Happy Thanksgiving from FoodPlay!

The staff at FoodPlay Productions is excited to wish everyone a healthy, hearty, happy Thanksgiving this year. In celebration, we thought we’d share some Thanksgiving Day musings from healthy tips to what we’re thankful for.

Our founder and director, Barbara Storper, is thankful for all of our supporters and colleagues who work so hard to help our kids have the best chance to grow-up healthy and fit, and for our wonderful staff and performers who bring these messages to life. She can’t wait to see her family, especially her nephew, William, who loves to find fun ways to prepare fruits and veggies with her. And her favorite applesauce tip- keep the skins on, cook in apple cider or juice instead of water, and cut up figs for yummy texture, and add a cinnamon stick to the pot!

Butternut squash soup made with roasted butternut squash and granny smith apples is an easy way to start a relaxing day of eating and good company. Have friends and family customize their soup with additions such as, bleu cheese, cheddar cheese, and different herbs, like sage or thyme. Thanks to our program director, Patti, for sharing this delicious soup idea!

Something else to add on to Patti’s butternut squash soup- Maple Roasted Chickpeas! Yum! Megan, our production manager, has the recipe. See below!

Payson, our assistant production manager, is looking forward to helping to create one of her family’s healthiest Thanksgiving meals yet in order to accommodate a sister who is now gluten-free and another who is pregnant. She has been studying blogs and recipe site for ideas on how to recreate traditional dishes in a healthier style. We are looking forward to hearing what she comes up with!

Our newest team member, Rachel, plans to deliver Thanksgiving meals to low income and elderly community members for MANNA soup kitchen. Her family started this new tradition as a way to get involved and show their daughters the value of charitable work. Helping your local community have a happy Thanksgiving is definitely an upstanding and rewarding way to spend the holiday. We are so thankful to have Rachel as part of the FoodPlay team!

Nuala, our super talented administrative assistant, plans to use this holiday break as an opportunity to travel with the family and spend some quality time together in Niagara Falls. She is thankful for a wonderful family, friends, colleagues, and being able to live in such a beautiful part of America.

Melinda, our tech savvy managing director, is thankful to have such amazing, supportive parents, and for her dog, Lucy, her loyal companion and walking buddy.

Our program manager, Nora, is looking forward to spending all day with family and friends. And most of the day is spent eating! So to break it up and get some exercise, her family bundles up and takes brisk walks a couple times throughout the day.

We would love to hear your Thanksgiving Day thoughts in the comment section below! From all of us here at FoodPlay Productions, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Maple Roasted Chickpeas
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Yield: 4-6 snack-sized servings

-1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
-Tbsp. olive oil or canola oil
-1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
-1 tablespoon brown sugar
-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/8 teaspoon salt

Seasonings (choose what you like or what you have!)
-chipotle powder
-chili powder
-garlic powder
-onion powder
-curry powder
-sesame oil / soy sauce
-rosemary / Italian seasonings
-smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 360F. Drain, rinse and blot the chickpeas dry with a paper towel. (You want to remove as much excess moisture as possible!) Pour the chickpeas into a bowl, and stir in all of the other ingredients until evenly coated.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 40-50 minutes, stirring the chickpeas every 10-15 minutes. The chickpeas should be dry and crisp on the outside, but still have the slightest chew when initially tasted. (But they will continue to cook and dry a bit more once removed from the oven.)
Let cool for about 10 minutes on the sheet, then serve or store in an airtight container.

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