Who doesn’t love sweet potatoes? Yes. Everyone does! Okay I just going to pretend that everyone does. The rest of you guys will be converted after this post! LOL.
So here it is, sweet potatoes are not only nature’s little candy, because they are super sweet, but they are loaded with nutrients. Here are a few benefits why you should eat sweet potatoes:
Stabilizes blood sugar levels.
They are high in antioxidants
Need a brain boost, sweet potatoes helps with brain function.
They also are known to help enhance you immunity
They promote vision health.
Need to drop a few pounds, they also help with weight loss.
I know you are thinking about trying them now, with those impressive health benefits, but if you are not totally convinced, check out these two awesome recipes. The recipes below are vegan and plant based, but you can add an egg to them to boost your protein, if you are vegetarian or eat meat. The best thing about both recipes is that you can get super creative.
Sweet potato toast is the new craze out there, if you are trying to cut back on the bread. I love this new take on toast. The toppings are endless, you can go sweet or savory.
Sweet potato toast is simple to make and you make several slices of the toast and keep them in the fridge for up to 7 days and pull them out when you need them and add your favorite toppings. Here’s the easy recipe:
Sweet Potato Toast
1 large sweet potato
Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper to help prevent sticking.
Peel the potato. This is optional. I peeled the the ends of the sweet potato off, cut the potatoes in 1/2 inch slices.
Bake until the slices are tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite toast toppings.
Store any leftover sweet potato slices in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. To reheat for an easy breakfast, just add to your toaster on the medium setting to heat up, remove and add your favorite toppings.
1 sweet potato, cut into 1/4 inch slices
Peel your potato and add it to your toaster. It may take you three times to cook and toast the sweet potato completely. Every toaster is different, so you will know it is done when the sweet potato is tender and brown on the edges. Remove it from the toaster and add your favorite ingredients: nut butters, avocado, jams, jelly, granola, nuts, apples slices, whatever, you get creative.
Sweet Potato and Poblano Pepper Hash
1 large organic sweet potato peeled and cubed
1 small red onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano peppers, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow pepper, diced
1 cup broccoli pearls
1 cup of black beans
1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
a pinch or two crushed red pepper, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook for about 2 minutes until they begin to soften, add the sweet potato, broccoli pearls, salt, and crushed red pepper. Cover and cook about 5 minutes, until the potatoes begin to soften. Add beans and cook for about 3-5 minutes until the beans are warmed up. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Top with cilantro and garnish with lime ( optional) .
Salads are what you make them, and if you are eating to boost energy and shed a few pounds, you may want to be more conscious of how you are making that ‘healthy salad”. Most people think to throw some lettuce in a bowl with a few tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and some type of dressing and you got yourself a healthy salad. Think again my friend. Don’t get me wrong, everything in that salad for the most part is good, but let’s look at it closer.
So, you are making a salad, most people go for just regular iceberg lettuce. Iceberg lettuce has no real nutritional value, just good ruffage. When picking lettuce the best rule of thumb, the darker the greens the more fiber, flavor and nutrients they will possess.
Now let’s talk about ingredients. If you are eating a salad as your main meal, which is a good idea, because you can incorporate, good protein, lots of fiber, good carbohydrates and good essential fatty acids all on one plate, if we are conscious of what ingredients you are choosing. A salad that will keep you energized and help you drop a few pounds, if eaten daily, with exercise and other healthy accompany meals would look something like this:
Green Avocado Salad
Choose 2 to 3 greens:
Mixed green Medley ( easier way to get several leafy green choices)
You can also add:
Cabbage or Radicchio
Choose 1 or 2 herbs:
Grains ( optional, but loaded with vegan protein and lots of fiber, just use a little, they are high in carbohydrates.)
Choose 1 grain:
Choose 1 to 2 proteins:
Organic Chicken ( grilled )
Salmon, steamed or grilled, high in protein and essential fatty acids
Chickpeas, vegan protein and fiber
Beans, such as lentils
LET THESE BE THE MOST IN YOUR SALAD, LOAD UP!
Healthy Fats, for crunch
Nuts and Seeds of all kind that you can consume:
Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachios, Brazil Nuts, Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Flax Seeds and Hemp Seeds .
