Fluffiest Popovers + Simple Homemade Jam Recipe

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Some things I don’t kid about- and one of those things is popovers. Definitely in my top 5 favorite foods. My love of these guys is quite unreal. If you haven’t had one- envision bread- but a hundred million times better. Fluffy, light and incredible. I actually always pass on bread – because unless is extraordinarily made/incredible – I’m not into it. I find most bread boring. BUT POPOVERS- total game changer. 

Background where my story began with popovers: In high school I would go to this super fancy restaurant with a friend (every day) and order a garden salad and multiple baskets of popovers (which came free on the table). Looking back those waiters most definitely hated us. 15-18 year old girls (yes this continued for years), coming in every day and ordering only a garden salad at a fancy restaurant- wowzers. But how nice were they to keep bringing the popovers endlessly without complaining?! Shout out to Luigino’s in Orlando, FL if you all are ever around that neck of the woods.

Anyway, now that I’m older I have realized just how easy they are to make. I recently ordered a popover pan on amazon. I highly recommend purchasing if you plan on making popovers. A cupcake tin does not work as well- they don’t expand and they’re not nearly as fluffy. So for fifteen dollars, I think it’s absolutely worth it. Here is the one I purchased- https://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metallic-Professional-Popover-15-5-Inch/dp/B003YL3DWO/ref=sr_1_4?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1513207241&sr=1-4&keywords=popover+pan.

We make popovers all the time- with soup or as an appetizer before dinner and they are soooo yummy. I love them with a little butter and homemade strawberry or blueberry jam. As you become a popover pro, you can start adding spices, cheese, chocolate, nuts and jam to the center of the popover- then bake. But I am a simple girl and like them the original way best! But play with it and see what you like!

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Popover Recipe from Neiman Marcus Cookbook

ingredients 

  • 3 1/2 Cups of Milk – we used almond
  • 4 Cups of All Purpose Flour- we used half whole wheat and half regular flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 6 Large Eggs at room temperature

Of note: the key to the best popovers is having the eggs and milk warm before mixing

recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Place milk in bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes
  3. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together in large mixing bowl
  4. Crack the eggs into the work bowl of an electric mixer – beat on medium for about 3 minutes until pale and foamy
  5. Turn down the mixer to low and add warm milk
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes
  7. Turn the machine off and let the batter rest for 1 hr at room temperature (I know this is annoying but it is worth the wait- if you can’t wait continue without letting it sit but if you can- complete this step!)
  8. Spray popover pan generously with nonstick spray
  9. Fill the popover cups almost to the top with batter
  10. Bake popovers for 15 minutes
  11. Turn oven temperature down to 375 and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes or until popovers are a deep golden brown on the outside
  12. Immediately serve hot with butter and homemade jam

simple jam recipe

  • 3 cups of blueberries or strawberries (fruit of your choice)
  • 1 cup of sugar (or 1/3 cup + 1.5 Tablespoons of Truvia)
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Place all ingredients in small pot and heat on stove for about 20-30 minutes (low/medium heat) + mix occasionally. Should become smooth/jelly like consistency. If you like your jam lumpy like me – take off a bit earlier. 

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I hope you enjoy this delicacy as much as we do! When Patrick tried a popover for the first time he was thoroughly impressed! Who doesn’t love the delicious light/airiness of a yummy hot popover?! If you all try this recipe, please let us know what you think! 

-The Neilan Family-

P.S. Don’t forget to order your popover tin

Coziest Lentil Soup Recipe

lentil-soup-bowl

This recipe is straight from my mom- aka the greatest Italian chef of all time- without any modifications. Because well, sometimes…you cannot modify perfection. It has always been one of my favorite recipes of hers and it’s so simple. Now that I’m older and cooking for myself, I can totally see why she was so excited when I’d ask for Lentil Soup for dinner- it’s so easy!! Busy after work? Throw everything into a pot to boil and leave it. As Patrick would say, Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

