Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

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Preparing a simple meal this evening, in the pressure pot, I considered ideas for an equally simple after dinner treat. I remembered a recipe for mini blueberry muffins in Liver Rescue by Anthony William.

Created without gluten, oil, refined sugar or eggs, these bite sized snacks seemed perfect! Best of all, I had time to prep the blueberry mini bites and pop them in the oven while dinner cooked without my aid.

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

Scanning the recipe, I saw that I had all the ingredients on hand. At least, what I had on hand would work. One of the things I love about recipes is that they can typically hold up to minor adaptations.

I had black chia seeds rather than white ones. I’m out of organic maple syrup, however my raw organic honey container is almost full. And my muffin tin is small, but not a mini size. Game on!

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites
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5 from 1 vote

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

An easy to make healthy treat. Gluten, oil, refined sugar and egg free.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 12 Mini Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds regular or white
  • 1 cup mashed banana approx 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda aluminum free
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup may use raw organic honey
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
    Place chia seeds in blender and blend on high until finely ground.
  • Add mashed bananas, oat flour, baking soda, sea salt, maple syrup and lemon juice to blender and blend until smooth batter forms.
  • Pour batter into a bowl and add frozen wild blueberries. Mix gently.
  • Line a mini muffin pan with 16 mini parchment baking cups and fill each one with a heaping tablespoon of batter.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until muffins turn golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool completely before eating. Muffins continue to firm up as they cool.

Notes

If you don't have mini parchment baking cups, lightly grease muffin tin with coconut oil.

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini BitesUse wild blueberries, if possible, as the health benefits are greater. I purchase them in the frozen foods section.

Improvise as Necessary

As you can see, in the photo above, I also lacked mini parchment baking cups. No worries! I very lightly greased the muffin tin with coconut oil.

Since I didn’t have a mini muffin tin, I filled 12 compartments with heaping tablespoons of batter, rather than 16. I’m calling the results mini bites. However, the treat was excellent in taste and texture. Slightly sweet, these blueberry mini bites pair well with a cup of hot mint tea.

I so appreciate that Anthony William continually offers new recipes along with his wisdom about health and fighting disease. It may seem like a small thing, preparing these decadent little high nutrient desserts. However, it means a great deal to me. Discovering I can create a wide variety of meals, dishes and treats completely shifted my perspective of what it meant to live a plant based lifestyle.

My food fuels my health. I eat well. And I love every bite.

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

 

 

 

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Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

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This week my mom, sister, Greg and I began the Liver Rescue 3:6:9 cleanse, from Anthony William. Watch for an upcoming book review and my experience with the cleanse. The meals for the first three days are very similar to my usual daily fare. I’m reducing fat intake and including an extra lemon/lime water in the evenings.

For days 1, 2 and 3 I’ve prepared easy oven roasted potatoes for lunch or dinner. They are that good! Previously I made potato wedges, seasoned them, and roasted them in the oven. Lately I’ve been cubing the potatoes instead. The result is crispy on the outside tender on the inside perfectly seasoned potatoes.

Greg swears he could eat this meal every day! As we shift into the next phase of the cleanse, potatoes are off the menu. No worries, however. These oven roasted potatoes wait for us in the near future.

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

Crispy and yet tender, these potatoes make a great side dish or meatless main meal. Eat alone or create a veggie bowl featuring the oven roasted potatoes and other cooked veggies, a salad or raw veggies such as sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

A simple recipe for a meatless meal or a flavorful side dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes
Servings: 4
Author: journeywithhealthyme

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes peeled & cubed
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil melted
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Melt coconut oil and set aside. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place cubed potatoes in a large bowl. Add sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Stir to coat potato cubes. 
  • Add melted coconut oil. Stir to coat. Spread potato cubes out in single layer on baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, until potatoes are browned and cooked through.

Notes

Potato skins may be left on, if desired. Substitute two sweet potatoes for two regular potatoes, for a great roasted potato mix. 
Olive oil may be used instead of coconut oil.

