Monthly Archives: November 2016

Muffin Tin Meals!

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We have been invited to a potluck for a volunteer group my husband is a part of. While I was thinking about what to bring I remembered that in my research last week I found a great idea for stuffing; bake it in a muffin tin for individual servings. My thoughts then jumped to how wonderful an idea that would be for busy people & cancer patients in treatment. Individual, make ahead servings of meals made in a muffin tin/pan. Of course, as it turns out, I am not the only one who has thought of this. There are literally a thousand recipes on the internet.

This idea of using the muffin pan is perfect for a quick breakfast, lunch or a grab & go snack to bring along for a busy day. It would be ideal for those of you who have lost your appetite & need a calorie dense mini-meal. Let’s explore some of these ideas.


My go to for potlucks is a vegetarian, spinach & mushroom, quiche. I found several crust-less quiche recipes for a muffin pan. These would be easy to make & they could be frozen & warmed up when needed.

Mushroom, Spinach &  Mozzarella Mini Crustless Quiches 
Makes 12 muffin-size quiches

Cooking spray or grease with coconut oil
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
5 ounces fresh baby spinach You could also use frozen spinach well drained
6 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, sliced
5 eggs
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup 2 % milk or a nut milk or coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Generously spray a standard-sized muffin tin with cooking spray, making sure to cover each cup completely. Set aside.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add onions. Cook until softened, about 5-8 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they shrink in size and begin to brown, about 5 minutes.

Turn the heat to low and mound the spinach on top of the mushrooms and onions. It will look like a lot of spinach, but it will wilt down. Gently stir until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes.

Set aside to cool.

Crack eggs into a medium mixing bowl. Pour in the milk. Whisk until the eggs and milk completely combine and the mixture slightly fluffy, about 1 minute. Stir in the cheese, salt and pepper.

When the spinach and mushroom mixture has cooled slightly, add it to the egg mixture and stir gently to combine.

Fill each muffin cup with 1/4 cup of egg and vegetable mixture (I like to use  1/4 cup measuring cup).

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops of the mini quiches begin to brown.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a butter knife around each mini quiche to free it from the muffin tin. Serve warm or at room temp. 

Spinach Quiche Cups from Manila Spoon: Completely gluten-free and low-carb is this healthy and delicious quiche that everyone will enjoy. You can tweak the recipe to add your favorite vegetables! 

Ingredients
A little olive oil (for cooking the mushrooms)
1 (10 oz) package fresh spinach (I used the baby ones) — about 284 grams
4 eggs (if the yolks are quite small I use 5 eggs)
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I use mozzarella or the Italian Blend)
1 (8 oz package) mini-bella mushrooms, chopped

1-2 Tbsp, heavy cream or half-and-half (optional)

Salt and Pepper, to taste

*Variation – If you don’t fancy mushrooms, try asparagus or bell peppers with the spinach. Also, add some onions to the mix. I add some when I do not use mushrooms.

Procedure: Preheat the oven to 375F or 190C.

Heat a little oil in a large skillet. Saute the mushrooms until they are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Set Aside.

Place the spinach in a deep pan or in the skillet that you used for the mushrooms. Add a little water, 1/4 cup should do it. Using medium heat, cook the spinach just until wilted, about 3-4 mins. Use either your hand or a spatula to pack in the spinach. Drain the excess water really well (especially if you decide to use frozen spinach instead).

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until combined. Add the cooked mushrooms, spinach, cheeses and cream (if using) to the eggs. Mix well. Season to taste. 

Divide evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Bake for about 20-23 minutes, or until it’s well set and a tester/toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave in the pan for a few minutes or just until it’s cool enough to handle. It was so easy to remove them from the pan! They practically pop-out!


Want a healthy turkey idea? 

Muffin Tin Mini Lasagnas from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures I like this recipe because it uses turkey rather than beef & uses wonton wrappers instead of noodles.  barely adapted from Can You Stay for Dinner?

12 oz ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
pinch red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
24 wonton wrappers
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin generously with nonstick cooking spray. or coconut oil.

Add the ground turkey, onions, mushrooms, salt, and pepper to a large skillet set over medium to medium-high heat. Using a wooden spoon, break the turkey up into small crumbles and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the turkey has browned. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, just until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon of the oregano, and the red pepper flakes, and stir to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oregano, the basil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

To assemble: Press 1 wonton wrapper into each well of the muffin pan – be sure to press them into the bottom and sides of the pan. Working with half of the ricotta mixture, divide it among the wells of the pan evenly, pressing the ricotta into an even layer. Working with half of the tomato sauce, divide it among the wells of the pan, spreading in an even layer rather than mounding. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the mozzarella over the top of each mini lasagna. Press a second wonton wrapper onto each mini lasagna then repeat the process of layering using the second half of the ricotta mixture, the remaining half of the tomato sauce and finally two more teaspoons of the mozzarella per cup.

Bake the mini lasagnas for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove the muffin pan to a wire rack and let the mini lasagnas cool for a few minutes before removing them. Garnish with fresh basil before serving, if desired.


This Mexican food recipe can be changed to fit your taste. Again, it uses wonton wrappers. Go to the recipe link to see photos of how to put it together.

Crunchy Taco Cups from Kevin & Amanda 

YIELD: 12 CUPS (ABOUT 3-4 SERVINGS).

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef, browned and drained Can be omitted. Use ground turkey, seitan or beans instead.
  • 1 envelope (3 tablespoons) taco seasoning
  • 1 (10-oz) can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (or Mexican blend)
  • 24 wonton wrappers

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Generously coat a standard size muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine cooked beef, taco seasoning, and tomatoes in a bowl and stir to combine. Line each cup of prepared muffin tin with a wonton wrapper. Add 1.5 tablespoons taco mixture. Top with 1 tablespoon of cheese. Press down and add another layer of wonton wrapper, taco mixture, and a final layer of cheese.
  3. Bake at 375 for 11-13 minutes until cups are heated through and edges are golden.

