Spiced Banana Seed Granola

This granola is a delightful by the handful, or atop yogurt or chia pudding. Great for anyone who can't stomach nuts but crave granola!

This recipe was inspired by Dr. Kristen Lum at Rivergate Natural Healthcare.

Ingredients:

2 cups raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) 2 cups raw sunflower seeds 1/2 cup raw sesame seeds 1/4 cup raw flax seeds

3 drops doTERRA cinnamon essential oil 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 3 drops doTERRA cardamom essential oil 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 2 medium/large sized bananas

10 fresh dates, soaked or 1/4 cup honey/vegan sweetener 1/4 cup melted coconut oil 2 tbs. water 1 tbs. vanilla extract 1/4 tsp. salt

Optional: 1/4 cup raisins 1/2 cup banana chips (we used unsweetened, either would work) 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, optional (Enjoy Life are good)

Method:

Soak the fresh dates in room temp water for 2-3 hours, remove the pits. If you use dried dates the soaking time will be longer.

Preheat oven to 200-250 degrees

In a large bowl, combine all the seeds and toss to combine.

In a blender or food processor, add the bananas, soaked dates or honey, oil, essential oils, spices, water, and vanilla extract. Puree until smooth.

Pour the banana mixture and salt over the seed mixture and toss the ingredients until well-combined. (Hands and/or a spatula are good for this job.)

Spread the new mixture evenly on two cookie sheets that have been lined with cooking parchment.

Bake in a 200-250 degree oven till crispy (about an hour, but will vary by oven). If you prefer Raw granola, use a dehydrator instead of the oven.

When the granola is crispy, remove from the oven and let cool. The granola will get crispier as it cools.

If using, add the banana chips, raisins, chocolate chips to cooled granola, toss to combine.

Store in an air tight container. We keep ours in the fridge. Makes about 5 cups of granola.

 

Creamy Paleo Chicken Casserole

It's casserole time! Enjoy this creamy, dairy free meal during the chilly weather months!

Inspired by PaleOMG

Ingredients:

1.5-2lbs chicken thighs, excess fat removed 1 medium heads of broccoli, chopped into florets 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets 1 cup of mushrooms, sliced ½-1 yellow onion, diced *optional: 1 garlic clove minced 1 cup vegetable broth 1 (14oz.) can of coconut milk 2 tsp. garlic powder ½ tsp. smoked paprika ½ tsp. cayenne pepper Salt and pepper to taste 2 tbs. olive oil (or other fat) 2 tbs. ghee or coconut oil

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the cauliflower and broccoli florets in a 9×12 glass/pyrex baking dish. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Bake broccoli and cauliflower for 15-20 minutes while prepping other ingredients.

While the florets are cooking, place a large skillet over high heat.

Once skillet is very hot, add the ghee and chicken.

Salt and pepper the chicken while it cooks.

Cook each side for 4-5 minutes, until both sides are lightly browned.

Once chicken is ALMOST cooked through, remove it from the pan and place into the baking dish with the florets that have come out of the oven.

Put the pan over a medium heat and add the garlic and onions. Cook until translucent.

Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes more.

Add the coconut milk and vegetable broth, as well as the other seasonings, and mix well.

Once it is all thoroughly combined, pour directly onto the chicken, broccoli, and cauliflower dish.

Add a bit more salt and pepper.

Mix it all together until well-combined and bake for 20-ish minutes, until the chicken skin is crispy and the liquid is bubbling.

Allow to cool to help the sauce thicken.

Enjoy!

Zucchini Fritters

Got zucchini and then some? This special little dish is perfect way to use up that extra squash on a lazy Saturday morning.

This recipe was inspired by Slim Palate.

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini 2 green onions thinly sliced ¼ cup almond flour ¼ cup fresh grated parmigiana reggiano (packed firmly) 2 eggs Salt and pepper to taste (freshly ground, please) 1 drop doTERRA lemon essential oil Ghee for frying

For topping: Applesauce, Greek Yogurt, chives, or some combo thereof!

Method:

Grate zucchini with a medium sized grater into a bowl.

