SUNCHOKES: RECIPE FOR HEALTH

By Peggy Crum, MA, RD, Health4U Nutritionist

SunchokesDo you know these gnarly little tubers as sunchokes or as Jerusalem artichokes? Or maybe you don’t know them at all! Jerusalem artichokes are not from Jerusalem and they are not artichokes. So the story goes, the Jerusalem part of their name comes from the Italian word for sunflower, girasole (pronounced jerr-uh-so-lay) which sounds a lot like Jerusalem. The artichoke part of the name seems more credible. While artichokes and Jerusalem artichokes are quite different from one another, they are cousins in the sunflower family and taste a lot alike. Since Jerusalem artichokes are native to North America, it seems only right to correct the misnomer and call them sunchokes.

Sunchokes have a distinctive flavor that is nutty and delicately sweet. Like potatoes, sunchokes are a starchy root vegetable but different in that their carbohydrate is mainly inulin (not to be confused with insulin). Inulin is not easily digested in some people giving rise to yet another name for this tuber—fartichokes. Best to take the cautious approach and start with small amounts if you never ate them before. The culinary benefit of inulin is a smooth and pleasant mouth feel.

You will find sunchokes in the produce department of most supermarkets. Choose plump-looking tubers. Avoid any that are sprouting, green tinged, shriveled  or molding. Wrapped in heavy plastic, they will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

To prepare, scrub them clean using a vegetable brush under running water. They do not need to be peeled. If you peel or cut into them, place them in a bowl of water with lemon juice or vinegar added to keep them from turning dark. Served raw, they add crunch similar to water chestnuts. Sunchokes sliced thin and cooked in oil or butter until golden brown and crisp makes a delicious appetizer or side dish. Steaming or boiling is an option but don’t expect them to cook evenly—some will remain firm while others soften.

Join Culinary Services Corporate Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski from 12:10 - 12:50 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8, at the Demonstration Kitchen in Brody Square as he demonstrates his twice cooked sunchokes recipe during the Health4U Recipe for Health program. Try the sunchokes during lunch at Brody Square, Riverwalk Market at Owen Hall and The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips.

Can’t make it to Brody Square for the event? Join us online for an MSU Alumni Association LENS live stream presentation. Learn more by watching this trailer and view the live stream here: http://new.livestream.com/msualumni/Sunchokes.

ALL ABOUT THE BONES

By Gina Keilen, Culinary Services Registered Dietitian

Most of you are about smackdab in the middle of optimal growth time for your bones—it starts in adolescence and goes until about age 30. At that point, we start losing more of our bone structure than we are building and if we lose too much, we are at risk for more breaks, fractures or osteoporosis. 

It can be hard to imagine it with being in the middle of your college years, but what you do now greatly impacts how your frame grows and supports you as you age into adulthood and beyond. This is especially true for women who tend to lose bone density a little faster than men. Think of it similar to your bank account … when you are young, you are told to put money into your retirement account so it’s there when you get older and need it. Same with looking at your bone health—put the nutrients in now, so they are still there and strong when you get older.

So, what can you do about it now? Like most other avenues for health, it’s a combination of diet and exercise. Calcium and vitamin D are big contributors to bone health. Unfortunately, most of us don’t get enough calcium in our diets, and being in Michigan, we can be shy on the vitamin D. Luckily, there are other ways to get stronger bones and keep them there.

  • Weight-bearing exercises—these are exercises that are using your own body’s weight. It can be walking, running, playing basketball, ultimate frisbee, dancing, and the list goes on.
  • Amp up your calcium—the motto of three-a-day rings true when it comes to bone health. Getting three servings of dairy (milk, cheese, dark leafy greens, almonds, beans, tofu, etc.) each day is recommended. And with the weather getting warmer, get outside … vitamin D from the sun helps with calcium absorption. If you have a dairy allergy, our dining halls offer non-dairy milks and yogurts that can help your get your three servings.
  • Watch what your habits—drinking pop (both diet and regular) can hurt your bones and pull out some of the calcium. The same goes for drinking alcohol and smoking.
  • Shake the salt—the more salt you ingest, the more calcium you’ll lose. Try rinsing your canned goods, limiting your processed foods and watch what foods you salt.

There aren’t really any warning signs for osteoporosis or losing bone strength. It’s typically found out after a break or fracture has already happened. Making sure you take care of your body now can help prevent that unwelcomed surprise … no bones about it! 

Registered Dietitian Gina Keilen, "What you do now greatly impacts how your frame grows and supports you as you age into adulthood and beyond."

Gina Keilen is a registered dietitian and culinary coordinator for Culinary Services. If you have food allergies or intolerances, or are required to follow a special diet, Gina can help provide you with resources and information to help you make safe choices while still having a great dining experience when you Eat at State. Gina can also help you to eat healthy—our dining halls offer an incredible amount of all-you-care-to-eat options. Since many of our platforms offer made-to-order dining, you are in control of what you eat and how much, and Gina can help you decide what is right for you.

SPRING HAS SPRUNG AT STARBUCKS

Spring has finally made an appearance on MSU’s campus—as well as at our on-campus Starbucks locations.

New at Starbucks: Cold Brew Iced Coffee. Starbucks has combined coarse ground coffee and cool water, using time instead of heat to extract the coffee. The coffee is brewed in small batches and steeped overnight for 20 hours. The result? Rich and balanced flavors for a sweet and smooth tasting iced coffee.

