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5 Tips For Choosing The Best Masticating Juicer For Your Personal Needs

Many people today prefer masticating juicers to other types of juicers in the market because of their low speed of operation and the fact that they are always quiet while operating but I believe that choosing the best masticating juicer is something personal. What I mean is that the best juicer for me might not be the best juicer for someone else if it fails to serve them based on their personal requirements.

So, the best masticating juicer for me will have to be the one that has all that I’m looking for in a juicer. Let me quickly give you the 5 most important things to look for in a juicer.

1. Cleaning – Most people prefer to have a juicer that is very easy to clean after each use. A juicer that is difficult to clean or takes time to clean make juicing unpleasant for some people because after juicing, they have to waste so much time cleaning the juicer. When you want to decide which juicer to buy in the market, you should look for one that has dishwasher safe parts. Doing this will make cleaning a breeze for you.

2. Noise – While this may not be an issue for some people, it is definitely one of the most important things you want to look for in a good juicer. How much noise does it make while in operation? Generally speaking, masticating juicers are known to operate quietly but the best masticating juicer must be the one that makes the least noise.

3. Space – You will want to consider the size of the juicer you are buying if you are the kind of person that doesn’t have much space left on the kitchen counter. In which case, a portable juicer that doesn’t require much space will be most suitable for you.

4. Durability – In buying juicers, you always have two options at least; the first options is to go for a cheap one and then have to change it in just a few months thereafter. The second option is to buy one of a better quality which lasts for years. The result is that the amount you will end up spending on three to four cheap juicers in three years will be more than the price of buying a single high quality juicer that will last you for those same three years or even more.

5. Affordability – Despite the fact that I want you to get a high quality juicer, it has to still be of a reasonable price. It should not be unnecessarily expensive but definitely not too cheap because you might end up sacrificing quality for quantity, which is not a good thing to do.

Having to search for the best masticating juicer for you while looking for all the above by yourself might be a bit more tedious than you would expect.

How to Take Care of Frozen Meat

Of the many ways that help saving you money, one way is purchasing large packets of meat that a number of grocery stores sell at discounted prices. Buying large quantity of food enables you to cook many meals. The trick in case of meats is to know how to freeze it appropriately.

Unless meat is frozen in the correct manner, it is likely to get freezer burns. The meat that you buy must be put into the freezer as soon as you bring it home. Before sending it to the freezer, you should trim off its fat. It is important that you carefully wash and dry your hands, as well as the container for the storage of meat, in order to eliminate any chance of the meat getting contaminated with bacteria.

For the storage of meat, you need to use specifically made freezer bags, where you can keep the meat enclosed in a foil or plastic sheet. You may also make use of specially made plastic containers for this purpose. It helps to use wax paper for separating different pieces of meat. If you don’t intend keeping food items in the freezer, make sure that you thoroughly wrap the meat. Most meats won’t get spoiled for a couple of months when you store them in freezers.

Here are some useful tips for freezing meats. Always clean seafood before freezing it. Clams need to be shucked prior to freezing, though it is not essential in the case of oysters. Thawed meat can be refrozen, though it may affect its quality to some extent. It is imperative to freeze meat in packets of appropriate size, so that the meat will get frozen within 24 hours, lest it should go bad before getting completely frozen. One packet should contain not more than three pounds of meat.

When you want to defrost any food, keep it within the refrigerator and let it defrost slowly. Though you may also defrost it by putting it in the microwave oven, the quality of the meat defrosted in the refrigerator is better. Ensure that the item is firmly wrapped and kept over another pot to prevent juices of the frozen item from leaking into rest of the foods that the fridge may contain.

The best way to ensure that the quality of the frozen meat will stay the same is to mark the name and date of freezing on its packaging. By following this practice, you can conveniently find out how long the product has been kept frozen, allowing you to decide if it can further be kept in the freezer or if it should be consumed. Another important aspect of freezing meat is to clean the freezer every six months. Cleaning ensures the freshness of frozen foods.

