Avocado Coconut Vegan Brownies

This is what happens when you have a large quantity of avocados, a little bit of coconut milk and are craving brownies. I’d always been aware that avocados can be used in baking but I was always hesitant, especially as a recent avocado convert. However, I have to say you can’t taste the avocados at all in these and they help load these brownies with healthy fats and much more fiber than traditional brownies. Please note these are not super sweet brownies at all, if you want them sweet I’d suggest doubling the amount of sugar.

Recipe: Makes 12 Brownies

Ingredients:

1/4 cup pureed avocado

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup canned coconut milk

 

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease or line a 8-inch square pan and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine avocado and coconut oil together until smooth. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, salt, and coconut milk until well combined.

3. Spread batter evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

4. Cool brownies completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve. The brownies will stay fresh for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

 Nutrition:

Per brownie or 1/12th of recipe

Calories: 130 kcal

Protein: 1 grams

Carbs: 19 grams

Fat: 7 grams

Fiber: 3 grams

Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe!!

Easy Peanut Butter Honey Granola Bars

1
3 Ingredients. Way tastier and healthier than Chewy Bars.

This is a quick and delicious recipe can be used to kill your midday craving or as a quick pre-workout meal. These bars are an easy way to boost your fiber intake with the oats and peanut butter. You also get some healthy mono-saturated/saturated fats from the peanut butter, and vitamins and minerals from the honey. I really believe in the health properties of RAW honey. For more information on the health benefits of raw honey check out this article: https://authoritynutrition.com/10-benefits-of-honey/

 

 

That being said for this recipe you do have to heat the honey into its liquid if is not already in liquid form. The boiling point of honey is between 105-120 degrees F meaning it boils under relativity low heat, therefore its best to use a double boiler type method to heat the honey to preserve its anti-bacterial/fungal properties, see directions below. Feel free to add whatever other add ins to this recipe that you like, chocolate chips, cocoa, dried fruit, nuts, etc. You can also makes these protein bars by adding 1-2 scoops of protein powder!

 

Recipe: Makes approx 10 Bars

Ingredients:

1 cup of rolled oats

1 cup of quick oats
1/2 cup crunchy natural peanut butter* (unsalted)
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (optional but suggested )
Cookie sheet and parchment paper
** Feel free to use any other nut butter (or sunflower seed butter for nut-free) to replace the peanut butter.

** Also feel free to add whatever other extras you you desire

** To make protein bars add two scoops of your favorite protein powder and 2 tablespoons of milk or milk subsitute.

Directions:

1.  Line a standard cook sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a deep saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the some water to  a boil. Using a small metal mixing bowl add your honey and place the bowl into the boiling water. This is known as creating a double boiler. A more gentle way to heat certain foods.

2. While the honey heats up, place the oats and salt in a large bowl and set aside.

3. Once your honey is liquefied remove from the double boiler add in the peanut butter and salt. Pour the warm mixture over the oats, and using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the mixture well, coating the oats evenly. As the mixture cools, it will become sticky and difficult to mix, so move quickly.

 

4. Transfer the mixture to the lined cookie sheet, and press HARD to pack it into the pan. They should be about 1/2 inch thick deep. Pressing firmly will ensure that the bars stick together after you refrigerate them, this is crucial. Place the pan in the fridge (or freezer depending on how patient you are) to cool, then use a chef’s large knife to cut the bars.

Nutrition:

Per bar

Calories: 117 cal

Protein: 4 grams

Carbs: 18 grams

Fat: 4 grams

Fiber: 2

 

Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe!!

Low Calorie and Low Carb Bacon and Veggie Egg Muffins

IMG_1582.jpg
Use a high quality source of bacon. Look for pasture raised pork. You’ll eat less but its worth it.

Most people eat eggs for breakfast. Eggs are cheap, delicious, nutritious, but not always the most convenient. Egg muffins are the egg lovers solution, to quick eggy goodness on the go. There are a 100 different flavor combinations hist just one!

