Posts by Courtney

creamy sun-dried tomato basil soup

Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in appetizer, soups | 0 comments

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Baby it’s cold outside.  And I just can’t seem to get warm. I’ve been stuck in my house for four days due to the recent ice storm that rolled through Dallas last Thursday night.  At first, I was excited to have a few days to snuggle up with the kids and to have an excuse to take some time off and do pretty much nothing.  But I found that in addition to doing pretty much nothing, I did a whole lot of eating.  All I’ve wanted to do is curl up under a mountain of blankets with something warm to eat.  When it’s cold and dreary outside, I could literally eat (or drink) soup for every meal.

Years ago, I asked a holistic nutritionist to give me a set of recommendations specific for me, and he listed having warm foods and drinks to balance my cold and high strung nature near the top of his list.  Heat is a natural relaxer for muscles and the mind, which is why a hot bath and warm mug of something without caffeine does a great job calming you down and preparing your body for sleep.  In fact, heat is the best natural muscle relaxer and one I use regularly for tight muscles in my back and shoulders.

Speaking of sleep, our bodies want more of it during winter months.  More sleep and more calories.  (Yep, that just about wraps up my cravings at the moment.)  The cool thing about the human body is that it’s a lot smarter than we give it credit for – it innately knows exactly what it needs.  When we have cravings, it’s important to listen and meet those needs with the healthiest choices possible.

Reasons we crave warm foods during winter:

  • Warm foods heat up our body temperature from the inside out.  When it’s freezing outside, our bodies need all the help they can get to maintain the optimal temperature.
  • Warming our bodies takes a lot of energy!  So we need some extra calories and nutrition in the form of hearty and nutritious root veggies, greens, meats, healthy fats, and probiotic foods during the winter.
  • Our bodies specifically crave carbs not only to meet the extra calorie requirement but to also give us a boost of natural endorphins and the happy neurotransmitter serotonin to battle the winter blues.
  • Warm foods are grounding for our bodies.  They give us the support we need during the ups and downs of winter weather.
  • Our immune systems need that extra boost from warm bone broths and cooked foods packed with vitamin C and zinc like garlic, onions, and leafy greens such as Brussels sprouts and cabbage.

Healthy winter foods to serve warm and satisfy your cravings:

  • Starchy (carb) vegetables:  pumpkin, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, and beets
  • Non-starchy vegetables:  garlic, onion, celery, cauliflower, artichokes, and leeks
  • Greens:  Brussels sprouts, beet greens, broccoli, cabbage, kale, Belgian endive, fennel, radicchio, escarole, and frisee
  • Healthy fats:  olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, coconut milk and cream, coconut, nuts, seeds, avocados, eggs, and meats
  • Protein:  eggs, meats, nuts, and seeds
  • Homemade bone broth
  • Herbs and spices
  • Creamy probiotic foods like kefir and yogurt or cultured vegetables like sauerkraut

A few tips for preparing healthy warm foods this winter:

  • Spice it up!  The temperature of food is not the only thing that warms your body.  Warming spices like cayenne, chili pepper, chipotle chili, cumin, curry blend, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, mustard, and anise also heat your body form the inside out.
  • Make your own bone broths for soups and stews to give your body an extra immune system boost and to benefit for your gut health.  Place bones in a large stock pot and cover with water.  Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and simmer over low heat for at least a day.
  • Add a small amount of healthy fat in the form of olive, coconut, or sesame oil to your soups and stews, roasted and stir-fried veggies, sauces, and dressings.  Or add an avocado or coconut milk or cream for a creamy texture.  Fat is a slow-burning fuel for steady energy.
  • Incorporate probiotics into your cooking in the form of kefir, yogurt, and cultured vegetables like sauerkraut to further promote a healthy intestine and immune system.  A healthy gut is the first step to a healthy immune system and body.  If you avoid dairy, try dairy free alternatives to kefir and yogurt made with coconut milk.  I like to substitute kefir for cream or buttermilk and yogurt for sour cream in dips, spreads, sauces, and dressings.  Just note that heating probiotic foods kills the good bacteria you’re seeking for your digestive health.
  • Throw in something green with every meal for the added vitamin C and zinc, which are both immune system boosters.
  • Drink warm beverages like warm lemon water or teas.  Many decaffeinated tea varieties contain warming spices like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.  I have a tea kettle constantly warming on my stove.  I also like the Cuisinart tea kettle for a convenient cup of tea.
  • Essential oils are a wonderful and healthy winter warming tool also.  Diffusing winter oils and adding them to baths and body creams can help with body chills, chapped lips, indoor germs, joint stiffness, and depressed moods.  Try these winter essential oils: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, black pepper, citrus oils like tangerine, orange, lemon, and grapefruit, pine, cedarwood, spruce, rosemary, peppermint, spearmint, myrrh, sandalwood, rosewood, and frankincense.

