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Posts Tagged ‘Swanson Health Products’

On a recent trip to Big Lots, I found an end cap with Bob’s Red Mill Products. I was super excited, my grocery store only carries a few of Bob’s Red Mill items, plus it was such a great price.

So I went with a Crock Pot Recipe, Crock your Oats if you will. I thought about doing it over night, but I wanted to watch this batch because I adjusted the recipe a bit. Messing with the original recipe can lead to a fail or can yield a new way of making a dish. I was hoping this was going to be a winner.

This recipe has all of my favorite ingredients, cinnamon, apples and oats. I used apple sauce to replace the butter in this recipe. Also making an appearance is Milled Flaxseed.

Chopping the apples was the most time-consuming part of this recipe, and that really only took about 5 minutes.

I started using Date Sugar in place of brown sugar while baking. It help cut back on unnecessary sugar, but keeps the flavor that is needed in the recipe.

Mixed all the ingredients in the Crock Pot and kept an eye on its progress, I was not sure how long the cook time was going to be so I did a quick stir every hour or so.

Normally I let the crock pot works its magic, but I am so glad I kept checking on it, my cook time was 2 hours less than the original recipe called for. When it started to stick to the bottom and to the side of the crock I could tell it was going to dry out if I left it on any longer, so I did a taste test and found that it was done and ready to serve.

Here’s the end result, they were creamy, and the apple chunks were done to a nice soft texture. I topped with fresh black berries and some additional cinnamon and dug in.

Knowing I want this for breakfast tomorrow, I grabbed my OIAJ Jar and filled it up. I plan on adding some Coconut milk to it when I heat it.

I also portioned out a big old bowl for my husband and another bowl to last over the next few days. Jeff’s portion in the one on the left, but I think he could eat the bowl on the right.  I listed the recipe how I prepared it and what the original recipe called for in (parenthesis). I don’t have anything against butter, but I like to try healthy substitutes for recipes.

Slow Cooker, Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Adapted from: The Yummy Life
Makes Approximately 6-1 Cup Servings
Cook Time: 5 Hours (Original Recipe calls for 7 hours) 

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2-1/2 to 3 cups chopped)
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
  • 1 teaspoon date sugar (original recipe calls for 2 tablespoons brown sugar)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 3 tablespoon of unsweetened applesauce (original recipe called for 1-1/2 tablespoons butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax-seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional garnishes: fresh fruit, chopped nuts, dried fruit, maple syrup, additional milk

Directions:

Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients (except optional toppings) to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 5 hours. Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well. To reheat single servings: Put 1-cup cooked oatmeal in microwave proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup fat-free milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for another minute, or until hot.
Note: The original recipe called for 7 hours of cook time on low, but since I altered the recipe I cut off 2 hours from the cook time. 
Question of the Day: Have you ever crocked your oats?
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I am venturing out on a Lunch Quest.

Habit and convenience are the two reasons I tend to eat the same lunches during the week. I like to keep certain items on hand that are healthy and easy to eat at my desk.  But I have to admit, I am getting bored with eating my same old, same old bag lunch. I have been craving green salads, but I like mine loaded up or I tend to get hungry not long after eating. I wanted to try out this salad in advance to see if I would be able to adapt it for a during the week “take away” shrimp salad.

Avocado Shrimp Salad

I sautéed the shrimp in Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and seasoned with white cooking wine, lemon juice, paprika and chives.

They cook up so fast, they only need a few minutes of cooking time. They get really tough if they are overcooked.

I chopped up an avocado and sprinkled with lemon juice to keep its color.

I did not add any dressing to this salad, just some lemon juice and I mixed up the avocado really well. It coated all the leaves and really added a creaminess like a dressing would.

Here’s my thought on the salad, it was perfect to make and to eat at home, but I don’t think I’ll take this to work with me, the avocado cut in advance would get too brown and everything would have to be packed separate and then added together at my desk, so it really would not be the most convenient, plus I would worry that the shrimp would lose its freshness.

So this is a keeper when made at home for when I want to eat it for that meal, but the quest for something different for lunch continues on, I might have found a great new salad, but my quest is not complete.

In today’s Boot Camp news, we start week #2 and I am ready to go, I am able to do all the workouts on the day’s as they are listed and I have chosen a new goal. I am going to be keeping my in Bed By 11p.m. for Goal #1, because I really need to develop better sleeping habits, but this week I decided to go with Using a Foam Roller after each workout as my #2 Goal.

BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

One of my main focuses for this weeks workouts is to really concentrate on the muscles that I am working. I want to really focus on breathing, tempo and form.  I have noticed that I hold my breath on excretion and push too fast through the exercise. I have enlisted the help of my husband this week also, I asked him to make sure I am keeping my form when I do the sets. He pointed out a few things for me last week and I really liked having a spotter. He kept asking me during the Crab Walk “Is your Butt suppose to be dragging like that?”  So I would start over and keep my tush up. I think he should have been a coach, he has a really good attention to detail kind of mind, plus he’s a great motivator, i’d shout out “tell me I can do it”  in my I don’t think I can voice, and he would jump up and cheer me on! He’s so cool.

