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Know How, Know More

Connecting You with Your Food, Farmers and Community
Nutrition
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CSA Week 1: Garlic Scapes

Our first week's CSA share arrived last Monday with purple and green heads of lettuce, white and red bulb onions, heads of garlic, mint, and garlic scapes!  For those who not been following along on the CSA Insider or social media ( @nutritiondmp ), join us!  We...

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CSA Insider Starts Summer 2018

Our office bought a CSA share! Never head of a CSA – or community supported agriculture? Fellow extension educator, Andrew Larson, wrote a summary of this newer area of agriculture . Each week this summer, we are sharing our experiences using our CSA items, from recipes to farmer tips, and more. Follow along on...

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Black pepper

Sodium and Meat Rubs

June is Men's Health Month. So, to the guys, this is all about you! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 4 men die from heart disease. Food choices can help reduce the risk of heart disease and complications such as heart attack and stroke. One way to improve heart health is to reduce sodium. Table salt is made up of both sodium and chloride. W...

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Yogurt at Home: Beyond the Basics

It's been a number of years since the "Back to Basics" do-it-yourself series where we made a basic mozzarella recipe from start to finish.  Refresh your memory by reading the Cheese, Please blog post. If anyone thought cheese making was easy, yogurt is even easier, in my opinion. These are the basic steps:...

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baby colored carrots

New and Unusual Food World

Ever heard of an Ugli fruit or a tried a purple carrot ? What about kohlrabi or jicama ? In the last six months, I have taught a couple programs titled "New and Unusual Foods." The design of the classes were different, but the central ide...

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Boomers and Frozen Food

Frozen fruits and veggies are some of my favorite convenience foods. I enjoy raspberries, but buying fresh means I get very few raspberries per dollar compared to what I can get frozen. I admit the frozen raspberries are not the plump fruit of fresh and fall apart, but that is okay with me since I usually use them for smoothies and to flavor yogurt. On April 3, UI Extension is hosting "...

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Fiber: Beyond the Basics

One last week of American Heart Month, and one last topic exploring fiber and heart health. Sources of Fiber All plant foods contain fiber. Some have more than others. Processing of foods can change the amount of fiber in foods. For example, an apple may have 3g of fiber, while 100% apple juice will have 0g o...

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Fat: Beyond the Basics

It's still February and American Heart Month.  This week in "Know How, Know More" it is time to explore fats and heart health. Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) Eating Plan Heart-healthy choices and managing blood markers of cholesterol can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as high cholesterol and stroke. Learn more ab...

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Sodium: Beyond the Basics

In this "Know How, Know More" series, decide how you want to learn, be it reading, watching, and sharing content about sodium and heart health. (February is American Heart Month, by the way.) The DASH Diet - Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension High blood pressure (or hypertension) increases risk of heart events, such as heart...

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Recipe Rehab: Healthier Soups

January is Soup Month, and a great time of year to warm up with a bowl of your favorite soup. Or try a new recipe this month. Many soups are packed with protein, veggies, and grains, making them a great one-pot meal option on a busy night. You can easily adapt your recipes to make a healthier soup too. 1. Choose reduced-sodium or salt-free broth or stocks. Broths and st...

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peanut butter pumpkin dip

Take a (Holiday) Dip

A great way to have a healthier holiday is to include fruits and vegetables, with their important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  Any of these three dips would make a great addition to a potluck or holiday party. Thanks to the Mt. Zion District Library for hosting us for a hands-on class making dips for the holidays.  With an unexpected combination of ingredients, the Peanut Butter Pum...

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Slow Cookers: Beyond the Basics

University of Illinois Extension, serving DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt counties, invites you to learn with "Know How, Know More." This post is about slow cookers. Decide how you want to learn, be it reading, watching, and sharing content. Are You Being Food-Safe With Your Slow Cooker? Check your steps when using a slow cooker and make sure you are not likely to make y...

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No-Cut Veggies

I enjoy meal prep with minimal equipment. It means fewer dishes to wash, and many times, less time getting from cooking to eating. In this post, let's explore some different vegetables that do not require a knife to prepare. If I missed some of your favorite no-cut veggies, let me know in the comments. 1. Pour from the bag. In a store, these veggies are often pre-bagged for pu...

