COPY-Cool Kitchen Tips from the Manic Managed Mom's Mama

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Cool Kitchen Tips from the Manic Managed Mom's Mama
by:  Rachel Harris,

Last week, I was lucky enough to get to travel to the Washington DC area to see my son's hockey team take the silver medal in the USA Hockey Nationals (congrats to the AHU Knights for representing Arizona so well) and my mom happens to live in that area.  So I made time to spend a few days at her home before the big games began. 

As I sat chatting with her in the kitchen, she showed me some pretty cool tips when it comes to healthy cooking, cleaning and storing food items.  I now realize that my love of sharing quick and helpful tips in my segments, come from my own mama!  So read on because these tips are smart, healthy and will keep your family happy in the popular family room known as the kitchen.  Plus, I have included two of her simple and nutritious recipes for a good breakfast toast and a scrumptious salad dressing that is heart and bone healthy.

To Naturally Sterilize a Cutting Board

My mother greatly dislikes anything with chemicals, so she has been going all natural with her cooking and cleaning since before I was born.  She loves this cool tip that will keep your cutting board germ free, clean and functional.  To wash a cutting board, simply rinse, sprinkle some baking soda on the surface and then splash a coating of white vinegar on top.  Scrub and then rinse clean.  You can actually see and hear it bubble up as the natural cleaning combo acts an antiseptic and rids bacteria right off the cutting board surface.

Citrus Juicing Made Easy & Plentiful

Need some fresh lemon or lime juice for your recipe?  My mom says to simply microwave the fruit for 10 to 20 seconds and the warmed juices inside soften right up so that every last drop is easily squeezed out.  Mom says to also keep these fruits in the fridge to maximize freshness.

Speaking of Storage...

Mom tells me that certain fruits and veggies need to be stored certain ways.  Keep apples in the refrigerator to maintain their nice crisp texture.  Poke holes in a plastic bag holding lettuce so it can breathe and last longer in the fridge.  Be sure to store potatoes and onions separately in your pantry.  If you keep these two items together, the chemicals in each can mix and make both go bad pretty quickly. 

Stinky Sponge Solution

A stinky sponge is also a gross sponge that can easily spread bacteria around as it is used to wipe counters.  Mom says to clean a sponge with baking soda and white vinegar to keep it not only smelling fresh, but sanitary as well.  A sponge can also be run through a dishwasher cycle.  It is still a good idea to replace a sponge monthly.

Mom's Healthy & Tasty Power Toast

Mom made tasty toast for both me and my picky 16-year-old son and we found that it satisfied both our sweet tooth craving and our endless desire for bread.  She first toasted Ezekiel Sprouted grain cinnamon and raisin bread.  Ezekiel bread is a sprouted grain bread that is flourless and organic.  This bread is different from typical bread brands because Ezekiel is made from freshly sprouted live grains that release vital nutrients that are stored in the whole grains that are good for us.  Ezekiel is sold at Sprouts Farmers Market and at Whole Foods stores.

Then she spread each slice with the healthy dairy-free Ghee (that Dr. Ramsey has recommended to me before).  I buy my Ghee at Sprouts Farmers Market.  Next she added almond butter, which is an excellent protein, and then sprinkled a little raw wheat germ on top with a smudge of organic raw honey to top it off.  The wheat germ is tasteless and is packed with important B vitamins, such as foliate, vitamin B1 (thiamin) and vitamin B6. B vitamins are heart healthy, contribute good mood chemicals to the brain and are critical for cardiovascular health.  Raw organic honey in the unprocessed organic form is an adequate source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  So this what I call Mom's power toast and it is tasty, too!

Mom's Favorite All Natural Cleansing Spray

To keep trash cans smelling fresh, rid your kitchen of mold and mildew and even spray on fruit before eating, my mom heartily recommends North American Herb & Spice Germ-a-Clenz, an all purpose natural spray that consists of a natural wild spice essence mixture that is also safe for pets.  Mom sprays a little on her poodle's coat in between grooming.  Mom also sprays a little of  this in her garbage disposal drain to keep germs out and the terrible odor that accompanies that bacteria out of the drain.  I purchased my 2 fluid ounce bottle of Germ-a-Clenz on Amazon for $12 HERE.

All Right Oils According To Mom

Before my mother mentioned this to me, I had just had several other friends, who are wellness experts, tell me something similar and that is when it comes to oils for nutrition, be selective.  Here are Mom's favorite oils...

*Olive Oil - Go for the extra-virgin olive oil that is rich in antioxidants and is good for heart health. Olive oil is best used as a drizzle on steamed vegetables, to make salad dressing or to sauté vegetables.  Mom mixes part olive oil and part Ghee with salt and pepper to season her veggies and it is very tasty.  She also adds a squeeze of lemon.

*Coconut Oil - I read on Dr. Oz's show website that studies show that coconut oil can help our bodies mount resistance to both viruses and bacteria that can cause illness.  My mom had also told me this, so I started using it in my pancakes and other recipes and my family didn't seem to notice much of a difference.  Coconut oil works great for baked recipes like banana bread and it also works well with vegetables.  Coconut oil can also withstand the heat, which makes this oil a good one for cooking.  To soften this oil for measuring, Mom puts the jar in a pan of hot water.  Great trick.

*Sesame Oil - Sesame oil contains both zinc and calcium which contributes to bone health.  This oil is also good for the skin and is heart healthy.  Here is

Mom's heart and bone healthy Asian sesame oil homemade salad dressing...

To start with put 2 teaspoons minced garlic into a little dessert mixing bowl.  Mom eyes the amounts and pours a little toasted sesame oil by Eden over the garlic.  Then she adds a splash of olive oil followed by a little Tamari.  Next she adds a splash of rice vinegar and salt and pepper.  Try tasting the combination to see if anything needs to be adjusted.  This mixture is then poured over her prepared salad.  Yummy and healthy.

Do you have some good kitchen tips that your mom shared with you?  Share with us in the comments section and remember to check out my blog at for more great tips, recipes, pet stuff,  parenting talk, beauty news and more.