Place shredded zucchini in a clean dishtowel and squeeze to get as much liquid out of it as possible.

Place back in bowl with beaten eggs, thinly sliced green onions, almond flour, parmigiana reggiano, essential oil, and fresh ground salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee over medium heat and wait for that pan to get hot (but not to the smoking point).

Add spoonfuls of mixture to the hot pan and fry until golden brown on each side (2-3 minutes-ish per side).

Place fritters on platter lined with paper towels to soak up extra ghee, then serve each with Greek yogurt, applesauce, and extra green onions on the side.

Benefits:

Organic Eggs: (Preferably pasture-fed) Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein. They provide over 6 grams of protein (13% of the daily value for protein) each, and are a good source of choline, a key component of many fat-containing structures in cell membranes, which is particularly important for brain function and health. Eggs are also a rich source of tryptophan and selenium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is a thicker, creamier version of "regular" yogurt that boasts high protein, healthy bacteria which support healthy gut flora, and is a good source of calcium. It's a versatile addition to your diet and can replace higher fat dairy products. See here for more about the nutritional info and health benefits of yogurt.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system cleansing, and promote a sense of well-being. It is also miraculous for removing grease, gum, oil, and unwanted marks and spots. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Zucchini: Excellent source of manganese and vitamin C, and is a good source of vitamin A. Summer squash also retains its nutrients when eaten raw, lightly steamed, and/or frozen. And make sure to eat the seeds! Summer squash seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids which are helpful in the prevention of inflammation. The seeds are also thought to contain anti-microbial properties and are still used in some parts of the world to treat intestinal parasites. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Coconut Bliss Bars

Coconut bliss bars are the yummiest snack EVER. They can also double as dessert.

This recipe was inspired by Stephanie Eusebi Nutrition & Wellness.

Looking to make a nice dessert or energy boosting snack? This recipe is super simple and delicious. Feel free to add other types of nuts or dried fruit to appeal to any palate. I added pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) to this batch and it was delish!

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded or flaked coconut
1/2-3/4 cup dark chocolate or carob chips (preferably a brand with no refined sugar)
1 egg
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
teeny pinch cinnamon
teeny pinch nutmeg
1 pinch sea salt
*Optional: If you like them a little sweeter, feel free to add a few tablespoons of maplesyrup to the mix

Method:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.

Whisk the eggs.

Whisk the melted coconut oil into the egg mixture.

Add in the vanilla, coconut, and chocolate chips (and optional maple syrup) and combine until well-mixed.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until the top and edges are golden and crispy.

Allow to cool (if you have the willpower!). Slice off a piece and enjoy!

Benefits:

Cacao: (Dark chocolate)Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Coconut: Coconut is highly nutritious, rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Both modern and traditional medicine have recognized coconut as having antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Meanwhile coconut provides a nutritional source of quick energy, and can be used to enhance endurance and physical performance. Coconut is also soothing to the digestive tract, and aids in absorption of other nutrients within the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Organic Eggs: (Preferably pasture-fed) Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein. They provide over 6 grams of protein (13% of the daily value for protein) each, and are a good source of choline, a key component of many fat-containing structures in cell membranes, which is particularly important for brain function and health. Eggs are also a rich source of tryptophan and selenium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Meatloaf Patties and Whipped Yams

Is isn't your average "meat-n-taters." This flavor bomb contains lots of protein packs a nutrient punch! Ever notice that when you try to avoid certain foods, then that's all you seem to crave? (Chocolate, booze, cheese, gluten...ring a bell?) There's another, usually more effective, way of eliminating foods from our diets that don't serve us well. It's called "crowding out,"and it means to include all kinds of other delicious foods in your daily diet, so there's very little room (or even craving) of those other foods that you're looking to avoid.

In an effort to stop craving sweets late at night, I've been experimenting with including a few sweet vegetables in my diet. It seems to be working. So, instead of drinking green juice all day, then binging on chocolate late at night (not that that's ever happened....), it's worth including even just a serving or two of sweet vegetables, such as squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots into your daily diet. You might notice that come chocolate thirty in the evening, you are perfectly satiated and would rather drink a cup of tea instead. Voilá! Chocolate crisis averted.

