5 HEALTHY THANKSGIVING INGREDIENT SWAPS

Thanksgiving should be a time of gratitude, family, friends and good times, not food comas and bloated bellies. If you make an effort to eat well everyday, you don't have to throw your healthy habits out the window on Thanksgiving. Instead, clean up your favorite holiday meals with these healthy Thanksgiving swaps. We're not saying go full-on tofurkey, but by choosing better-for-you ingredients, you can make the holiday healthier for you and your loved ones.

 

Traditional: Stuffing & White Rice
Healthy: Quinoa or Sprouted Grains

Stuffing gets an easy, healthier upgrade when made with quinoa or sprouted grains like brown or wild rice. Quinoa is a protein- and fiber-rich pseudograin, so it's a great choice for any veg guests.

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Traditional: Candied Sweet Potatoes & Marshmallows
Healthy: Baked Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Oil & Cinnamon

If you've ever baked, steamed or roasted a sweet potato, you know this healthy root veg is plenty sweet without marshmallows and added sugar. Try dressing your sweet potato side dish with coconut oil and cinnamon. Coconut oil provides beneficial fats that your body can more easily metabolize, which means you'll less likely feel like you need a post-meal nap. Cinnamon is a superfood in its own right: It's loaded with antioxidants and helps balance blood sugar levels. Simply bake sweet potatoes and swipe with coconut oil and a dash of cinnamon before serving.

Traditional: Canned Cranberry Sauce
Healthy: Natural Cranberries, Chutney, Jams, Spreads

Chutney, jams, spreads … canned cranberry has a lot of competition and the other options tend to be lower in sugar and sodium. Not to mention real cranberries are loaded with vitamin C, manganese and fiber. If your friends and family are open to the exotic, try this chipotle cranberry orange relish. For a more traditional cranberry, go with this cranberry sauce with port.

Traditional: White & Refined Baking Flours
Healthy: Whole Wheat, Gluten Free & Sprouted Flours

We admit that going from white flours to gluten-free, sprouted or whole grain flours can change the consistency of texture of certain types of desserts, so you may need to whip up your favorite holiday dessert before the big day to make sure you get it right. Taking this extra step pays off big when you can serve your loved ones a better-for-you dessert.

Traditional: Fats & Sugar
Healthy: Unsweetened Applesauce

Did you know you could replace sugar and butter in recipes with unsweetened applesauce? Use a cup of applesauce for every cup of sugar called for in a recipe (just be sure to reduce the amount of liquid by ¼ cup) to reduce sugar levels and cut calories. It also makes desserts nice and moist. Unsweetened applesauce also works for replacing fats in sweet treats. Try ½ cup of applesauce and ½ cup of fat for every 1 cup of fat (butter, oil, etc.) in the recipe.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Posted on November 18, 2013 .

Get Nutty with your Milk - Delicious Nut Milk in Minutes

Rich and creamy with a hint of sweet, nut-based milks can be a welcome addition to any diet. They can be swapped out for dairy milk in many recipes, sipped by the glass or poured over cereal. Add them to smoothies for a creamy richness and protein.

Nuts offer minerals like calcium and iron, B vitamins and protein.

A wide array of nut milks, from hazelnut to almond, is available at most grocery stores, but it’s fun make your own. Try getting the kids involved, and they’ll be sporting almond-milk mustaches before you know it. It’s also interesting to experiment making nut milks that aren’t available commercially with nuts like pecan, Brazil and even pine nuts.

This video, the blog spot of holistic nutritionist Sarah Britton, gives you step-by-step instructions on making your own nut milk in about a minute.

Enjoy!  

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Posted on July 16, 2013 .

How do you choose a safe sun screen?

There are thousands of sun screen products on the market and over the years is been more and more confusing to figure out what to and what not to buy, especially if going for a safe choice.

Most of us don't really think of the skin as being an organ but really it is our largest one and we need to treat it with respect. it covers and protects our whole self! And whatever we decide to add to the skin will most likely have some kind of impact on our health in a good or bad way.  

We have no clue of the long-term consequences of the chemicals in cosmetics, sun screen and skin care in general. 

So the easiest thing would be to tell you not to use any sun screen but that would not be a safe choice either! No one wants to end up all wrinkled and with the risk of developing skin cancer so we have to be smart when having fun in the sun - follow the common sun tips so you can still catch your vitamin D without getting sun burned or wrinkled and avoid sun screen products full of damaging chemicals!

