I haven’t spoken with you in a while. I’m on bed rest awaiting the arrival of our 7th addition to the family due on July 25th, but I made time to send you a warm and delicious treat, Buttermilk Pie Muffins!
From Miranda’s Kitchen
This is a recipe I personally created. This recipe is the perfect starter recipe to adding your own personal touch such as adding blueberries, raspberries or any other fruit of your choice. This recipe makes moist and delicious muffins that you will absolutely LOVE.
Missing a key ingredient?
If you don’t have buttermilk on-hand you can substitute with yogurt or even sour milk! I buy my dairy milk from local farmers to assure I’m getting a high quality milk; buy wisely, organic is always the best. Remember, a great recipe always starts with the best ingredients. Enjoy!
Hey, don’t forget to let me know how this recipe turns out for you. I love feedback and love hearing your thoughts on what makes the best muffins in your home. ~Miranda
I was looking for a great way to use those seasonal veggies and not have to just eat salads. Don’t get me wrong, salads are nice and I enjoy them, but let’s be honest here, who can get everything they need from eating a few salads?
How about a huge basket of carrots? Should we chow down until our jaws give out? You would have to literally eat tons of salad to get the proper nutritional balance your body needs. Juicing and blending came to mind when I thought of how to get a large amount of nutrition condensed in a small amount of time.
When you juice and blend you can consume far more veggies than you’d actually want to chew so, a Garden Cocktail Recipe is perfect for consuming all those delicious seasonal veggies! Without further delay, let’s try out this Garden Cocktail and please share your thoughts on how you’ll be enjoying your veggies this year. ~Miranda
What? Does that clock say it’s 12 o’clock already? That time can really creep up on ya. Sometimes, I just don’t know what I’m going to eat or prepare for lunch.
A burger, sandwich, salad or soup? It can all just be a bore. However, I remembered how I really liked this eggplant parmesan dish and thought, “why not make some kind of variation to that with some mushrooms.” That’s it! Today’s lunchtime recipe will be Eggplant Stuffed Mushrooms.
A few key ingredients are: Eggplant, portobello mushrooms and whole wheat bread crumbs. The deeply colored purple eggplant is available in markets throughout the year. They have a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture. Eggplant has a phytonutrient in the skin called nasunin. Nasunin has been found to protect the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes. Cell membranes are almost entirely composed of lipids and are responsible for protecting the cell from free radicals, letting nutrients in and wastes out, and receiving instructions from messenger molecules that tell the cell which activities it should perform. In short, eggplant makes great brain food!
The portobello mushrooms provides the flavor and meaty element of this dish. These mushrooms have a number of essential nutrients but don’t contain many calories. The B vitamins found in portobello mushrooms are essential for a healthy metabolism and nervous system, and help to keep your liver, skin, eyes and hair healthy.
Why whole wheat bread crumbs? Simply put, whole grains are absorbed more slowly than foods made from enriched or bleached flour, so they raise glucose and insulin levels less and keep you feeling fuller longer.
I’d say this simple combination would make an excellent lunch meal. Not only will you enjoy your lunch, but you won’t be looking for snacks shortly after. So, without delay, let’s enjoy making these Eggplant Stuffed Mushrooms!
I have another breakfast recipe for you, Spiced Pears in Mango Sauce! It’s always great to allow yourself to just be creative in the kitchen. A combination of pears and mangoes along with spices is a unique treat for the morning.
Let’s talk about three of our key ingredients: Pears, Cinnamon, and Raisins.
So, why is pears such a great morning choice? Well, eating pears decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Pears provide an adequate amount of dietary fiber which is a long-established factor in reducing our risk of both diseases. In the case of pears, this benefit may be even more pronounced due to the helpful combination of both soluble and insoluble fiber in this fruit. In the case of heart disease, recent research has shown that pear fibers are able to bind together with bile acids in the intestine, lowering the pool of bile acids and decreasing the synthesis of cholesterol.
Add The Spice-Cinnamon
The cinnamon stick not only adds a distinctive aroma and taste, but the antioxidants in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory effects, which help lower the risk of disease. Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols (3, 4, 5). In a study that compared the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon wound up as the clear winner, even outranking “super-foods” like garlic and oregano. In fact, cinnamon is so powerful that it can be used as a natural food preservative! (Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks know as “true cinnamon” are the best around.)
Raisins The Third Key Ingredient
What’s so special about raisins? There are two wonderful reasons to add raisins to your morning. One, raisins helps to relieve constipation and two, raisins provide much iron.
