A teaspoon a day

28 Mar 2020

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A teaspoon a day

The other day, I picked up some ham from an online retailer. It was a premium 8-pound spiral-sliced ham, slow-cooked and smoked for 24 hours featuring a delicious torch-glazed brown sugar crust. Tempted? I certainly was. However, I happened to glance at the nutritional facts & noticed a detail – 41% (990 mg) sodium per serving. Is that good? Or bad? Should I care about this number? Or, just enjoy the ham?

Let us dig deeper.

The terms “Sodium” and “Salt” are sometimes used interchangeably. Salt is made of sodium and chlorine & occurs naturally in some foods, & is added in canned, processed or cooked foods. In the right amounts, in our bodies, sodium is vital. It supports our nervous system, muscles & fluid balance. Take too much though, and you start to see high blood pressure. Additionally, heart & kidney diseases are common effects of having extra sodium in the body.

But, what about my ham? Is it safe to eat? American Heart Association (AHA) suggests having around 1500 mg of Sodium per day. You may be permitted a bit more if you lose body fluids due to sporting activities. This boils down to a teaspoon of salt every day. But, on average 9 out of 10 Americans consume almost double the recommended sodium. Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that of our daily sodium intake, 65% comes from food bought in stores, 25% comes from restaurants and 10% comes from home cooked foods. Eating fresh homemade meals can go a long way in keeping us within the bounds of recommended amounts of Sodium. This is exactly what CookinGenie helps our customers with. All you do is pick your favorite foods from www.cookingenie.com & we will show up with the groceries at your kitchen & cook the food right there. 100% control over what goes in your food.

As for my ham, I did eat it – but now with the awareness that just one serving of the ham gave me almost half the daily sodium I needed for my body for the entire day.

References:

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/9-out-of-10-americans-eat-too-much-sodium-infographic


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Aphrodisiac Recipes for Valentine’s Day - CookinGenie Blog

14 Feb 2022

You’ve heard the word aphrodisiac before, and often, the first thing that comes to mind is something like oysters. But, truth be told, there are actually more foods that are considered aphrodisiac or aphrodisiac recipes to help you and your partner get in the mood this Valentine’s Day and beyond.

What is an Aphrodisiac?

Aphrodisiacs are foods that are believed to help stimulate human desire. As eating a great meal is always a pleasurable experience, these foods are thought to go a step further in heightening sexual emotions.

Historically, there are five different types of aphrodisiacs and why they are said to arouse passion.

  1. Exotic foods were thought to be erotic because they were rare and expensive compared to more everyday foods in the past.
  2. Spicy hot foods were thought to fire up passion through their spicey heat, while more bland foods were said to have the opposite effect.
  3. Foods that resemble the sexy parts of your body were also thought to be aphrodisiacs, such as oysters and asparagus.
  4. In addition, eating reproductive parts of animals, such as caviar, was believed to be an aphrodisiac.
  5. Finally, foods that were to stimulate your senses were also considered to be aphrodisiacs. When you eat, you’re doing more than just fueling your body. You’re engaging your senses. You’ll use sight, scent, touch, and taste during a meal, and it’s believed that these foods help heighten your sensual feelings through these senses.

While scientifically speaking, no studies have been done to examine the claims that these foods work to increase your libido, it can be a more personal experience that helps spark a fire. Food works to create a pleasant atmosphere, and that can be enough to help stimulate your evening. Keep in mind what helps to create a more romantic evening will depend on the person. Someone that can’t stand seafood probably will not appreciate your attempt to use oysters to stimulate their senses, while chocolate may be more of a boon than you realize this Valentine’s Day.

