Wednesday, May 25, 2022

National Asparagus Month - Selection, Preparation, Recipes


Asparagus is a perennial garden plant belonging to the Lily family. It is harvested in the spring when it is 6 to 8 inches tall. The most common variety of asparagus is green in color. There are two other edible varieties available. White asparagus is grown underground to inhibit its development of chlorophyll content, therefore creating its distinctive white coloring. It is generally found canned, although you may find it fresh in some select markets, and it is generally more expensive than the green variety since its production is more labor-intensive. The other edible variety of asparagus is purple in color. It is smaller than the green or white variety (usually just 2 to 3 inches tall) and features a fruitier flavor. It also provides benefits from phytonutrients called anthocyanins that give it its purple color.

Nutrition Information
Low in calories, only 20 per 3.5 oz. serving
Contains no fat or cholesterol
Very low in sodium
A good source of potassium. (1)
A source of fiber (2 grams per 3.5 serving)
An excellent source of folic acid
A significant source of thiamin and vitamin B6


Selection
Asparagus stalks should be rounded, and neither fat nor twisted. Look for firm, thin stems with deep green or purplish closed tips. The cut ends should not be too woody, although a little woodiness at the base prevents the stalk from drying out. Once trimmed and cooked, asparagus loses about half its total weight. Use asparagus within a day or two after purchasing for the best flavor and texture. Store in the refrigerator with the ends wrapped in a damp paper towel.

Preparation and Cooking
Thin asparagus does not require peeling. Asparagus with thick stems should be peeled because the stems are usually tough and stringy. Remove the tough outer skin of the bottom portion of the stem (not the tips) with a vegetable peeler. Wash asparagus under cold water to remove any sand or soil residues. It is best to cook asparagus whole. If you want to cut asparagus into small pieces, it is best to cut them after they are cooked. Asparagus can be served hot or cold.

Serving Ideas
•  Add cold asparagus to your favorite salad.
•  Toss cooked pasta with asparagus, olive oil, and your favorite pasta spices. 
•  Chopped asparagus make a flavorful and colorful addition to omelets.
•  Sauté asparagus with garlic, mushrooms, and tofu or chicken for a complete meal.

Recipes
Asparagus Recipes & Tips from The Produce Lady


How To Make Perfectly Roasted Asparagus



EatingWell, Asparagus 

Food Network, Asparagus recipes

Cherry Dessert Day - Celebrate Cherries and the Health Benefits

About seventy percent of the cherries produced in the United States come from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah. There are two main types of cherries: sweet and sour. Sour cherries are lower in calories and higher in vitamin C and beta-carotene than sweet cherries.


From Tree to Table


Selection
Select firm, red cherries with stems attached. Avoid soft, shriveled, or blemished cherries. Good cherries should be large (one inch or more in diameter), glossy, plump, hard, and dark-colored for their variety. Avoid fruit that is bruised or has cuts on the dark surface.

How to Store
Refrigerate cherries for up to 10 days.

Nutrition Benefits
Fat-free; saturated fat-free; sodium free; cholesterol free; good source of vitamin C; good source of potassium.


Health Benefits

Cancer
Sweet cherries have several cancer-preventive components including fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, and anthocyanins. The potential role of sweet cherries in cancer prevention lies mostly in the anthocyanin content, especially in cyanidin. Sweet cherries are a good source of cyanidins, which appear to act as an antioxidant and may reduce cancer risk.


Cardiovascular Disease
Sweet cherries have been shown to have significant levels of anthocyanins as well as other pigments in perhaps smaller concentrations that together provide synergistic effects thought to be protective to heart and related vascular tissue

Diabetes
Researchers are interested in the role of anthocyanins in reducing insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. The lower glycemic response shown in relation to cherry consumption may be the result of glucose-lowering effects of cherry phytochemicals in combination with the fiber content of cherries.


Potassium
Sweet cherries are considered a good source of dietary potassium, with approximately 260 mg potassium for every cup of fresh cherries consumed. Adequate potassium intake has shown to reduce the risk for hypertension and stroke.

Quercetin
Sweet cherries also contain a small amount of quercetin. Quercetin is an antioxidant which may play a beneficial role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and cancer.

