Tropical Green Smoothie

I drink so many smoothies, this one is very easy to create as well as delicious and so nutritious too!

THE TWIST

Kale is an incredible  nutritional powerhouse and is becoming more and more commonly used among cooks. It is low in calories, high in fiber and is a complete protein. Kale has more iron than beef and is packed with cancer fighting phyto-chemicals and antioxidants. The amazing combination of the tropical fruits and greens makes this a great smoothie to alleviate minor aches and muscle pains, clear headaches, detoxify, build the immune system, nourish the body with micronutrients, promote beautiful hair and skin and much more. At the same time it is working to support your better health it also tastes delicious!

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Tropical Green Smoothie

3 cups kale leaves
1 banana, peeled
3 cups chopped pineapple
1 mango, pitted and peeled
Juice of 1 large lime
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cucumber, cubed, unpeeled
Coconut water (up to 16 oz.)
1 t stevia powder

Combine all ingredients in a Blendtec blender and whirl on high until well blended and juicy. Enjoy! Serves 2 to 4. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Strawberries and Cream Smoothie

When I was growing up it was clear that my father loved strawberries. Anything and everything that contained strawberries, I knew Dad would love it. These days, I remember Dad when I serve up something with strawberries and this is no exception. He would have loved this smoothie and I’m sure you will love it too. Enjoy this guilt-free smoothie either as a breakfast beverage, or served up in very small stemware as a “dessert appetizer” at your next gathering with friends or family.

THE TWIST

Just one cup of strawberries contains over 13% of your dietary fiber needs which helps keep digestion regular and lowers blood pressure. They are full of antioxidants which give them their red color and they fight against inflammatory disorders such as osteoarthritis and asthma. Thanks to their high vitamin C content, folate and other properties, strawberries a delicious defense against potentially cancerous cells. They promote healthy eyes, a healthy immune system and are full of minerals especially manganese which helps fight the battle against free radicals and oxidative stress and lessens cellular inflammation. Strawberries are great for building and maintaining healthy bones and they even help to keep teeth pearly white.

Coconut water contains electrolytes and minerals to replenish hydration levels in the body. It is composed of many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes which help digestion and metabolism and despite being very light it’s mineral content is impressive. Coconut water contains calcium, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, zinc and more potassium than bananas. It also contains lots of phytonutrients and several B-complex vitamins and folate and even a small amount of vitamin C.

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/coconut-water.html
http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/8-health-benefits-of-strawberries.html

STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM SMOOTHIE

14 oz. coconut water
2 cups fresh organic or frozen strawberries
1/4 cup xylitol
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 t stevia
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cashews
lemon wedge garnish (optional)
Mint sprigs garnish (optional)

Blend all ingredients except the cashews in a Blendtec blender. Remove 1/3 cup from blender. Add the cashews and blend thoroughly. Pour into 2 to 4 cups. Swirl reserved mixture into each cup. Garnish with lemon wedges and mint sprigs if desired.  ©JaniceMoreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Rhubarb Pie

Sometimes people have told me that they don’t like rhubarb because it’s so stringy. I say, slice the rhubarb small enough and it solves the stringy problem. You could end up with a pie that tastes almost creamy! Enjoy.

THE TWIST

The amazing thing about this version of a rhubarb pie is that it won’t cause a blood sugar spike like a traditional version while being healthy and delicious. Rhubarb, naturally high in fiber, reduces the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.  Truly rhubarb is a wonderful food to include in your diet as it is anti-inflammatory, helps control blood sugar levels, boosts the immune system, protects  against infections, helps build strong bones, assists in lowering cholesterol and is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Rhubarb inhibits the growth of cancer cells, improves circulation, has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties.

RHUBARB PIE

6 cups 1/4 inch pieces of sliced rhubarb
2/3 cup xylitol*
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar*
⅓ cup minute tapioca
1 1/2 T tapioca starch*
1 double crust pie shell (recipe follows)

Toss rhubarb with xylitol, coconut sugar, minute tapioca and tapioca starch. Let stand 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour into pie crust and position second crust on top and seal edges. Cut 5 slits in crust. If desired, paint almond milk on top and sprinkle with xylitol for a more golden crust. Place on a foil lined baking sheet, bake 25 minutes, reduce heat to 350°F degrees and continue to bake until juices bubble and crust is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

PIE CRUST

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 T coconut palm sugar*
1/2 t Himalayan sea salt*
1/2 cup cold non-hydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup cold Earth Balance buttery spread
2 t fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup + 2 T very cold water (may need more)

In a food processor pulse together the dry ingredients. Add shortening and buttery spread and pulse just until coarse crumbs form, about 30 seconds. Add the lemon juice and water. Pulse just until moist crumbs form that will hold when pressed together and rolled. Turn out onto work surface and shape into two equal disks about 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. Roll each into 14 inch diameter round. Use for 1 double crust or 2 single crust pies. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Zucchini Muffins

Our garden zucchini was so prolific this year! I harvested more zucchini this year than all the years in the previous two decades combined. We’ve eaten a lot of zucchini muffins among other delectable zucchini creations. It’s these muffins that everyone seems to enjoy.