Make your own and the healthiest dressings are one that are not creamy, but more in the vinaigrette family.
Simple and healthy dressings have these 4 key ingredients:
Acid~ Lemon Juice, Balsamic Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar, Rice Wine Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar and White Wine Vinegar.
It is sniffle season and we all are looking for ways to keep the yuckies away. I love to use food to help my family stay healthy and to get us back on our feet when the household is being raided by a stubborn cold. My go to is a good clean, healing soup. I have a few on my blog that you can try during the allergy and cold season. They taste delicious and just might do the trick to get you and your family back on your feet. The only soup that is purely medicinal is my For Cold Season ~RED soup . A few other tips during the cold season you may want to try:
Drink plenty of clean fluids, like water, herbal teas and veggie broths.
Get plenty of rest, when your body needs it.
Get a little sunshine, Vitamin D does a body good. Light walks helps get circulation moving and helps removes mucus from the body.
Do a little gentle yoga and deep breathing.
Eat salads everyday.
An apple will keep the doctor away and few oranges. Fuel up with these fruits, because they are loading with vitamin C and fiber.
I have several soup recipes on the blog, so please click on the links below and try them out. Here’s to a speed recovery, so you can Set the Table with Love.
In a large pot over medium heat put 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil in the pot. Add the onions. Cook for a few minutes and then add garlic and stir.
Season with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper and stir. Add sweet potatoes, add all the spices.
Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. To help pull out the oils from the spices.
Add 1/4 tsp more salt and pepper and the coconut milk and 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth. Then cover.
Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes more.
At the end of 25 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Then puree using a blender. Transfer back to the pot, and allow to simmer for 3 minutes to thicken on low heat. Serve in a bowl with cilantro and spicy sautéed chickpeas. Enjoy! Will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days and the freezer for a month.
IG~ Set the Table with Love
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Today on my Facebook Live video, I talked about eating Antioxidant Powerhouse foods. Here’s the deal, we get these list of foods to eat, and then what? How do we convert them into delicious and balancing meals? Well no worries, I got you. Today I made a Spaghetti Squash Bowl using foods high in antioxidants. So, what’s an antioxidant?
“Antioxidants include some vitamins (such as vitamins C and E), some minerals (such as selenium), and flavonoids, which are found in plants. The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. You can find flavonoids in fruits, red wine, and teas.” Source: WEBMD.
I truly believe, our well being is in the foods we eat and drink. This recipe is loaded with vitamin C, E, beta carotene and flavonoids. It’s very simple, healthy and above all, super delicious! You can switch out some of the ingredients to truly make this recipe your own. Instead of lentils you can use chickpeas, instead of spaghetti squash, use butternut squash. The possibilities are endless. But, before we get into the recipe, let me share with you a list of delicious super antioxidant foods you might want to try incorporating in your menu this week and some reasons why you should eat them:
Slower signs of aging, including of the skin, eyes, tissue, joints, heart and brain
Healthier, more youthful, glowing skin
Reduced cancer risk
Longer life span
Protection against heart disease and stroke
Less risk for cognitive problems, such as dementia
Reduced risk for vision loss or disorders like macular degeneration and cataracts
Antioxidants are also added to food or household products to prevent oxidation and spoilage Source: Dr. Ox
Antioxidant Powerhouse List:
Small Red Beans ( adzuki)
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Spaghetti Squash Bowl Recipe
1 spaghetti squash
2 tbs olive oil, divided
1 cup sprouted lentils
1 cup chopped kale
1 mini red, orange and yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tbs honey
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup chopped cherries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tbs chopped fresh basil
1 tsp orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice juice
salt salt and black pepper to taste
To prepare the spaghetti squash, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Use a very sharp chef’s knife to cut off the tip-top and very bottom ends of each spaghetti squash. Stand the squash upright on a stable surface and slice through it from top to bottom to divide it in half.
Use a large spoon to scoop out the spaghetti squash seeds and discard them. Drizzle each squash half with 1 teaspoon olive oil and rub it all over the inside and outside of the squash, adding more oil if necessary. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly over the interiors of the squash, then place them cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30-40, until the interiors are easily pierced through with a fork.
