Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Lighten Up Your Holiday Dessert with MyPlate – MyPlate Holiday Makeover Week 6

Jean’s Banana Pudding Parfait

Jean’s Banana Pudding Parfait

The MyPlate Team continues to share “Makeover Monday” recipes each week on the USDA blog and the MyPlate Facebook page through January 6th.

I was first introduced to banana pudding, a traditional southern dessert, during the holidays when I moved to Virginia from North Dakota. It tasted great, but I remember leaving the dinner table with an uncomfortable, heavy feeling in my stomach. I decided to try and make the pudding lighter so that I could still enjoy it, but without the overstuffed feeling.

I must admit, I was skeptical about swapping all of the full fat ingredients for either reduced or nonfat versions. I was afraid that the taste would suffer and not resemble my favorite banana pudding recipe. Boy, was I wrong! I was surprised how good the “makeover” pudding tasted. Read more »

NEWSFLASH — Santa’s Reindeer Issued Permit from USDA to Enter the U.S.

BREAKING NEWS out of Washington DC as the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today issued a movement permit to Mr. S. Claus of the North Pole, a broker with Worldwide Gifts, Unlimited.  The permit will allow reindeer to enter and exit the United States between the hours of 6 PM December 24, 2013 and 6 AM December 25, 2013, through or over any northern border port.

“During this season of giving, USDA wants to do everything in its power to help Santa,” said Dr. John R. Clifford, USDA’s Chief Veterinary Officer.  “We agreed to waive the normal application fees and entry inspection/overtime costs, provided he winks his eye and wishes port personnel a Merry Christmas at the time of crossing.” Read more »

Going Ham for the Holidays

‘Tis the season for ham! If you’re a ham fan, this one’s for you. In addition to Easter, more hams are served during the winter holidays than any other time of year. Just visit friends or family and you’ll likely be offered this easy-to-prepare-and-serve smoky, tangy, pink meat.

Unfortunately, it is easy to contract a foodborne illness if you eat ham left out too long at room temperature or from other mishandling practices. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is recommending the following ham handling tips to keep guests and hosts safe at holiday gatherings. Read more »

Jamón par alas Fiestas

¡Esta es la época para el jamón! Si usted es fanático del jamón, esta es la época para usted.  Aparte del Día de Pascua, más jamones son servidos durante las fiestas de invierno que en ninguna otra época del año.  Solamente visite un familiar o amigo y probablemente le será servido este platillo tan fácil de preparar.

Desafortunadamente, es muy fácil contraer enfermedades relacionadas a los alimentos si usted come jamón que ha sido dejado a temperatura ambiente o que ha sido expuesto a otras practicas incorrectas. El Servicio de Inocuidad e Inspección de los Alimentos (FSIS por sus siglas en ingles) del Departamento de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos (USDA por sus siglas en inglés) recomienda que se sigan los siguientes pasos para que tanto los anfitriones como sus invitados tenga una fiestas seguras. Read more »

Forest Service Partners with Local Town to Increase Tree Canopy

Frogtown homeowner Renee Taylor stands proudly next to her newly planted tree thanks to the tree planting partnership. (U.S. Forest Service/Teri Heyer)

Frogtown homeowner Renee Taylor stands proudly next to her newly planted tree thanks to the tree planting partnership. (U.S. Forest Service/Teri Heyer)

Residents of the Frogtown neighborhood in St. Paul, Minn., will soon enjoy a burst of green throughout their neighborhood and breathe easier, thanks to a newly formalized partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and a local environmental nonprofit organization, Tree Trust.

Through its Urban Connections program, the Forest Service’s national forests in the Eastern Region, Tree Trust, and other local organizations planted 50 trees (tamarack, Princeton elm, Regal Prince oak, and River birch), in May and October, in the historic Frogtown neighborhood. Read more »

MyPlate Holiday 10 Tips – Make Healthier Holiday Choices

10 Tips Nutrition Education Series: Make Healthier Holiday Choices

10 Tips Nutrition Education Series: Make Healthier Holiday Choices

The MyPlate Team continues to share “Makeover Monday” recipes each week on the USDA blog and the MyPlate Facebook page through January 6th.

This holiday season, the nutritionists at the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion have shared some of their favorite holiday recipes during our MyPlate Holiday Makeover Series. Today, we offer a new tip sheet, Make Healthier Holiday Choices to help you improve a few of your favorite recipes and stay healthier during this festive season.  The new tip sheet includes special ways to celebrate with family and friends such as making exercise part of the fun, enjoying all the food groups during your holiday meal, and giving some of your time to help others. Read more »