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Remix Your Butter

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Today I finished yet another jar of sunflower seed butter—the Sunbutter brand. My favorite nut butters are the ones you grind yourself, as far as I can get away from processed food, aka Jiffy brand. I haven’t seen a grind-it-yourself sunflower seed machine at a grocery store, so I took it upon myself to make my own sun butter this morning! It was amazingly easy, not to mention how fresh and good it tasted.

You’ll want a food processor, olive oil, salt, and sunflower seeds.

First, spread the seeds out on a non-stick pan. The more thinly layered, the more evenly it toasts. Set your oven on broil—high—and watch the seeds carefully until they are golden. You may need to disturb them with a spatula once or twice for an even toast. When you take them out to cook, they will continue to toast on the hot pan, so take them out sooner than you think!

sunseeds

Let the seeds cool and then place them in the food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of EVOO and grind the seeds. Keep adding 1 T at a time until the seed butter is moist and sticks together. It will be powdery if there isn’t enough oil. Add the amount of oil you want to get to the consistency you’re looking for (like your favorite nut butter).

I added 6 tablespoons, but that’s because I basically can drink olive oil…so good—on everything.

Next, add salt to taste.

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Now enjoy on bread, fruit, in smoothies, or by the spoonful! Or, how about sunbutter fingers? 🙂

Enjoy!

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Chocolate-Dunked Ginger Molasses Chews

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted—new job, new apartment and new cat! Wishing you a happy Monday, all the same, and I want to share a recipe with you that you’ll want to try soon. Very soon.

If you’ve ever reached for a cookie instead of a cupcake, you’re not alone! I prefer chewy over fluffy any day. Not to say there isn’t a cake I love out there, but sometimes I really crave a bite of a sweet, salty, soft cookie. The fact that you can easily personalize a cookie is fun and attractive. Nothing beats a chocolate addition, like this chocolate-dipped bad boy seen above. If I’m making it, I have to incorporate chocolate somehow, in some way. Ginger Molasses Chew just got dunked!

The best part of this recipe is the texture and SIZE of the cookies. (Well maybe the size was more of my doing, but as I say, exercise your will as the creator!). After combining all the ingredients and rolling (and tasting) the dough into balls, pop them into the oven. Keep a careful eye on them and make sure that they are golden brown on the bottom, but not over cooked. Always, always, think “underdone” for baking cookies. This is how the chewiness happens.

Follow this recipe from Table for Two, or your favorite molasses cookie recipe.

After melting Trader Joe’s dark chocolate—most cost-effective bar I’ve seen for quality and size—dunk half of your cookies and spread for an even and precise finish. For a festive “Let’s party!” cookie cake, shower colorful sprinkles on the warm chocolate before it hardens. Give the cookies a little pat, and then off they go into the fridge to harden.

Lastly, eat as is, or do what I did and make a cookie cake. I arranged the cookies on a cake plate and stuck candles on top. After my sister’s birthday promenade, they were devoured with no mercy. No cake cutting and no dirty plates, just cookie in hand…and sprinkles to spare.

Power Up, Green Juice and Chia Kombucha

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Hope you all had a wonderful family-, friend-, food-filled Christmas and New Years! If you’re like me, you enjoyed all the foods that come with the holidays. Cinnamon rolls, roasts, dinner rolls, cookies… For Christmas Eve, my family always makes Cioppino, accompanied by fresh sourdough bread. On Christmas, I was spoiled with rosemary pork tenderloin, brown rice, peas, garlic bread and, my absolute favorite, Brussels sprouts!

Dessert was filled with chocolate pixies, orange scented cookies, Russian tea cakes—I could go on and on, but let’s get to that green drink photo. With all of this delightful holiday eating and my tupperware with leftovers becoming bare, I’m dying for something fresh, cold and nourishing. I had my full share of all the foods I’ve ever wanted this season and now I’m ready for something fresh to start off the new year.

This morning I juiced kale, cucumber, celery, apples, and carrots. Green drinks make me feel so good…I can almost hear my body thanking me. But this kind of drink needs some sweetness, otherwise I feel like I’m mowing the lawn, or out grazing with the cows. Surprising enough it doesn’t take much to turn this “pasture” drink into perfection—apple and carrots will do the trick. However, in order to really kick off the new year, I thought I’d try boosting my drink with kombucha. I poured in a chia seed kombucha: Fruit juice and protein boost. Mark of a true winner!


(photo credit; sourced by Photo Pin)

Recipe

1 Cucumber
1/2 Celery bunch
1 Bunch kale
3 Bunch spinach
3 Carrots
2 Apples

Pour a glass of juice and add half a bottle of Synergy’s chia seed kombucha drink. For more recipes, follow my “Juice It” board on Pinterest for recipe links.

