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Posts Tagged ‘healthy recipes’

See the original post at A Life Enchanted

Breakfast truly can be considered the most important meal of the day. It sets the tone. It helps stabilize blood sugar, provides fuel to function properly and helps prevent cravings and over eating later in the day. When our bodies begin to use up it’s energy supplies cravings are triggered. This leads to over eating and poor food choices. Having  a healthy breakfast within 2 hours of waking is essential for proper body function.

We all know my love of quinoa. It’s a complete protein. It offers a multitude of nutrients. It’s holds up and it’s diverse. You can mix in any combination of vegetables, herbs and spices and have something delicious that will stay in the fridge for days and still be enjoyable.

But get this…. you can even mix in fruit and enjoy it for breakfast!
Check it out.

I had pear and walnuts with extra honey

Quinoa Breakfast

2c water
1c quinoa
1/2 rice, soy or almond milk
1/4 – 1/2c fresh fruit
1/8 – 1/4c nuts or seeds
cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla beans for seasoning – 1 or a combination of your favorites
honey, agave or maple syrup for sweetening

Bring the water to a boil. Add quinoa, reduce to low and simmer for 10-12 minutes until cooked through. Top each serving with fruit, seeds and nuts, sweeten and add milk.

Simple.

This makes a batch large enough to last for days in the fridge. Keep the cooked quinoa separate and add fruit, nuts and milk to each serving.

Eat your breakfast!

Live Well!
~S

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Lovely Coconut Oil. I love it. And you should too!

It’s thick and creamy. It offers substantial health benefits. It works wonders on detoxifying the body. And even helps curb appetite.

For your health –
  • Is antibacterial therefore, helps fight infection
  • Take a spoonful 20 minutes before eating to curb appetite
  • Assists with weight control
  • Use to strengthen immunity
  • Helps treat arthritis
  • Improves thyroid function
  • Increases energy
  • Improves digestion
  • Treats and prevents acid reflux, heart burn and indigestion
  • Treats sore throats and ear infections
  • Even been known to help ADHD and Autism

Coconut Oil is for more than cooking with!

Coconut oil is also great for your hair and skin! For real.

For the hair –

  • It is great for all hair types
  • It works especially well on dandruff
  • It offers incredible shine and softness
  • Great for color treated hair
  • Used to treat lice
  • Removes gum from hair

For the skin –

  • Heals burns fabulously
  • Is antibacterial so works wonderfully for cuts and scrapes 
  • Is nourishing and moisturizing
  • Offers sun protection
  • Is a fantastic eye make up remover
  • Treats rashes, fungal and yeast infections like ringworm and athletes foot
  • Soothes stings and bites
  • Softens cracked rough feet
  • Strengthens nails
  • Treats eczema and psoriasis
You love coconut oil now, too, don’t you? I told you you would!

Over the next few weeks I will offer a tremendous amount of tips on using coconut oil throughout your life. Stay tuned! 

Live Well!
~S 

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You either think this is the most disgusting thing you have ever heard or just got really excited.

Look at these gorgeous fresh eggs

Egg Shittake and Leek Pizza

  • pizza dough
  • 1 medium leek
  • 5-6 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 – 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 550 degrees with the pizza stone inside.

Chop the leeks thinly and the mushrooms in strips. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss with garlic to coat.

Spread the dough on your pizza stone.

Top with the veggies.

Drizzle with cream.

Sprinkle with half the parm and the goat cheese.

Place in the oven for about 5-6 minutes to cook halfway through.

Remove from the oven and add cracked eggs and remaining parm.
Be sure to crack the eggs in a bowl.
You don’t want shells on your pizza.

Cook for another 4-6 minutes until the eggs are set but the yolk is still soft and the crust is slightly browned.

When cutting the pizza cut through the eggs so the yolks spread.

If you like eggs and you like pizza you are going to love this!

Live Well!
~S

We’re Moving!
Come visit our new home….

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I have had made just about everything you can imagine at one point or another. But there are two things I have yet to add to that long list…

Beer and Kombucha

Seriously! You’d think I would have done this by now.

Well, let’s change that shall we?

Starting Kombucha Mother is really quite simple. You can purchase SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of  Bacteria and Yeast) at a number of health food suppliers, but why bother? Besides being more expensive – the average mother is around $20, this way will cost you about $3.50 – it’s easy and you get to say you made it yourself!

