My Top Kitchen Must Haves!

Let’s just be honest with each other here: healthy cooking is frustrating. If it were easy, more people would be jumping on the healthy bandwagon instead of choosing options from the lard-ville express. All of us know we should make better choices using fruits and veggies over starchy carbs, dairy and meats. So why is something that is so good for our bodies so hard to follow through with? Because (and we are being honest again) fruits and veggies don’t clean, peel, dice, mash and flavor themselves. We have to put in the work and most days, the time just isn’t there.

One of the BIGGEST questions I get from friends and coworkers is “How can I make a quick healthy meal/snack?” While I would love to tell them that anyone can do it, anywhere, anytime, anyplace, it is slightly more complicated, yet super simple at the same time. I have a prepped kitchen! Let me be clear: my kitchen is very small, but I made small investments into certain equipment that has made my life soooooooo much easier! These are my tried and true “made it through the testing and have a permanent home in the cabinet” kitchen secrets. They may not even be secrets, but my hope today is that you have one “Ah ha” moment that may help improve your kitchen prep time. Obviously you need to have basic pots and pans, but there are a few other little gadgets that may take that hatred of cooking and turn it into an excitement to try the next healthy recipe. Here are my top must haves that save me from having a kitchen meltdown:

1) Food Processor – funny thing, when people think of a food processor, $$$$$$ signs pop up in the brain. This handy little God-send is available at stores like Walmart for less that $50. In fact, the most expensive thing about it is replacing parts if your disposal eats anything. Always make sure the little white plastic handle doesn’t go down into that dark hole before you turn on the disposal blade…

The best food processor doesn’t really matter. You just want to have one with a decent capacity, and one THAT COMES WITH A SHREDDING/SLICING BLADE! That part is important. When I cook, I prep for several meals at a time and if I am using cheese on anything, the shredding blade does all my work. It is also amazing when cooking with carrots, zucchini, onions, garlic, etc. Anything that needs to be cut into small pieces can be put through the shredder blade before going into a saute pan. Saves TONS of time and fingers…and fingernails! This device is great for so many more things that I can name. It can also go on the top shelf of a dishwasher. There is a reason this one made number 1 on the list :)

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2) Ninja (or other good quality blender) – the Ninja could almost replace the food processor if it wasn’t for that amazing little shredder blade. It typically comes with a large and small container. I use mine mostly for green smoothies in the morning (as shown in the large container). It is incredible at pureeing almost anything you put in there due to it’s double blade system. I swear the smoothies come out as smooth as the professional places. This awesome little gem is also dishwasher safe.

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3) Mandoline – this kitchen gadget is probably the most dangerous, yet soooooo helpful if used correctly. Don’t get me wrong, I have hated it. I have sliced off the tip of my finger. And so has my husband. And you probably will too. They you, like us, will use the safety device it comes with like you are supposed to. Go ahead, try it with your hands only. I can tell you I told you so later…

While this is coming across as a complete diss, the mandoline really is amazing. It slices fruits and veggies evenly each time. Great for Herbed Goat Cheese and Tomato Caprese Stacks with a balsamic agave drizzle! You really aren’t going to get that perfect long slice (as in zucchini noodles for lasagna) with the slicer blade on the food processor. And are you really going to manually cut up that many zucchinis? No. You’ll go back to noodles the next time for the simplicity. Get a mandoline and no joke, make sure to use it correctly!

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4) Steamer – Ahhhh…one of my favorites! This takes rice and quinoa cooking to a whole ‘nother level. While you are cooking some other portion of your meal, this lovely little lady (mine is a girl) sits there by herself, steaming away. You literally put rice and water in and walk away. It doesn’t get much more fabulous than that.  The reason I said “steamer” instead of “rice cooker” is that you can steam veggies too since it is designed to do both. I use this ALL. THE. TIME. It is wonderful for quinoa and you can use alternative liquids, like chicken or veggie broth instead of water to steam into the grains. The handle recently broke and instead of buying another one, I am using a screwdriver to make it work until the motor dies. Thats how important this is in my kitchen. Love love love this one!

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5) Hand chopper thingy - I am sure it has a better name than that, but thats the cute little nickname we have between one another. I remember the very first time seeing this gadget when my mother had a Pampered Chef party. Hand chopper thingy became a kitchen favorite afterward (along with the infamous Pampered Chef baking stone…how many of you left a party without one?) It makes mincing a breeze, AND it goes in the dishwasher (eek…makes me smile thinking about it!)  I really think it might be on this list because I like to beat the crud out of those poor innocent pieces of garlic while taking out my daily frustration. Just saying.  Make sure you put a cutting board under it so your counter doesn’t take a beating. Counters are expensive. This is $7. Probably the cheapest therapy ever.

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6) Magic bullet – This gadget is not a “must have” per say…as long as you have a really good blender or food processor. Obviously, I enjoy redundancy, but I do find some pretty good uses for this little bullet. I often make single serve smoothies using this contraption, which ensures freshness and perfect portion on a daily basis. We also use the grinder blade to chop up fresh roasted coffee beans before making an amazing french pressed coffee…#omgitsreallythatgood! I probably could get along without it, but I don’t want to. Its so cute and tiny in my cabinet. I would be sad without it.

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7) Crock pot – This guy is awesome! He is a guy…my steamer is a girl…I know, I know. I use him at least once a week to make my life super easy. One of my favorite cheap thrills in life is waking up in the morning to a cooked meal. I can separate it, go to work, and dinner is ready to heat up at the end of the day. I would like to give props to whoever invented this machine because they really deserve a nobel peace prize. Women everywhere are more peaceful after removing the stress of cooking all day from their lives. That really embodies the whole idea of the peace prize so why not give it to the inventor of the crock pot? I’m just being Captain obvious here people.

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8) An organized space – this is not a gadget, but is almost as important. One of the reasons I am able to do things so efficiently in my kitchen is because it is organized. Things go where they should so that the flow of cooking does just that, flows. I am annoyed to no end when my husband unloads the dishwasher and randomly puts things away. I am not an ADD person, but I immediately fix my kitchen if it is out of order. If you don’t have much cabinet space, use wall space. You can get affordable storage for small spaces at places like IKEA (that is where mine came from). We all crave some sort or control and organization even if we don’t want to admit it. If your kitchen is a mess, try organizing it to a way that pairs well with your cooking  style. Bonus idea: if you hang stuff on the wall, put a meat cleaver up there with the rest of it so it blends in well. It is a great kitchen tool and handy weapon if you ever need one. Plus a home invader will be easier to spot with meat cleaver indentions on their face. Genius!

