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Autumn Apple Almond No-Guilt Muffins

Autumn is here! The transition from Summer fruits and vegetables to Fall produce may leave you thinking, “No more juicy peaches, no more heirloom tomatoes, what should I eat now?”

And for those who struggle with an autoimmune condition, like Hashimoto’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis or Sjogren’s you might be thinking, “What can I have that aligns with my autoimmune food plan?”

The great news is: Mother Nature gives you lots of options!

Look for fruits, like apples (so many different types to try!), blackberries and pears. And explore the autumn vegetables — all the varieties of squash, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, kale, leeks, onions, parsnips, pumpkin, purple broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes and turnips.

But for many people, some of these vegetables, even though they are healthy and considered anti-inflammatory, may leave you feeling bloated or uncomfortable. Perhaps, no matter what you eat, your symptoms flare.

If this speaks to you, consider joining Dr. Blum and me for our 8-week Immune Recovery Challengea step-by-step companion to Dr. Blum’s bestselling book, The Immune System Recovery Plan. During the course, you will follow the 4-Step Immune System Recovery Plan together with Dr. Blum, using video and live coaching with me. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn from Dr. Blum in a group setting and get all the support you need along the way. Join the Challenge

In the meantime, I want to share with you one of my favorite Blum Center for Health recipes:

Autumn Apple Almond No-Guilt Muffins

This recipe features whole foods and healthy low-impact ingredients to help keep autoimmune conditions at bay. No refined flour, sugar or butter. Unlike conventional flour muffins, these are filling too! Chia seeds serve double duty by providing helpful fatty acids that your body needs to fight inflammation, and by adding a crunchy and nutty texture to the top.

Use your favorite apple variety and then try others. You might even want to try these with pears and blackberries. Just know … any way you choose to make them, they’re delicious!

Here’s my personal favorite: I use tart Granny Smith or crunchy Gala apples. I love to eat one warm muffin out of the oven (just can’t resist!). And once they are cooled I’ve been know to cut one in half, lengthwise, place a wee bit of Ghee (clarified butter) in a skillet, put the halves facedown in the skillet to make them warm and slightly brown, and then (finishing touch!) spread with almond butter. Add a cup of hot tea and … hello Fall!

And here’s my special note: I’ve seen first-hand how Dr. Blum’s Immune System Recovery Plan changes lives. How do I know? I work with every single patient who walks through the doors of Blum Center for Health. Her 4-step plan works. And now, no matter where you are in the world, you can do it with us. If you suffer from an autoimmune condition … Do The Immune Recovery Challenge With Us

 

Autumn Apple Almond No-Guilt Muffins

Serves:  12 muffins

Serving size:  1 muffin

 

Ingredients:

Coconut oil

3 cups almond flour

1 ¼  teaspoons baking soda

1/2  teaspoon fine ground sea salt

2 ½  teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

1/3 cup water

1 ½  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ cup honey

1 cup fresh apples, unpeeled, cored/seeded, diced small

1 ½ tablespoons chia seeds, whole

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.     
  2. Lightly oil a 12-muffin pan with coconut oil  
  3. In a medium  bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and apples, and mix until well combined.
  4. In another medium bowl, combine the flax seeds, water, vanilla extract, and  honey and whisk together until well combined. Allow to sit for 5 minutes
  5. Slowly transfer the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients bowl. Stir until well combined.     
  6. Evenly distribute the muffin mix between the 12 muffin pan cups.
  7. Sprinkle the chia seeds evenly over the 12 muffin cups.     
  8. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 21 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.     
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before taking out of the muffin pan.    

 

Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters.

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{Recipe} Ruby Red Smoothie

Smoothie recipe provided by Jill Grunewald, HNC, FMCHC, a functional nutrition and hormone coach and best selling author of The Essential Thyroid Cookbook.

Ruby Red Smoothie

This delicious smoothie is a detox powerhouse. It contains antioxidant-rich fruit, chia seeds for fiber, ginger for its anti-inflammatory benefits, and beets—the sweet, deeply-colored root vegetable that your kidneys and liver love.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 cup water

1 whole orange, peeled and segmented

3/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries

3/4 cup fresh or frozen cherries

1/4 cup shredded beets

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Optional: 2-3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

Ice, as desired

Preparation

  1. Place all ingredients in a high powered blender in the order listed and puree for 30-60 seconds. Add ice to reach desired coldness and consistency, especially if berries are fresh (not frozen).

Cook’s notes: Double or triple batch and pour leftovers into popsicle molds. Freeze for 4-6 hours.

Vegan, Paleo, 30 min

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One of Our Favorite Detox Recipes

In cultures all over the world the advent of Spring signals rebirth — the grass and trees turns green, a burst of color transform the landscape and the earth starts to give us Spring produce. Hooray!

It also signals Spring cleaning — our homes and our bodies. Here at the Blum Center we are all about detoxing our bodies in Spring to rid ourselves of the Winter heaviness, and to reduce the toxic load we carry from the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breath — not to mention all the chemicals used in our homes and in our cosmetics. It’s cathartic and a powerful way to celebrate the reemergence of life, and longer, warmer days.