What to look for:

  • Choose sunscreen products that are rated 0-2 in the EWG's (Environmental Working Group's Sunscreen Guide) 
  • Look for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide based mineral sunscreens. The do not penetrate the skin and will  provide UVA protection against the sun’s most damaging rays.
  • Choose non-nano products. Non-nano products do not have small particles that can absorb into skin and maybe cause damage
  • Go for sunscreens that are unscented or use essential oils as fragrance
  • Go for lotion based sunscreens with water resistance
  • Go for broad spectrum sunscreens. They protect against both UVA and UVB rays

Safe brands: 

  • Badger - I love this brand - its certified organic, have a wide selection of SPFs and options for babies and kids, comes with and without scents

And please remember not to be too scared of the sun as it is also our friend. The sun contributes significantly to the daily production of Vitamin D, and just 10 minutes of exposure a few times a week is often enough to  prevent you from deficiencies. Vitamin D also helps boost your immune system, your bone strength not to forget about your serotonin levels -  your happy hormone that keeps off depression and those annoying  cravings - often being carvings for sugar!

Happy fun in the sun!  

Posted on July 10, 2013 and filed under Recipes, Sun Screen.

Refreshing Summer Dinners

Take advantage of all the colorful seasonal produce and cook up some delicious cool summer dishes! 

Avocado and Shrimp Salad

Seasoned with just salt and pepper and lime juice, the flavor comes from the juicy summer tomatoes and ripe avocados. With just 6 ingredients, this comes together in a snap.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 (whole) avocados - peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 2 (whole) tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (whole) sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 (pound) small shrimp, peeled, deveined and halved
  • (to taste) salt and pepper
  • 2 (tablespoon) lime juice

Directions

  1. In a medium pan, saute shrimp in a small amount of olive oil until opaque, about 3 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.
  2. Stir together avocados, tomatoes, onion, and shrimp in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in lime juice. Serve cold

Peach Gazpacho

Fresh tomatoes, ripe peaches, and a little spice from a jalapeno make this a bright and refreshing evening dinner. Try serving with sourdough bread and butter.

Servings: 4 Prep/cook time: 10min

Ingredients

  • 1  peach, pit removed, quartered
  • 3  tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 1/2  red jalapeno
  • 1  Sea salt
  • 2 (tablespoon) minced fresh chives

Directions

  1. Blend peach, tomatoes and jalapeno in a blender until smooth. Season with salt. Garnish with chives.

Chutney Chicken Salad

    Chicken and curry are a classic combination, and versatile too. Plate it on a bed of lettuce, or offer rolls for a make-your-own chicken salad sandwich.

    Servings: 4 Prep/Cook Time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 (cup) mayonnaise
    • 1/2 (cup) chutney
    • 1 (teaspoon) curry powder
    • 2 (teaspoon) lime zest
    • 1/4 (cup) fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 (teaspoon) salt
    • 4 (cup) chicken breast, diced and precooked

    Directions

    1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, chutney, curry powder, lime zest, lime juice and salt.  Add chicken and toss with the dressing until well coated.  Add more mayonnaise to taste, if desired.  Cover and refrigerate until serving.

    Enjoy!

    foodonthetable.com

     

    Conventional vs. Organic

    There's a lot of confusion out there about the difference between organic and conventional - organic and natural.

    So if you  feel lost at times when scouting the aisles of your local supermarket or health food store, confused by all natural, natural and organic labels, you are not alone. 

    To some, labels guarantee quality. To others, the labels indicate higher prices for seemingly similar foods available at lower costs. Are “natural” and “organic” synonymous with each other? Let’s peel back the labels to find out more.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - they create the standards for and oversee regulations on product labeling - has stepped in to protect consumers. for some of us, there is still a long way to go to make sure the consumer is protected. We need more labeling - more guarantees - so we can make educated choices when going food shopping.

    Here's a quick run-down on the difference between conventional and organic, natural and organic. 

    Conventional vs. organic farming

    Conventional:

    Apply chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth.

    Spray insecticides to reduce pests and disease.

    Use herbicides to manage weeds.

    Give animals antibiotics, growth hormones and medications   to prevent disease and spur growth.

    Organic:

    Apply natural fertilizers, such as manure or compost, to   feed soil and plants.

    Use beneficial insects and birds, mating disruption or   traps to reduce pests and disease.

    Rotate crops, till, hand weed or mulch to manage weeds.      

