Keto Dieting? Here Are 10 Foods You Must Have In Your Kitchen

The ketogenic diet is a very successful weight-loss program. It utilizes high fat and low carbohydrate ingredients in order to burn fat instead of glucose. Many people are familiar with the Atkins diet, but the keto plan restricts carbs even more.

Because we are surrounded by fast food restaurants and processed meals, it can be a challenge to avoid carb-rich foods, but proper planning can help.

Plan menus and snacks at least a week ahead of time, so you are not caught with only high carb meal choices. Research keto recipes online; there are quite a few good ones to choose from. Immerse yourself in the keto lifestyle, find your favorite recipes, and stick with them.

There are a few items that are staples of a keto diet. Be sure to have these items on hand:

  1. Eggs – Used in omelets, quiches (yes, heavy cream is legal on keto!), Hard boiled as a snack, low carb pizza crust, and more; If you like eggs, you have a great chance of success on this diet
  2. Bacon – Do I need a reason? breakfast, salad garnish, burger topper, BLT's (no bread of course; try a BLT in a bowl, tossed in mayo)
  3. Cream cheese – Dozens of recipes, pizza crusts, main dishes, desserts
  4. Shredded cheese – Sprinkle over taco meat in a bowl, made into tortilla chips in the microwave, salad toppers, low-carb pizza and enchiladas
  5. Lots of romaine and spinach – Fill up on the green veggies; have plenty on hand for a quick salad when hunger pangs hit
  6. EZ-Sweetz liquid sweetener – Use a couple of drops in place of sugar; this artificial sweetener is the most natural and easiest to use that I've found
  7. Cauliflower – Fresh or frozen bags you can eat this low-carb veggie by itself, tossed in olive oil and baked, mashed in fake potatoes, chopped / shredded and used in place of rice under main dishes, in low-carb and keto pizza crusts , and much more
  8. Frozen chicken tenders – Have a large bag on hand; thaw quickly and grill, saute, mix with veggies and top with garlic sauce in a low carb flatbread, use in Chicken piccata, chicken alfredo, tacos, enchiladas, Indian Butter chicken, and more
  9. Ground beef – Make a big burger and top with all sorts of things from cheese, to sauteed mushrooms, to grilled onions … or crumble and cook with taco seasoning and use in provolone cheese taco shells; throw in a dish with lettuce, avocado, cheese, sour cream for a tortilla-less taco salad
  10. Almonds (plain or flavored) – these are a tasty and healthy snack; however, be sure to count them as you eat, because the carbs DO add up. Flavors include habanero, coconut, salt and vinegar and more.

The keto plan is a versatile and interesting way to lose weight, with lots of delicious food choices. Keep these 10 items stocked in your fridge, freezer, and larder, and you'll be ready to throw together some delicious keto meals and snacks at a moment's notice.



Source by Katherine Palmer

Surprising Things You Can Make in a Rice Cooker

The humble rice cooker is one of those reliable home appliances that everyone has, whether they consume a lot of rice or not. A mainstay in most Asian homes, it has its own quiet corner in the kitchen, always ready to dish out a quick plate of fluffy rice. A standard rice cooker is configured to boil rice, sense when to reduce it to a simmer, then finally, lower the heat to keep the rice warm, without overcooking it.

It’s a smart and simple way to cook, so why stick to just rice? With a little experimenting and a patience, you can easily trick that little non-stick pot to cook a variety of meals, from one pot dishes to delicious desserts. Just think of it as a slow cooker; it may not be as fast as cooking on a stove top, but it’s definitely worth a try if you want to cook your favourite dishes with the least amount of supervision and an easy clean up.

Eggs

The rice cooker may not be the first appliance that comes to mind when you think of making breakfast, but in fact, you can cook a wide variety of breakfast foods in it. It is perfect for boiling a load of eggs at once, especially if it comes with a timer. Alternatively, whip up a few eggs in the rice bowl, throw in some frozen or chopped fresh vegetables and cook on the regular setting for tasty frittatas. Portion size will depend on the size of your rice bowl, but with a medium sized cooker, you can easily feed between two to three hungry people.

