Archive | January 2013

Reduced Calorie Cinnamon-Walnut Coffee Cake

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A few months ago I received a pile of cooking magazines from a family friend.  By a “pile” I mean 2 large cardboard boxes of hundreds of issues of stuff like Bon Appétit and Cooking Light.  After meticulously going through eat magazine, I removed all of the recipes that I wanted to someday try.  With these I assembled my own custom cookbook.

This recipe was from an old issue of cooking light, which is why it is a reduced calorie coffee cake.  The recipe says it is about 250 calories for a serving (and it yields 16 servings).  My cake came out even lighter than the original though, as I opted to use unsweetened almond milk in place of buttermilk–simply because I didn’t have buttermilk or any lemon juice to make faux buttermilk with.  Also I really like almond milk!

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Healthy Hestia: Basic Green Detox Smoothie

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My beautiful green sludge, I mean smoothie.


January is a time for New Years Resolutions, new starts, fresh beginnings, etc etc, and what this usually translates to a desire to adopt healthy habits.  People swarm gyms they will soon stop going to, start diets they will soon abandon , and by blenders with the hopes of making smoothies, though they will mostly collect dust in the back of kitchen cupboards.

Ok maybe I am being a bit pessimistic!  But sometimes people what to make healthy changes to their lifestyle, and instead of introducing healthy habits slowly, they jump in headfirst.  Quickly they feel overwhelmed by the sudden shift, and frequently return to their old ways.

One has a much greater chance for success slowly adopting healthy habits.  I would challenge someone to incorporate this green detox smoothie into their diet once a week.  Does not require many ingredients and it not that costly to make.

Made up of kale, apples, bananas, and ginger, this smoothie is low in calories (about 230 give or take) and high in nutrients.  The standout ingredient in this recipe is kale.

According to, fiber-rich kale is contains easily absorbed calcium, which can combat osteoporosis.  In relation to detoxification, kale’s manganese and beta-carotene content supports the body in combating free-radicals and possibly helping to prevent cancer and heart disease.

Assisting me in my smoothie-making endeavor was my bf, who also shares my interest in healthy eats.  In fact, we had a real health-filled weekend.  Not only did we make detox smoothies, but we lunched at one of my favorite Charlotte restaurants, Luna’s Living Kitchen — the whole menu is raw vegan!

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Check out my “burrito”–with cauliflower “rice” and sunflower seed “sour cream”– it was delicious.


(from the book “Skinny Smoothies” by Shell Harris and Elizabeth Downing)

  • 4 kale leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 banana frozen (I sliced the banana and froze it to help give smoothie more icy texture)
  • 3/4 cup of cold water

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It is really easy to make a smoothie, as all you have to do it throw all of your ingredients into a blender and pulse it for a minute or two and BAM you got a smoothie!

But if you don’t have a blender/food processor, it is really not possible to make a smoothie.  One reason I was so keen to make a smoothie for this post was because I just got a hand blender for Xmas and I was dying to give it a spin.  (Pun intended)

STEP ONE: Blend kale leaves and water until fully blended.  This might take a while.  It took my bf and I a couple of minutes–kale it a really tough green.  I did remove kale leaves from the stem, but it was still quite stubborn to blend.  Maybe steaming it a bit would soften it and help.  Might try that next time.

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Step Two: After kale and water mix is fully blended (no huge chunks of kale leaves are visible), then add your ground ginger, apples, and bananas.  Blend this mixture until apples and bananas are fully incorporated into smoothie.

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STEP THREE: Pour into a glass and enjoy.  Or maybe you won’t enjoy it–I can’t say for sure that this is for everyone, though I found it a very agreeable taste. 


Overall I liked this smoothie.  It tasted just as fresh as the ingredients would suggest it to be, and after drinking it I felt very refreshed.  It was not very sweet, but it wasn’t bitter at all and has no strong taste–save for the taste of ginger, which both my bf and I found very noticeable.  But since I like ginger this did not bother me.

2013-01-20 12.36.25Here I am drinking this green nonsense whilst looking like a hot mess.

I suppose if you wanted it sweeter you could add agave or honey (both would add sweetness without being too over-powering in flavor and they are more healthy options than refined sugar.  Stevia or something could also work).

Until next time….

Madeline aka the Hopeful Hestia

Healthy Hestia: Avocado Baked Egg

Hey everyone!  I’m back, just like I said I would be!  I can’t believe it myself!  Haha, but it is good to get back into blogging.  I really want to establish a routine, and not neglect this thing so much.

So today I am going to chronicle my attempt (successful) at preparing an avocado baked egg.  This is a simple and HEALTHY recipe.  I put ‘healthy’ in all caps because there are some recipes on this blog that I would not label as healthy.  This doesn’t mean they aren’t good, but like I stated in my previous entry, I would like to explore more healthy recipes.

I want to make it easy for visitors to my blog to find these healthy recipes, so from here on out I will label healthy recipe entries with “Healthy Hestia” tag.  This will be my nutritionally sound blog alter-ego!

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Avocado baked egg sprinkled with garlic salt and black and cayenne pepper

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I’m not dead

It has been an embarrassingly long time since I have updated this blog!  This is due to two things: laziness and laziness!  Sure I have been busy, with holidays, work, and school, but I could have made time to update.  I was just lazy!  So that is one of my resolutions for the New Year: to not be so lazy and update this blog on at least a weekly basis!

Also, I would like to focus on healthy, nutrient dense recipes.  That doesn’t mean that is ALL I will focus on, but I would like to learn more about healthy baking and cooking.  I have become interested in various dietary lifestyles, such as paleo, vegan, and gluten-free.  In the coming months I want to try recipes that explore these diets.

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