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Raw coffee beans in gunny sack over old dark wooden table

The Different Types of Coffee Beans Available on the Market Today

Whether you are the early riser who needs that cup of java to get the day started, or you are the worker who needs a mid-afternoon boost of energy, most who drink coffee prefer their cup of joe to have a specific taste. 

The taste of your coffee is dependent on several factors: the types of coffee beans used, length of roast, and added ingredients like milk, sugar, honey, etc. 

The 5 Types of Coffee Beans

Traditionally, we’ve known the different coffee bean varieties to be arabica, robusta, liberica, and excelsa, but recently green coffee beans have been added to the list. 

#1: Green Coffee Beans 

The brown color of coffee beans that we are familiar with seeing, is due to roasting. Green coffee beans have not been roasted yet, therefore they retain their green color. 

Roasting is what gives coffee beans their flavor as well. You’d think there wouldn’t be much value or point in not roasting the beans, but there is. 

It is said that everything in moderation, even coffee, can provide health benefits. In this specific case, green coffee beans provide even more health benefits than roasted coffee bean varieties do. 

In their raw state, green coffee beans contain Chlorogenic Acid (CGA). 

CGA is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. It can be beneficial for decreasing blood pressure and weight loss. Once roasted, coffee beans lose their higher levels of potent CGA. 

Green coffee bean extract is known to provide increased energy as well.

Before roasting, coffee beans are quite bland. Meaning, you can add the extract of green coffee beans to just about any drink. It is recommended for use in citrus beverages for the best taste.

If you are the type of person who is not too keen on the taste of a regular cup of coffee, but still in need of an energy boost, green coffee bean extract may be the option for you. 

#2: Arabica 

This coffee bean is by far the most popular in the world market. It’s potentially popular because of its low acidity. 

The trees of this bean grow in high-altitudes with lots of shade and rainfall. They are typically short, which makes it a lot easier to harvest.

The arabica tree does not do well in mass production. When grown outside of their typical environment, it takes even more effort to produce a healthy yield than if they were grown in their home environment. 

They happen to be extremely prone to disease. This means growing them in mass production doubles the effort of the farmer to prevent the entire plot from experiencing a massive outbreak of disease.

When roasted, the bean is bursting with a bright body of multiple flavors.   

#3: Robusta

The second most produced coffee bean in the world is robusta. 

The robusta tree can take on a lot and is immune to most plant-based diseases. It doesn’t mind the altitude, but it prefers to live somewhere with lots of heat and little rain. 

Robusta is bursting with caffeine, which helps the tree defend itself against disease. Due to the higher yield of caffeine, it is more acidic than arabica. It’s known for having hints of chocolate within its taste. 

Because robusta grows well in many different environments and has a high caffeine yield, it is sold at a lower cost than arabica typically is.

#4: Liberica

This coffee bean variety only grows in the Philippines. It has a special place in the history of coffee beans too. 

In 1890, there was a shortage of arabica beans due to a disease called coffee leaf rust. Close to 90% of the world’s stock of arabica was affected. 

All around the world, they turned to the liberica plant, of which the Philippines was the sole producer of. 

During this time, the Philippines was still a U.S. territory. A quarrel between the two pushed the Philippines to declare independence.

This event caused the Philippines to be cut off from all supplies the U.S. provided, meaning the liberica plant was also cut off from world markets.

When liberica returned to world markets in 1995, arabica was the reigning sovereign of the coffee market. This is why the liberica coffee bean is a little harder to come by today. 

Liberica is known for having more smoky and wood-like flavors. The tree can grow up to 30 ft tall.

#5: Excelsa

Recently excelsa was re-named as a genus of liberica because it grows on trees that are 20-30 ft tall. It even grows in similar altitudes, primarily in Southeast Asia. 

Unlike liberica’s smoky flavors, excelsa is known for a fruity and tart like flavor.

It only makes up 7% of the world’s coffee market and is primarily used in blends to add a boost of fruit flavor. 

The Difference Between Types of Roasts

As previously explained, green coffee beans lack any roasting and are used in beverages by way of extract. So what is the difference between light, medium, and dark roasted coffee beans? 

The longer a bean is roasted determines how much oil is drawn out of the bean. The more oil drawn out, the less caffeine and acidity there is in the bean. 

Light roasts will have the highest acidity yield and dark roasts will have the lowest acidity yield.