Porridge/Congee

Some brands do come with a porridge setting, if not, you’ll have to play around with the oats to water ratio before you perfect your recipe. You can add everything from spices to dried fruits, or even eggs and meat to your congee Just add the oats into the cooker to soak overnight and then turn it on in the morning for a quick breakfast.

Legumes

Soak dried beans and lentil overnight in the rice bowl, before cooking. If the cooker has a timer, you can soak the beans and set the timer to start cooking when you want the beans. When it comes to dried beans, assuming its bean soaked overnight, the cooking time can range between 20 to 35 minutes. If it’s not soaked, cooking time can extend anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. The benefit here is you don’t need to keep an eye on the pot once its cooking, as long as you put the correct amount of water, it won’t burn.

Pot Roasts

Place all your ingredients in the rice bowl, your choice of meat, spices, condiments and broth/water, then turn on the normal cooking setting. Once the cooking cycle ends, the rice cooker will automatically go into the ‘keep warm’ mode; leave it like that for an hour. This will slow cook the meat further so you’ll be left with deliciously soft meat that falls off the bone.

Soups

Simply throw in your ingredients, add enough water/broth to make a soup, and cook! If you’re adding meat, add it later in the cooking time, otherwise it may overcook. Unless that’s what you’re going for, in which case, go ahead. Just remember, dried ingredients first, followed by fresh vegetables and meat, then frozen vegetables.

Desserts

The rice cooker is a great alternative to baking in an oven, not to mention a space saver. If you have a craving for cake, cheesecakes or even pancakes, just mix the ingredients in the bowl and switch on the normal cooking cycle. It usually takes about an hour to cook, and is done when a fork comes clean off the edges. You can also poach fruit, make your own homemade apple sauce or whip up an assortment of Delicious puddings.



Source by Karen Lake Argent

How to Make Beer

Making beer is easy, inexpensive, and most of all, fun. With the rise in popularity of homebrewing, there are a wide variety of top quality ingredients available.

You can literally make hundreds of styles of beer that will taste great and impress your friends. Getting started making beer will only cost you a small amount of money, depending on your level of interest. Most beer making kits range from only $ 60 to $ 200 and make great, unique gifts.

How to Make Beer

Making Beer is just like cooking. Each recipe requires different ingredients and techniques. This page is an attempt to go over the basics of homebrewing in order to give you an understanding of how beer is made.

First of all, beer is made from 4 basic ingredients: water, malt (malted barley), hops, and yeast.

Water

Water is the most abundant ingredient in any style of beer. When making beer at home try to use filtered water instead of plain tap water. If your water does not taste good from the tap, you probably will not like it in your beer either. Do not use distilled water because it has been depleted of its oxygen.

Malt

Malted barley is barley grain that has been carefully soaked in water until it sprouts and then dried. This malting process develops the necessary sugars and soluble starches needed for fermentation.

The malt is then taken through a process called mashing which extracts the sugars and starches from the grain. Although advanced homebrewers can accomplish this step at home, most will buy the malted barley already mashed in a product called malt extract.

Hops

Hops are green flowers that grow on a vine and look similar to pine cones. They perform several roles in the beer making process. Most notably are the taste and aroma they impart on a beer.

Since not all of the sugars will ferment, the malt will cause the beer to be really sweet. Hops will balance out the sweetness by adding a degree of bitterness. Hops will also add a distinct aroma to the finished brew.

Yeast

Yeast is the catalyst that makes it all happen. In short, yeast is a living organism that feeds off of the sugars in the malt. The yeast will convert the sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide in a process called fermentation.

There are many strains of yeast (even in the air we breathe). In order to get the results needed for making beer, a specially cultured beer yeast is required. The yeast will also share taste and mouthfeel qualities to the beer.

The Beer Making Process

To summarize, the malt, hops, and water are boiled for a period of time. This mixture is called wort (pronounced wert). Then the wort is poured into fermenter and allowed to cool.

Next, the prepared yeast is pitched into the fermenter and an airlock is placed over the opening. Now it's the yeast's job to do its thing.

The yeast will multiply like crazy as it consumes the sugars in the brew. After a period of time, usually within 7 to 10 days, the yeast will have consumed all that it can and fall to the bottom of the fermenter.

Finally, the beer is bottled and set aside for a couple of weeks to mature and carbonate.

