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Raw Cacao Candy Crunch

December 22, 2017

By 

When I was little, one of my best friend’s family owned a candy store. I was always so jealous of her access to all the best candies all the time. She could have anything she wanted, whenever she wanted and when I would go visit the store with her, it was like I entered a magical wonderland. Little did I know at the time, that the majority of candy I was eating was filled with toxic ingredients like refined sugars, ingredients made from petroleum, and other very harmful ingredients. Also, I was a very sick child, making every excuse not to go to school because I had low energy, low concentration, and eczema all over my arms, legs and face.

Thank goodness I figured out that all the conventional candy and a lot of other foods I was consuming made me feel and look that way and I’ve now reversed all of that. Even though I’ve stopped eating the candy I used to, I still love candy and try to find ways to enjoy something sweet without exposing myself to all the toxic chemicals. 

This Raw Cacao Crunch Candy is one of the ways I do that. It’s deeeeelicious and nutritious! I got the idea for this recipe when I tried something just like it at a trade show recently. This candy totally cures my chocolate cravings in a fabulous healthy way. I love making desserts with raw cacao because it gives you a blast of serotonin, endorphins and other neurotransmitters which all work together to give you an overall sense of well being, bliss, pleasure and pure happiness! Try this candy and you’ll be consuming the highest concentrated antioxidant on earth and flying high! This candy makes the perfect travel snack and it would go perfect wrapped in cute little bags for those Easter baskets.

Food Babe's Raw Cacao Candy Crunch
 
Prep time 
Cook time 
Total time 
 
Author: 
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup almonds (or any other nut of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
Instructions
  1. Put sugar, water, sea salt, cinnamon and vanilla in a medium sized skillet and warm over medium-low heat stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add nuts and keep stirring until the sugar mixture is very thick and the almonds are well coated, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cacao nibs.
  4. Pour onto piece of parchment paper and spread out into single layer and allow to cool completely.
  5. Break up pieces into desired sizes and store at room temperature in an airtight container.
Notes
***Please choose all organic ingredients if possible***

One note: Don’t feel pressure to only use almonds in this recipe – you can use any nut or seed you like! I plan on using pecans next, yum!

If you know someone who could use a little pep in their step, please make them some of this candy or share this recipe with them, I know they will appreciate it!

Xo, 

Vani 

P.S. If you are looking for other healthier candy options check this post on chocolate and this post on how to avoid GMO candy. You’ll love the options!

 

Source: The Food Babe: https://foodbabe.com/2014/04/14/raw-cacao-candy-crunch/

Thanks Vani!

Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken

December 02, 2017

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth (certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons cognac
  • 1 (3 1/3-pound) whole chicken, skinned and cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 40 garlic cloves, peeled (about 4 whole heads)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Directions

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl.

Discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Heat oil and butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until butter melts. Sprinkle chicken pieces evenly with salt and pepper. Add chicken pieces to pan; cook 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove chicken from pan; place in a 4-quart electric slow cooker.

Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic to drippings in pan; sauté 1 minute or until garlic begins to brown. Stir in broth mixture, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Boil 2 minutes or until sauce is reduced to about 1 cup. Pour sauce over chicken; sprinkle with thyme. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours or until chicken is done. Serve sauce and garlic with chicken. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 5 |  Serving Size: 4 ounces chicken + 3 tablespoons sauce + 8 garlic cloves

Per serving: Calories: 265; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 80mg; Sodium: 264mg; Carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 30g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 485mg; Iron: 9%; Vitamin A: 1%; Vitamin C: 12%; Calcium: 4% 

Slow Cooker Holiday Pot Roast

December 01, 2017

Ingredients
  1. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  2. 3 to 3 1/2-pound beef chuck roast
  3. 4 large carrots, peeled and cut in 2-inch pieces
  4. 2 small turnips, peeled and cut in 2-inch pieces
  5. 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut in 2-inch pieces
  6. 1 medium sweet onion, cut in eighths
  7. 1 can (14 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce
  8. 1 envelope (1 oz.) dry onion soup mix
  9. 1 cup fresh cranberries
  10. 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  11. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  12. 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  13. 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  14. 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  15. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Directions
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Brown beef on both sides.
  2. Meanwhile, place half of the carrots, turnips, rutabaga and onion in bottom of slow cooker crock.
  3. Place beef on top of vegetables in crock. Arrange remaining vegetables around beef.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix cranberry sauce, soup mix, cranberries, cornstarch, cinnamon, thyme, pepper, allspice and cloves. Pour over beef and vegetables.
  5. Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours or LOW for 7 to 8 hours.
Notes
  1. If you have a slow cooker with stove-top safe cookware, substitute the cookware for the skillet in the directions above. After browning beef, place cookware in slow cooker base, arrange veggies and beef, then continue with Step 4.
Crisp-tender potatoes loaded with garlicky parmesan goodness – and it’s the easiest side dish you will ever make right in the crockpot!

