Saturday, November 7, 2015

Healthy Cookie Butter...

Have you ever tasted Trader Joe's cookie butter?  I have not, but I've sure thought about how good it must taste.  After taking a look at the ingredients I decided I'm better off without it.  Craving what I imagine it to taste like... I decided to made my own healthy "cookie" butter.  There's no processed sugar, unhealthy fats or even cookies in it!  It's full of protein, fiber and healthy fats and is sure to curb your sweet tooth! IS addictive!!

How to eat "cookie" butter...I prefer to eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon!!  You can also spread it on apples, celery or anything you like.  It's just sooooo good!!    

Healthy Cookie Butter

2 C. raw cashews 
1 heaping Tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 to 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water.  Let soak for 4 to 8 hours...then drain.  In a food processor place cashews and all other ingredients and begin processing.  You will have to keep scraping down the sides as you go.  Process...scrape...repeat.  This can take a few minutes (with my processor about 3 to 5 minutes), but you want to process until it becomes creamy.
Transfer to a jar and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the full flavor and texture to come through.  I always sneak a couple bites, but it's so much better once it's cold.  Store in the fridge.  Enjoy!!  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fruity Greek Yogurt Shake

I admit that I love ice cream.  Who can resist all that sweet & creamy goodness?  Since I'm trying to cut back on processed sugar, I needed to come up with a healthier alternative that would satisfy my craving for ice cream.  

This shake does the trick and it contains no processed sugar.  It's super quick & easy to make, too!

You can even add a pretty garnish if you like. 

It's easy to customize to suit your taste.  For this one I did mostly peaches with a few strawberries making it a peach berry shake.  I've also made it with all strawberries and it was equally as good.

Fruity Greek Yogurt Shake
Serves 2

1/2 C. milk of choice
3/4 C. plain Greek Yogurt
6 fresh strawberries
16 oz bag frozen peaches
1 Tbsp. + 1 Tbsp. raw honey -
(if not making garnish you do not need to divide it).

To make garnish blend strawberries and 1 Tbsp. honey in a high powered blender, to make a puree.  Spoon out 1 Tbsp. mixture and set aside.  To remaining strawberries add milk, Greek yogurt and the other Tbsp. honey.  Blend until mixture is blended.  Then gradually add frozen peaches (make sure they are frozen when you add them) and keep blending until it becomes a frothy and creamy shake.  Divide into 2 tall glasses and garnish with strawberry mixture and an extra drizzle of honey if desired.

Did you know... if you drizzle honey on something cold it turns into the most amazing ooey gooey deliciousness, ever!  I grew up eating honey sundaes and they are ever bit as good as hot caramel or fudge.  So the next time you're craving an ooey gooey sweet sundae... try topping it with raw honey instead.    

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Fun Post on Food Blogging

Do you ever wonder what goes into creating a recipe for a food blog?  I never really thought much about it...until I started my own food blog.  I've had a paper crafting blog for years, so what could be different with a food blog???  Let's take a look...

With paper crafting...if you create a mess... you shut the door to your craft space and it will be there when you get back to it.  With recipe better like love to do dishes as you will have a lot of them! You also have to allow plenty of time to create the mess and get it cleaned up... as it's in the kitchen and can't be left like a paper mess.

You wouldn't think one simple shake recipe could create such a mess.  Maybe I'm just messy. ;)

Something else I never really considered... all the not quite right or completely failed attempts at a recipe?  With paper crafting you can put your mishaps up to try and salvage at a later time.  If that doesn't work you can simply throw them in the trash. :(  With food, it's not that easy.  If it's a completely failed creation you can throw it away, but that's very hard for me to do.  Food of any kind is costly, but real, whole, healthy food is even more costly and I can't stand to waste it.  You know what that means... I've had many recipes that I've had to choke down, I mean eat with a smile. ;)  If it is absolutely awful I will trash it, but in most cases I tell myself, it's full of healthy ingredients and it's not going to kill me to eat it.  I've had some pretty bitter smoothies.  LOL!

With all that said... I still love creating recipes and blogging.  It is just at a more leisurely pace than most food bloggers. I admire those that are in the kitchen everyday creating new and amazing recipes for the rest of us.  Maybe someday I will have more time to dedicate, but for now it's just a fun hobby.

Oh!  There is one more thing I didn't consider and it will probably make you laugh...

When trying to photograph a hot recipe such as this Philly Cheese Chicken Sub ( recipe HERE ) the time I get a decent picture my hot meal is probably going to be cold. ;)  Maybe not for those that have been doing it for a while, but I'm no photographer and it seems to take many pictures to get one or two good ones.  Sometimes it even requires MORE dirty dishes... as I put it on one color plate and decide it blends in so I try another plate or dish that may or may not work.  Then there is a glare from the window so I have to move it to another part of the kitchen and so on.'s time to eat and I realize I just spent the last 20 minutes trying to get a simple picture.  I told a friend of mine...that's why I like posting shakes and smoothies as they are already cold. ;)  Just kidding, but it did make her laugh.

Here is my latest creation that I've been tweaking and almost have the recipe ready to post...
A Greek yogurt shake that is both nutritious & delicious!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Green Egg Sandwich

This may not be the prettiest of sandwiches, but you would never know it by the taste.  Did you grow up eating egg salad sandwiches?  This is basically egg salad with avocado mixed in.

It's loaded with protein and heart healthy fat.  

