TTSTip: Spicing Up Your Fiber! Healthy Post!

I just scooped some apple filling on it, and has a wonderful oatmeal experience.

Do you want to spicy up yor oats? No really! Here’s a quick tip to get extra spice in your oatmeal, Sure, it does involve adding a little ore sugar, but it’s sure to please your buds¬†Instead of buying bulk packs of flavored oatmeal that is full of added sugar, corn syrup (yuck) and sodium, why not just make your own oatmeal and flavor it yourself? It’s easier than you think ūüėČ Just add a taeaspoon of apple pie filling, or canned apple pie flavor with spices added, and you have a quick, hearty, spiced up oatmeal dish. ¬†I¬†recommend¬†also adding nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon, with a pinch of salt (alla the directions) and a¬†little¬†sugar, cooking and then adding it o top, but you can also add a¬†teaspoon¬†to cooking oatmeal with your spices, and I promise you’ll love it! It’s bliss!

I usually just flavor my oatmeal whenever I cook it, and the add whatever fruits I want. If I’m making a berry type, I just add vanilla and sugar to my Quaker oats, and then let it boil. I could never eat the oatmeal plain, and I¬†think¬†a lot of people dislike oatmeal because they follow the directions on the back, and don’t add extra things to it.

TTS Tips: Stuff To Do With Pesto Sauce

Pesto, the perfect mix of pine nuts, basil, garlic, parm and olive oil enhance bland dishes and can be quite a versatile condiment to have in your household. I’ll admit that I’m a pesto fanatic. Mostly because I love anything with garlic and basil, and find that pesto can really add pep (Oh, goodness.what a cheesy adjective.) To almost anything!! I’m going to give a few tips on what else your pesto may be good for. But mind you, I am *not* a pesto expert and these ideas will be from the top of me head, so here goes.

  • The most obvious use- in your pastas! ¬†This is what pesto has been used for historically, and it’s practical, and delicious!
  • As a spread for sandwiches! Try this- Grab a toasted bagel, spread some pesto on there, and fill the center with whatever you want! From a veggie sandwich (using mushrooms, onions, sprouts, and sun dried tomatoes), or for a baked chicken sandwich, this spread is sure to please. Even add it to a wrap for a fun snack.

    Asiago Cheese bagel with baked chicken patty and *pesto sauce*

  • As a dip. Combine pesto and mayo to create a fun dip for company, or not. ¬†(Honestly, I just came up with this one, and don’t have a recipe, but just combine both ingredients until it’s well¬†balanced¬†in flavor.) I’m curious abut what a pesto bean dip would taste like. You can even toast some Italian bread, add a little ore olive oil, and di it in the pesto-olive oil mixture.
  • As a pizza base. Yes, as a pizza base. I love pizza, but often react to the harsh marinara sauce, so I find that having a variety of pizza bases from a “white base” (usually olive oil and maybe garlic) or a “green base” are fun ways to enjoy my pizza in a new and¬†exciting¬†way, without the heartburn!You can build your own pizza by buying the ingredients at your local¬†grocery¬†store, and add some pesto on th crust, followed by cheeses, veggies and your meat. I do¬†recommend¬†chicken or a turkey with pesto, because I have had it and know it’s tasty. I cannot be certain of the darker meats, though.
  • Combine pesto with cream cheese and make a¬†fabulous¬†spread on a¬†bagel¬†or a cracker!
  • As a marinade for chicken/other meats. You can combine some salt, pepper, pesto and maybe a little white wine, whisk it together in a bowl and spread it evenly over the meat. Let it sit for a few hours/overnight, and you’ve got well seasoned, and tasty chicken!
  • In baked goods, or quickes/fritatas/strattas. Combine small amounts (or to taste) in quickes/fritatas/strattas to add a new element of flavor, or even make pesto+ veggie flavored breads, or savory muffins. Even make a pesto and cheese loaf (with a¬†mozzarella, parm, garlic and cream cheese spread?)
  • Pesto butter!!! Combine pesto and butter until the desired¬†consistency.
  • Pesto Bruschetta- Take a few slices of Italian(French or Cuban) bread, and either smear it with a fresh clove of garlic, and the pesto sauce, toasting it until crisp. Then, Add chopped tomatoes (fresh or sundried) and minced garlic (optional) as well as grated parm,¬†mozzarella, or feta cheese. While I was writing this, I wondered if there was actually a recipe for this, because I didn’t want to make something up that was not going to taste good. I found one!! Here it is-http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Pesto-Bruschetta
  • And on a salad- either pasta, chicken salads or green leafed salads! There i actually a salad dressing that combines basil and balsamic. Though its not pesto, the basil flavor is strong and gives the idea of how basil would taste on a salad.

