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.

avocado

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.

 

Breakfast Day 1 – Chia blueberry and banana pancakes

One of the reasons I started eating plant-based actually stems from the fact that my skin was totally frustrating me. I was breaking out left, right and center. I finally decided I had to change my skin regimen. In my quest to find a solution to my skin, I came across a company that created products for sensitive skin, which I have. It’s known as Pai Skincare. This company’s philosophy had me so wowed…it was the fist time I connected with a company and all that it stood for, because I was experiencing pain from having tried all these products that promised to deliver amazing skin results only for me to react adversely within a few short hours.

The founder discussed  the importance of their customers knowing what they put on their face.  Being able to pronounce the ingredients. I was in so much awe because isn’t it so true, many times we have no clue what the ingredients to our moisturizer and toner and face scrubs are. For the first time when I bought Pai products I knew what i was putting on my face.

As you begin to transition to a plant-based diet I would want you to ask yourself and think about learning about foods and ingredients. Do you know what has been included in the food that you are buying? Can you pronounce the ingredients? If not, put the item down and take a peek at the produce aisle. How do those vegetables look? are they calling out your name yet? lol…if not, do not fret, you will hear them soon enough…for now you can simply go by, take a look at them and see what tickles your fancy. What vegetables do you already like? what recipes can you think of making? If nothing comes up, jump onto pinterest when you get home and look up those items and get some ideas of some simple foods that can be made. the idea is to slowly start getting out of your comfort zone. This is what being a nomad is all about. Our green food safari will have bumpy roads ahead, because let’s face it, that’s just how life is..but we will get through it. We will prepare for those days so we can keep striving towards a healthier you. We want to be adventurous when it comes to our food journey.

I did not wake up a cook. In fact I used to hate the kitchen, now you have to get me out of the kitchen because my mind is always racing. I can honestly say that I can cook a variety of foods compared to then.That is what happens when you start eating plant-based. You become more curious about different vegetables. Your taste buds and palette begins to change. At first you may not think that it will, but it will and I want to be here to guide you and help you however I can, starting off with breakfasts. I already have a few options on here such as the scrambled eggless eggs I want in the next few days give you various options of what you can make for breakfast during the week and even the weekend. Let me know if you want more recipes, if they are helpful or anything else you want to see from me in the comments section.

We are going to start off with Chia blueberry and banana pancakes. Pancakes are loved by nearly everyone and you can actually make them dairy free and they will still taste very good. these pancakes will give you loads of energy thanks to the chia seeds,  boost your fiber as well as your protein. Preparation time will be around 30 minutes.

Preparation ahead of time if you are making from scratch

Buy or make your own oat flour. To save on money you can use a food processor or even a blender and grind it into flour.

Buy or make your own chia seeds or flaxseedsthis will serve as an egg replacer.You can also grind chia seeds or flax seeds with a blender or a food processor.

Almond Milk or other plant-based milk. You can make your own by soaking almonds in water for about an hour or 30 minutes. I prefer to soak overnight. Then go ahead and blend and you can add dates and a pinch of salt. Strain the milk using a nut milk bag or whatever strainer you have handy. Alternatively you can go ahead and buy almond milk from the store.

 

Pancake Ingredients

1 ripe banana

1 cup oat flour

1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Pinch of salt

1/4 Tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 cup almond milk

Coconut oil for cooking

Toppings

Bluberry Jam

Banana

Crushed Almonds

Honey or coconut sugar

1Tbsp. of lemon juice

1/3 cup of water

Directions

To make the pancakes, add the banana, oat flour, chia egg replacer, baking powder, Almond milk into a bowl and blend until smooth. You may find you need to add almond milk as the chia seeds tends to thicken the batter

Pour 1 Tbsp of coconut oil for each pancake. Alternatively use a non stick spray over medium heat. Pout the batter into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side.

Enjoy with the suggested toppings of blueberry chia jam, bananas and crushed almonds.

To make the chia jam

Get about a cup of blueberries or any other berries you may have on hand. Add 1/2 a cup of water.

Let the mixture simmer on a stove top, making sure to add the honey or coconut sugar and chia seeds. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes. When the water starts to reduce, mash up the berries  and let it continue to simmer for about 2 minutes.Lastly add the lemon juice.

Take it off the stove and let it cool. Once cooled, transfer it to a jar or other storage container. Store in the fridge for about two weeks.

