Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes with Spiced Apple Topping

Here’s a distraction {or some comfort} if you need it the morning after Election Day – fluffy delicious pumpkin pancakes that will give make you feel as if you’re eating a comfort food but will actually give you plenty of nutrients. Bonus: if you add the toppings I recommend below instead of maple syrup, you’ll be keeping your blood sugar from crashing and releasing excessive adrenaline and cortisol (aka less anxiety and stress).

Sunday is still usually a pancake days in the Jones household. We regularly enjoy my original buckwheat oat pancakes (with a pumpkin option), almond flour banana pancakes, and super chocolatey protein pancakes but, this fall I thought the former needed a huge pumpkin boost!


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Sports Nutrition Research & Products in Portland: SCAN Symposium Review Part II

My first Portland post was focused on the amazing food in this sustainable city. This post is going to highlight the conference I attended as well as the sports nutrition companies and new products that I discovered there too. SCAN is the Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition dietetic practice group (DPG). It is the largest DPG under the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics so it even has three sub-units (sports, wellness, eating disorders). I have been volunteering for the sports sub-unit doing social media for over four years and have been the head of the social accounts for three years now. So, if you’re following @SportsDietetics on twitter, that’s me and a great team of volunteers creating content! I was live tweeting the conference all weekend too – thank God for hootsuite!

SCAN RD’s are the best RD’s cause they want to eat healthy and exercise! But seriously. You would be surprised how many RD’s are not committed to an active lifestyle. This is the only nutrition conference that I go to where there are morning exercise activities each day, and those activities are ridiculously well attended. Yay fitness! Continue reading

Oat and Buckwheat Waffles

Snowmageddon is here! If you still have power and can plug in a waffle iron, I have a perfect Saturday breakfast recipe to keep you warm. I fully intend on having these delicious and comforting waffles with some really strong fair trade coffee mixed with equal exchange dark hot chocolate in a few minutes. Yum! As you can see by the pictures below, we aren’t going anywhere today!


Buckwheat and oat flours are perfect together in my pancakes, so why not try them as waffles? I originally wanted buckwheat only on a Sunday AM a few weeks ago but only had a 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour left. That would not provide breakfast for myself and Tim plus extra for the week. What to do?! Continue reading

Raw Vegan Pumpkin Pie

I realize I should have posted this pre-Thanksgiving but if you are like me and continue eating pumpkin through the rest of winter, you can enjoy this recipe for the rest of the holiday season!

We traveled to Jacksonville, FL for Thanksgiving this year to spend the holiday with my in-laws. While everyone is very supportive of my dairy allergy and choice to not eat meat, I hate to ask for dishes to be altered – it makes me feel too high maintenance. While we had plenty of dairy free side dishes, I didn’t want to feel left out during appetizers and dessert. In addition to packing some pistachio stuffed dates and Treeline cheese spreads, I thought I’d make a dairy free pumpkin pie. In my searches I continually saw tofu as an ingredient. While I hated it just a couple of short years ago, I have grown to love tofu and am better at cooking it on my own but, using it in desserts has never worked well for me. So, I scrapped any recipes I had found and threw together a cashew base and sweetened with dates with a little cocoa added in for fun! Continue reading

Spelt and Oat Pumpkin Muffins

Happy Autumn! While I waited until it was truly fall in late September to start enjoying fall foods, I am completely embracing and enjoying fall tastes with apples, winter squash, and of course pumpkin. I do have to say though, that while at Trader Joe’s last week, the amount of processed pumpkin foods on every end cap and stand in the store was scarier than anything I will encounter on Halloween.

Anyway, I am so excited to share this recipe! While I love my gluten free almond meal pumpkin muffins, the texture of these new ones really hit the spot with Sunday brunch this past week. I actually adapted it from a pumpkin cookie recipe and originally intended to put chocolate chips and nuts inside the batter but was distracted with other food prep. I am happy I forgot because the drizzled chocolate and crushed maple chia nuts on top add a little crunch to the light, fluffy and tender  texture of this delicious pumpkin spice muffin.

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Purple Power Smoothie

Shhhhh, don’t tell your kids… There’s a full serving of mixed greens in this post-exercise purple powerhouse!

Or you can tell them after. I’m not usually into “hiding” veggies and healthy ingredients in dishes because I want kids to learn to enjoy and want the healthy food. However, if you are trying to take control and get your children off of a cycle of picky eating, hiding first and then telling them once they love it is the next best option!

