Friday, October 28, 2016

Healthy Halloween Snacks using Vegetables & Fruit

Halloween is definitely the season for too much candy and an overload of sugar. No matter how hard we try we just can't seem to avoid it. There are some things you can do. If you are having a party at home or at school, why not focus on some Halloween type snacks that are good for you and fun too!
These ideas are gluten free/ grain free and can be made vegan. 

I was visiting my friend Gail and she served this adorable vegetable dip with cup up vegetables. Everyone oohed and ahhed at her easy and clever display that was totally sugar free and healthy. This could be done with humus, dip, or even guacamole. You could use any kind of cut up veggies and any color pepper. Gail used toothpicks to hold the olives in place for the eyes and nose.

Gail also served these adorable bananas made into ghosts and these little tangerines made into pumpkins with just a piece of celery for the stem. She used dark chocolate chips for the eyes. She said she just pressed them in and they stuck.

Along with some bowls of nuts, popcorn, and grapes, cheese and crackers- 
we had a fun afternoon with no candy!

Last year, I took a mini pumpkin, scooped it out and turned it into a serving piece. It really looked adorable, served a purpose, and fit into the pumpkin theme!

Try One Of These Dips or Fillings

Some of my healthy gluten free pumpkin recipes: 
pumpkin pie 
pumpkin pudding bars 
pumpkin rice pudding ( vegan) 

                             I Will Be Linking this recipe from my Daily
                        Blog Carnival List and Vegan Friday

Monday, October 24, 2016

My Miracle Green Smoothie

It seems that everyone is drinking green smoothies. But why and why do I call green smoothies a miracle smoothie? There are basically 4 reasons. 

1.  They are fast and easy to make.

2.  They are packed with nutrients, enzymes, and taste great.

3.  They help energize, rejuvenate, and heal

4. They work great for weight loss

With most people's hectic busy schedules, they can begin to rely on what can be made quickly- that often translates to prepared food that they pick up on the way home for dinner. But not in this case- you can prepare an enzyme rich, alkaline, nutrient dense, antioxidant superfood smoothies in minutes.  They taste great and are filling. You can drink one for a meal or a snack.

If you are looking for a powerful green smoothie that both energizes and stabilizes blood sugar, look no further. This great tasting " miracle" smoothie is the perfect way to start your day. It is made from a variety of greens in an almond milk base.

Do you ever feel stressed, overextended, frazzled, or exhausted?  A nutrient dense power smoothie will not only taste delicious but will also nourish your body with energizing vitamins, minerals, live enzymes and antioxidants that may help supply needed energy and nutrients in this one glass. I call it my miracle smoothie because it's a real pick me up when I'm run down !

We know breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day,  but sometimes I just don't know what to eat or don't have time to cook. This green smoothie can be made in minutes and gives you the start of the day that your body is craving. It can be made quickly and is easy to digest and absorb.

You can include greens, seeds, probiotics etc right into your smoothie! One drink with everything you need. Since you can vary the ingredients- you get to decide what works best for you.

We all want to eat right. I usually start out with good intentions, but I get sidetracked, busy, and stressed. I find myself going in a million directions with a mile long "to do" list. This is where this power shake comes in. 

It satisfies my need for fruit and vegetables. Once I drink my shake it not only nourishes, it also keeps me full. I can run on this shake for 3 hours! So if I have my shake at 9:00, I'm good until 12:00 or if I have it at 7:00 am , I'm good until 11:00. When I say "good"- I mean my blood sugar feels balanced, my energy is up, and I feel clear and focused. 

You could make this shake for breakfast, lunch, or if when you need a pick me up- but I like my energy to start early in the morning an sustain me as the day goes on. Remember a smoothie is made with raw vegetables which provide the greatest benefits!

My Basic Shake: 

Liquid : almond milk + water

Greens: choose from: organic kale, collards, spinach, sprouts, romaine lettuce, parsley, arugula, etc.

Fruit: organic berries, banana, organic peaches, organic apple, etc.

Healthy Fat: 1/4 avocado, 6 soaked almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, 5 walnuts

Spices: choose from: cinnamon, turmeric, ginger,

10 Reasons to Make a Miracle Smoothie

1. Quick and Easy
2. Grab and Go
3. Alkaline
4. Extremely nutrient and enzyme rich
5. Helps detox and elimination
6. Vital vitamins and minerals 
7. Provides good fats
8. Recipe can be varied for taste and nutritional benefits
9. High in fiber  
10. Easy to digest and absorb
11. Alkaline

My Basic Power Smoothie Recipe

  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 large organic kale leaves
  • 2 organic dandelion leaves
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened coconut milk, 
  • Desired amount of water 
  • 1/2 organic green apple with peel and seeds or 1/2 cup of organic blueberries or a banana
  • 1/4 cup of organic parsley
  • 1/4 organic lemon with juice and peel ( the peel is very rich in vitamins- only use organic) 
  • 1/2 organic cucumber 
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 slice of organic beet ( raw beet is very cleansing- go easy) 
  • Add ins of your choice ( see below) 

Blend everything in the Vtiamix and drink immediately. 
**I vary my greens each week to avoid alkaloid buildup- raw leafy greens contain a mildly toxic substance called alkaloids which help protect the plant from predators- By varying your greens each week , you don't get too much of any little toxins! 