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9) Oils, spices, and vinegars – I often hear people complain about healthy food. Here is an example [insert whiny voice]:

You are so skinny. I wish I could eat healthier like you do. Nothing healthy tastes good to me. [whiny voice gets more intense] I should just pay you to make food for me, because I also don’t have enough time to cook.” 

People, I see what you are doing on facebook. If I have time to cook, blog, work and do all the million other activities I habitually link myself to constantly, so do you. And it will taste just as good I promise.

If you use the right seasoning.

The biggest problem with healthy food, next to picking tasteless produce, is not seasoning it correctly. I am not talking about salt either. Garlic and lemon; cumin, coriander and chili powder; olive oil and rosemary; lime flavored olive oil with coconut balsamic vinegar; the combinations are endless. Cooking and drizzling food with the right oils make the difference in a dish too. It does add fat, but you should not be striving to have a fat free diet. Don’t guzzle the whole bottle in one sitting obviously. Proportion a small amount to help flavor your food. There are soooooo many options out there and I recommend keeping several so that you have different flavors on hand at all times. I love keeping a good stock of oils and vinegars from The Ancient Olive. Another favorite is The Spice and Tea Exchange. They are healthy and pack a flavor punch. I seriously have spices, oils and sauces hidden in every nook and cranny of my kitchen. Invest wisely in this stuff and your food quality will definitely improve. Try making your seasonings and spices instead of buying pre made sauces and herb rubs. The store bought crap is just that: full of crap. I preach label reading over and over again for a reason: pre-packaged foods are filled with hidden things that you don’t want to ingest. Trust me. Read the back of a package of wraps if you don’t believe me. Why are there so many ingredients to make one little tortilla wrap again?? Food for thought.

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9) Citrus juicer - have you ever tried to squeeze a lemon into something with your hand? It typically gets all over your fingers before making its way into the dish or drink. If you have any minuscule skin nicks, you are sure to find out very soon. To top it all off, there is still a pretty significant amount of juice left in the fruit, even though the seeds had no problem making their way out (and into your food). You can avoid all of these issues with a *drumroll please* Citrus Juicer (insert clanging symbols)!!! The trick is to roll the lemon or lime until soft, cut off both ends and slice down the middle. This device will get the juice out and stop the seeds (most of them) from going into areas that you can’t ever get them out of once they have leeched on. Those little boogers are slippery. They are like a certain viral infection: once you have them, you are stuck with them right where they land.

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10) Pastry blender – this was my very first kitchen gadget obsession as a young teenage cooking apprentice. We have had a long term love affair that will probably never cease to exist. If someone didn’t know what a pastry blender was, I was quick to snap my head around and put them in their place. I have his back and he has mine…the handle is his back just in case you were wondering :) For those of you that still don’t know what this contraption does, you are very lucky that I am explaining it via internet and not face to face with a necessary stare-down. This little guy cuts up butter into a pie dough like it’s nobody’s business. Forget the old days of using two forks. It also mashes things like eggs, avocados, potatoes, etc. Yes, it takes up an awkward space in any drawer you try to shove it into. Yes it can cut you when washing it. Yes, it may have dried pieces of something in it even after you washed it in your own blood. But, hands down (no pun intended), it is still a necessity in my kitchen.

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11) Fine mesh strainer – if you don’t have one of these, go to the store and get one right now. Just do as you are told.

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12) Grill – ok, this isn’t technically in the kitchen per say, but is still very important. There is a huge debate about how safe foods are to grill due to the smoke contributing as a possible carcinogen, but I think moderation is key for most things. Grilling gives a flavor like no other. You can literally use very little marinade and still have something delicious after a little grilling sesh on the back porch. I personally like a smaller sized grill that is portable. We like to take ours to the beach and even gave it a name: Baby Grill. My husband thinks it’s funny to call me baby girl sometimes with a super funny draw to it, so when we refer to our grill, it comes out sounding more like “Baaaaaaaby gryylllle.” So go buy a grill and name it. Its fun :)

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13) A decent knife set – did you know that you are more likely to cut yourself with a dull set of knives rather than sharp ones? This may not be the actual statistical case, unless you consider them to be reporting from my kitchen. Sadly, I too did not possess a decent set of kitchen knives until about a year ago. When I did the tutorial on How to Use the Whole Pumpkin, I almost lost an entire hand. AN ENTIRE HAND! I can imagine it now:

“What happened to your hand?”

“I cut it off on using a dull knife.”

“Bahahahahahahaha!!!”

Anyhoo, I was very fortunate to realize that pushing something non-sharpened through a large object isn’t going to go anywhere until it does…when it feels like it and you are least expecting it to happen. At least you can predict what a sharp knife will do because it goes in the direction you are sending it. Sharp knives are like well disciplined children…they behave and do what they are told. In addition to saving body appendages, it also saves time and energy. When you have the right set of knives, you are going to be able to prep your food with less effort. It really is worth it. If they are a bit too much to buy for yourself, start hinting now. Christmas is only 11 months away.

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There are a few other things that I use, but these are my tried and trues. They will give you something that is priceless: living your life without being chained to the kitchen. I hope you learned something new here today. What are your favorite kitchen gadgets?

Xoxo,

Tiffany

My Experience with a 3 Day Juice Fast

My life revolves around food.  It seems like everything I do, whether it’s working around my Bikram yoga schedule or going to work, I plan for what and when to eat meals and snacks constantly. In fact I have a gigantic lunch-box from Thirty-One that I pack all my food into when I go to work. It’s a little overkill, but that’s what I do. I never want to be so hungry that I am reaching for something that I shouldn’t be. After the planning, then there’s finding time to re-heat, sit down and eat it all. Microwave, toaster oven, forks, knives, spoons, plates, bowls, table, chair, etc. So one day after leaving for work with my lunch-box and another bag full of snacks I thought, “What if my world didn’t revolve around eating?” At least for a few days anyway. I’m too in love with food to go cold turkey for long lol.

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A few years ago I decided to try juicing. During a juice fast, you literally drink nothing but freshly juiced fruits and veggies, as well as plenty of water and detox tea. With all the juice made in the morning, I would be free to go about my day not having to think about making, heating up or buying my next meal. No microwaves, toaster ovens, forks, knives, spoons, plates, bowls, etc. In a sense, it would be a mental break from thinking about what to eat for the next few days.  The health benefits are really amazing if you can deal with the fact that you are not consuming solid food and/or chewing for the duration of the fast. Unfortunately, like many do, I went about it the wrong way: no mental or physical preparation and definitely not enough juice to sustain me throughout the day. I also chose to try and start the fast while working an overnight shift (which is not my normal shift). Around 1am, I had a headache with nausea that was so intense, I wanted to share the emesis basin with my patients as I pushed them down the hallway. It was awful. Sadly, I broke my fast with saltine crackers. The headache went away within 15 minutes.

