Cooking Healthy Food

Eating Clean Without Breaking the Bank

Eating Clean Without Breaking the Bank

One of the big concerns when people consider eating clean – or eating healthy, in general –  is cost. Grocery prices have gone up so much in the past few years, it’s hard to find an extra $100 in the budget to spend on healthy food. 

Shop Local 

Find your local farmers market and scout out farm stores in the area. They are great sources of local produce, dairy, and eggs – and, if you’re lucky, even meat. Since these items don’t need to be trucked in from across the country (or overseas), you’re getting fresh, high-quality food at a decent price. 

A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box is another great source of local produce. You buy a share of a farmer’s crop for the year and end up with boxes of assorted fruits and vegetables throughout the growing season. Go to http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ to learn more and find farms in your area that participate. 

Eat in Season 

Eat the food that’s in season during any given month. Again, it will be cheaper, both in the grocery store and at the farmer’s market. But it will also be fresher. Plus, there are additional benefits to eating in season. The food tastes better since it is picked in its prime season, and it’s better for the environment when food doesn’t have to be picked early and shipped across the country. 

Make It From Scratch 

We’ve lost the art of making things from scratch in the past few decades. We spend our hard-earned money on sodium-free, organic chicken broth instead of boiling up the bones from the chicken we had for dinner last night and making our own. 

Learn to cook things from scratch. Cook your own beans, make soups and stews from scratch, and make it a goal to learn to make one new homemade thing each week. Try your hand at baking bread or make some homemade barbecue sauce. Not only will you save money, you will also have full control over the ingredients. 

Grow Your Own 

Turn part of your yard into your own personal grocery store. It is very easy to grow your own lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. Give it a try. You can even do this in containers on your patio if you don’t have much of a yard. 

Growing your own produce is even possible in an apartment. Grow some herbs, have some sprouts sprouting, and make a growing salad bowl. You can grow spring greens in a pot or bowl in the kitchen window and enjoy a nice bowl of fresh salad every few days. 

As an added bonus, you get outside and learn a lot more about where your food comes from and what it takes to grow healthy fruits and vegetables that are good for our bodies. 

Buy in Bulk 

Last, but not least, let’s talk about buying in bulk. You can purchase staple foods like rice, whole grain flour and even dried beans and peas in bulk. See what your local grocery store has to offer, or see if you can get even better prices online. 

Buying these items in bulk will save you quite a few dollars on your food budget, and it makes weekly grocery trips easier since those things are already crossed off the list. 

Please don’t let budget constraints keep you from eating healthier. Not only is it very doable on a limited budget, but you’ll be saving even more down the road in avoided health care costs. 

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It’s time to change things and take back control of what we eat and where that food comes from. It’s time to change our eating habits and give our taste buds a chance to recover to the point where they can experience the subtle flavor of a plain potato that isn’t deep fried and/or covered in salt. We need to get back to enjoying food that’s nutrient dense and gives us what we need to stay healthy and happy.

That’s what Clean Eating 101 is all about. Give it 30 days… 30 days of nothing but real food that’s good for you. Think of it as a way to reboot your system and finally kick the junk food habit to the curb.

Clean Eating 101

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Cooking Healthy Food

5 Tips to Make Grocery Shopping Easier on a Clean Eating Diet

The foods you eat and buy on a clean diet are very different from what you’ve probably been eating so far. So many of us are used to pantries, fridges and freezers slammed full of processed convenience foods. Since those are off the menu, grocery shopping will become a very different experience. Here are a few tips to help make grocery shopping easier when you switch to a clean food diet. 

Shop Local, or Grow Your Own Produce 

When you eat clean, a big part of your diet will be made up of produce. The best way to get your fruits and vegetables is to grow them yourself. You can go all out and plant a garden, or start small with a few herbs and have a perpetual salad bowl on your counter. Nothing beats “grocery shopping” in your own backyard. 

The next best thing is to find locally grown produce. Visit your local farmer’s market. Get to know the farmers in your area, or see if there’s someone in your neighborhood who gardens and is willing to barter or trade for fruits and vegetables. When you are able to find free or inexpensive produce locally, consider canning or freezing what you can’t use right away for later in the year. 

Getting most of your produce this way will make your grocery shopping trips even quicker and easier. 

Shop the Perimeter of the Grocery Store 

Much of what’s found in the center aisles of your local grocery is “food” you’ll no longer be buying or eating. Shop mainly around the perimeter of the store, sticking to produce, meat, dairy and the frozen department (for fruits and vegetables that aren’t in season). 

Stay out of the center aisles to avoid temptation as much as possible. Grab the few items you need there and head to the cash register. Don’t even look at the candy in the checkout line. 

Go in With a Plan 

It helps to go shopping with a list. It will keep you focused, and you can make sure you won’t forget anything, particularly when you’re cooking new recipes. A list also helps keep you from cheating, since you can’t really buy what’s not on the list – unless it’s toilet paper, and then, by all means, buy some even if it isn’t on the list. 

Don’t Go Hungry 

Another helpful tip that works much better than you may suspect is to never go to the store hungry. I’m sure you’ve heard this one, but do you stick to it? It’s much easier to say no to frozen pizza or that box of doughnuts when you’ve just had a yummy veggie wrap. Go shopping after a meal, or at least have a substantial snack before you head to the store. It will do wonders for your willpower. 

It’s time to change things and take back control of what we eat and where that food comes from. It’s time to change our eating habits and give our taste buds a chance to recover to the point where they can experience the subtle flavor of a plain potato that isn’t deep fried and/or covered in salt. We need to get back to enjoying food that’s nutrient dense and gives us what we need to stay healthy and happy.

That’s what Clean Eating 101 is all about. Give it 30 days… 30 days of nothing but real food that’s good for you. Think of it as a way to reboot your system and finally kick the junk food habit to the curb.

Clean Eating 101

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Cooking Healthy Food

3 Great Reasons to Start Eating Clean

Giving up your favorite junk food isn’t easy. Who doesn’t love pizza, cake and ice cream? Sometimes we all need a little extra motivation to make the switch to eating clean. Here are three good reasons why you should give it a try. 

You Feel Better and Have More Energy 

Clean eating is all about eating real, unprocessed foods that are good for you and your body. It’s not easy, but the results will be almost immediate. You’ll start to feel better and have more energy throughout the day. You may even find you’re sleeping better and don’t have to rely on those 3 cups of coffee in the morning to get you out the door. I made the switch to clean eating about 18 months ago, and I discovered I COULDN’T drink more than one cup a day, or else I started to get really jumpy and jittery – unpleasantly so. Note: I have been a caffeine addict for a couple of decades.  

Why does this happen? It’s because you’re finally giving your body the nutrients it needs to run at its best. Instead of going on a sugar or caffeine high and subsequent crash, you’re getting what you need to feel great and have as much energy as that Energizer Bunny. 

You Look Better 

Real food is much better at providing you with the vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients you need than anything in pill or cream form can. Don’t be surprised to see thicker, shinier hair and clearer, firmer skin. 

Processed food is designed to trigger us to eat more than we should. Add to that the fact that it is not very nutrient dense, and it’s no surprise that most people on a “Western diet” are overweight. 

Going back to a more natural way of eating will help you lose those extra pounds, which will not only make you look better, it’ll help you be a lot healthier, as well.  That, of course, is much more important than looking good. 

