Foods, Uncategorized

CHOCOLATE AVOCADO COOKIES

CHOCOLATE AVOCADO COOKIES

Chocolate Avocado Cookies

Chocolate avocado cookies are healthy fudgy chocolate cookies made of 5 simple ingredients 100 % gluten free + low carb + paleo + sugar free.

Chocolate Avocado Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado about 1/2 cup mashed avocado
  • 1/4 cup natural maple Flavored Sugar-Free Syrup or maple syrup (if not low carb)
  • 1/2 cup nut butter peanut butter or almond butter (if paleo)
  • 1 egg or chia egg if vegan
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Optional

  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, no sugar added or choose your favorite one
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 drops liquid stevia drops

 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180 C (360F)
  • Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slightly oil the paper with 1/2 teaspoon of liquid vegetable oil (coconut or peanut oil) . This will prevent the cookies to stick to the paper. Set aside.
  • Chocolate Avocado Cookies
  • In a food processor, with the S blade attachment, add ripe avocado and sugar free maple syrup (or liquid sweetener you like). Process for 30 seconds until it forms a creamy avocado batter with no lumps.
  • Stop, add egg, nut butter and cocoa powder. Process again for 30 seconds. Scrap down the bottom and side of the bowl and process for an extra 15 seconds to make sure all the batter is combine – no lumps.
  • Transfer the chocolate cookie batter onto a mixing bowl. It will bit moist and sticky that is what you want. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla – if used.
  • Chocolate Avocado Cookies
  • Combine with a spatula until the chocolate chips are evenly incorporated. Test the batter and adjust with 2-3 drops of liquid stevia – only if you want a sweeter cookie. I did not add any to mine and my kids love them but if you have a sweet tooth I recommend few drops of stevia to make them sweeter. Add one drop at a time and see how it taste.
  • Prepare a small bowl with warm water, dip a spoon in the water and use that spoon to sample some chocolate cookie batter from your bowl. The water will prevent the batter to stick too much to your spoon.
  • Spoon the chocolate batter onto the baking sheet – I used another spoon to push the batter out of the first spoon.  Use a silicon spoon or spatula to flatten the cookie into a cookie shape. The batter won’t stick onto silicon which makes it easier to spread.
  • Repeat until you form 6 jumbo cookies. Those cookies won’t spread so you don’t need to leave more than half thumb space between each.
  • Sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top of each cookies if you like.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the centre is set.
  • Cool down 5 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer onto a cooling rack to cool down.
  • Store the cookies in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

 

 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Lower Your Blood Pressure With The Foods You Eat

6 Foods That Lower Blood Pressure

 

Over 70 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure and 30 percent of Americans have prehypertension, making this condition extremely crucial to control. However, sometimes prescription drugs used to control hypertension can have potentially dangerous side effects.

a medical technician takes a patient's blood pressure

With the recent recall of several blood pressure drugs due to potential contamination, it’s more important than ever to try natural ways to keep blood pressure under control.

Here are six foods that can help control blood pressure:

 

  • Insoluble fiber. Dr. Oz says that eating foods like beans, 100 percent whole wheat or bran products, green beans, potatoes, cauliflower, or nuts helps balance the gut biome which in turn produces fatty acids that reduce cardiovascular problems such as blood pressure, irregular heart beat, and atherosclerosis. Insoluble fiber also adds bulk to stool and helps food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines, protecting your heart from high blood pressure.
  • Leafy greens. According to Medical Daily, the potassium found in leafy green vegetables eliminates sodium from the body which in turn can reduce blood pressure. Kale and spinach are options that provide a good portion of your daily recommended intake. The Environmental Working Group recommends that you consume organic greens due the high levels of pesticide residues in commercially grown veggies.
  • Berries. Berries, and specifically blueberries, contain nitric acid which can have protective effects on heart health. “There’s something very special about the composition of blueberries that is responsible for their effect on blood pressure,” Florida State researcher Sarah A. Johnson told The New York Times. “Other fruits and plant extracts have not produced the same results.”
  • Olive oil. The most popular heart-healthy diets are the DASH and the Mediterranean both of which recommend using olive oil in your diet. The benefits may be attributed to the polyphenols as well as the monounsaturated fats. These “good” fats make a fine replacement for butter which contains unhealthy fat. Studies show that women, in particular, experience the greatest health benefits from using olive oil.
  • Salmon. The American Heart Association recommends consuming fatty fish twice weekly. Studies have found that high omega-3 content may play a role in lowering blood pressure and targeting inflammation in the body. Prevention also notes that salmon contains vitamin D which “helps the body absorb calcium, protects against depression, and regulates blood pressure,” according to their website.
  • Chocolate. As long as you stick to dark chocolate and watch the portion size, you can enjoy a number of health benefits. The dark variety contains compounds called flavanols which experts believe have beneficial effects on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, cognition, and more. To avoid weight gain, limit your consumption to an ounce daily and make sure your chocolate contains at least 70 percent cocoa.

