Tag: breakfast

Savory Sweet Potato Kale Hash

Most of us think of breakfast as a type of food – bagels, cereal, pancakes, waffles, eggs, toast, etc.

I like to think of breakfast as a time of day. Anything goes!

I usually have a smoothie or oatmeal, but sometimes I want something savory and have leftover chili or soup or recipes like the one I’m sharing today.

People who start the day with a protein-rich, veggie-packed breakfast tend to have fewer food cravings later in the day. Most of us – especially women – start the day with a sweet meal that contains very little protein (i.e., most granola bars, bagels, cereal), which sets us up to have more sweet cravings, hormonal imbalances, mood swings, and low energy.

Want to balance out all of that? Try this dish.

Rich in fiber and nutrients from the sweet potatoes and kale, this meal will nourish you and fill you up. The protein comes primarily from the chicken sausage from my favorite company – Bilinski’s.

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Ordinarily, I’m not a fan of sausage, but here are just a few reasons why we love this product:

  • They taste delicious. We always have a package in our fridge, and these sausages are one of my husband, Bill’s favorite foods.
  • Their chickens are free range and pasture-raised, raised humanely and respectfully, and given access to plenty of natural sunlight and space to roam about. They are never treated with growth hormones or antibiotics.
  • Bilinski’s sausages have NO gross casing– so there is no pork or lamb casing to remove! That’s the main thing that weirds me out about most sausages.
  • All of their sausages are gluten-free and wheat-free.
  • Only whole, clean ingredients are used (you’ll never see generic “spices” or “flavorings” in their ingredients lists!) and each ingredient is always fully listed.

We buy them at MOMs Organic Market or Whole Foods, but if you want to find where they are sold near you, use their store locator.

Combine the protein-packed goodness of these sausages with the fiber-filled veggies and a few simple spices, and you’ll have a dish that is perfect for any meal. You can even put an over-easy egg on top to add even more flavor!

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Savory Sweet Potato Kale Hash

This dish is perfect for any meal but we love it as a filling and nourishing breakfast that is packed with flavor, protein and fiber. 

Course Breakfast
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Author Rachel Druckenmiller

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 6 cups kale destemmed and chopped
  • 5 scallions sliced into rounds
  • 3 Bilinski's sausages Wild Mushroom is delicious!

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Cut sausage in half lengthwise and place cut-side down on skillet. Heat until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add sweet potatoes, sage, cumin, salt and pepper and saute for 12-15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are cooked through and fork tender. After about 10 minutes, add garlic and stir to combine. Add a few tablespoons of water to prevent potatoes from sticking and to speed up the cooking process. 

  3. Add kale to sweet potatoes along with a few tablespoons of water and toss to combine. Cover with lid to steam kale, about 2-3 minutes. 

  4. Add diced sausage and scallions and toss everything to combine. Serve warm.

Apple Cinnamon Smoothie

I love this time of year.

September and October are my favorite weather months, and I love the changing colors of the leaves on the trees here on the East Coast.

As fall comes and winter follows, a lot of us will be changing up our diets a bit to reflect the change in seasons. We’ll be adding in more warming, grounding foods like soups, stews, and chilis. We’ll be incorporating more herbs and spices in our meals. We’ll focus on flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, sage, rosemary and thyme.

YUM!

Why not start the season off with one of everyone’s favorites…apple pie!

I have to admit – I’m more of a crisp/crumble girl than a pie person. But I know apple pie is one of those comfort foods that makes a lot of people very happy, so today’s recipe is my best attempt at recreating it…smoothie style!

In this recipe, I used avocado for creaminess (you won’t even taste it!), an apple and a date for sweetness, and cinnamon and nutmeg for a punch of flavor. The hint of lemon juice adds a bit of tartness to this recipe, which you could probably recreate by just using a Granny Smith apple instead of the Gala apple that I used. You can add spinach to create a Green Apple Smoothie, if you’d like. It’s a great way to get in an extra dose of veggies.

