Super C Beauty Smoothie

Super C Beauty Smoothie

THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON FOOD BABE.

When people tell me they don’t have time to eat healthy, I yell the word – SMOOTHIE at them! Smoothies are the ultimate fast food and they are a superb way to add more veggies to your diet. 

 

I’ve found, too, that they alleviate bad food cravings because they provide a burst of nutrition – one that’s not usually present in the typical American diet. When your body doesn’t get what it needs nutritionally speaking, cravings kick in. And if you give in to those cravings, you’re on the road to gaining weight. Once you start to pump your body with greens, you’ll start craving them instead!

I love all of the beautiful ingredients in this Super C Beauty Smoothie – strawberries, red bell pepper, cauliflower, spinach – not only do they make a delicious tasting smoothie, but all these superfoods are PACKED with vitamin C!

This amazing vitamin fights cell damage and chronic inflammation, strengthens your immune defenses, and accelerates wound healing. Eating foods rich in vitamin C has helped keep me from catching a cold or the flu and has kept me going strong. It’s also excellent for your skin because vitamin C helps the body create collagen and rejuvenates aged skin, helping you look younger!

Ready to make this quick Super-C Beauty Smoothie? Here’s all you need to do…

First, you’ll want to remove the leaves from your strawberries and wash up all of your ingredients. Roughly chop up half a cup each of red bell pepper and cauliflower and add them to a high-powered blender along with one cup of strawberries.

Add one cup of spinach (or any leafy green), a banana, and two tablespoons of chia seeds to the blender. Then, pour in up to a cup of almond or coconut milk. If you like a thinner smoothie, add more milk…

You can also add in a few cubes of ice if you want your smoothie colder and thicker. Blend all ingredients on high until it’s smooth and creamy… pour into two tall glasses and enjoy with a friend!

Food Babe’s Super C Beauty Smoothie

Prep time Total time 5 mins | Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ cup cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • ½-1 cup almond or coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Notes
**Please use all organic ingredients if possible.**

 

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Slow Cooker Southwest Black Bean Dip With Homemade Chips

Slow Cooker Southwest Black Bean Dip With Homemade Chips

THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON FOOD BABE.

This time of year we love to get together and spend more time outside at parties and BBQ’s with friends and family. If we’re heading out, of course it’s customary to bring a dish and so I always do (and often bring several). 

 

This way I know that I’ll have something healthy to eat and can also share with my loved ones how delicious healthy eating can be. This fun recipe for Slow Cooker Southwest Bean Dip is going to be put to big use this year for sure! 

As crazy as it has been around here with a new baby, I’m always looking for ways to keep my food simple and even when I’m busy I don’t want to go down the road of buying processed foods full of health-wrecking additives. When I recently checked out the ingredients on bean dips at the store, my mind was reeling. Way back in the day, I used to love Fritos Bean Dip and actually thought it was good for me because it’s low fat and had fiber. Boy was I wrong!

Besides that GMO warning on there now, Fritos Bean Dip is loaded up with “natural flavors.”

This ingredient sounds clean and innocent, but isn’t what it seems! This is how food manufacturers can get away with putting all kinds of hidden ingredients in your food and just mask it under the name “natural flavors”. Companies use them because it’s cheaper than using real food ingredients and they help make heavily processed food taste good (and addicting). Natural flavors are highly complex chemical concoctions that can contain up to 100 ingredients, including substances like propylene glycol and BHA – and none of these need to be identified on the label. Since I like to know exactly what I’m eating, natural flavors are a no-go for me!

Tostitos Bean Dip is even way worse with artificial colors (yellow #5 and #6) derived from petroleum, controversial preservatives, and MSG. This is no way to party!!

If you’re going to eat dip, you need some chips right?

Beware that almost all tortilla chips and pita chips are made from GMOs and inflammatory oils like corn and cottonseed oils

Food Babe’s Southwest Black Bean Dip

Prep time Cook time 2 hours | Total time 2 hours 10 mins
Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups cooked black beans
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup scallions, chopped, divided
  • 1 tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Toppings:

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (pepitos)

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients except 1 tablespoon of the chopped scallions, lime juice, and pumpkin seeds in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 2 hours or until the goat cheese is melted.
  3. When done, turn off the slow cooker and mash the beans. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the lime juice. Garnish with 1 tablespoon of scallions and the pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

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Natural Electrolyte Drink Recipe (With Flavor Options)

Natural Electrolyte Drink Recipe (With Flavor Options)

THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON WELLNESS MAMA.

