Why Carrots are a Great Choice for Preparing Some Healthy Hearty Snacks?


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Crazy for Carrots

One of the most widely used and enjoyed vegetables in the world is the brightly colored carrot.

Scientifically classified as Daucus carota, it is considered a root vegetable.  The carrot top is the most popular and used part of the carrot, however the greens are also beneficial and great if used in salads and other dishes.

Carrots are grown all over the world, exported worldwide and used successfully as fresh veggie snacks, savory side dishes and essential ingredients in many recipes.

This healthy colorful root vegetable (found in colors ranging from white to purple with orange being the most popular) is rich in nutrients, providing a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals. They offer vitamins A (widely known for their antioxidant Beta Carotene content), B3, C, E and Carotene as well as potassium, calcium, iron and zinc. 

They help to reduce cholesterol, prevent heart attacks and keep certain cancers at bay. They are known to improve vision and reduce the signs of premature aging, detox the body, improve digestion and increase heart health. They also help to maintain acidic and alkaline properties in the body.

These tall slim beauties are easy to grow and can be eaten raw or roasted, baked, steamed, boiled and mashed for any savory dish but the real added benefit to carrots is that they are naturally sweet with a slight nutty taste and this sweetness works well in sweet as well as savory dishes giving them a broad range of use.

Like other fresh veggies, they taste best and provide the most nutrition when home grown or organically grown. Choose brightly colored, uniform in shape and size, firm to the touch, relatively young, thin carrots as they will be slightly sweeter in taste than the larger older carrots. Avoid carrots that are soft, withering or have yellowing tips.

Forget about those “baby carrots” you often see at your grocers…there really is nothing baby about them. They are not young, nor are they any sweeter. They have simply been pressed through a machine that skins them and shapes them into those smaller bite size pieces. They may very well be those “larger, older carrots” they are using for this process. You’re better off buying your own fresh organic carrots and cutting them as you use them.

Carrots contain more sugar than any other vegetable (besides sugar beet) and this natural sweetness combined with the nutrient density of carrots has made them hugely popular to use in fresh juice and in smoothies as well as healthy desserts. They offer not only sweetness to every recipe they are invited to but moisture as well.

The moist sweet carrot cake has been around and evolving since the Middle Ages (thought of as a pudding then) and nearly everyone has enjoyed a slice of this sweet cake at one time or another.

After washing and removing their green tops, store your carrots in the coldest part of your refrigerator offering the highest humidity. You can also add a bit of water in the bottom of the bag to keep them crisp and colorful.

Like other veggie superstars that work in both sweet and savory dishes, carrots add flavor, sweetness, moisture, texture and color to every dish.

Most of the mineral content in carrots is actually located near the skin so it’s best not to peel or scrape off the skins. Just scrub clean if necessary and store properly. That’s another advantage of buying organic carrots. You can eat them right out of the bag and never have to worry about peeling.

Do not store carrots near fruits such as apples and pears because they release ethylene gas that causes carrots to turn bitter.

For more ideas on making some healthy hearty snacks, watch this video – 7 Healthy Recipes For Guilt-Free Snacking • Tasty

If you are ready to take your dead desserts and turn them into “life giving” desserts grab my “50 Desserts with Hidden Veggies. ” In it you will discover no bake, Paleo friendly, no sugar, gluten free healthy sweet treat and dessert recipes…

Isn’t it time you began introducing much ignored nutrient-dense veggies into all your dishes…including your desserts? Why not make every bite you take count!

Author Bio:

Carolyn Hansen is the author of The Blended Bites Healthy Snack and Dessert Recipe Collection. This is a one-stop resource for delicious, healthy, guilt-free snacks that you can eat every day. And even better, EVERY ONE of these recipes are RAW healthy snack foods that taste as good as their fattening counterparts.

You can NOW satisfy your snack urge without any negative impact on your weight loss and fitness goals, and without sweating over a hot stove. These easy-to-prepare snacks contain no sugar, no flour or butter and are paleo friendly.

