Featured

Coconut Chai Spiced Granola (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This coconut chai spiced granola is crazy flavorful and downright addicting. If you love chai tea, this recipe will blow your mind!

Tray of granola - Daisybeet

Granola is officially one of my favorite things to make myself. There are certain store bought brands that I love, but homemade definitely takes the cake.

This coconut chai spiced granola recipe is the third granola recipe I’ve shared on the blog, and I think it might take the cake. Ben proclaimed that this recipe is the best one yet without hesitation. It has tons of chai spiced flavor, thanks to cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and cloves. Combined with rich coconut and caramel-y dates, I just can’t get enough.

Coconut chai spiced granola - Daisybeet

How to make coconut chai spiced granola

  • Mix oats, shredded coconut, slivered almonds, and spices together in a mixing bowl.
  • Mix together coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir to combine.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Let granola cool completely to harden, then use your hands to break into pieces.
  • Toss in chopped dates with the cooked granola.
Coconut chai spiced granola - Daisybeet

Tips for making this coconut chai spiced granola

  • Use old fashioned rolled oats. Quick and steel cut oats do not provide the right texture for granola, so make sure you are using old fashioned rolled oats.
  • Bake low and slow. We bake this granola at a lower temperature (325 degrees F) to prevent burning while it bakes for ~30 minutes.
  • Don’t mix the granola while it is baking. Spread the granola into one large “sheet” and don’t mix it! Baking at a lower temperature prevents burning, and by not mixing the granola, it allows us to have those giant clusters.
  • Let granola cool completely before breaking into clusters. The granola will harden as it sits and cools, so wait until it is room temperature to break it up into clusters.
  • Store in a wide, shallow airtight container. Carefully layer the big granola clusters in a wide, shallow container instead of a tall, narrow one to maintain the structure.
Coconut chai spiced granola - Daisybeet

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Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

Coconut chai spiced granola - Daisybeet
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Coconut Chai Spiced Granola (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: makes about 6 cups 1x
  • Category: breakfast

Description

This coconut chai spiced granola is crazy flavorful and downright addicting. If you love chai tea, this recipe will blow your mind!


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, almonds, coconut, spices, and salt. Stir together.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry, and stir to thoroughly combine. 
  5. Spread granola into one even layer on the baking sheet.
  6. Baked for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until edges start to brown and granola is an overall golden brown shade.
  7. Let granola cool to room temperature, then use your hands to break it into large clusters.
  8. Toss with chopped dates.


Notes

  • Store in a wide, shallow airtight container.

Keywords: chai spiced granola, homemade granola, chai spice, vegan, gluten free

Save this recipe for later to one of your Pinterest boards

Coconut chai spiced granola - Daisybeet
Coconut chai spiced granola - Daisybeet

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

Featured

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Wild Rice and Chickpeas (Gluten Free)

This beet and goat cheese salad is a delicious side dish any beet lover will enjoy! The beets are tossed with goat cheese, U.S.-grown wild rice, chickpeas, and a zippy lemon vinaigrette. 

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Wild Rice and Chickpeas - Daisybeet

Beets are definitely a polarizing food. You either love them or you hate them. But if you love them, you know how TASTY beets are when paired with tangy goat cheese. It’s one of my all time favorite food combinations!

You guys know how much I love my grain salads, and this one really tops my list. It features U.S.-grown wild rice, chickpeas, in addition to beets and goat cheese. Wild rice is a new ingredient for me, and I can already think of a million other ways I want to use this grain!

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Wild Rice and Chickpeas - Daisybeet

Why choose U.S.-grown rice?

Did you know the United States produces 18 billion pounds of rice per year? Neither did I! U.S.-grown rice is also extremely high quality. I recently had the pleasure of traveling to Ralston Family Farm in Little Rock, Arkansas to experience rice growing and learned about it firsthand! 

During our trip, we got to tour the entire rice farm, from field, to storage, to milling, to packaging. They have a beautiful modern kitchen at the farm, where we were treated to a multi-course rice tasting, plus a delicious lunch prepared by chef Matthew Bell. We even learned how to make sushi, using antioxidant-rich purple rice! It was such a fun trip, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity.

