Revolution Mother

Revolution Mother

Archive of ‘Food’ category

Make Your Life Easier with Silicone Molds

There are many fun pastimes you can get involved in that don’t cost a lot of money, and some can even yield more benefits – such as providing something to eat! The fun in baking cakes, for example, can’t be beaten if you like being in the kitchen. The same can be said of making sweets, fondants and chocolates – and you probably like to make them in interesting shapes.

The way to do this best is to use molds, into which you pour or pack the mix for your cake, fondant or chocolate and then wait for it to harden. If you go back not too many years, you will find that cooks – and chocolatiers and those who produced confectionary – might have used copper molds. You can still find vintage examples and they look great, but we wouldn’t advise using them!

What we are going to talk about today are modern, easy to use and affordable silicone cake molds and silicone fondant molds, which really will make your products far more successful!

Easy To Use

Why are we suggesting you use silicone molds? First, how many times do you go through the motions of making your chocolates – for example – put them in the mold and then, when you come to take them out of the mold, they break or are misshapen? It happens all the time, and it can be very frustrating!

Silicone molds are far easier to use, and you simply peel away the silicone outer with ease, and have the perfect sweet within. It’s the same with cakes, with fondants, and there are even silicone soap molds which are great for making fun-shaped soap, to entice the kids to enjoy having a bath!

If you’re looking for silicone molds we suggest you check out LVDGE.com, a supplier of wholesale silicone molds – and more – for a wide variety of uses, at very impressive prices, and with a reputation for excellent products and service.

Choosing Silicone Molds

The sheer choice of designs is bewildering, and you will find everything from smiling faces to flowers, through stars, birds, butterflies and more – indeed, you can even request a custom mold for your brand or personal design – and they are all made to the same high quality using food-grade silicone and are fully certified as safe for use.

Buying online is simple: you select your choices, put them in your cart, and then when you’re ready you head to the payment portal, where you will find a safe and secure way of paying with many different payment methods.

If you have yet to use silicone molds you will most certainly find them to be the most convenient and easy to use method of forming your chosen items, and they are also great fun for kids to use, too. Why not check out the full range now – you will be amazed at the new products that come on-line all the time – and get yourself some new molds for those fun times in the kitchen!

A Practical Guide To Choosing Your Next Breast Milk Warmer Wisely

What features should you look for in a bottle warmer to heat breast milk safely? Is speed the most important factor? Let’s take a minute and discuss what is important, and what is not.

Making a wise choice for a breast milk warmer means choosing one that warms the milk without damaging the nutrients in it. You want a warmer that gently heats the milk to approximately body temperature level, but avoids getting the milk too hot and dangerous to drink. It needs to heat the milk evenly in the bottle without overheating some parts of the milk and leaving other parts cold.

A Few Things To Consider:

Let’s discuss each of those questions briefly:

1. How fast does it warm the milk?

A good bottle warmer for breast milk should be able to heat a pouch, or bottle, of breast milk in about 2 to 4 minutes. Frozen breast milk will take longer. You should try to plan ahead and let frozen milk thaw in your refrigerator before use when possible.

2. Is it easy to clean?

Keeping a bottle warmer clean is essential since the bottle and milk will be going from the warmer straight to your baby’s mouth. Check to see if the bottle warmer can be disassembled for cleaning. We recommend reading the cleaning instructions before buying the warmer.

3. Can you take it on the road with you?

Are you wanting to take the warmer on the road with you? You will want a compact bottle warmer that is easy to pack in a diaper bag and does not make a mess. Some bottle warmers come complete with auto power plugs so you can use it in your car.

4. How much counter space does it need?

Take a look at the space where you are planning to use your bottle warmer. Bottle warmers vary in size. You can find very small warmers like the Beaba, or much larger units like the Tommie Tipper. Keep in mind, smaller is not always better. Make sure the warmer can still do everything you want. Some of the larger units allow you to heat two bottles at the same time, or to heat a bottle and a jar of baby food.

