Tag Archives: Autumn

Health Benefits of Pumpkin and Recipes!


What better way to celebrate the Autumn season than making recipes with pumpkin and reaping the health benefits too! Pumpkin is great for eye health, delivering a 100% RDA of Vitamin A in just half a cup. It is a healthy source of fiber, and the beta-carotene and carotenoids in orange vegetables like pumpkin may help prevent cancer and keep wrinkles at bay! (A diet rich in a large variety of fruits and vegetables will keep your skin glowing and your body at it’s best). Pumpkin is a good source of Vitamin C , Vitamin E, Potassium and trace minerals. I have some of my favorite pumpkin recipes listed below. I just love Fall!

XOXO

Sam

43580275 - 10 health benefits information of pumpkin. nutrients infographic

Delicious Ways to Eat Pumpkin – Recipes!!!

Frosted Jackolantern Pumpkin Cookies

Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Cranberry Biscotti

Pumpkin Creme Brulee

Pumpkin Pecan Quick Bread (Grain Free)

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Muffin

Holiday Pumpkin Vanilla Bean Tart

References:

Medicinal and Biological Potential of Pumpkin Pub Med

8 Impressive Health Benefits of Pumpkin Huffington Post

Pumpkin Nutrition University of Illinois

What Are Pumpkins Good For? Food Facts Mercola

Pumpkin: Health Benefits and Nutritional Breakdown Medical News Today

Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Chicken and Vegetables


Hello! How’s your September going? My two girls have both started high school this year. I have been getting my gardens in shape and doing some Fall decorating.

Autumn is just around the corner, and this is a hearty, warming soup full of delicious nutrition! It is rib sticking healthy comfort food that you will want to make again and again this fall and winter!

Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Chicken and Vegetables - Paleo

This soup is pure goodness in a bowl and pretty enough to serve to and impress guests! I love the rich creaminess of the soup and the toppings that you can sink your teeth into…..my kind of soup in the Fall! The fresh parsley adds brightness to the flavor, and the cumin and coriander give the soup an earthy richness. The honey, djon and splash of apple cider vinegar add that extra zing or umami.

Hearty Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Roasting vegetables makes them sweeter tasting and the browning adds flavor, flavor and more flavor! I am in love with this bowl of soup, and I think you will be too. 🙂

Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Ingredients for Soup Base:

1 Butternut Squash (peeled, seeded and cubed)

6 Carrots (peeled and sliced)

2 Leeks (white parts, sliced)

1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon of Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1 Teaspoon of Coriander

1 Teaspoon of Ground Fennel

1 Quart of Low Sodium Chicken Broth (I used this)

1/2 Cup of Coconut Milk (I used Thrive Brand with no additives)

1 Tablespoon of Dijon Mustard

1 Tablespoon of Honey

1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar

1 1/2 Teaspoons of Dried Oregano

1 Teaspoon of Turmeric


Ingredients for the Soup Topping:

1 Whole Roasted Chicken (I like to batch roast two chickens and use one for the soup)

3 Cups of Brussels Sprouts (halved)

3 Cups of Fennel (chopped)

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/4 Cup of Chopped Fresh Parsley (for topping)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400º degrees. In a large bowl, toss together the butternut, carrots and leeks with the olive oil, ground cumin, coriander, ground fennel and sea salt. Then, lay out your cubed Butternut, Carrots and Leeks on one, or two, parchment lined cookie sheets. The vegetables should be in a single layer. Roast the vegetables in your preheated oven for 40 minutes.

In a large stock pan, add the roasted vegetables and 1 quart of good quality low sodium chicken stock, the cider vinegar, honey, dijon, oregano and turmeric. Bring to a high simmer, and simmer for ten minutes. Cool slightly, then add the soup to a blender in two batches and puree, or use an immersion blender. Add the soup back to the pot. Salt to taste if needed.

While the soup base simmers, toss the Brussels sprouts and fennel with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, and roast for 20 minutes in your 400º degree oven. While the vegetables are roasting, shred 3 cups of roasted chicken and warm it.

To serve:

Ladle the soup into a bowl, top generously with shredded chicken, the roasted Brussels sprouts and fennel, and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Yum, a delicious, hot and hearty main dish soup full of nourishment and healthy comfort!

Serves 6

Enjoy your day!

