Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

My family and I came to be big fans of Brussels sprouts when we tried them roasted and caramelized. ūüôā We had no idea this miniature cabbage could have such a delicious flavor and at the same time, be a nutritional gem. Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts are irresistible as a side dish or main entr√©e. Even better, is the fact that they pack a number of health benefits, including their ability to lower cholesterol, help you to reach a healthy weight, give you more energy, decrease your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and neurodegenerative disorders ‚ÄĒ, among others.

It is ok to be reluctant before all their attributes. If you consider yourself a “picky eater” or a “non-vegetable-lover”, this cruciferous vegetable could potentially become your new healthy addiction. Just give them a chance! At home, we end up eating these Honey Balsamic Brussels sprouts like popcorn!

Fresh Brussels sprouts 

Trying something new……Why not?

Trying new healthy options does not necessarily have to be an awful experience. You can always have fun stepping out from your comfort zone if you are open to embrace changes.

In our case, we had to rewire the way we perceive food and our approach to healthy meals. The transition in our diet started on our minds.

In the process, we tried this Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe and since then, we got attached to them. Brussels sprouts are special because of its high-nutrient-per-low-calorie ratio. Just one-cup serving will meet your daily requirement for vitamin C and vitamin K for the day; while also providing plenty of folates, potassium, B vitamins, manganese and loads of other nutrients.

If you ever tried to increase your vitamin C intake consuming citrus fruits, why don¬īt you start adding Brussels sprouts to your groceries shopping list? Check out these nutrition facts and stay away from the flu during the upcoming winter season:

Infographic: Benefits of consuming Brussels sprouts on regular basis.
Infographic: Benefits of consuming Brussels sprouts on regular basis. 

You can also try these options of healthy sides:  EASY HOMEMADE SLOW COOKER APPLESAUCE (NO SUGAR ADDED), and A PERFECT RICE SUBSTITUTE: A DELICIOUS QUINOA BLEND


BOTTOM LINE:  Brussels sprouts rank high in antioxidants, just after kale and spinach. Many other vitamins and minerals are found in Brussels sprouts, including vitamin A, potassium, and folate. Regularly eating Brussels sprouts and similar vegetables may help to prevent many common cancers, although this is not proven.


Tips For Roasting The Perfect Brussels sprouts

These are some important considerations for you to get the best results when making this recipe:

  • TIMING: Do not overcook. The flavor can become quite sour.¬†Many people have unpleasant childhood memories of a nasty, sulfurous odor emanating from the oven when Brussels sprouts become too soft.¬† That smell is¬†glucosinolate sinigrin, an organic compound containing sulfur that is released.¬† For this reason, roast the Brussels sprouts for only 20-25 min at 425¬ļF.
  • TRIMMING: Trim Brussels sprouts so they cook evenly,¬†¬†whether you‚Äôre cooking them whole or cutting them into halves or quarters.¬† Check out this video.¬†
  • TOSSING: Drizzle and season Brussel sprouts¬†before roasting and toss them after roasting for an incredible dimension in flavor.
Infographic describing how to roast the perfect Brussels sprouts

BOTTOM LINE:  Before you cook Brussels sprouts, make sure to wash and clean them. Cut off the tough bottom and remove any outer, wilted leaves. Cut an X-shape in the bottom after you trim the tough bottom if you are eating them whole. This will help them cook more evenly and get crunchy.


Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Prep time: 5 mins   Cook time: 25 min.      Yield: 3 -4 portions

Ingredients:*

  • 1¬†lb.¬†Brussels sprouts

 


** THE BALSAMIC VINEGAR OF MODERNA IS THE KEY FOR THE AMAZING FLAVOR IN THIS RECIPE. DO NOT USE JUST “ANY” VINEGAR. PLEASE TAKE A LOOK OF WHAT I RECOMMEND HERE:

Antigua l’Acetaia di Modena Organic Balsamic Vinegar, 16.9 Ounce

Equipment:*

Instructions:

1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  

2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425¬į F.

3. Trim off the sprouts cutting the bottom of the core. Remove loose yellow or brown outer leaves. Slice sprouts in halves into uniform pieces (lengthwise). Some leaves will fall off. If they’re discolored, throw them out. If they’re nice, add them in. Check out this video. 

NOTE: Save the inner core of leaves for soup or stew.

4. In a large bowl, drizzle the Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons of avocado oil,  salt, and ground black pepper to coat thoroughly.  

5. Transfer them to the baking sheet and roast in the oven until tender for 20 Р25  minutes approximately. Do not overcook, as the flavor can become quite sour or unpleasant.

6. Mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and raw honey (or pure maple syrup) in a small container.

7. Take the Brussels sprouts out of the oven and place them back in the large bowl.  Toss with the mix to coat evenly.

8. Serve and enjoy!

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Articles related to this post:

How to trim Brussels sprouts

Foods that have more vitamin C than an orange

Healthy foods trends – Brussels Sprouts

Banana Overnight Oatmeal and Chia Seeds Pudding

Do you skip breakfast because you don’t have time? There is a solution for you to start your day off.¬† This banana overnight oatmeal and chia seeds pudding¬†recipe is not only convenient because it takes three minutes to make, but because you don’t have to be rushing the morning.¬† Your breakfast will be just a grab-on-the-go!¬† ¬†Why not trying something that is healthy, out of the ordinary, affordable, plus it tastes like dessert? ūüėč

In this post, I am sharing one of my favorite overnight oatmeal recipes.  Also, you will find three significant reasons to consider making it part of your diet:

  1. Why chia seeds and oatmeal are good for your digestive health?
  2. How should you eat uncooked oatmeal to be considered safe?
  3. How come the combination of oatmeal and chia seeds fiber could be a key to long-term weight loss success?

OATMEAL, AN ALLY TO IMPROVE DIGESTION NATURALLY

I started consuming oatmeal on a regular basis as overnight oats when I realized how bad the sugary-flavored-instant-oatmeal was. What are overnight oats? These are oats that are soaked in any type of yogurt or milk for 6-8 hours and absorb the liquid. You can add flaxseeds or chia seeds to the mixture, and toppings like nuts or fruits. The combinations are endless.

There is too much that can be said about oatmeal, but there is something in particular that amazes me, and that is what oats can do to help out with our digestive system.  In this age of so many health problems linked to a diet low in fiber, the unassuming oatmeal can become your best friend.

Check the following information about how oatmeal can potentially benefit your digestive health:

Why is oatmeal a superfood

 

RECOMMENDATION:  Avoid instant oatmeal. It breaks down quickly and is absorbed faster than other types of oatmeal, which can raise your blood sugar levels. Choose plain oatmeal for the best nutritional value and the fewest calories (Old-fashioned rolled oats or steel-cut oatmeal).


BOTTOM LINE:  Conditions affecting the digestive system disease can actually show improvement with regular consumption of oats. Studies have shown that oat bran has been effective in improving ulcerative colitis and can increase the bulk of stool while decreasing constipation.


Is eating uncooked oatmeal healthy?

The concept of having raw oats that have been simply soaked might be kind of new to the majority of us.  For a long time, oatmeal has been linked to the idea of a comforting warm porridge. However, this unusual cold cereal version is unique and worth trying. Do not worry about eating oats just grabbing them from the bag.  Nutritionists experts assure that it is perfectly safe to eat uncooked oats consuming them as an overnight oatmeal breakfast option or in a smoothie.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you soak oats overnight (or 6 -8 hours). This way the oatmeal gets rid of most phytic acid.

 

 

Some people seem to digest uncooked oats well, however, some do not.  A person who is more prone to bloating, indigestion, flatulence or is sick should avoid eating uncooked oats. For such people, the cooked form of oats that’s been soaked well a night before seems to work the best.

 

Overnight Oatmeal

 


BOTTOM LINE:¬†¬†You don’t want to eat raw oats dry.¬† It is important to increase the amount of liquid you drink as you increase your fiber intake to help you avoid potential gastrointestinal issues like gas and bloating. This can be as simple as blending the oats into a smoothie or soaking them following an overnight oatmeal recipe.


CHIA SEEDS: DO THEY HELP OR AGGRAVATE CONSTIPATION?

If you are looking at options for a high-fiber diet, overnight oatmeal with chia seeds is an excellent one for you to start off. Due to the controversy over chia seeds and their relation with constipation, it is relevant to address a proper response to the question if they can work to prevent it and bring some relief, or make the problem worse.

It is true that there is no magic bullet or replacement for a healthful dietary pattern that relies on a variety of nutritious foods. However, there are options which deserve a special place in our diet and that is the case for chia seeds.

What are chia seeds?

Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as whole seeds (unlike flax and other hard-to-digest seeds). Chia seeds are also used as a functional ingredient, added to less nutritious items like baked pastries and snacks, to improve their appeal to health-conscious consumers and as a plus, they are gluten-free.