Making beer at home really is a fantastic hobby and can be a great social activity. Have some friends over and let them try your new brew. Better yet, get them involved and see who can make the best batches. Have blind taste tests with your buddies. Most of all, have fun!



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The Historic Roots of Pizza

Pizza is an oven-baked flat usually circular bread, covered with tomato sauce and cheese with optional toppings. All the basic ingredients of a healthy nutritional plan are used in this world-famous culinary product. From dining out to ordering in, pizza has evolved to one of the most loved food categories in the US and around the globe.

The roots of modern pizza come from the ancient Greek colony of Naples in Magna Graecia, which is the part of southern Italy. As early as the 3rd century BC, Marcus Porcius Cato, the first historian of Rome, mentions that people in that area used to eat a flat round dough dressed with olive oil, herbs, cheese and honey. Even in the city of Pompeii, archaeologists have excavated shops that resemble modern pizzerias. Since the logo was not yet known in Europe, the ingredients of the ancient pizza were something different, but the concept remained the same. During the 16th century, when tomato was transferred from the Americas to Europe, the poor area around Naples begon this plant to their yeast-based flat bread covering it with mozzarella cheese. Soon, pizza gained tremendously popularity among the Italian people and in 1897 the first pizza was produced for the US public by Antonio Totonno Pero who worked as an employee at Gennaro Lombardi's small grocery store in New York City's Little Italy.

Today, pizza has managed to become one of the main components of the growing US restaurant chains. As early as 1954, Shakey's Pizza and Pizza Hut begin their pizza business and today, every US city has a number of pizza restaurants to serve the ongoing needs of people for pizza. In fact, the American pizza business is dominated by companies that specialize in pizza delivery and well-known brands, like Domino's, Little Caesar's, Papa John's Pizza among many others serve the needs of the US customers on a daily basis.

The crust of pizza is traditionally plain, but companies have introduced variations with butter, garlic, or herbs and recently crusted with cheese. Topped with tomato sauce and a number of ingredients, from pepperoni to mushrooms and bacon to spinach, today's pizzas are capable of feeding a large family or a group of friends watching a game on TV.

Of course, many households prefer the home-made pizza and again many variation s exist on the bread used for the crust and the ingredients with which is garnished. Among the most famous of all pizzas is the Chicago-style pizza, which is baked in a pan rather than directly on the bricks of the pizza oven.



Source by Kadence Buchanan

Bad Food Matters

Who among us has not nibbled on Velveeta, grabbed a can of hash, scarfed down a baloney sandwich, or smuggled Spam into the pantry when no one was looking? A quick spin through the drive through, a nuked frozen entree, a bucket of fried chicken, or a sugary smoothie. Colored, candied breakfast cereals, fatty, salty luncheon meats, french fries, donuts, the assault is endless. And Americans keep coming back for more. After all, did not Elvis nosh on fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches? Fit for a king.

Bad foods fill a purpose for convenience, affordability and just plain hopeless cooks. Want pancakes? Fire up the microwave. Want muffins or donuts? Some shops even have drive-through windows. Coffee? Hey, we all know where we're headed for a tall mocha latte. Lunchtime. McDonald's here we come (burger, plastic cheese, large soda and fries, extra ketchup). Or worse, the company vending machines. Maybe they have those peanut butter cheese crackers. Dinner? Can not beat pizza or chicken. Eating in the car, albeit dangerous and messy, is justified when you can not wait to get home and roll out the forks and napkins.

Pseudo healthy food shops have exploded, the most popular form juice bars, where you can buy a smoothie loaded with fruit (and sugar), perhaps add just a little sherbet, and oh yeah, throw a dollop of protein powder in there. Hey, ma, I'm eating healthy. Whoops, ma is in line behind me.And then there's those Chinese food stops, fast in and fast out, with veggies and meats. Well, yes they're drowning in breading, cooking oil and MSG, but it's, well … you know the rest. Where would Americans be without their beloved pizza. Loaded with sodium, fat and white flour, better throw on a few veggies just to balance out that meal. And yes, extra pepperoni, please. It's pretty healthy, is not it? Tomato sauce is a vegetable.