YIELD: 6 SERVINGS PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 4 HOURS TOTAL TIME: 4 HOURS, 10 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 pounds baby Dutch yellow potatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Lightly coat the inside of a slow cooker with nonstick spray. Place potatoes, olive oil, butter, garlic, oregano, basil and dill into the slow cooker; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours, or until tender.*
  3. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan and garnished with parsley, if desired.

SLOW COOKER PUMPKIN RED LENTIL CHILI

 

This Slow Cooker Pumpkin Red Lentil Chili is still one of our favorite chilis, so thick and hearty and it just tastes so goooood. So, I thought I’d take some fresh photos and share the recipe again.

INGREDIENTS:
• 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
• 2 cups water or vegetable broth
• 2 (15-ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
• 1 cup dry split red lentils
• 1 cup pumpkin puree
• 1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1/2 a medium onion)
• 1 medium jalapeno pepper, minced (taste pepper for heat and add another pepper if you like. If you prefer a milder chili, scrape out the seeds before mincing)
• 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
TOPPING OPTIONS:
• Diced tomatoes
• Diced onions
• Sour cream (or vegan sour cream)
• Shredded cheddar or gruyere (if not vegan)
• Toasted pumpkin seeds/pepitas
• Sliced scallions
• Green Tabasco
DIRECTIONS:
1. Add all ingredients to a 3-quart or larger Crock Pot. Stir.
2. Cook on high for 4 – 5 hours or on low for 8 – 10 hours, until lentils are tender, and chili is thick and hearty. Serve with assorted toppings, if desired.
NUTRITION INFORMATION
Yield: 6, Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
o Amount Per Serving:
o Calories: 285 Calories
o Total Fat: 2g
o Sodium: 671mg
o Carbohydrates: 50.6g
o Fiber: 18.6g
o Sugar: 7.5g
o Protein: 19.1g

    Slow Cooker Italian Turkey Meatballs


    Slow Cooker Italian Turkey Meatballs


    Want the secret to making the juiciest turkey meatballs ever? Add shredded zucchini. Since we’re all busy and want dinner on the table with as little prep time as possible, rather than frying or baking the meatballs first, this recipe from Skinnytaste plops them right into the sauce and lets them slow-cook together. For a complete meal, serve over whole-wheat pasta or zoodles. (A 6-quart slow cooker is recommended for this recipe.)

     

    Ingredients

    For the Meatballs

    1 medium zucchini (7 ounces), shredded
    1 1/4 pounds 93/7 lean ground turkey
    1/4 cup seasoned whole-wheat bread crumbs
    1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    1 large clove garlic, crushed
    1 large egg, beaten
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    Ground black pepper, to taste
    For the Sauce

    1 teaspoon olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, smashed slightly
    1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
    2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano
    1 bay leaf
    Black pepper, to taste
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
    Directions

    For the meatballs: Using paper towels, squeeze all the excess water from the zucchini. Put the zucchini in a large bowl, and add the turkey, bread crumbs, Romano, parsley, garlic, egg, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Gently form 24 meatballs (about 1 1/4 ounces each). Set aside.

    For the sauce: In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker and add the tomatoes, Romano, bay leaf and pepper to taste.

    Slowly drop the meatballs into the sauce so they are all in a single layer at the bottom of the slow cooker.

    Cover and cook on low for 4–5 hours, until meatballs are tender and cooked through. To serve, discard the bay leaf and garnish with basil.

    Nutrition Information

    Serves: 6 | Serving Size: 4 meatballs + 2/3 cup sauce

    Per serving: Calories: 235; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 104mg; Sodium: 471mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 22g

    Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 443mg; Iron: 12%; Vitamin A: 32%; Vitamin C: 50%; Calcium: 13%

    10 Holiday Slow-Cooker Recipes Under 400 Calories

    Holidays are a joyous time for family and friends to gather. That’s why we’ve rounded up 10 easy, healthy slow-cooker recipes so you can just set it and forget it. Less time in the kitchen, plus more time with your special ones? It’s a win-win scenario!

