{Giveaway} Vigilant Eats Superfood Cereal

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Image courtesy of Vigilant Eats

I’m not much of a cereal eater and I rarely suggest just a bowl of cereal as a breakfast option in my nutrition counseling groups. Many breakfast cereals are lacking in protein and fiber, which means you’ll end up hungry about an hour after eating and you may experience a sudden spike in blood sugar levels followed by a energy crash. That’s no bueno.

But Vigilant Eats Superfood Cereal is a different breed. The beautifully packaged cereal cups are filled with gluten-free oats, hemp powder, natural sweeteners, and delicious extras like goji berries, cacao nibs, dates, and dried coconut. So what does that mean for your body?
-More stable blood sugar levels which will help keep your energy level more consistent
-An excellent source of fiber
-Antioxidants
-No additives or preservatives

I prefer adding coconut milk to the cereal, but you can just add water since there’s hempmilk powder inside. This makes the Superfood Cereal cups perfect for camping, hiking, and other outdoor recreational fun! But it’s also a great grab-and-go option for those mornings when you’re running a little late to the office (I speak from experience). Each cup includes a spoon, too! How cool is that?

cereal giveaway

Thanks to Vigilant Eats, I’m giving away all four varieties of the Superfood cereal!

All you have to do to enter is:

Mandatory
1. Leave a comment letting me know Which Vigilant Eats Superfood Cereal variety you are most excited to try.

Additional entries (you must leave a separate comment for each optional entry).
2. Follow VigilantEats on Twitter (@VigilantEats) and tweet “Win @VigilantEats Superfood Cereal from @KarmanRD! http://wp.me/pY1if-EM ”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.
3. Like Vigilant Eats on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know that you did. If you already like them on Facebook, let me know!

Contest ends on Friday, August 1st at 12:00 am CDT. Once the winner is chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post the name here on the blog. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, I will choose another person, so be sure to check your email!

The good folks at Vigilant Eats are also offering a 10% discount for online orders of one (or more) case(s) + free shipping! So head on over to their store and be sure to enter the code NutritionAdventures at checkout.

Disclosure: I received samples of Vigilant Eats Superfood Cereal. I did not receive compensation for my time.

{Recipe Redux} Port Wine & Bing Cherry Pops

A recipe with spirit! Literally. cherry pops This month’s Recipe Redux theme is a lively one as we were challenged to use liqueurs, extracts, and other alcohol in our recipes. I’ve been wanting to make popsicles (haven’t made any yet this summer!), so this was the perfect opportunity to create something a little unconventional. cherry pops2 A couple years ago, I helped out with a wine and cheese pairing class at the Salud! Cooking School at Whole Foods and tried port wine for this first time. I wish I could remember the name of it because it was soooo good. Since then I’ve been in search of a similar port, but have learned a few things along the way about the different types of port wine. I prefer a the Tawny variety, which is sweet dessert wine that’s fortified with brandy. Normally I pair a Tawny with dark chocolates, but when I came across some perfectly in-season cherries, I thought this would be a match made in heaven for frozen treats!

The out-of-place-but-totally-necessary ingredient in this recipe is coconut milk. Just trust me on this on this one. Add the coconut milk and don’t look back. You’ll be glad you did. Besides adding a some creaminess to the popsicles, it lends just the slightest coconut flavor that will leave people wondering what it is they’re tasting as they devour the frozen treat.

How many popsicles you end up depends on the size of the molds you have. You’ll have approximately 14 ounces of liquid to use for popsicle-making.

Port Wine & Bing Cherry Pops


Ingredients
2 cups bing cherries, cut in half, stem and pit removed
1/2 cup Tawny Port wine
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1 tsp. lime juice
1/2 cup light coconut milk

Directions
1. In a small saucepan, heat cherries, port wine, water, sugar, and lime juice over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until cherries are softened. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
2. Puree cherry mixture in a blender. This should make about 1 1/2 cups of liquid. Pour liquid into a bowl or glass measuring cup and allow to cool completely in the refrigerator.
3. Pour coconut milk into a small saucepan and add sugar. Allow sugar to dissolve into coconut milk over low heat. Once sugar is dissolved remove pan from heat.
4. Combine the cherry-wine liquid and the coconut milk in a pitcher or large measuring cup that will allow for easy pouring into popsicle molds. You should have about 1 3/4 cup of liquid total. Fill popsicle molds.
5. Let popsicles set in freezer for at least 8 hours. To remove popsicles from mold, run cool water over popsicle mold for about 60 seconds. You’ll see the popsicle start to release from the sides of the mold, then you can gently remove the popsicle.

Need more boozy recipes? Check out the other Recipe Redux submissions by clicking on the blue frog below! Stay cool!

Top 2 Minerals for Bone Health

I was asked to contribute my thoughts on the top 2 minerals for bone health, along with other fellow health professionals, on the AlgaeCal blog. AlgaeCal has a great blog with regular updates, so after you read the post on minerals and bone health, take some time to look around their site! Lauren Slayton of Foodtrainers and Vicki Shanta Retelny are two top dietitians in my opinion, so I’m thrilled to be in the mix with them on this post!

