I know I’m semi-behind the times, but have you heard about the vinegar craze? Or more specifically, apple cider vinegar? Or “ACV” to those who are in-the-know?
About a year or so ago, my Instagram feed was completely taken over by people and their vinegars. Drinking this vinegar for this reason, using this vinegar for that reason, etc. But the most common one? ACV.
I admit it, I wasn’t jumping out of my seat to try apple cider vinegar. I already have a pretty solid vinegar collection (red wine, rice wine, balsamic, etc.) for dressings and marinades and cooking. And I wasn’t sure I wanted to try drinking the stuff.
So, when Swanson Health Products asked me to try their apple cider vinegar, I was intrigued. I was told that it is raw, unfiltered and unpasteurized; this means it still has the “mother,” a natural complex of proteins, enzymes, fiber and friendly bacteria.
How did I try it out?
- I made some salad dressing to top on a salad. I mixed 1 TB ACV + 1 tsp Dijon mustard and 1.5 TB extra virgin olive oil. It was great!
- I tried it as a drink – I mixed 3 TB ACV to about 1/4 c of water. I first gargled with it (it’s supposed to help with a healthy throat!) and then drank it. The taste was a lot better than I expected. Bonus: I did this after working out, as not only is it good for a healthy throat, but ACV is supposed to help with preventing lactic acid build up!
a little in my mug
then diluted with water and gargled for throat comfort!
- I made a fruit fly trap – I put a few tablespoons in a bowl and added a few drops of dish soap. I had no idea we had so many fruit flies in our apartment – eep!
- I made a ginger, cinnamon ACV drink. This was my FAVORITE – it was so so so good!
What did I think?
Honestly, it was great on all ends. It not only killed fruit flies, but also made a good dressing and a better-than-expected post-workout drink and gargle!
Apparently apple cider vinegar is good for all sorts of other things. Some unexpected uses (I haven’t tried) include (and more are here!):
- Getting rid of the hiccups
- Getting rid of bad breath
- Creating shiny hair
- Making rice fluffy
- Making a facial toner
Some questions for you:
- Have you tried ACV?
- What are some products, like ACV, you’ve tried for unexpected or new solutions? I was surprised that I could make my own natural window cleaner with citrus! I did that once and it worked out great.
*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but was provided a gift certificate and product (apple cider vinegar) by Swanson Health. My views and comments are solely my own and do not represent those of Swanson.
Since I’ve been a mom, I’ve realized there are some things that I can NOT live without. Yes, there are the obvious – like diapers, onesies, bottles, etc. But there were also a few things I did NOT expect to need. These are:
Easy Food. Nourishment. Comida.
I’ve learned that it is hard to eat sit down meals during the day. When B is at work, FW is a fussy baby. He constantly needs to be held, changed, fed, and repeat. Or maybe that’s every baby?
So some days I don’t get a solid, two-handed lunch. Or breakfast. I need to turn to snacks to keep me full in between the quick meals and these have to be easy, healthy snacks. And they have to be easy to eat one handed! Some of the snacks I’ve found helpful include:
- Ready-to-eat fresh fruit and veggies. Clean it, chop it, etc. do what you need to do to prepare it ahead of time. I’m serious. As easy as it is to wash some grapes and green beans or chop up a watermelon or celery, when a baby is screaming and you’re starving, you’re not going to want to do this. I find it easier to do when B is home – or even better, B does this for me 🙂 AND it’s so easy to just drop some pre-chopped fruit into some yogurt and eat that with some granola (yes, it can be eaten one handed – I’ve done it).
- Dried or freeze dried fruit. It’s already prepared and it’s easy to eat. Just be careful and not to get one with a ton of sugar in it. I love these freeze dried strawberries – the ingredients only list freeze dried strawberries (no added sugar) and the whole package is under 100 calories. Yes, the WHOLE package.
- Something salty. Yes, even though I have a sweet tooth, I love salty foods on occasion. I love unsalted nuts, as well as these spicy seaweed snacks. They help satisfy my salt craving without going overboard on food like chips and pretzels (which yes, I do enjoy as well).
- Nut butter. I love nut butter. Peanut, almond, sunflower- you name it, I love it. Right now I’m loving some local peanut butter from the West Side Market as well as Peanut Butter & Co crunchy peanut butter. A plus? It can be eaten with one hand, fills you up, and is an ingredient in a ton of great healthy recipes.
[If you’re breastfeeding] Stuff for your boobies :
Ha, I don’t know if I ever thought I’d write “boobies” in a blog post … but here we go!
There are a ton of random things that I’ve found useful as I’ve started my journey with breastfeeding. Besides the “obvious” (like nursing bras), here are things I’d recommend for new moms:
- Nipple cream (not optional): Buy this. Use this. You’ll be happy you did. The kind I’m loving now is the organic nipple balm from Honest Company. It’s in an easy to use jar and it works!
- Brewer’s yeast: Why do you need this? There are tons of great recipes for moms to help your milk come in that use Brewer’s yeast. So really, this is an excuse to make cookies, like these ones that my friend Reanna (from the Last Mommy Blog) made me.
