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Organic foods: Are they safer? More nutritious?

Once found only in health food stores, organic food is now a regular feature at most supermarkets. And that's created a bit of a dilemma in the produce aisle.



On one hand, you have a conventionally grown apple. On the other, you have one that's organic. Both apples are firm, shiny and red. Both provide vitamins and fiber, and both are free of fat, sodium and cholesterol. Which should you choose? Get the facts before you shop.


Conventional vs. organic farming

The word "organic" refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution.



Farmers who grow organic produce don't use conventional methods to fertilize and control weeds. Examples of organic farming practices include using natural fertilizers to feed soil and plants, and using crop rotation or mulch to manage weeds.


Organic or not? Check the label

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established an organic certification program that requires all organic foods to meet strict government standards. These standards regulate how such foods are grown, handled and processed.



Any product labeled as organic must be USDA certified. Only producers who sell less than $5,000 a year in organic foods are exempt from this certification; however, they're still required to follow the USDA's standards for organic foods.



If a food bears a USDA Organic label, it means it's produced and processed according to the USDA standards. The seal is voluntary, but many organic producers use it.



Products that are completely organic — such as fruits, vegetables, eggs or other single-ingredient foods — are labeled 100 percent organic and can carry the USDA seal.



Foods that have more than one ingredient, such as breakfast cereal, can use the USDA organic seal plus the following wording, depending on the number of organic ingredients:



100 percent organic. To use this phrase, products must be either completely organic or made of all organic ingredients.
Organic. Products must be at least 95 percent organic to use this term.



Products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients may say "made with organic ingredients" on the label, but may not use the seal. Foods containing less than 70 percent organic ingredients can't use the seal or the word "organic" on their product labels. They can include the organic items in their ingredient list, however.


Do 'organic' and 'natural' mean the same thing?

No, "natural" and "organic" are not interchangeable terms. You may see "natural" and other terms such as "all natural," "free-range" or "hormone-free" on food labels. These descriptions must be truthful, but don't confuse them with the term "organic." Only foods that are grown and processed according to USDA organic standards can be labeled organic.



For more info: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/organic-food/art-20043880

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Easy Meals To Make With Your Vegetable Slicer

So, youre running out of meal ideas? One of the hardest things a person will ever have to do is to come up with fresh, new dishes to serve up from the heart of the home. Whether youre a parent looking to feed your kids with healthy food options or if youre a professional cook thinking of ways to spruce up your dishes, a vegetable slicer will definitely come in handy.



Not a lot of people realize it, but the way you prepare your ingredients can be the beginning of a great idea. So take out those vegetable slicers and start cutting up those veggies to come up with these awesome kitchen creations.



3 Easy Meals to Make with Your Vegetable Slicer



1. Fresh Garden Salad Who doesnt love a hearty salad? Oftentimes, buying a salad at your local restaurant will set you back an unreasonable amount of dollars. These light meals are usually crazily overpriced. Did you know that if you just used the money the value of a standard restaurant garden salad to buy fresh vegetables at the market, youd have at least 4 times as many ingredients? Whats more, salads can be crazy easy to make especially if you have a vegetable slicer. The possibilities are endless when it comes to veggie combinations, and it depends on what you want to throw into the mix. Try your hand at coming up with salad creations and dressings. Your family will be sure to love it.



2. Crispy Chips and Snacks Among the most tedious things you would ever have to do is to slice vegetables thinly in the attempt to make chips. Many parents want to do this in order to entice their children to eat something healthy, but often fail to come up with the right crispiness. The trial usually ends with an oily, soggy bunch of thick slices of vegetables with a strange texture to mushy to enjoy. But with a vegetable slicer, you can get the perfect thickness each and every time. Just think you could make homemade potato chips, cucumber chips, carrot chips, and just any other kind of chip you can think of minus all those disgusting preservatives and harmful artificial flavours that many commercially sold chips are chocked full of.



