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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.  

 

Wind Down Your Summer with DIY Peach Carrot Lemonade

With Labor Day around the corner, fall is quickly approaching. Wind down the last days of summer with a refreshing DIY peach carrot lemonade by adding in fresh squeezed carrot juice. The carrot juice flavor doesn’t cut through the peach flavor, but it gives it the most beautiful orange color and rounds all of the tangy flavors out.You don’t have to juice your own carrots if you don’t own a juicer, bottled carrot juice will work as well. Or, you can throw carrots and peaches in a high speed blender, puree, and run through a fine mesh sieve to extract their juice.

Carotenoids, found in carrots and other orange vegetables, are potent antioxidants that can help reduce your risk of various forms of temporary illnesses and serious chronic diseases. Carrots and carrot juice benefit the immune system by helping to defend the body from free radical damage, harmful bacteria, viruses and inflammation.

The antioxidants that are responsible for carrot and carrot juice benefits include: vitamin C, beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin. Carrots are one of the highest natural sources of carotenoid phytochemicals and antioxidant beta carotene,both of which fight cancer by stopping DNA damage, levels of inflammation and cell mutation. Evidence suggests that consuming high levels of carotenoids from fruits and vegetables can be protective in relation to cancer recurrence. Studies show that these antioxidants in carrots may be able to fight leukemia cells and may play a role in reducing your risk of some of the most widespread types of cancers, including ovarian and breast cancer.

One study observed the effects of women with a history of breast cancer consuming eight ounces of fresh orange juice and carrot juice daily for a three-week period. These results showed that daily intake of fresh carrot juice benefited the body’s defenses against cancer and was an effective approach to increasing levels of protective antioxidant carotenoids in the blood. This, in turn, reduced oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which protect against cancer growth.

Ingredients

  • 6 carrots
  • 3 large peaches
  • 2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2¾ cups Sugar, divided
  • Water, for mixing
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Juice the carrots and peaches and place juice in a large saucepan with ¾ cup sugar. Bring just to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Pour into a container and chill in the fridge for about 2 hours.
  2. Place the lemon juice, 2 cups water, and 2 cups sugar in a large saucepan and bring just to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Pour into a large pitcher and chill for about 2 hours.
  3. To mix:Fill a pitcher half way full with ice. Pour half the lemon mixture into a pitcher. Pour half of the carrot/peach syrup over ice. Mix together and add water until desired strength is reached.
  4. Makes 2 pitchers of lemonade.
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!
Why allergies aren't just a spring thing

It's normal for people to sneeze their heads off in the spring. It's as much a part of the season as April flowers and May showers, as anyone with allergies will tell you. But it's not just spring. The pollen of spring flowers gives way to grass and tree pollen, and the wet springs and wet summers bring mold. Then comes ragweed and other weeds. And we're not even going to get into dust mites in your carpet or dog dander on the kitchen floor or food allergies.

Yeah, this dealing-with-allergies stuff can be a year-round pain in the septum. Dr. Stanley Fineman is a past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) and he has been a practicing allergist for more than 35 years. He finds the whole subject of allergies and allergens fascinating — good for someone who spends many of his days up to his ears in Kleenex.

The wonder lies in the numbers. There are so many allergens out there, and so many people who react differently to allergens. And those same people can react differently to different allergens at different times of their lives and at different times of the year. So something that can make you feel like hacking up a lung at 16 can be completely harmless at 35. And something you had no problem with as a kid can punch you in the nose in later life.

You can move somewhere new, with all sorts of different flora, and think you're breathing in pure, clean Rocky Mountain-type air. Ten years later, it's as if you're breathing in rocks. Fineman says he sees it all the time. The possibilities, the pure permutations, are practically endless.

"I think it's a really exciting field to be in," Fineman said from his office in Marietta, Georgia. "We're doing research on new treatment options all the time." The first trick in getting your allergies under control, you'd think, is avoiding the triggers. So if you're allergic to a certain type of pollen, avoid going outside when that's in the air. But you can see the potential pitfalls there. Who stays inside all the time? Even if you can, who can keep pollen from leaking in? How do you know which pollen sets off the watery eyes and scratchy throat and all that hacking, and how much of it? Maybe what's setting you off isn't the pollen you think it is, anyway. Maybe it's pollen from another plant. Maybe it's a couple different pollens. Maybe it's not even pollen. Maybe it's cats ... or crustaceans.

