Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

dark chocolatePerfect for the holiday season: This delicious recipe is not only simple, but delicious and filled with antioxidants! If you are a chocolate and mint lover, this combination is fantastic.

Makes 16 servings

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz. dark chocolate chopped or 1 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 4 candy canes, crushed

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate in the microwave or over a double broiler
  2. Once the chocolate is melted, mix until the chocolate is smooth
  3. Pour the chocolate onto a sheet of wax or parchment paper. Spread into a thin layer
  4. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top of the chocolate and press in lightly
  5. Refrigerate the bark for 20-30 minutes to let harden
  6. Break the bark into 15-20 uneven pieces. Keep refrigerated before ready to serve

 

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Adding Flavor With Herbs

Herbs do not only contain vitamins and minerals, the oils in most herbs have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties that can deliver disease-fighting health benefits as well. Growing an herb garden is an easy way to access fresh herbs all year-round.

Thyme: Contains generous amounts of Vitamin C, can be used in soups and stews, and can add flavor to foods including meats, roasted chicken, fish, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and winter vegetables.

Basil: Offers a range of flavors and aromas from lemon and mint to licorice. Sweet basil pairs well with Parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella cheeses, tomatoes, pasta, eggs, garlic, and poached fish.

Tarragon: Delivers a sweet licorice-like flavor. Tarragon can be used in green salads and goes well with eggs, chicken, fish, goat, and ricotta cheeses as well as citrus, tomatoes, parsley and vinegar.

Rosemary: Pairs well with fava and white beans, roasted meats and potatoes. This herb should be added early in the cooking process.

Mint: Pairs well with dark chocolate, cream-based dessert, lamb, cucumbers, young potatoes, carrots or peas, fruits and teas.

Chives: Pair well with eggs, cheddar and ricotta cheeses, and root vegetables (especially potatoes). Use them fresh, not cooked to maintain color and flavor.

Cilantro: Pairs well with chili peppers in salsas and curries. Commonly used in Thai, Indian, and Mexican cuisine.

Sage: Pairs well with rich and roasted poultry and meat dishes, onions, pasta and beans.

Parsley: 1 tbsp. of parsley delivers more than 50% of recommended vitamin K for adults. Pairs well with lemon and garlic, fish and soups.

Dill: Delivers a good amount of beta-carotene. Dill is a main ingredient in pickles and pairs well with cucumbers, eggs, potatoes and fish.

Food & Nutrition Magazine. July/August 2015

Keep Your Skin Glowing, Naturally!

“Certain foods are naturally rich in nutrients that may help keep skin healthy and even fight signs of aging. Vitamin C, beta-carotene and antioxidants found in fruits like peaches, plums and nectarines work beneath the surface to protect and rejuvenate skin from the harmful damage of ultraviolet rays. Peaches are especially rich in alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), a key nutrient added to many age-defying cosmetics.

Watermelon, ruby red grapefruit and tomatoes are all rich in lycopene. Lycopene actually protects skin cells from the sun’s burning rays which can lead to premature aging and even skin cancer, and replenishes the cells.

Bright-colored fruits and vegetables, such as bell peppers, tomatoes, pineapple, strawberries, cantaloupe, oranges, carrots, spinach and broccoli, are your best choice for vitamins A and C. Colorful fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C and A are important for collagen formation, which helps keep skin firm.

And don’t forget about water!! Staying hydrated keeps your skin firm and well-hydrated.”

skin

For more information: http://www.nujournal.com/page/content.detail/id/535768/Head-to-toe-healthy-glow.html?nav=5087

Ch-ch-ch-CHIA!

“The chia seed contains antioxidants, protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids – making it one of the most super of superfoods.

One tablespoon of whole chia seeds contains 60 calories, 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and 2.4 grams of omega-3. It also has 64 milligrams of calcium and 40 milligrams of magnesium. In other words, two or three tablespoons of chia equal one large egg in terms of protein, and one tablespoon of chia has the same amount of omega-3 you would get in four ounces of salmon!

The whole seed can be sprinkled on top of a variety of foods! You can use it in baking as a replacement for eggs because it has a great binding capacity. (One tablespoon of chia powder in a quarter-cup of water equals one egg). It is also gluten-free!”

Chia-Seeds-LIT

For more information: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/chia-nutritions-new-pet-project/2012/11/27/f3ce8ad2-245f-11e2-ac85-e669876c6a24_story.html