You’re Setting a Good Example for Your Loved Ones 

Eating better and getting healthier doesn’t just impact you. You’ll also be setting an example for those around you. Your spouse and children will be much more likely to grab a healthy snack if you lead by example. Just think of the impact this could have on your family. Not only will you make sure you’re around and healthy for a long time, but you’ll also be influencing them to make healthy choices now and for years to come. 

That’s some pretty good motivation to help get you started. Give clean eating a try, and see these benefits and more for yourself. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is and how great real food tastes. 

It’s time to change things and take back control of what we eat and where that food comes from. It’s time to change our eating habits and give our taste buds a chance to recover to the point where they can experience the subtle flavor of a plain potato that isn’t deep fried and/or covered in salt. We need to get back to enjoying food that’s nutrient dense and gives us what we need to stay healthy and happy.

That’s what Clean Eating 101 is all about. Give it 30 days… 30 days of nothing but real food that’s good for you. Think of it as a way to reboot your system and finally kick the junk food habit to the curb.

Clean Eating 101

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Cooking Healthy Food

Clean Eating for Weight Loss

Switching to a clean diet that consists of real food, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and lean meat and whole grains will put you on the right track to a healthy weight. But there are a few things you can do to speed things up. This is particularly important if you have a lot of weight to lose or are pre-diabetic. 

Watch the Sweeteners 

Clean eating cuts out all white sugar and artificial sweeteners. Natural sweeteners like honey, agave syrup and maple syrup are usually allowed though. While they are fine to use in moderation, be careful about not going overboard. Replacing your sugary treats with “clean” versions that contain just as many natural sugars won’t help you lose the weight, and it won’t be good for your blood sugar. 

Careful With Carbs 

One of the best ways to lose excess weight is to curb carbohydrate consumption. Fill your plate with low carb, non-starchy vegetables, add a few berries and go easy on the potatoes. 

Tracking carbohydrate consumption for a few days can help you get a feel for what clean foods are high in carbs and how lowering your carbohydrate intake makes you feel. 

Plenty of Protein and Healthy Fat to Stay Full 

With sugars and carbs out of the way, what should you eat? After all, a big salad will only satisfy you for so long. Make it up with plenty of lean protein and healthy fats. Both take a longer time to digest and will help you stay full. 

Include things like chicken, low-fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, ground turkey, etc. with each meal or snack. Nuts are another great option full of healthy fats. Be careful of portion sizes, though. The same holds true for healthy fats like cold-pressed olive oil or avocados. 

Don’t Forget the Water 

Often we think we’re hungry when we’re actually thirsty. Try drinking a glass of water first. Not only will it fill you up with zero calories, staying well hydrated also makes it easier for your body to process fat into energy your body can use. In other words, drink your water and melt that fat right off your body. 

Move Around More 

Eating the right type of food in appropriate portions will make a huge difference when it comes to your weight. But so will moving around. We’re not talking about heading to the gym each day or going for a 5-mile run. While those are great options, even moving around just a little more can have a positive impact. 

Go for a short walk after dinner, park a little further away at the mall or dance around the kitchen to your favorite music. Not only will this burn extra calories, it will also put you in a better mood and kick your metabolism into high gear.

It’s time to change things and take back control of what we eat and where that food comes from. It’s time to change our eating habits and give our taste buds a chance to recover to the point where they can experience the subtle flavor of a plain potato that isn’t deep fried and/or covered in salt. We need to get back to enjoying food that’s nutrient dense and gives us what we need to stay healthy and happy.

That’s what Clean Eating 101 is all about. Give it 30 days… 30 days of nothing but real food that’s good for you. Think of it as a way to reboot your system and finally kick the junk food habit to the curb.

Clean Eating 101

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Cooking Healthy Food

Getting the Whole Family on Board With Clean Eating

Eating clean is tough when you are the only one sticking with this particular way of eating. You’re not the only one who could benefit from it. Why not get the whole family on board and become a clean food house? 

It will be much easier to stick to healthy, unprocessed foods when there is no junk food in the house to tempt you. But how do you go about getting the whole family on board? 

Have a Family Meeting 

Start by calling a family meeting and laying the cards on the table. Tell everyone why eating clean, healthy, unprocessed food is so important. Be sure they know this is a change you want everyone to make as a family. Tell them it’s something that’s near and dear to your heart, and you need their support. 

Make It a Gradual Change 

If you’re getting a lot of resistance from your family, consider making small changes when it comes to family food. For example, grill up some chicken and fix a big salad. Then fix a side of macaroni and cheese for the kids. 

Or replace half the ground meat for your spaghetti sauce with turkey, and use some whole wheat noodles. Keep the garlic toast for those who want it, but add some sliced cucumbers and tomatoes for a healthy side. 

Encourage your kids to take at least a bite of each new healthy dish. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to eat it. But they have to try it.

Find New Family Favorites 

As you try new recipes, give everyone a chance to vote on what they liked and didn’t like. It won’t take you long to find a list of new family favorites. Feature those regularly on the menu and make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks everyone likes around. 

Encourage the kids to eat at least one fruit or vegetable with each meal or snack. Even small amounts of healthy food will add up and replace some of the processed junk. 

Use the 80/20 Rule 

It’s important to realize that every step towards clean food is a step in the right direction. Not all of your family meals have to be 100% clean. Aim for 80% healthy foods and 20% foods that aren’t quite as good for you. And it’s okay if the kids indulge in some junk food here and there. Don’t freak out if they have some cake or pizza at a birthday party. The goal is to make an overall improvement in your family’s life.

It’s time to change things and take back control of what we eat and where that food comes from. It’s time to change our eating habits and give our taste buds a chance to recover to the point where they can experience the subtle flavor of a plain potato that isn’t deep fried and/or covered in salt. We need to get back to enjoying food that’s nutrient dense and gives us what we need to stay healthy and happy.

That’s what Clean Eating 101 is all about. Give it 30 days… 30 days of nothing but real food that’s good for you. Think of it as a way to reboot your system and finally kick the junk food habit to the curb.

Clean Eating 101

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Cooking Healthy Food

Getting Started With Clean Eating

When you first get started eating clean, you have two options. You can go cold turkey and give up all the junk food, sugar, processed food etc. all at once, or you can opt for a more gradual change. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach. Pick the one you think will work best for you and give it a try. 

If giving everything up cold turkey doesn’t work for you, you can always switch to a more gradual approach, and vice versa. Please don’t beat yourself up if you make gradual changes or slip up here and there, particularly in the beginning. The important thing is that you are doing something to eat things that are better for your health and your body. 

The first thing you have to decide is what exactly clean eating means for you and your family. Some of the basics include no processed food, organic produce, chicken and grass-fed beef whenever possible. Buy the best quality eggs you can. Decide what you want to completely cut from your diet. White flour and sugar are easy. But it’s up to you if you want to include whole wheat flour or cut out wheat completely. What about other grains? What are you and what aren’t you okay with?

Next, you can do one of two things. 

  1. You can go through the whole house and toss out everything that is no longer on your approved food list. For some of us (like me), going cold turkey works best. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling crappy and fighting a headache for a few days. It’s your body adjusting to the cleaner food and detoxing from all the junk you’ve been eating up until this point. 
  2. If throwing away all this food is more than you can bear, consider donating what you can to a food pantry. Or eat what you have but not let any more processed and junk food enter the house. Next, cut out all white flour and sugar. Gradually make more and more changes to your diet until you reach a level of clean eating you’re comfortable with. 

Don’t forget about drinks. When you’re thirsty, stick to water. Sodas and energy drinks are a big no-no. Everything in-between is up to you. Does coffee fit into your clean eating plan? If it does, make sure you give up the sugary creamer and stick to plain, organic coffee. Herbal teas are a great alternative, as is lemon water. 

