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Avocado Brownies

Avocado Brownies

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As I told you guys, I have a sweet-tooth and I’m not lying! I’m going through the same struggles day-to-day that you may be. One of my favorite ways to combat this is with Swerve, the ultimate sugar replacement.

Swerve makes healthy eating delicious on another level! One of my favorite recipes to make for my kids over the weekend when we are all feeling something sweet are the Avocado Brownies. I mean you already know how much I love avocados, just look at the benefits:

-High fat: very satiating if you need a small snack and don’t want to overeat. It even helps to absorb nutrients from plant foods.

-Full of Vitamins such as: Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, and even contains small amounts of magnesium (to help with sleep), and iron (beneficial for women)

-They contain more potassium than bananas and your body needs potassium and usually doesn’t get enough!

-They are full of fiber. The soluble fiber is known for feeding the gut bacteria in your intestine which is very important for optimal body function

-They can lower your cholesterol levels

-They are loaded with powerful antioxidants

-They may help relieve symptoms of arthritis, prevent cancer, and even promote weight loss

Now imagine all these benefits, in a brownie! I know, I can’t believe it’s real either! See the recipe below and try it for yourself!

Recipe:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup Swerve, Granular
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 oz melted unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 TBS milk
  • 2 medium slightly ripe avocados
  • ¼ cup sour cream, room temperature  
  • 3 TBS butter, room temperature
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350, and line 11x 7 baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (Swerve, almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt) and whisk together.  Set aside.
  3. In a microwave or double boiler melt unsweetened chocolate and milk together. Whisk until combined. If you are using a microwave, melt chocolate and milk on 10 second intervals- stirring in between each interval. Set aside or remove from burner.
  4. Cut avocados in half- remove pit, and spoon avocado out of shell. Place in a food processor, and process until smooth.
  5. Add each of the wet ingredients (melted chocolate, sour cream, butter, vanilla) one at a time to the smooth avocado mixture, and process for a few seconds until all of the wet ingredients have been added to the food processor and are combined.
  6. Add dry ingredients to the wet avocado mixture and mix until combined.
  7. Pour or spoon batter into parchment paper lined baking dish.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes.
  9. Let cool and slice into serving size of choice – normally makes 12 to 16 brownies.

Note: If your avocados are too ripe, the brownies will taste too earthy. They should still be firm.

Makes 12-16 servings

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Why You Should Try Bone Broth

Why You Should Try Bone Broth

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One of my secrets to staying young looking now that I’m almost 48, is collagen.

Collagen is a protein made up of amino-acids that all help with our body’s connective tissue, skin, hair,nails as well as gut health.

In other words, it helps promote strong bones, helps to keep skin smooth and wrinkle free, beautifully thick long hair and healthy nails. This is so important!

If you try and get collagen the way you used to years ago, you can buy the bones at a store and and you have to boil it for hours and hours to get to the marrow and to get the collagen from it.

Luckily, Kettle and Fire has done this all for us and made delicious flavors with it too! They simmer their 100% grass-fed bones with organic ingredients for 20+ hours to pull out all the collagen, proteins and amino acids from the bones. So we’re getting collagen directly from the bones that contain it.

They come in two styles, bone broth and soup, and they are both equally delicious! Their flavors range from mushroom chicken, chicken, and beef bone broth to creamy tomato, butternut squash, miso, thai curry soup and grass-fed beef chili. You can find a flavor for everyone in the family!

For a guy like me, always on-the-go, no time to cook, but wants to be healthy, these products are my go to for an easy and delicious lunch or a side for dinner.

My kids even love it which is a win in itself!

Look here for an amazing recipe with the miso soup and head to the links below to purchase and try it yourself!

