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My company, Rachel's Basic Bites, is a small startup in the Kent county area of Rhode Island. I provide handcrafted granola bars, made with high quality organic ingredients.

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Dark Chocolate Crunch Bars (0 Comments)

Published on March 23rd, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

 

Oh yes…..dark chocolate LOVE right here! These chocolatey and crunchy bars are a great anytime snack made with real-food ingredients and not to mention so tasty.

 

Why buy store bought when you can make these beauties in your own kitchen? Super simple, no fuss and fun to make for the whole family. Most store brands are chock full of chemicals, added sugars and other additives in keeping it fresh on those shelves. But you can easily empower yourself in choosing better options by either reading those labels very carefully or just creating your own at home. The best part is that it does not involve the oven. this recipe is a base in customizing your own signature snack. You may either replace or add in other ingredients such as nut-butters, dried fruits, extracts or even essential oils for flair. It’s all up to you in how you would like to create your tasty treat. Just have fun and get creative in the kitchen. A great snack for a party or your family.

 

 

High quality dark chocolate and coconut oil have many health benefits for the mind and body for proper fuel such as it’s anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds plus it tastes great too. When buying chocolate make sure it is over 70% cocoa for benefits and with coconut oil it’s best when purchasing unrefined and non-GMO products.

 

 

I hope enjoy this recipe treat. If you give this a go, please i would love to hear what you came up with. May we scroll down to the recipe now?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVES: about 12-15

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

2 tsp coconut oil, unrefined

3/4 cup crunch, either nuts or crisp rice cereals

dash, sea salt

 

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

In a heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate and coconut oil. Melt either over the stove or microwave at 15-20 second intervals. When just melted, add in your crunch or added items; stir until combined. Place chocolate mixture into a baking pan 8×8 with parchment for easy clean and release. Make sure it’s evenly distributed. Cover and place the pan in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, or until set.

When set, either keep it in the refrigerator for firmness or on counter to bring up to room temperature for softer texture if needed. That’s it. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: calories 136; total fat 9g; cholesterol 4mg; sodium 90mg; total carbohydrates 11.7g; dietary fiber 1.2g; sugars 9g; protein 2.5g; calcium 3%; iron 4% and potassium 2%.

 

 

 

5 Simple Solutions for a Healthy Gut (0 Comments)

Published on March 9th, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

 

YOUR GUT, YOUR SECOND BRAIN

 

 

There are a multitude of things that wreck havoc on our digestive systems these days and may seem nearly impossible to try to get back in balance and restore yourself to good health. Not only is this just about digestive issues, but gastrointestinal health may be the root cause for many health issues today including brain and mental health.

 

But with a bit of planning and time, it’s possible to restore yourself back to full health with your gastrointestinal system – which can play a huge role on your entire body, your mood, memory and more. Being able to heal your gut allows the body to build a stronger immune system and promote the right kind of bacteria for your body and brain that it makes you okay to feel good again. This is extremely important for your overall well-being. It’s responsible for critical functioning of the capability of affecting the body’s vitamins and mineral absorption, regulating hormones, digestive immune responses and the ability to eliminate toxins plus the overall ones mental health.

 

Being able to enhance the healthy gut can lead to improvement of many disorders such as immune function, brain function, symptoms of sadness, anger and depression, obesity, allergies and I.B.S. just to name a few. The many signs you may experience will be chronic constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, fatigue, headaches, mood swings, skin problems and a bad taste in food. Below here are some simple solutions in improving and maintaining better gut health naturally.

 

 

 

 

“All disease begins in the gut”. – Hippocrates

 

 

 

 

The importance of gut health for overall health helps us to digest food, absorb nutrients, breaks down some medications and kills some of the bad bacteria that may lead to infections in the body. Below are some simple solutions in healing your friendly flora.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIMPLE SOLUTIONS PROMOTING GUT HEALTH:

 

 

TRY INTERMITTENT FASTING:

Researchers are finding out more about the importance of when you eat can have just as much of an impact on your gut bacteria as what you eat, and carving out a chunk of non-feeding time for yourself everyday can both increase diversity of your gut bacteria and stop inflammation in it’s tracks.

Daily fasting allows your hardworking gut to take a break and clean out fully. This gives your body a chance to reset with friendly flora bacteria while focusing on tasks other than digestion.

Fasting can also in result in preventing a leaky gut barrier. In recent studies daily fasting strengthens that gut barrier against harmful bacteria, preventing the bad guys from escaping into the bloodstream to trigger an immune response or inflammation.