No matter how you get there, you will be amazed at how much better you’ll feel once you switch to eating real food that’s good for your body. Don’t be surprised to find that you have more energy and a mental clarity you didn’t realize you were missing. That’s what happened to me when I gave up sugar.

It’s time to change things and take back control of what we eat and where that food comes from. It’s time to change our eating habits and give our taste buds a chance to recover to the point where they can experience the subtle flavor of a plain potato that isn’t deep fried and/or covered in salt. We need to get back to enjoying food that’s nutrient dense and gives us what we need to stay healthy and happy.

That’s what Clean Eating 101 is all about. Give it 30 days… 30 days of nothing but real food that’s good for you. Think of it as a way to reboot your system and finally kick the junk food habit to the curb.

Clean Eating 101

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Author Interviews, Cooking Healthy Food

Clean Eating Tips When You’re Away From Home

Eating clean at home is relatively easy. You cook what you want to eat and, provided you have the right ingredients in your fridge and pantry, you shouldn’t be too tempted by takeout and fast food. Things get a little more complicated when you’re away from home. 

When You’re Traveling 

Do your homework before you head out.  What options will you have on the road and once you arrive at your destination? See if there are grocery stores close by and if you will have access to a mini-fridge (if you’re staying in a hotel). 

Pack some emergency snacks in case you can’t find anything you can eat. Stock up on nuts, fruits, seeds and raw vegetables. If you can, pack a little cooler with other ready to eat food. Having water and herbal teas on hand will also help when you’re traveling. 

When You’re Invited to Dinner 

Depending on your relationship with the hostess, you may or may not want to mention your dietary restrictions. In either case, it’s a good idea to have a substantial snack before you head out the door. You don’t want to arrive hungry and be tempted by all the “off-limits” food options. 

Make the best choices you can. It’s your decision if you want to avoid most of the unhealthy foods offered or have some of the foods you wouldn’t normally eat in order to avoid offending the hostess. At the end of the day, a few bites of processed foods won’t kill you. Just avoid any known trigger foods and, if you can, stay away from wheat and sugar. 

When You’re Going Out to Eat 

Research the place ahead of time, or if you have input in where you’re going, pick a restaurant you know has choices that fit into your eating plan. 

Most restaurants offer their menus online. Start there, and see what you can find that’s at least close to being acceptable. Then give them a call and see what they can do to accommodate you. You may be able to make some small tweaks in the menu to cut out foods you’re trying to avoid. Stating you’re on dietary restrictions or can’t handle certain ingredients will help. Of course, it always helps to be nice to the person on the other end of the phone line and your server once you get to the restaurant.  

One more quick tip. Anytime you head out, even if it’s just for a few short hours, carry a healthy snack with you. Keep some non-perishables like nuts and dried fruit in your purse, along with some bottled water. No matter what happens, you’ll have your snack and can make it until you get back home to cook a clean meal.

It’s time to change things and take back control of what we eat and where that food comes from. It’s time to change our eating habits and give our taste buds a chance to recover to the point where they can experience the subtle flavor of a plain potato that isn’t deep fried and/or covered in salt. We need to get back to enjoying food that’s nutrient dense and gives us what we need to stay healthy and happy.

That’s what Clean Eating 101 is all about. Give it 30 days… 30 days of nothing but real food that’s good for you. Think of it as a way to reboot your system and finally kick the junk food habit to the curb.

Clean Eating 101

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Cooking Healthy Food

Clean Food Staples You Should Have Around at All Times

Want to know the secret to sticking to a clean diet? Here it is: Make sure you always have something in the house that makes it easy to fix meals and snacks.

It’s easy to get tempted by fast food, takeout or even the convenience food section at the grocery store when you’re hungry with no easy to prepare food in the house. Here are some staples you should keep on hand for quick and easy clean meals. 

Pantry Items or Dry Goods 

Having things like rice, oats and corn meal or grits on hand helps whip up quick and filling side dishes and breakfasts. Keep your pantry stocked with potatoes, onions and garlic, and you can whip up some quick dishes with just a few things from the fridge. 

We like to keep corn tortillas, tortilla chips and popcorn on hand for quick snacks that aren’t bad for us.

Speaking of snacks, nuts, seeds and dried fruit are perfect for snacking. And they make great additions to oatmeal in the morning. Add some seed or nut butters to your shopping list, and you’re good to go. 

If you’re including whole grain products, keep whole grain flour and pastas on hand in the pantry. You can bake up some quick breads, or make homemade bread and other baked goods with the flour. And, of course pasta, sauce and some vegetables always make for a quick weeknight dinner. 

Eggs and Dairy 

Always keep plenty of eggs in the fridge. Go ahead and boil a dozen or so, and keep them on hand for easy snacking. Eggs are such a versatile ingredient, and they can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

Depending on how much dairy you are including in your clean food diet, stock the fridge with butter, raw or whole milk, and some Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. We also like to keep a few hard cheeses in the fridge for quick and easy snacking. 

Fruits and Vegetables 

Let’s get down to the stuff that makes up the bulk of our diet – fruits and vegetables. Aside from things like carrots and potatoes, there aren’t a lot of shelf-stable vegetables out there. Stock up on plenty of frozen and canned vegetables to use whenever you run out of the fresh stuff. 

Another great thing to keep on the counter is a growing salad bowl. Loose-leaf lettuce is pretty quick and easy to grow. Give it a try for fresh, organic produce from your windowsill.

When it comes to fruit, apples are your best bet for a shelf-stable food. We also like to keep a variety of frozen berries in the freezer for quick smoothies.  

Meat and Fish 

Let’s wrap this up with a few things from the meat and fish department. Canned tuna is a good option to have on occasion. You can make tuna salad, add it to pasta sauces, or even use it as a pizza topping. We don’t have it often, but it’s a good ingredient to have on hand. 

When it comes to meat, you won’t find my freezer without some grass-fed ground beef, ground turkey and a few bags of chicken breast. They are all versatile options when I’m out of fresh meat or can’t find anything decent at the grocery store.

It’s time to change things and take back control of what we eat and where that food comes from. It’s time to change our eating habits and give our taste buds a chance to recover to the point where they can experience the subtle flavor of a plain potato that isn’t deep fried and/or covered in salt. We need to get back to enjoying food that’s nutrient dense and gives us what we need to stay healthy and happy.

That’s what Clean Eating 101 is all about. Give it 30 days… 30 days of nothing but real food that’s good for you. Think of it as a way to reboot your system and finally kick the junk food habit to the curb.

Clean Eating 101

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Cooking Healthy Food

Easy Substitutions for Your Favorite Processed Foods

Congratulations! You’ve decided to “eat clean.” But what happens when you’re doing well for a few days enjoying new recipes? Then you start to miss your favorite processed foods. Packing a lunch is hard when making sandwiches isn’t an option. And how are you supposed to go without your favorite pasta dish? Below you’ll find easy substitutions for some of your favorite processed foods. 

Pasta 

Eating clean usually cuts out any and all pasta. Rice is a quick substitute, as is spaghetti squash. There are also “miracle noodles” available for purchase online and in some health food stores. They are mushroom based and usually come packed in water. To be honest, they are a bit of an acquired taste. By far the best and most versatile option is to use squash and zucchini as a pasta replacement. Use a spiralizer, a veggie peeler or just a paring knife, and cut pasta shapes from the squash. You can eat it raw, or cook it in a dry skillet until your mock pasta is al dente. Serve with your favorite clean pasta sauce, or top it with some tomatoes cooked in olive oil and garlic. 

