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Nutrition Nuggets: Hunger doesn’t take a holiday

Hunger doesn’t take a holiday. Neither do we. The pandemic impacted countless lives.

The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is serving 200,000 people per month, up from the 135,000 served in the months just prior to the crisis. The demand for food is at an all-time high and our neighbors need help now more than ever.

With a “strong front” to combat hunger, the Food Bank and its more than 1,000 partner agencies and programs provided over 50 million meals this past year.

But community support is what gets the job done — volunteering, donating and raising awareness all contribute to addressing food insecurity statewide.

Apple cranberry crisp

Filling:

6 cups peeled and thinly sliced baking apples such as Fuji, Honey Crisp, Jonagold or Granny Smith (1.25 lbs or 4 medium apples)

2 cups frozen cranberries, defrosted

3 tablespoons flour (I used white whole wheat)

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 orange, zested and juiced

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

Topping:

3/4 cup flour (I used white whole wheat)

1/3 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup coconut palm sugar or light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter or coconut oil, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F. Toss the apple slices, cranberries, flour, sugar, cinnamon, orange zest, 2 tablespoons orange juice, and maple syrup together in a large bowl.

To make the topping, mix the flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter together in a stand mixer until the mixture is crumbly and sticks together in small clumps. Alternatively, you can use your hands to break the butter up and mix everything together in a bowl. Add the nuts and mix until just combined.

Spray a 13×9-inch rectangular or 15-inch oval baking dish with cooking spray and pour the apple mixture into the dish. Spread the topping evenly over the fruit.

Place the dish on a baking sheet (to catch any drippings) and bake in the oven until it is bubbly and the apples are tender, 55-60 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

For more information on the Food Bank and how you can give hope now and end hunger, please visit www.centralpafoodbank.org

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