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Maple & Toasted Coconut Breakfast Delight

Hi everyone!

By now you all know I love all things coconut. Well, I recently found (and fell in love with!) “Dang” Coconut Chips. All I can say is …Dang! If you like coconut, you’ll do what I did and find a way to sneak these into every meal/snack of the day. Although coconut is high in fat, I’m okay with it! Eating enough healthy fat actually reduces your cravings for sugar and refined carbohydrates…both things we should try to avoid eating. Additionally, coconut is known for it’s immune boosting, skin enhancing, heart healthy, and mood boosting properties- so how can you say no?! 

Dang Coconut Chips come in many flavors- Sea Salted Caramel (my favorite!), Lightly Salted, Greek Yogurt, and Dark Chocolate Coated (haven’t tried this one yet, but it might be neck to neck with Sea Salted Caramel…guess I’ll have to find out!)

As far as packaged snack food goes, it’s hard to find a healthy choice…but these certainly fit the bill! With a short ingredient list of words I can pronounce- only organic coconut, coconut sugar, and sea salt,  you can’t really beat it. Throw these yummy delights on a salad, eat them plain as a snack, add to a trail mix, or put on top of a yogurt or smoothie as shown below. Check out Dang’s website for a free recipe book by clicking here (they have things like Coconut Pad Thai, Grain Free Cranberry Granola,  and Coconut Roasted Brussel Sprouts!)…I can’t wait to try some of these myself! By the way, these are available at most large grocery stores so you should have no problem tracking them down.

Enjoy!

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

Ana 🙂

Maple & Toasted Coconut Breakfast Delight!
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I like Wallaby Organic)
  • 2 Tbls Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Dang Coconut Chips
Instructions
  1. You guessed it! Place yogurt in a bowl. Add maple syrup to yogurt and top with coconut chips (or do it the other way around!). Most importantly…enjoy the goodness!

 

Gluten/Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Covered Rice Cakes

It’s a pretty snow day here on the east coast….which in my mind automatically translates  into “stay in my PJs all day and taste test some yummy new recipes!” Even though it’s not February yet (national chocolate month, and national heart health month!), I was looking to make something chocolatey that I would feel really good about eating (and give me some extra energy to shovel the 24 inches of snow off the walkway!).

These dark chocolate covered rice cakes really hit the spot…I used Lily’s baking chips, which contain no sugar, are certified organic, and absolutely delicious! Here in CT you can get them at TFC Health Foods in Farmington for a great price.  I also used Lundberg’s brown rice cakes, which also are certified organic, and a super “clean” grain that gives this treat a nice crunchy texture. We don’t do tons of grains here at PN, but when we do have them we like to make sure they’re gluten free, as unprocessed as possible, and consumed in a moderate portion.

When I have a treat I avoid eating something that will drain my energy or cause me to “crash” 15 minutes later- that’s why I love having unsweetened dark chocolate and treats with no refined, white sugar in them.  Having a way to nip the sweet tooth in the bud  is important…that’s why I’m planning on keeping a few of these chocolate covered rice cakes in baggies at my desk as a mid day pick me up, sure to help beat the winter blues!

Enjoy a sweet little indulgence…have an amazing week!

Ana and Amanda 🙂

Gluten/Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Covered Rice Cakes
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 10 Brown Rice Cakes (we use Lundberg brand)
  • 4 TBLS Coconut Oil
  • 1 Package Unsweetened Dark Baking Chips (we use Lily’s brand)
  • Toppings as desired (sea salt, coconut flakes, nuts/seeds, cacao nibs, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Line a baking pan with wax paper.
  2. Put the coconut oil and chocolate chips in a medium sized pot on medium/high heat. Stir continually until the chocolate is melted and well combined (take off of the heat as soon as it is melted).
  3. Use tongs to dip each rice cake into the chocolate sauce and lay on the wax paper lined baking pan (I broke each rice cake in half so make more servings- this is up to you).
  4. Sprinkle toppings on top as desired (I used coconut flakes)
  5. Allow to cool in fridge for about 2 hours, and then store in a plastic baggy or container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  6. Sampling while making these IS permitted.
  7. Enjoy!
Notes
PN Rx: [br]2 fats and 1 carb per 1/2 cake

 

 

Dark Chocolate Cherry Holiday Parfait

Everyone loves sweets during the holidays- and most of us love chocolate! It’s normal to crave a little something sweet, even after a healthy meal. Our bodies need certain minerals found in natural sweeteners, for example, magnesium found in unsweetened cocoa and zinc in maple syrup. It’s important to eat natural, unprocessed sweets that satisfy your taste buds, unlike white, refined, packaged, sugary foods that are hard to stop eating once you start. Having some of these basic sweeteners on hand is a must for me:

  • 100% real maple syrup
  • Raw, local honey
  • Fresh/frozen fruit
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 70% or darker chocolate
  • Stevia
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes (even though they don’t have a direct sweet taste, they contain minerals and healthy fat that can help combat a sugar craving)

Honoring your bodies nutrient needs with whole foods and not depriving yourself what your body is looking for is key to succeeding in your overall wellness. Check out this delicious recipe for a quick, simple, and visually pleasing dessert option for yourself or your guests this holiday season.

