Wednesday, November 20, 2013

{Recipe Redux} DIY Homemade Muesli Mix

Homemade gifts are the best way to show loved ones just how much you care during the holidays. In fact, anything homemade sure does have a special ring to it: homemade cookies, breads, and pasta. Nothing can beat my dad's homemade meatballs. This goes for all things homemade beyond food. Ever since the first time I picked up a pen, my mom has insisted on me creating a homemade card for birthdays, Christmas, and other special occasions. (She finally stopped asking me to pose in her Christmas this is the least I could steps). No gift necessary, just a card that I made. While this makes my life a lot easier, it really does contain sentimental value. 

The Recipe Redux's November theme was "Adding merriment to mixes." My obsession with breakfast foods aided in my inspiration to create a homemade muesli mix in a jar. Whole food ingredients, like whole grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit are packed into one merry jar. This gift isn't only from the heart, but provides heart-healthy benefits to those you care most deeply for. 


3 cups hot multigrain cereal (100% Whole Grain), dry
2/3 cups walnuts, chopped
3/4 cups raisins or dried fruit
2 tbsp hemp seed
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 tbsp flax meal
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Note: In this muesli mix, I used a a hot multigrain cereal mix which contains oats, barley, and rye. Old fashioned oats can be used entirely in this recipe or you can experiment with other whole grains as well. Any type of dried fruit will work equally as well for this recipe.  

Directions for Toasted Muesli:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl - cereal, nuts, seeds, sugar, and spices. Mix.
3. Add coconut oil and stir well to coat the dry ingredients.
4. Spoon the muesli onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
5. Add dried fruit to the muesli and serve over yogurt or milk.

Yield: 2 Jars
Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Happy Holidays!

As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy!

(Please note that this is a closed link-up for Recipe ReDux posts only. Any links added to this collection for non-ReDux posts will be deleted.) 

Or use the new Add link method ?

(Submissions close in 1d 23h 53m)
Link tool by

Monday, November 18, 2013

How to Get Antioxidants This Fall

Fall is officially upon us. The bright colors of fruits and vegetables have entered hibernation until the warm weather returns. Packaged with these bright colors are antioxidants, the vibrant pigments which protect our bodies from the development of chronic disease and illness. Just when you thought all was lost (including your tan), comes a new harvest of fruits and vegetables – pumpkin, squash, eggplant, cauliflower, cranberries, figs, and apples. These too, are bursting with colorful antioxidants!

Antioxidants in Autumn
Thanks to the American Institute for Cancer Research, fruits and vegetables that fight cancer are summarized for our convenience. Let’s take a closer look at their powerful antioxidant package:

Squash (Winter)
There are several varieties of winter squash depending on their color, texture, and flavor. Most importantly, each variety is high in the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C.  According to the AICR, diets high in these compounds have been shown to reduce your risk of developing cancers of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, and lung. Steam, puree, or roast squash to release its rich, sweet flavor. Add in with your favorite whole grain, pasta, or stew for a squashingly, low-calorie fall meal.

Try this: Quinoa and Winter Squash Bake 

We all know the Ocean Spray commercials where the two guys stand in a bog filled with cranberries. Every autumn, cranberries are harvested at their peak flavor and color. Cranberries have long been known for their protection against urinary tract infections. High in vitamin C, cranberries are associated with a lower risk of esophageal cancer. Anthocyanins are the antioxidants that are responsible for their amazing red color. Studies are currently examining their effect on lowering risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancers. Typically consumed in their juice form, this tart fruit can be incorporated into baked goods, breakfasts, and smoothies.

Compared to the other green cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower is often overlooked due to its dull, white color. Cauliflower is blossoming with antioxidants including: vitamin C, carotenoids, and glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are currently being evaluated for their ability to suppress tumors and slow cancer growth. Vitamin C and carotenoids are active agents in preventing cancers of the mouth and esophagus. Steam, puree, or mash cauliflower into a bright, vegetable medley.

Apples may be the most commonly consumed fall fruit due to their versatility and variety of flavors. Some are best eaten raw and others are the perfect baking ingredient. From Honeycrisp to Honeygold, apples are bursting with antioxidants, quercetin and flavonoids. These potent plant compounds may have a role in slowing cancer progression in multiple stages including that of the breast, lung, and colon. I recommend enjoying apples fresh or dried for convenient snacks. Apples are great additions to desserts and other savory dishes.

Am I getting enough?

