How to make healthy peanut butter

2014-07-26-15.40.10Hello everybody!

Today I have for you my all time favourite snack recipe…. the PEANUT BUTTER.  And when I say my favourite it means I really love it. I could eat peanut butter with almost everything…simply just with a spoon, with fruits, in shakes, with oatmeal, with frozen yoghurt or ricotta, on pancakes and so on 🙂

Unfortunately the peanut butter in the supermarkets is loaded with sugars, sweeteners, salt, hydrogenated vegetable oils, mono and diglycerides, maltodextrin, corn syrup and so on. So that kind of peanut butter can’t be called healthy for sure, it’s actually a caloric bomb!

The good news is that making home-made peanut butter is incredibly easy and takes less than 15 minutes.

Let’s see what you will need: 250- 300 gr of dry roasted peanuts and a power blender. That’s it yes! 🙂

wpid-photogrid_1406385003007.jpgDirections

  1. Throw the peanuts in your food processor
  2. Start running the processor and then just let it do its thing
  3. After 4-5 minutes  the nuts are much more finely ground, and they’re starting to stick to the outside of the blender
  4. Stop your food processor and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl
  5. After another 3-4 minutes the butter will start clumping together. It’s not quite peanut butter, but it’s getting there!
  6. Continue processing the butter for 2-3 minutes more, until it becomes completely smooth.
  7. Transfer the peanut butter to storage container, and that’s it, the peanut butter can be used immediately.

Here are some variations if you want your peanut butter a little different:

  • Honey:  add 2 tablespoons of honey in to the finished peanut butter
  • Cinnamon-Raisin: add ½ cup raisins + 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon + 2 tablespoons of honey into the finished peanut butter
  • Crunchy: Pulse 1 cup of peanuts into the finished peanut butter for a crunchier texture.

Try it out! Enjoy! :*

Advertisements

Ricotta soufflĂ© with pumpkin blossoms

IMG_20140709_115929Hello my dears!

Here is the recipe of the delicious suffle I posted some time ago on my facebook. You can make these little muffins in maximum 15 minutes. they are great for breakfast, but u can carry them with you as a healthy snack during the day.

Here is what you need:

Ingredients

  • 250 g ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • black pepper
  • 2 tbs of parsley, chopped
  • pumpkin blossoms (10 – 15 pieces)
  • 100 g parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 tbs of chickpea flour

Directions

1. Set the oven to 240°C/gas 8.

2. Place the ricotta and eggs into a food processor and whiz until the mixture has increased in volume.

3. Cook the pumpkin blossoms for 10 min on olive oil and a little garlic.

3. Pour into a large mixing bowl and fold in pumpkin blossoms, salt and pepper, parsley, the chickpea flour and the parmesan.

4. Pour the mixture in small muffin tin cups and then finish by sprinkling a little more parmesan on top.

5. Cook for 15 minutes, and you are done!

Have a good appetite and enjoy! :*

Foods Highest in Carbohydrates (that you should avoid)

wpid-photogrid_1405676669108.jpg Hello my dear readers! 🙂

I have something for you today, an article about some carbs you should avoid especially if you try to maintain your 6 pack in the summer :))

Carbohydrates are found in almost all living things and play a very important role in the proper functioning of the immune system, pathogenesis, blood clotting, and human development. A deficiency of carbohydrates can lead impaired functioning of all these systems. Excessive consumption of carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates like sugar or corn syrup, can lead to obesity, type II diabetes, and cancer. Below you can read a list of foods highest in carbohydrates, almost all these foods should be avoided.

#1: Fructose and Granulated Sugar

Fructose and granulated sugar represent a pure refined carbohydrate and are indeed 99.999% carbohydrate with practically no fats, proteins, minerals or vitamins. These refined sugars should be avoided, they are nothing but  empty calories.

#2: Sugary Cereals

Most cereals which come in a box are packed with sugar, this is even true for those that claim to be “whole grain”. Read the label on the back of the box, some of these foods are 90-93% carbohydrate. In contrast, the cereals which you prepare at home like oatmeal and rye can contain 10-12% carbohydrate, with far more vitamins and complex carbohydrates that are better for your body.

#3: Dried Fruits (Apples, Prunes, Dates)

Lot of persons being on a diet are not aware of the fact that dried fruits like apples, prunes(plums), bananas, and dates are all high in carbohydrates and calories. These foods are high in dietary fiber and several vitamins. It is ok to consume them in moderation to help satisfy sugar cravings. BUT, for the long term, it would be best to limit these foods. Dehydrated apple, prunes, and bananas are 88-90% carbs, dried peaches and apricots are 83%, raisins are 79%, and dates are around 75% carbohydrate.

#4: Low fat Crackers, Rice Cakes, and Potato Chips

The large majority of low fat products and snacks on the market have high carb levels to keep items tasty. Low fat crackers, rice cakes, and potato chips are 81-83% carbohydrate. For purposes of comparison honey is 82% carbs. Be sure to consult labels on any low fat products before consuming.

#5: Flour, Cakes, and Cookies

Flour and it is derivative products, usually cakes, cookies, waffles, corn tortillas and breads are all high carb foods. Also pasta is included in this category. Cookies and cakes can get up to 84% carbohydrate, and most flours will be 70-78% carbohydrate.

#6. Starchy Vegetables

Peas, potatoes, corn squash, and corn can contain up to 30 grams of carbohydrates per cup. Choose green leafy vegetables or broccoli instead.

#7. Pizzas

The amount of carbohydrate in pizza depends on the thickness of the crust, and people often create ultra-thin-crust pizzas in order to cut back on the carbs. Depending on the toppings and thickness of the crust, pizzas tend to be 22-30% carbs.

