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Tag Archives: spon

Sweetpotato Brownies with Sweetpotato Cream Swirl

12 Oct

Yet another California sweetpotato recipe! Don’t be too sad, but this will be the last for at least a little :) After getting a whole box shipped to me for free though, you can’t blame me for all of these recipes lately! These unique California sweetpotatoes are so delicious. Whether eating them just simply baked, or making them the focus of a meal/dessert, these sweetpotatoes create a yummy taste!

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In case you’ve missed my last THREE posts using California sweetpotatoes ( sweetpotato pizza crust, sweetpotato gingerbread cookie dip, and sweetpotato pumpkin nut muffins), here is a brief synopsis of why these California sweetpotatoes are worth your while!

What I used here in this recipe is not just your typical sweet potato. No, these are California sweetpotatoes! What’s unique about California sweetpotatoes is that they are grown in soft sand and are hand sorted during harvest to minimize scarring and scratching. The result is a visually, higher quality sweetpotato. California sweetpotatoes are a “nutrition bang for the calorie buck” with 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, a good source of vitamin C and more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, all for 105 calories per serving. Plus, they are available year-round.

 

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I love chocolate. Chocolate is one thing I will never pass up. After coming home yesterday from college for the weekend, I wanted to make a yummy dessert for our family dinner. When my chocolate love took over and I knew I wanted to make healthy brownies, I was happy to remember that I brought some California sweetpotatoes home with me. Why? Because I knew the sweet, creamy texture of these sweetpotatoes would lend the taste I was looking for, while keeping the fat and sugar low :)

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But then I wanted to make it look a little festive as well. So I thought, cream cheese swirls are always fun! However, cream cheese is not very healthy. So what did I do? Well, I guess you’ll have to look at the recipe for that one! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my whole family did!

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Sweetpotato Brownies with Sweetpotato Cream Swirl
Makes 16 brownies
For Brownies:
-1 large California Sweetpotato, baked
-1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour (or Oat Flour)
-1/4 cup Coconut Flour
-1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
-1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
-1/2 cup Brewed Coffee (enhances chocolate flavor)
-2 Egg Whites
-1 Egg
-1/3 cup Natural Honey (increase to 1/2 cup if having a sweet tooth)
-1/2 cup Baking Stevia or other Sugar of choice
-2 teaspoons Baking Powder
-1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
-1 teaspoon Cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
-1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt

Cream Swirl
-1/4 cup Cottage Cheese
-1 tablespoon Sweetpotato, mashed
-1 tablespoon Honey

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place sweetpotato and egg/eggwhites in blender, and blend until the sweetpotato looks like puree. In large bowl, place all of the dry ingredients, and mix until combined. Add blended sweetpotato and other wet ingredients to bowl, and mix until smooth (but do not overmix). With nonstick spray, spray an 8×8 glass pan, and pour batter into glass. Place the cottage cheese, pumpkin, and honey in blender an blend until cottage cheese is smooth. Pour cream mixture in three equidistant lines across the brownie batter in the glass. With knife, “cut” the batter up and down without picking up the knife until you have created a “swirl look”. Place in oven and cook for 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before cutting.

Sweetpotato Benefits
1) High in vitamin B6
2) Good source of vitamin C
3) Contain vitamin D
4) Contain iron
5) Good source of magnesium
6) High in fiber
7) Rich in vitamin A

Cocoa Benefits
1)Decreases blood pressure
2)Improves cholesterol levels
3)Prevents heart disease
4)Rich in flavonoids, an antioxidant

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

Coffee Benefits:
1) It may lower risk of death according to studies performed
2) Lowers risk of cancer in the reproductive system
3) Lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
4) Help protect your brain
5) Great for skin/decreases skin cancer due to caffeine
6) Reduces risk of oral cancer
7) Strengthens muscles: studies show caffeine has similar effect to DNA molecules in muscles muscles of exercise

 

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

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Sweetpotato Pumpkin Nut Muffins [GF, DF, V]

11 Oct

By this time you know I love pumpkin.

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But now thanks to Recipe Redux putting on this Sweetpotato Contest, I have rediscovered my love of them as well. Simply baked in the oven, cooked in a savory meal, or used in dessert, these sweetpotatoes provide such a delicious flavor and also a very moist texture :)

Recap for anyone who has missed my last couple posts and is confused as to why I’m spelling sweetpotatoes without a space:  What I used here in this recipe is not just your typical sweet potato. No, these are California sweetpotatoes! What’s unique about California sweetpotatoes is that they are grown in soft sand and are hand sorted during harvest to minimize scarring and scratching. The result is a visually, higher quality sweetpotato. California sweetpotatoes are a “nutrition bang for the calorie buck” with 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, a good source of vitamin C and more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, all for 105 calories per serving. Plus, they are available year-round.