 

Soul Soup!

 

This meal  will leave you and your loved ones extremely satisfied and yearning for more. Variety is the spice of life. I love my food the same way. There is more than one way to enjoy your corn and veggies. I would love to show you how. I know it sounds bizarre, but join me on this wonderful escapade.

Ingredients

1 cup red lentils

1 onion

I green pepper chopped

1 Tbs, Oil of your choice (grapeseed oil)

4 cloves of garlic

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 Tbsp curry powder

Cayenne to taste

3 potatoes (of your choice – purple/sweet or russet)

3 chopped carrots

1 corn cob cut in half

1/2 bunch of Cilantro

1/2 a slice of lemon

Salt to taste.

3 cups of water

Instructions

Boil the lentils with salt for 15-20 minutes until they are tender. When ready, drain and let it cool down. Once its ready, blend the lentils and set aside,.

Meanwhile, saute the remainder of the vegetables in oil. Start off with the garlic and onions. Once they have browned, add in some fragrant spices, my choice was curry powder and tomato paste. Saute for about 3 minutes. Next add the lentil puree, stir in the remainder of the vegetables apart from the green pepper, and cilantro. Mix  it all in together and add the water. Let it all simmer on medium heat for about 25-30 minutes making sure to stir the stew every 7-10 minutes. The stew will be thick. Once time is up, add the cilantro and serve. Serve with sliced limes. Th lime is an option. I liked the tartness it offered to the dish.

 

Can I eat bread?

This is such a common question I get from my friends who are trying to lose weight. I get it, I understand where they are coming from. I was the same way every time I would start a new diet. Having started eating healthier since last year I promised myself I would not live this way anymore. Instead I listen to my body, I trust my body and its cravings. I pay attention as to whether I’m eating out of emotions or of my body really needs the carbs. Listen and listen well, carbs are not bad.

Truth is bread is not bad, it’s the way in which we consume it that can be detrimental for us. I’ll speak from my own experience, I eat vegetables and grains most of the time. I actually do not like the full feeling I get when I consume too much bread in my diet. So I know to limit it. My body has shown me to take it in moderation and revert back to greens to keep myself balanced. That is what I do. As I mentioned before, we are all created differently, what may be okay for one person may not be the same for you. I have super skinny friends that have no problem with eating bread. I’m sure you do too. But we have to stop with comparing our lives with others, we have to start being accountable for our own bodies and stop looking to others to validate whether what we are putting in our bodies is good for us or not.

It starts by doing our own research. Listening to our bodies. Finding what meals agree with you. Just because someone else is eating raw food and thriving, does not mean you will too. You might be someone who thrives better on some cooked meals. Also there is a reason people focus on transitions, because it takes time to adjust to eating more healthy. Changing your habits and sticking to it will take time and will power. Plus, have you noticed how one day some foods are all the rave and the next people discover it’s the most detrimental food ever. It’s hard to keep up with the fads and the diets.

In my short journey this is what I have learned to do. Trust myself more with the foods that I put in my own body. In turn I have found myself losing weight without feeling guilty and maintaining my weight off too.

So to answer the question, can you eat bread? My question back to you is does your body want it. Are you eating it because you are emotional and want to just numb your feeling with food? If you are…don’t. Can you balance bread with healthier foods as you go about your day, can you walk as a form of excercise? Then by all means eat, because we both know if you don’t , you will cave in tomorrow to the cake your workmate brings in because you never satisfied your craving. As the saying goes….”do you boo!!” Do what works for you.

Now onto the bread recipe that your family will keep asking for more…do not be intimidated honestly if you can make spaghetti, you can make this bread. As long as you have the ingredients, you really cannot go wrong. You will need the following:

Bread Ingredients

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup sweet potato flour or spelt flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten

1 Tbsp. instant yeast

I tsp. pink salt

1 cup warm plant-based milk of your choice. (I used brazil nut and hemp milk)

1/4 cup olive oil

Warm water for kneading as needed.

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Knead on a flat surface for up to five minutes. You will need more liquid other than the warm plant-based milk. use the warm water until you get the desired dough consistency. It should be elastic.

Take a bowl and grease it with oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel in a warm place for an hour.

After an hour knead again for another 5 minutes until soft and smooth.

Pre-heat the oven to 400*F. (200*c)

Bake this bread in a loaf pan or shape as you desire on a parchment lined cooking sheet. Bake the bread for about 20 minutes.

