For The Love Of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are popular for their earthy taste by themselves or in many kinds of foods, but how much do you know about them? Follow these tips and you will enjoy them even more.

BUYING

The button-type mushroom is the one usually sold in grocery stores. To find out if they are really fresh, look at the caps and see if they are still attached to the stems. When the caps have started to separate from the stems, they aren’t quite so fresh. If the caps have come completely off, they aren’t fresh and will start to decay, but you can buy them if you’re going to use them right away. They should be firm without any blemishes. It’s better to buy them individually if possible, because it’s hard to check them when they are packaged.

STORING

When you buy fresh mushrooms, store them in their wrapping in the refrigerator. They stay good for about a week if you don’t open the package. If you don’t use them all at once, wrap them in plastic or put into a plastic bag and poke a few holes so they can breathe. If you buy them loose, put them into a container just big enough to hold them, and wrap with plastic wrap poked with holes. This will help keep them fresh for about a week.

PREPARING

When you are ready to use your mushrooms, they are apt to be a little dirty. You can clean them one at a time with a damp paper towel, or swish them in cool water, or rinse them quickly under running water, but don’t soak them. They will absorb the water and won’t brown when they are cooking. Slice, quarter or mince them according to your recipe or the way you like to eat them.

COOKING

There are many ways to cook mushrooms – baked, broiled, fried, grilled, pureed, sauteed, or steamed. Cooking them brings out their most concentrated flavor and sweetness. They have a lot of moisture so they don’t caramelize as quickly or easily as some other foods. They have to be cooked slowly to release their moisture.

Cook in a single layer in a frying pan with a little butter or oil. You should hear them sizzling while they cook as the moisture is evaporating. If they aren’t sizzling turn the heat up just enough so you hear the sizzle. As they cook, moisture will appear in the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until all the moisture is evaporated and the mushrooms turn a brownish color.

Specialty Pans – A Fun Way To Bake

There are a number of specialty pans that either take some of the work out of baking or give great ways to do fun projects.

DONUT PANS

Got a sudden yen for a donut, but don’t want to go to all the trouble to fry them? Good news – a donut pan to the rescue. Baked donuts are a lot easier to make and are a lot healthier. The pans are non-stick and so can be easily washed in the dishwasher. Many have recipes included and come with a long warranty, in both standard and mini sized. For even more fun they are available for heart-shaped and twisted donuts. There’s even one for donut holes! A number of companies make them at various prices. This is a great project for kids.

ÉCLAIR PAN

If you’ve ever tried to make chocolate eclairs and had a hard time to make them the right shape, this pan is for you. It has twelve cavities, and you just pour the batter into them. They come out looking bakery made! The same pan can be used to make lady fingers and cream-filled sponge cakes (yes, you can make your own Twinkies!)

ICE CREAM SANDWICH PAN

What fun to make your own ice cream sandwiches! This pan makes cookies a uniform size and just the right thickness. After your cookies are cooled you spread a layer of slightly softened ice cream between two cookies. You can freeze leftovers to have a treat for another day.

POP PANS

There are a number of different pans for making cake pops and some include bamboo pop sticks.

WAFFLE GRIDDLE

This is a fascinating stove top griddle that makes seven 3-inch round waffles. It’s just the right size for two people, but the waffles could be kept warm to make more. They are great for small appetites, and are fun for children.

SMALL CAKE AND PIE PANS

One company has cake pans that are 2-7 inches in diameter, and there are pie pans that are 5-6 inches besides tart pans. These are great for one or two people, and make great gifts or something different for bake sales. If you are just learning to do cake decorating or want to experiment with new techniques, the small size works very well. Make a little cake for each member of the family so they’ll have their very own. Besides everything else, these small sizes are just plain cute! You can find the pans by googling small cake or small pie pans.

MINI PANS

There are so many pans for doing baked goods in miniature. Most have several cavities in one pan, which makes it easy to get in and out of the oven. These include pans for quick breads, meatloaf, bundt cakes, biscuits, scones, popovers and brownies. The brownies don’t have to be cut and they’re all the same. Then there are individual mini springform pans for cheesecake and bundt cakes.

This is a sampling of the many pans available. If you want to try something a little different and have a little fun, this is a great place to start. You’ll have a new adventure, and your family will love it!

