3 Gut Healthy Cocktails

3 Gut Healthy Cocktails

The other day we were sitting on our back patio. In the distance you could hear the happy tune of the ice cream truck weaving it’s way through our neighborhood.  This was Leighton’s first time experiencing this, and as it grew louder she became more curious.  Finally, as it was nearing our house, she asked me with a confused look what the noise was.  I turned to her and said, “it’s the sound of summer”. She of course was neither amused nor satisfied with that answer.

Honestly, I have zero desire to rush out and grab an ice cream from these trucks for anything other than nostalgia. But you know what would be amazing? An ice cream truck that dished out cocktails, or even better healthy cocktails. Right? Every mom’s dream! So far, I’m not ready to take on that business endeavor, but in case someday my dream becomes a reality, I’ve rounded up my go-to drink recipes for summer. There’s an extra kick– they all have nutrition and gut healing benefits too. There is a recipe for everybody from young children to adults; keep reading to find the one that suits you! 

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

 

Who should drink me:

  • Anyone and everyone looking for a sweet treat! Even (my) picky kids like it! 

 

Nutrition benefits:

  • The fiber from the banana, avocado, spinach and cacao nibs can help keep your gut healthy
  • Healthy fats from avocado and cacao nibs for heart health
  • The smoothies is filled with antioxidants as well!

 

This smoothie is a great way to add in extra nutrients while keeping you cool. All the nutritional benefits of a salad, but it tastes like mint chocolate chip ice cream! This still qualifies as a healthy cocktail right? 

Healthy Cocktail
Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie
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Servings
1 8 oz serving
Servings
1 8 oz serving
Healthy Cocktail
Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie
Print Recipe
Servings
1 8 oz serving
Servings
1 8 oz serving
Ingredients
Servings: 8 oz serving
Instructions
  1. Lightly blend spinach and almond milk together first.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, except cacao nibs. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add in cacao nibs and pulse a few times.
  4. Serve immediately.
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Pomegranate ACV Mocktail 

Who should drink me:

  • Anyone looking for a flavorful and refreshing, yet healthy cocktail

 

Nutrition benefits:

  • Probiotics in ACV with the “mother” help support a healthy digestive system
  • ACV can help to balance stomach acid which aids in digestion 
  • High in antioxidants from the pomegranate juice and apple cider vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar may help control blood sugar after a meal

Healthy Cocktails
Pomegranate ACV Mocktail
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Servings
1 serving
Servings
1 serving
Healthy Cocktails
Pomegranate ACV Mocktail
Print Recipe
Servings
1 serving
Servings
1 serving
Ingredients
Servings: serving
Instructions
  1. Stir all ingredient together.
  2. Serve chilled or over ice.
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Kombucha Mule 

Who should drink me:

  • Anyone looking for a healthier new cocktail to share with friends

 

Nutrition benefits:

  • Probiotics from the kombucha can help support the good bacteria in your gut
  • This mule has less sugar than a standard cocktail

Healthy Cocktails
Kombucha Mule
Print Recipe
Servings
4 4 oz servings
Servings
4 4 oz servings
Healthy Cocktails
Kombucha Mule
Print Recipe
Servings
4 4 oz servings
Servings
4 4 oz servings
Ingredients
Servings: 4 oz servings
Instructions
  1. Mix well. Serve chilled or over ice with lime wedges.
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Now, I can’t wait to hear, which one is the right one for you? 

Dinnertime Inspiration When you Can’t Bring Yourself to Cook

Dinnertime Inspiration When you Can’t Bring Yourself to Cook

I often find myself daydreaming about having a live in chef. You may be thinking, aren’t you a dietitian that shares recipes? Listen, I like to cook, I actually REALLY like to cook. I like to experiment and think about new combinations, but having a family and a business that centers around food there are still times that I don’t want to cook and need some dinnertime inspiration. 

Have you found yourself in this dilemma? Your stomach says Pinterest-worthy meal, but your brain is on overload, here are few of my favorite tips to bust through that cooking funk and rediscover dinnertime inspiration: 

 

  • Dig through the freezer

I hate to have my first tip require cooking, when we’ve already established that this is when you have no desire to cook. However, preparing extra meals that you can keep in your freezer for days that you lack dinnertime inspiration, because we all know they will come, prevents you from being at the mercy of whatever package frozen foods you find in your grocery store. One of our favorite meals to make and freeze is Freezer-Friendly butternut squash enchiladas . There are also several places in Kansas City that offer freezer meal exchanges and cooking classes so you can make freezer meals in bulk and just pull them out as needed. 