Melatonin
Cherries are one plant food source of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that plays a role in promoting healthy sleep patterns.

Ease muscle soreness
Researchers believe tart cherries’ antioxidants protect against exercise-induced free radicals, which can lead to painful inflammation.

Gout
Cherries may help reduce the swelling, inflammation, and tenderness associated with gout. Research reveals eating about 2 cups fresh sweet Bing cherries daily lowered uric acid levels by 15%.


Recipes

1. Health, Health Benefits of Cherries
2. Better Homes and Gardens, Healthy Cherry Recipes
3. The Greatest Table: 5 Healthy Cherry Recipes from Around the Web




National Senior Health and Fitness Day - "Life is Better in Motion"


Celebrate the annual National Senior Health and Fitness Day. The goal is to help keep older Americans healthy and fit. National Senior Health and Fitness Day is the nation's largest annual health promotion event for older adults. 


Benefits of Getting Older

Global Aging

Shopping and nutrition tips
for senior citizens

from Elisa Zeid, MS, RD

Resource

Brown Rice, Quinoa, Barley and Oats with Asparagus, Strawberries, Garbanzo Beans

May - Celebrating Asparagus and Strawberry Month


Brown Rice, Quinoa, Barley, Oats, and Garbanzo Beans
with Asparagus and Strawberries 

1 serving 

Ingredients 
1/2c Brown Rice, Quinoa, Barley, and Oats, prepared 
8 Asparagus Spears, steamed
2 Tbsp Garbanzo Beans, canned, drained and strained 

4 Strawberries, diced 


Directions
1. Prepare multi-grains as per manufacturer’s directions.
2. Lay asparagus down on the plate.
3. Combine grains, garbanzo beans, and strawberries; top asparagus.





Nutrition Information

Nutrient Analysis Services
Purchasing nutrient analysis software and learning how to use the program is only useful if you have the knowledge to convert “as purchased” ingredients to the “edible portion.” Ensure accurate nutrient analysis for your recipes utilizing an extensive research database and over 25 years of experience. A valuable service for the Recipe Blogger, Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, and Recipe Websites. Your readers will benefit from the Nutrient information and a Registered Dietitian. Contact: Dietitians-Online.com; Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, FAND at recipenews@gmail.com



Sunday, May 22, 2022

International Day for Biological Diversity

International Day for Biological Diversity 
 2022 Theme 
Building a shared future for all life


The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity is pleased to announce the Biodiversity Day 2022 slogan: “Building a shared future for all life”.

• “Building a Shared Future for all Life,” highlights biodiversity is the foundation upon which we can build back better
• Slogan conveys biodiversity, from ecosystem-based approaches to climate and/or nature-based solutions to climate, health, food/water security, and sustainable livelihoods is the answer to many sustainable development challenges
• Slogan builds on momentum generated over the past two years in support of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted later this year in Kunming, China.

Biodiversity remains the answer to several sustainable development challenges. From nature-based solutions to climate, health issues, food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity is the foundation upon which we can build back better.

“From individual species through entire ecosystems, biological diversity is vital for human health and well-being. The quality of the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe all depend on keeping the natural world in good health.”

- António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General








Part of the International Day for Biological Diversity focuses on biodiversity as the foundation for our food and health and as a key catalyst for transforming food systems and improving human well-being. Join the conversation, take action, and be a catalyst for change! Below is a list of things that you can do to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity for your well-being:

*Reduce your meat consumption

*Eat and purchase seasonal foods

*Buy local foods

*Reduce your food waste

*Compost your food scraps

*Reduce food packaging by using reusable bags or reusing

  glass jars or containers

*Avoid single-use plastics like plastic straws, coffee cups, 
  plastic cutlery, take out containers or plastic water bottles

*Promote local and indigenous biodiversity for food and 
  nutrition


Resource
1. International Day for Biological Diversity - 2022 Theme










Tuesday, May 17, 2022

National Employee Health and Fitness Month


Employees’ Health And Fitness Programs
Workplace Wellness Programs enhance the
overall health and productivity of your organization.

