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Gobble, Gobble, turkey day is right around the corner!

19 Nov

OK, you get home with the turkey and still have to figure out how long it will take for this huge, (seems like 400 pound) bird to thaw so you can have the perfect dinner. Here is the information you will want to save so years to come, the perfect turkey will be placed on the table. The key also is to buy your turkey ahead of time so you have enough time to thaw it.  celebration-315079__180

Safety ways to thaw turkey

The USDA recommends three ways to defrost turkeys; in the refrigerator, in cold water and in the microwave. Never defrost a turkey on the counter!!!

Refrigerator thawing

For every 5 pounds of turkey allow approximately 24 hours of thawing time in a refrigerator set at 40F. After thawing, keep turkey refrigerated for only 1-2 days. Use the following chart:

 Size of turkey                           Thawing time in the refrigerator

8 to 12 pounds                                     1 to 2 days

12 to 16 pounds                                   2 to 3 days

16 to 20 pounds                                  3 to 4 days

20 to 24 pounds                                  4 to 5 days

Cold water thawing

If you forget to thaw the turkey or don’t have room in the refrigerator for thawing, don’t panic. You can submerge the bird or cut-up parts in cold water in its airtight packaging (follow manufacturer’s directions) or in a leak-proof bag. Allow about 30 minutes defrosting time per pound of turkey. Change the water every 30 minutes to be sure it stays cold. The following times are suggested for thawing in water:

 Size of turkey                         Hours to defrost

8 to 12 pounds                              4 to 6 hours

12 to 16 pounds                            6 to 8 hours

16 to 20 pounds                           8 to 10 hours

20 to 24 pounds                           10 to 12 hours

Turkeys thawed by the cold water method should be cooked immediately.

Microwave thawing

Read and follow the oven manufacturer’s instructions. Check the instructions for the size turkey that will fit in your oven, the minutes per pound, and the power level to use for thawing. Turkey thawed by this method should be cooked immediately.

For more information about thawing, cooking, and storing your turkey leftovers please visit

http://www.health.state.mn.us/foodsafety/foods/turkey.html

or contact your local extension office for more information.

Happy and safe Thanksgiving!!

 

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The power of Kiwi!

20 Oct

When I do my grocery shopping I don’t buy Kiwi because isn’t sweet enough for my husband’s and son’s palate. In this past month, Kiwi is becoming part of our weekly diet thanks to the information passed from my mother to us.

kiwi2Kiwi is packed with vitamins, minerals, and soluble and insoluble fiber. These are some of the reasons why kiwi can help to protect against heart disease. Surprisingly, one large kiwi has twice the amount of Vitamin C than of an orange and is loaded with lutein, which reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease. Also it has copper, which is important for bone strength, brain development, and building immunity; and potassium, which aids in efficient heart functioning and helps to control blood pressure. The fuzzy skin can be removed or eaten, as it also contains nutrients which are similar to the skin of a peach.

Add it to fruit salad, chicken salad, cereal, pancakes, or desserts for an extra punch of nutrients.

KIWIFRUIT CHICKEN SALAD

1 ½ cups cooked chicken, cubed

¼ cup celery, chopped

¼ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

¼ teaspoon salt

2 kiwifruit, pared, sliced, divided

 Directions:

  • Combine chicken, celery, walnuts, mayonnaise and salt
  • Quarter half of kiwifruit slices; gently stir into chicken mixture
  • Spoon onto 2 lettuce-lined salad plates.
  • Garnish each serving with remaining kiwifruit slices.

Serves 2.

Try kiwi in different recipes or use it as part of your smoothies. Kiwi is another power fruit!

¡Las increíbles CEBOLLAS!

