Super Moist Pumpkin Bars

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Pumpkins are the eternal symbol of fall and a healthy food, but they’re often transformed into not-so-healthy desserts. New York magazine declared Pumpkin is the New Bacon in their headline several years ago. Aargh! That’s because the minimal amount of pumpkin used (if any) in some of these processed products is usually wrapped in layers of saturated fat (butter), refined carbs (white flour) and sugar.

However, after much ‘tinkering’ in my kitchen, you can enjoy this nutritional all-star. These pumpkin treats are not only quick and easy to make, they’re extremely moist and light in texture (yes, despite being ‘whole grain’). I’ve skimped on the fat and sugar, but not the flavor. Best of all, my cardiac patients and family gave them a huge thumbs up! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (117 grams) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I use Vietnamese cinnamon)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 2 large eggs (omega-3 fortified)
  • 1 1/3 cups (176 grams) light brown sugar
  • 2 cups (488 grams) pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
  • 1/2 cup (113.5 grams) nonfat milk
  • 1/4 cup (56 grams) Earth Balance® (Original) natural buttery spread, melted
  • 1/4 cup (63.8 grams) unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I use Mexican vanilla bean extract)
  • Date sugar (optional)

Directions:   

Continue reading “Super Moist Pumpkin Bars”

Get Real Food!™ | Go Green ☘

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! While deciding what to wear that’s green today, how about thinking of eating some green too?  Here are a some ‘real food’ ideas…

Snacks

Sips

Salads

Sides

Entrées

Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: Build happy healthy habits that last. 😀

 

Get Real Food!™ | Happy Valentine’s Day!

Julia Child quote_Valentine

Get Real Food!™ 

“I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.”.  ~Julia Child

SPA Smoothie (Spinach, Peach & Apple)

VitamixAfter investing in my super high-performance Vitamix® blender last year, I realized I haven’t been putting it to good use lately. So… it’s ‘Soup and Smoothie Week’ in my house. Please send me your favorite recipes!

Smoothies are an excellent (sneaky) way to get my teen to swallow his dark leafy greens and flaxseeds. 😀  Here’s one of my simple, teen-tested, smoothies that makes an ideal breakfast, morning boost or power snack. (If the thought of drinking blended spinach makes you say, “Ewww…”, believe me, you won’t even taste it in this recipe. )    Continue reading “SPA Smoothie (Spinach, Peach & Apple)”

♥ Daily Dose | Clams: A Cardiac Superfood

Canned clamsDID YOU KNOW….  clams top the list as a source of vitamin B12? In fact, just one serving of clams (three ounces) has 14 times more vitamin B12 than a fortified breakfast cereal with 100% DV!

100% DV (Daily Value) of a nutrient is based on a 2,000-calorie diet and means a serving of the food contains 100% of your daily needs. This water-soluble vitamin plays a key role in cell metabolism, the formation of blood, and the normal functioning of your brain and nervous system. (See ♥ Daily Dose | Vit. B12 Deficiency)

Clams are also an excellent source of heme iron. Believe it or not, they’re right up there with beef liver. Heme iron is found in animal foods and derived from hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen). The body absorbs the most iron from heme sources of iron. Iron is essential due to its oxygen-carrying capacity.

An iron deficiency can impair muscle function, normal function of the nervous and immune systems, and can limit your work capacity during exercise. So, if you have a cardiac condition, it’s important to get enough iron each day. Patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) are prone to develop iron deficiency and iron supplementation improves functional status and quality of life.    Continue reading “♥ Daily Dose | Clams: A Cardiac Superfood”