Easy Way To Organize Your Recipes

If you have been collecting recipes and don’t know what to do with them so that they are easily available when you want to try a new recipe, this is a great way to organize them.

You will need:

• 3-hole binder

• Plastic sheet protectors

• Index dividers

By putting the recipes into plastic protectors they won’t get splattered when you are cooking.

Sort your recipes according to the types of foods. You can follow the order of a meal – appetizers, beverages, salads, soups, vegetables, main dishes, desserts. Then choose any special categories that you cook often, such as international type recipes, quick breads, pastry and cakes. By then you’ll know what categories you need. If you find that you need more later, you can easily add them, as long as they don’t need to go into any particular order.

Type the tabs for the categories and put them into your dividers. If you are doing them in a definite order be sure to put them in the order you want permanently, because it’s time consuming to rearrange them. Then place the dividers into the binder.

To get the recipes ready for filing, tape them onto white blank paper and put them into plastic protectors, filing them behind the corresponding divider as you go. It saves space and paper if you tape recipes onto both sides of a sheet of paper. When you get done your recipes will be neatly organized. But you’ll immediately notice something – your categories have disappeared!

The protectors have holes of their own which makes them extend beyond the divider tabs, and you can’t see the categories. An easy way to remedy this is to cut along the outside edge of a protective sheet, leaving about one inch uncut on the top and bottom so it won’t flop open, then insert a divider into a plastic sheet. Now all your categories are visible again!

Keeping recipes in a soil-free binder that you can keep in a handy place in your kitchen will be a great tool for menu planning. If you use a white binder and slip a cheerful food photo under the vinyl cover, it will make an elegant addition to your cook book collection.

This is a project that will take a little time and effort, but in the long run it’ll save you oodles of time because you won’t have to sift through a pile of recipes to find one that you want to try. And you can do this as you collect more recipes so they will always be organized. It’ll never be a big time-consuming project again!

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Spices

Without spices and herbs our foods would be very bland. How much should you use? How do you rehydrate them? When should they be added to food when cooking? You’ll learn the answer to all these questions and more.

Because spices are a natural food rather than a chemical, they can be added to any recipe without changing the time of cooking. Also they can be used freely according to individual taste, because they don’t have any effect on the other ingredients in the recipe. Most any dish tastes better with some kind of herbs or spices, and it’s a matter of experimenting to see what your family likes best.

No hard and fast rules can be made about the amount to use, because the strength of each spice differs, and individual taste varies greatly. The rule in most cases is to maintain subtlety in flavoring. Since it is easy to add more spice, it’s a good idea to start with very small amounts. At first use ¼ teaspoon spice per pound of meat, or a pint of soup or sauce. Use just one-eighth teaspoon of hot, sharp-tasting spices, such as garlic powder or red pepper. It’s always best to taste liquid dishes before serving, so that corrections in the seasoning can be made if necessary.

Spices come in several different forms – whole, broken, chopped, minced, powdered, or with salt. The way they are used depends on the recipe. When a spice is used whole the cell walls containing the flavor-giving oil are unbroken. It therefore takes longer cooking to release the flavor. When spices are ground it breaks up the cell walls and the oil is exposed to the air. For that reason the flavor releases more quickly and requires less cooking time. This is also the reason ground spices lose their oils quickly if they are not stored properly.

Spices are added at the beginning of cooking time in most dishes – about the same time as salt, so the flavor can blend with the foods. Whole spices go best in long cooking dishes, such as beef stew or baked beans, or when using a crockpot. If ground spices are used in these dishes, they should be added near the end of the cooking period. The seasoning salts should be added just before or just after taking the food from the stove.

When using whole spices, it’s a good idea to put them in a cheesecloth or muslin bag. This makes it easy to remove them when the flavor has developed, and prevents small pieces of the spice from remaining in the food.

Seeds, like poppy and sesame, should be toasted before being used. Unless otherwise stated in the recipe, whole or leaf herbs should be crumbled finely just before using, in order to release their best flavor.

The use of dehydrated vegetable seasonings will save a lot of time and bother. You won’t have to weep over onions, or fuss over celery or parsley. If the dish contains a lot of liquid and the flakes will simmer in it for a few minutes, you probably won’t have to rehydrate them. Instant minced onion and parsley flakes rehydrate in five minutes. Sweet pepper flakes, celery flakes and mixed vegetable flakes take twenty minutes.

