Independence Day

Independence Day

Independence day is about the U.S.’s independence from foreign rule – separation of the original thirteen colonies from Great Britain.  The Fourth of July can also be about your own independence:

  •  Shopping at grocery stores and farmers markets of your choice because you have SNAP benefits to shop where you please
  •  Remaining more active in your community because you’re eating better and in turn feeling better and moving more
  •  Celebrating special days with more vigor because of extra “food bucks” that help you purchase special-day foods in addition to your day-to-day groceries

Here’s to the red – white – blue!  Here’s to at least $16 of FNS/SNAP benefits to help with a celebration!  During July tomatoes, white potatoes and blueberries are in-season in North Carolina so prices should be very affordable.  And, your local farm stand or farmers market might have even lower prices than your neighborhood grocery.  Here are some quick ways, and some recipe ways, to include these in your diet:

 RED – tomatoes

  • “The quick” – a tomato sandwich with mayo.  There’s nothing quite like a perfectly ripe, thickly-sliced tomato tucked between two slices of lightly-toasted bread and smeared with a dab of mayo!
  • “The recipe” – Tomato Basil and Bean Salad.  Check out the USDA SNAP-ED Connection website for all sorts of recipes, including a Roasted Tomato Soup.

With $16 in SNAP benefits you could buy over 11 pounds of tomatoes @ $1.35 per pound*

 WHITE – white potatoes

  • “The quick” – mashed potatoes.  Think creamy mashed potatoes, think comfort food!  Cube your potatoes, add to boiling water, cook until tender (15 to 20 minutes), then add your choice of liquids to reach the perfect texture – milk and butter; or, perhaps neufchatel cheese and chopped rosemary.
  • “The recipe”  – Country Style Potato Salad.  Check out the UNL Extension website for healthful ideas, including a Country Style Potato Salad recipe.

With $16 in SNAP benefits you could buy over 25 pounds of potatoes @ $2.69/5-pound bag.*

BLUE – blueberries

  • “The quick” – frozen blueberries.  This is a simple and kid-friendly way to eat blueberries in their purest form.  Simply wash blueberries; spread them out on a paper towel to dry; spread out on a large jelly sheet; put the blueberry-filled sheet in the freezer; then after the blueberries are individually frozen, bag them up and put back in the freezer to eat crunchy-frozen by the handful.
  • “The recipe” – Blueberry Smoothie.  The Tennessee Extension has an entire page for blueberries including a yummy Blueberry Smoothie recipe.

With $16 in SNAP benefits you could buy over 10 pints of blueberries at $1.49/pint.*

Notes – $16 is the minimum benefits for a household with 1 or 2 people; prices (*) based on Aldi store prices on 6/6/12

Thanks to Rampant.Gaffer (Flickr) for the fireworks photo on the home page; thanks to Claire Yuki “kitsunebabe” (Flickr) for the tomato photo