Delicious Healthy Applesauce

ApplesAh, it sure feels like Fall today in the Twin Cities doesn’t it?  This weather has us thinking about all the wonderful things to love about a Minnesota fall day– getting snuggly indoors with those we love, watching the leaves change, and enjoying delicious apples, abundant at local orchards this time a year.  Perhaps you joined us last Friday for our annual Afton Apple Orchard Outing and have some apples left to enjoy, or maybe you have plans to head out to an orchard in the coming weeks– either way, this healthy, nourishing and delicious recipe will give you good reason to enjoy the fall harvest of apples!

This applesauce would make a great healthy snack in pregnancy, birth (great energy boost!) or the postpartum and would equally make a delicious meal for any little ones you have at home (kids love this nourishing recipe).  Making this at home with your family is a fun way to get everyone involved in cooking and the Autumn spirit, which is fast upon us!    

The ingredients are so simple!

12 medium apples and 2 sticks of cinnamon

Preparation:

1.  Peel, core and slice your apples into thin (1/4 inch) slices.  You can use a fancy all in one peeler, corer, slicer device or just do it the old fashion way!

2.  Place the apples and the cinnamon sticks in a large pyrex (or similar oven-safe) glass bowl with a lid.  

3.  Bake at 350 for 60 to 90 minutes until apples are soft

4.  Take the apples out and allow them to cool slightly.  

5.  Crush the apples with a potato masher until the sauce is your preferred consistency.  

6.  Enjoy straight up, or add to yogurt or latkes.  Mmmm delicious!

Serves 4-6

Tasty + healthy morning muffins

muffinWe know that in pregnancy and new motherhood (and, really, anytime!) it is so important to eat a healthy breakfast.  We also don’t always have time to whip up a full protein packed, veggie-filled meal in the mornings.  Enter these tasty treats.  These muffins are full of protein, healthy fats, veggies…and they are gluten-free (and still delicious)!  They are also easy to make.

Great as a meal on the go (or part of a fuller morning meal) or as a snack anytime of day!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 c rice flour
  • 1¼ c sugar (can use coconut sugar)
  • 1 c oats (use gluten-free certified if sensitive to gluten)
  • 1 c unsweetened, flaked coconut
  • 1 c golden raisins
  • 1 apple, grated
  • 2 c carrot, grated
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2 t baking soda
  • ¼ t sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix all ingredients until this very thick batter results (with even moisture throughout).

Line a regular sized muffin tin with paper baking cups. Fill these ¾ full with batter.

Bake for 25 minutes until firm and toasty brown on the outside.

Cool in the tins and then on a rack.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Ice Cream for Pregnancy!

Many of our clients know our famous “no ice cream in pregnancy!” rule.  We recommend that our pregnant clients strictly limit or totally cut out ice cream, because its high fat and caloric qualities can spell trouble for mom and baby…we’ve seen it time and again!

Well, fortunately, like many rules, there are loopholes in the no ice cream rule!

In one of our recent childbirth education classes with the lovely Rochelle Matos, one of our families brought in ice cream for everyone to share…but it’s not exactly ice cream… its gluten free and vegan-friendly and its packed with protein, which all mamas and babies need.  It isn’t as loaded up with fat, calories, and sugar like regular ice cream. ice cream in pregnancy This recipe is for a HEALTHY cookie dough blizzard, modeled after, and drastically improving upon (health-wise) the flavor of a DQ blizzard, in which many Minnesotans love to indulge.  The DQ version has 2.5 times the amount of calories, more than 3 times the amount of fat and carbs, over 7 times the amount of sugar, and only one-sixth the fiber and one-half the protein of our healthier alternative (see below for the numbers).  In addition, our version is made with healthy and unprocessed ingredients, which are much better for mom and baby.  (Seriously, most of the ingredients in those DQ blizzards don’t sound anything like real food ingredients!)

Enjoy this delicious alternative to ice cream and feel free to get creative, making different flavors, and experimenting with fresh or frozen fruits, honey, or other healthy additions.

