Homemade Rosemary Hummus

Homemade Rosemary Hummus

I’ve always heard it’s really easy to make hummus, I’ve just never bothered to do it. Well, I did try once to make it all raw with soaked chickpeas, but it didn’t turn out the greatest. Needless to say I took another stab at it and am thrilled with the results!

This recipe is adapted from the Inspired Taste Blog. It’s simple, and you can feel free to spice it however you may like by adding a variety of herbs and spices. Some ideas are, basil, pine nuts, paprika, jalapeño peppers, red crushed pepper, bell pepper, garlic, cayenne, tumeric, dill, fennel, or sun-dried tomatoes.

I have a particular affinity for rosemary and I picked up a bunch of fresh rosemary at my local farmer’s market so thought I’d flavor my hummus with it. The result was delicioso.

The key to making it creamy is to add the ingredients a few at a time, blend and then add in the next few. Here’s the recipe below:

Ingredients:

  • One 15-ounce can of organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup tahini (ground up sesame seed paste)
  • Clove of clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water
  • Large sprig of rosemary
  • Hemp hearts to sprinkle on top


Instructions:

  1. Using a food processor of blender, blend the tahini and lemon juice until smooth. You may need to pause to scrape the sides of the blender.
  2. Add in the olive oil, sea salt, garlic, rosemary, and cumin, and process for about half a minute more.
  3. Add half the chickpeas, blend; then the other half of the chickpeas, blend
  4. Give it a taste to see if it is to your liking. Modify as you see fit.
  5. Pour into a bowl and top with hemp hearts, some rosemary, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Why some fruits may be causing your weight loss plateau

Why some fruits may be causing your weight loss plateau

When given the choice between a banana and blueberries, I always recommend the blueberries. Why?

Some of you may be familiar with the glycemic index. If not, the glycemic index is a system that ranks foods based on their effect on our blood sugar levels.

So why is that important?

Eating fruits with higher glycemic levels makes it a lot more difficult for your body to burn stored fat. What?! So not all fruits are created equal?

Some of you may be thinking right now, but Jennie, its fruit! It’s got to be healthy, its natural sugar!

Despite it being natural sugar, let me break it down for you…

Fruits such as, bananas, dates, and pineapple have higher glycemic levels which causes our blood sugar levels to spike and leads to our pancreas releasing a huge amount of insulin so this sugar can be used as energy. High levels of insulin in the body make the fat burning process a lot more difficult.

On the other hand, low glycemic fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and grapefruit will not cause this blood sugar spike, therefore not causing our pancreas to release an insane amount of insulin and ultimately our bodies will burn that stubborn stored fat!

Now I’m not saying that it is forbidden to eat these high glycemic foods for all eternity. I would just say if you eat them, make sure to include some fiber, fat, or protein in the meal. These will slow down the absorption of fat and sugar, so you can easily turn a high glycemic meal into a low glycemic meal by adding some fiber. Also fiber allows you to stay full longer, and who wouldn’t want that? Fiber for everyone!

When trying to sustain your wellness, controlling your blood sugar plays a very important role in your health.

Sources:

http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/whattoeat/a/glycemicindlist_3.htm

http://books.google.com/books?id=aTbzS5Z4nd8C&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq=mark+hyman+high+glycemic+load&source=bl&ots=9FFr2PuD7F&sig=XJUYDa4kvRcqoZiOhmOm4dZtXBE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=greZU81D06LIBLytgMAF&ved=0CFIQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=mark%20hyman%20high%20glycemic%20load&f=false

 

 

Maca is a Girl’s Best Friend

Maca is a Girl’s Best Friend

If you find yourself nodding off at your desk or in a grumpy mood recently, OR heaven forbid, your sex drive dwindling, there’s a likely culprit– hormonal imbalance. We can trace many of our behavioral patterns back to our estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, and progesterone balance. In this particular case, we’re going to focus on estrogen.

Estrogen is what we can deem our “feminine” hormone. It keeps us curvy, flirty, and yen‘ing for sex. Yup! Now we don’t want too little OR too much estrogen floating around in our body. This is because all of our hormones work in synchronicity with one another. This means that oftentimes when one is out of whack the others follow suit. When we can find harmony, we can typically find harmony in not only our hormones, but as a result, our mood.

When our hormones are balanced we feel balanced, energized, and vivacious.

So let’s get back to estrogen. Many women suffer from excess estrogen or too little estrogen, and for many of them, a variety of both. Now it’s natural for our hormone levels to fluctuate throughout our menstrual cycle (for instance, estrogen levels peak during our menstrual cycle then drop, stimulating your hypothalamus to prepare for the next ovulatory cycle), but we do want to maintain a certain range within each phase of the cycle. This sounds almost exhausting to monitor your numbers so closely, but in reality we usually have a pretty good idea of whether or not our hormones are in check by how we are feeling.

Are you feeling energized and vivacious? Or are you feeling drained and uninspired?

Now I would love to go on about all the lifestyle and dietary changes you can make to support balanced hormonal levels, but today I wanted to talk about a cool root known as, Maca.

If you are an Arrested Development fan, you may recall George Sr. tripping out from an overdose of maca root. Don’t worry– this is a dramatization.

What is maca? Maca is a root grown natively in the Andes mountains, and used by the ancient Incans as a “miracle cure” to a range of symptoms, especially *cough* hormonal symptoms. It was used as a natural remedy for everything from hot flashes, to low libido, to low energy, to fertility, insomnia, and even depression.

This is because Maca acts to help balance out your hormones as it supports the circulation of the endocrine system. And this root is not just for the ladies! It helps men boost their libido as well! [I am man, hear me roar.]

Try adding a teaspoon to your morning smoothie! If this feels intense, try reducing it to 1/2 a teaspoon. It has a toasted malt-like taste that some like and some despise, but your endocrine system will be saying, yes, please.

Here’s a recipe for a simple, Almond Butter Maca Smoothie:

Almond Butter Maca Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 Tablespoons almond butter
  • Scoop of RAW vegan protein powder 
  • 1 teaspoon maca
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • Optional: Mixed greens (as little or as many as you “dare”)
  • Optional: Tablespoon of raw honey to sweeten!

Toss in blender, blend, and enjoy!

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