Back-to-School Survival Guide

Between backpacks and lunchboxes, homework and paperwork, back-to-school time means less time for anything, especially cooking. It’s easy to fall into a rut of takeout, frozen foods, and from-the-box pastas.

With a little advance planning (or some help from Just Add Cooking’s meal kit service), you can add back a variety of wholesome, healthy meals to your kitchen rotation.

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Peach Recipe Ideas

Nothing says summer like biting into a ripe, juicy peach. Here are some of our favorite ways and recipe ideas to enjoy peaches all day long.

Peach smoothie

Peach smoothie. Photo credit: Deliciously Ella

MORNING

Pair your morning coffee with a peach muffin, or concoct a healthy, peach smoothie.

Peach Streusel Muffins from Sally’s Baking Addiction: Using copious amounts of fresh or frozen peaches, muffins are topped with a vanilla glaze.

Perfect Peach Smoothie from Deliciously Ella: Peaches, along with bananas and strawberries. Almond milk, and the optional chia or flax seeds create a lowfat, nutrient-packed way to start your day.

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Stock Your Kitchen: Essential Fresh Herbs

Thanks to Simon & Garfunkel, we all know about Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme. But don’t forget about Basil, Cilantro (aka Coriander), Mint, and Dill.

Some of our favorite herbs and their uses include:

  • Basil: Pesto, tomato sauce, soups, grilled vegetables, and more.
  • Cilantro: Fresh salsa or guacamole, or your favorite Indian recipe.
  • Mint: Homemade ice cream, meats, and more.
  • Dill: Yogurt sauces, roasted potatoes, fish, and salad dressings.
  • Rosemary: Tomato sauce, soups, salad dressings, meats, and potatoes.
  • Parsley: Tabouleh, salad dressings, tomato sauce, and soups.

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What are Food Additives Adding?

We all want our food to last long, be delicious, and look appetizing. But at what cost?

Manufacturers put additives such as preservatives, dyes, and flavoring to enhance the look and taste of food, as well as to increase the shelf life. Many regulations exist about the use of and labeling of additives. However, even when used in approved ways, some additives have been known to cause health or behavior issues, including cancer, obesity, and hyperactivity.

One of the most frequently used, and easiest to avoid, additive is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Often used as a substitute for sugar because of its low cost, HFCS appears in sodas, breads, cookies, and more. Because of the awareness of HFCS, many manufacturers now put “No High Fructose Corn Syrup” labels to inform consumers.

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Stock Your Kitchen: 10 Essential Pantry Staples

Welcome to our Stock Your Kitchen series! Part of our mission is to make home-cooked meals fun and easy, taking the stress out of meal planning and grocery shopping. While Just Add Cooking delivers everything you need for dinner to your door so you don’t have to meal plan or grocery shop, there are also lots of items you can keep stocked in your kitchen to make meals come together quickly and easily. This series gives you tips on getting that kitchen stocked!

Source: Matt Brown

Source: Matt Brown

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Wine Pairings, Anyone?

Today, we welcome City Wine Tours to the Just Add Cooking blog. City Wine Tours runs amazing neighborhood wine and food pairing tours in Boston and New York. Read on for their ideas for pairing wine with next week’s recipes, a discount code on a tour and the chance to win tickets!

Wine is meant for food. Look at the world’s best eaters: the French, Italians, and Spanish. They use wine as a seasoning. We Americans have salt and pepper shakers on our dining room tables. The Europeans have wine bottles!

“That’s great, smart guy, but I’m not European!”, you say?

Then do what the Europeans do. Point your nose in the air and don’t let anyone tell you what to drink. The best wine to pair with any meal…is a wine you like. Ignore any advice and drink what you like!

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In a Pickle

Not sure what to do with the kohlrabi from your CSA share? Run out of ideas for using mason jars? Pregnant and need something to go with your ice cream?

One word: Pickles.

While some pickling recipes are quite complex and require exotic ingredients and more time than anyone actually has, pickling can be as simple as combining vinegar, salt, herbs and spices, and any vegetable (or even fruit!) in a sealed jar, and letting it sit in the fridge overnight.

Many experts recommend heating the brine first, letting it cool to room temperature, and then adding it to the soon-to-be-pickled item of your choice. Heating the brine speeds up the pickling process, bringing the sharp, tart taste you crave faster, but it is a step you can skip, especially if you are a raw foodist.

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