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Happy Thanksgiving

In honor of it being Thanksgiving, I had to make something pumpkin-y! I decided to give these vegan pumpkin bites a try.

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Appearance: I am a fan of how small these are, things that are bite-size always seem cuter to me. They appear just like a regular truffle, nothing about them seems different.

Texture: Again, just what you would expect from a truffle—the center is smooth and creamy and the chocolate provides a hard outer shell.

Flavor: **You  must be a big pumpkin fan to like these** If you don’t like pumpkin this would not be the recipe for you, even I found the pumpkin flavor a little strong.

End Results:  This is both a vegan and gluten free alternative to pumpkin pie! Plus each bite only has 7 grams of sugar (the average pumpkin pie has at least 25 grams of sugar/ slice.) I might play around with the recipe to tone down the pumpkin flavor, but I did really enjoy the pumpkin and chocolate combo.


Recipe: (Adapted from http://mywholefoodlife.com/2014/09/14/pumpkintruffles/#ycWj3uA8eX1AQRMK.99)

For the pumpkin:

1 ½ cups pumpkin puree (or 1 can pumpkin)

¾ cup coconut butter

2 T maple syrup

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

 For the chocolate coating:

1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
Directions:

1) Combine all ingredients for the pumpkin filling in a blender and pulse until smooth.

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2) Scoop 1 tablespoon balls onto parchment paper and place into the freezer to allow the pumpkin to firm up.

3) While the balls are chilling begin to make the chocolate coating in a double boiler. Once chocolate is ready remove the pumpkin balls from the freezer and coat. Place finished truffles back onto the parchment paper and allow to sit in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy.

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First Vlog

One of my all-time favorite desserts is these lemon bars. They are so delicious and come out perfect every time.

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Appearance: A little monochromatic, I think adding the blueberry garnish makes them a little more appealing

Texture: The crust is crumbly and light while the filling is dense and smooth; the contract gives it a great mouth-feel

Flavor: I think it has the perfect amount of lemon flavor, and it would be easy enough to increase or decrease the lemon zest depending on your preference

End Results:  I have made these lemon bars before and I will continue to make them again. They are really good and certainly don’t taste healthy at all.

And here’s a quick video if you want to see how easy they are to make.


Recipe: (Adapted from http://alwaysandforeverthestanleys.blogspot.com/2013/05/birthday-treat-week-paleo-lemon-bars.html)

Crust

1 1/2 c almond flour       1/2 tsp sea salt           2 tbsp grapeseed oil       1 tbsp agave     1 tbsp vanilla extract

Filling-
1/4 C grapeseed oil        1/4 C agave nectar         3 eggs     2 fresh squeezed lemons (juice)   1 whole lemon, zested
Directions… watch the video, it’s super easy!
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A Busy Week

Hi Everyone! I apologize for not having a recipe for you right now. It’s been a really busy week with lots of food and nutrition related experiences for me

First, I volunteered at Pearl Street Cupboard and Café in Framingham and helped with the grocery distribution in the food pantry.  Later in the week, I went with some other students from work and we volunteered at A Place to Turn, another food pantry, located in Natick. The organization was closed at the time, but we had to help them sort the donations they received. The really neat thing about A Place to Turn is that participants are able to choose what foods they bring home; it helps give them a more dignified experience when visiting the food pantry.

Finally, I went to a Dietetic Internship Fair in NYC yesterday. In order to become a registered dietician, I must complete an accredited internship– yesterday helped me learn a little bit about both the application process and some of the internship sites. I have to admit the process is a little daunting, so wish me luck!

Hopefully I can get a new recipe posted ASAP– I am working on editing a video for your next recipe!

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Say No To Sugar

Did you know the average American exceeds their recommended sugar intake for the day during breakfast alone? No wonder we have such an obesity epidemic on our hands! Click here to learn many of the reasons we need to Say No To Sugar.

Look how much sugar we are consuming each day! The pink line represents the maximum grams of sugar a women should consume per day, while the green line represents the maximum grams of sugar a man should consume per day.
Look how much sugar we are consuming each day! The pink line represents the maximum grams of sugar a women should consume per day, while the green line represents the maximum grams of sugar a man should consume per day.

Where do you fit in on this chart? Make it your goal to get below the appropriate line:

Females: < 25 grams of sugar per day

Males: < 36 grams of sugar per day

Ready to take control of your sweet tooth? Remember, moderation is key but start by trying one of my lower sugar desserts on this blog!

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Raspberry Chia Seed Jam!

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As promised here are the raspberry thumbprint cookies I’ve been meaning to try out. For the past year I have been in a chia seed craze: chia seeds are high in fiber and omega 3 fatty acids plus they contain high amounts of potassium, calcium and protein. So today I tested out a recipe that puts the tiny seeds to good use!

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Appearance: I got distracted while these were baking, so they came out a little darker then I wanted. Also, this version is a little more rustic than the traditional (delicate) thumbprint cookie

Texture: The jam firmed up exactly as expected, and the cookie remained tender and chewy.

Flavor: The jam was a perfect balance of sweet; the coconut cookie part had a very mild coconut flavor—just be careful not to burn the edges.



Recipe: Adapted from http://ohsheglows.com/2013/03/25/coconut-macaroon-thumbprints-with-raspberry-chia-seed-jam-vegan-gf/

1.5 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup almond meal

1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt

1/2 cup agave nectar

1/4 cup coconut oil, softened

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the chia seed jam

3 cups frozen raspberries

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. For jam: Put frozen raspberries on stovetop and allow to soften, stirring occasionally. Once liquid appears in the pot add maple syrup, chia seeds and vanilla. Allow sauce to simmer on low for 5 minutes, and then allow to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 275oF and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. For cookies: Combine coconut, almond meal, and salt. Melt coconut oil and add to agave and vanilla. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  4. Drop cookie dough onto parchment sheet, form into cookie shape. Use thumb to create an indent in the center of the cookie, then add a teaspoon of raspberry jam.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, but remember to check often for doneness .
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How Is It Already November!?

Happy November!! The beginning of the month is always a great time to start fresh, so how about doing a month of clean eating. It doesn’t have to be hard, just follow this simple guide below below and see how much better you look and feel. I know that when I’m eating my cleanest I notice such an improvement in my skin and energy levels. Give it a try for yourself!

Social Media

I promise to post another recipe soon (I’m thinking raspberry thumbprint cookies), but in the meantime check out my friend Julie’s blog: https://simplyseasonalnutrition.wordpress.com/ . Simply Seasonal Nutrition has great tips about eating seasonally and locally, and Julie’s latest blog post is about our Food Day Celebration in the dining commons! Enjoy 🙂