Here are some cool facts I learned:

  • Arkansas is the nation’s largest rice producer.
  • Rice is a very sustainable crop to grow. At Ralston Family Farm, they flood the rice fields with water from the Arkansas river. Once they are done, the water goes right back into the river, in a purified state.
  • Some varieties of rice are high in antioxidants, like red rice and purple rice. 
  • Rice takes about 100 days to grow between the day it is planted and when it is harvested.
Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Wild Rice and Chickpeas - Daisybeet

Main ingredients in this roasted beet and goat cheese salad

This salad contains so many wholesome, real food ingredients. You’ll load up your plate with plenty of fiber, plant-based protein, and antioxidants with this on your menu!

  • Red and golden beets
  • U.S.-grown Wild rice
  • Chickpeas
  • Goat cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Parsley 
  • Garlic 
Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Wild Rice and Chickpeas - Daisybeet

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Wild Rice and Chickpeas - Daisybeet
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Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Wild Rice and Chickpeas (Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6 1x
  • Category: side dish

Description

This beet and goat cheese salad is a delicious side dish any beet lover will enjoy! The beets are tossed with goat cheese, U.S.-grown wild rice, chickpeas, and a zippy lemon vinaigrette.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lb red and golden beets
  • 1 cup U.S.-grown wild rice
  • 1 can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a covered baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.
  2. Wash and scrub beets and add them to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with a little salt and cover. *Alternatively, you can wrap each beet in tin foil and place on a baking sheet, if you don’t have a covered baking dish.
  3. Roast beets for 45 minutes – 1.5 hours, rotating them every 20 minutes so they cook evenly. Beets will be done cooking when fork tender.
  4. Once beets are cool enough to handle, use your hands to squeeze off the skin under cool running water. Chop into 1 inch cubes.
  5. While the beets roast, cook the wild rice according to package instructions. I used a rice cooker on the brown rice setting, and it took about an hour.
  6. Prepare the dressing. Whisk together lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, parsley, and garlic. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while continuing to whisk until well combined.
  7. Combine roasted beets, wild rice, chickpeas, parsley, and goat cheese in a large mixing bowl. Pour in dressing and toss until everything is well coated. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Notes

  • Try to choose similar sized beets for even cooking. The smaller they are, the faster they will cook.
  • This salad tastes good cold and holds up well as leftovers.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Keywords: beet and goat cheese salad, beets, wild rice, gluten free, U.S.-grown rice, goat cheese, chickpeas

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Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Wild Rice and Chickpeas - Daisybeet

Disclosure: Thank you USA Rice and The Feedfeed  for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

Featured

Creamy Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce Pasta (Vegan)

This vegan pumpkin alfredo sauce is what autumnal dreams are made of. It’s packed with rich flavor, and has the creamiest texture thanks to cashew cream!

Pumpkin Alfredo pasta - Daisybeet

What’s your comfort food? Growing up with an Italian mom, we had pasta a lot with dinner. She even makes her own raviolis every December for Christmas, using our family recipe! For me, forget the chicken noodle soup. Comfort food comes in the form of those raviolis, or a warm bowl of pasta.

This pasta with homemade pumpkin alfredo sauce is the ultimate comfort food. It’s rich and creamy without feeling too heavy. A deliciously savory blend of garlic, shallots, and rosemary accentuates the pumpkin flavor.

Pumpkin Alfredo pasta - Daisybeet

How to make vegan pumpkin alfredo sauce

To keep this dish completely dairy free, we utilize a few unique vegan ingredients that pack a savory, umami punch. Instead of cream and cheese, we use homemade cashew cream, white miso, and nutritional yeast.

  • Sauté garlic and shallots in olive oil.
  • Add miso paste and rosemary to the pan.
  • Make cashew cream in a blender with cashews, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and spices.
  • Cook pasta and reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
  • Add pureed pumpkin, garlic and shallots mixture, and pasta water to the blender with cashew cream.
  • Blend until completely smooth and creamy.
Pumpkin Alfredo pasta - Daisybeet

The vegan ingredients that make this recipe shine

  • Cashew cream: Cashew cream is an excellent plant-based substitution for heavy cream in recipes. It is incredibly easy to make! Blend soaked cashews with liquid of choice (water, almond milk, or broth), and whatever flavorings you want to add. Cashew cream is lower in calories and saturated fat than regular cream.
  • Miso: A traditional Japanese ingredient, miso is a thick paste made from fermented soy. It is packed with super salty, umami flavor. Miso is a good source of many nutrients, including manganese and vitamin K. It also contains probiotics, thanks to the fermentation process!
  • Nutritional yeast: This ingredient has a cheesy, slightly nutty flavor. Nutritional yeast is rich in B vitamins and is a complete source of plant-based protein!
Pumpkin Alfredo pasta - Daisybeet
Pumpkin Alfredo pasta - Daisybeet

