Stress-Free Back to School Lunch Ideas + Printables

 

It can be hard for parents to avoid repeating the same lunches for their kids everyday. Kids are craving new lunches to pack in their school bag, but coming up with simple and healthy back to school lunch ideas can be challenging for parents. Picky eaters, forgetting grocery items, and simply not having enough time to think of new lunch ideas all contribute to the stress of packing a healthy back to school lunch box. 

We have curated a list of 6 healthy back to school lunch ideas that are sure to please your kids and give them brain fuel to power through the school day. 

6 Back To School Lunch Ideas

1. Egg-cellent Salad

Egg salad is a simple, protein packed lunch that isn’t just your typical sandwich. You can pack this lunch with a slice of whole-wheat bread to make a sandwich. Add a serving of broccoli and raspberries to the lunch box so your child has some fruits and veggies in their meal. 

2. Super Ham Sandwich

Ham and cheese sandwiches are a classic lunch box item. Try something different by cutting the sandwiches into shapes. This is an especially good technique for parents of picky eaters who refuse to eat the crust. Add some carrots, cottage cheese, and tangerines to their lunchbox to round out the rest of the food groups.

3. Victory Veggie Wrap

Packing veggies into a whole wheat wrap with hummus is a great way to get picky eaters to eat their vegetables. Add sides of string cheese for calcium, carrot sticks for vitamins, and sliced pears for a yummy fruit. 

4. Chicken Dippers

Skinless chicken with a dipping sauce is a great way to provide picky eaters with protein. Great sides to this dish include a salad, sweet potato chips, and apple slices with almond butter.

5. Rockin’ Roll Ups

Turkey and cheese rolled up into a wrap is a yummy back to school lunch idea. Keep it plain for picky eaters or load it with toppings for more flavor. Pair with berries and cucumber slices to add in some fruits and veggies to their lunch box. Slip in a yogurt cup for probiotics to improve gut health and provide calcium. 

6. Perfect Protein Pasta

Pasta salad for lunch is a great way to avoid a traditional sandwich. Pair your child’s favorite pasta salad with greek yogurt, whole grain crackers, and strawberries to create a well-rounded lunch for back to school.

We’ve also created a printable grocery shopping list to help make the process easier. Download the printable grocery shopping list here

Simple and Healthy Lunch Ideas with Printables

These lunch ideas are simple and healthy, while also being easy to adjust to please even the pickiest of eaters. Taking classic lunch ideas and mixing them up with new sides and toppings create more versatile and exciting lunches for children, as well as less stress for parents.

To download the full list of snack and lunch ideas, download the printable sheet here

If you are still struggling to find back to school lunches that your child is pleased with, consider using this helpful coloring sheet and have them draw what they would like to see in their lunch box. This can be helpful to parents and help kids verbalize what they would like to eat, while also learning the components of a healthy lunch. 

Leave us your comments below with other ideas or things that have worked well for your kids. We appreciate you!

 

Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas

 

 

Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas

 

Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas to Try

For those with celiac disease, which causes inflammation in the digestive tract, choosing to eat foods without gluten is pretty much a necessity. Eating gluten free can help reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of celiac disease and reduce inflammation, improving one’s overall physical health. For those of us with friends or loved ones who struggle with this, here are a few delicious gluten-free breakfast ideas to try soon.

Breakfast Dip with Sweet Cinnamon Rolls

There is no harm in sometimes indulging in something decadent. This delicious cinnamon roll breakfast dip may be the ideal morning fix for your sweet appetite. Begin by whipping an 8-ounce container of cream cheese until creamy with a hand mixer. Then, beat in 1/2 cup gluten-free vanilla Greek yogurt, one tablespoon ground cinnamon, and two teaspoons brown sugar. Serve cold or heat the dip in the microwave and serve with apple slices and dipping sticks.

BLT Breakfast Sandwich

Nothing screams “breakfast” quite like a pair of hot, crispy bacon pieces. This dish elevates breakfast to a new level by using fresh sliced tomato and avocado, as well as a fried egg. To begin, sauté two slices of gluten-free bacon and an egg until done, seasoning with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Following that, toast two pieces of gluten-free bread or rolls and cover each slice with mayonnaise. To construct the sandwich, place a few slices of fresh avocado and tomato on the bottom half of the bread, followed by the bacon, egg, and fresh lettuce. Cover with the remaining sandwich roll half or slice of bread and enjoy!

