Banana Oatmeal Cookies
These sweet treats are not new to the internet—they are an up-and-coming, “under the radar” sensation among many health food bloggers. What makes them so amazing? They only have two ingredients—banana and oatmeal. That’s it. Not only does this make these so-called “cookies” very easy to make, but it also saves you, the sweet-tooth, from much unwanted guilt. Instead of consuming extra and refined sugars, you can indulge in a sweet tasting treat that is natural and energizing. The tasty sugars from the banana, coupled with the oatmeal’s warm blend of protein, carbohydrates, and fat makes for a satisfying treat that lies somewhere between the realm of cookie and power bar. It satisfies a sweet tooth craving, but isn’t all that bad for you! In fact, eating items like a banana and/or some old fashioned steel cut oats is encouraged for optimal nutrition!
Nutrition Facts: Oatmeal is cereal and thus a big source of carbohydrate. Recent diet trends have scared people away from consuming carbs, but carbs are an important part of your daily diet patterns! Of course, the type of carbs you’re ingesting must be considered—eating a bunch of hamburger buns or pancakes won’t do any favors to your health. Oatmeal, however, is a GOOD source of carbohydrate. It is a source of soluble fiber which actually helps to regulate your blood sugar when consumed in moderation. Soluble fiber slows digestion, making you fuller faster. It is important not to solely rely on foods with soluble fibers, for insoluble fiber is important, too. But, in the case of these banana oatmeal cookies, the soluble fiber helps make them a fun, healthy, and satisfying treat that won’t spike your insulin stores like other cookies or power bars might!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

These sweet treats are not new to the internet—they are an up-and-coming, “under the radar” sensation among many health food bloggers. What makes them so amazing? They only have two ingredients—banana and oatmeal. That’s it. Not only does this make these so-called “cookies” very easy to make, but it also saves you, the sweet-tooth, from much unwanted guilt. Instead of consuming extra and refined sugars, you can indulge in a sweet tasting treat that is natural and energizing. The tasty sugars from the banana, coupled with the oatmeal’s warm blend of protein, carbohydrates, and fat makes for a satisfying treat that lies somewhere between the realm of cookie and power bar. It satisfies a sweet tooth craving, but isn’t all that bad for you! In fact, eating items like a banana and/or some old fashioned steel cut oats is encouraged for optimal nutrition!

Nutrition FactsOatmeal is cereal and thus a big source of carbohydrate. Recent diet trends have scared people away from consuming carbs, but carbs are an important part of your daily diet patterns! Of course, the type of carbs you’re ingesting must be considered—eating a bunch of hamburger buns or pancakes won’t do any favors to your health. Oatmeal, however, is a GOOD source of carbohydrate. It is a source of soluble fiber which actually helps to regulate your blood sugar when consumed in moderation. Soluble fiber slows digestion, making you fuller faster. It is important not to solely rely on foods with soluble fibers, for insoluble fiber is important, too. But, in the case of these banana oatmeal cookies, the soluble fiber helps make them a fun, healthy, and satisfying treat that won’t spike your insulin stores like other cookies or power bars might!

Anonymous asked:

I was in the spice section and saw different salts, so what is the difference between pink salt, sea salt and regular table salt? Is one healthier than the other?

Pink salt is actually a type of sea salt. Although it’s typically known as “rock salt” that comes from mountains, all salt is essentially from a source of water. It’s pinkish in color simply because it has a concentrated amount of well-preserved minerals (pink salt comes from a more pristine environment in the mountains and is hand-mined), making it the purest and arguably the most nutritious salt option on the market. 

Both sea salt and table salt contain the same amount of sodium, but regular table salt is highly processed. It contains more additives, less nutrients, and more (added, synthetic) iodine than do other sea salts. Though iodine is essential for thyroid function (and thus, healthy metabolism rates), too much of it can be detrimental to your health. Iodine is found in sea salts/pink salts as well, so using these other options won’t provide a disservice to your body’s iodine stores. 

So, in terms of health, pink salts and sea salts may be your best options. They have many other minerals that are stripped from regular table salts through their excessive processing treatments. Table salt still contains sodium, chloride, and iodine, but consuming it means you’re missing out on the plentiful trace minerals found in pink/sea salts. Plus, your intake of other synthetic additives (i.e. additives to reduce clumping) is increased.

So, try to stick with the natural sea salts or pink salts. There’s very little difference, if any, in terms of health benefits between the two, but if you want the purest form of salt out there, then pink salt is probably for you!