- Nursing Support tea: I love tea, year round, even in the summer. And this is tea I can drink and feel good about drinking while I nurse – it has chamomile, lavender and other great ingredients.
- Booby tubes: Nursing isn’t easy. It isn’t pain free. Booby tubes (yes it’s a funny name) can be heated or cooled to provide comfort depending on what you’re needing. And they’re reusable.
- Extension cords – especially an extra long phone charging/USB cord: You may be wondering what this has to do with being a new mom. Well, especially when nursing, I’m stuck in one spot for a while. And I am often using my phone one handed, and it starts to die. Having a long charging cord allows me to keep charging my phone while holding FW, nursing, or doing many other tasks or I’m stuck in one place for a while.
- Thank you cards: I’m so grateful that my friend Coughi bought me a bunch of thank you cards as part of a shower gift. If you’re lucky, you will have many friends and family bringing you meals and giving you gifts when your little one arrives. If you have thank you cards on hand, it could be a great way to show your appreciation.
- A Netflix/Hulu/HBO Go/Amazon Prime subscription: You’ll be spending a lot of time one handedly holding your baby or feeding him or her. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of reading and nursing or reading and holding FW at the same time, but I can be easily watching Netflix!
Moms and mom friends- what would you add? What have you found necessary?
*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but some of the products mentioned were provided to me by Swanson Health. My views and comments are solely my own and do not represent those of Swanson
Some blogkeeping- there is still one more day to enter the Cleveland Marathon race entry giveaway!
My friend Cuoghi is allergic to coconut. Can you imagine being allergic to coconut? I LOVE it so much and cant imagine not being able to experience all the gloriousness that is coconut. Coconut flakes. Special K cookies. Almond Joys. Coconut ice cream. Coconut oil. Fresh coconut right from the tree!
You get the picture. BUT up until recently I had never tried coconut flour. It intrigued me but I was intimidated. I knew you couldn’t use it as a replacement for traditional flour in a 1:1 ratio, but was really eager to try it out. Thank goodness the first recipe I tried came out GREAT. Here is a recipe for peanut butter coconut flour banana bread. The texture of this bread reminds me of bread pudding or pastel de elote – it’s really moist (Favorite word!) and not really quick-bread like but still so so so good. I’ll definitely be making this again!
Peanut Butter Coconut Flour Banana Bread
modified from Ambitious Kitchen’s paleo banana bread recipe. This is not paleo-sorry;)
Here’s what you need:
- 3-4 medium ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter*
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup coconut flour*
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
- Combine bananas, sugar, vanilla and peanut butter with an electric mixer and mix until smooth. Add in eggs and mix until combined.
- Add in coconut flour mixture; mix until just combined – do not over mix.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle peanut butter chips on top.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into middle of pan comes out clean.
- Cool completely before cutting. Texture will be somewhat mushy – not undercooked but more like a bread-pudding texture. Enjoy!
*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but some of the product (nut butter, coconut flour) was provided to me by Swanson Health. My views and comments are solely my own and do not represent those of Swanson.
Some questions for you:
- Now that I have all this coconut flour – what should I make with it?
- Do you like coconut?
I know it’s winter. I’ve looked outside – no need to remind me. This is what I see. SNOW.
Yes, it may be gloomy and snowy (but somewhat pretty, right?). But still, we all need a pop of color sometimes. And bright salads. All year round – don’t we? While I do enjoy eating seasonally, I do also enjoy salads in winter (and soup in the summer). And since we go meatless on Fridays during Lent, here’s an easy meatless meal you can enjoy then – or even for Meatless Monday or any day of the week.
Asian Quinoa Cabbage Salad with Almond Dressing
Here’s what you need:
- 2 cups cooked quinoa* – I like red quinoa, but other varieties should work fine
- ¼ cup all natural almond butter*
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon (or more, based on taste) Sriracha
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 2 cups shredded cabbage – I like using 1 cup red and 1 cup green for color
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- few handfuls chopped cilantro
- ½ cup chopped unsalted cashews*
Here’s what you do:
- While the quinoa is cooking, you can make the nutty Asian dressing. To do so, mix the almond butter and honey in a medium bowl. Add in soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha and water and mix well until dressing is smooth. and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy.**
- Mix half of the dressing with the cooked quinoa.
- Add in vegetables – cabbage, pepper, carrots and then add in remaining dressing.
- Before serving, top with cilantro and cashews. Add more Sriracha if you like more spice and enjoy!
Mine made four servings – perfect for dinner and lunch leftovers!
*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but thanks to Swanson Health for providing some of the ingredients (quinoa, cashews, almond butter). My views and comments are solely my own and do not represent those of Swanson. AND I’ll be doing a giveaway so you can get some goodies too, soon 🙂
**I used all natural crunchy almond butter which is pretty oily – if you were using a less oily spread you may need to microwave the almond butter first or add in a little oil / more water to get your consistency to be dressing-like.
Some questions for you:
- Do you eat seasonal?
- What’s your favorite hot sauce?
For more vegetarian posts, check out some of my past recipes or visit the linkup below! I’m linking up with Sarah and Confessions of a Mother Runner.