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Tag: healthy living

3 Tips for Making Vegetables Taste Great

Getting the necessary 2-3 cups of veggies per day can be difficult to achieve for many people. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only 10% of American adults actually consume enough vegetables. A common response for people who don’t get enough veggies is that they don’t enjoy the taste.  Some find that eating another salad becomes a bit repetitive. The good news is you can increase your vegetable intake by using a variety of different cooking methods. Fresh herbs, spices, and a good sauce can liven up any entree. Here are three tips for making veggies taste great. 

Boiled or plain steamed vegetables tend to lack flavor. Oven roasting, sautéing, grilling and air frying bring out the best in any given vegetable. Oven roasting can be done year-round. Simply set your oven to 400 degrees, then season your veggies with olive oil, salt & pepper, and roast until golden on the edges. Air frying is a popular new trend. This allows veggies to gain a crisp fried taste without all the calories and fat.  

Chances are any recipe you really love has a lot of seasoning and flavor enhancers like herbs. Natural dried spices and seasonal fresh herbs go a long way in making a dish satisfying and complete. Choose a flavor profile you enjoy like Indian spices, Mexican, Italian, or Greek. Keep your favorites well-stocked at home so you can marinate vegetables and season them while sautéing or roasting. Choosing a cooking oil that has been infused with herbs can also bring a new dimension of flavor.  

Vegetables can be added to a variety of traditional recipes like lasagna, soups, meatloaf, casseroles, smoothies, and egg bakes. Many people even make cauliflower-based pizza crust. When vegetables are cut into small pieces it’s amazing how they can be cooked into a multitude of hot dishes. Adding a generous amount of sautéed spinach to a spaghetti sauce and lasagna can make the recipe more flavorful and filling. Small pieces of broccoli can be added to meatloaf and extra veggies like carrots and cauliflower make a great stew.  

So if you find that you don’t eat enough vegetables because they don’t suit your taste buds try some new seasoning, a new cooking method, or add them to your favorite hot dish. Our bodies need the valuable nutrients and antioxidants offered through vegetables. Finding a new love for natural foods like vegetables is a great way to boost your immune system and take steps towards disease prevention.

Kitchen Spring Cleaning

As warmer days settle in many people start to think about spring cleaning. One room in the house that greatly benefits from the proper organization and de-junking is the kitchen. A tidy well-organized pantry and fridge can help make daily tasks more healthful, simple and more efficient. Allowing more time to go outside in Mother Nature enjoying the newfound sunshine.

Here are three simple tips for spring cleaning the kitchen.

  1. Arrange like items together. Whether it’s the fridge or the pantry try to keep items organized in food groups or by usage. Oils, vinegars, sauce, and dressings go well together, while produce and fresh whole foods store nicely together in the refrigerator.
  2. Toss dry ingredients that you’ve had for more than a year. After a while, canned goods, spices, baking soda, noodles, and oils need a refresh.
  3. Give the shelves a solid clean. Meaning, wipe down the refrigerator, pantry shelves, cabinets, and storage areas. Clear away excess grime, crumbs and spillage. Natural cleansers (see below) such as vinegar and water can help make kitchen surfaces shine.

Here is a simple all purpose cleaner recipe.

Natural All-Purpose Cleanser:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 lemon rind wedges
  • 1 rosemary spring

Combine ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well then let sit for at least 1 week. All-Purpose Cleaner works great on most bathtubs, toilets, shower walls, and plastic item

The Importance Of Sleep

One commonly overlooked health tip is the importance of getting a good nights sleep. Recent studies show that more Americans are struggling with chronic sleep loss than ever before. A consistent battle with lack of sleep can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure, a weakened immune system and weight gain. Sleep deprivation can cause irritability, moodiness and impatience. Appetite fluctuations are also common when you lose sleep. Studies show people are more likely to reach for high carbohydrate and sugary foods when they’re over tired.

A few benefits of seven or more hours of sleep can be improved memory retention, elevated mood and motivation, disease prevention and increased cardiovascular health. The importance of sleep for our overall well-being can often be overlooked. It’s never too late to start prioritizing more consistent rest and a good nights sleep.