Mom’s Pumpkin Bread (gluten & grain free)

April 28, 2017
Mom's Pumpkin Bread

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)!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted organic butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/3 cup avocado or coconut oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cup organic cane sugar  (or you could swap out 1/2 cup of the sugar for 1 Tablespoon of organic stevia – so use 1 cup of sugar and 1 Tablespoon of powdered stevia – I like the brand Pyure)
  • 3 eggsOtto's Cassava Flour
  • 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups cassava flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I use Real Salt brand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon gound nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grease 3 mini bread mold tins.
  3. Sift together the dry ingredients, set aside.
  4. Cream together butter, oil and sugars – mix until creamy.
  5. Then add eggs one at a time, mixing well until it is creamy and a light yellow.
  6. Mix in pumpkin puree & vanilla.
  7. Add in dry ingredients to wet (about 1 cup at a time) – mixing gently.
  8. Pour into greased mini bread molds.
  9. Put into the preheated 325 degree oven for about 50 minutes – or until a toothpick comes out clean. If using regular size bread molds, cook longer – about 60 mins.

Prefer banana bread?  You can substitute 3 ripe bananas for the pumpkin in this recipe to make banana bread! 

Articles:

Cassava Flour: The Best Grain-Free Baking Alternative?

Sara Vance 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.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Coconut Oil Chocolates (Sugar Free!)

April 7, 2017
coconut oil chocolates

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.

Coconut Oil Chocolates (Sugar free)

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Lily’s Stevia sweetened chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil*
  • Optional – add 2-4 drops of peppermint essential oil (this makes a yummy and tummy soothing mint chocolate) – make sure to only use therapeutic food grade essential oils.

Directions:

  1. Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil (in a glass container in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or on a double boiler on stovetop)
  2. Once melted, stir together all ingredients.
  3. Pour the chocolate and coconut oil into the silicon ice cube tray – cover, and put it in freezer.
  4. They should be ready in about 15 minutes.
  5. Store any extras in freezer so they do not melt.

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.

If you

 

 

Sara Vance 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.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Cranberry Orange Flax Muffins

December 9, 2016
Orange Cranberry Muffins

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!

Orange Cranberry Flax Muffins (free of wheat, gluten & grains)

Ingredients:

  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (could use a combination of coconut sugar and stevia if you like)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of ground flax meal
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 3-4 drops of orange essential oil* (or you could add 1-2 teaspoons of zest)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon high quality salt (like Himalayan)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (you could add 2/3 cup if you like more)

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.

Cranberry Orange Flax Muffins

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the coconut oil.
  3. Lightly grease mini-muffin pan with some coconut oil (or line with muffin papers – I tend to like this best – less mess to clean up)
  4. Mix together the eggs and coconut sugar till well combined, then add in and mix together the rest of the ingredients – folding in the dried cranberries last.
  5. Put into prepared muffin tin and put into the preheated oven (I sometimes press some dried cranberries in top because they are pretty).
  6. Bake for about 15 mins.
  7. Remove and allow to cool.
  8. Serve & enjoy! These are extra yummy with a little grass fed butter on them.

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils contact sara@rebalancelife.com

 

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Sara Vance 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.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Healthier Holiday Lattes – Pumpkin Spice & Peppermint Mocha

November 6, 2016
Healthy Holiday Lattes

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!!

The Pumpkin Spice Creamer:

serves approximately 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk (look for a brand with no carregeenan – like So Delicious)
  • 1/4 cup of full fat organic coconut milk (from a can) – adds creaminess and richness
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of maple syrup or coconut sugar (or you could cut the sugar content in half by swapping out 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup for 3 teaspoons of an alternative natural sweetener like Pyure – an organic, non-GMO stevia blend. Or replace all the maple syrup with 6-8 teaspoons of Pyure)
  • 1/3 of a cup of unsweetened pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I prefer the kind without alcohol for this)
  • Either 1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice  <or>  1 drop each of clove, cinnamon and ginger essential oil* (use only certified therapeutic grade)
  • Dash of Real Salt brand salt (brings out flavors and sweetness)
  • Optional – a dash of cinnamon sugar (made with ceylon cinnamon and organic sugar) to sprinkle on top.

Directions:

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.