Examples of Aphrodisiacs and Aphrodisiac Recipes:

  • Chocolate: Between the taste and how the silkiest chocolate melts in your mouth, it’s easy to see why chocolate has made the cut on this list. Chocolate can help to make anyone feel good. Don’t forget that this Valentine’s Day, when you book with CookinGenie, you’ll receive a complimentary Chocolate Mousse to enjoy after your dinner. If Chocolate Mousse isn’t exciting, you can also try the Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Bars or the Red Velvet Cupcakes with Creamy Frosting.
  • Asparagus: Asparagus is a healthy food that offers plenty of potassium and vitamin E, which are both excellent for helping to improve overall health and sexual health. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it’s shaped rather conveniently to be added to this list. For your Valentine’s Day menu, you may want to try Garlic Butter Steak Bites with Oven Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus or the Lemon-Herb Salmon with Parmesan Crusted Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes.
  • Finger Foods: There’s something sensual about finger foods that adds them to this list. Not using utensils and being able to feed each other easily helps to give this food an added layer of allure. Charcuterie can be a fun addition to your Valentine’s Day dinner.
  • Hot Peppers: When you want to kick things up a notch for your palate, hot peppers like jalapenos can be great for adding hot flavors to any recipe. Thanks to the capsaicin in the peppers that give them that spicy effect, your heart rate increases, your endorphins start pumping, and it stimulates your nerve-endings. All-in-all sounds like a great time! Here are some tremendous CookinGenie options that feature peppers: Jalapeno’s Cheddar Cornbread, Baked Lemon Wings With A Kick And Homemade Ranch, and Veggie Pad Thai.
  • Brussel Sprouts: Before you dismiss these little green balls, Brussel sprouts have a lot to offer regarding male libido. These tasty guys have Indole-3-carbinol, which helps reduce estrogen in men and helps to spark desire. Some choice dishes that feature these humble veggies include Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Stuffed Salmon with Roasted Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts.

Setting the Right Mood

Now that you’ve got an idea of some of the best meals to add to your Valentine’s Day, the next thing to consider is how to set the right mood for your special dinner. Although you’re at home, that doesn’t mean that you can bring the romantic restaurant feel to your house. So think about how you can go about setting the right mood.

One of the things that romantic restaurants offer is the ambiance. Music, lighting, and more combine to create the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner atmosphere. Pick out romantic selections for the music you and your special someone enjoy. Classical music, R&B, jazz, and other musical selections can work. You’ll also want to find ways to mute your lighting. You may need to add some candles around the table if you don’t have a dimmer switch. Plus, you can add a nice tablecloth on the table from vintage lace that’s a family heirloom or go with a classic Italian restaurant-style red and white checked cloth.

Another thing to consider is plating. The way that your food is presented helps to evoke being in a nice restaurant. It’s time to break out your fine china and silverware to add to the ambiance. Slopping food on the plate doesn’t add to the presentation. You’ll want to plate it carefully, so you’re not ignoring one of the most important senses of sight when it comes to eating.

Let CookinGenie Help Your Valentine’s Day

Give CookinGenie a try this Valentine’s day with these dishes featuring these aphrodisiac recipes. You and your special someone will dine on a meal specially prepared in your kitchen by a professional chef. Make Valentine’s Day a special day where you won’t have to worry about shopping, cooking, or even having to clean the kitchen afterward—leaving you with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your date night. Check out these fun dishes and more on the CookinGenie website to find the perfect Valentine’s Day meal, whether you believe in the effects of aphrodisiacs or not.

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Top Wineries and Vineyards in Ohio _ Wine Trails

11 Nov 2022

Ohio is home to numerous wineries and vineyards, making it the perfect destination for a wine-fueled getaway. And with several wine trails crisscrossing the state, it’s easy to plan an itinerary that hits all the correct highlights. If you want to spend a day exploring world-class wineries, Ohio has some exciting stopovers. So, grab a glass and explore what Ohio’s wine country offers.   

How many wineries does Ohio have?

The number of wineries in Ohio has been steadily increasing in recent years. Right now, the state has more than 250 wineries.  

This growth is an outcome of several factors, including the favorable climate and soil conditions that make Ohio ideal for growing grapes, as well as the growing popularity of wine among consumers.  

Many Ohio wineries are also committed to using sustainable production practices and creating high-quality wines, which helps attract new patrons. Overall, the increase in wineries in Ohio is good news for wine lovers and local businesses.   

