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Recipe for the New Year!

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It's Rosh Hashanah!

Are some of you confused already? It's the Jewish New Year!

Glad we are all on the same page now.

The symbolic foods for this holiday are apples dipped in honey to represent the start of a sweet new year.

Today we are making Charoset! Mmm mmm good...

Charoset is traditionally a Passover recipe but it's a favorite of mine and I couldn't help making it early.

I want you all to give it a try and enjoy!

It takes 20 minutes max!

3 large apples peeled, chopped, and cored into tiny pieces. I personally love organic Fuji apples or red delicious.

1/2 cup of finely chopped walnuts

1 & 3/4 teaspoons of honey or agave

1/2 teaspoon of white sugar

1/4 cup or less of a sweet red wine. I enjoy a nice Pinot Noir. If alcohol isn't your thing you can also use grape or apple juice.

Add a touch of cinnamon on top to give it a little flair.

You can plate some fresh spinach and add the Charoset on top for a sweet and scrumptious lunch.

Side note: I'm eating it as I'm typing this to all of you. :)

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins Are Yum In My Tum!

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins Are Yum In My Tum!

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins! SCRUMTIOUS!

Juice It! {An Apple Spinach Blueberry Mint Lemon Juice}

juice it  

I just ate pizza. Yeah, that happened. I didn't really just eat pizza... I ate a massive amount of pizza. And it's making me sleepy. Oh so very sleepy.

 

Listen, it's the real deal here. I adore healthy food and the more I write and work on Benner Fit, the more I am excited by creating and experimenting with healthy alternatives. Healthy foods make me feel stable, content, awake and guilt free.

 

But there are nights where you've been at work for 12 hours and someone offers you free pizza. You're tummy twists and turns and says, "Oh, THAT'S a terrible idea!" But your hands are already in motion and your mouth is already chewing and then OOPSIES! You've eaten 3 slices. As you know by now I am human and adore the flavor of bad foods: pizza and bread and cookies and potato chips - the whole lot of it. But I hate the way it interferes with my body, despise how they make me tired, and loathe that they cause me to be a grumpy cat. Those few moments while pizza is sitting in my mouth, making my taste buds dance - I'm soaring. And then three hours later I'm laying in bed shouting, "Whyyyy did I eat that!!!"

 

At this point you are likely thinking, "This article is supposed to be about juicing. What is she talking about? Did Brooke juice her pizza?" No, don't fear - I didn't juice my pizza. Would I? Yep. I would totally throw a pizza in the juicer. Mostly because I saw the power that went into Syd's new juicer and it made me excited to throw any old thing on in there and chop it on up. Juice that Oreo! Juice that chicken pot pie! JUICE IT!!!

 

The point of the juice craze is the cleanse. A farewell to the pizza, and good riddance to the treats. And with the start of the new year it was a bright and shining symbol of starting over. A fresh slate. A new you. And that sounds very enticing these days.

 

Syd has juice cleansed many a times. I know she has a love for Pressed Juicery here in LA. I haven't tried a cleanse myself but I'm feeling ready. However, my dream would be to create these juices myself. I wanted to give it a trial run this past weekend with Sydney, and boy was it ridiculous and rewarding. Ridiculous because we threw in an entire lemon without having a cup underneath the spout and had a lemon juice flood in the kitchen. Rewarding because Round 2 juicing was a huge success, complete with a scrumptious beverage that is inspiring me to create oh so many more.
 Apple Spinach Blueberry Mint Lemon Juice

 

Apple Spinach Blueberry Mint Lemon Juice

 

INGREDIENTS:
  • small handful (1–2 ounces) spinach
  • Approx. 10 mint leaves (flavor to your liking)
  • 1 mini carton (6 ounces) of blueberries
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 1 lemon

 

DIRECTIONS:
Wash all of your ingredients. De-core the apple and divide it into four managable pieces. Peel your lemon. Run all of your ingredients through your juicer. Take the remaining pulp and run one more time. Stir it up to blend all of your juices together and enjoy! (Or throw it in the fridge to cool it off a bit for sipping on later.)

Apple Spinach Blueberry Mint Lemon Juice on Benner Fit

 The end result was a tart and tasty beverage that reminded me of a flavorful mint lemonade. I'm feeling very motivated now to get my juice on. (And I vow to you that it won't be pizza juice.)

Election Day Apple Pie Apples

It's election day! There's something about this day that I'm kind of obsessed with. I love waking up early with anticipation for the big race. Getting over to the polls, standing in that crisp November 90 degree air. What is more rewarding then stamping the heck out of your ballot? I love it! I want to stamp everything and make it matter! Then there is the fun of rolling home from work knowing you are going to get to watch the most exciting reality TV show ever. Are you in, or are you out candidates? Bring it on! Maybe not everyone gets as amped up about Election Day as me. But I have a tasty and patriotic treat that I can get you pumped up about making! Get festive tonight folks! Make an election day Apple Pie Apple! A great recipe for solo snackers, or make a bunch for you and your friends. It's the perfect dessert to go along with your red state/blue state counting tonight.