    Give animals organic feed and allow them access to the   outdoors. Use preventive measures — such as rotational grazing, a balanced   diet and clean housing — to help minimize disease.

    Natural vs. Organic

    - Natural - "Natural," “100% natural” and “all natural ingredients” are unregulated (and misleading). Suppose to mean “fewer” processed ingredients.

    Must only meet general controls for food safety. Hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and food additives are still allowed.

    - Organic - "Organic" refers to both the processing and production of food.

    1) "100% organic" means that the food contains only organic ingredients. They can bear the "USDA Organic" seal.

    2) A food labeled "organic" has at least 95% organic ingredients. They can bear the "USDA Organic" seal.

    3) "Made with Organic Ingredients" means that a food contains between 70% and 95% organic ingredients and can list up to three of those ingredients as "organic."

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    4) Any product that contains less than 70% organic ingredients may not be labeled as organic, but its ingredients list on the label can indicate organic ingredients.

    Terms like “free range”, no drugs or growth hormones used”, sustainably harvested”, “all natural”, “natural” etc. must be truthful but are not regulated.

    Only foods that are grown and processed according to USDA organic standards can be labeled organic.

    Organic food: Other considerations

    • Pesticides. Conventional growers use pesticides to protect their crops from molds, insects and diseases. When farmers spray pesticides, this can leave      residue on produce. Some people buy organic food to limit their exposure to these residues. According to the USDA, organic produce carries significantly fewer pesticide residues than does conventional produce. However, residues on most products — both organic and nonorganic — don't exceed government safety thresholds.
    • Food additives. Organic regulations ban or severely restrict the use of food additives, processing aids (substances used during processing, but not added directly to food) and fortifying agents commonly used in nonorganic foods,      including preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings and flavorings, and monosodium glutamate.
    • Environment. Some people buy organic food for environmental reasons. Organic farming practices are designed to benefit the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil quality.

    Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

    Because foods containing GMOs don’t need to be labeled as such here in the US, choosing organic products is one of the only ways to ensure that you and your family aren’t eating foods produced with the use of GMOs.

    What's the danger?

    Although the biotech industry would like us all to believe that genetically modified (also called “genetically-engineered (GE)”) crops are safe to eat, the jury is still out. This is why in Australia, Japan and all the countries of the European Union, there are restrictions and bans on the production of GMOs. These countries’ governments don’t consider the safety of GMOs to be proven. 

    Several experimental genetically engineered crops have been shown to cause allergic reactions, raising concerns that the introduction of new DNA that happens in genetic engineering may be causing increased allergenicity.

    One recent study even found that pesticides engineered into corn plants can survive the digestive process and show up in the umbilical cord blood of pregnant women, raising questions about the toxicity of this GMO to fetuses.

    Not only are there potential health risks from eating GMOs, there are environmental impacts and health risks from the production of GMOs. The biggest impact comes from herbicide use, which increased 383 million pounds in the first 13 years of widespread GMO cultivation.

    These pesticides impact both the environment and human health. As weeds and insect pests adapt and evolve and learn to evolutionarily outsmart the pesticides used with or in GE crops, farmers are using more toxic pesticides to combat these pests.

    The threat to organic.

    GE crops also create risk for organic producers, because pollen drift can contaminate organic fields with DNA from GE crops. Right now there is no system in place to prevent this contamination or compensate organic farmers for the losses they face when their crops are contaminated.

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    GMO foods should be labeled.

    According to the USDA, 93% of soybeans and 86% of corn planted in the US in 2010 were GE. This means the majority of non-organic processed foods on the grocery store shelf that contain either corn or soy products contain GMOs.

    All GMO foods that are already in our markets should at least be labeled as such, so that shoppers like you can make informed choices about eating these foods.

    Go for organic labeled foods or foods carrying the non-GMO project verification seal.

     



    Tips To Feed a Picky Eater

    Frustrated about fighting your picky eater at home? I know exactly what you are going through. I have one of each. My oldest daughter loves to try new foods and meals are never an issue. My youngest is a totally different species. Foods can not touch each other on the plate. No herbs, or green stuff as she calls it, is allowed.

    What she loved yesterday will not go down today und so weiter.

     No to Veggies

    No to Veggies

    I don't want to cook different meals to satisfy every single family member and I certainly don't want to turn food into something we fight about so what to do?

    Be creative - yes, it takes a little extra energy but it's worth it.   Children's nutrition doesn't have to be frustrating. Consider some different strategies, depending on your child, to avoid power struggles and help the picky eater in your family eat a balanced diet.

