10 Healthy Tips & Benefits of Grilling

Healthy Grilling

Grill, baby, grill. The leaves may be changing color and the mercury may be falling, but it’s still great grilling weather. From burgers to brats, you’ve got a lot of great options to sear and savor. The best part is, grilling isn’t just fun, it can actually be good for you too.

5 Health Benefits of Grilling

There are health benefits to cooking your food on the grill versus on the stove or oven. We’ll go over some of the health benefits and give you some tips to serve up some tasty and healthy meals this fall. Let’s start with the five health benefits.

1. You Eat Less Fat

When you grill, you eat less fat because the excess drips off the grates. Think about cooking a burger on the grill versus in a pan on your stove-top. On the grill, the fat cooks off. In a pan on the cooktop, the fat has nowhere to go, so it pools and is eventually re-absorbed by the meat.
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Ice Cream Maker Recipe: Peach Frozen Yogurt

peach frozen yogurt

The Cuisinart frozen yogurt, ice cream & sorbet maker was rated by Consumer Search as one of the best ice cream makers available. This unit allows you to make ice cream in a speedy 15 to 20 minutes, and even watch the entire process through the transparent lid. According to reviews, consumers say that they enjoy the model’s ease of use, and consider it to be an excellent value. This isn’t a one trick pony though! In addition to making frozen desserts, this ice cream maker also lets you create your favorite frozen beverages, including  strawberry daiquiris and pina coladas.

Here in Texas, the summers mean two things: hot weather and peach season. Fresh peaches are hard to beat, but peach ice cream is without question the best thing about summer. Here’s a lightened version to share with friends and family:

Summertime Peach Frozen Yogurt*

Ingredients

2 cups fresh diced peaches
2 cups low fat vanilla yogurt
⅓ cup sugar

Directions

  1. Mix the peaches, yogurt and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Turn on your ice cream maker and pour in the ice cream mixture.
  3. Let your ice cream maker run for about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Serve with peach slices.

Makes eight ½-cup servings.

*Recipe adapted from the Cuisinart ice cream maker owner’s manual.

Is it Better to Make Baby Food from Scratch?

Baby Brezza Baby Food Maker

With celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian, Tori Spelling and others touting the benefits of making their own baby food, baby food makers are creating a huge buzz in the press lately. Most fads surrounding the Hollywood scene don’t have staying power, but this time they are definitely onto something.

Making your own baby food is great for your baby, because it allows you to know exactly what your little one is eating. You can maximize the nutrition count while avoiding the preservatives, additives and other potentially detrimental ingredients. In fact, the benefits of making your own baby food span beyond just health. In doing so, you are eliminating the use of all of the packaging, which ultimately reduces your family’s environmental footprint. And, possibly the best benefit of making your own baby food, you will end up with extra cash in your pocket! Recent studies show that you can save 50% or more on your baby food costs if you make it yourself at home.

The Baby Brezza baby food maker is an all-in-one solution, perfect for busy moms. Simply add your ingredients in the bowl, set your steam time and let the baby food make take care of the rest! The simple automated process steams and blends the food for you. Worried about creating a mess? Don’t be. Both the bowl and blade are dishwasher safe. Furthermore, the BPA and phthalate-free construction ensures that this product is safe for your kids.

Here is a great recipe from Baby Brezza for children 6 months & up:

Homemade Baby Food Recipe: Sweet Potato & Banana Puree

Ingredients

1 Medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice (2 cups, 10 ounces)
1/2 Small banana, peeled and sliced (1/3 cup, 1-1/2 ounces)
Optional: cinnamon or nutmeg to taste

Directions

1. Steam sweet potato for 20 minutes
2. Add banana and puree to smooth
3. Remove from bowl and add water, breast milk or formula to desired consistency
4. Optional: Stir in cinnamon or nutmeg to taste

Yields: 13 oz.

Top Commercial Products: EdgeStar Portable Fridge Freezer

EdgeStar 63 Qt Fridge Freezer

Our 63 Qt. portable fridge freezer by EdgeStar is going to be featured in Berks County Living Magazine in the upcoming months. This magazine targets the outdoor life of residents in the camping and sportsman community of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Portable fridge freezers are one of the most popular and highly-liked appliances available in the market. Lots of the users, especially people who are into road traveling and sports, prefer to have one portable fridge freezer with them. If you are into any kind of business or work that requires you to spend a lot time traveling and moving from place to place, especially during hot weather where there is a great need of cold drink, then without any doubt this portable fridge freezer is an ideal choice for you.

Secondly, while traveling in some areas it is quite impossible to get fresh and hygienic food. Having a portable fridge freezer with you allows you to keep fresh and healthy foods with you during your trips, so you don’t have to survive on fast food or waste money at restaurants.

Living Green for Earth Day

Earth Day is Sunday, April 22, and to help bring awareness, we’re going to discuss two things you can implement in your home to help the environment.

Composting

Compost consists of organic matter that has been decomposed down into a rich, fertilized soil. Because of its nutrients, it serves great use in organic farming and gardening. There are several benefits to composting at home, including the reduction of wasted space at landfills and its use in your own lawn and garden.

