[Recipe Alert!] Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte

I tried out a pumpkin spice latte the other day. It was sorely a disappointment. I used to LOVE them. I drank them for as long as they were out and same with the peppermint mocha. They were my staple go-to’s, the obligatory holiday drink. But this year, it was a true testament to the changes I’ve made in the last few years. It was like drinking a box of candy followed by a headache and sugar crash. Man my taste buds have sure changed! So from now on, I think I’ll be making my pumpkin spice coffee from home!

And I love using coconut oil in my coffee. There are SO many benefits to coconut oil, but adding to your coffee and drinking first thing in the morning can be very advantageous to your metabolism and keep you feeling full longer.

  • 8-12 ounces of coffee
  • 1 TB of real maple syrup, honey or few drops of stevia (or maybe try this pumpkin pie spiced stevia. I haven’t tried it yet but think I may order some!)
  • 1/2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1 TB coconut oil

Add all ingredients to a blendtec and blend! Enjoy! Feel free to adjust the maple syrup to your taste.  For me, I tend to use a little less than a 1 TB.

HAPPY FALL Y’ALL!coffee

Balsamic Drizzled Beets

Beets are definitely a loved vegetable in our household.  They can certainly be messy, oozing their pink colored juice all over my fingers, the cutting board and more.  But there’s something beautiful in pink stained hands.

While beets are high in natural sugars and people can actually use beet sugar to make desserts, the sweetness makes it an easy vegetable for kids to enjoy.  But they don’t even know that loaded within the vegetable is many health benefits.

  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium

Many tout it’s benefits against cancer, heart disease, improving immune system functioning, respiratory benefits, decreasing macular degeneration, and supporting liver function.

There are many ways to prepare beets. They can be served as an addition to a salad, as a salad themselves, juiced, roasted, grilled, and so many other ways.

This recipe is one of our favorites because of it’s simplicity (and I’m all about simple!).

Sometimes I’ll add some spinach at the very end too. The spinach will wilt from the heat of the beets and doesn’t need to be added till the beets are done cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 beets depending on size
  • 2-3 tbs of balsamic
  • 1-2 tbs of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of feta or goat cheese
  • Salt and Pepper as desired
  • 1 cup of spinach (optional)

Toss chopped and peeled beets with balsamic and olive oil.  Roast at 350* for approximately 30 minutes or until desired softness.  Once removed from the oven, stir in feta and spinach.

Share with me a favorite way you make beets in the comments! I’d love to try new recipes and feature yours on the blog.august (2 of 2).jpg

Lavender Lemon Drop

lavender lemon drop (4 of 4)Years ago I had a lavender martini at a restaurant and it was delightful! I’ve always wanted to recreate it but haven’t ever had any easy way to make it (or the motivation to give it a try).  But since then, I’ve discovered essential oils.  Thus, I present to you my lavender lemon drop.lavender lemon drop (3 of 4)

Ingredients for Lemon Drop

  • 1/2 a lemon juiced
  • 3 oz vodka
  • 1 tbs Lavender simple syrup

Add all ingredients into shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain liquid into glass rimmed with sugar.

lavender lemon drop (1 of 4) lavender lemon drop (2 of 4)

Ingredients for Lavender Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2-5 drops of Lavender essential oil(be sure that you use essential oils rate for ingestion)

Heat water and sugar till sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat.  Add essential oils. Cool completely before adding to lemon drop.

 

Time to enjoy! I so wish I had lavender in my yard to add a sprig to my drink. It’s one of my favorite plants ever! Time to add to the shopping list!

You could try adding lemon essential oil too.

Sweet Potato, Rosemary, & Kale Pizza! Delish!

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Can you imagine such a combination of pizza? My sister posted this recipe on her blog awhile ago.  Now, when we make this recipe most of the time we make pizza. It’s absolutely delicious!

Ingredients

  • Sweet Potato
  • Red Onion
  • Kale
  • Rosemary
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Pizza dough (I make my own. I’ll share the recipe some day!)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Mozzarella Cheese

We used fresh rosemary from our garden and fresh kale from our friend’s garden. It’s amazing! Even though it doesn’t look like it.  Usually our pizza has a little more kale but we only had what our friend gave us from the garden.

Here’s the actual recipe on my sister’s blog.

What are the Dirty Dozen for 2014?

smoothie (1 of 5) Every year the Environmental Working Group puts out the results of their testing, naming 12 fruits and veggies dirty and 15 labeled clean.  The Dirty Dozen are those labeled as such for coming out on the top of the list for most amount of pesticides when tested.

The Dirty Dozen are the fruits and veggies that you should most surely buy organic! 

The Clean 15 came out on the bottom of the list with the least amount of pesticides and herbicides.  If you aren’t able to afford to buy all your foods or don’t have the option of finding all foods organic, these are the ones you could buy non-organic. So here are the lists The Dirty Dozen Plus (in order of most pesticides to least)

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Nectarines (imported)
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry tomatoes
  11. Snap peas (imported)
  12. Potatoes

The “Plus“-They didn’t make the top 12 list but those that eat high amounts of them should choose organic.

  1. Hot Peppers
  2. Leafy Greens (Kale, Lettuce, Collard Greens, Etc)

Blueberries (domestic) were #14 on the list and due to the high amount of them our family eats, we choose organic. The Clean 15 (in order of least pesticides to most)

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet peas (frozen)
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe (domestic)
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet potatoes

For the full list, go here. If you’ve never taken a look at EWG’s website, it is definitely worth it.  They rank all kinds of products based upon toxicity and health.  Definitely worth knowing what we put in our bodies and on our bodies.