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Crockpot Turkey Meatballs {dairy free, egg free}

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My mom makes the best meatballs ever! I haven’t had them in quite some time but I do remember they are hands down the best I have ever had.

These turkey meatballs are a close second, even without Italian breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and an egg. Seriously!

Combine ingredients, scoop uniform size balls, mine were golf ball size, then add to crockpot with homemade pasta sauce or your favorite jarred pasta sauce. Set on low for 4 hours if making small meatballs or about 6 hours if you are making larger meatballs. Roast then shred spaghetti squash for a super satisfying and healthful meal!

Crockpot Turkey Meatballs {dairy free, egg free}

Ingredients

    Ingredients for meatballs:
  • 16 ounces pasta sauce (homemade or jarred, add to crockpot before adding meatballs)
  • 1# ground turkey – 94%lean (I use Plainville Farms, humanely raised)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 Tablespoons water (flax egg), set aside for 5 minutes until it gels (this is your binder)
  • 1/4 cup brown rice bread crumbs (I use Holgrain Brown Rice Bread Crumbs)
  • 1 medium carrot (3-4 baby carrots) shredded, about 1/3 cup
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. basil and oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper
  • Ingredients for spaghetti squash:
  • 2 medium spaghetti squash, carefully split lengthwise

Instructions

    Method for turkey meatballs:
  1. Prep your crockpot by adding pasta sauce, homemade or jarred. We want to add the sauce first then we will add the meatballs once they are mixed.
  2. Combine ground flax with water to make your flax egg, then set aside for 5 minutes until it gels.
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add ground turkey, flax mixture, brown rice bread crumbs, shredded carrot, crushed garlic, and spices.
  4. Use your hands to mix together all ingredients.
  5. Use a cookie scooper to scoop meatballs so they are all uniform size. I made golf ball size, but you can make them larger if you prefer. Add meatballs to crockpot in sauce once they are formed.
  6. Once all the meatballs are added to the crockpot, cover and set to Low. Cook for 4 hours (for golf ball size) up to 6 hours for larger size.
  7. Method for spaghetti squash:
  8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  9. Carefully split spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.
  10. Scoop out seeds and discard.
  11. Place cut side down into glass roasting pan, add 1 inch of water.
  12. Roast for 40 minutes until tender.
  13. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then turn over squash and shred with a fork. Return shreddings to each squash shell.
  14. To serve: Place meatballs and sauce on top of squash.
  15. Enjoy!
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Persian Lime Watermelon Salad

When I think about summer, watermelon is definitely one of those summer season foods I enjoy. Cooling and hydrating, some days I just can’t get enough.

This salad is loaded with iron from both spinach and pumpkin seeds. Vitamin C in the watermelon helps your body absorb the iron. Persian Lime infused oil and Jalapeno Lime Balsamic vinegar gives a wonderful flavor to this tasty salad.

I received this oil and vinegar from The Olive Taste of Delray Beach to create a couple of recipes featuring their product. Owner Lori Richards brings in high quality oil and vinegar from around the world. You can taste and feel the difference, your body will thank you when you enjoy a meal using her products. Check out her shop in the heart of Delray Beach on Pineapple Grove: 200 NE 2nd Ave #300, Delray Beach, FL. 561.266.3228.

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Ingredients:

4 cups organic baby spinach

2 cups watermelon, cubed

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

2 T. cilantro, chopped

Ingredients for dressing:

2 T. Olive Taste Persian Lime olive oil

2 T. Olive Taste Jalapeno Lime Balsamic vinegar

¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Method:

1. Toss watermelon and spinach in a medium salad bowl.

2. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and cilantro.

3. Wisk dressing together, then pour over salad.

4. Toss and serve.

The Olive Taste of Delray

200 NE 2nd Ave #300

Delray Beach, FL 33444

561.266.3228

http://www.theolivetasteofdelray.com

Find The Olive Taste of Delray on Facebook

 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, RD, or nutritionist. These statements have not been approved or evaluated by the FDA. Please seek medical care from your doctor.

