Never Tried Cuban Cuisine? Here’s What You Can Expect

Cuba has closed its doors to the rest of the world primarily because of the oppressive regime leading the country. This is also the reason why we didn’t really know how great Cuban cuisines are. In fact, they have some of the best dishes in the world.

If you have not tried one, Cuban cuisine is an infusion of various flavours from around the world. It is a blend of Native American, Spanish and African dishes. It also has something to do with the country’s history. Considering that it has been under various influences over time, their food has also become a perfect blend of flavours.

This makes Cuban cuisines even more exciting. Perhaps, you can compare the food with those in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, considering that they are all in the Caribbean. This is also due to the Spanish colonisers who have set foot in Cuba just like many of these Caribbean nations.

The best part about eating Cuban dishes is that everything is fresh and unique. It also has something to do with the fact that the country is a tropical island. Everything that they need in creating amazing dishes can be found in the country. There are homegrown fruits and vegetables making the dishes even more sumptuous.

Popular dishes

In Cuba, rice and beans are their staples. In fact, these two always come together when cooked. Congri and Moros are among the most popular dishes made from black beans and rice. If cooked separately, the most popular option is the Arroz con Frijoles.

Another option is the Sofrito which is made up of rice and red kidney beans cooked together by baking. Of course, they throw rich herbs and spices to add more flavours to the dish.

In terms of sauce, the most popular one is the viandas which usually accompanies roasted pork. They also have the mojito (not the drink) which comes with oil, garlic, onion and oregano. Orange or lime may also be thrown for added taste.

Try them now

You don’t have to go to Cuba just to taste these wonderful dishes. If you really want to go, check out the best restaurants in Cuba. Not only is the country amazing, its restaurants are also unique. Again, for years, Cuba has not opened its doors to the rest of the world. It doesn’t have strong relation with any major country. Recently, they have lightened up their regulations which made it easier for tourists to enter.

With the food they serve alone, you will most likely return to Cuba in the future. You may also invite your friends for this unique experience. Not so many people in the world have the opportunity to visit this wonderful country. Some people who have been there before said that it is like going back to the 70s considering how untouched many places are. If you want a walk back in history plus a fusion of flavours for food, it is time to book your ticket to Cuba and enjoy everything the country has to offer now.

Also read: How to Smoke the Perfect Piece of Meat

5 Issues That a Healthy Diet Can Help With

The food that we eat can affect our health in many ways. This means that you must stay healthy and be picky with what you put in your mouth. Check the nutritional value of those foods and find out how they can help you deal with various ailments. Here are 5 issues that can be solved if you choose the right kind of food to eat.

1. High blood pressure

There is a common notion that older people are the only ones who can suffer from high blood pressure. This is totally wrong. Anyone can have high blood pressure. You need to watch what you eat especially foods that contain high cholesterol. They can trigger high blood pressure and other heart problems. It doesn’t mean you must stop eating meat. You just have to choose what part of meat to eat.

2. Dizziness

There are a lot of reasons why you feel dizzy. If it is a recurring problem, you might be suffering from vertigo. There are medicines you can take to feel better. However, you must also take a closer look at what you eat. There are certain types of food that you eat that can trigger dizziness. Drinking a lot of coffee is a big no. It contains caffeine that makes you feel dizzy.

Foods with added sugar like sweetened drinks, candies and cookies are also a big no. They contain more sugar than what your body needs on a daily basis. On the other hand, there are instances when you feel dizzy because you are low in sugar. If this is a recurring problem, you have to consult your doctor.

3. Arthritis

No one wants to suffer from this ailment. It can be very painful and it can keep you up at night. It usually strikes older people because they lack the kind of moisture in between joints that they used to have when they were younger. As a result, movement may seem really painful for them. Avoiding certain types of food can help. Citrus, tomatoes and eggplant are some of them. They may be generally healthy, but not when you suffer from arthritis. The same thing is true for dairy products.

