• Feeds

my favorite things – part two

Welcome to Part Two of my favorite things!  I hope you enjoy.

Coconut

Mmmm…coconut!  Coconuts provide a nutritious source of meat, juice, milk, and oil that has fed and nourished populations around the world for generations.  Each part of the coconut can be used!  Coconut is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals.  The meat, milk and oil do have fat, but once again, they are the good fat.  The type that your body uses to survive.

I love coconut!  I use unsweetened shredded coconut in my baking and sprinked on meals.  The oil is wonderful for baking as well!

Honey

Raw, unprocessed honey has been shown to be an antiseptic, antioxidant and cleansing property for our bodies.  It has powerful healing attributes that promote healing for cuts and scrapes.  It also works wonders on dry skin!

My favorite way to use honey is as an energy booster while on my long distance runs.  It has just the right amount of sugar to give you that extra push for the last few miles.  Plus, it is much more natural and healthier for you than all the energy gels out there.

Honey is also wonderful mixed in tea, used in place of sugar in baking, drizzled in stirfry’s and so much more!

Almond Butter

When choosing a nut butter, make sure to look at the ingredient list!  Many on store shelves contain high fructose corn syrup and a lot of sugar.  Choose all natural nut butters.  My favorite is almond butter – made up purely of almonds!

I enjoy almond butter the most, but any natural nut butters are delicious.  They provide you with healthy fats that will keep you satisfied for a long time.  It has been shown that people who eat nuts or nut butter often consume fewer calories throughout the day because they keep you satisfied.

Check out my info on almonds in Part One!

Hemp Seeds

Hemp is everywhere these days!  Hemp seeds, hemp milk, hemp protein powder…I love it all.  Hemp seeds are very high in soluable protein which makes them easy to digest.  They also contain all of the 9 essential amino acids that your body needs.  Essential amino acids are ones that the body cannot produce on its own.

Hemp protein powder is just ground hemp seeds.  I prefer hemp protein powder over others because of the way it makes me feel.  It does not cause bloating or gas as others do.

Add a tablespoon or two of hemp powder to your smoothie in the morning, or sprinkle some hemp seeds on your salads for a nutty crunch!

Quinoa

Quinoa is the seed of a plant, but many people think of it and use it as a grain in place of rice, pasta, etc.  Like hemp, quinoa is a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids that your body needs.  It also contains high levels of iron and magnesium, which will help your body feel more alert and will decrease your changes of developing hypertension or heart disease.

I absolutely love quinoa!  We cook with it a lot by adding it to stirfry’s, making quinoa burgers, adding it to salads and using it as a breakfast cereal.   You cannot go wrong.  Cook a big pot on Sunday night and eat it throughout the week!

Sea Salt

Too much salt is not good for anyone, but a little salt added to your baking and cooking will not cause you much harm.  Adding salt to your food can immensly add to the flavor, but season properly.  Only use what you need!  By cooking your own meals, you can control how much salt you are adding to a dish.  Restaurants and frozen meals use way to much salt!

The grayer the salt the better…and sea salt is much better for you than table salt.  Gray salt is minimally processed, while table salt is highly processed!

Bananas

Bananas could easily be my favorite food.  I love them in smoothies, oatmeal, spread with nut butter, eaten plain and on-the-go!  I love them for breakfast, with lunch, as a snack and sauteed with a little brown sugar for dessert.  I eat at least one banana almost everyday.

Luckily, bananas are good for you!  They contain tons of potassium, which helps to prevent high blood pressure, cramping (side-stitches) and restore your electrolyte balance.  They also help your body to absorb calcium.

I buy bananas in bulk.  I keep some on the counter to grab and go, but also keep a container in my freezer with frozen bananas for smoothies!

Pepitas

One of my favorite parts of the fall is carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds!  I sprinkle a little salt on top and pop them in the oven until slightly crispy – yum!  Well, you don’t have to wait until halloween rolls around to enjoy pumpkin seeds, just buy some pepitas.

Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, are a nutritional powerhouse.  They contain high levels of magnesium, iron, protein and zinc amongst other things.  They also contain anti-inflamatory properties and can help to lower your cholesterol.

Try adding a tablespoon to your smoothies, salads, trail mix or sauteed veggies!