 

 

LIMIT TOXINS:

Harmful toxins can deplete healthy microbes and excessive hygiene habits. From GMO’s, refined sugars and chemicals in food to antibacterial cleaners and antibiotics/medicine play a huge role on your gut bacteria. Unhealthy chemicals from medicine to our food supply such as antacids, birth control and other medications can be detrimental to friendly flora that’s working hard on your behalf in helping you digest. All antibacterial products from cleaners to personal care are designed to wipe out all bacteria even the good kind.

Steer clear of overusing or unnecessary medications, antimicrobial products, toxic chemicals and cleaner sources of food and water as much as possible.

 

 

MINDFUL EATING:

Unfortunately the western diet packs a punch of the opposite of nutritious foods like overly processed foods, fried foods, refined sugars, extra salt and artificial ingredients. This will eventually in time wreck havoc on your gut by weakening and possibly destroying good bacteria for overall well-being. The good news is that you can take your health back by consuming more whole and plant based foods that are packed with real nutrition in the way nature intended. By nourishing your body and mind with good food, within a few hours of eating, you can alter your gut bacteria.

 

 

CONSUME PROBIOTICS:

Not only do probiotics break down food in smaller components in which your body can absorb, but they produce enzymes that can increase healthy digestion and absorption. So do your best in fortifying your body with the good guys as much as possible for overall wellness. You can benefit naturally with taking either supplements or foods like kimchi, kombucha, kifer, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, etc.

 

 

DO THINGS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD:

The state of your body’s nervous system determines how well we digest food. Is your body in “fight or flight” mode? Be mindful of chronic stress in which directly affects your digestion. By encouraging your body to spend more time “resting and digesting” make a commitment to yourself to relax more and do feel good activities in reducing stress levels that aren’t good for you. There are so many healthy activities from getting into nature, meditation, yoga, laughter, massages, gardening, epsom salt baths and many more. And getting a more restful sleep will do wonders for your overall mind and body.

 

 

 

 

 

By working towards in enhancing your gut healthy lifestyle by choosing whole food nutrient-dense rich diet, you will find a vast improvement and feel like your happy healthy and vibrant self! Remember to nourish your mind, body and soul for overall well-being.

 

 

Simple Solutions to Detoxify the Body of Impurities Naturally (0 Comments)

Published on March 5th, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

 

Overtime our bodies can become quite toxic due to environmental factors such as by water (flouride and other chemicals), air ( pollution, chemical trails and other toxins), food ( pesticides, chemicals, preservatives, GMO’s, preservatives, additives, etc), pharmaceuticals and other drugs. Detoxification is about resting, cleansing and nourishing the body from inside out. By removing and eliminating toxins, then feeding your body with healthy nutrients. This helps to protect from disease and renew your body’s ability to maintain optimal health through a range of methods such as yoga, meditation and so much more.

 

 

 

Do you feel you need to detox? Below are some signs you may need to do a body cleanse.

Fatigue

Constipation

Headaches

Irritibility

Skin breakouts

Food cravings

Congestion/constant colds

Trouble sleeping

 

 

 

 

Being able to truly heal along with an effective detox requires both the body and the mind. Below is a guideline of the many ways to naturally rid of impurities in one’s body in every day toxins. It’s important to get to the root cause, not just slap a band-aid over it. Listen to how your body is feeling. Sometimes it isn’t always about what you eat, but how you think or feel too.

 

 

 

 

1. HYDRATION is one key factor! A great way to start your morning rituals is a glass of filtered water with a splash of fresh lemon juice. This simply helps to flush out any unwanted impurities in the body and improves alkalinity levels. For myself, i add a pinch of apple cider vinegar to the cocktail. Apple cider vinegar is a powerful cleansing and healing elixir which helps to fight germs and bacteria in the body. Remind yourself to drink more water throughout the day!

 

2. DRINK MORE TEA! Green tea, roobios, matcha and herbal teas such as dandelion or nettles help to rid the body of toxins.

 

3. TRY ACUPUNCTURE. This is one of the great ways to cleanse and balance the body naturally with your biggest health problems.

 

4. SAUNA sessions help to rid of the body of both heavy metals and xenobiotics foreign compound like plastics and petrochemicals. Sweating removes lead, cadium, arsenic and mercury. It helps to eliminate hormone disrupting B.P.A. which accumulates in the fat cells. So important to keep hydrated due to sweating pulls out electrolytes and trace minerals from your body and plenty of salt ( good kind like Himalayan sea salt and mineral rich salt).

 

5. Intense MASSAGE like a Swedish or sports massage is a great way to detoxify the body of toxins too. Although with  most it may seem like just a luxury, but excellent for gaining maximum health results.

