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This recipe proves that there’s a healthy way to have chocolate for breakfast

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Photos: Botanica

Thanks to unicorn everything, breakfast is starting to regain a little bit of its childhood magic—you know, back when cereals in wildly artificial colors were the only thing that could get you out of bed in the morning. (Other than a new episode of Saved By The Bell, that is.)

But let’s get real: As fun as it is to mix elaborate pastel spreads for your toast, it’s not always possible to make an Insta-worthy breakfast when you’re rushing to work.

Los Angeles-based chefs Heather Sperling and Emily Fiffer have figured out a simpler, yet still healthy, way to bring some of those fourth-grade vibes into your busy weekday mornings: cacao coconut granola. The mineral- and antioxidant-rich concoction is currently on the menu at their new Silver Lake restaurant and market, Botanica, which just debuted (along with its own companion culinary e-zine).

“Packed with cacao powder and nibs, and sweetened only with honey, it’s an excellent energy booster.”

“We love this granola because it’s an awesome, wholesome excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast,” says Sperling. It’s also super-energizing (without any accompanying sugar crash), thanks to the fact that the only sweetener in it is honey. Just ask the chef: “We’ve been sustaining ourselves throughout the insanity of our restaurant opening with handfuls of it nearly every hour, on the hour.”

The duo likens their creation to grown-up Cocoa Puffs, so it makes sense that they’d dish it up it in an elevated way, too. “At Botanica, we serve the granola with house-made cashew-date milk, organic cow’s milk, or sheep’s-milk yogurt…

This 5-Ingredient Blueberry Zucchini Smoothie is a Creamy, Low-Sugar Superstar

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Smoothies will (hopefully) never go out of style, but what goes in them will. These days, the smoothie ingredient du jour isn’t an unpronounceable herbal powder, exotic fruit, or Amazonian super berry – it’s a humble vegetable that can be found in the grocery store year round. Here’s how to game change your smoothie with this five-ingredient (and low-sugar) blueberry, coconut, and zucchini recipe.

Yes, zucchini.

zucchini smoothie

Secret Smoothie Star: Zucchini

Known to grow like weeds in the summertime, zucchini is a type of summer squash with impressive nutrient properties. These vegetables, also known as courgettes, are low in calories and glycemic value, yet high in fiber and water content.

They’re also bursting with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals including B vitamins like folate, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus.

The trick to using zucchini in smoothies is to first cut and freeze the vegetable. Although there are a million and one uses for fresh zucchini, frozen zucchini is ideal in creating thick smoothies filled with substance.

zucchini smoothie

Zucchini Smoothie Ingredients

Unlike using frozen bananas to thicken a smoothie, frozen zucchini works like magic to provide delicious and creamy texture once blended. If you are looking for a smoothie lower in sugar, or simply cannot tolerate bananas, adding frozen zucchini should be…

Almond Joy Date Bites

I consider medjool dates my best friend. Not only do they taste like candy, they satisfy my craving for chocolate. They are packed with bone strengthening-minerals, filled with triglyceride-lowering antioxidants. This recipe is key to helping curve my candy cravings.

almondjoydates1

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup Dates
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Coconut
  • 1 cup Almonds
  • 2 tablespoons Cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt

almondjoydates2

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Serving: 5 (3 bites per serving)
Average Calories per Serving: 250 calories

Directions:

  1. Add the dates to the food processor and process until they have broken up and formed a ball if the consistency seems dry add ½ tbsp. at a time until desired consistency.
  2. Add the almonds, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, unsweetened coconut, and sea salt.
  3. Process until all parts are evenly blended and the mixture forms into a ball again.
  4. Remove mixture from the food processor and roll into roughly 15 bites
  5. If desired, roll each ball in the shredded coconut.
  6. Keep refrigerated

Try This Coconut Oil Detoxifying Green Smoothie For Glowing Skin

Spring is almost here. Along with the warmer weather and greener landscape comes a shift in our diets, where we begin to crave lighter and brighter foods. We replace our warming soups and stews with cooling and detoxifying juices, smoothies, and salads. While whole and natural raw produce is one of best sources of unadulterated nutrients, there is still one important nutrient that is lacking in most green smoothies. Without it, it’s much harder for the body to absorb and utilize the potent nutrition inherent in most of our juice and smoothie ingredients. It’s also essential for glowing skin.

