Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Six Tips For Choosing The Best Slimming Tea

For many of us the New Year means weight loss resolutions, which is why the best slimming tea might be an important aid to your weight loss plans.

Let me explain why tea is a good choice to help you lose weight and which ones are the best.

1. Drink your tea pure

First of all, how you actually drink it is important. In Britain, for example, many people add milk, if not milk and sugar to their favorite cuppa. You will not be able to lose weight this way. You need to take your tea pure - whatever sort you prefer. You just need the leaves and hot/boiling water. That's it. If you prefer to drink it cold then let it cool and add ice. I tend to put the cooled down contents of the teapot in a glass jug and leave it in the refrigerator so I can simply pour when I need it. You can add lemon or maybe a slice of orange, but that's it.

2. Sip it slowly

Sipping your tea throughout the day is also a good idea. Much better than consuming it in gulps. To encourage this, use small cups instead of a large mug. In fact drinking small cups throughout the day may help you feel fuller and can be an aid to digestion if drunk during meal times. If you do this, there will not be any need for you to resort to unhealthy drinks which are usually laden with unwanted calories and this includes alcoholic beverages.

3. Drink Water Too

If you choose black, green or Oolong/WuLong, these come from the tea plant and contain caffeine so you should consider this. Although caffeine found here is better absorbed by the body than coffee, it would be a good suggestion to also drink lots of water. For example, it is often a custom in some other countries to serve coffee with a glass of water due to coffee actually taking fluid from our bodies. Unfortunately this isn't the case in North America. Herbal teas, for example, do not contain caffeine so they are not only good for us but do not have a dehydrating effect.

A healthy way to lose weight is to hydrate our bodies and help our organs (particularly the liver) process the foods and drink we consume on a daily basis. Drinking lots of water and herbal teas can do this. If we are overweight, our cells are literally clogged with fat and this needs to be 'washed out'. This drink can help with this process and get the fat moving from our bodies.

4. The Weight Loss Benefits Of Green, WuLong or Oolong

There are many green tea weight loss products on the market, but also Wu Long, also called Oolong. as it has now been discovered that they have weight loss benefits too.

There are also many slimming tea products on the market. You can do some research online to find out which is the best slimming one for you. These teas are often blends therefore having more than one sort blended together.

5. The Herbal Weight Loss Wonders

Certain herbal teas have also been known to have weight loss properties. Chamomile is not only good for you but helps your digestion to function better. Another bonus if you want to lose weight. Peppermint also aids digestion and is a very refreshing tea.

6. Mix It Up

It's a good plan to use several teas and not stick with just one. So stock up on a good green, Oolong and some herbal teas and then use them interchangeably. One afternoon you might want that cup of Oolong and Peppermint in the evening, for example.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Why Coffee Is So Good for Drinking And Healthy?

What's the one thing that helps most of us get through the first part of our day without looking like complete zombies; the thing that gives us that push we require every morning? Yes, that dispenser of energy, made from the second best brown-colored beans in the world - the best being chocolate beans of course - coffee! What's better is that some brands and coffee shops have even started giving out gift cards, to make purchasing coffee easier, faster and more convenient, leading to an even better start to the day.

Coffee contains several compounds that affect the chemistry of the human body. One of these compounds is the drug Caffeine, and it is known to act as a stimulant. This is the drug that awakens you and gives you the push in the morning after having coffee. There are other substances too, some of them currently unknown, that produce important hormones like adrenaline and cortisone. Some people prefer having decaffeinated coffee, also known as decaf. Decaf has no stimulants and the drinker drinks it just to enjoy the flavor of coffee. Apart from merely being an energy-boosting drink, coffee has some great health benefits too.

Cancer Protection. Earlier, coffee was linked to one of the causes of cancer, but recent research showed that coffee actually helps prevent cancer. Caffeic acid and Chlorogenic acid are two substances found in coffee that help fight cancer, since both nutrients possess anti-cancer properties.

Heart Disease Protection. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which hard plaques are formed around the walls of the arteries, which may prevent blood from getting to the heart. Coffee helps protect the heart as Caffeic acid helps prevent the chance of Atherosclerosis. The same acid also helps lower the levels of low density lipoprotein in the blood.

Diabetes Protection. Another effect of Caffeic acid is that it helps reduce the levels of glucose in the blood. At the same time, Chlorogenic acid subdues the release of stored glucose from the liver. Hence, keeping blood glucose levels low, coffee helps prevent Diabetes.

Improved Weight Loss.One of the body's ways of burning extra calories is Thermogenesis. Studies have shown that coffee has the tendency to significantly increase this process. In this way, coffee contributes to weight loss. However, if taken with extra sugar and cream, you will only be gaining extra calories.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Modern Value in Gourmet Coffee

Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, second only to oil. Coffee trading is more active than corn, wheat, pork belly and metal trading. In response to such heavy demand, the price of coffee continues to rise. Despite the rising cost, coffee still remains an incredible value for you and your family.

