2 Ways To Prevent Freezer Burn

If you have frozen any food before, you will have likely encountered freezer burn at some point. While you can still consume food freezer burn has affected, since it does not mean bacteria has ruined it, the taste will not be what you want it to be. No, freezer burn negatively affects the overall quality of your food—so why risk it? Here are two ways you can help ensure your food remains at its peak condition in your freezer:

Use Proper Containers

The containers you use have a significant influence on how long your food can last in the freezer without encountering freezer burn. In terms of bags, for instance, you need to have actual freezer bags for the best results. You also need to consider how full you will make each container, regardless of whether it is a bag or a solid container. Limiting the empty space, the air, helps prevent the air from causing the freezer burn you hate. With liquids, you want a little extra space since the liquid will expand slightly as it freezes. With solids, however, you just want to fill up a container as much as possible.

In addition, you want to provide extra insulation if you will be storing things for a long period—so try wrapping aluminum foil around your freezer bags! Certain specific items will have their own tricks for preventing freezer burn through packaging as well—with baked good, for example, you want to wrap them in aluminum foil before putting them in a bag.

Cool Food First

The temperature of your food and how fast you cool it has a significant influence over how long you can prevent freezer burn from occurring. You actually want your food to be as cool as possible before putting it in the freezer. Thus, we recommend you put your portioned leftovers in the fridge for a couple hours before you place them into the freezer. The only exception to cooling in the fridge first is if you are trying to freeze things like uncooked chicken, fruit, et cetera. Anything you haven’t heated—especially stuff you were already storing in the freezer—is fine!

4 Tips For Freezing Food

On a busy day, nothing saves time more than pulling out a frozen meal you made before and simply reheating it to enjoy as fast as possible. You can also build up a stockpile of ingredients to make meals in the future. This is especially helpful on your wallet, since you can buy the products when they are on sale and don’t need to shell out the big bucks later on.

All of this means you need to freeze your food. However, sometimes this can go wrong. You might encounter freezer burn and other issues. So what can you do? Here are 4 tips for freezing food to help you out:

Separate Into Portions

If you follow the proper defrosting protocol, you can technically refreeze something if you don’t cook it. However, we do not advise this because its hard to be sure everything went perfectly, and freezing and defrosting multiple times can degrade the quality of the food. Thus, we recommend separating everything into portions. For instance, if you are just cooking for one, only put one chicken breast in a freezer bag. Portion a big meal like lasagna into the size you like to eat for one meal. This dramatically cuts down on food waste!

Write The Date

Make sure you write the date you froze your meal, ingredient, et cetera on the bag or other container. This helps you keep track of everything—even freezing your food won’t make it last forever! You will run into things like freezer burn if you leave food in there for too long. Spoilage can also be a concern, though this is a very long process. More often than not the ultimate freshness will be negatively affected. Dating everything ensures you regularly consume what you have stored.

Use Freezer Bags

Speaking of storing items in the freezer, we highly recommend using freezer bags instead of regular storage bags! Freezer bags are thicker and thus make your food last longer as well as reducing the chances of the food developing freezer burn.

Chill In Fridge First

Though you want to freeze your food quickly, do not put it straight into the freezer after you portion it if it is cooked. Instead, put your food in the fridge to cool first. Putting it in the freezer right away can make the freezer rise in temperature, which can make the other food in there defrost slightly, which can impact the growth of bacteria.

Why You Should Eat The Rainbow

Occasionally when you read about eating healthy, especially when the topic leans towards eating fruits and vegetables, you will hear the phrase “eat the rainbow.” This is a great practice to follow, but many people may not, at least initially, be aware of what exactly this means. Are you unsure? You have come to the right place!

Eat the rainbow refers to eating a variety of fruits and vegetables in a range of different colours, instead of limiting yourself tow only a couple of different ones. Thus, you might find yourself eating things like carrots, zucchini, strawberries, blueberries, and bananas instead of just strawberries and carrots.

So what exactly do you get out of eating this variety of fruits and vegetables? Why is it important for your body and health? The answer is simple:

Nutrients

The food you eat contains nutrients you need in order to survive. You need nutrients to help your body function! Different food contains different nutrients (both in the specific nutrients as well as the quantity). You might think you can get away with just eating the fruits you enjoy, such as strawberries, raspberries, and cherries, to get the nutrients your body needs. However, the colour of fruits and vegetables actually plays a role in what nutrients they contain. This means that, while you are getting nutrients from red fruit like strawberries, you are missing out on the iron and other nutrients you will find higher quantities of in green vegetables.

Eating one colour of fruits and vegetables is better than not eating any—but you are still missing out on all these other nutrients, which can put your health in a compromised position.

Happiness

Another secondary reason to eat the rainbow is happiness. Studies show eating from a plate bearing food in a variety of colours (e.g. a rainbow of colour) actually increases your happiness, at least while you are eating. Thus, fill your plate with bright reds, oranges, and yellows. Why not throw in some green in there too, to introduce the forest?

