Sweet Onion Rosemary Focaccia Bread

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It seems a lot of people are dabbling with the idea of going gluten free, and I fully support that! The reasons for giving up gluten vary from person to person. Some people exhibit a physical reaction to gluten like gas, bloating , diarrhea, constipation, vomiting and more. Still others exhibit lesser known symptoms including depression, respiratory problems, headaches, fatigue, joint and muscle pains to name only a few. There are over 250 symptoms associated with gluten ranging from bowel issues to mental health. So whatever your reason, giving up gluten doesn’t mean you have to give up all the things you love.

Thankfully there are plenty of flour substitutes  and tricks that make it possible to enjoy your favorite foods and baked goods. I still enjoy all of the things I did before like muffins, cookies, pancakes, pizza and even breads like this Sweet Onion Rosemary Focaccia Bread!

This bread pairs beautifully with a warm soup and roasted vegetables for a simple and rustic dinner.

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Sweet Onion & Rosemary Focaccia Bread

  • 1c Sorghum Flour
  • 1c Oat Flour
  • 1 1/2c non-dairy milk (plus 1T apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2c sauted onion
  • 1/2c applesauce
  • 2T baking powder
  • 2t rosemary; or 1T fresh rosemary
  • 1t garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/2 salt
  • 1t cumin, garlic powder, or whatever seasonings you’d like
  • 1T coconut oil (optional)
  • *stevia to sweeten, 2 packs or 1/16 organic uncut stevia
  • Fresh rosemary for garnish

*maple syrup or honey could also work.

FullSizeRender_3Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line with parchment or lightly grease a 9X9″ baking pan (though I’m sure an 8×8″ would work as well).

In a large mixing bowl, sift together all of your dry ingredients, except rosemary and onions. Pour in non dairy milk, applesauce, coconut oil, and .sweetener. Next mix in the onion and rosemary until it’s well combined.

Pour batter into your prepared baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. When finished, remove from oven (carefully!) and let cool before slicing!

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Eat well tonight!

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Rosemary Beet Hummus

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“We got the beet”!  Why? Because not only are beets delicious, but they’re good for you, too!  Beets are packed with immune-boosting vitamin C, digestion supporting fiber, and essential minerals like potassium and manganese.FullSizeRender_2

Looking to detox? Beets help to cleanse your liver, kidneys and pancreas, working to reduce the “bad” cholesterol, and regulate your blood pressure. They combat anemia, fight fatigue, and  build stronger bones… and did we mention Beets are an aphrodisiac, too?… we think you’ll really enjoy the beets in this Rosemary Beet Hummus.

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Rosemary Beet Hummus

Cook & Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 can rinsed, drained garbanzo beans
  • 2 medium roasted beets
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 1T olive oil
  • 1T tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves (optional or one if you don’t like garlic)
  • 2t rosemary (more for extra flavor)
  • 2+ T of water (to reach desired consistency)
  • salt and pepper to taste

FullSizeRender_1Directions:

Place beans, roasted beets, olive oil (optional) and lemon juice in food processor and begin to process.  Next add in tahini, rosemary and garlic and give it a blend.  Now is when you want to begin adding water one tablespoon at a time to reach your desired consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

This Rosemary Beet hummus is also great in salads, wraps and on sandwiches, too.  It’s amazing how creative you can get with hummus or beets!

 

A Doughnut a Day for Better Health?

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FullSizeRenderAre you getting bored with your usual breakfast routine? Are you really craving the coffee and doughnuts you gave up? Doughnuts are ridiculously unhealthy right?… unless of course, you up the wellness factor with a little innovation and plantains!

On the outside, plantains may look like a larger banana, and you’re not far off. But under the peel, plantains have more starch, more vitamins and minerals, more everything. But unlike bananas, a black plantain isn’t rotten,  just very ripe… perfect for desserts. Plantains come in  three colors and each color lends well to a variety of recipes.

In regards to nutrition, green plantains have more starch and less sugar, and as they ripen through yellow into black, they become sweeter and more sugary. So if you’re very concerned about avoiding fructose, go for the green varieties, but most people shouldn’t have a problem even with the black ones.