Muffins with Buttermilk and Blueberries

These buttermilk blueberry muffins are a breeze to make, and, even better, the leftovers keep for the whole week. In a mixing bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1/2 tablespoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Separately, mix ten tablespoons of softened butter with 1 cup granulated sugar and two eggs in a separate dish. Alternately beat in the dry ingredients and 3/4 cups low-fat buttermilk, then mix in 1/2 to 1 cup blueberries. Pour batter into muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes at 350°F, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Breakfast Sandwich with French Toast

Are you unsure whether to order French toast or a breakfast sandwich? You don’t have to choose one or the other with this delectable dish! Begin by scrambling or frying one or two eggs to your preference and setting them aside. Next, whisk up another egg and a teaspoon of milk and brush the mixture over one side of two pieces of gluten-free bread, taking care not to over-saturate them. Cook with butter to brown on both sides. Assemble the sandwich by layering slices of ham and cheese on top of cooked eggs on (gluten-free) bread.

Smoothie Bowl with Superfoods

Who says your smoothie must be consumed via a straw? This superfood smoothie bowl is a delicious and healthy alternative to conventional green smoothies that will satiate your appetite. Begin by mixing a medium banana, a handful of spinach, a few pieces of chopped kale, a half cup of frozen berries, and 1/4 cup diced avocado in a blender until smooth. To serve, spoon the smoothie into a large serving dish and garnish with toasted almonds, gluten-free granola, shredded coconut and fresh berries or Pinole chia oatmeal for sale.

Quinoa Bowl with Cinnamon and Apples

Quinoa is a nutrient-dense gluten-free grain that is suitable for any meal of the day. You’ll savor delicate quinoa scented with fresh apple and cinnamon in this recipe for a warm, filling breakfast bowl. In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cups milk with 1/4 cup dry quinoa, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and a sprinkle of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, adding 1/4 cup of chopped apple. Reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan; cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the quinoa absorbs the liquid. Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes before topping with an additional 1/4 cup chopped apple and slivered almonds.

What do you enjoy making for breakfast, either for yourself or a friend or loved one who needs to eat gluten free? We love hearing your ideas!

 

online recipe box, digital recipe book, online cookbook

 

 

Meet the AuthorStephanie Caroline Snyder graduated from the University of Florida in 2018; she majored in Communications with a minor in mass media. Currently she is an Author and Freelance Internet Writer and a Blogger. She was born and raised in Panama City, Florida, where her family still lives.

How to Up Your Coffee Game: 3 Tips and Tricks

 

 

Are there ways to elevate the coffee experience?

Are you tired of the same old coffee experience? You’re probably not alone because we tend to get into routines that don’t favor creativity when it comes to coffee and many other things in life.

However, there are things you can do to boost the flavor profile and enjoy a fresher, more delicious cup of coffee. Here are a few tips to enhance the coffee experience indefinitely!

Choose a different blend

It’s imperative to choose the right blend — for you — or your coffee time simply won’t be as enjoyable. Kona Coffee is a special type of coffee bean found in Hawaii, known for its distinct and flavorful taste. It is authentic and highly delectable from a boutique mill and professional roastery and can be delivered straight to your door, making it easy to try something brand new. Sometimes all it takes is switching up your blend of coffee to enjoy something incredibly different and revitalizing.

The Kona Peaberry is a medium-light option with a cinnamon flavor and there are many more to choose from. Start the day with a unique well-roasted blend such as this; the complex flavor profile across each selection is sure to keep you enjoying coffee time each day. There are many other blends in the world to try and one of the perks to being a coffee lover is you’ll find something new every day to up your coffee game.

Foster a versatile mentality when it comes to coffee and you’ll never get tired of the same old routine.

Buy whole bean coffee to grind

One of the easiest ways to switch things up simply is to purchase the whole beans themselves for a fresh grind. Many people will purchase pre-roasted coffee but it will almost immediately start to lose some of its flavor and freshness.

This can be prevented if you simply grind coffee for yourself, and there’s nothing more satisfying than a freshly ground coffee roast. It will ensure that you’re getting the tastiest experience because the bean locks in all that delicious flavor. It won’t be aged or stale at all when you choose this method and your guests will notice the difference.

