Healthy Cooking 101: Baking in a Slow Cooker

Hello everyone. Earlier this week, I decided to dive into the cookbook below and try a few recipes. Something stood out in this book, the author has several recipes, such as cakes and bread, that you don’t normally think to make in a slow cooker. One in particular that stood out, “Buttery Coconut Bread”, and decided to give it a try. AND, in just 4 hours, I had a loaf of bread, made in a slow cooker.

Why use a slow cooker to make bread?

Why in the world would you make a loaf of quick bread in a slow cooker, when you can make it in the oven in a fraction of the time? There are health benefits to making foods at a low/slow temperature and pace. (1,2)

  • Retain natural oils
  • Retain moisture
  • Retains nutritional content of food – many vitamins are destroyed at high temperatures. Cooking low and slow retains the vitamin content.
  • Improves taste, texture and flavor of food
  • High temp cooking can chemically alter food, often resulting in carcinogens and toxins in the food.

Ingredients

Due to copyright, I’ll list the ingredients, but not the amounts. This article is more about technique than the actual recipe.
  • butter
  • eggs
  • coconut oil
  • vanilla extract
  • liquid stevia
  • almond flour
  • coconut flour
  • protein powder
  • baking powder

Mixing the batter

I first mixed the liquid ingredients together in a bowl. In a smaller bowl, I mixed the dry ingredients together. I added the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

I added the batter to a greased 8″ x 4″ bread pan.

The recipe indicates to “place the pan on a rack in a slow cooker.” Well, I didn’t have a rack, so I made 4 balls of aluminum foil and placed them in the bottom of my slow cooker.

I then placed the bread pan on top of the foil. You don’t want the pan setting directly on the heating element, which is the purpose of this step.

Here’s what the bread looked like prior to cooking:

I set the slow cooker temperature on “low” . The recipe indicates to cook for 3-4 hours. I checked mine after 3 hours. I left it another 30 minutes.

Here’s what it looked like after 3 1/2 hours

The results? How did I like this bread?

Well…to be honest, I didn’t really care for this coconut bread, and probably won’t make it again. In fact, I ended up throwing it away. HOWEVER, I did enjoy the slow cooking bread technique and am anxious to try other forms of quick bread to see how well this technique works. This cookbook has many other slow cooker “baking” recipes I’m anxious to try as well, such as carrot cake, lime-raspberry custard cake, brownie chocolate cake, gingerbread, delectable peanut butter cup cake, almond golden cake, and pound cake…to name a few. I’ll let you know if/when I try any of them.

Until next time, namaste my friends

Tamara

Sources

  1. http://www.superyumrecipe.com/low-heat-temperature-cooking-healthy-benefits/
  2. https://metabolichealing.com/properly-preparing-your-food-low-temperature-cooking-guidelines/

Brain Talks ~ Recipes: 10 Unique Recipes to Boost Memory and Heal the Brain

On Tuesday, I published a list of foods to boost memory and heal the brain. The following recipes combine foods from list, which you can find below. For more detailed information on each food, you can find the article here..

  1. Avocado 
  2. Eggs 
  3. Coconut oil 
  4. Dark Chocolate 
  5. Pumpkin seeds 
  6. Kale 
  7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  8. Sea vegetables 
  9. Fermented foods 

For each of these recipes, I tried to combine more than one food from the list into each recipe. For the most part, I was successful, with a couple exceptions. Here we go!

Paletas de Aguacate y Coco

(Avocado and Coconut Popsicles)

Muy Bueno

This unique recipe combines brain healthy avocado and coconut in one wonderful recipe!

Green Goddess Juice

Zesty South Indian Kitchen

This recipe combines kale and avocado in a brain healthy detox smoothie/juice.
If you don’t like avocado or kale, smoothies are a great way to add them to your diet.

Creamed spinach and kale with fried egg

Food Republic

If you’re not a fan of leafy greens, you can’t go wrong with combining baby spinach and baby kale in a creamy sauce. Serve it with a brain healthy egg for a great meal!

Coconut Oil Keto Granola

The Keto Summit

This recipe combines 3 brain healthy foods: nuts (walnuts & almonds), seeds (pumpkin seeds, and coconut oil. Add this into some gut healthy fermented yogurt for a winning brain healthy combination.