Breakfast ideas:

BREAKFAST HASH BROWN CUPS from Delicious  YIELD: 12 SERVINGS, PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES, COOK TIME: 50 MINUTES, TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR, 5 MINUTES

Tender-crisp hash browns topped with eggs, bacon, spinach and mushrooms. Easy to make and so perfect to serve large crowds!”

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (20-ounce) package refrigerated hash brown potatoes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 slices bacon, diced Can be omitted.
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray. Divide potatoes into each of the 12 muffin tins, pressing carefully to make sure there is an opening in the center. Place into oven and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until golden brown; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, Worcestershire and hot sauce; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; drain excess fat, reserving 1 tablespoon in the skillet. Add mushrooms and bell pepper to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in egg mixture until the eggs are completely set, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in spinach, 1/4 cup cheese and bacon until the spinach has wilted, about 2 minutes.

Spoon egg mixture into the muffin tins and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Place into oven and bake for 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs 
  • Splash of milk
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry 
  • 2 chopped scallions 
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (you can also use feta or goat cheese) 
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Beat eggs with the splash of milk. Season with salt and pepper. Evenly distribute the spinach and scallions in each muffin cup. Next, pour the egg mixture on top – evenly distributing among the muffin cups. Sprinkle the cheese on top of each cup. Bake for about 20-23 minutes, or until the egg cups are well set and a tester/toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve immediately.

If you want to freeze the egg cups, let cool completely then wrap each egg cup individually in plastic wrap and transfer to a large freezer zip lock bag. Freeze up to one month. To serve from freezer, either thaw overnight in the fridge then re-warm in microwave or oven, or take directly from the freezer to the microwave and heat until thawed and warmed. Remove from the plastic wrap before placing in microwave!


This is another good idea for those of you on the go! 

Time-Saving Tip: Freeze Smoothie Ingredients in Muffin Tins“Instead of rounding up smoothie ingredients such as bananas, greens, and protein powder on the spot, Muffin Tin Mania’s Matt Kadey recommends blending a batch ahead of time. Freeze the mixture in muffin tins and then store in a zip-top bag for later. When you’re in the mood for a smoothie, you can quickly toss a couple of these frozen smoothie cups in a blender with liquid such as water, coconut water, or milk.” Go to the site for recipes. 

Muffin Tin Mania & Green Smoothie Cups Love this site. Of course this recipe in particular caught my eye!

Java Chocolate Smoothie Cups

  • 3 cups strongly brewed coffee, cooled 
  • 2 bananas 
  • 1/2 cup chocolate hemp protein or other protein powder of choice 
  • 1/2 cup almonds 
  • 1/3 cup pitted dried dates, chopped 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Place coffee, bananas, protein powder, almonds, dates, extract and cinnamon and in a blender container. Turn blender onto its low setting and process for 20 seconds. Switch to the high setting and blend until dates and almonds are pulverized, about 1 minute.

Divide mixture among 12 medium sized muffin cups. Place trays in the freezer and freeze until solid. Unmold coffee cups and store in the freezer in a zip-top bag.

When it comes time to make a smoothie, simply place a couple of frozen coffee cups in a blender along with about 1 1/2 cups liquid (I use 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup water) and blend until smooth. If your blender does not have a lot of power, you may want to carefully slice the frozen cups into halves or quarters before blending. I need to try this one!


Simple ideas worth considering:

Falafels are one of our favorites. I don’t like to make them because they are usually fried. I saw several recipes that put the mix into a muffin tin & baked them at 375 for 20 minutes. One recipe scooped the falafel mixture into each cup & the other one rolled them & put each ball into a cup. These could be frozen to be used as needed.

Any favorite meatloaf, vegetarian or vegan loaf recipe could be put into a muffin tin. You can even put the sauce on top. These could also be frozen.

Poached Eggs: foodnetwork “Spoon 1 tablespoon hot water into each muffin cup. Crack 1 egg into each cup; season with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees F to desired doneness, 12 to 14 minutes. Carefully remove with a spoon.”

Use a mini-muffin pan for some of the recipes. Especially good for appetizers, mini-appetites 🙂 & children’s portions.

For stuffed peppers, you can stand each one in a muffin tin cup, then bake!

Make your favorite soup, pour into muffin cups & freeze. Pop out each frozen “soup muffin” & store in a freezer container. Take out & warm as needed!

Invest in regular, jumbo & mini sized muffin tins. The jumbo size holds one cup of recipe per muffin cup. Wilton Muffin Tins


Now I have to decide which recipe I am going to try! Until next week…Mary 🙂

***Update: I did make this recipe for Thanksgiving: Vegan Green Bean Casserole by Minimalist Baker It was by far the best green bean casserole I have eaten. I added another cup of mushrooms to the recipe & for the vegetable broth I used “Not-Chick’n Bullion Cubes”. It is more labor intensive than opening cans, but it is worth it.


Resources: For more recipes & ideas.

  • 30 Surprising Things You Can Make With Your Muffin Tin Great ideas!
  • 19 Portable Meals You Can Make in a Muffin Tin: from Greatist.com “All muffins, all the time. That’s our new rallying cry, especially now that we’ve discovered muffins can be healthy. But did you know that your muffin pan is secretly a multitasking tool? Yes, really. Think beyond blueberry muffins and vanilla cupcakes, as this tin can make any number of single-serving meals and snacks. There’s so much to love here: These recipes are portable, portion-size, and photogenic. (Instagram-worthy snacks on the go? Sign us up!) Plus, so many make easy party foods and can be made ahead of time.”
  • 12 Delicious Vegan Recipes You Can Make in a Muffin Pan from ChooseVeg.com
  • 14 Meals in a Muffin Tin from Get Healthy U: “Dust off your muffin tin because it is time to get cooking with these 14 healthy muffin tin recipes! These muffin tin meals are an easy way to create unique and versatile dishes that are perfect for just one or a big group. These tasty morsels are filled with fresh ingredients that your tummy and body will love. Many of these healthy muffin recipes make incredible appetizers too, so let’s have a party!”
  • 15 savory recipes to make in a muffin tin right now from HellaWella: “If you live in an apartment, you probably already know all too well that space comes at a premium. Not everyone has room to store a vast assortment of kitchen gadgets and essentials, which means some of them need to multitask. Take the muffin tin, for instance. It’s not just for making muffins anymore. We found you 15 savory treats to whip up in a muffin tin, and they travel beautifully. These nibbles are sure to be a hit at any indoor or outdoor get-together.”
  • Healthy Muffin Tin Recipes “Find healthy, delicious muffin tin recipes including lasagnas, oatmeal, pie and more. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.”
  • Muffin Tin Mania & Green Smoothie Cups  
  • Time-Saving Tip: Freeze Smoothie Ingredients in Muffin Tins:
  • 50 Things to Make in a Muffin Pan “Every dish is more fun when it’s mini…”
  • 1000+ Jumbo Muffin Tin Recipes on Pinterest!  

