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Helpful Helpings

For many, the holiday season evokes the spirit of giving. This year, give back to your community and those less fortunate, in addition to your friends and family, by donating to your local food pantry.

Food pantries typically ask for nonperishable goods such as canned fruits and vegetables, dry pasta, oatmeal, peanut butter and evaporated milk. The following recipes show how these items can be used to create easy and affordable meals.

1. Applesauce

It’s a long-held secret of vegans that applesauce can be used as a substitute for eggs or butter when baking. The creamy snack works well as a substitute for eggs in this yummy pancake recipe from TasteOfHome.com. Combine pancake mix with applesauce and a touch of cinnamon to balance out the flavor.

2. Black Beans

Canned or bagged beans are another versatile food pantry staple. For a light, protein-filled lunch, Southwestern beans on toast is a fast and inexpensive option. This recipe from Chatelaine.com combines vegetable broth, black beans, chili powder and cumin to create a yummy topping for toast topped with melted cheddar cheese. Add a Tex-Mex salad of vegetables drizzled with lime juice, honey and ginger for a side.

3. Canned Tuna

This low-calorie, high-protein option can be used several different ways. One way is to make a tuna burger, like this recipe from the Genius Kitchen. Roll tuna, egg, breadcrumbs and parsley together to form patties, then saute them for four to five minutes on each side. The result? A yummy meal that becomes a quick dinner with the addition of steamed veggies or a fresh salad.

 

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