'7 New Incredible Pieces of Portable Gear to Go'

Fox & Friends just featured Wonderbag as 1 of their 7 essential portable gear on the go items.

As there is no fuel needed, the Wonderbag is great for feeding all your outdoor adventures, such as Camping, Fishing, Boating, Hiking and also everyday social events in and out of the home..

- Slow cooks and keeps food hot for up to 12 hours

- There’s no battery, plug or fuel required

- Light and easily portable & compact for easy stow away

Foods To Boost Your Mood

If you’ve ever thought a bite of chocolate was heaven or smiled when somebody offered you a French fry, then you know food can make you happy. The idea that what we eat can improve our mood is still an emerging and exciting science. Coined as nutritional psychiatry, the theory is that our brain works best when powered by premium fuel, in the form of high-quality foods. Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in nutrient-dense foods, researchers have discovered can boost the gut’s healthy bacteria, and act as the main producers of the mood-influencing neurotransmitter serotonin, the neurotransmitter that’s responsible for happiness and well-being.

Enjoying a collection of these rich, nourishing foods is known to feed the brain the right combination of nutrients to operate at the optimal level while combating oxidative stress and reducing cellular damage to brain cells.

It’s important to recognize the effects between a quick brownie-fueled high and the long-term impact and nutrition value food can have for the brain. Researchers have released numerous studies linking consumption of junk food with impaired brain function that can ultimately lead to mood disorders.

Though there is no one specific food that is almighty and healing, improving your cognitive skills, there are food groups that offer a variety of nutritional benefits and should be a part of a regular diet. Below are some healthy brain foods that you should consider adding to your plate at meal times.  

Magnesium-rich foods

The dark, leafy greens such as spinach, kale and chard, nuts such as almonds, pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate are all sources of magnesium and have been found in studies to reduce your anxiety levels. Magnesium is also known as an essential mineral helping your heart, muscles and immune system function properly. 

Turkey

This holiday classic should be enjoyed all year round, here’s why: Turkey is not only a rich source of protein, skinless turkey is low-GI (maintaining the body’s insulin levels) low in fat, is a source of iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus. It’s also rich in vitamin B6 and niacin, which are both essential for the body's energy production. Turkey meat contains the amino acid tryptophan, which studies have found can reduce anxiety levels in the body while playing an important role in strengthening the immune system. And, if that wasn’t enough, turkey is a source of selenium, which is essential for thyroid hormone metabolism.

Fermented Foods

The holy grail for gut health, foods such as Kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso and tempeh all contain probiotics that boost the levels of good gut bacteria. This is essential for feeling good. Your gut literally talks to you, holds your thoughts and feelings, and is a big factor in mood boosting.

Turmeric

Inflammation plays a large role in lowering your mood and triggering sluggish, slow energy levels. Adding turmeric to your cooking aids digestion and of course adds a delicious flavor to your weeknight meals. Sprinkle it on shrimp, add it to a stir-fry, over barbequed vegetables or stir into your favorite casseroles such as chili con carne.

Oily Fish

The best fish to eat in the Omega 3 fish family are anchovies, sardines, mackerel, and salmon. The American Heart Association recommends two servings per week of omega 3 fatty acids (fish) to help improve your mood and lower the risk of depression by lessoning inflammation of the brain. 

Mediterranean Diet

The well-researched and popular Mediterranean diet promotes eating real food – vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, whole grains, olive-oil, and lean protein. Propelling this diet over the rest are studies associated with improved mood and a reduced risk of depression and cognitive decline.

Mediterranean Pealla

Serves 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Stove Top Time: 30 minutes

wonderbag Time: 2 hours

Paella is a Valencian rice dish originating from the coast of Eastern Spain near the Albufera Lagoon. Your guests will swoon over this super easy, simple and delicious approach to paella.

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, peeled & diced

2 red and/or yellow peppers, seeded and diced

5 cloves garlic, peeled & sliced

4 chicken drumsticks

1 ¼ pounds Andouille sausage

(sliced into medallions) or chorizo (crumbled)

1 ½ cups passata (tomato purée/strained tomatoes)

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups long grain rice

1 cup frozen peas

1 large pinch saffron strands (or a pinch of turmeric)

2 tsp paprika

1 bay leaf

¾ pound raw tiger or king shrimp

½ pound mussels (in shell)

2-3 medium tomatoes, each sliced into 8 pieces

1 lemon

Salt and pepper

Warm 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a 5-6 quart pot over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes until softened but not browned.

