YARDLONG BEANS: RECIPE FOR HEALTH

By Peggy Crum, MA, RD, Health4U Nutritionist

Yardlong BeansHad Jack’s beanstalk not been chopped, he might have seen yardlong beans dangling from the vine. These fast-growing bean pods will gain several inches in length on a warm summer day. While they are long, yard-long may be a bit of a stretch. Consumers prefer yardlong beans when the pods are 10 to 20 inches in length and about as thick as a pencil. By the time they’re 3 feet long, the once-edible pods have become swollen with “shellies,” that is, mature edible beans inside the pods, good only for shelling.

Yardlong beans go by various names including Chinese long beans, asparagus beans, garter beans and snake beans. Like snap green beans and string beans, yardlong beans are the immature pods of vining plants. As such, they look quite a lot alike. But that’s where the similarities end. Set your expectations for an entirely different vegetable. They have a mild asparagus flavor and their texture tends to be dry, not sweet and juicy like typical green beans.

Select flexible, bright green bean pods that are half-a-yard long more or less, nice and smooth without the bumps and bulges that are a sure sign of maturing beans inside the pods. Even when fresh, limpness and wrinkles are to be expected. They’ll keep five days if stored in a zipper-lock bag in your refrigerator’s vegetable drawer.

To prepare yardlong beans, wash and dry them, then lay them out nice and straight, side-by-side for ease in cutting into uniform lengths. From there, unlike typical green beans that need blanching, steaming, or boiling, yardlong beans prefer to never touch cooking water. Great for stir fries, they are a veritable staple in Asian cuisine. A classic preparation method is to deep-fry them first, then add them back to the stir-fry pot with a sauce made of stock or coconut milk. They turn an enticing dark green when cooked.

Join Culinary Services Corporate Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski from 12:10 - 12:50 p.m. on Wednesday, October 21, at the Demonstration Kitchen in Brody Square as he demonstrates his Thai braised yardlong beans recipe during the Health4U Recipe for Health program. Try the beans during lunch at Brody Square and Riverwalk Market at Owen Hall.

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://livestream.com/msualumni/LongBeans.

TOASTED GRAHAM LATTE HAS ARRIVED AT STARBUCKS

The new Toasted Graham Latte and Toasted Graham Frappuccino have arrived at our on-campus Starbucks, joining the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Salted Caramel Mocha and new fall cups and sleeves to welcome autumn.

The Toasted Graham Latte is a blend of espresso, steamed milk and a toasted graham sauce that has notes of sweet cream and graham, topped with cinnamon sugar and graham crumbles.

Toasted Graham Latte at Starbucks at Wells.

Reminder: National Coffee Day is September 29. Stay tuned for details about how Starbucks is going to make this day extra special.

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

IS FRESH BEST?

By Gina Keilen, Culinary Services Registered Dietitian 

It’s a well-known fact for most people that fruits and veggies are good things to eat. We, in Michigan, are wrapping up a pretty great, however short-lived, time when fresh produce is available. Gardens are getting picked over, farmers markets are closing, and the local options in our grocery stores may not be as plentiful. With fall and winter soon approaching, is the fresh option at the store still the best? Not necessarily.

Getting fruits or veggies in forms other than fresh is not a bad thing at all. It’s likely to actually be better for you. Especially in the months when Michigan produce is not the best, the canned, frozen, or dried alternatives were packaged at their peak nutritional value so they are likely to have more vitamins and minerals than off-season fresh foods. When produce has to be shipped from around the world to come here, it is picked so it can ripen while it travels, but that’s before the nutritional quality can develop and it never recovers. So, the fresh fruit may look amazing and ripe, but nutritionally, it’s not quite as pretty. Not only this, but buying produce out of season can be costly. With most people on college campuses counting pennies, buying them in other forms may help. Canned, frozen or dried fruits and veggies also have longer shelf lives. There is nothing more disappointing than buying fresh food with good intentions, just to throw them out because you didn’t eat them before they spoiled.

Lucky for us on campus, we have the MSU Student Organic Farm and the Bailey GREENHouse & Urban Farm that help supply some of our halls with fresh produce year-round. We also offer fresh fruit (both whole and cut up) in all our dining halls at all three meals, 100 percent valencia orange juice and apple juice in our dining halls, fruit and yogurt smoothies in several halls, or you can visit Sparty’s for a veggie cup or 100 percent fruit and vegetable drink.