5. Does it shut off automatically?

This is one feature we feel is under appreciated. Automatic shutoff is a blessing. Check to see if the breast milk warmer has an automatic shutoff for when the milk reaches a certain temperature, or at a minimum, a timer to shut off the warmer. Imagine starting to warm the bottle when you are sleepy. You are holding your baby in your arms sitting in the rocking chair. The next thing you know an hour has slipped away and the bottle is still in the warmer. An auto-shutoff is something mothers quickly learn to appreciate.

5. Pricing

Did you think we forgot about pricing? We are going to ignore bottle warmers with less than a four-star rating. Great quality bottle warmers range in price from $14.99 up to around $59.99. The more expensive warmers usually heat multiple items at the same time. Take a little time to research your breast milk warmer using the topics we discussed and you will make a wise purchase.

Tricks for Dealing with Fussy Eaters

 

 

It’s hard enough for you to eat your own vegetables let alone getting your kids to do it. Kids would be perfectly happy eating chicken nuggets, cereal, and pizza every day. Everyone can use many more servings of veggies and fruits in their day, especially young children who need the nutrients for proper development.

Unfortunately, kids can be fussy eaters with any type of food, even the ones you think they would like! Here are a few tips and tricks for convincing (or downright tricking) kids into eating what you need them to.

Before we get to fussy eating and drinking behaviours, one special category is taking medication. It’s difficult and uncomfortable for many kids to ingest a pill whole. Vitamins come in easy to chew and flavourful formats, but regular prescriptions from their doctor can be hard to swallow. Pharmaceutical compounding is a service provided by some pharmacies that customizes medications by creating specific doses, formulations, formats, and flavours to make them easier to take. Pills could be chewable or transformed into a liquid, given an appealing taste, or turned into a topical application. You can learn what a compounding pharmacy can do for you here.

Hide & Eat – Try sneaking foods into things that they like, like peas and carrots into mashed potatoes, or more fresh berries into a yogurt snack. Serve a smoothie or a 100% fruit pop instead of a salty snack. Cook up some vegetable fritters instead of French fries. Pureeing vegetables and fruits is another good way to sneak extra nutrients into another recipe you’re making. Changing the texture can make things more palatable as well.

Bargaining – Yes, it’s one of the stages of grief, and it can work for getting your stubborn little one to eat at least some of their healthy side dish. Make a deal that if they take x-number of bites they can stop. Or they’ll get to enjoy another food they prefer if they finish that small pile of grilled vegetables first. Try to avoid doing this frequently with desserts, but if all else fails, a cookie is a powerful motivator.

Mix it Up – Provide variety on their plate of multiple kinds of vegetables rather than forcing them to eat a giant glob of spinach or pile of broccoli. Learn if they prefer a raw or cooked version. Veggies can be more palatable with a healthy dipping sauce or dressing. Cooked veggies can also be with a bit of extra flavouring. Remember that juices are not nearly as healthy as the real thing, especially when it comes to fruit juice, which is essentially sugar water.

Share your Plate – Kids always seem to have their eyes on your plate instead of theirs. Put some of the things you wish they were eating on it and offer to share.

Realize the Benefits – Encourage eating through talking about the benefits of healthy foods. Relate these qualities to a familiar character from a book or TV show they like. ‘If you eat all your carrots and broccoli, you’ll grow to be as strong as Batman, you know.’

Cut Down on Snacks – A good point for adults to remember, too. Eating too much in-between meals will spoil an appetite, and calorie requirements are being met by less desirable foods instead.

Let them Help – Kids will be more excited to eat something that they helped prepare. Plus, it’ll give you a fun activity to do together and a chance to teach them about recipes and nutrition.

How to Budget for Meals and Food

 

 

Ever gone into a grocery store hungry? It’s one of the most important things to avoid when trying to save money and when trying to avoid impulse buys. When you’re hungry in a grocery store you’re likely tired, agitated, and attracted to all sorts of foods that you didn’t plan on buying. When it comes to the amount of money you spend on food, some simple budgeting techniques can go a long way.

How Much Are We Spending?

According to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian household spends about $214 per person per month on food, excluding going out to eat. For those who are single or live in remote parts of the country or cities with high living costs, that number can be even higher. Some financial advisors recommend that consumers budget between $200 to $250 per person for grocery money each month. If you also get your toiletries and household items at the grocery store, you should bump that number up a little bit.

