Every grocery shopper mostly breezes through the store trips. We remember the location of our favorite brands and the aisles in the grocery store. Although great, this does mean that we tend to overlook foods and products that might add value to our health and kitchen. Improving nutrition is a long-term goal, and if you are continually looking for ways to improve it, we are here to help:
- Kefir: Kefir is a fermented drink, conventionally made using cow’s or goat’s milk. The word ‘Kefir’ comes from the Turkish word keyif which means “feeling good.” The origins of the drink can be traced back to Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia. It is made by adding kefir ‘grains’ to the milk. The grains are actually cultures of yeast and lactic acid bacteria that look like cauliflower. The microorganism in kefir grains multiplies quickly in over few hours to the ferment the sugar in the milk, turning it into kefir. The grains are then removed, and the liquid is preserved in its purest form for consumption. The drink tastes sour like yogurts source the lactic acid bacteria turn the lactose in the milk into lactic acid. Kefir is the most powerful natural probiotic source, stronger than yogurt. Kefir contains over 30 strains of bacteria’s making it a rich source of probiotics. If you are looking at a natural source of probiotics Kefir is a great product to start with, what makes it even better is the fact that it is tolerated pretty well by lactose intolerant.
- Organic Spices: We never really pay much attention to the spices we pick. You might still be struggling with selecting the organic produce over the regular produce, but here is something you should consider the next time you are buying spices. Nearly every time we cook we end up using one or the other spice to enhance the flavor of the food. Herbs and spices are derived from plants and thus are exposed to bacteria, pests and others forms of contamination. Hence, investing in organic spices can ensure you are not consuming food that is tainted with pesticides and chemicals.
- High-fiber pasta or quinoa instead of white pasta: Pasta is the staple food of every household. It is delicious, easy to make and the best part is kids love it. If you are family enjoys pasta at home now and then, we suggest replacing the regular white pasta with high fiber pasta or if you are up for a challenge we recommend – quinoa. Your taste palette will require some ‘getting used to’ time but believe us you will be much happier with your nutritional choices in the future. Quinoa is an excellent alternative for the white wheat pasta, it is known as the mother of all grains and is available in three main types -white, red and black. A cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. We think that’s a powerhouse of nutrition.
Think we missed mentioning something that should be a part of this list? Let us know by commenting below.
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Grocery shopping also means reading the food labels diligently to get the maximum nutrition from your food. Let’s be honest most of us don’t pay attention to this task, some of us are also guilty of completely ignoring it. If you are committed to the health of your family, we recommend you make label reading a priority before welcoming any food product into the kitchen. Here is what will help-
- Every packaged food will have a nutritional facts table at the back. The table will provide information on – Calories, Fat, Saturated fat, Trans fat, protein, cholesterol, carbohydrate, Fiber, Sugar, Vitamins, Calcium, and Iron. Essentially an overview on all the food nutrients.
- Watch out for the serving size, it refers to the standardized amount to help you compare the nutrition content of various foods. What this means is if you eat the exact serving size listed on the Nutrition Facts Table you will obtain the precise amount of calories and nutrients that are listed.
- Pay attention to calories on the Nutrition Facts Table. The listed calories tell you much energy you will get per serving of the food.
- Percent Daily Value (DV) on the Nutrition Facts label is a guide to the nutrients in one serving of food. DVs are based on a 2,000-calorie diet for healthy adults. For example, if the label lists 7 percent for iron, it means that one serving provides 7 percent of the iron your body needs to function in a healthy manner each day.
- Try to get more of the healthy nutrients from your foods. Healthy nutrients include Iron, Calcium, Fiber, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C
- Try to get less of these nutrients from your food – Fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, cholesterol. Don’t get us wrong, these nutrients are essential for the body, completely eliminating them from the diet can cause major health concerns. However, we must be extra cautious of the amount per serving for these nutrients.
This is a beginner’s guide to reading food labels. Make sure if you haven’t been already reading the food labels till now you start today.
Think we forget something important about reading the food labels? Let us know by commenting below.
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Back to school means hustle and bustle, preparing the kids for their first day at school, and ensuring they have the right supplies for a successful start. What this also means is that they will need a big dose of nutrition as their activity level will surge and they will be spending a lot of time away from home.
Proper nutrition plays a critical role in the defining the health of your child. Besides – age and gender one must take into consideration the level of activity before meal planning. Here are some aspects you must take into consideration while planning your child’s diet-
- Fiber – keeps the digestive tract healthy, include plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Calcium – In addition to bone building and maintaining its health calcium helps blood clot, nerves send messages and muscles contract. It’s imperative to include good sources of calcium in the diet of kids growing up. Low fat dairy products, rhubarb, spinach, collard greens, and sardines are great sources of calcium.
