May 312012
 

Wondering what is inflammation? Omega 3s can help!
(Plus a bonus recipe: All Natural Zucchini Muffins with Mila Chia)

“I hurt all over but nothing is broken”, a good friend recently said to me.

What is all this talk about inflammation?

Inflammation is your body’s attempt to defend itself against bacteria and viruses and to heal damaged tissue, however; chronic inflammation is not a good thing-it is what is involved in atherosclerosis which is what can lead to clogged arteries.  This can cause everything from memory loss to strokes. Info source, Harvard Medical
The food that you eat can exacerbate inflammation or calm it.  Unfortunately the SAD diet, or standard American diet and lifestyle, is one that exacerbates inflammation.

Refined oils
Fried foods
Processed foods
Alcoholic beverages
Lack of exercise
Cigarette smoking

What are some foods that counteract the SAD diet?  Foods that contain omega3s

What is Inflammation and How Omega 3s Can Help

How can Omega 3s help?
I’m going to be speaking a lot about Omega 3s in the upcoming months as I learn more and more about the importance.

Omega 3s are essential fatty acids that our bodies can not produce-we need to get them from food.

According to Harvard Medical, “Omega-3 fats help protect the heart from lapsing into potentially deadly erratic rhythms, ease inflammation, inhibit the formation of dangerous clots in the bloodstream, and lower levels of triglycerides, the most common type of fat-carrying particle in the blood. An excellent way to get omega-3 fats is by eating fish two or three times a week. Good plant sources of omega-3 fats include chia seeds (sold as Salvia), flaxseeds, walnuts, and oils such as flaxseed, canola, and soybean.

Notice the FIRST plant based source of Omega 3s.  Chia.  Chia is the one ingredient in Mila.  Notice the non plant-based suggestion is to eat fish. Mila has eight times more Omega 3s than wild farmed salmon.  The reason Mila is better than standard chia is because it’s grown in specific climate conditions in super nutrient dense soil.  Here is a study done on Mila vs standard Chia.  In the area of Omega3s it scored MUCH higher in a study done by the Dole Institute, which is why I’m now recommending it.
Web MD states “When possible, try to get omega-3 fatty acids from foods rather than supplements.”

If you decide you must take a supplement – “The most common side effect from fish oil is indigestion and gas.” 
How can you incorporate more of this anti-inflammatory?  Bake them into wholesome goodies for your family.   Mila paired with the super fresh zucchini from KYV farm pack a nutrient punch that can’t be beat.  I guarantee that if you join a CSA/farm share, incorporating more fresh veggies, and then add the anti-inflammatory properties of Omega3s on top, you will feel better than ever. 

To order Mila you can click here. Click “shop” and enter US11065661
Remember those zucchini muffins I made?  The all natural ones -vegan, gluten free, sugar free and 100% delicious? Well I re-made them with Mila and they came out even better, which I didn’t think was possible.  These are soft, moist, sweet and HEALTHY!
p.s. Stay tuned for the next post – What is Oxidative Stress?

All Natural Zucchini Muffins with Mila Chia

Serves 12
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe



Ingredients

2 tbsp Mila + 6 tbsp water (vegan “eggs”)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 c agave (or honey for non-vegan)

1 1/4 cup shredded zucchini from KYV Farm
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon and/or pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour (or whole wheat or brown rice flour would also work)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup loosely packed raisins
Rounded 1/2 tsp sea salt

Optional
Turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top (but if you do this you can’t call them “sugar free”.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Mix the chia egg and set aside for about 5 minutes. Mix the olive oil, agave, zucchini and vanilla in a medium bowl. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt; mix until just wet and ingredients are combined; fold in raisins. 

2. Pour patter into 12 muffin tins, sprayed with cooking spray (I used organic coconut oil spray). Sprinkle with Turbinado sugar, if using.  Bake about 18 to 20 minutes or until browned and a knife comes out clean.

