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I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I crave a salty snack. And while the occasional potato chip is okay, there are healthier options that are easy and cheaper to make. My favorite is popcorn.
I’m not talking about microwave popcorn. That isn’t any better for you than a bag of Lay’s…in fact, it might be a little worse for you.
I’m talking about air popped popcorn. I used to think it was impossible for healthy popcorn to be easy to make, but a little over a year ago, I received the Orville Redenbacher Hot Air Popcorn Popper.
Now, most people might think this is a little crazy. It’s just another fancy kitchen contraption that they’ll never use, it’s too big of a hassle to use, etc.
Let me assure you, this is one of the coolest contraptions ever! It is faster than microwaving popcorn. I get a full bowl instead of half a bowl, so I’m making twice as much in the same amount of time. There’s no icky chemicals and questionable products included, and instead of using a microwave, it’s doing it a more…natural…way: using hot air.
The best part about popping it yourself is definitely having TOTAL control over the ingredients.
Unfortunately, the air popper that I use isn’t readily available anymore, but I have a couple options I wanted to share that I have heard great things about:
Presto 04821 Orville Redenbacher’s Hot Air Popper, also in black
Hamilton Beach 73400 Hot Air Popcorn Popper
Once you’ve got yourself an air popper, it’s time to get some popcorn. One of my favorite deals is a four pack of Bob’s Red Mill White Popcorn. It comes to about 12 cents an ounce, which is fantastic. If you subscribe on Amazon, it’s down to 11 cents, so if you love popcorn, you can save even more!
I also love Thrive Market’s sprouted popcorn (You can join Thrive Market here). Additionally, you can also pick it your favorite brand from your local grocery store.
Then it’s time to make the popcorn. Follow the directions for your air popper. There’s usually a maximum amount you can make at a time, so be careful not to overfill it. Your popcorn will come out without any burns, looking fresh and fabulous!
You can top it with whatever you want, but here are a few suggestions:
- olive oil and salt
- butter and salt
- hot sauce and lime (my favorite!)
- coconut oil, cinnamon, and sugar (another favorite!)
- olive oil, basil, parsley, and garlic salt
- truffle oil, salted butter, and parmesan
Be creative, and test things out! What’s your favorite popcorn topping? Share with me in the comments!!!
Even though studies show that eating breakfast every morning leads to a healthier lifestyle, lots of people are skipping breakfast. And who doesn’t want to be healthy?
So why is it that all of these people are skipping breakfast in the morning? Survey responses suggest that most people don’t have time to eat breakfast at home. Or they’ll grab something on the way, like a coffee. But that’s not a real breakfast. Others are reaching for donuts, toaster pastries, and granola bars. According to Eating Well, these are quick breakfast options, but a healthier option would be a balanced mix of healthy foods that will keep you satisfied longer than your morning commute.
Eating Well suggests pairing a whole grain cereal with a solid source of protein. But, those individual packets of instant oatmeal and a couple slices of deli meat aren’t the best breakfast option for you, either. Today, I’m going to show you how to get your grains in all week with a bit of meal prep on Sunday, and if you check back next week, I’ll help you get your protein (and some veggies!) at every breakfast.
Making Oatmeal Quick WITHOUT Instant oats.
Oatmeal is one of the best sources of whole grains you can get, and, according to Prevention, steel cut is the best. But who has time to cook up a pot of steel cut oatmeal every morning? No one, right? Don’t worry! You can get that awesome bowl of nutritional goodness every morning with a little meal prep on Sunday.
I’m going to teach you how to make “Oatmeal Pucks.” Oatmeal pucks keep in the freezer for weeks, and they’re easy to reheat in the morning. Plus, it’s easy to change up the flavor every day! These are a much healthier option than Instant Oats.
1. Cook the oats
This is pretty simple: you need to cook your oats according to the instructions on the package. My favorite (and I’ve tried lots) are Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats. These really keep me full and satisfied all morning. You want to make sure you make enough for each day of the week, and it’s better to make too much than not enough. It will keep in the freezer for weeks. I usually do six cups of water and two cups of oats, and I get about two weeks worth of oatmeal pucks.
2. Portion the Oats
I’m a Beachbody Coach, so I’m an avid portion container system user. This step is key. If you don’t portion the oats, you will end up with a useless pile of oatmeal. PORTION IT OUT! This is what makes it a fast breakfast during the week.
I let the oats cool a little after they’re cooked, and use my yellow container to portion out single serving sizes of oatmeal into a muffin tin (I use a jumbo muffin tin, but a regular one works if that’s all you have).
