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Tag Archives: no sugar

{Travel Snacks} Homemade Nut Butters

21 Jul

Sometimes, the food is the best part of the journey.

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One thing I never forget to pack when I am leaving home is my food. Whether it be for a long day of classes as a college student, a road trip for the weekend, or hours in the airport traveling across the country, I always remember to plan.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

That is something I heard awhile back that always stuck with me. It is so very true. The times that I haven’t had time to plan my food for a long day away from the house, I always end up eating unhealthy, last resort foods after becoming too hungry. That is why I’m sharing with you an easy, travel-friendly snack that is a safe option no matter how far your travels are taking you.

I must admit, this is my favorite snack, even when I’m not traveling. It is my go-to food whenever I get those hunger pains mid-day. But when the theme this month for Recipe Redux was travel food, I knew immediately what I wanted to share.

Homemade Nut Butter. All kinds. With fresh, crunchy celery as dippers, or even apple slices. Could there be anything more delicious or refreshing? Is has those healthy fats along with protein to keep you satisfied.  The best thing about it, is they are airport safe! I take a little container of my nut butters every time I fly, and have never had a problem. What is the great result? Instead of eating those salty, oil saturated peanuts, I enjoy my healthy, all natural nut butter with some veggies or fruit!

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I have a couple of homemade nut butters on my site already, like my Pumpkin Pie Walnut Butter, my healthy version of Nutella called “Not-tella“, and my Almond Joy Butter. But I made two new, absolutely delicious butters to share with you today. Something I love to live by for most of my diet, keep it simple, yet keep it tasty. These nut butters are just that. Coconut Cashew Butter & Cinnamon Java Butter

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Cinnamon Java Almond Butter

– 1 cup almonds, toasted
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp instant coffee powder
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions: Place nuts in food processor and blend until butter forms (this will take at least 5 to 10 minutes).

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Cashew Coconut Butter

– 1 cup cashews, toasted
– 1 tsp coconut extract
– 1 tsp coconut oil
– optional: 2T unsweetened shredded coconut, stirred into final product
Directions: Place nuts into food processor. Blend until butter forms (again, about 5-10 minutes). Add extract and oil and blend for about 10 more seconds. Keep in container.

*Neither of these butters need to be refrigerated if consuming within a week!

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Yum. And benefits?

Almond Benefits
1) Reduce Heart Attack Risk
2) Lower Bad Cholesterol
3) Protect artery walls from damage
4) Build strong bones and teeth
5) Provide healthy fats and aid in weight loss
6) Lower rise in blood sugar after meals
7) Alkalize the body

Cashew Benefits
1) Prevents Cancer
2) Heart Health
3) Increases Hair and Skin health
4) Beneficial for Bone Health
5) Good for the nerves
6) Prevents Gallstones
7) Aids in weight loss

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)

Sources: doctoroz.com, care2.com

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[Paleo] [Whole30] Apple Berry Smoothie

30 Jun

My mom unfortunately just had knee surgery as she torn her ACL while on vacation last week. Thankfully, God protected her and allowed the surgery to go over wonderfully.

When she woke up the morning after her surgery the night before, she was very hungry and thirsty, as she couldn’t eat the day of her surgery, but solid food just didn’t appeal to her. So before I headed off to my 4 hour organic chemistry class in the morning, I created her this delicious smoothie.

In recovering from an illness or injury, it is so vital to maintain a healthy and clean diet. My mom just recently came off of the whole30 program, so she is use to eating clean, but I wanted to make sure these first few weeks of recovery were filled with only clean, healthy foods. Definitely no sugar (sugar decreases your immune system greatly!)  Also, when being on pain medications, some problems arise (digestive to be exact, I’ll spare the details), so I knew I wanted to keep her smoothie dairy free, and load it up with some healthy and fresh fibrous ingredients. What resulted, was a delicious smoothie, flavored with apples, berries, and coconut, AND free of added sugar, whole30 qualified and paleo-friendly!

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Apple Berry Smoothie (Whole30, Paleo-friendly)

-1/2 big red delicious apple
-1/2 cup mixed berries frozen
-1 egg (Yes, she likes raw eggs in smoothies, and it’s never hurt her!)
-1 handful spinach
-2tsp coconut oil
-1T chia seeds
-1 cup water/ coconut milk
-2T flaked unsweetened coconut

Directions: Blend all ingredients together in blender. If desired, add honey (not whole30 qualified).

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

Coconut Oil 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)

sources: BestHealthMag.cadoctoroz.com

Sugar Detox Comes to an End…Or Does It?!

11 Jun

Yesterday marked the end of my 21-day sugar detox! It was such a wonderful experience. Here I thought I would be counting down the days until I could have sugar again..but time went by so quickly, I almost forgot it was coming to an end!

