Working Safer And More Efficiently In The Kitchen

dicing-vegetables

The kitchen can be a dangerous place if you are not careful. There are a lot of different cooking tasks that can pose a risk, mainly to our fingers, if we forget to pay full attention to what we are doing. It is easy to get distracted or rush as we are trying to cook a healthy homemade meal for the family, and this is where we can get in trouble. Using a dull knife can also increase your risk for an emergency room visit. This is where having the right appliances can really save us. Even the most experienced chefs still get cut by the slip of a knife, so why do amateurs insist on trying the same thing. Do you fingertips a favor and invest in a food processor. Not only will they help protect from accidental cuts and nicks, but they are also quite helpful and can save you a lot of time. If you have not looked at what today’s food processing machines can do then you might be surprised with just how versatile they really are.

How A Food Processor Can Help

There are many different areas in which having one of these machines at your disposal can help, but the two main ones are saving time and enabling you to put down the knife and get away from the cutting board.

Time Saver

If you prepare a lot of meals that require you to cut, dice, mince, or slice different vegetables into smaller pieces then using a food processor is definitely the way to go. The best rated food processors usually have wide feed chutes that can accommodate larger sized foods. Simply dropping your veggies into the machine with the appropriate cutting disc will enable you to make quick work with a consistent size. This will more than likely reduce your work load in this area by more than half. If your recipes seem labor intensive then using one of these will be a real blessing.

Safety Features

Most of today’s top models also have some sort of safety lock that ensures that the blades of the food processor will not operate unless the lid is securely in place. This will allow you to quickly chop and slice your way through your recipes without worrying about hurting yourself. The only real area of concern will be removing the blades for cleaning. This is something that should be handled with care. But not only are today’s food processors quick but they are also extremely safe, although kids should not operate them without strict adult supervision, or preferably not at all.

Other Uses

Food processors are not just for cutting vegetables either. You can mix dough, make batter, grind nuts, make salsa, shred cheese, puree sauces, make bread crumbs, and a whole lot more. With a variety of paddles, blades, and other attachments, this is one appliance that you can use in multiple areas of the kitchen. It is truly a great value buy for your home. When you have control of the ingredients you also have control over how healthy that your family eats. Make homemade nut butter, and healthy salsa without any of the preservatives that may be found in store bought brands. Looking out for your family’s diet is also a way to keep them safe in the long run.

Are They Expensive?

Just like any type of small kitchen appliance, food processors come in all shapes, sizes, and price points. Cuinsart makes some of the most popular model food processors and they run somewhere in the middle on price. Not super affordable, but not out of reach expensive either. One of these will run you between $100 and $250 depending on the size and the power. But they are worth it. Most reviews have Cuisinart ranked as the top option. Their scores and reviews from owners are nothing short of impressive and you know when you get one of their machines that you are getting high quality.

Breville makes a superb model (the BFP800XL) but this is going to cost quite a bit of money. While they are highly rated by owners for their power, reliability, and performance, they will cost about $400 which puts it out of reach for a lot of buyers.

The best budget options are going to be Hamilton Beach and Black & Decker. They both make models that deliver a lot of bang for the buck and are a definite asset to just about any kitchen. These can usually be had between $40 and $80 and they offer great value for the price. These are also great options for first time buyers who are just not sure how often they will actually use their food processor.

Your Fingers Will Thank You

Why risk a serious mishap when there is a way to put down the knife for good for just about any cooking task. Having a food processor, and using it correctly, will help you reduce the risk of accidents in the kitchen as well as speed everything up. As long as find one that fits your budget and the size of your family, then you are going to come out ahead in your home.

Overcoming The Taste Of Broccoli For The Greater Good

benefits-of-broccoli

Broccoli is one of those vegetables that a lot of people cringe at the thought of eating. However, if you truly knew just how powerful of a veggie it truly was then you might think twice at turning your nose up at it. It is one food that can have a positive impact in various areas of the body that might make you think twice. A simple resolution of consuming more broccoli can have a profound benefit to your overall health that should make the effort to get over the bland taste worth it in the end.

