Italian Wedding Soup

November 13, 2017
Italian Wedding Soup

I wasn’t sure why this soup is called “Italian Wedding Soup.”  So I searched on the Internet.  According to the “Cooking Geek,” although it is commonly served to brides and grooms in the North Eastern U.S. for ‘energy fortification’ for their first night together, the real etilogy of the name ‘wedding soup’ is because the combination of flavors in the soup is the perfect “marriage.”  According to Wikipedia, “The term “wedding soup” comes from the Italian language phrase “minestra maritata (“married soup”),” which is a reference to the flavor produced by the combination/”marriage” of greens and the broth.”  That makes sense to me – I have always loved the combination of mini meatballs, dark leafy greens, pasta, and a light chicken broth!

But since going gluten free – I haven’t been able to have it – until now!  This gluten free version of Italian Wedding Soup is just as good – maybe better – than the gluten kind!!

Give it a whirl and see what your family thinks – mine liked it a lot!  Definitely a new family favorite! Plus – a bonus – extra meatballs for an easy homecooked meal later in the week!!

Meatball Ingredients:

Note – this recipe makes double the amount of meatballs you need.  I figure if I am making them, I may as well make extra – I rolled some small ones for this soup recipe, and some bigger to throw in some pasta sauce later in the week. If you don’t want pasta & meatballs later in the week, you could cut this recipe in half. 

  • 1.5 pounds ground beef (I use grass fed organic)
  • 1/2 cup cooked & cooled quinoa
  • 1/2 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (I dried out 3 slices of gluten free bread overnight – and then put it into the food processor to make into crumbs). If you can’t find gluten free breadcrumbs or don’t have the time to make them – just use 1 cup of quinoa.
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (I used freshly grated)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
  • 1-2 Tablespoons water (or you could use milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Real salt
  • fresh cracked pepper (approximately 1/2 teaspoon – I don’t measure it)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning

Broth Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tablespoons of olive or avocado oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup of finely chopped carrot
  • 1 cup of finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of Real salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 8 cups of chicken stock, broth (store bought or homemade)
  • 1 cup of small gluten free pasta (traditionally this soup uses ancini de pepi or orzo – but I could not find it gluten free, so I used the smallest rice pasta I could find – Tinkyada Pasta Shells).
  • 2-3 cups of fresh baby spinach that has been chopped (you can also use kale, or escarole)
  • fresh grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top of bowls

Directions:

1. Make the meatballs:

Meatballs

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, salt, pepper, spices, breadbrumbs, quinoa, parsley, garlic – mix until well combined.
  2. Add in the ground beef and 1 Tablespoon of water, mix it all together gently until combined.  Add another Tablespoon of water if the mixture is not sticking together.
  3. Roll the meatball mixture into about 40 small one bite-sized meatballs (about a rounded teaspoon size).  After I roll the meatballs, I put them on a glass pyrex, or on a parchment-lined sheet pan. I cover and store in refrigerator if not putting into the broth within 10 mins or so.
  4. There should be some extra meatball mixture – see below.

 

2. Make the soup:

  1. Heat olive or avocado oil over medium heat in a large pot.
  2. Add the onions and cook covered for 2 minutes.  Then add in the carrots and celery, cook covered 10 more minutes – stirring a couple of times.
  3. Add the chicken stock, oregano, salt, pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 10 mins.
  4. Drop the pasta and the fresh dill into the broth, and cook for about 5-6 minutes until pasta is tender.
  5. Add in the meatballs, and cook about 5 more minutes, or until the meatballs are done – they should float when they are done.
  6. Add in the spinach and cook another minute or two until it is wilted, but still bright green.

 

What to do with the extra meatball mix:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Roll the rest of the meatball mixture into medium sized meatballs (about a 2 bite meatballs – a rounded Tablespoon sized) – set them aside in a pyrex baking dish that has been coated with avocado or olive oil.
  3. Put the pyrex dish into the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until no longer pink inside.
  4. Save in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 4 days.  Or put in freezer to save up to 1 month.
  5. A couple days later, I just dropped the cooked meatballs into simmering red sauce and cooked them for about 10 mins to warm them up.
  6. Serve over pasta, or make a meatball sandwich out of them.

Meatballs

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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Pumpkin Spiced Hummus

October 24, 2017
Pumpkin Spiced Hummus

Its pumpkin spice season…yes, the time of year when…poof!...everything seems to get pumpkin spiced…among the cookies and the lattes are the less obvious pumpkin spiced goodies – like gum, vodka, and margarine.

I have two rules when it comes to pumpkin spiced things:

  1. It should have some actual pumpkin in it.  Way too many of the pumpkin spiced goodies out there have no actual pumpkin, they are just flavored to taste like pumpkin.  Avoid things that are just artificially pumpkin flavored, but have no actual pumpkin in them.  Pumpkin is actually very nutritious – pumpkin is rich in fiber and beta carotene which boosts the immune system and our eye health. So when  you are geting pumpkin spice – it should be made with real pumpkin.  Not just something that is made to taste like pumpkin.  Go for the real stuff only!!
  2. It should not break the sugar bank or use artificial sweeteners. A LOT of pumpkin spice products are loaded down with tons of added sugars, and watch out for those “sugar free” versions – which may use chemical sweeteners that are just as bad (or worse) than sugar.  Sugar lowers our immune system and packs on the pounds.  

With pumpkin spice everywhere – It peaks the question – is everything better pumpkin spiced?  Like does pumpkin spiced hummus sound good?

At first glance, pumpkin spiced hummus doesn’t sound too yummy, but I decided to give it a whirl, and decided that it is decidedly delicious!!

The cool thing about pumpkin, is you can go more savory, or sweet.  For this hummus recipe, I decided to go more on the sweet side, to make more of a dessert hummus (yes, dessert hummus is a thing), but I think I will try a savory version next time.

Give this a try and let me know what you think!  I know it sounds kinda weird, but it really is good!

Pumpkin Spiced Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas – drained and rinsed (or you can prepare your own from dry, soaked and cooked beans)
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (can be from a can)
  • 4 Tablespoons of coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons of coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 Tablespoons of apple sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of high quality unprocessed salt
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (I used alcohol free for this)
  • 2 teaspoons of Lakinto (or you could sub maple syrup or stevia)
  • 2 scoops of vanilla vegan protein powder (I used Warrior Blend)
  • 2 teaspoons of Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1.5 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas.
  2. Put into a food processor with the coconut milk and apple sauce – process until smooth.
  3. Add in the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Taste and adjust.
  5. Serve with sliced apples, pita or graham crackers.
  6. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 days.

 

Recipe created by Nutritionist and Author Sara Vance.  All right 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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Orange Dream Smoothie

August 27, 2017
Orange Dream Smoothie

I love smoothies – because they are quick & easy to make, portable, and a great way to just load up on the fiber & superfoods – to deliver long-lasting energy and support digestion, brain function, etc.

This Orange Dreamsicle smoothie is so good – your kids won’t even know that it is good for them – it’s tastes like a creamsicle, but it is loaded with brain-boosting omega 3s, digestion-boosting fiber, and immune-boosting vitamin c and beta carotene – it’s like a dream!

This recipe makes one large smoothie, or two smaller ones.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of coconut water
  • 1 whole peeled small orange
  • 3-4 organic baby carrots, (or 1 peeled small carrot)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of white chia seeds
  • 1/2 scoop of vegan vanilla protein powder (I like Warrior Blend vanilla)
  • 1/2 of a frozen banana
  • 1/2 of a cup of frozen mangos or peaches
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Barleans Omega Swirl – Mango Peach flavor (2 teaspoons contains 790 mg of DHA/EPA omega 3s)
  • splash of vanilla extract (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • Small pinch of Real Salt – brings out flavors and sweetness – but just a pinch!
  • Ice – as needed to thicken

Directions:

  1. Put the liquid, carrots and orange into the blender* – blend for a couple of minutes to completely liquify.
  2. Add the chia seeds and protein powder – stir to combine, and then let soak for 2-3 mins.
  3. Then add in the banana, mangos, Omega Swirl, vanilla, pinch of salt – blend.
  4. Add ice if you would like it thicker.
  5. Pour into a glass, and enjoy!

*A powerful blender like a Vitamix is best for this recipe.

 

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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Make Ahead Breakfast – Overnight Oats

August 22, 2017
Overnight Oats

It Back to School time – and one of the best things a student can do to get their brain in gear for the school day is to have a healthy breakfast.

Starting the day with a sugary breakfast is a bad idea – because it provides short-term energy, which is often followed by a crash – negatively affecting energy, mood, and brain function – not what you want in your mid-morning math class!

Instead – you want to make sure breakfast has some protein, and/or healthy fat and fiber – this will balance the blood sugar to deliver long lasting energy, balance the mood and brain function.  Including some brain boosting omega 3 fatty acids too will really help to turn on the brain, boost the mood, and reduce inflammation.

