Five simple steps to a healthier life

By Leeanna McKamey

* Start with a healthy breakfast

*Move more.

*Add more fruits, veggies, and whole grains to your meal plan.

*Remember to hydrate.

*Try lower calorie and fat foods.

Fruit Salad

Serves 6, 1 cup per serving


You can use a combination of fresh, frozen or canned fruits.

*2 cups strawberries

*1 cup blueberries

*1 cup mango chunks

*2 medium bananas

*2 kiwis

*1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice

*1 tablespoon of honey

Optional Ingredients:

*3 tablespoons mint leaves

*1/2 cup shredded, toasted coconut

*1/2 cup slivered almonds


If using frozen, thaw fruit in the refrigerator until no longer hard but still cool to the touch.


Peel and slice bananas and kiwis.

If using, rinse and chop mint leaves.

Drain canned pineapple, reserving juice.

In a large bowl, add bananas, kiwis, pineapple, and fruit. Mix.

In a small pot over medium heat, add reserved pineapple juice and honey. Stir and heat until juice forms a sauce, about 5 minutes. Allow sauce to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Pour sauce over fruit salad. Mix to coat fruit. If using, mix in mint, coconut, and almonds.

Chef’s notes:

To toast coconut: Heat oven to 300 degrees. Place coconut shreds on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for five minutes or until light brown.

Use leftover fruit in Fruit Smoothies.

Sweet Potato Fries

Serves 6, 8-10 fries per serving


*4 medium sweet potatoes

*1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

*1/2 teaspoon salt

*1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

*1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

*1 tablespoon canola oil

*Non-stick cooking spray


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Scrub and rinse sweet potatoes. Pat dry with a paper or kitchen towel.

Leaving skin on, cut sweet potatoes into thick French fry strips, about 1/2-inch wide or into thin chips.

In a large bowl, mix paprika, salt, ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Add oil. Blend with a fork until there are no lumps.

Add sweet potato strips or chips to the bowl. Toss until they are coated on all sides.

Coat baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place sweet potatoes in a single layer on the sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn fries over and bake another 10-15 minutes, or until fries are tender. If making chips, it will take less time.

Chef’s notes:

For easier cleanup, line the baking sheet with a layer of aluminum foil. Coat with non-stick cooking spray before placing the sweet potatoes on the sheet.

For milder flavor, dust the potatoes with 1 1/2 teaspoons of curry powder and 3/4 teaspoon of salt in place of the cayenne seasoning.

For the crispiest fries, be sure sweet potatoes do not lie on top of each other on the baking sheet. You may need to cook in two batches

Leeanna McKamey is the SNAP-Ed program assistant for the Highland County OSU Extension Office.

By Leeanna McKamey