Posts Tagged "Healthy Eats"

Vegan or Paleo? Try this Basil and Butternut Squash Soup

Posted by on Oct 8, 2012 in Corn Free, Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Dinners, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Vegan | 13 comments

It wasn’t until I started to make my daughter’s baby food that I learned to love butternut squash and since then it is a staple in our diet. Every Monday I decided that I would be making a soup or stew to last throughout the week. I threw this one together because I have been thinking about the time I made roasted butternut squash with butter and basil…mmmm…so good and I wanted to use basil and butternut squash together in a soup (minus the butter, no dairy for us). Making quick meals is tough at times when you are busy, amen? So here is how I made this versatile butternut squash soup: 1/2 c of fresh basil leaves 1/4 c of dulse leaves 1/2 tsp of Herbamare 1/2 tsp of Himalayan salt 3 cups of navy beans 1 small onion diced up 4-6 carrots chopped up 2-3 organic celery chopped up One carton of organic vegetable broth 1 carton of precut butternut squash ( it is worth the extra $1 to buy pre cut) or just buy a medium sized squash I threw the broth and squash in the slow cooker on high for 3 hours. 1 package of nitrate free apple smoked bacon cooked in the oven at 350 for 25 minutes, or until nice and crispy to crumble. I love using this method, no more greasy stove top to clean up! Saute onions, carrots and celery using a little of the bacon grease or coconut oil, cook until the onions are translucent. After the squash is done, through it all in your blender or Vitamix and add the basil and puree together until well blended. Pour it back into the slow cooker. Add salts, veggies, beans, crumbled bacon and cook for one hour on low. Enjoy! Make it Paleo by omitting the beans Make it Vegan by omitting the bacon Feel free to add some white pepper for a little zing. Oh, what are dulse leaves or flakes? It is a sea veggie high in vitamins B6 and B12, as well as iron, potassium and fluoride. Unlike other seaweeds, it is relatively low in sodium. Dulse also contains a large list of other vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins C, E, A, magnesium, calcium, dietary fiber and protein. Additionally, dulse is a natural source of iodine, essential for thyroid gland health and thyroid hormone secretion. Sea Veggies are making a comeback and offer a unique variety of health benefits including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral (which makes it a great immunity booster). In fact, sea veggies contain more minerals than any land-based edible plant. And since these minerals are found in our systems it makes it easier for our bodies to absorb. This is a great thing to keep around your home, I add them to all of our soups and other dishes, especially homemade chicken soup when we are sick (for its anti-viral properties), it is a great for vegetarians or others who has a compromised immune system. Don’t worry, it does not have a fishy taste, so you have nothing to lose by adding some to your...

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Pass the Butter Please. Which is better, Butter or Margarine?

Posted by on Apr 10, 2012 in Family Health, Food, Healthy Eating | 4 comments

I find it interesting this debate of which is better. I’ll never forget my first cholesterol screening at my first job out of college, it was 210. What? As I looked at my results. How could this be? I mean, I eat “healthy” I drink skim milk, I have margarine, I eat fat free (in the days when fat free was the thing) and I exercise every single day and teach classes. My grandfather chuckled at me as he reached for a glass of full fat milk. His cholesterol was 170 ish, he ate full fat butter, drank whole milk his entire life. He grew up on a farm in Mississippi where raw milks and butter was readily available for him to consume, (which he said was the “good stuff”). I was still in disbelief. Now almost 17 yrs later, my cholesterol is lower than it has ever been, and while I don’t consume any dairy, I do eat more fats than before such as coconut oil, avocados, raw nuts, so what is going on here? While genetics has a little something to do with this, it is all about the type of fats we consume. But at the end of the day, which is better? Butter or margarine? Let’s take a look: Margarine Facts: Created in the late 1800’s in France. It is really the color of white, yellow dye packets were offered during WWI for folks to knead it in their product so it looked like “butter.” Butter was scarce so margarine sales went up during this time.There was a big out lash from the dairy industry trying to ban yellow dyes in margarine in order to keep butter sales up. The last state to institute yellow dye into margarine was Wisconsin in 1967. (go figure) It has been a part of our diet for over 100 yrs where butter has been around for centuries. It is synthetically made in a lab with about 27 different components to make it look, taste, smell and feel like butter. Very High in Trans fatty acids in fact most margarine sticks are 80% trans fats which can in turn triple your risk for coronary heart disease, increase you cholesterol and LDLs (which may explain why my cholesterol was higher than my grandfather’s) and lower immunity. Stay away from Land of Lakes, Country Crock, Fleishmans’ and Blue Bonnet margarine sticks. For nursing moms, it can reduce the quality of your breast milk, because good fats is needed to help nourish the baby through fatty breast milk. Butter Facts: Butter has been around for centuries. Grass-fed butter is richer in yellow as it contains more beta-carotene than grain fed butter, which is also lighter in yellow. Grass-fed butter is higher in CLA, a medium chained fatty acid that actually helps us to burn fat, where grain fed butter is higher in Omega 6’s which too much can be harmful to our heart health. Grass fed butter is higher in Vitamins D3 because cows are in the fields absorbing the sun, Vitamin K2, as the butter is digested in the cow’s stomachs (yes, plural there are four) which ferments K1 from leafy greens into K2 in the dairy fat. Let’s face it, grass-fed butter just tastes better. Rich, creamy and is great to cook with and will not raise your cholesterol like margarine and their trans-fatty components. If you cannot afford grass fed meats, then splurge on this. And for a fun kid’s science experiment, try putting both butter and margarine out in your garage or outside your door and see which one...

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