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Labor-free day in the kitchen

We all work hard enough all year long. How about celebrating Labor Day by enjoying a labor-free day in the kitchen today?
Most people are aware of labor-saving foods. We just don’t always think about them when we want to get a little time off from kitchen duty. Today’s a holiday—now’s the time to kick back and relax so you’ll actually feel like you had a day off.

You can start with nature’s ready-to-eat foods. Bananas are the perfect fuss-free food; you don’t even need to wash them—just peel as you eat. Many fruits and vegetables can be eaten raw with no preparation at all except for a good rinse, if they’re organic. If you want to be extra careful, you can soak them for a few minutes in clay water. If they’re not organic, you’ll want to use a veggie wash product on them that contains a natural solvent to dissolve pesticides.

Then there are frozen foods. Organic fruits, vegetables, and even meals are available at your grocer to make your Labor Day a breeze. You may have frozen some of the summer’s produce that you can take out now and enjoy with all the work already done. You can eat frozen grapes right out of the freezer for a great snack. Got any frozen cherries? You can eat them out of hand too. Or thaw them slightly and throw them on top of a carton of Fage yogurt and sprinkle on a natural sweetener like stevia or coconut palm sugar and you’ve got a great breakfast or dessert. Salads do not have to be chopped and fiddled with. Just wash up some romaine and cherry tomatoes, and you’ve got a simple and attractive salad. With just a little more work, a little grated or sliced Parmesan cheese on top will make it even more delicious.

Dried foods are wonderful to have on hand, because if they’re packaged properly they don’t spoil and are always ready to eat. If you haven’t dried any of your own, stop by the store and get Brad’s kale chips. They’re one of the few organic dehydrated foods at the store, and you just open the package and dig in. Dehydrated fruits are a high-energy snack that require zero preparation, and dehydrated vegetables can either be eaten as is or thrown over salads for more flavor.

Need crackers and dip? Try Back to Nature’s multigrain flaxseed crackers and a store-bought tub of Sabra hummus.

If you’re having a gang of people over for a holiday feast, you’ll have to do more work than this. But if you just want to lounge at home for a day and enjoy a day off from the usual work of cooking meals, you can try these options for a labor-free Labor Day. You can spend that extra time doing things you love more than cooking.