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Kitchen Helpers for Healthy Eating

New Year’s resolutions aside, the beginning of a new year is a great time to treat yourself to premium-quality kitchenware that makes healthy eating a lot easier. These handy kitchen gadgets are indispensable for creating healthy drinks and dishes long after the whole New Year health buzz fades. And after all, consistency is really the key to making a healthier diet work long term!

Check out some of our favorite kitchen appliances that will help you stick to that healthy diet all year long:

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1) Cuisinart Mini-Prep® Plus Processor: The compact design is great for smaller counter spaces, but its versatile blades are capable of handling anything from fresh salsas, sauces and more.

2) KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender: Perfect for making healthy smoothies, soups and much more, this versatile blender is a great everyday kitchen sidekick.

3) Vitamix CIA Professional Series: Trusted by professional chefs worldwide, this powerful blender creates tons of culinary masterpieces—from smoothies, sorbets, soups and more! It even comes with a great cookbook full of delicious and healthy recipes.

4) Breville JE98XL The Juice Fountain® Plus Juicer : This efficient juicer makes a delicious glass of juice from large chunks of fruits and veggies in mere seconds! Drink up!

5) Omega Nutrition Center Masticating-Style Juicer: This powerful juicer is perfect for yielding the most juice from leafy green veggies like kale and spinach.

6) Chef’s Choice Professional Digital Scale: When practicing precise portion control, this food scale is truly an essential. We love the sleek, low-profile design!

 

SHOP ALL HOUSEWARES >>

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Juicers 101: A Healthy Start to Your New Year

You’ve probably heard of all the great benefits of juicing as a way of consuming fresh, raw foods in your daily diet. Sounds simple enough, right? Extract all the nutrients inside fruits and vegetables, drink them and reap the health benefits. But selecting the right kind of juicer can be a bit tricky for the juicing novice.

We’ve broken down three of the most common types of juicers on the market to find the one that works best for you:

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1. Breville Juice Fountain Compact, 2. Omega Nutrition Center Heavy-Duty Juicer, 3. Krups Silver Art Citrus Press

Centrifugal Juicers: This is generally the most affordable kind of juicer and therefore the most popular type on the market. They’re great for juicing most fruits and vegetables quickly and efficiently. However, they’re not as effective at yielding high volumes of juice from grassy and leafy plants such as wheatgrass, spinach, lettuce and other greens.

Centrifugal juicers usually have large feeding chutes allowing you to take the whole or half the fruit without the need for cutting them into smaller pieces.

The juice from these types of juicers typically has a very short shelf life and should be consumed right away to get the most nutritional value.

Masticating Juicers: Also known as single-gear juicer, this breaks up the plant cells resulting in more fiber, enzymes and trace mineral yields. These are generally more efficient than Centrifugal juicers in extracting more juice (i.e. the pulp comes out drier), and are great at juicing greens/leafy vegetables. However, they are more expensive than centrifugal juicers.

These operate at lower RPMs (rotations per minute), meaning there’s less foam and heat conducted, increasing the shelf life and nutrition yield per serving. Masticating juicers are also more versatile since they can homogenize foods to make sauces, baby food, ice cream, sorbets, nut butters, etc.

Citrus Presses: An electric citrus press works similarly to manual ones but more quickly and yields more juice per fruit. Some of the benefits of fresh-squeezed citrus juice versus the store-bought kind are: a fresher taste, fewer or no additives and preservatives, and more nutrient integrity. Remember, as soon as the juice hits the air, oxygenation begins to degrade the nutrient content. That’s why treating yourself to fresh-squeezed orange or grapefruit juice every day with a balanced breakfast is by far the healthier option!

Drink up for a healthier you in 2013!

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6 Kitchen Essentials for Healthy Eating

Today is International Chocolate Day. However, that’s not the focus of this post; in fact, quite the opposite. Although chocolate (particularly dark chocolate) is great when enjoyed in moderation, a healthy lifestyle really does rely predominantly on a healthy, balanced diet.

A diet that consists of mostly whole, unprocessed foods, with lots of fruits and veggies in the mix, is considered to be the healthiest. If that sounds bland and boring to you, think again! Healthy eating can be just as satisfying, if not more so, than eating junk. The trick is having the right kitchen gadgets and experiment with healthy ingredients you love.

Check out a few of our favorite healthy-diet kitchen essentials:

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1. Breville 800 BLXL Die-Cast HemisphereBlender, 2. Omega VRT350 Vert Low Speed Juicing System, 3. Fagor Slow Juicer, 4. Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 11" Square Grill Pan 5. Kitchenaid 13-Cup Food Processor, 6. Emile Henry Flame Kabob Grilling Stone and Skewers

For breakfast or a delicious mid-day snack, a refreshing green smoothie* or juice is a great option. With the right blend of yummy fruits and veggies, these super-nutritious drinks are packed with so much vitamins and minerals that are easily absorbed into the body. Investing in a high-quality blender and/or juicer is something your body will reap rewards from for years to come. That’s why it’s always on our “healthy living” must-have list!

For dinner, opt for lean meats and veggies grilled to perfection. Kabobs** are a really easy option, so is grilled fish with salad or a delicious homemade salsa as a side.

 

*Recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com® via user WhitneyLW

**Recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com®  via user DAVESARAH

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New Brand Spotlight: Omega

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An important part of a healthy lifestyle is eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Juicing and green smoothies have been gaining tons of popularity lately with their countless health benefits. Invest in your healthy with a great quality juicer and/or blender. It’s an easy (and delicious) way to get your daily recommended dose of fruits and veggies!

