5 Powerhouse Seeds You Should Eat

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Seeds pack an amazing nutritional punch, providing protein, fatty-acids, phytosterols, minerals, antioxidants and fibre to our diets.  They each have their own claim to fame whether it is being highest in omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, copper zinc or magnesium and we should aim to incorporate a spoonful or two into our daily routine.  

Hemp Seeds

Hemp is an amazing source of protein.  It contains all of the essential amino acids, (those which your body can't produce on its own to build muscle and create protein).  Hemp also contains omega-3 and ALA, essential fatty acids that our bodies don’t produce and which are beneficial to inflammation control, heart health, etc.  

Sprinkle these nutty little gems into smoothies, yogurt, salads, or cereal or try hemp protein powder in your smoothie.  

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are an awesome source of fiber, with an ounce containing almost half your daily fibre intake. These crunchy little seeds are also high in calcium and omega-3 fatty acids, making them good for your bones and heart.  These little babies can be taken instead of fibre drinks like Metamucil and impart great health benefits instead of leaving you with a bellyful of artificial sweeteners and colours like those found in Metamucil.

 Native to Central America chia seeds are quite flavourless.  The people of Mexico add about a Tbsp to an 8 oz glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice to make a chia fresca.  The seeds become gelatinous and thicken your drink a little, but don’t impart flavor.  You can add them to baking or even use them as an egg replacement if you soak 1Tbsp of seeds in 3 Tbsp water, letting them sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and using to replace 1 egg in baked goods.  I love adding them to cereal, oatmeal and smoothies and then crunching the little seeds!

 Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are very rich in copper, and are a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.  Copper is an anti-inflammatory mineral which can be helpful in treating arthritis and cardiovascular disease. Being small like hemp and chia, they can also be sprinkled onto foods like stir-fry’s, salads, cereal, yogurt and smoothies or used in this awesome recipe.  Tahini, a paste made of ground sesame, can be spread on bread, crackers or veggies.  Tahini is a main ingredient in hummus as well.

 Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E.  Less than half a cup of sunflower seeds provides more than 100 percent of your daily requirement for vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals which may cause cancer, heart disease and UV damage.   Like their counterparts they are a good source of minerals such as magnesium and even selenium.

 The first way of eating sunflower seeds that comes to mind is the salted, roasted variety, but those are usually high in salt and MSG, probably not the best delivery system.  You can eat them raw, or replace your peanut butter with sun butter as a peanut butter replacement on toast or in baking.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are high in protein, iron, zinc, and magnesium, a mineral that helps stabilize blood pressure, build bone strength, and even reduce stress. As North Americans almost 70% of us are magnesium deficient so we could all use some pumpkin seeds.  Pumpkin seeds may play a part in prostate health as well, studies are ongoing.

 Pumpkin seeds can be eaten by the handful, used in baking or in one of my favourite recipes along with sesame seeds found here.

 Flax Seeds

Flax seeds were the first seeds to hit superstar status.  These tiny seeds are high in fibre and the highest of omega-3 fatty acids.  They have fallen from grace since the chia seed hit the market and meets or beats most of the nutrition standards of the flax seed. They are produced in North America and still have lots to offer.

They must be ground to digest or will come out as they came in – as lttle seeds.  Ground flaxseed can be added to smoothies, baking, cereal or yogurt.  Flax seed loses none of its omega-3 fatty acids if baked at a temperature of 300 F or lower.  Like chia, it can be used as an egg replacement.

 I hope I have convinced you of the merits these little powerhouses pack and you will find ways to incorporate them into your daily diet routine.  We have a jar on our counter which holds raw pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and mixed nuts, so we can grab a handful on the way by.  Try adding a spoonful or two of any of these to your baking, smoothie or salad and remember to mix them up as they all have different nutrients to offer.

 

 

Savoury Oatmeal

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In North America when we think of oats we are most likely to think of oatmeal with brown sugar and milk, but thanks to my beautiful daughter, I have been made aware oats can be used in savoury dishes as well.

