Thursday, March 21, 2019

Skinny Dip Hummus

Are you concerned about eating too many caloric snacks and might be looking for some healthy alternatives? 

My delicious Skinny Dip Humus is tasty, filling, healthy and won't pack on the pounds. It's weight loss friendly.

I've been following the Weight Watchers Freestyle program for about 8 months. I initially lost 25 pounds in the first 4 months, and have been maintaining ever since. 

I find the Freestyle program adapts well to almost any eating style, including my vegetarian gluten free requirements.

Basically, the program is based on points and allows me to eat a specific number of points each day based on my height, age, and weight. Every food is given a point value . Usually the higher the sugar and fat, the higher the point value of the food. I get to choose whatever I want to eat.

It's kind of like being on a budget. I have x amount of dollars to spend and I can budget it anyway I want. The healthier the food, the lower the points. 

For example: all fruit,  non starchy vegetables, beans, lentils, and white meat chicken ( there may be more non vegetarian ) are ZERO points.. That means I can eat  chickpeas and not have to count them into my daily points. I can eat a banana, butternut squash,  or my homemade lentil soup and they are all ZERO points.

Ok- can I eat as much as I want of those zero point foods?
No, I can eat a portion or two and call it zero points.. and yes- I lose weight.

Today's recipe for Skinny Dip Hummus is made with ALL zero point ingredients. 
I can have a cup of this humus with celery sticks, carrot sticks, or carrot wedges and not even have to count it into my daily point budget!!

The bonus is all the ingredients are healthy and good for me. 

4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 carrot, sliced
1/4 cup of fresh parsley
2 cups of cooked chickpeas
3 tablespoons of salsa 

Using a food processor, add garlic, carrot, and parsley. 
Whiz until chopped fine. Add chickpeas and salsa and whiz until well blended.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Gluten Free Honey Cake Muffins

If you love honey cake, you will love these healthy honey cake muffins. They are gluten free, dairy free and have an egg free option.

When I was growing up, my mother used to make a delicious honey cake. Her cake was intentionally a little on the dry side and firm, but had a great flavor and it was usually eaten with a cup of tea.

honey cake muffins

The other day my neighbor, Yda, brought me some of her gluten free " healthy" muffins.. As soon as I took a bite, they reminded me of my mother's honey cake . Sure enough when I asked for the recipe, my neighbor's muffins had honey in them.

The flavor was delicious and the texture was perfect to go with a cup of tea, glass of nut milk, or coffee. .I prefer my muffins a little dryer and firmer than the soft fluffy ones just don't fill me up.

What made these muffins "healthy"?

gluten free muffins

My neighbor used my all purpose Bob's Red Mills gluten free flour that I gave her. It's made from chickpea flour and rice flour and has a good texture, fiber, and protein. In fact 1 cup of this flour provides 16 gms of fiber and 12 gms of protein. In addition, she used unsweetened applesauce, honey, blackstrap molasses, walnuts and raisins.

There are lots of healthy ingredients in these muffins. Blackstrap molasses has a unique flavor and is rich in vitamins and iron. In fact

The recipe makes 18 muffins. Enough to eat some, share some, and freeze some.

gluten free muffins

They are easy because they are made in a bowl, mixed with spoon and baked for just 20          minutes.

Healthy muffins are a great grab and go breakfast or a great gluten free snack.

These muffins are made with walnuts and raisins, a combination that I find crunchy and delicious.

It doesn't get much easier than simply mixing some batter with a spooning and spooning it into muffin tins to bake.

Everyone will love them.

2 cups of gluten free flour ( I used Bob Mills All purpose which is heavier than a rice flour)
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup of black strap molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup of raisins
1/4-1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of almond milk
2 eggs, beaten ( or egg replacer)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine gluten free flour, baking soda, and salt. Add honey, molasses, oil, almond milk, and eggs.
Mix with a spoon and spoon into an 18 count greased muffin tin.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from tins after cooling for 20 minutes. Place muffins on a rack to cool.

Blackstrap molasses contains vitamins and minerals especially iron.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Why I've added Moringa Powder to my Smoothies for Breakfast

I've started to make a smoothies again for breakfast. This time I've added moringa powder which is very rich in calcium.
I know it's winter, but I'm in Florida, it's hot, and I just don't feel like eating much in the morning. In addition, I LOVE  the taste and the boost I get from my delicious smoothie.

Smoothies are easy to make, contain lots of nutrients, and easy to digest. It's a great way to start the day especially for anyone with gluten intolerance who may have difficulty digesting and absorbing nutrients.

When I wake up, I first have a glass or two of water with lemon.
Then I take an hour walk.
When I return, I make my smoothie which is usually about 9:30 am.

It holds me until around 11: 30 ish when I start to prepare lunch.

The smoothie I've been making is only 1 point on Weight Watchers. It's part of my wellness and self care program, and it can be part of a weight loss program as well. Many times I'm asked what can you have for breakfast when you are gluten free. This is a delicious and power packed breakfast.

In addition to fruit ( blueberries and banana) and vegetables ( kale), I add cocoa powder and calcium rich moringa powder. Sometimes I top it with diced mango and some fresh mint and eat it with a spoon!!

What is moringa powder? The Moringa tree is considered to be one of the most nutritious plants world wide. Aside from being a good source of antioxidants, moringa powder is rich in calcium, Vit A, and iron. It's a popular supplement to help boost the nutritional content of smoothies!

I was first introduced to moringa by the knowledgeable owner of my local Russian health food store. I live near a Russian community part of the year and they seem to be very interested and knowledgeable about herbs. OMG! Superfoods Organic Moringa Powder - 

I also have become interested in the writings of Anthony Williams, the medical medium.
His Book: Medical Medium Life-Changing Foods: Save Yourself and the Ones You Love with the Hidden Healing Powers of Fruits & Vegetables  - I was able to find a copy at my local library- He has other books too that focus on thyroid. 

He is a big advocate of the power of fruit for healing. I used to cut down on fruit, but he has convinced me of it's amazing benefits. I find all of his books very informative. His most recent book is Liver Rescue :  

Medical Medium Liver Rescue: Answers to Eczema, Psoriasis, Diabetes, Strep, Acne, Gout, Bloating, Gallstones, Adrenal Stress, Fatigue, Fatty Liver, Weight Issues, SIBO & Autoimmune Disease- It's a great read!

I feel like my smoothie is a simple way to boost my nutrition and immunity-

My Daily Smoothie: 

1.5 cups of almond milk
1 cup of frozen wild blueberries
1 ripe banana
1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
1-2 tablespoons of moringa leaf powder
1 stalk of kale
1 small piece of organic lemon peel
a few drops of liquid stevia

Place almond milk, frozen berries, banana, cocoa, moringa powder, kale, stevia and lemon peel in a strong blender. Whiz util smooth and blended. Drink and immediately.

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Shared on Beth Fish Reads where anyone can share a food related post every Saturday morning