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Health Benefits of Apricot

This adorable and bright fruit is rich in flavor and nutritional value and its flavor range from sweet to sweet-tart depending on the varietal. The best way to consume fresh apricot is unpeeled because the skin is loaded with fiber and nutrients.

Check out the health benefits of apricot below and uncover a sumptuous guilt-free recipe that you’ll surely enjoy!

Skin Elixir

The combination of Vitamin C and A in apricot makes it a potent elixir for keeping your skin glowing and healthy! Apricot oil derived from apricot seeds is known to treat skin problems such as eczema and dermatitis, while the flesh can be used to soothe itching caused by sunburn or scabies.

Fortified with Fiber

Fiber is your go-to mineral for fierce and healthy digestion! A diet rich in fiber also helps protect you from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and weight gain.

Enhance Bone Strength

Apricot is rich in calcium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, and iron. These minerals promote bone growth and prevent age-related bone conditions such as osteoporosis.

Improve Metabolism

Apricot contains potassium which evenly distributes the fluids in your body, therefore, there is a healthy balance of electrolytes that amplifies your energy and keeps your blood pumping.

Apricot Bars (Paleo, Vegan)

Ingredients:

 Crust:
 Filling:
Crumb topping:

Instructions:

  1. Begin by making your filling. Set aside dried apricots in a medium-sized bowl. Boil 3 cups water, and pour over dried apricots. Let sit for about 20 minutes. Now drain the water, and add apricots to your food processor or blender. Add in lemon juice and maple syrup. Pulse until mostly smooth, a few chunks are fine. You may need to add a bit of water to get the right consistency, but the filling should be thick.
  2. Now make the crust: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper and lightly grease. Combine all of the crust ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Take the mixture and carefully distribute it over the parchment paper, pressing down firmly and evenly. Place inside the oven and bake for 13 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Leave the oven hot.
  3. While crust is cooling, make the crumb mixture. Combine all ingredients into your food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds, or until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Once the crust is cooled, spread the apricot filling over the crust. Complete by topping with the crumb mixture. Now bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and cool completely. Once cooled, slice into squares.

Adapted from Wholesomelicious

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Health Benefits of Blueberry

A fruit that makes you feel blue? Well the kind of blue that amplifies your immunity, strengthens your brain function and shields you from cancer. It is the indomitable, mighty, yet delicate blueberry!

Blueberry is housed with powerful nutrients which is why is it is named as one of the top super foods. The best thing about this fruit is it is typically available year round and it is a great alternative for artificial or sugary sweets.

Hop in and together let us discover the health benefits of blueberry and make sure to stay tuned up until the last bits of this article to uncover a sweet tooth-satisfaction-guaranteed recipe!

POTENT ANTIOXIDANTS

Your body’s cells produce free radicals due to artificial foods and environmental stressors which can cause prostate cancer in men, arthritis, and heart disease. The reason why this fruit is classified as one of the most powerful food is because of its potent and high level of antioxidants which shields your body against the damages caused by free radicals.

PRESERVES AND ENHANCES BRAIN FUNCTION

Blueberry contains two nutrients that protect and upgrade your brain function! Phytochemicals can reverse age-related deficiencies such as short-term and long-term memory loss while flavonoids promotes blood flow to the brain and interacts with your signal pathway, thereby, improving memory and concentration.

REGULATES SUGAR LEVEL

A 150g serving of blueberry may contain up to 15g of sugar, but the anthocyanins in this fruit can improve insulin sensitivity which lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Moreover, it can also reduce a spike in blood sugar by blocking certain digestive enzymes. 

SUPER IMMUNITY

Regular exercising, healthy sleeping habits, a healthy diet, and a dose of blueberry snacks or smoothies can help empower your immune system. Our body contains a gene called cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (or CAMP gene) which plays a significant role in our innate immunity and blueberry can increase the activity of that gene through the help of pterostilbene. Flavonoids abundantly existing in blueberry have anti-inflammatory properties.

Blueberry Date Smoothie Bowls

Ingredients

Instruction

  1. Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Top with chopped medjool dates, kiwi, blueberries, flaked coconut, and chia seeds.