Oldest Winery in Ohio

The oldest winery in the state is Firelands Winery, located in the lakeside town of Sandusky. This historic winery was founded in 1880 by the Mantey family and has been an indispensable part of the local wine community.   

Largest Winery in Ohio

Located in Madison, an hour east of Cleveland, Debonne Vineyards is the largest winery in Ohio. The vineyard spans over 175 acres and produces a wide variety of high-quality wines for the state’s wine lovers. 

Best Wineries and Vineyards in Ohio

With its lush green countryside, rolling hills, and countless opportunities for outdoor recreation, Ohio is the perfect destination for a weekend exploring all the beautiful wineries and vineyards the state offers.  

Whether you drink wine for pleasure or are an avid connoisseur, there is something for everyone in Ohio. With a wide range of wines available, from dry reds to sweet whites, and extensive tasting rooms where you can sample them, these establishments are sure to provide the perfect setting for an afternoon or evening out with friends or loved ones.   

Here are some that need a special callout. 

Top Wineries with Accommodation in Ohio

  • You can find the Lakehouse Inn and Winery in the scenic town of Geneva-on-the-Lake. This boutique winery offers a wide range of award-winning makes from locally sourced grapes and several elegant tasting rooms with stunning views of the lake. You can also take advantage of the accommodation at the inn, which features comfortable rooms and suites, many with private balconies or patios overlooking the peaceful lake.   
  • Gervasi Vineyard is in the bustling city of Canton. Set on 50 acres of rolling hills and vineyards, this beautiful estate boasts a variety of unique wine offerings, including sparkling wines and dessert wines. In addition to wine tastings and tours, you can enjoy a range of culinary experiences at Gervasi’s upscale restaurant and bakery and shopping opportunities at its gourmet market. Additionally, several lodging options are available for a stay.  

Best Wineries in Northern Ohio

  • Vermilion Valley Vineyards is one of the top wineries in northern Ohio. Known for its beautiful vineyard and extensive selection of high-quality wines, it’s located in Wakeman, Ohio. This estate winery offers tastings of over a dozen wines, including reds, whites, and sweet sparkling varieties. Other highlights include their onsite bar and lounge area, where you can enjoy a glass of wine or some light fare while taking in stunning views of the surrounding vineyard. 
  • Firelands Winery is another top winery in northern Ohio, known for its high-quality wines and commitment to sustainability. Located in Sandusky, Ohio, this winery uses environment-friendly practices to cultivate grapes and produce its delicious wines. You can tour the vineyard and learn about organic farming firsthand, as well as sample a wide variety of local wines made from locally sourced ingredients. It’s perfect for a fun day out with friends to treat your palate to a unique experience.     

Wineries in Amish Country, Ohio

  • Silver Moon Winery is one of the most beautiful wineries in Amish Country, Ohio. Exquisite vineyards, a lovely tasting room, and wide varieties, including dry reds, fruity whites, and sweet dessert wines, make it one of the finest wineries.    
  • Mastropietro Winery is another beautiful winery in Amish Country, Ohio, which is known for its high-quality wines and relaxed atmosphere. Set in the scenic countryside just outside Berlin Center, Mastropietro Winery features rolling hills, lush vineyards, and charming wine-tasting rooms where guests can sample an extensive collection of premium varietals. If you’re looking for crisp whites or bold reds, Mastropietro will indeed have something to suit your palate. 
  • Breitenbach Wine Cellars is known for its top-notch, handcrafted wines that use traditional winemaking techniques and locally sourced ingredients. The winery features beautiful vineyard grounds and a charming tasting room where you can sample different wines and learn more about the winemaking process. Whether you are a local wine enthusiast or a traveling wine aficionado, Breitenbach Wine Cellars is worth a visit.