From the Dietitian: Let’s just be frank- this soup is awesome for regularity. It’s got insoluble fiber – which helps prevent constipation and other digestive disorders (IBS and Diverticulosis). Lets talk about the difference between insoluble and soluble fiber- because a lot of people don’t know or forget! If you’re eating a meal- may want to revisit this page at a later time because we are going to get straight into poop talk. Yep – that’s right. Easiest way to say it. So soluble fiber (found in beans, peas, oats, barley, fruits and avocados) is sticky and soft- it acts almost like a gel, in a sense, so that things can slide around the GI tract more easily. The beautiful thing about soluble fiber is that it binds to substances like cholesterol and sugar- preventing or slowing down absorption in the blood- which is super cool and amazing if you ask me. Soluble fiber increases good bacteria in the gut; furthermore, improving immunity, anti-inflammatory effects and even improved mood per studies that have been done. Soluble fiber also is great for weight management -as we all know- because it helps you feel fuller longer…win win! Now for insoluble fiber– think roughage. Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, nuts, fruits and veggies (mostly in the skin, stalks, and seeds). Insoluble fiber cannot dissolve in water; therefore, it cannot be broken down in the gut and cannot enter the bloodstream. Because of this, it adds bulk to the digestive system- preventing constipation. Which we all want/love.

From the Doctor: I work in internal medicine. In the future, the plan is to work in Pulmonary Critical Care, but for now it’s internal medicine; therefore, dealing with GI issues/disorders/diseases- is absolutely in my wheel house in the internal med world. You would be surprised how many issues stem from poor GI motility/function.

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that over a nine-year period, consuming more dietary fiber lowered the risk of death from any cause. People who ate the most fiber (about 25 grams a day for women and 30 grams for men) were 22% less likely to die compared to those who consumed the least fiber (10 grams per day for women and 13 grams for men). The effect was even stronger when researchers looked at deaths from heart disease, infectious diseases, and respiratory diseases; people with high-fiber diets had as much as a 50% or greater reduction in risk.

Besides digestive health, fiber helps stabilize sugar. Like the wonderful dietitian mentioned a bit earlier, soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, slowing down digestion and stabilizing blood sugar levels. Meaning, increasing fiber intake is wonderful for people with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.

Fiber and cholesterol. Just to mention once more, lentils help reduce blood cholesterol because lentils are high in soluble fiber.Canadian researchers examined 26 studies conducted between both the US and Canada that included a total of more than 1,000 people. Their findings showed that including a daily serving of legumes – beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas- was linked to a reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL aka bad cholesterol) by 5%.

One of the last things I want to touch on, is fiber and heart health. Several studies have linked consuming high fiber foods (like lentils) with decreasing you risk of heart disease. Lentils are a great source of magnesium and folate- both awesome for heart health too. Folate lowers your homocysteine levels, a serious risk factor for heart disease, and magnesium improves blood flow, oxygen and nutrients in the body. There has been a major link between low magnesium levels + heart disease folks…so eat your lentils!

ingredients 

  • 4 Carrots – chopped
  • 4 Stalks of Celery – chopped
  • 4 Cloves are Fresh Garlic – chopped
  • 2 Cups of Lentils
  • 1 Yellow Onion- chopped
  • 2 qt Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Thyme (optional)
  • Pinch of Cumin (optional)
  • Red Pepper (optional)
  • Locatelli Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Of Note: Occasionally, I have modified Mama Romano’s Recipe and added 2 Cups of Spinach or Kale to the recipe.

recipe

  1. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, lentils, cumin and olive oil to large pot -or dutch oven-, turn on medium heat. Saute so that the olive oil is coating all of the ingredients
  2. Empty Broth into pot (as mentioned above, add spinach/kale here if you would like to add greens)
  3. Add pinch of thyme and salt and pepper to taste
  4. Simmer for about 45 min. Every so often, stir soup and add water so that soup remains at the same level as when you started. Lentils should be tender. (I have had to keep soup on for up to an hour to wait for lentils to soften- by the end I had probably added 1 1/2 Cup water)!

We add red pepper and Parmesan cheese on top (Locatelli Romano Cheese- the absolute best and the only kind my family and I use).

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Now go cozy up with a Hallmark Christmas Movie, Soup and Relax!

-The Neilan Family-

The Incredible, Edible Flax Egg + Green Muffin Recipe

Happy Hump Day Everyone! So update on us: Patrick is now on a super wonderful rotation this month (emergency department-shocking that’s a good rotation for him, I know) and has the greatest hours (8-5pm). So we have been able to enjoy breakfast and dinner together – aka the stars have aligned. And this past week, we have been stuck on these delish green banana muffins!!! I’m all kinds of excited to share the recipe with you but first- I want to chat with you all about one of the very special ingredients used in this recipe.

