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I would love for the mornings to be longer. Normally I prefer to go with the flow, wake up put some music, meditate and watch Lia waking up to then have breakfast together. It is our ''mother-daughter routine'' and I fully enjoy it. Breakfast consists of enjoying each other’s company and having something delicious that could fill our tummies with comfort, and energy. It could be something warmth or refreshing but most of the time it would depend on the weather.

But beyond eating a nutritious and delicious breakfast is really the connection that takes place between the two of us during that moment what gives me true energy. ''That powerful feeling that comes from your inside that creates a reaction of pure energy and light that makes us feel strong and full of life.'' You know what I mean?... 


Lately, this source of energy of which I’m telling you about has recharged my spirit in an incredible way and has been giving me moments with more than a thousand and one reasons to continue cultivating everything that I’ve always believed; family, love and good friends. Every opportunity given to share a meal with the people I love and care is different but the energy is likely the same always genuine and glowing. ''No matter what happens, no matter what the day might bring my soul will always have that infinite source of energy that I'll never lose."


Embrace and cultivate your true self, your true energy. 

I'll share more with you soon.


In the meantime here’s one of our favorite breakfast foods; Berries Homemade Flavored Yogurt!

We love this for breakfast or as an afternoon snack is incredibly easy and super delicious and much more nutritious than the flavored yogurts sold in the supermarket.

To make this berries flavored yogurt use frozen or fresh berries and natural plain yogurt. You can also use greek yogurt or coconut yogurt. We also like combining half natural yogurt and half coconut yogurt, and add toppings at the end like sunflower seeds, toasted buckwheat groats, chia seeds and cocoa nibs! So combine your favorite seeds and get enjoy a good bowl of homemade flavored yogurt.


BERRIES HOMEMADE FLAVORED YOGURT RECIPE
When making this flavored yogurt use plain yogurt and berries in equal parts.

Berries, frozen or fresh any kind you'd like
Plain Natural Yogurt, but you can use Greek Yogurt or Coconut Yogurt
Coconut Sugar or Honey

Preparation:

1- In a saucepan add berries and a little water. Cook the berries for a few minutes until berries start to soften, and juices of the berries start to come out. Add coconut sugar or honey to taste. And you just made homemade berry jam! Then take off the heat and set aside. Let it cool.


2- In a bowl add plain yogurt and pour the berries jam you've just made into the yogurt. Mix and sprinkle with your favorite seeds and more coconut sugar or honey if needed! And that's it! Super easy, healthy and delicious! 

Berries Homemade Flavored Yogurt


Before I start telling you all about these 10+ Foods to Improve your Immune System, I'd love to know if  you;

Would like to see more posts like this one? = (Me talking/ writing about wellness)

Let me know in the comment section. Thank you, guys!

Ok, let's begin. 

I love exploring into ingredients and food that can potentially give me an instant boost of nutrition and energy. But most importantly taste good and can make me feel good inside and out. The time and care we put into feeding our bodies don't depend much on the quantity but on the quality of food, we choose to put into it. 

Time and time again I’ve learned that if you listen to your body, it will lead you to know the type of food and nutrition it needs to feel as it best. ''And while many will try to convince you that choosing store-bought or fast-food is the easiest and more convenient way to feed'', in reality, this is something that can only bring a momentary satisfaction and fulfillment with ‘zero’ nutritional value for the body.

Making a little time every day on preparing and cooking your own food will not only create the habit of eating homemade and the opportunity of knowing the kind of ingredients that are inside the food we are eating but will also provide the body with defenses that can boost the immune system and make it stronger. 

Having a good immune system helps the body to be better prepared against infections, germs, illnesses and other attackers that can make us sick. And while there’s a large range of great natural supplements to support the immune system, there’s also food! Powerhouse foods that can potentially improve your immune system. 


Hippocrates — Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.


So below is a (longish but worth it) list of 10+ delicious foods (plus suggested recipes) for you with lots of health benefits that you can incorporate or if you’re already using some of these foods then you can incorporate ‘more’ into your cooking to give your body and immune system constant endurance.

One of the best ways to implement a few ingredients mentioned in the list below is simply by preparing juices. So here I’m also sharing my Pear + Ginger Juice (my favorite juice combination at the moment) that I really enjoy having in the afternoon or mid-morning. 

Try it out, and keep your body nourished!


10+ Delicious Foods to Improve your Immune System
1-Citrus Fruits:
Contains lots of vitamin C, is a natural antioxidant and is one of the important nutrients in the human body. It is great in preventing and battling bacterial, viral infections and perfect for supporting the immune system. Use in juice, teas, dressings, salads, sauces, meats…well, you know…whatever you fancy!