Thanksgiving: New Recipes!

calendar-thanksgiving

MHollander

I was shocked to see that Thanksgiving was only a few days away on my calendar this morning. I am not ready. We usually have a Tofurkey as the centerpiece of the meal. I haven’t been able to find one & I am too late to order one. What to do? Research for recipes online, that’s what to do 🙂

In case you have forgotten about my post last year: Thanksgiving Recipes: “Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful & a time to spend with loved ones. It is also a time of feasting! I would like to add here that it is also a day to enjoy your food. A day of gratitude & loved ones is better for your immune system than any diet you are currently on! So, throw out the self-imposed eating rules, say a blessing of gratitude & enjoy.”  

Rodale’s Organic Living has a wonderful post this month about 5 Ways Gratitude Starts at Your Table.  “Gratitude is healing. And here is how you can tap into that healing power this Thanksgiving.” Take time to read the article. Here is the essence:

  1. BE THANKFUL FOR THE FOOD
  2. BE THANKFUL FOR THE PEOPLE WHO GREW THE FOOD
  3. BE THANKFUL FOR THE PEOPLE WHO BROUGHT YOU THE FOOD
  4. BE THANKFUL FOR EACH OTHER
  5. BE THANKFUL FOR THE MOMENT

WebMD’s Newsletter this week is about foods that help fight depression. Here is #1. 

roasted turkey
Turkey

The traditional Thanksgiving bird has the protein building-block tryptophan, which your body uses to make serotonin. That’s a brain chemical that plays a key role in depression, researchers say. In fact, some antidepressant drugs work by targeting the way your brain uses serotonin. You can get the same mood-boosting effect from chicken and soybeans.

Are you unable to join family or friends for Thanksgiving? Here are a few good turkey recipes for two.


Are you a vegan or vegetarian? Check out these recipes:


Let’s not forget about stuffing! Since I don’t have a turkey to stuff, I make stuffing as a side dish. Here are some ideas.


Side Dishes:


Desert; if you can still move 🙂


Leftovers! I emailed my daughter a recipe for leftover green bean casserole; how to turn it into a quiche. She quickly responded with: “People have leftovers?”. Forgot she is feeding 2 teenage sons & their friends 🙂


Banjo, my furry grandson. Mhollander

Banjo, my furry grandson. Mhollander

Thanksgiving & Pets. This is for those of you who have fur-babies. 

Thanksgiving & Your Pet by Mindy Norton at Alabama Public Radio Sharing Thanksgiving foods with your best friend (or friends) is fine, as long as you make sure it’s safe for them.  Just give them small amounts, and they will enjoy the treat!  

Foods to avoid are those that contain things like grapes or raisins, which can cause kidney failure in a pet. Likewise, it’s a good idea to pass on anything containing onions or garlic, unless it is thoroughly cooked. Even then, letting your pet have too much could result in toxic anemia. People who are watching their weight may use artificial sweeteners, but one in particular, Xylitol, is poisonous to pets and can be fatal. Most folks know not to feed chocolate to their pets, but be careful of dishes that may contain baking chocolate as one of the ingredients; baking chocolate is more of a threat than milk chocolate. Also on the taboo list is alcohol.

So what can you share with your pet? PetPD.com says cooked vegetables like green beans and carrots are actually good for your furry friend. Mashed potatoes can also be a good choice for a treat, as long as they haven’t been “enhanced” with things like gravy, onions, butter, sour cream. If your pet can tolerate dairy products, you might want to share a small amount of your mac-and-cheese. A little taste of cranberry sauce wouldn’t hurt your four-footed friend. And best of all, you can share some turkey! Just make sure to remove any bones.

Table scraps should never be the bulk of your pet’s diet, but if you keep it healthy and give only modest amounts, both of you can enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday in style. And when you’re counting the things that you’re thankful for, remember to include on your list the warmth and companionship of your furry best friend – when you’re speaking of pets.

__>^..^<__


Happy Thanksgiving!…..Mary 🙂

Cold & Flu Season

Tea 1 (2)

MHollander

The cold & flu season is upon us once again. I am going to share 2 of my posts from September, 2015. I have updated them & added additional information. I recommend these remedies & teas for everyone, not just cancer patients in or out of treatment, but for family, caregivers & friends as well.

Oncologists differ in what they ask you to NOT take during your treatment. Please check with them before you start using any of these products. 

What can you safely use for cold & flu symptoms before, during & after chemotherapy, radiation or surgery? There are literally thousands of over the counter remedies to choose from. Most of these have ingredents that will interact with medications & may have side effects. I will talk about remedies that are natural & easy to find. I will also note if there are any drug interactions that you should be aware of. 

Lets begin with ways to help stimulate the immune system to fight off colds & flu. Here are the obvious ones.

  • Eat a balanced, plant based, healthy diet. Think Mediterranean ?
  • Eliminate added sugar & processed foods.
  • Alleviate stress with mindfulness programs, meditation, art, massage & other non-drug, complementary therapies.
  • Exercise: Walks, Yoga, Zumba etc.

My husband was a teacher & then a sub for elementary grades. He was exposed to a lot of germs from those little people. Starting at the end of August I recommended that he take the following. ***Even though we are not around children anymore, except when out shopping, or at events, we continue this as a preventative measure.

