"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"
-Margaret Mead

Friday, August 26, 2011

Snacks in Hand

Today we've got delicious recipes to help you send your child back to school. A PB + J is always a favorite, but why not mix it up? Things like homemade granola bars can be fun to make together and it can be done ahead of time so you have a little less to worry about during your week.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Beet Muffins

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup canola oil

2 cups applesauce

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup water

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup shredded peeled beets

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 24 muffin cups

2. Mix the whole wheat flour, rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the canola oil, applesauce, sugar, eggs, and water. Pour the applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Gently fold in the blueberries and shredded beats. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

3. Bake in the preheated oven until browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cranberry Nut Granola Bars Recipe

2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1 cup mixed nuts

1 cup dried cranberries

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a 13x9-inch pan with lightly-greased parchment paper; an inch or so of parchment paper should stick up on 2 sides to form lifting handles.

2. Mix the quick-cooking oats, old-fashioned oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, mixed nuts, cranberries, and sweetened condensed milk together in a bowl; spread into the prepared pan, evenly pressing into the corners and out to the sides.

3. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden brown, 20-25 minutes, using slightly less time for chewier bars and slightly more time for crunchier bars.

4. Allow the the bars cool for 5 minutes in the pan before using the parchment paper to lift them from the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars. Let the bars cool completely and store in an airtight container.

recipes from allrecipes.com

Friday, August 19, 2011

Simply Summer

Wowza! The summer sure has gone quick, and now school is right around the corner. You know what that means? We've got to enjoy these fresh foods while we've got them! This week is brought to you by meals that have LOTS of tasty fresh ingredients in them. Don't think that means it has to be complicated. These dishes sure pack in lots of good colors, but aren't too much of a time suck to take over your night. Enjoy the rest of summer and watch for tips on how to store all these fresh foods to enjoy the rest of the year.

Southwestern Corn Chowder

½ cup sweet onion (chopped)

Sauté in 1 Tbsp olive oil in soup pot till soft

2 ½ cups corn (option to grill for a nice flavor)

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

add and cook 10 min. remove 1 cup of soilids with about 1/3 cup broth and place in blender or food processor- till smooth. Return the purée to soup pot and heat until NEARLY boiling.

1 medium red sweet pepper

1 small tomato

stir in and heat another minute

½ fresh lime – juice

3 Tbsp fresh cilantro

Squeeze lime into soup and top with cilantro immediately before serving.

Garnish individual bowls with Tabasco pepper sauce, lime wedges and a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream.

Summer Garden Ratatouille

2 onions (chopped)

3 cloves garlic (minced)

1 bay leaf

Sauté in 3 Tbsp olive oil for ~5 min

1 medium eggplant (chopped)

1 ½ Tbsp fresh basil (chopped)

1 Tbsp fresh rosemary (chopped)

1 ½ tsp salt

1 tsp fresh marjoram (chopped)

Add cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until eggplant is soft (15- 20 min)

2 summer squash (chopped)

2 green, orange or red sweet peppers (strips)

2 cups tomatoes (chopped)

Add and simmer until peppers and squash are tender (~10 min). Serve Over pasta or polenta sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley, black olives or freshly grated parmesan cheese.

*"Simply in Season" by Lind, Hackman-Wert

Friday, August 12, 2011

Snacks You Can't Beet

Beet Hummus

1/2 pound beets (about 4 medium sized beets), scrubbed clean, cooked, peeled,

and cubed*

2 Tbsp tahini sesame seed paste

5 Tbsp lemon juice

1 small clove garlic, chopped

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp lemon zest (zest from approx. 2 lemons)

Generous pinch of sea salt or Kosher salt

Fresh ground pepper to taste

*To cook the beets, cut off any tops, scrub the roots clean, put them in a

covered dish with about 1/4-inch of water in a 375 F oven, and cook until easily

penetrated with a knife or fork. Alternatively, cover with water in a saucepan

and simmer until tender, about 1/2 hour. Peel once they have cooled.


Place all ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until smooth.

Taste and adjust seasonings and ingredients as desired.

Chill and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer


Eat with pita chips, or with sliced cucumber or celery, or on a crostini with

goat cheese and shaved mint.

Makes 2 cups.

From: KELLY AKKERMAN at Malek Family Stewardship Farm

Pickled Beets

Scrub beets. Leave on tails and 2-3 in. of tops. Place beets in tall pot. Add water to halfway. Boil until fork tender (1-2 hrs). Drain and set aside beet juice. Run cold water over hot beets while sliding off skins with hands. Slice or dice to your preferred shape!

3 cups white vinegar

2 ½ cups brown sugar

2 cups beet juice (left from cooking)

1 cinnamon stick

6 whole garlic cloves

1 ½ tsp salt

Combine in a large soup pot. Add sliced or diced beets and bring to a boil (3-5 minutes). Cool. Beets mat be kept covered and refrigerated for 4-6 weeks.

To keep for longer and into the winter, place hot bets and liquid into hot canning jars and seal with sterilized lids and rings. For more canning and preserving tips, head over to Pick Your Own

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Smart Dining Near You

The average American eats outside of their home for almost half of their dining. That sure is a lot! While it's nice to get out of the house and sit down with friends and family, it’s often harder to eat healthy when dining out because you have no part in the creation. Wait a minute!? What if restraints decided to make healthy options available and easy to find?

It is real! Many restaurants in Wood County and the central Wisconsin area are joining a program making it easier to eat out and stay healthy. The Smart Meal program was created by the Wood County Health Department as a designation that ensure certain nutritional qualities of a meal (listed below).

