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Cozy Into Fall With Pumpkin Spice Granola

It’s time. It’s time for pumpkin, scarves, boots, not sweating when you get in your car, and the best holidays. Before we jump into an ode-to-fall, let us set your mind at ease with a fantastic recipe for paleo pumpkin spice granola via our friend Cassy from Fed & Fit! They’re chewy, perfectly seasoned, not overly pumpkin-ed goodness. Great for lunches, hiking, sharing with colleagues, or for eating the entire batch standing up in your kitchen before you even get a chance to wrap one up.

Granola is an extremely popular breakfast and snack food with a wealth of health benefits, including its ability to lower cholesterol, regulate digestion, aid in weight loss attempts, improve your heart health, increase energy, prevent anemia and promote proper organ function. Intake of granola also helps to lower blood pressure, increase cognitive activity, improve skin quality, build stronger bones, manage diabetes, stimulate new tissue and hormonal growth, and even prevent cancer.

As a digestive aid, granola is almost unmatched. It is commonly consumed by people who want a boost in their fiber content, because granola contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Dietary fiber is a beneficial part of anyone’s eating habits because it regulates digestion of food. It adds bulk and weight to bowel movements, making them more solid and easier to pass along the digestive tract. It also stimulates peristaltic motion, which is when the smooth muscles in the intestinal system contract, thereby moving food further along, while also causing the release of gastric and digestive juices, relieving stress on the entire system. Soluble fiber is good for alleviating symptoms of constipation, which can lead to a bevy of health issues, including colorectal cancer, indigestion, heartburn, and excess flatulence. The insoluble fiber can harden up loose stools and reduce the occurrence of diarrhea. Furthermore, fiber can improve heart health by literally scraping the arteries clean of dangerous LDL cholesterol or omega-6 fatty acids that can lead to heart conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. Need we say more? Try this recipe below!



Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree {canned works great}
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup whole brown flax seeds
  • 1 cup golden berries, roughly chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F and line a 9 x 13 inch metal cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan, whisk together and bring to a slight boil the honey, coconut oil, and vanilla. Remove from heat. Whisk in the pumpkin, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir the pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, flax seeds, and chopped golden berries together.
  4. Pour the liquid honey mixture over the dry ingredients and stir together. Pour the mixture into the parchment paper-lined metal pan and press down until you have an even thickness.
  5. Bake at 300 F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, let it cool completely on the counter, and then transfer to the refrigerator for one hour or overnight before moving onto the next step.
  6. To make bars, cut into the bar or square shape you like and store in the refrigerator.
5 Reasons to Celebrate National Yoga Month

Oh, September. With you comes the genesis of Fall, the NFL season kick-off and school bells ringing. It’s also a time for yogis to celebrate as September is National Yoga Month. Designed to educate all about the health benefits of yoga and to inspire a healthy lifestyle, lets get in the spirit of this OM-mazing month!

Yoga is an ancient practice with origins stretching back thousands of years in India. It is designed to help achieve a more positive outlook on life and a focused, permanent sense of serenity and peace. The word ‘yoga’ itself means ‘union’ and ‘union with the divine'; however, many people have stripped away the spirituality and focus of yoga so that most think of it as a group of intensely athletic people putting their legs behind their heads and curling up into jaw-dropping positions.

After years of careful stretches and practice–yoga has so much more to offer than flexibility and the idea of garnering a strong body. People of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities can do yoga and adapt it to suit their individual tastes and needs. If you think yoga might not be for you, we urge you to reconsider. Here are five reasons why you should start doing yoga as soon as you can via LifeHack!

