Archive of ‘Eat’ category

Benefits of chicken bone broth

BONE BROTH!

This has been such a buzzword lately that people have opened up entire cafes/restaurants centered around the idea—”bone broth bars”. It kind of has a ring to it.

Think about walking to a coffee shop to get a cup of coffee—except you’re walking to a bone broth bar to get a cup of bone broth. Interesting, right? I haven’t been to one yet—I make bone broth at home, but it’s an interesting concept. Have you been to one?

Whenever there’s a trend, I’m lightweight skeptical of it. But bone broth isn’t anything new.

Bone broth is an old-school staple that just got A LOT of attention recently.

Growing up, my mom would make us bone broth ALL THE TIME, especially when we were sick. But she never called it bone broth. It was just the way she’d always make us soup.

Here’s how she makes it:

She takes chicken with the bones (usually wings or legs—because she says these have the most flavor, more than breasts), sliced onions, carrots, celery, turmeric, salt and pepper, adds them to a big pot of cold water, and heats it all up on medium-low heat until the chicken’s cooked.

Sometimes, she also makes it with chickpeas. Once it’s ready, we eat it just like that, or she’ll add more ingredients—like cooked rice, and koofteh nokhod-chi (which are balls of chickpea flour with ground turkey—kind of like a Persian matzo ball. I think some people also call them “gondi”).

Anyways, growing up, this was soup.

So when bone broth became all the rage in mainstream media about 2 years ago, I wasn’t skeptical about bone broth, but more so the companies that touted it.

A lot of store-bought “stock” & “broth” aren’t real & they definitely don’t have the benefits of homemade bone broth—they can use lab-produced meat flavors, soup & sauce mixes, and even MSG (monosodium glutamate, which is a flavor enhancer). YUCK. NO THANKS.

I don’t have the patience my mom has to make it from scratch, at least not yet, so I wanted to find a bone broth I can trust, that’s easy to heat & ready to eat.

Fun news—I found two. I always get chicken bone broth.

The two brands I like are EPIC bone broth in homestyle savory chicken (it’s made with organic chicken) and Bonafide Provisions organic bone broth made from free range chicken.

Before we get into the deets of these two, let’s chat about BONE BROTH BENEFITS! Ready? Let’s go!

CHICKEN BONE BROTH BENEFITS:

  • Boosts immune system
  • Reduces inflammation in the respiratory system (b/c of the amino acids that are produced when making chicken bone broth)
  • Improves digestion (also b/c of the amino acids that are produced when making chicken bone broth)
  • Easy to digest
  • Great for combating cold & flu symptoms
  • Nutrient dense
  • Provides collagen & minerals
  • Aids in post-workout recovery (I LOVE having bone broth after a workout!)

Okay, so if you’re not ready to make it from scratch (hey, I’m not), here are two brands you’ll love. I’ve been having them for the past 2-3 years.

EPIC bone broth in homestyle savory chicken

This is my go-to for a number of reasons.

  1. They use organic chicken (unfortunately the rest of the ingredients aren’t organic, but at least the chicken is)
  2. They slow cook the bones, which means we get the maximum benefits from it—this is why, when you heat it up, you’ll want to simmer it over medium-low heat—to hold in the benefits
  3. It’s super convenient—the jars are perfect for one person (IMO) so when I make it for myself, I heat up one jar & if I’m heating it up for Arrash & I, I use two. Easy!
  4. It’s delicious. Just check out the ingredients—they use the same ingredients as my mom + garlic, apple cider vinegar, & rosemary, so it has a ton of flavor right off the bat. Note: it also has lactic acid & that’s to keep it shelf stable. Ingredients = filtered water, organic chicken, onions, celery, carrots, sea salt, garlic, apple cider vinegar, lactic acid, rosemary, turmeric.

Bonafide Provisions organic bone broth made from free range chicken

I love that this one is more organic. Ingredients = organic chicken broth, organic onion, organic apple cider vinegar, organic garlic, selina brand celtic sea salt, organic parsley. This one comes in a big bag (big-ish, 24 oz vs. EPIC’s 14 oz jars). I keep it in the freezer & defrost it in the fridge the day I’m planing to make it.