I made this homemade garlic hummus by blending together garbanzo beans, sesame tahini, water, garlic cloves and olive oil in a food processor. I then added cumin, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and lemon juice to taste. On top, I sprinkled some parsley flakes for mostly aesthetic purposes. There are several different flavors of hummus on the market, but I find it more satisfying to make my own. It’s always nice to have control over which and how many ingredients you want to include. This hummus is chemical-free and still just as tasty as store-bought hummus. Hummus is a great, healthy dip for raw veggies—I like to eat mine with crisp persian cucumbers :)
Nutrition Facts: Garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) are a great legume source of fiber, most of which is insoluble—the kind that is considered “good for the gut” as it quickens the passage of waste through the digestive system. The soluble fiber present in chickpeas, coupled with the garbanzo bean’s protein also helps with satiety, contributing to less caloric intake/better weight management. Chickpeas also contain most of the Daily Value for manganese, a mineral which is vital for cell mitochondria function. Vitamins C and E can also be found in garbanzo beans. The lemon juice in this recipe is also a great added source of both Vitamin C and potassium, and has alkaline properties that maintain a good pH for the body.

I made this homemade garlic hummus by blending together garbanzo beans, sesame tahini, water, garlic cloves and olive oil in a food processor. I then added cumin, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and lemon juice to taste. On top, I sprinkled some parsley flakes for mostly aesthetic purposes. There are several different flavors of hummus on the market, but I find it more satisfying to make my own. It’s always nice to have control over which and how many ingredients you want to include. This hummus is chemical-free and still just as tasty as store-bought hummus. Hummus is a great, healthy dip for raw veggies—I like to eat mine with crisp persian cucumbers :)

Nutrition Facts: Garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) are a great legume source of fiber, most of which is insoluble—the kind that is considered “good for the gut” as it quickens the passage of waste through the digestive system. The soluble fiber present in chickpeas, coupled with the garbanzo bean’s protein also helps with satiety, contributing to less caloric intake/better weight management. Chickpeas also contain most of the Daily Value for manganese, a mineral which is vital for cell mitochondria function. Vitamins C and E can also be found in garbanzo beans. The lemon juice in this recipe is also a great added source of both Vitamin C and potassium, and has alkaline properties that maintain a good pH for the body.

This tasty Lettuce, Basil, and Cucumber Salad with Goat Cheese recipe comes right out of Sunset magazine! It is the perfect light and delicious salad for summer with just the right amount of flavor and crunch. Complete with a basil puree, goat cheese, and cucumbers, this salad will add the perfect amount of satisfaction to your meal. The basil puree was probably my favorite part. Tip: if you spread the puree on the plate prior to plating the salad, you’ll be sure to get the basil in every bite!
Nutrition Facts: Cucumbers are known for how hydrating they are. This is particularly what makes this salad so ideal for the summer months when we are in need of constant hydration. The little kick of cucumber not only adds texture to your salad, but also hydrates you without being a chore! To top it off, it is also a good source of Vitamin B5, which nicely contributes to your energy stores! Cucumbers are also a wonderful source of vitamin K, an anti-inflammatory vitamin necessary for healthy blood flow and bone strength. In addition, cucumbers contain magnesium, a mineral that’s also great for bone health as it aids the metabolic pathways found in the bone. Without enough magnesium, it’s hard for our bones to absorb calcium and remain strong. 

This tasty Lettuce, Basil, and Cucumber Salad with Goat Cheese recipe comes right out of Sunset magazine! It is the perfect light and delicious salad for summer with just the right amount of flavor and crunch. Complete with a basil puree, goat cheese, and cucumbers, this salad will add the perfect amount of satisfaction to your meal. The basil puree was probably my favorite part. Tip: if you spread the puree on the plate prior to plating the salad, you’ll be sure to get the basil in every bite!

Nutrition Facts: Cucumbers are known for how hydrating they are. This is particularly what makes this salad so ideal for the summer months when we are in need of constant hydration. The little kick of cucumber not only adds texture to your salad, but also hydrates you without being a chore! To top it off, it is also a good source of Vitamin B5, which nicely contributes to your energy stores! Cucumbers are also a wonderful source of vitamin K, an anti-inflammatory vitamin necessary for healthy blood flow and bone strength. In addition, cucumbers contain magnesium, a mineral that’s also great for bone health as it aids the metabolic pathways found in the bone. Without enough magnesium, it’s hard for our bones to absorb calcium and remain strong. 

