LiveBest https://www.livebest.info/ You Must Be Present to Win Tue, 13 Sep 2022 16:08:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 Whole Grain Cornbread + How Bees Make Honey https://www.livebest.info/honey-cornbread/ https://www.livebest.info/honey-cornbread/#comments Tue, 13 Sep 2022 14:17:00 +0000 http://livebest.moonpuptesting.com/?p=3332 Whole-grains and yogurt make Honey Cornbread a nourishing spin on a traditional cornbread recipe! Plus a peek inside a beehive to see how honey is made. Have you heard about slow food? It’s a movement to protect food cultures and traditions. I support the concept, but I’m pushing the envelope. This Honey Cornbread recipe is not slow food, it’s actually a quick bread, but the honey part? Slow Food. How I met a life goal One of ...

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Whole-grains and yogurt make Honey Cornbread a nourishing spin on a traditional cornbread recipe! Plus a peek inside a beehive to see how honey is made.

Have you heard about slow food?

It’s a movement to protect food cultures and traditions.

I support the concept, but I’m pushing the envelope.

This Honey Cornbread recipe is not slow food, it’s actually a quick bread, but the honey part? Slow Food.

How I met a life goal

One of my goals has been to produce some of the food I eat. I’m not that good of a farmer, so I turned the food production over to one queen and her 30,000 bees. Or 50,000. They’re really hard to count. 😉 Especially since the life cycle is about six weeks. Anyway, after a year of bee tending, we finally harvested 2 pints of honey.

Now that is slow food.

But so worth the wait!

bee with pollen on legs

Look closely at the bee’s legs. That’s pollen.

How bees pollinate

The phrase Busy Bee is spot on. Bees are pollinators. They move pollen between trees and flowers, a necessary step in producing fruits, nuts, and other crops (notice the yellow pollen from this Meyer lemon on the bee above). One third of global food production volume relies on pollinators.

Pollen is used to feed baby bees. Bees gather nectar from flowers and plants and store it in their ‘crop’ to carry it back to the hive. A beehive may collectively travel as much as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make a pound of honey. At home in the hive, bees contribute some of their own enzymes to the nectar, deposit it in honeycomb and then flap their wings to reduce the moisture content. Then it is honey.

Inside a beehive: Meet my bees

The bees are working their way through the honeycomb. See the white band at the top in the photo below? This is capped honey. The bees have completed filling the honeycomb cells and topped it or capped it with beeswax.

The honeycomb below the capped honey is nectar. The bees are depositing nectar and will soon cover it, or cap it. 

honeycomb and bees

 Bees fill the honeycomb then seal it with wax.

bees-on-honeycomb

The photo shows the frame heavy with capped honey. Heavy indeed. The frame weighs between 2-3 pounds. A gallon of honey weighs 11 pounds, 12 ounces.

Below is honey after it’s been extracted from the honey comb by a centrifuge. It is filtered to remove beeswax and other debris.

filtering extracted honey into a bucket

Honey filled frames are spun in a centrifuge. The honey is filtered to remove wax.

Harvesting honey is a sensual experience. This honey is pale gold with a silky texture and smells earthy and sweet. I think it is absolutely beautiful!

The first year of beekeeping resulted in two pints of honey. It takes time for the hive to establish itself. The end of the second summer of beekeeping the honey harvest yielded about 150 pounds.

Color & flavor of honey

The color and flavor of honey depends on the bees’ nectar source. My bees produce a pale gold wildflower honey. In general, lighter colored honey is milder in flavor while darker honeys tend to have a more robust flavor.

How to store honey

The good news is that honey keeps for a very long time. Ideally, store honey at room temperature (cold temperatures encourage crystallization). Over time most honey crystallizes as the sugar molecules align. These crystals do not mean the honey is old, inferior or spoiled.

How to soften honey

When honey crystallizes, just heat it gently in warm water. Bring a pan of water to boiling. Remove from heat. Set the honey container (without a lid or cap) in the warm water, stir occasionally and allow crystals to melt. You many need to repeat this process. Microwaving is not ideal because of uneven heating, plus honey heats quickly and can boil over.

Cooking with honey

Cooking with honey can add flavor nuances it also impacts recipe characteristics. Because it’s liquid, recipes may require more flour, reduction of other liquids, and a lower temperature. The National Honey Board has honey recipes and info. I also use Taste of Honey, a recipe book.

Tablespoon for tablespoon honey is sweeter than sugar and has a few more calories than white or brown sugar. I like to spend those calories drizzled over warm cornbread. I also like Apple Pumpkin Butter on Honey Cornbread.

 slice of cornbread with honey drizzled over top

Homemade whole-grain honey cornbread recipe

Whole-grains, yogurt, and honey make Honey Cornbread taste so good! I used 2 different grinds of cornmeal for added texture, but you can use what you have on hand. The medium-grind is more coarse than enriched cornmeal. Bob’s Red Mill Medium-Grind Cornmeal is what I use. I love the bit of crunch it adds.

How to make skillet cornbread

Cornbread is the all-American quick bread. Baking powder and baking soda cause it to rise quickly in the oven, so make sure the oven is heating before you start mixing the batter. You want the oven hot when you fill the pan so when your cornbread batter is ready the oven is at 400℉.

  1. Mix the egg, yogurt, oil and honey together, then pour all at once in the dry ingredients. I use a Pyrex measuring cup so I can measure and stir as I go. Easier cleanup!
  2. Stir the dry ingredients – flours, corn meal, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl.
  3. I bake cornbread in hot cast-iron skillet to get a brown crust. I heat the pan while the oven is heating so I can pour the batter in a hot pan – that gives a crisp crust. If you don’t have cast-iron, you can bake it in a glass or metal pan.

Cook’s note: Overmixing the batter makes the cornbread tough. To keep cornbread tender, mix it just until the flour is moist. You may have some dry spots in the batter. If you over mix cornbread, you’ll see holes (tunnels) in the baked bread.

Leftover cornbread? Check out this Cranberry Orange Cornbread Trifle!  Might find you want 2 pans of cornbread just to make the trifle!!

The ingredients

  • 2/3 cup medium-grind cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup enriched corn meal
  • 2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter

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Whole-grain Honey Cornbread in cast-iron skillet

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Honey Cornbread

Whole-grains, yogurt and honey make Honey Cornbread taste so good! I used 2 kinds cornmeal for added texture, but you can use what you have on hand. The medium-grind is more coarse than enriched cornmeal.

  • Author: Judy Barbe
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 10
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup medium-grind cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup enriched corn meal
  • 2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400˚F.
  2. Place 10-inch cast iron skillet in oven.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, stir egg, milk, yogurt, oil and honey together until thoroughly combined.
  5. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Stir just enough to combine. There may be visible flour lumps. Over mixing the batter will toughen the cornbread and cause tunnels to form in the bread as it bakes.
  6. Add butter to hot cast-iron skillet. Heat butter until brown and bubbly.
  7. Pour batter into hot skillet and return to middle rack in the oven. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven.
  8. Note: If not using a cast iron skillet, use a 9-inch baking pan. Lightly grease pan with cooking spray or melted butter.

Notes

I used 2 kinds cornmeal for added texture, but you can use what you have on hand. The medium-grind is more coarse than enriched cornmeal. Bob’s Red Mill Medium-Grind Cornmeal is what I use. I love the texture it adds.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 220

Keywords: wholegrain cornbread, how do bees make honey, how to make cornbread

Whole-grain Honey Cornbread recipe | Simple, real food make this wholesome healthy cornbread. Drizzle with honey today. Toast and top with yogurt and berries tomorrow. www.LiveBest.info

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Crab Gazpacho, Cold Spanish Soup https://www.livebest.info/crab-gazpacho-cold-spanish-soup/ https://www.livebest.info/crab-gazpacho-cold-spanish-soup/#respond Wed, 03 Aug 2022 22:16:42 +0000 https://www.livebest.info/?p=21721 An easy gazpacho recipe, this cold Spanish soup goes gourmet with canned crab spooned over top. Gazpacho is a soup for summer. A traditional recipe from southern Spain where the nights are hot and the days are hotter. This is the recipe you want when you don’t want to turn on a stove or oven. Gazpacho is a raw vegetable blended soup made from tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, onion, olive oil, vinegar, and bread crumbs. ...