  1. It’s a great workout. First of all and most obviously, yoga is a fantastic workout for your body. You can adapt the practices to your own speed and level of comfort. No matter which yoga exercises you choose, the practices will always be part of a great workout routine. There are some fantastic series of movements out there that are perfect for every kind of day and for every kind of person, meaning there’s no reason not to start doing some yoga as soon as you can.
  2. It gets you in touch with your body. Yoga stretches and exercises are designed around the idea of moving your body to increase its strength and durability. Therefore, doing yoga on a regular basis will really get you to be much more in tune with your body and know when something is really working and when it isn’t.
  3. It can help your breathing technique. A big part of yoga is the breathing exercises–or the pranayama–which are incorporated into positions and then on their own. The exercises encourage a more focused and centered way of breathing, and while they might not be something you’ll do consciously every day, they’re absolutely sure to provide methods of effective stress-management and generally make you feel much better. Plus, as someone with asthma, it really helps to open your lungs and explore what it means to breath consciously. Trust me: do those pranayamas for a few weeks, and you’ll feel the benefits.
  4. It can improve your sleep. Another minor but pleasant benefit is that doing yoga can actually help you get better sleep. This might be due to the fact that a few sequences of poses and movements are intended to be done right before sleep, but regardless, studies have shown that doing some light physical activity before our heads hit the hay can help us get off to sleep more quickly, which usually leads to a much better quality of sleep.
  5. It will improve your posture. Yoga is pretty effective at helping you develop some premium, proper posture, since a lot of the breathing and seated positions require a straight back for proper effect. Good posture is definitely going to develop during yoga practice. You’ll start off slouching and slumped, reflecting the figure of someone who spends most of the day at their desk–believe me, I’ve been there–and yoga will help sculpt your back into the kind of poised posture that’ll make you walk taller and feel immensely better about it.
Herbology 101: Wild Chrysanthemum Flower

Did you know that Rootology is a blend of 13 concentrated herbal extracts that support against sneezing, congestion, sinus pressure, runny nose, itchy watery eyes, and headache? Our Herbology 101 blog series, will highlight each herb found in Breathe Free. Today we spotlight the wild Chrysanthemum flower which has cooling properties relieve sore, swollen throat and headaches and help detoxify the system. Chrysanthemum acts as a natural coolant and has been talked about in the ancient Eastern medicinal science.

Chrysanthemum has been used for hundreds of years in Chinese medicine. People use it to treat respiratory problems, high blood pressure, and hyperthyroidism. Fans of the flower also say it can reduce inflammation and calm your nerves. Dr. J. D. Yang is an expert in Chinese and integrative medicine and founder of Tao Integrative. “Chinese medicine categorizes herbs based on energetic properties rather than the chemical ingredients,” he says. “Chrysanthemum provides mildly cold energy. It has special affinity to the energy channels that lead to the lungs, liver, spleen, and kidneys.” These uses aren’t supported by contemporary scientific research, but have a lengthy history. Chrysanthemum, or “ju hua,” as it’s known in Chinese, is also recommended for reducing fever and cold symptoms in the early stages.

Scientists have started to research the medicinal benefits of chrysanthemums because of their popularity in alternative practices. One study found that some chemicals extracted from chrysanthemum flowers can reduce inflammation. Another found that chrysanthemum extract could help treat bone disorders like osteoporosis. According to traditional Chinese medicine, chrysanthemums produce energy that targets the liver, spleen, kidneys, and lungs. If you’re allergic to daises or ragweed, you might also be allergic to chrysanthemums.

Nutritionist Renee Rosen, trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, has researched chrysanthemum extensively. “One cannot expect to take chrysanthemum and have a miraculous recovery from osteoporosis or to calm nerves overnight,” she says. Rosen advises ensuring the purity and concentration of the preparation. She also recommends taking chrysanthemum for a long period of time to reap the benefits. Having studied the purported cooling and anti-inflammatory effects of chrysanthemum, Rosen says, “What seems realistic is that over very long periods of time, some people with the right body constitution can use chrysanthemum to reduce heat and inflammation.” 


