Disguise your Fries

Sweet potatoes are a power packed functional food that can be used to replace the standard potato in recipes for a bright and sweet kick. 

They are high in Vitamins B6, C, A and D which all help to support a healthy body. They are also anti-inflammatory and contain minerals like iron, magnesium and potassium. These nutrient dense tubers help our immune systems, bones and teeth, eyes, muscles, blood, heart, and even help to give us natural energy and stress reducing effects!

Try this easy and fun Sweet Potato Fritter recipe with eggs on top for breakfast or as a snack with a Siracha Mayo dipping sauce! Yum!

Sweet Potato Fritters

  • 1 medium sweet potato (grated)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oilfritters
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Whisk egg in medium bowl and then add grated sweet potato, olive oil and salt & pepper.  Mix to coat the sweet potato. Add coconut oil to a skillet and heat. Ball up 1 large tablespoon of sweet potato mixture and place in skillet using a wooden spoon or spatula to flatten ball to a patty shape. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. 

 

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Beets are a Treat

Beets are a root vegetable ideal for Fall. As the weather gets colder the root vegetables can stay strong under the earth. Beets are bright with shiny hues of pink and purple, but they aren’t only great to look at, they are great to eat!!Beets

  • Inflammation Fighter: Beets have been found to fight nasty inflammation responses in the body. Fighting inflammation in the body means beets could be a great way to also fight off chronic diseases.
  • Fiber and Nutrient Container: Beets also contain high amounts of fiber, helping to rid the body of toxins and purifying the liver. They can also boost your immune system with it’s Vitamin C content and minerals like potassium and manganese.

Try this fun Beet Brownie Recipe to add a sweet vegetable kick to a warm and delicious dessert!

Ingredients;

  • 2 medium beets boiled and peeled
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • cups whole wheat flour
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup golden brown sugar packed

Steps;

  • Puree beats in a blender.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line a 9-inch by 9-inch brownie pan with parchment paper or grease pan generously.
  • Cut sticks of butter into tablespoon size chunks and place in a saucepan. Add chocolate chips. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture melts and is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and then set aside.
  • Mix the eggs for about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and brown sugar; mix about 2 minutes. Add beet puree and slowly add chocolate mixture. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Pour batter into pan and smooth top with a spatula.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

 

Trick or Healthy Treats!

It is Halloween Month! Growing up, Halloween is many children’s favorite holiday. What is better than dressing up and getting to eat all the candy and treats they want? As we get older, we are more aware of all the sugar and unhealthy ingredients in some of our childhood favorites. That is why this week we wanted to give you a few quick ideas on healthier versions of one of the classic Halloween candies: Candy Corn.

Candy Corn Ice Pops

These easy treats are made with only 3 ingredients.candycornicepops

  • Low-fat yogurt (bottom layer)
  • Orange juice (middle layer)
  • Pineapple juice (top) layer
  • Make sure each layer has 30 minutes to freeze, before adding the next layer. Freeze final popsicle for 1 hour before enjoying.
  • Popsicle molds are inexpensive investments. You can buy them at any Walmart, Target or online.

 

 

Candy Corn Veggie PlateCandy Corn Veggie Plate

  • Cauliflower
  • Baby Carrots
  • Yellow Bell Peppers
  • Wash all vegetables before cutting and arranging.
  • The size of your “candy corn” will depend on how many people you would like to feed.
  • Adding roasted red hummus with black olive “eyes” and mouth” make a great jack o’ lantern dip.

Is There a Rumble In Your Tummy?

Between the rush of our everyday lives and financial restrictions, it is not always easy to pack lunch let alone a healthy one. However, it is very important to have a nutritious lunch in order to keep our mind alert and body going while we are at school and work.

back to school

Here are a few quick tips on how to pack a healthy, easy, and cheap lunch this school year:

  1. Look at ads to see what is on sale.

  2. Choose foods that are safe to keep at room temperature.

  3. Plan out your lunches ahead of time (try to plan a full week).

  4. Pack food from at least three different food groups.

Below is a list of foods that are healthy and safe to keep at room temperature:

  • Fruits (whole): clementine, orange, grapefruit, peach, nectarine, plum, banana, pear, apple, cherries, vacuum sealed fruit cup, dried fruit, 100% fruit juice in a box
  • Vegetables (whole): baby carrots, baby cucumbers, small peppers, grape tomato, celery, broccoli
  • Grains: whole wheat bread, whole wheat crackers, popcorn, whole grain chips, whole grain tortillas, whole grain bagel, whole grain English muffin
  • Protein: peanut butter, sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews
  • Dairy: string cheese, hard cheeses like cheddar, pudding pack, swiss cheese

By: Michelle Ernst Voegele, EFNEP Nutrition Assistant

The Perfect Picnic

Be a Picnic ProAugust is a great month to head to the park with a few friends and a basket full of fresh goodies. Here are some easy tips and tricks to crafting the best personal outdoor lunch lounge.