So, if you want to get your hands on recipes for desserts and snacks that you will not need to feel guilty about eating the next time you have a craving for something delicious, be sure to check out Carolyn Hansen’s books at Blended Bites, where she will show you how to take control of your blender and churn out mouth-watering desserts and snacks that will have the kids in your neighborhood lined up around the block for a sample.

Easy Healthy Snack Ideas – 5 Common Raw Food Myths Debunked


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Debunking Those Raw Food Myths

Raw foods have seen an increase in popularity in recent years. Many people are exploring more diet options and adding more raw vegan foods to their diets and some are even going full-on raw.

What exactly does “going raw” mean?

Raw foods are those that have not been processed or heated above 115-118 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius). Proponents of raw food diets believe that many foods cooked at a higher temperature lose their enzymes along with much of their nutritional value and in some cases, can actually harm the body.

Uncooked foods, on the other hand, provide living enzymes that have not been tampered with and proper nutrition. Most raw food enthusiasts eliminate diary but in some cases unprocessed dairy products are included.

Raw foods should not be refined, pasteurized, treated with pesticides or otherwise processed in any way. Instead, the diet allows several alternative preparation methods, such as juicing, blending, dehydrating, soaking and sprouting

A raw food diet may provide health benefits, including weight loss, a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and improved digestion and heart health

raw food diet is usually strictly vegetarian, although some in the raw food movement allow unpasteurized dairy products, raw meat, raw eggs, and sushi. A basic belief is that you should restrict food that is cooked or heated above 116 to 118° Fahrenheit.

If you are thinking about joining this trend, there are some “raw foods” myths that you need to be aware of that are repeated over and over but are simply not true!

Myth #1 – All or nothing at all

The belief that we must be 100% raw to gain any benefits is far from the truth. The reality is, most modern diets are high in processed and fast foods so any increase in fresh raw foods is beneficial. Replacing soda, fries and burgers with green veggie salads for lunch, provide more energy and will always offer more benefits.

Of course, the more processed foods we replace with healthy fresh veggies and fruits the more benefits we receive. To enjoy all the benefits that a raw diet offers your diet needs to be about 90% raw foods.

One thing to take note is not all vegetables are safe enough to be eaten raw. Some vegetables, when eaten rawcan lead to digestive distress.

Here are some foods that you should avoid eating raw:

  • Potatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Spinach
  • Red kidney beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggplant
  • French beans

Myth #2 –The belief that raw foods cannot be warmed is not true.

Raw foods can be warmed to approximately 118 degrees without altering the nutritional value. Food dehydrators are often used to warm foods as well as stove tops and ovens, making sure that everything is kept at a safe temperature.

Myth #3 – Only fruits and Veggies are allowed

The reality is, a raw food diet consists of seeds, nuts, nut milks and butters, sprouted grains, fresh juices and seaweeds. There are also some fermented foods such as raw soy sauce, miso and cold pressed raw oils.

Don’t limit yourself on your new raw food diet but explore as many possibilities as you can. Raw foods are readily available. Expand your horizons beyond your local market and find some farmers markets to explore.

Ethnic foods are another avenue for exotic fruits and veggies and don’t forget the power of the Internet. You now have choices from all over the world, although in the long run its best to use most of what is offered locally for reasonable prices and freshness.

Myth #4 – Raw food meals take a long time to prepare.

The success of a tasty meal begins with the tools at hand. With the right tools, preparing raw foods is no harder nor does it take any longer than prepping and serving cooked foods.

A high-powered food processor saves hours of chopping and grating time. A quality dehydrator can prepare tasty natural treats consistently so that you always have a fresh batch on hand and a blender creates yummy soups, smoothies and dressings in no time at all.

Myth #5 – A raw food diet will break the bank.

