Tag Archives: diabetes

Blueberry Dreams

We’re looking at what we want to plant in our garden and I’m thinking blueberries!

Of course this means I’m doing the suggesting, Bestie is doing the planting and the growing and then I make wonderful things with them when they’re ripe.  (It’s all about the teamwork.)  But really, who doesn’t love them?
“Clusters of delectable fruit make Duke easy to pick. It’s the earliest blueberry to ripen, yet the blossoms not susceptible to frost damage. An attractive shrub is a good candidate for edible landscaping. Blueberry plants require pollination from at least one other blueberry variety; plant several varieties for improved fruit set and long harvest. “

Did you know…

  • Blueberries have more antioxidants than any other fresh fruit or veggie.
  • Blueberries have been shown to slow vision loss and can lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 36%
  • Not only are they low in calories but they can break down belly fat and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome (risk factors that increase chances of developing diabetes and heart disease).
  • They’re high in manganese which is important for bone development
  • They’re high in fiber
  • Blueberries can reduce and even reverse age-related memory loss
  • The phenolic compounds can inhibit colon cancer and reduce ovarian cancer risks
  • Blueberries have a low-glycemic index and can help type 2 diabetics manage and reduce blood sugar
  • Blueberries, like cranberries, contain compounds that prevent bacteria from adhering to bladder walls, preventing urinary tract infections
  • Oh and they taste amazing!

There’s so many ways to love blueberries… pancakes, muffins, waffles… and a few others that I’m going to list here that I think you’ll enjoy.

When I was little, my mom would get blueberries and toss them with raw honey and let them sit overnight.  The honey would breakdown into a syrup.  She’d put them into a bowl by themselves or over a slice of pound cake and top them with a spoonful of sour cream.  It was her favorite dessert!

Blueberry Chai Ice Cream (Dairy Free)

Ingredients
  • 1 (14oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 chai tea bags, tea removed from tea bag (discard bag)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and place under medium heat. Let cook down and flavors mix for about 10 minutes under some of your blueberries have exploded and you have a deep purple color.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.
  3. Place mixture in a food processor or blender and puree until blueberries are broken down.
  4. Pour mixture into ice cream maker
  5. Scoop, eat & enjoy!

A few years ago I discovered my new favorite… a crisp iceberg salad with grilled chicken, hard boiled eggs, blueberries and ranch dressing.  I’d top it then with french fried onions.  Yum!

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

This is one of my absolute favorites.  I was introduced to these when I was about 7 months pregnant and it was locked into mine and my daughter’s DNA after that.  These are easy and amazingly delicious, perfect for breakfast, lunch, brunch, whatever!

Monte Cristo

Ingredients:

  • The bread is simply French Toast.  Use your favorite bread, eggs, milk & vanilla.
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Sliced ham (I prefer a Virginia ham or Black Forest, use what you like!)
  • Powdered/Confectioners Sugar (optional)
  • Blueberry compote
  • Sour cream

Instructions:

  • Dip the bread in the egg mixture, and fry.
  • When you flip the bread over in the pan, add a slice of swiss and the ham on to one slice of the French toast.
  • When they are properly browned, add a second slice of French toast on top of the first slice to complete the sandwich.
  • Cut in half and dust with powdered sugar if desired.
  • Serve with warmed blueberry compote* and sour cream.

Compote is another name for pie filling.  You can buy canned, but fresh is so much tastier and so easy to make.

Blueberry Compote & Pie Filling

IMGP8985

In a saucepan combine:

  • 1-1/2 cups of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/3 c water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

Simmer over medium heat about 10 minutes till berries burst.  Then add:

  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Simmer an additional 7-8 minutes until compote coats the back  of a spoon.

Can be made up to 3 days in advance, serve warm.  Cover and refrigerate to store or portion in ice cube trays and freeze. Serve with Monte Cristo sandwiches, cheese filled crepes, ice cream, pancakes, waffles, yogurt & granola, you name it!

Other blueberry tips:

  • Freeze blueberries and put them in your glass of white wine to keep it chilled!
  • When making muffins, toss blueberries in a little flour to keep them from sinking in the batter while they bake.
  • When using frozen blueberries in a baking recipe, do not let them thaw or the juice will “bleed” into your batter.

