Intelligent Musings on Muesli

Muesli

We’ve been making up big batches of Muesli in the Intelligent Gourmet kitchen this week because it’s so darn healthy! High in fiber, protein and whole grains, it’s a high-octane start to your day.

Let’s take a closer look at some of our “Super” ingredients. 

Coconut & Coconut oil: Promotes weight loss, supports cognitive function, promotes heart health and thyroid function, and strengthens the immune system.

Raw Cacao: High in anti-oxidants which help your body break down environmental toxins, and contains flavonoids which aid cardiovascular health and help prevent cancer.

Millet & Rolled Oats: Both have heart-protective properties, but millet in particular is high in magnesium which lowers high blood pressure. They’re also high in fiber; and fiber from whole grains helps prevent gallstones and possibly breast cancer.

Here are a few more reasons why our Muesli is a SMART way to start your day…

Certified Organic 100%
37% Fruits, Nuts and Seeds
20% of Daily Fiber per serving
7g of Protein per serving
28g of Whole Grain per serving
No Added Fat
No Added Sweeteners
Vegetarian
Wheat & Dairy Free
Cholesterol-free
Kosher

What’s your favorite way to enjoy Muesli? On yogurt? Swimming in almond milk? Or maybe on top of fresh summer peaches.

Slimming Summer SuperFoods

Blueberries

At Intelligent Gourmet, we love summer because that is when our favorite produce is in season! Right now, there are a few superfoods in the farmers markets that I think you’ll all want to know about because, in addition to being incredibly good for you, they can also help whittle down your waistline. Who doesn’t want help with that during bikini season? When you eat fruits and vegetables in their season, not only will they taste more flavorful, but their health benefits will be amplified by their freshness. So go out to your local market this weekend and indulge in food that tastes great and will help you look great too!

Raspberries – Low in calories and high in fiber, raspberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese, iron, and cancer-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Lychees – A 2009 study in Japan found that lychee extract, oligonol, may reduce tummy fat in people with metabolic syndrome and improve overall health. They also contain high levels of polyphenols, promoting heart health.

Kale – Another low calorie, high fiber plant, Kale is the king of leafy-green vegetables, crammed with iron and calcium.

Blueberries – These berries contain the most antioxidants of anything you’ll find in the grocery store, and are high in fiber. But their main claim to fame is their anti-aging effects.

Watermelon – Of course, watermelon is one of the best superfoods for weight loss; it’s all water! Well, water, delicious sweet flavor, and tons of lycopene (which prevents hypertension). It’s also great for helping with circulation (if you know what I mean).

My best tip for using these to promote weight loss in summer is to keep a bowl of berries on your kitchen counter. Then, when you’re feeling snacky, just grab a handful as you pass by. Instead of feeling guilty for snacking, you’ll feel great that you’re doing something good for your body.

The Health Benefits of Pistachios

Pistachio
The health benefits of pistachios are remarkable, possibly outdistancing even the wonderful walnut and amazing almond. Here’s why we love’m!

Nuts are a Low-fat snack – I’m serious

Pistachios are one of the lowest-calorie nuts – and even though nuts are generally considered “high fat,” the fat they have doesn’t all convert to fat in our bodies. The fibrous cell walls of nuts actually make the fat in them difficult for our bodies to absorb, so we only take on a portion of what shows up on the nutrition label. But when you break down that cell wall, like with peanut butter, the fat becomes more available for absorption. Thirty pistachios are about 100 calories, perfect for snacking.

Pistachios are Skin Foods

High in Vitamin E, pistachios help your skin regenerate and heal, giving you a fresh-faced, healthy glow! Vitamin E also protects against UV rays and premature aging, as well as skin cancer.

Bright Eyes

Pistachios contain two carotenoids rarely found in nuts, zeaxanthin and lutein, which are powerful antioxidants for fighting free-radical damage. Lutein is normally found in dark leafy green vegetables, and protects the eyes from sun damage and oxidative stress, helpint to prevent cataracts, retinitis, pigmentosa and macular degeneration. Lutein is best absorbed when eaten with fat, so while you might have to add avocado to reap the full benefits of a salad, the pistachio has it all – in a nutshell.

I Heart Pistachios

Increasing good cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol means that pistachios reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. Another heart-healthy fact is that just 1 oz of pistachios carries as much potassium as your average banana (potassium is good for preventing heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as reducing anxiety and stress).

With all the health benefits of pistachios, it’s amazing that we don’t use them in more ways than eating straight out of the shell (it’s the best way, but still!). If you’re looking for more ways to use pistachios, check out this recipe for a pistachio-based dessert (that isn’t ice cream!).