I feel like if you want a quick & easy sipping broth, EPIC is the way to go. If you want bone broth for a base, for a more complex meal you’re making, like udon, Bonafide is a good pick. Bonafide doesn’t have as much flavor as EPIC, so you’ll want to add more seasoning to it than you would to EPIC.

Here’s how I make my EPIC bone broth:

  • Pour EPIC bone broth in homestyle savory chicken in a saucepan, & add salt, pepper, freshly squeezed lemon juice (usually 1/2 a lemon per jar) and red chili pepper flakes, and heat on medium-low heat until hot. (I like to use a little  himalayan pink salt & a lot of rainbow peppercorns & red chili pepper flakes from Trader Joe’s.)
  • When it’s hot, pour it in a mug and sip on it through a stainless steel straw. YUM! IT’S SOOO GOOD!

Perfect as a snack, especially after a workout!

Do you like bone broth? How do you usually have it?

<3,
Bita

+ more quick & easy recipes

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Next level nanacakes (aka healthy, no-flour pancakes you’ll be obsessed with)

PANCAKES!!!

You’re probably thinking fluffy, yummy goodness.

BUT, if you’re following any foodie bloggers on IG, you’re probably also thinking NANACAKES.

I love nanacakes.

If you haven’t heard of them yet, they’re pancakes made with 2 ingredients: eggs + a banana.

EASY.

No flour. No added sugar. Super simple.

These are next level nanacakes (LOL!).

Think nanacakes + extra protein + extra fiber + omega 3s + a bunch more flavor—& they’re just as quick to throw together as your 2-ingredient nanacakes.

Here’s the breakdown:

NEXT-LEVEL JOYFETTI NANACAKES

INGREDIENTS
(makes 1 serving – multiply by 2 for 2 people, etc)

  • 2 eggs (preferably organic & pasture-raised)
  • 1 banana
  • A bunch of chia seeds, hemp seeds, & ground flax seeds (pour it in!!! go crazy. you can wing the amount, it doesn’t need to be precise)
  • Pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)

+ olive oil spray

The chia seeds & ground flax seeds provide omega-3s, fiber, & magnesium. Plus, the ground flax seeds help thicken the batter kind of like how flour would if we were using it—so I pour in a BUNCH of ground flax seeds.

The hemp seeds provide a ton of additional protein, fiber, magnesium & iron—plus hemp seeds have a yummy, nutty flavor that I love. I get these.

DIRECTIONS

  • Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl. I like to keep some chunks of banana in there so I don’t make it perfectly smooth. This saves me time too (ha! I’m all about it)
  • Spray a skillet with olive oil and heat it on high heat. You want the skillet to look kind of soaked—so spray a lot of olive oil. As soon as it heats up (this will happen REALLY fast), lower it to medium heat
  • While on medium heat, use a spoon to pour little circles of batter onto the skillet like you would normal pancakes
  • Since I usually make a bunch and only 3-4 fit in my skillet at a time, I usually spray the skillet (again, liberally) once or twice more while making all of them. I spray the skillet between each batch so the 2nd, 3rd, etc batches don’t stick to the pan.

Let me know if that makes sense or if you have any questions! I also love topping them with some honey and fresh berries, & some more pumpkin pie spice/cinnamon. SOOO GOOD.

I make these alllll the time during the weekends.

Arrash loves them too—and he’s obsessed with fluffy, flour-filled, buttery pancakes, so even if you are too, you’ll want to try these : )

Give it a try & LMK what you think.

Oh, & you can get creative with it too—add cocoa nibs, chocolate, whatever you want. Mix it up. Have fun with it.

Chat soon!

xx,
Bita

+ for another yummy breakfast idea, try this fiber-filled fitness bread + coconut yogurt recipe

+ more quick & easy recipes

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Let’s get crackin’:

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Buh-bye yucky artificial colors—here are some sprinkles WITHOUT artificial colors

Remember these Nutella stuffed Nutella cookies?

I make them every year around the holidays—& they’re always a big hit (peep the recipe below to make them at home, you’ll love!)

This time, I was even more excited to share them with my friends & family because I FINALLY used sprinkles that are free of artificial colors. Yup, NO ARTIFICIAL COLORS. None, nada!

Such a big win.

I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to realize I could find these sprinkles so easily.

They’re in the baking aisle at Whole Foods, shocker ; )

One of the things I like about shopping at Whole Foods, is right off the bat I know everything in there is free of artificial colors (among other things—deets here).

I still check the ingredients on everything (so important) but it’s nice to know that at the very least things like artificial colors & high fructose corn syrup, EEK, aren’t in any of the products I might be buying.

Anyways, I bought these at Whole Foods but you can also get them on Amazon. 

& P.S. they have A WHOLE BUNCH of really fun options on Amazon—like these white snowflakes & peppermint crunch sprinkles that are perfect for the holidays/winter & these super cute heart sprinkles I really want for Valentine’s Day baking.

So fun!

You can see the colors are still bright & cheerful but they’re colored with vegetable colorants instead of harmful food coloring like Yellow 5, Red 40, & Blue 1. Yuck, yuck, yuck. No bueno.

These sprinkles use vegetables, so basically, we’re eating kale… KIDDING, obv ; )

To get more specific, the sprinkles I used (India Tree sprinkles), are colored with turmeric, annatto, beet juice, vegetable juices, & beta carotene (which an organic, strongly colored red-orange pigment abundant in plants and fruits).

Cool, right?

These are definitely my go-to sprinkles now.

Okay, & here’s the recipe for these DELICIOUS cookies—I’m STILL obsessed with:

3-INGREDIENT NUTELLA STUFFED NUTELLA COOKIES

INGREDIENTS
(makes ~ 50-52 small cookies)

  • 3 cups Nutella (2 cups for dough + 1 cup, refrigerated, for stuffing)
  • 2 cups 100% white whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs (preferably organic & pasture-raised)
  • Optional—Sprinkles for decoration (I used these)

(Heads up ⇢ You’ll also need baking/parchment paper)

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350° F and line two trays with baking/parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mix together two cups Nutella and eggs. Add flour and stir until fully blended. The dough should be pretty thick.
  • Scoop out a teaspoon of dough (I actually use a teaspoon, it makes it easier to get a round shape) and flatten it in your palm. Place on lined baking tray.
  • Put a teaspoon of cold Nutella in center of cookie.
  • Scoop out another teaspoon of dough, flatten it in your palm, place it over the Nutella and press the edges of the two cookies together, sealing them like ravioli. I like to stretch out the top cookie a little more than the bottom cookie so I get cracks on the top (see snapchats below) because it makes it easier for the sprinkles to stick to it.
  • Repeat until you’ve used all the cookie dough. (Tip ⇢ To save time, I fill the entire tray with the bottom cookies, place a teaspoon of cold Nutella on each cookie, then add the top cookies.)
  • Bake for 6-7 minutes. Makes ~ 50-52 cookies. MMMM MMMM!!

If you want to speed up the process you can also make larger cookies instead of a whole bunch of small ones (& bake them for 8-10 minutes).

I was getting a bit antsy this year since I doubled the recipe, or maybe even tripled it, (I usually double it), so I also made some big cookies, which was kind of fun. The big ones are just as delicious & you get more cookie & Nutella in the middle. YUMMM!!

Let me know if you make these or if you try the sprinkles with another recipe. & tag me in your pics on IG (@JOYFETTI). I’d love to see what you make! Even though it’ll probably make my sweet tooth even worse ; )

Happy New Years!

I hope you have a very sweet NYE : )

<3,
Bita

Recipe adapted from Butter Baking.

More jimmies & baking tools:


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Superfood Spotlight: hemp seeds!!! get ready for TONS of protein & fiber

Pick up a bag of hemp seeds, flip it over & read the nutrition facts on the back—it’s NUTS. Hemp seeds are literally FULL of protein & fiber.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

3 tbsp of hemp seeds (shelled—I get these) provide 10g of protein & 3g of fiber, which is 11% of your daily recommended fiber.

WOW! Right?

To put things in perspective 1 hard-boiled egg = 6g of protein.

3 tbsp of shelled hemp seeds also provide tons of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • 45% of your daily recommended magnesium
  • 20% of your daily recommended iron
  • 110% of your daily recommended manganese (not a typo!)
  • & 45% of your daily recommended phosphorus.

NUTS, right?

