How to enjoy dessert time with key lime

So you have decided to start eating healthy and you are worried about having sweet treats. You are wondering what you can eat that is still healthy but still cures your craving for something sweet? Fear not! Do not feel like you have to restrict yourself completely when it comes to healthy eating. If you are the adventurous type then I’m here to challenge your taste buds with a delicious key lime dessert that will have you questioning whether you can eat and not feel any guilt. The answer is yes, yes you can, all using avocado as the main ingredient.

I’m one of those people who grew up not enjoying the taste of avocados. My Mum tried to get me to eat it when I was young in every way she could…she sprinkled sugar..salt…I just hated it. But I’m glad to let you know that has changed…my palete has evolved and I love avocados now. So much so that I actually make dessert with them. So why do I choose to include them in my diet?

  1. Avocados give you more potassium than bananas, and potassium helps normalize blood pressure by balancing the hypertensive effect of dietary sodium.
  2. As for the fat in avocados, it is healthy, monounsaturated fat that is good for the heart and won’t raise cholesterol.  Avocados also are a good source of fiber. And they provide glutathione (an antioxidant) and folate.

The only nutritional downside to avocados is their high calorie content – about 300 for a whole one. So although it is healthy fat be sure to enjoy avocado’s in moderation.

Summary of health benefits of avocados

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Reduces the risk of heart diseases.
  • Lowers cancer risk- healthy monostaurated fats will help your body better absorb anticancer antioxidants such as lycopene and beta-carotene.
  • Keeps blood sugar steady
  • Reverses insulin resistance and this in turn helps your body steady its blood sugar levels.
  • Maintains hair health. Avocado moisturizes hair shafts and loads them with protein, making them stronger.

Tips on Avocados

Recipe ideas

  • Puree avocado with coconut milk for a chilled soup
  • Mash and spread on bread instead of mayo for a creamy healthier taste.
  • If you want to retain a fresh green color, avocados should be eaten immediately or sprinkle lime juice or white vinegar.

Buying Tips

  • I look for firm avocados if I plan to use them later in the week. if i need to use it immediately I will select fruit that gives in to pressure when pressed firmly.
  • Do not rely on color alone to determine if the avocado is ripe.
  • To speed up ripening process store them in a paper bag and store them at room temperature for 2-5 days. If you place an avocado with an apple it speeds up the process even more.

Key Lime Recipe

You will definitely enjoy this key lime recipe as the coconut milk adds to its creamy texture.

Ingredients

5 ripe avocados

3 Limes or lemon

1/2 cup maple syrup or honey

5 Tbsp. coconut milk

I lime for grating

Directions

Scoop the flesh out of the avocados and place it in your food processor. Add the juice of the lime maple syrup and coconut milk. Blend until smooth.

Divide the mixture into 4 bowls and sprinkle grated lime. Keep chilled in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.

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Delightful Dairy Free Muffins

I love baking….even when I did not love cooking as much as I do now. For this reason I always try my hardest to avoid baking unless I know someone else is going o enjoy it…because I’m weak to pastries of all kinds.

My friends really find it hard to believe that I can make dairy free breads, pastries of all kinds, but it’s truly possible. I’ll teach you how starting with this recipe:

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups spelt flour or whole wheat flour  (insert whatever flour you have here)

1/4 cup coconut sugar (or your preferred sugar)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. all spice

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup apple sauce

3/4 cup non dairy milk

1/3 cup maple syrup or honey

1 tsp. vanilla

Fruit of your choice (I put figs…you can do blueberries, dried cranberries or raisins)

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 350*. Have a muffin pan with cupcake liners ready or simply use the muffin pan direct and spray with oil to coat them to ensure they do not stick to the pan.

Next, mix the flour, the spices and salt, baking powder. Sift the mix until well combined in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, mix the liquid ingredients; honey, applesauce, milk and vanilla extract. Mix it up.

Now mix up the wet mixture with the dry and combine. Next add the fruits (blueberry or figs or fruit of your choice). The batter will be thick. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners or directly to the muffin pan. Bake for about 25 minutes until when a toothpick is inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Baking with Teff, a Nutritious African (Ethiopian) Grain

I love cooking with ancient grains when I feel like eating less but getting full quickly! The whole grains I love including in my cooking include Amaranth, once a sacred food of the Aztecs and Quinoa, which was consumed 3,000 to 4,000 years ago by the populations living in the Andes.

Bob’s Red Mill, one of the top sources for whole grains offers numerous ancient grains including amaranth, buckwheat, bulgur, farro, freekeh, kamut, millet, quinoa, sorghum, spelt and teff.

Most whole grains, with the exception of brown rice and sorghum are good sources of protein, meaning that one serving supplies 10%-19% of the daily recommendation.

This weekend I played with a lot of grains, Teff being one of them. Teff is the world’s tiniest grain which is believed to have originated in Ethiopia thousands of years ago. It contains more calcium than most grains and has a toasty, sweet-bitter flavor.

There are different ways you can enjoy whole Teff. It can be cooked like polenta, used to thicken soups, stews and casseroles. Teff flour becomes dense and slightly gelatinous when wet, making it good for certain baked goods that you want to be moist or fudgy.

So this weekend I decided to make a chocolate cake using Teff flour for the kids…and for myself…lol.

Ingredients

1 cup Teff Flour

1 cup spelt flour (or any other whole wheat flour or even unbleached all-purpose flour)

1 tsp baking flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

1 cup coconut sugar (or whatever your sugar preference)

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup almond milk (or any nut milk or regular milk)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs or 1/3 cup flaxseed gel (binding agent)

1/2 cup cacao (you can hold back if you wish…i think i used almost 1 1/2 cups). Just make sure your batter has enough sugar when using cacao which can be very biter.

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Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350*

Combine  all the flours and next ingredients on the above list until all spice, stirring with a whisk.

Place the rest of the ingredients in the mix and blend until well blended.

Spoon the batter into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in Pan on wire rack. Remove loaf from pan and cool on rack.

 

 

Carrot Snack Bites

On one of my recent trips to the supermarket I got a great deal on carrots. yes i’m the woman who gets super excited about deals on vegetables!

I bought a big bag of organic carrots. Now I have a whole bag of carrots that need to be eaten. One of the things I plan to do is make some carrot juice for my hubby. The other thing other than using them for salads and spring rolls, I decided to make sweet healthy treats. They are so quick to make you will be done in 10 to 15 minutes. Double up on the ingredients if you need to make more.

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Ingredients

1 Small Carrots

1 cup medjool dates

1/2 cup of raisins

grated zest of oranges or lemon

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup shredded coconut

Directions

Squeeze out any excess liquid from carrots.

Place all the ingredients in a food processor apart from the shredded coconut.

Line a plate or baking dish with parchment paper.

Roll the mixture into a small ball. Put the shredded coconut into a bowl and roll each ball in the coconut to coat.

Place the ball on the lined plate or baking dish and refrigerate overnight.

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