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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Healthy Baked Apple Bombs

At 205 calories these are amazingly half the calories of a slice of traditional apple pie but full on flavor! I was inspired by a recipe that I saw in Martha Stewarts Everyday Food Magazine but changed quite a bit of it to make it healthier. These are super easy to make and A LOT quicker than slaving away on a homemade apple pie!

Makes 4 servings and I served mine with low fat vanilla bean ice cream but I'm sure whipped cream or vanilla yogurt will work to.

Healthy Baked Apple Bombs Recipe

2 large Granny Smith apples halved and core cut out
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1/4 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. old fashioned or quick oats uncooked
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs orange marmalade (though strawberry or honey may work)
1 Tbs unsalted butter softened
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Pre heat oven to 350f or 180c. Mix the nuts, oats, brown sugar, marmalade, butter, cinnamon and salt in a bowl very well. Dollop mixture into the middle of the apple halves dividing evenly. On a foiled baking sheet place stuffed apples 2 inches apart and bake for about 15 minutes or till the white part of the apple can be pierced easily with a fork. Let cool slightly and scoop out the apple from the skin to serve. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

All natural strawberry jam body exfoliating scrub and mask

Summer is well on its way which also means busting out the shorts, tanks and dare I say, bikinis! While I'm sure everyone is scrambling to acquire their perfect summer bod right now (myself included) there is something else we should all be focusing our health attention to, our skin!

Did you know that exfoliating the skin on your face and body not only keeps it looking young and fresh but also promotes good circulation and boasts tons of detoxing properties. Some other quick benefits:

- reduces acne
- slows ageing
- speeds up the skin renewal process
- makes the absorption of nutrient rich body creams easier
- allows for a better closer shave

 Now, I've been researching what natural substances are beneficial topically for the skin and have been able to come up with an excellent at home DIY recipe for a scrub/mask. My Strawberry Jam Exfoliating Scrub and Mask! I've been using it myself and the results are FABULOUS!

Here's what you need and their specific benefits:

5 strawberries- known to deep clean, remove dead skin cells, tone skin, repair damaged skin, reduce acne and irritations and act as an anti-ageing tonic. High in vitamin C and manganese.

Juice of 2 lemons- fights wrinkles, gently exfoliates, lightens and brightens skin. High in vitamin C.

3 Tbs coconut oil- protects from microbial infections, smooths, moistens, prevents cracking and repairs damage.

3 Tbs raw honey- removes impurities, kills bacteria and fungus, brightens complexion and aids in scar healing. Contains minerals like iron, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.

1/2 cup to 1 cup of raw cane sugar- exfoliates gently while maintaining skin moisture.

In a blender, blend the first 4 ingredients till smooth. Pour into a bowl and then pour the sugar into the middle of the liquid. Don't mix it up till you are about to use it or the sugar will dissolve too quickly. Now have a quick hot shower without soap and towel off before applying the scrub. This will prepare the skin for maximum absorption. The sugar will be settled to the bottom of the bowl so be sure to scoop it up while applying. Start at the feet and work your way up, massaging the scrub in small circular motions all over your body. Just a warning, it is pretty sticky and can be messy so do this inside your shower. Lastly, apply gently to the face, do not scrub too hard. Leave the jam on for about 5 minutes before washing off with warm water. No soap needed. Afterward, you can use more coconut oil as a lotion or any good cream. Don't be alarmed if you see some skin redness, it will go away in 5-10 minutes. You will absolutely die over how smooth your skin is, as I did!

Any leftover scrub can be refrigerated for about 5 days and for maximum benefit you should try to use it a couple more times within that period. Now go, celebrate your new gorgeous skin in that teeny bikini!