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An easy gazpacho recipe, this cold Spanish soup goes gourmet with canned crab spooned over top.

Gazpacho is a soup for summer. A traditional recipe from southern Spain where the nights are hot and the days are hotter. This is the recipe you want when you don’t want to turn on a stove or oven.

Gazpacho is a raw vegetable blended soup made from tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, onion, olive oil, vinegar, and bread crumbs. But you can also add zucchini, yellow squash, celery, fennel, and fresh herbs.

Cook’s note: This version doesn’t include bread crumbs, though you could add them if you choose. 1/2 cup or a couple slices of bread.

Gourmet Gazpacho recipe

To take the gazpacho up a notch, spoon chilled crab or shrimp over the top before serving to make it extra special and more filling. I use canned lump crab.

bowl of gazpacho soup with chopped vegetables and crab meat spooned over top

Gazpacho is easy with the blender and canned tomatoes

No heat required with this easy recipe. Pull out your blender to make this quick soup.

I’ve also made it more convenient by using canned tomatoes and canned crab. This is typically made with the ripest summery tomatoes, but that season is so short, I use canned tomatoes.

I love the convenience of canned tomatoes because they are picked at their peak and deliver consistent flavor. No need to wait until tomato season! Plus tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a plant compound that helps reduce inflammation. Cooking tomatoes makes the lycopene better absorbed, and those canned tomatoes were cooked as they were canned.

Canned crab is a more economical option over fresh crab. It’s so easy to use because it’s cleaned and ready to eat.

Cook’s Note: Pop your bowls in the fridge so you can serve the cold soup in cold bowls. It’s a nice touch!

Gazpacho is usually served cold which makes it perfect for summer meals. To save time, chill the ingredients before blending so you can serve it cold. Also put your servings bowls in the fridge so you can serve the cold soup in chilled bowls. It’s a nice touch plus helps keep the gazpacho cold longer. However, gazpacho can be served at room temperature if you prefer.

blender filled with onion, peppers, cucumber and zucchini
coarsely chop vegetables
blender filled with onion, peppers, cucumber and zucchini, canned tomatoes and tomato juice
pour in liquid
blender filled with pureed vegetables for gazpacho
blend for chunky or smooth

The Ingredients

crab gazpacho ingredients fresh vegetables cucumber, zucchini, red onion and red pepper plus canned tomatoes, tomato juice and canned crab

filled with vegetables that nourish and hydrate!

  • Vegetables: cucumber, onion, bell peppers, zucchini, canned tomatoes
  • Seasonings: garlic, olive oil, fresh parsley or oregano, vinegar, cumin
  • Liquid: Tomato juice or V8. Choose low-sodium if you’d like.
  • Topping: canned lump crab meat
  • Optional additions: jalapeno, yellow squash, fennel, radishes, cabbage

Is gazpacho healthy?

Yep. Vegetables are the star in gazpacho. They deliver beneficial fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They also contain water so are helpful in keeping us hydrated. Many vegetables are rich in potassium which helps with blood pressure. Yet most Americans fall short on eating enough vegetables. This soup is a delicious way to get more on the plate, er, bowl. 🥣

bowl of gazpacho with lamb crab, diced vegetables and parsley sprinkled over top

Gazpacho recipe without bread

Traditionally, bread crumbs or cubes are added to thicken the soup. I’ve made it without bread so it’s gluten-free.

What to serve with gazpacho?

A refreshing meal on a hot summer evening. I cut up focaccia bread to serve along side. Garlic bread or olive tapenade with toasted bread slices are also be good. Refreshing, flavorful, and satisfying, it’s an easy menu and one to repeat!

Is gazpacho better the next day?

I think so. Store it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to let the flavors develop. Another good thing about gazpacho is that it’s a make ahead recipe. It can be made a day or two ahead before you plan to serve it. Or dip into it throughout the week for quick lunches.

How to store

Gazpacho will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Keep it covered to keep the moisture and strong aromas in the pot.

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Crab Gazpacho

This cold Spanish soup is a refreshing, quick meal solution.

  • Author: Judy Barbe
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 cups
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Ingredients

  • 1 English cucumber or 2 regular
  • 1 garlic clove, optional
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 bell pepper, green, red or orange
  • 1 small zucchini
  • ½ cup parsley or fresh oregano
  • 34 cups tomato juice or V8 (choose low-sodium if you’re watching sodium)
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry, apple cider, or red vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin or Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 6-ounce can lump crab meat, drained

Optional additions:

  • Jalapeno
  • Yellow squash
  • Fennel
  • Radishes

Instructions

Chop vegetables into large chunks. Save a couple pieces to finely chop to use as garnish.
Blend. Add vegetables to blender. Pour in tomato juice, tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, and cumin (or Old Bay), and optional ingredients if using. Add enough juice to cover half the vegetables. Cover blender and blend until desired consistency. Some like it smooth, some like it chunky. You may add more tomato juice if you want a thinner soup.
Spoon into bowl, top with 2-3 tablespoons of crab meat and reserved chopped peppers, cucumber, and herbs.
Taste to adjust seasonings…more vinegar? Salt? Old Bay?

 

Notes

1 can of crab is good for four servings.

Keywords: cold soup, cold Spanish soup, vegetarian soup, gazpacho with canned tomatoes

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Fresh Cherry Goat Cheese Salad https://www.livebest.info/cherry-herb-cheese-salad/ https://www.livebest.info/cherry-herb-cheese-salad/#comments Sun, 17 Jul 2022 01:47:00 +0000 http://livebest.moonpuptesting.com/?p=5830 Cherry Herb Cheese Salad is summery goodness with fresh cherries, whole grains and fresh herbs with creamy goat cheese. Every bite is scrumptious and fresh in this easy salad!   Cherry salad with fresh herbs and goat cheese This refreshing summer salad with creamy herb goat cheese and cooked whole-grain spelt looks like a million bucks, but comes together easily. And the salty cheese and sweet cherries made a delicious combo. 😉 Blend herbs, yogurt ...

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Cherry Herb Cheese Salad is summery goodness with fresh cherries, whole grains and fresh herbs with creamy goat cheese. Every bite is scrumptious and fresh in this easy salad!

 

Cherry salad with fresh herbs and goat cheese

This refreshing summer salad with creamy herb goat cheese and cooked whole-grain spelt looks like a million bucks, but comes together easily. And the salty cheese and sweet cherries made a delicious combo. 😉

  1. Blend herbs, yogurt and lemon with goat cheese to form a log.
  2. Cook spelt to add chewy texture plus fiber. Feel free to substitute a grain you may have on hand, such as wheat berries, farro or quinoa. Cooked grains can be frozen in an air-tight container, making them versatile for quick add ins such as this salad.
  3. Toss spelt with lettuce and cherries, then layer on goat cheese slices and drizzle with vinaigrette.

bowl of salad with cherries, spelt and goat cheese

The ingredients

Herb cheese log

  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, tarragon or chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salad

  • 5 cups lettuce
  • 1 cup fresh sweet cherries, halved and pitted
  • 1/3 cup cooked spelt or other grain such as quinoa, farro, freekeh, sorghum, barley or brown rice
  • 1/4-inch slice goat cheese log
  • vinaigrette, make your own or buy bottled

When is cherry season?

A summer favorite, this is their season and they are at their best through August. Cherries season in the U.S. is June through August.

Use them to make Cherry Herb Cheese Salad | Summery goodness with fresh cherries and herbs and creamy goat cheese. Every bite is scrumptious! www.LiveBest.info

The clock starts ticking once a cherry is picked. Cherry harvesters are ready to go at dawn when it’s cool because cherry picking ends when the temperature hits 82 degrees F. The fruit is between 60 and 70 degrees when picked and is water cooled within hours of picking to lower the temperature to near forty degrees.

