Chia Seeds

Posted on March 27, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health | Tags: , , , , , |

Food - Chia Seeds

Continuing on my superfood path, today I added Chia seeds to my morning oatmeal.  This 1 lb. bag provides 35 servings (1 T. each) for $8.49.  This means per serving I’m paying about $0.24. In that serving I am getting a nice dose of protein, omega-3 essential fatty acid, an abundance of antioxidants, a nice blend of minerals and some vitamins.  The fiber content is impressive at 5 grams, that’s 20% of my daily requirement!  Thrown into oatmeal, it gave a nice little crunch with no discernible flavor.

Chia seeds will absorb 9 times their weight in water meaning they expand inside you and make you feel full longer.  Great for anyone trying to control their weight.  As they expand they plump up and form a gel around each seed (remember painting the soaked seeds on the chia pet?)  This is reminiscent of an egg and it will bind like an egg if you soak the seeds first and then add to baking.  Nice for anyone avoiding eggs in their diet.

Normally I get hungry mid-morning even with a solid breakfast like oatmeal.  Not today!  The chia seeds kept me filled up until lunch.  I think these are now a daily addition to my diet.  Next I’m going to try them in fruit smoothies.

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Oh For the Love of Enameled Cast Iron

Posted on March 15, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple | Tags: , , , , , |

Food - Enameled Cast Iron

Here’s my collection of enameled cast iron pots.  I can’t imagine trying to cook without them anymore.  My first was the orange Belgian model which came to me for free when a neighbor moved and wanted me to take some things to Goodwill for her (offering me anything in the box that I wanted.)  That one pot changed my cooking life!  I next purchased the Le Crueset grey monster on the bottom at their outlet store for $110 which was a steal.  The smallish green one came from T.J. Maxx for $15 or so and the other three were lucky finds at resale shops for just a few bucks.  I have fallen in love with the oval ones which fit things like squash and chickens much beter than round ones.  The top apple one is nice to leave on the stove all the time and it’s perfect for oatmeal.

The reason these get donated, I think, is that people want to throw them into the dishwasher.  This is a mistake.  The raw cast iron edges at the top of the pot and the bottom of the lid can’t take the drying cycle and they come out rusty.  They also chip easily if banged around in the dishwasher.  They are easy to hand wash, though and just air dry the pot sitting upright and the lid against something so the water runs off and the raw metal dries fast.  If you get one with rust just clean it up easily with scouring powder, then treat it well after that!

You cannot beat the even heat these provide right up the sides and over the top.  They literally create an oven effect around the food inside.  Yum!

Food - Cast Iron1 Food - Cast Iron2

Proper drying positions!

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