Breads 

Wraps and sandwiches make the perfect portable lunch. If you’re wondering what you’re supposed to be doing without them, look no further than a leaf of lettuce or cabbage. They make great wraps and hold your favorite clean sandwich ingredients just fine. 

Of course you can also bake some great gluten-free baked treats using eggs, and either flax seed or almond meal. Do a quick Google search for all sorts of quick and easy recipes to try. 

Breakfast Cereal 

If cold cereal is your breakfast of choice, you’re in luck… sort of. An easy substitute is a bowl of fruit and chopped nuts topped with a little almond milk. It’s much better than that same old bowl of corn flakes, and you’ll soon agree. Keep the ingredients ready in the fridge for a quick and easy breakfast. 

If you get tired of that, then give eggs a try. They make a great breakfast food and will keep you full for hours. 

Pizza 

Did you know that you can make pizza crust from cauliflower? It’s a bit of work and slightly messy to eat, but boy does it hit the spot when you’re craving a piece of that savory, tomato-y pie. 

Depending on what you’re eating on your personal version of clean eating, corn tortillas may also be a good gluten-free option. They make perfect individual-sized pizzas. 

Any time a craving hits, or you feel like throwing in the towel because you’re missing some of your old favorites, do a Google search. There are some amazing clean food recipes out there for just about anything.

It’s time to change things and take back control of what we eat and where that food comes from. It’s time to change our eating habits and give our taste buds a chance to recover to the point where they can experience the subtle flavor of a plain potato that isn’t deep fried and/or covered in salt. We need to get back to enjoying food that’s nutrient dense and gives us what we need to stay healthy and happy.

That’s what Clean Eating 101 is all about. Give it 30 days… 30 days of nothing but real food that’s good for you. Think of it as a way to reboot your system and finally kick the junk food habit to the curb.

Clean Eating 101

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Cooking Healthy Food

What Is Clean Eating?

 

What Is Clean EatingClean eating is a diet that focuses on natural, mostly unprocessed, foods. When we talk about diet, we’re not talking about the latest and greatest weight loss program. In this case, we’re talking about a way of eating. The focus of a clean diet is on fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains in their most natural, unprocessed form. 

Instead of things like pizza, pasta, bread and fried chicken, a clean diet consists of meals like steamed broccoli and grilled chicken, omelets, homemade chili or steak, baked potato and a side salad. In essence, it’s going back to how we used to eat before there was a fast food restaurant on every corner and grocery stores packed with processed foods and meals ready to heat and serve. 

The idea behind clean eating is to get back to consuming fresh, mainly unprocessed, foods that contain their full nutritional value. As an added bonus, these foods aren’t stuffed full of preservatives, additives and flavor enhancers. The main reason for choosing to stick to a clean diet is to eat healthier. 

How “clean” you make your diet is up to you. Some proponents of this way of eating insist that you should only consume completely unprocessed foods. Others are comfortable enjoying things like butter, cheese, cured meats and cultivated vegetables like sauerkraut. How far you take your clean eating journey is up to you. Even cleaning up your diet just a little by cutting out fast food burgers and creating freezer meals will help. 

Fill up your plate with plenty of raw or cooked vegetables. Cook up some rice or bake a potato, and round it all up with a little fruit and cheese for dessert. Find a couple of go-to meals you like, and build your weekly meals around those dishes. 

It’s hard to find healthy snacks that fit your clean diet while you’re out and about. Keep some fresh and dried fruit, along with some seeds and nuts, handy for emergency snacking. When it comes to drinks, water and herbal teas are your best friends. Black coffee is another good choice. Just be careful about adding sweeteners and creamers. 

It may take you a little while to get used to the “real” taste of food after eating foods that are laden with sugar, salt and flavor enhancers. Once your taste buds adjust, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how delicious real food is. And your body will thank you for making the switch to clean eating as well. 

louis-hansel-shotsoflouis-5wgt37hkWfE-unsplash

It’s time to change things and take back control of what we eat and where that food comes from. It’s time to change our eating habits and give our taste buds a chance to recover to the point where they can experience the subtle flavor of a plain potato that isn’t deep fried and/or covered in salt. We need to get back to enjoying food that’s nutrient dense and gives us what we need to stay healthy and happy.

That’s what Clean Eating 101 is all about. Give it 30 days… 30 days of nothing but real food that’s good for you. Think of it as a way to reboot your system and finally kick the junk food habit to the curb.

Clean Eating 101

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Cooking Healthy Food, Super Sides, Uncategorized

What’s the Best Time of Day to Eat Almonds?

When Is the Best Time of Day to Eat Almonds_

The answer to this question, I think, really depends on your main purpose for eating the almonds. Almonds are wonderful additions to any diet because they are high in fiber and heart healthy fats and minerals. They can generally be eaten at any time of the day, but certain individual characteristics may dictate the best time of day to eat the almonds.

If you are eating almonds strictly because of the heart health benefits, you can incorporate them at any point during the day – with a few conditions. Almonds, because of their brown coating, can be difficult for some people to digest. For this reason, it’s generally better to avoid eating almonds on an empty stomach. You can always try drinking a glass of almond milk instead. Silk is great, but I also really enjoy making my own almond milk using water and raw almonds in my Ninja Master Prep. Note: the almonds should be raw, and you should soak them first in the same water you’re going to blend them with for at least two hours.

If you’re eating almonds to help boost your athletic performance, it’s best to eat a handful after each workout. So, if you work out in the morning, you should eat almonds in the morning. Likewise, if you work out in the evening, you should eat almonds in the evening.

And speaking of evening, did you know eating a small handful of almonds before bed can actually help you sleep? They contain a significant amount of magnesium, which induces sleep and improves its quality. Because of the magnesium, eating almonds at night also helps to control blood sugar, which may especially help you if you have diabetes or weight issues. You won’t even be hungry when you wake up in the morning, because the fiber in the almonds helps keep you feeling fuller longer!

No doubt about it, everyone could benefit from eating almonds every day. The best time of day to eat the almonds really depends on your main reason for including them in your diet, but you don’t want to waste another day before making them a personal nutritional staple.

best time of day to eat almonds.jpg

If you liked this post and want to learn even more about nutrition and wellness, head over to my health and wellness site, WhyWellnessNow.com.

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

 

Cooking Healthy Food, Super Sides

The Surprising Truth About Canola Oil

The Surprising Truth About Canola Oil

For years now, canola oil has gotten a very bad rap, and somewhat undeservedly so. The truth is canola oil can actually be good for you – in some cases even as good as olive oil, and it is much, much cheaper. This makes it a healthy and economical alternative to olive oil.

