“Party Perfect” Hemp Hummus

It’s getting to be that time of year where you’re asked to “bring something” to a get together. Whenever I’m asked this question, I always make sure that it’s something that will be a “safety” food for me- meaning that if there aren’t a lot of other healthy options at the party, I know I can eat what I bring. This hemp hummus is huge hit at parties and get togethers. The hemp seeds add some Omega 3′s, provides fiber and healthy fat to reduce sugar cravings, and adds a delicious nutty flavor to the hummus. We love this hummus because of it’s unique flavor profile, simple instructions, and health promoting ingredients. Check out the recipe below- and be sure to make some extra because this tasty, fiber packed snack keeps in the fridge for up to 10 days!

To learn more about hemp seeds, click here! 

 

"Party Perfect" Hemp Hummus
 
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Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ Cup Garbanzo Beans
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • ⅓ and 3 Tbsp Cup Lemon Juice
  • 4 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
  • 3 Tbsp Tahini (Sesame Seed Paste)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp oregano
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into the food processor or blender and process/blend at high speed until a smooth, creamy consistency is reached.
  2. Add more lemon juice or tahini if hummus is not combining well. Add more garlic and sea salt to taste.
  3. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve with fresh sliced veggies, whole grain or rice crackers, or use as a spread in a wrap or sandwich.
Notes
PN Rx= .5 protein, 1 fat and .5 carb per serving

Preventing the “Holiday Hangover”

Hi everyone!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, ushering in the holiday party season! We know how hard it can be during the holidays to stay on track with a healthy food and exercise plan. When the splurging on treats, big meals and drinking goes a little bit too far it’s all to easy to run into what we call the “holiday hangover.” It can creep up quickly, even after the first few festivities.  You know, the “I’m waking up thinking about sugar” habit starts, the headaches, increased appetite, more frequent colds/sickness from a depressed immune system, and yes…the potential dreaded holiday weight gain.

But! We come bearing good news! Practical Nutrition chatted with Scot and Kara from Channel 3′s Better Connecticut to discuss some simple ways to avoid the hangover (and still enjoy the holidays!). Watch the video below to make this a happy and healthy holiday season!

WFSB 3 Connecticut

Click here to download the recipes and key points featured in the video! 

Click here if you’re interested in joining us for a “Healthy for the Holidays” 10 day cleanse!

As always, stay well, eat well and have a beautiful week!

Ana and Amanda

Creamy Pumpkin Soup (Gluten/Dairy/Soy Free)

Pumpkin+Everything_37ae67_4093080

It’s that time of year! EVERYTHING is pumpkin flavored and packed with sugar, which is sad because pumpkin is delicious. That is why I have been recreating my favorite fall pumpkin recipes and this soup is one of them.

I love pumpkin for many reasons:

  • Packed with fiber and complex carbs but not too many so it helps fill you up without spiking your blood sugar
  • Contains Vitamin A and antioxidants in its beautiful orange color as well as B Vitamins
  • It can be savory OR sweet! This is my favorite thing about pumpkin. You can bake it in the oven with butter, salt and pepper or blend it in a soup with coconut milk and cinnamon. It can cure any craving!

This soup makes 10 cups! You can make the whole batch and freeze half or share with friends and family :)

Enjoy,

Amanda

 

Creamy Pumpkin Soup (Gluten/Dairy/Soy Free)
 
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Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 3lb Cubed Sugar Pumpkin
  • 1 Yellow Onion, Chopped
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
  • 4 Organic Carrots, Chopped
  • 1 Organic Apple, Chopped
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1½ Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 4 cups Organic Chicken Broth
  • 2 tbsp Organic Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground Allspice
  • ½ tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Sage
  • 1 can Light Coconut Milk (I like Trader Joe's brand)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pumpkin on tray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil on it. Chop up onion, garlic, carrots, and apple and place around pumpkin. Bake for 45-60 minutes.
  2. Once the veggies are cooked, heat up a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in coconut oil and all spices. Stir 1 minute.
  3. Add in chicken broth, maple syrup and vegetables. Mix and bring to a boil then reduce to low.
  4. In batches, pour the soup mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour smooth soup mixture back into the large sauce pan on low. Add in the can of coconut milk and mix until all incorporated.
  6. Your soup is now ready!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 131 Fat: 6 Carbohydrates: 21 Protein: 2

