Tuesday, November 29, 2016

New Food Label To Show Added Sugars

In May 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that by July 2018, the Nutrition Facts label will display added sugars information in grams per serving and percent Daily Value. The decision to declare added sugars on the revised label is based, in part, on recommendations from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). The DGA and FDA recognize that added sugars can be a part of a healthy eating pattern. The intent of requiring added sugars on the revised label is to assist consumers in maintaining healthful dietary practices by increasing awareness of the amount of added sugars in foods and beverages.
When the revised labels hit shelves on or before July 26, 2018, added sugars information will appear as “Includes Xg Added Sugars,” which will be indented directly below “Total Sugars.” The indention indicates that added sugars are included in the amount of “Total Sugars” per serving, not in addition to “Total Sugars.” Manufacturers may start providing this information before the final deadline.
Here are some tips on how to navigate sugars information on the revised Nutrition Facts label:
  • Use the “Total Sugars” line to determine the full amount of sugars in a labeled serving. This amount represents naturally-occurring and added sugars.
  • Use the “Includes Xg Added Sugars” line to determine the amount of sugars that have been added.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

4 Reasons Eating Garlic is Good for Cancer Prevention

If you love the pungent flavor and scent of garlic, you are on trend. Cultures have long used garlic both for cooking and medicine. Here in the US, garlic popularity has soared over the years. That’s potentially good news for health, and lower cancer risk.

Whether you already enjoy garlic or are wary of its intense scent, here are four reasons to regularly spice up your meals with this root veggie.

1. Garlic lowers the risk of colorectal cancer
After a review of the global research, AICR’s reports found that eating garlic frequently lowers the risk of colorectal cancers. There are many ways in which garlic and its compounds may do this: Lab studies show that garlic compounds help with DNA repair, slow the growth of cancer cells and decrease inflammation.

2. You’ll be packing in numerous phytochemicals, many studied for their role in lowering risk of many cancers
It’s the sulfur compounds that give garlic its distinctive scent, along with many of its health benefits. But each clove of garlic is crammed with a variety of phytochemicals, many showing cancer-fighting properties in the lab.

-    Flavonoids: compounds well studied for their anti-cancer properties.
-    Inulin and saponins
When you crush or chop garlic, that releases the compound allicin. Allicin forms several oil soluble allyl sulfur compounds.
-    S-allyl cysteine: A water-soluble sulfur compound found in high doses in aged garlic extract.

While the evidence that garlic lowers colorectal risk is the strongest, this pungent veggie is also being studied for its role in reducing risk for other cancers as well.

3. You can add garlic to punch up your plant-based dishes - and eat more of them
Tired of the same veggie goulash? Bored with that whole-grain pasta? It's a rare dish that doesn't benefit from a few garlic cloves.

Classified as a vegetable, garlic is used mainly as a flavoring. This vegetable is a staple seasoning in many Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines that incorporate many other spices and herbs for flavor.

If you're new to using garlic in cooking, start with sliced or whole garlic cloves in soups or stews for a milder garlic flavor. For convenience try jarred, chopped garlic in oil. The more you chop or crush fresh garlic before adding to a dish, the more flavor will be released.

4. Garlic is part of a good family
Garlic belongs to the Allium family of vegetables, which includes onions, scallions, shallots, leeks and chives. Each has its own unique combination of phytochemicals, vitamins and other health-promoting compounds.

As always, there's no one food that reduces cancer risk. It's your pattern of eating that counts – choosing mostly plant foods that fill up two-thirds or more of your plate, with smaller amounts of meat.

Read more in Foods the Fight Cancer by AICR

Friday, November 25, 2016

November 28th is National French Toast Day

I can't think of a better day to celebrate!  Ever since I was a young child, I have loved french toast.  If we went out for breakfast, I would order it and would request it for special breakfasts at home.  I often made French toast for my kids as it is an excellent way to use dry bread.   French toast is very easy to make.  For a successful dish, use older bread because it will soak up the egg and milk mixture.  I remember watching a show on the cooking channel discussing the need for dry bread to make the ultimate french toast.  They dried it out in an oven.

There are many recipes, but the basic toast is a couple of beaten eggs with milk mixed in.  The bread is dip in and allowed to soak up some of the mixture.  Then fried in melted butter.  It can be served with powdered sugar, maple syrup, or whipped cream and fruit.  Make up your own combinations.  For added flavor, you can add fruit zest, coconut, vanilla or my favorite cinnamon in the milk and egg mixture.  Try topping with nuts to balance out the carbohydrates.

