Lohnes: Fall is the perfect time to begin healthier eating routines

Breadcrumb Trail Links Local News From kitchen tools to tasty menus, here are a few foodie finds that will help you put healthy, tasty meals on your menu. Author of the article: Karl Lohnes  •  Special to the Montreal Gazette Frozen cook-it-yourself meal kits make preparation convenient and delicious. Beef […]

From kitchen tools to tasty menus, here are a few foodie finds that will help you put healthy, tasty meals on your menu.

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Preparing, serving and eating healthily are the key ingredients to getting your dining groove on this fall. If you’re like me, autumn ushers in a change in what I’m eating: less fresh summer fruits and veggies mean a turn toward easy-to-prepare pasta, pizza and other warm starchy foods.

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But this year, eating trends are leaning toward healthier at-home cooking that incorporates convenient food prep, whole foods (whether fresh or frozen) and easy but impressive meals that everyone can enjoy. With back-to-school and work on the schedule, fall is the perfect time to introduce healthier routines, so from kitchen tools to tasty menus, I’ve listed a few foodie finds that will help you put healthy, tasty meals on your menu this fall.

Equip your kitchen with the right tools to make prepping a healthy dinner easy. Watercolour Planter for utensils, $13, Winners
Equip your kitchen with the right tools to make prepping a healthy dinner easy. Watercolour Planter for utensils, $13, Winners

Product 1: Make it efficiently

Being efficient in the kitchen means having the right tools at hand to make your culinary preparations go smoothly. Do you roast and bake a lot during the cold weather months? Take stock of your pots and pans now to ensure you have the right size pan for a family-sized turkey (Thanksgiving will be here before you know it!), as well as one for a small chicken.

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My goal this fall is to do more non-stick wok cooking — smaller amounts of meat, larger amounts of veggies and using less oil for frying. For that, I’ll need new silicone spatulas to protect the non-stick wok I am Jonesing over. I plan to keep tools within arm’s reach in a sturdy countertop container. Last but not least: stock up on cleaning supplies to make after-dinner cleanup a breeze.

Technology and power are two essential features in a blender that allow you to prep whole foods easily for a healthy eating program. A2500 Ascent Series Smart Blender, $700, Vitamix.com
Technology and power are two essential features in a blender that allow you to prep whole foods easily for a healthy eating program. A2500 Ascent Series Smart Blender, $700, Vitamix.com

Product 2: Make it healthy

Starting a regular fall work or study routine should include saying goodbye to old eating and drinking habits that you’ve fallen into over the lazy days of summer. Eating whole foods is an excellent way to get natural vitamins, nutrients and fibre into your diet. Bonus: you feel fuller and your body is fuelled in a healthy manner. Unlike juicing, blending whole foods ensures minimal food waste and gives you the benefits of fibre and more nutrients.

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One such helper is the familiar and super-powered Vitamix blender, which turns 100 this year. Vitamix’s Ascent Series blenders have wireless technology and an app that offers 17 programs and over 500 recipes. The self-detect attachment containers are a cool new feature, perfect for fall smoothies, spreads and soups. The machine’s technology senses which container is being used and adjusts the blending speed and style to the container’s size and usage. Smart technology and ultra-power blending? Count me in for some fast, fresh fall food.

Product 3: Make it convenient

Cooking at home can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially if you don’t love to cook. It takes planning to create a week’s worth of tasty, healthy meals. That explains why meal boxes have been gaining popularity. The fresh food arrives at your door already in exact measurements. You simply prep your chosen meal according to the instructions on the recipe card. The challenge is that you have to prepare the fresh food in the box within a couple of days.

I’ve recently discovered a way to preplan and have prepared ingredients ready for cooking whenever I’m ready to cook. The folks at M&M Food Market (formerly M&M Meats) have created prepared meal kits that are frozen, allowing you to thaw and cook when you want. At around $7 per serving, it’s an easy and economical way to impress impromptu weeknight guests with a fast and easy meal. Just pull your meal from the freezer a few hours before you are ready to assemble and cook like a pro.

Do you have a decor dilemma or want to give feedback? You can contact Karl on Instagram at @karl_lohnes.

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