Food Fridays

Food Friday: Tips & Tricks in the Kitchen

Over the years of living on my own and my interest in food and cooking, I have come across several tips and tricks in the kitchen. Some from famous chefs like Michael Smith and Jamie Oliver and some from who knows where. Hopefully they help you! 

Avocado - Buying too many avocados at once and can't eat them fast enough before they go bad? Leave them out until they are ripe, then just pop them in the fridge until you want to indulge. They will stay fresh for much longer!

Peanut/nut butters - Don't want the mess of the separated oil in organic all natural nut butters? No worries! Simple store the jar in the fridge upside down before opening and it mixes itself. 

Smoothies - Love creamy smoothies but can't eat banana like me? Try adding a quarter to a half an avocado you had stored in the fridge and you get a similar creaminess to a banana, without tasting the avocado. Or soak chia seeds for 5 minutes in water and add to the smoothie mixture. Yum!

Ginger - Adding more ginger to your cooking for the warming or immune benefits? Just store it in a tupperware container in the freezer. When needed, scrape the peel off with the back of a spoon and grate more easily without it getting stringy. Voila!

Tomato - Its soon to be tomato time again (if the cold ever ends!) but make sure you aren't storing yours in the fridge. The juiciness/freshness just won't be the same!

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Mango - They are oh so delicious. I usually get it EVERYWHERE, like I am a little child eating ice cream but I finally was shown a better, cleaner way to eat it. Just slice off both sides from the pit, next slice the "meat" on each side in cubes, then scoop out from the skin. Just as good, without the mess...almost.

Steel cut oats - Heard the benefits of this less processed, fiber rich breakfast, but discouraged due to the time commitment? Just boil water before you go to bed, add oats, remove from heat and cover overnight. In the morning you will have ready to go oats. The perfect breakfast with cinnamon, ground flax seed, blueberries and nuts. Or even some of that sliced mango. (Around 1.5-2 cups/half cup oats - fine tune depending on your oats and liking - store in your fridge for the week.)

Flax seed - High in good omega 3 fats, lignans and fiber and great to add to oats, smoothies, muffins etc. However, ground flax seeds gets oxidized quickly overtime (a reaction we don't want), therefore its best to ground your own and store in the freezer for the week.

Egg replacer - Sensitive to eggs but want to do some baking? 1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flax seed soaked in 3 tbsp warm water for 5 minutes. Add this combo when the recipe calls to add the eggs.

Tomato paste - Only need 1 tbsp for a recipe? Freeze 1 tablespoon portions using ice cube trays, then store in a ziplock in the freezer until needed. No waste!

Kale - Discouraged to add kale to salads, soups, smoothies because of the little extra work there is to "de-stem" and wash the nutrient pack leafy green? I like to prepare a bag of kale on the weekends, de-stemmed and washed, so it is an easy addition like my spinach and mixed greens. 

Those are some of my tips and tricks. What are yours?

Yours in health,

Dr. Karen

March is Nutrition Month!

I have always had a passion for food. Dinners out at exciting new restaurants, trying local cuisine when travelling, home cooked chili and cornbread, chocolate…you get the picture. However, over the past several years I have developed a passion for not only food, but healthy nutritious food that tastes great too! 

Nutrition is the building blocks to a healthy body, and a key component to Naturopathic Medicine. We need a complex array of nutrients - vitamins, minerals, amino acids, complex carbohydrates, fats etc – for our cells to function optimally. There are numerous reactions that occur within our body every second to detox, digest, contract, send signals, and without the necessary nutrients, we cannot provide the energy to do these things.

We tend to bombard our bodies with simple sugars, carbs and caffeine that are easy to grab on the go and give us a jolt of energy, however most of them are void of any nutritional value that our digestive system can breakdown slowly and use later on for fuel.

Instead, we should be enjoying our colourful nutritious meals in a stress-free environment, taking time to properly digest. I stress colourful, as the more colours we eat, the more variety of nutrients we eat. I mention a stress-free environment, as we want to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for “rest & digest,” as oppose to the sympathetic nervous system, “fight or flight,” which we all know too well.

In the spirit of nutrition month, I want to inspire you to take small steps towards implementing more healthy choices in your diet, with Food Fridays! Look out for tips or recipes to introduce to you the healthy nutritious food that I am passionate about, and hopefully you can become passionate too.   

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Yours in health,

Dr. Karen