- Vitamin E- The most potent anti oxidant, it helps protect cells against damage caused by free radicals. Nuts, seeds, wheat germ oil and vegetable oils are all a good source of Vitamin E.
- Organic Food : Switch to cleaner eating for your children. Introduce them to organic food if you haven’t already.
- Magnesium – This important mineral supports the immune system and helps maintain muscle and nerve function. Whole grains, nuts, pumpkin seeds, and white, black beans are an excellent source of magnesium.
- Vitamin D- This critical vitamin helps absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Sunshine, fortified dairy and juice, cod liver oil, salmon, tuna and mackerel are good sources to acquire vitamin D.
Think we missed out on something? Share it with us by commenting below.
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- Popcorn: The next time you are reaching out for that bag of potato chips, replace it with popcorn. It’s a light whole grain, anti-oxidant rich snack. Skip the butter to make it healthier.
- Avocado: Avocado has healthy written all over it. That explains why everyone is crazy about it. Did you know just half an avocado contains 7 g of fiber? They contain good monounsaturated fats that the body needs to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. A clear snacking winner we say.
- Greek Yogurt: This is a favorite amongst the nutritionists and health experts around the world and there is a pretty good reason for it. Made from a highly concentrated form of milk, Greek yogurt provides more calcium than a glass of milk. Amazing, isn’t it? High protein and low-fat properties make it a super fun yet guilt free snack.
- Hummus: The popularity of this Mediterranean and Middle Eastern favorite is unbeatable Made of Olive Oil, Chickpea, Garlic, Sea Salt, Lemon Juice and Tahini a basic hummus is loaded with nutrients – Protein, Fiber, Folate, Iron, Zinc and more. When the late night snack cravings kick in, it is probably a smarter choice to dip a carrot or cucumber in hummus.
- Dark Chocolate: It’s a proven fact that chocolates with higher content of cocoa are better and healthier. This established fact makes Dark chocolates a clear winner for snacking. They contain relatively less sugar and milk than regular milk chocolates. Also, cocoa polyphenols in dark chocolates are known to control cholesterol.
If you are able to replace your current snack choices with the recommended healthy choices, we promise you will never have to worry as much about your waistline. Always stick to the golden rule of consuming foods that are high in protein and low in carbs at night.
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Cleaned up your grill to host a BBQ for your family and friends this Independence Day weekend? Hosting a BBQ requires a lot of meticulous planning. You want to ensure you are a perfect host catering to the palate of everyone invited. We are ith you on this one! Here are some grilling tips for this season –
- If you are a BBQ pro, you are probably aware of all the grilling methods available. There is always an ongoing debate regarding which serves better out of the two gas v/s charcoal. Our vote goes to the former because it does burn cleaner while emitting less carbon monoxide.
- Preheating is your friend! Always fire up the grill early. A preheated grill allows the meat to cook for easily and reduces the risk of food sticking. Also, it will burn off any remnants from the previous grilling, making the entire process more hygienic.
- Marinate your meats for at least 8 hours. Marinating infuses more flavors and prepares the meat to cook well. What this means is you get richer flavors in half the time. Get as creative as you can while choosing sauces for marinating.
- Fries are a BBQ staple. Ensure you don’t end up serving soggy fries. Believe us no one is a fan of that. We suggest investing a little more time on this one. Have variables available such as – sweet potato fries, fries with spice mix, etc.
- Follow the simple rule – “Know thy guest”. A sure way to be a good host is to know the likes and dislikes of your guests. You will be better prepared to meet the requirements of your guests quick and easy. Early preparation aids the task of grocery shopping – you will know exactly what meats (chicken, pork, beef, seafood) and vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, etc.) to choose along with the quantities.
- Beer is the king of any BBQ party! However, make cocktails an important element of your BBQ bash. Get creative with Sangria, martinis and more.
Get the supplies for your BBQ from Burpy. Comment below to let us know your favorite BBQ hack.
School’s out which means your children are already home. If like many others you are wondering how to keep them busy, here are some simple activities to try this summer vacation with your children-
- The Instagram Family: Well well well! Maybe you and your kids are already Instagram superstars. However, we do think it will be cute to have an online picture journal of your family’s summer adventure online. And what better than Instagram for this task. The filters are a sure way to up the glam. We say Lights, Camera, Instagram and memories
- Backyard barbecues and picnic: This is not new, you probably already have plans of doing this. Try going ahead with themes. They are the most inexpensive way of upgrading a plain barbecue or backyard picnic. Innovation is the key here – include game stations, DIY booths, etc.
