Summer Salad – Creamy Coleslaw

If you’re anything like me and you love healthy food, give this recipe a try.

Firstly start off with fresh ripe ingredients.  We prefer organic and locally grown but that isn’t always an option depending on your location.  Just do what you can.

We like the sweetness without the sugar so try substituting with Stevia.

The fresh fennel can be substituted for fresh cilantro, basil, rosemary or dill for a unique flavor substitute.

 

Ingredients

1 pkg. shredded cabbage          1/4 c. diced apple                    2 tsp. fresh fennel               3/4 c. Mayonaise                                     1/4 c. sour cream                    1 tbs. Stevia                      1/2 tsp. ground mustard                        salt to taste

basilcilantrodillfennel

 

Directions

In a large mixing bowl pour the cabbage mix.

Dice (to your desired size) the apple.  Chop the fresh fennel.

In a small bowl mix Mayonaise, sour cream, and the stevia.  Fold in the rest of the ingredients and blend.  Mix into the cabbage in the large bowl and blend well.

You can finish off with a squeeze of lime or lemon.

Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours till well chilled.

 

Let us know if you tried it and liked it…

Here’s to your health.

 

 

Avocado Toast with a twist

We all love avocado toast.  It’s a healthy way to start your day.  Here’s a splendid way to add even greater flavor and depth to your toast.  Beet hummus… Yep, It’s amazing.  Below is the quick and easy recipe.

1 Avocado   1 slice 12-grain bread   Beet hummus    Leafy greens   salt   lemon/lime slice

  1.   Cut the avocado in half & remove pit.  Slice flesh while still in its’ skin.
  2.   Spread beet hummus on one side of the bread.
  3.   Layer the leafy greens on top of the beet hummus.
  4.   Remove slices of avocado and fan out on top of the greens.
  5.   Add garnishments if desired.  Add a squeeze of lemon or lime and a pinch of salt to taste.

Enjoy your quick and healthy meal.  It’s a great way to start your day.  It also makes a great snack.

Here’s to your health.

 

Easy Black Bean Enchiladas

Staring our superfood black beans.  This easy dish can be put together without much effort and little prep time.  Oftentimes the needed ingredients are already in our kitchen.  The Verde sauce and bean filling can be enhanced with your favorite veggies or complimentary fruit.  Seasonal additions are the best.

vegan-black-bean-enchiladas

SERVINGS – 4
PREP & COOK TIME 40 min
CALORIES 445   FAT 24g   CARBOHYDRATES 143g PROTEIN 21g

INGREDIENTS
10 corn tortillas     1 can black beans     1 large can green enchilada sauce     1 avocado     8 oz shredded cheese         1 tsp cumin     1 jalapeno     Fresh cilantro        1 lime          1 garlic clove       2 tbsp olive oil      1/4 c. red onion    Salt & Pepper to taste

TOOLS
Baking dish                 Large non-stick skillet

INSTRUCTIONS

PREPARE THE FILLING

black beans

Drain and rinse the beans.  Mince the garlic clove.  Mince the jalapeno. Mince the red onion.  Place skillet over medium heat with olive oil.  Add the garlic, jalapeno, red onion, cumin and saute till onion is almost translucent (about 3 min).  Add drained black beans and simmer for 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

PREPARE THE TORTILLAS

corn tortillas

Place a moist paper towel around the tortillas and microwave for 30 sec. to steam them for easy folding.

Ready the enchilada sauce.

Blend the cilantro and lime juice into bean filling.  Take off of heat and let cool.  Mix in 1/2 the diced avocado.  Set 1/2 of cheese aside.

MAKING THE ENCHILADA’S

Preheat oven to 350`.  Add 1/2 cup of salsa verde to cover the bottom of baking dish.  Fill the tortilla with 1/4 c. bean filling and sprinkle with cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish.  Repeat until dish is full.  Top enchiladas with the rest of the salsa verde and the remaining cheese. Bake for 10 min. or until golden brown.  Take out of the oven and garnish the top with cilantro and diced avocado. Add jalapeno if you like it hot.

You can get creative with toppings and fillings, so go crazy.

Enjoy these yummy enchiladas any time of the year and leave us a comment if you’ve tried them in your kitchen.

Here’s to your health.

