Roasted Chestnuts. How to easily cook them.

Roasted Chestnuts. How to easily cook them.

This is the time of year to find chestnuts at the grocery store.Not every grocery store will have them but the specialty stores will. This is the easiest way to make them.Chestnuts are a tradition to make on Christmas in some cultures. It’s a perfect after dinner treat for the holidays.

To cook 1/2 pound of chestnuts,Heat your oven to 425. Take a knife and make a slice across one side of every chestnut. Don’t cut too deep just enough to cut the shell. Some people cut a cross into them but I think that is just more work and all you need is a slice. Lay them on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven for about 30 minutes. shake the pan several times to cook evenly The shell will open a little when cooking to make it easy to peel. This is something that can be done ahead of time if your going to serve them later on that at night.

Don’t wait till they are cold to eat because it will not be easy to peel then. You can also cook them on a barbeque, just use a grill pan and cook, shake often to evenly cook.

Nutrition

Chestnuts offer many of the fiber,
mineral and cholesterol-free benefits
of tree nuts, without the calories
and fat content. shutterstock_332678375

Nutrient composition of 1
ounce (3 chestnuts/ounce)
roasted chestnuts
Protein 1.2 grams
Fat 0.3 grams
Carbohydrate 14.4 grams
Vitamin C 11 mg
Calories 68
Cholesterol 0
Potassium 135 mg

source: USDA; www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/)

Lunch Idea:  Lunch Box Frozen Smoothie

Lunch Idea: Lunch Box Frozen Smoothie

This is a easy and healthy food to add to your child’s lunch with a protein.I used my NutriBullet to blend it all up and put it in the freezer.   I used fresh raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and organic greek yogurt.  All you do is put everything in the blender and blend until smooth.  Put them in small freezer safe mason jars and I used the screw on bpa free white lids that are sold separately.  You add them in their lunch box with a small ice pack and they will love them.  It’s a good way for the kids to get the vitamins from fresh fruit and yogurt in their diet.

Roasting, freezing and using cherry tomatoes

Roasting, freezing and using cherry tomatoes

Sometimes I will buy a large amount of cherry tomatoes when they go on sale. There are many different ways to use them for fresh recipes but you can also freeze them. This is how I do it

First you need to roast them in the oven. After you was them just lay them on the pan and add olive oil, italian seasoning, salt and garlic. Put them in the oven at about 225 degrees for about 3 hours. You can keep them in longer if they aren’t completely shrunk and roasted yet.

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After they are cooked up out them in a bowl and add olive oil and more salt and garlic, and red pepper flakes if you like. Stir and put them in Small Bowls with lids and freeze. When thawed they are good on bread, crackers or thrown into pasta or rice. Below is a picture of how I added them to asparagus.

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Here they are right before I froze them.
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Six-Spice Butternut Squash

Six-Spice Butternut Squash

Six-Spice Butternut Squash

If you’re looking for a hearty vegetable that can be prepared without too much fuss, pick up a butternut squash the next time you’re at the farmer’s market. In season from October to February, this variety of winter squash can be picked out by its cream-colored skin and large pear shape.

When you cut it open, you’ll see bright orange-colored flesh that is, as its color suggests, rich in carotenoids like beta-carotene, an antioxidant that turns into vitamin A in your body (just one cup of butternut squash provides 437 percent of your daily requirement).

One of the benefits of butternut squash is its long shelf life, courtesy of its thick skin. You can store one for weeks, even months, provided you keep it out of direct sunlight and protect it from extreme temperatures (about 50-60 degrees F is best).

While long storage times are known to impact nutritional quality in produce, in the case of butternut squash the carotenoids continue to accumulate for the first two months of storage. So this is one vegetable that’s perfect to keep on hand and use in a pinch.

Top Reasons to Eat Butternut Squash

Are you wondering what else butternut squash is good for? It contains an impressive amount of vitamin K1 (not K2), along with vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. It even contains a respectable amount of plant-based omega-3 fats.

Certainly, the high levels of carotenoids like beta carotene in butternut squash deserve special mention. The George Mateljan Foundation noted:

“Recent research has made it clear just how important winter squash is worldwide to antioxidant intake, especially so in the case of carotenoid antioxidants. From South America to Africa to India and Asia and even in some parts of the United States, no single food provides a greater percentage of certain carotenoids than winter squash.”

