Freeze Your Herbs

Before your robust herb garden withers away this fall, harvest your plants and freeze them.

Take your herbs of choice, finely chop them and place them in an ice cube tray.  Fill the remainder of the space in each ice cube cubby with boiling water.  The boiling water will help to blanch the herbs and help keep them fresh and flavorful for when you’re ready to defrost and use them.  When your herb ice cubes are prepared, you can remove them from your ice cube tray and place them all in a freezer bag to store.

When you are ready to use them, toss an herb ice cube in your pan, and you’ll have a fresh herb taste within minutes.

What’s your favorite herb?

 

How To Stay Away From Chemicals That Disrupt Your Hormones

Coming into contact with chemicals is hard to avoid, and I bet you don’t even realize just how many chemicals are lurking in your everyday items, products, and within your home. Chemicals are common, and although there are many things we can do to reduce chemical use in our lives, it’s also essential to understand how these chemicals can disrupt our hormones.

Known as EDCs, endocrine disrupting chemicals can cause irreversible damage to our bodies. This can cause a disturbance in our immune system, reproductive system, and neurologically — they can indeed create a mess. So let’s chat about some ways to lessen the chemical load in our everyday life.

Natural soaps
With how often you wash your hands throughout the day, opt for a chemical free soap, so you aren’t inviting these EDC’s into your body multiple times a day, every day. I like Tom’s of Maine.

Get cleaning sans chemicals
Do some research on green cleaners for your home, and you’ll even find loads of DIY house cleaners you can make with items you likely already have in your kitchen. Keeping your house clean is necessary, and you don’t have to use loads of hormone-disrupting chemicals to achieve that!

Don’t use things with fragrances
Whenever you can, go fragrance-free. Most companies don’t disclose the chemicals they use when they simply put ‘fragrance’ on the list of ingredients. You can use natural oils to make things smell good.

Cut down on plastics
Plastics with BPA and PVC are full of hormone-disrupting capabilities. Try reducing the number of plastic products you use in your life from plastic bags to plastic wrap and everything in between. Start replacing your plastic Tupperware with glass, choose reusable ziplock bags, and simply become more aware of these simple ways you can lessen the chemical load in your life.

Eat organically
I recently talked about why going organic is so important. Disrupted hormones is a huge reason to stay away. Those pesticides on non-organic foods can cause many health problems for you down the road, so choose to eat organic whenever you can. If you can’t select all organic foods, opt for the organic version of the items on the Dirty Dozen list, at least.

It’s scary to think about how many chemicals surround us every day. While we can’t control everything that goes on around us, we can at least keep our home environment clean of these hormone disrupters and have take steps to be as healthy as possible.

Are your kitchen cupboards full of different cooking, mixing and storing gadgets? If so, you aren’t alone. Most kitchens are stocked full of random and most often times unused appliances.

I wanted to share with you my top 5 appliances that are very helpful and needed in the kitchen (beside the stove).

So, what are they?

1)    Food processor

2)    Blender

3)    Stand mixer/electric mixer

4)    Pressure cooker (think Instant Pot)

5)    A kettle.

These get me through my everyday life in the kitchen, and I couldn’t imagine my kitchen without them!

What are your staples in the kitchen?

Affordable, Healthy Foods To Keep in Your Kitchen At All Times

Healthy food often gets the reputation of being expensive and out of reach. When you waltz into Whole Foods and see cash registers flashing $300 totals, and they’re walking away with only two brown bags of groceries…, it can feel like it’s an impossibility to feed your whole family healthy foods reasonably.

So, how do you eat healthfully without a second mortgage for a grocery budget? You might be surprised to know that there are many affordable, healthy food options out there that are ideal for stocking your kitchen at all times to help you make healthy meals at home.

While prices will fluctuate depending on where you live, you’ll find these items for around $2, give or take, so there are no more excuses for not keeping healthy foods in your home.

Brown Rice
A versatile and healthy side, brown rice gives you those necessary whole grains you need. Replace white rice and processed carbs with it to round out your meals. You can even buy it on the bulk aisle and store it in an air-tight container to get more bang for your buck.

Frozen Veggies
Frozen veggies lock in the nutrients and are frozen at the peak of freshness, which means they can be as nutritious as fresh veggies. These are great for throwing together a quick side, making stews or soups, or even casseroles. They often go on sale, too, so stock up during that next sale.

Old-Fashioned Oats
Buy the store brand and save a ton on this healthy and filling breakfast staple. Take what you saved and splurge on organic, fresh berries to top your oatmeal breakfast with.

Fresh Bagged Leafy Greens
With all the outbreaks of E. coli surrounding Romaine lettuce, choosing bagged up leafy greens like spinach or kale is a better solution. Plus, they’re inexpensive and very healthy. You can make them into salads, blend them into smoothies, cook them with eggs, and so much more.

Fruits That Last
Some fruits last longer than others and are quite inexpensive to boot. While a small container of fresh, organic blueberries could run you $8 and last you a day or two — a 5lb bag of navel oranges can cost you $5 and last all week. Apples, oranges, pears, pineapple, and melons are all great options for these inexpensive, long-lasting fruits to keep around your kitchen.

If you keep these things around, when life throws you a curveball, you’ll still be able to eat nutritiously and deliciously!

Do you enjoy or dread cooking?

Cooking is therapeutic for some people, and a bit of a chore for others. And whether you enjoy it or not, sometimes there’s just seemingly no time to fit in a home-cooked meal into your busy schedule — don’t you agree?

A lot of the stress of cooking is the lack of preparation, which is actually encouraging because that is an easy fix! There are some tricks you can use to become more intentional with your time in the kitchen and even amp up the fun to enjoy it more.

You can use your kitchen time to listen to podcasts, books you’ve been meaning to read or crank up the music. When trying new recipes or having a little more fun kitchen in general, remember, perfection isn’t mandatory. There is a wiggle room with food, but if you take it seriously, it will always be stressful. Don’t expect to breeze through a complicated meal easily after a long workday or workout — keep it simple!