Coffee often seems expensive at first glance. In an attempt to find the highest priced coffee around, we found a roast from Yemen that retails at $48.95 per pound. The average price of gourmet coffee, however, was $18 per pound. Wow! These must be quite the roasts to qualify for such high price tags. Digging deeper, however, we learn that a cup of gourmet coffee is surprisingly less expensive than most popular beverages on the market today

Don't believe us? Following is the math to prove it. All estimates are based off of a standard 12-cup coffee-maker. The average coffee grind requires 1 rounded tablespoon of ground coffee per two cups of water. This equates to six rounded tablespoons of coffee per pot of coffee. According to there are approximately seventy-five tablespoons of ground coffee per pound of coffee, equating to roughly twelve full pots of coffee per pound.. Twelve pots of coffee equal 144 cups of wonderful brew. Considering waste and human error, we rounded this number down to a conservative 100 cups per pound of coffee. Referring back to the most expensive coffee we could find, the price of a single cup of coffee equates to only $0.49 per cup ($48.95 per pound/100 cups per pound =$0.49 per cup), while the average priced gourmet coffee computes to $0.18/cup ($18 per pound/100 cups per pound = $0.18 per cup). Let's now compare the cost of a serving of gourmet coffee to servings of other beverages. In the below examples, we compare a 12 ounce serving of coffee against 12 ounce servings of other drinks.

Beverage Unit Cost Per 12 ounce Serving

Gourmet Coffee: $0.27 per serving ($18.00 per pound, 66 servings per pound)

Whole Milk: $0.40 per serving ($4 per gallon, 10.67 servings per gallon)

Pepsi: $0.55 per serving ($3.33 per six pack, 6 servings per six pack)

Snapple Peach Tea: $0.67 per serving ($0.89 per bottle, 1.3 servings per bottle)

Budweiser Beer: $0.71 per serving ($17.00 per 24 pack, 24 servings per pack)

Note: For cost accuracy, we checked weekly grocery flyers and the internet for the lowest price on beverages and used those in the above computations. Clearly, a 12 oz cup of gourmet coffee is more affordable than many other popular beverages.

Who can drink coffee?

We often hear comments that, "Coffee is bad for children. It has too much caffeine and my kids want to add lots of sugar!"Stop! I have seen elementary school children drink Mountain Dew both before after school, or as soon as they can get to a convenience store. Did their parents check the ingredients of Mountain Dew or other sodas before allowing their child to buy that supercharged drink? Some parents pride themselves on only allowing their children to drink fruit drinks. These, however, can be laden with too much sugar or even worse, high fructose corn syrup. A cup of coffee, however, is full of both anti-oxidants and phytochemicals, and is often a healthier option than sports or fruit drinks.

Ways to Prepare Coffee

There are also many different ways to enjoy coffee. It is popular in Vietnamese culture to mix sweetened condensed milk with very dark coffee. The Arab culture has been known to mix cardamom in with their coffee. Try adding chocolate, caramel, mint, or any flavor that sounds good to your coffee. You can also buy flavored coffees. Don't like caffeine? Use decaffeinated coffee, and serve it hot or cold to your whole family at any time of day. Use stevia powder instead of artificial sweeteners to sweeten your coffee. Stevia is a natural sweetener that has no calories. You can also try dark brown sugar or evaporated cane juice in your coffee. Clearly, there are many ways to enjoy low-cost coffee at any time of day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why Healthy Tea For Pregnant Women?

Raspberry Leaf Tea is made from the leaves of the raspberry plant. This is a perennial shrub which can be found in many countries all over the world. The red raspberry plant is best known for its delicious red berries, but the leaves of this plant have some medicinal uses as well. The leaves of the red raspberry plant have been used, among other things, to help relieve irritations of the skin and also to ease soreness of the throat and mouth. Raspberry leaf, brewed as a tea, is also a safe tonic herb for pregnant and nursing women.

Raspberry leaf tea is very high in an assortment of nutrients which are very important during pregnancy. One of these nutrients, an alkaloid called fragrine, has been shown to strengthen and relax the muscles of the uterus. It helps with delivery and eases the labor process as well as benefits postpartum recovery. This tea has withstood the test of time, as it has been used by woman for these purposes historically.

Women can drink raspberry leaf tea throughout their pregnancies. This tea is delicious and one can drink it hot or cold, as iced tea. Raspberry Leaf contains many nutritious minerals and vitamins. It is a good source of vitamins A, B complex, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It contains minerals as well, such as calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium to name a few. These nutrients make it an excellent prevention and treatment for anemia and cramping in the muscles, primarily the leg muscles. It can be used to alleviate nausea brought on by morning sickness, and can help to prevent constipation.