Adapted from Fit Foodie Finds 

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Peachy Keen Smoothie

Summer season is here and you know what that means?!? PEACHES – I love this summer time fruit and one of my favorite ways to have peaches is in my smoothies. The sweet and summery goodness of peach is more than just a culinary treat to the world. Let’s unwrap the health benefits of this fruit with my delicious smoothie recipe for your indulgence!

Sweet and Hydrating

This fruit is a good supplement to your daily hydration needs. It contains 85 to 89 percent water, a perfect way to satisfy both your thirst and palate at the same time.

Optimized with Fiber

Eat the whole fruit to maximize the fiber content which is good for digestive support and regulating sugar levels. One-medium sized peach contains 3 grams of fiber when you include the skin.

Your Vitamin C Buddy

Unlikely it may seem, but the peach is going for the citrus fruit gig. This fruit contains 10 milligrams of vitamin c for every medium-sized peach which are about 13 percent of your recommended daily intake. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant known to protect your body against oxidative damage.

Healthy Gut

While Vitamin A is known for keeping your skin and eyes healthy, it is also a primary nutrient that keeps your organs and gut lining healthy thus, fending off the pathogens that we absorb through food. 

Peachy Keen Smoothie

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Layer the ingredients into your blender in the order listed in the ingredients section.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into your glass and enjoy!

Watch the recipe tutorial video here:

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Health Benefits of Prunes

Prunes are dried plums that are a close relative of peach and cherry. This dried fruit is most commonly from the European Plum variety. Just like raisins, it may take time for some people to adjust to its distinctive taste, but once you love it, you just can’t get enough of it!

Let us discover the health benefits of this fruit are and pick up a nutritious recipe at the end of this article!

Builds Muscle

Exercising is a great way to build muscles along with a nutrient that promotes muscle growth and development and that is where prunes’ prowess comes in. Boron is a mineral that can be found in prune and it helps support muscle growth, muscle coordination, and a sharp mind.

Energy Food

Prunes are a delicious and sweet treat that you can snack on during the day or in between your work to energize your body. But what makes this fruit special is it can sustain your appetite and energy without spiking your sugar levels due to the union blend of fiber, sorbitol, and fructose. This is a great alternative for an energy drink!

Anti-Anemia

Prunes are rich in iron which can help prevent or treat anemia. If you are going for a vegetarian source for iron, then go for prunes!

Better Sleep

Prunes are a good snack for pre-bedtime because it contains magnesium which improves sleep by activating mechanism in your nervous system that calm you down. 

Prune Bars – Gluten Free

Ingredients

Prune Filling:

  • 8 ounces Prunes
  • 1 1/2 cups organic apple or white grape juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Bar Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups gluten free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons organic butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1–2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Make the Prune filling: Place the prunes, juice, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the prunes are very soft and there is little liquid left (about 2-3 tablespoons.) Let cool slightly.
  2. Place the prunes and remaining liquid in a food processor and puree until the mixture is thick and jammy. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly spray with cooking spray to grease. Set aside.
  4. Make the crust: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add in the oil, vanilla, and water and beat again.
  5. Slowly stir in the flour mixture and beat until the flour is just incorporated. Reserve ~3/4 cup of the dough, wrap in plastic, and place in the fridge until ready to use.
  6. Take the other remaining dough and press it into the prepared pan in an even layer. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove the crust from the oven and spread the prune mixture over the crust. For the remaining crust- up to you! You can dollop the remaining dough onto the prune coating or, you can roll the remaining dough into a square, then place it onto the prune mixture.
  8. Place the bars back into the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, another 25 minutes. Let the prune bars cool in the pan, then remove and place in on a wire cooling rack or the fridge to cool completely for about 1 hour.
  9. Cut into squares and serve! Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge.

