Herb Dip

Makes about 1 ½  cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese, low-fat
  • 4 tablespoons yogurt, low-fat plain (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon onion (chopped, or chives)
  • 1 teaspoon parsley (dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill (dried)

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend all the ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Pour the mixture into a clean container.
  4. Cover and chill.

 

Check your list twice!

As we approach the holiday season, you might be concerned about how to feed holiday guests and add festive foods to your budget without going overboard.  Before you make your grocery list, check twice to make sure you can pay the bill.

Fortunately, many grocers offer festive foods at lower prices during this time of year.   If you are purchasing shelf-stable ingredients, you can buy them ahead of time, so your budget will not take a big hit all at once.  You can also set aside money each week to cover items that you will purchase closer to the holidays.

Saving money each week is not as difficult as you might think, look how easy it is to find money in a week:

  • Eating lunch out every working day costs $25 a week;
  • Two treats at the vending machine each work day, $10;
  • One trip through the fast food lane can cost a family more than $25.

Other ways to save for your celebration are to look for deals on holiday decorating items at thrift stores. Cloth napkins and tablecloths can be used more than once and might cost less than a throwaway. Look for recipes that are delicious, nutritious, and made with budget-minded ingredients.  USDA offers thousands of recipes on their What’s Cooking website https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/. Your EFNEP Cooking magazine and this website have lots of recipes, too!

Plan ahead to make your holidays fun, festive and budget-friendly.

Jayne

Jayne is the Technology & Social Media Associate for EFNEP and SNAP-Ed

 

Holiday Eggnog, Make it Healthy

‘Tis the season for favorite holiday foods and drinks. Eggnog is a classic holiday drink that is quite tasty but can be a bit high in fat and calories. Between the heavy cream, sugar, and eggs, eggnog can quickly become a real calorie buster. There is good news; you don’t have to give up the tasty drink this season, the key is to enjoy it in moderation.

There are several brands of eggnog that you can purchase from your local grocer, but you might try Howling Cow Eggnog. Made right on North Carolina State University’s campus, the eggnog “is rich, creamy, perfectly sweet and oh so calorie worthy,” according to Dr. Carolyn Dunn, Nutrition Specialist. A treat for eggnog lovers, ¼ cup of the concoction can be mixed with ¼ cup skim milk for a less caloric portion. Purchases of Howling Cow products support the education of NCSU students, for more information, go to their website at https://howlingcow.ncsu.edu.

You can also enjoy your family’s classic eggnog recipes, but lighten them up with the following small changes. Use almond, skim or 2% milk instead of cream or whole milk; bananas instead of refined sugar; or add some cinnamon or nutmeg to make your eggnog taste flavorful. Making these small changes will save you from fat and calories, but will still taste great!

Try this quick and easy, yet thick and yummy recipe from foodandhealth.com

Banana Nog (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 4 bananas, peeled
  • 1 and 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 and 1/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon rum extract
  • Pinch ground nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients except nutmeg to blender or food processor.
  2. Puree until smooth.
  3. Pour into 4 fancy serving glasses and top each with a pinch of nutmeg.

Nutrition Information:

Makes 4 servings of one cup each. Each cup contains 198 calories, 2 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 7 milligrams of cholesterol, 114 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

Each serving also contains 10% of the daily value (DV) of vitamin A, 20% DV vitamin C, 36% DV calcium, and 0% DV iron.

Total Time: 5 min | Prep: 5 min | Cook: 0 min

Provided by Stephanie McDonald-Murray,                                                                              Regional Nutrition Extension Associate, EFNEP & SNAP-Ed

Preparing a Safe Turkey Dinner

If you are preparing for Thanksgiving, or just making a turkey, it is always good to follow food safety procedures and to make sure you know exactly what you’re doing. It is important to always use a food thermometer to make sure that the temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit so that bacteria that can cause foodborne sickness are reduced. There are lots of things that can determine the roasting time of the entire turkey which is how frozen it is, how the evenly the oven heats, if the turkey is stuffed, what type of a pan you use if it has a lid, and how the turkey fits in the pan. These things can all affect the time it takes for the turkey to cook and should be assessed prior to cooking.

When roasting a turkey, it is standard procedure to set the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The oven does not need to be preheated to do this. Another great and important tip is to make sure that the turkey is completely thawed before cooking it. A temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below is acceptable. Also, placing the turkey with the breast facing up on a flat wire rack is best for roasting a turkey. Putting it in a roasting pan that is 2-2½ inches deep is recommended. Make sure to tuck the tips of the wings under the shoulders of the turkey and add a half-cup of water to the bottom of the pan for moisture. You can put a tent of aluminum foil over the breast during the first hour or so and remove it or you can choose to wait until it is a golden brown to place the tent.

For the best practice of food safety, cooking the stuffing separate from the turkey is recommended. If you do choose to stuff your turkey, make sure that the stuffing has already been mixed together and do not stuff it too tightly. Additional time will be added for stuffed turkeys for these things to cook inside. To make sure the turkey is safe, make sure to measure the internal temperature and that it is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. When you take it out of the oven, let the turkey cool for 20 minutes before carving the turkey or removing the stuffing from it. Enjoy your turkey this Thanksgiving knowing that it is food safe and good to eat!

Written by:    Taylor Davis, Volunteer

For more information on turkey temperatures and food safety visit this website:

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/poultry-preparation/turkey-basics-safe-cooking/CT_Index

Back to School Snacking: Fighting After-School Hunger

 

It’s that time of year again! Children and families everywhere are preparing to head back to school. Children will be on the move and learning new things each and everyday. After a long day of fun-filled learning, children are more than likely to come home famished. After school snacking is a daily ritual in most homes and this can be a great opportunity to get extra nutrients in your children.

It is also important that we, as parents be a good model to our children when it comes to snacking. If children see how much you enjoy healthy eating and snacks, they are more likely to enjoy these foods as well. Allowing children to help prepare the snacks or other healthy meals will keep them more interested in healthy snacking and eating. With the right foods in the fridge and pantry, children who come straight home after school can start fixing their snacks (with parent approval). Try loading up the refrigerator with easy grab-and-go foods like veggie sticks and low-fat dips, yogurt, and berries.

One recipe for healthy snacking is called Lean Mean Deli Roll-Ups. This is a very quick, easy, and healthy recipe that children can make on their own (with parent approval) or with your help.

Lean Mean Deli Roll-Ups

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

  1. 1 stick low-fat string cheese
  2. 1 slice lean ham or turkey deli meat
  3. 1 teaspoon honey mustard

Directions

    1. Wash hands and surfaces
    2. Wrap the meat slice around the string cheese stick and dip the roll up in mustard
    3. Refrigerate Immediately

Shae King

Shae is an EFNEP Educator in Forsyth County, NC A&T State University

 

Build an Easy Breakfast

Mornings can be a hectic time to get everyone fed and off to the places we have to be often early in the morning. Breakfast may not always be a top priority. However, breakfast is a very important part of the day for you and everyone in your family. For some ideas, Super Healthy Kids has a list of recipes to help make your mornings a little easier: http://www.superhealthykids.com/10-healthy-breakfasts-help-kids-well-school/

Here are some of the highlights:

However you choose to make breakfast a part of your family’s day, be sure keep it simple!

Emily