Gluten-Free Peach Cobbler Scones

Gluten-Free Peach Cobbler Bites
We all go through phases with our cooking interests, right? Right now, I’m all about baking… and I’m in deep. My current go-to “escape from reality” is to fall down an internet rabbit-hole of baker’s percentages, sourdough starters, and the low-down on all kinds of grains. I’m finding myself leafing through the bread-oriented texts from my cookbook collection, and I even bought my first baking stone! The only bad part is that my timing is a little off, since it’s August and firing up a hot oven in my apartment kind of makes me want to jump out the window.

So, while I’m sort of impatiently waiting for summer to wrap up so I can bake my heart out, I like to make the best of things. If I can’t help but heat up the kitchen anyway, what better way to celebrate summer’s last hurrah than with perfect peak-season stonefruit? This freshly baked treat just oozes with Southern charm – it’s like a flaky buttermilk biscuit and gooey peach pie wrapped into one brunch-friendly morsel. Yeah… it’s time to crank up the AC and get baking!

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HOW TO: Eat Healthy in College

How to Eat Healthy in College
Today’s post goes out to a special demographic, who if they’re anything like I was, are doing a lot of googling these days: soon-to-be college students. You’re about to uproot your life, be out on your own, deprive yourself of many hours of sleep in favor of homework/socializing/beer-pong, figure out the various intricacies of LIFE ITSELF… and as if that’s not enough, you’re expected to feed yourself too!

Generally speaking, college students have limitations in space, time, money, cooking/shopping experience, and transportation… basically, it’s the perfect storm for subsisting on pizza and beer. But you don’t have to let this happen to you! As an RD who’s spent the majority of my adult life as a student (and whose first job was rolling burritos in my college dining hall), I’ve been there and I’m on your side when it comes to keeping your body running well by putting good food into it. Let’s talk about the tools you need to make this happen.

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Steel-Cut Muesli, California-Style

Steel Cut Muesli, California-Style
While I’m proud of my Floridian heritage (haha), there’s no doubt that my heart belongs on the west coast. I’m completely in LOVE with the food culture in my new California home. The most gorgeous produce is both cheap and plentiful. The bulk bins overfloweth with every healthy ingredient. It’s really locavorism at its finest.

Since we’ve already been talking about planning ahead for our meals, let’s convert all those good vibrations into a make-ahead breakfast fit for a California king!

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Sweet Chili Tofu Salad

Sweet Chili Tofu Salad
Some people start the day with a crossword puzzle, but my morning mental exercise regimen is a little more practical. It involves staring into the fridge, jumbling together edible odds and ends to fill a lunchbox balanced enough to sustain myself through a day at the office. I’m usually pretty good at this game, so that’s my excuse for not being super organized with meal planning. But the day that I struggled to find a better “protein” than a bag of Trader Joe’s peanut butter pretzels… I knew it was time to get serious.

Last weekend I made a very minimal investment of time and efforts, which yielded big lunchtime results. It started with an idea to attempt a copycat recipe for the sweet chili tofu cubes stocked at the Whole Foods salad bar. For a time I used to live in an apartment right across the street from Whole Foods, and since this was during my busy grad student years, I built a pretty strong affinity for some of their healthy convenience foods. That salad bar saved me for dinner many nights, and those sweet, chewy tofu cubes were always a welcome addition to my leafy greens.

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Blueberry Cocoa Hemp Smoothie

Blueberry Cocoa Hemp Smoothie
As much as I like to try new things in the kitchen, lately I’ve been succumbing to summertime simplicity. We’re eating well, but my efforts haven’t exactly been innovative, and I know that the basic foods we’ve been thriving on are just too boring to blog about (nobody needs me to tell them how to make tacos, for real). But this – antioxidants and omega 3s, whipped into something that tastes like a fruity chocolate milkshake? – thankfully, it’s both a new flavor and a total no-brainer.