I’ll follow up with more blueberry recipes later (I’m thinking cheesecake and those crepes in particular), but this should be enough to get your creative “juices” flowing.

{{hugs}}

Maggie

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Picky Eaters? Choosy Moms Choose Paleo.

Picky eaters can put parents over the edge.  (Along with Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, friends with kids, etc.) The kids that only want to eat three things for dinner but junk food is fair game.  You know the child.  They could be yours, a niece or nephew, your bff’s kid, but we all know at least one.   We try to introduce new foods.  Look at magazines for help, but when they show you a hot dog cut as an octopus, it’s really no help because it’s still a hot dog…. Make some thing with asparagus, now that will impress me!

I was blessed with a child who loves vegetables but even she had her moments.  When she was about 2-1/2 my mom tried giving her creamed spinach.  From then on just the word brought on near PTSD flash backs of the incident. Then she discovered lasagna Florentine and wedding soup.  When she asked what the green stuff was I thought quickly and answered “Italian parsley”.  And so it stayed for several years.   At 23 my daughter is still an avid vegetable eater and a great cook because she’s not afraid to try new things or combinations.  To the point that my husband and I will only eat Brussels sprouts if she’s cooking them!

The goal is to get them to eat and to eat well.  Not junk, but well balanced meals.  Of course there’s bribery, eat your dinner and you can have dessert.  But for those of us who really are trying to eat healthy, we really struggle with offering desserts.

In my opinion, one of the joys of parenting is trickery.  Getting away with something in front of your kids is empowering.  Don’t believe me?  Tell me you don’t have a cheesy grin when your child comes running into the room to tell you that the tooth fairy came, right?  Admit it.

So what if they’re clawing tooth and nail to get at dessert and dessert is actually good for them?  I know, the possibilities are mind blowing really.  That’s where paleo comes in.  Even if you don’t follow the diet and just want to make some healthier choices for you and your family, paleo desserts are the way to go.  The key here is to NOT let them help in the kitchen (normally I’m down for having them right there with you, but subversive activity requires secrecy.)

So what is “Paleo”?  Its a plant and meat based diet.  No grains, dairy, soy or legumes.  It’s become very popular and it’s very good for you.  It’s perfect for the person with food sensitivities (lactose or gluten intolerance, allergies, etc), autism, diabetes, arthritis, etc.   Needless to say to maintain no grains, dairy, soy or legumes, cooking and recipes can get quite creative.

banana cinnamon chocolate chip muffins

I mean sure, you expect bananas in these delectable Banana Cinnamon Chocolate muffins.

….but no flour? (by TaylorMadeItPaleo)

 

paleo_brownies_2

But what if I told you these brownies had no flour or nuts and was made with sweet potatoes?  (by EatDrinkPaleo) Do I have your interest now?

paleo-chocolate-cupcakes_coconut-cream-filled

What if I told you that these frosted cupcakes…. (by LivingLowCarb),

avopudding-3

... and this smooth and delicious chocolate pudding (by HowSweetItIs),

Milkshake-with-avocado

… and even this creamy delicious milkshake (by MeaningfulEats),

… all have avocados in them!  Oh yeah, and they’re dairy free!

We’re always hearing about how avocados are so good for you, packed with nutrition, but unless you make guacamole or put them on a sandwich or salad, can be at a loss on how to eat them.  These are great ways to get what your body needs while providing what the mouth and mind want as well.  🙂

Okay, so I’m also going to mention that sometimes it’s not the kids that are picky… it’s the adults.  It’s the husband that needs to cut a few pounds or the aging parents that have developed a bit of a sweet tooth that can also be hard to feed too.  Trying to argue with an aging parent about desserts sometimes can be like asking for a kidney.  If you’ve done it you know what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t done it, just wait.  These can be the perfect desserts to give them the extra nutrition they need without the carbs, calories and filler they don’t.  Drop over for a visit and bring dessert and leave the pan.  Tell them you made extras and you thought they would like them (or better yet, that the kids didn’t need that many sweets in the house LOL).  Remember when they made you eat liver?  Now’s your revenge.  Enjoy!

Hugs!