 

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

Healthy Potatoes

Occasionally someone asks me, “Aren’t potatoes bad for you?”

I’ve believed that in the past. Potatoes get lumped in with other “white” foods with low nutritional value, such as white bread, white rice and sugar. However, they are high in potassium, B6 and amino acids…in particular Lysine in its bioactive form. Lysine fights against cancers, viruses such as Epstein-Barr and shingles, liver disease and inflammation.

Potatoes strengthen the kidneys and liver, soothe over excited nerves and help the digestive system to heal from Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers. They are antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial, relieving stress, supporting the brain and helping us to feel centered and grounded. Read more about the health benefits of potatoes HERE.

I eat a LOT of potatoes. They are one of the mainstays of my diet. And potatoes are so versatile.

Tonight’s simple and wholesome meal consisted of oven roasted potatoes and lightly sautéed vegetables. My dinner was delicious, healthy and extremely satisfying. I truly can, and do, eat like this every day.

Easy Oven Roasted PotatoesOven roasted potatoes and lightly sautéed onions, garlic, celery, green pepper, zucchini and carrots with slightly steamed spinach. 

 

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Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread

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I dearly love my afternoon tea time. Therefore, I’m always excited to find and try a new recipe for a healthy treat that can accompany my hot tea. This easy Vegan Blueberry Banana recipe, adapted slightly from one by Anthony William, is perfect.

This beautiful loaf is free from gluten, refined sugar, eggs and diary products.

Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread

Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread

I used gluten free oat flour combined with arrowroot starch, to help hold the loaf together after it cooled. See this guide about other gluten free flours and starches.

Any unsweetened non-dairy milk is acceptable. I like the combo of almond and coconut. Leave off the walnuts if you are watching fats.

Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread

Healthy version of a classic favorite, with the added benefits and taste of wild blueberries.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Cooling30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • chopped walnuts, for topping optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Mash bananas in a bowl with fork or potato masher. Add maple syrup, coconut sugar, vanilla extract and almond coconut milk. Mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, combine oat flour, arrowroot starch, sea salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add wet ingredients and stir gently, until ingredients form a batter. Add frozen blueberries and fold in very gently, stirring just until mixed in.
  • Pour batter into loaf pan. Top with walnuts, if desired, and bake in oven for 40 minutes. Then turn off oven and leave blueberry banana bread in oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely, on a rack, before slicing.  Serves 4.

Vegan Blueberry Banana BreadUse a potato masher to easily mash up ripe bananas.

Vegan Blueberry Banana BreadReady to bake. I LOVE using parchment paper and line all baking pans and cookie sheets with it. Try this one from If You Care. This parchment baking paper is unbleached, compostable and totally chlorine free.

Vegan Blueberry Banana BreadIsn’t that a gorgeous loaf? It smelled so wonderful as it cooled.

The two main ingredients in the Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread have important health benefits.

Wild Blueberries

These berries contain powerful antioxidants. According to Liver Rescue there’s not just one pigment inside a wild blueberry, there are dozens of pigments. The wild blueberry is to the liver as mother’s milk is to a baby. The pigments in wild blueberries have the ability to penetrate deep into liver cells and cross cell walls and membranes inside the liver, spreading their blue everywhere. Wild blueberries also enhance the intestinal tract, feeding good bacteria there, which benefits the liver greatly.

Bananas

Did you know that the fructose in bananas is the liver’s favorite source of food? It provides quick fuel to the liver and wakes up sleepy cells, increasing their ingenuity and work output. Bananas soothe the lining of the intestinal tract and also calm the nerves attached to the intestinal tract. This fruit is one of the most antibacterial, anti-yeast, antifungal foods available. It’s a great food to combine with other nutrient-rich foods or to take with supplements, because they improve the liver’s ability to absorb nutrients. (from Liver Rescue

Perfect Afternoon Tea

This Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread is great as a breakfast bread or works well as a light after dinner dessert.

