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Wednesday, 14 May 2014 11:31

Apps and Links and Techno Help

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Today I'll speak to those who enjoy working with technology for daily tasks, tasks that involve food...food preparations, purchasing, storing and such. With the presence of smart phones we have the ability to spontaneously go shopping with a hand held computer (that can also make phone calling a given).

For me, I typically browse my apps and online links before I go shopping and make a plan for upcoming menus before I hit the stores. Doing this I can make informed choices for menu selections that fit my diet and save time all at once. As with any recipe, carefully consider your CMWM weight management plan first then verify your choices and get flavorful ideas from these many sites and apps.

 

Some of my favorite online links are:

www.stilltasty.com

This handy site helps me decide how long I can keep that favorite food before it turns into a science project before my eyes. Just select a food type and how it is stored and out pops just how long a particular food or condiment is safe. For example, an unopened bottle of your favorite salad dressing in your pantry can last a long time before you need to consider tossing it out. But, once that dressing is opened and refrigerated, just how long should you keep it? Check it out at Still Tasty.com!

www.calorieking.com

At Calorie King you can select from a gazillion food choices and actually see what the nutritional content of your food really is before to put your shopping list together. This will also help you make wise choices in your pending recipes. This is particularly helpful when selecting cuts of meat or produce selections that don't have nutritional statements available. Should you use that pork shoulder on sale or the pork tenderloin? Go to Calorie King and see for yourself! You'll be surprised how this site can help make you a savvy shopper and cook more intelligently.

www.seafoodwatch.org

Got a craving for seafood? Check this site out for what is the recommended catch for your next seafood recipe. It is absolutely amazing how the fishing industry has damaged so much of our precious seafood resources through sheer negligence and poor fishing standards. That is all changing now that people at Seafood Watch help us (and the fishing industry) learn to fish with sustainability in mind. You can also find recipe ideas to help you along at Seafood Watch.org.

www.cooksillustrated.com

Here at Cooks Illustrated Magazine online location you have access to great cooking videos, most are kept to under minutes long. This is a great site to get simple cooking lessons, learn how and why food reacts the way it does in a variety of cooking methods. This site offer great food flavor ideas, recipes and such, but the big draw is making cooking easy for those who are not pros in the kitchen.

www.recipesource.com

The beauty of this website is the huge variety of international flavors available a click away. This site is more of a guide for the culinarily adventurous. If you want to cook chicken tonight for dinner but wonder how it would taste with a Moroccan flair, check this site out for some great ideas.

App: Chemical Cuisine

When I pick up a packed food, the very first thing I do is read the ingredient list. And while my training has left me familiar with most, I sometimes still spot additives that leave me scratching my head (most recently thaumatin, a natural sweetener I hadn't yet heard about).

My previous modus operandi would be to whip out my iPhone and do a quick Google search, but this app from Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) may offer a shortcut. It provides a brief description of over 130 additives, along with an overall evaluation of either "safe," "cut back," "caution," "avoid," or "certain people should avoid." Even if I don't always agree with the rating, I appreciate the summary, so I can make my own informed decision about whether or not to let an ingredient into my grocery cart.

This is the app version of the website noted above.

App: Seafood Watch

This multifaceted app shows users how to select sustainable seafood options, both regionally and nationally, by using a red, yellow, or green rating (red means either overfished or caught or farmed in ways that harm other marine life or the environment; yellow means better, and green indicates the best all around options for the environment).

But my favorite tool is the "Super Green" list, which includes sustainable choices that are also low in common contaminants, like mercury and PCBs, and high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Based on the app, I see Alaskan salmon in my hubby's future.
Situation: I'm grocery shopping and I want a faster way to find the healthiest products.

App: Fooducate

What doesn't this app do? Fooducate's database contains over 200,000 products, each with a letter grade based on nutritional value, along with things to know about a product (like if it contains any artificial additives), and healthy alternatives. Using your phone's camera, you can also scan a product's UPC code to access quick info.

I tried it with my unsweetened almond milk, and it suggested a DIY recipe for how to make my own (which I have done, but not in a while, so good reminder!). The app also allows you to search for foods by category or brand name, so if I'm at a market and want to look for the healthiest mustard for example, I can search the app first, rather than having to inspect every jar on the shelf.

Situation: Is spaghetti squash still in season?

App: Seasonal and Simple

I could spend hours scrolling through this app. In addition to charting what's in season each month of the year, I love being able to search the produce list alphabetically, to access key nutrients, and tips about how to select, store, and prep my favorite plants. There are also deliciously simple recipes for each fruit and veggie, from grilled radishes to ratatouille, sautéed cabbage, and pickled beets (my mouth is watering just typing this). Truly an app that lives up to its name!

Situation: I have a ton of leftover mint (or other ingredient). What should I do with it?

App: Whole Foods Recipes

I love to get creative in the kitchen, but I also find inspiration from browsing existing recipes. From new ways to enjoy staples, like quinoa, to ideas based on course (salads, side dishes, soups), cuisine (Cajun, Moroccan, Southwest...), or special diet (gluten free, vegan, low sodium), this app is fun, user-friendly, and offers some pretty cool features, including shopping lists, meal planners, and "On Hand," which provides suggestions based on typing in the ingredients you already have.

Situation: I've been rushing around all day, but I want to slow my pace as I eat.

App: Eat Slower

I adore this app! It's so simple, yet so impactful. Simply set your pace, from 20 seconds to three minutes, press start, savor your food, and don't take another bite until the interval has ended and the 'bite' bell goes off.

Eating slower has been shown to enhance meal enjoyment, boost satiety, and result in naturally eating less. In my experience with clients, it can also help break the habit of multitasking, which can lead to mindlessly overeating, or disconnected eating, which can trigger bloating or lingering cravings.

Until next week –

Bon Apetit!

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