Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Oat Bites : Flourless and No Bake

Peanut Butter Oat Bites

Flourless and No Bake

 

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Want a nutritious snack that can also pass as dessert? These gluten-free peanut butter oat bites contain the delicious combination of dark chocolate and peanut butter, making for a satisfying snack, and the rolled oats add a bit of soluble fiber. What I love most about these bites is the secret ingredient of matcha green tea powder, which packs in more antioxidants.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut creamer (or coconut milk)

Preparation

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients: rolled oats, chia seeds, matcha powder, and cinnamon. Stir the mixture to combine well.
  2. Add in the peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir again until mixture is thoroughly combined. Place oat mixture into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  3. Take the oat mixture out of the refrigerator and roll them into balls, using a heaping tablespoon. This will make about 12 balls. Place back in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes to harden before dipping into chocolate.
  1. In a small sauce pot, add the chocolate chips, vanilla, and coconut creamer or milk. Turn heat to low and slowly melt the chocolate, stirring often. Cook on low until mixture is completely smooth. Be careful not to burn the mixture—keep an eye on it and don’t walk away!
  2. Take the oat bites out of the refrigerator and carefully dip each one into the melted chocolate on one side. Lie them flat on a baking sheet lined with foil after they have been dipped in chocolate. Place in the freezer to harden.
  3. Keep them in the refrigerator and enjoy when wanted. You can also keep them stored in the freezer if you want to enjoy them at a later time.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

These balls are scrumptious with peanut butter, but any nut butter would be equally as delicious. If you have a nut allergy, consider using sunflower seed butter instead. You can also feel free to use chunky instead of creamy peanut butter for an additional crunch.

Although dark chocolate slightly increases the nutritional value of these bites, you can melt your personal favorite chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate is a good choice since it is not too sweet, given you already have ample sweetness from the maple syrup in the mixture.

To make these naturally sweetened, swap out the maple syrup and use mashed up dates.

To sweeten with dates, pour hot water over the dates in a small bowl and let sit for at least 15 minutes so they can soften. Drain excess water and mash up the dates with a fork until a smooth paste is formed. Add this paste into the oat mixture. You can also try using mashed ripe banana as an alternative natural sweetener. Alternatively, to cut down on sugar, use half the amount of maple syrup and add in unsweetened applesauce.

The matcha powder flavor is almost undetectable but if you would like a stronger presence, simply add in another half teaspoon or so. If you have trouble finding matcha powder, omit altogether.

Cooking and Serving Tips

This recipe is very simple and requires no baking. It is especially great in the summer time.

To minimize the number of dishes used, mix all the ingredients for the oat mixture in one bowl. You can also save time by using chocolate chips—they are convenient to melt instead of having to chop up chocolate.

The oat bites do not need to be refrigerated for any food safety reasons, but the chocolate will melt otherwise.

Plus, it keeps the balls intact. Store them in the freezer, as you may not always finish the whole batch within a few days. This way, you can take one or two out as needed and they are as delicious frozen as they are thawed out. Enjoy these as a snack mid-day or for a light dessert in the evening.

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Vitamin D! Symptoms and more!

vitmaninDVitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that your body needs to regulate calcium absorption. Deficiency can result in weakened, brittle bones. Children who don’t get enough may end up with a disease called rickets, and adults with vitamin D deficiency are at a greater risk for osteoporosis.

The adequate daily intake of vitamin D is from 200 to 600 International Units (IU); however, some experts believe those numbers should be increased. Three ounces of salmon contains about 800 IU, a cup of milk has just over 100 IU, and one serving of fortified breakfast cereal usually has about 40 IU vitamin D.

Please know that milk also destroys some Vitamin D too,

Symptoms

People with vitamin D deficiency may experience bone pain and muscle weakness although the symptoms may be very mild at first.

Children who have rickets suffer from soft bones and skeletal deformities. Deficiency in adults will cause osteomalacia, which is a condition that makes your bones weak. Your health care provider can order tests that measure the levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D.

Insufficient levels of vitamin D in the blood have been associated with a variety of other health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, multiple sclerosis and some forms of cancer. However, more research is needed to determine if vitamin D can prevent or treat any of these disorders.

Causes

Not eating foods that contain vitamin D and not getting enough sun exposure may lead to vitamin D deficiency. Breastfed infants, older adults, housebound individuals, and people with dark skin are at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Individuals who have fat absorption problems due to conditions such as Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, gastric bypass surgery, or have liver or kidney conditions may not get enough vitamin D from their diets.

You need sun exposure to make vitamin D, but it only takes 5 to 30 minutes of sun exposure on your face, arms, legs or back twice each week without sunscreen to stimulate sufficient vitamin D production. Excessive sun exposure increases your risk of skin cancer, so it’s important to use sunscreen and limit your use of tanning beds.

Vitamin D is not naturally present in many foods; however, oily fish and especially cod liver oil are rich in vitamin D. Beef liver, eggs, and cheese also contain small amounts. Vitamin D is added to some foods like milk and fortified breakfast cereals.

