Spicy program is growing

By Paige Nash

The LSU Ag Center Webster and Claiborne Parish Nutrition Education announced Pumpkin Pie Spice as their “Spice of the Month” for October. This program has grown over the last few months becoming widely successful over multiple parishes and because of its growing popularity it is now being transformed into a statewide program.  

“This has received so much positivity that it is now being created into a statewide program,” said Shakera Williams, Assistant Nutrition Extension Agent. “I was able to speak on it at our last meeting and I am the head program developer on that, so thanks to Savannah and the staff (Webster Parish Libraries) for allowing us to do this program. Starting in November it is going to be called a ‘Taste of Herbs and Spices.’ It is going to be the same thing, just a different name so that it can be branded as a Flavors of Health Nutrition program.” 

Each month the nutrition extension of the LSU Ag Center chooses an herb or spice to distribute to the local libraries where participants can pick up their samples along with an attached information sheet that includes facts about the chosen spice of the month and a simple, healthy recipe that uses the spice as part of the ingredients.  

“We started this program in April and it truly has been a remarkable thing. With the new updated version, we will receive evaluations so people will actually be able to tell us if they are trying the spice or herb and if they are making the recipe, so that way we can receive more funding for that program,” said Williams. 

Once converted into a new statewide program next month it will be called, “Taste of Herbs and Spices” with additional nutrition programs available such as, Heart Health, Weight Management, Chronic Disease Prevention, Shopping on a Budget, Grocery Store Tours and many more. 

“The whole purpose of this program is to reduce sodium intake. We try to inform, educate and empower individuals to reduce their salt intake and use other things like herbs and spices,” said Williams. 

Be sure to pick up your “Spice of the Month” sample along with a quick recipe for Pumpkin Pie Spice Overnight Oats at the Minden and Springhill library locations this October.

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