Now that we’re all caught up, let’s talk about these muffins. Can you say scrumptious? The flavors of sweetpotato, pumpkin, and almonds all in one mini muffin. What a great way to kick off the Fall season! I love this time of year, because guess what?! Pumpkin and squashes are everywhere! I can now post many pumpkin and squash recipes without seeming completely insane :)

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I made these muffins for all of my friends the other night, and didn’t know what to expect. But they loved them! I’m not a big baker when it comes to cakes and muffins, so I didn’t know if I would come out with the right ratio of everything, but thankfully I did and these muffins were a great success. And they’re gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian friendly! So dive on in to this tasty recipe.

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Want a little taste of Fall? Or a small bite of heaven? Try this recipe with your very own sweetpotatoes today!

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Sweetpotato Pumpkin Nut Muffins
Makes 18 mini muffins

–    1 cup oats
–    1/4 cup California sweet potato, mashed
–    1/4 cup pumpkin puree
–    1/4 cup applesauce
–    3T egg white
–    6 dates
–    3T agave
–    1T coconut oil
–    1 tsp vanilla
–    1 tsp cinnamon
–    1/2 tsp ginger
–    1 tsp baking powder
–    1/4 tsp butter and almond extract
–    1/4 tsp sea salt
–    Optional: 1/4 cup crushed nuts or mini chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farhenheit. Combine oats and dates in food processor and blend until it forms a crumbly mixture. Add in all other dry ingredients and blend until well incorporated. In small bowl, mix together all wet ingredients. Pour wet into dry, and blend until mixed well. Stir in almonds or chocolate chips if desired. Spray mini muffin liners with nonstick spray. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of batter into each mold. Top with extra crushed almonds or chocolate chips if desired. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes, or until done. For an extra moist muffins, take out before toothpick comes out clean (for me, about 8-10 minutes). Enjoy.

Sweetpotato Benefits
1) High in vitamin B6
2) Good source of vitamin C
3) Contain vitamin D
4) Contain iron
5) Good source of magnesium
6) High in fiber
7) Rich in vitamin A

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

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

 

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

 

Sweetpotato Pizza Crust with Sweetpotato Curry Sauce

9 Oct

In case you didn’t see my Sweetpotato Cookie Dough Dip, let me tell you a little something special. Why did I spell  “sweetpotato” as one word you may ask? What I used here in this recipe is not just your typical sweet potato. No, these are California sweetpotatoes! The recipe Redux community is having a California sweetpotato contest, and of course, I had to participate! What’s unique about California sweetpotatoes is that they are grown in soft sand and are hand sorted during harvest to minimize scarring and scratching. The result is a visually, higher quality sweetpotato. California sweetpotatoes are a “nutrition bang for the calorie buck” with 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, a good source of vitamin C and more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, all for 105 calories per serving. Plus, they are available year-round.

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Many that are striving to live a healthy lifestyle avoid pizza at all costs because of thinking it is so bad. But when a recipe like this is created, the fear of pizza can disappear!

Made with gluten free rolled oats and sweetpotato, this pizza crust is far from the typical unhealthy crust. You can now have your pizza and eat it too!

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Sweetpotatoes are so versatile in the fact that they are not only delicious plain, baked in the oven like other potatoes, but they also turn out great in recipes! Whether a savory or sweet dish, these sweetpotatoes raise the bar on any typical recipe. In this unique pizza crust recipe, it added such a great taste and texture.

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My boyfriend (who is skeptical sometimes about my healthy food) loved it! That is proof that it is a tasty recipe. Want a pizza night soon but also don’t want to ruin your hard work in healthy living? Make this recipe for a great night with family or friends. I decided to make two mini pizzas. I topped one with a sweetpotato curry sauce (see below crust recipe) and veggies, and the other one with regular pizza sauce, veggies, and chicken. The sky is the limit with a delicious crust like this!

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Sweetpotato Pizza Crust
Makes 2 mini pizzas or 1 medium pizza

–    1/2 cup California Sweetpotato, cooked (about 1 medium sweetpotato)
–    1/2 cup Oat Flour (1 cup Rolled Oats, blended to flour)
–    1 whole Egg
–    2 tablespoons Chia Seeds (or flaxseeds)
–    1/2 teaspoon Coconut Oil
–    1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt, Cayenne Pepper, and Garlic Salt
–    1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place sweetpotato, flour, and egg into high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add in other ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Cover a pizza tray with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with nonstick spray and place pizza dough on it. Spread out to desired thinness (may need roller). Place into oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove and add desired toppings. Bake in oven for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven, cut into slices, and enjoy.

