How to Cook Ham

With all the resources out there, a simple internet search will produce tons of recipes about how to make the perfect ham. The great thing is that most websites that list a recipe have a place for those who have tried the recipe to share their own ham making tips and reviews.

These can be so helpful when trying to decide what recipe to use. So many of the recipes sound delicious so why not use the opinions of others who have tried it to find out how good the recipe actually is?

How about an apricot honey ham glaze? Not only is it rated as delicious but it is also very easy to make, which is why it is such a very popular recipe. The ingredients include, apricot preserves, honey, cornstarch, lemon juice and cloves.

All these ingredients are combined in a saucepan over medium heat until the mixture becomes thick and bubbly. The glaze is simply spooned over the ham and then basted over the ham during the last 30 minutes of baking.

There is nothing quite as good as baked ham and pineapple. This is another recipe that usually gets rave reviews. After a ham has been cooking for half the allotted time, this is when the pineapple comes into play.

Drain the juice from a can of sliced pineapple. Combine the pineapple juice, brown sugar, and honey in a saucepan. Cook the mixture over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Brush the ham with the pineapple mixture after scoring the ham in a diamond like pattern. Then arrange the pineapple slices with cherries in the middle over the ham and secure with toothpicks.

The ham can also be studded with cloves. The ham should then be baked for the remainder of the time. The ham can be basted with the pineapple mixture throughout the remainder of the cooking time.

Another yummy recipe is a ham marinade! A marinade will allow the ham to absorb the juices and keep it very moist during baking.  This marinade is made up of brown sugar, honey, dry red wine, pineapple juice, and garlic. The ham sound be marinated for anywhere between 6 hours and overnight.

Be sure to visit often, we have lots more Ham making tips and recipe reviews that we are looking forward to sharing with you.

Cooking With Olive Oil for Weight Loss

It’s easy to conclude that any fat will make you gain weight, but that’s not necessarily the case. Not all fats have the same effect on your body. Different fats interact with your body in different ways. Some, such as olive oil, can help you to stay slim.

Olive oil, which features prominently in Mediterranean diets, is a healthy fat that can help you lose weight. In many reviews of best weight loss diets, the top programs are Mediterranean or Mediterranean-inspired. People who follow these types of diets often eat plenty of fish and veggies, which they cook with olive oil.

If anywhere from a quarter to a third of the calories in this type of diet come from fat, how can its followers stay slender? A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition this July described how and why cooking with moderate amounts of olive oil can help you stay slim.

Monounsaturated Fats vs. Polyunsaturated Fats

Which type of fat a person eats is one of the biggest factors in whether he or she will gain weight. Monounsaturated fats are found in foods like nuts, avocados and olive oil. They’re healthier than polyunsaturated fats, which are contained in foods like red meat and sunflower oil.

The study compared participants’ cooking habits and their weight statistics. The researchers took samples of the cooking oils that the participants used and determined whether they prepared their meals with olive oil or sunflower oil. The participants who used more olive oil (or a mixture that included olive oil) were healthier than those who used sunflower oil.

People who consume fewer polyunsaturated fats and more monounsaturated fats—particularly olive oil—are much less likely to be obese than people who don’t. And even though people who like to cook with olive oil might take in a slightly higher number of calories than people who don’t, they still will have a far lower chance of being overweight.

What Does Olive Oil Do?

According to the study, the monounsaturated fats found in olive oil reduce the risk of obesity in three main ways:

  • Healthy fats help you feel full longer. The healthy fats in olive oil help to satisfy your hunger, so you’ll need to eat less (therefore consume fewer calories) throughout the day.
  • Olive oil breaks down fat. Olive oil increases the break down the fat that is stored in the fat cells that make up fatty body mass. This process is called lipolysis. An increase in the rate of lipolysis is necessary when you want to reduce the percentage of your body fat.
  • Regularly cooking with olive oil raises your metabolism. Olive oil provides a boost to your metabolic rate. With an elevated metabolism, you can burn more calories all the time—even when resting.

Olive Oil Helps Reduce Obesity

The study, which followed about 600 people of a wide range of ages, found that those who were regular consumers of olive oil weighed less than people who weren’t. Although both groups ate about the same number of calories, the people who prepared their meals with olive oil took in a higher ratio of mono-unsaturated to polyunsaturated fats. On the other hand, people who ate a greater proportion of polyunsaturated fats were much more likely to be obese.

Some people who follow a diet rich in olive oil could have different eating habits than those who don’t, including taking in more calories, but they’re still slimmer. They have a lower percentage of body fat, their metabolisms are higher, and they feel fuller after mealtime. Regularly cooking your meals with moderate amounts of olive oil could help you stay full, lose fat and burn more calories.


Article provided by Matt Papa is a biochemist who enjoys researching the benefits of-as well as cooking and eating- healthy food. In his leisure time he develops his website where he regularly posts a Medifast discount coupon, offered by a medically approved diet program, and coupons for Nutrisystem discount.


Cooking Tips for Bodybuilders

If you want to pack on some serious muscle, you not only need to pay your dues in the gym, you also need to provide your body with the raw materials it needs to build muscle and keep your energy levels high. So what kinds of foods can help you convert pumped iron into pumped up muscles?

These cooking tips for bodybuilders will help you find out.

What Food Groups do Bodybuilders Need Most?

Before you can decide how to cook for bodybuilders, you need to know what kinds of food they should be eating. A good bodybuilding diet has three important aspects:

Protein:

Protein is the most important building block to creating strong muscles. If you don’t have enough protein in your diet, your body will simply be unable to pack on more muscle no matter how hard you work out.

Carbohydrates:

Carbs help keep your body’s energy levels high, even when you are working hard. Complex carbohydrates like whole grain breads and rice provide you with a steady source of energy, whereas simple carbs like white flour and sugar give you a quick boost followed by a crash.