The Peppermint Mocha Creamer

serves approximately 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk (look for a brand with no carregeenan – like So Delicious)
  • 1/4 cup of full fat organic coconut milk (from a can) – adds creaminess and richness
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of maple syrup or coconut sugar (or you could cut the sugar content in half by swapping out 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup for 3 teaspoons of an alternative natural sweetener like Pyure – an organic, non-GMO stevia blend. Or replace all the maple syrup with 6-8 teaspoons of Pyure)
  • 1 Tablespoon of raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I prefer the kind without alcohol for this)
  • 1 drop of peppermint essential oil* (use only certified therapeutic grade), you could replace this with a few drops of peppermint extract if you can’t find essential oil.
  • Dash of Real Salt brand salt – brings out the sweetness and flavors

Directions:

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.

 

If you do decide to pop into Starbucks for a holiday latte, here some some tips to make it healthier:

  • Ask for fewer “pumps” of the syrup – go with 1 pump, or even 1/2 pump – which will lower the sugar content significantly.
  • Skip the sugar free syrups – they have artificial sweeteners – which stimulate your sweet tooth and are linked to diabetes and weight gain.  Add a little stevia if you want instead.
  • Skip the whipped cream, or if you must – ask for just a touch (it has added sugar)
  • Go for whole milk over skim – it will fill you up more, skipe your bloodsugar less, and add more creaminess – so you need less sugar.  Studies show that people who consume whole milk are less likely to develop diabetes, or become overweight than those who consume reduced fat dairy. Don’t believe me? Then read this TIME Magazine article

 

*Interested in learning more about the benefits and uses of Essential Oils?  Contact sara@rebalancelife.com.

Sara Vance 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.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Tiger Nut & Cashew ‘Horchata’

September 11, 2016
Cinnamon Cashew Milk

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.

Ingredients:screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-10-00-30-am

  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 rounded teaspoon of cashew butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon of Tiger Nut Flour
  • cinnamon – to taste (I use about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • pinch of Real Sal
  • 1-2 cubes of ice if desired to chill
  • Optional – 1/2 scoop of vegan vanilla protein powder (such as Warrior Blend or Pure Lean Protein)

Directions:

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.

screen-shot-2016-07-12-at-5-59-35-pm

 

 

Sara Vance 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.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Spaghetti Squash Garlic “Noodles”

July 12, 2016
Spaghetti Squash "Garlic Bread"

It’s official.  I’m obsessed with this recipe.  I seriously daydream about it.

Now, if we are being honest here, there are no actual “noodles” in this recipe…but when you taste it, you won’t care.

I almost called this recipe Spaghetti Squash Garlic “Bread“, because this recipe tastes just like garlic bread well, without the actual bread part. But since spaghetti squash is kind of like spaghetti, I thought calling it garlic ‘noodles‘ was less of a stretch than garlic bread in this case. 

Bonus – this recipe is super simple, it is great as a side or a main course, and it is also good leftover!

And did I mention…?  It tastes like garlic bread!!  Yeah, I think I probably already did mention that…

For someone who has been gluten free for a long time, getting to have garlic bread without the bread is the bomb.com!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squashReal Salt Garlic Salt
  • Approx. 2 tablespoons of avocado oil*- enough to coat the squash
  • Garlic salt (my favorite is Real Salt brand, because it is unprocessed, mineral-rich high quality ‘real’ salt) – to taste, but don’t be stingy!
  • Grass fed butter (such as Kerry Gold)  – to taste  (I used roughly 1 tablespoon per 1 cup serving)
  • Parmesean cheese- freshly grated –  to taste (I used about 1 Tablespoon per serving)
  • Optional – fresh chopped parsley or basil and Aleppo pepper flakes (or red pepper flakes) – to taste. 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice squash lengthwise, and coat with avocado oil (*you can use olive oil if you can’t find avocado, but I like avocado because it can withstand higher heats without oxidizing).
  3. Lay the cut side down on a glass baking dish or a sheetpan (you can use parchment if you prefer).
  4. Poke the squash a couple times with a knife (helps to cook faster this way)
  5. Put into the oven and cook until fork tender, about 30 mins.
  6. Scoop out the seeds, and then using a fork – pull out the flesh – it should look a little like noodles.
  7. Stir in some grass fed butter (olive oil if going vegan), sprinkle on some garlic salt, and grate some fresh parmesean cheese.  Add some aleppo peppers and some fresh chopped parsley or basil if desired.  What are aleppo peppers?  Well, they kind of like red pepper flakes, but milder – so they add just a touch of spice, but not too much.  I sprinkle them on pretty much everything – they are especially good on roasted veggies.
  8. Serve and enjoy!!
  9. Save any leftovers in the refrigerator up to 3 days.  To reheat, just warm up a saucepan with some grass fed butter, add in the squash and seasonings, and stir for a couple of minutes until warmed.  Serve & enjoy.

