DID YOU KNOW? Carrots are rich in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. This nutrient promotes good vision and is important for growth, development, and immune function.
However, beta-carotene is a fat soluble nutrient that needs to be coated in fat for greatest absorption. In addition, the absorption rate is better (up to 6.5-fold) if the carrots are cooked vs. raw.
Lastly, opt for whole carrots vs. baby carrots. Baby carrots are misshappen mature carrots that have been shaved down to a smaller more uniform size. The outer part that’s thrown away is much more nutritious than the inner core. The greatest concentration of nutrients is in the skin and the tissue right below it. When you remove the outer portion of the carrots, you also remove on-third of its phytonutrients.
So, to get the most health benefits from carrots, buy them whole then cook (saute, steam, bake) them in a high-quality fat like avocado oil, coconut oil or olive oil.
Boost your beta-carotene intake by adding carrots to your homemade healthy treats. Try these yummy Carrot Pecan Muffins. They’re perfect for the Easter and Spring season!
Carrot Pecan Muffins
INGREDIENTS: (12 medium sized muffins)
2 cups almond flour
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 pastured eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1 cup finely shredded carrots (I used a food processor for this)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350F and place liners in muffin tray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.
3. Mix in eggs, oil, and honey/maples syrup. TIME SAVER TIP: Use a food processor for steps 2 & 3, if you have one.
4. Stir in the shredded carrots and chopped pecans.
5. Fill each muffin slot 3/4 of the way with batter.
6. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool before removing from tin. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or the freezer.
I’ve amped up the flavour on these muffins by adding more rich chocolate flavour plus some optional walnut crunch & crumble.
These muffins are a great breakfast option on days when you’re running out the door. They also make for a delicious healthy snack or treat.
They’re packed with all the good stuff including quality protein and healthy fats that will keep you feeling satisfied. Even better, they’re naturally sweetened with ripe bananas and only a tiny amount of extra sweetener, so they’ll keep you on track with your health and weight loss goals.
Let me know your thoughts on this new muffin recipe. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do ?
TIP: Make a batch and store them in the freezer. Simply grab one whenever you need quick fuel–they thaw out within 10-15 minutes. If you plan to eat the batch within a week, they can be stored in the fridge.
Do you have an allergy or intolerance to eggs? Use one of the egg substitutes below:
1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water (whisk until gelatinous and creamy) = 1 egg
1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water (Stir and allow to rest for 15 minutes) = 1 egg
Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
INGREDIENTS: (12 medium sized muffins)
4 pastured eggs*
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted (I like Saisha from Rootalive)
1/2 cup almond flour, sifted
1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I like Camino 100%)
1/4 cup raw walnuts, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp raw walnuts
2 tbsp coconut chips
2 tbsp dark chocolate chips
*Substitute with 4 flax eggs or 4 chia eggs for egg free version (see instructions above).
1. Preheat oven to 350. Place liners in muffin tin.
2. Beat eggs in bowl, mash bananas with a fork on a plate, then add all wet ingredients together and mix thoroughly.
3. Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and continue to mix until a thick smooth batter is formed.
Note: Steps 2 & 3 can be done using a food processor to make things easier.
4. Add chocolate chips and chopped walnuts (optional) into the batter and mix.
5. Optional step for crumble: Add walnuts and coconut chips to food processor and pulse until a crumble is formed. If you don’t have a food processor, put ingredients in a bag and crush with the bottom of a mug or can. Mix in dark chocolate chips.
5. Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way with batter. Top with crumble (optional).
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool before removing from tin.
“Well-designed cholesterol feeding studies (where they feed volunteers 2-4 eggs a day and measure their cholesterol) show that dietary cholesterol has very little impact on blood cholesterol levels in about 75% of the population. The remaining 25% of the population are referred to as “hyper-responders”. In this group, dietary cholesterol does modestly increase both LDL (“bad cholesterol” and HDL (“good cholesterol”), but it does not affect the ratio of LDL to HDL or increase the risk of heart disease.
In other words, eating cholesterol isn’t going to give you a heart attack. You can ditch the egg-white omelettes and start eating yolks again. That’s a good thing, since all of the13 essential nutrients eggs contain are found in the yolk. Egg yolks are an especially good source of choline, a B-vitamin that plays important roles in everything from neurotransmitter production to detoxification to maintenance of healthy cells.”
