The Lotus Manifesto

Nourish Yourself From the Inside Out

Month: November, 2012

Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pecan Cookie Bites

We had four desserts at our Thanksgiving meal, and these ‘lil beauties were the favorite. They’re perfectly sweet, and will leave you smiling.

I’m not really into this whole “Paleo” diet craze. However, I understand that it’s important to be able to offer all types of foods and desserts to the finicky, ahem, refined eaters in your life. This is by far one of the yummiest recipes I have discovered (modified from fitsugar.com) that can be tailored to just about anyone. Even my 14-year-old nephew picked this as best in show over the pecan and pumpkin pies. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup coconut flour

1/2 Cup grade B maple syrup

1/2 Cup organic canned pumpkin

1/2 Cup olive oil (or coconut oil, or melted ghee)

1 Tbsp organic vanilla extract

1/2 Tsp. sea salt

1/2 Tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 Tsp. organic cinnamon

1/2 Tsp. organic nutmeg

1/4 Tsp. ground cloves

1/4 Tsp. ground ginger (or minced fresh)

2/3 Cup organic dark chocolate chips

2/3 Cup organic chopped pecans

*Note: This recipe can be doubled if you are in the giving mood. Perfect for sharing with neighbors and other kind samaritans who deserve a tasty holiday treat!

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 F

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter, pumpkin, maple syrup, and vanilla until well combined.

In a small bowl, mix the coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing vigorously with a spoon to avoid clumps.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon onto a parchment-lined baking sheet

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (Check them at 15 to make sure they’re browning evenly, top and bottom)

Transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool.

Arrange on a platter, serve and enjoy!

Benefits:

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. *NOTE: NOT ALL CHOCOLATE IS CREATED EQUAL! The darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao content, and generally, the lower the sugar content. Buyer beware.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it’s great, but don’t overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pecans: Pecans contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, a variety of B vitamins and zinc. One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber. Pecans are also a source of monounsaturated or “good” fat and protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Pumpkin: This tasty winter squash is packed vitamins A and C, magnesium and potassium, as well as dietary fiber. It’s also contains high amounts of carotenoids, the little nutrients which help to neutralize free-radicals within the body, and is low in calories. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Banana Lime Spinach Smoothie

Cleanse, calm, and nourish your bod with this lean, green, smoothie.

Inspired by a recipe from joyfulbelly.com

How did your belly fare after this feastful (yes, that is a new word) holiday? Lighten the load on your digestive system with this smoothie. Bananas, coconut water, and cardamom are great to calm internal inflammation, while the lime and spinach lend to purification of the body. Tired of turkey but need the protein? Add a scoop of protein powder and stay sated for hours. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 Bananaa

1 Cup coconut water

1/4 Lime

Plus juice of 1/4-1/2 Lime

1/4 Tsp. Cardamom

*Optional: 1 Cup raw or steamed spinach

*Optional: 1 Scoop high-quality protein powder

Method:

Put all ingredients into a blender, and blend to smithereens.

Benefits:

Bananas: These nutritional powerhouses contain oodles of potassium and magnesium and are packed with vitamins B6 and C. They promote healthy bones and heart, and are an excellent source of dietary fiber.  See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cardamom: This spice is an excellent source of iron and manganese, making it a rock star for blood and cellular regeneration. It also contains significant amounts of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, and can be used as an anti-spasmodic and digestive aid. Great for the belly AND the heart. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there’s so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lime: Limes are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K (think blood builder/purifier!), vitamins A, C, B2 and B6, as well as manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Popeye apparently knew how to protect himself against inflammatory problems and oxidative stress-related issues, while promoting his cardiovascular and bone health. AND he got the girl! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Naked Butternut Squash Bisque

This simple squash soup is like a velvety warm hug in a bowl.

Ingredients

1 Medium to large butternut squash

1 Small potato (this is what makes it so creamy and smooth!)

3-4 Cups organic vegetable broth

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil for roasting

Salt and pepper to taste

*Optional: 1-inch piece ginger root, peeled

*Optional: dried powdered nutmeg, or fresh or dried sage, or creme fraiche for garnish

*Note: can be made with just about any type of winter squash such as kabocha, acorn, etc.

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 F. Carefully cut the squash and potato in half and drizzle and toss with 2 tablespoons oil, sea salt, and pepper.

Place in a roasting pan (with the optional ginger) and cover with foil. Roast them under foil for 30 minutes, then toss and continue to roast them uncovered until tender and golden brown, for 20-ish more minutes.

When cooked, allow to cool slightly and peel off and discard the skins. Place all the ingredients into a blender and puree mixture until smooth.

*Note: Start with 3 cups of broth, and add more broth until you’ve reached the desired consistency.

Pour into a soup pot and bring to a nice simmer until steaming hot.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve and enjoy!

Benefits:

Butternut Squash: This nutrient rich beauty is low in fat and high in fiber which makes ideal for any heart-healthy menu. Butternut squash is also an excellent source of potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and folate. It’s rich orange hue tells that it is also packed with an important carotenoid, beta-carotene. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Potatoes: Potatoes come in a bunch of varieties and are a good source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber. When prepared properly (read: NOT french fries or potato chips) they can help protect against cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and certain cancers. See here for additional health benefits and nutritional info.

Stay Well Lemon Ginger Honey Tea

Ginger Tea

A tasty elixir to keep you healthy and warm this cold and flu season. Thank you, Molly Watson, for the lovely photo.

Feel a chill, stuffy nose, or sore throat coming on? Nip it in the bud with some homemade lemon ginger honey tea. Ginger is naturally heating, so will warm you from the core and help break up any chest congestion. The steam, honey, and ginger will help clear your sinuses, and the lemon, ginger, and honey will soothe a sore or scratchy throat. Add a drop of doTerra lemon essential oil for and extra boost to the immune system. Stay well and enjoy!

Ingredients

1-inch piece ginger root, peeled

1 large strip lemon rind, thoroughly washed

2-3 cups water

4 Tbs. cup honey, or more to taste

1 lemon, juiced

*Optional: Add 1 drop of doTerra Lemon essential oil for an added healthful kick!

Method

Slice the ginger into “coin” slices.

Heat the ginger, lemon rind, and water to a boil in small pot.

Allow to boil for 5-15 minutes.

Add lemon juice and honey to hot water and transfer to a tea pot or pour into mugs.