Mealtime Mama: How to make pumpkin butter

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Pumpkin Spice lattes. Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts. Pumpkin-flavored marshmallows.

There are a LOT of pumpkin products out there right now.

onf pumpkinWhile some of them sound pretty nasty to us,  homemade pumpkin butter (made with real pumpkin! GASP!) sounds pretty delicious. We found this recipe on the Ozark Natural Foods blog.

Here’s what you’ll need to make jars of Pumpkin Butter:

6 pounds pie pumpkins

2 lemons

2 cups turbinado or brown sugar

1/4th tsp each of Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger

1 case half pint mason jars

How to make it:

Half or slice pumpkins and remove seeds. Roast in oven at 350 degrees until soft, about 40 minutes. Let cool and scoop flesh out from rind. Puree in food processor or by hand. Mix in remaining ingredients and leave in crock pot on the low setting for 1-3 hours until dark brown. Place in jars while hot and close lids. To seal the jars, place a wire rack at the bottom of a large pot with about ½ inch water and bring to boil. Gently place jars in the water for 10 minutes, remove and let cool. As jars cool off the lids will seal shut with a popping sound.

Pie pumpkins are on sale at ONF right now, so pop over and grab some. CLICK HERE to see what other produce is on sale.

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Mealtime Mama: Cool kitchen hack with eggs

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Do you have any recipes that call for just the egg whites?

Well, it can be kinda messy to separate the whites from the yolks. We recently tried this little trick and it worked! So of course we had to share with you, mamas!

A very cool way to separate egg yolk:

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Mealtime Mama: Honey Nut Popcorn

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Now that the weather is getting a little cooler, Honey Nut Popcorn sounds great for family movie nights, tailgating or just as a healthy snack to keep around the house.

onf recipesThis recipe is from the Ozark Natural Foods website, which has all kinds of great recipes. Click here to visit the site and find more recipes.

Honey Nut Popcorn

7 cups air-popped corn
Salt, to taste
1/2 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put popcorn into large bowl & flavor with salt, to taste. Mix in the nuts. Melt honey, coconut oil and cinnamon. Pour mixture over salted popcorn and nuts. Stir to coat well. Spread popcorn evenly in lightly oiled jellyroll pan or large sheet pan. Bake 12-14 minutes. Stir once while cooking. Let cool 15 minutes before eating or storing in airtight container.

10 min. prep timeONF store
Serves 4

Recipe courtesy of ONF Owner Kathie

CLICK HERE to visit Ozark Natural Foods and to see what’s at the store, how to become a local owner, to see the latest sales flyer, or to connect with their blog.

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Tips to help keep your kid’s packed lunch out of the ‘Danger Zone’

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Children are at high risk of contracting foodborne illness because their immune systems are still developing.

Kids under the age of five have the highest incidence of Campylobacter, E. coli, and Salmonella infection among any other age group in the United States.

This highlights the importance of following the USDA’s four food safety steps whenever preparing meals: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.

To help families teach the importance of the four steps to young children, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has developed a food safety “science experiment” that parents and children can do together to make sure school lunches are safe to eat come lunchtime.

Here’s how to do the experiment with your kids: To start, parents should pack their child’s lunch and have their child store it as they would at school. After the normal time between lunch packing and consumption has passed, parents should help their child take the temperature of the lunch contents. Cold items should still be below 40 °F and hot items should be above 140°F.

If food in is in the Danger Zone (between 40 °F and 140 °F) parents can use the following tips to ensure their child’s lunch remains safely outside the Danger Zone for future preparations:

1. If the lunch contains perishable food items like luncheon meats, eggs, or yogurt, make sure to pack it with at least two freezer packs. Harmful bacteria multiply rapidly in the Danger Zone, so perishable food transported without an ice source won’t stay safe long.

frog ice pack2. Frozen juice boxes or water can also be used as freezer packs. Freeze these items overnight and use with at least one other freezer pack. By lunchtime, the liquids should be thawed and ready to drink.

3. Pack lunches containing perishable food in an insulated lunchbox or soft-sided lunch bag. Perishable food can be unsafe to eat by lunchtime if packed in a paper bag.

4. If possible, a child’s lunch should be stored in a refrigerator upon arrival. But leave the lid of the lunchbox or bag open in the fridge so that cold air can better circulate and keep the food cold.

5. If packing a hot lunch, like soup, chili or stew, use an insulated container to keep it hot. Fill the container with boiling water, let stand for a few minutes, empty, and then put in the piping hot food. Tell children to keep the insulated container closed until lunchtime to keep the food hot – 140 °F (73.9 °C) or above.

6. After lunch, discard all leftover food, used food packaging, and paper bags. Do not reuse packaging because it could contaminate other food and cause foodborne illness.

7. If packing a child’s lunch the night before, parents should leave it in the refrigerator overnight. The meal will stay cooler longer because everything will be refrigerator temperature when it is placed in the lunchbox.

By following these tips, parents can reduce the risk that their child will be kept home from school due to a foodborne illness.

Parents with more food safety questions can call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or chat live with a food safety specialist at AskKaren.gov, available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday, in English or Spanish.  For more tips to keep your family foodborne illness free this season visit FoodSafety.gov and follow @USDAFoodSafety on Twitter.

Information for this post came from a report from the USDA.

Mealtime Mama: Raspberry Streusel Squares

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My husband’s Aunt Irene is a great cook.

I haven’t seen her since we visited the shore six years ago, but I still have a little file of recipes she sent me after our trip. I noticed this one tucked away today and thought I’d share:

Raspberry Streusel Squares

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cups butter (softened)

1 1/2 cups quick cooking rolled oats

1 jar (10 oz. or 3/4 cup) red seedless raspberry preserves

1/4 cup chopped almond slivers

Powdered sugar

Directions: Sift into bowl — combine flour, baking powder and salt in mixing bowl; stir in sugars. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly; stir in oats.

Press about two-thirds of mixture onto bottom of lightly greased 9×9 inch baking pan. Spread on whipped preserves (after having taken the jam from the jar and put it into a bowl and whipped it).

Add almonds to remaining crumb mixture and sprinkle over preserves, patting down lightly.

Temperature: Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool, then cut in squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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