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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 29, 2014

Healthy Bites: Healthier food-on-a-stick options

By DEE SANDQUIST, Hy-Vee dietitian | Jul 25, 2013

The weather is hot and sticky and the smell of fried food is wafting through the air, which could only mean one thing…State Fair time! Food is a main attraction at many state fairs and food-on-a-stick has become increasingly popular not only at State fairs but also on food trucks.

Food on-a-stick is often deep-fried and has a reputation for being unhealthy. Traditionally popular items like deep-fried Twinkies, corn dogs, bacon on-a-stick and even deep-fried butter are often the first foods that come to mind when food-on-a-stick is mentioned. However, there are increasingly healthier options for food on-a-stick so even the most health-conscious won’t miss out on this fun trend.

After visiting the State Fair or if you are unable to attend this year, you may feel inspired to make food-on-a-stick at home.

There are many delicious, healthy recipes that skip the deep fryer. You can begin your day-on-a-stick by making breakfast-on-a-stick. Start by toasting a frozen waffle, cutting it into slices and skewering it along with strawberries and any other pieces of your favorite fruit.

Fruit-on-a-stick is a great way to get a healthy snack into your day and a fun way for children to enjoy fruit. Adding a yogurt dipping sauce makes fruit-on-a-stick even more enjoyable.

Ditch the boring, traditional sandwich at lunchtime for a more exciting deconstructed sandwich-on-a-stick. Skewer deli turkey or chicken along with pieces of whole wheat bread, cheddar cheese cubes and grapes.

There is also the “Elvis” version of a sandwich-on-a-stick; a peanut butter sandwich is cubed and threaded along with slices of banana. This could even be grilled to toast the bread and to melt the peanut butter and warm the banana.

Even salad can be put on-a-stick by simply making iceberg lettuce chunks and adding diagonally cut carrot slices, cherry tomatoes and cucumber with the lettuce to a skewer — and dipping it into your favorite salad dressing. The possibilities are endless and sure to get your creativity flowing!

Oven-Fried Chicken-On-A-Stick

All you need:

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons paprika, divided

1 teaspoon onion powder, divided

1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided

1 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed

2 cups coarse dry whole wheat breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 large egg whites

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Combine kosher salt, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in a large bowl. Add buttermilk and whisk until the salt is completely dissolved and the spices are dispersed in the liquid.

2. Cut chicken lengthwise into about 1-inch-wide strips. Add to the marinade and combine for 30 minutes but no longer, so that the chicken does not get too salty.

3. Combine breadcrumbs, the remaining 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in a large shallow dish. Add 2 tablespoons oil and toss well to coat.

4. Whisk egg whites and mustard in a second large shallow dish and season both the breadcrumb and egg mixtures with pepper.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and thread chicken onto six 12-inch bamboo skewers, dividing evenly. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, coating both sides. Place in the breadcrumb mixture one at a time, sprinkle with crumbs to cover and press so the coating sticks to both sides. Gently shake off any excess crumbs and place skewers on the prepared rack.

6. Bake the chicken, turning halfway through, until golden brown and the juices run clear, about 25 minutes.

7. Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce!

Source: EatingWell Magazine, http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chicken_stick.html

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

 

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