Mood Foods: Foods That Affect Your Mood

You can create the right mood within yourself by eating specific foods, and avoiding others. That is because when you eat well, your body produces natural hormones that make you feel good. For instance, serotonin is a chemical created by the brain that is a neurotransmitter (allows messages to pass back and forth in the brain) that curbs hunger and boosts a positive mood. Dopamine is another chemical produced by the brain, and this one is a pleasure reward. Some foods are particularly good at combating certain mental problems.

Stress: Stress kills, but there are ways you can naturally reduce your stress levels by eating certain foods. Chocolate is not only good for your heart (the darker the better), but by consuming it regularly, it reduces stress hormones, including cortisol, which is a naturally steroid that your body creates to deal with stress, but it also decreases bone formation and suppresses the immune system. Chocolate also contains anandamide, a neurotransmitter that blocks pain and depression.

To give your mood a boost carbohydrates are essential, but carbs are something that gluten-intolerant people might not be getting much of. Gluten-based foods account for most carbs, but not all of them. People who cut carbs out of their diet entirely are more likely to become depressed. The key to getting carbs to work the most for you is to eat them without proteins or fats. Proteins and fats suppress the amino acids in carbs that turn into serotonin.

Another way to tackle depression with food is to eat a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables, which are rich in anti-oxidants, and fish, because of the omega-3s. There is something about those two things that help stave off depression. Omega-3s also have serotonin, as well as dopamine. Omega-3s also help with good brain health.

Bananas are great for your mood. They also contain dopamine, are rich in B vitamins, including B6, which helps calm a person, and magnesium, which helps boost positive moods. Swiss Chard (and some other leafy greens) also contains magnesium. Magnesium has so many health benefits it would require an article just to deal with some of them. Bananas also contain tryptophan, which is converted to serotonin by the B6, which not only helps create a positive mood, but also helps you sleep. Tryptophan is also found in chocolate, oats, asparagus, dried dates, yoghurt, meat, fish eggs, poultry, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, chic peas and peanuts.

Selenium is a mineral that helps prevent irritability, anxiety, tiredness and depression. It can be found in Brazil nuts, oats, tuna, sunflower seeds, whole wheat bread, pork, beef, lamb, chicken and turkey, as well as some mushrooms.

For women who suffer through PMS, saffron has shown in studies that it reduces the symptoms of the menstrual cycle by at least half, particularly mood swings and depression.

Cognitive Functions: Caffeine is my personal wonder drug, and I could not imagine starting my day without at least two cups of coffee. Studies show that black, green, or oolang teas are excellent at improving focus. These three types of tea contain amino acids that, when combined with caffeine, work together to boost attention span. Coffee has several neurotransmitters that seem to work with mood, reducing the odds of suicide by half (according to studies). Coffee also causes your brain to release BDNF, which helps with brain health.

Oysters have a reputation as being an aphrodisiac, and that reputation is not without merit. Oysters also contain selenium, as well as zinc, which boost energy levels and help with good brain health, as well as an amino acid called tyrosine. The brain uses tyrosine to produce chemicals that enhance mental functions and improve mood.

Mussels are rich in vitamin B12 (as are eggs, cheese, milk, meat, poultry, and fish), which are important for retaining good brain health. The B12 helps preserve the myelin sheath, which insulates brain cells. This will help keep you sharp as you get older. Mussels also contain zinc, selenium, and iodine, which are vital to regulating your thyroid. Farmed mussels are better than wild ones.

Purple berries have their dark colour because they contain anthocyanins, an anti-oxidant that helps the brain produce dopamine, which is critical for coordination, memory, and moods. Blue potatoes also contain anthocyanin.

The skin of a tomato contains lycopene, which is a fat-soluble phytonutrient (plant-based chemical that is good for human health) that protects the brain fat and stops the buildup of compounds that cause inflammation that is linked with depression. Because it is in the skin, cherry tomatoes will give you more of lycopene.

Foods to Avoid: Nitrates can cause migraines and tension, and there are studies that show a link to cancer. They are found in processed meats, like hot dogs, and in some fruits & vegetables, though the natural kind seems to be beneficial to your health, according to studies done. The reason nitrates are used in processed meats is to prevent bacteria from growing and to keep fats from going rancid. When those nitrates are brought to a high heat, they form nitrosamines, which are a known carcinogen.

