Fun Find ~ The Turban Squash

22 Nov

I know most posts include a recipe, but this one is going to be a little different.

On my way home the other day I found THIS.

turbansquash

Yep, apparently it has a name. “Turban Squash”. Dying. of laughter.

I had to buy it. And then research it as to what I had just spent my money on.

I wish I had a cool story or really weird facts about it, but its basically like any of the other winter squashes :)

It’s great to bake, like butternut or buttercup squashes, or even pie pumpkins!

Maybe I’ll bake it to make puree like I did with my buttercup squash.

Maybe I’ll surprise you all with a yummy new recipe.

Or maybe both :)

For now I’ll leave you off with the nutrition benefits of this little (or big) goofy guy.

Turban Squash Benefits

1) Outstanding source of antioxidants: no other food provides the same content of carotenoids, and it is also rich in vitamin C and the mineral Manganese
2) Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant that protects our body from free radical damage, strengthens the immune system, serves as an anti-cancer agent, and helps in prevention of neurodegenerative diseases
3) Manganese is highly essential for proper digestion and healthy bone structure. It also helps the body convert fat into energy, and is involved in blood sugar regulation
4) Carotenes clear out all the toxic pollutants infested in the blood stream, protect the lining of the arteries, and keep fats present in the blood away from radical oxidative damage
5) Carotenes offer protection from macular degeneration which can lead to vision loss
6) Omega 3 fatty acids that are in winter squash make is a fantastic anti-inflammatory agent. They also boost heart heart, help in conditions such as depressions and arthritis, and fight against cancer and cardiovascular diseases
7) Contains a lot of five B-complex vitamins: B1, B3, B6, pantothenic acid, and folate. These complexes is tied closely to blood sugar levels, and this squash offers a great source of them which prevents type 2 diabetes.

Cinnamon Apple Pancake Mix [Recipe Redux]

21 Nov

Tis the season for the holidays! And you know what that means…a lot of delicious food!

pancakemix

I literally get so excited and happy when the holidays come around each year. Something about this time of year, and being with all the people I love. Not to mention having time to spend bakin away in the kitchen. Ever since I was a young, I would spend the holidays in the kitchen with my momma and grandma. My baking has just become a little healthier now :)

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I can’t help but to dream about all my pumpkin creations, like my pumpkin dip, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin smoothie, or pumpkin pie walnut butter! <3

But with the holidays, also comes the season of gift giving. And you know what is the perfect gift to show you truly care?

IMG_6963

A homemade one. And this right here, would be a delicious one to start with! The theme for this month’s recipe redux was mixes in a jar :)

Most people give hot cocoa mixes and cookie mixes, but this is a fabulous apple cinnamon pancake mix I created!

IMG_6968

We all have enough cookies laying around the house during the holidays, so why not give a gift of a delicious breakfast?!

This is healthy, gluten free, dairy free, and filled with a lot of fiber packed ingredients to keep you satisfied! Not to mention, this pancake mix is filled with the delicious taste of cinnamon apples…reminds me of apple pie<3

pancakemix2

Perfect as a gift or even just for yourself for an easy, quick breakfast option! This is great to have around on the holidays when you wake up to a hungry family :)

And you know what would be a delicious topping on these? My homemade Apple Pumpkin Butter :)

HaPpY hOlIdAy SeAsOn!

pancakemix3

Apple Cinnamon Pancake Mix
•    1 cup oat flour/whole wheat
•    1/2 cup oats
•    1/2 cup dried apples
•    1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
•    2 tablespoons light brown sugar
•    1 tbsp flaxseed
•    2 teaspoons baking powder
•    1 tbsp ground cinnamon
•    1/2 teaspoon salt
•    Optional: any other add-ins desired: coconut, chocolate chips, fresh diced apple
Directions: Layer all ingredients in jar starting with flour and going down the ingredient list. If making to simply keep on hand at home, you can mix all ingredients together first before storing in jar for easy cooking. If giving as a gift, layer for aethestics.

