5 PCOS-friendly Burgers to Grill

Summer is here and it’s time to fire up your grill! Here are five PCOS-friendly burgers to enjoy! Remember, gluten-free is the best option. Put your burger on a full bed of lettuce and enjoy with a fork or spoon. If you need to have something for a bun experience, check out the sprouted grain version of the Ezekiel Bread Hamburger Buns!

Healthy Salmon-Quinoa Burgers

Salmon Quinoa Kale Burgers

by Skinny Taste | click to view recipe

 

Vegan Sweet Potato Sliders

Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Sliders

by Emilie Eats |  click to view recipe

 

Prosciutto Olive and Sundried Tomato Turkey Burgers

Turkey Burger

by The Healthy GF Life | click to view recipe

 

Chicken Caprese Burger
chicken_caprese_burger

by Chef Robert Irvine | click to view recipe

 

Mediterranean Chickpea Burger

Mediterranean-Burgers

by Roboot with Joe | click to view recipe

 

Use Ezekiel Bread as a Sprouted Grain Burger Bun or a large Portobello Mushroom

ezekielbreadbuns

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No-Bake Chocolaty Protein Goji Berry Granola Bites

There are so many things I love about this No-bake Chocolaty Protein Goji Berry Granola Bite recipe! You know all those seeds you can use in the Life Changing Cracker recipe and the Overnight Oats recipe we shared? Here’s another snack option you can make with them with a totally different taste! These power-punched bites are loaded with protein, natural fats, and anti-oxidants.  Here are some highlights that make it so good for you:

Cacao: Touted as being even better for you than dark chocolate, cacao nibs and cacao powder found in this recipe are full of flavonoids and antioxidants that fight off free-radical damage which can cause DNA damage, premature aging and even cancers. Think of antioxidants as firefighters putting out a blaze — a blaze of inflammation in your body. And cacao is one of the highest sources of antioxidants. The best part is it will make this snack taste “chocolaty” to you and will fire up all those pleasure sensors in the brain and lower your cortisol levels (aka: destress). In addition, one ounce of cacao nibs has 9 grams of fiber! Fiber helps to control your blood pressure and blood glucose levels. This fiber can also help lower blood cholesterol. Last, but not least, cacao has magnesium and potassium. A one ounce serving of cacao nibs has 64 milligrams of magnesium making it one of the best dietary sources of it. Magnesium aids in protein synthesis within the body, helps muscle and nerves function properly (great if you are experiencing fibromaylgia symptoms), plus helps manage blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation.

Flax: Flax is full of healthy fats and fiber, but low in carbs, so it will help you feel satisfied longer so you will eat fewer calories overall which may lead to weight loss. ALA (another type of omega-3) fats found in flax may also help reduce inflammation. Studies have shown flax can help with weight loss and it will help to make healthy hair and clear skin. You’ll also get all the benefits of lowering blood cholesterol and managing blood glucose levels. Flax is also high in antioxidants, so just like cacao, flax will help to fight off free-radical damage which can cause DNA damage, premature agin, and even cancers. In fact, one study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that the lignans in flaxseeds may also reduce the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer. And finally, the lignans in the flax have been shown to have benefits for menopausal women. Evidently, it can be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy because lignans have estrogenic properties.

Goji Berries: Goji berries are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and are also low in calories. They are also a good source of iron and vitamin A. One serving of about four ounces of goji berries even provides nearly 10 percent of the suggested amount of dietary protein. Goji berries have a high Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score of 3,290, showing that they contain much larger concentrations of antioxidants than most other fruits. They also raise blood sugars slowly — important for women with PCOS trying to manage insulin responses. Some studies also point to goji berries helping to lower arthritis symptoms. And these berries aren’t for everyone either — anyone who uses blood thinners or takes diabetic medication may have a negative reaction eating goji berries, according to WebMD. When in doubt, ask your doctor first. According to Paul Gross in his report, The Top 20 Superfruits, a quarter cup of goji berries contains 11 essential vitamins and 22 trace minerals, including 24 percent of our RDI of potassium, 18 percent of our RDI of zinc and a whopping 100 percent of our RDI of iron, copper and riboflavin. They also contain 8 polysaccharides, a primary source of dietary fiber. (Learn more:  http://www.naturalnews.com/044316_goji_berries_superfoods_antioxidants.html#ixzz48q0wxCQ7)

