All posts by Jeff Fidler

summertime drinks sugar-free

Great Sugar-Free Summer Drink Ideas

Stay Cool with these Fun Sugar-free Summertime Drinks

Now that the heat has arrived, and summer time fun along with it, we thought we’d put together a fun collection of fresh and cool beverages you can use to stay cool on even the hottest summer days. All of these drink ideas and recipes are perfect for low carb dieters since they will contain very little sugar and many are even completely sugar-free.

We’ve included a wide range of drink styles to choose from, including some light and fresh flavoured water beverages, as well as sweet and fizzy concoctions the kids will go nuts for, and a couple of deliciously smooth blended drinks that you’ll just love on those hot, sunny days. Plus, we’ve thrown in a couple of suggestions for some hip alcoholic drinks that you may enjoy while sitting on your deck or dock, enjoying the warm summer breezes. Now, since the sun is up and the daylight won’t last forever, let’s check out this list!

Naturally Sweetened Sugar-Free Lemonade

What list of summer drinks would be complete without a fresh lemonade recipe? We’re starting out in true summer style with this fantastic version of lemonade that is naturally sweetened with Stevia and contains no added sugars. The best lemonades are made from scratch, using fresh squeezed lemons and pure, clean water. For an even cooler version of this drink, blend this recipe with ice and make the best tasting frozen lemonade you’ve ever had. Another way to switch things up is to add a shot of vodka, and you’ve got your very own hard lemonade that works great for backyard barbecues with friends.

Cucumber-Mint Infused Water

It’s no secret that the healthiest drink you can choose when you’re thirsty is clean, fresh water. That’s all well and good, of course, but sometimes you just need a bit more flavour, which is why infused water beverages are becoming more and more popular. They’re easy to make and are extremely refreshing with just a light amount of flavouring, making them the perfect drink to help you cool down after some hard work in the gardens, or even if you’re just lounging by the pool. This recipe for cucumber-mint infused water is the very definition of light and refreshing, and we’re sure you’ll love it.

Iced Matcha Latte

For several years now, Matcha has been gaining popularity around the world for its fantastic health benefits. Matcha powder is loaded with antioxidants, helps aid in boosting metabolism, and has detoxifying effects, just to name a few. It’s fantastic as a way to add these benefits to a wide variety of drinks, and it’s what makes this particular latte so perfect for low carb dieters looking for a tasty and healthy summer drink. Blended with coconut oil, vanilla bean, and cashew milk, this is an easy drink to make and it’s just packed with health benefits.

Homemade Sugar-Free Kool Aid

This one’s for the kids, but we’ll also admit that we definitely still enjoy the fresh taste of this drink no matter how old we get. You’ll be amazed at how much great taste you get out of just three simple ingredients and the short time it takes to mix up a batch of this fruity drink. The clever blend of fruity teas and flavoured stevia sweeteners is truly unique, and also allows you to easily customize it to your personal tastes or whatever your kids might prefer. Just be sure to make lots of it because this stuff goes fast!

Keto Electrolyte Drink

For the fitness buffs among us, it can get pretty tiresome choosing between plain old water and sports drinks that are loaded with sugar, but this creation is the perfect alternative for post-workout hydration. This keto electrolyte beverage is lightly flavoured with sea salt, aloe vera juice, and lemon juice so it’s a bit tart and very easy to drink. It quickly replenishes your body with electrolytes, and gets you refreshed fast.

Low Carb Margarita

Well, now it’s a party! What drink goes better with a hot summer patio than a tasty, fresh margarita? The only problem is that traditional margarita recipes can have lots of sugar in them, but not this version. This recipe is totally sugar free and tastes amazing, especially when the sun is beating down and the pool is open for the season. For a slightly different taste experience, try making one batch with a gold tequila and a different batch with silver tequila. Each type of tequila has unique flavours, and you’ll notice a subtle difference in the taste of your margaritas. For a fast and easy margarita alternative, check out Baja Bob’s Sugar Free Margarita Mix to make a great margarita in a snap.