You Are What You Eat, So dont be Cheap, Easy or Fake

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Easy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars

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Easy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars

chocolate-chip-pumpkin-bars

This dessert is super easy to pull together and the flavorful results will win you nothing but rave reviews.

Ingredients

  • 1 package spice cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, divided

 

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pumpkin; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Fold in 1-1/2 cups chocolate chips. Transfer to a greased 13×9-in. baking pan.
  • Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  • In a microwave, melt the remaining chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Drizzle over bars. Let stand until set.
Nutrition Facts

1 bar: 139 calories, 6g fat (4g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 92mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 1g protein.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Eat Dark Chocolate and Olive Oil Together!

choc

Those with a high cardiovascular risk profile should eat dark chocolate with olive oil, new study finds

 

In recent years, the medical community has put a lot of effort into educating people about reducing their cholesterol levels in order to protect their heart health. Of course, those who do have elevated cholesterol levels are often prescribed statin drugs like Lipitor, Zocor and others to lower these levels. In fact, these are among the most prescribed drugs of all time.

 

Nonetheless, these toxic drugs carry serious side effects, including muscle pain and weakness, increased liver enzymes, asthma complications, and birth defects in pregnant women, to name just a few.

 

This doesn’t mean, though, that there isn’t a healthy solution to reducing cholesterol levels naturally. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly, a recent study has unlocked another key to taking care of your heart: eating dark chocolate and extra virgin olive oil together.

 

The study, undertaken by researchers from the University of Pisa in Italy, who presented the results at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress in August, concluded that dark chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil can lead to improved heart health and a better cardiovascular risk profile.

 

“A healthy diet is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Rossella Di Stefano, a cardiologist at the University of Pisa, and the lead author of the study. “Fruits and vegetables exert their protective effects through plant polyphenols, which are found in cocoa, olive oil, and apples. Research has found that the Italian Panaia red apple has very high levels of polyphenols and antioxidants.”

 

The researchers set out to determine whether a combination of either dark chocolate and olive oil or dark chocolate and Panaia red apple might halt the progress of atherosclerosis (a build-up of plaque on the artery walls, causing obstructed blood flow, and potentially a life-threatening blood clot) in otherwise healthy people with cardiovascular risk factors.

 

The ESC explained in a press release:

 

The randomised crossover study included 26 volunteers (14 men, 12 women) with at least three cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, or family history of cardiovascular disease) who received 40 grams of dark chocolate daily for 28 days. For 14 consecutive days it contained 10% extra virgin olive oil and for 14 consecutive days it contained 2.5% Panaia red apple. The two types of chocolate were given in random order.

 

Progression of atherosclerosis was assessed by metabolic changes (levels of carnitine and hippurate), lipid profile, blood pressure and levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). EPCs are critical for vascular repair and maintenance of endothelial function.

 

The researchers took urine and blood samples at the beginning of the study and again at the end. The urine samples were analyzed for endogenous metabolites using proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and circulating EPC levels were evaluated with flow cytometry. Body mass index (BMI), blood pressure levels, smoking status, lipid profile and glycaemia, were also carefully monitored for all participants.

 

The results were quite astounding. At the end of the 28-day study, the researchers found that EPC levels were significantly increased after consumption of the olive oil-enriched chocolate. Carnitine and hippurate levels were considerably decreased – which is a good thing – both in comparison to baseline figures and to the apple-enriched chocolate.

 

Most encouragingly, consumption of the olive oil-enhanced chocolate resulted in significant increases in high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and sizable reductions in blood pressure levels. (Related: Olive oil antioxidant naturally kills all cancer cells tested within an hour.)

 

So, if like millions of others you’ve been advised to take steps to decrease your cholesterol levels, you now have a fantastic excuse to increase your consumption of delicious dark chocolate. Just make sure you take some pure virgin olive oil with it! Perhaps melt that chocolate in a little olive oil and pour over fresh strawberries? Yum

 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Toxic Chocolate

childeatingchocolate

Toxic Chocolate

 

Consumer health watchdog As You Sow released results today showing that 35 of 50 chocolate products tested, including chocolate bunnies and eggs, expose consumers to lead and cadmium above levels set by California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.

