The Benefits of Home Juicing (Infographic)

Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 in Food, Healthy Eating, Vegan | 0 comments

Juicing is all the rage and while I don’t exactly promote juice cleanses, I do feel making your own juice is healthy and beneficial.  After seeing this info graph, you will see why, but pulled a few facts from this graph: Only 15% of Americans actually eat the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables everyday. ONE cup of homemade juice contain at least 60% less of sodium compared to an equivalent store bought brand. In just over two months, you can save 71% in making a juice at home compared to buying one at the store I have never been a fan of letting kids have store bought juice, honestly it is like letting them drink sugar water and seeing the sodium content, you are setting up them up for health problems later in life…you can see my post on Chicago Parent on Why Your Kids Don’t Need Juice, that is how strongly I feel about it.  The only juice I really like to buy is the Mariano’s Orange or Orange and Carrot Juice. It is made fresh and it separates…means you have to shake it up to blend it, which most juice companies add “stuff” for this to happen.  In July of 2013, the FDA has an limit to the amount of arsenic they are allowing in apple juice…not exactly what I want to be giving to my kids these days. Are you concerned about cost? Don’t worry, this info graph really breaks it down and how much money you can save in the long run with the upfront cost of a high quality juicer.   What do you think? Do you think juicing is all the rage or will you reconsider not buying juice for your family?   The Benefits of Home Juicing Infographic by Macy’s. This post is sponsored by Macy’s. I was invited to this opportunity by Blue Polo Interactive and received a Macy’s gift card for my time. All opinions expressed in this post are my...

Read More

Cranberry-Pomegranate Salsa

Posted by on Dec 16, 2013 in Corn Free, Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Vegan | 1 comment

I have to say, this has been one of my favorite recipes besides my Banana Nut Paleo Granola.  I’ve made this Cranberry-Pomegranate Salsa about eight times a few different ways since December started and each time it has been a hit. Since visiting Pasolivo Olive Oil Farm, I have been in love with their citrus olive oil and have used in a few recipes including my Citrus Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Leeks and salad dressings. This recipe does use this olive oil, but don’t worry, I’ll explain how to use my favorite orange juice in this recipe too. For the first time I am doing a wine pairing with this dish! I do enjoy a good glass of wine and appreciate the importance of it also being made organically and sustainably.  My wine pairing is a Pinot Noir from Tolosa Vineyards in Edna Valley located in San Luis Obispo, California.  It is a SIP Certified Wine. Something I learned about on my trip to Paso Robles in October.  This wine really makes the citrus flavor pop out in this salsa.  It really is a wonderful a pairing. I served this in the Christmas Tree Ecofoil tin for a festive chip holder. Ready for this tasty and crowd pleasing recipe? Here it is!!   Cranberry-Pomegranate Salsa 1 bag of cranberries (TJs sells them for $1.99/bag) 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds 3-4 cloves of garlic (I don’t play games) 3-4 green onions 1 jalapeño (deseed as much as you want, depending on how much heat you like) 1/2 c of cilantro cut up 1/4 c of coconut palm sugar juice of one lime (or 4 drops of lime oil-this really brings out the flavor) 1 T of Grade B Maple Syrup 2 T of Pasolivo Citrus Olive Oil 1 tsp of crushed red pepper 1/2 tsp of celtic salt (this is a very nourishing salt and worth the buy to use all of the time!) Directions: In a food processor (depending how big it is) mix cranberries, garlic, jalapeño, green onions (saving one for slicing). Chop up ingredients in the food processor. You may have to do this in 2 batches if you have a smaller food processor like I do. I love my KitchenAid one. Place into a bowl. Add in chopped cilantro, coconut palm sugar, syrup, olive oil, red pepper and celtic salt.  Dice up one green onion to make the greens pop out more. Serve and enjoy Watch the liquids in this recipe or it will be more like a relish. Which is fine, but it is nice to have the consistency less liquid. My favorite chips is to serve this with White Bean Beanito chips. With some added protein and fiber, you really have a complete and healthy snack eating this salsa. I love this side dish and you will want to make this before they send back the fresh cranberries for the season. In fact, I highly recommend getting yourself a few bags so you can enjoy this as a New Year’s Eve party app!   A big thank you to EcoFoil Pan company for sponsoring this recipe. I hope you enjoy a creative way you can use their eco-friendly pans as a party  platter/dish that makes it fun to...