#8. Fruit juices

If you drink your fruit instead of drinking it, you miss out the fiber, that lowes the glycemic impact of the food. Most of the time people donĂ t just drink a half cup of juice (that equals one serving of fruits). Pay attention on your portions!

#9. Salad dressings, hot sauces

Dressings and sauces can be as much as 35% carbs, and low fat dressings are often sweetened to 32% carbs or more. Try to avoid them as much as possible!

#10 Sweetend, flavoured yogurts

For example, a 250 ml (8 ounce) serving of low-fat fruit-flavored and sweetened yogurt can contain as much as 47 grams of sugars. This amount of sugar is equivalent to almost 12 teaspoons of sugar. Mixing plain yogurt with berries is the best way to enjoy fruit-flavored yogurts without overdosing on sugar.

I hope you enjoyed, see you soon! :*

What you need to know about carb cycling

carb cycling picHey everybody!

I have some informations for you today, about a diet plan called carb cycling, which is one of the most effective diets used by body builders and fitness personalities. This article may be a little longer than other articles I used to write, but trust me it worth your time.

Carb Cycling is a low/no-carbohydrate diet with intermittent periods of high or moderate carbohydrate consumption.

Most people have the misconception that consuming low carbs on a daily basis for long periods of time is good for them. You cannot eat that way forever. Your body needs carbs for its daily functions. They deplete your energy and strength and are not the best method when attempting to lose body fat and retain muscle.

There are also those individuals who preach high carb diets. While high carb diets help to speed your metabolism, they are not ideal for weight-loss or reduction of body fat as we know, for weight loss the body needs to be in a  calorie deficit.

This is where carb-cycling comes in. Carb cycling is an in between type method that will give you the benefits of both a low and high carb diet which allows you to hold on to the muscle you already have and shed body fat.

This type of diet will also help you maintain your sanity, strength, and energy.

So let’s see how this diet works

Carb cycling works by giving your body the fuel it needs to increase your metabolism and create a calorie deficit to increase fat loss.

There are typically three types of days when carb cycling:
high-carb days
low-carb days
no-carb days.

These days are rotating between them.

Generally the most common carb cycling approach used is where you will place higher carbohydrate days on your heaviest training days and then lower carb days on off/low-intensity training days. This plan is usually based on eating 5 smaller meals per day, 3 meals and 2 snacks (healthy ones)

In order to lose weight, our bodies need the right combination of proteins, carbs, and healthy fats.

Here’s why:

  • Protein builds and maintains muscles and these muscles burn calories like. Protein also breaks down more slowly than carbs and fat, which burns even more calories and helps you feel fuller longer.
  • Carbs are the preferred fuel source for your muscles and organs, and they come in healthy versions (vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes), and not-so-healthy versions (cakes, cookies, soda, doughnuts, candy, and many processed foods).  Healthy carbs are also very important for burning calories, and since they break down more slowly than those not-so-healthy carbs, they keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady
  • Healthy fats (unsaturated fats) eaten in moderation help the development and function of your eyes and brain and help prevent heart disease, stroke, depression, and arthritis. Healthy fats also help keep your energy levels steady and keep you from feeling hungry.

So why do we alternate high-carb and low-carb days in carb cycling?

On high-carb days you’re stocking your calorie-burning furnace so that on low-carb days your furnace burns fat, and lots of it! So it tricks your metabolism into burning a lot of calories, even on those low-carb days. It’s an amazing and well-proven process.

Occasionally, you may feel hungry on your Low Carb days. This is because you’re avoiding starchy carbohydrates which fill you up fast and contain a lot of calories.

In these cases you can add more protein and vegetables to your meal. There’s no harm in eating an extra chicken breast or more salad.

Here is the list of the approved carbohydrates:

  • Brown rice
  • Oats (Slow Cooked Preferred)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spelt whole grain
  • Starchy Veggies (corn, peas, etc.)
  • Beans/Legumes

Approved Yet Limited Carbohydrates

  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Whole grain breads, pitas, etc.

Approved Lean Protein Sources (A)

  • Chicken (white meat)
  • Turkey (white meat)
  • Tuna Fish (can), natural, no oil
  • Fish (flounder, tuna, salmon, shark)
  • Shellfish (all types)
  • Protein (preferably whey post workout, and casein before bed; must be low-carb)
  • Lean beef (including lean cuts of steak)
  • Cottage Cheese (0 or 1% fat)
  • Egg whites (egg beaters)

Approved Higher-Fat Protein Sources (B)

  • Chicken (dark meat)
  • Turkey (dark meat)
  • Eggs (half whites, half whole eggs)
  • Steak and other meats
  • Cottage Cheese (Whole Milk)

Fat Sources

  • Almonds, wallnuts, nuts, peanuts (or nuts natural butter)
  • Flax Oil
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Olive Oil

Water Consumption
In short, you can never have enough. The ten 8-ounce glasses per day recommendation is the minimum. You should drink at least a gallon (3.5-4 liter) per day

Here is a weekly cycle that should work nicely for most:

Monday = No Carb
Tuesday = Low Carb
Wednesday = High Carb
Thursday = No Carb
Friday = Low carb
Saturday = High Carb
Sunday = Low Carb

The carb cycling diet is easy to maintain, and because you cycle on and off carbs, the body does not plateau like it would on a prolonged low carbohydrate diet.

Carb cycling speeds up metabolism and gets your body to efficiently use up fuel while sustaining muscle and burning off body fat! Use a carb cycling diet along with a consistent workout plan!

Hope you enjoyed it! Have a beutiful day! 🙂