 

5. EXERCISE is another way to flush out toxins from your body. This helps to increase lypolysis releasing toxins stored in your fat tissue. Exercise increases circulation, promote more oxygen to your liver and kidneys so they can better filter out toxins.

 

6. ACTIVATED CHARCOAL has been around for thousands of years in emergency rooms to treat poisons. Charcoal (negative) binds chemicals whose molecules have positive charges including aflatoxin and other mycotoxins, common pesticides. Once attached to charcoal you can pass them normally. Now charcoal can bind to the good stuff, so take another supplement after an hour or so. You may take charcoal pills along with exercise or a sauna session. Charcoal should absorb many of the toxins you release into your gut and GI tract.

 

7. GLUTATHIONE is a powerful antioxidant that protects you from exposure of heavy metals. This helps support enzymes that breakdown mold toxins and heavy metals.

 

8. FASTING/KETOSIS is one way to induce lipolysis, particularly if you are fasting. When in ketosis and you haven’t eaten recently, your body breaks down your fat stores into fatty acids in which convert into ketones for fuel. Meaning you should be able to supercharge your fat loss by dropping into nutritional ketosis.

 

 

OTHER NATURAL METHODS INCLUDE :

 

Adding fiber rich foods

Meditation

Getting into nature

Walking

Yoga

Rid your body of alcohol, caffeine and sugar

Reduce your consumption of acid forming foods like soda, dairy, pork, shellfish, beef, peanuts and vinegar

Deep diaphramic breathing

Laughter

Smiling

Helping others

Burdock root and Echinacea tea (purify and detox the blood)

And lastly, find the positive in the everyday and move your body more. This will be helpful in reducing stress levels and chemicals in the body.

 

 

 

 

TOP 11 DETOXIFYING FOODS:

 

Green tea (rids body of free radicals)

Garlic ( helps liver)

Onions (helps liver)

Ginger (helps liver & digestive health)

Beets (helps liver & rids of free radicals)

Asparagus (helps liver)

Lemons (digestive health)

Apples (helps liver)

Grapefruit (helps liver & prevents kidney stones)

Pineapple (cleanses the gut)

Kale ( detoxes & flushes out kidneys)

 

 

 

 

My best advice is to figure out what works for you. This is NOT a one size fits all due to everyone is uniquely different in their journey. Slowly try out a new method for naturallly cleansing a little bit more at a time. Learning to be in control and truly take care of yourself is the best step in the right direction for better health. You may find in the process that once ailed you may no loner be present or notice as much. Just take that first step.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mexican Quinoa and Veggie Stuffed Bell Peppers (0 Comments)

Published on February 21st, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

 

Bell pepper LOVE right here! This is one of my all time go-to dishes to create in the kitchen. I have made these beauties in a variety of ways from different flavors, with meat and no meat like this style right here. This vegetarian style is packed full of nutrients, full of flavor and will keep you satisfied. This filling is so darn delicious with the lovely quinoa, spice blend, beans and veggies mix in along with the creamy cashew cream. It is quite delectable once stuffed in the sweet and colorful peppers roasted to perfection. The great part about these guys are that it is super simple to make, with light preparation, so filling and very versatile in making your own custom blend. If you happen to give this a try, i would love to hear what you came up with!

 

 

 

 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF QUINOA:

 

Quinoa isn’t just a hippie food, it’s actually amazingly nutritional and versatile. It’s a grain that’s grown and the seeds are eaten. It’s not quite a grass or cereal, but more related to other healthy vegetables like spinach or beetroot.

 

No reason why herbivores and carnivores alike can’t enjoy this food item. It is so versatile in many dishes to incorporate in meals and desserts. Below are some of the many reasons why you may want to incorporate quinoa in your life.

 

 

 

 

An amazing nutrient that it is a COMPLETE PROTEIN. Just one cup it offers 5g of fiber and protein plus a wide range of minerals and vitamins.

 

A LOW CALORIE food item. If you are either maintaining or losing weight, this your guy right here. It only has 222 calories per cup and 4g of fat.

 

Quinoa is so VERSATILE whether it’s in a salad, snack, side or main dish or incorporated in desserts too. Because it contains protein it is excellent for weightlifting or body building.

 

It contains more FIBER than many other grains out there. A simple switch for one grain to quinoa can significantly improve your health with little effort.

 

Full of ANTIOXIDANTS!

 

A LOW GLYCEMIC index which helps to maintain blood sugar levels.

