Paleo Lemon Blueberry Loaf

I just love anything (and everything) with a tangy lemon flavor. Lemon squares, you’re SO GOOD…but you’re SO BAD! This guilt-free, grain-free paleo bread with lemon, blueberries, and very little sugar…now that’s a show stopper. This deliciousness can be made as a loaf or muffins, crunchy on the outside and soft and crumbly on the inside. Does it get any better?!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond or coconut flour (or healthy flour of choice)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 or 3 lemons (depending on how lemon-y you like)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside blueberries and lemons. Combine all other ingredients in food processor (I use a Vitamix.) Wash lemons and grate the zest of one lemon into mixture. Cut lemons in half, remove seeds, and squeeze juice into mixture. Continue to blend until batter is consistent and smooth. Add blueberries and stir by hand. Grease loaf or muffin pan with coconut oil and pour batter in, leaving about an inch on top for loaf to rise. (If you have leftover batter, it can be used for muffins or pancakes.) Bake for 35 minutes (25 for muffins!) and check with a fork to make sure it’s cooked through, if not, continue to bake another 8-10 minutes. Once top has started to brown, remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from pan. Refrigerate leftovers to keep fresh. Enjoy this sweet and sour snack!

One Healthy Breakdown: take that sugar-laden lemon bars!

*recipe inspired by Savory Lotus’ Blueberry Lemon Bread

One Healthy Gingerbread Recipe

All I have been wanting to eat lately is food that tastes like Christmas…anyone else?! Spices like cinnamon, clove, ginger, and foods like citrus fruits, pomegranates, and cranberries are lighting up my life. Homemade gingerbread, however, is brand new to me…until now!

Growing up, we always had gingerbread in the house this time of year, but I don’t even know what was in it. After looking at several gingerbread recipes online, I decided to create my own version with more spices and less sugar. Just one taste of this healthy homemade gingerbread and I know it will be a new holiday tradition. I love it THAT much and you will too!

The best part is that this gingerbread contains no granular sugar, just honey, maple syrup, and molasses. (To be honest, I don’t even think I own sugar. There’s just no need for it when there are delicious natural substitutions out there.)

It’s also dairy free and can be made gluten-free as well! Let’s get started, shall we?!

One Healthy Gingerbread Recipe:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2  cups healthy flour of choice (I used spelt)
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp grated fresh ginger

Toppings:

  • Pomegranate seeds
  • canned full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients, then mix together. You don’t need a fancy mixer, a regular old fork will do. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and fill the pan with batter, leaving a few inches at the top (this stuff rises!) Bake for 45-50 minutes.

To make the frosting, skim the top half of the coconut milk from the can (be sure not to shake it as to only get the thick paste on top). Add in honey, (or maple syrup if you prefer) vanilla extract, and whip it together. This will make a thicker frosting. If you prefer a thinner frosting to drizzle on the bread instead, you can water it down with the thinner coconut milk from the can (or a little bit of water) use 1-2 tablespoons at a time until you get the right consistency.

Once the bread is cool, frost and top with pomegranate seeds, which are equally nutritious, delicious, and festive. Feel free to get creative and try different toppings, like chopped nuts, red and green sprinkles, crushed candy canes, or cinnamon. Make one loaf to have at home and others as gifts. The perfect Christmas breakfast or healthy dessert this time of year!

One Healthy Breakdown: Happy holidays and happy baking!

*Caroline O’Neill is a year round Hamptons resident and health and wellness lifestyle blogger of Bloom & Spark with a passion for nutrition, yoga, food, spirituality and personal development.

Five Healthy Flour Alternatives

Most recipes we come across call for good old white flour, also known as all-purpose flour.  What’s so wrong with that? A lot. All-purpose white flour is basically just empty calories – short-term energy that makes our blood sugar spike without any nutritional value. Did you know that white flour is actually wheat stripped of the whole-grain elements, the bran and the germ, meaning that it lacks the fiber and nutrients. It is also commonly bleached white with chemicals.

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Whether you’re making cookies, muffins, pancakes, scones, or dessert, substituting white flour for one of the following healthier options will upgrade your recipe into a lighter, more nutritious, easier to digest option simply with this one easy switch.

