When apple season started this year, I was especially excited for the honeycrisps! I cannot get enough of them, and although they are wonderful for simply snacking on as is, I love to use them in desserts. I decided to share my recipe for baked apples because it is perfect on a chilly night to warm you from the inside. This easy to cook recipe, I kicked up the apple cooking syrup a notch with some chipotle pepper and chili flakes, because I feel the warming go beautifully with the sweet apple and maple syrup. If you are not a fan of heat, you can omit the spice, and your apples will still be delicious. If you wish to guild the lily, serve this with some ice cream!
Many people think of slaw as a summer salad, but I believe that there are slaws for every season, depending on what type of vegetables you use in it. I recently made a root vegetable slaw with carrots, parsnips and rutabagas. You may not think of eating these veggies raw, but actually they are rather sweet and wonderful. I dressed it with a silky tahini lemon sauce and topped it off with sesame seeds; it was the perfect side for an autumn meal. I believe in thinking outside the box when it comes to using vegetables, and this was a nice switch off from the typical roasted or mashed potato.
Eating out is great for moms. No making dinner means no dishes! But with the expense of eating out and the uncertainty of what is really in the food, eating out is becoming less and less a tangible want. This is a great pasta to give the feel of eating out without breaking the bank as well as the reassurance of knowing exactly what is in it. As you can tell from the title, this pasta is spicy. My 3-year-old likes spice but not at the same heat level my husband does. To keep it kid-friendly, I let the adults in my house add their own cayenne pepper. This can be scary because a pinch can take you down a spicy road. This recipe calls for shrimp, but I have used chicken or sometimes have just done without. Enjoy, we sure do!
Have you ever walked through the bulk section of Fresh & Natural and taken time to look at everything? I do most of my shopping in the produce department. Dried fruit, nuts, seeds and grains are staples in my kitchen. I make a lot of raw desserts at home, so lately I have been buying a lot of dates and dried coconut (which make amazing desserts). I recently decided to pick up some dried apples to make some apple cinnamon macaroons. They turned out to be a tasty snack that satisfies any sweet craving, perfect for this time of year. The best part is they are easy to make, and would make a great on the go snack perfect for school lunches (or lunch at work, I would include them in mine)!
It seems that I often end up with more bananas than I could just eat, and they get over ripe sitting on the counter. But instead of looking at them as over the hill and ready for tossing, I see them as an opportunity to make something delicious like banana bread or muffins. I have been making vegan banana muffins for a while and have a good recipe, but I wanted to try making them gluten free. There are many options for gluten free flour, but I feel that some of the options, like white rice flour are not all that healthy as they are high on the glycemic scale. So I opted to use quinoa flour which I have had a lot of success baking with. I also wanted the muffins to be sweetened with somthing lower on the glycemic index, so I chose coconut sugar. It has a wonderful, slightly nutty flavor that paired well with the banana. The muffins were deliciously sweet and lightly spiced. You could never tell they were gluten free or vegan. If you have not tried quinoa flour or coconut sugar, you should check them out!
At our house, we have little time to prepare food on Sunday mornings. But without fail, I always have a husband wanting something to eat during the game. A cost effective and time management way to prepare meals is by buying dried beans in the bulk department. After I purchase them from the store, I cook each of them all at once and freeze them in 16 oz. size quantities. This works especially great for black and kidney beans, and it is a fraction of the cost of canned foods. Here is a quick, healthy chili recipe that won’t get you tied up in the kitchen and let you watch the game, read a book or get out to shop.
Autumn is here. The cool air, the beautifully painted trees, and the leaves that crunch beneath your feet as you walk on them. It is when we start to crave warm comfort foods from the oven to warm our bodies from the inside. There are of course savory dishes, but one sweet dish that I feel is very comforting is a warm crisp. They are made often at my house during the cooler months, served warm from the oven with cool ice cream melting over the jammy fruit. Although I love all crisps, apple has to be my favorite. Especially when made with sweet tart apples like the honeycrisp. I have a gluten-free recipe for apple crisp that I would love to share with you all!
Have you tried chia seeds? It may seem like it is nothing special at first glance, but really it is a nutritional powerhouse! Full of healthy omega-3s and anti-oxidants, it is known to help in balancing blood sugar levels. I have to admit, when I first heard about them I was skeptical, but I now eat them daily. It is a great after-workout energizer when soaked in coconut water instead of a sugar filled energy drink. I have recently discovered a new favorite way to eat them, in a breakfast porridge. I first saw a similar recipe on a raw food website and decided to create my own! It is an energizing breakfast that keeps me full until it is time for lunch. The best part is, it requires minimal preparation time, and it can be prepared the night before so no rushing in the morning. Here is my recipe, but feel free to substitute your favorite fruit and nuts if you do not have raspberries and walnuts on hand.
Sometimes it can be a challenge to fit breakfast into a busy schedule in the morning. Often times we rush to get to work or school, skipping breakfast and feeling hungry before lunch time hits. It is important to be able to get your system going with something nutritious while tasting good. It gives energy for the rest of the day and prevents from over indulging and feeling tired later.
So often times on a busy day, I will whip up a smoothie, and drink it on the way to where ever I am going. It does not take long to make. You can vary the ingredients with what you feel like eating, or what is in season at the time. In the summer, I choose berries, peaches and mangos. In the fall and winter, apples and berries are wonderful. Throw in some protein powder to keep you full, maybe some oats, and you are set!
Below, I have included one of my favorite autumn smoothies, apple pie smoothie. It reminds me of cinnamon scented apple pie with ice cream and yet it is healthy! Nothing wrong with a breakfast that tastes delicious as well as nourishes the body!
Since it is national breakfast month, I thought it appropriate to post something breakfasty. No, not pancakes or eggs and bacon, something that can be taken with you if you are on the go, or snacked on later in the day, home made granola!
If you have never made your own granola before, it is about time you tried; it is a real treat. The heavenly aroma that emerges from your oven while it is baking is like nothing else.
You are rewarded when it is just cool enough to taste, but still warm from the oven to enjoy a sample (or two or three because it is hard to stop enjoying). The best part about it is you can add in the things you like most and to suit your tastes. I have included my favorite recipe here, vanilla scented nut and cacao nib granola. It is like a grown up chocolate chip cookie married some granola; it smells amazing and tastes even better! You will have a hard time going back to buying already made granola in a bag or box once you try making it!