Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Healthiest Ways to Cook Your Vegetables

The 3 Healthiest Ways to Cook Your Vegetables

 slowcooker-border

  1. Slow-Cooking

Slow-cooking vegetables is one of the gentler ways to prepare them, which makes it an excellent choice.

 

You might lose some nutrients that leach into the slow-cooker water, but that’s only a problem if you don’t use the water. Fortunately, most slow-cooker dishes (soups and stews) make good use of the water.

 

Keep your slow-cooker lid closed tight to trap the steam, which helps vegetable nutrients get into your body instead of going to waste.

 

Consider stirring in some healthy fats (like olive oil), which help your body absorb “fat-soluble” vitamins found in vegetables (vitamins A, D, E, and K).

 

You don’t have to leave veggies in the slow cooker for too long — just throw them in for the last hour. It’s a great way to cook your vegetables without over-exposing them to heat.

 

 

  1. Steaming

steamed-veggies-border

Steaming is an extremely gentle cooking method without a lot of water loss. This helps vegetables keep their nutrients.

 

Vitamin C is one of the easiest vitamins to destroy. But a 2006 study published in the journal Food Additives & Contaminants found that steaming broccoli didn’t damage its vitamin C content.

 

Steaming is a simple way to cook without using fats. But this so-called health benefit could come back and haunt you…

 

Many vitamins in vegetables (vitamins A, D E, and K) are “fat soluble,” which means your body absorbs them better with fat.

 

So if you eat steamed vegetables without adding fat, your body won’t absorb those important nutrients!

 

You can avoid this by adding healthy fats like coconut or olive oil to your steamed vegetables — they taste great, and help your body get the most out of every vegetable.

 

  1. Frying

stir-fry-border

Did you know that frying your vegetables is actually one of the healthiest ways to cook them?

 

There isn’t any water to drain, so you don’t have to worry about losing vitamins and minerals that way.

 

Frying takes high heat, but it cooks vegetables in a short period of time. You throw them into a pan, cook them, and take them off before they lose nutrients.

 

A study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found that fried potatoes had the same vitamin C content as raw potatoes. And vitamin C is one of the most vulnerable to heat!

 

The biggest issue with frying comes down to the oil you choose to fry with.

 

Processed or hydrogenated oils (the ones fast food restaurants use) are DESTROYED by high heat. They stress your system and make you inflamed.

 

Coconut oil is a better choice. It’s one of the most stable healthy fats you can cook with, and holds up even in the high heat of a frying pan or wok.

 

None of This Matters If You Aren’t Eating Enough Vegetables (Here’s How!)

 

While steaming broccoli might be better than boiling it, eating boiled broccoli is light years ahead of NOT eating any broccoli at all!

 

Every cooking method has its pros and cons. It’s easy to get caught up in the details… and lose sight of the big picture.

 

A better question you can ask:

 

“How can I make vegetables a regular part of my life?”

 

It’s easy to get bored if you’re eating the same meals every day. Or frustrated when you’re exhausted from work, short on time, and don’t have any idea what to make.

 

What can you do?   Watch our blogs. Great recipes are put out all the time.  Call us or write to us and ask for a personalized healthcare plan, just for you!  We are here to help you.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Slow Cooker Honey Bananas

honeybananas

Slow Cooker Honey Bananas

 

Need a healthy treat? These healthy slow cooker honey bananas should do the trick! Slow cooker recipes are a great option for dessert because they alleviate the need to spend hours baking in the oven. During the hot summer months, you can enjoy a sweet, fresh dessert without heating the entire kitchen up. And during the winter months, these gooey, sweet bananas taste cozy and delicious.

 

Dessert is always a challenge for people trying to eat healthy. Many options are loaded with saturated fat, refined sugar, and plenty of calories. Many dieters assume dessert is a no-no until they reach their goal weight, but eliminating all the foods they love only aggravates their sweet tooth more. Instead of cutting out all desserts, find healthy options that allow you to indulge without ruining your efforts. There are plenty of ways to turn everyday fruit into an indulgent treat without overdoing it with fat and calories.

 

Best of all, when you choose fruit for dessert, you boost your nutrition intake even more. There isn’t much good for you found in cookies, cakes, and candy, but when you incorporate fruit into your dessert, you get more vitamins and minerals into your diet. What could be better than enjoying a sweet treat AND improving your health?

 

Looking for other health dessert options? Try our selection of mini serving desserts or whip up one of these delicious dishes here or here.