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

Use Your Noodle: Summer Squash

Vegan Zuccini pasta bowl

When you’re craving pasta, but are gluten-free or vegan (or both), here’s an idea to satisfy your noodle-lust: Zucchini noodles! In this bowl, we’ve piled carrots, cabbage, spring onions and almonds, and drizzled it with a little oil-based dressing for a meal that is filling, delicious, and oh-so good for you!

Not only is making Zucchini noodles easy – just buy a julienne peeler, peel only the outer layers (stopping before you reach the seeds), toss the strings with a little salt and wait 15 minutes – the outer peel of the zucchini is where the highest concentration of anti-oxidants are stored. This may be the best way you can enjoy zucchini!

Health Benefits of Summer Squash (aka. zucchini)

The high dietary fiber in zucchini can help prevent colon cancer, but it’s also packed with vitamins A, C and folate – other powerful cancer fighters – and phytonutrients that are especially good for promoting prostate health. Summer squash is anti-inflammatory, and since it’s rich in manganese, is great for creating healthy, glowing skin (and healing wounds).

Rounding out the zucchini with cruciferous cabbage, beta-carotene-rich carrots, and protein and good fat-filled almonds not only provides a satisfying crunch, they’re also powerhouses of health.

With summer in full swing, there’s no excuse not to enjoy the fruits – and vegetables – of the season! Come by Intelligent Gourmet and ask us what’s fresh (hint: the answer is everything!).

Fourth of July Party-Friendly Vegan Food!

Fourth of July vegan part recipes

The 4th of July has got to be the most challenging national holiday on the Vegan calendar, right next to Turkey Da— I mean, Thanksgiving. For many Americans, the 4th of July is as much about barbecued meat as it is about freedom and apple pie. But with these recipes, you’ll not only enjoy a healthy holiday, you might win over some converts.

Red-White-and Blueberry Vegan Parfait

If you’re brave with a large knife, I highly recommend making this from a fresh coconut.

1 coconut
2 cups blueberries
3 cups strawberries
1 lime
stevia
pitted dates
walnuts
cinnamon
fresh mint for garnish

1. Slice 2 cups of strawberries and toss with a squeeze of lime, then sprinkle with a pinch of stevia. Set aside. This will bring out their sweetness.

2. Hack off the top of a young coconut and carefully pour out the liquid into blender. Then scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Blend about 1/2 cup coconut water with the coconut flesh until it has a creamy consistency. Pour into parfait glasses. Refrigerate.

3. Blend 1 cup of strawberries with 1/3 Cup dates for a delicious raw strawberry sauce. Set aside.

4. In a food processor, coarsely chop walnuts, 1 cup of pitted dates, and cinnamon to taste until it makes a sticky, granola-like crumble.

5. Pile the sliced strawberries and blueberries into the coconut cream-filled parfait glasses, pour strawberry sauce over it, then top with the walnut-date granola. Garnish with fresh mint and serve!

Stars and Bars

Here’s a fun one – follow the recipe for this Paleo-Vegan-Gluten-Free banana bread from Foodie Fiasco and cut into “bars.” Then, using a cookie cutter, cut stars out of pineapples, using a toothpick to place on top. Add a blueberry too if you like!

Looking for more Fourth of July party inspiration? We’ve got a Pinterest board for that!

Have a happy Fourth of July!

Speed Up Healing Time with SuperFoods

Sweet potato pancakes

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

I’m a big believer that our bodies – our amazing bodies! – can heal themselves if we give them the right tools to use. No, I’m not saying we should never go to the hospital or get checkups, but we definitely shouldn’t rely on modern science for everything the body needs. There’s still so much scientists and physicians don’t understand about nutrition, health, and how the body works with natural foods. But, when we experience a serious injury, sometimes we need both medical care and nutrition for our bodies to bounce back.

So, if you’re reading this from bed with a twisted ankle, broken bone, or sprained wrist, here’s what to write down on your grocery list for the week.

superfood healing mix

Salmon, Walnuts, Flax Seeds

Put down the Aspirin and pick up the walnuts, because studies have shown that Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and pain so well that other over-the-counter pain killers might not even be necessary. Once your swelling is down, your body can begin the important processes of healing.

Citrus, Berries, and Broccoli

These fruits and vegetables are all rich in Vitamin C, which in addition to keeping colds at bay, helps build new protein for the skin, scar tissue, tendons, blood vessels and ligaments.

Pistachios, Almonds, Spinach

Vitamin E is what you’ll find in these nuts and leafy greens. Vitamin E speeds healing time for wounds by encouraging circulation in smaller blood vessels, which also results in less scar tissue. You’ll heal faster and better.

Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash

These Vitamin A-rich foods help increase production of white blood cells, helping your body fight off infection and viruses while you’re healing. Check out WanderFood’s quick and easy recipe for purple sweet potato pancakes, topped with walnuts, here.

With these healing foods in your kitchen, you’ll not only “Get Well Soon!” – you’ll get better faster.

Photo with permission from WanderFood