How Much Can You Spend?

When the holidays and special occasions come around, we typically spend a little more on food. If you want to know how to budget for holidays, click here to learn more about how to spend wisely during that busy time of year.

Aside from the times when we tend to spend a little more, there are professionals out there who suggest that a family of four can comfortably aim to spend only $125 per person per month on groceries — that adds up to over $2,000 in annual savings. Being able to plan for those kinds of savings can be a real lifesaver in any emergency financial situation.

When money’s tight and something comes up, not having an emergency fund can cause undue stress. The good news is that resources like online payday loans from GoDay can give you that extra cash before your next payday comes around. Knowing that there’s options, however, doesn’t mean you should forego healthy grocery budgeting.

Use Rewards Programs

Rewards credit cards that offer cashback and loyalty programs can really take some of the edge off of your grocery budget. Learn the rules of your rewards system inside out so you don’t get caught with any unexpected fees or surprises and so that you can maximize your benefits.

Look for things like sign-up bonuses but don’t get carried away— overspending and getting caught in debt is not a positive step towards financial planning. Also, be wary of coupon madness. While some bargains might seem too good to pass up, if you don’t actually need the food, then it’s not a bargain. Be smart with your points and spend strategically using the right credit cards when budgeting for your groceries.

Plan in Advance

One of the most impactful things you can do to shrink your grocery budget by up to 25% is to plan out your meals and go to the grocery store with a plan in mind. Plan to eat vegetarian every once in a while: produce is cheap, healthy, and can go a long way if you know what to do with it. Lay out a plan and stick to it and you’ll be amazed by how much you can save by spending smart on food.

Christmas Is Coming – Early Gift Ideas!

The summer is in its late stages now, and fall is nearly here. After that, what do we have? Christmas! That time of year everybody loves, and everybody panics about in equal measure! The pressure of getting gifts for loved ones, family and friends can make what should be a wonderful, enjoyable time of year a stressful one. Why not take some of that stress away, and get your gifts bought and out of the way early – even now! It makes sense, as then you can concentrate on what you are going to do to enjoy yourself, and relax!

It’s not just buying the gifts that can be stressful, but choosing them too. There are so many people to shop for with so many different tastes, and while online shopping does take some of the strain away, looking amongst all of those different suppliers is always going to be a chore, so where do you start? You could be lucky enough to find a great online store offering a range of fantastic products that cover pretty much all the bases – or you could be lucky enough for us to tell you about one!

Quality Christmas Gift Baskets

Sometimes a gift needs to be that little bit special, and we reckon that the selection of truly excellent Christmas gift ideas from Broadway Basketeers is a fantastic way of getting gifts for just about everybody. These are not your everyday gift baskets, yet you’ll be surprised to find they come to you at everyday prices. You can get pretty much everything you want in one go at what is an excellent shop, and you’ll find they have covered the range when it comes to men, women and every type of gift you could need.

Now, bear in mind this is all about quality baskets and stuff that you eat, but some of these also double as an additional gift when the job is done. For example, the traditional wicker basket gift box is among the most popular, and there are several options. Once the recipient has enjoyed the contents, they can happily use the basket for storage, to put flowers in, or for one of many other potential uses.

If you want something more innovative, you can even get a gift box that doubles as a photo frame, and there are those that are designed to be used as a desk stand once empty, and many more original and worthwhile ideas. There’s plenty of choice, and all at excellent prices, and there’s much more there besides Christmas gifts, too.

The Perfect Christmas Gift

The problem with finding the perfect Christmas gift is that there is so much to choose from and that’s why we like the idea of Broadway Basketeers. There are lists online that can also help you find a variety of gift ideas, and these are certainly worth looking at. The beauty of gift baskets is that someone has gone to the trouble of designing the gift for you and created a varied and interesting product, so you have only half the work left to do.

