3 On-The-Go Breakfast Ideas

The vast majority of the population will have a string of busy mornings sometime during their lives, if not busy mornings just about every day of their lives. Regardless of how busy it gets, you should always take time to eat breakfast in the morning. It gives you your first burst of fuel for the day! In addition, skipping breakfast increases your potential for overeating later in the day. So how can you eat breakfast even when you are in a time crunch? Take breakfast on the go, of course! Here are three excellent on-the-go breakfast ideas to help get you through your busy mornings.

Smoothies

A smoothie for breakfast is a perfect choice for those busy mornings, especially if you are not a big fan of breakfast. You can even make your smoothie the night before if you will really be in rush! You have your choice, but a great nutritious smoothie would include your choice of fruit, a sliced avocado, some milk, and an add-in like flaxseed, chia seeds, or spinach. Once you blend your smoothie you are good to go for the morning. If you are making it the night before, make sure you store it in a covered container/cup in the fridge, so the smoothie remains fresh when you’re ready for it in the morning.

Overnight Oats

Yet another great idea for an on-the-go breakfast: overnight oats. We recommend choosing a quick cooking oat for this. Then all you need is water or milk for a basic recipe, though we also recommend adding some nutrition with fruit, chia seeds, flax seed, et cetera. You may also choose to add a sweetener like maple syrup to taste. All you need to do is combine the ingredients and leave them in a covered container in the fridge overnight.

Breakfast Muffins

Muffins are perhaps the most transportable item on this list. You also have a wide range of options when it comes to having muffins for your on-the-go breakfast. You can make your typical sweet muffin, such as a blueberry muffin, or a chocolate muffin. Alternatively, you can find a good savoury muffin recipe. There are often ones made from eggs, ham, cheese, and chives as a base! Simply make ahead of time and store them in your fridge or freezer. Just be sure to heat before you leave house if you want a warm muffin!

 

3 Benefits of Organic Food

In your local grocery store, we are willing to bet you see produce, meat, et cetera with labels indicated they are organic food. When most people see organic food, they think it must be a little better, but they are not sure exactly how. Then, when the higher price tag is revealed, very few of these people still reach for the organic option—if they don’t know the benefits, why pay the extra money? What are they getting out of it? Well, the good news is you get a lot out of it when you are eating truly organic food. Here are three of the top benefits:

Freshness

Organic food does not contain any of the preservatives in other products. The preservatives are added in other products in an effort to make them last longer. However, these preservatives can alter the freshness and  taste of the produce, though many individuals never realize this, since they do not know any different. With organic produce, though you will have to eat it faster, you can definitely taste a significant difference when you are committed to true organic options.

Fewer Pesticides

Organic food contains far fewer pesticides than regular produce, though there may still be some traces or residue on the food, especially if they are stored right next to the “regular” variety, where the agriculture practice included the use of pesticides, herbicides, et cetera.

Environmental Impact

Did you know? The farming practices required for organic food results in a reduced amount of pollution, more water conservation, less energy usage, as well as an increase in soil fertility. Overall, the impact of organic farming on the environment is much more positive than non-organic farming practices. Since we want the Earth to last as long as possible, this is always a good thing! Treat the environment as best you can—including consuming more organic produce.

3 Holiday Cooking Hacks

Are you responsible for cooking Christmas dinner? Are you hosting any other events over the winter holiday season? Cooking can get out of control if you are not careful. While we cannot reduce the amount of food you have to cook, we can help make your life a little easier with these three holiday cooking hacks:

Slow Cooker Magic

Your slow cooker is going to be your best friend over the holiday season. You can make a wide variety of things in it. In addition, you can make food in bulk in an appliance you just have to let sit and only stir once our twice. Need soup? Make it in the slow cooker. Need to make some potatoes and carrots for dinner? There are quite a few slow cooker recipes that will all you to do both at once.

Oven To Table Dishes

What are you baking your food in? What are you serving them in? Reduce the amount of dishes and general serving headaches by choosing dishes you can have in the oven and transfer directly to your table! Ceramic or glass casserole dishes are ideal for this. Just remember to have trivets on hand to protect you table from the hot dishes.

