Nine reasons to never eat processed foods again

Great article on why you’re wasting your money (and your health) on processed “food”.

The Global Non-Compliance Movement

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Resisting the urge to drink that soda pop or eat those chips can be tough, especially if you have grown accustomed to eating these highly addictive foods as part of your normal diet.

Once you understand a little bit more about how these and other processed foods affect your mind, body, and even your soul, it becomes easier to make healthier food choices that enrich your being rather than destroy it. Here are nine motivating reasons why you should cut processed foods from your diet for good:

1) Processed foods are highly addictive. Your body processes whole foods much differently than it does refined, processed, and heavily-modified “junk” foods. Processed foods tend to overstimulate the production of dopamine, also known as the “pleasure” neurotransmitter, which makes you crave them constantly. Your body ends up not being able to resist the temptation to continue eating junk foods in excess, which can…

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Paleo Pumpkin Spice Cookies

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These were an interesting paleo experiment. My main reason for trying these was, in truth, to try out a super fine almond flour from Honeyville Farms. It’s amazing! The texture (at least in these cookies), was incredibly close to wheat flour (much closer than Bob’s Red Mill almond flour- the most ubiquitous kind available it seems). These are great; they aren’t over the top sweet and they stay incredibly soft. Thanks to the coconut oil, they didn’t dry out at all, even over the 3 days they lasted in my house in an unremarkable Tupperware container on the counter. I could see this recipe turning out great as a loaf bread instead of a cookie- if anyone tries it that way before I do, let me know! Since they aren’t dessert-level sweet, they were great for breakfast with coffee. I’d like to add nuts to them next time around to- I think it would really compliment the flavor profile. The original recipe from Multiply Delicious also had a Paleo Pumpkin Ice Cream recipe if you’re feeling adventurous- yay for ice cream sandwiches!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling on tops of cookies
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 small ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (optional)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl whisk together the almond flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

3. In a small bowl mix together pumpkin puree, mashed banana, maple syrup (if using), vanilla extract.

4. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until combine.  Then add melted coconut oil and stir to incorporate.  If you are using chocolate chips stir those into the batter.

5. Drop spoonful of batter (about 1 to 2 tablespoons in size) onto prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with additional pumpkin pie spice.  Bake cookies for 25 to 30 minutes until golden.

6. Cookies are best kept in a airtight container in the refrigerator.

Parmesan Potato Wedges

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Every once in a while you just need something snacky- but that doesn’t mean you can’t have something homemade and these are just enough above the norm to make it worth your while.  I found these over at my blessed life– they’re a great snack for the kids and/or makes something easy to have around during the holidays for the crew to snack on while you work on the real meal.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Russet Potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley
  • A couple dashes of cayenne pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Be sure to spray the foil with non-stick spray.

2. Combine Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, paprika, salt, parsley and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

3. Cut potatoes in half the long way. Then place each half flat on a cutting board and slice wedges. Place the potato wedges in a large bowl and toss with olive oil or butter to completely coat.  Add the cheese mixture to the potato wedges and toss gently to coat evenly.

4. Place potatoes on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with leftover cheese mixture.  Bake for 25-35 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. The smaller wedges will be done sooner. I found it easy to turn the potatoes with tongs about halfway through the baking time…and I might have sprinkled more cheese mixture on when I turned them.

Best Snickerdoodle Cookie…Ever.

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If the Snickerdoodle Blondies were a little too heavy or you’re just looking for the perfect traditional Snickerdoodle Cookie- look no further. I found this recipe over on Lovin’ From the Oven– she has some fantastic recipes that you’ll likely see here in the future. These are seriously the best cookies I’ve ever had. I made this batch for Husband’s care package, and it was SO hard not to eat them all. These are soft and chewy perfection and almost impossible to let cool completely. Plan for some sort of distraction if you’d like for them to make it out of the kitchen.

Ingredients:

    • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
For rolling:
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on high speed. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well.
  4. Preheat oven to 300 degrees while you let the dough rest for 30 to 60 minutes in the refrigerator.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the sugar with the cinnamon for the topping.
  6. Take about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the dough and roll it into a ball. Roll this dough in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and press it onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat for the remaining cookies.
  7. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes and no more. The cookies may seem undercooked, but will continue to develop after they are removed from the oven. When the cookies have cooled they should be soft and chewy in the middle.