Processed sugars should be avoided at all costs. Numerous studies show a link between sugar and unhealthy levels of blood fat. It can lead to dyslipidemia, which include higher triglycerides and lower HDLs (the good cholesterol), which creates a high risk factor for heart disease.

High Calories Foods That Are Good for You

When we say foods are high in calories, we think they must be unhealthy. The foods that we have mentioned are very dense in calories but they are still a healthy diet in moderation. We need at least some dietary fat for our hormones to function properly and to absorb minerals and vitamins. Doctors recommend not less than 15% fat from your diet. Check out the following healthiest fat and high cal foods.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is the best alternative to stick on margarine and butter, it is very important to keep serving size in mind. Just one tablespoon of olive oil has 120 cal. Yes olive oil is high in fat, it is high in mono-unsaturated fat and it has several health benefits including maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, and Alzheimer’s. You can use olive oil with salads, roasted veggies and as a replacement for margarine.

Homemade Granola

It is one of the foods that have always been classified as healthy. It is important to check the nutrition facts on granola package. Mostly it is made with natural ingredients such as oats, nuts and seeds; granola is full of nutrients. These are high in calories about 300 cal per half cup. Homemade granola is best way to enjoy it from guilt free. Keep your serving size to ¼ to ½ cup and you can enjoy with plain yogurt or milk.


Creamy, smooth and nutritious avocado have it all. They are full of vitamin C and K, potassium, fiber and many other nutrients. A half avocado gives you 15 gm of the good monounsaturated fat, and despite technically being a fruit, they have almost no sugar (0.2 gm per one half). Keep in mind a whole avocado ranges between 300 and 500 cal.

Almond Butter

Like granola, almond butter is yet another rich in nutrients food you can enjoy, but it can be loaded with added sugar and fat. Nuts generally are high in cal, around 190 to 200 calories per handful. One serving size of almond butter (2 tablespoons) has about 4 gm of protein, 2 gm of fiber, and 18 gm of fat. It also has iron, vitamin E and magnesium. A little bit of almond butter goes a long way- one serving size has up to 200 calories. Avoid reduced fat versions of almond butter, because they actually have higher sugar content. Plus, try to buy almond butter with the fewest added ingredients, and the low in sugar and sodium contents. Natural brands usually have fewer additives compared to their commercial counterparts.

Dark Chocolate

Most of us have heard it: dark chocolate is good for you. It is full of nutrients and antioxidants plus it may help lower your blood pressure and can control blood sugar level, and additionally boost your mood. One bar of chocolate can have around 530 cal. Munch on one bar throughout the week or pick up individually wrapped dark chocolate for 50 cal a piece. While these foods are high in calories, they certainly can be part of a diet that promotes health and of well-being.

How to Be a Better Cook

I grew up in West Virginia and I learned to cook the foods common to that area. Then I moved to California where the food choices tend to be a lot different. Some of the recipes I grew up with are definitely not considered edible by many. I had to learn to cook all over again.

Read: I was taught the “pinch and handful” method of cooking. In fact, we had one cookbook that I knew of. I now have a copy of that cookbook but I have quite a few more in my collection.

The first step towards being a better cook is to read cookbooks. Yes, I mean plural. The Joy of Cooking is a great one to start off with because it covers several cuisines and has very informative information about supplies and techniques.

If you find an area you want to specialize in, buy cookbooks that cover that area only. I have quite a few because the culture in California is diverse and because I can find the ingredients for several cuisines fairly easily.

Watch: This is how I first was taught. I watched my mother, grandmother and aunts. Now we have another way of learning. There are many on-line videos that show how to do just about anything you want to learn and that includes cooking. Watching a video can help make your first attempt successful.

Experiment: Try something new. Put a new twist on an old favorite. Get the expensive balsamic vinegar instead of the cheaper kind… it does make a difference. Being a better cook means getting your hands (clothes and kitchen) dirty. By the way, you may want to invest in a few bib style aprons. They help prevent clothing from being stained.