In fact, you can join us to Detox! Our 14-Day Whole Life Group Coaching Program begins Wednesday, May 30th at 8pm. Sign Up Now

In the meantime, try out this delicious and easy detox recipe developed by Blum Center Executive Chef Amy Bach. We love using both red and yellow beets — it adds such beautiful color to the dish.

Roasted Beet, Walnut & Baby Kale Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized red and/or yellow beets, quartered  
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil  
  • 8 cups organic baby kale OR one plastic pre-packaged container (a baby kale and greens blend is fine). Bonus: for those short on time the prepared blend are usually pre-washed!
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees  
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine prepared beets, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Place on a cookie sheet and place in preheated oven.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes or until beets are fork tender. Remove beets from cookie sheet and let cool.
  4. Toast walnuts on another cookie sheet in the same oven for 7 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  5. While the beets and walnuts are cooling, prepare the Apple Cider Vinaigrette, below
  6. Place salad greens in large bowl, top with beets, and dress with Apple Cider Vinaigrette, to taste.
  7. Enjoy!

Apple cider vinaigrette:

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Serve over your favorite salad.

Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters.

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Savor Spring with Sauteed Spring Vegetables

Green Vegetables to Sautee for Spring

Choosing produce in-season allows you to get the most flavor and nutritional bang for your buck.  These sautéed Spring vegetables can easily serve as a health supportive, and colorful addition to any meal, or even on their own. Pair with cooked quinoa for a quinoa-vegetable pilaf, or roll with red cabbage leaves with a lemon-tahini dressing for a refreshing wrap.  

One of our favorite things about this recipe is how versatile it is. Take a walk through your local Farmer’s Market and add, or substitute, the Spring produce calling your name. In fact, a saute is a great way to try new vegetables — start with a small amount and see how you like it.

Here’s a list of what is in season right now that you can try in your Sauteed Spring Vegetables: Asparagus, beets, beet greens, cabbage, garlic scapes, peas, scallions, spinach, summer squash, Swiss chard, and turnip greens.

Looking for more clean-eating recipes? Check out our BlumKitchen Recipe Book.  Created in our test kitchen, our recipes are free of gluten, dairy, corn, soy and egg to support your anti-inflammatory eating style. Further, BlumKitchen recipes are designed to reduce inflammation, support your thyroid, improve your liver’s detoxification function and heal your gut. 

Bon Apetite!

Sautéed Spring Vegetables

Servings: 8

Serving Size: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb yellow onion, peeled, medium diced
  • ½ lb leeks, white and lite green portion only, cut in half lengthwise, thinly sliced on bias, washed after sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger root, peeled, minced
  • 1.5 lbs zucchini with skin, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, sliced into ½-inch thick half moons
  • 1 lb broccoli florets, tough stems removed, cut into 1-inch pieces, blanched
  • 1.5 lbs bok choy, leaves and stems separated, leaves rough chopped, stems sliced on bias into ½-inch thick pieces
  • ½ lb sugar snap peas
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Fill a medium saucepan ¾ full with water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer.
  2. In small batches, add the broccoli carefully into the water until it turns bright green and is just fork tender.  With a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli from the simmering water, to a colander in the sink, running under cold water until broccoli is completely cooled.  
  3. Blanch the sugar snap peas similarly to the broccoli.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and leeks and sauté until just caramelized, about 4 minutes.  
  5. Add the garlic, ginger, zucchini, and bok choy stems and cook another 2 minutes until just tender.  
  6. Add the blanched broccoli florets, blanched sugar snap peas, bok choy leaves, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine until vegetables are warmed through and bok choy leaves are just wilted, about 2 minutes.  

Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters.

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Gut-Friendly Coconut Carrot Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup

COCONUT CARROT SOUP
Serves 10

2 tbsp coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
½ tsp curry powder
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander
tsp ground cinnamon
Small pinch red pepper flakes (omit for arthritis)
1 tsp kosher salt
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
tsp honey (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Warm the oil in a pot on medium high heat.

2. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sauteé until golden, about 15 minutes.

3. Add the carrots, ginger, curry, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and pepper flakes and stir to combine.

4. De-glaze the pan with 1 cup of stock and let reduce by half. Add the remaining stock, salt and coconut milk and cook uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until the carrots are tender.

5. Using a hand blender, puree the soup.

6. If necessary, add water to make the soup consistency that you like. It should be thick and lightly sweet. Add the maple syrup if you would like it sweeter. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper if desired.

7. Serve hot.

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Blueberry and Spinach Smoothie

Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

When most people think of smoothies, they think of all-fruit drinks. But smoothies are a great way to pack in the vegetables and the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals your liver needs to eliminate harmful substances.

Serves 1-2

Ingredients
1 cup almond, coconut, or rice milk
¾ cup frozen blueberries
1 banana
1 T. ground flax seeds (optional)
1 scoop protein powder
1-2 handfuls of spinach or kale

Directions
Blend all ingredients until desired consistency is reached, adding water to thin if necessary.