To Make Pancakes
For every 1 cup mix add:
•    1 egg
•    3/4 cup Almond Milk (or milk of choice)
•    1/4 cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce (or increase milk to 1 cup)
Directions: Add egg, milk, and applesauce to bowl and mix until combined. Add in 1 cup of pancake mix. Heat nonstick pan on stove on medium heat. Pour batter into stove to form pancakes. Cook as normal. Serve with maple syrup, my homemade apple butter, or whatever you choose :)

Apple Benefits
1)Reduces tooth decay by lowering levels of bacteria
2)Keeps Alzheimer’s away and fights aging effects on brain
3) Curbs Cancer because of flavonol richness
4)Decreases risk of diabetes (due to soluble fiber amount)
5)Reduces Cholesterol
6) High in fiber keeps digestive tract optimal
7)Neutralize Irritable Bowel Syndrome (high fiber content)
8) Detoxes Liver
9) Boosts immune system

Flaxseed Benefits
1)High in fiber, both soluble and insoluble
2)Contains all 9 of the essential amino acids your body cannot make
3)Contains lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities
4)Rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids
5)May reduce inflammation

Egg Benefits
1) Rich in the proteins lutein and zeaxanthin, which aid in eye health
2) Aids in cardiovascular health
3) Rich in Choline, a B vitamin that is thought of as brain food” as it aids in neurological function and development
4) Prevents breast cancer
5) Leads to healthy skin, hair and nails- being
high in sulfur
6) Contains 6 grams of protein and all the amino acids needed to build protein

Rolled Oats Benefits
1) High in fiber, low in fat
2) Makes you feel satisfied
3) Stabilizes blood sugar
4) Removes bad cholesterol
5) Great gluten-free options
6) Contains unique antioxidants
7) Enhances immune response to disease

Cinnamon Benefits
1) Regulates blood sugar
2) Reduces LDL cholesterol levels
3) Contains natural anti-infectious compounds. Fights against ulcer-causing bacteria
4) Reduces pain linked to arthritis
5) May reduce proliferation of cancer cells
6) Is a natural food preservative
7) Contains fiber, calcium, iron, and manganese
8) Effective for menstrual pain and infertility

 

Zuchhini Chips and Pizza Bites

20 Nov

Who doesn’t love that crunchiness of a chip or that cheesy flavor of those small pizza bites? Too bad they are anything but healthy, and surely won’t help keep that holiday season weight off!

IMG_6419

Lovely readers, meet zucchini. Zucchini can be your new best friend when coming to healthifying foods! Whether it be my zucchini oats for breakfast, my zucchini jicama lasagna in my Holiday Ebook that you can purchase here, or these two delightful simple recipes, zucchini can be used in many way!

Here I have made both “chips” and small snackable pizza bites. And boy, they are a yummy midday munchie!

IMG_6421

Simple yet delicious. My type of recipe as a college student. These are also the perfect snack to set out on gAmEdAyS as well instead of all those pants-tightening appetizers :)

What is your favorite game day or tailgating food?!

Zucchini Chips
-2 medium Zucchinis
-1 tablespoon Olive Oil
-Sea Salt and seasonings to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Wash outside of zucchini. Using a mandolin, slice zucchini very thin. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and any other seasonings of choice. On a cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick spray, place slices close together but not overlapping. Bake in oven until crisp. This could take anywhere from 1-2 hours.

Zucchini Pizza Bites
-2 medium Zucchinis
-1/4 to 1/2 cup Tomato Sauce
-1/4 to 1/2 cup Low Fat
-Seasonings to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Wash zucchinis on outside. Slice into thick slices. Lay slices on cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake in oven for about 5 minutes or until soften. Remove from oven. Spoon about a teaspoon or two of sauce onto each slice. Sprinkle cheese over top. Place into oven and bake for about 5 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Zucchini Benefits
1) 1 cup only has 36 calories
2) High in fiber which aids in digestion
3) Lowers cholesterol
4) Prevents Cancer
5) Rich in vitamins C and A, as well as folate
6) Benefit prostate health
7) Anti-inflammatory because of vitamin A, C and copper content
8) High in manganese,which helps in the metabolizing of proteins and carbs, participates in sex hormone production, and catalyzes synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol

Healthy Pumpkin Challah

17 Nov

Is there anything better than the smell or the taste of fresh, hot bread right out of the oven?! To me, there is nothing better :)

IMG_6805

I learned how to make challah bread by another leader in my culinary club I teach on campus, but it was the typical, unhealthy version of it. I knew I wanted to play around with making a healthy version, as one of my favorite foods in life is bread<3 And then life happened and I forgot.

