TIP OF THE WEEK

If you’re planning an overnight summer road trip, camping or boating excursion, the food situation can get complicated. Shelf-stable foods are safe choices if you will be without refrigeration. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says good picks include:

— peanut butter in plastic jars;

— concentrated juice boxes;

— canned tuna, ham, chicken and beef;

— dried noodles and soups;

— beef jerky and other dried meats;

— dehydrated foods;

— dried fruits and nuts; and

— powdered milk and fruit drinks.

Powdered mixes for biscuits or pancakes are easy to carry and prepare, as is dried pasta. There are plenty of powdered sauce mixes that can be used over pasta, but check the required ingredient list. Carry items like dried pasta, rice and baking mixes in plastic bags and take only the amount you’ll need.

LEFTOVERS

When in doubt, throw it out

The meal is over and your company has left for the night. You go in the kitchen to clean up and realize the food has been sitting out. Is it still safe to eat or should you toss it?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you should discard all perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, eggs and casseroles left at room temperature longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in air temperatures above 90 degrees. This includes leftovers taken home from a restaurant. Some exceptions to this rule are foods such as cookies, crackers, bread and whole fruits.

Whole roasts, hams and turkeys should be sliced or cut into smaller pieces or portions before storing them in the refrigerator or freezer. Turkey legs, wings and thighs may be left whole.

Refrigerate or freeze leftovers in shallow containers. Wrap or cover the food.

SPICE IS NICE

Why you should eat more spicy food

Not everyone likes spicy food. But if you can’t handle spice, you might want to think about building up your tolerance. Here are three reasons why:

A natural high — As many will attest, after eating a spicy meal, you feel great. The reason? Your brain releases endorphins in response to the heat.

Decreased risk of tumors — Research has found capsaicin, the component that makes peppers spicy, can bind to cancer cells and actually kill them.

Appetite suppressant — Spicy food can trick your body into feeling full.

HEALTHY EATING

Do chia seeds help with weight loss?

Back in the 1980s and 90s, the Chia Pet craze swept the nation. This novelty gift showed up in millions of homes, and now, over two decades later, chia seeds are back. Not in the form of a terracotta figurine, but as a dietary supplement.

Chia seeds might be small, but they pack a large amount of concentrated omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants and more.

Along with these nutrients, chia seeds have additional health benefits. Studies have found the fiber in chia seeds absorbs large amounts of water, which can make you feel full and slow the absorption of food. This in turn can help promote weight loss.

— Brandpoint