Sometimes this is why trained and creative chefs have become such celebrities. How we love to watch them spin their magic, whipping up a delicious meal on their half hour show with wholesome ingredients picked fresh from their glorious, manicured gardens. Rounding it all off with a glass or two of fine wine. Takes history buffs back to those amazing and calorie-laden dinners we read about that once were served by third president Thomas Jefferson, a foodie of the nth degree. Of course, there was no convenience food back then, everything was grown fresh, and Tom had a French-trained chef slaving over a hot hearth. But for most of us who have our noses pressed against the windows of great homes occupied by celebrity chefs and their immaculate kitchens, we can only fantasize as we sit in front of the TV wolfing down our nuked dinner and a can of beer. Fish sticks for the kiddies.

Weekends are bad food heaven. Chips of all flavors, cheesy dips, soft drinks, beer, hot dogs, canned chili and lots of store-bought cookies and ice cream. No need to make dinner with all that snacking. But if you're still hungry, just dial-up the local pizza place that delivers. You deserve a treat, and you've eaten nuked dinners all week, so how about some freshly made food arriving in 30 minutes guaranteed. Maybe some buffalo chicken wings for extra protein. Then Sunday, let's do brunch with brown and serve sausages, frozen waffles and lots of syrup. Maybe some toast made with white bread and lots of jam. Yessiree, it's a feast for the eyes. Later a light dinner of sub shop sandwiches, lots of mayo. Salad, no problem, prepackaged lettuce drowning in high fat, sugary dressing (and maybe just a few croutons).

We often wonder if the celebrity chefs really cook like that all the time when no one is looking. Or do they draw the drapes, surreptitious boil up a box of mac and cheese, then collapse on the couch in their bath robes, dropping potato chip crumbs and washing it all down with a diet cola (or better yet, jug wine). We applaud them, we envy them, we want them for neighbors, but when all is said and done, we really think of them as entertainment ("do not try this at home"), and we know deep in our hearts, bad food matters. It's what's for dinner.



Source by Dale Phillip

A Healthier And Easier Way To Make Yogurt

Yogurt is a creamy and delicious food full of essential nutrients that make it one of the healthiest foods that can be made at home. Often people turn to store-bought yogurt instead of making it at home when they face issues like yogurt turning out sour or watery.

But the store-bought yogurt is not a good alternative because it is full of artificial additives and sweeteners that are unhealthy, like gelatin, pectin etc. And all the good stuff is processed out through processes like ultra-pasteurization etc. Why get an unhealthy version of this great food when there is a healthier and easier way to make yogurt at home!

Here is a different way to make yogurt that is simple and it makes thick and delicious yogurt in less than 10 minutes, so you never have to choose unhealthy store-bought yogurt again.

The key is to choose the right pot – a non-toxic, semi-porous pot made from pure clay is the right one for this purpose! Pure clay is unglazed natural clay and the pot made from it is naturally semi-porous or breathable. This allows just the excess water to evaporate leaving all the liquid probiotics intact. A unique feature that makes your yogurt thicker and silkier, naturally! Also, it is 100% non-toxic so it does not leach like metal / ceramic pots.

You can make healthy and delicious yogurt at home in less than 10 minutes hands-on time, here are the steps:

  1. Add milk to the pot and let it warm on medium heat with the lid on till small bubbles form on the surface. (for 25-30 minutes for a g gallon of milk) Turn the stove off, open lid and let it cool till you can put your little finger and hold it there for 5 secs (for 30 minutes). Now the milk is ready for adding the culture.
  2. Add yogurt culture, stir and cover lid. (takes 3 minutes)
  3. Place in the oven with the light on. (takes 2 minutes)

Let it incubate for 6-8 hours and the yogurt is ready! The yogurt left in the pot gets thicker and thicker in just a few hours after.

How is it healthier?

Yogurt made this way has no interaction with chemicals or toxins and it does not suffer nutritional loss while heating. As yogurt is naturally thick, and creamy there is no need for training! And because it's made in pure-clay (anything cooked in pure clay is very delicious) there is no need for adding unhealthy artificial additives or sweeteners like in store bought yogurt. Just a dab of salt or a sprinkle of brown sugar or any fruits of your choice or even a sprinkle of granola …

So, you can easily make the healthiest and most delicious yogurt using the right pot – A pure clay pot.



Source by Sharon Ray