Spicy Pumpkin Shake Recipe

This recipe accompanied an article by Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, Extension Educator, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County, entitled “Holiday Food Safety Bloopers”, November/December 2017 NEBLINE


Spicy Pumpkin Pie Shake - Alice Henneman, Extension Educator

SPICY PUMPKIN SHAKE
This shake, in combination with a whole grain muffin, could serve as a light meal. Or, enjoy this spicy delight as a delicious treat at the end of a busy, active day. It’s loaded with vitamin A and is a source of calcium — so you’re not drinking “empty calories.”

Use the following ingredients per one serving:

  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin (NOT canned pumpkin pie MIX)
  • 1/3 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 cup low-fat frozen vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Add all ingredients to a blender. Cover and blend on high until smooth. If desired, garnish with a dash of pumpkin pie spice.

Check out ALICE’S NOTES for ways to use pumpkin pie spice and leftover pumpkin: Continue reading

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How to Keep Guacamole from Turning Brown

This recipe tip accompanied an article by Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, Extension Educator, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County, entitled “Check Out food.unl.edu”, September 2017 NEBLINE


Keep your guacamole from turning brown

Avocados are frequently cited by health professionals as containing a healthy fat. Guacamole is a delightful way to enjoy avocados. Here is a way, to keep guacamole from turning brown if you prepare it a few hours — or even 24 hours — ahead of time.

Pack guacamole firmly (to remove air bubbles) and so it is level in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Press down on the guacamole with a spoon while packing it.

Cover with about 1/2-inch of lukewarm water. Place lid on container and refrigerate.

Carefully pour off the water before serving. Stir guacamole to mix in any remaining moisture.

You’ll find this helpful tip and more in the September 2017 issue of the NEBLINE Newsletter. Available free online.

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Flour Beetles: Pesky Pests of the Pantry

Another common pantry pest of homes are flour beetles. Flour beetles are very common in homes. They can fly in from outdoors or be brought into the home on infested products  from the grocery store.

There are two flour beetles that have similar biology, behaviors, lifecycle and feeding habits, the red and confused flour beetles. The red flour beetle has a three-segmented club, and the confused beetle does not. This difference though slight, provides an important difference when dealing with origin of the infestation because the red flour beetle is a flier and the confused flour beetle is not capable of flight.

red-flour-beetle

Red flour beetle has a three-segmented club. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

Adult flour beetles are approximately 1/8 inch long and reddish-brown in color. The larvae are creamy to yellow-brown, with light hairs and pointed projections on the last segment. Before pupation, mature larvae are about 1/4 inch long. All life stages can be found in large numbers feeding on broken kernels and other grain products.

Flour beetle larvae

Flour beetle larvae. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

Signs of red flour beetle infestations in the home include:

1) Adult beetles flying around inside the house. They are attracted to light and may accumulate along the window sills.

2) Larvae and adults can be found together in the same food products that contain flour and grain products.

Red flour beetle adult and larva feeding on dog biscuit (Photo by J. Green)

Red flour beetle adult and larva feeding on dog biscuit. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

Prevention and sanitation is your best protection against flour beetles. Here are some ways you can prevent infestations in the home, minimize wasted food and save money:

  • Before purchase, check expiration dates for old products that have been on the shelves for a long period of time.
  • Be extra cautious buying plenty of heavily discounted products on clearance.
  • Avoid buying in bulk and storing large quantities of products in the pantry.
  • Store products in air-tight, transparent, insect-proof containers.
  • Use the oldest products first to ensure freshness and proper stock rotation.
  • Store infrequently used dry ingredients in the freezer.
  • Clean up spills and crumbs in food storage areas so not to attract pests.
  • Vacuum cracks and crevices where insects can hide and grains can accumulate.
  • Dispose infested foods in trash and put outdoors.
  • Flour beetles are often found devouring old dog biscuits forgotten on high shelves or trapped under furniture.

Treatment strategies for red and confused flour beetle do not include insecticide use inside the home. A thorough inspection is necessary to locate and eliminate the source of the infestation for a long term solution. Most people overlook prepackaged and prepared foods, unopened packages and non-food items, but a variety of products are vulnerable. There are pheromone traps available, that will trap beetles in a pitfall trap, but these are preferred as a monitoring tool, rather than a control method.

Flour beetles

Flour beetles can be a problem that starts at the manufacturing facility like the flour mill. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

Flour beetles can occur year round in heated buildings. Keep your eye on your food and don’t share it with pantry pests.

