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Around the Home: Cut fat, calories in dips

POSTED: July 16, 2014 1:30 a.m.

Hot wings, dips and other snacks are main parts of the high school, college and professional football season for fans.

Need an easy way to cut down on the fat and calories in dip?

Our Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program’s Ranch Dip recipe uses plain non-fat yogurt instead of sour cream with light ranch dressing.

We also use plain non-fat yogurt in place of mayonnaise. It reduces the calories, but provides similar texture and flavor, according to program materials.

Plus, you can use plain non-fat yogurt by itself or mixed with salsa. Carrots, celery, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and bell peppers — red, green, yellow and orange — are some of the healthy and quick foods to use with a dip.

They’ll create a colorful and eye-appealing display to satisfy game-day appetites.

Plus, any leftovers can be used for after-school snacks. Extra or leftover fruit can be used in smoothies or simply added to non-fat plain or vanilla yogurt for a tasty calcium-rich treat.

 

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If you’re helping at a stadium concession stand this fall, make sure it’s stocked with dishwashing liquid and paper towels.

Remember sponges, dishcloths and brushes left from week to week can harbor and spread bacteria.

Here are more tips from UGA Extension food safety specialists:

Make sure refrigerators keep foods at least 40 degrees or colder, and freezer temperatures are 0 degrees or colder.

Use disposable gloves, food tissue paper and/or tongs.

Avoid contact with ready-to-eat foods. Keep in mind gloves are meant to protect the food, not your hands.

If you collect money and give change with your gloves on, wash your hands and put on a new pair of gloves before returning to the food prep area.

Gloves and hand sanitizer shouldn’t be a substitute for hand washing. They’re for extra protection.

Be extra careful when preparing food for others.

Always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm, running water and soap. Pay special attention to cleaning around fingernails and in between fingers.

Always make sure the ice scoop is kept in a clean place outside the ice bin, not inside where germs on the handle can come in contact with the ice. Be sure to wash the scoop.

If you need to thaw foods, the only safe methods are to move them into the refrigerator ahead of time; thaw them in cold water and change the water every 30 minutes; or thaw them in the microwave followed by immediate cooking.

Use a food thermometer. Make sure ground beef reaches at least 160 degrees in the center of the burger and ground turkey reaches at least 165 degrees in the center. Color isn’t a reliable indicator of doneness.

Keep hot foods at 140 degrees or hotter and cold foods at 40 degrees or colder. Discard if they sit out at room temperature for more than two hours.

Sandra Stringer is a nutrition educator with the UGA Extension office in Hall County. Call her at 770-535-8290. Her column appears biweekly on Wednesdays and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.



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