It is my pleasure to introduce to you my friend Abby from the blog Yes To Yummy!
Abby is a teen girl who was sick and tired of the processed foods all around her. At the age of 14 she took matters into her own hands and started doing her own cooking. Abby started a blog and shares some amazing recipes. Abby is inspiring. Please share her story with your own children!
“My whole life, I’ve loved food…and sometimes, a little too much. I ate relatively healthy at home, but given the opportunity, I’d go to town on sweets and snacks. My parents would often have to hide my bag of Halloween candy so I wouldn’t sneak any.
Right after my fourteenth birthday, my weight reached a tipping point. I wasn’t overweight, but I was pretty close.
I then decided to take matters into my own hands. I increased my fruit and vegetable consumption and cut out almost all wheat and processed food. When my friends would offer me a piece of chocolate or some chips, I’d say no, even though I REALLY wanted to say yes. It was hard, but after a while, it got so much easier.
Today, I am over twenty five pounds lighter and a million times more confident about how I look. I still can’t believe I did it! Over the course of my journey, I fell in love with food and healthy cooking, and now have a totally new respect for what goes into our bodies. I rarely crave the processed fare my friends gorge on and would much rather eat some baby carrots or shredded coconut.
My goal is to show you that healthy food can be DELICIOUS. All of my recipes are gluten-free and grain-free, and most are also dairy-free. When I use sweetener, I opt for raw honey, maple syrup, fruit, or coconut sugar, and use very small quantities. Loaded with fresh, tasty ingredients, these dishes will both satisfy you and make you feel great.”
Abby realized the food around her was making her sick! Abby realized the profound affect processed foods were having on her body. I am so proud that she had the determination and motivation to make these positive changes at such a young age! It is my hope that more children will begin to advocate for and make these changes.
Here is what Abby wrote up for me today:
Being a teen in a world of processed food is by no means easy.
My school alone is a bombardment of unhealthy temptation. The cafeteria has five or six different kinds of chips, giant chocolate-chip cookies, several dessert options, endless juices and sodas, and tons of candy–that’s excluding the pizza, macaroni and cheese, and Chinese food they typically serve, too. We also have a culinary room, where at any point in the day, you can pick up a sugary baked good straight from the oven.
So, what’s a gluten-free, processed food-free girl to do? Make her own delicious snacks, of course!
Like almost every kid and teen out there, I love pizza…but not the icky feeling I get afterwards. I wanted to create a snack with the same awesome taste, but with a good balance of protein and fat to make it more nutritious. Thus, the pizza meatball munchie was born.
Before you get started, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a large baking sheet with tinfoil. Set aside.
To get the true pizza flavor, you’ll need to create a spice mixture. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of dried basil, 1 teaspoon of dried parsley, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste.
Add the seasoning to 1 pound of ground beef along with 1 large egg, beaten, and 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste. Sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and mix together with your hands.
Roll the ground meat into balls and place on the pre-lined sheet. For snack-sized bites, you should get anywhere between 15 and 20 meatballs.
Bake until golden-brown and just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Store in a large container in the fridge for easy snacking!
This next recipe, Tropical Applesauce, is stupidly simple, but the taste is incredible. It’s wonderfully sweet, but has no added sugar, making it the perfect after-dinner treat for any weeknight.
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine 4 cored and chopped Golden Delicious apples, 1 14-ounce can of crushed pineapple, and 10 ounces of frozen mango chunks. For chunky sauce, go for about a minute; for smoother sauce, two minutes should suffice.
Transfer the fruit puree to the slow cooker, and add 6-7 small pieces of galangal, a root similar to ginger, and 5-6 kaffir lime leaves throughout.
I found both of these spices in small containers at Whole Foods, but you can also buy them at Penzeys Spices or an Asian market. Can’t find either? Substitute in about 1 inch of grated ginger and the juice of 2 limes.
Cover tightly with a lid and cook on high for 1 hour, then low for 1 hour. Remove the galangal and lime leaves, and serve warm or chilled.