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Pumpkin Alfredo pasta - Daisybeet

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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Creamy Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce Pasta (Vegan)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 46 1x
  • Category: main dish

Description

This vegan pumpkin alfredo sauce is what autumnal dreams are made of. It’s packed with rich flavor, and has the creamiest texture thanks to cashew cream!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary needles
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tbsp white miso
  • 3 tbsp warm water

Cashew Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in hot water at least 10 minutes
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or water)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

 

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 12 oz pasta of choice (I used mafaldine)
  • 1 cup water reserved from pasta cooking

 


Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on low-medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and shallots plus a dash of salt and pepper. Stir around for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add rosemary and stir to combine.
  4. Whisk together the miso with warm water until a thick watery paste forms. 
  5. Pour miso paste into the pan with the garlic and shallots. Stir to combine, reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, boil your pasta according to package instructions. Set aside 1 cup of pasta water.
  7. Make the cashew cream. Drain the soaking cashews and put them in a blender with all the cashew cream ingredients. Blend until completely smooth.
  8. Add the pumpkin puree, garlic/shallot/miso mixture, reserved pasta water, and a dash of salt and pepper directly to the blender with cashew cream. Blend until completely smooth.
  9. Pour about 1 1/2 cups of alfredo sauce over the pasta, using tongs to gently toss. Add more sauce as necessary. You will have leftover!
  10. Use tongs to serve pasta into individual bowls, and top with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.


Notes

  • You will have about 1 1/2 cups of sauce leftover.

Keywords: vegan, pumpkin alfredo, nutritional yeast, pumpkin rosemary sauce, pumpkin cream sauce

Save this recipe for later to one of your Pinterest boards

Pumpkin Alfredo pasta - Daisybeet

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

Featured

Sweet Potato Toasts with Mediterranean Salsa (Gluten Free)

This delicious appetizer recipe uses sweet potato toasts in place of bread! They’re topped with rosemary white bean dip and Mediterranean salsa.

Sweet potato toasts with Mediterranean salsa - Daisybeet

I’d never made sweet potato toasts before this recipe. Shocking, right? This food trend has been all over social media for quite some time now! Sweet potato toasts are so easy to make and super versatile. I will definitely be trying them again, and these little appetizers are perfect for entertaining friends and family.

I don’t have many appetizer recipes on the blog, so I decided to share one today! These delicious little bites are full of texture and fresh Mediterranean flavor. You’ll roast some sweet potato slices, then top them with homemade white bean rosemary spread and Mediterranean salsa.

What’s in Mediterranean salsa?

Sweet potato toasts with Mediterranean salsa - Daisybeet

Mediterranean salsa is a loose term, but it refers to the finely chopped ingredients included in the topping on these toasts. I added cucumber, olives, sun dried tomatoes, red onion, parsley, and Portofino Tuna to this recipe.

I love Portofino Tuna for so many reasons! Their tuna is extremely high quality. It is super tender and mild compared to water-packed tuna because it’s packed in extra virgin olive oil. Their albacore tuna is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and an easy way to add protein to a meal or snack. You can buy Portofino Tuna in cans or pouches that you can seamlessly add to any recipe.

How to make sweet potato toasts

  • Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  • Place sweet potatoes in an even layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Spray with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Flip sweet potatoes and repeat.
  • Roast for 25-30 minutes, flipping sweet potatoes once halfway through cooking.
Sweet potato toasts with Mediterranean salsa - Daisybeet

Tips for making sweet potato toasts with Mediterranean salsa

  • Select sweet potatoes of similar shape and size. Keep them on the smaller side to make appetizers, or choose larger ones to make this recipe more of a meal.
  • Don’t drain the can of tuna. Portofino Tuna is packed in extra virgin olive oil, so we want all that delicious flavor + healthy fats to end up in the salsa!
  • Use store-bought hummus as a shortcut. If you don’t have a food processor to make the white bean spread, just use your favorite hummus or white bean dip!
Sweet potato toasts with Mediterranean salsa - Daisybeet

