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Quick & Healthy Homemade Granola

granola-2086774_1920.jpg

September 14, 2017

We love crunchy granola, but the amount of sugar in the store-bought options can be frightening. And the price always seems ridiculously high for you to get.  Rather than adding granola to your grocery list, add these healthy grains in our recipe to your list and make your own!

Use this low sugar (and optionally gluten-free) recipe to make flavorful granola from scratch. It’s easy, tasty, and better for you. Ingredients like almonds, sunflower seeds, and quinoa give you healthy omega-3's, and the mix is packed with the plant proteins, magnesium, and fiber.

Follow our recipe to keep it healthy and inexpensive. It’s pretty darn easy and makes for a worthwhile snack for you and the family.

Ingredients (put these on your list!)

  • 3 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds (no shells)
  • ¾ cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • ¼ cup flaxseed
  • 1 cup dried fruit of choice (cranberries, raisins, dehydrated crumbled raspberries, etc.)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup organic honey (buckwheat honey is great and if you want to try stevia syrup, replace the ½ cup honey with ¼ cup honey, ¼ cup stevia syrup)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cinnamon to taste (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients together.
  • On stovetop in small saucepan, combine wet ingredients (water, honey/stevia syrup, oil, vanilla extract) and mix together as they warm on low until fully combined.
  • Pour warm mixture on dry ingredients. Place another clean bowl over top of the bowl with all ingredients, and shake until all ingredients are fully coated, or use your clean hands to combine ingredients.
  • Spread mixture evenly on non-stick cookie sheet (or use baking parchment paper on traditional cookie sheet).
  • Place in oven and bake until crispy brown (approximately 30-40 minutes), shaking and stirring granola on the sheet a few times during cooking for evenness.

Do you have a favorite granola recipe? What about something fall-ispired? Tweet us @heylystr, email us at founders@getlystr.com, or share this blog post on Facebook with your response. Want to hear more from us? Enter your email address to stay up to date on Lystr! 

Making the Most of Your Time

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July 18, 2017

Each day seems to fly by and we are left wishing there was more time. With most work weeks exceeding 40 hours and the demand to keep up with social life, family, and social media high, we are pressed to use the 24 hours we have efficiently. Although there are a multitude of tips on the web regarding time saving, the following are a few of our favorites and most-used!

  • Maximize the quality of your sleep. You can do this by planning around your sleep cycle. Being well rested will help up your productivity and energy throughout the day!

  • Especially for those with busy schedules (who doesn’t these days!), prepare your food in bulk. This will save time in the kitchen, and allows your actual meals to become a social event for more important people and things.

  • Do less while focusing on the important tasks. Moreover, get the important stuff done early. This will increase the impact of the time that you do work, while also making room for any distractions or emergencies that may arise.

  • Keep things organized! Doing so will allow you to increase your focus since you aren’t distracted by the clutter and you can find your things more quickly. Along with this tip, make sure to keep things in their place so that you don’t have to stress about their whereabouts later!

  • Mentally limit your workday. Believing you have less time to do work will push you to focus more on the tasks at hand. You’ll feel accomplished when you finish “early”, and now have time to work on more projects!

  • Rather than multitasking and ending up with a sense of being overwhelmed, focus on one project or task at a time. Doing so comes with a stronger sense of fulfillment, rather than leaving many projects unfinished with the feeling you haven’t accomplished much during the day.

  • Learn to say no. I don’t mean say no to everything (a little socializing and distraction doesn’t hurt!). But, don’t tie yourself up with too many commitments. Learn how to discern what would be fruitful and what could be seen as a distraction.

  • Do all your errands at once to maximize efficiency of time outside the house. This goes for house chores as well: partition the chores with other household members. You’ll find yourself with extra me-time or bonding time by the point you’re done!

  • Prep the night before rather than rushing the next morning. Although doing this may take the same amount of time, you can eliminate feeling rushed in the morning. Plus, the extra focus can help you complete other tasks and head into the day with a more open mind!

  • Keep a big centralized calendar, whether only for you or for the whole household, with everyone’s commitments and events. You won’t have to check in with multiple agendas, calendars, or people by doing so. Cheers to no stressing!

The list of tips to make the most of your time can run on and on. Now it’s time to walk the walk, not just talk the talk! Apply the tips you find most applicable into your lifestyle and see (hopefully!) a positive change. Play around and see what works for you!