One trick is to get a grinder that thoroughly does the job. Your coffee grinder should be adequate in handling the beans well, so the result is a refined and smooth flavor. There are many different options in most stores for whole bean coffee and trying a new one on a regular basis can keep your coffee routine from getting boring.

Check out even more ways to enhance your coffee game and maintain a creative outlook when drinking coffee — like grinding new combinations to create your own perfect blend!

Consider festive flavorings

Coffee doesn’t have to remain the same year-round! For some, that would be unthinkable with all the wonderful flavor opportunities for various seasons.

For instance, in fall you might want to elevate the experience with a pumpkin spice mix that includes a dollop of whipped cream and ginger on top. Or you might like to consider something like a peppermint chocolate addition to really make your drink more festive especially in the winter. For dessert, try an Irish Coffee Deluxe once in a while.

These subtle additions can make a tremendous difference; a variety of creamers make things very easy by adding delectable tastes to your morning brew. You can match the flavors to each season so you’re keeping things fresh throughout the entire year.

Adding new innovative ingredients to coffee is a great way to experiment; be sure to record your findings to pinpoint that perfect recipe. Let your creative juices flow when it comes to enjoying coffee; adding festive flavorings is a great way to enhance the experience.

These tips will enhance your coffee game!

These are some of the best methods to up your coffee game and thoroughly enjoy each cup. Coffee is much more than just a staple of your daily routine. In fact, it can be the highlight of the day with the right flavors and blends to choose from! Try out these tips today and always be ready for something new.

What is your favorite way to perk up a cup of coffee, so to speak?

 

Meet the Author: Stephanie Caroline Snyder graduated from the University of Florida in 2018; she majored in Communications with a minor in mass media. Currently she is an Author and Freelance Internet Writer and a Blogger. She was born and raised in Panama City, Florida, where her family still lives.

How to Get Out of a Cooking Rut – 19 Expert Tips

 

 

 

Whether you were an experienced cook or an absolute beginner before the Great Pause of 2020, most of us have spent more time than ever in the kitchen. And why not? It’s a great place to be when the world is out of order.

You get to be creative with different recipes, craft delicious meals for yourself or loved ones, and spend time doing something that benefits your mental health. However, as with anything that you do too much of, you can risk getting burnt out. (Above photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash)

 

 

Regardless of how much or little you enjoy cooking, it’s normal to experience periods when it feels more like a chore than a hobby. If you’re finding yourself in a cooking rut, it can help to (literally) stir things up a bit! Check out some of these expert tips to find new cooking inspiration.

Meal prepping is one of the easiest ways to alleviate stress and workload during the week. Whether you’re a busy athlete, a parent, or someone who struggles to find the motivation to cook after a long day, this technique may be able to save you some money and help you serve up healthy, delicious meals!

Grace Woinicz is the CEO of The Brilliant Kitchen and advises that “you can also prepare meals in bulk and freeze them for later use to save time and avoid cooking repeatedly.”

If you don’t mind cooking every day or multiple times a week, maybe you’re just lacking inspiration for new recipes! There are so many different ways to find new recipes these days (like this delicious and easy one pan meal) but sometimes it can be nice to simply open a cookbook or go to the farmer’s market for inspiration. 

 

Your kitchen itself can be another great source of inspiration. Raid the pantry for ingredients that are about to expire and explore recipe options, dig through your cabinets to uncover forgotten kitchen gadgets, or splurge on a new tool that will motivate you to cook. 

Finally, involve your friends and family! You can host a little cooking contest (virtually or in-person), exchange family recipes, or invite your besties over for a pizza night. Cooking with company makes this task a lot more fun.

If you have kids, you can involve them in meal planning by asking them to assist you in writing down your shopping list and delegating easier tasks to them like measuring ingredients or chopping vegetables. Lisa Richards is a nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet and knows that “involving children in the cooking process can help them feel ownership over the meal, which can lead to improved eating habits.” It’s a win-win for everyone!

 

Happy Cooking!

 

Delicious Roast Beef Recipes Perfect for a Weekend Dinner

 

 

 

As an Englishman, Corrie knows there is nothing quite as delicious as a roast beef dinner on a Sunday afternoon. In this article, I am going to present to you four of his favorite roast beef-related recipes. Remember, however, roast beef can be bad for you if consumed all the time, and while it is tempting, it’s a good idea to limit beef consumption and enjoy it in moderation. Be sure to eat lots of veggies with your roast beef, too!