Good Fat:

Bodybuilding isn’t just about being strong, it’s also about having a hard, ripped body. To achieve this ripped look, bodybuilders should have lots of muscle and very little body fat. Why? Body fat blurs and conceals the shape of the muscles underneath, ruining the effect of your hard training. On the other hand, “good” fats help to lubricate the joints and keep you healthy. Stick to a small amount of unsaturated fat (about 20% of your diet).

How to Cook for Bodybuilders:

When you’re bodybuilding, it’s easy to get into a rut and eat the same few healthy foods over and over again. However, that quickly leads to a boring diet. When cooking for bodybuilders, you need to be creative enough to add new flair to the standby ingredients.

Some ideas include:

Shake Up Breakfast with Egg White Omelets: Egg whites are full of protein but low in fats and calories. You can create a variety of delicious meals by combining egg whites with cheese and fresh vegetables.

Try Vegetarian Meat Substitutes:

Most vegetarian meat substitutes are very high in protein. Even meat lovers can enjoy some of these products, and reap the benefits of delicious, low-fat meals.

Put Spices to Work for You:

Spices can completely change the way a meal tastes without adding unhealthy fats or calories. Try lemon pepper with your tuna, add paprika to your omelets, or rosemary to your chicken. The next day, swap spices to keep your meals interesting.

Other Important Cooking Tips for Bodybuilders:

Avoid Hidden Cooking Fats – Avoid “invisible” fats by using non-stick spray instead of oil in your frying pans, and substituting olive oil for butter in recipes.

Don’t Overlook Extra Calories:

Remember that the pat of butter you put on your bread or the dressing you add to your salad could be full of calories.

Remove Chicken Skins:

A large percentage of the unhealthy fat from chicken is in its skin. By simply removing the skin, you vastly improve the healthiness of your meal.

What is Kale?

Kale is a type of cabbage but it is distinguished from a regular cabbage in that it doesn’t form a head of densely packed leaves. Instead the leaves are loose and have a ruffled texture.

The taste of kale is slightly bitter but it also depends on the variety as some varieties are less bitter than others.

Kale is quite an ancient vegetable which has been cultivated for over 3000 years. Up until the middle ages it was considered to be one of the most popular of vegetables.

Kale is also very high in nutrients. In the UK, during WW2, people were encouraged to grow kale because of this as it was an excellent substitute for other foods that were lacking because of rationing.

Kale can be used in salads, soups, stews or you can just saute it as you would spinach or cabbage.

Quick and Easy Healthy Snacks for Children

Many children come home from school dying for a snack. Young bodies need plenty of energy to grow, but at the same time many of the snacks that we’re accustomed to eating are exactly the wrong foods to teach our children to love. Greasy potato chips or sugar-laden cookies might kill the craving for food, but they do little to provide the long-term energy or essential vitamins and minerals that our children need the most. Here are some healthy snacks for children that will satisfy their hunger and their bodies’ need for good nutrition.

1. Fruit Kabobs
Fruit kabobs are healthy, colorful, and sweet, which means they are bound to be beloved by many children. Even better, they are quick and simple to make for the parent on the go. Take several different kinds of fruit, like melon balls, strawberries, or grapes, and string them on a wooden skewer. You can also add cheese squares for a different and more satisfying taste.

2. Vegetables & Dip
Fresh-cut vegetables are delicious and laden with vegetables, and kids love them, especially when paired with dip. Use carrot slices, broccoli and cauliflower florets, sliced bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber rounds. Mix dry onion soup dip with lowfat yogurt or refried beans with salsa to make easy and healthy dips.

3. Yogurt
Yogurt is a quick and satisfying snack, and has plenty of good calcium and other nutrients in it. To make sure your yogurt is low on sugars and other unhealthy ingredients, buy plain yogurt and mix with your own fresh fruit. Add cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of sugar for extra flavor.

4. Popcorn
Popcorn is inexpensive and very versatile. Buy plain popcorn and add your own flavors, like cinnamon sugar or flavored salt, to spice it up. Substitute olive oil for some of the butter to create a healthier topping.

5. Trail Mix
Trail mix is great for hungry children because it combines quick-acting carbohydrates with protein which will satisfy in the long run. Make your own trail mix with dried fruits, a variety of nuts, mini-pretzels, chocolate chips, and so on.

6. Frozen Juice Popsicles
If your child craves a sweet snack, try freezing juice in ice-cube trays to make an easy and healthy substitute for ice cream. Put a toothpick in each cube before you freeze to serve as a handle.

7. Fruit Smoothies
Blend a banana with soy or regular milk to create an easy and healthy dessert. You can also add strawberries, blueberries, cherries, or granola to create different flavors for each day.

8. Cinnamon-Sugar Tortillas
Most people think of tortillas as the casing for meats, cheeses, and refried beans, but you can also use them as a sweet snack in the afternoons. Take a fresh tortilla and drizzle with a little bit of butter, sugar, and cinnamon and toast until crispy. Delicious!

9. English Muffin Pizzas
For a more filling snack, take an English muffin and top with some leftover spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese, and any toppings your child likes, such as sautéed mushrooms and onions, diced ham, or salami rounds. Broil until the cheese melts and the muffin becomes crisp for a quick and satisfying snack.

10. Ants on a Log
Don’t worry, these aren’t real ants, but children will love the funny name! Just fill celery stalks with creamy peanut butter (that’s the log) and top with a line of raisins (those are the ants). This quick snack combines protein from the peanut butter with carbs from the raisins and vitamins in the celery to make a nutritious snack.

By using these healthy snack ideas, you can keep your kids happy and teach them good snacking habits that will serve them well as they grow older.