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4 Healthy Substitute Ingredients to Try in 2017

4 Healthy Substitute Ingredients to Try in 2017

This 2017 you should expand your culinary horizons to improve your health. According to the National Institutes of Health, people cook far less now than they did in 1965. Instead, everyone’s eating out, which researchers say is less healthy and contributes to the rise in food-related illnesses plaguing America. Learning to cook with different ingredients boosts your culinary versatility, which makes you more likely to cook rather than order delivery.

Here are a few healthy substitute ingredients you can use:

1. Vegetable Stock

If you’ve run out of meat stock for your soups or stews, you can use vegetable stock without losing any or little flavor. You can buy ready-made vegetable stock at the grocery, or make your own. Finely-cut mushrooms and kelp can taste almost like ground beef in dishes. You can add Korean fermented soybean paste to give it an umami flavor.

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If you want a traditional vegetable stock, chop carrots, bay leaf, leeks, onions, celery, thyme, and peppercorn in one-inch pieces to create a crunchy texture. Fry in a pot for 5 to 10 minutes with frequent stirring, then add water and salt and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain out the vegetables.

These two vegetable stocks work great for ranch style beans instead of using meat stock. If you’re making ranch style beans, you can also substitute pinto beans for kidney beans or red beans, which both have similar taste.

Even if you have meat stock on hand, it’s best if you use vegetable stock. Meat has been linked to an increasing your risk for cancer and can be high in bad cholesterol. Vegetables are antioxidant-rich, which helps combat cancer, and they’re generally very low in bad cholesterol.

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2. Apple Cider Vinegar

If you planned on making a lemon-spritzed meal but forgot to buy lemons (happens to all of us), then you can substitute with apple cider vinegar. Dishes like lemon chicken, halibut prepared with lemon, risotto, and many others, will all taste similar or even better if you substitute lemon with apple cider vinegar (ACV). ACV has a much stronger sour flavor than lemon’s milder sting, but that’s nothing diluting ACV with water can’t fix.

Although lemon is very healthy, ACV can carry more health benefits than lemon. ACV has been found to suppress your appetite, which can lead to weight loss. It’s been found to lower your blood sugar levels after eating, and researchers have said this makes it a viable glucose management treatment for diabetics. It’s also good for your skin and can alleviate heartburn.

3. Cabbage Buns

You’re throwing a barbecue party or you’re hankering for a burger so you light up the grill and start flipping some patties – but you find you don’t have any hamburger buns! That’s okay if you have cabbage in stock. Cabbage leaves are a surprisingly great substitute for buns. Cabbage has a firm texture, not unlike taco shells or wraps, which makes it similar to a bun.

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First you remove and discard the outer leaves, leaving the inner leaves for you to use as your sandwich bread. Thoroughly wash the raw inner leaves and then place your beef patty, cheese, and other toppings onto one leaf and cover with another! Raw cabbage leaves are nice and crispy, which makes them an excellent substitute for taco shells. They can also be used as wraps.

Cabbage buns are way healthier than bread-based buns. They have close to zero calories, while a typical hamburger bun has over 100 calories.

Cabbage is rich in B vitamins and vitamin C, which both promote the growth of a healthier beard. Doctors also found that taking vitamin C also helps you recover after surgery, which means eating food wrapped in cabbage buns after an operation can heal you. Unfortunately, your regular hamburger bun doesn’t really have any significant amounts of vitamins and minerals – it mostly has salt, fat, and carbs.

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For health reasons, you should really make cabbage buns your permanent bun choice. But if you really can’t have your burger without an actual bun, you can use your cabbage leaves to make runzas. Bierocks (also known as runzas) are baked buns stuffed with shredded cabbage, onions, peppers, and even ground beef. You make dough with a little flour and eggs and stuff it with these ingredients and bake in the oven.

4. Canned Salmon

On the other hand, if you’re hankering for a burger but don’t have any beef patties to grill, you can use canned salmon. Here’s how:

  1. Open up two cans and drain the salmon with a strainer.
  2. Remove any bones.
  3. Finely cut two red onions and 1 large sweet pepper.
  4. Beat two eggs in a bowl and mix in the salmon, onions, pepper, and half a cup of bread crumbs.
  5. Coat your hands with flour and take a bit of the mixture and ball it with your hands.
  6. Flatten the mixture into your desired patty size and bread them with the leftover crumbs.
  7. You’re ready to make some burgers!

Salmon patties should be your permanent replacement for beef patties. Again, beef causes cancer, but salmon is filled with cancer-fighting antioxidants. Salmon’s famous antioxidant, astaxanthin, is so powerful it has been found to act as an internal sunscreen that protects your skin from the sun’s UV rays if you ingest it within 24 hours of sun exposure. Beef can’t do that! And unlike beef’s heart-clogging bad fats, salmon’s healthy omega-3 fatty acids nourish your brain and protect your heart.

2017 is here and it’s time to level up your cooking skills. Try making these healthy substitutions to your dishes once in a while and you’ll be eating healthier. It will also make your meals more fun and give your routine foods a little bit of an edge.

Featured photo credit: zoli2003 via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on January 11, 2021

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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2. Stress Relief

Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

3. Improved Sleep

Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

4. Appetite Control

Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

7. Mosquito Repellant

Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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8. Pain Relief

While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

9. The New Anti-Viral

Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

10. Improved Cognitive Function

Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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11. Money Saving

With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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