There is something very satisfying about finding and giving a gift to someone that they really appreciate, and when it comes to these rather wonderful gift baskets there are choices for men and women that are equally impressive. It’s certainly worth checking out in detail, so why not have a look now and see what’s there that might be of interest? You’ll be amazed at the simply excellent prices of the best gift baskets we’ve seen, and you’ll be able to get all your Christmas gifts in one go!

New Ideas For Using Left Over Taco, Fajita or Burrito Fillings!

Mexican-style dinners using things like tacos, fajitas, and burritos can be a great way to eat a meal with the family and enjoy some delicious spicy flavours. While taco fillings are very easy to make, you may not be making the most out of just how convenient they can be. Next time you are preparing to make burritos, tacos or fajitas, why not make a large bulk of the filling, freeze some of it, and use it to create some of these other great dishes at a later date? These different ways of using Mexican-style fillings are also ideal if you have made too much and have some leftovers after the meal is finished.

Put them on a Pizza!

You can make a great Italian Mexican fusion dish by putting your taco filling on a pizza base. A lot of the big name pizza companies create Mexican-style pizza toppings, and there is no reason you cannot recreate this at home by sprinkling some of your leftover fajita or taco mix over a pizza topped with Mexican cheese. You can make your Mexican inspired pizza look and taste even better by adding some jalapeno or even some dollops of guacamole to it when it is finished cooking. You can even provide sour cream or salsa as a dip for the pizza crusts.

Stuff Some Peppers!

Another excellent use of taco mix is to hollow out large bell peppers and stuff them with the meat mixture. You can then bake the stuffed peppers and make a delicious Mexican-style dish from your leftovers. You can also try stuffing the outer layers of a large onion. Stuffing an onion with your taco mix can be a good way to still enjoy the flavour of tacos and fajitas if you are trying to avoid wheat or carbs. Click here for a site with some great taco meat recipes, including stuffed bell peppers.

Add Them To A Mexican Style Soup

A third way to use your meat mixes is to stir them into a pre-made or homemade Mexican Bean style soup. This will thicken up your soup and give it a meaty component, as well as adding to the existing range of spices. This type of Mexican inspired soup can be a great side dish for other Mexican dishes, or as a starter.

Mix into a Salad

Possibly the easiest way to use up any remaining fajita or taco mix is to simply sprinkle it over a green garden salad. This can be the simplest way to add some protein to a green salad and also give it some exciting spicy flavour.

These are ideas you can use to get the most out of pre-made mixes for things like fajitas. Whether you use them to avoid waste when you have leftovers, or you deliberately make bulk batches of the meat mixers to use for quick weekday dinners, you should find all of these ideas can lead to some tasty and satisfying – as well as convenient – dishes.

Making Healthier Drink Choices Every Day

Collaboration with Amanda G.

Many of us watch what we eat and try to follow a healthy diet. A lot of emphasis is put on the foods that we consume, but the beverages we drink are equally important. In some cases, it’s actually more important to your health than food.

Today, many drinks contain sugars, additives and alcohol that are just as unhealthy as junk food. Worse still is the fact that these beverages contain little to no nutritional value and can become addictive.

The good news is cleaning up what you drink is often easier than adjusting what you eat. Follow the tips below to clear out the toxins that build up from beverages.

Eliminate Alcohol

One of the most harmful drinks people consume today is alcoholic beverages. Alcohol, also known as ethanol, is extremely harmful to the body when it isn’t consumed in moderation. The problem is twofold. Alcohol impairs the body in many ways from stretching heart muscles to liver inflammation to increasing the risk of some cancers. Alcohol is also highly addictive for some people, which makes matters much worse.

Because the effects of alcohol can build over time, even drinking moderately can take a toll on your health. If you overindulge on a daily basis it’s time to consider outside assistance. Joining a support group like AA or getting treatment at an alcohol detox center may be needed to address addiction concerns.

Drink a Lot More Water

The next best thing you can do for your body is to drink a lot more water. Some research estimates that as many as 75% of adults in the U.S. are chronically dehydrated. The vast majority of people don’t get the recommended daily water intake (91 ounces for women and 125 ounces for men). CDC reports suggest that on average adults only consume 39 ounces of water a day.

