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Archive for the ‘Healthy’ Category

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Today there was no school. So in the morning my kids rushed to the computer and didn’t wake me, so I woke at the amazing hour of 8:40, filled with love and goodwill towards the entire world.
So what to make for an indulgent breakfast?
My first idea was pancakes, but it takes a lot of time and with Purim this week the kids weren’t lacking in cake. And then I  thought of hot chocolate, but Independent doesn’t like it. And then inspiration struck: strawberry banana milkshake!

Makes 6-7 small cups.

Ingredients
2 bananas (the riper the sweeter, I used one fresh and one very ripe frozen)
2 cups cut strawberries (about 3 uncut)
1 cup milk
1 tbsp sugar or to taste (depends on the sweetness of the strawberries)

Directions
Blend everything together except the sugar. Taste and add sugar if necessary. Pour into cups and receive all the compliments with a smile. Sit and drink the measly half cup they left you 😉

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Independent enjoyed making it with me and enjoyed drinking it 🙂 Bon apetit!

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One of Investigator’s favorite foods is fried cauliflower. He can eat half a cauliflower by himself 🙂 So I make it pretty often, as both my husband and I like it too. You basically split cauliflower into florets, boil like pasta (with some salt until al dente), then mix with beaten egg, a pinch of salt and (gluten-free) breadcrumbs, and fry, covered, stirring occasionally until egg is cooked.  Time consuming, but easy and well known.

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Smells great!

However, as it does take time, I started asking Investigator to help me out. Suddenly, splitting the cauliflower into florets is a creative undertaking to rival the Mona Lisa 😀 He made florets in the shape of: a duck; a crocodile; a sofa; a face; a pyramid; a plane; and more and more and more. Who knew?

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See? Arrow; chess piece; duck.

Gluten free breadcrumbs are either: gluten free crumbled bread of choice, chickpea flour, crushed gluten free cornflakes/rice puffs.

Bon Apetit!

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I’ve been doing Pilates for 10 years, so I flatter myself that my core muscles are pretty strong. But Pilates doesn’t include cardio. I get out of breath very quickly. This year, I decided to do something about it. But what?

My first idea was to join a course. But in addition to time (and finding a parking space!) and money, I had one more problem: That the first ten lessons would probably be me gasping for 5 minutes and spending the rest of the lesson in a dead faint on the floor 😦 (I’m not even exaggerating that much).

And then a friend (Thanks Maya!) introduced me to Fitness Blender: Practically unlimited full length workouts, of different difficulties and times, that you can do in the peace and quiet of your own home, and all absolutely free! It includes HIIT*, low impact, no equipment, special equipment, you name it. I went with a 6 minute warm up, 16 minute cardio workout, and 5 minute cooldown. I still can’t do the full 16 minutes, but they have great suggestions for pacing yourself and I’m getting better. And when I add the shower (and believe me do I need a shower!) It takes 40 minutes out of my day  – that’s it!

My workouts:

Quick total body cardio warm up:

Wake up and go HIIT workout:

Fast 5 minute cool down:

May we all be happy and healthy!

*HIIT: High intensity interval training, a method to get results in a short time 🙂

Disclaimer: Do not take my advice on your health without talking to a doctor first!

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I like starting the day with something sweet (who doesn’t?). But eating double fudge brownies for breakfast every day would be expensive for my wardrobe 😉 So I tried to find something that is:

a. Gluten free (so the guilt would be split between more people)

b. Protein based, instead of carb based (healthy!) and

c. With chocolate, because of course.

So I tried out this recipe from Elana’s Pantry (doubled, with the addition of chocolate chips, because of course)

The advantages: This is gluten free. It has only almond meal, so it’s pretty healthy. It is also immensely satisfying, so perfect as a breakfast food. And it looks great!

Breakfast!

Breakfast!