Strawberry Lemon Infused Iced Tea

Just like lemonade, iced tea is the kind of drink that’s just synonymous with summer time and hot days. This recipe adds some extra fruity flavours to the classic taste of iced tea and sweetens the blend naturally with stevia. This drink is great to make in big batches and keep in the fridge, so you can fill up your tumbler or travel mug with a refreshing treat on your next summer road trip.

Sugar Free Sodas from Zevia

For those of us who like something fun and fizzy to sip on during those hot and humid days of summer, Zevia makes a wide variety of carbonated sugar-free sodas. Choose from classic soda flavours like root beer, ginger ale, and grape, or try something new with taste sensations like black cherry, cucumber lemon, and mandarin orange. Check out the full range of Zevia sugar-free diet sodas here at The Low Carb Grocery.

Conclusion

Once the warmth of the summer descends this season, you’ll be prepared to beat the heat with this fun collection of refreshing summer drinks. Whether you like something light and fresh, or sweet and sassy, this list has something for everyone. We recommend you use this selection of drink ideas as inspiration for your next backyard barbecue or pool party and wow your guests with some unique and interesting healthy drink choices that taste great. Stay cool!

choose the best cuts of beef

Choosing the Best Cuts of Beef

Tips and Advice for Choosing Great Cuts of Beef

All around the world, beef is one of the most popular kinds of meats used for a vast array of recipes and different styles of cuisine. Of course, it’s easy to see why. It’s a versatile meat to cook with and can provide very different results depending on the method of cooking, and the cut of beef that is used in the recipe. However, things can easily go awry if the cooking method and the cut of beef don’t line up with their best use case scenarios. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a tough, leathery piece of meat, and that’s not going to please anyone. So how do you make sure that you’re choosing the best beef for your desired recipe?

There are many different things to consider when choosing the right cut of beef for a particular use. These factors include what part of the cow the beef comes from, how much or how little fat there is on the beef, how you intend to cook it, and more. In this article, we explain the different kinds of beef that are available, as well as how the different styles of cooking will dictate what the best cut of beef is for that particular method. Choosing the right cut for your recipe is easy, as long as you keep these rules in mind. First, let’s start by taking a look at the different kinds of beef that you may find at your butcher shop.

Kinds of Beef

There are several different ways that beef is categorized and graded. The first consideration we will look at is the common grading system used by the USDA to indicate the level of quality of a particular cut of beef. The USDA scale of beef generally starts with Select as the most common level of grading. Beef that is deemed to be of higher quality is marked as Choice, and the finest grades of beef are marked as Prime. There are many factors that are considered in determining the correct grade for beef, including marbling of fat within the meat, thickness and consistency, and visual appearance.

In addition, you will likely see reference to the breed of cattle beside each type of beef as another indicator of its properties. The most common type of cattle used for beef in North America is the Angus, which can only be called Angus if it meets very specific breeding criteria. In addition, you can also find beef imported from other regions of the world such as the British Herefordshire, the Italian Piedemontese, and the Japanese Waguyu types of cattle.

Common Cut Styles for Beef

Regardless of the type of cattle used or the grade of the meat, the styles of cut used to describe the shape, size, and source of the beef are the same across all kinds. Here, we will describe the different cuts, and list the styles of cooking and preparation they are best suited for.

Steaks

This is a unique category, in that there are many different types of beef that are considered to be ‘steaks’, and each has their own unique characteristics.

Filet mingon is one of the most common steaks and is a circular cut of beef with no bones that is taken from the tenderloin, which gives it a delicious melt-in-your-mouth experience when prepared correctly.

T-bone steaks are aptly named due to the t-shaped bone embedded in them, which gives them a unique look and helps to keep the meat moist. The porterhouse is generally larger than the t-bone but is very similar in style as they both come from the short loin area. Strip steaks also come from the short loin and can be found in boneless or bone-in styles.