How cherries are grown

I recently learned the ins and outs of cherry farming as a guest of Chelan Fresh, a marketing arm of area growers. I met farmers and toured orchards and processing plants in central Washington. I discovered how temperamental cherries can be.

Rain, wind, hail, birds and insects wreak havoc on an orchard. Rain from thunderstorms can be absorbed by the fruit, causing the skin to split. Standing in the field after a storm you can hear the pop as the skin breaks. Broken skin ruins the fruit so it can’t be sold — which means no paycheck. To avoid that helicopters are used to drive away rainwater. After a storm they hover over the orchard, drying the fragile fruit.

Cherries bruise easily so the fruit is handpicked with the stem attached. The stem protects the fruit from absorbing water during processing. The farmers say the health of the cherry is based on the stem.

How to buy cherries

A green flexible stem indicates freshness. Look for firm, shiny fruit that is free from dents and pits. Cherries like it cool and dry so refrigerate as quickly as you can. Store them in the crisper drawer in a perforated plastic bag so the naturally occurring ripening gases can escape. Rinse cherries before eating but eat them within a few days for best quality and flavor.

Cherries can be frozen. Place cherries on a baking sheet. Freeze, then transfer to an airtight container. Frozen cherries will be softer when thawed so use in sauces, jams or cooked dishes. When thawed the pits should pop out with a gentle squeeze.

3 fresh cherries

Health benefits of cherries are sweet

Cherries’ dark red color means they are rich in plant compounds that reduce inflammation and pain and improve blood cholesterol and heart health. Yellow Rainier cherries are sweet and delish, but have just one-fourth the antioxidant value of the reds.

Tart cherry juice has been widely studied. Research indicates tart cherry juice speeds muscle recovery after exercise. Runners who drank a glass of juice before a race and one cup after reported significantly less pain. They also reported better sleep. That’s because cherries contain melatonin, which can aid in falling asleep faster.

Sweet cherries are usually eaten fresh but they can be cooked. Sour, or “pie” cherries are not as readily available. Sours are generally too tart to eat raw so are used to in jams, pies, cobblers and other desserts.

If you’re like me, your favorite way to eat cherries is one at a time. Twenty one cherries is considered a serving. Too many can have a laxative effect, but they can also help relieve constipation.

More whole-grain recipes for you:

High Five Fiber Challenge

Many LiveBest recipes include fiber-rich foods. Most of us don’t eat enough of ’em. Are you ready for your own fiber challenge? I created a free, 5-day challenge you can join by clicking this link. You’ll get tips and tools, resources and recipes to create your own roadmap to meet your fiber goals. Don’t ya? Won’t ya? Seriously, it’s only 5 days 😉 Find it right here.

P.S. Hungry for more healthy eating tips and recipes? Sign up for my newsletter right here.

Pin it for later! 

bowl of whole-grains and fresh cherry salad  with fresh herbs and goat cheese discs.

Print

Cherry Herb Cheese Salad

Cherry Herb Cheese Salad is summery goodness with fresh cherries and herbs and creamy goat cheese. Every bite is scrumptious and fresh in this easy to make salad!

  • Author: Judy Barbe
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 7 cups
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Herb cheese log

  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, tarragon or chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salad

  • 5 cups lettuce
  • 1 cup fresh sweet cherries, halved and pitted
  • 1/3 cup cooked spelt or other grain such as quinoa, freekeh, sorghum, barley or brown rice
  • 1/4-inch slice goat cheese log
  • Vinaigrette

Instructions

  • Herb Cheese Log: In a medium bowl stir together goat cheese, yogurt, herbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper. To make a cheese log, spoon mixture onto a 8-10-inch piece of saran wrap. Make a tube of the saran wrap: fold the edge of saran wrap closest to you over the cheese. Fold end farthest away from you toward you. Leave the ends open. Gently roll the cheese mixture back and forth over the counter to create a log (similar to making a rope with Play Doh). The cheese is soft but the goal is to make a log that is as similar in thickness as you can. Fold ends under. Place in refrigerator for 30-45 minutes to harden.
  • Salad: Combine lettuce, spelt, cherries and goat cheese rounds. Drizzle with you favorite vinaigrette.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 100

Keywords: salad with fruit and cheese

Or slice them on toast with plain yogurt or ricotta, chopped almonds and honey.

Cherries, yogurt, almonds and honey. Summer yum! www.LiveBest.info

From farm to fork, cherries are healthy and delicious. An easy recipe with fresh cherries, spelt, goat cheese and fresh herbs. www.LiveBest.info
Cherry Herb Cheese Salad | Summery goodness with fresh cherries and herbs, whole grain spelt and creamy goat cheese. Every bite is scrumptious! www.LiveBest.info
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Healthy Zucchini Basil Bread https://www.livebest.info/how-to-make-healthier-zucchini-bread/ https://www.livebest.info/how-to-make-healthier-zucchini-bread/#comments Sat, 02 Jul 2022 16:58:00 +0000 https://livebest.info/?p=12558 Healthy Zucchini Bread with olive oil, yogurt, whole grains, protein, and fiber with less sugar and fat. Plus basil adds a flavorful twist. Does your counter look like mine? Piled with summer vegetables? I love ’em. But it’s hard to keep up! Especially zucchini. All. That. Zucchini. I’ve stuffed zucchini, grilled it, sautéed it, and added it to salad. I avoided baking zucchini bread because so often these loaves taste like dessert. But the zucchs kept coming, so ...

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Healthy Zucchini Bread with olive oil, yogurt, whole grains, protein, and fiber with less sugar and fat. Plus basil adds a flavorful twist.

Does your counter look like mine? Piled with summer vegetables? I love ’em. But it’s hard to keep up! Especially zucchini.

All. That. Zucchini. I’ve stuffed zucchini, grilled it, sautéed it, and added it to salad. I avoided baking zucchini bread because so often these loaves taste like dessert. But the zucchs kept coming, so I started tinkering.

How to make Healthy Zucchini Bread with Olive Oil and Yogurt

Heat the oven to 350ºF.

Stir together the dry ingredients.

Dry: flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper

Stir all the wet things together.

eggs, yogurt, oil
Wet: egg, yogurt, olive oil
bowl of mixed eggs, yogurt and oil for zucchini bread
Mix Wet until it’s smooth.

Rinse the zucchini under running water. Leave the skin on then shred the zucchini. A food processor works too, but I like this Microplane box grater. Some recipes have you squeeze out the moisture in the zucchini. I didn’t do that. If the zucchini is big, like 4-inches in diameter and 14-inches long, it’s mature. These can be tougher, seedier, and more bitter. I pick out the really big seeds.

shredded zucchini
No need to peel before shredding

Gently combine them just until the things start to moisten. The batter should still be lumpy.

bowl of zucchini bread ingredients
Add Dry to Wet and stir just until things moisten.
Add zucchini, basil and pumpkin seeds
Olive Oil Zucchini Basil Bread ready to bake
Sprinkle with oats and pumpkin seeds before popping in heated oven

Bake. You’ll know when it’s done if you can stick a toothpick near the center of the pan and it comes out clean, no wet dough sticking to it. That takes 40-45 minutes at 350ºF. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes to set the structure, then flip the pan over to release the bread.

The ingredients

  • olive oil is a heart-healthy fat that helps make the loaf tender, though you could use canola or your favorite mild oil
  • plain Greek yogurt adds protein and calcium
  • eggs provide protein and add structure to the bread
  • brown sugar adds a bit more flavor than white sugar
  • whole wheat flour provides whole grain benefits
  • all-purpose flour helps keep the bread from being too dense. All whole-wheat flour can make a heavy loaf.
  • old fashioned oats add protein and fiber
  • baking powder and baking soda help the bread rise
  • pumpkin seeds (walnuts also work) add protein, healthy fats, fiber and crunch
  • shredded zucchini add fiber and moisture so there’s less oil required
  • chopped fresh mint or basil the fresh herbs add unexpected flavor
sliced olive oil zucchini basil bread
Olive Oil Zucchini Basil Bread

Quick bread tips

This is a quick bread recipe. That means no kneading so it’s quicker to make. The bread rises because of baking soda and baking powder. These two start working when they’re mixed with liquid. But it doesn’t stop there. Most baking powder is double acting. That next leavening boost comes when it’s heated. That’s why you want your oven ready when your bread batter is mixed. So you can get the bread in the oven to maximize the baking powder’s potential…so you get a good rise and tall loaf.

