Foodie Scenes and Nutritious November

Happy Wednesday! Can you believe we’re already almost a whole week into November? Man, this semester is just flying by.

To celebrate this month, the Nutrition Team is rolling out Nutritious November. A month full of educational movies, talks, discussions, and of course potlucks to fuel your body, as well as educate you on how to navigate healthy eating even when it starts to get difficult as these colder months approach. Stay up-to-date on what’s going on by following our Facebook page, and be on the lookout for various talks and movie nights.

To start things off, I just wanted to share a few foodie pictures of the week.It’s amazing how much more satisfying meals can be if you just take a few moments to appreciate the appearance of your meals before diving in.

Some food highlights from me:

Making homemade Twix bars, from Healthful Pursuit

Stage One

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Stage Two

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Complete!

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Salad and Quinoa Bowls are always great

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As are roasted pumpkin seeds mmhmmmm

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And my newest fav:

Cinnamon Coated Jicama

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Jicama is a root vegetable, that is crisp and refreshing. You can learn more about it here. It makes a really great base if you just cut it up into chunks, you can sprinkle it with your favorite spice. I went with cinnamon for a sweeter snack, but you can also coat it in cayenne pepper, chili powder, or something else if you’re more in the mood for spice.

To cut jicama (definitely be sure to wash it first), slice off the top and bottom. Then remove the stiff outer peel. Cut it in half, and place the half face down on your cutting board. Slice longways first, then dice horizontally for bite-sized pieces (or just cut in the whatever way is most appealing to you!)

After dicing, place desired amount of jicama slices into a little baggie, or tupperware, and add cinnamon (or spice of choice). I just do a few shakes, but maybe start with 1/2 tsp and work up to your desired about. Once you’ve added your spice, shake it up to coat all the jicama pieces. Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

I love this because it makes a really simple, portable snack to carry throughout the day. Just grab your baggie of cinnamon coated jicama from the fridge, and you’re good to go!

Pumpkin Oat Granola

Happy weekend everyone!

Hopefully this weekend will greet you with a little love, peace, and fresh air.

To start the weekend, can we interest you in some fall-inspired granola?

{fun fact, Sonoma State used to be referred to as “Granola University,” or at least that’s what I’ve been told}

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I’ve been a little hesitant to share this recipe because I have never actually made granola before, and I wasn’t sure if my recipe would be “correct.”

There’s always this sort of feeling that things need to be made (whether in terms of eating, working out, studying, working, whatever), according to a certain standard. That there’s a “perfect” sequence or recipe or order to things.

The thing is, who makes the order? Why wait for something external to tell you what to make, wear, feel, say, do, talk, or even eat?

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What if, instead, you can simply create your own path. Saying “follow your heart” has become kind of cliché, that often it looses it’s meaning.

But, maybe that’s the solution to so many of the problems we may face in life.

Taking the time to slow down, and “tune-in,” just to reconnect with yourself, can reveal a lot. It can reveal things that may be missing in your life, in your relationships, in your workouts, in your eating habits. In everything.

Slowing down, and listening within can be beautiful, it can be painful, it can be slow, or it can be messy, but it is necessary. So this weekend, in the midst of this crazy world, see if you can just take five and slow down. For yourself.

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And then maybe make some granola to fill your house with lovely fall scents.

The cool thing about this granola, is that you don’t have to follow it exactly as I have posted it. I created this granola based off what I had on hand, with the idea in the back of my mind that I wanted it to smell and taste like fall. But if something in here isn’t for you, no need to add it. Or, if you would like to add other things, that’s really awesome too. Pecans, almonds, and other nuts, or even chia and flax seeds would be lovely in it.

But, I wanted to keep the ingredient list low, and have something simple and satisfying.

This is what I came up with.

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Pumpkin Oat Granola

1 cup rolled oats (use GF if necessary)

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/2-1 Tbs Molasses, or to taste (or use 1 banana, mushed)

1/2-1Tbs Almond Milk (or enough to make mixture combinable)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 F.Combine oats, pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes, and spices in a bowl. Then add peanut butter, molasses, and almond milk. Start with 1/2 Tbs Almond milk, and add more if necessary to make the mixture combinable, without having it too wet.

Spread mixture on a baking sheet, and bake for 7-12 minutes. About halfway through baking, turn the granola over ensure one side doesn’t get too crispy.

Enjoy, maybe even spread the granola love with someone you know, or place remainders in a package for a quick snack or breakfast throughout the week (or weekend)

Let us know what you think! 🙂

Reconnecting

Before we even dive into this post together, let’s take a moment, close your eyes and connect with where you are at today. We probably get asked the question “how are you” about a million and a half times a day, but how often do you  respond honestly? Or think about the question? Or, even more so, do you take the time to check in with yourself and truly notice how you are feeling? How can you be honest and aware of what’s going on inside? I know I have a lot of trouble with this. It seems so obvious that we should be aware of what we’re feeling, yet sometimes it is easy to get so caught up in life that you forget to “tune-in,” or “take-stock” of what’s happening.

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So, as a means of reconnecting, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and allow yourself to recognize what’s going on inside. Our culture is so attached to the idea that more is better, but there is so much beauty in stillness.

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As another means of reconnecting, I’ve been trying to become more aware of what I’m putting in my body. I heard a quote the other day that really hit home with me, “Our body’s are the only thing we truly have.”

Sometimes it is easy to get wrapped up in wanting to look a certain way, that you loose sight of the amazing vessel you are within. Our bodies are so freaking amazing. They are capable of so many wonderful things. There is so much happening inside: cells, tissues, muscles, organs, all working and functioning in a beautiful symphony to carry you each day. When you start to think about how you can better help all these internal functions, and not worry so much about external appearance, suddenly making healthy food choices doesn’t seem so difficult. When we think about “dieting” as a means of loosing weight, eating healthy can sometimes start to feel like a bit of a chore, something you are doing because you have to, not because you want to.