Read More

Citrus Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Leeks

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Corn Free, Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Vegan | 4 comments

I didn’t begin liking sweet potatoes until I was working at place that made the best sweet potato fries. To this day I cannot find a place that makes them as good as them, but it got me to start eating sweet potatoes. To my surprise I found I really truly enjoyed them. I think I had an awful experience eating them at a Thanksgiving dinner one year as a child. It is amazing they way food  is prepared can really affect your ability to like them again for years to come. I kind of felt like I was missing out all those years. I have definitely made up for them and my kids love them due to their natural sweetness. I made this dish for our church’s family gratitude brunch and four pounds of this Citrus Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Leeks was gone before you can say Thanksgiving. I guess they were a hit! Citrus Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Leeks 2 lbs of sweet potatoes peeled and diced 1 leek cut in half and sliced 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice (I used the OJ from Mariano’s, super fresh!) 3 Tbl of Grade B Maple Syrup 1/4 tsp of garlic powder 1 tsp of Celtic Salt (very nourishing) 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil 2 Tbl of Citrus flavored olive oil (I love Pasolivo Citrus Olive Oil I am a member!)         Preheat Oven to 400 degrees In the Ecofoil Tin place the potatoes and leeks In a bowl mix orange juice through salt and pour over potatoes and leeeks Drizzle melted coconut oil over mixture and toss altogether Bake in oven  for 50-60 stirring every 20-min to prevent sticking Bake until you get the crispiness you like Drizzle the citrus flavored olive oil over the mixture Sprinkle about a  tsp worth of Himalayan Salt Simple, sweet and satisfying. Thank you to EcoFoil Pans for providing the 100% recycled aluminum tins and sponsoring this recipe...

Read More

Banana Flax Mocha Frappe

Posted by on Jun 12, 2013 in Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Vegan | 1 comment

If you have never had a frappe, then you are in for a special treat. The ones in Greektown are so good, but also loaded with a lot of sugar and dairy, which does not make my belly happy. I haven’t had one in years, so one morning all by myself, I had yet to touch my coffee and some Linwood flaxseeds sitting on my counter, I thought this may be a good idea and named it Banana Flax Mocha Frappe. What I loved about this nice treat is the banana brings out its natural sweetness and the flaxseeds makes it extra frothy.  Linwoods Superfoods sent me a generous sample box of their products which included: –       Ground Organic Flaxseed –       Ground Flaxseed, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts, & CoQ10 –       Ground Flax, Sunflower, Pumpkin, & Sesame Seeds & Goji Berries –        Ground Flaxseed, Cocoa, Strawberries, & Blueberries –       Ground Flaxseed & Goji Berries –       Shelled Organic Hemp I finally tried hemp seeds and was pleasantly surprised how great they are and now add them to our meals for an added protein and Omega 3 boost.  Linwoods potent dietary fiber, protein, and good-for-you polyunsaturated fat levels help maintain a healthy body weight and sustain normal blood sugar levels while curbing hunger pangs. Additionally, a 2010 study in The Journal of Nutrition suggests that Flaxseed may help reduce belly fat. The reason is flax’s potent nutrients: flaxseed contains the highest plant-based levels of omega-3s and phytoestrogens called lignans than any other food. This summer, maintain your healthy weight with a healthy and satisfying diet featuring Linwoods. Banana Flax Mocha Frappe 3/4 cup of organic coffee 1/2 frozen banana 1 tsp of raw cocoa powder 2 Tablespoons of Ground Flaxseed, Cocoa, Strawberries, & Blueberries 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder 3-5 ice cubes Blend and...

Read More

Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cupcake Recipe

Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Family Health, Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Vegan | 13 comments