This versatile tea is great to drink even after childbirth. It has nourishing and restorative qualities, and is helpful in recovery after having a baby. Its nutritional value is thought to be responsible for the enrichment and production of the mother's breast milk.

Raspberry Leaf tea can be bought as loose leaf tea, and also can be obtained in tea bags for convenience. You can buy this tea from health food stores and you can find it in online stores as well. Red Raspberry Leaf tastes very similar to regular black tea, and can be sweetened with stevia or a little organic cane sugar for a naturally sweetened and refreshing taste.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about starting a new health regimen, it is advisable to consult with your physician.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Differences Between Coffee Ground by Burr Grind Method and Chop Method

The above named methods produce ground coffee that is different in many aspects. To further understand the difference, a highlight of the machines that are used in each method is necessary. Burr grinders have moving wheels and non moving surfaces and are used in the burr grinding method. They are of two types namely wheel burrs and conical burrs. They produce more uniform particles as the positioning of the burr can always be regulated to produce the desired size. Coffee oils are greatly conserved. These machines are more expensive but the extra cost is worth considering the quality of their grind. Blade grinders are used in the chopping method.

They are less expensive as compared to the burr grinders but they produce an uneven grind. This may compromise the quality of coffee brewed. Quality brewing requires evenly ground coffee. However, the fine of grind can be achieved if the grinder is left to run for a longer period. This is a disadvantage in disguise as the grind will be heated and a burned taste will be obtained. Flavors and oils are completely eroded.

Coffee ground by burr grind method can be used in many brewing systems namely percolated systems, French pressed or drip systems. This is because the grind does not result into clogging of the systems. On the other hand, coffee ground by chopping method can only be used in drip coffee makers. If used in pump espresso machines and French presses brewing systems, they result into clogging of the sieves.

The main differences of the grind obtained by the named method can be placed under two categories: the uniformity and size of the grind produced, quality of the grind and number of brewing systems each grind can be used. Knowledge of these differences is vital before a certain brewing system is selected.

Many users will find that burr grinders are more difficult to clean, since the machines themselves are usually well constructed and not for general servicing. Blade grinders on the other hand, can be easily dismantled for servicing, and thus easier to clean. One of the most important aspect of a grinder, is not whether it is burr or blade, but rather how clean the consumer maintains the machine at. A grinder with leftover coffee beans will never be as good as one that is regularly maintained. However, if the user plans to use cleaning tablets for their grinders, then the burr is recommended simply because it can withstand the crushing required with these tablets.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Seven Red and White Wine Types

Wine types are based on the type of grape used in the winemaking process, although wine labels sometime refer to the region in which the grape was grown rather than the grape itself.

France is big on naming their wines after the grape growing region, and wine drinkers don't much care which grapes are in the bottle, as long as the wine came from somewhere like Alsace, Bordeaux, and Champagne. That tendency is largely based on the fact that wine drinkers count on getting a wonderful tasting bottle of wine if it comes from a certain region.

However, the taste of wine depends very much on the grape or grapes used in the winemaking.

Leading Red Wine Types

Cabernet Sauvignon (ca-ber-NAY so-vin-yawn) is the name of the wine, as well as the grape, which is famous for being one of the world's finest red varietals.

Characteristics - Deep red in color, Cabernet is a beautiful medium to full-bodied, dry wine. It has a hearty, complex flavor evoking thoughts of black currants and blackberries. Traditionally, the wine is aged in oak, which gives it an oaky, vanilla flavor. It has a particularly smooth, fine finish. Higher quality Cabernet ages very well for decades.

While perfect all by itself, Cabernet is frequently blended with the red wine types of Merlot, Shiraz, and Sangiovese.

Growing Regions - Cabernet grape vines are very durable and adapt well to a variety of climates. This grape is grown in wine-making regions all over the world, including, Australia, Chile, France, Canada, and northern California.

Merlot (Mer-LO) has become increasingly popular over the last 10-15 years. Due to its mellow taste and low acidity it is a good choice for those new to drinking red wine. Merlot is the name of the wine and the grape.

Characteristics - Merlot is considered a bit softer and less tannic than other red wine types, like Cabernet. However, it's still a complex wine, with rich, chewy flavors of plum and blackberry and hints of cherry and orange. Merlot is not suited for extended aging and is typically consumed immediately.

Merlot is an outstanding grape in a stand-alone wine, as well as when blended with other grapes, particularly Cabernet.

Growing Regions - The Merlot grape plant is grown in Italy, Australia, Chile, Romania, Washington State and California.

Shiraz (shih-RAZ) and Syrah (Sih-rah) are names for the same grape, with Syrah being used by European vintners. (It shouldn't be confused with the Petit Sirah, a completely different grape.)