Rescue Turkey With Soup Stock

Do you often find you accidentally overcook the turkey or another protein when making your holiday dinners? This is actually more common than you might think, and is often the result of someone simply having so much to get done with a lack of assistance from others. Thankfully, you do not need to deal with this nor do you have to throw out your turkey. Using soup stock when you are cooking your turkey can work wonders on this issue, even if you just let the carved turkey meat sit in the broth for a little while afterwards. Note that chicken or vegetable soup stock works best for this, as beef stock could add conflicting flavours to your turkey.

4 Dishes Everyone Should Know How Cook

Cooking is an essential component of life—if no one knew how to cook, we would all be very limited in our eating options. The good news, however, is you do not need to be a star chef in order to get by. You should, however, know how to cook at least a few basic dishes in order to survive on your own, without completely relying on eating out all the time. To that end, here are 4 basic dishes everyone should know how to cook.

Eggs

Eggs are perhaps the most iconic breakfast food around. Countless people enjoy eggs and toast, sometimes with bacon, to begin their day. So it makes sense that you should know how to cook eggs! Things might seem complicated if you consider just how many ways there are to cook eggs, but the good news is you do not need to memorize all of them. How do you like your eggs? Scrambled, sunny side up, over easy? Start by learning how to make them this way. We also suggest learning one or two other ways of cooking the eggs, just in case you have company or want a change, but this is not necessary.

Pasta And Sauce

Pasta is simple—all you need is a pot of boiling water and dried pasta. When the water is boiling, put the pasta in the pot. It will take between 5 and 10 minutes depending on how much pasta you want to cook as well as if you want your pasta completely cooked through or more al dente. In terms of sauce, you can play it quite simple by just heating up a jar of sauce you can find already made at the grocery store. You may also choose to cook some vegetables or ground beef to add to the sauce if you are feeling confident.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

In terms of desserts, cookies are one of the easiest dishes to learn. In addition to this, they are also great crowd pleasers! Just about every family has a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, but if you don’t, they are easy to find online. Pick one out and follow the directions!

If you do not like chocolate chips, you can easily substitute them for raisins or small dried fruit like cranberries or blueberries. You do not even need to adjust the baking time or any of the amounts to do this. It’s a straight switch!

Fried Rice

Fried rice is a great dish to make, even on a regular basis since you can change some of the vegetables and proteins—making for a new dish just about every time you make it. Of course, the first step to this is understanding how to make rice properly. Most rice will have directions on how to do it, however it is important to note brown rice requires more than just the straight ratio of double the water to rice you need when making white rice. You also need to know how to make scrambled eggs. Apart from that, you just need to fry some vegetables and add spice!

All About Campfire Cooking

Are you going camping with family or friends this summer? Wondering what you are going to cook while you are out there in the wilderness? Sometimes the idea of cooking much of anything besides prepackaged dried food is overwhelming, particularly if you are planning to go camping in a canoe armed only with what you can carry on your back. The good news? You can do a lot more than you think! Here are some inventive and popular meals you can cook over a campfire.

Foil Packet Food

Have you ever cooked something wrapped in aluminum foil on the barbeque at home? You can recreate the same recipe but cook it in or near your campfire. You just have to pay more attention to timing, since you cannot regulate the temperature of your campfire. We recommend seasoned vegetables like zucchini or corn for foil packets, particularly if you do not have access to ice and a cooler. This means no raw meat if you are canoe camping!

Fired Up Potatoes

Potatoes are a great thing to bring camping with you, since you do not need to refrigerate them! All you need to do is bring your favourite spices (start with salt and pepper) and some butter or oil to brush over the potato. As for method, you can either cook it in foil or on a stick. If you have a foldable grill to put over the fire, you could use that as well.

Camping Style Pizza

Yes, you can make pizza while you are camping! All you need is bottled pizza sauce, cooked pepperoni and bacon, cheese, and some pitas (not fillable ones). Ideally you will have a foldable grill to put over the fire for this camping meal, but you can also use foil if you want to.

Skewers

Doesn’t everything taste great on a stick? Skewers are often seen at barbeque parties, street fairs, and more because of this (as well as their convenience). You can skewer vegetables like zucchini, sections of corn on the cob, mushroom, peppers, and potatoes, as well as any meat you want to, including freshly caught fish! You can use a foldable grill, obviously, but if you use a long enough skewer (and protect your hands) you can cook your dinner just like you would a marshmallow!