Testing commissioned by As You Sow, and conducted at independent laboratories, indicates that the chocolate products contain lead and/or cadmium, and they fail to provide the legally required warning to consumers.

 

As You Sow has filed legal notices against chocolate manufacturers, including Trader Joe’s, Hershey’s, Green and Black’s, Lindt, Whole Foods, Kroger, Godiva, See’s Candies, Mars, Theo Chocolate, Equal Exchange, Ghirardelli, Earth Circle Organics, and more, for failure to warn of lead and/or cadmium in their chocolate products.

 

“Lead exposure is associated with neurological impairment, such as learning disabilities and decreased IQ, even at very low levels. In fact, there is no safe level of lead for children,” said Eleanne van Vliet, MPH, As You Sow’s Environmental Health Consultant.

 

“As underscored by the Flint disaster, humans have contaminated our environment with lead, and now we must do everything in our power to protect ourselves and children, who are the most vulnerable of us, from every possible exposure,” said Sean Palfrey, MD, a pediatrician and Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health at Boston University School of Medicine. “Young children and pregnant women especially should avoid exposure to lead.”

“Lead and cadmium accumulate in the body, so avoiding exposure is important, especially for children,” explained Danielle Fugere, As You Sow President. “Our goal is to work with chocolate manufacturers to find ways to avoid these metals in their products.”

 

Scientists have linked chronic cadmium exposure to kidney, liver, and bone damage in humans. Children are more susceptible to especially susceptible to even from low doses over time. Animal studies associate cadmium exposure with decreased birth weight, neurobehavioral problems, and male reproductive harm.

 

Recent revelations of lead contamination in water in Flint, Michigan raised awareness that lead is irrefutably linked to neurological impacts in children.

 

Since 1992, As You Sow has led enforcement actions resulting in removal of lead from children’s jewelry and formaldehyde from portable classrooms.

The brands involved are:

Bissinger’s

Bissinger’s All Natural 60% Dark Chocolate Whole Almonds Lead

Earth Circle Foods dba River Canyon Retreat Inc.

 

Earth Circle Organics Organic Balinese Cacao Nibs Cold Pressed Cadmium

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company

 

Ghiradelli Intense Dark 72% Cacao Twilight Delight Chocolate Bar Cadmium

Ghiradelli Chocolate Premium Baking Bar 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate Lead & Cadmium

Godiva

 

Godiva Chocolatier 50% Cacao Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Lead

Godiva Chocolatier 85% Cacao Extra Dark Chocolate Lead & Cadmium

Godiva Chocolatier 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Lead & Cadmium

 

The Hershey Company

 

Scharffen Berger Semisweet Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate (62% cacao) Cadmium

Scharffen Berger Extra Dark Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate (82% cacao) Cadmium

Dagoba

 

Organic New Moon Rich Dark Chocolate (74% cacao) Lead & Cadmium

Lake Champlain Chocolates

 

Lake Champlain Chocolates Dark Chocolate (57% cocoa) Lead & Cadmium

Lindt & Sprüngli (USA) Inc.

 

Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa Excellence Extra Dark Lead & Cadmium

Mars, Incorporated

 

Dove Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate Bar Cadmium

Mondelez International, Inc.

 

Green & Black’s Organic 85% Cacao Bar Lead & Cadmium

Moonstruck Chocolate Co.

Moonstruck Dark Chocolate Chile Variado (68% cacao) Lead

See’s Candies, Inc.

 

See’s Candies Premium Extra Dark Chocolate (62% cacao) Cadmium

The Kroger Co.

 

Private Selection 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Swiss Bar Lead & Cadmium

Theo Chocolate Theo

 

Organic Fair Trade Pure 85% Dark Chocolate Cadmium

Trader Joe’s Company

 

Trader Joe’s Swiss 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Lead

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar – Toffee With Walnuts and Pecans 70% cacao Lead

Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Dark Chocolate Lead

Trader Joe’s Pound Plus, 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Lead

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate 73% Cacao Super Dark Lead & Cadmium

Trader Joe’s The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar (85% cacao) Lead & Cadmium

Vosges, Ltd. Wild

 

Ophelia All Natural New Orleans Chili – Dark Chocolate Bar (70% cacao) Lead

Whole Foods Market, Inc.

 

365 Everyday Value Organic Dark Chocolate (56% Cacao) Lead & Cadmium

 

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us for help.

