Nutrition Corner: Enjoy seafood the safe and healthy way

December 15th, 2015 1:34 pm

Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and the weekend in between may be a time that you are planning to serve fish and or seafood. This year try a recipe that brings out the nutritional goodness of seafood.

According to the, we are encouraged to eat seafood twice a week. That’s because seafood contains a range of nutrients like lean protein, low saturated fat and healthy omega-3 fats. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, eating about 8 ounces per week (less for young children) of a variety of seafood can help prevent heart disease.

Some folks are concerned about eating too much seafood because of the high mercury level. That’s true, especially for pregnant women. Include some that are lower in mercury, such as salmon, trout, oysters, Atlantic and Pacific mackerel, herring, and sardines.

Seafood is available all year round. It can be found fresh, frozen or canned. Keep canned seafood on hand for the quick dinners. Eating more seafood does not have to be expensive. Whiting, tilapia, sardines, canned tuna, and some frozen seafood are usually lower cost options. Check the local newspaper, online, and at the store for sales, coupons, and specials to help save money on seafood.

Look for recipes that call for grilling, broiling, roasting, or baking without fat and sodium. If you are missing some of the flavor, try using spices or herbs, such as dill, chili powder, paprika, or cumin, and lemon or lime juice, can add flavor without adding salt.

Be food safe when cooking and serving seafood. Check oysters, mussels, and clams before cooking. If shells don’t clamp shut when you tap them, throw them away. After cooking, also toss any that didn’t open. This means that they may not be safe to eat.

It is important to cook shrimp, lobster, and scallops until they are opaque (milky white). Cook fish to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, until it flakes with a fork. Check temperatures with a calibrated food thermometer.

This recipe uses a small amount of heathy fats. Enjoy!

Salmon patties

2 eggs (large, lightly beaten)

1 can salmon (drained, about 15 ounces )

1 cup whole wheat cereal or crackers (crushed)

1/2 cup 1 percent fat milk

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon canola or olive oil

In a medium bowl, use a fork to crumble salmon into very small pieces. Place cereal or crackers into crumbs into a bag. Crush with rolling pin. Add crushed cereal or cracker crumbs, eggs, milk, and pepper to salmon.

Mix thoroughly and shape into 9 patties. Heat canola or olive oil in a skillet.

Over medium heat, carefully brown salmon patties on both sides until thoroughly cooked, about 4 minutes per side and reaches 145 degrees.

Nutrition Corner Mary R. Ehret Corner Mary R. Ehret

Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at