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Healthy Kitchen Hacks #42

Healthy Kitchen Hacks #42

**New Ideas for Brown Bananas * Juicy Lean Beef Burgers * Get Kids to Eat Healthy * Easiest Way to Peel Fresh Ginger * Leftover Chipotle Chilies Recipes **

#HealthyKitchenHacks - New Ideas for Brown Bananas * Juicy Lean Beef Burgers * Get Kids to Eat Healthy * Easiest Way to Peel Fresh Ginger * Leftover Chipotle Chilies Recipes | @TspCurry

My kids are out of school and our routines have switched. This week I tested out new hacks for streamlining healthy eating for the whole family.

And now that summer has arrived, I find myself cooking with more spicy flavors; chipotle peppers and fresh ginger are two. So here are shortcuts for using spice – and hopefully a bit of kitchen inspiration:

1. Recipe Ideas for Brown Bananas
Stacie @Simply Stacie

How to make chocolate banana ice cream | @tspcurry

Now that the weather is warmer, you may notice that bananas ripen on the counter much quicker. They go from yellow to freckled in less than 24 hours.

So you can make lots of banana bread. Or you can head over to check out Stacie’s 25 Delicious Recipes for Brown Bananas. She links to other bloggers with great ideas like @Dish by Dish’s 5-Ingredient Banana Flaxseed Waffles and this easy, yummy One-Ingredient Ice Cream by @One Ingredient Chef – which I’ll be making weekly.

2. The Juiciest Lean Burgers

Tips for making lean beef delicious: JUICIEST LEAN BEEF BURGERS | @tspcurry

It’s hard to keep lean meat juicy when grilling. But it’s worth it for the great nutrition found in lean beef: With 25 grams of protein and 10 essential nutrients in just one 3-ounce serving, most cuts of lean beef have only 150 calories

I grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana. We raised most of our food from our huge vegetable gardens and orchards. So I’ve been making these Juiciest Lean Beef Burgers for a LONG time. Here are my top three tips for juicy burgers:

  1. Don’t over mix/squeeze/squish the meat.
  2. Add Worcestershire sauce instead of salt.
  3. The secret ingredient is caramelized onions.

3. The Easiest Way to Get Kids to Eat Healthy Snacks
Janice & Liz @Meal Makeover Moms

Tips for getting kids to eat healthy | @TspCurry

Now that school is over, roving packs of kids seem to be descending upon my house. And my own kids are around a lot more looking for something to eat.

Of course I want them to choose something healthy first.

In their super inspirational podcast 25 Ways to Improve Your Family’s Diet, Janice and Liz have tons of ideas (actually more than 25 if you’re counting every tip given.) Their #1 tip is: Make healthy food highly accessible and attractive.

For me, that was as easy as moving the fruit bowl from the corner counter to the kitchen table. Now my kids have to pass the fruit bowl before they get to the fridge or the pantry. And guess what? They grab fruit first. I’ve found variety is key. When they tired of apples and bananas; strawberries and grapes were switched in. Fruits like cherries, strawberries, grapes, blueberries don’t even need to be refrigerated if they’re gone within a day or two…which they are in my house.

4. How to Peel Fresh Ginger
Cooking Light Magazine

How to Peel Fresh Ginger | @tspcurry

Even if I buy fresh ginger and plan to use it in a recipe that night, I freeze it a few hours first. It’s so much easier to peel when frozen first.

I was reminded of this hack after reading in the June issue of Cooking Light magazine that peeling ginger is a great task for kids to do in the kitchen. The folks at Cooking Light recommend using a spoon to scrape the peel off fresh ginger. They were right. And frozen ginger – that’s just beginning to thaw – is even easier to peel/scrape with a spoon.

Bonus: Freezing ginger in tightly-wrapped plastic wrap is the best way to store it.  The easiest way to peel fresh ginger + 4 new #HealthyKitchenHacks via @TspCurry Click To Tweet

5. What to Do with a Can of Chipotle Chilies in Adobo
Lara @Food52 and Mary @Barefeet in the Kitchen

What to do with a can of chipotle chilies in adobo | @TspCurry

Canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce add smokey, spicy flavors to eggs, potatoes, or Raspberry Chipotle Chicken with Lime.

But all you need is one. So I often have a whole can of leftover chilies. I used to freeze them in rather messy bags of chilies + sauce.

But I love this idea from Mary to freeze the chilies separately on parchment paper. (I topped each chili with about 2 teaspoons of sauce.) Then I just rolled up the parchment paper and stuck the whole thing in a freezer bag. When I need a chili + sauce, I’ll just peel it off of the paper. 

For more ideas for what to do with those chilies, check out 1 Can of Chilies in Adobo, 5 Dinners from @Food52.


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.)

Larisse Espinueva

Monday 4th of July 2016

I do the same thing with my burgers! Caramelized onions does wonders for burgers. I've never tried using Worcestershire sauce before but I think I'll try that soon. :) Your hack on ginger is new for me as well. Awesome discovery! :D Thanks for this!

Serena Ball

Tuesday 5th of July 2016

Thanks for stopping by Larisse! I think you'll appreciate how the ginger hack saves time. And it's so great to hear you agree that the extra step of caramelizing onions makes burgers better!

liz - Meal Makeover Mom

Monday 6th of June 2016

As always, so many great tips. Thanks a million for the awesome shout out!!

Serena Ball

Tuesday 7th of June 2016

Thanks a million for always having the BEST tips for inspiring kids to eat healthy!


Wednesday 1st of June 2016

That freezing ginger trick could be a life changer!!

Serena Ball

Thursday 2nd of June 2016

Thanks Sues! I'll raise a fresh ginger-ale to that. (: (Reminds me I gotta make some again!)

Jessica @ Nutritioulicious

Wednesday 1st of June 2016

Great hacks this week (and always)! I read about peeling ginger with a spoon recently and have been doing it ever since - so much easier! Didn't know the freezer trick though! And def have to try the chipotle in adobo hack!

Serena Ball

Thursday 2nd of June 2016

Thanks Jessica! I loved the chipotle in adobo hack so much I'm doing a little FB Live video on it today...

Elizabeth Shaw

Wednesday 1st of June 2016

Was looking forward to this today! I used your pumpkin pie spice hack in a demo the other week and it was fabulous! I was thinking and I'd love for you to try the avocado brownie hack! I made it for my die hard chocolate fan father over the weekend and he had NO IDEA it was made with avocado until after he ate 2 and I told him! Hack = 1 package dark chocolate brownie mix, 1 large avocado pureed into a fine smear, 1 tsp vanilla & lots of love!

I promise you, best simple swap I've come up with yet lol! I am going to try and FB live it this week too!


Serena Ball

Thursday 2nd of June 2016

Oh my! Now that is a good hack Liz!! Love that your dad didn't even know - guess the proof is in the 'pudding.' Can't wait to see your FB live of it!

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