Benefits For Employers
Increase employee productivity
Improve health care costs
Less illness and injuries
Reduce employee absenteeism

Benefits For Employees
Less stress
Improve physical fitness
Better eating habits or weight control
Increase physical and mental health 


Global Employee Health and Fitness Month™ is Administered annually by the National Association for Health and Fitness. NEHF is a national health observance, created to promote the benefits of physical activity for individuals through their worksite health promotion activities. Founded in 1989 National Employee Health and Fitness Month has enlisted tens of thousands of participants from employers around the world.

For More Information on how to Improve Employee Health and Fitness visit the following links:
Global Employee Health and Fitness Month

National Museum Day
A Look at Food Museums in the United States

Each year, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) Advisory Committee proposes a theme that can be interpreted by museums to promote their issues within society. Due to Covid19, some of the museums may be closed or have limited hours. Check with the ICOM website to view virtual museums.

The museum is an institution for preserving and communicating the past, yet it is grounded in the present. It is a link between the generations, as it allows present and future generations to better comprehend their origins and history.


Resources.

A Look at Food Museums
in the United States




is a non-profit museum based in New Orleans, Louisiana with a mission to explore the culinary history of the American Southern states, to explain the roots of Southern food and drinks. Their exhibits focus on every aspect of food in the South, from the cultural traditions to the basic recipes and communities formed through food. The museum includes a full-service restaurant, a children's gallery, a culinary innovation center, an exhibit for every southern state, and a culinary library. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. It brings all races and ethnicity to the table to tell the tale, from the farmer and the homemaker to the line cook and the celebrity chef. The Southern Food and Beverage Museum celebrates, interprets, investigates, entertains, and preserves. A collaboration of many, the Museum allows food lovers from all areas – Southerners and non-Southerners, locals and tourists, academics and food industry insiders - to pull up their chairs and dig into the food and drink of the South. And although based in New Orleans, they bring a message about the entire South to the world through exhibits, a collection of oral histories and videos, and other research. Address: 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70113



is an open-air museum in the state park system of California, USA, interpreting the historic cultural landscape of the citrus industry. The park preserves some of the rapidly vanishing cultural landscape of the citrus industry and tells the story of the industry's role in the history and development of California. The park recaptures the time when "Citrus was King" in California, recognizing the importance of the citrus industry in southern California. Park address: 9400 Dufferin Ave., Riverside, CA 92504









The company's Wilbur Chocolate Factory in Lititz sells an assortment of Wilbur chocolates and other candy and features the free Candy Americana Museum that tells the history of the company and how their chocolate is made. The exhibits include antique chocolate molds, tins, and boxes, as well as hand-painted European and Oriental antique porcelain chocolate pots. The museum was created by Penny Buzzard, wife of former Wilbur president John Buzzard, and opened in 1972. Wilbur Chocolate Company, 48 North Broad Street, Lititz, PA 17543




is a museum devoted to the potato, located in Blackfoot, Idaho. The rich graphics showcasing the history of the potato will lead you through the revolution of the potato industry. From the original potato planted in Idaho to the largest potato crisp made by the Pringle’s Company in Jackson, TN. The Museum represents significant ties between the railroad and the potato industry and was built in 1912. The Potato Museum provides information on potato history, the growing and harvesting process, nutrition, trivia, and educational potato facts. The museum is located in downtown Blackfoot, Idaho at 130 NW Main St.  



is a museum in Le Roy, New York dedicated to exhibits about Jell-O, operated by the Le Roy Historical Society. JELL-O Gallery is located at 23 E Main St, Le Roy, NY 14482. The Jell-O Gallery has a large new exhibit that reflects Bill Cosby's influence over thirty years. Also, listen to entertainers, such as Kate Smith, Jack Benny, Lucile Ball as they promote the Jell-O product over the radio airwaves. See television personalities Andy Griffith and Gomer Pyle along with Bill Cosby as they pitch about Jell-O.



was established in 1986 to preserve and interpret the maritime history and heritage of Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It accomplishes this mission through an array of exhibits on shrimping, oystering, recreational fishing, wetlands, managing marine resources, charter boats, marine blacksmithing, wooden boat building, net-making, catboats/Biloxi skiff, shrimp peeling machine, and numerous historic photographs and objects. In August 2005, the Museum was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The museum reopened in 2014. 







