Rainy Day Banana Muffins

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What to do on the second rainy day in a row with a baby who sleeps a lot of the day away?  Bake!!  Anyone who knows me knows I am not much of a baker.  I like the idea of it, but when it comes to the actual combining of the ingredients, I am not a fan of how precise everything has to be!  But out of boredom and the right ingredients, I found myself mixing some things up and making some tasty treats!  Sweet enough for Dessert and healthy enough for breakfast.  What more can you ask for? How about they are dairy free if using dairy free coconut or almond yogurts (SO Delicious brand is a good one), egg free, and can be gluten free depending on flour used!

Ingredients-

2 Bananas- smashed

1/4 cup organic coconut oil

2 Tbsp Almond milk

6 Tbsp organic applesauce

1 cup Vanilla Greek yogurt

1/2 cup Coconut palm sugar

2 cups flour of choice

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon (I used a little bit more for extra flavor)

*Add ins- chocolate chips, walnuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix all wet ingredients in one bowl and all dry ingredients in another bowl.  Add wet ingredients to dry and mix together until completely blended.

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Wet and dry ingredients together
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Everything mixed together thoroughly

In muffin tin, either greased or lined with muffin holders, pour batter 3/4 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden on top and baked all the way through.

Enjoy!

Rainy day baking was a success! And remember your body always thanks you when you give it what it craves.

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Out of hiding with a new topping for my favorite fish!

I am sorry for the long hiatus!  Ten weeks seems like a very long time not to blog, or at least to this blogger! The reason why I have been away for so long is due to the newest love of my life, Wyatt Hudson- born on February 18, 2015.

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But..

It is time to get back to the kitchen trying out new things because I miss my own cooking and with the warmer weather here, it’s time to start whipping up some new summer dishes!

Because I do have a newborn, I do not have as much time to experiment in the kitchen, so I have been adjusting my schedule and coming up with easy to make meals that are done in 20 minutes.  When my husband asked me what I wanted for dinner the other night, I wanted fish- Salmon to be exact!  It is my favorite fish, and now that I am not pregnant anymore, I have been eating it whenever I crave it.

My husband decided to BBQ his chicken which gave me an idea of how I wanted to marinate my Salmon, BBQ flavored.  When I opened my refrigerator, I noticed the pineapple we had, so I decided to spice things up a bit and crush up the pineapple, mix it with the BBQ sauce and brush it onto my fish.  Bake on 400 degrees for 20 minutes, and a delicious dish is ready to serve!

I can not believe I have not done this sooner!  Every bit was refreshing and delish, I will be making it again, and as the summer is quickly approaching I will have to try making it with seasonal fruits I pick up at the Peekskill Farmer’s Market.

Recipe-

1 1/4 pound  Salmon

2 Tablespoons BBQ sauce

2-3 cut cubes fresh pineapple

Preheat over to 400
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Crush pineapple.

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Add BBQ sauce and mix together.

Spread on fish.  Bake in the over for 20 minutes and enjoy!

**Baking time can change depending on size of fish

**Sides can include baked Brussel Sprouts, Asparagus, Broccoli.

Salmon is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids that can help improve cardiovascular health and fight depression.  Salmon is also a great option for those who need to add more Vitamin D to their bodies as well as protect the eyes.

Knowing the benefits of the foods you consume will help your body stay healthier later on.  It will also keep you out of the doctor’s office for longer periods of time, and for that your body will thank you!

Non- Chicken Noodle Soup

IMG_6453 It is officially cold and flu season.  I am pretty sure it started a few months ago, but as someone who rarely gets sick, I wasn’t phased by it.  I felt badly for those who have been suffering, but considered myself lucky for the past few years for not catching any sort of sickness.  Whether it is luck, my diet, or something else, I can not complain.  Well, that was until this past Friday, where I found myself bed ridden with a bad sore throat and a stuffy nose.  

I am not a complainer, but the fact that I couldn’t take anything for this because of my pregnancy made it even worse.  Sore, dry throat in a dry condo is no fun!  At all.  So it was liquids all day.

Because I was starving, and I could barely swallow, I decided to experiment in the kitchen and make myself some non-chicken noodle soup!  It was beyond delicious, and it only took about 45 minutes, start to finish, to make!  Winning on a day you feel like dying!

Ingredients

8 cups of water

6 organic chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes (up to 8- depends on how you want it to taste)

5 long carrots- peeled and diced

4 Pieces of celery- diced

1 onion- diced

2 cups No Yolks Egg White Noodles- whole grain

1 table spoon coconut oil or butter

1.5 tablespoons Thyme

1 table spoon black pepper

Over medium-high heat, boil water with bouillon cubes in stock pot or large saucepan.  Allow cubes to dissolve.  Stir occasionally.

