Reducing Food Waste for Earth Week

Celebrate Earth Week this year by cutting back on trash!  Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture developed a new infographic, “Let’s Talk Trash,” to educate consumers about reducing food waste.  Their website has great tips on topics such as food product dating and freezing leftovers.

The Food and Drug Administration’s fridge and freezer chart is another handy tool for quickly determining how long food items will stay fresh.  And, foodsafety.gov provides guidelines about how long food will stay safe following a power outage.

Happy Earth Day!

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Celebrating National Nutrition Month

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right, March 2016

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right, March 2016

This year, March is all about flavors!  National Nutrition Month 2016 proclaims, “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” just as spring produce comes into season and spring holidays appear around the corner.  Celebrate with some great tips for making vegetables extra tasty and elevating them to the celebrity status they deserve.  Here are a few of my favorite resources, some of which went into this month’s bulletin board:

From Prevention Magazine, “14 Ways to Make Eating Your Veggies A Lot Less Boring

From The Produce for Better Health Foundation, a tip sheet on storing fruits and veggies for best flavor

From The American Heart Association, tips for helping picky eaters enjoy veggies

 

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New Dietary Guidelines and Delicious Bread

Among other recommendations, the newly-released U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggest limiting salt and added sugars.  While scouting out lower-sodium frozen dinner options for a coworker, I was reminded of another sodium culprit – bread.  So, it was fun to try this version of Honey Whole Wheat Bread from Taste of Home.  It tastes great, comes together in a snap using a bread machine and has only 2 g of added sugars and 146 mg of sodium per slice.  Pair with some  lower-sodium soup, and you have a winner for a frosty evening’s dinner!

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Healthy Holiday Appetizers

In need of a quick appetizer for a holiday gathering?  Cooking Light shares 100 of its favorites, ranging from Pear Chutney Bruschetta with Pecans and Blue Cheese to kid-friendly Sloppy Joe Sliders and everything in between.  Entertaining “light” was never so easy or tasty!

Wishing you “Healthy Holidays!”

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Burning Calories While Cooking

Although this doesn’t make up for all of the calories consumed on Turkey Day, Eating Well’s estimate of calories spent cooking a holiday dinner justifies at least a few (about 700) of them.  Read on to see their estimates here.

 

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Gobbling-Good Turkey Cookies

Turkey Cookies

Turkey Cookies

Cookie creations made to look like turkeys are popular and fun at Thanksgiving, but after searching, I could not find any recipes that didn’t use pre-packaged cookies containing common food allergens. I decided to create my own.  Best of all, 1 cookie contained about 100 calories, making this treat even sweeter!

Ingredients

1 allergen-friendly sugar cookie mix, prepared according to package directions (I used Cherrybrook Kitchens)

1/3 cup allergen-friendly vanilla icing

Candy corn (I used Starburst)

Orange-colored sugar or sprinkles

Candy eyes

Directions

Spread a small amount of icing onto each cookie top, and sprinkle with colored sugar. Arrange candy corn pieces along the top edge of cookie, pointed side in, as feathers. Add additional frosting as needed to help them stick. Add eyes beneath the feathers. Cut a piece of yellow or orange candy corn into thirds, and shape one piece into a beak. Place beak below eyes.

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Festive Fall Fruit Tray

VLUU L100, M100 / Samsung L100, M100

Whooo’s ready for Halloween? No tricks here – just a sweet owl of a makeover to a typical fruit platter.  It’s sure to be the hit of the party!

Ingredients

1 pineapple, cut in quarters with stem removed

1 orange, cut in half

1 cup fresh blueberries

2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

2 cups grapes

1 red apple, sliced

1 lemon, halved

 

Remove flesh from pineapple slices, and cut flesh into cubes. Reserve one slice, and place, cut side down (rough side facing you), on a large serving tray. Place oranges at one end, and add a blueberry to the center of each orange to form the owl’s eyes. Arrange pineapple chunks, blueberries, strawberries and grapes around the pineapple to form the rest of the owl’s body and head. Rub apple slices with lemon juice, and arrange apple on either side of the owl’s body for wings and between the eyes for feathers. Scoop out remaining pulp from lemon, and discard. Using kitchen shears, cut a small strip from around the edge of the lemon; fold in half to make a beak.  Cut Vs around the end of the lemon, and place the lemon halves on the bottom of the owl as feet.

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