Delicious Fresh Pumpkin Bread

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Fresh Pumpkin Bread | The Organic Beauty

Ok yes. I may have gone a little bit gourd-crazy.  I had like 5 of those festive puppies sitting around in my kitchen, and decided that Sunday night was the perfect time to put them all to good use!  I roasted up a sugar pumpkin (used in this recipe), a delicata squash, an acorn squash, and another squash of unknown origin (thanks CSA!) for a whole week’s worth of yummy soup and healthy lunches.

But this bread takes the cake (so to speak!).  Made with fresh organic pumpkin (none of that canned crap!), it makes for a delicious breakfast and has the consistency of a perfect pumpkin pie.  Plus it’s gluten-free and has no white sugar!

To make the pumpkin puree:

Cut a sugar pumpkin in half, remove the seeds (wash and save them for roasting!), and roast at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Let cool, then puree in food processor until smooth (it should have the consistency of apple sauce).  If puree is a little dry, add water to reach desired consistency.

Gluten-Free Fresh Pumpkin Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients:

1.5 cups fresh pumpkin puree
2 cups coconut flour
1.5 cups gluten-free flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup coconut palm sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup almond milk (or more, to reach batter-like consistency)
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
1 cup chopped raw walnuts
1/2 cup organic raisins or dried cranberries (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together flours, palm sugar, baking soda, salt and spices.  Add eggs, water, almond milk, oil, and pumpkin.  Stir until smooth. Add walnuts and raisins (if using). Pour into two oiled loaf pans. (I actually had a little extra, which I poured into a muffin tin.)  Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

Flourless Blueberry Coconut Pancakes

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

These amazing gluten-free, flourless pancakes are moist, absolutely delicious, and loaded with healthy fats and antioxidants.  An Organic Beauty weekend favorite!

Flourless Blueberry Coconut Pancakes

Flourless Blueberry Coconut Pancakes

Serves 3

3 large ripe bananas
5 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup shredded dried coconut, plus more for garnish
1 cup fresh blueberries, plus more for garnish
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons coconut oil
Pure maple syrup or agave (optional)

In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Whisk in the eggs and coconut until combined. If needed, you can add a little more coconut to achieve desired pancake batter consistency.  Stir in the blueberries and cinnamon. Heat coconut oil in a large nonstick pan, over medium heat, until melted. Working in batches, pour ¼ cup portions of the batter onto the skillet (you should be able to cook 4 pancakes at a time). Cook the pancakes until the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Gently flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown on the second side, about 1 minute longer. Transfer the pancakes to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter. Stack the pancakes and garnish with additional coconut and blueberries. Garnish with maple syrup or agave, if using, and serve immediately.

The Skinny on Superfoods

By Callie McBride

navitas

Gone are the days of avocado madness; chia seeds have had their time. Though we aren’t saying goodbye to these wonderful nutrient powerhouses, there’s some new kids in town: superfood powders. The latest craze to hit health food stores and foodies’ cabinets, these natural powders, often sourced from the rain forests of tropical islands, offer insane amounts of nutrition and flavor in each scoop. With so many to choose from, your morning smoothie will get a fabulous makeover and your nutrient checklist will trump all others.

Flax Powder:

Sprouted flax seeds. That’s it. This powder will load you up with omega 3 fatty acids and fiber, and it’s incredibly easy to digest, so your body will feel its benefits quickly. Flax seeds hail from Canada, where they were cultivated for their awesome fiber content. Throw a scoop into a banana, almond milk, and spinach smoothie or mix into your morning oatmeal for optimal taste and benefits. You can also purchase flax in the form of ground seeds and oil.

Lucuma Powder:

Lucuma is actually a fruit, originating in Peru, which is milled into a fine powder and used as a type of low-glycemic sweetener. It contains iron, zinc, calcium, and protein, and has a maple flavor to it. It’s definitely smoothie-friendly, but mixing into a raw ice-cream or coconut yogurt sounds equally as heavenly.

