Tag Archives: All Season

Hard-Boiled Tip + Devilish Eggs

creamyherbeggsEaster bonnets. Baby boys in bowties. Hunting for eggs. Spring inspired dishes… and Deviled Eggs! These are a few of my favorite things this bright time of year.

With the bunny eager to hide your eggs, let’s start with a hard-boiled tip!

It is a rare person who hasn’t felt the frustration of peeling eggs and the whites refusal to separate. The typical result being a torn up hard-boiled egg. There are endless claims on the interwebs with ways to skirt this problem –trust me I have tried so many– but, I keep going back to two things that have been consistent for me:

1. Old Eggs = Smooth Peeling.
Of course, how does one find an old egg? My strategy is to buy eggs a week or two before Easter, then I label them “Easter Only!” and keep them in the back of the fridge. If you are purchasing from a grocery most likely your eggs are already a couple weeks old, but honestly older is better. (Feel free to get your google on with the regulations on eggs and sell-by dates, it is a fascinating eye opener.) But, I digress… because how do you really know if the eggs will hard boil and peel properly? Next step… test them!

mangochutneyeggs2. Will you please stand up if you are ready to be hard-boiled?
The best way to know if an egg plans to peel smoothly is with an easy float test. Fill your pot with water and the potential eggs, if your eggs start to stand up, they are a tad old and likely to peel perfectly.
If the eggs float– bye, bye! Ick.
If they drop to the bottom heavy and tired, you have fresh eggs. They can still be cooked hard but they may not be smooth to peel. However, the freshies are ideal for hollandaise. 😉

If you have some magical way to get a fresh egg to peel well regardless of its shelf life please comment below! I have certainly had luck with some of the ‘internet claims to peeling fame’ but too often I can always circle back to it was simply an older egg. wasabideviledeggs

Now… let’s flavor them up! While I am happy with most standard variations of Deviled Eggs, I get rather excited to mix them up. After dipping + dying, hiding + hunting, cracking + peeling, cut open your hard-boiled eggs and get creative. Here are a few of my favorite combinations:
Wasabi-Avocado (in the picture above!) 
Creamy Goat Cheese + Herb
Mango Chutney

How do you creatively make your eggs devilish!?

Dan Moore of Farmshares Interview (part 1)

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Spring has sprung and if you are curious as to how you can eat better and support your local farmer, a CSA might be the perfect solution for your family. Recently, I asked Dan Moore of Farmshares.info a series of questions that will help you dive further into whether a CSA is the right choice for your family.  I also asked a few of you in the community if you had further questions about CSA’s and those questions and answers will be in the next post.

danscsaLilly: What is a CSA and what is the main reason to join one?

Dan: CSA stands for community supported agriculture and is a direct relationship between a farmer or rancher and the end customer with a risk sharing component.  You give the farmer money early in the year, and they give you produce, meat or other food throughout the growing season.

The main reason to join a CSA is to learn more about who grows your food and how it is done.  CSA provides a level of involvement with your food that is deeper than anything other than gardening.

Lilly: What is the most common question or concern you hear from people interested in starting a CSA?

Dan: The most common question is “how do I pick the right farm?”.  Just as with any major purchase (share prices are typically in the hundreds of dollars and can be up to three thousand) you have to both know what you are looking for and do your research.  

To the first point, many people are romantic about “getting food directly from the farmer” and ignore that they don’t like to cook, or travel often during the season, or work a job that will make a weekly pickup hard.  There is enough variety in CSAs available, so think about what you need. If you want to learn the basics of CSA, I have put together a free email course

To the second, while there are similarities, each CSA differs in what they expect of their members, the types of food they provide, and where you can pick up the share.  So while tools like farmshares.info can help, you really need to review each farm’s website, talk to current and past members and mesh what the farm/ranch offers with your needs.

Lilly: What has been the biggest change you have noticed since you first became a CSA member in 2007?

Dan: Two big changes: 1) the widening of the CSA market, both in number of farms and products offered.  It’s amazing to see new farms and new products be available in the CSA risk sharing model. 2) the turnover of CSA farms.  I think the skills needed to be a successful CSA farmer include all the skills of a regular farmer, plus marketing and sales skills (plus management once the farm is a certain size).  I see a lot of CSAs start up and run for 4-5 years and then shut down, either because the farmer is moving off the land or because they are focusing on other markets (farmer’s market, direct sales of a product, wholesale markets).

