Kale Chips

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Kale is the QUEEN of healthy greens. Loaded with vitamins and minerals,  it is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. In particular, kale is very high in antioxidants Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K;  in addition to minerals iron, calcium, and manganese.  Not only is this leafy green chalked full of antioxidants, but even has omega-3 fatty acids to help fight inflammation! One cup offers 5 grams of fiber and only 36 calories.

Crispy Baked Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or 1 even coat of olive oil spray)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic or onion powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Using a knife, cut a kale bunch  (already washed & dried) into smaller bite size pieces. You may also use  a bag of already precut kale.
  3. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Spread kale into a single layer on the baking sheet.
  5. Drizzle olive oil (or  use olive oil spray, such as Trader Joe’s), and sprinkle with sea salt and other seasoning.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn tray. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Watch carefully as to not allow kale to burn.
  7. Let cool 3 minutes and enjoy!

Be sure to enjoy these kale chips within 24 hours as they lose crispiness quickly!

 

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Grain Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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Oatmeal raisin cookies were always my favorite growing up which is why I was SO excited to try this recipe when I came across it recently. This recipe is by Danielle Walker from AgainstAllGrain.com. She has fabulous recipes for grain-free and gluten-free cooking. If you find yourself on any sort of restricted diet for health reasons, or you are simply trying to eat healthier without giving up some of your favorite treats, then you’ll absolutely love her creative and tasty recipes! These cookies use almond and coconut flour in place of traditional refined flour and honey for a natural sweetener. Your kitchen will smell heavenly while these are baking in the oven. Enjoy these delicious soft and chewy cookies with a cup of tea or by themselves for a tasty afternoon treat.

Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 15  mins

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup grass-fed butter*
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut four
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoons nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda 
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground flax seeds
  • ¾ cup finely shredded coconut 
  • ½ cup raisins (I used organic)

*If you have a dairy allergy, coconut oil in its’ solid form may be substituted for butter.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place butter and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix for 1 minute.You may also use an electric hand mixer.
  3. Add the honey and vanilla and mix for another minute, until creamy.
  4. Place the flours, spices, baking soda, salt, and flax seeds in a small bowl, stirring to combine.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined.
  6. Add in the coconut and raisins and mix again until all is combined.
  7. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Form small balls  and place onto a cookie sheet.
  9. Place another piece of parchment paper over the balls, then use a spatula to gently press the balls down into circles about ¼ inch thick and 2 inches in diameter.
  10. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the edges are light golden brown.
  11. Let cookies cool on a wire rack.

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Homemade Granola Bars

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Ever bother looking at the ingredient list on the back of a box of store bought granola bars? How many of the ingredients are actually real food..? Most likely not very many. I’m willing to bet refined sugar is one of the FIRST ingredients followed by a lengthy list of additives like soy protein isolate, soy lecithin, BHTcaramel coloring and other artificial colors.That’s why when you can, it’s best not to always depend too heavily on processed snack foods no matter how “healthy” they market themselves as. Food companies use deceptive advertising to help sell their product. After all, the food industry is a billion dollar business. But trust me when I say they definitely do not have our health and best interest in mind!

Let’s take fiber and protein for example. Everyone knows that dietary fiber and protein are important components of our diets. Fiber and protein rich foods can aid in weight loss by increasing satiety and helping to control blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. However, the fiber and protein found in most protein bars and granola bars likely originate in a lab and not from nature. These bars also come with a dose of refined sugar which can create opposite effects.

I encourage getting naturally occurring fiber from plant based foods like whole fruitsvegetables, oats, nuts and seeds as opposed to the synthetic or “functional” fiber added to most processed foods. Our bodies know what to do with real food. Artificial ingredients are foreign to our bodies and many of these ingredients are banned for use in other countries, deemed too harmful! (Yikes). I will get off my soap box now but just remember that people have thrived on vegetables, meats, eggs, fruits and other whole foods for centuries. Processed foods were only recently invented and I’m compelled as a dietitian to recommend food that supports optimal health 😉

If you have a little extra time, these homemade no bake granola bars can replace those store bought bars. They contain only whole food ingredients, packed full of plant based protein and fiber. Each bar contains approximately 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. They’re fairly simple to make and create a tasty addition to your lunchbox for a quick snack during the day!


Homemade Granola Bars (8 bars)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup raw almonds

1/3 cup of gluten free oats

1/2 cup of organic raisins (no sugar added)

1/2 cup almond butter

2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed

1/2 cup of organic honey

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt

Directions:

1. Chop nuts into small pieces.

2. Combine all dry ingredients together in bowl.

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3. In a separate bowl, combine honey and almond butter. Heat in microwave for 20 seconds, stirring half way through.

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4. Combine honey mixture with dry ingredients and combine until all ingredients are wet.

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5. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and form mixture into a rectangle on the baking sheet. Use hands to press mixture flat. Should be approximately  1/4 inch in thickness.

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6. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours to harden.

7. Using a knife or pizza slicer, cut into 8 even bars.

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8. Enjoy!

Note: You can also try lightly toasting the nuts and oats first on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 6-10 minutes. Bars are best if kept in refrigerator for up to 5 days.