Produce For Kids

HOMELAND STORES PARTNER WITH PRODUCE FOR KIDS® FOR HEALTHY EATING CAMPAIGN TO BENEFIT THE REGIONAL FOOD BANK OF OKLAHOMA

Homeland produce partners unite to raise funds for hunger relief.

The healthy eating-focused Produce for Kids® campaign with Homeland stores launches May 31 and will raise funds for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Food for Kids Program. The Produce for Kids campaign offers Homeland shoppers in-store and online meal solutions, recipes and tips for families looking to embrace healthier eating habits.

The Homeland and Produce for Kids campaign, which will run through June 30, is supported by seven participating fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers, representing every major category of fresh produce. Homeland grocery shoppers are encouraged to support these brands by eating more nutritious fruits and vegetables. Homeland shoppers can also sample simple, healthy Produce for Kids recipes at select stores on June 6.

“At Homeland, our mission is not only to provide our customers with a fresh and healthy experience every time they enter our stores, but to also create strong local communities,” said Alyson Dykstra, registered dietitian at Homeland. “We are proud to partner with Produce for Kids on an effort that encourages our shoppers to introduce fresh fruits and vegetables to their families while supporting local children in need.”

Through partnerships with Produce for Kids, Homeland and select fruit and vegetable companies have raised more than $70,000 to benefit children’s charities. Last year alone, more than $11,000 was donated to Food for Kids to fight childhood hunger in central and western Oklahoma.

In-store displays and signage, featuring characters from the popular family movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, will be displayed in Homeland produce departments and will list all participating companies. The signage will direct shoppers to www.produceforkids.com, which features more than 200 registered dietitian-approved and family-tested recipes, meal planning tools, grocery store specific campaign details, and healthy tips from real parents. Additionally, shoppers will be encouraged to share their own healthy recipes and ideas during the campaign using the hashtag #produceforkids.

Suppliers participating in the Homeland and Produce for Kids campaign include: Columbia Marketing International – Apples; Delano Farms Company – Table Grapes; Growers Vegetable Express – Green Giant® Fresh Cauliflower; Melissa’s/World Variety Produce, Inc. – Melissa’s® Dutch Yellow Potatoes; RedSun Farms® – Greenhouse Grown Tomatoes & Sweet Bell Peppers; Shuman Produce – RealSweet® Vidalia® Onions; and The Produce Exchange – Victory Garden® Greenhouse Vegetables.

“We are proud of our partnership with Homeland to educate families about the benefits of eating nutritious produce as part of a healthy lifestyle,” said John Shuman, president of Produce for Kids. “We are extremely proud of the $5 million we have raised thus far to support local children’s charities, and we are excited to partner with local Feeding America food banks, like the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, to help put an end to childhood hunger.”

Every $200 raised will support a child in Food for Kids for an entire school year. Last school year, the Regional Food Bank provided the equivalent of 2.7 million meals to chronically hungry children through Food for Kids childhood hunger programs: the Backpack Program, Kids Cafe, Summer Feeding, and School Pantries.Through the Backpack

  • Program, children receive a backpack full of kid-friendly, non-perishable and nutritious food on Friday to sustain them over weekends and school holidays. Last school year, more than 18,500 students in 501 schools participated in the Backpack Program.
  •  The School Pantry Program provides chronically hungry middle and high school students with food to sustain them after school and over the weekends. The School Pantry Program ended last school year serving nearly 4,800 students in 124 middle and high schools.
  •  Kids Cafe and Snack Sites, an after-school and summer program provides food, mentoring, tutoring, and a variety of other activities to more than 2,600 at-risk children at 25 sites in central and western Oklahoma.

For more information about the Homeland and Produce for Kids campaign, visit www.produceforkids.com.


Light & Fresh Potato Salad

Ingredients

  1. 2 pounds Melissa’s® Dutch yellow potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch piecesProduce for Kids Recipe
  2. 1 teaspoon salt, plus 1/4 tsp.
  3. 1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  4. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  5. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  6. 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  7. 2 tablespoons Italian dressing
  8. 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  10. 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained
  11. 1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  12. 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  13. 1 package spinach

Directions

  1. Add potatoes and 1 tsp. salt to medium saucepan. Add enough water to cover potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 7-10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  2. Drain potatoes and let cool 30 minutes.
  3. Cut off top bud of asparagus spears and place in bowl. Chop rest of spears into 1/4″ pieces ad add to bowl. Mix asparagus, olive oil, lemon juice and ¼ tsp. salt in bowl and allow to marinate. Add Greek yogurt, Italian dressing, mustard and pepper to bowl and stir well. Add artichokes, onion, tomatoes and potatoes and stir to coat.
  4. Serve immediately on bed of spinach or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving.

Summertime Hydration

Oh, the joys of summer! After all the rains Oklahoma saw this spring, it’s strange to think that the dog days of summer are just around the corner. As our temperatures soar, and we spend more time outside, it’s important to make sure we’re staying hydrated.

Experts estimate as much as 75% of the American population could be suffering from chronic dehydration. Symptoms include fatigue, headaches, and difficulty concentrating.

