Leanne’s Favorite Food Swaps

Leanne’s Favorite Food Swaps

In life, it’s the little things that count. Not the great big momentous occasions, but the daily moments that all strung together, make up your own personal circle of life. We cannot measure the quality of our lives by the big events like birthday celebrations, weddings, baptisms and graduations. It’s the day-to-day stuff that makes up your life.

This is also true with eating. It’s not just the big meal occasions—dinner out, Thanksgiving, birthday cake and such. Becoming a healthy eater has everything to do with daily decision making over what will go in your mouth, rather than worrying about a special occasion (I say, splurge and enjoy it! The next day, do penance and throw in a little extra exercise and pare a few calories off your daily intake for the next few days.)

But it’s those daily decisions that count; to choose not to drive thru and wait an extra 15 minutes to get home to real food. It’s choosing fruit over donuts; water over soda and not to have that bowl of ice cream watching TV. Those are the little decisions that matter much more so than eating an extra piece of pie at Thanksgiving. Yeah, overindulging is hard on your body and we talk about being “Thanksgiving full” as the ultimate test of fullness, but the daily awareness of what you put in your body is what the definitive cause and effect of how your body looks, feels and operates.

Sometimes it’s easy (like the above example of fruit over donuts). Other times, it’s harder to know what to do. Here are some easy swaps to help you to save calories, your health and your sanity, too, so you know that what you’re doing will make a difference!

Instead of a blueberry muffin (which, let’s be honest, is really a cupcake with blueberries in it!) have a cup of Greek yogurt with 1/2 a cup of blueberries stirred in. Save yourself 249 calories (and some considerable carbs!).

Instead of a 2 slices of whole wheat bread, have 1 Orowheat Sandwich Round (whole wheat also), saving yourself 140 calories!

Instead of 1 cup of white rice, have 1/2 cup of brown rice mixed with chopped steamed broccoli. You’ve just saved yourself nearly 100 calories (and ratcheted up the fiber count, too!).

Instead of a pork chop, go for an equal serving of pork tenderloin and save yourself 50 calories (plus a lot of fat grams!).

It’s not that difficult to make a big difference a little bit at a time. Awareness counts as much as calories do. Keep that in mind as you hit the grocery store this week!

Our Dinner Answers menu planner allows you to completely personalize your grocery list and do your grocery shopping from your PHONE! Check it out!

Paleo Tahini Pumpkin Pie and Maple Cardamom Coconut Whipped Cream

Paleo Tahini Pumpkin Pie and Maple Cardamom Coconut Whipped Cream

Paleo Tahini Pumpkin Pie

You can’t have the holidays without pumpkin EVERYTHING!! But for those of us trying to stay away from dairy, gluten, and refined sugar – the holidays can feel like the 7th circle of hell – running into temptation at every corner!

So after some recipe testing, we finally found a delicious holiday classic that’s actually PALEO APPROVED!!! May we present our Paleo Tahini Pumpkin Pie and Maple Cardamom Coconut Whipped Cream:

 

Paleo Tahini Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:
For Crust:
3 cups mixed nuts, toasted (we used walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews – you don’t have to use those, but just make sure you choose some nice softer and buttery types of nuts!)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
For Filling:
1 (14.5 ounce) can of pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup canned full fat coconut milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 generous tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, grind down toasted nuts. If you do not have a food processor, you can use a rolling pin to crush them (it’s easiest when they’re still warm after getting toasted). Toss with coconut sugar and then press into a pie dish. It can crumble easily, but it’s also buttery enough to stick together well so gently press it up the walls and throughout the bottom of the pie dish evenly.
Put in oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until a darker golden brown, and then remove. Be careful not to burn crust!
Pull out and allow to cool while you make the filling.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for filling. Whisk together well until thoroughly combined. Pour into nut crust, and place in the oven. Bake for an hour, or until filling sets and doesn’t leave traces on a toothpick.
Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving, maybe whip up the cream…
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Maple Cardamom Coconut Whipped Cream
Ingredients:
1 (14.5 ounce) can of full fat coconut milk (OR coconut cream, if your store carries it) – if you can’t find coconut cream, it’s not a big deal, but try to find a full fat coconut milk that’s super thick! You can usually tell by shaking the can and if it feels solid, you’ve got a good one!
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
a dash of cinnamon (cause you can never have too much!)
Instructions:
In a medium bowl, scoop out coconut milk. If you found a nice thick one, then the water should’ve separated from the cream! ONLY scoop the cream into the bowl and discard the remaining fluid. Add in all remaining ingredients (syrup through cinnamon) and whisk well until desired consistency!
Serve a huge dollop on top of your Paleo Tahini Pumpkin Pie – or even on top of your coffee! OR both!

 

Paleo Tahini Pumpkin Pie

Paleo Tahini Pumpkin Pie

Paleo Maple Cardamom Coconut Whipped Cream

Paleo and Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte “PSL” Recipe

Paleo and Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte “PSL” Recipe

 

Fall is in full swing and we’re not above loving that infamous “basic” beverage that explodes EVERYWHERE this time of year: the sweet and spiced PSL (aka: Pumpkin Spice Latte).

