Did you know that almonds are good for wrinkles? In a study of postmenopausal women, those who were given 20% of their daily calories as almonds had less wrinkle severity and less wrinkle width after a study time of just 16 weeks.
Almonds are full of good fats and protein along with vitamins and minerals. They are a great snack, and also good for wrinkles it seems!
I eat almonds all the time, usually as almond butter for breakfast or a snack. Here though is a recipe you can’t turn down. Although perhaps not the healthiest way to eat almonds, it is certainly one of the most delicious. And we all need something sweet sometimes so we might as well make it as healthy as we can.
2 cups dark chocolate chips (really good quality ones. I like the organic 70% cocoa ones from Honest to Goodness)
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup almonds (smashed)
2 cups rice puffs
Put the chocolate chips, coconut oil and salt in a bowl. Put in the microwave until chocolate starts to melt. Stir occasionally. Keep heating until the chocolate is completely melted. Stir until all mixed together.
Smash up the almonds. I like to put them in a silicone bag and smash them with a rolling pin.
Add the almonds and rice puffs to the chocolate.
Spread the mixture out onto a non-stick mat to desired thickness.
Leave the mixture to sit for about an hour or until it is completely hard. The length of time needed will depend on room temperature.
Once hard, break up by hand or cut with a knife.
Store in an air-tight container.
Here is a link to the study abstract if you are interested:
My kids love spaghetti. It is one of the few dinners where everyone is excited and there are never any complaints. To be honest though, I really don’t have time to make my own sauce. Would it be healthier if I made my own? For sure! Will that ever happen? Unlikely! Sometimes we have to make compromises that result in healthier options for everyone.
My sauce is loaded with vegetables. There is loads of colour in there that everyone happily eats. Then I add a couple jars of Macro organic pasta sauce. It contains all real ingredients with no chemicals. I can read every single word in the ingredients list! I’m sure I could make this slightly healthier myself with a bit less sugar, but there really isn’t much in this sauce and given that everyone happily eats a couple servings of vegetables for dinner, I consider this a win.
To make it even healthier you could use zucchini noodles instead of pasta. I haven’t personally tried this, but others say it is great.
Making home-made dinners doesn’t always have to be hard and time consuming. Some store-bought sauces contain all-natural ingredients and will ensure that everyone is getting the benefits of super nutritious vegetables. If this is something that is holding you back from making home-made dinners, don’t stress. Buy some sauce and mix it with a load of vegetables. You are definitely winning.
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 large clove garlic (cut fine)
½ large onion
2 large carrots
1 large zucchini
1 head of broccoli
1 red capsicum (pepper)
500g Organic beef mince (ground beef)
2 jars Macro organic tomato, garlic and basil chunky pasta sauce
Cut up the vegetables to bite sized pieces
Put the coconut oil in the pan with the vegetables and cook for a few minutes
Add the beef and cook until meat is browned, and the vegetables are cooked through
Add the sauce and heat until warmed through
Put over wheat spaghetti or zucchini pasta as desired
*These are my preferred vegetables, but really any will do. Just load it up with lots of colour.
Is there a connection between dairy consumption and nasal secretions? (we’re talking snot here people).
There is much controversy around dairy and its health benefits versus drawbacks. I’m not going to get into the whole thing today. I just want to talk about nasal congestion and dairy. Many people will try to say that no matter what you should always consume dairy for its calcium content. There have been studies in the past, but I found a recent one clearly showing that drinking dairy increases nasal secretions.
The participants had no allergy nor intolerance to dairy, and all had a history of persistent nasal mucous secretions. All participants went completely dairy free for 6 days and then after that had either a dairy smoothie or soy smoothie each day for 4 days. All participants had less secretions during the initial stage. The dairy smoothie group had significantly increased nasal secretions compared to the soy group. This was a double blinded study meaning that neither the researchers nor the participants knew who drank the dairy and who drank the soy.
So, if you have persistent nasal secretions (or lots of snot), or have a cold, it might be worth taking dairy out of your diet for a few days and see what happens.
So here it is. This is the recipe that I use to make muffins to sell. These are healthy, delicious, dairy-free, sugar-free and lunchbox friendly. They are super versatile as you can make the base and then add whatever flavourings you want. You can easily make several different muffin types in one batch.
In these muffins there is no sugar (unless you add the chocolate chips) no dairy (as long as you use dairy-free chocolate chips) and no nuts. They do contain plenty of fruit, whole grains, healthy fats and even a vegetable! Everyone in the family loves the berry and apple versions, but my daughter is a bit of a chocolate fiend, so I make some chocolate chip for everyone as well.
I like to make muffins that are on the smaller side to go into lunch boxes for my little people, so this recipe usually makes about 36 muffins. They freeze really well and can be pulled out when you are in a rush. I hope your family enjoys them as much as mine does!
This makes the base. Then you can add whatever flavourings you feel like. Some ideas are:
2 cups dark chocolate chips or chunks (I often cut up a Green & Black’s 70% organic dark chocolate bar)
6 medium apples cut into small chunks
2 cups mixed berries (I defrost some frozen ones)
1 cup cacao powder
Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius fan forced (380 degrees Fahrenheit). Grease muffin tray with coconut oil if necessary. I use a silicone tray that does not require it.
Melt the coconut oil in a large bowl if it is solid. Beat in the eggs, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla until it is all mixed. I find the stand mixer works best for this.
Add the mashed banana and grated zucchini.
If the coconut oils gets cold it can separate. If this happens, put your bowl into the sink surrounded by warm water and gently stir until the oil melts and mixes back in.
Mix all the dry ingredients together in another bowl. If you can, get ‘help’ like I did.
Stir the wet and dry ingredients together.
If you are going to make different flavours, now is the time to split the mixture into separate bowls.
Add chocolate chips, apple pieces or berries to each bowl and stir until mixed.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Bake muffins for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan. Enjoy now or freeze some for later. Oh and remember not to feel guilty about eating them, because they are actually healthy!
*I find it best to use previously frozen bananas. Freezing them seems to break down the cell walls and makes the muffins moister.