This is the time of year when we celebrate traditions with family and friends, and create new traditions. Marissa Perez Cardona and Umekia Taylor from our UConn Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program- EFNEP celebrated Hispanic Heritage and discussed Latin culinary traditions and how we can incorporate these vibrant flavors into our meals throughout the year. Watch the video and cook alongside them using the recipes at s.uconn.edu/cookingwithmarissa.
Welcome any youth between the ages of 7 and 18 interested in challenging themselves to improve how they feel and how they feel about themselves. Join us for the next 6 weeks in learning about ways to practice good habits, and getting rewarded for doing it. We will be holding a weekly workshop on a variety of healthy living topics that will be followed by a week-long challenge related to that topic. Your participation will earn points towards fun prizes – the more workshops you attend and challenges you complete, the more prizes you will become eligible for. No charge to participate!! This activity is sponsored by an award from National 4-H Council and the Walmart Foundation.
Ready, Set, Go! For a Healthier You! – Weekly Topics
- Let’s Get Moving – June 15th, 7 p.m. – Focus on physical fitness and making summer safety a breeze
- What’s Cooking? – June 22nd, 7 p.m. – Summer fun in the kitchen
- Lettuce Learn about Nutrition – June 29th, 7 p.m. – What’s on your plate?
- Go Bag Go! – July 6th, 7 p.m. – Make a go-bag
- Ready to be Mindful – July 13th, 7 p.m. – Taking a closer look
- Hydration Station – July 20th, 7 p.m. – Getting bored with water?
- 4-H Healthy Living Awards and Recognition Ceremony
Secure your place now – first workshop is next Tuesday, June 15. Special offer to the first 50 registering – free 4-H zippered bag to be used for storing supplies in case of emergency. Any questions, email Margaret.firstname.lastname@example.org
Click Here to Register
Heather, Molly, and Juliana of our UConn Expanded Food and Nutrition Program led participants through a virtual nutrition and cooking class.
After completion participants shared:
“Best class ever!”
“The class was great, complete information, I liked it and learned a lot about food, hygiene, and sugary drinks. The drink class was very informative! Thank you to both educators and the translator. We really appreciated the materials and utensils.”
“I looked forward to this class each week, you have been part of our home the past 5 weeks.”
“I didn’t like cooking before but I do now. I have tried the recipes and my family enjoys them. These last 12 months have been so hard. I never thought being on the computer would bring me joy.”
“When I made the lentil burgers I thought they would taste disgusting, but I tried them and they were SO good!”
We love the wonderful feedback. Congratulations graduates!
Click here to learn more about UConn EFNEP
“Me encanto aprendí mucho.”
“Fue de mucha ayuda y ahora lo pongo en práctica. Me ayudo mucho a comer más saludable y a gastar menos dinero comprando comida en ofertas.”
“Tratare de integrar a mis comidas todos los consejos que aprendi en esta clase ya que son muy productivos. Gracias por compartir con nosotras todos sus conocimentos de cocina.”
“Me fijaré más en la lista de nutrición de los productos, para controlar en no exceder en los valores diarios, tratar de poner en práctica las recomendaciones de relajación para cuando tenga mucha presión en mis tareas diarias, consumir comida más sana de manera divertida para mis niños.”
Some words shared by Danbury Head Start parents after completing their EFNEP course.
Learn more about our UConn EFNEP program at https://efnep.uconn.edu/.
What’s for dinner? If you’re looking for a new recipe, try this minestrone soup recipe with Heather Peracchio, one of our Extension educators from the UConn Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.
A snack you can make with your children.
(Un bocadillo que puedes hacer con tus hijos.)
Stay home and enjoy
(a quedarse en casa y a disfrutar)
Peanut Butter Power Balls
1- Cup oatmeal
1- Cup peanut butter (any nut butter)
½- cup honey
½- cup nonfat dry milk (optional)
½- cup raisins
½- cup wheat germ or any cereals crush up
1 tsp. cinnamon
Combine all ingredients except wheat germ.
Shape in to one-inch balls and roll in wheat germ or cereal. Yield: 36 balls
1 taza avena
1 taza mantequilla de maní (cualquier otra nuez)
½ taza miel abeja
½ taza leche en polvo (opcional)
½ taza pasas
½ taza germen de trigo
1 cucharadita de canela
Combine todos los ingredientes excepto germen de trigo. Forme bolitas de una pulgada y enróllelas en el germen de trigo o cereal Rinde: 36 bolitas
Recipe courtesy of Angela Caldera, UConn Extension EFNEP
We’re rooting for winter with root recipes from our Put Local On Your Tray program. Visit https://putlocalonyourtray.uconn.edu/root-recipes/ to find some warm, filling and nutritious ideas for how to cook carrots, parsnips, beets, radish, or another root vegetable.
