, canned or cooked tomatoes have more antioxidant availability than raw to...

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Rice

Slow Cooker Rice

Not long ago, I discovered yet another use for the slow cooker: use it as a rice cooker! After making soups, stews, dips, ciders, oatmeal and even cakes in the slow cooker, I have realized how much I truly love this appliance. Cooking rice in a slow cooker is a cinch. Simply grease the crock generously so the rice doesn't stick, add your long grain rice, water or broth, and salt or seas...

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Peanut Butter

Make Your Own Nut Butter

Ever since I saw the grind your own nut butter machines at Fresh Market, I wanted to make my own peanut butter. It's simple in its truest form. What are the ingredients? Peanuts. That's it. No hydrogenated vegetable oil, no sugar, no molasses, no mono and diglycerides and no salt. Making your own peanut butter is simple as long as you have a food processor. In a matter of 2 or 3 minutes...

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