Overnight Oats

No cooking required – just mix ahead, put in the fridge and they are ready to go the next day.  You can also double these recipes for a larger serving.

Chocolate Nut Butter

  • 2/3 cup non-dairy milk – such as coconut, almond or pea protein milk
  • 1/2 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon of vegan vanilla protein powder (I like Warrior Blend vanilla)
  • 1 teaspoon of raw cacao
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Nuttzo 7 seed nut butter (contains 900 mg. of ALA omega 3 per serving!)
  • 1 teaspoon natural sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or organic stevia to taste
  • Splash of vanilla
  • Dash of high quality unprocessed salt – I like Real Salt brand
  • Banana slices
  • Dark chocolate chips

Directions: Whisk together the milk, protein powder, cacao, nut butter, vanilla, salt, and sweetener.  Pour into your jar or container.  Add the oats, stir to combine.  Top with banana slices and a few mini chocolate chips.

Brainy Mango Peach

  • 2/3 cup non-dairy milk – such as coconut, almond or pea protein milk
  • 1/2 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon of vegan vanilla protein powder (I like Warrior Blend vanilla)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Barleans mango peach
  • 1 teaspoon natural sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or organic stevia to taste
  • Splash of vanilla
  • Dash of high quality unprocessed salt – I like Real Salt brand
  • Mango chunks
  • Optional – coconut flakes

Some other great make ahead breakfast ideas for kids:

Egg cups

Make & bake these ahead of time, and you will have a ready to go breakfast for the next 4-5 days.  Eggs are rich in an important brain nutrient called choline.

Superfood Smoothies/drinks:

  • Mint Chip Shake – tastes like dessert, but healthy enough for breakfast!
  • Blue Brain On Milk: Serve this amazing brain-boosting milk alongside your breakfast, add it to your smoothie, or as a meal replacement.  Blue green algae may help boost focus, attention, mood, and energy.  See recipe.

 

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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“Brain ON” Blue Milk (dairy & gluten free)

August 21, 2017
"Brain ON" Blue Milk

Brain ON Blue “Milk”

It’s Back to School time – which means kids need to switch from summer brain to their focused school brain.  This delicious dairy-free milk gets it’s amazing blue hue from a very special living superfood called blue green algae. Algae is a superfood that supports healthy brain function, mood, and energy.  Learn more about this amazing superfood: E3 Live or E3 Live Brain ON.  It’s a great time to try E3 Live – because they are currently offering free shipping use code: FREESHIP.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of almond, coconut, pea protein or another alternative milk (I often recommend taking a break from cow’s milk/dairy if there are focus & attention or digestion issues)
  • 1 scoop or package of E3 Live or E3 Live Brain ON
  • 1-2 teaspoons of white* chia seeds (optional)
  • Splash of vanilla extract (I like to use alcohol free for smoothies)
  • Optional – 1-2 teaspoons of your favorite natural sweetener – like raw honey, organic stevia, or a couple of pitted dates.
  • pinch of Real Salt (brings out flavors and sweetness)
  • Optional – a couple of ice cubes.  Thickens and chills it.

Directions:

  1. Put the milk and E3 Live into the Vitamix or shaker bottle – swirl around until combined well.
  2. Add the chia seeds and soak for a couple minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla, salt and sweetener, and blend to combine.
  4. Add the ice cubes if desired, blend well.  Serve & enjoy.

Other great additions – 1/2 scoop of vegan protein powder, cinnamon, frozen banana, blueberries, raw cacao, dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs.

*Chia seeds offer ALA omega 3s, fiber and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. I like to use the white chia seeds in kids smoothies – because they blend in invisible.

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 Mint Chip Shake

July 10, 2017
Mint Chip Shake

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!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of coconut water
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened alternative milk (I like to use Ripple pea protein milk)
  • 1/2 of a small avocado
  • 1/2 scoop (approx. 2 teaspoons) of moringa powder  (or substitute a greens powder if you can’t find moringa)
  • 1 tablespoon of chia or hemp seeds
  • 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil (such as doTERRA, or you can use peppermint extract)
  • 3/4 tsp. of organic stevia & monk fruit powder (I like to use Pyure)
  • small pinch of Real Salt (brings out the flavors and sweetness)
  • 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract (I prefer to use this alcohol-free brand in smoothies)
  • optional – 1/2 scoop of vanilla vegan protein powder (I like Warrior Blend Vanilla)
  • Ice as needed to thicken – about 1/2 cup
  • a small handful of dark chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs

Directions:

  1. Put the liquid into the blender, add the chia seeds and let them soak for a couple minutes.
  2. Add the avocado, moringa or greens powder, peppermint oil, the pinch of Real salt, vanilla, protein powder (if using) – blend until smooth.
  3. Add in the ice, blend until smooth and desired thickness.
  4. Add in the dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs – blend until mixed in.
  5. Enjoy!