I paired a slice with a cup of hot spearmint tea, for the perfect afternoon break. The texture is light and the bread tastes slightly sweet, loaded with bananas and wild blueberries. I topped this first loaf with walnuts. Those can be omitted, if desired.

This recipe definitely goes onto my “make again…often” list. Is tomorrow too soon, to pop another loaf into the oven?

Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread

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Thai Welcome Tea

During my visit to Oklahoma ten days ago, my niece Ashley gifted me with a package of organic dried flower petals. She explained that the flowers, when brewed, create a dark blue tea.

This afternoon, preparing for afternoon tea, I decided to open the package and try “blue tea”. As the water came to a boil, I did my research. The buds come from the Butterfly Pea Flower, and they are commonly used to create unique, and colorful, drinks including Thai Welcome Tea.

Thai Welcome Tea

Butterfly Pea Flowers

This flowering plant is native to tropical Thailand and Malaysia, but has been introduced to Africa, Australia and America. The butterfly pea is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows as a vine or creeper in damp, neutral soil. The most striking feature about this plant is the color of its flowers, which are a deep vibrant blue with light yellow markings.

In Southeast Asia, the flower is used as a natural food colouring. In Malaysia, it’s customary to add a few buds of this flower to a pot of white rice, which tints the rice a bluish color. In Thailand, a syrupy blue drink is made called nam dok anchan. It’s sometimes consumed with a drop of lime juice to increase acidity and turn the juice purple.

Butterfly pea flower tea is made from the flowers and can include dried lemongrass. The tea changes color depending on what else is added to the liquid. Lemon or lime juice turns the liquid purple. Adding honey and lemon juice to the tea, which can be served hot or iced, is called Welcome Tea in Thailand.

Thai Welcome Tea

Thai Welcome Tea

Thai Welcome Tea

Reading about the Welcome Tea, I was intrigued by the reported color change when lemon or lime juice is added, and decided to try it. This is Try This Tuesday, after all!

I poured boiling water over two teaspoons of dried butterfly pea flowers and covered the mug so it could steep. The water immediately began to turn blue. The longer the tea steeped, the darker the color became.

Thai Welcome Tea

From Blue to Purple

I removed the flowers from the tea after about 10 minutes. My butterfly pea flower tea was a rich cobalt blue. Before I added honey and lemon juice, I cautiously sipped the hot tea. I wasn’t sure what to expect, from a dark blue tea, however the flavor was light and subtly earthy, similar to a high quality green tea.

Now the fun part. I stirred in a tablespoon of raw organic honey to the tea, without any change in color. As soon as I squeezed half a freshly cut lemon into the dark liquid, the color shifted from deep blue to a rich purple with a pinkish cast. I smiled with delight.

Thai Welcome Tea Thai Welcome Tea

Welcoming an Afternoon Break

Thai Welcome Tea was fun to create, and provided a welcomed break in my afternoon. The tea can be chilled and served over ice, or used as a base for cocktails. I chose to sip on hot tea, and savor the blend of exotic flowers, sweet honey and the citrusy tang of lemon juice.

Butterfly pea flowers infuse the tea with potent antioxidants that help protect the skin against premature aging. Studies show that the tea fights against internal inflammation and can treat pain, reduce inflammation, treat common eye issues such as conjunctivitis, combat certain types of cancers, support brain health, and increase vitality.

Thank you Ashley, for these delightful flowers! I enjoyed my Welcome Tea, and welcome more opportunities to savor its goodness.

Thai Welcome Tea

Order dried butterfly pea flowers below.

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Protein Rich Peas

These veggies may be tiny, but they are packed with nutrients, protein, fiber and health supporting goodness. For years my favorite way to enjoy peas was smothered in cheese sauce. Since ditching the cheese, and the butter and milk, I’ve come to appreciate peas just as they are.