Other popular styles of steak include flat-iron steak (cut from the shoulder area), top sirloin (cut from the top muscle of the short loin), skirt steak (cut from the diaphragm muscle), rib eye (cut from the rib area), and hanger steak (cut from the short plate, similar to the skirt steak).

Steaks are most commonly prepared on a grill, and then served fresh alongside a wide variety of side dishes, or they can also be sliced and used as an ingredient in other recipes. Many people choose to season their steaks with a wide range of spices, seasonings and rubs. Brands such as Summer Kitchen and Hot Mamas offer many different kinds of seasonings that are perfect for steaks. You can choose from hot and spicy blends, savoury flavours, or perhaps even something sweet if the mood strikes you. Here at The Low Carb Grocery, we offer a full selection of delicious steak seasonings and spice rubs.

Roasts

Beef that is intended to be roasted, broiled, or prepared using ovens, slow cookers, smokers or other cooking devices is generally cut in much larger sections than beef intended for grilling.

Eye of round and bottom round roasts are generally inexpensive and are very versatile cuts of beef, ideal for a basic roast beef dinner. They are usually prepared using a low-and-slow cooking method to tenderize the meat and produce an enjoyable meal when sliced. Other roasts with similar characteristics to eye of round and bottom round are top sirloin, sirloin tip, and top round roasts. These are all perfectly suited for oven roasting and slicing thin for a variety of uses.

For the finest cuts of beef for roasting, people generally opt for cuts such as the rib eye, tenderloin, or tri-tip, all of which produce a more flavourful final result. Tri-tip and shoulder roasts can also be prepared on the grill, adding some other preparation options to choose from.

Beef Cuts for Stewing or Frying

When the beef is intended to be simmered as part of a stew or fried quickly as part of a stir fry, you can choose from many different cuts to achieve a delicious end result. For recipes that call for longer cooking times, perhaps prepared in a slow cooker or crockpot, you can use beef chuck or round roasts for excellent results. If your recipe is more of a stir fry style, you’d be better served to use a thinly sliced steak such as a sirloin, rib eye, or top loin. These cuts are more tender and will produce better results with the higher temperatures and shorter cooking times associated with wok and stir fry cooking.

Other Uses for Beef

Aside from grilling, roasting, simmering and frying, beef can also be used in other dishes such as casseroles, tacos, burritos, meatballs, chili, shepherd’s pie, and many more types of foods. In these instances, it’s common for ground beef to be used, but depending on what is used to create the ground beef, the fat content will vary. Normally, this is indicated with certain terminology on the packaging of the ground beef, such as medium, lean, or extra lean ground beef, in order of decreasing fattiness. While there is very little difference in the beef itself once it is cooked, there will be a substantial difference in the amount of fat to be drained as you compare a medium ground beef to an extra lean ground beef. If you require plenty of drippings for sauces or gravy, then you may want to avoid overly lean ground beef as it will not produce much of it. For more information on making a great gravy, check out our guide to low carb gravy and sauces.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is lots of variety in the world of beef which is a big part of the reason why it is such a common meat around the world. It’s versatility to create a diverse range of tastes and textures makes it the perfect source of protein in countless recipes in cuisine of all types. Now, the next time you head to the butcher shop in search of the perfect grilling steaks for your next barbecue, or perhaps a nice roast for a big family holiday meal, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the offerings of beef behind the counter and make a great choice that everyone will love. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll end up with the perfect cut of beef, every time.

cook with shrimp the low carb way

Low Carb Cooking with Shrimp

Cooking with Shrimp, the Low Carb Way

From a classic shrimp cocktail, to the most colourful Asian stir fry, to the best seafood chowder you’ve ever tasted, shrimp are an extremely popular ingredient in a wide range of cooking styles from around the world. They’re tasty, extremely high in protein, and a very healthy option, making them a great fit for the low carb lifestyle. However, you may be surprised to learn that not all shrimp are created equal. There are many different types and come from all corners of the globe, each with unique characteristics.

