Candied Chipotle and Rosemary Mixed Nuts

Candied Chipotle and Rosemary Mixed Nuts

These nuts will wake up your taste buds! They are spicy, sweet and savory all at the same time and truly addictive.

I came across this recipe on Food Network while searching for something completely unrelated but when I saw the words rosemary and chipotle, two of my favorite things, I had to check it out. I’ve tweaked the recipe slightly. You can find the original here.

I decided to make them for the holidays and they were a huge hit. I make them all the time for special occasions and when hosting events and sometimes when I’m just craving them.

They are a hit at any party and make a great hostess gift when wrapped in a decorative cellophane bag or mason jar.

Candied Chipotle and Rosemary Mixed Nuts

Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil
7 1/2 cups nuts of choice (This can be tailored to any ratio you like. I like the following)
3 cups whole roasted salted cashews
1 1/2 cups whole walnut halves
2 cups whole pecan halves
1 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
4 teaspoons course sea salt, divided (l like using Maldon sea salt flakes)

You will need some parchment paper to lay them out to cool on.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, and almonds on large baking sheet.

Drizzle olive oil and maple syrup over nuts then sprinkle on brown sugar, orange juice and chipotle powder. Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss. Toss to coat the nuts evenly. (I like to use 2 rubber spoon shaped scrapers for this, but your hands work fine too.) Spread the nuts over pan in one layer.

Roast the nuts for 25 – 30 minutes, stirring twice while baking with a large metal spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. I would stir at the 10 minute mark and 19 minute mark.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary. Toss well to coat all of the nuts.

Remove just from baking sheet and spread nuts onto a sheet of parchment paper. Taste for seasoning and sprinkle additional salt or rosemary over top while still warm if desired. Serve warm or cool.

Once nuts have cooled completely they can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature.

Switch to Switchel for Post Workout Recovery

Switch to Switchel for Post Workout Recovery

Next time you go to grab a Gatorade to replace lost electrolytes from a workout, hangover or whatever else you might use it for, try a switchel instead. I know you might be asking what in the heck is switchel?

Actually, switchel has been around long before Gatorade was even a thought. It was used to fuel and rehydrate farmers and workers in the hayfields during Colonial times.

Although farming has modernized quite a bit since those times, a farmer can still work up quite a thirst out in the fields. Just think how much thirstier a job it was for the Colonials when the grass was hand-cut with a scythe. I’m sure if Iron-Man races were a thing back then the athletes would have used it too!

Gatorade type drink were not around during that time as electrolytes were not even discovered until the 1900’s. And there were no scientific studies showing our bodies needed them replaced after exertion.

Somehow our ancestors knew what they were doing and what our bodies needed and created switchel to nourish them. To bad we didn’t listen and let preservatives and sugar take the place of this natural re-hydrator.

Switchel contains water, apple cider vinegar, ginger and a sweetener. The sweetener can be either molasses, maple syrup, honey or brown sugar.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is all of the rage now and is great for digestion and gut health. Many people incorporate ACV into their diets to aid in weight loss.

With the exception of water, all the other ingredients in the switchel contain potassium which is an electrolyte. Which we now know our bodies need to function properly.

I recently received a sample of switchel from a company called Up Mountain Swizzle, who make a sparkling switchel with fresh ginger, real maple syrup and apple cider vinegar

I have to say the maple syrup definitely makes it sweet and the ginger adds quite a bit of flavoring. It is also fizzy so it feels like you are drinking a soda. You could think of it as a healthy ginger ale! I never drink pop so this definitely feel a like a treat!

I’ve been drinking a concoction I call wetter water for about a year and half which has apple cider vinegar in it. I do it first thing in the morning to get my gut ready for the day.

I like that the Up Mountain sparkling switchel is a little sweeter than my wetter water and definitely more travel friendly. I can just toss a can in my bag or suitcase. I tried traveling with a bottle of apple cider vinegar once. It really did not work out so well.

If you are a Gatorade junkie, I would encourage you to make the switch to switchel. If you have been curious about all the health benefits of apple cider vinegar drinks give Up Mountain sparkling switchel a try.

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How Sparkling Water Can Lower Blood Sugar

How Sparkling Water Can Lower Blood Sugar

We have all been there and know that spike and then crash and burn feeling we get after eating a high carb meal. But how can we avoid it while still enjoying some of the foods we love like pasta, bread and even cocktails.

