They say you become like the five people you hang out with the most. It’s so unbelievably important to surround yourself with people who lift you up and route for your success as much as their own. For those of you who don’t know, March is […]
This one is a serious must try. It’s so good it doesn’t feel healthy!
I am always looking for tasty, healthy alternatives to my favorite foods that will satisfy my cravings and won’t break the bank. This recipe may be one of my all time favorites, and it’s loaded with vitamins and “good” fats which means it won’t leave you feeling hungry and looking for more at the end. The best part is that they are super easy to make and the ingredients are inexpensive, especially if you have a fresh produce market near you where you can find great deals!
First, let me start by professing my obsession with sweet potatoes. It took me a while to become acquired to their taste, but after I saw their unbelievable health benefits I knew I had to. If you don’t believe me, check them out on the “World’s Healthiest Foods” list. For starters, one sweet potato contains over 400% of your daily vitamin A. The health benefits are numerous and you can read about them else where if you feel so inclined, so I won’t go into it in depth here. Just know they are a great source of antioxidants, they have anti-inflammatory benefits, and they improve blood-sugar among many other things.
The secret to delicious, crispy sweet potato fries is simple.
Soak them in cold water and then coat them in cornstarch. This is an easily missed step that often gets skipped when people are in a hurry. But if you have the time and the patience I highly suggest following all of these steps to leave you feeling fully satisfied.
If you’re like me you need something to dip them in. Make sure you’re not undoing all the effort you’re putting into being healthy with your dip though! When I don’t feel like making anything I’ll use organic, low-sugar ketchup. When I am up to making my own dipping sauce I try to avoid anything that calls for mayo (although there are some healthier forms of it), and gravitate more toward dips with Greek yogurt as an alternative. The dip I used this weekend that is featured in the picture is a Garlic Avocado Aioli, and it’s super simple!
The Perfect Sweet Potato Fries Recipe
- Preheat your oven to 425F. Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- After you wash them, peel and cut your fries into the same size pieces to ensure they all have the same cooking time. I personally like mine thinner, for added crunch but I’ll leave this up to personal preference. Just make sure you keep an eye on them while they’re cooking, especially if you slice them thinner than ¼”.
- Soak them in ice cold water. This added step is the secret to success with sweet potato fries. It draws out the starch in the potato and allows them to cook all the way through. Soak them for at least 1 hour (I occasionally soak them overnight when I’m feeling really proactive).
- Towel dry the sweet potato fries off
- Put potatoes into a large plastic bag and add cornstarch. Make sure the bag is still full of air (you may have to blow some air back into the bag), then seal and shake it. There should be a thin layer of cornstarch coating all of your fries. I don’t always use the full amount of cornstarch – add it little by little so you can judge the necessary amount. You don’t want your fries to be white, just a nice light coating.
- Add your oil into the same bag and shake. Just like the cornstarch, I add the oil gradually. You want your fries to be evenly coated in oil, but not soaked.
- Pour fries out onto your pre-oiled baking sheet and spread them out so none of them are laying on top of each other or touching.
- Add black pepper
- Place them in the pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes, then take them out and flip them to ensure that they are cooking evenly. After another 15 minutes you may want to take them out again every five minutes and continue to rotate them. Total cooking time varies depending on the potatoes and the oven, so be patient!
- Add garlic, salt, parmesan cheese, parsley, and any other yummy ingredients you can think of!
- Don’t put too many in at once. If you load them all onto one tray they will create steam as they cook and provide you with a mushier fry.
- Don’t salt until after they cook. For the same reason – as salt cooks it draws out the moisture of the potato and will create steam in the oven and make your fries mushier, too.
Garlic Avocado Aioli
- 1 Avocado
- 2 Tablespoons of Plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 Clove of Crushed Garlic
- ½ a lime squeezed
Directions – Combine all of the ingredients into your NutriBullet or blender and blend for about 20 seconds. Salt to taste.
I love trying out new products, especially when they come highly recommended. This month I branched out and tried a handful of new products that I ended up loving, and I think you will too! My February favorite beauty products include a little bit of everything. […]
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I love taking day trips to explore new places not far from my house. Road trips are also a great way to save on airfare costs and allow you stop at new places along the way. There is something about road trips that screams fun and freedom to me. However, sitting in a car for hours and munching on snacks can leave you feeling sluggish. Also, the costs can quickly add up if you haven’t thought it out properly.
Going on a road trip doesn’t have to mean fast food and take out all the way. Whether you’re taking a day trip or road tripping up and down the coast, here are some healthy road trip snack options for you and your travel companions. They will keep you full, satisfied, and energized without breaking the bank.
- Carrots and Hummus – Look for the individually packaged snack hummus options
- Fresh Fruit – Go to your local farmers market and pick up fresh seasonal fruit, those will be the cheapest and tastiest!
- No bake “energy bites” – there are tons of different recipes on the Internet, but here is a list of 25 to get you started!
- Pre-made smoothies
- Trail Mix – I like to make it myself so I can control how much sugar/protein is added!
- String Cheese
- Crispy Chickpeas – you can buy these at Wegmans and Trader Joe’s, or you can make them homemade with this recipe! These are great if you want something to munch on but don’t want all of the extra calories.
- Cheesy Kale Chips – I love kale chips and I love cheese, this recipe satisfies my cravings without ruining my day.
- Popcorn – Make a big thing of non-GMO popcorn and divide it into easy to grab bags. This is also great for portion control.
- Pre-Peeled Hard Boiled Eggs – be careful not to smush them!
- Nut Butter Packages – Come individually packaged and are a great source of protein.
- Fig Bars
- Fruit Snacks
- Mini Whole Grain Muffins – try to make them at home so you can control what goes into them
- Whole Grain Dry Cereal
- Drinks – Don’t forget to load up on drinks. Water, coconut water, flavored sparkling water, and almond milk are all great options
These are some of my favorite healthy road trip snacks, but there are hundreds of options on the Internet You may also feel inspired just walking through your Trader Joe’s. Be creative and have fun planning your road trip! If you plan on eating in your car often make sure to keep hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes handy as well.
First, I’ll start with our lunch…
I can’t describe to you how amazing the view I had while I was eating lunch today. If you find yourself in Tivoli I highly recommend eating at Il Ciocco – beware though, from the outside it is easy to miss. Hundreds of feet below us there was a waterfall, which we could hear that throughout the meal adding to the experience. We ate like Italians (of course) and we left barely able to walk to our next destination.
When we finally arrived at Villa d’Esta I could not believe my eyes. I have never seen a garden so beautiful and well thought out in my entire life. Every water fountain and statue had a meaning dating back to Renaissance Italy. The main attraction was the largest fountain, which also had an organ within it and once the water pressure built up enough it pushed the air through it and played by itself – it was amazing. We walked around for two hours and could have for two more. If you love nature, history, and beauty you cannot pass up on the opportunity to visit Villa d’Esta.
Today is National Strawberry Day, so I decided to write a strawberry appreciation post followed by a few of my favorite detox water recipes! Strawberries are extremely high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals – specifically folate, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, magnesium, and vitamin C. This […]