The shrine promotes the dairy industry and records its history. The National Dairy Shrine's museum contains exhibits about the history of dairying. Dairying objects in its collection include butter churns, milking machines, a treadle, and items used in the Babcock test for the fat content of milk, which was developed nearby at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. National Dairy Shrine brings together dairy producers, scientists, students, educators, marketers, and others who share a desire to preserve our dairy heritage and keep the dairy industry strong. It was founded in 1949. National Dairy Shrine Museum / Hoard Historical Museum, 401 Whitewater Avenue, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538




is a museum in the heart of downtown Middleton, Wisconsin. It boasts a large display of prepared mustards. It is often featured in lists of unusual museums in the United States. 
The museum was conceived and founded by Barry Levenson, former Assistant Attorney General of Wisconsin. It centers on a mustard collection he began in 1986. The initial dozen jars have grown to a collection of more than 5,624 mustards from all 50 states and more than 70 countries. The collection includes exquisite Gibbons Collection of mustard pots to antique tins & jars and vintage advertisements. Address: 7477 Hubbard Avenue, Middleton, WI 53562. 


Monday, May 16, 2022

National High Blood Pressure Education Month
and World Hypertension Day



The World Hypertension League (WHL) is a division of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) and is in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Every year, 17 May is dedicated to World Hypertension Day (WHD). World Hypertension Day was established to highlight preventable stroke, heart, and kidney diseases caused by high blood pressure and to communicate to the public information on prevention, detection, and treatment.


What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force applied against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body.


Know Your Blood Pressure Number
The first number, systolic blood pressure measures the maximum pressure exerted as the heart contracts. A measurement over 90 and under 140 is generally considered normal for an adult.

The lower number indicates diastolic pressure is a measurement taken between beats when the heart is at rest. A measurement over 60 and under 90 is generally considered normal for an adult.


High Blood Pressure is a Global Epidemic. Over 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from high blood pressure (or hypertension).


Lower Your Sodium


Prevention and Control of High Blood Pressure
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
2. Eat More Fresh Vegetables and Fruits
3. Cut Back on Salt Intake
4. Exercise
5. Check Your Blood Pressure Regularly
6. If you are on medication, take the medication as prescribed.


Resources
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). National High Blood Pressure Education Program

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). High Blood Pressure Education Month

The International Society of Hypertension (ISH).
ISH's main objectives are to promote and encourage the advancement of scientific knowledge in all aspects of research and its application to the prevention and management of heart disease and stroke in hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases around the world.


The World Hypertension League (WHL).  The objectives of the World Hypertension League (WHL) are to promote the detection, control, and prevention of arterial hypertension in populations.

Celebrate Walnuts - National Walnut Day

Walnut is used for food after being processed while green for pickled walnuts or after full ripening for its nutmeat. The walnut is nutrient-dense with protein and essential fatty acids.



Nutrient Profile


Adding Walnuts to your Diet
1. Walnut meats are available in two forms; in their shells or shelled. The meats may be whole, halved, or in smaller portions due to processing.
2. Walnuts are often candied and may be used as an ingredient in other foodstuffs.
3. Pickled walnuts are the whole fruit that can be savory or sweet depending on the preserving solution.
4. Walnut butter can be homemade or purchased in both raw and roasted forms.
5. All walnuts can be eaten on their own (raw, toasted, or pickled) or as
6. Walnuts can be added to muesli
7. Add to oatmeal
8. Add crunch to a salad
9. Mix into a vegetable stir-fry for extra protein.
10. Popular in brownie recipes

Walnut oil is available commercially and is chiefly used as a food ingredient, particularly in salad dressings. It has a low smoke point, which limits its use for frying.

More than 99% of the walnuts in the U.S. are grown in California’s Central Valley. Internationally, California walnuts supply three-quarters of the world’s walnut trade.

Walnuts have a positive impact on heart health and also may improve cognitive function.