On the chart below, you can see some of the properties these tiny-bit seeds offer to your health:

Benefits of chia seeds on digestive system

Even though the benefits of chia seeds are numerous and are all considered important for the health of the human body, it is important to mention that the amount of chia seeds eaten should always be watched and should never exceed the recommended because otherwise, the side effects might start to come to the surface and which constipation is considered one of them.

IMPORTANT NOTE:¬†Soak chia seeds BEFORE eating, at least 2-8 hours or overnight. Check there is a “gel-like” substance before consuming. The amount of water is always more than the amount of seeds; for example, two tablespoons of chia seed with one cup of water.


BOTTOM LINE:¬†¬†Constipation might highly occur if the fiber intake of chia seeds is paired with inadequate hydration ‚Äď chia seeds always need water because they turn into a gelatinous substance when added to any liquid and this should happen outside the stomach, which means before eating it.


ROLLED OATS + CHIA SEEDS = A HELP IN WEIGHT LOSS

Why is a combination of rolled oats and chia seeds better as an overnight oatmeal?

Here’s a quick breakdown of the nutritional information of this mix:

OATMEAL + CHIA SEEDS

**According to the American Heart Association, the daily value for fiber is 25 grams per day on a 2,000-calorie diet for adults. This number may also depend on age or sex.

A study published in today’s Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that something as simple as aiming to eat 30 grams of fiber each day can help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and improve your body’s response to insulin just as effectively as a more complicated diet.

 

The combination of a ¬Ĺ cup of uncooked oatmeal and 2 tablespoons of chia seeds like on this Banana overnight oatmeal and chia seeds pudding recipe will provide you with 16 g of fiber on the same bowl. ūüėĬ† Always remember that the best way to get fiber is from food, and not from supplements.¬†(Making one change- getting more fiber – can help with weight loss).

 


BOTTOM LINE:  Although a high-fiber diet is a key to your health you should keep in mind this recommendation: Increase your fiber intake slowly and at the same time increase the amount of water you drink to avoid other symptoms like bloating, gas or diarrhea. Your body needs to gets used to your new, higher intake of fiber.


 

Ready to try this delicious recipe?

Banana Overnight Oatmeal and Chia Seeds Pudding

Prep time: 3Cook time: 8Yield: 1-2 portions

Ingredients:*

**If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, choose oat products that are certified as gluten-free.

Equipment:

‚ústMeasuring cups

‚ústMeasuring spoons

‚ústMason jar or a jar with a lid.

Instructions:

  1. Combine rolled oats,  cinnamon, and chia seeds into a small mason jar or another container that can be closed.
  2. Add milk, vanilla extract and raw honey (or pure maple syrup instead). Stir until well combined. Store in refrigerator overnight (6 Р8 hours)
  3. When you are ready to eat this overnight oatmeal and chia pudding, you can warm it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so and then mix in the banana slices or you may eat them right out of the refrigerator. (I like the second option though)
  4. Garnish with shaved dark chocolate and enjoy!

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Articles related to this post:

Oats and bowel disease: a systematic literature review.

Chia seeds and constipation; Is there any relation?

Making one change – getting more fiber – can help with weight loss

Easy Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce (No Sugar Added)

Easy Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce
 

I can¬īt believe fall is almost here!¬† This is my favorite season of the year and that makes me excited. I love the sunny days with clear skies, taking evening walks on the perfect weather, enjoying the traditional hot drinks and dishes full of spices, making preparations for Thanksgiving celebration, and wearing fall clothes. The perfect way for me to welcome it is making this easy homemade slow cooker applesauce (no sugar added) recipe.¬† Ahhhh……. it is amazing, and yes ūüôā …..it¬īs healthy!¬† You can have it as a snack, as a dessert or as a side dish of your entr√©e of chicken or pork (we try to avoid pork as much as we can though!).

In this post, I am going to give you all the details to recreate this delicious applesauce. Small steps always matter so I encourage you to take a look of the information and infographics provided in this article before you start putting hands on the recipe.

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Advantages of Using a Slow Cooker 

29801257 - programmable electric pan for cooking. Slow Cooker or Crock Pot

Have you ever tried making homemade applesauce in the slow cooker – or crockpot -? This kitchen appliance makes this recipe (and so many more) extremely easy.¬† Just stick all the ingredients in the pot and a few hours later, you¬īll get the most delicious applesauce you could ever imagine. So much better than store bought!¬† Let me share with you the advantages I find using the slow cooker instead of the stove:

Benefits of using a crockpot

 


BOTTOM LINE:  Cooking at high temperatures causes the food to lose a majority of its nutrients and makes digestion more difficult. You can preserve most of the apple nutrients by cooking them in a slow cooker.  This appliance can save you time, effort and money.  The crockpot is really an asset you can not miss.


