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Healthy Kitchen Hacks #43

Healthy Kitchen Hacks #43

*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**

Healthy Kitchen Hacks #43: How to Freeze Avocados, What to Do with Leftover Potato Salad, How to Naturally Sweeten Iced Tea, How To Make Grilled Cheese with an Iron, High Protein 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

Healthy Kitchen Hacks: How To Naturally Sweeten Ice Tea with fruit (and the sun!)
Last year I got into making sun tea so when I saw Jen @Nourished Simply ‘s Peach Green Tea Recipe using fruit to sweeten iced tea, I knew I had to try it.

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

Healthy Kitchen Hacks- 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
4. Freeze

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…..

3) What to Do With Leftover Potato Salad
Joy @EdiblePhilly

Healthy Kitchen Hacks-What To Do With Leftover 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.

Healthy Kitchen Hacks-What To Do With Leftover Potato Salad

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

Healthy Kitchen Hacks-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!”

Healthy Kitchen Hacks-How To Make Grilled Cheese With An IronIt really works and is a great hack if your stove/toaster oven is broken or you don’t have a functioning kitchen on hand.

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

Healthy Kitchen Hacks-High Protein Vegetarian Sandwich Spread2

Speaking of sandwiches, I read about this hack in a recent article by Maggie Moon for 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.)

Joseph Muita

Wednesday 29th of June 2016

Great tip. I’m always buying avocados and then can’t eat them fast enough. And we love guacamole

EA-The Spicy RD

Friday 17th of June 2016

As usual, LOVE all your kitchen hacks! I do avo/chickpea spread a lot, but I can't wait to try your chickpea mascarpone spread-yum!!

Deanna Segrave-Daly

Friday 17th of June 2016

Thanks lady and that chickpea mascarpone spread I was finding excuses to eat it for the next 2 days straight :)


Thursday 16th of June 2016

I love the idea of using fruit to sweeten tea! :] (And hooray for avocados! <3!)

Deanna Segrave-Daly

Friday 17th of June 2016

The fruit + tea possible combinations are endless!

Kristen Chang

Wednesday 15th of June 2016

I've always wondered how freezing an avocado worked. Thanks for sharing!

Deanna Segrave-Daly

Friday 17th of June 2016

I was skeptical but it really works pretty well!

Elizabeth Shaw

Wednesday 15th of June 2016

I literally want to make a grilled cheese for dinner to try this out! And I freeze everything- never thought to try it with avocados! Thanks for the inspiration!

Deanna Segrave-Daly

Friday 17th of June 2016

I totally ate grilled cheese for dinner after testing this out!

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