What are your favorite time-saving tips? Tweet us @heylystr, email us at founders@getlystr.com, or share this blog post on Facebook with your response. Want to hear more from us? Enter your email address to stay up to date on Lystr!

Chipotle Lime Barbecue Avocado Toast

Lystr connected home device, groceries, grocery list, food, lifestyle, probiotics, benefits

July 4, 2017

The country is just nuts about avocado toast lately. Why?

Putting it simply: it’s an incredibly effortless, cheap snack that’s easily transformed into a quick and easy meal. And it’s also healthy.

Avocadoes are rich in fiber, omega-3’s, and plant proteins; they make for a filling food providing energy and vibrancy.

You may be thinking “delicious avocado toast—no recipe needed!” And it’s true. All you really have to do is mash your avocado, toast your toast, smear them together, season, and you’re set.

But here’s a couple things to think about. First: it’s summer, that time of year when you yearn for cool flavors with outdoor barbecues. Second: avocado toast is delicious, but in it’s typical form (avocado + toast), things can get pretty boring, even with that dash of salt. Plus, you’ll want to lavish the snack with some fancier flourishes if you want to upgrade it to a light meal.

So give this summer-inspired Chipotle Lime Barbecue Avocado Toast a try. It’s perfect as either a snack or light meal that’s surprisingly filling—and if it’s not filling enough, go that extra mile and fry up a classic egg to put on top!

INGREDIENTS (PUT THESE ON YOUR LIST!):

  • 2 pieces of bread (gluten-free if desired)

  • 1 large ripe avocado

  • 2 tablespoons chipotle barbecue sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt (plain)

  • 1 lime (for juicing)

  • 1 egg (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Cut open avocado, remove seed, and scrape out green flesh into a clean small bowl. Mash thoroughly with a fork.
  • Add barbecue sauce and Greek yogurt to mashed avocado. Mix until thoroughly uniform in color, and creamy.
  • Cut lime and squeeze juice into mixture. Stir all together until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Place bread in toaster, and toast at medium/dark consistency for firm, crispy toast. Use oven on low if desired instead.
  • Once bread is toasted, take barbecue avocado mixture and spread on toast.
  • If desired, fry egg and place atop toast; or for a more hefty meal or snack, top with bits of your favorite barbecued meat.

What's your favorite twist on toast? Tweet us @heylystr, email us at founders@getlystr.com, or share this blog post on Facebook with your response. Want to hear more from us? Enter your email address to stay up to date on Lystr! 

Are the Cookies Done Yet?

Lystr connected home device, groceries, grocery list, food, lifestyle, probiotics, benefits

June 22, 2017

The smell of baking cookies lingers in the air as a sense of impatience overwhelms your body. Despite having eaten the raw dough off the mixing spoon, you just want to grab one of those warm treats and place it in your mouth. You think, what if there was a quick and easy way to eat cookies?

With many food trends reaching mainstream media, there is no surprise edible cookie dough quickly rose to popularity. The difficulty was in achieving the "authentic" taste of a cookie without the dangers of raw eggs and untreated flour. With the following edible cookie dough recipe, you can:

  • Munch on some dough while waiting for the real cookies to bake
  • Save money not using as many in-demand ingredients
  • Make the most of your time by not waiting for the beep of the oven and focusing on things important to you, while still satisfying your sweet tooth

Serves 4-6 Cookie Lovers

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heat treated flour
    • If you do not have access to heat treated flour, you can easily create your own batch.
    • Preheat oven to 350˚F/175˚C. Then, evenly spread flour on a baking tray and bake for 5 minutes.
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (or to your own liking :D)

Quick and Easy Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F/175˚C.
  • In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, milk, salt, and chocolate chips until well-combined.
  • Refrigerate mix for 30 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

You can play around with the classic chocolate chip recipe by adding your own toppings. Add some sprinkles for a birthday cake mix or some Oreos for a cookies and cream delight!

What's your favorite variation of edible cookie dough? Tweet us @heylystr, email us founders@getlystr.com, or share this blog post on Facebook with your response. Want to hear more from us? Enter your email address to stay up to date on Lystr! 