When it’s necessary to rehydrate them, use equal parts of flakes and water for onion and parsley. For celery and sweet pepper, use twice as much water and flakes, then when rehydrated, pour off the extra water.

Remember that one part of instant minced onion or parsley flakes is equal to about four parts of the raw vegetable in its seasoning strength. One part of the celery or sweet pepper flakes is equivalent to about two parts of the raw vegetable.

With proper care, your spices will last a long time and enhance the flavor of your cooking. Though some of them may seem to be expensive, they pay for themselves by making foods more delicious and appetizing, especially in low salt diets.

Tips For Using Canned Foods

When you are short on time, canned goods are a great help in getting food on the table. Dress them up with spices, herbs and other seasonings to enhance flavors and give them more pizzazz. Add more vegetables or pieces of leftover meats. One of the great things about canned food is that you can use it as a base and add your own touches.

When you buy canned food, especially if they are on sale, be sure to examine the cans carefully. Don’t buy any that are dented, unless they’re on a great sale and can be used within a very short time.

When you get them home, store them in a cool, dry place rather than cabinets that are near the stove, under the sink, or in a damp basement or garage. Don’t ever put them on bare concrete. Temperatures constantly vary in these places and can break the seal on the cans, causing them to spoil more quickly. If cans freeze they can get rusty and burst.

It’s a good idea to mark cans with the date of purchase, and then rotate them, using the oldest first. As long as the cans are in good shape, low acidic foods, such as meats, carrots and potatoes will usually keep for several years. High acidic foods, like tomatoes, should be used within 18 months. Some canned goods seem to last forever. They might lose some flavor, but when added to other foods, they are still edible. When you open the can, if liquid or foam shoots out of it or it smells bad, throw it all away.

It’s always best to wash the top of a can before opening it. Dust and bacteria collect on the top and can slide into the food when the can is opened.

Some people wonder if it’s okay to store leftover food in the can in the refrigerator. The United States Department of Agriculture says it’s safe, but that the food will taste and look better if it’s put into a glass or plastic container.

Many people believe that canned foods are inferior to fresh or frozen foods. But according to one study many canned fruits and vegetables have the same or even more nutrients than the fresh or frozen ones. They are picked at just the right amount of ripeness and canned within hours after they are picked. So having a well-stocked pantry provides an extremely convenient choice for making healthy meals.

How to Use Different Kinds of Cream

TYPES OF CREAM

There are a number of different kinds of cream and they have different uses. The following are those that are usually found in supermarkets, listed in the order of fat content.

Single or Light

This cream has the lowest percentage of fat and has many uses.

Half and Half This cream is a mixture of half whole milk and half cream. It cannot be used for whipping, but can be used as a substitute for a heavier cream in recipes if you want to have less fat but a creamy taste.

Whipping

This cream has enough fat so that it can be whipped for some uses, but it doesn’t keep its shape as well as heavy cream.

Heavy or Heavy Whipping

Because it has more fat, heavy cream will keep its shape and has twice the volume.

Double

This is the British version of heavy cream, but has a little more fat. For that reason it has to be watched carefully when beating it so it doesn’t get too thick. It is generally not available in the United States.

When you go shopping for cream, you may see it labeled “pasteurized” or “ultra-pasteurized.” The ultra-pasteurized has been heated to a high temperature so it will keep longer. It doesn’t whip as well as pasteurized, as it isn’t as light and doesn’t keep its shape as well. Many people feel regular pasteurized cream tastes better.

USING LEFTOVER CREAM

There are many ways to use leftover cream that you bought for a recipe and don’t know what to do with the rest. Often it spoils and has to be thrown away. Here are a few suggestions. Replace milk with cream in baking recipes. Make a hot fudge sauce by heating cream and add chopped chocolate or dark chocolate chips, and stir until melted. Add cream to an omelette. Warm cream and add to mashed potatoes. If nothing else, you can combine equal amounts of cream and water (or more water according to your taste) and either use it in any recipe instead of regular milk, or drink it!

Eggplant – The Garden Egg

Eggplants (called an aubergine in some places) were named in the 18th century by farmers who thought they looked like goose eggs. In some places they still resemble the shape and size of goose or hen eggs.