Two other great ways to top spaghetti squash are marinara sauce and pesto.

 

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Sara Vance 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.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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The “Frosty”

June 12, 2016
The "Frosty"

As a foodie and a nutritionist – I believe that it is possible for food to be both delicious and nutritious – it just takes a little ingenuity in the kitchen!!  I love to make “upgraded” healthier version of foods – like this Wendy’s style “Frosty!

When I am choosing what I put into my body, it needs to taste great and support my body and brain to function at it’s best.  Foods that are high in sugar might fit the bill on taste – but they will just make you crash and burn and feel like crap in the end.  Plus, it is easy to make something taste great if you just load up on the sugar – where is the challenge in that?  Overtime, a high sugar diet can lead to a host of health issues – read 20 Reasons to Break Up with Sugar to learn more.

To me, it is just not worth the impact on my health to eat high sugar foods – especially when you can make a healthier version that tastes just as good (I think this one tastes even better than the original).

This smoothie is a delicious recovery drink for athletes too!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, cashew milk, or another alternative milk (you can replace this with water or coconut water if you wish)
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (such as Warrior Blend)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons white chia or flax seeds
  • 1/2 of an avocado (makes light and creamy and richer)
  • 1 spoonful of cashew butter (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 – 3 Tablespoons of raw cacao powder (use more if you want it darker chocolate, less will be lighter)
  • 1/2 of a frozen banana (I freeze them slightly green tipped – lower in sugar and higher in beneficial resistant starch)
  • a few drops of Stevia or a natural Stevia/Monk Fruit sweetener blend if you want it sweetened a little, or a touch of your favorite natural sweetener
  • Ice cubes to chill and thicken
  • Small pinch of Real Salt or Himalayan salt (brings out the flavors and sweetness and adds trace minerals – but just a pinch, so it does not taste salty!!)

Directions:

  1. Put the liquid into the blender, add the chia seeds, allow to soak & hydrate for approx. 3-5 mins.
  2. Put the rest of the ingredients into blender, blend.
  3. Add desired amount of ice to thicken, blend.
  4. Taste & adjust for sweetness.
  5. Pour into a glass, and drink (or eat with a spoon) right away.

This recipe is one of 60 recipes from the Break up with Sugar online program.

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Copyright © 2016 Rebalance Life, all rights reserved

Sara Vance 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.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Minty Fruit Salad

May 3, 2016
Minty Fruit Salad

Want to make a fruit salad that will stand out from the crowd?  This is it!  

The fresh mint and lime dressing really takes it to a whole other level.  Kind of out of this world.

Great for Mother’s Day Brunch or any other celebration – or maybe “just because!”

Get the kids involved – kids love making and eating this fruit salad too!

If you want to make the melon balls and kiwi shapes – you will need the following equipment:

Ingredients:

  • Minty fruit salad1 mini watermelon
  • 1 honeydew or cantaloupe
  • 1 pint of strawberries
  • 1 pint of raspberries or blueberries
  • 3-4 kiwi fruit
  • 3 limes
  • Mint – finely chopped (about 3 Tablespoons)
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons of raw honey (or your favorite natural alternative sweetener – like stevia or monk fruit)
  • Pinch of salt – to taste

You could add any other fruit you like to this – grapes, pineapple, etc.

Directions:

  1. Rinse the outside of the melons well (this helps to remove any potential bacteria)
  2. Slice the melons in half – and scoop out the flesh using the melon ball tool (or you can cut it into cube shapes if you don’t have a melon ball tool)
  3. Wash & dry all the berries.
  4. Slice the strawberries into bite sized pieces
  5. Cut the kiwi fruit into slices (about 4 centimeters thick).  Press the mini cookie cutter into the center – to create a kiwi shape!
  6. Put all the fruit into a bowl.
  7. Put into a glass measuring cup the juice from 2-3 limes, the honey, mint, and a pinch of salt.  Pour over fruit and stir to combine
  8. Serve & enjoy!

Or if you want to make this into a beautiful fruit skewer centerpiece – watch this video  (you don’t need the lime and mint syrup for this)

 

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Sara Vance 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.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Green Chili Chicken

April 29, 2016
Green Chili Chicken

The secret ingredient in this chili is cauliflower – and you would never know it was there!!  A member of the cruciferous family, cauliflower adds fiber, vitamins, minerals, and also helps to give it some “body.”  Cauliflower is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and sulfur – which supports the liver.  But the real star of this dish is the tomatillos and poblano chili peppers – they are so delicious!!  My whole family loves this one pot dinner!  You could also make it in a slow cooker – but it would take longer.

