I have always loved the combination of peppermint and chocolate – it is a classic. And mint chip ice cream? It’s like a Summer dream…well, except for the nightmarish amount of sugar it typically contains. And if you are dairy intolerant – the pain & discomfort that can follow.
Never fear – I have created a delicious, nutritious and easy superfood mint chip shake that rivals mint chip ice cream – but it has no sugar, no dairy, and is loaded with superfoods – yes, really!!
Also known as the horseradish tree and the drumstick tree, the moringa tree is native to North India – and it’s leaves & pods offer a number of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Moringa is an excellent source of iron, vitamin B6, protein, magnesium, vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, and other important vitamins and minerals. It may help to reduce blood sugar, cholesterol, and chronic inflammation. There is not enough research to determine if moringa is safe during pregnancy – so therefore talk to your doctor first.
Did you know that peppermint can be a useful remedy for headaches and digestion issues? Peppermint has a mild numbing, cooling, and anti-spasmodic effect, and can even improve the flow of bile, and kill certain types of bacteria. Peppermint may help reduce bloating and gas, and indigestion. However, persons with reflux or GERD may wish to avoid using peppermint. Peppermint may also help to thin mucosal secretions and help to decongest stuffy noses. Applied to the temples (make sure to avoid the eyes!), peppermint may help relieve headaches in some individuals.
Please be very cautious with using peppermint essential oils – as they are very powerful and could burn if applied directly to the eyes or skin, or mouth. Peppermint oils should NOT be used on infants or small children, or taken internally with persons with GERD or reflux. Talk to your doctor before using peppermint oil if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking medications. If using peppermint topically – always dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut oil. If consuming peppermint oil internally, always make sure it is a certified therapeutic grade essential oil – and use only 1 or 2 drops diluted in your beverage or food. Learn more about doTERRA essential oils.
Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.
©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.
Note: these recipes contain alcohol and are for ages 21 and up. You can also make these “virgin” cocktails by omitting the alcohol.
Hot steamy Summer nights just seem to call for a summery cocktail. But did you know that a typical 8 oz. margarita has about 8 teaspoons (or more) of added sugars??? That’s more than a woman should have all day! Plus, a lot of drink mixes have preservatives, colorings, and other stuff that we (or our livers) don’t need.
That’s why I am sharing my 3 favorite Summer cocktails – these are all very simple, and “upgraded” versions of Margaritas, Mojitos, & Moscow Mules!
…hey, why do all the best Summer drinks seem to start with “M”?
My version of a Moscow Mule is actually technically a “Mexican Mule” – because instead of the traditional vodka, I like to use tequila. In fact, I am using tequila for all of these drinks, because tequila has some unusal benefits that other alcohols don’t have.
Read: 10 Surprising Benefits of Tequila You Never Knew to learn more about the unique health benefits of tequila (note: make sure you choose a good quality tequila, and moderation is also key!)
This drink is traditionally served in a copper mug – if you like, you can chill it in the freezer for 5-10 mins before making this to keep your drink nice and cold. Pour all into the cup, stir to combine, add ice. Serve! How easy is that?
If salting, prepare your glasses first. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of the glass, then pour some salt or Tahin on a plate, and roll or dip the glass into the salt or Tahin.
Mix all your ingredients, shake or stir, pour over ice into glasses. Serve!
Usually a mojito is made by muddling the mint and sugar, and then mixed together with rum and sparkling water. Again – I am swapping the traditional rum for tequila in this drink – because I just prefer tequila. You can use the traditional rum if you prefer. And I am hitting the “Easy Button” – by skipping over the muddling and using KeVita Mojito – a probiotic beverage that is dairy free, naturally sparkling, and delicious. Each bottle of KeVita has 4 billion CFUs, and 4 strains of probiotics- good for the gut, mood, and immunity. Many of their flavors make delicious and probiotic mixers – their Lemon Ginger is delish, and so is the Mango Coconut!
Mix into a glass, add the mint sprig and ice – and voila!
Out of citrus fruit? No problem – as long as you have citrus essential oils!
I love my doTERRA essential oils in the summer. I add a drop to sparkling water all the time – it is a refreshing treat. You can also make a really clean cocktail this way too.
Shake and pour over ice; or stir together ingredients into a glass, add ice & serve!
*essential oils are very powerful – all you need is a drop of two!
