Tag Archives: Nutrition

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

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Grain Free Peach Cobbler on a Spoon

The peaches are fresh, juicy, ripe, and begging to be baked into something with cinnamon and nutmeg. There is nothing like peach season for eating peaches! They are at their most excellent and not to be missed! Peaches are sweet juicy pleasures, but they also are packed with health benefits and a broad range of nutrients!

The fiber in peaches helps keep you regular, they are rich in ascorbic acid and zinc (which also has anti-aging properties) to aid your immune system, rich in vitamin C and flavonoids for healthy skin, and contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health.

The batter for the cobbler features coconut flour, pastured eggs and natural maple syrup as the sweetener.

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Preheat your oven to 350° degrees. Grease a 8″ x 8″ square pan with coconut oil.

Ingredients for Filling:

4 cups of peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (about 4 peaches)

1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup (I used local)

2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed)

1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Toss the peaches and filling ingredients together in a bowl, and set aside to let them start releasing some of their juices.

Ingredients for Cobbler Topping:

1/3 Cup of Coconut Flour (I use this brand) scooped and leveled, it makes a big difference with coconut flour how it is measured!

1/3 Cup of Coconut Milk

2 Tablespoons of Melted Coconut Oil

3 Pastured Eggs

1/4 Cup of Applesauce (no sugar added)

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract (gluten free here)

1/2 Teaspoon of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling the top before baking

Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl, add the eggs and beat with an electric hand mixer until frothy. Add your coconut milk and beat. Slowly pour in the melted coconut oil while beating. Add the applesauce, vanilla extract and lemon juice and blend. Sift together the coconut flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Add it to the egg mixture, and mix with the electric mixer for one minute. It will thicken.

After mixing up the cobbler topping, pour your peach filling into the prepared 8″ x 8″ square pan. Dollop the cobbler batter on top as desired and sprinkle with some additional cinnamon, about 1/4 teaspoon, no need to be perfect with this, just a pinch or so though.

Bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes. The peaches should be bubbling and the cobbler topping golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool slightly before serving warm. You can also reheat any leftover cobbler quickly in the microwave if you want to eat it warm.

Sliced Peaches in Pan for Grain Free Cobbler

Peach Cobbler Filling

Batter on Peaches for Baking a Grain Free Cobbler

Ready to Bake above.

Serves Six

Enjoy!

Sandra

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Lacinato Kale with Garlic and Almonds

Lacinato Kale, also referred to as Dinosaur Kale, is a flat leafed kale with dark green blue leaves. This is my favorite kale to cook with. It has a slightly nutty flavor, and is less bitter than Curly Kale. I use Curly Kale to make kale chips, because the curls grab on to every bit of sauce you put on them.  By now you would have to be hiding under a rock to not hear about all the health benefits in greens, and Kale has taken center stage in the past couple years.

Lacinato Kale with Garlic and Almonds

Lacinato Kale with Garlic and Almonds

 

Kale is full of benefits, such as it is high in fiber, is a good source of Calcium, Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K. It is fabulous for strengthening your immune system, bones and skin.

This recipe for kale is crunchy, garlicky and savory. It is important to eat greens with fat to help your body access the nutrients, plus it just plain tastes good. I have used Olive Oil in this recipe. There are endless ways to serve this dish. It makes a great side for fish and chicken. Add some protein, and you have a meal.

Lacinato Kale with Garlic and Almonds

Lacinato Kale

 

Lacinato Kale with Garlic and Almonds

Ingredients:

1 bunch of Lacinato Kale, Stripped of Stems and Washed

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced (I use a garlic press)

1 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice (It brightens the dish)

1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds

Directions:

Slice the Kale into 1 inch strips by grabbing a bunch and using a sharp knife on a cutting board. Set aside.

Heat the Olive Oil in a large cooking pan over high heat. Add the Minced Garlic, and cook just briefly, just about 30 seconds. Add the sliced Kale and Sea Salt. Cook over high heat until the Kale is wilted, tossing frequently. Once wilted, add in 1 Tablespoon of fresh squeezed Lemon Juice. Toss just to coat.

Place the kale in a serving dish and sprinkle with the Sliced Almonds.

It’s Ready to Eat! It is so good!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

 

Relapse of SIBO, Food, Sauces, and Fitting Out

Real Food

Hey Everyone! I hope you are enjoying beautiful weather in your area of the world, as I am here in Maryland!

So, I have had a lot going on since Christmas, including a relapse of SIBO, which is very common. I feel fortunate to have gone a very good stretch of time without having to be retreated.  I am on antibiotics to rid my small intestine of bacterial overgrowth for a second time. The treatment of SIBO is still evolving.