To cook an eggplant, wash and cut off the ends. Use a stainless steel knife, as other knives will make it turn black. Even then it needs a salt water bath or brushing with lemon juice. Many cooks like to salt eggplant before cooking it. This process takes the bitter juices out of the plant, and gets rid of air pockets in the flesh that enable it to absorb a lot of oil.

To salt it, peel it and then cut however it will be used in the recipe. Sprinkle the pieces with salt, and put them into a colander for about an hour. Rinse off the salt and squeeze out as much moisture as possible, and pat dry with paper towels.

Small ones are tasty either with or without their skin. But the larger ones have tough skins that you probably won’t want to eat. To remove the skin, you can either peel before cooking, or spoon the flesh out of the skin after it is baked.

When it is sliced, it easily absorbs oil. That’s why it is often coated with batter or bread crumbs, (or both) and then fried in preheated oil.

There are many other ways to eat eggplant – baked, roasted, steamed, marinated, stuffed, grilled, in a casserole, or in stews. Any way you cook it, you can offer your family a new taste treat!

Food Names And Terms

If you don’t know some of the food names and terms that you come across on the Internet, this list may help you. There are many more, and we’ll be adding as we go along. You may be surprised with some of them. I always thought “antipasto” had something to do with pasta!

AMANDINE is a name given to dishes that are made or garnished with almonds. Vegetables that are commonly made this way are green beans and asparagus, and some pastries.

ANTIPASTO means “before the meal” and is usually a plate of various kinds of appetizers, including meats, vegetables and cheeses. It is traditionally the official start of a formal Italian meal.

ARUGULA, also known as rocket, is a green leafy vegetable, and also used the same ways as lettuce. It is exceptionally healthy, and is considered to be a powerful aphrodisiac.

BLINTZ is a type of thin pancake similar to crepes, and has different fillings, sweet and savory. It also means to break up foods quickly, such as in a food processor.

BRAISING is a method of cooking with both moist and dry heat. The food is seared and then cooked in liquid. This is economical for cooking less expensive cuts of meat, and is convenient because it just uses one pan. Pot roast is a good example of this kind of cooking.

CAFÉ AU LAIT is a French term meaning coffee served with half milk and half coffee.

CHICKEN FRICASSEE is a popular chicken dish. It is made by cutting the chicken into serving size pieces, gently searing it, then cooking it in a sauce. This is a good method for cooking older chickens, such as a hen, as it makes them very tender.

CLAFOUTIS or CLAFOUTI (kla-foo-TEE) is a classic French dessert traditionally made with black cherries, but can be made with many different kinds of fruit.

CLARIFYING removes water from butter and other fat to make a clear liquid.

CORNICHONS (KOR-nee-shons) are very small pickled gherkins, a kind of cucumber (no more than two inches long).

CRÈME FRAÎCHE, a staple of French cuisine, is similar to sour cream and yogurt, but creamier and just slightly tangy. It can be used in many different ways, including as a substitute for mayonnaise. Sometimes hard to find in stores, but can be easily made at home.

CRUDITES are an assortment of raw vegetables, including carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and celery. They are served before a meal with a dip.

DEGLAZING, also called “fond” is a method of getting brown bits off the bottom of a pan after food has been fried, sauteed or roasted. Cold liquid is poured into a very hot pan, then it is stirred and the bottom of the pan is scraped to get all the browned pieces into the liquid, giving it more flavor. This is a method often used when making gravy.

DULCE DE LECHE is a rich caramel-like sauce made by heating sweetened condensed milk until it gets thick and looks like caramel. The Internet has various recipes for making it at home.

GRENADINE is a red syrup that used to be made strictly with pomegranates, but now there are many imitations. It is most popular as a coloring and sweetener for cocktails, but it also has other uses, including being added to cold non-alcoholic drinks.

MEUNIERE is a term for dredging foods with flour and then sautéing in butter. It can also be a sauce made of brown butter, chopped parsley and lemon.

PLANKED – salmon grilled on a thick hardwood plank.

POLENTA is a kind of mush made with cornmeal or farina. It can be eaten plain, and is often baked, fried or grilled. It is also gluten-free.

PROFITEROLE is a tiny cream puff. It can be either a dessert or have a savory filling, and is often served as an hors d’oeuvre.

ROULADES are typically made with a slice of meat rolled around a filling, such as cheese, vegetables, or other meats. But they can also be made into a dessert, similar to a jellyroll.

