Living Lite

New USDA Proposed Farm Bill Rule Threatens Food Security

December 25, 2018

Urgent message from Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D.N. The new farm bill, signed into law December 20 by President Trump, will serve the public by investing in a strong food safety net, nutrition education programs that promote healthy people, and a robust food system and strengthened economy, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

 

However, a proposed rule announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture hours before the signing could decrease states' flexibility to waive work requirements for people who receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

 

"The farm bill, as signed into law, reinforces the inherent link between agriculture and nutrition by fostering access to nutrient-dense foods that promote health and providing consumer education that increases nutrition literacy and life management skills," said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Mary Russell.

 

"The bipartisan farm bill ensures the integrity of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, while making targeted improvements for seniors and people with disabilities and modernizing systems and technology," Russell said.

 

USDA's proposed rule, however, would affect people's eligibility for SNAP, which the Academy believes is highly effective in preventing food insecurity and alleviating poverty, and is linked with improved health and lower health care costs.

 

"SNAP helps one in eight Americans put food on the table and keeps more than 8 million people out of poverty. The Academy supports efforts to ensure states have the flexibility needed to improve people's food security," Russell said.

 

The farm bill will improve coordination of SNAP-Ed with other nutrition education programs and take steps to increase accountability and reporting of outcomes, as well as sharing of information between states through an information clearinghouse. The coordination of programs would not be affected by USDA's proposed rule.

 

"Access to food is a key component of reducing food insecurity. Nutrition education through the SNAP-Ed program affords participants the opportunity to budget for and prepare healthy foods and maximize their purchasing ability," Russell said.

###

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. 


Click here to share your thoughts.


Katherine's Weekly Batch Recipe: Chocolate-Covered Holiday Treats!

December 20, 2018

My fifth and final 2018 weekly batch recipe is all about holiday celebrating. This batch is a fun - and messy - activity for children, and adults, of course. They make an impressive gift, or even a dessert or snack for a holiday gathering. They taste like fresh peanut butter cups, but unbelievably ... every. single. ingredient ... is natural and healthful!

Batches make the most of the time you spend in the kitchen and ease some stress from your life. I feature batch recipes in my books, Diet Simple and Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes. Batches are your favorite delicious, quick and easy meals made ahead of time so that you always have something in the freezer or refrigerator, ready to eat, or serve for guests, on a moment’s notice. And, believe it or not, though it may take a little extra time to prepare the batches on the weekends, it actually saves time overall and calms the daily whirlwind of your life.

Roll the Frozen Peanut Butter and Oat Balls in the Melted Chocolate Chips (Photo by: Katherine Tallmadge) Roll the Frozen Peanut Butter and Oat Balls in the Melted Chocolate Chips

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter & Oat Balls

I always at least quadruple this recipe. It's only four ingredients. It's fast. It's simple. These treats are so addictive, they're gone in a flash, so be on your toes!

A Heaping 1/2 Cup of Peanut Butter (or any nut butter you like, such as Almond Butter)
3/4 Cup Old Fashioned or Quick Rolled Oats
1 Tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup
3/4 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Natural, Unsweetened Coconut Flakes (optional)
Chopped Roasted Nuts (optional)

Mix oats, peanut butter and maple syrup. Roll into about 12 or more balls (the smaller the balls, the more chocolate on each one!) and place them on a baking sheet which is covered with parchment paper. Freeze about 15 minutes or until set.

Involve Family and Friends in Creating Your Holiday Treat - Be Prepared to Get Chocolate Everywhere! (Photo by: Katherine Tallmadge) Involve Family and Friends in Creating Your Holiday Treat - Be Prepared to Get Chocolate Everywhere!

Pull the frozen balls out of the freezer. Roll them in the melted chocolate and, if you wish, sprinkle with chopped nuts and/or coconut. Melt the chocolate carefully to prevent it from burning. Use a double boiler and stir until melted, or use a microwave stirring every 30 seconds until melted.

You may need to heat the chocolate again as the frozen balls may harden the chocolate while you're "working." Once every ball is generously covered and every last bit of chocolate is used up, freeze until the balls are set, at least 15 minutes.

Pull them out of the freezer and enjoy. You can save them in a plastic container in your refrigerator for three weeks. The more you make, the better!

Adapted from Eating Well Magazine.


Click here to share your thoughts.


Katherine's Weekly Batch Recipe: Tastier Than French Fries!

December 13, 2018

If roasted correctly, this stunning rainbow of vegetables can taste better than french fries. Yes. You heard me! Roasting for the ideal length of time caramelizes vegetables, conveying sweetness and expressing more of their aromatic flavors. They're crispy and golden on the outside with a tender inside. The array of vegetables satisfies your natural urge for a variety of color, texture, flavor and shape, leftover from cave man times, all of which, together, help prevent cravings and provide an array of nutrients, important for survival. Even in today's space age, you still have that instinct for variety. Add a fruit, such as apples or peaches to create more sweet, if you wish.

My fourth weekly batch recipe, based on what you can find at your Farmers Market this weekend (beets, carrots, potatoes of all kinds, broccoli, and brussels sprouts), is Tastier Than French Fries! Roasted Veggies

Batches are all about making the most of the time you spend in the kitchen and easing some stress from your life. I feature batch recipes in my books, Diet Simple and Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes. Batches are your favorite delicious, quick and easy meals made ahead of time so that you always have something in the freezer or refrigerator, ready to eat, or serve for guests, on a moment’s notice. And, believe it or not, though it may take a little extra time to prepare the batches on the weekends, it actually saves time overall and calms the daily whirlwind of your life.

Beets, Carrots, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli ready for roasting (Photo by: Katherine Tallmadge Collections) Beets, Carrots, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli ready for roasting

Tastier Than French Fries! Roasted Veggies
By Katherine Tallmadge

Use this side dish with anything. It creates a colorful, artistic presentation and adds an assortment of flavors, shapes & textures, delightful to all palates. You can also use them cold in a salad, toss them in a soup, or add them to an omelette. They're a great batch; they should last for a week.

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit,

2. Select the combination of vegetables you'd like to roast. Some roast better than others, such as cauliflower, brussels sprouts, carrots, beets, mushrooms, winter squash, tomatoes, onions, eggplant, bell peppers, and of course, we all know about potatoes!

3. Cut the vegetables (and fruits, if used) in similar size pieces so that they cook evenly,

4. Place in a large bowl or plastic bag, add canola oil (it won't burn at a high temperature like butter or olive oil), salt, pepper, and an herb of your choice, such as fresh Rosemary,

5. Toss or shake until all vegetables are coated (but not too greasy). Pour off any excess oil,

6. Place on a cookie sheet or baking pan covered with aluminum foil or parchment paper (prevents sticking to your pan), and place on the center rack in your oven,

7. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, tossing the vegetables or shaking the pan occasionally to cook evenly,

8. Roast the vegetables until they are golden brown on the outside, but tender in the center - like a french fry!

9. Different vegetables, cut in varying sizes will take a longer or shorter time to reach perfection.


Click here to share your thoughts.