So…can you guess which two minerals I chose for optimal bone health? Read the full post here.

Photos courtesy of Alice Henneman 

{Meals for One} Shiitake & Avocado Sammie

Who doesn’t love a good sammie? Especially in the summer time when it’s too hot to eat anything else except salad.

Shiitake mushrooms are perfect for vegetarian sandwiches because they have a hearty texture and rich flavor. Plus, they’re loaded with good-for-you vitamins and minerals, such as pantothenic acid, vitamin B2, and selenium. The cool and creamy avocado pairs well with the shiitakes and provolone cheese.

Make sure you choose a hearty, crusty bread for this sandwich to stand up to the hearty shiitakes. Nobody likes a wimpy sandwich. Just look at it…that sandwich is fierce.

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Shiitake & Avocado Sammie

Olive oil
Shiitake mushrooms (about 6 caps)
1 thin slice of white onion
Pinch of garlic powder
2 slices quality bread (I used an Italian Rosemary bread)
1 slice Provolone cheese
1/2 ripe avocado

Directions
1. In a skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add shiitake mushroom caps and saute for about 5 minutes, flipping occasionally.
2. Add 1 tablespoon water, onions, and garlic powder to the skillet and allow water to evaporate.
3. While the onions and mushrooms continue to cook, toast bread lightly in a toaster oven. Once toasted, add provolone cheese to one piece of bread so it can melt slightly.
4. Spread the avocado on the other piece of bread and sprinkle just a pinch of salt over the avocado.
5. Arrange the mushrooms and onions on the avocado, then top with the cheesy bread slice.

 

Fresh & Festive for the Fourth

Red, white, and blue. Maybe it’s the American in me, but I think those three colors make for stunning display. Keep your Fourth of July fresh and festive with radiant blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and celebrate the flavors of summer! These recipes are a great place to start.

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1. Berries & Feta Salad from Recipe Runner 2. Red, White, and Blue Smoothie (Vegan) from EarthyFeast 3. Blueberry, Strawberry, and Jicama Salsa from Two Peas & Their Pod 4. Double Berry and Coconut Pops from An Edible Mosaic

 

A Taste of Honey

 

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Did you know honey is the only natural food created from an insect? Have you heard that honey has an eternal shelf life due to its antimicrobial properties? Or did you know there are over 300 floral varieties of honey?!

I was invited to a luncheon sponsored by the National Honey Board and had the opportunity to learn so many fascinating facts about this liquid gold. Led by cookbook author Marie Simmons and bee keeper/honey packer Brent Barkman, myself and fellow food bloggers devoured all of the knowledge Marie and Brent had to offer on honey, as we enjoyed the foods prepared by local Nashville food stylist and writer, Mary Carter.
honey intro

Everything on the menu featured a different honey varietal and all of the delicious recipes are in Marie Simmons’ latest cookbook, “Taste of Honey”. I highly recommend picking up a copy; there are so many buzz-worthy recipes and the photos are bee-autiful (I couldn’t resist)!

We also did a tasting of six honey varietals that you can easily do at a party! It’s amazing how the flavor profiles differ based on the environmental conditions, or the terroir, where the bees find the nectar. Honey is just as complex as wine and coffee, with notes of tannins, wood, and various fruit. My favorite pairing was the Tupelo honey with the buttered cracker. The Avocado honey has a molasses-like taste and is perfect for baked goods.

Alfalfa + Apple Slices
Tupelo + Buttered Cracker
Blackberry + Plain Yogurt
Eucalyptus + Brie
Avocado + Dark Chocolate
Buckwheat + Pecans
honey tasting

More fun honey facts:

  • Honey literally is gold! Egyptians used honey as money and Romans paid taxes in honey
  • A colony of bees consists of one queen, hundreds of male drones, and 30,000 to 80,000 female workers
  • The floral source of the nectar influences the color, thickness, fragrance, and flavor of honey
  • Some bee keepers migrate their hives thousands of miles so the bees can pollinate particular types of blossoms
  • Bees flap their wings to allow evaporation of water from the nectar, which prevents honey from fermenting
  • Honey was used as a wound dressing during both World Wars, before antibiotics were introduced
  • Be careful to not overheat honey–this can destroy some of the antimicrobial compounds

What are your favorite ways to cook/bake/enjoy honey? Do you have a favorite honey varietal or pairing to share? I’d love to hear your comments!

My Writing Process Blog Tour + Yoga in the Park

Summer is officially here and I welcomed the summer solstice this past Saturday by doing yoga in the park. A local athletic store sponsored the yoga class and it was so much fun to be outdoors on a beautiful Saturday morning! Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of free events and activities taking place in your community. Check out the event calendars of local gyms, athletic stores and community centers to see what’s going on in your city and save some $$ this summer!

yoga

Last week, Lindsey Joe of Handmade Healthy invited me to join in on a blog tour called “My Writing Process”. If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, head on over for some entertaining reads!

