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Kitchen Hack: Make Hummus in 3 Easy Steps

Kitchen Hack: Make Hummus in 3 Easy Steps

Hummus is one of the healthiest party dips out there. Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) are packed with fiber, while protein-rich tahini (sesame seed paste) is bursting with mind-blowing super vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, vitamin E and vitamins B1, B3, B5, and B15.  Add some zesty garlic, lemon juice, olive oil  and salt, and you have a taste sensation – perfect with potato chips, carrot sticks or any kind of bread!

East Coast Mum lifehack: Make hummus

    But did you know that you can make your own hummus for a fraction of the supermarket price?  With this kitchen hack, you can make hummus in 3 easy steps: just blend, transfer and garnish. Nothing could be easier, and nothing will impress your guests more than when you claim you have just  “whipped up” a batch of smooth, healthy, zesty hummus.

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    You need only 6 simple ingredients:

    1. 1 clove garlic
    2. 1 can chickpeas, drained (reserve a few for garnish)
    3. 1 lemon, squeezed
    4. 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
    5. 2 tablespoons olive oil
    6. salt and pepper
    East Coast Mum lifehack: How to make hummus: immersion blender
      These blenders are amazing: every kitchen should have one!

       

      You will also use a hand blender, sometimes called an immersion blender (see photo above), a mixing bowl or cup (most hand blenders come with a large smoothie-style cup, or a bowl as above), a fancy dish and a spatula (if you have one).

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      Ready? Here are your three steps:

      1. Blend Your Ingredients

      Using your blender, whizz up all the ingredients, garlic first. As you blend, feel free to add a little extra water, or some extra olive oil, until you get a smooth paste.  Don’t be nervous: hummus is really forgiving if your quantities are not exact. Don’t forget to add salt!

      East Coast Mum lifehack: how to make hummus
        Garlic-hack: To avoid harsh garlic-breath, take the soft, green “dragon’s tongue” out of the middle of the garlic clove before using.

         

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        East Coast Mum lifehack: how to make hummus
          Chickpea-hack: tinned chickpeas are just as nutritional as dried and soaked chickpeas. Keep a few cans in your cupboard at all times.
          East Coast Mum lifehack: make hummus
            Olive oil is a must-have for any kitchen hacker. Make sure you have a bottle on standby at all times.
            Lemon with leaves
              Lemon-hack: to get more juice from a lemon, squeeze it at room temperature
              East Coast Mum lifehack
                Tahini-hack: store the unopened jar upside-down. This will displace the oil. Stir before using.
                East Coast Mum lifehack: how to make hummus
                  Don’t forget to add salt! Pepper is optional.

                  2. Transfer the Hummus

                  Using the spatula (or a spoon), transfer the hummus from the blending bowl into your best fancy dish- or your Mom’s fancy dish, or your roommate’s fancy dish. Anything that’s not an ashtray, basically.

                  3. Garnish the Hummus

                  Garnish with a big swig of olive oil (to be authentic, you can put a little olive oil pond right in the middle of the hummus), plus a few of the chickpeas you reserved. If you forgot to reserve the chickpeas, don’t worry! You can also garnish your hummus with some green stuff: parsley, cilantro – or even a celery sprig! Finally, sprinkle with a shake of spice. Paprika is best.

                  East Coast Mum lifehack: How to make Hummus

                    Hack Your Own Hummus

                    Once you have mastered the basic hummus, why not experiment with different flavors? Add chili sauce or Thai sweet chili sauce for some extra kick. Or how about a jar of sun-dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers for a Southern flavor? Add harissa paste and lemon zest for a Moroccan boost, and for an Indian flavor, try cumin, turmeric or curry powder.  Some recipes recommend adding pesto and flat-leaf parsley for an Italian taste, or avocado and lime for a Mexican hummus-fiesta. You can see a few more ideas here.

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                    Did you find it super-easy to make hummus using this recipe?  Let us know!

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                    Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                    Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                    To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                    Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                    1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                    Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                    Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                    To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                    2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                    Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                    If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                    Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                    3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                    Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                    Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                    4. Feed Your Brain

                    Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                    This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                    Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                    Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                    5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                    According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                    Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                    Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                    6. Write it Down

                    If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                    It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                    You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                    7. Listen to Music

                    Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                    8. Visual Concepts

                    In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                    Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                    Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                    9. Teach Someone Else

                    Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                    Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                    10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                    Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                    So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                    Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

                    More About Boosting Memory

                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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