Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ice Cube Trays - 5 Tips for an Indispensable Kitchen Gadget for Preventing Food Waste!

Are you thinking ice cube trays, really???? And the answer is yes.  Using the ice cube trays to freeze things helps prevent waste which is good for the environment and your pocket book.  I know this list is endless.  Once the liquid is frozen, remove them an place them into plastic bags or other container in your freezer so you have empty trays to reuse.  Remember to label the containers as you will forget what is in there.  I forget all the time!
  1. Coffee and Tea - Make a little extra coffee and tea.  Put it in the freezer in the ice cube trays.  Add it to your coffee and tea without watering it down. Or into some Bailey's or Amaretto.
  2. Wine - In those rare cases you have some left, it does freeze. I know from the bottle I accidentally left in there!  You can then add it to your recipes without it being "off".
  3. Milk (cow, soy, almond, cashew, etc) - I never use milk fast enough. It inevitably goes bad.  I'll freeze it in water bottles or other containers to reuse at a later date.  Know that the consistency of the non-dairy milks may change a bit and will require more mixing to combine
    the particles that have separated in the freezing/thawing process. I have also started putting them in ice cube trays to then put in a frozen smoothie, an orange julius type drink we made growing up, or even iced coffee.  Add some vanilla, chocolate, or other flavoring before freezing too!
  4. Fruit - I have been freezing fruit before it goes bad. Happens quickly especially when you get if from the vendors on the streets in NYC.  You can freeze them whole or put some in the ice cube trays with some water to add to water or tea or wine for a different flavor.
  5. Flowers and herbs  - freeze them in water, edible flowers such as lavender and the flowers when basil and mint blossom.  Add them to water or seltzer.  What's Cooking America has a very comprehensive list.
Have more suggestions not on the list?  Add to it in the comments below and share!!

Orange Julius (Orange July haha)

6 oz frozen orange juice concentrate (or other frozen juices)
1 c water
1/2 c milk (substitute 6 milk ice cubes, heavy cream, almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c sugar (or less or powdered sugar, I find it sweet enough with the concentrated oj and less liquid)
10 ice cubes

Additions I have experimented with that change it up you can add in addition to the basic recipe...
3T egg white opt (caution when using raw egg products for salmonella and other possible illnesses, use a pasteurized egg white product.)**
1/8 c vanilla protein powder opt
1/8 T hemp, flax, or chia seeds

I just add all the ingredients to the blender and go.  The simpler the better.  Crush the ice to desired consistency.

Serves 4


Monday, July 27, 2015

Fueling Your Body and Soul

It is amazing how what energy we put into our body makes us feel both. Energy is not only in the form of calories but emotional, spiritual, and physical too.

Normally, I wake up. Have about 16 oz. of water to re-hydrate myself before I do anything else. Exercising first thing in the morning usually sets me on a path of 90% smart food and drink choices for the day. It helps my attitude too because my body feels good.

fuel your heart literally and metaphoricallyYesterday, I did not fuel myself well.  It was a bad vegetarian day. Doughnut and coffee for breakfast.  Mind you it was an amazing, well-made minimal preservative doughnut from Sullivan Bakery and it was Peet’s coffee.  This was before my first glass of water.  Lunch wasn’t much better but I did manage to get some sugar snap peas in.  I swam a mile, ate some cheese and olives and then rode my bike about 4 miles. 

I managed to fuel my soul with going to a Make-a-Wish wish granting event. An Italian boy wanted to perform a rock concert in a club with his brother in NYC as his wish.  There were a good 50 people there.  It is such a great organization and it was wonderful to see the support.  They boys did a great job.  You could see the excitement in their faces. (Also, on Saturday, I volunteered for Make-a-Wish was part of the Urban Mudder on Randall's Island.)

Then, dinner was chips and guacamole with a margarita and a half. (The margarita blog is on its way, sit tight.) They were all made with fresh ingredients, no preservatives, and no corn syrup.  I had plenty of water throughout the day and Blood Orange Iced Tea from Harney & Sons.  The choices of better quality ingredients and the liquids probably did make me feel less cruddy than I do this morning.

The food intake the day before is leading to a sluggish start to the day. Fueling myself with water, fruit, and yogurt to get on the right track today along with my morning exercise and stretching.  Remember what you do put in your body does affect the way you feel physically and mentally. I want to begin and end each day knowing I am the happiest healthiest me I can be.

Quick recipe tip of the day – Add frozen fruit to your non-fat or low-fat plain yogurt.  As it defrosts, the fruit naturally sweetens the yogurt.  You get a lot of flavor, protein, calcium, and no extra calories from added sugars and no artificial sweeteners.  Cost saving and environmentally friendly tip is to buy the large container of yogurt and portion servings into reusable containers.