Tag Archives | fiber

Gluten Free Banana Oat Pancakes

I’m an egg girl when it comes to breakfast. But every so often, on a lazy Sunday morning, pancakes start calling my name.

I’m also a pretty lazy cook. Which means that even the thought of pulling out oodles of ingredients from the pantry and making a mess that takes longer to clean up than the time I will have to enjoy the pancakes, leads me right back to my trusty, low mess, scrambled eggs. (No Bisquick mix in this house!)

But, all that changed when I came up with this recipe. Pancakes are back on the menu!

Not only does everything just go right into one bowl, these are ingredients that are always hanging out in my pantry. Plus, they are gluten free, have a good dose of healthy fats and some heart healthy fiber.

Need a quick breakfast or late morning snack? I like to pop two or three leftover pancakes in a toaster oven, slather with peanut butter and honey. Oh. So. Good!

As you can see from the peaches (did you notice?), I’ve been holding on to this recipe for quite a while. Now, with the days getting cooler and shorter it’s the perfect time for pancakes. We’ll just have to wait a few months for those peaches to be back!

Ok, now that you’re drooling onto your keyboard and you can’t wait for the weekend to start so you can whip up your very own batch, here is the recipe….

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Gluten Free Banana Oat Pancakes
Makes 10-12 pancakes

Ingredients

2 bananas (soft, almost brown)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup coconut milk (you could also use regular milk or other dairy alternative)
1 cup applesauce (the individual cups are perfect!)
1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
2 cups gluten free old fashioned oats (Bob’s Red Mill is a good brand)
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
coconut oil

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl mash the bananas with a fork
  2. Add the eggs, milk, applesauce, and sugar. Mix with a whisk or hand mixer until well combined.
  3. Now, add the oats, baking powder and pinch of salt. Mix again until everything is just combined. Don’t overmix!
  4. Melt a small scoop of coconut oil in pan. Once hot, add scoops of your pancake mix. The pan should be hot enough to make the batter sizzle a bit. When the pancakes start to bubble, flip them over. You want them to me golden brown on each side. Keep them warm in a preheated oven.
  5. Serve with real maple syrup, nuts, hemp seeds, or fresh fruit. Enjoy!

 

Comments { 2 } · Posted on November 4, 2015 in Healthy Recipes

Six Superfoods for Women

Nature demands a lot of women. Fluctuating hormones, growing babies, demanding work schedules, managing households, and shuttling children to endless activities requires nearly superhuman powers. However, with the right nutrients on your side you can get through it all with less struggle and greater joy.

Here are six great-tasting superfoods to help you get through is all, while keeping your health intact. For the greatest benefits, include two to three servings of each these foods every week.

1. Leafy greens: Kale, Swiss chard, collards greens, spinach, and their cousins provide bone building calcium. They are also high in folate, the natural form of folic acid, which is important for pregnant women and may also prevent cervical cancer. Leafy greens that are part of the crucifer family (including kale, collards, mustard greens, and turnips) contain a compound that helps the body metabolize estrogen into a safer, more usable form to boost protection against breast and other hormone-related cancers.
How to use: Virtually all leafy greens are a great addition to soups and stews. When sautéed with onions and garlic they make a simple and delicious side dish. Adding lemon to greens helps cut their bitterness and makes their iron content more easily absorbed in the body.

2. Fatty Fish: Wild salmon and sardines provide high-quality protein as well as a healthy dose of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s may help prevent menopause-related depression and mood changes. This healthy fat also reduces LDL (lousy/bad) cholesterol, lowers blood pressure and protects the brain against Alzheimer’s disease.
How to use: If you don’t have time to cook fresh fish, don’t fret. Canned salmon and sardines are an excellent alternative, while still providing the same health benefits. Serve them alongside a salad, on a sandwich or make fish patties. Up to 6 ounces per serving, twice a week is also safe for expecting moms.

3. Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and others, are some of the healthiest, and most beautiful, foods available to us. Berries are an important source of an anthrocyanidins, a chemical that not only gives berries their vibrant colors, but provides us with powerful antioxidant effects that strengthen our blood vessels, helping to protect our hearts, prevent varicose veins (which includes hemorrhoids), improve our eyesight, reduce inflammation, and prevent cancer.
How to use: When berries are not available fresh, frozen organic berries are a great substitute. Use them on yogurt or cottage cheese, in smoothies or salads.

4. Avocados: Avocados are lean green nutrient machines! Avocados contain healthy monounsaturated fats. Avocados are loaded in nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium, folate and B6. They help keep you satisfied and prevent cravings while also nourishing skin, hair and nails.
How to use: Try having half an avocado alongside your breakfast eggs in the morning, or add it to your lunchtime salad. Avocados also make smoothies nice and creamy.

5. Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are rich in lignans, compounds that naturally modulate estrogen levels. This can increase protection against breast cancer and promote regular ovulation. They contain omega 3’s for heart health and protein for sustained energy. Plus, flaxseeds high fiber content prevents constipation and improves colon health.
How to use: Buy whole flaxseeds and grind them fresh before using to gain maximum benefits. You can add them to yogurt, smoothies, sprinkle them on salads or use them in baked goods.

