AUTUMN APPLE BUTTER

apple-butter

I love anything with apples. And this is the time of year I love to play around with apple recipes. The smell of the warm spices and apples, bubbling over on the stove is simply divine! This recipe is a spin-off of my Harvest Apple Butter recipe I did a few years ago. I just tweaked a few things and pureed the final recipe. This is not your traditional dark apple butter, since I left out the clove. And I don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen this holiday season. I am really trying to be more in the moment with my family.

You can slather this smooth and creamy butter on toast, pancakes, waffles, ice cream or even just eat it out of the bowl. You can even make it chunky by not blending it. My husband and son devoured a small portion right out of a bowl. But I’m saving the rest for chilly mornings, when I make toast or pancakes for my hungry guys.

I hope you are enjoying your holidays with your families and created warm and loving memories to cherish!

Ingredients:

5 organic gala apples

1 bartlett pear

1/4 cup filtered water

1 Tbs coconut butter (also called manna I got mine at Whole Foods)

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 Tbs pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger

Couple dashes of ground nutmeg

Preparation:

Peel, core and cut the apples and the pear into large chunks.

Add the fruit, water, cinnamon and ginger to a medium sauce pan and cook on medium-high for about 30 minutes. Stir the mixture several times while it simmers, so the fruit doesn’t stick to the pan.

Add the lemon juice, coconut butter and maple syrup and let it simmer for about another 10 minutes. If the heat is too high, lower it so it doesn’t burn. Stir a few times to keep it from sticking.

Blend the mixture or just smash it up to the consistency desired. I used an immersion blender, but you can also use a blender or food processor. This was easier clean up for me!

Spread it on a warm piece of toast, smile and enjoy!

 

 

 

CRUNCHY SALMON PATTIES

salmon-patties

I love salmon! It’s one of my favorite proteins. It’s easy to make and loaded with so many nutrients such as Omega 3’s for healthy brain function, B12, potassium and selenium to help support your overall health. My godmother gave me one of her delicious secret recipes for salmon patties. I tweaked it and put my own twist on it. I posted this pic on my Instagram page several weeks ago, so here is the recipe as promised! My godmother baked her salmon, but I wanted a little more crunch and it was 97 degrees outside, so I fried mine in avocado oil. It’s also gluten-free and Paleo-friendly! Woohoo!!!

Make sure to purchase only wild caught salmon, not farmed. Farmed salmon is very toxic. The farmers use pesticides to ward off sea lice and antibiotics to fight infection, due to the overcrowded fish farms. Farmed salmon are also given a pigment to enhance their lack of color, called canthaxanthin. This ingredient has been found to negatively affect the pigment of the eye retina. When you consume these fish, you consume these toxins. And they don’t leave your body naturally.

Ingredients:

3 cans of wild caught salmon

2 eggs

1/4 cup almond meal

1 celery stalk + leaves, chopped

2 inches of a leek, chopped

3 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped

2 Tbs Mayo ( I use Just mayo)

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp sea salt

Juice of 1/2 a lime (or lemon)

1 Tbs Avocado oil (more if needed + you can use any high smoke point oil)

 

Preparation:

Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. (Prepping this recipe doesn’t take long, so I usually start heating up my cast iron pan once I have gathered my ingredients.)

Drain salmon and place in a large mixing bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients (except avocado oil) and mix well.

Add the avocado oil to the pan and let it warm up for about 20 seconds.

Gently form the mixture into small patties. It will seem a little too wet, but it firms up once you start frying them. I make the patties as I cook them, that way I don’t worry about them losing shape as they are sitting out. I yielded five large patties with this recipe.

Immediately place the patties into the frying pan. Cook until golden brown and flip over and cook the other side for about the same time. It only took me about 3-4 minutes on each side. They cooked pretty fast in my cast iron pan.

Enjoy over a nice bed of greens and squeeze some extra lime juice before over the fish, before serving. I made some steamed broccoli for my little guy and he devoured it!

Bon appetite!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHOCOLATE CHIP-COCONUT OATMEAL BARS

Chocolate Chip + Coconut Oatmeal Bars

I love making healthful yet fun snacks for my little guy. Anything to get him to eat clean-eating recipes. I don’t keep a lot of packaged snacks in our home, so I try to make some snacks to break the monotony of fruits and veggies.

