28 Healthy Foods You Should Always Have in Your House

Hi There!

It’s been awhile since I’ve written. Getting ready for Baby Erin to make her appearance has preoccupied my time and energy, as well as getting used to working from home – I’m a freelance writer and musician/worship director. It’s been an adjustment, but I’m glad that I have the opportunity to stay home with little Erin after she’s born, which should be some time in the next two weeks.

That being said, with all the preparations going on, one thing I’ve been thinking a lot about is what we’ll be eating, especially for the first two weeks. I’ll confess, I probably haven’t done as much freezer cooking as I should. But I have been collecting an arsenal of super easy recipes, and we just got a steal on a new blender, which we desperately needed, so we can make smoothies, after all, if you’re nursing you need something fast right?

Through the years, Micah and I have learned that if we want to eat healthy, there are certain foods we can buy in bulk to have on hand, so we won’t be tempted to grab fast food. Even though there’s two of us, soon to be 3, we’ve learned how to prep and freeze certain foods when they go on sale, so that we can get the best deals,and there are some foods we do eat a lot of quickly. You’re food list might look a lot different than mine, but I’m attaching a list for you to use so you can stock up on these delicious and nutritious foods too. It just so added up that we have 20 staple foods that we keep in our house on a regular basis. This is one of my favorite ways to plan a menu for the week. Why are these our staple foods? Continue reading “28 Healthy Foods You Should Always Have in Your House”

Oh Sweet Heavens: A Delicious Brownie Review

Hi I hope you’ve had an awesome Saturday! We all love treats even, the “cleanest” of eaters, but did you know that you can have healthy desserts and eat them too? But before I delve any further, I just want to let you know that while I did receive free product in exchange for this post, the careful evaluation and opinions are my own.
Jillian Lama, the owner and creator of Oh-Sweet-Heavens bakery strives to create allergen-free deserts that are full of healthy Omega-3’s, protein, and nutrients that we all know we should be consuming. I was thrilled when she contacted me about reviewing her mini brownie sampler, because as many of you know…I LOVE making healthy desserts! I loved getting the box of mini brownies in the mail, and Jillian took special care to make my sampler gluten free, no bad side effects from these cute little morsels of walnutty and caramel-filled goodness. I was concerned at first that they would be dry, because as all of  you g-freeers know, baking for us is both art and exact science. These brownies were not only moist, but definitely had a real, dark chocolate taste…no sugary, fake chocolate, so if you are expecting super-sweet brownies, be fore-warned. I really did enjoy them though, and they tasted amazing with a cup of almond milk They had a great rich taste, and no strange aftertaste, as I’ve experienced with other desserts.
Jillian makes these samplers with any specifications you may desire….Egg allergies? No problem. Gluten free? No problem. And she also makes doughnuts, and a variety of other baked goods. I could also tell through our correspondence that she’s passionate about what she does, which I find to be the biggest plus. You know that when you order from business like her’s you’re going to see even better product development down the road. Also, Oh-Sweet-Heavens Bakery is in Jacksonville, North Carolina, so for those of you in-state, when you order from Jillian, you’re going to be supporting an NC-grown business. Oh, and she’s a military wife, and I am all for military and their spouses starting businesses.I personally plan to order from Oh-Sweet-Heavens in the very near future, and can’t wait to try their doughnuts. To see the full line of Jillian’s products, click on Oh-Sweet-Heavens.

     
These were soooo yummy! 🙂         

Bon Appetit!

Julie Auler

Fit Foods That Make Awesome Appetizers

During Christmas, I’m always looking for delicious ways to fix healthy foods….If you’re new to a healthier lifestyle, this may be a particularly challenging time if you’re hosting parties, or even taking food to parties. Well, this week, I wanted to give you some simple and delicious options for appetizers, and dips.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts: If you had asked me if I would eat this veggie years ago, I would have said, “No Way!” But this veggie is amazing. I like to roast them in the oven, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and cracked pepper and topped with parmesan cheese…Amazing. Oh and I love to dip these wonderful greens in hummus. Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Iron

Roasted Cauliflower: I use a bag of frozen cauliflower and roast at 375 Fahrenheit. I use the olive oil, salt, pepper, and mozzerella cheese for this one…my personal favorite. Vitamin C

Roasted Chickpeas: These are great with chili powder, and a salt-free seasoning. They’re crunchy and will satiate your guests until the main course is ready to serve. Protein, Fiber

Almonds and Dark Chocolate Chips: Every gathering needs something sweet. This treat is sweet, but not too sweet. I love to place these in a pretty bowl. They look so elegant. Protein, Fiber,

Greek Yogurt Peanut Butter Dip: Just mix equal parts of greek yogurt and peanut butter together in a bowl. This is amazing with sliced apples and bananas. Protein, Calcium

Hummus: You can buy store bought or make your own. I love this spread on pretty much everything. Vitamin E, Protein

These are just a few of my favorite foods, to serve at any party! The prep work is easy and they’re low budget foods that won’t break the bank. Our family loves trying new foods, and I discovered  these foods last year, and I’m sure that even your pickiest guest will enjoy at least one of the appetizers on this list!

