Pumpkin Turkey Bean Chili

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Crock pot recipe, woo hoo! When I see the words “crock pot” my mind already says yes, yes, and yes.

Throw in the ingredients, turn on the heat, and indulge. Yes, you can come home for dinner to a house filled with delectable smells and a ready to eat meal? Yep, like I said before, yes.

Now I know it has been a couple week since I have made a post and all my recipes are starting to pile up. With the weather changing from blistering hot days to chilly grey, I think we can all benefits from an appropriate change in our diet. Some people may not particularly like chili, but I have always been a chili and soup kind of girl. It is one of my favorite things when the fall and winter months sneak upon us. If I did not get the crazy stares when I order chili in the middle of June, I would.

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Chili is the best type of food! It warms you right up on a cold night, can be acceptably eaten for days because you always have leftovers (what person makes homemade chili for one?), is one of the best foods to make for football Sunday (Bear Down), makes you feel better when sick, and it is just absolutely delicous. Wow… you would think I am a sponsor for a chili company or something, I just love it so much. Specially, I love my chili ;).

I have turned the original staple meal into a healthy, convenient, fall themed delight. If you asked my boyfriend, he would classify me as “one of the pickiest costumers ever” when it comes to ordering chili or any food for that matter. I rather bypass the disappointing meal and just make my own because I know I can make it exactly how I want it, hearty. (Not that every single place is bad, because I have my favorite spots) My biggest thing, I don’t skimp on the meat people, that’s one of the best parts!

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I also love to play with all my recipes and even though pumpkin chili sounds a bit funky, trust me. I have been making it for years and it is always a hit. I might even go far enough to say I think it’s better then chili without pumpkin.

Adding pumpkin makes your recipe fun and perfect for fall, but it doesn’t stop there.

Just 1 cup of pumpkin puree provides:

-3.4 grams of iron

-contains more than 2x your daily recommended amount of vitamin A

-provides about 15% of your Daily needs for vitamin E

All of which are supportive for a strong immune system. Sounds like a vital quality to have in your food during the common sick month doesn’t it?  Vitamin A also keeps your eyes, bones, and teeth healthy and vitamin E protects your body from cellular damage that can lead to certain types of cancer.

You can add pumpkin to a variety of recipes from sweet to savory making it perfect for so many things. Personally, I have been using it in basically every recipe and I will do my best to get all the recipes up on the blog ASAP.

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Please do not get intimidated because of the ingredient list.

To be honest is may look long, but it is not that bad. Chili has a funny way of needed tons of ingredients, but most are spices or common items you might all ready have in your home. Plus, you can take my recipe loosely and improvise/play with ingredients yourself if need be. You do not always have to go running to the store to spent more money. See what will work for that meal out of the items you already have.

The recipe below is my version including tips and tricks, however, chili is a super easy uncomplicated thing to make. Through everything in a pot and heat. I need to make this more often?

Now it’s time for you to run to the kitchen and whip up a big batch to see just how good this is for yourself.

Pumpkin Turkey Bean Chili        

Preparation time:

-15 minute

Cook time: 

-6-8 hrs

Serves:

~12-14 (2 cup servings)

Ingredients:

-1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)

-1.5 lbs grass fed, lean ground turkey

-2 Tbsp olive oil

-16 bean soup mix, uncooked

-1/4 to 1/2 large yellow onion, diced

-4 cloves garlic, chopped

-3 cups chicken broth (fat free)

-2 medium tomatoes, diced

-1 tsp chili powder

-1 tsp oregano

-1 tsp ground pepper

-2 tsp cumin

-1/4 tsp cayenne powder

-1 bay leaf

-1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

-5 sprigs fresh thyme

Toppings (optional): chives, cilantro, shredded cheese, avocado slices, plain greek yogurt (in place of sour cream).

Directions:

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Place turkey in skillet and cook until brown. Transfer turkey into slow cooker, add all other ingredients, turn heat on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours.