Last Thursday evening, on the night of the winter storm that covered Dallas with ice, my family enjoyed this creamy sun-dried tomato basil soup.  It hit the spot.  We all licked our bowls.  I served the soup with a few rolled up slices of roast beef prepared fresh at Whole Foods.

 

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To start, I soaked a 2-ounce package of sun-dried tomatoes in a half cup of water (or enough to cover the tomatoes) for at least 30 minutes.  Sun-dried tomatoes provide tons of vitamins A, C, and K plus a healthy dose of potassium and iron.

 

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Next, I chopped a small purple onion and three cloves of garlic.  I added two tablespoons of olive oil to a medium saucepan, and cooked the diced onion and garlic in the oil for about five minutes or until translucent.

 

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I added 2 ½ cups of chicken broth, the soaked sun-dried tomatoes with soaking water, sliced teardrop tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper to the saucepan.  After bringing all the ingredients to a boil, I reduced the heat to medium-low, covered the saucepan, and let it simmer for at least 30 minutes.

 

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I poured one 5.4-ounce can of Native Forest coconut cream into the large Vitamix container.  Then I added the contents of the saucepan into the Vitamix as well.  I covered the Vitamix with the lid and then a towel to prevent injury before turning it on low and working up to high speed.  I blended the soup in the Vitamix on high for about a minute.  I served this creamy sun-dried tomato basil soup garnished with pine nuts.

 

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creamy sun-dried tomato basil soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup, appetizer
Serves: 4
 

Ingredients
  • 2-ounce package of sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in ½ cup water
  • 1 purple onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2½ cups chicken broth
  • large handful of teardrop tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons basil or handful of fresh chopped basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 5.4 ounce can coconut cream
  • optional: garnish with pine nuts

Instructions
  1. Soak sun-dried tomatoes in ½ cup water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Chop the purple onion and cloves of garlic.
  3. In a medium saucepan, saute chopped onion and garlic in olive oil for five minutes.
  4. Add chicken broth, sun-dried tomatoes with the soaking water, teardrop tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper to the saucepan and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Pour coconut cream into the large Vitamix container.
  7. Add contents of the saucepan, cover, and blend until smooth for at least a minute.
  8. Serve warm with optional pine nuts as a garnish.

 

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dark chocolate avocado truffles

Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in desserts, featured | 2 comments

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I have a serious chocolate addiction. The darker the better. You can imagine my delight to read David Wolfe’s book Superfoods and find that he includes raw cacao (what chocolate is made from) in his list of the ten healthiest foods on the planet. How fantastic is that? I can now feel no guilt in indulging daily.

But not all chocolate is the same. To get the full health benefits of raw cacao, it needs to be just that. Raw…unprocessed…unaltered…pure. Cacao is the richest source of magnesium you can find. Over 2/3 of the population does not get enough magnesium in their diet.  Magnesium is good for your nerves and muscles, your immune system, your bones, and your heart. It helps with lots of biological processes like regulating your blood sugar and your blood pressure, and it elevates your mood.  Seriously, cacao actually does improve your mood. No wonder I reach for the chocolate when I’m stressed out and hormonal.

When picking out chocolate, I choose a variety with a high percentage of cacao. The higher the percentage of cacao, the more you benefit from all of those antioxidants. The flavonoids (the dark pigments that act as powerful antioxidants) in cacao are more numerous than other rock stars you hear about like green tea, red wine, and blueberries. A diet rich in flavonoids reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Extremely dark chocolate – the kind with almost 100% cacao – is pretty bitter. I have grown to love the bitterness of cacao, even enjoying raw cacao nibs sprinkled on chia pudding and other things, but I still crave that creamy, sweet dark chocolate too.  These dark chocolate avocado truffles satisfy my sweet and creamy craving as well as my love for dark chocolate, and the best part is I can make them in a jiffy.

