Delicious Overnight Oats

By Lauren Scott, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern

A few weeks ago, I was at a friend’s house, and as we hung out in her kitchen she began to prepare her and her family’s breakfasts for the next day. She apologized for doing so while we were hanging out, but she’s a busy lady and needed to get it done, and I didn’t mind.

She started cutting up different fruits and placing them together into a container. She sprinkled a little lemon juice and honey over it all, put the lid on, and shook it up. That would be her kids’ breakfast.

My friend then pulled a mason jar out of her cabinet and began adding ingredients that I at first thought were very random. She filled the bottom of the jar with oats, added the same amount of plain yogurt, poured in some milk, a spoonful of chia seeds, and a dash of vanilla. She closed the jar, shook it up, and then put it in the refrigerator alongside her children’s fruit.

She must have seen the puzzled look on my face, because she began explaining to me what she had concocted before I could even ask.

Every morning for breakfast my friend eats overnight oats. She mixes all the previously mentioned ingredients together and in the morning tops the oats with whatever she feels like. She said it keeps her full until lunchtime and, of course, is full of some very healthy ingredients!

Overnight oats can be customized to fit your personal flavor preferences, which is why I can’t wait to try making this for breakfast this week!

Recipe:

  • 1/3 heaping cup of oats
  • 1/3 cup of plain yogurt
  • 2/3 cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla
  • A dash of salt

Instructions:

My friend’s way: Add all ingredients to a mason jar, mix with a spoon or shake to combine ingredients, place in refrigerator overnight.

A second way: Put all ingredients into a bowl, mix thoroughly, carefully pour into a mason jar, place in refrigerator overnight.

Toppings to try:

  • Sliced apples, walnuts, and cinnamon
  • Bananas and peanut butter
  • Mixed berries like raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries
  • Sliced mango and coconut flakes
  • Dark chocolate pieces and pomegranate seeds
  • Cherries and almonds
  • Strawberries and bananas
  • Dark chocolate and peanut butter
  • Peanut butter and your favorite jam

What is your go-to topping for overnight oats? Share your tips and tricks in the comments. For more delicious breakfast recipes visit Fill Your Plate’s recipe section!

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No-Knead Harvest Bread

By Cameron Saylor, Recent Arizona State University Nutrition Student 

If you’re like me and you love all things bread, then print this recipe out right now and tape it to your fridge because you’re about to have the bread of a lifetime. This delicious bread is great for turkey sandwiches or served up dessert style with some butter and cinnamon-sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups cool water
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I use walnuts but use whichever you prefer)

 

Directions:

Step 1 – In a large bowl or stand up mixer, combine the flours, salt, yeast, and water to form a sticky dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature overnight (about 8 hours).  The dough will rise quite a bit so be sure to use a large bowl.

 

Step 2 – When the bread has finished rising, add the fruit and nuts. Mix to combine. Form the dough into a log or round loaf to fit your baking pan, I use a 9-inch casserole dish with a lid. Placing the smooth side up, place the bread in your preferred lightly-greased baking dish and allow to rise for another 2 hours. This is to allow the gluten to relax after mixing in the fruit and nuts.

 

Step 3 – Once your bread has been allowed to rest, gently slice and X into the top of the loaf. This will allow the bread to expand as it cooks. Put the lid on and place in a cold oven. Make sure the oven is cold or you’ll burn your bread. The lid is not optional either, trust me. Bake the bread at 450 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes then remove the lid. Continue cooking for another 5 to 15 minutes until the bread is a deep brown color. For optimal results, use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center that registers about 205 degrees. When the bread is finished cooking, remove from oven and turn out onto a cooling rack. Allow the bread to cool before slicing.

 

Top with your favorite spread or pile on some turkey, cream cheese and sprouts for an out of this world sandwich!

 

 

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Body Breakdown: How We Process Nutrients

By Alise Robers, Recent Arizona State University Nutrition Student 

The calories that your body doesn’t use right away for energy are either disposed of as waste or stored as fat.1 However, your body doesn’t treat all calories equally.  Fiber and protein both have high water contents, which is why you feel so pleasantly full after eating them.1 Fats effect on satiety is a lot like protein and fiber, which is why low-fat diets leave you feeling hungry and depleted. Your body doesn’t need to use as many calories when storing fat because it is able to process fat the most efficiently.1 This means you end up keeping more of it.  Simple carbohydrates, on the other hand, have the least effect on satiety.1,2

Protein is something that our bodies work hard to process and even though we would like to believe that all ingested protein turns into muscle and all the fat we eat gets stored where we want it, this isn’t the case.1 In fact, everything we eat has the potential to end up as fat if our body doesn’t use it for energy at the exact moment it is absorbed through our intestines.1 Digestion is an important process for breaking down the food and nutrients our body’s need for energy, growth, and cell repair.2 Knowing what our bodies go through will give us a better understanding of what it needs. Below explains how our body processes different nutrients:

