healthy snack food

5 Healthy Foods You Can Snack & Sip On

healthy snack foodFinding healthy foods to snack on today is easier than ever. Many grocery stores and retail outlet are recognizing that people are looking for healthier alternatives for their snacking and drinking needs. Where we once looked to a bag of chips for a snack or a soda to drink, we are now looking at a bag of nuts, dried fruit or water instead. Here are some suggestions for healthy snacking that will leave you both healthy and satiated.

  1. Sunflower Seeds – They give you that crunch that we all crave and are tasty too. Sunflower seeds contain vitamins, in fact over 60% of a body’s daily requirement of vitamin E. They also contain other nutrients that our bodies need such as magnesium (a mineral that keeps our bodies working properly) and selenium (a mineral that helps to regulate our metabolism). Sunflower seeds can be used as a stand-alone snack or added to salads and other dishes where you may like some crunch.
  2. Green Tea – Green tea has long been known to help fight off a variety of disease due to the high amount of antioxidants it contains. These antioxidants help to ward off cancer and heart disease. The naturally occurring fluoride in green tea helps to fight cavities and fight osteoporosis.
  3. Cheese – A natural form of protein, cheese can satisfy a craving quick! Cheese is a yummy snack that comes in many varieties and contains calcium, which helps to keep teeth and bones healthy. Many types of cheese also have added vitamin D, which helps our bodies to absorb calcium. Vitamin D is also good for regulating our immune system. To keep the caloric intake down choose a cheese that is made from skim milk as opposed to whole milk cheese.
  4. Popcorn – If salt or butter is not added, popcorn can be a very healthy snack. Popcorn that is cooked on the stove is best as microwave popcorn tends to add oils and salt, which are not healthy. Popcorn is a good source of fiber as well as whole grains. The antioxidants contained in popcorn are very high and studies have shown the ability of these antioxidants to ward off diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases.
  5. Peppermint Tea – Peppermint Tea is a refreshing drink that contains a multitude of health benefits. Peppermint tea can help sooth an upset tummy, in particular those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (or IBS) seem to benefit. Peppermint tea can help to relieve stress and help you to relax when bedtime is near. Peppermint tea has a high amount of antioxidants and nominal calories. It can even help with bad breath!

The benefits of healthy snacking are a lean body as well as vitamins, minerals and fiber added to your diet. Healthy snacking will keep you more alert during the day and in some instances help you to sleep at night, so put down that salt-laden potato chip and grab some popcorn instead. Your body will thank you for it.

My Recommended Paleo Diet Recipes

paleo-beef-stew
I’ve been getting a ton of questions lately about recipes for the paleo diet. I had never heard of the paleo diet until a few months back, and after some looking into it, I’ve got to say I really like the concept. While I haven’t had time to create my own dishes yet, I did some quick digging and found some easy to make paleo diet recipes and whipped them up.

Based on my recent experimentation, here are some paleo recipes you can try if you’re short on time and looking to maximize deliciousness:

From AllRecipes.com – Sweet potato and Kale stew Recipe

From AllRecipes.com – Paleo Mayonnaise Recipe

From RealFoodFreaks.com – Paleo Stuffed Pepper Recipe

From RealFoodFreaks.com – Paleo Meatball Recipe w/ Onions

From RealFoodFreaks.com – Paleo Beef Stew & Yam Recipe

From AllRecipes.com – Adobo Chicken w/ Bok Choy

From RealFoodFreaks.com – Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada Recipe

From MultiplyDelicious.com – Sundried Tomato Pesto Bacon Meatloaf Recipe

From RealFoodFreaks.com – Paleo Lasagna Recipe

From RealFoodFreaks.com – Paleo Meatloaf Recipe

From RealFoodFreaks.com – Paleo Granola Recipe

From RealFoodFreaks.com – Paleo Salad Dressing Recipe

From RealFoodFreaks.com – Pork Shoulder Crock Pot Recipe

From RealFoodFreaks.com – Pasta Made From Zucchini Recipe

Recent Surge In Culinary Students Due To Reality TV?

cooks-in-kitchenRecently there has been a massive surge of students applying to the top culinary schools. The question I ask is why this has happened? Food doesn’t taste better now than it did before and it’s not like cooking has become incredibly lucrative recently. So why is it that there has been this surge? One theory is that the huge amount of reality TV programs based around cooking has set this off.

For those who see themselves as future stars in the cooking world, we have Masterchef, a program based around the finest cooking. This may have inspired people as some of the food you see on that program look delicious. However sometimes you need specialist equipment to complete the dish and you may only get the chance to use this by becoming a chef. Continue reading

Keeping Your Coffee Fresh

coffeeThere are lots of myths and misconceptions when it comes to storing freshly roasted coffee. The first thing you need to understand is that moisture, light, air, and heat are the enemies of fresh roasted coffee. The better you can shield your coffee from these elements, the fresher it will stay.

Should I Freeze My Coffee?
A lot of people think that sealing and freezing coffee is the best way to keep it fresh. But think about it – if coffee from the freezer tasted best, you would be picking up coffee beans from the frozen foods section, and Starbucks would look more like Cold Stone Creamery. While the freezer can be good for keeping coffee fresh over a long period of time, if you’re drinking freshly ground coffee within 2 weeks, keep it out of the freezer for best results.

Instead, buy whole coffee beans, and grind them the morning you want you want your coffee. This minimizes the bean’s exposure to oxygen and keeps it fresh. You’ll also want to use valve sealed bags to store your coffee, and keep it stored in a dark place.

Another Alternative
Another option for fresh coffee these days are single serve coffee cups. The quality is still great, whether you buy green mountain k cups or starbucks k cups, you can enjoy your favorite brands with the convenience offered by single serve options. The best part is you don’t need to deal with any grinding or storage issues in order to enjoy fresh, world class coffee.

7 Ingredients To Always Keep Around In Your Freezer

Cooking and grocery shopping is always a pain in the neck for those of us who live fast paced lifestyles, especially if we don’t plan ahead. There’s nothing like getting home from work, just to find out you don’t have anything useful in the refrigerator to prepare. Sure, always having a good tub of healthy probiotic yogurt in the fridge is nice, but that’s not quite enough for a satisfying meal.

Luckily, having just a few staples in your freezer that you can pull out and whip up, that aren’t just cardboard boxes full of tasteless food and loaded with preservatives with names you can’t pronounce. There are several ingredients that you should stock up on that will make avoiding takeout a more feasible option, and a healthy diet much easier to maintain. Continue reading