Meanwhile, sauté the chopped kale over a medium heat. Add a tbs of olive in a sauté and chopped kale, a little sea salt and stir. Cook the kale until it has withered just a bit, you want it to still have some crunch, so about 2 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside. In another sauté pan, add the nuts, honey, paprika and a pinch of sea salt over a medium heat. Stir and allow the nuts and seeds to heat up, for about a minute, Remove from heat and add to a bowl, so they can harden.
Once the squash is done, remove with from the oven using oven mittens. Being to assemble the bowls, use a fork to remove most of the squash, add spaghetti squash to a bowl. Add a little olive to the spaghetti squash, then add the kale, chopped peppers, some of the nuts and seeds, set a few aside as a garnish, add the cherries, cranberries, fresh basil, and orange zest. Toss and drizzle some of the juice from the orange over everything and a little more olive oil, if desired. Add the mixture into the spaghetti squash bowls and garnish with the remaining nuts and seeds. Enjoy.
Some encounters bring you back home to what your soul is yearning for. This year has done that for me and my family. I have been around people and places that have made me feel like, I was coming home. One of those encounters inspired me to move my culinary creative juices back to Raw Foods. Raw foodism is the dietary practice of eating only uncooked, unprocessed foods. It only includes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Now I AM NOT A RAW FOODIST, VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN, but my diet is about 80% plant based. I believe eating whole foods is better for my body, mind and spirit. So, how did I come back home to raw foods? My best friend. She wanted to take a yoga class one morning and I did have the time, I had so much work to do. I was behind schedule on several projects, I felt run down and just wanted to work and maybe catch a nap in. However, inside of me, my spirit was calling from some release, so I went.
The funny thing is, as we were driving to the studio, it hit me where we were going, to my old yoga studio. The place I learned about the healing beauty of yoga and meditation, ironically another one of my best friends introduced me to this studio, 13 years prior. I got some teacher training here from some the best yoga teachers in the United States. I was very ill during that time, fighting kidney disease and trying to take care of a toddler.
The yoga studio was a place of love and great healing for me. As we walked into the yoga studio, there on her mat was the owner and one of my first yoga teachers. My heart felt so much joy. I felt like I was back HOME. The class was amazing and I felt more energy in my body and spirit, plus so much peace.
My yoga teacher and I caught up and we talked about health issues. She shared with me her journey of healing and it hit me why I was there. Food has been a healing art for me. So of course, my best friend and Creative Marketing Director of my wellness company, mentioned what I had been up to lately with food. My yoga teacher was excited, she had been eating raw to heal, but she runs three businesses and doesn’t have time to prepare the food. She asked me to help her and of course it was my pleasure to say, YES. The yoga studio and her classes brought me so much healing and now I could give back. Life is always trying to bring us home, if we just take the time out to slow down and listen.
Here are three ways you can use my Raw Chocolate Ganache.
Raw Chocolate Ganache: You can use this for many other desserts
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut oil, pinch of sea salt
Using your blender, mix together syrup and coconut oil until well combined. Add in your cacao powder and a pinch of sea salt, and process until smooth – scraping down the sides as needed. Use immediately, or keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a couple weeks. If using the ganache after being refrigerated, simply place the container in warm water for a few minutes to let it soften up a bit, or roll out ganache truffles using a melon scoop. 🙂
Raw Chocolate Ganache Torte with Pistachio Dust and Black Berries
1/2 cup black cherries, thawed out frozen cherries
3/4 cup Raw Chocolate Ganache
1 tbsp maple syrup
crushed pistachios and a black cherry
Using a blender Blend everything together, using a biscuit cutter, place on a sheet pan with parchment paper . Pour the ganache mixture into the biscuit cutter, almost to the top, leave room to add the pistachios. Add the pistachios and top with a black cherry. Put into the freeze and allow to set over night or for at least 2 hours to get it very firm. When ready to serve, allow to set room temperature for about 2-3 minutes, this will make it easier for you to push the torte out of the biscuit cutter. Gently remove, by pushing up from the bottom with a frosting spreader or the back of a spoon.
Serve and enjoy immediately because the base is made of coconut oil, it must be eaten immediately or kept frozen.
