Healthy Homemade Snack – Baked Zucchini Chips

I love a good snack, snacks are delicious! Are they good for you? Ehhh it’s always up for debate, but if you are going to eat something between meals, perhaps while you’re cozying up to watch a movie or play a game, why not make it a healthier choice?

I think most nutritionists agree that anything deep-fried should be consumed in moderation or not at all, but chips are sooooo good! The solution? Let’s create our own oven-baked chips! And not just potato chips, let’s create some delicious vegetable chips too! This way we are regulating exactly what is going into and/or on to our chips with no deep-frying to be found!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 large zucchini
  • Salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 240 F.
  2. Wash the zucchini, then use a mandolin to uniformly slice them into thin chips.
  3. Place the zucchini slices on a clean dish towel or paper towels. Cover them with another dish towel or paper towels and set a baking sheet on them, pressing own slightly to remove excess moisture.
  4. After drying, place the zucchini slices into a bowl and toss them with olive oil and a few pinches of salt (how much depends on your preference).
  5. Coat a large baking sheet (or more) with cooking spray or cover with parchment paper.
  6. Place the zucchini slices on the baking sheets in a single layer.
  7. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until crisp and golden.
  8. Allow the chips to cool completely. 
  9. Enjoy!

Healthy Homemade Snack – Baked Potato Chips

I love a good snack, snacks are delicious! Are they good for you? Ehhh it’s always up for debate, but if you are going to eat something between meals, perhaps while you’re cozying up to watch a movie or play a game, why not make it a healthier choice?

I think most nutritionists agree that anything deep-fried should be consumed in moderation or not at all, but chips are sooooo good! The solution? Let’s create our own oven-baked chips! This way we are regulating exactly what is going into and/or on to our chips with no deep-frying to be found!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound of russet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Wash the potatoes, then use a mandolin to uniformly slice them into thin chips.
  2. Place the potato slices into a large bowl and cover them with cold water. 
  3. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to soak for at least 30 minutes to overnight.
  4. Drain the potato slices and pat them dry.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  6. Coat a large baking sheet (or more) with cooking spray.
  7. In a large bowl, toss the potato slices together with the olive oil and salt to coat evenly. 
  8. Spread the potato slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the chips are a very light golden color and appear crunchy. Keep a careful eye on the potatoes to make sure they don’t brown and overcook.
  10. Allow the chips to cool completely. 
  11. Enjoy!

Let’s Bring Positivity Back into Gaming

I am a positive gamer and this is a safe space for us all to express our love for games without negativity!

I play games to enjoy and relax. I lose myself in whatever a particular game has to offer, whether that be the plot, the characters, the creativity, the graphics; I appreciate all video games and their creators. If a game does not pique my own personal interests, I don’t attack it, I move on to one that does.

If it’s necessary to review a game, I provide constructive feedback and information, supported by specific examples to help improvement. This feedback should always be offered in a friendly manner with good intentions and that’s exactly what I do! 

Reviewing games is useful, but one of my favorite things to do is create unconventional guides for the games I enjoy! I’ve created guides for the animal locations in Okami, the stray bead locations in Okami, the alchemy recipes in Ni No Kuni, and more! I love helping people find what they’re looking for and I intend to make more guides this year so stay tuned!

Are you a positive gamer? Please introduce yourself, I would love to hear from you! What’s your favorite game?

Let’s try Oak – Meditation and Breathing Application

Let's Try Meditation with The Free Oak - Meditation and Breathing ApplicationLet’s be real, this year has been rough; we’re all just trying to adjust and survive the best we can. Current events have really revealed that there are some pretty rude, self-entitled people out there and I for one am way too sensitive to people’s actions and emotions. I’ve found myself absorbing and/or responding to their vibes, which results in living day to day with too many negative thoughts and feelings.

In an effort to bring the tranquility and positivity back to my life, I have begun meditating and it feels good! If you’re feeling anything but tranquil, I highly recommend taking some time to meditate each day or, if every day isn’t for you, less frequently yet consistently; you will feel better!

Interested, but not sure where to start?

I am using the Oak – Meditation and Breathing application. It is simple and straightforward, with enough content to get you started without becoming overwhelming.  It is also the only meditation app. I’ve found that is truly free. Other applications, like Calm and Headspace (both fantastic), are free to download and offer some free content and/or free trials, but if you want more you’ll have to pay for a monthly or yearly premium membership. After Oak, Insight Timer is probably the next application that has the most free classes, but does have a premium membership if you want to access certain practices. We’ll focus on Insight Timer at a later date.

So let’s take a look at Oak!

When opening the app., you are presented with three categories: Meditation, Breathing and Sleeping. Each category has two or three practice options.

Let's Try Meditation with The Free Oak - Meditation and Breathing Application

Once you’ve selected a category and practice, you can customize a few more details depending on the practice. For example, if you want to practice Mindful Meditation, you can select the duration, instructor’s voice, background noise and a warmup duration.

Let's Try Meditation with The Free Oak - Meditation and Breathing Application Let's Try Meditation with The Free Oak - Meditation and Breathing Application

The breathing practices do not give you customization options, but they will give you details about how long you will be inhaling, holding and exhaling.

Let's Try Meditation with The Free Oak - Meditation and Breathing Application

If you’re looking for something deeper, there is a Courses tab which (so far) offers one course on Mantra Meditation. You will be prompted to “Buy” the course for $0.00. I’ve “purchased” it (yes it is free) and I am very pleased with the quality and length. I hope there will be more free courses in the future.

Let's Try Meditation with The Free Oak - Meditation and Breathing Application Let's Try Meditation with The Free Oak - Meditation and Breathing Application

I will be testing out other options for meditation and let you know what I discover!

How do you meditate? Do you use an application, or something else? If you do use an application, what is your favorite and why? I’d love to know!

Homemade Teething Cookies Recipe

Homemade Teething Cookies RecipeLast week, we brought some of the beach to Zoey with edible “sand” made out of graham crackers and oatmeal. After she was done playing, I could not let good food go to waste so I made her some teething cookies with the remaining “sand”.

Not too sweet, but sweet enough to be called cookies instead of crackers, these treats are a hit! They are springy, yet firm enough to soothe her teething gums and she likes them!…Although so does my husband so I’m going to have to convince him not to eat all of them before she can knaw on a few.

Homemade Teething Cookies Recipe

INGREDIENTS
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Grease a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Combine the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir them with a mixing spoon until a thick dough has formed. You may need to adjust the amount of water or coconut oil you add depending on how juicy your bananas are.
  3. Section the dough into smaller portions and (using a flat surface and a rolling pin) roll out your dough to 1/4 of an inch thick. You will need to use flour to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and surfaces.
  4. With a circular cookie cutter or a drinking glass (I used a drinking glass), cut cookies out of the dough and place them onto the greased baking sheet.
  5. Cook each sheet of cookies for 12 to 15 minutes. Be careful they are hot! Use the spatula or a spoon to test their springiness. They should be firm yet springy when pressed as they are brought out of the oven.
  6. Allow the cookies to cool before serving. These can be stored in the refrigerator for a little more firmness.
  7. Serve and enjoy, but please watch your baby as they eat this to make sure they handle the texture well!