Wellness Blog

Sweet Potato Almond Butter Muffins

Posted on October 28, 2017 at 8:20 PM

1 flax egg substitute

3/4 cup sweet potato puree

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons canola oil (or melted coconut oil)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 cup flour (can use gluten-free mix)

1/2 cup oat flour (ground from rolled oats)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup almond butter

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line muffin tin with paper liners.

2) Prepare flax egg in a large mixing bowl and let set for a few minutes.

3) Add sweet potato puree, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla extract and mix. Then add almond milk and stir once more.

4) Carefully combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and oat flour. Stir until just combined.

5) Spoon batter into muffin tins until filled almost to the top. Then drop about 1 teaspoon almond butter onto the center of each muffin and gently swirl around with a toothpick or knife.

6) Bake for 20-22 minutes (or more) until golden brown and a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let rest in tins for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to let cool completely.

7) Cool completely or they will not come off the wrapper well. Store in an air-tight container and refrigerate to ensure freshness. Will keep in the freezer for up to a few weeks.


Per muffin: 195 calories; 8.5g fat, 6.8g sugar, 2g fiber, 3.9g protein, 208mg sodium.

Grilled Lime Chicken with Watermelon Salsa

Posted on March 24, 2017 at 6:20 PM

Grilled Lime Chicken with Watermelon Salsa—serves 6

2 cups chopped, seeded watermelon

1/2 cup chopped cucumber

1/2 cup chopped orange or yellow sweet pepper

1/2 of an ear fresh sweet corn, kernels cut from cob

2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro

1 -2 fresh jalapeno chile pepper(s), stemmed, seeded, and chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion

1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel

1/4 cup lime juice

1 teaspoon packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds total)

1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions:

For salsa, in a medium bowl combine watermelon, cucumber, sweet pepper, corn, cilantro, chile pepper(s), and onion.

In a small bowl combine 1/2 teaspoon of the lime peel, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, the brown sugar, salt, and crushed red pepper; add to watermelon mixture and toss to coat. Cover and chill for 1 hour to let flavors combine.


Sprinkle chicken with lemon-pepper seasoning. In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon lime peel, the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, and the oil. For a charcoal or gas grill, grill chicken on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees F), turning once halfway through grilling time and brushing with the oil mixture during the last 2 minutes of grilling. Serve chicken with salsa.


PER SERVING: 226 cal., 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 97 mg cholesterol, 422 mg sodium, 9 g carb. (1 g fiber, 5 g sugars), 33 g protein

Herb & Spice Brown Rice Balls

Posted on March 24, 2017 at 6:15 PM

Herb & Spice Brown Rice Balls —serves 8 (3 balls each)

2 cups Jasmine brown rice

3 garlic cloves, roasted and minced

1 Tbsp. + 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 egg

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced

1 dash salt

1 dash pepper

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 cup regular or gluten-free bread crumbs

1/4 tsp. smoked paprika

Directions:

Cook rice per package instructions.

To roast garlic, place unpeeled heads of garlic in a tin foil bundle, drizzle with ½ teaspoon oil and wrap tightly. Roast in 350-degree oven for 30-40 minutes, or until soft when pressed. (Note: if you’re tight on time, mince the garlic and sauté with parsley and olive oil over medium heat.)

In large bowl, mix cooked brown rice, egg and Parmesan cheese. Add parsley, salt, pepper, onion powder, and cumin. Roll mixture into small balls. Mix breadcrumbs and smoked paprika in another bowl. Roll the rice balls in the breadcrumbs mixture to coat. Heat remaining oil in a skillet over medium-low heat and cook the rice balls, turning to brown them on all the sides, about 15-20 minutes.

Per serving: 240 calories, 5 g total fat (1.5 g. saturated fat), 41 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 2 g fiber, 150 mg sodium.

No Bake Protein Energy Bites

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 4:20 PM

No Bake Protein Energy Bites– Makes about 20-25 balls


1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)

2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes

1/2 cup nut butter

1/2 cup ground flax seed

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or vegan chocolate chips)

1/4 cup honey or agave nectar 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


DIRECTIONS:

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls about 1" in diameter. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Flourless Sweet Potato Brownies

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 4:15 PM

Sweet Potato Brownies (flourless)


Ingredients

1 cup mashed sweet potato

½ cup smooth nut butter of choice (almond or cashew butter work well)

2 tablespoons maple syrup

¼ cup cocoa powder

Handful of semi-sweet chips (optional)


Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a small cake/loaf pan.


2) On the stove, melt nut butter with maple syrup.


3) In a large bowl add the mashed sweet potato, melted nut butter and maple syrup, and cocoa powder and mix well.


4) Fold in chocolate chips.


5) Pour mixture into greased 8x8” pan and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.


6) Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing and refrigerating. These brownies are best when cooled completely. Store in fridge or freezer

Avocado Hummus

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 3:35 PM

Avocado Hummus—serves 8


1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

2 ripe avocados

¼ cup lemon juice (1 lemon, juiced)

2 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon paprika

Pita chips, raw veggies, or crackers for serving


Directions:

Place all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend or puree until very smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy with pita chips, raw veggies, crackers and/or use the hummus as a sandwich/wrap spread.