Drinking enough pure clean water is one of the most important things we can do for overall health. In most cases, water alone is wonderful. For times of exercise and exertion where sweat causes mineral loss, a homemade natural electrolyte drink recipe can also be helpful.

 

Here’s why:

Plain water doesn’t contain high levels of electrolytes. The body loses a lot of minerals during exercise. It can be helpful to add electrolytes and minerals to help rehydration after times of high-intensity exercise or lots of sweating. This doesn’t mean we should all be drinking electrolyte drinks on the regular, but they are helpful at times …

Like this one:

My Cautionary Tale …

This post could also be titled “how to avoid a big hospital charge for IV fluids while on vacation.” Hopefully you can learn from my mistake on this one.

Here’s what happened:

My husband and I finally got away for a long overdue 10-year anniversary trip (it was a long time after our actual anniversary … because babies). His version of “relaxing” is doing all the activities, so we were snorkeling, sailing, and had plans to scuba dive.

Normally, if we’re going to be out in the sun doing strenuous activities, I make this recipe and have it with me. On this trip, since the kids weren’t with us, I’d foolishly forgotten some of the ingredients and figured I’d just make sure to drink enough water. That was working fine until one night (after a long day of snorkeling), I had wine with dinner and probably not enough water.

The next morning, we didn’t have any non-tap water in the room so I grabbed a coffee instead and figured I’d get some water when we got to the beach.

Cue Heat Exhaustion

The beach was busy so it took them a couple of hours to bring out water. At that point, I noticed I was getting a headache. I started drinking water but the headache got worse and I also started having a rapid pulse, dizziness, and nausea.

We went back to the room and I cooled off, hydrated, and rested. But the symptoms continued to persist and I felt weaker and more dizzy throughout the day. By that night I’d realized that despite drinking a LOT of water, I still had symptoms of mild dehydration and heat exhaustion.

We decided to go in to the hospital so I could get fluids. I probably would have been just fine with rest and rehydration over the next few days, but we were nearing the end of our trip and I didn’t want to be in bed for the rest of our vacation.

International Hospitals …

In many ways, the international hospital we went to was much more efficient than the ones back home. We checked in quickly, were able to pre-pay, and the doc agreed that I had heat exhaustion and ordered an IV. He said that because my electrolytes had been depleted from sweating, I was having trouble rehydrating from water alone as my body needed the minerals as much as the fluids. (IV fluid is isotonic, meaning it has the same mineral concentration as the blood.)

The doctor decided to insert the IV in my hand, so I expected a normal small butterfly needle often used for this. But he pulled out a 12-gauge needle (like the kind they use when you give blood). After the most painful IV of my life (and I’ve had a lot … because babies), the fluids were in and I immediately started feeling better.

So after several hours sitting in an international hospital getting hydrated with IVs, I couldn’t help but think how much easier, cheaper, and less painful things would have been if I’d remembered the ingredients for this electrolyte drink while traveling.

Why Not Regular Sports Electrolyte Drinks?

So why not just drink one of the many electrolyte drinks available (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) these days?

Not only do they have a lot of questionable ingredients, but making your own is easy, fast, and a LOT healthier.

Gatorade FactsRegular sports drinks contain ingredients such as:

Water, sucrose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, citric acid, natural grape flavor with other natural flavors, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, red 40, Blue 1.

They also typically have fruit-like flavors but labels that say “contain no fruit.”

I’m all for re-hydrating, but are the monopotassium phosphate, mystery “natural flavors,” and artificial dyes really necessary? I know from experience that these ingredients typically make me feel terrible and just aren’t worth it.

Now, when more than just water is needed for hydration (softball games, triathlons, labor, etc.), we make our own version.

Natural Sports Electrolyte Drink Recipe

Coconut water is one of the simplest sports drink alternatives and can be used as is.

Apparently, coconut water is similar in structure to the fluid used in IV rehydration. For this reason, there are rumors it was used during the Pacific War as an IV electrolyte replacement. It makes a pretty good natural electrolyte drink on its own or with a splash of lime.

Coconut water contains more potassium than sports drinks, and more natural sources of sodium. A lot of athletes swear by it these days, and I had it on hand during my last couple of labors.