Because of the apple and the oats, this recipe isn’t as silky smooth as some other smoothies, but the flavors are on point. My friend Kat taste tested it for me before I finalized it and she said she was a bit skeptical of the combo of ingredients…but it turned out great!

Happy Fall!

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Cinnamon Apple Smoothie

As fall foods make their way into our kitchens and bellies, let's celebrate all of the flavors of fall with this seasonal smoothie!

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Smoothie
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 person
Author Rachel Druckenmiller

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk unsweetened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 medium apple cored and quartered
  • 1 Medjool date pit removed
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats gluten-free
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 avocado flesh
  • 2 scoops unflavored protein powder Vital Proteins and Tonic are my fave brands
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients except ice cubes in a high speed blender until evenly combined. Add ice and blend until smooth.

Recipe Notes

Add 1 cup of baby spinach for a "green apple" smoothie. 

3 Beautiful Smoothie Bowl Recipes to Try

I’ve been a fan of smoothies for years because of how many nutrients you can pack into one meal. But I’ve also noticed something you may find to be true as well.

I tend to drink them fast. Like, under two minutes fast.

That’s a lot of food entering your stomach at an unnaturally fast rate, which can lead to things like bloating, gas, indigestion, and overeating. You can drink fruits and vegetables at a rate of about two cups per minute when you get them through a smoothie. This can undermine your body’s capacity to recognize that you’re full because the body needs about 20 minutes to register that you’re satiated once you start eating.

So, what’s one idea for slowing down your smoothie drinking pace?

Put it in a bowl!

Yup, make a smoothie bowl.

It’s not that complicated either. All you’re really doing is using slightly less liquid (1/4-1/2 cup less than usual), so you end up with a thicker consistency that can be poured into a bowl instead of into a glass. It’s also important to use thickening ingredients like chia seeds, avocado, frozen banana, soaked raw cashews, and even peeled zucchini to reach your desired consistency.

Now, I do have a few words of caution and something you’ll want to keep in mind when going this route. Smoothie bowls are often topped with heaps of granola, honey, maple syrup, nuts, a whole banana, etc., which makes for a pretty picture. But, on top of all of the ingredients that are already in a smoothie, this can be overkill, so use your toppings sparingly. Try not to overdo it. Notice how your body feels and adjust accordingly! Less is more 🙂

Check out the three smoothie bowl recipes below that I’ve previously posted on my instagram page. If you’re looking for even more smoothie bowl inspiration, here is a list of nine smoothie bowls from Greatist and 11 from Buzzfeed!

Berry Good Smoothie Bowl 

Ingredients

1 tsp flax seeds or flax meal
2 teaspoons hemp seeds
2 teaspoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon coconut butter (optional but tasty!)
1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract
1/2 tsp raw honey
1 cup baby spinach
1-1.5 cups almond milk (start with one cup for a thicker bowl)
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen raspberries

Directions: Blend all ingredients, except the berries, in a high-speed blender for about 15-20 seconds. Then, add berries and blend until smooth, adding additional almond milk, as needed, until it reaches your desired thickness. Pour into a bowl and top with additional berries and a sprinkle of hemp seeds.

Shrek Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients

1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1 tsp fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 small avocado
1 cup baby spinach
1 scoop unflavored protein powder (I like Vital Proteins and Bulletproof Collagen Protein because they are flavorless!)
1/2 tsp raw honey
1-1.5 cups water (start with 1 cup and add more as needed)

Directions: Blend everything together until you reach a smooth, thick consistency. Pour into bowl, sprinkle with shredded coconut, and serve with a spoon!

Berry Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients

1 cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries and raspberries)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1.5 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Medjool date, pitted
1 scoop unflavored protein powder (I used Vital Proteins)

1 – 1.5 cups dairy-free milk (start with 1 cup and add more 1/4 cup at a time)

Directions: Put everything in a blender and blend for about a minute or until smooth. Pour into bowl and sprinkle with goji berries and cacao nibs.

So, what about you? Are you a fan of smoothie bowls? Do you have any favorite recipes? Feel free to share them below!

25 Energizing Breakfast Recipes {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}

For most of my life, the back of the cereal box was the highlight of my first meal of the day.