Lilly: How soon after joining a CSA did you realize the need to create coloradocsa.info which has recently expanded to become farmshares.info? What was the driving motivator?

Dan: I started out with a list of farms on which I had done research, and quickly realized that it would be helpful to others.  A friend also joined a CSA in Denver about the same time and shared her list.  After combining the two, I had a simple web page that received some traffic, indicating there was interest.  After about two years of updating that page and fielding questions about CSAs in Colorado, I decided to build ColoradoCSAs.info in 2010.  In 2015, my wife and I decided that the existing national directories were not as useful as they should be, and spent some time and money re-working and re-launching ColoradoCSAs.info as FarmShares.info, as well as pursuing affiliates and sponsorships.  

The driving motivation for the redesign is that CSA membership, for me, was a fundamental shift in how I viewed food and the food system.  I wanted to share that with people beyond Colorado.photo-52

Lilly: What is the advantage of using a tool such as farmshares.info versus just jumping on the Google?

Dan: Farmshares.info gathers data from farms, standardizes it, and makes it very easy to compare farms that meet your needs.  I always advocate contacting the farmer directly once you have narrowed your choices to two or three, since CSA information can change from day to day (for example, shares can sell out).  

When you start at Google, you find farms that are best at showing up in Google, as opposed to the farm that might be closest to you, or have the type of share you want.

Lilly: How has the transition from coloradocsa.info to farmshares.info been? Can you give us a sneak peek of what to expect in the coming months or years?

Dan: The transition from coloradocsas.info to farmshares.info has been smooth–the launch affected our traffic slightly, but it has bounced back as we head into the prime signup season for the mountain west (Jan-May).  

In the future, you can expect more features, greater coverage of the mountain west and eventually the entire USA, and more partnerships with companies that support local food.  

Lilly: Most of us now think of CSAs in terms of produce, but ‘community supported’ has evolved in recent years to include other products. What are some of those changes?

Dan: I’ve seen two main changes in the offerings from CSA farms over the years.  The first is a far wider selection of  farm-to-consumer products available.  These range from soap to meat to fish to bread to coffee–at least 40 different types of food are available via CSA.  This is fantastic because it lets consumers support local farmers and ranchers even if they can’t commit to a season of vegetables.

The second is the rise, especially in farms selling produce, of the market share.  Instead of the farmer picking out vegetables and boxing them up for you, you pre-pay for credit at farm stands and farmer’s markets.  It’s a way to support a farm and share the risk of poor crops without losing choice.  (The customer still shares the risk because if the farm has a poor season, or doesn’t produce much of a popular crop like tomatoes, the customer is still committed to purchase from that farm.)

Lilly: Can you forecast any predictions for the future of CSA’s in the US?

Dan: I think that CSAs will rise and fall as interest in home cooking rises and falls.  CSAs just don’t make sense if you aren’t eating at home.  The recent trend of people re-learning how to cook (see Michael Pollan’s books) makes me optimistic about the long term future of CSAs.danpam

Declare Your Food Independence

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Are you a patriot of the food revolution or a
loyalist to the Standard American Diet? 

Food Loyalist [food loiuh-list]
noun
1. a person who is loyala supporter of the sovereign or of the existing food system especially during this time of revolt.

Food Patriot [food pey-tree-uh t] 
noun
1.  a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her local food system and its delicious, sustainable interests with devotion.

As a nation, we have passively given our own diet to a very large system that no longer has our land, our families, our ideology, or even our health at heart.

Our craving to eat ‘right’ is often cleverly disguised by marketing that flashes claims of heart-healthy, fat-free, free-range, sugar-free, gluten-free or natural with very little nourishment or sustenance. This Standard American Diet (SAD) has been on the menu for decades and WE the people are the ones suffering with the growing list of diet related diseases, syndromes and deaths.

For years, I have felt the paradox of a holiday that celebrates our collective ability to stand up for what we believe in, meanwhile the ‘American’ food that shapes nearly every backyard party is some of the most suppressive, industrially processed food that we could possibly consume.