So this time around, I did a little research. I learned all about what to do leading up to the fast, during the fast and how to break it safely. I prepared myself mentally and physically. I made sure I knew the ins and outs so that I wouldn’t be surprised about anything that happened. I had everything figured out. The funny thing is that as soon as you think you know everything about something, you learn afterwards that you never really knew much of anything to begin with. The preparation was a great step, however this 3 day fast taught me so much more about my mind, spirit and body than I ever thought possible. I perservered day by day, gaining an amazing experience that I will not soon forget.

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Why Do a Juice Fast?

Not only does juicing simplify your life during a fast, it has amazing health benefits. Even though most of the time we may eat pretty healthy, there are still the occasions (sometimes weekly) where we put bad stuff in our bodies. I am just as guilty of this. Juicing helps to heal the body by flushing toxins out and let the digestive system rest for a few days. While the liver and kidneys detox our bodies daily, this gives an added boost to cleansing. It is a great way to easily absorb vitamins into your system quickly and after the first day gives you an amazing amount of energy and clarity. If you have food allergies, this is a great reset button. Juicing allows you to introduce foods back into the diet slowly so you can see how they affect your body.

Warnings

Although a 3 day juice fast isn’t likely going to harm anyone, if you have any health issues, you should always consult a doctor first. Diabetics should take caution because these juices contain natural fruit that can alter your blood sugar. Juicing for too long may lead to loss of lean muscle mass as you start to lose weight. For this reason, I do not recommend doing more than a 3 day fast, especially if you are already thin. If you decide to keep going, make sure you are under the care of a physician so that they can monitor your health throughout the process. Diarrhea, lightheadedness, vomiting and syncope are signs that your body is not handling the fast well and you should consider breaking it at this point. Headaches are perfectly normal.

What I learned:

  1. God made my body to be much stronger than I gave it credit. I had the strength to push through, even when I was challenged to quit. During the tough times, I prayed. This process definitely strengthened my relationship and trust in Christ.
  2. I had some digestive issues that I never even knew about! I don’t think I would’ve known had I not done the fast either. Waking up the second day with red urine really freaked me out, but I had what is called beeturia. It is defined as pink or red urine after the ingestion of beets and affects about 10-14% of the population. This can signal that the digestive system is not functioning and/or absorbing properly. This makes complete sense as I had recently been experiencing bloating after meals and I wasn’t very regular. I started taking a probiotic to aid in digestion. Within a few days I was feeling much better, and after testing with beet juice, no more beeturia. It can also be a symptom that you may have an iron deficiency. Click HERE to check out what beeturia can mean for you.
  3. While I was detoxing physically, I also started to detox emotionally. Not in a “cry your eyes out” sort of way, but in a confident “tell it like it is” way. I was able to speak the honest truth, politely, to many people about stuff that makes me bruise easily on the inside. I tend to hold things in when they bother me and create barriers to protect from further harm. This just traps the bad feelings in and means that one day I am going to have to deal with them again and again and again until I deal with the issue. I think the only way you can detox completely is to get rid those barriers that help hold on to toxic stuff, whether physical or mental. It was a truly freeing experience. Again, prayer was a big key in this step.
  4. I have a snack time “bewitching hour”. It is usually around 4pm-5pm. I was never hungry, but felt like eating just because I wanted to. This was good to know because I can now decipher the difference between true hunger and eating out of boredom. I never knew that it was the same cycle daily. You’d think this would be easy to tell on an everyday basis, but there is a strange understanding and clarity that comes with juicing. On the flip side, I get hungry around 1pm. Really hungry. It’s funny how you can learn so much about what your body really needs when you take food out of the equation.
  5. I was amazed at how easy it was to “have a meal.” I didn’t have to sit down, heat anything up, spend a lot of time cutting and spooning things into my mouth, etc. I could grab a freshly made juice, shake it up and go. It was great!
  6. Your body really will accept what you give it to eat. Those cravings are all in my head. It is possible to eat something healthy while craving something else and your body will live on to see another day lol!
  7. The only time I truly wanted to eat (other than the bewitching hour) was if someone had something I wanted. And I wanted it only because I knew I couldn’t have it. Childish yes, but it was the truth. I had several of these instances come up and I was able to recognize the feelings and let them go. Juicing brings out all sorts of strange feelings locked inside. You have to decide which ones to keep and which ones to let go of. Ultimately, it can help shape you into the person you want to be and get rid of the things that are holding you back.

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Here is a juice diary that I recorded during my 3 day fast. It gives an idea of what you might experience as you go through each day.

 

Juice diary
I love Juice. This is going to be easy! Right?!?

Day 1
9:30 AM- I planned to get up at 6 AM this morning, but I overslept so around 8 o’clock I rolled out of bed to make my juice. Plan on giving yourself about an hour and a half the first day, because you need to prep all of your fruits and veggies for the next few days. Everything so far so good. I made my tea and I’m drinking that while I’m working on the rest of my stuff. Grilling chicken and cooking black beans for the next few days for hubby before food cravings kick in.

12:30pm- I’m really cold and just want to snuggle in bed. No food cravings though

5pm- Feeling like I need food even though I’m not hungry. Having a little trouble completely concentrating on conversations. Want to snack on something crunchy like pretzels.

9pm-headache setting in…going to bed to sleep this part off

Day 2
7:30am- Woke up feeling much better, but my back is very sore. Toxins are working their way out!!

8am- had breakfast and tea. So far so good. Feeling pretty good except for the little but of soreness and my upper back is itchy. I’m still really cold.

1pm - My face goes numb. Probably because I let myself get too hungry. Felt much better after juice. On an emotional note, I find myself being extremely honest. I am expressing things that I wouldn’t normally say outloud but instead repress deep feelings about. Maybe these emotional toxins need to come up with the physical ones. This really is a complete detox for me.

3:30pm- Decided to torture myself and go get groceries for next week. Drank a green juice before I went. Wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. However, I gazed longer than usual at the sushi as I passed by the seafood dept…
5pm- Much more energy and less brain fog. My dad pointed out that I looked like I was on speed today compared to yesterday at the same time. A little hungry but I’m drinking a green juice and the hunger seems to be dissipating. My waist must be shrinking a little because I was asked if I had my chest enhanced lol.

8pm- Feeling a  little nauseated. Think I drank my cashew milk too fast. Had some lemon water with fresh mint and feeling better. No headache tonight! Woohoo!! Still cold. Reeeeeaaaallly cold.