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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Sweet Potato Toasts with Mediterranean Salsa (Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: makes ~16 sweet potato toasts
  • Category: appetizer

Description

This delicious appetizer recipe uses sweet potato toasts in place of bread! They’re topped with rosemary white bean dip and Mediterranean salsa.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 small sweet potatoes

Rosemary White Bean Spread

  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary needles, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tahini

Mediterranean Salsa

  • 1 can Portofino Albacore Tuna
  • 1 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Wash and scrub sweet potatoes. Slice them lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices, discarding the end pieces or save them for another recipe.
  3. Spray each side of sweet potato slices with cooking spray, salt, and pepper. 
  4. Roast for 25-30 minutes until just starting to brown. Flip once during cooking.
  5. While sweet potatoes are in the oven, prepare the rosemary white bean spread. Combine all spread ingredients in a food processor. Blend until completely smooth.
  6. Make the Mediterranean salsa. Combine all ingredients except salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine, and then add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Once sweet potatoes are done roasting and cool enough to handle, spread each piece with 1-2 tbsp of rosemary white bean spread. Add a spoonful of salsa on top. You may have extra white bean spread or salsa leftover, depending on size of sweet potato toasts.
  8. Serve immediately.


Notes

  • Extra Mediterranean salsa is delicious over a salad!

Keywords: sweet potato toasts, mediterranean salsa, tuna recipe, gluten free, kalamata olives

Save this recipe for later to one of your Pinterest boards

Sweet potato toasts with Mediterranean salsa - Daisybeet

Thank you Portofino Tuna for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

Featured

Kale Quinoa Salad with Fall Roasted Vegetables (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This kale quinoa salad is the perfect easy meal prep recipe that uses delicious seasonal fall produce! It’s vegan and gluten free, and sure to please even kale skeptics.

Kale quinoa salad with fall roasted veggies - Daisybeet

The time for fall produce is officially upon us. The markets are now popping with winter squashes, Brussels sprouts, and other autumn goodies. Kale is actually a perfect green to purchase as the weather cools down, as it is hearty enough to grow in colder climates!

This kale quinoa salad features two of my favorite fall veggies – butternut squash and Brussels sprouts. They also pair so well together! The sweetness of the butternut squash is a wonderful contrast to the savory, slightly bitter Brussels sprouts. I could eat this combination all season long.

Kale quinoa salad with fall roasted veggies - Daisybeet

This salad also includes Dr. Praeger’s Spinach Littles! These adorable bites come in fun shapes like stars and dinosaurs, which makes them super appealing to children and adults alike. I always keep my freezer stocked with a few Dr. Praeger’s products. They are a no brainer to prepare, and one of the few frozen foods I feel good about putting in my body. If you look at the ingredient list on any of their products, you’ll find real ingredients like beans, vegetables, and grains.

How to massage kale for a kale quinoa salad

Kale quinoa salad with fall roasted veggies - Daisybeet

If you’ve never massaged kale before, it is such a game changer! I always massage kale when I am using it in a salad. Massaging kale makes it softer, easier to chew, and gets rid of some of the bitterness in raw kale.

  • Wash kale and tear off the leaves from the stems in bite size pieces.
  • Use a knife to roughly chop the kale into even smaller pieces.
  • Add raw kale to a large bowl with lemon juice and olive oil, plus a pinch of salt.
  • Use your hands to massage the kale for 3-4 minutes, making sure to get each piece.
  • The volume of kale will decrease after massaging, and the leaves will be a much darker green.
Kale quinoa salad with fall roasted veggies - Daisybeet

Why you’ll love this kale quinoa salad

  • It’s super nutritious. Kale is a nutrition powerhouse – full of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Quinoa provides more fiber and plant-based protein.
  • Easy to prepare. This salad is very simple to make. Kale is a hearty green that holds up well as leftovers, so it is great for meal prep!
  • Customizable. Kale + quinoa + Dr. Praeger’s Littles makes a perfect base for other flavors and ingredients. Try swapping roasted cauliflower for Brussels sprouts, or try other varieties of winter squash.
Kale quinoa salad with fall roasted veggies - Daisybeet

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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Kale Quinoa Salad with Fall Roasted Vegetables (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3 1x
  • Category: main dish