Recipes Including Citrus Fruits:





2-Ginger:
Ginger is a root that has powerful medicinal properties that have been used for thousands of years in the treatment of different illnesses. Ginger can be consumed fresh, dried as a spice or juiced. Ginger can help your body remove excess of toxins and help against contagious diseases among many other things. Try adding ginger to your juices (like this pear & ginger juice I’m sharing today) teas, water, green tea, orange juice or stir fry in sauces.

Recipes Including Ginger:



3-Broccoli:
Broccoli is an amazing vegetable packed with lots of vitamins, fiber, calcium and minerals that can stimulate the immune system and keep it in balance. Broccoli is also great for skin, hair, and nails and it can help in the process of detoxification of the body. Eat broccoli raw (add it into juices), steamed, roasted or grated and combined with rice (check out the suggested recipe below).

Recipe with Broccoli:




4-Turmeric:
Turmeric is by far one of my favorite foods! It has such an incredible health benefits that I could make a whole post talking about it! Turmeric contains powerful medicinal properties that can help and benefit your body and health in many ways! It can boost your immune system naturally, help you treat and prevent viral, bacterial infections, inflammation, diabetes, depression, skin and few other things that can improve your general health. Use turmeric in delicious curries (no doubt), teas, add it to milk and juices.

Recipe with Turmeric:







5-Fermented Cabbage:
Fermented cabbage can provide natural Probiotics that can instantly strengthen the immune system. And there are a few fun and delicious ways you can implement it! If you want to know more about the benefits of fermented cabbage have a look at the recipes below!

Recipe + How to with Fermented Cabbage:





6-Berries:
Berries are packed with antioxidants, fiber, and lots of vitamin c and can help protect cells from damage and also prevent diseases. Have some blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries; add it to your smoothies, toasts, salads, tarts…well, you get the idea just get crazy with berries! 

Recipe Including Berries:







7-Raw Coconut Oil:
Raw coconut oil is a rich fatty acid that contains manganese, fiber, copper, potassium among other minerals that can help your body fight against infections and diseases. Using raw coconut oil in your cooking can definitely improve and give great support to your immune system. Substitute regular oil or butter with coconut oil and add some healthy nutrients to your food.

Note:

- Substitute regular oil or butter with coconut oil

8-Thyme:
Besides its aromatic –delicious culinary properties, thyme has also medicinal properties and is a fantastic herb against infections! Thyme has plenty of vitamins a and c and it can also help your digestive system, respiratory system and protect your immune system. Use fresh or dry thyme and combine with other spices to enrich your foods. 

Recipe:


9-Apple Cider Vinegar:
Has some potent medicinal properties as well and numerous health benefits that can kill many types of bacteria! Apple cider vinegar can help in the process of natural detoxification, balance pH, relieve allergies, balance blood sugar and add a tremendous boost to your immune system! 

Note:

The easiest way to include apple cider vinegar: Salads!

10-Carrots, Onions, Celery:
Carrots: strengthen the immune system and cleanse the intestine, helping the digestive system to remove waste substances and sweep with fat or substances stuck in arteries and veins.

Onions: powerful depurative and excellent remedy to combat infections. Eating two tablespoons of raw onion after eating will help eliminate any harmful substance and discharge intestines quickly.

Celery: is a great antioxidant and has vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that detoxify the body, protect the liver, and help against infections and microbes. So this vegetable is, without doubt, a keeper! Use stalks and leaves, add it to juices, salads, stews, and stir-fries!

Recipes Including these Vegetables:





PEAR & GINGER JUICE RECIPE
IMMUNITY BOOSTER

2 Medium Pears, peeled
1 Celery Stalk + Leaves
Thumb-Size Piece of Fresh Ginger or about 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
200 ml Clean Water or Coconut Water
1 Medium Lemon, peeled
1/2 Large Cucumber

Preparation:

Add all ingredients in a blender. Blend until you get a smooth but semi-thick consistency. Serve and enjoy!

Use these 10+ Delicious Foods to Improve your Immune System + Pear Ginger Immunity Booster Juice


How are you starting the new season? 

I hope you are feeling recharged and ready to make the best of these few months. 

After all, we are on our way to welcoming another new year…eh?... It sounds incredibly exciting to me just thinking about it! Yes, I’m pretty much a stubborn dreamer that continuously prefers optimism. And refuse to give up on happy thoughts and feelings around the new year, it brings a sense of relief somehow. But also the intrigue and euphoria of knowing what would happen next. This last few months have been the busiest for us, spending life between parenthood, work, family responsibilities, studies, blogging, creativity, plus keeping everyone at home healthy and well fed, but even with all these things challenging us every day, I couldn’t possibly feel more grateful.

