‘Cheesy’ Broccoli Soup For the Win: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Paleo Recipe For real guys. This creamy cheesy broccoli soup is hands-down the most satisfying soup I’ve ever made, or ever tasted for that matter. All the creaminess. All the cheesy flavor. None of the dairy […]
Nourishing Mind Body and Soul with Soup Yep it’s the new year and guess what that means – time for souping! It’s WAY too cold outside to even consider juicing. But soups? Nourishing, warming, and cleansing all in one. It’s my favorite approach to clean […]
Keeping The Tradition Alive
My mom was never big on baking, but cranberry bread has been a holiday staple for as long as I can remember. She’d even make mini loaves of it to give to my teachers way back in the day. While I don’t typically crave fruit and nut bread, there’s something incredibly satisfying about this cranberry treat.
There might be nothing more festive than a loaf of cranberry bread. As much as I love my cookies and chocolates, a slice of fruit and nut bread is a necessity around the holidays. Dotted with rich cranberry red and with bursts of citrus and tang from the orange and cranberries, it’s just full-on holidays in your mouth. Yum!
Tradition with a Twist
I decided to add a bit of ginger because I’m obsessed. Plus I figured this recipe would turn out really well with just a few healthifying swaps, so it’s paleo, vegan-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free of course. And it’s oh so delicious!
This recipe uses all natural ingredients and no refined sugar of course, and it’s got fruit and nuts in it. So obviously it’s healthy. But for real, cranberries contain powerful antioxidants, are packed with nutrients, and have anti-cancer benefits, UTI prevention, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Plus this recipe adds in a little extra ginger and the almond flour adds some protein and healthy fats plus omega-3s from the flax boost the anti-inflammatory benefits. While it’s still a treat, it swaps out ingredients that tend to cause inflammation for those with health-promoting properties, so it’s indulgence-without-the-guilt!
Paleo Cranberry Bread
Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free recipe for a holiday favorite!
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- 1/8 cup arrowroot flour
- 1/8 cup coconut flour
- 1 tsp monk fruit or can skip and add more honey
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp raw honey add more if skipping monk fruit, or skip to make vegan. may use maple syrup or coconut sugar as alternatives
- 1/8 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tbsp grated orange
- 1 flax egg soak 1 tbsp ground flax seed in 3 tbsp water for 5 minutes
- 1/8 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger or crystallized ginger for added sweetness may replace with 1 tsp powdered ginger
- 1 cup course chopped fresh cranberries
- 1/8 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8x4in loaf pan with parchment paper.
Thoroughly mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Mix flax, orange juice, honey and coconut oil in a medium bowl.
Add wet ingredients to dry and just combine. Fold in cranberries and nuts and transfer to the loaf pan.
Bake for 1 hour. Let cool slightly before removing from the pan.
For more healthified holiday-inspired recipes, check these out:
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Sweet Potatoes for Breakfast
For those skeptics our there, just hear me out for a second. Sweet potato may not jump to mind as a traditional breakfast food option. But really, it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Sweet potatoes basically taste like dessert, but they are quite versatile and pair with both sweet and savory.
When going paleo, low-carb, or gluten-free or giving up grains altogether, breakfast beyond smoothies can be tricky to navigate. Fortunately, sweet potato bread, muffins, pancakes, and even savory loaded sweet potatoes and patties are all a thing.
But what about a nice warm bowl of oatmeal? Can anything really stand in for that breakfast stand-by? Maybe not entirely. But we can get pretty close: enter sweet potato mash.
While sweet potatoes clearly are not a direct substitute taste-wise, they do provide a similar consistency and the same warming comfort a hot bowl of oatmeal serves up on a cold winter morning. And if you throw them in the food processor for just a few seconds with the skins on, you’ll wind up with a smooth yet slightly chunky consistency similar to oats with the bits of skins mixed in.
They’re sweet but not overly sweet, provide a solid dose of real food nutrition to start the day, and can take a variety of toppings and add-ins just as well as the best bowl of oatmeal. I like to top mine with blueberries, chopped pecans, a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, and a bit of unsweetened coconut. But really, as with oatmeal, the sky’s the limit.
Sweet potato mash also works perfectly as a side dish, with or without the toppings. And of course it can stand in for a healthy dessert alternative!