Ingredients: 1 16 oz box Kettle and Fire Miso Soup 1 in thick x 3 in length fresh ginger (3 tbsp juice) juiced**See notes 1/2 cup coconut milk 1 tsp Minced Garlic 1/4 cup chopped onion 1/4 tsp Pepper 1 tbsp Coconut Aminos 1-2 splashes Red Boat Fish Sauce 1 tsp olive oil 2 medium mushrooms – sliced 1 bundle Somen Japanese Noodles [they come in a pack with 3-4 bundles) salt to taste

Preparation: 1. In a medium saucepan heat up the olive oil on medium/low. Once the pan and oil is hot add in the onion, juice from the ginger, and garlic. Simmer for 3 minutes, making sure to not burn the garlic. If your pan is too hot it will burn. 2.Add in Kettle and Fire’s Miso Soup, pepper, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil. 3.Add in the noodles and mushrooms. Once the noodles are cooked through it’s done. If you’re using the Somen Japanese noodles they soak up the juices really nicely. 4. Top with whatever you like, soft-boiled eggs, chives, radishes, cilantro. Make it your own! RECIPE NOTES **Ginger: Grab fresh ginger from the store that’s around 1 inch in thickness and 3 inches in length. Peel the ginger. Then use a grater, use the “fine grater” side. It’s not the big holes but the smaller ones. Grate the ginger into a bowl, it’s will be like a pulp. Once you’ve grated the ginger squeeze all the juice from the pulp in a smaller bowl for the soup. This is the most work for the meal and it really only takes a couple minutes. It just sounds harder than it is if you’ve never done it before.

Recipe courtesy of Alisha Mendez: https://www.puretasterecipes.com/contestants/creamy-ginger-miso-noodles/

If you are ready to try this, head to their website to purchase: https://www.kettleandfire.com/

If you want to stay in the know on all things bone broth, check out their social:https://www.instagram.com/kettleandfire/

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Mediterranean Chicken

Mediterranean Chicken

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This Mediterranean Chicken recipe is a delightful way to tour Europe from the comfort of your own dining table. This smoky, grilled chicken breasts topped with a zesty relish of kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes is delicious and takes minutes to prepare!

Serves 4
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Cooking Spray
Four 6-ounce skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and quartered lengthwise
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), chopped
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil
6 cups baby spinach
6 cups mixed baby greens
2 red bell peppers, sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup fat-free vinaigrette
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions:

1. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes or until cooked through.
2. While the chicken cooks, store together the olives, tomatoes, capers, lemon zest, parsley, and olive oil in a small bowl.
3. In a large bowl, toss the spinach, green, peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes with the vinaigrette. Divide among four salad plates.
4. Place one chicken breast on each of four plates. Top with one fourth of the olive-tomato mixture and 1 tablespoon feta cheese.

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Guilt Free Spaghetti Pasta

Guilt Free Spaghetti Pasta

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Have you ever tried plant-based spaghetti alternatives? I recently discovered hearts of palm, a vegetable that comes from the edible bud of certain palm trees. Whenever I have a craving for Italian food (which is often!) I like to have a massive serving of Palmini’s spaghetti pasta with marinara sauce. It’s a great way to indulge in comfort food without the guilt afterward. Hearts of palm is more than 90% water so you can skip that uncomfortable bloated feeling you get after eating traditional spaghetti. You know, the kind that makes you want to unbutton your pants in public.

This distinctive vegetable is high in fiber, potassium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, copper, vitamins B2, B6, and C. Not to mention this pasta has the same resemblance, texture, and taste of regular spaghetti without the yucky gluten, sugar, and GMO’s. I decided to whip up my favorite spaghetti marinara recipe below. This recipe is quick, simple, and really tasty. It’s perfect to take to lunch and tastes even better the next day.

Bon appétite!

 

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cube Dorot Gardens chopped cilantro
1 cube Dorot Gardens chopped parsley
2 cubes Dorot Gardens crushed garlic
Pinch of basil seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano
¼ teaspoon pepper
24 oz marinara sauce
1 can Palmini linguine
Grated parmesan cheese

 

Instructions:

1. Saute cilantro, parsley, and garlic in olive oil until tender.
2. Add marinara sauce, basil, salt, pepper, oregano, and stir together over and cook under low heat for 6-8 minutes.
3. Follow Palmini pasta instructions.
4. Serve sauce over pasta, then add parmesan cheese over top and enjoy!

If you are interested in learning more about Palmini, then check out their website by clicking here! 

