I thought I’d share some practices of mine in the kitchen that may help you.

I’ve mentioned that the quality of melons has gone down. It’s rare that you find a luscious cantaloupe, and the luscious honeydew melons of old are gone completely. Watermelons have held up better, but they still fluctuate in quality. I consider myself good at picking them, but it’s never a sure thing. So, if I wind up with a lackluster watermelon (meaning not very sweet) what I do is chill it and then blend it into a drink. I just blend it in the blender, which has the effect of sweetening it because the sugar gets released and more available to your taste buds. It’s very satisfying that way. If you tried it with a sweet watermelon, it would be too sweet. But, if it’s subpar for regular eating, then this blending trick really does the trick.

Plant-based milks are very popular. It started with soy milk, but it seems like, today, almond milk is the most popular one.  But, I find store-bought almond milk watery, so I make my own. And I use three kinds of nuts in equal proportion: almonds, pecans, and walnuts. I blend them in water using a blender cup. A blender cup is this little cup. I think its capacity is 8 ounces. But, it takes the blade and screw-on top of a blender basin. The contents need to be under pressure to force the nuts into the blade. If you tried it with a big blender receptacle, the nuts would just bounce around.  So, the secret is to put 2 or 3 ounces of nuts and then fill the cup up with cold drinking water, and then blend at high speed until thoroughly liquefied, and it doesn’t take long; maybe 5 seconds. It’s fast! And you get a very nice smooth milk that you can pour over oatmeal or whole grain cereal. And if you don’t use it up at once, you can crew the cap on and put it in the fridge. It will store for a few days without deteriorating.

Dark leafy greens like kale are really good for you, and here’s a fast way to prepare them. I’m eating kale from my garden right now (although I picked all that I had before this deep freeze hit Texas). But, when I don’t have garden kale, I buy it at the supermarket, and it comes pre-cut and pre-washed, organic. And it’s not expensive either. $3 for a big bag? That’s cheap.

So, I take a couple handfuls of kale and steam it until it’s tender but still green. Then I dribble some extra virgin olive oil over it and then sprinkle it liberally with garlic powder. I particularly like the garlic powder they sell at Whole Foods. And that is really tasty. It doesn’t need any salt either.

The best way I know of to eat sweet potatoes is to mix avocado with them. Of course, you should let them cool a little first because you don’t want to melt the avocado. But, it really is delicious when they are good sweet potatoes and good avocadoes.

I make smoothies sometimes with bananas and another fruit, such as berries of some kind or pineapple or even nice ripe pears. Then, I add silken tofu and hempseed hearts.  It makes a very delicious, dairy-less, vegan smoothie.

Besides making nut milk, I also make nut butter using the Champion juicer. I use the same combination of nuts: almonds, pecans, and walnuts. I just run them through the machine. I don’t add anything. One way that I use it is oatmeal. I mash the nut butter with ripe banana and then mix it into the oatmeal. My guests love it.

I hope you know that beans are a very good food. I buy low sodium canned beans, including pinto beans. But, if I’m going to cook them from scratch, I prefer to use the Anasazi beans, which are similar to pinto, but with a sweeter, richer flavor. They don’t sell them in supermarkets, but you may be able to find them at Whole Foods, and if not, you can order them online. They really are tasty.

I hope these tips have been helpful.