Healthy sweeteners for everyday use👍
We usually think of our pantry as the place we store what we need for cooking on daily bases. I have come to realize these days, that my pantry should have everything I need to make meals for not just weeks but maybe months.
Believe me I don’t own a large pantry, so no room for a large varieties of food, but I have learned how to make meals that share the same basic ingredients. And with few more from the freezer, voila I have put together a nice meal.
To create a nice meal has always been important to me. I grew up in a household that eating healthy, and eating delicious meals took an entire day to prepare. Chopping vegetables, marinating the meat, making sauces, all were an important component of creating a delicious food, and setting a beautiful table.
So to keep stress out of my life I have grouped my basic pantry items in 4 categories:
Always store Salt, peppers, spices, cooking oils in large quantities since they are used in daily cooking. Canned sauces, and tomatoes, canned vegetables, soups, tuna, pickles, olives, and pastas are another must haves, with long expiration dates that are easy to buy for storing.
Take advantage of end of season sales for baking, canned vegetables, and pastas. And remember you can store most ingredients like butter, cooked pastas, cooked rice, and breads, for few weeks in your freezer.
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Who doesn’t like to snack? When taking a refuge at home from the summer heat, it is easy to wonder around the kitchen looking for snacks. I am fan of snacking, and I can spend hours creating cheese trays or snack trays. I mix the chips with the healthy nuts and berries, and balance the bland with salty and spicy. Healthy snacks is what I am all about. Being a vegetarian most of my life my family gets bored with my healthy collection of berries, and nuts, so I give them a break by making smoothies on hot summer afternoons.
With smoothies everything goes. What you add for sweetness is a major part of keeping it healthy. To make smoothies sweet I often add honey, maple syrup, nutella and peanut butter. To make the mix smooth for drinking I add vanilla or chocolate soy, orange juice, or milk. Some cinnamon, vanilla extract with few drops of lemon juice for extra flavor.
Stay cool, and fill the gaps with yummy snacks.😘
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries (or other berries)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tsp Nutella
1Tsp of Honey for sweetness add as needed
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Cooking and baking has become a necessity now that we all take comfort and safety in staying home. Watching cooking shows has been the most entertaining and age appropriate tv time for my entire family, and has been an easy way for me learn a few new recipes.
If you have children at home you will relate to my hectic 3 meals a daily schedule. During the week lunch hour changes by the online school schedule, and only on weekends we all enjoy a more relaxed menu around the kitchen table.
Food brings us together, and sitting together for a meal for me has always been comforting, and I do confess my family is not fussy or limited by food allergies, so I have less stress preparing meals.
Since quarantine I have used my pasta maker 3 times, for spinach and ricotta ravioli, and fettuccini. Baked tart shells that everyone filled w their favorite fruits, and grilled chicken and burgers just to give myself a menagerie of recipes to prepare for our meals.
We are all doing our best during the quarantine to keep it together, and I will remember this experience as the time I challenged my family to enjoy my cooking without ketchup.🤣
Round eclairs stuffed with custard
I know every entertainment idea is not a good idea for all of us, but a few can make us all busy and happy at the same time.
Here are a few fun ones :
Cooking & Baking🥖🍳🍝
Gardening ( cleaning the yard )🌷
Time on social media🤪
By now we are all aware of the fact that being cut off from all social interactions is necessary in order to stay healthy. The fact that Corona virus can seriously harm people with health issues and the elderly, is a very frightening fact. Every time I hear the number of corona virus victims I am deeply sad for all involved.
Helping others to keep their positive attitude helps us too. Checking on our elderly relatives, and neighbors, and reminding ourselves this is not forever.
Snacking before bed, Good or Bad?
Snacking before bed is Good. There is nothing wrong with having a snack before we go to bed. It is easy to stay up late finishing a project or cleaning up before bed, and as you get ready for bed you realize the last time you ate was dinner, many hours ago. Nothing is worst than going to bed with a grumbling stomach.
4 important facts about snacking before bedtime.
1- It should be only a snack
2- Choose a snack that won’t keep you up.
3- Snack we pick should be light on the stomach and low on fat content.
4- No sugary, caffeinated, or spicy food.
Any snack with complex carbs and protein will release amino acids into our body that could actually help us sleep better at night.
Here is a list of 10 snacks :
1- Peanut butter
3- Greek yogurt
4- Cottage cheese
6- White Meat Turkey
7- High fiber cereal
9- whole wheat cracker
10- dates & nut butter
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We will need our nutritious Meals to stay active and happy when bad weather leaves us in the dark and no access to stores or restaurants.
Dry fruits paired with varieties of nuts, and nut butters with chutneys or jams and nutritious whole grain crackers can provide us with protein and good variety of tastes.
Also canned tuna, chicken, salmon, can be paired with lettuce, apples, grapes for a fresh and delicious salads. Don’t forget the manual can opener. If you don’t like missing your vegetables add cans of grilled eggplant, peppers and zucchini to your pantry. Shelf stable milk, breakfast cereals, are also great for snacking.
Lets not forget candles and matches .
Before the kids go back to school, finish summer with a little sweetness. These everyday snacks are introduced to being a dessert as each of them are covered in semi sweet chocolate.
Place them individually on a tray covered with aluminum foil. Place the tray in the refrigerator for an hour before serving.
Loaded with nutrition peaches are great as a snack or an addition to :
1- cottage cheese
3- hot or cold cereal
4- in peanut butter sandwich
5- in yogurt
One large peach, has just 68 calories and no fat. Eating peaches instead of more processed snacks, such as chips, baked goods, cereal bars and cookies, can help you manage your weight. Peaches are naturally sweet, no corn syrup so it can replace some of the added sugars in your diet.
Loaded with antioxidants in the flesh and skin of peaches. One of the major antioxidants in peaches, chlorogenic acid, helps flush out free radicals compounds that your body stores through exposure to pollutants from food and the environment. It also reduces the effects of aging and chronic diseases. This antioxidant may also keep you safe from cancer, provides eye health, and reduces body inflammation.
With so many choices, all we have to remember is that plain yogurt has probiotics that are good for our guts, and has calcium to keep our bones strong, and protein for our muscles.
Organic Greek yogurt adds more thickness to smoothies and parfaits. It is high in protein while still being low-cal. There is about 100 calories in a 6-ounce container of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt. With fruits and honey added to plain yogurt we can lose the extra calories added sugar, and additives from flavored yogurts.