  • Vitamin C:  1000 mgm each morning. This is an anti-oxidant & you should check with your health care team if you are taking chemotherapy or in radiation.
  • Elderberry Syrup: 1 Tablespoon each morning during flu season. Black elderberries are anti-viral & will relieve flu symptoms. They are also protective if taken every morning during the flu season. Sambucus Syrup by Nature’s Way is a good, safe brand to use. Gaia Black Elderberry Syrup is another good, safe brand.  This is also an anti-oxidant & you should check with your health care team if you are taking chemotherapy or in radiation. 

Herbal Teas are wonderful to help with cold & flu symptoms. Taken in tea form, two or three times a day, they will not interact with medications. Here are 2 safe brands of herbal medicinal teas I use & recommend. I have also included a few that you should know about for other problemsExplore the tea aisle of your store or go to the links I have provided to see what other seasonal, medicinal, teas there are.

Traditional Medicinals Seasonal Teas: These are the teas that I have personal experience with. Traditional Medicinals are organic, herbal teas. Herbal teas should be steeped for  7-10 minutes. Follow the directions on the package.

  • Gypsy Cold Care: I use this tea when exposed to a cold or when I start with the runny nose & itchy eyes. I drink an 8 ounce cup three times a day for 2 to 3 days. “Elder, yarrow and peppermint—the foundation of this tea—are a classic European blend of herbs used for centuries. We love the aroma of the pungent, minty steam that rises off this tea. Sip slowly and let your weary body be comforted by its warming properties. Fragrant and soothing, it’s one of those teas that just seems to say, “don’t worry, everything’s going to be all right.”
  • Throat Coat: The herbal ingredients in this tea soothe a raw throat. I have also used it for GERD or acid reflux. Works well for both. “Slippery elm or Ulmus rubra (Latin for “red elm,” so called for its lovely reddish bark) is a beautiful, native North American elm tree. It’s the inner bark of this tree that is actually called “slippery elm” due to its, yes, slippery, smooth, and slimy-in-a-good-way properties. Combined with licorice and marshmallow root, we think this tea blend is like taking your voice to the spa—because we all need a little comfort sometimes so we can get back to being our best.”
  • Breathe Easy: Love this tea! It opens up those bronchial. When my grandsons were babies & had a bad cold where they weren’t able to lie down because of respiratory congestion, I gave them a tablespoon or two of prepared tea. Within a few minutes they were asleep. I also use it for other types of respiratory congestion such as asthma. “One of our original formulas, Breathe Easy tea has been supporting people for nearly four decades. This enduring classic combines the best of Western herbalism with ancient Traditional Chinese wisdom resulting in a unique blend that warms and engages the senses. Eucalyptus, fennel and licorice are combined with Bi Yan Pian extract, a traditional Chinese formula of 12 different herbs. We love this aromatic and fragrant blend that soothes with its warm and spicy taste.”
  • Echinacea PlusEchinacea is a good immune stimulant. This tea or Echinacea Plus Elderberry is very good.  “Echinacea—or purple coneflower—was used by a number of Native American tribes for hundreds of years before it was introduced into Western herbal traditions in the late 1800s. Today, it is one of the most studied herbs. We love how this pleasant-tasting herbal blend supports a healthy immune system response.”
  • You should also know about other teas that I recommend: Smoothe Move for constipation, even when chemotherapy induced. Ginger Aid for all nausea & Nighty Night tea for those sleepless nights. 
  • Cooling Sage: I am adding this one for those of you with menopausal symptoms. Sage is an amazing herb that I grow to use medicinally.  Relieves excess sweating and the night sweats associated with menopausal hot flashes. Reason to Love: While we won’t say the sage in this tea has mystical properties, we do know that the Latin name for sage (Salvia) means “to be saved.” When menopause brings on those hot flashes and excess sweating – being saved is exactly what you might need! We love this traditional blend of sage and motherwort for its ability to help relieve hot flashes associated with menopause and soothe the body and spirit.” ***A follow-up note for breast cancer patients suffering from hot flashes &/or night sweats….our fellow NUT, Terrie, shared this article in Cure with me. Acupuncture Could Cool Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Survivors Thank you Terrie!

Yogi Cold Weather Season Teas: This brand is as good as Traditional Medicinals. It is a fantastic company & uses Organic herbs. Herbal teas should be steeped for 7-10 minutes. Follow the directions on the package.

  • Breathe Deep: Similar to Breathe Easy. I prefer the herbs used in Breathe Easy, but both work the same. See which one works best for you. “Relax and breathe in the enchanting aroma of a steaming cup of Yogi Breathe Deep tea. This all organic blend of herbs is purposefully formulated to support respiratory health. Traditionally used to support free breathing, we include Thyme and soothing, aromatic Eucalyptus. Warming spices Cinnamon, Cardamom and Ginger, combine with Licorice for a naturally spicy-sweet blend. Enjoy this tea plain or with a little honey, and experience delight with every steaming cup of Breathe Deep tea.”
  • Honey Lemon Throat Comfort & Throat Comfort: “The perfect way to help soothe your throat is with a cup of our certified organic Honey Lemon Throat Comfort® tea. This traditional herbal formula, flavored with Honey and Lemon, includes Slippery Elm Bark, prized by Western herbalists for its usefulness in relieving minor throat irritation. Wild Cherry Bark, traditionally used by native North Americans for its soothing effects, lends a naturally sweet cherry flavor. We augment this recipe with Echinacea Root and a burst of Peppermint for cooling refreshment. Enjoy our Honey Lemon Throat Comfort tea as a naturally tasty treat or when you need a gentle and comforting blend to soothe your throat.” Both teas are excellent to soothe the throat. Throat Comfort would be the one to use for GERD or gastric reflux. The lemon in the other one may irritate the gastric lining in this case.
  • Cold Season Tea: A good “protective” tea for the cold season. Like Gypsy Cold Care, I use it when I know I have been exposed to a cold or I begin to have the runny nose & itchy eyes. “Cold Season is a soothing all organic herbal tea specifically formulated for use during the cold weather season. We start with the warming herbs traditionally used in Ayurveda–Ginger, Cardamom, Cinnamon and Clove–known as heating herbs that can help to support respiratory and bronchial function. The blend is complemented with Peppermint, Eucalyptus and Basil, herbs traditionally used for their warming and invigorating properties. So when the cold weather season arrives, relax and sip a steaming cup of Cold Season tea to help keep your internal fire blazing.”
  • Echinacea Immune Support: Good tea to support immune function. Health practitioners for centuries have respected the powers of Echinacea. Traditionally used for centuries, our exclusive combination combines three varieties of Echinacea root, an herb that is believed by herbalists to support the immune system. We complement this blend with Elder Berry Extract and soothing Organic Mullein Leaf, herbs traditionally used to help support respiratory function. Hints of spice combine with lively Peppermint, Lemongrass, Rose Hip and sweet Licorice for an intriguingly delicious blend. This blend is sure to become an all-season favorite as well as when your immune system needs support.”
  • Other Yogi teas that I recommend: Get Regular  for constipation, even when chemotherapy induced. Ginger for all nausea & Bedtime for those sleepless nights!