Hot dogs. Burgers. Buns. Sugar-laden ketchup. Trans-fat mayonnaise. And plastic tasting vegetables dipped in white mystery sauces.

Why do we celebrate our freedom with this type of ‘cuisine’? 

We are not to a point where the Standard American Diet is comprised of real food that nourishes us, that offers fair work to those who produce it, and that is grown within our own local economies. The SAD is not a sustainable food system that will protect us and our children into the future.

Passively consuming the SAD lifestyle should no longer feel like an option for you. It is time to rise up and be a Food Patriot, not a Loyalist. Vote with your food dollars. For every quarter you spend on local + real food, instead of corporate food products, you are sending a clear message that you are ready to embrace your own food freedom.

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I invite you to rebel against the S.A.D. I invite you to
celebrate food with truth! 

As we prepare to watch fireworks and celebrate the bravery of the Declaration of Independence, why not take a break from corporate food for one holiday?

Why not take a courageous stance against a food system that could care less if you lived, died or suffered from what you consume?

Take the 4th of July and claim your right to food that is made on our own land, more precisely on the land as close to you as possible.

Here are my four favorite dishes that are a perfect way to revolt against the food status quo

Grilled Sweet Potato Fries + Yogurt Ranch Dip
Grilled Potato Salad
Watermelon Salad
Pulled Pork Sliders

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In addition, here are FOUR ways to celebrate the 4th without the S.A.D. weighing you down: 

  • Shop at a Farmers Market this week! Gather whatever veggie goodness is available and toss it into a beautiful salad, skewer it on to kebabs or grill them whole to stack on to buns.
  • Want meat? Find a local butcher or rancher and see if they sell hot dogs, sausages, burgers or even big slabs of pork (perfect for the Pork Sliders mentioned above!)
  • Find a local bakery! Yes, the bill will most likely cost more than the $2 or less bags than the addictive white flour buns, but I have a feeling you will be in for a treat, especially if you find a new bakery to love in the future.
  • Dessert can be as simple as these Red, White + Blue Berry Necklaces (see photo below) or popsicles made from a puree of whatever local fruit you can find and pour it into the molds.
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Needle + thread bring together strawberries, cherries, blueberries + blackberries for a playful 4th of July dessert!

 

Simplify and defy the food of the 4th of July!

What is on your menu that will blow up the typical ‘American’ party food?

Cook seasonally. Eat consciously. Celebrate food,

Chef Lilly

The Benefits of Seasonal Eating

I am thrilled to be welcoming Stefanie Davis of Simple Acres Blog to talk about the Benefits of Seasonal Eating. Just last week, you received some of my thoughts on the subject and we are so lucky to have this perspective by a Mom of three cuties, Registered Dietician, farm wife + blogger. Please welcome Stefanie! 

garden growing

The season is upon us! The sun is out, the birds are singing and the soil is crying for some lovin’! Green thumbs….your gardens are calling you! If you are a gardening newbie like me it can seem overwhelming, so start simple. The picture above is of our growing garden. We just started with corn at first and slowly have added tomatoes and cucumbers! Ever since I was a child I thought being able “to eat off the land” was…well, magical! As an adult there is actually some truth to the positive nostalgia home grown, IN SEASON foods can offer. Whether you plant a garden or choose to just arrange your menu around seasonal foods and buy it, below is list of a few benefits to motivate you.

5 Reasons Seasonal Eating Is Worth the Effort

  1. Fresh and full of flavor! Often local and farmer markets will have picked their produce within 24 hours of your purchase which allows them to be at peak ripeness. I wonder how long that produce from another country has been “in-waiting” through the shipping and storing process? I can guarantee more than 24 hours!
  2. More nutrient rich! Nutrient value decreases when produce is stored for lengthy time frames. Fresh, seasonal foods offer more nutrients thus more benefit to your health and disease prevention.
  3. Safer food supply! The more steps there are between you and your food’s source the more chances there are for contamination.
  4. Good for the environment and local economy! Supporting local farmers is an economical plus. Reduction in the pollution created from production & shipping allows you to be the earth loving tree hugger you have always yearned to be! (hehe…if you already are you will be even better at it)
  5. More cost effective! Food is easier to grow and generally offers more abundant crops thus the prices will naturally be lower for the foods in season. If you garden….it almost feels like FREE FOOD (minus the seeds, fertilizer and sweat).