Benefits of Cooking In A Slow Cooker

Are you considering buying a slow cooker to add to your array of kitchen equipment? Wondering why you should invest in one, if you can easily cook your meals on the stove? There are quite a few benefits to cooking your meals in a slow cooker, regardless of if you have a family or are just cooking for yourself. Let’s review the mains ones now!

No Heat In The Summer

During the summer the days can get quite hot. Unfortunately, using oyur oven, particularly during the day, can make your kitchen almost unbearable. Cookign meals in a slow cooker helps avoid heating your home unnecessarily. You can still eat nutritious meals, but without all of the uncomfortable sweating!

Cozy Comfort In The Winter

Do you want a bowl of insanely delicious chili? What about comforting macaroni and cheese? Your slow cooker provides the perfect way for you to have comfort food throughout the winter months. Go ahead, get comfortable. Why not curl up at the fire after dinner?

Perfect For Busy Days

Are you running around all day? Busy at work or school? Do you have to shuttle your kids around to various activities? You can make dinner easy while also making sure it is still nutritious by using your slow cooker. All you really need to do is a little food preparation. Then all it needs is to be plugged in and set to cook! You can even find recipes online that you can put in a bag in your freezer until you need to dump them into your slow cooker, so your preparation doesn’t even need to be on the same busy day!

Lots of Leftovers

Depending on how many people you have to cook for, slow cookers are a great way to produce lots of leftovers you can then freeze and pull out throughout the week as you need them. For instance, some slow cooker recipes will make enough food for six or seven meals, which means you have dinner that night, and then at least lunches for the whole week! This can save lots of time for busy individuals.

High Volume Cooking

Looking to cook for a lot of people at once? Going to a potluck? Instead of the benefit of lots of leftovers from your slow cooker—popular for couples and individuals—it is worth noting slow cookers make it easy to cook for lots of people at once. If this is the purpose you are considering buying a slow cooker for, be sure to pay attention to the sizes available. Pay attention to the recipes you choose, and whether or not you need to adjust the amount of ingredients based on the number of servings you need.

Cooking Tips for Hot Weather

The weather outside is heating up, which can only mean one thing: summer is upon us. With it brings a lot of activities, from swimming and beach volleyball to outdoor festivals. Just about all of the fun events in summer surround hot and sunny weather. The drawback? Hot weather can make for an uncomfortably hot kitchen when you are cooking meals for you and your family. The good news is there are some things you can do to make cooking in hot weather more bearable. Here are the top five tips for you:

No Heat Cooking

The way to completely eliminate the uncomfortably hot kitchen, of course, is to engage in no heat cooking. This will often mean a lot of salad, both fruit salad and the traditional vegetable and lettuce variety. Other options include yogurt and granola parfaits, smoothies, sandwiches, and cereal. In fact, you could survive the entire summer on no heat cooking for your breakfast and the vast majority of lunches and dinners. However, this may not be feasible for every single dinner or lunch, which is why the other tips on this list are important to consider.

Stove Cooking

You oven is your worst enemy when it comes to summer cooking. This is especially the case when it comes to preheating it. However, there is so much you can accomplish just using the stove on top instead! You can make soup, pasta, tacos, and so much more with pots and pans. Search the Internet for some popular recipes and get inspiration. You would be surprised as just how often you can leave your oven off!

Toaster Oven

If you are cooking for just yourself or a small number of people and need to use an oven, why not use a toaster oven instead? You can easily preheat them if necessary, and they can fit a lot more food than you might think. Some can even bake an entire pizza for you! The good news here is they are much smaller than a regular oven, which means they require a lot less time to heat, which minimizes how much your cooking heats your kitchen.

Barbeque

Take your cooking outside if you are worried about heating your kitchen too much with the hot weather. If you do not already have one, invest in a barbeque, even a small one. You can grill chicken, burgers, sausages, and even vegetarian meals like Portobello mushrooms and corn on the cob. If it gets too warm for you while using your barbeque, you can always head inside for a few moments to cool off before checking on your food again. And once you get back indoors to ear? You will not have a hot home waiting!