Lozenges for colds, coughs & sore throats: Cough suppressants prevent or stop a cough. An expectorant is a medication that helps bring up the mucus in the lungs.

I saw 2 interesting questions on line about cough drops; How many calories are there in one cough drop? & How many cough drops would be an overdose? I don’t think calories should be a concern when you are coughing your lungs up ? & you should not be eating these like candy. Most packages say the “serving size” is one lozenge & should be taken as needed up to 5 lozenges PER DAY. 

  • Organic Sambucus Lozenges by Nature’s Way: These lozenges shorten my cold symptoms & reduce the severity. They contain Elderberry, Vitamin C & Zinc. I also use them as a cough suppressant. “Made with unique, full-spectrum black elderberry extract. Each lozenge provides 12.5 mg of Black Elderberry Extract, plus 5 mg of Zinc~should never exceed 10mg~ and 60 mg Vitamin C.”
  • Ricola Original Natural Herb Cough Drop: My husband prefers these. They are cough suppressants & work every time he uses them. Ricola original herb cough drops contain the goodness of mountain herbs. This classic Ricola product has a distinctive cube shape and fine herb flavor. Original Ricola natural herb cough drops are made today just as they were in the 1940’s using the highest quality natural herbs cultivated in Swiss alpine areas using natural farming methods without chemical pesticides to ensure optimum taste and effectiveness.” Their sugar-free cough drops with green tea & echinacea contain Aspartame. Unless you have a medical reason to use a sugar-free cough drop, I would not use them.
  • Smith Brothers & Halls: Both have ingredients & dyes that I would not recommend. Check out their websites & see what you think.

Aromatherapy essential Oils for congestion & cough: Use these in a diffuser or humidifier~ using the manufacturers instructions~ in the “sick” room. Do not use directly on the skin or internally. You can also put a few drops of the essential oil onto a cotton ball & place it on your bedside table or even in your pillow case.

  • Eucalyptus essential oil: Congestion & cough. Anti-microbial.
  • Camphor essential oil: Congestion. Can be combined with eucalyptus for use in diffuser/humidifier. Add equal drops.
  • Peppermint essential oil: Congestion & headache. Anti-bacterial.
  • Thyme essential oil: Congestion & cough.
  • Tea Tree essential oil: Clears sick room; anti-viral. Congestion & cough.
  • Oregano essential oil: Proven antibacterial. Fights sinus infections.
  • Orange essential oil: Stimulates appetite. Add a drop to your place-mat or napkin ?

Umcka Cold Care : Umcka Original Drops are made by Nature’s Way. One of my daughter’s favorite cold care remedies for my grandsons. This product is Homeopathic which means it will not interact with any medications. “Umcka goes beyond symptom relief and actually helps you recover faster – which means you can get back to life faster, too. In fact, studies show that adults with acute bronchial irritations were able to return to work nearly two days earlier with EPs 7630. You can feel confident knowing that the EPs 7630 found within Umcka has been widely studied by various clinical organizations in the treatment of the common cold, bronchial irritations and other upper respiratory concerns.” 

Olbas Oil:  Place a drop or two on a cotton ball or a handkerchief. Place it on or under your pillow when napping or before bed time. It will act as a decongestant. Olbas Oil originated in Basel, Switzerland over 100 years ago, and continues to be a European and worldwide favorite. The natural essential oils in Olbas are extracted from six medicinal herbs, which have been the basis of healing in cultures around the world for centuries. These oils are carefully blended by Swiss herbalists, making the Olbas formula truly unique. The synergistic combination of these six essential oils provides amazing sensations to your body at multiple levels.”

*** If your sore throat or cough is severe, persists for more than 2 days, is accompanied or followed by fever, headache, rash, swelling, nausea, or vomiting, call your health care team. This may be more than a cold or a mild case of the flu.


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MHollander

Growing up in the 1950’s with a stay at home mother who loved to cook, bake, & garden, taught me to use what I have at hand. She didn’t drive so she couldn’t run to the drugstore when we had a sore throat, cough or a high fever. The phrase that comes to mind from those times is, “think simple”. Simple is cheaper & usually better.

There are many homemade remedies to treat the symptoms from a cold or flu. I will share the ones that I use & that I know work. Each year more over the counter cold & flu remedies are pulled off the shelf by the FDA due to ingredients that are harmful to both adults & children. Sometimes over the counter cold & flu remedies make you feel worse because of the side-effects & the cost ?

If you don’t grow your own herbs then you can purchase fresh herbs like sage, thyme & rosemary in the produce section of the market. You can also use dried. Simply buy them in the spice aisle. There are many sage’s. The one to use medicinally is the culinary sage. At the end of this post is a list of resources. They are my well used & loved herbal reference books & websites.


Sore throats can be bacterial or viral infections. The majority of them are due to viral infections heralding the start of a common cold. Throat inflammation is an immune response to the virus & usually accompanies a runny nose & cough. The following simple remedies will relieve the soreness & calm the inflammation in the throat.

  • Gargle with warm salt water. Water should be warm to the touch but not hot.

1 cup of water & 1/4 tsp salt. Swish & spit.

