Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior NutritionistApples are amazing – sweet, tart, crunchy and crave-worthy! This is apple season, and we have the benefit of enjoying local apples and apple cider, especially the super crunchy, super juicy Snapdragon® born and raised in New York! Sweet and spicy, with hints of vanilla, it is a variety that has the bonus of being the product of a cross with the super popular Honey Crisp – YUM! Fun fact – New York ranks second in the U.S. for apple production, with more than 1 billion pounds grown each year! Apples are an important part of New York agriculture: Learn more at applesfromny.com. Apples bring a lot of health benefits to your family – high in soluble and insoluble fiber, they support weight loss, heart and digestive health. Science is uncovering more about their antioxidant powers, too – quercetin, catechin and chlorogenic acid add to the health properties of apples. Check out all of the great varieties we have at your local store, and don’t forget to try the Washington State star, the Piñata from Stemilt! This is a cross of 3 heirloom varieties that resulted in a classic crunchy, juicy apple, with a surprisingly tropical flavor twist! Great in salads, sandwiches, baking and snacking – learn more and find delicious recipes at https://www.stemilt.com/fruits/apples/pinata-apples/. #eatmoreapples! Our December home.grown. Brewer of the Month: Stony Creek Brewery! We love all things local, and one of our favorite sectors of local food is local beer. There are so many different brews, flavors, and styles, and so many stories to tell! That’s why we’re embarking on a new home.grown. adventure: to bring you fresh craft beer stories each month from our Northeast region; the best region in the United State if you ask us! Next up to the plate: Stony Creek Brewery! The pride of Branford, CT, Stony Creek Brewery was rebranded by co-founder Ed Crowley in 2015. Prior to the rebranding, Stony Creek was a small-scale contract-produced craft brand, mainly known for their IPAs named after Connecticut’s two area codes, 203 and 860. Stony Creek became much bigger after their rebrand, which launched in February 2015, and they opened up their first brewery right along the Branford River. The brewery’s 30,000 square foot size makes it the second largest brewing facility and taproom in the state of Connecticut. One of its unique features is a 2,500 square foot tasting room with 23-ounce glass mugs hanging on the wall behind the bar as part of the brewery’s Mug Club. The “Mug Club” is a way of giving back to devoted customers by giving them “their own little piece of the creek,” according to Ed Crowley Jr! We’re proud to team up with the great people over at Stony Creek and we look forward to showcasing their crafty creations, today and in the future. Interested in trying some Stony Creek brews? Check out our in-store tasting schedule below to sample Stony Creek’s craft beer, take home some brewery swag and more. Saturday 12/1, 12pm – 3pm at our Bethlehem Price Chopper Friday 12/7, 5pm – 8pm at our Wilton Market 32 Friday 12/21, 5pm – 8pm at our Clifton Shopper’s World Market 32 Saturday 12/22, 12pm – 3pm at our Malta Price Chopper Saturday 12/29, 12 pm – 3pm at our Market Bistro (Latham) Interested in visiting the brewery? Make the most of everything Stony Creek Brewery has to offer! Visit stonycreekbeer.com for taproom hours and menu, get info on brewery tours and more. Brewery & Taproom Address: 5 Indian Neck Avenue, Branford, CT 06405
Activate Wellness: November is National Diabetes Month
Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior NutritionistDiabetes is a rising concern for many – almost 10% of Americans have diabetes, and another 30% are at risk. The good news is, eating well to prevent or manage diabetes is the same for everyone. Some quick tips:
- Make half your plate veggies and fruit for most meals, and you have taken a giant step in the right direction. Fresh, frozen and canned fruits and veggies can all be part of your solution.
- Watch quantities on starchy foods – a small serving of potatoes is fine, whole grain sides like rice and quinoa in smaller servings, and whole grain breads are all okay.
- Lean proteins in moderate portions, including seafood twice per week, dairy, beans and legumes, lean chicken, pork or beef – all fit.
- Good fats, like olive oil, avocados and olives, are important to ensuring food tastes good and enhances absorption of key nutrients.
- Even dessert – small servings, or low/no calorie treats, are a good way to make delicious and carb-conscious choices.
- Milk or water round out your meals and snacks, and offer vital nutrients and hydration.
