And the beat goes on….+ yummy green smoothie recipe

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As you can probably tell, the blogging has taken a back seat lately. I have not been cooking up a storm and I don’t have any new recipes to share.¬† I have probably eaten out more than I like lately but hey sometimes that is life ūüôā¬†¬† Since my daughter started high school in August, it has been a whirlwind of a schedule! I must say she is doing great and she has had no choice but to stay organized so I am not complaining! She is in the school marching band and let me tell you it is a busy time! Anyone who thinks band is for the faint of heart, let me just say they are sadly mistaken! I have learned so much in this journey with my daughter. For one thing, she really loves it! There is a sense of¬†comrade that is created. It teaches the kiddos discipline and structure and I am all for that!¬† I savor every minute and just tell myself that one day the house will be quiet and I will have more time than I know what to do!

With this crazy band life, has come an opportunity for me as an individual.   I have been involved in coordinating one of the bands biggest fundraisers, Kingdom of the Sun Marching Band Festival.  This is my first year and pretty much my first time for taking on anything of this size. We are talking about 22 bands and 2000 kids competing at our school!  Very exciting, yet challenging! In an effort to keep this event going, we really need to show a profit for all our hard work and time spent.  If I am not at a band competition or football game on the weekends, then I am lighting up the phones and approaching local businesses requesting donations anywhere from goods and services to monetary donations. My philosophy is always ask for everything I need and want, and the worse they can say is no. I have found many, if not most, people to be so generous and accommodating in our endeavor! Money is tough to come by just for basic educational needs let alone funds for the arts such as band.  I enjoy doing what I do and if it gets us what we need for the band then I am ecstatic! Does it take a lot of time? YES. Does it require lots of follow-up? YES. Is it worth it? YES. I think so! Every little bit helps the kids and the teachers as well as our ultimate goal, to raise funds for the band!

So with that said, here is a recipe for a great energy boosting, ON THE GO, smoothie.  I came across this on pinterest so I decided to give it a try. I made the smoothie then I froze it in silicone push pops (kind of like the gogurt packaging) and had it with me during the band competitions.  You can enjoy this frozen in pops or just as a great energy drink for breakfast or any time of day!

Below is the link to check out the push pop molds if you are interested!

http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-431-4-Piece-Silicone-Maker/dp/B0036B9KHO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350997078&sr=8-1&keywords=silicon+push+pops

  Green Smoothie

2 handfuls spinach

1 apple

1 banana (I used frozen)

1 c. greek yogurt (or any of your choice)

5 strawberries (I used frozen but fresh is even better

1/2 of a naval orange

Blend till smooth and enjoy! Ice is optional, if you use ice, I would use about a cup.

  

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GaGa for Guava!

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The Bountiful Year

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Deliciously Organic, one of my fave blogs to follow, posted this today and I thought I would pass it along! It is a wonderful graph that shows what fruits and vegetables are in season throughout the year! Keep it with your juicer or in your fave cookbook to have it handy!

The Bountiful Year- the seasons for fruits and veggies

 

No bake oat bars

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In preparation for the week and healthy eating, I decided to make this recipe. I changed a few things and I did not roll them into balls like the recipe says. Instead I decided to make them into a chewy, no baking required, granola bar.  I have listed the actual recipe along with my modifications.  They are so delicious, easy to make and healthy when you crave a chewy, chocolate delight!

1 c old-fashioned oats

2/3 c toasted coconut flakes (I used this unsweetened, organic coconut by Now real foods)

Ocala peeps can get this product at Vitalize Nutrition Company

1/2 c peanut butter ( I used PB2– 6 tbsp pb2 and 3 tbsp water, you need it to bind all the ingredients so you may have to add more pb2 to get the right consistency. It will depend on size of oats used etc.) Vitalize Nutrition Company carries this too.¬† If you don’t know about PB2 you should check it out. It is about 85 % less fat than peanut butter and tastes awesome!

1/2 c ground flaxseed or wheat germ (I used flaxseed)

1/2 c chocolate chips (optional) I used a 1/4 c raw cacao nibs and a 1/4 c chocolate chips

1/3 c honey (I used a gallberry honey that I bought local)

1 tsp vanilla

Stir all ingredients in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. I used a pampered chef bar pan and spread the mixture onto the pan then put it in the fridge for about an hour. Once chilled, I cut the mixture into bars and put the bars in a container back in the fridge to be stored.  Another option is to chill the mixture for a half hour or so and then roll the mixture into the size of a truffle and store in the fridge.