 

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I start with a perfectly ripe medium sized avocado.  I cut it in half, remove the pit, and mash it in a small bowl.

 

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Next, I melt the dark chocolate chips in the microwave for about two minutes, stopping after one minute to stir. I chose Sunspire Organic Fair Trade dark chocolate chips because they are gluten, dairy, and soy free.

 

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I combine the melted dark chocolate with the mashed avocado and then add a few droppers full of liquid stevia, raw cacao powder, and a little bit of vanilla. Stevia is a zero calorie sweetener that is actually an herb which contains antioxidants and works to cleanse the pancreas and regulate blood sugar. I avoid buying stevia blends like Truvia, Stevia in the Raw, and Purevia because they are processed and contain other additives like dextrose, maltodextrose, erythritol, and rebianna.  I buy Sweet Leaf liquid stevia because it is pure and the least processed.  Plus, it comes in a liquid version that is free of inulin (an irritant to some) and combines better with other ingredients.

 

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I refrigerate the chocolate mixture for about thirty minutes, so it is easier to mold into balls.  Then, I use a small spoon to scoop one chunk at a time into my hands and shape it into a ball.  Lastly, I roll the dark chocolate balls in raw cacao powder. These dark chocolate avocado truffles turned out fantastic. Rich and decadent for those who love chocolate as much as I do.

 

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5.0 from 1 reviews

dark chocolate avocado truffles
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 12 – 15
 

Ingredients
  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder, split
  • 3 droppers full of liquid stevia
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla

Instructions
  1. Mash the avocado in a small bowl.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips for two minutes in the microwave, stopping after one minute to stir.
  3. Combine the melted chocolate with the mashed avocado, and add one and a half tablespoons of the raw cacao powder, stevia, and vanilla, mixing together until smooth.
  4. Refrigerate the chocolate mixture for thirty minutes.
  5. Using a small spoon, scoop chunks of the chocolate mixture into your hands and form into balls.
  6. Roll the balls of chocolate in one and a half tablespoons of the raw cacao powder. Makes 12 – 15 truffles.
  7. Store in the refrigerator for a firm truffle or on the counter for a softer truffle.

 

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grain free and dairy free sandwich bread

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in breads | 0 comments

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Dressing or stuffing is the one dish on Thanksgiving that is always a bit of a disappointment since I cut out gluten and adopted more of a Paleo way of eating.  I’ve tried pre-made dried bread cubes, but nothing has come close to tasting the way I remember traditional dressing tastes.  So the past couple of years, I decided to make my own stuffing bread cubes.

I use a basic grain free and dairy free sandwich bread made with 2/3 almond flour and 1/3 unmodified potato starch.  I have also used sweet potato flour instead of the unmodified potato starch but after reading this article on Mark’s Daily Apple, I switched to unmodified potato starch for the added benefit of this type of resistant starch to my intestinal flora.  The gut environment thrives on resistant starch that passes through the small intestine undigested and arrives in the colon ready for fermentation by the gut flora (beneficial bacteria).

A flourishing gut environment is crucial for good health.  Those who regularly take supplements or eat foods with high quality probiotics (good bacteria) along with prebiotics (food that those good bacteria need to grow and thrive) and resistant starch experience fewer allergies, less sickness, and lower overall inflammation in their bodies than those who do not.

 

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Making my own bread always seemed intimidating to me until I tried it.  I have a Cuisinart breadmaker, which basically takes ALL of the work out of making homemade bread.  My recipe is super simple with only 9 ingredients:  four wet, and five dry.

 

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I start by letting the wet ingredients come to room temperature.  The finicky yeast granules do not like cold, so to do their thing, which causes the bread to rise, the eggs, milk, melted coconut oil, and honey need to be room temperature.  Once the ingredients have warmed slightly, I whisk them together and pour them into the loaf pan inside the breadmaker.

 

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Now for the five dry ingredients.  I stirred together the almond flour, unmodified potato starch, xanthan gum, sea salt, and yeast granules.  Then I spread the dry ingredients evenly on top of the wet ingredients in the loaf pan.  Time to operate the machinery.  Again, super simple.  I start by selecting the gluten free option on the menu, and then I select 2 pound loaf and medium crust.  Then I press start.  And that’s it…the last of my involvement in the break making process other than removing the finished loaf of bread.  The loaf of bread takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes from start to finish in the breadmaker.