Enjoy!

Ana and Amanda

Dark Chocolate Cherry Holiday Parfait
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein (sweetened with stevia- or use plain and add 1 packet stevia, or 2 tsp maple syrup or honey)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the cherries and cacao nibs. Combine well until a thick, pudding-like texture is reached. Add more almond milk if the mixture is too thick and more coconut flour if it’s too thin.
  2. Add a layer on the bottom of a parfait cut, followed by a layer of dark frozen cherries, and continue to do this until the mixture is used up. Top it off with a layer of dark cherries, cacao nibs, and a pinch of coconut flakes as a “snow like” topping for winter. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Notes
PN Rx: 2 fats, 1 protein, 1 fruit per serving


Red Curry Meatballs (Crockpot)

Tonight I will be hosting a holiday potluck at Talcott Family Chiropractic at 6:45pm. Everyone is welcome to join and bring a healthy, tasty dish. We have some people bringing dishes like beef stew, organic salad, and apple crisp to name a few. We will be talking about how to stay healthy during the holidays and sharing good food. I made these delicious Red Curry Meatballs. They are very low maintenance but absolutely delightful.

Holiday Potluck at Talcott Family Chiropractic

Location: 230 Farmington Ave Farmington, CT 06032

Time: 6:45pm-7:45pm

Everyone is welcome!

Red Curry Meatballs (Crockpot)
Recipe Type: Lunch/Dinner
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • For the Meatballs:
  • 3lb Organic Grassfed Beef
  • 2 tbsp Ground Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 large Organic Egg
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • Sea Salt
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 6oz can Organic Tomato Paste
  • 1 14oz can Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp Curry Powder
  • Juice of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. Heat a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add all ingredients for the sauce. Bring to a simmer then lower the heat.
  2. Combine all ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl (except for the meat) and mix well. Add in your ground beef and mix with your hands until fully incorporated.
  3. Form the meat mixture into small meatballs and place inside a crockpot.
  4. Pour sauce on top of meatballs and cook on low for 8 hours.

 

Red Pumpkin Curry

I saw some recipes for a red thai curry that I have made before and then decided to combine two of my favorite things: curry and pumpkin. Because why not?! It’s getting a little cooler out and I have found that soups are extremely convenient for quick meals. They are a great way to switch it up from salads. I heat up the soup on the stove then add in shredded chicken that I make at the beginning of every week and veggies. My favorite veggies to add to curries/soups are kale and shaved brussel sprouts. They give it great texture and are packed with important vitamins and minerals. This recipe is the perfect amount of spicy and sweet. Enjoy!

 

Red Pumpkin Curry
Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 7-8
Ingredients
  • 1 can Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk
  • 4 cups Organic Chicken Broth
  • 2 tbsp Red Curry Paste
  • 2 tbsp Roasted Curry Powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Red Boat Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 cups Roasted Pumpkin or 1 1/2 cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add in coconut milk, broth and curry paste. Mix until paste is completely incorporated.
  2. Add in all of your spices now then your fish sauce, garlic and onion.
  3. Add in the roasted pumpkin and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Now get out your blender and pour the mixture in there in a few batches. Puree everything so you get a nice smooth texture.
  5. Once you have pureed your soup now is the perfect time to add in some leftover protein (chicken, ground beef, white fish) and veggies.
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 70 Fat: 3 Carbohydrates: 9 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)
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
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)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 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 1/4 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 1/8 of the cobbler, 1.5 carbs, 1 fruit, and 2.5 fats

Peach Zucchini Bread (Gluten/Dairy/Soy/Nut/Sugar Free)

Hi Everyone!

I have been fortunate enough to get a number of giant zucchinis from a friend’s garden, which has lead to a lot of zucchini recipes. I previously made a delicious zoodles and meatballs recipe here.  This time I decided to make a light zucchini bread and added peaches since I had some I needed to use. It came out fantastic! I hope that anyone that has an abundance of zucchini is getting some use out of these recipes for healthy ways to use it all. I love zucchini bread but it often contains a lot of sugar. Even if it is a healthier option such as raw honey or pure maple syrup, it still all breaks down to sugar and can lead to cravings later on. If you are struggling with sugar cravings or find yourself wanting carbohydrate heavy foods often try taking sugar completely out of your diet. In this recipe I used Stevia, which is actually an herb often called sweet leaf. I only had to use 1 tsp for the entire recipe. You can eat a serving and then be satisfied rather than wanting to eat the whole loaf! I also made mini muffins out of this too, you just cut the cook time in half. Enjoy!