We have had a few hot days in the Northeast and I was just craving something cold yesterday after spin and yoga. We had some local mixed lettuces, looking pretty in purple & green, but a salad just sounded awful ( <– extremely abnormal feeling for this girl). So I put the greens to good use with some organic frozen fruit, almond milk and garden of life raw protein. Don’t worry if you don’t have the latter on hand though, because this will work with some yogurt and vanilla extract too. See both options below!

Purple Power Smoothie (GF, V & DF option)

Ingredients:

1/2 C frozen cherries (I get Cascadian Farm brand in bulk at BJ’s)
1/2 C frozen wild blueberries
1/2 C frozen sliced peaches (can sub mango)
1 C packed spring mix
1 C milk or unsweetened non-dairy milk (I like Silk brand cashew or almond)

1 scoop garden of life original raw protein or
1 C siggi’s, plain yogurt or plain greek yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract + milk or water as needed for blending

Directions:
Add all ingredients to whatever blending tool you have whether it be a fancy vitamix, kitchen aid blender or tiny magic bullet.
Tip: If using bullet type blenders, for best consistency and easiest blend, I recommend putting fruit in first, topped with yogurt or protein, then greens and milk/liquid.

Pulse until smooth and enjoy!

This is a great post-workout blend of carbs & healthy protein. If you’d like to turn it into a meal, I recommend adding a tablespoon of chia or hempseeds and using an extra total 1/2 C of fruit, 1 C of greens and 1/4-1/2 extra scoop or protein or extra 1/2 serving of yogurt.

Nutrition Information Per Serving
(for garden of life & almond milk option)

Calories: 230
Total Fat: 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: .5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 35 g
Fiber: 9 g
Sugar: 20 g (all from fruit, none added)
Protein: 20 g

Sodium: 195 mg 13 % Potassium: 330 mg 7 %

Vitamin A: 17%       Riboflavin: 39 %    Niacin: 20 %
Vitamin B6: 21 %    Vitamin B12: 125%
Vitamin C: 89 %      Vitamin D: 30%
Calcium: 48 %         Iron: 32 %             Zinc: 11 %
Magnesium: 4 %

**vitamins & minerals are listed as % daily value; you may need more
than 100% each day if you’re an athlete, have a deficiency disease, or other medical concern

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Oats

Chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven. But most products and recipes are loaded with tons of sugar, meaning you feel you can’t have this pair any old day. Not with this recipe! Nutritious, delicious and super filling, this oatmeal has no added sugar with all the flavor 🙂 And let me tell you, it was perfect this morning to warm me up on a snow day! As most people know, I am not a big supplement fan but the Garden of Life brand Raw protein is an excellent option every so often when you need a little boost in a carbohydrate dense meal for balance or after a workout. Another great protein is Manitoba Harvest Brand’s new Hemp Pro protein powders. Enjoy this healthy breakfast that seems like a treat 🙂 – there is even a slow cooker option if you think you don’t have the time!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Oatmeal (V, GF, DF)

Ingredients for 1 serving:


Just double, triple, quadruple as needed!

1/2 cup oats (40 g)
1 tsp chia seeds
1/2 scoop Garden of Life Raw protein (original)
1.5 tsp cacao powder
Optional: 1/2 tsp maca root powder
Optional: 1.5 tsp unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 banana, sliced

Directions:
-In a small saucepan, boil 6-7 ounces water (or non dairy milk)
-Add the oats and chia seeds at once and reduce heat to simmer
-Stir frequently to prevent sticking – quick oats should thicken within 2 minutes and rolled oats within 5
-Add the protein, cacao, maca, vanilla and stir well
-Pour into serving bowl and top with peanut butter, sliced banana, and coconut
Slow Cooker Version:
-Quadruple above recipe
-Use steel cut oats instead of rolled or quick oats
-Add all ingredients except banana and coconut to glass bowl that will fit into slow cooker basin
-Place bowl in slow cooker, fill slow cooker with water up to 1 inch below top of bowl
-Set on low for 6-8 hours, wake up and enjoy!

