Healthy Foods That Are Easy On Your Wallet

Eating right can be a challenge. Not only do you have to spend money to keep food on the table, but you have to make sure that you’re eating healthy. Sadly, the cheapest food at any grocery store is also usually the most unhealthy, which is a big reason why the United States has such a serious problem with obesity. Too many people end up eating processed, high-calorie, fatty foods because the price is right. After all, people can’t be expected to apply for payday loans online just so they can say that they eat well. Fortunately, they don’t have to.

Yes, the cheapest food is often the least healthy but don’t fret. There are plenty of healthy and nutritious foods you can buy that won’t completely destroy your food budget. I’m not talking about expensive “organic foods, either; these are staple foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables that make for some nutritious meals, and they can all be purchased for around $2.00 or less. The prices for these foods may vary depending on location and the time of year but they should help you follow a healthy diet without leaving you completely broke.

Brown Rice

When a lot of people think of rice, what comes to mind is often cheap, white Minute Rice that has virtually no flavor. This is unfortunate, because the right kind of rice can taste great when it’s prepared correctly. For example, brown rice goes great in casseroles, soups, stews or as a side dish. It usually costs about $1.75 per pound. If you keep in mind that one serving of rice is 1/4 of a cup of dry rice, the result is 10 servings in a one-pound bag. Brown rice is also healthier and tastier than white rice, so you won’t have to worry about being stuck with a “boring” side dish.

Whole-Wheat Pasta

Pasta is practically a staple in our household. Not only is it incredibly easy to prepare and make into a variety of hot or cold dishes, but it is relatively inexpensive. You should be able to find a 13 to 16-ounce box of store-brand pasta for less than $2 at your local grocery store. That should yield about seven servings for you. If you really want to eat healthily while enjoying Italian food, stick to whole-wheat or multigrain pasta. It has more fiber and isn’t as processed as white pasta. Combine it with a cheap jar of marinara sauce for a quick and inexpensive meal that you will love.

 Old-Fashioned Oats

A 13-ounce container of old-fashioned oats will cost you about $3.99. While that’s certainly more expensive than many of the other items on this list, it will also give you about 30 servings. In short, you’ll be getting your money’s worth. Oats are great for hot and cold breakfast cereals or as crumb toppings for desserts.

 Frozen Vegetables

Although canned vegetables are usually cheaper, they usually aren’t very appetizing. In fact, most people who grew up hating vegetables were probably stuck eating the soggy contents of an aluminum can for most meals. If you want some vegetables that actually taste fresh but you can’t make it to a farmer’s market, buy a few bags of frozen vegetables. A bag of frozen vegetables will cost anywhere from $1.19 to about $2.25 depending on the vegetable and the size of the bag. Simply thaw them out on a stovetop or a microwave, and you’ll have a fresh-tasting side dish for your next meal. Frozen vegetables are also great for casseroles; you don’t even need to thaw them out for most casserole recipes.

As you can see, eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to involve spending a lot of money. These foods are all inexpensive, but they are also ideal for a number of nutritious and balanced meals. Always remember that you don’t have to buy expensive “organic” foods to be healthy, and you don’t always have to take shortcuts to save money.

Or you could look into one of those payday loans online at Northcash.com and order a pizza. It’s up to you.

Fastest Growing Vegetables

If you are looking for fast growing vegetables for your gardening purpose, you have landed at the right page. Here is a list of fastest growing vegetables or early maturing crops to help with your specific needs such as vegetable gardening in winter.

(Note: The vegetables mentioned here are primarily those found and cultivated in most countries. Your particular country may have a bigger list of early crop vegetables to add to this list)

List of fast growing vegetables

1. Sprouts (Less than a week): If you are looking at the fastest possible crop, look no further but go for various sprouts. Sprouts can be grown out of a wide variety of seeds such as beans, lentil, fenugreek and sunflower seeds. Sprouts can be made out of leafy vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli or even from radishes and carrots.

2. Leafy vegetables (3 weeks to 6 weeks): The following green leafy vegetables can be grown in virtually any climatic conditions for your all round year kitchen needs.