The only downside to coconut water is the price. If you want an inexpensive (yet still healthy and tasty) alternative, this recipe is the next best thing.

Natural Homemade Electrolyte Drink Recipe

You can make this recipe a variety of ways and the ratios are the most important part. The base is any healthy liquid of choice and some good options are:

To turn the basic liquid into a sports drink, add some or all of these ingredients:

  • Salt – A high quality salt adds sodium and other minerals.
  • Calcium or Magnesium – Adding a high quality calcium magnesium powder helps replenish minerals (I like this one.)
  • Juice – Optional but adds sweetness and natural sugars if needed during exercise.
  • Natural Flavors – I’m not talking about the more pleasant sounding name for the not-so-nice additive MSG. Add natural flavors in the form of fresh ginger, fresh herbs, or even natural flavored stevia extracts.

Electrolyte Drink Recipe: Basic Ingredients

Here’s the basic recipe and ratios I use, but you can customize to your personal taste preferences:

Natural Sports Electrolyte Drink Recipe (With Flavor Options)

Save money and avoid artificial ingredients by making your own homemade natural sports drink recipe with electrolytes. Endless options to make a flavor you love!

Ingredients

  • 1 quart of liquid (options: green tea, herbal teas, coconut water, plain water, etc.)
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp high quality salt (or more if needed)
  • 1 tsp calcium magnesium powder
  • 1/4 cup or more of juice (optional) – can use grape, apple, lemon, lime, pineapple, etc.
  • 1-2 TBSP sweetener (optional) – can use honey, stevia, etc. I suggest brewing stevia leaf into the base liquid for the most natural option.

 

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Fall Garden Guide: How to Plan, Pick, and Grow The Best Fall Vegetables

Fall Garden Guide: How to Plan, Pick, and Grow The Best Fall Vegetables

THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON EPIC GARDENING.

WINTER IS COMING!

But before it does, there is still the autumn, and many people can manage to squeak another batch of fall vegetables out at this time of year.

 

 

But when should you have your plants in the ground, and how much time do they need before they produce?

There are more questions about fall gardening that I’m sure you’re wondering:

  • What fall crops do well in the colder months of the year, and how can you incorporate these into your growing habits?
  • Do you want to plant from seed, or plant young seedling plants?
  • How can you prepare your fall garden to ensure that these plants survive pests and diseases to produce you another harvest of food?

If you’re wondering any of the above, then wonder no more, as I’ve got you covered. We’re going to focus on all of that and even more.

So settle in with a nice cool drink during the fading heat of the summer, and let’s talk about everything you need to know to get another harvest before the chill sets in.

The Timing Problem: How Do You Know When To Plant?

When Is Your Frost Date?

They say timing is everything — but it really is when you’re considering fall planting. Almost everywhere has a list of estimated dates for the first and last frosts, and while they may not be 100% accurate every year, it’s good enough to plan your upcoming garden around.

Not all frost dates are the same, of course. You will need to research your estimated frost dates before you can begin. Remember, these are always estimated, based on prior weather patterns, so if you have a freak frost outside of the normal patterns, you may have to rush out and protect young plants in the cold. While there’s a wide variety of maps which give a good generalized overview, I am personally fond of this frost date calculator for getting a good estimate of when to expect the cold to come.

What Is Your Crop’s Time to Maturity?

Once you know your frost date, it’s time to look at what you’re growing. What’s your crop’s time to maturity? If, for instance, your first frost generally shows up in late November, and you’ve got plants which take 60 days to come to maturity, you’re going to want to plant in the end of August or beginning of September.

Count backwards from the estimated frost date, and add at least an extra week to account for any variables. That’s when that plant needs to be in the ground.

Of course, if you’re planting seeds, you need to add a little extra time. Germination is slow, after all — it can take up to two weeks for your fall vegetables to sprout and form a pair of true leaves, and for some, it can take even longer.

Add the estimated germination time to your maturity time, add a week or two just in case there’s an early frost, count backwards through a calendar from your estimated frost date, and that’s when you should be sowing that seed!

What To Plant In Fall

So you’ve decided you are going to try to get one extra crop this year… but you may be asking what to plant in fall. Allow me to give you a list of popular vegetables to plant in the fall months!

