How To Cut An Avocado

Cutting an Avocado

Using a sharp knife, slice it lengthwise, all the way around.  Twist it slightly to separate the two halves.  With a short, chopping motion drive your knife blade into the pit and twist to separate if from the meat of the avocado.  Bang it against the edge of the garbage can to remove pit from the end of the knife.

When choosing “ripe” avocados, select ones that are slightly soft but not mushy.  When purchasing, if they are greener and harder they are not yet ripe but if they are darker in color (most of the green is gone) they are usually ready to eat.  Allow unripe avocados to ripen at room temperature.  Avocados, like bananas, should not be stored in the refrigerator.

Standard Serving Sizes of Food

Chopped Vegetables 1/2 cup 1/2 baseball
Raw Leafy Vegetables (such as lettuce) 1 cup 1 baseball or fist for average adult
Fresh Fruit 1 medium piece 1 baseball
1/2 cup chopped 1/2  baseball
Dried Fruit 1/4 cup 1 golf ball
Pasta, Rice, Cooked Cereal 1/2 cup 1/2 baseball
Ready-to-Eat Cereal 1 oz. varies from 1/4 cup to 1¼ cups
Red Meat, Poultry, Seafood 3 oz. (boneless cooked weight from 4 oz. raw) Deck of cards
Dried Beans 1/2 cup cooked 1/2 baseball
Nuts 1/3 cup Level handful for average adult
Cheese 1½ oz. 4 dice or 2 9-volt batteries

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Substitute Oil for Margarine and Butter

By substituting liquid oils for butter and margarine you can reduce your saturated fat intake by more than half and overall fat intake by 25%.

For baking, use lighter-flavored oils in cakes, muffins, and pizza dough; cookies need a blend of liquid and hard fats for best results.

Butter or Margarine Liquid Oils
1 teaspoon 3/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon 2-1/4 teaspoons
1/4 cup 3 tablespoons
1/2 cup 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
1 cup 3/4 cup

Source: Eating Between the Lines

Cooking Tip: Pancakes and Waffles

Waffles can be made from any pancake batter if you add an extra tablespoon of oil to keep the batter from sticking.


Pancake batters are much thinner than muffin batters—they should pour from a spoon easily.  If you find the batter too thick or thin after starting the first pancake, add a little water or flour to the batter.  Nothing beats cooking pancakes in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.  If surface is well seasoned, only a few drops of oil will be needed. Continue reading “Cooking Tip: Pancakes and Waffles”

How Contaminated are Fruits and Vegetables in 2014?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes an annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides. On June 1, 2010, they released their updated list of the 49 most popular fruits and vegetables ranking them from the least amount of chemical residues (herbicides, insecticides and pesticides) to those with the most chemical residues.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes an annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides.  Below is the full list released June 2014 of 48 of the most popular fruits and vegetables ranking them from the greatest amount of chemical residues (herbicides, pesticides and insecticides) – Worst choices – to those with the least chemical residues – Best choices. Continue reading “How Contaminated are Fruits and Vegetables in 2014?”