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There is the shortened version for all ya’ll. Now for what I did…
I used the bullet to chop garlic cloves in 5 seconds, transferred it into the crock pot along with all other ingredients expect turkey. I bought grass fed organic turkey from Mariano’s.
Did you know they cook the meat for you right in front of you? If you live by a Mariano’s save time by getting your meat cooked in the store. They even season it how you want with a variety of seasonings available. If it’s convenient for you, kill two birds with one stone like I did. The turkey I used was cooked in store and I walked off to finish my grocery shopping for the week, came back in 15 minutes, and it was done. When I got home I added the turkey in the crock pot, stirred and allowed to simmer for another ten minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
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This chili is dairy free, but feel free to add cheese. It is also gluten free and can easily become vegan friendly if you omit the turkey and use veggie broth. Vegan or not this recipe will provide you with a good source of protein and energy. If using meat, choose lean protein like turkey, it’s less fatty than beef typically used.
 Thanks for visiting and keep visualizing nutrition with me. Bon appetit!
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❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving: Calories: 225; Total Fat: 4.9 g (Saturated Fat: 1.3 g); Cholesterol: 40 mg; Sodium: 450.9 mg; Potassium: 103.8 mg; Total Carbs: 35.1 g; Dietary Fiber: 17 g; Protein: 21.8 g; Calcium: 5%; Vitamin A: 32.7%; Vitamin C: 9.2; Iron: 18.2%.

Watermelon and Mangerry Sorbet

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If you follow my blog, you may know I am training for my very marathon and I am so grateful it is the Chicago Marathon. It has always been something I planned to do in my 20’s, one of those bucket list items. I cannot begin to explain how excited I am for it and nervous at the same time as it creeps closer and closer. I don’t know if I will become an avid marathon runner, most likely not because they are so expensive, but I will be endlessly proud to say I did it. I finished to the best of my ability and that will never go away. Well, with all my long runs I get very dehydrated, as any runner would. I made the perfect combination of a refueling and rehydrating sorbet the other day after my early morning 24k. I was absolutely drained and it was much needed to say the least.

At the time, I was blissfully unaware that my run that morning would be one of the last in warm weather.:( Within only a few days, the sun in the midwest went from 80’s and shorts to 60’s and hoodies. Today, I am sad to report it even reached mid 50’s. With that said, I hope this does not have to be one of my last summer like post. I suppose I have to stop denying fall weather is coming and begin to embrace the autumn that I do love so much. You can’t blame a girl for hoping for one more hot day, right? Once I adjust my wardrobe accordingly I know my fall obsession will kick into high gear. Do not get my wrong, it is not like you cannot eat cold foods during the colder months because I am the first to make smoothies, fake ice creams, and sorbets in the winter. I am just stating the season is changing and so is my grocery list.

This was my favorite sorbet/(n)ice cream recipe I have ever made, I am truly obsessed! My only mistake was not making more because it all disappeared so quickly… I don’t know where it all went.;) I try to make all my ice cream recipes dairy free to alleviate any chances of stomach aches later as I am sensitive to dairy.

In no time at all you could create your own delicious organic sorbet that will treat your body well. No cooking, baking, or freezing necessary. Just blend the 3 main ingredients:

-Fresh fruit of your choice (I choose watermelon, mango, and raspberries)

-Maca root powder

-Dates (soaked)

In my boyfriend Tim’s words, “This is the perfect homemade Italian Ice”. In other words call it what you want, sorbet, Italian Ice, fake ice cream, (n)ice cream, or heaven in your mouth;). That last option is my favorite.

Among the many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants these fruits provide Vitamin C and lycopene is among one of the highest in my sorbet recipe.

A watermelon’s anti-inflammatory properties from lycopene increases as it ripens, so be sure to use a watermelon that is fully ripe. Lycopene is not only anti-inflammatory, but it is also known for its cancer-fighting health benefits. In addition, watermelon is rehydrating to due to its high water content and it is enjoyed at a low calorie cost.

Raspberries have anthocyanins which may lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation. While mangos contain beta-carotene which may contribute to reduced heart disease and cancer risk, and  increased protection against infection.

I chose to add dates as a natural sweetener and the maca root powder acts as a natural energizer, plus it boosts your immune system. It’s safe to say this is a nutrient dense recipe.

Watermelon and Mangerry Sorbet (Mango/Berry)       

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Serves: 5 (4 oz)IMG_3419

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups watermelon, cubed and frozen
  • 1 mango, frozen
  • 1/4 cup raspberries, frozen
  • 1 cup dates, pre-soaked
  • 2 tsp maca powder

Toppings: Chia seed, cacao nibs, unsweetened desiccated coconut, and raspberries.