 

3 Differences Between Ice Cream And Frozen Yogurt

Cold desserts are incredibly popular, especially when the weather starts getting warmer. You have a lot to choose from, of course, but the two most popular are normally ice cream and frozen yogurt. So how do you choose between the two? Is there a difference? What are the differences? Let’s find out:

Nutritional Content

If you compare regular ice cream to regular frozen yogurt, you will notice that, on average, frozen yogurt has fewer calories and less fat. This can shift if you consider low fat ice cream options, but for the most part you will be consuming less if you eat frozen yogurt. Of course, frozen yogurt tends to have more protein than ice cream—but with that also comes more carbohydrates, on average. It is important to look at the labels of the specific products you buy in order to compare. The best comparison, of course, comes with examining within the same brand of products (especially the same flavours).

Amount Of Air

Yes, the amount of air plays a role in ice cream and frozen yogurt as well. Both of them contain some air, something that is often the result of the churning process. However, the major difference when it comes to ice cream and frozen yogurt is how ice cream has a limit on how much it has to weigh in order to qualify as ice cream. This requirement is 4.5 pounds per gallon. With this comes a limit on the amount of air allowed in the ice cream, since more air makes it lighter. There are no such regulations for frozen yogurt.

Ingredients

A lot of the differences between ice cream and frozen yogurt come down to the specific ingredients they include. The biggest shift between the two in ingredients is cream and cultured milk. Cream is, as you might guess, in ice cream. But frozen yogurt? The main dairy ingredient becomes cultured milk, which helps mimic the idea of regular yogurt, though the freezing process eliminates the bacteria. Of course you  can get the same mix-ins with both desserts, though you are far more likely to find fruit in frozen yogurt than in ice cream. You also tend to find more sugar in frozen yogurt in order to maintain the low fat properties.

3 Reasons Why You Should Never Grocery Shop Hungry

We’ve said it before and we will say it again: the golden rule of grocery shopping is to never, ever grocery shop hungry. It is always a recipe for disaster—often one you won’t see coming even if you make a promise before walking in the doors of the store. So why do we say this? Let’s review a few of the key reasons now:

Overindulging

Indulging in your favourite dessert or other comforting food on occasion is a good thing. You can, however, go over the line and overindulge. Walking into a grocery store with an empty stomach is priming you for buying all kinds of food not so healthy for you. In other words, when you grocery shop hungry you are setting yourself up for overindulging. This can easily ruin your diet or weight loss goals before you know it.

Overspending

Even if you make a list of things you need to buy when you grocery shop, going when you are hungry increases your chances of buying things not on your list—often the junk food, as we mentioned in the previous section. Unfortunately, buying things not on your list, even if you were going to be under budget with that list, opens the possibility of overspending. Stay on budget by eating a snack before you go, lessening the chances of you buying something that looks good simply because you are hungry.

Forgetfulness

Unfortunately, going grocery shopping while you are hungry also sets yourself up for forgetting to buy things you actually need, especially if you do not have a list or do not check it frequently while in the store. Your mind will just be focused on how you are hungry, and will want to steer you towards whatever looks good to eat right now, never mind what you actually need to buy for the week (or however long you happen to be buying for).

3 Reasons Indulging Is Important

Eating healthy food is a big part of your overall wellness. It helps you stay fit, lose (or just manage) weight, and just generally makes you feel good! However, this does not mean you should not eat some more indulgent types of food. In fact, indulging is important to maintaining a healthy diet! Here are three reasons why:

Satisfying A Craving

No one is immune to getting cravings. If you’re lucky these cravings can be for specific, healthy meals, but more often than not they are pointing you towards something a little more indulgent. While you obviously should not go overboard and eat tons of chocolate or something like that, occasionally indulging (in moderation in terms of quantity as well) helps to easily satisfy a craving.

Boost In Your Mood

Enjoying something you truly love, especially with food, is a great way to boost your mood. It really has to do with the endorphins your brain will release when you finally consume the food in question. This is especially the case if you have been craving the food in question for a little while now!

Increases Chances Of Success

Have you started a new diet? Whether it is a temporary change or a permanent one, any significant shifts in your diet can be very hard to maintain. No one is meant to be absolutely perfect with what they eat, regardless of what they tell you or others. Being too strict with yourself, especially if you are just starting a new diet, can be a recipe for disaster. If you are not careful, you will eventually crack and overindulge. But knowing you have a regular time for indulging (just remember to keep it in moderation), makes it far easier to actually stick with your overall diet. Trust us on this!

3 Benefits Of Organic Food

When you’re in the grocery store, you might see some produce and other food marked as “organic.” They are marketed as being better for you, but what do you actually get out of consuming organic products? How will your body improve? Your health? Let’s examine three significant (and some hidden) benefits of consuming organic produce now:

Improved Taste

Yes, you can actually have an improved taste with organic produce. Sure, if you are fond of junk food and other processed products, you might initially crave them. However, once you get into the routine of eating organic products your body will eventually crave them instead! There’s no chemical aftertaste with organic products—you might not be able to taste this at the moment, but you will be able to tell the difference once you make the switch.