Protein Rich Peas

What Are Peas?

Peas are actually classified as a fruit, because they form from a flower. The peas are the seeds of the pod-fruit Pisium sativum. Pods contain clusters of small peas that are either green or yellow in color. Even though they are technically a fruit, most people consider peas a vegetable.

Rich in protein, one cup provides a whopping 8.6 grams. This puts green peas protein up there with other top plant based protein foods, such as hemp seeds and quinoa. Green peas also provide fiber, antioxidants and micronutrients such as vitamins C and K, and manganese.

Protein Rich Peas

Health Benefits of Peas

Bring more peas into the diet to reap these benefits:

• Aids in weight loss. Their high protein and fiber help to create a full feeling, warding off cravings and reducing appetite.

• Manages blood sugar levels, helping to prevent diabetes.

• Promotes healthy digestion due to high fiber content. Fiber moves through the intestinal tract undigested, adding bulk to the stool to increase stool frequency and promote regularity. Fiber is also beneficial in the treatment of digestive disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), stomach ulcers, diverticulitis and hemorrhoids.

• Helps to protect against cancer. Peas are packed with antioxidants that can help fight free radicals to relieve inflammation and reduce oxidative damage to cells. Thanks to the high concentration of antioxidants in green peas, they have even been shown to have anticancer properties.

Saponins, in particular, are a type of antioxidant found in peas that may help inhibit tumor growth and kill off cancer cells.

• Antioxidants in peas also slow the aging process and age related disorders.

• Aids liver function.

• Boosts the immune system.

Protein Rich PeasPeas, chickpeas and sweet potatoes over short grain brown rice.

How to Include Peas in the Diet

Peas are readily available in grocery stores, canned and frozen. They can also be grown in gardens as a cool weather crop.

There are several varieties of peas, such as sweet peas, snap peas and sugar peas. These little veggies can be eaten raw, cooked, or made into soups, sauces, purées, pesto, and they can even used to make hummus.

Try adding peas to salads, stir fries, or vegetable hash, or simply serve alongside a plain baked potato.

My favorite recipe that includes peas is Aloo Matar. This peas and potato dish in a mild curry sauce is easy to make and so nutritious and delicious. I make it once a week and savor it every time. And I don’t even miss the cheese sauce.

Protein Rich Peas

Exercise is a Celebration

Today’s Try This Tuesday is a bit different. Rather than share a recipe or a product to try, I felt inspired to share a few thoughts about exercise.

For many people, myself included, “exercise” is a bad word, carrying negative connotations. Just saying the word aloud can make me feel obligated or guilty or a mix of those two strong emotions.

Inspired by a quote I saw, on another blogger’s post about body image, my hope with this post is to shift energy and perceptions around this vital activity.

Exercise is a Celebration

Exercise vs Movement

I could not find the source for the words, however the quote is:

“Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate.”

Reading it, my mind immediately substituted the word movement for exercise.

Movement is a celebration of what your body can do..,

I love that. I’m all about celebrations. Thinking of exercise, movement, in this way removes the sense of obligation. Rather than an activity I have to do, movement becomes a celebration of what my body can do, even if it does it imperfectly or differently from another.

When I was struggling with chronic sciatica, and walking with a limp and a cane, it became important to focus on what my body could accomplish rather than how it was failing me. Every little victory was cause for praising my body, especially my weak left leg.

As I healed on a plant based diet, my ability to move freely and without pain increased. Walking became easier, the cane no longer necessary, which resulted in true rejoicing.

What if I viewed all exercise, all kinds of movements, in this celebratory way?

Exercise is a Celebration

Exercise is a Celebration

Exercise is Not a Punishment

There’s no denying that moving the body is beneficial to health. Doctors recommend that children and teens gets 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily. Adults benefit from 2 1/2 to 5 hours weekly of moderate physical activity or 1 1/2 to 3 hours a week of vigorous exercise.