If you don’t have a yellow container yet, you can get one here, or you can use a measuring cup. I’d recommend somewhere around ½ a cup per serving, even though the package says 1 cup prepared. That’s a lot of oatmeal and fiber to eat, especially if you’re not used to it!
3. Freeze the Oats
Once you’ve filled your muffin tins, make sure the oatmeal is completely cooled, and put the tins into your freezer. It will take a couple hours for them to completely harden, and when they do, they become oatmeal pucks!
Once they are frozen, you can pop them out of the muffin tin by dipping the whole pan in warm water (if you’re fancy like that), or you can do what I do: turn the muffin tin upside down, and run warm water across the tin, praying that none of the pucks fall into the sink…Make sure you catch the pucks as they fall!
Put all the pucks into a gallon size freezer bag, and store them in the freezer until you need them!
4. Reheat the Oats
Don’t worry. You aren’t eating frozen oats as your quick breakfast! In the morning, pop an oatmeal puck out of your freezer and into a microwave safe bowl. Heat it up for about 90 seconds (a minute and a half or so), and then top with some healthy options.
Not sure what to top it with? You can grab my FREE Oatmeal Toppings Recipe List. It includes the 21 Day Fix counts, if you’re like me and into that.
What do you think of Oatmeal Pucks? Pretty neat, right? Try it, and share your pictures below! I’d love to see what you create.
OMG! I woke up to AWESOME news this morning.
I SWEAR by my slow cooker. It makes life SUPER EASY. I can have a hot meal ready for me after a long day at work.
WHO DOESN’T LOVE THAT?!?!
So, what is this AWESOME news? The crockpot that I have (and LOVE TO DEATH) is a DAILY DEAL on AMAZON!!!
Why do I love this slow cooker? It has so many capabilities. It’s a super crockpot.
- Three (3) choices for easy, automatic cooking: program, probe and manual
- Program mode lets you SET and FORGET your crockpot. You can follow the exact directions for a recipe. Four hours on high? No problem. Set the temperature and the timer. After four hours, it will keep the food at a safe temperature until you’re ready to go.
- Probe mode is perfect for cooking large cuts of meat or for recipes that require food to reach a certain temperature. I use it ALL THE TIME when I’m cooking large quantities of meat (AND for the Best Pulled Pork recipe). The thermometer probe reads the actual temperature of food as it cooks; the temperature is displayed on the slow cooker control panel. You can set it so that the food stops cooking at the PERFECT temperature.
- The manual mode is the typical mode. You keep track of the time once you’ve set the temperature. It’s another great option!
- Travel-friendly design secures contents en route to parties, potlucks, family gatherings and tailgating. I have brought my crockpot to school to feed my students, and it truly is easy to travel with. No worrying about spills! The lid securely seals in place with sturdy wire clips on each handle
- 6 quart removable stoneware crock fits a 6 lb. chicken or a 4 lb. roast. It also does great for cooking turkey breast for thanksgiving!
Other cool features:
- Wraparound, even heat cooks food evenly and consistently
- Full-grip handles make carrying heavy meals easier
- Power interrupt protection keeps slow cooker on during a brief power outage
Can you believe this is ON SALE?
I KNOW! You can save 20% on the BEST CROCKPOT EVER right here!
IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! PLUS, if you have Amazon Prime, you can get it by Sunday for Meal Prep!
Monday Meals is my opportunity to share a (mostly) clean eating recipe with you. Sometimes, they will be recipes I create. Other times, they will be recipe’s I’ve found. These are recipes that I have tried and love, and I’ll give you my notes on the recipe: things I might alter, future plans to improve the recipe, etc.
Today, we’ve got a recipe I found online. I’ll give you the link to the recipe (check out their website, please, and let them know you came from Flab To Fab Life!). I’ll also give you my notes on the recipe: things I might alter, future plans, etc.
I happen to love Chinese food, but it is often very high in sodium and fried in lots of oils. This recipe sounded delicious, and when I finally tracked it all down, I discovered that it was better than takeout! Frugal Healthy Life is a great resource for delicious recipes!
Get the recipe here: http://www.frugalhealthylife.com/egg-roll-in-a-bowl-recipe/
I pretty much make this one as is, though I’m thinking I might add even more of the shredded cabbage mix in the future. It’s just as delicious the next day, and I’ve even enjoyed it cold!
Make sure to use a low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos, and pour carefully! This is one time where you really don’t want to over pour!
For what it’s worth, I almost like this better with ground turkey or ground chicken.
How did the recipe go for you? Share your pictures with me!