Peaches ‘n Cream

2 frozen bananas and a couple splashes of coconut milk makes this “ice cream”. Blend in food processor until smooth and top with cinnamon. The peaches were purchased frozen and pan fried in 1 Tbsp of coconut oil until golden brown, also topped with cinnamon. Easy, guilt-free dessert no. 2

*fun fact: I served this “dessert” to my husband and 2 friends tonight. You should have seen the jaws drop when they found out their ice cream was really bananas*

Guilt-Free Dessert?

ATTN DESSERT LOVERS: with these two ingredients you can make a delicious, dairy-free, nutrient packed “ice cream” by following the instructions at the bottom of this post. You heard me correctly: guilt-free dessert!

Bananas are rich in potassium, fiber, iron, vitamin B6, antioxidants, tryptophan and pectin offering an endless number of health benefits

Natural unsweetened cocoa powder is a good source of iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and antioxidants

HOW IT’S DONE: Simply peel, slice, and freeze 2 bananas. Once frozen put into a food processor with 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder (or more depending on personal taste) blend until smooth. *tip: I will often add a splash or two of coconut milk (which may be substituted with another liquid of choice) to help get the ingredients moving* once smooth you will have a product that tastes exactly like soft serve chocolate ice cream. Seriously, try this now. You won’t regret it.

For more dessert you can feel good about, try adding cinnamon, your favorite nut butter or berries to experiment with different flavors.

You’re welcome

For the Love of Chocolate

CACAO
Photo taken in Quito, Ecuador (09/2013)

*Fun fact: Ecuador is responsible for 67% of the world’s chocolate*

HEALTH BENEFITS: natural, unsweetened cocoa powder is low in calories and is a good source of iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc. 100% cocoa powder also contains two flavonoids: catechin and epicatechin, which function as antioxidants and may help lower blood pressure and prevent systemic inflammation.

THE PROBLEM: most of us consume cocoa in the form of chocolate , which means cocoa butter (the fat from the cacao fruit) and typically a significant amount of sugar or sweetener has been added to it. This leaves the consumed product with a mere fraction of cocoa’s nutrients and flavonoids. Chocolate can also be high in calories and sugar, which may pose health risks that far outweigh it’s benefits.

THE SOLUTION: there are many delicious ways to add 100% cocoa powder to your diet, reaping it’s benefits, without all the added sugar. Add cocoa powder to your favorite chili, soup, protein shake, hot cereal or salad dressings. Cocoa powder also makes an excellent addition to dry rubs that go well on beef, pork, chicken or fish. See one of my favorite dry rub recipes:
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c ancho chili powder
3 Tbsp espresso beans, ground
2 Tbsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp salt

Also, keep in mind when you do choose to indulge in chocolate, the darker the better. Go for chocolate with the highest % of cocoa. Stay tuned for my favorite way to use 100% cocoa powder in my next post

Everything Avocado

Avocados are an excellent source of Vitamin K, folate, Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin E and Vitamins B5 and B6. They are also packed with heart healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber. Studies show that eating avocado can help reduce the risk of heart disease by improving blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Avocados also contain antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which aide in eye health and can reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Avocados are incredibly versatile and easy to add into your diet. They are delicious plain and make an excellent addition to salads, burgers, omelettes, sauces, dressings and pretty much everything. My favorite way to eat an avocado? In guacamole!

Homemade Mayo

 

Two things you will often see me pair together are sweet potatoes and beef.  Here is one of my go-to whole30 and paleo compliant favorites: a burger on a sweet potato “bun” with homemade garlic mayo (and loaded with veggies of course).  One thing I always have on hand is homemade mayo. It is so simple to make and lasts for up to 2 weeks in your fridge. Even if you aren’t a mayo lover, it makes a great base for a number of sauces, dips and dressings I will be sharing in later posts.

My mayo recipe:

1 egg

1 cup tasting olive oil, light (do not use EVOO)

juice from 1/2 lemon (you can also use vinegar)

salt & pepper to taste

Simply put all ingrediets into a tall glass or jar in the order listed. (Mason jars work great for this as you can make and store your mayo in the same container). Let sit for a few seconds to allow the egg to settle at the bottom of the jar. Insert your immersion blender and hold at the bottom blending for about 20 seconds. At this point your concoction will be almost completely mayo. Now slowly lift and move your immersion blender to ensure all ingredients are mixed well and voila! You have mayo! I promise you it is really that simple.

Once you’ve mastered mayo try experimenting with different flavors. I love adding garlic, dill or mustard.

Benefits of Grapefruit

One of my favorite things to do is indulge in a juicy and delicious grapefruit first thing in the morning. Rich in antioxidants lycopene & Vitamin C, grapefruit can help strengthen and support our immune system, protect against cancer and fight disease.  Grapefruit is also a good source of fiber, low in calories and has a high water content making it an excellent diet addition for those looking to lose weight. Can’t get past the bitter taste? Studies show simply smelling this citrus fruit can help reduce stress and improve energy levels. Reap these health benefits by adding grapefruit to your diet today!

Welcome to My Foodie Noodie!

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My name is Kayla. I am a registered dietitian whose two greatest passions in life are food and travel. I am currently living in Germany working as a freelance RD and traveling every chance I get.  When exploring new cities I do my best to make acquaintances with local residents to learn everything I can about the culture, in particular the food culture. You will often find me perusing local markets buying fresh produce, spices, meats and seafood to, you guessed it: cook! I love trying new things whether it be an unusual delicacy or a new cooking style. These experiences reflect not only in my cooking, but in my evolving way of life.

My overall approach to health is a holistic one: sound body, mind, and soul. My practice is about more than just physical health, it is about promoting mental and social well-being too as it is all of these things together that are necessary for us to live our greatest lives.  Finding balance is key so in addition to sharing nutrient packed recipes and expert health tips I look forward to providing daily motivation for all around healthy and happy living.

My philosophy on food is simple: eat foods as close to their natural state as possible: minimally processed, whole, natural foods.  Eat a ton of fruits and vegetables, keep an open mind to trying new things and ENJOY eating! I encourage mindful eating and maintaining a healthy relationship with food, which means allowing yourself to indulge occasionally.  I think that what you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while. I believe in adopting a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle and I am so excited to share my journey with you!