Orange Fudge Bites (No-Bake/Sugar Free/Gluten Free/Dairy Free)

Need a healthy dessert to bring to a holiday party? These Orange Fudge Bites will be a hit! My Mom is famous for her “Modeen Fudge Brownies” that include a lot of sugar and cream cheese. She makes them for all holiday and birthday parties and they certainly are delicious. I wanted to come up with a healthier type of fudge recipe that didn’t have a ton of ingredients. This recipe is simple and only requires a blender so there is very little clean up. It also contains cacao powder, coconut oil and coconut butter, as well as whey protein, which are all nutritionally beneficial. I used xylitol as a sweetener in this recipe. It is very comparable to sugar. It has about the same sweetness but very few calories or carbs. Xylitol is naturally occurring in the fiber of many fruit and vegetables such as berries, oats, and mushrooms. Xylitol has been shown to help stop the production of tooth-decaying acid. This means bacteria cannot create acid in your mouth throughout the day and cause cavities. Another sugar substitution for this recipe would be stevia, which is another natural sweetener. Remember, these are a healthy alternative to a regular dessert but they are still a treat and should be enjoyed in moderation. Enjoy!

 

Fudge

 

Orange Fudge Bites (No-Bake/Sugar Free/Gluten Free/Dairy Free)
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 scoop Grassfed Whey Protein (Vanilla or Chocolate)
  • 4 Tbsp Cacao Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Butter
  • 1-2 Tbsp Xylitol
  • Juice of 1 Medium Orange
  • Sea Salt (sprinkle on top)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until you get a thick, pudding-like consistency.
  2. Grab an empty ice tray and spoon the fudge batter into the tray filling each cube to the top.
  3. Place in freezer for 2 hours or overnight.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 squares Calories: 132 Fat: 10g Carbohydrates: 6g Sugar: 1g Protein: 6g

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

 

 

pork

 

Summer is in full swing, which means lots of BBQs, family parties, friendly get togethers and the 4th of July! All of these events have many things in common, but the one that stands out the most to me is food. It can be very easy to let your healthy eating habits dwindle during the warmer summer months but if you make small conscious decisions on a daily basis you can avoid excessive damage to your body and continue working toward long term health. One way you can continue your healthy eating habits through the summer is to find healthy condiments or make your own. Ana and I recently talked about healthy condiments on Better Connecticut.

Pulled Pork is a very popular summer food and one of my favorites! BBQ sauce is one of the primary ingredients in pulled pork and often has sugar and high fructose corn syrup as the main ingredients, which is not something you want to include regularly in your diet. Bone Suckin BBQ sauce is a great brand that does not contain any inflammatory ingredients. They use honey to sweeten the sauce and that’s all! You can find it at Stop and Shop, Big Y, Whole Foods and most other health food stores. Not to mention it also tastes amazing. Try it out in this simple BBQ Pull Pork recipe and let us know how you like it!

Enjoy!

Amanda

 

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
 
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Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Ingredients
  • 3-4lb Pork Shoulder
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • ½-1 jar Bone Suckin BBQ Sauce (depends on amount of pork)
  • ⅓ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tbsp Raw Honey
  • *Add 1 tsp Cayenne pepper for a spicier pulled pork
Instructions
  1. Place pork shoulder in crock pot.
  2. Mix all other ingredients together in a medium size bowl. Pour on top of pork shoulder.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours. Add more BBQ sauce to taste.

 

 

 

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites

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Bacon can be a controversial topic when it comes to the nutrition community. I personally feel that bacon has gotten a very bad name and is unrightfully associated with many health problems like heart disease. The true culprits are refined sugar, processed food, trans fats, and lack of activity. That being said, bacon is still more processed than if you purchased fresh, grassfed steaks or pastured pork chops. For this reason, I think it should be eaten in moderation (2-4 slices),  no more than 2-3 times a week. Another controversy around bacon is the discussion of how harmful nitrites and nitrates are for our bodies. Many people do not know this but we get more nitrites from vegetables than cured meats like bacon. Chris Kresser, an integrative medicine doctor, has a great article on nitrates and nitrites on his website here:  http://chriskresser.com/the-nitrate-and-nitrite-myth-another-reason-not-to-fear-bacon.

One fun fact from his article:

“It may shock you to learn that one serving of arugula, two servings of butter lettuce, and four servings of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 467 hot dogs.”

