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Eating healthy doesn't mean depriving yourself of the foods and flavors you love. This article discusses some simple changes which can keep with your lifestyle and not bust your wallet - or your waistline!
Thanks to the increased demand for healthier eating options, grocers and restaurants everywhere are putting nutrition at the forefront of their offerings. Which is wonderful, but as you learned in Business 101, the greater the demand, the higher the price they can charge.
What follows are some frugal tips for you and your family to drop a few pounds without saying goodbye to flavor and fun.
Ditch the Pizza Chain and Make Your Own
Pizza is the perfect family meal: it’s easy, everyone likes it, and a single large pizza can last two meals. However, part of the reason it is so substantial is because of the fat content it contains – just one slice of chain pizza can have as many as 13 grams of fat (117 calories)!
Couple that with the fact that you probably eat faster than you should, and when the heaviness hits you, you’re three slices (roughly 350 fat calories) in. Knock that calorie wallop back a tad by learning to make your own pizza. Find a dough recipe you like, make a large batch, and portion it, tightly wrapping and freezing each portion for use at a later date.
Before you leave for work on the day of pizza night, pull a portion out from the freezer to thaw in the fridge while you’re gone. Come home, crank your oven up as high as it will go, unwrap your dough, and let it rest on a floured surface while you prepare all of your toppings.
Roll out the dough, top it the way you like it, and toss it into the oven. Make sure to include on top as many healthy toppings as you can from mushrooms to green peppers, extra tomatoes and onions - the more toppings you include the more filling each slice will be.
Ten minutes later: healthy, fresh, and tasty pizza that cost you about three dollars to make.
Make Your Own Desserts
Ice cream lovers far and wide have been on the hunt for a healthier alternative to their favorite concoction, and they need look no further than Italian gelato. The Italian version of ice cream is made using whole – or even 2% - milk instead of the fattier cream from which ice cream is made. Gelato is as flexible as it is delicious, and has caught on like wildfire, so much so that now companies are competing to make the best gelato machine for home use .
Learning how to make your own gelato is a fun experience to do with your kids and the options for flavors are literally endless and completely in your control. You can also freeze gelato in small containers and give to friends and family as gifts throughout the year.
Make Your Own Eggo’s
Toaster waffles are great for grabbing a quick breakfast snack when pressed for time on your way to work, but they’re so full of hard-to-pronounce ‘ingredients’ that you really don’t want to make a steady diet out of them.
We suggest you find a good waffle recipe, double (or even triple) it, and cook the waffles as prescribed. Let each one cool to room temperature, wrap first in plastic, then very tightly wrap in wax paper and then a final layer of foil, and freeze. Healthy, wholesome, and ready to meet the same demands as those processed ones. Much cheaper, too.
Fear not When Buying Frozen Fruit
Fresh fruit is always preferred, but if it’s reaching the end of a growing season, buying its frozen brethren is the way to go. Frozen fruits are picked at the peak of ripeness, then flash-frozen to preserve their color and flavor.
They may cost a little more up front, but they keep their nutrients well, and as a bonus, they replace the ice called for in many fruit shake recipes, resulting in a less watered-down taste and a cold, frothy consistency.
Separate Your Own Egg Whites
Your cholesterol is outrageous, but you can’t envision a future without omelets? There are several egg white and egg substitutes available, but they’re pricy and, quite frankly, tasteless. Separating the white from the yolk is easy: just crack the egg into a bowl, pull out the yolk with your hand, and roll it around gently until the white falls off.
You can do it like the pros – cracking the egg and rolling it between shell halves – but that takes a lot of practice, and you’ve got things to do... like whisking your egg whites with a pinch of salt and pepper before tossing them into a preheated non-stick pan with a light layer of canola or olive oil.
Little things like this list above can make a world of difference in eating healthy, frugally, and of course, deliciously. From Italian desserts perfect for summer time treats, to early morning healthy waffles or for blending frozen fruit shakes with a little spiralina - there are plenty of ways to eat healthy while still minding the budget.
SimpleItalianCooking.com was created by Liz Krause to provide simple and easy Italian recipes for others like her looking for quick but delicious recipes. She started learning simple Italian recipes after she married a fellow Italian and had to hone in on her cooking skills. Today she's proud to say she can actually prepare some impressive meals such as chicken piccata and lasagna without looking at a cookbook!
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