chia seeds

Berry-Mango Smoothie

Today we are featuring a smoothie recipe created by our friends at Healthsomeness, a great page to find creative and healthy smoothie recipes! This one is delish, let us know what you think!

berry mango smoothie

Ingredients and health benefits

1 cup of frozen mixed berries: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries to be precise, all of which are rich sources of antioxidants. One particular antioxidant that they contain in large amounts is vitamin C, perhaps the most well know vitamin. It helps with iron absorption, the healing of wounds and boosting your immune system.

Numerous studies have shown that berries help to reduce mental decline, promote heart health, assist with weight management and can also help reduce cholesterol levels & blood pressure.

1/2 a cup of frozen mango: mangoes contain naturally occurring sugars, which is why they are so delicious. Their sweetness is advantageous when preparing smoothies because you don’t need to add in any extra sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Mangoes, like many other orange coloured foods, are a rich source of vitamin A. This vitamin is important for eye, skin and hair health.

1 cup of spinach: it is important to get at least 3 servings of vegetables a day, and one cup of vegetables counts for one serving. Leafy greens like spinach are mainly made up of water, which is why they are so low in calories. Indeed, a cup of spinach has only 7 calories!

However with that being said, spinach is still very nutrient dense. It is a great source of vitamin K, folate, manganese and iron.

1 cup of coconut water – coconut water is super hydrating and is often used by athletes in place of ordinary sports drinks. Two electrolytes that it contains in large amounts are potassium & magnesium. The former regulates fluid balance and controls electric activity of the heart whilst the latter promotes bone and gut health.

1 tablespoon of chia seeds – when these tiny seeds are introduced into liquid, they swell up and form a thick gel like consistency. This in turn means they make you feel full faster when you eat them.

Nuts & seeds are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet because they contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals. This is one of the primary reasons why they are so often recommended by nutritionists.

1 teaspoon of spirulina – this rich green powdery substance is an algae that is an excellent source of protein. You don’t need much in order to reap its benefits, one teaspoonful is enough. Studies have shown that spirulina boosts energy, helps prevent cancer and is good for cardiovascular health.

Preparation

Pour the coconut water into a blender and then add in the rest of the ingredients. Blend well and serve immediately. Enjoy!

#TovitaNoFilter: Week Three

Here we go, week three. Time to get serious with healthy fats, colorful veggies, herbs and spices. Don't forget to share your skin loving meals using #TovitaNoFilter. 

healthy fats

1.    Get friendly with fats. We’re talking avocado, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds. These healthy fats reduce inflammation and strengthen cell membranes for softer, younger looking skin. The high omega-3 content in fatty fishes like salmon help to prevent clogged pores, fine line formation and wrinkles. Fish also contains the mineral selenium, which helps to prevent sunburn and maintain an even skin tone. If you like to nosh on almonds or sunflower seeds, your skin will thank you. The vitamin E in sunflower seeds and almonds slows down aging of skin cells and can aid in diminishing scar tissue.

sweet potato

2.    Boost the beta carotene. This is the antioxidant that gives the orange, red, and yellow pigment to vegetables - AKA load up on the carrots, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers. For an extra boost of fiber, leave the skin on your sweet potato. We recommend baked sweet potatoes with a teaspoon of coconut oil and a dash of cinnamon!

spices

3.    Spice it up. Quit lathering your meat and vegetables in sugary or salty marinades and sauces that cause dehydration and puffiness! Instead, play around with different herbs and spices to create unique flavors that are inherently low in calories. Though you may need a breath mint after, garlic contains high amounts of cysteine, an amino acid that can help stimulate hair follicles to grow stronger, thicker hair. Chili, paprika, cayenne and jalapeΓ±o add a kick to your meal while providing vitamins A and C, which prevent the breakdown of collagen. Research also shows that these spices may help to increase your metabolism! Lastly, turmeric is a nutritional powerhouse. It has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits due to its high component of curcumin. Try our recipe for turmeric popcorn

To give your skin some extra love during the dry winter, try our Tovita Glow Salad:

  • 4 cups spinach or kale
  • 4 oz baked salmon (baked with slices of lemon, rosemary and thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
  • Β½ cup raw cucumber slices
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • Dress with 2 tablespoons avocado dressing (recipe below)

Enjoy Β½ baked sweet potato with a dash of cinnamon on the side!

Avocado Dressing (makes ~1 cup)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 avocado, peeled pitted, and chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Blend until smooth and creamy and keep refrigerated.

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Pumpkin Overnight Oats

Turns out we all face the same morning dilemma: how to beat the rush to work and squeeze in a moment for breakfast. One of the reasons we're still riding the overnight oats bandwagon is that it solves exactly this conundrum. When you plan your breakfast the night before, you eliminate that early morning breakfast bind. Now, pumpkin season isn't quite over yet so we're milking it for all that it's worth. This pumpkin overnight oats recipe combines fiber and protein to help you feel satisfied until lunch. Not to mention anything in a Mason jar makes for a perfect on-the-go solution. 

Ingredients (serves 1):

  1. 1 medium frozen banana
  2. 2/3 cup organic pumpkin puree
  3. 1/4 cup soy milk
  4. 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  5. 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  6. 1/4 cup rolled oats 
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1 teaspoon Trader Joe's pumpkin spice blend 

Directions:

  1. Combine frozen banana, pumpkin puree, soy milk, yogurt, vanilla extract, and spices in a blender. Power on high until ingredients are well blended. 
  2. Pour dry rolled oats into Mason jar. 
  3. Add blended pumpkin-banana mix into Mason jar. 
  4. Add chia seeds into Mason Jar.
  5. Mix contents with a spoon until oats, puree, and chia seeds appear evenly distributed. Close jar and place in refrigerator overnight. 

Spotlight On: Chia Seeds

Love it or hate it, chia seeds are here to stay. It wasn’t too long ago that the now fully acclaimed super food was an obscure grocery store D-lister. Now you can practically find chia seeds before you can find sliced bread. There are good reasons why the chia love has spread like wildfire, so we're here to share why these little guys are more than just a food fad. 

chia seeds

The history behind Chia seeds amplifies its mass appeal. Chia was a staple for ancient Aztec and Mayan civilizations. The word chia is actually the Mayan word for β€œstrength”. The warriors relied on chia for fuel before their ultra long distance treks through the desert. So while we may not be trekking through any desserts, chia seeds have a multitude of benefits for us in the modern world as well.

These little seeds have an impressive nutrient profile. Just two tablespoons provides 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, omega 3’s and all ten amino acids making it a complete plant protein. A serving of chia seeds has more antioxidants than blueberries and more protein than flax seeds. The fact that the seeds expand and gelatinize when mixed with a liquid are what makes you feel full and satisfied after consuming a small amount. The gelatinous consistency also makes it a great addition to muffins, yogurt, smoothies and puddings. Remember, two tablespoons is about 100 calories so you may want to stick to 1 tablespoon at a time.

One of our favorite ways to use Chia seeds is in our overnight oats. We all know how hectic mornings can be so we love having breakfast ready to go. This is a nutrient packed breakfast that will keep you full and energized.

5-Minute Overnight Oats

Ingredients: (serves 1)

overnight oats
  • Mason jar (because everything looks better in a mason jar)
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional teaspoon of honey or peanut butter
  • Pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

Mix together all ingredients in the mason jar and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, add fresh berries or sliced banana and enjoy. Easy as that!

Tovita Trick: blend 1 medium banana with soy or almond milk in above recipe. Add all of the ingredients as instructed. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy your banana overnight oats!