Cook In Evening

If you have to use your oven, whether for a savoury meal or dessert, save your cooking for the evening hours or in the early morning, when it is cooler outside. This way, when you do heat your kitchen, the effects are not only severe. Try to avoid using your oven in the heat of the day and use some of our other tips for lunches (like no heat cooking and make a salad) instead.

Meal Preparation Tips

Preparing your meals in advance offers a variety of benefits, including saving you time on busy days as well as increasing the amount of healthy, well-balanced meals you eat. Sometimes, however, meal preparation can seem overwhelming. The good news is as long as you think about it beforehand, there is nothing intimidating about planning and prepping your meals in advance of dinner time.

To that end, here are some tips to help you engage in effective meal preparation:

Quality Containers

You can prepare as many meals as you want, but without good containers to store the food in, you are not going to get anywhere with meal preparation. You can choose plastic bags, plastic storage containers, glass containers, et cetera. Consider what kind of ingredients you will be using for your meals. If you are simply chopping vegetables for a meal, you can get away with a plastic bag. For liquids, on the other hand, you may need a bottle.

Plan The Meals

Of course, in order to prepare your meals you are going to have to plan what they are going to be! You can do this on pen and paper or on your computer—whichever works best for you. Make sure to make notes for all breakfasts, lunches, and dinners you will need to prepare for. Consider all the ingredients you will need for each meal. Before you go to the grocery store, remember to check your fridge, freezer, and cupboards to see if you have any of the ingredients already.

Cook At The Same Time

Sure, you could do one meal at a time, but try to cook multiple meals at the same time whenever possible. For instance, if you plan to have chicken more than once during your week (or other meal prep period) cook the chicken breasts at the same time. You can cook different meats and vegetables simultaneously as well, depending on the temperature required. Your only concern here would be cross contamination, so be sure to wash your hands throughout this process and use separate utensils and baking sheet.

Mix It Up

Sometimes it is easy to just cook the same meal so you do not have to worry too much about what you are going to eat or other snags that might come with meal preparation for more than one thing. However, this is often a mistake. It is very easy to get bored if you are eating the same thing every day. When you are just starting out with meal preparation, try doing two meals so you can switch them out with one another. Gradually add meals as you get a hang of things.

Cooking For Busy Days

All of us have experienced busy days now and again (or even constantly). Busy days can occur for a variety of reasons, including having a family to take care of, big deadlines at work, or simply many things to juggle at the same time. Regardless of why you are busy, you still need to eat healthy and energizing meals. But what happens if cooking takes too long or you simply do not have lots of energy after you day is over? Thankfully, we have compiled some simple tips for cooking when those busy days strike.

Build A Quality Pantry

The ingredients you have in your pantry are your lifesavers during the busy times in your life. They can make whipping up recipes very easy if you pick the right ones. In all cases, you want nonperishable items (so you need not worry about anything going bad). Look for ingredients like dried pasta, sauce in jars, cans of soup, as well as canned tomatoes, beans, et cetera. Make a list of ingredients you have and see where you might have gaps. Visit the grocery store to stock up if necessary.

Fill Your Freezer

Your freezer is another element in your kitchen, like your pantry, that can be a lifesaver on those busy days. You can have frozen meals for emergencies, buy you can also buy ingredients in bulk and freeze them for use later. You can even cook in bulk and store portioned leftovers you just have to reheat when your day gets busy.

Pick Easy Meals

Sometimes cooking becomes a hassle on busy days because the recipes are just too time consuming or complicated to manage. Reevaluate what you are cooking and pick easy to cook meals like one pot pasta, casseroles, and fried rice. Many of these easy dishes also make excellent leftovers and/or freeze well, so remember to keep this in mind when you choose your meal.

Multitask While Cooking

Sometimes you can make cooking easier by multitasking while you do it. For instance, can you have a pot of water on to boil or start simmering sauce while you chop vegetables for your meal? Sometimes it might feel as if you have to perform actions one at a time, but take a closer look at your recipes and see what you can do simultaneously. With that in mind, do not overload yourself, as you still want to be safe and turn out a delicious meal.

Invest In A Slow Cooker

Slow cookers are an essential kitchen appliance if you are consistently busy. With minimal prep, you can have a meal simmering and cooking all day while you go about your business. If you time things right, you can come home to a perfectly cooked and warm meal.