How to make a healthy avocado smoothie

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Avocado fans, rejoice!

I came across a great recipe on how to make a healthy avocado smoothie and think I’m addicted. I’ve made it for three days in a row now.

Each day, I wake up looking forward to making my 1:00 treat and every time I have it I have the same thought: this is really, reeeallly good. Maybe not Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally restaurant scene good, but darn close. OK, now I’m just being dramatic.

Point is, not only is it very healthy (for our heart in particular), but it’s ultra creamy with just the right amount of a nutty flavor.

Bonus: it’s easy to make. Chances are, you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen.

How to make a healthy avocado smoothie

While browsing AllRecipes.com I came upon this recipe and made it with some modifications.

Honeydew cucumber mint salad

Honeydew cucumber mint salad

Ingredients

  • 2 seedless cucumbers, peeled, sliced, then halved
  • 2 cups cubed honeydew melon
  • 2 tablespoons red onions, minced fine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, fine chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (or sweetener of choice)
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions

  1. Simply mix the ingredients together, adjusting them to suit your taste

Note: This particular recipe also suggests using 1 tablespoon of shelled pistachios and 1 tablespoon of honey. A pinch of saffron threads was optional.

I decided not to include these ingredients just to keep the recipe super simple. But many of you may not include honey or saffron based on your preference in taste and/or where you’re at in your personal dietary needs/beliefs journey.

Everyone has to do what works for them, whether it’s shunning honey or taking a side in the food combining topic (or both). At Raw and Natural Health, we respect everyone’s decisions about their health and the right to eat what is best for their bodies and ideals.

Now, let’s get back to this delicious nutty avocado smoothie, shall we? Even without the suggested ingredients, this smoothie is light and pure, with a perfect nutty flavor.

The health benefits of this tasty avocado smoothie

It’s been said the avocado is the perfect food. After all, it’s filled with healthy fats that are good for our hearts, brains, blood pressure and more. Learn all about the avocado in this article.

Almonds are also loaded with monounsaturated fats and have been shown to play a role in (you guessed it) heart health, lowering cholesterol and even reversing diabetes.

Coconut milk is known to help with weight loss, ward off heart disease and even keep our skin and hair in tip-top shape.

What are you waiting for? Start blending and let us know what you think.

Sources for this article include:

Rutabaga recipe is healthy and only has 3 ingredients

Rutabaga, with its waxy surface and brownish-yellow coloring, looks more like a newly-discovered planet than something people would be excited to eat on a regular basis. However, in our recent posts about National Nutrition Month and ugli fruit, we touched on the whole “don’t judge a book by its cover” concept, suggesting that folks try a new food, regardless of how bizarre it may look on the outside. The more uneven, bumpy and odd-named, the better.

Rutabaga is full of nutrients

Rutabaga is one of my latest vegetable obsessions; I’ve been incorporating much more of it in my diet than I have in the past. Not only do I enjoy its semi-bitter, earthy flavor and crunch, but I love knowing that it’s a good source of fiber, potassium, Vitamin C and carcinogenic-eliminating substances.

To learn more about rutabaga’s nutrients, read here. Besides, it’s a great feeling to take part in all of the incredible fruit and vegetable varieties that exist. Why keep sticking with the same ‘ole food time and again?

Ready to get in on rutabaga’s health benefits? Here’s a very simple rutabaga recipe worth trying.

An easy-to-make rutabaga recipe

Ingredients:

  • Rutabaga (gee, what gave that away?) 🙂
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice (I’ve also tried the juice of a fresh lime and that’s just as good)

Prep:

  1. Use a peeler to remove the skin of the rutabaga, discard.
  2. Then cut the rutabaga into small cubes.
  3. Coat rutabaga cubes with olive oil, lightly coating them.
  4. Squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon (or lime) over the cubes, mix.

Enjoy!

I like mine after they’ve been in the refrigerator for a couple of hours because the cool lemon flavor is appealing to me. Of course, I can’t resist eating a bunch of cubes before they even make it to the refrigerator. This tasty dish is hard to resist!

Sources for this article include:

Swiss muesli recipe: a hearty and healthy breakfast

I’ll be the first to admit that I used to skip breakfast. After losing 70 pounds in 2007, I fell into a silly mindset that went like this: occasionally skipping the meal = consuming fewer calories = keeping those pounds at bay. Then I had lots of headaches. I was grumpy often. Life got foggy.

However, I now know better (I have for years). These days, enjoying a breakfast is a must! Most of us know that eating a healthy breakfast gives us fuel to start the day right and when it comes to our weight, actually helps keep it in check.

