Using a Milk Frother to Make Latte and Hot Chocolate

With a milk frother, it is so easy to make creamy lattes and hot chocolate drinks.These days, drinking lattes and hot chocolate at places like Starbucks and Costa has become the norm. If we don’t have the time or forget to have our morning tea or coffee in the morning, we can always grab one on the way to work.

There are still people out there that are very organised and make their own hot drinks at home before work and in the evening on a cold winter day. This is usually done with an expensive coffee machine or manually using a milk steamer. Unfortunately, not every one can afford an expensive machine while some people don’t like the manual aspect of whisking milk.

The good thing is that we can use a milk frother to make your hot drink aerated and full of froth. To use this efficiently to make a latte, you won’t need to do much. You’ll have to get some coffee and milk. You’ll also need a microwave and a milk frother, which can be bought for a cheap price at almost every department store.

Making Lattes and Hot Chocolate

The process of making the drink is very easy. You’ll simply need to warm the milk in a microwave. You need to note that this needs to be warmed and not boiled. Of course, before putting it in the microwave, you need to put in sugar if you want to.

Once it’s been taken out of the microwave, you need to run it through the frother. This will create a lot of froth and aeration on the top. The next step is to add hot coffee prepared separately into the cup of frothed milk. Once this step is completed, your delicious hot drink will be ready and it’ll look like you’ve done a professional job.

Obviously the main problem is the milk frother itself. I say problem because not many people have this machine in their homes. It’s certainly not a very common appliance. If you are looking to buy one then it might be worth looking at different milk frother models in detail before getting one.

As mentioned before, this will generally be quite affordable so you shouldn’t really have any issue.

If you do end up getting one, you can be confident that it’s something that will be really handy to have around in your kitchen. This is because you’ll be able to make a delicious hot drink within a few minutes.

Saving Money on Coffee

The same drink would probably cost a bit at a coffee shop. This means that you’ll be saving money both ways, by not buying an expensive automatic machine and also by not spending too much on drinks in shops.

Another positive factor about this is that it’s something that you’ll be making at home. This means that you know exactly what’s going in your coffee or hot chocolate. You just never know what those big coffee chains like Starbucks put in their drinks.

This would also be advantageous when you’re trying to monitor the total number of calories being consumed on a daily basis.

If you do get a milk frother and try it to make coffee then please do let me know what you think!

How to Make Eggs the Right Way

Eggs are a kind of food that would go well with pretty much every other. Most of us just make the standard fried egg and eat it just for the sake of eating. However, making eggs the right way could make you see the world with a whole new light. The truth is that eggs cooked with a proper technique not only taste better but they also look a lot better and thus deemed worthy of any Instagram food-related post (if you ever needed any more of those)!

When it comes to scrambled eggs, the best thing to do is separate the yolks and the egg whites before cooking. This can be done easily by using a rubber spatula. We often let the eggs overcook but the key is to pull them out just before you think they’re done. This means that they’ll be a bit softer and creamier rather than dry.

Another thing you can do differently is to fry the eggs in olive oil. This will not only be healthier but also will give off a golden fried appearance.

As mentioned before, eggs can go well with any other food. One example of this would be to top it up on pizza or fry an egg and keep the yolk runny. You can use this runny yolk as sauce with any other food. For example, this goes really well with a steak.

When it comes to boiled egg, sometimes these can be overcooked which leads to the yolks being quite dry. You can prevent this from happening by putting your eggs in cold water. These can then be boiled up, then covered and removed.

Dairy Free and Sugar Free Raspberry Cheesecake

My latest effort to get healthier involves getting all the sugar out of my diet and cutting way back on carbohydrates.

However, I had some Tofutti cream cheese in the fridge and was really in the mood for a dessert. I know the ketogenic people don’t approve of dairy substitutes but I’m allergic to dairy, so a compromise was in order. Having studied various health blogs, I knew that most desserts were sweetened with Erythritol and Stevia.

I’ve been trying out different recipes for cheesecakes and wanted to try a fruit based one that would be sugar free, dairy free and low in carbs. I was making my cheesecakes with a crust made of crushed, gluten-free Pamela’s cookies. But those are full of carbs, so they were not an option. I finally decided to make a cookie crust using this chocolate chip cookie recipe. The only thing I changed was that I used Earth Balance instead of real butter and I added some vanilla flavoured liquid stevia.

This Cheesecake recipe is dairy free and sugar free.