Shifting my perspective helps me to see that exercise is not a punishment for what I ate. I know that I can’t out exercise a bad diet. I can’t out essential oil a poor diet or outthink it or meditate it away. In my experience, a healthy whole food diet is the foundation of optimal health. Every other practice is built upon that solid foundation.

Movement, exercise, is important. It helps to regulate the systems of the body, improves heart health and sleep, calms the mind, Lowers stress and tones the muscles. It’s my thoughts about it that sabotages my willingness to engage in physical activity.

While some thrive on hard core work outs and rigorous training, and that’s absolutely wonderful if they enjoy it, I am inspired by the celebration of movement. I have fun when I’m trying new things, or dancing alone to my favorite tunes, or I make exercise a game. That’s what works for me.

What works for you? Do you love to dance, ride a bike, roller skate, or jump on a trampoline? Is walking or hiking trails what makes your heart beat faster, literally, or is swimming or horseback riding your passion?

For Try This Tuesday, try moving in new ways. Experiment. Shift. Get a little crazy. Or settle into yoga poses and hold them. Just move in ways that bring joy. And in the moving, celebrate the wondrous way that the body responds.

Exercise is a Celebration

Manganese

This essential trace mineral is needed by the body, in small amounts. Manganese is connected to iron and other minerals, and plays an important role in numerous chemical processes, including the synthesis of nutrients like cholesterol, carbohydrates and proteins. Also manganese supports the formation of bone mass and helps to naturally balance hormones, which has a positive affect on nearly every aspect of health.

Manganese

What is Manganese?

Manganese is a mineral that is found in foods such as nuts, legumes, seeds, tea, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables. It is also found in fruits and other vegetables, although whole grains are usually considered the best natural source. Wherever manganese is found, iron is usually present since these two work closely together. This mineral is stored in the body’s bones, kidneys, and pancreas.

Manganese is needed for many vital functions, including nutrient absorption, production of digestive enzymes, bone development and immune-system defenses. It also helps balance levels of calcium…fighting calcium deficiency…and phosphorus, all of which work together in many crucial ways.

Manganese

Health Benefits of Manganese

Manganese most often works in connection with other minerals to keep the body operating at a healthy level. The mineral provides these health benefits:

• Supports the thyroid and pituitary gland.

• Improves bone health and prevents osteoporosis.

• Necessary for antioxidants that lessen inflammation, and for enzyme function, which aids bone development and digestion.

• Helps to maintain cognitive function, easing mood swings, depression, and mental illness.

• Lowers high blood sugar levels that contribute to diabetes.

• Supports lung and respiratory health.

• Reduces inflammation in the joints and tissues, especially the knees and lower back, easing pain and discomfort.

• Reduces PMS symptoms.

• Aids in weight loss by improving digestive enzymes and balancing hormones.

• Speeds up the healing of wounds.

• Prevents anemia by helping the body use iron.

• Helps to treat infertility by balancing hormones.

Manganese

Taking Manganese

The best way to get enough manganese is by eating foods that are rich in it. Since the body only needs small amounts, including short grain brown rice, oats, legumes, spinach and other dark leafy veggies, nuts, seeds and fruits such as berries and pineapples to the diet is usually adequate. Using black pepper, cinnamon and cloves to season foods is beneficial. Black tea is also high in manganese, however the tannin in black tea can inhibit its absorption.

For those who are deficient in manganese, taking a daily supplement is helpful. Those with liver disease or anemia should consult a doctor before taking additional manganese.

This mineral is one of those vital nutrients that I was unaware of before becoming more health conscious. My favorite way of including manganese is by being aware of the foods that I eat. It’s simple to add pineapple, strawberries and raspberries to morning smoothies and create salads with spinach and other dark green leafy veggies. Hummus is a great way to include chickpeas in my diet and I add cinnamon sticks and cloves to a wonderful hot cider drink.

Higher awareness, and a little planning, keeps me at optimal health.

