Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday Recipe, Not Really...

Instead of a recipe today, I thought I would give you a few more suggestions to help make your Christmas treats a little healthier.

We all know sugar is not great for us. If you want to lose weight, cutting out the sugar is better for us than anything, controlling our insulin levels. Making desserts with large amounts of processed sugars is of course something we want to avoid. If you have been reading my blog or have read through past posts, I am sure you guessed that is what I was going to say.

What to do?  Instead of using white sugar in your recipes, us raw sugar. Raw sugar also has a little bit of fiber, because it is not processed. Also, there are not the chemicals used due to bleaching and non-caking agents. Along with this, use half the sugar the recipes call for. Most of them are made very sweet. Train your body to not need that much sugar. You can also use honey. I have been told, that if you replace all of the sugar in a recipes with honey, it is hard and does not come out well. This would make sense. If you want to try this option, use both honey and raw sugar. Apple sauce is a great alternative. Not only will you have some of the sweetness, but the moisture as well. For some cookies this might not be the best idea, raw sugar would be better.

If you remember the other post on grains or gluten/celiac intolerance, you have will remember I do not eat a lot of grains. Of course I have substitutes!
*Coconut flour. I do not generally use this alone in recipes. I will add other flours along with the coconut. I do know people who and they seem to say it works well.
*Chia seeds. The reason I love these is their nutrition profile and they taste good. They contain Omega-3 fatty acids, in the form of ALA, alpha-linolenic acid. A little protein, nothing to write home about, but they are packed with fiber. Other notable vitamins and minerals are calcium, iron, zinc, good for the skin, and magnesium, which is a good thing for sleep. These were a power house of energy for the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. I grind mine fresh in a coffee grinder.
*Flax seeds. We have all heard about these. They also have omega fatty acids, great vitamins and minerals and they are also great for the reproductive organs! I also grinds these fresh, however you can it already ground.
*Pumpkin seeds. These are loaded with magnesium and good fats. Really, any seed can be used. All you have to do is grind them into flour and you are good to go!
*Nuts also work great. You can use one kind or a variety. It really just depends on your taste buds and what you are making them with.
*Another option is quinoa. This little seed is jam packed with healthiness. Complete protein source, vitamins, minerals, fat, energy and best of all no sugar or gluten. You can buy it at any grocery store. When cooking with quinoa, you first need to rinse or soak the seeds over night. This will remove the saponin. From here, you can either dry it and then grind it into flour or cook it. After it is cook, put it into a blender and blend. I have done it this way many times and have not had any problems. For convenience sake, at some health food stores you can buy quinoa flour, along with other products like pasta.   

There are a few more ideas to help this wonderful time of year to be a bit healthier! Do not be afraid to try new things. Life is an adventure, why be boring and always eat the same things?

In the Peace and Joy of Baby Jesus,

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