Sandra

 

 

 

Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake


Today is the first day of Autumn, and to celebrate I am baking this Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake! Enjoy this cake after a beautiful afternoon of raking leaves with someone you love! Or, sit outside on a cool sweatshirt morning with a piece of this cake and a warm cup of coffee! It is pure heaven!!!

grain-free-pumpkin-coffee-cake-for-autumn

When you hear coffee cake, don’t just think of breakfast. This is a great snack cake. I have drizzled the top while it is still warm with a glaze that soaks in and makes the cake super moist! So grab your Bundt pan!

pumpkin-coffee-cake-grain-free

Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

Preheat your oven to 350º degrees. Now, lets get our ingredients out.

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Canned Pumpkin (I use this brand)

3 Eggs

1/4 Cup of Honey

1/4 Cup of Coconut Oil

1 1/2 Cups of Superfine Almond Flour (I like this brand)

2 Tablespoons of Coconut Flour (I use this brand)

1 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon of Allspice

1/4 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar

1/3 Cup of Coarsely Chopped Raw Pecans

Glaze:

2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil (melted)

2 Teaspoons of Honey

1/8 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

a pinch of sea salt

Directions: Grease a Bundt pan with organic shortening or coconut oil and set it aside. In a large bowl with a hand held mixer, blend the pumpkin, eggs, honey, and coconut oil for two minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, spices, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix with your hand held mixer until thoroughly incorporated. Add the teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and blend again for 30 seconds.

Spoon the batter into the Bundt pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the top with your coarsely chopped pecans. Place in the preheated oven for 40 minutes to bake. The top should spring back slightly when ready. Remove the pan from the oven, and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. While it is cooling, prepare the glaze above.

After five minutes, turn the Bundt pan over with a wire rack on top of it to catch the cake. When it is out of the pan it will be upside down. Turn the cake right side up by using another wire rack sandwiching the cake between the two, or carefully use your hands to turn the cake right side up with the pecans on top. Drizzle the glaze onto the cake and cool.

 

pumpkin-coffee-cake

Happy Autumn! Although it’s still hotter than average for September, there are signs of Fall outside. The pumpkins are ripening for one, and before you know it, it will be time for cozy sweatshirts and jeans, and leaf raking!

Grain Free Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

 

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

 

Harvest Bread (Grain Free, Toastable)


I know Autumn is just around the corner when the cicadas start screaming day and night. School started today! Waaagh! I have mixed emotions about it. We had such a nice Summer, and it seems like Summer just began.

However, I am looking forward to my favorite season and cooler days where I can throw on layers. The cool weather makes me think of different smells in the kitchen like cinnamon, nutmeg and bread baking.

Harvest Bread (Grain Free, Toastable)

Living a healthy life is more than just having everything you put into your mouth be uber healthy. It is also about balance, community, listening to your body, sharing time together over food, relaxation, spirituality, exercise, and fun! These things give us a sense of well being deep in our innermost self.

It is one of the reasons I like to blog treat recipes, like this very delicious and toastable bread that is reminiscent of my days as an artisan bread baker for my local food coop. I have made this seasonal recipe in a grain free version!

It is important if you have digestive challenges, like me, or want to improve your health in other areas, that you eat plenty of cooked and fresh vegetable produce, some fruit, good quality protein and healthy fats. I typically recommend 2/3rds of the plate consist of vegetables. Then there is a place for a piece of this grain free bread. Just don’t eat the whole loaf! Now, my daughters can eat plenty of this bread, and they absolutely love it toasted! I am happy with one thick slice toasted and savored with a cup of coffee or tea.

I purchase my pantry items such as the raisins, nuts, cashew butter, almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and the apple cider vinegar at Thrive Market online (see link in upper right corner of this page) and saved $1,500.00 on my grocery bill last year. This is my second year as a member. They have thousands of quality food and home care items, and for every membership that is purchased, they give a free one to a needy family. They have a mission to make quality food affordable. Let’s bake bread! 🙂

Harvest Bread Ingredients

Harvest Bread Ingredients

 

Harvest Bread (Grain Free, Tostable)

Preheat the oven to 300º degrees. Grease a medium to large sized loaf pan with organic shortening, then line it with parchment paper.  I used a pan my children bought for me as a gift when I started eating gluten free. It is a Pullman loaf pan and works well for gluten free breads, but it just makes a nice shape. Any medium to large loaf pan will work! (I left of the lid for this pan.)

