Saturday, June 20, 2015

Chia Juice Recipe


I love the Synergy Enlightened Chia Kombucha drinks- but at $2.99- $3.99 from the grocery store, it is quite an expensive treat. (It is still less expensive than my usual Starbucks latte though!) They have a refreshing light sweetness due to the juice, a slight tang from the kombucha, and chia seeds that help keep you hydrated. Chia seeds are also filled with fiber and are a good source of protein, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, and healthy fats- especially omega-3s!

I realized I could easily make a similar drink- although without the kombucha. Many people love to make their own kombucha at home, but that is not something I'm interested in accomplishing right now.

I saved several glasses to reuse, and now I always have a few in the fridge ready to take with me when I go out. I usually start to get hungry maybe an hour or so later, and having one of these ready in the car is a great replacement for the coconut milk, hazelnut-flavored  lattes I often like to treat myself to. I'm certainly not ready to completely giving them up, but having one of these ready in the car to satiate me is a more healthful (and far less expensive!) alternative.

chia, kombucha, synergy, recipe, juice, healthy, omega 3
  •  Fill the glass with water about the the "S" of Synergy, where the straight part of the top of the label is (not the top peak).
  • Pour 2 to 3 Tablespoons of chia seeds into the glass. (I have to use a funnel I made out of paper and tape!)  

Chia seeds can be messy little things- make sure they don't get any drops of water on them before you add them to the water, or you will have a bit of a hard time trying to clean them up. Due to their water-absorbing properties, they become the texture of jelly.

  • Close the glass tightly, and give it a good shaking. Put it in the fridge (or not) for a few hours to let the seeds soak up some of the water. If you can think of it, occasionally give it another shake randomly throughout those few hours.
  • After a few hours, the seeds should mostly have done all the absorbing they are going to do. Pick your favorite juice and fill to the top. 

For your health, please make sure the juice you are choosing is, indeed, JUICE! Read the ingredients. If it has any added sugar or 'natural flavors' it is NOT pure juice. I usually like to buy from the Knudsen brand with is sold at Kroger's/Fred Meyer. Some of their juices are organic. I don't always buy organic and I definitely take into consideration the price differences among the various juices. I am aware many of these are still from concentrate, but they are a far better option that many of the mainstream 'juices' you will find. My favorite juices to buy are pear, cherry and cranberry. 

  • Add a few drops of stevia (I have bought this one many times) if the juice is too tart. This is completely optional- I find that the cherry juice I usually buy is extremely tart.
  • Give it another good shake, and leave in the fridge a perfect to-go snack!  

  • Optional- to give this juice a bit of an acidic kick to mimic the flavor of kombucha, add a splash of raw apple cider vinegar. Although it is an acid, it has an alkalizing effect in the body. This is important because most people are far too acidic due largely to poor diet choices, which contributes to problems such as acne, indigestion, and headaches. You can find out more benefits of raw apple cider vinegar here and here. Many people like to drink a shot or two of straight apple cider vinegar in an empty stomach in the morning to help jump start smooth digestion for the rest of the day, or have a shot after dinner. Make sure it is raw to get the full benefits!
 
chia, kombucha, synergy, recipe, juice, healthy, omega 3
What are your favorite juice flavors? Can you see yourself using this as a light snack to help replace other, perhaps not-so-good options?

Monday, June 15, 2015

This Household Likes Avocados


healthy, good fat, dinner, recipe, avocado

I shudder to think of how long I went without enjoying avocados and receiving their nutritional goodness. I unfortunately fell for the 'fat is bad' mantra of the 1990's. (information here) They are creamy, delicious, and very nutritious- something our bodies were meant to enjoy and can thrive on. They naturally contain fiber, vitamin k, copper, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium and vitamin C!

   healthy, good fat, dinner, recipe, avocado, lettucem paleo, clean eating 
 I have been loving making lettuce wraps of simply red leaf lettuce, 3 avocados, julienned carrots and red bell peppers. (red are my favorite!) I buy the organic multi-color carrots from Trader Joe's- they are stunningly beautiful with hues of deep purple, yellow, red and orange, and very affordable! Since I don't eat processed things that come out of a box that have insane amount of added sodium, I'm not afraid to add my own. I love avocado sprinkled with a bit of freshly cracked sea salt!
Butter lettuce works a bit better for making wraps, but is more expensive and not quite as nutritious. (Simply because it has 'less' nutrition doesn't mean it isn't beneficial and great to eat! I think it is unfortunate when people snub iceberg for example- sure it isn't AS nutritionally packed as red leaf, but it is still lettuce, a leafy green naturally coming out of the ground for us to eat! If the option is to eat no lettuce or eat iceberg, eat the iceberg!)
 healthy, good fat, dinner, recipe, avocado, lettucem paleo, clean eating, lettuce wraps recipe

What veggies would you fill YOUR lettuce wraps with?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Green Juice: Celery, Orange and Ginger



 

green juice, celery, orange, ginger, detox

Glowing, green hydration. Isn't it beautiful?