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories: 395
Total Fat: 14 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 49 g
Fiber: 11 g
Sugar: 9 g
Protein: 24 g

Sodium: 76 mg 5 % Potassium: 375 mg 8 %

Thiamin: 4 %         Riboflavin: 6 %    Niacin: 20 %
Vitamin B6: 21 %    Folate: 7 %
Vitamin C: 7 %        Vitamin E: 10 %    Vitamin A: 1%
Calcium: 4 %         Iron: 37 %             Zinc: 12 %
Magnesium: 21 %   Phosphorus: 18 %

Omega 3: .65 grams (recommended intakes 1.1-1.6g/day)

**vitamins & minerals are listed as % daily value; you may need more
than 100% each day if you’re an athlete, have a deficiency disease, or other medical concerns

Sprig and Vine Restaurant – Winter Dinner

Tim and I absolutely love Sprig and Vine in New Hope, PA. We have been dining there regularly this fall and winter, but if it was right here in Newtown, it would be difficult to keep from eating there less than once a week! The all vegan restaurant will blow any carnivore out of the water with each dish’s amazing creativity, flavor and presentation. Not only is everything vegan, but most of their ingredients are local, even in the winter! You can always see the list of farm’s that ingredients have been sourced from that week when you walk in.

To prove this place isn’t just for those on plant based diets, I have my husband. While Tim enjoys eating the vegetarian meals I cook all week, he may order a grass fed burger or filet on a rare occasion while out. Still, he will always be just as excited as me (if not more) about a meal any night at Sprig and Vine, Vedge or Charlie was a Sinner, all completely vegan restaurants. On Valentine’s Day this year, we had two reservations, one at a restaurant in Princeton that serves local humane meats (along with veg options), and one at Sprig and Vine. He made the final decision to go to Sprig and Vine!

At sprig we love to share some small plates, but usually get an entree each too, and I bring half home for the next day. Here is a sampling of one of our most recent visits to Sprig and Vine where we even splurged on dessert. (This happens to often because just like you, we convince ourselves its “healthy” in the moment since its vegan).

Their soups are to die for and change every time we are in. Tonight there were two options but with how much Tim loves any food with a Mexican flare, once he heard “black bean” the decision was made. Here is the black bean & butternut soup with jalapeno cashew cream and cilantro. Flavors really popped by themselves but also worked together extremely well. We could have ordered seconds of this for our dinner and been happy!

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On the side we decided to order the baked garlic cashew kale chips. Brad’s Raw, sorry but you have nothing on these! I loved that they were 3 different local kale varieties/colors and Tim liked dipping them in the soup!IMG_7102

Yes, we got another appetizer to share. Couldn’t help it. Black eyed pea sweet potato griddle cakes with smoked paprika aioli. How can I describe its taste any further when the title is that complex? Well like all of the dishes here, the flavor is always balance perfectly, here with sweetness of the sweet potatoes and the spicy paprika aioli, there is the tart from the apple & winter radish salsa. So pretty too!!

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Tim’s dinner, not pictured, was the Cauliflower and Fingerling Potato Curry: black quinoa with butternut and chickpea, coconut-curry sauce, fennel-root vegetable slaw, cashew and cilantro. It was delicious, especially the cauliflower, but more importantly my meal!

For years, I swore off tofu. It had a weird texture to me but I have realized that really, I never prepared it well or went to a restaurant that did. Just 6 or so months ago, Charlie was a Sinner in Philly changed my mind about tofu when we accidentally ordered it, and now I have been more open minded trying it at all our fave vegan restaurants! So, on this occasion at Sprig I was extra open minded ordering this dish since I typically don’t love fennel either. Fennel Seed-Seared Tofu: butternut squash caponata, saffron cauliflower puree, sauteed swiss chard, chickpea and fennel, pine nut. The crusted tofu had a perfect texture, and the creamy cauliflower puree balanced out the texture. Swiss chard is hiding under the tofu in the picture but it was a perfect dose of greens! Best part, having half saved for lunch the next day 🙂

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For dessert we picked the Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake: Ginger Snap Crust, Cranberry Red Wine Caramel, Cinnamon-Apple Cider Ice Cream, Miso Candied Walnut. Tim apparently never even liked regular cheesecake and loved this one. I used to ask for cheesecake for my birthday instead of regular cake as a kid, so now being dairy free, having a good “cheese”cake is awesome – this was beyond good and honestly better than I remember dairy filled cheesecake to be. Any and all of the ice “cream” they make to garnish desserts is ridiculously good. Whether a simple vanilla, this cinnamon apple cider one, or the black pepper strawberry sorbet, you’ll never be disappointed with what is on your plate. And who would ever think to elevate this type of dessert with miso candied walnuts?! Thankfully the chef at sprig and vine did!!

IMG_7105So if you’re ever headed to Philly and have the time, venture about 45 minutes north to New Hope, PA. If you’re in NYC and want to get out for a day, the historic town of New Hope on the DE river has a lot to offer on top of this amazing restaurant, and its just a little over an hour away from the city!