I was worried that the stevia would make it bitter, but it turned out fine. Since I was making a crust instead of small cookies, the baking time was longer and I had to check it every few minutes. I tasted pinches of the cookie crust and it was very good, buttery and a bit sweet. However, I didn’t realise just how much batter the recipe would make, so it was a very thick crust. I would recommend halving the recipe for a nice, thin, cheesecake crust.

I also didn’t want big chocolate chips in my crust, so next time, I will leave them out and add some more vanilla instead. Or, perhaps I’ll try adding in some lemon extract!

For the filling, I used a homemade cheesecake recipe that my grandmother taught me. When I made this filling before, I felt it tasted a bit too buttery, so I only used about 1/2 cup of coconut oil this time.

The filling was a bit softer, but fine. Instead of using the peanut butter in the original recipe, I substituted half a cup of pureed raspberries with a bit of lemon juice. Instead of using liquid sweetener, I subbed 2/3 cup of Erythritol, which turned out sweet enough for my taste.

Being the impatient person I am, I tried a slice after two hours in the fridge. It was nice, but I wasn’t blown away. I decided to let it sit overnight and tried it again when I got home from work the following day. Wow, it was so tasty, sweet, buttery and rich. I really enjoyed it and the lesson here is that you really have to give cheesecake 24 hours in order for the flavours to develop.

Is a Juicer the Same as the Best Smoothie Maker?

I speak to a lot of new dieters sometimes and on the topic of a healthy diet, I’m always asked the same question.

“Is a juicer the same as a smoothie maker/blender?”

You have no idea how many people have asked me that before. This question is usually followed by one more and this relates to which one is healthier. It’s not really a stupid question but I can understand where the confusion comes from. So instead of you having to research online, I thought I’d provide an explanation in the form of a blog post.

If you go to a restaurant bar, you’ll often see a selection of juices and smoothies so yes they are different. Unfortunately, sometimes even the staff doesn’t know that. I’ve seen people ordering juices but getting smoothies instead. Not many people know or even care about finding out the difference.

Pulverising Solid Foods

If you prefer drinking juices and cocktails, a smoothie maker might not be useful.Both appliances are completely different. Generally, the best smoothie maker should be sufficiently powerful to pulverise solid pieces of food. This means that relatively large sizes of fruits and vegetables can thrown into the blender and mixed with many different ingredients to create a thick creamy shake. This is a filling drink and one that can even be used as a full meal. This is the reason that a lot of people use their smoothie maker for healthy green smoothies every morning.

In contrast, a juicer is a completely different piece of kit. This is usually a liquid extractor that squeezes the juice out of the fruit. It doesn’t include the pulp and therefore, is a lot lighter and more of a quick drink rather than a complete. It’s refreshing and used to hydrate the body rather than to fill you up.

Both methods have their own advantages and I do keep a smoothie maker and a juicer in my kitchen. But when I think about it, I make more smoothies than juices. This is also due to various different reasons.

For example, smoothies normally include all of the fruit including the pulp. This means that you get all of the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fibre from each of the different ingredients you use. This is particularly important because our diets aren’t too great these days and they are highly likely to lack specific nutrients especially the fibre. The fact that we can make smoothies with a mixture of different fruits and vegetables is also a huge advantage. This allows us to consume our 5-a-day within one drink. Obviously you can try and juice different ingredients but I doubt there will be much juice if you use the same ingredients in the juicer.

I do think that smoothies hold the edge over juices especially because of the fact that there’s so much fibre in there. It might be a personal decision but I use my smoothie maker a lot more when compared to a juicer. But it might still be handy to keep the juicer on the side because you can just make fresh juice when you’re in the mood. The good thing about blenders is that they are very versatile and can be used to make just about anything. They can be used to make smoothies, milkshakes and plenty of other drinks. Some blenders even have the features to make sauces. So I reckon it’s essential to have a blender in the kitchen and it might be worth having a juicer as well.

Desserts That You Can Still Eat While On A Diet

Dessert is probably the best part of a meal. The sweet taste is the perfect ending to the meal and a long day. No wonder we all get cravings to satisfy our sweet tooth towards the end of the day. Most people can have as many desserts as they want but weight-conscious people are constantly torn inside as they resist their favorite desserts. Thankfully, there are some desserts that we can still enjoy even if we’re trying to be strict about what we eat.

One of these is a sweet potato pudding. We’re all aware of how nutrient-rich a sweet potato is and this is the most important reason to include it in our diet. It provides us with plenty of vitamins and lots of fibre. You can make a sweet potato pudding by grabbing a recipe on the Internet and let me promise you that it’s absolutely delicious. You’ll really love the creamy texture.