Wineries in Northwest Ohio

  • Located in Northwest Ohio, Stoney Ridge Winery is a popular destination for wine enthusiasts and live music lovers. The family-owned and operated winery produces many wines, including sweet and dry seasonal varieties. With its rustic and comfortable setting, Stoney Ridge offers the perfect place to relax and unwind while enjoying some of the region’s best wines.   
  • Gideon Owen Wine Company is a newer addition to the wine scene in Northwest Ohio, having been established in recent years by an experienced team of winemakers. Featuring a full restaurant and bar with an extensive beverage menu, Gideon Owen Wine Company offers a variety of fruit wines, reds, whites, and more. Savor a glass of your favorite wine or enjoy some great local craft beer while you are here. 

Wineries in Northeast Ohio

  • Debonne Vineyards is one of the premier wineries in northeast Ohio, thanks to its excellent location and outstanding wines. Located on a sprawling vineyard overlooking Lake Erie, Debonne Vineyards benefits from the unique microclimate that allows it to grow some of the best grapes for wine production in the region. In addition to traditional varietals like Riesling and Pinot Noir, Debonne also produces fruit-based wines from locally sourced ingredients.   
  • Goddess Wine House is another excellent destination for wine lovers in northeast Ohio. Located in Ashtabula, this unique winery focuses on premium vintages and innovative flavors, with a limited menu of classic white and red wines and more unusual varieties like sweet raspberry rosé and blackberry merlot. The food menu at Goddess Wine House is equally impressive, offering a selection of appetizers and entrees that pair perfectly with delicious wines.   

Wineries in Columbus, Ohio

  • Located in the historic neighborhood of Columbus, Wyandotte Winery is one of the city’s oldest and most famous wineries. Known for its high-quality wines and friendly, laid-back atmosphere, Wyandotte offers wine tastings guided by experts who help you explore new wines and learn how to pair them with delicious food.  
  • Good Vibes Winery is also a popular choice among locals and visitors. Located in the northern suburb of Westerville, this smaller winery offers a unique selection of handcrafted wines made using locally sourced ingredients. This place is ideal for a relaxing afternoon or an evening full of fun and discovery.  

 

Also Read: A Guide to Visiting Ohio Wineries and Vineyards 

Wine Trails to Explore in Ohio

Ohio is a state with a rich history of winemaking. The first vineyards were planted here in the early 19th century, and the state now has more than 250 wineries. Ohio’s wine trails are a great way to explore this history and taste some of the state’s finest wines. There are trails to suit all tastes and budgets, from the casual day-tripper to the serious oenophile. Be it a romantic getaway or a fun group outing, Ohio’s wine trail is sure to please. 

  1. The Appalachian Wine Trail is a popular route, taking you through the state’s southeastern part and along its border with West Virginia. This trail features many wineries, offering a wide variety of wines ranging from reds and whites to sweet dessert wines. You can enjoy these wines while exploring the area’s stunning natural landscapes, including rolling hills, striking mountain vistas, and lush forests. You can also visit local farms and explore small towns steeped in history and culture. 
  2. The Canal Country Wine Trail follows the historic Ohio and Erie Canal route, which was once an essential economic hub in southeastern Ohio. 
  • Walk or bike along the Towpath trail that runs alongside this scenic waterway. 
  • Take a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad that follows the same path as the canal boats did centuries ago. 
  • Drive America’s Byway to see all the highlights of this beautiful region.  

The trail includes wineries in areas such as Amish Country in southern Ohio, which offers unique cultural experiences for you to learn more about this fascinating community.  