Must Try Food: Sweet Potato Fries (with a surprise tip!)

Firstly, I must blog about my new guilt free indulgence sweet potato fries. ¬†I¬†love sweet¬†potatoes¬†as I find them more versatile and tasty than regular white potatoes. Also, nutritionally, they are more valuable than white potatoes.¬†Let’s compare briefly. First, here’s a video of the difference between the two:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTb42OGnxLQ

Yummy sweet potato fries (frozen then baked) with A sweet and spicy Asian Chili Sauce.

Nutritional Content of : White Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes: (Some of this may be redundant after the video, but this is more those who may want to see things written versus in audio form) obtained from  http://www.lisanelsonrd.com/blog/white-potato-vs-sweet-potato-which-is-better

White Potatoes vs Sweet Potatoes: ‘Tater Wars!

  • Calories: 1 medium sized white potato has 128 calories when compared to the same size of a sweet potato which has¬†¬†103 calories.
  • Fat: Both have the same amount of fat content, which is 0.2g
  • Fiber:¬†White potatoes have 3 grams of fiber, where sweet ones have 4 grams. (which helps keep blood sugar levels neutral. Some diabetics have even reported that white potatoes make their blood sugar levels rise, where as sweet¬†potatoes¬†do not increase them)
  • Glycemic Index: White Potatoes are nearly 35 points higher than sweet potatoes.
  • Potassium: White potatoes have¬†738.3 mg while sweet ones have 541.5 mg.
  • Vitamins C and B6: White potatoes have less Vitamin C, but more of B6, and the opposite for sweet potatoes¬†(more Vitamin C and less B6)
  • Beta-carotene: White potatoes have¬†8.28 mcg , where sweet ones have¬†13120 mcg. Holy Smokes!

So what does this mean,folks? Sweet Potatoes > White Potatoes,though they possess different flavors.

Mr. Potato Head doesn't seem too happy about this...

{Reviewing The Fries}

Moving on, I am reviewing a brand of Sweet potato fries I recently tried. I prefer to buy the frozen fries and baking them due to a healthy lifestyle I want to maintain.  The taste of too much grease and fat literally turn my tummy in many directions :/

Alexia Julienne Sweet potato fries comes in a Family Size, low sodium variety that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. After baking them according to the directions, you can be sure that you will be satisfied due to the rich taste of the sweet potato. To make things interesting, I added a touch of garlic to combine the sweet, rich flavor and a savory note that I was happy with. (If adding garlic salt, be warned that some of the moisture will be reduced, and your fries may end up a little shriveled.) Perfect with chicken, or burgers, these bright and healthy baked fries are fabulous! I even tried the chipotle variety because I wanted a more intense experience! These run about $4.

Alexia Sweet Potato Fries Yumfactor: 5 tongues!!! (5/5) These are healthy, fun and yummy! Think low-budget gourmet!

Alexia Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries Yumfactor: 4 tongues and a tastebud. ¬†(4.5 out of 5) While fun, and blends savory and sweet, I find that the addition of chipotle can inhibit¬†eaters¬†from adding a variety of flavors, and may clash with whatever else is being eaten with it. IT is yummy, and perfect for¬†barbecued¬†side dishes, or as a snack on it’s own.

Asian sweet Chili Sauce- a great dip.

Tip: For an exotic touch, use 2 to 5 tsps. of Asian Sweet Chili Sauce as a dip, or even garlic Mayo. This dip gives the sweet fries an exotic depth that is irresistible.


Money Saving Tips: Managing Your Latte Love

Thanks, Ben!