Not true. Focusing on local produce gives a lot of bang for the buck. Local offers the best prices, flavor and freshness. There will always be raw items that are more expensive than others, just choose wisely and shop around. Use the Internet when possible to save on items such as organic spices. Buy in bulk, watch for sales and skip the fancy platters and pre-cut veggies.

Watch these 3 videos below:

Raw Food Diets: Myths & Realities – Brenda Davis RD FULL TALK

5 Pros and Cons of Raw Diets

Fully Raw Kristina – Raw food myths & mistakes to avoid

If you are ready to expand beyond your traditional recipes and upgrade them to a more nutrient dense level you will love my newest creation…“Blended Bites.

Author Bio:

Carolyn Hansen is the author of The Blended Bites Healthy Snack and Dessert Recipe Collection. This is a one-stop resource for delicious, healthy, guilt-free snacks that you can eat every day. And even better, EVERY ONE of these recipes are RAW healthy snack foods that taste as good as their fattening counterparts.

You can NOW satisfy your snack urge without any negative impact on your weight loss and fitness goals, and without sweating over a hot stove. These easy-to-prepare snacks contain no sugar, no flour or butter and are paleo friendly.

So, if you want to get your hands on recipes for desserts and snacks that you will not need to feel guilty about eating the next time you have a craving for something delicious, be sure to check out Carolyn Hansen’s books at Blended Bites, where she will show you how to take control of your blender and churn out mouth-watering desserts and snacks that will have the kids in your neighborhood lined up around the block for a sample.

How to Make Healthy Snacks at Home Using Lemon and Kale?


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Yummy Lemon Kale Cheesecake

Kale in a cheesecake? You bet!

All hale the kale! Without a doubt, Kale has surfaced as a trendy but here to stay super-food. There are a few different varieties of kale available that include dinosaur kale, curly kale, baby kale, flat Tuscan kale and Red Russian kale. Kale is also known as borecole or cow cabbage.

This green powerhouse veggie sports a broad nutritional value. Packed with vitamins and minerals, Kale also provides us with an army of important phytonutrients such as flavonoids and glucosinolates. In fact, just the dark green color of kale should clue you into the nutrient value that it provides us (all dark green veggies are loaded with nutrients and ideally we should focus on a variety of them).

Kale is known for its ORAC…Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. This measures foods ability to scavenge free radicals. Kale’s rating is 1,770. Compare that with spinach that comes in at 1,515 or cauliflower which rates at 839 and it’s easy to see the benefits that Kale provides in the way of antioxidant capacity (substances that help shield or bodies from cell damage and prevention of disease).

Unstable molecules are free radicals and these damaging molecules play havoc at the cellular level and that’s where Kale’s antioxidant power comes to the rescue.

Kale is much more flexible than people realize. You can bake it, blend it, sauté it and even enjoy it in the raw state. This healthy veggie is no longer limited to savory dishes but is being invited into sweet recipes by health focused cooks with great success.

With its deep nutritional profile (it also provides a hefty dose of fat and fiber, containing about 120 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids per cup.), it is believed to be a force against cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and works to prevent different types of cancer. As a bonus, kale is great for prevention of pre-mature aging of the skin. It also promotes a healthy urinary tract.

Just one cup of kale provides minerals such as potassium, copper and manganese and 200% of your daily vitamin A needs and 134% of your vitamin C requirement. To top all that off, kale provides 700% of your daily requirement for vitamin K.

If you’ve never tried Kale in one of your sweet treats, snacks or desserts

…you in for a real treat…literally!

Lemon Kale Cheesecake

BASE:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup dates, soaked at least 30 minutes and drained

Place nuts into food processor and process until broken down and crumbly. Add dates and coconut and process until well combined. Turn out into a dish or pan, spread out evenly and press down.

FILLING:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 banana
  • ¾ cup kale, de-stemmed
  • ½ cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Zest and juice of one lemon

Process cashews first to break down then add all other ingredients and continue to process until mixture is smooth and creamy.

