CSA Week 17: Snack-Time’s Favorite Whole Grain

By Kelli Swensen, Dietetics Student, Sargent College

Although I’m excited to start baking with pumpkin and enjoying more hot beverages, October marks the last month of CSA boxes. I hope you all have enjoyed the CSA posts and have discovered new fruits and vegetables and ways to prepare them that you love!

In this week’s CSA box: 4 ears Sweet Corn, 1 Eggplant, 5 Sweet Peppers, 1 lb. Tomatoes, 1 bunch Carrots, 1 bunch Popcorn, ¼ head of Cabbage, 2 lbs Potatoes, 1 Festival Squash, 6 Apples from Carver hill Orchard

Cabbage: Although cabbage has a somewhat simple reputation, rarely considered as one of the “exciting” vegetables, it is health powerhouse. Cabbage is rich in glucosinolates, which have cancer preventive properties, as well as many fiber-related components, vitamins, and minerals. To store a partial head of cabbage, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and place in your refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. Cabbage does tend to go bad quickly after being cut, so have a couple of cabbage-containing recipes on hand for the week! To prepare cabbage, be sure to first wash it. To retain the most nutrients, steam the chopped cabbage pieces for 3-5 minutes.

Need a recipe idea? Check out RD Laura Judd’s Southwestern Corn and Black Bean Salad

I’m sure most of you have heard the advice to eat more whole grains. Many whole grain choices are obvious: brown rice, whole wheat sandwich bread, whole wheat pasta; but some whole grains are not as obvious, such as popcorn. A perfect study or late-night snack, popcorn is a whole grain, and when prepared with little added fat, salt, or sugar, is a healthy option for when the munchies hit.

Although those microwavable bags are convenient, buying large containers of regular popcorn kernels will save you a lot of money, and you’ll have more control over what’s added to it.

How to pop popcorn:

(Makes 2 quarts)

  • 3 T canola oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 3-quart covered saucepan
  • Flavorings*

1.        Heat oil in saucepan on medium high heat

2.       Put 3 or 4 kernels into the oil and cover the pan

3.       When the kernels pop, add the rest of the kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove pan from heat, and count 30 seconds. Do not skip this step! It ensures that all the kernels pop at the same time so you don’t end up with some burnt.

4.       Return the pan to the heat. When the kernels really start popping, gently move the pan back and forth over the burner. Once popping slows to having a couple of seconds between pops, remove pan from heat, remove lid, and pour immediately into a bowl.

5.       Now the fun part: flavoring! You can sprinkle on any spice you desire: salt, cinnamon, curry powder, chili pepper, there are a bunch of options.

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