by UW Cooperative Extension Service
December 19, 2011
With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas quickly approaching it is a good time to give consideration to the gifts you will be sharing this holiday season. A nourishing gift from the heart can be a great way to show someone how much you care.
There are many ways to share a gift of food and with some creativity (and a bit of work) food gifts can be put together on a pretty tight budget. Here are just a few options:
• Invite a friend, neighbor, or someone in need to share a meal with you. This can be at a restaurant, at your home, or at theirs. For an even greater gift, prepare enough food to feed your recipient for an additional meal as well.
• Bake a loaf of whole grain bread. There is no shortage of sweet treats during the holiday season; to make your gift stand out, share something that is nutritious and delicious!
• Share friendship soup-in-a-jar (or any other food that may fit). Not interested in baking or cooking yourself? Just put the ingredients together and they can do the work. Don’t forget to include the recipe!
• Volunteer your time. Food banks, soup kitchens, and other service organizations are always in need of good volunteers. Even if you’re not a great cook, there are many ways you can lend a hand to the cause and share food with those in need.
• Give your compassion. Share holiday companionship with those in need. Ask your local hospice, hospital, or nursing home how you can lend a hand during mealtime.
No-Knead 100% Whole Wheat Bread
If you've never baked yeast bread, but want to learn how, this is the loaf to start with. Unlike most yeast breads, this one isn't kneaded; instead, the soft dough is simply beaten in a bowl, then scooped into a bread pan. An hour later, pop it into the oven. The result: A dense, moist, easy-to-slice loaf, ideal for sandwiches.
• 1 cup lukewarm water
• 1/4 cup orange juice
• 1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
• 3 tablespoons molasses, maple syrup, dark corn syrup, or brown sugar corn syrup
• 2 teaspoons instant yeast
• 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
• 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
• 3 cups white whole wheat flour
1) Heavily grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. Note: For best results, use an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. If you use a 9" x 5" pan (measure the inside/top dimensions, to see what size you have), your loaf will turn out shorter and flatter. This loaf tends to stick, so be sure to grease the pan thoroughly with non-stick vegetable oil spray.
2) Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat mixture vigorously for about 3 minutes; an electric mixer set on high speed works well. This forms a sticky dough. It won't be pourable, or kneadable. Scoop it into the prepared pan.
3) Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes; it will rise to the rim of the pan, barely cresting the rim. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
4) Uncover the bread, and bake it for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it with aluminum foil after 20 minutes. The bread is done when golden brown on top, and a thermometer inserted into the center registers between 190°F and 195°F. Remove from the oven and, after 5 minutes, turn it onto a cooling rack. Brush with melted butter, if desired, to keep the crust soft. Cool the bread completely before cutting.
Yield: 1 loaf
Source: King Arthur Flour website www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/no-knead-100-whole-wheat-bread-recipe.
While the holidays are great time for sharing, don’t forget that food can be a welcome gift any time of the year. For some great advice on gifts of food visit www.youtube.com and search: last minute holiday gifts (from your kitchen). The first choice will be a short clip with some wonderful tips from our nutrition educator and Registered Dietitian in Southeast Wyoming, Diane Saenz.
For this holiday season, and those to come, remember that gifts from the heart are more powerful than fancy packages and large checks.
For more information on "Living Well in Wyoming", contact your University of Wyoming Extension Nutrition and Food Safety Educator.
Source: Kentz Willis, M.S., University of Wyoming Extension Educator in Nutrition and Food Safety, Northeast Wyoming.
Dayle Hayes, R.D., Sharing Food--a Holiday Gesture, Billings, MT.