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Spinach Muffins

My grandson calls these Incredible Hulk muffins. He loves them, he obviously doesn't know there's spinach in them! And they are only about 100 calories each!

Ingredients

  • 2 C. whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 C. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 C. milk of choice
  • 1/2 C. honey (I use raw organic)
  • 1 large banana
  • 6 oz. baby spinach
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350. Either line 18 muffin pan with liners (makes 18 muffins) or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Melt butter. Blend spinach, banana, honey, milk, egg, vanilla and melted butter until pureed. I used my ninja and it worked great.
  4. Pour the puree into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined, don't overmix.
  5. Spoon into prepared muffin pans. Bake 18-22 minutes until firm but not browning.
  6. Cool and enjoy!

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Couscous Salad

This is a super easy, delicious salad. I found it last year but forgot about it until I was going through some stuff today. Super easy to make and even my non-healthy eating hubby likes it! It definitely reminds me of all summer should be, light with fresh veggies and mint. It comes together quickly and doesn't hang around my house long! If you've never made couscous, it's so easy! I boil 1 C. of water with about a tsp. of salt and butter. Remove from heat, quickly stir in the couscous and cover it. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and it's done!

Ingredients

1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

1 english cucumber, diced

Juice from 1 lemon

3 tsp. salt

1 C. couscous

Zest from 1 lemon

1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 C. mint leaves, chopped

1/2 C. parsley, chopped

3 scallions, diced

1/2 C. toasted pine nuts

Directions

  1. Put tomatoes, cucumber and lemon juice in a medium bowl with 2 tsp. of salt. Set aside.
  2. Cook couscous according to directions. Fluff it with a fork.
  3. Once the couscous is cooled down, add to the tomato mixture.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.

Serve it cold and store any leftovers in the fridge. I wish I could tell you how well it holds up but it's usually gone in a couple of days.

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Asian Noodle Salad

Hey, this is some perfect summer food right here! I love, love, love rice noodles! And you can make it ahead of time, take it for potlucks, whatever. Or use it for meal prep and have lunch all week at work! If you've never made rice noodles before, you soak them in water for a couple of hours, drain them and add to boiling water. They only take about a minute to boil.

1/4 cup each, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sugar

1 Tbsp. minced ginger

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil

14 oz rice noodles, prepared

1 red bell pepper, julienned

1 yellow bell pepper, julienned

1 cup snow peas, cut in half

1 cup matchstick carrots

1/2 cup chopped green onion

  1. Whisk soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic and oil, set aside.
  2. Toss cooked, cooled noodles with veggies and dressing. Top with sesame seeds.
  3. Enjoy!!

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Balsamic Roasted Clafouti

Hey, since it's getting warmer out I thought maybe we'd try some fruit recipes! And who doesn't love a good dessert right?? Clafouti is a french dessert, similar to a flan and you add fruit to it. Super yummy and awesome on a summer evening! I used strawberries but you can use any berries. I've even used peaches and it was delicious. Some people dust this with powdered sugar before cutting, it is good either way. I just prefer to add the least amount of sugar possible. Happy baking!!

1 lb strawberries, trimmed and quartered (or fruit of choice)

1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp maple sugar, divided (you can also use regular sugar or coconut if you have trouble finding maple sugar)

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Cooking spray

3 large eggs

1 cup milk of choice

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I had white whole wheat and used that)

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. sea salt

2 Tbsp unsalted butter or ghee, melted

  1. Heat oven to 350. Place half of the fruit in an 8 x 8 baking dish. Stir in 1 Tbsp sugar and vinegar. Roast about 10 minutes, you want them soft but not mushy.
  2. Over a medium bowl strain the berries, saving the juice for later.
  3. Spray a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray. In a blender mix eggs, milk, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, flour, vanilla and salt. Blend on high 30 seconds. Add melted butter and blend another minute. Pour into pie plate, top with roasted strawberries. Bake until the edges are golden and center is set but slightly jiggly, about 30 minutes. Trust me, you'll know what I mean by jiggly but set. It makes sense when you see it.
  4. Cool 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and top with fresh fruit.

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Homemade Granola

It's no secret I love to meal prep. I also freaking LOVE granola! So I try to keep this on hand because it holds up for a long time in an airtight container, and I've also vacuum sealed it and put it in the freezer. It doesn't usually last long though because I tend to take it everywhere!

I have a store by me called Fresh Thyme, they are amazing and they have a peanut grinder so you can grind your own fresh. It's super convenient and fun for the kids to do lol!

Also, this recipe is really flexible. Omit coconut if you don't like it. Feeling nutty? Add peanuts, almonds or cashews. If chocolate isn't your thing *gasp* then omit that too.