If you have any vegan restaurant suggestions for me, local or in other cities, let me know! Meals are the first thing we tend to plan when we travel 🙂

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

 

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I love all of the seasons, but you really cannot beat the foods in season in the fall. I likely will have many more pumpkin and squash based recipes in the coming months because there are just so many yummy things to do with those ingredients! As food companies and coffee shops are flooding the market with tons of artificial pumpkin spice “foods” and beverages, I love being able to showcase the much more satisfying flavors of real pumpkin and real spice! Today, I’m highlighting my favorite breakfast food {oatmeal} with a quick recipe that has a kick of pumpkin spice! I am posting the quick oats, single serve version here now plan to post a food prep steel cut slow cooker version in the next couple of weeks too, so stay tuned. Even though the ingredients below are for one serving, you can easily multiply each ingredient by the number of servings you need.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal (V, GF, DF)

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Ingredients for 1 serving:

1 Cup unsweetened organic soymilk (or other milk or water)
1/2 c (40 g) organic rolled or quick oats (purchase certified gluten free if you have celiac)
1 teaspoon non GMO chia seeds (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 c pureed organic pumpkin (from home baked or canned*)
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice mix (I use trader joe’s mix)
1/2 tsp organic cinnamon
1 teaspoon cacao nibs or 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon almond butter, other nut butter, or 2 tbsp chopped nuts

*Purchasing tip: If I do purchase canned, I buy beans at Trader Joe’s because they do not contain BPA. A risk of using canned foods is that the cans are lined with the carcinogenic chemical BPA. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, click here for brands that are BPA free.
Directions:
-In a small saucepan, boil 1 cup of soymilk (or other milk or water)
-Add the oats and chia seeds at once and reduce heat to simmer
-Stir frequently to prevent sticking – quick oats should thicken within 2 minutes and rolled oats within 5
-Add the pumpkin puree and spices, stir well, and turn off burner
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-Add in your almond butter (or any nut butter) and cacao nibs
-Again, stir well, and EAT!IMG_5967.JPG

 

This makes a quick, easy and filling breakfast any day of the week, but can also be a great night time snack for an athlete looking to refuel and top off carbohydrate stores for training or competition. Combined, the oats, soy milk, and almond butter provide 19 grams of protein to boost the repair process when your body is recovering at night.

Check out my other suggestions for preparing oats here!

Nutrition information per serving (using soymilk, cacao & almond butter):
Calories: 370
Total Fat: 14 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 6 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 42 g
Fiber: 13 g
Sugar: 2 g
Protein: 19 g

Sodium: 30 mg 1 % Potassium: 575 mg 12 %

Thiamin: 10 %         Riboflavin: 27 %    Niacin: 8 %
Vitamin B6: 12 %    Folate: 11 %
Vitamin C: 5 %        Vitamin E: 30 %    Vitamin A: 17%
Calcium: 13 %         Iron: 45 %             Zinc: 15 %
Magnesium: 28 %   Phosphorus: 22 %

**vitamins & minerals are listed as % daily value; you may need more
than 100% each day if you’re an athlete, have a deficiency disease, or other medical concerns

Summer Soup – Sweet and Spicy White Bean

Out of your weekend food prep rhythm because its summer? Add this soup to your list and get back on track! It doesn’t have to be freezing outside to enjoy soup! Even in the summer, soups are a great meal to prep ahead for the week so you have an easy lunch to bring to work,  or dinner ready to go once you’re home after a long day. I used white beans and peas as a protein source and brown rice as a grain. The sweetness of the yellow bell pepper and tomatoes tone down the spice of habenero, and both flavors blend perfectly with some fresh rosemary! And since we eat with our eyes first it’s a good thing all of the ingredients look gorgeous together – all of these colors mean lots of different antioxidants too 🙂

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Sweet & Spicy White Bean Summer Soup (GF, V, DF)

 

Ingredients (see below for beneficial properties of these ingredients): 

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 – 1 habanero pepper, minced (amount depends on how much spice you like)
1 large red onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced (about 1- 1 1/2 cups)
3 C fresh beefsteak tomatoes, diced (or 1 can organic diced tomatoes)*
1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 C dry organic brown rice (Trader Joe’s has a quick cook done in 10 min!)
1 C dry white cannellini beans prepped (or 2-2.5 Cups canned)*
1-1.25 Cups fresh or frozen peas
4 Cups (1 container) organic low-sodium vegetable broth (if you like broth-y soup add 2 C water)
-note: Trader Joe’s “organic low sodium hearty vegetable broth” is THE best pre-made broth you will find!
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1/2 tablespoon dried)
3/4 teaspoon fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
fresh ground black pepper to taste

*Purchasing tip: If I do purchase canned, I buy beans at Trader Joe’s because they do not contain BPA. A risk of using canned foods is that the cans are lined with the carcinogenic chemical BPA. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, click here for brands that are BPA free – recently, Muir Glen tomatoes also went BPA free.