Pour over base and place in fridge or freezer to firm up and set (about an hour or more)

For more ideas on how to make healthy snacks at home, watch this video – 10 EASY HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS (You NEED to try! Low Cal, Healthy, Yum!)

For more delicious, gluten, sugar and white flour free desserts that incorporate healthy veggies and a whole lot more: “50 Desserts with Hidden Veggies. ”

Isn’t it time you began introducing these much ignored nutrient-dense super-stars into all your dishes…including your desserts?

Author Bio:

Carolyn Hansen is the author of The Blended Bites Healthy Snack and Dessert Recipe Collection. This is a one-stop resource for delicious, healthy, guilt-free snacks that you can eat every day. And even better, EVERY ONE of these recipes are RAW healthy snack foods that taste as good as their fattening counterparts.

You can NOW satisfy your snack urge without any negative impact on your weight loss and fitness goals, and without sweating over a hot stove. These easy-to-prepare snacks contain no sugar, no flour or butter and are paleo friendly.

So, if you want to get your hands on recipes for desserts and snacks that you will not need to feel guilty about eating the next time you have a craving for something delicious, be sure to check out Carolyn Hansen’s books at Blended Bites, where she will show you how to take control of your blender and churn out mouth-watering desserts and snacks that will have the kids in your neighborhood lined up around the block for a sample.

How to Snack Healthily at Home with Banana Cream Pie?


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Banana Cream Pie with Benefits

In all probability you’ve likely enjoyed numerous cream pies throughout your lifetime including the luscious, delicious banana cream pie.

But, have you ever enjoyed Banana Cream Pie that offers health benefits? Your answer is probably no because back in the days that our grandmothers and moms were creating these delicious desserts, the focus was not on how healthy they are but more focused on flavor and texture.

Those times have passed. These days veggies are being invited into all kinds of dessert recipes to shift them from “empty calories” to calories with benefits and this version of Banana Cream Pie includes green leaves (either spinach, Swiss chard or kale).

Add to that an assortment of super healthy nuts and seeds and you’ve got the formula that will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth and boost their health at the same time.

It really doesn’t get any better than that.

BANANA CREAM PIE (With Hidden Benefits)

BASE:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • ½ cup seeds, any mix of the following – pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, hemp
  • 1 cup dates, soaked at least 30 minutes drained
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 cups green leaves (spinach, Swiss chard, kale) fresh or frozen
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

Please almonds in food processor and process until broken down and crumbly. Add all other ingredients and process until well combined. Press into the base of a spring form tin or pan.

BANANA CHIA FILLING:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • ½ cup Chia seeds, pre-soaked in ¾ cup water for 10 minutes
  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid

DIRECTIONS:

Place cashews into a food processor and process until broken down and crumbly.

Add all other ingredients and process until well combined and smooth.

Spoon out on top of base and place in fridge or freezer while you make the topping.

SALTED CARAMEL TOPPING:

  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup dates, soaked at least 30 minutes and drained
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • ¼ cup water

DIRECTIONS:

Place macadamia nuts into food processor and process until broken down and crumbly.

Add all other ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.

Add a little more water if needed…a tablespoon at a time to allow mixture to blend together into a pourable sauce.

Pour over filling and smooth out.

COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM:

  • 1x 14oz can full fat coconut milk or cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey

To learn how to snack healthily at home, watch this video – Easy Healthy Snack Ideas

For more delicious veggie based dessert and treat recipes visit: “Blended Bites” …you’ll be surprised what you can do with veggies.

Author Bio:

Carolyn Hansen is the author of The Blended Bites Healthy Snack and Dessert Recipe Collection. This is a one-stop resource for delicious, healthy, guilt-free snacks that you can eat every day. And even better, EVERY ONE of these recipes are RAW healthy snack foods that taste as good as their fattening counterparts.