This meal is very hearty. It's a nice combination of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, to keep you feeling fuller longer. To boot, it's a delicious combo. Feel free to get creative with the meat add-ins. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Meat Patties: 1 pound organic (if possible) grassfed ground buffalo or beef 1 egg 1 tablespoon almond flour Big pinch garlic salt 1-2 big pinches sea salt 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 medium carrot, shredded 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 1 handful shelled pistachios 1 small handful golden raisins 1 teaspoon dried oregano or thyme 1 tablespoon dried or fresh flat parsley 1 small pinch cayenne pepper 1-2 tablespoons organic Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil for pan sauteing Fresh chopped herbs to garnish (optional)

Method: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place all ingredients, except the ghee or coconut oil, into a bowl and mix until well combined.

Make into single-serving patties.

Heat an oven-proof saute pan over medium-high heat.

Sear each side of the patties until browned (a couple minutes each side), then place the pan in the oven until juices run clear (about 5 more minutes).

You can cut a patty in half to check for done-ness. Cook until it's no longer pink in the center. (But try not to overcook, otherwise you will end up with expensive hockey pucks for dinner.)

Whipped Yams: (You can make these ahead and reheat so they're ready when you're meat is done.) 2 medium to large yams, peeled and chopped into 1" hunks 1-2 carrots, peeled (optional) and chopped into 1" hunks 2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil Sea salt and pepper to taste

Method: Place a steamer basket in a medium saucepan and fill to the pan with water until it reaches the bottom of the steamer basket.

Place your veggies in the steamer basket, and steam on medium-high heat until they're tender (about 12-15 minutes).

Drain the water from the saucepan and place the still warm veggies in a food processor or blender (or a bowl to mash with a hand-masher) with some ghee or coconut oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Blend or mash your carrots and taters until creamy.

Return them to your saucepan and heat through until your meat is ready to eat.

Serve the meat patty atop your whipped taters and garnish with fresh herbs (like basil!)

Benefits:

Buffalo: Grass fed buffalo is an excellent source of lean protein, riboflavin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. It's also high in Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E. See here for more nutritional info.

Carrot: Carrots are well known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient, beta-carotene, which is GREAT for our eye health. However, these root vegetables are also a great source of a variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients such as vitamins A, C, K. Studies have shown their effectiveness in the prevention of colon cancer, and their benefits to our cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Celery: Celery is jam-packed with vitamins K and C, beta-carotene, and manganese. But also contains phytonutrients that are shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits and protect the digestive tract. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Yams: A great source of Vitamin B-6, potassium (a mineral that helps to control blood pressure), and manganese. According to Chinese herbal medicine, yams also support kidney function and the female endocrine system. The yam’s composition of complex carbohydrates and fiber make them a great food for maintaining steady blood sugar while helping you feel fuller for longer. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Apple Cinnamon Paleo Pancakes

These pancakes are the perfect Sunday morning treat. My husband and I have officially dubbed Sunday as "Pancake Day," because of these filling and delightful pancakes. They're very hearty and will keep your tank full for whatever Sunday shenanigans you have planned. This recipe made enough for two hungry hippos, but you could certainly double the batch if you're hosting brunch. Try them topped with berries for sweetness or a fried egg if you're looking for an extra hit of protein. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup homemade apple sauce (or organic, no sugar added) 4 eggs 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 4 tablespoons coconut flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup almond meal 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, or to taste 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, or to taste 1-2 drops doTERRA cinnamon essential oil coconut oil for cooking oil *optional: 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup

Method:

Whisk together apple sauce, eggs, (optional maple syrup) cinnamon oil, and vanilla extract together in a bowl until smooth.

Combine coconut flour, baking soda, salt, almond meal, nutmeg, and ginger together in a separate bowl.

Stir the applesauce mixture and flour mixture together in the bigger bowl until well combined.

Allow batter to sit for a few minutes.

Heat a dab of coconut oil in a skillet over low heat. Pour palm-sized circles of batter into the hot oil. Cook until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes per side. (You'll know when it's safe to flip them, as they won't be jiggly in the center when you wiggle the pan).