One delicious discovery I’ve made along the way is Swiss muesli. It’s gluten-free and vegetarian, adding to the good-for-us health factor. Plus, it takes only about 10 minutes to make. So let’s get to it!

Prep tonight to have it ready to go in the a.m.!

Swiss muesli recipe

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (this is optional. I broke out my juicer for this one so I could skip the stuff in a carton)
  • 1 cup low-fat or whole plain yogurt (while the recipe I went by doesn’t say it’s optional, I’ve made it before without yogurt and it comes out just as good, only thicker, which I prefer anyway)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey (I used raw, organic)
  • 1 crisp apple chopped in small pieces (You can swap this for the fruit of your choice. In the past, I’ve also made it with prunes or apricots)
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds (feel free to add another kind of nut if you want. Whatever you prefer!)

Let’s make it:

  1. First, stir milk, orange juice, yogurt and honey together in one bowl.
  2. Next, add the milk/juice mixture to another bowl that contains the oats, apples and almonds. Mix with spoon.
  3. Finally, soak overnight in the refrigerator so the oats can soften. Soaking also absorbs the other flavors, so every bite has a subtle hint of orange juice or honey.

That’s all there is to it. You now have a wonderful breakfast to look forward to tomorrow.

One serving has 0g saturated fat, 1g of fiber, 3g protein and is only 80 calories.

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Health benefits of muesli

It’s no secret that Swiss muesli is full of healthy goodness. In fact, it was first made by a Swiss physician who served it as a healthy diet for hospital patients in the 1900s.

Here’s a closer look at some of the ingredients and why they’re good for us:

– Oats are rich in fiber and antioxidants that are said to help regulate cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and fight free radicals in the body.

– Almond milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk, plus it has selenium which is great for building a healthy immune system.

– Apples are a good source of fiber, contain phytonutrients that play a role in keeping blood sugar levels on track and is thought to alter the bacteria in the large intestine so its cells have more fuel.

If you’re a fan of apples, you’ll love this story which tells you even more about the various health benefits of the fruit, including information about how it also improves memory and endurance.

Tell us, what do you think of Swiss muesli? If you end up making this recipe, let us know what ingredients you may have added or omitted and what you thought. We’d love to hear from you.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.cooktj.com/trader-joes-recipes/swiss-muesli

A no-bake, vegan granola bar recipe that makes the perfect snack

If you’re craving healthy granola bars and are in the mood to whip up some homemade goodness, you’ve come to the right place. We came across a no-bake vegan granola bar recipe that takes only 5 minutes to make. Heaven!

Plus, it calls for ingredients you likely already have in your pantry, so no need to plan a trip to the health food store (although it never hurts to go anyway, right? I can lose myself in some aisles. But I digress).

Follow this recipe to fulfill your granola bar craving

You’ll need two bowls.

In the first bowl, mix:

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled or quick oats
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (any seed or nut will do. I made my granola bars with almonds and walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (experiment a little! You can swap out the raisins for cranberries, as an example)
  • 2/3 cups raw almond butter (I prefer the taste of sunflower butter, so that’s what I used)

In the second bowl, mix:

  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup agave nectar, brown rice syrup, or other natural sweetener. (I went with the nectar. Again, this was just a matter of preference)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

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1) First, add the content from the second bowl into the first, mix.

In both the case of the nectar or syrup and the sea salt, adjust according to taste as well as how everything is holding together. You don’t want a runny texture, yet you don’t need it so thick and heavy that you could use it as a bowling ball.

2) Next, spread the mixture in a foil-lined, shallow dish, then place another piece of foil on top and use your hands to press and flatten everything.

3) Finally, refrigerate for up to 4 hours. (Ok, so that’s the only drawback we can think of: it needs a few hours to harden, so we have to wait a little bit before we can sink our teeth into its deliciousness – but trust us, it is well worth the wait.

No-bake granola bar health benefits

1900052_710758762290561_1512436679_nOnly whole foods and the recipe involves a non-heated process.  Heating, as many of us know, is thought to alter the nutrients in certain foods in a way that not only diminishes its health benefits, but that adds a little something called toxins to our meal. Not good.

As for the specific foods, oats are high in fiber, specifically a kind called beta-glucan that’s been shown to help regulate cholesterol levels. Of course, it’s great for our digestive system too.

Nuts are always a wise choice, and pumpkin seeds in particular are rich in antioxidants which mean there are antimicrobial benefits and as some studies suggest, even cancer-reducing properties. They’re also high in zinc which can help bolster immunity and diminish depression, according to some studies.

Nut butters allow us to get in an added dose of nut benefits like nutrients and fibers.

So, what are you waiting for? This super healthy recipe is a win-win and definitely something worth making again . . . and again . . . and . . .