Lower Cost

This one isn’t a joke! You can actually save money by consuming organic products. How, you might ask, since most organic food is marked up a little higher? It comes in the future, when you have fewer medical expenses and the like, since you are taking better care of your body and giving it more of what it needs when you eat the organic food regularly.

Boost In Nutrients

In most cases of organic food, you will be consuming more nutrients on average. Most organic products have a far denser nutritional value than their nonorganic equivalents. You could be eating the same number of apples, the same amount of lettuce, et cetera, and be getting more out of it. This is part of the reason why you tend to have fewer health issues (along with the lack of chemicals), which connects with the previously discussed benefit of a lower cost associated with organic food when you consider the long term.

3 Tips For Changing Your Diet

Whether you are changing your diet in order to lose weight, for medical reasons, or just because you want to, you need to ensure you do so both effectively as well as in a healthy manner. Not sure where to start? Here are three key tips for changing your diet:

Consult A Professional

If you are going to make any dramatic change, such as going vegan, gluten-free, et cetera, or even just for weight loss purposes, you should consult a registered dietician. They can help ensure your new meal plan still incorporates all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need for a healthy body.

Take It Slow

Changing your diet isn’t going to happen overnight! Of, if you really do try to do it that quickly, you are likely in for failure. Understand that weaning yourself into the new diet helps you stick to it long term. Want to go vegetarian? Start cooking without meat for a couple days each week, and slowly increase this until you are no longer eating meat! The only time where an immediate, dramatic change is necessary is in a case when you have a diagnosed food intolerance or allergy (e.g. you are allergic to gluten or are lactose intolerance).

Cut Some Slack

When you are changing your diet in any way, you should keep in mind there will likely be speed bumps along the way. You might indulge a little more than your new diet would allow for, fall off the vegetarian wagon, et cetera. Understanding that it will take a little time to make the complete change is essential. This is one of the big reasons why we want you to take it slow right away. Taking it slow allows you to cut yourself a little more slack and lessens the blow if things take a little longer or you backtrack a little.

Tips On Spiralizing Vegetables

More and more people are creating noodles out of their vegetables as a replacement for things like spaghetti or lasagna. This offers a low carb and low calorie option for traditional noodles. Not only that, but it makes for a perfect option for people who cannot digest wheat—no gluten!

Are you considering starting to spiralize your vegetables into noodles? Here are some tips to help make these fantastic vegetable noodles:

Look For Symmetry

Start with the way your vegetables look. Regardless of the vegetable, zucchini, cucumber, or otherwise, make sure the ones you pick as a symmetrical as possible. This does a couple of things. First, it makes the process of spiralizing easier to perform. The second thing it does is make for a smoother, better end product.

Watch The Size

The size of your vegetables will influence both the quality of your noodles as well as the ease of turning the vegetable into noodles. You want a good size, but not anything too big lest you harm your spiralizer with too much weight, strain, et cetera.

Center It First

Centering your vegetables on the spiralizer is important for the best cut, both in speed as well as ease. You can turn out quality vegetable noodles this way! Thus, before you start to turn your spiralizer, make sure you take a moment to center your chosen vegetable

Dry The Spirals

Many of the vegetables have quite a bit of water in them, like zucchinis and cucumbers. With this water, you run the risk of ending up with soggy vegetable noodles. You can help avoid this by putting the vegetable noodles in a colander while you finish the other meal prep. You may also use paper towel to help dry them off, or sprinkle some salt on the vegetable noodles, as you do with sliced eggplant when making eggplant parmesan.

How To Cut Onions Without Crying

Chopping an onion and having your eyes well up with tears is a rite of passage in the cooking world. It is, as many believe, an unavoidable occurrence. Whenever you cut onions—your eyes will water. Right?

No. You do not have to suffer through watery eyes when you need to cut onions. You do not need to avoid or dislike cutting onions because of the looming possibility of tears. Here are some ways you can minimize and even prevent yourself from crying when you chop onions.

Sharpen Your Knife

The sharper your knife, the cleaner the cut. The cleaner the cut means less of the onion fumes released immediately, which buys you time before your eyes start to well up. If you are able to chop fast enough with your sharp knife, you might not well up at all.

Vent The Kitchen

Want to prevent the fumes from going directly into your eyes? Most kitchens should have a vent above the stove—use it now. While you are chopping the onions, do so close to this vent so it sucks away the majority of the fumes. No fumes means no tears. Your eyes will certainly thank you for it.

Cut Side Down

When an onion is whole, even with the outer skin peeled, there are no tears. The potential for crying begins as soon as you cut into the onion and expose the layers. Help minimize the fumes getting into your eyes by placing as much of the cut side of the onion down onto the cutting board rather than up as you can. This ensures less fumes come up to your face causing the tears. Instead, the fumes just go into your cutting board.

Give Time To Chill

Did you know that a cold onion will release less propanethial S-oxide? This is directly connected to your tears and the irritant resulting in them. There will still be some, of course, but minimizing everything you can means fewer tears in the end. Note you should never freeze the onion, since when a raw onion thaws out, it can turn mushy.