As much as I enjoyed starting my day that way, I’ve learned that typical breakfast cereals and other breakfast foods like donuts, bagels and granola bars are not the most filling or nourishing choices.

We’ve heard that breakfast is an important meal, and it’s true.

Eating breakfast helps us stabilize our blood sugar levels throughout the day, which affects things like our energy, alertness, and mood.

Not hungry when you wake up? You might have eaten too late the night before and spent your night digesting instead of repairing and resting. Another possibility is that you might not have gotten enough quality sleep and could still have some stress hormones floating around that are dampening your appetite.

When we grab something to “break the fast,” the key is to make sure we’re eating the most filling and satisfying combination of food to keep us going throughout the day. The secret to lasting energy and feeling satisfied after a meal is eating a combination of…

PFF

Fiber only comes from plants, so that would mean we want to include something that was growing in nature at some point. Protein can be plant-based or animal-based. Examples of healthy fats include things like nuts, seeds, avocado, wild caught salmon, and coconut.

Remember, breakfast is a time of day, not a group of foods. Anything is fair game!

Check out this video I put together that walks through some of my favorite breakfast ideas. Then, take a look at the links below that direct you to a bunch of the recipes I mention in the video!

Smoothies

Smoothies are a great way to jam pack nutrition in a glass, but drink them slowwwwly instead of downing them in 90 seconds, as I have a tendency to do.

Make sure you follow the guidelines of the PFF combo – protein, fiber AND some healthy fat in each smoothie. Most of the time when we make smoothies, we put in lots of fruit and juice and very little protein or healthy fats, so we spike our blood sugar and end up feeling hungry a couple hours later.

My basic formula for making smoothies looks like this: ~2 cups veggies (spinach, baby kale, lettuce, cabbage), 1 cup fruit (berries are best!), 1 -1.5 cups liquid, 2 tablespoons protein (nut butter, hemp seeds, protein powder) and then some add-ins like coconut oil, flax seeds, chia seeds, dates, cinnamon, or cacao powder. My preferred protein in smoothies are hemp seeds, sprouted pea protein, or sprouted brown rice protein (you can get all of them on Amazon). Sun Warrior and Vega are two good brands.

These are some of my favorite smoothie recipes, especially the Ultimate Pumpkin Pie SmoothieChocolate-Covered Cherry Smoothie, Caribbean Island Breeze, and this Snickerdoodle Smoothie.

Whip up a smoothie in the morning and put it in a thermos. It should stay cold for about four hours.

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You can also find lots of free smoothie recipes here at Simple Green Smoothies.

Here’s a link to an awesome and FREE downloadable smoothie guide from the Academy for Culinary Nutrition that you can print out and put on your fridge.

I like smoothies, but I don’t drink them every day. Sometimes my body wants something warm or something a bit more savory like a frittata, so I pay attention to my cravings and eat accordingly!

Gluten-Free Grains

Sugary cereals aren’t the only bowl-based option for breakfast. Check out some of my favorite hot and cold cereal recipes below. I serve them with some almond milk or coconut milk. Yum!

PS Oatmeal Banner

Granola Aerial

No-Bake Bites 

Enjoy these as a side to some fruit and/or veggies or oatmeal. If you make a lighter smoothie based mostly on veggies or fruit without fat, try these as a side to that, too. They also make a great snack!

coconut chai biteslacto cookies

Egg-Based Dishes

For more savory options, the dishes below are some of my absolute favorites. As the weather gets cooler, my body tends to crave these warmer, veggie-packed, nutrient-dense meals.

Beet Shakshuka Recipe from Two Moms in the Raw cookbookMexican Black Bean Scramble

Leftovers

Who says breakfast has to be a boring bowl of cereal? Have some leftovers from the night before? Heat them up for breakfast!

currycrock pot chili

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Smoothie {Dairy-Free, Paleo, Vegan}

You guys…THIS IS AMAZING!

Seriously, it’s so good! It tastes like a decadent dessert, but you can have it for breakfast.

