10.31.2016

Stovetop Cinnamon Apples

 

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When you have apples overflowing in your fruit bowl and some of them are well…too soft eat (because soft apples are never as good as the crunchy ones in my opinion), it’s time to cook something! Stovetop cinnamon apples turn any kind of regular apple into a sweet and healthy treat.

For an easy topping on yogurt or ice-cream its nice to have them cubed up and bite size. I have gone back and fourth cooking whole apples, 1/2 apples, apple slices and now apple “cubes”. It’s fun that apples can be made into a variety of shapes and sizes.

I had my 2 year old helper that I nanny, chop with her plastic knife along side of me. We ended up snacking on the apples that were on the crunchier side because crunchy local apples here in Colorado are amazing!

Stovetop cinnamon apples are a simple recipe for kids to help with too. It is a super easy recipe and can be done in basically 10 min (awesome for short attention spans!). The clean up is minimal but the finished apples are warm and yummy! So here is how you do it.

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Wash, peel and chop apples into 1/2″ in cubes.
  2. In a saucepan (I use an amber glass one) add water, salt, cinnamon, butter and maple syrup (optional) and stir to combine.
  3. Add chopped apples to the saucepan and turn on med-high heat and cook for 10-15 min with the lid on. (It may bubble up so I always find that cracking the lid to side helps release the pressure so it doesn’t make a mess and overflow.)
  4. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve! Leftovers can be saved in the fridge for a few days too. 🙂

 

caroline

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10.16.2016

Baked Sweet Potato fries

Hi! I have been loving fall here in Boulder Colorado. The smell in the air is crisp and the nights are cooler so sweet potato fries really warm you to the bones (exactly what I need right now after a long walk).

Since I’m a nanny during the week, that means I’m in charge of the kids meals. I get to cook with awesome organic farm fresh foods for the family I am nannying. Sweet potatoes, pumpkins, apples.. yum!

In my last post I mentioned I was a live in nanny, but after giving it a try I felt it was not ideal for me. I am still a nanny in the same area but I have more personal space after work which is nice. The little ones I nanny are awesome eaters and love to help me make things from scratch. They love to peel sweet potatoes, separate the pumpkin seeds, and freeze fruits. It’s a good match because it helps the process go quicker, gets them involved and trying new things.

Baked sweet potato fries are a favorite (and a great filling warming food after a long day!). True story… In 6th grade I ate a sweet potato every day after school and it was such a good recovery food mentally and physically. That got me thinking, there must be something good for the brain in sweet potatoes. Time to flip through to the biggest best food nutrition dictionary or the online version. I found that

In animal studies, reduced inflammation following sweet potato consumption has been shown in brain tissue and nerve tissue throughout the body.

Baked sweet potato fries are yummy and easy and such an appetizing way to cook a vegetable (in my opinion). Alrighty, enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

Supplies:

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Use your veggies scrub brush and wash off the potatoes of any dirt under water.
  3. Chop off the tips of the potato to get a flat base.
  4. (If you want to keep the skin skip this step.) Peel potatoes with the veggie peeler.
  5. Cut potatoes into 1/4 in slices.
  6. Cut the slices into 1/4 in strips
  7. If oil or butter is solid quickly melt in a small sauce pan.
  8. Toss sweet potato strips and spices and melted oil in a bowl and coat the fries generously.
  9. (optional) line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. Place potato slices on a single layer on a cookie sheet.
  11. Place in oven and bake for 15-18 min on 400 degrees.
  12. Shake the pan or turn the fries 1x during the cooking process so they evenly brown.
  13. Let cool a few minutes before serving!

 

caroline

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09.10.2016

Quinoa Cinnamon Banana layer cake

Hi everyone! It’s Caroline finally and I’m writing from my new home in Colorado!

Like I said in my last update, my health got better and I took a giant leap of faith to drive across the country MN–>CO to become a live in Nanny for a great Catholic German Family. God has blessed me a thousand times, and am so happy here! Since I make healthy meals each day for the family, I may as well write them out for you to make too!

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Just a heads up, this recipe was made up at the last second because we had a lot of extra cooked quinoa and a bunch of school friends coming over in 1 hour. So we brainstormed a bit and decided on something sweet with premade cooked quinoa, caramel and cinnamon!

This recipe is pretty flexible and you could add some baked apples instead of bananas. Feel free to add more or less quinoa depending on how much you have on hand. You could switch almonds for walnuts too. At the end we had extra caramel sauce so the kids just drizzled it over their pieces.