- Our Pharmacy team is also a wonderful resource and has a free medication and supplies program. https://www.pricechopper.com/pharmacy#/
The Rundown on Hardy MumsFall is officially in full swing and mums is the word! Hardy mums that is. Unlike most flowers, mums are ideal for fall. They bring a classic colorfulness and a fitting liveliness perfect for the season. Known by their botanical name, Chrysanthemums, these flowers are built to withstand winter’s toughest temperatures. Mums are one of our favorite items to partner with local growers for sourcing – summer is great but we get excited when cooler weather approaches! The best time to plant mums is actually in the spring: If you look hard enough you should be able to find variations of sizes and colors early. They might not look like anything to rave about then, but by the time fall comes you’ll be thankful for your early s tart. Planting them in the spring also increases hardiness and prepares the mums for the coldest temperatures, allowing them to overwinter. A full day of sun is preferred for mums to have a good bloom, but they can get by with at least half a day’s worth of sun. Hardy mums are commonly seen in many colors such as sunny yellows, pinks, mauves, and orange-reds. The orange and red variations are the most fitting for the autumn season! Hardy mums may not be as bright as spring flowers, but they’re presence is a very appealing addition to an otherwise fading fall garden. Some hardy mums even change colors over time, “Will’s Wonderful” mums start bright red in the summer, with a touch of yellow in the center. Then, as they age, the yellow slowly spreads across the petals, eventually taking over the flower leaving only tips of red. Our Northeast climate provides an ideal agricultural canvas for planting and growing fall mums. We’re proud to have been partnering with Casertano’s Greenhouses in Cheshire, CT and Kurt Weiss Greenhouses in Moriches, NY for over a decade, allowing us to source our Northeast-grown mums each year! Hardy mums make a great decorative piece for fall: Get yours at your local Price Chopper or Market 32 before it’s too late!
5 Easy Care Tips for Cast Iron
Maureen Murphy, Manager Consumer Trends, Nutrition and LifestylesI fondly remember my grandmother’s well-seasoned cast iron pan, and the wonderful foods prepared in it. For many years I wanted one, but up until several years ago I was under the mistaken impression that cast iron still required a lot of care. An incredibly useful tool in the kitchen, cast iron is ideal for searing meats, retaining heat, and can go from stovetop to oven so you can even bake in it! Once upon a time, cast iron skillets had to be seasoned before using for the first time, whereas today they are pre-seasoned in the factory making them ready for use after a quick rinse and thorough dry. Thanks to these tips from Lodge, maker of cast iron cookware, it’s easy to keep cast iron looking and performing well.
- Cast iron can be washed – wash by hand using a nylon bristle brush, and if needed, use a pan scraper for any stubborn cooked-on bits.
- Do not: soak in water, use a dishwasher or metal scouring pads
- A mild detergent may be used, but isn’t necessary after each washing
- For particularly sticky food, simmer a little water for 1 minute, then use a pan scraper after skillet has cooled.
