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Tag Archives: Dip (food)

Crockpot Pumpkin Apple Butter [RecipeRedux]

21 Oct

Have you ever tried apple butter or pumpkin butter?? If not, you are missing out. IMG_5315

The only thing is, the apple butter I fell in love with as a kid is full of sugar…not something I would want to be consuming on a daily basis. I loved putting spoonfuls on my toast when I was younger, but the store bought stuff is certainly not an everyday toast spread for one wanting to live healthy or watch their calories. And that is why I knew I had to make my own. IMG_5256

When going to make one of the butters though, I couldn’t decide which to make! And that is why I decided to combine BOTH of these delicious fall flavors into ONE jar. Yes, I decided to make pumpkin apple butter :) That is why I decided to make my own. And I thought what better way to do it than in a crock pot?? Pumpkin and apple butter are always usually cooked on the stove. But slow cooking in the crock pot just seemed like a great idea. And it turned out to be just that.

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Spread on toast, put on top of yogurt or oatmeal, or eat as a delicious dip, this pumpkin apple butter is one that you will be glad you have on hand. IMG_5309

Pumpkin Apple Butter

-Makes about 1 16oz jar-

-2 cups Pumpkin Puree (one pie pumpkin, cooked and blended)

-1 Apple, sliced thin

-1/2 cup Apple Juice or Coconut Water

-1/4 cup Brown Sugar

-1/4 cup Baking Stevia

-1T Cinnamon

-1/4 teaspoon each: Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves

-1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

-1/2 teaspoon Lemon Juice

-Dash of Sea Salt

Directions: Add all ingredients in crock pot, and stir until all ingredients are combined. Cover crock pot, and turn crock pot on low. Allow to slow cook for 3 to 4 hours. Turn crock pot off. Allow to cool. Place crock pot contents into high speed blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to 16oz jar, and keep refrigerated. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before using.

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

Pumpkin Benefits: 1) High in Vitamin aid 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 to keep you fit and healthy

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Creamy Spinach Avocado Dip

14 Aug

Yes, another avocado recipe! They are so delicious and nutritious, I couldn’t help but continue this week with more recipes.

We all love that creamy spinach and artichoke dip, but our waist doesn’t always agree. That is why avocados are a great way to create a healthier version. Avocados are packed with nutrients to provide a vast amount of nutrition, and with all of it’s healthy fats it contains, it keeps that delicious, creamy taste we all love in the typical unhealthy dip.

As I have said in previous posts, avocados are a perfect seasonal ingredient! Not only are they healthy for you, but the are refreshing and very versatile. You may think of using avocados only in guacamole, but that is certainly not the only possibility with this lovely fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!). Packed with healthy fats, this fruit not only keeps you satisfied longer, but serves as a great substitute for any typical, unhealthy fat in any recipe. If you look back at my last posts, you can see they are even great in desserts!

Missed the benefits of avocado in my last couple posts? Find them below the recipe here!

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Creamy Spinach Avocado Dip
-1 ripe Avocado
-1/4 cup Low Fat Mayonaise
-1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
-4 oz. Spinach, cooked and cooled
-1 Garlic Clove, minced
-1 tablespoon Lime Juice
-1/2 teaspoon each: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Honey
-1/4 teaspoon each: Sea Salt, Red Pepper seasoning

Directions: Place all ingredients except spinach in a high speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Add in Spinach and blend for a few seconds. Chill covered in fridge for at least 30 minutes. Serve with crackers or vegetables.

Avocado Benefits:
1) Filled with Monounsaturated Fats: types of fats that help control triglycerides in the bloodstream, lower blood cholesterol and control diabetes.
2) By adding avocado to certain foods, you can improve your absorption of nutrients
3) Provides all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, the body readily absorbs avocado protein because avocados also contain fiber.
4) Pack with Folate:  a water-soluble B vitamin that promotes healthy cell and tissue development. According to the National Institute of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, “This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is also essential for metabolism of homocysteine and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid.”
5) Contains Lutein: a carotenoid that protects against cataracts and certain types of cancer, and reduces the risk of muscular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 years of age and older. Avocados contain 3 or more times as much lutein as found in other common vegetables and fruits.
6) Rich in Oleic acid and Potassium — Both of these nutrients also help in lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of high blood pressure.
7) Good source of fiber

Source: http://www.trueactivist.com/avocado-health-benefits-the-worlds-most-perfect-food/

“I received free samples of California Avocado mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Avocado and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Substitute

5 Aug

It’s never too early to start using pumpkin in recipes.

Is it just me, or does just thought thought of the holidays and the smell of those fall flavors put a smile on your face? It just makes me so happy!