Speaking of nuts… That’s kind of it’s flavor. It has a buttery-nutty flavor to it, & it’s SO good.

Can you tell I’m very into it? ; )

Here are some ways to enjoy them: 

  • Add them to your smoothies
  • Top your smoothie bowls with them
  • Add them to yogurt
  • Add them to cereal
  • Top your toast with them (#tuesdaytoast)
  • Add them to your pancake batter/nanacakes
  • Have them on their own (yes, I’ve had them straight out of a spoon—in fact I just had a spoonful of them RN lol)
  • Or on a spoon with peanut or almond butter. No shame, guys ; )

Those are some of my favorite ways to have hemp seeds, but you can obviously add them to anything & everything you’d like! They’re very versatile.

It’s like a healthy, nutty sprinkle. It’s so good!

You could also bake with them during the holidays. YUM! LMK if you add them to any of your holiday recipes? I’m all ears : )

Chat soon!

<3,
Bita

+ try this fiber-filled fitness bread + coconut yogurt recipe too

+ learn about chia seeds & ground flax seeds

+ more nutrition tips & tricks

Some kitchen faves:

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How to eat Fitness Bread—a yummy little snack

Have you guys heard about “Fitness Bread”?

I’d heard about it hear & there in talks about fitness & nutrition, but I never really sought it out.

But, then, today, on my 2nd trip to Whole Foods (there were 3 today—gah! Thanksgiving for ya) I spotted it. And instantly, I had to have it. After checking the ingredients of course—we’re solid. More on that below.

The funny thing is, right away, I knew exactly what I wanted to have it with: COYO coconut yogurt. To the point that I started craving it.

COYO caught my eye a couple months ago & Arrash I really liked using it as a spread on toast. We topped it with honey & pumpkin pie spice (YUM!) & it was sooo good. I had a feeling it’d be delicious with Fitness Bread too & it was! Fitness Bread is kind of long—the pieces are really wide, like double the width of a typical slice of bread—so I cut it in half.

It really hit the spot.

Once I took a bite, I knew I had to snap some pics to share with you guys—it’s definitely worth trying.

Oh & side note: I’m so sorry I completely ripped the packaging! The photoshoot was completely spur of the moment, & since I didn’t plan to photograph it, I basically ripped the packaging in half to get the bread out ASAP lol. I was very eager, LOL. My bad.

To make:

  • Cut one slice of Fitness Bread in half
  • Spread COYO coconut yogurt on top
  • Drizzle with honey
  • & sprinkle pumpkin pie spice on top

Easy—peasy!

If you’re wondering what Fitness Bread is made out of (I was too!) here are the ingredients:

whole kernel rye, water, oat kernels, wholemeal rye flour, iodized salt, wheat germ, oat fiber, yeast.

I’m also into it’s nutrition facts.

1 piece (the entire slice—I used 1/2) provides 24% of your daily recommended fiber (yes, please!) & 4g of protein.

That’s 6g of fiber & 4g of protein just from the bread, & then you’re getting some extra fiber & protein from the coconut yogurt as well.

I’m very into it.

The packaging for the Fitness Bread says to eat it within 5 days of opening it, so I’ll be getting creative & thinking of more ways to eat it. Any suggestions? I’m definitely thinking an avocado-tomato combo will be happening soon. Maybe the day after thanksgiving : )

Okay, I’m off to get ready for bed. Very excited about this little discovery. I hope you guys enjoy too!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! xx

<3,
Bita

Cute plates I’m loving:

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Superfood Spotlight: nutritional yeast

I kept hearing about nutritional yeast but it took me a minute to finally try it.

About 6 months ago, I finally picked it up from Whole Foods and it was so good, I got a little carried away. I sprinkled it on everything, more or less—but not really a sprinkle, more like a BIG ASS POUR.

I poured it into pasta sauce.

I poured it all over potatoes before I baked them—same with zucchini and squash.

I poured it over mushrooms when I sautéed them.

I even poured it over quinoa whenever I wanted a quick, carb-y snack.

I let Arrash in on this little secret a few weeks ago… That he’s been eating tons of nutritional yeast. LOL. And he was pretty shocked to hear about 1/2 the meals he’s been eating the past few months have been filled with nutritional yeast. #YoureWelcome ; ) (Moana reference—I love that movie!)

