Rainy Day Apple Sauce

IMG_9474My little family went apple picking with friends this past weekend and stocked up on some yummy apples! Now that my baby is old enough to try different solids, along with spices, I decided to try making homemade apple sauce,  that way my husband and I could enjoy it too!
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Most recipes for apple sauce require sugar.  I do not use regular sugar, and I would never give my 7.5 month old sugar either, however I did use coconut sugar which, in moderation, has of a lot of benefits for the body, and will not harm my little one the way regular sugar will.  With it being the lowest on the Glycemic index at 35 (sugar is in the 60’s and honey is at 55), it means that it is metabolized more slowly and is easier in the system.  It is high in potassium, magnesium, zinc, and most importantly iron which many babies need supplemented. Coconut sugar also keeps the blood sugar levels steady rather than spiked and crash later like regular cane sugar and even brown sugar.   So it adds sweetness and it is good for us… Doesn’t get better than that!

Ingredients-

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8 Apples peeled, cored, and sliced

11/2 cups water

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1/2 cup organic coconut sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions-

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Put everything in pot and cover.

 Let boil over medium heat for 10-20 minutes (gas and electric cook things differently).  When they are soft enough to mash, they are ready.  Mash with potato masher or fork.  Or, if you’ re like me, you can use your ninja/vitamix/food processor and blend until desired consistency.

IMG_9493Now that apples are in season, it is the perfect time to stock up on some home made applesauce! It is sweet and healthy and perfect for this time of year.

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Steak Fajitas any time of the week

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I love Mexican foods and drinks, and with Cinco de Mayo this past week, I could not have picked a better time to experiment in the kitchen to make something other than the taco seasoning I always seem to fall back to.

I was actually in the mood for fajitas the other night, steak fajitas, so that was what we had with a little help from google and my spice rack, the seasoning came out perfect and this will be another recipe taped to my spice cabinet!

It takes less than 5 minutes to mix together and you have enough for a steak, chicken, or whatever you choose to spice up for this time around and the next time!

Ingredients-

1/4 cup Chili Powder

2 Tablespoons Sea Salt

2 Tablespoons Paprika

1 Tablespoon Onion powder

1 Tablespoon Garlic powder

1 Teaspoon Cayenne pepper (I added a little more just because I like things spicy)

1 Tablespoon Cumin powder

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Mix altogether and store in an airtight container or jar

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Rub  the seasoning on the steak and cook the way you desire- we grilled ours for ten minutes.  While meat is cooking, sauté onions and peppers with a little EVOO until soft. Mix meat with veggies and scoop some onto a fajita wrap and enjoy.

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You can top with salsa, plain greek yogurt (alternative to sour cream), and/or  homemade guacamole.

Enjoy~

Making your own seasonings is beneficial to the body.  You are consuming no additives and less sodium and for that your body will thank you!

Holy Guacamole!

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With yesterday being Cinco de Mayo, I decided to make my go-to Guacamole recipe to include with our dinner and to snack on while dinner was cooking.  Guacamole is a favorite snack of mine, which could have to do with it being made out of avocados- MY FAVORITE!

It is so simple to make, and tastes great, and a perfect plus- it can be added to many different meals, or just be made to have as a snack, or a dip to bring to any summertime BBQ or picnic.

Ingredients-

2 Clove Garlic- minced

2 Avocados- scooped out, but save pits

Half onion- diced

1 Tomato- deseeded and diced

1 Jalapeño pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

*1 teaspoon cumin powder

*1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 lemon

* Optional- Personal preference for spicy foods

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Mash avocado and garlic in bowl.

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Add onion, tomato, and jalapeño pepper. Mix until all combined.

Add salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne. Squeeze lemon juice on top and mix together.

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Add pits from avocados to help keep from guacamole from browning, and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve!  Enjoy~

When you make your own foods you will know exactly what you are putting in your body.  It is so easy and simple to make this that you will never need to buy the store bought, sodium filled, made with ingredients you can not pronounce ever again!

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!

Superbowl Brownie Bites!

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As everyone knows, I have had a sweet tooth for the last nine months.  My best friend sent me a link last weekend of healthy brownie bites, and me being the health crazed person I am read the ingredients, health-ified it even more and made them for myself and husband for this week.  OMG- They were delish.

The sweet potato adds a sweetness to it so you do not need as much sugar as you would in normal brownies, and it makes it healthier so you do not have to feel guilty when you eat more than one!

The original recipe can be found here.

My recipe-

  • 1 large sweet potato- I do not recommend microwaving- steam or bake it.  It does take a little bit longer, but it is better for you, and will add to the flavor!
  • 1/3 cup hot coffee- Freshly brewed
  • 1/3 cup mini peanut butter chips to give it a chocolate peanut butter taste
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil- melted
  • 4 tablespoons of applesauce
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar – Brown sugar can be just as bad as white sugar, and coconut sugar can actually keep blood sugar levels stable rather than spike it up which causes you to crash later on
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour- Bob’s Red Mill
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350-

Bake Sweet potato until soft.  Scoop out one cup of flesh and put to the side

Pour hot coffee over the peanut butter chips and stir until completely melted in a small bowlIMG_6337

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In a large bowl- combine the  sweet potato, coconut oil, applesauce, sugar and vanilla. Stir to combine. Then add the chocolate coffee mixture to the sweet potato mixture and mix well.

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In a another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Add mixture to the sweet potato mixture and stir just to combine.

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Using mini cupcake tin, fill 3/4 and bake for 8 minutes.

I added chocolate chips (Enjoy Life- which are allergy friendly) and peanut butter chips on top before baking to add some flavor!

(I changed the recipe to make it Healthy Living with Alix approved, but the directions have stayed the same from the recipe above)

Enjoy!

This is a perfect dessert for the Super Bowl, or any other winter get together.  Or just a yummy, healthy treat to enjoy during the cold winter months!

 

Oatmeal chocolate chip smoothie

Since being pregnant, my body has encountered quite a few changes, including a developing sweet tooth I have never had before! The worst part about it- I do not just want sweets at the end of the day, I want then ALL day! So instead of indulging in candy, ice cream (which happens to be my favorite!), or other not-so-great choices, I made a delicious smoothie that is good as a healthy breakfast, a great pre-workout smoothie, or a sweet snack/dessert. It is loaded with the good-for-you, complex carbs, protein, and fiber, which will help you feel fuller longer and keep you going all day!

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Smoothie

All ingredients are organic

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¼ cup rolled oats

1 Frozen banana– or not frozen, just add handful of ice

1 cup Almond Milk

2 Tablespoons dark chocolate chips- I use Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, which are soy free, dairy free, and nut free

½ teaspoon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon organic vanilla

1 Tablespoon flax seeds

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Blend together until smooth.

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Pour in a glass, sprinkle some cinnamon on top, and enjoy!

You should never deprive yourself of something your body is telling you it wants. Find healthy alternatives, or eat what you want in moderation. When you satisfy your cravings, even the sweet ones, your body will thank you.