Get Glowing Sesame Ginger Turmeric Dressing & Dip

This sounds delicious!!  Thanks so much Amber from Epic Self!! xo

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” Glowing Sesame Ginger Turmeric dressing or dip for an easy snack between meals that’s packed with calcium, copper, iron, zinc, selenium and anti-inflammatory power! Dip a rainbow of raw veggies into this creamy spicy sauce and let me know what you think.

Here’s the simple breakdown:

– 2 tablespoons of raw tahini
– juice of 1 lemon
– juice of 1 lime 
– 1 thumb of fresh ginger 
– 1 teaspoon of fresh turmeric
– pinch of cayenne 
– 1 clove of garlic 

Blend up and dive in! Drizzle over bright purple cabbage and carrot slaw then stuff into lettuce wraps for a scrumptious meal. The sky is the limit! “

Healthtabulous Shamrock Shake


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While it’s time for March Madness once again, there hasn’t been much sign of spring yet. Once Valentine’s Day has come and passed, I start to think green.  Green for fresh grass, green for sprouting plants and green for St. Patty’s Day (which is one of my faves!).  And the next green thought that comes to mind is Shamrock Shakes!  Something about the limited time availability, and the tasty coolness of creamy mint.  Just makes me happy.  

But what doesn’t make me happy is the ingredient list in a Shamrock Shake.  Much to my disappointment, items are included such as:

~corn syrup solids (which undoubtedly contains GMOs)
~mono- and diglycerides (which are breakdown products of fat and typically come from soy, which again is mostly genetically modified)
~imitation mint flavor (which is not from a mint leaf, but instead chemicals)
~Green No. 3 (which has been banned for human consumption in Europe as well as other countries, due to the inclusions of lead, mercury and arsenic)
~carrageenan (which is an emulsifier and causes pores in the intestinal tract to become larger, permitting larger molecules of undigested food to enter the bloodstream, which in turn causes our lymphatic system to attack these ‘foreign’ invaders and in simple terms wreaks havoc on our body)

So once I learned this information, I hoped for a healthier version to magically appear as a replacement, however my wait was in vain.  And being that patience isn’t my strongest of virtues, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a healthier tasty version of my own to enjoy that is actually digestible and nourishing to my body.  Here you go, feel free to tweak the recipe to add or subtract any ingredients to your liking.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 frozen large banana, as ripe as possible
  • cacao nibs or chocolate chips
  • 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp pure peppermint extract (I like 1/4 tsp) *If you can get your hands on some fresh mint, use 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2/3 cup to 1 cup milk of choice (For a super-rich shake, try full-fat canned coconut milk. Also, use more or less, depending on desired thickness.)
  • frozen spinach (I used about 1/4 cup) *If you can’t get on board with the greens-in-smoothies thing, you can opt for a few drops of chrolrophyll or a dash or spirulina instead of chemically-created green food coloring… or just drink a white mint shake😉
  • Of course, you can always add cocoa powder too

Topping/Garnish Ideas: A sprig of fresh mint, cacao nibs, shaved dark chocolate, or dark chocolate chips.

ENJOY!!

Dairy Free Chai Coconut Ice Cream

Delish!! I came across this amazing and yummy-sounding recipe for Chai Coconut Ice Cream today  at Nourished Kitchen and had to share!  Baby, I know it’s cold out, but I would be just fine enjoying this by a nice warm fireplace!😉
                
“Vanilla swirls with spices such as cinnamon and cardamom in this coconut milk ice cream. The sprinkle of unrefined salt brings out both the sweetness of the maple syrup and the rich flavors of the spices. It’s very much like a favorite cup of chai in a frozen, creamy form. I’ll understate my joy in this recipe by saying, “ I love it.””
 