According to www.Feedthepig.org, many Americans spend nearly $5 each day on the fluffed up lattes, adding up to $20-$30 weekly.  Now mind you, there is nothing wrong with spending that amount of money to get your eyes to stay open for a few hours, but in actuality, spending that amount on name brand coffee is not the only option out there.  To save yourself some cash, you can follow one of these easy tips and have you coffee as well.

1) If you must drink that certain name brand coffee daily, try opting for their coffee of the day versus that $4 and change espresso with syrup, too much sugar and whatnot.  I know, I know.. you want that special Cinnamon Dolce flavor that makes your tongue sing whenever you take a sip. Well, simply ask for that syrup. Usually, coffee of the day can range from $1.50 to $2 and change, saving you bucks right there; the syrup may be an additional $.20-$.30, and also you can add as much sugar and cream as you want, having your say in how you want you coffee made.

2) Buy your own coffee and make it yourself.¬† That’s right! You can go to either a farmer’s market that will have worldly coffees available at wonderful prices, or you can even go to Marshall’s retail stores where you can get a pound of flavored coffee for less than the price of one of those little pretentious espresso, fluffy drinks.¬† I went to Marshall’s recently, and came across dozens and dozens of assorted flavored coffees from your traditional vanilla and hazelnuts¬†to the¬†more exotic Hawaiian coconut, chocolate raspberry, butter pecan, butterscotch¬†and creme brulee flavors.

Assorted Coffee Syrups. Pictured are Davinci and Monin brands. Also, Torani is also a popular brand.

¬†The prices ranged anywhere from $2.99 to $4.99, which is slightly the price of one cup you’d spend elsewhere. Simply add sugar, milk/cream and you’ve got flavor, coffee and savings! Boo yaw! Also, if you like¬†Folger’s and Maxwell House brands, they offer coupons for additional money-saving in you weekly paper.

*If you like for example, Starbuck’s coffee syrup flavors, they are often times available for purchase at Target stores (Usually $6.99, but on the website it’s $10.99!). Other coffee syrups can be purchased at www.baristaproshop.com.

3) Why stick with coffee when it’s just the caffeine you need? Try teas¬†that have caffeine (like green teas, white teas, red teas and¬†black teas).¬† Studies show that these teas are full of anti oxidants which contribute to healthy aging, memory strength, higher metabolism¬†and cancer prevention to name a few benefits.¬†Teas are a healthy way to get caffeine without the jitters or guilt of high calories. While some flavors¬†are an¬†acquired taste, they do not have as much caffeine as espresso drinks, nor do they have the calories. Often, some teas are prices at $2.00-$3.25 depending on the brand, with 20-30 bags. Also, green teas are offered in new and exciting variety like Green Tea and Orange, Green Tea and Pomegranate, ect.

4) Try 5 hour energy drink.¬† One of these little bottles contain vitamin¬†b and niacin with a little caffeine to keep you going for 5 hours and¬†cost less than the $4 coffees you’d get elsewhere with a longer “keep you up and active” factor coffee does not have.¬† Yes, I said it.¬† While coffee is great, it usually stops working after say 3 hours, later accompanied by the ever so fun “crash”. My experience with this drink was total refreshment, as if waking up after a power nap. Mind you, I drank about 3/4 of the container, scared at first and expecting my tongue to fall off, but the beverage was not too sweet, had a refreshing berry taste.¬† It¬†did not make me feel the jitteriness I have felt when partaking in the ritual of drinking some espresso drinks. Also,¬† for me, there was no¬†crash afterwards.¬†( I will be doing a review on this drink in the near¬†future, so stay tuned).

5) If none of those tips work, simply purchase coffee from your local convenience stores.  I frequent Quik Trip, where they have fabulous coffee flavors and good coffee, for roughly $1.17 for a 16oz size.  This again is cheaper than buying an espresso drink for $4. Their coffee does the trick and you are given more options without paying extra for adding syrup.  also, they get festive and creative around the holidays, offering Pumpkin Spice flavored coffee and Chocolate Cinnamon. (My fave currently, is the Vanilla Cupcake Cappuccino.)

So there it is guys and gals- options to save you money each day that are not hard to try an meet your needs. Cha-ching!