Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dark Chocolate & Banana Muffins

Extra Dark Chocolate - YUMMY!  85-100% Dark chocolate is full of health benefits...so there is no need to feel guilty having this treat every now and then.   I was just having this conversation with a good friend today, saying I should start cutting back on my intake because I feel like I MIGHT be addicted to it!  I stopped drinking coffee two weeks ago and maybe this has become my new vice.  Anyway, we started chatting about the many health benefits of good quality dark chocolate and it made me not feel as bad about eating it as often as I have been.  It's important to note that several case studies have shown milk chocolate or dark chocolate and milk don't have the same health benefits.

Health Benefits: 
- Mood Booster
- Cocoa Phenols - May help lower blood pressure
- Cocoa Powder - Is rich in polyphenols(type of resveratrol) and has been shown in multiple subjects to inhibit oxidized LDL
- Anti Aging / Improves skin condition
- Did I mention it is LOADED with resveratrol?! - Protects skin from UV damage, anti-cancer benefits, heart protective

Chocolate Choosing Guide - http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-all-chocolate-created-equal/#axzz1msoaYq7u

5 Best Dark Chocolate Bars - According to Mark's Daily Apple - http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-5-best-dark-chocolate-bars-in-the-world/#axzz1sMeFDy6W

Personally, I try and find organic dark chocolate without soy lecithin or dairy and always with cocoa butter or cacao or cocoa beans as the 1st & 2nd ingredients.  Another one that tastes pretty decent and doesn't have that dry chalky taste with 85-90% dark chocolate is Lindt.  Everyone has their own unique taste buds - test it out and see what hits the spot!

I hope you enjoy this yummy muffin recipe!! It's loaded with good healthy fats and not overly sweet!

**Special announcement - Once my Eat2Bee Healthy facebook page hits 400 likes, I will be doing a giveaway with a pint of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil.  Please keep spreading the word for your chance to win.  Thank you so much for your support & following.  Have a wonderful week!!**

https://www.facebook.com/Eat2BeeHealthy

Ingredients: 
4 Small Bananas - Mashed
3 Pasture Raised Eggs - Tara Firma Farms
1T Chia Seeds  - Soaked in 3T Filtered water for 10 min prior to adding into recipe
1T Local Raw Honey
1T Vanilla Extract - Gluten Free
1/4c Unsweetened Shredded Coconut - Tropical Traditions (Optional)
1/2t sea salt
1t Baking Soda (Gluten & Aluminum Free)
3/4c Almond Flour - Honeyville best for baking - This can be purchased on amazon
1/4c Coconut Flour - Tropical Traditions
Lindt 85-90% Dark Chocolate Bar - Melted
2T Melted Grassfed unsalted butter - Kerrygold is great for this recipe and typically easy to find in the grocery.

Makes 12-14 Muffins

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Melt Butter & Chocolate in seperate pans over stove top or toaster oven
  • In a medium - large mixing bowl - Add mashed banana, 3 eggs, Vanilla Extract, Soaked Chia Seeds & Honey - Use a large fork or whisk to whip/mash well until mixed together evenly
  • Stir in Shredded Coconut
  • Pour in Butter & Chocolate - Mix into ingredients
  • Add sea salt, sifted baking soda & almond flour - Mix well
  • Sift coconut flour in last - Mix well

  • Use a large tablespoon to scoop mixture into muffin recycled paper baking cups in a 12 muffin tin pan 
  • Cook for 20-30 min, checking halfway with a toothpick to check the consistency. Every oven is slightly different from the next, so it's best to test it out in your oven to see what the perfect time is for these delicious treats!
  • Enjoy!!





References:


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17513403
http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20030827/dark-chocolate-is-healthy-chocolate
http://www.worldcocoafoundation.org/scientific-research/research-library/Cacao_HumanNutrition.asp

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Balsamic Beet & Arugula Salad

Last night I went out for dinner with some friends and tried the most amazing beet salad from Va De Vi.  I woke up this morning thinking about it and decided to pick up the ingredients from the farmers market and work on duplicating the flavors at home.  It turned out delicious!

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:
1 Large Beet - Chopped
1 Medium Yellow Beet - Chopped
1 Medium Pink Beet - Chopped
1/2 Cup Arugula
1 Orangelo (1/2 Grapefruit - 1/2 Orange) or Blood Orange - Peeled/Cut
1 Avocado - Cut into Cubes
2T Shaved or Grated Fennel - White Part
Sea Salt & Black Pepper to Taste
2-3T Balsamic Vinaigrette (Click here for Recipe)

Directions:

  • Steam chopped beets for 15 min.  Looking for steps on how to do this?  Click here
  • Peel beets once cooled and set aside to cool before tossing in salad - this can be made ahead and kept in the fridge until ready for use.
  • In Medium mixing bowl - Add beets, avocado, fennel, orangelo, arugula



  • Toss ingredients lightly with 2-3T Balsamic Vinaigrette.  Taste and if you desire more dressing add slowly until you get the desired amount.
  • Add sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • Serve!