One more thing about quick breads. Overmixing makes a tough bread. The wheat’s protein, gluten, gives the bread structure as it bakes. But if you overmix it, the gluten overdevelops and you end up with a tough, heavy texture. An overmixed batter is shiny and smooth. Lumpy batter his your goal.

Why I like this Zucchini Bread recipe

✅There’s less sugar and fat. Many quick bread recipes have 1 to 2 cups of oil and 1 to 2 cups sugar. Not this lightend-up LiveBest Zucchini Basil Bread.

✅I replaced some of the oil with yogurt. That bumped up the protein. But so do the eggs and pumpkin seeds.

✅I added oats and whole-wheat flour so fortified the bread with more fiber.

✅It’s so pretty! Love those crunchy pumpkin seeds! It’s unique with the basil infusing the bread. If you grow herbs, shop your yard, try mint, lemon balm, thyme, or parsley.

High Five Fiber Challenge

Are you ready for your own fiber challenge? I created a free, 5-day challenge you can join by clicking this link. You’ll get tips and tools, resources and recipes to create your own roadmap to meet your fiber goals. Don’t ya? Won’t ya? Seriously, it’s only 5 days 😉 Find it right here.

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a loaf of basil olive oil zucchini bread with 2 slices
photo image mushroom goat cheese dutch baby
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The best pan to bake zucchini bread in

I use an aluminum pan because it conducts heat so well. That means it bakes a little faster and browns better. Stainless steel pans don’t conduct heat as well as aluminum. On the other hand, glass takes longer to heat and doesn’t conduct heat well, but it does hold heat for a longer time. That means with a glass pan the edges of baked goods may cook faster than the center, so you might end up with dry bottom and sides. Reduce the heat by 25° F. to remedy this.

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Olive Oil Zucchini Basil Bread

Olive Oil Zucchini Basil Bread is healthier zucchini bread! Yogurt, whole grains, protein, and fiber with less sugar and fat. If you don’t like basil, try mint or parsley. Or go herb free.

  • Author: Judy Barbe
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Quick bread, breakfast
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil or canola
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (walnuts also work), toasted (to toast, bake 350℉. for 1215 minutes)
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or basil

Instructions

Set oven to 350℉. Spray a loaf pan 8.5 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
Nuts spread nuts in a single layer on baking sheet. Toast while oven is heating for 12-15 minutes. Remove from pan to cool.
 
Mix oil, yogurt, eggs together until uniform color, then stir in sugar and brown sugar until well blended.
 
Combine In a separate bowl, stir flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and black pepper together.
 
Spoon flour mixture to egg mixture, stir a few times, (you’ll still have flour lumps). Add pumpkin seeds, zucchini, and herbs. Be really gentle in stirring. If you stir too much, the bread gets tough.
 
Pour into pan.
 
Sprinkle If you want to sprinkle a few oats and seeds over top before baking, now is the time do that.
 
Bake 40-45 minutes, until bread is browned and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool on cooling rack for 15 minutes, then turn out of pan to cool completely on rack.

Notes

Store loaf in refrigerator up to a week.

Wrap tightly to freeze. Freeze up to 9 months.

Keywords: healthier quick bread,

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Creamy Asparagus Pasta https://www.livebest.info/the-super-simple-pasta-asparagus-blue-cheese/ https://www.livebest.info/the-super-simple-pasta-asparagus-blue-cheese/#respond Tue, 05 Apr 2022 21:00:00 +0000 http://livebest.info/?p=9695 Pasta with asparagus and lemon wrapped up with creamy blue cheese is an easy dinner recipe. Quick for a weeknight, but good enough for Saturday night company, this one-pot meal is ready in less than 30 minutes. Like an Easter egg hunt, that’s how many people remember picking asparagus. Searching for stalks along river and creek banks when they were kids. It was a family outing with a yummy reward. Today most of us stroll the produce section rather than ...

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Pasta with asparagus and lemon wrapped up with creamy blue cheese is an easy dinner recipe. Quick for a weeknight, but good enough for Saturday night company, this one-pot meal is ready in less than 30 minutes.

Like an Easter egg hunt, that’s how many people remember picking asparagus. Searching for stalks along river and creek banks when they were kids. It was a family outing with a yummy reward. Today most of us stroll the produce section rather than the riverbank.

How to make creamy lemon asparagus pasta  – a one-pot meal

Another day. Another answer required for what’s for dinner. I hear ya. And I even like to cook. But some days the inspo is just not there, right? Something quick. Something that doesn’t require a delivery guy. Oh, yeah, and can it taste good, too?

blue cheese wedge, lemon, asparagus, walnuts, garlic an olive oil on cutting board

The ingredients

  • chopped walnuts or pine nuts
  • penne or farfalle pasta
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • blue cheese though goat cheese or feta works too
  • lemon wedge + lemon juice

bowl of farfalle pasta with chopped asparagus with walnuts and lemon wedge

Here ya go. The super simple creamy asparagus blue cheese pasta bowl.

  1. Toast nuts.
  2. Cook pasta.
  3. Stir together chopped oil, asparagus, and garlic, cook 3 minutes. Add cheese, pasta, and water.
  4. Sprinkle toasted nuts.
pan with asparagus and blue cheese crumbles

asparagus with blue cheese

asparagus with blue cheese sauce

pasta water and blue cheese make a creamy sauce

bowl of bowtie pasta with asparagus, lemon and walnuts in blue cheese sauce

Why I love this no-cream Creamy Asparagus Blue Cheese Pasta Bowl

As if the name doesn’t do it justice. Creamy and earthy, comfort from the pasta and crunchy nuts for texture. The melted cheese and pasta water make this creamy sauce without cream.

  • This recipe gives asparagus a major role. Which I love.
  • I also ❤ blue cheese. It’s stirred together with pasta water making a creamy sauce without cream.
  • Toasted walnuts or pine nuts add a crunchy bite.
  • Lemon makes it fresh and flavorful.
  • Overall, this is quick for a weeknight, but good enough for Saturday night company or your family after an asparagus hunt!

Creamy Asparagus Blue Cheese Pasta is a bowlful of good.

Cook’s Note: Goat cheese can be substituted for blue cheese. Try pecans or pine nuts rather than walnuts.

 

How to tell if asparagus is bad

Shopping for asparagus, size is less important than freshness. Choose bright green, firm stalks with tightly closed tips. If it squeaks when you grab the bunch, it’s fresh. Shriveled, limp and wet is not what you want. If it’s slimy, it’s time to toss. Asparagus doesn’t keep long so plan to cook within a few days after buying. Store it in the fridge, wrapped in plastic or trim a little off the bottom and stand upright in an inch or so of water for a couple of days.

a bundle of fresh asparagus stalks

I heart asparagus

Asparagus is a busy cook’s dream. Like an easy hairdo, it’s a quick rinse and trim. That’s just one of the things I love about asparagus. This recipe is your answer to a busy night, so get the pasta water going ‘cuz that’s what takes the longest time. But before we get to the recipe, let me just say that after the first bites my dinner-date husband asked that this asparagus blue cheese pasta be put on repeat.

Asparagus benefits

Like many vegetables, asparagus is a prebiotic. Prebiotics are natural, non-digestible food components that are linked to promoting the growth of helpful bacteria in your gut. They’re the “good” bacteria. That’s just one of the benefits. It’s also low in calories, ½ cup or 6 spears has about 20 calories and 1 ½ grams fiber.

