The country is caught in a heat wave, and a lot of severe storms have plagued the whole area lately. we had our turn last night. We were lucky here on the mountain, the wind went screaming across the peaks for a short time but all we got was needed rain. Our neighboring cities were not so lucky, wind damage, trees down, power out in a lot of places and 2 deaths in the Smoky mountain park area.
So lets look at some ideas to keep us cool and snack healthy. One of my everyday pleasures is Greek Yogurt, made with one ingredient, organic skim milk. No sugar or other stuff added. This allows you to add what you want, fresh fruit, honey etc. If you are a chocolate person, this is a great recipe. To one cup of yogurt, stir in a heaping teaspoon of cocoa powder, a teaspoon of honey and a splash of vanilla. Stir well and enjoy. I am thinking of tossing in a few nuts next time. Chopped pecans would be my pick.
How about some chips? Banana chips that is. Slice some bananas thin, can't be over ripe, dip in lemon juice, place on a cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours. Flip them over and bake another 1 and 1/2 hours or til crisp. Store in baggie or other container to keep fresh.
Something really cold? How about Frozen Spiced Chai? In a pan put 1 pint of half and half, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 4 chai tea bags and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, let sit 5 minutes and remove the tea bags. Refrigerate for 1 hour, then pour into a blender with 2 cup of ice cubes. Blend until smooth. Serve in dishes with whipped cream and shaved chocolate, or just plain.
How about some quick cookies? Try mixing 1 cup of Nutella with 1 egg and 1 cup of flour. Mix well, shape into small balls and bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes.
Here's an idea I heard this week, if you are avoiding eggs or don't have one and need one in a recipe, soak 1 tablespoon of flax seeds in 3 tablesoons of water until gelatinous, and use in place of one egg.
On my Grit site this am I was given many ideas for the abundant supply of zucchini we are having this year, one of my favorite dishes is Eggplant Parmesan, but I found out you can use zucchini the same way. So I just sauteed up a batch of them, breaded, and when they are cool I will freeze them in suitable sized containers for future use. The article assured me they are good keepers fixed this way. Of course, will have to try some for supper tonight. Their idea was to put spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a baking dish, then cooked sausage, then layer the zucchini and more sauce, bake adding cheese toward the end of baking.
If you are watching labels and finding stuff in sunscreen you do not like, you can make your own. Some of the bad for you ingredients are Oxybenzone, Retinol Palmitate, Methoxycinnamate, Padinate or O/Paba, and any kind of Nano particles. So lets start. In a heat proof bowl, that you will put over boiling water, like a double boiler, put 4.05 ounces of beeswax, 4.25 ounces of shea butter, and 5.25 ounces of coconut oil. Heat til the beeswax is melted. Remove from heat and use an immersian blender or just a regular mixer and beat til whipped. Store in jar. This is a SPF 30 sunscreen, goes on a bit milky but soaks right into the skin.
Hope you have no bad storms this next week, just gentle rains and maybe less heat. Stay cool and healthy!