Ingredients

For The Cookie Dough:
  • 1/2 cup of raw cashews
  • ⅓ cup rolled oats
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein isolate, or a vegan protein powder (Growing Naturals Raw Yellow Pea Protein, which you can get at the Coop, is divine)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup pitted dates, soaked in hot water
  • 1 ounce of dark chocolate (preferably 70% cocoa or more)

For the ‘Ice Cream’:

  • 2 bananas, cut into chunks and frozen
  • 6 ice cubes
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon natural almond, sunflower, or peanut butter

Directions

Cookie dough balls (makes 20 balls, each serving of ice cream calls for two)

  1. In a food processor, mix cashews, oats, and protein powder. Pulse until a flour consistency is reached.
  2. Add maple syrup and almond milk and pulse a few more times.
  3. Add in the dates and process until well combined.  Batter should resemble a thick sticky paste.
  4. Transfer mixture to a bowl
  5. On a cutting board, cut chocolate into small chunks with a knife and fold in chocolate into mix.
  6. With wet hands (important step!), roll cookie dough into small round balls. Place on a plate or cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
  7. Freeze cookie dough balls for at least 3 hours. (Extras can be kept in the fridge)

Ice Cream (makes 2 servings)

  1. Peel bananas and cut into quarters and freeze. Once frozen, you are ready to make the ‘ice cream’.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine banana, almond milk, ice cubes, and nut butter. Blend until smooth.
  3. Transfer to lidded container and freeze for 2 hours or until firm. (if left longer and hard to scoop, just thaw on the counter)
  4. Once your ‘ice cream’ is thick and scoop-able, divide between 2 glasses.
  5. Drop in a couple cookie dough balls to each glass, and enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Calories: 388
Fat: 12g
Carbohydrates: 42g
Sugar: 16g
Fiber: 6g
Protein: 33g
For comparison, a medium DQ cookie dough blizzard has 1,030 Calories, 40g Fat, 157g Carbs, 117g Sugar, 1g Fiber, 17g Protein

 

Breakfast sausage

In pregnancy, getting enough protein is paramount.  To get the necessary amount each day, it is good to incorporate protein sources into each meal and snack, beginning with breakfast.  There are many good sources of protein among common breakfast foods, such as yogurt and eggs.  Sometimes, however, we get stuck in a rut after having the same food again and again every day for breakfast.  It can be nice to find new recipes and new foods to enjoy during pregnancy.  This one is of the meat variety…and it is tasty and easy to make.  You can enjoy with eggs, frittata, veggies, fruit, topped with salsa, or all by themselves!

Ingredients:

breakfast sausage

1 1/2 pounds of lean organic ground turkey or chicken or pork

1-2 T of minced fresh sage

1 T of minced fresh rosemary

1 t of fresh cracked black pepper

1 1/2 t of sea salt

1 T of honey

1 T of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil

Directions:

1.  In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the olive oil.  Use your hands or a spoon/fork to mix thoroughly.

2.  Divide the mix into about 8 portions and make into patties that are a little over 2 inches in diameter.

3.  In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium low heat and cook the patties, turning once and gently pressing the second side into the pan.  Each side will take about 5 to 8 minutes and will turn golden brown when done.

4.  Transfer the cooked patties to a paper towel lined plate and serve.  You may also wish to save some for future meals or snacks!

Enjoy!

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cranberry truffles

chocolateWe couldn’t resist sharing this delicious chocolate recipe the day before Valentine’s Day.  But though it is a treat, it does have some health benefits.  Coconut oil is great for the skin and immune system (it is anti-viral, anti-fungal and neuro-protective), and this recipe cuts out the extra sugar found in many dessert recipes.  Enjoy!

And don’t forget to join us for our Valentine’s Celebration tomorrow morning at Health Foundations from 10-11am!

  • 1½ ounces dark chocolate chunks
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries (or any preferred berry)
  • ⅛ t sea salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup coconut butter (you can find at co-op)
  • 7 drops (vanilla) stevia or regular stevia and add 1 t of vanilla extract
  1. In a food processor, pulse chocolate and cranberries
  2. Add in salt until mixture is the texture of coarse gravel
  3. Next, add in the coconut oil, coconut butter and stevia
  4. Scoop mixture 1  tablespoon at a time into a lined mini muffin pan
  5. Refrigerate for 3 hours to set, then serve

Makes 10 truffles

Recipe credit: Elana’s Pantry

Cottage Pie Recipe (great freezer meal!)

shepherdspieWith winter really testing our muster (and patience) this cold February, we thought a hearty wholesome meal would help bring out our collective Minnesota heartiness.  This Cottage Pie, sometimes called Shepherds’ pie, is full of healthy vegetables and meat, so it’s teeming with protein, vitamins and minerals.

