Avocado Blueberry Smoothie Recipe

blueberryavocadosmoothieingredientsSmoothies can make for a great on-the-go meal replacement or recovery drink, but not all smoothies are created equal.  I concocted this avocado blueberry smoothie recipe with ingredients that make it loaded in restorative protein, nourishing fats, energizing carbs, and antioxidant vitamins.  It’s well balanced, so it will help provide sustained energy for your exercises or day at work, and it’s loaded in potassium and protein to promote muscle restoration.

Ingredients:

blueberryavocadosmoothieDirections: Throw in a blender and blend!  If you don’t want to measure, just add the unblended ingredients to the cup you want to fill, then dump the cup into the blender. You can measure the water by adding the blueberries first and then adding just enough water to cover them.

Nutritional Highlights:

  • ORAC Value (a measure of anti-oxidant power): 8,458!
  • Potassium: 770 mg (thanks to the avocado and coconut water)
  • Magnesium: 20% DV (with coconut water)
  • Monounsaturated and saturated fats: 15 g (the best types of fat)
  • High quality protein: 28 g (in addition to the whey, avocado has a few grams of high quality protein of its own)
  • Healthy  carbohydrates: 23 g (thanks to the blueberries and coconut water)
  • Fiber: 11 g (about 50% DV)
  • Also high in B-vitamins and Zinc

Keep in mind, if you don’t like blueberries, you can substitute a different kind of frozen fruit.  My wife loves frozen mangos instead!

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Originally posted 2013-05-21 20:36:17.

Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple, a Flavorful Power Snack!

bacon-wrapped-pineappleLooking for a flavor-packed, healthy snack recipe?  Give bacon-wrapped pineapple a try!  Two ingredients, twenty minutes, and you’re good to go.  This snack is loaded with nutrients that boost your mood (an amino acid in the bacon), provide pain-relief for your muscles (pineapple enzyme), and supply healthy energy.  It’s also free of gluten and processed sugar (but it’s still sweet and savory!)

Here’s all you need to do: preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, cut fresh pineapple into large bite-size chunks, wrap the pineapple chunks with a half strip piece of bacon each, and skewer them with toothpicks to hold the bacon on.  Once you’ve done that, bake them in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes.   In order to let air circulate around the bacon-wrapped pineapple chunks evenly, set them in the oven on a raised cooling rack with a baking pan underneath to catch the drippings.

After about 18 minutes check the bacon for your preferred doneness.  Personally, I like the flavor contrast achieved when the bacon is crisped, and the pineapple is soft and sweet.  Enjoy!

Originally posted 2013-05-01 21:38:40.

Gluten-free Eggplant Parmigiana!

eggplant(2)Whether you’re planning a gluten-free dinner or a sweet Valentine’s date, this dinner is the perfect way to show someone you care! Treating the eggplant just right takes a little time, but truly helps this eggplant parmigiana stand out among the rest. All the breaded goodness with no gluten and no frying–what’s not to love?!

Eggplant Parmigiana
Makes 4 servings

1 large eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced
2 C almond meal
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp thyme
1 tbsp basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1-2 eggs, beaten
Tomato pasta sauce, jarred or homemade
1 ½ cups mozzarella, shredded

  • Place eggplant slices in a colander (which can drain in the sink or on a towel). Press down on the slices with a paper towel, and let sit to remove as much moisture from the eggplant as possible.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the coating. In a bowl good for dipping eggplant slices, mix together the almond meal, rosemary, oregano, thyme, basil, salt, and pepper. In a second bowl good for dipping eggplant slices, whisk the egg(s) until slightly beaten.
  • Preheat the oven to 400° F and prepare a lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish.
  • One by one remove the eggplant slices from the strainer and press dry with a clean dishcloth or paper towel, then dipping each one into the egg, and then the almond meal mixture. Place the breaded slices in the baking dish in a single layer.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, until browned, flipping once.
  • After eggplant is browned, pour your favorite pasta sauce (ours is made with roasted garlic!) into the baking pan. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until sauce is heated through and cheese is browned.

Buon-appetito!