IMG_6814

But then a few days ago, the nutrition’s office that I volunteer for on campus offered me a free bread maker! They were trying to get rid of it, and I gladly accepted. In the rain, on my scooter my mom got me for my 21st birthday, I scooted home with my glasses, interact jacket, and the bread maker in between my legs..probably not the safest thing I have ever done

IMG_6724 IMG_5179

And then my passion for bread making was revived! Now that I didn’t have to spend the time kneading the bread, I knew I wanted to make it righttttt away. So, what a better way to begin my whole bread making than trying to make a healthy challah bread.

And then I had a great idea. Why not add a smidge of that PuMpKiN flavor that I love so dearly??

The rest was history. Nomnomnom.

IMG_6807

so maybe not the prettiest challah loaf, but I was proud for it being the first time making it!

My boyfriend who loves bread as well, was in heaven upon first slice.

Top the bread with some coconut oil and cinnamon, some agave, or some of my delicious homemade nut butters (like my java one, almond joy one, or even better, my healthy “not-tella” <3)

IMG_6800

Healthy Pumpkin Challah
Makes 1 loaf
1.5 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Oat Flour or White Flour
1/2 cup Pumpkin
1 Egg
1 Egg White
1/4 cup warm Milk
1 packet Instant Yeast
3T Agave
1T Coconut Oil, melted
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

For Egg Wash: 1 Egg, 1 tbsp Water, 1 tbsp Brown Sugar

Directions with Bread Maker: Place warm milk and yeast into bread maker. Allow to sit for about 3 minutes. Add All other ingredients except Egg Wash ingredients and turn bread maker onto the “Knead/Dough” setting. Allow to knead dough. When done, allow to rise once in bread maker until double in size. Once doubled. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove dough from bread maker and place on floured surface. Divide into 3 sections, and roll into “rope-like” stings of dough. Braid the three pieces of dough and pinch all three ends together on both ends of loaf. Place onto cookie tray sprayed with nonstick spray.Lay a towel over lightly and place in warm spot. Allow to double in size again, about 30 minutes. In small bowl, beat egg wash ingredients together. When loaf has doubled in size, brush egg wash mixture lightly on top (be careful not to deflate loaf), and place into preheated oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until slight brown and crisp to the touch. Remove and allow to cool. This bread served with a touch of coconut oil and cinnamon, or a touch of agave is delicious.

Pumpkin Benefits:
1) High in Vitamin A which aids in eyesight
2) High in fiber to keep you satisfied
3) Rich in Beta Carotene with plays a role in cancer prevention and benefit your skin
4) More potassium than a banana (great post workout food!)
5) Rich in Vitamin C which is an immune booster, decreases blood pressure and risk of heart disease, and regulates cholesterol
6) Good source of vitamin E, which promotes healthy skin
7) High in potassium which is necessary for energy production, balancing fluid levels, and promoting strong bones

Versatile Blogger Award!

16 Nov

Thank you so much to Slender Grapefruit for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award!! It made me so happy when Jessica let me know that she nominated me for this award! As a busy college student I don’t always have the time to browse for other blogs I would love to follow, and this is such a great way to be a part of the blogging fitfam out there!

versatileblogger11

The Versatile Blogger Award is a great way for bloggers to show their support for other bloggers and build community. I am so thankful to be nominated. This award is for bloggers who write unique, interesting posts that aren’t run of the mill.

According to Jessica, these are the rules I found for this award:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their blog.
  • Tell us 7 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who you feel deserve this award.
  • Let them know you’ve nominated them.
  • Upload the Versatile Blogger Award photo with your post.

So here are 7 random facts about me!

