Try This— Sweet Potato Hummus

this sweet potato hummus recipe is the perfect Paleo addition to your summer menu!

Since Winter basically refused to end this year and all the farmers’ markets and farm shares are either opening late or decidedly scant because of it, I thought I’d try my hand at hacking my favorite summertime dip. Hummus is a staple in my house. We smear raw veggies with this creamy delicacy all summer long as a healthy snack and sometimes it even winds up replacing a meal all together because we just can’t stop eating it. This recipe comes from the appetizer menu of Miss Ada, a cute little Mediterranean restaurant on Dekalb Ave. a few blocks from where I went to High School (Brooklyn Technical High School). Chef Tomer Blechman brilliantly uses sweet potatoes as a base instead of chickpeas in this recipe, so it’s perfect for anyone on a Paleo diet, or anyone that wants to use their chickpeas for something more productive like these beauty recipes. Best part is that by using sweet potatoes, your adding a healthy dose of complex carbs and fiber, oh and it makes your finished hummus totally Instagrammable. Drop everything… You must try this!!!

Chef Tomer Blechman in the outdoor eating area of Miss Ada 184 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Sweet Potato Hummus

Ingredients

serves 6 people

  • 5 medium sweet potatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves,
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1 cup smoked paprika
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp creme fraiche
  • 1 red onion, small diced
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • Baharat spice mix (1 Tbsp each of cinnamon, cardamom, and English pepper)
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium pot, boil sweet potatoes until tender.
  • Allow to cool. Add to a food processor and blend with garlic and tahini until smooth.
  • Make the paprika oil: In a medium saucepan over low heat, simmer paprika and canola oil for five minutes. Allow to stand for 20 minutes; strain into a squeeze bottle.
  • In a small bowl, combine creme fraiche and onion. Set aside.
  • On a baking sheet, spread almonds in an even layer. Toss with remaining canola oil and baharat spice mix. Bake for five minutes.
  • Scoop sweet potato mixture onto a plate. Create a nest and place creme fraiche in the middle. Add the almonds, paprika oil, and Aleppo pepper. Garnish with thinly sliced onion and parsley sprigs.
  • Serve with pita or sliced vegetables.

Self Care Bath Ritual Essentials

Creating a bath ritual is such an essential part of self care. It’s as simple as carving out 20 minutes from your day, setting your intentions (detox, relaxation, focus, muscle relief, etc.), and creating the proper atmosphere. Therapeutic bathing rituals have been used since ancient times to promote overall wellness, and are known to help in the body’s natural healing processes. While self care encompasses everything from healthy eating habits to fitness to meditation, the power of creating a bath ritual should not be overlooked. Here are a few of my favorite bath products that’ll get you started on your own new bath ritual.

Ritual Turkish Bath Towels

If you haven’t used these towels yet, you’re totally missing out. Not only are they super pretty, adding an amazing amount of texture and style to your bathroom, but they’re also everything you’ve ever wanted in a bath towel. Absorbent, quick-drying, soft, and very large (100cm × 180cm). You might recognize this style of towels from your last luxury spa visit. They may seem pricey, but if you follow simple care instructions, these towels will literally last you at least until your next major bathroom renovation. I’m loving my Stray & Wander Turkish Towels. I have towels from both the Rio Collection and the Cove Collection and they do not disappoint!

Ritual Candles

Set the mood, y’all! Candles serve a dual purpose: ambience and atmosphere. I’m totally crushing on Basik Candle Co. right now. These coconut wax blend candles have a way better scent throw than soy and other natural wax candles, yet they’re still extremely clean burning and eco-friendly. Choose from earthy scents like oakmoss + amber or teakwood + leather for a relaxing bath. Choose from citrus scents like grapefruit + mangosteen or blood orange + bergamot for a detox bath or a bath centered around sharpening your focus. My personal favorite is the mediterranean fig tree scent. It always seems to go with my mood and intentions.

Ritual Bath Additives

Of course you can always DIY the perfect bath additive, but sometimes the right blend is as easy clicking a link. Lark, a company founded on the principle that skin care shouldn’t be complicated, has made one such perfect blend. For a crystal infused detox bath, try their  New Moon Ritual Salts. These bath salts use pink Himalayan sea salt and the soft fragrance of lavender and sage. I love to use exfoliating soaps as part of my bath ritual, whether I’m soaking in the tub, or just adding some spa style to my evening shower. Carriage 44 offers a range of exfoliating bar soaps that smell dreamy. Try the Gentle Exfoliating Oatmeal Soap scented with vanilla absolute. Or try the Exfoliating Cedar & Lavender Soap, a unique blend of ground oatmeal, cedar, lavender, and spruce essential oils. It’s like melting away at a mountain retreat. They also carry this pretty awesome Dead Sea Soaking Salt that sloughs away dead skin, detoxes, and moisturizers leaving your skin really smooth.