This recipe would also make a great freezer meal for the postpartum period– feel free to double or triple the recipe!  We have had luck storing this meal in mason jars, to later thaw and add to a baking dish.  You may choose to make the mashed “potato” topping when you are ready to heat and serve, or make ahead and just store it separately.

Vegetarians, perhaps a meat substitute would work great in this recipe!  Some ground tempeh might be really nice!

Ingredients:

3 large heads of cauliflower, trimmed and chopped coarse

4 T of olive oil

2 medium sweet yellow onions (approximately 2 cups)

4 medium carrots, sliced or diced (2 cups)

4 celery stalks, diced or sliced (about 1 cup)

1 pound of organic grass-fed ground beef (can substitute tempeh or other ground meat)

1 cup of chicken stock/broth

1 t black pepper

1/2 t of sea salt

Directions:

For the mashed potato “topping”:

1.  Steam the cauliflower until tender

2.  In a food processor, blend the cauliflower with 2 T of olive oil (you can also add sour cream, chives, butter, salt, or whatever you’d make mashed potatoes with)

3.  Set aside

For the inside goodness:

1.  Heat 2 T of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute the onions for 8-10 minutes.

2.  Add the carrots and celery and saute for another 10 minutes.

3.  Add ground beef and cook for 5-7 minutes until browned.

(you can also cook these one at a time, especially if doubling the recipe, and set cooked ingredients into a big bowl)

4.  Add broth to the mixture and cook down until half of the liquid evaporates (about 7-8 minutes).

5.  Stir in pepper and salt.

Put it all together:

1.  Preheat oven to 350

2.  In a large glass baking dish (can use 8×8 or 9×13), add the meat and veggie mix.

3.   Top with the mashed “potato” mix.

4.  Bake for 40-60 minutes (longer if from frozen)

5.  Serve and enjoy!

Spicy Warming Chai tea

chai teaSince we posted a smoothie recipe last week, and here we are in the middle of winter, we thought a warm beverage may be a great follow up this week.

Sure, you can buy chai tea at the store or coffee shop, but it generally tastes better when you make it fresh.  Chai (which actually just means “tea” in Hindi and many other languages in India and the surrounding countries)  is a great beverage to enjoy in the winter as its packed with warming spices.  It is also a great alternative to coffee, which many pregnant women appreciate when looking for non-caffeinated beverages.  This recipe is also made with peppermint/peppermint tea which is a boon for pregnant mamas, as it can help with indigestion, nausea, and even headaches.  Do note that nursing mamas are better not to consume peppermint too much or too often, as it can diminish milk supply.  This tea contains ginger as well, which is excellent for nausea and should also be used in moderation, particularly in the first trimester.  All cautions aside, a cup of this tea on a cold winter day will likely do your body and mind good.

Enjoy this warming chai tea, preferably with your feet up, cozied next to your fireplace, partner, friend and/or pet.

Spicy Masala Chai Tea

Serves 4

6 cups of water

3 T of peeled and minced ginger

3 cinnamon sticks

3 cloves

3 peppercorns

3 cardamom pods

1 T of loose peppermint tea (or 1 drop of high quality therapeutic grade peppermint essential oil)

2-4 T of coconut milk (ideally full-fat “real” coconut milk, not cartoned milk alternative)– optional

2-6 drops of stevia, depending on your sweetness preference–optional

2T of blackstrap molasses for sweetening instead of or in addition to stevia (this is a great source of iron)–optional

Directions

In a saucepan, combine water and ginger and heat over medium until the water boils.  Lower the heat and add the remaining ingredients, simmering for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, strain water from herbs and pour into your favorite mug.  Add stevia, molasses and/or coconut milk as desired.  Enjoy and be well!