The flax egg. It has made including plant-based meals in our diet- SO easy. We all know how to swap out dairy for almond or cashew milk and applesauce for butter. But how do we replace an egg?  Patrick and I try to have about 10-15 plant-based meals/snacks per week. Whether that is as simple as swapping out regular yogurt for almond yogurt some mornings or making tofu with dinner. But now we have a way to easily include plant-based baked goods in our diet! (INSERT FLAX OR CHIA EGG). Such a tasty, delicious and simple substitute. Take your favorite cookie, pancake, quick bread, brownie, muffin recipe and swap out an egg for a flax or chia egg and BOOM you have a vegan baked good (assuming you’ve swapped the dairy portion too)! See below recipe, for instructions on how to whip up the flax egg. It’s super easy! Of note, do not try to scramble a flax egg – bahaha – baking substitute only!

Back to the recipe. I LOVE muffins!! But even more than your standard muffin, I love muffins with hidden veggies in them. These have added nutritional benefits without the added weird taste you might sometimes find when you add veggies to baking! NO oil, NO dairy, completely VEGAN and absolutely delicious- if I do say so myself. This beloved recipe is from Kristin Cavallari’s cookbook and boy are they yummy! I was actually very surprised when Patrick scarfed the first muffin down and asked for a second right after. I love earthy, green things but sometimes Patrick is hesitant; however, with these guys he dove right in and loooooved them!

ingredients

  • 2 Cups Spelt Flour (you can also swap it out for 2 cups all purpose flour or ease your way into spelt flour with half and half)
  • 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 Bag of baby spinach (about 4 cups)
  • 3/4 Cup real maple syrup
  • 1/2 Cup plain almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1 Flax or Chia Egg*
  • 1/4 Cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Cups mashed banana (we used 3 bananas)

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a food processor or blender, combine spinach, maple syrup, almond milk, flax egg, applesauce, and vanilla and process until completely pureed.
  4. Add the wet ingredients and the banana to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
  5. Fill each muffin cup about three quarters full.
  6. (Optional) We sprinkled hemp and chia seeds on top of muffins
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.

Flax egg: 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed or chia seeds plus 3 tablespoons water. Mix and let set for 15 minutes until it becomes gooey consistency.

Why use spelt? Spelt is a grain that is descended from wheat, and it has a mild, nutty flavor that is comparable to wheat. Although spelt contains gluten, it has less than whole wheat or white flour. As a result, substituting spelt flour for white flour can make baked goods more digestible for people with a sensitivity to gluten! Spelt also provides 25g protein per cup! Wahooooo!

 

Hope you all enjoy these yummy muffins as much as we are! Have a happy rest of your week!

 

The Neilan Family

The Magic of Spirulina

brief-history-spirulina

Good morning everyone! So let me first just say- My husband and I are like big kids. You tell us we can have our yogurt blue WITH added health benefits and you’ve already got us sold! As we type, we are both sipping on our morning matcha concoction (under recipes) and having our yogurt parfait- both of which, contain none other than…SPIRULINA! Really excited to share some information with you guys about why we’re sneaking it in whenever and wherever we can. If you follow me on instagram, doctormeetsdietitian, you saw me post earlier this week on the Spirulina Bowl and you may have also seen my green pancakes that I make sometimes for Patrick and myself. We could just have our yogurt/pancakes/tea plain OR we could have it blue/green with some wonderful added health benefits. I pick BLUE (and green)! 

From the Dietitian: First of all what is Spirulina? Spirulina is a blue green algae that grows in both fresh and salt water. When you buy it, it comes in powder form. But boy is it loaded with nutrients! Fun fact- Because you can grow it in space, NASA uses it, so astronauts can reap the health benefits. Smart cookies that they are. Going back even further, the Aztecs used it back in the day too!

A tablespoon of Spirulina contains: 4 grams of quality protein (better than beans but not as complete as eggs/dairy), 11% of the RDA for Thiamine, 15% of the RDA for Riboflavin, 4% of the RDA for Niacin, 21% of the RDA for Copper, 11% of the RDA for Iron and wide variety of minerals including potassium and magnesium. Spirulina also contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. A lot of people will say “gram for gram” it’s one of the most nutritious foods naturally found on our little planet.

From the Doctor: While we do not believe in a majority of (fad) diets, an anti-inflammatory diet is one that, in our opinion, has the best benefits for health/longevity. Spirulina has both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. In our matcha post, we went over the benefits of antioxidants. Spirulina contains Phycocyanin. This is what, not only gives it it’s blue/green color, but it is also what fights free radicals in the body. Phycocyanin is a very powerful anti-inflammatory agent. By protecting against oxidative damage, you are in turn, contributing to the decreased risk of cancer and other diseases.