The rhythm of life is always uncertain and while this can shake me up and down at times there are only three things that can keep my mind and soul at pace; the love of my daughter, good food, and creativity. And I could never let go of any of the three. 

So, in my way of being more creative with muffins, I’d decided to transform one of my banana bread recipes into a sweet muffin recipe. I used ripe bananas as the main source of natural sweetener and added some aromatic spices to the batter, fresh pear slices and walnuts on top. The result…pretty much a delicious muffin full of flavor, just beyond easy to put together and a great addition to your lunch box, picnic, breakfast, merienda ‘afternoon tea’ or as a sweet food gift.


Keep creative, eat good food, and laugh lots.

I’ll be back soon.
xx


BANANA PEAR & WALNUT MUFFINS

Make 12 Regular Size Muffins

2 C. Self Raising Flour (gluten free or regular)
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
3/4 C. Sunflower oil
1 C. Milk ( plant-based or regular)
3 Eggs
Lemon Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon (optional)
Vanilla Essence to taste
2 Medium-Large Ripe Bananas, mashed
Coconut Sugar or Honey, to taste
Pear Slices
Walnuts, chopped

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F. Grease muffin tray and set aside. In a medium bowl sift the raising flour, baking soda, and salt. Then add the oil, milk, eggs, mashed bananas, cinnamon and coconut sugar or honey to taste. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.

Pour mixture into the prepared tray. Add 2 slices of pear + chopped walnuts on top of each muffin. Bake for about 15- 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. When ready let it cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Banana Pear & Walnut Muffins


Any other lazy weekend, when we feel like doing everything in slow motion, a good bowl of pasta is mostly just perfect for us. We either have pasta with a pesto sauce, like this broccoli pesto here, with a nice tomato sauce or simply with a gremolata.

Gremolata sauce is one of those sauces that shines for its simplicity but is filled with a delicious flavor and incredibly similar to chimichurri sauce, which instantly takes me back to my homeland.

I like adding some extra lemon juice to my gremolata, it just gives it that extra lemony punch that goes incredibly well with some fresh cherry tomatoes and pancetta.


An ideal - easy - heart-warming meal,  for to prepare this weekend!


EASY PASTA with PANCETTA & GREMOLATA SAUCE

Cooked Pasta, any of your choice

Pancetta, raw or cooked cut into slices

Fresh Cherry Tomatoes

Parmesan Cheese, grated

Gremolata Sauce


Preparation:

+ Once the pasta has been cooked, drain and transfer to a serving dish.

+ Mix into the gremolata sauce. 

+ Add pancetta, fresh tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Easy Pasta with Pancetta & Lemony Gremolata Sauce


A typical day of winter is here reminds me of my home country. Somehow my palate tries to replicate every dish I used to eat while growing up in Argentina. I like that. Although my knowledge about cooking, ingredients, techniques, and flavors has expanded over the years, I could never leave behind my cultural cuisine background.

Stews are incredibly required back home during the cold season, not to mention famously fulfilling. They have the ability to revive body and soul with a single spoonful! In my hometown, the essence of a flavorful stew is mainly focused on the protein of meat, pulses like beans and vegetables. These stews are much elaborated, and can usually take the whole morning to prepare. Flavors need to complement one another and be cook slowly to create something rich and aromatic. It certainly is a labor of love.

But in my intention to recreate those hometown flavors I put together this ‘Egg & Cannellini Beans Potato Stew’. Sure is not as elaborated as those flavorsome stews back home but without any doubt, this stew can be easily put together much quicker. Is the perfect comfort dish to warm up during the cold season, it just gives you that endurance and energy the body needs. It has a fantastic flavor that comes from that creamy red sauce, doesn’t have any meat (which means it cooks faster), and is absolutely fulfilling.

/////

Ps: For those of you enjoying summer time, I’ll come back with a summery recipe soon. In the meantime, if by any chance you have an unexpected rainy cool day, you know you can warm up with this dish.



VEGETARIAN EGG & CANNELLINI BEAN STEW

3 Medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into dices
1/2 Medium Onion, finely chopped
1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
1 Medium Carrot, grated
1 x 400 g Diced Tomatoes can
1 Tbsp. Tomato paste
1 1/2 C. Vegetable broth
1 1/2 tsp. Pimeton or Paprika
1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
5 Tbsp. Olive oil or Sunflower 
420 g Cannellini Beans, cooked
2 Eggs

To Garnish:
Fresh Basil leaves, chopped (optional)
Fresh Red chile, sliced (optional)

Preparation:

-In a saucepan add oil, garlic, and onion and cook for about 5 minutes over medium high heat. Then add potatoes and saute for another 5 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, grated carrot and vegetable broth.

