Nutrition Tip of the Week: Peachy Summer Days

It is finally peach season! We’ve been waiting for it since last year, and we’ve got recipes ready!

Peaches are part of the stone fruit family and are full of vitamins, minerals, and flavor. You can find peaches growing on trees at farms, in people’s yards, and for sale and farmer’s markets and in grocery stores. Going to a pick-your-own orchard is a fun way to spend time outside with your family and get to enjoy fresh fruit at the peak of its season.

There are two basic types of peaches; clingstone and freestone. It is just like it sounds: some peaches are hard to remove the stone because the fruit “clings” to it, while others, the stone is just in the middle and falls out when the peach is split.

Peaches are grown worldwide now, but archaeologists think that they are originally from China. Ancient peach pits have been found throughout the world, including Japan, India, Greece, Spain, and even the American Southwest. Most likely, trading fruit and seeds along the Silk Road, then across the Atlantic Ocean with the Spanish Conquerors to the Americas, spread peaches across the globe. Most of the peaches grown in the USA are from European peach trees. The Navajo Nation has a very different peach tree that has adapted to growing in the desert. Peaches are everywhere!

What is your favorite way to eat a peach?

Do you pick them off the tree and take a bite? Do you sprinkle cinnamon on slices? Peaches are great any time of day, whether you eat them in oatmeal for breakfast, with cottage cheese for a snack, or in cobbler or crisp for dessert. Peaches are also great to grill and put with roasted pork or on a crunchy salad with toasted nuts. There are no wrong ways to eat a peach; Try them today while they are in season!

Captain Create has a simple peach crisp recipe you can make with your family (take them to the farmers market to find locally grown peaches!) or try out a recipe from Candi over at the Create Better Health Blog.

Summer means Tomato Season!

Tomatoes are a late summer food and can be any size, shape and color, even though we think of red round tomatoes first. Tomatoes originated in Central and South America. The seeds were spread by travelers and explorers and now grow all over the world. There are over 10,000 different kinds of tomato, and quite a few probably haven’t been documented yet! Different colors in the tomato means that there are also different vitamins for your body to use.

Tomatoes are in-season from July through mid-September, and can be found in gardens and at farmers markets all over Utah. Family trips to the farmers market are a great way to find new and interesting foods to eat, and you get to meet the farmers too! Find a Utah farmer’s market here: (https://www.uah.org/get-help/snap-farmers-market)

How do you like to eat a garden tomato?

Around the World in 80 Plates: Japan for Miso Soup

The Japanese are famous for being one of the healthiest nations in the world! They eat a lot of yummy things including fish, all the fruits and veggies, plus rice and noodles. They also value exercise, working as a team, and enjoying traditional foods from their long history.

Japan is a long thin island near China that is made of tall green mountains and lush valleys for growing and farming, plus lots of ways to go fishing in the ocean. There are lots of ceremonies and routines around eating food in Japan, like tea ceremonies, meals with many carefully crafted courses, and simpler traditions like eating miso soup.

Many people in Japan consume miso soup at least once a day, and many others eat it almost as often. The origins of this healthy, and easy to make soup can be traced back to ancient times. It was a daily meal for the samurais during the Kamakura period (1185–1333).

Traditional miso soup is made with “ichiban dashi” or the first broth, which is made with seaweed and fish (they have a lot of ocean around the island remember!) After you make an ichiban dashi, you can add other things to it to make other kinds of soup. Miso soup is made by adding miso paste, a dried seaweed called kombu, tofu cubes, and green onions to the ichiban dashi. We can make a soup that is really similar with a few easy ingredients, and if you’re lucky you might find a market with those special Japanese ingredients near you.

Try it out and share the story of this everyday soup with your family.

Nutrition Tip of the Week: Hydrate in the Heat

It is a HOT HOT SUMMER out there folks, and staying hydrated is a great way to stay happy and healthy! But Captain Create, how much water do I need? There is no “magic number” to tell us exactly how much water anyone needs in a day; 8 glasses a day is a myth! Children and teens should have free access to water and drink when they are thirsty, especially if it is hot outside, or when they are very active. Water is the best choice for thirst quenching! Only drinking sports drinks, and other drinks like them with added sugar, can upset stomachs, cause nausea and diarrhea. Stick with water!