  • Sore Throat Gargle by the herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. This one has a bit of Zip to it. Rosemary says that she is the first to admit that it isn’t her tastiest recipe but it works for both sore throats & laryngitis.

1 cup of apple cider vinegar ~I use Bragg’s~

1 cup of strong (triple strength) sage tea ~I use 3 tablespoons of fresh sage or you can use 3 teaspoons dried sage, bring 1 cup of water to boil, add sage & steep for 15 minutes~

2-3 teaspoons of salt

Pinch of Cayenne

Combine all of the ingredients. Gargle frequently as needed throughout the day. Don’t swallow, swish & spit.

  • Sage Gargle. This is an old family recipe that Dr. Low Dog recommends for a sore throat. It works quickly.

1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves or 2 teaspoons of dried sage 

1/4 teaspoon salt  

1 cup of water

Bring the water to a boil, add sage, cover & let steep for 10 minutes. Strain, pour into a tea mug, add the salt & stir.

Gargle every 1-2 hours, or as needed. Don’t swallow, swish & spit.

Dr. Low Dog notes that this gargle can be used along with antibiotics for strep throat.

Strep throat symptoms By Mayo Clinic Staff  In general, signs and symptoms of strep throat include: (Click on the link & read the entire article for when to see the doctor etc.)

  • Throat pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus
  • Tiny red spots on the soft or hard palate — the area at the back of the roof of the mouth
  • Swollen, tender lymph glands (nodes) in your neck
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Stomachache and sometimes vomiting, especially in younger children
  • Fatigue

***Strep throat is bacterial & different than a cold because it never has the stuffy nose & cough. Strep throat is highly contagious so it is important to be treated immediately with a course of antibiotics. 


Cough. This is your bodies way of telling you that you have too much mucous, gastric acid, or you have been breathing in smoke. It varies from a small irritating tickle in the back of your throat to a full blown wet cough. Coughs that accompany colds last about 3 weeks. If they last longer than that or continue to get worse you should consult your health care team.

  • Honey has been used for coughs forever! Researchers have studied different types of honey & found that all of them work as well as any over the counter cough syrup. It is especially effective for children over the age of 12 months to relieve a nighttime cough. Dosage is 1-2 teaspoons before bed. Works for adults too ? It is a great soother for throat cancer patients with sores or thrush in the mouth & throat. 

***Honey should never be given, even a tiny taste, to children under the age of 12 months. Wild honey can be contaminated with bacteria, Clostridium Botulinum, & may cause poisoning in infants and young children. However, this is not a danger for older children and adults.

  • Thyme Cough Syrup by Dr. Low Dog. This is her go-to cough syrup because it works quickly, is safe, tastes great & costs very little to make. Thyme relieves coughs & congestion.

4 tablespoons fresh Thyme or 4 teaspoons dried Thyme ~culinary, common garden thyme~

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup of water

1/4 cup honey, preferably raw & local or 1/4 cup maple syrup if using it for a child under 12 months of age.

Pour near-boiling water over thyme & steep, covered, for 15 minutes. strain. Add honey & lemon juice. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Children 12 months or older: 1-2 teaspoons every 2-3 hours as needed.

Teens & Adults: 1-2 tablespoons every 2-3 hours as needed.


Congestion. This is usually an excessive amount of mucus or secretions in your respiratory track. It causes difficulty breathing thru the nose or sometimes even the mouth. If the congestion becomes worse & you have difficulty breathing then it indicates that it has moved lower into the lungs. You should seek medical advice.

  • Warm water with lemon & honey helps loosen congestion, and prevents dehydration. 
  • My recipe; for colds & upper respiratory congestion. I don’t know where the original recipe came from, but I have tweaked it enough over the years to call it mine ? It works well.

1 cup of water  

1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar~I use Bragg’s~

Juice of 1 fresh lime

Honey to taste

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root 

1/4 teaspoon Cayenne powder ~ don’t use less, even if you don’t like cayenne~

Bring the water to a boil & then add the rest of the ingredients. Let sit overnight before using. Can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. I prefer to use it warm. Take 1-2 tablespoons as needed. For children over the age of 4, 1 teaspoon as needed. It is quite spicy! 

  • Fire CiderThere are many versions of fire cider. I use Rosemary Gladstar’s. This is an immune enhancer, can be used for digestive problems, sinus infection & congestion!

3-4 Tablespoons fresh horseradish root grated I tried using horseradish powder when I couldn’t find the root; did not work!

1 medium onion chopped

4-5 cloves of garlic coursley chopped

3-4 tablespoons freshly grated gingerroot

Honey to taste

1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

unfiltered apple cider vinegar~I use Bragg’s~

Combine the onion, garlic, ginger & horseradish in a wide mouthed glass quart jar. Add enough warmed vinegar to cover them. Place it in a warm spot & let it sit for 3-4 weeks. Strain, & add the honey & cayenne. It should taste lively, hot, pungent & sweet.

Take 1-2 teaspoons at the first sign of a cold & repeat every 3-4 hours until symptoms subside. 


Cold Remedies. Fire Cider ~above~ & Honey-Onion Syrup are to fight off a cold. You can use either of them at the first sign of a cold or if you are already suffering from one.

  • Honey-Onion Syrup for Colds. Rosemary Gladstar shared this old fashioned recipe for sore throats & colds. 

2-4 large onions sliced into thin half-moons & place in a deep pan. Just barely cover the onion slices with honey.

Warm on the stove over a very low heat until the onions are soft & somewhat mushy & the honey tastes strongly of onion.

You can add chopped garlic if you want for an even stronger syrup: stronger medicinally & tasting!

At the first sign of a cold take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon every hour or two until you feel better. If you already have a cold then take 1 teaspoon 3-4 times a day to speed your recovery.

  • Chicken Soup: Studies of homemade chicken soup to cure or limit a cold have shown that it acts as an anti-inflammatory. It also speeds up the movement of mucus through the nose. This can relieve congestion & prevent dehydration. Homemade is the best, but if you buy an organic canned soup then check the list of ingredients. Here are two websites with both vegetarian & non-vegetarian immune boosting soups.