Originally posted 2013-02-01 09:00:00.

Healthiest holiday dessert award: PUMPKIN PIE!

I don’t know about you, but pumpkin pie is one of my favorite holiday desserts. It goes well with coffee, has great texture, and has just the right amount of sugar and spice. While traditional pies usually call for 1 cup of refined sugar and a white flour crust, we’ve come up with a recipe that uses creation-based ingredients and contains only about 17 grams of sugar per slice instead of the traditional 35 grams! Our recipe uses honey, stevia, and a whole wheat crust. If you’re gluten intolerant, don’t worry–we also have a recipe for a crust made of almonds.

While other types of creation-based pies (apple, cherry, berry, etc) can be healthy too, pumpkin is a particularly superstar ingredient. Pumpkin is a great source vitamins A, E, C, and Riboflavin. It’s also high in potassium, copper, and manganese. I’m also a little biased because it’s my favorite pie. So without further ado, here’s the recipe for a healthy pumpkin pie:

Whole Wheat Pie Crust:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, chilled
1 tsp salt
3/4 unstalted butter, chilled
5 to 8 tbsp ice water

Sift flour and salt together into a large mixing bowl and chill. Chop cold butter into small pieces and add to the chilled, dry ingredients until it resembles a coarse meal. Sprinkle cold water over the mixture, one tablespoon at a time and knead only until dough forms. Shape dough into a ball and cut in half. Shape both halves into small discs and wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.

Important: Keep everything as cold as possible and knead only as necessary.

Almond (gluten-free) Pie Crust:
1 cup of finely ground almonds or almond powder
3 tbsp of butter or coconut oil to grease pie dish
1 egg
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

Mix ingredients together by hand and press evenly into greased pie dish. Bake in pre-heated oven (325 degrees) for a few minutes while mixing pie filling.

Pumpkin Pie filling:
1 sugar pie pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 cup of honey

1/2 tsp of stevia or to taste
2 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of flour
10 oz of half and half

1) Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds. Place open sides down in a baking dish with a 1/4 inch of water at 325 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until flesh is tender. Scrape cooked pumpkin flesh from skin into mixing bowl and mash into puree.

2) Add remaining ingredients to pumpkin puree and mix well after adding each ingredient.

3) Pour mixture into unbaked pastry shell and place aluminum foil or crust shield around edge of crust to prevent it from burning.

4) Bake at 450 degrees F for the first 10 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove foil or crust protector around 20 minutes before the pie is done in order to achieve a golden brown crust. Let pie cool and set. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor.

Originally posted 2012-11-22 06:53:00.

Black Pepper Encrusted Salmon with Basil Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

Here’s an easy recipe for a delicious, low-carb dinner made with creation-based ingredients.  If you like black pepper, basil, or salmon, you’ll love this meal.  While the salmon is coated with pepper and does have a bit of a kick to it, the baking process removes much of the spiciness.  It’s a robust meal, full of flavor.  The oiliness of the salmon pairs well with the spice of the pepper, as well as the bright notes of the basil.  It will also pair well with a small glass of red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon.  Scroll down to the bottom for more information on the health benefits of the ingredients.

Ingredients:

Serves 4 – total prep time: 40 minutes

2 – 8 oz wild-caught, Alaskan sockeye salmon filets
1 cup of finely shredded fresh basil
1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp pink himalayan or sea salt
1/8 cup freshly milled coarse black pepper
2 tbsp Kerry Gold (or organic) butter
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
1/2 of a large spaghetti squash

Directions:

-Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
-Shred 1 cup of parmesan
-Finely chop 1 cup of fresh basil
-Prepare 2 tbsps of butter, 1/4 tsp of himalayan or sea salt, and 1/8 cup of coarsely ground black pepper.

Squash: 

-Cut a large spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.  Remove seeds and pulp.  Set one half aside for later.  Set the other half face down in a baking dish with a 1/4″ of water.  
-Bake in oven for 35 minutes.  
-Remove from oven and check for tenderness with a fork.  If tender, scrape squash away from shell with a fork.
-Place cooked squash in a large bowl and gently toss with parmesan, basil, butter, and salt.  Cover while letting salmon rest.