Spirulina & Cholesterol: A study completed showed that when patients with high cholesterol added 1 gram of Spirulina to their day it decreased their triglycerides by 16.3% and LDL by 10.1%.

Spirulina & Cancer: Studies have been done linking Spirulina to anti-cancer properties- more specifically oral cancer. The study looked at 85 people from India with precancerous lesions (OSMF) in their mouth. After adding 1 gram of Spirulina to their diet for a year, 45% had regression of lesions (compared to 7% in the control group). There was another study completed comparing Spirulina to the drug typically used to combat symptoms from these precancerous mouth lesions and including 1 gram of Spirulina led to greater improvement than the drug Pentoxyfilline.

Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3919363/

Spirulina & Blood Pressure: By consuming Spirulina, you are in turn, increasing your nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a signaling molecule that helps the blood vessels relax and dilate. Further studies need to be completed; however, one study showed that higher intake of Spirulina daily (4-5 grams) can significantly lower BP.

Allergies & Spirulina: If you suffer from allergies, it can be pretty horrible. There has been suffice evidence showing that Spirulina is an acceptable alternative treatment for symptoms of allergic rhinitis. This is because Spirulina stops the release of histamine in the body. Histamine is what contributes to allergy symptoms. In a study where people consumed 2 grams of Spirulina a day, it dramatically decreased congestion, runny nose, itching, sneezing, etc.

Type 2 Diabetes & Spirulina: Animal studies have been completed comparing Spirulina to the popular diabetes drug, Metformin. More studies need to be conducted and currently the evidence is non conclusive. Therefore, DO NOT get off your diabetes medication and start taking Spirulina; however, adding it to your regular regimen (prescribed by your doctor) could be beneficial along with diet and exercise to possibly decrease insulin injection dependence. In the study, where patients were taking 2 grams of Spirulina a day, their Hba1c dropped by 1% – this is significant as studies show that a 1% decrease in Hba1c, can lower the risk of diabetes related death by 21%.

Links on DM and Spirulina:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12639401

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28617537; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2788188/

Back to the dietitian: So now that we got you all excited to use Spirulina. These are the kinds we use (Link Below). Typically we add the green to pancakes/tea and the blue to yogurt/smoothies/ice cream. You definitely do not have to buy both!

You can mix it up with chia seeds, almonds, berries, granola and all kinds of goodies and it is SO delicious and super fun for kids too. Moms are always on the prowl for an easy way to sneak in nutrients for kids- and in our opinion, this is a great way because it’s fun and colorful too.

A lot of people ask if you can taste it and in yogurt you really can’t (especially as a parfait). In the Morning Matcha Concoction and pancakes you can taste it a little bit more. It adds a delicious, light earthy flavor. If you are adding to a cup of yogurt – I would start with 1/4 tsp and increase to 1/2 tsp based on preference. Pancake recipe coming soon (perfecting it for you all)!

Green: https://www.amazon.com/Non-GMO-Spirulina-Powder-Sustainably-Non-Irradiated/dp/B01E67SEC8/ref=sr_1_8_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1511619651&sr=1-8&keywords=spirulina.

Blue:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00NT4IK5G/ref=mp_s_a_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1516412602&sr=8-3&keywords=blue+majik+e3live&dpPl=1&dpID=419OJ4W3TmL&ref=plSrch

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Enjoy Everyone! Have a wonderful weekend and feel free to send us a message with any questions you might have!

Mom’s (Not-So-Secret-Anymore) Cranberry Nut Mold

Well hi there & Happy Thanksgiving morning!! It is still super early and Knox (our pup) is passed out and Patrick just left for another day in the MICU. So before things get crazy at my parents house today, I wanted to share my favorite holiday treat! We make it for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now I know a lot of people like the cranberry sauce from the can and no judgement here- but I am just not a fan.  Could be the bitter taste or the ridges from the can on the cranberry sauce when its poured out- who knows! So when I make this recipe- I make it as is. Sometimes you cannot mess with perfection; however, I did put some modifications in for you all if you want to avoid all the sugar. 

