Sunday, March 31, 2013

Healthiest Way to Make Popcorn

Best Air Popper - the Orville Redenbacher Hot Air Popcorn Popper
Did you know that delicious smelling bag of microwave popcorn your co-worker makes every day just might be killing you? Yes you. Even if you are not the one eating the popcorn - you are the one breathing it and what you are breathing is a chemical used to coat the inside of the microwave bags that turns into perfluorooctinoic acid, a known carcinogen, when heated.

Cooking popcorn in a pot of oil is far less toxic but still creates a fried, high-fat food that is not terribly healthy for any one.

With these two options off the table - only one remains: the good ol' 1980's style electronic air popper. Instead of oil, air poppers use electricity and hot air to heat kernels of corns until they pop. The popcorn that results is healthy, light and fluffy - but virtually tasteless. That is until you add a small amount of heated butter (preferably organic and grass-fed) and salt. This simple combination is the easiest and healthiest way to make movie-style popcorn. Yes, the inside of an air popper is made of aluminum and plastic, both of which may cause health concerns when heated. But the exposure these elements have to the heated corn kernels is very brief and because I eat popcorn several times a week, I prefer to take that health risk over eating fried food or ingesting carcinogenic chemicals any day.

There are many air poppers on the market - and I've tried almost all of them. One of the best - as far as numbers of kernels popped and longevity of product lifespan is the the Orville Redenbacher Hot Air Popcorn Popper by Presto. Click here to buy one on today.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Best Cloth Diaper Covers for Prefolds

Imse Vimse "Bumpy Cover" for Cloth Diapers
If you decided to bite the bullet and try cloth diapers - good for you! You will be keeping over 6,000 disposable diapers PER CHILD out of our overflowing landfills. That's 6,000 plus diapers that take over 200 years to decompose. This decision - which is obviously helping the planet - will also save you several hundreds of dollars with your first child and well over a thousand if you are diapering two or more in the course of your lifetime. There are many different types of cloth diapers on the market today but when it comes to covers there is only one standout:  The Bumpy Wool Cover made by the Swedish company Imse Vimse. Don't be fooled by the name - there is nothing "bumpy" about the Bumpy cover. It is made of a thin, flannel-like, soft wool that wicks away wetness while simultaneously absorbing it. The snug, velcro fit makes the Bumpy cover perfect for prefold diapers - the most affordable cloth diaper option. Simply lay a prefold cloth inside a Bumpy cover and attach it to baby. The Imse Vimse Bumpy cover is perfect for all seasons, as it allows maximum air circulation while providing the best leak-proof protection of any cloth diaper cover I have yet to try.

Cleaning Bumpy Diaper Covers is a cinch, as they only need to be washed about once every week or two – unless they get poop on them (mine seldom did) or they start to smell like urine (which, miraculously – they rarely do). Imse Vimse recommends hand washing but here is my secret: I washed mine in the washer - in cold water - and they lasted over six years. I also was very lazy about re-lanolizing my Bumpy covers. I did it once ... in six years.

I recommend purchasing four to six Imse Vimse Bumpy diaper covers per stage (size) of diapering. It's a bit of an investment, but well worth it...and will save you plenty in the long run. Imse Vimse Bumpy covers are sold on Click here to purchase the Imse Vimse Bumpy cover.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Benefits of Glass Food Storage Containers

Glass Food Storage
As far as I'm concerned, one simply can not have enough glass food jars for storage. They can be used for everything you buy in bulk - but also for anything you buy in plastic (like cereal) that you wish to get OUT of plastic ASAP. Like rice, for example. I don't buy rice in bulk because I find the quality and taste goes down too much when its exposed to prolonged air. Instead, I buy rice in prepackaged plastic or paper bags and transport it to its designated "rice" jar.

By storing food in glass jars instead of plastic, you lessen your exposure to the the toxic hormone disruptors found in plastic. Food also tends to taste better when stored in glass, because unlike plastic, glass does not absorb the taste and smell of what was previously stored in it.

When buying items for your bulk jars, bring the jars themselves to the store. The store will happily weigh the jars for you (when you arrive) and not charge you for the weight of the glass when you check out. Remember, glass storage is NOT just for bulk items. You can use them in the meat and cheese departments as well. Of course, for meat and cheese, you'll want smaller, more rectangular glassware like those made by Pyrex (see below). Glass food storage jars are available in local super markets, Macy's, Bed, Bath and Beyond and

Pyrex Glass Food Storage