  • Coconut flour is made of the superfood coconut, making it gluten-free, paleo, high in fiber, protein, energy, and low in carbohydrates. It’s dense and yields great pancakes (like these Delightful Banana Pancakes) and baked goods.
  • Almond flour/almond meal is made of almonds, also gluten-free, paleo, high in protein, and healthy fats. The difference between the two is simply that almond meal includes the whole nut while almond flour is made from blanched (skinless) almonds, both packed in vitamins and minerals. Try these Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins made with almond flour.
  • Quinoa flour is made of grinding the seed we all know and love, quinoa! You can buy quinoa flour or you can grind your own uncooked seeds. High in fiber and nutrients, this gluten-free flour is light, a bit nutty, and a complete protein, making the perfect post-workout treats.
  • Spelt flour is a species of wheat that is light, nutty, and high in protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. It is one of the oldest crops in history and very versatile. Although spelt does contain gluten, it is known to have many health benefits, including numerous minerals necessary for bone health. You can read more about spelt flour here.
  • Oat flour is simply ground oats. You can purchase it at a health food store or just grind up your own raw oats in a blender or coffee grinder. Oats are super high in fiber and other vitamins and minerals, so you can’t go wrong with this healthy option. Just be sure to search for “gluten free” if you’re sensitive to gluten. (Oats don’t actually contain gluten; however, they can be processed in a plant with gluten.)

One Healthy Breakdown: get empowered with healthy flours!

One Healthy BBC

Anyone who has every been to Montauk knows what a BBC is…right?? A BBC is Cyril’s (past uber-popular Montauk staple, not super classy, but insanely popular…RIP Cyril’s…) BBC Stands for Banana Bailey Colada and believe me, they are dangerous. Packed with booze and sugar.

BBCs

But they taste oh so, so good. Well, rest assured, Cyril’s fans, because we’re making the old famous much, much healthier. Here’s how to make ’em:

One Healthy BBC: (makes two servings)

  • 2 frozen bananas (cut into pieces)
  • 1 cup pineapple (cut into pieces)
  • 1 cup coconut cream (or full fat coconut milk, we like Native Forrest Organic)
  • 2 shots rum
  • a few ice cubes
  • optional: 1 teaspoon honey if you have a serious sweet tooth

Simply blend all ingredients together. Add more ice if needed. Garnish with a banana or pineapple slice and enjoy. Cheers to an endless summer!

One Healthy Breakdown: bringing the BBC back, better than ever!

Super Yummy Energy Bites

Introducing your new favorite {super yummy} snack. Great for breakfast, pre and post-workout snack, and sweet treat, these puppies are full of power and flavor! Also, they taste like cookie dough…Just wait. Luckily, you only have to wait 10 minutes to enjoy these cute little nibbles!

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Ingredients: (makes about 15 bites)

  • 1 cup raw oats
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nut or seed butter of choice
  • 3 dates (pitted)
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons goji berries and/or apricots (can use raisins or another dried fruit)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon high-quality protein powder (optional for additional protein/post-workout)

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Combine coconut oil, nut butter, vanilla, dates, salt, and half of the oats in a food processor or Vitamix. Once smooth, add the remaining ingredients and pulse until the mixture is consistent, but not completely smooth. Remove mixture and roll into balls about the size of a golf ball. Plate them in the fridge and let sit at least 10 minutes. Devour. You’re welcome 🙂

Optional add-ins for varied flavor: 1 teaspoon matcha powder, 1 drop peppermint oil, 1 tablespoon cacoa nibs or dark chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons pumpkin, 1/4 lemon, 1 slice ginger, 1 teaspoon maca powder, etc. These babies are super versatile – get it?

(*if mixture is too thick to form, add a tablespoon of water or two)

One Healthy Breakdown: enjoy ’em while they last!

Meatless Monday in a SNAP!

This one came out of nowhere, but was a huge hit in the flavor department! All you’ll need is a few simple ingredients and 10 minutes time, and your one-pan, warm and tasty, nutritious and delicious dish is served! Did I mention that it happens to be vegetarian, vegan, dairy, soy, and gluten free? Just sayin’…in case you care about that sorta thing. Best of all, it’s ready in a snap!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (could also use 1/2 cup cooked quinoa)
  • 1 cup snap peas
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (coconut oil would work as well)
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos (soy-free soy sauce alternative)
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

Directions:

Turn stove on medium and heat pan with sesame oil, chickpeas, and snap peas. After a few minutes, stir and add hemp seeds, coconut aminos, tumeric, and curry powder. Continue to cook until peas and beans begin to brown slightly (or until desired.) Turn off heat and serve…easy as that!

One Healthy Breakdown: Nothin’ but lean, green, plant protEIN!