Dairy Free Coconut Chai Ice Cream

Dairy Free Coconut Chai Ice Cream

 
 
Dairy Free Chai Coconut Ice Cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: makes about 1 quart

 

Just like a cup of chai, this recipe is easily adaptable to your favorite chai spices and you can tinker easily with spice amounts. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices, but not everyone has it in their cupboard. It’s more than worth seeking out; just make sure you don’t over measure, as it’s a potent, beautiful spice.

Ingredients

  • 2 14 ounce cans of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon each of ground nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom
  • A pinch or two of unrefined salt
  • 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup (I prefer grade B ) or a combination of maple syrup and raw honey – raw honey is sweeter, so a version made with 1/4 cup of each still has the maple flavor, and is also sweeter from the honey.

Instructions

  1. If you own a large blender, blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Otherwise simply place in a large bowl and whisk well.
  2. Follow the instructions on your ice cream maker to freeze your ice cream (I always add just a couple of minutes to the time listed for coconut milk ice cream). It generally takes about 20 minutes.

ENJOY!!!

10 Healthy Snacks for Your Super Bowl Party

Let’s face it… Superbowl = Snack-off.  Unfortunately most of the popular snacks that are found at parties across the country are not so great for our health, or nutritious for our bodies.  And since food is the equivalent to the fuel that our bodies run off of, why not choose foods that give our bodies nutrients to operate better, as well as please our taste buds?  Refraining from the festive football foods (yet not-so-healthy nibbles) is not much fun, and  so here are a few Superbowl-friendly and healthier alternatives for picking.  Now you can show up with delicious-looking (and tasting) delectables and still be scoring big points for the nutrient count.  Who knows, you may just earn yourself Superbowl Party MVP!

Buffalo Dip

Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Dip
Found at Seededatthetable.com. 

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to salt boiling water
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, quartered
  • 1 package (8 oz) shredded Mexican flavored cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce, more or less to taste
  • Vegetables, crackers, pretzels, chips (for dipping)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Boil the cauliflower florets in a large pot of salted boiling water until just fork tender, about 3-5 minutes; drain and transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the garlic to the bowl and pulse until combined. Add the cream cheese and process until somewhat smooth.

Add the cheese, cayenne pepper and hot sauce then process until smooth. Sprinkle in more cayenne pepper and hot sauce, to taste. Transfer to a baking dish (at least 1 1/2 quart sized). Sprinkle the top with more cayenne pepper for garnish, if desired.

Bake for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature with the vegetables, crackers, pretzels and/or chips.

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Avocado Feta Salsa
Found at GarnishwithLemon.com.

  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 ripe avocado – peeled, pitted and diced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley or 2 cubes Dorot frozen herbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Mix the tomato, avocado and red onion in a medium bowl. Add the herbs, olive oil and vinegar. Stir together gently so the avocado keeps it shape. Stir in the feta cheese. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

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Mini Cauliflower Pizza Bites
Found at DashingDish.com.

  • 2 Cups Cauliflower (about 1/2 head of cauliflower)
  • 1/4 Cup Egg whites (or 1 large egg white)
  • 1/8 Cup Cottage cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried oregano (or Dried Italian Seasoning)
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried basil (or Dried Italian Seasoning)
  • 1/4 Tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/4 Cup Mini turkey pepperoni’s (or regular size turkey pepperoni cut into quarters)

Preheat oven to 425.

Line 14 mini muffin cups with silicone liners, or foil muffin liners with paper liners removed. Spray liners with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Wash cauliflower, and cut in half, (save the rest for later). Break cauliflower into segments, and place in food processor. Pulse until it reaches a rice-like texture. Place cauliflower in microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. (Do NOT add water or cover).

Remove cauliflower from microwave and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine. Place back in microwave for 2 minutes. Mix again. Scoop cauliflower mixture into muffin liners, dividing evenly between the 14 mini liners. Fill to the top, and press filling down so it’s compact in liner.

Place muffin tin in the oven and bake muffins for 30-35 minutes, or when top starts to become golden brown. Remove from the oven, let cool completely before popping the muffins out of the liners. Serve warm with pizza sauce for dipping!