Potential Benefits

As one of the healthiest vegetables, nutritionists and health organizations recommend that you eat it several times a week. You can either eat broccoli raw or steamed for 4- 5 minutes. Extended cooking destroys most of the essential nutrients, and you should avoid it. Broccoli is an abundant source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Selenium, Phosphorous, Potassium, and Magnesium.

Broccoli is also a potent source of dietary fibers, Vitamin K, Folate, Sulforaphane, Chromium, and Vitamin B6. The chemical compounds indole- 3- carbinols, glucoraphanin, and carotenoid lutein are also potent in broccoli. Some of the health benefits of this vegetable include:

1. A Healthy Heart

Sulforaphane in broccoli helps to prevent or even reverse damaged blood vessel linings caused by inflammation. Carotenoid Lutein is known to prevent the rate of arterial thickening thus limiting heart diseases and stroke. Vitamin B6 and Folate in broccoli are also useful in preventing stroke, heart attacks, and atherosclerosis.

2. Anti- Cancer

Broccoli has robust anti-carcinogens such as beta-carotene, Sulforaphane, Selenium, Indoles, and other phytonutrients. Research shows that indole-3- carbinols assists to convert estrogen from a more potent form to a less strong one, thus prevent the growth of tumors, especially in the breast. Studies have also shown that indole-3-carbinols increases the level of 2- hydroxy estrone, a form of protective cancer estrogen.

Indole-3- carbinols not only prevents breast cancer growth but curbs the movement of cancerous cells to other body parts. Sulforaphane provides protection to people whose genes are colon-cancer susceptible. Studies have shown that anti-cancer properties can be increased when paired with Myrosinase enzyme containing foods such as horseradish, mustard, and wasabi.

3. Immune System

Ascorbic acid, the substance that gives broccoli a purple or green color, beta-carotene, and other minerals such as phosphorous, selenium, copper, zinc, and other trace minerals are powerful immune boosters. An occasional cup of broccoli will be enough to bolster your immune system and resist infections.

4. Detoxifier

The presence of amino acids, Vitamin C, and sulfur makes broccoli a perfect detoxifier. It contains twice as much Vitamin C as in an orange, and this gives it potent antioxidant properties in clearing toxins such as uric acid from the body and keep problems related to toxins such as rashes, gout, itches, boils, rheumatism, arthritis, and so forth, at bay.

Vitamin C in broccoli not only fights free radicals but acts as an antihistamine to ease the common cold discomfort and helps you to live longer.

5. Nervous System

The high amount of potassium in broccoli helps you to maintain a healthy nervous system and assists in promoting an optimal brain function. Potassium also helps to promote muscle growth.

6. Promotes Digestion

Constipation is the origin of a myriad of stomach complications. Broccoli has high fiber content which helps you prevent constipation and get rid of a majority of stomach ailments. High fiber content in broccoli also helps to curb overeating and maintain the level of blood sugars. A cup of broccoli contains as much protein as a cup of corn or rice but with half calories.

Magnesium and Vitamins found in broccoli help to get rid of the stomach acidity aids your digestion and assists the body in absorbing nutrients from the food.

7. Bone Health

Broccoli has as much calcium as whole milk. In addition to this, the Vitamin K also present helps in bone formation. The vegetable is helpful to kids, expectant mothers, seniors, and people at the risk of osteoporosis.

8. Vision

Vitamin A in broccoli helps to promote the retinol molecules formation and enhances color vision. Lutein helps to lower the risk of cataracts that comes with aging.

9. Blood Pressure and Sun Damage

Magnesium, Potassium, and Calcium are an essential blood pressure regulators. Glucoraphanin is instrumental in repairing sun damaged skins and in assisting the skin to detoxify itself.

10. Fights Aging

Vitamin E in broccoli is one of the most important Vitamins in the fight against aging and keeping you vitalised. The powerful fat soluble antioxidant helps to clean the arteries, rejuvenate the immune system, and slow down blood and brain aging.

11. Fights Depression

Folate deficiency can cause problems like poor memory, fatigue, depression, and schizophrenia (a mental condition). You can keep these problems at bay by consuming broccoli.

