anti-oxidants

Kefir Cranberry & Apricot Cake

Dried fruits are nutritious, yummy and convenient, but look for dried fruits that have been dehydrated naturally and contain no sugar.  Dried fruits also contains more fiber than the same-sized serving of their fresh counterparts. And as we all know fiber helps keep your digestive system running smoothly. Dried apricots, for example, contain 6.5 grams per cup, while fresh apricots contain just 3.1 grams.

For this recipe, I used dried apricots and cranberries for the topping, however you can use anything you like: dried cherries, blueberries, mango, fig, plum, pear etc.

This recipe also calls for kefir, which is a great way to add some pro-biotic into your diet.

Cakes generally are not associated with health, however I'm a strong believer in the "spoil yourself once in a while instead of overindulging later". Plus, there is always a way to modify a dessert recipe for guilt free indulgence. For example, there are ways to substitute for the butter, like apple sauce or even an avocado. Also, there are many ways to substitute your flour: almond flour is my favorite.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of kefir (I used a flavored Wildberry kind, but you can use whatever flavor or plain kefir)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups of brown sugar
  • 1 stick of melted organic pasture-raised butter (substitute apple sauce or even avocado here)
  • 3 tbsp. of olive oil
  •  1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Zest of an orange
  • 2 cups of all purpose or cake flour (you can substitute for almond flour if you are brave and verse in your conversions)
  • ½ cup of dried cranberries
  • ½ cups of dried apricots (diced)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • In a medium bowl, combine kefir and baking soda. Set aside
  • In a large bowl, mix eggs and sugar on high for 2 minutes, add butter (apple sauce or avocado), olive oil, vanilla, orange zest and mix well.
  • Add the kefir mixture. Mix to combine
  • Add flour. Mix well, making sure there are no clumps
  • Fold in the dried fruit
  • Pour into a beautiful cake mold pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean

Enjoy!

Coffee vs. Tea

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An ex-coffee drinker and a current tea drinker myself, I was always curious about the health and benefits of these two beverages. The truth is that coffee and tea remain two very different beverages; tea being made from the leaves of a plant called Camellia sinensis, and coffee made from a bean. However, when it comes to health benefits, tea will always beat coffee, especially white and green tea. There are definitely some benefits attributed to coffee, however tea has more antioxidants per cup than coffee does, plus there is no "crash" like feeling after tea. 

A cup of black tea has half the amount of caffeine than a cup of coffee, and a hell of a lot more antioxidants such as flavonoids, catechins, and tannins, which powerful antioxidants that can protect your body from free radical stress. Coffee, however, does not have as much as these properties present, but does have its share of minerals. 

Oolong, green, and white tea have even less caffeine and even more antioxidants. In fact, white tea has shown to contain the highest levels, and is one of the best sources when measured by volume for antioxidants in the world! So if drinking for your health, tea will always beat coffee.

Green tea has also shown to be a great aid in helping people who want to lose weight. It might down to the fact that green tea helps kick start your metabolism 

Herbal teas have shown to reduce stress levels in the body. In parts of Asia, teas have been used for millennia to help with relaxation, in rituals (like spiritual and religious ceremonies), for nourishment and as healing medicine. Chamomile, lavender, tulsi, passionflower & lemon balm teas are a few good ones to start with. 

An Australian study recently found that people who drank tea on a regular basis had stronger bones and actually were less likely to develop osteoporosis thanks to the high levels of tea catechins. In addition, another study a few years earlier found that drinking tea helped promote healthy bone formation. 

Drinking tea can really help set up and improve your immune system

Consider this: Three or more cups of green tea per day are what's consumed by the average citizen in Japan, where the overall cancer rate is much lower than here in the U.S. While that statistic may not be due to tea drinking alone, the majority of researchers believe it definitely plays a part.