Serve with more applesauce, ghee, and if you have it, pure maple syrup.

Benefits:

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Apples:  My, what balanced phytonutrients you have, oh beloved apple. Apples contain a wide array of polyphenols which help regulate our blood sugar. They're also a great source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cinnamon Oil: Cinnamon essential oil helps to boost metabolism and digestive health. It is also a powerful antioxidant, helps support immunity, enhance circulation, strengthen libido and elevate mood. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Eggs: (Preferably pasture-fed and/or organic) Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein. They provide over 6 grams of protein (13% of the daily value for protein) each, and are a good source of choline, a key component of many fat-containing structures in cell membranes, which is particularly important for brain function and health. Eggs are also a rich source of tryptophan and selenium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it’s great, but don’t overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Mexican Chocolate Ice Box Tart

Impress your guests with this easy chocolate tart.

Inspired by Dr. Andrew Weil's recipe for the chocolate ice box tart from his beautiful cookbook True Food.

Looking for a way to include "healthy" fats into your diet? Well, look no further. This is my most favorite homemade chocolatey dessert of all time. A dab will do ya, as it is pretty much entirely comprised of fat. And while the jury is still out on whether coconut oil is as miraculous as many claim it to be (I think it's just fine in small to medium-sized doses), it makes for a truly delectable dessert.

This chilled confection is actually warming due to the alchemy of the spices usually found in Mexican hot chocolate. May you enjoy this sweet treat as much as my husband, dinner guests, and I did! Plus it's great to send leftovers home with party goers, or snag a bite for breakfast the next morning! The cocoa contains plenty of caffeine, and coconut oil is known to provide sustained energy. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 3/4 cups ground almonds 1 1/3 cup organic fair trade cocoa powder, divided 1/3 cup local honey, divided 1 1/3 cup coconut oil, divided 1/2 cup almond butter 1 pinch sea salt 1 pinch cinnamon 1 pinch cardammom 1 pinch powdered ginger 1-2 drops doTERRA cinnamon essential oil

Method

In a bowl, mix together the shredded coconut, almonds, 1/3 cup of the cocoa, 3 tablespoons of the honey, and 1/3 cup of the coconut oil.

Mix until well-combined to make the crust.

Press this mixture into the bottom and along the sides of a 11X7X2 inch sheet pan, or into a pie plate (for thicker pieces).

Allow to chill for 30 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl.

Pour the filling into the chilled tart shell, and allow to chill for 2 more hours (or until firm).

Cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days.

Benefits

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cardamom: This spice is an excellent source of iron and manganese, making it a rock star for blood and cellular regeneration. It also contains significant amounts of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, and can be used as an anti-spasmodic and digestive aid. Great for the belly AND the heart. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cinnamon Oil: Cinnamon essential oil helps to boost metabolism and digestive health. It is also a powerful antioxidant, helps support immunity, enhance circulation, strengthen libido and elevate mood. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Coconut: Coconut is highly nutritious, rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Both modern and traditional medicine have recognized coconut as having antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Meanwhile coconut provides a nutritional source of quick energy, and can be used to enhance endurance and physical performance. Coconut is also soothing to the digestive tract, and aids in absorption of other nutrients within the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Honey: Often called "Nature's sweetener," local, raw, honey is a great way to add sweetness to your life. Raw honey is packed with vitamins and minerals and offers anti-bacterial and and anti-viral properties. But according to the Ayurvedic tradition, don't cook honey. Adding significant heat to honey both strips it of its vitamins, minerals, and enzymes while creating cellular toxicity. So add it to your cool dishes, or to warmer dishes AFTER they have finished cooking. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTERRA because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTERRA Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.

Pecan Pesto

Slathered on bread, tomatoes, or to dress a salad, this pesto is tops!

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh organic local basil 2 cloves fresh organic local garlic (or a sprinkle of garlic powder) 1/2 cup raw pecans 1/4-1/3 cup nutritional yeast, or same amount of a grated hard cheese such as Parm, Pecorino, or Romano if you're into that sort of thing... 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil 1 drop doTERRA basil essential oil Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Combine the garlic (or garlic powder), basil, and pecans in a food processor. Pulse several times to roughly chop the mixture.

