Slow Cooker Safety
-- Keep the lid on. It is important to retain the heat when making a slow cooker meal, so avoid taking off the lid. Only remove the lid to stir or check for doneness.
-- Use a food thermometer. The only way to know for sure that your food is safe to eat is with a food thermometer. Use a food thermometer to make sure the food has reached the proper internal temperature.
-- Store leftovers in shallow containers and refrigerate within two hours. One of the best parts of a slow cooker meal is the leftovers.
Q and A
Q: I know we're supposed to eat less salt, but what are the effects of eating too much salt?
A: High levels of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and even possible stroke. The recommended limit for sodium intake is 2,300 milligrams per day for people 14 years and older. Some 90% of adult Americans consume about 3,400 milligrams per day, according to the Food and Drug Administration. To cut back, try eating less deli meat, pizza, burritos and tacos; also try using no-salt seasoning blends, no-salt-added canned foods and cutting back on chips and pretzels.
Here's a salad that takes advantage of winter's citrus season -- and gives a boost of vitamin C, which we all need right now. It features Cara Cara oranges, which are lower in acid than other oranges, but you can use any orange for this recipe. It's from Hy-Vee Seasons magazine.
WINTER CITRUS, FENNEL AND BEET SALAD