Benefits of Probiotic Foods

Lystr connected home device, groceries, grocery list, food, lifestyle, probiotics, benefits

April 24, 2017

We have all heard that probiotic foods are good for us. But what exactly are probiotic foods? And what are the health benefits?

Our bodies require certain microorganisms to sustain – for example beneficial strains of bacteria that live in our gut. Probiotic foods contain microorganisms themselves, and, as such, they naturally support the living microorganisms within us. The name probiotic comes from the fact that they contain these microorganisms – “pro-” means “for” and “bio-” means “life.”

When consumed, probiotics replenish the body’s stores with fresh microbes. Think of them like you would think of opening windows in your house to let in fresh air: out with the old, in with the new.  

By introducing new beneficial strains of microbes into your body, you keep things lively, which brings numerous health benefits.  Scientific studies suggest that probiotics help with health issues like eczema, digestive disorders, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more.

While you can get probiotics from supplements, you’ll also find them in natural abundance from delicious foods you buy. So, next time you make your grocery list be sure to add some probiotic foods like the ones we list below!

  • Kefir – A thin, creamy form of yogurt that is considered drinkable. Very rich in live cultures and enzymes.
  • Kimchi – A pickled spicy condiment made with cabbage, fish sauce, radishes, and many other ingredients – rich in probiotics.
  • Kombucha – A cultured beverage fermented using a combination of unique yeasts and bacteria, considered probiotic-rich.
  • Pickles – Veggies of many kinds pickled in a salt brine: cucumbers, beets, beans, you name it. Rich in good bacteria when un-pasteurized.
  • Sauerkraut – The pickled cabbage relish of German fame. When raw and unpasteurized, it makes an excellent probiotic food.
  • Sour Cream – Many typical sour cream products come with probiotics naturally. Use it as an uncooked topping for your daily dose. 
  • Vinegars – Some raw vinegars (apple cider vinegar, for example) will give you a dash of the probiotics you need to your favorite foods.
  • Yogurt – The cultured dairy so many of us know and love. Go for varieties and brands that make note of a wider variety of strains on their label.

Do you have another suggestion for a probiotic food you love? Tweet us @lystrtech or email us founders@getlystr.com. Want to hear more from us? Enter your email address to stay up to date on Lystr! 

How to Make Homemade Kale Chips

April 11, 2017

Kale chips are a delicious snack and are becoming very popular in the health food world. While you could buy them from the store, why not make your own at home?! It’s quite easy, and you don’t need any fancy equipment – your home oven will do. Best of all, making your own kale chips is less expensive and usually healthier than store-bought options.

Kale chips boast a strong helping of health benefits. They are rich in vitamin A, C, and some B vitamins, as well as iron, calcium, potassium, and healthy plant proteins. Kale is also rich in compounds called sulforaphanes that have been studied for anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer potential. You’ll also get antioxidants from them; antioxidants prevent free radical damage which further protects against risks of cancer and heart disease.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 to 4 large kale leaves, washed
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons flavor powder (garlic, cheese)
  • Pinch of salt (if desired)

Instructions:

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  1. Rip and remove bite-sized bits of kale leaves from off the stem with clean hands (or use kitchen scissors, if desired). Place all leaves in a food-safe bowl.
  2. Add olive oil and mix in with leaves thoroughly until all are evenly coated. Mixing oil and leaves together with clean hands is an easy way to achieve this.
  3. If you would like to use your own flavor powders (such as garlic powder or even nacho cheese powder), sprinkle these in with kale leaves and oil until evenly coated. Again, clean hands help to make added powder as even as possible.
  4. Place directly on a cookie sheet, with each leaf spaced evenly away from each other so they don’t touch. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Once oven is heated, place in oven and bake until edges of kale leaves feel noticeably crispy to the touch.
  6. Remove, plate, and enjoy!

Do you have a great variation on the traditional kale chip recipe? Tweet us @lystrtech or email us founders@getlystr.com. Want to hear more from us? Enter your email address to stay up to date on our best content! 

Your Grocery Shopping Check List

March 1, 2017

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We all have those moments when we get home from the store and realize we forgot something.  In our opinion, that’s the worst. 

We talked to hundreds of customers to find out the things you forgot most often at the store. A lot of you mentioned staples like bread and milk, and there’s an acute pain point when you forget something that you use every day.  But, we found that some of the most frustrating situations are when you forget an item that’s not a regular product multiple weeks in a row! We compiled a list of these items, and hope it helps you stay a little more organized.