The best way to cook asparagus

Asparagus grows in sandy soil, so rinse it well. I fill a bread pan with water and soak the stalks for a few minutes. Speaking of stalks, asparagus stalks are tough. Break each stalk, just at the point where it snaps, 1-3 inches from the bottom. With a rinse and trim, asparagus is easy and quick to cook. It’s best when crisp and tender. Steam in the microwave, grill or roast in the oven for 3 to 4 minutes.

snapping asparagus to remove tough end

Asparagus’ mystery

Asparagus’ most unique quality is how we remember we ate it the next time we pee. An odor in our urine. Blame it on converting asparagusic acid to sulfur-containing compounds. Controversy exists over whether we all produce it, because only some of us can smell it. About 40 percent of us detect it. Ben Franklin noticed it. I do too. In any event, it’s a harmless reminder that we’ve eaten the highly nutritious vegetable.

bowl of creamy pasta with lemon, walnuts and blue cheese

More LiveBest Asparagus recipes

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bowl of asparagus blue cheese pasta

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Creamy asparagus blue cheese pasta

This creamy pasta is quick to fix and delish. Substitute goat cheese for the blue of you prefer.

  • Author: Judy Barbe
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Meditteranenan

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pine nuts
  • 2 cups penne or farfalle pasta, cooked
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 pound asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ reserved pasta water
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 lemon wedge, about 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350℉. Bake walnuts 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions, minus 1 minute. Drain. But reserve ½ cup pasta water.
  • In pasta pot, over medium-low heat, add olive oil, garlic, and asparagus, cook stirring 3 minutes. This will sizzle when you add the ingredients. Add pasta back to pot, stir in cheese and 1/3 cup pasta water. I start with 1/3 cup and add more water if I need it, to make a creamy sauce.
  • To serve, sprinkle on chopped walnuts and squeeze a lemon wedge over, about 1 teaspoon juice.

Notes

Blue cheese can be replaced with goat cheese. Pine nuts can be substituted for walnuts.

Keywords: easy pasta, Mediterranean diet, easy dinner

Tonight you can forget about digging inside your fridge, hopelessly wondering, “What’s for dinner?”
My FREE One-Pan Salmon with Spinach & Tomatoes checks all the boxes for a fab dinner.

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bowl of penne pasta with asparagus, toasted walnuts and cheese

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Fresh Asparagus Salad + top 10 kitchen tools https://www.livebest.info/asparagus-parmesan-walnut-salad-with-lemon-vinaigrette/ https://www.livebest.info/asparagus-parmesan-walnut-salad-with-lemon-vinaigrette/#respond Sun, 27 Mar 2022 16:28:00 +0000 http://livebest.moonpuptesting.com/?p=1458 Fresh asparagus salad with walnuts, Parmesan and a lemon vinaigrette packs spring flavor into every teeny, tiny bite. One of my best asparagus recipes + top 10 tools in my kitchen. My kitchen is valuable real estate. I limit my collection of gadgets because I don’t have much storage space. Multitasking equipment is what I want. I surveyed fellow dietitians who know their way around the kitchen and found some great ideas on how the use ...

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Fresh asparagus salad with walnuts, Parmesan and a lemon vinaigrette packs spring flavor into every teeny, tiny bite. One of my best asparagus recipes + top 10 tools in my kitchen.

My kitchen is valuable real estate. I limit my collection of gadgets because I don’t have much storage space. Multitasking equipment is what I want.

I surveyed fellow dietitians who know their way around the kitchen and found some great ideas on how the use a handful of tools.

Top 10 dietitian recommended kitchen tools

multitasker kitchen tools

Top kitchen tools recommended by dietitians

Here are the top ten multi-use tools used by dietitians who love to cook.

  1. Besides cheese, that grater shreds dry bread into crumbs and cold butter to make a biscuit or scone and “dot” pies. It’s also a stand to dry plastic bags. My grater is a Microplane box grater. I like the sharp holes, sturdy handles and feet.
  2. A Microplane zester not only grates fruit zest, but hard cheese, chocolate, nutmeg,
    lemon zest and lemon with microplane

    grate zest, hard cheese, chocolate, nutmeg, ginger, garlic, and shallots.

  3. Vinaigrettes and dressing work best on dry salad greens, but don’t stop there. Use a salad spinner to rinse fruit and herbs and to soak and drain rice noodles. I use an Oxo Soft Spinner. It sits firmly on the counter because of a non-slip ring on the bottom, it can go in the dishwasher and it’s quiet.
  4. Use your scoops to portion cookie dough, stuff shells, remove seeds from cantaloupe and measure dry ingredients such as sugar. A number 8 scoop is one-half cup and number 16 scoop is one-quarter cup. I like stability of this Vollrath plus the grip on the handle.
  5. Muffin tins assist with keeping cupcake decorations in order plus can be used to bake eggs. Add a drop of olive oil and an egg in each space. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. To snazz it up, mix in spinach or arugula, cheese or veggies. Bake at 350˚ for 7-10 minutes. These tins also provide portion control. Portion cooked oatmeal into muffin tin. Freeze. Remove portions and microwave 1-2 minutes. These Anolon nonstick muffin tins are heavy so less likely to warp. That means you won’t replace them often, so you’re saving money in the long term! Because they are dark, they absorb more heat, so baking times may be shorter.
  6. Metal tongs ream fruit for a quick squirt of juice, toss a salad, rotate hot dishes in the oven and retrieve corn or potatoes that are boiling in water. Oxo makes tongs that are good to use with non-stick cookware plus varieties with stainless steel tips. The locking heads keeps them neat in the drawer.
  7. Use kitchen shears cut string to truss a chicken, plus can be used to trim fat from meat, cut pizza into slices, chop cooked chicken, and snip herbs. I seem to always be reaching for my Joyce Chen scissors to open a bag, cut herbs, or trim parchment paper. They are sharp with comfortable handles.
    shaved Asparagus

    vegetable peeler shaves asparagus

  8. Vegetable peelers cut thin slices of asparagus, cucumber, zucchini, carrot, cheese, and shave coconut. Kuhn Rikon is my favorite.
  9. Use extra ice cube trays to freeze leftover broth, juice, pesto, egg whites, and cooked spinach. Herbs such as basil, oregano, and parsley can be frozen. Clean, chop and pack herbs in ice cube tray. Cover with a neutral oil such as canola oil and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to freezer bags and use when you want to add a boost of flavor. I like the flexibility of these ice cube trays.
  10. A cutting board that goes in the dishwasher helps keeps the kitchen safe. One that doesn’t slip all over the counter keeps it even safer. I have several Oxo cutting boards and especially like the hand grips that keep it in place.

Check out the LiveBest Equipment List! My free resource on how to stock a kitchen and the tools I use All. The. Time.

Putting them to work in Shaved Asparagus Salad

Now let’s put all these useful tools to work. Shaved salads are a simple way to use vegetables.

  1. Juice and zest the lemon with the microplane.
  2. Whisk together olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper, set aside.
  3. Peel the asparagus and Parmesan cheese with vegetable peeler
  4. Snip the herbs with kitchen shears.
  5. Drizzle vinaigrette and sprinkle nuts over.

The ingredients

  • zest of 1/2 lemon, finely grated
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound thick asparagus spears, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
Asparagus Lemon Salad

fresh asparagus, Parmesan, walnuts and lemon vinaigrette

How to buy asparagus

a bundle of fresh asparagus stalks

In the U.S. asparagus is in early spring. When you buy asparagus, look for firm stalks with tight buds that are dry. Avoid mushy ones or those with buds that are opening up. Asparagus keeps just 3-4 days, so buy what you will quickly use.

How to store asparagus

Wrap is moist paper towels like a burrito and then place in a plastic bag or sealed container. To keep a couple extra days, break off the ends and stand asparagus cut-end down in about an inch of water, covering the container with a plastic bag to keep moisture in.