Here are four delicious roast beef recipes, perfect for a weekend supper.

 

Roast Beef and All the Trimmings

Roast beef with all the trimmings – how could I start anywhere else? This is not so much a recipe, as directions you can change according to your personal taste. The one thing you can’t change is the beef, though! You need perfectly cooked tender and juicy instant pot roast beef, combined with a delicious gravy, and vegetables of your choice. In my house, we have carrots, turnips, swede or rutabaga, pigs in blankets (not vegetables!), gravy, and a delicious trifle afterward. Everyone has their own variation, but of course, I am bias to my own!

 

Beef Wellington

Now, Beef Wellington is a steak dish, though the steak is roasted. In Beef Wellington, the beef is covered in a pastry that is finely made and decorated. Beef Wellington is one of the most famous dishes in Europe and rightly so. To make it, you need to first prepare your cut of meat, smother it in duxelles and pate, then bake the pastry around it. It is quite a complex dish, requiring practice and careful consideration. There have been many failed Beef Wellington’s made in my kitchen, I assure you, and there probably will be in yours, too! Do not give up.

 

 

Beef Fillet with Horseradish

Horseradish is a classic pairing with beef, and rightly so, because it compliments it perfectly and adds a nice tang. Beef fillet and horseradish are absolutely delicious and easily made. Simply roast your beef as you ordinarily would, but use horseradish to season and smother it. You can make your own horseradish sauce, or you can buy it at the store. If you enjoy shortcuts like me, then you will opt for the latter, but you can always make it. Beef fillet and horseradish are best paired with a plate full of veggies!

 

Mustard Beef and Yorkshires

Mustard beef with Yorkshire pudding is another favorite of mine. Now, this dish is made more or less the same as the horseradish dish that we previously mentioned. The only addition to this one is another personal favorite, Yorkshire puddings. You simply cannot have beef without Yorkies; it is practically a sin.

Now, with Yorkshire puddings, you can buy them whole, though that might not be possible outside of the United Kingdom. Otherwise, you can make them very simple. If you’re into making Yorkies, you can make toad ‘n’ the hole, too! It’s just a giant Yorkshire pudding stuffed with sausage.

Beef is a versatile, delicious, and awesome meat to cook with in moderation. We hope that you have enjoyed our list of recipes, and remember, you can pair beef with almost anything and it will be delicious. Heck, you can even pair beef with beef!

 

One Pan Roasted Chicken Tenders and Vegetables

 

 

One pan dinners are one of my favorite types of dinners to prepare since they usually require little preparation ahead of time and are super easy to clean up afterwards.

Additionally, one pan meals are perfect regardless of the size of your group, because you simply pick a different size pan to best fit the group size – from 2 to 10 – or multiple pans if you have a larger group.

Pick favorite vegetables and a protein and you’re off to the races with a one-pan dinner, ready to roast it up and serve a healthy meal for the whole family. Today we’re making One Pan Roasted Balsamic Chicken and Veggies.

Before prepping veggies, let’s marinate some chicken tenders or thighs in some balsamic vinaigrette OR olive oil with white wine and Italian or fajita seasoning; toss the tenders with marinade and place them in a plastic bag or a covered container at room temperature until ready to cook. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Other good protein sources for this dish include fish such as tilapia, mahi mahi, salmon and cod, or sausage links.

For this particular one pan recipe, I chose broccoli, cauliflower and carrots for the vegetables. Prep these veggies by washing, cutting the florets from the base of the broccoli and cauliflower, and slicing or dicing the carrots into one-inch thick pieces. Toss with a little vegetable oil and salt and pepper.

Alternatively, other fresh veggies that work well with this type of meal are sweet or bell peppers, onion, zucchini or yellow squash, potatoes or sweet potatoes, mushrooms, cherry or grape tomatoes, asparagus, green beans and brussels sprouts.

Prepare a large or small baking sheet pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying lightly with some cooking oil. Spread the prepped vegetables in a single layer across the prepared pan. However, if using cherry or grape tomatoes, wait to add those to the pan until 10 minutes after the dish has started to cook. I like to also sprinkle the vegetables with a little bit of Greek, Italian, fajita or Mrs. Dash seasoning for added flavor.

Layer the marinated chicken tenders – or another choice of protein – atop the vegetables.