10 Health Benefits of Chrysanthemum Tea

Chrysanthemum tea is not very famous amongst herb enthusiasts as very few people know about its existence and benefits. Read on to know more about the benefits:

  1. Chrysanthemum tea has Vitamin C in which helps ease heaviness in the head during cold and provide relief in sinusitis discomfort. This herbal tea also has antiviral properties and helps relieve congestion in the head which may be caused by viral infection. The heaviness in the head could also be caused due to bacterial pathogenic reaction. Chrysanthemum tea is anti spirochetal in nature thus it is really helpful in easing head congestion.
  2. Chrysanthemum tea is naturally caffeine free, hence, it is free from all the side effects of caffeine like anxiety, tension, irritation, nervousness and confusion.
  3. Chrysanthemum tea is a natural coolant and helps in lowering the temperature of the body when suffering from fever or even heat stroke. This herbal tea is also helpful in treating pimples and acne. It can also treat discomfort of high temperature such as headache, slight toothache and throbbing nerves in the gums.
  4. Chrysanthemum tea is good for the detoxification of the liver and for lowering cholesterol levels.
  5. This tea helps in the treatment of coronary artery disease, blocked arteries and even varicose veins.
  6. Chrysanthemum tea has stimulating property and helps in alerting the senses and rejuvenating the brain. It stimulates all your senses very quickly and also calms down the nerves.
  7. It helps in easing giddiness.
  8. Drinking Chrysanthemum tea helps in providing relief in sore throat, redness in the eyes, itchiness in the eyes, dryness in the eyes and dark sport in the eye area.
  9. It makes the lungs strong and helps in providing relief in respiratory problems such as shortness of breath.
  10. Chrysanthemum tea when taken with lunch or dinner especially with oily foods helps ease digestion.

*To learn more about the herbs found in Rootology, visit the 'How It Works' page here.

 

21 Reasons to Consume A Watermelon Pineapple Smoothie

 

As an ode to the end of the a beautiful summer season, try a gorgeous watermelon pineapple smoothie. And there’s only 4 ingredients: pineapple, raspberries, watermelon and almond milk. This means you can jazz it up however you’d like! Try adding in a scoop of your favorite protein powder or a tablespoon of chia seeds. If that's not enough for you to get your mouth watering, peek 21 reasons to consume more smoothies below!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries (or berries of your choice!)
  • 3/4 cup fresh diced seedless watermelon
  • 1/4 cup Almond Breeze Almondmilk Unsweetened Vanilla, plus more if necessary

Instructions

  1. In a blender, place all ingredients together and blend until smooth.
  2. If necessary add in more almond milk just a tablespoon or two at a time until you get a nice thick smoothie consistency.
  3. Pour into a chilled glass or into a pineapple that's been carved in the middle.

