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A Little Lost, A Little Found health journey recipes

The “Trick Yourself into Eating an Avocado” Smoothie

Maybe you like avocados, maybe you don’t. Let’s jump into the recipe and I’ll explain the rest later.

How to Make It:

This recipe can make anywhere from 12-20 ounces of smoothie, depending on what you add in. I find myself grabbing handfuls of this or that and tossing it in. I tried to be more precise here for you.

Pour the water into your jar first. If you add the optional ingredients, increase the water to 1 cup. The more water you have, the runnier – so, you can decide the consistency you enjoy most. The splash of stevia just gives it a little sweet bite, like a cherry on top.

Then, toss in the sliced and diced ingredients and blend it up!

This is an easy way to get all the nutrients of an avocado without actually tasting the avocado, which I do not enjoy. The more berries and fruit you add, the less you’ll taste the avocado. Even if you do blueberries alone, they’re tasty enough to cover up the avocado. This treat is a great way to give you tummy a break from it’s hard work digesting, while also getting some good nutrients in your day. Just think, a whole avocado!

Variations:

Smoothies generally taste better when they’re cold. So, you can make the smoothie and put it in the fridge overnight. Or, you can freeze at least 1 of the ingredients, I’d suggest either the avocado or blueberries.

I’ve been learning that smoothies don’t have to be precise like baked goods. Go heavy on the things you really like (i.e. blueberries) and make sure there’s enough water or milk to keep the consistency smooth.

So, this could be a three ingredients smoothie: avocado, blueberries, water. Or, it could become a morning fruit bowl! : avocado, blueberries, raspberries, lemon juice, apple, banana, etc.

Usually, I keep it to the basic recipe. Today, however, I added in a little apple and a little banana, because they were lying around in the van kitchen.

Yum, Yum:

Now for the background. I can’t believe how easy this recipe is. I used to make it everyday for breakfast and would think to myself, “I’m eating a whole avocado. There’s no way I’d be doing that otherwise.” Avocados are gross! I don’t like the flavor or consistency. When I get a little chunk in my smoothie, I grimace and choke it down. However, it seems to absorb all the other flavors around it. So, while the original recipe I found calls for 1/4 cup of berries, I always find myself dumping in a bit more.

On the other hand, avocados are nutritious! I want to consume them, I just struggle finding a tasty way to do so. Here are a few benefits of avocados (which I briefly summarize from Healthline.com):

  • Vitamins B, C, E, & K
  • Small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin)
  • Potassium
  • Soluble Fiber
  • High [healthy] fat, low carb
  • Helps increase the nutrient absorption from other foods your eating it with
  • Antioxidants
  • Some other great things are might be true like fighting cancer and helping you lose weight

This morning, I was fighting a bout of insecurities and feeling brain fog when I felt my body screaming, “Feed me real food!” As opposed to the cheese and crackers I had been eating.

While we should be careful not to use food as a crutch, hero, or reward – sometimes, our hearts and brains are crying out for real nutrients. And this morning, this smoothie hit the spot and made everything seem all better.

So, if you’re an avocado hater – don’t give up yet, just give this smoothie a try and add in extra berries or coconut milk!

Let me know if you give it a try! And if you do, let me know if you like it!

Final Note – The approach I take to my recipes are always with colitis/autoimmune disease in mind. It’s very difficult to find sugar free/grain free recipes, so I’m on the hunt to find and share them here!

Sincerely,

Hanna

PS – Want to keep this recipe and my other treats for yourself? Grab a copy here!

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recipes

Grain Free Granola – in the Air Fryer

Now, here is a recipe for the parties, the planes, the movie theater, or the workday. Let’s jump right into the directions and you can read more about this recipe below. 

How to Make It:

  1. Start by mixing the dry ingredients in a bowl (exclude oil, nut butter, and vanilla). 

2. Then, in your air fryer basket (remove hot plate), drop in the coconut oil, the nut butter, and vanilla. I have a “Reheat” button on my device, so I turn that on and pre-heat the air fryer while simultaneously melting these ingredients. “Reheat” at 350 degrees for 1 minute – I press pause every 15-20 seconds and stir a little bit. I’m careful not to burn the nut butter.

