The Richmond Register

May 29, 2013

You use your fingers for what?

By Arritta Morris
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — Kids love to eat with their fingers. The smaller the child, the easier it is for them to pick up foods with their fingers.

However, we adults love to eat with our fingers as well. How many fast food items can you count that one use's their fingers ... chicken nuggets, French fries, etc.

If you notice in the produce department as well as the meat package departments in your local food markets, you will see lots of package “finger foods.”

I will share with you some easy to prepare and keep on hand “finger foods.”

One vegetable that we do not use often is Zucchini. Wonderful source of Vitamin D and fiber.

Dipping Zucchini Snack

1 cup of zucchini sticks cut lenght wise

1/4 cup of Parmesan ranch dip

Recipe for Parmesan ranch dip

1/2 cup fat-free ranch-style dressing

1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Stir ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate one to two hours. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Watermelon frozen balls

If you have what is called a melon baler, take a watermelon and remove all the flesh with this tool. Place in plastic zip bags and freeze. This is a great snack to grab and go with.

Speaking of watermelons. When I was in about the 11th grade, I was in a club in San Antonio called Thetro. It was a branch of the Old Fellows and Rebecca organization that I think has just about disappeared.

I was with a group of teenagers in a hotel in the downtown part of San Antonio one evening having a watermelon party. We got the idea that it would be great to drop watermelons from the 12the floor onto the streets below.

Well, if you can picture splashed watermelons on the street, it looks like someone had jumped from the floor and the remains were splattered all over the cars and pavement.

We heard a lot of screams as we ran down the escape stairs hoping to avoid this crime scene. Who would have thought people would have thought there were bodies on this scene. All they would have had to do was taste the goods ... yuk.

With hot weather here this one is a great pick up and go snack:

Chocolate yogurt in a cup

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups fat-free plain yogurt

1/2 cup sugar free hot cocoa mix

4 (6 oz) paper cups

4 wooden ice cream sticks (you can use plastic spoons as well)

DIRECTIONS:

Mix yogurt and cocoa mix and spoon into paper cups. Place paper cups in muffin pan and insert stick or spoon into each cup. Freeze until hard.

One way to keep finger foods on hand is to simply keep them in iced water. Carrots and celery sticks are my favorite to keep handy in reach when I need a finger food snack.

I cannot let you leave without the best finger ever:

Oatmeal cookies

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup of water

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup sifted flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp soda

3 cups oatmeal

DIRECTIONS:

Cream the shortening and sugars. Blend in egg, water and vanilla; mix well.

Sift together flour, soda and salt. Add to shortening mixture and mix well. Stir in oatmeal.

Drop by teaspoonful on to a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes five dozen.

I do hope you are enjoying these warm summer days. I encourage you to try some of the vegetables that are available at the Berea and Richmond farmers’ markets.

If you have the opportunity try new veggies on the children in your household. Hopefully, this will help them make better choices as they grow into adults. Tell the next time you stop by.

Arritta Morris is a graduate of EKU with a degree in bachelor’s nutrition and a master’s degree in counseling. She is a certified as a food service specialist with by School and Nutrition Association.