Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Cooks Up Classes

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Johanna Hicks, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Family & Community Health, 1200-B West Houston Street, P.O.Box 518, Sulphur Springs, TX 75483 903-885-3443; phone 903-439-4909; Fax [email protected]

By Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family & Community Health Agent

Hopkins County residents enjoy good food. However, many recipes we see on Facebook and other internet sites are not necessarily the healthiest. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has a solution! Two upcoming programs will feature cooking demonstrations and sampling – and the recipes are both tasty and healthy!

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“Cooking Well for Healthy Blood Pressure” is a fairly new program offered through Extension. The three-lesson series will include “DASHING Your Way to Improved Health” and will cover the DASH plan (Dietary Approach to Stopping Hypertension), definition of high blood pressure and associated risks, exploring food choices, and lifestyle changes associated with reducing blood pressure. The second lesson is “A Virtual Grocery Store Tour,” where we’ll examine each department in the grocery store to find the healthiest sources. The third and final session is “Cooking with Spices and Herbs” instead of salt to enhance flavor while reducing sodium. Cooking demonstrations will take place during each session.

“Cooking Well for Health Blood Pressure” is scheduled for Sept. 9, 12 and 16, at 1:30 p.m. at the Hopkins County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office. A fee of $20, payable at the first session, will cover all materials, sampling, and door prizes. Please call 903-885-3443 to sign up.

Another cooking series is “Cooking Well with Diabetes.” Although this is not a new series, the information is always timely. The 4-session series is designed for those with diabetes, but anyone can benefit from the information! Session one covers “Carbohydrate Foods.” This session is designed to help participants recognize foods that are higher and lower in carbohydrates, since carbohydrates raise blood glucose. “Making Recipes with Fat Better for You” will examine cooking methods and shopping tips to help reduce calories ingested from high fat foods, while still maintaining delicious flavor. This session will focus on main dishes. The third session, “Double-Pleasure Side Dishes,” will focus on ways to reduce sodium and increase fiber in the diet. Side dishes will be highlighted. The final session is “Celebrating Sensibly with Diabetes.” Holidays, parties, and special celebrations can be difficult to handle, especially if you have diabetes. This session provides practical tips on making the most of these celebrations while still maintaining a health blood sugar. Two recipes will demonstrated at each session, and participants will have the opportunity to sample 3 recipes.

“Cooking Well with Diabetes” is scheduled for Mondays and Thursdays, Sept. 16, 19, 23 and 26, at 6 p.m. at the Hopkins County Extension Office. A $25 fee, payable at the first session, will cover all materials, sampling, and door prizes. Please call 903-885-3443 in advance to sign up.

4-H Enrollment Time

All across the state of Texas, counties are gearing up for a new 4-H year. Hopkins County is no exception! The registration link is now open and we welcome all youth, grades 3 thru 12, to register! From foods & nutrition to photography, from archery to animals, leadership to clothing & textiles, horticulture to horses, we offer a wide variety opportunities for involvement. Returning 4-H members are reminded to open the 4-H Connect link and update the information. New members may go to the following website and set up a profile: https://texas.4honline.com. Simply follow the on-screen instructions.

The 4-H year begins Sept. 1, 2019, and ends Aug. 31, 2020. The registration fee is $25 if paid by October 31, and goes up to $30 after that date. Through our local 4-H program, we offer workshops, camps, project meetings, community service and leadership opportunities, and more. There are several choices for 4-H club membership in Hopkins County, so if you have questions about which one to select, our staff is here to assist you.

Volunteers are always welcome! Strong volunteers are the backbone of our 4-H program, and we welcome adults who have a passion for helping our youth grow into upstanding, responsible citizens. If you have questions about the Hopkins County 4-H program, contact Mario Villarino, Jessica Taylor, Barbara Sanders, or me, and we will answer your questions – 903-885-3443.

While we’re on the subject of 4-H, our annual 4-H Achievement Banquet is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 24, 6 p.m., at the League Street Church of Christ. All current 4-H members, leaders, and families are reminded to contact the Extension Office to reserve tickets for the event. This is necessary so we can get an accurate head count for the meal. The theme is “Green Carpet Gala” as we spotlight our 4-H members who have participated in county, district, and state level activities. We’ll also recognize our 4-H Gold Star recipient, Outstanding Intermediate, and Outstanding Junior 4-H’ers, as well as Outstanding 4-H Leader of the Year.

Another event, scheduled for Sept. 14, is the 4-H Foods Fun Day, 1:30 p.m., at the Extension Office. Those interested in the 4-H Foods project are invited to this fun, hands-on workshop as we explore the world of apples – baking, decorating ideas, gift-giving ideas, and more! In order to make adequate preparations, please call 903-885-3443 to sign up.

Closing Thought

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney

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Author: Faith Huffman

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