Edible-leaved plants: These are the ones that generally would be bitter or would bolt in the summertime. Examples are lettuce, collards, mustard greens, arugula, spinach, Swiss chard, or kales. Some varieties are especially cold-hardy, so you might want to consider one that does well in the cooler months.

Head vegetables: This is a great time of year to plant vegetables that you’ll cut the heads from, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, or endives. Brussels sprouts are also an excellent choice for the fall vegetable garden.

Allium family: Now’s your chance to plant bunching onions and green onions, leeks, and garlic. You may also be able to plant onions in areas which are unlikely to get hard freezes or snow, as with a nice mulch layer they can continue to grow all winter long.

Root vegetables: All sorts of root vegetables grow well in the fall, including carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets, radishes, kohlrabi, and rutabagas.

Other vegetables: Peas love the cooler temperatures of the autumn, so are perfect for fall planting. Some varieties of bush beans also do extremely well at this time of year, producing a nice late harvest just in time for your Thanksgiving dinner. In climates where frost is almost nonexistent, you may be able to sneak in a crop of cold-tolerant cucumbers as well.

Sow or Transplant?

Both sowing and transplanting seeds are viable options… but most people realize that the summer has slipped by once it’s too late. If this has happened to you (and it does happen to all of us at some point), you’ll need to buy seedling plants instead.

You can plan months ahead and sow your own seeds, especially if you want fall crops you can’t easily find elsewhere. If you like unusual carrot types, or can’t find seedlings locally, this may be an option. You will need to start them much earlier than you might think to give the time long enough to get established.

Another thing to take into consideration is how hot it is when you start the seeds. If you still have another month of 90 degree or higher temperatures, your seedlings could sprout and immediately wilt in the sun. That can be disastrous! I recommend starting your seeds in seedling flats filled with a good seed starting mix rather than direct-sowing them. You can keep them in the shade during the hottest parts of the day, or even keep them indoors in a sunny window, offering you a better chance of getting a good harvest.

As you can see, this can be a complex situation, and so starting from seed in the fall is not for everyone.

For the casual gardener, your best bet is going to be to purchase existing seedlings when you’re ready to plant. It’s much simpler, and the seedlings already are off to a good start. Often, the seedlings have already been culled and are ready to plant, which saves you a lot of heartache.

 

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2 Cute Ideas for a Healthy School Lunch

2 Cute Ideas for a Healthy School Lunch

THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON CHALKBOARD MAG.

Kid by chronology or kid at heart; whichever one you’re cooking for, these healthy school lunch ideas will keep them nourished and craving more…

 

 

HISTORY ISN’T OUR forte, but we’re pretty sure getting kids to eat more veggies has alwaysbeen a parental struggle. Even if you’re a lucky one whose mini craves carrots and kale, keeping them interested becomes a whole other game — so here are your new MVPs:

These healthy school lunch ideas from our favorite plant-based caterers, Haute Chefs LA, are creative twists on classic kid food, loaded with nourishing whole food ingredients – instead of sugar, preservatives and mystery add-ins – and are as fun to eat as they are delicious. Try the two simple recipes below, or the broccoli toast idea pictured above…


ROASTED CARROT HOT DOGS

INGREDIENTS:

4 jumbo carrots

1 1/2 Tbsp organic ketchup
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 gluten-free hot dog buns

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut off the tips and stem ends of the carrots, Place carrot “hot dogs” on parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet and toss carrots with olive oil and some fresh herbs. Roast until well caramelized and tender fully cooked through, about 1 hour, rotating carrot hot dogs until tender and a bit al dente.

Serve each in a hot dog bun with condiments of choice. We have used our kids favorite, guacamole and some pickled carrots…

 

BAKED BROCCOLI TATER TOTS

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups broccoli
¼ cup diced yellow onion
⅓ cup cheddar cheese (or almond cheddar cheese)
⅓ cup gluten-free panko breadcrumbs
⅓ cup gluten-free Italian breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp parsley
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a baking sheet with a thin layer of oil or line with parchment paper and set aside.
Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute then remove and shock with cold tap water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.
Chop broccoli finely and mix thoroughly with the onions, cheddar, breadcrumbs, and seasoning. Scoop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of mix using a ice-cream scoop or your hands and gently press between your hands into a firm ball then shape into a tater-tot shape.
Next, Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crispy, 18-24 minutes, turning half way. Remove from the oven and enjoy hot.

 

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