If you start to think about food as something that is becoming part of you, the fuel which is going to energize and carry you, eating healthy just sort of makes sense. When you eat to support yourself, to support your body’s natural functions and to sustain you, then you can connect with your food and yourself on a deeper level. Then eating healthy isn’t a chore, it isn’t about looking like someone from a movie or a cover of a magazine, or impressing the people around it. Then it is about allowing yourself to become the very best version of yourself. It is about allowing yourself to feel sustained, alive, and beautiful. And every single one of us deserves that.

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Creamy Berry Smoothie

(serves 2)

1 cup almond milk (you can add more or less depending on your desired thickness, I tend to like really think smoothies)

2 cups mixed frozen berries of choice (I used a mixture of strawberries , blackberries, and blueberries; but feel free to use whatever fruit you enjoy most)

1 avocado

1-2 tablespoons almond butter (or nut butter of choice)

(optional, but really fabulous) 1-2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

(also optional) a few shakes of cinnamon

Add ingredients to blending (start first with the almond milk), blend until creamy. The cool thing about adding the avocado is that they add a really creamy texture as they blend, but if this idea kind of freaks you out, you can replace the avocado with 1-2 frozen bananas. Another cool thing to try to add in place of the almond milk is coconut yogurt, which makes the smoothie feel really indulgent.

Before you dive in to this smoothie (or your next meal) take a deep breath and think about what you are about to put into your body, and have gratitude that what you are about to eat will be fueling your actions and activities.

Enjoy! Let us know what you think! Hope your week is going beautifully.

Overnight Oats

As college students we are often notorious for not being the greatest morning people. Yet, still some of us have early morning classes and full days scheduled. Sometimes along the way simple things like breakfast can get lost in the midst. One solution that has proved valuable to me is prepping breakfast the night before. That way when I’m running out the door in the morning, I can just grab breakfast from the fridge and go, no extra stops or extra money spent.

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[Source]

Vegan Overnight Oats:

1 banana, mushed (Optional, but adds natural sweetness)

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1/3 cup rolled oats (gluten free if gluten sensitive)

3/4 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, but wonderful)

1 tablespoon peanut butter (or to taste, or optional, of nut butter of choice)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or container, set in fridge overnight. In the morning eat as is, or add toppings of choice. Good toppings might be fruit, crushed nuts, flax seed, etc.

Other great overnight oats recipes:

http://ohsheglows.com/2010/04/08/easy-vegan-overnight-oats/

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/08/09/basic-chocolate-oatmeal/

Enjoy! Let us know what you think! What’s your go-to breakfast food?

Edamole

Fan of guacamole? Want to try something new?You’ll go crazy for this alternative! It looks like guac, doesn’t it, but the smooth green appearance comes from EDAMAMAE, not avocado. These soybeans are high in protein, low in fat, and have a sweet and fresh flavor. Serve this with corn chips, whole wheat crackers, veggies, or smear it on sandwiches. 

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3/4 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I use Cholula)
1 garlic clove, halved
1 Roma tomato, diced
Blend all ingredients and add sliced tomatoes last!

Ketchup & Fries

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This recipe is both salt-free and the fries are baked, making this a very health alternative. Feel free to still have fries and ketchup, and in the comfort of your own home. No shame with this dish.

 Ingredients: 

1 6-oz. can no-salt-added tomato paste
1 half of an apple diced (with or without skin)
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dried oregano

3-4 potatoes washed and unpeeled; any variety,

Directions:

  1. Cut potatoes into ¼-inch x ¼-inch lengths.
  2. Place cut potatoes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The fries in the above photo were sliced using a French fry cutter, which comes with two sizes, or you can cut them by hand or with a mandolin slicer .
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
  4. Take out and flip the fries over and bake for another 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown and puffed up a little.
  5. Serve immediately with ketchup and/or mustard.

Ketchup

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or Vitamix until smooth. (When opening your small can of tomato paste, open both ends with your can opener; discard one end and push the remaining end all the way through the can to retrieve every last bit of paste.)
  2. Serve with fries.

Notes: For the ketchup: 1/3 cup apple juice may be substituted for the apple and water.  1 tablespoon vinegar may be substituted for the lemon juice. For the fries: add some flavor by placing the cut potatoes into a plastic bag with ½-1 teaspoon garlic powder (or other ground herb/spice) and shaking to coat the potatoes before baking.

Ketchup
Preparation: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 cup

Fries
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Brought to you by Straight Up Food 

Oil-Free Walnut Pesto

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Pesto is always nice to have around. Put it on some pasta, use it as a dip, whatever your heart desires. This is nice because it’s oil free, which makes it even better for you than normal pesto. Dig in!

Ingredients:

4 c basil, loose

1 c walnuts, raw

1/3 c nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp garlic

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/2 c vegetable broth

fresh black pepper (to taste)

Directions: 

  1. In a food processor combine basil, walnuts, nutritional yeast and garlic.
  2. Once everything is mixed and chopped add vegetable broth, lemon juice, and black pepper. 
  3. Blend again until the basil and walnuts are finely chopped.
  4. Use spatula to remove pesto from the food processor.

Note: potato rounds are perfect for dipping in this walnut pesto

Makes 2 1/2 cups

SSU Nutriton note: store extras in sealed containers for up to 10 days. You can also make big batches and keep it longer by freezing pesto. Try freezing the spread in an ice cube try. Once frozen transfer the cubes to a sealed container and keep for months in the freezer.

Brought to you by Sprout Wellness Center