Sweet potato health benefits
But first, the benefits. Sweet potatoes are chock full of carotenoids, which are full of potent health benefits due to their rich phytochemical concentrations. My favorite: cancer risk reduction. Increased intake of carotenoids has been associated with reduced risk of multiple types of cancer. Interestingly, they might also help protect us from harmful UV sun rays. Research has found that supplementing sunblock with daily intake of carotenoids before (and during) sun exposure can help reduce the rate of sunburn and sun damage, likely because it slows the absorption of UV rays.
Sweet potatoes have also got you covered on the Vitamin A front: one cup provides over 200% of the recommended daily intake, as well as 50% of your Vitamin C and Manganese, making them an excellent immunity-boosting staple. They also provide a substantial amount of the B vitamins and biotin, plus copper, pantothenic acid, potassium, phosphorous, and fiber.
Not only are they high in antioxidants, but they are contain anti-inflammatory benefits. Studies show a reduction in inflammation in nerve and brain tissue following sweet potato consumption. The phytonutrients prevent demyelination caused by excess fibrinogen, which has implications for diseases like multiple sclerosis. The research so far backs it up – I won’t argue with that!
In spite of their relatively high GI rating, sweet potatoes have been show to actually improve blood sugar regulation, even in people with Type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, another class of nutrients found in sweet potatoes called glycosides have been shown to contain antibacterial and anti fungal properties.
The Upshot: Nailing the Breakfast Game
While research into all of these potential health benefits is ongoing, the upshot is clear: eat your sweet potatoes!
In order to maximize the bioavailability of the nutrients (aka how efficiently your body absorbs the nutrients), adding a little fat to your meal is a good idea. Sweet potato and avocado is one of my favorite combos.
But you can easily add just a little olive oil to a dish, or to keep it sweet, I like to add coconut oil. For those who aren’t fans of the coconut flavor, unrefined coconut oil has no coconut flavor.
Sweet Potato Mash
A paleo, grain-free, gluten-free alternative to breakfast oats.
- 2-4 sweet potatoes depending on size
- 1 tbsp coconut oil refined or unrefined
- Toppings of choice. My favorites include: pecans, walnuts, unsweetened shredded coconut, cacao nibs, blueberries, dried fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, warming spices, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup for a touch of added sweetness if desired.
Pierce the sweet potatoes a few times with a nice and bake at 400F for 35-50 minutes (depending on size; they should be soft when fully cooked).
Place the sweet potatoes in a food processor, add the coconut oil, and blend until thoroughly mashed. Option: scoop the insides from the skin and mash with a fork.
Scoop into a bowl, add toppings as desired, and eat up!
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Cleanse your system the fun way
What is a Cleanse?
Who should cleanse?
- If you wake up feeling less than vibrant or energetic. If you feel like crap all the time. If you suffer from any of the symptoms listed below.
- If you struggle with keeping the weight off. As it turns out, not all calories are created equal. Sugar and refined flour have a unique effect on the body’s metabolism, and often trigger hunger and cause people to overeat. Not to mention, sugar triggers inflammation.
- If you’re addicted to sugar, carbs, or salty food-like junk. The fact is, it’s not your fault. It’s the sugar and the flour and the chemicals and the concerted efforts of the food industry over the years to hijack our brains so we become addicted, repeat customers.
- If you’ve never done a cleanse or detox. These days, all of us could use a little reset. And most of us could do with a little more self-care. Cleansing allows you to focus on self-nourishment. You and your body are your top priority for over a week. How great is that?
But wait, cleansing sounds hard!
When not to cleanse
The cleansing process
Bottom Line: It’s worth a shot!
Signs you need a Cleanse
- have trouble sleeping
- get headaches
- gain weight easily, especially in the belly
- feel exhausted and depleted
- feel a lack of focus and energy
- have trouble losing weight
- experience bloating or gas
- have digestive complaints
- have excessive sinus problems
- suffer from joint pain
- have acne, eczema or other skin problems
- feel stuck, unmotivated, or irritable
- feel stressed and overwhelmed
- experience mood swings
- crave sugar or starchy food
Symptoms of Toxic Overload
Below is a list of the many symptoms of toxic overload:
- weight gain or loss
- belly bloat
- painful gas
- frequent belching
- joint and muscle aches
- muscle tension
- skin eruptions
- inability to focus or concentrate
- foggy brain
- mood swings
- flu-like symptoms
- allergic reactions
- runny nose
Watermelon is good, and good for you Seriously, what’s more refreshing than watermelon on a hot summer day? In life, I rarely think, I want some watermelon. But then summer rolls around and I take my first bite and I’m like oh yeah, this stuff is […]