Add nutritional yeast (or cheese) and pulse again until ingredients are a course and sandy texture.

Put mixture into a bowl and add the drop of basil essential oil and the olive oil. Mix until well-blended.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Put a hefty spoonful over noodles, zuccini strips, slather on tomatoes with mozarella, or add a bit more olive oil and dress a salad. There's no wrong way to eat this pesto.

*Note: This also freezes will in ice cube containers or mini-tupperwares. Delicious in the middle of winter when there's not a vegetable in sight!

Benefits:

Basil: Basil contains flavanoids called orientin and vicenin, which protect us at a cellular level. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also high in vitamin K, so is great for our blood health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Basil Essential Oil: Basil has powerful anti-infectious, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. It can be used to boost alertness and concentration, ease anxiety, nervous depression, headaches, mental fatigue, and insomnia. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Garlic: Garlic has long been touted as a health promoting food. It is high in sulfur (and while that might make us a little, ahem, stinky, this may be an important part of a our otherwise sulfur-deficient diets. Garlic is also rich with manganese and is a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, as well as selenium. This "stinky rose" also protects our blood vessels from inflammatory and oxidative stress, but its other health benefits abound. See here for nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.

Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast is a staple source of protein, particularly for vegans and vegetarians. It is one of the few non-animal sources of B-12, is rich in folic acid and other nutrients and amino acids. Nutritional yeast is free of the Candida Albicans strain, making it safe for those concerned with candida. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pecans: Pecans contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, a variety of B vitamins and zinc. One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber. Pecans are also a source of monounsaturated or "good" fat and protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to a tablespoon of pesto and you've got a delicious salad dressing!

Paleo Apple Cardamom Muffins

These protein-rich muffins make a delicious on-the-go breakfast or snack. Some mornings are just too chilly for a juice or smoothie. What better way to awaken your digestive fire than a fresh muffin? They're easy to make, and are super easy on the taste buds. My husband devours them with a little ghee. I like them with homemade nut butter and jam. Put a couple in a wax paper bag keep your stomach sated (and blood sugar balanced) for hours. Bon appétit!

Ingredients:

1 16-ounce jar of organic apple sauce 1/2 cup of coconut flour 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil (melted) 6 eggs (yes, 6.) 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 1 teaspoon of nutmeg 1 teaspoon cardamom 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda *Optional: 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup *Optional: 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans *Optional: 1/4 cup chopped dates, dried currants, or dried figs

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare 12 muffin cups lined with paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices together.

Whisk remaining wet ingredients.  Combine well but don’t over mix!

Divide batter between muffin cups.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Benefits:

Apple Sauce:  My, what balanced phytonutrients you have, oh beloved apple. Apples contain a wide array of polyphenols which help regulate our blood sugar. They’re also a great source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cardamom: This spice is an excellent source of iron and manganese, making it a rock star for blood and cellular regeneration. It also contains significant amounts of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, and can be used as an anti-spasmodic and digestive aid. Great for the belly AND the heart. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Dates: Dates are rich with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. They are also high in other antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein, which help protect and nourish our cells. But they’re high in sugar, so a dab’ll do ya. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Organic Eggs: (Preferably pasture-fed) Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein. They provide over 6 grams of protein (13% of the daily value for protein) each, and are a good source of choline, a key component of many fat-containing structures in cell membranes, which is particularly important for brain function and health. Eggs are also a rich source of tryptophan and selenium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it’s great, but don’t overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pecans: Pecans contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, a variety of B vitamins and zinc. One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber. Pecans are also a source of monounsaturated or "good" fat and protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Vegan Chocolate Pie That Tastes Like Chocolate Pudding, Fo Real.

This pie should be illegal to make it's so yummy. I've been a little downtrodden lately about how terrible I feel after eating bar chocolate. My husband loves the stuff, and so do I. But even after a few couple squares of dark chocolate, even the highest-quality organic/fair trade, I have a distinct chocolate hangover. Boo. Is it the soy lecithin they use as an emulsifier? Or the type of sugar they use? Who knows. All I know is that it was high time to find a chocolate alternative that I could enjoy without feeling like I've been out drinking all night.

