Healthy “Butter” Popcorn

Grocery stores are now stocked with plenty of healthy popcorns popped with coconut oil, kale, chia, what have you.. Most of them are healthy and quite tasty! But also pretty expensive… Well, popcorn doesn’t have to be expensive to be healthy! Its super easy to make your own, and make it however you’d like. You just have to be equipped with the right tools.

This popcorn I made with coconut oil, Udo’s oil, nutritional yeast, and a little salt and pepper.

This popcorn is vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free ! The Udo’s oil gives it a nice buttery taste and the nutritional yeast gives it a yummy cheesy taste. (think cheesy as in Smart-Food popcorn, not American cheese).

Popcorn itself is an awesome snack for its low-calorie, high fiber, and a whole-grain! Being so healthy by itself, lends a great opportunity to make it “super-healthy” with what you top it with.

Udo’s oil is full of healthy omega-3, 6, and 9’s ! Awesome fats that are good for your skin, full of anti-inflammatory properties, as well as great antioxidants.

Nutritional yeast is popular especially with vegans, for it gives a nice “cheesy” flavor to things. Whats awesome out this food is that it is a complete protein! Its a good source of fiber, as well as B-vitamins. Sometimes it is fortified with B-12 which is important for those who live a dairy and meat-free life.

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So here’s the recipe:

DIY Healthy Popcorn

  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 tbsp Udo’s Oil
  • 3 shakes of Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Put coconut oil and kernels into a sauce pan and cover. Turn to medium heat. Shake pan every few minutes to prevent popcorn from burning.

Pop until popcorn “pops” are 1 to 2 seconds apart. Then remove from heat.

Dress with Udo’s oil, nutritional yeast, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

You can adjust the ratios to fit your tastebuds.

Enjoy ūüôā

*DO NOT pop with Udo’s oil. Udo’s oil is not heat stable and is only to be used for dressing purposes.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Since it’s been so rainy and stormy these past few days, I decided to brighten things up with some tasty oatmeal raisin cookies! So I adapted this Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe from the “Essentials of Healthful Cooking” cookbook by Williams-Sonoma, but¬†I did make a few of my own additions and substitutions. I will bold the substitutions when I post the recipe below.

I personally love oatmeal raisin cookies, and they hold some healthy properties as well! Oats are known for their fiber and are hold a higher amount of protein than other grains. They are also a good source of riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin E. I added pumpkin seeds as well as walnuts to some of my cookies for an extra crunch and flavor! Walnuts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that fuel a healthy heart and a healthy brain. I added pumpkin seeds simply because I love the taste! But they do offer some of the additional nutrients of vitamin E and zinc.

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So, here’s the recipe!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups of quick cooking rolled oats ( I¬†used gluten-free¬†)
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (I used gluten-free)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • ¬†2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter (at room temp.)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/3 cup apple butter
  • 1 tsp ground vanilla
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (sprouted)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set the oven racks in the upper 1/3 of the oven and the lower 1/3 of the oven. Set the oven to 325F ( when swapping maple syrup for brown sugar, you usually lower the oven temperature by about 25 F).

In a bowl, mix the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt until well incorporated. In a separate bowl mix butter and coconut oil until well blended. Then mix in maple syrup and stir for about 1-2 minutes. Then incorporate the egg white, apple butter, vanilla. Then mix your dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Right before a sticky dough forms, mix in the raisins, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.

On parchment paper, drop dough about the size of a tablespoon, 2 inches apart. If you would like flatter cookies, gently press down on each drop of dough.

Bake cookies for about 7 minutes, then rotate 180 degrees, switch positions between the racks, and bake for an additional 7 minutes.

There you have it! Enjoy your cookies. ūüôā

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*Recipe adapted from Essentials of Healthful Cooking by Williams-Sonoma

Creamy Vegan Ice Cream

Hi Everyone!

With it being summertime, I wanted to share with you a dairy-free creamy creation that is sure to top any almond milk or coconut milk “ice cream” you may have. Sometimes it’s hard to find a yummy dairy free substitute for ice cream without the grocery list of fillers and artificial additives. Well, I have a solution that is only 5 ingredients. AND it is super creamy.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Vegan Ice Cream.

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It’s made with avocado, coconut, cacao, cacao nibs, and a hint of maple syrup. ¬†I know avocado might sound a little weird, but with the cacao powder you can’t even taste it!

So, not only is this ice cream healthy, filler-free, and dairy-free, it’s a super tasty and guilt-free snack!