19 May

Cocino casi todos los días en casa, y cuando lo hago uso cebollas como ingrediente principal en mis recetas. Además del gran sabor que este vegetal le da a mis comidas, también proporciona nutrientes increíbles. Quiero compartir con ustedes la información que hallé sobre el valor nutricional de la cebolla. Sé que después de que lea esta información, usted cocinará más con cebollas:

La cebolla es una de las fuentes más importantes de antioxidantes en la dieta humana de acuerdo a los reportes del profesor adjunto Rui Hai Lui de la Universidad de Cornell. Estos antioxidantes le otorgan a la cebolla su sabor dulce y su aroma distinguido. Al consumir cebolla su cuerpo obtiene fibra soluble y flavonoides, que son compuestos de antioxidantes que combaten los radicales libres. Estos flavonoides actúan como anticoagulante, disminuyen la inflamación y combaten el cáncer. fotolia_14367447_XS[1]

El tipo Western Yellow contiene 11 veces más antioxidantes que el tipo Western White y otorga la protección más fuerte contra la producción de células cancerosas en el hígado. Las cebollas e Western Whites contienen la menor cantidad de antioxidantes entre las diferentes variedades de cebollas y ofrecen la menor cantidad de protección contra las células cancerosas. Las cebollas Shallots, Western Yellow, Northern Red and las cebollas amarillas amargas colaboran en la inhibición del crecimiento de células cancerosas, lo que puede ayudar en la protección contra el desarrollo de cáncer de colon y de hígado.

La inflamación en el cuerpo puede causar graves síntomas de asma, artritis, y enfermedades del corazón. De acuerdo a un estudio publicado en el 2010 en “Los Aspectos Moleculares de la Medicina,” el consumo regular de compuestos órgano sulfuros provenientes de las cebollas y del ajo, pueden prevenir el desarrollo de enfermedades del corazón.

Las cebollas actúan como anticoagulantes en la sangre, debido al contenido de tiosulfatos, agentes que proveen las cebollas con su olor amargo que causa ojos lagrimosos al estar en contacto con este vegetal. De igual manera, este componente de sulfuro previene que las plaquetas se unan operando como un anticoagulante natural. Cuando las plaquetas se agrupan en la sangre, el riesgo a un derrame cerebral o a un ataque al corazón aumenta de gran manera. Para obtener un máximo contenido de tiosulfatos, consuma la cebolla cruda, ya que al cocinarlas, la cantidad de este componente se disminuye. Si usted toma medicina anticoagulante, consulte con su doctor sobre el consume de cebollas y su medicina, ya que usted no quiere que su sangre se haga muy delgada.

De igual manera, las cebollas contienen una forma especial de fibra soluble llamada fructan (polímero de la fructosa). Al consumir fructan, esta fibra soluble se convierte en una sustancia parecida a un gel en el colon que se transforma en ácidos grasos. Estos ácidos grasos actúan como un laxante natural, estimulando el funcionamiento de los intestinos. Este polímero también promueve el crecimiento de bacteria buena en los intestinos, lo que puede ayudar a combatir infecciones en el colon.

¿Qué le parece? ¡Yo creo que las cebollas son increíbles!!

Ines

The Incredible ONIONS!

19 May

I cook almost every day at home, and when cooking I use onions as the main ingredient in my recipes. Besides the great flavor this vegetable add to my meals, it also provides wonderful nutrients. I want to share with you the information I found about the nutritional value of onions. I know that after reading this information you will cook more with onions:

One of the most significant sources of antioxidants in the human diet is onions, reports Cornell University Associate Professor Rui Hai Lui. These antioxidants provide this vegetable with its sweet flavors and distinct aroma. Consuming onions supplies your body with soluble fiber and flavonoids, antioxidant compounds that fight free radicals. These flavonoids assist in thinning your blood, decreasing inflammation and fighting cancer.  fotolia_14367447_XS[1]

The Western Yellow type contains 11 times more antioxidants than the Western White type and provides the strongest protection against the production of liver cancer cells. The Western Whites contain the least amount of antioxidants among onion varieties and offer the least protection against cancer cells. Shallots, Western Yellow, Northern Red and pungent yellow onions assist in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, which may protect against the development of colon and liver cancer.