Prather Ranch - Lamb Loin & Moroccan Lamb Sausage w/ Balsamic Beet & Arugula Salad


Balsamic Vinaigrette/Marinade

Ingredients:
1/2C Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Cold First Press - My favorite is Kasandrino's Olive Oil
1/4C Avocado Oil
1/4C Flax Oil
1/2C Balsamic Vinegar (There should be only one ingredient - balsamic - no carmel coloring)
2t Organic Orange Peel
1t Organic Gluten Free Yellow Mustard - Eden Organics is my favorite
3 Cloves of Garlic - minced
2t Italian Spices or Dried Basil
1T Lewis Labs Brewers Yeast or Nutritional Yeast (Gluten Free Bragg's)
1T Local Raw Honey or Organic Grade B Maple Syrup (Optional)
1/2t Sea Salt
1/4t Cracked Black Pepper

Directions:

  • Put all ingredients in 16oz glass jar - shake until emulsified - Set aside until ready to use in salad.
    • Can be made ahead and put in fridge for 1-2 weeks.  Before serving remove from the fridge 30 min prior and shake until emulsified. 
  • Enjoy!
Mason Jar - Balsamic Vinaigrette/Marinade

Monday, April 9, 2012

Southern Pulled Pork, Apples & Red Leaf Mustard Green Scramble

I used a little left over pulled pork and apples from the country style ribs I made over at this link on my blog yesterday.  I picked up some delicious red leaf mustard greens at the farmers market on Saturday and thought they would be a nice touch to this easy breakfast recipe.

Link to Slow Cooker Country Style  Pork Ribs & Apples  - http://eat2beehealthy.blogspot.com/2012/04/slow-cooker-pork-country-style-ribs-w.html



Ingredients for Scramble - Serves 2
4-5 Pastured Eggs - We use Tara Firma Farms Eggs and they are super tasty!
1-2 Pork Style Rib - Meat Removed and Shredded (should do very easily given the slow cooking method of the meat in the crock pot)
1/4c Apple & Onion  mixture from Slow Cooker meal above - Diced
1 Green Garlic or Green Onion - White & Green Diced
1/2c Diced Red Leaf Mustard Greens - Any type of green will work in this recipe.
1T Virgin Coconut Oil - (My favorite is Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil)
1/2 small-medium avocado - Diced
Sea Salt & Black Pepper - To Taste

Directions:

  • In a small stainless steel frying pan melt coconut oil over medium heat 
  • Add green garlic and saute for 2 min
  • Add diced apple & onion mixture - saute for additional 2 min
  • Add pulled/chopped pork and saute for 2 min
  • Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk - set aside
  • Add chopped mustard greens and saute 1 min
  • Pour whisked eggs into pan over medium-low heat
  • With a spatula scramble eggs until desired consistency

  • Top w/ Avocado & enjoy!


Slow Cooker Pork Country Style Ribs w/ Apples

In our last shipment from Tara Firma Farms I had ordered 2lbs of Country Style Pork Ribs (Pasture Raised) to test out in my slow cooker for dinner on a school night.  Everything turned out absolutely delicious!! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!



Ingredients:
2lbs Pasture Raised Country Style Pork Ribs - Rinsed
1-2 Organic Apples - Cubed w/ Skin on - Remove Seeds
1/4 Large Red Onion - Chopped
1/2 Head Organic Red or Green Cabbage - Chopped/Diced (Optional)
2T Raw Honey or Organic Grade B Maple Syrup
1/2C Dry White Wine
1/4C Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
1T Gluten Free Yellow or Dijon Mustard (Eden Organics is my favorite brand)
1T Chili Powder
1T Cumin
1t Trader Joe's African Smoke Seasoning
2T Chipotle Habanero Pepper Sauce - Organic Harvest Foods Brand - Gluten Free
1T Butt Rub BBQ Seasoning - Optional
1t Red Rock's Hickory Smoke Seasoning  - Savory Spice Shop

Directions:

  • In a Large 6-7qt slow cooker put apples, onions, cabbage(optional) & ribs inside over low heat on a timer for 10hrs
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together honey, white wine, apple cider vinegar, mustard, chili powder, cumin, African smoke seasoning, chipotle habanero pepper sauce, butt rub & red rock's hickory smoke seasonings
  • Pour over ingredients inside slow cooker 

  • Cover - Set to Low Heat on a timer for 10hrs

  • Serve!  When it's done it will fall off the bone.  Delicious & Easy!