 

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To make the loaf of bread into cubes for stuffing, I cut the bread into cubes and leave it out uncovered on the counter for about a day to dry out.  If you’re pressed for time, you can also place the cubes on a baking sheet and dry them in the oven on the lowest setting for about 45 minutes.

 

grain free and dairy free sandwich bread
Author: 
Recipe type: bread
Serves: 12
 

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1¼ cups canned coconut milk, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup unmodified potato flour
  • 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 packet yeast granules

Instructions
  1. Bring all wet ingredients to room temperature: coconut oil, coconut milk, honey, and eggs.
  2. Whisk together wet ingredients and pour into loaf pan in the breadmaker.
  3. Stir together dry ingredients: almond flour, potato flour, xanthan gum, sea salt, and yeast granules.
  4. Spread dry ingredients over wet ingredients in the loaf pan in the breadmaker.
  5. Set the breadmaker to gluten free setting, the loaf size to 2 pounds, and the crust to medium. Press start.
  6. Remove from breadmaker promptly when finished.

 

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bacon and butternut squash “risotto”

Posted by on Nov 20, 2013 in featured, side dish, vegetables | 2 comments

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The holidays are upon us.  Thanksgiving is next week!  Even though I love this magical time of year, I can’t help but feel my anxiety level rise as my to-do list grows.  And when my anxiety increases, my sleep decreases.  For whatever reason, my body likes to deal with anxiety at night in the form of insomnia.

Until several years ago, I have not been a good sleeper.   I have been tortured with insomnia on and off my whole life.  And torture is a pretty accurate word to use when it’s 2am in the middle of your umpteenth sleepless night, and your mind is still on that hamster wheel.  I used to describe the feeling in my brain as having a light switch on that I just couldn’t flip off.  Insomnia is MISERABLE!

About ten years ago, when I was also going through the worst of my years of sickness, I was driven into such a craze from yet another night of no sleep, that I decided I needed a little help in the form of a pill to get some relief.  My doctor did not immediately jump to Ambien (which is what I was hoping he’d prescribe me for a quick fix) but instead looked for the source of my night time wired mind.  He explained that when a person is experiencing anxiety, it is common to motor through your day pretty unaffected and coping just fine, but the second your head hits the pillow, that switch in your mind flips on and your body deals with the anxiety at night.  I left his office without a prescription for Ambien and instead began a three year relationship with Lexapro, a serotonin re-uptake drug.  Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in your brain that promotes a good mood and relaxation.

At first, I was so happy to be sleeping like a baby, that I was perfectly content taking my one little “sanity” pill each day.  But after I had several months of better than average sleep under my belt, I was thinking a whole lot more clearly and became much less enthused about my magic fix.  I loved how Lexapro took away any anxiety and insomnia I had been experiencing, but that’s not all it took away.  I had no feelings.  I had to force myself to do what I had previously been motivated to do during my days.  I would be perfectly content sitting on the couch watching life happen around me with no care in the world.  I didn’t like the feeling of not caring and not having an emotional attachment to pretty much anything.  And then there’s the weight gain.  I felt puffy and carried around an extra five pounds the three years the drug was in my system.

I made the decision to stop taking Lexapro after less than a year of starting it.  Then began my two year yo-yo experience, as I tried to wean from myself from it.  I began to research natural ways to boost my serotonin level because I believed that the cause of my chronic anxiety and insomnia was a chemical problem within my brain.  I found that the body makes serotonin using the amino acid tryptophan.  Eating a well balanced diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, eggs, fish, and meat is the best way to ensure I’m getting enough tryptophan.  But some people can still come up short and need a little boost.  I decided to supplement with additional tryptophan.  Except I didn’t start with tryptophan, I started with something called 5-HTP, which is what the body converts tryptophan into before making serotonin.  I started off very slowly and worked up to several capsules per day until I started to feel relief.  I was able to ditch Lexapro for good with the help of 5-HTP.

