How to Practice Principles of Food Safety in the Kitchen

Cooking is a wonderful hobby that anyone can learn how to do well, and safely. Cooking is fun, creative, and allows you to explore your palate and different cuisines. Cooking can also help you save money on food by eating out less and cooking delicious, restaurant-quality meals at home.

With two years of COVID19 behind us, many took to the kitchens with a new interest. Some of you, like myself, even got on Tiktok and started to follow food content creators or “gasp” become one. I know I joined minds with a TikTok channel called FoodTokTV and took to the kitchen to share our recipes, created a new website www.FoodTokTV.com, going Live on TikTok every Sunday night, and now host our own Cooking Club every Wednesday night.

 

 

 

But the most important thing about cooking is safety since there are a lot of things that can cause injury or harm in the kitchen. Here are a few tips to practice principles of food safety in the kitchen to prevent food-borne illness and keep everyone safe.

Wash Everything After Use

The first thing that you should do to practice food safety in your kitchen is to wash everything after each use. Once you have used a cutting board for meat or a bowl to scramble eggs, you must wash it to clean it and keep it germ-free. Otherwise, you are allowing food to cross-contaminate, which can lead to the growth of bacteria and germs that are unsafe for consumption. Wash everything with warm water and soap for thirty seconds and rinse it completely before allowing it to dry or towel drying and putting away.

Make Sure Your Meat Cooks Properly

The next crucial food safety principle you need to practice in the kitchen is making sure your meats are cooked properly. Raw or undercooked fish and meat can potentially cause food-borne illness, as the bacteria in the meat hasn’t reached a high enough temperature to be killed off completely. Sous vide cooking makes it much easier to get a precise temperature. A sous vide heats water to a particular temperature and keeps it circulating to keep the temperature constant. That way you can know exactly at what temperature your meat was cooked and for how long.

Use Proper Thawing Technique

The final crucial principle of food safety to practice in your kitchen is the use of proper thawing techniques. If you freeze your meat or fish, then you need to know how to thaw it safely, without letting it develop bacteria that can cause illness. You can thaw your meat and fish slowly in the fridge over the course of several hours or days. You can also place your frozen meat or fish in a bowl of cool water for a time for a speedier, safe thaw.

Food safety is the most important thing to remember when cooking. Without the proper steps in place, you could risk food-borne illness. Make sure that you are practicing these three principles of food safety in your kitchen every day.

Check out this article on the signs you need to make changes in your diet!

Signs You Need to Make Changes to Your Diet

Making sure that you are healthy and feeling good is important to living a full life. But it can be difficult to manage all the elements it takes to keep your health in check. Starting with one thing, like your diet, can help you to improve your health in a more manageable way. But first you have to know whether your diet needs help. Here are a few signs that you need to make some changes to the way you eat.

You’re Always Tired

There are many reasons why you might be tired, but regular fatigue often points to a problem with getting enough important nutrients in your diet. If you are noticing a trend of being tired no matter how much rest you get, it is a good sign that you need to change your diet in some way. Getting enough iron, B12, and vitamin D canl all impact your energy levels, in addition to many other important nutrients. Before taking supplements or adjusting your diet, talk to your doctor so you can find out what you are lacking and how you can add them to your meals.

Difficulty Digesting

If you are having difficulties with digestion, it can also point to a problem with your diet. Some bodies have a difficult time processing particular kinds of foods. For other people, their diet is unbalanced which means their digestive system doesn’t have what it needs to keep them feeling great. Problems with diet can lead to all kinds of digestive issues. For example, hemorrhoids can cause unpleasant symptoms that eating more fiber prevents.

You’re Hungry

If you are eating regularly but you are always hungry, it likely indicates a problem with your diet. Either you aren’t eating enough, or you aren’t getting enough of the nutrients you need. Changing the kinds of food you eat can help you to feel more full and to improve your overall health. Protein is especially important to having energy and feeling full after finishing a meal. Make sure you are getting enough protein to keep your energy levels up.

Your diet will have a profound impact on the way you feel and how you experience your day to day life. It’s important that you make alterations as necessary so you can feel better and do more. Talk to your doctor or a dietician if you have questions so they can help you to improve your diet in a positive way.

Check out this article on vegetables that make sides in a paleo diet!

