Until recently, I thought all blueberry varieties were the same. With spring *finally* here I thought it would be the perfect time to share a post on “wild blueberries.” They come frozen at the height of freshness (Wyman’s is the brand offered at most grocery stores). They pack a more concentrated flavor, which is why you may have seen them more often in smoothies and baking recipes. They’re very tiny but packed with antioxidants (double that of regular blueberries). Research is indicating that they can fight diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. More people now than ever are picking Wild Blueberries. Here are just a few of my favorite ways to use them:
Blueberry Walnut Oatmeal
I combine 1/4C steel cut oats, 1/2C wild blueberries (plus more for garnish), 1C coconut milk, 1tsp vanilla extract, 1tsp flaxseed, 1tsp chia seeds. Cook according to the oatmeal directions, top with blueberries, walnuts and cinnamon and enjoy!
You’ll Need: 1/2C Wild Blueberries, 2 ripe bananas smashed, 1 egg, 1T cinnamon, 1T vanilla extract
Make It: Melt some butter in a griddle or pan. Combine the smashed banana, egg, cinnamon and extract in a bowl – mix very well until a batter forms. Take a small cookie scoop, and portion out the batter into the preheated pan. Sprinkle blueberries on top of each pancake, cook about 5 mins on each side. Serve with more blueberries.
In a blender, I combine 1C Wild Blueberries, 1 frozen banana, 1C almond milk, 1T flaxseed and 1T chia seeds, drizzle of honey and blend away.
I hope you enjoyed all of these recipes, you can find more at http://www.wildblueberries.com
Wal-Mart is known for convenience and affordability, but healthy food?! In the past, not so much! But over the years, they have expanded to include a huge plethora of options including…gluten free! My Mom is gluten-free, so I’m always looking for the newest products that are within her dietary restrictions.
Quaker Popped Rice Snacks with Avocado & Lime
Quaker popped snacks are always in my grocery cart, I’ve tried the chili lime and the apple and I’m obsessed. The chili lime is the perfect combination of spicy, sweet and salty. And – they are filling and gluten-free! My favorite way to eat them is to make up a quick little appetizer-style recipe. This is great as a snack at work, at home or even for entertaining for friends and family.
1 Bag, Quaker Popped Rice Snacks in Sweet Chili
1 ripe avocado, smashed
½ lime, juiced
1 pinch, sea salt
Mini sweet peppers, sliced thin (mix of red, yellow, orange)
Arrange your popped rice snacks on a plate. Smash the avocado with lime juice and salt. Spread the avocado on the popped snacks and garnish with mini sweet peppers. This is my favorite recipe for fighting hunger!
Luna Bars – did you know that all Luna Bars are gluten-free?!
1 luna bar in your favorite flavor combination (mine are shown above)
Big bowl of raspberries and blueberries
These are my absolute favorite for a sweet afternoon snack. Luna Protein bars are gluten-free and contain zero additives. I always keep the Chocolate Peppermint Stick variety in my desk or purse. For the perfect recipe for an “afternoon snack” when you’re feeling sluggish, I suggest a bowl of mixed berries and a Luna Bar on the side. Filling, calms down the “hunger beast” and keeps you on track with your diet! When I feel like dessert, I indulge in the Chocolate Coconut. A healthy little treat!
Glutino Chocolate Cookies
I always buy the chocolate variety from Wal-Mart but…they’re so popular they were sold out this time around! This is my first time trying the Glutino Vanilla cookies and I’m a fan! There is nothing that makes you feel better than a crunchy, sweet cookie in the afternoon. Made with all-natural vanilla and inside of a thin, crispy wafer, these have the perfect texture and just the right amount of sweetness. My favorite way to serve them? With a rich cup of espresso or cappuccino. I like to do this around 3PM when you’re exhausted and need a little kick of energy to make it through the remainder of the day.
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Besides the grocery store, my next favorite place to shop is Sephora! I recently came across all these 5-star reviews for a product line they sell called “HUM Nutrition.” I was intrigued by their vitamins called “Red Carpet” and the “3-Day Cleanse.”
- Red Carpet vitamins for skin and hair. My hair is taking forever to grow! After bleaching, highlighting, flat ironing, I’ve done some serious damage. I read the other reviews for hair vitamins online, but HUM always had the best feedback. Red Carpet is a mix of black currant, sunflower seeds, vitamin E, GLA and ALA. I wanted to use it for a full month before giving an honest review. I took it daily and drank tons of water. After two weeks, I noticed a difference! My hair was thicker, shinier and grew a little bit. My skin was glowing and even, I didn’t need to use as much under eye concealer. I would highly recommend these vitamins, at $25 the price point is reasonable compared to all the stuff they try to upsell you on at certain health food stores. This has become part of my daily routine, now the only problem is that I have to buy more!!