You can NOW satisfy your snack urge without any negative impact on your weight loss and fitness goals, and without sweating over a hot stove. These easy-to-prepare snacks contain no sugar, no flour or butter and are paleo friendly.

So, if you want to get your hands on recipes for desserts and snacks that you will not need to feel guilty about eating the next time you have a craving for something delicious, be sure to check out Carolyn Hansen’s books at Blended Bites, where she will show you how to take control of your blender and churn out mouth-watering desserts and snacks that will have the kids in your neighborhood lined up around the block for a sample.

How to Create Low Calories High Fiber Snacks using Goji Berries?


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Tiny but Powerful Goji Berry

The incredible edible Goji Berry.

This little but power packed berry has been around since the early days of Chinese medicine (they are still used to treat eye, liver and kidney issues) and has recently surfaced and regained popularity.

Goji berries, considered both a fruit and an herb are native to parts of Asia (popular in the Himalayas and Tibet) and Europe and are sometimes referred to as “wolf berries” and “Tibetan goji.”

Although they are tiny in size, they pack a powerful nutritional punch, are low in calories, fat-free and loaded with fiber (they have tiny seeds). They provide us with an army of antioxidants and contain all essential amino acids. With 15% more iron than spinach along with an abundance of trace minerals such as calcium, zinc and selenium, it’s no wonder that this little berry has become so popular again.

Similar to other berries, Goji berries are also packed with beta-carotene (for beautiful skin and healthy eyes), they are known to boost the immune system as well as your energy reserves. Goji berries also provide almost 10 percent of the dietary protein required daily and are an excellent source of vitamin C.

Goji berries are usually sold as dried berries (they look similar to red raisins), you can also find them fresh. They are packaged and sold by weight at bulk food stores, herbal and specialty food markets.

You can mix them into cereal, oatmeal or yogurt for an instant nutritional punch or they can be mixed with dark chocolate chips, raw nuts and grated desiccated coconut and other healthy ingredients (just use your imagination here) for a great homemade trail mix.

They make the perfect snacking food with their rich, sweet taste and since they are high in fiber, they keep us feeling full longer – keeping our weight in check.

Their increasing popularity has made them easier to find locally. However, they are not inexpensive so you want to be sure and use up any that you purchase.

Try this delicious recipe…

Carrot Goji Berry Protein Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup carrots, grated
  • ½ cup cashews
  • ½ cup goji berries, dried
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup protein powder (whey or plant based)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid

Place cashews in food processor and process until broken down and crumbly. Add all other ingredients and process until mixture is well combined. Spoon out into a small (8 x 8 inch) glass dish or pan. Place in fridge or freezer to firm up and set then cut into bars or small squares.

Chocolate Coating

  • ½ cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid
  • ½ cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl. Let the mix cool down to room temperature so it will stick better. Dip the bars into the chocolate mix to coat. If a thicker layer is needed, simply place bars back in the fridge for a few minutes to set, then dip in chocolate again until the desired thickness is reached.

For more ideas on how to create low calories high fiber snacks, watch this video – 8 Healthy Low Calorie Snacks ☀️ *high protein weight loss snack ideas*

This recipe is one of 50 exciting new raw dessert and treat recipes that you will find in my newest addition: “Blended Bites” where I show you how to use a variety of fresh veggies in your sweet dishes to turn them into nutritional powerhouses.

Author Bio:

Carolyn Hansen is the author of The Blended Bites Healthy Snack and Dessert Recipe Collection. This is a one-stop resource for delicious, healthy, guilt-free snacks that you can eat every day. And even better, EVERY ONE of these recipes are RAW healthy snack foods that taste as good as their fattening counterparts.

You can NOW satisfy your snack urge without any negative impact on your weight loss and fitness goals, and without sweating over a hot stove. These easy-to-prepare snacks contain no sugar, no flour or butter and are paleo friendly.