Getting Creative

I found myself in the same boat as folks who just did not like the taste of this green vegetables. But if you exercise a little creativity, then it is much more palatable. If you do not like eating your vegetables, then juicing is one alternative. Adding a few florets of broccoli into your juicer will enable you to get most of the benefits while covering up the taste with other sweeter ingredients. This is the way that I consume most of my broccoli and it has worked great. It’s been the best of both worlds. I get the nutrition without having to really taste it. Broccoli is best raw as extended exposure to heat will break down the nutrients and you will lose some of its health aspects. This is why we always recommend juicing them. Even if you drown them in your favorite salad dressing, getting more broccoli into your diet is always a good idea.

Starting Off With The Simple Wonders Of Apple Juice

apples-juice

In your quest to life a more healthy lifestyle, it is important to start with little steps first. Something as simple as cutting back on sugary sodas and replacing it with a more natural source of sugar is something that is easy achievable. With that in mind, one of the more popular juices that can really give your diet a boost is that of the apple. Whether you throw a couple of them into your own juice extractor, or you pick up a bottle at the grocery store, apple juice packed with several nutrients that can positively impact your health.

Everyone loves a glass of crisp cold apple juice from fresh-squeezed fruit. However, the benefits of apple juice go beyond the sweet taste, ranging from preventing deadly diseases to providing you with essential fiber for weight management. In addition to fiber from the peels, unfiltered apple juice contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that improve your metabolism as well as protecting you from chronic health conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Compared to other fruits commonly consumed by Americans, apples have been ranked second for highest antioxidant content. Furthermore, apples have the highest number of free phenolic compounds, which means they are easy to absorb as they are not bound to other compounds in the apple.

Don’t Forget The Pulp

Fruits (and fruit juice) are most nutritious when taken whole as the peels contain a majority of the nutrients in the fruit. Unfiltered apple juice is rich in polyphenols, which protect you from illnesses while slowing the aging process. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, more than a third of the fruit’s beneficial compounds are found in the peels, including 80 percent of quercetin – one of the main polyphenols in apples. Clear apple juice is however lower in these essential nutrients. Also, the fiber in the peels keep weight gain in check while improving your overall gut health.

Protection from chronic diseases

Given the high amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, apples are the best choice of fruit for anyone seeking to avert chronic diseases. The polypenols in apple juice have been shown to protect brain cells against oxidative stress, and may play an important role in slowing the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Also, consuming at least three servings of apples and other fruits such as grapes and blueberries has been found to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 7 percent. This may be attributed to the fact that apples are excellent blood sugar regulators as they reduce the absorption of glucose in the digestive tract, stimulate secretion of insulin in your pancreas, and facilitate uptake of glucose from your bloodstream.

Consumption of apple juice also keeps cancer and heart disease at bay, thanks to the numerous anti-inflammatory compounds. Asthmatics may also benefit from apples as studies have shown that quercetin significantly reduces the production of histamines, which are the main cause of allergic flare-ups that result to asthma attacks.

When not to take apple juice

Although apples and apple juice protect you from a myriad chronic conditions, you should take them with caution, especially if you are insulin/leptin resistant. Similar to most fruits, apples contain fructose, which may cause certain chronic health conditions when taken in excess. Apples contain a relatively high amount of fructose, approximately 9.5 grams in a medium sized apple, while apple juice will contain more. For people who are insulin/leptin resistant (about 80 percent of Americans), it would be advisable to limit your fructose intake to 15 grams, which amounts to one apple and a few blueberries. However, you can find a way to take more apple juice by timing your intake. Taking a glass of apple juice after a meal may have a different effect compared to taking it after a workout. After a meal, the apple juice is likely to lead to weight gain as you add calories and sugar to your bloodstream. In the latter case, however, the apple will replenish your glycogen stores, which were depleted during the workout.

Selecting apples

Since most of the antioxidants are contained in the apple peels, you will want to consume your apple juice cloudy and unfiltered. For this reason, ensure that you get organic apples which have not been grown using pesticides and other harmful chemicals. If you have to buy them, briefly soak them in a 10 percent vinegar solution to help remove some pesticides and eliminate bacteria on the surface. However, if you have space to grow a few apple trees, you can use organic agricultural practices to keep you safe from chemicals that may counteract the many health benefits of apples and apple juice.

Whether you want to improve your health, need a post-workout drink, or simply want to fight off the summer heat, apple juice is a terrific choice. If you can juice the apple yourself in juicing machine, the impact will be even greater.