If you don’t have a juicer, and you love juices, I highly recommend investing in a good one. If you’re not sure about juicing, make this recipe by buying a vegetable based juice and add in a kombucha (since that’s essentially what this is).

Still can’t decide? Further investigate with fresh juices at grocery stores, like Whole Foods, and check out the documentary—Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (it’s pretty convincing!). With or without a juicer, I wish you a Happy New Year and a great new year with your family and friends!

Have a favorite juice or fruit/veggie combination idea? Leave me a comment and share!

Related Recipes

Green Energy Drink (by The Happy Vegan Blog)
Mean Green Juice (by Gastro Luv)
Savoury Gem Juice (by This Rawsome Vegan Life)
Tropical Papaya Batido Fruit Shake (by Skinny Taste)

Cilantro Carrots

Whenever I cook carrots, it brings me back to when I was a little girl. Grandpa would tell me to eat my carrots because they’re healthy and good for me. “You know why?” he would ask when telling me to eat my carrots, “Well, have you ever seen a rabbit with glasses?!” Why no, I have not. Have you? This always stuck with me as a little kid, like an epiphany —carrots were the secret to healthy eyes.

Twenty years later, here I am writing this post wearing glasses. Maybe I should have listened to Grandpa and eaten more carrots…

Fact: Grandpa wasn’t kidding.

According to fitday.com, carrots contain high levels of antioxidants (which protect the body from cell damage) and beta-carotene, a compound that’s converted to vitamin A by the body. Vitamin A is key for good vision and a strong immune system.

So let’s make some carrots! Today is a recipe using heirloom carrots of yellow, orange and red. I know, I didn’t know they came in those colors either! I found these bagged carrots at Trader Joe’s, and they taste SO much better than baby carrots; although, baby carrots have their place and time for on-the-go snacking. But these heirloom carrots have a lot of flavor and are more fibrous.

Start by peeling and cutting the carrots into matchsticks. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbs. of olive oil. Sauté the carrots for 15 minutes or until desired tenderness.

Chop fresh cilantro and stir into the cooked carrots. You really don’t need salt because of all the flavors here! I’m trying to cook with less sodium. Check out my recent post (Salt-less Challenge) featured on Princess and the Jog.

Now, divvy them up—they really do make for a colorful, beautiful side!

Cilantro Carrots
2 servings | 30 minutes (including prep. time)

2 Tbs. Olive oil
5 Carrots; medium
1 Bunch cilantro; small

I hope during the holidays you find a spot on your dish for this recipe…Or maybe this weekend after a long day of shopping!

Happy Friday everyone!

Related Recipes

Vegan Carrot Cherry Breakfast Cookies (by Joy the Baker)
Mini Muttballs (by Chef Mimi Blog)
Roast Carrots with Butter, Cumin and Orange (by Caramelised Blog)
Parsnip and Carrot Rosti (by Two Fat Vegetarians)
Blackbean Burgers & Spicy Cilantro Carrot Fries (The Primitive Pantry)

Hello Sweet on Cinnamon Readers!

My name is Court and I normally blog over at Princessandthejog.com, check it out! But for today, I am excited to be writing to you all here!

I met Madalyn through a small online community called Elf for Health, which is group of people who have joined together to share a similar goal of keeping a focus on health while enjoying the holiday season. This group is organized thanks to the hard work of Elle and Lindsay.

Today I want to talk to you a little about healthy snacking. As a princess, I always like to carry healthy snacks with me to have on hand.

According to multiple sources, healthy snacks are a great way to keep blood sugar levels balanced. Planned healthy snacking keeps you focused and on track if you are trying to eat healthy, because it doesn’t allow your body time to miss food.

Here are some of my favorite go-to snacks:
  • Bag o’ nuts. The best kinds of nuts are nutrient-rich ones such as almonds or walnuts, which are both full of healthy fats as well as vitamins and minerals.
  • Greek Yogurt. I’m sure you are aware of the health benefits associated with yogurt, but I am particularly fond of Chobani Coconut flavored – it is just the right level of sweetness, with the same calcium, protein, and other powerful health benefits!
  • Cut up veggies – i.e. carrot sticks, celery, broccoli. I like to dress them up with Italian seasoning and olive oil for extra flavor. The olive oil provides a little bit of that healthy fat component as well, and the Italian seasoning gives your taste buds extra flavor, making your mouth think you are eating something more than just a carrot stick.

And my all-time favorite snack ….

