Whole Wheat bagel

sC0yLtBUS0ytWJ52BvwKlA

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon of salt
  • 1.5-2 cups hand hot water
  • Trader Jo’s ‘Everything but the bagel’ seed topping
  • Beaten egg or egg white

If you have a mixer then add the flour, yeast and salt to the bowl and mix.  Add water until a dough forms.  Use the dough hook or knead by hand until dough is smooth and stretchy.

I don’t usually rise the dough twice but you can leave the dough in the bowl, cover with greased cling wrap and let it double in size.  Punch the dough down and split into 10-12 equal balls.  Use your thumb to make a hole in the middle and shape bagels.  Place on a well floured board or baking sheet and cover with greased cling wrap.  Let rise until almost doubled in size.

Meanwhile boil a pot of water with a little honey and baking soda (optional)  Once pot is boiling reduce heat to a simmer, and slide one or two bagels into boiling water being careful not to break the rise.

Boil bagels for 1 minute on each side turning over carefully with a spatula.  Carefully lift out of the water shaking off excess water.  Put on greased baking sheet, brush with beaten egg, and top with ‘Everything but the bagel’ topping.  Alternately you can top with rock salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds or seed of your choice.  Bake in a pre heated 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

If you make 10 bagel, each bagel is approximately 120 calories.  If you make slightly larger bagels and only make 8 then they are 153 per bagel.  Smaller bagels have 34g carbs and 6.4g protein.  Larger have 43g carb and 8g protein.  This makes a great breakfast with almond butter and a banana sliced on top.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Pumpkin Apple Bread

57118397638__769F36A5-0CA8-4147-9768-CAB74697097EThis is truly a delicious bread that can be souped up to make a great dessert by the addition of whipped cream or if you are going lower fat, add a dollop of vanilla greek yogurt.  It’s simple, fairly low fat, and you can decide how much sugar to add depending on your taste and dietary concerns.  The walnuts and chocolate chips are optional and how many you put it is also fairly fluid.

You can also swap out your fruits depending on what you have available.  Canned pumpkin is hard to come by unless it’s Thanksgiving time, so you can use mashed banana as an alternate.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil – melted
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (can be substituted for banana or just extra apple sauce)
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce (I used my home made chunky but any will work)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar (you can use more or less depending on your preference, can also substitute with honey or agave although it may change the flavor slightly)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips. 1/2 cup walnuts  (can do all nuts or all chips, add more or less or not at all)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla (this is also optional for flavor)

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until well combined.  Put into a well greased loaf pan (preferably a large one – mine is 6″x 10″ and 3″ deep which is larger than the average pan).  Alternately you can use an 8×8 baking pan.  In this case your baking time will be shorter by about 10-15 minutes.

Bake at 350F for 50 minutes to 1 hour (mine took an hour in my large loaf pan).  In an 8×8 pan you might want to check it after 45 minutes with a toothpick.  If it comes out clean it’s done.  You can also lightly press on the top and if it’s done it should spring back.

UbeDzLm0TZuZyiyEGquI3g

In case you are interested here is the calorie breakdown for you:  If you make the bread as directed above with 2/3 cup sugar and 1/2 cup choc chips and 1/2 cup walnuts, and you cut it into 12 equal pieces, each piece would be about 190 calories and that is a decent sized slice.  If you lower the sugar by half:  ie. add just 1/3 cup, and omit the choc chips and nuts it comes down to 121 calories a slice!  Add a dollop or real whipped cream brings your treat up by 50-100 calories depending on how much you add.

Enjoy!!!

Falafel

Falafel

57076032050__3B5225C3-F7AC-4243-90FC-CF861DC40E15 Falafels are originally an Egyptian food.  There are a variety of options for spices and cooking and I will offer both here.  I have never really been a big fan of falafel, but my kids love them and aside from the deep fried variety, they are a great source of protein if you are vegetarian and also are filling without being high in calories.  Of course once you deep fry them they become less healthy and need to be eaten in moderation.  I got an air fryer for Christmas and find they cook well in the air fryer, but are not as moist as the deep fried variety, so need to be

The trick to making them is to not use canned chickpeas.  Buy dried chickpeas and soak them overnight for the best results.  Spices used should be to your taste, and I have put below an optional cardamom addition, but we did find this flavor a bit overpowering so beware.

