Monthly Archives: November 2017

Roasted Acorn Squash Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ¾ baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup cooked acorn squash, puree
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup seeds (pepitas, sunflower), divided
  • 1 tablespoon quinoa, uncooked
  • ¼ cup shredded beet or carrot

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Slice acorn squash in half and remove seeds and stringy flesh.  Pour ⅓ cup water into a rimmed baking sheet and add squash halves, cut side down.  Roast for 35 minutes or until squash is soft and can easily be removed from the skin.
  3. Spoon out cooked flesh from squash skin, and mash or puree with immersion blender or hand mixer.
  4. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9×5 loaf pan.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix all dry ingredients.
  6. In a stand mixer bowl, combine the sugar, maple syrup, oil, egg, and squash puree.
  7. Add dry ingredients to the wet ½ cup at a time, alternating with the 2 tablespoons of water.
  8. Stir in walnuts, quinoa, shredded beets and/or carrots, and half of the seeds.
  9. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle remaining seeds to the top of loaf and bake for additional 15 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.

Beet and Kale Chips

Ingredients

  • 3 medium beets, thinly sliced with mandoline or knife
  • 1 bunch of kale, stripped from stem and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons high heat oil
  • Sea salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Toss beets with 1 tablespoon oil, and repeat with kale.
  3. Lay beets flatten a single-layer on a sheet pan (baking multiple batches if necessary).  Repeat for kale on a separate pan.
  4. Bake for 10-20 minutes until chips are crispy.  Beets and kale pans may bake side-by-side, but one may finish before the other.  Keep and eye on the oven!
  5. Remove from oven and top with sea salt.

Sugar with Self-Control & Self-Love

It’s November 1st, and if you’re like me, you are ready for a sugar detox after helping yourself to more than one ________________ (fill in your favorite candy bar) from the bowl reserved for trick or treaters last night, and the days leading up to Halloween…let’s be real.  As we welcome November, it’s time to gear up for the winter holidays and set some intention for healthy eating in the weeks to come.

  1. Don’t buy “easy sweets” at the store.  I consider “easy sweets” to be packaged cookies, candies, and sweet breads.  These can be tempting snacks to enjoy in excess when we should ideally be practicing moderation.  My household eats sweets, believe me, but we try and enjoy them homemade.  When I’m baking at home (and cooking), I tend to make double batches and freeze dough or baked cakes/breads to use later for dinner parties or unexpected guests.  This is my best trick to the hosting game!  We also enjoy desserts and pastries out for dinner or at coffee shops.  I do buy dark chocolate to use for baking or when those sweet cravings are intense!
  2. Convenient fruit and vegetable snacking.  This is where PCH deliveries become helpful by providing a steady stream of fresh produce.  Try cutting up apples and other fruit and store in ziplock baggies for an easy snack on the go.  Peel and chop carrots into sticks and store in a container with a dollop of peanut butter.  Blanch green beans or broccoli, let cool, and store in ziplock baggies for a tender, flavorful veggie snack.  This takes some work on the front end, but you’ll be glad to send kids out the door with produce vs. empty calories.
  3. Eat healthy fats.  Satiation is an important sensation when stepping away from the sugar habit.  Foods with higher fat content tend to have less sugar in many cases…don’t be afraid of the fats!  Try out whole fat greek yogurt for it’s high protein and low sugar content.  Nuts can be a rich, protein packed, satiating snack for that afternoon slump.  I enjoy olive oil and ghee (clarified butter) in dressings or with bread at dinnertime to add a palette of richness and flavor, hopefully diminishing the sweet cravings that tend to creep up in late evening.
  4. Stay active.  Our confidence and motivation for healthy eating is encouraged when we engage in other healthy activities like exercise.  Start up a workout program or add a few running/walking days to your schedule to boost self-confidence for healthy living.
  5. Listen to your body.  In the end, we all are human and need to enjoy the pleasures of food.  The goal is to find a sustainable lifestyle of health and wellness which typically doesn’t mean crash dieting or cutting out all sugar cold turkey.  Think of ways to enjoy sweets with boundaries; special occasions, when you have a strong craving, once per day.

Start this journey of listening and setting intentions now, and come the holiday’s, you may have a new sense of self-control with self-love at the dinner/dessert table.