Prisco’s Family Market

1108 Prairie Street, Aurora, IL 60506 | 630-264-9400

Hours: Monday - Friday, 7 am to 8:30 pm | Saturday, 7 am to 8 pm | Sunday, 8 am to 7 pm

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Potassium - A critical mineral we don’t tend to get enough of.- Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Potassium is an essential nutrient in our diet. It is the third most abundant mineral in the human body and is a powerful element in improving health. It contains the components for maintaining a high level of well-being and an improved lifestyle. Apart from acting as an electrolyte, this mineral is required for keeping the heart, brain, kidneys, muscle tissue, and other important organ systems of the human body in good condition. The benefits we extract from potassium include relief from stroke, blood pressure, heart and kidney disorders, and anxiety and stress. It helps to enhance muscle strength, metabolism, water balance, electrolytic functions, and the nervous system.

As important as potassium is to maintaining good health, it just happens to be a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of. Currently, just 3 percent of the US population is meeting the US recommended adequate intake for potassium of 4,700 mg per day.

So what are good sources of potassium?

Although there are many sources of potassium in the produce aisle, potatoes are among the very best. Not only do potatoes rank highest for potassium among the 20 top-selling fruits and vegetables, but they are also the most affordable source of this key nutrient, providing significantly better nutritional value per dollar than most other raw vegetables and fruits. In fact, at just 110 calories, one medium-size (5.3 ounce) skin-on potato has more potassium than a banana, provides almost half the daily value of vitamin C, and is sodium-, fat- and cholesterol-free.

Most people think of bananas as a good source of potassium, which they are. However, 1 large banana only delivers about 15% of your daily recommended intake of this mineral.

Adding lentils to your soups or stews will deliver a decent amount of fiber which is important, but lentils also contain more than 350 milligrams of potassium in every half cup. That equates to roughly 10% of your daily intake for this critically important mineral, in addition to a decent amount of dietary fiber, copper and manganese, which can further help with heart health and bone mineral density.

Just half of a salmon fillet contains more than 20% of your potassium intake for the day, in addition to the plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and other essential minerals. Regularly eating salmon has been associated with better nervous system function, a reduction in blood pressure, and less inflammation throughout the body, which can be affected by poor fluid balance.

Looking for a healthier snack? Try raisins! With roughly 250 milligrams of potassium in every quarter cup, raisins are an excellent choice. Despite only being 7% of your recommended amount, raisins are also packed with other minerals and dietary fiber.

Avocados pack a powerful amount of potassium. Approximately 30% of your daily requirement of potassium can be found in a single avocado.

If you prefer to get your potassium in a liquid form, try milk. Roughly 10% of the daily requirement of potassium can be found in a single 8-ounce glass. This is in addition to the calcium and phosphorus available in this popular beverage, the levels of which can be regulated by proper potassium levels in the body.

 

Clean Eating – it’s simple and very healthy.- Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Clean eating is quite a simple concept. The idea is that we can effectively reduce body fat and drop unwanted inches without counting calories. The idea is more about being mindful of what occurs with the food from the time it originates until it lands on your plate. At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or "real" foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. However, modern food production has become so sophisticated that simply eating whole foods can be a challenging proposition these days.

Although the amount of processing varies dramatically it’s almost everywhere in the packaged foods we buy. So why, exactly, is processing so bad — especially if it's something as simple as adding heat? First let’s be clear, not all processing is bad. Often processing removes toxins or bacteria, or allows for us to eat certain types of foods in off-season due to freezing or canning. The key is to avoid foods that are 'ultra-processed’. Highly processed foods are stripped of nutrients needed for overall health; and heavily modified food tends to have additives that overstimulate the production of dopamine, the "pleasure" neurotransmitter, perpetuating a negative cycle of constant junk food cravings.

Research and common sense have shown that eating a largely plant-based diet is healthy. Multiple studies have shown that diets heavy on fruits and vegetables can curb or prevent certain life-threatening conditions and diseases, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Plus, there's research linking diets high in fruits and veggies to healthy weight management and glowing skin and hair.

Moral of the story: A sure fire way to eat healthier is to spend more time in the produce aisle picking up a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables and spend less time in the snack, soda and packaged / prepared foods aisle if you want to lead a healthier life.

Why local produce is important to all of us- Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The local produce harvest is finally in an upswing with new deliveries of fresh fruits and vegetables coming in from both of our local farms -- Heritage Prairie Farm in Elburn and Bountiful Blessings Farm in Hinckley -- every day. We have always been strong supporters of buying locally produced and grown foods, but in the past it simply wasn’t feasible to rely on local farms to supply us. That changed this year and we are extremely pleased to be able to offer you a wide selection of locally grown produce items.

So far shoppers have been very enthusiastic and are buying up the local produce as fast as we receive it. For those of you who haven’t given it a try, perhaps these few points will help make believers out of you as well... 

