3 Types of Lettuce

So you are making a salad. What type of lettuce do you need to use? While much of this depends on personal taste, there are some differences between each type of lettuce you might want to take into account. However, there are quite a lot of different types of lettuce. To make things easier, we have compiled data for the three most popular types below:

Iceberg Lettuce

Many reports indicate iceberg lettuce is simply water—that there is no real nutritional value in its leaves. However, this is not strictly true, though if you really want to squeeze as much nutrition out of your lettuce as possible, you are better off looking elsewhere. If you still want to consider this light and crunchy choice, continue:

Iceberg lettuce contains, on average, four grams of carbohydrates, and 1.8 grams of dietary fiber per two cups. This two-cup serving also includes 35 micrograms of vitamin K and 722 international units of vitamin A.

It is particularly good for adding to a wrap, creating a lettuce wrap, or in a mixed greens salad.

Butter Lettuce

For each serving of butter lettuce (1 cup) you have only 21 calories, less than half a gram of fat, 0.74 grams of protein, 3.63 grams of carbohydrates, 1.53 grams of sugar, as well as 8 milligrams of sodium. It also contains roughly 91 micrograms of vitamin A per serving.

This lettuce is often sold in plastic containers to avoid bruising, and you may end up using an entire head for a meal-size salad. It is also a good addition to sandwiches, or as an alternative covering for wraps.

Romaine Lettuce

This is perhaps the most common type of lettuce, particularly for those who enjoy eating Caesar salad. Per every two cups of this type, you can expect 15 calories, two grams of dietary fiber, 10 milligrams of sodium, as well as 140% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A, 8% of vitamin C, and 4% of your recommended iron intake.

In addition to Caesar salads, romaine lettuce is also good when grilled, in other salad types, as well as an addition to wraps, though it is not good to replace the breading itself due to shape.

3 Popular Hot Beverages For The Winter

hot beverages

Winter is the time of roaring fires, fuzzy blankets, and cozy nights in your home, protected from the blowing snow outside your door. Want to make your evening even cozier? Reach for a lovely hot beverage! Not sure what you want to have? Here are three popular options to consider. Go on, indulge!

Hot Chocolate

Interested in the taste of liquid chocolate? Want to have puffy white marshmallows dissolving into your beverage? Hot chocolate is the perfect choice for your cozy winter night curled up by the roaring fire. You can make your mug of deliciousness in a few ways. If you want it with milk, we suggest warming a mug about ¾ full in the microwave, then stirring in a couple tablespoons of the hot chocolate mix. Follow up by filling the rest of the mug with some cool milk to make sure you can drink it right away.

A faster way of making a mug of hot chocolate is to put your kettle on to boil water, before mixing the hot water with your hot chocolate mix. Of course, you can still top off your drink with milk and marshmallows, should you choose.

Coffee

Need a boost of caffeine to stay awake through the next movie on your screen or to finish reading a book? You might even want to wait up for Santa! Or, really, stay up later so our kids are asleep when you pile presents under the Christmas tree. Regardless, a mug of coffee is the best of these hot beverages to keep your system running as you stay awake. Sip on it without milk or sugar, or make it as creamy and delicious as you like.

Tea

Not a fan of coffee? Need something a little bit healthier? Why not be British for the night and brew a nice cup of tea? Tea is certainly cozy and is perhaps the most popular of these hot beverages to give someone if they are feeling a little down (think chamomile or peppermint).

3 Creative Ways To Drink Hot Chocolate

hot chocolateOne of the most popular hot drinks during the winter months is the decadent hot chocolate. This is a favourite among both coffee and tea lovers alike. There are countless ways to drink this rich, indulgent beverage—perhaps there are as many different ways to drink hot chocolate as there are people who drink it. Here are three of the most creative and delicious options available, if you have trouble deciding:

Spice It Up With Cinnamon

Did you know you can make your mug of hot chocolate taste like winter? Did you know its deliciousness can rise significantly? All you need to do is add a little sprinkle of cinnamon to taste, or use a cinnamon stick as your way of stirring your drink. The spice from cinnamon blends with and enhances the flavour of your hot chocolate. Sip away with the spice!

Spike Your Drink

If you are of legal age and are not intending to drive anywhere, make your hot chocolate extra cozy by spiking your mug. You can choose from many different liquors, such as rum or whiskey, but our personal favourite is the delicious, creamy taste of Baileys drizzled into a hot mug of chocolate. Just be aware of how much you put in—make sure you keep your wits about you!