Place the pan in the preheated oven and roast for 10 minutes. If adding tomatoes, add those now and stir the vegetables around lightly before placing pan back in the oven for another 8-10 minutes (or a little longer, depending on the size of the chicken pieces) until meat and vegetables are cooked through and slightly browned.

Serve with some crusty bread or dinner rolls, if desired. To make the food go farther for a larger group, consider serving with seasoned rice, couscous or quinoa.

What are your favorite vegetables and proteins for this type of dinner? Do you have variations or recommendations for us for next time? Please leave us a comment with your ideas.

 

Remember, you can keep all your favorite recipes in one place ready to find when you need them and share with family and friends in your digital cookbook here at Dish Dish.

Keep Favorite Recipes in Free Online Cookbook with Grocery List

Healthy Food Substitutions for a Diabetic Diet

 

Healthy eating can seem like a chore when managing a diabetes diet. The good news is you don’t have to give up your favorite foods – knowing which healthy alternatives are available can make being on a diabetes-friendly diet a lot easier.

Learning about the foods that have the greatest impact on your blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels will help you make better grocery shopping decisions and will help build better habits for a healthier, happier lifestyle.

As always, it’s important to keep serving sizes in mind to make sure an appropriate number of calories are being consumed as part of your meal plan.

Eat More Whole Grains Instead of Refined Grains

Refined grains have been modified to remove one or more of their three key parts (bran, germ, or endosperm). During the refining process, texture and longevity of the grain improves, but the grain is often stripped of its dietary fiber, iron, and B vitamins. Common examples of refined grain products include white rice, pasta, white bread, and white flour. Whole grains retain all their vitamins and minerals and are high in fiber – high-fiber diets slow the digestion process and the absorption of nutrients which helps keep blood sugar levels stable.

Swap out:

•  White rice with brown rice or quinoa

•  White pasta with whole-grain pasta or lentil pasta

•  White bread with whole-grain bread

•  Rolled oats with steel-cut oats


Eat More Vegetables Instead of More Carbs

Lower your carbohydrate intake by consuming more vegetables, berries, nuts, and seeds. These low carb, high fiber options can effectively help manage your blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full longer. Choose less starchy vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and zucchini instead of corns, peas, and potatoes. Dark leafy greens such as kale or spinach can provide more antioxidants and a boost of protein as well. Swap out convenient snacks like cookies and candies with protein-rich trail mix or an apple paired with nut butter.

Swap out:

•  White pasta with zucchini spirals or spaghetti squash noodles

•  Mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower

•  Potato chips with string cheese and cherry tomatoes

•  Cookies with trail mix (pumpkin seeds, dried berries, and almonds)

 

 

Use More Spices Instead of Salt

Salt may not directly impact blood glucose levels, but too much sodium can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Reduce your sodium intake by using less salt in recipes and by experimenting with different spices to boost your dish’s flavor. Salt substitutes may be a good option for some but may present complications for those who also follow a kidney diet since salt substitutes can be high in potassium. Check nutrition labels of pre-made spice mixes, sauces, and condiments to make sure you’re not consuming any additional salt. (Above photo by Tijana Drndarski on Unsplash)

Swap out salt with:

•  Spices like cinnamon, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and chili powder

•  Fresh or dried garlic

•  Fresh or dried herbs like sage, thyme, rosemary, and basil

•  Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice


Healthy and Balanced Eating to Manage Your Diabetes

Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help manage your diabetes and reduce the risk of further complications, including:

•  Heart disease

•  Kidney disease

•  Eye damage

•  Nerve damage

Help control your blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation by swapping out unhealthy and processed foods for nutrient-rich, high protein options given in the lists above.

Making healthier lifestyle options can even increase your energy levels and help you maintain or lose weight.

By guest writer Jenny Hart

Related posts:

Diabetic Friendly Recipes and Tips for Creating Healthy Balanced Meals

Ten Diabetic Diet, Recipe and Lifestyle Ideas to Share with Friends 

Other Diabetic Friendly Recipes

 

Remember you can save all your favorite recipes, or the ones you need for particular diet-friendly options for friends and family, right here on Dish Dish in your own online digital recipe box and cookbook for easy meal planning and grocery shopping!

