Give Your Toaster Oven A Workout With These Easy Recipes

If you love to cook then you already know that the journey to health starts in the kitchen. Now, there are more than a few kitchen appliances that can help you in your quest for preparing healthy food. None of them, however, are as versatile as a toaster oven. Even though the name might suggest it, a toaster oven does much more than handle slices of bread. It can be an indispensable kitchen appliance because it can be used to prepare a variety of different healthy yet tasty meals.

From baked fish to oil-free kebabs there are absolutely no shortages of healthy recipes that you can cook using this versatile machine. To help you get started, following are 3 toaster oven recipes that are both healthy and tasty.

Greek Frittata

Frittatas are amazingly tasty and packs in a whole lot of protein, vitamins, and minerals. They are not that difficult to prepare and serve as a great breakfast option. The great thing about the dish is that it contains healthy amounts of veggies. It presents the spinach, scallions, and tomatoes in a way that they are not just palatable but are downright delicious. Here’s what you need to do to make Greek frittata at home.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 2 ounces of baby spinach
  • 4 ounces of crumbled Feta cheese
  • 2 thinly sliced scallions
  • a pint of halved baby tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly crushed black pepper
  • 5 large eggs

Preparation:

The first thing you need to do is preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Now you need to add the olive oil in a casserole and put it inside the oven. Let it simmer in the heat for about 5 minutes. While that happens, start whisking the eggs in a bowl along with salt and pepper. Make sure that the salt and pepper are mixed consistently before adding all the veggies and then stir some more. Add the cheese to the mixture and keep stirring it gently. Now, all you need to do is take out the casserole out of the oven and pour in the entire mixture. Bake it for about 20 to 25 minutes. A perfect frittata should be nice and brown around the edges and should rise up ever so slightly.

Roasted Asparagus

If you are tired of having bland-tasting salad every day, then this recipe is for you. The recipe is very simple to make and serves as a great snack. It can even be served as a side dish along with grilled meat.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Stalks of fresh asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • few pinches of freshly ground black pepper
  • a couple of slices of lemon

Preparation:

Start off by preheating the oven to 425 degrees. Wash the stalks thoroughly and wait till they are completely dry. Put the uncut stalks of asparagus on the toaster oven tray and then drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on top. The reason we are sticking with extra virgin is because it gives the asparagus a much smoother taste and the oil itself is much healthier than regular olive oil. Roast the bunch for about 15 minutes turning them once around the half way point. Once done, sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper on top. Serve alongside the lemon slices.

Whole Wheat Pizza

Eating healthy doesn’t always mean you have to give up having your favorite food and settle for bland meals. Pizza is everyone’s favorite. Unfortunately, there is no debating the fact that traditional pizzas bought from neighborhood corners are starchy, oily, and generally unhealthy. However, you can easily prepare a healthier version at home that’s just as tasty using your trusted toaster oven. A simple switch to whole wheat pita bread from traditional white bread pizza bases lowers the calorie count and increases the amount of fiber. Here’s what you need to do.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Whole wheat pita breads
  • Half of a medium sized onion
  • 1 medium sized tomato
  • one half yellow pepper
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • sugar-free pizza sauce

Preparation:

Dice the onion, tomatoes, and pepper. Put the pita bread inside the oven to make it slightly warm. Once warm, spread half a tablespoon of sauce on the bread. Take half of the veggies and sprinkle them on top. Top if off with ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese. Now the pizza is ready to go inside the oven. Keep it in the heat until the cheese melts.

Get Yourself a Toaster Oven

We understand that it is hard to find the time to cook, especially when you have to look after little kids.  It is much easier to just go through the drive-thru and order a kids meal.  Today’s top countertop ovens offer users a quick and easy way to prepare a home cooked meal all while saving money.  If you do not have one of these small appliances then it is worth looking into buying one.  One that we use and highly recommend is the Breville BOV845BSS. After reading the Kind Green Planet toaster oven guide it was an easy choice to make.  The current crop of countertop ovens are a terrific way to treat your family to healthy and nourishing meals without slaving over a hot stove or full sized oven.  A toaster oven is well worth the investment for delicious tasting dishes that your kids will actually enjoy.

Getting The Most Out Of Your New Juicer

For those who have never owned or used a juicer, there are few basic tips that can help you get the most out of your juicing experience. Not only will you save time, but it will also help you hit the ground running and well on your way to improving your dietary intake of nature’s raw nutrients. Below are just some of the ways that you can better enjoy hassle-free juicing.

Choose Organic

When possible, choose organic. Organic fruits and vegetables do not contain the pesticides that commercially grown does. It has also been shown in some studies to contain more nutrients. Organic usually costs more so if it’s not in your budget it okay. Use a produce wash easily found in most grocery stores. You may also feel more comfortable just peeling the skin from commercially grown produce.

Veggies, Veggies, Veggies

Try to juice mostly vegetables. Fruit contains a lot of sugar. Most of us don’t have a problem getting enough fruit in our diet so keep fruit in your juice to a minimum. When first starting out, you may need a little extra fruit in your juice before you learn to love some of the flavors. Using green apples is the best choice because they tend to contain less sugar.

Wash Your Produce

Washing your produce can remove unwanted residue. First, wash your hands as you normally would before handling food. Always wash your produce before you cut it. Run produce under plain, running water for about a minute, using a produce scrub brush. If you feel more comfortable using a vegetable wash, they are easily found in the produce section of your grocery store. Always discard the first layer of leaves from heads of cabbage or lettuce as well.