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Ingredients:

 

Directions:

  • Pre-make quinoa and caramel sauce ahead of time.
  • In a large sauce pan combine cooked quinoa, cinnamon, butter, sea salt, and about 1/4 cup of the caramel sauce.
  • Turn the heat on medium and cook until the butter is melted and the quinoa gets coated with cinnamon and caramel and becomes sticky.
  • Line the bottom of a casserole dish with 1 layer of chopped bananas.
  • Spoon on a layer of the gooey quinoa mixture and press with a spatula until flat and even.
  • Layer more sliced bananas and again more of the quinoa mixture.
  • On the top, put on the rest of the sliced bananas.
  • Add walnuts and drizzle the top of the cake with the caramel sauce. (*you will have extra and can save it or drizzle more on later).
  • (aka bottom to top: bananas, quinoa, bananas, quinoa, bananas/walnuts/caramel)
  • Serve with a spoon because it tends to fall apart a bit!

*tip: Enjoy after nap time or else the sugar will keep you up! 🙂

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caroline

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08.29.2016

Delicious Peppermint Smoothie

Peppermint is one of my favorite flavors!  I have fond memories of indulging in York peppermint patties, Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, and those Christmas peppermint nougat candies … and, errr, not being able to stop myself from eating more and more and more.

Obviously those aren’t the most healthy food options out there …

BUT, what if you could combine this wonderful peppermint flavor with healthy eating?!!

Introducing: The Magnificent Peppermint Smoothie!IMG_3121

 

Last week I wrote about all the amazing benefits of the superfood kale.  (Click here to read.)  In this article I detail how the nutrients in kale will work for your body to fight against things like cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and eye-sight failure, and a myriad of other health conditions.  Today, I want to show you one of the many ways that my family has chosen to incorporate this awesome vegetable into our lives.  Let me share with you our peppermint smoothie!

Ingredients:IMG_2144

  • 1 cup coconut milk (I like full-fat coconut milk because it gives a thickness that resembles ice cream!  Mmmm)
  • 1 Tbsp honey (or more to reach desired sweetness)
  • 1-2 handfuls of kale
  • 30 peppermint leaves or 1-2 drops of Peppermint essential oil
  • Dark chocolate (or carob), chopped or shaved into small piecesIMG_3303
  • A dash or two of salt
  • about 10 ice cubes

 

 

 

 

Directions: 

I love using the Nutri Ninja individual cup for quick and easy blending and cleanup!  (Get yours here.)  You could always use a regular blender as well, but you may want to double the peppermint smoothie recipe to fill the blender a bit higher.

  1. Toss all of your ingredients, except the ice, into the cup and blend for about 10-12 seconds.  This should be enough to incorporate all the ingredients together.
  2. Add in the ice cubes and blend again.  This addition will make the shake nice and thick and ice-creamy!  (You don’t want to add the ice cubes right away, because it can cause the honey to solidify into one big glob, and not distribute the sweetness evenly)IMG_2145
  3. Stir in chocolate pieces or sprinkle on top.
  4. Enjoy this delicious smoothie while delighting in the fact that you’re feeding your body such nutritious food!IMG_3141

 

**Anne Warren is a wife & mother who loves blogging about healthy food (inside & out)!  She has had her own health struggles throughout the years, yet she is thankful that it has brought her to a place of better health.  He health struggles have helped her gain an understanding that the things she puts into her body – both physically and spiritually – will indeed have a huge effect on her overall energy and wellbeing.  She shares with you here today because encouraging others is a great passion!IMG_7579

If you are interested in getting more of her recipes, please check out her blog at www.foodthatsatisfies.com.

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08.22.2016

Kale: Its Amazing Benefits & Why You Should Eat It!

Hi GUTSY readers, I am Anne Warren from Food That Satisfies.  One of my greatest life passions is learning about health and implementing it into my family’s daily life.  This, coupled with a desire to encourage & inspire others, has sparked my excitement for blogging about my journey!  My blog is just a couple months old, but it’s growing fast, and I’m so happy to be able to share with you here today!  Feel free to read my story and then learn all about the benefits of eating kale!