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Directions:
-Wash the carrots and peppers and prep all of your ingredients as listed above.
-Place a large saucepan or stockpot over low-medium heat and add the oil. Spread w/ rubber spatula so that it coats the bottom of the pan.
-Add the garlic and habanero and stir for 1-2 minutes (do not let garlic turn brown)
-Add in your rosemary, oregano and pepper (I like to do this early so the flavor infuses better)
-Add the chopped onion, carrots, bell pepper and tomatoes (If using canned tomatoes, wait on those)
-Stir well and cover for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally
-Add the broth and bring to a boil
-Add your rice, and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. If you did not buy the quick cook brown rice like me, you’ll have to wait about 30 minutes – clean the mess in your kitchen from the prep and do some squats while you’re waiting 🙂
-If using canned tomatoes, add them now and stir the mixture
-Add your white beans and peas
-Add 2 C water if desired. I personally like soup more thick so I leave the extra liquid out. Let simmer another 5 minutes or so and then you’re done!

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While not pictured, I have found I love this most with some diced avocado. It gives it even more of a fresh summer taste and adds even more color. With a side salad this is a perfect lunch at home or work!

 

Real Ingredients with Real Benefits:

Beans are a great source of  potassium, thiamin, vitamin B6, iron, copper, magnesium & manganese. They also provide a little calcium. Phytochemicals include lutein, epicatechin, quercetin and proanthocyanidin these benefit your eyes, reduce inflammation, and support the immune system.

Rice provides a good amount of Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Vitamin C, Riboflavin & Manganese. You can also get phytochemicals like quercetin (great for your immune system and lungs) & several carotenoids. Purchase organic rice as it is not as likely to be contaminated with inorganic arsenic.

Bell Peppers provide you with tons of Vitamin C (even more per serving than citrus when fresh), lots of Vitamin A and fiber as well as Vitamin E, B6 and potassium. Phytochemicals include the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are great for eye and cardiovascular health.

They’re finally becoming more known for it but peas are a good source of plant protein! Per 2/3 Cup serving you get 5 grams! As a reference, an egg contains 7 grams. Peas are also an excellent source of Vitamins K, C, A, B1, and folate. They contain the phytochemical coumestrol which has been found in research to reduce stomach cancer risk as well as other phytochemicals with anti-inflammatory properties.

Carrots and are most known for their role in eye health. This is because they have a high content of Vitamin A and other phytochemical carotenoids which not only support your eyes but also skin, hair and antioxidant systems. They are also high in Vitamins C & K and the mineral potassium.

Tomatoes pack in lots of Vitamins A, C, and the important fluid balance mineral Potassium. They are well known in terms of phytochemical content for their lycopene which is known for reducing risk of prostate cancer. This was one of the first phytochemicals that really made a name for itself. It is often forgotten that tomatoes also provide other carotenoids and flavonoids such as quercitin.

Garlic and onions are all part of the same family, providing the phytochemicals allicin, quercitin, and sulfides which are linked to improved immunity and respiratory health. Both onions & leeks provide Vitamin C. Onions are also a great source of vitamins B6 and folate while leeks contribute vitamins A & K in great amounts as well as the mineral manganese.

The heat level of habenero peppers directly relates to their high capsaicin content. Capsaicin has long been used for decreasing joint pain and inflammation topically but in the body may aid in appetite control, metabolism and intestinal inflammation.  In addition they have been found in research to be anti-bacterial, and even anti-allergy due to nutrient content including vitamins A and C, some B vitamins and potassium – and yes its normal for them to clear your sinuses 🙂

Oregano actually contains manganese, iron and Vitamins A & K. It can also benefit your immune system as its phytochemicals thymol and carvacrol are anti-bacterial.

Rosemary contains carnosol which has been found in studies to be an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory compound and carnosic acid that has neuro-protective (brain &nervous system protective) properties. Some studies show it can aid the GI tract too and as an oil, it has also been used for centuries to improve circulation! Per weight it has a high content of nutrients but since we consume small smounts of it, it provides a little folate, riboflavin, and vitamins A & C as well as the minerals iron, calcium and potassium.