I know it sounds to good to be true, but the makers of Good Idea Drinks, have found a solution. I had the chance to get a sample of these drinks and chat with founder Björn Öste. Keep reading to get the scoop on this sparkling water that can lower blood sugar.

Good Idea Drink

Good Idea Drink

In a nutshell, researchers found a connection between the intake of dairy and a relatively high insulin response. They found that the intake of whey before and with a meal rich in fast carbohydrates could substantially lower the blood sugar spike following a meal.

The effect was also observed with protein that contained the presence of five specific essential amino acids. Repeated meal studies confirmed that the effect on insulin and glucose response from whey could be mimicked by serving a drink containing a proportion of the five essential amino acids before and with the meal.

Good Idea Drinks

Good Idea Drinks

As an additional development of the concept, a small quantity of chromium was added. Chromium is well known by scientists to have an important role in blood glucose regulation. Taken together, it was hypothesized that a combination of amino acids and chromium would have a synergistic effect that would further improve the effect on blood sugar rise.

After creating this dink the researchers studies results consistently showed a typical reduction of 25-30% in blood sugar rise following a meal rich in carbohydrates, compared to placebo.

Good Idea Drinks Nutrition

Good Idea Drinks Nutrition

To get the full details of all of the science behind the drink and results of the study can be found on the Good Idea website as well as answers to some FAQ’s.

I had a few FAQ’s of my own and after my chat with Björn here is our Q&A session.

1. How did you come up with the idea for Good Idea Drinks? After learning of the research results from Lund University our company formed a collaboration to create the dink.

2. Can it help people with diabetes? Although it is not specifically targeted for that, it would be something to ask your doctor about to see if it might be a “good idea” to include it into your diet.

3. I have heard chromium can be used as a weight loss supplement. Can Good Idea drinks be used for weight loss? It is not marketed as a weight loss tool. However, studies have shown that chromium has shown to reduce the glycemic index which makes you eat less therefore could cause weight loss.

4.  Why does it taste sweet when there is no sugar in it? It is flavored using natural flavor.

5. What exactly is “Natural Flavor”? How do you make it? Where do you get it? Great question.

6. Would it be helpful to drink while eating a dessert? Yes.

8. Would it be good to use as a mixer in cocktails, as alcohol is considered a sugar and most drinks are made with sugary mixers or juices? Yes.

This sparkling water is a little sweet and definitely has the flavor. I loved the idea of making a cocktail with it and had a bunch of limes on hand so thought I would take a stab at creating a “Good Idea” Mojito.

Although, this mojito recipe does not have any actual sugar in it, this flavored sparkling water will help the spike caused by the sugars in the alcohol or added sugars should you decide to sweeten it up yourself. Details on how to do that are listed in the directions of the recipe.

mojito garnished

The Good Idea Mojito

I wish to thank Good Idea Drinks for the sample. For more information on the drinks or how to purchase them visit the Good Idea website.

Cover photo from Good Idea.

 

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Skinny Mojito Recipe

Skinny Mojito Recipe

This skinny mojito recipe is free of sugar and sweeteners and is perfect for those wanting to watching their diet or have blood sugar issues.

Speaking of blood sugar, this mojito cocktail just might lower it. I know it sounds crazy but I came across this sparkling water called Good Idea. It contains amino acids that have show to lower blood sugar when eaten with a high carb meal or sugar. So, with alcohol being considered a sugar I am using it as a mixer in this cocktail.

Here is the scoop on Good Idea Drinks and how they work.

This recipe is free of sugars and sweeteners so it is a little tart. If you like your cocktails a little sweeter you could add a drizzle of agave nectar or sweetener of choice. I like using pure lime juice which you can find jarred or make your own by juicing fresh lime. Here is where you can purchase the Good Idea Drinks.

Mojito Ingredients

Mojito Ingredients

Blood Sugar Buster Mojito


Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 Ounces Rum
  • 2 Whole Limes
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 Can Good Idea Sparkling Water Lemon Lime Flavor
  • 4 Sprigs Fresh Mint Leaves
  • 11/2 Cups Ice Cubes Divided
Instructions
  1. In cocktail shaker add 2 sprigs of mint and 6 lime slices. Muddle until juice is released from limes and mint is aromatic.

    mint and lime mojito
  2. Add rum and lime juice and 1/2 cup ice cubes. Shake well.

    mojito with lime juice
  3. Divide remaining ice into two glasses. Using cocktail shaker strainer divide mojito mixture into two glasses. Top off with desired amount of Good Idea sparkling water.

    mojito with sparkling water
  4. Garnish with remaining lime slices and mint. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you would like your mojito a little sweeter add sweetener of choice in with the limes and mint and muddle until sugar or sweetener is mostly dissolved.