3. Savory Soups The thing about soup is that if theres not enough flavour, its bound to be a disaster. Unlike other meals and food options that at least have a certain thickness and texture to them, soup comes in the form of liquid, which means the people who eat it probably wont get to experience that satisfying chewing process that other foods require. The technique to coming up with delicious soup is to bank on flavour, and by cutting up your vegetables the right way, you can enhance their taste and seal in the vitamins. The easiest way to do this is to use a high-quality vegetable slicer that wont sap your ingredients of their nutrients and natural flavours.






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Best Kitchen Utensils You Cannot Live Without




Every kitchen contains its own collection of gadgets and tools that will make food preparation easy and fun. The kitchen has undergone a total transformation during the 20th century at the time when modern technological innovation invented kitchen appliances such as the refrigerator, stove, oven, and many others. Together with those new kitchen aids, the utensils also went through improvements in terms of quality, material, style, size and shape. Over time, there was the invention of electric appliances, various other modern gadgets, utensils and accessories have found their way into our kitchen.


 

These days, a modern kitchen comes with several appliances such as the microwave, toaster, mixer-grinder, sandwich maker, refrigerator, stove top, oven, griller and many others that meet with the demands of our work schedule and modern way of living. In fact, some countries have homes that come pre-fitted with several of these essential tools when they are marketed to prospective buyers.



But while many people no longer consider these home appliances as luxury items but as essentials to make cooking an easy and pleasurable process, there are also plenty of basic tools that are extremely vital for a modern kitchen. One great example of this is the cheese grater.


 

A grater is designed to shred or sliver cheese without difficulty. It is available in many different styles, but many use the one that has sharp holes in which the cheese is pushed through. A cheese grater is generally made out of metal, such as stainless steel, and you can buy a cheese grater on Amazon , at a kitchen supply stores and other online shops at affordable prices.


 

Grating your very own cheese makes your food much more delicious compared to using the pre-grated cheese that you see in the store. If you have tried it before, you will know what I am talking about. Newly grated cheese has a uniquely different texture and melts faster than the pre-grated cheese in a bag.


 

Because of the modern times, electric graters are also available in the market. Imagine that you are making pizza or lasagna for a big party at home. Grating cheese manually can be quite a tedious job for you. Therefore, an electric cheese grater is the perfect solution for you.


 

There is a huge number of individuals who purely enjoy eating cheese regardless of their age. A lot of people love cheese or cheese flakes on their food. If you are one of those cheese lovers, then a cheese grater is the right partner for all those cheese.

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Celebrate Romance With Class

The holidays are the perfect time to invite your special someone to a dinner show. More than having the usual candlelit dinner, a romantic dinner show for two will make this event extra memorable. To help you celebrate romance with class, you could check out the dinnershow that Aalsmeer artists could prepare for you.



You could opt for a Christmas dinnershow filled with love. Feel the presence of love during the Yuletide season with a story about lovers believing in the mistletoe tradition. Aalsmeer artists also showcase their acting and singing prowess in a romantic comedy inspired by the Nativity.



A romantic dinner show for two is one of the best gifts that you could give to your loved one. Aside from the sumptuous feasts and entertaining show, you would also get the most romantic atmosphere that Aalsmeer artists could offer. Imagine eating dinner with your partner and watching a romantic dinner show that would sweep you off your feet. Expect a lot of dancing, too, and an ambiance that would surely cap off your evening right.








You can choose to have your own motif for a special package for two. For an affordable price both of you could dine out under the stars and get all mushy with violin and singing. This is also the perfect place and time for men to propose to their girlfriends. For other couples, Aalsmeer artists also offer anniversary songs and dinner shows so that they could reminisce the time when they first met their loved one.



A romantic Christmas dinner show is also your best bet if you want to hit two birds with one stone. You could opt to have dinner in an open space lit by twinkling Christmas lights. You could also have a snow-themed romantic dinner show for two. Feel as if you are in Winter Wonderland with the Aalsmeer artists.



Another favorite theme and dinner show in Aalsmeer is the Nutcracker. Dine and watch the entertainers sing, act, dance while performing the musical The Nutcracker. There will be souvenirs for couples as well. You could also give a card to your loved one, which could be designed with the white and red motif.



