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15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta

*Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free*

Author: Angela Liddon

Creamy, thick, and rich with lots of garlic flavor and a hint of lemon. This is my newest favorite pasta dish. The avocado works wonderfully in this recipe to create a sauce so creamy and thick, you will think there is cream hiding in there. Inspired by My

Yield: 3 servings

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook time: 10 Minutes


  • 9 ounces (255 g) uncooked pasta (use gluten-free, if desired)
  • 1 to 2 small cloves garlic, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ripe medium avocado, pitted
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (1 to 2 ml) fine-grain sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Lemon zest, for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
  2. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce: In a food processor, combine the garlic and basil and pulse to mince.
  3. Add the lemon juice, oil, avocado flesh, and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. If the sauce is too thick, add another 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Drain the pasta and place it back in the pot. Add the avocado sauce and stir until combined. You can gently rewarm the pasta if it has cooled slightly, or simply serve it at room temperature.
  5. Top with lemon zest, pepper, and fresh basil leaves, if desired.

Tips: Because avocados oxidize quickly after you slice them, this sauce is best served immediately. If you do have leftover sauce, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

For a grain-free version, serve this avocado sauce with spiralized or julienned zucchini or on a bed of spaghetti squash.

Recipe Source:

5 Veggies that are Healthier Cooked!

By Rachael Bieschke

Raw vegetables are often touted as superior to cooked veggies, and this is sometimes true. Cooking can potentially lead to the degradation of enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants – higher levels of which generally equate with a healthier food.

However, as is often the case there are exceptions to the ‘rule’ that raw is better. With some vegetables the cooking process actually helps to break down fiber, helping with digestion, and may make certain nutrients more bioavailable to your body.

Supermarket Guru recently highlighted five such vegetables that are actually healthier when cooked … along with the best cooking methods to use.

  1. Tomatoes: Cooking boosts the amount of the antioxidant lycopene in tomatoes by up to 35 percent – excellent news for those of you who love a good tomato sauce! Lycopene may help lower your risk of cancer and supports heart health.
  1. Carrots: Cooked carrots have higher levels of beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. Blanching or steaming carrots will help preserve their antioxidants.
  1. Cruciferous Veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.): Cooking cruciferous vegetables leads to the formation of cancer-fighting indole. Chopping or chewing these veggies may also activate detoxifying enzymes in your liver that may help neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation. Soups made from cruciferous vegetables (such as cream of broccoli) are a good choice, since many of their nutrients are water-soluble.
  1. Mushrooms: Nutrients including calcium, iron, zinc and antioxidants increase when mushrooms are cooked. Plus, cooking mushrooms with a bit of butter or olive oil will allow you to absorb more of the fat-soluble vitamin D they contain.
  1. Winter Squash: Winter squash can be eaten raw, but it’s far more enjoyable to most when it’s cooked. The good news is that its nutrients are well retained when it’s baked, making baked winter squash a wonderful source of beta carotene for your lung, eye, skin and immune system health.

There is, of course, a fine line when it comes to cooking fresh produce. Overcooking is not recommended and will typically deplete heat-sensitive nutrients, such as vitamin C. When you do cook your veggies, choose gentle methods like steaming or quick sautéing, and only cook to a ‘tender-crisp’ (not mushy) consistency.

Overall, strive for a healthy balance of both cooked and raw foods in your diet, and remember that, in most cases, raw fruits and vegetables will win out over cooked, nutrition wise.

Supermarket Guru

Raspberry Muffin Cakes

She Let Them Eat Cake Author: Maggie Savage

Maggie says: “Why Muffin Cakes? Because these babies were meant to be more than muffins. They’re moist and cake-like, and I just know you will love them!”

Yield: 10-12 muffins


  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1⁄2 cup certified gluten-free oat flour
  • 1⁄2 cup certified gluten-free oats
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3⁄4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1⁄4 cup honey
  • 1⁄4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons ground chia mixed with 1⁄2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line or grease muffin cups.
  2. Combine almond flour, oat flour, oats, tapioca flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, or a large bowl, combine applesauce, honey, coconut oil, and ground chia-warm water mixture.
  4. Stir in dry ingredients, mixing well to combine. Fold in raspberries.
  5. The muffin batter will thicken up because of the ground chia.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups (3/4 full).
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 20-23 minutes. Let cool in muffin pan for 3-4 minutes. Remove to wire rack and let cool completely.

These Raspberry Muffin Cakes taste just as yummy on day two, but you could wrap them up and freeze for future breakfast or brunch treats.

Recipe Source:

8 Sun Safety Myths BUSTED!



Cancer Treatment Centres of America have written a fantastic article about sunscreen myths. Read it here! Summer wouldn’t be summer without the warmth of the sun’s rays, but too much sun can easily lead to painful burns and, in severe sunburn cases, symptoms like nausea, headache, fever, dizziness and chills.

The secret lies in the dose. A few minutes of sunshine on your bare skin allows your body to produce healthful vitamin D. But after those few minutes are up, getting into the shade or covering up with clothing or a non-chemical sunscreen will protect your skin from unnecessary sun-induced damage. For your protection, and to protect your fun in the sun, be sure you’re aware of these top sun safety myths.

1. Higher SPFs Give Significantly More Protection

Most people think that an SPF 50 sunscreen will give you more than three times more sun protection than an SPF 15. In reality, a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 will block 97 percent of the sun’s rays; higher SPFs, while more expensive, will block only slightly more of the sun’s rays, but not 100%. The SPF also has no impact on length of protection, which is the same for both low- and high-number SPFs.