I want to encourage you towards Finding Your Healthiest You! Read my health articles herehere, and here for more tips and tools for success.

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Hi there, I’m Stefanie from Simple Acres blog. I am a wife to a hard workin’ man, mommy to 3 “littles”, 10 year Registered Dietitian, writer, artist and hopeful inspirer! My passion is to bring the journey of simplicity to others through focusing on the things that really matter….the ones you love, the dreams you BELIEVE, and living in the moment with true JOY! As a RD I believe in  body love and acceptance, intuitive eating and savoring and nourishing the body with wholesome foods! I’m excited to be able to  grace the pages of Lilly’s Table and look forward to joining you more as your new personal Dietitian! Please come visit me at Simple Acres and come to know me more personally on my facebook fan page, instagram and twitter! Dovidenia. XO

My Birthday Party featuring Spring’s Chips + Dips!

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I love birthdays. Not just my own, but it is probably my favorite. I especially love the fact that since having children, my birthday marks the start of “birthday season” in my home as my daughter’s follows close behind mine and my son’s is a month later. Their poor father’s birthday is more of a Thanksgiving thing, but he does have Father’s Day to enjoy so no one is feeling too sorry for him.

My birthday week has begun and I am planning a party where as many people as possible are celebrating FOOD! It is easy. On Tuesday the 28th (aka my big bday!), I simply want you to find something delicious, something totally worth celebrating and then take a picture of it and put it up on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest wherever you roam in this wild online realm and tag @lillystable. That’s it! I want to see all of the food you love to celebrate… it may be your morning cup o’ joe, your favorite piece of toast, or something more involved. And honestly, the more the merrier. Take this as an opportunity to get a little silly with the food photos. Let’s celebrate food in all of it’s delicious glory!

Once the food photo dust has settled, I am going to select a few posts (at least one at random and one because I love it) and then I will be gifting the winners with some goodness from Lilly’s Table!

In the meantime, I love taking my food for a dip, especially when they are outside of the box. In the spring for me, whole artichokes with my favorite dippy goodness is the way I like to do chips + dips, but also thinly sliced raw sweet potatoes with my Guacamamae Salad or my favorite Feta-Guacamole.

We make this dip/dressing frequently in our home as a ranch-style addition to the pull-able leaves off of whole artichokes. The best part is that it can be made entirely with whatever fresh herbs you have available in your home or garden.

617_originalYogurt Ranch
1 lemon*, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced fine (optional if you want a more subtle dressing)
1/4 cup fresh minced herbs (including basil, thyme, oregano, sage, sorrel, parsley, dilll, carrot tops, etc.)
1 cup plain yogurt
2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt + pepper, to taste

Whisk the garlic and lemon juice together. Allow to mellow for a minute. This is a great time to pick, wash and dry the herbs if you have not already done it. Whisk the yogurt and freshly minced herbs into the garlic & lemon juice. With one hand whisk rapidly, while slowly drip by drip drizzle in the olive oil. Add as much olive oil as you like, to taste. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

*If you have a microplane or zester, zest the lemon into the bowl for an extra lemony boost.

Happy week to you! And don’t forget to celebrate this Tuesday the 28th!

Cook seasonally. Eat consciously. Live well,

Chef Lilly

Mama has gone Coco-Nutty… Granola

Coco-Nutty low-res

My first-thing-in-the-morning routine is simple: Wake up. Brush my teeth.

When I walk out of the bathroom, my day has begun. This is often my only time alone during the day, unless my baby wakes up and insists on joining me. Regardless, if I do not brush my teeth at this time, it may never happen as I rarely sit still until bedtime, much less have time in the bathroom for such luxurious matters as teeth brushing.

So, this is how the routine started one recent morning. We have a ‘jack & jill’ cabinet that I love, because you can access it from the hallway or the bathroom. This is oh so convenient since we only have one bathroom. But this morning, as I reached in to grab my toothbrush in a groggy state with barely an eye open, suddenly there was a loud whisper and a head poking out on the other side. I did the most natural thing one does in these moments, when one is in a semi-dream like state and then woken by a total creeper:

Blood. Curdling. Scream.

