Culinary Nutrition News Ingredient of the Month

The Ingredient of the Month offers free downloadable tools featuring a new nutritional ingredient for chefs to incorporate into their menus and use in community events. The article provides an in-depth look at the nutrition ingredient, while the flyer and activity sheets are kid-friendly. Recipes range from simple recipes that kids can make to more detailed recipes for chefs. Download these tools, share with colleagues and start creating your nutritional recipe collection.

New Ingredient of the Month

December 2014 - Hazelnuts

Also known as cobnuts or filberts, hazelnuts have a firm, crunchy texture and a sweet, buttery flavor profile. They may be small, but they are full of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats that support heart, bone and skin health. Include ground hazelnuts in stuffing and breads and sprinkle over vegetables for a subtle nutty flavor. Learn more, including a tasty recipe for Grecian Pasta. Provided in partnership with Oregon Hazelnut Industry Office,

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November 2014 - Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are grouped into two categories based on texture when cooked. The pale sweet potato has light-colored beige skin with light-yellow flesh and has a firm, dry and crumbly texture that is not as sweet. The darker sweet potato has thicker skin with dark-orange to purple flesh and has a sweeter, softer and moister texture. Fat-free and cholesterol-free, sweet potatoes are packed with antioxidant-rich vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary fiber, for optimal health. Learn more, including a recipe for Gingered Sweet Potato-Pork Satay.

October 2014 - Carambola (Star Fruit)

Low in fat, sugar and calories and high in antioxidants, the carambola is considered a superfruit packed with flavonoids and vitamin C. The whole fruit is edible, including skin and seeds, and has a sweet flavor with a tangy undertone. Available year-round, the main season for carambola is late summer to midwinter. Learn more, including a recipe for Creamy Starfruit-Kale Smoothie.

September 2014 - Sweet Peppers

Sweet peppers have crispy, juicy flesh with a mild, sweet flavor. They contain trace amounts of capsaicin, the substance that controls spice or heat in peppers, making them not as overpowering as chile peppers. Sweet peppers are considered a super food with a range of health-promoting nutrients. One bell pepper has twice as much vitamin C as an orange. Snack on them with a healthy dip or add them to salads for a burst of colorful nutrition. Learn more, including a tasty recipe for Curried Caribbean Rice Pilaf.

August 2014 - Chives

Chives, an herb that grows in clusters, has long green, hollow stems with pale purple flowers. The stems have an onion flavor that can range from mildly sweet to pungent. Chive blossoms are flavorful and aromatic with a delicate onion taste. Learn more, including a tasty and delicious recipe for German Potato Salad.

July 2014 - Zucchini

Zucchini grows on a small bush and has dark-green skin with creamy white flesh and soft seeds. It should be eaten in its entirety to enjoy the nutritional benefits. Zucchini is an excellent source of manganese and vitamin K, which promote strong bones, and of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system. It contains additional vitamins and minerals to promote healthy vision, help cognitive function and control blood pressure. Learn more, including a recipe for Zucchini Muffins and Squashy Chili.

June 2014 - Kiwifruit

The most common kiwi variety has fuzzy dull-brown skin, bright-green flesh and a tangy sweet flavor. There is also a golden variety with smooth skin that is milder in flavor and softer in texture than the green kiwi. Although not typically consumed, the skin is edible in both varieties. Kiwi is considered a super fruit with a range of health-promoting nutrients. Learn more, including a recipe for California Kiwi Sandwich and Kiwi Vegetable Medley.

May 2014 - Chocolate

Dark chocolate, when eaten in moderation, is beneficial to health and contains nutrients that release energy and improve brain function. It is made from the seeds of the cacao tree and goes through a long process to become chocolate. In store-bought chocolates, chocolate liquor should be the first ingredient to be most favorable to health. Learn more, including a recipe for delicious, gluten-free chocolate-kissed cupcakes.

April 2014 - Gingerroot

Gingerroot is a rhizome, or underground stem, of the ginger plant. It is botanically considered a vegetable but is often used as a spice in the culinary world. With a peppery and slightly sweet flavor and spicy, pungent aroma, gingerroot is used to treat a wide range of health problems from the common cold to nausea to arthritis. Learn more, including a tasty recipe for Crunchy Hawaiian Chicken Wrap.

March 2014 - Pineapple

Available year-round, pineapple is a tropical fruit native to South America with a tough, waxy rind and juicy, sweet flesh. Each plant produces only one fruit per year, and one fruit takes two to three years to develop. Pineapple is rich in immune-supporting vitamin C and contains high amounts of bromelain, an enzyme with digestive-aiding and anti-inflammatory properties. Learn more about pineapple, including recipes and tools to create awareness about developing a healthy lifestyle.

February 2014 - Carrots

Carrots have a crunchy texture with a sweet aromatic taste and can be paired with sweet and savory dishes. One serving of carrots contains over 300 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin A, which is essential for healthy eyes, bones and teeth. Use these “Farm-to-Fit” tools in community events to create awareness about developing a healthy lifestyle.

January 2014 - Cinnamon

The sweet and warm taste of cinnamon makes it the perfect spice to use during the cold winter months. Smelling cinnamon stimulates brain activity and eating it helps reduce inflammation in the body. Cassia cinnamon has a spicy-bitter flavor and has high levels of coumarin, a toxin that may cause kidney and liver failure. Ceylon cinnamon has a mild sweet taste and has only trace amounts of coumarin. Find out more, including a healthy recipe for tasty Oatmeal Cookies and Cinnamon-Poached Chicken and Rice.

Check out previous articles released in 2010–13.

Our Partnership

The Chef & Child Foundation and Clemson University have partnered to offer monthly free downloadable guides featuring a new nutritional ingredient for chefs to incorporate into their menus. The articles provide up-to-date, professionally researched information on the latest in culinary nutrition trends.

Our Objective

ACFEF Chef & Child Foundation and Clemson University aim to combat the rise in rates of obesity and chronic diseases associated with poor diet behavior. Culinary nutrition is the integration of culinary skills and nutrition knowledge to create an innovative outlook on food prepared with culinary confidence and nutrition alertness. These articles will better serve and equip chefs nationwide with the needed knowledge and resources so they can promote culinary nutrition awareness in the United States.

About Clemson University

“Culinary nutrition” is the application of nutrition principles combined with food science knowledge displayed through a mastery of culinary skills. CU CHEFS® (Clemson University’s Cooking and Healthy Eating Food Specialists Outreach Services), led by Dr. Margaret Condrasky, promotes healthy foods research and applications for culinary professionals and the food industry. Ranked no. 25 among the nation’s top public institutions, Clemson University is a science-and engineering-oriented research university that maintains a strong commitment to teaching and student success.