Friday, February 6, 2009

Immersion Hand Blender

I have to say, one of the best purchases I have made to date is my immersion hand blender. In my situation, I just don't have the money or space for a crapload of kitchen gadgets and tools, so I like to get some bang for my buck when shopping. And in my opinion, you can't beat the power and convenience of one of these guys for the price, as compared to the normal kitchen-top variety.

The theme of this blog is a healthy diet for weight loss, and an immersion blender makes it easy to create fresh and healthy meals or snacks in a flash.

One of my favorite uses of this hand blender is to make drinks. Throw in a mix of your favorite fruits, along with a little non-fat milk and you have a healthy and delicious concoction that will no doubt aid in your weight loss plans. My personal favorite is strawberry and banana, what a classic.

If you prefer savory snacks, use the blender to whip up some popular dips. In my opinion, there is not much that is better than some baked tortillas with fresh guacamole and salsa. This is a great option for gameday if you want to impress some friends with a snack spread that wasn't 100% bagged and canned.

And here's a simple weight loss tip - Don't use cheese or store-bought nachos! The cheese is self explanatory - the avocado will provide good fat, so there is no need for more (remember, it's these little tidbits that really add up, you just need to abide by them). But what about the nachos? I know it's easy to pick up tortilla chips, but why not just buy tortillas and cut, season and bake them yourself? You are using a more natural ingredient which is always a healthy alternative.

Another tremendous dip to make with an immersion hand blender is hummus. This simple and classic appetizer is comprised mainly of chickpeas, usually with some tahini paste (from the sesame seed). This is another great recipe to make at home instead of buying at the store - there are minimal ingredients, there is no cooking time, so you might as well go for the wholesome components and DIY!

How about making your own soup out of a few ingredients on a cold winter day instead of cracking open a can of liquid salt? The stick blender is perfect for this as well. One of my favorite recipes is for pea soup. If you have an onion, frozen peas, chicken stock and a little oil/butter, you can make a wicked pea soup in less than 30 min. Might as well break out the big pot to freeze it so you always have a homemade, healthful starter on hand at all times.

I may sound like I'm trying to promote this item, and I kind of am! Bottom line is this - if you have a few simple tools to make the process of making a healthy meal easier, that's one step in the right direction. I will repeat this theme over and over - it doesn't take an epic change, just a little exploration to find flavorful healthy foods, a little desire and smarts.

One of my biggest pet peeves are people who solely shop based on price. Now I realize in such a bad economic time I shouldn't frown upon people for this, but much like other decisions, there are trade-offs that should be made beforehand. You should think about the health factor as well! So many people neglect this and choose to save $0.20 on a product instead of buying the whole grain variety.

I highly recommend everyone spends a few extra minutes perusing the nutritional facts and ingredient lists of the foods they buy next time they are at the grocery store. Being inquisitive leads to research which leads to educated and smart decisions. But it doesn't even have to be that complicated - general rule of thumb is the less ingredients, the better.

So 'til next time, continue to be smart about what you eat. Make a promise to yourself to start the process of developing a healthy lifestyle. Remember to maintain a healthy diet that you LOVE! The weight loss will only follow if you are committed, and the easiest way to commit is to enjoy and believe in what you're doing. I promise you, while it's difficult to not give in to some temptations, there are TONS of healthy foods that I'm sure you will find delectable. Continue to explore.

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