 

It’s completely GLUTEN FREE. If you have any sensitivities at all this is for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since we know the amazing benefits, let’s scroll down to the recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVES: about 3-4

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup quinoa, prepared and cooked

2 cups stock, vegetable or chicken, organic and low sodium

4 medium bell peppers (any color you prefer) halved and seeds removed

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups mushrooms, chopped

any remaining bell pepper tops, chopped

1 cup corn, frozen or fresh

1/2 cup chickpeas, or black beans, rinsed and drained

1 jalapeno, sliced, seeded and chopped

2 tsp cumin

1 1/4 chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup cashew cream

 

 

 

CASHEW CREAM: (quick soak method)

2 cups cashews, raw and unsalted

water, filtered

dash, sea salt

 

In a saucepan, combine the two and bring up to a boil. Then once boiled; turn off the heat and cover. Let sit for about an hour before using. Drain and pulse until smooth in a blender or food processor. Sea salt, to taste. Set aside until ready to use.

 

 

 

 

GARNISHES:

salsa, or preferred sauce

avocados

fresh cilantro

 

 

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a saucepan, add quinoa and stock together; bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low; let cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Let simmer about 20 minutes or as instructed on the package.

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place halved peppers in a baking dish 9×13 or smaller is fine and set aside.

 

In a large saucepan, heat the oil in the pan. Add the onions and let cook for a few minutes until soft. Add in the fresh garlic and let cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add in the remaining ingredients of mushrooms, veggies, corn, beans and the seasonings; let cook for another 5-7 minutes or until combined and fragrant.Lastly, add in the cashew cream and blend. Let the flavors marry well and remove from heat.

 

You are ready to place the stuffing mixture into the bell pepper vessels generously and then cover with foil. Place the baking dish in the oven; let cook for about 35-45 minutes, or until peppers are soft and so fragrant.

 

When cooked, remove from the oven and let cool before serving. Serve with desired toppings. These beauties are great the next days and for at least 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: calories 514; total fat 17.3g; sodium 35mg; total carbohydrates 75g; dietary fiber 15g; sugars 12g; protein 19.6g; vitamin D 8%; iron 46%; calcium 8% and potassium 24%.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreamy Dark Chocolate-Coconut Truffles (0 Comments)

Published on February 15th, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

 

Get ready to lose some self control with these luscious beauties. These are truly super simple to create in your kitchen along with only two ingredients and no fancy equipment involved. This method is just simply chopping some chocolate, melting coconut milk, some stirring involved and a chill out period before engulfing these tasty treats. The best part about making your own is that it has no extra added sugars and chemicals plus you may customize to your hearts desires. You may dress these beauties up with creative garnish such as chopped nuts, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, etc.

 

 

A wonderful crowd pleaser for a party, as a gift, or just for your loved ones. From time to time i enjoy making truffles around the Christmas season and especially for Valentine’s Day. These basic bites are simply creamy, dreamy and decadent deliciousness in one bite. And make sure you purchase the good quality kind, at least 70% cocoa, in reaping the benefits and taste. Below are a list of dark chocolate health benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

DARK CHOCOLATE HEALTH BENEFITS:

 

Protection against disease causing free radicals

 

Potential cancer prevention

 

Improved heart health

 

Better overall cholesterol profile

 

Healthy cognitive function

 

Aids in blood pressure and glucose levels

 

Antioxidant rich superfood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHALL WE SCROLL DOWN TO THE RECIPE?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVES: about 16- 20 depending on size

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

9 ounces dark chocolate, chopped or chip style

6-7 tbsp coconut milk, can or regular

1/8 tsp sea salt

 

 

 

FOR GARNISHES YOU MAY USE:

shredded coconut

chopped nuts or seeds

cocoa powder

sprinkles

 

 

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

In a medium bowl, place the chopped chocolate or chips and set aside. The finer the chopping the better it melts more quickly.

 

In a separate bowl, place coconut milk and either heat in the microwave for 15 second intervals, or over the stove with double boiler. Once heated, place the milk over the chocolate. Quickly cover and let sit for about 5 minutes. Then lift cover and gently mix until smoothly combined. Place mixture in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours until set. To be sure stick a knife in the middle and if comes out clean it is ready.

 

Once chilled and firm texture, get the garnish ready in bowls before shaping chocolate mixture. Next, scoop about tbsp of mixture and roll with your hands; dip in the garnishes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat until complete. You may enjoy immediately or keep in the refrigerator until needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: calories 100; total fat 6.3g; cholesterol 4mg; total carbohydrates 9.8g; sugars 8g; protein 1.4g; calcium 2%; iron 3% and potassium 2%.

 

Dreamy Cashew Cream (0 Comments)

Published on February 7th, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

 

Oh my! I AM in LOVE. So darn delicious.

