Authored by: Jillian Tholen, U of MN Nutrition Dept. Some of the most unassuming foods are the ones that pack the most nutritional value. Case in point: sprouts. It’s hard to believe that these tiny shoots can offer us so much, given their minute size and meek appearance, but they contain an incredibly wide range […]



Authored by Jennifer Kret, UMN Public Health Nutrition June is already here, and that’s right, it is rhubarb season! As you may know, rhubarb is often treated as a fruit, commonly found in tarts, compotes, or a slice of Garrison Keillor’s favorite, Bebop-a-Reebop Rhubarb Pie. Although, rhubarb is truly a vegetable. It belongs to a […]


Whole Grains for your Health

Authored by Rachel Bowers, UMN Public Health and Nutrition Minneapolis was built by grain. Once known as the “Flour Milling Capital of the World” the mills around St. Anthony Falls produced enough flour to bake 12 million loaves of bread a day.  The Washburn A mill, which now houses the Mill City Museum, and the […]


Unbeatable Beets

Authored by Kata Hribar, University of Minnesota Public Health and Nutrition Fresh beets are one of the most versatile vegetables of the summer harvest!  Red beets, golden beets, and red and white striped Chioggia beets are a vibrant and delicious addition to any dish. Besides being pickled, beets can be roasted, boiled, steamed, microwaved or […]


Summer Squash

Authored by Michelle Jebsen, UMN Public Health Nutrition Program Summer squash is a tender, warm-seasoned vegetable that is grown in Minnesota from July to September. Summer squash differs from winter squash due to its harvest time, which is before the rind hardens and the fruit matures. This delicious and nutritious vegetable appears in a broad […]


Eating Local Produce Year Round in Minnesota

Authored by Jennifer Kret, UMN Public Health Nutrition Why eat local? If you ask any devout “locavore” or “localtarian” they will tell you, among other reasons, locally grown produce is simply fresher and tastes better. The importance of eating locally produced foods is eloquently put in the Japanese interpretation of “food with a face,” and […]


Spring Greens

Authored by Hilary Gebauer, UMN Public Health and Nutrition So you’ve made it home from the market with a bag full of leafy greens, but now what? They were so irresistible on the farmer’s table, but now they may seem a little mysterious. Don’t let them get limp and mushy in the back of your […]


Heirlooms—what are they, exactly?

photo courtesy of Mette Nielsen Photography Authored by Jillian Tholen, University of Minnesota Public Health Nutrition student It is entirely possible that you grew up with certain expectations about ripe fruits and vegetables—they are supposed to look a certain way. Tomatoes are red, peppers are green, and watermelons are pink, easy.  And really, there is […]



Authored by Rachel Bowers, UMN Public Health and Nutrition The words parsnip, turnip or rutabaga brings back memories of admonishments to “eat your vegetables!”  These roots don’t promote themselves very well with appearances either- they are often gnarled and nubby.  However, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas and other root vegetables can be deliciously sweet. Root vegetable is […]


Farm to School, Revolutionizing School Lunches

By Jennifer Kret, UMN Public Health Nutrition Graduate Students A nutritious diet is an important part of a healthy childhood. Likewise, reducing childhood obesity is a major public health challenge, since obese children are more likely to become obese adults, increasing their risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Because children spend a significant amount of […]

Butter the Skinny on Fat

The Skinny on FAT

By Dustin Nelson, Meet Your Vegetables Nutrition Intern Fat is an important nutrient for the body. It is critical for proper growth and development and maintaining normal health. Fat has a whopping 9 calories per gram which the body uses as stored energy. Fat also acts as an insulator for tissues, a cushion for vital […]