Enter this amazing chocolate pie. I found the recipe in my 2012 Natural Grocer's recipe calender, made a few ingredient adjustments, and voilá! The best chocolatey, puddingy, confection EVER. No seriously, I mean EVER.

What's better is it fits within most of the silly dietary rules that so many people are following these days. It's vegan, paleo, and gluten-free friendly. So grab a spork and dig in!

Ingredients:

Crust: 2 1/2 cups organic walnuts or pecans 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil, melted

Filling: Flesh of 2 large, ripe, organic avocados (pit and skins removed) 1 cup water 1 tablespoon nut or seed butter 1/3-1/2 cup local honey (or organic maple syrup for a little "darker" flavor) 3/4 cup organic cocoa powder 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil, melted 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, combine nuts, baking soda, and salt. Blend until finely ground.

Add coconut oil and pulse until well-mixed.

Scrape the batter into a 9" pie plate and form into a crust with your fingers.

Place the crusted pie plate onto a cookie sheet (to keep the bottom from burning) and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before filling.

Blend all the pudding ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.

Grab a spoon and eat the pudding and feed the pie crust to your dog. Don't tell anyone.

When the crust is completely cooled, pour the pudding into the crust and refrigerate until ready to eat.

This is a great pie crust for those who have eliminated gluten and/or grains from their diet.

Benefits:

Avocado: Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamins K, C, and B, and potassium. It also contains a wide spectrum of inflammation-fighting nutrients. Avocado also helps increase our intake of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—when eaten with romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc, both of which are important to promote a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that maple syrup can also be useful for muscle recovery and immune system support. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it’s great, but don’t overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Walnuts: Walnuts are powerful medicine. They are packed with valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega fatty acids, manganese, and copper. Walnuts have been studied and proven to help decrease risk of certain cancers,  including prostate and breast. They also help prevent cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Warning! These are an exercise in willpower not to eat all at once. Just sayin...

This recipe was inspired by www.cindystable.com.

After a bit of a debacle making paleo banana bread muffins that resembled hockey pucks, I had nearly given up hope of perfecting a paleo any kind of muffin...Until now. These precious bites of love are light, silky, and versatile. For variety, trying replacing pumpkin with apple sauce and the walnuts with pecans. Add a sprinkle of powdered ginger or cardamom, and you will have yourself a delicious breakfast or snack. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 15-ounce can organic pumpkin (or make your own pumpkin puree) 1/2 cup of coconut flour 1/4 cup of coconut oil (melted) 1/4 cup apple sauce 6 eggs (yes, 6.) 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 1 teaspoon of nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda *Optional: 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup *Optional: 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans *Optional: 1/4 cup chopped dates, dried currants, or dried figs

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare 12 muffin cups lined with paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices together.

Whisk remaining wet ingredients, except for the pumpkin, together.  Combine well but don't over mix!

Fold in pumpkin mixture.

Divide batter between muffin cups.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Benefits:

Apple Sauce:  My, what balanced phytonutrients you have, oh beloved apple. Apples contain a wide array of polyphenols which help regulate our blood sugar. They're also a great source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Dates: Dates are rich with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. They are also high in other antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein, which help protect and nourish our cells. But they’re high in sugar, so a dab’ll do ya. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Organic Eggs: (Preferably pasture-fed) Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein. They provide over 6 grams of protein (13% of the daily value for protein) each, and are a good source of choline, a key component of many fat-containing structures in cell membranes, which is particularly important for brain function and health. Eggs are also a rich source of tryptophan and selenium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it’s great, but don’t overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pumpkin: This tasty winter squash is packed vitamins A and C, magnesium and potassium, as well as dietary fiber. It’s also contains high amounts of carotenoids, the little nutrients which help to neutralize free-radicals within the body, and is low in calories. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Walnuts: Walnuts are powerful medicine. They are packed with valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega fatty acids, manganese, and copper. Walnuts have been studied and proven to help decrease risk of certain cancers,  including prostate and breast. They also help prevent cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

These muffins make terrific mini-PB&J sammies.