    1. Respect your child's appetite - or lack of one

    Young children tend to eat only when they're hungry. If your child isn't hungry, don't force a meal or snack. Likewise, don't bribe or force your child to clean his or her plate. This may only ignite - or reinforce - a power struggle over food.

    2. Stick to the routine

    Serve meals and snacks at about the same times every day. Nix juice, milk and snacks for at least one hour before meals. If your child comes to the table hungry, he or she may be more motivated to eat. And again - don't stock up on all the tempting and often unhealthy snacks - it will only lead to begging, fights, tears and most times giving in to save the peace in the house. If you don't have the Gold Fish, Pirate Booties, chips etc in your house, there is simply nothing to fight for!  

    3. Be patient with new foods

    Young children often touch or smell new foods, and may even put tiny bits in their mouths and then take them back out again. Your child may need repeated exposure to a new food before he or she takes the first bite. Encourage your child by talking about a food's color, shape, aroma and texture - not whether it tastes good.

    4. Make it fun

    Serve veggies with a favorite dip or sauce. Cut foods into various shapes with cookie cutters. Offer breakfast foods for dinner. By breakfast foods I am not thinking about cereals like Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops w/Marshmallows (the body is not happy on servings w/ 1 gram of protein and 14 grams of sugar) - absolutely NO - it's breakfast foods like scrambles eggs, frittata, hash browns, omelets, oatmeal etc. Lots of protein, not too many carbs and good fats. 

    5. Recruit your child's help

    At the grocery store, ask your child to help you select fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. Don't buy anything that you don't want your child to eat. At home, encourage your child to help you rinse veggies, stir batter or set the table. Yes, it takes a little longer to have the kids help out but is well worth the effort..and time.  The kids learn to cook, they learn about flavors, textures and you can have fun conversations a long the way - it's a "win win".

    Do your children refuse to try new foods?   This is normal but can be frustrating for parents. Even though children commonly reject new foods, parents should not stop offering them.  Children need a wide variety of foods to be well nourished, so it is important they learn to eat them.

    Kids learn about new foods just by looking at them, smelling them and touching them.  You might want to introduce your child to a new food before it's cooked.

    If we continue to serve new foods in a positive way, children will usually learn to like them.  But it may take 10 attempts or more. Do not force them to eat. If they know they can try it when they are ready, they will be more open to it.

    Here are some things that may work in your family:

    Eat together as a family (or at least as many as possible) so children can see parents and other family members eating and enjoying the food.

    The "no thank you bite" rule. Try at least one bite before being allowed to say "No thank you". Don't turn this into a power struggle. If they know they can try it when they are ready, they will be more open to it. Just tell them that the kitchen is closed after dinner - you are not cooking more for the day. It's now or never...going hungry to bed a few times is not the end of the world! Don't let them fool you into making more meals.

    Make up cute names for the food you prepare together - kids love hero names etc.

     Happy Lunch

    Happy Lunch

    Shop with your kids - let them pick fruit and vegetables

    Cook with your kids - have your kids help prepare the food - some kids give in to the "I made them..." and you will be surprised to see how greens like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, suddenly can become a favorite

    Have a veggie night - edamame, hummus with veggies, mushroom burgers with cheese etc.

    Hide the veggies...only for the toughest kids because you really want them to know what they are eating but... hide the veggies in smoothies or use pureed vegetables in everything from dumplings to quesadillas.

    Make fruits and vegetables the easy option - no more 100 calorie bags of chips and other snacks - stock a kid-accessible shelf in the fridge with little bags of cut fruit and vegetables, applesauce and fruit cups.

    Use fun gadgets - most kids nowadays love gadgets. Let the kids use a blender, juicer and food processor to make great smoothies with both fruits and vegetables. Just use proper supervision, of course.  

    And few other suggestions...

    Get them while they're hungry

    Offer new foods when your child is hungry and is not tired.

    Let your child look at the food and touch it-that's how they learn about new things.

    Offer the new food again in a couple days.  It may take awhile, but eventually your child will start eating the new food.

    Don't give up.

    The important thing is to keep serving the food for the family to enjoy.   One day your children will surprise you and begin eating the food as if they always have.

    10 easy kid-friendly ideas for serving veggies and fruit

    Fruit cones  Combine a variety of chopped fresh or canned fruits in a bowl (grapes, apples, peaches, pineapple, melon, berries, etc.) Scoop into flat-bottom ice cream cones. Top with fruit flavored yogurt.