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon corrianda
  • 1 teaspoon cumineaten with sauces of which there are a number that go very nicely
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves (optional)57076160319__BFF508EB-0662-4206-94A0-BE317A3FDAB1
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1-2 cloves garlic

Directions:  After soaking chickpeas overnight, add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until mixture is finely ground but not paste like.   Chickpeas will still be in tiny pieces.  Make mixture into small balls and at this point they can be refrigerated or frozen until you are ready to cook them.

A fried falafel of about 3.5oz is about 330 calories.  A baked falafel has less than 100 calories but since it is quite dry does require the addition of sauces which will, of course, add calories.

Suggested accompaniments:  guacamole, Tahini sauce, hummus.  I had mine with cottage cheese which tasted good.  I read that hot sauce is a favorite for those who like a spicier falafel.

To cook them, either shallow fry, deep fry, bake or air fry.  I air fried my first batch at 375 for 20 minutes.

 

Sprouting 101

Sprouting 101

Sprouting is easy and fun!  I love to eat sprouts as do my whole family, and usually have 3-4 types on the go.  Once you begin sprouting you will see how easy it really is.  With a little daily maintenance you will be enjoying delicious sprouts in just a few days.

Sprouts are probably of the most nutritious and vitamin packed foods you can eat.  If you are looking for a way to get the most amount of nutrition out of the least amount of food, this is your answer!  To see specifically which vitamins and minerals you find in which sprouts visit the SproutPeople website:  https://sproutpeople.org/growing-sprouts/sprout-nutrition/

When you eat vegetables you are eating only a small part of the whole plant, but when eating a sprout coming directly from a seed you are eating the entire plant!  Not only are you consuming many vitamins and minerals, but also all the good cancer-preventing, anti-inflammatory, blood-cleansing and immune boosting phytochemicals all packed into that small seed.  Plus you are going to be able to eat a bunch of them!

IMG_0883IMG_0853

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First of all you need a sprouting jar (see picture).  Of course you can make yourown, just use some gauze and an elastic band over the mouth of the jar so you can rinse and drain your sprouts without losing any.  These jars that I use come with a metal mesh at the mouth as you see, which works really well.

Step 1. Buy your seeds.  I buy mine on amazon and make sure to get organic seeds.  For jar sprouting I like Mung beans, Alfalfa and Wheat berries which I make into Manna bread (see recipe: Home made sprouted manna bread)

Step 2.  Soak your seeds for 10 hours or overnight.  In one of these jars I usually use about 2 tablespoons of Alfalfa seeds, 1/2-3/4 cup of Mung beans and 3/4 cup of wheat berries.  You can fill the jar to about half full with water.

Step 3.  Drain seeds.  Pour out as much water as you can.  Tip jar on it’s side and put on a counter somewhere.

Step 4.  Rinsing.  You should rinse your seeds at least twice a day, three times if you think of it.  Fill the jar back up with water, and drain getting rid of as much water as you can.

Step 5.  Expose them to light so they can green up.  Perhaps you have them in a pretty light area on your counter top, but in case you don’t be sure that once they start to grow they have light.  That enables them to undergo photosynthesis and become green.  The chlorophyll incorporated by light exposure has multiple health benefits.  For more information on Chlorophyll and sprouting, visit the sprout people website:  https://sproutpeople.org/growing-sprouts/sprouting-basics/greening/

Step 6.  When are they ready?  Mung beans only take a couple of days, and once they have little white shoots coming out of them I put them in the refrigerator, in a closed container with folded paper towel at the bottom to ensure any excess moisture doesn’t spoil them.  Alfalfa may take a little longer, and once it’s almost filling the jar you can put it in the refrigerator in an airtight container.  The most important thing is to make sure the sprouts are completely dry before storing them.  You can let them drain 8-10 hours after the final rinse, or use a salad spinner to release any extra moisture.  If they go bad in the refrigerator quickly its because they were stored wet.

Interesting fact:  Alfalfa sprouts contain potassium, magnesium and calcium – a winning triad of electrolyte minerals that your body needs especially after working out, along with water and salt!  So make yourself one of my home made sports drinks, and grab a big chunk of alfalfa!  Or better yet, make yourself a green smoothie and add some alfalfa.

Home made sports drink

Home made sports drink

IMG_0969

 

So when our bodies sweat, we lose sodium and potassium and water.  We need to replenish our bodies to ensure adequate recovery and also to avoid muscle cramps.  The commercial drinks are filled with sugar and synthetic vitamins which are hard for your body to absorb.  Coconut water is really natures sports drink containing natural electrolytes.  Adding coconut water to this drink which also contains sodium will help replenish your body and bring things back into balance to ensure proper muscle recovery, and help prevent muscle cramping.