There’s good reason to make butternut squash a regular part of your diet. Eating more deep-orange-colored fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), for starters.

A beta-carotene-rich diet may also protect against prostate cancer and is also associated with a lower risk of colon cancer. A deficiency in vitamin A can cause your eye’s photoreceptors to deteriorate, which leads to vision problems. This is why eating foods rich in beta-carotene may help restore vision.

Butternut squash also contains phytonutrients called cucurbitacins, which have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, along with anti-cancer properties. According to the George Mateljan Foundation:

“Scientists have already determined that several different signaling pathways (for example, the JAK-STAT and MAPK pathways) required for cancer cell development and survival can be blocked by activity of cucurbitacins.”

Even the Starch and Seeds May Be Good for You

Winter squash like butternut is on my most recommended vegetables list – but it’s in the “use sparingly due to high carbohydrate levels” category. Virtually all (90 percent) of the calories in squash come from carbohydrates and about half of those are starch-like.

Interestingly, consuming this starch in a whole food like squash may have some unique health benefits. The George Mateljan Foundation reported:

“… [R]ecent research has made it clear that all starch is not the same, and the starch content of winter squash brings along with it some key health benefits. Many of the carbs in winter starch come from polysaccharides found in the cell walls.

These polysaccharides include pectins—specially structured polysaccharides that in winter squash often include special chains of D-galacturonic acid called homogalacturonan.

An increasing number of animal studies now show that these starch-related components in winter squash have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-diabetic and insulin-regulating properties.”

Also noteworthy, you can eat squash seeds too, just as you would pumpkin seeds. They’re rich in fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins and more, including healthy fats like linoleic and oleic acids.

What’s Better Than Butternut Squash? Butternut Squash with Spices

The recipe that follows, from MyLongevityKitchen,1 features butternut squash combined with healthy spices, which have potent antioxidant properties. So in addition to the health benefits of squash, you’ll also enjoy the benefits of spices. One used in this recipe is cumin, which has been shown to enhance memory, relieve stress, and support healthy blood sugar levels.

You’ll also notice Chinese 5-Spice. Which is a blend of cinnamon, clove, ginger, fennel, and star anise – all phenomenal spices that you might not eat much of right now. When choosing a squash for this recipe, find one with a hard, dull rind that feels heavy for its size. And, if possible, choose organic. You’ll find the recipe below works well as a sweet-savory side dish, and you can eat it warm or cold, whichever you prefer.

Six-Spice Butternut Squash

Ingredients

1 small butternut squash, under 2 lbs.
2 Tbsp. ghee, palm oil, coconut oil, or lard, melted
2 tsp. coconut aminos (or 1 tsp fish sauce + 1 tsp coconut sugar)
2 tsp. coconut sugar
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. Chinese 5 spice
¼ tsp. sea salt
2 fresh basil leaves
Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut off both ends of the squash by root and stem, and peel the skin off with a vegetable peeler.
Cut the squash half crosswise. Then, cut both halves lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
Cut the squash into 1-inch cubes.
In a mixing bowl, combine the melted fat with the coconut aminos, coconut sugar, and the rest of the spices except for the basil.
Add the squash to the mixing bowl, and toss well to coat
Roast for 25 minutes, turning the pieces after 15 minutes.
Thinly slice the basil by stacking the two leaves, rolling tightly like a cigar, and slicing across to create ribbons. Carefully mix the basil ribbons into the hot squash.

 

source: mercola.com

Gluten Free Waffle Recipe

Gluten Free Waffle Recipe

Since we are giving away a Frozen Waffle maker I figured I should share a good gluten free waffle recipe. Since Bobs Red Mill’s makes really good gluten free flours and grains I knew they would have a good recipe. Here is one I found. If you make it let us know if you added anything to the recipe and how you liked it.

FLUFFY GLUTEN FREE WAFFLES

1-1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Oil
3/4 cup Milk
4 Eggs separated
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions

Mix the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and sugar together.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites and vanilla until it form stiff peaks or resemble whipping cream.

Add the milk, egg yolks, and oil to the dry ingredients and blend together. With a rubber spatula, slowly fold in egg whites with the rest of the ingredients. The entire mix should be light and fluffy. Spray waffle iron and begin making waffles.

featured image source: http://blog.cashcrate.com/announcements/waffles-in-the-mail/
recipe source: http://bobsredmill.com