Good reasons to buy local produce when it’s available:

  • Local food is fresh - Local produce is fresher and tastes better because it is often sold within 24 hours of being picked. When we receive a delivery from one of our local farms, we know that the product was still growing in the field earlier that same day.
  • Local food is riper – Produce that needs to be shipped cross-country or even farther needs to be picked long before it is ripe in order to make certain that the items are able to stand up to the packing, shipping, and travel from the fields to warehouses and eventually to our store. Local produce gets to spend more time in the ground or on the vine to ripen because it’s grown less than a 1/2 hour from our store. This gives you a tastier, vine-ripened product.
  • Eating local is “green” - Eating local reduces your carbon footprint. When your food doesn’t travel long distances, you’re promoting better air quality and reducing pollution.
  • Local food is seasonal - Buying local food keeps us in touch with the seasons. Most locally grown items are not available all year round. When you buy local you are getting the best nature has to offer at its peak of freshness. And when it’s most affordable.
  • Local food is more pure - When you buy food that travels less distances, it is less likely to be contaminated or tampered with. Our local farmers all use organic growing methods. Heritage Prairie Farm is a Certified Organic Farm and Bountiful Blessing Farm, while not certified organic, does incorporate sustainable practices and integrated pest management.  When weed or pest control is necessary they start with organic compounds and don’t use anything stronger than a one-day pre-harvest interval.
  • Buying local is more fulfilling - Knowing that your food has a story and that it came from one of your neighbors makes eating it that much more enjoyable.
  • Local foods offer unique variety – Both of our local farms are quite diversified. They offer a number of delicious items not available from our standard channels of supply. Also, the land is healthier and farming practices more sustainable when the farms raise a wider variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Local foods support responsible land development - When we buy local foods, we support local farmers. This gives those with farms and pastures a reason to stay undeveloped.
  • Local food enhances our environment - In addition to the reduced carbon footprint we experience with food grown less than twenty miles from tour store, there are lots of other reasons that our environment benefits when we support local farming.   The more land that is cultivated organically decreases the overall usage of chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers, and increases biodiversity in our local ecosystem.
  • Local food is good for our economy - Eating local means more money stays within your community. Every dollar spent generates twice as much income for the local economy.
  • Buying local enriches our social community - When we buy local foods, we create a more intimate relationship with the people who grow our food because they’re our neighbors.

 

Fruits that go "grate" on the grill- Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Grilling season is in full swing, and throughout our store you will find an abundance of foods that will go "grate" on your grill: Everything from the traditional hotdogs, burgers and brats, to delicious steaks and seafood. But don't limit yourself to protein only... certain varieties of fresh fruits also lend themselves to grilling, and can be served alongside the main entrees.

If you aren't sure which fruits are appropriate for this style of cooking, here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Peaches, nectarines or apricots

Grilling these summer fruits deepens their natural sweetness, and it’s oh-so-easy to do: simply slice them in half, remove the pits, and put them facedown on a grill that’s been preheated to high. Remove when golden brown, about 5 minutes. Try brushing them with honey, sprinkling them with cinnamon, or topping them with Greek yogurt.

Pineapple

Grilling pineapple cuts the fruit’s acidity and turns it into a treat that’s as sweet as candy. Cut your pineapple into wedges or rings and place it on the grill for about 3 minutes per side.

Watermelon

Sure we all know how delicious a cold slice of fresh watermelon can taste but grilled watermelon brings a whole new dimension to this fruit. To grill, cut your watermelon into big wedges or 1-inch-thick rounds. Place the fruit on a very hot grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Tomatoes

Add a smoky flavor to pasta dishes and salads by grilling your tomatoes over high heat. Just slice the tomatoes in half, brush the cut sides with olive oil, and place on a grill heated to high for about 3 minutes.

Bananas

Give your banana split a summery twist: slice banana in half lengthwise, coat with cooking spray, then grill over medium heat for 2 minutes per side.

Cooking fruit on the grill requires different preparation and a slightly different method than cooking meats, so before you you start tossing your produce onto the grate, here are a few useful tips...

  • To avoid messy grilling, you will want to make use of skewers or a grill basket to prevent small chunks from falling through the grate. Using two skewers will help prevent vegetables from spinning while turning on the grill. It’s ok to use bamboo skewers but be certain to soak them in water for 30 or more minutes before using to prevent them from burning.
  • Use a light brushing of oil on fruits to prevent sticking.
  • Ideal grilling fruits are firm and barely ripe. Watermelon, pineapple, plums and peaches can all take the heat. Soak them in liquor or drizzle with honey before grilling for an added burst of flavor.
  • To enhance the flavor of the fruit, try brushing cut fruits with melted butter and sprinkling with sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar, or lemon juice while grilling. Sugar tends to burn so it is best to apply it toward the end of cooking time.
  • Caution, most fruits contain a high level of water which will get extremely hot when grilling. Be certain to allow the fruit to cool slightly after removing it from the grill, or the fruit may cause serious burns to the mouth.