I think clean eating has many different meanings. I’m sure if you searched Google you’d find so many explanations. It’s actually quite a personal decision and can be whatever works for you. To me clean eating means trying to eat real food most of the time. I’ve shared what I am planning to do this coming year in “my story”.
There are always those occasions that come up when you can’t eat totally clean or feel like eating whatever. I can definitely tell the difference after really indulging. Real food just makes me feel good. Not only physically but mentally.
Starting back in January when I decided to do this little project (starting my blog) I never knew how hard it was going to be. I have surprised myself beyond what I thought was possible in the technology department. I thought about stopping several times but I think I was able to focus and keep going because I have really tried to eat healthy.
Of course an occasional indulgence has been a very welcomed treat on those really cold nights working late on the blog setup. Real homemade Healthy Hot Chocolate was a life saver. It’s said that the flavonoids in the chocolate increase the blood flow and oxygen to the brain, so it actually helps you think better – I know it helped me!
The little packets you buy in the store really aren’t very good for you so I’ve added a homemade recipe for you to try. This recipe will give you a quick, tasty cup of hot chocolate that will be better for you than a chemical laden cup made from an instant mix.
Healthy Hot Chocolate
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1/2 Vanilla Bean or use 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons Cacao Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup or Honey to taste
Heat milk to scalding in a medium saucepan
Add vanilla and let steep with the heat off for 10 minutes. (You can use 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract instead and skip the steeping process.)
Strain and return milk to saucepan to reheat milk.
Whisk in chocolate until blended and frothy.
Add maple syrup or honey to your desired sweetness.
Ivy Loves to help me write my posts
One good thing that has come out of this very long winter is I have loved being able to spend so much quality time with Ivy. Teaching her new commands, tricks and just plain bonding during her first year has been wonderful. She loves to nap or play with her toys while I work on the setup of the blog.I’d say that Ivy and I have been in hibernation mode for what seems like forever! Here in the Northeast it’s still so chilly! Today is no exception – cold and rainy!
Eating lots of veggies all year long is so important but during the cold weather the last thing I really want is a salad. Warm roasted veggies are just so much more appetizing. I always add herbs to make them even better – yum! The heat from the oven and the smell while cooking is great! Here’s a super simple recipe to make tonight.
Roasted Vegetables and herbs
- 1 lb Root Vegetables - cut them into 1/4 inch size. mix turnips, carrots, red potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes and gold potatoes
- 4 Shallots - medium and trimmed peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus 1 tsp more if needed
Fresh Herb Salt
- 1/2 tsp Fresh Rosemary or Thyme - chopped
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
Preheat oven to 475 degress
Line a large heavy-duty rimmed sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper
Place the Root Vegetables and Shallots into a large gallon zip lock bag add the Olive Oil, zip the bag closed and coat by rubbing them between your hands inside the closed bag.
Empty the vegetables onto the sheet pan and roast until all the vegetables are fork tender or lightly browned. They should take about 20-25 minutes.
While the vegetables are cooking mix up your Herb Salt. Use either Fresh Rosemary or Thyme and Kosher Salt. Mix together in a small bowl with your fingers and let sit for a bit before using.
Sprinkle the Herb Salt over the cooked vegetables then place in a bowl, add a little bit of olive oil and mix again. (always use the Herb Salt after the vegetable are out of the oven. Cooking can make the herb taste bitter or lose its flavor altogether.)
Some new baking supplies that I am going to learn to work with
After tons of research (I love to research things!) I’ve decided to revamp my baking/cooking supplies over this last few weeks. I still have the old standbys like “all purpose flour” and some white and brown sugar but I now am teaching myself to bake with Almond Flour and Coconut Flour instead. I am also using more natural products like pure Cacao, or 85% chocolate and adding different sweeteners instead of regular chocolate and white sugar. Sweeteners like maple syrup, agave nectar and local honey can be good choices. Agave is made from the Mexican Agave Cactus, it’s tapped just like maple syrup. It’s very sweet so you don’t need very much. Using local honey also helps build up immunities to the plants in your area so that if you have allergies they will possibly be lessened.
Hopefully all this rain will melt the last of the snow and I can get out there and see all the new plants that are coming up under it. I can’t wait to be out foraging for new spring plants to bring home to prepare and eat. Then I’ll be ready for a nice salad.