For those who prefer tea, the Teavana Shaken Peach Green Tea Lemonade is back! This returning favorite offers refreshing layers of sweet peach, ginger notes, Teavana green tea and a hint of citrus, shaken with ice.

Left to right: Cold Brew Iced Coffee with milk, Teavana Shaken Peach Green Tea, Cold Brew Iced Coffee.
L-R: Cold Brew Iced Coffee with milk, Teavana Shaken Peach Green Tea
and Cold Brew Iced Coffee.

In a hurry? Grab a ready-to-drink Evolution Fresh Sweet Berry, new at Starbucks. This delicious blend includes sweet strawberries, blueberries and raspberries—perfect for getting more fruit servings into your daily routine.

Enjoy any drink with a slice of the Reduced-Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake with streusel topping, a returning favorite.

Evolution Fresh Sweet Berry and the Reduced-Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake outside of Starbucks at Wells Hall.
Evolution Fresh Sweet Berry and the Reduced-Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake
outside of Starbucks at Wells Hall.

For your enjoyment at home, the Starbucks Tribute Blend is back at Starbucks. This dark roasted, full-bodied coffee features dark cherry and spice notes. At-home packages are available at the Wells Hall location.

April 9-11, 2015: Buy One Get One Teavana Oprah Cinnamon Chai Latte. Buy any Teavana Oprah Cinnamon Chai Latte and get one free, same size or smaller. This offer is valid April 9-11, from 2 to 5 p.m. The beverage can be iced or hot. Offer not valid on Classic Chai.    

Do want to hold onto winter a little longer? You can get Starbucks' Gingerbread Latte or Frappuccino for 50 percent off, while supplies last.

Starbucks is located at Wells Hall and the Broad College of Business, as well as the Broad Art Museum Café Proudly Serving Starbucks! Visit www.eatatstate.com/content/starbucks for our Starbucks hours of operation.

THE GALLERY EXECUTIVE CHEF ERIC BATTEN EARNS SILVER MEDAL AT NACUFS CULINARY CHALLENGE

On Sunday, March 22, The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips Executive Chef Eric Batten competed before a live audience at The National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) Midwest Region Culinary Challenge. Sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), the competition recognizes outstanding food preparation and presentation skills in collegiate dining services.

During the Culinary Challenge, nine competitors prepared complete meals featuring buffalo flank. Chef Batten prepared “Deconstructed Taco – Smoked Buffalo Flank,” made with pickled pico, roasted corn masa points, tostones and adobo sauce.

“I really like south of the border flavors,” said Chef Batten. I have fair knowledge of the profile—it's what I like to cook, so I aimed for that direction.”

Chef Batten earned an ACF silver medal, placing second in the competition. “I am most proud of the flavors of my dish,” Chef Batten said. “I know it tasted great. During the critique with the judges, they made a comment that my total flavor was spot-on and my sauce was the best sauce they have tasted during a competition in a long time. That works for me!”

Chef Batten prepared for the competition for months. “I practiced a lot,” said Chef Batten. “I competed in a few NACUFS competitions in my early career. The best advice I got was practice, just like it if it was a musical instrument, sport, etc. Practice until you can do it naturally.”

Culinary Services is very proud of Chef Batten! Congratulations!

Chef Batten with his silver medal and NACUFS Culinary Challenge certificate

OLIVE OIL: RECIPE FOR HEALTH

By Peggy Crum, MA, RD, Health4U Nutritionist

Olive OilThanks to recent debunking of low-fat recommendations, we can now eat olive oil and other fats without trepidation. At the heart of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats. Yet olive oil does not have a lock on monounsaturated fats. Other oils such as canola and peanut are also very good sources. Olive oil’s uniqueness is that it is extracted from fruit while other oils come from dry grains and nuts. Olives are harvested when they are just beginning to turn from green to purple, the stage when they have reached their peak of fruitiness and have that highly valued green aroma.

Oil from the first cold pressing of the olives is the most delicate and stable. The green-gold color comes from fragments of fruit and leaves giving the oil not only color but also phytonutrients and flavor. This oil is labeled “extra virgin olive oil, first cold press.” More oil is extracted with additional pressings and may be labeled “extra virgin olive oil” or “virgin olive oil” depending on its free fatty acid content. Heat treating the remaining olive paste allows more oil to be extracted; this refined oil is labeled “pure” and is often blended with virgin oil to give it flavor.

When it comes to storage, the unrefined nature of virgin olive oils is both desirable and undesirable. Their stability comes from the antioxidants that give them their beautiful color and flavor. Yet this same color makes them vulnerable to damage from light. Bottom line, store extra virgin olive oil in opaque containers away from sunlight and heat.

Reserve richly flavored extra virgin olive oil for making vinaigrettes and hummus, drizzling on vegetables, and dipping bread. For uses involving heat, you could use pure olive oil but the smoke point of olive oil is only 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on desired flavor, you could choose canola or peanut oil. They are less flavorful but tolerate more heat.

Join Culinary Services Corporate Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski from 12:10 - 12:50 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, at the Demonstration Kitchen in Brody Square as he demonstrates his olive oil poached chicken recipe during the Health4U Recipe for Health program. Try the chicken during lunch at Brody Square, Riverwalk Market at Owen Hall and The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips.

Can’t make it to Brody Square for the event? Join us online for an MSU Alumni Association LENS live stream presentation. Learn more by watching this trailer and view the live stream here: http://new.livestream.com/msualumni/OliveOil.