The missing ingredient? Fats! Essential vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K, for example, are fat-soluble, meaning fats are necessary during digestion for the body to absorb them properly. An…

3 Easy Dishes That a Celeb Nutritionist Makes for Dinner

Here at Health, we are always looking for recipes that are loaded with great nutrition, of course—but they also have to be super-delicious and satisfying. And they have to be easy to make, and can’t call for exotic ingredients. Oh, and bonus points if the end result is beautiful.

If that seems like a tall order, it is; but the recipes below tick all of the boxes. You will love these unfussy, veg-loaded, tasty dishes from the new cookbook Cook. Nourish. Glow. ($30, amazon.com) by celebrity nutritionist Amelia Freer.

Broccoli and Cashew Steam-Fry

Photo: Susan Bell

Serves: 4

1 tsp. coconut oil
1 head of broccoli, broken into florets (approx. ½ lb. florets)
½ cup cashews, soaked in water for 1 hour
1 ¾-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
A good splash of coconut aminos or tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
Chili flakes, optional

  1. Put 1 tsp. coconut oil into a frying pan on a medium heat. Add broccoli florets and 2 Tbsp. water. Drain cashews and give them a quick rinse under fresh cold water, then add to pan with ginger and coconut aminos.
  2. Mix well and steam-fry for 3 to 4 minutes (you want the broccoli to be crunchy, not soft), tossing frequently. Sprinkle with a little salt and chili flakes, if desired, and serve immediately.

PER SERVING: 129 Calories, 9g Fat (3g Sat.), 0mg Chol., 2g Fiber, 4g Pro., 9g Carb., 171mg Sod., 2mg Iron, 35mg Calcium

Roasted Peppers with Baked Eggs

Thirsty Thursday: Coconut-Kale Smoothie

In honor of Earth Day, we thought a green smoothie would be the perfect sipper to highlight for this week’s Thirsty Thursday. The delicious Coconut-Kale Smoothie, from our diet and fitness blogger Tina Haupert, has all the health benefits of leafy greens (vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K just to name a few) hidden behind the tropical flavors of coconut and banana….

Whole Foods Market predicts 2017 trends

Whole Foods Market has announced what the company believes are the trends to watch in 2017. Wellness tonics, products from by-products and purple foods are just a few top predictions for popularity next year.

Whole Foods Market predicts 2017 trends

Whole Foods Market has announced the trends to watch in 2017. Wellness tonics, products from by-products and purple foods are just a few top predictions according to the trend-spotters, who share more than 100 years of combined experience in sourcing products and tracking consumer preferences.Whole Foods Market’s top 10 trends for 2017 include:Wellness Tonics – the new year will usher in a new wave of tonics, tinctures and wellness drinks that go far beyond the fresh-pressed juice craze. The year’s hottest picks will draw on beneficial botanicals and have roots in alternative medicine and global traditions.Buzzed-about ingredients include kava, Tulsi/holy basil, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, medicinal mushrooms (like reishi and chaga), and adaptogenic herbs (maca and ashwagandha). Kor Organic Raw Shots, Suja Drinking Vinegars and Temple Turmeric Elixirs are just a few products leading the trend.Products from By-products – Whether it’s leftover whey from strained Greek yogurt or spent grains from beer, food producers are finding innovative – and delicious – ways to give by-products new life.Eco-Olea is using water from its olive oil production as the base for a household cleaner line; condiment brand Sir Kensington’s is repurposing leftover liquid from cooking chickpeas in a vegan mayo; and Atlanta Fresh and White Moustache are using leftover whey from yogurt production to create probiotic drinks.Coconut Everything – Move over coconut oil and coconut water – coconut flour tortillas, coconut sugar aminos and more unexpected coconut-based products are on the rise. Virtually every component of this versatile fruit-nut-seed (coconuts qualify for all three!) is being used in new applications. The sap is turned into coconut sugar as an alternative to refined sweeteners; the oil is used in a growing list of natural beauty products; and the white flesh of the coconut is now in flours, tortillas, chips, ice creams, butters and more.New picks like coconut flour Paleo wraps, 365 Everyday Value Fair Trade coconut chips and Pacifica Blushious Coconut & Rose Infused Cheek Color demonstrate coconut’s growing range.Japanese Food, Beyond Sushi – Japanese-inspired eating is on the rise and it doesn’t look anything like a sushi roll. Long-celebrated condiments with roots in Japanese cuisine, like ponzu, miso, mirin, sesame oil and plum vinegar are making their way from restaurant menus to mainstream American pantries. Seaweed is a…

