Happy Thursday! With Valentines Day coming up next week and chocolate everything (that will be on sale for 50% off this time next week) piled high on store shelves, I thought it would be a fun day to share some of my favorite healthy chocolate recipes.
Repeat after me: Carbs are not the enemy.
Seriously! Though exact carbohydrate needs differ from person to person, the body needs some to maintain proper function and keep our brain and body energized.
One of the most common questions I get from clients is, “So what ‘counts’ as a carb serving?”
The short answer is “15 grams,” but what that looks like on your plate varies. To help clear up the confusion, I wrote an article for Azumio with some handy info to help you determine what “counts” as a carb serving. Continue reading “What Counts As A Carb Serving?”
We usually think of blueberries as a summer treat, but you can enjoy them all year round. Just check your freezer aisle for wild blueberries. What’s the difference between regular and wild blueberries? Wild blueberries, which primarily grow naturally in Maine and Eastern Canada, have a more intense sweet-meets-tart flavor, thanks to their genetic diversity.
They also provide 72% more fiber and 32% less sugar. They also have twice the level of antioxidants than larger cultivated blueberries. Almost all wild blueberries are frozen, and quick-freezing them at their peak freshness locks in that awesome flavor and nutrient content. Talk about a great way to add some summer brightness to the chill of late fall and winter.
This breakfast cake is super-easy to make in the microwave in a ramekin, mug, bowl, or other glass container. In a season full of sugary treats, it’s the perfect way to start your morning off on solid ground. It’s high in fiber and protein, low in sugar, and happens to be gluten-free and Paleo-friendly. Enjoy it by yourself or make extras for any cave-dwelling holiday guests. Enjoy!
As I’ve written before, I am a disaster with desserts—or at least anything that requires chem lab sorts of measuring and timing (I’m giving myself more gray hairs just thinking about it). However, I have found an exception. I freaking love simple recipes that make use of caramelization and/or the maillard reaction—aka “browning.” Browning things on purpose, I mean.
Without getting too nerdy, caramelization is a process that takes place when sugar is exposed to high heat—usually around 330 degrees F and up. Foods with a higher sugar content caramelize more (shocker)—this is why you often see sugar listed in ingredients for dishes like caramelized onions—it enhances the process.
The maillard reaction is a reaction that occurs between an amino acid and a reducing sugar. Foods that undergo the maillard reaction include: baked goods like bread and cookies, seared meat, french fries, black garlic, and caramel, among other things. Basically, it’s a reaction between a protein and a sugar that can occur at temperatures around 250 degrees F. You don’t need to add sugar, though, since there is naturally-occurring sugar present in almost all foods, even if to a very small degree. It’s possible for both reactions to take place in a single food—caramelization occurs after the maillard reaction has worked its magic.
Okay, tangent over. I just thought I’d share the science behind my current favorite dessert. Continue reading “Caramelized Banana with Coconut Sugar”
Happy What I Ate Wednesday. Hope you’re having a great week! Lots going on over in my little corner of the internet, so I’m gonna side-step the chit-chat and get right into the weekly “what I ate” link-up stuff.
I spend last weekend working at the hospital. I was more than okay being in the cool AC than making ambitious face-melting “I’m going to get out and enjoy the city because it’s summer, damnit” plans. Here’s what I enjoyed on Saturday. Continue reading “What I Ate Wednesday #280”
Travel is an amazing way to experience the world and learn valuable life lessons. One thing that can require some troubleshooting, though: sticking to healthy eating on the road. I recently wrote an article for Fitness with a list of 30 healthy options that would be great for a road trip.
I broke it down into food groups—I find this helps us keep balance in mind and makes the planning process less overwhelming.
- For proteins look for stuff like Greek yogurt, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, nuts (or minimally processed nut-based bars like KIND bars), and jerky.
- Fruits and veggies can be tricky, but simple sliced veggies with hummus or salsa can be a satisfying snack, and fresh fruit, especially varieties with a peel, can work out well. I love freeze-dried veggies and similar snacks.
- Healthy fats are easy to overlook, but avocado (slice in half and eat right out of the skin with a spoon) and single-serve packs of olives are some of my favorites. I also love single-serve packs of flax and chia.
- Complex carbs are almost too easy, but I like to call out oats (instant oats are easy to pack) and popcorn.
What do you like to eat when you travel?
Disclosure: I’ve been recommending KIND bars for years, and my clients and patients love them—I finally decided to become a brand ambassador. Though I am compensated for my time, my thoughts and opinions are my own. Because transparency is really important to me, I recently made some updates to my blog “work with me” page and website so you can see the different brands I’ve worked with. You can check back for regular updates there.
We might think of it as a cold weather kitchen tool, but your slow cooker can be your healthy eating BFF in the summer. It allows you to enjoy delicious summer classics like baked beans, pulled pork, or even summer desserts like cobblers, all without having to so much as look at your oven or clock much hands-on time. Lately, I’ve been enjoying pulled chicken made in the crock pot in salads and veggies-and-grain bowls. I recently shared a few of my favorite summer slow cooker recipes on Fitness Magazine. Enjoy!
What are your favorite summer foods?
Because it wouldn’t be a patriotic holiday without a stereotypical red, white & blue recipe, I’ve got some appropriately colorful stuff to share with you today. Like this.
This summer I’ve been all about strawberries, but more recently, I’ve been trying to work more blueberries into my diet. Watching a relative go through Alzheimer’s has had me thinking a lot about the brain and how diet might play in to long-term brain health. I’ve been reading up on the MIND diet, which sounds like it could have been sponsored by the Blueberry Council or something. I’m sort of kidding. It’s actually a Mediterranean-and-DASH-diet combo that emphasizes leafy greens and other vegetables, whole grains, beans, berries, lean protein like poultry and fish, olive oil over butter, and a daily glass of wine.
Happy Monday! Let’s start this first official week of summer with something bright and flavorful, shall we? Today I’ve got another not-recipe recipe for you. I’ve been enjoying this almost every day for the past month as a lunch dessert or bedtime snack. The combo of sweet, savory, salty, and tangy hits all the right flavor notes. It’s also a great way to help you meet your vitamins C and fiber needs.
Happy Monday! For those of you in the States, hope you’re enjoying a wonderful Memorial Day, however you’re spending it. In the spirit of relaxing long weekends (I’m actually off for a change!), I’m sharing a simple, healthy dessert that will help any day feel like a vacation.
I’ve been really into fruit crisps this spring. Though these usually take some time to bake in the oven, you can totally make a shortcut version. I’ve been enjoying this as a quick & easy lunch dessert on some of my work-from-home days. You can use whatever fruit you have on hand. My current favorite involves a combo of peach and blueberry, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
Shortcut Fruit Crisp
- 1 cup fruit, chopped
- 1 tablespoon oats
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger (optional)
Mix ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl.
Microwave on high in 1-minute increments until fruit is soft and oats are cooked.
What’s your favorite fruit?