How to trim asparagus

Asparagus tips are fragile but the ends are tough. Grasp each stalk and bend it about an inch from the end to snap off the tough woody end.

snapping asparagus to remove tough end

Why do you soak asparagus?

Asparagus is grown in sandy soil. Place it in a pan of cool water to rinse off sand and debris. I use a loaf pan. After stirring it around, lift out of water to drain.

asparagus in a loaf pan filled with water

 

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Asparagus Walnut Salad

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Shaved Asparagus Salad

Asparagus walnut salad with lemon vinaigrette is shaved asparagus with fresh lemon, Parmesan and walnuts, packs spring flavor into every teeny, tiny bite.

  • Author: Judy Barbe
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: raw
  • Cuisine: American, Italian

Ingredients

  • zest of 1/2 lemon, finely grated
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound thick asparagus spears, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper, set aside.
  2. Break or cut off the woody bottoms from the asparagus spears; discard. Break or cut off the flower ends and set aside. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus stalk. When it gets too thin to peel, chop the remaining spears with a knife.
  3. Layer asparagus strips and flowers in a bowl. Drizzle vinaigrette over. Sprinkle with walnuts, cheese shavings and parsley

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 150

Keywords: asparagus salad, what are good kitchen tools, how to make a raw asparagus salad, useful kitchen equipment

Asparagus Lemon Salad Recipe| This simple, raw salad is bursting with flavor and texture. Walnuts, lemon, Parmesan. Real food naturally. www.LiveBest.info
The right equipment makes cooking easier. This is a list of multi use kitchen equipment by people who love to cook. Consider this a healthy kitchen gift guide from LiveBest! www.LiveBest.info
shaved raw asparagus salad with parmesan and walnuts

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My favorites things to see, do and eat in Tucson https://www.livebest.info/what-to-do-in-tucson/ https://www.livebest.info/what-to-do-in-tucson/#comments Tue, 11 Jan 2022 22:35:00 +0000 http://livebest.moonpuptesting.com/?p=4674 Originally published February 2017; I updated with even more Tucson awesomeness January 2022. For a food enthusiast, Tucson is a big deal. A Big Deal. Big Tucson is the first city in the U.S. designated a World City of Gastronomy by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Scroll down to see some places to eat and drink. If you’re headed there, here are a few personal recommendations of… What to do in Tucson These Tucson things ...

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Originally published February 2017; I updated with even more Tucson awesomeness January 2022.

For a food enthusiast, Tucson is a big deal.

A Big Deal. Big

Tucson is the first city in the U.S. designated a World City of Gastronomy by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Scroll down to see some places to eat and drink.

If you’re headed there, here are a few personal recommendations of…

What to do in Tucson

These Tucson things help me LiveBest!

  1. Arizona sunsets are remarkable. Red, pink, yellow…the spectacular sunsets are hard to beat. The dry, clean air and thin clouds help make the scene-stealers worth pulling up a chair to enjoy. Many people plan their day around them. I did! See #7 of where to go.

Tucson Cowgirl Things to do in Tucson | These are some of my favorite things to do and eat! www.LiveBest.info2. Downtown Tucson has art, diverse restaurants, live music, unique shops, museums and is home to the University of Arizona. The Tucson Museum of Art (free admission first Thursday of every month) and The Fox are favorites. Loved The Fox theater’s art deco design, great acoustics and diverse programs! Check out all local happenings and events including a walking food tour that is a great way to learn about the locals.

3. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is described as a 98-acre fusion of zoo, botanical garden, art gallery, natural history museum, and aquarium. The Museum is regularly listed as one of the top ten zoological parks in the world.

Saguaro cactus, tucson

Saguaro cactus

4. Tucson is home to the nation’s largest cacti. Saguaro define the Arizona desert. These slow-growing giants live 150-200 years and may grow an arm or branch when they are 50-70 years old. Get some fresh air and hike among them in the Saguaro National Parks. There are parks on the east and west sides of town. Sabino Canyon is another good place.

5. At the Pima Air and Space Museum, the technologically advanced, jaw dropping, high-flying (85,069 feet) secretive BlackBird is worth the visit. But the former pilot, military staff and history buff docents bring the aircraft to life.

pastries and tortillas are La Estrella bakery, tucson

La Estrella Bakery

6. If you’re cooking or bringing home a souvenir, diverse food shopping is available in Tucson. Check out Barrio Bread, delicious handmade bread, Lee Lee’s International Market, fresh tortillas and Mexican pastries at La Estrella (in Mercado St. Agustin that has a cool courtyard, restaurants, shops), Rincon Market for a butcher, with meat and fish, The Food Conspiracy Coop downtown is fun to poke around and pick up local foods, or upscale A.J.’s Fine Foods. Farmer’s markets are scattered around town.

4 tamales on a plate

Tamales at El Charro

7. Some of my favorite Tucson restaurants are Vero Amore (pizza), Nana’s Mexican Kitchen (mole), Reilly’s (homemade pasta and Brussels Sprouts), Agustin Kitchen (Sunday is fried chicken night), Wildflower (farmer’s market salad), Hub (pastrami, ice cream), Frost (gelato), El Charro (Mexican food in the oldest family-owned restaurant in the U.S.), 5 Points Market and Restaurant (huevos ranchers) and The Parish (burger and gumbo). Two for one: sunset  and food at Blanco Tacos + Tequila (at upscale La Encantada shopping center with a great outdoor veranda for sundowners at sunset) and Contigo Latin Kitchen. Want to eat outside? Try Seis Kitchen, La Cocina, downtown or Hotel Congress.

8. Take a food tour. There’s a gastronomy tour in Marana. Celebrating Sonoran Desert foods from past and present, we toured sites where the Hohokam Indians grew agave and pounded mesquite pods into flour and ended with a tasting at the Ritz Carleton. University of Arizona Emerita Professor and Arizona State Museum curator Dr. Suzanne Fish made this especially insightful. If you want a more contemporary tour, Tucson Food Tours was a fun way to taste and learn local scoop.

Have you been to Tucson? What do you like to do?

P.S. Want more travel tips and recommendations? Or delish, nutrish recipes? Sign up for my newsletter right here.

street art painting of oranges on Tucson wall

street art, Tucson

What to do in Tucson | These are some of my favorite things to do and eat! www.LiveBest.info

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Cauliflower Tomato Curry (without coconut milk) + keep your immune system strong https://www.livebest.info/spiced-tomato-cauliflower/ https://www.livebest.info/spiced-tomato-cauliflower/#comments Sun, 05 Dec 2021 21:41:00 +0000 http://livebest.moonpuptesting.com/?p=7355 Hearty enough to be a vegetarian entree, Cauliflower Tomato Curry helps keep your immune system strong and healthy, deliciously, especially during flu season. How to make Cauliflower Tomato Curry In this Cauliflower Tomato Curry recipe I go big on spices and vegetables. Literally. I steamed the whole head of cauliflower. Yep, just plopped it in a pan and steamed if for about 10 minutes. A bag of fresh or frozen cauliflower also works. The ingredients Tomatoes, ...

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Hearty enough to be a vegetarian entree, Cauliflower Tomato Curry helps keep your immune system strong and healthy, deliciously, especially during flu season.

How to make Cauliflower Tomato Curry

In this Cauliflower Tomato Curry recipe I go big on spices and vegetables. Literally. I steamed the whole head of cauliflower. Yep, just plopped it in a pan and steamed if for about 10 minutes. A bag of fresh or frozen cauliflower also works.

trim leaves and core
garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes
heat spices
canned tomatoes with spices in pan
stir in canned tomatoes

The ingredients

cauliflower head, canned tomatoes, fresh ginger and garlic with spices on cutting board
cauliflower, canned tomatoes, garlic, ginger, spices

Tomatoes, cauliflower, and spices bring bold flavors and lots of antioxidant compounds to help keep your immune system strong and healthy

  • Cauliflower is a health boosting, cancer-fighting crusader. Each bite has vitamin C, potassium, and fiber and glucosinolates.
  • Canned tomatoes deliver convenience plus vitamin C, potassium, lycopene and fiber.
  • Spices add pizzaz and help reduce inflammation and strengthen cells.

