Creamy Pumpkin Soup (Gluten/Dairy/Soy Free)

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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

Coconut Peach Cobbler (gluten/dairy free)

There’s nothing like a homemade pie or cobbler when the weather starts to get cooler. I was craving something baked the other day and whipped together this quick peach cobbler- it satisfied the craving because it’s full of fiber and unrefined sweetener (honey and maple syrup!). This cobbler can be made with almost any kind of fresh fruit- try apples, mixed berries, peach and berries, or anything your heart desires. Enjoy!

Coconut Peach Cobbler (gluten/dairy free)
 
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 10 ripe peaches, washed and cut into slices
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats (I used gluten free but they don't have to be)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp melted butter (we use Kerrygold grass fed butter)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the over to 375 and coat a 10" round baking pan with a thin layer of coconut oil to prevent the cobbler from sticking to the pan.
  2. Place all the peaces in a bowl and coat them with the honey, 2 tbsp of the coconut oil, and ¼ cup of the coconut flakes; set bowl aside.
  3. In another bowl combine the oats, maple syrup, coconut flour, remaining coconut flakes, baking soda, baking powder, the remaining melted coconut oil, and the butter.
  4. Put the peaces in the pan and top with the "oats mixture"; drizzle a few teaspoons of extra coconut oil over the top for an extra crisp at the end.
  5. Bake in the over for about 20 minutes or until the top is a light brown and the peaces are bubbling through the top.
  6. Enjoy on it's own, with a scoop of SO Delicious vanilla coconut ice cream, or drizzled with some coconut cream for an extra indulgence!
Notes
PN Rx For ⅛ of the cobbler, 1.5 carbs, 1 fruit, and 2.5 fats

Fast and Filling Fall Snacks!

Hi everyone!

Happy September! Fall is closing in on us quickly…along with the beautiful foliage and harvest foods comes a busier schedule. For most people, running kids around to sports, rushing through meals, and having less time to meal prep on the weekends means their food choices become less healthy. Fortunately, we came up with some easy, tasty, and healthy snacks for the fall. It’s important to make sure you snacks include protein (whey protein powder or eggs), fiber (fruits/vegetables), and healthy fat (avocado or coconut oil) to make sure your blood sugar is nice and steady. By eating a combination of the right nutrients every 3-4 hours, you’ll experience increased energy levels, less sugar cravings, and a better overall mood. Most importantly, you prevent “hanger” (anger brought on by hunger) and keep everyone around you happier as well!

Check out this quick video of some easy snack ideas and have a wonderful start to the new season! Click here for a copy of the recipes featured in the video.

Have a great week!

Ana and Amanda

WFSB 3 Connecticut

Zucchini Spaghetti and Meatballs

Does anyone have zucchini or summer squash overflowing in their garden? This recipe is a great way to use a lot of it! To julienne the squash or zucchini use a julienne peeler. I also included a really basic sauce recipe because I did not have any tomato sauce but I did have tomato paste so I made my own. It actually came out amazing! It had a lot of flavor and was really easy. I definitely recommend making it if you have a few minutes while the meatballs are cooking.  I had this for lunch for about 3 days and did not get sick of it. It is absolutely delicious, enjoy!

 

meatball

 

Zucchini Spaghetti and Meatballs
 
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Recipe type: Dinner
Ingredients
  • Meatballs:
  • 2lb grassfed ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup brown rice flour (or any gluten free flour)
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Zucchini:
  • 3 zucchini's, julienned
  • sea salt
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • Easy Sauce:
  • 2 6oz cans organic tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. First add all of your sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan and heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Add all spices, flour, and the egg in a large bowl and mix. Once all ingredients are mixed add in your ground beef and mix with your hands until all spices are worked in.
  3. Form into meatballs and place inside crock pot. You can also bake this in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes each side.
  4. If cooking in a crock pot, cover meatballs in ⅔ of the sauce. Save the rest of the sauce to add at meal times. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  5. Julienne your zucchini/squash and place in a colander and sprinkle with sea salt. Let sit for 10-20 minutes. This is when a lot of the water comes out of the veggies. This allows them to stay more firm like noodles when you top them with the meatballs.
  6. Put zucchini/squash in large container with peppers and store in fridge. Top with meatballs and 2-3 tbsp sauce when serving.