- Experiment and record new recipes: Summer almost always brings the desire to try new recipes. Blame it on the festivity around us (we mean your kids). The next time you are experimenting in the kitchen include your kids in the task. Finally get around to baking the cookies or ice cream sandwich you have been holding off on. Your kids will be early learners and who knows maybe you will see them in Masterchef Junior soon.
- Go Biking/ Hiking: Nature has a strange way of inspiring everyone. Do you
remember the last time you willingly kept your iPad/laptop to bask in the sun or
simply sit in the park to read a book? We strongly recommend biking in nature or hiking with the family. Be close to nature and embrace it.
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Why shouldn’t you mess with the breakfast?
Everyone loves a wholesome breakfast. It’s considered to be the most important meal of the day. Now more than ever restaurants are extending their breakfast menus to entice new consumers every day.
Here’s why you shouldn’t mess with the most important meal of the day.
- Breakfast helps you burn calories. Yes, you read that right. Kick starting your day with the right foods will eliminate cravings. What that means is that you are less likely to consume unhealthy food throughout the day. According to researches people who consume breakfast daily eat 12% healthier than their counterparts.
- Fiber and protein are the most important factors in a healthy breakfast. The healthy breakfast should consist of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables that can keep you energized for the day. Stay away from loading up on the carbs. Consider oats, cereals, juices etc.
- Breakfast provides cognitive functions. A healthy breakfast restores glucose levels, an essential needed for the body and brain to function aptly. Hence, it keeps diabetes at bay, aids concentration level and improves memory.
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) states people who ate breakfast are more physically more active during the morning than those who didn’t. Another reason why you should consume breakfast within first two hours of waking up.
- Studies prove people who eat healthy breakfast, make smarter eating choices throughout the day. They consumer more vitamins, minerals and fiber throughout the day.
Have a fun fact to share about breakfast with us? Don’t forget to comment below.
Today’s lifestyle takes a lot away from us. We are always busy, always running to the next thing. To make things easier for millennials, we have listed dinner kitchen hacks that sure to ease their life significantly –
- Meal planning – Make this a chore, like everything you do, this should be part of your weekly routine. If you decide what you want to eat at 7.00 pm in the evening chances are you will be driven by your need to satisfy your hunger and not for meeting health goals. Plan your meals on the weekends, before you commence grocery shopping.
- Meal preparation – On an average, a meal takes anywhere between 30-40 minutes to cook whereas the meal preparation takes an hour. Invest time preparing for your meals much ahead so that you don’t waste time every day on this.
- Baking is your friend - Always looks for recipes that require minimum supervision. Hence, baking is really your friend. Look for recipes that are simple and can be baked, they will be healthier and will utilize less oil.
- Go with theme nights - Have a pre-decided theme for each night – soup night, salad night, and pasta night. Believe us your life will be much easier.
- Plan for leftovers – Chances are you have leftover food during every meal. Sometimes you forget about it whereas other times you use the same food for lunch the next day. Have a plan for the leftover food unless you prefer throwing it.
- Stock your pantry right – Your pantry is your cooking heaven. Make sure you always stock it right, you don’t wish to be caught unarmed at 8.00 pm in the night. Refer to our pantry guide here.
Have a really good hack that has helped you over the years? Share it with us by commenting below.
Love bright colors and flavors? Spring will give you many reasons to rejoice then. Here are some of the best produce picks for spring
- Fava Beans
- Fiddlehead Ferns
- Morel Mushrooms
- Vidalia Onions
- Dandelion Greens
Think our list is incomplete? Don’t forget to mention the names we missed by commenting below. Get your produce delivered to your doorstep using Burpy.
Won’t it be lovely if our pantry was full of supplies that complemented our health and made meal preparation easy? Make sure you have everything on this list if your aim is to have a perfect pantry-
Begin with these easy 5 steps:
- Take stock of everything.
- Get rid of the lot that you do not see yourself eating in the coming weeks.
- Meal planning is essential
- Read up on the brand to ensure they go well with your requirements – current customer reviews can be a good starting point.
- Make a list before you begin the task of restocking your pantry.
- Sugar (granulated, brown)
- Vegetable Oil
- All- purpose flour
- Pasta (Take your pick)
- Rice (Long grain or brown)
- Dried bread crumbs
- Grains (bulgur, quinoa, and barley)
- Frozen Peas
- Frozen Corn
- Frozen Mixed Vegetables
- Chicken Breast
- Pasta Sauce
- Stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
At Burpy, our personal shoppers can assist you in stocking your pantry from your favorite grocery store. Think we missed out on mentioning a pantry essential? Tell us by commenting below.