Beyond provided vital hydration for bodily functions, water also has no calories and can help with weight management. If you’re on the go throughout the day make sure to bring along a refillable water bottle so you can stay hydrated.

Drink Your Coffee Black 

There are many health benefits of drinking coffee as long as you limit it to one or two cups a day. Coffee is high in powerful antioxidants such as polyphenols, hydrocinnamic acids and vitamin B which helps to fight disease. It’s also been shown to boost mood, help burn fat and ward off type 2 diabetes.

A cup of java becomes less healthy the more you add to it. Spoonfuls of sugar and rich cream add a ton of calories and fat. All the unhealthy additives negate the benefits of the coffee itself.

Start Drinking Tea

You can get the antioxidants of coffee without the caffeine by drinking teas. In many of the world’s healthiest countries and cultures, tea is a mainstay of peoples’ daily diet. Some research suggests drinking tea regularly can extend your life and even change your genes.

Hot or cold, tea is a healthy drink that keeps you hydrated and healthy. But like coffee, it’s best to drink tea straight without added sugar. If you want to burn more fat opt for green tea. The catechins in green tea have been shown to increase fat burn and improve muscle endurance.

Stop Drinking Soda

There’s a reason schools are beginning to do away with soda machines. Soda drinks contain high levels of caffeine and sugar, which is why people can become addicted to their daily pop. Many parents are surprised to discover that sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) like soda are the main source of added sugars in our daily diets.

The biggest problem associated with sugary sodas is obesity. Excess weight gain leads to a number of other health issues, including type 2 diabetes and a higher risk of some cancers.

And diet soda isn’t a good alternative. Diet soda may not have calories, but it also provides no nutrients. Research has linked regular artificial sweetener consumption to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, dementia and high blood pressure. Ironically, people who consume a lot of diet drinks have also been shown to have a higher risk of obesity.

We’re all familiar with the old adage “you are what you eat,” it seems we should add drink to that as well.

5 Great Sous Vide Recipes

 

Experiment With Your New Sous Vide Home Cooker

Make restaurant-grade meals and side dishes from the comfort of your own home with these delicious and nutritious sous vide recipes.

Sous vide cooking offers succulent, nutritious meals which are full of flavour, texture and vitamins. Up until recently, this style of cooking has been confined to top-notch restaurants across the globe. However, the availability of home sous vide cookers has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for home cooked meals.

If you have recently invested in a sous vide cooker, then check out this selection of best sous vide recipes to get you started.

Succulent Sous Vide Chicken

You can’t go wrong with this juicy, tender chicken recipe which can be used as the centrepiece for a hearty Sunday roast.

Ingredients: Chicken breast, salt, black pepper, butter, olive oil and fresh herbs.

Method: Set your sous vide cooker to 60C with the timer on for 90 minutes. Season the breasts with the salt and pepper, then put into a resealable bag with olive oil, butter and herbs. Submerge the bag entirely in the water and leave for 90 minutes.

Once removed, quickly fry the chicken breast in a pan using olive oil, until the skin is crispy. Serve immediately.

Buttery Lobster

This sous vide style of cooking lobster allows you to infuse the meat with extra sweetness.

Ingredients: 2 live lobsters (1 ½ pounds), 30g unsalted butter, 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon, lemon wedges, 60ml clarified butter

Method: After killing the lobster, twist off the claws and tail and insert skewers into them. Boil the tail for 1 minute and the claws for 4 minutes, then transfer to an ice bath. Remove the meat then place in a resealable bag with the unsalted butter and tarragon. The air should be vacuum-sucked out. Cook in the sous vide bath for up to an hour, then serve with lemon wedges and clarified butter.

Poached Pears with Port

This the perfect indulgent dessert for those with a sweet tooth.

Ingredients: 6 firm peeled pears with stem left on, 120ml port, 180g sugar, 3 tablespoons of honey, 2 cinnamon sticks and 5 cloves.

Method: Preheat your sous vide cooker to 85C. Pour the port into a pan, add the sugar, honey and spices, then boil until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan and set light to the port to burn off the alcohol. Once cool, pour the liquid into a vacuum bag along with the pears. Remove the air and seal the bag. Cook in your sous vide machine for 2 hours. Serve with the remaining sauce and ice cream.

