September is national Hunger Action Month, a nationwide campaign created by Feeding America that encourages the public to "Go Orange" while taking action
In honor of National Hunger Action Month, Cabot's Gratitude Grille Team members are wearing orange "Hunger Action Month" wristbands and serving special Cabot Greek-Style Yogurt Orange Smoothies at select Gratitude Grille events throughout September.
"At Cabot, we believe strongly that everyone has the power to make a difference in the lives of others," says Sara Wing, Cabot's director of Wellness and Food, and Registered Dietitian. "Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community, and can be the perfect opportunity to get together with family and friends while doing some good at the same time. The mission of the Farmers' Gratitude Grille is to thank those volunteers, and the non-profits they support, for the extraordinary work they do to help sustain their communities."
The Cabot Gratitude Grille, a state-of-the-art mobile kitchen, travels the country feeding volunteer groups free of charge. Cabot's team of cooks and volunteers whip up an assortment of delicious, nutrient packed dishes to help sustain teams of hard working altruists. During September, the Gratitude Grille will be feeding the men and women of a number of amazing organizations, including The Community FoodBank of New Jersey, New York Cares, New York City Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank for New York City, City Harvest, and Connecticut Food Bank. To request the Gratitude Grille at your next volunteer gathering, visit gratitudegrille.cabotcheese.coop.
"Volunteer work is all about helping others, but it is important that you don't forget about your health and well-being, especially during those long, all day affairs," says Wing. "For these longer events, it's important to plan ahead. I suggest packing a cooler with some nutritious snacks and 'mini meals' – like Cabot's Homemade Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt Cups, Mini Kale & Caramelized Onion Frittatas, or Raspberry Creamsicle Smoothie." See below for recipes!
Here are some tips to help you eat healthy during a busy day of volunteering:
Start with breakfast. Even if your event has an early morning start time, there are lots of grab and go breakfast options that are full of protein to help give you a boost of morning energy. Try a smoothie or parfait made with Greek-Style yogurt, or keep it simple with a couple of hard-boiled eggs, slice of cheese, and a glass of juice.
Pack healthy snacks. Volunteering can be hectic and depending on the kind of event you're involved in, it may be a while before you're able to break for lunch. If you can bring a small lunchbox, foods such as cheddar cheese and Greek yogurt are great protein sources. If refrigeration is not available, try trailmix, peanut butter sandwiches, or homemade granola bars.
Drink water. If your volunteer activity has you outside or up and moving around, it's especially important to make sure to stay hydrated. This will help keep your energy levels up throughout the day and avoid the ill-effects of dehydration later.
Take time to refuel. If lunch is provided, make sure you eat it! Look for healthy options that include a lean protein, whole grains, fruits and veggies, and dairy foods. If your event ends before lunchtime, be sure to eat a healthy, balanced lunch when you get home.
Cabot takes great pride in promoting and supporting volunteerism around the nation. In fact, in February 2012,Cabot created and launched Reward Volunteers, the iPhone App and web widget from Cabot Creamery Cooperative that enables individuals and organizations to track the time they spend volunteering in their communities, post to Facebook, and earn rewards for themselves and the organizations they serve. At the end of each month, Cabot rewards volunteers for their hard work, and for inspiring friends and family to do the same, with a variety of prizes. The more hours volunteers log, the more chances to win. Participation is absolutely free. For more information, visit rewardvolunteers.coop.
Homemade Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt Cups
Makes 6 servings
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen berries
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Cabot Plain Greek-Style Yogurt
- In a small sauce pan add the berries and the maple syrup. Heat the mixture over medium heat. Let the mixture simmer, stirring often, until the liquid reduces by about half. This should take 10-12 minutes. (If you are using fresh berries, mash them a bit in the beginning so that they release their juice and don't burn.) Divide the berry mixture evenly into 6 1-cup (half pint) wide-mouth mason jars. Add yogurt to the jars so that it is on top of the berries (I put on 3/4 of a cup of yogurt in each jar - you could add between 1/2 cup and 1 cup depending on what you want for a serving size and how fruity you like your yogurt). Place on a lid (the flat and the ring), and store in the fridge. When you are ready to eat, just stir the fruit and yogurt together and enjoy it right out of the jar.
Mini Kale and Caramelized Onion Frittatas
Makes 12 frittatas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, very thinly sliced
2 cups chopped kale, packed
8 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
4 ounces Cabot Alpine Cheddar, shredded (about 1 cup)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, 10 to15 minutes. Add the kale and cook another 3 to 4 minutes, until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a medium bowl. Pour the egg mixture evenly into the muffin cups, filling each cup about half way. Divide the kale and onions evenly into the muffin cups then top evenly with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, until firm to the touch.
Raspberry Creamsicle Smoothie
Makes 2 (1½cup) servings
2 cups frozen raspberries
1 cup orange juice
1 cup Cabot 2% Vanilla Bean Greek-Style Yogurt
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- In blender, combine raspberries, orange juice, yogurt, and syrup; puree on high speed for about 45 seconds or until completely smooth. Serve immediately.
SOURCE Cabot Creamery Cooperative, cabotcheese.coop