Healthy Peanut Butter Balls

Need a healthy snack to hold you over for a while?  Want it to taste really good?  Well, here you go.  Super healthy peanut butter balls. A lot of us are looking for a small snack in the middle of the day that will keep us satisfied.  These puppies not only taste awesome, they are packed with fiber, protein, complex carbs, and anti-oxidants.  Eat em’ up!

Total prep time: 25 minutes

Here’s what you will need:

1/2 cup raw organic honey

1/2 cup organic peanut butter

2 tbsp. TVP (textured vegetable protein)

1 1/2 cups whole rolled oats

1/4 cup raw cacao (chocolate) nibs

1/2 cup goji berries (or your choice of dried fruit)

1/4 cup whole flax seeds

Ok, here’s how easy this is.  Toast the oats on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Then put all ingredients except for the flax seeds into a large mixing bowl and stir until fully blended.  Now roll into one inch balls and then roll those into the the flax seeds to coat them.  Thats it.  Makes about 15.  Enjoy.

 

Simple, Super Healthy Chicken Soup

It’s winter and that means soup and stew season.  This recipe is one of my favorites and it’s so simple and healthy.  Give it a shot and let me know what you think.  Enjoy!

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN SOUP WITH QUINOA

You will need:

1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken(preferably certified humane) cut into3/4 inch pieces

3 cups chicken broth(low sodium)

3 cups water

1 1/2 cups sherry cooking wine

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

5 leafs of kale, chopped

3 cups baby carrots, or large chopped carrots

2 cups shitake mushrooms(I substituted tomatoes for the mushrooms in this one)

2 heaping tbsp. fresh sage

1/2 crushed red pepper to spice it up(optional)

Preparation:

Pour all liquids into a soup pot and bring to a boil for two minutes and then turn heat down to low. Add chicken and stir it so it doesn’t stick together, simmering for about two minutes.  Add all other ingredients, cover, stir, and simmer for 50 minutes.  That’s it!  Stir about every ten minutes.

Quinoa:

Rinse one cup of Quinoa thouroghly and put in a sauce pan.  Add two cups of water and bring to a boil for one full minute.  Put heat on low, cover for 15 minutes.  Check to see that there is no more water on the bottom of the pan.  When bottom of pan is dry, it is done.

The soup goes great over this super healthy grain.

Organic ingredients are best, but whatever you choose is fine.

Enjoy!

Incredibly Easy Homemade Almond Milk

I love Almond Milk, but I’m not crazy about paying so much in the store for highly processed products. Now I make it at home and it is absolutely delicious. It’s super easy! Want the recipe?

Soak 1 cup of raw almonds in filtered water over night. In the morning, give the water to a needy plant and throw your soaked almonds in a blender or food processor. Add 3 cups of filtered water and blend for a couple minutes. You can sweeten and/or flavor the milk with dates, vanilla, honey, cocoa, stevia, agave, your choice! Just add a little of what you like while it is blending or processing. Cut two squares of cheese cloth, layer them one on top of the other, stretch them over a bowl, and clamp them firmly onto the edges to create your ‘strainer.’  Warning…use cheese cloth not a coffee filter, as the coffee filter will not work. Now pour the almond milk mixture into the bowl through the cloth. Once all of the liquid is poured out, wet almond meal will remain on the cloth. Unclamp your ‘strainer’ and squeeze out the excess liquid from the meal into the bowl. Pour it into a pitcher or cotainer. DONE! You have fresh almond milk and you are a certified almond milker! Your yummy concoction should last a week in the refrigerator. The meal will only last a few days ~ so use it to make raw crackers and truffles, or even bake it to sprinkle over fruit and yogurt.

                                                   

Home Made Crunchy Granola Bars

I love granola bars.  Especially the crunchy kind.  They can be a really healthy between meal snack. But it seems like the choices for these tasty treats these days is either highly processed sugar bars from the grocery store or really expensive soft chewy bars at the health food store. For that reason I experimented over and over again to find the recipe that made my bars not only really healthy, but also containing that nice crunchy texture that I like.  Each batch costs me about $8 bucks and gives me around 16-20 bars.  You do the math.  Here’s what I do…

Healthy Crunchy Granola Bars

Prep time: 25 minutes        Cook time: 22 minutes            Makes:  16-20 bars

I like to use all organic products, but whatever you choose is ok.