  1. I absolutely love anything pumpkin. There is no pumpkin season for Sarah Grace, as I am baking with it, cooking with it, ad simply eating it with a bit of agave and cinnamon all throughout the year! Of course, I love Fall because then I can actually find pumpkin drinks and goodies in stores :)
  2. I ran here at the Univ. of Florida as a d1 Cross Country athlete my freshman year, but decided to walk away from it when I realized I loved to run but did not want it to be my life. I found that making time for relationships and taking care of myself was much more important. I still do fun little runs a couple times a week though!
  3. I have a boyfriend that I will have been dating for THREE years on the 26th of this month. We met our senior year of high school (even though living in different cities) when we came up to visit this university and meet the running team and coach. We both ended up signing with this team (but both ended up walking away after our freshman years), and fell in love with each  other in the process of it all<3
  4. This summer I met a very dear friend, Amy, through “freshfitnhealthy” via instagram (yes, crazy!), and we now make/sell eBooks together and talk almost every day even though never meeting in person still to date (but I have plans to fly out to LA soon to meet her! yay!)
  5. I use to be the most UNHEALTHIEST eater. My mom would not be able to force one veggie in my mouth. My diet consisted of mac n cheese, Chinese food, and peanut butter and fluff sandwiches up until about freshman year of high school.
  6. I am in my third year of college as a Dietetics student, and have plans to go on to become an RD after graduation. I don’t know exactly what I want to do, but I know I want to do something I love each and every day and be used to my fullest potential. But for now, Fresh Fit N Heslthy is simply because healthy living is  passion of mine and I love to invest my time into it<3
  7. I love Jesus. I hate the word “Christian” as it means a million different things depending on the person you ask, but I am in a love relationship with my Savior and I have only reached the success I have reached in my past because of Him. I know He will open doors for me in my future that will lead me to something bigger and better than I could ever imagine.

And here are nominations for 15 blogs who bring joy to my online reading life!

  1. Carrots n Cake
  2. Fit Fun and Fantastic
  3. Kia’s Fit Fare
  4. Kaylea’s Open Book
  5. Ryan Drake
  6. Chocolate Covered Katie
  7. Dashing Dish
  8. Desserts with Benefits
  9. Happy Healthy Life
  10. Always Abigail
  11. Jeff Bethke
  12. WOA Student Bloggers
  13. Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
  14. Barr & Table

Thank you again, Jessica! And congratulations all of my fellow nominees!

Overnight Carrot Cake Oatmeal in a Squash

15 Nov

I love carrot cake. The delicious favors of the sweet carrots and coconut..not to mention the cream cheese frosting that brings it all together :)

carrotcakeoats5

Well I decided to make a similar flavor for my breakfast today!

This combines the sweetness of natural carrot juice to create a delicious taste as it soaks overnight. And of course, can’t forget that delicious creamy frosting taste. But this one surely doesn’t use the sugar filled cream cheese frosting to get the same tasty flavor :)

And what was better? When removing it in the morning, I place it in a cooked acorn squash, to create a delectable breakfast!

carrotcakeoats3

Topped it with unsweetened coconut and my friend Jay’s Coco-Almond Butter..dying. I literally eat this butter straight with a spoon. So delicious.

carrotcakeoats4

This is surely a must try breakfast!

Carrot Cake Overnight Oatmeal
-1/2 cup rolled oats
-1/2 cup carrot juice
-1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt
-2 tbsp cottage cheese, blended to cream
-2 tbsp shredded carrots
-2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
-1/2 tsp coconut extract
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-Dash of sea salt and sweetener to taste! (about 2 tsp agave for me)
-Optional: Top with this amazing Coco-Almond Butter (or any nut butter of choice) and serve in an acorn squash!

Want a kick of protein?! Add a 1/2 scoop of Pumpkin Spice AboutTime Whey powder that is all natural and clean! You can buy on this website here and get for 25% off with the code: “FFF1” :)

Directions: Combine all ingredients in bowl. Refrigerate overnight. Either heat in the morning or enjoy as is! Top with desired ingredients. Can serve in cooked acorn squash if desired as well.

