Enjoying pears in season

Various fresh whole pears.Fall is just around the corner and so is pear season! Pears look a lot like apples and have a unique taste that is sweet and delicious. Asian pears (which are round and yellow or brown) are best eaten when they’re still crispy, but most pears are better when they’re ripe and juicy. Pears ripen best once they are off the tree, so you can buy them at any stage of ripeness. Keep them at room temperature until they feel a little soft and smell sweet. Once they are ripe, store them in the refrigerator. Ripe pears are excellent snacks and are also great in fruit salad or baked for a side or dessert.  Try adding a sliced pear to a sandwich. However you prepare them, enjoy the delicious taste of pears this fall! 

Eating whole grains

Various dried grain kernels and ears of various grains.Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel and refined grains contain only the starchy part of the kernel. Whole grains have more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than refined grains. Some refined grains are “enriched,” which means a few of the vitamins and minerals are added back. However, fiber and many other nutrients are not. The nutrients found in whole grains are important for heart health and healthy digestion. Whole grains also help you manage your weight because they help you feel and stay full. You can add a variety of whole grains to your diet by cooking and eating brown rice, whole grain pasta, oats, quinoa, barley, and whole grain breads. Try several different whole grain products because the taste will vary with different brands. Get healthy with whole grains! 

Store memberships

Customer handing membership card to supermarket cashier.Memberships at grocery stores usually come with benefits that can save you money at the store. They are especially helpful if you do most of your shopping in one place. Benefits vary from store to store, but they usually include discounts on certain items, coupons, and cash back offers. Some store memberships also offer discounts at gas stations, restaurants, and local attractions. Many grocery store memberships are free, but memberships to “wholesale clubs” such as BJ’s or Costco usually have a fee. Wholesale clubs offer items at a discount because they are sold in bulk. Remember, for memberships that have a fee, you’re only saving money if you shop there often and if you can use the large quantities that they sell. It’s not a bargain if the food spoils before you can eat it all. Next time you go to the grocery store, ask the cashier about memberships and learn how you can save!

Making sandwiches

Apple slices and grilled chicken over lettuce in an open flour tortilla.Sandwiches make a quick, easy, and convenient meal. Here are some tips for inexpensive and healthy sandwich choices. Instead of deli meats, which are high in sodium and can be expensive, use fresh meat that you’ve cooked yourself. For example, try using leftover roast pork, sliced meatloaf, or grilled chicken on a sandwich. Salads like egg, tuna, or chicken are low-cost and easy to make, especially for a group. You can vary these salads by using different seasonings such as curry powder or chili powder. Adding fruits and vegetables is another way to vary your sandwiches, and make them even healthier. Try putting chopped red and green bell pepper in egg salad or apple slices on a roast pork sandwich. Follow these tips and enjoy healthier sandwiches today!

Enjoying zucchini in season

Grilled zucchini coins in a bowl.Zucchini is just like yellow summer squash but it’s green. It has a mild flavor, gets tender when you cook it, and makes a great side dish. Look for firm zucchini, and choose smaller ones because they have better flavor and smaller seeds inside. To prepare zucchini, cut off the ends and chop or slice it. Zucchini is great sautéed, steamed, roasted, or grilled. To grill zucchini, cut it into thick, flat, even slices and brush it with a little oil to keep it from sticking. Try cooking it with fresh herbs like basil or rosemary. Enjoy zucchini on its own or with other summer vegetables like tomato, onion, and eggplant!