Characteristics - One of the darkest reds, Shiraz can be made as a fruity, sweet wine with plumy flavors or a dry peppery wine with notes of blackberries, licorice, and chocolate. Hints of toffee come from the wine's aging in oak barrels.

Shirazcan be consumed immediately or aged up to 5 years.

Shirazis frequently blended with Grenache and Cabernet grapes to make some fine wines.

Growing Regions - While the Shiraz grape most likely originated in the Rhone Valley of France where it has been used as a blend with other wines, it is Australia's most widely grown grape and has thus become known as an "Australian" wine. However, Shiraz is also made in South Africa, as well as in some U.S. wineries.

Shirazgrapes cultivated in warmer temperatures tend to have softer plum flavors, while cooler climates give the grape spicy or peppery qualities.

Malbec (MAHL-beck), a black grape, thrives best in the hot dry summers found in Argentina and Chile.

Characteristics - Malbec grapes make a mid-bodied, rustic red wine, dry, with high acidity. Due to its acidity, it is most often blended with other wines.

Growing Regions - Malbec is Argentina's most popular grape variety and is widely grown there. It is also grown in Chile, Australia, and northern California.

Pinot Noir (Pee-no na-wahr) is a delicious red wine made from a variety of black grapes that were originally grown in France's Burgundy region. Some connoisseurs believe that these grapes make some of the finest wines in the world.

Characteristics - Pinot Noir is a challenging grape to grow, but with the right conditions, it produces an outstanding, complex wine. The wine is light to moderate in body, fresh, and delicate. It comes in an array of colors, from purplish-red to cherry-red, even turning brown during aging. It's an earthy wine with varying aromas and flavors rich in worn leather, tea-leaves, oak, vanilla, and jammy, such as strawberry, raspberry, and plum.

Many Pinot Noirs are meant to be immediately consumed, but a good quality Pinot Noir can age for over 10 years.

Friday, January 27, 2012

How to Go Wine Tasting at Wineries?

Wine tasting is one of the things that tourists love to do, especially when in places that are famous for their exquisite wineries like California, Oregon, New York, Washington, Australia, France, Canada, Italy or Chile. Here are some tips and certain things that you must keep in mind while wine tasting, in order for you to enjoy and make your vacation as memorable as possible.

1. Do some research on the winery you plan to visit. Look at their website, and check to see if the wines they offer are not out of your price range, especially if you desire to go to one of the famous and luxury wineries. However, if you are on a tight budget, you better just stick to visiting one of the smaller vineyards, like the family-owned ones.

2. If you have an appointment, make an effort to show up on time. Some wineries won't wait, and will close their doors on late arrivals.

3. Consider hiring a driver and instruct him to stay sober, to be on the safe side. You may get drunk, especially when visiting numerous wineries and tasting several drinks.

4. Ask if there is a tasting fee. If there is, ask again if it can be waived by making a purchase. A small winery rarely charges a tasting fee, while medium and large-sized wineries do. However, a medium-sized winery may waive the tasting fee, while large-sized ones most likely do not.

5. Make conversation with the tasting room employees. They are usually very friendly. Let them know what you thought about the wine and inform them on the kind of wines you like. Once you have informed them, they will recommend some wines for you that they think you'd like. Employees have a fairly good knowledge about wine and they will be more than happy to share it with you.

6. You must maintain good etiquette. If you did not like the taste of the wine, you may spit it into the spit bucket. None of the employees will get offended because they are aware of the spit bucket, so that you can spit the drink out after tasting it. Just make sure that you dispose of it properly, and not in an immature way.

7. Listen to the employees' recommendations. They would often suggest that you eat either a piece of chocolate or cracker with toppings or spread to eat with the wine, because it will bring out even more the wine's flavour and make the experience more fun. It is also good to eat something or drink water in between drinks so that the flavours of the different wines you taste won't mix together, thus you will not know the true taste of the next drink you take a sip of.

8. The winemaking business is a very competitive industry, so if you are on a budget, or looking for wine of a better value, you can find these at the smaller, family-owned wineries.

9. If you are paying a wine tasting fee, then you don't have to purchase a bottle if you don't want to. However, it is polite that you buy at least one, to show that you enjoyed the tasting and appreciated the service. If you are not paying a tasting fee, show some etiquette and buy at least one bottle.

10. Purchase the wine that you liked the best. If your budget allows, you may buy another one that you enjoyed. However, if you plan on visiting other wineries, you might just have to settle on buying just one bottle per winery.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Basics of Wine Selection and Storage

Wine is a very popular alcoholic drink that is ever present on tables during festivities, celebrations, and other special occasions. This is made from the fermentation of grapes although technically, other fruits or plants can also be fermented to make wines. Different types of grapes and fermentation processes are used to make different types of wine. Basically, red wine is made by fermenting grapes with their skin on while white wine is made from grapes that are fermented sans the skin.

