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September is Potato Month

Each year, the Foodbank distributes roughly 800,000 lbs of potatoes to families in need. We know how to celebrate a potato around here!

Potatoes are a great source of potassium, fiber, and vitamins like B6. They’re also extremely versatile, and an easy addition to any meal. September is National Potato Month, so we’re giving our spud friends some love. Kelly Hall, our Registered Dietitian, demonstrates a simple and tasty potato salad recipe in our latest recipe video.

Easy Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of baby red potatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup onion (red or white), finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon honey mustard
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white or red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Boil potatoes until soft, approximately 10 minutes. Drain and let cool.
  2. Combine onion, green pepper, mustard, olive oil, vinegar, and mayonnaise in a bowl.
  3. Once potatoes have cooled, combine potatoes with mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Give the recipe a try, and let us know what you think!

After School Snacks

When students come home hungry, keep the learning going by teaching them about healthy eating habits.

Kelly, our Registered Dietitian, shows some simple snacks that will fill your kids up and keep them from added sugars, sodium, and preservatives.

Ants on a Log

Ingredients:
  • 1-2 celery stalks, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
  • Peanut Butter
  • Raisins
Instructions:
  1. Spread peanut butter over celery and place raisins on peanut butter.

Snail Snacks

Ingredients:
  • 1-2 celery stalks, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
  • Peanut Butter
  • 1 apple, sliced thinly
  • pretzels, broken into pieces
Instructions:
  1. Spread peanut butter over celery and press an apple slice into peanut butter.
  2. Place pretzel pieces at the end of the celery in the peanut butter, so they look like snail antennas.

Trail Mix

Ingredients:
  • 1 cups cereal
  • 1 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 3/4 cup granola
  • 3/4 cup raisins
Instructions:
  1. Mix together and enjoy!
The best thing about this recipe is that it is completely customizable based on what you and your family like. This recipe contains 4 ingredients, but feel free to add multiple kinds of cereal or several dried fruits. If your child has a nut allergy or doesn’t like raisins, feel free to make the trail mix they will most enjoy by adding their favorite snacks.

Trail Mix Tips

Here’s a break down of different trail mix components and what each item will add to your snack. Happy mixing!

Nuts

  • Nuts are loaded with healthy unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin E, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Whether they’re raw or roasted, go for unsalted, unsweetened nuts to keep sugar and sodium under control.
  • Our healthy favorites: Almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts. Higher-calorie macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, and pine nuts are also good options in moderation.

Seeds

  • Seeds provide many of the same nutritional benefits as nuts.
  • Sprinkle a handful of pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, or hemp seeds in trail mix for an extra boost of nutrients.

Dried Fruit

  • This sugary treat can easily become a danger, so pay attention to the ingredient list and serving sizes. In moderation, dried fruit can be a great source of fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K.
  • Look for dried fruit options with as little added sugar and preservatives as possible. It’s also pretty easy to make your own dried fruit at home in the oven.
  • Our Favorites: Dried apples, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, apricots, raisins, banana chips, and pineapple chunks.

Grains

  • Add some complex carbohydrates to your custom blend for extra fiber, which boosts overall energy and helps to keep you full.
  • Choose whole grains whenever possible and avoid highly processed cereals that add unnecessary sugar and sodium.
  • Shredded wheat cereal, pretzels, whole-grain cereals like Cheerios or Chex, bran flakes, granola, toasted oats, puffed rice cereal, and air-popped popcorn can all add a little bit of crunch.

Sweets

  • Sometimes we all need a little something sweet to round out the mix. Just remember to add treat-like options sparingly. Add a sprinkling of M&Ms, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, or chocolate-covered nuts. Choose dark varieties for extra antioxidants.

Savory Extras

  • Once the building blocks are all set, adding spices is a great way to change up the flavor a bit. Season lightly with sea salt, curry, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, or cayenne pepper.

Combinations

  • Simple and Sophisticated: Almonds, dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, sea salt, cinnamon.
  • Old-School GORP: Peanuts, raisins, M&Ms.
  • Tropical Mix: Cashews, Brazil nuts, dried mango, coconut flakes, banana chips.
  • Fall Flavors: Pecans, dried apples, maple granola, pumpkin seeds, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  • Savory Seeds: Almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper.
  • Beachy: Macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, dried pineapple, coconut flakes.
  • Nuts for Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, pecans, raisins.
  • Chocolate Lover: Hazelnuts, dried cranberries, chocolate-covered almonds, M&Ms, cacao nibs.
  • Monkey Munch: Banana chips, peanuts, almonds, dark chocolate chips, raisins, coconut flakes.
  • Movie Night: Popcorn, peanuts, M&Ms, dried cranberries.

Kids always come home from school with an appetite, so make sure they have healthy options to choose from to keep their minds and bodies in shape for this school year.

Zucchini Day

Happy National Zucchini Day from the St. Louis Area Foodbank!

Zucchini is a very versatile vegetable that is good for you, so we’re celebrating today with zucchini fries. Kelly Hall, our Registered Dietitian, demonstrates this easy recipe in our latest video below.

Zucchini is full of vitamin K, which helps support blood and bone health. It’s also a light vegetable that’s perfect for summer meals because it won’t make you feel weighed down.

The recipe for zucchini fries and a recipe for zucchini corn salad are below. Try them out and let us know what you think!

 

Baked Zucchini Fries

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan and Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  3. Working in batches, drop zucchini in flour, then dip into eggs, then place in bread crumb mixture, pressing to coat.
  4. Place zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Zucchini and Corn Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 zucchinis, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic to the skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add zucchini, corn, basil, oregano and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Stir in lime juice and cilantro.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Summer Vegetables

We have some good tips for how to include vegetables in your diet inexpensively.

Kelly Hall, our Registered Dietitian, explains the importance of eating different types and colors of vegetables. In our most recent video, she explains how the color of a vegetable can indicate which vitamins are in it. She also has some great tips to save you money and keep you healthy by shopping locally.

Members of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs receive a convenient abundance of fresh, local produce and they build a relationship with their local food system.  Many members also appreciate the opportunity to try new types and varieties of vegetables.

If you’re interested in joining a CSA, here are three good recommendations in the area:

Gateway Greening 

Earth Dance 

Fair Shares 

If you’re interested in shopping at farmers markets, you can find a map of St. Louis area markets here.

If you want some tips on home gardening, check out our blog from April that has helpful resources.

Find more recipes and ideas for using vegetables on our website stlfoodbank.org.