I'm going to round out this healthy eating series with desserts.
Many times, I don't make desserts. I want my family to eat healthy foods and often send them back for more vegetables if they are still hungry. But some desserts are both healthy and economical and I'm not talking about fruit here.
Not being a great fruit fan, I was never one to offer it as a dessert.
But having said that, my daughter often cuts up a pear, then adds a few slices of cheese and is quite happy with that and a cup of herbal tea.
But even dark chocolate can be a nice dessert in moderation.
An important thing to note is that if you're eating a bit of chocolate for your dessert, take a small piece, put the rest away in the freezer, and eat the chocolate with a hot drink. The warmth from the drink helps to smooth out the flavour over your tongue as you savour it. You'll get maximum flavour from the small piece.
Another good dessert is rice pudding. The traditional rice pudding we ate in England has only three ingredients. Milk, rice and sugar.
Mix 4 cups of skim milk, 1/2 cup rice, 1/2 cup sugar in a large, deep casserole dish. Bake for one hour at 300 degrees, or until rice is tender and the top is brown.
This is economical in that you make it only when the oven is turned on. My mother used to make a roast beef dinner every Sunday and cooked the rice pudding in the oven, maximizing the heat. I have one in my oven right now, because I decided to bake bread and a casserole for my sister in law who has hurt her knee. The rice pudding is forgiving about the temperature, so don't worry if your other dish needs 350 degrees.
If you're into making muffins, throw in some shredded carrot or zuchinni for extra nutrition.
I have grown zuchinni in my front flowerbeds because it's such a decorative plant that loves full sun, and then shredded the zuchinni and frozen it in 1 cup baggies. Bring it out in January, thaw and drain it. You can add it to a muffin mix, or even a chocolate cake mix. You can do the same for apples, especially those that don't live up to your children's high standards of quality for lunch. I've always asked my children to return the food they don't eat back home, not just to see what they have eaten, but also to not waste expensive fruit or other snacks. I don't mind them giving some of their lunches away, as they have when other kids forgot theirs, or say they forgot theirs, it's just that I don't want perfectly good food to end up in the garbage, and if you've ever been to a school cafeteria, you know what I mean.
If you like fruit, and ice cream, especially bananas, consider buying the cheaper over ripe bananas, peel them and freeze them. Later on, put two or three into a food processor while still frozen, and puree them. They taste like the best ice cream ever. Top with thawed fruit for a really healthy dessert.
And remember that over ripe bananas are really just ripe ones. We've just got so used to eating green bananas, that we don't realize a good ripe one when we see it.
So you've got a few good ideas on how to save money and how to eat healthily. Enjoy! And don't forget to leave a comment.