Need a savory snack? Try sun dried tomatoes! Their absolutely delicious- I’ve been hooked on them ever since visiting Italy. The combination of freshly baked bread, sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic, and olive oil was a little bite of heaven on earth. However once I was back in the states I could only find completely dried, hard as a brick tomatoes that are more for cooking rather than snacking. I did finally find the perfectly chewy variety at Whole Foods and Fresh Market, which excited me, but they were pricey and didn’t compare to those I ate in The Boot, so I basically gave up on the idea of eating them for a snack. That is, until I realized I could dehydrate my own.
I present to you the best. snack. ever. Homemade sun dried tomatoes!
If you have a tomato plant, garden or a friend with a garden and a dehydrator- you’re golden. Slice em up and make yourself some sun dried tomatoes.
The reason I like these so much is because their chewiness keeps my mouth busy and with the right seasoning they taste just like pizza!
Here’s how it’s done:
- Wash and dry fresh tomatoes
- Cut tomatoes in slices about 1/4 inch thick
- Lay the slices (flesh side up for end pieces) on the dehydrator screens
- Sprinkle with sea salt, shredded fresh basil and oregano or other italian seasonings
- Dehydrate at 125 for 24 hours or until the tomatoes are completely dry (use 115 if you’re doing the raw thing)
Enjoy as a tasty snack, use in sandwiches and salads, or in other recipes. You can even save them for winter when the tomatoes in the grocery store are flavorless.
And just in case you need a refresher on the health benefits:
Tomatoes are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium. To top it off, they’re bursting with the phytonutrient lycopene. This carotenoid that is found in raw tomatoes (and everything made from them) has been extensively studied for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. Choose organic varieties for the most lycopene. Organic ketchup delivers three times as much lycopene, as non-organic brands. (Another good reason to buy organic!)
Lastly, I need to know how you all feel about the latest workout trend- HULA HOOPING!!
It’s been popping up every where. Just recently I saw some girls (who weren’t wearing Dora the Explorer shirts) hula hooping at a park nearby. And, I recieved an email today from Fitness Magazine with the subject line “Hula Hoop Your Way Thin“. There are even hula hoops in the yoga studio at my gym. Although, I’m pretty certain they’re in the yoga room for the kidzercise class I decided to take it upon myself to give the hoop a whirl. And when I say “a” whirl that’s what I mean, because I have never been able to get the hoop to go around more than once without dropping to the floor and I still can’t.
They say that if you buy an adult sized hula hoop that is weighed it’s a bit easier to keep it up, but I’m not planning to invest. Don’t get wrong, there are a couple exercises I like to do that take me back to childhood, like jumping rope and swinging. But hula hooping doesn’t do it for me. Plus it doesn’t seem like something I would actually do (if I could actually do it) for an extended period of time. Like jumping rope- I would never do that for an hour straight.
With exercise you need to do things that you like so that you’ll keep at it. So by all means, if you love twirling the hula hoop and can do it for an extended period of time than that’s awesome. Just don’t count me in 🙂
So tell me, can you hula hoop? Have you tried hula hooping for exercise? What do you think?