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!

Goodbye 2014!

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It is almost time to say goodbye to 2014 and start a fresh new year! My favorite part of a new year is that everything is fresh.  The things of the past get to remain in the past and we get to start a new clean slate! With that being said, many people make resolutions for the new year, however I am not a believer in that.  Why should you promise yourself to do something that most of us know we are going to forget halfway through the year?  Instead, I like to make goals for myself and hope to reach them by the end of the year. When you set goals you are envisioning a certain result, therefore it may be easier to reach rather than making a promise to yourself.  You can not break a goal, you just would not reach it in the time frame you gave yourself.  You can, however, break your new year resolution, which many of us do on a year to year basis. 

When you make your goals for 2015, think about some things in your life from 2014 that you want to improve, whether it is eating a little healthier on a weekly basis, running or exercising more often, or cooking more meals for yourself.  After you figure it out, set a time frame that you would like to do these things in, and make sure to make them realistic for yourself.  If you are a person who likes to eat out most of the week, but would like to start cooking more at home, set a goal of cooking for yourself two times a week and see where you go from there.  When setting them in a realistic time frame, you won’t end up disappointing yourself, or feeling as if you can not succeed because you were trying to do it all at once.

Some of my goals for the upcoming new year are~

– Getting back into an exercise routine once Baby B is here

– Trying to cook more of a variety than I do these days

– Once Baby B can eat solids, I want to try to make most of his food, but I will be prepared if I can not always do it and I will be ok with giving him other pre-made foods.

– As I am embarking motherhood, I would like to try to just go with the flow and realize I can not plan everything because those plans will change

– Enjoy everyday, because you never know what can happen.

Whether or not you chose to list goals for the new year, or just go into it the same way you are ending 2014, the choice is yours!  Just remember to stay safe and healthy!  Wishing all of you a very happy and healthy 2015!!!

 

Indulge this Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  This year I am thankful for my husband, family, friends, and my health!  To stay healthy, I believe it has something to do with the foods I consume on a daily basis, and the fact that I do not deprive myself of foods that my body may be craving and foods that I do not eat on a daily, or even monthly basis.

With this being one of the most feast-ly holidays for people, I want to share some of my go-to tips to have a healthy, yet satisfying Thanksgiving this year.

~When cooking or baking, try using some of these substitutes to keep your foods healthier~

– Plain Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream-  More protein, not as much fat and same consistency!

Veganaise for Mayonaise- You will get pretty much the same flavor but because it is not made with eggs, you will be consuming less cholesterol.

– Coconut oil for butter- coconut oil is just overall great for everything! It may even aid in weight loss.  Find out more next week when I write about the benefits of Coconut Oil!

– If you still want a buttery taste, or using it for something like an apple crisp, try Earth Balance– which is lactose free, gluten free, and a vegan choice.

Coconut Sugar instead of regular sugar or brown sugar-  You won’t be consuming the same amount glucose and fructose as you do with the white and brown sugars and it is natural.     Keep in mind, brown sugar is just as bad as white sugar! (You can also use Agave or Honey)

– Organic Apple Sauce instead of eggs when baking-  Three tablespoons of apples sauce for one egg.  It will help bind whatever it is you’re baking and you will not have the cholesterol from the eggs and it keeps the recipe moist.  Make sure whatever applesauce you are using is organic and you read the ingredients, because many companies sneak things in that you do not want in your body.

– Almond milk in place of regular milk- however, start off with a little less than recipe calls for since Almond Milk can be a little more watery than regular milk.

– Rice Pasta instead of regular pasta- Who needs all that gluten and wheat? Can we say tummy ache and lethargic afterwards?!

These are just some substitutions to start with.  Most people can not even taste a different when switching ingredients around, however when doing this, you do need to go in with an open mind because some things do not taste as heavy or thick as you may be use to.  And don’t tell people, I promise you will still get a great reaction to whatever it is you make, and people will not even know they are eating something so much healthier!!

Now I know you won’t be cooking everything, so when it comes time to eat, be conscious of what your putting in your body.  Start with a salad, and always make sure to have 75% vegetables and 25% of everything else on your plate.  And when it comes time for dessert, I am all for it, but be aware of what you are eating.  Take small bites. Chew slowly. Savor the flavor. And be done with it.  No need to eat three different pieces of of pie, maybe three bites of the three pies you want to taste and call it a day! You do not want to leave with your stomach bulging out of your pants!

When using healthier alternatives and paying attention to what you are eating,  your body will notice the difference and thank you for it!  So not only will your waist be thankful this Thanksgiving for eating more consciously, so will your insides! 

Have a safe, happy, healthy, and warm holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Healthy Tips with Kacey from 100.7 HUD

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Two weeks ago I mentioned on Facebook that big things were happening.  Well I am now ready to let you all in…  I was interviewed by Kacey from Kacey and Mike on 100.7 HUD- a Hudson Valley radio station.  We discussed the best foods to eat pre and post workout, eating with the seasons, going gluten free and why it may not be best for you, and making your own baby foods!  Even Piper, my talkative pup, made a vocal appearance! 

Now it is your turn to listen- http://kaceyontheradio.com  I come on a little after the 17 minute mark, right after Pastor Rob Bell from Monday October 13’s post.

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!

 

Turkey Burger Twist On The Grill!

There is a local restaurant that I have been going to for years.  They are known for some different dishes including a turkey burger made with spinach and topped with artichokes.  As much as I love going out, I do know it is not always the healthiest choice.  The grease foods are cooked in at restaurants are not good for your digestion system or your stomach.
Last night was a hot night and perfect to grill, so I decided to try making my own version of the turkey burger with spinach in it, and OHMYGOODNESS they were delicious!!  Maybe even better than going out- and a lot cheaper!  Best of all, they were prepared, with only 6-7 ingredients,  and ready to eat in less than a half hour!

Ingredients-

2 Garlic scapes- I get my scapes through the CSA we belong to.  If you can not find them, you can use one or two fresh garlic cloves, minced.
1/2 yellow onion- quartered
2 handfuls spinach
1 package of lean organic ground Turkey meat (I do not recommend the extra lean meats because they will not hold the same with out a filler such as eggs or bread crumbs.)
dash of pepper
Artichoke hearts- Drained
Provolone cheese-  OPTIONAL
English Muffin

Turn BBQ grill on- medium heat.
Place garlic scapes, onion, and spinach in food processor and pulse until ingredients are finely chopped.

Turkey Burger Prep

Mix with turkey meat in bowl and add pepper.  Mix together using hands.

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Start making patties. I made four- however if making sliders, you can make the patties smaller and get more burgers.

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 Once grill is hot enough you can place burgers on grill.  5-6 minutes on each side.
While waiting, turn on stove and heat artichokes on low heat. Take off stove last four minutes of grilling time and add to burgers outside.
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If using cheese, now is the time to add that as well.  If you want the english muffin heated, you can add to top layer of grill during this time as well.

After 12 minutes, burgers are done, and you are ready to indulge!

When you take the time to make your own foods, you know exactly what you body is getting, and that is the best way to nourish yourself!
When you eat for your body, your body will thank you!

Enjoy~