 

For awhile now I’ve been wanting to make my own and it was the right day for it. What i am sharing with you is a velvety vegan style cream sauce made with cashews. Yes! It is vegan, but if you are not it’s just fine. I believe carnivores and herbivores alike will love this creamy dreamy sauce. I am not a vegan, but tend to gravitate towards more of a whole food plant based lifestyle as much as i can in properly fueling my body with variety of nutrients. Lately, I’ve been wanting to reduce or as close to eliminating dairy into my body due allergens and certain beliefs with the conventional ways. What i love about cashew cream is it’s unique and lovely taste, it’s versatility and so super simple to create in your own home.

 

This cream sauce is a blank canvas for you to create anything your heart desires and to go beyond just the garlic and sea salt. And with just one kitchen gadget like a blender or processor, you have a multi-purpose cream sauce that can be utilized for a creamy pasta, nacho cheese sauce, use with veggies or fruit dip or even made to use in ice cream as well. Below is a list of items you may incorporate into the sauce.

 

Pesto or herbs

Nutritional yeast

Any hot peppers or sauce

Squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, or other greens like spinach

And you can replace the garlic and sea salt with peanut butter, cocoa, sweetener, vanilla or whatever your heart desires

 

 

 

A wonderful base sauce recipe with minimal ingredients in creating dips, pasta sauce, or other cheesy alternatives. If you happen to give it a try, i would love to know. Do tell!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whenever most people talk about WHY they could never give up dairy, most times i hear is ” I LOVE my cheese so much to live without!” or something like ” I’ll miss my ice cream way too much!”. And i admit i was one of those people with dairy creamer for my coffee or certain cheeses for meals. These particular dairy items is what was keeping me from going dairy free. At first it was hard to part with, my conventional coffee creamer, until i fell in love with other alternatives such as coconut, almond and cashew now. Totally enjoying this homemade cashew creamer I’ve made a couple times now. Truthfully i do not know why i had waited so long to make this transition. I LOVE this and that is why i am sharing this with you. Maybe you had the same thoughts and/or ideas surrounding the dairy aspect. Do tell i would like to know.

 

 

 

 

So once you have the basic idea of this cashew cream process you can literally turn this into all kinds of concocted creations. It also holds up well in heating and baking with no separation as i have used in a couple of my dinner recipes. Also i would like to note that it is best to get good quality raw cashews and make sure they are unsalted too. Next are just a few more tips on this method for you and a couple recipes for the sauce and coffee creamer.

 

 

TIPS:

 

QUICK SOAK METHOD – cover cashews with boiling water and let sit for at least one hour before processing.

 

SWEETENER – you may want to add more or less depending on your preferences. It’s best to go with pure maple or raw honey for nutritional purposes for the creamer.

 

You may also want to warm up the cooled cashew creamer due to separating in the coffee and while taking out the chillness from the creamer from being in the refrigerator. I like my coffee hot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPES:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASHEW CREAM

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups cashews, raw and unsalted

water, filtered

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

Firstly, prepare cashews in allowing them to soak. In a small bowl, combine cashews and water; let soak for at least two hours. Drain and rinse; set aside.

 

In a food processor or blender, place the soaked cashews along with the water ( 1 cup for heavy cream or 2 cups for half and half consistency) and puree until very smooth. If too thick add in a bit of water to loosen. Remember once cooled it will thicken up so you may want to adjust. you may store this up to 7-10 days in the refrigerator.

 

Place mixture into a mason jar or airtight container into your refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOW for the COFFEE CREAMER

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup cashews, raw and unsalted

water

1/4 cup raw honey, or maple

1 tsp vanilla extract, pure no alcohol

1/4 tsp sea salt

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

Place cashews in a bowl or jar; let soak overnight or at least 3-6 hours.

 

Drain and rinse nuts. Place in blender. Add 2 cups filtered water, the sweetener of choice, vanilla and sea salt; blend on high until super smooth about 2-3 minutes.

 

Store in covered container and place in the refrigerator when ready to use. This will keep up to 10 days and the cream will thicken a bit while being cooled, but you may adjust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT CASHEWS

 

 

These nuts are rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals which are required for normal functions in our body. Did you know, they actually belong to Brazil but the Portuguese brought them to India in the 16ht century? These kidney shaped beans are chock full of goodness.