3. Once it’s melted, mix in the dry ingredients. Blend everything well so that the nuts are coated. Replace the basket and set to 10 minutes. 

4. Be careful! A burned batch of granola is devastating – nuts ain’t cheap! I checked my batch after 5 minutes, then after 3 minutes, then the final 2. 10 minutes was perfect in my air fryer, any longer and the batch would’ve been burned. 

5. Take a couple test bites as you go to see how soft the almonds are. This 10 minute batch was with whole almonds, rather than slivered. Store in an airtight container or jar.

Want to keep this recipe and my other treats for yourself? Grab a copy here!

Variations:

You can use slivered almonds instead. You can also play around with the nut mixture. Once you make a few batches, you’ll see that you can easily substitute or add other ingredients. I often throw in a handful of chia seeds, raw sunflower seeds (hulled), and/or hemp hearts without measuring exactly. 

Once you start adding or substituting, you’ll see how the liquid consistency can change. I’ve had runny and dry batches, I like them both – just something to keep in mind.

Also, the ingredient list includes Ground Flax – make sure you actually use ground flax. I bought seeds, thinking I was so great getting all this flax in my diet – but, you can digest the seeds and all the flax nutrients just run through your body. I’ve read online that ground flax can easily go rancid, so it’s been suggested that you buy seeds and ground it yourself. I haven’t done that yet, I probably should. Something to consider.

After baking, I’ve also mixed in chocolate chips for fun. I use Lily’s baking chips since they’re made with stevia (erythritol). 

Yum, Yum:

Now for the background. I have ulcerative colitis and small nut and food particles can be hard on the digestive tract, especially during a flare. This recipe might be better suited to you in remission, when you know those small ulcers have healed. Until you know who you respond to nuts, you’ll need to keep a journal of your side effects.

However, it’s full of great nutrients and healthy fats, and easier than other grain & dairy products. The plus side is that it’s also quickly filling! As long as you can handle the small particles like chia and nuts, this is a great guilt-free/don’t second-guess yourself type of snack. 

Yes, this is my actual batch! You can see it’s on the runnier side, but so tasty!

Final Note – The approach I take to my recipes are always with colitis/autoimmune disease in mind. It’s very difficult to find sugar free/grain free recipes, so I’m on the hunt to find and share them here!

Categories
A Little Lost, A Little Found recipes

Air Fried Cinnamon Apples

Let’s cut to the chase. You’re most likely not here for all the story and background, and if you are – you’re a saint, welcome! I pepper in the details of this recipe below. But first, here’s the nitty gritty details of the recipe:

How to make it

IngredientAmount
Apple1-2 whole
Cooking Oil (avocado, coconut, or olive)13/4 tbsp-ish
Cinnamon ‘Sugar’ Mixture (use swerve/stevia)to taste
Optional Toppings: honey, maple syrup
to taste
Time – 5 minutes prep, 10 minutes cook
  1. Cut 1-2 organic apples* (I tend to use Fuji’s & Gala’s) into wedges, about 1/4 inch thick. Preheat air fryer for 3 minutes with 3/4 tbs of coconut oil (or oil of choice). 

2. Then, place the apples in the basket and shake around so they are coated with the oil. 

3. Set air fryer to 325 degrees and bake for 10 minutes – or longer as needed. Check, shake, and toss occasionally. 

4. When they’re done to your liking, dump them in a bowl and sprinkle cinnamon over top. I like to pre-mix my cinnamon with a bit of Swerve for a little extra sweet taste.

5. The apples should come out warm and soft, this can vary with the amount of oil you use. Play around and see what you like best!

Want to keep this recipe and my other treats for yourself? Grab a copy here!

Variations:

You can also play around different types of apples. Here’s a link to apple varieties and what is best for cooking (hint: red delicious is better raw). These would be tasty with honey, powdered sugar, or Trader Joe’s maple butter!

