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Cleveland County Kitchen – Did You Know?

Cleveland County Kitchen – Did You Know?

Written by: Nancy Abasiekong
Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
N.C. Cooperative Extension, Cleveland County Center
nancy_abasiekong@ncsu.edu

August 2020 CCK – Green Beans

Did You Know?

Green beans
  • Green bean, string bean, snap bean – they’re all the same!
  • Green beans are tasty, low in calories, and provide many valuable nutrients!
  • Green beans grow in summer and early fall.
  • Green beans are so tender we eat the whole pod, along with the little beans inside.
  • Green beans are crunchy and make great dippers. Try them with your favorite low-fat dip or salad dressing.

September 2020 CCK – Okra

Did You Know?

Okra

  • Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is a warm-season crop that belongs to the mallow family, which includes hibiscus and cotton.
  • Okra is considered a vegetable, but is botanically a fruit. It is known for its characteristic sticky center that can become gooey when cooked.
  • Okra comes in two colors – red and green, which taste the same. Red okra turns green when cooked. Select young, tender pods that are 2-4 inches long.
  • Okra is a nutritious vegetable that contains vitamins K, C, and A, folate, and 3 other B vitamins, and the minerals: magnesium, calcium, and potassium. It is also a good source of fiber and has some protein.
  • Okra is thought to have originated from South Asia or western Africa and Ethiopia.
  • Okra is known as “gumbo” or “lady’s fingers” in various parts of the world.
  • Okra was mentioned by Thomas Jefferson and was grown in the vegetable gardens at Monticello.
  • Okra is versatile and can be eaten raw, roasted, sautéed, fried, steamed, and as a thickener in gumbo.

October 2020 CCK – Herbs

drying herbs

Did You Know… Herbs

  • Herbs are plants that are grown for their medicinal, aromatic, and/or seasoning uses.
  • Herbs have been used by all cultures since before recorded history.
  • Herbs are used to add flavor, aroma, and color to foods and beverages.
  • Herbs should be harvested just prior to blooming, which is when the essential oils are at their peak.
  • Herbs should be harvested early in the morning, after the dew dries, but before the heat of the day.
  • Herbs and spices can sometimes replace or reduce salt and sugar in foods.
  • Drying is the traditional method for preserving herbs. Herbs can also be frozen.
  • Dried herbs store well for up to one year.
  • Herbs can be used fresh and dried. For most herbs, 3 teaspoons fresh = 1 teaspoon dried
  • Chives, a perennial herb, is the smallest member of the onion family.
  • Chives have showy lavender flowers that are edible and often used in salads.
  • Many herbs can be used in potpourris and sachets.

CCK – November 2020 / Turkey – Deep Fried Turkey

Did You Know these Facts About Turkey and Safe Turkey Frying?checking roast turkey temperature with a meat thermometer

  • Poultry, which includes turkey, is the #1 Agricultural Industry in North Carolina.
  • North Carolina is ranked #2 Nationally in Total Turkey Production.
  • The turkey industry produces more than 5.3 billion pounds of turkey products each year.
  • According to the NC Poultry Federation, Americans consume approximately 17 pounds of turkey per person each year.
  • Turkey is a nutritious and lean protein that can be enjoyed in many delicious ways.
  • When preparing turkey – remember the 3 Ts:

Thawing (safest way to thaw is in the refrigerator),

Thermometer (cook to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F), and

Timing – store leftovers within 2 hours and use within 3-4 days. Freeze for longer storage.

  • When deep frying a turkey, select a cooking container large enough to fit the turkey and avoid any overflow of oil.
  • Place the fryer on a level, flat surface to prevent tipping over.
  • Only deep fry a completely thawed and dried-off turkey to prevent any moisture from reacting with hot oil.
  • For safety, set up turkey frying at least 10 feet from your home, other structures, cars, pets, and children.
  • Never leave the turkey unattended while cooking.
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a grease fire.

CCK – December 2020 / Pork

Did You Know these Facts About Pork?Hog

  • Swine were among the first animals to be domesticated — around 6,000 years ago. The Chinese were the first to raise wild pigs for food.
  • Bacon is one of the oldest processed meats in history. The Chinese began salting pork bellies as early as 1500 BC.
  • The Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto brought the first swine to the New World in 1539.
  • Female swine are called sows. Sows give birth to litters of pigs twice a year. Each litter usually has eight to 12 baby pigs. Giving birth to baby pigs is called farrowing.
  • Baby pigs appear very greedy when they are competing for food from their mothers. For this reason, the words “pig” and “hog” have come to be associated with greedy behavior.
  • The average fat and cholesterol content of trimmed, lean pork is 31% lower today than it was 20 years ago.
  • Pork today is very lean and shouldn’t be overcooked. Cook pork roasts, tenderloins, and chops to an internal temperature of 145°F, followed by a three-minute rest time. Like all ground meat, ground pork, should be cooked to 160°.
  • In addition to protein, pork is an excellent source of zinc, vitamins B12 and B5, thiamine, and iron.
  • Pork is the most widely-eaten meat in the world (36%), according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, followed by poultry (33%), beef (24%), and goats/sheep (5%).
  • Pork is a very versatile meat — it can be marinated, dry rubbed, roasted, microwaved, grilled, skewered, pan-fried, stir-fried, boiled, barbecued, and baked.
  • Pork can be included on a heart-healthy diet with eight cuts considered lean or extra lean by USDA.
  • In 2018, North Carolina ranked in the top 5 pork-producing states in the US coming in at #4 – $1.46 billion.

CCK – January 2021 / Longhorn Beef

Did You Know these Facts About Longhorn Beef?

The following facts about Longhorn Beef are based on a 1989 report from Texas A&M: Nutritional Facts

  • Longhorn beef is one of the healthiest meat choices available to consumers today.
  • It is lower in total fat and saturated fat than most other cuts of beef.
  • It is lower in calories and cholesterol than chicken.
  • Longhorn beef is tender and tastes great.
  • Longhorn beef is “naturally lean” which means it has less marbling than regular beef.
  • Longhorn beef, like other red meats, offers many nutrients, including: protein, iron, and vitamin B12.
  • Because it has a lower fat content, longhorn beef cooks quickly. Be careful not to overcook.
  • Longhorn beef has limited shrinkage, which means the beginning and finished sizes are about the same (raw to cooked).
  • Use a meat thermometer to give better results for doneness.

Written By

Nancy Abasiekong, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionNancy AbasiekongExtension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences Call Nancy Email Nancy N.C. Cooperative Extension, Cleveland County Center
Page Last Updated: 3 months ago
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