Most bacon that says “nitrate free” does in fact contain nitrates, however, they are from celery root or beets and usually have even more nitrates and nitrites than regularly cured bacon. This is why whenever you are buying bacon the main concern should be to get organic, pastured bacon rather than only worrying about whether or not it has nitrates and nitrites because all types will.

Overall, I think bacon has a place in a healthy diet, like most foods, when not eaten in excess. These are a really great appetizer to have at a party or family get together and are very low maintenance  to make. Enjoy!

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites
 
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Recipe type: Appetizer
Ingredients
  • 4 large sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 1lb bacon, cut strips in half
  • tooth picks to keep bacon in place
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. While oven is preheating, cut sweet potatoes into small cubes about 1.5-2 inches. Cut bacon strips in half and wrap each sweet potato cube with half a bacon strip. Use tooth picks to keep bacon in place.
  3. Cover baking sheet with foil and place bacon wrapped sweet potatoes on there spread out evenly.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until sweet potatoes soft and bacon cooked to your liking.
  5. Be careful of tooth picks when eating this delicious treat!

PN Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

pn cookies

 

Do you need a healthy dessert recipe to bring to a family member’s house for the Holidays or maybe just to have at your own? Here at PN we love healthy desserts that won’t leave you feeling guilty. That is why we came up with this simple and nutritious chocolate chip cookie recipe! Check it out!

PN Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 2 cans organic chickpeas
  • 1½ cups organic peanut butter or other nut butter (unsweetened)
  • 3 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1½ cups enjoy life chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on two cookie sheets.
  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas then process in a food processor or blender until they start to make a paste.
  3. Add in peanut butter, egg, and honey and process/blend until smooth.
  4. Pour batter into a large bowl and mix the chocolate chips in.
  5. Form into small balls (about 1-1.5 inches) then press flat on cookie sheet. My recipe made 34 small cookies.
  6. Place cookies on baking sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes. The cookies will not harden. They stay soft but are done cooking. Store in fridge in airtight container. These cookies also taste great frozen!
Notes
PN Rx for 1/34 of recipe or 1 small cookie: 1.5 Fats, 1 Carb

Pomegranate Salad!

Sweet, salty, crunchy, savory, refreshing, and disease preventing all in one…how can you go wrong?! The health benefits of pomegranates are endless! As we know they are full of antioxidants– they are one of the highest foods on the ORAC list. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity…the effectiveness of a food to fight off free radicals in your body, helping to keep your cells healthy and happy. Www.oracvalues.com will show you other foods to consume more of to boost antioxidant action in your body. Pomegranates are also are full of fiber, immune boosting vitamins and minerals, hydration, and help to curb sugar cravings. I had an extra pomegranate laying around from a lecture antioxidants I did last week, so figured I would get creative with a colorful and flavorful salad. After a bit of scrounging around in the kitchen to make something out of nothing, heres what I came up with. Not bad for on a whim…this will definitely be a staple for me as a beautiful side salad around the holidays.

Pomegranate Salad!
 
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Recipe type: Side Salad
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Seeds and juice of 1 pomegranate (split in half and carefully scrape out seeds, seperating seeds from the fibrous rind)
  • 4 cups organic baby spinach
  • 2 TBLS sesame oil
  • 1 TBLS olive oil
  • 4 TBLS toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 TBLS raw honey
  • 2 TBLS crushed walnuts
Instructions
  1. Separate out 2 TBLS of pomegranate seeds for garnish. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, putting dry ingredients in first and topping with oils and honey. Gently shake until spinach is well coated and sesame seeds are evenly dispersed. Dish out onto 4 plates and garnish with extra pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!
  2. PN Rx: 1 cup of salad= 2 free veggies and 2 fats

Harvest Oats

Harvest Oats
 
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Pumpkin is full of fiber, keeping you full for hours. Combining the pumpkin with a high quality protein powder, some yummy spices, and a few nutritious seeds will guarantee to start your day off right!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Cooked Steel Cut Oats
  • 1 tsp. Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1-2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 scoops Whey Protein Powder (I use Standard Process)
  • ¼ tsp. Dried Ginger
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • ¼ cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
Instructions
  1. Cook the oats as directed. Immediately add the protein powder, spices, coconut oil, pumpkin seeds, and sea salt. Add almond milk until consistency is as desired (can be served thick like oatmeal or thinner like a cream of wheat.) Serve hot or chill in fridge for later use and consume as a cold cereal.