Plantains in Review:

  • Plantains and bananas look similar; just larger with a thicker peel.
  • More vitamins and minerals than bananas like potassium, B6,  Vitamin A and C, folates, and iron.
  • You can eat plantains at any stage of ripeness; green, yellow or black.
  • Green plantains are more starchy and the black ones are more sweet.
  • Plantains are an awesome source of soluble fiber
  • Less sugar when compared to a banana

Ready to start plantaining up some goodness in the kitchen? Try these Cinnamon Doughnuts. They take less than 5 minutes to prepare and you’ll have a healthy breakfast for days.

FullSizeRender_4Cinnamon Doughnuts

FullSizeRender_3Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a doughnut pan. In a blender, puree your plantain, applesauce, and coconut oil.

In a separate bowl sift together your dry ingredients. Pour the contents of your blender into the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly.

Scoop the batter into your doughnut pan. This recipe provides 3-4 full sized doughnuts (or one dozen mini doughnuts). Bake for 12 minutes or until done.

When finished, sprinkle the doughnuts with additional cinnamon and allow them to cool before enjoying!

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Are You Getting Enough Fat?

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The FDA might still be a bit behind on the most recent science (Frosted Flakes healthier than avocados?), however, it’s now becoming widely accepted that good, high-quality fats are beneficial to your health. And though good sources of fat should be part of your healthy lifestyle, many of us still “fear the fat” and are missing out on all of its benefits.

Fat is essential in our bodies ability to absorb nutrients, create satiety and maintain the health of our heart, brain and overall body. So how do you know if you’re getting enough?

Well, did you start your morning with a delicious green smoothie? Great! But were you hungry again two hours later? If you were, than you were probably missing that satiating element that fat so deliciously provides in the form of nuts, nut butters, seeds and avocados. If you find yourself snacking every 2-3 hours, than it’s time to up the fat factor!

FullSizeRender_2Another morning indicator of too little fat in your diet can be found in your vitamins. Many people begin the morning with a few vitamins (we’re big fans of Vitamin C, Collagen, B12 and activated charcoal). If you’re feeling nauseous after taking a few vitamins, that’s because many of them are fat soluble. Add a bit of fat with your daily vitamins and that feeling of nausea will be old news.

Want to add a little fat to your morning routine? Try this Matcha Tea Green Latte!

FullSizeRender_3Matcha Green Tea Latte

5 minutes. Gluten free. Vegan. Paleo.

Ingredients:

  • 1c Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1c filtered water
  • 1t matcha green tea
  • stevia to taste
  • *optional 1T hydrolyzed collagen protein

Directions

Begin by heating coconut milk and water in one pot on the stove (don’t boil). Add remaining ingredients. Pour the contents into a blender and blend or 30 seconds at a medium speed. [You could also use an immersion blender on the stove top].

FullSizeRender_1Pour into a mug. Sip. Savor. And enjoy!

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Keep the Mosquitos Away Naturally!

mint leaf

mint leaf

A single bite from an infected mosquito can have serious health consequences. (Thanks Zika). So what’s your best defense as the summertime approaches? The best way to protect yourself and your family against mosquito-borne illness is to try and prevent mosquito bites in the first place. But don’t going reaching for bug spray just yet.

The large majority of bug sprays sold in stores contain DEET, an ingredients you may want to avoid. DEET, although still approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is a known eye irritant and may also cause rashes, soreness, or blistering when applied to your skin. DEET has also been linked to neurological problems and diffuse brain cell death.

So let’s protect your brain cells and your overall health! Here are FOUR ways to protect yourself from mosquitos this summer:

  1. Add vanilla extract to either of the above recipes, or just rub on the skin. You can also mix vanilla with witch hazel and water for a spray version.
  2. Plant insect repelling herbs in your yard such as lavender, thyme, mint and citronella. Try rubbing the leaves on your skin!
  3. Avoid alcohol. Consuming alcohol seems to make your blood more appealing to mosquitos…bummer.
  4. Try one of these natural DIY bug repellents:

Recipe: Coconut & Neem

ingredients:

Warm both ingredients and stir together in a jar (note- they are solid at room temperature). Apply to skin, but be warned, neem oil has a strong scent, but it will fade away.

Recipe 2: 

ingredients:

  • Distilled Water
  • Rubbing alcohol (or witch hazel)
  • 2T each dried peppermint & lavender (try these other combinations: lemongrass & spearmint; citronella, catnip & spearmint)

Boil 1 cup of water and add your dried herbs. Whichever combination you prefer, or get crazy and use them all!