In the beginning, I was having to give up so many foods that I normally ate, like stevia in my coffee, chewing gum throughout the day, protein powders, agave in my Greek yogurt, ketchup and honey mustard that I used all the time, and the list goes on. Oh, can’t forget my vitamins and probiotics that had FRUCTOSE in them! I couldn’t believe it. But, cutting sugar completely out of my diet, helped me feel just all around so much better! And I learned some important lessons:

1) Check your food label ingredients. Buy the kind with the least ingredients (and one that you know what they are!)
2)As much as I missed making all my yummy shakes with protein powder, after working out, the best fuel to give your body is real food. Not all these processed powders and bars. I found things like chicken and sweet potatoes or cottage cheese and fruit as such great refuel after workouts instead of my typical shakes.
3)SO many things have added sugar that you would never guess. Again, check your labels.
4) There are so many ways you can add natural sweetness without sugars, such as dried fruit like dates and figs, or even fresh fruit like strawberries, bananas, watermelon, and berries!

Here is an excellent example about checking your ingredients. Most cottage cheese brands, like publix, friendship, and breakstones all have many ingredients, some of which you don't even know. But Daisy brand only has FOUR. And they are all natural, with no preservatives or additives on the label. Which one are you going to choose next time?

Here is an excellent example about checking your ingredients. Most cottage cheese brands, like publix, friendship, and breakstones all have many ingredients, some of which you don’t even know. But Daisy brand only has FOUR. And they are all natural, with no preservatives or additives on the label. Which one are you going to choose next time?

To sum up these past three weeks, its been such a great lifestyle change. This didn’t become just a 3 week challenge, only to go back to the way I use to eat. This was a way to change my habits, and to get away from that s0-s0 sweet taste that I wanted everything to be. I will NEVER use artificial sweeteners like Splenda or buy any of those “sugar free” products (aka, tons of added fake sugars and chemicals) again. Stevia will be limited, as I now have such a different liking for sweetness, that many things I use to have to load with agave or stevia like greek yogurt or grapefruits, I like plain now!  And natural sugars like agave and raw honey will mostly be the only types of sweeteners I use.

I love the new lifestyle, and how I feel with no sugar, that I’ve decided to extend my sugar detox until the end of June! My good friend Amy (find her over at Fit Fun and Fantastic) and I who originally began this challenge, will both be continuing our no sugar lifestyle for a little bit longer! Are you in?! Feel free to join now :) You can find me on instagram at @FreshFitnHealthy if you want to follow my day to day no sugar creations!

As for now..how do you feel about added sugar? I believe raw honey is great for our bodies, and am in no way saying I’m staying away from that for a little longer because I think its bad. But eating no sugar except that naturally occcurring in fruits and vegetables, has made me feel so wonderful! So why not continue my journey for a bit longer? :)

“Not-tella” and Banana Nut Muffin Butter

9 Jun

This may have been my greatest idea yet. I have been on a nut butter craze since this no sugar challenge. Also, with just eating healthier and avoiding bad fats, I have been loading up on all the delicious good fats, like homemade almond butter, avocados, and coconut oil! I am not exaggerating when I say I make homemade nut butter at least once a week. I dont know what happens. One moment, the jar is full..and a few days later, it has disappeared! :) I have also been eating an avocado a day–a new favorite food of mine!

So I went to go make my normal weekly raw almond butter, but then saw 2 ripe bananas that needed to be dealt with. Usually I just cut these up and freeze them (my favorite snack!), but today, a genius idea came into my mind.

I had wanted to make a sweet nut butter for awhile. Specifically, a chocolate one. But with no sugar allowed, I decided against it for awhile..until today.

What you’re about to see below is what I would like to call “Not-tella”. What kind of name is that you may ask? Well, this is surely not that name brand Nutella stuff..similar, but so much better. And did I mention it is so much healthier?! Ahh I think I died and tasted a bit of heaven when licking the spoon the first time. I could eat this whole batch. But I won’t. Let’s just hope it makes it through the week :)

I also made a batch without cocoa powder in it. This I would like to call banana nut muffin butter. Why? Well, it’s a nut butter, it has bananas, and tastes like a delicious, creamy butter version of banana bread!

If you try one thing tomorrow, this must be it. You will be SO thankful you did.

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Not-tella
-2 cups raw almonds (can use store bought butter–1 cup)
-1 large ripe banana
-1.5 T cocoa powder
Directions: Food process enough almonds to make 1 cup of nut butter (about two cups). This step will take awhile. Once blended into butter, add in 1 large ripe banana. Blend again. Add in cocoa powder. Blend once more. Enjoy! Keep refrigerated.

For Banana Nut Variety: Leave out cocoa powder. Add 1/4 cup chopped almonds after all blending is done (for a banana NUT muffin taste!)

For Almond Joy Variety: Add 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut with banana and blend. You can also add coconut extract if desired. For a non-banana almond joy recipe, check this post out.

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Blend the nuts into butter first

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Add chopped banana and blend

 

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Banana Nut Muffin Butter Variety!

Banana Health Benefits:
1)High in potassium which prevents muscle cramping
2)counteracts calcium loss
3)Helps overcome depression because of Tryptophan
4)Heightens your mood, relieve PMS, and cause relaxation
5)High in B6 which prevents swelling and aids in weight loss
6)Rich in pectin which aids in digestion
7)High in fiber
8)Makes you more alert

Almond Healthy Benefits:
1)Relief from respiratory disorders
2)Aids in hair, skin and dental care
3)Improves digestion
4)Can relieve coughs
5)Good for those with diabetes
6)Heart Healthy