Wines have varied prices depending on the kind of grapes used and the fermentation and aging process they have undergone. The finest wines can cost thousands of dollars but of course, there are also affordable wines that are of good quality.

If you know the type or brand of wines that your guests prefer, it is always safe to choose them but if you are not familiar with their preference, select wines based on their price and quality. Inform the store personnel of your budget so he or she can show you the wines that are within your price range. Wine stores usually allow their customers to sample their wines and to be successful in buying wines with excellent quality, you need to consider the following: color, aroma, body, taste, and aftertaste.


The age and maturity of a wine is indicated by its color. And, a wine that is old and mature has a better taste and fuller flavor compared to the young ones. Young white wines are very clear and pale while the older ones are clear with a golden hue. Be careful not to choose young white wines that are gold in color because they have been oxidized during bottling, which is an indication of poor quality. For the red wines, the young ones are those that are purple in color and the old ones are brick red or amber in color.


You can determine the flavor of the wine based on its aroma which is usually associated with different fruits and spices. Wine connoisseurs agree that the best wines are those that have a complex set of aromas.


Wines can be light, medium, or full-bodied depending on the viscosity, consistency, thickness, and texture. When serving wines during a formal dinner, it is customary to serve the light ones first and save the full-bodied ones for the main course.

Taste and Aftertaste

Wines are composed of tannins, alcohol, acidic molecules, and different flavors and in a good wine, all these should be balanced. However, wines such as Barolo and Rutherlen Muscat are designed to have components that are out of balance with each other. For the aftertaste, it is said that wines with a longer finish are made from the best grapes and most meticulous fermentation and aging processes, and they therefore have premium quality.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

How To Make Sure You Are Buying Vegetarian Wine?

Wait... vegetarian wine? But isn't all wine made of grapes? It indeed is, but it can go through processing steps that involve animal products. In winemaking, the troublesome ingredients come into play during the finishing, also called fining or clarifying phase.

The ingredients that may be used and will make the drink not suitable for vegetarians are for example isinglass (which is made from fish bladders), gelatin (which comes from cow bones) and animal albumin (which sometimes consists of dried blood powder). Though none of these fining agents stay in the finished product, most vegetarians and vegans will try their best to drink beverages where no animal products have been used during the making process.

Luckily for them and me, there are vegetarian wine options available. Not all wines go through fining at all, and even if they do, there are vegetarian finishing options which are used, like bentonite clay.

It can be frustrating for vegetarians and vegans to know that there is no obligation on the part of winemakers to declare the use of animal by-products in the winemaking process. In fact, the only real way of knowing if a wine is vegetarian is to look at what is written on the label of the bottle, or the specifications on the website you are buying the bottle from. If it says vegetarian or vegan on the site or the label, it probably is.

If there are no such markings on the label or the website, you can be pretty sure the wine is non-vegetarian - isinglass is still the number one fining agent used in winemaking.

The only exceptions are wines which are labeled as unfiltered. This is in fact not a very rare label, because some wine connoisseurs prefer wine to be unfiltered because of the special character of these wines.

Most good shops for buying wine on line will write in the product description if the wine is vegetarian or vegan. Not all bigger shops on line are interested in offering vegetarian wines, though. It can be beneficial to look in smaller on line wine stores instead.

Especially shops specialized in organic wines have been known to have a wide range of vegetarian and vegan wines in their selection, and these are usually very well labeled, too. You could try your local wine shop to see what they have, but you'll be likely to find the best selection of vegetarian wines on line.

Friday, January 20, 2012

What Are Hand Blown Wine Glasses?

Glasses exhibit luxury and the status of a person using it. It comes in different sizes and shapes so you won't have problems in finding the best hand blown wine glasses for the occasion that you have. However, there are a lot of people who are still unaware of what it is and the things that they need to know about it. Aside from this, there is also very limited information that will tell you immediately what hand blown wine glasses are, and the differences that it has to an ordinary glass. This article will be explaining to you some important points that you need to know about hand blown glasses.

Basically, glasses are mass-manufactured while hand blown wine glasses are molded by hands. When a glass is mass-manufactured, you won't be able to create unique designs and you'll have the same glasses for all your servings. On the other hand, hand blown wine glasses have different shapes, though there are some similarities to it. They are not perfect in a sense that you won't know that they came from the same mold, but they have the same shapes that will tell you they belong in one set or different sets of glasses.

Aside from unique designs, hand blown wine glasses also exhibit exquisite and classy design, giving you better impression for your visitors. This is one of the main reasons why there are a lot of people who prefer to use this kind of glass instead of other options. Unfortunately, there are also some disadvantages associated with using this kind of glass and that is the fact that they are a bit more expensive if you are going to compare it with other glasses that can be found in most stores online and offline, and glass exhibit centers.