In this guide, we will help explain the different types of shrimp that you can find in grocery stores, fish markets, and restaurants from coast to coast, as well as provide a few cooking and preparation tips to help make sure that your recipes come out perfectly. Cooking shrimp properly isn’t really all that hard, but there certainly are a few things to keep in mind in order to get the best results. First, let’s take a look at the different kinds of shrimp that you’re likely to encounter when you go shopping.

Types of Shrimp

Gulf Shrimp – While this is a bit of a misnomer, Gulf shrimp actually can be one of three different varieties, including brown, pink, and white shrimps. Gulf shrimp are common and popular in North America and can be found on the menu of all types of restaurants and in grocery stores across the country.

Giant Tiger Prawn – This variety of shrimp tends to be on the larger size scale and is usually farmed in Asian countries. Because of its combination of size, flavour, and appearance, this is usually the shrimp that is favoured by fine dining establishments and gourmet chefs. Tiger prawns are also commonly available at supermarkets and fish markets, although because of their size and premium characteristics, they do tend to be more expensive than other varieties of shrimp.

Rock Shrimp – These shrimps prefer deep, cold waters like those in the Atlantic Ocean, and can be found all along the eastern seaboard of North America. Rock shrimp have a taste and texture very similar to lobster, making them a popular and less expensive option for many recipes that would normally call for lobster.

Spot Prawns – On the other side of North America, throughout the waters of the west coast, spot prawns are fished in large quantities and are commonplace on the menus of all kinds of restaurants and available in fish markets and supermarkets across the continent. Spot prawns are very similar to gulf shrimp in their taste, texture, and appearance.

Cleaning and Preparation

It’s very common for shrimp to be stored and shipped in the frozen state to greatly extend their usable life and make them available more widely around the world. Generally, this has no significant effect on the taste or usability of the shrimp, but true shrimp aficionados will stand by the old axiom for all kinds of seafood that ‘fresher is better’. Preparing frozen shrimp begins with thawing them completely over several hours in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can also thaw them in a bath of cold water if you need them ready in less time.

If the shrimp have not been de-veined, you will want to do this prior to any further steps in preparation. The dark brown or black vein that runs down the back of the shrimp is actually a part of the digestive tract and is essentially just shrimp waste. If the shrimp you purchased have already had their shells split for easy peeling, removing the vein is easy by simply opening the gap in the shell and pulling it out. If the shell has not already been split, carefully use a sharp paring knife to slit the shell open along the back in order to access the area where the vein is.

Shell on or Shell Off?

There are some differing opinions on whether it’s best to peel the shrimp prior to cooking, or to leave them on, however, each method has advantages for different types of cooking styles and dishes. In general, if the shrimp will be presented as a centerpiece of the meal and a certain visual appearance is warranted, then it is recommended the shells remain on, to be removed at the time the meal is consumed.

Shells are also usually left on for grilling, since it helps keep the shrimp intact and also from drying out too much, but many grillers prefer peeled shrimp for the greater ease of eating when the meal is ready. For other meals where the shrimp is contained within the meal with many other ingredients, such as soups or stews like jambalaya and gumbo, it is usually better to peel the shrimp before cooking so guests do not need to worry about peeling each shrimp as they eat.

What About Pre-cooked Shrimp?

In a pinch, pre-cooked shrimp are a great time saver and add additional convenience to the preparation process. However, shrimp are very sensitive to overcooking, and can easily become tough and rubbery if heated for too long. For best results, it is always recommended that raw shrimp be used for the majority of recipes. That being said, if you’re in a hurry then pre-cooked shrimp should do the job just fine, as long as they are not re-heated for too long before serving.

Tips for Cooking Shrimp

Shrimp are a very versatile type of protein that can be prepared in many different ways to work with a variety of dishes and types of cuisine. Shrimp can be grilled straight on the barbecue, either on their own or as part of a kabob. Grillers will need to be very attentive to the shrimp, as they cook very quickly and only need a few minutes to turn thoroughly pink.