I've been on a quest to help my liver function as well as possible. In addition to buying all the 'detox' teas I can get my hands on (or find on clearance at TJ Maxx...) I am also juicing more frequently. Now, I'm not talking about those 'get skinny' detox teas, I'm talking about the ones that have ingredients that truly support the liver. Some of these ingredients are: milk thistle, dandelion root, licorice root.

I fill a tall mug with boiling water, 2 (usually different) tea bags, cover it with a teacup saucer and let steep for 10-15 minutes to get the full benefits. I've been enjoying sipping on this purifying tea while reading on our porch, which is gloriously peaceful in the mornings.

Back to the juice...

Foods that are especially beneficial to the liver are:
  • turmeric and ginger
  • garlic and onion 
  • beetroot
  • parsley
  • apples
  • all citrus- lemon, lime, grapefruit, oranges
  • all cruciferous- brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower
  • bitter leafy greens- dandelion, endive, chicory, rocket/arugula

This juice is simply made of an entire bunch of celery, a nub of ginger and an orange. It was delicious! Add more ginger if you dare- I personally only like a bit, but add as much as I can handle for the health benefits. I use this juicer- it seemed to me like the best option for the smallest price. Slow juicers are much better though- someday I will be excited to own this one!

Is drinking a green juice or detox tea going to make you superhuman?
No.

Are you guaranteed to never get sick if you drink a green juice every morning?
No.

But any time you can make a decision that is GOOD for your body is ... good! Your body will thank you. If you can make yourself a juice in the morning to get yourself going, it is immeasurably more beneficial to all the cells performing the necessary functions in your body than a cup of coffee. (I'm not discriminating against coffee/espresso here- one of my favorite treats is a hazelnut flavored latte!) Just make smarter decisions every chance you can.

green juice, celery, orange, ginger, detox

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Baked Potato Fries with Creamy Potato Garlic Sauce

Garlic Potato soup, dip, sauce, paleo, vegan, HCLF, high carb low fat, sweet potatoes

Sometimes, I like to eat carbs with my carbs.


These baked beauties were made with NO OIL! Just slice, season liberally with a mix of your favorite spices and herbs, and bake for around 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Those numbers can vary wildly depending on your specific oven though, so best is to check on them occasionally!

Sweet potatoes are, in my opinion, one of the many things we've been given as 'candy' on this earth. You can learn about the amazing health benefits of sweet potatoes here. They are very high in vitamin A, C, manganese, pantothenic acid, B 6, biotin, potassium, and the list goes on.


Garlic Potato Dip

- add cubed, steamed potatoes to blender with a bit of water or nut milk
- add garlic (I use fresh as well as granulated garlic)
- salt and pepper
- dill (because I add dill to basically everything)
- nutritional yeast (optional)

- blend and enjoy in whatever format you choose. (dip, sauce, soup...) Be aware that the more processed potatoes are, the more starchy they become. If overdone, the texture may become a bit like glue!



Rainbow Lettuce Wraps with Citrus Hemp Seed Dressing

butter lettuce, vegan, paleo, avocado, citrus hemp seed dressing

It's another lettuce wrap night! They are just so fun to enjoy while relaxing in the evening. A bit time consuming to chop, sometimes a bit messy to eat, but SO worth it!

Veggie Plate
- yellow and red bell peppers (red are my favorite!)
- julienned carrots (I can't believe how inexpensive some of these peeler are!)
- avocados
- tomatoes
- cilantro

butter lettuce, vegan, paleo, avocado, citrus hemp seed dressing


Citrus Hemp Seed Dressing
- a peeled, roughly chopped orange
- hemp seeds (I have bought these many times, but last time I checked COSTCO was less expensive!)
- maple syrup
- apple cider vinegar
- dill
- salt and pepper

I blend everything in a Magic Bullet. Although it is not something I would have bought myself, it has turned out to be the PERFECT thing for making dressings! It takes up less space and is easier to clean, since you don't have to use a larger blender. (I use a regular blender ALL the time for smoothies, thought!)

Create your own salad dressings!