When ingested, raisins swell because the fiber present has shrunk in a raisin’s dried form, but it will begin to swell due to the body’s natural fluids. This adds bulk to the food moving through the intestinal tract and ultimately helps provide relief from constipation.
Secondly, raisins contain a considerable amount of iron which directly helps in the treatment of anemia. It also contains many members of the vitamin-B complex that are essential for the formation of new blood. The high copper content in raisins also helps the formation of red blood cells.
There you have it, another proven fact that you can have a healthy breakfast while on-the-go. This time we’re going with Spiced Pears in Mango Sauce!
I’m really appreciating breakfast time. I’ve developed the habit of eating breakfast every morning after learning how skipping breakfast regularly will contribute to the development of diabetes. I don’t want any of that, so….. breakfast it is!
I thought, “let’s make a simple breakfast with three main ingredients,” Nectarines, Yogurt and Granola or toasted oatmeal if you don’t have granola. I call this recipe, Nectarine Yogurt Crunch. It’s easy to make and taste oh so delicious! If you’ve come to learn my style, I’m sure you know, I’m all for what’s quick, simple and easy.
So why choose nectarines for breakfast? Well, it’s great for the heart, a great source of antioxidants, it helps produce collagen which helps hold tissue together, it aids in digestion, perfect food for people who want to lose weight, full of vitamin A which is needed for strong bone development and it improves blood pressure. Those are the 8 amazing health benefits of having nectarines in the morning.
Yogurt, what a treat
You’re probably already familiar with the benefits of yogurt like probiotics, “the friendly bacteria”, that is naturally present in the digestive system and the calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium. All these benefits contribute to a boosted immune system and an overall healthy body. A nice morning addition.
Layer it in, granola
The granola layered in the mix is all about the clean sweep; the fiber. It not only adds in a wonderful crunch and texture to this simple breakfast, it also helps sweep the colon moving food through your digestive tract more quickly for healthy elimination.
Let’s Make It
Now that you’ve learned a little bit of the benefits of this breakfast combination, let’s whip up the crunchy oatmeal, spicy yogurt and lightly poached fruit to make an attractive yet healthy morning dish!
Did she say, “spicy yogurt?” Yea, check out the recipe! 🙂
If you prefer a more vegan friendly option Vegenaise would work just fine in place of the mayonnaise. Vegenaise is an eggless mayonnaise alternative made from non-GMO and expeller-pressed oils (extracted without chemical solvents).
I have a son who is lactose intolerant and can’t have any eggs or dairy products; so when I make salad dressings like these, I must use Vegenaise for him to enjoy it. Always remember when making fresh salad dressing to keep any unused portion in a glass jar or container sealed and placed in the refrigerator.
Give this Italian Caesar Dressing a try and please let me know what you think! ~Miranda
Whenever you use fresh ingredients and make your own dressings you are sure to get the healthiest product because you know exactly what is in it and how it was made.
There are many benefits from the use of fresh ingredients. For example, with poppy seeds just 1 teaspoon provides measurable amounts of calcium, iron and zinc. One teaspoon of poppy seeds has 4 percent of the recommended daily intake of both calcium and phosphorus, which combine to form the mineral used to build bones.
Adults need a regular supply of both to maintain bones and prevent the development of osteoporosis because the body never stops replacing old or injured bone with new bone. If you don’t get enough calcium, the body pulls it out of bones because calcium is also needed for other vital functions such as stimulating nerve impulses and making muscles contract, including heart muscles. Phosphorus has other jobs outside the bones too. Phosphorus must be available for the production of energy and the formation of DNA.
Do you see how important it is to have fresh ingredients and know the benefits? With this knowledge, you can add life to your body on purpose.
Well, now that you have another great salad dressing recipe to add to your collection; enjoy building beautiful palate-pleasing salads! Use your imagination and create various salad combinations to inspire you to a greater health and satisfying lifestyle. Enjoy! ~Miranda
I love, love, love, LOVE lemonade! I drink lemonade year-round almost everyday. I often change things up a bit and create some unique lemonade beverages and so today I’ve decided to share my Cherry Juice Lemonade Recipe.
It is very easy to make and takes about 5 minutes depending on whether you’re juicing those lemons by-hand or not. This lemonade is made from all fresh ingredients so the taste and flavors will be unmatched to any store bought lemonade beverage.