ROUX is usually a mixture of equal parts of butter and flour to thicken soups and sauces. The most common use is making a white sauce. Other kinds of fat canbe used, such as meat fats when making gravy.

SOPAPILLAS (soh-pi-PEE-yuhs) are a deep fried pastry that look like miniature pillows. They are usually served with honey or a syrup, but can also be filled with refried beans or other savory ingredients.

ZABAGLIONE (zah-bahl-YOH-nay) is a custardy Italian dessert made with beaten eggs and wine, and served with fresh fruit or berries.

Diet Meal Plans

The sheer number of diet meal plans on television and in print media can make the would-be-dieter’s head spin. Which diet is right for me? Will I like the foods? Is there a support system? Can I afford this program? How about nutrition? These are just a few of the issues that dieters face.

Don’t discount these meal plans. Check out the cost and read the specifics.  Some of the best known plans like Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, and WeightWatchers have been very successful for so many dieters and have highly visible spokespersons whose successful use of the program is very persuasive for those of us wishing to look that good too. These structured diet meal plans have been deemed to give an advantage to many dieters by The Journal of the American Medical Association over the self – help type dieting meals.  They might just be the thing for you.While many commercial diet meal plans require an up front financial investment, they do offer convenience of time, effort, and nutritional soundness since the foods and menus are chosen and packaged for you and planned by registered dieticians.   If the program cost is not prohibitive and good nutrition standards are met, then a commercial diet meal plan may be right for you.

On the other hand, while costly supplements, pricey prepackaged meals, shots, pills, or other diet aids may be an impediment to selecting a weight loss regime, the task for the weight conscious individual to plan delicious, reduced calorie meals that provide a variety of tasty food that one will look forward to eating is certainly not impossible.   After all, eating the same foods over and over that simply do not tantalize the taste buds is boring and will fall by the way side pretty quickly.

Diets and nutrition are so predominant in our culture today that few people are untouched by the concerns. Weight control for persons who perhaps previously gave little thought to their diet, now find themselves looking at ways to maintain a healthy weight or ways to reach one deemed healthy by an insurance provider. We are now faced with insurance plans offering wellness options that have lower premiums and out of pocket costs to prospective enrollees whose BMI (body mass index) is right for them. Having some great tasting and healthy diet meal plans can make the road to reaching or maintaining a healthy BMI easier to navigate.

For the person who decides to really make a change in eating habits and to begin the journey of weight loss, a life style change is really important. Quick weight loss or fad diets that result in dropping pounds quickly often lead the individual to regaining those lost pounds and a few more.  Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight really is a journey and does require a real change in ones habits to avoid putting the pounds back on.  Diet food commercials often tantalize us with results that aren’t really typical for the average dieter, but because we want to look and feel our best we are often tempted to try what appears to be the perfect diet.

I know which foods I like, don’t you? I know which ones I crave and would cheat on a diet to have.  Staying on a healthy track can be difficult if big changes come quickly.  We often feel deprived and get depressed.  With this in mind, perhaps small changes at first can help get us on the road to better health more successfully.   Maybe something as simple as a little imagination in the preparation of those favorite foods will begin to help you modify your diet but still allow you to have similar dishes you enjoy eating.   For example, perhaps you love scrambled eggs for breakfast and you prepare them in butter or vegetable oil. A quick and easy modification is to use a buttery cooking spray in a non stick pan.   Voila..an easy calorie cutting option.

Substituting baked or grilled vegetables and meat using marinades or seasonings for fried ones can also be a tasty alternative.  Numerous resources are available for you to use to find new, yummy ways to prepare your favorite foods if your imagination isn’t as creative as you would like it be.  Small changes over time with consistency and perseverance can bring success.   So, go ahead; don’t be afraid to step out on your own and make your own delicious diet meal plans.

Weight Loss Foods

Are you aware some foods are considered weight loss foods because they promote fat burning and increase metabolism?  If you are in a weight loss slump, burn more calories with foods that can help get you over the hump and on the road to your target weight.  Many of these foods do double duty since they not only help suppress hunger and boost metabolism but also provide health benefits. These super foods will add variety and delicious taste to your meals.

1.  Proteins – Weight conscious individuals need proteins to help maintain muscle mass since muscle burns more calories than fat. Additionally, if you are exercising or weight training along with your diet, the more muscle you develop, the more calories you will burn. Adding a new pound of muscle actually burns an extra 35 to 50 calories per day.  Of course, you must be smart when selecting protein; watch portion size and preparation method.  Beef, lean and grass-fed, salmon and tuna, both rich in Omega -3 fatty acids for heart health, and turkey are great choices.