Recipe: Makes 24 Egg Muffins

Ingredients:

1 Dozen Cage Free Eggs
1 Package of bacon, diced into small pieces (preferably nitrate free, and from natural/organic pork)
1 Red Pepper, cubed
1 Green Pepper, cubed
1 Large onion sweet onion, coarsely chopped

4 Plum Tomatoes cubed
Salt and Pepper to taste

*** You’ll also need a muffin tin.

Directions:

1.In a large skillet add your cubed bacon and allow it to crisp up until it is completely crispy. Remove the bacon, pat it down with a paper towel to remove excess fat and put it aside. Next, drain almost all the fat in the pan from the bacon except about 1 tablespoon. Then add the onion and peppers sauteing over medium heat until the onions become very soft, about 5- 8 minutes. Pre heat your oven to 350 Degree.

2.In a separate bowl whisk together your dozen eggs, adding salt and pepper.

3. Add the onion and pepper mixture. Lastly, add your plum tomatoes to the egg mixture.

4.Grease your muffin tin, or use non stick cooking spray to make sure the muffins come out the tin with ease. Next, carefully ladle about 1/3 a cup of the egg, bacon, and veggie mixture into the well greased muffin tin. Cook for approximately 20 minutes.

Nutrition:

Per muffin

Calories: 110cal

Protein: 10 grams

Carbs: 4 grams

Fat: 7 grams

 

Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe!!

The Fastest Bolognese Sauce

fullsizerender-1

Bolognese is one of my favorite dishes , and arguably one of the best sauces of any cuisine.I have been making Bolognese since I was a teenager, working on perfecting a recipe. There are a few things required for a good sauce, fresh tomatoes, alot of garlic, grass fed beef, and Parmesan cheese (ideally an old rind..yes an old rind). This recipe combines all those things with a whole lot less calories than your typically meat sauce.

Recipe: Makes 8, 4ounce Servings or about 4, 8 ounce Servings (depending on caloric and macronutrient needs)

 

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large onion, coarsely chopped
2 Garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
4-6 Plum Tomatoes cubed
2lb Pound ground Grass Fed Beef ***

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes  ( I prefer Muir Glen fire roasted **)

1/2 Tablespoon of thyme

2 Tablespoons of Italian seasoning

1 Small bunch of fresh basil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Crushed Red Peppers to taste

Parmesan Cheese to taste

Basil or Italian Parsley to Garnish

 

*** You can buy either lean ground beef like 90/10 or you can buy 80/20 and simply drain the fat. This accomplishes two things: one, you can save money by buying cheaper meat, two you get roughly the same caloric and fat amounts as 90/10 after draining your 80/20. If you want to know more about how cooking ground beef of different fat contents changes the calorie and fat content, check out this chart below.

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 11.12.07 AM.png
As you can see, blotting or draining 80% lean beef, yields the same caloric and fat content as 90% lean beef that has just been pan broiled. Save, yourself some money and just drain the fattier beef.

Directions:

 

1.In a large skillet heat the olive oil. When hot (throw some water in the pan, if it pops its ready) add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until the onions become very soft, about 5- 8 minutes.

2.In a separate pan saute your beef. You don’t need to add oil because the beef has enough fat on its own, and you will be draining the fat. When the beef is nice and browned, take your top and drain the fat from the beef. Add the onion and garlic mixture to the beef and return to low heat.

3. Next add all your herbs and spices, then add the fresh tomatoes and let the mixture cook on low to medium heat for approximately 5-8 minutes softening the tomatoes.

4. Add the canned tomatoes. Add approximately 1 cup of water and turn the heat all the way down. Lastly, add your grated cheese or Parmesan rind and little sauce simmer for 1-2 hours.

5. Garnish with fresh Italian parsley and serve with zucchini pasta or regular pasta . (Again, depending on your goals and preferences)

 

Nutrition:

Per 115g/ 4 Ounce Serving

Calories: 250cal

Protein: 25 grams

Carbs: 25 grams

Fat: 6 grams

Fiber: 4 grams

 

 

Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe!!

How to Cook Perfect Rice Everytime

Get a Rice Cooker.

Nah, but really if you want to learn how to cook rice perfectly every time with no guess work here is a foolproof method.

For a long time this simple, universally cooked grain was the one thing I could not get right in the kitchen. My rice was always disgusting: either hard and starchy, or gelatinous and lifeless. However, this technique changed my rice game forever.