Shrimp can also be sautéed in a variety of sauces, such as garlic butter and a wide range of Asian sauces like sugar-free teriyaki or spicy hoisin sauce. Shrimp can be boiled to be used in pasta dishes or steamed alongside fresh vegetables, or dipped in your favourite seafood sauce. They can also be simmered as part of a seafood stew or chowder, or as part of a fresh soup.

Regardless of what method used to cook the shrimp, it’s important to note that they require very little time to cook completely, and the longer they are exposed to high temperatures the more likely they are to become tough. For example, in water that is at a rolling boil, your average sized shrimps take only about 3 minutes to become completely cooked. This is a good benchmark to keep in mind, but you will also become accustomed to the cooking times of shrimp in various instances the more you use them. Practice makes perfect!

Conclusion

If you’re getting tired of chicken or burned out on beef, why not try some tasty shrimp to add some variety to your weekly low carb meal plan?  With these tips, we’re sure that you’ll find that cooking with shrimp can be very easy, and the resulting recipes are certainly delicious! Shrimp are a healthy protein option that make them a great fit for many low carb recipes from all different kinds of regional cuisine, from contemporary American creations to classic Asian dishes, and more. We hope that this set of tips has inspired you to head out to your local fish market or grocery store and pick up a big bag of delicious shrimp to experiment with.

exercise ideas for spring time

Springtime Workout and Exercise Tips

Refresh Your Workout Routine with These Springtime Exercise Tips

Whether you’ve got spring fever of cabin fever, the prescription is the same; get out, get moving, and get fit! This time of year, when the sunshine and warm weather become much more frequent, we feel the pull of the outdoors and the desire to shake ourselves out of the winter blahs with a fun new routine that gets us active and helps improve our fitness. Unfortunately, many people struggle with just what to do in order to add some much-needed change in to their fitness regimen. That’s where this article should come in handy.

Here, we’ve decided to gather together a fun collection of tips and tricks that anyone can use to help refresh and rejuvenate their exercise and workout routines, just in time for the warmer spring time weather. These tips are easy to follow and can be just what you need to get inspired and rethink your fitness habits. Now, let’s get moving!

Gear Up to Get Out

It’s no secret that picking up a cool new piece of gear can get you really excited to start using it, and the same goes for your fitness equipment. Of course, you don’t need to spend a ton of money just for the sake of getting something new. Often times something as simple and affordable as a new pair of running shoes can be a great catalyst to a new season of running and improved cardiovascular health. Cyclists may choose to go for a fancy new helmet, or perhaps install that new set of tires you’ve been wanting to try out. Canoers and kayakers could check out the latest in personal flotation devices and see what cool new styles are hitting the shelves this season. Whatever your sport of choice may be, the springtime is the perfect time to indulge a little bit and score a cool new piece of gear that makes you want to get out more and keep moving.

Runners, Get off the Road

Running is one of the simplest ways to get active, and there are very few barriers to getting started with this healthy activity. If you’ve never actively run before, or if it’s been a really long time since your last run, we recommend you check out the running clinics offered by many specialty running stores. These ‘learn to run’ classes are a great resource for new runners to learn the proper methods to avoid injury and maximize the benefits.

Also, these local running groups can be a great way to learn about nearby trails that you could start to explore with trail running. Trail running is an exciting alternative to running in a gym or simply on the road. It gives you the ability to experience nature in a new way and presents many unique challenges due to the constantly changing grades and direction you experience as you wind your way along the trails. You’ll need a more aggressive shoe for trail running, so ask for recommendations on what would be a good choice for this style of running.