Broccoli, leaf lettuce, winter lettuce, cress, spinach, leeks, parsely, asparagus etc are examples of leafy vegetables that mature in a month’s time.

3. Root vegetables (25 to 90 days): Chives, radishes, beets, onions and turnips are in those root veggies that mature between 4 to 8 weeks.

Early cabbages, peas, early carrots, zucchini etc are other examples of the fast growing vegetable crops.

4. Three to 4 month crops: If you are looking at three month maturity crops, beets, carrots, globe onions, corns, French beans, tomatoes etc would be the right things to go for.

I hope this list is useful in preparing your garden for short cycle cultivation needs. Please note that the time mentioned here can vary based on the climatic conditions and how early you want them to be collected (especially in the case of root vegetables).

Anti aging Foods, Vegetables and Fruits

Anti aging creams, lotions and other products are probably the wrong way to fight the aging process as they basically hide it rather than maintaining healthy cells in your body. In fact, there are a number of food items that when used on a daily basis can be the best anti-aging solution ever that make a 45 year old middle aged person look like a 25 year old youngster.

Have you noticed that people from certain ethnicity look much younger than others around the world? The reason is the kind of ingredients (e.g. ginger, turmeric etc) they have as part of their daily cooking as well as food intake.

Top 25 Anti-Defying food items to help slow down aging

Here is the list of the top 25 food items that are known for their role in the anti aging process.

Anti aging Vegetables and leaves

1. Tomatoes
Tomatoes contain Lycopene which protects your skin from oxidation and hence an excellent food – in whatever form – to slow down the aging and wrinkling of your skin due to harsh sun. Tomatoes are also rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A which further add to the cause.

2. Spinach
As an excellent source of Vitamin K, spinach, keeps your bones strong and keeps your eyes with sparkling good vision even in the late middle ages.

3. Egg plants
The purple pigment in the skin of egg plants is very rich in Anthocyanin which is a very powerful anti-oxidant. Decreasing oxidation is one of the key aspects of natural anti-aging methods.

4.Leafy vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, watercress and turnips helps the body fight toxins and hence cancer. Leafy vegetables are best taken raw or very lightly steamed or stir fried so as to preserve all their goodness.

5. Green beans
Almost all types of beans – green beans, white beans, kidney beans etc – are rich in phytochemicals and fiber to help you keep young apart from being good providers of protein.

Anti aging fruits

6. Watermelon
Apart from keeping you hydrated melons also contain good amount of vitamins to keep you nourished. Even better is the melons with their seeds blended in your juice as they contain zinc, selenium and essential fats that helps against aging. The skin of the cucumbers is loaded with silica that helps in mending wrinkles and accelerates collagen production.

7. Avocado
Avocados are probably the top in the list of good anti aging fruits because they contain plenty of good fats that helps to build good cholesterol in your blood.

8. Apricots
Apricots are loaded with potassium and beta carotenes which are essential for cardiovascular health and anti-aging of the skin.

9. Berries
Blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrant and black grapes are rich in Cyanidin (flavonoics) and hence are extremely good to slow down the oxidation process. Other berries and cherries are extremely good anti oxidants as well along with the commonly found colorful small fruits.

10. Blood Oranges
Just like the case of egg plants, the purple skinned fruits – especially blood oranges – are good as well due to the Anthocyanin anti-oxidant content.

How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables?

No matter which part of the world you are from, as parents you might have similar stories to tell about your kids and their hate towards vegetables. It is just not possible to get most kids to eat vegetables that easily.

Worry no more! Next time, just try one or more of the following tricks to get your kid eat veggies:

1. Hide and package methods

Hiding and packaging vegetables in other food items or even change their appearance to make it look unlike veggies is good ways to get kids eat them. Please note that, the success rate of these tips vary with the kids age group.

  • Vegetable patties or cutlets are tasty, shallow fried form of vegetables that most kids eat
  • You can also make vegetable dumplings or batter fried vegetables that kids love to eat
  • Make fresh juice out of vegetables and mix with their favorite fruit juices and give them
  • Veg soups and purees are another way to supply vegetables to them especially when mixed with tastier ingredients like chicken stock
  • Yet another option is to use veggies as pizza toppings and cover the topping with a layer of melted mozzarella cheese on top to completely cover the vegetables
  • Offering kids their favorite dips can make some kids eat their veggies as well

2. Rewarding methods

This is yet another way of getting your child to eat vegetables. Small rewards are a good way to improve their eating habits of things that they hate the most.

