Today, we're kicking off an end-of-the-year series based on the most popular New Year's resolutions and we're starting with new culinary endeavors.
Whether your reasoning is to lose weight, cut costs or limit exposure to processed foods, you've decided 2014 is the year you become a serious home cook. The motivation isn't what's important – it's the realization how you feel is determined by what you put into your body and the desire to change it.
Make the switch to these five healthier alternatives to save calories, fat and more without losing out on flavor:
1. Instead of Butter: eVitamins Organic Coconut Oil – 12 fl oz for $6.99
Butter is full of fat, cholesterol and calories that can lead to weight gain and a slew of other health problems. However, there's no denying the fact butter crisps up foods beautifully and provides rich texture and great taste. So, substitute your butter with coconut oil next time you're in the kitchen to get some amazing benefits and all the ooey gooey and crispy textures you love. Coconut oil promotes healthy digestion and even supports the metabolism while also providing good saturated fats from lauric acid, which can support healthy cholesterol. Our coconut oil is organic, virgin and 100 percent pure. This oil is solid at room temperature, so you can smear it on toast, and liquefies when warmed making it perfect before for cooking your morning eggs. You can also add it to a smoothie! Would you try that with butter? No way.
2. Instead of Salt: Eden Foods Organic Gomasio – 3.5 oz for $3.32
Consuming too much sodium in your daily diet can negatively impact your blood pressure and heart health. It can also make you retain water and bloat. Instead of reaching for the straight table salt to flavor your meals, consider a seasoning from the east -- gomasio. This seasoning is made with ground sesame seeds and sea salt. The ground sesame seeds help enhance the flavor of the salt, so you get all the saltiness you crave with considerably less sodium. You can add this product to recipes or sprinkle it on prepared foods. Try topping roasted asparagus or potatoes with it or use it to season chicken or tofu before grilling. This product also provides amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein and support healthy muscle mass and much more.
3. Instead of White Flour Pasta: Eden Foods Organic Kamut Spaghetti – 14 oz for $4.02
Pasta is one of the most popular comfort foods. However, it can be high in carbohydrates that cause spikes in blood sugar levels and, of course, weight gain. However, cutting pasta completely out of your diet isn't necessary. Instead, try a pasta like this one made from a whole grain, like kamut. Each serving of this delicious pasta provides 6 g of fiber and 10 g of protein. It also has no added salt, saturated fat or cholesterol. Feel free to use this pasta in any of your favorite recipes. Top it with fresh tomato sauce or go for a lighter dish by tossing the pasta with cherry tomatoes, fresh shredded basil, a light drizzle of olive oil and red pepper flakes to taste. You could also go the Asian route by combining sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter, chili paste and fresh cilantro and green onion.
4. Instead of Sugar: Stakich Manuka Raw Honey – 12 oz for $19.06
A touch of sweetness can make a cup of tea or your morning oatmeal more delicious, but refined sugar is full of calories and consuming it in excess can lead to major health issues beyond cavities. Honey is the perfect natural alternative to give you the sweetness you crave. Raw honey hasn't been heated and processed like the honey in the bear, which is why it's solid at room temperature and opaque. It also has amino acids, enzymes, B vitamins and antibacterial compounds that help fight infection. Try adding some raw honey to your coffee or tea or mix it into Greek yogurt. You can also use raw honey for baking instead of granulated sugar. There are also home remedies that utilize raw honey, like mixing it with apple cider vinegar and lemon for a sore throat or applying it to minor burns.
5. Instead of Creamy Salad Dressings: Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar – 16 fl oz for $3.90
Covering your salad or slaw with a creamy dressing like ranch virtually counteracts the nutritional benefits of the vegetables themselves. The flavor may be good, but the calories and fat sure add up and turn that light lunch into a real belt buster. Apple cider vinegar has a bright and tangy flavor that makes a perfect base for a salad dressing. Combine it with olive oil and dried Italian seasoning blend and you have dressing in less than five minutes. Apple cider vinegar, when its unpasteurized and unfiltered, has antibacterial and antifungal properties and supports detoxification and even weight management. You can also use it in a marinade for any protein you like. Clean out that bottle of creamy dressing and replace it with your own homemade version and enjoy more delicious vegetables!
Get all these great products and more healthy grocery items at eVitamins and check back tomorrow for the second installment of the Resolution Remedies series!