Quinoa is not a grain, but a seed. Because of this little fact, it is higher in fat and protein, and does not need to be soaked (like most grains) before cooking. This makes it a healthy and quick breakfast foundation.
Quinoa flakes are similar to rolled oats, and take very little time to cook. We use these quite a bit for quick and healthy breakfast porridges.
Ingredient quality is always important. Choose the best you can and you will see a difference not only in nutritional quality, but flavor.
ApPle Cinnamon Quinoa Porridge
1 Apple, Cored and Chopped
2 Tbsp. Grass-Fed Butter
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Salt
1-2 tsp Raw, Unfiltered Honey
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 1/2 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Whole Milk
1 Cup Quinoa Flakes
2 Tbsp Walnuts
1. Over low heat melt butter; Add apples, cover and simmer until apples begin to soften. Stir occasionally.
2. Add Vanilla, and Cinnamon. Cook until apples are desired softness. (NOTE: The softer they get, the more juice they release, and the sweeter the Porridge will become)
3. Add Applesauce, Honey, Salt, Water, and Milk. Increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer.
4. Turn off heat and add flakes. Let sit for 5 minutes. Stir and serve.
5. Top with Walnuts, and extra Whole Milk if desired.
Makes 3-4 Servings
Low Glycemic Pecan Pie
Preheat oven to 350
Mix the Sugar, Brown Rice Syrup, and Butter until creaming. Add 1 egg at a time until incorporated. Add Vanilla and Salt. Fold in Pecans and pour into uncooked pie crust. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until brown and bubbly.
Let cool slightly before serving
Apple pie is one of the halmarks of fall. The delicious aroma of sugar, cinnamon and apples baking in the oven...ahhhh! I don't know about you, but the colder weather spurs me to bake, and bake I must.
My take on the apple pie gives it a rustic feel, and cuts a large amount of the sugar, without sacraficing the warmth and flavor. It is also a great way to get the kids to help out in the kitchen.
When I am looking to make meals healthier, for my family and for clients, I don't deprive myself of the things I love...like pie...but I do modify it with quality, nutrient rich, and sugar low ingredients.
To start this recipe, we must start with the crust. Now making a healthier version of pie crust is a little bit daunting, but doable. I start by cutting out the flour, and replacing it with a combination of Almond Flour and Coconut Flour. Both of these are nut flours, and as such contain a large amount of nutrients.
Health Benefits of Almonds:
Health Benefits of Coconut:
Grass Fed Butter is a staple in my kitchen. The flavor is more robust than basic butter, and once you see the bright orange color, you'll be hooked on the sheer beauty of it. Who knew butter could be so pretty. Grass Fed Butter is wortht the price, it is full of hard to find nutrients such as B12/Vitamin D/Vitamin K2/Vitamin E/Animal Sourced Vitamin A/Omega 3 Fatty Acids/Good Cholesterol/and more...
Raw, Unfiltered Honey, is the only honey I use. The pasturized and filtered verson are just sugar, but the raw, unfiltered honey contains propolis. Propolis is a natural anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. Raw honey is also host to a variety of beneficial enzymes, and nutritents, but only if it is raw and unfiltered. Ingredient quality!
Cinnamon Whipped Coconut Cream
If you are following along on my newest article series "Planning Nutritionally for Labor and Delivery Part 2" this is the recipe for my Miso Wonton Soup.
We love soup at our home. The kids get very excited about wonton soup too. Who doesn't like sesame ginger broth with doughy dumplings? Of course, nothing with me is simple. I always have to up it a little, nutritionally speaking.
So, I took the simple wonton soup and make it dense with fermented miso, and added veggies.
This would be a good soup, not only for those who are gearing up for Labor and Delivery, but for those who are postpartum, or just looking for a healthy, easy soup recipe the kids will love.
Miso Wonton Soup
**I used carrots and zucchini in this version, but you could use any that you have on hand; asparagus, broccoli, kale, etc...
*** Need a recipe for GOOD Kim Chi....CLICK HERE
Makes 4 servings
I love breakfast porridges…any grain…savory…sweet…It is just a very satisfying way to start my day. Many of the packages flavored varieties are ridiculously sweet, and full of all sorts of colors, preservatives, and more….yuck.