Calories: 188 Fat: 12.3g Saturated fat: 1.7g Carbohydrates: 17.2g Sugar: 2.7g Sodium: 425.8mg Fiber: 6.9g Protein: 4.9g Cholesterol: 0g

Lemon Chicken Stew

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 3:30 PM

Lemon Chicken Stew—serves 6-8


5 tablespoons cooking oil

½ cup all-purpose flour (gluten free if needed)

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 pound skinless and boneless chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces

4 carrots, sliced

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 sweet onion, diced

1 leek, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

5 cups chicken stock (chickenless stock if vegetarian)

1 cup water

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup orzo pasta

2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped


Directions:

In large stockpot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium high heat. Place flour to a shallow bowl and season with about 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shake off the excess and place half of the chicken in the stockpot but do not overcrowd. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side then transfer the chicken to a bowl. Brown the remaining chicken in 2 more tablespoons of the oil.


Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, carrots, celery and onion to the stockpot and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the sliced leek and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. Add the orzo and chicken to the stockpot and cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until orzo is tender. Stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with tarragon. Serve immediately.

Paleo Blueberry Muffins

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 3:30 PM

Paleo Blueberry Muffins —makes 8-9 muffins


2 cups almond flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

⅛ teaspoon salt

3 eggs

¼ cup honey

2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil, melted

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup fresh blueberries


Directions:


Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease or line muffin tin. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in medium bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then, fold in blueberries. Using a large scoop, fill muffin cups ¾ full. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Blueberry-Coconut Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 3:25 PM

Blueberry-Coconut Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal—serves 8-10

oatmeal

1 1/2 cups (260 grams) Steel Cut Oats

1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger

1/2 teaspoon fine Sea Salt

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

4 cups (950 ml) unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

2 cups (480 ml) light unsweetened Coconut Milk

1 1/2 cups (240 grams) fresh Blueberries (or frozen, do not thaw first)

1/4 cup (47 grams) unsweetened dried Blueberries

1/4 cup (22 grams) unsweetened Coconut Flake

Vanilla Stevia drops or your favorite natural sweetener to taste


Blueberry Sauce

2 cups (360 grams) fresh or frozen Blueberries


Optional Toppings:

Toasted Nuts

Coconut Flake Whipped Cream (vegan or not)

extra dried and fresh Blueberries

Coconut Milk


Directions:

Oatmeal Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the center. Lightly coat a 13X9X2" inch baking dish with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl adding blueberries and coconut last. Sweeten to taste. Bake for about one hour. The oatmeal will appear not done when you take it out of the oven. Remove from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Then put it in your refrigerator overnight for best results. It will thicken nicely in there.


Blueberry Sauce Heat the blueberries with a splash of water over medium high heat. When you hear them sizzle reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes until saucy. Mash the blueberries against the side of the pan with a spatula. Serve oatmeal with some almond or coconut milk and blueberry sauce.


Notes: Cook this oatmeal the night before you plan on serving it so I has time to thicken in the refrigerator. Re-heat portions before serving.

Ice the Oolong tea, please!

Posted on July 9, 2016 at 2:30 AM

Ice the Oolong tea, please!

Is tea a favored drink on a summer’s day? If not perhaps you will reconsider. Is there a drink that can reduce inflammation and has anti-allergic properties? Yes, and it is over 3,000 years old! This miracle super drink is oolong tea.


Oolong tea is a special blend of green and black tea leaves (Camellia sinensis). The leaves have been fermented giving the tea a unique smooth mellow flavor with a slight natural sweetness. This fermenting process also enhances the natural catechins within the tea leafs. Catechins are flavonoids responsible for anti-inflammatory responses. Studies have shown the anti-inflammatory properties of oolong tea are greater than those found in green tea alone.


A Japanese study resulted in reduced eczema in people drinking oolong tea on a daily basis. The results were notable within one month. In addition, studies have also shown a marked reduction in allergic response in those drinking oolong tea on a regular basis. Other research has revealed oolong tea to improve cardiovascular health including lowering cholesterol, lower blood sugar in diabetics, and aide in weight management. With all these health benefits drinking a glass iced may not be such a bad idea!


It should be noted oolong tea does have a caffeine level between 45-60 mg. To put this in perspective, a cup of coffee has between 100-150 mg of caffeine (depending on strength/blend). If you are caffeine restricted, you can reduce the caffeine content of oolong tea by first steeping the tea leaves in hot water for 30 seconds and then discard water. Add fresh water and steep for five minutes. Most of the caffeine will be extracted in the initial waste water with most of the catechins remaining in tea.


To brew the perfect cup of oolong tea heat water to between 180-200 degrees F. Use 1 teaspoon of rolled tea leaves or 1 tablespoon of flat leaves per 6 ounces of water. Steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove the tea leaves. (Note: tea leaves may be reused 2-3 times). Tea can now be poured over ice in a shatterproof glass. If you prefer, brew the tea by the pot and ice in a pitcher to enjoy throughout the day. Here is a n ice cream recipe featuring oolong tea.