Greens

Smoothies On The Go!

When it comes to meals on the go it doesn’t get much easier than smoothies. The right smoothie can serve as a complete meal replacement, and you can even use meal prep techniques to create savvy shortcuts, so you can get out the door both quickly and healthfully.

 To craft a smoothie that mimics a meal, be sure to include veggies. One of the easiest and most nutritious is a generous handful of ready-to-eat bagged kale. Next, choose a protein source. If you dislike protein powders, opt for almond flour, which is a pulverized form of this whole plant food. A quarter cup provides 8 grams of protein, and an almost equivalent amount of heart healthy fat. Next up is fruit. I like to use a combination of frozen blueberries and a few pre-soaked dates. Dates provide natural sweetness, bundled with antioxidants, fiber, and key nutrients, like potassium, which supports healthy blood pressure and heart function, muscle contractions, prevents muscle cramps, and helps maintain muscle mass.

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Here’s a smart smoothie trick. The pigments in greens and berries are both beautiful on their own, but they tend to clash when combined, to create an unappetizing, dull color. To brighten up your smoothie, add a peeled raw baby beet. Beet pigments overpower greens, which results in a bright, gorgeous hue. Fresh beets also add bonus nutrients, including folate, which is needed for healing and mental health, and magnesium, which improves mood and sleep. Finally, sprinkle in some all natural, anti-inflammatory seasonings, like fresh ginger root and a combo of ground turmeric and black pepper. Now your smoothie contains all of the puzzle pieces found in a well, balanced meal. The result: a quick and simple dish you can take with you and easily sip, that will leave you feeling full, satisfied, and energized for hours. 

 To plan ahead, take some time on the weekend to create smoothie kits. Gather about five freezer safe containers. If you crave variety, mimic the above formula to create mix and match combinations that include different foods from the same food groups. For example, instead of blueberries use frozen cherries, banana, or a chopped green apple, choose collard greens in place of kale, chickpea flour or sprouted pumpkin seeds instead of almond flour, cinnamon rather than ginger, etc. Fill each container with all of the ingredients that go into one smoothie except for the liquid. Seal and stash in the freezer. When you’re ready, simply grab a container, transfer the contents into your blender, add water or nut milk, blend, and you’re ready to go!          

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 A smoothie can replace breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And pre-prepping the ingredients in advance is a savvy way to ensure that in a pinch you’ll have a healthy, well-balanced meal in your hands in mere minutes.  Give it a try, and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear about your favorite combinations, and how smoothie meals make you feel!

Find the recipe for Cynthia’s Make Ahead Superfood Meal Replacement Smoothie HERE!

          

 

 

 

 

Make This Fall Even Tastier with Help from the Crock-Pot®

Life is simpler when not having to spend a long time in the kitchen putting together meals for you, your family, and friends. With the kids back in school and time being stretched even more, cooking with a slow cooker or Crock-Pot® may be your new favorite way to save time and eat great starting this September!

Check out these tips on how to take advantage of the slow cooker, and all of its wonderful benefits!

Source: WP Rawl

Source: WP Rawl

WAYS TO SAVE TIME AND MAKE BETTER MEALS

  • Easy, Balanced, and Wholesome Meals

The best part of cooking with a slow cooker is that you can make a full meal with very little effort.

Registered Dietitian Cynthia Sass says, “With a slow cooker you can make healthy, balanced meals with very little prep time.” Ingredients can be prepped ahead of time, then frozen or refrigerated until you’re ready to cook them. During busy weeks when you miss your grocery trip, you can still have a home-cooked meal for your family.

  • Plan Ahead

At night, jump start your meal prepping for the next day to save time. Before heating up your slow cooker meal in the morning, prepare any ingredients you will be using the previous evening.

This could entail pre-cutting veggies, trimming and thawing meats, or even measuring out simple spices that you will be adding to the pot.

  • Maximize the Flavor

Seasoning, browning, or caramelizing your meats in a skillet beforehand is a great way to make sure your get the most out of your slow cooker dishes. Sure, it may take a little more prep work, but why settle for an average tasting meal when you can make it better!

  • Keep A Lid on It

Remember your mom telling you not to open the oven door because you would let the heat out? Well, with a slow cooker this is most certainly true. Since the point of a Crock-Pot® is to cook foods slowly, continuously taking the lid off will affect the cooking time of your meal. Also, mind your temperature. Realize how long you will be gone while cooking and make sure that the temperature you are using aligns with your schedule, and know that a little temp goes along way. 

