Nutrition and Fitness with Randa
27Oct/130

Stop. Challenge. Choose.

Screen shot 2013-10-27 at 9.31.21 PMStop. Challenge. Choose. Do you need to lose weight? Are you not as healthy as you would like to be? Do you wish you were a better example for your kids? Do you wish you had more energy to make it through the day? Are you on medications you would rather not be on? Do you hate getting dressed in the morning? Do you wish you could get down on the floor to do a puzzle with your kids, or not be afraid to go out to eat with your friends should they choose a restaurant with booths? Are you as self-confident as you would like to be?

For those who know me, I am not a salesperson so I can't speak passionately about something I don't believe in just to "make the sell". It takes a whole lot to get me to believe in something to the point of being so excited I want to share it with others.I don't know how else to say it, other than if you have and continue to struggle with your weight and health, you've tried diets that gave you results that didn't last, you're confused with the ever-changing suggestions on what to eat and how to exercise, I can help.

As your health coach, I will help you sort through life choices to make sure they are setting you up for success. Together we will look at your current health and your daily habits, determine what you need to move forward, and create an individualized, step-by-step plan to support your Habits of Health.This plan is about much more than weight loss. It's about reaching and maintaining optimal health. You will learn to make daily choices that support your goals through a healthy eating, meal supplemental system, a movement plan, and strategies for invigorating rest and sleep. We will monitor how you respond to life's changes and stresses.

Right now, you have a chance to be in control, to live your best, in the very best health possible. I will be your coach, your guide. Together we will put you on the path to taking permanent charge of your health. Specific programs for diabetics, gluten-free, teens, seniors, vegetarians, and nursing mothers.

Local and long-distance coaching. Contact me to learn more.

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17Oct/130

I Love Avocado – But In My Cake?

Even though I now live in the Middle East where you'd think avocados are precious stones the way they are priced, I continue to buy them weekly because they are just so good for you.

And so versatile.

Avocados aren’t just for guacamole. If you have ever substituted fruits (such as applesauce) or vegetables (such as shredded zucchini) for animal products or dairy in your baked goods, don't forget about avocados!

Consider this: 

 - By adding avocado to your baking ingredients arsenal, a muffin or cupcake’s nutritional value will increase by contributing nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. This green gem is also a good source of fiber and phytolterols, compounds that help to reduce inflammation. This doesn’t give you license to eat five of those cupcakes!

- With that said, who doesn’t want a baked treat that is friendlier to the waistline? The overall calories in a recipe are reduced when using avocados instead of high calorie ingredients such as butter. Two tablespoons of avocado has 60 calories, while two tablespoons of butter doubles that at 204 calories.

- Over 75% of the fat in avocados is unsaturated, making them a great substitute for foods or ingredients high in saturated fat, such as butter or shortening.

- Avocados also have a high water content, resulting in baked goods that are chewier, more moist, and less likely to crumble. Not only will your child’s health benefit from using avocados, so will your floors!

 So how does baking with avocados work in the kitchen? 

- Though the result may vary by recipe, you can substitute mashed avocado in a ration of 1:1 for all or half the butter when you bake.

- You can add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice per cup for light-colored dough to avoid browning

- If substituting for all of the butter, you will need to increase your wet ingredients to compensate for the fact that it does not coat your dry ingredients quite like melted butter does.

- In addition, if you are substituting all of your butter, lower the baking temperature by 25 degrees and increase the baking time. This will prevent your cake from rising up in the middle or, alternatively, caving in. It will also prevent the cake from browning too quickly.

- When substituting avocado for oil, it may be necessary to add another liquid to balance the recipe and "thin out" thicker batters or mixes.

Got that? Ready to see what these green powerhouses can do for your baked goods? Try some of the below recipes, or experiment with your own and let me know what you have discovered.

Sweet Avocado Pancakes

Makes 13-15  4 inch pancakes

Ingredients

¾ cup buckwheat flour (or whole wheat)

½  cup all purpose flour

1 cup buttermilk * to make your own, see below

1 cup avocado purée (about 2 avocados)

1 Egg, lightly beaten and at room temperature (For egg-free version, use ¼ cup of pureed silken tofu)

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup milk (room temperature)

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch of Cinnamon

Oil or Butter to grease the griddle or skillet

Directions 

  1. In a large bowl stir the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Mix all the wet ingredients together and fold into the dry ingredients to make a batter.
  2. Mix gently until combined. Do not over beat the batter. Over mixing will give flat and heavy pancakes. It is alright to have wet lumps, not dry floury lumps. You’ll still get smooth and light pancakes.
  3. Let it stand for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a griddle or skillet on medium heat.
  4. Grease the griddle with oil/butter. Use a ladle to pour the batter onto the griddle. This gives you same sized pancakes. Pour one ladle of batter at a time on the heated griddle. Let the batter spread by itself.
  5. Once the pancake begins to bubble around the edges and on the surface, it is ready to be flipped.
  6. Slide a wide spatula underneath the pancake and flip.
  7. Cook until the second side is done and stack the pancakes on a plate. Each side takes about  2 minutes. Cooking  time depends on the size of the pancake. Control the heat of the griddle, as the heat tends to increase after cooking a couple of batches.
  8. Serve pancakes with maple syrup, honey, agave, or pureed berries.

*Buttermilk substitute - Take a little less than 1 cup 2% dairy/low-fat/fat-free milk. Add 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to make 1 cup. Let stand for 10 minutes. This gives 1 cup buttermilk substitute.

Courtesy of Kitchen Kemistry 

Avocado and Lime Bread

Ingredients
1 1/2  avocado

juice and zest from 1 lime

2 Tbsp maple syrup

3/4 cup (165 g) light brown sugar

1 egg

5 Tbsp water

1 cup (120 g) whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

pumpkin seeds

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180C) temperature.
2. Line baking pan for bread with the parchment paper and grease the sides lightly with oil.
3. In a bowl, mash the avocado with lime juice and zest, maple syrup and sugar. Beat in the egg and water.
4. Add the flour and mix until well incorporated.
5. Pour the batter into the baking pan. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the toothpick comes out clean.
6. Take out from the oven and let the bread cool before cutting.

Courtesy of My Kitchen Affair

Vegan (simply means no eggs or butter) Chocolate Avocado Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen cookies  Prep Time: 10 minutes  Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup mashed avocado

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup almond milk

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (or regular if you can't find vegan)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the coconut oil, avocado, and sugars together until creamy and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract.

4. With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture. Add the milk and then add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until the flour disappears. Stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Form cookie dough into tablespoon balls and place on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten the cookies with the palm of your hand or a spatula. Bake cookies for 10 minutes, or until set around the edges, but still soft in the center. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

Courtesy of Two Peas and Their Pod

 

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4Nov/122

Homemade Tortilla Chips

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