ingredients

  • 1 (12oz) Bag of Fresh Cranberries
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar (3/4 C Truvia Sugar Cane Blend)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1 (6oz) pkg. Raspberry Gelatin (key is raspberry flavor and you’d be surprised when it’s all finished, you’d never know it’s raspberry. It has a “lighter” taste than the cherry and strawberry so you taste more of the cranberry!)
  • 1 Cup Thinly Sliced Celery (Yup- there’s a veggie in there- and it adds incredible crunch to it)
  • 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts

I just want to add here that if you have a favorite fruit/nut you can add 1/2 C in! Apples, almonds, raisins, pineapples- sky is the limit!

recipe

  1. Rinse cranberries and remove stems (if any)
  2. Place berries in a large pot
  3. Add sugar and water and stir to blend. Bring to boil, then lower heat and cook 5 minutes until berries are bursting
  4. Remove pot from heat and stir in raspberry gelatin until gelatin dissolves
  5. Cool in refrigerator until mixture begins to thicken, then add celery and nuts
  6. Pour into mod or bundt pan and refrigerate until firm (4-5 hours or overnight)

Happy Thanksgiving from Our Family to Yours!

P.S. Remember to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full- you can always have leftovers and in my opinion they’re equally yummy!

Bliss Balls aka Carrot Cake Energy Bites

This recipe is from the amazing Laura Lea Balanced Cook Book and we absolutely love it. I make this recipe once a week and Patrick brings two to work with him every day. Lots of protein bars (and things of that nature) that I give him to bring to work- get sent right back home (because he forgets about them) but never these guys. If you are a fan of Carrot Cake like we are – you guys will loooooovvveeee this vegan recipe. Patrick likes them frozen/I like them thawed- so that part is up to you but both are soo delicious!

How did these guys coin the name – Bliss Balls-? One of Patrick’s Co-Residents was a fan and named them for us! 

bites

  • 1 C Raw Walnuts
  • 1 (packed) Cup Grated Carrots
  • 4 Teaspoons Maple Syrup
  • 2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Flakes (unsweetened)
  • 1 (packed) Cup of Medjool dates (about 10)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger
  • Pinch Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

glaze

  • 2 Tablespoons of Runny Almond Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup

recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or you can use cooking spray)
  2. Add walnuts to half of the baking sheet (make sure they do not over lap)
  3. In a small bowl, combine carrots, 1 teaspoon of maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Toss to coat, then spread carrots on other side of the baking sheet.
  4. Roast carrots and walnuts for 12 minutes, then allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. While carrots and walnuts are roasting, combine oats, coconut flakes, dates, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and sea salt in a food processor. Process until mixture forms a chunky crumble.
  6. Once carrots and walnuts are cooled, add to food processor. Place a new sheet of parchment paper on your baking sheet. Process the mixture until it forms a sticky dough. It should stick together – if not, adding 2-3 dates will help with this.
  7. Once everything is mixed in food processor- roll 2 tablespoons of dough per bite and place side by side on baking sheet. Freeze bites while you make the glaze.
  8. Glaze: Make glaze by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl. If it does not seem “runny”- microwave for 20 seconds. Pull bites out of freezer, roll each in glaze and return to baking sheet. Place bites back in freezer for 20 minutes before enjoying. Place leftover bites in rightly sealed container and refrigerate!

Side Note: Patrick and I actually keep them in the freezer and I pull two out in the morning- this way by the time he has them they are still somewhat cold

Hope you all enjoy your bliss balls! – The Neilan Family

Where All The Forgotten Bananas Go: Cinnamon Banana Bread

43b81d373132cd35baf511d944c58c9f--banana-holder-color-clubOops forgot about our bananas & now they’re entirely too ripe to eat – aka Banana Bread Time in the Neilan Household. So yummy and perfect for fall weather! But before we get into the recipe lets delve into some science. 

From the Dietitian: Come spend a day with us dietitians in the office – and you will hear LOTS about bananas. As most of you are likely aware, bananas are a great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and antioxidants. But we have learned, through many discussions in the office, people are very particular about the kind of banana they prefer! I, myself, like a banana with some green on it and 0 spots.  But the point I’m getting to is THIS! There is actually some science behind it!

From the Doctor: Benefits of unripe bananas: Low sugar content. Good for people with diabetes or trying to watch their sugar intake. Unripe bananas also have more starch- so they will keep you fuller longer. They contain more probiotics (aka great for gut health).  Benefits of ripe bananas: There was a study done in China, that showed that the spots on bananas indicate (TNF) tumor necrosis factor and could act as an immunity agent, fighting against abnormal cells in the body. Ripe bananas are easier for the body to digest than unripe and also contain more antioxidants.