9:45pm- Have lots of energy and feel wide awake!!

Day 3
7am- Woke up feeling awake!! Praise The Lord!!! That doesn’t happen very often. I have more energy today than I have so far ever in mornings. Went to the bathroom and urine was red {insert me shrieking and running to my computer for an explanation}. While I knew beets could turn your stool red (and they did) I didn’t know they could turn urine red too. It’s a phenomenon called beeturia. This may also be a sign of bad digestion and I may need to take a probiotic when I’m done to help my body with digestion for better absorption. Check out this site for details about beeturia and what is could mean. Learning lots about myself in this fast. I have a strange whitish coating on my tongue and a funny taste in my mouth, so more toxins are working their way out. Not quite as much back pain though. My abdominal muscles and ribs are sore today. My face has a strange glow to it this morning as well. And…added bonus…my stomach is completely flat!!

8:30am- On the way to work and drinking breakfast juice. What a beautiful morning it is!! I feel happy and energized.

9:30am- Might be TMI, but I had my first normal BM in weeks. Things are looking very good today.

11am- starting to smell the food cooking from the cafeteria. I don’t even like their food most of the time. Starting to crave a hamburger. Uh oh. I think I’ll drink a green juice now…

11:30- Green juice helped a little. I’m still smelling the food but the cravings aren’t as intense.

5pm- So this time of the day seems to be my bewitching hour. I started having strange cravings for fried foods, fried okra, fried chicken, etc. And cuban pork. Weird. On a good note, I walked by what smelled like McDonald’s French fries and was repulsed. I usually am, but glad to know my body still knows better even when it hasn’t had solid food in almost 3 days. I sometimes feel like I’ve gone far enough, but i know the mental and physical benefits of sticking it out will outweigh whatever food i stuff in my mouth at this point. I think I’ll do another juice and see what happens… and pray!!

5:15-Had a green juice. Cravings are gone. That was fast! I love how my body is adapting to what I am giving it vs what it demands.

7pm - The closer I come to an end, the harder the struggle is right around the time to drink another juice comes up. Work has been a great distraction, but the slow moments make my mind wander to the fact that tomorrow I’ll be back to solid foods and eating meals with people again. I think this is something I struggle with in general though….focusing so much on the future that I don’t see the beauty of what is happening at the moment. Another emotional breakthrough. Learning so so so much about myself both physically and emotionally. Side note: this cashew milk is tasty!!

10pm- I feel like it is the day before Christmas! I’m so excited I get to eat solid food tomorrow!! I’m not hungry, and I’m glad I have gone this far, but ready to get back to chewing lol. I find that most of the reason I want to eat solid foods isn’t because I am hungry…it is because I can’t have it. It’s like a childish inner self rises up in you and wants to be like all the other kids. It is something to acknowledge and then let go. I am not a child, I am an adult. I can do this.

Day 4

8am- woke up thinking I would be ready to run in the kitchen to eat something but I am actually in no hurry to eat this morning. Kinda sad now that the fast is over. I guess I could continue it, but I only planned portions for a 3 day fast. This will be interesting to see how I do with a solid breakfast.

9am- Ate my first breakfast which consisted of soft foods with some of my breakfast juice. Have a little congestion after eating food. Either more stuff is working its way out or I have a sensitivity to something I ate. It’s amazing how clear I was on the juice fast…no congestion. I will have to do this again sometime..maybe in the fall. What a great experience this was to learn more about my mind and body!!

 

Where do I even begin?

Juice fasting can reap amazing rewards, but is something that requires a little preparation so that you won’t have to focus on the tiny details so much when the time comes to fast. Here is  a cheat sheet to make your juicing experience easy and stress free:

3 Day Juice Fast Cheat Sheet

Ingredients

  • 8 juice containers (enough to hold 14-16 oz juice) and 1 - (1) liter container
  • 3 oranges
  • 3-6 Bananas
  • 2 pineapples
  • 3 bags organic carrots (roughly 18 carrots)
  • 7 red apples
  • 2 beets (with beet greens attached)
  • 9 green apples
  • 3 bags spinach
  • 6 cucumbers
  • 3 bunches celery
  • 9 lemons
  • large piece of ginger root
  • Yogi Detox Tea
  • 3 gallons Distilled water
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • Maple syrup
  • Natural Vanilla
  • Nut Milk bag or Cheesecloth
  • Juicer
  • Blender
  • Raw Honey (optional)
  • Empty grocery bags