I've just recently discovered, and experimented with cooking with fruits and herbs as sweeteners. This one turned out perfect.
I really like the Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes. They are super easy, and simple ingredients (quinoa).
This recipe is a good one for anyone looking to increase the nutrient density of their meal, while lowering the amount of added sugar without skimping on taste.
Banana Nut Quinoa Breakfast
Makes 3 servings
Do you save your extra ripe bananas? I do. We can never seem to make it through our banana bunches fast enough. I don't like bananas, honestly, but LOVE banana bread. So, maybe part of me actually wants them get over ripe so I can save them up for a big batch of this amazing bread. Freezing them makes them extra juicy and the bread extra moist as well.
I recently had enough bananas saved up to make 3x this recipe. The girls and I had a great afternoon whipping up batch after batch. Two of the loaves went back into the freezer for future deliciousness.
Of course, I have to mess with recipes. I cannot just love a recipe and make it the same every time. I am always experimenting. This one came out great, and the kiddos loved it. My original recipe called for equal parts sugar and flour. To me that is just crazy sweet, and it drowns out the flavor of the bananas, no need for that much sugar. So, not only did I cut it down, but I replaced 50% with coconut sugar. I also used sprouted, whole grain flour, and I added Chia Seeds, and Cinnamon.
Chia seeds are these super tiny, super cute seeds. YES, they are the same seeds that we used as kids to make those awesome Chia Pets grow. Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia! I sing it every time I pull out the bag.
In Oriental Nutrition, Chia Seeds are a Qi Tonic that treats dryness in the body. They moisten and lubricate not only the intestines, but the skin and hair as well. They give the body a burst of sustained and usable energy. In Native American cultures Chia Seeds were consumed before contests and battles to give those who consumed them long lasting energy.
Chia Seeds are second only to Flax in the amount of Omega 3 Fatty Acids they contain, and unlike Flax, they do not need to be ground in order to access these EFA's.
The Nutritional Profile of Chia Seeds help make it a good food for reducing inflammation and treating insulin resistance (a growing problem in all age groups.). The Magnesium in Chia Seeds regulates the secretion of insulin and its uptake into the cells. The high fiber content is slow to break down and reduces insulin spikes. Overall, Chia Seeds have been shown to slow the secretion of glucose into the blood.
No one in my house has issues with insulin resistance, but that doesn't mean I don't want to prevent it. So, I take steps in my cooking, especially when baking or making sweet treats, to keep the sugar levels down, and add ingredients that lessen the effects of sugar in the body. Cinnamon is a great addition to sweet breads like this one.
In Oriental Medicine Cinnamon is not only for culinary use, but is a medical herb found in the Materia Medica. It's uses are vast. Considered a Warming/Sweet/Acrid herb, it is used to treat conditions of; common colds, joint pain, menstrual irregularity, asthma, increases circulation, night sweats and wasting and thirsting disease (diabetes).
Cinnamon and Sugar....it just sounds right doesn't it. There is conflicting research on Cinnamon for lowering blood sugar. Most of these focus on long term supplemental use of high doses of cinnamon not associated with a meal. One study I found researched what happened when Cinnamon was added to sugar. In this study, there was a slowing of the absorption of the sugar in the group that consumed equal amounts of cinnamon with the sugar. The theory, based on this study, is that cinnamon binds to the sugar molecules and slows their digestion and absorption into the blood stream.
Coconut Sugar is still a sugar. It is a lower glycemic sweetener, YES, but it is fructose and fructose is not measured by the glycemic index. The glycemic index does measure how quickly a foods raises your blood sugar. So in that regard, coconut sugar is better than regular sugar. Some other benefits of coconut sugar are that, unlike granulated sugar, it is full of minerals like zinc and iron, and an array of antioxidants. It also has a high Inulin content. A fiber that isn't digested but works as a prebiotic feeding the good bacteria in your digestive system. So, overall, there are more benefits to using it over granulated white sugar.