During summer months, though, we are especially concerned not with chronic dehydration, but acute dehydration. Symptoms of mild dehydration can range from dry mouth and fatigue to dry skin, headaches, and decreased urine output. Symptoms of severe dehydration are more alarming – extreme thirst, sunken eyes, rapid heartbeat, and skin that doesn’t bounce back to normal if you pinch it.

You’ve probably heard that the best gauge of your hydration is the color of your urine – the lighter it is, the better hydrated you are. This is especially important to pay attention to during the hot summer months, especially if you are outside in Oklahoma’s extreme temperature.

Teens and their parents should be extra careful during the hottest days. Teenagers typically have lower body weight, and are not as able to recognize their symptoms.

Avoiding dehydration

Heat StrokeThe easiest way to avoid dehydration is deceptively simple – stay hydrated. Drinking enough water to stave off dehydration is far easier than rehydrating. Drink two or three cups of water before exercising, and be sure to keep drinking during and after your workout.

If you find yourself dehydrated, cool water is your first line of defense, hydrating your body and keeping your temperature down. Stay away from the sodas when you’re trying to replace lost water.

If you become confused, dizzy, or light-headed because of dehydration, don’t hesitate to seek out medical help.

Enjoy the summer weather, but be sure take in plenty of water when the heat and humidity turn up!

stay hydrated

Cheers for Cherries

It’s officially cherry season in the U.S and while they are so special they may seem like a treat, cherries are a delicious way to rack up your fruit servings! Ranking high on the antioxidant scale, cherries pack a powerful nutrient punch! With such a small growing season it’s essential to preserve these jewels at their peak of freshness. Stock up today at your local supermarket, and follow these simple steps to enjoy them year round.

Can – Select firm, ripe sweet cherries. Rinse, drain and remove stems and pits, if desired. Pack cherries into clean hot canning jars and cover with medium-hot syrup (1-1/2 cups sugar to 2 cups water), leaving 1/2 -inch headspace. Seal jar according to manufacturer’s directions. Place jars on rack in canner. Process 25 minutes for pints and quarts in boiling water bath with boiling water two inches above jar tops. Remove jars from water bath. Cool away from drafts. Remove rings from sealed jars after 12 hours.

 

Dry – Select firm, ripe fresh sweet cherries. Wash, cut in half, and remove stems and pits. Place cherries, skin side down, in single layers trays. Dry cherries at 140F for 6 to 12 hours, being careful not to over-dry; cherries should be leathery and slightly sticky when properly dried. To store, place in small plastic bags, seal and keep in dark, dry, cool place. Dried cherries are a great in recipes and as a snack.

 

Freeze – Work with small amounts of fresh sweet cherries to allow for quick handling and freezing. Select firm, ripe sweet cherries. Rinse and drain cherries thoroughly. Pack according to preferred method and freeze immediately

Step 1: Rinse firm, ripe cherries in cold water; drain thoroughly.
Step 2: Pack cherries in a plastic freezer bags of freezer-proof containers. Remove excess air; fasten or cover tightly.
Step 3: Freeze.

 General Freezing Tips:

  • Before freezing, label and date each plastic bag or container.
  • Freezer should be 0°F, or lower.
  • For fastest freezing, place bags directly on freezer shelves. Leave space around each bag until contents are frozen.

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 BONUS RECIPE – Cherry Stuffed Grilled Chicken

Serves 4

 1 cup fresh sweet cherries pits removed and coarsely chopped

½ onion, finely chopped

1 tsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

½ tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

Pinch of salt

4 chicken breasts, boned and skinned

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 clove of crushed garlic

Freshly ground black pepper

  • Combine the cherries, onion, sage, thyme and salt and mix well. Cut a pocket on the thicker sides of the chicken breasts and stuff with the cherry mixture. Use metal skewers or cocktail sticks to close and seal the opening.
  • Combine the oil, vinegar, garlic and pepper with a pinch of salt and mix well to make the marinade. Use this to marinate the prepared chicken breasts and chill for an hour.
  • Either grill by conventional method or griddle the chicken breasts brushing with the marinade and turning until cooked through and the juices run clear.

The chicken breasts can also be cooked in the oven: Brown first on both sides in an oven safe pan then bake at 375 F, 190 C, gas mark 5 for 12 – 15 minutes or until the juices run clear.

*Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: 305 Calories, 32.4 g protein, 11.5 g carbohydrate, 14.3 g fat (42% Cal. from fat), 86 mg cholesterol, 1.1 g fiber, 1130 mg sodium.

5 Herbs You Should Try

The commitment to eating healthy can seem like a challenge to your taste buds. The truth is, you’re retraining them to enjoy natural, nutritional flavors, and not the supercharged artificial taste they’re used to. Don’t give in to the temptation to sprinkle on the salt or load up the sugar. Here are five herbs you can use to keep your food tasting fresh and flavorful.

SassafrasSassafras

If you’re a gumbo fan, you’re already familiar with the taste of sassafras – it’s the basic component of Filé powder. It’s spicy and earthy, and can be used to thicken soups and stews in addition to the classic gumbo. Sassafras is also the key component of traditional root beer.

