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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.


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


  • 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!

What is a Zucchini? An experience from our Mobile Farmers Market in DeKalb Extension

28 Aug

market 1

The afternoon was sunny and hot and I was working at one of the stops of our mobile farmers market at an apartment complex where a diverse group of seniors live. One of our clients came to our group and after checking all the products that were available for sale that day asked us the following question: What is a zucchini? According with his own words he didn’t know and has never tasted before.

You can imagine our surprise! Zucchini is one of the most abundant produce during summer, and is one of those we eat as a vegetable when in reality is a fruit.

Zucchini taste better when is about 6 to 8 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. When we buy it like that we can enjoy it when is tender and has a delicious flavor even if we eat it raw. You can shred the larger pieces and use them to bake zucchini bread and other bake goods.

Zucchini, with its intense green color is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A, B and C and other nutrients. One cup of zucchini has approximately 35 calories, making it a perfect addition to a healthy eating diet.

Our friendly client left very pleased for visiting our mobile market that day. He left with a good supply of zucchini, learned something new about it and had the opportunity to taste one of our most popular recipes: Zucchini Italian Style. We invite you to prepare this quick and delicious recipe before summer goes away and take advantage of the plentiful zucchini at its best! Enjoy!


Cucurbita_pepo_Summer_Squash_Yellow_and_Green_Zucchini_zucchineZucchini Italian-Style


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onions

4 medium zucchini trimmed

1 canned stewed tomatoes, regular or low sodium

1/4 teaspoon mixed Italian herbs

1/4 teaspoon coarse—ground black pepper

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Wash hands and assemble clean equipment. Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and zucchini; stir-fry for about 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, Italian herbs, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and steam 4 to 5 minutes or until zucchini is still slightly crisp.Stir in cheese and stir-fry for about 30 seconds.


Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount Per Serving: 1 cup

Calories 132

9 g of carbohydrates, 5 g of protein, Cholesterol 5 mg,

2 g fiber

Sodium 365 mg or 153 mg with low sodium stew tomatoes

Canning the Safe Way

27 Apr

Canning season started and the Family and Consumer Agents from Extension are setting classes to encourage people to follow some basic safety guidelines. The first of these is to use recipes and processes that have been scientifically tested. The So Easy to Preserve book is the basic resource for canning, freezing and dehydrating, and has the added convenience of having a strong index. You can start there to determine IMG_8931a[1]which possible methods exist for a given item: If it is listed, there is a recommendation, but if it isn’t listed, that option does not have a tested recipe or procedure.

There are number of sources for canning information that really cannot be relied upon, including: Websites, Blogs, Many current books, and Celebrity chefs. You definitely want to avoid using old recipes, even those in recently re-published old cookbooks, because canning recommendations have changed over the years, and are subject to significant updates when new science determines that safety is at stake.

Because of this, it’s important to be careful about taking advice from other home canners, especially those that canned many years ago or were exposed to canning at a young age, because they may have learned an older forms of canning—open kettle, steam canning, turning the jars upside down, etc.—and never updated their knowledge of the subject. Just because “No one ever died” from those methods does not mean that they are smart to use, or that no one ever will.

Now that you’ve chosen a recipe from the So Easy to Preserve, it is very important to take a few more steps to ensure the safety of your end product.imagesCAVKZQ2H

  • You must follow recipes and procedures carefully. If the directions say to peel and chop, you must peel and chop. If it says to process 30 minutes for pint jars, then you must use pint jars and process for thirty minutes. Canning, especially, is not a spot where we get to have our culinary genius shine through. It’s important for your safety that you do not deviate from the recipe for what goes into the jar or skip steps in the process. Later, when you take the jar out of the pantry and include it as part of meal, you can use it creatively then.
  • The ingredients you use for any food preservation method need to be the best quality, ripe but not overripe, and never picked up from the ground. Food preservation methods won’t make bad food better and food already on its way to spoiling has a greater likelihood of spoiling once preserved.
  • As with all kitchen activities, cleanliness is important. Thoroughly clean any produce and containers that will be used, and work in a clean work area with clean hands and utensils.

Canning is an important and enjoyable way to preserve food. And it is very safe if it is done correctly. To read more about safety canning and preserving visit The National Center for Home Food Preservation web site You will find information about the So Easy to Preserve book, webinars, recipes, and self-studies.