1.      Paper products and household items like aluminum foil, plastic bags, and paper towels, and cleaning products like laundry detergent and dish soap. These aren’t aisles that we visit every trip, so it’s easy to forget these things.

2.      Bathroom products – toothpaste in particular came up a lot. By the time we leave the bathroom we have mentally moved on from that moment when we thought “gee I better get more toothpaste soon.”

3.      Cooking and baking products that last awhile like olive oil, butter, sugar, and baking soda.  One reason we forget these products is because we are in the middle of cooking when we realize we should get more soon, and we usually don't take the time to write it down.

4.      Condiments that we don't buy regularly like salad dressings or mustard. We often go down this aisle but there is such a wide variety of products here that our eyes often glaze over what we might need.

What to do about this? We think Lystr offers the perfect solution for busy people like you to keep track of what you need, so you never ever forget!  What are some things you forget most? We'd love to hear from you. Tweet us @lystrtech or email us founders@getlystr.com. 

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And P.S. - If you're looking for a comprehensive grocery shopping checklist, we like this one from grocerylists.org - it's available in spreadsheet format, pdf, or editable pdf. 

Cooking with Cauliflower Rice

February 22, 2017

Why is cauliflower rice so popular right now? We think it’s because it’s versatile and healthy, and is surprisingly easy to make! In this post we’ll give you a quick overview of how to make it and then dive into some of our favorite recipes using cauliflower rice.

First let’s make it. Take a head of cauliflower and break it into smaller chunks. Add it to a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is ground about to the consistency of rice or couscous, depending on how you'll use it. If you are going to use it in a crust (like pizza or quiche), you may need to pulse it to a finer ground.  After pulsing, we suggest putting the cauliflower on a clean kitchen towel and gently squeezing out excess moisture. From here, your options are endless.  Use it in any recipe that calls for rice or couscous, or check out some of our suggestions for inspiration. 

We'll start off simple. We love this recipe from Foodnetwork.com because it’s easy, quick, and delish.  We made it in 25 minutes start to finish. You'll need your riced cauliflower, olive oil, onion, parsley, lemon, and salt.  Sauté a diced medium onion in olive oil for 5-10 minutes, add in the cauliflower rice and salt, and sauté for another 3-5 minutes. Once the cauliflower is softened but still has a little bite to it, remove from the heat and mix in a few tablespoons of chopped parsley and the juice of ½ of a lemon. The parsley, lemon, and olive oil make this cauliflower rice dish delightfully refreshing.

You may have heard by now of cauliflower pizza crust.  It's a great alternative for a low-carb pizza. Most recipes call for cauliflower, cheese (often a combination of parmesan and mozzarella), two eggs, salt, pepper, and any kind of Italian seasoning. Recipes vary on whether or not to cook the cauliflower before making the “dough” for the pizza crust. We tried this recipe from Foodnetwork.com and enjoyed the twist to a traditional crust. 

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You can use cauliflower rice in just about any recipe for fried rice. Try this recipe for shrimp fried cauliflower rice or substitute it into your facorite fried rice.  Same goes for risottos.  We love using cauliflower rice in a mushroom risotto for a lighter version of this never-fail comfort meal.  Check out this recipe for details.  Finally, you can also use it in recipes for stuffed peppers or mushrooms, like this receipe for cauliflower rice stuffed Portobellos.

What’s your favorite way to use cauliflower rice? Tweet us @lystrtech or email us founders@getlystr.com.

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Organization, Confidence, and Productivity

February 20, 2017

As promised, here’s a way to apply the tactics mentioned in our post from February 7th in a broader sense. This is broken out into four steps, and we have to credit the “GTD” methodology for motivation behind these steps (for more information, see gettingthingsdone.com).  We think the GTD methodology offers some great insights into getting things out of your head to be able to focus on higher-level priorities and bring clarity to your life.

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Step 1:  Make a more comprehensive list. Look around and make a list of anything in your home that’s out of place or out of a desired state.  Then think about your work life and personal life, and write down everything that might be on a to-do list, or things you are holding in your head. Ideally, try to give yourself an entire day or at least a few hours in each setting.  You want to get everything cataloged in one place, so you can feel confident that you have captured it all.  This may feel overwhelming, but at the end you should feel a little liberated.

