Although I have always shied away from too many product recommendations, let’s face it-to live a healthy lifestyle and stay away from processed foods, sometimes a few key pieces of equipment make our lives easier. A high speed blender, a juicer maybe, and one of my most treasured kitchen appliances, a dehydrator makes creating a healthy eating plan a breeze.
I have an Excalibur dehydrator and I use it to make my own coconut butter (which can be really expensive to buy as much as I eat), raw crackers (yep, there’s a recipe coming), fruit and vegetable roll ups, even beef and game jerky when I am feeling my inner Martha Stewart calling me to the kitchen. My latest creations have been all kinds of “leathers” made out of a variety of fruits and vegetables to tame little teethers instead of giving them “grain” teething crackers. Since I sprout my grains before I grind my flour, it makes drying them a breeze. My husband is a lover of almonds and cashews so being able to soak them (to release phytic acid) and “dry roast” them without adding acrylamide releasing heat is a bonus.
I found the Excalibur dehydrator in a variety of sizes and colors for 20% off for a very limited time so get there fast. Over the next few months we will be talking about the benefits of incorporating raw foods into your diet and dehydrating is a wonderful way to create de-freaking-licious snacks that taste better than anything that comes out of a box.
While making my discovery at OpenSky of their deal on the dehydrator I spied a few other handy dandy little health products that would be great gifts for someone you love (even if that someone you love is YOU!). Give Santa a break and go on over and check these out.
This Automatic Watering Flowerpot Starter Kit by Click&Grow takes the guess work out of growing basil, sage, and other herbs right in your kitchen. If you are anything like me, (the one with the black thumb), growing them in flowerpots leads to more plant murders than probably all the deaths in NYC. This system (which I actually have and love because I can successfully grow herbs in my house now) allows you to “fill it and forget it” with no additional watering or fertilizing from you. The Starter Kit is $60 and the replacement cartridges ( needed about every 8-12 months).
I am sure you know that, as a nutritionist, I recommend balance in everything, even allowing yourself a few “treats” now and again, so long as they are the highest quality “treats” possible. One of my favorite “treats” is a little brown rice pasta but I bet you didn’t know that a real serving of pasta is not the plate o’ spaghetti you get at the local Olive Garden. In fact, one of the quickest ways to derail even the healthiest of eating plans is to lose sight of portion control. Even with my Raw Detox Salad Dressing, the freshest and greenest of salads can be drown in a sea of oil. (Frankly, I have never been an “oil-free” dressing type of gal though.) These Portion Control Essentials by Healthy Steps for $30 includes 1 Portion control Salad dressing cruet, which measures a perfect 2 tablespoon serving of salad dressing, 1 Portion Control Pasta basket, which measures one serving of pasta and doubles as a strainer, and 1 Juicer Pro (my all-time favorite citrus juicer) which allows you to juice citrus fruit without all the fuss and mess. (It punctures the fruit and you squeeze it with no more sticky fingers!)
I cannot tell you how in love with this little beauty I have fallen. First, because my bananas go very ripe very quickly where I live and, since I am trying to cut out grains most of the time, banana bread isn’t always an option. Enter the Yonanas Frozen Treat Maker where you peel the overripe bananas, put them in the freezer for 24 hours (this works with avocado too but don’t tell anyone!), push them down into the Yonanas machine with the plunger and out pops frozen delicacies that taste like the most scrumptious ice cream you ever want to imagine. I have mixed other pureed fruit with it and made popsicles, sorbets, you name it, I have made it. Right now it is nearly 20% off and is a STEAL!
The height of form meeting function these Metallic Totes by Sorial are my “must have” bag of–well—forever. I loathe ugly gym bags and these little (or should I say big?) beauties are just big enough to whisk me off to yoga class, come home, fill up with baby stuff, making it a remarkably chic diaper bag, or go to the supermarket and fill up with incidentals, all in one day. At $69 they are a steal in every color.