These are some of the restraints to already join the smart meal program. Haven’t tried any of these places yet? Dine on the town and try a smart meal to mix up your norm.

The Blue Heron Brew Pub in Marshfield

Hidden Creek Kitchens by ODC in Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids

Red Mill Supper Club in Stevens Point

Jamaican Kitchen in Wisconsin Rapids

Wishing your favorite restaurant was on the list? Ask them about their meals and if they've thought of making it easier for their customers to be healthy by making Smart Meals. You can at least get them thinking!

As for what that fancy sticker really means? Read below for the nutrition you’ll be getting from a fun meal out with the family:

For adult meals to qualify for the Smart Meal™ program they must contain:

  • Two servings or more of beans, whole grains, fruits, or vegetables.* One serving may be substituted for a serving of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk product.
  • 700 calories or fewer.
  • 30 percent or less of total calories from fat or 23 grams or fewer of total fat.
  • 10 percent or less of calories from saturated fat or 8 grams or fewer of saturated fat.
  • 0.5 grams or fewer of trans fat (no added or artificial trans fat).
  • 1,500 mg or fewer of sodium.

For kids meals to qualify for the Smart Meal™ program they must contain:

  • Two servings or more of beans, whole grains, fruits or vegetables.* One serving may be substituted for a serving of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk product.
  • 400-600 calories or fewer.
  • 30 percent or less of total calories from fat or 13-20 grams or fewer of total fat.
  • 10 percent or less of calories from saturated fat or 4-7 grams or fewer of saturated fat.
  • 0.5 grams or fewer of trans fat (no added or artificial trans fat).
  • 600-800 mg or fewer of sodium.

Learn More: Get Active Webpage

Friday, August 5, 2011

No Red Dye #40 Here

Time for some messy red fun! Beets are a fun different food to cook with. Beets have lots of important minerals in them like iron, potassium, magnesium, niacin as well as Vitamins A and C. This red veggie is full of dietary fiber, but very low on calories. They are great for heart health!

Here is some different recipes to try with a red flare. The grilled beets are easy to add when all the other veggies get on the grill! and since our nights are getting a little cooler (crosses fingers) we can start with the tasty soups again!

Have a fun and safe weekend at the farmers market.

Don't forget to enter our quiz for a chance to win a family 4 pack to the Rafters Game!

Grilled beets!

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.

Coat one side of a large piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Place beets and oil on foil; season with salt and pepper. Wrap foil over beets.

6 beets, scrubbed

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

salt and pepper to taste

Place packet on the grill grate. Cook 30 minutes, or until beets are very tender. Allow beets to cool about 5 minutes before serving. You don't even need to peel to enjoy!

Bay Leaf Beet Soup

4 large red beets, trimmed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped leek

4 cloves garlic, chopped

4 cups vegetable broth

5 bay leaves, broken in half

1 pinch ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon dried basil

1 pinch ground cinnamon

1 pinch ground cumin

1 pinch dried tarragon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Wrap beets in foil.

Bake the beets until tender, about 1 hour; allow to cool, then peel the beets. Cut them into bite-size chunks.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, and cook the red onion, leek, and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in the vegetable broth, and mix in the beets, bay leaves, cinnamon, salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, cinnamon, cumin, and tarragon. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the flavors of the bay leaves and spices are blended, 20 to 25 minutes. Pick out bay leaves.

Ladle about 1/4 of the beets into a blender, and add soup liquid as needed to fill the blender about 1/4 full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Garden Knowledge

Happy August Gardeners!

We hope your gardens are thriving this summer. We want to help you maintain a successful garden for many more seasons. Three Got Dirt/Got Veggies trainings will be provided on the following dates/times and locations.

September 1st: 6pm-8pm


Childcare Centers of Marshfield - Site 2 Tiny Tigers

905 Tiny Tigers Ct. Marshfield, WI

September 26th: 6pm-8pm

Wisconsin Rapids

St. Lawrence Early Childhood Center

551 10th Ave. North

The trainings provide useful information about how to start/maintain a successful garden and what to do when it's harvest time.

If you are interested in attending one of the trainings above please let us know. Or, if you would like hands on assistance with your garden we are here to help.


Your Wood County Garden Team,

Elizabeth, Amelia, and Ryan

Contact: 715-498-6896 or email rmoll741@yahoo.com

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Let these lists give you a starting place for a healthy worksite makeover! You can use these lists to show that lots of healthy options are available for vending machines, there is a choice!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wellness Challenge Winners!

Congratulations to the Five Fayas Fanatic's from New Page. They won the Wood County Lifestyle Challenge by completing the most activities. You each won three personal training sessions at the YMCA in Wisconsin Rapids! Congratulations!

The Electric Girls from J& B Electric won the drawing for 2 nights of electric camping at any Wood County Park and Toni Joosten from MSTC won two tubing tickets at Powers Bluff. Congratulations to all the winners and thanks again for participating in the Wood County Lifestyle Challenge!

Our wellness challenge may be over for the summer, but yours doesn't have to end! Create teams in your family/neighborhood/work or make a personal challenge for yourself. See how many points you can get a day, how many can you get in a week?!

Here are some ideas for points, but think up some of your own thatwork best for your challenge:

1 point for 30 minutes of physical activity

1 point for a salad of fresh greens

1 point for a snack that is only fresh fruits and veggies

1 point for learning how to read food labels

1 point for going to your farmers market

1 point for attending a local food event or demonstration

1 point for learning about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

*HINT: our website has lots of resources to help you do ALL of these things! *