  • Sliced apples with cinnamon. When I realized Madalyn’s blog name was Sweet on Cinnamon, I was so excited and knew that I would have to bring up my apples in this guest post. Cinnamon is one of my favorite go to spices, because it is so versatile. I put cinnamon in my coffee, in meat rub mixtures, and on my sliced apples.

Cinnamon is awesome because it acts as an anti-inflammatory, and helps to boost metabolism. As for my apples, I like to slice up a medium sized apple, and place them in a zip lock baggie. Then, I squirt in the juice of one slice of a lemon for freshness, and then sprinkle in about two teaspoons of cinnamon. Then I toss the apples around and make sure they are all fully coated.

The apples taste best if you can keep them cold, but I have left them in my purse all day before and they still taste good by mid-afternoon. Sometimes I even toss in a few almonds with the apples!

I hope that some of these ideas have helped to get your mind going thinking about healthy snacking. Keep in mind that the more you can plan for and prepare for your day, the better off you are going to be! We should all try to be realistic with ourselves. We all know that when 3:00 rolls around, we are going to be hungry; and instead of running for a vending machine, why not have something on hand that you’re excited about?

Like I said, be sure and check out my blog at Princessandthejog.com, I look forward to meeting all of you there J Feel free to get with me on social media as well. I’m on Facebook, Twiter, and Instagram.

Hope everyone has a happy HUMP day!!

Oh and a big special thank you to Madalyn for swapping blogs for the day with me and to Brianna for hosting the blog swap!

Fig and Almond Tart: The New Pie

It’s time to welcome a new pie to the Thanksgiving feast. Although pumpkin pie will always be a Thanksgiving perfection with its flaky crust and spicy cinnamon and sweet custard center, sometimes traditions can use a little bit of sprucing.

This Fig and Almond Tart won’t replace your traditional pie, but it can become quite an addition to the table. I love this tart because it’s a beautiful rendition by chef, Giada De Laurentiis, and also because it doesn’t require a pan. Hello — less dishes!

Figs have little edible seeds that add a crunch to its sweet, fleshy center. They bake beautifully on top of the ingenious bed of creamy mascarpone and almond puree. This recipe incorporates lemon zest into the pie crust for a creative twist…what would a recipe by Giada be without a lemon?

Fig and Almond Tart 

Roll out the dough, spread the mascarpone and almond mixture, and layer the sliced figs.

Add a thin glaze of apricot jelly (not chunky) over the top of the figs for a finished glistened look. Fold the dough around the filling and press edges to seal. Brush egg whites on the dough and sprinkle with sugar for a golden brown crust.

Cut it, eat it… then repeat.

Related Recipes

Super Easy Pie Crust (and Pumpkin Pie) (by Biscuits ‘n Crazy)
French Fruit Tart with Vanilla Custard (by The Baker Bar)
Apple + Cinnamon Tart (by Eat Drink Cook Pour)
Dad’s Sweet Potato Pie (by Joy the Baker)

Simple Asparagus, Tomato and Mushroom Quiche

One reason I love quiches: I can throw in different ingredients every time and have myself a new tasty quiche. I could literally make one every week and never get bored! You can make enough to last by cooking in either an oven dish or a muffin pan. Cook one for breakfast and let it keep on giving all week-long. Healthy, satisfying and simple—now that’s my kind of breakfast!

I always thought a quiche needed cream, butter and a time-consuming crust, but that just isn’t so! This quiche is crustless and I don’t even miss it. I mean, really, isn’t the filling what it’s all about? Crack open some eggs, add milk, sauté (or blanch veggies), and bake. That’s it. Nothing more.

I love recipes that are forgiving and allow me to experiment. This morning I used mushrooms, asparagus and sweet cherry tomatoes for my quiche.

Ingredients:

10 Eggs (and/or egg whites)
1 C Almond milk (or any kind)
2  Handfuls of cherry tomatoes; sliced
1 Bunch of asparagus; quartered
1 C Mushrooms; sliced
2 Tbs. Rosemary
1 Tbs. Dill
Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Whisk together eggs, almond milk, rosemary, dill, and salt and pepper. Meanwhile, sauté the vegetables so they are tender, but not over cooked (about 6 minutes). You can also boil water and blanch the vegetables for 5 minutes instead of sautéing. Mix the prepared vegetables in with the egg mixture, and then pour the mixture into a greased baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes or until the edges are brown and the center is set. Check doneness by sticking in a knife. Egg should not ooze out.

Enjoy and share (with deserving friends and family)!

Related Recipes:

Mini Quiches (by Beerfoodie)
Power Breakfast Egg MeatMuffins (by The Healthy Foodie)
Cornmeal and Chive Waffles with Salsa and Eggs (by Joy the Baker)
Egg White Spinach and Mushroom Breakfast Sandwich (by Armelle)