 

Crispy Black Bean Tacos

Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

Black bean tacos make the quintessential summer dish. In a departure from traditional crispy tacos, these tortillas are made without deep frying, so you’ll enjoy them with all of the crunch and none of the guilt. The meal is finished off with a light seasonal salsa, which combines yummy bites of avocado and the refreshing flavor of mango.

SERVINGS – 2
PREP & COOK TIME 40 min
CALORIES 920         FAT 41g         CARBOHYDRATES 150g         PROTEIN 27g

INGREDIENTS
1 avocado     3 garlic cloves     4 oz red cabbage     1 mango     1 can black beans     1/4 cup sour cream     Fresh cilantro     1 tsp cumin     1 lime     1/2 chili powder     2 tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil     1 jalapeno     corn tortillas     Salt to taste     * Allergens: Soy*

TOOLS
Blender                                      Large nonstick skillet

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Prepare the salsa

avocado mango salsaHalve the avocado, remove the pit, and dice the flesh.  Peel the mango and carefully slice the flesh off the seed.  Dice half the mango.  Chop half the cilantro.  Halve the lime.

In a medium bowl, combine the diced avocado, diced mango, chopped cilantro, and juice from half the lime. Add a pinch of salt and stir the mango avocado salsa to combine.

 

2. Blend the cilantro sauce
cilantro sauce
Trim, deseed, and halve the jalapeño.

In a blender, combine half the jalapeño, remaining mango, remaining cilantro, 1 clove garlic, juice from the remaining lime half, 1 tbsp olive oil, and 1 tbsp water.

Blend until smooth, taste, and season with salt.

 

3 Heat the beans
heated black beans
Drain and rinse the black beans. Mince the remaining 2 cloves garlic. Mince the remaining jalapeños. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat with 2 tsp olive oil. Add the minced garlic, minced jalapeño, and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the black beans, ½ cup water, and ¼ tsp salt. Mash half of the beans with the back of a fork and cook until the beans have thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.

 
4 Crisp the tortillas
skillet tacos
Transfer the mashed black beans to a bowl. Rinse, dry, and return the skillet to medium-high heat with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add 3 corn tortillas in a single layer. Spoon 2 tbsp of the black beans onto half of each tortilla and fold in half. Cook until crispy, about 1 minute per side, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Sprinkle the crispy tortillas with a pinch of the chili powder and salt.

 
5 Build your tacos
black bean tacos
In a medium bowl, toss the red cabbage with half the cilantro sauce and a pinch of salt.

Open the tacos gently, and fill with red cabbage and mango avocado salsa.

Serve the crispy black bean tacos with the remaining cilantro sauce. Dollop with half the sour cream.

Enjoy these fresh summer tacos and you needn’t let anyone know they’re really good for you too.  Leave us a comment if you’ve tried these yummy tacos.

Here’s to your health.

 

Top 3 ways to Avoid GMO foods

1: Buy organic. National and state organic certification rules do not allow GMOs to be labeled “organic.”  When you buy organic, you buy food free not only of synthetic organicpesticides but also genetically modified ingredients.  If you ever compare an organic tomato to a non-organic you can visually tell the tremendous difference in the two pieces of fruit.  It’s really quite stunning.

 

2: Buy food certified as “Non-GMO Project Verified.”  The non-profit organization Non-GMO Project operates a detailed, voluntary certification process so that food producers can test and verify that, to the best of their knowledge, they have avoided using genetically modified ingredients in their products. The Non-GMO Project is the only organization offering independent verification for GMO products in the U.S. and Canada (Non-GMO Project 2014). Non-GMO Project Verified Logo

 

 

3:  Grow your own fruit and veggies.  The surefire way to make sure your food is healthy and free of pesticides is to grow your own.  It may not be practical for many but it can be a fun family project and the gardenchildren learn where their food comes from.  It is also satisfying to know that the yummy food on the dinner plate was a family effort.

 

4 Reasons to Embrace your Gray Goddess Hair

As a 50+ year young woman, I unknowingly had just scheduled my last hair coloring appointment.

Over the years my enhanced highlights had gone from occasional to necessary. I was a prisoner to my external image.

No more, time to quit the uphill battle of looking 30 something. I decided to just say NO and embrace my well-earned midlife authentic self, gray hair and all.

