Benefits Of Coconut

Benefits Of CoconutI am still continuing to do the Bountiful Baskets weekly, but now I rotate every 3 weeks with 2 of our neighbors. This has made it nice so I’m not waking up early every Saturday, just every 3rd Saturday. But I still get a ton of produce at an affordable price. This last weekend, our Bountiful Basket contained 2 coconuts. I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but we made the most out of them!

My husband drilled a hole in each coconut and drained the coconut water. The other coconuts we’ve had didn’t contain a lot of fluid, but these ones each filled up a pint sized mason jar on their own. The coconut water was sweet and delicious. I drank one of the jars of coconut water, and put the other in the fridge, which I’ll be drinking today. Success! Then my husband ended up breaking them in half so I could get the coconut meat out of there. I used a spoon to dig it out because it was pretty soft. I placed all the meat in a bowl and let it dry out just a little bit on the counter, picking out any pieces of the hard shell that made their way in. A few hours later, I put the coconut meat in my food processor and using the attachment that looks like a cheese shredder, I shredded up the coconut meat. Now it’s sitting in the dehydrator, and soon I’ll have dehydrated coconut shreds, which will be great for cooking with. Maybe the coconut chicken recipe that I have on here will work out well! Plus there are no added ingredients like the coconut you find in the store, that typically has sugar added. This is just coconut! The fun thing about the dehydrator is that it makes the house smell like whatever is inside of it, which isn’t nice if you’re making jerky. But the coconut smell makes me think I live in the tropics, rather the mountains.

Glad I found something to do with these coconuts rather than letting them go bad.

Love To Snack? Choose One Of These Healthy Snacks.

Craving something crunchy, sweet, salty, or creamy? Well here is your go to guide for healthy snacks depending on your craving:

CRUNCHY:

  • apples
  • frozen grapes
  • rice cakes
  • light popcorn or plain popcorn
  • carrots
  • veggies and dip (like hummus, tabouli, vinaigrette)
  • celery & peanut butter
  • hummus & whole grain toast
  • nuts

SWEET:

  • wheatgrass
  • fresh fruit
  • yogurt & fruit
  • apples & almond butter
  • whole grain bread and jam
  • frozen yogurt
  • dried fruit
  • grains drizzled with maple syrup, cinnamon, bananas, etc.
  • smoothies
  • fruit ice cream
  • fresh squeezed juice
  • sweet veggies like yams, sweet potatoes, sqaush – try baking them and sprinkling them with cinnamon
  • organic dark chocolate

SALTY:

  • olives
  • pickles or pickled veggies
  • hummus
  • oysters
  • vegetables with umeboshi vinegar
  • tortilla chips with salsa and/or guacamole (go for a whole grain chip option)
  • sauerkraut
  • lemon juice in your water
  • edamame
  • organic cheese

CREAMY:

  • smoothies
  • yogurt
  • avocados
  • rice pudding
  • dips & spreads
  • pureed soups
  • sweet potatoes
  • coconut milk

 

Recipe Tuesday – Daily Tip #50!!!!

RecipeTuesdayWow, can you believe there have already been 50 daily tips posted!!!! To celebrate, here is a great snack recipe that is healthy and good for you!

Peanut Butter Popcorn!

Want a healthy snack that is sugar free and has some health benefits too? I came across this recipe, but I have NO idea where. The airpopped popcorn has lots of fiber, peanut butter adds protein, the honey adds a great sweetness without using sugar, and the cinnamon has anti-inflammatory benefits as well.

1 bowl of airpopped popcorn
1/4 c. peanut butter (all natural, no sugar added)
1 1/2 TBSP honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pop popcorn according to instructions. In a small microwave safe bowl, add peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon. Microwave for 30 seconds or until melted together. You can also melt these 3 ingredients together over medium heat on the stove. Once popcorn is done and peanut butter mixture is melted, pour over popcorn and mix well, then serve!

Juicing & Bountiful Baskets

unnamedWe’ve been participating with Bountiful Baskets a lot starting about 6 months ago or so. I don’t do them every week because sometimes we just can’t make the pick up time work. But when we do get it, I LOVE IT!!!! And when we aren’t able to do it, it now feels weird buying a lot of produce at the store. It’s so nice having it, because it cuts down on our grocery bill and I end up only buying 1-3 things in the produce section when we get our weekly groceries.