Delightful Banana Pancakes

As far as pancakes go, these puppies are game changers, proving that healthy pancakes can be yummy pancakes. Delightfully full of protein, fiber, and only a few simple ingredients, they’re the perfect weekend pick-me-up and were a huge hit during our Antigua Adventure!IMG_0247

Ingredients: (makes 1 large/2 small pancakes, simple double/triple recipe for larger batch)

  • 1 banana
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend or whip all ingredients until consistent – add water or almond milk if needed for consistency. Blending the batter as opposed to stirring it will make the pancakes light and fluffy. Pour batter into pan and top with a few slices of banana (optional.) Flip and serve with maple syrup, butter, or nut butter and/or berries of choice. Enjoy!

One Healthy Breakdown: simplicity is delightful…and delicious!

 

Does Fat Make You Fat?

News flash: a low-fat diet can actually cause weight-gain, not a diet high in fat. So, what is fat anyway and why do we assume that fat is what makes us fat?

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Fat is a nutrient that our bodies need, in fact, about 30% of your daily calorie intake should come from fat. This may surprise you, but it’s true!

There’s a catch, though, sort of. We should be eating good quality fats, just like we should be eating good quality foods in general. That means no trans fats. Deal?

So, what are the healthy, good quality fats that we should be eating? Good question. Nuts and seeds, avocado, fatty fish like salmon, coconut, olive oil, unprocessed lean meat, flax, dark chocolate (yay!) and dairy. These healthy fats do not cause obesity, heart attacks, or high-cholesterol, but actually promote nutrient-absorption, raise immunity, and actually burn fat. Really!

Fat also makes us feel satisfied for longer. For example, adding a spoonful of nut butter to your apple or half an avocado to your eggs will make you feel more satisfied, help your body absorb the nutrients it needs, and ward of hunger longer. Win/win!

One Healthy Breakdown: do not fear the fat, eat the fat!

Pumpkin Carrot Zucchini Bread

IMG_2724What is paleo, pumpkin-spicey, loaded with veggies, and tastes amazing? Pumpkin carrot zucchini bread, of course! So loaded with flavor that no one will know that it’s made of nothing but veggies, protein, and healthy carbs for energy…that can be our little secret. One loaf of this bread doubles as a kid-friendly breakfast and pre or post-workout fuel. All bases covered here.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of pumpkin (or sweet potato) puree (I use Farmer’s Market organic)
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (or sub another healthy flour)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 heaping tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon flaxmeal
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds (pepitas) to top
  • optional: 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup or honey for a sweeter treat

Preheat oven to 370. Grate the carrots and zucchini. If you have a Vitamix or high-powered food processor, feel free to use that instead (I did!) Add pumpkin, eggs, and flour and mix well. Add remaining ingredients (except pumpkin seeds) and blend until consistent. Pour batter into a greased (I used coconut oil spray) loaf pan, baking pan, or muffin pan. Top with pumpkin seeds. Bake at 370 for 45-50 minutes (for muffins, check after 30 minutes.) Ensure that bread is cooked through with a fork – bake for another 5-10 minutes if not. Remove and let cool before eating every last crumb. Feel free to also add nuts or chocolate chips for a sweet, crunchy treat!

One Healthy Breakdown: pumpkin spice and everything nice

Apple Coconut Crisp

We’re officially kicking off apple season (hooray!) with a treat that’s super delicious and nutritious; apple coconut crisp! Putting a spin (and a dose of healthy fat) on the old favorite with just three simple, healthy ingredients; apples, cinnamon, and coconut. Yes, it’s totally okay to enjoy a serving or two regularly for breakfast, snack, or a healthful dessert!IMG_2659Makes one large serving or two smaller portions:

  • cover a small cookie sheet or pan with wax paper
  • chop two apples and place cubes on cookie sheet
  • sprinkle apples generously with cinnamon
  • bake at 400 degrees for ~10/15 minutes until apples begin to brownIMG_2656
  • sprinkle apples with shredded (unsweetened) coconut and continue to bake another few minutes until coconut browns
  • serve warm or cool

Yum! It’s great as is, but feel free to mix it up. For a satisfying breakfast, add granola, oats, or some nuts. For a creamier dessert, add whipped cream, whipped coconut cream, honey, plain Greek yogurt, (pictured) or even some vanilla ice cream if you’re going all out.

FullSizeRender(40)One Healthy Breakdown: who says healthy eating doesn’t taste amazing??