Fresh Air to Freshen the Spirit

If you’ve never tried yoga or Pilates before, it’s definitely something that you should consider as an addition to your healthy lifestyle. The benefits of these types of relaxation and meditation exercises are well-documented, including a reduction in stress, improved flexibility, and more. Many yoga and Pilates studios offer outdoor classes, weather-permitting of course, at local parks. This is a great way to get some fresh air at the same time that you’re rejuvenating your spirit and body with a group of friends. Ask around your area for recommendations on which studios offer these types of experiences. Or if you’re already a yoga or Pilates pro, why not take the initiative and start your own outdoor sessions with friends? Just be sure to follow park usage guidelines and make appropriate bookings or arrangements if necessary.

Get Pumped with New Workout Tunes

It’s been proven that the right tunes playing can have a huge impact on how you feel when you are exercising or working out. You might not find that Beastie Boys is perfectly suited to your yoga session, but it works great when pounding out an intense 5k run. Spend some time on your preferred music streaming or downloading sites and check out what’s new and hot on the charts to liven up your exercise playlist and inject some new energy to your tunes. Subscription services such as Spotify are great at providing recommendations for new music based on the stuff you’ve listened to in the past, or based on genres, other artists, or simply what’s hot around the world. Spend some time exploring and discovering new music and build out a kick-ass new playlist for your workout routines.

Get the Kids on Board

You’re not the only one in the house who can benefit from getting out and moving more. Many kids these days are far more sedentary than we were in our youth, so it’s important to instill good healthy living habits in them, and that includes exercise. This could be something as simple as teaching your pre-teen how to run in one of those ‘learn-to-run’ classes we talked about earlier, or maybe you could strike up a pickup game of ultimate Frisbee at your local park.

Getting your kids excited about regular exercise usually hinges on how much fun it is, so see what you can do to work in some competitive elements, or just some random silliness that keeps them engaged or laughing. Take turns quoting your favourite goofy TV show, or challenge each other to a quick race, for example. Whatever it takes, just make it fun for them, and it’ll inevitably be more fun for you, too.

Conclusion

There’s no reason that you can’t use the springtime as the perfect excuse for making a change to your fitness regimen. In fact, many people use this season as the springboard in to a complete overhaul of their healthy living lifestyle, including changes to their exercise routines, meal plans, and more. Spring is the season of rebirth and rejuvenation, so take a cue from Mother Nature and do the same for yourself. Your body will thank you, and the benefits will be well worth the effort. Now, get out there in the sunshine and get moving!

cleaning your bbq tips

BBQ Cleaning Guide – Great Tips

The How-To Guide for Cleaning Your Barbecue Grill

With summertime just around the corner, our minds turn to warmer weather and fun times outdoors with family and friends. For many of us, a big part of summer fun comes from firing up our BBQ’s and having a family cookout, complete with delicious foods like fresh grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, steaks, and much more.

However, when the warmer weather hits and we rush to get those first burgers of the summer cooking, we sometimes forget how important it is to thoroughly clean and prepare our barbecues for the new season of grilling. While most of us are diligent in cleaning the actual grills each and every time we cook, the rest of the barbecue needs attention too, and making sure it’s clean and in full working order is a good idea at the start of every grilling season.

In this article, we walk through all the steps you need to know to perform a complete inspection and top-to-bottom cleaning of your barbecue grill and ensure that it’s ready to rock and roll when the time is right. We’ll discuss the essential tools you should have on hand, as well as some things to avoid along the way. Let’s get right to it!

Start with Safety First

We always abide by the credo of ‘safety first’ when it comes to working with a gas grill, so always disconnect the gas line from the grill before you do anything else. Leaving the gas line connected to a fuel source while you’re cleaning it can be extremely dangerous, so always make sure this is the first step you take to stay safe.

Gather the Right Tools

Before you begin, it’s important to gather together the necessary tools and equipment you’ll need to properly clean your grill. You don’t need much, but the right tools can make things much faster and easier, and get the process done with less mess overall. Here’s what you should have close at hand before you begin.