Green Tea Ice Cubes!

green tea cubes

Green Tea Ice Cubes…Can’t Wait Until They’re Frozen!

Tea is a something I don’t drink enough of! It’s full of flavor, antioxidants, and offers the body a mellow but effective boost of energy that won’t leave your head on the desk a few hours later like coffee often times does.  I have decided that this summer I’m determined to always have a batch of iced tea in the fridge to use as a base of my smoothies or to enjoy instead of coffee. While I can’t always find 100% organic tea, I do look for brands that use minimal pesticides, “natural”/artificial flavorings, and have integrity in the way their tea is grown and packaged. Here are some brands of tea that Practical Nutrition likes:

  • Yogi (love the inspirational quotes on the tea bags!)
  • Numi
  • Choice
  • Traditional Medicinals
  • Rishi
  • Any organic, fair traded brand of tea you can find

When it gets warmer out I love having different flavors of ice cubes to throw in my smoothies or glasses of water to keep me hydrated without the boredom of plain water all the time. Also, I find when I use a green tea ice cube in my smoothies, I get an extra burst of energy from the antioxidants and caffeine in the tea. Making these nutrient dense, tasty ice cubes is super easy and can incorporate a new panel of flavors into your every day beverages!

Here’s what you do to make the iced tea ice cubes:

1. Brew a strong batch of iced tea (I use 1 bag per 4 ounces, and then when it cools I add 4 more ounces of cold water per tea bag). While still hot, add your sweetener of choice (optional). I use 1 tsp. of honey per bag of tea. Other options for sweetness include stevia, maple syrup, or coconut sugar.

To ensure the best flavor of your tea, here’s a guide for how long to steep different kinds of tea: 

  • Plain Green Tea : 1 minute
  • Flavored Green Tea: 2 minutes
  • White Tea: 4-5 minutes
  • Oolong Tea: 4-7 minutes
  • Herbal Tea: 5-6 minutes
  • Black Tea: 2-3 minutes

2. Pour the iced tea into ice cube trays and enjoy in a variety of ways: 

  • Use in smoothies to give you extra energy in the morning or before a workout
  • Put in seltzer water with some stevia for added sweetness
  • Put in a glass of water or sparkling water with some fresh berries to make a refreshing beverage
  • Enjoy them by themselves as a treat an alternative to ice cream

Enjoy the blessings of summer, take care of you, and have fun…

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

The PN Team :) 

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

Curried Chicken over Cinnamon Butternut Squash

It’s fall, which means winter squashes are in full bloom! Butternut squash and buttercup squash are two of my favorites. Not only because they taste delicious with some butter and cinnamon, but also because they provide our bodies with some great nutrients.

1 cup of butternut squash provides:

214% of the daily value for vitamin A

32.8% of the daily value for vitamin C

22.9% of the daily requirement for fiber

*It also provides 6-20% of the following nutrients: vitamin B6, Potassium, vitamin K, Folate, Tryptophan, Copper, Vitamin B2, Omega-3 Fats, and Magnesium!

*To put these numbers in perspective, on food labels, a food is considered a significant source of a nutrient if it has 5% or more.

Who knew butternut squash had so many great benefits?

Curried Chicken

 

Curried Chicken over Cinnamon Butternut Squash
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Curried Chicken:
  • 2lb ground chicken
  • 1T curry powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1T onion powder
  • ½ T garlic powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 cup full fat canned coconut milk
  • Cinnamon Butternut Squash:
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2T organic butter
  • 1 T Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut stem off of butternut squash first then cut the squash in half.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and place squash cut side down. Bake for 45 min to an hour. Once you can stick a fork easily through the squash it is done.
  3. While your squash is baking, brown your ground chicken in a large pot. Once chicken is almost all of the way cooked through add in all of your spices.
  4. Once chicken is no longer pink and completely cooked add in your coconut milk and mix well. Change heat to low.
  5. When you can pierce your squash easily with a fork take out of the oven and let cool.
  6. Peel skin off of the squash then place in a large bowl and mash. Add in your butter and spices and mix until smooth.
  7. Take 1 cup of butternut squash then add ⅙ of the curried chicken recipe on top and enjoy!
Notes
1 Serving: 1 cup mashed butternut squash and ⅙ of curried chicken

PN Rx:
1.5 Pro
2 Fat
2 Carbs

30 Minute Chili!

chili 1Eat with the seasons- this super easy, warm, hearty chili has been hitting the spot lately. Check this out…batch cook it and enjoy it’s nourishing goodness as the nights get cooler and you crave those yummy comfort foods!