2. You Can’t Get Burned if it’s Cloudy

It’s important to protect your skin from the sun even if it’s not particularly sunny outside. On cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays can still penetrate your skin1, and because many people neglect to cover up on cloudy days, this is when some of the worst sunburns occur.

3. My Makeup Has Sunscreen, That’s All I Need

Many makeup products, such as foundation, now contain sunscreen, and this is great, especially if it contains at least an SPF 30. However, you should think of this as an added protective layer, not your main safeguard against the sun. Most women only apply a small amount of foundation to their face in the morning. Not only is this likely not enough sunscreen for adequate protection (and misses your ears, chest, back of neck, and other sunburn-prone areas), but it will likely wear off after a couple of hours. Even if your makeup has an SPF, you should still take additional steps to protect your delicate facial skin from sun damage.

4. It Doesn’t Matter When You Go Out in the Sun

If you’re seeking to avoid a sunburn, you’ll want to avoid excessive sun exposure between 10 am and 2 pm. This is when the sun’s rays are the strongest, so a shorter exposure time may lead to a sunburn faster than other times of day, such as in the late afternoon or early morning. That said, you can still get burned in the morning and early evening hours.

5. You Don’t Need Sunscreen if You Have Dark-Colored Skin

Dark-colored skin will not burn as easily as light-colored skin, but the sun can still lead to skin damage and burns with excessive exposure. You should wear protective clothing, seek shade and consider using a chemical-free sunscreen for sun protection even if you have dark-colored skin.

6. All Sunscreens are Created Equal

Sunscreens typically contain either chemicals, such as oxybenzone, to absorb the sun’s rays or minerals, such as titanium dioxide, that block them. Oxybenzone, present in more than half of sunscreens according to an Environmental Working Group (EWG) report, has been linked to hormone disruptions and cell damage that may lead to cancer.1 Another sunscreen additive, retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A), may speed the development of skin tumors when applied to skin exposed to sunlight. EWG reports:3

“The ideal sunscreen would completely block UV rays that cause sunburn, immune suppression and damaging free radicals. It would remain effective on the skin for several hours. It would not form harmful ingredients when degraded by sunlight. It would smell and feel pleasant so that people would use more of it.

No sunscreen meets these goals. Americans must choose between “chemical” sunscreens, which have inferior stability, penetrate the skin and may disrupt the body’s hormone system, and “mineral” sunscreens, made with zinc and titanium, often “micronized” or containing nano-particles.”

7. Sunlight Doesn’t Penetrate Through Windows

While UVB rays, which help your body produce vitamin D, are blocked by glass, UVA rays, which penetrate your skin more deeply and may increase your risk of skin cancer, are not. If you spend a significant amount of time exposed to window-filtered sun, your skin could still be damaged as a result (such as during a long commute or if your desk is next to a window).

8. Any Clothing Will Block the Sun’s Rays

The type of clothing matters when it comes to sun safety. Darker and brighter colors will absorb more UV rays than white or pastel shades, while heavier, denser fabrics with tighter weaves will offer more sun protection than thin, lightweight fabrics with a loose weave. A white t-shirt, for instance, will still let in some UV rays, particularly if it’s wet.4

More Tips for Finding a Safe and Effective Sunscreen

You’re ready to go out in the sun … now which sunscreen product is best? EWG has researched this topic extensively and recommends the following tips for choosing a safe sunscreen:5

  • Avoid Spray Sunscreens: There is some concern that these sprays could cause health concerns when inhaled and they make it difficult to determine if your skin is adequately covered. They’ve even been implicated in fires when sprayed near an open flame. Stick to cream sunscreens instead.
  • Avoid Super-High SPFs: SPFs higher than 50 may offer false reassurance that you can stay in the sun longer than is safe. Some of these high-SPF products protect against UVB radiation, which causes burns, but not UVA, which may lead to accelerated skin aging and skin cancer.
  • Avoid Oxybenzone: This common sunscreen chemical mimics the hormone estrogen and easily penetrates the skin, increasing the amount that enters your bloodstream
  • Avoid Retinyl Palmitate: This form of vitamin A may speed the development of skin tumors when used on sun-exposed skin.
  • Avoid Loose Powder Sunscreens: Because of the potential for inhalation, loose powder sunscreens, which often contain titanium or zinc particles, should also be avoided. Inhaled titanium dioxide is classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans.

1. American Academy of Dermatology, Sunscreen FAQ

2. EWG’s 2013 Guide to Sunscreens, Nine Surprising Facts About Sunscreens

3. EWG’s 2013 Guide to Sunscreens, Nine Surprising Facts About Sunscreens

4. Skin Cancer Foundation, Clothing: Our First Line of Defense

5. EWG Sunscreens

6. Cancer Treatment Centres of America

Smoked Salmon and Veggie Scramble

Posted By Danielle Walker On February 8, 2014 @ 3:00 am

AUTHOR: Danielle

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 mins TOTAL TIME: 25 mins


  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chopped leeks
  • 3 asparagus stalks, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chèvre goat cheese
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon


  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Saute the asparagus, spinach, zucchini, and leeks until cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  3. Whisk the eggs with the goat cheese then add them to the hot pan with the vegetables. Allow the eggs to sit for 30 seconds before stirring.
  4. Gently move the eggs around the pan with a rubber spatula until they are scrambled and cooked through.
  5. Add the smoked salmon then serve immediately. Garnish with fresh chives.

Copyright © 2014 Against All Grain. All rights reserved.

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