Adapted from Delish Knowledge

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Cilantro Lime & Garlic Chicken

I’m a huge fan of healthy, delicious, fast and fresh tasting meals and when I recently made this one my mouth was like WOW! This has absolutely been my favorite dish hands down lately – I’ve been making it about once a week because it is seriously Just. That. Good. Not only is it yummy but also a fairly quick meal – you can pre prep that marinade in the morning and you’re good to cook that chicken once it’s time for dinner. This recipe as written will serve two but feel free to double or triple it up for more people or leftovers. Finally, this entrée pairs nicely with a side of cauliflower rice, avocado and corn salsa, guacamole or grilled veggies. I hope you enjoy!

Serving size – 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper – to taste

Instructions:

  1. Make that marinade – add all of the ingredients with the exception of the chicken into a large bowl and stir until well combined.
  2. Add the chicken to the large bowl and spoon the marinade over the chicken until well coated.
  3. Place the chicken marinade bowl in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes and up to 8 hours.
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat place one teaspoon of olive oil.
  5. Once the oil has warmed – add your chicken thighs to the skillet.
  6. Cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side (the size and thickness of your chicken will determine final cook times) until the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees and no pinkness remaining.
  7. Remove chicken from pan and add to your serving dish – garnish with cilantro leaves and enjoy!

Pro Tips:

  • Choose chicken thighs or chicken breasts if you want a dish that is more juicy, tender and will tend to hold more of the flavors.
  • You can marinate for 20 minutes or up to 8 hours depending on how much time you have – BUT basically the longer you marinate the better your finished dish.
  • Use as many fresh ingredients as you can in this recipe – lime juice, cilantro, garlic – it DOES make a difference in how much the flavors will POP – I promise it’s worth the extra few minutes in prep.
  • Leftovers – this one does really well saved and reheated again so make extra if you need another meal on a different week night for a quick after work meal.
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Health Benefits of Kale

This cruciferous vegetable is certainly one of the healthiest and nutritious plant foods that Mother Nature has offered. It is widely adored by the masses due to its powerhouse nutritional content and the continuous demands for this food have expanded its form of consumption from salads, to power juices, to dried chips. 

Let’s munch and crunch the factors one by one on what makes this vegetable extra special!

Fortified with Antioxidants

Kale is equipped with antioxidants that are potent in relieving inflammation and countering oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Antioxidants also help protect your DNA from damage and can slow down cancer growth and spread. 

Strengthens Bones

Kale is rich in Vitamin K which plays a significant part in bone formation, therefore, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

Strong Heart

Kale contains bile acid sequestrants which can lower cholesterol levels, therefore, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Healthy Skin & Hair

Kale is rich in Vitamin C which is necessary for collagen production and Vitamin A, a compound retinoid that increases collagen production reducing fine lines and improves the color of the skin.


As always the best way to consume this food is by eating it in your diet.  However, if you want a way to consistently add it to your daily protocol via supplement my favorite recommendation is Cruciferous Complete by Standard Process.

Kale Guacamole

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 to 4 big leaves of curly green kale (the Tuscan/lacinato variety also works well)
  • 4 medium ripe avocados, halved and pitted
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 ½ medium limes), divided, to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, lightly packed
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeds and membranes removed, roughly chopped

NSTRUCTIONS:

  1. To prepare the kale, first remove the tough ribs with a chef’s knife and discard them. Chop the kale into small, bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle it lightly with salt, followed by a squeeze of lime juice (about 1 teaspoon). Massage the kale by scrunching it up in your hands, repeating until the kale is darker green and fragrant (this step softens the kale and makes it less bitter). You’ll need 1 cup (packed) kale for the guacamole, so measure it out and set it aside.
  2. Next, use a spoon to scoop the flesh of the avocados into the bowl of a food processor, discarding any bruised, browned areas. Add 3 tablespoons of lime juice and salt. Blend until the mixture is fairly smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary.
  3. Add the massaged kale, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño. Blend until the mixture is mostly smooth, with only tiny bits of kale and onion remaining (or completely smooth if you prefer). Taste, and add additional salt and/or lime juice, if necessary, and blend again (I usually add up to ½ teaspoon more salt and another tablespoon of lime juice). Serve immediately.

Adapted from Cookie and Kate

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Health Benefits of Papaya

This fruit was once deemed exotic, but now, you can experience the heavenly sweetness and buttery texture of papaya in both markets and restaurants! Moreover, this tropical fruit is filled with nutrients that can help improve your body’s daily performance. 


