Thursday Quickies

Eating for Energy

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Without getting into the intricacies of nutrition, it’s really important to understand food on the most basic level.

Why do we eat? Outside of cravings, temptations, social customs, boredom etc…Why on earth do we actually consume food?

It ALL comes down to energy people. The hunger “hit” we feel is simply the body’s request for fuel, so that it can produce energy. We are instinctively attracted to calorie-dense foods to most efficiently propel our activities – including mental activities! Even the very definition of a calorie is nothing more than a unit of energy.

So the fact that our modern food choices often make us sleepy, mentally unfocused, fat or even sick, is a huge red flag: there’s something seriously wrwong with what we’re eating.

On the flip side, good food rejuvenates us. Good food supports our activities, keeps us healthy, strong and keeps us at our prime. And with this mind-set – preparing food with sight, smell, taste and energy all taken simultaneously into consideration – that you need to have a pantry filled with the freshest veggies, fruits, seeds and other plant-based foods.

How to choose Dried Fruits wisely?

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How many of us make the mistake of eating a handful of Dried Fruits whenever?Just because it’s fruit, doesn’t necessarly mean is healthy and that you should eat large amounts here and there…

But don’t take me wrong. Having a wide variety of dried fruits on hand is a great way to satisfy sweet cravings while making your snacks continually interesting and exciting.

When you are buying dried fruits, however, is very important to read the ingredients in the package – in fact, not only in dried fruits package – dried fruit should consist of only one ingredient: FRUIT. But, unfortunately, it’s not always the case. Here’s a few tips for choosing the best dried fruits for you.

Watch for added sugars:

Dried fruit is sometimes sweetened even further with extra sugar – buhuuu – exactly the type of thing we are trying to avoid. Make sure you purchase the non-sweetned choices.

Choose fruit sweeteners:

In a couple of cases of naturally tart fruits like cranberries you have to add something to make the dried fruits edible. So what do we do in these cases? Some manufacturers spare us the cane sugar and use apple or grape juice onstead to sweeten. This is a great “natural” way to heighten the flavour to the fruit without adding more sugar than you need.Look for these at the store as well.

Check the preservatives:

Not all preservatives are bad! Ascorboric acid, for instance, is simply vitamin C and extends the shelf life of the fruit.

Unfortunately, dried fruit is often pumped full of some other not-so-nice preservatives – like sulphur dioxide – to make the package items softer.

Sulphur dioxide is not easily digested, compromises the immune system and is often the culprit behind allergies.

Every time I pick up a product at the store and see sulphur dioxide on the package, it immediately goes back to the shelf…and you should to the same!

Xx

Thursday Quickies

Using Flax and Chia as “Eggs” in Baking 

Flaxseed powder and chia seeds powder are extremely helpful baking tools. Due to their naturally high amount of mucilage (gluey/gelatinous substance), each has the ability to quickly form a gel-like substance when soaked in liquid – similar consistency to a raw egg white. While this “gel” will not rise like a cooked egg, it does serve as an excellent binder in baked recipes. As long as the recipe contains other agents to help rise (such as baking soda…), this beneficial superseded formula can be used in place of raw eggs with no problems.

For the equivalent of two eggs:

Mix 2 tbsp ground flaxseed or chia seed powder with 1/3 cup water or nut milk. Stir, wait 5-10 minutes and stir one more time. Easy peasy!!

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Frozen Banana 101

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Frozen bananas are a superfood kitchen Must Have for two reasons:

First, they provide a frosty ice cream-like texture to blend mixtures that’s different from a fresh banana. Second, frozen bananas are a fantastic way to save bananas that are past their prime.

Check this 5 steps to freeze your bananas

  1. Use the ripest bananas possible. Brown is good!
  2. Always peel the banana prior to freeing them
  3. Slice the bananas into rounds before freezing. Why? Your blender’s blades will thank you!
  4. Store in a large ziplock bag, spread it into a flat layer
  5. As a guide: one handful of frozen banana slices is about one banana

Mason Jars

I am OBSESSED with these Jars!!!!!!

These timeless kitchen staples are enormously handy—and stylish in that shabby-chic sort of way. Originally used for preserving food, mason jars are made of sturdy glass that stands up to hot and cold temperatures—so you can freeze, bake, microwave, or chill them. Don’t know where to begin? Take a cue from one of these clever ideas:

Mason Jar Pros

Multi-Purpose – Apparently these are not just for salads 
Portion control – If healthy food is prepared, measured, portioned and packaged for individual servings, it is less likely that you will over-serve or choose something less healthy or eat out altogether.
Cute! – I think a mason jar looks much nicer than the plastic stuff.
Space – Mason jars might take up space or sometimes they can help make space.
Leftovers – Sometimes we can’t find the container we want to use or you can split a larger portion into single servings by just storing it in the mason jar rather than storing it all in a larger container which will have to be separated later
Portable – I know plastic containers are lighter but you can still just grab and go. This is not as easy with a large storage container.
Safe in the microwave, fridge and oven – I have heard there are some that are freezer safe, too. (Mine are not)
Safe – No BPA. There are questions as to the safety of some materials found in plastic containers.
Less mess – I haven’t had anything leak or spill (yet). However, I have had lids “warp” and open up in transport which did end up getting all over my stuff. Even if it was “empty” the plastic containers would get messy.

Mason Jar Cons

Breakable – This has never happened to me…it is probably just a matter of time.
Lids – the metal lids rust or get stuck together, but you can get plastic lids, too.
Clunky – Kind of clunky to carry around

Buy Mason jars in Macau

  • Parkn’ Shop – Taipa
  • Better Homes – Taipa

Online:

  • Party with Meemo
  • Tao bao
  • Kara’s Party Ideas
  • Pottery Barn