If you are looking for a more caffeinated drink, you want a lighter roast. On the contrary, you could use green bean coffee extract for the highest potency of caffeine in your beverage of choice. 

Finding Your Dream Coffee Bean

Now that you know the difference in flavor the different types of coffee beans provide, you can start exploring which roast, or lack of roast, gives you the desired booster you need in your beverage. 

If you have always been a dark roast in the afternoon kind of person, try exploring the variety of roasts out there. Maybe green bean coffee extract in orange juice will be the proper pick me up you need.

Did you enjoy reading this post about the variety of coffee beans available? Be sure to venture around and read more posts like this one on our website!

How to Get Better at Cooking: The Top Tips to Know

When it comes to cooking meals at home, it is obvious that many people wish that they were better at cooking. If you’re one of those people, then you’ve come to the right place. 

There are tons of ways that you can learn how to get better at cooking! Of course, practice makes perfect but there are actually quite a few tips and tricks that you can start using right away to make you a better cook in the kitchen quickly. 

Keep reading for our guide on the top tips you need to know for how to get better at cooking. 

Learn How to Use a Knife

When it comes to using a knife there is a right way and there is a wrong way. Learning how to hold and use your knife the right way is so important when it comes to learning to be a better cook.

Holding your knife correctly can help give you confidence and even make the cooking process go much faster. 

You will first want to start by gripping the handle of the knife with three fingers underneath. Your first finger will be on the outside of the handle while your thumb is on the inside of the handle. 

Make sure that your other hand is holding the item that you are chopping with fingers curled inward so that they are protected from the knife.  

Check out this illustrated guide on the proper way to hold a knife if you’re still having trouble! 

The next time you’re in the kitchen you should practice holding your knife this way. You’ll find that if you’re not already holding your knife like this that it makes a huge difference when it comes to cutting and chopping up anything and everything!  

Do Some Planning Beforehand

Unfortunately, when it comes to cooking you can’t just walk into the kitchen and expect to whip up a quick meal. A good cook will always do a lot of planning before they even think about turning the oven on. 

Planning starts when you decide what you will want to cook. For example, if you’re going to be having a dinner party get together and want to prepare a meal, then you’re going to have to do a lot of planning beforehand.

Look up some recipes and write down all of the ingredients that you will need as well as how much. Then you will want to take inventory and see which ingredients you’ll need to go to the store to buy. 

Planning before you cook may even go a step further than just figuring out what ingredients you’re going to need. You may also want to figure out what steps should be done first or if something can be done early. Cooking takes time to complete so having a plan will be important when it comes to finishing the process. 

Read the Whole Recipe Before You Start

One mistake that many amateur cooks make is that they forget to read the entire recipe before they start cooking which can just lead to a huge mess. You may realize halfway through the cooking process that you forget a specific ingredient or don’t have a piece of equipment that you need to complete the recipe. 

Make sure that before you even start cooking a recipe that you read the entire recipe and visualize yourself cooking it. This is a good way to make sure that you have all the ingredients and that you will be able to make the recipe. 

You might even want to read it a few times just so that it is fresh in your mind and you don’t have to keep referring back to it every time a new step comes up.

Foods Guy is a great resource to have bookmarked if you’re ever looking for tips on cooking or some delicious recipes to try out. 

Taste as You Go 

One thing that a lot of cooks forget to do is taste their food as it cooks! The flavors of food can change develop as it cooks meaning that you should remember to be tasting it as it cooks. 

For example, the longer a dish cooks the moisture will evaporate which could make a dish saltier. A dish could even lose acid the longer it cooks. 

This is why good cooks will taste their dishes as they cook. You will know as you go if your dish needs more salt, acid, or any additional spice so that it is perfect once it has finished cooking. 

Preparing Your Ingredients First

One thing that many great chefs do is follow the art of Mise en Place, which is a French phrase that means everything in its place. This means that you will bring out every single ingredient, chop them, measure them, or peel them before you even start cooking. 

You may notice that a lot of chefs that you watch on television use Mise en Place because it is a stress-free way to begin cooking. Have you ever started cooking and then burned something on the stove because you were busy measuring out another ingredient? 

If so, then this is why you should start practicing Mise en place!

Of course, it may take you a bit of extra time to prepare all of the ingredients instead of multitasking while everything is cooking but it will help you to be less stressed and make sure that your food comes out perfectly. 

How to Get Better at Cooking Quickly

When it comes to learning how to get better at cooking there are plenty of different tips and tricks that you can use in the kitchen. Implement the advice we’ve given you and you’ll notice that your cooking skills will improve greatly. 