Vegetables That Make Great Sides in a Paleo Diet

Paleo diets can be great for people searching to live a healthier lifestyle. However, sometimes it can be difficult to maintain if you don’t know how to keep a balanced diet of different types of food. One of the great food groups that you should regularly be eating in your paleo diet is vegetables. The good news is that there are many ways to cook vegetables to add to a delicious meal. Here are a few different kinds of vegetables that make great sides in your paleo diet.

Root Vegetables

First off, root vegetables make great sides in paleo meals. There are various kinds of root vegetables such as yams, sweet potatoes, carrots, and more. One easy way to prepare root vegetables is by making a mashed side, such as mashed sweet potatoes or yams, that can be topped with salt, pepper, and mix-ins. All of these vegetables can also be easily air fried to make crispy fries, bites, or hash browns. Oven-roasted root vegetables are also delicious and easy.

Leafy Green Vegetables

Another great group of vegetables that works well for different paleo sides are leafy green vegetables. Vegetables like kale and spinach help your teeth stay strong. Leafy greens are very easy to throw together in different kinds of salads. Kale and spinach are also great when cooked with different kinds of proteins and vegetables and served warm. They can even be used as a breakfast side in a small omelet. Leafy greens are very healthy for you and can be used in practically every meal.

Other Veggies

There are a number of other paleo vegetables that can be steamed, roasted, or air fried to make delicious side dishes. Veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts can be prepared in countless ways that will add nutrition and delicious flavors to your paleo meals. Some people even like to use cauliflower to make rice or pizza crust to include even more servings of delicious vegetables in their main courses.

Working more vegetables into your paleo diet can take some work at first, but it’s not too hard once you get the hang of it. Remember, there are tons of veggies that you can use and multiple ways to prepare them to make delicious side dishes. As you take the time and effort to include a variety of veggies in your daily meals, you’ll find that you feel better, and it will be easier to maintain your diet.

What you eat is just the beginning of your start to a healthier you. Check out my Wellness Picks for tools, products, and tips that will help you achieve greater wellness.

Items You Need to Check Off Before Starting Your Road Trip

Road trips are a great way to make memories. For your road trip to go smoothly, it will require planning in advance. You should make a list of all the necessities and ensure that each key point is checked off before you start your trip.

Plan Your Route

Road trips don’t always go to plan, but you do need to have a plan in place. This will make it less stressful. You should pick out the destinations and map out the roads you will take. Especially if your route is an unfamiliar one, you should search ahead for rest stops and plan stops. If it is an especially long drive, you should plan how much you will drive each day and sleep accommodations. Plan for surprises on your trip and have a backup plan. Planning can also help save you fuel because you won’t need to take unexpected detours.

Budget Your Trip

Your budget will dictate what you will do on the rest of your trip. Set a budget starting with essential costs of your trip, like the cost of fuel, hotels, and gas. You should plan your itinerary, plan out the driving route, and how many miles per day. Plan for any activities you will want to do and eat out. The last bit of your budget should be money that will be left over to use in unplanned situations and will give you flexibility in your trip.

Make a List of Eateries

Eating locally is a great way to enjoy your destination. Before you go on your trip you should make a list of eateries that you can enjoy. This will require a little research. You can use social media to find places to eat. You can use Instagram or Facebook to search local eateries and can also see what people are saying about them. There are also many other apps that can help you find eateries, like Yelp. Apps like these will often show a rating and reviews from customers. You can also leave some places unplanned and ask around or wander while you are at your destination to find some great places.

Get Car Maintenance Done

Car maintenance will prevent your car breaking down. You should check your tires to make sure the tread is not worn and there are no tears or punctures. A mechanic should check your breaks, battery, fluids, lights, and air conditioning. You may want to have your oil changed, especially if it is close to time. You can have your car prepped by having it cleaned and by having ceramic coating applied. Ceramic coating repels contaminants such as dirt, sap, bugs and salt. Your ceramic coating will help to protect your car while you are on the road.

Documents

When you are going on a road trip, you should make sure you have all the necessary documents. The first, and most obvious, thing you should have with you is your driver’s license. Without this you should not even be driving. Make sure any other driver in the car has theirs as well. Make sure you also have your insurance cards in your glove box. This will be important if any accidents happen while on the road. This way you can utilize your coverage. You should also make sure you have your documentation for registration of your vehicle in your car as well. Not having any of these documents will negatively impact your trip if you get pulled over for any reason.