Peeling

We previously discussed peeling your non organic produce. Generally, you should also peel your citrus. Interestingly, you should leave as much of the white rind between the peel and the fruit. This white flesh is called albedo and is high in antioxidants. Always peel mango and papaya because their skins contain strong irritants. An easy rule of thumb is if you don’t eat it when you eat the fruit whole, don’t juice it.

You can also juice beet greens, celery leaves and small grape stems. Be sure to discard larger grape stems because they will dull your juicer. Do not juice carrot or rhubarb greens because they contain toxic substances.

Remove Pits and Seeds

Seeds and pits should be removed and discarded from mangoes, peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, etc. Softer seeds from melons, grapes and cucumbers can be juiced. There is some evidence to show that apple seeds are harmful in some quantities so I remove them to be safe.
Storing

Ideally, your juice should be enjoyed immediately but we all have busy lives and jobs and kids. I store my juice in a glass mason jar in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Melon and cabbage juice spoils quickly so plan to be ready to drink those immediately. Don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t drink it right away. I believe that the benefits of juice that is a few hours old is more than if you decided to grab something full of preservatives.

Take Full Advantage

You may have spent a lot of time trying to find the ideal juicing machine for your family. Knowing what you are doing will make the experience more rewarding. Hopefully some of the above will help kick start your journey into juicing. The process can be rather beneficial and something that will help you look and feel better. Now is the time to stop making excuses and to take the plunge and see what juicing can do for your body and your mind. Check out the video below for more juicing advice and tips.

Why Jogging Is Still So Good For You

As a foodie, it is pretty obvious that we like to eat, however it can get your diet into trouble at times. While we love to indulge from time to time, it is important to lead a healthy and active lifestyle to counterbalance our efforts in the kitchen. This is why we decided to hit upon some exercise ideas, in particular jogging. We have been runners for years, and we even take our kids along with us. Let’s see what getting outside and moving can do for your body.

Millions of people around the world go jogging everyday for various reasons. Jogging can have a positive influence on a person’s overall fitness levels. While most people take up jogging to lose weight, some simply jog because they enjoy it but there are a lot of other benefits of running that aren’t always discussed.
It is good for the heart

There are reports floating around that jogging can cause heart attacks. These are unfounded according to most cardiologists and medical researchers. What studies have found about the impact of jogging on the heart is that it can actually reduce the risk of heart attack. Statistically speaking 5 out of 400,000 people who participate in marathons have had heart attacks and those 5 might not have had those attacks because of the physical exertion but merely because of some underlying cardiovascular condition they may not have been aware of hence the need to consult with a medical doctor when you decide to take on some sort of exercise.

Not only can jogging reduce the risk of heart disease but also strengthens the cardiovascular system, improving blood circulation and enabling your lungs to function as efficiently as possible. The British Heart foundation has also estimated that jogging can help curb 10,000 heart attack each year.
It strengthens bones

Jogging involves a high degree of impact on the joints. Your bones have to absorb five times the weight of your body with each stride. At the end of each long jog or marathon, a runner would have lost a centimeter of their length as a result of the repetitive pounding of muscle, tightening and compression of the vertebrae. This fact has been used to sell a lot of home exercise equipment that promises minimum impact on bones. According to the National Osteoporosis Society running is actually one of the best way to strengthen your bones. The shrinkage that occurs is only temporary.
Jogging makes the lungs work more efficiently

An average person’s lungs work unusually harder when they are jogging than when he or she is sedentary. The increased intake of oxygen gets the cardiovascular system working harder and with time, the system will get stronger and work more efficiently with the lungs. It might be hard at first to get the rhythm of running and breathing right but with time, it becomes effortless.

Burns Calories

The most common reason for people to start jogging is because it’s the simplest cardiovascular exercise around. All you need is a pair of comfortable running shoes, comfortable sweats and a road to run on. Sometimes, it is not even a road but a track through the woods. Simply put, it’s the next progression that a person who needs to shed weighed can make from simply walking. Running at a pace of ten minutes per mile can burn an average of 4 calories per hour for every pound of your own body weight. This means you can burn 580 calories per hour. You cannot do this with walking, cycling or swimming.

You should, however, note that you lose a liter of fluids with every hour spent running so it is important to drink water and also important not to jump on that scale immediately after a run because you will get false results.

It increases your body’s metabolic rate

Research has found that the efficiency with which your body burns fat is significantly raised during a run. This metabolic rate continues to be elevated even after a run.

Involving the kids

From a young age we wanted our children to understand the virtues of exercise and fitness. We did not want them to grow up and be couch potatoes or be glued in front of a computer screen. We invested in a jogging stroller so that we could take them with us and get them out of the house. This had the added benefit of not having to find a sitter while we worked out. We love these pieces of equipment and highly recommend them to active parents. If this is something that you might be interested in using with your own children then we recommend reviewing the latest running stroller ratings to find something that you can afford. They can be quite pricey but they are worth every penny.

As our children grew, we started taking them on short runs and longer walks to spend time with them and to give them a proper example of staying active. Hopefully this is something that they take with them as they get older, but it has been a great bonding experience and a cool way to spend time together as a family.

Get Running

Overall jogging is more than just a means to lose weight but it has been known to be effective at boosting mental performance. Most people do not know that when they jog endorphins are released in the body. This is what causes that “good” feeling after a run. Regular jogging relives the body of stress. Jogging does more than help you lose weight, reduce your blood pressure or give you a momentary high – it can actually increase your lifespan. By making a simple commitment to jog for a few minutes or hours a day at a pace that is comfortable for you, you can change your life for the better.