  • Don’t Over Fill

Filling your slow cooker to the brim can cause hiccups when you are ready to eat. Some of the items may not be cooked, while others may be overcooked. Filling the cooker to only half or two-thirds full is best. Also, placing veggies close to the bottom of will help with making sure they are fully cooked.

  • Save Money

Using dried beans instead of canned ones in your slow cooker is a great way to save money and cut down on the preservatives that come in canned goods. Soak the beans overnight and they will be ready to throw in the Crock-Pot® before you leave for work!

  • Less Energy

Did you know that a slow cooker use less energy that both stove tops and ovens? Using your slow cooker can save you money on your energy bill.

  • Open Up Your Pantry

A great thing about a slow cooker is that you can throw just about anything into it. Now, we don’t suggest opening up a can of something that is two years expired from the fridge or pantry and using it. However, using canned veggies, beans, and other ingredients that you have been meaning to use will help you clean a spot for new (healthy and unprocessed) items you haven’t had a place for.

Now that we have given you some information about making the slow cooker your new best friend this fall and winter, go out and create some great dishes! Check out our website for delicious slow cooker recipes and always follow our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for more great tips!

source: WP Rawl

source: WP Rawl

Fooled by Greens!

When most people think of greens, salads and sautés probably spring to mind. But with a little out-of-the-box thinking you can incorporate greens into nearly any recipe, from savory to sweet, any time of the day.

At breakfast, greens can be whipped into fruit smoothies, added to omelets, egg scrambles, and frittatas, blended into pancake batter, and folded into oatmeal. If you’re scratching your head, thinking, “Really, pancakes and oatmeal?” give my recipes a try. When combined with fruit, and ingredients like coconut oil, maple syrup, ginger, and cinnamon, greens are incredibly palatable, and add color, texture, nutrients, and volume to your meals, all for very few calories. 

Another way to work more greens into your diet is to toss them to meals that don’t normally include them. For example, stir chopped greens into a yogurt, fruit and nut parfait, hummus, potato salad, homemade burger patties, a bowl of mac and cheese, or a batch of soup or chili. Crisp, chilled fresh greens also add a layer of crunch and nutrition on top of piping hot pizza.

Greens also make a perfect bed for lean protein, including chicken breast, seafood, lentils, or beans. To incorporate greens into a side dish cut your usual portion of rice or pasta in half and fill the space with a handful of chopped greens. 

And while you may not think of greens for dessert, there are delicious ways to work them in, from adding baked kale chips to dark chocolate bark, to folding pureeing greens into brownie or cupcake batter.

All you need to do is keep greens handy, and get creative. Feeling inspired? Please share the various ways you’ve incorporated more greens into your recipes and eating regime. We can’t wait to learn about your green-infused meals, snacks, and treats!  

Fool your friends and family with some hidden greens recipes! http://www.rawl.net/recipes.aspx

 

Traveling Greens: Helpful Tips to Store Green Meals on the Go

Ever feel like your snacks while traveling are just plain old junk?  With summer approaching, we look ahead at convenient ways to store greens on-the-go.  Out with the chips and in with the green.  Keep your nutrition on point while out and about and you won’t miss a beat.  Here are five ways to bring your greens with you:

 

1.       Make your green meals ahead of time and put them in a storage container.  Here is a great salad to make for your next travel day that will get you on the Mason jar trend!

 

2.      Double your batch of smoothies to store as a good morning or afternoon snack.  Put it in the freezer at work for those 3 pm hunger pangs or in a cooler in your car.  Find our many smoothie recipes here!

3. Got a flight to catch?  Worried about eating peanuts, pretzels, and snack boxes?  Try packing good-for-you snacks for your flight that will keep you energized and your nutrition in shape.  Slice up some goodies that can last outside of the refrigerator like bell peppers, cucumbers, or fresh fruit.  Almonds and kale chips are also a good option.  Pack them in your carry-on and enjoy your flight.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/xlibber/4676723312

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/xlibber/4676723312

4. Going to the beach or park?  Pack your cooler with tasty and healthy summer treats.  Opt for fresh fruit and chilled lean proteins.  You can even make this easy salad ahead of time to keep in the cooler.

5. Whether you are prepping for the work week or your meals for a trip, this is the most effective way to keep your nutrition on point.  Check out companies like Fuel Food for inspiration on how to make and what to put in your meal kit.  We've made it easy for you to prep your meals.  Just follow the steps below! 

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