Things I am Loving Lately

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1. Coconut Butter
Specifically, Essentially Coconut’s line of coconut butters. This local company creates coconut butters with no additives just coconut meat slow churned. They do love to add in different types of nuts making many flavor variations. I currently love the Coconut Cashew flavor. I am hooked on drizzling a teaspoon or two over a baked sweet potato. It is the perfect complement and acts as a great ending to a dinner or even a dessert. I also enjoy it on a piece of Ezekiel toast or English muffin topped with banana slices as a breakfast treat!

Health Benefits of Coconut: It is packed with amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Coconut has antibacterial and antiviral properties. It is known to improve digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Coconut is also great for your hair, skin and nails.

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2. Kale Sprouts
I had heard all the hype about this new hybrid vegetable but had not come across it in any grocery stores until last Sunday. Trader Joe’s now sells bags of Kale Sprouts. I quickly grabbed multiple bags and brought them home to try. They are a perfect blend of the two vegetables; a mild version of a Brussel Sprout in obscure shapes with small kale leaves attached to them. If you throw them in the oven with some olive oil and garlic powder they are the perfect side vegetable.

Health Benefits of Kale Sprouts: This is self explanatory; two of the powerhouse green vegetables and superfoods combined into one!

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3. Roasted Pumpkin
Trader Joe’s has another win in this week’s post; they currently sell bags of pre-cut pumpkin. I have been adding these to dinners and lunches since I first saw the product hit the shelf. It is as simple as laying them out on a sprayed baking sheet, spraying the tops with olive oil, sprinkling garlic powder and rosemary and baking for 35 minutes or until golden brown. You can also substitute the garlic and rosemary for pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon to make a sweeter version of this side dish.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin: Pumpkin tastes very similar to squash and has the same nutritional value but contains a lot less natural sugar. It is very low in calories for a root vegetable and contains a great amount of fiber. Pumpkin is known to be a tremendous source of Vitamin A; just a cup of cubed pumpkin packs twice the daily recommended amount. Pumpkin is known for its anticancer properties since it is also filled with beta-carotene and antioxidants.

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4. Terra Sweets & Beets Chips and their Limited Edition Sweets & Pumpkin Chips
These bags of chips are the best things ever made. Once a bag is opened it is very likely to be finished that day in our house. These chips are a combination of sliced beets, sweet potato, and pumpkin then baked or fried (I don’t want to know) and topped with various flavorings. The original flavor and the new cinnamon and nutmeg flavor are my favorite. These are a great treat once in a while.

Health Benefits: A serving of root vegetables? Treat yourself…

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