Description

This kale quinoa salad is the perfect easy meal prep recipe that uses delicious seasonal fall produce! It’s vegan and gluten free, and sure to please even kale skeptics.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 box Dr. Praeger’s Spinach Littles
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Kale

  • 1 large bunch kale, leaves torn from stems
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

Balsamic Dressing

  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Manuka honey
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

 


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Toss butternut squash with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper and spread evenly on one baking tray. Do the same with the halved Brussels sprouts.
  3. Roast veggies for 25-30 minutes, until beginning to brown and caramelize.
  4. While veggies roast, cook quinoa and Spinach Littles according to package instructions.
  5. Massage kale as instructed earlier in this post, and set aside.
  6. Prepare the dressing. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, mustard, and honey. Slowly drizzle in olive oil as you continue to whisk, until well combined.
  7. In a large bowl, combine kale, roasted veggies, quinoa, Spinach Littles, avocado, and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with balsamic dressing and toss to combine.
  8.  
  9. Serve immediately, or save for later!


Notes

Will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Keywords: vegan, kale salad, kale quinoa salad, gluten free

Save this recipe for later to one of your Pinterest boards

Kale quinoa salad with fall roasted veggies - Daisybeet

Thank you Dr. Praeger’s for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

Featured

Detox Nutrition Myths, Busted

What’s the deal with detoxing? Does it really work? Read on to separate detox nutrition myths from the facts!

Detox nutrition myths busted - Daisybeet

We’ve all seen and heard about detox diets, teas, and nutrition trends. Celebrities endorse detox products all the time, and it can be tempting to buy into the miracle results they seem to produce. But, just like all things nutrition, the facts are a bit more complicated than what meets the eye.

Today, I’m breaking down three detox nutrition myths that are popular today. Read on to get the facts about juice cleanses, detox teas, and water fasting for detox!

Myth #1: I can do a juice cleanse to detox my body after eating like crap.

Detox nutrition myth - juice cleanse

Juice cleanses are one of the most popular experiences related to detox culture. A juice cleanse is a type of detox diet where someone consumes only fruit and vegetable juices without eating solid foods, for a temporary period of days to weeks. Some of the main reasons people go on a juice cleanse are to lose weight, eliminate toxins, reduce inflammation, and detoxify the body.

But how does detoxifying the body actually work? Do we need to eliminate solid foods to do so? The resounding answer is no. Our bodies are extremely efficient at detoxifying themselves. The liver and kidneys are extraordinary organs that remove toxins from our bodies.

How the liver and kidneys detoxify the body

  • First, the liver prevents toxins from entering the bloodstream. Detoxifying alcohol, waste products, drugs, and other toxins is actually one of the major functions of the liver (1).
  • The kidneys are constantly filtering our blood. They eliminate toxins when we urinate. The kidneys eliminate drugs and waste products formed in the body (2).

Juice cleanse drinks may contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals, but they unfortunately do not boost they body’s ability to naturally detoxify itself. Furthermore, juice cleanses often lack other important nutrients including fiber, protein, calcium, and healthy fats. In order to keep our bodies functioning optimally, we need to have a balanced diet from all food groups!

Supporting liver and kidney health

The good news is, we can do a lot to protect our liver and kidneys, so they can continue to do their job detoxifying our bodies. We want to keep our blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels in check, because these health issues may contribute to poor liver or kidney function (3). Here are some foods to include in your diet to support your liver and kidneys:

  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Fatty fish like salmon
  • Nuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Myth #2: Detox teas can help me lose weight and get rid of toxins and bloat.

Detox nutrition myths - Detox teas

Detox teas are a little newer to the scene than juice cleanses, and have several celebrity endorsers. Detox teas are herbal teas that claim to detoxify the body. Many are used in the hopes of producing weight loss, laxative effects, or liver cleansing. They commonly contain ingredients like ginger, dandelion root, milk thistle, and turmeric.

Detox teas differ from juice cleanses because they are used in addition to solid food. You don’t abstain from eating, you just drink several servings of detox tea throughout the day for the effects.

Detox teas may lead to weight loss, but it’s not because your body is detoxifying itself and eliminating toxins causing you to retain weight. Many of these teas contain laxative ingredients like senna and cascara. So, you’re probably not properly absorbing the food you are eating and going to the bathroom a lot more than usual.