Mix your concoction well and be sure to cover it up to keep the oils in. Now strain your herbs and mix  the water water with 1 cup of rubbing alcohol.

Store your new mosquito repellent in a spray bottle and store it away in the refrigerator.

A Matcha Latte & the Benefits of Green Tea

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What Exactly is Matcha Green Tea?

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Matcha actually means “powdered tea.”  So when you order green tea at the local coffee shop, what you’re getting are the leaves that have been infused in hot water. Afterwards, you typically toss away the tea bag.  But when it comes to matcha, the leaves have been made into a fine powder and you’re drinking the actual leaves! Traditionally you would mix about a teaspoon of matcha powder with a third cup of hot water (not boiling), and whisk with a bamboo brush until it froths.

The preparation of matcha is fairly intense.  The tea plants are covered with shade cloths before they’re harvested. The process of harvesting triggers the growth of leaves and makes more flavorful and promotes stronger texture. The leaves are then hand selected, steamed (to stop fermentation), dried and aged in cold storage. The drying and aging of the leaves helps to deepen the flavor before they are stone-ground into a fine powder.

Why drink matcha?

High quality matcha is a more potent source of nutrients than steeped green tea. Matcha also provides vitamins and minerals. Rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, consuming matcha has been shown to protect against heart disease and cancer, as well as, help to regulate blood sugar, reduce blood pressure, and prevent aging. EGCG, another polyphenol found in green tea, can also help to promote weight loss by boosting your metabolism.

FullSizeRender_2Matcha Green Tea Latte

5 minutes. Gluten free. Vegan. Paleo.

Ingredients:

  • 1c Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1c filtered water
  • 1t matcha green tea
  • stevia to taste
  • *optional 1T hydrolyzed collagen protein

Directions

Begin by heating coconut milk and water in one pot on the stove (don’t boil). Add remaining ingredients. Pour the contents into a blender and blend or 30 seconds at a medium speed. [You could also use an immersion blender on the stove top].

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Golden Blondies

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What are Golden Blondies? Well, they are the deliciously healthy combination of my favorite blondies topped with a Healing Turmeric Frosting!

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Healing Turmeric Frosting

What could be more simple than two quick and tasty recipes slapped together? And, bonus! – both these recipes are gluten free, grain free, vegan, and full of healthy yummy fats instead of all that gnarly sugar. This way, your body will feel satisfied and your blood sugar levels won’t go haywire. What does that mean for you? – a satisfied sweet tooth and a happy and healthy body! … not too shabby, right?

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Golden Blondies

Ingredients:

Directions: 

Prepare Blondie recipe. Let cool. Frost with Healing Turmeric Frosting. Enjoy!

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The antioxidant properties of spices have the ability to stop those free radicals that damage cells and lead to inflammation. Turmeric is definitely one of those life-enhancing spices that you should stock in your cupboard at all times and make these Golden Blondies so great for your health and healing the body.

Not only are these Golden Blondies a brilliant color (thanks curcumin), but Turmeric, the star ingredient is this frosting, is also an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, wonder spice! Turmeric has been used to treat everything from allergies, arthritis and diabetes, to autoimmune diseases, liver disease and even Alzheimer’s… mic drop. (right?).

But seriously, fill your home with spices and herbs because ounce for ounce, herbs and spices are extremely potent compared to other foods. Adding just a few spices and herbs to your food, especially desserts, can amp-up the antioxidant power of your meal in a delicious way.

Another great addition to your healthy home kitchen is flax meal or ground flaxseeds used in these oh-so-delicious Blondies.

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Cinnamon Roll Blondies

Why do I love flaxseeds so much? Aside from the fiber content, these golden (or brown) beauties are lignan powerhouses. Lignans are a type of phytoestrogen that dampens the effects of estrogen in the body. [High levels of estrogen in the body is commonly associated with breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men]. So I say, bring on the flax!

So while lignans are not contained within the seeds, the precursors are, and these precursors are then activated by the good bacteria in your gut. Just by eating 1 tablespoon a day of ground flaxseed, you might actually be reducing your risk of cancer!

You can pick up a bag of ground flaxseed at just about any store – under $3 at Trader Joes. Flax comes in two varieties, brown and gold, packing the same nutritional wallop so just pick your favorite and use it in these Blondies!

Two great recipes combined create one deliciously healthy dessert!

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