So, if you want to get your hands on recipes for desserts and snacks that you will not need to feel guilty about eating the next time you have a craving for something delicious, be sure to check out Carolyn Hansen’s books at Blended Bites, where she will show you how to take control of your blender and churn out mouth-watering desserts and snacks that will have the kids in your neighborhood lined up around the block for a sample.

How to Create Healthy Sweet Snacks using Carrots, Sweet Potatoes and Beets?


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Carrots, Sweet Potatoes and Beets in Your Sweets

Veggies are highly versatile but unfortunately for the most part their role in our diets has been primarily as a salad, side dish, casserole or munchie snack.

Of course there have been a few veggies that have served multiple purposes in the past beyond the norm.

Carrots are probably the most recognized and used in the past for desserts because of the natural sweetness they offer.

They are rich in vitamin A (perfect for improving eye-sight), C, K and B8 as well as the antioxidant beta-carotene and provide other important antioxidants and super phytochemicals that work against cancer and cardiovascular risks.

They improve the immune system, provide us with a healthy dose of fiber and help regulate blood sugar. Nearly everyone has tried some form of carrot cake in their life.

But carrots are only one of many veggies that are perfect ingredients for desserts and treats and creative health driven cooks everywhere are coming up with more and more ways of incorporating different types of veggies into desserts to squeeze more nutrition into every bite we take.

Let’s take a look at a two other veggies that are excellent substitutes in your desserts and sweet treats:

Beets: Offering vitamins A and B with a healthy dose of vitamin C, folic acid and potassium they are also high in fiber. This brightly colored root veggie comes in a wide range of colors from bright gold to deep red and is currently gaining in favor for desserts. You can even find candy cane and white stripe versions.

Like carrots, beets have a sweet, earthy flavor. Betanin, the red pigment in beets, is nature’s natural food color creating pinks and reds and the perfect ingredient for your red velvet desserts.

They also offer a healthy dose of moisture to your sweet goods and are a unique source of phytonutrients supplying us with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Beets and chocolate are the perfect pairing so if you love chocolate…try pairing beets with our next chocolate dessert.

Sweet Potato: Without a doubt, sweet potatoes are considered a super food. There are as many as 400 varieties of this root veggie and the skin and flesh can be found in cream, white, yellow, orange, pink or deep purple.

The lighter colored yellow-orange or white-cream ones are the most commonly found and used. They provide us with a healthy dose of carotenoid pigments and vitamin A, they are a good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, vitamin B6, potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1 and B2, phosphorus and pantothenic acid.

They are the perfect substitute for eggs, oil or butter in desserts. Like carrots and beets they offer sweetness which allows you to cut back on sugars.

For more ideas on how to create healthy sweet snacks, watch this video – 3 EASY low calorie healthy sweet treats! || Quick, Guilt-free + Weightloss!

For some delicious, gluten, sugar and white flour free desserts that incorporate these healthy veggies and a whole lot more:

“50 Desserts with Hidden Veggies. ” In it you will discover no bake, Paleo friendly, no sugar, gluten free healthy sweet treat and dessert recipes…

Isn’t it time you began introducing these much ignored nutrient-dense super-stars into all your dishes…including your desserts?

Author Bio:

Carolyn Hansen is the author of The Blended Bites Healthy Snack and Dessert Recipe Collection. This is a one-stop resource for delicious, healthy, guilt-free snacks that you can eat every day. And even better, EVERY ONE of these recipes are RAW healthy snack foods that taste as good as their fattening counterparts.

You can NOW satisfy your snack urge without any negative impact on your weight loss and fitness goals, and without sweating over a hot stove. These easy-to-prepare snacks contain no sugar, no flour or butter and are paleo friendly.

So, if you want to get your hands on recipes for desserts and snacks that you will not need to feel guilty about eating the next time you have a craving for something delicious, be sure to check out Carolyn Hansen’s books at Blended Bites, where she will show you how to take control of your blender and churn out mouth-watering desserts and snacks that will have the kids in your neighborhood lined up around the block for a sample.

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