Of course, the creeper was merely my husband and his attempt to keep the children asleep was foiled by me. And my damn scream.

Fast forward just an hour or so, I was still a touch shaken by my only daily little “self-care” routine being so disrupted, and I decided a shower might do the trick. I probably should have considered eating somewhere in there, but since the day began with such a rude alarm, eating did not seem plausible. The baby joined me, because otherwise he just screams and pulls the curtain back: not pleasant. My 4-year old is typically happy to have some time to just hang out alone quietly playing or drawing.

The shower was so calming and relaxing that I finally let the morning melt off me and I let go of my slight low blood sugar. Zed and I climbed out of the shower, me in my fluffy robe, him naked. Ah, here I was: finally ready for my day.

I peaked out, feeling sparkly, and called out to Juliette: “Hey sweetie!”
“Juliette”
“Juliette?”
“Juliette!?”
“Juliette Allison!?”
“Juliette Allison Steirer!?!?”

Of course, I was dashing in and out of every room gathering up more hysteria in my search. After running out to the backyard feeling rather underdressed, I decided the front yard was my only option after one last dash through my house. And who has time really to get dressed when your child is missing?! I ran out, screaming with utter franticness, wearing only a bathrobe and naked baby in tow; a complete spectacle I am sure.

I finally came to the helpless realization that yes, yes indeed the only explanation was quite terrible: she very much had to be completely lost. Gone.

Then I turned around and looked up to see my Juliette, finger in her mouth, leaning on the front door’s frame, twinkle in her eye: “Mama?!”

I am amazed at how many emotions one can feel in a single breath:
Relief.
Happiness.
Anger.
Frustration.
Elation.
Annoyance.
Gratitude.

There she stood and now what? Apparently, for me this meant scooping her up, running inside with uncontrollable sobbing, hugging and begging her to tell me where she was. She became selectively mute, other than that damn twinkle in her eye, which I can only imagine had something to do with witnessing her mother’s complete breakdown.

I deduced that she was in her bedroom during my manhunt probably tucked in her messy closet, but beyond that I am not certain as to why she did not respond back. We had a little discussion about future times when one calls her name. Anyone, but especially me. Then I decided to get rid of my morning’s low-blood sugar once and for all with my rendition of this Coco-Nutty Granola. Although, I actually didn’t follow that linked recipe or even took a peak at it while I was baking, but it seems unfair not to credit it since it has floated past my pinterest page a bazzillion times it seems. I first made this when we were on a detox, which was grain-free, vegan, no soy, etc. and so breakfasts were challenging us until I whipped up a batch of this. Now we cannot get enough of it.

As Juliette and I sat together peacefully with our bowl of goodness, drenched in freshly made coconut milk, strawberries and berries, she asked me what I was grateful for. This is a common enough question at our mealtimes, but I couldn’t respond until I ate a few more bites and felt my heart palpitations slow a bit. Finally, I looked up and said:

Juliette, I am grateful for you, darling. Always. I love you so much. But, I beg you, never do that to me again. 

_MG_6894My Seedy-Coco-Nutty Make this RIGHT NOW Granola

4 cups of your favorite nuts*: almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, brazil nuts (try them all first, because our brazil nuts ended up being weird- typical I realize)
1/2 cup coconut or olive oil or your favorite oil (or even butter… oh decadence, that sounds amazing!)
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup apple or orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla or almond extract
1 cup sunflower &/or pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sesame, chia, poppy &/or hemp seeds (I combined them all!)
1/4 cup flax meal (this helps them stick together.)
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups large coconut flakes

Roughly chop your nuts. Spread on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 300 F.

Stir together the oil (you may need to melt it, if using coconut oil or butter), honey, apple juice, and vanilla.  Quick tip: Keep your measuring cup clean(ish) by measuring the oil first in a liquid cup, then the honey, which will slide right out of the lubricated cup and then finish with the apple or orange juice which will hopefully pick up the remaining goop. 

Drizzle the liquid mixture across the nuts and toss.