2 1/2 cups rolled oats (I prefer to not use the instant but it's up to you)

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup butter or ghee

1/4 cup brown sugar (you can use coconut sugar too)

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

Dark chocolate chips, as many as you like

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup coconut flakes

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

  1. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Line a 9 inch baking dish with parchment or foil and spray with cooking spray. I use olive oil spray but use whatever you have.
  3. Place your oats and nuts, if using, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until toasted.
  4. Add honey, butter and brown sugar to a sauce pan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.
  5. Add the honey mixture to the oats and stir well. Add all other ingredients except chocolate and stir, the idea is to make sure there aren't any dry spots.
  6. If you are adding chocolate, wait about 10 minutes before adding so it doesn't just melt.
  7. Spread into your prepared pan and press down on it firmly. You can use a rubber spatula, your hand, the bottom of a cup. You just want to make it as dense as possible.
  8. Chill for 2 hours and cut into bars.

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Tahini Cookies

Healthy cookies? YES PLEASE! These cookies are yummy and are gluten free/dairy free. Ya gotta try them! I add more or less chocolate depending on how my cravings are.

1/2 C tahini

1/2 C maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1 C oats

1 C almond flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2-3/4 C dark chocolate chips

  1. Heat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Add tahini, syrup and vanilla to a food process and process until well combined.
  3. Add egg and blend, then add oats, flour, salt and baking soda. Pulse until the oats are broken up, then stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop batter by the tablespoon and bake 12-14 minutes.

Cool completely, then store in an airtight container. I've also frozen these and they hold up well. It makes roughly 2 dozen cookies.

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Healthy Avocado Brownies with Avo Frosting

Want a smart swap for a healthier dessert? You already know avocados are nutritional powerhouses, thanks to the fiber, B vitamins, folate, and potassium they provide. But did you know you can add the savory fruit, which is packed with healthy fats, to your sweet treats, too? Watch the video to learn how to make rich, fudgy brownies from your favorite superfood.

Ingredients

Brownies 3 oz. dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped 1 Tbsp. coconut or extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 cup raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa (40g) 1/2 cup almond meal (60g) 1 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. sea salt 2 ripe medium avocados (about 17 oz. total), halved, pitted, flesh scooped out 1/2 cup medjool dates (about 4.5 oz.), pitted 1/4 cup coconut sugar (1.4 oz.) 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2 large eggs Frosting 1 ripe medium avocado (about 9 oz.), halved, pitted, flesh scooped out 1/2 cup raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa (40g) 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. maple syrup 2 tsp. vanilla extract Generous pinch of sea salt

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil; grease foil (with coconut oil, olive oil cooking spray or melted unsalted butter). Bring an inch of water to a simmer over low heat in a medium saucepan. Place chocolate and oil in a medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat and let cool until just warm to the touch. 2. In a small bowl, combine cacao, almond meal, baking powder and salt; stir until well mixed. 3. Place avocados, dates, coconut sugar and vanilla in a food processor; blend until smooth. Blend in eggs. Blend in cooled chocolate mixture. Scrape down sides of processor and mix again. Add almond meal mixture; pulse until blended. Spread mixture in baking pan and bake until just set, 30 to 35 minutes (do not overbake). Let cool on a rack. When cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. 4. Just before serving, make frosting: Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth and thick (you should have about 1¼ cups). Spread over chilled brownies (you may have some left over; cover and refrigerate for another use). Cut and serve. Store leftover brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Bone Broth

Bone Broth Recipe

 
Bone Broth

Did You Know?
  • The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid that attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion
  • Bone broth reduces joint pain and inflammation courtesy of chondroitin sulfates, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage
  • Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine in bone broth all have anti-inflammatory effects
  • Bone broth contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation
  • Bone broth can be made from any type of bones you like – chicken, beef, pork, or even fish – but seek bones from organically raised, pastured, or grass-fed animals

The Healing Benefits of Bone Broth for Your Gut

Bone broth is a staple of the GAPS Diet, which is based on the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) principles developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The GAPS diet is often used to treat children with autism and other disorders rooted in gut dysfunction, but just about anyone with allergies or less than optimal gut health can benefit from it, as it is designed to heal leaky gut. If your gut is leaky or permeable, partially undigested food, toxins, viruses, yeast, and bacteria have the opportunity to pass through your intestine and access your bloodstream; this is known as leaky gut. When your intestinal lining is repeatedly damaged due to reoccurring leaky gut, damaged cells called microvilli become unable to do their job properly. They become unable to process and utilize the nutrients and enzymes that are vital to proper digestion. Eventually, digestion is impaired and absorption of nutrients is negatively affected. As more exposure occurs, your body initiates an attack on these foreign invaders. It responds with inflammation, allergic reactions, and other symptoms we relate to a variety of diseases. Leaky gut is the root of many allergies and autoimmune disorders, for example. When combined with toxic overload, you have a perfect storm that can lead to neurological disorders like autism, ADHD, and learning disabilities. The GAPS diet starts out as an elimination diet, which means taking out all inflammatory foods. This includes high-fiber foods, processed foods, and anything that is going to be difficult to digest. One of the main foods that you use is bone broth, because not only is it very easily digested, it also contains profound immune-optimizing components that are foundational building blocks for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. As your leaky gut begins to heal and your health improves, certain foods are added back in, but bone broth remains a staple because it is so incredibly nourishing for your body. This is why, even if you don't have gut issues, it is still a wonderful staple food to include in your diet.