    SIDES & STARTERS

    1. SLOW COOKER ITALIAN TURKEY MEATBALLS | SKINNYTASTE

    Want the secret to making the juiciest turkey meatballs ever? Add shredded zucchini. Rather than frying or baking the meatballs first, this recipe cuts down on prep time by plopping the meatballs right into the sauce and lets them slow-cook together. Recipe makes 6 servings at 4 meatballs and 2/3 cup sauce each.

    Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 235; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 104mg; Sodium: 471mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 22g

    2. CROCK POT PUMPKIN RED LENTIL CHILI | KITCHEN TREATY

    Thick and hearty, this vegetarian chili radiates comforting vibes with every spice-infused bite. For the cherry on top, this hassle-free recipe requires only 10 minutes of prep! Cooking Tip: Use reduced-sodium ingredients whenever possible, so that you can control the amount of salt in your dish. Recipe makes 6 servings.

    Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 221; Total Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 304mg; Carbohydrate: 40g; Dietary Fiber: 12g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 13g

    Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Potatoes | Damn Delicious

    3. SLOW COOKER GARLIC PARMESAN POTATOES | DAMN DELICIOUS

    Crisp-tender potatoes are loaded with garlicky-Parmesan goodness for the easiest side dish made right in your slow cooker. Recipe makes 6 servings.

    Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 265; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 10mg; Sodium: 171mg; Carbohydrate: 43g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 6g

    MAIN DISHES


    4. SLOW COOKER HOLIDAY POT ROAST | EVERYDAY GOOD THINKING

    It’s easy to see why slow-cooker meats are popular weekday entreées — just dump ingredients into a pot and come back in a few hours. This holiday season, make a holiday roast that’s as easy as any weekday dinner, but with all the thoughtful touches that makes the season special. Recipe makes 8 servings.

    Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 396; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 100mg; Sodium: 302mg; Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 23g; Protein: 34g

    5. SLOW COOKER GARLIC CHICKEN | COOKING LIGHT

    This pan-fried garlic chicken is slow-cooked to perfection in wine, cognac and thyme. Don’t let those creamy cloves of garlic go to waste — spread them on chunks of crusty baguette or mix into brown rice and soak up the fabulous sauce as you enjoy every morsel of this super-tender chicken. Recipe makes 5 servings at 4 ounces chicken, 3 tablespoons sauce and 8 garlic cloves each.

    Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 265; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 80mg; Sodium: 264mg; Carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 30g

    6. CROCK POT QUINOA PILAF | COTTER CRUNCH

    Loaded with golden beets, broccoli and cranberries, this colorful, slow-cooked quinoa bowl makes for a flavorful vegetarian and gluten-free main. This wholesome, earthy pilaf uses the best veggies of the season, then tops them with feta and sunflower seeds. Recipe makes 8 servings.

    Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 236; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 15mg; Sodium: 292mg; Carbohydrate: 32g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 9g

    DESSERTS


    7. CLEAN EATING SLOW COOKER BROWNIES | THE GRACIOUS PANTRY

    If you didn’t think desserts could be made in a slow cooker, check out this recipe. Chocolaty brownies take a clean-eating turn with simple pantry staples and fruit, a perfect respite from the sugar overload of the season! Recipe makes 32 servings.

    Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 95; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 25mg; Carbohydrate: 17g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 10g; Protein: 3g

    Slow Cooker Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake | Amy’s Healthy Baking

    8. SLOW COOKER PUMPKIN STREUSEL COFFEE CAKE | AMY’S HEALTHY BAKING

    A moist, tender pumpkin coffee cake with a thick cinnamon oat streusel topping? And made without refined flour or sugar? Yes, please! Serve this comfort food with tea at your next holiday gathering — you won’t have any leftovers. Recipe makes 12 servings.

    Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 171; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 8mg; Sodium: 169mg; Carbohydrate: 31g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 4g

    DRINKS


    9. CREAMY CROCKPOT HOT CHOCOLATE | PRACTICAL STEWARDSHIP

    Creamy, rich hot chocolate is a must during cold weather. Skip the packaged hot cocoa packs for this easy-peasy slow-cooked holiday drink that’s made with less fat, sugar and additives. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, top your hot cocoa with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 cup each.

    Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 124; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 41mg; Carbohydrate: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 16g; Protein: 1g

    10. SLOW COOKER PUMPKIN LATTE | FAMILY FRESH MEALS

    Forgo the classic PSL at Starbucks, and save yourself 14 grams of sugar with this recipe. A warm cup of homemade spiced pumpkin latte certainly hits the spot during the holidays! If you’re on a strict sugar limit, reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe by one-third (it doesn’t ruin the taste). Recipe makes 10 servings at 1 cup each.

    Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 119; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 24mg; Sodium: 48mg; Carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugar: 12g; Protein: 4g


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