Back at University far, far away, not that long ago...  my girl found an idea for a savoury oat dish she just had to try.  It wasn't long before she and her roomie were living off of her new found recipe love and sending me a picture along with a text message which read, "You gotta blog dis".  Not bad grammar for a fourth year Uni student, eh?

It looks amazing and although I have yet to try it, I am blogging her new favourite breakfast recipe:

Savoury Oatmeal

Serves 2

2 cups of water to which you add a a couple of tsp of oregano, basil, a pinch of salt, pepper and 1 cup of oats.  Now she prefers to add her oats to the cold water and bring them to a boil together for stickier, denser oats.  As a nutritionist, I say why not soak those oats over night to make them easier to digest and further cut down the cooking time.

Now for the good stuff.  

Dice 1/2 medium yellow onion, 1/2 bell pepper (her preference being green), 5 or so medium mushrooms, and a couple of slices of bacon.  Fry the bacon first, drain most of the fat from the pan and saute the onion, pepper and mushrooms.  Once softened, add to the cooked oatmeal, stirring to combine.  Dish up into a bowl or onto a plate and add a couple of overeasy eggs to top it off.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Paleo Slow Cooker Recipe Round-Up

Paleo - Whole 30 Slow Cooker Recipes 

Paleo - Whole 30 Slow Cooker Recipes 

What can be better than opening the door after a long day at work or playing outside in the snow than the smell of dinner ready to eat?  The crockpot gives you this luxury and means one pot to clean when dinner is done!  We have put together a collection of Paleo Crockpot recipes for you to choose from.  These recipes are Whole 30 legal as well!  Enjoy.

Click on the recipe to be taken to the website:

Chicken Recipes

Crock Pot Chicken Curry - My Heart Beets

Easy Slow Cooker Roast Chicken - Rubies and Radishes

Crock Pot Cilantro Chicken - Honey, Ghee, and Me

Creamy Coconut Green Chili Chicken Soup -Delicious Obsessions

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Verde - Rubies and Radishes

Easy Slow Cooker Curry - Rubies and Radishes


Beef Recipes

Slow Cooker Italian Beef with Spicy Giardiniera - The Sour Path is the Sweetest

Coconut Curry Beef Stew - The Real Food Guide

Easy Slow Cooker Taco Meat - Rubies and Radishes

Easy Crockpot Venison or Beef Stew - Nourish with Karen

Sun-dried Tomato, Balsamic Onion Pot Roast - Real Food RN

Paleo Slow Cooker Beef Stew - The Skinny  Pear

Slow Cooked Asian-Style Short Ribs - Honey, Ghee, and Me

Easiest Crock Pot Taco Meat - Delicious Obsessions

Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Lime and Green Chilies - The Sour Path is the Sweetest

Slow Cooker "Pepper Steak " -The Skinny Pear

Easy Slow Cooker Curry - Rubies and Radishes

Slow Cooker Classic Beef Soup with Roasted Cauliflower - The Sour Path is the Sweetest

Habanero Chili - My Heart Beets

Easiest Delicious Crockpot Beef Ever - Delicious Obsessions

Grassfed Garlic Roast Beef - Real Food RN


Pork, Goat and Lamb

Indian Goat Curry - My Heart Beets

Crispy Carnitas - My Heart Beets

Ham & Sweet Potato Quittata - Nummy For My Tummy

Lamb and Pumpkin Curry - The Urban Ecolife


Vegetarian

Veggie Soup _ Megs Vegucation

Roasted Sweet Potatoes - Health Starts in the Kitchen

How to Make Ghee in Crock Pot - Health Starts in the Kitchen


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Easy Crockpot Venison (or Beef) Stew

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Venison stew is a winter staple in our house.  My husband has always been a hunter and early in our marriage I certainly didn’t appreciate the wild game meat that his hunting provided!  Fast-forward 25 years (gulp), and I have a new appreciation for game meat.

Meat from wild animals is grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone free and higher in omega-3 fatty acids.  What more can you ask for?  Well, I would certainly appreciate it if it came into the house, cut and wrapped, but we do that at home…

I have acquired a taste for wild meat, which is gamier than beef you buy at the store and I love the fact it is better for you.  Because it is grass fed, it is lean meat which equates to drier meat and can be tough or tender depending on the cut.  Stew is a great way to cook wild game whether it is venison, moose or elk.

Venison Stew

1 ½ lb venison, cut into 1” cubes (beef or lamb substitute nicely)

1 large onion, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

4 carrots, cut into pieces

4 stalks celery, cut into pieces

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2” cubes

4 cups bone broth, (venison or beef)

1 cup frozen peas

Coconut oil or other oil

1 tsp dry mustard

2-3 dry bay leaves

1 tsp basil

1 tsp thyme

salt & pepper to taste

tapioca or arrowroot starch to thicken

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In a heavy-bottomed pan with oil added, sauté onions, celery, carrots and garlic until slightly softened (about 10 minutes over medium-high heat).  Remove veg from the pan and place in the crockpot.

In the meantime, mix together the starch, dry mustard, 1 tsp sea salt and 1 tsp black pepper.   Dust meat chunks with starch mixture to coat.  Brown the meat in the above pan, over medium-high heat, adding more oil if necessary.   When browned remove meat and place over the vegetables in the crockpot.

Add cut squash to the top of the crockpot.  I find the squash cooks more quickly than the other vegetables so I like to add it to the top where it doesn’t cook as vigorously.

Deglaze the frying pan with about one cup of broth, being sure to scrape all the browned bits from the bottom.  These contain great flavor!

Pour this broth and remaining broth over ingredients in the crockpot.  Add bay leaves, basil and thyme.  Cook stew on low for 5-7 hours or on high for 3-4.  Add frozen peas when stew is finished and thicken with extra starch if necessary.

Enjoy! 

Seven Tips for Eating Healthier in the New Year

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With the New Year upon us and the resolution to lose weight on many people’s minds, I thought I would share some of my favourite ideas for healthy eating and maybe losing a couple of pounds in the process:

  1. Eat whole, real foods - nothing out of a package, like cookies, crackers, chips, granola bars, cereal, salad dressing, etc.  Processed foods are full of sugar, salt, refined grains and chemicals.  Whole foods are nutrient dense and your body recognizes all of the ingredients and knows how to handle them.  Eat fruit, veggies, and a moderate amount of nuts and meat.  You are less likely to over eat real foods.  When is the last time you sat down and ate three apples or an entire head of broccoli?
  2. Stop eating low fat and start eating good fats.  When you deprive yourself of good fats you get hungry faster and tend to chow down on more carbohydrates, which becomes one nasty cycle.  Drink whole milk or have it in your latte.  The fat in whole milk will keep you feeling full longer!  Use olive oil on your salad, eat those egg yolks, use some butter on your potato.  Refer to my article here on good fats if you are unsure what they are.
  3. Eat only whole grains like quinoa, brown rice and spelt, and then only in moderation.
  4. Eat mindfully, taking small bites and putting your fork down while you chew.  Take the time to taste your food, feel the texture on your tongue and the roof of your mouth.   Savour each bite, allowing your body to tell you when it is full.
  5. Use a smaller plate.  Eating is a psychological game too!  We seem to have a need to completely fill a plate.  A smaller plate means a smaller serving size.
  6. If you are still hungry after eating your meal, head back for a second helping of salad.  Salad provides great fibre, more chewing action, is nutrient dense and doesn’t have a lot of calories, (if you use olive oil and vinegar as dressing).
  7. When you are looking for a sweet treat indulge in a couple pieces of dark chocolate.  It is satisfying and you don’t need too much.

Following these easy tips is a step in the right direction to eating healthier in the New Year.  Best Wishes to you!

Shared at .Natural Family Friday and Frugal Days Stustainable Ways.  Head over to their websites and get some new ideas!