Tag Archives: organic

Preservative Free Peanut Butter Cups

13 May

Today convenience foods reign supreme, but what many people do not realize is that consuming too many preservatives can have a negative effect on health. Packaged processed foods don’t only have more fat, sugar, and salt they also contain ingredients that prevent them from spoiling, give them a certain appearance, color or texture, and flavor. As great as it is that a food item will stay good for 6 months sitting on the shelf, it’s important to remember why we need something to last that long. In emergency situations or when you are unable to prepare fresh foods. Though convenience foods are inexpensive, most do not provide adequate nutrition. Consuming too much processed packaged convenience foods can lead to weight gain, obesity, high blood pressure, allergies, difficulty breathing, nausea, headaches, and cancer. Below is a recipe for organic peanut butter cups. You can satisfy your sweet tooth without the preservatives, extra fat, and sugar. They only have 4 ingredients and are quick and easy to make. Talk about convenience!

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Ingredients

Makes 6 big peanut butter cups or 12 mini peanut butter cups

Peanut Butter Bottom

3/4 cup Organic Peanut Butter

1 Tbs Organic Maple Syrup

2 Tbs Organic Coconut Oil, melted

Chocolate Topping

1/4 cup Organic Cacao Powder

1 Tbs Organic Maple Syrup

1/4 cup Organic Coconut Oil, melted

Method

1. Mix peanut butter, maple syrup, and melted coconut oil in a medium bowl until well combined.

2. Fill silicone muffin cups 1/2 way full with peanut butter mixture. Place cups in freezer for about 15 minutes or until hardened.

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3. Mix cacao, maple syrup, and melted coconut oil in a medium bowl until well combined.

4. Top the hardened peanut butter cups with chocolate mixture. Place back in the freezer for another 15 minutes or until hardened.

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5. Store peanut butter cups in freezer until you are ready to eat them. If left out the coconut oil may begin to melt and peanut butter cups can lose their shape.

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Other considerations

– For a sweet, salty, and savory flavor combination sprinkle a little salt on top

– For a crunchy texture add chopped nuts to the peanut butter mixture or sprinkle on top.

– For extra coconut flavor add shredded coconut to the peanut butter mixture or sprinkle on top.

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Snack Time

9 Jul

Snack time is as important as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snacks are something to keep you satisfied until your next meal. The composition of your snack is important because you want to avoid low blood sugar and feeling hungry. For example eating an apple and 1 oz of almonds is a good snack. It has carbohydrates to maintain blood sugar levels plus fat, protein, and fiber for satiation.

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Another great option for a snack is fruit/vegetable juice and chia seeds. The juice provides the carbohydrate and the chia seeds provide healthy fats, protein and fiber. You can also add avocado to vegetable juice, in stead of chia seeds for fat and fiber. Or to make this snack more hearty/satisfying try adding protein powder. Because it is a snack I would only add 10-15 gms of protein.

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One of my favorite snacks when I’m craving something sweet is non-fat cottage cheese sprinkled with pistachios and drizzled with honey. Again there is the combination of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. This snack will satisfy your sweet tooth so you don’t reach for the cookies.

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Bran Muffins

4 Jun

Bran muffins sound healthy and are seemingly harmless, though many commercially prepared versions are loaded with fat and refined sugar. I found this recipe that did not have too much fat or sugar. It is one of my favorite muffin recipes.

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Ingredients

1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar (could use honey)

1-1/2 cups Crushed Bran Flakes

1 tsp Cinnamon

1-1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour

1-1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1-1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

2 eggs

1-1/2 cups Chilled Applesauce

1/2 cup Non-fat Plain Greek Yogurt

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

(You can also add 1/2 cup unsweetened dried fruit and/or chopped nuts)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400°F, line muffin tins with paper cups, and crush cereal.

2. In a medium mixing bowl add brown sugar, crushed cereal, cinnamon, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and combine.

3. In another mixing bowl combine eggs, chilled applesauce, yogurt, and vanilla.

4. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is moistened, use as few strokes as possible. (If you are adding fruit or nuts now is the time to add them)

5. Spoon batter in to muffin cups, 2/3 full. Let stand for 10 minutes. This step ensures your muffins will be moist.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

I like to enjoy these with almond or peanut butter spread on top.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 Muffin

Calories 77

Total Fat 1 gm

Saturated Fat 0.2 gm

Cholesterol 21 mg

Sodium 99 mg

Carbohydrate 17 gm

Fiber 3 gm

Sugar 5 gm

Protein 3 gm

*Nutrition information is for plain muffins that have no additions. Adding fruit or nuts will change the nutritional values.

Tuna Salad

22 May

The look, smell, and taste of mayonnaise has never appealed to me. For this reason I did not eat tuna salad until 3 years ago when I decided to make my own version, sans mayo.

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1 can of tuna packed in water with no added salt
1 Persian cucumber, diced
1 tomato, diced
6 pickled green beans, cut in small pieces
1/2 small avocado, sliced
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup pickled jalapeños
2 cups mixed greens
1 cup Red cabbage, shredded

1. In a medium sized bowl mix tuna with salt and pepper to taste
2. Add cucumber, green beans, tomato, avocado, red onion, jalapeños and combine
3. Put greens and cabbage on a plate or in a bowl and top with tuna mixture
4. Finish with a squeeze of lemon or lime

I like the cucumber for crunch and the tomato for moisture. Compared to traditional celery and mayonnaise.

You may also want to…

  • Add curry powder to the tuna mixture to switch up the flavor profile
  • Use salsa instead of tomato
  • Add sunflower seeds for additional crunch, nutty flavor, and healthy fat

Tea Time

21 May
About two years ago I decided to give up coffee and switch to drinking tea. I felt that tea was a cleaner caffeine source. After a few months I had a cup of coffee, it made my mind and body feel weird. From then on I have only consumed tea for caffeine. I enjoy all types of tea, but my favorite is yerba mate.
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I enjoy yerba mate because it has less of an effect on the central nervous system than coffee. I feel alert and awake without feeling jittery. Yerba mate has a stimulating effect on cardiac and smooth muscle fibers. Yerba mate also contains more antioxidants than green tea, as well as, electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

There are some health concerns to be aware of most commercially prepared yerba mate undergoes a smoke drying process. This smoke-dried method is known to produce a yerba mate which contains Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), chemicals known to be carcinogens at high concentrations. PAHs are common in many foods and beverages such as water, coffee, and tea and cannot be completely avoided in the diet, but the levels of PAHs that are consumed can be minimized. I think that you have to regularly drink large quantities of this tea for it to produce negative health effects. Yet another reminder to practice moderation.

The brand Guayaki produces a line of yerba mate that is air dried, reducing the amount of PAHs.

Veggin’ Out

10 May

There’s nothing like eating something that looks, tastes, and makes you feel good.

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1 cup Mixed Greens
1 cup Kale
1 cup Red Cabbage
3 Baked Chili Lime Chicken Tenders, chopped
1/2 Medium Avocado
1 Tomato, chopped
1 Persian Cucumber, sliced
1/4 Red Onion, sliced
1/2 cup Carrot, shredded
1/3 cup Pickled Jalapenos