 

 

 

PREVENTS CANCER due to flavonols present

 

HEART HEALTHY being low in fat, no cholesterol and presence of antioxidants

 

LOWERS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE due to containing magnesium

 

STRONG HAIR due to the mineral of copper

 

HEALTHY BONES which contains calcium and magnesium

 

PREVENTS GALLSTONES

 

AIDS IN WEIGHT LOSS

 

VITAMIN RICH in riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, etc

 

BETTER SLEEP

 

HEALTHY GUMS & TEETH

 

FREE RADICALS

 

MACULAR DEGENERATION

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you know more about the health benefits of cashews, consume at least a few once every week for optimal benefits. Remember to nourish your mind, body and soul for overall well-being.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No-Bake Date Energy Bites (0 Comments)

Published on February 5th, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

 

Here is a tasty and energizing snack that is super simple and requires no oven at all. A great snack for on the run and practically guilt free goodness. It is naturally sweetened, so tender, pinch of crunch with the cashews, peanut buttery and oh so tasty. One of my all time go-to snacks that are packed with nutrients and real food ingredients to keep you fueled. I’ve made these tasty bites a variety of ways with different nut butters, fruits and vegetables like pumpkin. These are so easy to create in your very own kitchen with your personalized blend.

 

 

It’s been discovered and proven for years that dates have a healing powers for our bodies. Due to trading, these dates have traveled to southwest Asia, Spain, Northern Africa and were later introduced and became popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. Dates are considered a good source of calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Below are quite a few reasons in consuming dates regularly.

 

 

 

 

 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF DATES:

 

IMPROVES CHOLESTEROL due to not containing any and assists in weight loss.

 

EXCELLENT PROTEIN source in helping you stay fit and keeing muscles strong. Most gym geeks are asked to consume at least a couple dates everyday for their daily routine.

 

VITAMIN RICH in B1, B2 and B5 as well as A1 and calcium. Not only will it keep you healthy, it will enhance your energy levels due to natural sugars such as glucose, sucrose and fructose. An excellent quick snack.

 

BONE STRENGTH these guys are rich in selenium, manganese, copper and magnesium. Great in preventing osteoporosis.

 

HEALTHY DIGESTION especially when soaking dates before hand in consuming these lovelies. Of course excellent for constipated individuals.

 

IRON RICH dates help deficiencies in low levels of iron such as anemia and great for blood purification as well.

 

ANTI-AGER due to the great source of vitamin C and D in keeping skin smooth and elastic. Also prevents the accumulation of melanin in your body.

 

 

 

 

 

The best way dates are to be eaten is by themselves. This delicious and sweet fruit is great for breakfast snacks, oatmeal, no-bake treats, smoothies and cereals. Some people even may switch to date syrup over refined sugars. Great to have a container of these guys on hand on the counter or in the refrigerator. Wonderful to add to trail mix, a date smoothie, incorporated in baked goods and toss them in salads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s move on to the recipe……………………………………………………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVES: about 12, depending on size

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup dates, soaked or as is

1/4 cup cashews, unsalted and chopped

1/2 tsp raw honey (optional)

1/2 cup oats, rolled or quick

2 tbsp peanut butter, organic

1-2 tbsp water, filtered

sea salt, to taste

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Prepare the dates by pitting them and soaking them in hot water for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a food processor, or hand blender, combine all ingredients including the soaked dates; process until fairly smooth.

Remove from blender and place the mixture into a bowl; let set in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes.

When ready, scoop out a small spoonful, bite size, of the mixture and use hands to roll in a ball. You may need to wet your hands just a bit due to texture from sticking. Repeat until the process is complete. Place formed mixture into an airtight container to keep in the refrigerator for long lasting freshness. you may roll the balls into crushed nuts, shredded coconut, chocolate powder or Ganache or whatever your heart desires.  And that’s all. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: calories per serving 88; total fat 2.9g; sodium 33mg; total carbohydrates 15g; dietary fiber 1.8g; sugars 10g; protein 2g; calcium 1%; iron 4% and potassium 3% type of snack.

Rosemary Infused Roasted Beets (0 Comments)

Published on February 2nd, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

 

Not only are beets sweet and tasty, but provides numerous health benefits for our mind and body. Sharing with you a super simple recipe that is easy to create in your home with such versatility and flavor. Beets are wonderful to utilize in most meals such as an appetizer, salads, smoothies, baked goods, soups and just by itself. These sweet and earthy root vegetables are packed with surprising nutrients and benefits. Below is a list of why you may want to consume more beautiful beets into your healthy lifestyle.

 

 

 

 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF BEETS

 

 

Beets are rich in nitrates, which your body converts to nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes and dilates blood vessels in turning them into superhighways for your nutrients and oxygen rich blood, which means better circulation and improved blood pressure.

