Food Dehydrators – Do You Really Need One?

Food Dehydrators – Do You Really Need One?

 

 
Food dehydrators certainly do have some pros and perks. But then, so do air and oven drying. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of dehydrators and other methods.

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1. Dehydrators

These neat machines look a bit like air purifiers or humidifiers. They work by circulating hot, dry air around food at a temperature of about 150 degrees F.

Pros

* Speed – There’s no doubt that dehydrators speed up the process of food drying, sometimes significantly. Fast drying means bacteria have less time to grow, and it also means that foods tend to retain their color better.

* Space – A dehydrator takes up a lot less space than spreading foods all over screens or stringing them on thread and hanging them in garlands.

* Convenience – When you dry food in a dehydrator, you don’t have to carry your food indoors at night and put it back out in the morning. You also don’t have to worry about leaving an oven on all day if you have to step out.

Cons

* Expense – Dehydrators can be expensive. Expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $250 for various models.

* Energy use – Dehydrators don’t necessarily use a lot of energy, but they certainly do use more household electricity than air and sun drying.

* Storage – You won’t be using your dehydrator every day, so storing it when you’re not using it (which is most of the time) can be a problem.
2. Oven Drying

Pros

* Saves space – Since you already have an oven in your kitchen, you don’t have to make space for another appliance, or for homemade drying racks.

* Relatively fast – Oven drying is not as fast as a dehydrator due to the lack of circulating air; but it’s generally faster than air drying.

Cons

* Energy use – Oven drying is probably the most energy-consumptive method. Even on a low temperature, it takes a decent amount of electricity to keep an oven warm constantly.

* Inconvenience – You can’t cook or bake anything else in the oven until the food is dry.
3. Air and Sun Drying

Pros

* Free energy – You don’t have to concern yourself with using electricity – sun and air are free!

* Flavor – Some claim that air and sun drying produces the best flavor in produce, and infuses it with “natural energy” instead of electrical energy.

Cons

* Pests – Bugs, rodents, and pets can spoil your efforts.

* Weather – If the weather turns wet and you can’t get your food inside on time, your whole venture may be ruined.
As you look at this list, it seems like dehydrators do stand out as the most effective means of drying food. But if you can’t afford one or if you don’t have a place to store one, or if you are just working with a small amount of food to dry, the oven and the air and sun can still work. You can also check at yard sales this summer and see if anyone is selling a used dehydrator for cheap.

 

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7 Clean Eating Hacks You’ll Want to Know

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7 Clean Eating Hack You’ll Want to Know

Deciding to eat clean and limit processed food is difficult. Breaking old habits gets harder as you get older. You get more set in your ways. Then when you want to change, you’re overwhelmed and not quite sure what to change.

Here are 7 hacks that will help you start your clean eating lifestyle.

1. Eat Five or Six Small Meals

Purchase smaller plates and eat several meals throughout the day instead of the three large meals that you’re used of. You’ll feel more satisfied and won’t have the urge to overeat.

2. Learn What Portion Sizes Look Like

Most people think they can look at a portion size and know when it is a serving. This isn’t true. America’s tend to overfill their plates and that has become the custom. Don’t guess, you’ll no doubt over eat if you do.

3. Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Get more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Change a packaged snack for an apple, banana or a bag of grapes. An easy way to get a few servings of both fruit and vegetables is to juice or make smoothies.

4. Eat Three Servings Of Whole Grain a Day

Trade the unrefined grains such as white bread products to whole wheat. Check the ingredients and make sure that whole wheat is listed as one of the first three ingredients or that that package says 100% whole wheat.

5. Take Snacks On The Go

Make sure you pack your own snacks when you leave the house. You won’t be tempted to stop at the corner store to pick up something real quick. If you already have a bag of carrots in your purse or car it will help you until you get home.

6. Five Ingredient Rule

Making your food from scratch is not always an option. Sometimes there are circumstances where you need to buy sauces in a jar or packaged products. When that happens make sure that you can read each ingredient on the label and that there are only five ingredients total.

7. Include the Family

Take into account how your family feels and what they like. Find recipes that you know they will like. Start with their favorite dishes and substitute one or two things. Instead of buying spaghetti sauce with mushrooms and green peppers inside a jar, buy fresh vegetables and add those to the mixture.

These are just a few of the hacks you will be able to start doing in your daily life. You can start with one or all of them the important thing is that you take action towards your goal every single day.