Recipe
Beet, Goat Cheese and Walnut Salad, California Walnut  


References
1. Walnut, Wikipedia  
2. California Walnut, Resources, and Recipes  
3. 4 Types of Foods to Help Boost Your Memory, Marisa Moore, #RDN, #eatright 



Saturday, May 14, 2022

May 15, UN International Day of Families



National Family Month is celebrated every year from
Mother's Day through Father's Day.
May 15th is the United Nations International Day of Families. 


2022 Theme: Families and Urbanization

Urbanization is one of the most important megatrends shaping our world and the life and well-being of families worldwide.

Sustainable urbanization is related to the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets, such as SDG-1 (Poverty eradication); SDG-3 (Good health and well-being); SDG-11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable); and SDG-10 (Reduce inequality within and among countries). These SDGs and their targets depending on how well urbanization is managed towards benefitting families and enhancing the well-being of all generations living in cities.

This year’s theme, "Families and Urbanization", aims to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable, family-friendly urban policies.


International Day of Families, 
The Family Meal, a Tradition Celebrated Worldwide





Friday, May 13, 2022

Stamp Out Hunger with the
National Association of Letter Carriers





On Saturday, May 11, 2019, the National Association of Letter Carriers will do their part to 
Stamp Out Hunger across America. Now in its 27th year, the Stamp Out Hunger effort is the nation's largest single-day food drive collecting more than one billion pounds of food since its inception in 1993. In 2012, Americans donated more than 70 million pounds of food, which marked the ninth consecutive year at least 70 million pounds were collected. 


The Stamp Out Hunger food drive provides food to local food banks and pantries that rely on donations. With more than 50 million Americans living at risk of hunger, food banks across the country continue to experience record demand for emergency food assistance.

Donate items, such as canned meats, fish, soup, bottled juice, vegetables, pasta, cereal, and rice that do not require refrigeration. Please do not include expired items or glass containers.


Stamp Out Hunger 




Help out
Place non-perishable food products in a bag and leave
in your mailbox. Your Letter Carrier will deliver
the food to local food banks.
To find out how you can help go to












National Hummus Day - Recipes and Nutrition Profile

Hummus versus Mayonnaise
If you use one Tablespoon of Hummus,
instead of one Tablespoon of Mayonnaise
You will save 74 calories!


Recipes

Hummus with Peppers and Cucumbers Wrap

Camera f/6.3; 1/100; ISO 100; light - natural. Nutrition Info. 131 Calories; 5g Protein; 12g Carbohydrates; 4g Dietary Fiber; 4g Total Sugars; 5g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 446 IU Vitamin A; 96mg Vitamin C; 206mg Sodium





Hummus and Lentil Pizza


Ingredients.‎


1/2 sandwich thin
1 Tbsp Hummus
2 Tbsp Caponata (diced eggplant with sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 oz Goat Cheese
2 Tbsp Lentil Salad

Nutrition Information.
165 Calories; 7 g Protein; 19 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Dietary Fiber; 9 g Fat
6 mg Cholesterol

Perfect for breakfast, snack or a light lunch.



National Fruit Cocktail Day - Variety and Nutrition

National Fruit Cocktail Day

Definitions.
1. A mixture of sliced or diced fruits.
2. A mixture of chopped fruit served as an appetizer, often chilled; tends to be less sweet than a fruit salad.
3. A mixture of fresh or preserved fruits cut into pieces and served as an appetizer or dessert; also called a fruit cup.
4. Canned fruit cocktail and canned fruit salad are similar, but fruit salad contains larger fruit while fruit cocktail is diced.



Canned Fruit Cocktail can be purchased in the following packing mediums:
Extra heavy

Heavy
Light
Fruit Juice and Water
Fruit Juice
Artificially Sweetened

The USDA product sheets1 state canned "Fruit cocktail" must contain pears, grapes, cherries, peaches, and pineapples, otherwise it cannot be called fruit cocktail. It should contain fruits in not less nor more than the following percentages:
30% to 50% diced peaches, any yellow variety
25% to 45% diced pears, any variety
6% to 16% diced pineapple, any variety
6% to 20% whole grapes, any seedless variety
2% to 6% cherry halves, any light sweet or artificial red variety



A simple fruit salad or fruit kabob makes a healthy dish and easy to prepare.




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