Of course, when it comes to cooking you’re going to want to practice but make sure you’re practicing good habits in the kitchen. 

If you’re passionate about food, then make sure to keep scrolling our blog as we have tons of delicious recipes that you can try in your own kitchen. 

Taiwanese Food 101: 5 of the Most Famous Dishes You Have to Try

For some reason, the excellent cuisine of the island of Taiwan is often overlooked. But it should not be so!

Taiwanese food is among some of the best food in the world. The capital, in particular, of this fascinating place, is a haven for gastronomy lovers.

You may not be familiar with it, but we are sure you will love Taiwanese food. Here are 5 of the most famous dishes found in Taiwan:

Taiwanese Food: The 5 Best Dishes

It is quite challenging to list only 5 dishes as Taiwanese cuisine has an abundance of great food. But these 5 are sure to appeal to any palate and offer a great introduction to the rich gastronomic traditions of Taiwan.

1. Hot Pot

Asian cuisine is known for its soups. Taiwan, in particular, is known for the Hot Pot. The Hot Pot is a delicious soup to be had at any time of the day.

It is available in a casual style found in hole-in-the-wall type restaurants as well as in a refined style, found in fine dining restaurants. The soup can have a variety of ingredients ranging from pork bones to jujube to pickled cabbage. It can be dipped with seafood, meat, wontons, mushrooms, and tofu – among other ingredients.

2. Gua Bao

This is the Taiwanese hamburger. The burger is made of steamed buns called mantou. Mantou is stuffed with pork belly that was mixed with rice wine, soy sauce, and the Chinese five-spice powder

The burger is also complemented with peanuts, mustard greens, and cilantro. This is a great lunch option and if you are looking for a Western classic meal with an Asian twang, the Gua Bao should be on your list.

3. Fried Chicken

You may not have expected this. But Taiwan is famous for its fried chicken dish. Unlike what you may be used to, this fried chicken is deep-fried twice, making it extra crispy.

It is then tossed with salt and pepper along with basil leaves and the famous Chinese five-spice powder. You do not want to miss this delicious fried chicken. After tasting them, you will find it difficult to try any other form of fried chicken!

4. Stinky Tofu

Taiwan is famous for its Stinky Tofu. The tofu is fermented with a selection of Chinese herbs, dry fish – sometimes even shrimp, mustard, and amaranth greens. The tofu is tender and is delicious.

The smell will definitely turn off many who are not used to this dish. But part of trying different cuisines is to experiment and be bold. We urge you to bite into Stinky Tofu!

5. Snow Ice

Is this even a dish? We are sure you are wondering what is snow ice – as the name does sound unusual. 

But after helping yourself to a delicious Taiwanese meal, you need to cool down with dessert. This flavored ice dessert is often topped with fresh fruit. Other options are to add red beans, mung beans, or taro. Sometimes you will find Tapioca balls and grass jelly added to the mix. The ice is dipped in sweetened condensed milk to give it a great kick.

Dig In!

Now that you know about the 5 best dishes in Taiwanese food, it is time to dig in! Enjoy this rich and unique cuisine.

Be sure to read more great content on the tastiest cuisines of the world!

Great Options and Advice to Help You Find Health Food to Go

If you’re a health-conscious person that’s always on the go, you know how hard it can be to find good food.

Airports and gas stations seem to only offer high-fat options with no nutritional value. Restaurants cook their food in fatty oils, making even healthy meals calorically dense.

If you know what to look for, you’ll see that there are plenty of health food to go options available, though. Keep reading to learn the best healthy restaurant options to order when you’re on the go.

Load up on Veggies

The best healthy food to go options are brimming with fresh and fibrous vegetables. 

Salads are always a hit if dining out healthily is your goal. Choose satiating options chock full of lettuce and your favorite vegetables. 

Reach for the veggies and dip in the coolers at the airport instead of a chocolate bar. Vegetables will be more satiating and keep you fuller for longer.

Steer Clear of the Soda Cooler

The best beverage for health-conscious people is plain water. Its plentiful benefits will make it your go-to beverage of choice. 

Traveling can make it challenging to stick to our regular hydration schedule. It’s tempting to reach for a soda or fancy coffee when we’re out of our routine. These tasty, sugar-laden drinks provide no nutrition and only short-lived pleasure.