Candy Cane Christmas

Who wants to have Christmas in a cup? Try making your own peppermint hot chocolate by purchasing a box of candy canes and using them as stir sticks in your hot chocolate. As they melt and blend with your drink, candy canes will leave the taste of peppermint behind. Many people associate the scent and taste of peppermint with the fluffy snow and warmth of the Christmas season. Why not embrace the idea and pour a little Christmas to sip on while you wait by the fire?

Substituting Fresh Herbs for Dried Herbs

Regardless of the recipe, you can use fresh herbs if it calls for dried and dried herbs even if it calls for fresh. However, you cannot just do the exact same thing with your chosen substitute as you would have with what the recipe called for! Doing so will not produce the same flavours you would get with the recipe are written. Here are the major things to consider when substituting fresh herbs for dried and vice versa.

When To Add The Herbs

When you use dried herbs, you want to add them near the beginning of the recipe. They pack quite the punch initially, and cooking them longer helps mellow out their intense flavour. This is not the case with fresh herbs. You need to add the fresh herbs, often chopped, to your cooking near to the end. Fresh herbs have a more delicate flavour, so you do not want it to disappear or alter in a negative way during a longer cook.

Different Amounts of Herbs

Did you know you need different amounts of fresh herbs than dried, regardless of the specific herb and the original amounts the recipes calls for? You need more fresh herbs than you would dried for the same reason you add them later on in the cook: fresh herbs have a more delicate flavour, which means you need more in order to get up to the same level. A rough guide to follow is to use one tablespoon of the fresh herbs per teaspoon of dried herbs. That said, you might also need to play around with this according to your recipe as well as your personal tastes. The important takeaway, however, is that you cannot just use the same amount of dried herbs as you would fresh and vice versa.

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.

3 Ways To Help Kids Eat Healthy

Children can be notoriously picky eaters, there is no denying it. And when their picky eating falls into things like macaroni and cheese, pizza, and chicken nuggets, things can get quite unhealthy very quickly. So what can you do as a parent to help your kids eat healthy, while also contending with the world’s most notorious picky eaters? Here are three key strategies to get you started:

Engage Kids In Cooking

If you child is more involved in cooking, chances are they will have an increased level of interest in what they are eating. Engage them from the very start: while you are grocery shopping. Of course, you cannot just let them loose. Make the exchanges something like letting them choose one or two fruits for the week. You can do the same thing with vegetables! If you want to, you may also let them pick out one treat if they pick out a selection of healthier options from choices you present them with.

Introduce New Food Slowly

When you are adding new food into your child’s diet, try not to introduce too much too quickly. You will not make progress that way! Taking things a little slower can make the world of difference. For instance, are you trying to get your child to eat peas or broccoli? Try including it once or twice a week to start with. Ease them into eating it and you will find there is less resistance than forcing them to eat something they are wary about all the time right away.

Make Food Fun

Kids are far more likely to eat their fruits and vegetables when they are in fun shapes, arranged in a smiley face, et cetera. Does your child like pancakes? You can make it healthier and a lot of fun by adding in blueberries or another fruit and arranging it to appear as if the pancake is smiling. Cut carrots into stars! Make ants on a log with celery, a little peanut butter, and raisins. Making food interesting, even into a game, can really increase the chances of your child eating healthy food without much resistance.

3 Dishes To Make With Your Children

Cooking with your children is a great way to not only bond with them, but also to begin teaching them a life skill they will need to rely on once they are all grown up. But where do you start? Particularly with younger children, you do not want to let them use knives to chop anything, which can put a limit on what they are able to do with certain recipes. If you are really interested in cooking with your child, however, here are three delicious dishes and treats to get you started:

Personal Pizzas

Pizzas are perhaps the best savoury food to make with your child. You can get pita bread for the crust, or make your own dough beforehand. Ask your child what toppings they like on their pizza and buy a selection. Put them in bowls or on plats and have your child help prep their pizza (e.g. spread the sauce, sprinkle the cheese, place the pepperoni, et cetera). You will have to preheat the oven and complete the cooking yourself, but almost all prep is safe for your child!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

You will have to measure out quite a few of the ingredients, but you can have your child pour each into the mixing bowl and even start mixing! Once things like flour go in (and oatmeal, if you have those in your cookies), you might have to help your child out in terms of strength, but aside from that they are good to go! They can also help scoop the dough onto the cookie sheets!

S’mores

Do you have bonfires? Do you go camping? Make some s’mores with your child! All you need are some marshmallows, some easy to melt chocolate, graham crackers, and a long stick to spear your marshmallows on. Your child, with some supervision, can hold the stick with the marshmallow over the fire to toast it. Once it is ready (you might need to help watch it so it does not burn) you can assemble this delicious summer treat.