  1. The Capital City Wine Trail is a network of wineries and vineyards located in and around Columbus, Ohio. This trail features a variety of high-quality wines produced by local winemakers and opportunities to explore the unique attractions and natural beauty that characterize the area. Highlights include historic sites like the Ohio Statehouse and Ohio Governor’s Mansion, lush parks and gardens, vibrant shopping districts, and much more. 
  2. The Lake Erie Shores and Island Wine Trail is a collection of wineries located on or near Lake Erie in northern Ohio. This trail offers the chance to discover an array of local wines, including whites, reds, rosés, sparkling wines, and dessert wines. It also provides easy access to some of the region’s most beautiful natural landscapes, including miles of pristine beaches, picturesque lighthouses, charming coastal towns and villages, legendary amusement parks like Cedar Point, abundant wildlife habitats like bird sanctuaries and fish hatcheries, and many other exciting attractions.  
  3. The Vines & Wines Trail is a route through the scenic Ohio River Valley, home to the highest concentration of wineries in the state. This trail takes you through rolling hills and lush vineyards, where you can explore the history and art of viticulture and sample some of the region’s finest wines. You can also attend wine tastings and educational workshops, tour local wineries and vineyards, or relax at one of the many charming bed and breakfasts that dot the landscape. The Vines & Wines Trail is an idyllic weekend getaway that will delight you.  
  4. The Ohio River Valley Wine Trail consists of a network of wineries located around Cincinnati and throughout its surrounding regions. This trail takes you through beautiful rural landscapes dotted with lush vineyards and picturesque farmhouses. Here, you can explore centuries-old winemaking traditions and sample some of the finest wines in Ohio. Along the way, travelers can visit local tasting rooms, take guided tours of local vineyards, attend special events like wine festivals or food pairings, or enjoy a relaxing day.   

Conclusion

Ohio is home to some of the best wineries in the country, and it offers a range of Wine Trails for those interested in exploring this unique region. So, if you are looking for a relaxing afternoon spent tasting award-winning wines or an exciting weekend adventure among world-class vineyards, Ohio has a lot for you to explore. 

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Eating with the Planet in Mind: Understanding Climate-Conscious Eating

30 Nov 2022

Eating is not just about filling our stomachs – it is an opportunity to build a healthy and sustainable world. When we purchase food produced in an environmentally conscious manner, we send the message that healthy ecosystems and climate action matter. With this post, we will explore different ways of making climate-conscious choices when it comes to food, from shifting diets towards plant-based meals to becoming more aware of from where our ingredients come. We will explore strategies for making eco-friendly swaps, like choosing organic produce and small producers over large conglomerates. We will learn how our dietary decisions can contribute to building a healthier, more sustainable planet. So let us dive in.  

What are climate-conscious foods, and why are they important?

Understanding climate-conscious food is an essential step in fighting the climate crisis. Climate-conscious foods are produced sustainably and combine ingredients grown in a way that counts their environmental impact. For example, sustainable farming practices help reduce soil erosion and water pollution while supporting local biodiversity. But this is not just about ensuring our food supplies are free from toxic chemicals or dubious sources – it is also about recognizing how our food choices can either contribute to or diminish the effects of climate change. By buying locally sourced, fresh produce, we can help reduce our diet’s carbon footprint and support small businesses that are not negatively impacting the environment through their production methods. Eating more plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables can also help us reduce animal protein consumption without compromising nutrition. Sustainable seafood options ensure we keep stocks of essential ocean resources. By making wise lifestyle choices to inform our consumption patterns and ensuring we choose climate-conscious foods wherever possible, we can all do our part to promote healthy ecosystems for generations to come.  

How are climate-conscious foods making a difference?

Climate-conscious foods make a positive environmental difference through their natural property to sustainability and reducing resource consumption. Such foods require less energy for farming and processing without using non-renewable resources. For example, eating plant-based protein is gaining traction because it requires significantly less energy and water than animal products. In addition, local farm markets are becoming more popular as they allow people to purchase food with lower emissions from transport. Eating more organic produce is also beneficial as organic farming methods limit air and water contamination while providing natural nutrients in the crops.  

Furthermore, certified aquaculture operations can help to prevent overfishing of seafood populations while helping to reduce emissions associated with fishing fleets. As a result, climate-conscious food choices positively impact our environment’s future by reducing energy consumption and protecting species from extinction. When considered along with other environmentally friendly practices, these measures can help make a significant difference to the health of our planet in the years ahead. This type of sustainable lifestyle needs public awareness to encourage policymakers to make changes on larger scales, such as levying taxes on emission-intensive activities or encouraging investment in renewable sources like wind power or solar energy. Therefore, we should all look for ways to become more aware of how climate-friendly our food choices are and support organizations that promote sustainability to move toward a healthier environment for future generations. Each small action we take will collectively add up when making meaningful change movements.  

