Don’t have time to make breakfast? Smoothies are the answer!

By Kaydi Williams Dietetic Intern, University of Arizona

Do you find yourself skipping breakfast because you are rushing in the morning or you are too busy packing food for your kids? Skipping breakfast can actually have negative health outcomes, like slowing down your metabolism, or causing you to feel low in energy throughout the day. Sometimes it can be hard to find quick breakfast foods that are also healthy. It is easy to drink a smoothie while getting ready or driving in the morning rather than skipping breakfast or taking time to sit down and eat.

Smoothies are the perfect quick breakfast option because they can be packed with a lot of essential vitamins and minerals that help kick start your day. Often times, smoothies are thought of as only containing a variety of fruit, but it is also important to include a variety of vegetables. In fact, smoothies are a great way to easily add more servings of vegetables into your diet. Fruits, such as bananas and pineapple, will cover up the taste of vegetables that you may not be fond of. Try adding as many vegetables to your smoothies as desired to get a variety of important nutrients.

People often think that they need fresh fruit and vegetables in order to make smoothies every day. However, another easy option is to prepare and freeze bags of produce ahead of time. This option will allow produce to be preserved longer and it will also cut down on food preparation time in the morning.

Here are steps for smoothie meal preparation:
1. Look online to find a smoothie recipe that sounds tasty.
2. Buy your favorite fresh fruits and vegetables or the ingredients to the online recipe you found.
3. Dice the fruit and chop the vegetables into small pieces.
4. Put all the pieces for the recipe into one freezer bag or container.
5. Label the bag with the flavor of the recipe and the date you made the bag.
6. Put the prepared bags in the freezer.
7. Wake up and choose the flavor smoothie you desire.
8. Empty the frozen contents into the blender.
9. Add milk, yogurt, protein powder, peanut butter, nuts and/or other ingredients into the blender. It is important to add a liquid to the recipe or all of the frozen produce may be difficult to blend.
10. Blend.
11. Pour into a cup and breakfast is ready!

If properly stored in the freezer, these smoothie bags can last up to 6 months. Now you have an easy breakfast that is full of vitamins and minerals to start your day off right!

Recipe ideas:
• Strawberry banana smoothie: ¼ cup sliced strawberries, ½ banana, ½ cup spinach, ½ cup kale, 1 cup milk (1%, almond, coconut), 1 scoop strawberry or vanilla protein powder (optional)
• Mango smoothie: ¾ cup mango, 1 cup spinach, ½ banana, 1 cup milk, 1 tbsp. flaxseed, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
• Kale smoothie: 1 cup kale, ¼ avocado, 1 banana, lemon juice (as desired), 1 cup milk

For more informative articles check out the Fill Your Plate blog. If you liked these recipes, then you will love the Fill Your Plate recipe section.

 

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Children vs. Vegetables: Tips for Handling your Picky Eater.

By Cecelia Wilken, Current ASU Nutrition Student

 

“You’re not leaving that spot until you eat everything on your plate.”

 

This was a common phrase used by my parents when trying to get my younger brother and me to eat vegetables when we were children. I remember sitting for hours at the dinner table, starting with anger at the peas that had long grown cold on my plate, or sneakily feeding my broccoli to the dog under the table. Unfortunately, picker eating is something that many parents struggle with.

Before I had my own child, I remember dreaming about bountiful and nutritious meals that my daughter would gobble up happily. I would watch other parents struggle to feed their screaming children vegetables at restaurants before caving and handing them a handful of crackers just to keep them content. Of course, my own child would never act in that manner. She would eat everything put in front of her with enthusiasm and appreciation.

 

Boy, was I wrong.

 

With a stubborn will, just like her mother, she would sit for hours at the table with a plate full of food, completely untouched. Getting her to try anything new was like pulling teeth and dinner time started to become something I deeply resented. I would cringe at the phrases my parents often used on me echoed from my mouth.

 

After struggling for some time, I finally decided, enough is enough. I wanted dinnertime to evolve from tears and frustration into something positive and enjoyable for everyone. There must be a better way to do this!

 

There have been countless books, articles and tips, and tricks for dealing with picky eaters written over the years. But what will work best for you and your family? Here are some things I’ve found that might work for you!

 

What the experts say!