Prepare las comidas en casa para empezar su estilo de vida saludable

11 Apr

images[4]Preparar y comer comidas en casa es un paso importante para comer saludable. Usted puede preparar comidas saludables, fáciles y rápidas en casa. Tan solo recuerde estos simples pasos: Planear, comprar, preparar y comer.


  • Mantenga una lista de las comidas favoritas de su familia. Separe 30 minutos para planear para la siguiente semana.
  • Haga una lista de los platos principales y de los acompañantes que servirá cada día de la semana. Seleccione recetas con pocos ingredientes y que necesiten solo técnicas de cocina rápidas.
  • Pegue el menú en la nevera donde todos lo puedan ver.
  • Escuche los comentarios de su familia sobre el menú y use la lista de los platos favoritos de su familia incluyendo los platos principales, las ensaladas, los vegetales, las frutas y los postres.
  • Busque ideas de platos principales y de acompañantes rápidos y saludables en libros de cocina, periódicos, sitios de internet, o revistas y agréguelos a su lista. Mantenga estas recetas en fólderes o en cajas.


  • Compre con regularidad una vez a la semana o al mes, asi ahorra dinero, tiempo y gasolina.
  • Compre frutas y vegetales en estación porque es más barato y sabe mejor.
  • Visite su farmer’s market más cercano y ahorre dinero al comprar calidad.
  • Compre solo lo de su lista asi no gasta demás y no olvida los ingredientes para las recetas de su menú.
  • No compre con hambre. Consuma un snack o una de sus comidas antes de mercar.
  • Los chicos puede ayudar, déjelos escoger una fruta o un vegetal Nuevo o algo que en realidad les guste mucho.


  • Sea estricto con su plan.salad-istock-TaylorLittle[1]
  • Lave y prepare sus frutas y vegetales con anticipación.
  • Prepare demás del plato principal para otra comida.
  • Agregue una fruta o vegetal favorito en lata o congelado.
  • Revise su plan de comidas todas las tarde y saque su comida congelada al refrigerador la noche anterior para que se descongele de manera segura para la siguiente cena.
  • Involucre a los chicos, es divertido para todos. Los ninos van a probar nuevas cosas si ayudan en la cocina. Recuerde la seguridad en la comida haciéndolos lavar sus manos en la cocina con frecuencia.


  • Comer juntos: Hágalo una prioridad, es una gran oportunidad para compartir en familia. Los chicos comen más despacio que los adultos, así que tome su tiempo durante las comidas y disfrute de unos minutos demás sentados en la mesa antes de limpiar.
  • Apague la televisión, la radio, el teléfono, para que todos disfruten de la conversación sin distracciones. Deje que las personas dejen mensaje o apague el sonido de su teléfono para evitar las distracciones.
  • Compartan los eventos del día preguntándole a cada persona sobre una actividad divertida o algo bueno que haya ocurrido durante el día. Es un rato agradable para saber sobre eventos especiales de la escuela o sobre los logros de los chicos.
  • Haga elecciones saludables: Es más fácil cuando se preparan las comidas en casa y la familia se sienta en la mesa a compartir la comida. Es una buena oportunidad para hablar y servir de modelo sobre comer saludable, los tamaños de las porciones, y probar nuevos alimentos.

Para recetas fáciles y saludables contacte su oficina de Extensión más cercana.

Children as decision makers

10 Jun


The United States is facing an obesity epidemic. In Georgia alone, 70% of adults, and 40% of children are obese. In general, obese people die 20 years earlier than those who are not. The messages have been everywhere, establishing that we all need to begin taking better care of ourselves and our loved ones. Sometimes, it may feel like this epidemic is refusing to loosen its grip on our society. Recently Danielle Comer, a student intern from Georgia Southern University, working at our Extension office in DeKalb County attended a conference with the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, at The University of Georgia. The conference entitled “Family and Community as Pathways for Health: Obesity Prevention and Intervention Strategies”, allowed several well renown speakers to present the most recent approaches to tackle the obesity problem. Dr. Jerry Gale, a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, desired for the conference to encourage people to take immediate action.

Danielle reported back to us with great enthusiasm about her experiences at the conference. A summary of the presentations include the emphasis speakers made about the importance of good nutrition and physical activity as ways to fight obesity. If you have children, it is a great idea to involve them in meal planning by giving them several options. When parents buy healthy options they can give the children healthy options to choose from. They will not need to worry about the whole process and the children still have a say in what the family will eat; and the parents know that it will be nutritious. Using the “” website can help with finding healthy selections and portions.