Health benefits of tea

Detox teas are not a miracle product that will produce weight loss, better health, and whole body detox. But, I encourage you to include tea in your diet for several health benefits!

  • Tea (and coffee) support liver and kidney health, because they are both high in antioxidants. Keep your liver and kidneys in tip top shape to ensure your body is detoxifying efficiently.
  • The antioxidants in tea are also linked reduced incidence of heart attack, as well as lowering bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and raising good HDL cholesterol (4).
  • Several herbal teas contain anti-inflammatory properties, especially if they contain ingredients like ginger, turmeric, hibiscus, and rooibos.

Myth #3: Water fasting can completely clean out and detox my system.

Water fasting has been around for centuries, but is a relatively new trend in the wellness world. During water fasting, you abstain from eating or drinking anything but water for a period of time. Water fasts usually last five to 40 days. There are water fasting centers you can go to complete a water fast under medical supervision.

Some limited research has shown water fasting can promote weight loss and reduced blood pressure (5). It also may reduce oxidative stress. It may stimulate autophagy, a process by which the body breaks down and recycles old cells. But, prolonged water fasting is an extreme and unnecessary measure that can be dangerous.

Negative effects of water fasting

Water fasting may negatively impact the kidneys (6). Water fasting can cause fainting from a sudden drop in blood pressure. You are also at risk of lean muscle loss, which is the metabolically active tissue in our bodies. It also may cause heartburn, because your stomach continues to produce acid even in the absence of food (7). Prolonged fasting also negatively impacts our metabolism, because our body becomes extremely efficient at holding on to calories.

In lieu of water fasting, make healthy changes to your diet! Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to fuel your cells. Avoid excess processed foods, added sugars, and alcohol, which all provide few nutrients for our bodies to use.

If you liked this detox nutrition myths posts, you might also like the others in this series:

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

Image credits:

Featured

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This heavenly carrot cake baked oatmeal is such a treat for a crisp fall morning! It’s full of warming spices, walnuts, and golden raisins.

Carrot cake baked oatmeal - Daisybeet

Carrot cake is definitely my all time favorite cake. I love the chewy texture and warming flavors – especially when it’s slathered in cream cheese frosting! In fact, my very first birthday cake was a carrot cake. I think that’s where my love blossomed.

This carrot cake baked oatmeal recipe is an instant hit in my house. It’s been a bit cooler in Boston this week, so this has been the coziest breakfast. It tastes great warm or cold, but I love heating it up in the morning before eating.

Carrot cake baked oatmeal - Daisybeet

How to make carrot cake baked oatmeal

You just need one bowl to mix all the ingredients before pouring it into a baking dish! This recipe could’t be easier.

  • Make a flax egg in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add almond milk, maple syrup, lemon zest, coconut oil, and apple sauce to the bowl.
  • Mix in grated carrot, oats, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
  • Pour baked oatmeal batter into a baking dish.
  • Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
  • Slice and serve!
Carrot cake baked oatmeal ingredients - Daisybeet

Tips for making carrot cake baked oatmeal

  • Grate carrots very finely. Use the smallest hole on your grater for this recipe. I actually used a microplane to grate my carrots.
  • Use old fashioned rolled oats. Old fashioned oats provide better structure than quick oats in baked oatmeal, without being too chewy or dense.
  • Don’t over bake. The carrots make this baked oatmeal super moist, so you don’t want to remove moisture by over baking. The edges will be only slightly brown, and the center will be slightly squishy when it is done.
Carrot cake baked oatmeal - Daisybeet

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Carrot cake baked oatmeal - Daisybeet
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Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6 1x
  • Category: breakfast

Description

This heavenly carrot cake baked oatmeal is such a treat for a crisp fall morning! It’s full of warming spices, walnuts, and golden raisins.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 3 tbsp warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup finely grated carrot
  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10×10 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flaxmeal and warm water together to make a flax egg.
  3. Add almond milk, maple syrup, lemon zest, applesauce, and coconut oil. Stir to combine.
  4. Add grated carrots, oats, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Stir until evenly combined.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until center is slightly squishy and edges are just starting to brown.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes, then slice into 6 rectangles.


Notes

  • Enjoy warm or cold.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Keywords: carrot cake baked oatmeal, vegan, gluten free, healthy breakfast, baked oatmeal

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