Keep Favorite Recipes in Free Online Cookbook with Grocery List

How to Bake with Sugar Substitutes + Printables

It’s no secret that sugar is hard to avoid — it’s in almost every baked good and processed food out there.
(Above photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash)

While we all love sugary sweets from time to time, sugar can start to have a negative impact on our health. Those with health conditions like diabetes have to be extra cautious of their sugar intake to manage their glucose and blood sugar levels. 

Luckily there are many sugar substitutes that can help satisfy your sweet tooth while reducing the risk of health complications. Some of these healthy sugar alternatives include: 

Xylitol: a sugar alcohol extracted from corn and found in many fruits and vegetables

Stevia: a plant-based sweetener pulled from the leaves of a South-American plant, Stevia rebaudiana 

Whole fruit: unprocessed whole fruits that are not sweetened with added sugars 

Erythritol: a sugar alcohol found in grapes, peaches, watermelons and mushrooms

Monk fruit: extract from monk fruit or luohan guo, which is in the gourd family

Sugar substitute printables make it easy for you to cook and bake some of your favorite recipes without the added sugar! Keep the printables handy to reduce the stress of figuring out how much sugar substitute to use in your old favorite recipes or for the next new recipe you decide to try.

Download these printable recipe cards; print, cut them out and fill them in with your favorite recipes (and sugar substitutions). You can also add these recipes to your Dish Dish digital recipe box and edit them any time to update the ingredients or substitutes at your convenience.

 

 

Be sure to download and reference the printable kitchen conversion chart to make sure you’re accurately measuring out your sugar substitutes.

 

 

With the holidays right around the corner, you won’t have to miss out on your favorite sweet treats! 

Leave us a comment below with your thoughts, suggestions or ideas around using sugar substitutes. We love hearing your stories!

4 Best Barbecue Sauce Recipes to Try

 

 

Just like peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, burger and fries, barbecue works best with BBQ sauce.

It also doesn’t hurt that barbecue sauces are available in all kinds of flavors, colors, and styles to complement a stack of amazing ribs or grilled chicken.

We’ve scoured through various BBQ cookbooks and the internet, in general, to bring you some of the most popular BBQ sauce recipes you can try.

Trust us, try any one of these sauces, and you won’t be bothered to use a store-bought bottle again.

Kansas City Barbecue Sauce

If you know anything about barbecue sauces, you might already be aware of how the ketchup-based Kansas City sauces are one of the most popular ones on the market. This type of sauce has the perfect combination of sweet and tangy, and you can increase the heat if that’s how you want it.

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup ​dark brown sugar

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1 cup of water

2 tbsp molasses

1 tsp celery salt

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp cayenne (adjust the amount according to your taste)

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp black pepper

Instructions

1. After gathering all the ingredients, combine them in a saucepan over medium heat.

2. Stir the ingredients constantly for approximately five minutes.

3. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for another 20 minutes. Stir it occasionally to make sure the sauce has a thick consistency.

4. Once done, remove the saucepan from heat and allow the sauce to cool for around 12 to 15 minutes.

If you don’t have to serve immediately, we would recommend letting the sauce sit for at least half an hour and then storing it in an airtight container.

Berry BBQ Sauce

This sauce is perfect for basting as well as saucing back BBQ ribs. If you don’t mind a burst of blackberry and blueberry flavors, this might become one of your all-time favorites. It’s super easy since you’re adding the berries to your favorite starter or bottled barbecue sauce.

Ingredients

1 to 2 cups barbecue sauce

2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

Instructions

1. Take a large saucepan and add the blackberries, blueberries, sugar, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil.

2. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer – uncovered – for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened.

3. Add your desired amount of barbecue sauce, and cook for another 15 minutes or until the mixture thickens and it’ll be done.

You can store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Asian Style BBQ Sauce

The recipe for Asian style BBQ sauce is a classic that combines sweet and salty flavors. It’s also very easy to make and quick, taking just about 20 minutes. Team this up with an Asian Kale Salad, and you’ll have a hearty dinner ready in no time.

Ingredients

1 medium or large-sized white onion

2 garlic cloves

3/4 cup soy sauce

1 tbsp dry or fresh ginger

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup white wine (any brand)

1/4 cup apricot preserves (or cherry, apple, or blackberry preserves)

Instructions

1. Take out your blender. Add the onion (peeled and sliced in half), soy sauce, and ginger. You can increase the amount of ginger if you prefer a heavier spicy flavor.