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Vegan Creamed Spinach-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Found at LeslieDurso.com.

  • 24 mushrooms, (medium size portobellos work well)
  • 3 tbsp. butter substitute like Earth Balance
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic, diced
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup plain soy or coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 lb fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place the chopped spinach in a large frying pan.  Do not turn on the heat.

In a sauce pot, on medium heat, melt the butter and add the onion and garlic.  Saute until the onion is soft and translucent.  Add the flour and stir continuously until it becomes a paste like consistency and tan colored.

Carefully add the soy or coconut milk, and nutmeg, and continue to stir continuously.  When the flour is dissolved pour the sauce over the spinach in the frying pan.

Turn the pan on medium heat and toss until the spinach has wilted.  Scoop the spinach mixture into the mushrooms and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Serve warm.

Baked Chick Peas 2 Ways Salty, Sweet and Spicy

Baked Chick Peas 3 Ways: Sweet, Salty & Spicy
Found at LemonstoLemonade.net.

  • 15 oz. Chickpeas (for each flavor)
  • 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for each flavor)
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt (for the Salty Chick Peas)
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (for the Spicy Chick Peas)
  • 1/2 tsp. Chili Powder (Spicy)
  • 1/4 tsp. Cumin (Spicy)
  • 1/8 tsp. Sea Salt (Spicy)
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut Palm Sugar (for the Sweet Chick Peas)
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon (Sweet)

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Drain and rinse your chick peas in a fine mesh strainer. Lay them in between two paper towels to dry.
Mix the chick peas with the olive oil and spices (depending on which flavor you chose) and make sure the beans are all covered.

Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the chick peas evenly across the pan. Pop it in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. Periodically check in on the beans, as it may take much longer (45 minutes) to fully cook. They should be hard and crunchy on the outside and more hollow in the middle.

Let them cool for a few minutes but they are ready to eat right away. If you don’t eat them all in one sitting, store them in an air tight container (like a mason jar) and try to eat within a few days. They are crunchiest right out of the oven, so make a batch you will eat immediately🙂

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Red Pear and Gorgonzola
Found at InspiredEdibles.ca.

  • 15 or so fresh Brussels sprouts, cut in half
  • 2 red pears, skin-on sliced
  • Small chunk Gorgonzola cheese (about 2 oz or 60 grams), or other cheese of choice, sliced
  • 30 or so dried cranberries
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt & coarse black pepper

Heat oven to 400 F.

The Brussels sprouts will shrink as they roast, so don’t be concerned about the size you start out with (some of them can be quite robust!).  Place cut Brussels sprouts in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Toss to combine.

Scatter seasoned Brussels sprouts on a foil lined baking sheet.  If the sprouts are not able to stand upright, trim the very tip of the sprout to create a ledge to steady them.  Add a sprinkle of cracked pepper over the sprouts.

Bake sprouts in the oven for approximately 20-25 minutes or until they begin to open up and take on a delicious golden colour.  Be sure to check in on the sprouts somewhere around the half-way mark to give them a shake, stir or flip.

Remove sprouts from oven and allow them to cool slightly. (Meanwhile, assemble sliced pear and cheese.)  Once sprouts are cool enough to handle, add a slice of pear to the cut side top of the sprout, followed by a slice of Gorgonzola (or cheese of choice) and top with a cranberry. Hold the layers together with a toothpick and do a little happy dance!

*Makes about 30 appetizers.

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
Found at PreventionRD.com.

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Trim the heat of cauliflower into pieces; set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together milk, flour and garlic powder.

Dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter and allow the extra batter to dip off. Place on a greased baking sheet. Spray the tops of the florets with cooking oil. Bake for 18 minutes.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Mix together melted butter and Frank’s hot sauce.
Toss cooked cauliflower pieces with sauce.

Yield: 6 appetizer servings (about 5 pieces)

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Football Deviled Eggs
Found via Pinterest.