Add the chicken drumsticks and Andouille sausage, season with salt and pepper and sauté until lightly browned on all sides. Add the passata to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring just once or twice to allow the passata to thicken.

Stir in the stock, rice, peas, saffron (or turmeric), paprika and bay leaf. Place the shrimp, mussels and tomato pieces on top and let simmer with the lid secured for 20 minutes.

Place the lidded pot into your wonderbag and seal it for 2 hours. Season to taste and serve with lemon slices.

Tasty Summer Fun

With the summer season in full swing, it seems like the social occasions are never ending – weddings, backyard bbq’s, potlucks, and family reunions… The list is never ending. And now, as we head into 4th of July celebrations, it’s time to break out your patriotic décor and festive spirit to boot.

To help make sure hosting 4th of July is just as much fun as attending the shindig, we’ve complied our top tips for the easiest party ideas, ever!

Decorations:

There’s no need to spend a lot of money prepping your house with festive flair for the 4th of July holiday. You don’t even need to have a knack for crafts. In these times, it’s best to look to the masters of DIY entertaining such as Martha Stewart, Better Homes & Gardens, or when all else fails, Amazon has everything you could possibly think of in red, white and blue.

Party Activities:

Going to see Fourth of July fireworks is a much-beloved tradition, but making it to the show with your extended guest list is not going to be viable, we’re sorry!… Instead, break out the slip & slide or water sprinkler, board games, festive tunes, and if you have a big screen – have the fireworks on repeat in the background. Voila!

Party Favors:

Don’t spend your precious pre-party time sweating it out in the kitchen. It’s summer, it’s too hot to be slaving over the stove or oven. Rather, pull out your wonderbag and treat everyone to a gift bag with a sweet center, such as a slice of wonderbag’s Salted Caramel Banana Pudding. 

 Salted Caramel Banana Pudding

Makes 8 servings 

Short-Cut Salted Caramel

2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

1 (8-ounce) jar dulce de leche

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Custard and Pudding

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups whole milk

4 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 small ripe, firm bananas, cut into thin rounds (4 cups)

7 ounces Biscoff cookies

1/3 cup toffee bits

1.    Make the salted caramel: Melt the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the dulce de leche. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously until smooth. Remove from the heat, stir in the salt, and let cool.

2.    Make the custard:  Whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt in a large, heavy saucepan. Whisking continuously, add the milk is a slow, steady stream. Whisk in the egg yolks. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring continuously with a rubber spatula, until the custard bubbles around the edges and thickly coats the spatula, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter, and stir until it melts. Stir in the vanilla. Press a piece of plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming and let cool.

3.    Assemble the pudding: Cover the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish or serving bowl with cookies, breaking them as needed. Pour in half of the custard. Arrange cookies around the side of the dish. (The custard will help hold them upright.) Spread half of the bananas over the custard. Pour in the salted caramel. Top with the remaining bananas. Pour in the rest of the custard. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

4.    Transfer to Wonderbag to remain chilled for up to 4 hours.

5.    Just before serving, sprinkle toffee bits over the top.

NB: Top slices with toffee bits, then cut evenly and insert into a plastic throw away container before placing into your gorgeous, festive party favor bags.

Get Your DIY On:

Take a look around the home and reinvent household items as functional entertainment equipment. For instance, clean up the spice rack or shoe rack to create a makeshift glassware and mixer stand. Grab the wheelbarrow for a fun change and pack it with ice for chilling drinks. Another handy idea is to pick up a few hay bales and drape them with throw rugs colored red, white and blue for a DIY seating option.

Festive Food:

You can’t go wrong with the crowd pleasing Tangy Italian Beef Subs, made using the wonderbag, of course, which means you get to spend more time with your guests enjoying the festivities and oh, prosecco too, always! What's a party without bubbly, especially when we are toasting our nation's great birthday?

Tangy Italian Beef Subs

Makes 8 servings

4 pounds well-trimmed beef chuck roast

1 cup canned beef consommé

1 packet dry Italian salad dressing mix

1 tablespoon dried Italian herb blend

1 tablespoon granulated onion

1 tablespoon granulate garlic

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup hot sliced banana peppers, drained

1 cup pepperoncini peppers, drained

Serve with: sub or hoagie rolls, provolone cheese, and giardiniera vegetables

1.    Heat the oven to 325°F.

2.    Place the roast in a pot. Whisk together the consommé, dressing mix, herb blend, granulated onion, granulated garlic and salt; pour over the meat.

