Tuesday, September 7, 2010

10 tips

I love to eat healthy foods that don't taste healthy, so this is a very fun challenge for me, and I am very excited to share my tips with you:

1. Make Pumpkin Zuccini Bread (or muffins). The kids won't know they're eating veggies. It tastes like a delicious bread or muffin, and not like zuccini or pumpkin!

3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Add pumpkin, butter and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir in zucchini and nuts. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until breads test done. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack.

2. Instead of coffee and tea full of sugar, try this drink. It's apple juice (you can try sugar free or no sugar added), cinnamon syrup and a little whipped cream on top (low fat). You heat up the apple juice, add the cinnamon syrup and top with whipped cream. It's a great alternative to coffee full of sugar and heavy cream.

3. Use applesauce instead of oil in recipes like these applesauce muffins:
1 cup sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour,
1/4 cup quick cooking oats
2 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups unsweetened
1 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In a 1-pint glass jar, layer 3/4 cup flour, oats, sugar mixture and remaining flour. Cover and store in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.
To prepare muffins: In a bowl, combine the egg, applesauce, butter and vanilla. Stir in muffin mix just until moistened. Fill greased muffin cups three-fourths full. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes our clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

4. Try using veggies to make dessert, like these sweet potato orange cup recipe that I'm dying to try:

3 large sweet potatoes (2 to 2-1/2 pounds), peeled and cubed
1 can (6 ounces) orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup half-and-half cream
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup chopped pecans
4 large oranges, halved
32 additional miniature marshmallows
Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan or Dutch oven; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or just until tender. Drain. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sweet potatoes, concentrate, sugar, cream and butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in 3/4 cup marshmallows and pecans; set aside. Remove pulp from oranges, leaving a shell. (Discard pulp or save for another use.) Spoon sweet potato mixture into shells. Place four marshmallows on top of each. Place in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 8 servings.

5. Instead of indulging in soda and sugary drinks make your own out of fresh fruits and ice. Make your kitchen a smoothie bar where your kids will want to come and get a healthy drink, and so will their friends.

6. If you have picky eaters at home, sometimes throwing everything together is a way to get them to eat foods they wouldn't normally eat - like this breakfast casserole:

o 1 pkg.Regular Flavor Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage
o 10 eggs, lightly beaten
o 3 cups milk
o 2 teaspoons dry mustard
o 1 teaspoon salt
o 6 cups cubed bread
o 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
o 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
o 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
o 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped (optional)
o 1/2 cup thin-sliced green onions (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 F. In large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink. In large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, mustard and salt; stir well. Distribute half the bread evenly in a buttered 9" x 13" x 2" baking dish. Sprinkle with half the pepper, half the cheese, half the sausage and half of each optional ingredient. Repeat layering using remaining bread, pepper, cheese, sausage and optional ingredients. Pour egg mixture evenly over casserole. Bake uncovered for 55-60 minutes, or until eggs are set. Tent with foil if top begins to brown too quickly.

7. Replace snacks like gummy bears, peach rings, sour patch kids etc with real fruit. I think fruit is just as satisfying (if not more) than processed sweets like these. Your kids may actually prefer a peach or raspberries to gummies. It doesn't hurt to try.

8. Add Oats and nuts to cookie recipes. I try to keep my sweets low in sugar and high in fiber when I can, so this is a great way to make cookies and sweets healthier, like these chocolate oatmeal walnut cookies pictured below:

9. Instead of cooking with the entire egg, try egg white only recipes. The yolk of an egg is where most of the cholesterol is, so if you are trying to limit cholesterol intake try egg white recipes, and egg white noodles like no-yolk.

10. Replace all pasta with wheat pasta. It takes a few extra minutes to cook since it's so dense, but the health benefits are worth it. It has more fiber than white pasta, which is much needed to keep your body healthy.
I hope you enjoyed my ideas, recipes and especially my photos. Happy Healthy Eating! :)

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and WeightWatchers SmartOnes blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here

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