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!!

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!

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!