  • If kids are offered a small gift (e.g. a sticker or tattoo) at the end of each veg meal session, they will be happy to finish the veggies off in a jiffy
  • Slightly bigger kids can be offered extended play time or even bigger kids some kind of weekly allowance for their improved eating habits
  • An offer such as their favorite dessert following a vegetable course will make kids more interested in quickly finishing off the veggies

3. Develop interest in them

This is the most sustainable approach of all and the following are some of the ways using which you can develop interest in kids towards vegetables.

  • For small kids, you may name the vegetables after their favorite idols and develop interest in the same
  • Have a ‘Learn a vegetable a day’ plan for the child, purchase that vegetable on that particular day during grocery (with them), cook the same for a meal or two. Kids will definitely develop interest in what they learn
  • Cite examples of characters (e.g. Pop Eye to make them eat spinach) and even invent imaginary characters on your own
  • Link eating vegetables as a pride factor via some fake stories or ‘who eats more’ kind of games on the dinner table
  • Develop gardening interest in kids and even dedicate a small area in the garden for them to grow their stuff. Let them learn more about each vegetable and their importance during this process
  • As a parent, even if you hate all-veg-meal days, never discuss that as something boring or not-so-nice-to-have. Treat such days like a normal day

One or more of these tips and tricks will definitely work for your child’s specific case to make him or her like veggies more. Good luck in your parenting endeavors!

Vegetable Gardening in Winter

Gardening as such is a difficult job in any season and it can get even tougher in winter. At the same time, it is very important to keep your garden maintained and its soil fertile throughout the year.

Thinking positively, winter gardening has the additional advantage that you can still get vegetables for your kitchen without going to a grocer and that too at a lower cost. In addition, you can keep your gardening skills and passion alive without any seasonal break.

Winter Vegetables

Vegetables to grow in winter should be ideally early maturing crops or mid-season crops. In addition, they should be undemanding type of plants that do not grow too tall.

The following are the typical winter crops.

  • Winter lettuce
  • Onions, shallots and spring onions
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Cabbages and turnips
  • A wide variety of peas

Timing and planting

In winter, timing is the most important parameter in order to make sure that your crops are ready just before the FIRST peak frost. This typically falls in late October or early November depending on your region. Then you have to backward calculate, and plant your seeds or saplings discounting the time for maturity.

Timing and knowing your weather are the main success factors in winter gardening

For example, if lettuce matures in 45 days, you can plant it as late as in mid-September. However, mid-season crops such as carrots would need early planting so that it is harvested before the first bad frost of the year. Please note that winter may not be the best time to grow lettuce, but you could grow it as late as in October for our winter gardening sake.

Early start in fall helps with the easy preparation and plowing of your garden.

Sourcing tips

You can source your garlic or onions for planting even from a grocer and don’t need to necessarily go to a garden center or seed supplier. However, if you source it from a grocer, you have to make sure that they are organic garlic or onion and not sprayed with any growth-prevention sprays. Sometimes, you might even get free garlic for planting – something that has already started sprouting and hence cannot be sold by the grocer may come free if you are in good rapport with your local grocer. Planting seeds, definitely needs you to buy it from authorized suppliers.

Protecting your plants

Covering your garden – most importantly to protect the fertility of the soil and its consistency – is another important thing to do. Seasoned gardeners will use anything available varying from straws and leaves to garden protection covers or cloches. In the case of an unexpected early frost arrival, you may have to be prepared yourself with cold frames to protect the plants at night and removed early morning every day.

If you are one of those lucky ones, you may already have a greenhouse with you in which case you have no reason to worry.

Protecting your plants for winter, in fact, starts from how you prepare your land. Plants are more protected in a prepared raised bed of soil than flat surfaces. This can also help with easy harvesting.

Winter vegetable gardening is all about knowing the weather in your geographic location and a little bit of calculation for timing it right.