1. Not Reading the Entire Recipe
Make sure there isn’t a step such as “chill in refrigerator for 3 hours” that surprises you further down the recipe you’re using - leaving everyone in the house hungry and you scrambling.
2. Not Using Parchment Paper in Your Cake Pans
Make sure you butter your cake pans but also line them with parchment paper to ensure a clean and easy release once baking is done.
3. Opening the Oven Door When Baking
It’s tempting, but avoid this. It stops processes such as allowing things to rise and messes with the oven temp.
4. Not Drying Your Protein Before Cooking
If you don’t pat dry your protein (fish, meat, tofu) before cooking, the extra water may cause it to steam in some places and sear in others, leading to inconsistent cooking and coloration.
5. Not Prepping Ingredients Ahead of Time
Prep by measuring, chopping, and organizing ingredients to keep things calm as you go through the recipe.
Pistachios are fun to eat, delicious, and offer up quite a few health benefits. A 1-ounce serving has only 159 calories, 6g protein, thiamine, copper, and manganese. Let’s see what else they have to offer:
Pistachios have high levels of antioxidants that may help boost eye health and protect against cancer and heart disease. They’re also quite bioavailable and easily absorbed by your stomach.
• Amino Acids
Of all types of nuts, pistachios have the highest ratio of essential amino acids that you can only obtain from food.
At 3g of fiber per serving, pistachios are a good source of it and help to feed good gut bacteria.
• Heart Health
Another added benefit of pistachios is that they may help lower bad cholesterol levels and blood pressure more than most nuts.
• Vitamin B6
Pistachios rank as one of the most B6-rich foods you can get. This vitamin is helpful in balancing blood sugar and also the formation of hemoglobin to carry oxygen in your blood.
The levels of potassium in a serving of pistachios are close to the same amount as a banana. Potassium provides many benefits including helping balance blood pressure, supporting contracting muscles, and improving digestion, to name a few.
There’s nothing like a warm bowl of soup to get you through the Winter months. Below are some reasons that soup can be such a great choice:
It can be hard to drink as many liquids as you should in the colder months since you aren’t usually hot and sweaty, but it’s still important as you still lose fluids throughout the day. Soup can help keep you hydrated since it’s made mostly of water.
• Huge Variety of Nutrients
The broth of soup itself is usually an amazing concoction of whole foods, sometimes even enriched further with things like bone broth. Rather than chewing your way through your daily servings of vegetables, soup can make it easy to get in several servings of veggies without even knowing it.
You can add in combos of veggies and proteins of almost any kind. Have carrots and celery in the fridge that need to be used? Chop them up and add them to the soup! No chicken on hand? Add a can of garbanzo beans for some protein and fiber. Possibilities are endless.
• Warming and Satisfying
Let’s face it, soup is just what you need if you’ve been working outside or it’s a cold and dreary day. It warms you up from the inside out. Add some whole grain bread on the side and all of a sudden everything is better.
One of the items on this week’s menu is Chili Citrus Chicken Skillet with Black Beans and Quinoa. You’ve probably heard about the health benefits of both black beans and quinoa and we recently posted about quinoa, so let’s take a closer look at what black beans have to offer:
• One cup of cooked black beans provides
Folate (B9): 64% Daily Value
Manganese: 38% DV
Magnesium: 30% DV
Iron: 20% DV
• Bone Health
The combo of iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, copper, and zinc in black beans all work towards building and supporting strong bones.
• Lower Blood Pressure
Black beans are naturally low in sodium and contain nutrients that have been found to help decrease blood pressure naturally including potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
• Heart Health
Black beans are naturally cholesterol-free and help contribute to your heart health by lowering cholesterol in your blood, preventing buildup in your veins, and reducing inflammation.
• Digestion and Fullness
The excellent fiber content in black beans can help prevent constipation and also help support the health bacteria in your gut. Fiber can also help you feel full and satisfied longer and help avoid overeating or unnecessary snacking.
Stress can cause you to eat and sometimes what you eat isn’t great and doesn’t really help.
Instead, here are some healthy foods you can go for that could actually make you feel better and relieve some stress:
The process of cracking open pistachios can help reduce stress by slowing things down a little and giving your hands something to do. Pistachios are heart-healthy and can lead to lowered blood pressure and a more calm heart rate.
• Sweet Potatoes
Nutrient-rich carbohydrates like sweet potatoes have been found to help reduce the stress hormone cortisol that can wreak havoc on your blood pressure and sleep quality.
• Swiss Chard
Magnesium plays a large part in your ability to handle stress and just one cup of cooked Swiss chard yields 36% of your daily recommended intake.
Whole eggs pack a variety of vitamins, minerals, and acids that are useful in combating stress. One such nutrient found in eggs is choline. It’s been found that choline can have antidepressant-like effects on your brain’s health.
