Fall Flavors: My Favorite Vanilla Latte Recipe

With autumn’s arrival, I bring out my bullet blender and blend up my favorite homemade quick and easy vanilla latte recipe.  Every time I share this yummy healthier (at least I think so) version of a hot vanilla latte, I get a good response from my readers.  Autumn has arrived, so here it is again…but first a short discussion about the recent controversy about whether or not coconut oil is healthy to put in your coffee.  finishI love to blend organic hot black coffee with organic virgin coconut oil, vanilla extract and a few other key ingredients that create a tasty hot latte that takes under a minute to prep and make.  Plus, a few years ago several fitness trainers I used to see told me that they believe that adding coconut oil to your coffee can help with cognitive function making one feel a bit more focused during the day. I had also read in several articles that the type of saturated fat in coconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides that may help the body produce energy, which jived with my trainers’ beliefs. Yay and yum!

But then a few months ago, several articles on coconut oil questioned the health benefits and that had me rethinking this favorite recipe of mine that I especially love when the weather cools and fall arrives.

So I was happy to find a recent article that explains the pros and potential cons of too much coconut oil.  After reading this informative article in Health Ambition’s “Coconut Oil in Coffee: Is It A Good Idea?” I have decided to still enjoy my beloved Lusicious Latte, but in moderation, much like we should practice with a lot of the foods and drinks we consume.  Check out that article for more details and check out my recipe that I continue to love, especially now that autumn has arrived!  Hooray!

Here is how I made mine….

My Bulletproof Luscious Latte

What You Need:

latte ingre

1 cup of brewed black coffee

1 tablespoon of organic, unrefined, virgin coconut oil

dash of cinnamon

dash of nutmeg or try hazelnut

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

What You Do:

1.  Simpy brew your coffee. brew

2.  Pour coffee in blender.  I used my Bullet.  Add coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract and then blend.add coconut oil

3.  Pour and enjoy.  So simple, healthy and tasty.  in mixer cupCheers to your morning latte!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Please note that I am not a nutritionist, physician or professional chef. I am a manic mom that likes to try and/or create different recipes to make my meals…and mornings…less manic and more managed in a tasty way, too.*

Nana Joes Granola Perfect For My Fab 50s Lifestyle Change!

Manic:  Me thinking about turning 50 next month! 

Managed:  With this milestone birthday on the horizon, I have decided to try to mostly eat plant based foods.  I am not going 100% vegan, but I am striving for 85% to be realistic with my lifestyle.  Plus, eating this way helps our bodies, earth’s animals and the environment as stated in this interesting Medical News Today article.  My thriving and healthy 72-years-young mother also eats mostly vegan and this lifestyle has served her well.

My mom with my girl at my daughter’s Wizard of Oz performance last month. Told you my Mama looks good!

I am certainly not criticizing meat eaters as I do occasionally enjoy a meat meal as well…which is why I am striving for a 85% change. Plus I will still have dairy from time to time as a decadent chocolate malt or coffee ice cream cone are a must have at least once during the hot summer!  Call me fickle, but partially vegan is my goal for now.

Great example of my plan…mostly plant based lunch…but with wild salmon.

I started the gradual dietary switch one week ago and I already feel a positive difference!  I was having bad allergies, left leg and ankle pain and sinus issues.  Not to mention bloating and a sluggish feeling after eating some foods.  I do believe in everything in moderation and after reading countless accounts of folks who went vegan, and marveling at their improved health, vitality and energy, I have decided, at almost 50, to give this mostly vegan lifestyle a try.  I am loving it so far and just in time for me, I discovered the awesome vegan, gluten free and super tasty Nana Joes Granola line!  Who says you can’t have treats on a healthy eating plan?  With Nana Joes delish granola, a little good sweetness can be added to breakfast, snacks and more.  Love this stuff! Check out my tasty breakfast vegan makeover today that I made in 10 seconds…so yummy!I replaced cow’s milk with almond milk (I truly taste no difference) and those sugary processed cereals with the Nana Joes Trifecta Blend Granola, which only has 5 grams of sugar (per half the packaged serving, so I used the one bag for two separate meals). This combo filled me up and I felt energetic and satisfied.  I am pretty impressed with the wholesome and real food ingredients.  Plus, I adore that this stuff is handmade in San Francisco (my hubs and I honeymooned in the City by the Bay 🙂 )

They also have granola bars, too. I am a fan!  My personal favorite is the Swell Bar with Coconut, Almond and Cocoa Nib.

Gonna have this snack tomorrow when I take a reading and snack break. Readers…another fab 50 accessory!

I highly recommend Nana Joes for your healthy gluten free and vegan go to breakfast, snack, smoothie ingredient, dessert topping and more.  I love how her versatile this stuff is, not to mention super delicious, too!