 

 

REDUCTION in heart disease risk due to rich in betaine and folate, which together helps to lower levels of homocysteine in the body.

 

 

Improved STAMINA – Researches has suggested when athletes consume beets that nitrates boost endurance performance. In one study, cyclists who drank beet juice could pedal harder longer 15% in time trail to exhaustion. So if your are racing, drink up and crush it!

 

 

BETTER BRAIN function due to nitric oxide in relaxing and dilating blood vessels, in turn increase blood flow to the brain which brings on healthy neurons in the body.  Give your brain a boost with beets!

 

 

LIGHTER LIVER in consuming more beets will allow better cleansing of the unwanted toxins in your body.

 

 

CHRONIC DISEASE fighter due to a rich source of betalains, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatories that battle free radical and inflammation related chronic diseases like heart disease, obesity and possibly cancers.

 

 

PROMOTES IRREGULARITY  with it’s source of high fiber with just one cup of beets contains 4 grams of dietary fiber, which helps reduce the risk of constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.

 

 

 

 

PURCHASING FRESH BEETS:

 

 

Did you know, that the greens of the beets are edible and provide rich nutrients such as carotenoids and lutein/zeaxanthin? They are mostly available at farmers markets and can be used interchangeably with chards.

 

Although we mostly see bright purple colored tones in grocery stores, they come in many colors. Beets are widely available year round, but the peak season is normally summer (June) to fall (October). And stay clear of spotted and bruised beets where it may be bleeding from the root.

 

 

THE HEALTHIEST WAY TO EAT BEETS ARE:

 

RAW – they firm, crunchy and mildly sweet tasting and an excellent addition to smoothies, salads, and juices. When eaten raw you do not lose any of the nutrients as well.

 

 

COOKED – they are often paired well with goat cheese, balsamic vinegar and arugula salads. They are commonly canned and pickled and can alter the taste and nutrient profile depending on how it is prepared.

 

 

ROASTED – make sure to cook or roast lightly in retaining it nutrient qualities for overall well-being. Studies have shown that the content of phytonutrients are diminished through high heat. The healthiest way to cook them is either steaming them for 20 minutes or roasted for under an hour, which slowly cooks them. Always best to wrap them when roasting or cooking to prevent staining on hands or surfaces.

 

 

 

 

 

Shall we let’s scroll down to the recipe……………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVES: about 2 to 3

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

3 whole beets, fresh, organic

1 tbsp olive oil

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1-2 tbsp rosemary, fresh or essential oil 1-2 drops

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven 400 degrees

Prepare the beets by scrubbing top layer or peeling and then rinse well.

Lay beets down on aluminum or parchment on a flat surface. Drizzle olive oil over the beets and rub in with gloves on or you may use a brush. Add the the rest of the seasoning and blend well. Fold foil to form a closed packet. Then place them on a baking sheet and into the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until soft and fragrant.

Remove from oven and let cool. You may slice or leave as is until needed in the refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Cooked Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup (0 Comments)

Published on February 1st, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

This lovely meal that I am sharing with you today is quite super simple, with light prep work, and made with real food ingredients. If you LOVE spice, heat and everything nice this is for you. This was so good that my hubby and I had it for lunch the next day. Really loved the combinations of flavors, ingredients and textures in this meal. There is some prep work, but very easy. Firstly, i marinated the chicken with a few spices, a touch of olive oil and mixed thoroughly until evenly distributed. Placed in the refrigerator until i needed it for dinner. Next, i sauteed some of the veggies with the spices and heat to elevate the flavors in the dish. Then, all of the other ingredients i combined right into the crock-pot. The rest of the time let the slow cooker do it’s job. It’s pretty simple, but so darn delicious. When it’s ready, you may place in the bowl along with you preferred starch and garnish with fresh cilantro and juice of the fresh lime. Not only is it tasty, but there are so many health benefits with the combinations of flavors in which i mention down below.

 

 

 

 

CURRY BENEFITS:

Prevents cancer

Protects the heart

Improves bone health

Antibacterial activity

Liver toxicity

Relieves pain and inflammation

Prevents Alzheimer’s

 

 

 

CUMIN BENEFITS:

Promotes healthy digestion

Rich source of iron

contains beneficial plant compounds

May help with diabetes

May improve blood cholesterol

Fights inflammation

Helps with drug dependence

 

 

 

TURMERIC:

Fights inflammation

Fights free radicals

Boosts immunity

Eases joint pain

Protects the heart

Healthy digestion

Boosts your mood

May stave off neurodegenerative diseases

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BELOW is the recipe………………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVES: about 6-8

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium red onion, peeled and diced

