Date nut bread–a delicious and healthy Christmas treat!

Date nut bread is one of my favorite recipes that can be eaten for breakfast, dessert, or as a healthy snack.  If you are gluten intolerant or don’t eat wheat, substitute the whole wheat flour with almond flour or coconut flour.  If you don’t care for pecans, try walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios, almonds, etc.

The recipe:

2 eggs (whole or just the whites)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or expeller-pressed grape seed or avocado oil)

1/4 cup raw honey

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (or almond or coconut flour)

1/4 teaspoon mineral-rich salt (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 ounces coarsely chopped dates

2 cups raw pecans (or other nuts)

Beat eggs with honey and oil.  Mix flour, salt, and cinnamon, then stir into egg mixture.  Fold in dates and nuts.  Grease a baking pan with oil (coconut, olive, grape seed, or avocado).  Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted into batter comes out clean.  A 9 x 5 x 2-inch loaf pan takes about 45 minutes.  An 8- or 9-inch square pan takes about 25 minutes.  Cool and cut into squares or slices.

The nutritional value:

Dates, nuts, and raw honey contain boron, a trace mineral which helps boost blood levels of estrogen and other compounds that help prevent calcium loss and bone demineralization.

Dates are high in natural aspirin and have a laxative effect.  They are linked to lower rates of certain cancers, especially pancreatic cancer.

Nuts are a key food among Seventh-Day Adventists, who are known for their low rates of heart disease.  Most nuts are high in vitamin E, shown to protect against chest pain and artery damage.

Nuts and cinnamon help to regulate insulin and slow down blood sugar spikes.

Whole-grain wheat contains selenium, a trace mineral important for the immune system and thyroid.

Extra-virgin olive oil is a good source of vitamin E, making it beneficial for heart health.

Egg yolks contain vitamin D and choline, a B-complex vitamin needed for liver and brain health.

Date nut bread makes a yummy Christmas gift.  I often bake it in mini loaf pans for this purpose.

Make your holiday celebrations delicious and nutritious!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

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This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

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Holiday scents–harmful or therapeutic!

We want our homes to smell good for the holidays, but beware of toxic chemicals!  Company is coming, and we need to hide our “home” odors.  We quickly reach for a can of fragrance to spray into the air, or maybe we light an aromatic candle.  Could these odor maskers contain toxic ingredients that may be harmful to our health and that of our friends and family?

Conventional air fresheners contain phthalates and other harmful chemicals that have been linked to infertility, brain damage, hormone disruption, cancer, respiratory problems, and other chronic illness.  Many contain isopropyl alcohol, which can adversely affect the nervous and respiratory systems.

During burning, candles made from paraffin wax generate benzene and toluene, both known to be carcinogens.  Many candles contain artificial fragrances and colors that can irritate lungs and cause inflammation.  Wicks often contain lead, a toxic heavy metal.

Instead, try a chemical-free room spray made with essential oils like frankincense and myrrh, or lemon, orange, cedar, lavender, peppermint, cinnamon, clove, or rosemary.  Zum Mist makes a wonderful line of products with ingredients pure enough to use on your body!  I found mine on Amazon.

You can also make your own air freshener by combining 4 ounces of water, 1 ounce of alcohol-free witch hazel (I like Thayer’s brand that you can buy in a drugstore), and approximately 20 drops of pure essential oils.  Shake and spray!  Tip:  You can also use witch hazel as a facial toner.

In addition to their amazing fragrance, essential oils have many therapeutic benefits.  All contain anti-microbial properties, making them useful as disinfectants against viruses and bacteria.  Many are beneficial for the respiratory system, including peppermint, eucalyptus, and frankincense.  Natural chemicals in essential oils can help relieve depression and lift spirits.  Choose those that resonate with you when you inhale them.

God’s pharmacy of essential oils include cinnamon, clove, fir, cedar, lavender, grapefruit, lemon, orange, rose, patchouli, sandalwood, spearmint, frankincense, myrrh, peppermint, wintergreen, ginger, rosemary, thyme, nutmeg, chamomile, etc.  You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to a diffuser to fill the air with a continuous mist of aromatherapy.  Nature’s Sunshine has an amazing holiday special that includes a mini travel diffuser and 10 essential oils.

Look for candles made with lead-free wicks, made without paraffin, artificial fragrances, and dyes.  Amazon sells several varieties, including Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, which you can also find at Walmart.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

Matthew 2:11–“Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped Him.  Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts:  gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

www.learningtobehealthy.com

www.learningtobehealthy.mynsp.com (Holiday essential oil kit and travel diffuser special)

www.facebook.com/learningtobehealthy

www.pinterest.com/healthywithlisa

www.mealgarden.com/expert/lisahernandez

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.