4. Erectile dysfunction

This problem is not just psychological in nature. You may also suffer from it because of the kind of food that you eat. Avoid foods with high cholesterol, sugar and triglyceride. They could trigger this problem. Processed meat and grains must also be avoided. Instead, choose fresh vegetables and whole grains. You will gradually see the results once you let go of certain dishes in your diet.

5. Back pain

There are a lot of reasons why you suffer from back pain. It could be due to a strenuous activity at work. You may have also lifted something heavier than usual. It could also be due to aging. Eating omega-3 rich food like salmon, sardines, mackerel and tuna could help solve back pain. Fruits and vegetables are also highly suggested.

Considering the impact of healthy eating in fighting these ailments, you might have to start changing your eating habits now.

Also read: Diet VS Exercise – Which is the Most Important?

The Essential Items for Your Kitchen

You want your kitchen to contain everything that you need so you can cook anything you want without any trouble. At the same time, you should also consider the amount you are willing to spend. You don’t want to spend a lot on items you don’t need. Create a checklist so you can identify which items in the kitchen are considered essentials.

Cooking appliances

You must have everything that you need such as microwave oven, gas range, smoker, heater, mixer and grill. It would be great if you invest on the appliances you need the most first before buying the ones you don’t normally use.

Utensils

Of course, you need them for cooking and eating. If possible, buy them in bulk or set. This helps you save a lot of money. Choose quality products as you are using these utensils for a long time.

Kitchen table

This is where you prepare all the items needed for cooking. You may even have a kitchen counter installed to make it easier for you to prepare everything.

Fire extinguisher

The kitchen is usually the riskiest place at home when it comes to fire. This is why an extinguisher must be located in this are too easily put out the fire during unwanted circumstances.

Protective clothing

Since you are cooking in the kitchen, you need gloves, apron, hair net and other items to keep you protected.

Serving bowls

Once you are done preparing the dishes, you can put them in these bowls or plates for better presentation. Buy them in various sizes to cater different types of dishes.

Cooking tools

Of course, you can’t cook without them. Basic tools include frying pan, rice cooker, sauté pan, pot and many others. Again, quality must be the priority when choosing these items. They are designed to last for a long time.

Go ahead and find the best items you need for your kitchen. Perhaps, you might also need a chainsaw from this site if you live in a rural area and you need wood for cooking.

Once everything you need is there, you can start cooking whatever dish you want and serve them even during big parties.

The Real Benefits of Growing Your Own Vegetables

Growing vegetables is not something everyone can do. It is a skill that you need to learn. You have to be careful with what you put in the soil and in maintaining all other factors as they could affect the growth of the vegetables.

Despite the difficulty that comes with growing your own vegetables at home, there are tonnes of benefits you will get from it. In the end, it is still in your best interest to give it a try.

Stay healthy

Obviously, you can eat all the vegetables you want when you can easily pick them in your garden. You can’t have too much of vegetables especially if they offer different types of nutrients that your body needs. As they are homegrown, they are free from synthetic pesticides. This makes the vegetables even more nutritious.

Save a lot of money

You can easily buy vegetables in the grocery store. The problem is that there is already a huge markup on these prices. Before the vegetables reach the market, they have already gone through a lot. From the farmers to the retailers, the markup is quite high. This is why you will save a lot more if you can just grow vegetables and harvest them.

Help save future generations

Most of the foods we eat today contain cancer-causing pesticides. We even don’t know what goes into the food that we eat. There are certain types of cancer that are genetic. This means that if you get one, it may be passed on to your child. It is important to avoid these kinds of food and just stick with organic vegetables if you want to keep your future children healthy and cancer-free.

Stop soil erosion

3 billion tonnes of soil is eroded in the US alone. Without a plant that holds the soil together, erosion is possible. This is why it is important to grow vegetables at home to prevent soil erosion from happening. You may only use a small amount of space, but if everyone does, it could have a significant difference.