  • Choose from kale, collards, spinach, dandelions greens, romaine lettuce, etc. bok choy, carrot greens, parsley, etc.

Add Ins: 
The beauty of a Miracle Smoothie is that you can add anything you like to it!
1. Probiotics - ( I open the capsule ) 
2. Nuts, seeds
3. Flax oil
4. Blackstrap molasses 
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
6. All kinds of greens 
7. All kinds organic fruit - strawberries, raspberries, mango, banana, pears,  ( use frozen organic fruit for variety) 
8. Soaked and peeled almonds ( why it's important to soak almonds before eating

I call it my miracle smoothie because of the vital nourishment and raw enzymes that I receive when I drink it_ compared to a bowl of cereal, it wins hands down..

Don't stop eating raw at breakfast-
Here's the easiest and quickest way to keep eating healthy greens the rest of the day.  

Tips for the Make Ahead Salads for Lunch and Dinner

Another way to get my greens, enzymes and nutrients 
Planning goes a long way- In addition to starting the day with a miracle shake another time saver is my salad in a jar for a week- one prep and salad for 5-7 days! You make your salads in advance and seal them in a mason jar- so easy and so healthy. I make all kinds of salads and they are convenient and ready for me every day for lunch or dinner- you can even add protein and avocado to your mason jars-  click here see the salad post

With a power smoothie and a ready salad for lunch or dinner, you are on your way to a healthier way of eating!

“We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.” ~ Alfred E. Newman

Do you make a daily green smoothie? What do you use in your smoothie. Please share your thoughts...

Linking this post to these  weekly blog carnivals

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and am not trying to diagnose or treat disease. The information on this blog is for educational information only. If you have a medical problem please consult your doctor. Do not change your diet without asking your doctor.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Candied Butternut with Pecans and Cranberries

Tis the season to be experimenting with a variety of butternut squash recipes.
One of my favorites is this medley of roasted butternut squash cubes,  pecans, and dried cranberries in a maple syrup sauce that are dusted with cinnamon and vanilla. Can you imagine???

There is something about pecans that I just love, especially when they are added to a casserole. The pecans in this dish are candied, which adds a extra sweetness to the entire dish. Paired with the tart cranberries and lots of cinnamon, the flavors are heavenly. 

This could be a perfect recipe for Thanksgiving since it tastes as good at room temperature as it does out of the oven. My good friend Laura always reminds me that dishes that can be eaten at room temperature work best for entertaining since it frees up the host and the oven.  I know the holiday is still six weeks away, but it's good to start planning in advance. 

This recipe was given to me by My daughter -in- law Wendy who does a lot with roasted butternut squash. She made it for company dinner the other night and trust me, there were no left overs! Children and adults alike went back for seconds of this exciting fall side dish.

This recipe is another example of real food that is naturally gluten free!


6 cups of cut up butternut squash ( or 2 packages)
Olive oil spray ( or 2 Tablspoons of olive oil)
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 cup of dried cranberries
1 cup of plain or candied pecans
2 teaspoons of cinnamon


Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Toss butternut squash in the olive oil or spray the squash with olive oil spray.
Bake on a parchment covered cookie sheet for about 45 minutes.
Remove from the cookie sheet and place roasted butternut squash into a large bowl. Add maple syrup, vanilla, cranberries, and pecans. Toss well. Add cinnamon and toss again. Serve immediately

My Notes: 
Vegetables, nuts, and fruit are naturally gluten free. I find that using naturally gluten free recipes is healthier than trying to make your GF diet a mirror of a gluten diet by continuing to eat unhealthy  substitutes for bread, pastas, bread crumbs, flour, cereal etc. which is what irritated the gut to begin with and is the culprit in most diseases. Rather than look for substitutes for breadcrumbs, flour thickeners, bagels, I look for naturally gluten free real food ingredients that offer fiber, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

I'll be linking this post to these  weekly blog carnivals

Peek Into Some of My Daily Self Care:  

Upon Waking: Alkalizing drink - Apple Cider Vinegar

5 minutes stretching on the deck in the early morning sun 

Balance My Chakra 5 minute guided meditation

Exercise- 30 minute walk on the treadmill 

Then begin my day and my breakfast

Do you have a morning self care routine? Please share

Shared on Rock my Vegan Sock blog carnival and Linked :My Blog Carnival List