Instructions

    2 Weeks before:
  • 1) Pick the dates that you want to fast at least 2 weeks before you decide to go through with it. Try to pick days where you won't have too many things to do. If you have to work, make sure the first day or two are days that you are off. This will give you time to mentally prepare and plan. Remember, this isn't a something that you should plan one day and do the next. It requires a little time to put it together correctly.
  • 2) Plan out meals for your family while you are fasting. This will eliminate possible whining and nagging.
  • 3) Make a grocery list. If you choose not to use the juices in this fast, choose which juices you want to drink and make a list with all the ingredients.
  • 4) Get juice containers that will hold at least 12 ounces. I saved old juice "Naked Juice" containers from the grocery story and cleaned them well after I drank the juice that was packaged. They clean well, are BPA free and made from recycled material.
  • 3 days before:
  • 1) Start incorporating more fruits and veggies into your daily meals.
  • 2) Replace one or two meals daily with a smoothie
  • 3) Decrease your meal portions, but increase your frequency of eating (which is a good rule of thumb for everyday eating). For example, if you eat 3 times a day, increase it to 5. Breakfast, Morning snack, Lunch, Afternoon Snack and Dinner is a good plan.
  • 4) Let your family know that you will be doing the fast this week. Don't announce it to the world though. Juice fasting is an individual experience that should be experienced as cush: individually. It is about finding strength in yourself from God to complete a challenging life event. However, it is a good idea to let people living in your house know so that they can help hold you accountable. A family support system makes a fast much easier to do. If you live alone, find a friend that can hold you accountable. If one person knows, you are less likely to break the fast if you hit a weak moment.
  • 1 day before:
  • 1) Buy produce (organic if possible), clean it all well to remove any dirt and separate it into 3 different bags. Make sure to clean the outsides of the citrus fruit with a scrub brush and Veggie wash. Bag number ONE should contain 3 red apples, 1 orange, 5 carrots, 1 beet, 3 green apples, 1 bag spinach, 2 cucumbers, 1 bunch celery, and 2 lemons. Bag number TWO should contain 1 red apple, 2 carrots, 3 green apples, 1 bag spinach, 2 cucumbers, 1 bunch celery, and 2 lemons. Bag number THREE should contain 3 apples, 1 orange, 5 carrots, 1 beet, 3 green apples, 1 bag spinach, 2 cucumbers, 1 bunch celery, and 2 lemons. Label them 1, 2 and 3. Do not cut any produce or open spinach bags to keep things as fresh as possible. For things that cannot be separated yet (i.e. Ginger, pineapple) set aside until the morning of juicing.
  • 2) It is recommended to clean out your digestive system before beginning a fast because the juicing process removes a lot of the fiber that helps you go number 2. You don't want to detox and be full of old poo. Gross. I am not one that fancies an enema, so I chose to make a natural laxative instead. Mix 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice with 1/2 cup olive oil. Stir well and slurp down. It's actually not as bad as it sounds. Like a really rich flavored orange juice.
  • 3) Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate! Make sure you drink plenty of water to flush out your digestive system after the orange-oil laxative.
  • 4) Soak Cashews in distilled water to make cashew milk the next day.
  • 5) Make sure Juice Containers are clean, dry and ready to use.
  • Day ONE:
  • 1) Grab Day ONE produce out of the refrigerator. Assemble Juicer and place an empty plastic grocery bag in the pulp container for easy cleanup. Cut ginger into 3 pieces. Take one piece and peel. Divide peeled piece into 3 pieces. Put each remaining piece into a ziplock bag and put one in Day TWO and one in Day THREE. Slice top and bottom off the pineapple and remove rough outer shell. Divide into thirds. Take one third and place it in a ziplock bag and place in Day THREE. Take one of the thirds and divide it in half. Place one half in a ziplock bag and put in Day TWO. Set the other half aside. Cut beet in half ( including the beet greens). Peel one half of the beet bulb with a vegetable peeler removing the earthy skin. Place the other half in a ziplock bag and place in bag TWO. Peel Orange and Lemons. Quarter apples. Cut carrots in half. Cut the base off celery bunch and discard. Slice celery into thirds. Cut cucumbers in half. Rinse Spinach well and drain water. Drain and rinse cashews. Place in blender and fill with distilled water to the top measuring line (about 6 cups). Add 2 tbsp maple syrup and 1 tsp vanilla. Blend for 2 minutes. Drain through a fine sieve strainer over a bowl to catch the milk. Discard cashew pulp. Strain milk one more time through a nut milk bag or a double thick layer of cheesecloth. Divide the milk into 3 juice containers. Place in the refrigerator. Fill a 1 liter container up with distilled water. Add a sliced lemon to this container of water. Make any food that your family will need for the next few days THIS MORNING. If you try cooking too late in the day, it will really test your patience. Time to make the juice!
  • To Make Breakfast Juice:
  • Juice 3 red apples, 1 orange, 3 carrots, 1/3 pineapple. Separate into 2 juice containers. When ready to drink, put in a magic bullet or drink blender and add peeled banana. Blend until Smooth. Put in a wine glass for a dramatic elegant touch. You will have an extra breakfast juice ready for tomorrow morning.
  • 2)Rinse and clean juicer before moving on to the next juice. No need to clean out pulp bag.
  • To Make Lunch Juice:
  • 1) Juice half beet and beet greens, 1 apple, 2 carrots, remaining 1/2 of the 1/3 piece pineapple, 1 of the 3 pieces of ginger. Place in juice container and into the fridge.
  • 2)Rinse and clean juicer before moving on to the next juice. No need to clean out pulp bag.
  • To Make Green Juice:
  • 1) Juice 3 green apples, 2 cucumbers, 2 lemons, bag of spinach, 1 bunch celery, and remaining 2 of the 3 pieces of ginger. Juice the celery and the spinach together to get the most juice out of the spinach. You may need to pour juice into a larger container or bowl as your juice collection container could overflow. This recipe makes 3 batches of green juice. Mix all the green juice together in a larger container and divide into 3 juice containers. Place in the fridge until time to drink.
  • 2) Rinse and clean juicer. Throw out pulp bag and rinse pulp reservoir. Place on a drying rack to air-dry.
  • How to Drink:
  • Drink all juices about 2-3 hours apart as you can handle it. Some may have to be done closer together and some farther apart. Drink the juices in this order: (1) Breakfast Juice, (2) Green Juice, (3) Lunch Juice, (4) Green Juice, (5) Green Juice, (6) Cashew Milk. Make sure to drink lemon water and detox tea in between juicing.
  • Day TWO:
  • 1) Grab Day TWO produce out of the refrigerator. Assemble Juicer and place an empty plastic grocery bag in the pulp container for easy cleanup. Peel ginger. Divide peeled piece into 3 pieces. Peel one half of the remaining beet bulb with a vegetable peeler removing the earthy skin. Peel Lemons. Quarter apples. Cut carrots in half. Cut the base off celery bunch and discard. Slice celery into thirds. Cut cucumbers in half. Rinse Spinach well and drain water. Fill a 1 liter container up with distilled water. Add a sliced lemon to this container of water. Time to make the juice!
  • No Need to make Breakfast Juice. Drink Container left over from yesterday's juicing. When ready to drink, put in a magic bullet or drink blender and add peeled banana. Blend until Smooth. Enjoy!
  • To Make Lunch Juice:
  • 1) Juice half beet and beet greens, 1 apple, 2 carrots, remaining 1/2 of the 1/3 piece pineapple, 1 of the 3 pieces of ginger. Place in juice container and into the fridge.
  • 2) Rinse and clean juicer before moving on to the next juice. No need to clean out pulp bag.
  • To Make Green Juice:
  • 1) Juice 3 green apples, 2 cucumbers, 2 lemons, bag of spinach, 1 bunch celery, and remaining 2 of the 3 pieces of ginger. Juice the celery and the spinach together to get the most juice out of the spinach. You may need to pour juice into a larger container or bowl as your juice collection container could overflow. This recipe makes 3 batches of green juice. Mix all the green juice together in a larger container and divide into 3 juice containers. Place in the fridge until time to drink.
  • 2) Rinse and clean juicer. Throw out pulp bag and rinse pulp reservoir. Place on a drying rack to air-dry.
  • How to Drink:
  • Drink all juices about 2-3 hours apart as you can handle it. Some may have to be done closer together and some farther apart. Drink the juices in this order: (1) Breakfast Juice, (2) Green Juice, (3) Lunch Juice, (4) Green Juice, (5) Green Juice, (6) Cashew Milk. Make sure to drink lemon water and detox tea in between juicing.
  • Day THREE:
  • 1) Grab Day THREE produce out of the refrigerator. Assemble Juicer and place an empty plastic grocery bag in the pulp container for easy cleanup. Peel ginger. Divide peeled piece into 3 pieces. Slice top and bottom off the remaining pineapple and remove rough outer shell. Divide into thirds. Take one of the thirds and divide it in half. Set one of the halves of the third aside as well as one of the thirds. Place all remaining pineapple in a container to eat tomorrow. Cut beet in half ( including the beet greens). Peel one half of the beet bulb with a vegetable peeler removing the earthy skin. Place the other half in a ziplock bag to juice tomorrow if desired. Peel Orange and Lemons. Quarter apples. Cut carrots in half. Cut the base off celery bunch and discard. Slice celery into thirds. Cut cucumbers in half. Rinse Spinach well and drain water. Fill a 1 liter container up with distilled water. Add a sliced lemon to this container of water. Time to make the juice!
  • To Make Breakfast Juice:
  • 1) Juice 3 red apples, 1 orange, 3 carrots, 1/3 pineapple. Separate into 2 juice containers. When ready to drink, put in a magic bullet or drink blender and add peeled banana. Blend until Smooth. Put in a wine glass for a dramatic elegant touch. You will have an extra breakfast juice ready for tomorrow morning to go with a solid food.
  • 2) Rinse and clean juicer before moving on to the next juice. No need to clean out pulp bag.
  • To Make Lunch Juice:
  • 1) Juice half beet and beet greens, 1 apple, 2 carrots, remaining 1/2 of the 1/3 piece pineapple, 1 of the 3 pieces of ginger. Place in juice container and into the fridge.
  • 2) Rinse and clean juicer before moving on to the next juice. No need to clean out pulp bag.
  • To Make Green Juice:
  • 1) Juice 3 green apples, 2 cucumbers, 2 lemons, bag of spinach, 1 bunch celery, and remaining 2 of the 3 pieces of ginger. Juice the celery and the spinach together to get the most juice out of the spinach. You may need to pour juice into a larger container or bowl as your juice collection container could overflow. This recipe makes 3 batches of green juice. Mix all the green juice together in a larger container and divide into 3 juice containers. Place in the fridge until time to drink.
  • 2) Rinse and clean juicer. Throw out pulp bag and rinse pulp reservoir. Place on top rack of the dishwasher to sterilize if ok with manufacturer's instructions.
  • How to Drink:
  • 1) Drink all juices about 2-3 hours apart as you can handle it. Some may have to be done closer together and some farther apart. Drink the juices in this order: (1) Breakfast Juice, (2) Green Juice, (3) Lunch Juice, (4) Green Juice,(5) Green Juice, (6) Cashew Milk. Make sure to drink lemon water and detox tea in between juicing.
  • Breaking the Fast:
  • 1) Start out in the morning with breakfast juice and something soft, but solid, like a piece of fruit. Slowly start integrating more solid foods back into your diet. If you have allergies, introduce one food at a time so you can determine how each food makes you feel. It is not recommended to introduce meat or beans on the first day. Stick to fruits and veggies if possible.
  • Juice Fast Tips
  • 1) If you are going out for the day, make a note to take your juice with you in a cooler with ice packs. You don't want to let yourself get hungry.
  • 2) After drinking juice, rinse out juice containers well. Clean them with soap and water and place open side down on a drying rack to air-dry when you get home.
  • 3) Make sure to peel all citrus, beet bulbs and ginger before use.
  • 4) You will have 6 drinks throughout the day. If this is not enough, make sure to double one or two of the juices so that you are full throughout the day. Only drink enough juice to fill you up. Don't feel like you have to drink it because it is there.
  • 5) In between juicing, drink plenty of water and detox tea. You can add raw honey if necessary.
  • 6) Drink all juices within 2 days. They are not pasteurized and can grow bacteria if left for too long. The vitamins start to diminish by this point as well. Try to drink all the juice within 24 hours if possible for maximum benefit.
  • 7) If you absolutely cannot continue drinking juice, try adding in one meal of veggies, or some veggie broth. Many times this is mental, and you can trick your mind by feeding it something warm or chewing, even if it is still vegetables.
  • 8) If you still feel hungry after juices, try blending a banana in with some of them. This will help fill you up a little longer.
  • 9) Make sure you drink at least 1 liter of water each day. Drink the distilled water (or filtered water at home). Do not drink tap water as it may contain toxins.
  • 10) Light exercise is fine while you are fasting, but don't overdo it. Light exercise actually helps increase your energy level. Strenuous activity may make you feel extremely tired.
  • 11) Maybe a 3 day fast is too long? Start out with a one or two day fast. Any detox is better than none.
http://www.tiffanystrimtreats.com/2013/03/21/my-experience-with-a-3-day-juice-fast/