Salmon:

-Brush the meaty side of both salmon filets with 1 tbsp of olive oil each.
-Place pepper on a plate and dip the oiled side of the salmon in the pepper, 
-Place filets in a baking dish, skin sides down, peppered sides up.
-When the squash has 15 minutes remaining, place salmon in the oven with the squash.
-Remove squash and salmon at the same time.  Prepare spaghetti squash and let salmon rest for several minutes, then serve and enjoy!  

The health benefits of this creation-based meal:

Wild-caught salmon from Alaska is full of Omega-3 fatty acids (for cardiovascular health), high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals (especially B12 and zinc), and inflammatory reducing pigments, like astaxanthin. Alaskan fisheries are also amongst the cleanest and most sustainable fisheries in the world.

Pepper has anti-oxidant properties. It also contains a chemical called pepperine, which helps the body absorb important micronutrients.

Basil has one of the highest anti-oxidant ratings of all known foods. In addition to having been studied for potential effectiveness against cancer, it also had anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Spaghetti squash is low in carbohydrates and a good source of fiber. It also incredibly filling and contains a little bit of almost every vitamin and mineral. It makes a great vehicle for a variety of sauces and spices.

Dairy from grass fed cows, when part of a creation-based diet, is an excellent source of sugar-free energy and important vitamins like A and K2.

Red wine, when enjoyed in moderation (4 oz or less, a couple times per week), is an excellent source of polyphenols, like resveratrol, that provide anti-oxidant and cardiovascular benefits.

Originally posted 2012-11-14 21:27:00.

Green Tea Recipes

Green tea recipes don’t just come in a cup! You need a fork, spoon and straw to savor all the ways green tea can spice up, and “health-up”, some of your favorite foods. In fact, green tea has been shown in numerous studies to help reduce high cholesterol, boost energy, and lower the risk of heart disease, liver disease and diabetes. Try these green tea recipes to find out how this superfood can add amazing health benefits and flavor to your favorite meals, snacks, sides and drinks.

Green Tea Dressing Recipe: Mix in a quarter cup of prepared green tea with your favorite vinaigrette, and then drizzle the antioxidant-boosted dressing over your favorite mix of greens for a salad topped with richer flavor and a lot of health.

Green tea recipes with chicken:

  • Steamed Green Tea Chicken: Toss chicken pieces in a steamer filled with green tea, already brewed! Steam the chicken as you would normally, for a meal infused with flavor and antioxidants.
  • Green Tea Glaze: Mixing brewed green tea with a little honey (to thicken) and your favorite spices makes a sweet, health-filled marinade for chicken when you barbecue, broil or bake it.

Green tea drink recipes:

  • Green Tea Infused Milk: Mix equal parts brewed green tea with milk for a light and healthy drink. Try this drink hot with extra strongly brewed green tea for what would basically be a green tea latte. 
  • Green Yogurt Smoothie: Add in a cup of brewed green tea (instead of plain water) when you toss your fruit, yogurt and milk in the blender for a smoothie with a tint of green color and a boost of flavor and health.

Green tea recipes with grains:

  • Green and Great Oatmeal: Oatmeal gets even healthier with a dash of green tea! Just steep a green tea bag in a pot of boiling water, then remove the tea bag and add your oats to the tea-infused water and mix together. Add a little honey and you’ve got sweetness, a burst of antioxidants and a good dose of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  • French Toast with Tea! Green tea French toast may sound a bit far-fetched, but once you dip your toast (use whole, sprouted grain bread for a healthier recipe) in a bowl of brewed green tea mixed with an egg and a dash of milk, you’ll never go back to your old recipe again. The rich flavor and green goodness will make this breakfast treat welcome at any time of day.

Green tea recipes go great with many breakfast, lunch and dinner staples. So perk up your energy, boost your health and add a bit of green goodness to your diet with these flavorful recipes.

Sources for “Green Tea Recipes”:

  • http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/green-tea

Originally posted 2013-12-17 07:49:09.