Month: June 2017

Date Sweetened Ketchup

Date Sweetened Ketchup

I’m Canadian, so it’s pretty much a given in that I LOVE ketchup. When I moved down to Oregon from Saskatchewan, I had so many people say to me, “Wow! You put ketchup on everything!” While that’s a slight exaggeration, it is by far my […]

Fruit Sugar vs. Processed Sugar: Why is fruit better for me?

Fruit Sugar vs. Processed Sugar: Why is fruit better for me?

At some point, I’m sure we’ve all conquered our monster cravings and replaced a decadent dessert with a piece of fruit because we knew it was better for us. But have you ever sat down and actually thought about why it’s supposedly better? Believe it […]

Antioxidants: What the Rainbow Colors of Your Fruits & Veggies Are Actually Telling You

Antioxidants: What the Rainbow Colors of Your Fruits & Veggies Are Actually Telling You

Ever wonder what gives fruits and vegetables such vibrant colors? The red of tomatoes, purple of eggplants and green of kiwis? It’s the phytochemicals (aka “plant-chemicals”) which are natural plant pigments. They work together with nutrients in the fruit and veggies to provide various health benefits and, most importantly, they have antioxidant properties.

What are antioxidants?

To put it very simply, antioxidants are a substance that prevent cell damage. Major cell damage can reduce your body’s ability to protect itself from diseases, cancer and premature aging, among many other things.

How does this happen?

Free radicals, which are weakened molecules in your body. Free radicals react quickly in attempts to strengthen themselves by weakening the molecules around them.

This process is known as oxidation.

To put this in perspective, think of your car engine. In order for your car to run, it needs to burn (or oxidize) the fuel. This creates energy and heat, and the heat would destroy the car if there wasn’t a cooling system (antioxidant) to keep it within normal operating temperature.

Can I completely avoid free radicals by eating really healthy?

No. Free radicals are naturally created by your immune system and during metabolism. Exposure to pollution, sunlight, radiation, cigarette smoke and herbicides can also create free radicals in your body.

Antioxidants = Against Oxidation

So again, to put it really simply, antioxidants prevent oxidation by strengthening the weakened molecules before they have weakened another molecule. Antioxidants are so important in your body because if they are unavailable, a free radical chain reaction can occur, resulting in a disruption of a living cell. If this happens your body is left unhealthy and unprotected.

Produce Color = Antioxidant

The color of your fruit and veggies is a hint of which antioxidants are in them, therefore if you know what each color means, you can begin to understand what the potential health benefits are:

Red = Lycopene
An antioxidant that helps keep your heart healthy and protects against some cancers.

Orange/Yellow = Beta-Carotene
An antioxidant that, when digested, is converted into vitamin A, contributing to healthy eyes and a strong immune system.

Green = Chlorophyll
An antioxidant that works together with other vitamins and minerals to help the body protect itself against cancer.

Blue/Purple = Anthocyanin
An antioxidant that can help boost the immune system and reduce the risk of cancer.

So go ahead, taste the rainbow! Eat as wide a variety of colored fruits and veggies as possible.

~

Sources:

http://gentleworld.org/phytochemicals-eating-from-the-rainbow/
http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/eat-rainbow
http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/110308p34.shtml

Avocado Potato Salad

Avocado Potato Salad

“Mayo-less” potato salad. I did this for a few reasons: Ashton HATES mayonnaise. He’ll eat the hard stems of broccoli, dry salad without dressing, even the cakes I’m recipe-testing, which come out of the oven dense and unrisen. But he won’t eat mayo. To add […]

Vanilla Coconut Cashew Ice Cream

Vanilla Coconut Cashew Ice Cream

So I’m just going to be totally honest here, this doesn’t taste exactly the same as real ice cream, but it’s definitely really good. It settles that intense, ice cream-craving demon inside you and goes nicely on warm pies, brownies, even cookies. Plus, it’s a […]

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

The whole reason I started this website in the first place is because I LOVE desserts and other comfort foods and refuse to believe that I should have to give them up completely to live a healthy lifestyle. That’s why I started coming up with my own, healthier versions of these recipes. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is one of those desserts that I refuse to give up. Life is just way too short.

Pie with ice cream is one of my favorite things and warm Strawberry Rhubarb Pie in the summertime with ice cream slowly melting on the side literally can’t be beat.

Don’t be intimidated by having to make your own pie crust. It’s so simple and this dough is super easy to work with. Plus, by making your own at home you’re able to eliminate a lot of unhealthy crap that tends to be in the store-bought crusts.

Using coconut oil instead of butter in the crust makes this pie dairy-free and vegan, and adds a dose of healthy fats to your diet. The filling is refined sugar-free, using coconut sugar and maple syrup to sweeten.

Annnnddddd…. If you want that melty ice cream to go with it but want to stick with the dairy-free/vegan trend, top it with my Vanilla Coconut Cashew Ice Cream.

Leave me a rating below and let me know what you think!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

: 8
: 40 min
: 1 hr 30 min
: 2 hr 10 min
: medium

NUTRITION FACTS: (per serving) Calories: 402 Total Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 17g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.0g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0g Cholesterol: 0.0g Sodium: 124mg Potassium: 98mg Total Carbohydrate: 52g Dietary Fiber: 6g Sugars: 25g Protein: 5.0g

Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ⅔ cup coconut oil
  • 8-12 tbsp ice cold water
  • For the filling:
  • 3 cups frozen rhubarb, thawed
  • 3.5 cups frozen strawberries, thawed
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Step 2 Start by making the crust. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together. Add the coconut oil, one spoonful at a time, taking a fork to cut it into the flour mixture. It should still be dry with small chunks of coconut oil when you’re done.
  • Step 3 Next add the ice cold water, 2 tablespoons at a time, gently mixing between each addition. Continue to add cold water until it begins to come together and form a dough.
  • Step 4 Use your hands to gently knead the dough in the bowl and gather any loose bits of flour. Transfer to a well-floured surface and form into a disc.
  • Step 5 Sprinkle flour on the top of the dough and using a rolling pin, roll out in a circle until about ⅛ inch thick.
  • Step 6 Once it’s at the desired thickness, gently drape one end of the dough over your rolling pin and roll it ¾ of the way up, carefully pick it up and unroll it over your pie dish. It’s forgiving so if it cracks, grab a spare piece and patch it up.
  • Step 7 After forming it to your pie dish, cut away the excess overhang and place in the refrigerator (along with excess dough) until ready to pour in the filling.
  • Step 8 To make the filling: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and then pour into pie crust.
  • Step 9 To make lattice topping, roll out the excess dough into a rectangle and cut into strips. Lay them across the top of your pie filling, weaving them under and over one another. Cut off the excess ends of the strips and take a fork to press down the edges of the pie crust.
  • Step 10 Bake for 75-95 minutes until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown.
  • Step 11 Allow to cool for at least 15-20 minutes. If you want the juices to thicken, allow to cool more.
  • Step 12 Serve with a generous scoop of my Vanilla Coconut Cashew Ice Cream.

Crust adapted from: Minimalist Baker’s Coconut Oil Pie Crust

 

 

          

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Nut Butters: Why You Should Be Eating Them & Which Kinds to Buy

Nut Butters: Why You Should Be Eating Them & Which Kinds to Buy

I’m pretty sure my first love was peanut butter. I would eat it by the spoonful and had a PB&J sandwich for lunch almost every day. I continued to expand my horizons with it and discovered the peanut butter and nutella spoon dip (hello Reese’s […]

Why You Should Eat a Donut Today & Not Feel Guilty About It

Why You Should Eat a Donut Today & Not Feel Guilty About It

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