A juice fast is definitely not for everyone, but at this stage of my life, it was perfect for me. I am so thrilled with the results of this process. I learned it is not something you can do with someone else and receive the full benefits. This has to be done alone with you and God to find your true potential. I hope my experience inspires you to try this one day.

Happy Juice Fasting!

Xoxo,

Tiffany

What to do with leftovers that you just can’t eat for one more day!

Have you ever had one of those moments where you just could not stomach eating the same meal for one more day? Yeah, that was me this week. I made enchilada pie and I think that may be one of those meals that I can only do for one day.

I really hate the thought of throwing anything out though. Especially if it has meat in it. I am not ashamed to say that I eat meat, but I will be respectful to what I am eating and use it all if I can.

If I am really over something, I have a tendency to throw it out. However, this particular dish had meat in it. Hmmmm. Dilemma…

If you have read some of my other blogs, freezer bags might stick out in your mind a bit. I freeze almost everything I make so I can “grab and go” for the week. I decided to make my meal into a snack for later :) Here is how I wrap my food so I can prevent disgusting ice crystals from ruining my day:

First, to make sure I don’t get freezer burn on the food, I generally wrap my small sliced portions in saran wrap.

Make sure it’s on there good! Don’t be afraid to go saran wrap crazy if you need to. There is no judging here.

Then I place it all in a freezer bag, squeeze out all the air, and seal tightly.

Place a little date and identification on it and throw it in the freezer! It was that simple. Snack for another day.

Typically if I throw it in my lunch box in the morning, the food item will thaw out by the afternoon when I am ready for a snack.

This is also great if you need a quick meal for another day. I work three 12 hour shifts in a row, and to be honest, there are some days when I just don’t feel like making something for dinner. I typically have all the meals planned out for the week, so if I don’t have something made or a plan of some sort, I think I really confuse my husband. When I have these pre-frozen meals, my husband won’t have to starve, and I won’t have to cook. It’s a win win for everyone :)  Healthy, cooked, ready to heat up and eat. Can’t beat it! Much better that a processed frozen dinner. Yuck!