Diet sodas aren’t a better alternative, either. They’ve been linked to heart and kidney conditions. Studies show that aspartame, the sweetener in diet sodas, can cause (or worsen) neurophysiological symptoms like depression.

Focus on Building a Balanced Plate

All your meals should contain carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein.

Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. The other half can be 50/50 carbs and protein. 

Healthy carbohydrate options include wholegrain bread, oatmeal, and brown rice. Reach for healthy proteins like chicken, beans, and seafood. Avocados, whole eggs, and cheese are great fat choices.

Talk to Your Server

The job of restaurant servers is to make sure their tables leave happy. Never feel like you’re inconveniencing your waiter by asking questions about the menu. 

Knowing which menu words are synonymous with “unhealthy” or “fatty” is beneficial. 

Battered or breaded means the offering is coated and then deep-fried. 

Aioli might sound like a fancy sauce, but it’s just mayonnaise.  

If a menu item is crispy or golden, it means it’s cooked in oil. If it’s smothered, the chef is going to cover it in a heavy sauce of some kind. 

If the menu mentions how cheesy an item is, it means their cooks will go heavy with the cheese. If they say a dish is loaded with something, you can expect a hefty serving of unhealthy ingredients.

Don’t be afraid to ask your server to make healthy swaps. Most restaurants will be more than happy to accommodate your wishes. 

Health Food to Go Is the Way to Go 

Now that you know how to find health food to go, you can travel worry-free. There’s no need to fret about blowing your diet if you follow our tips.

Check out our Healthy Living section for more tips on eating healthy. 

Hungry for Southern Comfort Food? 7 Dishes You Need to Try

There are a few things that the Southern US states are known for.

Their rich culture, hospitality, and roots in bluegrass music are just the beginning. The Southern comfort foods this area is known for are something to behold.

Sweet desserts using fresh fruits. Rich gravies, fried meats, and flaky biscuits. There’s nothing quite like the traditional comfort foods of the South.

Read on to find our favorite dishes to whip up at home or treat yourself to when you dine out. 

1. Hush Puppies

If you’re a true Southerner, you know how almost any food can be made better by frying it. Hush puppies are a delicious fried cornbread with a crispy outside and doughy inside. 

They’re served best as a side with fish fry or as an accompaniment for a BBQ. 

2. Biscuits

Traditionally, this southern comfort food was made with lard. These days even southerners are trying to be more health-conscious, so they use shortening instead.

Biscuits are a yummy accompaniment for fried chicken meals or served on the side with breakfast.

3. Fried Catfish

Remember how we said any food tastes better when it’s fried? Seafood is certainly no exception to this rule. In fact, seafood is one of the staples in a lot of Southern cuisines. 

Catfish are common in the Gulf states, so if you want a comforting fish dish, catfish is where it’s at.

4. Fried Chicken

This list of the best Southern food would not be complete without mentioning one more fried dish.

Chicken is one of the most common and versatile Southern dishes.

Fry it and serve with grits or cornbread. Stick it between syrup-laden Belgian waffles. Your southern-inspired mac and cheese recipe will pair nicely with fried chicken, too. 

5. Gumbo

Gumbo is a New Orleans classic. It’s truly a melting pot of a dish, taking influence from the French, Choctaw Indians, and Cajuns. 

The great thing about gumbo is that you can tweak it to your exact tastes.

Love shrimp and crab? Try a classic seafood gumbo.

Prefer chicken? How about a chicken and sausage gumbo instead?

6. Peach Cobbler

Nothing says “comfort food” quite like a delectable dessert. Though rich chocolate desserts often take the spotlight, there’s something to be said for fruit-centric treats, too.

Since Georgia is one of the top peach producing states, we had to include peach cobbler on our list. 

Warm peaches with a crumbly and sweet crust are the perfect combo to end a meal. Serve it with a scoop of ice cream for the ultimate sweet treat. 

7. Bananas Foster

How does a dessert made with bananas, ice cream, and a sweet buttery sauce sound? If we have you drooling, you need to try authentic bananas foster.

This dessert originated in New Orleans and is a must if you go out to eat. Since it’s flambeed, chefs often turn its preparation into a tableside performance. 

Whip Up Your Favorite Southern Comfort Foods

There’s nothing quite like cozying up with Southern comfort foods. They not only taste fantastic, but they can fuel the soul, too. 

Check out our Recipes section for mouthwatering comfort foods to try today.