 

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Hoisin Shrimp Stir-fry

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Hoisin Shrimp Stir-fry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces soba noodles
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 3 teaspoons Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil, divided
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup snap peas
  • ½ cup Wildtree Hoisin Sauce
Instructions
  1. Prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Cut zucchini into ¼-inch thick planks and then slice into long, thin strips; set aside. Heat 2 teaspoons Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp and sauté until cooked through. Transfer to a bowl. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil in the now empty skillet. Add bell pepper, carrots, red onion, and snap peas. Cook vegetables for 7-10 minutes or until tender, but still crisp. Add cooked shrimp, zucchini, cooked noodles, and Hoisin Sauce to the skillet. Toss to combine; cook until heated through. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 270 Fat: 5 gm Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 32 gm Sodium: 850 mg Fiber: 3 gm Protein: 24 gm Cholesterol: 135 mg

 

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Hoisin Sauce http://www.mywildtree.com/PWS/WendyWilkes/store/AM/product/Hoisin-Sauce,1667.aspx

Cordon Bleu Chicken Burger

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Cordon Bleu Chicken Burger
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1 package Wildtree Crispy Chicken Blend
  • 4 slices swiss cheese, cut into quarter sized pieces
  • 4 slices deli ham, cut in half
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Wildtree Zesty Mustard Sauce
  • 1 cup arugula
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Clean and grease the grill grates. Mix ground chicken and Crispy Chicken Blend together until well combined. To prevent sticking, coat hands in oil before shaping chicken burgers. Shape ½ cup of ground chicken into a thin patty. Fold ½ slice of deli ham into a small square and place between two pieces of swiss cheese. Place the stacked meat and cheese in the center of the patty and wrap the ground chicken around it to create a stuffed burger. Repeat for the rest of the chicken; makes 8 burger patties. Grill for 5 minutes on each side until lightly charred and cooked through: 165°F. Whisk mayonnaise and Zesty Mustard Sauce together to make a sauce. Place a chicken burger on a bun and top with arugula. Drizzle with mustard sauce.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 410 Fat: 19 gm Saturated fat: 6 gm Carbohydrates: 30 gm Sodium: 590 mg Fiber: 1 gm Protein: 30 gm Cholesterol: 120 mg

 

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Zesty Mustard Sauce :  http://www.mywildtree.com/PWS/WendyWilkes/store/AM/product/Zesty-Mustard-Sauce,1701.aspx

 

Kale and Faro Salad

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Kale and Faro Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked farro
  • 1 bunch of Kale
  • ½ red onion
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • For the Vinaigrette:
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T champagne vinegar (or your favorite flavored vinegar)
  • 1 t honey
  • juice squeezed from a lime wedge
Instructions
  1. Remove stems from kale and tear into bite size pieces.
  2. Blanch kale in boiling water for 1-2 minutes just to soften a bit.
  3. Drain kale and toss with cooked farro.
  4. Finely slice red onion and slice red pepper into bite sized pieces. Mix with kale and farro.
  5. Mix all ingredients for dressing in a jar and shake, or whisk in a bowl. Pour dressing over other ingredients and toss till everything is coated.

 

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Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup with Fresh Dill

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Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup with Fresh Dill
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
 
This super easy and refreshing chilled soup is perfect for a hot summer day. It comes together in just a few minutes without ever needing to turn on your oven or cooktop. This soup is also a great way to use up those delicious cucumbers from your garden or local farmers’ market.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 ½ cup Greek 2% yogurt
  • ½ medium avocado, peeled and seeded
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and cut in half
  • 3 T. fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice
  • 2 t. ground cumin
  • 2 t. sea salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • optional: sprigs of fresh dill and/or sliced cucumber for garnish
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. If you prefer a thinner soup, add a little more chicken or vegetable stock until you reach the desired consistency.
  3. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 2- 3 hours before serving.
  5. Serve topped with sprigs of fresh dill and thin slices of cucumber.
  6. For an even prettier presentation, toss a few cooked and chilled shrimp with some ground cumin and chop into small pieces.
  7. Sprinkle seasoned shrimp pieces on top of soup and add a sprig of fresh dill.

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Ask Yourself This – Why Not?

Ask Yourself This – Why Not?

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Yes, there are 3 questions there, but the list could have been a lot longer, all starting with the same 2 words…

WHY NOT?