Vegan Nut-Free Coconut Oil Kale Pesto

Natural Comfort Kitchen

This recipe is a wonderful and flavor packed way to add 3 important brain foods into your meal. This pesto includes pumpkin seeds, kale and coconut oil, along with cilantro, lime, garlic and ginger to make a delightful pesto sauce.

Paleo Dark Chocolate Bites

All Recipes

This recipes uses coconut oil and cocoa powder to make indulgent and delicious homemade dark chocolate bars. I would recommend replacing the cocoa powder with RAW CACAO.

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Recipe

for Salad Dressing

Combining Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Turmeric, this salad dressing is the perfect addition to your brain healthy leafy greens salad.

Sea Vegetables.

I find the best way to add sea vegetables to the diet is to season foods, sauces, soups, etc, with dulsi granules, such as the ones below. You can find them HERE.

Korean Rolled Omelette With Seaweed

Kitchen Bowl

If you’re looking for more than just seasoning, how about this traditional rolled omelette from Korea, which combines brain healthy eggs AND Nori (a type of seaweed)

DIY Coconut Milk Yogurt

Joyous Health

What better way to get healthy coconut fat AND fermented foods than with coconut milk yogurt you make yourself? This recipe only has 2 ingredients and couldn’t be easier!! Serve this with your keto granola for a winning, brain healthy combo!

How to Make a Turmeric Bug

Grow Forage Cook Ferment

FERMENTED TURMERIC ROOT!!! Turmeric is a wonderful root with so many brain healthy and anti-inflammatory priorities. Fermenting it is a brilliant idea and, with just 3 ingredients, is SUPER easy. It just requires a bit of patience. Colleen recommends using it to make some homemade soda, like THESE. Or just add it to salads or smoothies for a gut and brain health boost!
photo source

Closing thoughts

I hope you enjoyed reading through the list. As I always say, cooking healthy doesn’t have to be boring. It just requires a bit of creativity and ingenuity, like replacing an unhealthy ingredient with one of the brain healthy foods from this week’s list.

Until next time, namaste my friends

Tamara

The Wellness Mindset ~ Recipes: 10 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes Even Picky Eaters will Love

“Vegetables are food for my food.” Is this phrase familiar to you? You want to eat healthy, but maybe you live with someone who is a picky eater and refuses to eat anything “healthy”. Maybe, you’re the one that is the picky eater. You know heathy eating is the way to go, but you hate vegetables or anything that resembles healthy food. It’s hard enough to convince ourselves to eat healthy, but how do we convince the picky eaters to eat healthy? The trick is to make the healthy food not look healthy!

On Tuesday, I posted an article highlighting 10 anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet.

Here are 10 anti-inflammatory foods to include in your daily diet

  1. green leafy vegetables
  2. blueberries
  3. broccoli
  4. turmeric
  5. green-tea
  6. beets
  7. pineapple
  8. nuts (especially walnuts)
  9. Wild caught salmon
  10. Bone broth

For this list, I’ve scoured the internet to find recipes using the 10 anti-inflammatory foods listed above. There are 10 recipes, one for each food. I tried to find recipes that picky eaters would consider fun or tasty. I hope you enjoy!

Greek Turkey Burgers

Sparkrecipes.com

This unique recipe is a fun way to add spinach to your diet

Teriyaki Pork Chops with Blueberry-Ginger Relish

Eating Well

This unique recipe will have your picky eater gobbling up some blueberries!

Honey-Orange Broccoli Slaw

Taste of Home

Most picky eaters hate broccoli,
but they just may love it in place of cabbage in this tasty coleslaw recipe.

Cinnamon Turmeric Sweet Potatoes

One Green Planet

Picky eaters may not like “golden milk” or “turmeric lattes”,
but they just might gobble up these sweet potatoes.

Blueberry Matcha Green Tea Smoothie

Epic Matcha

While both green tea and matcha tea are healthy. Matcha tea is by far superior. You have to drink 10-15 cups of green tea to equal the nutrition of just 1 cup of matcha.

Simple Baked Beet Fries

Just Take a Bite

This is definitely a unique way to prepare beets!
Serve these with the Greek Turkey Burger for a winning anti-inflammatory meal.

Paleo Pineapple Whip

Recipenourish.com

Your picky eater won’t be able to resist this super easy and delicious pineapple recipe!

Parmesan Herbed Walnuts

Walnuts.org

Jazz up plain walnuts with this cheesy recipe!