Optional Sweet Potato Sauce
–    1/2 cup sweetpotato, cooked
–    3 tablespoons Canned Coconut Milk
–    1/2 teaspoon Crushed Garlic
–    2 teaspoons Curry Powder
–    1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
–    1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Directions: Blend all ingredients together in high speed blender. Use as a topping for sweetpotato pizza crust above if desired.

Sweetpotato Benefits
1) High in vitamin B6
2) Good source of vitamin C
3) Contain vitamin D
4) Contain iron
5) Good source of magnesium
6) High in fiber
7) Rich in vitamin A

Chia Seeds
1) Combats Diabetes: with its gelatinous coating it can prevent blood sugar spikes, and is also slow digesting which has lead to it being a possible treatment for diabetes
2) High in fiber: just 1 oz. has 1/3 of daily needed amount
3) Packed with Omega 3 Fatty Acids
4) Supports Bone and Teeth Health: packed with calcium
5) High in Manganese: an essential mineral for your bones
6) Rich in Phosphorous: aids body in synthesizing protein for cell and also maintaining healthy bones
7) High in protein: great source for vegetarians
8) Fights Belly Fat: it’s stabilizing affect on blood sugar also fights insulin resistance which is tied to an increase of belly fat
9) Contain tryptophan: also found in turkey, it is responsible for regulating appetite and improving sleep
10) Improves heart health

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

Sweetpotato Gingerbread Cookie Dough Dip

5 Oct

If we’re honest with ourselves, I think we can all agree that the dough is always better than the baked cookies themselves.

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But first things first. Why did I spell  “sweetpotato” as one word you may ask? What I used here in this recipe is not just your typical sweet potato. No, these are California sweetpotatoes! What’s unique about California sweetpotatoes is that they are grown in soft sand and are hand sorted during harvest to minimize scarring and scratching. The result is a visually, higher quality sweetpotato. California sweetpotatoes are a “nutrition bang for the calorie buck” with 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, a good source of vitamin C and more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, all for 105 calories per serving. Plus, they are available year-round.

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Now that you know why these sweetpotatoes are so special and a great buy, let me tell you a little bit about this recipe. Recipe Redux is putting on a California sweetpotato contest in which we were asked to make unique recipes for. So, this is my first of the week!

Cookie Dough Dip. Not one thing about that sounds healthy. But guess what? It is so very healthy! No flour, white sugar, or butter! Higher in protein and fiber than your regular cookie dough dip, this recipe is sure to keep that weight off your waistline during the holiday season.

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Can you guess the secret ingredient to this delightful dip? I’ll give you a hint: it has a hidden vegetable in it other than sweetpotatoes!

You would never be able to recognize that this dip is any different than the fattening, unhealthy typical cookie dough dip when having a taste. This is why I love these sweetpotatoes. They are so versatile! Not only are they delicious in savory dishes and baked as a side, but also in sweet! They have such a great taste and texture to them, that they raise the bar on any typical recipe.

Serve as a dip with apple slices, cookies, or crackers, or add a little baking powder to them and bake as cookies, this dip is sure to be a hit in your kitchen. Don’t like molasses? Switch it out for honey! Either way, you will not regret trying out this unbelievably healthy yet delicious sweetpotato recipe.

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Sweetpotato Gingerbread Cookie Dough Dip

–    1 can Chick Peas, drained and rinsed well, and deskinned
–    1/2 cup California Sweetpotato, cooked and mashed (about 1 medium sweetpotato)
–    1/2 cup Rolled Oats
–    1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
–    1/4 cup Molasses
–    4 packets Stevia
–    1 T Chia Seeds (can omit)
– 1 T Coconut Oil (or any nut butter)
–    1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract, Ginger and Cinnamon
–    Pinch of Sea Salt and Baking Powder

Directions: Place well-rinsed and deskinned chick peas into food processor with sweet potato, oats, milk, and molasses. Blend until completely smooth. Add in other ingredients and blend until well mixed together. Remove from food processor, transfer to sealed container, and refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve as a dip, or scoop out and bake in oven for actual cookies! Store dip in refrigerator.

Note: Just wanting the plain sweetpotato flavor? Substitute the molasses for honey, and omit the ginger!
Note: To deskin chickpeas: Put the chickpeas in a bowl of water, and rub them gently with your fingers to take off the skins. The skins float up to the top. It’s much quicker than peeling them one at a time. It lends to a smoother texture and tastes the chickpea taste away more, but you can leave them on if the texture doesn’t bother you.

Sweetpotato Benefits
1) High in vitamin B6
2) Good source of vitamin C
3) Contain vitamin D
4) Contain iron
5) Good source of magnesium
6) High in fiber
7) Rich in vitamin A

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

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

Raw Chocolate Tart with Fudgy Mousse Filling

16 Aug

This is made with a secret ingredient.An ingredient that you might not suspect would be in a dessert. But it is. And it was what made this recipe so absolutely delicious!