OreganoOregano

No Italian course would be complete without oregano, and its spicy, warm taste can kick any meal up a notch. Oregano actually becomes stronger when it’s dried, so watch how much dried oregano you add to your dinner. Adding it to stews can transform a good dish to a great one.

BasilBasil

Known for its use in pesto, basil originated in India, but its use is common to many cuisines, including Italian, Thai, and Vietnamese. Use fresh basil at the end of your cooking period, or you’ll risk ruining its flavor with high heat.

RosemaryRosemary

Pair rosemary with white meats or a pot of beans for a fragrant, delicious, and hearty meal. Remember to remove the springs of rosemary before serving.

DillDill

Last but not least, dill imparts a sharpness to any meal, and is often paired with creamy dishes to cut through their richness. Dill is commonly served on fish, and is a prime ingredient in pickle making. It can often be found in Eastern European cuisines.

Try using combinations of these herbs on some of your favorite dishes. We’re willing to bet you won’t miss the added fat, sugar, or salt you’ve been used to.

Choosing the Right Cut of Beef

Round, chuck, rib, shank, brisket, sirloin… The nine portions of a cow can yield some 40 common cuts of beef, each one with its own uses, flavors, and best cooking methods. Cuts of beef can vary wildly in their fat content, their toughness, and their taste. Here are a few of our favorite cuts.

From the Short Loin

T-bone

The short loin of the cow, just behind the ribs, yields the well-known tenderloin cut, the porterhouse steak, and the T-bone steak.

The tenderloin is common in steak tartare, beef Wellington, and beef Stroganoff, and is the source of the iconic filet mignon.

The porterhouse and T-bone steaks are characterized by their t-shaped bone, and both have a strip steak on side of the bone, and a piece of tenderloin on the other. T-bone steaks typically have less tenderloin than porterhouse steaks.

From the RibRibeye

While we won’t wade it the murky waters beef ribs vs. pork ribs in regional barbecue, one of our favorite cuts of beef comes from the rib portion of the cow: the ribeye steak.

Ribeyes are known for being particularly tender and exceptionally flavorful, making them a favorite amongst steak eaters. Known as a “cowboy cut” when the bone is left in, this cut of beef is well-marbled and quite juicy.

The BrisketBeef Brisket

Beef brisket is a staple in the barbecue world, and its pickled variant – the corned beef brisket – has its own place in history as the foundation of the famed Reuben sandwich. Brisket is often cooked slowly over low to moderate heat, which tenderizes the meat and breaks down its connective tissues. Brisket is often purchased in one of two distinct cuts – the flat cut, or the deeply marbled point.

From the FlankFlank Steak

The flank portion of the cow gives us two well-known pieces of meat, the flank steak and the skirt steak. The skirt steak is best known for its use in classic fajitas, while the flank steak is often found in London broil. Both of these steaks are highly flavorful, but can be tough. Slicing the steak thinly, against the grain will improve its tenderness.

Healthy Grilling

Warmer temperatures mean most of us head to the great outdoors for fun and recreation. Heading outside for dinner can also be a great decision for your health – grilling is one of the easiest ways to make flavorful food without the preservatives, added fats, and other obstacles to great health.

Grill in batches

I love grilling, not just for dinner, but for an entire week’s worth of meals. Grill your food in batches, and wrap your proteins in heavy duty foil to protect them in the freezer. This makes healthy lunches for work a snap. Heat up your protein and some frozen vegetables, and you have a nutritional, filling lunch in almost no time.

If you prefer fresh veggies to frozen, roast your vegetables in smaller batches, and keep them in the refrigerator. Remember that food can be kept for four days in your fridge before being eaten.

Lay off the sauce

It’s tempting to pour a sugary, sodium-packed prepared sauce all over your meat before putting it on the grill. Avoiding this temptation is key to keeping your grilled meals as healthy as possible. Instead of prepared sauces, create your own marinades with simple ingredients like olive oil, lemon or lime juice, and freshly prepared mustard. Don’t forget to add your favorite fresh or dried herbs and spices to pack a flavorful punch without the sugar and sodium.

Cook it through

Healthy grilling begins – and ends – with good food safety. It’s easy to toss food on the grill and walk away, without paying good attention to its temperature. Investing in a good, accurate meat thermometer will keep your family safe, as will these easy tips.

  • Chicken and seafood should go straight from the refrigerator to the grill, stopping only to season them if they haven’t been marinated. Beef can be warmed to room temperature, but shouldn’t be allowed to stay there long.
  • Keep your food colder than 45°F or warmer than 140°F. This range is prime bacteria growing temperature, so stay on either side of it to keep your food safe.
  • Avoid contaminating your cooked proteins with the bacteria from uncooked ones. This means using one set of tongs for cooked food, and one for raw, along with a separate platter for cooked and uncooked foods. It also means making sure your cooked veggies don’t make contact with raw meats.

Summer grilling is a great way to prepare healthy, delicious foods for your family, as long as it’s done with an eye to safety. Happy grilling!