- 3-Day Cleanse: Honestly, I put off using this for a bit because I kept making excuses (ie: “I can’t take it today bc I’m having pizza and than what’s the point of doing a cleanse?”) I finally committed to it and decided to spend 3 days being healthy. For me that’s a big accomplishment :-) This promises a lot: flatter stomach, full body detox, clearer skin. At $12, why not?! It comes with little vitamin packs (2 between meals, 2 before…it took me a minute to figure out which were which). It contains a combo of detoxifying herbs like red clover, dandelion root, milk thistle and chorella. These all help to remove toxins from the skin and body. The “flatter me” capsule has 18 enzymes that support better digestion and eliminate bloat. In addition to taking the capsules, you should eat clean while on the program: raw foods, lean protein, avocado, coconut and avoid sugar and flours. I was eating a lot of sweets this winter and carbs, so this was very necessary to get back on track again. I wasn’t hungry doing this (best part) and I did lose 4lbs! In combination with a healthy diet and exercise this is a great addition! One thing about eating bad, you start to feel like absolute crap after doing it for too long! This cleanse made me feel like I had a fresh start again. I will be buying more this week!!
If you go to Hum Quiz you can take a quick little quiz on the Hum Nutrition website and get a free, personalized health report. I love that they offer this!! Also, they were nice enough to provide me with a coupon code for everyone reading this!! Woohoo!! If you spend $29.95, you get $10 off your first order with the code HUM10 on Hum Nutrition What are you waiting for ladies?! Happy shopping ;-) xoxo
I’m so ready for spring!! I felt like a carrot cake cupcake without all the calories and baking involved. Instead, I made a fresh smoothie that’s packed with vitamins and not full of empty calories.
- 6 carrots, chopped
- 1 banana, chopped
- Fresh pineapple, 3 generous slices
- 1C whole milk (or almond, coconut, etc)
- 1/4C quick cook steel cut oats
- 1T flaxseed
- 1T honey
- 1T cinnamon
- 1T turmeric
- 1/2tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a blender and drink right away! Enjoy! Cheers to health! Xoxo
Bite Beauty creates (nearly) edible, high pigmented lipstick in bold pops of color. Their lip crayons and masks are staples in my purse. Here are my favorite colors:
– Lip Mask, Agave: My #1 favorite product they sell. A blend of organic agave nectar, jojoba oil, vanilla extract + triple the amount of the same antioxidants found in red wine. You leave it on and can wear under or over lipstick.
Best of all, they are a cruelty-free company (cruelty free brands are very few and far between). My “essential” colors are the high pigment pencils in Tannin, Grapevine and Tulip. Usually I don’t wear dark colors but they’re not to overpowering and don’t smudge and look messy. I also like that they’re both a pencil and lipstick in one. Their products are sold at Sephora or on Bite Beauty
I think I’ve definitely passed on my love of chocolates to my daughter already! I can’t believe it’s already been one year since she was born and this will be our second Valentine’s Day together. Wow. It’s crazy that now she can actually pick up chocolates and eat them with me. This Valentine’s Day, my favorite chocolates are from Stella Leona. Chocolatier Nancy Bontrager grew up trying delicious European chocolates and began to create luscious chocolate creations for family and friends. Her passion eventually grew into her company, named after her family members.
Their signature Valentine’s Day box was devoured in less than an hour. It includes Cherries Jubilee – My personal favorite, a hand painted dark chocolate heart filled with delicious cherry preserves and a dark chocolate rum ganache
PB&J – a hand painted dark chocolate heart filled with black raspberry jelly and honey roasted crunchy peanut butter crafted right here in our kitchen. Key Lime – a hand painted dark chocolate heart filled with key lime white chocolate ganache.
The hand painted heart box is absolute perfection!!! It has a super glossy, hand painted finish so attractive it’s almost a shame to eat!!!The decadent dark chocolate heart comes filled with a Dark Chocolate Truffle surrounded by four brilliant Raspberry Dark Chocolate pieces. The satin smooth milk chocolate heart contains a luscious Dulce de Leche Caramel surrounded by four of our Honey Cinnamon truffles. Once your eyes have taken in the beauty of this heart-shaped box and the select presentation of its chocolate contents, your palate can indulge itself in the unforgettable, extraordinary taste.
The raspberry dark chocolate pieces are my next favorite after the cherries jubilee. I love the combination of rich slightly tart fruit with smooth dark chocolate. The worst part about these chocolates is trying to stick to eating just one!!!! Happy Valetine’s Day!! Xoxo check them out at StellaLeona.com
Ground Turkey, 1lb
Garlic, 1tsp crushed
Italian Seasoning Blend, 1tsp
Panko Bread Crumbs, 1C
1 egg, whisked
1/4C fresh ricotta cheese
Fresh buffalo mozzarella, about 1C cut into tiny itty bitty cubes
Marinara Sauce (make your own with San Marzano tomatoes)
Spaghetti for serving (I use organic while wheat)
Parsley for garnish
Olive oil, for sautéing
*I never add Parmesan cheese to meatballs (makes them dry, don’t need the extra salt) I go for ricotta instead to keep a good texture and add flavor.
Place the marinara to heat on a low simmer. Combine the ground turkey, seasonings, ricotta, egg and panko, mix but don’t over-mix. Use a cookie spoon to create even scoop sizes (very important so they cook evenly). Take a small mozzarella piece (smaller is better) fold it into the meatball. Roll right. When you’re nearly done rolling, start to heat your olive oil on medium high.
Place the meatballs into the pan and sear on both sides. Once cooked, add to the marinara to simmer. Serve on top of spaghetti with loads of fresh parsley. Enjoy 😍🍴xoxo