Super Soups: Vegetarian Times “Nearly every culture turns to soup to heal, nourish, and soothe. Whether you’re battling a bad cold or the stomach flu, the food that can always comfort and nourish is soup. “Soups are warm and easy to take,” says Andrew Weil, MD, director of the University of Arizona’s Integrative Medicine Program. “They’re an excellent way to get nutrients, and they provide good associations for people.” Research confirms the health-giving properties of these home remedies and their active ingredients. Try these healing soup recipes from all over the world to ward off illness or just warm up a chilly weeknight supper.”


Fever. If you have a fever of 103 or higher & it lasts more than 3 days you should consult your health team. A fever means a healthy immune system. It is telling your body to raise the heat to defend itself. You don’t need to treat the fever. You need to treat whatever is causing the fever. Support the body during the time you have the fever by doing the following.

  • Hydrate. It is easy to become dehydrated when you have a fever. Drink water, juice, & healthy broths. Avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeinated drinks. Chamomile & or Lemon Balm tea are calming & hydrating.
  • Rest. Sleep does wonders when you are ill.
  • Nourishment. Healthy broths & soups ~see chicken soup above~
  • Cool down. Wear light clothes. Taking a tepid, not cold, bath can help as long as you wrap up in a towel after the bath to avoid being too chilled.

If you have any questions or you have a family remedy you would like to share, email me! I would love to collect some old family herbal remedies…..Until next week…Mary 🙂


Resources:  Take time to look at the Plants Archives by Traditional Medicinals & the Yogi Tea: Well Being links below.

*** If your sore throat or cough is severe, persists for more than 2 days, is accompanied or followed by fever (103 or higher & lasts more than 3 days), headache, rash, swelling, nausea, or vomiting, call your health care team. This may be more than a cold or a mild case of the flu.

 

Healthy Snacks.

MHollander

MHollander

Snacks are an important part of our daily food intake. They can simply be a piece of fruit while out and about or they can make up your diet for the entire day. What we choose to snack on is important. We want something that is healthy & nutritionally dense. Halloween candy doesn’t count 🙂

True story…I was at my local natural food store, Wild Rivers, when a man loudly asked the cashier: “Where the hell is the junk food aisle? This is the only junk food I could find (he held up an organic bar of chocolate).” Everyone laughed. It occurred to me that most grocery stores have several aisles of junk food. Natural food stores don’t. They do have chocolate bars, protein bars & chips, but in general, the ingredients are not that bad. 

While you are out & about, it is easy to succumb to a muffin at Starbucks, a candy bar while getting gas for the car, or driving thru a fast food place. If you plan ahead you can have prepared snacks with you. Get a lunch box or bag for them along with a reusable bottle of water. Keep it with your purse or car keys to remind you to bring it along.

When you are feeling ill &/or in treatment, you have no appetite nor energy to fix a meal. In past discussions I have suggested that you eat at least 6-8 snacks a day instead of 3 meals. The reason I suggested this, is that you will take in more calories & nutrients eating small snacks all day instead of pushing the food around on your plate during a traditional meal. Check out my Topic: Nutrition Tips During Chemotherapy for additional information.

I have made it known in prior posts, how much I hate lunch. It is a meal that I just don’t understand. Nothing appeals to me & I end up eating nothing or I make a sandwich which I really don’t want. I like a healthy breakfast & a healthy dinner with snacks in between. The key to this is to have “snack stuff” on hand. As I researched snacks on line, lots of not so healthy ideas came up. But when I researched Mediterranean diet snacks, I found some wonderful ideas. 

What do I mean by a healthy Mediterranean diet snack?Old ways Mediterranian pyramid

Snacks based on this diet would include whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables, some dairy, & healthy fats. Fish & lean meats could also be included. Stock your pantry with them.  Mediterranean Organic is a line of Mediterranean products that can be found at Jimbo’s, Sprouts, Whole Foods & other markets. Go to the website & use the locator for a store near you. 

I enjoy sitting down to a plate with the following in small servings: 

Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves)…You can purchase these already made in the deli at most stores. You can also find them on the shelf.

Feta cheese… 2-3 small squares the size of dice.

Greek Olives…I buy them marinated in vinegar & water rather than in oil.

Sliced bell peppers or Peperonchini’s 

Tomato slices…I go for the cherry tomatoes.

Legumes I have on hand…1/4 cup of any bean or lentil.

Pita Bread or whole grain crackers.


Cleaveland Clinic: Mediterranean Diet-Friendly SnacksChickpeas roasted with olive oil, salt and paprika “It is possible to have a satisfyingly crunchy and salty snack without reaching for a bag of chips. Make your own spiced, roasted chickpeas: Rinse, drain and pat dry two cans of chickpeas. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle them with olive oil. Roast in a hot oven until dark and crunchy, 30 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and paprika to taste, and roast a few minutes more. Chickpeas and olive oil are staples of the Mediterranean diet; the beans are rich in fiber, and olive oil delivers heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. (And even your favorite picky eater will love them.) I make these from chickpeas that I have sprouted or if I am in a hurry I use the canned chickpeas. Very satisfying & can be added to other nut mixtures as a grab & go snack.


Healthy Living: 5 Healthy Snacks from the Mediterranean Diet:  1/4 Cup Hummus dip with 1/2 cup raw vegetables –  130 calories (Less than 1 g saturated fat) 1/2 cup would be a healthy amount. There are many brands of hummus to be found. I like the sprouted raw hummus by Majestic. I bought it at Jimbo’s. I now make my own; can’t find it here.

Hummus TipThis chickpea based dip made with olive oil is an ideal Med diet snack, high in fiber, unsaturated fats and protein to keep you fuller for longer.  By dipping chopped vegetables such as carrots, cucumber, or capsicum you are also increasing your intake of important vitamins and minerals.  Sprinkle the dip with a little paprika and lemon juice for flavor.