Manganese

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Powerful Cranberries

As October gives way to November, I begin to anticipate the holiday season. After switching to a plant based lifestyle one of the most frequent questions I continue to get is “What about eating during the holidays?”

I happily, and healthily, eat plant based during the holidays, even during Thanksgiving and Christmas meals that are traditionally laden with the foods on my “no” list. I stick to seasonal produce and lots of veggies. One food that shows up in grocery stores this time of year becomes a staple during the holidays.

Powerful Cranberries

What are Cranberries?

Cranberries grow on low, creeping shrubs or vines up to 7 feet long and 2 to 8 feet in height. The plant’s dark pink flowers become berries that are a bit larger than the leaves of the plant. Initially light green, the berries turn red when ripe. They are edible with a tart taste that can overwhelm their sweetness. The majority of cranberries are harvested in the US, Canada and Chile.

Most cranberries are processed into products such as juice, sauce, jam, and sweetened dried cranberries, with the remainder sold fresh to consumers. Cranberry sauce is a traditional accompaniment to turkey at Christmas dinners in the United Kingdom, and at Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners in the United States and Canada.

Canned cranberry sauce was my introduction to this tart fruit. It has been a joy to create my own cranberry relish for the holidays, and find other uses for fresh cranberries.

Powerful Cranberries

Health Benefits of Cranberries

Most people know that cranberries have antiseptic properties that aid in healing urinary tract infections and yeast infections. That power comes from the cranberry’s ability to fight the streptococcus bacteria, which is most often the underlying cause of such infections.

These bright red berries offer so much more, health wise. Cranberries help with these conditions and ailments:

• Reverse gallbladder disease and dissolve gallstones.

• Cleanse the liver and aid the passing of kidney stones.

• Dislodge earwax and restore hearing.

• Due to antioxidant properties, they heal cardiovascular disease and arteriosclerosis.

• Destroy toxic hormones, easing premenopausal symptoms, and helping with weight loss.

• Draw radiation out of the body.

• Protect connective tissue, detoxify organs, halt the growth of bacteria and viruses, and provide stress assistance when needed.

• Help to prevent seasonal allergies.

(Info from Life Changing Foods by Anthony William)

Powerful Cranberries

Ways to Enjoy Cranberries

Add fresh or frozen cranberries to smoothies, smoothie bowls, juices, and gluten free oatmeal. Include them in stir fries or chop and sprinkle atop salads.

My two favorite ways to enjoy cranberries are in hot apple cider and raw cranberry relish. Both recipes are from Anthony William.

Get the recipe for the fragrant, health boosting cider HERE.

The cranberry relish is so easy to make and one of my all time favorite dishes.

Using a food processor, combine 1 cup of fresh cranberries, 2 cups of coarsely chopped apples, 1/2 cup of orange segments, 1/4 teaspoon of orange zest and 4 tablespoons of raw organic honey or coconut sugar. Pulse until roughly combined. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. The relish can be garnished with chopped mint right before serving.

This relish makes a great accompaniment to any holiday meal or it’s perfect on its own.

Of all the foods on the table during holiday meals, cranberries are the most nutritious and beneficial. Even if it’s canned cranberry sauce, give these powerful berries a try! And for a real treat that ups the healing properties, create the relish or add cranberries to hot apple cider or a cup of hot herbal tea.

Powerful Cranberries

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Astralagus Root

The root of this herb is considered one of the most powerful immune boosting plants available. And yet, many people, including myself until recently, have not heard of this supplement.

Read on for the amazing benefits of astralagus root.

Astralagus Root

What is Astralagus?

This perennial flowering herb, also called milkvetch root and Huang-qi, grows up to 36 inches tall and is native to the north and eastern regions of China. The roots are harvested from 4-year-old plants and they are the only part of the plant that’s used medicinally.

Astragalus is a member of the Leguminosae (beans or legumes) family, with a long history as an immune system booster and disease fighter. Traditional Chinese Medicine has used the herb as an adaptogen for thousands of years. Adaptogen means it helps the body fight against stress and disease.