My Story

My own struggles with chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, and food allergies led me down a path of whole food eating and natural remedies, for which I am so blessed!  The process, however, also meant that I spent a couple years of my life in the kitchen, during whichIMG_7579 I neglected some of the relationships that I hold dear.  I realized that while I needed quality food for health, I also didn’t want it to rule my life.  Thus, as a wife, mother, daughter and friend, it is so valuable to me to find balance within the context of healthy living.  I want to help you gain health so that you can live out your dreams … not sacrifice them in the process.  It is my hope that my blog posts will reflect that!  If you’re interested in hearing my story, read more about it here.

I am so grateful to Caroline for giving me the opportunity to post here on GUTSY.  We have been friends for a number of years, originally connecting over real food and natural health solutions.  I will be posting on GUTSY periodically during the upcoming months and hope to connect with you during that time.  If you enjoy what you read here, please join me for additional posts at www.FoodThatSatisfies.com!



 

Top 5 Benefits of Eating Kale

If I told you that kale is good for you and you should eat it more often, you’d probably respond with, “Yeah, I know”, and then go on living your normal kale-meager life without a second thought.

BUT … if you really understood just how nutritious and health-promoting kale is, you’d be banging down your grocery store doors trying to get as much of this cruciferous vegetable as you could possibly get your hands on!

So, let me share with you the top 5 reasons that you want to be eating this terrific food!

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1. GLUTATHIONE, GLUTATHIONE, GLUTATHIONE

Glutathione is quite possibly the most important antioxidant in your body.  This substance is found in every single cell of your body, and its overarching purpose is to protect your cells from things that might seek to damage them.  Thus, glutathione fights against free radicals & toxins that might be introduced to your body from chemicals, radiation, or other environmental pollution.

If it’s inflammation you’re trying to soothe, glutathione is one of the very best things you can be putting into your body!  It is terrific for helping both your liver and individual cells detoxify and bring down inflammation.

Due to it’s protective nature, glutathione is considered to be an amazing component both for preventing cancer and helping cancer patients as they undergo treatment.  It is also one of the best preventative methods that a person can take to guard against neurodegenerative diseases such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Needless to say, getting glutathione should be top priority for anyone who wants to stay healthy and optimally functioning!

“So, how does one get more glutathione?” you may ask.

Surprise, surprise: KALE!  The sulphur-rich amino acids found in most cruciferous vegetables naturally boost glutathione levels in a person’s body.  Thus, you can increase your cellular glutathione by eating any cruciferous vegetable: broccoli, cabbage, or brussel sprouts … however, just wait until you hear about the other great health benefits that kale has packed into it!

2. Amazing Protection for your Eye Sight

In addition to glutathione, kale is chalk-full of other anti-oxidants.  A few of the standouts when it comes to vision and eye health are lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene.  These compounds are called carotenoids, and they are very important to helping maintain a person’s sight.  They protect the body against oxidative stress (caused by a variety of free radicals) and are important in maintaining the delicate eye tissue.

According to brightfocus.org, “As many as 11 million people in the United States have some form of age-related macular degeneration.  This number is expected to double to nearly 22 million by 2050.”  In our western culture, eye problems are becoming more and more common.  Could it be that we have pushed some of these healthy vegetables to the sidelines, causing more issues than we realize?

The carotenoids in kale are highly protective against degenerative eye disease such as macular degeneration, as well as cataracts.  There is officially no “cure” for advanced macular degeneration; however, there are mountains of evidence showing us that we can completely prevent the problem in the first place by putting quality nutrients into our bodies.  Studies show that the levels of lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene in a person’s blood all go up when kale is ingested.IMG_1993

**A key thing to note: All of these antioxidants are fat-soluble, meaning your body needs good fats in order to best process them.  Thus, you will want to be sure to eat your kale with some sort of fat to get the full benefits of these antioxidants.  This usually isn’t too much of a problem since cooked kale is often served with butter or olive oil, and raw kale can be dressed with a vinaigrette in salad, used with coconut milk in a smoothie, or crisped with a little olive oil as a chip.

3. It’s a Major Cancer-Fighter!

As we discussed at the beginning, glutathione is an antioxidant that is super protective against cancer-causing free radicals.  It reduces inflammation, promotes healthy detoxification (which gets rid of toxins and cancerous growths) and counters the effects of things such as free radicals.

In addition to glutathione, kale contains compounds known as indoles.  Indoles are a class of phytochemicals that have been shown to greatly reduce estrogenic activity.  A majority of cancerous tumors are estrogenic in nature, meaning that extra estrogen in a person’s body will greatly accelerate a tumor’s growth.  Estrogen causes cells to grow, and not being able to efficiently detoxify estrogen provides what is necessary for tumors to grow … and grow … and grow.