4 Reasons Why You Should Taste African Coffee

Are you a coffee lover? Studies by Harvard show that it’s a healthy choice for most people when drunk in moderation.

You’re probably pretty picky about what coffee you drink. You no doubt have your favorite coffee shop chain or brand. But if you drink the same coffee every day, it might be time to shake it up a little bit.

You should consider drinking African coffee, which can be superior to what you drink. Here are some of the best coffee brands to try from Africa.

1. Not Starbucks

Starbucks and other chains like Costa Coffee are all the rage in America, and you might get used to drinking your favorite beverage from them. However, they are expensive and not always ethical. 

They pay their workers very low and have been caught in numerous scandals trying to minimize their taxes. Purchasing your coffee from here can be problematic for these reasons.

You are better off purchasing African coffee, which can be a more ethical choice. Making this at home for your daily commute can also save you time rather than having to queue for it every morning.

2. It Tastes so Good

African coffee has a unique taste that it’s indescribable. Unlike a coffee that is processed and laced with sugar, syrups, and other extras, African coffee is often served in a purer form.

The beans are roasted and the coffee is ground up and presented black, with maybe a splash of milk if you need it. The taste alone is enough to satisfy you. Sugar, syrups, and milk-heavy drinks are what make coffee from American chains unhealthy and can lead to a host of long term illnesses such as type 2 diabetes.

You can even start to have difficulty working because you have such a sugar crash ever day.

3. It’s Strong

Since African coffee brands are so strong, you don’t have to drink much of it to get your coffee fix.

Rather than gulping back a huge mug of coffee each morning, you will feel satisfied with a small shot-like glass that is rich and in aroma and flavor.

You can prepare it yourself, and you can decide what goes into the coffee and what does not, rather than wondering what additives and chemicals have been added at the coffee shop.

4. You’re Supporting African Workers

Africa is an impoverished place, and by purchasing African coffee, you are supporting their workforce and ensuring they have a job to feed their families.

Of course, many Africans are exploited, so they don’t earn a decent wage. However, there is a lot you can do to make sure you are only supporting ethical brands.

Research

Don’t rely on other people to give you information about various African coffee brands or the coffee brands themselves. Instead, do your own research.

Find out where their coffee is sourced, what farms they use, which people they employ, and what companies are associated with the brand to ensure that the workers are being treated ethically.

Reach out to other people on social media. Perhaps there are groups for people campaigning for fair coffee that can give you some more information on your brand of choice.

Fairtrade

One of the ways to ensure that you are using a healthy brand is to use only brands that are labeled as Fairtrade. They are an organization that ensures workers are well paid for their work.

If you are unsure about a brand you want to use, it might be worth contacting them to find out more about the work they do and how they ensure that all the African coffee brands they work with treat their workers fairly.

Some African Coffee Brands to Try

If you are wondering what African coffee brands to try, consider giving these a go:

Fresh Roasted LLC Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee

The Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee brand takes great care over the environmental impact of its beans. Tanzania has a great history of coffee, dating back to the 19th century when the country was ruled by Germany.

TBC’s coffee has hints of lemon, peach, and even black tea, giving it a distinctive taste you won’t find in other coffees. This is what makes coffee from Africa great.

Stone Street Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee

You will want to try Yirgacheffe coffee. It originated in Ethiopia, once an Italian colony, and the Italian’s love and know their coffee. The beans are roasted lightly, yet it has a tang to its taste.

Often voted one of the world’s best coffee brands, this is one to try, though be aware the description of it being a ‘light’ coffee is misleading, as it’s pretty strong. Ethiopian coffee is distinctive.

The Best Coffee Brands Come From Africa

When people think of the continent of Africa, they often think of safaris, waterfalls, and vast open plains to be explored.

But in fact, Africa has a great coffee scene, some of the best in the world, that can put some of the bigger American corporations like Starbucks to shame. You are much better off buying coffee from an African supplier and making it at home.

This way, you get to decide what goes into your morning drink and do not have to worry about the health implications of a sugary drink with additives and fatty milk.

If you are interested in reading more about the best coffee brands in Africa, be sure to check out the rest of our blog.

Beef steaks on the grill with flames

5 Types of Grills Ranked From Best to Worst!

BBQ season is almost upon us again. Time to fire up the grill and get ready for your backyard bashes. Speaking of grills, you still need to pick one up.

The taste of your food will depend on the quality of the grill you have. Between gas charcoal, electric, wood fire, and ceramic, which one provides the best results?