Here are some links to some good recipes

French Toast by Alton Brown

Baked French Toast by the Pioneer Woman

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Make Your Own Dinner Rolls

I was at the grocery store last night and noticed that they were out of dinner rolls.  If you did not pick up any, you can make some.  Here is the recipe we used last week in our roll making workshop.  All three batches came out great even though they were made by different people.  We shaped these rolls in a variety of shapes from cloverleafs to Alphabet letters.  You can also just do the traditional round rolls.  We will be having homemade rolls for our Thanksgiving Dinner also.  My son has requested his favorite with a honey glaze.

Beginner Dinner Rolls

2 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 packet Instant, RapidRise or Platinum Yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk (whole, 2%, 1% OR skim)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter OR margarine
Combine 3/4 cup flour, sugar, dry yeast and salt in a large mixer bowl and stir until blended. Combine milk, water and butter in a small microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on HIGH in 15 second increments until very warm but not hot to the touch (120° to 130°F.  Butter won’t melt completely). Add to flour mixture.

Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/4 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in just enough remaining flour so that the dough will form into a ball.

Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic and springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cover with a towel; let rest for 10 minutes.

Cut dough into 12 equal pieces; shape into balls using your hands. Place in greased 8-inch round or square pan.  Cover with towel; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Bake in preheated 375ºF oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan by running a knife around the edges and invert onto wire rack; brush with additional melted butter, if desired. Serve warm.

To speed up the rising process, we poured hot water in a 13 X 9 X 2 pan and placed our baking sheet with the shaped rolls on top.  This cuts the rising time in half, so we could make the rolls in an hour.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Bacon Pecan Stuffing

Looking for a new recipe for stuffing.  Here is one that everyone is sure to love.  You can't go wrong with a recipe that calls for bacon.

Bacon Pecan Stuffing

3/4 pounds bacon, cut into chunks
2 large onions, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp dried
2 cups chopped pecans
2 (16-ounce) bags dried corn bread stuffing mix
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 stick butter

You may make your own stuffing mix by drying your choice of sliced bread and cornbread in the oven the day before to make 8 cups.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook bacon in a heavy skillet until crisp. Turn heat down and add onions and celery; sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add the thyme and sage and sauté until fragrant. Stir in pecans.

In a large bowl, add the cornbread mix, bacon and vegetables, and stir in the chicken broth. Add to a 13 by 9 by 2-inch casserole dish. Add butter slices to the top of the casserole and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes then remove foil and cook until top is crisp, about 15 more minutes.

The Common Cold: A Quiz

By Sonja Koukel, PhD Extension Community & Environmental Specialist

When a cold hits, the most common symptoms experienced are a sore throat, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, headaches and body aches. Common colds are the main reason that children miss school and adults miss work.  Each year in the U.S., millions of people get the common cold. Adults have an average of 2-3 colds per year, and children have even more.

Quiz: How much do you know about the common cold? Respond to these True/False questions.
The correct answers are provided following the quiz.

1. Antibiotics will help you recover from a cold.
2. Rhinoviruses are the most common causes of colds.
3. Colds are never serious for anyone.
4. Colds are most common in the winter and spring.
5. You can get a cold from someone by shaking their hand.

1.      F - Antibiotics do not work against viruses, and they may make it harder for your body to fight future bacterial infections if you take them unnecessarily. To feel better when you have a cold, you should get lots of rest and drink plenty of water.
2.      T – Many different viruses can cause the common cold, but rhinoviruses are the most common. Rhinoviruses can also trigger asthma attacks and have been linked to sinus and ear infections. Other viruses that can cause colds include:
·         respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – a virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages. RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children younger than 1 year of age in the U.S. and a significant cause of respiratory illness in older adults.
·         human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs) – a group of viruses that cause different types of respiratory infections and are most common in children and babies. Most HPIVs usually cause infections of the upper airway, such as a common cold, ear infections, or sore throat.
·         human metapneumovirus (hMPVO) – a common virus that has been responsible for respiratory illnesses for at least 50 years worldwide.
3.      F – See a doctor if you or your child has any of the following symptoms: temperature higher than 100.4 F, symptoms that last more than 10 days, symptoms that are severe or unusual. If your child is younger than three months of age and has a fever, it’s important to call your doctor right away. Most people recover from colds within about 7-10 days. However, people with weakened immune systems, asthma, or conditions that affect the lungs and breathing passages may develop serious illness, such as pneumonia.
4.      T- Most people get colds in the winter and spring, but it is possible to get a cold any time of the year.
5.      T – Viruses that cause colds can spread from infected people to others through the air and close personal contact.  This can happen when you shake hands with someone who has a cold after they have sneezed or coughed into their hands, or touch a doorknob that has viruses on it, then touch your eyes, mouth, or nose.

Protect yourself and others. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Viruses that cause colds can survive on your hands, and regular handwashing can help protect you from getting sick.