Step 2: Organize your list – prioritize, delegate, or disregard. If there are items on your list that can be delegated, delegate!  Some things might not be important enough to do soon, put those on a future list, or put them on your calendar sometime in the future. Setting a reminder like that means you can forget it for now.  Even better, if there are things on your list that just aren’t important anymore and you want to disregard them, disregard.  There’s nothing wrong with deciding that something just isn’t important anymore. Caution: don’t do that unless you are confident that you can disregard it entirely.

Now it’s time to prioritize what’s left, and create specific action items for each project on your list.  Here, you should make a new actionable to-do list. Keep your initial list as placeholders for projects; your new list is going to consist of action items. We’ll go through an example here:

If you have something on your list like “mom’s birthday,” take that project and break it down to the very first actionable item. What is it that you need to do about mom’s birthday – are you planning a party, do you need to give her a gift?  Find out what exactly that item means and decide the first actionable step. For example, if you need to give her a gift, you might think “well, before I get anything I want to talk to Kathy.”  If that’s your immediate thought, then add to your actionable to-do list “call Kathy about mom’s birthday present.” Go through as much of your list as you can, and add items to your actionable to-do list. Now move on to step 4.

Step 4: Action! Pick one thing and do it. Don’t worry about everything else on the list. You should be confident in your action because you already know everything else on your list, and you have conscientiously decided that this is the one action item you want to do now. Then give yourself a pat on the back.

Hopefully this process brought you a sense of accomplishment and confidence. We would love to hear from you about how you implemented this process, or other tactics you have to improve organization in your life.  Email us your stories and feedback founders@getlystr.com.

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Our favorite ways to get creative with chalkboard

February 14, 2017

Chalkboard seems to be all the rage these days. So, here are our top seven DIY chalkboard projects!

Entertaining? Our first three tips will give you fun ideas for wine night or any occasion really.  If your entertainment schedule is dictated by little ones at home, read four and five. Finally, if you're looking for a DIY home project or a gift for that person that seems to have it all, check out six and seven. Hope you enjoy!

image from siftandwhisk

image from siftandwhisk

1.  This is so easy and adds a cute twist to wine night.  Use chalkboard contact paper to create a wine tasting or pairing platform. Pair wines with cheeses, breads, or in the example to the right - chocolate! Get chalkboard contact paper from your local hobby store or there are plenty of options on Amazon.

2. Another way to get creative with chalkboard contact paper is by making wine charms. Cut a round or tag-shaped piece of chalkboard contact paper and adhere it to a pre-cut piece of wood or heavy card stock paper.  Punch or drill a small hole and use twine or ribbon to tie the tag to the glass. Don't forget to buy chalk to write names or initials on the tags! There are so many variations on this, here is an example we like using chalkboard paint.

image from cambriawines 

image from cambriawines 

3. Staying on the wine theme, why not create fully customizable wine glasses using chalkboard paint! We love this example to the right from Cambria Wines. Get some painter's tape and chalkboard paint. Tape the stem of the glass where you want the paint to stop - this will give you a clean line. Pour paint into a plastic container and dip the base of the glass in.  Set out to dry and you're done! You can also make these as a gift for that wine-o in your life.

4. Magnets and chalkboard are a match made in heaven. And we love re-purposing worn, old baking sheets that otherwise would have been thrown away.  Here are a few ideas that incorporate magnets and chalk and make use old sheet pans. First is a magnetic chalkboard chore chart for the kids.  Use chalkboard paint and some painter's tape to turn the inside of the sheet pan into a chalkboard surface. Write your kids names and a grid in chalk, and use anything magnetic to move chores around.  Check out this example which uses bottle caps, or get the little magnetic squares from your craft store or Amazon.  

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5. Another way to re-purpose an old baking sheet using chalkboard turns it into a magnetic travel chalkboard that's guaranteed to keep your toddler entertained and is road-trip tested! Use a similar method as above, or you can forego the painters tape.  When buying chalkboard paint, you can generally get either paint in a can or spray paint, depending on your preference and application. Rust-Oleum makes good spray and can-based chalkboard paint. 