3.    Scatter the banana and pepperoncini peppers over the meat. Cover tightly and roast for 1 hour.

4.    Transfer to Wonderbag for 5 hours.

5.    Remove the roast from the pot and shred with two forks, discarding any large lumps of fat or gristle.

6.    Moisten the meat the pan juices. Serve warm on the rolls, topped with provolone and a generous spoonful of drained giardiniera. Serve the remaining meat juices on the side for dipping.

Have Fun!

Slow-Cooked Maple Apples with Raw Coconut Granola

INGREDIENTS

3 Gala apples

1/2c apple juice

Raw Granola

2 TBSP walnuts

1/2c shredded coconut

1/4c oats

6 pitted Medjool dates

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Maple Sauce 

1/4c maple syrup

1TBSP dairy-free butter

METHOD

1. Wash and core apples, careful not to scoop too close to the bottom

2. Finely chop and pulse blend raw granola in a blender or food processor until mixed well. Be careful not to overmix. 

3. Stuff apples with raw granola and place inside large pot. 

4. Place pot on stove on high heat

5. Immediately add apple juice and bring to a boil

6. Place lid on pot, place in Wonderbag and cook for 2-3 hours

7. Before serving, make maple sauce by melting butter and maple syrup in a saucepan on the stovetop or heating in the microwave until warm. 

8. Drizzle maple sauce over apples and serve with dairy free yogurt. Enjoy!

Thanks to @ _falconcara_

Bone Broth Is The New Black

Served piping hot and in a simple coffee cup, New York City’s fashionable masses can be found flocking to a teeny-tiny, hole-in-the-wall downtown café, lining up for broth! And, all the while paying anywhere between $4 - $9 a cup.

Now centuries old, bone broth’s extraordinary affects range from South American proverbs believing it can revive the dead and Chinese medicine practitioners trusting it has super strengthening powers. Bone broth, which is made by simmering animal bones – usually chicken, lamb or beef – for 24-48 hours, is having a serious wellness moment.

Attracting the likes of top models, ballet barre addicts, and your ‘CAWfee’ drinking New Yorker’s, many people are now doing the switch and it’s no wonder why. The benefits of bone broth can read like the magic elixir we’ve all been waiting for, with claims of myriad health benefits including: healing IBS and gut issues, maintaining cholesterol, detoxifying the body, boosting the immune system and acting as an anti-inflammatory, plus providing a dose of goodies such as collagen, amino acids, magnesium, potassium and calcium.

Nutritionists, naturopaths, health coaches and even beauty gurus are recommending bone broth as a wonder booster for good health.

Broth vs Stock

The difference is simple, broth is cooked much longer than stock – at least 24 hours+ – so you get all the minerals leaching out of the bones, making it a much higher content of nutrient-rich gelatin and minerals, which cooking it longer releases.

10 Reasons Why You Should Be Drinking Bone Broth

Remember when your Mother and Grandmother would tell you to eat your chicken soup when you caught a cold to help make you feel better? Well, they were onto something. Below health guru and wellness expert, Dr Amy Myers MD lays down her Top 10 reasons for sipping broth everyday:

1. It heals a leaky gut.

The gelatin in bone broth protects and heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and helps aid in the digestion of nutrients.

2. Fights infections such as colds and flu.

A study published in the journal Chest shows eating chicken soup during a respiratory infection reduces the number of white blood cells, which are the cells that cause flu and cold symptoms.

3. Reduces joint pain and inflammation.

The glucosamine in bone broth can actually stimulate the growth of new collagen, repair damaged joints and reduce pain and inflammation.

4. Produces gorgeous skin, hair and nails.

The collagen and gelatin in bone broth supports hair growth and helps to keep your nails strong.

5. Helps with bone formations, growth and repair.

The calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in bone broth helps our bones to grow and repair.

6. Saves you money.

Homemade bone broth is cheaper and healthier than store bought.

7. Super easy to make.

All you need is a slow cooker. Throw all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and it cooks while you sleep.

Added note from wonderbag: Cooking with a wonderbag will reduce 30-80% of the energy used. There’s no need to leave your stove turned on and no need for you to supervise the cooking process when using a wonderbag.

8. Healthier than buying supplements.

Homemade bone broth contains all nutrients and minerals found in bones and tendons rather than just one or two found in pills. Slow cooking preserves the nutrients better than the high heat extraction used to make supplements.

9.  Fights inflammation.

Bone broth is very high in the anti-inflammatory amino acids glycine and proline.

10. Promotes sleep and calms the mind.

The amino acid glycine found in bone broth can be very calming.