Inflammation in your body can cause and exacerbate symptoms of asthma, arthritis and heart disease. According to a 2010 study published in “Molecular Aspects of Medicine,” regular consumption of organosulfur compounds from onions and garlic can prevent the development of cardiovascular disease.

Onions may assist in thinning your blood, as they contain thiosulfinates – the agents that provide an onion with its pungent odor and cause teary eyes when you come in contact with this vegetable. Additionally, this sulfur compound prevents platelets in your blood from aggregating and operates as a natural blood thinner. When platelets cluster in your blood, your risk for experiencing a stroke or heart attack significantly increases. Eat your onions raw for maximum thiosulfinate content, as cooking onions significantly decreases the quantity of this compound. If you take a prescription blood thinner, consult with your physician about consuming onions in conjunction with your medication, as you do not want your blood to become too thin.

Onions also contain a special form of soluble fiber known as fructan. When you consume fructan, this soluble fiber turns into a gel-like substance in your colon and converts to fatty acids. These fatty acids act as a natural laxative, stimulating bowel movements. The fructan in onions, inulin fructan, promotes the growth of good bacteria in your intestines, which may combat any infections in your colon.

So, what do you think? I think onions are amazing!

Ines

Preparing meals at home is the first step for a healthy lifestyle

11 Apr

Prepimages[4]aring and eating meals at home is an important step toward eating healthy. You can have easy, quick, and healthy meals at home. Just keep it simple with these four steps: Plan, shop, fix, and eat.

Plan

  • Keep a list of the things your family likes to eat. Set aside 30 minutes to plan for the next week.
  • Make a list of the main dish and the side dishes that you will serve for each day of the week. Select recipes that have few ingredients and that use quick cooking techniques.
  • Post the menu on the refrigerator.
  • Get input from your family members. Use your list of everyone’s favorite foods, including main dishes, salads, vegetables, fruits, and desserts.
  • Look in cookbooks, newspapers, Web sites, or magazines for quick main dish and side dish ideas. Add them to the list. File recipes in a file, box, or loose-leaf notebook.

Shop

  • Shop regularly, whether once a week or once a month. This saves time, gas, and money.
  • In-season fruits and vegetables are less expensive and taste better.
  • Visit local farmer’s markets or farm stands for lower prices and better quality.
  • Stick to the list. You are less likely to overspend and less likely to forget ingredients you may need for your week’s menus.
  • Don’t shop hungry. Eat a snack, or go shopping after eating a meal.
  • Get the kids involved by letting them choose a new fruit or vegetable that they’d like to try or an old favorite.

Fix salad-istock-TaylorLittle[1]

  • Stick to your plan.
  • Wash and prepare fruits and vegetables in advance.
  • Make extra of a main dish for another meal.
  • Add a favorite canned or frozen fruit or vegetable to any main meal.
  • Check your meal plan each evening, and take out frozen meats the night before. Place them in a dish in the refrigerator to thaw safely for the next day’s dinner.
  • Get the kids involved. Fixing meals can be fun for the whole family. Children are more likely to try new foods if they help get them to the table. Safety comes first. Encourage good hand-washing.

Eat

  • Eat together: Make eating together a family priority. Mealtime is a great opportunity for parents and kids to be together. Remember that kids often take more time to eat than adults do. Take your time through dinner, and enjoy the extra few minutes sitting at the table before cleaning up.
  • Turn off the TV: Turn off the television, radio, cell phone, and beeper so everyone can focus on the conversation without distraction. Let the answering machine pick up calls, or turn off the phone ringer to avoid dinner interruptions.
  • Share events of the day: Ask each person at the table to talk about a fun activity or something good that happened that day. It is a wonderful time to catch up on special school events or achievements of the kids in your family.
  • Make healthy choices: It is easier to make healthy choices when meals are prepared at home and families sit at the table together to share that meal. It is a good time to talk about and model healthy eating, portion sizes, and trying new foods.