Bananas could help with anxiety and depression because they actually contain tryptophan, which the body converts to serotonin! For someone without chronic disease- having a banana several times a week may reduce the risk of kidney disease by up to 50%. Bananas are also known to be good for cardiovascular and digestive health.

So, to sum it all up, no matter the banana you prefer- you’re getting all kinds of health benefits! Now for the recipe!

for the banana bread

  • 3 Very Ripe Bananas (we used 4 because I didn’t want to throw the last guy out)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 3/4 C Quick Oats
  • 3/4 C All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 C Chickpea Flour
  • 1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2/3 C Sugar (We used 1/4 C and 2 Tsp of Truvia)
  • 1/4 C Canola Oil (We used 1/4 C Apple Sauce)
  • 1/3 C Milk (We used cashew)
  • 1/2 C Chopped Walnuts

for the topping

  • 1/2 C Sugar (We used 3 1/2 Tbsp of Truvia)
  • 2 Tbsp of Whole Wheat All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Softened Butter
  • 1 Tsp of Cinnamon

the recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Prep 9 x 5 loaf pan with non-stick spray (We used olive oil spray or you can just use butter)
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, oats, sugar and salt
  4. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, oil, and mashed bananas (mix with your hands- I guess I’m a weirdo because I love this part!!)
  5. Then mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients (with hands or a spoon)
  6. Time for the topping mixture! In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter- mix with hands until it looks almost like wet sand
  7. Pour half of the banana bread mixture in your loaf pan- sprinkle half of the cinnamon mixture on top- then pour the rest of your batter in and sprinkle the other half of cinnamon mixture on top!
  8. Bake for 50-60 min

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Slice yourself a piece in the morning with some cashew or almond butter to add protein & make it a little bit more filling! Or, for a late-night snack, warm it up 5-10 seconds and have a scoop of vanilla halo top ice cream! 

Morning (Anti-Gremlin) Concoction

spices-spice-companion-book

Our favorite thing to wake up to in the morning: Matcha and -a-little-bit-of-everything-else too- tea! This recipe is from Laura Lee Balanced & is absolutely amazing- prior to this I was drinking just Matcha & Golden Milk – which is an awesome combo too! DO NOT feel like you need to purchase all of the below to reap the benefits. Main ingredient is Matcha- everything else is a bonus! I call it our Anti-Gremlin tea. 

Side Note- At first when I saw this recipe- I was very skeptical. We actually really aren’t “supplement people”. A lot of supplements do not get absorbed in the body and it can be just a bunch of mumbo jumbo for the vitamin/supplement companies to make money- but the below supplements/herbs are tried & true- for us!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Teaspoon Matcha powder – Our favorite: Teami Blends
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Golden Milk [or turmeric powder]- Our Favorite: Gaia (turmeric, date & spice powder)
  • Splash of Vanilla Extract
  • Lots of cinnamon [to taste]
  • Splash of Maple Extract [optional, but my fav]
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Spirulina [optional]
  • 1 Teaspoon of Coconut Butter [optional]  -Our Favorite: Nikki’s Vanilla Cake Batter
  • 2 drops of Stevia or a drop of honey [we don’t add this because the extracts make it sweet enough BUT if you’d like it a little sweeter]

Boil 2 cups of water (or milk of your choice- we also love it with cashew. But on a regular basis we use just plain old water). Once the water is boiling, throw everything in the blender and mix it up-

  • Golden Milk Benefits: Contains Turmeric, Dates & herbs. Anti-inflammatory & filled with antioxidants. I actually learned about this when I worked on the Bone Marrow/Oncology unit & a whole post on turmeric benefits is a must!
  • Spirulina: Bacteria aka cyanobacterium or simply put, blue green algae. Antioxidant & anti-inflammatory. Contains Phycocyanin, which fights free radicals. Spirulina can help lower LDL and triglyceride levels.
  • Coconut Butter: First off, we just plain old like the taste of coconut- if I didn’t we’d likely leave this out BUT this delish Cake Batter Coconut Butter- Recommended by Laura Lee Balanced- has been life changing. Coconut butter helps with appetite control & increases energy levels because it is high in lauric acid. As a medium-chain-triglyceride, it’s structure allows our bodies to soak it up easily; therefore, in a sense, it serves as a quick source of energy. Great for digestion & combats nasty bacteria!