Beef Teriyaki Skewers

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While mine aren’t nearly as pretty as those from OUR KrAzy kItChEn, these beef teriyaki skewers were outstanding. I’ve never really been able to nail the sweet sauce paired with meat before, but this one was easy- it just took some vigilance while the sauce was heating to make sure it didn’t burn as sugary sauces tend to do…not that I would know from personal experience, this is all hearsay of course. Since I’m currently home alone with the baby, I did mine on an indoor George Foreman grill- hence, I suspect, the lower aesthetic appeal than those done on a real grill. Regardless of what kitchen gear you use to make them, these will likely be a house favorite. I suggest keeping some of the sauce in a separate bowl for dipping once you finally get to nom on these- it’s so tasty, it’s worth having a little extra around.

Ingredients:

  • 1 flank steak
  • 16 bbq skewers
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • salt & pepper
  • cilantro
  • sesame seeds (*This wasn’t listed in the original ingredients list- hence the reason mine don’t have any on them. It was only mentioned later in the original recipe instructions.)

Teriyaki Glaze

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water

If you are using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes.

1. Start your grill for medium heat (300-350f).  In a small sauce pan on the grill, mix together the soy sauce, sugar, honey, mirin, garlic and ginger and simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir frequently and keep an eye on your heat.  Sugary sweet sauces like this will burn quickly if your temps get away from you.

2. Stir together the corn starch and water and stir into the teriyaki mixture.  Simmer another 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat.

3. Bring the grill heat up to 400f.  Slice the steak across the grain in 1/4″ strips.

4. Brush on sesame oil; season with salt and pepper.

5. Thread the steak onto the skewers in a weaving fashion.  Grill for 2 1/2 minutes then flip.

6. Grill another 2 1/2 minutes and flip again.  Brush the top with some of the teriyaki glaze and cook for 2 more minutes.

7. Flip, brush with glaze and cook for a final 2 minutes.8. Remove, sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro.

Coconut Flour Apple Pancake Rings

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So, as I was surfing Facebook this morning, I found a post for these apple pancakes from Food Renegade. I decided they sounded pretty tasty and I had everything I needed- so I went for it. Good call. These are a great change from the standard breakfast fair and pretty easy too. If you’re going for Paleo, use the coconut oil, but if you’re just trying to avoid wheat flour and ok with a little dairy, use the butter option- ONLY because the coconut oil likes to reconstitute slightly when you’re mixing it in and can clump on you. Definitely use a whisk if you have one for the batter to make sure everything is even. If not, soldier on with a fork and it’ll be just as tasty 🙂

Note: I cooked my apples a little in the pan to soften them before I coated them.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium apples, sliced thin and cored
  • 3 eggs from pastured hens
  • 3 Tbs. coconut oil or melted butter from grass-fed cows, plus extra for cooking the pancakes
  • 3 Tbs milk or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 Tbs. coconut flour

Directions:

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut oil, milk, honey, cinnamon, and salt. Once evenly mixed, whisk in coconut flour. Stir until evenly mixed, then let sit for 5 minutes.

2. Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet to medium heat. Melt a dab of coconut oil on your cooking surface. While that’s heating and your batter is resting (an essential step when working with coconut flour), this is a good time to peel, slice, and core your apples if you haven’t already.

3. Before coating your apples, double check that the batter is at pancake consistency. Coconut flour is VERY absorbent, so it’s possible that if it sits too long it will get too thick to easily coat the apples. If your batter is a bit thicker than normal pancake batter, just add more liquid (water, milk, coconut milk, or even eggs) until it is the right consistency.

4. Using a toothpick, pick up an apple ring and dunk it in the pancake batter. Then, put it on the griddle. Repeat for as many apple pancake rings as you’ve got room to cook. Once the batter has cooked firm around the edges and turned golden brown, flip once to cook the other side to golden brown.

5. When finished, serve apple pancake rings warm. We love serving it up with slices of cheese or with sorghum syrup.

Midday Snack for My Children

Check out this great smoothie recipe from Organic READY. This is a great kids’ snack (and you might just want to make a little extra for yourself!).

OrganicREADY

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Smoothies are super easy and healthy for everyone. If you have a picky eater at home, smoothies are wonderful for sneaking in your vegetables.

Adding just one cup of spinach or kale won’t turn your smoothie green. But the trick behind this is to add raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries. The colors in these berries will hide anything.

Ingredients:
1 cup spinach
2 cups raspberries
2 cups blueberries
1 cup pineapples
2 cups strawberries
2 bananas
2 cups apple juice
2 cups of ice

This made 4 cups so adjust accordingly.

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