best coconut oil cacao powder chia seeds healthy kitchen alternatives healthy living lifestyle navitas super foods
Few weeks ago, I started looking for a lactation cookie recipe online. Being an Obstetric nurse for quite a while, it has been a routine for me to inform breastfeeding moms to increase their fluid intake and eat green leafy vegetables. In our country, one popular galactagogue is malunggay, also known as Moringga. It's a good thing that one Filipino grocery store here in L.A County (Island Pacific) sells this super food. I'm almost 26 weeks pregnant and I want to prepare my body for breastfeeding as early as now,which means nourishing it with galactagogues. However, the thought of sipping malunggay soup every meal haunts me. Seriously, I won't be able to tolerate that. One of my close mommy friends told me that she sipped malunggay soup or sometimes used the blender to make malunggay juice (eewww!!!) and gulp it straight without breathing when she breastfed her son. My goodness! My friend was so brave! Because of this, I thought of finding creative ways on how to serve malunggay. I want this milestone in my life to be memorable in the best way possible, not horrible. Malunggay cookies came to my mind, thus, the quest for the perfect lactation cookie! I found out that lactation cookies usually have oats, flaxseeds, chia seeds and brewer's yeast. I wanted to incorporate malunggay leaves but I don't know what to do with the leaves. You know, should I pound, chop or grind them? I never baked before so I'm completely clueless. Then I remembered my older cousin who loves baking and values health and fitness too. I sent her a message right away and I received more than what I asked for. She said maybe she'll chop the leaves into tiny bits and incorporate it to the batter, but this is a story for another day. What I raved about was that she gave me healthier alternatives that are usually found in the kitchen and that's what I was overhauling for weeks now.
1. Coconut oil - Butter is usually a staple in baking and cooking. Coconut oil is a much healthier alternative with just about anything. I was used with the coco-nutty taste of this for a long time that's why I abhorred using it in cooking. However, there are some really good brands which cater neutral taste. I prefer Nutiva or Spectrum for coconut oil. They're organic too! See photo above.
2. Himalayan Salt - I eliminated regular table salt a long time ago and switched to sea salt, but I discovered that Himalayan salt is packed with more minerals. It's a baby pink salt too! I love the color! haha
3. Nuts - I've always loved nuts, but my taste buds rejected them during my first trimester. Now, they're my favorite once again!! Yey!! Almonds and cashews are part of my kitchen staples now. They are really versatile for different recipes. I can even use them as flour alternative--just pulverized them. I once tried making my own almond butter too and it's so good! I also made yummy chocolate truffles using cashews.
|The spread on top of these delicious home made pancakes is my very own almond butter.|
|My first try! Sooo good!|
|Then I incorporated malunggay leaves in this batch. The taste and texture is similar to a crinkle cookie.|
5. Pasta - I'm a pasta girl!! It's a quick fix for me. In search for the best pasta, I discovered that quinoa and brown rice pasta are really good alternative so I bought two packs of quinoa pasta the last time we went to the grocery.
6. Potato - Sweet and plain potatoes!!! Another thing that I indulge myself into is potato chips. There are a lot of baked potato chips in the market now, much better that the traditional and kettle cook preparation. Buuuut, they're not still "healthy". You know what I mean? Going to the nearest grocery store to grab some chips is so convenient, but I prefer buying fresh potatoes and prepare them myself even if it takes time and effort. My favorites are baked potatoes and hash browns. There are only three ingredients for these--potatoes of course, coconut oil and Himalayan salt.
|Guilt-free hash brown!!|
|Baked sweet potato! Sooo good!!|
7. Cacao powder - Chocolates are my indulgence! My chocolate cravings were put to a halt a year or two ago. It suddenly went back when I got pregnant. You might think I always blame my shortcomings with pregnancy, but it's true I swear!!! There was a time in my first trimester when I was lying on bed the whole day feeling weak because my palate is salivating for Magnum ice cream. I looked so sick that day, until the ice cream touched my mouth. It was euphoria!! I instantly was energized. I read some pregnancy forums and even studies that chocolate in moderation is actually beneficial to both mommy and baby because it triggers the happy hormones (And I'm also aware of some studies which link chocolates to autism.) Dark chocolate is still the best, but read on the label and you'll find some artificial ingredients there. I came across cacao powder and its benefits. Cacao is different from cocoa. Cacao is from the plant itself and it's packed with antioxidants. Don't worry, I take this in moderation. My brand of choice is Navitas.
|Our breakfast today--no cook oatmeal champorado with chia seeds.|
8. Chia Seed and Flaxseeds - These are super foods!!!! Go do your research. I incorporate these to almost anything, especially the chia. For flax, I prefer the ground type than the seed type.
|Chia oatmeal porridge!!! Yum!!!|
9. Fruits and veggies!!! I'm glad that Bryan and I usually spend our grocery time at the fresh produce section and go home with lots of colorful products.
I have a little secret though. There is one staple that I cannot remove in my diet and it's non other than the famous white rice. I already switched to brown rice before, but since I got pregnant, I hated the smell and taste of it. Pardon me for writing this here, but I associate the smell of brown rice with ahhhmm fart. Alright I said it!!! The hormones strike again!!
I'll try to add more next time and probably share the recipes. You see, I'm actually spending more time in the kitchen now and enjoy preparing meals. I love it!!!