With Christmas and New Year’s right around the corner, we know there tends to be that one ingredient that you always forget or you don’t have enough time to run to the store to get a last minute recipe item. These easy hacks will help save you time and make cooking or baking a lot less stressful over the next week during the holidays.
Tune in to the audio guide from WZZM here.
- Making your own stock but running short on time? Place stock ingredients in a slow cooker on LOW overnight. In the morning, skim the fat, strain, bring to room temperature, and refrigerate.
- Measure sticky ingredients without the mess. The struggle is real when going from measuring a tablespoon of honey to a tablespoon of brown sugar. Avoid all the stickiness by spraying the measuring utensil with cooking oil or spray. The ingredients will glide right off the measuring spoon without you having the wash and clean it between ingredients.
- Avoid long baking times when it comes to breakfast. Instead of baking an entire quiche for 60 minutes, pour the egg mixture into greased muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes to save time.
- Cooking grains without chicken broth. Are you a fellow ancient grain lover (quinoa, farro, bulgar, etc.), but forgot the chicken broth for cooking? Try using interesting flavored teas, such chai or smoky black tea, that you may have on hand to flavor the water while simmering. Remove the tea backs when the grains are done cooking.
- Avoid browning with your guacamole. To keep guacamole fresh and that beautiful green color, place in a container or jar and add water on top. Place in the refrigerator. When ready to use, drain the water and serve.
Tis’ the season for gift giving and receiving. I struggle with this season because I’m going to be honest, I often get wrapped up in the gift giving both literally and figuratively. I am a terrible gift wrapper. These skills do not seem to improve with 28 years of life. Lol.
I have plenty of friends and family that have shared their desire to be healthier this holiday season or start 2018 on a better foot health-wise. This healthy holiday gift guide will give you great ideas to suit anyone this season so you can get back to the most important part of this season: spending time with friends and family or finding ways to give back in your community.
This guide is separated into fitness, food, beauty, and stocking stuffers. Some ideas are for my locals in the Grand Rapids area and some are more generalized to please the masses. Either way, I can bet you will find something that will make someone very happy this Christmas.
- Monthly subscription to a local gym or yoga studio. Jump start the new year with more physical activity by taking advantage of holiday gym enrollment discounts in your local community.
- YMCA of Grand Rapids. Waiving the new membership fee starting December 15th. Adult monthly rate $70
- Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse. 2-week trial $25
- MVP Sportsplex. No enrollment fee and January month free for new members.
- Wireless Headphones $130. This is a perfect gift for a new or avid runner planning to participate in 2018 races.
- Resistance Bands $5-10. This could easily be a stocking stuffer as well. It’s a great addition to a home gym collection.
- Healthy cookbooks (cost varies). Who doesn’t love a new cookbook with pages and pages of beautiful food and new recipes to sink your teeth in? These are a couple great ones to start with, but truly your options are endless.
- NutriBullet $60. Pack in the antioxidants this coming year by blending your favorite fruits and vegetables to make some delicious smoothie concoctions. Be sure to try my turmeric, banana, and ginger smoothie recipe in your new blender 🙂
- Downtown Market gift card for a cooking class $70-100. This is an awesome present for someone that loves to go out on the town, but needs a little help in the cooking department.
- Blue Apron or Doorganics gift card $60-240. Another great gift for the amateur cooks that are just getting started on their culinary journey or just want to cook a great meal for their significant other.
- Vegetable spiralizer $20-30. Spiralized vegetables (zucchini, sweet potato, squash, etc.) as a low carbohydrate substitute for standard spaghetti is all the rage right now and for good reason. Let the experimenting begin!
- LUSH gift boxes. Made from fresh organic fruits and vegetables, essential oils, and safe synthetics. Not tested on animals. Handmade using little or no preservative or packaging, using only vegetarian ingredients. $40
- Serenity Heatable/Chillable Spa Mask $20. Take a moment to relax your eyes with this cold or warm mask.
- Petal multi-use vitamin E oil $30. Say hello to 2018 with glowing, soft, and rose petal-scented skin 🙂
- Hip circle exercise resistance bands $5-10. Get that booty lookin’ tight and fit for spring break 2018 using these resistance bands while weight lifting or even on their own.
- Mortar and pestle $10-40. Know someone who is eager to make their own chimichurri or salsa verde? I’ve got just the thing.
- Vegetable steamer basket $10-15. Avoid mushy, overcooked steamed vegetables with this handy tool.
- Avocado slicer $10. Honestly, who doesn’t know someone who loves avocado?! This slicer makes cutting an avocado simple and easy.
Happy Holidays friends!