With so many cooking oils to choose from, it can be confusing which ones are heart-healthy and which ones are not. Cooking oils include plant, animal or synthetic fats used in frying, baking and other types of cooking. Oils are also used as ingredients in commercially prepared foods, and condiments, such as salad dressings and dips. Although cooking oils are typically liquid, some that contain saturated fat such as coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil are solid at room temperature.
Health and Nutrition
The Food and Drug Administration recommends that 30% or less of calories from the foods you eat daily should be from fat and fewer than 7% from saturated fat. Saturated fat is found in animal and dairy products as well as the tropical oils (coconut, palm and palm kernel oil). The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and World Heart Foundation have recommended that saturated fats be replaced with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Olive and canola oils are good sources of monounsaturated fats while soybean and sunflower oils are rich in polyunsaturated fat. Oils high in unsaturated fats may help to lower ”bad” Low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and may raise “good” High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
Omega- 3 and Omega- 6 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 and Omega-6 are essential fatty acids – we cannot make them on our own and must get them from the foods we eat. Both are polyunsaturated fatty acids that differ from each other in their chemical structure. In modern diets, there are few sources of Omega -3 fatty acids, mainly the fat of cold water fish such as salmon and sardines. Vegetarian sources such as walnuts and flaxseeds contain a precursor of Omega-3 that the body must convert to a useable form. Keep in mind that Omega-3 fats from marine sources, such as fish and shellfish have much more powerful health benefits than Omega-3 fats from plant sources. By contrast, there are abundant sources of Omega-6 fatty acids in our diets. They are found in seeds and nuts and the oils extracted from them. Refined vegetable oils, such as soy oil, are used in most of the snack foods, cookies, crackers and sweets in the American diet as well as in fast food. Most Americans get far too much Omega-6 and not enough Omega-3 so it is recommended to eat more foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids.
Unlike other dietary fats, trans fats are not essential and they do not promote good health. Consumption of trans fats increases one’s risk of heart disease by raising levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and lowering levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. Trans fats are artificially created by the process of hydrogenation that turns liquid oils into solid fats. Trans fat formed naturally is found in small amounts in some animal products, such as meat and dairy products. In 2015, the Food and Drug Administration, took action to significantly reduce the use of partially hydrogenated oils. Trans fats formed artificially during food processing are often found in commercial baked goods, crackers, and fried foods, as well as shortening and some margarines. When the label of ingredients says “partially hydrogenated”, it’s probably likely to contain trans fats. The Nutrition Facts label lists trans fats per serving.
Cooking with Oil
Heating oil changes its characteristics so it is important to know the smoke point – the point at which an oil begins to break down structurally, producing unhealthful by-products such as free radicals. Oils that are healthy at room temperature can become unhealthy when heated above certain temperatures. When choosing a cooking oil, it is important to match the oil’s heat tolerance with the cooking method. Generally, the more refined the oil, the higher it’s smoke point.
High Smoke Point (Best for searing, browning and deep frying)
|Oil||% Mono||%Poly||% Saturated||Notes|
|Almond||65||28||7||Has a distinctive nutty flavor; don’t use if allergic to nuts|
|Avocado||65||18||17||Has a sweet aroma|
|Hazelnut||82||11||7||Bold, strong flavor; don’t use if allergic to nuts|
|Palm||38||10||52||High in saturated fat; not recommended.|
|82||9||9||Look for high oleic versions – higher in mono-unsaturated fat.|
|Rice Bran||47||33||20||Very clean flavored and palatable|
|Tea Seed||60||18||22||Good for frying and stir-frying|
|“Light”/refined Olive||73||11||14||The more refined the olive oil the better its all-purpose cooking use. “Light” refers to color.|
Medium – High Smoke Point (Best suited for baking, oven cooking or stir frying)
|Canola||62||31||7||Contains good levels of Omega-3;good all-purpose oil|
|Grapeseed||17||73||10||High in Omega-6|
|Macadamia nut||84||3||13||Bold flavor, don’t use if allergic to nuts|
|Extra virgin olive||73||11||14||Good all –purpose oil|
|Peanut||48||34||18||Great for stir frying, don’t use if allergic to nuts|
Medium Smoke Point (Best suited for light sautéing, sauces and low-heat baking)
|Corn||25||62||13||High in Omega-6, high mono-unsaturated versions coming.|
|Hemp||15||75||10||Good source of Omega-3. Keep refrigerated|
|Pumpkin Seed||36||57||8||Contains Omega-3|
|Sesame||41||44||15||Rich nutty flavor, keep refrigerated|
|Soybean||25||60||15||High in Omega-6|
|Walnut||23||63||9||Good source of Omega- 3|
|Coconut||6||2||92||High in saturated fat; use in moderation.|
No – Heat Oils (Best used for dressings, dips or marinades)
|21||68||11||Excellent source of alpha-linoleic acid, a form of Omega -3|
|Wheat germ||65||18||17||Rich in Omega-6. Keep refrigerated.|
Different oils stay fresh for different amounts of time, but you must store them all carefully. They should be tightly covered and stored in the dark away from heat. The less access to air, the fresher they will stay. Refrigeration benefits most oils. If unopened, peanut oil, corn oil, and other vegetable oils will keep for at least a year. Once opened, they are good for 4-6 months. Olive oil will keep for about 6 months in a cool, dark pantry but up to a year in the refrigerator. Walnut oil and sesame oil are delicate and inclined to turn rancid. Keep in the refrigerator and they will stay fresh for 2-4 months. It is best to purchase smaller bottles of oil if not used extensively.
