‘Umeke

Providing the people of Hawaii with healthy alternatives in dining, catering, nutrition and wellness.


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Amaranth Breakfast Bowl

Amaranth Breakfast BowlAre you tired of oatmeal for your morning hot breakfast cereal? Wanna try something new? How about our NEW Amaranth Breakfast Bowl!

You may be asking yourself, “what’s amaranth?” Good question! Amaranth may be new to some of you so here we go.

Amaranth is a whole grain popular in Central and South American countries and other developing countries around the world. It’s only recently becoming better known here in the United States. According to the Whole Grain Council website, “Amaranth contains more than three times the average amount of calcium and is also high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.” It also has more protein than most other grains. Not to mention that it’s perfect for gluten-free diets.

If you are wondering about the texture, unlike standard (and even steel-cut) oatmeal which can be a little soggy and mushy, amaranth is more like grits, cream of wheat or quinoa. It’s a little grain that slightly “pops” which gives it a bright texture.

What about taste? There’s really no distinct taste, except when you add yummy fresh or dried fruit and honey to the cereal. Amaranth is great that way, you can have a different flavor depending on how you dress it up.

So if you want something new that’s packed full of nutrients, give our Amaranth Breakfast Bowl a try!

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Caring for your Reusable Grocery Bags

Reusable Grocery BagSalmonella? E. coli? You betcha!

As our State transitions from providing paper and plastic bags at the grocery store it’s important to know how to care for your reusable grocery bags. Most of us already use reusable bags on a regular basis, so this information may or may not be new to you.

According to Foodsafety.gov, “The fabric or materials in reusable grocery bags can get contaminated with germs like Salmonella or E. coli from food or other items. These germs could then cross-contaminate other food or items we carry in the reusable bag and make us sick.” YIKES!!!

Here are a few tips to ensure you, your family and your foods are safe:

  1. Wash often – Wash cloth bags in the washer (dry in dryer or air-dry) and scrub plastic lines ones (air-dry) with detergent. Make sure they are completely dry before you store them for the next use.
  2. Storage – Living in Hawaii, it’s hot and humid so store your bags in a cool, dry place, not your car, to prevent bacterial growth.
  3. Keep ‘um separated – Put your meats in those plastic disposable bags found in the produce or meat section to keep any leakage contained. Bring enough reusable bags to the store to keep your produce, meats and ready-to-go foods separated.
  4. Single-function – Bags are so multi-functional we put clothes, baby stuff (diapers), tools, etc. in them, but please use your grocery bags only for groceries to prevent cross-contamination.

 

Photo credit: http://bondwithkarla.com/reusable-shopping-bags/


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It’s Greek to me

Greek YogurtAs far as trends go, it’s all about the Greek. It seems that every conventional yogurt brand now has a Greek version, and with so many options out there, how do you know which one to get?

We came across this great article in the Better Homes and Gardens, June 2013 issue, which gives a little insight into choosing the right Greek yogurt. Besides the health benefits such as reducing LDL cholesterol, preventing hypertension, Greek yogurt is high in protein, probiotic, and low calorie and sugar snack (if you get the plain flavor.) According to the article, not all Greek yogurts are made equally.

Greek-style yogurt is made by straining out the liquid whey, lactose and sugar, which gives this yogurt a creamer, thicker consistency. “But some brands achieve that texture with fillers like gelatin, cornstarch, or milk protein concentrate.”

The article also mentions that “some brands of yogurt are treated with high heat to prolong their shelf life, a process that kills beneficial microbes.” Look for brands with the “Live & Active Cultures” seal, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration now requires a disclosure on those varieties that have been “heat-treated after culturing.”

So please look at the labels in selecting your Greek-style yogurt, you may not be getting what you pay for.