USDA Reports U.S. Agriculture Practices

USDA Agriculture Practices

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Here’s Why You Need to Eat More Garlic

Garlic Cloves

Don’t miss how garlic plays an important role in our health (photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com)

People have been using garlic to add flavor and aroma to their food for thousands of years and some cultures have used it for medicinal purposed for just as long.  But it is only recently that garlic has been making headlines here as a key component of a healthy diet.  Research into the preventative and medicinal uses of garlic has shown that including garlic in your regular diet can have some pretty significant health benefits.

Consuming Garlic May Decrease Cancer Risk

A study that was conducted by the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China found that eating raw garlic significantly impacts your risk for developing lung cancer.  The findings, which were published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, indicate that participants who reported eating raw garlic as part of their regular diet at least twice a week had a 44% decrease in their risk for developing lung cancer.

Other research findings show that consuming garlic may reduce pre-cancerous lesions in the gastric system and slow down the growth and progression of similar lesions in the large bowel.

Another study found that selenium, which is found in garlic, may help prevent cancer from developing in the first place.

Consuming Garlic May Decrease Cardiovascular Problems

Other research into the effect of consuming garlic found significant benefits in terms of common cardiovascular problems.  One study found that when garlic therapy was used in conjunction with other supportive treatments on coronary artery calcification it may slow progression of the condition.

Research has also shown garlic to be effective at improving factors that are known to contribute to cardiovascular problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure.  Eating garlic regularly helped lower cholesterol and blood pressure while also lowering the levels of an amino acid, called homocysteine, that indicates coronary artery disease.

How to Get More Garlic in Your Diet

Garlic is an aromatic and can be added to almost any kind of cuisine.  It can help develop flavor in soup and will add a little kick to any salad.  Sauté it lightly with meat or veggies or add it raw to sandwich fillings like chicken salad.  Here are some other great ways to get more garlic on your plate.

 

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It’s National Cheesecake Day!

cheesecake recipe

Don’t miss out on tasting one of these delicious cheesecake recipes to celebrate National Cheesecake Day! (photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com)

National Cheesecake Day, which is unofficially celebrated on July 30, is your chance to celebrate this deliciously dreamy dessert featuring soft creamy cheese.  Join other cheesecake lovers around the country to celebrate one of America’s favorite desserts.  Whether you like it plain, covered with fruit, swirled with chocolate, or filled with exotic flavors, don’t miss out on the one day a year this creamy dessert is the star of the show.  To help you celebrate, here are some ideas for making National Cheesecake Day a fun event for your family and friends and some great recipe ideas for time-tested traditional cheesecake and fancy foodie cheesecake.

 

1.   Have a Contest to See Who Makes the Best Cheesecake on the Block

National Cheesecake Day provides a great opportunity to get friends, family, and neighbors together for some quality time and some fantastic cheesecake.  Ask everyone to bake or make their favorite cheesecake and then have a blind taste test where everyone gets to vote on their favorite entries.  Offering prizes like “Creamiest”, “Most Unusual”, “Most Like My Mom’s” lets more people win and spreads the fun around.

 

2.   Have a Cheesecake Raffle for Charity

Ask friends and family to donate cheesecakes, homemade or store bought, and then set up a table at a local church, community center, or community event and raffle off the cheesecakes.  Just remember to plan ahead for a way to keep those cheesecakes that need to be refrigerated cold.  You might take pictures of each cheesecake so that potential raffle ticket buyers can see what they are trying to win without risking any spoilage.  You could also keep the cheesecakes safely stored in a refrigerator until it is time to start raffling them off.

Raise money by selling entries to a drawing to be held at the event or later in the day.  When it comes time to draw the winners, start drawing names and let each person pick the cheesecake they want when their name is called.  You will need to decide up front if people must be present in order to win.  If not, make sure you know how you will handle choosing, storing, and delivering cheesecakes to winners who are not there at the time of the drawing.

 

3.   Make a Special Treat for those Who Need it Most

Another great way to celebrate National Cheesecake Day is to work with a local homeless shelter or food bank to see if you can donate enough cheesecake for all of their recipients to have a slice with their dinner that day.  Then ask friends and family to donate cheesecake and even come with you to help serve up this special treat on National Cheesecake Day.

 

4.   Use Fresh Arizona Ingredients

If you are looking for a great way to celebration National Cheesecake Day in true Arizona fashion, try these recipes that feature fresh Arizona ingredients from the local farmers market.

 

 

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USDA Reports U.S. Agriculture Production Numbers

US Agriculture Productionq

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40 Reasons to Be Mad for Mangoes

Mangos

Check out these delicious ideas for how to prepare mangos (photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com)

Mangoes, which are native to South/Southeast Asia, come in many colors including yellow, orange, red, green, and some have skins that feature several of those colors.  Inside the fruit, there is a large oblong pit that contains the seed which can be difficult to detach from the fruit.  Mangoes feature prominently in the cuisines of Southeast Asia including the Philippines and India, where it is the national fruit.   They can be found in jams, jellies, chutneys, curries, salads, smoothies, ice cream, and they can also be eaten raw.

Using mangoes can be somewhat challenging because of the pit.  Generally, mangoes should have the skins removed before using because, while they are edible, they can cause an allergic reaction in some people.  Once the skin is removed, the fruit must be chopped away from the pit.

Mangoes contain about 60 calories per 3.5 ounces and are high in both Vitamin C and folate.  They are also rich in antioxidants.

Here are some great ways for you to use mangoes this month to fill your family’s plate  with fresh, nutritious food.

  1. Mango Lassi
  2. Mango Chutney
  3. Grilled Red Chile Buttermilk Chicken with Spicy Mango Honey Glaze
  4. Mango, Strawberry, and Pineapple Smoothie
  5. Mambo Chicken with Mango Salsa
  6. Chipotle Mango BBQ Chicken
  7. Mexican Mango Cake
  8. Strawberry, Mango, and Mesclun Salad
  9. Avocado Mango Salsa
  10. Macadamia Crusted Sea Bass with Mango Cream Sauce
  11. Mahi Mahi with Coconut Rice and Mango Salsa
  12. Mango Blueberry Muffins with Coconut Streusel
  13. Bourbon Mango Pulled Pork
  14. Spicy Indian Chicken and Mango Curry
  15. Spicy Mango Sweet Potato Chicken
  16. Chicken and Pasta in a Mango Cream Sauce
  17. Chunky Mango Guacamole
  18. Mango and Red Cabbage Slaw
  19. Strawberry Mango Pound Cake Shortcakes
  20. Grilled Yellowtail with Mango Salsa
  21. Jerk Chicken with Mango Chutney and Fried Plantains
  22. Caprese Salad with Roasted Mango Dressing
  23. Jay’s Potato Crusted Fish with Mango Salsa
  24. Mango Cheesecake with Basil Lemon Syrup
  25. Cucumber Mango Salsa
  26. Curried Mango Chicken
  27. Jerk Turkey Burgers with Mango Salsa
  28. Homemade Mango and Jalapeno Jelly
  29. Chicken with Mango Barbecue Sauce
  30. Coconut Lime Cheesecake with Mango Coulis
  31. Mango Salsa Chicken
  32. Mango Cardamom Bread Pudding
  33. Spicy Mango Salad
  34. Poblano Pepper and Mango Quesadillas
  35. Grilled Chicken with Apple Mango Chutney
  36. Kale Salad with Mango Vinaigrette
  37. Mango Lime Cream Pie
  38. Mango Chicken Piccata
  39. Cilantro Lime Quinoa
  40. Chipotle Tilapia Tacos with Mango Cilantro Salsa
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