Now that you know how to get an ample amount of antioxidants this fall, how do you know if you’re getting enough? Since antioxidants are primarily found in plant foods, we can turn to the Dietary Guidelines for recommendations. Americans are advised to replace refined grains such as, white breads, white rice, crackers, and noodles with delicious whole grain options like, whole wheat breads, brown rice, oats, bulgur, and quinoa. The recommendations further suggest making half of your total daily grain intake from these whole grain foods. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, aim to consume at least two-and-a-half cups per day for heart health benefits. You’re all shouting, “Enough! Get to the wine!” One four-ounce glass of wine is considered one serving. Ladies benefit from consuming one serving, while men can drink up to two. It seems as if we always get gypped, but let’s face it ladies, we know how to do it right. At your next girls-only night, cut up some cheese with a plate of whole grain crackers and fruit, then pop open a bottle of red. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

{Recipe} Banana & Kale Smoothie


1 small banana
1/2 cup frozen kale
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup skim milk
2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup crushed ice


Pour all ingredients in to a blender, excluding ice. Blend on high for approximately 30 seconds. Add the ice and blend until smoothie thickens. Pour into a glass and serve.

Makes 1 serving

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Good Nutrition Month: What is Good Nutrition?

November has been deemed "Good Nutrition Month." The question I'd like to ask is, "What is good nutrition?" It seems as if we all have different definitions of what good nutrition is. Some believe a high protein, low carb diet represents good nutrition; meanwhile, others believe quite the opposite. Is good nutrition characterized by a diet at all?

Kale, chickpeas, avocado, and dried apricot salad.

MyPlate gives us a representation of what a well-balanced plate looks like. A 9" plate filled with fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy are the building blocks to a nutritious meal. With so many new trends, diets, and food products, we have forgotten how simple it can be to put a balanced meal together. We constantly turn to the latest diets in hopes of weight loss or to look like the model on the front cover of a magazine. Sometimes this often means skipping a meal or restricting and resisting hunger cues. Sometimes this means reaching for the box of donuts in times of stress or in frustration of the fad diet you've been following.

Fresh bananas and pineapple in Hawaii.

To me, good nutrition can't be defined. It can be put into practice, but nobody can be perfect so, who's to say what good nutrition is. I know I can't go through the day without nibbling on a piece of chocolate or something sweet. Does that mean I have poor nutrition? For now, my personal interpretation of good nutrition would be one that primarily incorporates whole foods - foods that are minimally processed and come directly from nature, while allowing for flexibility and variety. All food groups are allowed and everything is consumed in moderation. A balanced diet consists of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, healthy fats, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. This month, let's celebrate all the wonderful foods nature has provided us with. Let's embrace the foods we love and nourish our bodies. I'll be nibbling on my favorite Oat, Chocolate & Coconut Cookies which contain whole food ingredients and taste great, too!

What is your definition?

5 Fabulous Ways to Eat Figs

It looks like this week's posts are going to be dedicated to food and nutrition holidays. This week is National Fig Week. There's so much to celebrate about this subtly sweet fruit that can be both savory and sweet - my favorite combination. Figs are an often overlooked fruit, but I'm expecting a big comeback! According to my taste-buds, they're going to be famous.

One serving, or 1 medium fig contains as little as 40 calories and 0 grams of fat and cholesterol. Consumed either fresh or dried, figs are fiber-filled and potassium-rich. Did you know that figs are higher in potassium than bananas? The calcium content of figs adds to its fabulous nutritional profile. In the United States, they are typically grown in sunny California. There are several varieties of figs such as, Adriatic, Mission, and Celestes. As Mother Earth's natural sweetener, figs are packed with nutrients and make excellent additions to salads, sides, and baked goods.

Fig salad with goat cheese and rosemary.

5 Fabulous Ways to Eat Figs

1. Eat them raw! Figs with thick skins can be peeled before being eaten and those with thin skins can be immediately bitten into!
Try this: Waldorf Salad with California Figs

2. Roast 'Em! Wash figs and place them in the oven to roast. Serve with your favorite meat or alone as a side dish. Top them off with a dollop of low-fat ricotta or goat cheese.
Try this: Roasted Figs with Honey and Rosemary 

3. Bake a fresh fig tart with honey and almonds. Serve as a savory meal or top with a scoop of yogurt for dessert.
Try this: Fig and Almond Tart

4. Make a pizza! This Italian classic is certainly worth of a figgy topping. Add caramelized onions, gorgonzola cheese, and thyme.
Try this: Roasted Fig and Prosciutto Flatbread

5. Grill them! Place sliced figs over chicken breasts and wrap in aluminum foil. Place on the grill and let cook until tender.
Try this: Grilled Garlic Chicken Breasts with Lemon, Parsley, and Grilled Figs

Let's get figgy!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...