Proper Disposal of Used Cooking Oil
Proper disposal of used cooking oil is an important waste-management concern. A single gallon of oil can contaminate as much as 1 million gallons of water. Oils can congeal in pipes causing major blockages. Cooking oil should never be dumped in the kitchen sink or in the toilet bowl. The proper way to dispose of oil is to put it in a sealed, non-recyclable container and discard it with regular garbage.
Article by: Sherry Gray MPH, RD
Extension Educator, UConn EFNEP
- Of the participants who washed their raw poultry, 60 percent had bacteria in their sink after washing or rinsing the poultry. Even more concerning is that 14 percent still had bacteria in their sinks after they attempted to clean the sink.
- 26 percent of participants that washed raw poultry transferred bacteria from that raw poultry to their ready to eat salad lettuce.
- Of the participants that did not wash their raw poultry, 31 percent still managed to get bacteria from the raw poultry onto their salad lettuce.
- This high rate of cross-contamination was likely due to a lack of effective handwashing and contamination of the sink and utensils.
- Clean sinks and countertops with hot soapy water and then apply a sanitizer.
- Wash hands immediately after handling raw meat and poultry. Wet your hands with water, lather with soap and then scrub your hands for 20 seconds.
- Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steaks, roasts and chops) are safe to eat at 145°F.
- Ground meats (burgers) are safe to eat at 160°F.
- Poultry (whole or ground) are safe to eat at 165°F.
- Washing, rinsing, or brining meat and poultry in salt water, vinegar or lemon juice does not destroy bacteria. If there is anything on your raw poultry that you want to remove, pat the area with a damp paper towel and immediately wash your hands.
Makes 6 servings
Serving size: 1 patty
- 2 (4.5-ounce) cans low-sodium tuna
- 1 cup bread crumbs, divided
- 1 cup low-fat cheddar chese, shredded
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup non-fat ranch salad dressing
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Drain tuna, separate into flakes using a fork
- In a medium bowl, combine tuna, ½ cup bread crumbs, cheese, egg, salads dressing, and onion.
- Form six patties; coat each side with remaining ½ cup bread crumbs.
- Spray non-stick skillet with cooking spray; heat to medium heat.
- Cook patties 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Nutrition Information Per Serving
230 Calories, Total Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 4g, Protein 17g, Total Carbohydrate 20g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Sodium 430mg. Good source of calcium and iron.
TORTITAS DE ATÚN
Rinde 6 raciones
Tamaño de la ración: 1 tortita
- 2 latas (4.5 onzas) de atún bajo en sodio
- 1 taza de pan molido, dividido en dos porciones
- 1 taza de queso tipo cheddar bajo en grasa, rallado
- 1 huevo, ligeramente batido
- ½ taza de aderezo para ensalada sin grasa tipo ranch
- ¼ de taza de cebolla finamente picada
- Aceite en aerosol antiadherente para cocinar
- Escurra el atún y desmenuce con un tenedor.
- Combine en un tazón mediano el atún, la ½ taza de pan molido, el queso, el huevo, el aderezo y la cebolla.
- Forme seis tortitas y empanice cada lado con la ½ taza restante de pan molido.
- Rocíe el sartén con aceite en aerosol antiadherente para cocinar y deje que se caliente a fuego medio.
- Cocine las tortitas entre 3 y 5 minutos de cada lado o hasta que se doren.
Informaciόn nutricional por cada raciόn
230 calorías, Total de grasa 8g, Grasa saturada 4g, Proteína 17g, Total de carbohidratos 20g, Fibra dietética 3g, Sodio 430mg. Buena fuente de calcio y de hierro.
Recipe: North Carolina Extension