Raw Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

We could call these "Superfood Cups" because of all the health benefits each bite provides.

This recipe was inspired by fellow yogini-foodie, Jessie Monds.

Ingredients:

(Makes about 22 treats)

Chocolate:

1 cup raw cacao powder 1/3 cup tablespoons maple syrup 6 tablespoons melted coconut oil 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Whisk together ingredients to combine, mixture will be smooth and ribbony. If it's too thick, add more oil and/or syrup to taste .

Nut Butter Filling:

1/4 cup almond/cashew or pepita/sunflower seed  butter

Method:

Lay out 20 mini cupcake liners on a large rimmed baking sheet. Fill each liner with 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate mixture. Fill with 1/4 teaspoon of nut/seed butter mixture, flattened out slightly into a disk shape. Top with 1 teaspoon of chocolate mixture then a sprinkle of coarse sea salt. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. Store them in refrigerator until ready to enjoy.

Benefits:

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cashews: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, and approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids. What's more is that about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same monounsaturated or "good fat" found in olive oil. This super nut is also packed with copper, manganese, magnesium, and tryptophan (the "feel good" amino acid"). See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Coconut: Coconut is highly nutritious, rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Both modern and traditional medicine have recognized coconut as having antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Meanwhile coconut provides a nutritional source of quick energy, and can be used to enhance endurance and physical performance. Coconut is also soothing to the digestive tract, and aids in absorption of other nutrients within the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc, both of which are important to promote a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that maple syrup can also be useful for muscle recovery and immune system support. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Pepitas (Hulled Pumpkin Seeds): These babies are packed with zinc and vitamin E, but are also excellent sources of manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. They are also very high in protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Sunflower Seeds: A handful of sunflower seeds will supply significant amounts of vitamin E (the body's primary fat-soluble antioxidant, which is also an anti-inflamatory and cardiovascular health superstar), magnesium (which has been said to help reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, and prevent migraine headaches, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke), and selenium (helpful for DNA and cellular repair). See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Almond Apricot Nibs

A hint of apricot extract adds a dimension of sophistication to these energy bites. The search continues for my favorite energy ball recipe. This one is great because the cinnamon and almond extract give these a distinctive flavor. What's your favorite combo? Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup-ish almonds 1/2 cup-ish cashews 1/4 cup dried apricots 4 medjool dates, pitted 1/2 cup-ish coconut flakes Pinch sea salt 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 tsp. organic almond extract 3/4 cup-ish nut/seed butter

Method:

Add all the ingredients but for the nut butter to a food processor and blend until desired consistency (large grainy is probably best).

Pour into a large bowl and add the nut/seed butter and stir until well-mixed.

Using a spoon and/or your hands, form into balls and put into large glass tupperware with lid.

Allow to chill and harden in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Benefits:

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Apricots: Apricots are rich with beta-carotene and fiber, both of which help promote heart health. They are also good sources of vitamins A and C. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cashews: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, and approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids. What’s more is that about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same monounsaturated or “good fat” found in olive oil. This super nut is also packed with copper, manganese, magnesium, and tryptophan (the “feel good” amino acid”). See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Coconut: Coconut is highly nutritious, rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Both modern and traditional medicine have recognized coconut as having antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Meanwhile coconut provides a nutritional source of quick energy, and can be used to enhance endurance and physical performance. Coconut is also soothing to the digestive tract, and aids in absorption of other nutrients within the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Dates: Dates are rich with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. They are also high in other antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein, which help protect and nourish our cells. But they’re high in sugar, so a dab’ll do ya. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Oregano Grass-fed Beef Stuffed Calamari

Don't be afraid to taste new things! This dish was a major hit at our last dinner party. Even the squeamish came back for seconds! My husband and I discovered chorizo-stuffed squid in NYC recently and realized that pasture-fed beef would be a delicious replacement for the chorizo. They're slippery little devils, so beware you don't fling a squid across the kitchen.