Confessions of an Extension Entomologist: I bake so infrequently, that our flour is stored permanently in air tight containers in the freezer. If I didn’t have this job, I might be a professional pantry specialist. I enjoy organizing other people’s stored food products and finding insect-infested products. Note: Always check the pancake mix.

Red flour beetles in pancake mix

Flour beetles of all life stages and cast skins (exoskeletons) in pancake mix. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

For more information on pests found in and around the home, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest.

Stay calm and respect the critters,

Jody

 

 

Sorting Food Facts and Myths…

by Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, Extension Educator, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County, “Sorting Food Facts and Myths: Foods Marketed as Being Free of Certain Substances”, February 2017 NEBLINE


Current food trends suggest there is confusion about the safety of the food system (production, processing distribution, consumption and waste management) leading to skepticism and decreased consumer confidence in our food supply.

For example: Foods Marketed as Hormone Free

IMG_0018Did you know? A food may claim to be “free of hormones” — however, it may never have contained hormones. For example, federal law prohibits the use of hormones in poultry production. Today’s birds are larger due to advances in breeding, animal nutrition and animal care. Likewise, federal law prohibits the use of hormones in pig production. The amount of lean meat produced per pig has increased due to animal selection and nutrition. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Hormones are not allowed in raising hogs or poultry. Therefore, the claim ‘no hormones added’ cannot be used on the labels of pork or poultry unless it is followed by a statement that says ‘Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones.’” Be aware, the claim may be in much larger letters than the statement saying the use of hormones is prohibited.

Read the entire article and find a recipe for “Berry Good Pancakes” in the February issue of the NEBLINE Newsletter. Available free online.

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Indian Meal Moths at Home? Check the Bird Food

Pantry pests are the name given to insects, usually beetles and moths, which tend to infest stored food products. Many food-processing plants and supermarkets struggle with controlling these types of pests, but they can also become problems at home. One of the most commonly reported pantry pests in the United States is the Indian meal moth.

Indian meal moth adults are ½ inch long with a wingspan of 3/4 inch. They can be distinguished from other moths by their two-toned markings on their wings, which are whitish-gray closest to the head, and reddish-brown with a copper luster on the end of the forewings.

Indian meal moth close up

Indian meal moth. Photo by Jim Kalisch, UNL Department of Entomology.

Continue reading

16 Tips For Cutting Family Food Expenses

I am always looking for ways to save money! One of my goals is reduce food waste. Anything that looks close to expiring, I use. I freeze fresh produce if I think it it might expire. Did you know you can freeze tomatoes with the skins on? I’ve used this technique many times and those tomatoes are delicious in stews, chili and soups – especially in winter! (Directions: http://food.unl.edu/freezing-raw-tomatoes-or-without-their-skins)

Enjoy this blog post from the Nebraska Extension Learning Child Team and share your money-saving tips!

Have a great day! Soni

The Learning Child Blog

Cutting food expensesDoes your lettuce turn to mush? Mushrooms start to grow fuzzy? Do your bananas blacken before your family can eat them? In the US, the average family of four, loses $1,500 each year to food it has to throw out. This is like tossing one bag out of every four purchased at the grocery store.

Food is a necessary expense but there are ways to save money. Check out these tips!

1. Use a Grocery List

Keep a grocery list where it’s easily accessible, such as on Use a grocery listthe fridge, and take it with you to the grocery store. Always shop with a list. Stick to your list for added savings, but do stay flexible if you encounter a sale. Gas for an extra trip to the store easily can add a dollar or more to your grocery bill. And the less you shop, the less likely you’ll buy something on impulse.

Examples:

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Grilling Fruits and Vegetables

I love using my grill especially in the fall! Enjoy these tips on grilling fruits and vegetables from the Nebraska Extension Cook it Quick blog!

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Cook It Quick!

Want to get your family to eat more fruits and vegetables? Try grilling them!

The heat from the grill caramelizes the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables, giving them a tasty and sweeter flavor.

I had the opportunity to visit with a representative from Weber grills who is coming to my hometown — Lincoln, Nebraska — to show their new Husker-themed grills at the Nebraska-Oregon football game. Their Chef and Grill Specialist Tyler Selhorst will be on hand to talk about grilling and tailgating tips.

Grilled meat is the first food that usually comes to mind for tailgating and grilling. To round out the meal with more foods from the grill, I asked Weber for some tips for grilling fruits and vegetables.

Grilling Fruit

grilling fruit Grilling fruit (Image courtesy of Weber grills)

Here are some general tips for grilling fruits from Weber.

  1. First preheat your grill for 10-15 minutes and then brush…

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