Can You Get too Much Vitamin D?

Your body stores fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D, but excessive sun exposure will not cause vitamin D toxicity. It would be tough to get too much vitamin D from foods—even fortified foods—unless you consume large amounts of cod liver oil.

Vitamin D is available as an over-the-counter supplement. But since your body stores fat-soluble vitamins for a long time, taking large amounts of vitamin D can lead to a toxicity that causes nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss.

High blood levels of vitamin D may also raise your blood levels of calcium, possibly resulting in mental confusion and abnormal heart rhythms. So, if you have any health conditions, it’s important to speak with your doctor before taking vitamin D supplements. And follow the label directions unless your healthcare provider tells you differently.

 

Make an appointment with us, to help you follow a regiment of Vitamin that is RIGHT for you.  One thing to ask….  which Vitamin D do I take, and what do I take with it?  If you get the answer of anything on the shelf, or just the standard vitamin D and they do not tell you what to take with it, then they are so wrong.  And now you know it!

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Pumpkin and a Pumpkin Smoothie!

It’s PUMPKIN time again!!

 

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Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin beer, pumpkin potato chips and more!

While pumpkins are chock full of beta-carotene (the pre-cursor to vitamin A), and fiber, they are also low glycemic, meaning that pumpkin does not cause blood sugar levels to rise, helping you lose weight. Pumpkin is also great for your eyesight, beautiful smooth skin and has powerful disease-fighting capabilities.

However, keep in mind we are talking about pure pumpkin, not that pumpkin spice muffin you’re eating or your pumpkin spice mocha latte frappe! The sugar and refined flours cancel out the benefits of the pumpkin.

That beautiful bright orange color of pumpkins comes from the antioxidant, beta carotene, which not only turns to vitamin A in the body, but is a powerful antioxidant that protects against heart disease, cancer and diabetes. In fact, a recent study from Brazil showed that diabetic rats fed beta carotene reduced oxidation stress that helped prevent heart disease and disease processes caused by diabetes.

Beta-carotene is not the only diabetes-fighting nutrient in pumpkins. Two other compounds found in both pumpkins and fenugreek, trigonelline and nicotine acid, have been shown in studies to be effective in lowering blood sugar levels by improving insulin resistance, according to researchers in Japan.

Pumpkin’s high fiber helps you feel full longer, which is a great aid in weight loss. And it’s low glycemic properties also help to keep your body in fat-burning mode—not fat-storing mode. Pumpkin’s powerful antioxidants also help fight off cancer and boost the immune system. A pumpkin-protein smoothie can be the perfect post-workout recovery food—since pumpkin is also full of potassium, along with its vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

Pumpkin can be eaten roasted, baked or steamed, similar to sweet potatoes or squash. It is a delicious addition to curries and soups as well. Don’t  forget to eat the pumpkin seeds, too, which are best lightly roasted. Pumpkin seeds are known to boost levels of serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ brain chemical.

Try this amazing pumpkin smoothie!

Ingredients

1/2 cup (approximate) organic pumpkin, canned or fresh baked
1 small or 1/2 regular/large tart apple
Protein powder of choice (vanilla works best with this recipe)
1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
Handful of greens if you wish—baby kale, spinach, chard, etc.
Your milk of choice: real raw milk, coconut milk, almond milk, etc.
1 Tbsp of coconut oil

Directions

Mix in blender until smooth, add milk until desired consistency. Add a few ice cubes if you like it cold.

You should also know that this recipe is an almost perfect low-glycemic snack for Diabetics, due to it’s blend of fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, and a reasonably low amount of sugars and carbs that impact blood sugar.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Foods, Uncategorized

Pizza with a Sweet Potato Crust

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Pizza with a Sweet Potato Crust

 

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Ingredients

Crust:

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium sweet potato (about 10 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 

1/2 cup almond flour 

1/4 cup grated Parmesan 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 

1 large egg 

Toppings:

Kosher salt

1/2 bunch broccoli rabe, roughly chopped

4 ounces spicy Italian sausage

1/4 cup pizza sauce 

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled 

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

 
 

Directions

  1. For the crust: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil.
  2. Add the sweet potato cubes to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until coarsely ground, similar to the texture of coarse salt.
  3. Add the ground sweet potato, almond flour, Parmesan, salt, garlic powder and egg to a bowl and stir until combined. Transfer the sweet potato mixture to the prepared baking sheet and form into a 12-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Brush with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Bake until browned around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. For the toppings: Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath. Blanch the broccoli rabe in the boiling water, then transfer to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
  5. Set a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon into crumbles, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  6. Remove the crust from the oven and top with the pizza sauce, broccoli rabe, sausage, goat cheese and pepper flakes. Place back in the oven and cook until the toppings are warmed through and cheese is melted, another 8 to 10 minutes.

Health and Wellness Associates

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com