Here’s what you need – 

  • A bottle of Organic Raw Kombucha (right from the grocery store)
  • 1 cup of sweetened tea
  • A large glass jar ( a wide mouth mason jar is perfect)
  • A kitchen towel or cheesecloth
  • A rubber band

First, steep your tea – one tea bag in one cup of water. You can use any kind you like. For this batch I am using a black and orange pekoe blend. I will experiment with others next.

Sweeten your tea while it’s warm. For this you want to use regular sugar. One tablespoon. From all of my research, all other forms of natural sweeteners will cause the kombucha to be bitter. The sugar is only food for the bacteria.

Add the bottle of kombucha to the  room temperature tea and cover. You want the cover to be thin enough so it can breath, yet keep out any bugs and what ever might be floating around the kitchen. Place it on the counter or in a cupboard.

Now you wait.

That’s it! I told you it was easy. My kombucha mother has been brewing for a few days now. The temperature of your house will determine just how long it takes for the mother to be ready. A thin layer will begin to form on the surface. This is the SCOBY. You are looking  for a layer about 1/4 inch thick. When you have achieved this, you’re mother is ready and you are ready to make kombucha! It could take a week. It could take 3.

I will give you an update when mine is ready.

Happy Brewing!

Live Well!
~S 

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Yesterday I spent the day with a bunch of lovely ladies. It’s rare that I have such an opportunity. And I cherished every bit of it. I forget sometimes just how important spending quality times with friends can be. It’s easy to get wrapped up in work and family. Then all of a sudden you realize you haven’t even seen someone you adore in months.

There was  one particular friend yesterday I hadn’t spent any time with in years. Years. It’s sad. We were once together every day. She was an intricate and very important part of my life. The kind of friend who is always there for you. The kind of person who is simply honest and caring and kind. How do these things happen? Because we let them, really.

I am blessed to know so many beautiful people.

I was chatting with one lovely momma about sunscreen. With temps unseasonably warm, it’s about time we talk about it here too.

We know we have to protect our skin from the suns rays, but what we might not know is that many of those products sought to do so, are loaded with harmful toxins. That’s right. There are dangers in sunscreen. Organic Lifestyle Magazine did a tremendous amount of research on the subject. You can read about it here.

   “The shocking truth is the fact that both petrochemical sunscreens (avobenzone, methoxycinnamate, padimate-o and the like) and physical sunblocks (chemically-reacted synthetics titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) are not natural and have been found to generate free radicals when exposed to sunlight, which then can attack the nuclei of your skin cells and cause mutations. That’s right, they can cause skin cancer. Furthermore, sunscreen chemicals have been found to pass through the skin and mimic the effects of estrogen, which may disrupt the delicate balance of the body’s natural hormones.”
~Organic Lifestyle Magazine

Even more alarming, since the increase in the use of sunscreen, skin cancer rates have risen. Many reports show that sunscreen actually increases cancer risks. Interesting isn’t it? For hundreds of years there was no sunscreen and there were few cases of skin cancer. And people spent far more time in the sun than we do now. The Environmental Working Group reports that only 39 of the 500 products they examined were considered safe and effective.

Did you know your diet can have a drastic affect on your reaction to the sun’s rays? Wholesome foods help our bodies immunity and ability to respond to toxins and other harmful invaders. Build your strength from the inside out. I will keep saying it, a healthy diet affects all aspects of our lives!

Ok, so now what? Even zinc oxide, used in most homemade recipes, is listed here as unsafe. This was my biggest dilemma in determining the safe route for my family. I have scoured reports and articles, books and magazines. I found that uncoated non-nano sized particles of zinc oxide are the safest form. These are found in diaper rash cream and calamine lotion.

And I have come to some delightful conclusions….

  • We need some sun! Many people are vitamin D deficient because they are so afraid of the sun. But it’s actually ok to get out and get a bit of sun.
  • There are a number of natural ingredients that do protect us from the sun
  • We don’t need to slather on all those toxins to be “safe”
  • The very best protection comes from hats and light clothing

Natural Protection From the Sun

  • Coconut oil – I love this stuff!! I use it for so many things. Check out For the Love of Coconut Oil (coming later this week). It’s also great for your skin AND has a natural SPF. This is my first choice for sunscreen. I just slather it on. It can be used alone or added to other ingredients.
  • Raspberry Seed Oil – This has the highest SPF of 30-50 and is very nourishing to the skin. It helps fight free radicals and is an antioxidant.
  • Sesame oil – has an SPF of 30
  • Carrot Seed oil – has an SPF of about 20
  • Lavender, myrrh, peppermint, chamomile and marjoram are excellent added protection and skin nourishment.
  • Green and Black tea – the tannin’s are great at absorbing UV rays, offer excellent protection and are great for the skin.

