While the month of February is filled with thoughts of Valentine’s Day chocolates and wines it is important to also remember that it is Heart Month. Take some time to plan healthy menus and remember that eating nutritious foods is very important for a long and healthy life. Set a goal for February to include some heart healthy foods into your diet. And remember, because we live in Idaho where we grow a lot of delicious heart healthy foods you can eat local at the same time! Even in the dreary months of winter when local fresh produce is not in season, Idaho produces many other healthy options.
Ground flaxseed is high in Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. It can easily be added to your morning cereal, homemade muffins, and yogurt parfaits. Idaho Preferred member, Snake River Seed, has been growing and harvesting flax seed in Rupert, Idaho since 1974. You can find their golden, ground flaxseed through Idaho’s Bounty, at the Boise Co-Op, or at Whole Foods.
Oats and other whole grains are also good for your heart health. Oats are high in fiber and very versatile. Harvest Ridge Organics produces several products using whole grains and oats that they grow on their farm near Lewiston, Idaho. Harvest Ridge now produces organic oats that are available whole, steel-cut, or flaked. For more information on their products visit http://harvestridgeorganics.com/#products. Online ordering is coming soon or you can find them at the Lewiston and Moscow Farmers Markets and the Moscow Food Co-Op.
Idaho is the second largest producer of barley in the nation. While a lot of it is malted and used in beer making you can find pearled barley at some grocery stores or online. Barley is a great health addition to soups, stews and salads. Kauffman Farms located in Filer, Idaho makes a great “Hearty Barley” soup mix. To order their products visit http://www.kauffmanfarm.com/products.htm. You can find other great barley recipes at http://barley.idaho.gov/recipes.html.
Legumes, like beans and lentils, are another healthy addition to your diet. Beans and lentils are not only a lean vegetable protein and high in fiber, but also contain folate, magnesium, and potassium. Idaho dried beans and lentils are available year around. You can find them in bulk and packaged at Boise and Moscow Co-Ops and at farmers markets. Look for Zursun beans and lentils packaged at the Boise Co-op and at Whole Foods market. Follow the Idaho Bean Commission on Facebook for great recipes using Idaho beans.
Don’t forget the teff. Teff is high in calcium , with a cup of cooked teff offering 123mg, about the same amount of calcium as in a half-cup of cooked spinach. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C—a nutrient not commonly found in grains—and also a good source of iron. Idaho is lucky to have a teff grower. For more information on The Teff Company visit https://www.teffco.com/. You can also find it at several retailers.
For other great recipes using local ingredients visit www.idahopreferred.com and follow us on Facebook.
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