1. The most liberating aspect of embracing my graying hair is that I am no longer subject to the Male dominated societal pressures of how we should look. If we women take charge of how we decide to present ourselves, we’re taking back our authentic power. The time is now.

2. Going gray doesn’t mean letting yourself go. Since most of my gray is in the front of my head, I’ll be periodically weaving blond highlights into my dark dishwater blonde. This helps to soften the transition to gray. Some gals even put lowlights in.

3. Aging is a process for us lucky ones who are still here. We must embrace and value our wisdom, learned and earned in years gone by. We are stronger when our authentic selves show up.

4. We can be creative, funky, classic, boho or chic at any age. Gray hair is the new in style for 30 something gals.  Let’s show them how it’s done.

As it turns out I didn’t have my last hair appt. What I did have was an epiphany and now my must go to hair color schedule is back to the original occasional scheduling.

I am now officially one step closer to a low maintenance goddess.

Leave us a comment if you have or are considering going gray.

The 5 Healthiest Beverages You Should Be Drinking Now

Choosing healthy food is important if you want to feel great and stay well, but equally as important are the beverages you choose to consume.

But with so many supposedly health-enhancing beverages to choose from today, how are you to know what really are the healthiest beverages?

From stevia-sweetened sodas and waters with “natural flavors,” to coconut water and kombucha, it can be confusing to figure out the best choices.

If you really want to boost your health, what does the science reveal about the healthiest beverages?

Let’s take a look …

1. Water

We all know proper hydration is important. But did you know that many people live in a state of chronic, low-level dehydration that can affect every part of their health — even the ability to think clearly?

In a recent study at the University of East London, more than half of school children tested were found to be in a state of mild dehydration at the beginning of the school day. Children were given a test to measure cognitive performance, and then were given glasses of water and retested. In nearly every measure, including happiness, visual attention, and visual search, their scores increased.

Similar studies with both children and adults have confirmed the findings that proper hydration is essential for cognitive performance and mental health.

If you’re a soda addict and are having difficulty switching to water, try sparkling water. A Soda Stream™ machine is more eco-friendly and more affordable in the long term than buying bottled sparkling water. Plus, carbonated water has been shown to relieve dyspepsia (pain, bloating and nausea) as well as constipation.

If you prefer drinking flavored beverages rather than water, you might try infusing drinking water (sparkling or not) with a slice of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit. Fresh mint leaves, cucumbers, sliced strawberries, or sliced ginger are also delicious. To infuse water, you can try an infusion bottle or simply make up a pitcher and chill it in the refrigerator for a refreshing treat anytime.

Water is the most natural beverage on the planet, and ideally, we should consume an abundance of fresh, clean water every day. But unfortunately, much of our water is polluted. Find out more about water pollution, and about water filtration options, here.

green tea2. Green Tea

Green tea is widely reported as one of the best beverages for cancer prevention, but did you know that green tea has also been found to improve artery function, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease?

Our blood vessels are lined with the endothelium – a thin, protective lining of cells. The endothelial cells produce a gas called nitric oxide which helps our blood flow smoothly. These precious cells only live for about 30 years. As these cells die and are replaced, people in their 40s and 50s often experience a decline in endothelial function. This decline in endothelial function is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and more.

However, a decline in endothelial function is not inevitable. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that Chinese adults were less susceptible than white Australians to endothelial dysfunction and, in fact, the older Chinese studied had the arterial function of Australians in their 20s!

What was their secret? Researchers believe it was participants’ traditional Chinese diet, including green tea – rich in flavonoids.

In another study, adding milk – whether cow’s milk or soy milk — was found to dramatically reduce the bioavailability of the antioxidants in tea.

Adding lemon, however, was found to increase levels of antioxidants. These antioxidants help prevent the damaging effects of oxidation on cells throughout the body.

How-to-make-Hibiscus-Tea-its-Benefits-23. Hibiscus Tea

In 2010, an extensive study was conducted on the total antioxidant content of more than 3,100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs, and supplements used worldwide. This study included 283 beverages. Of all beverages included, hibiscus tea was found to be highest in antioxidants.

For comparison, green tea has 36 mmol/100g of antioxidants, a cup of coffee has 47 mmol/100g, matcha tea (powdered green tea) has 100 and hibiscus tea has an extraordinary 136!