Smoothie Heaven: Red Velvet smoothie

Hi there!
So if your week has been anything like mine, there have definitely been some ups and downs… Fortunately, I can sip a comforting Red Velvet smoothie! You might think, ” But isn’t Red Velvet a cake?” Well, yes it is but this smoothie recreates the taste of red velvet without all the sugar. It’s one of my all time favorite smoothie recipes and my clients love this recipe! And with Christmas and the holidays around the corner, we could all use a little desert that will help us keep a healthy waistline…right? Well without further ado, here it is, my raging Red Velvet smoothie!

 Red Velvet Smoothie    (Serves 2)
1 c. mixed berries or raspberries.
1 tbsp. unsweetened baking cocoa
1 scoop chocolate or vanilla protein powder
1/4 c. greek yogurt
1. cup almond milk
1/2 c. water
2 tbsp. stevia

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Raspberries have vitamin k.and lots of other antioxidants. try this fruit in oatmeal with almonds and greek yogurt too!

Homemade Butternut Squash Soup

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Hi, Friends! Here’s a bonus recipe for the week. With all this rainy weather, I’ve been looking for new soup recipes. One of my favorite ingredients is in season as well – butternut squash. I love adding it to quinoa, but have never made a pureed soup from it before. My husband raved over this recipe! (He doesn’t eat just anything.) It’s my new favorite soup now. 🙂

Butternut Squash Soup
1/2 butternut squash (cut in half and roast on 350 degrees for 30 minutes.)
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion sliced
3 c. water
grated parmesan cheese (optional)
clean flesh out of squash and boil ingredients together in a pot on medium for 10 minutes. Pour all ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds – 1 minute. Top with parmesan chees if desired and salt and pepper to taste.
This soup is rich in vitamin A and protein. 🙂
Enjoy!

What to do with a 10+lb. pumpkin…Eat it!

Ok, so I really didn’t have time to go to the pumpkin patch this year. I teach a class for a corporate fitness program to a group of wonderful ladies who love to bring me something from their latest garden/farm crop and their latest homemade salsas and sugar-free preserves. (Can you say “yuuuummmmy”?) So when one of my students asked to bring me a pumpkin, I didn’t know she was going to bring me the biggest pumpkin in the state…just kidding, but this pumpkin was well over 10 lb. I would’ve paid a FORTUNE for this at the grocery store, and it was organic!!! After I got over the shock, my hubby and I had to decide what to do with this beast…I named it Himey…(I’m really dorky, ok..?) Well, the pumpkin sat and ripened for a little while…but I must confess. I had no idea what to do with this giant!…well, other than roast the seeds. So, I decided to embark on a new culinary adventure, with extreme thankfulness that I bought a new chef’s knife recently. So I cut my very orange pumpkin friend into pieces, scraped out the seeds, and roasted him in the oven, while I roasted seeds in my toaster oven. After I cut the flesh from the pumpkin, I then separated pumkin I would freeze from pumkin I would puree’. It took up my two largest tupperware containers and then some. I thought to myself, great the pumpkin is prepped, but what do I do next?
That’s when my great friend’s at IDEA inspired bloggers were more than happy to lend a helping post or two of their pumpkin recipes. So thank you ladies, there were so many wonderful post to choose from! Friends, please check out their blogs for these great pumpkin recipes! Meanwhile, here’s one of my own:(This recipe has been endorsed, by my husband, Micah Auler.)

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (Serves 1)
1/4 c. greek yogurt (plain)
1/2 c. pureed pumpkin
1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
1/4 c. oatmeal
1 tsp. honey
2 packets of stevia
1 dash ground ginger
2 dashes nutmeg
2 dashes cloves
2 dashes cinnamon
Put all ingredients in blender and blend, and enjoy!

Link Love:
Pumkin Protein Granola
Pumkin Pie Greek Yogurt
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Lentil Tacos
Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
Pumpkin Pie Quinoa
Pumpkin Cupcake
Pumpkin Pancakes

As always, let me know your thoughts! Leave a comment or email any time!