In any case, if you can find tube squid (the kind sans tentacles, which you can stuff), you can fill them with anything. A great replacement for cannelloni noodles if you're on the gluten/grain-free bandwagon. Please let me know what kinds of goodies you stuff them with. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

One package “tube” squid

1-2 lbs. local organic grass fed beef

½ 1b. tomatoes

1 onion, chopped

1-2 cloves chopped or pressed garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

1 drop oregano essential oil

Method:

Rinse squid and allow them to marinate in juice of ½ lemon and 1 drop lemon essential oil. Set aside.

Sauté onions and garlic until brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and beef. Sauté until medium cooked. Salt and pepper to taste and allow to cool.

Add 1 drop oregano essential oil and mix thoroughly.

Stuff the squid until they are almost full (the meat will expand when it cooks).

Heat pan with olive oil on medium heat. Sear the stuffed squid until brown on one side. (About 1-2 minutes)

Flip and do the same on the other.

Serve and enjoy!

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting meal!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Benefits:

Garlic: Garlic has long been touted as a health promoting food. It is high in sulfur (and while that might make us a little, ahem, stinky, this may be an important part of a our otherwise sulfur-deficient diets. Garlic is also rich with manganese and is a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, as well as selenium. This "stinky rose" also protects our blood vessels from inflammatory and oxidative stress, but its other health benefits abound. See here for nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.

Grass Fed Beef: Research has shown that meat, eggs, and dairy products from pastured animals are much better for your health than their mega-farmed counterparts. They offer more "good" fats, and fewer "bad" fats, are richer in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as vitamins E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Plus they don't contain the added hormones and antibiotics generally found in the factory farmed variety. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Onion:  Like garlic, onions are high in sulfur (and while that might make us a little, ahem, stinky, this may be an important part of a our otherwise sulfur-deficient diets. They are a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, fiber, and manganese. They help protect our blood, bone, and connective tissue. See here for other health benefits and nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.

Dried Oregano/Oregano Essential Oil: In essential oil form, oregano is a powerful antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidant, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, anti-viral and disinfectant. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Tomato: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain high amounts of manganese and vitamin E. Multiple studies have shown that tomatoes are wonderful for heart health. See here for more health benefits of tomatoes. Heirloom varieties of any flora and fauna are dear to my heart. I’ll write more about this later. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pecan Cookie Bites

We had four desserts at our Thanksgiving meal, and these 'lil beauties were the favorite. They're not overly sweet, but will leave you with a smile (and room to breathe after dinner). I'm not really into this whole "Paleo" diet craze. However, I understand that it's important to be able to offer all types of foods and desserts to the finicky, ahem, refined eaters in your life. This is by far one of the yummiest recipes I have discovered (modified from fitsugar.com) that can be tailored to just about anyone. Even my 14-year-old nephew picked this as best in show over the pecan and pumpkin pies. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup grade B maple syrup

1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin

1/2 cup olive oil (or coconut oil, or melted ghee)

1 tbsp organic vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. organic cinnamon

1/2 tsp. organic nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground ginger (or minced fresh)

2/3 cup organic dark chocolate chips

2/3 cup organic chopped pecans

*NOTE: This recipe can be doubled if you are in the giving mood. Perfect for sharing with neighbors and other kind samaritans who deserve a tasty holiday treat!

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 F

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter, pumpkin, maple syrup, and vanilla until well combined.

In a small bowl, mix the coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing vigorously with a spoon to avoid clumps.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon onto a parchment-lined baking sheet

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (Check them at 15 to make sure they're browning evenly, top and bottom)

Transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool.

Arrange on a platter, serve and enjoy!

Benefits:

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. *NOTE: NOT ALL CHOCOLATE IS CREATED EQUAL! The darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao content, and generally, the lower the sugar content. Buyer beware.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it’s great, but don’t overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pecans: Pecans contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, a variety of B vitamins and zinc. One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber. Pecans are also a source of monounsaturated or "good" fat and protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Pumpkin: This tasty winter squash is packed vitamins A and C, magnesium and potassium, as well as dietary fiber. It's also contains high amounts of carotenoids, the little nutrients which help to neutralize free-radicals within the body, and is low in calories. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.