Monday, February 28, 2011

30 Healthiest Foods Challenge

One of my favorite bloggers, Carrots n' Cake, brought my attention to an eye opening article by Real Simple Magazine about "The 30 Healthiest Foods." Tina at Carrots n' Cake decided to take on the challenge of eating all of these foods in 30 days, so I though it would be fun to do the same this month. For many of the foods I will incorporate recipes, but others I may just eat (such as greek yogurt for breakfast one day). My goal is to not only finish these foods in a month, but incorporate them more into my everyday diet as the article suggests for all of us! Here are the 30 healthiest foods according to Real Simple Magazine:
  • Mushrooms

  • Walnuts

  • Whole-Grain Pasta

  • Peanut and Nut Butters

  • Oatmeal

  • Barley

  • Quinoa

  • Lentils

  • Bulgar

  • Almonds

  • Eggs

  • Nonfat Greek Yogurt

  • Chicken Breasts

  • Wild Salmon

  • Sardines

  • Kale

  • Kiwi

  • Blueberries

  • Broccoli

  • Avacados

  • Black Beans

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

  • Edamame

  • Chard

  • Kidney Beans

  • Oranges

  • Spinach

  • Pumpkin

  • Skim Milk

So, where does one start? With a nut butter of course! If you have been reading past posts then you already know I have a small (ahem...large) addiction to peanut butter. I have done much better these days with not eating huge spoonfuls at a time, so figured I would try and make my own nut butter as a treat-except with almonds instead of peanuts! With the help of Angela from Oh She Glows and Ashley from The Edible Perspective, I came up with this recipe for

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter:

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
First, pour the two cups of almonds into the food processor and process for about 12-15 minutes. Trust me, I understand this process is annoying (because I just did it) but it is worth it! Be sure to scrape the sides of the processor bowl every minute or two.

Next, melt your 1/2 cup of dark chocolate on the stove top. This only takes a few seconds, be careful not to burn it. The chocolate doesn't need to be all the way melted, just softened (the processor will take care of the rest). After about 10 minutes of processing the almonds, add the melted chocolate, vanilla, maple syrup and canola oil and continue processing for another 5 minutes. Once the almond butter is the consistency you like, let cool and enjoy!

After just 1 minute of processing...

After 5 minutes of processing...

After about 7 minutes of processing (I was impatient and added the chocolate a bit early, however I like my almond butter thick so it worked out).

This recipe makes enough to fill a mason jar. Store in the refrigerator, but remember that the fridge can cause it to harden a bit so soften it up at room temperature or in the microwave before using.

Do you eat any of these "healthiest foods" on a daily basis? I probably incorporate oatmeal, peanut butter, almonds, olive oil and sweet potatoes the most. Can't wait to try some of these foods this month!


Cindy said... Best Blogger Tips

Are you really gonna eat mushrooms? I want a pic posted for that!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Luckily so many of those foods are delicious--I sadly don't like kale OR chard, so I have to make up for it with massive amounts of spinach :) However, I LIVE for plain Greek yogurt--I could eat it every meal, every day.

Kathy said... Best Blogger Tips

I eat 9 of what's listed above
(Oh, and by the way, I found your blog from Food Buzz, and it may have been weird that I just suddenly been commenting on a few of your other just now making my presence aware!)

claire said... Best Blogger Tips

I love Carrots N Cake too! Your nut butter looks delish, especially on those apples:)

Joanne said... Best Blogger Tips

Exciting stuff! I can't wait to see what you make with these. that almond butter looks delicious! I will definitely be giving it a go!

So Domesticated said... Best Blogger Tips

Your Dark Chocolate Almond Butter looks so good... and it's healthy!?! Can't beat that!

Cara @fitnessnfoodiegirl said... Best Blogger Tips

WOW that Dark Chocolate Almond Butter looks AWESOME! I def eat many of those foods, how could you not they are all so tasty!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

19 out of 30 isn't bad is it?! I "regularly" eat about 19 of these beauties. I applaud you for taking this challenge!! ♥- Katrina

Charissa said... Best Blogger Tips

Ooh, this looks amazing...I would love to try that challenge sometime! What a great idea...
The recipe looks really great too!

Cait @ A Bicycle Built for Two said... Best Blogger Tips

Katrina-19 is great!! I wish I was up to that number :) I guess this challene is a good start for me though...

Kathryn said... Best Blogger Tips

I have been wanting to try making my own nut butter lately- this one looks like a winner! As for the healthy foods, I have black beans pretty regularly and I eat whole grain pasta pretty much every day of my life! Need to work on the others, though.

Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul said... Best Blogger Tips

I certainly eat my share of the world's healthiest foods everyday. For one, I always get my share of sweet potatoes! Also, I make sure to eat leafy greens daily, either in a smoothie for breakfast or sauteed for lunch or dinner. Oh, and I'm addicted to almonds & dark chocolate! Which is why I must make your almond butter asap!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I saw this article in Real Simple and thought it was a great reminder of nutritious foods to include in our cooking!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

yummm - great recipe, thanks for sharing!

Blog Design by Edub Graphic Art and Design