The sooner the better! Almost all experts agree that the sooner you introduce variety into your child’s diet your success rate of getting them to eat and try new foods will increase as they grow older. Studies have even suggested that a mother’s diet, while still pregnant, can set the stage for infant acceptance of solid foods later in life¹. Amniotic fluid contains components of flavors of meals that the mother has ingested. Mother’s with diets with lots of garlic, curry, and spice have been noted for having amniotic fluid that notably smells like this flavors¹. Since taste and smell as already functional during fetal development, exposure to varied foods while in the womb can help influence acceptance of these types of foods later in the child’s development.

 

Additionally, the same can be said for breastfeeding as certain flavors of a mother’s diet affect the flavor of breastmilk. An added positive factor for breastfeeding is that breastfed children have a higher rate of maintaining healthy weights throughout their lifetimes¹.

 

Of course, this is wonderful! But what if you were like me; pregnant with a vicious case of morning sickness that lasted your entire pregnancy and spicy curry, or garlic was absolutely off the table? Or what if you’re a mother who is unable to breastfeed your child? Does that mean your child will be a picky eater?

 

Not at all. Repeated exposure is the key. Starting your infant off with mashed up peas, carrots, and unsweet vegetables as opposed to sweet fruits like plums, bananas, apples or strawberries can help prevent your child from favoring the sweet stuff later.

 

The “You don’t have to eat it” approach.

“You don’t have to eat it.”

 

Uhm, excuse me? “Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense” a book by Ellyn Satter*, deals with picky eating and offers ways to help develop healthy eating habits in children.

To summarize, Satter, a registered dietitian nutritionist and family therapist recommends a “division of responsibility” for meals; the parents decide what to eat, when to eat, and where to eat, while the child decides whether they want to eat and how much they want to eat. Dishes should be served “family style” giving the child the choice to fill their plate from the dishes that are offered. Satter also recommends including at least one thing during mealtime that parents know the child will eat. For example, in my house, my child will always eat rice, so I’ll include rice or a rice dish during dinner. Dessert should be set out as an option during dinner (if it’s going to be an option) and not be used as a persuasion tool.

By saying “You don’t have to eat it.” your child no longer runs dinner time. No more keeping a list in your head about the things they like or dislike, no more fighting at the table, no more having to make 3 separate meals for everyone. They either eat, or they don’t.

 

Find a copy of the book here. (https://www.amazon.com/Child-Mine-Feeding-Revised-Updated/dp/0923521518).

 

Bring them into the kitchen!

Something that has worked immensely for my own family to involve my daughter in the preparation of dinner. We work together to prepare and cook our meals. While she is still only 3, she’s been helping me in the kitchen since she should hold utensils in her hand. When she was an infant, I would put her in her high chair, hand her a spoon, and encourage her to stir cut up vegetables while I explained what I was doing to her. As she grew, her tasks evolved. She now helps me by “painting” vegetables to be roasted with olive oil, she stirs together ingredients, places pasta into pots and even has her own kid-friendly “knives” that she uses to help me chop up cooked chicken.

From helping me, she has learned kitchen and utensil safety, to create certain dishes, the importance of handling food safely. She’s far more willing to try new foods if she has helped make it and dinnertime has turned into a bonding experience for both of us.

It has been shown in recent studies that students who engage in farm-to-table and student kitchen programs in their schools are twice as likely to eat fruits and vegetables on their own, make more healthy decisions about food and have positive attitudes about food².

 

Be consistent and keep to a schedule.

Growing children need the energy to fuel their developing minds and growing bodies. For many children, snack-time plays an essential role in helping them meet their daily nutritional needs. However, sometimes snack-time turns into mealtime and many children end up “grazing” throughout the day. In some instances, this can result in increased body fat percentages and obesity later in life. Grazing prevents children from learning self-regulation and prevents them from developing recognition of body cues like feeling hungry or full³. Snacking throughout the day can cause children to feel less hungry during actual meal-time, resulting in avoiding what is on their plate.

 

That’s why it is important for parents to develop healthy eating habits early in life. Some tips for developing a healthy eating schedule and habits include:

–    Stick to a schedule. Devote certain times of the day to eating. For example, breakfast following by a small snack, lunch, then a snack and then dinner.

–    Meals and snacks should be eaten at a designated area. Sitting down to eat at the table, whether for a snack or meal is important for developing mindful eating habits. Snacking or eating meals in front of a screen can result in grazing or distraction and can negatively affect intake.

–    Eat meals together. Children often learn from example, so sitting down and eating dinner as a family helps set boundaries and establish self-regulation.

