Healthy Rendition: Pumpkin Spice "Bread"

October 31, 2014

Today I thought I would share one of my newest creations with you guys! Most of you who know me personally know that I am a huge fan of taking my favourites foods and accepting the challenge of making them healthy! I have been on my get fit/healthy journey going on 3 years now. I found that one of my biggest challenges was dealing with the typical boring bland "diet" food. Thus came my life long mission to master the Healthy Rendition!

For today's Healthy Rendition we are going to make Pumpkin Spice "Bread". I just LOVE the delicious aroma of baking pumpkin dishes. 

Before we begin I would like to say I prefer to make everything from scratch rather then using store bought or canned. I roasted and pureed my pumpkin for this recipe.  Its very simple to do. I will make a quick post about that. Also I will be posting my favourite recipe for pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin Spice "Bread"

Prep time: 15 minutes 
Total time: 45-50 minutes 
Yields: 1 loaf

  • 1 cup Oatmeal Flour 
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 Tapioca Flour
  • 1/2 loosely packed brown sugar ( or sweetener of choice)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin purée ( Canned or from Scratch)
  • 1/2 cup pureed carrots or sweet potatoes ( Baby food works as well)
  • 3 tbsp. no sugar added maple syrup (or honey, agave or similar natural sugar)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, almonds and pecans
  • 1/2 Fiber One Cereal (Optional, I need the extra fiber :) )
 Cooking directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Muffins Pan works as well for portion control/meal prep.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flours, sugar, soda, baking powder, salt, and all the spices.
  4. Next, in a small bowl, stir together pumpkin, puree, syrup, and water.
  5. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, combining until everything is just moistened and forms a thick batter.
  6. Fold in chopped nuts and Fiber 1.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and place in the center rack of the oven.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

I hope you guys enjoy this Healthy Rendition as much as my family does. I almost want to call it baked cereal because of the oatmeal. I find I used a lot of Oatmeal instead of flour in my baking. I'm just starting to experiment with tapioca flour. I find its adds a nice chewy/gooey texture.

Pumpkin Spice "Bread" makes a great midday snack. Also good to have with you if your on the go. Power packed with fiber, protein and good fattys. This one is a powerhouse of goodness!

Your feed back is always welcomed!

Happy Halloween!

xox Joana

Black Charcoal Facial Mask

October 30, 2014

I was particularly excited about a Topbox subscription I received a couple months ago. To my surprise(as I always am when I get my TopBox package) I received a sample of the Belvida Charcoal Mask.

I though to myself " Charcoal, for my face? Isn't that what we use to BBQ? Weird, but I let my enthusiasm of face masks take over and I proceeded to tested out the product.

This stuff was REALLY thick, felt like slime and was SERIOUSLY BLACK.

While I sat in my room with this goopy black stuff on my face I decided to do some research and I was amazed. What I learned is that this dark organic substance provides a number of amazing health benefits. I am all about the benefits!

How this stuff work.
  Activated charcoal and regular charcoal are almost the same. The only difference between the two is that activated charcoal has been created for medicinal use. To create activated charcoal, regular charcoal is heated with a gas that causes the charcoal to expand, creating a absorbent surface that traps toxins. Activated charcoal works because it chemically binds other substances to its surface and can absorb thousands of times its own weight.

The Benefits
1. Draws out toxins and poisons
Mixing a capsule of activated charcoal with a bit of water and cornstarchcan help cure bee stings, poison ivy rashes, snake bites, spider bites and other poisoning bites. The active charcoal works by drawing out poisons from insect and spider bites. I assume this would also help with reducing any swelling or itching caused by the infamous mosquitos we get swarmed by every summer.

2. Improve Skin's Health
  Because we already know activated charcoal removes toxins, it can help reduce the occurrences of acne and other skin impurities you might suffer from.

3. Whiten Teeth
Black Powder to whiten teeth? SAY WHAT!? But its true! All you have to do is sprinkle charcoal onto a toothpaste loaded toothbrush, and brush away. Lets be honest though, you're going to look ridiculous but on the plus side it is odorless and tasteless. If you create a regime out of it you will gradually notice a difference. How often you wanted to brush with Charcoal all depends on the sensitivity of your teeth. With all tooth whitening agents they can weaken your tooth enamel over time. My suggestion would be to start off 1-2 a week and go from there. 

4. Body Detox
Because activated charcoal does such an amazing job ridding your body of toxins, some people also use it to rid their body of built-up toxins. The length of these cleanses can vary, but they often last a week or two.

Just like with everything we would put into our bodies, if you aren't sure if the methods mentioned above are for you, you could always consult your family doctor or do some research yourself. :)

I can now understand why this is becoming so popular in the beauty industry. When I removed the mask my face felt stripped of all impurities, I had a bit of a glow, and my face did really feel clear. I have oily/combination skin and being able to have visual evidence that there was some binding going on was immediately rewarding. Syranara Black Heads! Toodles!

If your not up for spending too much on this product and would like to try it out for yourself try this easy DIY mask.

DIY Charcoal Mask

What you need
1 Teaspoon Activated Charcoal
2 Tablespoon Aloe Vera Juice or Gel
2 Tablespoons Rose water. ( You can just use water)
1 drop of essential oil (Tea Tree, Eucalyptus )
Mix everything together.
Apply a thin layer to your skin.
Leave for 10 -15 minutes
Rinse with water :)



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