Monday, December 20, 2010

can you do the cran-cran?

what happens when your flight to india gets postponed and you have an entire day to spend at home during the holidays?  you put the lentils on hold, and you post your favorite christmas recipes, of course!

bonus day = blog day.

so here it is, a nice warm bowl of delicious oats with a christmas twist: cranberries and vanilla.  mmm.

the goodies:

- 1/3 c. old fashioned oats
- 2/3 c. water
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 c. of cranberries
- 2 tsp. splenda or sugar
- 1/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
- 5 chopped almonds (optional)
- sprinkle of flax (optional)

the fun part:

#1.) add oats, water, vanilla, sugar and half of the cranberries in a bowl and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes (or until oats are cooked)
#2.) give them a nice stir and then top with all your other goodies: the rest of the cranberries, a drizzle of almond breeze, your nuts and your flax.

what your body will like:

antioxidants: these juicy jewels are bursting with little guys that want to fight off cancer, vision impairment and heart disease.  sounds like a pretty generous christmas gift to me. hooray for healthy holidays!

Friday, December 17, 2010

get crackin' on smart snackin'.

popcorn is one of those foods that you be wonderfully creative with.  once you pick your favorite toppings, you can turn your fluffy little treat into whatever you want!  

decrease the oil, increase the seasoning and you'll still get all the flavor without the bad behavior!

this smart snack can be enjoyed several ways.  take your pick!
#1.) put some in a small container along with handful of almonds and golden raisins for a midday snack. (or toss in some of your delicious left over chickpeas!)
#2.) cuddle up on the couch with your big bowl and watch a christmas movie.

the goodies:

- popcorn (I air popped about 1/2 cup)
- 2 tsp. oil
- 2 tsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. tarragon
- s & p

the fun part:

#1.) pop yo' corn
#2.) mix together your oil and honey and drizzle over the popcorn
#3.) sprinkle your spices and seasonings over, shake 'em up

what your body will like:

#1.) calories: popcorn is a pretty smart snack food if you ask me! alone, 1/2 c. of unpopped kernels are about 250 calories.. and this makes a biiig bowl.  the only place that it can start to add up is with the things you put on it - so be mindful. remember, 3500 calories = 1 lb of fat.. every little bit counts!  

#2.) satiety: since it's POPPEDcorn, you're getting more bang for your buck. 1/2 c. of food suddenly turns into 8.. magic! not to mention that popcorn is a whole grain, which means it hasn't been stripped of its outer coating: bran. bran = fiber. fiber = fullness.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'tis the season to be... studying.

while you've been busy eating delicious recipes posted here, my exams have been busy eating me.  

studying - blogging = hannah.

but fear not, dear followers! picnics and pantries will be back in full swing soon enough.  just think about about how much I'll be able to add to the 'what your body will like' section with all my new fun facts.  nutritional assessment?  macronutrients? yes please! 

stay tuned, I'll be back to blog-bard before you know it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

blackberry hazelnut oat bars.

a tasty treat in 3 easy steps?  yippee! it's a piece of cake.  and by cake I mean bar.  blackberry oat bar that is. 

we're jammin', and I hope you like jammin' too! 

the goodies:

- 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
- 2 c. oats
- 1 1/2 c. hazelnuts
- 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinammon
- 1 c. softened butter
- 1 egg
- 1 c. blackberry jam
- 1/4 c. ground flaxseeds 

the fun part:

* preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

#1.) chop the nuts and toss them into your food processor along with all the ingredients except for the egg, jam and flaxseed.

#2.) take half of your oat-y mixture out, and in a separate bowl mix in your beaten egg.  spread this mixture evenly over an 11 x 15 greased cookie sheet.  bake for 10 minutes, or until firm and golden. 

#3.) dollop your jam and spread it evenly over your nicely baked crust.  sprinkle the remaining crumbly goodness over top, and bake for another 10 minutes.  remove from oven and sprinkle with flaxseed.

recipe adapted from: rebar cookbook  

what your body will like:

since these tasty bars err on the healthy side of things in the dessert realm, I thought we could focus on the health benefits of our favorite ingredient: flax. after you learn all these fun facts, you're going to feel like you're sprinkling your very own magical fairy dust onto your bars in that last step!

#1.) lignans: these feisty guys are linked to preventing hormone-related types of cancer (did someone say, 'movember'?). maybe next year instead of growing moustaches, all you handsome gentlemen could substitute some mo' flax instead? 

#2.) omega-3s: your body hearts omega-3s because of all their cardiovascular benefits. they lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and increase circulation.  omega-3s are essential, and as you might remember from our essential amino acid talk, these are nutrients that our body can't make on its own, so we need to get from the things we eat.  dig in!

#3.) fiber: I'll stop here.  we've gone over fiber enough in the last few posts.  but please, click here if you need a friendly reminder!