Question of the day: What do you bring for your bag lunch?

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Wow, is today not an amazing day. The sun is out, the weather is warm and we don’t have anything to do today, but sit back and enjoy it. I’m not digging the fact that we lost an hour, but if it means spring is almost here, well then it is a fair trade-off.

Breakfast has been on my mind since yesterday, I seriously could not stop thinking about French Toast Sticks, so here’s what I made.

A French Toast Stick Sandwich. I layered on Peanut Butter, bananas, toasted hemp seeds and maple syrup. I then sprinkled on my favorite Swanson Cinnamon.

It was a thing of beauty, and it tasted amazing.

Today is a rest day on my Boot Camp schedule. I am really happy about that, I am feeling a bit sore and I believe a good day at rest is just as important as working out.

BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

I have some prepping on my to do list today. I love to prep my snacks for the week and make out my menu plans. So in between enjoying this beautiful day I will mix in a little work as well.

Question of the day: Does the time change affect you?

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BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

Best Body Boot Camp Update: 1st. off I have learned that I can push past the pain. 2nd. I look forward to working out. Pushing past the pain has been easier than I thought. I had some serious thigh burning the first few minutes of my elliptical workout today, but once I got past the burn I found myself having more energy and ability to adapt to the changing intervals with ease. I have also found that I look forward to what I will get to try next, I mean not in a million years would I ever have thought that I would be doing some of these exercises, they always seems too advance for me, but when I am able to do them, and complete the set it just helps me build my confidence and lose the phrase “I can’t do that”.

Now on to something sweet. There are times when we all find a recipe that immediately you know I have to make that, well here’s one such recipe for Avocado Chocolate Pudding that I adapted from That’s so Michelle.  I knew that if my husband saw me making this he would taste it with hesitation or maybe prejudge what it would taste like, so I made it while he was working out. My husband loves food and he really is not picky at all, but I wanted him to eat the pudding and tell me how he liked it before I told him what was in it. I just love to show him that you can add goodness to any meal, snack and dessert.

Avocado Chocolate Pudding 

It was weird to see avocado and peanut butter in a bowl together.

I was excited to get to try out Swanson Organic Cocoa Powder in a recipe that would really feature it. I just love that fact that there is NO sugar added to it and it has a smooth cocoa flavor.

Finding way to incorporate coconut oil into my diet has not been hard, I love this stuff and it really is easy to find ways to use it.  Check out this link for reasons why coconut oil is so amazing.

Mix it all together in a bowl and use your hand mixer until smooth.

This batch made  4 really nice size servings. I added chocolate chips for a little crunch.

So here’s the reaction from my husband. He loved it. Which I knew he would. So I then told him what was in it. The only thing he said was “You Put What in My Pudding?” It was so funny, he really didn’t care what was in it because it tasted like Chocolate Pudding.

Ingredients  (Serves 4)

1 Ripe Avocado
1/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
6 Packets of Truvia or 1/4 Cup sugar
1/4 cup Agave Nectar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
Dash of Salt

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer until creamy and smooth and serve.

Question of the day: Have you tried coconut oil? What did you use it in? 

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Tomorrow I start my Best Body Boot Camp.  I have found myself on several occasions singing and humming the song Anticipation by Carly Simon, I am really excited to get started, so I reviewed the exercises and how the Boot Camp works. Tina did an amazing job setting up this program, it’s obvious the amount of time she put into preparing it. I am so glad I joined, and I look forward to starting the 8 week Boot Camp.

bootcamp_large

So I decided to take today off to rest up for my pending workouts. I plan on doing some stretching and some foam rolling.

This recipe is one that I have always wanted to make. I adapted this recipe from Eating Bird Food.

Homemade Mayan Harvest Bake

Makes 4 Large Servings

Ingredients:

2 Sweet Potatoes, Washed and Diced into 1/2 inch Cubes
1 Bunch of Kale, Cleaned, Destemed and Chopped
1 15 Oz. Can Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds

Sauce:

1 tbsp. Swanson Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (divided)
1 Onion, Chopped
2-3 Cloves of Garlic
1 15 Oz. Can Diced Tomato’s
1/4 Cup Water
1 tbsp. Chili Powder
1 tsp. Paprika
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

Grains:

1/2 cup Quinoa
1/2 cup Farro
2 cups of Water with a Bouillon Cube or Broth Concentrate -or- just use 2 Cups Vegetable Broth