While bouillon cubes are boiling in water- over medium heat, add coconut oil to pan and sauté carrots.  Once tender, add to the broth. Follow with celery and onions.  Start with the carrots because those take the longest.

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Add into the broth turn heat down and allow to simmer for about 25 minutes.

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Add noodles for last 5-10 minutes, or until tender.

Pour some into a bowl and enjoy!

Enjoy this on a cold day, like the ones we have been experiencing lately, or on a day when you are so sick and eating solid foods makes you feel like the world is ending!

I was craving soup, and obviously my body needed it.  Two days later, I am feeling so much better.  I have been eating this at least one time a day since Friday. Not saying this is what made me feel better, I have also been sipping on hot water with lemon and honey, but the soup definitely is a plus to getting better faster!

When you cook your own foods, it may take longer, but you know exactly what you are eating and putting in your body, and for that you will recover faster and feel better in no time!

Enjoy!

Fall in Love with this Autumn Salad!

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This time of year happens to be my favorite. The crisp air, the color change of the trees, and most of all the vegetables and fruits we can get! Summer was all about tomatoes and fresh lettuces of different sorts, now it is time for the kale, the sweet potatoes, and the beets. You can also get different types of squash this time of year and be guaranteed they are super fresh because now is the time for them to be harvested.

Kale is the superfood people are going crazy for, but many people do not know all the benefits Kale has to offer. It is a bitter green, that yes- is good for your bones- it actually has more calcium than milk! It is also good for cardiovascular health, is low in fat, high in fiber, high in iron, and has zero fat! Beets have an earthy flavor, and may not be a top choice for everyone- but they happen to be a favorite of mine! They are good source of betaine and trytophan that can help improve your mental health. They are also loaded with fiber and can help lower blood pressure.

Red peppers will help absorb iron- so goes great with the Kale. If you are iron deficient, when you combine the red pepper with any iron source it will help your body absorb the iron needed. They contain almost 300 percent of your daily vitamin C intake for the day. They are also low in calories- one cup contains about 40-45 calories!

Sweet potatoes contain vitamin E to help protect against heart disease, Potassium to help with muscles, bone health, and to regulate blood pressure. It has more potassium than a banana. Sweet potatoes also assist in producing collagen that helps the muscles stay healthy and help keep the skin firm!

Can’t BEET this salad!

Autumn salad

Bunch of Kale- ripped up into pieces

2 Beets- roasted, peeled, diced (you can buy roasted or roast yourself)*

**1 Large sweet potato- diced and roasted (peeling is optional)

1 small red onion- diced

1 red pepper- diced

Handful of feta cheese

1 tablespoon EVOO

1 tablespoon Thyme

* To roast beets- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place beets in foil with oil covering them fully. Wrap tight and let cook for 30-45 minutes- until you can insert fork smoothly.

** You can substitute butternut squash for the sweet potato. It will just have to roast a longer than the sweet potato- 30-40 minutes.

Preheat over to 350 degrees. After dicing up sweet potato- add to a bowl and mix with EVOO and Thyme. Place on cooking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.

Rip up kale, and place in a bowl. Add diced beets, red pepper, and onion. Once sweet potatoes are done, let cool and add to salad. Top with feta cheese and enjoy with favorite dressing- or add some balsamic vinegar with EVOO and enjoy!

Eating with the seasons has never gotten better, and your body will always thank you for eating good foods that are growing right now!

Watermelons- more than just water!

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I am sure everyone has been seeing loads and loads of watermelons at the stores lately, and as much as people love them- many believe that all watermelon contains is water and sugar.  But that is not true, it has more health benefits than you think, and it makes the perfect snack, dessert, or juice!

High in lycopene- super antioxidant found in most red fruits and vegetables, it helps with the immune system and can help fight heart disease and certain cancers.

It contains natural substance called citrulline- which can help lower blood pressure and improve artery functions. It can also help relieve muscle soreness after a workout- Drink it as a juice before or after to help!

Packed with water- helps with dehydration.  Ever get a bad headache or feel very tired? It could be due to dehydration.  Snack on some watermelon and load up on the water your body needs!

Can help with impotence due to the Arginine, which is found in watermelon- it is beneficial in curing erectile dysfunction, and the stimulating nature of the chemical can boost libido, reduce frigidity and give a kick start to your love life- so eat some after dinner with your significant other and get it on!