No bake Chocolaty Goji Berry Granola Bites

Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a great source of manganese (74%), phosphorus (57%), magnesium (48%), copper (48%), zinc (23%), protein (20%), and iron (16%). They also contain plant compounds known as phytosterols and free-radical scavenging antioxidants, which can give your health an added boost.  Also promising, recent animal studies have shown pumpkin seeds to improve insulin regulation. (Learn more: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=82 )

Walnuts: Cannot say enough good things about Walnuts! The anti-inflammatory nutrients in walnuts are amazing! They are full of omega-3 fats (113%), copper (53%), manganese (51%), molybdenum (20%), and biotin (19%). They also have anti-cancer treating benefits as well as the ability to help lower the bad cholesterol. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, “The form of vitamin E found in walnuts is somewhat unusual, and particularly beneficial. Instead of having most of its vitamin E present in the alpha-tocopherol form, walnuts provide an unusually high level of vitamin E in the form of gamma-tocopherol. Particularly in studies on the cardiovascular health of men, this gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E has been found to provide significant protection from heart problems.” (Learn more: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=99 )

If you want to add even more protein punch, you can include any protein powder you’ve been using. Although, a short word on protein powders and PCOS… the thing that’s problematic for us cysters with these powders is that most contain dairy and sugar or terrible sugar substitutes (sorbitol, mannitol, aspartame etc.) that mess with our insulin sensitivity. Read your label carefully! There is a lot of natural protein in this recipe already — you could probably skip the protein powder if you don’t have any on hand, or if you are concerned about it affecting your hormones.

No-Bake Protein Goji Berry Granola Bites - Option 1

  • Servings: 10-15
  • Difficulty: easy
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PCOSbitesNo bake ChocolatyGoji Berry Bites

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 cup rolled or quick oats (gluten free)
• 1/2 cup pecan pieces, chopped
• 1/2 cup walnut pieces, chopped
• 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
• 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
• 1/2 cup flax seeds
• 1/4 cup cacao nibs
• 2 Tbsp of cacao powder
• 2 Tbsp of protein powder (optional* – see note above about which one you choose if you have PCOS)
• 1/2 cup of goji berries (*see note above if you are on blood thinners or on diabetic medicine)
• 1/4 tsp of Pink Himalayan Salt, finely ground
• 2/3 cup of almond butter
• 1/2 – 2/3 cup Honey

OTHER TOOLS YOU MIGHT NEED:

9″ x 13″ pan with lid to cover or saran wrap
Large mixing bowl
Silicone spatula
Non-stick spray

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. (Quick oats, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, cacao nibs, cacao powder, protein powder, salt, and goji berries. Stir well to incorporate all ingredients.
  2. Drizzle honey evenly over the top of your dry ingredients.
  3. Add almond butter and incorporate into ingredients until all ingredients are fully combined.
  4. Take a 9″ x 13″ pan and spray with a non-stick spray. Spread your mixed ingredients into the base of the pan, pressing down firmly.
  5. Cover your 9″x 13″ pan with saran wrap or a plastic fitted lid and place into your refrigerator and chill overnight.
  6. In the morning, cut unto 2″ x 2″ squares and snack on as needed. Keep your bars in fridge for up to a week.

Tip: If you don’t need a larger batch, take half of what was made and place in a freezer ziplock bag and freeze for later use.

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This recipe is Gluten-free, Lactose-free, Corn-free, and Refined Sugar-Free

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Breakfast or Snack: 2 Carrot Muffin Recipes Face-off

imageWhen I saw that I could get a big ‘ol bag of carrots at Sams for around $3, my mind instantly began turning thinking up ways to make my crew (and me) something tasty in the baking department. Introducing gluten-free carrot cake muffins.

I quickly learned that there are a lot of recipes out there.  So, I decided to test two options that I found online and ended up adapting both after trying them out on my crew.  Turns out that half of my crew liked version one and the other half liked my second version. Win-win!

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So, I thought I’d include both options here on the blog, so that you could try either or both options based on whatever was in your pantry for supplies. I also wanted to taste-test the difference between a muffin made with almond flour and compare it against a muffin made with gluten-free oat flour.