 

 

Slow Cooker Honey Bananas

Minimum Slow Cooker Size: 2 quarts

 

Yields: 8 Servings | Serving Size: 1/2 Cup | Calories: 109 | Total Fat: 1 gm | Saturated Fats: 1 gm | Trans Fats: 0 gm | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 1 mg | Carbohydrates: 27 gm | Dietary fiber: 2 gm | Sugars: 18 gm | Protein: 1 gm | SmartPoints: 6 |

 

Ingredients

 

 

4 bananas

1 tablespoon coconut oil

3 tablespoon raw honey

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1/2 teaspoon crushed Cardamom Seeds

Chopped hazelnuts or almonds for sprinkling (optional)

Directions

 

Put coconut oil in slow cooker, turn on and melt if needed.

 

Peel bananas and cut diagonally in 1/2″ slices.

 

Place bananas in the slow cooker.

 

Sprinkle lemon juice and cardamom over bananas. Add honey.

 

Stir to ensure bananas well coated without breaking.

 

Cook on low for 2 hours.

 

Sprinkle with nuts if desired. enjoy!

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Jambalaya : Slow Cooker

jambalaya

Jambalaya

Slow cooker

Ingredients

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef or chicken broth

1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste

3 celery ribs, chopped

2 medium green peppers, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

5 garlic cloves, minced

3 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

2 teaspoons dried basil

1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1-1/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 pound smoked sausage, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices

1/2-pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Hot cooked rice

 

Directions

In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, broth and tomato paste. Stir in the celery, green peppers, onion, garlic and seasonings. Stir in chicken and sausage.

Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in shrimp. Cover and cook 15-30 minutes longer or until shrimp turn pink. Serve with rice.

Freeze option: Place individual portions of cooled stew in freezer containers and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary. Yield: 11 servings.

Feel free to share with family and loved ones.

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Low Carb

slowcookerbeef

Slow Cooker Beef Brisket and Vegetable Recipe for Low Carb Diet

 

Beef brisket is a meat staple in the US, particularly in Southern states. It is usually cooked in one of two ways – by braising, a long slow process of cooking the meat in liquid typically in a slow cooker or Dutch oven or on the BBQ also called smoking, a long slow process of dry cooking. The key to both is the “long slow” part, which breaks down the tough connective tissue in the beef, resulting in meat that is succulent, tender and flavorful. The Slow Cooker is most easily used for braised brisket, but if you use this recipe and you want to go for the drier type that is closer to a barbecue or smoked brisket, put all the vegetables on the bottom, as noted below. The meat will then sit on top instead of being submerged in the juices. The vegetables will be somewhat overcooked, but either way will be tasty from the broth.

 

Ingredients

One beef brisket, around 3½ to 4 lbs (you can ask your butcher to cut it in half if it’s too big)

1 tablespoon smoked or regular paprika

½ teaspoon chipotle powder if using regular paprika, ¼ teaspoon cayenne if using smoked paprika

1 tablespoon coriander or 2 teaspoons cumin (just depends on which flavor you like better)

2 teaspoons garam masala OR 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon allspice

1 and ½ teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons pepper

2 packets sugar substitute (Splenda or Truvia preferred)

1 medium onion, sliced

1 large or 2 small-medium celery root (celeriac), peeled and cut into largish chunks (how to peel celery root)

2 large stalks of celery, chopped

1 bay leaf

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

¼ cup (4 tablespoons) tomato paste

¼ cup sugar-free ketchup

Preparation

  1. Trim most of the fat off the brisket, but no need to be fanatical about it.

 

  1. Mix the spices and sweetener together and rub the meat on all sides with the mix. Refrigerate the meat for anywhere between and hour and a day, and take it out half an hour or so before cooking.

 

  1. Very lightly oil the bottom of the slow cooker, and add the onion, bay leaf, and garlic. If you want to raise the meat, also add the celery root and celery.

 

 

  1. Spread the tomato paste on the bottom of the meat – this would be the non-fat side. This is to keep the paste from scorching on the bottom of the slow cooker.

 

  1. Put the meat on top of the vegetables of choice (fat side up), and add the rest of the vegetables to the top if you are braising.

 

  1. Cook for 9-11 hours on low.

 

  1. When the meat is tender, remove the meat and vegetables from the pot, and arrange on a platter. Stir the ketchup into the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings. You might want a touch more salt, spice, or sweetness.