Directions:

1. Soak dates the night before in a bowl of water. Make sure water is covering dates completely. This allows them to soften and blend easier. I did not include pre-soak time in the preparation time above.

2. Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Top with toppings and your done. Freeze left overs if you have any!

Let me quickly clarify what I mean when I say fresh vs frozen. My frozen fruits are fresh organic fruits I buy from the market, wash, cut, and freeze myself. If you do not choose to buy organic fruit, the frozen packaged fruit is fine to use as well. Try to stay clear from canned fruit preserved in juice with added sugar.

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I hope you enjoy my watermelon sorbet all year long, I know that’s what I’m planning on doing! Feel free to share my blog with family and friends, it’s much appreciated! Happy Weekend!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving: Calories: 100; Total Fat: 0.3 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 1.8 mg; Potassium: 281.4 mg; Total Carbs: 25.6 g; Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g; Protein: 1.5 g; Calcium: 2.6%.

Greek Yogurt Cup

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I am a victim to those late night cravings. If I eat dinner too early or get home too late to make a full meal, my stomach is still rumbling for food. When it’s late and I am hungry, all I want if something small, something fast, something now. Since I am in need groceries, I currently have a bunch of random foods in my fridge, so what I did was throw a few items together and within seconds my delicious late night snack was ready to eat. See, eating healthy does not always have to be as hard as you think.

I used vanilla greek yogurt, yes I am indulging in some late night dairy, freshly cut watermelon, blueberries, maca, mint, and bee pollen. That’s all it was, no need to run to the grocery store every time you want to make a nutritious meal or snack. Many things you may already have in your home can be made into a delicious healthy meal, you just have to know how to use healthy foods to your advantage. Yes, I know its not typical to have bee pollen in your pantry, but you don’t always need those specialty food items, be creative to keep yourself satisfied. For instance, switch the bee pollen topping for some freshly grated ginger or cinnamon.

The two superfoods I used that you may not know much about are the maca and bee pollen. They have both become staples in my everyday meals and using them can be very beneficial to your health. So for a little nutrition education:

1. Maca Powder 

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Maca is a root that has been used for years by the Peruvians as medicine. The plant root produces a powder that is nutrient dense and can produce good balance to your daily diet. Maca has been used for anemia, chronic fatigue, and athletic performance because it enhances energy levels and stamina. It also has been used for fertility, memory improvement, and hormone imbalance. Maca powder can also boost your immune system and help with osteoporosis, depression, and symptoms of menopause.

2. Bee pollen   

Screen shot 2014-07-31 at 11.29.07 AM Bee pollen has been used for years in Chinese medicine to correct nutrient imbalance. It is used to improve endurance and vitality, aids in recovering from chronic illness, reduces cravings, prevents illnesses such as the cold and flu, boost immune system, and helps to build new blood cells. Of course, you will not see these results over night. Adding it into your everyday diet could help your body over time. I sprinkle 1 tsp over many of my foods including smoothies, oatmeal, cereal, chia bowls, and even salads.

Vanilla Greek Yogurt Cup     

Preparation time: 2 minutes

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup greek yogurt, vanilla
  • 4 pieces watermelon, cubed
  • 5 blueberries
  • 1 tsp bee pollen
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 5 leaves mint, fresh

Directions:

1. Place greek yogurt and maca powder into a cup, stir until mixed well.

2. Top with watermelon, berries, fresh mint, and bee pollen.

The mint just adds something extra by giving an aroma that is so refreshing and delectable. If you don’t have it on hand, use any of your favorite topping, preferably sticking with fresh items, such as fruit.

I used Greek yogurt because that is what I had and I need the added protein because of my marathon training, but you can easily switch this out for a yogurt of your choosing or vegan coconut yogurt. I do enjoy the “So Delicious Dairy Free” greek yogurt.

My whole point is a healthy meal or snack can be made in as easy as 1,2,3. You do not always have to stress and run to the store to make your family or yourself something good for you, use what you have.

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 Love your body, feed your body, fuel your body with healthy and easy recipes from MyNutritionVision. Remember to tag me at #brnutritionvision if you try my recipes to let me know what you think! Thanks for visiting!
❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving : Calories: 223; Total Fat: 0.9 g (Saturated Fat: 0.2 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 106 mg; Potassium: 406.1 mg; Total Carbs: 30.4 g; Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g; Protein: 22.6 g; Calcium: 62.7%.

1-Minute Vegan Chocolate Chips

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Chocolate lovers, look no further! Pure, organic, and raw ingredients is all it takes to create these rich chocolate chips. If I knew it was this easy, I would have done this a long time ago.

I typically buy raw cacao nibs in place of chocolate chips, but this time I wanted something bigger for my Mint-Chocolate Chip Ice-(No)Cream recipe. While I rummaged through my cabinets to see what ingredients I had, I realized I didn’t need any more then 4 things. Cacao powder, coconut oil, vanilla, and honey is all it took to create these healthy vegan chocolate chips.

Raw Cacao Powder   

Cacao powder is made of 100% pure cacao that is certified as organic, kosher, non-gmo, gluten free, dairy free, and raw. It is a good source of fiber and cold-pressed to protect existing nutrients. This can be used for a variety of foods including raw desserts, baking, sauces, spreads, smoothies, or juices.

1. Rich in antioxidants. Cacao naturally contains a rich supply of antioxidants protecting our cells from damage caused by free radicals. It is known as one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium, flavanols and polyphenols. In fact, it contains a higher level of antioxidants per 4 oz compared to acai berries, goji berries and blueberries. 

2. Improves your mood. Cacao powders contain dopamine and phenylethylamine (PEA), two types of neurotransmitters. They aid in mental alertness, improve mood to make you feel good and help with weight loss.

3. Increases weight loss. Flavonoids have also been shown to increase production of the hormone known as adiponectin. This hormone works to regulate metabolism of fatty acids, thus assisting in weight loss and reducing obesity. 

The big question when it comes to raw cacao is:

“What’s the difference between cocoa and cacao?” 

Cacao is not so different from cocoa because they are both made by grinding cocoa nibs to a paste or liquor and then removing the cocoa butter (the fat). The process to make cocoa powder it called hydraulically pressed. This is basically roasting at high temperatures changing the molecular structure, this ultimately reduces enzyme and antioxidant levels. The cocoa butter removal process to make cacao powder is cold-pressed, this preserves the vital nutrients.

The main benefit to using raw cacao versus cocoa powder is the antioxidant level. Raw cacao contains over 3x the antioxidant profile that cocoa powder due to the heating process. When using raw cacao, keep in mind the addition of any dairy products will decrease the absorption of antioxidants. Using vegan friendly products such as almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, or water will help to avoid this.

Coconut Oil 

The use of coconut oil is beneficial for the heart healthy diet. The existing saturated fat are not harmful to the body as you often see in other oils, such as vegetable. It contains roughly 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing a variety of heart problems. Among the numerous health benefits, here a list of a few ways coconut oil can benefits you. 

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1- Minute Vegan Chocolate Chips 

Preparation time: 1-2 minutes, freeze 15 minutes

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Serves: 16 oz

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp organic honey

Directions:

1. Heat all ingredients, expect cacao powder, in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Once ingredients are blended add the cacao powder to the saucepan and continue to heat until sauce is smooth and all ingredients are well combined. Take roughly 1 minute. IMG_1372

2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour chocolate sauce over lined cookie sheet evenly. Place cookie sheet in freezer for 15-20 minutes or until completely hard. Gently break hardened chocolate sheet into pieces big or small. Use as topping for ice cream, smoothies, or cakes.

NutritionVision Tip: You do not have to freeze right away! Before freezing my chocolate mix, I used it as a dipping sauce for freshly cut fruit.

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Enjoy this simply 1 minute sweet treat and Visualize Nutrition with me everyday! 
If you enjoy my blog, please help me get the word out by subscribing to the email listing and sharing it on facebook, instagram or twitter with friends and family! Thank you, Love you all!! 

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving: Calories: 55; Total Fat: 3.7 g (Saturated Fat: 3.1 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 1.7 mg; Potassium: 37.4 mg; Total Carbs: 2.8 g; Dietary Fiber: .5 g; Protein: 0.4 g; Calcium: 0.3%.