Blueberry Yogurt Parfait: Gluten Free

I get a lot of requests for gluten-free breakfast recipes, so how about this Blueberry Yogurt Parfait? Serve this gluten-free and high protein recipe for breakfast or an afternoon snack.  It also makes a wonderful, light dessert that my three kids like too. With only 3 ingredients, how can you possibly go wrong? Blueberries are so good for you. Here’s just a few of the wonderful health benefits of eating blueberries and adding them to your diet:

1. Blueberries are full of  Vitamin C-In just one serving, you can get 14 mg of Vitamin C which is almost 25 percent of your daily requirement. Vitamin C aids in the formation of collagen, helps maintain healthy gums and capillaries, and promotes a healthy immune system.

2. Blueberries are full of fiber-A handful of blueberries meets your daily fiber instate which is terrific for heart health and lower cholesterol levels.

3. Blueberries are high in antioxidants-Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals linked to the development of cancer and Alzheimer’s. Blueberries contain polyphenols which have high antioxidant properties.

4. Blueberries can help protect against urinary track infections-Blueberries, like cranberries, contain flavonoides. Flavonoids can help protect bacteria that causes urinary tract infections from binding to the lining of the bladder.

High Antioxidant Superfoods Salad

Since I have been doing a lot of nutrition seminars and speaking engagements lately on superfoods and healthy eating habits, it has been so fun to experiment with various combinations of super healthy ingredients. Last week, I thew together this with this High Antioxidant Superfoods Salad. My newest favorite ingredient is broccoli sprouts, and my kids and I are infatuated with them. They are so healthy and are said to help prevent cancer, reduce inflammation and even help protect against ulcers. This salad is also filled with some of my other super food favorites including berries, pumpkin seeds and colorful greens. If you want a refresher on the health benefits of blackberries, read my post on “Top 10 Health Benefits of Blackberries.”  Feel free to add grilled chicken or shrimp along with your favorite salad dressing, or just simply use balsamic vinegar and oil.

Melon-Arugula Salad

We should all by making the most of melons before their peak season and summer are over. This super easy Melon-Arugula Salad makes a great starter salad or even main dish salad topped with grilled chicken or shrimp. My kids have really become arugula fans (which I love). If you’re introducing your kids to new vegetables and lettuces, add an ingredient in them that they really like. Melon-Arugula Salad is the perfect example. Use any of your favorite store-bought salad dressings or add balsamic vinegar and olive oil like I did above. Melon is the feature item for this week’s Summerfest by the Food Network, so check out these other creative melon recipes below.

Jeanette’s Healthy LivingWatermelon-Mint Freeze
What’s Gaby CookingMelon and Prosciutto Salad
Cooking With EliseQuinoa Crunch With Melons, Blueberries and Yogurt
Haute Apple PieWatermelon and Feta Salad
Cooking ChannelFive Things to Make With Watermelon
Healthy EatsMelon Refreshers
Ingredients, Inc.Melon-Arugula Salad
Daily*DishinHoneydew Melon Salad With Genoa Salami and Mozzarella Fresca
Made by MichelleCantaloupe Popsicles 
Chez UsCantaloupe Lime Agua Fresca 
Napa Farmhouse 1885Mixed Melon Smoothie
Virtually HomemadeMelon-Mint Popsicles
Thursday Night DinnerCantaloupe With Figs, Basil and Kalamata Olives
Zaika ZabardastCantaloupe Soup With Cardamom Infused Cherry Syrup
Sweet Life BakePaletas de Melon
HGTV GardensGarden-to-Table: Melons
FN DishThere’s More to Melon

 

Beat the Heat with Healthy Sparkling Fruit Water

It’s been so hot here, and every day my kids and I are trying to come up with new ways to keep cool. I decided to freeze some pomegranate juice and blueberries and combine it in sparkling lime-flavored water to create this super refreshing and healthy Sparkling Fruit Water. It’s so easy!

Start the Day Off Healthy: Oatmeal with Egg Whites

It’s a busy week ahead for me including with radio show on Magic 96.5 this Wednesday as well as a nutrition seminar this weekend at Bikram Yoga Birmingham. For both events I’ll be talking about “Healthy Eating Tips” to get your new year off to the right start. One of my top tips is to never skip breakfast. If you like oatmeal for breakfast, you’ll love this recipe for Oatmeal with Egg Whites. This simple combination is something my friend, Kelly, of Hulsey Gardens, told me she eats daily. I made mine with a touch of brown sugar and blueberries. Kelly normally adds 1 tablespoon of pureed pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and 1 teaspoon vanilla to hers. Adding sliced strawberries and ground cinnamon is also delicious. Regardless, this is one healthy breakfast recipe that has the perfect mix of protein, fiber and carbohydrates, and it is a great way to start your day and new year on the right foot.

Three Ingredients: Blueberry-Banana Ice

Sometimes simple is better, and recipes with only three ingredients actually can be as flavorful as if they had nine. This Blueberry-Banana Ice is one of those recipes that is almost too basic (and good) to be true just in time for July 17th “National Ice Cream Day.” Purchase ripe bananas and in season blueberries and freeze them (I used zip-top plastic bags). Remove and toss in the food processor or blender with a touch of honey, and you’re done. Feel free to experiment with other berries if you wish. This is the perfect healthy dessert for summertime, and it truly hits the spot.

10 Health Benefits of Blackberries

While at their peak season, indulge in blackberries for a nutritious snack or dessert. One cup of fresh blackberries has 62 calories, 1 gram of fat, 15 carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and only 1 mg of sodium. Here are the top 10 health benefits of eating blackberries:

1. Blackberries are one of the top ten foods containing antioxidants.

2. Blackberries are packed with polyphenols helping to prevent cancer and heart disease.

3. Blackberries are filled with anthocyanins (antioxidants which give blackberries their deep purple color) which help in memory retention and the risk of hypertension.

4. Blackberries are said to strengthen blood vessels, help fight heart disease and help improve eyesight.

5. The high tannin content of blackberries help tighten tissue, relieve intestinal inflammation, and help reduce hemorrhoids and stomach disorders.

6. Ohio State University found that blackberries may protect against esophageal cancer, a cancer caused by gastric reflux disease.

7. Blackberries have shown to protect against other types of cancers. They contain phytoestrogens (plant estrogens), a compound believed to play a vital role in preventing breast and cervical cancer.

8. Blackberries are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Manganese and fiber.

9. The high fiber content of blackberries help reduce risk of intestinal disease and the risk of developing diabetes.

10. Blackberries are a healthy food choice that kids and adults love. They are a great way to refuel after a hard workout and help aid in fighting obesity. See a recipe for Blackberry-Blueberry Cobbler from my site last year.

10 Foods Great for Healthy Skin

Summer is now upon us, and this is the time of year to really take care of your skin. Many doctors say the more attention we pay to what we put in our body, the more it will help with skin problems later. I thought I would share some of my favorite foods that are great for healthy skin. Let me know if you have any favorites to add to my list.

 

1. Blueberries and Strawberries-Foods high in antioxidants are ideal for healthy skin. These should be on your summer list while they’re in peak season.

2. Green Tea-Green tea contains phenols which have anti-inflammatory properties. It has been said that drinking green tea daily can even prevent skin cancer.

3. Avocados-Filled with essential oils and B-complex vitamins, avocados are filled with Niacin (vitamin B3) which is important for healthy skin.

4. Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds and Walnuts-These nuts, filled with vitamin E, zinc and magnesium, are great for your skin.

5. Salmon-Contains essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6 and can help create great moisturized looking skin.

6. Water-Many of us have heard it before, but water keeps you hydrated and keeps the skin healthy and younger looking. Make sure you drink at least 8 glasses a day.

7. Low-Fat Yogurt-Dairy products are full of Vitamin A necessary for healthy skin. Try Greek yogurt or even low-fat cottage cheese if you like.

8. Carrots-An excellent source of Vitamin A, carrots also contain high amounts of beta-carotene and antioxidants which helps prevent damage to the skin.

9. Mangoes-Mangoes are high in Beta Carotene and Vitamin A, and they are a good source of antioxidants. These have also been called an “acne cure”.

10. Kiwi-Kiwi packs more vitamin C than any other fruit which helps maintain collagen in our skin.  Collagen helps keep the skin firm.

Blueberry Spritzer

Blueberries are a nutritional powerhouse. Recently Tufts University conducted a study of 60 various fruits and vegetables and found that blueberries rated the highest for their antioxidant capabilities. They have been linked to great health benefits and are said to help prevent alzheimer’s, prevent urinary tractions, improve aging and eyesight and more. This refreshing summery beverage is a cinch to make with only 4 ingredients. It’s a hit with adults as well as the kids.

Under 30 Minutes: Salmon with Pineapple-Pomegranate Salsa

If you’re looking for a dinner idea under 30 minutes, try Salmon with Pineapple-Pomegranate Salsa. This main dish is incredibly heart-healthy, pretty and filled with great flavors. This salmon recipe is truly one of my favorites. Start simply by combining maple syrup and Dijon and brushing the mixture over the fish. Top it with the easy, fresh Pineapple Salsa combination made with chopped fresh pineapple, fresh cilantro, lime juice and pomegranate seeds. When pomegranate seeds are out of season, you can substitute fresh blueberries or dried cherries. Feel free to also grill the salmon when grilling season rolls around. Enjoy this dish for a weeknight or weekend, and serve it with your favorite rice and a mixed green salad.