None of these major grill types is a bad choice, but they do have their own fair share of pros and cons. Good thing we’re here to help you by ranking them. Keep reading to find out which grill comes out on top!

1. Gas Grills 

Out of all the grill types, gas is the most popular. They don’t take too long to get hot so you can get meal preparation underway fast. They cool down about as fast as they heat up and they’re easy to clean.  

Meat that’s prepared on a gas grill is much healthier for you than meat cooked on any other type of grill as well. Gas grills are the most popular and probably the most expensive type of grill on the market. Despite how hot they can get, the heat they put out is still no match for charcoal grills. 

If you’re looking for a classic BBQ taste when you bite into your burger, it’s sad to say that gas grills fall short on that as well. 

Best Gas Grill 

The best gas grill overall is the Broil King Regal. It hooks right into your home’s gas supply so you never have to worry about picking up fuel. 

If you don’t have a way to connect the grill to your home, no worries. It comes in a propane model as well. It has 5 burners that you can set as high or low as you need making it ideal for preparing slow-cooked foods.

2. Charcoal Grills

Charcoal grills are the second most popular type of grill. They do take a lot longer to heat up then gas grills do. It takes around a half-hour for them to get hot once you light the charcoal. 

Heating it can take even longer on days that are cold and windy. The cleanup process is about as fun as trying to make it get hot. It takes quite a bit of elbow grease to get rid of charcoal stains. 

The extra time you spend doing all this will all be worth it in the end for the taste. Everything you cook on it will have that unique taste everyone associates with a summer BBQ. 

Best Charcoal Grill

The Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill doesn’t have side tables or any of the bells and whistles other grills have but that keeps the price down and doing without isn’t that big of a deal. It’s large while still remaining lightweight enough to carry around and it has a handy ash catcher that makes clean up a little bit easier.

3. Electric Grills

If you live somewhere that doesn’t allow for outdoor cooking, electric grills are the way to go. You plug them in and use them indoors. 

They make for a simple grilling experience and don’t have the same set of inconveniences that other grill types have. You won’t get that classic BBQ feel or taste from the food you cook though.

Plugging them in also isn’t optional so if you want to grill while camping out under the stars, an electric grill isn’t going to help you much. 

Best Electric Grill

The Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Grill provides an even distribution of heat so everything comes out cooked to perfection and juicy. It’s small and lightweight so it’s easy to carry around with you. 

It can fit around a dozen hamburgers on it all at once and it has a porcelain surface area that makes cleaning up a breeze. 

4. Wood Fire Grills

The first grills to ever arrive on the market were wood fire grills. It will take a while for the fire to burn down enough for you to start cooking your food and you’ll have to keep an eye on it.

Even with the extra time you take to cook, nothing can beat the smokey taste that it provides. 

Best Wood Fire Grill 

Wood fire grills take a notoriously long time to get going unless it’s the BioLite FirePit. It has air jets that blow oxygen into the fire. This feature keeps the flames going strong for quite a long time before you have to throw more wood in. 

It also keeps smoke from rising up into your face which is super helpful. Unlike a lot of other grills on this list, it’s not that big. You’ll only be able to cook a few burgers at a time on it.  

5. Ceramic Grills 

Ceramic grills produce the juiciest meat that you can get due to the limited airflow. The material keeps heat and temperatures regulated while the food is cooking. It’s no wonder that they’re so expensive. 

They also weigh a ton so you won’t be able to take it from location to location without quite a bit of effort.

Best Ceramic Grill

Kamado ceramic grills originated in Japan but they are making quite a splash in the states. The best Kamado grill you can buy is the Kamado Joe.

The unique style and shape of the grill allow the user to cook several types of food all at once at different temperatures if need be. The top of the grill can be lifted using a single finger making it not only a versatile cooking experience but a comfortable one as well. 

Your Guide to the Different Grill Types 

With BBQ season almost upon us, it’s time to pick out your grill. with all the different grill types out there, it can be hard to pick the best one to suit your needs. We hope we’ve helped you narrow down the choices a little so you can get prepared for the summer. 

Are you new to the grilling game? Check out our blog daily for tips on choosing and preparing the best cuts of meat. 

