Halloween is just one day away! While this is classically a time to give out sweet treats, we must remember that many candies contain common allergens, such as milk, nuts, eggs, soy or wheat. According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), potentially life-threatening food allergies affect about 1 in every 13 children in the United States. This is no reason to give up on Halloween fun, though! All kids with food allergies, Celiac Disease, feeding tubes, etc can still dress up in their adorable costumes and have a blast celebrating the fun tradition of trick-or-treating. You can help all kids feel included and safe this year by participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project®, a national campaign that was launched by FARE in 2014.
Here’s How to Get Involved:
For more information on this initiative, visit the Teal Pumpkin Project FAQs. The FARE website also offers a variety of resources if you are hoping to learn a little more about food allergies in general. Wishing you a safe and joyful Halloween - happy haunting!
-Food Allergy Research & Education: http://www.foodallergy.org/home
The TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT® and the Teal Pumpkin Project® logo are registered trademarks of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).
Just as with new adventures and experiences, trying new foods should be approached with heightened attention to your senses. Halloween is the perfect time to explore new textures and flavors, especially if you have little ones at home. This candy-focused holiday doesn’t just need to be about indulging your sweet tooth. Remember to appreciate all of the beautiful colors and flavors that Fall has to offer, and turn some everyday favorite foods into festive spooky munchies with just a little creative brain power. Mozzarella and black olive eyeballs in your pasta, anyone?!
The Sound Dietitians team shared some of our tricks and treats with families this past Saturday at Verdant Community Wellness Center. We had fun concocting a bubbling potion to show off some wonders of food science and engaged in a mindful eating exercise to fully showcase the goodness of “nature’s candy.” Little werewolf paws helped in creating the recipes below and monstrous appetites were appeased!
We hope you enjoy a safe and healthful Halloween!
Spider Egg Chia Pudding
Enjoy this ooey-gooey fiber packed treat! Chia seed is a delight both to eat and experiment with. The seeds can rapidly absorb liquids in as little as 10 minutes and GROW about 10 times their size in the process! This allows us to enjoy chia as a slippery, pudding- like treat, or as a replacement for eggs in egg-free baking. Don’t forget to try your own experiments with chia pudding at home with other chopped fruit or flavorings like almond extract, cinnamon, or cocoa powder. (Disclaimer: no spiders were harmed in the development of this recipe.)
Gourds; they are everywhere. If you have been to the supermarket lately, you have probably been gloriously overwhelmed by the variety of winter squash lining the aisles. Not only are they rich in nutrients like vitamin A and fiber, but the sizes, shapes and colors of these lovely vegetables seem to have no end! In addition, they are relatively cheap and easy to store - some having a shelf life for months when kept cool and dry. Have you ever seen a squash that looked lovely to eat, but you weren’t so sure about the taste (or vice versa)? Good news folks, we are here to help you navigate your culinary adventures! Our second-to-last booth at the Everett Farmer’s Market featured many-a-squash, and how to identify them. Here are some of our helpful tips and recipes!
Kabocha, also known as a “Japanese Pumpkin”, is delicious by itself or as an addition to winter soups and stews. The color can range from a light, pale green- to an almost blue, but most of the time you find Kabochas that have a dark green/speckled exterior with a yellow/orange center. Its flavor is described as a combination of sweet and nutty, with a fluffy texture. Rest assured, pumpkins everywhere are green with envy. Below are two different ways to prepare the Kabocha.
Butternut squash is quintessential to Fall, with its unmistakable oblong shape and vibrant orange color. Like a sweet potato, the flesh is creamy and sweet, not to mention easy to prepare. Some stores sell raw butternut squash cubes in the produce and freezer sections. On the rare occasion, I have even spotted crinkle-cut butternut squash fries and - my goodness - were they delicious! Here is an easy recipe for a savory-sweet butternut squash and black bean chili:
Unless you have been living in a cave for the past 5 years, you have probably heard about spaghetti squash. This pale yellow, oval-shaped gourd is famous for its magical ability to turn itself from average squash- into pasta-hence its name. The fibers in spaghetti squash provide it with a noodle-like texture when baked. While most recipes involve a pasta sauce, we amped up our recipe by adding a homemade creamy pumpkin sauce! Just when you thought you couldn’t possibly get more pumpkin into your life this season.
Adapted from: http://leangreennutritionfiend.com/2015/10/09/spaghetti-squash-with-creamy-pumpkin-sauce/
It may look like more of a decoration than a vegetable, but do not let the delicate deceive you; it is pure, edible deliciousness. Slightly resembling a ballooned-up zucchini, the squash is oblong, striped and comes in a variety of pale greens and yellows. Its flavor is described as sweet, rich and moist. This delicata recipe is sweet, zesty and perfect for a fall potluck!
Oh, acorn squash. Perhaps the most adorable squash there is, how could you not want to take it home with you? Acorn squash can usually be spotted by their nut-like shape, and can range in hues and stripes from dark green, to yellow, orange and even sometimes white! They are soft in texture and have a buttery-neutral taste with a hint of sweetness, making them great for both sweet and savory recipes. Acorn squashes are generally smaller in size, which suites perfectly for a substitution in your go-to stuffed bell pepper recipe! Here is a satisfying recipe for stuffed acorn squash from epicurious.com.
Heat oven to 375°. Cut a thin slice off round side of each squash half to create a stable base. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; coat with cooking spray. Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; bake until golden and tender, 30 minutes. Remove from oven; flip squash and set aside. Heat broiler. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add sausage; cook, breaking into coarse pieces, until brown, 6 minutes; transfer to a bowl. To same skillet, add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and leek; cook until leek is soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, 30 seconds. Add kale and toss; add broth. Cover and cook until kale is tender, 5 minutes; stir in sausage. Divide kale-sausage filling among squash. In a bowl, combine walnuts, Parmesan and panko; sprinkle evenly over squash bowls and coat with cooking spray. Broil until panko is golden, 2 minutes.
Recipe from LARAINE PERRI SELF NOVEMBER 2013
Other winter squash varieties include hubbard squash, red kuri, buttercup, sweet dumpling, carnival, and-last but not least- the beloved pumpkin. Generally speaking, the majority of squashes are interchangeable in recipes, due to the consistency, taste and fiber content being very similar in many gourds (minus our special friend, the spaghetti squash). In other words, this blog post could last for days, but I’ll spare those reading. That way you’ll have more time to cook!
Wishing the happiest of Fall squash harvesting to you all,
A place for our consultant Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) to share nutrition science, yummy and healthy recipes, tips on seasonal ingredients, and other nutritional musings. Enjoy!