I haven’t made oatmeal bars in a looooong time, so I had fun making these chocolate chip coconut bars. I added some really hearty ingredients to boost the fiber content and sweetened them with natural sweeteners like raw honey and raisins. These bars are quite filling, so you can even serve them at breakfast.

Ingredients:

2 cups organic rolled oats

1 cup almond meal

1/2 cup ground flax seed

1/2 cup gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Pascha Organic brand)

1 cup organic raisins

1 cup toasted coconut flakes

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups organic plain greek yogurt

1/2 cup organic peanut butter

1/2 cup raw honey

1/4 cup coconut oil (+ 1 tsp for baking pan)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

If you are not using a stone baking pan, grease the cookie sheet with 2 tsp of coconut oil. I use the Pampered Chef large bar pan. It measures 10″ x 15 1/5″ x 1″.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (oatmeal through the cinnamon) and mix well.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients (yogurt through vanilla extract) and mix well.

Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl and mix well. Don’t be afraid to get in there and mix it up with your hands! I use a little coconut or olive oil to coat my hands to prevent the mixture from sticking. Plus your hands are really soft after you wash them off!

Press the mixture into the bar pan. Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Oven times vary with different stoves. After they cool off, cut into little squares. I yielded about 32 bars!

Store them in an airtight container and keep refrigerated.

 

 

TURKEY NOT-SO TORTILLA SOUP

Turkey Not So Tortilla Soup

Okay, who is tired of their Thanksgiving leftovers? Every year, I love to create a healthful, appetizing recipe with our leftover turkey. Turkey can be very boring, so what better way to spice it up than to go Mexican! The weather was a little cool on the day I created this, so it really hit the spot for our family. Both my husband and son wanted seconds, so this will definitely be a new staple in our recipe box.

This dish was really simple and quick. So if you have a busy day, you can whip this up in a jiff! You probably already have most of these ingredients in your kitchen. You can garnish this dish with avocado or add brown rice, to make it a heartier meal. Or even add a little tortillas for some crunch. I wanted to keep it clean, so for me, I nixed the tortillas. Please use organic ingredients, when possible.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds shredded turkey meat

1 medium onion, chopped

1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped

2 cups plum tomatoes, chopped

1 cup Pomi brand strained tomatoes

1/2 cup shredded carrots

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups organic vegetable broth

1 10 oz package of frozen corn

1 Tbs. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

1/2 Tbs. grape seed oil

Preparation:

Heat up a large pot on medium-high. Add 1/2 tablespoon of grape seed oil to the pot, then wait a minute and add onions and poblano pepper.

Saute a few minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes and garlic.

Let the mixture cook for a few more minutes then add the turkey, carrots and spices. Next, add the strained tomatoes and vegetable broth and mix well. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, then turn down the heat to medium.

Add the package of frozen corn, and cilantro. Let the soup simmer for at least 20 more minutes. This is where the flavors start to marry. By now, your kitchen is smelling, oh so good!!! Mmmmmm….

Serve with avocado or brown rice. For an extra treat, crumble some tortillas on top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUMPKIN PROTEIN SMOOTHIE

Pumpkin Smoothie

The pace is picking up in the Milu home for the holidays. School is in full swing, weekly co-op groups, family gatherings, fall cleaning in the house and getting ready for the holidays. My health saving meal is my morning protein shake. It’s quick, easy and packed with nutrition. I wanted to change-up my recipe since it’s fall, so I just had to add pumpkin! Pumpkin contains vitamin A, carotenoids, fiber, zinc and so much more. Plus it adds a rich, creamy taste to your smoothie.

Have a happy fall!!!

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut milk (I used the canned, full-fat version)

1/2 cup pure pumpkin

2 drops pure cinnamon essential oil* (I only recommend 1 brand)

1 wooden toothpick tip, dipped in clove essential oil

1 scoop plant-based  protein

1 vanilla bean pod, (scrape the inside to get to the beans, don’t use the pod)

(you can substitute for 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract, but this tastes better 🙂

1 Tbs. raw honey

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 small frozen banana

5-6 ice cubes

1/2 cup coconut water

Preparations:

Add ingredients in order listed. Blend on high until creamy consistency.