Compost BinComposting, the process of creating compost, requires four things to effectively decompose the organic matter: carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and water. An easy way to keep your compost healthy is to provide a 50/50 mix of dry, brown material and wet, green material. The process will require you to mix the pile often to provide oxygen. You should also make sure it gets enough moisture, otherwise the decomposition process will take longer.

There are several options to get started with composting at home. You could get a large wooden like the one pictured (Exaco ECO Composter), a taller, black bin like this GeoBin which is easy to setup and affordable, or a solar heated cone system that comes with a kitchen caddy as well. Explore these and other composters on our site.

What Can I Compost?

Here are some examples of thing you can compost. Remember to try and feed your compost with a good 50/50 mix of dry, brown and wet, green materials. Really, almost everything that was living at some point can be composted, but some things may take longer to decompose.

FruitDry/Brown (Carbon-rich material)

– Fall leaves
– Small twigs and branches
– Paper coffee filters
– Shredded paper (newspaper, office paper, etc.)
– Paper towels
– Wood chips

Wet/Green (Nitrogen-rich material)

- Fruit and vegetable peels (or whole ones that have gone bad)
– Coffee grounds
– Tea bags
– Egg shells
– Plant trimmings and fresh leaves
– Cooked plain rice or pasta

Depending on the size of your compost, you could have rich soil ready to go in 3-4 months, or 5-6 months for larger piles.

Rain Water Collection

Rain BarrelAnother way to help the environment and save you money is to implement a rain water collection system (also called rain harvesting). The concept is that you collect excess rainwater from your home gutters during times of heavy rainfall and store it for use in your lawn and garden, especially through times of drought and water restrictions. Environmentally, you help lessen the amount of flooding that occurs on streets and lessen the amount of pollution that reaches our oceans through rainwater run-off. The run-off carries pesticides, oil and harmful, inorganic materials. Another added benefit is the use of rain water in your garden, where you’re feeding your plants soft water that doesn’t contain added minerals. Your plants will be happier!

The most common solution is a barrel that sits below your drainage gutters of your home. The barrel comes with a faucet where you can easily hook up your hose. They come in different colors and sizes to blend into its environment. For extra storage, you have the ability to connect multiple barrels together as well. Browse our selection of rain barrels on our site.

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For more ways to go green this year for Earth Day, check out our Pinterest board, Living Green!

Bread Machine Cranberry Wheat Recipe

Cranberry Wheat Bread

I got a bread machine a few weeks ago and have been on a bread-making craze ever since.  With everyone trying to eat healthier these days, it is great because I can control the ingredients that I put in the bread. Now I don’t have to worry about preservatives and I can modify recipes to make them lower carb or higher in fiber, etc.  There is just no end to what you can do and let’s face it, homemade bread just tastes better!

I tend to make several loaves over the weekend, one to start eating off of immediately and the rest I freeze so that I have them on hand as needed and don’t have to worry about running out and having to get store bought bread. The latest, and by far my favorite recipe so far, is a Cranberry Wheat Bread.  I use honey or agave nectar instead of sugar and apple sauce instead of butter.

Bread Machine Cranberry Wheat Bread

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
2 tablespoons apple sauce
2 cups bread flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients (except cranberries) in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select “Sweet Bread” cycly; press Start.
  2. Add the cranberries about 5 minutes before the kneading cycle has finished.

If you don’t have a bread maker, my favorite would have to be the CBK-200 Cuisinart 2-pound Convection Bread Maker. It has a mix-in option that tells you when it’s time to add in the cranberries (or whatever mix in you want), so you don’t have to guess. Makes it super easy!

Photo credit goes to Kathy.

Keeping Your Resolution to Get Fit in 2012

As the clock ticked to 2012, many of us pledged the same resolution we do each year and that’s to get in shape, lose the extra pounds from the holidays, and really, just lead an overall healthier lifestyle. With the help of a few key appliances, this year could be a lot easier to keep your resolution and stay motivated and all without even visiting a gym!

Check out these products that will aid in your transition to a healthier lifestyle in the New Year:

Kettler Exercise Bike1. Kettler Polo M Exercise Bike

By investing in a Kettler exercise bike, you’ll be able to work out on your own time and in the comfort of your own home. Exercising at home is great because it’s so much more convenient than driving to the gym and you can even catch a couple of episodes of your favorite TV show while burning a few hundred calories.

This model is perfect to track progress to your goal with the easy-to use display showing your calories burned, distance traveled and even your heart rate during the workout.

 

Deni Food Steamer2. Deni 3 Tier Digital Food Steamer – Stainless Steel

A food steamer is a great way to get started with a healthy cooking routine. Not only can steaming retain 50% more vitamins and nutrients than boiling, but another bonus is you can prepare your entire meal with just the use of this product.

The extra tiers on the Deni model allow you to steam everything from rice to seafood and, of course, vegetables all at the same time.

 

Cuisinart Electric Blender3. Cuisinart Smart Power 7-Speed Electric Blender

No kitchen would be complete without a multi-speed blender. The Cuisinart 7-speed electric blender is powerful enough to mix, chop, crush or pulse whatever healthy meal or snack you’re making.

Smoothies and protein shakes will be a beneficial addition to your new lifestyle and a breeze for this powerful blender.

 

I wish you the best of luck in staying motivated and reaching your goal this year — I know you can do it! Check out our full line of fitness equipment, steamers and blenders for additional options to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.