THE TWIST

Fiber-rich foods such as zucchini help to alleviate cancer conditions by washing away the cancer-causing toxins from cells in the colon. The vitamin C, folate and beta-carotene content in zucchini helps to protect these cells from the harmful chemicals leading to colon cancer. Beta-carotene and vitamin C also have anti-inflammatory properties, thereby naturally curing ailments like osteoarthritis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis, where swelling is immensely painful. The copper in zucchini also helps in reducing the aching symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Zucchini has certain properties that effectively treats an ailment in men called BPH or benign prostatic hypertrophy. When the prostate gland becomes enlarged, which can cause trouble with sexual and urinary function, it is known as prostatic hypertrophy. Zucchini is extremely useful in decreasing BPH symptoms.

Zucchini contains vitamin A, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper, and phosphorus. This squash  has a  high content of omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, niacin, and protein. Moreover, several B vitamins and calcium in zucchini assure optimal health. Zucchini has such a broad array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, soluble and insoluble fiber, minerals, protein and more.

Consuming cinnamon in these muffins improves the body’s ability to utilize blood sugar. In fact, just smelling the wonderful odor of cinnamon boosts brain activity! Cinnamon is high in fiber, iron, calcium and manganese. Manganese is important for proper thyroid function. It is essential for the proper digestion and utilization of food. It is essential for the nervous system, blood clotting, milk production in nursing mothers and memory.

http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-zucchini.html
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2639/0
http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/herbs/cinnamon.php
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=68

ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1 T ground ginger
2 t ground cinnamon
2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t Himalayan sea salt*
1/2 cup xylitol*
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/4 cups almond milk
2 T coconut oil
1 T vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini

Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine the dry ingredients add the wet ingredients and stir just until blended. Fold in the zucchini. Scoop 1/3 cup batter into each cup of a lightly oiled muffin pan or lightly oiled paper liners in a muffin pan. Bake 22 minutes, rotate the pan and bake an additional 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 12 regular muffins or 24 mini muffins. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

See Sources*

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Mini Quiches

These mouth watering savory treats are the prefect party food for any celebration and are easy enough for anytime. These would work perfectly for Easter.

THE TWIST

Some people are truly afraid of eating anything with soy. The truth is that most Americans get far, far more soy in their diet than they realize. As long as the source of the soy product is organic and it is not over-consumed there is most likely nothing to be concerned about except if you an allergy to the soybeans. Tofu is filled with a host of nutritional benefits. It’s easily digestible proteins promote the development of strong, healthy muscles, tissues and cells. The high calcium content of tofu helps promote healthy bones and teeth and prevent osteoporosis. Tofu is rich in minerals such as iron and selenium which helps the body to maintain high energy levels. It can help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels which reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke. The isoflavones in tofu have been found helpful in the management of certain cancers.

Leeks, like garlic and onions, belong to a vegetable family called the Allium vegetables. Since leeks are related to garlic and onions, they contain many of the same beneficial compounds found in these well-researched, health-promoting vegetables. They help support the cardiovascular system and are thought to possibly reduce the symptoms of many diseases that are due to chronic low-level inflammations such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and rheumatoid arthritis.

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-nutrition-of-tofu.html
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=26#

MINI QUICHES

1 pkg (5 oz.) bacon style strips, diced (Lightlife, smart bacon)
3 leeks, washed and chopped
1 T coconut oil
2 T fresh thyme leaves
1 t Himalayan sea salt*
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
1/4 t nutmeg

1 lb silken tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 T organic cornstarch
1/4 t turmeric

1 pkg Diaya cheddar shreds
1 pkg organic phyllo dough

Combine the  bacon style strips and leeks with the coconut oil in a large skillet. Sauté until translucent. Stir in the thyme, salt pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat and set aside. Combine the tofu, nutritional yeast, cornstarch and turmeric in the Blendtec blender and whirl on the smoothie setting. Unroll the phyllo dough and cut into 48 2 ½” squares. Nestle the squares in 48 mini muffin tins. Place a pinch of the cheddar shred in each. Pour the tofu mixture over the leek mixture and stir to combine. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the combined mixture into each of the lined muffin tins. Bake at 375°F for 17-21 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly before serving. Makes 48. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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