Delicious & Nutritious Dates!

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Dates are an amazingly nutritious fruit enjoyed all over the world. They are also very healthy loaded with vitamins and minerals, including potassium, and fiber.  In fact one  date fruit has 25% more potassium than a banana.  Dates are also naturally fat free, sodium free, and cholesterol free and make an incredible way to naturally sweeten things without the high calories and fat found in other sugary and sweet foods.  Dates have been known to aid blood sugar keeping it balanced.

If you are looking for a natural alternative to other sweeteners like sugar, agave, honey, or stevia, you may really love date paste.  You can make it fresh anytime, simply by adding hot water and soaking them.  I use 1/2 cup of warm water to 1 cup of dates. Once soaked and softened you can remove the pits, and puree the dates until a nice paste forms.  This paste can be used in anything you would typically use sugar or natural sweeteners. By removing the white sugar from your diet and incorporating this natural fruit sugar you will be helping your body, while also reducing your risk for obesity.  Dates are naturally rich in pectin, a fiber found in the sticky syrup of dates.  Date Paste can be used for a number of culinary uses besides a sweetener, including a natural thickener, and gelling agent, which works great in baked goods, cookies, cakes, pastries, breads jams, jellies, smoothies and more.

Dates  are a fruit of the date palm tree, and have been consumed for thousands of years. They are most oftenly grown in dry subtropical conditions. Typically dates are dark reddish brown, oval in size, and about 1 1/2 inches long. The date skin is wrinkled and coated with a sticky and waxy film. This soft, syrupy and extremely sweet fruit is consumed raw and does not need to be heated or cooked. When dates grow they are in large clusters found low beneath the fronds of the date palm tree.

Dates  are a wonderfully rich and sweet fruit with all the taste of sugar, without the harmful effects of it. They are also a delicious and nourishing, and a super healthy food snack.  These are perfect to carry for kids, and adults on the go, and transport very well. I love using pureed dates or date paste in salad dressings, sauces, smoothies and so much more. Be creative and see how you can incorporate dates into your life.

Fresh Apple Blueberry & Peach Pies – Coming Soon!

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Quinoa & Black Bean Sprouted Grain Enchiladas

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Quinoa & Black Bean Sprouted Grain Enchiladas

 Time: 30 Minutes or less
Servings: 3-4
Ingredient Recipe: 5

Ingredients:

7 Organic Sprouted Grain Tortillas (small Ones) – We used Ezekial Brand yum!
2 cups Organic Quinoa cooked
2 cups Organic Black Beans drained
Frontera Enchilada Sauce Pack
2 Cups Mozzarella Part Skim Shredded Cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.  Cook the quinoa, or have it cooked and on hand.  Drain your black beans.  Get out a baking dish – We used glass pyrex that worked perfect.  Take tortillas and fill with quinoa and black beans enough to stuff them full but still able to roll them.  Proceed until all are rolled.  You can use large or small tortillas depending on what you have on hand.  Once rolled pour Frontera Enchilada sauce on top then top with Mozzarella part skim cheese.  If you are vegetarian simply swap out mozzarella for vegetarian cheese. Cook for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden.  If using vegetarian cheese be sure to watch it as it may need less time and you don’t want to burn it. Oven times may vary so keep an eye on it.

Note:

I cooked the quinoa in advance and had it on hand which made the Enchiladas take only 15 minutes.  This is an incredibly fast, fresh & healthy meal if you are short on time.  You can even make it in advance and have it ready in the fridge. Then you can just pop it in the oven when your home from work.  It made a wonderful lunch the next day also,  and all in all it is a win.  Typically when we have made Enchiladas in the test kitchen before we have had a lot of ingredients.  This time we were short on everything and they were just as delicious and super natural tasting. You can add fresh salsa with them for a bit more flavor.  We combined the Enchiladas with a quick baby greens salad, some gluten free blue corn chips and fresh guacamole for a wonderfully quick and delicious meal that the whole family could enjoy.  Yum!