–    Don’t let them drink their meals. Staying hydrated is important but constantly filling the sippy cup can result in your child filling up before the meals even begun. Drinks should be given after or during meals and should be avoided a few hours before dinner time to avoid that full feeling.

–    Keep trying! Even if your child has pushed away broccoli 20 times, keep offering it! It might take multiple times of exposure before your child will willingly try a dish you’ve offered in the past.

–    Be patient. Children are great at testing our patience. It is not uncommon for children to love a dish one day and hate it the next. Having patience and consistency will help your child develop healthy self-regulation.

 

My toddler is still quite a picky eater, but since I’ve started implementing some of these tips into our daily schedule she now has a much more balanced and varied diet. I no longer resent dinnertime and I’ve ended up having some help in the kitchen.

If you find yourself struggling with a picky eater, remember you are not alone! Please make sure you talk with your pediatrician about your picky eater for additional information and guidance.

 

*This article is not affiliated with Ellyn Satter in any manner and the author does not claim credit for the book or its contents.

 

For more informative articles check out the Fill Your Plate blog. Or if you’re looking for some recipes your picky eater might enjoy, check out the Fill your Plate recipe section.

 

 

References

¹ Cooke, L. (2007). The importance of exposure for healthy eating in childhood: a review. Journal Of Human Nutrition And Dietetics, 20(4), 294-301. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-277x.2007.00804.x

²Rauzon, S., Wang, M., Studer, N., & Crawford, P. (2010). AN EVALUATION OF THE SCHOOL LUNCH INITIATIVE. Retrieved from http://www.schoollunchinitiative.org/ downloads/sli_eval_full_report_2010.pdf

³Savage, J., Fisher, J., & Birch, L. (2007). Parental Influence on Eating Behavior: Conception to Adolescence. The Journal Of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 35(1), 22-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-720x.2007.00111.x

 

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All Things Thanksgiving

By Morgan Crawford, Current ASU Nutrition Student

Alright, I have to admit it… I am obsessed with Thanksgiving. How could anyone not absolutely love a holiday that is centered around food!? Well, I guess most holidays are focused on delicious eats, but Thanksgiving is the King of them all. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes—it sounds more like a holiday that celebrates the gift of carbohydrates. In a sense, this is true, but there is much more to it.

 

Thanksgiving is the day that families gather around the dinner table and share a meal together. There is something so special about spending all day in the kitchen and preparing a meal to share with those we love. It’s a fundamental element of the family unit that I think many of us have lost in recent decades. As society has changed, responsibilities have multiplied, and life has become more complicated, the sweet family moments within the home have diminished. I think this is why I have such a fondness for Thanksgiving; it reminds us of why family is so important and how preparing and sharing a meal together can bring us back to our roots.

 

The Original Feast

The first Thanksgiving in 1621 was very different from what it is now. Many of the dishes that fill our tables today weren’t even eaten by the Pilgrims at the original feast. When we think of the Thanksgiving meal, turkey is what probably first comes to mind, but it isn’t known whether this was actually present at the first meal in Plymouth. More than likely, it wasn’t. Instead, proteins such as lobster, seal, and swans were eaten. Additionally, desserts that are typically associated with the holiday, such as pumpkin and pecan pie, are also relatively new traditional dishes. Due to the lack of sugar and modern cooking techniques, the Pilgrims did not partake in the sweets that we see today. I have to say, the dishes that we now eat on Thanksgiving sound much better than what the original feast must have looked like. I think most of us are thankful that swans and seals aren’t on the menu during the holidays.

 

History of Thanksgiving

It was during the American Revolution that the first official proclamation for a day of Thanksgiving was made by George Washington. At the time, each state chose its own date on which to celebrate, until twenty-eight years later in 1817, when New York was the first to choose a specific date. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Franklin D. Roosevelt then changed it in 1939 to be on the third Thursday, which is what has remained to this day. Throughout the years, the date is not the only thing that has changed. The meaning and reason for celebration has also evolved. What is said to be the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth was a celebration of the first successful harvest after arriving in Plymouth, Massachusetts. During the American Revolution, George Washington declared it a day to celebrate the end of the war of independence. While we keep these specific times in mind, the meaning behind the holiday has changed quite a lot. I think many of us would say it is now a celebration of family and a time to be thankful for what we have been given.

 

Recipes

As much as we love the rich, buttery, carb-heavy meal that is served on Thanksgiving, there is always room for some improvement in the health department. I love testing out new recipes that offer a lighter, more nutritious take on the traditional holiday dishes. Here are some for you to try out if you’re looking to do the same.