6. Dark chocolate: That’s right! Even dark chocolate has superfood health benefits for women, especially for your heart. Heart diseaseßs is the leading cause of death for women in the United State. Cocoa contains flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties and can suppress oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol), which can cause cardiovascular disease.
How to use: Choose at least 70% dark chocolate and enjoy one piece per day. They key with chocolate is to take your time and savor it, instead of eating it for emotional reasons. You can also try adding raw cacao to a smoothie for a “healthy-fied” milkshake.

What superfoods do you use to supercharge your health?

Comments { 0 } · Posted on October 20, 2015 in General

What can kale do for you?

Wednesday is National Kale Day. And, with cooler weather approaching, this nutritional powerhouse will be popping up at our local farmers markets.

Kale has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years. It was popular in Europe during the Roman times and the Middle Ages, it arrived in North America in the 17th century. America plants more acres in Kale than Brussels sprouts. There are over 50 varieties of kale, and there happens to be 50 Shades of Kale as well.

This leafy green vegetable is incredibly nutrient-dense and should be part of your weekly meal rotation.

Just one cup of raw kale…

  • contains just 33 calories
  • provides 134% of your daily vitamin C needs
  • provides 684% of your daily vitamin K needs
  • provides 204% of vitamin A
  • is an excellent source of calcium and iron

Clearly, a little goes a long way!

Click here for my favorite kale recipe – even my husband dives right in!

Kale and cancer

Apart from its impressive vitamin and mineral content, kale also contains over 45 different flavonoids – healing compounds that are found in the pigments and the cell structures of the leaves. These compounds could potentially prevent cancer. According to nutritionist George Mateljan, kale has been associated with lowering the risks of at least five different types of cancer. These include cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate.

Kale and diabetes

Kale can also be helpful for those diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Eating kale and other leafy greens provides a healthy amount of fiber that can play an important role in balancing blood sugar. It also contains some protein, which can help with sustained energy and keep blood sugar stable. 1 cup of raw kale contains 1 gram of fiber and 3 grams of protein.

Kale and liver health

Kale, and other similar bitter greens like collards, Swiss chard and dandelion greens are incredibly cleansing for the liver due to their high sulfur content. Your liver is your body’s detox organ and keeping it functioning properly will ensure toxins are able to be properly processed.

According to the Environmental Working Group’s Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list, kale should be organic, when possible. Since kale is a hardy vegetable, inexpensive and easy to grow, it is generally close in price to conventionally grown kale.

Kale can be eaten raw or cooked. Cooking does not damage the nutrients as long it is brief – 10-15 minutes at high heat, or 35 minutes at lower heat or when baking. Kale can be added to soups, stews, salads, and smoothies.

For some, kale can have too bitter of a taste. Simply adding lemon juice to your kale salad or sauté can help cut the bitterness and add a refreshing taste. After a frost, kale becomes sweeter. So, perhaps basing your purchase on the weather will make kale even more appealing for you!

Comments { 0 } · Posted on October 6, 2015 in General, Healthy Recipes

Apples – from doctors to dessert

The old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” sounds like an overused and antiquated saying. But, don’t dismiss this incredible fall fruit so quickly! Pennsylvania apple growers produce approximately 440 million pounds of apples each year, making us the 4th largest apple producer in the country. There’s no reason to not be meeting your daily apple quota.

Apples are a rich source of pectin, a type of fiber found in fruits, that can help lower cholesterol, promote beneficial intestinal flora, and support normal colon function. They are also high in quercetin and other antioxidant flavonoids that can help protect you from cancer, heart disease, and asthma. Apples pack a punch in vitamin C, making them an ideal food to support your immune system as we head into the colder months. Sure puts that old saying into perspective, doesn’t it?

When eating apples or any other fruit it is a good idea to pair it with some form of fat. This will help keep your blood sugar stable and makes it a more satisfying meal. Almond and peanut butter, a handful of raw nuts, cheese or yogurt are all great additions to any fruit.

I always have apples in my fruit bowl at home. Not only are they a perfect on-the-go snack, but they can be added to everything from soups to salads. A slice of crisp apple on a sandwich can also be a nice addition.

And then there is dessert! Apples are great baked in the oven, in pies and crisps. However, sometimes we want a sweet treat without turning on the oven and dealing with 50 ingredients. Not to mention all the clean up! This weeks’ recipe is a “jack of all trades”. You can use it as a delicious dessert, a quick midday snack and it’s even perfect for breakfast. That’s right! Serve this dessert for breakfast and your kids will never leave hungry for school again!

One delicious way to serve this recipe is with some homemade granola. I make big batches of granola every few weeks and Mr. Wes eats it by the handfuls. So, not wanting to leave you high and dry I’ve included my granola recipe below for you. Enjoy!