I hear it all the time, I see people post it all the time on social media – they wish things were like this, they wish things were like that, and when the question is asked why they don’t do something about it, the most common answer is ‘oh, I couldn’t do that!’

The responses are variations on that theme, that whatever the situation is, it’s not something that can be changed.

I ask again – why not? Why can’t it be changed? Why can’t it be changed by you? Why can’t something be done now?

If people moan about their surroundings, their job, their house, their relationships, their finance, I ask again – why not? Why can’t it be changed, why can’t it be changed by you? Why can’t it be started now?

It’s always challenging for people to be asked the question, because it’s not a question they have seriously considered before, so they aren’t able to put it into words. That’s a key point, because the lack of formulation of actual reasons behind the ‘nothing can be done’ response, allows it to flow around as nothing more than a vague concept.

The problem is, this vague concept has the power to rule and shape our life, because we let it fool us into thinking that the status quo is the only way. If we think there is only one way, then we only act one way, and that way will leave everything unchanged, which in turn is seen as evidence that it ‘has to be that way!’

So, when challenged about why changes can’t happen, if we delve deeper, we normally get to reasons of belief and fear.

Belief of not being good enough, a fears of failing, fears of it being too hard, fears of others laughing at us.

Hmm…

I can understand how a mindset like this comes to be, I can. If it’s drummed into us, by our peers and then by ourselves (!), then why *wouldn’t* it become our default way of thinking?

Yes, I can understand it, but I also *know* that it most certainly doesn’t have to be that way.

The belief of not being good enough normally comes from no more than being told it by others! More often than not it doesn’t come from actually finding out, taking action to try, and *then* see what happens. Taking action might show that you have a lot to learn, in which case, great! Set off and start learning.

The fears of failing or it being too hard, well they also tend to come from the imagination, thinking about failure rather than finding out in reality.

If we stop answering the ‘why not’ questions with negative answers ungrounded in factual trial, and replace them with answers of ‘I don’t know, let’s find out’, then, oh, life changes!

Life changes right there and then, and if followed through, can change it beyond recognition – it can transform it.

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Broken Glass?

It’s happened to all of us.

One of the worst things to clean up is broken glass. You risk cutting yourself  and also  leaving little bits for yourself or someone else to step on later.

Use this tip  to get the job done.

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If you ever drop glass, put a piece of bread on it.

The consistency of the bread will pick up even the smallest of shards.

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Cheesecake Muffins

SO simple to make and yummy too!

(Great for portion control as well)

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Is “Old Age” Just A Mindset?

You run into people all the time whose chronological age makes them technically, “old age” but whose physical appearance, attitude, and posture make them seem decades younger than their birth certificate would indicate.

On the other hand, you see people who are only 40 to 50 years old that already seem ready for retirement.

What makes the difference between these two classifications of people?

Many people are overlooking the power of the mind when it comes to the aging process. Those who continue to lead active lives with many social contacts and intact relationships with loved ones often carry the mindset that they are still young. They participate in sports, go dancing, eat out, and enjoy their bodies long after others have given up.
Attitude is everything when it comes to getting older. If you grew up in an era where “old age” happened when a person reached the age of 50 years, you will already feel you have arrived at old age upon your fiftieth birthday.
You tend to turn down opportunities for physical and social activity, increase the times you are sedentary and stop challenging your cognitive mind. When this happens, you truly do lose what you don’t use and you physically and emotionally age much faster than those who maintain physical, cognitive, and social activities well into the age where many others feel just too old to participate in these activities.
How do you get into the mindset of feeling young again?
It’s probably never too late to do this. You first need to recognize that age is just a number and that there are people much older than you who are doing things you may consider “too old” for them without difficulty. Look at people who seem and look younger than their years would otherwise say.
These are people who have refused to give into the meaning of the calendar and who continue to participate in youthful activities, bearing in mind that taking care of their body takes precedence over everything else. They are mentally alert, curious about life, and haven’t given up trying new things.
Compare these people with those who chronically complain about aches and pains, step back from fun and challenging activities, and prefer being sedentary to being more active.
These might be people who decide that they are too old to give up bad habits that contribute to the aging process, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, and have given up the meticulous care of their bodies that it takes to look and feel young.
What kind of person do you want to be?
The difference truly is in your mindset. If you decide that your body is a temple and continue to care for it, challenge it, and respect it, you will have no difficulty seeing yourself as young and vibrant.
Your risk of stressful life diseases will be less and you will feel less stressed in life when you carry yourself better and think of yourself as younger than your chronological age. If instead you dread your birthdays and see the passing of the years as a year closer toward death, your motivation and determination to feel and look young will be diminished and you will reflect that mindset in the way you present yourself to others.
If your ancestors lived long and healthy lives, take solace in knowing that you probably will, too, and you can carry the mindset of youth throughout your middle-aged years and older aged years.
Even if your ancestors did not live long and healthy lives, know that medical advances that focus on prevention and management of chronic diseases are on your side so that you can continue to feel and be young—well into your older years.
Never forget that age is just a number, and it does not dictate, “how one should feel” or “how one should act” at 50, 60 or even 90.