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Unfamiliar Fruit: Pawpaw

Consider starting your blog reading today with the agriculture perspective about pawpaws - Pawpaws, a Native Fall Fruit Taste Delight – from our Small Far...

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Sausage Soup

One Pot Meals

One-pot meals have been my favorite cooking method lately. Put it all in – protein, whole grains or starchy veggies, and non-starchy veggies – and dinner is served! I try to make one-pot recipes that are full meals in themselves. Occasionally, I decide to make one-pot dishes and add some crackers, apple slices, raw veggie sticks, or another quick addition on the side to complete the mea...

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Lunch box notes

Lunchbox Fun

Parents, teachers, and students: welcome back to school! Along with education, social engagement, and student personal growth, food is a major part of school culture. Consider the different times foods can pop up during the school day: Breakfast – at home, on-the-go to school, or a school-provided meal Lunch – a meal packed at home or provided by the sch...

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Blender Salsa

Salsa in the summer? Yes please! I like salsa as part of my lunch during summer as a way of getting vegetables in my diet in a different way from my usual bell pepper slices. My trouble with jarred salsa I buy is that the sodium amount is higher than I would like. I also prefer my salsa less chunky than I can usually find in jars, or even sometimes as fresh salsa in the deli. So making...

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Seniors cook

Home and Congregate Meals

As part of the Older Americans Act, those 60 years of age and older are invited to receive food at congregate meal sites, often for lunch. For those 60 years and older who are homebound, home-delivered meals are available. Many programs include individuals under age 60 who have disabilities. See the Resources list below to learn more about local congregate and home-delivered m...

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hola hoop chicken salad

No Cook Meals

In looking towards our next hands-on food program in May, enjoy a preview of the No Cook Meals class. If you want to join the in-person class, register at 217.877.6042 or online at http://web.extension.illi...

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Savvy Savers - Money Smart Week

April hosts " Money Smart Week " (MSW) from April 22-29, an event started by Chicago-area agencies to bring awareness to money and finances. University of Illinois Extension holds events around the state to assist in this campaign, so look in your area. In DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt counties, take on the Savvy Savers Food Challenge! Downl...

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spanish omelet

5 Ingredient Fix

In looking towards our next hands-on food program in March, enjoy a preview of the 5 Ingredient Fix class. Recipes with five ingredients or less help you save money, spend less time preparing and cooking meals, and, in some cases, use a fewer number of dishes. These recipes do have limits on flavors, since few ingredients are used. Register today at 217.877.6042 or online at...

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Freezer Stir Fry

Freezer Meals - Made at Home

Have you noticed more hands-on food programming in UI Extension? I have been working to developing programs that involve participants in their learning in a new way. While several hands-on programs have been active, the freezer meal class was a new one. Thanks to our participants who made a freezer meal to take home. If you are familiar with freezer meals, think of taking out a frozen e...

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Winter Food - Activity Spectrum

Happy New Year! In the spirit of the new year and the winter season, look to try one of these winter food activities this January. 1. Food Pantry Experience. There are so many volunteer opportunities related to food insecurity in your communities: volunteer at a local soup kitchen serving food or helping clean-up, help with a mobile food pantry event, or work with a regional f...

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Pumpkin Overload

If you are on pumpkin overload, I give you permission to skip this blog post. I do hope you continue reading though. Whether you are growing pumpkins in your garden, picking them up from someone else's, or would prefer to grab a can or pie pumpkin at the store, try these tips to save the pumpkin you have for a time when you want pumpkin again. Making Pumpkin Puree – the...

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National School Lunch Week October 10-14, 2016

Give a big hat's off to school foodservice. They are the front line of a wave of students crashing into a cafeteria or classroom looking for food. They are the ones serving food as quick as possible. They are the ones encouraging food choices. During October 10-14 this year, it is National School Lunch Week. As parents and guardians, this is a great time to talk with your kids and your...

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