I preferred the second recipe, as did my hubby, my 3 year old daughter, my six year old son, and one of my 15 year olds. My other 15 year old son (I have identical twin sons) liked the first recipe as did my 11 year old son. Had we not done a side by side comparison, I think either would have been quickly devoured.

You can store in a ziplock freezer bag and toss into the freezer as a grab-n-go breakfast or snack option.

Make both and tell us which one you like best in the comments below!

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Muffins - Option 1

  • Servings: 9
  • Difficulty: easy
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PCOSbites Carrot Muffin Gluten-Free with almond flour

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 ¼ cups of blanched Almond Flour
• 2 TBSP Coconut Flour
• ½ tsp Aluminum-Free Baking Powder
• ¼ tsp Iodized Salt
• 1 ½ tsp Cinnamon, Ground
• ½ tsp Ginger, Ground
• ¼ tsp Allspice Organic Powder
• 2 large eggs, room temp and beaten
• 1/3 cup Pure Canola Oil
• 1/3 cup Honey
• 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract, Certified Organic
• 1 very ripe banana (if you want your muffin to be more moist)
• ½ cup finely grated carrots
• 1/3 cup of finely grated Pecan Chips
• ½ cup of Organic Sun Dried Raisins

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix first seven ingredients together in large bowl.
  2. Combine egg, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl and mix. Add to dry ingredients.
  3. Add honey, carrots, raisins, and nuts to bowl and mix with a hand mixer until incorporated.
  4. Scoop into a greased muffin tin or into paper cupcake liners. Fill batter to the top of each liner.
  5. Bake at 350° degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

gluten-freelactose-freecorn-freerefinedsugar-free
This recipe is Gluten-free, Lactose-free, Corn-free, and Refined Sugar-Free

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Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Muffins - Option 2

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
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PCOSbites Gluten Free Carrot Muffin using oat flour

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 ½ cups of Organic Oat Flour, 24 oz.
• 1 tsp Aluminum-Free Baking Powder
• 1 tsp Baking Soda
• 1 ½ tsp Cinnamon, Ground
• ½ tsp Allspice Organic Powder
• ½ tsp Ginger, Ground
• 1 very ripe banana
• ¾ cup Honey
• 1 egg, brought to room temp and beaten
• 3 TBSP of Pure Canola Oil
• 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract, Certified Organic
• 1 ½ cups of finely grated carrots
• ½ cup of Organic Sun Dried Raisins
• ½ cup of Pecan Chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix first seven ingredients together in large bowl.
  2. Combine egg, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl and mix. Add to dry ingredients.
  3. Add banana, carrots, raisins, and nuts to bowl and mix with a hand mixer until incorporated.
  4. Scoop into a greased muffin tin or into paper cupcake liners. Fill batter to the top of each liner.
  5. Bake at 350° degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Note: Most people can tolerate oat flour if they have a gluten sensitivity. If you have celiac disease, be sure you get a gluten-free oat flour as it will not have been milled at a facility where wheat, barley, and rye are processed.

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This recipe is Gluten-free, Lactose-free, Corn-free, and Refined Sugar-Free

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EAT THIS INSTEAD OF THIS: Quinoa vs. White Rice

It’s time for our next “Eat THIS instead of THIS”!

Check out the following infographic on why you should be swapping out that white rice for quinoa! And that includes reading those supposedly “gluten-free” ingredients on boxes… Remember, every day you can change your life one bite at a time!

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Snack | Side Dish: Gluten-free Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

Today’s dish is a result of me getting in the test kitchen sort of mood, as I decided to make lemon-aide from lemons you might say — or in this case, Fried Green Tomatoes from a “whoops” in the garden.

Five days ago, my husband and I were in the garden tending it and noticed that the Early Grow Tomato plant was very happy and becoming heavy-laden by four tomatoes it had produced on one vine. Our original support was just not doing the job and it needed something stronger to support the growing fruit. So, we tried adding a sturdier cage while gently lifting the vines. We were able to manipulate it in such a way that we felt confident the new structure was secure. He walked away satisfied, but no, I had to go give it one more little push into the ground. That’s when my ears heard a ***snnnnnap!!!***  and my heart dropped to my stomach. Sure enough, the stem that was heavy laden with four beautiful Early Grow Tomatoes had snapped at the base and was separated from the main plant. Ugh! I stared at my mishap. Double UGH! I thought.

