*How To Naturally Sweeten Iced Tea** How To Freeze Avocados**What To Do With Leftover Potato Salad**How To Make Grilled Cheese With An Iron**Protein-Rich Vegetarian Sandwich Spread**
Another week, another round of Healthy Kitchen Hacks! Here are the best of the “ahas” I researched and tested out in my kitchen in the past few weeks:
1) How To Naturally Sweeten Iced Tea
Jennifer @Nourished Simply
Here’s how I did it: I started with my How to Make Sun Tea Recipe and added sliced peaches. After seeping in the sun, I strained the tea and placed the peaches in a blender. After pureeing, I strained the peach liquid and mixed into the tea. It had a subtle peach flavor and was super refreshing.
Now, is this hack going to make your tea taste like sweet tea? The answer is no but the riper your fruit, the sweeter it will taste. I’m trying mango with my next batch.How to Naturally Sweeten Iced Tea + 4 more #healthykitchenhacks @tspbasil Click To Tweet
2) How to Freeze Avocados
I’m sure you can relate – you have a bunch of rock hard avocados and bam! Overnight, they all ripen and you have to use them immediately. If that’s the case, I usually make a big batch of guacamole (using my new favorite hack to keep my guac bright green.)
But now there’s another option – freeze those avocados! Turns out it’s as simple as:
1. Slice your avocados (pit & skin removed)
2. Brush with lemon or lime juice
3. Gently place in freezer bag and remove air
Now, I honestly thought that the avocados would either be brown and/or mush once I thawed them. While they were a tad softer than when I froze them, they definitely were not mushy and they stayed green. I thawed the slices on the counter for about an hour before using them in my potato salad…..
I saw this hack from Joy Manning, editor-in-chief of Edible Philly and one of my favorite local foodies. She used her leftover potato salad as a dressing and ingredient for a big hearty green salad. She served it over a bunch of romaine, with chickpeas and hard-boiled eggs for protein, tomatoes for color and extra nutrition. #Genuis.
To test Joy’s hack, I did a riff on Brianne @Cupcakes & Kale Chips’ recipe for Red, White + Blue Potato Salad. I mashed my thawed avocado slices into plain Greek-style yogurt for the dressing. I served it over my CSA Romaine lettuce and tossed in some walnuts, too (as we just finished our sponsored Recipe ReDux contest with California Walnuts.) Now, I think I need to write up this recipe and share in a future post!
If you need some potato salad inspiration, check out more Recipe ReDux creations from our U.S. Potato Board Healthy Summer Potato Salad sponsored contest a few years back.
4) How to Make Grilled Cheese With an Iron
Truth: the only workout my iron gets is when I need to attach my daughter’s press-on Girl Scout badges to her sash. But in honor of June Dairy Month, I had to bust out the iron to see if this hack was legit.
The lovely Candace of Cabot Cheese shared the idea on Instagram for National Grilled Cheese Day back in April and I thought “hey, that’s something I’d actually use my iron for!”
How to Make Ironed Grilled Cheese:
1. Turn your iron to high.
2. Make a cheese sandwich and brush both sides with melted butter or olive oil.
3. Wrap in aluminum foil.
4. Press iron down on one side for about 45 seconds. Flip and iron other side.
5. Unwrap and enjoy!
5) Protein-Rich Vegetarian Sandwich Spread – 2 Ways
Katie @Mom’s Kitchen Handbook
Speaking of sandwiches, I read about this hack in a recent article by Maggie Moon for Livestrong.com titled “What Pulses Are and Why You Should Be Eating Them.” Katie shared her vegetarian sandwich spread recipe of mixing mashed chickpeas (garbanzo beans) with goat cheese, lemon juice and cumin on a baguette. YUM.
I tried it two different ways – swapping out the goat cheese for mascarpone cheese one way and… you guessed it….avocados another. Both were super delicious and satisfying as a sandwich on whole wheat bread. They’d make excellent dips, too.
Here are the exact amounts I used (I mashed everything up with a fork but you could use a food processor if you wanted a smoother spread.)
Chickpea Mascarpone Spread (Serves 2)
Mash together: 1/2 (15-ounce) can of chickpeas, drained + 2 ounces mascarpone cheese + juice of 1/2 lemon + 1/2 teaspoon cumin
Chickpea Avocado Spread (Serves 2)
Mash together: 1/2 (15-ounce) can of chickpeas, drained + 1/2 of avocado + juice of 1/2 lemon + 1/2 teaspoon cumin
Would you try any of these hacks? Do you have any healthy kitchen or healthy living shortcuts to share? Shoot us an email (or share in comments below and we’ll try them out.)