Yum, Yum:

Now for the background. I have ulcerative colitis and raw fruits and veggies can be hard on digestion (particularly during a flare). Applesauce is often recommended during a flare, because it’s soft and easy to digest. This recipe also has warm, soft apples, but the fructose content might still be inflammatory to you individually. Something to keep in mind.

This is an easy recipe for serving more than 1 person as each basket of apples can be easily shared between two people. I stayed away from apples for a long time because of the sugar content. I was focused on eating low carb. However, I learned that while apples have sugar that raises blood sugar, they also have a good load of fiber slowing down the sugar absorption process, meaning they have a low glycemic load. Apples are high in vitamin c, fiber, and antioxidants. We’re not accounting for how well each body absorbs those nutrients, but they’re there!.

*A note about organic apples. According to the Dirty Dozen List, apples are one of the most pesticide laden fruits. So, to try and minimize (hopefully avoid) the gut shredding chemicals, I’ve been buying organic apples. Organic vs non-organic might not concern you personally, but if you have a sensitive immune system (#autoimmunedisease) or sensitive gut (#ulcerativecolitis), I would encourage you to start buying organic when possible. It’s expensive, so I don’t always buy organic – but, I do commit to buying organic for the products on the Dirty Dozen list. I save the money and buy whatever is able for foods from the Clean 15 List.

Again, not an actual image of air fried apples, but you get the idea!

Final Note – The approach I take to my recipes are always with colitis/autoimmune disease in mind. It’s very difficult to find sugar free/grain free recipes, so I’m on the hunt to find and share them here!

Categories
recipes

2 ingredient banana pancake – in the Air Fryer

Let’s cut to the chase. You’re most likely not here for all the story and background, and if you are – you’re a saint, welcome! I pepper in the details of this recipe below. FYI – I used a Ninja Air Fryer. But first, here’s the nitty gritty details of the recipe:

How to make it

IngredientAmount
Banana1 whole
Eggs1 med or large
Cooking Oil (avocado, coconut, or olive)1/2 tbsp-ish
Optional Topping: honey, maple syrup, chocolate chips
to taste
Time – 5 minutes prep, 15 minutes cook
  1. The riper the banana, the sweeter the pancake! Plus, ripe bananas are easier to smush. Grab a bowl and a fork, cut out small chunks of banana into the bowl, so it’s easier to mash around. Press the fork into the banana and smash it a bit.

2. Then, add 1 egg and use the fork to blend the two ingredients well. If you’re using a banana on the green side, this might take a bit longer.

3. I haven’t been preheating my air fryer for the pancakes, but double check your own user manual. Preheating won’t hurt anything. Then, pour a splash of oil into the basket, just enough to roll around the bottom of the basket.

4. Set to 350 degrees. Remove tray and pour in banana mixture in the bottom. Run for 15 minutes. Check when there are 4/5 minutes remaining, if the edges are lifting then flip for the remaining time.

5. Time table is flexible, just keep an eye on it.

Want to keep this recipe and my other treats for yourself? Grab a copy here!

Variations:

You can certainly make this on a pan on the stove top. That’s how I used to do it. However, I really had to watch the heat and I always ended up burning the pancake and the pan. The air fryer method is clean and quicker for me personally. If you make it on the stove top, melt butter into the pan and you should probably re-butter when you flip.

Yum, Yum:

Now for the background. I have ulcerative colitis and bananas & eggs are often recommended during a flare, because they’re easier to digest. Plus, this recipe has the benefit of the sweet banana taste – you don’t really need extra toppings to enjoy it. One drawback is that you pretty much make one at a time, so you could be baking one & eating one.

Final Note – The approach I take to my recipes are always with colitis/autoimmune disease in mind. It’s very difficult to find sugar free/grain free recipes, so I’m on the hunt to find and share them here!

Sorry – this isn’t a picture of the final product. Banana pancakes aren’t exactly photogenic, but they are delicious!

Happy eating!

Until next time,

Hanna