Goji Berries:

Either in powder form or as dried berries, the amazing goji contains tons of antioxidants, as well as over 20 vitamins and minerals. These berries hail from the Ningxia Province in China where they are grown, harvested, and dehydrated to maintain maximum nutrient content. They’ve been consumed by Asians for decades, and the Western world is just catching up. Eat ’em by the handful or toss some in trail mix for  a chewy texture and sweet flavor.

Maca Powder:

This one’s my favorite: its known to increase stamina, boost libido, and combat fatigue. I’ll take 20. The maca root, found in Peruvian Andes, is gently dried and milled to a fine powder, and contains amino acids, fiber, and phytonutrients. Listen to this: the maca root is one of the only plant foods able to survive a such a high altitude as the Andes mountains. How cool? It energizes naturally and, according to the ancient Incans, helps relieve stress. This powder is packed with body and mind benefits.

Acai Powder:

The Acai (ah-sigh-ee) berry grows in the Amazon Rain Forest and is known for its high antioxidant content, as well as its vitamins, minerals, and dark fruity flavor. You can also find frozen, slushie-like acai packets in health food stores to whip up in smoothies…I’ve been known to snack on dark chocolate-covered acai berries, as well. Yum.

Maqui Powder:

These berries are sourced in the mountains of southern Chile, and similar to Lucuma, offer a sweet taste that’s perfect for dessert. They boast of anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects, and contain loads of calcium, vitamin C, iron, and potassium. Get this: Mapuche Indians, the longest living culture in the world, credits the maqui berry as a staple food, as well as an addition to their rituals and ceremonies. They believe that the superfood symbolizes goodwill (not to mention a good body!).

These are just a handful of the fabulous superfoods currently on the market; coconut palm sugar, camu powder, mesquite powder, and dried mulberries are some more to check out for their heavy nutrient doses. If anything, these unique names will impress your next house guest and get a conversation started, either on geography or your health food obsession.

All information comes from the Navita Naturals website, where you can learn more about and purchase all of the above mentioned superfoods. Many other brands produce and sell the powders, as well. Our Organic Beauty store has a handful in stock, too! Go get your superfood on.

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Pure Fiji Coconut Haircare Giveaway!

 

We’ve been touting all the benefits of coconut oil on The Organic Beauty of late, and we want to share with you all of the amazing benefits of this magical beauty and health ingredient you might already have in your cupboard!  If you aren’t using coconut oil in your cooking and beauty regimen yet, you need to be!  Check out Go Nuts for Coconut Oil (6 Amazing Benefits and 10 Beauty Tricks), and our Amazing Benefits of Coconut Oil infographic to learn why this is your secret to shining, healthy hair, moist, radiant and clear skin, and healthy gut and even a trimmer waist line!  You can also read about all the favorite coconut oil beauty tips of various health and beauty experts, including yours truly, over on AllParenting.

So in honor of all this coconut obsessing, we’re giving away a duo of Pure Fiji Coconut Milk and Creme Shampoo and Conditioner! (Retail $50)

We fell in love with the Pure Fiji line of products on our honeymoon (in Fiji!), and absolutely loved the moisturizing natural ingredients and delicious scent. This ultra nourishing shampoo and conditioner feature exotic blends of coconut crème, cold-pressed oil, island drift-nut extracts, and sugar cane derived cleansers, and is fortified with soy and wheat proteins, which helps repair damage and improves resilience – restoring bounce and shine for healthy looking hair.  And of course, this line is sulphate-free!

To Enter:

Step 1:  Share us with your friends!  Tweet or post to Facebook your favorite Organic Beauty article and share the love!

Step 2: Post in the comments below and let us know which article you shared, and where!

Bonus Entry: If you haven’t already, sign up for our newsletter!  Don’t worry, we’ll never bombard you with emails.  We just send out a couple emails a month of super awesome natural health and beauty content, and of course, super sweet giveaways and events!

We’ll announce the winner on Friday, June 7th! So make sure to enter before 6pm EST that day ; )