 

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Dr Anna Killarney

Uncategorized

Chocolate Muffins Veggie Style!

chocolateveggiemuffins

Chocolate Muffins

 

Veggie Style

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

1 tablespoon coconut oil, for greasing

3/4 cup shredded zucchini

4 large eggs

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup Apple & Broccoli squeeze packets

1/3 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup cacao powder

3 tablespoons arrowroot powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with baking cups or grease with coconut oil.

Place the shredded zucchini on a tray lined with a paper towel to drain some of the moisture while you prepare the batter.

Place the eggs, maple syrup, and Apple & Broccoli puree in the stand-mixer and mix on medium speed until combined.

Add the coconut flour, cacao powder, arrowroot powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt and mix again on medium speed until combined.

Wrap the paper towel around the zucchini and give it a light squeeze to remove excess moisture and fold it into the batter along with 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each 2/3 of the way full. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips on top. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then on a wire rack until completely cool.

 

 

Freezing : Let them cool completely then freeze in a ziploc or a resealable container.

Reheating: I take a few out at a time and keep them in the fridge so they’re ready to be eaten. If you want to eat them directly from the freezer, throw them in an oven or toaster oven on 350° F for 10 minutes to thaw and heat.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

2 Minute Chocolate Almond Mug Cake

2-minute-chocolate-almond-mug-cake

2-Minute Chocolate Almond Mug Cake

 

Ingredients

 

Dry Ingredients

1/4 cup flour (we used white whole wheat)

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Wet ingredients

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup milk or unsweetened almond milk

2 tablespoons coconut oil (melt first if solid)

Pinch of kosher or sea salt

1/4 cup slivered almond slices

Filling

1/4 cup natural almond butter

1 teaspoon coconut sugar

Directions

 

Whisk together dry ingredients, except filling ingredients and almonds. Next, whisk together wet ingredients. Fold dry ingredients into and wet. Mix together almond butter and coconut sugar.

 

Add half the chocolate mixture between the mugs, spoon in almond filling, and spread remaining chocolate mixture on top. Sprinkle slivered almonds atop chocolate.

 

Cover with a paper towel and microwave on high for one minute. Check for doneness. If more time is needed, heat for an additional 10-20 seconds. Allow to cool a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Chocolate Power Bar Recipe

chocolatepowerbar

Chocolate Power Bar Recipe
Yield:10
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds/hemp hearts
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes

How to Make It

1. Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
2. Place the walnuts, almonds and hemp seeds into a food processor and blend until a coarse meal has formed. Add the dried cranberries, dates and raisins and blend to combine.
3. Transfer the mixture into a large bowl then stir in the chocolate chips and coconut flakes.
4. Spread the mixture all over the baking tray then place in the fridge for 1-2 hours or until set before cutting into individual serves.
Please share with family and loved ones.
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Foods, Uncategorized

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bark Recipe

fruitandnut

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bark Recipe

Yield:15

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cocoa butter
  • 6 T coconut oil
  • 2 cups cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sultanas/raisins
  • 1 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup powdered stevia

How to Make It

  1. Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil in a small pan over low heat. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Add the stevia and cocoa powder and use a hand blender to combine well. Add the remaining ingredients and combine.
  2. Pour the chocolate onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, then place another sheet of baking paper on top. Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours or until set.
  3. Break the chocolate into pieces to serve.

 

Please feel free to share this with family and friends.

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Foods, Uncategorized

peanutbutterchocolatenobake

No-Bake Chocolate and Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

 

 

INGREDIENTS

 

Vegetable oil cooking spray

9 ounces chocolate wafers (about 40 wafers), finely ground (2 cups)

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

5 ounces (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 cup chunky peanut butter

3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

10 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

1 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, melted

 

DIRECTIONS

 

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the 2 long sides.

Combine wafers, oats, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add chunky peanut butter and 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, whisking until well combined. Add peanut butter mixture to wafer mixture, stirring until combined. Transfer to baking dish, and use the bottom of a measuring cup or an offset spatula to firmly press mixture into an even layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Pour melted semisweet chocolate over chilled mixture and, using an offset spatula, spread into a thin layer that covers the entire surface. Refrigerate until hardened, at least 15 minutes.

Heat remaining 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter in a small saucepan until runny. Drizzle peanut butter over chilled chocolate. Drizzle melted milk chocolate over peanut butter. Refrigerate until hardened, about 15 minutes.

Use parchment to lift out chilled block of bars. Run a sharp knife under hot water, dry well, and cut into 24 squares, wiping knife between cuts. Let bars stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

 

****I use sesame spray oil, sugar free chocolate wafers, steel oats, natural peanut butter, and for the semisweet chocolate I used dark.

 

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