Later in the conference, Dr. Diane Bale, a professor of Human Development, Extension specialist in early childhood care and education, and co-creator of the Eat Healthy, Be Active initiative, spoke about activity and staying active, with a focus on children. She reminded the audience that children are naturally active and should be encouraged to stay active, in order to prevent obesity. Being active does not necessarily mean “exercising.” She admits that sometimes when children are told to exercise they do not always seem to be engaged and view exercise as a chore. Instead, she recommends playing in ways that keep children moving. Activity can and should be made fun, to avoid discouragement and negative mindsets about movement.

So let’s take action! Eat right, Move and Play.

Ayudando a los niños a tomar decisiones

10 Jun


En los Estados Unidos hay una epidemia de obesidad. En Georgia exclusivamente, el 70% de los adultos y el 40% de los niños son obesos. En general, las personas obesas mueren 20 años antes que las personas que no son obesas. Por todas partes hay mensajes que nos alertan sobre la necesidad de comenzar a cuidar mejor de nuestra salud y la de nuestros seres queridos. A veces, parece que la epidemia no va a aflojar su agarre en la sociedad. Recientemente Danielle Comer, estudiante de la Universidad de Georgia Southern realizando su práctica de verano en nuestra oficina de Extensión en el Condado de DeKalb, asistió a una conferencia auspiciada por el Departamento de Desarrollo Humano y Ciencias de la Familia, de la Universidad de Georgia, titulada “Familia y Comunidad como Sendas para la Salud: Prevención de la Obesidad y Estrategias de Intervención.” El Dr. Jerry Gale, profesor del departamento del Desarrollo Humano y Ciencias de la Familia, expresó sus deseos de que la conferencia estimulara a los asistentes a tomar acción inmediata.

Danielle nos ofreció un reporte sobre sus experiencias en la conferencia con gran entusiasmo. Durante la conferencia, los oradores enfatizaron la importancia de una buena nutrición y la actividad física como herramientas para luchar en contra de la obesidad. Si usted tiene niños, es una idea estupenda involucrarlos en la planificación de las comidas, ofreciéndoles opciones variadas. Cuando los padres compran alimentos saludables entonces los niños tendrán opciones saludables de donde escoger. De esta manera, los niños pueden expresar lo que desean comer y participar del proceso de decisión. La utilización del sitio web “” puede ayudarle a escoger opciones sanas en las porciones adecuadas para usted y su familia.

Más tarde en la conferencia, la Dra. Diane Bale, profesora de Desarrollo Humano, especialista de Extensión en cuidado de niños y educación temprana, y coautora de la iniciativa de “Eat Healthy, Be Active” (Coma Saludable, Este Activo), habló sobre la actividad física enfocada en los niños. Ella nos recordó que los niños son naturalmente activos y se deberían animar a mantenerse activos, para prevenir la obesidad. Ser activo no necesariamente significa “hacer ejercicios.” Ella confiesa que a veces cuando a los niños les dicen que hagan ejercicio, no siempre parece que sea algo que les guste ya que ven el ejercicio como una tarea. En cambio, recomienda el juego como una manera de mantenerlos en acción. La actividad puede y debe ser divertida, para evitar el desaliento y las actitudes negativas en contra del movimiento.

¡Así que tomemos acción! Comamos bien. Estemos en movimiento. Juguemos.



Healthy and easy snacks for after schools activities

15 Aug

My son Nicholas is having soccer practice three times a week in the evenings, and games on the weekends. To plan healthy, well-balanced meals and snacks on my tight schedule, I use MyPlate, the nutrition guide published by the United States Department of Agriculture, as a guide. Meal planning and health tips can be found online at

If we have to eat fast food, we look up for options that are lower in fat and calories. We decide what will be ordered before going into the restaurant. Unfortunately low sodium foods are rare in fast food or any restaurant, but we eat lower sodium foods at home to make the overall intake of sodium less.

About 17 percent of fast food menu items can be considered “healthy choices,” according to On kid’s menus, approximately 12 of the 3,039 possible meal combinations meet nutritional criteria for preschoolers, and 15 combinations meet the criteria for older children.

To help on-the-go families, UGA Extension provides a few tips for healthy snacks and meals.