Chia protein pudding is another dessert you can have when you’ve got a close eye on the calories being consumed. Chia seeds are extremely popular these days and hold many nutrients such as fibre, protein and plenty of healthy fats. The unique thing about these is that they form a gel-like substance when in contact with liquid. If you add some protein powder and organic cacao powder then you can be sure that you’ll be getting a very healthy dessert.

Cobbler made from berries is another healthy alternative for desserts. This can come out extremely tasty and is usually very easy to make, which is always a bonus. Normally, we use white flour to make cobbler however, to make this healthier cobbler, you can substitute the white flour for gluten-free flour. Berries will also be advantageous, as they will contain natural sugars along with antioxidants and lots of vitamins and minerals that are needed by the body.

With the right ingredients, Cobbler can actually be a healthy dessert.

Once again, these are just three healthier alternatives for desserts. There are plenty of more recipes available if you looked hard enough and I urge you to do exactly this!

I would also recommend trying out this recipe for dairy free and sugar free raspberry cheesecake. It tastes absolutely delicious and is quite healthy as well.

Breakfast Ideas That Are Packed With Protein

You might have heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While this is true to a certain extent, we’ve been doing it all wrong. The truth is that having a protein-packed breakfast is far more efficient than a breakfast full of carbohydrates. The protein can actually suppress hormones that cause hunger. But the main question is how can you make a breakfast that is high in protein and low in carbs?

One way is to be creative and combine lots of ingredients that you would consider as being healthy. For example, instead of having a full bowl of unhealthy cereal in the morning, why not combine some bran cereal with Greek yoghurt and chopped almonds. The Greek yoghurt and the almonds will provide that added protein that’ll make your day.

French toast used to be a common item in any breakfast menu. While, this popularity has gone down a bit, you can use it to have a breakfast filled with protein. This can be done by using a slice of whole-grain bread and then using a normal egg. You can also use spices like cinnamon to add extra flavour to the French toast. The final serving can be done alongside something like plain yoghurt, something that’ll provide a lot of protein.

Omelettes have always been popular here in the UK and an egg will provide a lot of protein. However, one way to make this breakfast even tastier and healthier is to add lots of different vegetables. You can add all sorts of vegetables like mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes. If protein from a single egg isn’t good enough then why not use egg whites from 4 eggs and discard the yolks. Egg whites are the parts of the egg that provide the protein and so would significantly increase the protein content of the omelette. If you don’t know how to make eggs properly, you need to read this post.

This is a great way to significantly increase the protein content of your breakfast omelette.

I’ve helped you to find three breakfast recipes that will significantly increase the protein content in the morning. There are a lot of other recipes that can help you to this even more.

The Best Soup Maker That I Have Ever Bought

Soup is a very popular snack/meal in the UK. Some times, I even buy ready-made pots to have for lunch. But I’m usually wary of how much processing these go through. Obviously tinned soup and soup in cartons are very simple to make and are extremely convenient to have at home. However, I would much prefer to buy fresh ingredients to make my own soup at home. Let’s face it, making soup is far better than buying it from the supermarket. It’s a healthy meal and if you make it yourself, you’ll have that confidence that there’s nothing processed in it. On top of this, you can try different recipes and experiment with different flavors, spices, meats and ingredients in general.

In order to do this efficiently, I’ve had to try different soup maker models. For me personally, the best product is one that makes delicious soup in very little time. However, I always buy an appliance if it’s easy to use. What’s the point of buying electrical appliances that are so complicated that it takes 15 minutes to work out what button you’ve just pressed?

At this stage, you’re probably wondering what is the best soup maker I’ve come across so far?

Different Types of Soup Making Machines

There are lots of different products available but I tend to go with the kettle-type. This has it’s own drawbacks but the heating function is excellent and the end-results have almost always been very impressive. My personal favourite model is the Morphy Richards 48822. I’ve found that this is the best when it comes to making a tasty hot bowl of soup without requiring too much time. Obviously before you choose a soup maker for yourself, it’s a good idea to do your research and a good place to start would be this ReviewInsider guide: What is the Best Soup Maker in 2015?

In regards to my Morphy Richards 48822, the capacity is 1.6 litres, which is usually enough for 4 people. That’s perfect for me because there are 4 of us in the family. As I mentioned above, the most important aspect of buying an appliance like this is that it’s simple to use and this is extremely easy to use. All I ever need to do is to cut and chop the ingredients of my recipe and throw them into the machine. Following this, I just need to add the liquid up to the mark. There are different settings on the front and you can usually choose between a soup of smooth consistency or a slightly thicker consistency with bits. I usually use both of these settings depending on my mood. After completing each step, the soup takes only about 20 to 30 minutes to prepare and I’m ready to drink. The best part about this is that it’s absolute delicious and feels extremely fresh.