If you’ve never checked out Bountiful Baskets, visit them at www.bountifulbaskets.org. For $15.00 you get a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, usually 5 different kinds of each. For $10.00 more you can make it all organic. And the cool thing is they have a lot of add ons like bread, tortillas, apple cider vinegar, etc. This is now the only place where I buy our sliced bread. It’s $12.00 for 5 loaves and the variety changes each week. My favorite so far has been the Organic Wheat with Omega-3’s added. What we have been doing is picking up our Basket, then we make our meal plan for the week. This ensures that we are able to use all of our product before it goes bad and also before the next week. There are some weeks where I can’t use it all and that’s when juicing is even better! Here is a juice that I made with some of my leftover produce:

BRIGHT ORANGE JUICE
4 1/2 carrots
1 orange, peeled
1 apple
1 pear
1/2 pineapple

This one was great and not too acidic. Sometimes when I throw in lemon and kale, my stomach isn’t too happy. Juicing is a great way to get some fruits and veggies into your diet if you aren’t a big fan of them. It’s fun to experiment with different combinations too because you start learning what goes really well together and also what doesn’t go well together. What are some of your favorite juices?

14 Easy & Healthy Snacks – REPOST

vegetable-and-fruitWith school starting back up for many, here is a quick & easy list to reference for healthy & easy snacks! They are great for inside your child’s lunch or when they get home from school. Don’t forget about yourself either! Use these when you need a quick pick me up!

So what is a good way to keep everyone happy without having to stress too much? Snacks! Having healthy, readily available snacks prepared and ready to go will help you enjoy your visitors and be able to relax. Here are a few snack options that are easy to prepare and will store well:

–       Apples with natural peanut butter
–       Rice cakes
–       Hummus served with whole wheat crackers or veggies like carrots, celery, and cucumbers
–       Homemade smoothies
–       Dried fruit
–       Edamame
–       Organic cheese with whole wheat crackers
–       Homemade dips with veggies
–       Sliced fresh fruit i.e. pineapple, strawberries, grapes, raspberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, etc.
–       Air popped popcorn
–       Pretzels
–       Mixed raw, unsalted nuts
–       Make your own trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit
–       Granola

This list of snacks can help you get through the holidays and the rest of the year. I know that my kids love cheese and crackers when they get home from school, along with having a lot of precut, fresh fruit on hand. They like the convenience of grabbing on the go, especially when we are running around to different extracurricular activities during the day or have homework where they really need to stay focused. Sometimes taking an hour a week preparing snacks and dinners for the week, can end up saving a lot more time throughout the week.

What are some of your favorite, easy to prepare snacks?

Easy Snack Recipe – Vanilla Banana Parfait

I love a good parfait, but with all the added ingredients in some of the store bought ones, it’s just easier to make your own. It’s easy, cost effective, and healthier! Here is a quick recipe that can be used for breakfast or a quick snack. My son loves this before soccer because of the calcium, protein, and potassium.

VANILLA BANANA PARFAIT

1/2 c. vanilla yogurt (feel free to use Greek yogurt if you’d like)
1 banana – sliced into 1/4 inch slices
Topped with your favorite cereal, granola, or nuts (I’ve been using vanilla Life or a local farmer’s market granola)

Place bananas at the bottom of bowl, top with yogurt, then cereal or granola. Serve immediately to avoid the browning of bananas.

Peanut Butter Popcorn Recipe!

imagesWant a healthy snack that is sugar free and has some health benefits too? I came across this recipe, but I have NO idea where. The airpopped popcorn has lots of fiber, peanut butter adds protein, the honey adds a great sweetness without using sugar, and the cinnamon has anti-inflammatory benefits as well.

1 bowl of airpopped popcorn
1/4 c. peanut butter (all natural, no sugar added)
1 1/2 TBSP honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pop popcorn according to instructions. In a small microwave safe bowl, add peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon. Microwave for 30 seconds or until melted together. You can also melt these 3 ingredients together over medium heat on the stove. Once popcorn is done and peanut butter mixture is melted, pour over popcorn and mix well, then serve!