Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Delicious Substitute

Although buttermilk’s rich-sounding name and creamy texture suggest
high-fat content, buttermilk is surprisingly low in fat and calories.
Low-fat buttermilk contains only 2.2 grams of fat per cup. This is far
less than the 8 grams contained in whole milk or the 5 grams in 2
percent milk. Consider using buttermilk as a low-fat substitute for
cream in your favorite soup, casserole or dairy-based recipe.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mock Sour Cream

Try this recipe as a sour cream substitute! 

Blend one cup low-fat cottage cheese, 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk and 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice in a blender until smooth. This makes 16 tablespoon-sized servings with only 14 calories and 0.3 grams of fat per serving!

Use as a topping for baked potatoes, gazpacho (a chilled soup) and low-fat tacos.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pancakes for Breakfast!

I love a lazy morning when I can have a stack of pancakes smothered in maple syrup! 

Here's a quick & easy recipe for basic Pancakes :

Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk 1 1/4 cups milk, 1/2 stick melted butter, 2 eggs and a little vanilla, then whisk into the flour mixture until just combined. Ladle 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot buttered skillet and cook until bubbly. Flip and cook until golden on the bottom.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Today's Tip: Vegetable Oils

Vegetable oils such as olive and canola oil are rich in beneficial mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fats can help lower your blood cholesterol level when you use them in place of saturated and trans-fat. Coconut, palm and palm kernel oils are high in artery-clogging saturated fat.

Since all oils have 125 calories per tablespoon, consider your portion size. But remember, even healthy fats can contribute to weight gain if used too freely.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fruit Names

Granny Smith apples were first grown in Australia by Maria Ann (Granny) Smith of New South Wales.

Bartlett pears are named for Enoch Bartlett, a Roxbury, Massachusetts farmer.

Greengage plums got their name from Sir William Gage, an English botanist.

Macintosh apples came to us from a Scottish immigrant who discovered them growing wild on his newly settled Canadian farm.

Grass Stains?

Green knees are inevitable this summer for kids (especially ones who play sports). To banish those stains for good, pre-treat them with a solution of one part white vinegar to two parts water, scrub with a toothbrush, and wash with an enzyme-based detergent.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Green Cleaning

Did you know that a “greener” home might also be a healthier home?

Many cleaning products can contain ingredients, such as chlorine,which can cause allergies, asthma attacks and even bronchitis. Reduceyour family’s risk by choosing “green” cleaning alternatives that arealso healthier for the environment.

White vinegar diluted with wateris a great window cleaner; baking soda mixed with water can be usedas a scrubbing agent; and 3 percent peroxide is a safe alternative tochlorine beach.

Because children can be more vulnerable to toxicchemicals, allow them to clean with soap and water, instead of toxiccleaners.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Too much Zucchini?

I'm not a big fan of zucchini, but I know many out there grow a lot of it.  Here's an easy recipe for a dinner side dish:

Zucchini Saute

1 lb. small zucchini
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, cut thin
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté zucchini in olive oil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add onion and garlic. Sauté 2 minutes. Add Zucchini to skillet and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Serve Warm.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Make Your Own Butter

Butter is expensive…did you know you can make your own? We used to have a friend who would give us gallon jugs of fresh milk. The cream would be on the top, so we could skim that off to make our own butter!

Homemade Butter

The ingredients are simple:
1 pint of heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
Salt (optional)

The equipment list is even more simple:
A glass jar (quart size is best)

The directions:

1. Pour the heavy cream into the jar, tighten the lid, and shake! After about 7 minutes, the cream becomes whipped cream. After about 3 more minutes of shaking, the whipped cream begins to separate into butter and buttermilk.
2. Pour the buttermilk into a separate container. You can drink it or save it for cooking.
3. Now wash the remainder of the buttermilk off the butter by pouring enough clean water into the jar with the butter to cover it completely. Swish it around enough to rinse and then drain the water from the jar.
4. Place the butter in another container (such as a small bowl) and mix it around with a fork or knife to release any additional buttermilk and pour it off again.
5. Add salt to taste (not really needed, but do so if you like it that way). You're done! You've made your own butter. One pint of whipping cream yields almost exactly 1 cup of butter, equal to 2 sticks.

Interestingly, shaking works faster than a hand-held electric mixer, which can make whipped cream in about a minute, but take about 14 more minutes to turn it into butter.

One final consideration is where to get the cream: heavy cream is simply the cream that floats to the top of the milk (straight from the cow, that is). If you're lucky enough to live near a dairy farm, you've got that option. Or you could get your own cow and make butter truly from scratch!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fun & Healthy Summertime Snack

Hot summer months can leave you craving a cool refreshing treat. Instead of grabbing a high-calorie ice-cream bar, try a healthy frozen fruit pop.

Place berries, such as blueberries, raspberries and chopped strawberries, in a small cup. Add cranberry or pineapple juice to fill about 2/3 of the cup. Add a wooden popsicle stick and freeze. After freezing, run warm water over the cup to release the fruit pop and enjoy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hot Enough for You?

Extreme heat is when summertime temperatures are substantially hotter and/or more humid than the average at that time of year.

Ways to protect yourself from the heat include: Drink plenty of fluids, replace salt and minerals, wear light-weight and loose-fitting clothing, wear sunscreen, and limit outdoor activity to mornings and evenings. When you work or play in extreme heat, use the buddy system and keep an eye on each other. Stay cool as much as you can. And above all, NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN OR PETS IN CARS!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Old Eggs?

Are you unsure how long that carton has been sitting in the back of the refrigerator?

Simply drop each egg into a bowl of water. If it lies on its side on the bottom, it’s fresh. If it stands on end, use it within a couple of days. Eggs that float to the top should be tossed on the spot.