 21 Reasons to Consume Healthy Smoothies

    1. Get your daily allowance of fruits and vegetables. Consuming the daily recommendations of fruits and vegetables can be a challenge. Blending a couple of servings of each into a smoothie helps ensure you meet your body’s daily nutritional needs.
    2. Quick and easy. Making your own nutrient dense smoothie doesn’t take as long as preparing most meals, giving you more time for others things. Taking a smoothie with you is an additional convenient option.
    3. Kids like smoothies. Getting your kids to eat healthy foods is not always easy. Fortunately, most kids love the taste of a creamy smoothie naturally sweetened by fruit or a good sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or stevia. You can even hide veggies in your kid’s smoothies that they would never eat on their own. For more info on kid friendly smoothies, see how to make smoothies your kids will love.
    4. Easier weight loss. There are a number of weight loss programs that promote replacing a meal with a liquid drink. Provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs via smoothies, cut out the weight gaining crap from your diet, and watch the pounds melt away. Lose weight easier than before and slim down the healthy way with diet smoothies.
    5. Improved digestion. Nobody I know wants to experience constipation or indigestion. Let your blender “chew” your food and ease the burden on your digestive system while you simultaneously consume plenty of dietary fiber to ensure excellent digestion.
    6. Delicious. Yes, eating healthy and tasting great can go hand in hand. With so many recipes to choose from, finding one or more pleasing to your palate is a breeze.
    7. Detox. We’re exposed to and bombarded by thousands of man-made chemicals in today’s world, which leaves our body begging to detoxify. Give your digestive system a break while adding detoxifying ingredients like dandelion greens and kale into your smoothies to aid your body’s detoxification processes.
    8. Build muscle and improve athletic performance. Provide your body with the nutrients it needs to excel during athletic competition, and recover and rebuild after working out. It’s easier for your body to absorb and assimilate the nutrients in a smoothie as opposed to a meal.
    9. Reach your own personal health goals. Tailor your smoothies to meet your desired health goals.
    10. Beauty. Think radiant skin, hair, and nails. Supply your body with the vitamins and minerals it requires to grow healthier hair and make your skin glow.
    11. Healthy eating education. By learning what constitutes a healthy smoothie, you’ll also educate yourself on what comprises a healthy diet. This will allow you to make better decisions when the blender isn’t around. You’ll be more confident in your food choices.
    12. Strengthen your immune system. Getting sick is no fun. Reduce the number of times you get sick (if at all) and lesson the severity by empowering your immune system.
    13. Deeper sleep. Improving your health by consuming healthy smoothies almost always results in better sleep at night.
    14. Meal flexibility. You can consume a smoothie at any meal, not just breakfast. No time for lunch, grab or make a quick smoothie.Healthy Smoothie Ingredients
    15. Healthy ingredients galore. The number of healthy ingredients available for smoothies is practically limitless. After your basic fruits and vegetables, you can add an array of the various spices, herbs, superfoods, and other health foods. The possibilities and combinations are endless.
    16. Energy. Supply your body with the right fuel for more energy in the short and long term.
    17. Empowerment. Take control of your health through simple and delicious healthy smoothies.
    18. Reduce cravings. We all crave sweets and unhealthy foods from time to time. Reduce those cravings, or better yet, replace what you would normally splurge on with a healthy alternative.
    19. Brain boost. Give your brain all the vitamins and nutrients it needs to improve your mental clarity, focus, and memory. Say goodbye to brain fog.
    20. Happiness. Experience a renewed sense of calm and well-being that good health leads to. Be in a good mood all the time.
    21. Fun. Many people including myself find creating smoothies to be rather enjoyable. You can think of yourself as a modern day alchemist mixing and matching various smoothie ingredients.
Dreamsicle Matcha + Ginger Ice Pops

Every day, countless people throw away valuable antioxidants and minerals. While seemingly unimaginable, that’s exactly what happens when you brew a cup of green tea because water can only extract a fraction of green teas benefits. The majority actually remains unused, trapped in the tea leaves. In reality, the only way to truly take advantage of green teas full potential is to consume the entire leaf. But that doesn’t mean you need to start eating tea leaves. The simplest solution is to just enjoy a bowl of matcha. Because matcha is straight, stoneground tea leaves, matcha provides you with green teas powerful arsenal of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids in a way no other green tea can.

Amongst its many health benefits, matcha is packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg, boosts metabolism and burns calories, detoxifies effectively and naturally calms the mind and relaxes the body. Matcha is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins, enhances mood and aids in concentration, provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium, prevents disease. It also lowers cholesterol and blood sugar. You will find that matcha tea is an easy and simple way to add powerful health benefits to your everyday diet. Matcha green tea powder lends these refreshing vegan ice pops antioxidants and a gorgeous green hue!

Ingredients

  • ¾ c orange juice
  • 1 ¼ c full-fat plain yogurt
  • ½ c cane sugar
  • 1 ½ t Aiya Cooking Grade Matcha
  • 1 t orange extract (can be found at most specialty stores and health food stores)
  •  ½ cup diced candied ginge

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the orange juice to a light boil.
  2. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.  Turn the heat off and whisk in the matcha until dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside.In a separate bowl, mix the orange oil and yogurt.
  4. Strain the orange juice mixture into the yogurt and mix until fully incorporated.
  5. Use a ladel to pour the mixture into ice pop molds, leaving about ½” of room at the top of each mold.
  6. Drop a few pieces of the candied ginger into the molds and place the sticks in them.
  7. Add a few more pieces of ginger on top and freeze for 5 – 7 hours, until solid.
  8. Remove from freezer when ready to serve.  

 

A Healthy Twist on the Classic Gumdrop

As mothers, we all eventually get caught trying to sneak healthy ingredients into our children’s meals, snacks, drinks—you name it. Thanks to PediaSure SideKicks Fruit & Veggie Smoothie Mix, we have the perfect way to sneak in a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals where my kids would least expect it: in a sweet and fruity homemade gumdrop. What child would ever be able to sniff out the hidden goodness in a piece of sticky, chewy, sweet, sugar coated candy? Let’s just say that these gumdrops are the Trojan horse of all candies.

Cook these little jewels up (the recipe makes around 100), pass them out to your littles when they come searching for a sweet treat throughout the day, and enjoy an evil laugh in your head as they gobble up an unsuspected heap of hidden nutrition.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups watermelon juice, divided 3 tablespoons (4 packages)
  • Granulated gelatin
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 scoops PediaSure SideKicks Fruit & Veggie Smoothie Mix
  • Extra sugar, for coating

Directions

  1. Line an 8×8 baking dish or pan with plastic wrap. Spray the plastic wrap with non-stick spray and set aside. Place ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons of watermelon juice in a bowl. Slowly sprinkle the granulated gelatin over the top of the juice.
  2. Let sit for five minutes to allow the gelatin to soak up all of the watermelon juice.In a large saucepan, mix together the remaining watermelon juice with the sugar. Heat on medium/high until mixture comes to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. As soon as the mixture boils, reduce heat to medium.
  3. Let simmer for 25 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Take care to watch the heat and make sure that the mixture does not boil over because it has a tendency to froth up quickly if the heat is too high. After 25 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 1 minute.
  4. Sprinkle the PediaSure Smoothie Mix over the mixture and whisk together until smoothie mix is dissolved and no lumps remain. Pour the mixture into the plastic wrap lined baking pan.
  5. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight so that the gum drops can firm up.
  6. Coat your work surface with sugar and invert the sheet of gum drops onto the sugar. Coat the top of the gumdrop sheet with sugar as well. Slice the sheet into ½” strips with a sharp knife.
  7. Toss the strips with sugar to coat the sides and then slice strips into ½” pieces to make cubes. Toss cubes in sugar to coat all surfaces. Let air dry for 4-5 hours. Store in an airtight container.
  8. Enjoy your creation!
Creamy Chocolate Pistachio Chia Shake

Time to jump on this whole chia seed bandwagon! Despite their minuscule appearance, chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse: They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, calcium, fiber and protein. Plus, these small ingredients are simple to make into a pudding because they absorb up to 10 times their weight in water! Not only does this make chis seeds a great starting point for breakfast, a healthy snack, or textured dessert, but it also means that they will help you stay hydrated. Try making this chia seed pudding recipes via Half Baked Harvest — and don’t be afraid to put your own spin on them, too.

Chia seeds are harvested from the Salvia hispanica plant, a type of sage in the mint family. The seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and have versatile uses in the kitchen. Chia seeds were a staple of the ancient Aztec diet, and they are now grown commercially in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Mexico. Australia is the biggest producer of chia seeds, which is now marketed under various names. Even the oil extracted from chia seeds are found to have a high nutritional value. Both, seeds and oils are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antoxidants and amino acids.Chia seeds may be eaten raw or prepared in a number of dishes. Raw, they are an excellent source of dietary fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds may be ground into pinole, a meal that can be used for porridge or baked goods. They may also be soaked in fruit juice or water to make a dish known as chia fresca in Mexico.

Chia seeds are very absorbent and develop a gelatinous texture when soaked in water. In recent decades, chia has seen a resurgence in popularity and has been hailed as a “super food” with many dietary benefits. It helps the body retain fluids and electrolytes, it forms a gel in the stomach that slows the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar, and it helps build muscle and other tissues. Chia is a source of protein and boron, which aids in the absorption of calcium. Chia seeds can be used to make a gel that one can substitute for oil or other fats in a variety of recipes. Chia gel can be added to any sauces, jellies, or baked goods, for example.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, plus more to thin if desired
  • 2 tablespoons black chia seeds
  • 3 whole medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/3 cup roasted + shelled pistachios, plus more for topping
  • 3 frozen medium + very ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt or use coconut milk yogurt for a vegan option
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl mix together the milk and chia seeds. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile add the pistachios and dates to the bowl of a food processor or high powered blender. Blend until the mixture becomes finely chopped and almost butter like, scraping down the side as you go. You want to get it as smooth as possible. I let the mixture blend for about 5 minutes.
  3. To the blender add the chia seeds + milk mixture, the frozen banana chunks, cocoa powder, greek yogurt and vanilla extract. Blend until thick, creamy, and smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. If the shake is too thick add more milk to your liking.
Homemade Strawberry Nutri Grain Bars

Ready for back to school? It's that time of the year! Whole wheat flour, oats, a dash of Greek yogurt, honey, and fresh strawberries make this breakfast bar staple healthier than the storebought version. This homemade strawberry nutri grain bar might be just the morning meal you are searching for. One portion of this dish contains approximately 4g of protein, 13g of fat, and a total of 252 calories. If you have baking soda, cornstarch, honey, and a few other ingredients on hand, you can make it. From preparation to the plate, this recipe takes about 1 hour. It is a good option if you're following a vegetarian diet. 

Ingredients for Strawberry Filling

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, stems removed
  • 1/4 -1/3 cup sugar (this depends on how sweet you want the filling, I used a 1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water

Ingredients for Dough

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoon coconut oil, at room temperature (may sub butter)
  • 2 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. To make the strawberry filling, in a food processor or blender puree the strawberries until mostly smooth. Leave a few chunks if you wish. Add the strawberry puree, sugar and lemon juice to a medium size pot. Place on the stove and bring to a boil. Whisk the cornstarch with the cold water and then add to the pot. Bring to a simmer and simmer 4-5 minutes until slightly thick, but still jelly like. Remove and set aside to cool and thicken more.
  2. While the filling cools make the dough. In a small bowl mix the whole wheat flour, oatmeal, baking soda, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon together. Set aside.
  3. Cream the coconut oil, greek yogurt and honey together in the bowl of a stand mixer or other large mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients and beat until combined. The dough should come together, but be wet.
  4. Line a work surface with wax paper and lightly flour the wax paper. Divide the dough in half, cover one ball and place the other on the wax paper.
  5. Lightly sprinkle the dough ball with flour and then place another sheet of wax paper on top. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle. Using a pizza wheel, pastry cutter or sharp knife cut out as many 4x4.5 inch squares as possible. I was able to get 2 squares and then re-roll the dough an get 2 more.
  6. Down the center of each square, spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the strawberry filling right down the center, but leaving about 1/4 inch on either end clean. Fold one side up and over the filling and then pinch the dough together at either end. Do the same for the other side. Carefully roll the bar over and place the seam side down on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dough and squares.
  7. Once all the dough has been used and you have 8 or so bars on the baking sheet, cover and place the baking sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. while the bars freeze.
  9. Once the oven is preheated and the bars have been in the freezer for 15 minutes place the baking sheet on the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top.
  10. Allow to cool 5 minutes and then carefully, transfer the warm bars to a plastic container with a lid or large zip-top bag. If you need to stack the bars, place a piece of parchment between the layers.
  11. Seal the container or bag tightly. This will trap in heat and moisture and slightly steam the bars, ensuring they remain soft. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days or in the fridge for longer.
DIY: Exfoliating Pineapple Sugar Body Scrub