Here are just a few of the health benefits of canola oil, which comes from the rapeseed plant:

  1. It is low in saturated fat and contains no trans fats, so it is much better to cook with than standard vegetable oil or other types of oil high in saturated and trans fats.
  2. Canola oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and plant sterols, which decrease the risk of coronary heart disease.
  3. It has been shown to both increase levels of good (HDL) cholesterol and decrease levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol in the body, thus promoting a healthy lipid profile.
  4. It is a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for the growth and development of the brain, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the body against stroke and heart attack.
  5. Clinical trials and studies have shown that consumption of canola oil in place of other edible oils benefits the body greatly by increasing overall metabolism.
  6. Canola oil can reduce joint stiffness and tenderness, as well as inflammation due to chronic arthritis. It can also reduce the inflammation caused by asthma and intestinal disorders.
  7. Canola oil is rich in vitamins E and K, which help with skin problems such as wrinkles, fine lines, acne, blemishes, eczema, etc. It is often used as a base in creams and lotions because it makes the skin soft and radiant.
  8. To adequately moisturize dry, flaky skin, stir in some canola oil with a few drops of your favorite essential oil and use it as a body oil. Alternatively, you can put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray it on your skin after a hot shower.
  9. Research and scientific studies show that lupus, an autoimmune disease in which the skin and joints of the body are constantly being destroyed by the immune system, can be treated with a combination of fish and canola oil. This research is currently still in its infancy, but the results indicate a huge potential benefit.
  10. Hot oil treatments using canola oil can be inexpensive and highly effective remedies for hair that is dull and damaged. The oil moisturizes the hair shaft and repairs damage to the strands, and it provides a protective layer against dirt, pollution, and sun damage. A mixture of canola, olive, and almond oil can be used to prevent hair loss and stimulate hair growth.the-suprising-truth-about

To maintain the oil’s effectiveness and nutritional value, store in an airtight container in a cool, dark location to minimize exposure to light. If this isn’t possible, you can try wrapping the bottle with a dark, dry cloth. If stored properly, one bottle of canola oil can last for up to two years, which puts its economical value heads and tails above other oils like olive, sunflower, and peanut. Get some today, and try it out for yourself!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

Cooking Healthy Food

4 Carb Myths Crushed!

Carb Myths

For several years now, people have been believing the myths and thinking carbohydrates are evil. Some go so far as to say that ALL carbs are evil, no matter where they come from. We can, of course, thank the rise in popularity of the Atkins Diet in the early 2000s for this hatred of the carb and the spread of the anti-carb myths.

But I can remember back before that to the 1990s, when fat was thought to be the major nutritional villain. I ate my share of “fat-free” food (Snackwell’s Devil’s Food Cake Cookies, anyone?) until I realized that they substituted all that fat with sugar and all kinds of other bad things like MSG and other harmful chemicals. That much sugar is just as bad for you as lots of fat, but all carbs are not created equal, as the Mediterranean Diet and South Beach Diets told us in their explanations of glycemic index.

Recent low-carb diets like the Caveman (Paleo) Diet and Keto Diet are now all the rage. They limit carbohydrates in general, but especially carbs from processed foods. These eating plans focus on eating healthier foods like fruits and vegetables, nuts and berries, wild-caught fish, and grass-fed beef. The low-carb emphasis persists, but is it the best nutritional approach?

Let’s take a look at some carbohydrate myths you may have fallen for and examine the truths behind the myths.

1 – Carbs Are Great; Saturated Fats Are Evil

We now know, after literally decades of anti-fat propaganda, that saturated fat is basically harmless. You don’t have to avoid healthy fats like coconut oil. Fat cuts of meat are okay to eat as well. So are fatty fish like salmon, which is rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

You should be careful, however, when consuming fats and carbohydrates in the same meal. For best nutritional results, you want to pair healthy fats with complex carbs, which we’ll talk about more in the next point.

 2 – All Carbohydrates Are Equal

As mentioned in the introduction, some carbs affect the body differently than do others. Simple carbohydrates, for example, are sugars. They are broken down quickly in your body – too quickly, sometimes, for your body to use the energy they provide. That unused energy gets stored as glycogen, which can eventually be converted to fat.

Complex carbohydrates are starches that take a long time to process. Because of this, they do not lead to the dangerous sugar rush-crash cycle that results in increased insulin production and can cause damage to the body in a variety of ways.

In short, complex carbohydrates are great for your body, while simple carbs are not.

3 – A Low-Carb Diet Is Best for Everyone Who Needs to Lose Weight

No two human beings are even remotely similar physiologically. Your internal processes – millions of them – are totally different from those of the other 7 billion people roaming the planet. Low-carb diets have proven to be incredibly healthy for many, and they have helped a lot of people lose weight. That said, what works for one person may not work for you.

Besides this, several low-carb foods can be fattening, especially if you are not carefully watching your calorie intake. No matter what nutrients you are putting into your body, if you consume more calories than you burn on a daily basis you will gain weight.

4 – You Don’t Need Dietary Fiber If You Cut Down on Your Carbs

You get a lot of your daily required dietary fiber from carbohydrates (especially complex carbohydrates), whether you realize it or not. Fiber is essential to human health. Soluble fiber can lead to health benefits such as improved cholesterol levels and weight loss.

When you cut carbs out of your diet, you automatically cut out a lot of healthy fiber. This is why it might be necessary to add BeneFiber or some other fiber supplement to your diet if you are cutting back on the carbs.

There’s a reason everyone talks about a balanced diet being the best way to maintain a healthy body. The key word there is “balance.” You want to include a variety of foods in your daily diet and not exclude any one food group unless you happen to have a serious allergy. Eating healthy means making wise food choices. The more you know about nutrition, the more fad diet myths you can debunk and the healthier choices you can make – for the rest of your life.

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

Cooking Healthy Food, Cooking with Herbs

Cooking with Herbs : Tips and Tricks

cooking with herbs

How much do you know about cooking with herbs? Until about 20 years ago, I didn’t really know anything. Then I discovered how delicious and nutritious they can be, and I’ve never looked back. In fact, I’ve started studying them and using them more and more. Herbs, of course, are plants, and eating a plant-heavy diet benefits both your health and your waistline,  in addition to adding a lot of delicious flavor to any recipe, which is the part I love best about them. There are, literally, hundreds of herbs to choose from, all of which offer very low-calorie ways to add flavor to you cooking.

When you’re first starting out, cooking with herbs can seem overwhelming. Part of the reason it took me so long to start really delving into the world of herbalism is because there is so much to learn. Learning how to buy, prepare, store, and cook with fresh herbs seems like a lot of work at first. After all, how do you know which herbs go with which dish? But cooking with fresh herbs is not reserved for gourmet chefs. Try some of the following tips and tricks to elevate your dishes to the next level in no time:

Which Is Better: Fresh or Dried?
For the most part, choosing between using fresh and dried herbs is simply a matter of personal preference. That being said, there are times when one works better in a dish than the other. Dried herbs have the best flavor when they are added during cooking, which is almost always what I do. This gives enough time for their flavor to infuse into the dish.

It’s best to use dried herbs in homemade soups or sauces that are going to be simmering for at least 45 minutes after you add the dried herbs. If you add the herbs too soon, like right when you are going to be serving the dish, the herbs tend to taste “dirty” or too grainy. I love to use dried herbs in the Crock Pot, especially. They get much softer, and they fill the whole pot with flavor! Plus, dried herbs are so much more convenient.

Ensuring You Are Using the Best-Quality Dried Herbs
If you are choosing to use dried herbs (as I often do), you will want to ensure you are adding the best-quality herbs to your dishes. Dried herbs lose their flavor over time. Buy herbs in smaller quantities to ensure you are able to use them before they have lost their flavor.

It is also a good idea to store your herbs in air-tight containers to maximize their flavor. If you open the container and cannot detect the herb’s aroma of the herb, you most likely won’t be able to taste its flavor either.

While dried herbs are generally much more convenient to use, fresh herbs tend to be much more flavorful and aromatic. Because of this, fresh herbs are best when they are used at the end of cooking. A good example of this would be adding ribbons of basil to pizza just before serving it. Or you can put fresh herbs into a sauce if you are not going to be letting it simmer for a long time.

ribbons of basil

How to Buy Fresh Herbs
If you are going to be cooking with herbs you purchased from the grocery store, wait to buy them until as close as possible to when you are actually going to be using them. Choose bunches of herbs that have a vibrant color and aroma. If you can’t smell the herb, you aren’t likely going to be able to taste it either. Avoid any herbs that are limp, or have any sort of discoloration.