Have any of you gone vegan or semi like me? Share your experience in the comments section and I am wishing all of you good food, vibrant health and joy!  Those are my goals as I dive into the fabulous 50s next month!

 

A big thank you for the Nana Joes samples so I could test it out!  My opinion about how much I love this granola line is 100% my very own. 

Overnight Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal in Mason Jars

Here is a cool holiday breakfast idea for your guests.  Make pumpkin spice oatmeal the night before.  Prepare in individual mason jars that can be simply set out in a breakfast buffet the next morning, warm or cold. oatmeal-doneoatmeal-closeSuch a fun, festive and flavorful idea with a recipe that is healthy clean eating.  And some house guests may crave a nutritious breakfast the day after the high calorie Turkey Day.

I found this delightful and super easy recipe from my favorite meal planning site, MealGarden. I especially like MealGarden because the recipes are clean and healthy with a wide variety.  I did add a few extras to the original recipe.  My version is shown below in this how-to video.  So easy and so festive.  Take a look…

 

The original recipe can be found at MealGarden. Thank you to MealGarden for allowing me to experiment with this recipe and share it on my blog!  Enjoy and happy holiday pumpkin everything season!

 

Fab Fall Food: Simple & Low Calorie Pumpkin Spice Mini Muffins

Yummy pumpkin season has arrived and I have found a healthier recipe for delicious pumpkin spice mini muffins! With the help of my favorite meal planning site, MealGarden, I found a delish recipe for Pumpkin Spice Muffins!  And MealGarden’s recipe muffins are only 79 calories each (without optional chocolate chips) and only 4.8 grams of sugar each, too.  Not bad! Take a look at this video preview of this super simple seasonally pleasing treat that tastes like a moist pumpkin bread.  I modified the recipe just a bit due to my daughter’s tree nut allergy….

Here is how you make these incredibly tasty pumpkin spice muffins that, my daughter and I think, taste like the pumpkin bread sold at Starbucks.  Make this healthier, lower calorie and lower sugar recipe yourself!

Note: this is NOT gluten free.  I believe that Spelt flour is a better alternative to white flour because it is an ancient relative of wheat that contains B vitamins, fiber and trace minerals.  And I think it tastes so similar that is has become my family’s preferred option to white processed flour.  But Spelt flour is not gluten free.  For a gluten free flour, use almond flour.

Ok now back to the recipe!

I took MealGarden’s awesome recipe and tweeked it just a bit only because my daughter is allergic to tree nuts so we couldn’t use the almond meal/flour their awesome recipe calls for.  I also added dark chocolate chips (my addiction, dark chocolate) but the muffins without the chocolate were truly just as good.  To get MealGarden’s original recipe (that I would make if I didn’t have the tree nut allergy) go here to MealGarden.  I totally recommend their version and all of their recipes because their meal and snack ideas check out with whole food and healthy ingredients.  I love MealGarden!

To try my slightly different version, here is the recipe….

close-up-of-muffins

What You Need:

ingred-pic


1 cup Spelt Flour

1/2 cup organic sugar

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract, pure…I used Organics Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract…yum!

1 cup pumpkin, canned….I used Sprouts Organic brand

Organic dark chocolate chips….optional

What You Do:

img_8951

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. Fold in oil, vanilla and pumpkin to form a smooth batter.  Add optional chocolate chips if desired.
  4. Spoon one tablespoon of batter into 24 paper-cup-lined mini-muffin cups.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Seal in air-tight container or freeze.  To defrost, set on counter for 15 minutes, then enjoy!pumpkin-muffin-1

A huge thanks to MealGarden for allowing me to share and tweak their awesome recipe.  I am a proud paid subscriber to their services and I highly recommend MealGarden for healthy and delicious meal planning! 

Family Approved Quick & Nutritious Banana Berry Oatmeal Idea

Manic:  Mornings….and quick sugary cereals and instant oatmeal brands that are packed with sugar are not what I want to give my teenagers for breakfast.  But oftentimes that is what they ended up eating due to limited time in the mornings.  I wanted to find a super quick and healthy way to end this trend.

Managed:  Found a terrific instant oatmeal that I approve of and like, but it isn’t sweet enough alone for my family, so I experimented with two simple ingredients to sweeten it myself.  My family loves it and I feel good about providing this super quick, tasty and healthy breakfast to everyone before we all head out to another crazy busy day.  done oatmealHere is our fast and simple 2 step oatmeal recipe….