If you are simply looking for a glass where you can put your wine, then this is not a good option for you. These glasses are molded with hands, and they are, in most cases, twice as expensive as ordinary glasses. However, if you want to impress your visitors with your exquisite glasses, using hand blown wine glasses could be the best option that you have. The only thing that you need to do is to look for a place where you can get the glasses that you need. There are companies offering worldwide shipping of such glasses, while there are some that operates locally.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What Tomato Juice Benefits?

Tomatoes are those vegetables that are enjoyed by many people. Tomatoes are popularly used in various salads as well as many dishes and they can even be juiced. It is a popular myth that juicing the tomatoes reduces their nutritional value - this is just what it is: a myth. Tomatoes do not lose the important nutrients they contain after you put them through a juice extractor. There are many benefits to be gained from tomato juice but one needs to make sure that the tomatoes used in juicing are 100% organic.

Before you start juicing tomatoes, it is important to remove the peels because it is easier to process through the juicer. Tomatoes are rich in a list of nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, iron, iodine, potassium, copper, zinc, fluoride, Vitamin A, C, organic acids and many more.

Juicing tomatoes and drinking tomato juice reduces risk of cancer especially prostrate cancer and another important benefit of drinking this juice is that it reduces heart diseases and makes the heart and blood vessels stronger. Juicing your tomatoes to create juice and consuming it on a daily basis can also help with weight control. Most of us are always striving to reduce our weight and tomato juice can do that for us because it helps us suppress hunger. Juicing tomatoes also stimulates the metabolism and tomato juice can be used on the skin to treat it for imperfections. It makes our immune system stronger as well. The benefits from tomato juice will only be evident once it is consumed on a regular basis. If you decide to have it once a month or seldom, you will not be able to completely reap its benefits. Tomato juice is easy to make because the tomato is soft and will quickly be processed by a juicer.

Like mentioned before, a juicer at home can do the job for you very quickly. If you have the best juicer selling in stores at the moment, then you can be sure that it will produce top quality juice and also won't pose a threat of breaking down any time soon. Because it is recommended that you drink spinach juice every day to get the most benefits, you cannot have a poor quality juicer that may break down in a couple of months. Make sure you spend that bit of extra money to buy the best juicer that the market offers so you are not in a situation like this.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Fruit Basket Makes the Ultimate Gift

It's that festive time of year again so thinking of gifts to buy friends, colleagues and relatives becomes a challenge.

Gifts are a way to express our fondness and affection towards the special people in our life. Fruit hampers are a more innovative way of showing our love with the added bonus of health benefits.

Think of the positives of fruits: 
Fruits are a natural source of nutrients. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibers. They help to keep us healthy and support all active pursuits. Fruits are a preferred food for people of all ages so a fruit basket makes an interesting choice of gift.

Fruit hampers can be presented in various ways to suit the events. They can suit weddings, birthdays, festive parties or for any business event.

Fruit hampers can be made from a single type of fruit or assorted combinations. They can be selected to suit the occasion and most budgets.

Dried fruit hampers: 
Dried fruit hampers can be made from raisins, goes, pears, figs, cherries, sliced pineapples etc. 
They are a more unusual fruit basket, but have lots of advantages. They don't spoil as easy as fresh fruit and are packed with fiber. 
They are a much healthier alternative to chocolate or sweet hampers. 
It's an increasing trend for companies to provide dried fruit gift hampers to their employees, as a token of appreciation during festival seasons.

Get well soon gifts: 
Fresh can be given to ailing and unwell people. They show the affection and care we have for them.

Gifts for elderly people: 
Fruit hampers make an excellent gift for elderly people. It is always tough to find gifts which suit their needs. Fruits hampers are a clever option in these situations. It is an excellent gift where health matters.

Token of appreciation: 
It's nice to show appreciation to those people who have really helped us over the year. Sending them a fruit hamper containing some of their favorite fruits is a really sincere token of appreciation.

Gifts for intimate events: 
Gifts for romantic events should be really special without being tacky. Fruit bouquets are exceptionally healthy, balanced, delicious and a potentially romantic option. They are arranged just like floral bouquets and decorated with finest of chocolates, nuts, yogurts and wines. The chocolates, nuts, wines and the colorful many fruits in the bouquet help to spice up the intimate mood.

Rewards from fruit hampers: 
Fruit carries excellent health advantages 
They are cheaper than most other custom gifts. 
They can be gifted during all events. 
They reduce gift selection time.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Yummy Winter Beet and Comte Cheese Salad

I have found solace in the kitchen since I needed a step stool in my great-grandmother's Missouri home. Grammy would stand me at the sink and I'd wash potatoes, greens, and carrots. She taught me to fill the sink and get to work without complaining. "It ain't gonna git done on its own", she'd say.

And she taught me how to dance. I didn't know it at the time, (sneaky ol' bird) but she'd fill a glass jar with cream, hand it to me with a beautiful southern drawl.."Shake it up--shake it as hard as you can!", she'd say.