INGREDIENTS:
5-6 Granny Smith apples (for however many folks you are serving)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or spice it to your liking)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup of oats
Pie Crust (homemade or pre-made)
INSTRUCTIONS:
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut the top of 4 apples off and discard. To decore your apple - I recommend stabbing down to nearly the bottom of the apple all around the seed holding center. Then take the melon baller and scoop out the middle. Try not to remove too much of the tasty parts of the apple that go along with it. From there, carefully hollow out the rest of your apple into a bowl with a melon baller. I could have done this part all night. It's very cathartic...

Once you are done, take the scooped out apple bits that are in your bowl and mix them with the cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar, and oats.

Stir it up well so that all of the apple is covered. Now restuff your hollow apple shell with your sugary apple mixture. Put these aside for just a moment.

Roll out your pie crust, and cut these into 1/4 inch strips. Pull your apples back over and cover the top of your "pie" with the crust. Get fancy with it!

Put your mini pies in a pan, and toss them in the oven. To start, you can cover them with tin foil so that the crust doesn't brown too much. (We didn't have any and ours came out just fine without.) Let these bake for about 40-50 minutes. (If you use tin foil, remove this at about the 20-25 minute mark and let your apples keep baking.)

And voila! Tasty little apple pies - that aren't too bad for you either!

Now remember to get out there and vote today!! Every vote counts. (That's cheesy, huh? But they do!) Besides, it's a super fun reason to take a break from work!

{ Much love to Paper Plates and China who inspired us to make this! }

Apple Pie Smoothie

Every year around this time there is a bittersweetness that runs through my bones. Growing up in Florida, the summer weather is very near and dear to me. I love the warmth, the long days, the sun melting away my air conditioned skin. As soon as that temperature dips below 85 and the sun begins to set sooner than I care for - I get a bit sad that those shorts wearing, beach bumming days are about to end.

But every year there is a moment where this sadness and longing for the return of summer (before it has actually even ended) snaps. This day usually aligns with the announcement of the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. No, I realize this is a health blog, I know! So don't listen to me when I say I could drink these for days and be blissfully happy. Remember that along with this happiness comes  a bellyful of sugars that are breaking down into terrible no good fats. Seriously, ignore my passion for the sweet sugary goodness of pumpkin magic.

I digress. This moment is where I begin to embrace autumn. I start looking forward to changing my wardrobe and am thrilled that I can get away without painting my toes because I am sporting some fresh new boots. Besides cozy sweaters, and changing leaves -  fall comes with an abundance of amazing flavors that warm the body and soul. For me fall is the season of comfort.

The only problem with October in Los Angeles is that while the styles may be changing in all of the stores - it's still 90 degrees outside. So while I was wearing my boots one day, drinking my pumpkin spice latte - I realized that I was 1.) sweating and  2.) in need of finding a refreshing fall drink that could also cool me off in this heat.

So I introduce to you my newest best friend - the apple pie smoothie! This sweet treat is one that is actually full of good for your body essentials.

 

APPLE PIE SMOOTHIE (by Fitsugar.com

Ingredients 5 raw almonds 1 red apple 1 banana 3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt 1/2 cup nonfat milk 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Recommended BF Additions: A squeeze of agave 1 graham cracker  (for that pie crust texture)

Directions Throw everything into the blender (if your blender isn't too powerful, like mine - you should probably cut up that apple and banana). Blend it up! Pour into a cup. Drink!

Round One of Apple Pie Smoothie Creation: My husband was craving a sweet treat one night, so I jumped on this recipe. I followed it exactly and before he managed to chug the whole thing down, I snuck in a sip or two. And woah - deliciousness. I didn't remember shoving an apple pie into my blender - but it sure tasted like it happened. The only problem with Round One of this concoction was a tartness to the recipe that stemmed from the Greek Yogurt. I'll admit, despite knowing how amazing yogurt is for the body - I'm not a fan of the raw yogurt flavor. Ok, truth time - I'm a big fan of my yogurt tasting like anything but yogurt.

Round Two: So on my second attempt at making the smoothie I scoured the cabinets to see if we could add any fun additional flavors. In went a graham cracker, a squeeze of agave and a splash more of milk (approximately an extra 1/8 of a cup). And... heck yeah. The tiny grains of graham cracker were a tasty addition and the agave added a hint of sweetness that cut through the overly yogurt-ie flavor. A little less healthy than Round One, but if you can afford a few extra calories, it might just be worth it.

Either way, you'll be beyond happy with this treat. It's super filling and tastes like October, but will keep you cool on those not so autumny, autumn days.