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Wake up feeling refreshed!

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When it comes to managing your weight, supporting a healthy body, and maintaining important body functions, very few things are as important as a good night’s sleep.

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Chocolate Banana Muffins

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

 

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs, bananas and vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture just until combined. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups half full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

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5 Ways To Focus Your Energy Towards Your Well-being 

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When you take better care of yourself and your body, it will boost your well-being rather quickly.

Eating well and exercising will provide benefits that can be seen almost instantly, helping the mind and body to manage virtually any difficulty that you may face, which includes depression and anxiety.
In addition to providing nourishment for your body and participating in physical activities that you enjoy, there are a number of other ways that your mental health and overall well-being can be improved, as well, which are highlighted here.
Accept the Emotions You Experience
There are some people who would make the argument that the majority of your physical, relational and mental issues come from the inability to be able to experience your emotions. Rather than experiencing them, you medicate, rationalize, project, bury, deny, smother, drink away, suck it up or sweep unpleasant emotions under the rug. The emotions that are most often avoided include fear, anger and sadness.
If you put more energy into avoiding emotions, rather than feeling them, you are going to feel stressed and suffer anxiety. Take an active role in letting your guard down and feeling emotions.
Take Risks Everyday
It is a good idea to create a routine and structure; however, this can also cause you to become stuck in a rut. This means that you are not growing as a person. Taking a certain number of risks can be both rewarding and healthy.
Take some time to challenge yourself and take a risk every single day. This can mean talking to a new person, trusting someone, asserting yourself or setting some type of tough goal. The key is to push yourself beyond your comfort zone.
Live in the Moment
There are a number of mental health trends that become challenged when a person gets sucked into what happened in the past or what people “did to you” rather than actually taking responsibility of r what you are doing or creating the present moment, right this second. The key is to live in the moment, without hyper focusing on the past or the future.
Be Introspective
It is important to avoid just coasting through your life without taking the time to assess yourself. For example, you need to ask yourself often if you are in denial regarding anything or if you are resisting something in your life. It is also a good idea to take a step back and consider where your behaviors and feelings are coming from. You may ask yourself the question “Is this thought helpful? Is the behavior needed? Is there another option?”
Laugh Daily
In many situations, people take themselves much too seriously. If you need proof, consider the following. Kids laugh about 200 times a day and adults, only 15 times a day. In order to laugh more, go see a funny movie, play a funny game or just enjoy life. Taking the time to laugh more will not only help you feel better and be happier, it can also make you younger.
Improving your well-being does not have to be as difficult or complex as you may imagine. By using the five tips here, you can easily discover that you feel better, you are less stressed, and that you are able to enjoy life more.
Don’t ignore the importance of exercise and eating right; however, it is important to understand that there is much more to a person’s overall well-being than physical activity and smart food options. Being informed and aware of yourself, how you act and how you feel can impact your well-being in significant ways.

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Blended Tropical Sorbet

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1 cup of Almond Milk or Coconut Milk
4 cups of Frozen Tropical Fruit (I used Mango, Papaya, Strawberries, Pineapples)
1 Banana
raw honey, sweeten to taste, (or preference) – optional..personally I add none. The fruits make it sweet enough for me.
Cardamom and Cayenne Pepper (or preference) – optional

Note: this recipe was prepared in my VitaMix and will yield a thick, milkshake consistency product. If you want a looser texture, simply add more milk.

** Don’t have 4 cups of Frozen Fruit..? Add Ice to get to the 4 cup mark
This recipe should be adapted to your choice of Spices/Flavorings

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