Eat the Rainbow

The color of your food can visually show you the health benefits of what you’re eating.  Vibrant, colorful fruits and veggies are packed full of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and goodies our bodies need so desperately to thrive.

Think about what junk food looks like: very bland whites, browns, neutral colors — the more colorful and natural the food, the better.  Fill your plate with as many colors as you can each meal and enjoy the vibrancy it brings you!

What color is your favorite food?

Do You Eat Leftovers?

Do you eat leftovers?

I’m always surprised to learn how many people simply do not eat leftovers.  I understand eating the same meal twice can be monotonous, but it tasted good once — why not again?!

So, are you a leftover eater or do you toss your meal when you’re finished eating?

How a CSA Can Benefit You

Have you ever heard of a CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  When you join a local CSA, you’re paying a fee to local farmers for fresh, local produce that comes straight to your door.  You can choose different options like a fruit bundle, veggie bundle, a mixture of produce — and even how frequently you get these deliveries.

Joining a CSA is a fabulous way to get fresh, local, and organic produce delivered to you while you’re also playing a considerable part in supporting your local farmers.

Since you get a varied bundle each time, it’ll also force you to cook new things you may not have purchased on your own.  It’s a fun way to expand your palette and recipe book!

To find one in your area, go to www.localharvest.org/csa

 

 

Early Bird or Night Owl

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Some people come alive in the mornings and hop out of bed with a pep in their step… and others drag along through the day and feel the most energy in the later part of the day.

For me personally, I’m and early bird.

Do you find you’re at your best in the morning or at night?

 

Gluten Free Grains to Put on Your Table

Want to go gluten-free? There are surely tons of choices out there for you to put on your dinner table. Even if you don’t have a gluten sensitivity, eating gluten-free is beneficial for your health and is a positive habit to adapt. For those that can’t have gluten though, it’s even more important to know what you can still eat without causing a major upset.

Make the switch to these whole grains that are gluten-free for a healthier lifestyle that doesn’t require cutting out the good carbs or flavors and will round out your meals!

1. Long Grain Brown Rice
Switch from white rice to long-grain brown rice for a perfect side you won’t feel guilty about when you make your stir-fry. For every cup of brown rice, use 2 cups of water (or stock for more flavor) and bring it to a boil. Drop the heat to low, then simmer covered for 45 minutes.

2. Quinoa
Everyone’s favorite ancient grain can be tricky to cook if you don’t know what to do. Rinse and drain one cup of quinoa and add it to 2 cups of boiling water (or stock). Cover and drop the heat down to medium. Allow it to simmer until all the water absorbs, generally around 10 to 12 minutes. Take it from the heat, fluff it with a fork, then add the cover back on and allow it to stand for 15 minutes before you serve it. If using it cold, like in a salad, allow it to cool completely.

3. Amaranth
Amaranth is a highly nutritious grain with loads of protein. For every cup of uncooked amaranth, you’ll need to boil 3 cups of water. Once the water boils, add the amaranth. Cover it and drop the heat to simmer until the water absorbs — roughly 20 minutes. Use a fork to fluff it before serving.

4. Hulled Millet
Millet is often used in Chinese porridge. Take one cup of rinsed, drained millet, and add it to 3 cups of boiling water or stock. Add a cover and put the heat down to medium-low until cooked through. If you want it more like a pilaf, add your cup of millet to 2 cups of water or stock instead and keep cooking until all the water absorbs, usually around 20 minutes.

5. Polenta
One incredibly tasty gluten-free whole-grain side to choose is polenta. Add one cup of corn grits or cornmeal to a pot filled with 3 cups of boiling water and a half-teaspoon of salt. Lower the heat and cook it slowly, occasionally stirring for 5 minutes. After that, take it off the heat and cover it for just a few minutes, then serve. This is an excellent choice for anyone that needs to get dinner on the table fast!

Grains aren’t the enemy — and with so many gluten-free grains to choose from, you can enjoy these gluten-free whole grains any day of the week!

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?

 

Sustainable Kitchen Practices to Up-Cycle Your Foods

According to SaveTheFood.com, 40% of the food in America is wasted. If you’ve ever opened your fridge to find you forgot to use up the rest of those leftovers or that the produce you popped in there earlier this week went bad, just know that you’re not alone. This isn’t meant to guilt you — we’ve all done this before (repeatedly!) and today, I’ll share some suggestions on coming together on this common ground to up-cycle foods.

No, that doesn’t mean you need to eat foods that have long passed their prime, but instead, it means being more vigilant when shopping for your groceries and with what’s in your kitchen.

Here’s how to up-cycle your food and help reduce the percentage of food waste on our beautiful planet.

Only buy what you need
It can be tempting to buy things when they’re on sale but think about how you’ll use those things before tossing them in your cart. If you can’t eat 3 cartons of cherry tomatoes before they go bad, don’t buy that many.

Or freeze it
But if, say, you’re planning a barbecue get-together in a few weeks, and extra of something would be handy, freeze it to use for your event.

Use your scraps
You can take scraps from your kitchen and make a compost pile. Or you can up-cycle those potato and carrot peels, onion ends, and other bits by tossing them in a large plastic zipper bag in your freezer. Once that bag is full, boil it together to make your own vegetable stock.

Donate it
Sadly, there are many people out there in need of food. Before you overstock your cabinets again, call around town to local soup kitchens and shelters, and see if your perishable foods would be used for a good cause.

Rescue food before it goes completely bad
When bananas get mushy, the kids won’t touch them. Turn it into banana bread! Even the broth we mentioned above is a way to up-cycle your foods.

If we all look for creative ways to up-cycle our foods, we can cut down on the amount we waste, and that’s a deliciously beautiful way to save our planet.

What up-cycled food ideas do you have?

Pick Your Favorite:  Air Fryer, Instant Pot, or Slow Cooker

They’re all helpful time-savers in the kitchen, and they all serve very different purposes.

The Air Fryer circulates hot air around whatever you place in it, cooking it without dropping your food into a vat of bubbling grease.  Vegetables are DELICIOUS in the air fryer!

The Instant Pot is a pressure cooker that traps the heat in a small enclosure, cooking your food at a rapid pace.

The Slow Cooker can be helpful for you to toss ingredients in and cook throughout the day, so you have a meal waiting on you when you get home from work.

If you had to pick a favorite, which would you pick?