Toss all of the seeds together with the salt and sprinkle them all over the sticky nuts. Fold in the large coconut flakes. Place in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until they are crunchy. I make this on cool evenings, and typically turn off the oven, leaving them to dry out a bit further into sticky goodness overnight.

* Please note: I soaked my nuts overnight before making the granola, but that is entirely optional. The soaking plumped them up a bit and made me feel like I was somehow stretching this rather expensive cereal into something bigger. Again, it doesn’t make a difference, so do not sweat this step. I share that only for full disclosure.

You certainly can play around with this recipe in so many ways: add spices, longer/shorter bake time, all seeds, no seeds, dried fruit, oats, buckwheat grouts, quinoa, etc. Sky is the limit on this amazing ‘cereal’.

May your morning routines be a bit smoother than ours!

Cook seasonally. Eat consciously. Live well,

Chef Lilly

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I want to share with you my love of sweet potatoes! Not only because they are popping up in the warmer parts of the country right now, but because they store quite well throughout the winter, are still easy to find this time of year and are powerhouses of flavor and nutrients that are needed during these colder months.

Often you will see sweet potatoes listed as yams. At grocery stores, if you see Garnet Yams or Jewel Yams know you are actually looking at a sweet potato. There is a fascinating history as to why they are often misnamed, but I will reserve that story for another day.

Sweet potatoes are joyfully diverse to play with in your kitchen. I serve them raw like carrot sticks, stir-fried or sauteed in thin pieces, shredded, or roasted. I also consider sweet potatoes my lazy meal, because after a quick scrub the whole vegetable, skin and all, can be tossed in the oven and roasted until soft as I did with these Lime Sweet Potatoes (photo above). After roasting, they are great plain or added to other dishes such as the Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas or the Sweet Potato & Bean Shepherd’s Pie.IMG_8488

Of course, I frequently take a bit more effort by peeling and chopping the sweet potatoes into the Jamaican Sweet Potato Salad or the Creamed Coconut Sweet Potatoes.IMG_0714To select sweet potatoes…

The less banged up the better, but in most cases dark spots and scars can be cut or peeled off. Discard any soft or mushy sweet potatoes. This often starts at the pointy tips and is evidence of a soon to rot sweet potato.

One of the best features of sweet potatoes is they are nutrient packed and lower on the glycemic index then regular potatoes. Just check out Dr. Rosen’s blog about Sweet Potatoes for Blood Sugar for more information about their incredible health benefits.

The next time you need a nutritious, easy dinner you are only a sweet potato away.

Cook seasonally. Eat consciously. Live well,

Unlike many parts of the world, we may have access to clean water but we often prefer to drink our liquids sweetened and flavored with promises of energy and fun. These substances are more of a dessert or a drug (as Dr. Lutig states in his talk Sugar: The Bitter Truth) than a beverage as they are packed with chemicals, additives, colors and sweeteners. A twenty ounce can of soda or energy drink is equivalent to eating about 16 sugar packets. Whether in the form of high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar or organic cane syrup- remember they are all sugar and one is not ‘healthier’ than the other.

Artificial sweeteners are not much better for our health and the endless supply of those paper packets is hardly doing a service to the planet.

Tips… for drinking more of the good stuff

There is this standard rule to drink eight 8-ounce glasses or shall we say 64 ounces everyday. This standard seems to ignore the weight of the individual, climate, exercise, and other conditions. This handy hydration calculator offers some nice guidelines for how much you may need to drink considering your circumstance.

When I consider the many ounces of water I need to consume after using the calculator, I am often tempted to strap a water pack on my back with a little tube to sip as often as possible throughout the day. But, there are a few other strategies that could help as well.

First, start with a hefty glass of water as soon as you take your first sip of the day. Starting with a tall glass of water will give you more energy and the boost you need to effectively get going.

Next, figure out your system. In my home, we each have our own personalized glass that we keep nearby ready for sipping and refilling. It is a great way to drink more, but also keeps us from doing as many dishes. The environment thanks us for that, too.

There is also the lemon slice method. My grandfather had been sick in the hospital and I went to help out. Doctor’s orders included drinking more water, which my grandfather loathed. So I cut a lemon into 8 slices and gave him a new piece of lemon for every new glass. It was a great way to keep track of his intake and he liked the lemon essence more then plain water.