Check out this link for other hummus uses: Oldways: 12 Great Ways to Use Hummus 


Also from Healthy Living: 5 Healthy Snacks from the Mediterranean Diet Small tin of Tuna on 4 whole wheat crackers – 205 calories (based on tuna in water) -1.2g saturated fat

Oily fish such as tuna are an important protein source in the Med diet.  By combining reduced salt tinned tuna with whole grain crackers, you are also increasing your intake of whole grains, another important part of the diet.  Tuna provides Omega 3 fatty acids, which play a part in lowering blood cholesterol levels, as well as protein to stop your hunger.  Tuna packed in olive oil is the ideal choice for those following the Med diet, but if you are watching your weight a water packed one is lower in calories. For those of you who need the calories or don’t have a weight issue choose the oil packed.


Healthy Homemade Garden Salad: Yummly: 10 best Healthy Mediterranean Snacks

Ingredients: serves 4

2 medium tomatoes (diced) Cherry tomatoes are easier 🙂

1/2 cucumber (medium, sliced thinly)

3 ounces black olives (whole) or Greek Olives

4 1/2 ounces feta cheese (cubed)

vinaigrette dressing (Red Wine)  Combine the following & let sit while you assemble the salad.

1/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 pinch salt

1 pinch ground black pepper

Toss together & serve. A serving can be brought along with you by keeping the dressing separate in a small container or jar. 

Here are a few good brands for vinaigrette dressing. Bragg’s Vinaigrette, Annie’s Dressings & Vinaigrette, & Newman’s Own.


Don’t forget, a hard-boiled egg on a salad or by itself is a healthy snack. If you have time you can make deviled eggs to have on hand. Add whole grain bread, pita bread or whole grain crackers to have with it. 

Mary’a Gone Crackers are a favorite of ours. They are organic, gluten-free, vegan & kosher. Easy to find. Sprouts, Henry’s, Trader Joe’s, even Smart & Final! Check the store locator on the website. 

Prepare raw vegetables by cleaning & chopping them to store in the refrigerator for a quick pick-me-up or to add to your snack of hummus, nut butter or hard-boiled egg.

Fresh fruit is another grab & go snack to keep with you. Apples travel well & it is apple season right now! For a “sweet tooth, take a Medjool date with you.


Layered Greek Dip Recipe. I saw this idea at this website: Betty Crocker: Mediterranean Appetizer Recipes I didn’t like the recipe itself but the idea is wonderful as a grab & go when you are going for treatment or a picnic! Here is the original recipe with my notes.

Ingredients

1 container (6 oz) Liberté® Méditerranée lemon yogurt Use Greek Yogurt, plain.

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (1 oz)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain hummus (from 7-oz container)
3 medium plum (Roma) tomatoes, seeded, chopped (1/2 cup) or any tomato sliced.
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded cucumber Doesn’t have to be seeded.
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped green onions (2 medium)
Pita chips, as desired
Sliced cucumbers and bell pepper strips, as desired I would add the bell peppers to the above mix of veggies.

Directions

  1.  In small bowl, mix yogurt, feta cheese, parsley, lemon juice and salt.
  2.  Into each of 8 (2- to 3-oz) glasses, (Use a 4 ounce jar or canning jar with lid) layer 2 tablespoons hummus, 1 heaping tablespoon yogurt mixture, 1 tablespoon tomato, 1 tablespoon cucumber, 1 tablespoon olives and slightly less than 1 teaspoon green onions. Add in green peppers & any other veggie you would like.
  3. Serve with remaining ingredients. Bring along the pita chips!

This site has many good recipes, including: Mediterranean Nachos, Greek Hummus Nachos & several Mediterranean quesadillas! 


Pita bread makes a great pocket sandwich. It is easy to transport in a sandwich bag or container. The filling can be all raw, cut up veggies. You can bring a small container of Greek Yogurt or a vinaigrette to add to it. Olives, a few cubes of a cheese, nuts, seeds, fish or chicken are great additions. Be creative. You can do the same thing with a flat bread or crackers. Pile everything on top!

If you are at home, you can make a quick “pizza”. For the crust you can use Naan, flat bread, or pita bread. Pile on the veggies & sprinkle with a little bit of Parmesan, feta, or another cheese. Put it in the toaster oven or under the grill & melt the cheese. You don’t even need a sauce.

Indian Life Naan are non-GMO, organic ingredients & easy to find in stores. I like the garlic naan.  Rustic Crust Organic Flatbread is another easy to find product. They can be used as a pizza crust. Another option is Organic Sprouted Tortillas by Food for Life. 


This website has a list of healthy snack foods. Rodale’s Organic Life: 21 Best Organic Snack Foods“But it’s the quality of those snacks that matters most, and not just when it comes to calories. According to the Grocery Manufacturers Association, approximately 80 percent of packaged foods contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that—among other health concerns—put you at greater risk for food allergies and gastrointestinal problems. Because GMOs aren’t labeled as such, you can’t protect yourself from these iffy ingredients and identify them in that lengthy list of ingredients you either can’t pronounce or have never heard of. That’s why we compiled this list of the best, healthy certified-organic snacks and snacks certified under the Non-GMO Project Verified program, which tests foods for residues of unhealthy, pesticide-riddled, GMO ingredients.” Some of the ideas have added sugar but in small amounts. 


Nuts! They are the ultimate high protein, high fiber, portable, snack food. This is a very good guide to nuts from the University of Michigan Health Systems: Healthy Nuts Go Nuts For snacking: a serving size is “a handful, not a can full” 🙂

Another favorite grab & go; nut butters! Get a small container that will hold 2 tablespoons of your nut butter. Take it along with a cut up apple, &/or crackers. I like Santa Cruz Peanut Butter because this is their ingredient list: ORGANIC ROASTED PEANUTS, CONTAINS 1% OR LESS OF SALT. Once Again Nut Butters have only organic nuts as their ingredients too. Check the ingredient list when buying nut butters. Many have added sugar & added honey. 


I will end with this website that has very good information on Protein Bars. The bars are rated, A-F. Nutrition Awareness: The Best Protein Bars  . 


Break out the dark chocolate! Until next week!…Mary 🙂


Resources

Books: Try your library first. If you buy from Amazon, please use Amazon Smile: SDCRI.