Kid Friendly Salmon

Food Network – Melissa D’Arabian

This teriyaki style salmon recipe is sure to please.

Pastured Beef Bone Broth

Rebecca Katz

For the ultimate in healing, you can’t beat homemade bone broth.
This recipe, made from pasture raised beef bones,
is from Rebecca Katz, an alumni of my school, Hawthorn University.
Use this as the base for any soup or recipe calling for broth.

Closing thoughts:

Whether you try a recipe from this list, or just use it to inspire your kitchen creativity, I hope you found something to help you eat healthy. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. As the old saying goes ” You are what you eat”. With a bit of ingenuity and creativity, eating healthy can be fun!

Until next time, Namaste my friends.

Tamara

A Middle-Age Pathway Recipe: Anti-inflammatory Tart Cherry Gummies

We all hate to admit it, but eventually, aches and pains creep in with age and arthritis gets the better of us. As part of my thesis, I did some research on the health benefits of Tart Cherries and Tart Cherry Juice. It turns out to be one of the best sources of plant based melatonin. So, that means, if you have insomnia, you absolutely should be including this in your daily diet and supplement regime. Not only that is it good for insomnia, it has several other wonderful benefits, including: (2 , 3 , 4)

  • reduces muscle soreness
  • increase strength
  • helps reduce symptoms of arthritis, gout and inflammation
  • promotes brain health
  • boosts immune health
  • helps regulate blood pressure
  • cancer prevention
  • aids weight loss

So, knowing tart cherries are so healthy, I wanted to add them to my diet. I decided to experiment with unflavored grass-fed gelatin and homemade gummies, something I’ve been wanting to try for a while. Why grass fed gelatin? Some known benefits of gelatin include: (1, 5)

  • immune support
  • joint protection
  • healthy hair
  • reduce inflammation
  • helps to balance hormones
  • reduce signs of aging
  • strengthen teeth
  • aids in sleep and insomnia
  • improves gut health
  • aids digestion
  • improves cognitive ability
  • improves skin health
  • strong bones

So, after looking at the health benefits of these two powerful foods, I knew it was a winning combination. But, I had never even tried making gummies before. Before I created my own recipe, I experimented with a few others. The photo on the left is pureed strawberries, sweetened with maple syrup. The one on the right is turmeric, also sweetened with maple syrup.

After making the strawberry, and turmeric gummies, I found they were a bit bland, especially the turmeric one. So, when I created my own version, I opted to double the amount of concentrate, otherwise used if a glass of juice was being prepared. The ratio is typically 2 tablespoons per 8 ounce glass, or 1/4 cup per 2 cups of water. I doubled that ratio for my recipe. The result is a pleasing tart cherry flavor in the gummies.

Here are the ingredients for this simple, but super healthy recipe:

Anti-Inflammatory Tart Cherry Gummies

  • Servings: 32 squares
  • Difficulty: very easy
  • Print

Do you have some aches and pains? Is arthritis creeping up on you? This combination of grass-fed gelatin and tart cherry juice will help ease the pain


Credit: A Purple Almond Wellness Recipe: thepurplealmondwellnesskitchen.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups filtered water
  • ½ cup Organic Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 4 packets organic Stevia powder (optional)
  • 4 tbs grass-fed unflavored gelatin powder

Directions

  1. Mix first 4 ingredients in small pan.
  2. Heat until steaming.
  3. Sprinkle gelatin in pan over other ingredients.
  4. Stir throughly, until gelatin is dissolved and all ingredients are combined.
  5. Pour into 9×9 square pan. Cover and chill for a minimum of 4 hours.
  6. Remove from refrigerator and cut into 32 small squares…ENJOY!

Closing thoughts

I hope you give this a try. I have found these gummies are super easy to make. In my experience, once the gelatin sets, the resulting gummies can be a bit bland. My best tip would be to “over flavor” the initial combination of ingredients, so you almost have something that is “too sweet” or “too strong”. So, when the gelatin sets, the result will be a gummies packed with flavor!

Until next time…namaste my friends.

Tamara

Sources

  1. https://blog.paleohacks.com/gelatin-benefits/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-tart-cherry-juice-benefits
  3. https://www.organicfacts.net/tart-cherry-juice.html
  4. https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/11-health-benefits-tart-cherry-juice/
  5. https://draxe.com/nutrition/gelatin/