  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ cup lite mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chives

Hard boil eggs. There are many methods to do this. I fill up a pot half way with water
and gently add eggs, making sure water covers eggs with at least an inch of water
above. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer, and let cook
for 10 minutes. Remove eggs from heat and drain water. Let cool.

Peel eggs and gently remove yolks, trying to not break the whites.

Combine egg yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper until well blended. To make
smooth, do this in a food processor until all lumps are gone.

Spoon or pipe egg mixture back into egg white halves.

To create football laces, cut chives to length of yolk and place on top of yolk. Cut 3
smaller pieces of chives and place evenly on top of longer piece.

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Ahi Tuna Seviche
Found at TheEnchantedCook.com.

  • 1/2 pound Ahi tuna steak (sashimi grade if possible), diced
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 of a Serrano pepper, very thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 5 small leaves of fresh mint
  • sprinkle of black sesame seeds (optional)
In medium bowl mix soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, Serrano pepper, lime juice, mint, and sesame seeds. Then add diced tuna and toss to coat.
The tuna is ready to eat as soon as it’s tossed and coated but you can marinate it for a few minutes if desired. The tuna will start to turn white almost immediately, a sign that it is cooking from the acidity of the lime juice. It is not necessary to cook the tuna. In fact, it is best served immediately while it is melt-in-your-mouth tender and moist.
Serve immediately by mounding atop crackers, chips, micro-greens or  roasted sweet potato slices.
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Sweet Potato Chips with Thyme
Found at FeedMeSeymour.com.
  • 1 sweet potato, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 1-2 tsp. freshly chopped thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Combine olive oil and orange zest in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush half the olive oil mixture onto your baking sheet.
Lay your sweet potato slices onto the baking sheet. Brush the potato slices with the remaining oil. Sprinkle thyme evenly on top of your potato slices.
Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minute until crisp.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on top to taste.
ENJOY!!

An Ode to my Postpartum Body

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Pregnancy can be one of the most rewarding and yet challenging times of life. While women run the gamut in individual experiences of pregnancy, one thing we all seem to have in common is being too hard on our postpartum bodies. Most of us are guilty of a flow of negative thoughts regarding the changes in our bodies after giving birth. While it’s easy to compare ourselves to others, or even our past selves, we seem to be continuously down on ourselves about our postpartum appearances, whether it be a few months after birth or years later. Ladies, wouldn’t it be more beneficial for us to ignore the urge to compare and stay focused on the positive here?

I mean after all, we may have altered our appearance, our emotions and our lives overall, but it’s time we praise this miracle of growing a life within us, and give glory where glory is deserved. Our bodies are these absolutely amazing vessels that can not only keep us alive in this world, but also physically create a life, and we should be utterly proud of our bodies after birthing children. Moms, if enough of us can embody this philosophy, imagine the positive changes in society that could follow suit. Imagine if we became less hard on ourselves and actually truly loved our bodies and the way that they looked after birth… Women let’s be proud of ourselves, for we are warriors. Own it, empower ourselves and believe. For the new year, do you think we can include loving ourselves as part of the changes we resolve to occur? I can promise you, your body, your soul and your children will someday all thank you.

A few days ago, an absolutely inspiring perspective on this topic, in the form of a blog post, crossed my path and I would like to share with you all…

“Babies Ruin Bodies”
by N’tima Preusser

An Ode to my Postpartum Body.

“Before I became pregnant, someone told me, “don’t have a baby, babies ruin your body.”

It has been over a year since Anabel began her life. This time last year she was a microscopic speck in my stomach, and we were announcing our pregnancy. Between then and now, I have gained and lost fifty pounds. Four months after her birth, and my body still carries proof of her existence.

I have dark pools under my eyes. A valley where my belly button once was. Hips with a new amplitude that my teenage self wouldn’t recognize. I have lines mapped across the mountains of stretched skin left over on my midsection. Lightening bolts on my sides proving I once was too small to contain all of the love that filled me. Lines indicating that my daughter once lived inside of me.