How To Maintain Healthy Eating Habits

healthy grocery shopping

Healthy eating is important so we can maintain our overall health and wellness—so long as we remember the other aspects, such as regular physical activity. However, sometimes people who start on a new healthy eating regime, particularly those who make the sudden change around New Years Day, have a hard time maintaining their resolve. If you really want to change your diet, here are some tips to help you maintain healthy eating habits:

Step By Step

When you are making a change to your diet, particularly if it a dramatic change, do not try to change everything overnight. Take your healthy eating in steps and make this shift a gradual one. Do you want to make it your New Years resolution? This is great, but try either starting the process a few weeks before the new year begins, or give yourself extra time to make the change complete. Try introducing 2 or 3 new healthy meals each week until everything is healthy!

Never Shop Hungry

Doing your groceries while you are hungry is a recipe for disaster if you want to maintain healthy eating habits. If you need to go to the grocery store but are hungry, eating a small meal or quick, healthy snack is key. This will help you avoid the junk food aisles and other unhealthy temptations while you are walking up and down the aisles.

Look For What You Love

What do you love to eat? Which foods are healthy? There is likely a lot of overlap between the foods you love and food that is good for you. Is there a salad you enjoy? Include that a little more often in your diet. You can even find healthy versions of some not-so-healthy food. Consider pizza—from a fast food restaurant, this dish is often full of grease and really is not too healthy. But you can make a much healthier pizza yourself if you wish, so why not? If it is a food you love, look for ways you can make it healthy and include it in your new eating habits.

Remember To Indulge

It is unrealistic for someone to eat healthy all the time for the rest of their life. This is why you should remember to indulge yourself every so often. Perhaps you can give yourself one treat a week or once a month. Just remember to treat yourself every now and then if you want to maintain healthy eating habits long term.

3 Tips For Becoming A Vegetarian

Do you want to stop eating meat? Vegetarianism is quite common, though the reasons people make this switch vary quite a bit. Some may have been raised as a vegetarian, others may change because of their morals, and others may just feel intrigued by the idea and want to give it a shot. Regardless of the reason behind your decision, however, this can be difficult if you are not prepared. Here are three tips for help you become a vegetarian easily.

Do Your Research

What nutrients do you need in your everyday diet? Write this down. Where can you get those nutrients as a vegetarian? Where do you get them now? What recipes can you make? Understanding as much as possible about what you need in your diet and what you can eat are essential to being a vegetarian. You can consult books and the Internet for quick information. Do as much research as possible before you make the change—this puts you in the best position for success, since you will know how to move forward.

Make It Gradual

While you can certainly give up meat “cold turkey” and one day decide you are never going to eat it again, we do not recommend this. Make the change gradual by introducing a few meatless meals every week and slowly increasing that number until they are all vegetarian. In addition, you might want to try meatless substitutes during the transition period to help wean your taste buds off meat. These substitutes are often very close to the real thing, so they can also help satisfy a craving down the road.

Consult A Professional

Are you unsure about anything related to your diet as a vegetarian? Not sure about what next step you need to take in your personal experience? Consulting a professional, e.g. a dietitian or your primary care physician, is a great way to ensure you are on the right track. Too many people make mistakes with their diet, particularly when they are changing it dramatically. Be sure you are getting everything you need and your new diet is balanced by check with a professional. In addition to this, they can provide any other insight you might need, including direction to recipe books and other helpful resources.

3 Tips For Budget Grocery Shopping

grocery shopping

Are you on a budget? Eating is not something you can eliminate from your expenses, but you can maintain a good diet while also adhering to a strict budget. Need some help getting started? Here are three key tips for grocery shopping on a budget.

Create A Meal Plan

What do you want to eat this week? Make a schedule for each of your meals for the upcoming week. You can do this on paper or on the computer (e.g. as an Excel spreadsheet)—whichever you prefer. Understanding what you are going to eat throughout the week can help reduce or even eliminate unnecessary purchases at the grocery store. Make a note of the ingredients you are going to need while creating this meal plan—you will need it during your grocery shopping trip.

Check Store Flyers

A great way to reduce spending at the grocery store is to check the flyers before you make your trip there. This way, you have an idea on different specials you can take advantage of. It is best to check the flyers while you are creating your meal plan, since you might want to adjust your meals based on what products are on special. For instance, if you wanted to make chicken breast but it is not on sale? Another protein, such as ground beef, might be. Try building your meal plan, mentioned previously, around what is on sale at your local store.

Stocking Your Cupboards

If you had to buy every ingredient you need every time you shop, you are going to rack up quite the bill. Instead, make sure your cupboards, fridge, and freezer are always stocked with a range of staple ingredients. When you buy chicken breast while it is on special? Portion and freeze the extra breasts! Do you like pasta? Buy an extra box when it is on special, so if you crave it when the price goes up, you can still have some.