Potatoes are great for their versatility and are reasonably easy to prepare and store. Raw potatoes are typically good for 1-3 weeks after you purchase them but it depends on how long they were on the store shelf too. It’s best to know the signs of a good potato so you can gauge their freshness. Details below!
• Good Signs To Look For
Firm texture, tight outer skin free of dark spots, an earthy smell is ok but a musty/mold smell is bad, if you see a dark spot inside or a strong odor it’s best to throw it out and not risk getting sick.
• What About Sprouts?
If your potatoes have green or pink sprouts starting to bud, it’s a sign that spoilage is coming soon. The buds shouldn’t be eaten, as they can make you sick. You can cut off areas around where they were and use the potatoes if you do it very soon. The buds steal nutrients and starch from the potatoes and will change their texture and flavor.
• Storage Tips
Heat and moisture cause potatoes to sprout faster, so it’s best to avoid keeping them out on the counter next to the stove. Cool, dry, dark places like a pantry or cellar are great for storing potatoes
Coconut water and coconut milk come from the same place, but are more different than you may think. Each has their own use and place in a healthy diet. Read on for more info!
• What Are They?
Coconut water is the naturally-occurring, translucent and sweet liquid that’s inside young, green coconuts. Coconut milk is a processed product that’s made from grating, simmering, and straining the flesh of mature brown coconuts and then adding water.
• How Are They Used?
Coconut water is a refreshing drink that is low-calorie, contains some fiber, and can help replenish electrolytes. Coconut milk can be used as a dairy milk alternative when it’s made with a good amount of water and thinned out, while thicker coconut milk is used to add creaminess to sauces in many Indian and Asian dishes.
• How Do They Compare?
Nutritionally, the two are quite different. One cup of coconut water has 45 calories and one cup of coconut milk comes in at 10 times that with 445 calories. Coconut water provides mostly water with a little fiber and coconut milk provides mostly fat since it includes coconut flesh, making its calories much higher. Both include a nice variety of vitamins and minerals.
Most people have their own pre-workout rituals and it’s very common that a banana is included in them somewhere. They’re portable and require no prep, silverware, or refrigeration so it makes them quite handy. Let’s take a look at how they can help fuel your upcoming workout:
Bananas are relatively high in carbs, which can increase glycogen stores in your muscles and increase endurance for longer workout sessions.
• Easily Digestible
The fiber found in bananas slows the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream to help performance during workouts. Their composition of simple carbs and low fat makes them easily digestible and can even calm an upset stomach. This all means endurance without weighing you down.
Bananas are a great source of potassium, which supports healthy muscle contractions and blood pressure to avoid muscle cramps.
You can eat them on their own or add some Greek yogurt or peanut butter for protein before your next workout. They can even be used as the base for smoothies.
You’ve heard the term “Canadian bacon” and may have even ordered it on a pizza or enjoyed it in eggs Benedict. But why do we call it that and how is it different from the usual bacon?
• The name “Canadian bacon” is used solely in the US. You won’t hear Canadians use the term - instead they may refer to it as “back bacon” since that’s where it comes from or simply “bacon”.
• The term originated during a meat shortage in WWII when meat was imported from Canada and given a name to differentiate it.
• American bacon as we know it comes from the belly of pigs and is fairly fatty, Canadian bacon is cut from the eye of the loin (or center of the pig’s back) and is far less fatty and somewhat lower in calories.
• American bacon is smoked and usually sold raw, Canadian bacon is cured and usually sold ready to eat.
• American bacon is fried to crispy perfection in its own fat, while Canadian bacon is best served soft and juicy as it’s already cured and loses its sweet flavor if cooked too long. It’s closer to ham in taste and texture than the bacon we typically think of.
Grilling the Perfect Steak
Grilling a perfect steak may just be the pinnacle of Summertime pursuits for the grillmaster. Everyone has their methods, but there are a few concepts most people can agree on - here are five tips to help you grill the perfect steak:
1) Room Temperature
Pull your steak out of the refrigerator about an hour before you want to grill and let it get to room temperature.
2) Kosher Salt
Go ahead and salt both sides of the steak with kosher salt. Salt helps the meat retain water and will give you a nice, juicy finished steak. Place the steak on a wire rack to dry. Right before you take the steak to the grill - pat the steak with a paper towel, then salt again.
3) Real Charcoal
We’re all about the natural - hardwood charcoal burns hotter and faster than manufactured briquettes. Bonus - less chemicals!
4) Use a Thermometer
If you want to make sure you’re precise in your cooking temperature, using an inexpensive meat thermometer is the way to go! 125 degrees will land you a medium-rare steak.
Let the steak rest for about ten minutes after pulling it off the grill. This gives the juices a chance to spread out and maximizes flavor.
One of our menu items, Bang Bang Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles, has swapped out pasta for vegetables. This simple switch can save you a boatload of calories while increasing the amount of nutrients you’ll get. Here are some more reasons zucchini noodles are a smart swap:
• They taste mild and soak up flavors of sauces and ingredients they’re mixed with and add a subtle freshness to dishes.
• Can be eaten cooked or raw.
• 2 cups pasta=480 calories, 90g carbs, 2g fiber.
• 2 cups zucchini noodles=66 calories, 12g carbs, 4g fiber.
• Much lower glycemic index for those with blood sugar concerns.
• Low carb and a good way to get antioxidants, electrolytes, and fiber when low-carb dieting.
• Increase your veggie intake and get vitamins C, A, and B6.
Health Benefits of Olives
If you happened to pick up one of our Greek salads for this week, you already know they’re delicious. What you may not have known are the health benefits the black olives in the salad can provide.
• Did you know all olives start out green? As they ripen, some varieties turn to black olives, others stay green even when fully ripe.
• They’re low in cholesterol.
• Good source of fiber and healthy fats.
• Contain calcium, iron, and copper.
• Very high in vitamin E, along with several other powerful antioxidants.
• Good for cardiovascular health and reducing osteoporosis risk.
What Are Flavonoids?
One thing you won’t see listed on a nutrition panel that you can find in many whole foods are beneficial compounds called “flavonoids”. We’ve mentioned them in some of our previous posts, so let’s get some more detail on what they are and what they can do for you:
- “Flavonoids” are a large group of phytonutrients (plant compounds) that are found in almost all fruits and vegetables. There are around 6,000 different types.
- Some of the more-known flavonoids include quercetin and kaempferol.
- Each type of flavonoid is used by your body in a different way.
- They can have powerful effects such as acting as antioxidants, reducing inflammation, protecting against disease, and balancing hormones and cholesterol.
- They help your body function better while also protecting it.
- Brightly colored plants get their color from flavonoids.
- Flavonoids can be found in a huge variety of foods including: onions, kale, grapes, tea, peaches, berries of all kinds, tomatoes, broccoli, celery, and citrus fruits.