I’m a big fan of hemp – it appeals to my classic hippie sensibilities, of course, and it’s also a nutritional powerhouse! Hemp seeds are high in fiber, rich in omega 3s, and they’re even a complete protein (soy and quinoa are the only other plants that can make this claim).
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Why You Should Be Excited About Fiber

Why You Should Be Excited About Fiber
Don’t stop reading yet! All I’ve said so far is “fiber” and I’ve already lost most of you. Most people think that fiber is just about regularity, but that’s a load of, well… you know what! It’s an important component of every diet, and most people don’t eat enough of it. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men and women eat 38 or 25 grams of fiber each day, respectively, and the latest survey data indicates that our average intake is less than half of this amount!

Even though it’s simply undigestible plant matter, fiber has a wide range of benefits – it helps keep you full and satisfied, it decreases risk of colon cancer and diverticular disease, and helps lower cholesterol levels. But in my experience, there’s one particular “fun fact” about fiber that tends to surprise and intrigue; one thing that gets people ACTUALLY EXCITED ABOUT EATING FIBER…

So what are the magic words?

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Dark Chocolate Cake with Berries & Coconut Cream

Dark Chocolate Cake with Berries and Coconut Cream
Are you looking for a way to express your gratitude to whoever invited you to this weekend’s barbeque?

Are you staring down too many pounds of fresh berries that you couldn’t resist at the farmer’s market?

Are you sick of your vegan friends getting in the way of your desire to top everything with whipped cream?

This cake is the answer to all of these questions.

This time of year, fruit pies and cobblers get all of the attention. And sure, summer fruits are worth celebrating, but why not invite chocolate to the party? Personally, I think fresh berries and dark chocolate are really complimentary flavors – antioxidants on top of antioxidants, naturally! And of course berries & cream are a classic combo (and a personal weakness of mine), so getting swept up by the whipped coconut cream sensation taking over the internet solidified the vision of my perfect mid-summer dessert. I mean, any topping that can unite the vegan and paleo communities has got to be some powerful stuff, right?

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Easy Summer Dinner: Black Bean Crunch Patties

Black Bean Crunch Patties
This healthy and quick summer meal happened last weekend after pressure-cooking a pot of black beans to stock my freezer. Black beans are the standard legume in my house; we eat them alllll the time, mostly in Mexican and Cuban-style dishes. But as I scooped the magical fruits into plastic bags flattened for efficient storage, lacking any dinner plans, I decided to set a bowl aside to get out of the rut and try something different.

I’ve been in the mood for Mediterranean food lately, and it’s been forever since I’ve had a good falafel, which in my house we refer to as “crunch patties” in honor of the classic episode of The Simpsons. And they’re perfect for light summer dining, so why not mix things up with some black beans?

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What’s the Deal with Seedless Watermelon?

Seedless Watermelon
Any dietitian can confirm this: as a profession, we RDs tend to get involved in some pretty interesting conversations with the rest of the world about food, diet, and what people choose or choose not to eat. People have a LOT to say about food! Last weekend, for example, I found myself in a conversation about seedless watermelon. I was talking to a guy who had heard that seedless varieties should be avoided due to the genetic modification that they undergo, further condemning them as less nutritious and potentially dangerous. I presented a conflicting viewpoint (to say the least), but when I later googled the issue, I found this same idea mentioned on a number of websites… so obviously it’s not an uncommon perception!

I realized that I’m actually sort of uniquely positioned to clear up this issue… see, before focusing my career on nutrition I studied biology, and during that time I happened to work a part-time job in a laboratory investigating plant genetics. So after finding out what a common misconception this is, I thought why not post here to set the record straight?

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Lemon Mint + Pineapple Kale Salad

Lemon Mint + Pineapple Kale Salad
I can’t get enough kale salad. In all seriousness, I think I might be able to actually FEEL it doing my body good. I still never get tired of my favorite kale slaw, but my repertoire seemed like it could use something a little more seasonal for summertime. This salad definitely fits the bill: all seasonal produce and so refreshing! It’s like if a pineapple mojito was a salad… not the worst way to eat a bowl of greens, right? Contine reading