 
 

What kind of apples should I use for this recipe?

There is a large variety of apples. The secret to making the perfect applesauce relies on picking the right kind to get the level of sweetness and/or tartness you are expecting.


NOTE: The idea is trying to avoid adding sugar to the recipe at all costs.


You also might want to check the apples on sale at the supermarket to go from there.  In my case, I prefer using organic Fuji apples. I find them sweet enough to my taste and usually are very affordable in this area.

Take a look at the apple flavors guide below to make your own selection:

Apple Varieties - Pinterest

 


BOTTOM LINE:  Pick the sweetness level you want to get in your applesauce and select the apples accordingly. You can make your own special combination.



 
 

Is applesauce really healthy? How good is it for dieting? 

Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce

Apples are packed with numerous¬†health benefits¬†and while you don’t have to eat an apple a day to be healthy, eating an apple or a serving of applesauce several times a week is a good idea for your health and weight¬†maintenance plan. On the following table chart, you will see the nutritional information contrast between a cup of raw apple slices and a cup of applesauce. This comparison can be helpful for you to decide how much is too much!

Raw apples vs applesauce

Weight Management Considerations:

  • Pectin in apples suppresses your appetite, making apples or applesauce helpful in a weight loss program.
  • Raw apples are better, but somewhat limited since most people find it difficult to eat more than one apple a day. They simply get tired of apples.

 


BOTTOM LINE: By eating applesauce a few times a week, you will benefit from its natural fiber, nutrients, and healing properties. Not only will you experience greater health, but you can also use applesauce as an appetite suppresser while enjoying its sweet and delicious taste.


 
 

Easy Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce Recipe

(No Sugar Added)

Prep time: Cook time: 6Yield: 8 portions

Ingredients:

  • 10 medium size apples (cored) – I like using organic Fuji apples.
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon¬† (I use organic ground Ceylon)
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract (I use pure vanilla extract)
  • 1/2¬† tsp. of Apple Pie Spice¬† (A combination of ground nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, & ginger) ***
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice

*** You can make Apple Pie Spice yourself at home following Betty Crocker’s recipe.¬†
 

Equipment:

 

Instructions:

NOTE: Wash your apples before you start even if they’re organic. Dirt and germs on the skins will be transferred into the flesh when you slice them.

  1. Roughly chop apples into 1- to 2-inch pieces, depending on how chunky you prefer your applesauce.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of the slow cooker, and close the lid.
  3. Cook the applesauce: Cook on LOW temperature for 6 hours, stirring two or three times during cooking until apples are very softened.
  4. Puree the applesauce: Using a potato masher puree the applesauce until it reaches the consistency you like. You can use an immersion blender if you prefer.
  5. Serve it warm and enjoy!
  6. Cool the rest of the applesauce and divide between several containers. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

 

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Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce

Articles related to this post:

Apples: Health benefits, facts, research

Apples vs Applesauce

Health benefits of applesauce

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

 
 

Easy Banana Bread with Millet and Coconut Flour (gluten-free)

BANANA BREAD WITH COCONUT AND MILLET FLOUR (GLUTEN-FREE)

I was looking for a dessert recipe to be delicious and at the same time, to fulfill the requirements of being white sugar and white flour free. After some attempts, I finally ended up baking the perfect healthy banana bread using millet and coconut flour, which got my family approval. You will love the flavor and texture of this bread, that can also be made part of your breakfast….. And yes, it is gluten-free!

Main Reasons to Avoid  White Flour and Refined Sugar

Let me share with you why I am not “going with the crowd” when it comes to picking the ingredients on my desserts recipes:

bread-food-baking-homemade

WHITE FLOUR

Known as ‚ÄėWhite poison”, white flour is becoming a necessity for all of us, but it impacts our health drastically.

  1. During processing, all nutrients are lost.¬† “Enriched flour” labels mean nothing but 3-4 vitamins at the cost of 10 vitamins lost.
  2. It releases sugar into your bloodstream quickly. Because of its high Glycemic index (GI), white flour consumption spikes up your sugar levels.
  3. During the refining process, all nutrients are removed, and it becomes acidic in nature. Over-acidity is one of the major causes of chronic inflammation,
  4.  It is without fiber, it congests the system, slows down digestion creating a sluggish metabolism.
WHITE SUGAR

Problems occur when you consume too much added sugar ‚ÄĒ that is, the sugar that food manufacturers add to products to increase flavor or extend shelf life.