- Dry immediately and thoroughly
- Rub with a little food-safe cooking oil/shortening (vegetable or canola oil recommended), preferably while skillet is still warm
- Use it frequently as the more often you use it the better it gets as the seasoning (oil) builds up on the pan creating a nonstick layer
- Scrub with a metal scouring pan
- Oil interior and exterior
- Place upside down with piece of foil or sheet pan underneath
- Bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour; allow to cool completely in oven
It’s National Sandwich Month!August is National Sandwich Month, and we find it necessary to give these tasty, versatile food combinations the appreciation they deserve! The first ever sandwich, as the story goes, was enjoyed by John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. Montagu was quite the gambler, and in the heat of a 24 hour gambling binge he needed a meal that would fill him up, while allowing him to keep his focus on his game. The cook brought him slices of meat stuck between two pieces of toast, no utensils necessary and a free hand to continue gambling. The sandwich was born! Fast forward to today and the sandwich has become something of an art form. Endless combinations, varieties, tastes, and flavors for any appetite. Anything goes! Creating the perfect sandwich has turned into a battle of creativity and originality. Meanwhile, the classic meat and bread combination is the perfect bite for any situation. We took a look at some of the best sandwich additions over time and how they became associated with such a staple in many people’s diets. Most people enjoy their sandwiches with a side of potato chips. But what about putting potato chips right on the sandwich? If you’re looking to add an element of crispiness to your ‘wich this is the way to go. In the United Kingdom, it’s commonly referred to as a Crisp sandwich. A Crisp sandwich is simply any sandwich with an added layer of potato chips, popular varieties include; barbecue chips on ham and cheddar, salt and vinegar chips on tuna fish, and plain chips on peanut butter. Next time you’re enjoying your favorite sandwich, throw some potato chips on there and see how you like it! Sprouts are another great addition to sandwiches! As many vegetables do, sprouts often vary in texture and taste. It’s important to understand the different varieties and which pair best with your favorite sandwich. Green-leaf sprouts are recognized by two tiny green leaves at the tip of a slim ½-inch to 3-inch shoot, these sprouts add a nice element to your meal. More commonly, alfalfa sprouts have threadlike shoots with green tops, they provide a calm, nutty flavor that goes well with your sandwich of choice! Another essential part of every sandwich are the condiments that complete it. Mayonnaise, mustard, and oil are all common. But what about other interesting tastes? Pesto is commonly found in Italian dishes like pizza and pasta, but it can be used in a number of ways. It works well on turkey or chicken sandwiches, and is even good on grilled cheese. How about Greek yogurt? Yes, you read that correctly. Greek yogurt pairs surprisingly well with egg salad, chicken salad, chicken, and turkey sandwiches. It tastes great and is a healthier alternative to mayonnaise. If you’re looking for a healthier option definitely give it a shot. There you have it! Try something new in honor of National Sandwich Month. Add a twist to your usual and discover a new ingredient that takes your sandwich to the next level. There are many options to explore: maybe you’ll find a new favorite!
Get Your Grill On!
Maureen Rowan Murphy, Manager Consumer Trends, Nutrition and LifestylesI believe the best gift is the gift of time-time spent with those we love. While my Dad is no longer here, one of my fondest memories is the last Father’s Day I spent with him. Not only did we have quality time together, but I grilled and served one of his favorite meals. Had I not tackled my grilling “fears” that cherished memory would likely not exist. While always comfortable cooking in the kitchen my comfort level didn’t extend outdoors. The grill was uncharted territory, and one day I made up my mind that I had to change that. I learned the basics, and then jumped right in and fired up the grill! Sure, there were a few grilling mishaps, but as my confidence grew so did my skills. I guess you could say it was trial by fire! Now I’m viewed as the grill master in my house. If you’re intimidated like I was, here are tips to help you on your way to becoming a grill master! Gather It Up
- Gather everything up to avoid leaving food unattended on hot grill
- Wire brush
- Long-handled matches/lighter and charcoal for charcoal grill
- Long handled tongs
- Metal spatula
- Basting brushes
- Grill basket
- Meat thermometer
- Clean platters and utensils
- Heavy duty oven mitts
- Reduce food sticking by taking a paper towel dipped in a little oil, and using tongs, wipe evenly over the grates
- Preheat grill 10 to 15 minutes to ensure it reaches the proper temperature as well as kill any possible bacteria
- Grilling Temperatures – High: 400-450°F for high; medium-high: 350-400°F; medium: 300-350°F; low: 250-300°F
- A properly heated grill sears foods on contact, keeps the insides moist and helps prevent sticking
- Keep a spray water bottle for gas or charcoal grills nearby in case of flare ups
- Don’t use cooking spray on a hot grill
- Sear the meat to seal in juices and capture its best flavors
- Turn grill down after searing so food does not burn outside and remain raw inside
- Use tongs when turning meat or poultry to keep natural juices inside
- Turn food only once – the less you flip, the more the flavor develops
- Apply sauces and glazes during last 10 minutes to avoid potential flare-ups
- Close grill lid to enhance smoky flavor and keep moisture in
- Use a food thermometer to ensure a safe internal temperature
- Steaks, roasts and chops: 145°F with a 3 minute rest time
- Ground beef, pork, lamb and veal: 160°F
- Poultry, including ground poultry: 165°F
- Let meat “rest”, tented with foil, about 10 minutes before cutting