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Kaylor: Tips for a happy, healthy holiday

By Staff | Dec 12, 2014

Spending time with family and friends and enjoying special food is part of most holiday celebrations. However, you may leave the gathering thinking you ate too much. If you are planning any holiday gatherings, try these tips to keep your holidays festive and also focused on good health.

Keep the celebration simple

How about a soup, bread and salad potluck? If some of your guests do not have time to cook, could they help organize or assist with cleanup?

Have fun with your menu ideas. Be sure to feature fruits, vegetables, whole grains and

other healthful foods such as these:

Red and green apple wedges with lemon yogurt dip

Parfaits made by layering nonfat vanilla yogurt with frozen red berries

Pomegranate seeds sprinkled over kiwi slices

Spinach dip served with red and green pepper strips and whole-grain pita chips

Slim your recipes

Choose lower-fat versions of your ingredients, such as “light” cream cheese. If you are making a dip, substitute plain nonfat yogurt for the mayonnaise or sour cream. Choose baked chips instead of fried.

Remember food safety

Perishable food, such as cut fruit and vegetables, salads, meats and casseroles, should spend no more than two hours at room temperature.

Use a slow cooker to hold hot foods hot. Keep food warm in the oven until you serve it.

Keep cold foods cold by making an “ice nest”: Set bowls or plates of food inside or on top of bowls of ice to help keep the food cold. Replace ice if it melts.

Make activity part of the celebration

Organize a sledding party. If the weather is too cold outdoors, make room for dancing indoors.

Explore some new recipes

Visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/food and click on “recipes” for hundreds of foods in categories such as appetizers, soups, breads and main dishes. Check out all the nutrition resources and videos, too.

Blueberry or Cranberry Scone Mix

2 c. all-purpose flour

c. granulated sugar

c. nonfat dry milk powder

2 tsp. baking powder

tsp. salt

1/3 c. shortening

1 c. dried blueberries or dried cranberries

Stir together the flour, sugar, dry milk, baking powder and salt. Use a fork to cut in the shortening until the mixture looks crumbly. Pour into a 1-quart glass jar and top with the blueberries. Add more dried fruit to fill in the gap between the flour and top of jar, if needed.

You also may place the mix in a zipper-top plastic bag. Copy the following scone recipe and add to the jar or plastic bag.

Blueberry or Cranberry Scone Recipe

Place the jar contents in a large mixing bowl. Add the following ingredients and mix until


tsp. vanilla extract

tsp. lemon juice

1 beaten egg

c. water

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and quickly yet gently kneading for 12 to

15 strokes or until smooth. Pat to -inch thickness. Cut into desired shape using a cookie cutter or knife. Place each scone 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a cooking rack. Serve warm.

Makes 15 servings. Each serving has 180 calories, 5 grams (g) fat, 3 g protein,

29 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 150 milligrams sodium.

Store this scone mix up to six weeks at room temperature or freeze for up to six months.

From NDSU Extension Service Food Wise Julie Garden-Robinson, Food & Nutrition Specialist

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