Fresh Pear with Cinnamon

Healthy Tip: Scrubbing Carrots

I grew up thinking potatoes and carrots needed to be peeled before eating. Somewhere along the way we woke up and realized that potato peel was good for us and we started eating potatoes with the skin on.

So how many of you still peel your carrots? Did you know that peeling carrots is not only unnecessary, but it strips MOST of the nutrition from the carrot!

I use an old Dobie which I’ve retired from dish cleaning duty after it gets too many tears. I usually cycle through them about once a month. You could use any plastic scrubber that fits comfortably in your hand.

Wrap the wetted scrubber around the carrot and simply rub up and down a few times. Then flip it over and do the other end. 10 seconds per carrot, and voila! If you do the whole thing in the sink it goes very fast.

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When you’re done, leave the scrubber out to dry and then store it in a plastic baggy under your sink. I use the same scrubber for potatoes, carrots, and parsnips.

Scrubbing carrots is so easy, you’ll never go back to peeling. Making a beef stew the other day I had to clean a pound of carrots. They were pretty thin carrots, and peeling them would have taken me about 10-15 minutes and also would have left me a mess of peels to clean up. Scrubbing them took about 2 minutes and left zero mess.

Fresh Pear with Cinnamon

Storing Fresh Bread

Whenever you have fresh-baked bread, let it cool completely before storing it in a plastic bag, ortherwise you’ll get moisture in the bag and the bread will absorb it & soften the crust.

Once I’ve cooled my bread, I cut a few slices and put a couple in a sandwich bag for easy access. I put the rest of the loaf in a bread bag and then suck all the excess air out with a straw before twist-tying it. Both bags go in the freezer. The couple slices thaw quickly for toast in the morning.

Fresh Pear with Cinnamon

Quick and Healthy Steamed Zucchini Recipe

Steaming Zucchini
Zucchini, Ready to be Steamed
There are lots of ways to cook zucchini, but the most important thing to remember about cooking vegetables, especially the summer squash variety, is to cook it as little as possible.

I used to cook zucchini by sauteing it with oil and butter in a frying pan and then sprinkling it with salty parmesan cheese.  Delicious?  Yes!  Filled with calories?  You betcha!

How I cook zucchini now is not only a lot lower in fat and calories, it actually tastes better because I can taste the yummy and unique flavor of the vegetable instead of just the cheese.

Ingredients:

3 medium zucchinis (preferably organic)
onion
Mrs. Dash or salt substitute
Fresh ground pepper
tiny pat of butter or tsp olive oil
water

Tools:

Stainless steel pan with lid
Fork
Timer

Directions:

Wash zucchini thoroughly in cool water.
Cut off both ends of each vegetable and discard.
Slice zucchini into 1/2 inch (mouth-sized) pieces.
Chop up about 1/4 cup of onion.

Put about 1/4 inch of water in the pot.
Place sliced zucchini and chopped onion into the pot.
Add just a dab of butter or olive oil.
Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash or other salt substitute. You can omit the salt substitute and use your favorite seasonings instead. Just keep in mind the zucchini has a mild flavor and will get lost under a strong seasoning flavor.
Turn on the heat and as soon as the water boils turn the heat to medium low and cover the pan. The water should be just simmering, not boiling.
Set a timer to 5 minutes.
Check the zucchini with a fork after about 4-5 minutes. If the flesh easily pierces with the fork, it’s ready. If not, give it a quick stir and let it go another minute.’

Serve immediately. If it sits in the pan it will continue to cook and get mushy.

Nutrition Information:

Serves: 3
Calories: 52
Protein: 2 g
Fat: 2 g
Carbohydrates: 7 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sugar: 5 g
Sodium: 16 mg

Fresh Pear with Cinnamon

What Does “Cooking Healthy” Mean?

Prepare a Healthy LunchWho do you know who’s NOT busy these days?

One of the first things we sacrifice when life gets too busy is our health.  We push off doctors appointments, we postpone the morning walk, we work late and skip the gym, we stop at Subway on the way home and convince ourselves we’re eating healthy.

Eating a yogurt for lunch at your desk is not healthy.  I actually know people who keep a stash of peanut butter crackers (yup, the packaged kind you get from the wholesale grocery store) in their desk drawer because they usually don’t have time for lunch.

Eating this way will hurt you.  It will sap your energy and rob you of the nutrition your body needs to stay healthy.

Cooking Healthy is about quickly and (almost) effortlessly preparing your own food so that you can …

  • know exactly what you are putting into your body
  • be prepared with something good to eat when you run out of time
  • spend less time in the kitchen
  • have more energy
  • lose weight
  • feel happier about yourself
  • save money on food bills

Cooking healthy is not only about cooking.  By planning ahead, using time-saving techniques, and focusing on preparation, the cooking part becomes nearly effortless.  In some cases there’s no actual cooking involved.

So come on in and look around.  I’m here to help you, so please ask questions.   I hope you’ll also feel free to comment on what you read here.  I’d love to hear your story, your thoughts, and your ideas for how to make things work better for you specifically.

Thanks for coming!

Lisa