So, I pulled the tomatoes off the broken vine and put the broken stem and leaf in my compost pile and hauled my four (very green) tomatoes up to the house sad that I had just spoiled my first crop in an aim to put that support in the ground perfectly.  They sat on the counter all week as I didn’t have the heart to throw them out. No ripening, they just sat there, staring back at me and reminding me of my mishap. But then I got an idea…  Remember that recipe that I used to coat chicken breast that my kids loved? What if we did a Southern thang’ and tried it on my green tomatoes?!

Fried Green Tomatoes

I sliced into those Early Grow (very green) tomatoes and they were beautiful. I gave them a bath in one whipped egg and coated them with my Gluten Free Breaded-but-without-bread Chicken Strips recipe. I backed off on the cayenne pepper by half and left out the turmeric (although it would be great in there as well.) And threw it in a hot pain sizzling with some bacon grease (my ghee wasn’t ready yet – ghee would be healthier, but the flavor was fantastic using the bacon grease.)

The first batch got a little burnt (see below pic), because I kept it on too high of heat (it was just above medium heat) for too long. The next batch turned out perf’ after I turned the heat to just below medium heat and then flipped the green tomato after about 40-seconds of grill time in my little sauce pan.

Test kitchen results

I only did a few at a time as they cook quickly.

Frying Fried Green Tomatoes

Flip when the edges start turning light brown. I added a little bit of ranch on the side to balance out the spices in the Gluten Free Breaded-but-without-bread Chicken Strips recipe. My guys LOVED it! My picky 6-year-old and my sometimes picky 11 year-old both gave me two thumbs up! And their father came back for seconds! Whoop whoop!

Gluten-Free Fried Green Tomatoes

Tomatoes have long been linked to heart health. Fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Tomatoes help in the regulation of fats in the blood — numerous phytonutrients in tomatoes have been shown to help prevent excessive clumping of our platelet cells. (This ability is usually referred to as an “antiaggregatory effect.”)Tomato Nutrients

Tomatoes also have outstanding antioxidant content, including, of course, their oftentimes-rich concentration of lycopene. Research has shown that there is an important connection between lycopene, its antioxidant properties, and bone health. In a 4-week study of post-menopausal women, it was shown that those who did not consume lycopene-containing foods (like tomatoes) experienced increased signs of oxidative stress in their bones and unwanted changes in their bone tissue.

They are also very low on the glycemic index which means you can enjoy without worrying about a spike in your insulin levels.

And lastly, there have been some studies that show that tomatoes have anti-cancer benefits. As you know, in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), there is a greater risk for Ovarian Cancer, so tomatoes may be beneficial.

One word to my PCOS Cysters — if you are experiencing severe joint pain and suffering from an arthritic condition, you may want to skip this snack/side dish idea. Joint pain can be caused by high uric acid in your body or because of arthritis. Night shades (which tomatoes are considered) are pro-inflammatory in some body types so you may want to check with your physician treating your arthritis before consuming this type of dish.

If you try making this recipe, I hope you share your pic and feedback in the comments below! Enjoy! (PS: Maybe even watch the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” while eating this! Ha!)

Gluten-free Fried Green Tomatoes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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PCOSbites

INGREDIENTS:Fried Green Tomatoes
Gluten-Free Coating Mix:
• 1 cup Almond Flour
• ½ tsp Garlic Powder
• ½ tsp Onion Powder
• ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper, Ground
• 1 tsp pepper
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 TBSP Organic Kelp Granules
• ½ tsp Thyme
• ½ tsp Turmeric(optional)
• 1 tsp Ground Cumin
• Ghee or Bacon Grease for frying

Main Ingredient:
• Organic Green Tomatoes

Egg Bath:
• 1 Egg

TOOLS:
• Cutting Board and Knife
• Frying Pan
• Spatula for flipping fried green tomatoes
• small open bowl large enough to place tomato into for egg bath
• small open bowl large enough to place tomato into for coating mix

