Healthy, Natural Living

Posts tagged ‘breakfast’

Green Smoothie

A couple times a week we have smoothies for breakfast. I don’t have a set recipe. I have a bag in my freezer for bananas that are more ripe than we like for fresh eating. Make sure to peel them before you freeze them. The base of my smoothie always includes, cultured dairy, raw eggs, bananas, and flaxseed. This morning I took inventory of what I had and then decided on the theme of our smoothie. I had an avocado in need of being eaten and with no festive plan for dinner in the near future, that had to go into the smoothie. What else….?

2 cups Kefirimage
2 cups Kale (raw)
1 Avocado
1 frozen banana
2 Raw eggs (from my chickens)
2 tbls peanut butter
1 tbls honey
1 tbls flax seeds
1 tbls cocoa nibs

Add all the ingredients into a blender. I always put my liquids into my blender pitcher first, this seems to keep the mixture spinning. This turned out so creamy, smooth, and yummy with just the right amount of peanut butter cup flavor!

The benefits of these ingredients:
See my Kefir post
imageRaw Kale is not only a very nutritious vegetable, but including it in your diet may help lower levels of bad cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease as well. Kale is a very rich source of vitamin K, vitamin A, beta carotene, calcium, and vitamin C. It also contains minerals; copper, manganese, and potassium. Kale contains the antioxidants carotenoids and flavonoids which are thought to help prevent the development of cancer.

Avocados may be fatty, but that doesn’t mean that they are bad for your health. Healthy fats account for around three quarters of the calorie count of an avocado. Most of it is monounsaturated fat, in the form of oleic acid. Monounsaturated fat is considered to be a “good fat” which reduces levels of bad cholesterol in your blood and lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease. Avocado contains around 4 grams of protein. Avocados are an excellent source of potassium (containing more per weight than bananas). In addition, avocados are rich in vitamin K, Vitamin B9, vitamin B6, vitamin B5 vitamin C, and vitamin E. A medium avocado contains 11 grams of fiber, which is close to half of the daily recommended minimum intake.

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Bananas provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, including: vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin A, folate, riboflavin, niacin, manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron.

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Fresh ‘Pastured’ Eggs~Egg yolks are the richest source of two superstar carotenoids—lutein and zeaxanthin. These fat-soluble antioxidant nutrients combate macular degeneration, and cataracts and support overall healthy vision. They have a long list of other benefits, including protecting the skin from sun damage and even reducing one’s risk of colon and breast cancer. Besides providing all eight essential protein building amino acids, a large whole, fresh egg offers about six to seven grams of protein and five grams of fat (with about 1.5 grams of it saturated), which comes in handy to help in the absorption of all the egg’s fat-soluble vitamins. One egg also serves up around 200 milligrams of brain-loving cholesterol and contains the valuable vitamins A, K, E, D, B-complex and minerals iron, phosphorus, potassium and calcium. Choline, another egg-nutrient, is a fatty substance found in every living cell and is a major component of our brain. Additionally, choline helps break up cholesterol deposits by preventing fat and cholesterol from sticking to the arteries.

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Raw local honey~Raw honey is an alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants and other important natural nutrients. Raw honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It promotes body and digestive health, is a powerful antioxidant, strengthens the immune system, eliminates allergies, and is an excellent remedy for skin wounds and all types of infections. Raw honey’s benefits don’t stop there. Raw honey can also stabilize blood pressure, balance sugar levels, relieve pain, calm nerves, and it has been used to treat ulcers. Raw honey is also an expectorant and anti-inflammatory and has been known to effectively treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma.

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Flaxseed are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that may be helpful for heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and other health problems. In addition to the important omega-3 fatty acid ALA, flaxseed also has a group of chemicals called lignans that may help protect the body from cancer. Lignans are phytoestrogens, substances in plants that act like the hormone estrogen.

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Cocoa nibs are high in potassium and magnesium. One ounce of cocoa nibs provides almost 80 milligrams of magnesium. They also provide a small amount of calcium in addition to trace amounts of vitamins D, vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. Eat a serving of cocoa nibs and you’ll be getting a boost of healthy antioxidants. In fact, chocolate contains more health-promoting catechins, a type of antioxidant, than does green tea. You’ll also get the amino acid tryptophan along with small amounts of phenylethylamine and theobromine — all of which can improve mood.

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Overnight Oatmeal

One of our favorite breakfast is ‘Overnight Oatmel.’ Several months back I kept seeing post for a recipe called, refrigerator oatmeal on Facebook. The bases of the recipe is mix all the ingredients into a jar, pop it into the refrigerator and in the morning grab and go. That recipe was made in 1/2 pint jars. Well, I am not going anywhere and the less dirty dishes the better. The first change I made to that recipe was mixing it in a quart sized jar. The first few times I made it, I basically followed the directions. I say basically because I always change a recipe. We did enjoy it that way, but I also know there is benefit to soaking grains in an acid medium at room temperature for 12-24 hours. Properly soaked grains are easier to digest and allow your body to absorb more minerals and nutrients from the whole grain and other food sources at the same time. This process begins to pre-digest the grains, including breaking down complex starches and tannins that can irritate your stomach, as well as beginning to break down proteins like gluten. I am not going to go into great detail on this topic because one of my favorite bloggers has done extensive research, interviews, and has several links to reference. Check out the Kitchen Stewardship’s page.

One night I decided I had to leave the jar out on the table. What did I have to lose? Not much. My husband’s grandmother always encouraged me. I can still hear her saying, “just try it, Di, you won’t know until you do.” It is because of her encouragement to fail, that I can now really cook. I’ve had to toss a few things out, but I have had way more success than failure.

We love my version! It is creamy, smooth, and just the right amount of sweet! I have had to increase the amount I make. Roman eats 1/2 the jar by himself! This is the only dish I serve that he has seconds and sometimes thirds! I make a pint jar for Jeff to take to work. He really appreciates that.

Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal

Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal

Ingredients
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup plain kefir
2 tbls chia seeds
1 tbls pure maple syrup or 2 tbls sucanat
1 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 cup fruit

Apple & Manago

Apple & Mango

In a quart jar, add yogurt, kefier, chia seeds, maple syrup, and oats. Mix together. Add in fruit. We like bluberry, strawberry, apple & mango, apple cinnamon raisin with almonds. Be creative, you won’t know until you try! Set it in a warm spot overnight and enjoy in the morning.

Simply cut the recipe in 1/2 for a pint sized jar.

I do make my own yogurt and kefir. But you can purchase plain yogurt and kefir. I recommend full fat dairy (that will be a future post). Both Brown Cow and Stoneyfield make  a whole fat plain yogurt. I am only aware of kefir made by Lifeway.