Mitragyna speciosa or kratom leaves with medicinal products in capsules and powder in white ceramic bowl and wooden table, top view

5 Awesome Health Benefits of Kratom You Need to Know

Much like the medical uses of CBD oil, the western world is starting to pay a lot closer attention to the health benefits of kratom. Kratom is a tree that grows in places like Malasia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Like other plants, it’s leaves have powerful side effects (such as pain relief). Unfortunately, like poppy plants that produce opiates, kratom can have negative side effects if abused, which has led to some controversy in its use in the United States. However, when used appropriately, kratom can present amazing health benefits.

The Top Health Benefits of Kratom

Kratom can have a lot of different effects based on how you ingest it and how much you use. In the past, people have used kratom leaves for tea, smoking, and even chewing. However, we are now grinding them up, so they can be ingested in pill form, such as in Gold Bali kratom pills.

While there is still much research to be completed, kratom is proving to be an amazing plant. Keep reading for the top health benefits of kratom.

1. Pain Relief

Pain relief has been shown to be one of the most common health benefits of kratom. Kratom possesses several anti-inflammatory alkaloids, such as Epicatechin and Rhynchophylline. 

While most strains of kratom have some level of anti-inflammatory alkaloids, the Green Bali and Yellow Borneo strains tend to be more effective at treating pain.

2. Improved Immunity

When it comes to our body’s innate defense capabilities against viruses and diseases, a strong immune system is vital to our health and survival. Kratom has alkaloids that are widely believed to have positive effects on our immune systems. These alkaloids have various responses in our bodies (diuretic, anti-leukemic, etc.) that align for overall improved immunity.

3. Increased Libido

There are several health benefits of kratom that can lead to an improved libido or sex drive. For example, many strains of kratom are believed to reduce stress and anxiety, two major factors when it comes to erectile dysfunction and other disorders. Kratom also helps increase blood flow, which is paramount for high-functioning sexual organs.

4. Stress Relief

Our society is all about measuring success, the pressure to perform, and running our selves into the ground to keep up with everyone. Fortunately, stress relief is one of the more common health benefits of kratom. The compounds of kratom attach to specific receptors in our bodies that help regulate our hormones, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.

5. Anti-Diarrheal 

Finally, for those suffering from chronic diarrhea, the health benefits of kratom can help them control their bowel movements. Kratom has agents within its leaves that help slow down muscle movements in the gut. This can be incredibly beneficial for people who have Chrohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome.

Want More Knowledge About Food and Other Consumables?

If you found this article helpful and informative, there’s more where that came from. If you’re passionate about food and like to know what you’re putting in your body, check out some of our other articles before you go. Our site is where foodies come to talk.

How to Create an Easy Weekly Menu When Your Family Has Strict Diets

Has anyone in your family recently transitioned to a restrictive diet? Maybe someone identified that they’re eating too much sugar. Or maybe you’re in a unique position where everyone has different dietary needs.

When one person is gluten-free and another follows a plant-based diet, it can be overwhelming to think of what to make for dinner. 

These meals are important to your family’s lives in so many ways. Food can fight depression and it can provide fuel for intense physical demands. 

And since it’s not an option to ditch the family meals, let’s explore a few ways you can create an easy weekly menu when your family has strict diets. 

  1. Get Clear on the Restrictions

It’s relatively easy to plan for calorie restrictions but it’s another thing to account for something complicated like a peanut allergy. Get clear on the things you can and cannot use in your weekly menu, and then see if you can create balanced meals for everyone. 

There’s almost nothing more frustrating than realizing you’ve taken time and effort to create a special meal that someone cannot or will not eat. So, be sure you’re crystal clear on any restrictions people have (even if it’s foods they simply refuse to eat).

  1. Focus on Balance

Regardless of what you’re restricting, each meal should have a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Since vegetables are on almost every list of “approved” foods, try to fill each plate halfway with fruits and veggies. 

The remaining portion of each plate can be divided equally among protein and whole grains. Depending on your family’s needs, the protein may vary from person to person, but if you so choose, you can cook an animal-based protein for one person and a plant-based protein for another. 

  1. Choose Whole Foods

When you’re working with dietary restrictions, processed foods can often be a problem. If someone is trying to avoid a certain ingredient like gluten, peanuts, trans-fats or MSG, you’re going to have a lot of label-reading to do. Many processed foods contain all of these ingredients that can render your weekly meal plan unusable. 

Instead, opt for whole foods that only have one ingredient, like fruits and veggies. If you want to buy something with more ingredients, look for the items that have the fewest ingredients. 