I use the Better Oats Oat Revolution Steel Cut Instant Oatmeal with Flax brand.  I recently noticed this brand the last time I was at my grocery store, so I bought it to give it a try.  Good, but not sweet enough for the family. oatmeal boxSo I tried a little easy experiment to sweeten it a bit so that my teenagers would like it.  I love that the packets are filled with only steel cut oats, flaxseed and salt, with no added sugar so each packet only contains 1 gram of sugar.  pouchCompare this to many other brands and you get 9 grams of sugar and a bunch of ingredients that I can’t pronounce.  No thanks.  So here is the 2 step prep that I do to naturally sweeten it and my steps are kid and teenager approved, too!

Step 1 – Simply boil water or heat milk, if you choose to use milk.  As you can see on the packet, there is a measuring water line so you know the exact amount to add to your oatmeal.  However, I just eye the amount of water or milk.  I think almond milk would be so tasty to add to this, but my daughter is allergic to tree nuts, so I use water.

Step 2 – Add 1/2 a banana and mash into oats and water.  mash itTop with berries.  Cinnamon can be added, too.  Yum! done oatmeal

This quick recipe only uses the natural sugar that come from the banana, that also provides potassium, fiber and protein along with heart healthy berries that are filled with beneficial antioxidents, too.  No more sugar laden instant oatmeal packets packed with ingredients that I don’t recognize.  Love this quick and tasty oatmeal idea for breakfast!

What are your quick and nutritious oatmeal and breakfast ideas?  Share in the comments section as we love to share ideas on how to make our manic mornings a little more managed and nutritious and tasty, too!

 

 

 

 

Festive Fun Holiday Recipes With Shamrock Farms Foods

Eggnog peppermint cheesecake anyone?  cheesecake picHow about an eggnog latte with extract made of rum?  Yum! And here is a fun and tasty idea…peppermint eggnog punch for kids of all ages!  It is all here plus I also share a quick tip that will spice up your mashed potatoes that is super simple. Plus sour cream banana bread and more!  With Shamrock Farms fresh dairy foods, the possibilities and recipes are endless! Check out the morning segment I did on the ABC 15’s Sonoran Living morning show this morning for ideas for all of your holiday entertaining.  Also a big thank you to professional makeup artist Karen Hall for meeting me at the studio to work her magic on me!  And Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

 

I am proud to work with Shamrock Farms who sponsored this segment. 

More Back To School Easy & Healthy Breakfast Ideas

A healthy waffle sandwich and a yummy yogurt parfait with less sugar are both featured in my recent morning show segment.  Take a look at these kid and mom approved recipes…

Fast & Filling Back to School Breakfast Ideas

Try these easy and healthy ideas to get your kids out the door and fueled up for school.  I tested several fast and filling recipes out on my two teenagers and they worked well and I received a thumbs up! bkfast segHere is my recent morning show segment with these breakfast ideas, so give these a try….

Untitled from Rachel Harris on Vimeo.

Video Demo Of How I Make My Healthy Coconut Oil Coffee Latte

I continue to get interest and compliments on my version of a Bulletproof Vanilla Latte, so I recently showed exactly how I make it on my morning show.

Behind the scenes & all set up for show to begin.

Behind the scenes & all set up for show to begin.

The health benefits of this morning java drink are fully explained in my previous article that you can find here.

So check this out and try one for yourself….this comes from the KTVK website so my segment starts right after the commercial that is placed before my video so keep watching…

Our Homemade Teen Approved Healthy Yogurt Parfait Recipe

Manic:  Balancing breakfast with busy school day mornings and making sure that my teenagers eat at all, much less gobble down a healthy meal that is quick to prepare as well.  Not always an easy feat!

Managed:  Worked with my teen daughter to put together a homemade yogurt parfait that is healthy and that she will eat and can eat….since she is allergic to tree nuts.  We start with a plain yogurt, believe it or not and sweeten it ourselves.  Our experimenting worked and the result is tasty, nutritious, lower in sugar than many other quick breakfast items and easy to make.  Take a look….

Harris House Homemade Healthy Yogurt Parfait

yogurt parfait

What You Need:

ingreds

3/4 cup any good quality organic Greek plain yogurt brand

1 Tablespoon KIND Healthy Grains Raspberry Clusters with Chia Seeds

1 Stevia packet

dash of cinnamon to taste

1 capfull of Vanilla Extract

As many blueberries as you like

What You Do:

1.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the stevia packet and cinnamon with the yogurt and stir well.

2.  Place yogurt in serving dish and top with KIND cluters, blueberries and a dash of cinnamon.  You can also layer this recipe to make several layers if desired. with spoon

Yum!  That’s it!  It is so easy and delicious.  Try it!

KIND is a Managedmoms.com supportive partner and my opinion about how much I love (and my teen daughter loves, too) is 100% our very own.  We love this brand!