What do you all do with your leftovers?

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Using the Whole Pumpkin – How to Carve, Puree, Cube, Snack and Display your annual Halloween Jack-O-Lantern!!!

Did you know that you can eat a carving pumpkin? Yes you can! A carving pumpkin, aka Jack-o-lantern, is just as edible as it’s small sized siblings that are more commonly used in the kitchen. There are also no toxicity issues as some have feared. If that were the case, I would not be sitting here sharing this with you today…I have eaten a TON of it over the last few days lol. Plus, my presently living and breathing boxer decided to sneak half a pan for himself while I wasn’t looking.  Bad dog!!

The main concerns about eating a Jack-O-Lantern are that many have been sprayed with pesticides. As with many other thick skinned vegetables, they are  safe to eat as the pesticides do not typically penetrate to the insides. Just don’t eat the outer shell and you’ll be fine. If you still feel uneasy about it, you can sometimes get a pesticide free pumpkin from your local farmers market or health food store, however, organic pumpkins are extremely rare and may not be very easy to find.

Some people also claim that the carving pumpkin is not as flavorful as the small ones specifically bred for pumpkin dishes. I thought mine tasted wonderful! I used it in my Pumpkin Flan with Maple Glaze (coming soon), Wilted Spinach, Pumpkin and Apple salad (coming soon), as well as some pretty tasty roasted pumpkin seeds! If you are still skeptical of eating a carving pumpkin, you can choose a smaller variety, just try to buy the largest one possible. You will still be able to use the entire pumpkin as shown in this article.

After I did all the research to make sure a carving pumpkin was safe to eat, I decided to go for it! How many times do we just use a carving pumpkin for fun Halloween decorations without taking full advantage of what it can offer?!? So at the risk of ending up on Extreme Cheapskates, here it is:  How to use the entire pumpkin, without throwing anything away :)

What you’ll need:

1 Carving Pumpkin (or a large pumpkin pie variety)

Coconut Oil

1 tbsp Olive Oil

2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp chili powder

 

Kitchen Equipment:

Large cutting board

Assorted knives

4 medium to large sized bowls

Baking sheets lined with parchment paper

sandwich baggies

Gallon freezer bags

 

Directions:

Wash the Jack-o-lantern in the sink with soap and water to remove any mold or dirt from the outside. This will help to preserve the life of the pumpkin.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Slice the top off of the pumpkin by carving a circle out around the stem.  Keep this piece as it will go back on as your topper. Make sure your knife is at an angle pointing in toward the middle of the pumpkin so the topper will fit back on without falling into your pumpkin. Super annoying when that happens…

Complete the circle and pull the top off.  Set aside.

Using a medium sized knife, make a slit one each side of the pumpkin as if you are going to cut the whole pumpkin in half…because you are :) Surprise!!!

Finish cutting down the sides of the pumpkin one side at a time. I found this was easiest using a bread knife.  Make sure your knives are SHARP! This makes all the difference in your pumpkin project.  If your line start to swerve off course, just readjust and keep cutting. Cut your lines all the way through until they meet on the bottom and split the pumpkin open into two parts.

Time to clean out the seeds. The easiest way is to grab the orange pulp (gently) with your hands and the seeds will slide out easily. Place them in a bowl and set aside for later.

Once all the seeds have been removed, use a spoon to carve out the bright orange pulp all the way down to the light colored pumpkin meat. Place all the pulp in the second bowl (not the one with the seeds in it).

Without cutting through the outer shell, slice some of the pumpkin meat off the sides of the pumpkin. Cut off as much as you can and place into the third bowl.

To get the rest of the meat out, use a spoon and scrape against the inside of the pumpkin. It will create pumpkin shavings.   Place all the shavings in the last bowl.

It may be easier to stand the pumpkin half up and scrape the meat down onto a piece of waxed paper.

Scrape down as far as comfortably possible without going through the outer shell. Notice the difference in sizes between the shaved pumpkin on the right and the non-shaved pumpkin on the left.

Don’t forget to save the meat from the topper! Make sure you save the top stem with about an inch or two of the meat.

Place all the shavings on parchment lined baking sheets. You may need to do this step in multiple batches depending on your pumpkin size.

Coat each pan with 2 TBSP of coconut oil. This helps to give the pumpkin a richer flavor for the recipes. Bake for 40 min.

While pumpkin shavings are baking, roughly dice the rest of the pumpkin meat and place on another baking sheet.

Coat diced pieces with 2 TBSP oil and set aside until oven is free. Once open, bake for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, while the pumpkin insides are cooking, start carving the face.  Lay the half you plan on carving rounded side up on cutting board.

If your pumpkin is not level, use a folded washcloth to make sure the pumpkin is not wobbling back and forth (don’t want to cut yourself!).  Draw a face on the pumpkin with a magic marker. Mine was very basic. I am good with food…not so much with drawing lol…

Carve the face out with a knife and place the scraps in the bowl with the orange pulp.  If the pieces are super large, break them down to a more manageable size. Do not throw anything away! Remember…we are using the ENTIRE pumpkin in this project :)

I decided he needed eyebrows.

Once the pumpkin is carved,  squeeze one lemon into an empty bowl and add 2 TBSP water. Brush lemon mixture all over the inside and outside of the pumpkin to help preserve it.  Set aside until the lemon juice has dried on the outside.

Once the pumpkin shavings are done, let cool for 10 min. Pick up the parchment paper and let the shavings fall into a food processor. Do not put the parchment paper in the processor. But you knew that. Just making sure… :)

Alternately, you can use a spatula to scrape it from the pan into the processor. Puree each batch for at least 2 minutes or until creamy.

Take a glass and place a bag in it with the top of the bag flipped over the outside of the glass.

Place 1 cup of pumpkin puree in the bag and seal. Do this for each cup of pumpkin puree until the mixture is evenly divided among the bags. Repeat this process with the cooked diced pumpkin as well. Store all sandwich bags in one large freezer bag and freeze for later use.

Ok! It is time to put humpty dumpty back together again! I used super glue, but feel free to use a hot glue gun if you are more comfortable with that. Squeezable super glue gel worked the best for me. You will need to work fast before the glue sets. Place the back part of the pumpkin, rounded side down, on the cutting board. Once the glue is on, immediately place the front of the pumpkin onto the back.  Make sure the edges line up and hold in place for a minute or so until the glue is set. If you are like me you will get super glue on your fingers. Nail polish remover will take it right off.  You’re welcome.