Credit: amymyersmd.com 

wonderbag Easy Chicken Bone Broth

No need to leave your stove top on for 24hours, thanks to wonderbag, simply bring your broth to the boil and before too long your very own home-cooked, eco-friendly healing potion will be ready.

Stove Top Time: 15-minute intervals x 2-4 pending length of cooking

wonderbag Time: 12-hour intervals x 2-4 pending length of cooking

Makes: Recipe makes about 4.5L prep & cooking 24 hours+

Ingredients

3-4 chickens (organic if possible), rinsed, cleaned and roasted

2 tbs apple cider vinegar

Pinch of sea salt

Fresh herbs of your choice (such as parsley, oregano, basil, cilantro)

Spices of your choice (such as turmeric or ginger)

1 tbs black peppercorns

6 bay leaves

1 small head of garlic, peeled

3 cups mixed vegetables of your choice (such as celery, carrot, kale, onion, spinach)

Method

Place all the ingredients in a pot and cover everything with water (about 5-6L in a big pot). Bring to the boil, then place lid on pot and transfer over to the wonderbag, sealing the bag tightly for at least 12 hours.

At 12hours, place pot back on stove and bring to a boil, and again place lid on pot and transfer over to the wonderbag, sealing the bag tightly for at least 12 hours.

Repeat for desired cooking time.

Once the broth is cooked, remove it from the wonderbag and allow to cool slightly, then strain using a fine metal strainer or filter.

Separate into containers and store in the fridge or freezer.

The Wonderbag Cholent Recipe (serves 6 – 8)

(4.5 Quart / 4.2lt pot)

INGREDIENTS

1 ¼ kg or 2 ½ lb large potatoes, peeled and halved

2 onions, chopped

1 ¼ kg or 2 ½  lbs beef stew meat or brisket, cut into chunks

2 marrow bones

1 cup dried red beans, soaked overnight (discard water)

1 cup pearl barley

3 whole garlic cloves, peeled

2,5ml or ½ tsp ground black pepper

1lt or 1 quart low sodium chicken broth

15ml or 1 tbsp kosher salt

7,5ml or 1 ½  tsp paprika

7,5ml or 1 ½  tsp turmeric

5ml or 1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne

Water (if needed)

DIRECTIONS:

In a 4.5 quart or 4.2lt le Creuset or similar type heavy pot,  place the potatoes in a single layer covering the base

Sprinkle the onions over the potatoes.

Place the beef on top of the onions and potatoes. Place the two marrow bones in the meat.

Rinse the beans clean, checking for any stones or impurities and discard the soaking water. Sprinkle the beans and pearl barley over the top of the meat. Place the three whole garlic cloves into the meat, evenly spaced. Sprinkle the whole mixture with the black pepper.

In a 4-cup container, whisk together the low sodium chicken broth, kosher salt, paprika, turmeric, cumin and cayenne.

Pour the liquid over the cholent. Add additional water until all of the beans and pieces of meat are covered. It’s  usually another 1-2 cups of water , just to ensure that the beans and barley is covered.

Place on the stove,  bring to the boil on a medium heat.  Cover and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.

Line your wonderbag with some newspaper and then a cloth.

Place the lidded pot in the wonderbag, cover with another cloth, seal the bag and leave to cook for 15 hours. After 15 hours, if unmoved and unopened, the core temperature of the food will still be above 140 F.

Do not open the wonderbag until ready to serve. It will retain the heat. Once the core temperature drops below 140 F, it is still safe to hold for 4 hours

Serve with pickles of choice

CHEF NOTES:

Food Safety Expert advises that after 14 – 15 hours, we can safely guarantee a temperature of 140 F if the recipe and bagging instructions are followed. 

Food safety rules are that once the food drops below 140 F, it needs to be consumed within 4 hours.

If you are not going to consume within 4 hours, it needs to be chilled within 2 hours and reheated to boiling when needed. 

So, on the assumption that the sun sets between 5 and 6pm, the Cholent can be prepared. From 3pm.

If bagged at 5pm,  15 hours will be 8am. It needs to be consumed before 12 noon. It should be noted that the temperature will not drop rapidly if the bag is left sealed and stationary.

If bagged at 6pm, 15 hours will be 9am, which means that it needs to be consumed by 1pm from a safety perspective

 I used a 6lt / quart pot, which would feed 6 – 8. The larger your pot, the hotter it stays. 

To create further heat, you could put mash potato on top of the cholent as a final step, and then simmering for the 45 minutes. The mash helps to retain heat even better, increasing the core temperature by as much as 86 F.