An assortment of peppers available at a local farmers’ market.
(Reproduced from an article by Alice Henneman, MS, RDN at food.unl.edu)
Bell or Sweet Peppers (Green, Red, Yellow, Orange, Purple)
Select crisp, tender peppers.
Tray freezing raw peppers
Cut out stems and cut peppers in half.
Remove seeds and membrane — save time by using a melon baller or the tip of a spoon to scrape out seeds and membrane.
Cut peppers into strips, dice or slice, depending on how you plan to use them.
Freeze peppers in a single layer on a cookie sheet with sides, about an hour or longer until frozen. This method is often referred to as “tray freezing.”
Transfer to a “freezer” bag when frozen, excluding as much air as possible from the bag. The peppers will remain separated for ease of use in measuring out for recipes.
Pour out the amount of frozen peppers needed, reseal the bag and return to the freezer.
Hot Peppers (including Jalapeno Peppers)
Wash and stem hot peppers. Package, leaving no headspace. Seal and freeze. It is not necessary to cut or chop hot peppers before freezing.
Caution: The National Center for Home Food Preservation warns, “Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers. If you do not wear gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.”
HOT TIP: If your mouth is burning from eating hot peppers, help put out the fire with milk and other dairy products.
To extend the time frozen foods maintain good quality, package foods in material intended for freezing and keep the temperature of the freezer at 0 degrees F or below. It is generally recommended frozen vegetables be eaten within about 8 months for best quality.
This blog was created by Cassie Augustine, a Dietetic and Nutrition Exercise Health Science double major at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln.
With summer right around the corner, are you looking for a refreshing way to excite your taste buds? Great, this recipe is a perfect way to liven up your meals or snacks. It is not only nutritious, but it is quick.
This banana orange frosty is the perfect way to perk up your day. With three simple ingredients you can make it for a breakfast on the go, a snack in between meals or even to compliment your meal.
Orange Banana Frosty is made with three common ingredients that can be found in your kitchen.
Makes: 2 servings
Total Cost: $1.86
Serving Cost: $0.93
1 banana (frozen)
½ cup low fat yogurt (plain)
½ orange juice (prepared)
Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix well.
You can add more liquid if you want to make the smoothie thinner consistency.
This week, during National Agriculture Week, let’s give thanks to the farmers who provide our food.
To help you enjoy the various agricultural products available in the United States, check Nebraska Extension’s links to the many resources about livestock and crops grown in Nebraska and throughout many of the other states in our nation.
Commercially canned foods are convenient as they require no refrigeration to keep their contents safe. Their nutritional value is comparable to other forms of food such as frozen and fresh. In some cases, it may be higher.
The question that people often our Nebraska Extension office, is “how long can you keep canned food”? This article on “Shelf-Stable” Food Safety,” from the U.S. Department of Agriculture answers this question and more. For example:
Alice’s Notes: This is a very basic coleslaw recipe that can be made from ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, especially the dressing ingredients. Possible alternative purchased salad dressings include: classic coleslaw dressing, ranch dressing and poppy seed dressing. Other ingredients you could add include:
Five seems to be the magic number for the number of ingredients we want in a recipe. This excludes such common ingredients as salt, pepper and water. While researching recipes for a workshop on 5-ingredient cooking, I found the recipes I chose had at least one of the following qualities. See if these criteria help you find quick, easy, tasty recipes too!
Use the best-tasting ingredients whenever possible. It’s hard to hide a poor quality ingredient when there are only five of them. For example, freshly ground black pepper tastes much better than pre-ground.
Try to include at least one high intense flavor ingredient. Examples include:
• Mustard (consider Dijon)
• “Sharp” cheeses (you can use less because the flavor is more potent)
• Lemon juice or lemon zest
• Onions, garlic, celery
• Pickle relish
Use some pre-prepared foods that can take the place of several ingredients. Compare the labels on the various brands and varieties as the sodium level can vary significantly. Examples include:
• Sauces: spaghetti, pizza, marinara, enchilada
• Commercial salad dressings (flavorful, lower-fat varieties)
• Low-fat granola
• Pie dough, graham cracker crust, pizza dough
Consider seasoning blends. Examples include:
• Italian seasoning
• Salt-free blends – sample in the smallest container-size the first time.
Keep on hand ingredients that can be used several ways. Some of my favorites are:
• Vanilla and plain Greek Yogurt
• Diced tomatoes (no-added-salt)
• Canned beans (no-added salt)
Refrigerate some mixed foods (like dips) at least an hour, to allow flavors to blend.
Roast meats and vegetables until “caramelized” or browned. This brings out the flavor.
Thickening a soup without making a white sauce:
• Remove some of the soup solids and liquid and puree in a blender. Cooking Light magazine (March 2003) warns when blending hot liquids to use caution because steam can increase the pressure inside the blender and blow the lid off. They advise filling the blender no more than half full and blending in batches, if necessary. And, while blending, hold a potholder or towel over the lid.
• Sprinkle on some instant mashed potato flakes at the end and stir. Add more until you get the consistency you want.
The first thing that attracted me to this recipe was the name and the fact I didn’t have to peel the potatoes! Plus, while the potatoes were boiling, I could gather the other ingredients and clean up my preparation dishes and utensils.
Potatoes have gotten a bad rep as being “fattening” – however as you
can see from the nutritional information, potatoes can make a delicious side dish that is reasonable in calories, low in cholesterol and high in potassium.
My omelets end up looking like scrambled eggs. So … I was very pleasantly surprised when I tried this recipe for “Microwave Mexican Omelet” from the American Egg Board. It takes 1 minute to prepare and 2-1/2 minutes to cook.You cook it in a pie plate.
I’ve always liked eggs — they’re an inexpensive source of high quality protein and a source of Vitamin D and choline. Plus, they weigh in at only 70 calories per egg.
After my successful experience making an omelet in the microwave, I decided to try a recipe for scrambled eggs. As the photo shows, these turn out great, also. Plus, they take just a few minutes to make. This is now my go-to method for scrambling eggs for myself. Use this American Egg Board recipe for Basic Microwave Scrambled Eggs.
Have you ever looked in your fridge and found a little bit of this and a little bit of that? And … it should all be used … SOON!
When that happens, I often make potato salad! (Note: Potatoes should be stored in a cool dry place in your house for best quality … not in the refrigerator.)
Follow these quick “1 … 2 … 3” steps!
After my cooked* potatoes had cooled slightly, I cubed them and sprinkled them with a bit of apple cider vinegar — for added flavor — while they were still warm. (Tip: You can leave the skins on young, tender potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes).
While the potatoes were cooking, I cleaned and prepared the following ingredients from my fridge. Use your own preference as to amounts of ingredients.
Onions (part of an already cut onion in the fridge)
The last step was combining the potatoes and veggies with mayonnaise. Or, use your favorite homemade or purchased potato salad dressing. Then, chill your potato salad for about an hour before serving, to let the flavors meld.
Some other foods you can add to potato salads include:
My husband and I enjoy eating healthy foods, but they must taste good and be quick to prepare.
My goal with Cook It Quick is: Making you hungry for healthy food!
Follow along as I share recipes and kitchen tricks that help you enjoy the same types of foods. And though I am a registered dietitian and University of Nebraska-Lincoln extension educator, all my recipes must pass inspection by my toughest critic … my husband!