I couldn’t decide whether to call it a smoothie or a milkshake, so I opted for “smoothie shake.” 🙂

I was inspired to make this recipe after making a cherry chocolate pudding and thought I would try to make a drinkable version. It’s one of the tastiest things I’ve made and is now Bill’s “go to” smoothie in the morning.

What I like the most about smoothies (or, in this case, milkshakes!) is how easily you can pack lots of energy, immune and beauty-boosting nutrients into ONE glass.

This one is loaded with anti-inflammatory and beautifying foods like hemp seeds, cacao powder, avocado and spinach.

But cherries are the star. They’re a fruit that we’re all familiar with but don’t hear too much about healthwise. Check out all of the health-boosting benefits of cherries below.

cherries

Why I love cherries:

Check out this link from Dr. Mercola or this one from Dr. Joel Fuhrman to learn about even more of the health benefits of these power-packed fruits 🙂

Not only is this smoothie shake fueling and nourishing, it’s also rich, creamy, chocolatey and silky smooth. You have to try it!

choco cherry 1Cherrychocshake1

Ingredients

  • 2 cups baby spinach, loosely packed (this has the LEAST flavor of any greens)
  • 1 Medjool date, pit removed
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds (my go to protein source for smoothies!)
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional but amazing)
  • 3/4 cup frozen cherries (BJs Wholesale club now sells bags of organic frozen cherries)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (check out my video for how to make your own)
  • Pinch fine grain sea salt
  • Optional: sprinkle some cacao nibs on top for a chocolatey crunch!

Directions

Put all ingredients in a blender in the order listed above and blend for about a minute or until smooth and creamy.

**If you don’t have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, Blendtec or Ninja, blend the liquid and spinach FIRST and then add the other ingredients 🙂

Energizing Blueberry Beauty Blast Smoothie {Paleo, Dairy-Free}

Smoothies are a simple way to “upgrade” your diet, adding in lots of nutrients that keep our bodies clean, energized, and healthy. Since cutting dairy out of my diet, I miss creamy foods, so smoothies are an easy way for me to get that creamy texture I love.

My hubby and I have them for breakfast most mornings. We change them up, so we are getting a variety of nutrients from different fruits, vegetables and super foods.

This smoothie has a lot going for it, including being anti-inflammatory and detoxifying AND being loaded with what Dr. Fuhrman refers to as the healthiest foods on the planet GBOMBS.

According to Dr. Mark Hyman and other functional medicine doctors and nutritionists, inflammation and toxicity are the two reasons most of us are sick and holding on to extra weight, so we want to load up on foods that help us reduce them, and this smoothie does the trick!

blueberry smoothie

Check out the amazing health benefits of the ingredients in this smoothie:

Blueberries are one of the best foods you can eat. They are low in sugar and their high antioxidant power helps protect your heart and contains potent anti-cancer compounds. In fact, berries are considered one of Dr. Fuhrman’s GBOMBS foods – the most powerful anti-cancer, anti-fat storage foods you can eat.

Avocado, hemp seeds, and flax seeds are excellent sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 and monounsaturated fats that are not only good for our skin, hair and body but also for our brain (our brain is 60% fat!).

  • Hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein (and won’t cause you to fail a drug test!)
  • Flaxseed is also loaded with fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar (key to staying energized!), keep us feeling fuller, and promote healthy digestion.

hemp seeds

Leafy greens like spinach are one of the most nutrient-dense, disease-fighting, health-promoting foods in the world. They are detoxifying, anti-inflammatory (“cool” the body), cancer-fighting, oxygenating, alkaline (reduce acidity in our body), and loaded with anti-aging antioxidants and nutrients.

  • It’s important to rotate your greens, too. Check out this link for tips on how to do that. I like to rotate between kale (baby and regular), spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard and Romaine lettuce.

Pineapple. The magic of pineapple is an enzyme called “bromelain” (say it, “BRO-ma-lane”). This enzyme breaks down proteins and foods and is a natural detoxifier (AKA body gunk cleaner outer). It also helps improve circulation and reduce mucus, which builds up in our digestive system, sinuses, and respiratory system. Clearing out mucus is important for overall health and beauty. Click here to learn more about pineapple.