Fructose does not affect your blood sugar, it does however affect your Liver. Unlike glucose, which can be metabolized in every cell in your body, fructose can only be metabolized in the liver. It's metabolism mimics that of alcohol. Too much fructose, like too much alcohol, can cause the same myriad of health issues. The key is moderation. Coconut Sugar is 39% Fructose.
Caution: Just because it has a better profile that granulated sugar, does not mean you can eat it until your hearts content. All sweets and sugars should be monitored and not overeaten. Naturally occurring sweets, occasionally, is not bad, and if you are making good choices that give you added nutrition long with it, you should be just fine. Those who have inflammatory, or auto-immune issues should be wary and monitor their sugar (of any kind) intake.
Banana Walnut Chia Seed Bread
***NOTE: AS MUCH AS I HAVE TRIED TO KEEP THE GLYCEMIC VALUES DOWN, IT IS STILL NOT THE BEST. BANANAS IN GENERAL ARE A NO-NO FOOD FOR THOSE NEEDING TO CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS, AND COOKING THEM INCREASES THEIR BLOOD SUGAR RAISING QUALITIES. THAT BEING SAID, HERE ARE THE LEVELS I WAS ABLE TO REACH, AND THESE ARE ROUGH, SO IT COULD VARY BASED ON THE INGREDIENTS YOU USE AND HOW BIG YOUR SERVING SIZE IS.
Why Venison? Why Not! Venison is a delicious meat that is very nutrient rich and a sustainable meat source. If you are, or know someone who is a hunter, take advantage and stock the freezer.
Venison is a good source of B Vitamins (specifically B6 and B12), Iron, and because it is a wild and not farm raised, it is higher in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and lower in Saturated fats.
Rosemary and Garlic give this dish a burst of flavor.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a wonderful herb that can be grown in pots as an indoor house plant and kept outside in the summers in Colorado. Rosemary provides high amounts of Vitamin A, Mineral Iron, and in lower amounts B Vitamins and Vitamins C, Minerals Manganese, Copper and Calcium.
Medicinally Rosemary has the benefits of...
Garlic (Allium sativum) is an indispensable culinary herb that not only ads great depth of flavor, but also provides high amounts of B vitamins and Vitamin C, Mineral Manganese and lower amounts of Minerals Copper, Selenium, Phosphorus and Iron.
Medicinally Garlic has the benefits of...
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
Generously salt and pepper steak on all sides. Heat butter in a cast iron skillet over high heat. Sear steak on each side until browned. Remove from heat.
Add wine and deglaze skillet. Add garlic and rosemary. Cook until fragrant then return steak to skillet. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes, depending on thickness and desired doneness. Serve with juices.
We like to serve this with pureed cauliflower, and seasonal veggies. I always encourage you to adjust the seasonings to your preferences. I love garlic and feel you can never have too much, but I know it can be over powering for many. If you feel like 6 cloves is too much, than feel free to adjust it.
This is one of my "go to" recipes for weeknights. As it says in the name, it is quick! I can usually get everything done in 30 minutes. It is also delicious and one of those meals that my children eat up.
In my garden I grow fresh sage and thyme, which I highly recommend adding to your landscaping. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but both are evergreen in Colorado, allowing you to pick and use fresh herbs year round. We all know fresh is better, for nutritional value and for taste.
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a wonderful herb that provides high amounts of B Vitamins, Vitamin A, C, E and K, and Minerals Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese, as well as Electrolyte Potassium.
Medicinally Sage has the benefits of...
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is another very useful herb that provides high levels of Vitamin A and C, and Minerals Iron and Manganese. In lower levels in also provides B vitamins, Minerals Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc, and Electrolyte Potassium.
Medicinally Thyme has the benefits of...
Season Pork generously with Salt and Pepper. In a large cast iron skillet, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add pork and cook through, flipping half way...usually 20 minutes, set aside.
In the same skillet, add red onion and cook till softened. Add the thyme, sage and wine. Cook until liquid is reduced slightly. Return pork and coat in sauce.
Thats it! Simple and delicious!
We like to serve this with seasonal veggies, and some quinoa to soak up some of the juice. Please play around with the amount of herbs used. I personally love sage and so I've gone a little heavy handed in the recipe, if you are not a huge sage lover, go slow.