Using Ingredients

Sometimes I add meat too. However, one thing to note is that meat has to be cooked separately before being added to the soup making machine. Of course, I can’t expect the meat to cook in the machine so I have no complaints regarding this. I think in general, the ease of usability, the performance and price makes the Morphy Richards 48822 soup maker as the best I have ever owned. Sometimes the soup comes out a bit thicker so I just use the blend button to reduce the thickness a little bit. These functions have really impressed me and I don’t think I’ve found any bad points about this product yet. Of course, some people might not like the fact that you can’t really see what’s happening inside as the soup is being made but I don’t see this as much of an issue.

The Morphy Richards 48822 is easily the best soup maker that I've ever used.

In general, at a time when the weather is freezing cold, all you ever want is to come home from work and warm yourself up with a delicious bowl of freshly home-made soup and this is the perfect soup maker that allows me to do that. I love the way there aren’t any saucepans or other inconvenient appliances involved! I do believe that Morphy Richards have brought out some updated versions of the 48822 but mine’s still going strong so I’ve got no reason to buy another one.

Thinking of Baking this Christmas? Here are Some Tips

Winter is fully underway and it’s getting that time of the year when we must start preparing for the busy festive season. That’s right Christmas is almost here. While everyone will be getting excited with presents and enjoying Christmas music, some of us will be thinking about what we need to prepare for.

A lot of people plan on baking for the holiday season. Here are some tips that you can use for baking cakes and cookies.

If you’re trying a recipe for the very first time, it’s essential that you read it completely and following it exactly as you start making a delicious treat. This will ensure that nothing goes wrong at the wrong time. You need to measure all the ingredients exactly as described in the recipe. For dry ingredients, you can use regular apparatus but for wet ingredients you should use a glass-measuring cup.

When you’re about to put the ingredients into the oven, you need to ensure that this is a specific temperature. In simple terms, you need to wait for the oven to reach a specific temperature before putting the cake in. You can do this by using a thermometer, as the controls on the oven might not be accurate.

When you were making the batter, you normally have to use a mixer. In this case, a hand mixer will do the same job as a stand mixer. Using a stand mixer isn’t a rule and it certainly doesn’t hold any advantage over a hand mixer.

Making cookies is also quite common during the holiday season. If you’ve made cookie dough, it makes sense to leave this in the refrigerator for an hour or two. This will allow the flavours to blend through the entire area.

If you're thinking of baking holiday cookies this Christmas, here are some tips.

These are some of the tips that I’ve come across in the past. There are plenty more that you will learn as you become more experienced but I hope these will help you for the time being.

Try Making This Red Lentil Soup In A Slow Cooker

If you’ve had enough of meat, I think it’s time to try vegetable-based protein foods like legumes more specifically, lentils. These are very common in South Asian countries and provide a wonderful alternative to meat protein. Due to the fact that they are unprocessed, lentils will be suitable part of any healthy diet. On top of this, the flavour usually ensures that you can make a wide range of dishes based in lentils. This versatility combines wonderfully well with the health benefits and the relatively short preparation time.

When dealing with lentils, the tricky part is to choose which one because there are lots of different types available. For example, you can get green, red, yellow, brown lentils and many more. The red and yellow ones are usually split and disintegrate quite well and this makes them ideal for use in soups.

There is a red lentil soup recipe that I love and try to make on a regular basis. The advantage of red lentils in this case is the unique sweet taste and also the fact that you don’t need to presoak them before making the soup. This makes the entire process simple!

This red lentil soup turned out really tasty in the slow cooker.

We need some red lentils and vegetable broth. In addition to this, we need carrots cut into small pieces, sliced tomatoes, tomato paste, an onion and garlic cloves. We also need some spices and these come in the form of basil, thyme, cumin, black pepper and some salt to finish it off. All of these ingredients will need to be placed into a slow cooker to cook for up to 8 hours on a low setting. Alternatively, you could buy a good quality soup maker, which makes the process a lot easier and quicker. Anyway, if you’re using a slow cooker, you’re amazingly delicious red lentil soup will be ready to serve after the suggested time. You can add different sauces to this in order to change the taste according to your specific taste though you might need a few tries before you find the right combination.