Ensure water quality

Due to constant use of pesticides, water becomes contaminated. In the US, at least 38 states were found to have groundwater contamination. As our primary drinking source is taken from the ground, there is a good chance that we may ingest these carcinogens. With organic farming, we can eliminate the problem.

Keep chemicals away from your plate

We consume too many chemicals and we don’t even notice it. When we dine in a restaurant, we don’t know what ingredients were used and what were placed on the meat and vegetables used to make them taste better. If you grow vegetables at home, you know exactly what goes into your place. You can easily get rid of chemicals that are harmful to the body.

Help make the community look better

This might be a small benefit, but it helps. When everyone has a beautiful garden, it makes the place look better. You can also smell the fresh air. It is better than have nothing on your front lawn other than the garbage bin.

Now that you understand the benefits of growing vegetables at home, it is time to give it a try. Just prepare the materials you need for gardening. Perhaps, you even have them at home by now. They are kept in the stock room because no one knows how to use them.

The first step is to clear the place for gardening. You may use a quality lawn mower to easily get this done. You have to read reviews first so you can easily decide what kind of lawnmower to use. You should also compare the options to get your money’s worth. Click here if you want to know more about lawnmowers and why you need to invest on them.

Enjoy the benefits

Once you have started a vegetable garden, you can enjoy all these benefits. Not only will you help yourself and your family, you also help the society in general. Learn how to use the gardening tools well if you want to start now. Don’t expect to succeed at first. You might fail, but just keep trying. If you can see the results, you will be glad that you have given it a try.

Also see: Make The Ultimate Perfect Sandwich Right At Your Kitchen

How to Smoke the Perfect Piece of Meat

how-to-smoke-the-perfect-piece-of-meat

Smoking meat is a favourite way to cook food when friends and family gather for a casual lunch or dinner, or even for holiday celebration. The slow method of cooking allows for plenty of time to share news, trade jokes and generally have a good chat with friends. However, having the best smoker on the market in your backyard does not guarantee you’ll be producing the best tasting smoked meat ever. For that, you’ll need to learn some basic tips and tricks for meat smoking.

Tips to Help You Smoke the Perfect Piece of Meat

  1. Smoking the perfect piece of meat starts with choosing the right type of meat to use. Smoking is good for large pieces of meat such as ham, lamb, turkey. Get beef or pork ribs, pork shoulder or beef brisket.
  2. Rub the meat with 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons chili flakes and 1 tablespoon lemon pepper.
  3. The right type of wood also makes a contribution to get the best-tasting barbecue. A smoky sweetness can be achieved by using fruitwoods like cherry, apple and pecan, as well as alder. Pork ribs and butt, which are bolder cuts of meat, can be infused with stronger smoke flavor from hickory. For dark meats, the best wood to use is mesquite, which imparts the strongest smoke flavor. Vegetables and poultry will get a sweet, mild smoke flavor from maple. Soak the wood in water for about an hour before you add it to the flames so it will smoulder and smoke for several hours. When using wood chips, wrap the soaked wood in foil with punched holes.
  4. Do not use lighter fluid to start your coals. Use lump charcoal or high quality briquettes and keep a bunch of lit coals to keep your heat level constant. Your temperature should be 200-300 °F (95-150 °C). Place the lit coals at the bottom of your grill then put the wood on top of the coals. Put the grill’s open damper above the meat then the lid of the grill.
  5. Keep the amount of water in the pan to 1/2 inch, adding hot water when the water level drops. You might also use pineapple or apple juice or beer rather than water. Or you might add dried herbs, onions or fruit slices into the water to add more subtle flavours to the meat.
  6. Avoid opening the lid often to check the meat as there is no need to flip it. Open your smoker only to add coals, water and smoking wood, which is usually every 30 to 45 minutes. In about four hours, you’ll have a good smoked piece of meat. But you have to check it. If you’re smoking ribs, lay it flat on your mitt. If the ends of the slab of ribs bounce when you move your hand up and down, it is still undone and needs about another hour of smoking. If it breaks apart in the middle, it is overcooked but still all right. If you can pull packs of meat from the bones, that’s perfectly cooked.