Perfect Carrot Side-Dish

This simple but delicious accompaniment goes well with many types of meat main courses, whether it be a Sunday roast or chicken pasta.

Ingredients: Carrots, salt and pepper, parsley, butter and olive oil.

Method: Preset your cooker to 90C and pop the timer on for 30 minutes. Peel your carrots, season them then place them in a sealable bag – add butter and a dash of olive oil alongside the parsley. Submerge the bag and simply cook for half an hour!

Egg And Bacon Bites

These bites are so moreish that you’ll be making them every day!

Ingredients: 6 eggs, 170g gruyere cheese, 85g cream cheese, 3 slices of cooked bacon cut into cubes, pinch of salt to taste.

Method: Set your sous vide cooker to 78C. Whisk together the eggs, cheese and salt until thoroughly combined. Distribute the cubes of bacon into the bottom of 6 canning jars with lids. Fill with the egg and cheese mixture. Place the lids on but only to fingertip tightness to prevent the jars from shattering. Submerge the jars for one hour, then enjoy straight from the cup.

These recipes are just a brief selection of the wonderful ways that you can experiment with your new sous vide cooker. If your mouth is already watering, then it’s time to get cracking on making your next sous vide treat.

Eight Best Food Substitutions to Eat Healthier

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It’s actually much easier than you might imagine to add more healthy foods into your diet. There are lots of things that you probably eat and drink on a regular basis than can be easily substituted for brilliant alternatives with far less fat, sugar and calories.

Here are eight foods that you can easily replace, provided by fitness expert Lloyd Wells – working together with kitchen specialists Halcyon Interiors.

  1. Substitute peanut butter with almond butter

Peanut butter is one of life’s great pleasures and trying to give it up in the name of healthy eating is a step too far for money people. The sad truth is that the peanuts aren’t actually the problem. Sure, peanut butter contains quite a lot of fat (16g for two tablespoons) but it’s actually a very good source of omega-6 fatty acids which are important in maintaining strong bones as well as improving metabolism. But peanut butter is mass produced product and you will struggle to find a brand that doesn’t add large quantities of sugar and salt as well as unhealthy oils.

This is why almond butter can be a great way to get the delicious flavour of peanut butter without the added rubbish. Almond butter also has plenty of omega-6 fatty acids but it also has higher level of additional nutrients as well better levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Because of almond butter’s reputation for being a healthier nut, you can easily find brands without anything added which will be much better for you. Always check the ingredients to be sure, of course, and ideally opt for a jar with just the single ingredient: almonds.

  1. Substitute potato with sweet potato

Did you know that potatoes don’t even count as one of your five-a-day? With barely any nutrients, vitamins or minerals, potato is simply a starchy source of carbohydrates, so it’s not adding anything healthy to your body. On the other hand, sweet potatoes are nutrient dense, and while they contain slightly more sugar than potatoes they are also lower in calories and carbohydrates and higher in fibre.

Equally, potatoes are relatively flavourless which often means you’ll be tempted to add other unhealthy ingredients to improve them (think about the butter in your mash potato and the oil and salt on your chips). Sweet potato tastes great on its own and can be improved with spices which are much better for you than salt.

Sweet potato can be swapped for potato in almost any meal you can think of. Perfect as mash, wedges, fries or to put in dishes like curries, it’s really easy to add sweet potato to your diet.

  1. Substitute sugary drinks with coconut water

Drink a standard 330ml can of Coca Cola and you’ll be treating your body to 35g of sugar. That’s the equivalent to eating a bit more than two tablespoons of sugar. You could switch to diet or low sugar alternatives but the problem with these is that they are full of chemical sweeteners which might well be worse for you in the long term.

So if you’re looking for a delicious alternative – how about coconut water? A can of coconut water still has around 9g of sugar, but those are naturally occurring. Even better, coconut water is full of nutrients like potassium and magnesium which is great for your body. Of course, almost any drink is better for you than a sugary fizzy drink but coconut water adds minerals to your diet.