  • The venue. Bring a comfortable yet thin blanket to the park or beach incase there are no picnic tables. The thinness allows you to still feel and appreciate the natural earth beneath you but the comfort brings relaxation and a more chill atmosphere to your meal. Our Healthy Living Coordinator says bringing a tapestry with you can add a fun design to the atmosphere and is often a good size for groups because you want to make sure it’s large enough so everyone can fit and feel included! Pick a spot under a tree or umbrella if it’s a really sunny day and bring along a few items from a first aid kit for safety. A trash bag is a good idea to bring to stay environmentally friendly. basket
  • The snacks. Picnics are all about fresh finger foods and delicious snacks. Pack your treats in a basket or tote bag just before leaving so that temperature sensitive foods don’t spoil (2 hours is the magic time before food starts to go bad!). If you pack foods that aren’t going to spoil you can maintain your relaxed attitude by not having to worry about food safety. Remember to bring drinks to stay hydrated and refreshed. Don’t forget your essentials like napkins, plates and silverware. Here are some fun, healthy and safe picnic friendly foods: hard artisan cheeses and crackers, bread rolls, whole fruits and vegetables, dried fruit and dried meat like jerky, jams and jellies, peanut butter and recipes…yum.cucumbersandwiches
      • Tomato, Peach and Red Onion Salad (Serves 4)
        • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
        • 1 ripe peach, diced
        • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
        • 2 tablespoons olive oil
        • juice from half a lemon
        • salt and pepper
        • Combine everything in a large jar or plastic container. Seal the container and shake to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Best made the day of.
      • Watermelon and Strawberry Lemonade (Serves 8)
        • 8 cups cubed seeded watermelon
        • 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
        • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
        • 5 tablespoons honey
        • 2 cups water
        • Combine ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
      • Cucumber Sandwiches (Serves 2)
        • 9 tablespoons cream cheese (can substitute goat cheese)
        • 5 tablespoons sour cream
        • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
        • 3 tablespoons dried dill weed
        • Lettuce Leaves, romaine or iceberg recommended
        • 1 Cucumber, thinly sliced about 6 inches long
        • 2 thinned whole wheat bread slices
        • Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, and garlic. Spread over slices of bread. Lay lettuce leaf on top of spread.  Lay 3 to 4 cucumber slices onto lettuce. Sprinkle with dried dill. 
  • The entertainment. Plan a few fun outdoor friendly games for the day. Have some activities prepared that can be played in a group either lounging on the blanket or more active games to move around. Games like Heads up!, Apples to Apples or Uno can be fun for the whole family on the blanket or bring a book to relax and read. A volleyball or frisbee is an easy activity to toss around with a group by playing keep it up or just take a walk and enjoy the scenery. marbles.png

The Power of Blue…Blueberries that is!

Blueberries are a great addition to everyone’s diet. They are super nutritious and prevent or minimize health issues. Take a look at the benefits below to see how these tiny but mighty berries can work wonders in your life.

bluberries

Cluster of wild berries Nutrition Assistant, Michelle Ernst Voegele’s family picked in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Nutritional Benefits: Vitamin C, manganese, fiber, and antioxidants

Health Benefits: Cuts the risk of Diabetes, lowers blood pressure, and prevents heart disease

Blueberries can be bought either fresh or frozen and can even be found in the wild, especially in the northern states. 

This powerhouse fruit can be included in many scrumptiously delicious recipes. Some of Michelle’s favorite ways to indulge in blueberries is in a dreamy yogurt parfait or freezing them to use in a perfect summer smoothie. Here is one recipe that is sure to please the crowd during these hot summer months:

Banana and Blueberry “Ice Cream”

Thanks for the tips Michelle!

Market Mastery

MastertheMarket

A trip to your local Farmer’s Market in the Summer is a great way to involve the whole family in a fun and holistic healthy living activity! Delaware Farmer’s Markets sell inexpensive locally grown and in season produce as well as other market items like meats, eggs and cheeses from near by farms. As if the delicious local foods weren’t enough, many of the markets also have entertainment and activities that are fun for all ages. Music, crafts, recipe demos (shout out to UD Cooperative Extension), and there are even Kid’s Days. Click here for the Delaware Farmer’s Market Guide to find a market near you.

Delaware 4-H wants you to make the most of your market experience by following these three simple tips:

  • Know what’s in season.

When it comes to produce, looking for items that are in season will maximize the quality of the product and help minimize your cost.

Summer Seasonal Fruits

Sweet summer fruits are a great way to refresh and cool off after a hot day outside. The bright colors also make them fun to eat and to add to salads with summer vegetables.

Summer Vegetables

  • Show up early or late.

The market will be less crowded at these times. We recommend arriving at the very start of the market to ensure the best selection of items or arriving later in the market for the best prices. Check the Farmer’s Market Guide (link is above) for times.

  • Plan your recipes ahead of time.

Having recipes in mind when you head to the market will make it easier to select items. Here are some delicious in season chef-developed and kid approved summer recipes from the USDA:

Share your Farmer’s Market experience with us by posting to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #DE4HealthyLiving or #FarmDE