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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Twice Baked Cauliflower

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I LOVE cauliflower.  Roasting it, steaming it, whatever it is, I love it!  But I was getting a little bored with the way I make it on a regular basis, so I decided to try something different this week, and it worked to my advantage!  With the weather drastically dropping I really wanted something warm and savory and that’s when I decided to make twice-baked cauliflower.  We have all heard of twice-baked potatoes, so I thought it would be a good experiment since cauliflower can often replace recipes you use potatoes for…And it worked to my advantage! Easy to make, limited ingredients, and DELISH!  This will be made again!

Cauliflower isn’t just a tasty fall vegetable, it is a good source of fiber and vitamin C- which we could all use right now so we don’t get sick.  It is a great source of fiber, and great for the heart!  Cauliflower has also been known to help the brain boost the memory– which is something I need these days because I sure do have a bad case of baby brain!

 

Ingredients-

1 head cauliflower cut into pieces

1 chive chopped

1 clove of garlic minced

1/2 cup greek yogurt- plain

1 tablespoon organic Earth Balance buttery spread, or whatever organic butter of your choice

1 cup organic cheddar cheese

Directions-

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Roast cauliflower on baking sheet until tender- about 10 minutes, but check after 7.

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Once tender, process in food processor until rice like.

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 Add yogurt, butter, chive, and garlic and process until smooth.  Mix in cheese with a spoon. Scoop out cauliflower mixture into four 6-7 inch ramekins.  Place ramekins on a baking sheet (easier to handle) and bake for 15 minutes.  Broil for an addition 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown on top.  Take out and enjoy!

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Eating foods that benefit different parts of the body will benefit you in the long run.  The more “good foods” we eat now, the healthier our future self will be!

Remember to always eat for your body!!

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.

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!

‘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!