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Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. These time saving kitchen hacks will get you off to a great start.
Ahhh…mid-January. The time when the excitement of New Year’s resolutions have worn off, and most of us are facing the harsh reality of just how much work it takes to keep them.
If eating healthy is one of your goals this year, chances are you are already feeling at least a little overwhelmed in the kitchen. Don’t dispair!
With just a little work and a few kitchen hacks you can enjoy Little Wins™ every day!
Here are my Top 5 Time Saving Kitchen Hacks for a Healthy You!
1. Use Spices to Help You Achieve More Flavor with Less Effort
I love using fresh herbs and veggies in my cooking as much as anyone. But sometimes I just don’t have the energy to mince garlic, dice an onion or chop up parsley. This is where a well-stocked spice cabinet can help. In just a few seconds you can add flavor to your dishes without a lot of effort. (Or calories!)
There is another added benefit to reaching for your spice drawer when you are cooking. Studies show that certain spices can help you lose weight.
Take, for example, cumin. One study showed that women on a reduced-calorie diet who consumed one teaspoon of cumin daily lost three more pounds and three times more body fat in twelve weeks than those on a calorically equivalent diet without cumin. This is because cumin revs the metabolism. (Source: Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.)
Other spices that can help you lose weight: Cayenne Pepper, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Mustard, Turmeric, Ginger (Source: mercola.com)
2. Stock Up On Grab & Go Snacks
For years I resisted buying any snack food. My logic felt sound at the time. If I didn’t have it on hand, I wouldn’t eat it.
As great as that sounds, it didn’t account for those times when I got hangry and needed something STAT.
Inevitably, I would end up making bad decisions because I wasn’t prepared.
My life is SO busy, and even with all the chaos, I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I want to be my best throughout the day, it is important that I am prepared for whatever comes my way.
Last year, I started keeping the pantry stocked with ZonePerfect® Nutrition Bars, and this has solved my snacking issue. (I especially love the ZonePerfect® Chocolate Peanut Butter Nutrition Bars.)
I pick them up at Walmart.
I love that ZonePerfect® Nutrition Bars offer great tasting indulgent flavors without the guilt! Instead of grabbing a candy bar or sneaking the kid’s ice cream, I grab a ZonePerfect® Bar.
I feel so much better when I get enough protein and ZonePerfect® Nutrition Bars offer no less than 10g of protein. This goes a long way towards helping me feel fueled throughout the day and helps me stay on track!
3. Replace the Fat & Sugar in Baking Easily
If you loved baked goods but don’t like the sugar and fat that go with them, try making a few simple swaps. I like to use ripe bananas in place of both!
Like most of you, I am super-busy. When I have the chance to get in the kitchen to bake, I need to take advantage of it right then. This means that my bananas may not be perfectly ripe.
To make sure I am prepared, when my bananas get too ripe to eat, I peel them and freeze them. Then when it is baking time, I can thaw them out, and I am ready to go.
Bonus Tip: When I don’t have bananas in the freezer, it is easy to use my oven to get my bananas ready. Simply line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place bananas in their peels on the prepared baking sheet. Put them in a cold oven as it preheats. When the skins are blackened, the bananas are ready!
4. Let Your Veggies Multi-Task
There is no doubt that in addition to taking time, eating healthy can get expensive. I like to kill two birds with one stone by eliminating waste and making sure I have everything prepped and on-hand to make a delicious broth in minutes. Because the reality is that if I have to stop and chop vegetables for broth, chances are it isn’t happening. (And store-bought broth tends to be both expensive and tasteless.)
Being prepared is as easy as saving all of your vegetable scraps throughout the week. This includes onion skins, carrot peels, pepper heads and seeds and celery ends. I rinse them and toss them into a bag in the freezer.
When I’m ready to make broth, I throw all of the veggie scraps into my pressure cooker. I simply spice them up and cook them on the soup setting. In less time than it takes to drive to the store, I’ve got a fabulous broth that is cheaper and better than anything I could have purchased.
Bonus Tip: You can also make a fabulous chicken broth by saving bones in the freezer and adding them in with your vegetables.
5. Make Herb & Green Ice Cubes!
I don’t know about you, but I am forever over-buying on greens and herbs because I love variety. Unfortunately, this means I rarely finish them all before they go bad. Part of this is because when I am in a hurry, I often skip adding them into dishes.
I make my herbs and greens easy to use and eliminate waste by making ice cubes!
Just before they start to wilt, I blend herbs and greens with water or olive oil and then freeze them in ice cube trays. I then store them in freezer bags so that they are easy to throw into casseroles, sauces or even an omelet. Greens frozen in water are perfect to add to smoothies.
Just make sure you clearly label your ice cubes so that you don’t end up with mint in your favorite casserole! 🙂
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