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from: http://food52.com/recipes/22107-five-minute-no-bake-vegan

The turmeric smoothie might just be the most powerful antioxidant smoothie ever

Brace yourself: we’ve found a smoothie that just might be the Smoothie of all Smoothies. Seriously, it contains some of the most powerful antioxidants around and no, you won’t be crinkling up your nose in disgust after every swallow. This one’s a must. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce: the Turmeric Smoothie.

Now, the name’s a bit deceiving because it has tons of other immune-strengthening, cancer-busting, blood-purifying foods and spices, not just turmeric. So, let’s get to it.

Turmeric smoothie recipe

We found the recipe on this site.

Kale, fig and tomato salad

Ingredients

  • Salad Ingredients:
  • 2 cups finely chopped kale
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons Sweet Balsamic Dressing (see recipe below)
  • 3 to 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 ripe tomato, chopped
  • 4 large dried figs, stemmed and sliced very thin
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Add sea salt to taste (I'm big on pink Himalayan sea salt)

Instructions

  1. Put the kale into a medium size bowl.
  2. Pour 1 tablespoon of the dressing on top of the kale.
  3. Then massage the dressing into the kale and let the kale marinate in the dressing for about 20 minutes.
  4. Put the lettuce, tomato, figs, and sunflower seeds in a large salad bowl.
  5. Prior to serving, add the kale and more dressing to taste.
  6. Toss everything together to coat evenly and serve at room temperature.

The powerful health benefits of a turmeric smoothie

I consider this a “superfood smoothie” if ever there was one. It’s terrific that the banana gives us our potassium and the mango chunks our vitamin A and flavonoids, but the health doesn’t stop there.

Adding turmeric ramps up the health benefits considerably. The spice’s pigment, curcumin, has incredible anti-inflammatory properties that contribute towards a better cardiovascular system and staves off growth of cancer cells.

Ginger is believed to help with everything from proper bone growth and migraine prevention.

And coconut oil, one of my all-time favorites, helps to regulate weight, promote energy and keep skin in top condition. For some lesser-known uses of coconut oil (hint: your bookshelves might benefit from it), check out this story: http://blogs.naturalnews.com/top-5-lesser-known-and-helpful-uses-for-coconut-oil/

I could go on forever about the benefits of the other ingredients like cinnamon and chia seeds, but believe me when I say that everything in this smoothie makes it the crème de la crème of smoothies.

It’s brimming with antioxidants, has a frosty, thick texture and a sweetness that delivers a subtle turmeric “kick.”

Here’s to your health!

A juicing recipe with beets to jump-start your day

Starting the day with a juice that has beets in it may make lots of people crinkle their noses.  A root vegetable in the morning?  Why not?

When a few of us at Raw and Natural Health came across a “morning glory” recipe online at http://www.juicerecipes.com/recipes/morning-glory-29 we couldn’t resist trying it ourselves. Not only does the name sound like a peaceful way to start the day, but with three simple ingredients, it’s a no-fuss recipe that’s incredibly healthy. What more could we ask for?

Here’s what you need:

  • Juicer
  • 3 Beets (peeled, raw)
  • 2 Carrots (raw)
  • 2 Oranges (peeled, raw)

That’s it. Put these foods in the juicer and power up.

No need to break out dozens of fruits and veggies and surround yourself with more cooking utensils than the late Julia Child.  You’re not on a syndicated cooking show (well, likely not), you’re at home for crying out loud! 🙂

This “morning glory” recipe is a quick, easy and supremely healthy way to jump start the day. Bonus: it’s flavorful; the oranges balance out the root taste of the vegetables so it has a refreshing, subtly sweet taste all around.

beetsorangescarrots

The health benefits of the “morning glory” juice recipe

You won’t be missing out on good nutrition with this juicing recipe, that’s for sure. Here’s the breakdown:

Beets – known to be an anti-inflammatory powerhouse, beets are rich in choline, a vitamin that regulates inflammation in our cardiovascular system.  Beets are also important for detoxing.

Carrots – high in antioxidants that have been known to help with eye health and even play a role in cancer prevention.

Want more info about carrots? Check out these surprising facts: http://www.naturalnews.com/042513_carrots_surprising_facts_health_benefits.html

Oranges – an outstanding source of vitamin C, oranges are essential in ridding our bodies of free radicals.

Ideally, all of these should be organic and if possible, come from a local farmer’s market. That way, you’re sure to get the most out of your foods from a health, flavor and good-for-the-community standpoint.  Give it a try today!

For more information about the foods in this juicing recipe, check out this site: http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php.

Editor’s note:

I understand the concern of food combining, in particular mixing fruits with any food other than greens. I address that here.

Come back and tell us what you thought of the recipe!