Whole Foods Market Serves Up Top 10 Trends for 2017

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec 6, 2016–Today, Whole Foods Market’s (NASDAQ:WFM) global buyers and experts announced the trends to watch in 2017. Wellness tonics, products from byproducts and purple foods are just a few top predictions according to the trend-spotters, who share more than 100 years of combined experience in sourcing products and tracking consumer preferences.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161206005388/en/

A few of Whole Foods Market’s trend-setting products for 2017. (Photo: Business Wire)

Whole Foods Market’s top 10 trends for 2017 include:

Wellness Tonics – The new year will usher in a new wave of tonics, tinctures and wellness drinks that go far beyond the fresh-pressed juice craze. The year’s hottest picks will draw on beneficial botanicals and have roots in alternative medicine and global traditions. Buzzed-about ingredients include kava, Tulsi/holy basil, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, medicinal mushrooms (like reishi and chaga), and adaptogenic herbs (maca and ashwagandha). Kor Organic Raw Shots, Suja Drinking Vinegars and Temple Turmeric Elixirs are just a few products leading the trend. Products from Byproducts – Whether it’s leftover whey from strained Greek yogurt or spent grains from beer, food producers are finding innovative – and delicious – ways to give byproducts new life. Eco-Olea is using water from its olive oil production as the base for a household cleaner line; condiment brand Sir Kensington’s is repurposing leftover liquid from cooking chickpeas in a vegan mayo; and Atlanta Fresh and White Moustache are using leftover whey from yogurt production to create probiotic drinks. Coconut Everything – Move over coconut oil and coconut water – coconut flour tortillas, coconut sugar aminos and more unexpected coconut-based products are on the rise. Virtually every component of this versatile fruit-nut-seed (coconuts qualify for all three!) is being used in new applications. The sap is turned into coconut sugar as an alternative to refined sweeteners; the oil is used in a growing list of natural beauty products; and the white flesh of the coconut is now in flours, tortillas, chips, ice creams, butters and more. New picks like coconut flour Paleo wraps, 365 Everyday Value® Fair Trade coconut chips and Pacifica Blushious Coconut & Rose Infused Cheek Color demonstrate coconut’s growing range. Japanese Food, Beyond Sushi – Japanese-inspired eating is on the rise and it doesn’t look anything like a sushi roll. Long-celebrated condiments with roots in Japanese cuisine, like ponzu, miso, mirin, sesame oil and plum vinegar are making their way from restaurant menus to mainstream American pantries. Seaweed is a rising star as shoppers seek more varieties of the savory greens, including fresh and dried kelp, wakame, dulse and nori, while farmhouse staples like Japanese-style pickles will continue to gain popularity. The trend will also impact…

Tired of Pumpkin Pie? Make This Decadent Dessert Instead

I’m a West Coaster through and through, but when Thanksgiving rolls around, I’m excited to try some of my dad’s Southern family traditions. Sweet potato pie is one such Southern dish that appears on my parents’ table every few years. It’s very similar to pumpkin pie but with a sweeter, slightly earthier taste that makes it a prime alternative if you’ve got pumpkin pie fatigue. And since sweet potatoes are chock-full of nutrients — especially vitamin A, which promotes immunity and eye health, and hunger-controlling fiber — reaching for a slice of sweet potato pie on Thanksgiving is never a bad idea.

Regular sweet potato pie can include high amounts of butter and eggs, so I made some common vegan substitutes (coconut oil for butter and cornstarch for the eggs) to lighten up the pie without compromising taste. One of the best parts about the pie, to me, is the dollop of whipped cream that’s accompanied with it, so I may have gone a bit overboard with the coconut whipped cream frosting — feel free to reduce the amount of coconut cream and serve alongside instead!

Pie filling adapted from Whole Foods. Pie crust adapted from Cooks. Coconut whipped cream from Oh She Glows.