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Heat your frying pan at just below medium heat.
2. Slice green tomatoes to about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick.
3. Whip one egg in a small open bowl that is large enough to place a tomato into the egg bath coating both sides of the tomato with raw egg.
4. Move green tomato immediately into the gluten-free coating mix and coat both sides of the green tomato with gluten-free coating mix.
5. Add a ½ tsp of bacon grease to the hot pan (make sure the pan isn’t too hot or it will splatter). It should melt quickly. You want to move the pan so that the bacon grease coats the entire bottom of the pan.
6. Add your green tomato coated with the egg batter and gluten-free coating mix into the pan.
7. Allow your green tomato to cook in the pan for about a minute. The edges will turn a light-brown. Flip and cook for about the same time on the other side.
8. Remove from heat and serve with a little bit of ranch dressing (optional).
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This recipe is refined-sugar free, gluten-free, corn-free, and lactose-free.

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BREAKFAST: Gluten-free Waffles

Gluten-free Waffles

My guys love waffles. I enjoy them too, but I don’t like making them for a large crew, because they are painfully slow to crank out. I stand there for about 40 minutes slowly feeding child after child. Pancakes are more my speed for feeding a hungry crew fast. So waffles are an exercise in patience for me.

But, today, for some strange reason, they just sounded better than pancakes. I was determined to feed my hungry crew some gluten-free waffles. I adapted a recipe I found online by Gina Matsoukas.  First off, when I followed the recipe I had found (I was doubling it), it would stick to my waffle iron, even though it seemed fully cooked through. My solution was to add some tapioca flour and that seemed to help it release. I also felt like it needed something more and added some raisens for a little bit of sweetness in every bite. You could also use carob chips or blueberries to mix in — whatever you fancy!

Gluten free waffles

Kids had one each and there was enough to feed all seven of us a 6″-7″ size waffle. I served peaches with it and my littlest gobbled hers up and the crumbs her big brother (age 6) had left. Definitely a kid-friendly recipe.  As a Mama with PCOS, I would go lightly with the toppings as maple syrup can create an insulin response.

Tip: If you don’t have as large of a family to feed, make the whole batch and throw the extras in the freezer for a quick breakfast on another day!

Gluten-free Waffles

  • Servings: 7-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

PCOSbitesimage
INGREDIENTS:
• 2 cups almond flour
• 4 TBSP coconut flour
• 1 1/2 tsp of finely ground pink Himalayan sea salt
• 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp of ground nutmeg
• 4 small to medium sweet potatoes, cooked, skin removed
• 4 eggs
• 3 tsp vanilla extract
• 4 TBSP pure maple syrup
• 1 tsp of canola oil or avocado oil
• 2/3 cup of almond milk
• 1 tsp of tapioca flour
• 3/4 cups of raisins (other mix-in ideas: blueberries, chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, or carob chips)

OTHER THINGS YOU MIGHT NEED:
• Waffle Iron
• A non-stick spray
• Spoon (to scoop out sweet potato from skins)
• Mixing bowls (one for dry and one for wet ingredients)
• Whisk (for wet ingredients)
• Spatula (to scrap the bowl and scoop onto the waffle iron gluten-free waffle batter)
• Cookie sheet (for cooking your sweet potatoes on)
• Parchment paper (for cooking your sweet potatoes on)

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Place 4 small to medium sized sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Poke the sweet potatoes with a knife towards the center about 5-7 times in various spots throughout each sweet potato. Bake for about 40 min or until soft in the center. Remove from heat and cool.
2. Take a spoon and scoop out all cooked sweet potato and place into your blender. Once you’ve emptied all the sweet potatoes from their outer skin, blend until a smooth puree. Set aside.
3. When sweet potatoes are finished cooking, plug in your waffle iron to preheat while you mix the ingredients.
4. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
5. Whisk together all the other (wet) ingredients in a medium bowl.
6. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Fold in your pureed sweet potatoes into your bowl of mixed ingredients. Combine until fully incorporated.
7. Open up your waffle iron and spray upper and lower sections with a non-stick spray. Add a small scoop of gluten-free waffle batter to the center and spread. It should only cover about 1/2 of the bottom. When you press down, it will expand to make a larger waffle.
8. Set your timer for about 7 minutes.
9. When timer goes off, take a fork and gently pry around edges all the way around until it lifts out of the waffle mold.
10. Top with your choice of fruit and/or maple syrup. Enjoy!

 

This recipe is refined-sugar free, gluten-free, corn-free, and lactose-free.

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