1 carrot, washed, peeled and chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp ginger, dried or fresh

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp curry

1/2 tsp Asian garlic chili sauce, or preferred sauce

dash, sea salt

dash, black pepper

6-8 small colored potatoes

3 cups vegetable broth, organic and low sodium

1 cup corn, frozen or fresh

1 cup peas, frozen or fresh

1 can coconut milk, lite

1 package boneless chicken tenderloin, marinated, cooked and shredded

Garnish, fresh cilantro

Limes, zest and/or juice

Starch, optional

 

 

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

In a medium saucepan, low to medium heat, combine the onions and carrots; let cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add in the garlic; let cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Next, add in all the spices, heat, 1/4 cup coconut milk and sea salt/black pepper to the mix. Mix to combine and let the flavors marry well together.  Remove from heat and place mixture into the slow cooker. Add in the rest of ingredients of corn, peas, potatoes and the last half hour add in the chicken or preferred meat option. Add the rest of the coconut milk and mix to combine. At this point, taste to see if extra flavor is needed.

 

Cover and let cook on high for 4 hours, or best at 6-8 hours. When ready, place in bowls with a bed of rice or another preferred item and garnish with fresh herbs and lime. And voila! A delicious meal for just two or a crowd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: calories 409; total fat 16g; total carbohydrates 49.5g; dietary fiber 9.4g; sugars 8g; protein 13.3g; calcium 4%; Iron 22% and potassium 29%.

 

 

 

Tomato-Basil Herb Vinaigrette Dressing (0 Comments)

Published on January 28th, 2018 in Food Blog, Health Tips

What i am sharing with you today is light and refreshing vinaigrette style dressing that you can create in your own home. This dressing contains fresh ingredients of cherry tomatoes, mix of herbs avocado oil and fresh sauteed garlic. What i LOVE about making my own is the quality control and flavor versatility by utilizing real food ingredients either in your own backyard or from the market.

 

This recipe came alive when realizing i had quite a bit of extra fresh basil to still use before going bad. And since I’ve been craving an alkalizing energizing salad for the evening, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to make my own signature style dressing. And voila! Here it is.

 

So how about you, have you made your own in the past? And if so, how did it come out? When i make my own I love that it is pure, fresh and so darn tasty. I truly believe in fresh is best. Do you agree? Although, at times, we do buy store bought. But I make sure to read those labels due to additives, extra sugars and any other preservatives. High quality is best because if you can NOT recognize an ingredients your body will not either in breaking it down. And please stay away from fat-free and low-fat labeling due to extra sugars or a chemical of crap in it. In doing so you will reap the healthy benefits in nourishing your mind, body and soul for overall well being.

 

 

Below are the many benefits of the few ingredients utilized in this recipe.

 

 

 

 

AVOCADO OIL

Rich in oleic acid

Reduces cholesterol

Very healthy fat

High in lutein

Great for eye health

Enhancement of absorbing nutrients in the body

Improves heart health

May prevent gum disease

Improves skin and enhances wound healing

Neutralizes free radicals and easy to use

Reduces symptoms of arthritis

 

 

 

 

TOMATOES

Antioxidant agent

Manage diabetes

Rich source of vitamins and minerals

Heart healthy

Counter effect of smoking cigarettes

Improves vision

Aid in digestion

Lowers hypertension

Great for skin

Prevents U.T.I.

Prevents gallstones

 

 

 

BASIL

Anti-inflammatory

Antioxidant

Cancer fighter

Pain reducer

Fever reducer

Liver and Blood vessel protector

Immune booster

 

 

 

 

Let’s move on to the recipe below……………………………………………………..

 

 

 

 

SERVES: about 6

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

1/2 cup basil, fresh

3 garlic cloves, minced and slightly pan sauteed

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, or preferred

dash, sea salt

dash, black pepper

3/4 cup avocado oil

3 tbsp red wine vinegar, or white is fine

dash, dried oregano

1/2 tsp thyme, fresh

 

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a small saucepan, over low-medium heat, place prepared garlic with oil; let saute for about 2-3 minutes or until fragrant and slightly soft. Do not burn. When cooked remove from heat and set aside.

Combine all ingredients including garlic into the food processor or a blender. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Place mixture into an airtight container or in a mason jar for storage. Keep in the refrigerator and when ready to use remove from the refrigerator and bring up to room temperature. This can also be made a day in advance as well. And voila! Homemade tasty treat to use and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: calories per serving 43; total fat 3.6g; sodium 41mg;total carbohydrates 2.7g; dietary fiber 1.5g; calcium 1%; iron 2% and potassium 3%