  1. Substitute sour cream with Greek yoghurt

You’d be surprised how often you can switch sour cream with Greek yoghurt without any noticeable difference to the flavour. This is great news because yoghurt has much less fat and far fewer calories than sour cream. Yoghurt also features more protein than sour cream, so you’ll actually get more out of eating it.

You can make the substitute whether you’re adding using it within recipes, adding it to your fajitas or creating sauces. Try it out and you’ll be very pleased with the results.

  1. Substitute croutons with nuts

When many people want to change their diet, one of the things that they will inevitably try is to incorporate more salads. Salads are a great way to increase your vegetable intake, which is always going to be great for you, however, where people tend to fall down is they will add loads of croutons and salad dressing, both of which are high in fat and don’t offer much in the way of nutrients – they are just empty calories.

So how do you ensure that your salad stays healthy? You can swap out the dressing for a vinaigrette and it will still taste fantastic. For the groups you can simply add a few nuts instead. They’ll give you the same crunch that you’re looking for, with the added bonus of having more protein and plenty more vitamins and minerals than croutons.

  1. Substitute spaghetti for courgetti

Vegetable substitutions for pasta and noodles are becoming increasingly popular. Instead of high-carb white pasta like spaghetti you can use ‘courgetti’. All you need is a spiralizer and it’s easy to turn veggies like courgettes into a brilliant substitute for traditional pasta. Not only are you getting rid of the nutrient-free calories of white pasta, you’re gaining all the benefits of courgette.

If you’re not a big fan of courgettes you could also use aubergine, carrots or squash as a brilliant pasta alternative. Try them out with different meals and sauces to see which combination works best for you.

  1. Substitute rice with cauliflower rice

Much like the vegetable alternatives to pasta, you can also find healthier veggie substitutes for rice. Cauliflower rice is one of the most popular. Rice, while filling and starchy, doesn’t really contain any valuable nutrients and is also high in calories. Cauliflower rice, which is actually quicker to cook, is far lower in calories and contains the goodness of the cauliflower.

A word of warning: for best results with cauliflower rice you’ll need to fry it rather than boil it. For this it’s best to use a healthier oil like coconut oil and to use it sparingly, otherwise the benefits will be outweighed by the negative aspects.

  1. Substitute cereals with oats

Most mass produced cereals have an extremely high sugar content – even apparently healthy options like cornflakes and bran flakes surprisingly still have sugar added. Try having oats instead either as a homemade muesli or heat them up for a delicious porridge. Again, you’ll have to resist the temptation to add a big spoonful of sugar though – try naturally occurring sweetness like dried fruit or jam instead.

Use an Old Paper Bag to Ripen Your Avocados in a Flash

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Avocados are a real superfood – you’ll find them packed with feel-good carbohydrates and a plethora of healthy fats. Of course, the avocado stands out for more than its satisfying taste and nutritional benefits; it’s also one of those fruits that is a nightmare to get right when you’re trying to choose between ripe and green.

It’s hard to walk through the supermarket and find an avocado that doesn’t either feel like it’s tougher than concrete or like it’s made of slush. Luckily enough, you can make your avocados ripen faster than ever when you get home, and all you need is a paper shopping bag.

What you need to do is take a normal brown paper bag and put your unripe avocado inside with another piece of fruit. It usually works best to use either a banana or an apple, and these will ripen up a little too into the bargain.

When you combine these fruits within the confines of a paper bag, something wonderful starts to happen. It might sound odd, but the two fruits will start naturally exchanging ethylene gases inside the bag. This is ripening teamwork, and it makes both items nice and ready for use sooner than you’d imagine. If you need to whip up a smoothie or prepare some guacamole, you don’t have to worry about unripened avocados.

Just make sure you use a paper bag instead of a plastic one. The paper bag does more than help your two pieces of fruit exchange gases – the trick is that it lets just enough of that gas out through its slightly porous surface. Using a plastic bag instead will not have the desired results, so remember to keep it paper.

We love finding out new ways people can put our popular paper bag products to good use after they’ve been employed during a good few shopping trips. As ardent foodies without the patience to sit around and watch fruit ripen, you can bet that this is one of our favourite paper bag hacks yet!