The Emergency Pizza: Not all experiments turn out edible. Believe me, we have been there many times. I am still accused of serving lawn clippings instead of pesto… even though I followed the recipe. It actually tasted like lawn clippings. (It didn’t help that I’d also mowed the lawn that day… )

Keep something in the freezer for these occasions. We keep a pizza and usually a few other items for days when the experiments don’t turn out. That way we don’t end up going hungry because the chef tried something new.

5 Foods to Make With a Toddler

There are times when we have to barricade off the kitchen so meals can be prepared safely. The toddler definitely wants to be where the action is and doesn’t realize that some of her actions could seriously harm both her and the person cooking. That doesn’t mean she should be prevented from cooking… just that we have to be careful.

Why cook with a toddler? Children in the toddler age range have a lot to learn about their bodies. They need to develop gross and fine motor skills, which cooking can provide. They will also absorb some science as the food is being prepared.

What to Make

1) Pie Crust Cookies: The easiest way to do this is buy prepared pie crusts. Mine fall apart to easily to make a decent cookie. The benefits are learning to use cookie cutters. It’s a plus that this idea isn’t as full of sugar as some of the others.

2) Instant Pudding Parfaits: Using a whisk is going to be messy at first but it will help a toddler learn how to hold the whisk and increase hand strength. Get two flavors of boxed instant pudding, mix them and then layer them in a glass, clear plastic cup, etc. I recommend newspapers on the kitchen table to help prevent a huge mess.

3) Bread: Making bread will help with gross motor skills and strengthen the hands and arms. This process has a science bonus. Let the child see how the yeast causes the bread to rise. It will seem like magic to them in a way, but it opens the door to chemistry.

4) Peanut Butter Cookies: You can buy the dough already made or make them from scratch. I prefer the latter but the reason it’s a good one to make with the children is the crossed fork prints. This will help with fine motor skills.

5) Hot Dog Roll Ups: All you need is a packet of hot dogs and the crescent roll dough on the biscuit aisle. This allows the toddler to use fine motor skills to roll the hot dog into the dough.

Best Sausages to Eat

Most of us are unaware that milk is used in the processing of sausages. Though meat is generally considered a dairy-free product, milk constituents are used in the preparation of sausages, especially the light colored varieties.

You should check the list of ingredients listed in the sausage packaging if you are prone to milk allergies or are lactose intolerant. Don’t buy the product if any of the items you ought to stay away from appear in the list. If there is no packaging then it is always better to ask the employees in the butcher’s shop or delicatessen or bakery. Most of them would be able to guide you on the constituents of the meat and the preparation method. If they are unable to help, then it is a good idea to steer clear of these consumables.

It has been noticed that low priced sausages have a higher probability of containing dairy ingredients as compared to premium ones which have a higher percentage of meat in them. So if you are unable to find them while browsing through the store’s standard section, ask the attendants for the premium products and you may just get lucky. If there are no milk-free options available in sausages, you can opt for other varieties of meat. Cold cuts from roasts are generally a safer and delicious alternative.

Besides sausages, dairy ingredients are also found in hot dogs and luncheon meat. Producers also frequently use Casein as a meat binder. Moreover, slicers in delis may be used for both cheese and meat in which case it is a safer bet to avoid buying from that store. Another variety that you may avoid if you suffer from severe milk allergies or lactose intolerance is beef. According to the US-based Food Allergy Research & Education, though most people with dairy allergies can eat beef without any problem, one study showed that nearly 8% of children with milk allergies also developed adverse reactions to this product. So if you prefer to err on the side of caution, you may choose to skip beef completely from your menu – though we would suggest you get some tests done before you start to curtail your food options. Your doctor would be able to help you decide if you ought to skip beef at all.

There are quite a few companies that manufacture dairy-free sausages and hot dogs. You may make a readily available list of locally available produce and items that are safe to eat. This will help you avoid any time wastage or undue stress in pouring through the list of constituents and then deciding on your purchase. Your doctor or dietitian can also easily guide you on the manufactures and the products you can eat with impunity.