Food 4 Thought

R3 Fitness & R Thoughts 4 You


Quickly this has become a moment of stockpiling food, making the most from little and trying our best to remain well – mind and body.  Time to get creative, waste nothing, be prepared, minimize trips to the grocery store and support our health. Many of us, being essentially sheltered in place, have extra time on our hands for better or worse.  Let’s make it for the better…. 

Do you hate when you have those 3 brown bananas and know you should bake banana bread, but don’t want to make the effort or have the time?  Or you have a loaf of bread that is a bit dry and you can make bread pudding or croutons, but, ugh, what a chore? Do you struggle when wasting leftovers? You didn’t prepare ahead and now it is dinner time? Well…now’s our time.  Waste nothing..not time or perishables…and avoid extra trips to the store.

Banana bread – embrace those brown bananas…they are sweeter. You can use applesauce in exchange for vegetable oil to add extra vitamins and minerals and decrease the fat.  Use half whole wheat flour and half white flour to increase fiber. And, if you don’t eat the entire loaf, freeze half of it. Have you ever tried banana bread french toast?  Yum!  

Do you have some blueberries that are not as crisp as you’d like them to be, but you know they are a superfood?   Blueberries are high in antioxidants which are substances that may protect your cells against free radicals that play a role in fighting heart disease, cancer and other diseases so you feel guilty wasting them…add them to the banana bread or the bread pudding.

Bread pudding is essentially stale bread, milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and fruit or chocolate chips.  You can use milk with added protein, Stonyfield Farm makes one, to make the pudding even more beneficial.  Unfortunately, we naturally lose muscle as we age…let’s sneak in protein for muscles! Whole grains from the bread (that you may have thrown away in the past) are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber and contain several B vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.  They have been shown to lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease and diabetes. Bonus!

Sweet tooth…do you have the need for some chocolate during these trying times? You can add dark chocolate chips to the bread pudding or banana bread.  Dark chocolate has many benefits- the main one being that dark chocolate is a powerful antioxidant, but also improves cholesterol, heart disease and blood pressure. Have some yogurt close to the expiration date? Don’t waste or dismay…you can use yogurt in your banana bread or bread pudding. Yogurt is a great source of calcium for strong bones and protein for strong muscles.  It contains probiotics which are good bacteria that protect the body from more harmful bacteria…who wouldn’t want that right now? Both the bread pudding and banana bread can be used for breakfast, dessert or a snack.  All up to you!

Croutons are made from whole grain bread, olive oil and garlic.  Whip them up for your salad and you look like a gourmet chef.  Cube up your semi-stale bread, olive oil, and garlic powder and shake in a Ziploc bag.  Put it in the oven at 350 degrees until they have your desired crunch. Another idea is to saute the bread in a frying pan with fresh garlic and olive oil.  Garlic is known to boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol, improve brain function and physical performance, keep bones strong, fight fungal infections, and so much more.  Good quality olive oil offers many health benefits as well and includes essential vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants.  

Remember lunch bag surprise from elementary school…was the surprise actually the school’s leftovers repurposed?  Do you have some extra cooked veggies and eggs in the house? Chop up what you have left over and make a frittata.  They are great for dinner and breakfast the next day!  
Waste not and prepare ahead by making a big batch of your favorite soup and freezing it in one serving containers.  You can include leftover chopped chicken or sweet potatoes, for example, in your soup.  This is good in a pinch when you are not prepared for a meal, when the cabinets begin to look bare, and when you still want to avoid the store. Soup is full of fluids from the broth, fiber from the vegetables and legumes, and disease fighting antioxidants…and typically low in calories. 

Do you have any creative ideas to avoid waste, eat healthier, minimize trips to the grocery store and try some new recipes?

Let us know your REAL THOUGHTS on this…

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