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Healthy Kitchen Hacks #34

Healthy Kitchen Hacks #34

Homemade Chai Latte Mix * Brands We Love * DIY Sparkling Water Bar * Magical Way to Get Kids to Eat Soup * Kitchen Sponges vs. Dishcloths: Which are Better?

Healthy Kitchen Hacks: DIY Chai Latte Mix * Magical Way to Get Kids to Eat Soup * Sponges vs Dishrags * Product we love: Pam cooking spray * DIY Sparkling Water Bar | @tspcurry

Here are this week’s top 5 tricks that actually worked in my kitchen. I was inspired by a long-time reader to research ‘how do I keep my dish sponges from going sour.’ The answer surprised me! And speaking of inspiration: How about some new (easy!) drinks –> Hot and cold. I’m sipping one right now…

1) Homemade Chai Latte Mix
@Cooking Light

#HealthyKitchenHacks - DIY Chia Latte Mix | @TspCurry

I adore chai lattes: Spicy, creamy…and full of sugar – so the coffee shop version is a like-once-a-year-treat. And it’s tough to find a chai latte mix in the supermarket that doesn’t contain non-dairy creamer plus a host of other manufactured ingredients…and lots of sugar.

Enter this DIY Chai Tea Mix from Cooking Light; just add to hot black tea. When made it, I left the sugar out so I could self-sweeten – and sometimes I didn’t – as the spices were so nice they were all the sweet I needed.

2) The Magical Way to Get Kids to Eat Soup

#HealthyKitchenHacks - Get Kids to Eat Soup: Grilled Cheese Croutons | @tspcurry

My kids are pretty used to eating lots of soup in the winter time. I love that it’s a great way to get them to eat their veggies from beans to zucchini. But occasionally they decide soup isn’t for them.

That’s when I whip together grilled cheese croutons. They are sort of a magic bullet to make the soup more fun. I let the kids add them themselves. And they get to (carefully!) dish up their own soup; usually this leads to more bites of soup.

3) Brands We Swear By: Pam Cooking Spray

#HealthyKitchenHacks - Brands We Swear By: Pam cooking spray | @tspcurry

From time to time, Deanna and I will offer a peak into our pantry to see the brands we actually use – a lot. Today it’s: Pam cooking spray. Fed up with the sticky yellow residue I got on my casserole dishes when using sale-brands of cooking spray, I actually paid attention to a Pam commercial advertising “Our all-natural spray oil leaves up to 99% less residue”.

And it’s true. Now my slow cooker and rice cooker and casserole dishes are much easier to clean. (Disclosure: None! I’ve never attended a Pam or Con-Agra sponsored event or been asked to write about the company’s products.)

4) Kitchen Sponges vs. Dishcloths: Which is Better for Preventing Bacteria Breeding?
@TheKitchn and @EatRight

#HealthyKitchenHack - Kitchen Sponge vs Dish Rag: Which is better | @tspcurry

The answer: Dishcloths are the safer option – if you launder them often, according to the Public Health Department inspector interviewed by TheKitchen.

I’ll admit, after worrying about the freshness of sponges when my kids were babies, I ditched them and use dishcloths now. But if you still use sponges, here are tips from the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics on the: Dos and Don’ts of Kitchen Sponge Safety.Kitchen Sponges vs. Dishcloths: Which are Better? Plus 4 more top #HealthyKitchenHacks via @tspcurry Click To Tweet

5) DIY Sparkling Water Bar
EA @Spicy RD Nutrition

#HealthyKitchenHacks - DIY Sparkling Water Bar | @tspcurry

Still trying to stay on track with that New Year’s Resolution to cut sugary beverages? The Spicy RD has tons of: Simple Tips for Healthy Hydration including ways to make small changes and ‘go halfsies.’

My favorite way to stay hydrated is to set up a DIY Sparkling Water Bar – even if it’s just by keeping these ingredients together in your fridge so you can grab-and-go. I’ll be ordering up one of these! –> Sparkling Water + Fresh Blueberries + Blood Orange Wedges + Fresh Basil

Would you try any of these hacks? Do you have healthy kitchen or healthy living shortcuts to share? Shoot us an email ([email protected] or [email protected] ) or share below in comments and we’ll try them out.

Tara | Treble in the Kitchen

Thursday 18th of February 2016

I love the grilled cheese crouton idea (I nanny a 7 year old!) and I love the sparkling water bar idea. Yum!

Serena Ball

Friday 19th of February 2016

Thanks Tara. The grilled cheese croutons work every time (OK every time for my 10, 8, 5 yr olds, not always for the 3 y old, but she learns from watching her siblings!) LMK if you have luck!


Thursday 18th of February 2016

So many useful tips here! 1. I shall make my own chai latte (love love love) instead of getting the giant cartons from Costco (you know the tazo kind). And I also bought a big bag of sponges for my dishes from there as I'm wondering if I should try to use it all up before moving onto dishcloths? I shall follow the tips in the meanwhile! Thanks for sharing!!! I always learn something new everytime ;)

Serena Ball

Thursday 18th of February 2016

OK #NoShame if you use sponges...but I will say, now that I'm in the habit of dishclothes, I do find them easier. Thanks so much for your kind comments Min!! (:

Sonali- The Foodie Physician

Wednesday 17th of February 2016

I love the DIY Sparkling Water Bar- such a great way to make drinking water more fun! And I have to try the grilled cheese croutons- I think my daughter would love them!

Serena Ball

Wednesday 17th of February 2016

Thanks Sonali! Grilled cheese croutons are awesome on lentil soup - just sayin'....

EA-The Spicy RD

Wednesday 17th of February 2016

Great hacks and thanks so much for sharing my DIY Sparkling Water Bar! I love the Chai Tea mix b/c my daughter sometimes likes Chai Tea in the mornings, and, like you say, most of those mixes contain way too much sugar. Right now I buy the unsweetened chai tea bags from Trader Joe's and mix it with unsweetened soy milk plus a little maple syrup or honey to taste. Good to know about dishtowels vs. sponges!

Serena Ball

Wednesday 17th of February 2016

I adore your DIY water bar and your gorgeous pics!

Elizabeth Shaw

Wednesday 17th of February 2016

Great tips! I love the DIY Sparkling water from EA. I just picked some up yesterday to make today actually! I have to say I buy the Kirkland brand of cooking spray, but now that you have me thinking, I'm fairly certain I have residue on my pans lol! I'll have to give PAM a whirl again!


Saturday 27th of February 2016

Don't change from the KIRKLAND brand. Pam is made from palm oil... Something we should all avoid not only to protect the environment from deforestation but also for the detrimental effect on labor and animals. I switched to the Costco brand and actually really like it. Haven't found a residue at all.

Serena Ball

Wednesday 17th of February 2016

Pam will change your life Elizabeth....well, at least make doing dishes not so frustrating. (:

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