Let us unveil the health secrets of papaya along with a delicious recipe that you can prepare as a side dish or as a snack.

Powerful Antioxidants

This fruit is a fortress of nutrients but one stands out among them and that is the antioxidant beta-carotene which can reduce the risk of cancer and plays a vital role in shielding men against prostate cancer.

Improves Digestion

Papaya contains 2 key ingredients that normalize the flow of digestion which are fiber and papain. 

Fun Fact: Papain is also used as a meat tenderizer and it works by tearing down proteins through a process called hydrolysis

Supports Skin and Healing

Aside from consuming this fruit fresh, mashed papaya applied to a wound or burned skin can help improve the condition of the affected area through the power of proteolytic enzymes, chymopapain, and papain. Ointments containing papain enzyme are also now manufactured to treat bedsores.

Anti-Arthritis

People who are suffering or may want to protect themselves from arthritis might want to start incorporating papaya into their diet as it is a good source of Calcium which helps strengthen your bones and Vitamin C which keeps any inflammation at bay. 

Spicy Ripe Papaya Salad (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe papaya, diced to 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 red pepper, diced 1/2 inch
  • 1/2 red onion, slivered
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp minced hot pepper, optional
  • 1 tsp brown sugar, maple syrup or sweetener of your choice.
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger root.

Instruction

  1. Place all the ingredients in a big bowl and give a good tossing. Allow the spicy ripe papaya salad to sit for ten minutes for flavors to meld. 

Adapted from Sunny Side Hanne

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Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

The first things that usually pop up in our minds when we think of chocolate are sugar, dessert, and carbs. Despite its negative reputation, a lot of research has shown that chocolate, specifically the dark version, is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients that can help amplify your health.

Sharper Mind

Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols which improves the blood flow in the brain, therefore, amplifying cognitive functions. A study has also shown that a high content of flavanol enhances the activity in the dentate gyrus part of the brain which plays a critical role in memory preservation. 

Fierce Protector

Dark chocolate may have been the most delicious medicine that you will ever snack on because it is high in antioxidants that helps amplify your body’s protection against diseases as well as stimulating the lining of the arteries to manufacture nitric oxide, to help regulate blood pressure.

Heightened Energy

If you need an alternative morning boost from coffee, you might want to try a hot cup or a bar of dark chocolate. This food’s ability to improve blood flow allows the oxygen to be carried-out faster through the muscles.

Guilt-Free Happiness

Aside from its truly delectable taste, dark chocolate contains a chemical component called phenylethylamine which makes it irresistible and it stimulates the same feeling as falling in love! Eating dark chocolate can amplify your mood along with the naturally produced in our body dopamine, theobromine, and tryptophan content.

Healthy Dark Chocolate Mousse

  • 2 avocados (220 g) only the flesh
  • 50 g pure cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup (75g) cup almond milk 
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until completely smooth.
  2. Leave to set in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  3. Garnish your chocolate mousse with: fresh currants, mint, coconut flakes, pomegranate seeds.

Adapted from Shoo the Cook

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Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is an esteemed herbal food in Asia that specifically flourished in the traditional valley of India. It is a family relative of ginger and can be consumed dried or fresh. Its flavor is characterized as musky, earthy, and a tad bitter. Through its health benefits, this golden spice goes beyond just being a food and flavor enhancer.

Slimming Concoction

Exercising regularly and healthy eating are the best ways to trim your waist to achieve the healthy weight that you desire. But consuming turmeric in its raw or liquid form can help boost your body’s ability to change your body composition by regulating lipid metabolism and targeting fat by repressing various processes in charge of the growth of adipose tissue. 

Skin Protection

Skin is the largest organ of our body and it acts as a defense against physical injury and harmful microbes that attempt to attack our internal system. Through this, we must take care of our skin and turmeric can improve skin tone and texture as well as the healing capability due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Alleviates Joint Pain

Turmeric helps relieve inflamed joints with its anti-inflammatory power. You can also apply and massage it directly in the affected area by mixing it with other spices in a steamed pot to create a paste-like texture. This will help revitalize the blood flow. 