Sautéed Cinnamon Apples with Maple Yogurt and Chopped Nuts

Ingredients

½ tablespoon organic butter
2 medium apples, chopped
½ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup plain organic yogurt
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
drizzle of vanilla extract
handful of chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds and pecans are great)

Instructions

  1. In a large sauté pan heat the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped apples and cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the cinnamon and nutmeg to the apples and stir until well combined. Divide the apples into 4 serving bowls.
  3. In a medium bowl mix the yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla. Spoon the maple yogurt over the apples and top with chopped nuts or granola. Enjoy!

Serving suggestions: You can make the apples ahead of time and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Add them to your morning oatmeal or granola.

Maple Granola with Nuts and Seeds

Ingredients

4 cups rolls oats (aka old fashioned oats. If you are gluten free pick up the gluten free oats from Bob’s Red Mill)
2 cups crispy brown rice cereal (Erewhon is a good brand. Often found in the gluten free section of the grocery store)
1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup chopped almonds
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup apple sauce
½ cup real maple syrup (can also use ¼ cup brown rice syrup and ¼ cup maple syrup)
¼ cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  2. In a large bowl mix together all dry ingredients. In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the applesauce, syrup, molasses and vanilla extract.
  3. Pour wet mixture over dry and mix until everything is well coated.
  4. Transfer mixture to two large baking sheets and spread out evenly.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes and then give the granola a little stir. Often the pieces on the outside of the sheet brown faster. Bake for another 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool before putting into jars. It will not be totally crunchy when you take it out of the oven. That happens as it cools and dries.
  6. Add the raisins to each pan and toss until well combined. Store your granola in jars in your pantry. Enjoy!

Variations: Experiment with your own mix of nuts, seeds and spices. Almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, sunflower and sesame seeds are all great additions. You can also add more cinnamon or sweetners if you prefer. You can also use cooked canned pumpkin in place of the applesauce. Just be sure the only ingredient is pumpkin and it doesn’t have added sugars, spices or flavorings.

Comments { 1 } · Posted on September 5, 2013 in Healthy Recipes

Savory Bean Salad with Onions and Herbs

I’m a total bean fanatic. Not a week goes by that I don’t have a bowl of dried beans soaking on my countertop. White beans, black beans, scarlet runner beans, pinto beans…they all get a turn in soup, chili and salads. They also make appearances as dips, fillings for omelets or sautéed with a little chopped bacon. Yum! And, wherever I use beans, fresh herbs are not far behind. Combining rich, creamy beans with savory herbs is a mouthwatering combination that has no limits.

Here’s why you need to get on the bean bandwagon!

1.    Your Friend Fiber: Beans are a great source of fiber. Fiber is known for “keeping you regular” but it does so much more than that! It helps maintain normal cholesterol and blood sugar levels, while keeping unwanted pounds off.

2.    Protein Power: Beans are a great vegetarian source of protein and loaded with other nutrients such as calcium, potassium and zinc. Consider replacing one meat meal each week with a bean dish such as a veggie chili. If you need that meat taste sauté the beans with a little ham or bacon and then toss in a handful of chopped kale for a complete meal.

3.    Cook ‘Em with Kombu: Kombu is a seaweed that is sold dried in strips or sheets. Adding a strip of kombu to your bean cooking water helps increase your beans digestibility and prevents the “toot” that beans are well-known for. You can find kombu at most health food stores. The farmers market is overflowing with a huge variety of herbs right now.

You can use virtually any combination of herbs and beans in this recipe to change it up. Basil and sundried tomatoes would be amazing, as would black beans with avocado and mango. The possibilities are endless!

photo

Savory Bean Salad with Onions and Herbs

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 small sweet potato
1 cup dried beans such as pinto or great northern (you can also a 2 cans of beans)
strip of kombu (optional)
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of savory fresh herbs, roughly chopped (sage, oregano and hyssop are good choices)
Small handful parsley, chopped
Juice of one lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon real maple syrup or honey
pinch of salt and fresh pepper

Instructions

  1. If using dried beans, soak the beans in water overnight. Add juice of half a lemon and 2 pinches of salt to the soaking water.
  2. To cook the beans, strain them from the soaking water. Put in a medium pot with 3 cups of water, the kombu and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes until beans are tender but still have a bite. Strain in a fine mesh sieve and place beans in a serving bowl and add the onion.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Place the sweet potato in a small covered baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes until soft but not too mushy. You want the potato to hold its shape. Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes. Once cooled down, cut the potato into bite-sized pieces and add to the beans.
  4. Place the sliced onion in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit while you’re preparing the dressing.
  5. To make the combine the herbs, parsley, lemon, olive oil, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined.
  6. Add the onions to the bean and potato mixture. Pour half the dressing over the mixture and toss to combine. Taste and add more dressing and/or salt if necessary. Enjoy!

Cooking tip: You can cook the beans and bake the potato a day or two ahead of time. Then, all you have to do is assemble! You can store this salad for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Comments { 0 } · Posted on June 7, 2013 in General