Product Disclaimer: The Olive Taste of Delray Beach provided me with their product to create recipes. All opinions expressed are my own.

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What is Lurking in Your Sweet Drinks?

My husband came home last night from work with these in hand. Arizona Southern Style Sweet Tea and Yellow Gatorade. I asked, so what’s this? He should know better. Leftovers from a lunch at work. I snapped photos then dumped the contents.

Here’s why…

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Let’s start with the Arizona sweet tea. A huge can of 3 servings each with 23 grams of sugar per serving. One can has a total of 69 grams of sugar which equates to 17.25 teaspoons of sugar! Can you imagine what that does to your body? When we ingest too much sugar our pancreas has to produce enough insulin to absorb and process the sugar. This taxes our liver, gall bladder, and kidneys – the filters in or body. Yikes!

In the case of high fructose corn syrup, it goes straight to your liver and triggers a metabolic response called lipogenesis, causing your body to produce more cholesterol and triglycerides – ultimately resulting in fatty liver. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a highly processed and toxic form of sugar.

For more information read Dr. Mark Hyman’s Article on “5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You”. He is one of the teachers at my school Integrative Nutrition, he is always researching and sharing ways to help us improve our health.

“HFCS is that they are a marker for poor-quality, nutritionally-depleted, processed industrial food full of empty calories and artificial ingredients. If you find “high fructose corn syrup” on the label you can be sure it is not a whole, real, fresh food full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. Stay away if you want to stay healthy.”

~ Dr. Mark Hyman

On to the Gatorade, with 34 grams of sugar in 1 bottle, that equates to 8.5 teaspoons of sugar. This is more added sugar than you want for the entire day. My other concern with Gatorade is the food dye Yellow 5, this is linked to cancer, plus hyperactivity and hypersensitivity in children, making them more allergic and also behavioral changes. So why would you want to ingest this stuff?

Dr. Mercola breaks it down with his article on toxic effects of food dyes. I would avoid food dyes 100%.

So if you are thirsty and want something sweet, brew up some organic green (or your favorite) tea, add a little raw honey and a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon or doTERRA lemon essential oil, which comes from Italian cold-pressed lemon rinds. Lemon essential oils are used for improving digestion, boosting immune system and respiratory system. I’ve made tea with doTERRA lemon for my husband a few times when he felt run down and on the edge of getting sick. This elixir helped him feel better the next morning.

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Wishing you and your family the best health.

XO, Pam

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, RD, or nutritionist. These statements have not been approved or evaluated by the FDA. Please seek medical care from your doctor.

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Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cups {dairy free}

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Anyone who knows me is aware of my love for chocolate, but I only go for dark chocolate since I don’t eat dairy (hello food allergies). Make these babies yourself and you’ll never need to buy chocolate again! Adjust the sweetness to your taste buds by adding more honey, if desired. Slippery elm tea powder is used with honey and doTERRA peppermint essential oils (I’m now a Wellness Advocate for doTERRA, e-mail me for details and I’ll tell  you why I have fallen in love with them!) to make a delicious filling that is also good for your belly.

Ingredients:

¼ # cacao butter (1/4 of 16oz package)

¼ cup cacao powder

2 T. cacao nibs

2 T. lucuma powder

1 T. raw honey (optional)

Peppermint filling:

2 T. slippery elm tea

1 T. raw honey

2-3 drops doTERRA peppermint essential oils

Method to make peppermint filling:

1. Combine slippery elm powder, raw honey, and peppermint oil. Mix well then roll on cutting board into log about ¼ inch thick.

2. Cut into 18 pieces then flatten into the size of a nickel.

3. Set aside. This will be your peppermint filling.

Method to make chocolate:

1. Melt cacao butter using a double boiler or you can boil water in a small sauce pan, then place a stainless steel or glass bowl over the sauce pan so it will melt the cacao butter. You may want to use an oven mitt to hold the bowl in place since steam will escape from between the sauce pan and the bowl. Be very careful not to get burned by the hot steam.