Pears Dipped in Spicy Raw Chocolate Ganache topped with walnuts and cardamom with a side of cardamom coconut cream
1 pear cut in half and seeds removed
Raw Chocolate Ganache, in it’s liquid form. if using the ganache after being refrigerated, simply place the container in warm water for a few minutes to let it soften up a bit.
whole coconut milk
1 tsp cardamom and a little more to dust over the pears
1 tbs maple syrup
Super simple. I add a little lemon juice to the pears, so they would not brown. Dipped them into the ganache. I dipped half of the pears here, added crusted walnuts, sprinkled with cardamom, you can also drizzle maple syrup, honey or agave over them for more sweetness. Put the pears into the fridge for an hour or overnight so the ganache can harden on the pears properly. The coconut cream is also super simple.
Open up a can of coconut milk and remove the creamy top part and add to a bowl. Using an electric hand mixer whisk attachment, beat the cream until fluffy and smooth. Add in maple syrup and cardamom. Put whipped cream in the fridge to harden a bit, about 10 minutes. Remove the pears and whipped cream from the fridge. Add whipped cream to the pears and serve immediatley.
NOTE: This ganache has a coconut oil base so it will melt fast, so keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.
Pears Dipped in Spicy Raw Chocolate Ganache topped with walnuts and cardamom with a side of cardamom coconut cream
Last one, but oh so good. My grandson helped me make these, notice the heavy handed areas of pistachios. Love it.
Raw Chocolate Ganache Bark with Peppermint and Pistachios
3 tbsp cacao
2½ tbsp raw virgin coconut oil
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
small pinch sea salt
2 tbsp crushed pistachios
1 crushed soft peppermint stick
Whisk together melted coconut oil, raw cacao and maple syrup in a small bowl until completely smooth.
Add a pinch of sea salt and combine well.
Add nuts and peppermint
Line a cookie sheet with non stick parchment paper.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the lined cookie sheet and spread out evenly using the back of a spoon, spread it thick so you bark doesn’t melt so quickly when eating it. 🙂 Add the goodies on top.
Place the container in the freezer for 30 minutes until the chocolate is completely hard.
Break up the pieces and serve immediately.
Store in the freezer. PSA
Since the base of this bark is coconut oil it will melt at room temperature, so please keep it in the freezer, until ready to serve. Eat immediately.
What mama doesn’t love a little sweet treat on Mother’s Day, but this one is for the Raw Vegan moms and those in spirit that love a super, decadent, delicious and yes healthy treat. I love making these when I need a little something sweet, but is not going to put on tons of calories on me, whatever they decides to go after 40. LOL.
Chocolate, yes. I am a dark chocolate girl. I love dark chocolate, it is so good for you, it is high in antioxidants, low in fat, gives you energy and helps balance out moodiness. So, it maybe a good idea to make mom these yummies.
Hey here’s the thing, THERE IS NO COOKING! NO BAKING! YES! So, you feeling pretty confident, huh? Honey you should feel confident. You can do this and the best part, she want feel all guilty about eating these chocolates later on. Win Win!
Enjoy one for yourself and remember to Set the Table with Love.
1 cup almonds, dry
1 cup cashews, dry
1 cup dehydrated shredded coconut flakes
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups raisins or pitted dates
Cacao Pudding filling
2 med. avocado (ripe)
1/2 cup raisins
3 tbsp. raw cacao powder
1/4 cup water or more if need for smoothness
2 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup orange zest, for garnished
1. Pulse the almonds, cashews, 1/2 cup of coconut flakes, sea salt in a
food processor until nuts are in tiny pieces. Do not over process the
mixture, you want chunks in your crust.
2. Slowy add the raisins into processor in small batches to mix with
the nut bits. The raisins will bind the nuts to form a dough. Flour
each tart mold with dehydrated coconut flakes. Press the dough into
the bottom of the floured tart pan. Set aside. Cacao Pudding filling
1. Blend all the ingredients into the blender or food processor. Add
more water if the mixture is too thick, if too thin add a little more
cacao powder. Making Raw food is about adjusting, adding a little bit
here and there to get the right consistency. Assembly
1. Add the Cacao pudding filling into each tart crust.
2. Add orange zest to each tart and sprinkle with a little coconut
3. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow tarts to set. Remove from
tart pan and serve.
Makes 12 tarts
For more Raw Vegan Desserts on my blog check these out: