1. Published

    Track your activity, sleep, and now handwashing. Yes, there’s an app for that! Handwashing can be a challenge. In today’s world, you can enlist the assistance of an app for handwashing direction and detection. Handwashing apps are available for download to your smartphones through the app store. The newest technology for handwashing includes the smartwatch. A first of their kind, these smartwatches use built-in motion sensors, microphones, and a countdown timer technology.

  2. Published

    Although we know developing healthy routines and daily habits are beneficial, their true worth is often overlooked. However, these incredibly important aspects of daily life have significant influence on our long-term quality of life. With Americans living longer, it is more important than ever we strive to live a healthy lifestyle to truly enjoy our golden years.

  3. Published

    More interest has surrounded meat alternatives and reducing the use of animal products recently. One concern about meat alternatives is they may not provide enough protein to meet protein needs. However, that is not the case. Plant proteins can be excellent sources of protein. Plant proteins are also full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that make them a healthy choice. Plant proteins are full of fiber which can help keep you full longer, curb cravings, and aid digestive health. That’s not all fiber can do. The soluble fiber found in plant proteins can help lower cholesterol.

  4. Published

    I couldn’t be happier with my steam canner which I purchased 3 years ago. I most often use it for making jams and salsa. Being that it’s made out of aluminum, it is light-weight and easy to use. The boiling-water canner is quite heavy when full and takes longer to reach a rolling boil. The steam canner, however, takes much less time to heat up since it only holds 6-8 cups of water. I highly recommend giving it a try!

  5. Published

    It’s almost tomato time! As I look at my raised garden bed, I am patiently waiting on my cherry, Rutgers, and Early Girl tomato plants to ripen. I plan to can pint jars of tomatoes that are perfect for making spaghetti sauce and chili, dehydrate tomatoes when I don’t have enough ready to can, roast and freeze cherry tomatoes, and use fresh tomatoes for salsas and BLT’s. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! If you have a garden full of tomatoes, what are your plans on using them?

  6. Published

    Freezing has many benefits. It maintains the fresh flavor, natural color, and nutritional value better than canning or dehydrating. Plus, it is easy, convenient and requires less time compared to other food preservation methods. Making it an excellent way to preserve the summer harvest.

  7. Published

    Making healthy food choices will help you and your baby’s overall health. What you eat during pregnancy can affect your growing baby. Choosing nutritious foods will help ensure your baby has the best start in life. Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy and protein foods. The MyPlate guidelines can help you choose nutritious foods that are right for you.

    During the first trimester, eat

  8. Published

    There are over 7,500 different varieties of apples worldwide. In the United States, 2,500 different types of apples are available. Apples are grown in all 50 states. For the first time in 50 years, the Gala apple beat out Red Delicious as America’s favorite apple. Did you know the Illinois state apple is the Gold Rush? With so many different varieties to choose, knowing which ones are best for freezing, drying, or making apple sauce can be difficult. This list emphasizes the best apples for quality and flavor.

  9. Published

    Apples are a fruit available all year, but taste the best when freshly picked from a local orchard or picked up at a farmers markets in the fall. Whether making apple butter, sauce, pie, salad, drying, freezing, canning, or cutting them up to snack on later, one universal struggle is slicing them fast enough before they start turning brown. Working against the clock in the kitchen to peel and prepare apples before they start browning can feel stressful.

  10. Published

    Are you patiently waiting for the apple season? The abundance of apples may come from an apple tree, a visit to the orchard or a local farmers market, or your local market. Right now in Illinois, the hot summer sun is preparing this delicious fruit for the harvest season.

    Many apple varieties are available all year. In Illinois, the apple harvest season runs July to  November. During this time, I find local varieties that I look forward to each year, such as McIntosh, Ever Crisp, or Blushing Gold.

  11. Published

    Are you spending too much time sitting at your desk these days? This is true for many who have been working at home for the last few months. It’s important to take a break and step away from the computer, literally! Take a walk, take a break from the sitting time, you will feel better.

  12. Published

    Sour, sweet, bread and butter, Kosher dills, spears, chips, sliced on a sandwich, or as a snack or side dish. Pickles are everywhere!

    Pickling is an ancient form of food preservation, dating back to 2030 B.C. when cucumbers from India were pickled in the Tigris Valley. The word “pickle” comes from the Dutch pekel or northern German pókel, meaning “salt” or “brine.”

  13. Published

    This summer is the perfect time to resurrect the time-honored practice of making jams and jellies. Many of us are able to spend more time at home and family schedules are more flexible.

    Maybe you planted a garden or have access to a farmers market. If you are a novice to food preservation, jam is the best first project. All you need is fruit, sugar, pectin, and a few basic kitchen tools and you are on your way to delicious jam! Right now, strawberries are in season, to be followed by cherries, blackberries, and grapes. You can make jam all summer long!

  14. Published

    Our statewide nutrition and wellness team is hosting the "Fill Your Pantry" webinar series from June 3 to July 22. The "Drying at Home" webinar will be on June 24. Register at go.illinois.edu/preserveathome.

     

  15. Published

    Psssst…. Did you hear? Word on the street is that pineapple juice is a cure for the COVID-19 virus!

    Is that true? Can you reduce your risk of getting sick by choosing specific foods? Well, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That is the case with our bodies and how they fight illness.

    You have heard that the best defense is a good offense and it is never more true than with our immune system. If we keep our bodies well fed, they are better able to fight off infections more effectively and efficiently.

  16. Published

    Canning season is upon us! While many are busy planting their summer gardens, others are already preparing to harvest spring vegetables, herbs, and berries. Canning is a great way to use the foods you have grown in your garden or have purchased from your local farmer’s market. Moreover, canning allows you to enjoy the wonderful tastes of summer all year long while keeping food safely preserved on your shelf.