By Holly Swee, Director of Nutrition &Consumer InformationSouth Dakota Beef Industry Council
4:05 AM EDT, October 12, 2012
Autumn leaves are falling and Halloween is just around the corner. During the fall season, many of us are looking for quick and easy recipes that also provide hearty nutrition to help fuel an active, healthy lifestyle.
This Halloween try something different. Instead of focusing on candy corn and sweets, invite family and friends over for a warm evening meal. Encourage children to help prepare the meal and have some fun while creating it. Don't miss out on opportunities to teach children how to cook healthy meals and the importance of incorporating nutrient-rich ingredients in them.
Did you know that many children may be missing out on key nutrients such as iron and zinc? In fact, 60 percent of girls aged 12-19 are not meeting the recommended iron needs and 47 percent of boys the same age are not meeting the recommended zinc needs. Among healthy school-aged children, increasing zinc intake has been demonstrated to improve cognitive performance, visual memory and word recognition task as well as attention skills. Research also shows that iron deficiencies may affect learning abilities in school-aged children.
Beef is a naturally nutrient-rich powerhouse food. On average, a 3-ounce serving of lean beef is about 150 calories. It's an excellent source of six nutrients (protein, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, niacin, and
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selenium) and a good source of four nutrients (phosphorous, choline, iron and riboflavin).
This Autumn Beef and Cider Stew is one of my favorite fall meals. It's easy to prepare, especially if you are expecting company. It combines savory fall flavors and is full of nutrition for your little trick-or-treaters.
Autumn Beef and Cider Stew
Total recipe time: 2 to 2-1/2 hours
Makes 4 to 6 servings
2 pounds beef for stew, cut into 1 to 1-1/2-inch pieces
2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed French onion soup
1 cup apple cider
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1/3 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1. Cook bacon in stockpot over medium heat until crisp; remove with slotted spoon to paper-towel-lined plate. Brown 1/2 of beef in bacon drippings over medium heat; remove from stockpot. Repeat with remaining beef; season with salt and pepper.
2. Return beef and bacon to stockpot. Add soup and cider; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 1-3/4 hours.
3. Add sweet potatoes and cranberries to stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; continue simmering, covered, 20 to 30 minutes or until beef and potatoes are fork-tender
(Recipe courtesy of the Beef Checkoff Program.)
For more fall beef recipes, nutrition information, and sources for this article contact Holly Swee, RD, LN Director of Nutrition & Consumer Information for the South Dakota Beef Industry Council at 605-224-4722 or http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com.