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Palmini spaghetti

Palmini spaghetti

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Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2

Spaghetti just got a whole lot healthier with Palmini. Palmini is a low carb plant based pasta made with 100% all natural Hearts of Palm. Palmini Linguine is sugar-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO. The best part is it’s only 20 calories per serving so you can eat without the guilt and bloat afterward. Palmini is not only made of over 90% water, it also has a high fiber content which is great for digestion. Now you can enjoy the pasta with the same resemblance, texture and incredible taste with little very low carbs.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cube Dorot Gardens chopped cilantro
1 cube Dorot Gardens chopped parsley
2 cubes Dorot Gardens crushed garlic
Pinch of basil seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano
¼ teaspoon pepper
24 oz marinara sauce
1 can Palmini linguine
Grated parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Saute cilantro, parsley, and garlic in olive oil until tender.
2. Add marinara sauce, basil, salt, pepper, oregano, and stir together over and cook under low heat for 6-8 minutes.
3. Follow Palmini pasta instructions.
4. Serve sauce over pasta, then add parmesan cheese over top and enjoy!

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Surviving At-Home Panic Moments

Surviving At-Home Panic Moments

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We all have those moments while we are at home and something triggers a craving, we can’t find time to work out, or we cannot stop munching as we cook. No matter what it is, don’t panic, just check out these useful tips.

You see the ice cream truck slowly winding its way down your street

The tinkling broken tune of the ice cream van can work just like Pavlov’s bell did on dogs—it can trigger a surge in insulin, which makes you instantly feel hungry. Don’t give in. Get up and get a nice big glass of water. Most cravings pass within 10 minutes. In the meantime, check in with yourself. Are you truly hungry? If so, grab a string cheese, or some macadamia nuts. If not, get busy: clean a junk drawer, vacuum, or turn on some music and sing or dance for a few minutes until the urge passes.

Missed a workout?

Make it part of your day. Sneak in extra activity wherever you can. Sweep the floor, or mop with vigor. Wash some windows. Do some gardening. Skip the dryer and hang the laundry on a line outside to dry. If you have to run to the grocery store, park at the back of the lot so you can walk a bit farther. It all counts.

Can’t stop munching while you cook?

Keep a bowl of celery or cucumber sticks nearby. Or chew some sugarless gum. Having low-calorie options on hand will keep you from filling up on whatever else you are preparing. You’ll enjoy dinner much more if you get to it hungry.

Got late night cravings?

Often, after a day of using willpower, munchies can creep up on you. Be prepared for a healthy evening snack. If you know you have something planned you’ll be less likely to give into temptation.

Raised by the clean-your-plate rule?

Remember, if you continue eating food after you are full it won’t do your body any good. Toss it out, rather than tossing it in your belly. You can also plan ahead by eating your meals on smaller salad plates rather than full-sized dinner plates—that way you can still clean your plate without overdoing it.

No time to exercise today?

Dice your workout into mini activity routines. Do squats while you brush your teeth or empty the dishwasher. Sneak in some sit-ups or crunches just before lunch. Take a 10-minute walk around the block or your work.

Can’t stop snacking in front of the TV or computer?

Pour yourself a refreshing glass of sparkling water and add some lemon or lime slices and keep it nearby when you are in front of a screen. You’ll be more likely to reach for this no-calorie alternative than a sugar-laden snack. While watching TV, keep your hands busy folding clothes, or knitting, and during commercials hit mute and do some jumping jacks, squats, and push-ups.

Tempted to pick off the kids plates?

Have a pack of sugarless peppermint gum nearby. Not only will it keep your mouth occupied, but peppermint will also serve as a natural appetite suppressant, and energy enhancer. Plus, research shows that gum chewing increases serotonin production in your body—serotonin also suppresses appetite, reduces carb cravings, and makes you feel happier.

Stuck with the dessert in the house?

Take it to work, church, or a local food bank pronto. Or, better yet, toss it. I give you permission. You’ll be doing everyone a favor.

Empty fridge-growling stomach?

Before you call for delivery pizza really raid your kitchen. Chances are you’ve got the makings for a quick and easy meal. Celery sticks and peanut butter make a great snack. If the cupboards are really looking bare, eat a handful of nuts, or a piece of cheese, wait 20 minutes and then hit the grocery store for a quick meal of rotisserie chicken and salad. Much better than takeout.

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