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Cheers all & have A Happy Monday Night! 

Matcha > Coffee & Adderall

MATCHA! I love it in and on all things. Pancakes (see below), oatmeal, yogurt, obviously my daily morning concoction (that I’ll share with you all) – I mean I’d sprinkle it on pizza if people wouldn’t look at me all funny. I tried it for the first time in high school and have been hooked since! I sprinkle it in almost everything for a bit of clean feeling energy & that earthy taste that keeps me comin back every time.

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Side Note: Add a tablespoon of Matcha to your pancake batter & a teaspoon of spirulina. I made these pancakes with whole wheat & coconut flour. Post to follow on benefits of spirulina & the pancake recipe!

From the Dietitian: Hope you all are seated because I could go on about the health benefits for quite some time. I’m gonna bullet it for you all so it’s not a bunch of mumbo jumo. I get excited and then everything starts running together haha! Background: I just got Patrick started on Matcha. Let’s just say the guy is not easy to convince (totally a science guy-EVERYTHING must be proven with research and yadda yadda). At first he looked at me like I had 10 heads and then he tried it and he now drinks it every morning & is equally as obsessed as I am. Why did I start Patrick on it this month? He started his rotation in the MICU (Medical ICU). This means 30hr shifts/>80hr work week and a lot of intensity. Clean, calm, alert energy- YES! Perfecto timing you could say! I make a matcha drink in the morning with a lot of additions- I’m going to share this with you on a later post but the main ingredient is MATCHA!

From the Doctor: He can’t say much because he just started drinking it two weeks ago! But like I said, he drinks it every morning because he feels like he has sustained energy throughout the day without the crash! Do we still drink coffee sometimes (yes- we are not anti-coffee at all. Just prefer Matcha).

From the Dietitian (I’m back again!): 

  • Stuffed to the rim with antioxidants, EGCG (or epiocatechin gallate – great for metabolic & cardiovascular health), L-theanine and polyphenols- this puppy serves as quite the immune defense
  • But back to L-theanine. Because this is my favorite thing about Matcha & why I will forever choose tea over coffee. L-theanine is an amino acid that has a calming effect. It’s found in both black and green tea. A lot of people will take L-theanine for anxiety! This is why there is less of a crash with tea like a lot of people have with coffee. Matcha gives me a calm/alert feeling that I love love love. Who needs nasty adderall? 👎🏻

Side note: We all are super busy humans these days. We work hard and don’t rest as often as we should. Probably why people love adderall so much- it’s why I did. I was prescribed adderall throughout college. I’d take it and then stop because I HATE the side effects- but I loved the focus. Matcha gives me that mentally alert feeling without the horrible crash that makes me turn into a gremlin! I’m not going to delve too much into adderall because a. my hubby isn’t home so I can’t pretend like I know all about the logistics (not my scope haha) BUT b. I hate the stuff & for me- I didn’t think it was good for my body.

  • Polyphenols-  Before I go here, there is ongoing research with this topic. Polyphenols are a great source of antioxidants. And we all say antioxidants but I think people forget what it actually means and I love love chemistry so I’m taking this opportunity! Definition: An antioxidant is a molecule that prevents another molecule from oxidizing. Lots of processes in the body cause oxidation naturally (this can also happen from poor diet/pollution/UV rays etc)- the intake of antioxidants is needed to counteract some of the negative results of the build up of too many oxidized molecules. Picture you have three molecules: You have a healthy molecule (full of electrons aka happy), you have a free radical molecule (missing an electron aka unhappy) and you have an antioxidant molecule. The free radical wants to take an electron from your happy molecule (causing damage) BUT instead the antioxidant (as kind and generous as it is) gives an electron to the free radical so it doesn’t have to take an electron from your happy molecules (see photo below)!  AND IN TURN reducing the progression of diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative  (ex: Alzheimer’s) and cardiovascular diseases. Sounds pretty fabulous to me- if that doesn’t make you want to drink matcha and eat your fruits and veggies I don’t know what will. ATOMS2
  • Matcha can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar
  • High in Selenium, Zinc, Vitamin C, chromium, and magnesium- I will post about importance of mineral don’t you all worry. But I’ll spare ya since I just went on a chemistry binge.
  • Contains fiber (anti constipation club here)Matcha-Antioxidants-Chart-Other-Foodscaffeine-chart-ig_1024I hope you all enjoyed & Knox wishes you all a very happy Sunday!