But to be honest, I wasn’t completely satisfied with my sleep.  I still lay in bed awake for at least an hour trying to shut off my overactive mind.  I went back to researching and even met with a holistic specialist who suggested I try L-tryptophan instead of 5-HTP because it works better for some people.  And guess what, I was one of those people.  For the last several years, I have experienced amazing sleep.  I feel like a new person!!

A few other supplements that have also helped improve my sleep are GABA, melatonin, and liquid calcium and magnesium.  GABA is also a neurotransmitter in your brain that calms you down for sleep at night.  I’ve found that GABA wipes out my anxiety, so my mind can turn off.  Melatonin is a hormone that helps you fall and stay asleep through the night.  Magnesium is also needed for your body to relax, and because magnesium and calcium need to be taken together for both to absorb properly, I take a liquid calcium and magnesium supplement by Bluebonnet each night.  I have found all three of these supplements have further helped improve my sleep quality, especially during stressful or hormonal times when I’m prone to anxiety.

The holidays are a busy and crazy time of year.  If you aren’t sleeping well or are suffering from anxiety or insomnia, don’t let that sabotage the merriment and celebration of the season.  I encourage you to ask your doctor or other professional about these natural supplements that have helped me sleep.

My favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is the side dishes.  I plan to make this bacon and butternut squash “risotto” for my family this year.

 

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I am open to any shortcuts I can find to save myself a little time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving.  To make this side dish, I bought my butternut squash pre-chopped.  I have found organic pre-chopped butternut squash at both Costco and Whole Foods.  If you prefer to chop your own, here is a great tutorial on how to do it.

 

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Next, I “riced” the cauliflower by putting the florets in my food processor and pulsing until they are pieces the size of rice.  A head of cauliflower yields quite a few florets, so I processed several batches before finishing the entire head.  Here is another method to “rice” cauliflower.  I also diced a couple stalks of celery and about a fourth of a purple onion and set them aside.

 

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I then chopped five pieces of uncured bacon and cooked them in a large pan over medium-high heat for about five minutes.

 

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Next, I added the diced celery and onion and a half teaspoon of both salt and pepper to the pan and cooked it for another five minutes.

 

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I added the butternut squash to the pan and cooked it for about seven minutes or until the cubes of squash became tender.

 

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I added the “riced” cauliflower to the pan and cooked it for another seven minutes.  And lastly, I stirred in chopped sage, pine nuts, and a little ghee for additional flavor.  Ghee is clarified butter that is a casein-free and lactose-free substitute for butter.

 

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4.0 from 1 reviews

bacon and butternut squash “risotto”
Author: 
Recipe type: side dish, vegetable
Serves: 6
 

Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 stalks celery
  • ¼ purple onion
  • 5 pieces of bacon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • handful of chopped fresh sage
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons ghee

Instructions
  1. Peel and cut up the butternut squash, or buy it pre-chopped. Set aside.
  2. “Rice” the cauliflower in a food processor and set aside.
  3. Dice the celery and onion and set aside.
  4. Cut up the bacon, and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes in a large pan.
  5. Add the celery, onion, salt and pepper to the pan, and cook for 5 more minutes.
  6. Add the butternut squash to the pan, and cook for 7 more minutes or until the squash is tender.
  7. Add the “riced” cauliflower to the pan, and cook for 7 more minutes.
  8. Stir in the the sage, pine nuts, and ghee.
  9. Serve warm.

 

 

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barbecue zucchini chips

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in snacks, vegetables | 4 comments

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Why do you snack?  The purpose of a snack is to provide a bridge between the larger meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  A healthy snack keeps your metabolism revving along and gives you that precious energy to focus and stay busy and active without losing steam throughout your day.  Ideally, healthy snacks are like mini well balanced meals (not just a carb load) complete with protein, fiber, and a little fat.  If you are in weight loss mode, focus on foods with fiber, as they are filling but usually low in calories, making a small snack go a long way in keeping you satisfied.

Realistically, do you think about the nutrition aspect of your snacks?  Most often I do not!  Snacks in my world typically have nothing to do with hunger and have everything to do with me having a craving.  Even though I know better than to reach for food when I have a craving, if I’m being honest, I’m still human and I do it.  We all do at one time or another.  The important thing is not to let cravings take over and allow food to become a stronghold in your life.