  • 1-1.5 Tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Cup coconut water
  • 1 Cup water

Dissolve salt and honey in 1/2 cup boiling water.  Add lemon juice, coconut water and the rest of the water (preferably filtered).  Add ice cubes and drink after or during workout.

Spinach and Avocado Green Smoothie

Spinach and Avocado Green Smoothie

IMG_0830

In the summer, I always make my son and I a green smoothie for when he gets home from school.  It’s a great way to ensure he gets some good green veggies and he loves them!

This smoothie contains about 350 calories and can be a great lunch alternative if you add some Hemp protein powder to it, which will bump up the calorie count by just over 100 calories (I get Hemp Vanilla Protein powder at Trader Jo’s), but ensure you are getting a good nutritious lunch.  It’s so easy to make if you have the ingredients on hand.  Make sure you have a good blender that will crush ice – I use a Vitamix but there are others out there that will work just as well.

  • 1/4 medium avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups raw baby organic spinach
  • 1/2 cup whole milk organic vanilla yogurt (I use Trader Jo’s)
  • 1/2 cup soy milk (again I use Trader Jo’s unsweetened)
  • 2/3 cup ice

Simply put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy!

Coconut Heaven Smoothie

Coconut Heaven Smoothie

So this smoothie is ideal for those who love love love coconut!  Coconut is a superfood, and so this smoothie is incredibly nutritious and delicious!  One 14oz smoothie has about 350 calories and is ideal for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon nutrition boost, or to replenish your body after a workout. As a side note:  Coconut water contains natural electrolites so get rid of those sugary sports drinks, and replace them with a refreshing glass of low calorie coconut water.

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup of coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2/3 cup ice

Simply add the above ingredients to a blender that is strong enough to blend the ice, and blend until smooth.  To turn this into a ChocoCoconut Heaven smoothie simply add a teaspoon of raw cacao (or you can use regular coco powder)

Easy Paprika Oven Baked Fries

Easy Paprika Oven Baked Fries

IMG_0655

If you love french fries, but try to avoid them because they are deep fried in who knows what kind of bad oil, then these will be a great substitute!  They taste wonderful, are not deep fried but baked, and are super easy to make.

Use red and/or sweet potatoes

Choose the number of potatoes based on how many you are serving

Cut potatoes into cubes or french fry shapes

Coat potatoes in a high heat oil, avocado or grapeseed  (note:  if you use olive oil, do not bake at 400, bake for longer at 350 degrees)

Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and paprika

Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on the temperature, removing from the oven after 20 minutes to move the fries and turn them over.

Enjoy!

Stir Fried Vegetable Medley

Stir Fried Vegetable Medley

IMG_0006

I use all organic ingredients where possible.  This is a great accompaniment to be served with rice, add some black beans for a complete protein and a wonderful vegetarian meal.  You can really play around with the amounts and also add other vegetables to the mix.  Sometimes I add a can of tomatoes also and make more of a ratatoui type dish.  You can also add a can of black beans to add some protein if you are serving as a vegetarian dish with rice.

  • 2 tablespoons avocado, olive, grapeseed or safflower oil.
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup chopped or coarsely grated carrot
  • 1 green, red, orange or yellow pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

Heat oil briefly, then add onions, celery and carrots.  Salute for 5 minutes then add pepper and onions.  Add corn and peas and sprinkle with salt.  Cook until tender and serve over rice.

Chocolate Drizzled Coconut Macaroons

Chocolate Drizzled Coconut Macaroons

IMG_0004 IMG_0005

These little macaroons make a lovely treat to have with a cup of tea or coffee.  They are small and satisfying at under 200 calories per macaroon!  Bake a batch, put them in the freezer and eat them slowly when you really need something sweet.  Using all organic ingredients at least means these treats are as healthy as treats can be.  Everything in moderation, eat only one at a time!

  • 12 oz organic unsweetened coconut
  • 1 14oz can of organic sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 egg whites beaten to stiff peaks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/3 cup geridelli dark chocolate chips

Put coconut and almond meal in a bowl.  Add sweetened condensed milk and extracts.  Beat egg whites and fold into coconut mixture.

Scoop onto greased baking sheet into 1″ mounds.  Bake 15-20 minutes at 325 F or until light golden brown.  Once baked immediately lift off baking sheets onto cooling rack.  Melt chocolate chips in microwave or over double boiler, and drizzle over macaroons.

This recipe makes about 26 macaroons, and each one is about 180 calories.