How to serve

I serve this as an entree for two, as a side dish for 4-6. Good hot or room temperature. It’s good along side fish, poultry or beef. Or warm pita.

Eating for better health

A benefit of this recipe is eating for better health.

Before dinner I felt fine. During dinner I noticed a scratchy throat. After dinner, I was sick.

I had the flu. It was a rough week with symptoms that I don’t wish on anyone. But sudden onset is a telltale sign you have the flu. Here are more flu facts.

Flu facts

1

The number of days you can spread the flu before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Yikes! You don’t even know you’re sick ;-(

3 to 4

The number of days the flu will make you feel like you’ve been hit with a truck. That is tired and achy, have a headache and fever, with cough and fatigue. Though it could last up to 2 weeks.

3 to 5

The minutes the flu virus survives on your hands.

6

The number of feet flu germs can spread by a sneeze or cough from an infected person.

48

The hours the flu virus can live on a surface.

20

The number of seconds you should wash your hands to prevent spreading (or picking up) the flu.

Stop the spread of flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says washing your hands is a top defense to stop the spread of germs and the best way to reduce your exposure to the flu virus (COVID virus too). Soap, water and 20 seconds of scrubbing is what it takes. Germs can get into the body though the eyes, nose and mouth, places we touch without even realizing it. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.

Sneeze or cough? Tissue, please!

Cover your mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, or cough into your arm. The flu virus survives only 3 to 5 minutes on your hand, but left behind on another surface, it can live up to 48 hours. Think about the things you touch in a day that can hold the flu virus — cell phones, remote controls, computer keyboards, doorknobs, sponges, toothbrushes, soap dispensers, shopping carts, refrigerator door handles, handrails and the buttons of microwaves, vending machines, elevator, and ATMs.

How to wash your hands

Though we’ve been doing its for ever, there are best practices for it. 🙂 Washing your hands helps prevent spreading those sick germs. Soap, water and 20 seconds of scrubbing is what it takes. Germs can get into the body though the eyes, nose and mouth, places we touch without even realizing it. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.

How to kill the flu virus

Flu viruses are killed by heat above 167° F. Common household cleaning products also kill the virus, including products contains chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergents (soap), alcohols and iodine-based antiseptics.

The CDC recommends a flu vaccine as the best way to reduce the risk of getting the flu and it may make the illness milder if you do get sick. Doctor’s and public health offices plus many drug stores and grocery stores offer them.

What to eat when you have the flu

If you do get the flu, fluids may help you feel better, sooth a sore throat and relieve congestion. Fever, runny nose, and coughing dehydrate you so sip some chicken soup, broth, juice, hot lemon water, tea or chocolate.

Though foods don’t prevent you from getting the flu, your best way to stay strong is to live a healthy lifestyle. Eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, being physically active, getting adequate sleep, reducing stress, and not smoking keep your immune system healthy.

After having COVID and losing my taste and smell, I developed 2 resources to help others. Maybe you or someone you know could benefit.

Cauliflower with Spicy Tomato Sauce poured over
Cauliflower, tomatoes and spices help keep your immune system strong and healthy, deliciously.

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cauliflower topped with tomato sauce

Cauliflower fans, try this Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine. A favorite at my house, but one of the most popular recipes on the blog!

High Five Fiber Challenge

Cauliflower and tomatoes provide fiber. Foods with fiber can help you improve your health so I created a free, 5-day challenge you can join by clicking this link. You’ll get tips and tools, resources and recipes to create your own roadmap to meet your fiber goals. Don’t ya? Won’t ya? Seriously, it’s only 5 days 😉 Find it right here.

P.S. Hungry for more healthy eating tips and recipes? Sign up for my newsletter here.

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Cauliflower Tomato Curry

Hearty enough to be a vegetarian entree, cauliflower, tomatoes and spices                                                 help keep your immune system strong and healthy, deliciously.

  • Author: Judy Barbe
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Vegetable
  • Method: stove
  • Cuisine: Indian

Ingredients

  • 1 head fresh cauliflower, or 16-ounce bag fresh or frozen
  • 2 teaspoons oil, canola, olive or coconut
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes

Instructions

  • Cook: If using head of cauliflower, remove green outer leaves and thick tough stem from fresh cauliflower. Add a cup of water to a pot big enough to hold the cauliflower. Heat water to boiling. Add cauliflower. Cover with lid. Cook cauliflower until crisp tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside. If using a bag of cauliflower florets, cook according to package directions.
  • Cook this: Meanwhile, heat oil in medium-sized pan over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook, stirring until ginger browns but doesn’t burn, about 3 minutes. Stir in the dry spices, coriander, cumin, turmeric, salt, cayenne and red chile flakes. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in canned tomatoes. Heat through, about 5 minutes. Pour mixture over cauliflower. Serve immediately or a room temperature.

Notes

Look for cauliflower that is creamy white and a tight, compact head. Avoid those with brown spots. Fresh cauliflower can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

If you want to add unsweetened canned coconut milk, pour in 1/2 to 1 cup as the tomatoes heat.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the cauliflower
  • Calories: 75

Keywords: vegetarian dinner, spicy cauliflower, how to cook cauliflower, vegetable with Indian spices, curry without coconut mil,, vegan cauliflower curry

whole roasted cauliflower nestled on plate of spice tomato sauce

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Mediterranean Chicken Tray Bake https://www.livebest.info/one-sheet-roasted-greek-salad/ https://www.livebest.info/one-sheet-roasted-greek-salad/#comments Wed, 01 Dec 2021 21:13:00 +0000 http://livebest.moonpuptesting.com/?p=4787 Loaded with Mediterranean flavors from tomatoes, olives, and capers, this easy 30-minute tray bake means quick KP too! A dinner winner! Sometimes when I taste a new recipe I stop midbite. Then say: Wow! This is one of those recipes. Bigger, Better, Best. One-pan Mediterranean Chicken Tray Bake A tray bake is a one-sheet meal. A baking sheet or oven-proof skillet works. I like All-Clad skillets and used a 12-inch one for this recipe. If you use ...

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Loaded with Mediterranean flavors from tomatoes, olives, and capers, this easy 30-minute tray bake means quick KP too! A dinner winner!

Sometimes when I taste a new recipe I stop midbite. Then say: Wow!

This is one of those recipes.

erbed chicken, tomatoes, olive, and capers poured over crisp lettuce and cucumbers

Bigger, Better, Best. One-pan Mediterranean Chicken Tray Bake

A tray bake is a one-sheet meal. A baking sheet or oven-proof skillet works. I like All-Clad skillets and used a 12-inch one for this recipe. If you use a baking sheet, choose one with at least 1-inch sides to keep the pan juices corraled.

My plan was to make a quick Greek Chicken Salad. But decided to go bigger. Rather than raw tomatoes, I turned on the oven and roasted them with olives and capers.

Then I went better. I set herb-rubbed chicken over the tomatoes. To reduce the cooking time, I pounded the chicken. And it worked, I had dinner on the table in about half an hour.

Then I went best. Just before serving, I piled all those cooked foods on to fresh lettuce and sliced cucumbers then sprinkled it all with feta cheese and a squirt of fresh lemon juice.

That’s when I pronounced this as ideal cooking because it was easy, but looked like more, and it was full of flavors.

The next time I made it was for company. They gave it thumbs up. One said it was light and refreshing. One of the men did a replay of my reaction. He stopped the conversation and said, ” This is really delicious! What is it?”

He said: “I never would have put these ingredients together, but this is so good! I love the warm chicken and tomatoes with the fresh lettuce and cucumber. Cool! Usually a salad doesn’t fill me, but this one does. How did you make this?”