Stand the pumpkin up and reinforce the sides with glue if needed.

Place on a piece of plywood or large cutting board covered in foil. Arrange the leftover “guts” falling out of the mouth of the pumpkin.  Naughty cannibal pumpkin…don’t you know what happens when pumpkins eat pumpkins?!?

You can either set the pumpkin up for display with candles as a great accent or…

Wrap it completely in saran wrap and place into the fridge until the big day! I live in Florida…we typically don’t put pumpkins out until the day of or a few nights before Halloween so it doesn’t mold too quickly.

Once the pumpkin is put away or out for the world to see and the pumpkin meat is all cooked, heat the oven to 450°. Take the bowl with the pumpkin seeds and clean off any remaining orange pulp. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp chili powder.

Roast until golden brown and crispy for about 8 to 10 min. I like mine a little over done, so I tend to leave them in for the full 10 minutes.

I don’t know about you, but I feel a strange happiness knowing that I got as much out of this pumpkin as possible. I hope you all get that same feeling. You are not an extreme cheapskate…you are a person that knows to appreciate something for it’s full potential. Have a safe and fun Halloween everyone!

Please send pics of your carved pumpkins to healthysnacks@tiffanystrimtreats.com and I will upload them to a future post!!

Xoxo,

Tiffany

 

Trick and Treat with Homemade Spinach Powder

I am always trying to come up with ways to make food healthier. Even healthy food. I increasingly want to push the envelope to see what I can conjure up. The problem with some recipes is that the healthier you try and make them, the more “healthy” they taste. We all understand what the meaning of “tastes healthy” is right? Here’s an example: When I first started experimenting with vegan food several years ago, I wanted to make cookies. They came out ok, but definitely didn’t taste like a fresh baked normal cookie. I was proud of them (and slightly defensive…) because they were good for me, and while I wanted so badly for someone else to like them, something about them was just, well, off. I think my coworker actually used the term ‘horse treats’ to describe the flavor. She was right, they did taste like horse treats. They tasted too “healthy.”

Over the years I have definitely refined my recipes to be healthy, without tasting “healthy.” So in my quest to amp up the good-for-you-ness of what goes into my mouth, I have decided to trick myself…and others. Yep, that’s right, good ol’fashioned trickery. There are many different ways you can add things to your food, not taste it, and get amazing benefits for your body. One such ingredient is spinach powder. Spinach is full of Omega-3 not to mention a slew of other great nutritional benefits. For more info on the benefits of this green wonder-food, click here. When added to the right recipe, it goes virtually un-noticed. If you think about it, there are so many places we could add a dash of spinach powder…to our breadings, muffins, eggs, smoothies, noodles, even dark chocolate fudgy brownies. That’s right. I said brownies. Are you drooling yet? I am :)

The only problem I have found with spinach powder is the price and availability.While you can buy most anything exotic at the health food store, I have yet to find spinach powder at any of my local retailers. The price can get also get very expensive and you don’t always know if there are any preservatives added to it. Fortunately because it is so concentrated, you don’t have to use very much to get the health benefits. One tablespoon of spinach powder is equivalent to about 98 grams of spinach, which is about one third to half a bag of fresh spinach. Something I love about spinach powder is how cheap and easy it is to make! I usually will wait until fresh spinach goes on sale by one get one free and then make it in batches. With halloween right around the corner, I think I will trick and treat myself to some wholesome sneaky spinach foods.

 

What you’ll need:

1 bag pre-washed spinach (preferably organic if it’s available)

Preservative free olive oil spray

 

Kitchen equipment

Food Dehydrator

Food processor

Magic Bullet or coffee grinder (optional)

 

Directions

Spray dehydrator trays with a light coating of olive oil spray. You can skip this step, but your spinach may be harder to remove at the end of dehydration and cleanup isn’t as fun either.

Open bag of regular sized spinach leaves (pre-washed).

Place leaves overlapping on dehydrator trays. I can usually fit one bag of spinach throughout the entire dehydrator by spacing the leaves out on the trays evenly. It is ok if they are touching and on top of one another.

 

Place the top on and dehydrate on vegetable setting for about 4-5 hours.

When spinach is done, the leaves should feel dry and fall apart when handled, much like dry leaves on the ground during the fall and winter.

Remove spinach from dehydrator and place in a bowl. Let cool completely.

When completely cool, in batches, chop spinach in a food processor for about 1 minute. It will turn into tiny spinach flakes.

These are the spinach flakes, you can stop at this step and use in recipes, they will just be slightly more noticeable to the eye in some recipes.

Or you can go one step further and grind them down in a coffee grinder or magic bullet for 2 minutes until soft and powdery.

I usually make a few batches of this back to back while I have my dehydrator out. It lasts for quite a while too. Stay tuned for upcoming recipes where we will be putting this powder to the test. I look forward to helping you fulfill your propensity for sneaky spinach shenanigans :)

 

Grown-up Chicken Fingers with Honey Dijon sauce

 

Mint Walnut Brownies with a Secret…

 

 

Xoxo,

Tiffany

 

Get Snacking!

Shhhh, don’t tell anyone…I eat snack food all the time! Yup, that’s right, all the time. Many of the recipes you see here will be my breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner ( and maybe even dessert). The trick to snacking all the time is portion control.  When you eat small amounts throughout the day, your body’s metabolism is increased because your digestive system is always working and your body is not in starvation  mode. This method of eating will also keep you from getting super hungry and over indulging at your next meal.  For more info on why snacking works to maintain a healthy weight, check out the Frequently Asked Questions page. Actually forget what I said before….go tell everyone and get snacking :)

Xoxo,

Tiffany

Sugar Savvy

I find myself to be extremely picky when it comes to sugar. This is good in a way, because my body naturally seems to avoid anything that is fake or man made (splenda, Equal, etc…) What it doesn’t avoid is processed refined sugar. I could eat that all day long! So what is good and what is bad? And is table sugar really so bad for you? I did a little research to find out just that. Click on the link to become Sugar Savvy.

 

Xoxo

Tiffany

Oils: the good, the bad, and the ugly

When it comes to cooking oils, I am always super confused. Some people say use one type, some another. Some say it’s good for you, others, say to avoid it. And what’s this thing about the smoke point? Am I going to catch my oil on fire?

Seeing as I had limited knowledge of only a few healthy oils, I decided to dig a little deeper and weed out the good from the bad. I feel much more informed now to be able to make a good decision without standing in on the oil isle at the grocery store reading the back of the containers for 20 minutes. Click here for a rundown of Oils: The Good, the bad, and the ugly.

XOXO,

Tiffany

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