• Fatty Fish
Fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring are great sources of omega-3 fats and also vitamin D. Both nutrients have been shown to improve your mood, reduce stress, and increase your brain and body’s ability to handle stress.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli offer a huge range of health benefits. In regards to stress relief, the high levels of magnesium, vitamin C, and folate they offer have been shown to boost your ability to cope.
Christmas brings with it many great traditions and foods you only see once a year. One treat you may have seen is a cake that’s shaped and decorated to look like a log called a Yule Log Cake. Ever wondered why that’s even a thing?
• Yesterday marked the Winter Solstice and also the start of Yule, which is a 12-day celebration observed by Germanic people dating back to the Iron Ages as they looked forward to the days being longer and nights being shorter.
• One of the ancient Yule traditions was to burn a large log or stump known as the “Yule Log” on the hearth in an effort to keep it lit for the entire 12-day celebration.
• In 1615 the first known recipe for a Yule Log cake made its appearance as a sweet homage to the traditional log burning. This treat was popularized in the 19th century.
• These cakes typically consist of chocolate sponge cake rolled up and filled with mascarpone whipped cream, covered in chocolate ganache, and decorated in ways to really play up the log appearance.
• The end of the rolled cake is sometimes cut off and added to the top or side to make it appear as a trimmed branch jutting out of the log.
• The outer frosting is usually roughed up to appear like bark and powdered sugar can be added to add a snow-like look.
• Finishing touches to the log include cranberries and rosemary to act as mistletoe, marzipan leaves, and meringue mushrooms.
If the holiday season has you longing for “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” you may be happy to know that not only is it something fun and different you can do at home, but roasted chestnuts also bring a variety of health benefits.
Just 1 cup will provide 30% of your daily fiber. This will help your digestive health and, combined with the complex carbs we just mentioned, can help reduce blood sugar spikes.
• Vitamin C
Most nuts don’t provide any vitamin C, but roasted chestnuts are unique and 1 cup brings around 65% of your daily intake of this vitamin.
• Heart Health
Chestnuts are low in fat, but high in magnesium and potassium, which can help boost heart health and reduce cardiovascular issues.
• Complex Carbohydrates
While not as high in protein as nuts like almonds and peanuts, chestnuts provide complex carbs that your body digests slowly and uses as a stable energy source that lasts longer than most others.
A 1 cup serving of roasted chestnuts is good for 36% of your daily copper needs. This can help support forming red blood cells and also healthy blood vessels, nerves, immunity, and increase iron absorption.
Antioxidants are used by your body to remove your cells’ waste products and protect new cells. Your body is able to generate some antioxidants but it’s possible to boost these amounts with food.
Below is a list of the foods with the highest amounts of antioxidants (shown with serving size and antioxidant capacity):
• Red Kidney Beans: 1/2 cup = 13,259
• Blueberries: 1 cup = 9,019
• Cranberries (Whole): 1 cup = 8,983
• Artichoke Hearts: 1 cup = 7,904
• Blackberries: 1 cup = 7,701
• Prunes: 1/2 cup = 7,291
• Raspberries: 1 cup = 6,058
• Strawberries: 1 cup = 5,938
• Red Delicious Apples: 1 apple = 5,900
• Pecans: 1 ounce = 5,095
• Cherries: 1 cup = 4,873
• Russet Potatoes (Cooked): 1 potato = 4,649
Our new Marmalade Chicken is out and if you’ve ever wondered what makes marmalade different from jam and jelly, we’ve got you covered.
Jam, jelly, and marmalade are all made by heating fruit with added sugar. The difference between each is how much fruit is left and the consistency.
Made from whole or cut fruit, cooked to a pulp with sugar for a chunky, less-rigid texture.
Made using only fruit juice from slow-cooked and strained fruit with sugar, resulting in a smooth, firm finished product.
Closer to jam, but made from citrus fruits using all of the fruit, including the rind. This makes for a chunky product with rich, complex flavors of sweet from the fruit and slightly bitter from the rind.
Good food can fuel your whole body - and that includes your brain. When it’s time for cramming for classes or a big exam, try giving your brain a boost with some of these foods:
1. Citrus Fruits (Oranges, Grapefruit):
Flavonoids promote learning and memory. They also protect nerve cells and fight against mental decline.
Omega-3s build brain cells and nerves and good fat helps boost memory functions.
Vitamin B12, Cholene, and Selenium help with memory, the act of learning, and production of neurotransmitters.
4. Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, Walnuts):
Vitamin E and zinc are essential to brain health.
5. Berries (Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries):
Flavonoids called anthocyanins increase blood flow to your brain, reduce inflammation, and speed up response times.
Lutein, which is a carotenoid, has been shown to improve mental performance.