30-minute Mediterranean TrayBake: Greek Chicken Salad recipe

In a heavy pan, I added tomatoes, olives, capers and herbs. Baked that. I pounded the chicken breast with a meat mallet into a 1/2-inch thickness. This drives the herbs in, tenderizes the meat and is the reason this dish is on the table in 30 minutes. Then I baked a little longer.

cook tomatoes and olives
pounded chicken breast
pound chicken to even thickness

A 30-minute Greek Baked Chicken Breast Salad 

The Ingredients

  • Chicken breast: lean protein that’s quick cooking.
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes: are packed with potassium, vitamin C, and lycopene. Lycopene, a plant compound that helps protect cells, is better absorbed from cooked tomatoes. Oil helps with absorption and olive oil has an edge over other oils.
  • Kalamata olives: a healthy fat and a flavor boost. You can substitute another black olive if you’d like.
  • Herbs and spices: dried oregano and basil, capers, vinegar, and feta cheese are traditional Mediterranean flavors. Herbs and spices add flavor while keeping sodium levels down.
  • Lettuce and cucumber: add crunchy vegetable freshness.
Greek Chicken sheet pan dinner with roasted tomatoes and olives

Let me know what you think of the recipe. Here’s another one-pan recipe Peanut Asian Rice Bowl.

MORE Mediterranean diet recipes

P.S. If you like this post, you might enjoy my LiveBest newsletter. Receive each new post delivered to your Inbox. Sign up right here. Pinky promise I won’t overwhelm you with endless STUFF!

P.S.S. If you want to jumpstart healthier eating, I created a free, 5-day challenge you can join by clicking this link. You’ll get tips and tools, resources and recipes to create your own roadmap to meet your fiber goals. Don’t ya? Won’t ya? Seriously, it’s only 5 days 😉 Find it right here.

Pin it for later OR rate it below, please.

plate with lettuce, cucumber, spiced chicken, tomatoes, olives and feta cheese

This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase, the seller pays me a commission. It does not increase the price you pay.

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Mediterranean Chicken Traybake

Loaded with flavor, this easy to make 30-minute one-pan meal, means quick KP too! A dinner winner!

  • Author: Judy Barbe, registered dietitian
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: Greek, American

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, divided
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons red or white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 fresh lemon

Instructions

  1. Chicken: Heat over to 450° F. In a zip-top bag, combine chicken, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano. Seal bag. Massage it to coat the chicken with herbs. 
  2. Cook: On baking sheet or in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, combine tomatoes, Kalamata olives, capers, vinegar, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place in oven. Cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Then: While tomatoes are cooking, pound chicken breasts with a meat mallet until they are 1/2-inch thick. Or cut the chicken in half horizontally to make a thin cutlet. After first 15 minutes, lay chicken breasts over tomato/olive mixture. Return pan to oven and cook 15 minutes more.
  4. Salad: Layer Romaine and cucumber on dinner plates. Top with chicken, tomato/olive mixture, pan juices. Sprinkle feta and squeeze lemon juice over top.

Notes

Sub in your favorite lettuce, such as spinach or kale.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 300

Keywords: dinner salad, healthy salad, main dish salad, company dinner, one sheet pan

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A few tools I like and use to cook:
Love the weight of these pans. No warping.

The mallet I use.

dinner plate with lettuce and cucumber, oven baked chicken breast topped with cooked tomatoes and olives.

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Lemon Blueberry Granola https://www.livebest.info/lemon-blueberry-granola/ https://www.livebest.info/lemon-blueberry-granola/#respond Mon, 29 Nov 2021 20:01:09 +0000 https://www.livebest.info/?p=19350 Lemon brightens, ginger warms, and blueberries shine in this healthful oven-baked granola you’ll make again and again! Lemonysunshine is what I thought of when mixing this granola. The lemon zest and juice smelled so fresh. Homemade granola is always in my kitchen. I like to mix up flavors and additions such as a ginger orange or pumpkin seed granola. In this recipe, I love the flavor and texture of dried blueberries, plus the powerful antioxidants ...

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Lemon brightens, ginger warms, and blueberries shine in this healthful oven-baked granola you’ll make again and again!

Lemonysunshine is what I thought of when mixing this granola. The lemon zest and juice smelled so fresh.

Homemade granola is always in my kitchen. I like to mix up flavors and additions such as a ginger orange or pumpkin seed granola. In this recipe, I love the flavor and texture of dried blueberries, plus the powerful antioxidants they bring. The lemon fragrance and flavor makes it taste fresh and smell so good while it bakes in the oven.

How to Make Lemon Blueberry Granola

  1. Melt the oil, sweeteners and spices
  2. Combine oats, nuts, flaxseeds, and lemon
  3. Bake until toasty
  4. Sprinkle dried blueberries
skillet with honey, oil and spices
melt honey, oil, and spices
oats, ginger, pecans, lemon zest in baking sheet
stir oats, pecans, flaxseeds, and lemon
Lemon blueberry granola in baking pan with spatula
mix to evenly coat
pan of oven baked lemon blueberry granola  with pecan and dried blueberries

The Ingredients

oats, lemon, pecans, honey, ginger, brown sugar for Lemon Blueberry Granola
oatmeal, pecans, honey, vanilla, lemon, oil, flaxseeds, dried blueberries, brown sugar, ginger,
  • Old fashioned oats, the backbone of granola, provide soluble fiber which promotes healthy gut bacteria and helps reduce cholesterol and keep blood sugar stable.
  • Nuts besides flavor and texture, they provide healthy fats, protein and fiber. I use pecans in this recipe but walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds can be substituted.
  • Oil I used canola oil for it’s neutral flavor, but you can use olive, coconut or another vegetable oil.
  • Flaxseeds are rich in fiber, protein, healthy fats, and potassium. Grind them in a spice mill or coffee grinder (or buy them ground) because the outer shell is indigestible so you won’t get the health benefits unless they’re ground. Store flaxseeds in the freezer or refrigerator.
  • Dried blueberries the blue in these berries brings beneficial plant compounds that protect our cells. They are one of the best natural sources of antioxidants. Find them in the dried fruit section. I stock up at Trader Joe’s.
  • Spices and flavorings ground ginger adds warming spice notes and lemon brightens everything. Both contribute antioxidants. If you like cinnamon or cardamom rather than ginger, use those instead. Or try cacao nibs, chia, pumpkin or poppy seeds, or toasted coconut. A microplane zester quickly and easily removes the yellow rind.
bowl of lemon blueberry granola with a spoon and milk in the background
enjoy with milk, yogurt, or cottage cheese

Mix Ins

Pour on milk, dollop with yogurt, top with cottage cheese. Add a spoonful of nut butter, cacao nibs, toasted coconut, or chia, pumpkin, or poppy seeds.

How to Store

Store granola in an airtight container up to a month. It will last a few months, but because the nuts and seeds can turn rancid, store in the refrigerator for long-term storage.

More oatmeal recipes

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bowl of lemon blueberry granola with milk in background

This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase, the seller pays me a commission. It does not increase the price you pay.

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Lemon Blueberry Granola

Lemon brightens, ginger warms, and blueberries shine in this granola you’ll make again and again! 

  • Author: Judy Barbe
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 -6 mins
  • Total Time: 25 minute
  • Yield: 5 1/4 cups
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Oven

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons oil, canola, olive or coconut
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup dried blueberries

 

Instructions

Wet Ingredients In a pan, over medium heat, stir together honey, oil, brown sugar, ginger and salt. Combine until sugar dissolves.

Dry Ingredients In 9″ x 13″ baking pan, stir together oatmeal, pecans, ground flaxseed, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Bake at 325℉ for 30 minutes, stir, bake 20-30 minutes more, until oats are toasty, edges of granola are browned. Set aside to cool. Sprinkle in blueberries.

 

Notes

Use your favorite nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts or pumpkin seeds.

To zest the lemon, just take off the yellow part of the rind, leave the white part on the lemon. A microplane zester removes the yellow zest quickly and easily.

Keywords: dried blueberry granola, homemade gifts, foods to give, homemade granola, fiber breakfast, gluten free breakfast, breakfast, snack

bowl of lemon blueberry granola with spoon. Milk and jar of granola in background

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