Okay, let’s talk about taste first—because really, even if something is healthy & has tons of benefits, it’s hard to get into it if you don’t really enjoy it, right? So, taste…

It really does taste like cheese. Specifically, parmesan.

Can you make a quesadilla with it? No, not really. At least not with nutritional yeast alone. I tried. HA! But it has a parmesan-like taste that’s SO good.

& THE BENEFITS… Let’s get into them.

First off, it’s a complete protein—it provides all nine amino acids our bodies can’t produce on its own, while also being vegan. WIN!

Just 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast (specifically Bragg’s) provides:

  • 4% of your daily recommended fiber (1g)
  • 4% of your daily recommended protein (2g)—complete protein
  • a ton of B-complex vitamins, such as vitamin B12 (it provides 40% of your daily recommended value of it) < these are added to it

I also sprinkled it over my popcorn, which was delicious, but also messy when I spilled the popcorn. Whoops.

If you’re never had nutritional yeast, give it a try & let me know what you think?

And if you’re already a big fan, what’s your favorite way to use it? Tell, tell. I’m always looking for new ways to use it : )

<3,
Bita

PTFE- and PFOA-free pots & pans + my favorite bowls:

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How to make pumpkin seeds: a quick & easy recipe

Arrash is VERY into Halloween—& Christmas, but we’ll save that for another post.

For weeks now, he’s been telling me, “We have to get our pumpkins. We have to carve our pumpkins”.

About a week ago, we finally picked up two pumpkins, kind of on the smaller side, from Trader Joe’s & we got carving tools from Walgreens.

I wasn’t totally into the idea at first, but once we got into it, I LOVE IT. Carving is super fun—& kind of relaxing too. I feel like all these activities we use to do when we were kids, like drawing, have this kind of meditative feel to them now. Don’t you think? They’re oddly relaxing.

[ Our pumpkins. Can you guess which is mine & which one is his? ]

Anyways, before we started, we decided to save our pumpkin seeds so we could roast them after we finished carving the pumpkins.

It was so much fun carving pumpkins & then winging a very fall-ish recipe together!

& we definitely winged it.

Here’s the recipe we threw together, literally…

What you need:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Butter (we used Kerrygold—if you want to keep it vegan, use olive oil instead)
  • Honey
  • Seasoning: pumpkin pie spice, paprika, pepper & garlic salt

& parchment paper! : ) 

Here’s the 2-part recipe (don’t get scared, it’s super quick & easy):

Part 1—in the skillet pan

  • Rinse the seeds, if they’re straight from a pumpkin, drain them, and put them in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, melt some butter in the microwave. Once melted, stir in some honey, and pour it over the pumpkin seeds.
  • Add your seasonings (pumpkin pie spice, paprika, pepper & garlic salt), & stir the pumpkin seeds.
  • Put some butter in your skillet pan and roast the seeds in the skillet on medium heat, stirring constantly (so the seeds don’t burn).
  • Add more honey & seasoning as you like : )
  • After the seeds are roasted the way you like them, turn it off, & move on to part 2.

Part 2—in the oven

  • Lay out some parchment paper on a baking tray and pour your seeds on top, laying them flat. We’re going to pop them into the oven to dry them out a bit. Heat the oven to 450, and, if you’d like, drizzle some honey over the seeds before popping them into the oven. (We did this & it was delicious! Kind of like an extra glaze.)
  • Taste test them & take them out as soon as they’re dry enough & taste the way you like them : )

We snacked on them immediately, after they cooled down just a bit, & put the leftovers in the fridge.

& let me tell you, they’re REALLLLY good coming out of the fridge.

We liked them best that way.

This recipe is inspired by Halloween, but it’s also perfect for taking to Thanksgiving dinner, which we’ll definitely be doing this year.

Let me know if you try this recipe, how you like it. & LMK, if this kind of loose recipe works well for you or if you’d rather have a more measured recipe in the future : ) I love hearing your feedback. Thanks for reading!

HAPPY (almost) HALLOWEEN! xx

<3,
Bita

[ My niece & nephew, Shireen & Nadav, made this for us with their 3D-printer (so cool!) since Arrash is obsessed with The Nightmare before Christmas. Super sweet of them! & so good. They’re 9. ]

Cooking essentials + cute bowls for snacking:

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How to curb your sugar cravings

This is my favorite way to do it: FRUIT.

