Superfood Spotlight: Edamame Goes Green for Spring

With the weather warming up‚ÄĒor¬†heating¬†up¬†if you’re a Sunshine State dweller like me‚ÄĒin preparation for¬†glorious spring, this time of year makes me crave all things green.¬†Especially in the kitchen, amiright?!

And because I’m feeling Green Goddess-y at the moment, my latest recipe sorta resembles a leprechaun explosion. St. Patrick’s Day is next week, after all! The perfect appetizer¬†for a weekend¬†cookout, this fresh and vibrant take on hummus¬†is also loaded with plant-based protein.

Gotta love health benefits disguised as flavor bombs, so feature this superfood spread at your next happy hour. Talk about a hit throughout swimsuit season!

Note: The recipe yields 6-8 servings, so you might need to adjust the ingredient count for larger gatherings. 

superfood snacking edamame hummus

Ingredients: 

1/2 c. Edamame (shelled)

2 tbsp. Grapeseed Oil

1 Garlic Clove (minced)

1 Lemon (juiced)

1/2 tsp. Cumin

1/4 tsp. Sea Salt

2 Thyme Sprigs

Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat a saucepan, filled with about 1 1/2 cups of Water, on a high stovetop setting.
  2. When the water reaches a boil, add the Edamame and reduce to a simmer until the they have cooked thoroughly.
  3. Turn off the heat and drain the edamame through a colander, then transfer them into a food processor or blender.
  4. Add the other Ingredients to the food processor or blender, then puree until smooth.

Serving Suggestion:

For a gluten-free alternative to store bought crackers or pita bread, enjoy this¬†Hummus¬†with sliced avocado and julienned tubers‚ÄĒlike carrots or parsnips.¬†This is also a deceptively delicious way to entice the kiddos with fresh veggies during those after-school snack attacks!

5 Reasons You NEED to Know About Undiscovered Kitchen!

Say what, now??? Never heard of it?

Well, fear not…I’ll fix that! And here’s why you should even care:

1. It’s an entirely digital farmer’s market. If you get your jollies from discovering locally-grown, natural and scratch-made deliciousness from your hometown farmer’s market, what could be better than stocking up on those same goodies without even leaving the house? Answer: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Undiscovered Kitchen allows you to shop an impressive variety of artisan and handcrafted  — not to mention fabulous — foods, sourced nationwide, from the convenience of your computer.

2. The founder is off-the-chain awesome. Her name is Evona Niewiadomsk, — which screams “hippie-badassery” — and she’s uber passionate about food, fitness, travel and embracing life as the ultimate adventure it’s meant to be! Like, this girl just took off on a one-way flight to Spain in pursuit of entrepreneurial ambitions and exotic experiences. Inspired (or maybe a teeny bit jealous)? Uhhh…YEAH! Evona launched UD Kitchen in 2014 with one core mission, which the company continues to uphold: “Support and empower small batch makers across the country and to help passionate artisans grow their businesses! Every purchase made on Undiscovered Kitchen DIRECTLY supports our small batch makers so you can EAT good, FEEL good and DO good!”  Read her full story here.

3. No dietary preference is excluded. Are you freakin’ frackin’ fed-up with struggling to find foods that fit your lifestyle needs and DON’T taste like cardboard?! Well, guess what — UD Kitchen has effectively ended your struggle. Forever. Whether you’re looking for vegan, gluten-free, raw, dairy-free or organic products, UD Kitchen brings all these options together at one easy-to-navigate online destination. Consider it your one-stop-shop “healthy foodie paradise!”

4. Your sweet tooth just met its match. For anyone, who daydreams about the confectionery perfection of a freshly-baked dessert, UD Kitchen understands. They. Get. You. And, they’ve also got you covered! So, satisfy those sugar cravings with sweet and chocolate-y temptations, made GUILT-FREE from wholesome ingredients. You can even score treats that accommodate dietary restrictions — but sure won’t skimp on flavor!

5. Basically, healthy never tasted so fab. ‘Nuff said.

Are you salivating yet? Don’t lie. You totally are. But, hey, no shame…Me too! When I first uncovered Undiscovered Kitchen (see what I did there?), the connection was instantaneous.

In fact, their digital farmer’s market platform seemed so superbly up my alley, that I’ve since become a UD Kitchen Ambassador.

After all, what’s not to love about a company committed to “discovering new and unique products, shopping by lifestyle for foods that fit special health and diet needs like vegan, gluten free and raw, and finding fitness fuels and power snacks for athletes and active lifestyles!”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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15 Snacks to Get You Through the Day Without Undoing Your Diet

Need an afternoon pick-me-up halfway between lunch and dinner? Well, next time you find yourself poking around for the Cool Ranch Doritos, nibble on these guiltless goodies instead:

1. Frozen Grapes: put approximately 30 (1 cup) red or green grapes in a large Ziploc bag and store inside the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours

2.¬†Apples & Nut Butter:¬†core 1 apple and cut horizontally into thin slices, then spread 1 tbsp. nut butter (I suggest almond) on 2 slices and press them together to make a “sandwich”

3. Carrots & Hummus: peel and slice 2 large carrots into fourths or simply grab 10 pre-cut baby carrots and serve with 2 tbsp. organic hummus

4. Edamame & Sea Salt: boil approximately 10 (1 cup) edamame pods, then shell the individual beans and sprinkle with a few pinches of sea salt

5. Greek Yogurt & Honey: swirl together 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt (preferably nonfat) and 1 tsp. organic honey, then top with fruit slices or a dash of cinnamon

6. Green Tea Smoothie: put 3/4 cup of green tea, 2 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt, 2 tsp. agave nectar, and 6 ice cubes in a blender and puree until smooth

7. Baked Kale Chips: slice the stems off 1 bunch of kale and tear into bite-size pieces, then drizzle with 1 tsp. olive oil and cook in the oven at 400 degrees until crisp

8. Toasted Almonds: place approximately 20 (1/4 cup) whole almonds in an ungreased skillet and sautee over medium-heat until golden brown

9. Avocado & Lime Juice: peel and thinly slice 1 avocado, then coat the slices with 2 tsp. lime juice and top with a few dashes of organic stevia powder

10. Oatmeal & Berries: boil 1/2 cup of whole grain rolled oats in 1 cup of water, then mix with an assortment of fresh berries (I suggest blueberries or raspberries)

11. Spiced Orange: slice 1 orange in half horizontally and sprinkle with a mixture of organic stevia powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves

12. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: lightly brush 1 tsp. olive oil over 2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds and cook in the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown

13. Tomatoes & Feta: dice 1 medium-sized Roma tomato and mix with 1 tbsp. feta cheese, then top with a few squeezes of lemon juice or 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

14. Dried Mango: peel and slice 1 mango and brush with 2 tsp. agave nectar, then bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 185 degrees, flip each slice and cook for another 30 minutes

15. Egg White Scramble: sautee 1/4 cup raw spinach and 1 clove of garlic in a skillet on low heat, then add 2 egg whites and scramble until fluffy