Health Benefits

Climate-conscious eating offers a range of benefits that most of us overlook. From preventing nutrient deficiencies to boosting immune systems, these dietary changes have the potential to improve well-being significantly.  

  • Climate-conscious eating results in a lower intake of saturated fat and cholesterol levels, leading to lower rates of hypertension and obesity. According to scientific studies, it also reduces one’s risk of developing several types of cancer as a climate-conscious diet typically includes considerable amounts of fruits, vegetables, unprocessed grains, and low levels of animal products like dairy and eggs.
  • At a macro level, it helps reduce carbon emissions. It has profound positive impacts on one’s physical health due to the ample supply of plant antioxidants that protect cells against free radical damage.  
  • Moreover, incorporating diet modifications such as intermittent fasting or cutting out unhealthy snacks can improve one’s relationship with food while helping to boost energy levels when undertaken responsibly. Climate-conscious eating goes beyond environmental considerations: it can dramatically improve individual health outcomes.  

Thus, for anyone looking for ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle in tandem with bettering their diet, indulging in climate-conscious eating is an excellent way forward.

Sustainability Benefits

Climate-conscious eating encompasses a set of nutritional choices that seek to minimize one’s contribution to climate change. From a sustainability perspective, these decisions can provide highly beneficial results socially, politically, and morally. By being mindful of food purchases and consumption, individuals can reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which are contributing to global warming and severe weather conditions. Moreover, when making ethical eating choices, an individual considers the health and well-being of the planet’s ecosystems. This consideration includes promoting biodiversity by avoiding overharvesting from land or sea so that our natural resources are not compromised.  

Furthermore, such positive behaviors help conserve precious water, protect soils from degradation and decrease deforestation to preserve wildlife habitat. Lastly, fairer forms of production get supported by buying locally and shopping with companies that prioritize environmental health as a factor in their supply chain practices.  

These benefits make sustainable climate-friendly eating a valuable effort on the journey to living more healthily concerning our world’s environment.  

Sustainable Food Examples

Sustainable eating has recently become more popular, and for a good reason: it is beneficial for the environment, cheaper to do, and provides a healthier alternative. Sustainable eating includes consuming environmentally sound food that provides valuable nutrients. Some of these foods include:   

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables include tomatoes, squash, eggplants, zucchini, and peppers.  
  • Organic grains such as quinoa and farro.  
  • Nuts and seeds like almonds and chia.  
  • Beans, pulses, and lentils such as borlotti beans or chickpeas.  
  • Seafood like mussels cultivated rather than wild-caught, locally sourced mushrooms and seaweed.  

Eating sustainably also includes:    

  • Reducing food waste to stretch our resources farther by utilizing leftovers creatively.  
  • Opting for seasonal fruits & vegetables for more nutritional value than preserved ones.  
  • Choosing unpackaged items over highly processed goods.  
  • Favoring plant proteins over animal proteins   
  • Prioritizing local producers to honor artisanal techniques & reduce transportation costs from abroad.  
  • Patronizing farmers’ markets to understand the source of our food.  
  • Growing your own food if possible.  

These principles guide us toward reestablishing harmony between nature and ourselves through conscious consumption.

Summary

Eating with the planet in mind is crucial to reducing the carbon footprint and leaving a more minor, more sustainable mark on the environment. To ensure that your meals are climate-conscious, try to include locally sourced ingredients, and do not be afraid to get creative with plant-based options like soy or jackfruit. Amplifying knowledge of zero-waste principles will have positive effects as well. We do not need to overhaul our eating habits to take meaningful action completely – small steps can lead to significant changes when reducing our impact on the planet. In sum, with a bit of thought and effort, we can all make eco-friendlier choices around dining for the sake of our earth’s future. Climate-conscious eating creates a healthier and more secure planet. In doing so, let us not forget that food has always been about culture, friendship, and joy – factors we must strive to protect so that generations can continue enjoying its benefits for years to come. 

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