The disadvantage: The taste. Wait! Don’t go away! It doesn’t taste bad as such. It just tastes different. Almond meal has a pronounced (but not bad) aftertaste that takes some getting used to. I personally liked it and ate it with joy. Investigator liked it with the chocolate chips. Insightful and Independent wouldn’t touch it. *Sigh*

In any case, I’m thinking of substituting one cup of almond flour with chickpea flour, which surprisingly has no taste at all (odd, isn’t it?) in the hope of cutting down the unfamiliar taste. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Ingredients for the adventurous:

  • 200 gr almond flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • about 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C
  2. In a medium bowl, combine chocolate chips, almond flour and baking soda
  3. In a large bowl combine eggs, vanilla, honey and vinegar
  4. Stir dry ingredients into wet, mixing until combined
  5. Transfer to a loaf pan
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. If top becomes too brown, cover in aluminium foil.
  7. Let cool in pan and eat!

Bon Apetit!

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This isn’t a recipe as such. But this is still totally amazing. I present to you (queue drum roll):

The carrot sharpener!

ta-da!

ta-da!

This handy tool, which has a peeler on the back and looks like a huge pencil sharpener,

Peeler built in!

Peeler built in!

actually caused my kids to search out carrots in the fridge, peel them, sharpen them, and eat the carrot shavings. And once one kid starts, the others are on him with puppy eyes asking “Can you please give me some?”

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Amazing!

* big smile icon from here.

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I find it more and more difficult to find Ricola with sugar. I don’t like artificial sweeteners. In addition, there is research that they don’t help lose weight, and they don’t satisfy food cravings, and only teach us to like sweet food*. And frankly? I don’t see what’s so bad about sugar. Granted it’s bad for the teeth, but calories? The bulk don’t necessarily come from sugar.

For example: 18 gr of white sugar has 70 calories (from google).

An 18 gr mini mars bar has 99 calories > 18 gr of sugar (written on the pack of mini mars bars). So the other stuff they’re adding has more calories than sugar. I don’t know what it is, but I haven’t been able to eat a mars bar since I realized this. Or Twix, which used to be my favorite 😕 Sugar just gets all the blame.

So I prefer stuff with sugar, I just put less of it (and I use brown sugar, but that doesn’t affect the calories). I always put less sugar than the recipe states, I find it sweet enough. I never add sugar to breakfast cereals, they have more than enough. And I stay away from artificial sweeteners. This is getting difficult, especially with gluten-free foods, many of which are also sugar free. I don’t mind honey, dates and apple juice; just leave the sucralose, aspartame and acesulfame K out, please.

Now I just need to get everyone else to think the same, and I’ll be able to find my favorite Ricola bonbons 🙂

May you have a sweet weekend! Do you eat sugar or artificial sweeteners? Why?

*Take note that these are actual scientific papers, not screaming headlines in tabloids. Be careful what you read, and always check their references. Especially on the Net.

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I’m not much of a soup person. I usually feel as though it’s a first course, and I wait for the main afterwards 😉
However, daylight saving time and colder weather, coupled with trying a healthier lifestyle, changed my mind.
During the summer, my husband and I decided to make a large salad every evening. This worked about 50% of the time 😕 But it was better than nothing. With cold weather, I had zero liking for a salad, so I called my MIL and asked what she puts in her vegetable soup (as that’s one of the few soups my husband eats) and tried it out. I used the food processor to chop the vegetables, using this awesome knife that I discovered for salads:

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To my surprise, I also discovered that it’s great for homemade French fries, but that’s a different blog post 😉
Basically chop everything, put in a pot, add water and salt, and wait. Of course, doing this around the kids means that part of the vegetables end up in their mouths,  but that’s just a bonus – and they love working the food processor 🙂 Turned out great and perfect for a quick dinner on those busy weekdays (I made a pot for the weekend and we ate it during the week).

Ingredients
1 onion
2 kohlrabi, peeled
1/2 a cauliflower
5 large carrots, peeled
4 potatoes, peeled

Optional :
1 leek,  cut into 4 (no need to chop)
Canned chickpeas, whole, drained
Small bunch of parsley
Small bunch of dill
(I tie them together without chopping and take them out after cooking)
Fennel

Chop all vegetables. Put in pot.

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Tied up herbs on the right

Cover with water. Add 1 tsp salt or to taste. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes or until all the vegetables can be easily picked with a fork. Serve and eat!

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If you’re in the mood, sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top… Yummy!

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