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Food Tips

IS BIGGER BETTER?     Not necessarily when it comes to fruit.  Large apples, tomatoes,and grapes have a higher concentration of water, which dilutes the nutrients more than the water in smaller fruit.

NO MORE TEARS!  Stick onions in the fridge for 1 hour before chopping to reduce irritating fumes.  Weight Wwatchers Magazine  Sept./Oct.  2009

SOUP TOO SALTY?  Add 1 peeled potatoe and simmer until tender. 

GET JUICED     Maybe you really should’ve had a V8!  The results of two studies suggest that drinking 1 to 2 glasses of vegetable juice daily may help boost your weight loss and lower your blood pressure.  Those who drank vegetable juice lost an average of 4 pounds in a 12-week period, while those who didn’t lost only 1 pound.

FLAXSEED    Flaxseed is a great addition to your diet.  It is a great way to lower your cholesterol and add a dose of fiber and omega-3s.   It is best to grind it because whole flaxseed can pass through your body undigested.  Some suggestions: sprinkle on cereal or yogurt, mix into a smoothie, mix in a sandwich spread or in baked breads.  Source: Healthy Cooking Magazine Dec./Jan. 2011

AVOCADOS     Avocados are high in fat, but most of it is monounsaturated – the healthful kind – and using it as a spread for sandwiches and a dressing for salads is more nutritious than regular mayo or bottled dressing.

BANANAS     Peel a banana from the bottom and you won’t have to pick the little ‘stringy things’ off of it.  That’s how the primates do it.          Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store.  If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

PEPPERS     Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.  Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

STRAWBERRIES     AT THE MARKET: Skip supersize berries.  Smaller varieties are typically sweeter then larger ones.  Choose symmetrically shaped strawberries with a nice sheen and brilliant, even color.  Avoid berries with “white shoulders.”  Sniff strawberries before buying.  Choose only those with a potent berry fragrance.  A weak aroma signals fruit that isn’t fully ripe – and strawberries won’t ripen after they are picked.  Select red, clean, dry berries with fresh green caps.  AT HOME:  Check the berries at once.  Discard any moldy berries to prevent further molding.  Wash berries just before serving and do it quickly so they don’t get waterlogged.  Dry with a paper towel.

GROUND BEEF     Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef.  It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

CHEESE     Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil.  It will stay fresh much longer and not mold.

GARLIC    Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if you want a stronger taste of garlic.

PIZZA     Heat up leftover pizza in a non-stick skillet on top of the stove.  Set heat to medium and heat until warm.  This keeps the crust crispy, not soggy.

FROSTING     When you buy a container of frosting from the store, whip it up with your mixer for a few minutes.  You can double it in size.  You also get less sugar and calories per serving.  Don’t buy the  type that is already whipped.  You are getting half as much as the regular kind.

MEASURING STICKY FOODS     Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill the cup with very hot water.  Dump out the hot water, but don’t dry the cup.  Add the ingredient, such as peanut butter or honey and watch how easily it comes right out.  Also, if the recipe calls for eggs, crack the eggs into the measuring cup, stir it around so it covers all the sides, pour egg out and then add the sticky ingredient.  It will pour out more easily.

FRUIT FLIES     To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass and fill ½ of it with apple cider vinegar and 2 drops of dish soap, mix well.  The fruit flies will be drawn to the cup and gone forever.

BROWNIES     For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed.  Melt Andes mints in double boiler and pour over warm brownies.  Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

 

EAT BREAKFAST     Kick-start the day with a meal that wakes up your metabolism.  Studies show that people who eat a healthy breakfast have better concentration and problem-solving skills and usually weigh less than those who skip it.  Source:  Healthy Cooking magazine Aug/Sept. 2010     It’s the one meal that you can’t afford to skip and the best way to start any day.  A bite in the morning boosts your metabolism so you’ll burn more calories all day.  Breakfast satisfies hunger so you’ll be less likely to reach for high-calorie snacks before lunch. Source: Healthy Cooking magazine Feb/Mar 2010

 

SOFT BUTTER     If you forgot to soften the butter for a recipe, coarsely shred the butter on a grater set over a bowl; the pieces with soften in just minutes.

 

TAKE THE BAIT     New to cooking fish?     * Buy 1/2 inch thick or less fish fillets or steak, which can be cooked on just one side, you won’t have to worry about flipping the fish in the pan.   * Follow the 10 minute rule:  Cook fish 10 minutes per inch.  If you have fish that needs to be turned, use a flexible metal spatula to gently flip it over halfway through the cooking time.   * Don’t remove the head and tail before cooking – they help the fish stay moist.  Instead, with a long sharp knife, remove the head and tail from the cooked fish just before serving.    *Make several shallow cuts in the flesh before baking spice-rubbed or crumb-coated fish or before spraying it with olive oil nonstick spray.  This will help the flavors permeate the flesh and keep it from drying out. 

 

THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK     If you want to lose weight, it is essential that you take a closer look at how much soda you drink.  A 12 oz. can of soda contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar!

 

CROCK POT TEMPERATURES     Have you ever wondered what temperature your crock pot cooks at?   The low setting is actually 200 degrees.  The high setting is 300 degrees.  Both of these temperatures are suitable for cooking raw meat when cooked for the length of time the recipe recommends.  Some slow cookers also have a warm setting.  This setting should only be used after the main meal has been cooked and you are keeping it warm a short time before dinner is served.

  

SNACKS     Make it simple and quick.  Snacks should be within reach and require minimal preparation.  Peel your orange or bag carrots the night before and store in a zip-lock bag so they are fresh and easy to eat.  If the work is already done for you, you will be more likely to eat healthy snacks.  Source: Healthy Cooking August/September 2010

 

CINNAMON     1/2 tsp. of cinnamon equals the same amount of antioxidants as a 1/4 cup of blueberries.  So – keep the cinnamon coming – it’s good for you.

 

SALAD DRESSING – PORTION CONTROL     Put your portion of lettuce greens in a plastic bag.  Add measured salad dressing in the bag and shake until dressing is distributed evenly.  This will cut your salad dressing amount in half and your salad is still great and satisfying. 

 

PORTION FOOD ITEMS     Put gum in your mouth before you open the bag (this keeps you from snacking).  Weigh or portion out the item in individual bags.  Put the individual bags back in the original bag.  Then, the next time you go for that food item, you will grab an individual size bag.  Take one, count it, and walk away.  Period!!  You had the snack that you wanted but kept it in control.

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 11, 2011 9:36 am

    this is becoming a great site.. keep it up!

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