    Berries Brrr  Frozen berries make great edible ice cubes and help to quench thirst. . Add them to 100% fruit juice or water.

    Banana split breakfast Spoon yogurt in the centre of a cereal bowl, and place banana halves on either side of the yogurt. Sprinkle the top with fresh blueberries, strawberries or fresh or canned pineapple and toasted oats cereal for whole grain crunch.

    Stir fry wraps Wrap some leftover chicken or beef stir fry loaded with vegetables in a whole wheat tortilla. Serve hot with a tasty dipping sauce for a hand held meal.

    Potato nachos Bake thin slices of regular or sweet potatoes until just tender. Top each slice with a small amount of salsa, chopped green onion and peppers. Top with grated cheddar cheese. Bake until cheese melts. For an Italian version, substitute tomato sauce for salsa and mozzarella for cheddar.

    Cheese fondue (for the dairy lovers) A cheese and milk- based fondue is a great way to serve a variety of fresh vegetables and fruit - broccoli or cauliflower florets, grape tomatoes, zucchini chunks, potato wedges or apple and pear slices.

    Smooth soup In large saucepan, combine frozen broccoli or any frozen vegetable combination on hand, with chopped potato and prepared chicken stock, simmer until veggies are tender. Puree with an immersion blender or in a blender. Serve sprinkled with grated cheese or croutons.

    Awesome fruit dip Puree frozen fruits (peaches, strawberries, blueberries, mixed berries or tropical mix) and combine with vanilla yogurt.

    Pizza Pitas Stuff mini whole grain whole wheat pitas with diced ham, shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar), sliced mushrooms and chopped peppers (red, green, yellow or orange). Top with pizza or tomato sauce and bake in oven or toaster oven until cheese melts. Optional - Serve with more sauce for dipping.

    Simply just cut up some different fruits and vegetables and put on a plate and see what happens when the kids are exposed for a variety of colors  and shapes. This is a perfect "after-school" snack and while doing homework. Add a few wholegrain crackers and/or some nuts or seeds.

    And remember if you child only eat a few selected foods for a time being, its okay - Kids are not going to be serious malnourished just because they eat limited foods for a while. But never give up - make it fun and continue to introduce good healthy foods.

    To avoid waste of left over fruit and veggies - read my "Waste Not" blog.

     

    Posted on April 6, 2013 .

    Top 10 Reasons to Exercise

    Exercise may be the closest thing to the fountain of youth. Not only does regular activity strengthen your muscles and improve heart and lung function, but it can also reduce your risk of major diseases, stimulate the growth of new brain cells, and even add years to your life. Studies show just 30 minutes of physical activity on most days is all that's required to reap big benefits.

    The range of health bonuses now attributed to exercise has surprised even doctors. There is a ton of health benefits from exercising on a regular basis but here's a few that will remind you of the "why" and hopefully will convince you to prioritize daily exercise.

    1. Keep you young. Workouts such as brisk walking or cycling boost the amount of oxygen consumed during exercise. Improving your aerobic capacity by just 15 to 25 percent would be like shaving 10 to 20 years off your age. Aerobic exercise may also stimulate the growth of new brain cells in older adults.
    1. Reduce infections. Moderate workouts temporarily rev-up the immune system by increasing the aggressiveness or capacity of immune cells. That may explain why people who exercise catch fewer colds.
    1. Prevent heart attacks. Not only does exercise raise "good" HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure, but new research shows it reduces arterial inflammation, another risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
    1. Ease asthma. Evidence shows that upper-body and breathing exercises can reduce the need to use an inhaler in mild cases of asthma.
    1. Control blood sugar. Exercise helps maintain a healthy blood-sugar level by increasing the cells' sensitivity to insulin and by controlling weight. Regular brisk walking can significantly cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
    1. Protect against cancer. Exercise may reduce the risk of colon-cancer by speeding waste through the gut and lowering the insulin level. It may also protect against breast and prostate cancer by regulating hormone levels. 
    1. Combat stress. Regular aerobic exercise lowers levels of stress hormones. For many people, exercise helps relieve depression as effectively as antidepressant medication.
    1. Relieve hot flashes. Increasing fitness by walking or practicing yoga enhances mood and reduces some menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats.
    1. Protect men's health. Pelvic exercises help prevent erectile dysfunction and possibly benign prostate enlargement, a common cause of urinary problems.
    1. Prolong life. Studies lasting many years have consistently shown that being active cuts the risk of premature death by about 50 percent for men and women.