Here we have an acai bowl from one of my favorite little local cafes, Sally Loo’s. It’s definitely one of my favorite treats, so much so that I order it every single time I go to Sally Loo’s. Every time. It’s so refreshing and such a nice pick-me-up. Not to mention, it’s pretty nutritious! The bowl is made up of an acai berry smoothie, topped with homemade granola and fresh fruit. 
Nutrition Facts: Acai berries are filled with anthocyanins and flavonoids, two powerful antioxidants which help give acai berries their “superfood” title. The anthocyanins present in the acai berry give it its reddish/purple pigment, similar to that of red wine. Because it is darker in color, the pH of the acai berry is neutral, making it an ideal food to consume when adhering to a preventative lifestyle diet. The higher the pH value of a food, the better (it’s less acidic!). In today’s world, the majority of foods we eat are acidic with of all the added greasy fats and the over-processing. The more acidic our bodies are, the more predisposed we are to cancers and other health problems, as acidic environments allow free radicals to flourish. So, eating more fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants is a good start to cleansing the body and combating disease. Another plus to consuming acai berries? They are fairly low in sugar for being a fruit, as they have only 2g of sugar per serving. 

Here we have an acai bowl from one of my favorite little local cafes, Sally Loo’s. It’s definitely one of my favorite treats, so much so that I order it every single time I go to Sally Loo’s. Every time. It’s so refreshing and such a nice pick-me-up. Not to mention, it’s pretty nutritious! The bowl is made up of an acai berry smoothie, topped with homemade granola and fresh fruit. 

Nutrition FactsAcai berries are filled with anthocyanins and flavonoids, two powerful antioxidants which help give acai berries their “superfood” title. The anthocyanins present in the acai berry give it its reddish/purple pigment, similar to that of red wine. Because it is darker in color, the pH of the acai berry is neutral, making it an ideal food to consume when adhering to a preventative lifestyle diet. The higher the pH value of a food, the better (it’s less acidic!). In today’s world, the majority of foods we eat are acidic with of all the added greasy fats and the over-processing. The more acidic our bodies are, the more predisposed we are to cancers and other health problems, as acidic environments allow free radicals to flourish. So, eating more fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants is a good start to cleansing the body and combating disease. Another plus to consuming acai berries? They are fairly low in sugar for being a fruit, as they have only 2g of sugar per serving. 

Today, I had a late lunch with some friends at a cute little French cafe, Cafe Rolle. I ordered this Croque Monsieur, a hot sandwich with warm ham, melted gruyere cheese, and dill mayo, along with a spring mix salad tossed with a light mustard-like dressing. The dish is known to be “a classic French favorite,” which is what confirmed my choice to order it. It was very flavorful, very filling (I couldn’t finish the whole thing!), and oh so very French :)
Nutrition Facts: Although this meal is not particularly the picture of health, it sure was delicious. Sometimes, it’s nice to indulge in a meal that may not be the healthiest item on the menu, in order to simply experience a new food! Gruyere cheese, like most cheeses, is a rich source of calcium and taste. However, it is also about 116 calories per slice! Cheese is a delicacy and should surely be enjoyed, but one must be wary of how caloric it can be. It is definitely a food to be enjoyed in moderation. However, there is still hope—it is indeed possible to enjoy cheese without all of the calories! One of my favorite cheese spreads (light Babybel Swiss Cheese) is a wonderful alternative to the more caloric cheeses, as it is only 35 calories per wedge! So, next time you’re looking to add some cheesy goodness to a sandwich, maybe try a light Babybel cheese spread (available in an array of different flavors!) instead.

Today, I had a late lunch with some friends at a cute little French cafe, Cafe Rolle. I ordered this Croque Monsieur, a hot sandwich with warm ham, melted gruyere cheese, and dill mayo, along with a spring mix salad tossed with a light mustard-like dressing. The dish is known to be “a classic French favorite,” which is what confirmed my choice to order it. It was very flavorful, very filling (I couldn’t finish the whole thing!), and oh so very French :)

Nutrition Facts: Although this meal is not particularly the picture of health, it sure was delicious. Sometimes, it’s nice to indulge in a meal that may not be the healthiest item on the menu, in order to simply experience a new food! Gruyere cheese, like most cheeses, is a rich source of calcium and taste. However, it is also about 116 calories per slice! Cheese is a delicacy and should surely be enjoyed, but one must be wary of how caloric it can be. It is definitely a food to be enjoyed in moderation. However, there is still hope—it is indeed possible to enjoy cheese without all of the calories! One of my favorite cheese spreads (light Babybel Swiss Cheese) is a wonderful alternative to the more caloric cheeses, as it is only 35 calories per wedge! So, next time you’re looking to add some cheesy goodness to a sandwich, maybe try a light Babybel cheese spread (available in an array of different flavors!) instead.

