Cracking The Cooking Code: Gluten Free

Hi Everyone!

Today I thought it would be a good time to share with you a new series of posts called “Cracking the Cooking Code.” In today’s world, there are so many false health claims, and it is impossible not to feel overwhelmed by all of the advertising and diet trends, or healthy buzzwords. So, I thought it might be a good time to talk about the real definition of gluten-free, and a recipe for those who are gluten free!

Nowadays, companies are desperate to appear like the most healthful brands and attract customers. Buzzwords like “gluten free” lead customers to believe that gluten is unhealthy for their body, but really it is very natural and doesn’t harm anyone unless the have an intolerance or Celiacs disease. Gluten is the naturally occurring protein of the grain, which doesn’t have much effect on the body, unless you have a sensitivity or allergy.

So, gluten free products are actually more processed because most go through the process of taking out the gluten part of the grain. If you have an allergy, I would absolutely recommend using a flour like almond or coconut, but otherwise, whole wheat is perfectly. 

So, I’d love to share a recipe with you for gluten free pancakes that are real food if you can’t eat whole wheat flour. This is definitely a recipe that takes a few tries to  perfect your skills with, but is delicious and packed with protein. Enjoy!
Protein Power Banana-Berry Pancakes 

SERVES 1

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Ingredients:

  • 1 very ripe banana (or 2, depending on size)
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon 
  • 2 tbs. raspberries
  • 2 tbs. blueberries
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil

Steps:

To prepare, mash the banana and mix in an egg. Add in the cinnamon, and grease a griddle or saucepan with coconut oil. On the pan with medium heat, add in small pancake sized circles of the banana mixture, and sprinkle in berries. Cook until golden brown on each side and serve with more fresh berries and a touch of maple syrup. Enjoy!

My Definition of A Foodie

Hi Everyone!

Today I’m not sharing a recipe, but rather my opinion on what it means to be a true foodie and to eat healthy. Ever since I have become passionate about healthy cooking and writing, I have worked on coming up with my own definition of healthy food, or “foodie food,” which is very similar to the ideas of other blogs that I have seen, with a few differences. While my blog is recipe based, I thought I’d like to share with you what I think healthy eating consists of, as well as why I am a foodie and what that is.

In my opinion, eating a whole food diet consists of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables (preferably organic), as well as some local meats and dairy, and proteins like seeds, nuts, and beans. As far as whole grains go, I always opt for whole wheat, and, like most other blogs write, I believe that as few ingredients in a prepackaged food there are the better- that is, if the ingredients are wholesome and don’t have any refined sugar or oils. This is very similar to what other bloggers may believe, but my key belief is that I think the most important thing is choosing the best choice at the time. For example, in a situation less than ideal at a restaurant, it is better to choose the slightly better option rather than go for deep-fried fast foods simply because you are there anyway, and you have already had some processed food.

I bet you’re still wondering why a fourteen-year-old girl would choose to do all this. Most, of the time, parents make their kids eat healthy, right? For me, it is both a passion and something that I think I have to do if I want to be my best. As a student and busy athlete, I notice a difference when I eat healthy, whole foods versus the processed stuff. Additionally, I am trying to encourage other kids my age to do the same (or at least take some steps in the right direction) because our generation will only be able to do some amazing things in the future if we are healthy. Take a look at this chart, which shows the increases in childhood health problems and obesity.

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According to the CDC, people who are obese are far more at risk to and prone to “Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and mental illness.” (https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/effects/)  So, if more and more of our population is getting sick, then we won’t be able to achieve great success and innovate in the future. This is why I am on a mission to inspire other kids to eat healthy (on a serious note!)

Additionally (on a lighter note), I want to inspire other kids to get in the kitchen and make healthier choices because health food sometimes has a bad rap, but it can be really delicious! Most people don’t realize how many delectable healthy recipes are out there, but when you take a little time and look, you may find that the homemade version is much better than the boxed, prepackaged mix.

So, my goal is to inspire and reach as many other kids, teens, and adults (but specifically my age group) to get cooking! In my opinion, the more people that know the truth about what we eat the better, because the more people who choose to cook and eat healthier food, the bigger the “real food revolution.” If you agree, please share with others, as I am trying to share my thoughts with as many kids as I can. Let’s spread the real food revolution and passion!

 

Honey Thyme Roasted Carrots- a Healthy Side

Hi Everyone!

Happy 2017! I can’t believe 2016 is over; it has been such an incredible year for me and The Mini Foodie blog, so I cannot thank you enough! What is your best memory of 2016? Let’s just say going into 2016 I never would have thought I’d have the opportunity to meet my “real food idol,” see my blog grow from having fifteen followers on Instagram to now having close to 1500, and be on my way to teaching a class at Whole Foods. Wow! I am so incredibly grateful for such an amazing year.

What do you think 2017 will bring? At this time of year, I hear a lot about New Year’s Resolutions, mainly to eat healthier and/or exercise more. It is the start of the new year, which is amazing, but why do we only change our habits at this one point in the year? Why don’t we change our unhealthy habits in say, July? In my opinion, anytime is a great time to start eating less processed food!

On with today’s recipe, I’d like to share with you my Thyme Roasted Carrots recipe. This is a perfect side for any type of meal, and is even great in your lunchbox the next day over a salad. We had these delicious roasted carrots at Christmas dinner with our family- yum!

So, without further ado, please enjoy this recipe, and share with friends and family! Have a happy and healthy 2017, and thank you for making it a great 2016! 🙂

Honey Thyme Roasted Carrots 

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 12 large carrots, or 1 bag presliced carrot sticks (not baby carrots)
  • 3 tbs. olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbs. honey
  • 2 tbs. freshly chopped thyme

Steps:

To begin, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then, wash and slice the carrots into sticks, or your desired shape. The carrots will shrink when you cook them, so be sure to make thick slices! In a large bowl, toss the carrots with all of the remaining ingredients, and stir to evenly coat. Next, transfer to a sheet pan and spread in an even layer, cooking for 20 minutes or until tender, but not mushy. Let cool, and enjoy! 🙂