-Then add spices; pimenton or paprika, turmeric, salt, pepper. Cover and simmer over low medium heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes start to get soft and tomato sauce has become thicker. 

-When the potatoes start to get soft add cannellini beans and stir. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

-Break and drop eggs over the stew, cover with a lid or plate and cook for 5 more minutes or until eggs are cooked.

-Serve with fresh basil and slices or fresh chile.

Vegetarian Egg & Cannellini Bean Stew


The only thing that I enjoy the most about winter season is warm comforting food and chocolate treats. Somehow I believe those things make the cool, rainy and gray days worthwhile.  And yes, some foods like chocolate can’t be overlooked during the cold season. I mean what not to love about chocolate in winter, right? We are not big eaters of sweet treats. But when we have a craving to indulge ourselves with something sweet we like having a good big bowl of this sweet popcorn, or these truffles or just a nice bowl of homemade cereal/ granola.

This chocolate and tahini cereal has been our favorite treat of the season so far. It has a very rich chocolate flavor and is just perfect to have as it is when you feel the need to have something sweet and covered in chocolate! 

For this chocolate cereal I use raw cacao but if you’re unable to get raw cacao you can always substitute with unsweetened cocoa powder for baking. I also use rolled oats in here but have look below for ingredients and substitution if you're sensitive to oats. You can also serve this delicious chocolate cereal with cold or warm milk!

I hope you're enjoying the season...either summer or winter.


CHOCOLATE + TAHINI CEREAL

If you're sensitive to oats, you can substitute with quinoa flakes. In here I use puffed spelt cereal but if you're unable to get this type of cereal you can substitute with unsweetened puffed rice cereal. You can either use coconut sugar or organic rice syrup or maple syrup.


2 C. Rolled Oats
2 C. Puffed Spelt cereal 
1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon powder
3 Tbsp. Raw Cacao powder / or substitute with Unsweetened cocoa powder for baking
2 Tbsp. Unhulled Tahini or Regular Tahini
1/4 C. Sunflower oil
5-6 Tbsp. Coconut Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract (Optional)

Preparation:
+ In a bowl add rolled oats, puffed spelt and cinnamon powder, mix and set aside.

+ In a medium saucepan add tahini, raw cacao powder, vanilla extract, sunflower oil and cook over medium high heat for a few minutes until preparation starts to bubble. Add the coconut sugar or syrup and cook for another minute. 

Take off the heat and pour over rolled oats cinnamon mixture. Mix well until everything is well coated with the chocolate + tahini preparation.

+ Place the chocolate cereal mixture over a large baking tray or two medium trays and spread evenly. Bake at 150C/300F for about 10-15 minutes or until chocolate starts to form little bubbles around cereal. Let it cool completely and transfer to airtight container/ jar. This chocolate cereal will last you two weeks.

You can serve this cereal with cold or warm milk!

Chocolate & Tahini Cereal Recipe

When I started changing my eating habits one thing that I would do is implement a new (to my –knowledge) nutrient dense food or as most people call it: ‘Superfood’.

Superfoods have the particularity to be incredibly nutritious and it can provide your body with an array of health benefits.

One of my favorites is Spirulina – ''Spirulina'' is a type of microalgae and it’s a great natural multivitamin with a high content of protein, iron, vitamin B, chlorophyll, and antioxidants. And a single dose can add over hundred nutrients to your body. Spirulina is incredibly powerful and it is considered one of the most nutritious food in the world some called it ‘green gold’.

Consuming Spirulina:

Spirulina has a very distinctive green color and a seaweed-like flavor. Some people would mix the spirulina powder with water and drink it straight but I prefer adding it to my juices or smoothies. When blended with fruits or plant-based milk the spirulina flavor is almost unnoticeable and the taste is certainly much more enjoyable!

Some benefits of spirulina include:

+Balance blood sugar
+Detoxifier
+Anti-inflammatory
+Great Alkaline Food / It can balance the body’s ph
+Boost Immunity
+Decrease muscle fatigue
+Increase vitality.

Buying Spirulina:

You can either buy spirulina powder or tablets. I prefer spirulina powder since I can easily add it to my smoothies and recipes. And always remember to verify the quality of the product and choose certified organic spirulina when buying.