*Please remember if you do choose to drink alcoholic beverages, to do so in moderation & responsibly. The word “intoxification” means – we have literally ‘made ourselves toxic.’ Ethanol is metabolized into acetaldehyde, which is a toxin that is eventually broken down into acetic acid to be excreted from the body. If we consume more alcohol than can be broken down to acetic acid, the body will be experiencing the negative effects of the acetaldehyde in our blood and tissues. Excessive drinking overtime can raise our risk for developing cancer, nutrient deficiencies, digestion issues, and heart attack.
Interested in learning more about doTERRA essentail oils? Let me know!
When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things was pumpkin bread – I would look forward to the fall when my mom would make her famous recipe – it was so moist and delicious. I still love pumpkin bread – but I don’t eat wheat or gluten any more – so I can’t make my mom’s recipe exactly.
But I di use her recipe for inspiration! This recipe is based on the pumpkin bread that my mom used to make me when I was a kid – except this one is gluten and grain free. Instead of regular flour, this pumpkin bread is made with cassava flour – which is a root vegetable that is also known as a yuca root. Cassava is both grain and gluten free!! Learn more about cassava flour.
Although it does have organic sugar, this recipe has quite a bit less sugar than my mom’s original recipe (and most other pumpkin bread recipes) – and you could probably even reduce the sugar content by swapping some 1/2 cup of the sugar for 2 Tablespoons of stevia (I might try it next time).
This recipe even passed the kid test – my kids loved it and gobbled it up (and they are not always big fans of gluten or grain free recipes)!!
Prefer banana bread? You can substitute 3 ripe bananas for the pumpkin in this recipe to make banana bread!
Cassava Flour: The Best Grain-Free Baking Alternative?
If you know me – you know I am a fan of dark chocolate. I am kind of a chocolate snob actually – it has to be DARK, and high quality.
I am also a huge fan of coconut oil. Coconut oil is my favorite oil – it is high in medium chain fatty acids – which are boosting to the metabolism, and a good source of energy. Coconut oil does not require bile salts for digestion – so it is a good fat for people with gallbladder issues. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and antiviral, so it helps to prevent bacterial overgrowth while helping to lubricate the digestive tract. This makes it a useful remedy for constipation. There is even some evidence that coconut oil could potentially reduce the risk of developing dementia/Alzheimers (or reduce the symptom and progression of those with an early diagnosis). This is a very delicious way to get someone to eat their coconut oil.
I like to make my own chocolates using coconut oil – usually I use raw cacao, but this recipe is way easier – because instead of making it all from scratch, I just use chocolate chips and coconut oil.
This makes 1 batch/tray of mini chocolate squares – I used the square one of these silicon ice cube tray molds (this is nice as it comes with a cover). If using a larger mold like this heart shaped one, then double the recipe and cover with plastic wrap.
Have you heard of “skinny starch”? It is also called “resistant starch” – because it resists digestion. What that means is that it moves slowly through the digestive tract – so it helps to keep your blood sugar more stable, it is a prebiotic – meaning that it serves as “food” for the good bacteria in our colon. It is called the “skinny starch” because it can improve digestion, blood sugar, energy, and gut bacteria – all of which could potentially mean flatter bellies and weight loss. But before you run out and eat a lot of skinny starch – realize that like any fiber – especially a prebiotic one – you want to begin to incorporate it slowly, or it could potentially cause digestive upset.
One of the best sources of resistant starch in my opinion comes from a small tuber called a tiger nut. You can eat the nuts whole, or I like to add tiger nut flour to my daily smoothie. Resistant starch can also help you sleep – so this Tiger Nut & Cashew Horchata drink is a nice thing to have before bedtime. I also like to add tiger nut flour to desserts – like this raspberry tart!
“Sugar Cookie” Crust:
Put all the ingredients into a food processor, process until still crumbly, but starting to come together.
lightly grease a tart pan, and press the crust into it (I like to use my fingers to spread it around, then a flat bottom measuring cup to get it even. Press it so it comes up about halfway up the sides of the tart pan.
Put into freezer for about 20-30 mins.
Put all of the above into the Vitamix, and blend until combined.
Take crust out of freezer, and pour filling onto the crust – spread with a spatula or spoon. Return to freezer to set – at least 2 hours, up to a day ahead. Remove from freezer before you want to serve, add the raspberries, and whipped cream if you like (see below).