Take out of the oven, brush the loaf and bake for another  10 minutes or until brown.

Enjoy!!

Bread Recipe

 

 

Fueling your dreams one healthy meal at a time.

I started this blog with the intention of helping anyone who wanted to start eating healthy. I’m one of those people who would look at others eating healthy greens, salads and smoothies and think how miserable you must be. I know what its like to want to eat the right way and yet still have difficulty figuring out what to eat that is healthy and interesting. So I made it my quest to do just that….that is how I discovered my love for cooking.

For me healthy eating does not involve deprivation or judgement of myself or others. Not at all. I look at it this way, I can either eat my way to good health or into an early grave. I’m not here for the latter. It’s a conscious decision that I have made for my life. You need to find your why for wanting to eat healthy, it has to be for you and not for others. The one thing I will ask you to do is NOT to compare yourself to others. Do not look at the woman or the man in the instagram photo and decide I want to look good like them. No, because when you wake up the next morning and you look in the mirror and not see that same body they have, it will just make you eat more. That is not what I want for you. I want you to succeed at living healthy. We will start with baby steps and work our way up.

I plan to keep updating this blog and be more intentional with my posts. I want to show you eating healthy is achievable and does not have to be boring. We will have challenges…because in order to grow we need to challenge ourselves. We will revamp our thoughts about ourselves. We will be kind to ourselves, we will not judge ourselves harshly anymore. We will love us first before we give love to anyone else. That will begin with the thoughts we have about ourselves and hopefully it will translate to our relationship with food.

I will encourage you daily with the word, we will birth our dreams, one healthy meal at a time. Join me on this journey. Remember to subscribe to get notification of new posts. Post below and let me know what recipes you find challenging. Is it breakfasts, lunch, dinner, all? What makes it difficult? Is it in the planning or prepping? Can’t wait to hear from you.

 

Moringa Bread

I get so excited with the plant moringa and I always add moringa powder to my smoothies, without fail. Moringa is native to northern India, Pakistan, the Himalayan region, Africa and Arabia, but is now cultivated more widely throughout the tropics.

Also known as drumstick tree or horseradish tree, moringa trees grow quickly, reaching a height of between 15 and 30 feet within just a few years. The leaves, fruit flowers and immature pods of the tree are eaten as nutritious foods.

Beyond the flavor and nutrition, moringa offers healing benefits. Virtually all parts of the plant are used to treat inflammation, infectious disorders, and various problems of the cardiovascular and digestive organs, while improving liver function and enhancing milk flow in nursing mothers.

The leaves seem to be getting the most market attention, notably for their use in reducing high blood pressure, eliminating water weight, and lowering cholesterol. The liver-protective activities of the leaf and its extracts could make it a staple component of bitters formulas and various cleansing preparations.

Beyond adding it to smoothies I decided to try to make bread with moringa. I saw this after getting the idea from a cookbook Caribbean Vegan by the wonderful Taymer Mason. It was my first time making any type of bread and I really enjoyed it. I wish I could make bread daily for my family. This way i know what goes into the bread..but I know my kids will not have it lol.

So here is the recipe as I made it as I had to substitute some things because I did not have everything required in the book but I made it work and it was wonderful. So please feel free to do the same and substitute where necessary and let me know how you like it.

Ingredients

2 cups unbleached flour

1 cup sprouted spelt flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup moringa powder

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

2 tsp. arrowroot powder

1 tbsp. onion powder

1 tbsp. instant yeast

1 tsp. pink himalayan salt or sea salt

1 cup almond milk

1/4 cup olive oil

warm water as needed

Moringa Herb Oil Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil

1 garlic clove pressed

1 tbs dried dill

1 tbsp. fresh mint or parsley

1/2 tsp moringa leaf powder

Preparation

Mix up all the ingredients in a large bowl and knead until smooth. Add the liquids as will allow to make the dough come together.

Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel and let it sit somewhere warm for 1 hour.

After an hour and dough has doubled in size.  Knead it again for 5 minutes until soft and smooth.

Pre-heat the oven to 400*

Shape the dough and put it in a lined cooking sheet or on a loaf pan for 20 minutes

After the 20 minutes. Take the oil ingredients and whisk. Brush the loaf with oil and return to the oven for about 10 minutes or until brown.

Wait for about 20 minutes or until it cools after you take out of the oven.  Enjoy

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