Serves 6-8 people.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound – 1.5 pounds of chicken thighs or breasts (can be bone-in or not)
  • 1/2 of a medium sized cauliflower
  • 1 quart of free range chicken broth (can be homemade, I use low sodium if using boxed) 
  • 10-12 tomatillos
  • 3-4 poblano peppers
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • dried oregano – about 1 tsp.
  • Optional – Trader Joes 21 Spice Blend
  • 1 can of small white beans, drained (like great northern)omit if you want a “Paleo” meal
  • salt & pepper to taste

Optional Toppings:

  • Sour cream
  • Finely chopped jalapeno
  • Grated cheese

Directions:

Note: If you don’t have time for steps 1-5 and want a quicker and easier version – you could replace steps 1-5 with a jar of green tomatillo salsa – I like the Hatch chili kind at Trader Joes.

  1. Heat oven to about 400 degrees.
  2. Remove the papery skin from the tomatillos
  3. Coat tomatillos and poblanos in oil (I use avocado oil)
  4. Put on a sheet pan in pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes – turning with tongs about halfway through. They should be roasted and slightly charred.
  5. Put the poblanos in a bowl and cover with saran wrap or a lid for about 10 mins.  Then peel off the skins, and chop.
  6. Put the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse it until it is “riced.”
  7. Sprinkle the chicken with salt & pepper (and any other seasoning you like – I like to sprinkle it with Trader Joes 21 Spice Blend)
  8. Put a large heavy bottomed saucepan on the stove and warm up about 1-2  tablespoons of avocado oil (or coconut oil).
  9. When oil is heated, put in the chicken thighs or breasts and sauté over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, to brown the outside – remove and put on a plate while you cook the onions.
  10. Add more oil if needed first – then put the onions in the pan and sauté over medium heat until translucent, about 3-5 mins.
  11. Add back the chicken, and the broth, the cauliflower “rice”, tomatillos, chopped poblanos, oregano, a teaspoon of salt, and any other seasonings you like (I sprinkle a little 21 Spice blend usually) – bring to a boil and then once boiling, drop down to a simmer.
  12. Simmer for about 30 minutes (stirring occasionally – and smashing the tomatillos on the side of the pot to break them up).
  13. Take the chicken out (check to see if it is done through) and let cool enough so you can shred it with a fork (remove bones and skin at this time – if you used skin on, bone in).
  14. Put the drained beans in (if using) and bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook another 5 minutes.  If you have a hand blender – you can put it in for a few seconds – this will help to thicken it up, but is not absolutely needed.
  15. Add back the shredded chicken, simmer a few more minutes – taste and adjust salt and any seasonings.
  16. Put into bowls and serve with desired toppings.
  17. Save leftovers in fridge up to 3 days.

Recipe developed by Sara Vance. All rights reserved.

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Sara Vance 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.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Quick Cinnamon Vanilla Cashew Milk

April 12, 2016
Cinnamon Cashew Milk

 

I am not one to drink a glass of milk for a snack – unless it is cashew milk! For some reason – I just love a nice cold glass of cashew milk.  If I add a little cinnamon and vanilla to it – it is a serious treat! You could also add a teaspoon or two of raw cacao powder to make this a Mexican Chocolate Milk.  This milk is great in coffee, and also quite filling and satisfying due to the healthy fats and protein. The cinnamon supports healthy blood sugar levels too.

And best of all – this recipe whips up in about 3 mins too!  Why buy store-bought milk (many of which contain the questionable ingredient carrageenan) when you can make it at home in 3 mins?

Quick Cinnamon Vanilla Cashew Milk:

makes one 8 oz. glass of milk (store any leftover in refrigerator for up to 2 days)

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 rounded teaspoons of raw cashew butter (available at most health food stores)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I like Warrior Blend Vanilla).
  • pinch of Himalayan salt to taste (omit if using salted nut butter)
  • vanilla extract – to taste (I like about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • cinnamon – to taste (I prefer Ceylon cinnamon – and used about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 2-4 ice cubes (to make milk cold)

Put everything except the ice into the blender and blend well to combine.  Add in the desired amount of ice cubes – blend again – and pour into a glass.  Add a sprinkle of cinnamon on top if desired.  You could also omit the vanilla and cinnamon if you needed a plain/savory milk for recipes.

Want to make cashew milk using the nut (not nut butter), and find out how to increase the calcium and fiber content?  Click to learn more about The Best Alternative Milk!!

Sara Vance 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.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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