Add pureed produce to meals
To make your meals healthier, puree fruits and vegetables and incorporate them into your recipes. Some common ways to do this are adding pureed vegetables or fruits into baked goods, such as brownies or muffins (replacing oil with applesauce) or in ground beef dishes, spaghetti sauce, chili or soups.
The first reader tip shares her secret fruit addition:
Today I substituted a cup of pureed cantaloupe (I had a leftover cup of cantaloupe chunks, so I just pureed them in the food processor) for the milk in the pancakes, and they were delicious. You couldn’t taste the difference. They were moist, light and fluffy. Next time I’ll try sweet potatoes. My son would never touch a cantaloupe, so I’m pretty happy he liked these pancakes. — Bethany, email
I take the magnets that are used for advertisements on phone books and cut them in half and glue them on the back of stationary pads to use on the fridge. — Harvey H., email
Copycat mascarpone cheese:
Use this when making tiramisu. I also love this spread on bagels. Enjoy!
16 ounces of cream cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
Whip until combined. — Brenda, Massachusetts
Margarine product (survival food):
A while back I was given a survival-type large can of something called Margarine Product. Directions were to add water to make margarine. I just opened it and was surprised to see it is a powder. So far I have used it in bread and pancakes. I want to make either biscuits or piecrust for a chicken pot pie, so I will see how it comes out. I may just make dumplings. — Jo, Florida
Note from Sara: This product can be found at honeyvillegrain.com. It’s wonderful for long-term storage.
Easy meatless meal:
Make portobello mushroom burgers. Brush them with olive oil and grill them. Serve exactly like hamburgers using the same toppings. They’re so good, and very filling. Yeah, I know, we didn’t believe it either. But then we tried them! — S.D., Minnesota
Muffin tin pies:
Rather than make big pies, you can use a muffin pan. Grease it and press in pie dough — you can make your own crust or cut prepared crust with a 4-inch round glass or cookie cutter to make it fit into each muffin cup. Don’t forget to score the bottom of the crust. Then fill each crust with pie filling. — Cindy, New York
My son loves this at Christmas. It can make a great gift item, too.
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn or roughly 4 quarts (16 cups) popped
2 cups white chocolate chips or Wilton candy wafer melts
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy canes
Place peppermint candy canes or candies in a plastic bag and crush. Carefully melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Put the popcorn in a large bowl and drizzle the white chocolate evenly over the popcorn, then sprinkle on the crushed peppermint candy. Once it is evenly coated, put the popcorn on wax paper to cool. Once cool, break into smaller pieces and put in a gift bag or tin. Optional: Use chocolate chips. — Kelly, email