And I'd dance and I'd shake until my arms about fell off. I had no idea I was making butter. Grammy had a way of telling you what you did AFTER you did it.

Fast forward 40 years, and I think of her when I make this salad on cold winter days. Simple acts like washing the beets for the salad recipe below bring me comfort. Their earthy flavor and deep red hue speak to me about the inheritance our families pass to us.

It is my view that home-cooked meals & gathering around the table as a family are somewhat forgotten jewels, buried deep under crazy schedules, hectic deadlines, and the drive-through's of our society. Grammy's generation wouldn't understand ours today, not that she'd want to. She made almost everything in her home from scratch, and we still had time to rock on the front porch every night.

I aim to create a family lifestyle which abhors the hasty, pre-made, selfish culture surrounding us. I want my family to learn healthy food choices through my actions. My inheritance to my son will be the same one that Grammy blessed me with--cooking. We might not make butter, but we'll find our solace in the kitchen and find time to rock on the front porch.

I'm going to do what we all know we need to do. I'm going to take a daily personal interest in my family, and cooking will become our shining jewel.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How Making Salads That Are Great For Diabetics and Others?

The salad recipes in this article are perfect for diabetics. But that doesn't mean they are not tasty for others as well! You can serve these salads to the whole group. Everyone will have a tasty salad and the diabetics will be safe enjoying them, too! The Ginger Noodle Salad is a great salad that uses pasta in a unique way and has a Chinese flavored dressing. The Broccoli Salad uses golden raisins combined with broccoli, bacon, and sunflower seeds for a wonderfully different salad. If you are looking for a good homemade dressing for your favorite green salad, try this Homemade Celery Seed one.

4 oz dry whole-wheat spaghetti or linguine

Cook pasta according to the package directions. Toss with the dressing below:

1 tbsp minced ginger 
3 tbsp Splenda granular 
1 tbsp catsup 
1/4 cup lite soy sauce 
1/4 tsp Chinese chile paste* 
1 tbsp water 
2 tbsp lime juice 
1 tsp canola oil 
2 cups mixed salad greens 
4 lime wedges for garnish, if desired 
In a medium saucepan combine the ginger, Splenda, catsup, soy sauce, chili paste, and water. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat then add the canola oil and lime juice. Using a wire whisk, blend well.

Add the cooked and drained noodles to the dressing and stir in well to coat.

To serve, divide the salad greens evenly among 4 salad plates. Top with the noodles. Garnish each with a lime wedge, if desired.

*If you don't have the Chinese chili paste, substitute a small amount of crushed red pepper to taste.

1 bunch fresh broccoli, broken into florets 
1/2 cup golden raisins (omit if necessary) 
1 small red onion, chopped 
1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise (not salad dressing-too sweet) 
1 tbsp vinegar 
2 tsp Splenda granular 
3 strips cooked bacon, broken into bite-sized pieces 
2 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds

Combine the broccoli florets, raisins-if using, and onion in a large bowl.

In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, and Splenda until well blended. Pour the dressing over the broccoli, toss to coat, and refrigerate until serving time. Before serving, toss gently and sprinkle with the bacon pieces and sunflower seeds.

1 garlic clove 
1 tsp salt 
2 tbsp lemon juice 
1/3 cup olive or canola oil 
1/2 tsp celery seed 
3/4 tsp dry mustard 
1/2 tsp paprika 
1/4 tsp Splenda Granulated 
1/4 tsp black pepper

1 small jar with a lid. A jelly jar works well.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Seven Top Tips for Glorious Summer Salads

Summer salads always arrive on the menu when the sun comes out, the temperatures warm-up, and the days lengthen. With all that re-newed activity taking place, it's always more encouraging to eat lighter, fresher and faster.

Maybe I'm alone here but I struggle with salads! Firstly I have a very low-boredom threshold so when I'm served up a mediocre salad which is mainly a few leaves (often straight out of the pack - mesculin salad you have a lot to answer for!!) and very little else I get frustrated. This is especially limiting as a gluten-free eater where something considerably more substantial is required to fill the spot.

So in an effort to inspire you to step outside the boundaries of what you consider 'salad' and 'salad ingredients', here are my 7 top tips for glorious summer salads.

1. Fresh is best

You can't beat fresh ingredients and the extra flavour they bring to a salad. There's nothing worse than limp lettuce or browned or limp leaves being served up. I'm still amazed how many times these turn up on my plate while eating out!

If your ingredients are fresh from the market all the better but that's not always possible. When composing your salad try to get as many fresh ingredients on there as possible as that's where the most nutrition is. At the end of the day you want your salad to be both nutritious and tasty.