 

This recipe is a great alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. With sweet potatoes and cauliflower, it comes packed with nutrients!

 

Sweet Potato Cauliflower Mash

 

Ingredients:

2 pounds sweet potatoes

1 pound cauliflower florets

3 tablespoons milk of choice

¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh chopped parsley for garnish

 

Instructions:

  1. Peel sweet potatoes and dice into cubes.
  2. Steaming option: Place sweet potatoes and cauliflower in a steam basket with 1 inch of water in the bottom of the pot. Cook until tender. This will take 10-15 minutes.
  3. Boiling option: Place sweet potatoes and cauliflower in a large pot of boiling water. Cook until tender—test by poking with a fork.
  4. Transfer cooked vegetables to a large bowl and mash together. Mix in yogurt, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  5. Garnish with parsley and serve.

 

This recipe is the perfect gluten-free option for the holidays. Try out this quinoa dish for a fun spin on stuffing.

 

Lemon Quinoa

 

Ingredients:

2 cups butternut squash

1 cup quinoa

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ cup shallots- chopped

4 cloves garlic- minced

1 tsp thyme- dried

2.5 cups vegetable broth

1 tsp lemon zest

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons pine nuts for garnish

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Peel butternut squash, cut in half and scoop out seeds using a spoon.
  3. Dice into ½ inch cubes and place on baking tray (use parchment or a silicone mat). Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Rinse quinoa with cool water. Cook shallots and garlic in a large pot. Add quinoa and toast for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add squash, thyme, and vegetable broth to the pot. Put burner on simmer, cover with a lid, and allow to cook until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
  6. Add lemon juice and zest. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. If desired, add toasted pine nuts.

 

If you enjoyed these recipes be sure to check out the Fill Your Plate recipe section. Are you looking for more nutrition-related articles? Check out the Fill Your Plate blog where new articles are posted every week.

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Now You’re Talking Turkey! Tips for Taking your Turkey to the Next Level.


By Cecelia Wilken, Current ASU Nutrition Student

The holidays are approaching fast, and if you are like me, you’ve been planning your Thanksgiving meal for the last month. Thanksgiving has always held a close place in my heart. I grew up helping my grandmother and father in the kitchen every year, and they taught me how to make pies, ham, roasted vegetables, sweet potatoes… You name it, we probably made it.

However, the one thing that I never really helped with was the turkey. That was my father’s job, and one he took rather seriously. So, when I left the nest, my knowledge on turkey-prep was very limited. But being rather motivated and dreaming about a beautifully roasted bird on my table, I got to work researching various recipes and techniques all over the internet.

To put it lightly, the first turkey was… disappointing. It was dry, overcooked and (I’m cringing thinking about it) … bland. Since then, I have honed and perfected my own turkey techniques and have helped many of my friends conquer their own first turkeys with wild success.

Here are some of my tips for cooking the perfect turkey:

1) Find the right bird.
First things first. In order to cook a turkey, you must find a turkey. But how do you choose? I go by a simple rule; fresh is best. The fresher your turkey, the better it’s going to taste. I try to avoid frozen turkeys at all cost, favoring a local butcher or farm to supply my bird. A lot of farms and ranches offer pre-ordering for fresh turkeys. The USDA recommends purchasing a fresh turkey no more than 2 days before you plan on cooking it.

Use the Fill Your Plate “Find A Farm Product” search to help you get started. http://fillyourplate.org/find-farm-product.html

Of course, fresh birds are not always available, and I’ve cooked a pre-frozen turkey with great success! The trick is making sure you thaw a frozen bird correctly, a half-frozen bird will cook unevenly and result in a dry, grainy texture. Thaw times vary depending on how big your bird is. Use this guide by the USDA for appropriate thaw times https://bit.ly/2kMOwU5.

2) Stay away from STUFFING!

I avoid birds filled with stuffing like the plague. I find that stuffed birds take longer to cook, are less flavorful, are dry, and unless cooked correctly, can result in a range of food-borne illnesses. Do yourself a favor and don’t stuff your bird.

If you DO insist on stuffing your bird, here are a few rules (courtesy of the USDA):
– Do not buy FRESH pre-stuffed turkeys.
– Only buy frozen pre-stuffed turkeys sporting a USDA or State seal of approval. This ensures safety by being manufactured and processed in controlled conditions.
– Do not thaw stuffed-frozen turkeys! Cook right from a frozen state or follow the directions on the packaging.