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Seasonal Berries & Salad Yum!

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Next time your out be sure to pick up some delicious seasonal berries.  They are sweet and delicious this time of year.  They make a wonderful treat  to eat alone or to top on a salad.  We picked up fresh organic baby mixed greens and sliced up some yummy strawberries with a light drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette, and WOW was it great.  Its a super tasty snack or lunch when your in a rush.  When your short on time, top your salad with some nuts like raw sunflower seeds to pack in a bit of nutrition, while adding some lovely taste and texture to your delicious and yummy salad.

Have a wonderful day and make it GREAT!

Be sure to remember to choose food that will put you in a good mood!

 

 

Chocolate Nutty Bites – Gluten-Free

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Nutty Bites

Naturally Gluten-Free
Time:  15 Minutes
Ingredient Recipe:  8

Ingredients:

1 Cup Organic all natural Peanut Butter (You can also use any nut butter on hand)
3/4 Cup Agave or other favorite sugar substitute
1 large cage free Egg or for vegetarians use 1tbsp of ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp. of water
1/2 tsp. gluten-free baking soda
1/8 Cup Organic Chia Seeds
1/8 Cup Organic Ground Flaxseed
1/4 Cup chocolate chips (we used vegan, gluten-free chips)
1/4 cup favorite nuts (I used what I had on hand raw sunflower seeds, raw cashews, and raw pecans)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine all but nuts.  Stir until well mixed.

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Use non stick cooking spray for mini muffin pan.  We used coconut oil spray but you can use any that you have.  Drop 1 tbsp. into mini muffin cups.  Top the muffin cups with a sprinkle of nuts.
Any nuts you like can be used.  Bake 10-12 minutes until firm.  You may need more or less time depending on your oven.  Cool & Enjoy!

Note:

Be sure if you use peanut butter that you find an all natural one that has nothing but peanuts in it.  You don’t want the added sugar type.  We used the crunchy style peanut butter that made it a delicious treat.  You can also use any type of nut butter in its place and it is just as delicious. For our vegetarians substitute the flaxseed egg for the egg.  You can top it with nuts as we did here or make it without.  Both ways works great but we do think they make super exciting little bites when topped with nuts.  You can also make them with or without chocolate chips.  Sometimes when we don’t have chips on hand we make them without which makes a delicious peanut butter cookie taste.

 

 

Healthy Eating & Living requires you to get your veggies in

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Be sure to be getting the proper servings of fruits and veggies into your diet.  Remember that you don’t want to over cook veggies as they begin to lose their nutritional value once they have been heated.  Eating them al dente will allow the nutrition to remain intact while also eating them warm.

Be sure to get your veggies into your diet.  You can find so many in season different options.
Explore a little and enjoy.

Gluten-Free Nutty Bites

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-Coming soon-

New Gluten-Free Nutty Bites!

With just a few ingredients you can whip these up in a flash and enjoy this healthy sweet treat without any artificial preservatives or other chemicalized additives.

Familes love them, kids do too!

Lemon Avocado Dressing (Low-Calorie)

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Lemon Avocado Dressing (Low-Calorie)
Servings:  1/2 cup dressing
Time: 25-30 Minutes
5 Item Recipe
Naturally Vegan & Vegetarian

Ingredients:

½ large Avocado, chopped
½ cup Cucumber, chopped (peeled & seeded)
1 Tbs. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Organic Agave
1 Tbs. Fresh Dill, cut fine

Directions:

Take all ingredients and put into food processor. Add 1/4 cup water, blending until smooth dressing consistency develops. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Note:

This is a wonderful spring dressing, loaded with healthy fats and great nutrition.  We love using this dressing for salad, as a dip, on a sandwich, pouring it over sides – like veggies, quinoa and more.  Also makes a wonderful topping to protein whether it is grilled tofu, chicken or other. This dressing has a fresh and crisp flavor but is a nice texture.  It’s delicious on a kale salad and so many others.