There are many more benefits of eating or drinking watermelon- so pick one up today and enjoy it, by yourself or with a loved one!

**Tip- the heavier they are, the more water there is- which is something to look for when picking out a watermelon!

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Place chunks of watermelon in blender.

Blend until smooth. Pour over ice and enjoy!

~When you eat for your body, your body will thank you!  Enjoy some watermelon today!~

Sweet Potatoes Fries!!

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I love, love, love potatoes- especially french fries.  I use to get them as a side every time we went out for dinner.  However, I do know how they really are not the healthiest of choices considering potatoes do not contain the best nutrients for our bodies.  In fact, they are a starch which, when consumed, turns into glucose and triggers an insulin response in our bodies.  In other words- potatoes are a simple carbohydrate (sugar); or, as most people would understand, the bad carbs most try to avoid.  So, next time you want that potato, reach for the sweet potatoes instead.  They are more beneficial to the body, and they are super delish!

Loaded with vitamins- High in B6- which can help prevent heart attacks; good source of Vitamin C- which helps ward of cold and flu viruses, as well as produces collagen to help maintain your skin’s youthful elasticity, and Vitamin D- which is primarily found in sunlight- so during those winter months when people tend to be sunlight deficient, load up on some sweet potatoes to help with energy levels and moodiness.

Sweet potatoes also have good sources of minerals such as Iron; Magnesium- which can help you de-stress and relax; and Potassium.

Last night when I really wanted to have french fries, I made these baked sweet potato fries instead, and they satisfied every taste bud on my tongue!  Try them next time you are craving those plain, old, boring french fries!

Recipe-

1 Large Sweet Potato- Peeled if you want- I like the skin, so I did not peel- sliced into fry shaped pieces

1.5 Tablespoons EVOO

.5 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 Teaspoon, or a little less depending on how much spice you like, Ground Cumin

Dash of salt and pepper

photo 1Sweet potato cut into slices

      photo 2With seasoning and ready to be baked!

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Add oil and spices to big ziplock bag or bowl.  Mix oil and spices, then add potatoes pieces and cover evenly.  Let sit in mixture for a few minutes.  Add to baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Flip over and bake for another 10-15 minutes.  Broil for extra crispiness for last 5-10 minutes.  Enjoy~

photo 3Crispy and delish!!

Making your own foods is easy and not always time consuming.  Try it tonight- you may be surprised and continue cooking on a weekly basis!

Remember to always eat for your body~ it will thank you!

 

‘Tis the season for Blueberries!

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Blueberries are in season, and when they are in season they are GOOD!  I am not the biggest blueberry fan.  In fact, up until a few years ago, I pretty much hated them.  They were the fruit I threw in the garden when my grandma wasn’t looking because she put them in her fruit salad and I disliked the taste that much!

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So, when my friend suggested blueberry picking a few years ago, I was skeptical because I knew how much I really did not like them.  However, because of her son, I went.  After picking the first one, I was happy we decided to go and was hooked on farm fresh, organic blueberries, however not a fan of the store bought ones.

I realized the difference between the two- one being from the supermarket and one being from a farm- the pesticides on the blueberries from the store must have made them taste differently to me.  Blueberries have 52 known pesticides on them including Carcinogens, Hormone disruptors, and others.  If there are 52 known pesticides, I am sure there are many more that are unknown.

When buying organic and local, not only am I helping out the farm that I am purchasing them from, but I am also helping my body by eating organic foods without all the pesticides that will kill my body, and taste buds.

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Now that I do like blueberries, we went blueberry picking again this past Monday and we picked only 7 pounds of blueberries!  Yes- 7 pounds!  I did have to put a bunch in my freezer so they would not all go bad!

Not only do they taste good, they are very beneficial to the body-

– Packed with vitamin C, E, B2, Niacin, and Folate

– Phytonutrient Quercetin can reduce severity of allergies when eaten continuously day to day

–  Contains minerals such as Iron, Magnesium, and Potassium

–  Contains Salicylic Acid- which helps with thinning of the blood and reduces pain making it a natural form of aspirin.

– Rich in Proanthocyanidins which can help decrease wrinkling and disease associated with aging.

– Because of Catechins that are found in blueberries, which activate fat burning cells, they can aid in weight loss, especially belly fat surrounding the abdominals.

Blueberries are good for the body, for the skin, and most of all your taste buds!  Do yourself a favor and pick up some organic blueberries today from your local farm or farmer’s market- I promise, you will not be sorry!

Eat them from your hands, with some yogurt, in a smoothie, or even add them to your favorite salad!

When you know what you are eating, your body will thank you!