Anonymous asked:

Hi, I often open a can of beans or olives and use half the can and put the can in the refrigerator for a couple a days until I can use the rest of it. I heard it is bad to store the remaining food items in the original can. Is that true? Why is it bad to do that verses putting the remainder in a Tupperware like container? Thanks, nice blog.

Ideally, you would want to transfer your opened canned foods into tupperware of some sort. Tupperware ensures food safety in that it completely encloses your food, keeping out additional bacteria. Once you open a can, the food inside is exposed to all the microbes in the air, and these microbes can grow inside your food, even though it is stored in the refrigerator. Though refrigeration is a good method to use for food preservation, it is not full proof! The temperature zone in your fridge (which typically is 37-40 degrees Fahrenheit) is not cold enough to fully terminate bacterial growth. So, it is best to keep opened food completely covered in an airtight container, and to use it as soon as possible (as it has already been exposed to microbial bacteria). Also, the original can may not be as sterile as it was the day that the food was packaged inside it, as it has been transported on food trucks and handled by several people to become accessible to you in the grocery store! Therefore, using your own, clean tupperware containers ensures the cleanliest environment to store your foods :)

Here is a lovely quail dish that one of my friends ordered at dinner (courtesy of Novo Restaurant Lounge) the other night. The two roasted quails lay atop a bed of delicious cous cous salad mixed with quartered vegetables (which I know is delicious because he let me have a bite!). Neither of us were sure what the small bowl to the right included, but overall, my friend was highly satisfied with his meal!
Nutrition Facts: Quail is a wonderful source of Protein, Niacin, Iron, and Vitamin B-6. However, it is also high in cholesterol, as it is an animal source of protein. Surely, it is something worth trying, especially if you haven’t had it before (it tastes similar to chicken!). But, it isn’t something to eat all the time. Too much cholesterol intake puts stress on your heart, as it needs to work harder to pump blood past the cholesterol building up in your arteries. As humans, we make our own supply of cholesterol, so dietary intake of cholesterol isn’t really even necessary! However, protein and iron are very important elements to the diet, and most cholesterol-containing animal sources have these. So, you need not shy away from the animal products, just be smart with how much of them you incorporate into your diet :) Luckily, quail is fairly small, so it’s more likely that you’ll want to add more things to your plate for a more satisfying meal. This gives you a chance to balance your meal with some healthy carbohydrate and vegetables (perfect example: cous cous with mixed veggies!). 

Here is a lovely quail dish that one of my friends ordered at dinner (courtesy of Novo Restaurant Lounge) the other night. The two roasted quails lay atop a bed of delicious cous cous salad mixed with quartered vegetables (which I know is delicious because he let me have a bite!). Neither of us were sure what the small bowl to the right included, but overall, my friend was highly satisfied with his meal!

Nutrition Facts: Quail is a wonderful source of Protein, Niacin, Iron, and Vitamin B-6. However, it is also high in cholesterol, as it is an animal source of protein. Surely, it is something worth trying, especially if you haven’t had it before (it tastes similar to chicken!). But, it isn’t something to eat all the time. Too much cholesterol intake puts stress on your heart, as it needs to work harder to pump blood past the cholesterol building up in your arteries. As humans, we make our own supply of cholesterol, so dietary intake of cholesterol isn’t really even necessary! However, protein and iron are very important elements to the diet, and most cholesterol-containing animal sources have these. So, you need not shy away from the animal products, just be smart with how much of them you incorporate into your diet :) Luckily, quail is fairly small, so it’s more likely that you’ll want to add more things to your plate for a more satisfying meal. This gives you a chance to balance your meal with some healthy carbohydrate and vegetables (perfect example: cous cous with mixed veggies!). 

To start off, here is a very simple appetizer that I made (courtesy of Pinterest) with some cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and balls of mozzarella cheese. All you have to do is skewer one of each item onto a skewer stick, and you’re good to go! For added flavor, dress your creation with balsamic vinaigrette and dash some pepper on top. Voilà! The second photo is my mom’s fancier salad rendition! Same ingredients, different presentation!

Nutrition Facts: Tomatoes are a rich source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K (which is good for bone health!). They also are 12.1% Potassium, a mineral that promotes regular muscle movement, which is ultimately necessary for heart and organ function! Tomatoes are arguably most known for their lycopene stores, which makes it such a great preventative health veggie! Lycopene is an antioxidant, which means it is great for combating those free radical cells in the body that can ultimately lead to cancer cell formation!