Set aside the water you need for the day. I live in the desert and on those 100+ degree days we all suffer through warm glasses of water as we burn through the ice in our freezer. Filling up large mason jars or pitchers of my water and sticking it in the fridge, keeps me on track with my water needs throughout the day and it is perfectly chilled when I want it.

Bottled Water

For our ‘convenience’ an entire industry of bottled beverages has developed. Whether we are drinking water or something sweet, the plastic bottle is purchased and discarded almost as quickly. This high use of plastic is rather unfortunate, especially since we use finite resource, oil, to make this plastic and have not created the best system for recycling it.

If you spend any time on the go, find an easy bottle to take with you such as Klean Kanteen.

Still not in love with the seemingly plain taste of water?

Jazz Up Your Water

Add seasonal fruit and herbs, such as cucumber & lime, strawberries, citrus, mint or lemon balm. If you love the sparkle of soft drinks and beer, switch to a glass or two of soda water during the day mixed with fresh squeezed citrus juice.

There is also a whole world of delicious, health-packed beverages out there. If you haven’t had a chance yet, try out coconut waterkefir and kombucha for a refreshing twist. These are also not a substitute for water, but they do not contain processed chemicals, sugars, colors, or additives.

This post is part of the Healthy Body, Healthy Planet Challenge. Join the FREE 30-day challenge to receive more details, tips and email support.

What are your tips for staying hydrated? What changes are you planning to take to increase your water intake? Please comment below!

Cook seasonally. Eat consciously. Live well,

Chef Lilly

 

This is my daughter & husband on her first day of pre-school this week. She seemingly adores every moment of her darling school and I am enjoying the consistent time in the week to work. We have already discovered a few of our challenges, the first is a regular bedtime. The second is coming up with delightful, healthy snacks and lunches that do not require a lot of packaging or preservatives. I am always excited about a food challenge and so compiled this list to help me stay focused. Feel free to comment on the bottom to add your own suggestions for homemade snacks that do not require disposable packaging.

  • Slice vegetables into sticks or rounds
  • Slice apples, keep them from browning by soaking briefly in lemon water or spritzing with lemon-water.
  • Whole fruit such as oranges, clementines are great for small hands, bananas or small apples
  • Homemade & gluten-free Almond Herb Crackers
  • Ak-mak, which are one of my favorite low ingredient whole grain crackers to buy

Serve any of the above with a homemade spreads & dips, such as:

  • Nut butters, make your own buy tossing raw almonds, peanuts or cashews in a food processor or vita-mixer, blend for about 5 minutes until smooth
  • Greek yogurt with lemon zest, juice & honey, to taste
  • Yogurt with fresh herbs & lemon, for a more detailed recipe try Lilly’s Table’s Yogurt-Herb Ranch
  • Minced Veggies blended with cream cheese
  • Fruit jam blended with cream cheese or Greek yogurt
  • Homemade bean dips such as mexican Black Bean Dip OR
  • Hummus

Fill small individual containers with:

  • Plain yogurt with low-sugar jam, local honey, dried or fresh fruit
  • Applesauce with cinnamon or other ground spices such as ginger
  • Granola, nuts and seeds… Here are a few favorite granola recipes from Lilly’s Table: Seeduction Granola, Peanut Butter Banana Granola, and Molasses Pumpkin Granola
  • Granola Drops
  • Make your own trail mix, packed full with your favorite nuts, seeds & dried fruits
  • Hard-boiled eggs with a dollop of mayo & mustard mixed
  • Cubes of cheese, also lovely with a handful of fresh grapes & nuts
  • Dates stuffed with nut butters, mascarpone or blue cheese
  • Whole-grain tortillas filled with nut butters and fruit
  • Date bars- Lara Bar and Vixi Bars are our two favorite brands because of their low-packaging and they are each made with only a handful of ingredients.
  • Alternatively, we love to make these Lemon Date Bars and package them ourselves.

What snacks do you love to take on the go that do not require too many preservatives or layers of plastic covering?

Cook seasonally. Eat consciously. Live well,

Chef Lilly