Cook, cool, and peel the sweet potato before proceeding; I boiled mine until tender (about 25 minutes) but you could also roast them. Bake and cool the crust before you make the pie filling, and make the coconut cream after your pie has had time to cool; you’ll need to refrigerate a can…

A Raw Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake That Even Your Mother-in-Law Could Love

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Since Thanksgiving is almost here and the holidays are bountiful with recipes for feasting, we are all wondering about how to eat healthy and enjoy the pleasure of eating good food at the same time. That is why I am so excited to share this raw vegan pumpkin cheesecake recipe with you.

I’m very into eating plant-based foods, and it’s encouraging to see an upswing trend on traditional recipes going toward vegan. This does not mean you need to go completely vegan, as many people enjoy raw vegan desserts and savory recipes without committing to a 100% vegan lifestyle. Also, no one will mind if you present this raw vegan pumpkin cheesecake as a dessert for a potluck dinner. I’d recommend this for a more health-conscious Thanksgiving dessert. You may surprise people with how good a raw vegan dessert actually is (including your mother-in-law). My daughters— both dessert lovers— loved this pumpkin cheesecake. Yes, it passed the dessert taste test: even my teenage son inhaled his cheesecake slice and asked for more. My youngest daughter commented that it reminded her of ice cream cake.

You will also be pleased on how easy it is to make, even though it looks decadent and complicated. Basic pastry skills, a food processor and a love of pumpkin cheesecake are the only requirements. Oh, and the one very important thing about this dessert: it must be kept cold. It becomes smushy at room temperature, so please keep in freezer and/or refrigerate prior to serving.

If any of your friends and family are allergic to nuts and/or coconut, please let them know before giving them a slice. We do not want to ruin the holidays for anyone. Here’s how to make this raw vegan holiday dessert:

The base of the crust is simply dates and pecans with a little vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. The cheesecake is made with cashews, pumpkin purée, coconut meat, pumpkin pie spice and sweetened with maple syrup. All you need is a food processor, one 8” springform pan, and the following ingredients:

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE
serves 6-8

Ingredients:

Crust

2 1/2 cups pecans
1 cup packed Medjool dates, pitted
3 tbl vanilla extract
1/2 tbl pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon and nutmeg)
pinch sea salt

Cheesecake

1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight -or- soaked in hot water for 1 hour
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 lemon, juiced (2 tbl)
1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin purée
1 fresh coconut, scraped meat only
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tbl pumpkin pie spice

Lightened-Up Apple Coconut Crumble Pie — Shh, No One Will Know It’s Vegan

Life is full of too many tough decisions, so if you can’t choose between baking apple pie or apple crisp, then don’t! This lightened-up recipe marries these two traditional desserts into one glorious, warm, and spicy treat that you’ll feel proud bringing to your next holiday dinner.

Slice…

3 Delicious Protein Pancake Recipes

By Beth Lipton
Pancakes: the weekend breakfast treat that represent the ultimate carb-laden indulgence. Sure, they’re delicious—but they can leave you feeling less than energetic.
Well, not anymore! We’ve created three healthy pancake recipes packed with protein and high-quality whole grains (think spelt, quinoa, and oats). Each recipe provides the right mix of nutrients to power your morning. They’re all free of empty carbs, easy to make, and yummy (even kid-friendly), so you get to have your tasty A.M. treat and still feel like a champ afterwards. Break out the maple syrup and read on.

Spelt-Quinoa Pancakes


Protein boosters: Spelt and quinoa (Note: you can use leftover cooked quinoa.)
Yield: About 14
1 tsp. olive oil (if not using leftover cooked quinoa)
1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed (56g, or 1 cup cooked)
Salt
1 cup spelt flour (140g)
2 tsp. cinnamon, optional
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 large egg
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 Tbsp. coconut or olive oil (plus more coconut oil or unsalted butter for griddle; if using coconut, melted and cooled)
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. If using dry quinoa, warm 1 tsp. oil in a small saucepan over
    medium heat. Add quinoa and cook, stirring, until quinoa is dry and
    beginning to toast, about 1 minute. Add 2/3 cup water and a
    generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
    Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until water has absorbed and
    quinoa is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and
    let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Spread out on a plate to
    cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 200ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together spelt,
    cinnamon (if desired), baking powder, baking soda and ¼ tsp. salt.
    In a small bowl, whisk together egg, yogurt, coconut oil, maple
    syrup, and vanilla. Pour yogurt mixture into flour mixture and stir
    until nearly combined. Fold in quinoa. (Batter…
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