 

Complex Carbohydrates– Complex carbohydrates are the starches and fiber found in legumes, whole grain breads, and starchy vegetables.2 They release slowly because they take the body longer to digest.1 Carbohydrates are your body’s first choice when it comes to energy but if this slower sugar can’t be used when it is released then it will be converted into fat.1,2

 

Simple Carbohydrates– Also known as simple sugars, are the most functional energy source.1 They include sugars found naturally in foods like fruits and vegetables as well as sugars added to processed foods. Simple sugars are absorbed into the blood stream quickly and are sent to the liver during the digestion process.1,2 Your liver calls the shots here and if the sugar can’t be immediately used for energy then it will be converted to fat.1

 

Fats– Fat molecules are a great source of energy that aids your body in absorbing vitamins and the fatty acids it needs to create hormones.2,3 However, they are the backup system when it comes to supplying our muscles with energy.1 Fats are broken down into smaller pieces during digestion where the body converts them into fatty acids and glycerol.2  Eating good fats like nuts, fish, olive oil, and sunflower oil will help lower your body’s response to inflammation.1,2  Less healthy fats like butter and processed snack foods will cause it to increase.1 Avoiding these fats will also help lower your risk for obesity and the complications that come along with it.1

 

Protein– Foods like beans, eggs, and meat are broken down into small amino acids that the body can readily digest.1,2 These amino acids are absorbed through the small intestine into the blood and carried though out the body.1,2 Proteins are able to help your body build and repair cells, create hormones and enzymes, and keep your immune system strong.3 If you’re exercising then they can be brought to your muscles to aid in muscle growth, but if your body doesn’t need them for muscle growth or maintenance then they will be converted into glucose.1 If that cannot be used for energy as well then it will also be converted to fat.

 

The best thing you can do for your body is to eat a balanced diet that includes everything you need to be healthy. You can even snack on cookies once and a while. Just remember: Everything in moderation!

 

 

 

 

References:

 

  1. Roizen, Michael F., Mehmet Oz, Ted Spiker, Lisa Oz, Craig Wynett, and Gary Hallgren. You on a diet: the owner’s manual for waist management.p, : Free Press, 2009. Print.
  2. “The Digestive System & How it Works | NIDDK.” National Institutes of Health.S Department of Health and Human Services, Sept. 2013. Web. 2017.
  3. “How Your Body Gets Nutrients From Foods.” Breastcancer.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 2017. http://www.breaskcancer.org/tips/nutrition/healthy_eats/nutrients.

 

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Refreshing Summer Dishes

By Lauren Scott, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern

Sometimes the Arizona summers can make you not want to do much of anything. I love to cook but hardly cook anything that requires the stove or the oven between the months of May and August because it’s too dang hot!

Last summer I was stuck eating frozen meals I could heat up, snacks that probably weren’t very good for me, and fruits or veggies that didn’t need to be prepared with heat.

This summer, I’ve taken my eating habits a little more seriously and I did some research on delicious dishes that require little to no heat!

These dishes are perfect for days where it’s so hot all you want to do is sit in front of the fan and never move again:

If these dishes don’t satisfy your summer craving, visit our recipe section over at Fill Your Plate! Stay cool this summer!

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Everyday Recipe for the Juiciest Steak

By Sarah LeVesque, Recent Arizona State University Nutrition Student 

What you will need:

2 steaks of your choice. For my recipe, I chose to cook two filet mignons.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons garlic (minced)

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper (I like to use a seasoned salt)

Steps to a great steak:

  1. Before I turn on the grill, I take the filets out of the package and put them on a plate.
  2. Lightly cover each steak with olive oil.
  3. Smother each steak with garlic and make sure you have rubbed in it well.
  4. Then sprinkle some salt and pepper on each side
  5. Lightly coat each side of the steaks with Worcestershire sauce, cover, and put in the fridge.
  6. Preheat the grill while the steaks are marinating in the fridge.
  7. Allow the grill to heat up to about 400°F, and put the steaks on about 7 minutes after it was turned on.
  8. Place the steaks in the center of the grill, and close the lid.
  9. Let one side of the steaks lightly char.
  10. After about 8 minutes, lower the heat down, flip the steaks, and close the lid.
  11. Depending on how you like your steaks cooked and how thick the cuts are, the cook time will vary.

Tips and tricks:

  • You can use a thermometer to help indicate when to remove the steaks from the grill.
  • Rare pieces will reach an internal temperature of 130-135°F
  • Medium rare will reach 140°F
  • Medium is 155°F
  • Well done is 165°F
  • Once the steaks reach that temperature is when you’ll remove them from the grill.

For more great steak recipes visit Fill Your Plate’s recipe section!

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