Why is water so important? Our bodies are made up of nearly 90% water, and it is used in almost every function our body uses to keep us alive. It is in our blood, eyes, and even our bones. It moves food through our digestive system to our cells, keeps our eyes wet, keeps our lungs working, and maintains our temperature. You can’t live without it, and need to drink water every day.

Want a little more flavor without any extra sugar? What about adding a choice from the fruit or vegetable category too?! Infused water is one way to make water more fun!

Around the Plates in 80 Plates: Greece

Captain Create is out and about in his hot air balloon today, and has landed in the sunny Mediterranean country of Greece! The written history of Greece goes back about as far as any history can go, and we owe a lot of modern science, stories, and politics to those careful authors and historians. Greece today is bright and sunny, with beaches and rocky coastlines, modern cities built right up around ancient ruins, and delicious meals from the mountains and the sea for us to try!

Farmers in Greece grow everything from eggplant, tomatoes, and leafy greens to olives on trees that are a thousand years old. They raise animals like chickens, pigs, goats, and their most famous: lamb. Folks go out in boats to fish for things like shrimp, calamari, cod, hake, sea bream, and many other fish in the Mediterranean Sea. While it is up to you to taste anything you’d like, there is one dish that is served alongside many of the meats and fish at mealtime. Greek Salad!

This easy salad is perfect for hot summer days and can be made from any combination of summer veggies, a splash of olive oil, and a bit of salty Feta cheese, which is made from sheep’s milk and soaked in a salty brine. It does need a bit of time to rest once its been mixed, but the Greeks have plenty of things to do to pass the time… read on and find out!

What to do while the salad rests?

Greeks, both modern and ancient, enjoy all sorts of games and sport; They’re the ones that started the Olympic Games, after all! Aristotle reckoned the date of the first Olympics to be 776 BC, a date largely accepted by most, though not all, subsequent ancient historians. The ancient Olympics were as much a religious festival as an athletic event and were held in honor of the Greek god Zeus.

It started with just a footrace, and the fastest man was considered a champion. Many more events were added over the history of the Olympics, and you’ll be able to see many of those same events at the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer!

If you aren’t an Olympian, which most of us are not, in Greece soccer is the top game to play.

Top 5 Ways to Upgrade a Hamburger

A hamburger is a classic summertime meal and there are lots of delicious upgrades to add variety and nutrition to your next BBQ or family dinner!

Get a toasted whole grain bun and start stacking up the flavor at your next cookout or family dinner. Try these combinations, or CREATE YOUR OWN perfect burger.

What are you going to try first? Does your family have a special recipe for your cookouts?

Create Safe Food: Picnics and BBQ

It’s time to eat outside! Picnics and Barbecues are a great way to get together with family and friends, play outside, and eat a lot of fun summer foods. Keeping those foods safe to eat is easy as long as everyone works together to follow these simple tips. How can kids help? Read on!

Eat in Season: Melon Mania

Melons grow in many gardens around the world and in the United States, farmers all over the place are growing all sorts of melons. The Top 3 Melons in the USA are Watermelon, Honeydew, and Cantaloupe. Ask a farmer next time you visit a farmers market about the melons they grow on their farm, and if they have a type you haven’t tried before, I challenge your family to try something new!

Melons are good for you!

A one-cup serving of cantaloupe has only 53 calories, but it contains 106 percent of the vitamin A daily value and 95 percent of vitamin C. It’s also a good source of potassium and folate.

A cup of honeydew has 60 calories, 51 percent vitamin C daily value and 11 percent of potassium. Honeydew also contains some fiber, folate and vitamin B6.

Watermelon is very low in calories, coming in at 46 calories per one-cup serving. However, it’s loaded with the antioxidant lycopene, which is linked to decreased risk of cancer, heart disease and age-related eye disorders, and contains a good amount of vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium.