Astralagus Root

Astralagus Benefits

While its strength is preventing and protecting cells against cell death and other harmful elements, such as free radicals and oxidation, astralagus has other vital benefits as well.

• Reduces the inflammatory response connected to illnesses and conditions, from helping to heal wounds to easing inflammation in diabetic kidney disease.

• Saponins in the herb’s roots lower cholesterol, improve the immune system and prevent cancer.

• Slows and prevents the growth of tumors, especially in the liver.

• The flavonoids present in astragalus are antioxidants that help prevent plaque buildup in arteries and the narrowing of vessel walls. It reduces blood pressure and triglycerides levels, lowering the risks for heart disease, stroke, heart attack and hardening of the arteries.

• Has the ability to relieve insulin resistance and treat diabetes naturally. The herb’s collection of saponins, flavonoids and polysaccharides are effective in treating and regulating type 1 and 2 diabetes. Astralagus increases insulin sensitivity, protects the cells in the pancreas that produce and release insulin, and acts as an anti-inflammatory.

• Fights free radical damage and prevents oxidative stress, slowing the signs of aging. Astralagus protects the brain as well, from age related disorders.

• Heals wounds and minimizes scarring.

• Has antiviral properties.

• Successfully treats chronic asthma.

How to Use Astralagus Root

Astralagus root is available in a variety of forms, including tinctures, capsules, topically in an ointment, or dried and used to brew tea.

Try including a cup of hot astralagus tea daily, during the winter months, to help ward off colds, flus, and respiratory ailments. It makes a soothing drink that offers warmth and powerful healing benefits.

Or order capsules by clicking the link below.

Astralagus Root

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Rustic Apple Galette

This warm and homey dessert is perfect for fall weather. A galette is a French word for a flat, round cake or pastry, usually open faced with fruit piled in the middle. This rustic dish is a healthy version, created by Anthony William, meaning it can be enjoyed without guilt or the ill effects sugar or gluten would cause.

Rustic Apple Galette

Apple Galette Recipe

For the crust:

1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

3.5 tablespoons water

1 1/2 cups almond flour + more for dusting

3/4 cup tapioca flour

1.5 tablespoons coconut sugar

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 – 3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons almond milk (optional)

1 tablespoon maple syrup, to serve

For the filling:

3 red apples, cored and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

Directions:

Make a flax “egg” by mixing together flaxseeds and water. Set aside.

In a food processor or blender, combine the almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut sugar and sea salt. Process until combined. Add coconut oil and flax egg and  mix again, adding water bit by bit until the dough comes together. Not all of the water may be needed. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes. Mix apple slices, lemon juice, spices and coconut sugar together in a bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and lightly dust with almond flour. Roll the dough into a 1/4 inch thick circle and place apple filling in center, leaving 2 inches around the edge. Gently fold edges up, using the parchment paper to prevent tearing, creasing the edges of the dough as you go.

Brush dough with almond milk, if desired, and bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until browned. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Drizzle with maple syrup, if desired. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

Rustic Apple Galette

Rustic Apple Galette

Rustic Apple Galette

Taste of Autumn

The galette came together and was in the oven quickly. As I washed dishes I enjoyed the fragrant aroma of cinnamon and cardamom and bubbling apples. This wholesome fruit is not only full of health boosting nutrition, apples have a grounding effect as well. We feel more connected to the earth and to ourselves when we eat apples.

I brewed a cup of herbal tea as I anticipated savoring the galette. I was not disappointed. What a delicious and satisfying afternoon treat. I did not drizzle maple syrup on my slice of galette. For me, it wasn’t necessary.

Rustic apple galette is already a favorite, and worthy of company or potluck dinners. I think my favorite way to enjoy this fall treat though is during an afternoon break with a hot cup of tea.

Rustic Apple Galette