  1. It can raise blood pressure and increase chronic inflammation, both of which are pathological pathways to heart disease.
  2. It contributes to weight gain by tricking your body into turning off its appetite-control system because liquid calories are not as satisfying as calories from solid foods.
  3. It increases the chances of higher blood pressure, inflammation, diabetes, and fatty liver disease.

Getting the Best of Both Worlds.

bread-1460403_640

You can still enjoy delicious desserts choosing the right sweeteners and good flours. Remember that consuming them in the appropriate amounts is the key to get its perks.

Consequently, the ingredients in this yummy banana bread provide so many health benefits that you will not hesitate in taking a slice as a snack or a like a grab and go meal!

  • Ripe bananas:¬†The brown spots on bananas indicate¬†TNF¬†(Tumor Necrosis Factor). TNF helps fight against abnormal cells in the body. Your body can easily break down the carbohydrates in ripe bananas, and¬†they can even aid in digestion
  • Millet Flour:¬†It as a good source of some essential nutrients, including copper, manganese, phosphorus, and¬†magnesium.
  • Coconut Flour: ¬†It’s high in¬†fiber, protein, and healthy fats and is free from wheat and other grains. It is also low in sugar, digestible¬†carbohydrates¬†and calories, and has a low score on the glycemic index.
  • Organic 100% Pure Maple Syrup:¬†Similar to the contrast between whole and refined grains, unrefined¬†natural sweeteners¬†like maple syrup contain higher levels of beneficial nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals than white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
  • Pecans: The healthy fats of pecan nutrition are powerful in the production of antioxidants, reduction of inflammation and merely provide¬†a great-tasting addition to almost any dish.
  • Raisins:¬†Raisins contain healthy vitamins and minerals. They are also fat-free and cholesterol-free, high in antioxidants, and an excellent source of fiber.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract:¬†It is richer tasting and may offer health benefits you won’t get from the synthetic version. It is a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial and reduces inflammation in the body.
  • Ceylon Cinnamon: Cinnamon can dramatically reduce insulin resistance, helping this vital hormone do its job.

pexels-photo-61127

Are you ready to try this recipe?¬† There is no need for a mixer for¬†this recipe! Clean-up is easy too.¬† On your marks. Get set… GO!


BANANA BREAD WITH MILLET AND COCONUT FLOUR (GLUTEN-FREE)

Prep time: 10 minutes   Cook time: 45 minutes   Yield: Makes one loaf

Ingredients:

Wet ingredients

    • 3 medium over-ripe¬†bananas, mashed (about 1 1/4 cups mashed banana) The riper the bananas, the better the loaf will taste.***
    • 1/4 cup of melted extra-virgin coconut oil.

Dry ingredients

Millet Flour

Coconut Flour

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350¬ļF.
  2. Lightly oil spray your 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan*. In addition, cut 1 strip of unbleached parchment paper and cover the interior of the bread pan. This will help your bread lift out once it is baked.  (You can use a cupcake pan instead).
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium-size bowl and set aside.
  4. In a different bowl,  combine all the wet ingredients.
  5. Finally, mix together all ingredients in one bowl until well incorporated. Note: Overmixing or mixing using beaters will create a dry and thick loaf.
  6. Add pecans and/or raisins if you want to and mix.
  7. Pour into the lined loaf pan (or into the cupcake pan using cupcake baking cups).
  8. Bake for 45 min (when using a loaf pan)  or 30 min approx. (if using a cupcake pan).  Remove from the oven insert a toothpick into the loaf. If it does not come out cleanly, return the bread to the oven for another 5 minutes and check again. Continue until the toothpick removes clean
  9. Take it out from oven and let it cool down 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

BAKING CONSIDERATIONS:

*Aluminum bread pan works the best.  Glass pans are not recommended.

**Overmixing or mixing using beaters will create a dry and thick loaf.

***If you don’t have ripe bananas on hand,¬† pre-heat your oven 250¬ļF and bake the bananas (with the peel on)¬† over a tray for 15¬† to 20 min or until the bananas turn into a dark color. Be careful not to burn them.

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**** Keep the banana bread in a covered container in the fridge to preserve its freshness. It usually can be consumed in the next 4 days.

STEP BY STEP PICTURES:

Step # 2

Step #3 & 4

Step # 5 & 6

Step #7, 8 & 9

IF YOU ARE MAKING BANANA BREAD MUFFINS:


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Shop the cooking tools you will need for this recipe:

Checa la Receta del Pan de Pl√°tano en Espa√Īol aqu√≠:

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