Hibiscus leaves are what make Red Zinger™ tea “zingy,” and they can be quite tart. One way to sweeten this ruby red herbal tea is by making a variation of the classic Mexican drink, called Agua Fresca. This is traditionally made with watermelon, lime, and sugar, but you can leave out the sugar. This Hibiscus Agua Fresca takes advantage of the natural tartness of hibiscus and blends it with the sweet flavor of watermelon to create a delicious flavor combination.

From a health perspective, the dietary flavonoids in watermelon have been shown to be anti-inflammatory and reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Watermelon is also rich in citrulline, which is metabolized into arginine, an essential amino acid. The consumption of citrulline has been shown to help improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction in men.

So, if you’d like to sweeten your hibiscus tea — and perhaps even add a little vitality to your love life — try my healthy, three-ingredient, naturally sugar-free version of this summertime classic.

4. Water with Apple Cider Vinegar

A glass of water with the addition of apple cider vinegar has long been used as a folk remedy for many ailments.

Recent studies have confirmed that consuming vinegar with a meal reduces the spike in blood sugar, insulin, and triglycerides. It also increases satiety – the feeling of being full after a meal.

In a recent Japanese studyvinegar intake was found to reduce body weight and body fat mass. During the 12-week trial, study participants were randomized into three groups and given similar vinegar beverages to drink each day – a high dose group, a low dose group and a control group, which was given a vinegar flavored drink containing no vinegar at all (a placebo).

The high dose group was given a beverage containing 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a day and the low dose group was given a beverage containing 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar a day. Both vinegar groups saw a reduction in weight and fat mass over the course of 12 weeks, while the control group gained weight. The high dose group lost more weight and fat than the low dose group – an average of 5 pounds and one inch of abdominal fat!

If you’d like to make your own vinegar beverage, simply add 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 8 ounces of water.

*Note: Don’t drink vinegar straight. The acetic acid in vinegar can burn your esophagus. 

white-tea-in-cup-1296x7285. White Tea

White, green, oolong, and black teas all come from the same tea plant – Camellia sinensis. But they differ in how they are processed.

White tea is the least processed, followed by green, then oolong, then black, which is the most processed. The leaves and buds of white tea are simply steamed and dried. White tea also has a light, delicate flavor. It’s my personal favorite. I drink a cup of this white tea every morning.

Green tea has the highest level of antioxidants of the camellia sinensis teas at 5.73 mmol/l Fe2+ and once lemon is added, the levels of antioxidants are slightly increased to 6.39. White tea, however, begins at 4.02 mmol/l Fe2+ but adding lemon more than triples its antioxidant levels to 15.2!

So, white tea with lemon is by far the tea highest in antioxidants.

What if you are especially concerned about cancer prevention and survival? A recent study at Oregon State University suggested that “The degree of protection by tea appeared to be related to the extent of processing since green was generally more effective than black tea in vitro and in vivo. This suggested the possibility that higher antimutagenic or anticarcinogenic activity might be expected from teas that have undergone the least amount of processing.”

This means that white tea might be even better at fighting cancer than green tea. Researchers put this to the test by testing green vs. white tea against heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (powerful, yet common carcinogens found in cooked meat). Both the green and white teas reduced levels of mutations and DNA damage, with green tea dropping levels of DNA damage by half, but white tea dropping levels nearly 100%!

What Is The Best Way to Make Tea?

Besides adding lemon juice, here’s another way to get the most out of tea.

Scientists in Italy studied the effects of cold-brewing — adding tea to cold water and steeping it for at least 2 hours. They found that contrary to what you might think, brewing tea in cold water rather than hot, increases levels of antioxidant activity – presumably because some of the catechins, the antioxidants in tea, may be destroyed by hot water.

So, rather than brewing a pot of tea using the traditional hot water method, consider simply throwing a few tea bags in a pitcher of cold, filtered water at night, putting it in the fridge and drinking it cold in the morning!

Conclusion

Hydration is critical to every function in your body. Water is essential. Tea, hibiscus, and vinegar add antioxidants, flavonoids, and other potent nutrients that can give your health a powerful boost.

Tea is made from leaves. Vinegar is made from apple juice or grape juice. What do these beverages have in common? They are made from two of the world’s healthiest foods – leafy greens and fruit!

So find healthy drinks you love and make it a habit to enjoy frequently with friends!

“Published originally by Food Health Network”