Where are melons from?

Cantaloupe and honeydew melons belong to the muskmelon family. These melons first grew in the Middle East, and there are many different varieties. Watermelons originated in Africa and there are over 1,200 different kinds of watermelon!

Melon Safety!

You can store whole melons at room temperature, but once you cut them, you should store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Before you cut open any melons, wash them under water, and gently scrub the rind with a brush. Melons grow on the ground, and can get dirty!

What can you do with a melon? Lots of things!

  • Infuse melon slices in water. Try Watermelon + Mint or Canaloupe, Cucumber, and Lime!
  • Add melon cubes to fruit kabobs! Try grapes, Honeydew melon and mozzarella cheese cubes for a great summer snack. Keep them cool until they’re ready for eating.
  • Create a melon smoothie. Freeze watermelon cubes overnight, then whirl in a blender with vanilla yogurt and top with whipped cream!

Resources:

1- https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/melons-pack-a-nutritional-punch

Around the World in 80 Plates: A Salsa Tour of Mexico!

We all know and love salsa, which is one of the most famous Mexican foods around the world. There are more salsa recipes than ever before, and it is easy to make a recipe your very own. Different states in Mexico have different salsa recipes because their land, food, and weather is different too. This is just like how the weather in Utah is very different from the weather in Florida.

The use of salsas dates back to Aztec times when they ground tomatoes, chiles, and salt using a stone mortar and pestle called a molcajete (mole- ca- het-ay).

This yummy bowl of “smashed up stuff” was served in a clay bowl for easy dipping of tortillas or tamales. After the Spanish arrived in the Americas and started to take over, the salsa recipes began to change too as the different cultures came together and new combinations are still being created today! Want to create your own salsa? Here are a few recipes to get you started.

Salsa Roja translates to Red Salsa in English, and is usually made with roasted tomatoes, red chiles, garlic and salt. In the Northern parts of Mexico, they often cook everything together and add other spices to build big flavors because the usually serve it with roasted goat. In the South, they carefully toast dried red chiles to add to their salsa for a more delicate flavor. It is almost always SPICY!

Salsa Verde simply means green salsa, and is made with one of Mexico’s favorite ingredients: Tomatillos. They are really yummy and easy to find in Latin markets and sometimes at farmers markets. They grow in a papery husk, which needs to be taken off, then rinse the tomatillos because they might be sticky. Most people in the northern Mexico will boil the tomatillo and peppers before they puree it but most people in the south will puree everything raw.

The most recognizable salsa in the United States is well known all throughout Mexico and its usually pretty similar no matter what part of Mexico you visit. It goes well with nearly everything, but is especially good on any type of taco!

This last recipe is very different depending on the part of Mexico you visit, based on the fruit and chiles they have available to them. The Yucatan Peninsula combines limes, oranges, and habanero chiles to top their famous cochinita pibil tacos (slow roasted pork tacos). Try out this recipe for Mango Salsa, or create your own fruit salsa recipe!

Resources

1- Chappell G. Interview: Mexican Salsa by State. June 2021.

2- Chef Dax, Mauricio. Mexican Salsas. Asenzya. https://www.asenzya.com/trending-flavors/mexican-salsas/. Published December 4, 2019. Accessed June 2, 2021.

Nutrition Tip of the Week: Cook Once, Eat Twice!

Have you gotten stuck in a summer lunch rut already? It’s easy to do when your schedule changes and you don’t want to eat the same ham and cheese sandwich every day for lunch.

Captain Create’s time saving tip that can help you spend more time enjoying the summer weather and less time cooking is to make tomorrow’s lunch while you’re making tonights dinner!

Its easy! If you’re having grilled chicken for dinner, make an extra piece for everyone to add to a chicken salad for lunch!

If you’re having spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, cook a few extra noodles to add to a spaghetti noodle pasta salad!

What other meals does your family make that you can eat for lunch the next day? Get together as a family to start a summer meal plan each week to make more time to play outside or spend time together as a family!

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