Here’s a good tip: if you’re buying bread, look in the frozen section or in the bakery. The most damaging ingredients are the ones that help preserve foods for long periods of time. So, fresh-made or frozen bread is often healthier than the stuff that sat on a store shelf for an extended time. 

Once you get into the groove of creating weekly meals for your family, even though they have strict diets, it’ll become a lot easier. As you find recipes that work, save them to a recipe file, so you have some go-to dishes that you can make often. 

And it also helps to ask for input. Although it can be nice to accommodate everyone, it can feel overwhelming when you’re doing all the work. At the very least, ask for some input on what to make. And at best, ask for help planning and cooking.

Secret recipe. Close up photo of chef hands with several tattoos adding a sauce to italian pasta Carbonara. Food concept

4 Ways to Make Italian Recipes Healthier

Italians are known all over the globe as the creators and masters of cooking delectable dishes like pasta and pizza. It is the home of meals that food lovers and enthusiasts absolutely love. There are even various gastronomic guides posted on the web that can be used by tourists to figure out the best restaurants to visit.

It is undeniable that Italian meals are superb, but some are not the best food you should take if you want to be healthier. Nowadays, a lot of people are investing a lot of money, time, and effort to have a more nutritious diet. Various diet trends, like intermittent fasting and keto diet, have now surfaced and the demand for healthier food and recipes has increased. 

If you have decided to recreate and make Italian dishes at home, there are recipes online, like A Guide For Your 20s, that you can follow. Most of these recipes include traditional cooking and recipes. If you want to make it more nutritious, there are ways to accomplish that.

Here are 4 ways to make Italian recipes healthier:

Add High-Protein and High-Fiber Food

Instead of adding meat to your sauce and pasta, you can use beans and legumes which are rich in protein. By adding lentils, chickpeas, and peas, your Italian dish can be cooked with more nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Also, when making pasta bolognese, you can use beans as a meat-alternative.

Adding more fiber-enriched food into your recipe can also help make your dish healthier. Fiber is a healthy carbohydrate that can reduce the chances of colon cancer and improve heart health by lowering cholesterol levels. It is also an excellent nutrient that can aid you in losing fat and weight. If you’re into Italian salads, you can put spinach, beets, almonds, or sunflower seeds to create a high-fiber meal. 

Use Gluten-Free Ingredients

Italians are world-renowned for their pasta dishes. They have carbonara, lasagna, puttanesca, and more pasta recipes that are also served in Italian-inspired restaurants all over the globe. This food is indeed delicious and versatile, though, pasta is high in carbohydrates that are more difficult to be digested by the body and also results in high blood sugar. 

Fortunately, you can stop eating regular pasta and munch on gluten-free pasta instead. These are often made of chickpea, quinoa, corn, and lentils. You can purchase these organic and healthier kinds of pasta in the market. If these are not available in stores near you, you can also choose to make your own homemade pasta, which is indeed healthier than instant pasta or noodles.

Chicken Over Pork and Beef Meat

To create a delicious, healthy, and meaty Italian recipe, it is better to use white meat than dark meat. Instead of using pork to create meatballs, you can choose to add chicken or turkey. While it is true that dark meat contains tons of nutrients like Vitamin B12, white meat is healthier as it contains less saturated fat and it is an excellent source of protein.

It is also best to broil meat instead of frying it. The process of frying includes the use of cooking oil, which contains a considerable amount of fats and calories that can be unhealthy for the body. This is not only applicable to meat but vegetables and pasta as well. Choose to include broiling and baking in your recipes to create a more nutritious meal.

Use Honey and Fruits For Desserts

Have you ever heard of tiramisu, panna cotta, and semifreddo? These are just a few of the famous desserts the Italians have created and mastered. However, everyone knows desserts and sweets are the enemies when you’re trying to be more conscious about your health and fitness. They contain high contents of sugar that are indeed unhealthy, particularly if you have medical conditions like diabetes. 

As an alternative for sugar, you can opt to use honey as a sweetener for your desserts. Because it contains antioxidants, honey is great for improving cardiovascular and digestive health. In addition to that, you can also use fruits to make your Italian dessert more scrumptious and nutritious at the same time. Incorporating ingredients that are good for one’s health in your recipes, such as greek yogurt and dark chocolate, is another great way to make your body nourished while consuming sweets. 

Conclusion

These ways to make Italian recipes healthier are also applicable to other types of dishes. Instead of dining in restaurants and fast food establishments, you can easily recreate Italian meals with a more nutritious twist in your home.