If cooking with herbs you buy fresh right away is not possible, there are some things you can do to extend the longevity and flavor of the herbs. First, remove any bindings that may be present around the herbs. Next, cut the root ends off to keep the leaves from wilting. If you leave the roots on,  they will draw moisture away from the leaves, and the herbs won’t really be usable.

How to Store Fresh Herbs
The next thing you need to do with your herbs is wrap them in a slightly damp paper towel and put them into a plastic zipper bag. Just make sure you leave a little bit of air in the bag. You are going to want to place the herbs in the warmest part of your fridge – typically the door or the top shelf. Don’t stuff them in the back, or you may find brown leaves with ice crystals when you take them back out again!

Keep in mind that even if they are stored in the refrigerator, fresh herbs don’t have a very long shelf life. You will still want to use them as soon as possible. Be sure to cut away any wilted or discolored leaves you see before cooking with herbs.

Washing Fresh Herbs
Only wash your herbs right before you use them. You don’t want to wash them before you store them in the fridge. To wash them, fill a bowl with cold water and place your herbs inside. Gently swirl them around in the water to remove any dirt that might be on the leaves.

One rinse like this is usually enough, but if you find a lot of sediment at the bottom of your bowl, you can give the herbs another rinse. Gently pat the herbs dry with a paper towel, and then you are ready to chop them.

How to Chop Fresh Herbs
The first thing you need to ensure when you are cutting your herbs is that you have a really sharp blade. You can use a knife, food processor or even scissors, as long as they are sharp. To maximize the flavor of the herbs, you will want to cut them as finely as possible (as shown in the picture above). Chop your fresh herbs right before serving to maximize the flavor and aroma you will be adding to your dish.

Cooking with herbs doesn’t need to be confusing. As long you know how to work with them and when to add them to your recipes, you can soon be serving meals to your family that are every bit as flavorful as, and probably much healthier than, what you would get in any restaurant.

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

 

Cooking Healthy Food, Cooking with Herbs

Adding Thyme to Your Day

I Love Thyme!

I started adding thyme into my cooking about 15 years ago, and I immediately fell in love with it. It has such a wonderful flavor and aroma, and it tastes good in just about anything! Plus, there are so many amazing health benefits that go along with adding thyme to your diet.

I don’t even want to think about what my life would be like without thyme, but fortunately, I don’t have to! Here is my tribute to one of my favorite herbs.

thyme oil

Thyme in History

The Ancient Egyptians used thyme as an embalming agent to preserve their dead pharaohs.

The Ancient Greeks used thyme for its aromatic properties, burning it in temples in acts of fragrant worship. Thyme was also used in this culture as a symbol of courage – an idea that spread throughout Europe and continued well into medieval times.

Antiseptic Properties

In the 1500s, people began using thyme as an antiseptic mouthwash and skin application, kind of like our modern-day Listerine and Neosporin.

This natural medicine super power is due to the presence of certain volatile oils in the herb’s leaves. Carvacolo, borneol, geraniol, and thymol in thyme are responsible for curing coughs, chest congestion, and even bronchitis.

These volatile oils can even help prevent stomach upset and food poisoning because they work as antimicrobial agents against several types of bacteria and fungi, including staphalococcus aureus, bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, and Shigella sonnei.

Antiaging Capacity

Want to keep your body and mind young? Thyme can help you do that!

The volatile oil that gives thyme its name, thymol, has been shown to increase the amount of DHA in brain, kidney, and heart cells in rats. DHA is an Omega 3 fatty acid that is responsible for keeping cells young.

You might want to start eating more thyme right now, though. Researchers found it was important to introduce thyme to the rats early – before the aging process was very advanced. The aging process could not be reversed by thyme – only slowed down a little.

Thyme Against Heart Disease

Thyme has a number of flavonoids, including apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin.

These flavonoids, along with thyme’s high concentrations of manganese, iron, Vitamin K, calcium, and fiber make the herb a great tool in heart disease prevention.

They help the body maintain a healthy circulatory system. Luteolin, in particular, has been shown to reduce the damage done to the heart during heart attacks – at least in rat studies.

Where Can You Add More Thyme?

As I mentioned before, I love adding thyme to mashed potatoes. The herb is also delicious in omelets and quiche – any egg dish, really. And it tastes absolutely amazing baked into a fresh loaf of bread!

I’ve used it in just about everything from spaghetti sauce to chicken noodle soup. It’s a really healthy, versatile herb.

One dish I haven’t yet tried adding thyme to is chili. I’ve read a lot about how kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans taste better with thyme. I’m going to have to try adding thyme in the next time I make chili or black beans and rice!

Fresh thyme has a better flavor than dried thyme, but I almost always use dried in my cooking – just because it’s easier to get and easier to cook with. Whenever you are adding thyme, though – whether you use dried or fresh – you need to wait and put it in at the very end of the cooking time to protect the flavor.

Lots of Thyme to Choose From

The thyme I use most often in my cooking is French thyme, also known as Thymus vulgaris. There are, however, at least 60 different thyme varieties, including lemon, orange, and silver thyme.

thyme recipes

Out of Thyme?

I always have thyme in my spice cabinet. It’s the one spice I will not let run out in this house.

And, since my husband is doing most of the cooking at the moment (bless him!), when he asks what he should use to spice up rice/pasta/whatever he happens to be cooking at the moment, I always answer: “Thyme!”

Need Some Cooking Inspiration?

Check out these thyme recipes on Yummly: http://www.yummly.com/recipes?q=thyme

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

 

home remedies for indigestion
Breaking Free from Chemicals, Cooking Healthy Food

Five Herbal Indigestion Cures

home remedies for indigestionIndigestion is a broad term that covers any number of digestive problems, all of which can ruin a good day. It often pops up unexpectedly and usually at the worst possible moment. There’s a plethora of over-the-counter remedies to deal with digestive issues, but the truth is: They don’t always help. And even worse than that, most of them are full of potentially harmful chemicals that you really shouldn’t mess with, let alone put them in your body.

The good news is that nature has already provided us with some amazing herbs that can help relieve the suffering caused by occasional or chronic indigestion. Here’s a list of some of the best.

Peppermint. Peppermint has long been used to cure stomach illness. It quells nausea. I used to suck on peppermint candy all the time when I was pregnant – because I had morning sickness all the time. It did help, but it also made my horrible heartburn worse. Peppermint is not recommended for those who suffer from acid reflux or GERD.

But it can help soothe other types of indigestion. You can utilize peppermint in a number of ways. Often simply inhaling peppermint oil can help calm an upset stomach. If you have peppermint oil on hand, you can place a drop of oil in a glass of water to help with general stomach upset.

Ginger. Ginger is another common indigestion cure. Simply chewing on a small piece of candied, pickled, or raw ginger can help soothe an upset stomach. You can also add ginger juice to boiling water. Just add a little honey to sweeten it, and drink it down as a simple indigestion tea.

home remedies for indigestion

Anise. Anise, which tastes a lot like black licorice, also helps cure indigestion. The most basic preparation requires crushing one to two teaspoons of seeds and steeping them for ten minutes in boiling water. Use a tea ball or bag to avoid having to strain the seeds from the water.

