If your recipe calls for room temperature butter and you’re in a hurry, try this tip. Put boiling hot water in a glass and let it sit for 30 seconds. Dump the water out and flip it upside down over your stick of butter. In a few minutes it will be soft and ready to use!
Peeling fresh garlic can be a sticky and odiferous process. Try smashing a clove of garlic with the side of your knife instead. It’s the quickest way to remove the peel. Place your knife flat on its side above the clove of garlic and carefully apply pressure until the garlic clove flattens. The peel and the flesh separate into two pieces, leaving the cutting board free of debris.
Prepare muffins and quick breads with less saturated fat and fewer calories. Use three ripe, very well-mashed bananas, instead of 1/2 cup butter, lard, shortening or oil or substitute one cup of applesauce per one cup of these fats.
Use plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt or fat-free or low-fat sour cream instead of full fat versions. You can’t tell the difference.
Another way to decrease the amount of fat and calories in your recipes is to use fat-free milk or 1% milk instead of whole or reduced-fat (2%) milk. For extra richness, try fat-free half-and-half or evaporated skim milk.
Smoothies can pack a big nutritional punch but be sure to skip the high fructose juices. Throw a banana (you can keep them in the freezer for weeks) into your blender along with frozen berries, kiwi, apples, grapes or whatever fruit is around. Add regular water, tea, coconut water or other juice and if you’d like fat-free or low-fat yogurt. You can get 4–5 servings of fruit in one glass of yummy shake. Try adding baby greens to your smoothie for a dose of veggies too. Try getting your loved one to sip on a smoothie. It’s easy, cool, refreshing and healthy.
Canned, processed and preserved vegetables often have very high sodium content. Look for “low-sodium” veggies or try the frozen varieties. Compare the sodium content on the Nutrition Facts label of similar products (for example, different brands of tomato sauce) and choose the products with less sodium. If you buy canned, rinse veggies under cold water to reduce the level of sodium.
Make your Super Bowl burger with 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 finely chopped mushrooms. The mushrooms add wonderful flavor and texture plus you won’t miss the beef. It’s a nice way to “sneak” healthy veggies into a family staple.
Yeah February! Super Bowl food, Valentine’s Day and Go Red for Women.
- Visit GoRedForWomen.org to learn what you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Encourage your family and friends to take small steps toward healthy lifestyle choices to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke.
- Explain “What it means to Go Red” by sharing the following acronym:
January 31 — What does Chopped Junior champ Claire Hollingsworth say about cleaning up?
“ABC = Always be cleaning!” she insists. “To be honest, I know this because my dad taught me this and it is much better to clean along the way than have this big mess to come back to.
“I am much better at cleaning up than I used to be and my parents have noticed. I used to be a disaster.”
January 30 — The one thing about cooking that Chopped Junior winner Claire Hollingsworth wants other kids to know and learn from is this: Be confident!
“You can do this!” she shares. “Don’t be scared! Try things, and be safe when it comes to using a knife and heat. So always ask for help if you need it, and keep learning. Remember that you can teach your parents things. I teach my mom and dad things that I’ve learned about cooking all the tie — and they keep teaching me. It’s a lot of fun, and keeps us close, too.”
What happens if a dish tastes nasty? “Use it as a learning experience,” Claire says. “You learn more from mistakes than you realize. There’s always cereal for dinner. Just keep cooking, and smiling.”
January 29 — Cooking well is like creating a great science project, like a robot. And that’s the principle that Chopped Junior winner Claire Hollingsworth focuses on when she’s coming up with new recipes.
“I am really interested in the science of cooking,” says Claire, who knows that cooking is an experiment with benefits for her tummy.”
To keep her skills sharp, she heads to the refrigerator and pantry and picks a protein and starch ingredient — then she logs on to her computer to look online for recipes that will enable her to incorporate them into the dish.
But that’s not all. “I look for one thing I can change,” she adds, such as using cloves instead of cinnamon or Chinese 5 spice, instead of cumin. “The important thing is to only change one thing in the beginning when you are cooking so you can taste the effect and decide what you would do differently next time. If it is a recipe that I like, I put it in our family cooking binder. If I didn’t like it — I throw it away.”
I also am inspired by brilliant chefs like Alton Brown, and Julia Child, as well as classic texts such as Cooks Illustrated, and The Food Lab. “Study, experiment, and have a ball,” Claire insists.