Omega offers a huge selection of juicers and blenders with the best warranty in the industry. These professional-quality kitchen appliances were built to last, so you can make your daily smoothies and juices and be on your way to a healthier, more beautiful you.

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At Home: Healthy Eating

Now that all those indulgent holiday meals are history, it’s time to get back on track with sensible eating. When it comes to whipping up healthy home-cooked meals, a little bit of help in the kitchen sure goes a long way! Check out some of our favorite kitchen essentials to start off 2012 on road to healthy eating:

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1. Joseph Joseph Salad Bowl w/ Servers: We love the clever and modern design of this generously-sized salad bowl! It’s perfect for dinner parties.

2. Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick Bronze 12” Wok: Cook perfect stir frys without using a ton of oil in this essential nonstick wok.

3. OXO Little Salad & Herb Spinner: Making salad for two? This handy tool makes sure your salads are restaurant-perfect every time!

4. Cuisinart Elite Collection® 14-Cup Food ProcessorTalk about versatility! This powerful machine makes creating an entire meal fast and simple.

5. Kitchenaid 5-Speed Metallic Series Blender: This not only makes perfect smoothies, it’s also great for homemade soups and sauces!

6. DeLonghi Indoor Grill/Broiler: We love this for grilling up chicken and seafood for delicious salads.

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De Longhi: Bottoms Up To A Healthier You!

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If you find it difficult to get your recommended servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, you might benefit from juicing. Not only does juicing provide you with your daily dose of fruits and veggies, it’s a fresh, healthy alternative to store-bought juices which are often laden with tons of sugar and preservatives.

The DeLonghi Juice Extractor is the perfect tool for making fresh juices quick and easy, therefore making it easier to make juicing a part of your daily diet. Try the following easy and delicious juice recipes and drink your way to better health:

Go Green Elixir: (this is also said to be a great cure for a hangover!)

-1 cup of fresh spinach

-2 cups of kale

-2 cups of parsley

-1 whole cucumber

-3 celery stalks

-ginger to taste

Fresher-than-fresh Apple Juice:

-3 large apples

Tip: Try mixing the sweet and tart varieties to get the best-tasting apple juice.

Citrus Morning Pick-Me-Up

-3 oranges

-1 grapefruit

Tip: add in some of the orange pulp to increase the fiber content of the juice.

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Encouraging Healthy Habits in Children

Before the age of six, many children are under the impression that a quick 5-second soak is all that's needed at bath time. There are a number of reasons children don't care for bath time. Some are scared of the dreaded drain, while others would simply rather be doing something else. Certainly, no parent wants to have to stand over their children throughout their childhood making sure they clean behind their ears and stay in the bath long enough to get clean. Thankfully, there are a few tips you can use to encourage the healthy habit of bathing in your children.

First of all, make it fun. Little kids that are scared, or would rather be playing with toys, will enjoy bath time a lot more if they are distracted. There are a number of great toys on the market that are water-friendly, and some are even designed to be used at bath time. Children will love playing with boats, sea monsters and even mermaid dolls as they take their nightly bath. Another great suggestion is fun bath products. There are a number of shampoos, bar soaps, body washes and even sponges that are designed to make bath time fun. Children will love soap that smells like bubble gum or a sponge shaped like Spongebob, and let's not forget the age-old classic, Mr. Bubbles Bubble Bath.

If children are past the age of playing with toys in the tub or enjoying scented body washes, there's another tip you can use - embarrassment. There comes a time in every child's life when having mom or dad in the room at tub time isn't enjoyable. But, if you're having trouble getting your children to take a bath, it may be your only choice. Bring a magazine and sit down on the toilet and start to flip through the pages, making a point that you're not leaving. You'll probably hear the dreaded "But, Mom!" Explain that once they prove they are old enough to bathe properly, you'll be more than happy to leave them alone at bath time.

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Light and Easy Spring Meals and Snacks: Chicken Caesar Salad Pizza

Spring has finally sprung and it's time to turn our minds to meals that are light and easy. After all, no one wants to be weighed down by rich, hearty meals when there are so many great activities to take part in. Also, who wants to spend hours cooking a meal? This week, let's take a look at how a simple loaf of pita bread can be made into a delicious meal and easy snack.

Chicken Caesar Salad Pizzas
Serves 4

4 loaves of whole wheat or multi-grain pita bread
½ cup of light or fat-free Caesar salad dressing
½ cup of 2% shredded mozzarella cheese
8 cups of chopped romaine lettuce
2 - 6 ounce packages of refrigerated grilled chicken strips
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Place the pita bread on a cookie sheet and spread each loaf with 1 tablespoon of salad dressing and top with 1 ounce of shredded cheese.
2. Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese melts.
3. Allow the pizza to cool for around 5 minutes before topping each loaf with 2 cups of romaine lettuce, 1 tablespoon of additional salad dressing, 3 ounces of chicken strips and Parmesan cheese.
4. Serve immediately.

The above recipe is incredibly easy, but pita bread also makes a great snack. All you need to do is cut the loaves into wedges and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees until crispy. Then the wedges can be dipped in your favorite low-fat dip. If you'd like to add some flavor, you can brush the wedges with olive oil that has been mixed with your favorite spice blend. This makes a great substitute for high calorie potato chips. Just be sure to choose whole wheat or multi-grain varieties. And, if you're out of ideas for a tasty dip, consider fat-free flavored cream cheese, fat-free bean dip or even a drizzle of fat-free chocolate sauce. This treat can be savory or sweet depending on the seasonings you use. Try mixing things up and adding cinnamon and sugar to light tasting olive oil to help cure a late night craving.