Since the Starbuck’s version, that must be credited for bringing this drink such fame, is sooo full of sugar and other mysterious-not-good-for-your-poor-body ingredients we decided to take matters into our own hands and make a version with real ingredients that’s also WAY LESS sugar and even Paleo-friendly!!

May we present our Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe:

(Makes 3 to 4 servings pending on mug size 😉 and it’s maybe a little too easy to consume all on your own if you’re not careful)

Ingredients:
2 cups unsweetened cashew OR almond milk (I typically use cashew, it tends to be the creamiest)
1/4 cup pumpkin purée
1 tablespoon honey and/or pure maple syrup (I like using just a little of both)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grass fed butter (substitute with more coconut oil or coconut butter for vegan option)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 1/2 cups hot strongly brewed coffee
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
A couple shakes of ground cardamom
A dash of ground ginger
A dash of ground cloves
A dash of ground nutmeg

Instructions:
Heat cashew (or almond) milk in a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Be careful not to boil the milk, and once it’s become hot, remove it from heat. Add all ingredients, including heated milk, to a blender. Blend for several seconds or until fully combined. A bit of froth should’ve formed after the mixture settles. Give it a quick taste test and adjust accordingly if you wish!

For example: add more spices if you fancy // if you want it creamier, then add a smidge more butter and/or coconut oil // and if you want it as sweet as Starbucks, instead of adding more honey or syrup, use Stevia to sweeten it to taste! A bit more maple syrup will do the trick too, BUT, it’ll lessen its qualifiers as “Paleo” LOL – enjoy hot and with a sprinkling of cinnamon on top!

If you’re feeling especially wild, trying making our Paleo Coconut Whipped Cream for a topping – you can find that recipe HERE.

Paleo Cocoa and Coconut Whipped Cream

Paleo Cocoa and Coconut Whipped Cream

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You all voted so here is you Paleo-elect Cocoa and Whipped Cream recipes!

Let’s be real, we could all use a giant mug of cocoa after this supremely stressful election season. Or wine. But for the sake of this post, let’s just say cocoa.

Paleo Hot Cocoa // Serves 1

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond (or cashew) milk

1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 to 3 tablespoons raw honey (to taste)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a heavy bottom sauce pan, heat almond milk over medium high heat. Remove from heat before milk boils. Whisk remaining ingredients together with milk and voila! Add a dash of cinnamon if you’re an adventurous cocoa consumer 😉

Paleo Coconut Honey Whipped Cream // serves many or few (depending on how much of a whipped cream glutton you are!) 

1 (14 ounce) can of coconut cream – don’t flip out! Coconut cream is a real thing, I typically find it in my local Trader Joes, but most health food stores and even standard grocery stores carry it these days! IF you cannot locate a can of coconut cream, fear not! Just use a can of full fat coconut milk – it won’t be quite as thick, but that’s alright. (drain any water sitting under the cream)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 to 4 tablespoons raw honey

Place all ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and blend with a stand up mixer, or hand held, for a good 5 minutes (gradually increase speed of mixer). You’ll see it start to become the proper consistency and then just serve in cocoa or coffee or on top of anything you like!

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Lower Calorie Winter Drinks

Lower Calorie Winter Drinks

by Leanne Ely

 

Winter is here, and baby, it’s cold outside! Everyone enjoys a cup of something warm but you know the drill–most of the time, these things are calorie bombs in a cup! So how do we navigate this desire for warm beverages vs. the stuff out there that will pack on the pounds and make your thighs expand?

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Let’s start with some tea, shall we?  Is anyone out there a tea drinker? I have English bones, and was raised in a regular tea-sipping home. The only challenge with tea is that it’s hard to break the English tea habit of adding milk or sugar. But I’ve come across a tea that doesn’t need a thing. Good Earth is the brand and the tea that I especially love is the original Sweet and Spicy. It’s a deep red color, with a rich cinnamon taste with sweet tones, leaving the drinker’s tongue infatuated with flavor and subtle sweetness. Give it a try, it’s low in the calorie department and tastes like Christmas in a cup!

For an occasional treat, like after you go cross country skiing or other winter sport (think TREAT!) you can make your own drinks that you would usually buy mixes for: hot chocolate for example.

Hot chocolate is especially easy to make. All you need is unsweetened cocoa baking powder, sugar to taste (be mindful or use a little xylitol insted), a splash of vanilla extract, and a cup of hot milk. In measuring out your own ingredients you don’t have to worry as much about any mysterious additives that tend to increase that calorie count we’re all so cautious of.

Or you can use this Paleo Hot Chocolate recipe, but remember this is a TREAT, not something to drink all the time:

Paleo Hot Chocolate
Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 to 3 tablespoons raw honey (to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
In a heavy bottom sauce pan, heat almond milk over medium high heat. Remove from heat before milk boils. Whisk remaining ingredients together with milk and voila! Add a dash of cinnamon if you’re an adventurous cocoa consumer 😉