2. Next add the ketchup, brown sugar, white wine, garlic, and the preserves to the blender.

3. Blend the sauce on high until the ingredients are pureed completely. You should have a thick, medium brown color sauce. Taste to understand whether it’s how you want it.

4. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan, and cook over low heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. Once the sauce simmers down and thickens, it’ll be ready to use.

You can store this in the refrigerator for around three weeks. However, if you put it in the freezer, the BBQ sauce will stay fresh for up to six months!

North Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce

An incredibly simple BBQ sauce recipe, this one uses two kinds of vinegar to add some serious flavor to old-fashioned barbecue meals.

Ingredients

1/2 cup ketchup

2/3 cup white vinegar

2/3 cup cider vinegar

3 tbsp brown sugar, packed

1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce

1/4 tsp salt for taste

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed

1/8 tsp pepper

Instructions

1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring them to a boil.

2. Reduce the heat, and let the mixture simmer – uncovered – for about 15 to 20 minutes. The idea here is to blend the flavors together.

Heads up: The North Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce isn’t a sauce in the traditional sense and should be treated as more of a dip. The recipe uses two different kinds of vinegar as its base, which makes it a little runny.

 

 

About the author: Bella Short is an experienced writer, editor, proofreader, blogger, teacher and photographer based in NY. She likes to cook, sew, and she’s very passionate about healthy food that tastes delicious. She’s a big fan of a keto diet and sees it as a life-long style of eating.

What You Should Know About Cacao Tea

 

 

 

Have you been looking for a coffee alternative or a healthy way to enjoy chocolate?

I recently discovered Cacao Tea – chocolate tea – and found it to be a delightful enjoyable drink with breakfast, as a mid-afternoon healthy refresher or after-dinner soothing treat. You should definitely give it a try if you like chocolate!

What do I love about it? I enjoy it’s flavor similar to hot chocolate without the rich creaminess. If you prefer to add a little milk for a creamier texture, it would be similar to chai. The simple chocolate flavor provides a sense of indulging in a treat without feeling guilty.

We received a free sample of the tea from the Cacao Tea Company, and are pleased to share with you how much we enjoyed it. We always enjoy supporting other women-owned businesses.

Here are a few things you should know about cacao or cocoa tea besides the fact that it tastes amazing.

Cacao Tea is Calorie-Free 

Perhaps you find yourself, like me, looking forward to enjoying a chocolate treat here and there and also wanting to avoid adding a heap of calories to your day. Chocolate tea is the perfect solution.

Seriously! This fabulous tasting tea is calorie-free, so you can enjoy the savory chocolate flavor without any guilt whatsoever. The tea is made from cacao husks, providing a hint of natural sweetness along with the soothing cocoa taste.

Of course, you could always add some sweetener if you prefer,  but I found it delicious and satisfying all on its own. You will need a tea infuser as the tea comes loose leaf, ready for you to brew as much or as little at a time as you like.

Cacao Tea is Caffeine-Free

If you have been a coffee drinker, but are looking for caffeine-free options for your hot drink choices, cacao tea makes a great addition to your pantry. With no caffeine, the warm beverage is enjoyable and doesn’t leave you with negative caffeine effects.

The natural theobromine in the cacao husks helps provide a slight boost in energy and mental clarity without the harsh effects of caffeine. Interestingly enough, this same theobromine can help reduce blood pressure, too.

Sip it in the evening – with or without your favorite dessert – on the back patio with your feet propped up with no worries about going to sleep later.

Cacao Tea is Rich in Antioxidants and Flavonoids

As if the taste and calorie-free status isn’t enough, the tea is full of healthy antioxidants and flavonoids that we all know can help our bodies with everything from enhancing memory and mood, fighting damage from free radicals and promoting healthy blood flow to improving cognitive function.

Cacao Tea is a Coffee Substitute in Recipes

I have to confess, I actually do not like the taste of coffee at all; the aroma doesn’t bother me, but I’ve never acquired a taste for the beverage.

However, I have run across several chocolate cake recipes that include coffee as a liquid ingredient, for which I usually substitute water. Now I have the perfect substitute ingredient of cacao tea, providing even more chocolate flavor depth to an already enticing dessert.

 

 

What do you think? Have you tried cacao tea made with cacao husks before? Did you love it or not? We love to hear your thoughts and ideas!