Be well,

Amanda

zucchini bread

Peach Zucchini Bread (Gluten/Dairy/Soy/Nut/Sugar Free)
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini, grated
  • 2 peaches, chopped
  • 1 small banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp stevia, powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 4 pasture-raised eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and fruit and mix well. Add in dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Make sure the coconut flour mixes in and break up all those little chunks that form.
  3. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or use a non stick silicone pan. Clean up is super easy and the bread never sticks.
  4. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. I made a small loaf and some mini muffins out of mine. Bake muffins for 15-20 minutes.
Notes
1/8th of loaf PN Rx: 1 fat, 1/2 carb

PN News Segment on Better Connecticut: Healthy Summer Condiments

Hello everyone!

It’s finally summer and the weather is beautiful! This means a lot of fun weekends spent outdoors and a lot of cookouts! If you have been eating the Practical Nutrition way throughout the year, focusing on eating foods in their most natural form in a balanced state throughout the day, then you may feel that common summer condiments cannot be included in your daily diet. This is true for many of the common brands found at the grocery store that contain inflammatory ingredients such as vegetable oil and high fructose corn syrup, however, you can look out for good ingredients and even make your own at home with 5 ingredients or less! Ana and I discussed healthy summer condiments on Better Connecticut. Watch the 5 minute segment to learn more about what ingredients to avoid and healthy alternatives you can make yourself at home. And don’t forget to scroll down for 3 marinade/dressing recipes with 3-5 ingredients each!

WFSB 3 Connecticut

 

Take Away Points Video:

  • When reading a nutrition label for condiments, dressings, and marinades avoid the following: vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar/cane sugar, artificial colors/flavors/additives. These ingredients all contribute to inflammation, sugar cravings, weight gain, headaches, and fatigue.
  • When trying to find a healthy option for condiments/dressings/marinades look for the following beneficial ingredients: olive oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, organic honey, pure maple syrup, stevia, lemon juice, balsamic/apple cider vinegar, and herbs.

 

Maple Pepper Marinade
Recipe Type: Marinade
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add your favorite protein: chicken, fish, or beef. This recipe has been tested on all types of chicken, fish and beef and everything tastes great! Get creative and add more ingredients if you want or keep it simple and use this easy marinade to flavor your meals all summer long!

 

Homemade Creamy Ranch Dressing
Recipe Type: Dressing
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Dill
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider or White Vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend for 30 seconds.
  2. Store in glass air tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week .

 

Homemade Balsamic Dressing
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Seasonings
  • sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for 30-60 seconds until mixture has emulsified.
  2. Store in a glass, air tight container on the counter or in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Avocados are one staple item I try to always have in my kitchen. Not only can they brighten up any meal with their delicious flavor but they also provide the same vitamins and minerals that a dark leafy green,like spinach or kale has. To top it off, 1 avocado contains 10-15g of fiber depending on the size. That is a little over 1/3 of our daily needs for fiber! Using something like an avocado to make a healthy dessert was very fun and is a great food to share with friends. Enjoy!

 

Avocado Chocolate pudding

Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 2 Ripe Avocados
  • 1 Spotted Banana
  • 4 TBLS Pure Maple Syrup or Raw Honey
  • 1/2 cup Raw Cacao Powder
  • 1 1/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • Dash of Sea Salt
  • Coconut Flakes and Raspberries to garnish
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until all ingredients are incorporated.
  2. Add more almond milk if mixture stays too thick.
  3. Can serve right away and top with coconut flakes and fruit or put in air tight tupperware in fridge. This pudding tastes great the next day!

Chocolate Chia Mousse

Do you love chocolate? I sure do! I also love recipes that are easy, don’t make a mess, taste amazing, and incorporate healthy ingredients. This recipe has 100% cacao (squares and powder), coconut flakes/milk, chia seeds, and stevia/honey. That’s it! It is packed with healthy fats from coconut and chia seeds plus antioxidants from the dark chocolate. AND it only uses 1 pot (to heat the chocolate) and 1 glass jar. Check it out!

 

Chocolate Chia Mousse
Recipe Type: Treat
Author: Amanda
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup full fat canned coconut milk (gets lots of the cream in there!)
  • 3/4 cup almond coconut milk blend (unsweetened)
  • 3 squares of 100% cacao
  • 1.5 T raw cacao powder
  • 3 T Chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/8 tsp stevia or 1tsp honey/maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Heat a small pot over low heat. Add in chocolate squares and melt. Be careful not to burn the chocolate!
  2. Pour chocolate into a glass jar and add in the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Mix everything really well until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Place in fridge for at least 2 hours.
Notes
PN Rx for 1/4 of recipe: 3 fats, .5 carbs