All posts filed under: Cooking Basics

Beets 101

A lot of people don’t know how to cook beets correctly, so they end up being tasteless blobs that turn your fingers red. This is a short, simple post on how to cook them correctly, which I learned from the PBS Victory Garden cookbook — which is one of the most comprehensive cookbooks on vegetables. Unfortunately I think it’s out of print. 😞 Here’s how to make beets so that they are not only completely tender, but extremely sweet. Cooking them slowly at low heat caramelizes the sugar in them and makes them taste almost like dessert. Roasted Beets This works for any amount of beets.  Our favorite are the golden beets. (yellow) Preheat your oven to 275º (yes, not a typo, only 275) I take a shallow pan, I use a ceramic one, and I cut the stems off the ends and trim any extra stuff. Do not peel them. Place them in the pan, and drizzle about 3 tablespoons of olive oil on top of them, I shake the pan around a bit …

Bad-Better-Best: Coffee Creamer

Here is something that confuses a lot of people.  What to put in coffee?  We were taught dairy was bad, and non-dairy creamer was glorified as “heart healthy”.  Guess what?  The last five – ten years of research has proven that the OPPOSITE is true.  Coffee-mate like beverages are the WORST thing you can put in coffee, and they contribute to obesity and heart disease, among other things.  They are full of partially hydrogenated oils/sugars/flavorings/stabilizers and chemicals.  THEY ARE POISON.   So, what’s better?  You’d be surprised. The best thing is black coffee, but if you’re like me, black coffee isn’t a taste that I love.  If you need a creamer, GRASS FED (aka “pasture raised”) organic heavy cream is best.  Why?  Well, first let’s undo the “saturated fat is bad” mindset we all got from years and years of hearing that it contributed to heart disease.  The enemy for heart disease, weight gain, metabolic syndrome and diabetes is CARB content, and guess what?  Heavy cream has ZERO carbs.  Next are flavored creamers that use dairy …

Bad-Better-Best: Is Butter Bad?

I’m starting a series of quick posts that cover easy modifications you should consider when eating.  Today’s is one of the simplest.  Choose the right butter! Want more information on WHY you shouldn’t eat butter or margarine, only pasture butter or ghee?   Check out my update on fats:  http://time2thrive.com/2017/11/16/update-on-fats-2017/ It also explains that there are many other good fats, see my posts about fats to see if your choices are among them. *Pasture butter is good for spreading, but ghee is clarified butter, so best for frying, sauteing and high heat applications. Next up:  coffee creamer, the good, bad and ugly  

Organic on the Cheap

So, a lot of people say to me “I just can’t afford organic”.  Besides the rationale I’ve already given in prior posts, (how much do you spend to go out to dinner?  movies? take out?  Why would you balk at spending that same amount on your food, the one thing that can energize and heal you?) here’s a source where you can get stock pantry items CHEAP, shipped right to your house, and save $$ in the process.  Thrive Market is the organic version of Amazon Pantry, and there are lots of other reasons to support it, and no relation to my blog, btw… (already a member?  see bottom of page to get a free maple syrup!) Thrive Market is the first socially conscious online marketplace offering natural/organic products at wholesale prices. For less than $5 a month ($59.95 annually), members can shop 4,000 of the highest quality food, supplements, home, personal care, and beauty products from more than 400 of the best brands on the market, all delivered straight to their doors at 25-50% …

Pan Perfect

Cooking and being organic is great, but it doesn’t do you a lot of good if you’re using a non-stick pan that causes carcinogenic or toxic substances to deposit on your food.  When I went to Food As Medicine, (an amazing medical conference about cutting edge nutrition research and how food can heal us), we got some great advice from their resident chefs, including basic skillets to purchase for your kitchen. The list is pictured at the bottom of this post.  But I will also add my 22 cents about other pots you should consider.  Here they are, in order of importance: A heavy but reasonably priced Cast Iron Skillet — They are honestly the BEST thing you can do for yourself.  They never warp, and the one we bought in 1975 at a garage sale we still have and use! I’ve gifted all my kids and their friends getting married with them.  You can find them online, they are not expensive, and the brands they have below (Lodge) are what we own. All-Clad or other …