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate is made from cacao beans, which are the seeds of the cacao fruit.  Once removed from their pods, the beans taste like a bitter rich dark chocolate.  To get to the chocolate bars we eat today, those cacao beans are highly processed and mixed with a lot of sugar (and milk to make milk chocolate).  Check out more here.

Dark chocolate is the least processed, but make sure that you are buying chocolate that does not have many other ingredients added to it.  Most good, high quality dark chocolate is minimally processed, but you might need to pay a little more for it.  The darker the chocolate, the better.  Many bars only contain 50% cocoa or less!  Look for bars with a higher cocoa content.

Dark chocolate is my downfall.  I just love it!  The darker the better!  I read all of the ingredients before purchasing a bar, and try to buy organic when I can.  However, a little added sugar isn’t going to kill you!  (P.s…the Trader Joes dark chocolate bar pictured above is one of my favorites!)

Almond Milk

We all know by now that I love almonds…and almond milk is no different.  Almond milk is a healthy milk alternative.  It does not contain nearly as much protein as cow’s or soy milk, but I prefer the taste…and get my protein in other ways.  I prefer the Pacific Natural Foods brand because it does not contain any soy products.

There are hundreds of articles out there talking about why some milk substitutes are better than others, but I won’t bore you.  I just prefer the taste of almond milk over others!  I am planning to try to make my own one of these days.

Use almond milk as you would use any milk product – in cereal, oatmeal, smoothies or with cookies!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That wraps up my favorite things.  I hope you enjoyed the small sampling of some of my favorites!

cabbage pizza

I woke up this morning earlier than I had wanted.  You see, I had this plan to sleep in.  Well, I don’t do sleeping in, so when the sun was up, so was I!

Once I was up, I knew I had to start the morning off on the right foot, so I made Brant and I a treat for breakfast – Pancakes!  Not just any pancakes, though.  These were souped up Banana Almond Oatmeal Pancakes.  And, they were yummy.

I followed the recipe exactly from Fitsugar (see recipe here).  Her recipe makes 12 smaller pancakes, but I like my pancakes thick and filling, so I made the pancakes twice as thick.

I am not a big pancake or waffle eater because I always find that they keep me full for about 10 minutes…there is not much substance or protein in a plain pancake, so it makes sense.  However, two of these pancakes with toppings kept me pretty full for the majority of the morning.  It must have been the oatmeal.

They were fluffy, but dense, so if you like light and fluffy pancakes, these definitely aren’t for you.  I topped my pancakes with a little greek yogurt, banana, chopped almonds and maple sugar.

Next time I would add more banana and cinnamon to the batter!

For lunch, I wanted to do something with the cabbage from our CSA, so I searched for a recipe.  I found the perfect recipe for Japanese Pizza on 101cookbooks.com (see recipe here).  I love pizza and this seemed like a really easy and healthy alternative.

I made sure to wash and dry my cabbage thoroughly, since it came straight from the farm.

The recipe called for shredded cabbage, but I was too impatient to chop it all, so I threw it in my food processor.  It was more grated than shredded, but it worked!

I doubled the recipe to make individual pizza’s for Brant and I, which was a perfect amount (I only ate 1/2 of one).  Once the ingredients are all mixed together, you cook the pizza in a pan on the stove.

Flipping the pizza was easier than I thought.  After cooking the pizza for 4-5 minutes on one side, it was time to flip.  I slid the pizza out onto a plate, put another plate on top and flipped!  Then, slide back into the pan to continue to cook.

Once done, I garnished with almonds and cut it up on the cutting board.

Then, served with a few dipping sauces…guacamole hummus and tomato paste.

It was really, really good!  The pizza itself did not have too much flavor, but it is so basic that you could add anything that your heart desires.  The dippers provided more than enough flavor for me, but I like plain things. 🙂

For a lunch dessert, I broke open some chocolate bars that I bought yesterday.  Endangered Species chocolate started selling some new organic dark chocolate, so I picked up one in each flavor.

How good do they sound?!  Of course, I tried a little of each.

It was tough to pick a favorite, but I really liked the Dark Chocolate with Goji Berry, Pecans and Maca!

Have a great Saturday!