Some people have a hard time getting past the stigma of canned or frozen foods. What’s important to remember is it doesn’t matter which way you eat your fruits and veggies … something is better than nothing and it’s eating them that’s the important part! 

Gine Keilen pull quote from article

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.

RECIPE FOR HEALTH: APPLES

By Peggy Crum, MA, RD, Health4U Nutritionist

ApplesMichigan’s apple season starts in August, really gets going in September, and continues well into October. Thanks to controlled atmosphere storage, it’s unlikely that one bad apple will spoil the whole barrel. Freshly harvested apples are put to sleep until it’s time to go to market. MSU researchers have perfected this process, now used industry-wide, so you can say, “How ‘bout them apples” year-round.

If you grew up with a backyard apple tree, you probably used the same kind of apple for every purpose. We ate an apple a day and gave some away! With 20 commercially grown varieties of Michigan apples and hundreds of cultivars available from family farms, there is no need to compare apples and oranges. This guide compares apples to apples, a great way to view the features of the most common and popular Michigan-grown apple varieties. With so many varieties, it seems a shame not to try a little of each, dabbling in the wide array from sweet to tart, crunchy to soft, big red to little green apples. Not to upset your apple cart, but you may want to try something new that you find at the farmers market. The growers can tell you the qualities and how best to use them.

If you like to pick your own apples, keep in mind that apples continue to ripen after harvest, particularly the late varieties, such as Delicious, Ida Red, Fuji and Braeburn. Bite into one you just picked and you’ll no doubt be sorely disappointed. During ripening, starches break down into sugars producing a fruit with a sweeter taste. Some apples need to be stored for a number of weeks before they are palatable. Fresh from the market, they’re ready to eat. Keep your apples refrigerated as they will overripen quickly when stored on the countertop.

This month’s recipe may not be as American as apple pie, but it’s a great way to enjoy the taste of autumn and just may become the apple of your eye.

Join Culinary Services Corporate Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski from 12:10 - 12:50 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16, at the Demonstration Kitchen in Brody Square as he demonstrates his baked stuffed apples recipe during the Health4U Recipe for Health program. Try the apples during lunch at Brody Square and Riverwalk Market at Owen Hall.

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://livestream.com/msualumni/apples.

STARBUCKS: WARMLY, FALL

MSU’s on-campus Starbucks welcomes students back for the Fall 2015 semester with a new menu that is warmly fall.

A customer favorite for 12 years, the Pumpkin Spice Latte—a blend of espresso and steamed milk, pumpkin and traditional fall spice flavors, topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice—is back. Made with real pumpkin from California, this fall beverage is also available as a Frappuccino.

For a limited time, the Salted Caramel Mocha is back. This fall beverage combines espresso, mocha sauce, toffee nut syrup and steamed milk and is topped with whipped cream, caramel drizzle and sea-salt topping. On a warm day, try the Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino. If you don’t like coffee—the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate is the perfect alternative.

Salted Caramel Mocha and Pumpkin Spiced Latte at Well Hall Starbucks

Seasonal bakery favorites have made their way back to Starbucks and are a perfect complement to the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Try this customer favorite: the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin, topped with cream cheese filling and caramelized pepitas, or the Pumpkin Scone, the Pecan Tart or the Washington Apple Pound Cake.

Starbucks fall pastries

If you want to make your favorite beverages at home, pick up some packaged coffee or Starbucks VIA Ready Brew. The flavors of fall include the Starbucks Anniversary Blend—fresh, herbal earthy notes combined with the spicy depth of Starbucks rare aged Sumatra. The Starbucks VIA Pumpkin Spice Latte and the Starbucks VIA Instant French Roast Coffee have returned, allowing you to brew your favorite fall latte and French roast coffee at home.

Anniversary Collection merchandise is available at the Wells Hall Starbucks. Enjoy the last four mugs of the Coffee Artisans Series, the navy Beaded Badge Tumbler, the Stainless Steel Embossed Logo Tumbler in burnt sienna and more.

Anniversary Blend stand in Wells Starbucks

Be in the know! September 19 through 22, you can purchase the Toasted Graham Latte early by request before the beverage is officially launched on September 23!

National Coffee Day is September 29. Stay tuned for details about how Starbucks is going to make this day extra special.

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