Avocado~ A great source of¬†biotin (hello pretty hair and nails!) as well as monounsaturated fats that help keep skin moisturized. Even though avocados are higher in fat,¬†they’re a “good” fat that can help slow the release of glucose into your system, therefore requiring less insulin ( a fat storage hormone).

Cacao~ talk about antioxidants! A pure form of chocolate and a healthy choice too! Cacao is also a good source of Magnesium, known as the “mineral of beauty” in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Coconut~¬†Coconut itself has been in debate lately about it’s saturated fat content. There have been studies that show that the saturated fat particular to coconuts is digested more like a carbohydrate than saturated fat that is found in some animal-based food products. Besides that, coconut’s are still full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, and Lauric Acid! (What’s pretty cool about Lauric acid is that is has been shown to have strong antibacterial properties, some studies even show that it is stronger than Benzoyl Peroxide! ( one ingredient typically found in face washes)

Maple Syrup~ One of my favorite sweeteners. Not only does it have a range of minerals and antioxidants, it also contains oligosaccharides ( promote healthy gut bacteria!) But, what is really awesome about maple syrup is how it has been shown to act differently in the body as opposed to regular table sugar. Maple syrup contains natural phenols which in some studies has shown to help regulate blood sugar. ( say no to that blood sugar spike ! )  (:

So, here’s the recipe!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Vegan Ice Cream

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Manna ( or flesh of 1 young coconut)
  • 4 Tablespoons of Cacao Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1/8 Cup Cacao Nibs ( or more as you please)

Warm the coconut manna just until it has turned to liquid. Then add the avocado, coconut manna, cacao powder and maple syrup to a blender. Blend for about 1 minute, scrap the sides, then blend for about 1 minute. Scoop into bowl, add the cacao nibs, and then freeze for about 1 hour. Feel free to add your own variations such as nuts, vanilla, or fruit!

Enjoy! (:

( Background on ingredients from Dr. Libby’s “Beauty From the Inside Out” and “Sweet Food Story”)

Kale and Beet Soup

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So, as my first recipe post, I’d like to share with you one of my favorites! This is my Kale and Beet Soup. So, what makes this healthy and heartwarming? Well, let me give you a little insight to why this is so nourishing. In¬†this recipe we have:

  • Kale~ a recently “found superfood” is an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. These powerhouse vitamins help promote new cell growth and have a hand at anti-aging ( yay! ). It is also loaded with Calcium and Magnesium great for those who don’t drink a lot of milk. Kale is highly Alkaline which is important, especially to those who regularly consume the “Standard American Diet” of heavy processed foods.
  • Carrots~ contain a wonderful amount of beta-carotene (Vitamin A!) Carrots also contain Silica (a trace mineral) that is known to strengthen the body’s connective tissues and vital for healthy skin.
  • Beets~ the deep purple juices of the beet root are wonderful at helping widen blood vessels and lower blood pressure. The¬†Nitrates¬†in the beet are to thank for this!
  • Tomatoes~ containing a lovely amount of the carotenoid,¬†lycopene.¬†Along with a good amount of Vitamin C
  • Turmeric~ the¬†curcumin¬†that makes this spice yellow has been found to be helpful in reducing the amount of plaque that builds up in the brain. It has also been shown to reduce the amount of inflammation inside the body, particularly in the gastrointestinal¬†tract.
  • Garlic~ Another protector of the gastrointestinal tract. Garlic has been shown to have a mild effect of lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Garlic has also been shown to have properties for fighting off infections.
  • Pink Himalayan Salt~ Pretty in pink, this salt contains 84 different minerals. What is great is that most brands, this includes Iodine.¬†Iodine is important in the function of the thyroid, which can directly influence the metabolism and immunity.

( *Found in Dr.Libby Weaver’s book “Beauty From the Inside Out” and “The World of Healing Plants” by Dr. Andrew Weil.)

So, to make this delicious soup, you start with:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 handfuls of kale
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 small or 1 medium beet
  • 1/3 cup of favorite tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of vegetable stock
  • 1 dash of garlic powder
  • 1 dash of turmeric
  • 1 pinch of Pink Himalayan salt

First, set oven to 400 F and cut up carrots and beet into 1 inch pieces. Place in oven for about 20 minutes or until soft.

Then in a sauce pan, put in vegetable stock with kale and bring to a simmer around medium heat. Place top on pan to wilt the kale. Once it is wilted, add the beet and carrot along with the tomato sauce. Add spices and salt to taste.

This soup can be adjusted to fit your needs! I added a little Parmesan cheese on top, but that can easily be omitted if you are following a diary-free or vegan diet. Lentils or chicken can be added for some additional protein to the soup. But this soup is easy and tasty! So very comforting, especially after a long day!