Ingredients:

2 1/4 Cups Superfine Almond Flour

3 Tablespoons of Coconut Flour

1 Teaspoon of Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt (my favorite!)

1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. In a second bowl with a hand held mixer, blend together:

4 Eggs

1/4 Cup of Cashew Butter

3 Tablespoons of Honey

1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar

After blending the eggs, cashew butter, honey and cider vinegar until well combined, add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Then fold in:

1/2 Cup of Raisins

1/2 Cup of Chopped Walnuts

Pour into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula, and then place in the preheated oven and bake for 45 to 55 minutes until golden brown on the top and hollow sounding when you tap on the bread.

Remove from the oven. Cool for ten minutes in the pan. Then use the overhanging sides of the parchment paper to lift the loaf from the pan. Cool on a wire rack for one hour before slicing.

Baked Harvest Loaf Ready to Remove and Cool

Delicious Harvest Bread (Grain Free)

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

How to Make a Quick, Grain Free, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Muffin


 

It is a perfect time to enjoy this mug muffin! Find the full recipe here. That is Ming, Ming snorteling in the background of this video. If you look closely in the beginning, she is in the left hand corner!

Enjoy your day!

Sandra

 

 

Go Beyond the Salad


Autumn Leaves

Hello! I hope you are having a peaceful Autumn! What’s new?

When you think about healthy eating, salads and green vegetables usually come to mind. But how about adding a little more variety to your plan?

Roots like carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnips, are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods do, they help regulate them.

Why Eat More Root Vegetables?

Long roots – carrots, parsnips, burdock, and daikon radish – are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body. Round roots – turnips, radishes, beets, and rutabagas – nourish the stomach, spleen, pancreas, and reproductive organs.

Which root vegetables do you eat most?

If you’re like most of the world, it’s carrots and potatoes. Here are a few others to explore:

  • Beets contain an abundance of antioxidants and are highly detoxifying. They contain dietary fiber, magnesium, iron, glycine, carotenoids, lutein, flavonoids and trace minerals.
  • Kohlrabi also referred to as a German Turnip is a good source of Vitamin C, B6, Folate and Thiamine, as well as trace minerals. It is a member of the Brassica family.
  • Celeriac, also known as celery root, is rich in fiber and has a respectable amount of antioxidants. (I like it mashed like potatoes, or a mixture of steamed carrots and celeriac mashed together.)
  • Jicama is crunchy and refreshing and contains a generous amount of vitamin C. It’s a favorite in its native Mexico and South America.
  • Onions are rich in antioxidants and other phytonutrients, making them prized for their ability to strengthen the immune system.
  • Parsnips, which look like giant white carrots, boast a sweet, earthy taste. They also contain plenty of fiber, as well as vitamin C, folic acid, niacin, thiamine, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Radish is an excellent source of vitamin C. It’s also contains calcium, molybdenum, folic acid, and is beneficial for digestion.
  • Sweet Potatoes contain unsurpassed levels of beta-carotene and are also rich in vitamin A. They also provide potassium, phytonutrients, protein, and fiber.

Excited to add more roots to your diet? Here’s a fun, easy recipe:

Easy Roasted Root Vegetables

Easy Roasted Root Vegetables

 

Easy Roasted Root Vegetables
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 – 50 minutes
Serves 4 – 6
Ingredients:
1 Sweet Potato
2 Parsnips
2 Large Carrots
2 Turnips or Kohlrabi
1 Daikon Radish (or substitute/add in other favorites like squash or beets)
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons of Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
Optional herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (fresh or dried to taste)Preheat your oven 375 degrees. Peel, wash and slice all the vegetables into long spears or bite sized cubes.
Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, or lightly grease. Place prepared vegetables onto the baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs of choice.Roast uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes until the vegetables are tender and golden brown. Stir after the first 20 minutes, then continue roasting.Tip: Any combination of vegetable will work. Roasting only one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish!

Oven Roasted Root Vegetable Fries

Oven Roasted Root Vegetable Fries

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Muffin


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Muffin

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Muffin

Mug muffins are scrumptious, convenient, individual and fast! Just mix and microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds and you have a warm muffin in a mug!

Since Fall is in the air, I have been craving pumpkin. I was in the kitchen this weekend creating a pumpkin flavored mug muffin with a touch of chocolate that really evokes thoughts of cooler weather, sweaters, autumn crafts and warm hugs. My youngest daughters are 12 and 14 now and like to choose and make their own breakfasts. They love mug muffins and can whip them up quickly on a school morning!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Mug Muffin Recipe

Have a yummy day!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Muffin

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mug Muffin

 

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

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