I Tried Huel, the Future of Food, and You Should Too

My fight against low energy rages on. I’m pretty sure the key to feeling energized isn’t in the massive amount of coffee I drink (what a wonderful world that would be). The key to getting your groove back is in a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and exercising. We’ve all gotten that memo. When I’m eating right, drinking lots of water, and exercising regularly, my body just feels better, ya know? I am absolutely determined to find that fountain of youth, y’all. As always, ambition gets the best of me, and I go totally extreme in my efforts. So this happened. I spent a long 5 days on a liquid diet, and maybe after you read this you will too. Hear me out.

I should tell you again that I’m not one of those people that lives to eat. I’m more like one of those people that eats to live. The idea of meal replacement shakes doesn’t send me running for the hills, though I tend to avoid them because of all the toxic additives that many of them contain. Then I discovered Huel. Huel is a nutritionally complete powdered food that contains all 26 essential vitamins and minerals, proteins, essential fats, carbs, fiber, and phytonutrients without all the chemical additives. I mean, they bill themselves as the future of food. Lofty claim, right? But hey, it’s vegan, it’s sustainable, it’s cost effective, it’s time saving, and you get a free t-shirt with your first order. So I thought, why not give this stuff a try.

I’m an all or nothing kind of lady. I figured if I was gonna try Huel, I was gonna try Huel, straight up, no chaser. I mixed the powder with nothing but water for the first 3 days and ate nothing else. Seeing is how I’m one of those people that eats to live I figured I wouldn’t miss food all that much. I was wrong. I’m gonna be bluntly honest here. Huel tastes like…well, imagine this: you take food, then you subtract flavor, texture, and go ahead and get rid of all that makes food indulgent or delicious in any way until you’re left with nothing but science. Then you’ve got Huel.

Ok, so I’m totally exaggerating, but if you’re expecting the future of food, think again. I will admit, however, that the taste isn’t offensive at all (it actually has a kind of oat taste to it) and the texture isn’t so bad either, but I did find myself missing food. As for my energy level, to be honest, I felt really good. I haven’t felt hungry at all and I was able to keep up with my daily yoga without feeling overly tired or strained. Full disclosure: I abandoned the whole just water thing after the first 3 days, and opted for breakfast smoothies with Huel. Best decision ever. These smoothies have been down right tasty. You can even cook with Huel, baking it into a healthy cookie recipe, or even a savory stove top dish. The website offers a variety of recipes that include Huel, so there’s that. Anyway, Huel is definitely worth a try. If you’re looking to improve your diet, increase your energy level, maintain a healthy weight, or even drop a few pounds you should give Huel a go.

Check out the video below for a look at a fabulous kitchen, a beautiful man, and some tips on using Huel.

Try This— Cheesy Savory Oatmeal

Confession: there’s people out here that put sugar in their grits and I know this because I am one of those people. My argument is this. Grits are a type of cereal and cereal NEEDS to be sweetened— end of story…drops mic. I can admit when I’m wrong though and with all the time I spend sweetening foods that are traditionally savory, or spicing foods up that are traditionally sweet, I have to say, I should totally abandon my stance on grits. You know why? Because I’ve developed a new obsession. Say what?! Savory oatmeal!!!

Last fall I was addicted to grain bowls for breakfast. Seriously. I couldn’t start my day without that hearty, stick to your ribs breakfast. When the weather starts to get colder, breakfast smoothies no longer work for me. I need hot meals that are filling and delicious. So when I came across this savory oatmeal recipe on Healthy Nibbles and Bits, I knew I just had to try it. Guess what?! It’s amazing. Just what the doctor ordered for those chilly Autumn mornings. You must try this!

Cheesy Savory Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dry quick-cooking steel cut oats
  • 3/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp shredded white cheddar cheese (or more, because how can you really measure cheesy goodness?)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup diced red peppers
  • 2 TBS finely chopped onions
  • 1 large egg

Directions

  1. Stove Top Method: Bring water to boil. Add oatmeal, reduce heat a little and let it cook for about 3 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat and stir in cheese, a small pinch of salt, and pepper
  2. Microwave Method*: Place oats and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Line microwave dish with paper towels to catch any spills. Microwave at a high setting (but not the highest, about 8/10 power setting) at one-minute intervals for a total of 3 minutes. If you want a softer texture, continue microwaving at 30-second intervals. Give the oats a little stir between intervals. When the oatmeal is done, stir in shredded cheese, a small pinch of salt, and pepper.
  3. Heat a nonstick pan with 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until they soften. Spoon vegetables over cooked oats. Reduce heat to medium.
  4. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oil and fry egg. Cook until the whites are no longer translucent and serve over oatmeal.
  5. Top with chopped walnuts, green onions, and za’atar

Blueberry Beauty—Spa Days at Home

I watched Willy Wonka over the weekend. Not that newer Tim Burton mess. Nah. I watched the classic, y’all. The Willy Wonka with Gene Wilder and the incredibly macabre songs. Yep. That’s the one. I just love those strangely sinister children’s stories a la Edward Gorey.  Anyway, I’d just gotten to the part in Willy Wonka when Violet Beauregard turns into a blueberry and I got all déjà vu all over again. I love blueberries, and when I was a kid, my mother used to say that if I wasn’t careful I’d turn into one. Ha!