I use to absolutely love making a pumpkin cream cheese. But see, I had a problem. The low fat version still had a lot of calories for the amount I would go through of it (2 tablespoon serving size?! I think not). But then the fat free version was just filled with all sorts of artificial ingredients and fillers for the lack of fat. So yesterday I came up with a solution for this problem. And the solution was delicious. Low in fat, high in protein, and still that delicious creamy taste of cream cheese!

Did I mention I have been loving cottage cheese lately? :)

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Whats your favorite holiday flavor?? I guess mine isn’t too hard to guess!

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Pumpkin “Cream Cheese”

-1/4 cup+2T Pumpkin Puree
-1/2 cup Cottage Cheese
-1 packet Stevia or 2T Honey
-1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
-1/4 tsp Cinnamon + Nutmeg
Directions: Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Keep in jar. Use as a spread on toast, a sweet dip, or even a simple add-in into oatmeal or shakes.

Pumpkin Benefits:
1) High in Vitamin aid 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 to keep you fit and healthy

Raw Honey Benefits
1) Alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, and powerful antioxidants
2)Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fingal properties
3)Promotes body and digestive health
4)Strengthens immune system
5)Eliminates allergies
6)Excellent remedy for skin wounds and infections
7)Stabilizes blood pressure
8)Relieves pain
9)Calm nerves

Pumpkin Peanut Butter

29 Jul

Ever since I was a child, I have loved peanut butter. It’s one of those things I don’t think I could ever get sick of. I use to sit on the couch after school with a banana and an entire jar of peanut butter. Spoonful of peanut butter on to the banana, take a bite, spoonful of peanut butter on to the banana, take a bite, repeat continuously. Banana is gone? No problem, I would just start eating spoonfuls of peanut butter.

Thankfully I’ve learned the meaning of moderation now, at least most of the time :)

As I was enjoying some peanut butter yesterday, a brilliant idea came to me. Why not made a more creamy and light tasting butter by adding pumpkin?! It only made sense as I love my pumpkin.

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The result was incredible. It give the typical heavy and rich peanut butter, a more refreshing, mousse like texture. And guess what? It cuts the calories and fat down in a natural way! The addition of pumpkin lends that lovely taste of fall inside that spoonful of delicious nut butter<3

This is absolutely delicious on toast, as a dip for apples, a mix-in to oatmeal and yogurt, of just by the spoonful!

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Pumpkin Peanut Butter
-1 cup homemade peanut butter (or any natural peanut butter)
-1 cup pumpkin puree (or decrease to 1/2 cup if wanting a richer taste)
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-Optional: 1T honey or stevia
-Optional: 1/4 tsp seal salt (if butter is not already salted)
Directions: Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Store in fridge.

Note: Turn it into a sinlessly sweet butter with the addition of sweetener and extract, or enjoy as your typical savory peanut butter by just adding pumpkin.

Note: Want a really low calorie option? Instead of 1 cup peanut butter, use peanut flour and almond milk to make 1 cup worth!

Note: Want a really low calorie dip? Use peanut flour mixed with water or almond milk in place of the peanut butter! (But don’t be afraid of all the healthy fats, they are good for you!)

Peanut Benefits
1)Rich in energy, containing many nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins
2)Good levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids
3)Good source of dietary protein
4)Great source of resveratrol, an antioxidant found to protect against cancers, heart disease, and fungal infections
5)Excellent source of vitamin E, which maintains and protects cell membranes and skin
6)Packed with B vitamins

Pumpkin Benefits:
1) High in Vitamin aid 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 to keep you fit and healthy

Kalamata Olive Hummus

25 Jun

I could eat a whole container of hummus with carrots. It’s just so good. On sandwiches as the sauce, on crackers, or or as a dip for veggies..you can never go wrong by having hummus in your fridge!

It is such a great appetizer to prepare when having people over too. I always make this hummus when guests are coming, and it is always the first bowl I’m refilling!

But did you know that hummus is made of a lot of oil and tahini (basically ground sesame), when buying packaged? That is what give it that oh so smooth texture. But because of those ingredients, just two tablespoons of dip is quite costly in calories. And let’s be honest, who truly only eats two tablespoons?

The way I have created this hummus, allows you to enjoy guilt free, as it is made of almost nothing but chick peas, olives, and spices! And it is just as delicious as the other stuff. Everyone is always asking for the recipe, so I thought I would share it with you.

