Tips from Bita
"I am a 27 year old health advocate and self-taught cook. After graduating from McGill University with a Bachelor of Commerce, I married my boyfriend of 7 years. A year later I became a mother to my now two and a half year old son and I have another one on the way! Life can get busy sometimes, but being a stay-at-home mom has allowed me to fulfill my passion for food, cooking, and entertaining. I find time to cook despite how busy, stressed, tired, lazy, or overwhelmed I may be because the feeling after eating a healthy meal (with less salt, fat, and preservatives) is so rewarding that it makes it all worthwhile!
Before having my son, I obtained a certificate in Applied Nutrition from the Alive Academy of Natural Health. The knowledge gained from the course greatly impacted my eating and cooking habits. Eating healthy is not about strict nutrition philosophies, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it's about feeling great, having more energy, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible - all of which can be achieved with a little commitment, some cooking basics, and a little nutritional knowledge... all of which I will be sharing with you!"
"I’m a real girl, in a real kitchen, with a hungry husband and a picky child. Cooking healthy & delicious food can be easy & fun, so let's get cookin'!" - Bita
Crazy for Coconut!
Coconut helps your body burn fat and its oil is lower in calories than any other type of fat. Coconut also promotes healthy blood-sugar levels and increases satiety, making you feel full longer (great news for those with diabetes!).
Coconut secret: coconut oil works wonders as a make up remover. Dab a lil' oil on a cotton pad, wipe your face, and rinse with water! It's also an amazing moisturizer!
Bones for Broth!
Bone broth is one the oldest healing and anti-aging foods on the planet! I like to make my own broth because I know exactly what goes into it and the longer it simmers, the better it is for you.
Here are the basics for bone broth:
Use high-quality fresh bones or frozen leftover bones. You can use beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey bones. If you can afford organic, use bones from pasture-raised cows, sheep or free-range poultry.
Note: For fish bone broth, buy high-quality, wild-caught fish. Sole and snapper are good choices!
FROM MY KITCHEN TO YOURS
Recipe: Coconut Chicken Strips
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (or unseasoned bread crumbs)
1/4 tsp salt, garlic powder, paprika each
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into strips-bout 4 inches long)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Whisk your egg in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine your coconut, breadcrumbs, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper and mix well.
Wash and pat dry your chicken strips. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides.
Dip your chicken strips in your egg mixture, shake off any excess egg and roll in crumb mixture. Make sure strips are well coated.
Place strips on a non-stick tray (or cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray).
Lightly spray the top of the chicken strips with cooking spray.
Bake on middle rack for about 6-8 minutes, remove from oven, gently flip over and bake for another 6 minutes until cooked through and coating is slightly golden.
Recipe: The Basic Broth
Place your bones in a big pot with a lot of water.
2 tbs sea salt
1 tbs black or pink whole peppercorns
Chopped carrots (leave skin on if organic)
A couple garlic cloves, smashed
A handful of fresh herbs such as sage, parsley, dill or thyme
A couple bay leaves (optional)
Add 1 tbsp. or so of apple cider vinegar. (This won't affect the taste but will help pull nutrients out of the bones!)
Bring the broth to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer, adding more water when necessary. For meat and poultry broths, I recommend eight hours of cooking at a minimum, and more than 24 hours if possible. (Fish bone broth only takes about two or three hours.) The softer the bones are when you're done, the more nutrient-packed your broth will be.
Cool the broth and strain it through a fine mesh strainer. Place your broth in storage containers. Store some of it in your fridge to use over the next three days or so, and keep the rest in your freezer. Note that as your broth cools in the fridge, the fat will rise to the top. Skim off this fat and discard. Once cooled, it will get wiggly and gelatinous. That's exactly what you want to see!
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