Tag Archives: gluten free

Don’t Like Zucchini? You Don’t Need to With This Sneaky Black Forest Smoothie

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie With Zucchini

Smoothies are ubiquitous these days. Really, everyone’s drinking them (yup, including me). I can see why; as long as you make them right, they’re a great way to get a double dose of fruits and veggies for breakfast or a snack. Of course, when you look at the ingredient list of some smoothie recipes, they’re more like dessert: loaded with fruit and then even more sweeteners. Really, you should not need to add honey, no matter how healthy you think honey is, to your smoothie if you have at least some fruit in it.

I have my go-to green smoothie recipe, which I’ll share one of these days, but recently I’ve been experimenting with other fruits, veggies, and flavors. Inspired by a sale on cherries and some leftover zucchini just about to go bad, today I thought a sneaky black forest smoothie might hit the spot. And sure enough it did. Continue reading

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It’s Easier Than You Think to Make Homemade Natural Peanut Butter

Homemade Peanut Butter

The first Whole Foods came to the Pittsburgh market in 2002, a few years after I moved to the area, so I remember the locals’ reaction. It was the first store of its kind in Pittsburgh, and it was quite the attraction for some time. And the one thing everyone marveled over was the nut butter grinder. “You can make your own ‘homemade’ peanut butter!” Amazing.

As a runner and plant-based eater, nuts are on my daily menu. They’re a great source of healthy fats and a good source of protein, and they’re calorie dense to replenish what I burn through exercise. Plus I use them as a stand-in for cheese atop salads and pastas, since they lend a similar richness (and saltiness, if you use salted varieties). Nut butters are also a delicious—never mind easy—dip for veggies like raw carrots and celery, which helps me fit even more vegetables into my day. Continue reading

Beet-Berry Smoothies Are a Sneaky Way to Add Vegetables to Your Breakfast

Beet-Berry Smoothie

After years of resistance, I’ve finally jumped on board the smoothie trend. In my ongoing attempt to eat healthier, I’ve found that smoothies are a sneaky way to have vegetables for breakfast and love them. Skeptical? So was I, but when you blend them with fruit or other flavorings, you really can barely taste the vegetables. (Notice I said “barely.” If you don’t want to taste them at all, you’re going to have to use added sweeteners, which I’m not down with, so “barely” is a good enough compromise for me.)

This beet-berry smoothie is an absolutely gorgeous color, thanks to the anthocyanins that lend both hue and health (preventing inflammation, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes). Beets also contain nitrate, which not only helps with heart disease but has been found to improve running performance. Veggies that make me a faster runner? Yes, please! Continue reading

The Secret to This No-Dairy-and-Sugar Ice Cream? Shhh . . . It’s Bananas

Chocolate Almond Banana Ice Cream

Guys.

I am such a bad food blogger. I’ve been enjoying this ice cream all summer long and I haven’t shared it with you until now. The biggest reason why? I can’t stop eating it long enough to take a picture.

But that’s okay, because there’s nothing bad in here at all. It’s literally just bananas, cocoa powder, and a hint of almond butter and vanilla. No dairy or sugar for those of us on anti-inflammatory diets, yet you’d never in your life know it. Technically, that makes it a banana sorbet, not ice cream, but who’s really counting? Whatever it is, it’s delicious and healthy yet feels like you’re indulging. Continue reading

Combine Quinoa, Blueberries, and Greens for a Sweet-Savory Anti-Inflammatory Powerhouse

quinoa blueberry pistachio salad over greens

Although some might call quinoa a fad by now, it really has its place in an anti-inflammatory kitchen. It just so happens that the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has deemed 2013 the “International Year of Quinoa,” so I guess it’s doing something right.

It’s cooked and served as a grain, but quinoa is really a seed, and therein lies the secret to its nutritional value. Like most seeds, it contains everything needed to grow a new plant: it’s like the plant version of stem cells. According to the Year of Quinoa site, the seed has several advantages over traditional grains: it’s higher in protein, calcium, healthy fats, iron, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, and vitamins B2 and B3 than your everyday whole wheat. Continue reading

Dabble in Molecular Gastronomy by Making Chia Seed Pudding

dark chocolate chia pudding

I confess: I’ve jumped on the chia seed bandwagon. At least when it comes to chia seed pudding.

You may be familiar with chia seeds from the chia pet craze of the 1980s.* Turns out, those quick-growing seeds are also a mini nutritional powerhouse, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a variety of amino acids (protein), and heart- and gut-healthy fiber. Yeah, that’s all well and good, but what’s really fun about them is the way they react to liquids. Continue reading

Why a Cleanse Isn’t Always for Everyone—Plus a Healthy Chili Recipe

vegetarian chili

Yesterday, my husband and I started a dietary cleanse for the New Year. After more than a month of less-than-healthy holiday eating, it seemed like a great idea. But then we chose to base ours off the concept of the Daniel Diet, an extremely restrictive cleanse that allows no meat, dairy, refined carbs, leavened breads, sugars of any kind (even the healthy ones, like honey and molasses), caffeine, and alcohol. Instead, you eat legumes, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. You’re supposed to do it for three weeks, which I thought would be easy-peasy. I used to nearly eat that way before as a flexitarian, and anything could be done for three weeks, right? Plus I love a good challenge, and new diets and recipes are always good blog fodder.

Today, I quit the cleanse. Continue reading