Sometimes you need to give in to your cravings, and sometimes your cravings can signal something else is going on in your life – you have another need (spiritual, physical, relational, or occupational) besides food that you should address.  So how do you tell the difference between a craving that you should satisfy and a craving that needs to be met in another way besides food?  I’ve learned a couple of questions to ask myself that have helped me distinguish the difference.

First, when you have a craving, ask yourself “What type of food am I craving right now?”  If the answer is salty or sweet, your body might be sending you a message that it needs something.  This is the type of craving that you want to satisfy with a healthy snack.

A craving for something salty can mean your body needs valuable trace minerals.  Table salt, which is used in most processed foods today, has been refined and stripped of minerals, so it’s almost pure sodium chloride.  But sea salt is a good unrefined choice to satisfy your craving, as it’s chalked full of trace minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, sulfur, phosphorus, bromine, boron, zinc, iron, manganese, copper, and silicon.  Choosing a snack seasoned with sea salt can satisfy this craving.

If you crave something sweet, your body is telling you that it needs energy.  Before satisfying a sweet craving, make sure to evaluate your food choice so you don’t end up with another craving soon thereafter.  Sugary, processed, wheat containing sweets offer little nutrients and break down really quickly in your digestive system, absorbing into your bloodstream at rapid speed. They spike your blood sugar and give you quick energy but then just as quickly as it shoots up, your blood sugar drops and you’re left with another sweet craving.  Instead, choose sweet snacks that contain natural sugar like fruit or natural sweeteners like a little honey or maple syrup.  And don’t forget the protein, fat, and fiber!  Choose sweet snacks that are well balanced, so they give you lasting energy, as they satisfy your need for different types of nutrients.  They are also broken down and absorbed at a slower pace, trickling into your bloodstream rather than flooding it, which keeps your sweet craving at bay longer.

The second question to ask yourself when you have a craving is “What do I really need right now?”  Many times the answer is not food.  Because you feel in your body and also put food into your body, without even realizing it, you can try to cope with your feelings by eating.  Common emotions that lead to cravings are anger, frustration, anxiousness, boredom, loneliness, and needing comfort.

When you crave crunchy foods, you tend to be feeling frustrated or angry.  There’s something about the noise and the act of chomping that eases those emotions.

When you crave something creamy, you may be needing comfort.  Creamy foods are soothing and relaxing.

By asking yourself “What do I really need right now?”, you can examine the deeper root of the craving and appropriately satisfy it. Many cravings are tied to other areas of your life besides food. When you take time to make sure all of you is properly nourished – spiritual, physical, relational, occupational – you will find your cravings lessen and you are on the road to healthy snacking.

These barbeque zucchini chips are one example of a healthy snack choice, providing an energy boost with a naturally sweet food plus some needed nutrients to help you make it through your day.  Pair them with a few nuts and seeds, a rolled up slice of turkey, a hard boiled egg, or a piece of smoked salmon to add a little protein.

 

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To start, I made a simple barbecue spice blend with chili powder, sea salt, coconut sugar (maple sugar works well too), paprika, garlic, cumin, mustard, and black pepper.

 

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Next, I cut three zucchinis into 1/8 inch slices.

 

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Next, I preheated the oven to 300 degrees and placed the slices on parchment lined baking sheets.  I sprayed a little olive oil over the slices with my olive oil mister and then sprinkled the barbecue spice blend on the zucchini slices and baked them for 40 minutes.  I removed them from the oven and flipped the slices.  Then I sprayed a little more olive oil on the other side and sprinkled on more of the spice blend.  I baked them for about 20 more minutes, watching closely to make sure not to over bake.  After 20 minutes, I removed several of the chips from the baking sheet that were good and crispy and returned the rest to the oven to bake for about 5 more minutes.

 

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5.0 from 1 reviews

barbecue zucchini chips
Author: 
Recipe type: snack, vegetable
Serves: 6-8
 

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1-2 tablespoon coconut sugar, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 zucchini
  • olive oil

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. To make a barbecue spice blend, combine chili powder, coconut sugar, sea salt, garlic, paprika, cumin, mustard, black pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl.
  3. Thinly slice the zucchinis into ⅛ inch slices.
  4. Mist the olive oil over the zucchini slices, sprinkle the spice blend over the zucchini slices, and bake for 40 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven, flip the slices, mist a little olive oil on the other side, and sprinkle the splice blend over the other side too.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes more, watching closely not to overbake.

 

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