Not sure what to do with all of the leftover seeds from carving pumpkins? How about jazzing them up with a little sugar and spice? This easy-to-follow Roasted Pumpkin Seeds recipe courtesy of The Bed & Breakfast Inn at La Jolla located in La Jolla, CA can be enjoyed by the whole family!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

2 cups pumpkin seeds (from about 2 medium pumpkin) rinsed and patted dry

2 tablespoons salted butter (“Mom” prefers organic)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation

Heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread seeds on rimmed baking sheet. Bake seeds until dry throughout, about 55 minutes.

Take seeds out of the oven. Increase Oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl toss seeds, butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Spread mixture over baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.

*Note these savory sweet seeds make a great addition to granola, cereal, pumpkin french toast, and many more favorite dishes.

*Recipe and image courtesy of BNBFinder.com.*

This hearty and Fall-inspired Harvest Day Soup courtesy of the 1851 Historic Maple Hill Manor B&B located in Springfield, KY will warm you right up on chilly nights!

Harvest Day Soup

Ingredients

1 lb sausage (“Mom” prefers organic turkey sausage)

1 large, finely chopped onion

2 1/2 cups chicken broth (“Mom” prefers organic)

2 cups canned pumpkin

1 tsp lemon juice

2 cups hot milk (“Mom” prefers organic)

1/2 ts. nutmeg

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Salt & pepper to taste

Chopped parsley

Preparation

In large frying pan brown and crumble sausage. Remove sausage and saute onions in drippings. In large pot or crock pot, add all the ingredients. Heat until hot. Serve sprinkled with parsley. Serve 8 to 10. Refrigerate leftovers.

*Recipe and image courtesy of BNBFinder.com.*

5 Ways to Get Rid of Stress Naturally

It is quite easy for stress to affect people. Sadly, stress seems even worse than it is sometimes because it comes with a lot of other effects, as well, like tension, fatigue, increased heart rate, headaches and irritability. The good news is that there are a lot of options out there that can help people get rid of stress naturally.

1. Look for and look at certain colors.

It is true: colors can easily influence how you feel on a daily basis. The color yellow, for example, generally makes people happy. Just think about how a sunny day makes you feel much happier than a dark and dreary day does. Conversely, the color black evokes depressing and sad feelings.

So, if you start to feel stressed at some point in your life, try looking for and looking at specific colors. If you can, wear clothes in brighter colors or redecorate your surroundings with peaceful colors like light pinks, yellows and greens, too.

2. Consume certain nutrients and vitamins.

The right nutrients and vitamins can help you fight stress off, as well. Vitamin C, for instance, can effectively reduce stress hormones, while magnesium can reduce fatigue and headaches. Vitamin E, on the other hand, can keep your immunity system strong. If you are having trouble consuming these nutrients on a daily basis, you can also take supplements into consideration instead.

3. Look for ways to soothe your body and your mind.

Different kinds of herbs are also very effective at reducing people’s stress levels because of their soothing powers. Of course, getting enough sleep every night can help in this department, as well. The same goes for experiencing new things on a regular basis. So, try starting up a new hobby or fitness program. Believe it or not, exercising in itself might be enough to make you feel better overall. Try it!

4. Follow a good diet.

Eating well can be effective at helping you reduce stress, as well, so eating breakfast everyday and drinking water regularly can go a long way in helping you feel better faster. Although most people turn to caffeine, junk food and alcohol when they are stressed, the truth is that these foods can actually make things worse.

So, if you start following recipes that are healthier, you are sure to notice a positive effect on your mood in no time. Vegetables, fruits, dark chocolate and salmon are all generally considered healthy for you.

5. Relax and stay positive.

Naturally, you will also have to try to keep your physical and emotional self in check at all times. To do this, just relax and stay positive as much as possible. If you can do this effectively, then you are sure to feel better and notice positive changes in yourself in no time.

About the Author

Allan enjoys blogging about health and well-being. Over the last 4 years, Allan has published numerous articles and written reviews on health insurance and health services. When he is not writing, Allan loves spending time with his family and friends.