Because of my last post you may have guessed, but the answer is yes it’s avocados!

If avocados are “The World’s Most Perfect Food”, than why not attempt to incorporate it in things other than your typical guacamole!

Avocados are a perfect summer ingredient for foods as they hard high in fiber and healthy fats that keep you satisfied and slim. Like you can see here, they are perfect not only for savory dishes, but sweet! Why use full fat cream in a dessert when you can use an ingredient that will give you the exact same texture, yet filled with only healthy fats?!

Using avocados as the main ingredient for this tart filling offered such a fudgy, decadent, chocolate flavor. This recipe is completely raw, which makes it simple to create with no cooking time, and also keeps all the healthy nutrients in the ingredients instead of baking them all away! You taste what would seem like a full fat chocolate fudge, yet are actually eating a healthy-fat-filled dessert that offers so many benefits to your health. Some people think avocados are bad because of being high in fat, but that is far from the truth. Just viewing the benefits below this recipe will prove that :)

How is your favorite way to use avocados?? I would have said the typical guacamole, or simply just sliced with sea salt a week ago, but after getting creative in the kitchen, I’ve realized the sky is the limit in using avocados!

Did I mention, the filling for this tart can also be eaten on its own as a rich mousse, which is absolutely incredible!

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Raw Chocolate Tart with a Fudge Mousse Filling

Serving: 4 mini tarts

Raw Chocolate Tart:
-1 cup Almonds
-1/2 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
-6 dates
-3 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
-2 tablespoons Raw Honey
-1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
-Dash of Sea Salt

Fudge Mousse Filling
-1 cup Avocado (about 1/1.5 large avocados)
-3/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
-1/4 cup Raw Honey + 1/4 cup Baking Stevia
-1 tsp Vanilla Extract
-1 tsp Instant Coffee

Directions: Place all Tart ingredients into Food Processor and Blend until a crumbly dough forms. Using mini tart pans,, place a handful of dough into the bottom of each ramekin (makes 4), and press up the sides (make sure to leave a thick enough bottom). Freeze for at least 20 minutes. Blend all Filling ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor until smooth. Fill mini tarts with filling, and place in freezer for about 10 minutes. Serve cold.

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

“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.”

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.”

Avocado Artichoke Pesto Stuffed Chicken

10 Aug

I don’t know what it is about stuffed chicken recipes, but I love them. And I love creating new ones.

Lately I have been loving avocados. Not only because they are delicious, but because when I’m staying away from the typical unhealthy fats for the most part, I need a lot of good fats!  Along with homemade nut butters, avocados are something I eat daily to get those healthy fats.  They not only have tons of good, healthy fats, but they have many other benefits. This makes them a delicious summer ingredient, and not just in guacamole!

Did you know that avocados have been called “The World’s Most Perfect Food”?? And rightfully so! An avocado contains every single nutrient that a person would need to survive.

Avocados are rich in many vitamins, such as A, C, D, E, K, and all of the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate). Dr. Daniel G. Amen, a clinical neuroscientist, psychiatrist, brain-imaging expert and author of the New York Times bestseller Change Your Brain, Change Your Life counts avocados as one of the top brain-healthy foods that can help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

I became so excited when I heard there was a contest involving avocados, and instantly became motivated to create something delicious. I have a few delicious recipes, but today, it’s all about the stuffed chicken! I love pesto.  I just adore that delicious basil taste. That is why I knew I wanted to incorporate it in this recipe creation. The creamy taste of avocados, the flavor of fresh picked basil..I knew I was heading in the right direction.

This is the perfect summer night meal, as even though it may seem like you are indulging, it was made in a very healthy manner! Protein packed and rich in healthy fats, this delicious meal is sure to keep you satisfied, in both hunger and taste.

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 Avocado Artichoke Creamy Pesto Filling
– 2 avocados, flesh
– 1/2 14oz can artichokes, chopped
-1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
– 1/4 cup  low fat cottage cheese
-1T lemon juice
-1 teaspoon crushed garlic
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1/2 teaspoon red pepper seasoning
-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Other:
-4 large Chicken Breasts
-1 T each: dried basil, thyme, onion
-1 tsp each: pepper flakes, garlic powder, sea salt

Directions: In high speed blender or food processor, add all avocado filling ingredients, except artichokes, and blend until smooth. Stir in chopped artichokes. Place in fridge until needed. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take out chicken breast, and butterfly with knife (cut breast in half horizontally but not all the way through so that it is still in one piece). Place 1/4 mixture in each breast, and fold back top half of chicken to “close”. In a shallow bowl, mix all the dried seasonings and salt together. Sprinkle rub mixture on each breast on both sides, and place on a cookie pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Cook in oven for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is done.

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

“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.”