Lastly, what Christmas dinner wouldnt be complete without Santa Claus and his elves? This may not be romantic to most peoples standards, but it ensures that your moment with your loved one is fun and full of life and laughter.

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How To Improve Your Life Health With Fresh Juicing

All kinds of fresh fruits and veggies as well as spices and herbs can be used in fresh juice. Juicing also gives you far more benefits than any juice that's bottled or canned, even the best organic brands. Fresh juice makes a tasty and healthy treat.



Add a little cucumber to dark leafy greens. Many of the leafy greens don't taste very good. Cucumber can mask the taste and add a refreshing element to your juice. Purchasing a good juicing recipes book can help you get started with delicious tasting recipes.



The healthiest vegetables for juicing are greens such as chard, spinach and kale. The healthiest juice consists of fifty to seventy percent greens, with other elements added for flavor. Juices made entirely of fruits would tend to be too sugary and might cause a blood sugar spike.








Use the different colors of fruits and vegetables to vary the nutritional content of your juices and smoothies. In particular, greens and yellows translate to a variety of healthy vitamins and minerals. Using different colored produce will give you a full range of nutrients and many exciting tastes.



Juicing vegetables is a great way for you to get healthy foods into a child who won't eat them whole. Many children do not like vegetables. You can combine fruits and vegetables into one beverage that has a great taste, and the kids won't know they're eating vegetables.



Always keep your juicer visible and ready for action. You will actually use it more often if you keep it withn constant view and easy reach.



Each fruit and vegetable contains different minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients. Certain fruits and vegetables can be combined to powerfully fight certain diseases.



You can get ride of pulp in juice by using a coffee filter, but this is very slow. Your best option is a juice machine which separates the juice from the pulp automatically. For those who want more fiber simply add a bit of pulp back into your fresh juice.



Keeping juice in the refrigerator can be handy, but waiting to drink any fresh juice or smoothie will result in changed color and taste, and loss of nutrients.



If the assembly, cleaning and reassembling of a juicer takes more than a minute consider another brand. New models take no time to assemble and clean. And assembly should not require any special tools since they only get misplaced. Clean the juicer right after using it to reduce the time you have to spend cleaning dried pulp which sticks to the appliance.



If you have hypoglycemia or diabetes, try juicing vegetables as opposed to fruits until you talk to your physician. Drinking juice with a large fruit content will raise your blood sugar. You need to be careful about the amount of fruit you use in your juices. Vegetables can supply you with the nutrients without throwing your blood sugar out of whack.



Ginger has been proven by study after study to be as effective for the treatment of gastrointestinal distress as any medication and without side effects except ginger tasting burps! Ginger has many anti-inflammatory properties that can help with stomach ulcers, acid reflux and even nausea.



If you're starting to feel old and tired, adding juice to your life can return the spring to your step! Juicing is a good way to get the nutrients you need to get rid of joint pains, ease muscle pain and slow the aging process.



To ensure that the juice you are drinking is as healthy as possible, it's important to drink it right away. The longer you wait the more nutrients are lost even if you refrigerate it. Therefore, to ensure that you receive the most nutrients, and the most benefit, drink fresh juices and smoothies as soon after you make them as possible.



To reduce the bitterness of cranberries, combine them with sweet fruits like berries. A great recipe for a delicious juice is a mixture of cranberries, cherries, strawberries and blueberries. Be creative and blend your own great-tasting juice ingredients.



Masticating juice machines are ideal for making wonderful fruit juices. These juicers allow you also to mill, grind, puree and even create frozen deserts. These added features will increase the variety of ingredients you can include in your juice recipes such as nuts and seeds.



Don't make your juice sit for long before serving it. It has a much better taste if it is consumed immediately after making it.



As you have discovered by now through reading this article, there are numerous ways to incorporate juicing into your diet. Juicing works well as a quick snack or a complete meal. There are plenty of positive aspects of juicing, helping you to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Start juicing for better nutrition today.

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