{My Writing Process Blog Tour}

1. What am I working on?
At the moment I’m working on improving my food photography and editing skills, and have been doing some research on DSLR cameras. I’ve always enjoyed photography, but now I’m really looking to take it to the next level. Hopefully I’ll have some great results to show in the near future! If you have any DSLR camera recommendations for food photography, I’d love to hear them! Other than that, I’m continuously working to bring you guys recipes and other fun food-related musings.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I fully support the consumption of pastries, ice cream, and fried chicken. Those are generally not things you’d hear from a dietitian. But I believe foods prepared with quality ingredients can reasonably fit into a healthy diet in the right balance. So from time to time, you will see more decadent recipes on blog amongst the healthier recipes …because that is the way I eat.

3. Why do I write what I do?
Because I love food! Seriously, it’s great to have a job and a blog that revolves around food because that’s what I’m thinking about for the majority of the day. I’m just in awe of the healing powers of food, the science of cooking, and the community that can be created by sharing food with others. So when I write about something on my blog, it’s because I hope that you will enjoy it as much I do and feel inspired to create something wonderful through food. It feels great when people leave positive comments on posts I’ve written–that’s what keeps me motivated!

4. How does your writing process work?
Wish I could give you a step by step process, but I’m not sure I’m that organized in my writing. Generally, for recipe posts, it starts with some inspiration from a cookbook or the internet. Then I get into my kitchen and just wing it from there–I have to remind myself while testing recipes to measure all of my ingredients because I don’t typically measure when cooking for leisure! Once I have my photographs, I write and edit in WordPress. If I hit a road block while writing, I step away for awhile to focus on something else instead. Sometimes it can take me a couple days to write a post, and other times I can knock them out quickly.

To see more from the blog tour, check out Local Forkful and Spinach Tiger, both fellow Nashvillians!

Thanks for reading!

{Recipe Redux}Lavender & Basil Summer Fruit Salad

The June Recipe Redux challenge was to make recipes bloom with floral flavors like lavender, rose, and other flowering herbs. This summer fruit salad has been elevated with the addition of lavender, basil, and fresh lime juice—you won’t be able to get enough!  You can make the syrup ahead of time and just drizzle over fresh fruit before serving. Be sure to enjoy this fruit salad within a day before the fruit becomes mushy.

I’ve been dreaming of other ways to use this simple honey-based floral syrup. It’s just begging to be used in a cocktail. What do you think?

fruit salad3

 

Lavender Summer Fruit Salad


Ingredients
Lavender-Basil Syrup (makes about 2 oz. of syrup)
1/4 cup lime juice
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. dried lavender buds (food grade)
1/2 tsp. Aristotle basil or finely minced sweet basil (see note)

1 cup watermelon cubes
1/2 cup blueberries
2 fresh peaches, diced
1 cup grapes

Directions
1. In a small saucepan, heat honey and lime juice over medium heat until combined. Allow to heat through for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and add lavender buds and basil leaves. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl,

*Note: I have this cute little Aristotle basil plant in my kitchen that I’m in love with. Yes, I’m in love with a plant. The leaves are so tiny that they don’t require chopping before adding to dishes, but have all the same flavor as the standard sweet basil plants with large leaves. You can certainly use the larger basil leaves in this recipe, just be sure to chop very fine.

fruit salad2

Veggin’ Out

Today is Fresh Veggies Day, so I’ve rounded up a collection of great veg-tastic recipes to celebrate! Go ahead, veg out :) What’s your favorite way to enjoy fresh summer produce?


1. Avocado Cup Salads, Two Ways from Smitten Kitchen 2. The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich from Shutterbean 3. Carrot Salad from the Healthy Foodie 4. Edamame & Quinoa Collard Wraps with Sweet Ginger Dressing from Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat 5. Super Duper Raw Power Salad from The Spicy RD

The Greek Peach

the greek peach

Summer seems to be in full swing, even though we technically still have two weeks until the official first day of summer. The days have been hot and humid in Nashville. With summer comes many great things in Music City: Musician’s Corner at Centennial Park, Live on the Green, Tomato Art Festival, neighborhood farmer’s markets, and the Peach Truck. Each week, I faithfully pick up a bag of sweet Georgia peaches from the Peach Truck.

My preferred method of peach consumption is Peaches & Ricotta on Toast, or just a good ‘ol peach by itself. Absolutely delightful. But if I have a few remaining peaches that are slightly past perfection, I throw them into a smoothie like this one. It’s a sin to waste a peach as good as these.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy summer peaches?

The Greek Peach


Ingredients
2 fresh peaches, diced
1/4 cup honey flavored Greek yogurt
2 fl. oz. Orange Carrot juice, or 100% orange juice
1/2 cup crushed ice (optional)

Directions
1. In a blender, combine all ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately.