We love our slow cooker (crockpot) all year round but it holds more appeal over spring and summer. Heating the oven to cook dinner every night just makes us more hot and miserable and we end up running the air conditioner to counteract the heat.
If you use your slow cooker your house will stay cooler and cleanup will be a breeze. Following are some of our favorite warm weather recipes that will keep you cool:
There is something so delicious and uplifting about spring recipes. After a long and dreary winter spring brings back the sun along with a tasty array of fruits and vegetables. Days get longer, the air warms and eating outdoors is a wonderful option. To help you enjoy your spring we have compiled a few websites that offer some of the most wonderful spring recipes.
Everyone has a few recipes that they love but never make because of the fat content. You can reduce fat by using less butter or oil than what the recipes calls for. It is possible to make some common sense reductions or substitutions to salvage your favorite recipes so you can enjoy them without the guilt.
Try these tips to reduce fat in your recipes:
Cheese. Use reduced fat cheese.
Milk. Use low fat or skim milk.
Cream cheese. Use low-fat Neufchatel cheese or low-fat ricotta.
Frosting: Replace butter or shortening with marshmallow cream.
Butter. Use applesauce, egg whites or plain yogurt.
Eggs. Swap each egg for two egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute.
Cream. Use a one to one swap with evaporated skim milk.
Sour cream. Use plain or Greek low-fat yogurt.
You’ll need to test these substitutions to make sure that the texture and taste of the finished product is acceptable.
The season in which fresh fruits and vegetables are available vary somewhat based on your location. However, there are some seasonal lists available thanks to our friends from Fruits & Veggies… More Matters(r). Take a look at these lists for more information:
Cranberries are a staple of the holidays but they can be enjoyed year round. Cranberries are a fruit that grows only in specific circumstances. They are grown in bogs or marshes that are kept wet throughout the year. Periodically the bogs/marshes are flooded with water.
Cranberries are packed with nutrition including vitamin C, manganese, dietary fiber and other micronutrients. They are very tart and most often are combined with sugar to make them more palatable.
Below you’ll find some healthy cranberry recipes that you can make with your leftover cranberries from the holiday!
Georgia is the top pecan producer in the United States because the grow about 100 million pounds every year. Pecans are the only native American tree nut. Pecans are filled with fiber, potassium and magnesium. They also are a natural source of vitamin E and help lower cholesterol… and who doesn’t love pecan pie?
To celebrate National Georgia Pecan Month make at least one of the following healthy pecan recipes for your family.
Who doesn’t love popcorn? Salty or sweet popcorn is always a treat. This celebration of popcorn was celebrated for many years but became an official “holiday” month in 1999.
Popcorn has such an interesting history. Popcorn was used in Aztec Indian ceremonies beginning in the 16th century. Popcorn poppers that pre-date Inca Culture were found in Peru and much later American colonists ate popcorn as a breakfast cereal. How interesting is that!
Popcorn itself is a whole grain that is gluten-free, sugar free and non-GMO. Americans alone eat about 17 billion quarts of popcorn a year. Although popcorn itself is low calorie it is often served in a way that makes it unhealthy.
To make healthy popcorn treats take a look at these recipes from Popcorn.org.
Forget acorn squash and butternut squash. The latest food fashion for fall seems to be focused on strange, new and old squash varieties. Some varieties of squash are from the past and others are imported from other countries. These varieties of squash can look similar to the squash we are used to and others look very strange.
A vegetarian diet has many benefits including reducing the suffering of animals in factory farms around the world, a reduction in heart disease, cancer and stroke, a decrease in body weight and a decrease in cholesterol. To celebrate Vegetarian Awareness Month in October plan on making some changes to the way you eat.
If you are not a vegetarian follow these tips to celebrate the month:
Replace one meat based dish each day with a vegetarian dish.
Choose one day a week to have only vegetarian meals.
Introduce a new vegetable to your family meals each week.
Cook more often with grains.
If you are vegetarian you can celebrate by:
Bring a vegetarian dish to the office to share with your co-workers at least once during the month.
Try a new vegetable at least once a week.
Organize a neighborhood pot luck with only vegetarian meals.
Increase the number of fruit based meals you consume during the month.
Many people don’t realize that mushrooms are a type of gilled fungus that grows with our without stems above ground in the soil or on another food source. There are many varieties but they all produce tiny spores that spread the fungus on the ground.
There are many varieties of mushrooms, each variety has a unique taste but all of them are healthy and nutritious. They are fat-free, gluten-free, low calorie and contain vitamin D, riboflavin, niacin, selenium and potassium. Many people use mushrooms as a meat substitute.
There are many recipes that include mushrooms and below you’ll find a few of our favorites.