  • Avoid imposter syndrome

Up until recently the weeknight dinner table was one of routine. It wasn’t uncommon to have spaghetti every Monday night, or meatloaf once a week. It’s true, in general, there was a lot less variety and meals had a lot less hype. (Imagine how boring those Instagram feeds would have been). If you are lacking inspiration or motivation sometimes the answer isn’t to turn to Pinterest or Instagram but instead to shut those off. Perfect Pinterest or Instagram dishes can make you feel like a failure if you are serving your family boring old tacos AGAIN!  Going back to the basics and not always viewing food as something needing improvement or perfection may be just the thing to help your dinnertime inspiration. Plan out your meals with a simple schedule like this: 

Monday – Sheet pan veggies

Tuesday – Tacos

Wednesday – Breakfast for Dinner

Thursday – Spaghetti with Banza Pasta

Friday – Pizza

  • Try a cook-it-yourself meal prep service or a meal delivery service

Although we are an e-mail driven society, we all still love getting snail mail. Imagine getting dinner delivered in your mail box. These subscription programs package all the food and supply the recipe too. All you have to do is the final cooking step. These would be companies like Sunbasket, Hello Fresh, or Blue Apron. Here is another dietitian’s review on some of the top meal delivery services. 

  • Try a no-cook meal prep or meal delivery service

No-cook meal prep services come in individual packages and are portioned and fully prepared. These types of services aren’t just for individuals wanting a whole week of meals, this can be a great option for someone that wants a few meals a week to take a break from cooking but doesn’t want to always eat out or eat convenience foods.

 

I tried three different Kansas City based services and there really is something out there for everyone. If you haven’t heard of Evolve, Brookside Holistic Solutions, Rawsome Nutrition or Fitstyle Foods let me introduce you and help you narrow down which one might be a good fit for you:

Location 

 

From Riverside to Olathe and Blue Springs to Bonner Springs it doesn’t really matter where you live in Kansas City there is a location that is convenient for you. FitStyle Foods has seven locations across Kansas City, including Brookside Holistic Solutions in Lee’s Summit where I got mine. Rawsome Nutrition is also available at Brookside Holistic, so you place one order and can pick up both at the same time. 

Evolve has 4 locations in Kansas City: Overland Park where I got mine, Briar Cliff, Liberty, and the Crossroads. Plus for my non-Kansas City readers it is also available in seven other midwest cities in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Iowa.

Rawsome Nutrition Taco Quinoa Salad 

Special Dietary Requirements 

Vegetarian/Vegan: If you follow a vegetarian or a vegan diet Rawsome Nutrition has some amazing varieties. I loved the nacho “cheese” and “meat” crumbles, they have a great authentic texture and traditional vegan taste. If you want to experiment with more plant-based options these are the meals for you. I will warn you that if you are trying to trick a friend or family member into thinking there is meat or cheese these substitutions, while very tasty, are not similar enough to fool the meat-lovers palate. 

Paleo/Gluten-Free: For those following a Paleo diet, or needing to be gluten-free, Evolve’s chef prepared meals are the way to go. Although you do a quick heat up of most of these meals you will feel like you’ve had a chef in your home. The Evolve meals were my favorite out of the bunch with many unique varieties to pick from including Asian Ahi Tuna Salad and Chicken Fried Chicken. 

Macros: Both FitStyle Foods and Evolve help those wanting to count their Macros by providing the macro content of each dish both on their website and right on the container. 

 

Evolve’s Chicken Fried Chicken and Cauliflower Mash

Delivery 

For an additional $7.50 Evolve will deliver to most addresses in the KC Metro. If you are tight on time this is a great service! Rawsome also offers home delivery for about $10 extra. 

Evolve’s Mustard BBQ Pork and Sweet Potato Salad 

With all these ideas I’m feeling inspired, how about you? How do you come back from a lack of inspiration? 

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Donuts

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Donuts

One of my friends jokingly suggested that I should open a healthy donut food truck. I guess I’m trying to expand my offerings. I’ve already shared my veggie lover’s donuts, and my chocolate lavender donut, and now I’m bringing you your springtime favorite gluten free carrot cake donut with amazingly simple cream cheese frosting. 

Often when baking gluten free donuts they can become tough and dense because gluten is what provides the structure. One of my favorite additions to this recipe is the cream of tarter, it is optional, but it makes the texture of these donuts so rich and fluffy you won’t want them without it. If you aren’t familiar with cream of tarter, you can find it in your spices aisle. The only thing that makes these better is the simple cream cheese frosting made of cream cheese, honey and a little unsweetened almond milk. 

Half of the fun of these donuts is decorating them. We toasted extra shredded carrot and some coconut to get that nest like texture. Then we topped them with some chocolate egg candies. What ways can you dream up to decorate them? 

gluten free carrot cake donuts
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Donuts
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Servings
12 donuts
Servings
12 donuts
gluten free carrot cake donuts
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Donuts
Print Recipe
Servings
12 donuts
Servings
12 donuts
Ingredients
Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: donuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add eggs to a large bowl and beat well with a stand mixer or hand mixer.
  2. Add in tahini, coconut oil, vanilla, and maple syrup and beat together.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together both flours, salt, baking soda, cream of tarter brown sugar and spices.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture into wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in 1 cup of shredded carrots.
  5. Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. For best results, spoon batter into pan, or place batter in a large ziplock bag and snip off a corner to pipe batter into the donut pan.
  6. Place pan in oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from pan.
  7. Meanwhile, line baking sheet with aluminum foil, spread remaining shredded carrots on and bake for 5-10 minutes, add shredded coconut and bake for another 5 minutes until toasted.
  8. For frosting: Beat honey and cream cheese together. Add unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
  9. Spread frosting onto cooled donuts and top with toasted shredded coconut and carrots.
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Crispy Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers

Crispy Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers

Did you know that we eat with our eyes? It’s true! They did research with a group of sommeliers, basically professional wine tasters, (what a job!) to determine how much this is true.  These professionals received white wine that was dyed red to taste and describe. Shockingly, they described the wine the way in which one would describe a red wine as opposed to a white wine. Even experts taste with their eyes.