Don't bother to add ingredients that might have been sitting around in your fridge for a week or two. Save them for soup! There's little goodness left after that time. You can taste old ingredients in salad or taste nothing. There's nothing worse than ruining your meal by eating your way through a load of old tasteless salad.

2. Get creative with ingredients

How many times do you trap your thinking into standard salad ingredients when you begin preparing? It's time to get creative and go wild with ingredients. I am a bit of a creative chef myself when composing any meal, but particularly when creating salads.

Go wild with veges. How about including some freshly cut green beans, grilled zucchini, avocado, grated beetroot, mushrooms, cherry tomatos, different coloured peppers, or shredded cabbage (red cabbage looks fabulous!). Or try something a little different like fennel, snow-peas, asparagus, or artichokes.

A scattering of cheese like shaved parmesan or crumbled blue cheese gives a scrummy taste boost. Torn mozzarella or crumbled feta are fab too.

How about adding some fruit? Cranberries, fresh blueberries, watermelon, sliced pear, orange or manderin segments all work well and provide a good taste balance to the savory ingredients. 
3. Think outside lettuce

The tired old iceburg lettuce turning up in salad has been a staple my whole life! I heave a silent sigh whenever I see it served up (usually with grated carrot, tomatos and cucumber). There are so many fabulous options out there.

If you're looking for greenery there are hundreds of different types to choose from. Ok maybe they're not all available at your local market, but if yours is anything like mine, there are at least six different types of lettuce off the top of my head. Some of my favs are cos, buttercrunch, and deer tongue. How about some fresh rocket (always my first choice) or baby spinach? Lettuce is super easy to grow at home, even if you only have a wee balcony.

How about leaving leaves out altogether? How about a fresh watermelon, feta, red onion, and basil salad? A salad of grated carrot, orange segments, cashews and cumin seeds? Or blanched broad beans, radish, red onion, and coriander? Puy lentils, oven-dried tomatos, red onion, parsley, chives and dill?

4. Add some protein

I'm a huge fan of adding protein to salad. Adding protein can turn your salad from a limp accompaniment to a meal in itself. This is especially important if you're feeding gluten-free or celiac diners who will, quite frankly, be starving within the hour if you're only feeding them a few leaves. It also takes quite a lot of energy to chew through lettuce and it's very disappointing if it's only going to temporarily fill the gap.

There is a wide selection of protein sources you can choose from. You can add chicken, beef, lamb, tuna (fresh or canned), salmon (ditto), shrimp, beans (chickpea, kidney, lima etc), lentils (puy are especially good), tofu, hard-boiled eggs, quinoa, rice, carrots, corn, or almonds. Just pick one or two from the list and scatter them through the salad.

If adding meat, I prefer to prepare my own then I know exactly what's in it. Cooking a whole chicken with stuffing will provide a family meal one night, and plenty more for a salad or two over the following few days.

At a stretch you could add bacon or cold cuts but by majority, these are highly processed and not recommended. As a gluten-free eater, I especially avoid cold cuts these days (although I admit to a love of salami which I can't quite kick).

5. Add seeds, nuts and fresh herbs

The secret to a tasty salad is adding little bursts of unexpected flavour. Seeds, nuts and fresh herbs are the perfect addition. Try seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, sesame or poppy seeds or a combination. Add some walnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia, pecans or pinenuts. Toss in some pomegrante seeds which look superb.

There are no limits to the types of fresh herbs you can throw into your salad, nor the number of different types of herbs you can use in one salad. My favourite herbs are always basil and coriander. I also use fresh mint given half a chance. How about some Italian parsley, sage, thyme, dill, chives, or oregano? Or stretch out your culinary adventures and try lemon balm, dandelion, chicory, marshmellow or violets (yes, those cute little purple flowers are edible).

6. Let people dress their own salad

Individual tastes dictate a whole raft of preferences for salad dressings. I personally don't like salads swimming in oil, nor am a fan of creamy dressings or mayonnaise (mainly because they're usually not gluten-free).

This is especially important for gluten-free eaters. Numerous times I could have eaten a salad but discovered the dressing held nasty gluten. When given a choice, I simply opt for a light dressing of olive oil. If I'm making a dressing for others - I use oil, either lemon or lime juice or vinegar (usually balsamic), then add salt and peppers. Sometimes I might add fish sauce, sesame oil, grain mustard or tamari (wheat-free soya sauce).

Not dressing your salad also makes it last longer. Any uneaten salad can be popped in a container in the fridge for lunch the next day or the next night's dinner.

7. Serve it at room temperature

A chilled salad just doesn't cut it! It bites on the palate, hides the natural flavours of the ingredients, and quite frankly shows you're not thinking of the diner. Ok maybe the cleanliness brigade might disagree on this (but I'm all for letting my immune system naturally do its thing), but I think removing a pre-prepared salad from the fridge 1-2 hours before consuming is perfect. It takes that freezing chill off.