Additionally, proteins can actually make you feel full longer.  Beans, for example, contain a hormone that actually helps keep food in the stomach longer.  They are a terrific source of fiber and help to lower cholesterol.  Some slimming bean varieties include chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans.  In addition to health benefits, beans contain a healthy carb that revs up the metabolism.

2.  Vegetables -Another of the double duty weight loss foods for dieters, vegetables supply vitamins, minerals, and fiber for good health and add low-calorie, low-fat, filling foods to the diet.  When you consume vegetables you burn more calories and enjoy post-meal satiety for longer periods of time.   Vegetables are considered by some diet plans to be free foods since they are so filling and so low calorie.  Radishes, cabbage, celery, cauliflower, mushrooms, cucumbers, lettuce, watercress, kale, fresh sprouts, and cherry tomatoes are tasty choices to make.  

So go ahead have that delicious, fun to eat salad filled with colorful, crispy vegetables and get filled up on some healthy and low calorie foods.  Just watch out for that fat filled dressing

3.   Fruits – Offering plenty of variety to a diet, luscious fruits are great weight loss foods for flavor,  satisfying a sugar craving,  and filling you up without loading you up with calories.  Fruits contain compounds that help dieters avoid between meal high calorie snacks. Phytochemicals reduce insulin levels and may stimulate energy production rather than fat storage from calorie intake.

Study results show that grapefruits and grapefruit juice helped people lose more than three pounds over a period of twelve weeks (be careful of grapefruits if you are on antibiotics).  Other study results reveal new evidence that fruits eaten in greater amounts than the recommended number of servings per day can actually take the punch out of our cravings for processed foods.

Even juices can help.  Juicing a lime or lemon onto a salad or drinking a warm cup of lemon or lime juice in water before a meal will help lower blood sugar levels.

Pears, apples, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, and the versatile avocado (which can be prepared as a substitute for fatty mayonnaise) are great fruits to add to your diet menus.  Polyphenols found in blueberries help shed belly fat and help prevent in the formation of new fat cells.

So, grab a piece of good fruit for a healthy snack or make them a part of a delicious fruit and vegetable salad.

4. Nuts and Seeds – Nuts and seeds contain fats!  How can that be good for weight loss? Data indicates that these non -traditional sources of protein can shrink the amount of saturated fats in the diet and provide some valuable heart healthy fat that curbs food cravings and contributes to weight loss in individuals without really cutting calories or even exercising more.   Almonds, pine nuts (shown in studies to help burn belly fat), peanuts, pecans, and walnuts with heart-healthy Omega 3 fats are among great nut choices for weight loss.  Just remember to control the amount of nuts you consume and enjoy the healthy benefits they provide, feel fuller for longer, and even burn more calories while you are at rest!

5.  Dairy – Studies tell us that those who include three to four low fat dairy products in their daily diet shed up to 70% more than others on a low dairy plan.  These weight loss foods contain a hormone, calcitriol, that suppresses the size of the fat cell.  Proteins provided by the dairy group foods contribute to the feeling of satiety and the development of muscle.  Low fat cottage cheese, string cheese and hard cheese varieties are actually called fat-burning foods and the linoleic acid in them makes weight loss a bit easier.

6. Other foods / condiments – Edible substances that add flavor to food can benefit persons with weight loss goals. Vinegar’s acetic acid promotes a full feeling by keeping the food in the stomach longer and stymies blood sugar levels after eating processed carbs.  Olive oil, a monounsaturated fat, lessens cravings and aids in breaking down stored fat. Dieters can use these two condiments in very simple ways…dipping whole grain breads in olive oil or combining the two for a tasty salad dressing.

Ginger, fennel, cinnamon, cayenne or chili peppers added to food can also rev up metabolic processes and provide other health benefits as well.  The flavor they add to meals will tantalize your taste buds, too.

One of the impediments to maintaining a weight loss plan is that dieters often feel deprived.   Foods with great taste that we look forward to eating do not have to be calorie laden.  By selecting foods from the weight loss foods category that have great flavor and texture, our need to enjoy a meal can be realized and our feeling of deprivation will be neutralized.