Note: Make sure when adding essential oils, you add the cinnamon by first dropping it into a spoon and then stir it in. Dip the wooden toothpick into the clove and then swirl it into the mix. This avoids adding too much oil to your recipe 🙂

APPLE PIE SMOOTHIE

APPLE PIE SMOOTHIE

Ahhh, fall is in the air! Okay, in Florida it means the temp is only 80 degrees and humidity is below 50 percent. For me, that will have to suffice until one day we move further north. While I loooove pumpkin, I also love to celebrate the season of crisp, delicious apples. Apples are such a warm and comforting food this time of year. I was making my son apple pie oatmeal, so I thought I would create a smoothie with similar flavors.

Did you know that the fiber and phytonutrients in an apple, can help regulate your blood sugar level? Eating fruits in their whole form is more beneficial than the conventional juice you would buy in the store. It has a completely different effect in your blood sugar levels. To help support metabolism and the immune system, I infused this smoothie with real cinnamon bark (cinnamomum zeylanicum) essential oil and added walnuts for a protein boost. I prefer the cinnamon oil to the powdered cinnamon which is actually cassia. I only recommend a certain essential oil to consume. Contact me for more information. Here is a great article from Dr. Axe on ceylon cinnamon versus cassia.

Ingredients:

4 oz plant-based milk

4 oz. coconut water

1 frozen banana (or 1/2 Haas avocado) for creaminess

1 organic granny smith apple sliced

1/4 cup walnuts

1 Tbs. coconut butter (manna)

1 scoop of protein powder

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 Tbs. raw honey (if using avocado, the banana is sweet enough)

1 drop of cinnamon bark essential oil (I like mine with a strong cinnamon taste. If you don’t, take a wooden toothpick and place 1 drop of cinnamon oil on it and stir it into the smoothie mix halfway through the mix cycle.)

Several ice cubes

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in blender, frozen items last. Blend on high or smoothie cycle until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

 

 

SAVORY + CREAMY HUMMUS

Hummus Logo

I have been perfecting my hummus recipe for several years now. I think I finally found a blend I am quite pleased with to share! Hummus is my healthy comfort food. It is my way of indulging and being kind to my body. I use hummus as a dip, spread, and even mix it with a vinegar dressing to add depth to a boring salad. The secret to a good hummus is roasted garlic and then blend the heck out of the mixture!

Ingredients:

2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

4 cloves of roasted garlic, peeled

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (lightly packed)

1/4 cup + 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbs. tahini

Juice of half a lemon

1/8 cup filtered water

3/4 Tbs. sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1 drop of pure lemon essential oil (I only recommend a certain brand.)

Preparation:

Add all of the ingredients, except for 3 Tbs. olive oil, filtered water and lemon essential oil to a food processor and blend for a few minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and blend for another couple of minutes. Scrape down mixture again and add filtered water and blend for a couple of more minutes. Finally add the 3 Tbs. of olive oil and blend for a few more minutes. Blending in phases, really makes a difference in the creamy texture. Be patient, it will definitely be worth the wait! Scrape the hummus into a glass bowl and then add the drop of lemon essential oil and mix well with a metal or wooden spoon. (Lemon oil should not be used in plastic containers, due to the petrochemicals in the plastic.)

Enjoy with a plate of crudités, sandwich or salad!

CHOCOLATE ENERGY PROTEIN BALLS

Chocolate Protein BallsI’m a busy mom, so often I need something quick to eat. I love healthful snacks, but they are hard to find. And the ones you do find are quite pricey. So when in doubt, create your own recipe! This recipe is adapted from the infamous Tony Horton’s protein ball recipe. You can watch his quite animated video here. I wanted a snack loaded with protein, flavor and low on sugar. So here ya go!

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup raw walnuts

1 cup of almond butter

1/2 cup vanilla protein powder mix

1/3 cup raw cacao

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. cinnamon powder (cinnamon essential oil would be great too)

Dash of sea salt

6 Tbs. raw honey (buy local! better for your allergies)

Organic coconut oil (as needed)

Preparation:

Please use organic ingredients when possible.

In a large bowl, mix the oats, walnuts, protein powder, cacao, cinnamon, sea salt, and mix with a large spoon.