  • Two large buckets – You’ll use one bucket to dump any ashes or dirt that has collected in the bottom of your grill to be disposed of later, and the other bucket will be used to hold clean, soapy water to clean the various parts of the grill.
  • Metal paint scraper – A stiff metal paint scraper is great for removing burnt-on stuff from the insides of the barbecue shell. Pick one that’s no wider than about 1.5” – 2” so it’s easier to maneuver inside the various areas of the barbecue. Note that if your grill is made from stainless steel parts, you will want to avoid using a metal scraper since it will scratch the finish. In these cases, opt for plastic instead.
  • Stiff bristle brush – You’ll need a stiff bristled plastic brush to scrub down the surfaces of the barbecue after you’ve scraped off the loose dirt. You’ll want something with fairly long bristles since it will be easier to get in to the different nooks and crannies on the inside.
  • Metal grill brush or grill cleaning stone – For giving the grills themselves a good scrub, you’ll want to use a good quality grill brush or cleaning stone that is specifically for BBQ grills.
  • Gentle dish soap – You’ll want just a little bit of gentle dish detergent and warm water to clean the majority of the parts of the barbecue. Harsh chemicals should be avoided for the obvious reasons that you don’t want to risk any of that stuff getting near your food. Gentle dish soap will rinse away easily and leave a clean, chemical-free surface.

Disassemble and Check for Replacement Parts

Now that you’re ready to work on the grill, start by removing the main components for easier cleaning. The grills, burners, and heat diffusers are all easily removed, usually without the need for any tools. Take out the grease drip trays and any other removable pieces that you can in order to give yourself more space to work with while you clean.

This will also give you the opportunity to closely inspect all the different parts of your grill and look for any signs of excessive damage, wear, or corrosion. If you spot any parts that appear to have been damaged or are beginning to rust through, they should be replaced with the correct replacement parts from the manufacturer of the grill. Look for signs such as thick areas of rust or thinning and brittle metal that are telltale signs that corrosion has progressed and the parts are no longer safe to use in your grill. Consult the manufacturers website and look through the technical support section for a parts list for your grill or call them for assistance in identifying the correct replacement parts you will need.

Scrape and Scrub

Once you’ve got things disassembled, gently but firmly scrape any burnt-on food and layers of grease or dirt from the parts and dump the scrapings in to one of your buckets. This will keep all the dirt in one place and make it easier to dispose of when you’re done. After the parts have been scraped sufficiently to remove the bulk of the surface dirt, you can begin washing and scrubbing them in the bucket of warm and soapy water. Use the stiff bristle brush to scrub the parts in the soapy water to get them as clean as possible. Also scrub down the inside of the grill casing to remove any loose dirt and grime.

Rinse and Dry

Now that you’ve got everything scrubbed down and looking clean, give everything a good rinse with clean, cold water. Avoid using high pressure hoses, as they can force water in to areas that are difficult to dry and could cause faster corrosion. If you have a gentle spray nozzle on your garden hose, you can use this if you dial down the pressure to a very low setting, otherwise rinse everything by hand with clean water.

After everything has been sufficiently rinsed, place all the parts in a well ventilated or sunny area to accelerate the drying process. You can speed things up by patting with paper towels to absorb any excess water that has collected in the various parts of your grill.

Reassemble and Test

Once you are certain that all the parts are completely dry, you can now reassemble the grill and get it ready for use again. Put everything back in the reverse order that it was removed and be sure to consult the owners’ manual if you are uncertain where some things need to go.

With the grill completely dry and reassembled, it’s time to reconnect the gas line and fire it up. We recommend running the barbecue for several minutes to help remove any additional moisture that may still be present and to ensure that the grill is working correctly.

Finish with a Big Family Dinner

Put that nice, clean barbecue to good use by planning a big family dinner to officially kick off the summer grilling season. If you need help planning a fantastic low carb barbecue, check out our BBQ Grilling Guide for a collection of tips and recipes you can use to cook up something really special.