A Word of Caution:

If you’re under a certain type of medication you should consult with your doctor before consuming spirulina, since it can interact with some types of medications. It is not recommended for Pregnant and nursing women and it be should avoid. People with a special medical condition need to speak with their doctor first before consuming spirulina. Just to be on the safe side, always check with a doctor first.
_____________

This is an amazing nutritional food and its benefits are extensive. Having a spirulina smoothie or juice can increase vitality naturally without caffeine, sugary drinks or foods, isn’t this great? That’s why I want to share this Spirulina + Apple Smoothie with you that I love having at mid-morning or as a refresher + wake-up drink in the afternoon.


SPIRULINA + APPLE SMOOTHIE RECIPE
Makes 650 ml / 23 oz 

If you want to reduce the taste of the Spirulina powder, even more, you can always add some fresh mint leaves and 1/2 frozen banana! 

2 1/2 Small Green apples or 2 Medium, peeled and cut into quarters
2 Pineapple cut into cubes
1/2 Lemon, peeled
Thumb-Size Piece of Fresh Ginger or about 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
300 ml Clean Water or Coconut Water
1/2 tsp. Spirulina Powder
Ice optional

Preparation:

In a blender add apples, pineapple, lemon, ginger, water and spirulina powder. Blend all ingredients until you get a smooth but semi-thick consistency. Serve and enjoy!

Spirulina & Apple Smoothie + Implementing "Superfoods"


Nowadays I get to spend much more time in the kitchen with Lia. She has grown so much! She recognizes every movement that I make in the kitchen and most of the time she knows exactly what utensils, pots, pans, and ingredients I’ll need when preparing a meal or making a snack.

Our favorite time to spend together in the kitchen is while making popcorn! And every time is funnier than the last. We like having a bowl of popcorn mostly in the afternoon. Lia would open the kitchen cabinet and reach for a pot and a bowl and put them both next to the stove while I’d take the popping corn jar. Right after pouring the kernels into the pot, we both stay quiet for a few seconds while staring through the pot glass lid waiting for that fascinating second when kernels start to pop. And let me tell you that we're never tired of it!

I grow up making popcorn at home, so this is something that I’m quite familiar with. Whether was watching a movie at home or just playing with puzzles; popcorn was the easiest, delicious and most satisfying quick homemade snack we could ask for as children.

We used to heat a pot, then cook the popcorn kernels into vegetarian oil and then add salt or sugar after they popped. I still using the same technique my parents used on making popcorn but I substitute vegetarian oil with ghee or raw coconut oil and add natural sweeteners or spices to enhance its nutrition.

Popcorn is quite nutritious though, it has a lot of fiber, is completely gluten-free and is a very powerful antioxidant as well, this is not any kind of snack you see? And if you want to read more about popcorn, just have a look at this savory turmeric + garlic popcorn recipe -this, by the way, is a quite delicious savory popcorn recipe to try- So yes, as I was saying popcorn is quite nutritious and it can be made even healthier when using natural ingredients to cook it.

Not only is this an incredible, quick ‘Super Healthy Snack’ for toddlers and moms but everyone. Believe me, Lia’s little friends and moms love this sweet and salty popcorn recipe. Either way, you’re a busy parent like me or just love healthy snacks and want to have a nice treat after school or work this popcorn recipe is perfect!

It gives you a nice boost of energy and keeps you satisfied for longer during afternoon hours or between afternoon and dinner time.

In the video recipe I prepared bellow I show how to make stovetop popcorn at home just using a pot! Plus a simple way that you can incorporate wholesome ingredients when making this healthy snack. 


As always love hearing from you, any questions or comments or healthy recipes you want to see on the blog let me know by leaving a comment or just send me an email! 


Click play to watch the recipe video!



SWEET & SALTY HEALTHIER POPCORN 
If you are unable to find ghee you can substitute for clarified butter or sunflower oil. For the seasoning, you can also use organic agave, organic maple syrup or coconut sugar.

1/2 C. Popcorn Kernels/ Popping Corn
1 1/2 Tbsp. Ghee or 3 Tbsp. Raw Coconut oil
Himalayan Salt or Regular Salt to Taste
Organic Brown Rice Syrup to taste

Preparation:

In a pot/saucepan melt coconut oil on medium-high heat (not high-maximum heat). Add popping corn and cover pot with the lid, while shaking pot often until kernels start to pop. They should be ready in a couple of minutes, so be careful not to let them burn. 

Take them out of the heat as soon as they are ready. Put popcorn into a bowl, add the salt and brown rice syrup, mix well and serve. Enjoy!

3 Minutes Healthy Delicious Snack > perfect snack recipe for Toddlers + Mommies (and Others) + Video