Estrogen dominance is a huge problem for females.  It is extremely common in the United States to find women who have a much higher ratio of estrogen to progesterone.   Unfortunately, in our society, hormones are thrown around right and left, without much regard for the delicate balance that needs to be maintained between the great complexity of hormones in a body.  Our bodies are also stressed with high amounts of chemicals, which eventually overloads our detoxification systems.  These are just a couple of the many things that leads to the epidemic of cancers that we are seeing today.

Fortunately, we have a food that specifically targets both the estrogen and the detoxification system! Indoles work by detoxifying (getting rid of) estrogen, so that it isn’t sitting around creating tumors in your body.  It enables your body to do the job it was intended to do – keeping the good and getting rid of the bad!  Just like glutathione, indoles are found in most cruciferous vegetables, so please, PLEASE make these a part of your regular diet!

4. Vitamin K – It Prevents Osteoporosis, Atherosclerosis, and Type II Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis : Decreasing of bone mass throughout your body; it makes a person easily prone to fractures
  • Atherosclerosis:  The build-up of plaque on artery walls, leading to strokes, heart attacks, or peripheral vascular disease
  • Type II Diabetes:  Insulin resistance that, over time, can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves and/or heart.

The three conditions listed above are some of the most common health issues experienced in our society today.  Millions of people are on expensive medications designed to combat symptoms of these diseases, yet there are so many terrible side effects of the drugs, that it leaves most people sicker than when they started.   Wouldn’t it be great to have something that fight to prevent these conditions, while at the same time improving your overall health?!!

Hmmmm …. let’s see.  What might have the capability of doing something like that?

Yep, you guessed it.  The one and only kale!

The high amounts of Vitamin K that are found within kale help activate a protein (osteocalcin), which binds with bone minerals to build strong, lasting bones, thus preventing osteoporosis.  In addition, the Vitamin K in kale prevents build up and calcification of arteries, preventing cardiovascular disease and everything associated with it.  Finally, studies show that Vitamin K both prevents and reduces the effects of Type II Diabetes.

“Killing three birds with one stone” … or shall I say “Knocking out three diseases with one superfood!”IMG_1493

5. High in Many Other Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin A

On the heels of Vitamin K, let’s delve into the benefits of calcium that you receive from eating kale.  One of the major problems in osteoporosis is that a person lays down bone without the proper mineral content, leaving bones brittle and weak.  Both Vitamin K & Calcium are huge players in this process.  A majority of the calcium in your body goes toward building bones & teeth, but if there isn’t enough calcium available to your body, your body steals calcium from your bones to use for other vital functions such as blood clotting, nerve function, cell signaling, and activation of enzyme reactions.  Getting a significant amount of calcium that your body can readily absorb is very important in avoiding osteoporosis!

Additionally, iron anemia is something that many women struggle with.  The iron in kale, while certainly not the highest of all vegetables, is also nothing to sneeze about.  It is important that a person consume Vitamin C at the same time as iron, because it significantly increases the body’s absorption of the iron.  Fortunately for us, kale contains high levels of Vitamin C!

The Vitamins A & C, which are also found in kale, are extremely beneficial to a person.  1 cup of cooked kale contains 98% of a person’s recommended daily value(DV) of Vitamin A and 71% of the recommended DV of Vitamin C.  It’s truly amazing how many great nutrients are packed into kale.  In addition to all of these, it is a good source of manganese, copper, Vitamin B6, fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B2, Magnesium and Omega-3 (ALA) fats!

Eat MORE Kale!

In conclusion, kale is a wonderful source of antioxidants & vitamins.  These vital nutrients are protectors in the body, enabling it to fight against things such as cancer, neurodegenerative & cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.  While there might be future research yet to come showing even greater benefits, it is pretty evident at this point that we can’t go wrong adding kale to our diets!  Please check back here in the days to come as we delve into some wonderful kale recipes!  If you are interested in learning more about kale and all its benefits, please check out one of the resources below:

World's Healthiest Foods image                  Kale complete guide book

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**As a side note, some people have troubles digesting kale due to the higher insoluble fiber content.  This often occurs if a person has SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth).  If kale seems to give you problems, this is a great indicator to you that you need to rebalance your gut flora.  Let this serve as a clue to attaining better health!

 

 

 

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