Plan Activities or Sight Seeing

When you are planning your route for your trip, you should also plan for any sightseeing or activities you want to do along the way. There are so many different things you can see on your drive which can make it more interesting. Stopping for sightseeing will help break up the trip and help you make memories. You will want to set a plan for this, but also make sure you aren’t too rigid in your plan. You can plan extra time for sightseeing and activities that aren’t on your list. You can go explore and enjoy local features and cultures and it also gives your body some more time out of the car to stretch.

Carry Cash

While on your road trip, it may be a good idea to bring some cash with you. You can make do with a debit or credit card, but it is a good idea to have cash in the case of an emergency. You should bring at least $100 in cash with you, unless you are going to a place with many small businesses and won’t have access to an ATM. There is always a potential for losing your wallet, so you should keep your cash in a separate, but safe, place. You should also ensure that your credit card company is notified on your trip, so they don’t freeze your credit card.

Secure Your Home

While you are away from your home, you will want to make sure that it is secure. You should start by making sure it is clean and orderly so you can come back to a clean home. Arrange for someone to pick up your mail, water your plants, and take care of your pets. You also have many appliances and devices that use a lot of energy. You can unplug many of these items to save energy while you are away. You should do a walk-through of your home before you leave to ensure no water is running and no appliances are left on. To add protection to your home, you could install a security system.

For your trip to go smoothly, you need to plan many aspects of your trip, and make plans for keeping your home secure. With the proper planning and checklist, you can ensure that your trip will go smoothly and almost anxiety free. While it may not go exactly to the plan, any detour will be easily handled and will contribute to fond memories.

Read this next: How to Listen to Your Body as You Eat

What You Need to Know Before Embarking on a Road Trip

Road trips can be a ton of fun for the whole group, but they can also be full of stress and frustration if you aren’t adequately prepared. Going in with a strong plan can help you to make your road trip experience more fruitful and more fun for drivers and passengers alike. If you want to make your road trip the best it can be, there are a few things that you need to know before you hit the road. 

Plan Out Your Trip 

While it is okay to wing some elements of your trip, you want to have a pretty solid plan in mind before you get going. Your plan should include the places where you want to stop each night and some options for food and activities. You don’t have to plan every single element, and you don’t have to stick to the plans you make. But having a plan will give you something to turn to if you are bored, unsure what to do, or something goes wrong. 

Know the Laws of Each State 

If your trip is going to take you across state lines, you want to make sure that you know the laws of the states you enter. This will protect you from getting a ticket or being uninformed about important regulations in the states you pass through. You also want to make sure you are traveling safely, whether you are in a car or on a motorcycle. Even when motorcycle helmets aren’t required by law, they protect you from serious injury. When you know the laws, you can stay safer and have more fun since you won’t get sidetracked by an unfortunate ticket. 

What to Pack 

Depending on where you are road tripping, your packing needs may vary, but there are a few constants. First you want to make sure you have enough food to get you from place to place. It can make for a very miserable road trip if you don’t have snacks and have hours before you hit the next town. You also want to make sure to pack safety supplies and the right clothing for the climates you will be in. 

When you take the time to plan out your road trip, you can have a ton of fun and minimize your stress. That will make you a better and safer driver and help your trip to be an even better time. Make sure to bring a camera or your phone along so you can capture the beautiful views.

Read this next: How to Get More Paleo-Friendly Snacks in Your Diet

Tiktoks for fun Date & Dried Cherry Bread Treats

Some Date & Dried Cherry Bread Treats

@frank_mentorsf Some fall baking with dried cherry & date bread (no nuts). Follow #foodtoktv for the recipe. #fall #halloween #bearinthekitchen #bearsoftiktok ♬ I Put A Spell On You – The Ghost Doctors

 

@foodtoktv Date – Cherry bread by @frank_mentorsf is a delicious fall treat!! #dates #datebread #foodtoktv #LevisMusicProject #PINKHolidayRemix #TheHarderTheyFall ♬ Surf music that feels summer – SKUNK

A overdo update

Had some great time fiddling around with some projects while spending time in Provincetown this fall. Been years since I had spent the October and November months waterside. Even managed to knock out a few TikTok recipes for our new collaborative project FoodTokTV.

One of my favs was a way to create a “faux focaccia” bread but using Bisquick as a stand-in for traditional dough. And some gift-making with Date & Dried Cherry mini loaves. Which ended up perfect snacking food as we got hit with a “nor-easter” which knocked out power for a day.