Simple snacks: plain, dried or paired fruits with sorbet or cottage cheese, yogurt, whole grain cereal, 100 percent frozen fruit bars, nuts for older children, trail mix — made with whole grain cereal, nuts and dried fruit —, homemade fruit breads and muffins (such as banana bread or carrot muffins), low-fat cheese with wholegrain bread or hummus and whole grain pita.

Planned snacks: A few snacks that can be made at home, then stored in a cooler or otherwise retained away from home include peanut butter sandwiches, salads with light dressing, milk in small boxes, hard-boiled eggs, single servings of cottage cheese, cut-up vegetables with light dip made with plain yogurt and homemade soups in thermos bottles.

Before and after practice snacks: Cut-up fruit and/or vegetables, yogurt, milk, half a sandwich made with real turkey (not lunch meat) or low-fat cheese or whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese make good snacks for active kids.

July is Blueberry season!

19 Jul

Captura de pantalla 2013-07-18 a la(s) 22.49.13There’s nothing quite like bringing home fresh berries in the summer, maybe that’s why someone felt that blueberries needed their own month to celebrate.

There are plenty of reasons why blueberries are a great choice to include in your diet now and throughout the rest of the year. In addition to their great taste, blueberries are excellent sources of fiber and vitamins.

In the last five years, there have been a few interesting studies to further support the health benefits of blueberries:

In one of the studies, evidence shows that a diet rich in blueberries can improve memory. After 12 weeks of daily blueberry consumption, older adults showed improvement on two different tests of cognitive function, including memory. The authors of this study suggest that the results indicate that blueberries could be beneficial not only for improvement of memory, but for slowing down or postponing the onset of other cognitive problems that occur with aging.

The second study found that by including blueberries as a part of a daily low-glycemic diet that this has a favorable impact on the blood sugar regulation in people with type 2 diabetes. And by adding physical activity, over a 3 month period these people saw significant improvements in their A1C levels.

If taste alone weren’t enough, blueberries truly are a “super food”!  As you enjoy the summer, try adding this Very Berry Salsa to your menu:

Very Berry Salsa

4 cups apples, finely diced
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries, diced
1 cup raspberries, halved
1 cup blackberries, halved
1 tablespoon fruit preserves (any flavor)
½ tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon brown sugar

In a large bowl, combine apples, and berries. In a small bowl, mix together preserves and sugars until well blended. Pour preserve mixture over fruit and toss to coat. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Yields: 32, 2 ounce servings. Nutrition facts: 20 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol. 0 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 0 g protein.

Fun Fresh Fruits for Summer!

5 Jul


During the peak of the summer season we are still thinking about ways to make it a fun season for the whole family. Food is always in our minds since they complement the fun activities we plan. Picnics. barbecues, trips to the beach or the pool  can be more fun when we bring something special to share with each other.  This is a great time to enjoy the many fresh fruits that are available everywhere we go. Try to eat  fruit with each meal, have fruits as snacks, encourage the family to eat more fruits, buy fruits in season and try a new recipe.

Here we are sharing with you a recipe courtesy of our collegues from the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program: 4- Fruit Smoothie. Hope you will enjoy it!  

4-Fruit Smoothie
Makes 4 (1 cup) servings
You will need:
1 ½ cups low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup pineapple juice
½ cup canned peaches
½ cup frozen strawberries
2 bananas
4-5 ice cubes
1. In a blender container combine vanilla yogurt and pineapple e juice.
2. Stir to mix.
3. Add peaches, strawberries, bananas (broken in half) and ice cubes.
4. Cover and make sure cover is on tight. Blend until pureed. Serve.
1 cup fruit, 3/8 cup dairy
Serving Size 1/4 of recipe 260g (259 g) Servings per container 4 192 Calories from Fat 13 1g 2% Saturated Fat 1g 4% Trans Fat 5mg 2% 65mg 3% 41g 14% Dietary Fiber 3g 11% Sugars 32g 6g 6% 69% 17% 3% Nutrition Facts Amount Per Serving Calories % Daily Value* Total Fat Cholesterol Sodium Total Carbohydrate Protein Vitamin A Vitamin C Calcium Iron *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs: Calories 2,000 2,500 Total Fat Less than 65g 80g Sat Fat Less than 20g 25g Cholesterol Less than 300mg 300mg Sodium Less than 2,400mg 2,400mg Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g Fiber 25g 30g Calories per gram: Fat 9 Carbohydrate 4 Protein 4