After first finding out what in the world was wrong with my belly almost two years ago, I followed the Paleo, SCD and at first Low FodMap diet with great success. I went almost two years without a return of symptoms and felt full of energy and just fabulous!  So what did I do to have it return? It wasn’t adding in FodMap containing food. I have been slowly adding in more FodMaps through trial and error and really found out which foods work for me and which do not.  FodMaps feed the good bacteria in the intestines, and a Low FodMap, real food diet is more limiting and should only be followed short term according to many experts, to reduce and manage symptoms.  Here is just one article on this. You can google many more. I feel my SIBO returned because I added in too many starches. I was experimenting with Paleo friendly, grain free starches such as tapioca, arrowroot and cassava. These are fine, but not if you have had SIBO.

It happened over the holidays when I was trying to make Christmas treats the whole family and company would perceive as “regular”. This is where the Fitting Out comes in for me. After almost four months of SIBO hell, I have decided in the food department, I do not care a less if I fit in or not! In fact, I prefer to fit out! I have figured out what food makes me feel the best and thrive because I want to feel energetic and healthy. I want to add to my health and keep striving for the best healthy version of myself.  This is true for all of us. We, as humans are all genetically individual and come from all areas of the world, with different ancestors, who ate different kinds of food indigenous to where we are from.

I love eating real, and what has been termed Paleo foods, which is in essence real food… within the parameter that works for me . I get excited about going to buy loads of gorgeous vegetables, fruits, healthy meat, nuts, seeds and healthy fats. I look forward to my coconut milk latte. I feel grateful for the variety of healthy food I have access to. It’s important to note that it is very difficult to get rid of SIBO with diet alone. It needs to first be treated with either herbal or prescription antibiotics, and include a SIBO friendly diet like this one or this one.

One of my favorite ways to keep it interesting is sauces! I try and have plenty on hand, made in advance and frozen, if necessary, so I don’t have to spend a lot of time preparing food when I have a busy day.  There are more and more pre-prepared clean sauces coming into the market. Some of my favorites are Tessemae’s fabulous buffalo wing sauce, and their ketchup sweetened with dates. Primal Kitchen has a new Chipotle Lime Mayo and Salad Dressings, and their regular Mayo made with avocado oil is the bomb! Best mayo I have ever had, hands down. There are also 22 sauce recipes in the recipe index of my blog here.

So, to wrap it up, I know more than ever the food I thrive on, and it is healthy, real food. That is what I love the most! Eat what you know works for you and keep it real. Enjoy each day you are given, reach out for help, and don’t go it alone. Finding a grain free diet that is low in starch is what makes me feel like I could conquer anything. I will continue to develop new recipes to share within this parameter that are delicious for everyone. No more tapioca, cassava and arrowroot in my recipes.  I love to entertain, feed my family, and as a previous artisan bread baker, food is a passion!

Blessings!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

Oven Roasted Fennel, Carrots and Red Onion

Roasted Vegetables

My favorite way to eat vegetables in the colder months is oven roasting! Roasting vegetables in the oven brings out the natural sugars in the vegetables, and it caramelizes them adding even more layers of flavor.

If you have been following me for awhile, you have heard over and over to eat your vegetables and eat your nutrients. 🙂  Oven roasting makes it an easy way to do so! Yes! Some of the health benefits of Fennel is it contains Phytonutrients, Vitamin C, Fiber, Folate and Potassium. Red Onion is a source of Sulfur and Quercetin (cancer protective). Carrots are high in Vitamin A, and also contain good amounts of Biotin and Vitamin K. By eating these three all together, you are getting a powerhouse of beneficial nutrients!

This recipe for Oven Roasted Fennel, Carrot and Red Onion is an outstanding choice to serve at your Thanksgiving table. It is colorful, rustic and so delicious! I hope you give it a try!

Oven Roasted Fennel, Carrots and Red Onion

Preheat your oven to 375º degrees.

Ingredients:

2 Fennel Bulbs

6 Medium Carrots

1 Large Red Onion

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon of Himalayan Pink Salt or Sea Salt

1 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Directions:

Wash and trim the fennel, and remove the stalks. Slice the fennel into 1/2 inch slices. Peel the carrots and slice. Peel the red onion and cut in half, then into 10 wedges total. In a medium bowl toss the prepared vegetables with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 30 to 40 minutes until the vegetables are tender and caramelized, tossing with a spatula after the first 20 minutes.

It is ready to Serve!

Enjoy your day!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

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

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