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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious 2019

wreath

Healthy Holiday Hacks

The holidays come with much anticipation and excitement, as well as a little dread. The dozens of holiday cookies, the variations of fabulous fudge, and the finest candies around, are sure to excite the taste buds. But when these goodies have you surrounded each day from November to January, the...
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potatoes

The Secrets of Sour Cream

Sour cream has so many uses that it’s often a refrigerator staple from January to December. It adds richness and acidity to both savory and sweet dishes. It’s similar to it’s substitutes, yogurt or crème fraiche, yet remains a distinctive ingredient. Sour cream is a fermented dairy product made by...
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vegetables

Roasting Your Favorite Root Vegetables

Turning fresh fall veggies into fabulous favorites can happen with roasting, a simple cooking technique. Roasting allows vegetables or other foods to develop a crispy crust on the outside while creating a subtle sweetness. This is due to the magic of caramelization. Caramelization is a type of non...
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tempeh

The Temptation of Tempeh

As many people are realizing the health benefits of plant-based diets, plant-rich proteins are becoming more popular. While tofu is more widely known as a meat substitute, tempeh is not far behind. Tempeh, like tofu, is made from soybeans. The soybeans are cooked, fermented and then formed into a...
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pumpkin

Benefits of Pumpkin

Pumpkin season is in full swing, and while great for decorating and carving, pumpkins are also considered a superfood, offering many health benefits. In fact, the seeds, fruit and greens have each been known to be used in herbal medicines. The pumpkin flesh is a valuable source of both vitamin A...
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porridge

Should I Eat Like a Caveman?

Along with the Keto and Whole 30 diets, the Paleo diet is currently trending in popularity. Also called the “caveman” or “stone-age” diet, it’s based on the idea that today’s farming practices are not what they were when our ancestors ate 10,000 years ago. Paleo diet supporters believe in the...
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squash

Winter Squash, Autumn Favorite

One of the most popular foods in the fall is named for a different season: winter squash, particularly acorn squash. While still a popular pick in the winter, acorn squash in Illinois is generally harvested in late summer to early November. It’s the first fall food I go for after decorating my...
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pumpkin seeds

The Mysterious Pumpkin Seed

I recently ordered some pumpkin seeds online, but when I opened up the package, I realized that they were not the pumpkin seeds I had in mind. I was expecting to see cream-colored, oval-shaped seeds, like the ones you’d dig out of a jack-o-lantern, but instead I received greenish, small seeds...
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Mexican Tart

Savory and Sweet Pastries

Sometimes it takes a culinary dictionary to read the recipes in a cookbook, particularly a cookbook that is a little more “fine dine and wine.” You may have come across terms, such as galette, crostata or tart and wondered what the difference is, if any.  All involve either a dough or crust and...
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Pea Soup

Split Peas: Are they Peas or Lentils?

Split peas look like lentils, but are they? Split peas are a member of the legume family, as are lentils. However, split peas are an actual field pea that is dried. Once dried, the outer skin of the pea is removed and the pea is split in half. Lentils, on the other hand, are the seeds found in the...
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Olive Oil

A Guidebook on Olive Oils

Have you ever felt that you needed a guidebook when shopping at the grocery store? With so many different varieties of the same product to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one to buy. In the world of olive oil, many types stock the shelves; let’s find out which one is at the head of...
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pyramid

Mediterranean Diet Ranked Best Overall

U.S. News and World Report gathered a panel of nationally recognized experts where they compared 41 different diets and ranked them based on how easy it is to follow, its ability to produce short-term and long-term weight loss, its nutritional completeness, its safety and its potential for...
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Salad

How to Spot a Good (or a Bad) Diet

Dieting is nothing new to the U.S., but various diets fly in and fade away. Atkins, South Beach, and the Zone are just a few of the fad diets that have come and gone. So what makes a diet stick around, and more importantly, how do you know if a diet is safe and effective? With a new diet or weight...
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Cold lunch

Raise Your Hand if You’re Having Cold Lunch

It’s back to school time, which means the kids are either excited or groaning. Either way, it’s back to packing lunches for the days that school lunch just won’t do. The only problem: those cute little unicorn and super-hero themed lunch bags are often filled with empty calorie foods. Individual...
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Homemade Bread

Choose the Right Flour for the Job

It’s easy to feel a bit of anxiety when faced with the many varieties of flours in the baking aisle of the grocery store. All-purpose, bleached, unbleached, self-rising, and a whole lot more line the shelves. Let’s explore the differences. The most common flour, all-purpose, is a wheat flour that...
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ginger

The Many Benefits of Ginger

Fresh ginger is one of the most common spices used in the world. It’s believed that Indians and Chinese were the first to produce ginger root where it was primarily used to treat many ailments. While not really a root, ginger is in the same family as turmeric, both of which are grown for their...
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lime

A Squeeze of Lime

Give your dish, drink or dessert a squeeze of fresh lime for an added sense of freshness and a pop of tartness. Limes grow on trees in warm climates. Similar to lemons, limes are a citrus fruit with a low pH; this means limes are very acidic, making them an influential cooking ingredient. There...
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How to Cut a Pineapple

While pineapple is delicious canned, many people agree that fresh pineapple takes the prize in flavor. This tropical fruit is generally available year round in the United States, with the majority imported from Costa Rica. Its scales on the thick outer skin are actually the fruit's flowers. One...
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It's Morel Mushroom Time!

Morels are the mushroom hunter's prey. Depending on the weather and location, the first Illinois morels of the season may begin to appear in late March to early April and generally ends in May. Morels are difficult to cultivate, thus are generally gathered in the wild rather than farmed. It may be...
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No Matter How You Spell It, It's Time To BBQ!

Barbecue, BBQ, barbeque. Talk about confusing! Not only does the word "barbecue" have multiple spellings, but it also has multiple meanings. "Throw it on the barbecue." This implies a cooking method where food is cooked outdoors, generally on a grill. "We're having a Memorial Day barbecue." In this...
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