3) Bigger isn’t always better!

It’s recommended that you allot 1 pound of meat per person. So, if you are serving 20 people, you’ll need a 20-pound turkey. However, that is a pretty big turkey and bigger turkeys take longer to cook. The longer you cook something the dryer it tends to be. My perfect turkey size is around 12-15 pounds. If I am cooking for a large group of people, I’ll cook two smaller sized turkeys instead of trying to purchase one big enough to feed everyone. I find that smaller turkeys cook more evenly and tend to stay juicier than the larger ones. And by cooking 2 turkeys I’m almost always guaranteed leftovers! Which is a must in my household.

4) Trust me. It’s worth it.

A brine, in food-processing, is a process in which meat is soaked in a salt-water solution before being cooked. The process is like marinating and is aimed at tenderizing the meat. When I first heard about bringing, I was skeptical. But ever since that year when I first brined my turkey, I’ve been doing it ever since and swear it’s THE ONLY WAY to prep a turkey. Bringing a turkey takes away the need to “baste” your turkey. By pre-soaking the meat in a salt-water bath, the salt and flavor molecules within the brine saturate the meat, helping it retain moisture and flavor, even as it cooks.

Comparatively, basting your turkey does little to enhance the flavor of the meat inside your turkey, and the constant opening and closing of the oven door only increase the cooking time, which, as I mentioned before, dries out the meat.

BUT ISN’T IT SALTY?! Nope. Not at all. Don’t trust me? Well, take a moment to watch this short video by Alton Brown, Food Network star and a pioneer of food science which explains bringing perfectly!
https://youtu.be/KKr1rByVVCI

Now I love to add a bunch of other ingredients into my brine. I’ll add leftover apple peels and cores from pies I’ve made, dried cranberries, dried herbs, peppercorns, some sugar and orange peels. All these wonderful flavors will saturate deep inside the meat during the brining process making the juiciest most flavorful turkey. (See my recipe below for more information.)

To brine, I usually buy a sealable brining bag that you can find in any grocery store. If you are cramped on space in the fridge, like I usually am, you can place the bagged turkey swimming in the brine in a large cooler and cover it with lots and lots of ice. I’ll usually let it soak overnight the day before I roast it. You can find a brining bag on Amazon like this one here:  https://amzn.to/2OJDLMa

5) The big day! It’s time to roast!

After my turkey has been bringing for at least 12 hours, I’ll take it out and place it on a roasting rack in a large pan (like this one here https://amzn.to/2QGyuXu), dry it off completely, inside and out, with paper towels and take out the neck bona and giblets. Making sure the skin is dry will help make it crispy and beautifully golden brown during the baking process.

At this point, I like to add additional flavor by coating the whole bird in a butter, herb, salt & pepper mixture. The butter enhances the flavor and the fat molecules help make the crispy and delicious skin. I’ll roughly chop up onions, apples, oranges, and fresh herbs and place them loosely in the turkey cavity and around the bottom of the pan with a splash of chicken broth or white wine.

I know I said stuffing is bad, but the ingredients inside aren’t meant to be eaten. Instead, by loosely filling the cavity with aromatic ingredients it will help enhance the flavor without increasing cooking time or risking food-borne illness contamination.

I will usually wait until the bird has reached room-temperature before placing it in the oven. Making sure the bird is room-temp will decrease cook-time and help with even cooking. Once I place my turkey in the oven, that door remains closed until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached. Which brings me to my next point.
6) Purchase a good oven safe thermometer.

The USDA recommends that a turkey reaches an internal temp of 165°F before it is safe to be consumed. In order to keep from having to open and close your oven door (which will increase cooking time), invest in an oven safe thermometer. I have a thermometer that has an oven safe prob that connects to a timer/temperature reader outside of the oven like this one here https://amzn.to/2Td4T9A. I can set it to alert me after a certain amount of time or when it reaches a specific temperature.

 

I’ll usually set it to alert me around 150°F and will pull it out once it reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the breast and innermost part of the thigh and wing. Once it reaches that temp. I’ll take the bird out of the oven and cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before cutting into it.

Cooking times will generally fall into this category:

For an unstuffed turkey:

  • 4-8 pounds 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours
  • 8-12 pounds 2 1/2 – 3 hours
  • 12-14 pounds 3 – 3 1/2 hours
  • 14-18 pounds 3 1/2 – 4 hours
  • 18-20 pounds 4 -4 1/2 hours

 

7) Start the oven temperature high, then lower it.
This was a trick I learned over the years that I swear by. I preheat my oven to a raging 475°F before placing my bird inside. I’ll keep it at this temperature for about 30 minutes before dropping it down to 350° This sort of sears the outside of the bird, crisping the skin and trapping all the juices and flavor inside.