Do you realize the significance in that? Every limb, finger, toe…her heart, even, developed near the very place my own heart beats inside of my chest. Those mountains of skin are all I have left to prove that we were once one and not two.

How can I be ashamed of that?

I have so much to say about seeing my grandfather’s eyes embedded into the sockets, and under the brows and lashes of her father’s. I see the seventeen year old boy I fell in love with, and my grandpa as a child all at once every time she looks up at me. She even wears my ears and my chin. The two very things I cursed having the most growing up. Not much makes me feel more beautiful than seeing tiny renditions of those same features on Anabel, and realizing just how special they are.

My body grew that.
Not everybody has that privilege.

Sure my belly is a bit softer nowadays, but the way it moves when I jump up and down sends my girl into fits of giggles. And yeah, my hips are hardly as narrow as they used to be, but they sure know the perfect figure-8 motion to sway her to sleep. My twenty-one year old hair is even beginning to gray, but not much soothes her more than my hair between her tiny fingers.

I am not something flawless in the eyes of society, or even close to what I once what physically, but my perfect girl sees me for who I am. To her, I hang the moon. She knows my heart. She knew it long before we met.

And she loves me for it.

I cannot tell you how much worth and validation I feel because of that truth.

My body is only a vessel for my spirit. An incredible vessel. It is strong, well, abled, and undefeated.

My body is full of life.
My body is powerful.
My body made me a mother.

If anything, I was ruined by the world before I knew her & she made me whole again.”

View the original blog here.

Apple Cider Vinegar

We all know what vinegar tastes like, but have you ever tried apple cider vinegar?  While bold in flavor, adding this multi-purpose concoction to your daily routine will improve your health and well-being in some surprising ways.

1. Your Hair
Want lustrous locks? After shampooing your hair, apple cider vinegar can be used as a rinse.  Try filling an old shampoo bottle with 1/2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a cup of cold water.  Pour the mixture through your hair after shampooing a few times a week for best results.

2. Weight Loss
Apple Cider Vinegar contains acetic acid, which has proven weight loss benefits. Spice up your favorite beverage with apple cider vinegar. Add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to your water, tea, or I enjoy it mixed with a pure grape juice.

3. Detoxification
Apple Cider Vinegar helps balance your body’s inner systems.  The body is constantly working to create a state of equilibrium.  Apple cider vinegar helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level.  Lower pH levels will lead to a lack of energy and higher incidences of infection.  Research has also shown that apple cider vinegar can help detoxify your liver and stimulate your cardiovascular system.

4. Teeth
Remove stubborn stains from your teeth with apple cider vinegar.  Directly rub your teeth with apple cider vinegra and rise with water.

5. Sunburn
While we do not recommend getting sunburned, if the occasion arises that you find yourself a bit red from the sun, soak in a bath for 10 minutes with a cup of apple cider vinegar added to your bathwater.

6. Allergies
Apple cider vinegar works to reduce allergy symptoms by helping break up mucous throughout the body and cleanse the lymph nodes. Not only reducing the effects of allergies, it will also stave off symptoms such as sinus infections, sore throats and headaches.

7. Heartburn
While apple cider vinegar may be acidic, there has been research done proving that it also corrects low acid, which works to reduce heartburn.  When suffering from heartburn, take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar followed a glass of water and begin to feel relief shortly.  Do not take if you have an ulcer.

8. Skin Care
Natural apple cider vinegar regulates the pH of your skin, as well as helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.  Use it as an astringent by soaking a cotton ball in the apple cider vinegar and applying it directly to your face.  Dry out and heal your blemishes by dabbing apple cider vinegar directly onto them.

9. Pet Care
Repel fleas on your pets by using apple cider vinegar.  Spray one part vinegar and one part water onto your pet’s fur and rub it generously to the skin.  The use of apple cider vinegar is effective in repelling fleas on your pets.  Use it every day for a few days, up to a week, and saturate the entire coat and the fleas will disappear.