Rolled Oats Benefits
1) High in fiber, low in fat
2) Makes you feel satisfied
3) Stabilizes blood sugar
4) Removes bad cholesterol
5) Great gluten-free options
6) Contains unique antioxidants
7) Enhances immune response to disease

Coconut Benefits
1)Fights viruses and bacteria growth in body
2)Fights yeast, fungus, and candida
3) Positively affects hormones for thyroid and blood-sugar control which leads to increase metabolism, energy and endurance
4)Aids in digestion
5)Absorbs fat soluble vitamins
6)Lowers cholesterol
7)Special fat called medium chain triglycerides (Research shows 2T a day allowed women not only to gain less weight but lower abdominal fat)

Greek Yogurt
1) Help fight tummy fat
2) Contains good-for-you bacteria
3) Loaded with vitamins such as potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, B12 and B5
4) Great recovery after workouts: high source of protein
5) High in calcium
6) Prevents high blood pressure
7) Fights off colds and flus: healthy bacteria fights off the bad and boosts the immune system
8) Protects your teeth: lactic acid in yogurt protects your gums
9) High in protein, about 18-24 grams per serving

Breathing God In

12 Nov

Today I decided to post something maybe not so typical of “freshfitnhealthy”. Sometimes, I like to just share my thoughts, feelings, and journey through life as I experience it.

Have you ever heard a song over 100 times, yet when hearing it at just the right moment and truly listening to the lyrics of it,  it resonates so much inside of you or evokes strong emotions?

On my run last night, I was listening to my christian worship songs I have on my iPhone, and this song’s lyrics just hit me…

“Taking hold, breaking in
The pressures all need to circulate
Mesmerized and taken in
Moving slow, so it resonates
It’s time to rest, not to sleep away
My thoughts alone, try to complicate
I’ll do my best, to seek you out
And be myself, and not impersonate

[Chorus:]
I tried so hard to not walk away
And when things don’t go my way
I’ll still carry on and on just the same
I’ve always been strong
But can’t make this happen
‘Cause I need to breathe, I want to breathe you in
The fear of becoming
I’m so tired of running
‘Cause I need to breathe, I want to breath you in
I want to breathe you in”

(Breathe You In by Thousand Foot Krutch)

Some of the lyrics I’ve bolded are what specifically resonated inside of me last night. In a world that is constantly screaming in your ear to do this and do that, sometimes (almost always) I’ve realized I forget that I need rest. Not just physical rest at night as I sleep (even though I have been lacking in that category as well up here on the college schedule), but just mental rest.

breathein

“It’s time to rest, not sleep away”. Wow. How often do I find myself either so extremely busy that I’m never resting and enjoying the little things God has provided for me as enjoyment? Or the other extreme, that I am going at such a pace, that I’m just “sleeping away” through the motions of my day to day schedule of “things to do”, and not truly living on purpose.

What do I mean by living on purpose? I mean that I believe God has created us for a purpose, and that each day He places things in our lives, either things that will grow us, or things that allow us to better others or the atmosphere we are in. But when I allow myself to get so busy in the world’s day to day chaos (which is so hard not to), I truly feel like I miss out on so many of those things.

Like I always wonder, how many times has God placed someone in my path on a certain day, that truly needed some words of encouragement or just someone to talk to…yet my mind is so set on the next thing I have to do, that I just say a passing by “hi! how are you?” Not really allowing for a genuine conversation to begin.

And then more of the lyrics stood out as the song continued to play. “Not try to impersonate”. This world is constantly screaming in our ears to be “normal”, to fall into the “perfect girl” mold that society has made up in their mind. Good looks, the newest, trendiest outfit, straight A’s, very involved, successful career…the list goes on and on.

But again, I believe God has made each and every one of us unique. Each with a specific purpose. Like Psalm 137 says, we are each “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Yet sometimes I find myself just “trying to fit in” to what the world tells me I should be.

fearfull made

My purpose in writing this? Just to share where my heart has been. For me, I need to take a step back and simply rest. Truly quiet myself, and breathe God in. I need to not try to impersonate others around me, but be myself. I want to quiet those complicating thoughts inside of me, constantly thinking of the next thing I need to do or the next thing that may stress me out, and live on purpose. Simply put, I want to live FOR God. Breathing Him in each and every moment.

Have you allowed yourself true rest? Are you striving aimlessly to be like those around you, or are you allowing your unique growth and character to develop so that you can become God’s perfect YOU?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 719 other followers