We Canadians love our barbecues, and since we all know that winter will be back before we know it, let’s plan to get as much out of this summer grilling season as we can. Now, go get that barbecue ready for action, Grill Master!

diy low carb hummus

Low Carb Hummus – Homemade

Make Gourmet Low Carb Hummus at Home

Of all the different types of dips and spreads that exist in the world, hummus is definitely one of the most widely known and popular. It’s great for dipping almost anything, from veggie sticks to crackers, and can also be used in a lot of other ways. Some people use it as a sandwich spread, as an ingredient in salad dressings, and even in some soup recipes. It’s a very versatile food that has a distinctive taste, and it’s very easy to make.

In this article, we’ll give you the essentials on how to make your own delicious hummus right in your own kitchen. We’ve got some great suggestions on how to season and flavour your hummus to create a few different unusual taste combinations, and we’ve even discovered a fantastic recipe for hummus made from alternative ingredients that brings the carb count down even lower. With these recipes and tips at hand, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an expert in the world of hummus in no time. Let’s dive right in and get started by learning about the origins of hummus and the basic ingredients you’ll need.

What is Hummus?

The origins of hummus stretch back hundreds of years, as far as the 13th century, actually. It’s a common staple of Middle-Eastern cuisine and comes in a wide range of variants that stem from regional differences in ingredients. The primary ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which belong to the group of foods known as legumes, alongside beans, peas and other similar foods.

While chickpeas on their own do contain carbs, it’s important to note that they are also extremely high in fiber and contain a good amount of protein, in addition to many other vitamins and nutrients. The carbs from the chickpeas are usually offset by the fact that hummus is typically used as an accent for other foods that are either carb-free or extremely low in carbs, such as vegetables and meats.

Chickpeas aren’t the only ingredient needed to make a great hummus, however. Other essential ingredients include tahini, which is a condiment made from ground toasted sesame seeds, as well as olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Several different ingredients can also be added to hummus to create a wide range of tastes such as red pepper, sun-dried tomato, jalapeno, and many more.

Now that you’ve got an idea of where hummus came from and what you’ll need to make it, let’s take a look at a couple of fantastic recipes that are easy to follow and allow you to make delicious, healthy homemade hummus. First, let’s start with a traditional hummus recipe that covers all the basics.

Classic Hummus Recipe

This simple, but amazing, recipe for classic hummus comes from Ali over at GimmeSomeOven.com. This delicious hummus can be ready in just minutes, and all you really need are the ingredients and a food processor or blender to make it happen. Once you’ve got the basic hummus done, you can easily customize it with a variety of toppings to suit your taste. The chef recommends things like an extra drizzle of olive oil, perhaps some red pepper flakes, a sprinkle of paprika, or even some toasted pine nuts or pesto. Go ahead and get creative and add some personal flair to your hummus.

As you can see, making your own hummus at home is super simple. But what if you want to drop the carb count even lower? Can you still make great hummus from alternative ingredients? You bet you can!

Low Carb Cauliflower Hummus Recipe

We’ve found this incredible recipe from Melissa at IBreatheImHungry.com for a hummus made from cauliflower, and you’ve just got to try it. This creation is a fantastic alternative for low carb dieters who are keeping to a very strict level of carbs, but still want to enjoy a tasty hummus dip with a variety of foods. As a bonus, it’s also paleo-friendly, so many different types of dieters will benefit from this unique method for making tasty hummus.

Ready-Made Hummus Products

Of course, not everyone has the time to make fresh hummus from scratch. For hummus fans who are in a bit more of a hurry, you can find all kinds of delicious prepared hummus in a variety of flavours from Wild Garden, including delicious flavours like roasted red pepper hummus. Browse the full range of Wild Garden hummus here.

Conclusion

Hummus is a great fit for low carb dieters and it works in all kinds of healthy meal plans as a condiment, snack, or ingredient for main dishes or side dishes.

We certainly hope that you’ve found this information helpful, and that the next time you need some hummus for a table full of appetizers, that you consider trying your hand at making your own. It’s a simple food to prepare, and fresh hummus always tastes better. Plus, you’ll be able to customize the flavours to suit your tastes or create exciting new combinations for your guests to try.