Glaze your meat with barbecue sauce and set it over direct heat or put it back to smoke for 15 to 20 minutes. Wrap in tin foil afterwards and let it rest for another 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Also read: Should You Invest In A Cooking Thermometer?

Diet VS Exercise – Which is the Most Important?

Diet VS Exercise - Which is the Most ImportantToday we are going to attempt to tackle that age of question of which is better diet or exercise? For many decades’ people trying to lose weight have debated this question. While we all know that exercise will help shed those pounds and it very good for you, today we will focus on diet. Studies have shown that diet plays a huge role in weight loss. It’s really a simple matter of calorie intake and which types of foods you are putting into your body. Below we will go into further detail about calorie intake and how you can lose weight by watching what you eat.

Why is Your Diet More Important Than Exercise?

The truth is you are what you eat. No matter how hard or how long you work out, if you keep putting high-calorie foods into your body exercise won’t matter that much. The only real way you are going to see a noticeable amount of weight loss is by watching what you eat. This is the real key to true weight loss.

Keeping Up with Your Calorie Intake

Counting calories can be a nightmare if you are not prepared. In the past people used to have to write down everything they ate. Now there are many apps that will help make calorie counting easy and the best part is many of them are free!

Add Some Exercise but Focus On Your Diet

While this article informs you that diet is the key to weight loss, you should always add in some exercise to help the body shed those pounds. Exercise can help speed your body’s metabolism which will help you burn calories faster. But always remember to stick to your diet, so that you don’t add unnecessary calories because they will only make your body work harder to achieve your weight loss goals.

If you struggle with making time for exercise, investing in an exercise machine like an elliptical would be a good idea. Ellipticals provide upper and lower body workout unlike a threadmill or a stationary bike. For help in choosing the best elliptical for weight loss, make sure to do your research and read online reviews.

Also see: Juice Recipes To Help You Lose Weight

No More Messy Snacks – Twisting The Way You Eat

elite-daily-eating-600x300 (1)Does eating some popular snacks leave you messy? Worry not as we give you some new innovative mess free ways to eat your favourite snacks.
Popsicles
Do your popsicles require you to change your dress after eating? You can easily catch drips by threading the Popsicle stick to a cupcake wrapper. The wrapper acts as an impromptu dish and catches all drips. Enjoy your Popsicle without getting your dress dirty.
Powdered Sugar Doughnut
Do you look like a ghost after indulging in powdered sugar doughnuts? The trick here is to wrap the doughnut in a paper napkin. Tear the doughnut into half. The paper napkin prevents the powder from settling on your face. Eat the doughnut sandwiched between the folds of the paper napkin.
Burger
Healthy-Snacks-Girl-Eating-Fruit-300x300Does your burger turn into a soggy and messy pile before you finish eating? Burgers usually have thicker buns at the bottom than at the top. The trick here is to flip your burger and eat it upside down. No more juicy sauces running down your chin.
Cupcakes
Does the mile high frosting on top of the cupcake reach up to your nose? The right way to eat a cupcake is to slice it in half horizontally and to create a cupcake sandwich with the bottom half of the cupcake on top of the frosting. This method also lets you enjoy the right frosting to cake ratio in each bite.
Chips
Does your habit of munching chips leave messy fingerprints on your keyboard or on the shiny screen of your Smartphone? Eat chips with a chopstick and say good bye to sticky fingerprints. Use a chopstick to poke into the chips bag and eat your crunchy snacks like a pro.
Tacos
This popular Mexican dish always breaks before you finish it. Give it an additional layer of strength by wrapping your tacos in lettuce. You also add a nutritional boost to this filling meal with the lettuce.

So when you try any of these popular snacks, try eating them in the way mentioned above and stay spotless.

Read Also: Make The Ultimate Perfect Sandwich Right At Your Kitchen