COVID-19 has changed the way we eat, including more time spent in the kitchen and more meals eaten at home, said Kelly Streit, a registered dietitian with Oregon State University's Extension Service in Clackamas County.
"Food-related calls to our family and community health program have increased, as families are looking for easy, home-cooked recipes that they can follow at home," Streit said. "Some have found the shift to be a positive family bonding experience, while others, especially those with limited cooking skills and equipment, or tight food budgets, are feeling stressed."
OSU Extension staff in Clackamas County have created a series of three, two-and-half minute demonstration videos featuring Food Hero recipes to educate citizens on preparing affordable, quick, healthy and tasty meals for their family. Food Hero recipes highlight ingredients that are readily available, utilize basic cooking utensils, and can be prepared on a stovetop or electric skillet in under 30 minutes. FoodHero.org is an initiative of the Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education program developed by OSU Extension with funding help from state and federal sources.
"The step-by-step process of preparing the recipe allows you to be your own personal chef," Streit said.
All the videos were all made during the pandemic at Oregon City-based Willamette Falls Studio, open by appointment with masks required in the lobby. Although the studio normally has video cameras available, Kimberly Jacobsen shot and edited these videos on her iPhone.
"We wanted to see and show what we could do with just a phone and a few accessories," Jacobsen said.
In the latest demonstration, Streit teamed up with 7-year-old Jamison Axmaker to show how easy it is to make strawberry freezer jam.
"Once you've tasted it, you may never go back to the store brands," she said. "Unlike cooked jam, freezer jam has a fresh fruit taste, a vibrant color and is also easier to prepare."
Streit said this summer season is the perfect time of year to make freezer jam, when farmers market stalls and grocery stores are packed with fresh berries to enjoy. Strawberries in the recipe can be substituted with other types of fruit like blueberries, blackberries, marionberries, raspberries, cherries, apricots, peaches or plums.
"Measuring the sugar was my favorite part," said Jamison, who enjoys his freezer jam on toast.
OSU Extension's demonstration videos are available on demand for free online and are airing weekly on public access cable channels in Clackamas County.
Feast your eyes:
Garden vegetable cakes: https://beav.es/4tf
Lentil taco filling: https://beav.es/4tY
Skillet meal mix and match: https://beav.es/4tg
Strawberry freezer jam: https://beav.es/4v6
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