Coconut Whipped Cream (optional)
Put the coconut milk in refrigerator the day before you want to make the cream. Open the bottom of the can, and pour off the coconut water (reserve for smoothies, or another recipe).
Scoop out the coconut cream and put it into a bowl with the other ingredients, using a electric mixer – whip it up. Taste and adjust. Spoon onto slices before serving.
Want to learn more about Resistant Starch and get more delicious recipes – including “skinny starch” chocolate nut butter cups and cookie dough balls? Take my Resistant Starch eCourse!
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My hubby and I are invited to a holiday party tonight and my friend asked me to bring a “healthy but yummy Sara” dessert. So I decided to come up with a new recipe! I used my ‘formula’ for flax muffins – and took it the chocolate peppermint route. They turned out delish!!
If you are interested in learning more about essential oils contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I was walking by the bakery section of the grocery store and got a whiff of fresh baked muffins. I knew I had to bake some muffins when I got home (those store muffins have about 8 teaspoons of added sugar – more than a woman should have all day long!).
I have a fool proof recipe for Flax Raisin muffins that I have made many times, but I decided to take that recipe and spruce it up with orange and dried cranberries! And since I have been really getting into essential oils lately – I thought – instead of grating orange peel, why not just use a few drops of orange essential oil instead? They turned out amazing!! I hope you enjoy them!
Optional – sprinkle a little cinnamon coconut sugar on the tops before baking them.
*Always make sure to use high quality certified therapeutic grade essentail oils if ingesting them.
Do you look forward to the holiday lattes at Starbucks all year long?
People take their holiday lattes seriously – even the holiday cups are highly anticipated each year – last year when Starbucks released a plain red cup – people went crazy! Now, in 2016 – they went with a green cup, which was meant to symbolize unity – but people are freaking out because there is no red cup (Starbucks says the red is coming).
So many people enjoy indulging during the holidays with the special holiday latte drinks. But just one grande (16 oz.) latte has more than double the added sugar than a woman should get all day (approx. 50 grams of sugar, or 12 teaspoons)! So indulging too often, can mean we are consuming way too much extra sugar…and likely getting a head start on the holiday weight gain.
So I have made over your favorite holiday drink with less sugar & less guilt, and more healthy ingredients. And for the many people who can’t tolerate or are choosing to avoid dairy – the good news is that these holiday creamers are dairy free too!!
serves approximately 8
Put into a blender or a jar and use a hand blender – combine well. Taste & adjust as needed. Add approximately 1/4 cup to your coffee, optionally sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on top. Pour any extra into a glass jar and store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Put all ingredients into a blender (or a jar and use a hand blender) – blend to combine well. Taste & adjust as needed. Add approximately 1/4 cup to your coffee. Optionally, grate a little dark chocolate on top (using a microplaner like this). Pour any extra into a glass jar and store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
*Interested in learning more about the benefits and uses of Essential Oils? Contact email@example.com.
I could call this the “Sleepy time” drink because resistant starch (found in tiger nut flour) can support healthy sleep and stable blood sugar levels. So this would be a great bedtime snack – because it could help you get a good night’s rest! But it is also great during the day because resistant starch helps to provide long lasting energy too.
Put the liquid into the blender, add the cashew butter and blend it thoroughly to make into a milk. Add the Tiger Nut flour (and protein powder if using) and let it sit for a couple minutes to soak. Then add the vanilla, cinnamon, and pinch of salt – blend well. Add a cube or two of ice if you wish to chill it, blend again.
Pour into a glass and serve. Give this a try before bedtime and see if you don’t sleep like a baby!!
In addition to improving sleep, and energy – resistant starch can help us feel more satisfied and full, it can also benefit digestion, even potentially lowering the risk of colon cancer! To learn more about the benefits of resistant starch, and get some more recipes – sign up for my eCourse: All About Resistant Starch.
If you are growing tomatoes in the garden this summer – you might be looking for delicious recipes…
This cream of tomato soup is super simple – containing essentially just 4 ingredients. It is easy to make and the flavor does not disappoint. And with the beautiful swirl of cashew cream – you would never guess that it is dairy free!!
Makes 2 main dish portions, or 4 side dish/appetizer portions.
Optionally – serve with sourdough or gluten free croutons.
© copyright 2017 Sara Vance