A Few Natural Sun Protection Recipes

  • 15 drops lavender oil, 2 drops chamomile oil and 2 drops marjoram oil, 1 tablespoon avocado oil.
  • 1 t coconut oil, 1 t raspberry seed oil, 10 drops lavender oil
  • 1 t coconut oil, 1 t carrot seed oil, 1 T Shea Butter

Get creative! You can mix and match with whatever ingredients you have or are readily available.

Homemade Sunscreen

1 ounce oil or oil blend (I prefer coconut and raspberry seed)
1 ounce beeswax
1 ounce butter blend (shea, mango, cocoa)
1 teaspoon vitamin e oil
0.30 ounce zinc oxide
30 drops essential oil (lavender, peppermint, carrot, myrrh, coconut extract for scent)
*Do not use citrus oils – they can cause burning 

Melt oils, butter and beeswax. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, then add vitamin E oil, zinc oxide and essential oil.

*Be sure to wear a mask when handling zinc oxide and always use bowls and utensil that aren’t used for cooking. 

Stir until zinc oxide is dissolved. Pour into a used deodorant container or purchase a new one from your local herb store.

An Alternate Sunscreen Recipe

1/4 c oil (grape seed, coconut or blend)
1/2c water
5 tsps zinc oxide
3T aloe vera gel
1T beeswax
1/8 t vitamin E oil
10 drops grapefruit seed extract
*essential oils for scent

Heat oil and beeswax just to melted. Remove from heat and cool slightly, add vitamin E and essential oils.  Put in a bowl that won’t be used for food. Add zinc oxide. Now heat water and aloe vera gel. Add to bowl and mix well. This makes a lotion. It can be thinned or thickened by adding more or less beeswax.

SPF 20 as is. It can be increased by using raspberry seed oil or adding more zinc oxide.

If you aren’t into making your own sunscreen you can check how your brand fared here

Do you have a favorite sunscreen recipe?

Live Well!
~S 

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I was so excited at the number of phone calls, text messages, emails and comments I received yesterday over butter making. So many of you actually went out and bought cream just to try it. I love it!! 

Now that you have all of that glorious butter, let’s make it even better. By adding herbs, spices and zests you can create crazy, beautiful flavors.

Because it’s still very early in the season and my herb garden is hardly ready for much harvesting, but I do want to make this one with what I have grown myself, the first batch is going to be Garlic Chive Butter!

Look at these healthy chives anxious to get this season started

Take your butter out of the refrigerator and let it rest on the counter for a time to soften

While we are waiting can we just talk a bit about garlic?
It recently came to my attention  that the proper use of garlic is not common knowledge. And here I thought everyone knew the many ways of garlic.

The way you cut, or don’t cut, garlic affects the flavor. 

Leaving a clove whole will give you the least amount of garlic flavor in your dish. It’s all about surface area baby. The finer you chop, the more flavor you get. So if you smash and drop you will get a stronger flavor than whole. If you mince your flavor will be even stronger.

Then there is creaming the garlic.
This is my favorite. And here I thought all this time everyone knew how to cream garlic. What you have been missing! Creamed garlic gets buttery and melty. And you don’t even have to roast it… which we will talk about soon. I am seeing a For the Love of Garlic post in our future. Let’s cream some garlic….

Smash two (or more, but this recipe only needs two) cloves of garlic

Let’s not talk about the attention my cutting boards need, k?

Mince well

Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. The salt has many jobs. It flavors the garlic so be sure you haven’t over salted this batch of butter. It acts as an abrasive to help break down the salt. And it helps pulls the juices from the garlic to help further break it down.

Now take the edge of your knife at an angle – about 20% – and drag it over the garlic repeatedly. You will need to scrape it back into a pile and repeat over and over. Be good to your knife! This isn’t a massacre.

Now you have creamy, buttery garlicy goodness!
This is great for dressings and marinades, spreads, tonics and just getting more garlic flavor into your dishes.

Let’s get back to the butter….

Add your garlic to the bowl. Now mince some chives.

You want them very fine

Add them in

And mix

You have Garlic Chive Butter. This is the ideal topping for those buttermilk biscuits you made with the leftover buttermilk.