About Moringa:

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.

About Peppermint:

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 read:

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.

References/Resources:

http://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-moringa-oleifera

https://draxe.com/essential-oils-for-headaches/

Peppermint oil

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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Riced Cauliflower & Broccoli Saute

July 3, 2017
Riced Cauliflower & Broccoli Saute

I love cauliflower and broccoli – my favorite way to make has usually been to cut it up into small florets, toss in avocado oil, season it, and roast it in the oven….that is, until I discovered how quick and easy it is to saute riced cauliflower and broccoli.  This dish comes together in about 5 mins, and is delicious, satisfying, filling, and very nutritious!

Cauliflower and broccoli are members of the cruciferous family of vegetables which are high in sulfur compounds, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals – they support our cardiovascular, digestive, immune, inflammatory, and detoxification systems.  Consuming cruciferous vegetables at least once a week has been associated with lower risk of developing certain types of cancer, and supports healthy cholesterol levels and heart health.  Just one cup of broccoli has over 200% of the RDA for vitamin K, an important nutrient for bone building; it also has over 100% of the RDA for vitamin C.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of each Riced cauliflower & Broccoli
  • approx. 1 tablespoon of avocado, olive or coconut oilRiced Cauliflower & Broccoli
  • you choice of spices to taste – I like Trader Joes 21 Seasoning blend, and crushed alleppo pepper
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

You can ‘rice’ cauliflower and broccoli by grating it with a boxed grater; or you can roughly chop it and then pulse it in the food processor until “riced” – meaning it is broken down into rice sized pieces.  But I recently discovered already riced organic cauliflower and broccoli in the freezer section of Sprouts – which just makes it super easy when you don’t have time to grate it or pull out the food processor.  I think you can find it at Trader Joes too.

Warm saute pan on medium high, add oil and let it get hot.  Add in your riced cauliflower and broccoli, season and saute for about 5 minutes, or until cooked through to your desired amount.

Serve!   This dish can be a side dish, be added to salads or soups, and mixed with rice or pasta.  Enjoy!!

Sources:

  • http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=13
  • http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=9

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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Skinny Summer Cocktails

June 27, 2017
"Skinny" Summer Cocktails

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”?

Mexican Mule

The Mexican Mule

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!)

  • 1. 5 oz. tequila (good quality, blanco – such as Casamigos)
  • 7 – 8 oz. of Zevia ginger beer mixer (1 can) – which is a zero calorie stevia-sweetened soda mixer
  • 2 oz. fresh lime juice (about the the juice of 1 lime)
  • A slice of lime for the rim
  • Ice

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?

The Classic Margarita

  • 1.5 oz. tequila (good quality, blanco)
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • .5 oz. orange juiceAgave Five
  • 1 oz. Agave Five Syrup from Madhava.  (organic, and less than 5 calories per serving)
  • 1 oz. cold water (sometimes I like to use sparkling – I know it’s not traditional)
  • Ice
  • Lime and Real Salt or Tahin for rim of glass

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!

The Coco-Mojito

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!KeVita Mojito

Mix into a glass, add the mint sprig and ice – and voila!

The Essential Sparkling Citrus Cocktail

Out of citrus fruit? No problem – as long as you have citrus essential oils!Essential Citrus Cocktail

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.

  • 1.5 oz.  tequila (good quality, blanco)
  • 7 oz. sparkling water
  • 1-2 drops* of your favorite essential oil – I like lime, grapefruit, wild organge, lemon – or a combo of two.  Make sure to only use the highest quality food grade essential oils, such as doTERRA*.
  • Optional – stir in 1 teaspoon of Madhava Agave Five Syrup to slightly sweeten. You could also add a mint sprig to decorate if you have it!

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.

Learn more by reading these Natural Hangover Prevent Tips

Also- 20 Signs Your Liver Might Need Some TLC

Interested in learning more about doTERRA essentail oils?  Let me know!

 

 

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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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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