Make it yours
You can customize this recipe by using agave nectar, honey or any sweetener of your choice. You can also substitute the fresh cherries for just about any ripe fresh stone fruit such as peaches or nectarines. Whatever customization you’d like to try, this beverage will definitely be a spring and summer time treat for both family and friends. Enjoy! ~Miranda
With at least 150 artisan salts on the market, there’s a salt for just about every purpose. Below is a list of some of the most widely available types.
• Appearance: Combined with activated charcoal; sulfuric aroma and silky texture
• Best uses: Finishing salt; sharp, earthy flavor excellent on sushi or grilled meats and veggies
• Appearance: Pale yellow to brown
• Best uses: Cooking and finishing salts; sweet, woody, deep, smoky and fruity flavors (depending on type and age of wood used for smoking)
• Appearance: Combined with red clay; crunchy texture
• Best uses: Great for roasting, grilling and in rubs; mineral and buttery flavors go well with seafood
• Appearance: Fine white crystals
• Best uses: Cooking salt; fresh, clean flavor; enriches flavor but does not call attention to itself
• Appearance: Thin, flat white crystals
• Best uses: Finishing salt from English coast; delicate flavor; dissolves slowly on the tongue
• Appearance: Pink; also comes in whole slabs useful for cooking and serving
• Best uses: Potent cooking and finishing salt; rich mineral flavor pairs well with poultry, fish, and in brines and sauces
Gray Sea Salt/Sel Gris
• Appearance: Coarse, irregular gray to green crystals
• Best uses: Cooking and finishing; briny mineral flavor works well with meats, veggies, seafood, garlic, cumin and thyme; lasting flavor and crunch in hearty foods
Fleur de Sel
• Appearance: Fine, irregular white crystals
• Best uses: Caviar of finishing salts, made only from the delicate crystals that blossom on the surface of crystallizing sea salts; delicate flavor; violet-like aroma; maintains integrity on wet foods
Salt In Your Food
Cooking salts are perfect for uses where they will eventually commingle with other flavors. Use finishing salts to season food after you prepare it, and to add texture and bursts of flavor.
Salt is a crucial part of our diets and our bodies, yet years of dietary advice tells us to limit our intake. Emerging science may suggest salt isn’t as bad as we once thought.
Salt is the only rock we eat. Nearly every recipe, from lentil soup to chocolate chip cookies, calls for salt. It is essential to cooking, and just as essential to our survival. Wars have been waged and international trade routes forged all because of the supreme value of an inorganic mineral. Did you know that salt was once use as currency?
Salt is an essential component of many of the world’s greatest foods, including bread, cheese and cured meats. In recipes, it performs vital functions from thwarting bacteria to regulating yeast. As sodium chloride dissolves in liquid, it splits into individual atoms. Because these molecules are small and mobile, they penetrate other ingredients and cause cellular changes. For example, they draw water out of cells. If enough salt is present, the kinds of bacteria that spoil foods are suppressed, and those that create new flavors thrive. Until modern times, salt was the primary means of making food last longer. We still use salt in preserving foods from bacon to pickles.
In fact, salt has more than 14,000 known uses. Paramount is its ability to amplify flavor in almost all foods. Salt also helps retain color in cooked vegetables, makes water boil faster, helps freeze ice cream, and makes bitter and sour foods taste less so.
Salt In Our Bodies
The relationship between salt and blood pressure is this: Our bodies retain water in order to maintain a stable concentration of sodium in our blood. The more salt in our bodies, the more water. This, in turn, expands blood vessels, causing blood pressure to spike at least briefly until the kidneys eliminate the salt and water. Many experts believe that continued high blood pressure leads to heart disease, stroke and eventually premature death.
Now, recent research may support the idea that extremely low salt intake could be bad for us. “The idea that eating less salt can worsen health outcomes may sound bizarre, but it also has biological plausibility,” Taubes says. A recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report came to the same conclusion. The report’s researchers say there is not enough evidence to support the dietary guidelines encouraging Americans to reduce sodium consumption to very low levels (1,500 mg per day, or about half a teaspoon), and that doing so can cause harm in some cases.
Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New York University, says some people are sensitive to salt, and that their blood pressure will go down with reduced salt. But “there’s another (probably larger) percentage of the population who doesn’t respond,” she says. “They are people who can eat as much salt as they want and still their blood pressure is low.”
The evidence speaks for itself; salt is not the real cause of the problem. Salt actually helps prevent problems rather than cause them. (just my opinion based on the facts)
We can talk about that at a later date, but until then, enjoy your salt!