I guess I proved Mommy wrong because I’ve been eating, drinking, and most recently smearing blueberries all over my skin and I still haven’t suffered Violet’s fate. Seriously, blueberries are the incredible, edible, antioxidant rock star of DIY beauty. Internal and external, that tiny purple giant is a beauty powerhouse. There are so many ways to enjoy the benefits of blueberries that I couldn’t settle on just one, so I decided to share a few ways to reap their rewards with you.

For Snacking

Blueberries are an excellent source of fiber, they’re low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium. They’re also jam packed with vitamins. So if you find yourself a little peckish between meals, grab a cup of blueberries and nom nom away. One cup of blueberries is an energy boosting and filling snack at just 84 calories!

For Breakfast

One of my favorite breakfasts is this super simple blueberry banana smoothie. Just blend together 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup plain or vanilla whole fat yogurt, 1/4 cup orange juice, and 1/2 of a medium sized banana. Add a little ice to the blender to make it extra frothy.

For Beauty

Harnessing the antioxidant power of blueberries and coupling it with the antibacterial power of honey, this face mask is easy to whip up and the results amazing. In a blender, mix about 1 cup of blueberries, 2 tbsp raw honey, and 2 tbsp raw sugar. Apply this mixture to your clean skin and allow it to work magic for about 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Eat, drink, and bathe in blueberries, y’all! I promise you won’t turn violet.

Homemade Granola With Extra Clusters

I have a love/hate relationship with granola. I love the taste. Real talk, I can eat granola on top of yogurt or fruit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If I’m being completely honest, I really have done just that. But I absolutely do not love the price of store bought granola. It’s super expensive considering the price of the individual ingredients and how much granola those ingredients yield coupled with how easy it is to make. Most of all I ‘m not in love with the fact that as you make your way through a box or a bag of granola, all of the delicious granola clusters disappear and you’re left with half a bag of granola crumbs. Because I eat so much granola, I had to find a homemade recipe that didn’t skimp on the flavor, or the clusters. If you love granola clusters as much as I do, you must try this!

Homemade Granola

Makes 3 to 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (1/2 pound) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) whole, raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) whole, raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup (2 ounces) light brown (or unrefined) sugar
  • zest of 1 small orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons / 3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325º F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Have a second rimmed baking sheet and piece of parchment ready.
  • Combine the oats, nuts, sugar, orange, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, melt together the butter, maple syrup and salt, stirring to dissolve the salt. Pour over the oat mixture, tossing to combine thoroughly.
  • Dump the mixture onto the lined baking sheet, and spread it into a thin sheet no thicker than an almond. Ideally, the edges will be slightly thicker than the center as they will bake faster. Lay the second piece of parchment over the granola, and place the second sheet pan on top, right-side up, making a little granola sandwich.
  • Slide the whole thing into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate and continue baking another 10 to 20 minutes, peeking under the parchment to make sure the edges aren’t burning, until the granola is a rich golden brown. It will still be soft, but will crisp up as it cools.
  • Let the granola cool completely in the sheet pan sandwich, then break up and store in an airtight container for up to a month (or possibly more). Enjoy over fruit and yogurt for breakfast, alone for a crunchy snack, or over ice cream for a decadent dessert.

I use this double baking sheet trick for a variety of granola flavor combinations like maple brown butter, rum-kissed coconut, or cardamom honey! The clusters do not disappoint!

Source: Food52

Try This---Add a Little Heat to Your Shake: Mexican Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie

Try This—Add a Little Heat to Your Shake: Mexican Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie

I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve been getting really bored with smoothies lately. I feel like I’ve run the gamut when it comes to all the healthy add-ins. Chia seeds, flax seeds, oats, peanut butter, you name it, I’ve thrown it in my smoothie. I’ve been feeling the need for something different. I don’t know about you, but when the weather is this cold, I crave nothing but warm things. Even though smoothies are the perfect breakfast, it’s so hard for me to get excited about a frothy cold drink in the Winter.

I started to think of drinks that make me feel warm and toasty. Of course there’s always alcohol, but I can’t very well start my mornings with a shot of smoothie. It’s too soon in my relationship with liquor to take that step, plus day-boozing totally defeats my fitness goal purposes. Then I started to think of this deliciously spicy hot chocolate that I got at the Chocolate Room in Park Slope. Um, the combination of sweet hot chocolate and chili peppers… seriously?! It’s delicious and I was determined to bring that warm, spicy flavor to my icy breakfast smoothie.

Solution: Cayenne pepper! Cayenne pepper promotes circulation, speeds up the metabolism, and improves digestion. This powerhouse spice also adds an unexpected kick of heat to your otherwise ice cold smoothie. This recipe is the perfect blend of sugar and spice. You absolutely must try this!

Mexican Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie

ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 of a ripe (preferably frozen) banana
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of ground cayenne pepper, to taste (but I suggest you start really small)
  • extra ice, if desired

Directions

  • place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth
  • garnish with cacao nibs and coconut shavings, if you’re super fancy

Creamy, sweet, and spicy. This recipe is everything! If you haven’t paired chocolate and chili peppers before, this is the perfect recipe to start with. You won’t regret it!

Source: betterwithcake.com