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes in 1/2 tbsp. oil and roast for 20 minutes in a square glass baking dish/pan, stirring once.
  3. While the potatoes are roasting, heat 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil on medium high in a large skillet and saute the onion and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add diced tomato’s, water, and spices (chili powder, paprika, sea salt) into the skillet and let simmer for 10 minutes. The sauce should be on the thicker side, but add more water if you want to thin it out. Stir in black beans.
  4. Heat another skillet over medium, using the other 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil, add the chopped kale, a few tbsp. of water and a bit of sea salt. Let the kale wilt and toss for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Pull roasted sweet potatoes out of the oven and top with cooked kale, and black bean sauce, mix together and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  6. While it’s baking prepare the grains by putting the quinoa, and the farro, with 2 cups of liquid into a small pot. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  7. Portion out the grains in a crock or on a plate and top with the harvest bake, sprinkle with sunflower seeds and serve.
Now get to chopping, you need to cut up two sweet potatoes into 1/2 cubes.
This was my first time using coconut oil to saute, I have just recently started using it. I loved trying it in a smoothies, but you don’t get the aroma is gave’s off until you saute with it. It’s lovely.
Sauteing kale softens it and gives it a beautiful shiny glow. It also helps to remove some of the bitterness flavor.
Combine all the ingredients while the quinoa and the farro cook, and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Look at how beautiful the quinoa is, I love these little seeds, they have great texture, I also love the chewy bite the farro adds.
Layer the grains, then top with the sweet potato and black bean mix and top with sunflower seeds.
This is such a warm and inviting dish, I really enjoyed it, and my husband also gave it a thumbs up.
My only regret was the fact that I was unable to find plantain’s and pumpkin seeds, like the original recipe called for, but I will keep my eyes open for “Next Time.”
This dish does not lack in flavor, the combination of the sweet potatoes, the chili flavor and black beans blends so well.  It was a time-consuming recipe to build, and I used practically all my pots, pans and utensils, but it was worth it.

Question of the Day: Do you substitute items in recipes with similar items or just omit them?

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So I am so excited to share this recipe. Even thought it’s cold here in Michigan sometimes you just have to have a smoothie.

Just by looking at this picture, you probably don’t see the green specks of goodness, but this smoothie bowl has not one but two types of greens in it.

Keeping Up with Kale Smoothie

  • 1 Cup So Delicious Coconut Milk
  • 1 Scoop Protein Powder
  • 1 Handful Kale
  • 1 Handful Spinach
  • 1/2 Frozen Banana (can also use fresh)
  • 1 Handful Frozen Blueberries (can also use fresh)
  • 1 Tablespoon Milled Flax seed
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

Side Note: If you use all fresh fruits instead of frozen add an ice-cube or two.

Blend for about a minute and enjoy.

I keep lots of frozen fruits on hand for smoothies. It makes it really convenient to be able to go to the freezer and have a selection of frozen fruits already portioned in snack size bags.

Look at all the specks of goodness. Now I could not taste the kale or spinach, but I felt the texture which I really liked, the flavor that jumped out at me was the nutty flavor from the Organic Milled Flax Seed, it was a perfect addition to this smoothie.

This was my first time adding coconut oil to a smoothie, and it really gave it a silky texture. There are many health benefit’s from coconut oil, but the one that interests me the most is the fact that it is metabolized quickly so it’s used as an energy source rather than being stored as fat. I have also read that it keeps you fuller longer and helps to control sugar cravings. Thanks to my friends over at Swanson Health Products I get to try these items in lots of recipes and explore new flavors.

Rating this smoothie is easy, this is a Keeper. I want to try different fruits next time with the kale and spinach and see if the taste changes.

Question of the day: Greens in your smoothie Yeah or Nay? 

Check Ya later.

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What do you do with the swirling bits of peanut butter that are left in the jar, well you make Overnight Oats, that’s what.

Overnight Oats or Oats In A Jar are a great way to use up all the peanut butter left in the jar.

Plus it’s an easy on the go meal that you can eat hot or cold. We all know how good oatmeal is for us, so this is a great option that is also super easy to make.

So I grabbed the almost empty jar of The Bee’s Knees’ peanut butter, and added 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of coconut milk and a few shakes of cinnamon and put it in the fridge for an overnight soak.

When you wake up in the morning you have a wonderfully flavored jar of oats that you can add anything and everything you like to it. I like to heat in the microwave for about a minute then top those oats with one, two or three of my favorite toppings. Here are a few suggestions.

Topping Ideas:

  • Nuts
  • Fresh fruits such as bananas, strawberries, blueberries
  • Additional creamy nut butters
  • Ground flax
  • Chia Seeds
  • Maple syrup
  • Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin spice
  • Shelled hemp seeds
  • Granola
  • Cocoa powder
  • Dried fruits
Here’s what I added after I microwaved for 60 seconds.
  • 1 Tablespoon Trader Joe’s Sea Salt Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • Few shakes of Swanson Organic Cinnamon
  • Banana Slices
I am Seriously in Love with this combo, the Cinnamon from Swanson Health Products had a warm and spicy flavor and it had the most amazing aroma to it. I can not wait to try this cinnamon with a few of my favorite pumpkin recipes, I have a feeling they will be best friends.
Sometimes oatmeal is the best way to kick-start a busy Monday.
Also for anyone interested, go visit a favorite blog of mine Annette at Enjoy Your Healthy Life is having an amazing giveaway on her blog today. ONE lucky winner will get an entire tub of Vega Sport Recovery! Check it out. 
Question of the day: How do you like your oats?
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