Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolution: Eat One Superfood Everyday!!!

New years is the perfect time to give your diet a makeover.

Try to incorporate one superfood in your diet every diet. An apple a day really does keep the doctor away." Apples are loaded with powerful antioxidants, quercetin and catechin, which protect cells from damage - that means,reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, especially if you eat the skin. The apple peel contains five times more polyphenols than the flesh. Apple skins pack a lot of fiber, too , which may help fight the battle of the bulge and rid your body of harmful toxins.
Try slicing apples and serving them with a spread of nut butter, cinnamon, and a touch of good quality honey. You can also sprinkle with some flax seeds.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sofia's Gluten Free Brownies

These brownies are a hit in my house! They are simple to throw together, making them a great baking activity to do with your kids. 

Makes about 12 brownies

1 cup almond butter
2 eggs
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut crystals
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup 70 percent grain sweetened chocolate chips

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the all ingredients until well combined and pour into a greased 9×9 oven-safe baking dish.
3. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until fully cooked.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Perfect Holiday Treat--- Healthy Fudge

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup organic cocoa powder
1/4 cup raw honey
dash of vanilla
1/4 cup goji berries, chopped almonds or cocoa chips

1. Mix ingredients in a medium glass bowl until smooth. 
2. Spread into a small glass container and refrigerate until solid, or about an hour. 
3. Cut into squares and serve.

Meatless Monday--Curry Chickpea Stew

This is a perfect dish for Meatless Monday. Pair it with some quinoa, or brown rice and you have an easy, inexpensive vegetarian dinner. You can also put it in a thermos and send it with your kids for lunch or a snack. Great source of protein, fiber and omega three fatty acids.

Did you know? Coconut Oil is superfood for kids
Long used for its hair and skin beautifying properties, coconut oil is now gaining popularity thanks to all the amazing ways it helps to create optimum health. One of the key ingredients of coconut oil is lauric acid, an amino acid that helps support high level brain function, soothes stress, aids in digestion as well as boosts the immune system to help fight off colds and flus and other infectious illnesses. Lauric acid, which the body converts to monolaurin, helps fight viruses, parasites, yeast overgrowth and bacteria. It’s a popular ingredient in the autism recovery community, where it is believed to help normalize brain function.

2 tablespoons coconut oil oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 pound peeled pumpkin or other squash, cut into 1” chunks
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 15-ounce can plum tomatoes, chopped (reserve juice)
1 fresh bay leaf
1 thyme branch
2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups cooked chickpeas
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Warm coconut oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
2. Add pumpkin and curry, stir for 5 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, broth, chickpeas . Bring curry to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes, until squash is tender.
4. Discard bay leaf and thyme branches and adjust seasoning.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hearty Lentil Stew

Makes 8 servings

1 pound of green lentils
3/4 pound carrot
1/2 pound of onion
1/2 pound of celery
1 big can of crushed tomatoes
Salt, black pepper, and fried basil flakes/whole fresh basil leaves

1. Boil a pot of water to cook the lentils. The water should cover the lentils but not so much that it becomes too soupy.
2. When the lentils are almost done, add the chopped carrot.
3. When the carrot becomes soft, add chopped onion and celery (takes about 40 min to cook the lentils and vegetables.)
4. Add crushed tomatoes and mix well when the onion and celery are soft.
5. Add salt, pepper and basil (you can use a few whole basil leaves when you cook the beans).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How to Avoid Dry Parched Winter Skin

The Best Tips, Tricks, and Eats

In winter, low temperatures, low humidity and strong, gusty winds deplete skin of its natural lipid layer, which keeps the skin from drying out. The dry air from heating sources also sucks the moisture out from our skin.

To keep skin soft and glowing this winter season can be simple; and does not have to involve pricey store bought creams.

Your goal is two fold, not only to add moisture to skin, but to keep the skins natural moisture in. Moisturizing, staying hydrated and eating an omega rich diet will help your skin to glow this winter.