Have fun with this recipe and make it your own. You can substitute dried fruit for the chocolate chips. You can use any kind of nut butter you wish (almond, sunflower etc).  Agave nectar may not be a good sub for the honey since it is not as thick.

Pancakes and Pajamas

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Rainy weather calls for a day at home in the kitchen! And of course wearing my pajamas! I don’t have many days like this but I do love them every once and a while. Pretty much the whole family had pajamas on all day! It was a busy weekend with the kiddos so today was a gift!¬† My husband and I baked some gluten free bread and gf pizza crust for me to keep in the freezer. My kiddos wanted french toast so I used a french bread and whipped up a crispy, buttery breakfast. Let’s not forget the pancakes I made for myself for breakfast!¬† I did not want to eat the regular bread so I whipped up a modified version of this healthy recipe.¬† Remember: make extra (or save any leftover pancakes) so you can freeze them and have them handy in the morning!¬† Pop them in the toaster and enjoy!

 

(Adapted from the biggest loser pancake recipe)

 

6 egg whites- (I used one egg and 1 tbsp flaxseed with 3 tbsp water)

1 cup rolled oats, dry

1 cup cottage cheese (I left this out, you can use greek yogurt too)

2 teaspoons sugar (I used date paste instead)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Instructions:

 

In a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Heat a griddle or large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. For each pancake pour 1/4 cup of batter onto griddle. Flip when they start to bubble. Cook until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batches, spraying the griddle as needed. Makes about 10 pancakes.

 

Number of Servings: 3

 

Nutritional Info Per Serving:

181 Calories, 2.7g Fat, 10mg Cholesterol, 361mg Sodium, 20g Carbs, 2.8g Fiber

Ch ch ch Chia seeds and Chocolate Banana Bread

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UPDATE!  This recipe turned out delicious! I listed the substitutions I used!

 

Hope everyone is having a happy labor day! Today I am in the kitchen experimenting with Chia seeds as an egg replacement! Chia seeds are a powerful food loaded with Omegas 3’s, protein and calcium. When 1 tbsp of chia is mixed with 3 tbsps. of water, it makes an egg substitute. Chocolate banana bread is on the list today! I will post all the substitutions I used in a bit!

 

 

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

submitted by Melanie

Recipe adapted from Cooking Pleasures

1 cup sugar  ( you can use 1/2 c unsweetened coconut and 1/2 c blonde coconut sugar)

2 eggs ( you can use 1 egg and 1tbsp chia with 3 tbsp water, let sit 15 mins then use as an egg)

1/3 cup vegetable oil (1/3 c applesauce or 1/3 c greek yogurt)

1 1/4 cups mashed bananas (about 3)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups flour  (I used rice flour that I made in the vitamix)

1/2 cup cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (I omitted these in the batch I made)

1. Heat oven to 350. Spray bottom of 8√ó4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

2. Beat sugar, eggs, and oil (or substitutions)  in large bowl at medium speed until combined. Beat in banana and vanilla at low speed. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; beat into banana mixture at low speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

3 Spoon batter into pan. Bake 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

 

 

 

Chocolate banana bread

One change at a time

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Phew made it through Monday! I had some really great questions brought to me today. I love questions so please keep them coming! It can be overwhelming trying to start exercising, juicing, eating gluten free and healthier. My advice to you is make one change at a time.¬† The goal is for you to make a life change, eat healthier and live better. I know weight loss is a goal and we must lose it but I don’t want it to run let alone ruin¬†your life. You have to be happy with what you are doing! If you find yourself eating junk late at night (I am very guilty of this) try to replace it with a cup of hot licorice mint tea. It¬†has a sweet taste and will help with digestion.¬† Journal why you are eating late and go back and review each day what might have caused the eating.¬† Sometimes we just have cravings and we just want to eat! Bottom line, everything in moderation and remember the end goal is to live longer, healthier lives.¬† Be well!

 

Licorice tea

Just another Manic Monday!

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Good morning! Here is wishing everyone a great work day/school day! Start the week on the right foot, pack your lunch, take the stairs instead of the elevator! Do squats at your desk or find a partner and go for a lunch time walk. Just get moving and do what you love as long as it is not sittin’ on the couch!Lol!¬† Hopefully you got off to work and/or school with a healthy breakfast! It is one of the meals you definitely don’t want to miss and eating breakfast every day helps with weightloss if that is your goal.¬† Not a breakfast person? Try this green monster smoothie! Ignore the color because the taste is awesome! I promise I would not steer you wrong! My kids love them, give it a try and let me know how you like it!

Green Monster Smoothie