I know this is late in the season, but someone recently asked me about tips for freezing some of the items from their garden.
You gardeners know what it’s like to have 50 zucchini sitting on your table staring at you in the face at the end of the growing season.
You give away as much as you can, but even then it gets tough to find takers.
And sometimes we go overboard when there’s a great sale on produce, or overestimate what our produce needs are for a party. We certainly hate to throw food away, so what to do?!
Canning your over-abundance of produce is an option, but it can be time-consuming and messy.
Freezing is a great option, but how do you go about it? So glad you asked!
First of all, choose ripe, high-quality fruits and vegetables.
Grocery shopping is SO crazy these days. You walk into a store for a few items and $100 later you walk out…with just a few items! The price of meat is especially disturbing.
Didn’t a chuck steak used to be about $1 a pound? Now it’s up to about $4 a pound.
Fortunately there is a much cheaper protein source that we can all take advantage of. Beans! Yes, I know, many people say they don’t like them.
However, at a cost of approximately 25 cents per cup for dried beans, and a little more for canned varieties, they are a significantly cheaper source of protien.
When did going to the store to buy milk become so complicated? I remember when we switched from whole to 2% as a kid, and that was a big deal! We also had a milkman (yes, I am that old!)—but that’s a different story.
Not only do we have whole, 2%, 1% and skim there are all of those non-dairy milks. Everywhere you look there are ads for almond, rice and soy milks, just to name a few.
But the question is, do we really need them or is it just a trend?
There are many reasons why people choose non-dairy milk over cow’s milk.
Lactose intolerance, milk allergies (quite different from lactose intolerance), and veganism are just a few.
Soy, rice, and almond milk contain no cholesterol because they’re plant-based, so they can be a healthy choice for people trying to reduce cholesterol consumption.
Cow’s milk isn’t as “bad” as some believe. It contains calcium and vitamin D which many people do not get enough of, and it’s also a wonderful source of protein.
I dare say there are probably people who drink the non-dairy milk because it is popular these days, but that’s not a bad thing.
So what are some of the non-dairy milks and what are their benefits?
The Old Forge Farmers’ Market opened for the season last Friday, and we all know what yummy fruits and veggies we can find there.
But, show of hands, who is tired of preparing them the same ol’, same ol’ way?
I know I do.
So how about some ideas on preparing and grilling those farm fresh veggies?
First of all, keep in mind that extra crunchy vegetables such as broccoli and carrots should be blanched prior to grilling.
Blanching is a cooking technique in which food is briefly immersed in boiling water or fat in order to enhance their natural color.
Blanched vegetables are typically plunged into an ice water bath afterward to halt the cooking process.
After about a minute, drain them and blot dry with a paper towel.
Broccoli. Personally, I don’t care much for the big stems, but they work great for grilling purposes. Continue reading
How many of you eat out once in a while, at least once or twice a month? Did you know that eating out provides approximately one-third of the calories in the diets of Americans?
Here’s another question. Would you make different choices when eating out if you had easy-to-use nutritional information provided to you prior to placing your order?
Enter the Restaurant Labeling Law. Going back to March of 2010, the federal government adopted a menu labeling law as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 1, an act which was upheld by the Supreme Court in June of 2012.
This law requires that large chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments, and certain owners and operators of vending machines, post calorie information on their menus or machines, and make other nutrition information available upon request.
The law also restricts what menu labeling laws state and local governments may adopt. Continue reading
Feeling stressed out? Have a couple laughs and call me in the morning
There are many types of humor, but have you ever thought about where a sense of humor comes from? Let’s face it, we all know people who are just not funny. The harder they try, the worse it gets.
So do we include humor in the Nature vs. Nurture discussion? It’s a good question—and one I could not find a scientific answer for.
I’m sure by now you’re all wondering why the heck I’m writing about humor.
And what does it have to do with health and wellness? So glad you asked!
How many of you have seen the Robin Williams’ movie Patch Adams? (If you haven’t, you should. It’s a great movie!)
It is based on the real-life story of Dr. Hunter Doherty, aka Patch Adams, a doctor/clown/social activist who wants to change the health care system. His belief is that laughter is the best medicine—and he is certainly on to something.
According to an interview published in the September/October 1996 issue of Humor and Health Journal, Dr. Lee Berk and fellow researcher Dr. Stanley Tan of Loma Linda University have studied the effects of laughter on the immune system. Continue reading
Part II: Three cheers for the green, white and black teas
If left to wither, tea leaves are transformed through a process known as oxidation (also known as fermentation) into black tea, of which there are hundreds of varieties.
The longer the leaves are left to wither, the more oxygen they absorb and the darker their color becomes. Hence, black tea is fully oxidized.
Some benefits of black tea are: may aid in bone, connective tissue, skin, hair and oral health.
Black tea contains Fluoride, thus it may improve oral and bone health. Black tea, contains flavonoids which are also found in apples.
Unlike green tea, black tea, once processed, eliminates all antioxidants existing in it. Black tea not only helps to fight bacteria but also strengthens the immune system.
Black tea may also help balance hormone levels, which may help fight stress. Continue reading