 

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Curry Chicken Salad

Curry Chicken Salad

This recipe comes from Chef Devin Alexander’s new cookbook, You Can Have it!.

Although, this cookbook is labeled diabetic friendly, everyone will enjoy the recipes. I have had a great time thumbing through the pages. It seems most of the recipes are really easy to follow and use everyday ingredients so you won’t spend all day in the kitchen or find yourself going to multiple grocery stores to find crazy unheard of ingredients.

 

Curry Chicken Salad Cups Recipe Devin Alexander

Curry Chicken Salad Cups Recipe Devin Alexander

Her cookbook can be found on Amazon  or the Devin Alexander website.

Curry Chicken Salad Cups

Although this recipes says to serve on lettuce leaves. I just put it over some pre washed spinach. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1
Ingredients
  • 4 Ounces Pre-cooked chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped fresh mango
  • 1 1/2 TBPS Light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 TSP Lime zest
  • 1 TSP Jarred tandoori paste or red curry paste
  • 2 Iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 1/4 Cup Red onion slivers
Instructions
  1. Place chicken, cucumber and mango in medium bowl

    Ingredients for Curry Chicken Salad
  2. Add mayonnaise, lime zest and curry paste. Stir until well combined.

    Curry Chicken Salad Ingredients
  3. Divide chicken mixture between lettuce leaves and sprinkle with onion. 

    Curry Chicken Salad with Mayonnaise
  4. Serve Immediately.

    curry chicken salad
Recipe Notes

©2018 by the American Diabetes Association. You Can Have It! is available at ShopDiabetes.org, in bookstores nationwide, or by calling 1-800-232-6733. Food Photographer: Mittera Creative Services; Lifestyle Photographer: Michelle Pederson.

 

 

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You Can Have It by Chef Devin Alexander

You Can Have It by Chef Devin Alexander

Celebrity Chef Devin Alexander is no stranger to the struggle of being overweight. As a teenager Devin tipped the scales at 200 pounds and was headed down the path to become the culprit of many diseases.

Learning to cook from her grandmother, Devin started cooking up a storm putting a healthy twist on the foods she loved which helped her shed 70 pounds. Now the author of nine cookbooks, Devin shares the knowledge and recipes to help you shed the extra pounds as well without sacrificing the flavors you love.

Devin Alexander

Devin Alexander You Can Have It

Her newest cookbook, You Can Have It!, features diabetic friendly recipes that the whole family will love.

I have both a father-in-law and a niece who suffer from diabetes so when I got the opportunity to check out this book, I could not say no.  I love to be able to make things they can eat when they visit.

Although this cookbook is labeled diabetic friendly, you would never know as the book features recipes that include pizza, burgers, tacos, sandwiches, cocktails and even dessert.

Curry Chicken Salad Cups Recipe Devin Alexander

Curry Chicken Salad Cups Recipe Devin Alexander

I recently made her recipes for Gingerbread Overnight Oats and Curry Chicken Salad Cups. Both of which were quite tasty!

Overnight Oats

Gingerbread Overnight Oats by Chef Devin Alexander

I am looking forward to trying many more recipes out of the book including the pulled chicken tacos, rosemary beef stew, spinach salad with warm bacon dressing, perfect pumpkin pie-lets, and champagne blackberry chillers plus a few more.

One of the most things I really liked about this cookbook is that includes the everyday recipes that are easy to make without a long list of unheard of crazy ingredients.

 

Devin has quite the resume from restaurateur to hosting her own cooking show with numerous television and radio appearances in between. You can read more about Devin and her accolades along with information on all her cookbooks at the Devin Alexander website.

©2018 by the American Diabetes Association. You Can Have It! is available at ShopDiabetes.org, in bookstores nationwide, or by calling 1-800-232-6733. Food Photographer: Mittera Creative Services; Lifestyle Photographer: Michelle Pederson

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