Then, of course, Halloween in Ptown is always a blast which prompted me to do up an adult version of “pigs in a blanket” which I served up on my new hand-painted plate set from Sam of https://artisticmermenprovincetown.com. I even managed to support Breast cancer awareness week with some pink caramel pretzels.

Best of all was my daily walks along the beach looking for treasures.

How to Get More Paleo-Friendly Snacks in Your Diet

Snacks are an important and healthy way to fuel your body in-between meals. But when you follow a paleo diet, things can get tricky when it comes to snacking. Avoiding grains, dairy, and other products that only became available after farming, means a lot of traditional snacks are off-limits. Here are some tips on how to get more paleo-friendly snacks in your diet.

Dehydrate Fruit

Fruit is nature’s candy, sweet, juicy, bursting with flavor, and rich in nutrients. Fruits are wonderful foods that should play a bigger role in your diet. Carrying around fruit as a snack can be challenging though, because it needs to be kept refrigerated if it’s not going to be consumed quickly. Dehydrated fruit, on the other hand, is shelf stable and easy to take on the go. You can purchase dried and dehydrated fruit at the grocery store, or make it yourself! Just place strips of fruit in a dehydrator and bake for 6-8 hours, until the fruit has dried. It is fun and easy, and tastes delicious.

Make Jerky

If you’re a fan of jerky, you’ll love making it at home. Jerky is dried and cured strips of meat. Jerky has been around for hundreds of years, and is a method used before refrigeration to preserve meat. And it is very easy to make jerky at home, you just have to dehydrate it.

Dehydrating meat removes 80% of the water. This will shrink the meat strips a bit, but also make it chewy and snappy in the jerky way you love. Removing the water is also a large part of what makes a jerky shelf-stable. There are tons of recipes available online to make your own jerky to check out.

Snack on Trail Mix

Lots of trail mixes are paleo, as long as you stick to the ones that are made with nuts, seeds, fruits, and nothing extra like chocolates or pretzels. Trail mix is a great way to get a burst of energy from a good mix of healthy fats and protein. And it’s so easy to make your own at home using exactly what you like.

Following a paleo diet doesn’t mean you have to give up snacking. With a little preparation, you can have delicious and crave-worthy snacks that are paleo-friendly. Give these tips a try and see what is your favorite paleo-friendly snack!

Read this next: How to Listen to Your Body as You Eat

How Can I Keep My Food Good for Longer?

Throwing away food feels just like throwing away money— having your groceries go bad so soon after buying them is frustrating to say the least! How can you prevent your good food from going bad for as long as possible? Here are a few tips that may extend your groceries’ lifespan significantly.

Follow Storage Instructions

Any food item comes with ideal circumstances for storage. While you may think you know where foods should go, take the time to learn exactly where each food item has the best chances of “survival”. For example, some fruits and vegetables will last longer unrefrigerated, like tomatoes, bananas, herbs, melons, and squash. Know what foods need to be kept out of moist areas (like mushrooms or grains), and what foods benefit from hydration (like carrots or celery). Pay attention to labels on packaged foods, and research the unpackaged foods to ensure you are storing them properly.

Process It

Consider processing your foods to give them a much longer lifespan! According to Vacuum Sealers Unlimited, using a method like dehydrating, vacuum sealing, or freeze drying will extend the shelf-life. These methods maintain many of the nutrients and much of the flavor of the produce you love, allowing you to use it for months to come without worrying about rot or expiration. If the food item is not able to be processed, then consider freezing it! Most foods can last almost half a year without acquiring freezer burn, which damages the taste and texture of those foods and exposes them to potentially harmful chemicals from your freezer. Plus, frozen foods retain 100% of the nutrients they contain at the moment of freezing.  

Buy the Right Foods

Be aware of the freshness of your groceries when you buy them. You can’t blame food for rotting when they were on the verge of doing so even in the store! Prevent waste by meal planning and only buying the produce necessary for those plans. Or, implement a process of cycling through your food to make sure that you’re using your oldest things first—this applies to packaged foods as well as produce. And Then We Saved recommends looking at expiration dates before you buy, and (as much as possible) buying products with a naturally long shelf life like pasta, potatoes, dried meats, canned foods or honey.

Each of these things will help you reduce or even eliminate the frustrating waste that you may have from old and rotten food. Try one or try all and enjoy your fresh food, all the time!

Read this next: How to Fit Healthy Eating Into Your Busy Schedule