Lately, I’ve been avoiding dessert—not cold turkey, just limiting it, so I’ve been picking up more fruit at the grocery store.

When I get a sugar craving, I grab some fruit—instead of a brownie. Simple, right?

Some of my favorite fruits to snack on are stone fruits (mostly nectaries & peaches), grapes, & of course, berries. I’m obsessedddd with berries. Antoxidents! & they’re SO yummy!

If your office is filled with chocolate & desserts, pack some fruit with you in the morning and snack on it when you want something sweet.

Another good go-to is apples with nut butter. I love the sweet + salty combo.

Okay, dish… What do you eat to curb your sugar craving?

<3,
Bita

Cute bowls make it more fun:

 

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A sweet treat without added sugar: apples + nut butter

My dad always says we have two stomachs—one for food, and another for dessert, so even if we’re full from food, he says we always have room for dessert. He has a HUGE sweet tooth.

I remember this one time we took a family trip to New Jersey and we were at this restaurant/bakery and I turn around & my dad and nephew are starring into this display full of pastries and their eyes are just beaming. Picture the heart eye emoji—that’s basically what they looked like.

I definitely inherited his sweet tooth, but every once in a while I’ll cut out sugar for a little bit. 

So I have a bunch go-to’s for when I’m avoiding sugar but still want something sweet.

This combo is one of my favorites: apples with nut butter.

When you’re picking your peanut butter or almond butter check the nutrition label, to make sure it doesn’t have any added sugar—a lot of them do. Almond butter & peanut butter are delicious on there own, & then you get some natural sweetness from the apple and it’s perfect.

Lately, I’ve been loving Justin’s almond butter. It only has two ingredients: dry roasted almonds & palm oil & I love the taste.

After I dip my apple in almond butter, I usually dip it into chia seeds, because they’re full omega-3 and fiber. Sometimes I’ll also dip it into unsweetened coconut flakes just for fun.

LMK if you guys want more ideas like this. I love dessert, but I also have a ton of go-to alternatives.

Chat with you all tomorrow! : ) xx

<3,
Bita

Apple dividers + cute kitchen finds:

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How to make perfect (& easy-to-peel) hard boiled eggs

A little over a year ago, Arrash & I moved into our first place together and all of a sudden I couldn’t make hard boiled eggs anymore.

The shell kept sticking to the egg, so it’d take off half of the egg white when I peeled it.

It was so annoying and such a waste. It didn’t look pretty, as you can imagine, & it threw off the texture of the egg because the egg wasn’t smooth when I peeled it.

I couldn’t figure out what was different—the stove? the heat? the eggs?

I tried adding more salt to the water while I boiled it, but it didn’t work. It was still sticky. So then I thought: OLIVE OIL.

IT WORKED.

Now that we’re in our new place, I still use this trick. The other day I hard boiled eggs for us & Arrash even mentioned how easy they were to peel.

He said I should put it on the blog. Lol, I said, “I know” ; ) So here we are.

Such an easy tip:

To make perfect, easy-to-peel hard boiled eggs, bring water, salt & OLIVE OIL to boil. The olive oil is KEY for making it easy to peel.

Once the water’s boiling, add the eggs, and lower the heat to medium. I usually use a spoon to lower the eggs into water, slowly, one at a time. Depending on your stove, and how you like your eggs, you may want to cook the eggs for 4-8 minutes. If you want it softer or a bit runny, 4-6 minutes should work. After they’re cooked I put them in bowl of cold water to cool them down.

So simple.

Let me know if you give it a try, how it works for you : )

I love having hard boiled eggs in the fridge because they’re a great source of protein—6 grams per egg, which is 12% of the daily recommended value.

They’re easy to grab in the morning to have with coffee, or during the day as a snack, so I usually make a batch once a week.

They’re definitely one of those items we almost always have in the house.

Okay, I’m off to get ready for bed. I’m planning to start the day off early tomorrow—fingers crossed ; ) so I’m heading to bed a bit earlier. Sweet dreams! xx

<3,
Bita

Let’s get cookin’:

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