Jun 1, 2009

Snack Smarter

by Ellen Wilson

Healthy eating options for on-the-go living.
Vending Machines. We hate to admit it, but breakfast, lunch or dinner often come from our pocketful of change or swiping our ID card.  Staring through the glass, options are plentiful but it can be hard to make your choice when nutritional facts aren't available until after purchase. With BYU Vending's new Snack Smarter labels, healthier decisions can be made with more information.

The labels designate items that have the following nutritional requirements:

• Less than 35% of total calories from fat
• Less than 10% of calories from saturated fat
• Less than 35% of total product weight from sugar

*nuts and seeds excluded

Items that are included are such things as Chex Mix, Wheat Thins, V8, pretzels, many granola bars, some chips, fruit snacks, trail mix, Smart Water, and a slew of others. Luckily, thanks to BYU Vending, a large percentage of the vending products fall under these requirements.
In addition to the Snack Smarter labels, Dining Services has combined with Vending to offer more information on how to live a healthy lifestyle. The new E.A.T. website contains nutrition and health information, such as daily portion sizes, how to relieve stress and which exercises burn the most calories.  Additional useful features are the health calculators; calculate your BMI, BMR, Daily Caloric Intake, Heart Rate and Activities.

Jamba Juice

by Ellen Wilson

With two locations on BYU campus, Jamba Juice has been serving students since 1999. With every fruit combination imaginable, Jamba Juice offers a healthier option for cooling yourself off in the hot summer heat. Jamba smoothies are made of 100% fruit and fruit juices and have no high-fructose corn syrup or trans fats, so you can enjoy your purchase without worrying about consuming a high amount of sugar. With boost options like Daily Vitamin, Energy, Fiber, Weight Burner, Soy Protein and others, your drink can be filled with even more natural nutrients. If you need something solid to eat, Jamba Juice does sell snacks, such as Pirate Booty, Cliff Bars, chips, fresh bananas, and their own Jamba baked goods: mini bread loaves, cookies, and pretzels made with natural ingredients. During the summer heat, you can head to either the location in the Wilkinson Student Center or, if you're working out in the Smith Field House, you can stop by the Student Athlete Building location to cool off. Visit their website for hours, locations, products, and services.

Provo's Farmers Market

by Ellen Wilson

It's a Saturday morning and instead of sleeping in, the crowds are crossing 500 West in Provo, Utah, headed to Provo's Farmers Market. Strolling along the sidewalks of Pioneer Park, you're greeted with fresh herbs, good music, and friendly vendors. While you can find fresh lettuce, herbs, vegetables and fruits (depending on the season), the market holds much more than a typical produce section. For food, there are fresh mini donuts, smoothies, sugar waffles, bread, cookies, cheese, and a banana stand. You can get a full meal at some booths and treats to take home from others.

While the food booths are tantalizing, with all sorts of goodies and new dishes to sample, the crafts hold many more surprises. You can find paper flowers, button earrings, baby clothes, headbands, tutus, and cheap voice lessons. Other booths have homemade products, like lotion made out of goat milk, soaps, and other natural skin care items. The Farmers Market is a family affair; kids can get their faces painted, mom can get tips and starter plants for her herb garden, and dad can try all the samples.

A few tips:

The best times to visit the market are early in the morning and late afternoon. The freshest produce can be found first thing in the morning, and you can sometimes find the best deals when you're around during closing time.

It's perfectly okay to ask a vendor if you may sample their fruits and/or vegetables.

Bring your own reusable grocery bag.

Join in the conversation. Meet and greet and hear the stories of each different vendor.
The market is open every Saturday from 9 to 2 until October.

For more information, or if you're interested in setting up a booth of your own, visit the Provo's Farmers Market blog.


By Ellen Wilson


A funnel may seem like an insignificant kitchen tool, but its uses go far beyond expectations. Its primary use is to channel liquid and a funnel is absolutely necessary if you're going to be making any homemade sauce, juice, or syrup. Without a funnel, you'd make a mess and waste a fair amount of your hard work. When a recipe calls for just egg whites, crack your egg into a funnel for an easy separation. The yolk will stay in while the white runs out. You can also use a funnel to drizzle syrups over desserts. And, to be honest, the main reason we're featuring the funnel is to remind you that summer is almost over and if you haven't had or made a funnel cake yet, it's time to get on it. Funnel cakes are the quintessential dish of summer nights and festivals and also the best possible use for your funnel. Buy funnels of various sizes at any kitchen supply store.