 

30 Minute Chili!
 
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 28-oz can(s) organic diced tomatoes with peppers, onions
  • 32 ounce(s) organic, grass-fed lean ground beef
  • ½ cup(s) chopped organic onion
  • 1 16-oz can(s) organic kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16-oz can(s) organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp(s) organic Chili seasoning (try Simply Organic)
  • 1 cup(s) spring water
  • 1 16-oz can(s) organic tomato sauce
Instructions
  1. Brown beef in a deep pot over medium-high heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes or until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain well. Return beef to pot; sprinkle evenly with seasoning mix, add onion and sauté 1 minute over medium-high heat. Stir in diced tomatoes and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover; reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. PN Prescription: 1 serving=1 free veggies, 1 protein, 1 carb

Pumpkin Chai Latte!

Unlike most pumpkin beverages you’ll undoubtedly be tempted by this season, this treat actually contains pumpkin (always make sure what you are eating/drinking contains what it says it is…label reading 101!) I made 2 of these lattes today and was tempted to make a third, but cleaning the blender 4 times in a day (I had a smoothie for breakfast) just seemed ridiculous (although we all know its been done before…)! Enjoy life, fall, family, friends, and treat your body and soul right with this yummy, creamy pumpkin chai latte!

Pumpkin Chai Latte!
 
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Recipe type: Hot Beverage
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 chai tea bags (any type- I use organic tea whenever possible)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk (organic dairy milk is okay too)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Maple Syrup (or other sweetener of choice: honey, stevia, etc; amount used depends on your preference)
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ginger
Instructions
  1. Boil your cup of water and steep the tea bags for about 7 minutes (less time if you don't want it as strong). Heat up almond milk until almost at a boil. Pour hot steeped tea, hot milk, and all other ingredients into your blender or magic bullet. Blend for 2 minutes on high or until mixture is frothy when blender is stopped. Start with a small amount of sweetener and adjust until desired sweetness is found. Dust top with cinnamon, nutmeg and dash of the sweetened you choose. Enjoy the comfort and warmth of this yummy, must have seasonal beverage without all the extra additives and sugar you will find else where!

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

Ana Elisabeth

Banana Pumpkin Pie Muffins

Here at PN we like to make things realistic and practical for people. I am currently doing the 21 day cleanse and to be honest it is pretty hard. Doing the  21 day purification isn’t about not having a treat for 21 days (that just wouldn’t be realistic for me!)… plus it’s fall and I LOVE pumpkin. Needing to come up with “cleanse friendly” treats led me to developing a cleanse friendly pumpkin muffin! (to learn more about the 21 day purification program I am talking about, click here!)

Banana Pumpkin Pie Muffins (Cleanse Friendly)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Treat
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • Dry:
  • 1 cup of gluten free rolled oats
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 T pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3 scoops Whey Pro Complete or unflavored whey (60g)
  • ¼ tsp stevia extract
  • Wet:
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 4 large organic eggs
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut or almond milk
  • 3 T red palm oil or coconut oil
  • 3 T organic almond butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place bananas in food processor or blender and blend almond or coconut milk until smooth.
  3. Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the blender/food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Combine all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix.
  5. Add wet ingredient mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix with a whisk until evenly incorporated.
  6. Grab a paper towel and put some solid coconut oil or palm oil on it then coat a muffin tin with oil so the muffins do not stick.
  7. Fill each muffin tin ¾ of the way.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Notes
*If you do not have almond flour or want to leave out nuts you can use ½ cup of coconut flour and add an extra egg (so use 5 instead of 4), and leave out the almond butter or replace it with sunflower seed butter. I wouldn't replace with peanut butter because of its distinct flavor.

For those of you following a PN prescription:
Serving size: 2 muffins (2 Fats, .5 Pro, .5 Carbohydrate)