Add it to your Daily Regimen

Turmeric is best utilized by the body if taken daily and we are so excited that our favorite herbal company Medi-Herb has created a fantastic product in the form of Turmeric Forte. This particular product contains a bioavailable form of Turmeric rhizome and Fenugreek seed to support a healthy inflammatory response.  My suggested dose for this product is 2 tablets per day.  

Turmeric Forte

Turmeric Forte contains a bioavailable form of Turmeric rhizome and Fenugreek seed to support a healthy inflammatory response. These herbs and their constituents:

  • Support a healthy inflammatory response
  • Maintain and support healthy joints
  • Support healthy liver function and healthy digestion
  • Provide antioxidant activity

Check out the Turmeric Fact Sheet here.

Want to try it out?  Place your orders here.

Healing 5-Ingredient Turmeric Tonic

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated turmeric 
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger 
  • 1 whole lemon (juiced // ~3 Tbsp or 45 ml juice as original recipe is written // plus leftover rind)
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup (optional // can sub stevia or raw honey if not vegan)
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional // or cracked black pepper which many readers have commented helps with the bioavailability of the turmeric!)
  • 3 cups of filtered water

Directions:

  1. To a small saucepan, add turmeric, ginger, lemon juice and leftover lemon rind, maple syrup (optional), cayenne (optional), and filtered water. I personally didn’t think it needed any sweetener, but sweeten to taste.
  2. Bring to a simmer (not a boil) over medium to medium-high heat (~3 minutes). Then turn off the heat.
  3. Set a small strainer over serving glasses and divide between two mugs. Enjoy. If the tonic is too potent for you, dilute with more hot/warm water.
  4. Store (strained) leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat on the stovetop until just warm.

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

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Turkey Zoodles Recipe – Paleo, Gluten Free

Can I tell you that I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe!  It’s super fresh, fast, healthy, detox friendly, paleo and gluten free.  What’s not to love?!?  This is a dish even YOUR KIDS are going to eat.  My dog Brie enjoys any leftover zoodles!

This is a 20 minute one pan dish if you follow my preparation and kitchen tool techniques and I especially enjoy it during the summer.  I keep the zucchini cold and cover the cold zoodles with the heat meat, veggie, sauce combo and it becomes a fresh summer dish for these hot hot hot Southern summer days.

You can also substitute grass fed beef for the organic turkey if you wish.

In this recipe I use a jar of marinara in order to save time for those quick weekday meals.  When choosing your sauce choose one without any added sugars and I always buy one that has the least amount of sugar/carbs listed on the label.  Some fantastic brands are: Organico Bello, Cucina Antica,  

Also, be sure to have your tools on hand to make your life EASIER – Two kitchen items I cannot live without is my garlic roller/peeler – seriously if you don’t have one of these you need one. I can peel my garlic in 3 seconds flat with this bad boy.  Also you’ll want a spiralizer to make those yummy zoodles. With this tool I can zoodle a zucchini in about 20 seconds.  Dinner in 20 minutes? BOOM!

Here’s to healthy quick meals!

Italian Turkey Zoodles

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium zucchini – spiralized
  • 1 lb organic ground turkey
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • One medium onion – diced
  • 8 oz mushrooms – diced
  • 3 cloves garlic – peeled and minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 24oz jar of no sugar added marinara sauce
  • Fresh basil chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Spiralize your zucchini and put the spiralized zucchini on a paper towel to drain while you prepare the rest of the meal.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add organic turkey, onion, mushrooms and garlic and cook until turkey is no longer pink and vegetables are tender; breaking up turkey into crumbles, 8-10 minutes; drain.
  4. Put pan back on the burner and turn the heat down to a simmer
  5. Add your marinara sauce – I usually use ¾ of a jar – just depends on how wet you want your dish.
  6. Stir in your spices.
  7. Let the pan simmer until all ingredients are well mixed and warm.
  8. Place a cup of spiralized zucchini on your plate, spoon your turkey, veggie, sauce mixture over the zucchini.  Garnish with chopped basil.