     (Adapted from Consumers Reports)

    Posted on March 19, 2013 .

    Waste Not

    Over the years, working with clients on meal planning, I’ve noticed that one of the reasons why we don’t buy and eat enough fruit and vegetables is because of the waste.

    Seeing too much of your produce going into the bin is too expensive, too depressing and it’s just easier to order a pizza with extra tomatoes to try and compensate and ease on the guilt.

    Most of us have good intentions when it comes to healthy eating. We really want to make healthier food choices but most family budgets don’t allow food to just go in the bin; All because we don’t know how to cook or how to store the foods.

    I find it extremely essential that everyone have access to clean (organic and non-GMO) fresh food. Even on a tight budget, you should how to utilize your produce and not waste a thing.

    Fresh is best but there is nothing wrong with frozen fruit and veggies if that’s what works best for you in your daily routines. 

    Here are a few tips that will make sure you’ll always have good nutritious food within reach.

    As long as your fruit and veggies aren’t either rotten or moldy, there’s no reason to toss them. Slightly droopy vegetables are absolutely fine in both sauces and soups.

     Wilted Greens

    Wilted Greens

    Most times lettuces and greens are wilted because they are dried out. Simply soaking them in cold water for 15-30 minutes can bring your veggies back to life. You can even store them in a bowl of cold water in the fridge overnight. You can also get some firmness into wilted and flabby veggies like celery and carrots by soaking them in a bowl of cold water with a tablespoon of vinegar. Just cut of an inch of the tops or stalks before soaking.

    The Vegetable Stock

    There’s nothing like homemade vegetable stock and you can literally almost use any vegetable, which makes vegetable sock the perfect solution for the not-quite-perfect vegetables you forgot way back in the fridge drawer.  Non-crisp does not mean non-flavor!

    Celery, onions and carrots are almost key ingredients in a tasty pot of homemade vegetable stock.

    After that, there are endless combinations. Leeks, green beans, scallions chard, potatoes, squash, bell peppers, eggplant, fennel and some fresh or dried herbs. After a few hours of simmering on the stove, you’ll never know what the veggies looked like when they went into the pot.

    Freeze and bake – it’s all good!

    So is it okay to freeze your fruit and vegetables? Absolutely yes! Especially if it means that you will actually buy and eat your daily portion of these essentials foods. Fresh is best but frozen is good too!

     Frozen Green Beans

    Frozen Green Beans

    Again, as long as your produce is not moldy or rotten, most of it can easily be put in zip-locks and saved in the freezer. Another tip is to chop the veggies before tossing in zip-locks so you can easily add them to a stir-fry, slow cooker or use as seasoning for any meal.

    Slightly limp and soft veggies are great in casseroles so if you bought too much broccoli, cauliflower, eggplants etc. – these can easily be sliced up and used in a casserole.
    Or cook them and add them as added flavor, color and nutrients to mashed potatoes.

    If you have bought too many greens and you know they’ll go bad, you can simply de-stem and steam them for 2-3 minutes. Cool and divide into freezer bags or containers. Store in freezer for 6-12 months!

    Storage

    It really is all about storage and spending a few minutes on a little preparation once a week.

    Airtight containers and zip-lock bags can preserve your fruits and veggies for up to 5 days.

     Frozen Berries Makes a Perfect Cold Drink

    Frozen Berries Makes a Perfect Cold Drink

    If you’re on a busy schedule, is pays to spend a little time once a week where you chop, cut and bag your fruit and veggies.

    Most fruits like melon, berries and bananas can go right in the freezer and be used in smoothies or used as colorful and tasty ice cubes in a festive drink. Just wash, cut, peel and seal in bags and toss it in the freezer for easy access.

    Consider meal planning. You can sit down once a weekly or maybe even bi-weekly and plan your meals. This way you don’t have to think about what to buy and what to cook everyday. It’s a simple time and money safer that pays in every way. And it’s a great way to include kids – especially the picky ones so they have a saying and therefore are more open to eat and enjoy the food you are cooking.

    Wilted greens like chard, kale (my favorite) and spinach, are great if slightly sautéed. This way, you can add them to a variety of dishes with or without meat – just as you prefer.

    Cook smarter – not harder!


    Posted on March 14, 2013 .