Fineman explains it this way: We all have a bucketful of potential triggers that we can tolerate. But then comes another allergen from over there, and maybe another from behind the garage, and the one you think you know about happens to be flaring up this week, and pretty soon your bucket is tipping over and spilling all down the front of your face. That's called the "threshold phenomenon," and it's why Fineman suggests that the first step to getting allergies under control isn't avoiding the triggers, but figuring out what those triggers are. To do that right, you need a skin test.

If you've never had a skin test for allergies, it may sound a little 16th century. The test is simple, really: A doctor (or a nurse) will subject your skin to as many as 40 different allergens to see what happens. Different types of pollen, pet dander, food allergens and dust. You'll get a drop of extract of each potential allergen on a tiny portion of your skin — usually a forearm — which is then pricked barely into the skin surface. It's relatively painless.

Then everybody waits to see how your skin reacts, and to what. According to the Mayo Clinic, doctors (or nurses) also test the skin with two other substances: one that makes sure your skin will indeed react to potential allergens (a histamine) and one that makes sure your skin won't react too much, that it isn't too sensitive (either glycerin or saline).

According to the ACAAI, nasal allergies affect as many as 50 million Americans. In the past year, some 17 million adults and almost 7 million children have been diagnosed with allergic rhinitis, known commonly as hay fever. Allergies can't be cured. There is no one magic nose spray that will suddenly make the world's stuffed-up breathe and the puffy-eyed see clearly. But once you know what's setting you off, allergies can be controlled. And that, at least, should bring some relief.

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.
Fight Fall Allergies Before They Start

You heard all about the worst allergy season ever. You know the pollen tsunami swept through and left everyone sneezing and wheezing in its wake. But you want to know why the end of summer is almost here and you’re still miserable. As summer winds down, it’s a good time to start fighting your fall allergies before they hit. As CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez explained, ragweed is the culprit. The frilly green plants growing by the side of the road with the golden array of flowers on top are about to explode and release trillions of misery producing pollen grains into the air.

“It’s sneezing, runny nose, soar throat, itchiness everywhere. There have actually been times where I have been bed bound if I didn’t have medication,” Dani Dumitriu said. The American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology said if you suffer from ragweed allergies like Dani, now is the critical time to start considering relief even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms yet.

“People wait too long and they wait until they are very symptomatic, and they start taking medicines, but you are kind of behind the eight ball,” Dr. Beth Corn, Mount Sinai Hospital said. Ragweed season typically starts in August and lasts into September or October. Experts said most people who are allergic to spring plants often react to ragweed. “It turns out with global warming and just climate changes, the allergy season is now longer,” Dr. Corn said. “I actually think they have controlled my symptoms. There is just no point in suffering,” She said.

“Although spring, summer and fall have different sets of allergens to trip up allergy and asthma sufferers, they can cause the same symptoms,” says allergist Janna Tuck, M.D., Fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “Those who have multiple triggers, may not be able to distinguish between what’s causing their symptoms. They just know they’re congested, with red eyes and an itchy nose.”

Ragweed is the biggest allergy trigger in the fall. It usually starts releasing pollen with cool nights and warm days in August, and can last into September and October. And the majority of people who are allergic to spring plants are also allergic to ragweed. “The most important reminder is to start taking fall allergy [relief] two weeks or so before symptoms usually begin,” says Dr. Tuck. “Both nasal and eye symptoms associated with ragweed allergies can linger after pollen is no longer in the air.”

What else can you do about fall allergy symptoms? The first line of defense is to avoid triggers. After spending time outdoors, shower, change and wash your clothes. Keep windows closed can help reduce exposure, and changing your clothes and rinsing off when you come inside can help get rid of pollen. If you do go outside, wear a hat and sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes.

For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org.

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.