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Blueberry Beauty Blast Smoothie

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Smoothie
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Author Rachel Druckenmiller

Ingredients

  • 2 cups baby spinach loosely packed
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup pineapple fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds shelled
  • 1/2 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender in the order listed and blend until evenly combined, about 45-60 seconds. Add more almond milk, as needed.

Recipe Notes

**If you don't have a high powered blender, blend the liquid and greens FIRST and then add the other ingredients.**

"Berry" Quick Cinnamon Overnight Oats

Most mornings, Bill and I have a smoothie for breakfast. We pull recipes from this list and from my “Blend It Up” Pinterest board.

Sometimes I’m in the mood for something besides a smoothie. Variety is one of the keys to a healthy, balanced diet that gives your body all the nutrients it needs. Plus, variety keeps meals fun and exciting 🙂

Today, I’m putting a new spin on a classic favorite – oatmeal!

The best part?

You don’t even have to cook it. It’s one of those set-it-and-forget-it recipes that takes the hassle out of breakfast!

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I used to eat oatmeal every day for breakfast because it’s a pretty quick, easy, and healthy meal. Oats have tons of health benefits, too!

The way I usually make oatmeal is by cooking it slowly in a pot on the stove…but that’s not always the most convenient thing to do, especially in the morning, so I tried something new.

Overnight oats!

My friend Jess and I made a variation of an overnight oats recipe a few months ago when we did a cooking demo for a group of her employees. After browsing through several other recipes online, I came up with one that I REALLY like!

I’ve already made it twice this week, and it has come in handy on mornings when I’ve been pressed for time.

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This overnight oats recipe takes less than 5 minutes to put together and is healthy, tasty, convenient grab-and-go option, perfect for when you’re feeling rushed in the morning.

All of the ingredients magically come together while they’re chillin’ in the fridge and you’re catching up on some sleep.

One thing I love about this recipe is that you can prep several jars at once and have breakfast ready to go for a few days in a row. That way, you literally don’t even have to think about what you’re going to do for breakfast in the morning.

All you have to do is open your fridge, grab a jar, and hit the road!

The possibilities for combinations of spices and add-ins are endless, so experiment with it to find what you like best! Feel free to share below if you find a combo that you really like!

“Berry” Quick Cinnamon Overnight Oats

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 ripe banana, mashed OR 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (Trader Joe’s sells a big bag of gluten-free rolled oats for about $5)
  • ½ cup almond milk, unsweetened

The Fixins

  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans
  • 1/3 cup berries
  • Optional/additional add-ins: 2 teaspoons almond butter or peanut butter, shredded unsweetened coconut, or sliced bananas, peaches or any other fruit you like!

Directions

Mash the banana in the bottom of a mason jar or mug with a spoon until it's the consistency of applesauce.

Mash the banana in the bottom of a mason jar or mug with a spoon until it’s the consistency of applesauce. OR pour applesauce into bottom of jar.

Add spices, chia seeds, salt, vanilla, oats and raisin to banana mash and stir to combine.

Add spices, chia seeds, salt, vanilla, oats and raisins to banana mash and stir to mix everything together.

Add almond milk and stir until everything is combined.

Add almond milk and stir until all ingredients are combined. It will seem watery. That’s normal! The chia seeds and oats will absorb the liquid, and it will thicken up overnight, so just give it time.

Store jar or mug in the fridge overnight. By morning, the oats and chia seeds will have absorbed the liquid and be ready to eat! No cooking necessary :)

Store jar or mug in the fridge overnight, and everything will gel together.

Top with or stir in your choice of nuts, seeds, nut butter and/or berries (I used slivered almonds and blackberries!).

Remove from fridge in the morning and top with or stir in your choice of nuts, seeds, nut butter and/or berries (I used slivered almonds and blackberries!).

You can heat it up if you’d like or just enjoy it cold, which works well when the weather is warmer like it is now. Add more almond milk if you want to thin it out. Enjoy 🙂

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