Parsley. I always add parsley into anything I put garlic or onions in to help prevent bad breath. In fact, I think a lot of people do this. I never knew that by doing so I was making it easier for my family and me to avoid indigestion. Try chewing on a few leaves after a meal, or put a bunch of parsley in a blender with a dew cups of water to make a parsley juice to drink.

Cinnamon. Cinnamon has been commonly used to aid digestion. Specifically, it aids in liver function and helps boost metabolism. It also helps indigestion. Instead of taking a teaspoon of dried cinnamon orally, consider taking capsules. A teaspoon of dried cinnamon can be very difficult to consume by itself. It doesn’t taste very good in such large quantities an may actually burn your mouth and/or throat.

Finally, consider drinking a warm glass of water with lemon when you’re suffering from indigestion. Green apples, fennel, dandelion, and chamomile can all be used to cure indigestion too.

Indigestion is a common ailment that often results from eating foods that aren’t good for you. However, healthy foods can cause it too. Instead of running to the pharmacy, consider opening up your refrigerator or spice cabinet. You probably already have a great natural cure right at your fingertips.

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

 

lychee fruit
Cooking Healthy Food, Exotic Flavors, Fruit for Dessert, Just Desserts, Microwave Baking, Super Sides

Lychee Nutrition Facts and Recipe

My family and I love to go to the local Chinese buffet. It’s a Sunday afternoon, after-church tradition now. We’ve been doing it for over seven years! You’d think we’d get tired of the same old, same old, but this particular restaurant switches up their menu just enough to keep things interesting. Our favorite things (the sushi, the coconut shrimp, the fried dumplings, etc.) are almost always there, but every once in a while they introduce something new to the spread.

Like yesterday, when they had these strange-looking little round things sitting out at the dessert table. I figured it much be some sort of fruit, but I didn’t have a clue what it was. Still, I’m an adventurous type, especially when it comes to food, so I thought I would try it. Our server came by the table before I’d taken a bite, and I asked her what they were.

“Lychee,” she said, pronouncing it “lee-chee,” or at least that was the way it sounded to me. She smiled at me like she didn’t really believe she was having to tell me what it was. What could I say? I was a lychee virgin.

I’d heard of the fruit before, but I’d never seen it in person, so I’d certainly never tasted it.

I speared one little fruit with my fork and cautiously stuck it in my mouth. Immediately, I tasted the ginger, and I wondered it if that was part of the fruit’s natural taste, but some later research online told me that probably wasn’t the case. They’d probably added ginger to it when they baked it.

My first overall impression? It was quite different from anything I’d ever had before, although the texture was somewhat reminiscent of baked pears, I thought. And it was spicy! But that was okay by me because I happen to like spicy food.

When I got home, I hit the Internet looking for more information about lychees. Turns out, by not knowing anything about this fruit I was really missing out! Lychees are amazingly nutritious!lychee fruit

For example, they:

  • Offer a great source of Vitamin B-complex, Vitamin C, and phytonutrients like carotenoids, flavonoids, indoles, isoflavones, lignans, and polyphenols
  • Provide high amounts of folate, iron, magnesium, and manganese, which are all required for the formation of red blood cells

Please note, however, that lychees are really high in sugar, which may prove problematic for some diabetics, so consume with caution – and ALWAYS in moderation.

During my Internet search, I even found a yummy baked lychee recipe to try at home. So, I made my husband go out and find some lychees (which was no easy feat in Louisville, KY), tweaked the recipe by adding some things, and baked my lychees in the microwave (like I bake everything else).

Baked Lychees
Recipe Type: Dessert
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 lb lychee fruit, peeled & seeded
Instructions
  1. Spray a Pyrex baking pan with Pam cooking spray.
  2. In a small microwaveable bowl, melt the butter.
  3. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger to the butter, and stir together thoroughly.
  4. Roll each lychee in the sugar mixture, and set on the baking dish.
  5. Pour remaining sugar mixture over the lychees.
  6. Put the dish in the microwave and cook on medium power for about three to five minutes, until sugar is caramelized.
  7. Serve immediately, and refrigerate any leftovers.

If you haven’t yet tried lychees, I highly suggest giving them a try. They’re a really different taste sensation at first, but in a delicious way – especially baked. Try this out, and see for yourself!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

 

junk food
Cooking Healthy Food, Cooking Up a Food Blog

What’s So Bad About Junk Food?

what's so bad about junk food_.png

We’ve all been told that junk food is bad for us, but because it tastes so darn good, most of us continue eating it. After all, fruits and veggies can’t beat the taste of fries, right?

Wrong! Fruits and vegetables are among the tastiest, healthiest, and most natural foods on the planet.how to stop eating junk food

Junk food is really anything but. It is the lowest common denominator foodwise. It might tempt you with its rock ’n’ roll swagger, but junk food offers absolutely no vital nutrients and zero health benefits.

It does, however, offer some serious health risks, including chronic disease. Here is a list of 10 of those health risks.

Development of Diabetes

Diabetes is caused when the pancreas is no longer able to produce adequate amounts of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that turns sugar into fuel. As experts have repeatedly noted, junk food is loaded with unnatural sugars that can lead to type 2 diabetes, which can unfortunately result in serious complications and premature death.

Elevated Blood Sugar Levels

Since junk food is rich in sugar, it puts undue stress on your metabolism. Moreover, because it’s high in carbs and often low in protein, your blood sugar levels are more likely to plummet when you stop eating it. This can make you feel weak, tired, and moody, and may make you want to eat even more junk food.

Fatigue

Junk food contains very few nutrients, vitamins, and protein, all of which are essential for an invigorated.

If you exist on junk food alone, you’re going to struggle to do anything at optimum power. You’ll largely feel lethargic and run down, and you won’t ever be able to seize the day.

Brain Fog

Many people just assume that only our bellies, thighs, and double chins are affected by a poor diet. However, fats don’t just make their way to your bulging abdomen. They also attack your brain.

When bad fats, such as those found in junk food, reach your brain they cause brain fog, which is that feeling you get when you can’t focus on anything.

Digestive Issues Disturbances

Virtually everyone on the planet will encounter digestive issues at some time or other. Among these issues are irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, bloating, and excess gas. Some people complain that they suffer from digestive issues all the time, and this could be due to the fact that they eat too much junk.

Junk food is full of oil, sugar, trans fats, and chemicals that wreak havoc on your stomach. Once your stomach is irritated, your digestive system gets all out of whack.

junk food

Depression Among Teenagers

1 in 3 U.S. teens eat junk food each day. In addition to the physical health dangers, it is also important to consider what effect this type of fake food is having on their mental well-being.

Research shows that the more junk food we eat, the more prone we are to depression. This is especially true for teenagers because they are more susceptible to hormonal changes, which can be massively influenced by diet.

Increased Risk of Cancer

The main reason for the link between certain foods and cancer is a lack of fiber. Moreover, as mentioned before, junk food is low in mostly everything else that’s good for you.

Liver Damage

Once your liver becomes overloaded with all the junk you’re throwing at it, it will certainly let you know about it. You’ll feel lethargic, stressed, irritable, and you may develop headaches, skin conditions, and a whole lot more.

Junk food has been linked to liver disease on more than one occasion, and it turns out that it can be just as bad for your most overworked organ as alcohol.

Kidney Damage

Fries are soaked in finely processed salt and oil. When combined with a fatty, greasy hamburger, you’re essentially doubling your risk of kidney disease, which is caused by too much salt in your diet increasing your blood pressure on a consistent basis.