 
Maggie
 

It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s a Superfood!

coconuts

I can not find a single bad thing about coconut oil.  And there isn’t anything  you can’t do with it!  
I’ve never had a chemical based product exfoliate my skin the way coconut oil does.  My husband shaves with it and it has completely eliminated his razor bumps along in addition to using it as a hair conditioner.  
It heals cuts and infections, can sooth psoriasis or eczema.  
Can be used on nipples to soften for nursing mothers as well as preventing thrush in nursing infants.  Topically it will prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
Used topically to kill yeast infections, jock itch and nail fungus and as well as internally (soaked on a tampon) to treat Candida.
Just eating a spoonful of it a day does your body a world of wonder research is now showing that it can prevent, slow and even reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms!  As soon as it hits your mouth it feels lighter than water.  
Mixing coconut oil with baking soda and a couple of drops of peppermint oil makes the best whitening toothpaste you’ve ever used, it’s antibacterial to control bad breath and gingivitis and will even help to remineralize and strengthen teeth.  Mix with cornstarch for an all-natural deodorant.
You can use coconut oil as your primary carrier for any essential oil it, you’ll love how it absorbs into the skin without feeling greasy.   I have a container with coconut oil and tea tree oil in my home at all times.  It will knock out an ear infection quicker than anything I know (in fact, this mixture is my medical doctor’s preference over antibiotics).
Makes a perfect baby lotion as well as a diaper cream.  A perfect moisturizer for the face and eye makeup remover as well as a cuticle oil for the nails.
You can find it just about everywhere, look at your local grocery store by the olive oil.  Only use organic on the skin, the regular coconut oil is heavier, has a more pronounced flavor and an almost grainy texture before it melts.
Great for cooking too!  It has a high smoke point.  It can replace any oil in cooking and can even replace butter in recipes and can replace oil in homemade mayonnaise.  In fact, check out this great video on seasoning your stainless steel pans!  I’ve done this, it works!

Organic coconut oil: A superfood with amazing health benefits

by Christian David

Pound for pound, coconut oil is one of the single most nutritious superfoods you can put in your body. It has a vast array of incredible health benefits and is something recommended to almost everyone I talk to on a regular basis. People are always asking me, Chris “What can I eat to be healthier”? The answer is simple: organic coconut oil. This stuff is simply amazing and is something everyone should include in their diet.

Specifically, you should look for “Organic, unrefined, expeller-pressed coconut oil”. This is the unprocessed product derived directly from the organic coconuts with minimal processing or modification. This is as close to “unprocessed” you can get. The more foods are processed, the less the health value they offer. You can find this on the shelves of most all natural foods stores or purchase online.

There are a couple ways to eat coconut oil. Some people cook with it. I recommend eating it in an unheated, uncooked manner. Reason being is high heat levels can change the properties of the oil, (further processing it), and therefore affect the overall nutritional value.



Eating coconut oil on a regular basis has numerous health benefits. If you do some basic research on the health benefits on coconut oil you will discover just how amazing this food really is. These benefits include healthier skin and hair, lower cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased levels of immunity, proper digestion and metabolism. It has been show to provide relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and other viruses, cancer, and bone strength. The reason it is so effective and healthy is because of high levels of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. The presence of these acids contributes to coconuts antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial and general body nourishing properties.

There are a couple ways to use coconut oil. Some people cook with it. Coconut oil is rare in that it has a high melting point. This means it’s a solid form at room temperature. It doesn’t melt until about 77 degrees Fahrenheit. You will notice when you purchase a bottle, it will be in solid form. It doesn’t take much heat for this to melt.

If you are using coconut oil for topical purposes (hair or skin application) you can bring it to a liquid form simply by immersing a container with the solid oil into warm water. It will melt in a matter of a few moments. You can also take a small amount out, put it in a small bowl and heat over an open flame. Do not microwave as it will affect the healing properties of the oil. Next, take the oil on your palm and apply it to your hair, face and skin. You will notice healthier skin and hair if you do this regularly. For cooking, try using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil or butter.

For maximum health value, I personally recommend consuming it in an unheated, uncooked manner. To do this, simply open the bottle and use a table spoon to eat the product. It will melt in your mouth. If you have a problem with taste or swallowing it, take it with some organic orange juice after it melts in your mouth.

Natural Health
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