 

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Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

Slow-Cooker-BBQ-Pulled-Pork-1

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
Yields: 8 Servings | Serving Size: 1/8 of entire recipe | Calories: 221 | Total Fat: 6 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 79 mg | Carbohydrates: 15 g | Sodium: 592 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugars: 13 g | Protein: 28 g | SmartPoints: 6 |

Ingredients

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
4 pork loin chops

Directions

Mix together all of the ingredients in the slow cooker, except the chops. This will create the barbecue sauce.

Please note that this makes a lot of sauce. If you feel it’s too much, simply save some of it for another use, but do not reduce by more than half. Place the chops in the sauce and cook as directed.

Cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours or high for 2 to 3 hours, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches at least 165 degrees. Meat should easily pull apart when done.

Optional: Garnish with red onion and add a slice of provolone cheese to each sandwich.

Foods

Crock Pot Chili

crockpotchili

Crock pot Chili
YOU’LL NEED
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
3 cups diced tomatoes, fresh or packaged in BPA-free cartons
3 cups cooked kidney or pinto beans or 2 15-ounce cans low-sodium or no-salt-added kidney beans
½ cup water
2 tbsp chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
½ tsp oregano
Dash of cayenne pepper or to taste
Add meat of you choice, or not!
INSTRUCTIONS
Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.
SERVES 4
140 calories, 2 g fat, 30 g carbs, 47 mg sodium, 9 g fiber, 11 g sugars, 7 g protein
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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

oatmeal

OVERNIGHT SLOW COOKER CINNAMON APPLE OATMEAL
There’s something so deeply satisfying about oatmeal. The perfect balance of creamy and chewy, it’s totally filling (thanks to all the fiber in oats) without making you feel heavy. Add extra apples and forgo the brown sugar to make this dish even healthier. (Check out our guide to nine tasty toppings to boost your morning oatmeal here!)
YOU’LL NEED
1 cup steel cut oats
1½ cups coconut milk
1½ cups water
2 apples (cored, peeled, diced)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon (Saigon or Vietnamese Cinnamon, not USA)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Optional for Topping
Additional cinnamon or brown sugar
Chopped nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.
Fruit such as banana slices, fresh apple, or berries
HOW TO MAKE IT
Spray the inside of your slow cooker with oil thoroughly. This step is very important!
Add all ingredients to the slow cooker – oats, coconut milk, water, apples, brown sugar, coconut oil, cinnamon, and sea salt. Stir to combine well.
Cook on low for 5-7 hours depending on your cooker. Some take longer and some are faster. We recommend trying a test run during the day to see how long your slow cooker takes before trying overnight.
Serve and allow to cool. If desired, add toppings of your choice.
SERVES 6-8
(nutritional info for 6 servings)
253 calories, 18 g fat (15 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 91 mg sodium, 24 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 11 g sugars, 3 g protein
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Foods

Slow Cooker Cheesy Lasagna

slowcookercheesylasagna

Slow Cooker Cheesy Spinach Lasagna Recipe

Yields: 12 servings | Serving Size: 3-4 cup size slice or 1/12th of total recipe | Calories: 269 | Previous Points: 5 | Points Plus: 7 | Total Fat: 9 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 19 mg | Sodium: 302 mg | Carbohydrates: 34 g | Dietary Fiber: 5 g | Sugars: 11 g | Protein: 12 g |

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (5 ounce) package baby spinach or 6 cups packed baby spinach
  • 2 (24 ounce) Jars marinara sauce, no sugar added
  • 1 cup reduced fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup (part skim) mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 12 whole wheat lasagna noodles, uncooked (break in half)
  • Fresh basil for garnish

Directions

Add oil to a large skillet, add spinach and cook over low heat just until wilted, about 3-5 minutes.

Combine in a medium bowl ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and oregano.

Add 1 cup marinara to the bottom of the slow cooker. Next, add a layer of broken lasagna noodles, spread 1/4 of cheese mixture over noodles, next top with 1/4 of wilted spinach. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients are used up. I prefer to add cheese last.

Cover and cook until noodles are al dente and cheese is bubbly. Cook on low-heat 4-5 hours or high heat 2-3 hours. Remove the lid and add parmesan to the top. Turn off the slow cooker and allow the casserole to sit for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve garnished with fresh basil and additional parmesan, if desired.

Recommend a 6 quart slow cooker, or approximately that size.

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