Western Burger

Where: Legends Grille

What: Western Burger

Price: $6.99

Grilled roast beef, bacon, cheddar and BBQ sauce on a homemade Kaiser bun.

Legends Grille is home to the heartiest burger on campus. Complete with the freshest toppings, the Western Burger has it all; lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and mayonnaise. It is typically served with fries, but those can be replaced with various other sides including mashed potatoes, green beans, mac and cheese, mixed fruit or pasta salad. So the next time your favorite sporting event is on TV, head on down to Legends and order the burger everyone is raving about; the Western Burger.


Make Your Own Apron

Make Your Own Apron
Why spend upward of $20 on an apron you could make yourself? Here's a simple craft that makes cooking a bit more enjoyable.

Dishtowel, bandana or piece of fabric with hemmed edges
Iron (optional)
Ironing board (optional)
Spray bottle with water (optional)
2 buttons
1-1/2 yards ribbon

  1. Remember to wash new fabric before using so the color doesn't bleed.
  2. If needed, iron out the fabric until smooth. Use a spray bottle to eliminate wrinkles.
  3. Sew one button on the top left corner, wrapping the thread around the button a few times to secure. Knot the thread and trim off extra pieces.
  4. Sew the other button on the top right corner.
  5. Cut the ribbon in half to get two equal pieces, measuring 3/4 yard each.
  6. Tie each ribbon around the button on either side, leaving about an inch-long tail. This will make the ribbons easier to detach when washing the apron.
  7. Place the apron around the waist and tie ribbons together in the back.

Additional Decorations:
Add lace or frilled fabric long enough to go around the sides and bottom of the apron. Hand stitch or use a sewing machine to attach the border to the underside of the apron.

Use another piece of fabric to make a pocket or two for the center of the apron. This can hold jewelry, kitchen tools or recipe cards.

Embroider a name, initial or cooking phrase to personalize the apron.

Use blue and red fabric to make a patriotic apron for summer festivities.

Chocolate and Cinnamon Spiced Pancakes

Chocolate and Cinnamon Spiced Pancakes
6 Servings
4 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanil
la extract
4 eggs
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Wisk the dry ingredients together (flour through pumpkin pie spice). In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (buttermilk through eggs). Combine the two together and mix. Do not over mix. Fold in chocolate and cinnamon chips. Cook on a warm griddle. Serve with your favorite syrup.

Cherry Chews

Cherry Chews
Cherry Chews
Yields ½ Sheet Pan
Combine and whip to a soft peak:
• 1 ½ cups egg whites (I used the whites from 13 large eggs)
• 1 ½ teaspoons salt
• 3 cups granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
Fold into the above taking care not to overmix:
• 2 ¾ cups cake flour (all purpose flour can be substituted)
Melt together in a microwave and fold into the above again taking care not to overmix:
• 2/3 cup margarine or butter
• 1 cup Crisco or other high quality shortening
(Note: margarine and shortening need to just barely be melted.  Don't get it hot)
Finally fold into the above:
• 1/3 cup cherry Fruit-o (this comes from BAKEMARK Baking Supply Corporation - Orson Gygi usually carries this product or can obtain it -if you can't obtain any cherry fruito, you can substitute 1/3 cup drained and pureed maraschino cherries with a teaspoon or two of cherry extract added to the puree.)
• 2 cups walnut pieces
• 2 cups red glace cherries (these are the ones used in fruit cakes; I have used drained maraschino halves as an alternate and they work just as well)
Note: a couple of drips red food coloring may be added as an option to make it a richer pink color.  If the cherry Fruit-o is used, it already has enough coloring and you won't need to add any more coloring.
Spray around the edges and bottom of a half sheet pan with baking release spray and spread the mixture evenly in the pan.
Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for about 20-25 minutes.  The Cherry Chew is done when the middle has risen and just collapses and the top a golden brown.
When it has cooled, cut into bars and serve.