Keep Skin Smooth with Omega’s - To relieve your cracked dry winter skin, look no farther then your local health foods store. Organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil is ideal for skin; both topically and when ingested. Topically it helps protect your skin from the drying effects of free radicals, and can help improve the appearance of skin. Coconut oil will not only bring temporary soothing effects to your skin, but it will aid in restoring your skin’s soft feel. The coconut oil will aid in exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells, making the skin smoother. It also penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin to strengthen the underlying tissues. So slather it on your face and body. Best used at night since it is heavy and needs to absorb.

Eat an Omega Rich Diet - Eating a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids is the best way to nourish your skin from the inside out. Flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, almonds, olive oil, salmon, halibut, tuna, sardines and scallops are wonderful sources for helping your skin to look great

Sunscreen - Sunscreen isn't just for summertime. Winter sun -- combined with snow glare -- can severely damage and dry your skin. Try applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands --- buy only oxybenzone & paraben free

Keep Water Lukewarm - Hot water robs skin of moisture causing dry skin, so it's best to shower in lukewarm water. The same rule applies to hand washing: Wash hands in lukewarm, never hot water. If your skin turns red, the water is simply too hot.

Take your vitamins- Ideally; one should maintain a healthy diet and immune system. Taking a multivitamin as well as vitamin D, C and omegas will not only help you to look and feel great

Exercise - It reduces stress levels, and increases circulation that helps skin to glow.

Stay hydrated - Dehydration combined with dry weather humidity levels leave skin parched and dull looking. Drinking at least eight to ten 8 oz. glasses of water keeps your complexion looking bright.

Sleep - Allowing yourself a solid 8 hours of sleep, especially after a long evening out, lets your body (and your skin) recuperate for the next fun-filled event.

Monday, December 13, 2010

No Bake Coconut Brownie Balls

Makes 15 servings


15 pitted dates
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus extra for dusting)
1 cup unsalted
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons water
confectioner's sugar/ coconut/ cocoa powder if desired


Add almonds to food processor or vita mix and and pulse until ground. Add dates, cocoa powder, honey, and water. Mix until it just forms a sticky mass. Wash hands and attempt to make a ball with the dough (it may need more water to get to the perfect consistency). Put a tablespoon of cocoa or confectioner's sugar or coconut on a plate. Roll balls in your hand and then dip in sugar / cocoa coconut (or all).

Friday, December 10, 2010

Raisin Coconut Cookies

1 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
6 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp ground flax seeds
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

1. Pre-heat oven to 300. 

2. Combine oil, maple syrup, flax seeds, eggs, and vanilla. Add shredded coconut, raisins and coconut flour. 
3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
4. Make golf ball size balls and then flatten with fork. I wet my hands before forming the cookies to keep the batter from sticking. 
5. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sofia's Heart Healthy Holiday Cookies

Makes 32 cookies

4 teaspoons cacao powder
2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup coconut oil, melted
5 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda and cacoa powder.
2. In a smaller bowl, mix together coconut oil, agave and vanilla.
3. Mix wet ingredients into dry, then chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour.
4. Place dough in between 2 large pieces of parchment paper and roll out until ¼ inch thick.
5. Remove top piece of parchment paper and cut out cookies with a small cookie cutter.
6. Using a metal spatula, place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet.
7. Bake at 350° until lightly browned around the edges, 7-10 minutes.

Quinoa Super Food Pudding

3 cups soy, dairy, nut, or almond milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of raisins, goji berries, or choice of fruit
1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut for topping

1. Rinse quinoa. 
2. Mix milk, vanilla, raisins or goji berries maple syrup and salt in a saucepan and set on simmer. 
3. Add quinoa and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently (but not constantly).
4. Once thickened, remove from heat and allow to cool. 
5. Sprinkle with coconut. Serve warm, or refrigerate.

Quinoa in this application results in a cross between rice pudding and tapioca, with more protein than either.