I didn't measure any of the ingredients, just eyed them.  I will give a close estimation and you can take it from there. ;)

Green Egg Sandwich

2 hard boiled eggs
1/4 of an avocado
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. mustard
2 to 3 Tbsp. mayo or Vegenaise*
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Mash eggs and avocado with a fork.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Cover and chill until cold.  Serve on bread, crackers or veggie dippers.

*What I like about Vegenaise is... it contains no high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils or trans fat.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Raw Cashew Shake

This has got to be one of my favorite shakes!  I love the frothy texture and it has a wonderful spicy flavor.  To me it is reminiscent of eggnog.  Now that I say that I must experiment in making a raw cashew eggnog shake...yum!

If you search out the ingredients in this shake you will see what a powerhouse of nutrition you are getting.

Raw Cashew Shake

1 C. Milk of choice
1/2 C. soaked raw cashews *see note at bottom
1 banana
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. turmeric

Mix all ingredients in a high powered blender.  Add enough ice to achieve desired consistency.

* Soaking cashews - place cashews in a bowl and cover with water.  Let stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours and up to 7 hours.  Drain any remaining water and rinse.  Measure out and add to recipe.  Store any leftover cashews in the fridge.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Continuing the Journey and A Super Healthy & Filling Salad

These past few months life has been super busy, making it hard to find time to blog.  I'm still on my journey to better health...a nibble at a time. ;)  I must admit it was hard to keep at it this winter.  It was such a long, cold and dreary one and there were times that all I cared about was eating for pure enjoyment! :)  Not that eating healthy is not enjoyable. ;)  I will say I did better than I have in winters past...just not as good as I feel I should have.  Now that the sun is shinning I feel energized and motivated to do better.  I want to do everything I can to be healthy for myself and my family. 

Aside from eating healthy I want to start monitoring my daily steps.  I'm not one that loves to exercise, but I love to take walks and breath in the fresh air and sunshine.  They saying walking is just as good for your health as other forms of exercise and that you should shoot for 10,000 steps a day.  Since I have no idea if I'm even close to that I decided to order a fitbit zip to track it for me.  I've wanted one for a while, but couldn't decide if I should get the zip or the fitbit one?  After reading I decided to get the zip.  Besides, the one doesn't come in all the fun colors as the zip. ;)  I also ordered one for my daughter Kara we can track our way to better health together!  If you're interested in learning more about the fitbit you can read about it Here.  If it's as good as they say... I think I will love it.  It monitors your number of steps, distance and calories burned.  It will be interesting to see how I rate on a typical day.  It might be scary! :/  

Now on to a super salad!  I love salads because you can customize with what you like and have on hand.  Salads can be so filling, nutritious, and delicious.  Funny thing is...I used to think of salads as rabbit food... not filling, that they should be fat free or at least low fat.  If you were eating salads for health or weight that's just how they had to be...WRONG!  I'm so glad to learn that that way of thinking is completely wrong.  Now when I think of a salad I think of filling and loaded with healthy fat.  We need fat to keep us going and feeling full.  No more rabbit food! ;)

For this salad I added mixed greens including baby spinach, avocado, tomato, blueberries, raw pumpkin and raw sunflower seeds, black pepper, a sprinkling of turmeric, a squeeze of lemon and a good drizzle of macadamia nut oil.  Normally, I would add a boiled egg, but I didn't have one ready to go.  
  The avocado, seeds and oil are loaded with healthy fats to keep me feeling full.  Blueberries are a good source of antioxidants.  Turmeric is a super spice with many health benefits.  I try to incorporate it as much as I can.  I rate macadamia nut oil high on my list of healthy oils.  Coconut is one of my favorite.  However, unlike coconut oil, macadamia nut oil does not solidify when cool so it's perfect to drizzle on your salad.  

I really need to work on some healthy salad dressing recipes.  My problem with most bottled dressing at the store is... all the unhealthy ingredients added to them.  It's the unhealthy oils such as canola and the high fructose corn syrup, etc.  If you have a favorite healthy salad dressing recipe...please share. :)

I hope to find some extra time to blog and will try to get some recipes posted, soon!  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Flourless Blueberry Chia Pancakes

Who would have though you could create a pancake by combining a banana and an egg???  I don't know who came up with the idea, but I'm glad they did. :)  The fun part is deciding what "yummies" you want to add in.
To begin you need 1 very ripe banana and 1 whole egg.  Whip the egg and mash the banana with a fork and stir together.

I added 1 Tbsp. chia seeds and a scant 1/8 tsp. cinnamon.  Chia seeds are a great source of nutrition.  They are packed with protein, fiber and Omega-3's.

I also added about 3/4 C. fresh blueberries.  I've made mixed berry ones by adding diced strawberries in with the blueberries.  They were really good, too.

Heat a small amount of oil on a griddle and divide the batter into 3 small pancakes.  If you opt for 2 larger ones, know that it is hard to flip them without them falling apart.  I also flatten the batter out just a little with my fork.  If they are too thick the centers won't set before the outside gets too brown.  Cook on low to medium low until center is soft set then flip and cook a couple more minutes until that side is browned and center is to your liking.

 I like to eat them plain, but you can top with whatever you like.   This is a great and healthy way to use up those over ripe bananas and it's much quicker than making banana bread.  There are many other things you can add to come up with your favorite variation...coconut, flax or hemp seed, different spices, etc.  For a sweet snack you could toss in some dark chocolate chips...yum!