Scrambling around making dinner last week, I decided to grab a shot of my crispy chicken fingers, one of my family’s favorites. This less than perfectly curated picture was meant to just share the story of my dinner on social media.  I shared it to give the “hack” of using a wire cooling rack when baking crispy chicken fingers to get that perfect crunch on both sides that usually only comes from frying.  I thought, like usual, my crispy chicken fingers would get a few likes and comments but I didn’t expect the response that I received.  The people have spoken, this picture is real life, and apparently you think it’s real awesome. This recipe is truly one of my favorites so it is so exciting to have it finally on the website. I promise to provide some updated pictures soon, but in the meantime, here is that killer recipe you all have been asking for! 

A couple of things that make this recipe unique:

The breading is egg-free which is great for those needing to avoid eggs. It also has flaxseed in it, which provide extra fiber and gut healing benefits in an other-wise gut neutral dinner entree. I usually thin out the reserved sauce with a little olive oil and use it to dress my salads. 

 

 

Crispy Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers
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Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Crispy Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers
Print Recipe
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine yogurt, mustards, honey, and spices. Stir together. Reserve ¼-1/2 cup sauce for dipping or salad dressing. Pour the remaining marinade into a large ziplock bag.
  2. Slice chicken breasts diagonally into ½ inch thick strips, can also slice each strip into 3-4 chunks to make popcorn chicken that cooks quicker. Place chicken into a ziplock bag. Refrigerate in marinade for at least 30 minutes, but can leave for up to 48 hours.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with foil. For extra crispy chicken, place wire cooling racks on top and spray with non-stick spray. This allows the bottom of the chicken to cook and crisp too. Pour the bread crumbs and flax seeds in a wide shallow bowl, or 8x8 pan.
  4. One by one, coat the chicken with the bread crumb mixture. Do not wipe off excess honey mustard sauce before adding coating. The extra sauce helps the bread crumbs to stick. Place the breaded strips on the prepared wire wrack. Discard leftover marinade. Bake the strips until they are golden brown (about 30 minutes for strips and 20 minutes for popcorn chicken).
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Festive Beet & Pomegranate Bruschetta

Festive Beet & Pomegranate Bruschetta

Let’s take a little survey,  I’m going to list a couple of foods and you answer “yes” you like them or “no” you don’t:

  • Beets
  • Cream Cheese
  • Pomegranates

Ok, hold onto your answer, and let me tell you what happened when I made this Festive Beet & Pomegranate Bruschetta for my big picky eater.

Feeling like a genius for creating this recipe, I offered it to my big picky eater. He of course asked what was in it, and I, never wanting to ruin the fun, started shoving this delicacy into his mouth.  You’re not going to believe his response, as I finally relinquished the list of ingredients. I don’t really like…. cream cheese. What?!? Who doesn’t like cream cheese? Beets? Yes, sure, lots of people don’t like beets.

Pomegranates? There are a few non-pomegranate eaters out there too, but cream cheese?! How is that even possible? So if you don’t like cream cheese there is nothing for you on the blog today, but if you don’t like beets, or pomegranates, hang with me, I think you’re gonna like this one.

Did you know that you can eat a beet uncooked? I love beets, but sometimes the process of preparing them hinders me from eating them and sometimes the “earthiness” hinders picky eaters from enjoying them.  With this recipe you just shred the raw beets so that you get all the festive color but a little less of the “earthiness,” making this recipe perfection.

Let’s talk about pomegranates next. Pomegranate season is way too short in my opinion. What is often not short, is the time it takes to extract the seeds from the pomegranate. I like to do it the quickest way possible, because tiny voices (let’s be clear they are audible voices from  my children, not just voices in my head) can pop in at any moment threatening my perfect creation. Check out my post for Rosemary Pomegranate Cheeseball for another fun way to use the pomegranates and a video of how to get the seeds out.

I served this recipe to a group of apprehensive cooking class attendees and I had so many people shocked at how delicious it was. I wish I could make you a believer by serving it to you this holiday season, but in case I don’t make it to your Christmas party, try it, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Festive Pomegranate and Beet Bruschetta
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Festive Pomegranate and Beet Bruschetta
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix ingredients until combined.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice bread and brush with olive oil. Place bread slices on to a cookie sheet and toast until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Serve spread with toasted bread. Optional topping: pumpkin seeds
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Festive Pomegranate & Beet Bruschetta

Festive Pomegranate and Beet Bruschetta
Print Recipe
Festive Pomegranate and Beet Bruschetta
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix ingredients until combined.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice bread and brush with olive oil. Place bread slices on to a cookie sheet and toast until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Serve spread with toasted bread. Optional topping: pumpkin seeds
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