Increased Risk of Heart Disease

Heart disease is really scary, but there are preventative measures we can take to ensure we don’t struggle with it later on in life.

Avoiding junk food is one such method because such food is rich in bad fats that increase your bad cholesterol levels and in turn encourage plaque to form and heart disease to develop.home cooking

Part of the reason I love my grandmothers’ old cookbooks so much is that these recipes, for the most part, used real ingredients – not processed junk. Sure, a lot of these recipes use sugar, but honey can easily be substituted in most of them as a healthier alternative. Indeed, you can find healthier alternatives for almost any potentially problematic ingredient. And that’s what I’ve tried to do on this blog – offer recipes for real food, and some really healthy, tasty alternatives to processed junk food whenever possible.

So stay tuned for more updates on old-fashioned goodness!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

If you’re tired of the junk food roller coaster, why not try eating clean for 30 days? It can change your health and your life. I’ve written an easy-to-follow guide and meal plan that is meant to help you do just that.

Clean Eating 101

 

healthy fudge
Cooking Healthy Food, Cooking Tools & Techniques, Cooking with Herbs, Just Desserts, Microwave Baking

Easy Five-Ingredient Organic Fudge

organic fudge

I was surfing through Pinterest not long ago (there’s no faster or easier way to find new recipes to try than browsing Pinterest), and I came across this recipe for healthy fudge using coconut oil. It’s probably no secret by now that I’m totally obsessed with coconut oil, so of course I was intrigued. And my coconut oil obsession has been joined by a confirmed obsession with coriander. So I thought it would be a cool idea to make the recipe “my own” by adding a hint of coriander into the mix. The end result was really tasty, and the coriander actually gave the fudge a hint of minty flavor.

I love the simplicity of this fudge recipe, and its health benefits. It’s perfect for those who are following special diets, including paleo and gluten-free diets.

Easy Five-Ingredient Organic Fudge
Recipe Type: Dessert
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 4 hours
Total time: 4 hours 5 mins
Serves: 16 pieces
This fudge is easy, delicious, and actually pretty healthy! No processed sugar – or, really, processed ANYTHING – involved.
Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup organic coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup organic honey
  • 2/3 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp organic ground coriander
Instructions
  1. Melt coconut oil in a microwavable container for about 40 seconds, or whip it.
  2. Stir in the honey and the cocoa powder.
  3. Add the vanilla and coriander.
  4. Blend until smooth.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  6. Cut into chunks to serve.

healthy fudgeMy husband and I tried a piece each right out of the fridge, and it was very hard at the time – almost the consistency of a candy bark. After leaving it out of the fridge for 24 hours, though, this issue was easily resolved, although I found out we really didn’t want to leave the fudge out of the fridge for too long because the coconut oil and honey started melting a bit, giving the confection a slightly oily/sticky texture. But it’s not that a big a deal. You can put it back in the fridge for a few hours, and it goes right back to being yummy!

I melted my coconut oil instead of whipping it because I don’t have a stand mixer, and I didn’t want to take the time out to find my electric hand mixer. Probably the texture would’ve turned out differently with whipped coconut oil. I don’t know if it would’ve tasted any better, though, because I really liked it this way. For a tutorial on how to whip coconut oil, check out this site. I’ll have to dig out my hand mixer for the next batch and try it out. I love the look of whipped coconut oil!

Now I want to know: Have you tried this recipe? What did you think?

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Cooking Healthy Food, Cooking with Chicken Leftovers, Exotic Flavors, Salads, Sandwiches

Guacamole Chicken Salad Recipe

guacamole chicken salad

It’s National Spicy Guacamole Day! Yum! A couple of months ago (on September 16), it was National Guacamole Day. September is also National Chicken Month. So, I got the idea to combine the two things into this salad (I love guacamole, and I love chicken salad). Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to post it then, so I thought I’d save it for today. I didn’t want to let all that work go to waste. Also, I really didn’t want my readers to miss out on the yumminess. So, here it is: my spicy guacamole chicken salad.

Oh, and by the way, this is totally a recipe you can make with any leftover crock pot chicken you might have sitting around. That’s what I used. Score!

Here’s how you make this:

Guacamole Chicken Salad Recipe
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 4 servings
This delicious recipe combines two of my favorite things to eat: guacamole and chicken salad. It’s the perfect way to add a little spicy Mexican kick to your leftover chicken.
Ingredients
  • 2 avocados (peeled and pitted)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cilantro
  • 1 large Roma tomato, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 serrano pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb cooked chicken, shredded
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mash the avocados with the lemon juice.
  2. Stir in the garlic powder, salt, red pepper, and cilantro.
  3. Add the chopped tomato and peppers, stirring lightly.
  4. Stir in the cooked chicken, and serve immediately on tortillas.

The hardest part about this unique chicken salad recipe is going to be peeling the avocado. Here’s an easy guide that tells you how to peel an avocado. Or check out this excellent video that actually shows someone doing it in less than two minutes. Be sure to save the pit to stick in the bottom of your guacamole mixing bowl. That will help keep the guacamole from turning brown.

chicken salad recipe

It’s really not that hard to make your own guacamole, once you get used to it. And it’s something I definitely recommend you try at least once. Store-bought guacamole’s not bad (if you can find it), but the stuff you make fresh yourself is so much better.

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

pear crumble
Cooking Healthy Food, Fruit for Dessert, Just Desserts, Microwave Baking

Autumn Pear Crumble

pear crumble.png

There’s no doubt fall is the season of the apple. And October is the month when bobbing for apples becomes a popular pasttime. But pears are popular at this time of year, as well, and October 25 is National Pear Day. Truth be told, I sometimes prefer pears to apples anyway, and since my family enjoyed my Applesauce Brown Betty recipe so much, I thought I would try something similar with pears. This Autumn Pear Crumble is a wonderful way to end a meal, whether it’s your traditional Thanksgiving feast or just a cozy weeknight dinner.

Autumn Pear Crumble
Recipe Type: Dessert
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 medium pears, peeled and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons Honey-Nut Cheerios
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • Pam cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
Instructions
  1. Put the first 9 ingredients together in a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend on high power for about 30-45 seconds.
  3. Spray Pam into a 7 X 11 Pyrex baking dish.
  4. Pour out the pear mixture and spread evenly into the baking dish.
  5. Top with the wheat germ.
  6. Put the baking dish in the microwave and heat on high (Power Level 10) for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove and cover with wax paper.
  8. Put back in the microwave and cook on medium (Power Level 5) for 5 minutes.
  9. Remove from microwave and serve immediately with a dollop of Greek yogurt or whipped cream on top.
  10. Refrigerate the leftovers.

I really love that I can use my very favorite kitchen tool, the Ninja Master Prep to make this dish even easier and faster. I used another one of my favorite things in this recipe, as well – coconut oil. I’ve been using coconut oil almost daily for about a year now, and I was fortunate enough to get contacted by the people at Island Fresh, who asked if I would write a review in exchange for a FREE 54-ounce container of their Organic, Virgin, Cold-Pressed, Unrefined Coconut Oil. Of course, I immediately jumped at the chance. I’ve been using this in EVERYTHING now – even my smoothies. It’s got a wonderfully light coconut taste that’s hardly noticeable in most recipes, as long as you stick with one tablespoon or less. It’s truly amazing stuff, and I love substituting it for butter in baking with crumbly things because it seems to help hold things together so much better. I’ve tried a few brands of coconut oil over the past year, and I can honestly say this one is the best, by far. I think it really made this recipe all that much more delicious, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Give it a try yourself!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.