2. Once cacao butter is melted, add in cacao powder, cacao nibs, lucuma powder, and raw honey.

3. Whisk together all ingredients until well combined.

Method to make peppermint cups:

1. Grease mini cupcake pans (recipe makes 18 cups, so one full and one half pan will be needed) or insert mini cupcake liners.

2. Pour 1 teaspoon chocolate mixture into mini cupcake slot.

3. Place 1 peppermint filling into mini cupcake slot, then add 1 teaspoon chocolate over the peppermint filling.

4. Repeat steps using all of the chocolate and peppermint filling.

5. Place in fridge for 1 hour to set.

6. Remove chocolate carefully from mini cupcake tin using a toothpick. Store in fridge or freezer until ready to serve.

7. Enjoy!

Yield: 18 mini peppermint chocolate cups

My recipe is featured on Vitacost.com this week :).

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Guest Post: Homemade First-Aid

First-Aid may be on your mind since a lot of families spend even more time outside during the summer season. I have a great guest post for you today from + Stu Lieberman. Thanks Stuart!

Read on for these helpful tips…

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Sure summer can be the season of fun—pool parties, picnics, family barbecues. But, it’s also the season of bug bites, stings, scrapes, and splinters. When you—or your kids—experience once of the unpleasant side-effects of summer, here are some home remedies to help:

Bug Bites: Have you ever seen pictures of women at a spa with cucumbers over their eyes and wondered what that was about? Well, cucumbers can help reduce puffiness and swelling. If you’ve been bitten by a bug and the area looks a little swollen, try applying a cool cucumber slice to the spot. And, to ease the itching, dab the spot with tea tree oil. This essential oil not only curbs the itching, but also helps to reduce swelling and pain.

Bee Stings: Anyone who is allergic to bee stings or showing signs of an allergic reaction (trouble breathing, feeling faint or dizzy, hives, or a swollen tongue) should get the stinger out and seek medical attention right away. However, if you are not allergic and your symptoms are mild, here are some natural ways to deal with the pain once the stinger has been removed.

Bee venom is acidic so you need to neutralize the acid with something alkalinizing, like baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Create a paste made with two tablespoons of baking soda with water and apply it to the area. This should help the pain subside. Interestingly, wasp venom is more alkaline, so to neutralize a wasp sting, you want to apply something acidic, like vinegar, instead of baking soda.

To help ensure the stung area doesn’t get infected, coat the area with honey. Honey has natural anti-bacterial properties that can help keep the area clean.

Minor Cuts and Scrapes: With any wound you should first stop the bleeding and clean the area. Once the area is clean, you want to help the area heal. The old belief that you should let cuts and scrapes “breathe” and leave them uncovered is no longer considered the best treatment option. Instead, keeping the area moist and covered has been shown to be a better way to help skin heal. Coat the area with honey and cover it with a bandage. Honey has been shown to speed wound healing, and due to its anti-bacterial properties, can help keep the area from becoming infected.

Splinters: With all the barefoot activities that go on during the summer, it’s no wonder there is a spike in splinters. If you have a splinter that won’t come out with the traditional needle and tweezers, try a mixture of baking soda and water. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Make sure the paste is not runny. Apply the paste to the splinter area and cover it with a bandage. Leave the bandage on until the paste dries. When you remove the bandage, the splinter will likely come out with it, or will be sticking out from the skin enough that you can grab it with a pair of tweezers.

If you don’t have baking soda in the house, you can also try to remove the splinter with glue. Spread a layer of glue over the splinter and let it dry. The glue should bind to the wooden splinter so that when you remove the dried glue, the splinter should come out, as well.

Here’s to a fun and healthy summer!

This article is written by  + Stu Lieberman the writer for Nutri-Health.com, an online High Quality Supplement and Health Store.  Assisting people and helping them find quality natural health supplements and health products online is what Stu has been doing for over 3 years. Nutri-Health.com carries Digestive Supplements to Memory and Mood products.

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