I came across this recipe back in 2009, except it wasn’t gluten free. The avocado in the recipe intrigued me so I converted it and posted it in my Chicago Family Health Examiner Column. However, Mighty Nest, a local e-commerce company that sells non-toxic, eco-friendly home goods, asked me to help them un-cupcake the cupcake, I happily agreed. We don’t have to sacrifice not eating a cupcake do we? I like to think the calories don’t count in this Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cupcake Recipe, but alas they do. But this sweet treat has no refined sugars and made with healthy fats using both coconut oil and avocado. That is something you can feel good about! Avocados are super healthy, in fact it can help aid in losing weight and it makes an excellent first foods for baby. Here are some other great facts about avocados: Avocados also have 60% more potassium than bananas. They have the highest fiber content of any fruit  (almost 7g!) including 75% insoluble and 25% soluble fiber Avocados can protect your vision as they are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants found in the retina that keep eyes healthy. A study done from The Ohio State University found people absorbed 4.5 more times lycopene, which has been linked to protection against prostate cancer, and 2.5 times more beta-carotene, which, along with alpha-carotene, helps protect against cancer and heart disease. Hello guacamole! Historically avocados had a long-standing stigma as a sexual stimulant and is known by the Aztecs as the “fertility fruit.”  Due to their high monounsaturated fat content and vitamin B6, both are needed to keep energy and libido up. Well that last fact is surely a fun one, because combined with chocolate it is a win-win. Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cupcake 1 1/4 cup of gluten free flour blend of your choice 3/4 cup of unprocessed unsweetened cocoa powder 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 3/4 tsp of guar gum (I like this better than Xanthan Gum and it is cheaper!) 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk combined with 3/4 tsp of apple cider vinegar set aside 1 avocado pitted 1 cup of Grade B Maple Syrup 1/3 cup coconut oil Add dry ingredients together and set aside Puree the avocado, maple syrup and coconut oil together Add half of dry ingredients into the avocado mixture and blend While blending, ddd the milk with apple cider vinegar Finish off with the dry mixture Scoop mixture into muffin pans and bake for approximately 22 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes about one dozen cupcakes I also do not like canned frosting. They actually put food dyes in it and I don’t understand why, even for white frosting there is still red and blue dyes in it. I make my own, always. Here is my favorite Whipped Chocolate Frosting that takes 5-minutes to make, literally! Whipped Chocolate Frosting 3/4 cup of organic powder sugar 1/4 cup of raw cocoa powder 1/2 cup of Spectrum Shortening 2 tsp of coconut milk In order for me to get truly whipped frosting that feels like it comes from the can (ick!). I like to blend it in my food processor. It adds air to the powders that make it fluff up.  I like using the coconut milk because of its consistency. Here is the quick recipe! Whip the shortening up until nice and soft. Add the powders and blend with the shortening While blending add the milk or for a mocha flavor add coffee That is it!  Total Time for making your own frosting 5-minutes and you...

Read More

Champagne Mango Guacamole

Posted by on May 5, 2013 in Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Vegan | 1 comment

Once a month a group of mom’s from my neighborhood get our kids together to hang out and play. It is strange, they all go to different schools, but it is a way for us to stay connected in our hood. It was my turn to host in May and I gladly wanted to because we did a small birthday celebration for my son. I was in the mood to make some guacamole, but wanted to make an untraditional flavor. I had 3 champagne mangos starting to wither a bit and thought, hmmm…Champagne Mango Guacamole. What is a champagne mango? Well not much different than most regular mangos except they have about 5 times the vitamin C content as most other popular mango varieties available in the United States. Their orange color makes it rich in Vitamin A as well. Champagne mangos start off with green skin and fully ripen and are very sweet when they are a deep golden yellow. Check out this chart here. The one thing I teach folks when we go on grocery shopping tours is to smell your produce, especially your fruits. When it smells just as it should, that means it is ripe and ready to be eaten.   Now you can use regular mangos easily, champagne mangos were on sale a few weeks ago so I bought a few and used one. (oops). But I was not worried, the skin had just begun to wrinkle and that is when mangos are at their sweetest. Using a champagne mango just sounds more rich and  I like the sound of that and the recipe came to mind. I took a quick pic just in case it was good..and it was! This is a fun twist on your traditional guac and a way to impress your guests.   Champagne Mango Guacamole   4 avocados 1 ripe champagne mango 1/2 lime juiced 1 shallot 2-3 green onions 1/2 tsp of garlic powder 1/2 tsp of Celtic Salt     Scoop avocados out and into a bowl Peel mango and dice it into squares while still on the pit, then scrape it off into your bowl. Juice 1/2 lime Dice shallots and green onions Add garlic powder (yes you can use one clove of garlic, I was pressed for time) Salt to taste Scoop and enjoy! For the ultimate Cinco de Mayo feast, start your day with the Strawberry Colada Smoothie This would be an excellent appetizer to go with the Rainbow Mango Salsa with Coconut Cilantro Lime Chicken for...

Read More