Take the time out for yourself and create your own bath ritual!

Exfoliating Sugar Cubes + A Super Simple Homemade Recipe

In my ongoing quest to take my shower to spa heights, I’ve stumbled upon the greatest invention since sliced bread. Wait for it. Exfoliating sugar cubes! Gahhhh!!! These mini cubes are the perfect, no mess, single use size for gentle exfoliation in the shower. The square shape makes them easy to maneuver and the best part is that you don’t have to risk your life slipping on oil, because these little babies are not nearly as gooey as your favorite sugar scrub. Harper and Ari really got it right with this one!

I love the variety of ‘flavors’ Harper and Ari offer, but you can easily come up with your own favorite recipe at home. I got my go to recipe from Hello Glow. The sugar cubes are really easy to make. All you need are three ingredients: a melt and pour soap base + coconut oil + sugar. Then you just combine all your ingredients, spoon it into an ice cube mold, allow them to cool, and then transfer to an airtight container. The magic is in your choice of additive and the possibilities are endless. Mix in coffee grounds for an invigorating spa shower, or lavender or dried chamomile for a calming spa shower. So many choices!

Homemade Exfoliating Sugar Cubes

ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 ounces melt and pour soap (find it here)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • mini silicone ice cube molds (find it here)

Directions

  • place coconut oil and melt-and-pour soap in separate bowls
  • microwave on high in 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until thoroughly melted
  • pour sugar into another bowl and add in the melted oil and soap base
  • add optional ‘flavors’ and stir
  • quickly transfer the mixture to your mold and allow the cubes to set
  • store the firm cubes in an airtight container
  • to use, simply take one of your cubes into the shower and apply to wet skin

Optional Flavors

  • 1/4 cup coffee grounds (my personal favorite!)
  • 1-2 tbsp dried rose petals
  • seeds from 1-2 vanilla beans or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brown sugar (in lieu of white sugar) and 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Try This—Homemade Oatmeal Almond Power Bars

These power bars are packed with protein, healthy fats, and carbs giving you a much needed post workout boost, or midday snack. I’ve spent a small fortune on those Kind bars and Quest bars until I finally figured out that I could make these snacks at home with very little effort. Best part: I actually know what’s in them. No guess work, just a simple healthy snack that tastes great and stays fresh in the fridge and the freezer! Winning! You must try this!

Homemade Oatmeal Almond Power Bars

ingredients (makes about 12 bars)

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 5 medjool dates
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp. boiling water

Directions

  • Place almonds and oats in food processor (I use my trusty Nutribullet) and blend until you have a coarse crumb.
  • Add cacao powder, cranberries, and dates and blend again.
  • Begin adding the boiling water, a little at a time and continue blending, until the mixture becomes well incorporated and forms a ball.
  • Press the dough into a baking tin lined with wax or parchment paper and place in the fridge for 3-4 hours before slicing into bars.
  • For grab and go storage, wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container.

***Because all of the ingredients have a super long shelf life, you can store them on the counter top for several days, in the fridge for several weeks, and in the freezer for up to 6 months. Trust me when I say you’ll eat them all long before you run into any shelf life issues.

***Each bar contains about 200 calories.

Customize It!

This recipe is delicious, but there are so many ways to customize these energy bars. Check out this neat infographic to get you started!

These Open Shelf Kitchen Designs Will Forever Silence Your Inner Hoarder

Can we be honest? Upper cabinets are the giant tombstones in a kitchen graveyard filled with unused dishes, useless appliances, and forgotten cans of food you never liked in the first place. Alright, I’m being dramatic, but I used to always find myself fishing around in those upper cabinets and wading through a bunch of stuff that I should’ve thrown away, but instead tucked away. I took the open shelf plunge over ten years ago, and it totally changed the way I relate to kitchens, grocery shopping, and cooking. Open shelves brighten up an otherwise dark kitchen. You can actually see what you use and use what you see. Nothing more. Nothing less. Still not convinced that open shelves are life? Check out these kitchens and prepare to change your mind!