6. For a fun DIY home project, why not make a chalkboard menu for the kitchen? For a large sturdy version like this, you'll need plywood, wood primer, and a jigsaw in addition to the chalkboard paint, nails, and a wire to hang the menu. But for an easier version you could turn an old picture frame into a menu - you may also need hardboard and a small cordless jigsaw, but the finishing work is taken care of by the picture frame.  Check out this example  for inspiration.

image from richmondmagazine

image from richmondmagazine

7. Finally, looking to make a creative gift? A chalkboard serving tray is unique and easy to pull together. You'll need a piece of wood, wood stain, two drawer pulls with screws, a drill, and the usual chalkboard materials (paint, brushes, painter's tape, and chalk).  Follow the instructions from the wood stain to prepare the wood, or buy a piece of wood that's already finished.  Be sure to season the chalkboard surface a bit before gifting, by rubbing the surface with chalk and wiping away.

Do you have any great DIY chalkboard projects to share? Tweet us @lystrtech or write to us founders@getlystr.com. We'd love to hear from you. 

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Hot Things Come in Small Packages

February 9, 2017

Why is it that little chilies sometimes seem so deceiving?  In this post you’ll learn all about what makes peppers hot, and how to tell just how spicy that little devil is.

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Before salivating on our examples, let’s look at the science behind chilies. To understand it all, we need to introduce the Scoville scale.  Each type of chili is given a number of Scoville Heat Units (or SHU), which depends on the amount of a chemical called capsaicin in a chili – the more capsaicin, the higher the Scoville rating, the hotter the chili.  The Scoville Scale was created by Wilbur Scoville, an American pharmacist in the 20th century who was studying capsaicin and how it varied in food. 

Image from liveinthenow.com

Image from liveinthenow.com

Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at some examples.  Heard of the ghost pepper? Its real name is the Bhut jolokia and it’s 400 times hotter than red tobacco sauce!  On the Scoville scale it comes in at over 1 million SHUs. But that’s not even as hot as it gets. The Naga Viper rings in at about 1.3 million SHUs, and the hottest of the hot is the Carolina Reaper at over 1.5 million SHUs.  

You’ve probably seen Habaneros in the store – they measure 100,000–350,000 on the Scoville scale and are often the hottest chilies regularly stocked by your grocer. The Thai chili, formally called the Bird’s eye chili, is one of our favorites – it’s delish in Asian cuisines. These little guys ring in at 100,000–225,000 SHUs. Then we get down to the good ole’ Jalapeño, coming in at just 1,000–20,000 Scoville units.  What about the bell pepper? It doesn’t pack a punch at all, with a Scoville rating of zero! 

If you’re cooking with chilies, your recipe might instruct you to remove the seeds for less heat. So that’s where the capsaicin resides, right? Nope!  Capsaicin is actually concentrated in the inner white pith or rib of the chili, so, for less heat, remove the pith and ribs. Why the misconception about the seeds?  The seeds are often coated with capsaicin since they’re in contact with the rib, but they’re not the real source of the heat.

We want to hear from you!  Have a great recipe inspired by hot peppers? Or a fiery story about cooking with one of these devils? Tweet us @lystrtech or email us founders@getlystr.com

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Off to a Good Start

February 7, 2017

After the Holiday cycle of cook, entertain, clean, repeat it can feel like organization gets put on the back burner.  Rather than resolving to be more organized this year, take one quick action today to get started.

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Here it is.  First, take a look around your kitchen and make a list of things that need to be done – write it all down!  If you don’t have many organizational projects in your kitchen, move on to another room and repeat the process. Then pick one meaningful thing that you can accomplish with the amount of time you have at your immediate disposal. Do it, cross it off, and pat yourself on the back.  Now stop, you’re done.

Why does it work? Three reasons: first, getting started is always the hardest, so starting out with something quick but still meaningful gives you that initial sense of motivation and accomplishment.  Second, we tend to hold too many things in our heads which impairs our ability to focus and get quick things done.  By writing everything down, you get it out of your head and onto paper so that you can be confident that the task you are working on is the best use of your time at the moment, and thus can be focused on the one thing that you decided to accomplish.  Finally, because you knew that all you had to do was that one task, and then it was time to stop, you gave yourself a deadline for your work. We are better able to focus on specific tasks when we know there’s a concrete deadline for the task.

After that exercise, I hope you want to learn how to apply this to more aspects of your life. Stay tuned for our update!  In the meantime, want to hear more from us? Enter your email address to stay up to date on our best content!