If you notice that your bird is getting a bit too crispy/getting burnt you can always place a blanket of aluminum foil over the entire thing and then pull it off 5-10 minutes before it finishes cooking. Again, try to keep the door closed throughout the entire cooking process only opening it unless you REALLY need to.

People often tell me that they are scared to cook a turkey and think that it’s hard to do. But with a little bit of finesse and patience, you too can roast a perfect bird and impress your family and friends on Thanksgiving.

My Favorite Turkey Brine

  • 3 cups apple juice/ apple cider
  • 2 gallons of water
  • A handful of fresh rosemary leaves
  • 5 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1 ½ cups of course kosher salt
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of peppercorns
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 3 oranges sliced up
  • 2 apples sliced up

Bring all the ingredients to a boil in a large pot, stirring until completely dissolved. Let rest until completely cooled before pouring over a clean, completely thawed turkey in a brining bag. Ensure the entire bird is covered, seal the bag and place in the fridge or a cooler with lots of ice overnight or up to 24 hours.

Citrus & Herb Buttered Turkey

For the butter:

  • 1 large orange; juiced and zested
  • 1 large lemon; juiced and zested
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • A handful of fresh chopped sage
  • A handful of fresh chopped rosemary
  • A handful of fresh chopped thyme
  • A couple pinches of salt & pepper
  • 1 stick of room-temperature butter

For the turkey:

  • 1 large orange; cut into quarters
  • 1 large lemon; cut into quarters
  • 1 yellow onion; cut into wedges
  • 1 granny smith apple; cut into wedges
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • Handfuls of fresh sage, rosemary and thyme sprigs
  • 1-2 cups of white wine or chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 475°
  • Mix all butter ingredients together, set aside.
  • Place room-temperature, pre-brined turkey on rack in roasting pan. Dry completely inside and out.
  • Place oranges, lemon, onion, apple, garlic, herbs loosely inside of turkey and along the bottom of the pan. Add white wine or broth to the bottom of the pan.
  • Completely cover the turkey in butter mixture, massage onto and under the skin.
  • Place turkey on the oven rack placed so the turkey sits in the middle of the oven. Insert an oven-safe thermometer into thickest portion of turkey breast.
  • Bake at 475°F for 30 minutes, lower the temperature to 350°F and cook for allotted time or until internal temperature reaches 165°
    • 4-8 pounds 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours
    • 8-12 pounds 2 1/2 – 3 hours
    • 12-14 pounds 3 – 3 1/2 hours
    • 14-18 pounds 3 1/2 – 4 hours
    • 18-20 pounds 4 -4 1/2 hours
  • Remove turkey from oven and cover with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Check out these articles for more information on all things turkey!
https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/poultry-preparation/lets-talk-turkey/CT_Index
http://fillyourplate.org/blog/creative-ways-cook-turkey/
http://fillyourplate.org/blog/3-easy-ways-pick-perfect-turkey-table/
http://fillyourplate.org/blog/lets-talk-turkey/

 

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Re-vamp your Family’s Sweet Potato Casserole

By Jessica Brick, Current U of A Dietetic Intern

 

Holiday time is here, which means its time to get ready for family gatherings! Nothing gets the family more excited than getting together and sharing a meal together. So why not spice things up this year by ditching the old sweet potato casserole – try something nutritious and new this holiday season.  This recipe is quick and simple – the ingredients can be mixed the day before festivities so all you have to do the day of is mix in the oil and pop the dish into the oven.  It will be the dish your family cannot stop talking about and the recipe everyone will want! Hope you and your family enjoy and have a happy holiday sharing good food and company.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Yield: 8 servings
Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (~2 ½ cups)
  • 1 ½ cups halved Brussels sprouts
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium apple, cored and diced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary/sage
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ cup dried cherries/cranberries
  • ½ cup avocado oil – can use olive oil as a substituted if desired

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with oil of choice
  3. Transfer ingredients to a baking dish and cover with foil
  4. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil, toss then bake, uncovered for an additional 15-20 minutes longer or until the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve.

-Jessica Brick – UA ISSP Dietetic Intern

 

For more fun recipes the whole family will love, check out the Fill Your Plate recipe section.

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