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A delicious and healthy alternative to fruit pies, these baked pears can be served as dessert, or even eaten with breakfast. This is a favorite of mine at holiday meals when you want something sweet after dinner because they fulfill the sweet tooth craving without being too sugary or too filling. These pears are delicious on their own, but for additional flavors, they can also be topped with a spoonful of low-sugar strawberry jam or a small scoop of vanilla… Continue reading »

Our colleagues at the NC Safe Plates team have prepared a Food Gifts Fact Sheet with tips to gift food safely this holiday season! Homemade food gifts are common around the holidays. Many options, such as homemade spicemixes, baking mixes and breads have minimal food safety risks. Items such as home canned ordried foods, infused items and some baked goods should be handled carefully to prevent illness. Baked Goods Many baked goods, like breads and cookies, can be stored at… Continue reading »

This is a quick, easy, healthy, and delicious pumpkin dessert that can be eaten as a snack or dessert around the holidays or really anytime you are craving the flavor of pumpkin.  If you need the crunch of the crust, feel free to layer the bottom of your bowl or sprinkle the top with graham cracker crumbs.  The recipe makes 5 ½-cup servings. Ingredients 1 cup canned pumpkin (about ½ 15.oz can) 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt ½ cup Truwhip… Continue reading »

This year I decided to experiment with a healthy remix to a holiday classic. I landed on two takes of Sweet Potato Casserole – one that is velvety in texture and reminds me most of the traditional version and the one below that has more of a firm texture with a yummy banana flavor.  If you are looking for a way to change up your standard Sweet Potato Casserole – add banana! Banana’s act as a natural sweetener in this… Continue reading »

With the holidays just around the corner, many of us are dusting off recipes that we use only a few times a year. If your family is like mine, Sweet Potato Casserole is always on the menu at the holidays. Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins, minerals, and a great source of fiber, but with all of the added sugar, traditional Sweet Potato Casserole is more like a dessert than a side dish. This year I decided to experiment with… Continue reading »

Our colleagues at the NC Safe Plates team have prepared a Baking Food Safety Fact Sheet with tips to bake safely this holiday season! Baked goods should be prepared, baked and stored properly to prevent foodborne illness. Avoid eating foods containing raw flour or eggs, including pre-packaged items. Keeping Clean Wash hands after handling raw flour and unbaked batters and doughs. Clean countertops and utensils with warm water and soap after working with doughs and batters. Decorating Use pasteurized egg… Continue reading »

Cranberries are super healthy with lots of antioxidants. Thanksgiving, however, does not bring out the best in this super fruit as they are usually accompanied by lots of sugar. This recipe is what I would call healthy-ish as it does have some sugar but lots of fruit that adds most of the sweetness. It also keeps for a week (or more) in the refrigerator to spice up all the leftovers after the big day. Another positive for this recipe is… Continue reading »

November is Sweet Potato Awareness Month. Sweet potatoes are a healthy source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins A and C. A fun fact, North Carolina has led the nation in sweet potato production for decades and produces about 60 percent of the country’s total sweet potato crop. My favorite type of sweet potato is Murasaki—or Japanese—sweet potatoes. I discovered them at Trader Joes a few years ago. Japanese sweet potatoes have a purple or deep magenta skin and a white… Continue reading »

Move over butternut and acorn squash. Now for something…more delicate?  Delicata squash is a winter squash also referred to as “sweet potato squash”.  It has a creamy texture, sweet flavor, and roasts beautifully in the oven. We recently tried delicata squash as a side dish with salmon and it was DELicious!  As the name implies, the skin is soft and is therefore easy to chop and you can eat it with the skin on. It is even easier to buy it already chopped,… Continue reading »

This recipe is a go-to when I have an acorn squash and am looking for something easy to put together. It is filling and delicious! I generally make it for dinner but it would be great for a weekend breakfast too. If this is the only thing I made, I’ll eat two eggs-in-holes, but generally, I’d eat one and have a well-rounded meal with the addition of a piece of olive oil toast and a side salad. You will get… Continue reading »