Get more choline & nutrient-rich egg yolks into your diet with this delicious Scrambled Eggs with Kale Pesto breakfast.
Scrambled Eggs with Kale Pesto
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)
6 pastured eggs, beaten
4 large kale leaves, chopped
1 shallot or small onion, sliced
2 tbsp avocado oil
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. Sauté shallot in 1 tbsp. oil over medium-low heat until translucent.
2. Add kale and season with salt & pepper. Sauté until kale is tender.
3. Put kale into a food processor and pulse until a pesto mixture is formed.
4. Using the same pan over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp. oil then add eggs and scramble.
If you’re looking for a warm and comforting breakfast with whole food ingredients, I highly recommend this grain free oatmeal (a.k.a. “NOatmeal).
It’s packed with healthy fats from raw nuts and contains whole eggs which gives your body the protein and fuel it needs to conquer the day! This nutrient-dense “NOatmeal” will leave you feeling satisfied and fueled for hours.
A great recipe for those following a paleo, low-carb, or IBS diet.
The BF and I usually save “NOatmeal” for the weekend since it takes a bit of time to prepare. BUT if you want to incorporate it into your work week, make a batch ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge. I suggest eating it within 4 days.
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)
1/4 cup raw pecans
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 pastured eggs
1/4 cup coconut or almond milk, unsweetened
1 banana (ripe)
1 tbsp almond butter
Pinch of sea salt
1. Put nuts, cinnamon & sea salt into food processor and process until everything is finely ground.
2. In one bowl beat eggs and milk together.
3. In another bowl, mash banana and almond butter together with a fork.
4. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Turn heat to medium-low heat and begin mixing ingredients together using a spatula.
5. Cook for 5-minutes or longer, stirring regularly so “NOatmeal” doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook for less time if you want a more runny consistency or cook longer if you want a more dense consistency.
6. Top with sliced banana and pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!
How would you like to indulge in holiday flavours like eggnog, candy cane, gingerbread, roasted chestnut and peppermint mocha without worrying about your waistline expanding over the holidays?
Cravings for holiday goodies tend to hit hard given that temptation is all around.
You might be asking – “Jen, how the heck do you stay on track during the holiday season?!”
My approach is simple – I satisfy my cravings instead of attempting to beat them.
The trick here is finding ways to replace unhealthy, sugar-loaded options with healthy alternatives that leave you not only satisfied but healthier (mentally, emotionally and physically).
I’m always experimenting with different recipes that allow me to enjoy delicious and familiar flavours while still staying on track with my health and weight.
My dessert-inspired smoothies have allowed me – and so many others – to enjoy mouthwatering meals that not only leave you feeling satisfied and healthy, but help kick cravings too.
So, if you’re looking for healthy &delicious holiday smoothies like eggnog, candy cane, gingerbread, roasted chestnut, peppermint mocha, french vanilla, ferrero rocher and more, grab my smoothie e-book HERE!
AND just in case you need some convincing, give my eggnog smoothie a try.
1. Blend all ingredients using a high-powered blender.
2. Pour into your favourite smoothie cup and enjoy!
Get over 16 dessert-inspired smoothie recipes when you join my FREE 14-day smoothie challenge. I’ll teach you everything you need to know about blending the perfect health smoothie and provide you with support and health wisdom along the way. JOIN NOW!
When I started a gluten and grain free diet, fried eggs just weren’t the same because I missed soaking up runny yolks with bread.
Not only are egg yolks super yummy, but the yolk is also the most nutritious part of an egg – and some would argue that the yolk is what makes the egg one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there.
So, me needing runny egg yolks in my life has lead to this delightful egg breakfast that soaks up the yolk just like bread, BUT way healthier!
For this recipe I used leftover Vegetable “Rice” that I made earlier in the week, which meant breakfast was served within 5-minutes since all I had to do was fry some eggs.
Give this nutrient-packed, low-carb breakfast a try. You won’t be disappointed – and you definitely won’t miss bread. You’ll get all the satisfaction you need from Vegetable “Rice” soaked in egg yolks!
TIP: Look for free-range eggs in your grocery store. Free range hens are allowed to roam, wander, perch and have a good quality of life, which makes a difference in the quality of their eggs. Free-range eggs are a much better option to ensure food safety & a high nutrient profile, and support ethical farming practices.