  •  1 1/2 cups puffed rice, wheat, or kamut (or a combination of any of them)
  • 2 1/2 cups whole rolled oats, not instant oats (I like to toast them for ten minutes at 325 first)
  • 1/2 cup  textured vegetable protein (sometimes I substitute raw Teff of Grape nuts, but TVP works just fine)
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped nuts, seeds, and dried fruit of your choice (often I will buy a bag of mixed organic nuts seeds and dried fruit and use that instead of buying individual packages of each)
  • 3 tbsp.  raw whole flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao(cocoa) powder, or raw cacao nibs
  • 5 tbsp.  nut butter (peanut, almond, or sunflower is fine)
  • 4 tbsp.  raw honey
  • 4 tbsp.  raw agave syrup (or brown rice syrup)
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp.  vanilla extract

 

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line an edged cookie sheet with a long piece of parchment paper, or simply grease the cookie sheet liberally with some vegetable oil being sure to hit the edges too.  I don’t use the parchment paper, but some people seem to really like using it.

2.  In a medium saucepan add nut butter, raw honey, vanilla, and agave syrup and heat on low, stirring regularly until everything is melted and somewhat smooth.

3.  While liquids are warming add all of the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix well with a spoon or your hands.

4.  Pour melted liquid mixture over dry mixture and mix well with a spoon or your hands making sure everything is evenly coated.  Spread the mixture onto your pan and press evenly.  I like to make mine about 1/2 inch thick but that’s up to you.  *IMPORTANT* Packing it really hard to the pan helps ensure that it will get good and crunchy.  I always use the bottom of my largest measuring cup to press the mixture pressing it really firmly, it works great.  Put the pan into your preheated 325 degree oven for 22 minutes.

5.  As soon as you take it out of the oven immediately pack it again with the flat bottom of your measuring cup, this is important.  Let them cool almost completely before cutting your bars.  Enjoy the crunchy, healthy deliciousness.

 

 

 

Three Steps to Better Health

We all need to start somewhere, right?  When I think about this topic I’m reminded of an old, often used saying.  “Beware, all bad things come in threes.”   I can tell you from personal experience that this one here seems to be true sometimes.  However, as I am ever the optimist these days, I also believe that good things come in threes as well.   Looking back through my early recovery days from addiction to where I am now I am able to actually see the journey in the big picture sense and recognize what actually had to take place in order for this to happen. Whether it is a quest to overcome addiction or alcoholism, an attempt to improve on poor health, or even create new lifestyle choices that will keep you from dangerous situations in life, I believe that three steps need to take place.

Step One: The Need

It takes some time to get to the place where we need some help addressing a health problem.  We don’t become overweight, diabetic, hypertensive, out of energy, sugar dependant etc. etc. in just a couple of weeks.  However, often times signs of bad health are rearing their ugly heads long before we acknowledge the fact that there is a problem.  Most of us know someone that we have watched slowly go down hill with their health.  Maybe they have slowly gained a considerable amount of weight, or they are tapped out of energy all the time. Maybe they always seem to be kind of “crabby” and just really aren’t themselves.  Perhaps they are drinking too much or taking drugs to self medicate and block out the reality of what is really going on.  There is a good chance that some people reading this right now have experienced some of this too, or even more.  But what gets people to that place where they themselves will actually accept the fact that they need help?

My experience is that as humans we love to swim in that cesspool of denial.  “Things aren’t really that bad.” “I still have my job and my family loves me”, and on and on it goes.  But deep down we know something is not right.  What typically happens is that people won’t acknowledge that they need help with something until something bad happens, usually it’s when a doctor or health care practitioner says, “hey, your not in good health, you need to do some things differently or your gonna get really sick.”  Sound familiar?  Well, it doesn’t need to be that way.   If you know in your heart that you are not where you want to be this first step is really easy.  It’s all about acceptance.  All you have to do is sit for awhile with yourself, take a look inside and see the truth, and simply say the words “I need some help with my health.”  The beauty of this step is that you still don’t really have to do any work.  It’s just words for now my friend.  You have acknowledged and accepted the need.  Congratulations, you just completed step one.

 

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