There are so many options for herbed butter. Here are some of my favorites…

  • Lemon Black Pepper – lemon zest and black pepper. Perfect on chicken fresh off the grill.
  • Chipolte Lime – chipolte or chili spice and lime zest. Great for grilled corn.
  • Parmesan – just grate in some parm. This is perfect for corn too. Or focaccia, baguette, oat biscuits….
  • Pepper Thyme – fresh (always best) or dried thyme and lots of black pepper
  • Lemon Terragon – lemon zest and minced fresh tarragon.
  • Cilantro Chili – fresh cilantro and chili powder. Great for corn on the cob!
  • Sweet Cinnamon – honey, cinnamon and vanilla bean make this a great topping for french toast!
  • Gremolata – garlic, parsley and lemon zest. A dollop added to the top of a sizzling steak as it hits the plate. Yum.
Get creative – Think cardamom, ginger, grapefruit zest, basil, sun dried tomato, lavender!

What’s your favorite Herbed Butter combination?

Live Well!
~S 

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Did you know that eating fat doesn’t make you fat? It’s true!

That stuff they call margarine isn’t real food either. It’s gross, it’s harmful and you should stop using it! But you don’t really use that junk, right?

Real food is always better. Always. But even the ones you think are real and wholesome aren’t always as they seem. Take butter for instance. Did you know that butter, yes, the real kind, usually has added preservatives? It’s sad but true. But there’s hope.

Making butter is ridiculously easy! 

Cream, a mason jar and twenty minutes easy.

Fill a mason jar half way with heavy cream.

Put the cover on.

Now shake the day lights out of it!

Shake, shake, shake…

Shake, shake, shake….

The cream will get thick. Keep shaking.

When you think something MUST have gone wrong, keep shaking.

You are almost there….

And then all of sudden, it will happen! The thick cream will separate – buttermilk and butter.

Strain the buttermilk….

But save it for something else like soaking chicken or making biscuits.

Now you have to rinse the rest of the buttermilk out of the butter.

Add some salt if you like and roll into a log and refrigerate.

You have butter!

AND buttermilk!

This butter doesn’t have preservative like that other stuff, as I mentioned, so you want to use this within two weeks.

It isn’t always cheaper to make your own butter but it can be. It depends on the cost of cream and the amount of fat. Some cows produce a fattier milk. If you are lucky enough to know someone with goats (or even better, have your own!) butter can be made with goats cream too. It will be a bit different, but just as good.

I got about 3/4 of a  pound of butter from one quart of milk. Plus about 2 cups of buttermilk. That is a savings over purchasing butter and buttermilk separately. And I don’t get the preservatives.

There is an easier way….

You can use a blender, mixer, hand mixer or food processor and cut the time in half.

There can be mistakes…

The second time I made butter, or attempted to make butter, it was a disaster. We took turns shaking the jar, the mister, babes and I. How fun! We sat and watched TV, chatted and made butter together. But in our fun we somehow missed the separation phase and just kept shaking. We ended up with what looked like chunky whipped cream. Which is just what I turned it into, with a bit of honey (or sweetener of choice) and a bit more whipping.

What happened? We shook the buttermilk back into the butter. Yes, it can happen. I had no idea. I also don’t know if the process can be altered again. I had had enough shaking for the night and never cared for the experiment to be finished.

Now let’s get a wee bit technical…

I’m not saying go ahead and smother everything you eat in butter. I’m not Paula Dean. Although I do love her to pieces. I’m just saying butter isn’t as scary and horrible as we tend to think. And it’s way better for you than something bugs won’t even touch! (Some still claim this isn’t true,but I tried it once and found the margarine free of ants and butter loaded with them. I did not, however, leave it long enough to find out if they moved over once the butter was gone.)

  • A 1994 Harvard Medical Study showed that eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53%
  • More recent studies have shown a strong link between consuming trans fat and earlier death
  • Butter does not contain trans fat – margarine does (minus a few newer varieties)
  • Both butter and margarine have the same amount of calories
  • Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods
  • Butter has many nutritional benefits – margarine does not, unless they are added
  • Butter tastes better!
That old urban legend about margarine being one molecule away from plastic is truly false, however, real food is always best. Something made with “ingredients” like margaric acid, used in making margarine, is not.
If you aren’t into making your own butter at least opt for the real thing. Ditch that tub of tasteless, dyed stuff.

Tomorrow we will talk about flavoring your butter!

Live Well!
~S 

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