Nutrition Facts
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 133.4
Total Fat 9.4 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 98.7 mg
Potassium 115.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 13.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
Sugars 10.9 g
Protein 0.6 g

Vitamin A 5.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.8 %
Vitamin C 2.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 5.9 %
Calcium 1.5 %
Copper 2.1 %
Folate 1.1 %
Iron 2.4 %
Magnesium 1.8 %
Manganese 5.8 %
Niacin 0.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.3 %
Phosphorus 2.5 %
Riboflavin 1.1 %
Selenium 0.2 %
Thiamin 1.3 %
Zinc 0.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

May 132012
 
Happy Mother’s Day to all those Moms out there.
All Natural Zucchini Muffins – Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free
With the recent abundance of zucchini from the farm I had one thing in mind-zucchini bread.
And then I started searching recipes and everything had about TWO CUPS of sugar.  What?  Is that really necessary?
After one taste of these – absolutely not! 
These are super moist and light like they are made with tons of butter.  They are about as sweet as a cornbread, so they would be perfect to set at the table for dinner, eat as breakfast, enjoy as dessert or thrown in a lunch bag for a healthy snack.  Nuts would be delicious in this, but since my daughter is allergic we left those out and added the raisins. 
I’m embarrassed to admit we polished them off in about two days.  Between desserts and breakfast we were fighting over these.  I think next time I’ll be making a double batch – one with walnuts or pecans for me.
Hands off my muffins!

Zucchini Muffins

Inspired by Iowa Farmers Wife
Serves 12
Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free

Ingredients

2 tbsp ground flax seed + 6 tbsp water (vegan “eggs”)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 c agave

1 cup shredded zucchini
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon and/or pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour (or whole wheat or brown rice flour would also work)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup loosely packed raisins
1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix the flax egg and set aside for about 5 minutes. Mix the olive oil, agave, zucchini and vanilla in a medium bowl, stir in the flax egg.  Stir in flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt; mix until just wet and ingredients are combined; fold in raisins.

2. Pour patter into 12 muffin tins, sprayed with cooking spray (I used organic coconut oil spray).  Bake about 18 minutes or until browned and a knife comes out clean.

Nutrition Facts
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 182.5
Total Fat 9.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 98.6 mg
Potassium 102.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 23.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Sugars 11.4 g
Protein 2.1 g

Vitamin A 4.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.6 %
Vitamin C 1.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 5.9 %
Calcium 1.8 %
Copper 1.9 %
Folate 0.9 %
Iron 4.8 %
Magnesium 1.6 %
Manganese 3.0 %
Niacin 0.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.3 %
Phosphorus 1.4 %
Riboflavin 1.0 %
Selenium 0.2 %
Thiamin 1.1 %
Zinc 0.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jan 192010
 
For school I have been packing my daughter lunches since finding out she’s allergic to everything but martian dust.  If they could test for that I’m sure she’d be allergic to that too.  Today, all the other kids are having yummy blueberry muffins as a snack so in replacement I made her favorite flavor mixture, banana and golden raisin. 
She helped me make the entire recipe!  I fill the measuring cup and she would pour it in. I think it’s great to involve kids in cooking.  When I got to college I couldn’t boil water and my hubby isn’t afraid to tell me what a terrible cook I was.  I guess he didn’t marry me for my cooking skills.  It must have been for my winning personality.  At least that’s what I tell myself. 
***Please note that when I state “allergy free” this is my attempt at gluten, egg, dairy, soy, peanut and cod fish free which are the allergies my daughter has. I am not a doctor or registered dietitian.

Banana Raisin Muffins:
Gluten, Dairy, Nut and Egg Free

Ingredients


1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp Egg Replacer (I used Bob’s Red Mill which I later found out is not soy free)
6 Tbsp Water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup golden raisins


Directions 

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Place 16 muffin papers in muffin tins.

3. Cream together oil, sugar, egg replacer, water and vanilla in large mixing bowl.

4.  In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients; flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and cinnamon then slowly add to the egg mixture, alternating with bananas.

5. Beat until just smooth.


6. Fold in raisins. 

7. Using a spoon drop evenly into lined muffin tins.


8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Nov 182009
 

Could this be the easiest dessert ever?  AND as a bonus it might be one of the lightest.  Last night I wanted dessert, something cakey and nutty.  This fit the bill perfectly.

Peanut Butter Banana Nut Muffin
Serves 1
Ingredients
1 banana nut Vitamuffin
2 Tbsp PB2
1 Tbsp black coffee
3 Tbsp whipped topping of choice
Directions
1. Warm the Vitamuffin in the microwave for 20 seconds. 
2. Mix the PB2 and coffee.  Top Vitamuffin with PB2 mixture.
3. Top with whipped topping.