What You’ll Need:

A Pot with a lid

Some Rice

A Clean Dish Cloth (to be further used as the rice rag)

Water

Butter/Olive Oil and Salt

How To Do it:

1. Rinse your rice. For white rice rinse 3 times, for brown rice 1 time.

2. For white rice use 1 cup of dry rice to 2 cups of water. For long grain brown use 1 cup of dry rice to 1.5 cups of water. For short grain brown rice use 1 cup of dry rice to 1.25 cups of water.

3. Add water and rice to pot. Add one teaspoon of butter/oil and a pinch of salt.

4. Bring Rice to boil, immediately turn the heat down as low as possible.

5. **The Secret Trick*** Take your clean dish rag and wrap it around the top of the pot’s lid folding all the edges inwards toward the handle. Place the lid on the rice and let cook for 15 minutes for white rice and 30 minutes for brown rice. Turn heat off and let steam for an additional 5 minutes.

The reason this method works so well is because wrapping the pot’s lid in a clothe helps eliminate excess moisture from collecting in your rice as is the case with traditional glass or metal lids.This creates mushy soggy rice because the moisture collects on the lid of the pot and falls back into the rice. The clothe simply absorbs condensation creating much more dry and fluffy rice.

Now go make some rice!

Don’t for get to like, comment, and subscribe!

 

 

 

Freezing Fresh Vegetables

broccoli-vegetable-food-healthy-47347-large

Tired of having to decide between fresh and frozen vegetables each week? Tired of buying outrageously priced vegetables only to watch them wilt away in your refrigerator 3 days after?

One of my favorite ways to save money on groceries is to freeze fresh vegetables that are on sale.  First, a quick anecdote as to how I came about using this helpful tip to save money. Since I currently reside in California, vegetables are dirt-cheap. It’s awesome! You can literally get a week worth of vegetables for under $10.00. The problem is fresh vegetables tend to go bad rather quickly, especially those of the leafy variety which is unfortunate for me because I Kale is one of my favorite vegetables. I originally came across this idea when I bought roughly 6lbs of fresh broccoli crowns and just shoved them into the freezer. Little did I know that this is NOT the optimal way to freeze fresh vegetables. After cooking all of it I was left with a discolored mushy inedible pile of what used to be broccoli. So to help everyone avoid this problem here is how to freeze those frozen vegetables and ultimately save a boatload of money on our food bill.

*** Why you need to blanch fresh vegetables. Blanching vegetables stops the enzymes that cause vegetables to loose flavor and texture, one of the primary enzymes being lipoxygenase. Using the blanching method is also optimal for retaining vitamins and minerals in your vegetables. Lastly, blanching also gives your vegetables a bright appealing color!

Freezing Fresh Vegetables

Things you’ll need: Vegetables, 1 Large Pot, Water, Ice, Large bowl.

  1. Start by washing and trimming all your vegetables under cold water. Remove any stems and debris.
  2. Cut your vegetables into the desired size for their intended use.
  3. This is the CRUCIAL step. Next blanch your vegetables. To do this bring a pot of water to a boil. (Roughly 1 gallon of water/1lb of vegetables) Add your vegetables, and allow the water to come back to a boil and cook for 1-2 minutes. While times vary per vegetable, I personally always prefer to blanch my vegetables a little bit less than recommended so they remain as firm as possible. Immediately transfer your vegetables into a large bowl with ice water and allow them to fully cool.
  4. Place all your vegetables in large plastic bags and freeze.
  5. Enjoy! The vegetables should be good for approximately 8-10 months after freezing.

 

Citations:

1. Effect of Duration and Temperature of Blanch on Vitamin Retention by Certain VegetablesN. B. Guerrant, M. G. Vavich, O. B. Fardig, H. A. Ellenberger, R. M. Stern, and N. H. Coonen Industrial & Engineering Chemistry 1947 39 (8), 1000-1007

2.Blanching of Foods Jose I. Reyes De Corcuera, Ralph P. Cavalieri, and Joseph R. Powers Encyclopedia of Agriculture, Food, and Biological Engineering.
Washington State University.