Healthy Kitchen Hacks #41

*Easy Trick To Keep Pancakes Warm* *How To Toast Nuts in the Microwave* *What To Do With a Mango Pit* *Healthier Substitute for Whipped Cream* *Good Gut 2-Ingredient Dressing**

[Healthy Kitchen Hacks] How to Keep Pancakes Warm, Toast Nuts in Minutes, What to Do with a Mango Pit, Healthier Swap for Whipped Cream, 2-Ingredient Good Gut Health Dressing

Time for another Healthy Kitchen Hacks post! Once again, I ate very well this past week testing out all these trick and tips – I’ve been doing that mango water trick non-stop since testing it.

Hoping that some of these hacks give you a little extra time or an “aha” in your kitchen this week:

1) Easy Trick To Keep Pancakes Warm
@America’s Test Kitchen

Healthy Kitchen Hacks - Easy Hack to Keep Pancakes Warm @tspbasil

I make pancakes at weekly in our house (specifically these Whole Grain Pancakes) and freeze extras for busy weekday mornings. When I’m finally ready to sit down to eat mine (the daughter and hubs aren’t always waiting for me), sometimes I have to zap them in the microwave to warm them back up.

But no longer since I saw this super simple trick from America’s Test Kitchen. As they come off the grill, put your pancakes on a cloth towel/napkin lined plate and cover with a small-hole colander. This keeps them warm but without moisture beading on the top pancake.

2) How To Toast Nuts in the Microwave
Maria @ Sift & Whisk

Healthy Kitchen Hacks - How to Toast Nuts in Minutes @tspbasil

Toasting nuts really take their flavor profile to the next level. usually add them to a dry skillet over medium heat or put them on a tray and bake in the oven at 350 degrees. Both methods take about 8-10 minutes and you have to stir and keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly.

To toast them I usually add them to a dry skillet over medium-heat or put them on a tray and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F. Both methods take about 8-10 minutes and you have to stir and keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly.

So, I was skeptical when I saw this method for toasting nuts in the microwave from Maria at Sift & Whisk for less than half the time.

Until I tried it on walnuts, peanuts, almonds and pecans – and it worked every time! I started at 2 minutes on HIGH then stirred and went for another minute – checking every 30 seconds. The peanuts and almonds toasted in about 3 minutes and the walnuts and pecans took about 4 minutes.

How To Toast Nuts in Microwave + 4 more cool #HealthyKitchenHacks via @tspbasil Click To Tweet

3) What to Do With a Mango Pit
Elena @A Sprinkle of Sage

Healthy Kitchen Hacks -What to Do with a Mango Pit @tspbasil

I love seeing all the DIY flavored waters lately like How to Make Your Own Fruit Infused Waters from Sally @Real Mom Nutrition, Refreshing Infused Waters from Rebecca @Be Truly Nourished and this DIY Sparkling Water Bar from EA @The Spicy RD. And a recent Facebook post by Rebecca @Rebecca Scritchfield asking for infused water ideas brought up some gems.

Healthy Kitchen Hacks -What to Do with a Mango Pit

When I saw Elana’s idea of dropping a mango pit into a pitcher of water, I thought it was clever and about the simplest way to make fruit flavored water (not to mention a great use for recycling part of the fruit I never use.)

Guys, you MUST try this. Within an hour, my water had a lovely hint of mango flavor to it and I reused the pit for about 3 – 4 pitchers of water (over about 3 days) before I chucked it in the compost. Love this hack!

4) Healthier Substitute for Whipped Cream
@MariaSpeck

Healthy Kitchen Hacks - Healthier Swap for Whipped Cream @tspbasil

This is a hack I picked up years ago when I got the chance to review Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck. It’s one of those cookbooks that I put sticky notes on so many pages because I wanted to make so many of the recipes.

The very first recipe in the book (and also featured on Eating Well) is Orange Breakfast Polenta. It’s one I’ve made several times and it’s topped with a magical whipped cream-like topping made with equal parts mascarpone cheese and Greek-style yogurt (plain or vanilla.) I’ve used it as a topping for breakfasts and desserts alike over the years including these Strawberry Lemon Cornbread Shortcakes I recently created for Healthy Aperture.

5) Good Gut 2-Ingredient Dressing or Dip
@CookingLight

Healthy Kitchen Hacks -Only 2 ingredient in this "good for your gut" dressing or dip @tspbasil

Have you ever eaten kimchi? A former boyfriend introduced me to the world of Korean food many years ago and I loved it immediately. Kimchi is most commonly a fermented cabbage with seasonings but it can be any kind of seasoned vegetable.

And kimchi is getting more press these days because not only is Korean food on trend right now but the benefits of eating more fermented foods are also coming to light –> like being super good for good gut health for starters.

Some versions of kimchi can be a bit overpowering (spicy + funky) so when I saw this Kimchi Yogurt Dressing in the most recent issue of Cooking Light, I thought it was a such a win-win hack because a) it’s so easy to make and b) it’s a milder way to enjoy kimchi.

I’m actually calling Cooking Light’s version a dip because it’s very thick and perfect for dunking veggies. I swapped in buttermilk the second time which made for a terrific, pourable dressing.

Kimchi Dip: 1/2 cup kimchi + 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt. Blend in food processor or blender.
Kimchi Dressing: 1/2 cup kimchi + 1/3 cup buttermilk. Blend in food processor or blender.

Note: You can find kimchi in most supermarkets in the refrigerated produce section.

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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 below in comments and we’ll try them out.)

Welcome!

We’re Serena & Deanna, two dietitians who love food as much as you do!  

We're also moms and business owners who share our family recipes, healthy kitchen hacks and nutrition adventures while keeping it real in the kitchen with you.

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