10. Household Cleaning
Decrease the consumption of unnartual chemicals in your home with apple cider vinegar.  It can be used to clean just about anything in your home.  For example, substitute your dishawashing detergent with 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and 1 cup water.  You can also use that same solution to clean kitchen surfaces, windows, glasses and mirrors too.

11. Body Odor
Neutralize unpleasant smells with apple cider vingar.  Rub a bit to your underarms to absorb and minmize body odors.  The vinegary smell will go away after it dries.

Check out http://bragg.com/products/bragg-organic-apple-cider-vinegar.html for more info and recipe ideas.

Pumpkin Face Mask

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We seem to have a plethroa of pumpkins still floating around our house, and I have been debating what to do with them all.  As fate has it, I stumbled across this recipe for a pumpkin face mask and cannot wait to try this! If you are facing the same dilemma and want to give your skin a natural glow- here is a quick and healthy fix!

Beauty expert Indie Lee concocted two face mask recipes that combine fall’s most-loved ingredient (which is high in zinc and vitamins A and C), oil, and whole milk for a moisturizing brew.

Hydrating Pumpkin and Jojoba Oil Face Mask

Ingredients
1 sm. pumpkin
1 tbsp. jojoba oil

1. Remove rind. Cut pumpkin into ten cubes. Boil cubes in water for 10 minutes.

2. Drain and mash, then cool completely.

3. Combine 2 tbsp. mashed pumpkin with 1 tbsp. oil. Mix well.

4. Apply to face for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

 

Soothing Pumpkin and Milk Mask

Ingredients
1 sm. pumpkin
1 c. whole milk
½ c. mineral water

1. Peel and halve the pumpkin.

2. Over low heat, cook one half in milk for 30 minutes. Allow to cool, then mash evenly.

3. Cover face and decolletage with mask and relax for 20 minutes.

4. Rinse with leftover warm milk for a soft glow. Rinse a second time with mineral water.

Thanks so much for passing this along Daily Candy!!

DIY Anti-Aging Face Mask

As we draw near to Halloween, we can’t help but think of masks!  While some masks are spooky and some are funny, I wanted to share a more healthy one with some anti-aging benefits with all you beautiful people…  This mask contains only 5 natural ingredients that all share in very powerful health and healing benefits.  While the benefits of all these ingredients are ultimately nourishing to be put inside our bodies, they are also beneficial on the outside as well.  Give it a try yourself to see and feel the smoothing and moisturizing effects🙂

The first ingredient we need is cacoa (not to be confused with cocoa!).  Cacoa is the raw material for chocolate and has the highest amount of cancer fighting, disease busting, premature age destroying antioxidants on the planet.  With high levels of antioxidants, it contains ingredients that regulate mood, increase libido, and leave us feeling peaceful, relaxed, and full of love. If you can get raw cacoa powder, it is best. If you can’t get it, simply use pure, unsweetened cocoa powder.
The next ingredient is avocado, which defends against carcinogens and other elements that can cause disharmony in our skin. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, avocados are anti-inflammatory (inflammation is one of the biggest causes of aging).  It’s anti-aging properties work to create youthful, glowing skin as well as increase the elasticity on our skin.
Our third ingredient is green tea, which is consistently hailed as a powerful antioxidant and is attributed to one of the people of Okinawa Japan’s secrets for longevity and vibrant health. Putting it on directly on the skin is equally potent.
Our fourth mask addition is honey, which is a great anti-bacterial agent.  It will open up the pores, deeply cleanse and detoxify the skin leaving the skin baby smooth. Raw honey in its purest form is incredibly antiseptic, antibiotic and antifungal. In many cultures it is used to treat ulcers and burns. It is an astounding natural preservative.
The final ingredient to our anti-aging mask is oats.  Oats naturally exfoliates the skin to remove dead skin cells, leaving it soft and smooth. They are a good source of many nutrients including vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium. Oats are also a good source of protein.
INGREDIENTS:
~1 avocado
~3 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder
~2 teaspoons of raw honey
~2 tablespoons of oatmeal flakes
~1 small cup of green tea (steeped for 5 minutes and then cooled)
PREPARATION: 
Mix one mashed avocado, 3 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder or cocoa powder, 2 dessert spoons of raw honey or honey, and 2 tablespoons of oatmeal flakes. Infuse green tea in a small cup of hot water and let it cool. Add a splash to the mixture, or enough to make it into a paste.DIRECTIONS:

Apply on the face, gently massaging it so that oatmeal can start exfoliating the dead skin cell layer. Leave it on for about 20 minutes and rinse off with luke warm water.

ENJOY!
Thanks for the recipe Food Matters!

Not-So-Meaty Sloppy Joe’s

The tastiness of a Sloppy Joe, without the unhealthiness…is it possible?  I had a hunch that it must be, and if not, we will make it possible!  I have experienced these sandwiches under a variety of names across the country such as Steamers, Wimpies, Yip Yips, Dynamites and Slushburgers, yet they all share very similar ingredients which are not very good for our bodies.

Among the list of unhealthy ingredients that can be found in this sandwich is high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, non-organic meat and thickening agents.  It’s fairly simple to create a healthier recipe for Sloppy Joes by using some more nutritious ingredients such as organic meat if you so choose, or even elimiate the meat completely and use a substitute such as beans (lentil, kidney, black and pinto), tofu, bulgar, tempeh, brown rice, quinoa and more.  I decided to try this vegetarian recipe from Rachel Ray that uses portabella mushooms as the ‘meat’, which is delicious!

INGREDIENTS

  •  1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 pound portabella mushroom caps, wiped clean and diced into small, bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, eyeball it
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 crusty rolls, split, toasted and lightly buttered
  • Sliced or chopped dill pickles, for garnish

PREPARATION

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until golden brown, 7-8 minutes.

Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper to the pan and season liberally with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the veggies are tender, 5-6 minutes more. Add the tomato paste to the pan and cook 1 minute.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire and tomato sauce. Add the mixture to the skillet and simmer until thickened and saucy.

Pile the Sloppy Veggie Joes onto toasted, buttered bun bottoms and top with pickles and bun tops.  ENJOY!!!

*I enjoyed avocado slices and spinach to my sandwich, as well as used a gluten free bun since I am gluten intolerant.  If you want to avoid using a bun, you can always try a lettuce wrap-style sandwich.

*Be careful of the Wostershire Sauce ingredients if you are gluten-free.  Some contain malt vinegar or soy sauce. I found Wan Ja Shan Organic Worcestershire Sauce which is gluten free.

*If you do not enjoy mushrooms, try eggplant or shredded zucchini.  I think both those options sound delicious and will try them out soon!

Festive Fall Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

 

I found this amazing-sounding recipe at HealthandWellnessWarrior.com and had to share with you all!  Thanks Sylvia!!❤

 

Festive Fall Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

Ingredients:

  *1 cup gluten-free flour (oat or millet flour are great choices)
  *1/2 cup cacao powder (I used unprocessed, raw cacao)
  *1/2 tsp sea salt
  *1/2 tsp baking soda
  *1/4 tsp of pumpkin spice (optional)
  *1 cup pureed pumpkin (or canned pumpkin)
  *1/4 cup maple syrup
  *3 tbsp raw cane sugar (coconut sugar works great too)
  *2 tbsp coconut butter, or coconut oil 
  *1/4 cup almond milk (or any other nut milk of your choice)

Directions:

  1.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 F 
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and stir very well. You may want to melt the coconut butter/oil in a separate container prior to mixing it in. 
  3. Lightly oil a baking pan and pour the mixture inside
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes 
  5. Let cool off and cut into squares

 *It’s best to wait an hour or so before you eat these sweet little treats. The flavors really pop  out when they cool off and harden a bit!