 

Glycolic acid remains one of the best ways to rapidly exfoliate the skin. You can find glycolic acid in all types of serums, masks and scrubs for the face and body. Maybe you’ve wondered where glycolic acid comes from? Sugar cane juice! The Hawaiian Islands are filled with sugar cane fields everywhere you turn. And we can assure you that this tropical combination will leave your skin feeling more smooth and moisturized. Pineapple is high in Vitamin C, which is a wonderful antioxidant and also needed by the body to produce collagen. The combination of the sugar cane and pineapple will not only be a fantastic exfoliating scrub, but will also stimulate collagen production all over the body.

The Vitamin C is a very effective acne treatment. You can get rid of acne and acne marks by using this as a toner or applying and letting it dry and then washing it with cold water. Thus, pineapple for skin is one of the perfect remedies to make skin clear. As pineapple juice is full of Vitamin C and potassium, it is one of the best sources of anti-oxidants out there. The anti-oxidants not only boost your immunity but also help to keep your skin and body feel and look younger. So don’t just use the pineapple to beautify your glass of juice or cocktails but also consume its juice. It’s particularly refreshing in summers. Here’s a small tip – add few drops of lemon.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup cane sugar- glycolic acid
  • ½ cup walnut or coconut oil
  • ¼ – ½ pineapple (1/2 cup puree)

Directions

  1. Depending on the size of your pineapple you may need ¼ to ½ of the pineapple meat (edible fruit) cut out of the pineapple to create a ½ cup of puree.
  2. Take cut pieces of the pineapple and place in a blender or food processor.
  3. Puree until a smooth consistency and then place in a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the cane sugar and walnut oil into the bowl.
  5. If you have a nut allergy, feel free to swap out the walnut oil for coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Mix with a spoon thoroughly and for your next shower or bath, scrub the mixture onto your body, taking extra time at your knees and elbows.
  7. Rinse with warm water.
Two Ingredient Tropical Delight: Cantaloupe Coconut Shake

A simple and healthy dessert, made with the simplest ingredients is all you need some evenings regardless if you're eighty-something or twenty-something. Try a new recipe this weekend, such as this delicious cantaloupe coconut shake. We suggest only make this recipe with summer ripe cantaloupes! No conference cantaloupes allowed, aka the ones that are practically white and hard and tasteless. The combination leaves you with a purely tropical, smooth and creamy treat that has much more flavor depth than you would expect from only two ingredients.

Even though this popular melon is 90 percent water, it's still packed with refreshingly rich flavor—for just 56 calories per cup. One cup of cantaloupe also provides 103.2 percent of the daily value for vitamin A. Cantaloupes and other summer melons serve as the quintessential take-along snack for summer picnics and barbeques. Their high water content helps ward off dehydration and combat the heat while their refreshing taste provides a guilt-free, low maintenance dessert for kids and adults alike. The mildly sweet and juicy flavor of cantaloupe makes it a perfect fruit for even the pickiest palates.

Eating fruits like cantaloupe are beneficial for your hair because they contain vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production, which keeps hair moisturized and healthy. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair. Adequate intake of vitamin C is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair. One cup of diced cantaloupe provides 97% of daily needs for vitamin C.Cantaloupe also contributes to overall hydration, which is vital for having healthy looking skin and hair. You can even use it as a hair conditioner! Mash together cantaloupe chunks and avocado, smooth onto hair and leave on for 10 minutes to replenish moisture and add shine.

Ingredients

  • 1 cubed cantaloupe (must be in season and ripe), chilled
  • 1/3 coconut milk
  • Top with toasted coconut chips

Directions

  1. Scoop and remove seeds.
  2. Cube cantaloupe and remove from rind.
  3. Add coconut and cantaloupe to a blender. Puree.
  4. Serve in a glass and top with coconut chips or shredded coconut.
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