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Simple Ways to Take Your Meals Up a Nutritional Notch

by Orange Naturals Team on in General, Nutrition, and Recipes

Simple Ways to Take Your Meals Up a Nutritional Notch

You try to make healthy meals and have wholesome snacks on hand to keep junk food consumption down. But what if you take those healthy meals from good to great by adding a spoonful of this or a squeeze of that? It can be just that easy.

Organic Free Range Eggs

I buy two 24 count cartons at a time – we go through them that fast. Twice a week I’ll boil up a pot full and keep them in the fridge. Hardboiled eggs make a quick and nutritious snack whether I’m looking for something light to eat before I go to the gym or if I’m running out the door to appointments. They’re also easy to add to salads, slice on top of toast or put in a sandwich. One egg has about six grams of protein and just over 70 calories. Eggs are packed with B, A and D vitamins and minerals like zinc and iron. They’re a great source of omega-3s and antioxidants, too.

Non fat Greek Yogurt

Yogurt is not just a base for fruit and granola. It can be used as a substitute for sour cream on your baked potato or for mayonnaise in dips. Top off a hearty soup or chili with a spoonful of Greek yogurt on top. You can pretty much add anything to it and it’ll taste good. How about some stevia and cocoa powder for a high protein chocolaty snack? You can even use it as a substitute for butter or oil in muffin or loaf recipes. One cup has around 120 calories and 22 grams of protein. Of course, it’s also a great source of calcium!

Cooked quinoa

This is my new favourite grain to add to almost anything. I mix it in with ground chicken to make Asian inspired meatballs, sprinkle some between layers of lasagna, add it to rice, soups and even use it as a substitute for bread crumbs in homemade chicken nuggets or cutlets; they really do stick! I love that quinoa is gluten-free and cooks up in less than 15 minutes. I freeze what I don’t use and thaw it quickly in the microwave whenever I need some. One cup of cooked quinoa has eight grams of protein, five grams of fiber, is a good source of iron and B vitamins and is just over 200 calories.

Nut Butters

Almond, peanut, cashew, I love them all. If you have family members with nut allergies then sunflower or pumpkin butters make good substitutions. What can’t you spread nut butters on?

I like to make big batches of cookies and energy balls and keep them in my trusty freezer.

Here’s a recipe for healthy nut butter cookies that are just as delicious frozen as they are out of the oven:

1 cup unsalted almond, cashew or seed butter

1/4 cup Sucanat

1 large egg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

3 oz dark chocolate (at least 70%) broken into small chunks

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together first 5 ingredients until blended, stir in chocolate. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheet for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned.

Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing. Cookies will be very soft. Cool another 15 minutes on wire rack.

Squeeze tube herbs and seasonings

Herb plants are fun to have on your windowsill but don’t always last. I prefer using ginger, garlic and herbs like oregano, basil and cilantro in squeeze tubes and keeping them in my fridge. It makes adding flavour to foods while cooking a lot easier and less messy. Herbs and spices have medicinal as well as health benefits. Adding some to your meals can be a good preventative measure benefitting your whole family.

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