Top Reasons to Eat Bone Broth

There are many reasons for incorporating good-old-fashioned bone broth into your diet. The following health benefits attest to its status as "good medicine."
Helps heal and seal your gut, and promotes healthy digestion: The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion Inhibits infection caused by cold and flu viruses, etc.: A study published over a decade ago found that chicken soup indeed has medicinal qualities, significantly mitigating infection1
Reduces joint pain and inflammation, courtesy of chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage Fights inflammation: Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects. Arginine, for example, has been found to be particularly beneficial for the treatment of sepsis2 (whole-body inflammation). Glycine also has calming effects, which may help you sleep better
Promotes strong, healthy bones: Bone broth contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation Promotes healthy hair and nail growth, thanks to the gelatin in the broth

Choose High-Quality Bones from Grass-Fed Animals

The recipe that follows is from The Heal Your Gut Cookbook: Nutrient-Dense Recipes for Intestinal Health Using the GAPS Diet. Written by Hilary Boynton and Mary Brackett, it shares helpful tips on how to "heal and seal" your gut so that profound healing can take place. Hilary Boynton is a local food advocate and a certified holistic health counselor who runs several local food co-ops and teaches cooking classes out of her home. Mary Brackett is a photographer and whole foods advocate who seeks out projects that illustrate the importance of healthy choices. This bone broth recipe is a classic and one you'll want to keep for future reference. Below I've also included tips on how to make this recipe using a slow cooker or different types of bones, such as chicken. Perhaps the most important caveat when making broth, whether you're using chicken or beef, is to make sure the bones are from organically raised, pastured or grass-fed animals. As noted by Sally Fallon, chickens raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) tend to produce stock that doesn't gel, and this gelatin has long been valued for its therapeutic properties.3 As noted by Boynton:
"You definitely want to get the best bones you can get—bones from pastured animals. If you can't find a farmer in your area, reach out to your local Weston A. Price chapter leader... There are also resources to get homemade bone broth if you can't make it yourself. ...If you can only get CAFO bones, I guess you go with that. You can still get some healing benefits. But it would be better to go with bones from pastured animals."

A Basic Bone Broth Recipe

The recipe that follows calls for beef bones, but you can also make bone broth using whole organic chicken, whole fish (including the head) or fish bones, or pork. Each will render a different flavor. Boynton and Brackett actually suggest starting with chicken because it has the mildest flavor (beef tends to be more overpowering). If you're using chicken, simply place the entire chicken, raw, into the pot in place of the beef bones and proceed with the recipe as follows. One note, if cooking a whole chicken, the meat should start separating from the bone after about 2 hours. Simply remove the chicken from the pot and separate the meat from the bones. Then place the bones back in and continue to simmer. You can even use bones from a roasted chicken or turkey carcass to make bone broth, which is incredibly cost effective since you would otherwise throw them away.

Ingredients Calories: 379 per serving | Number of Serving: 3 Quarts

  • 3-4 pounds beef marrow and knuckle bones
  • 2 pounds meaty bones such as short ribs
  • ½ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 4 quarts filtered water
  • 3 celery stalks, halved
  • 3 carrots, halved
  • 3 onions, quartered
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Sea salt

Method

  1. Place bones in a pot or a crockpot, add apple cider vinegar and water, and let the mixture sit for 1 hour so the vinegar can leach the mineral out of the bones.
  2. Add more water if needed to cover the bones.
  3. Add the vegetables bring to a boil and skim the scum from the top and discard.
  4. Reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 24-72 hours (if you're not comfortable leaving the pot to simmer overnight, turn off the heat and let it sit overnight, then turn it back on and let simmer all day the next day)
  5. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, throw in a handful of fresh parsley for added flavor and minerals.
  6. Let the broth cool and strain it, making sure all marrow is knocked out of the marrow bones and into the broth.
  7. Add sea salt to taste and drink the broth as is or store in fridge up to 5 to 7 days or freezer up to 6 months for use in soups or stews.

How to Make Bone Broth Using Your Slow Cooker

Bone broth is an example of a traditional food that's easily adaptable to your modern lifestyle. Even if you're away from home most of the day, you can still prepare homemade bone broth by using a slow cooker. To use a slow cooker, you will need to first bring the broth to a boil in a pot on your stove, then skim the scum off the top. Pay careful attention to this stage, as once the broth begins to boil the scum is rolled right back into the broth. The scum are the impurities that you want to remove. You can then transfer the broth to your slow cooker and turn it on to low heat for 24 to 72 hours.

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