Then add the almond butter, vanilla extract, honey and stir together. Add coconut oil by the teaspoon, if it seems too dry.

Wash your hands and then get in there and mix it up real good with your hands. Don’t be shy! Use an ice cream scoop to form little balls. (Like Tony says, “Ping pong ball size”.) Place your yummy creations on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for about an hour or two. Store them in an air tight container in the freezer.

I think they taste best frozen and they have a better consistency. But that’s my preference since I like my dark chocolate frozen. Get creative and roll them in different toppings. I tried shredded coconut since that is one of my husband’s favorites!

Let me know what other toppings you can thing of to add to this healthful snack!

CHOCOLATE SMOOTHIE BLISS!

20150626_105019

My little man is under the weather today, so I wanted to make him a yummy, nutrition-packed breakfast. Chocolate is a superfood in our home. Not the processed candy bar in the check out chocolate, but pure cacao. Cacao contains antioxidants and flavanols. Antioxidants help our body fight against free radical damage and flavanols are beneficial phytonutrients, linked to helping support circulation. I also added hemp and chia seed for protein and banana and avocado for pure creaminess! Enjoy this decadent smoothie for breakfast or even dessert. We did!

Ingredients

1 cup of coconut milk

1/2 cup coconut water

1 small frozen banana

1/2 avocado

3 tbs. raw honey

2 tbs. cacao powder

2 tbs. organic peanut butter

2 tbs. chia seeds

1 tbs. hemp protein powder

1 tbs. cacao nibs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Ice (about 10 cubes)

Preparation:

Add all ingredients into a high powered blender, except for the cacao nibs. I add frozen ingredients last for better blending. Blend until smooth and creamy. Sprinkle cacao nibs on top. Makes 2 nice size servings!

SUMMER ZUCCHINI PESTO

Zucchini Pesto Pasta

Summer is officially here! With the heat and humidity in sunny Florida, I prefer lighter meals. This time of year makes it easier to detox and eat more healthful, since the weather curbs our appetite from heavier foods. Our family is transitioning to a gluten-free lifestyle. Today’s wheat is mostly genetically modified (GMO). Processed wheat contributes to Candida, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses caused by major inflammation. These are just some of the reasons we have chosen to go gluten-free. My husband’s part Sicilian heritage doesn’t make it easy to shy away from pasta, so I have found a wonderful alternative to wheat! Zucchini pasta! Women rejoice! At only 21 calories a cup, this lovely green veggie has an abundance of nutrition. Vitamin C (antioxidant to help protect your cells), lutein and zeaxanthin (phytonutrients to keep those eyes healthy) and manganese (an essential mineral that helps protect your body from free radicals).

I would love to introduce you to the world of spiralizing! I discovered this amazing food blog called Inspiralized. She has amazing recipes and great video tutorials on how to spiralize. I even purchased the Paderno World Cuisine Spiralizer she recommends and love it! You can buy it here. (Please consider using this link if you decide to purchase one. Alissandra can get compensated through Amazon. I’m just supporting a fellow blogger ladies 🙂

Paderno Spializer

 

For the record, this recipe is kid tested and approved! My eight year old son cleaned his plate and didn’t bat an eye at the new pasta in his dish.

INGREDIENTS:

2 large zucchini

1 lb. of organic free-range chicken, sliced into this strips

8 oz. of baby portabella mushrooms, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Pesto sauce:

2 cups fresh basil

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

1/2 tsp. Himalaya salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

PREPARATION:

Prepare the pesto sauce first. Place all of the pesto sauce ingredients into a food processor or high-speed blender and mix well.

Prepare your zucchini now so some of the water from the veggies is absorbed by paper towels. Cut off the ends of the zucchini and then spiralize them. I place them on paper towels and then cover them with another to absorb water from both sides.

Heat up a large saute pan on medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of EVOO. Add chicken strips and cook for about five minutes.Add the garlic and mushrooms and let cook for a few more minutes.

Add the zucchini and mix well. Then add the pesto sauce, mix well and le cook for about five minutes. This lets the flavors marry a little and cooks the zucchini juuuust right! (Don’t over cook or you will have mushy “pasta”.

Bon appetite! (And don’t feel guilty!)

Zucchini Pesto Pasta