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Kalamata Olive Hummus
-1 15oz can chick peas
-1/2 4.25oz can chopped kalamata olives
-1/4 cup liquid from chick pea can
-lemon juice from 1/4 of a lemon
-1 or 2 garlic cloves (if not wanting to taste much of  it, use 1)
-2 tsp dried onion
-2 tsp cumin
-1T cajun spice seasoning

Directions: Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth. If needing more liquid, add more reserved liquid from canned chick peas. Enjoy!
Chickpea Benefits
1) Great source of protein and fiber ( 1 cup has 10g fiber and 12g protein)
2) Rich in calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc
3) Can improve your circulatory and heart health
4) Fiber aids in a healthy digestive system and lower cholesterol

Kalamata Olive Benefits
1) Good source of monounsaturated fats
2)Rich in vitamin E, polyphenols and flavonoids which pretext against free radicals, reduce inflammation, and build the immune system
3) High in vitamin A, which helps fight cancer and maintain healthy eye sight.
4) Rich in minerals, such as calcium, copper, iron, and magnesium–good for strong bones and clear skin
5) High in fiber

Source: Livestrong.com

Where is all the pumpkin?! +my homemade squash substitute

18 Jun
No more Libbys canned pumpkin in SW Florida :((

No more Libbys canned pumpkin in SW Florida :((

But seriously..is anyone else having a hard time finding canned pumpkin in their normal grocery store?! You know me, a little pumpkin obsessed. Yet, Publix (my grocery store), doesn’t have it anymore! Ever! All they have is that yucky sugar filled “pumpkin pie filling”. No thanks.

I had to do something about this problem. Hence, why no pumpkin recipes have been posted lately :( But have no fear! After some research, I found out that buttercup squash is almost just like a pumpkin, but just a bit drier in texture! So, I went and bought myself one of those buttercup squashes, and the result was absolutely delicious.

It was a little dry compared to fresh cooked pumpkin like it claimed, so I decided to puree it all with a couple little additions, so that it would be ready to take out and use when desiring it! It added a little bit of flavor and sweetness without any added sugar along with a creamy smoothness, so that I could use it as a delicious spread on my daily toast (yes, I have toast every single day, I love it<3). Or in shakes, or in oatmeal, or with a spoon! Ahh, why do I love pumpkin so much? Yes, this definitely fulfilled my pumpkin expectations<33

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Buttercup Squash Pumpkin Substitute
-1 buttercup squash
-2 cups almond milk or water
-1T cinnamon
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp sea salt
Directions: Place squash in preheated oven at 400 degrees (yes, you can just put it in whole to prevent extra mess!). Bake until slightly soft on outside, about 45 minutes to an hour. Take out of oven when slightly soft and cut in half. Scoop out seeds. Discard or wash to bake later! Scoop out the flesh of the squash from the skin and place it into a blender. Add the milk/water (milk for creamier version), cinnamon, extract, and salt. Blend until smooth. Store in fridge! Can you in place of canned pumpkin, or as a simple not too sweet spread on toast :)

Buttercup Squash Benefits:
1)Iron rich, comparable to red meat!
2)Rich in Calcium-22% more calcium than milk
3)High in vitamin A
4)Low in fat
5)Fiber content is higher than most vegetables
6)Excellent source of beta-carotene
7)Rich in magnesium (important in activating enzymes required for muscle and nerve function)

Pumpkin Coconut Cream Cheese

30 Apr

Pumpkin..Coconut..together?? YES.

We all know how much I love pumpkin, but coconut is surely up there too. I’ve made pumpkin cream cheese a lot before, but this time, I made a new spin off of it.

And let me tell you, it is delicious! Eat it on toast or a bagel, as a dip for cookies or fruit, or even just eat with a spoon if you love it as much as I do:)

I may have already mentioned it once or twice before..but did you know pumpkin is a superfood?? So it not only makes everything absolutely delicious, but it so healthy and good for you to be eating! And, by using low fat cream cheese to make this recipe, the whole thing will be low in fat as well! But the pumpkin makes this dish healthy no matter what:)

You all know my random food obsession..what’s yours?!

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You know you can’t resist that…

Pumpkin Coconut Cream Cheese
-1 8oz tub low fat cream cheese (can use fat free, but won’t have nearly the same taste! And I’m a believer that fat-free stuff isn’t too healthy for you:) )
-1/2 can pumpkin
-2 T canned coconut milk (this makes it SO good, but you can sub almond milk in if you don’t want the extra calories. Again, just won’t be as good or have as much coconut flavor)
-3 packets of stevia+1T agave
-1 tsp coconut extract and vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-sprinkle of sea salt
-Optional: unsweetened shredded coconut for a yummy texture!
Directions: Blend altogether in nutribullet, blender, or any kind of processor. Enjoy!