Fill Up With Fiber For Your Health

Whether you’re looking to gain health or lose weight, the food you’ll want to have more of is the kind that’s full of fiber.

Why Fiber?

Fiber-rich foods are good for you in a variety of ways:

• Increased immune support: Certain fibers can increase the levels of beneficial bacteria and reduce the levels of bad bacteria in your intestines. Different fibers have different effects, so it’s important to eat a variety of fibers.

• Increased insulin sensitivity: Viscous soluble fibers and resistant starches found in fiber-full foods can help your body to more efficiently use insulin.

• Increased satiety: When fibers ferment, they produce hormones that help you feel full longer.

• Weight management: Studies show that dietary fiber intake is lower in obese adults than lean ones.

• Increased mineral absorption: Some fibers improve the way the body absorbs minerals, especially calcium.

• Improved digestion: The short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) produced by the fermentation of dietary fibers optimize motor activity of the colon, help to regulate intestinal mobility and contribute to the defense mechanisms of the intestinal barriers. Fiber adds bulk, so it can improve regularity.

• Lowered blood cholesterol levels: Certain types of fibers (beta-glucan, psyllium, guar gum) reduce cholesterol absorption. Studies have linked a high-fiber diet with improvements in serum lipids, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and triglycerides.

• Reduced glycemic response: Viscous fibers slow glucose absorption and can lower the glycemic impact of foods for a lower rise in blood glucose levels.

• Combat cancer and inflammation: SCFAs may contribute anti-inflammation and anti-cancer benefits.
To help people get these benefits, the food industry has been adding fiber to commonly consumed foods including yogurt, cereals, breads, fruit juices, milk, tortillas, baked goods, ice cream, candies, and nutrition supplement bars and beverages.

Check the Nutrition Facts Panel on the food you buy for those with 10 percent or more of the Daily Value for fiber.

Learn More

You can find further facts about fiber and its beneficial effects at Fiber Facts.

*Article and image courtesy of NAPS.*

Courtesy of the Maury Place at Monument located in Richmond, VA, here’s a delicious way to get your recommended daily allowance of vitamin A – in a creamy smoothie with lots of spice!

Pumpkin Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup Canned Pumpkin

1/2 cup Apricot Preserves

1 cup Milk (“Mom” prefers organic)

1 tablespoon Sugar

1 pinch Cinnamon

1 pinch Nutmeg

1 cup Ice

Preparation

Blend all ingredients in a blender until creamy.

The sweetness can be adjusted to taste by adding more or less sugar. Pumpkin Pie spice may be substituted for the nutmeg and cinnamon.

Total preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 3

*Recipe and image courtesy of BNBFinder.com.*

These pumpkin-inspired muffins courtesy of The Tefft House located in Plainview, MN will have the whole house smelling simply divine while baking!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

2 cups gluten free flour (such as Domata or Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour)

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ cup ground flax seed (optional)

1 cup Libby’s Solid Pack pumpkin

¼ cup sour cream (“Mom” prefers organic)

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 eggs (“Mom” prefers cage-free, organic eggs)

¼ cup softened butter (“Mom” prefers organic)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the first seven ingredients.

In another bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, cream, sour cream, and eggs. Mix thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients and butter; mix until well blended.

Spray muffin cups with baking spray. Fill each cup almost to the top. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Remove from pans. Serve immediately.

This recipe makes 12 muffins.

*Recipe and image courtesy of BNBFinder.com.*

Besides adding a sweet nutty flavor to dishes, pumpkin is a ready source of vitamin A, which boosts the nutrition content of this offbeat chili. Garnish each portion with a dollop of sour cream and chopped cilantro.

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ground white or dark meat turkey
1 can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 can pumpkin purée
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Preparation

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeños and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Whole Foods Market.*

Here’s a delicious way to increase your daily intake of folate – in flaky spanakopita!

Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)

Ingredients

1 package of phyllo dough (2 typically come in a box, only use one), thawed (takes about ½ hour)
2 boxes of chopped, frozen spinach
12 eggs, beaten well (“Mom” uses cage-free, organic eggs)
2 blocks of feta cheese
½ cup of butter, melted
1 packet of hollandaise sauce mix
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
3-4 lemons
Garlic powder and black pepper to taste

Preparation

1) Grease a 13 X 9 casserole dish with the olive oil.
2) Lay half of the phyllo sheets on the bottom of the dish.
3) Pour the beaten eggs over the sheets.
4) Thaw the spinach in microwave for a few minutes. While still in the box, squeeze all of the water out. You’ll want the spinach as dry as possible.
5) Lay the spinach evenly over the eggs.
6) Slice the feta cheese and lay evenly over the spinach.
7) Lay the other half of phyllo dough on top of the feta cheese.
8) In a small bowl, melt the butter. Add the hollandaise sauce powder, juice from a few lemons, black pepper, and some garlic powder (approximately a tablespoon), and mix well.
9) Pour over the phyllo dough and spread evenly. Be sure that all of the phyllo dough is moistened.

Bake at 375° for approximately 30 minutes. Keep checking the phyllo dough, which should turn crispy and golden to dark brown. Let set for fifteen minutes and serve with lemon wedges. When re-heating, use an oven instead of a microwave so that the phyllo dough comes back to life (crispy).

*Recipe and image courtesy of The Best Friends Guide To Breast Cancer.*

Eco-Friendly Solutions to Dealing with Allergies

Every year, 50 million people suffer from allergies caused by dust, dander, pollen, and mold, and even more than that are plagued by irritation caused by chemicals in products like tobacco and perfume that we are exposed to every day. It can be hard to pinpoint the exact source of your allergies, and even then, it can be hard to eliminate every source of allergens you face daily. But there are many steps you can take to prevent allergy symptoms from occurring with some simple, all-natural changes in your home. There are also plenty of home remedies you can try to treat symptoms whenever they strike.

Prevention

The most important first step when it comes to preventing allergies is knowing what you’re allergic to. You usually have a good idea of what triggers your allergies, and your doctor may suggest a blood test to know for sure what your true allergy is. A nurse or medical facility can provide you with a test list.

Once you find out that you have a specific allergy, there are immediate changes you can make around the house. You can start in the bedroom, by investing in organic linens and allergenic mattress covers and pillow protectors. Wash your linens once a week in hot water to kill dust mites, using a dye-free, scent-free detergent.

If you have carpets think about replacing them with hardwood floors. If that’s not possible, make sure you are using a vacuum with a HEPA filter at least once a week to improve the air quality in your home.

Invest in an air purifier or a dehumidifier, or both. Air purifiers work for people with dust allergies – their purpose is to clear the air of particles. Dehumidifiers work for people with asthma or other mold allergies.

Clean your home thoroughly, but make sure you are using non-toxic cleaning products. The chemicals in most regular cleaning products can cause extreme irritation in allergy sufferers.

Switch your shower or bath to before bedtime, so you can eliminate all of the dust and particles from your clothes and skin that you accumulate during the day.

If pet dander aggravates your allergies, there is no way for pet owners to totally eliminate that, but you can minimize it. Bath your pet once a week and keep them out of your bed.

Eat a diet rich in probiotics. Probiotics not only reduce food sensitivity and food allergies; they have been known to prevent asthma and eczema by strengthening the immune system. Some foods such as milk, yogurt, pickles, olives, and dark chocolate contain probiotics naturally, but there are also organic supplements available.

Treatment

If you’re looking to alleviate allergy symptoms at home, one thing you can do is make your own saline solution. Mix a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda into warm distilled water and try inhaling it over the sink to clear your air passageways

Drink peppermint tea. Peppermint oil is a natural decongestant. Or eat some wasabi or horseradish – foods that actually contain ingredients that promote mucus flow.

Breathe in steam, especially from a hot shower. The steam will help your lungs and the shower will remove all dust particles and irritants that may be in your skin and hair.

Take some extra vitamin C, which is a natural antihistamine. Or look for foods that contain quercetin – another natural antihistamine that you can find in apples, oranges, broccoli, lettuce, and garlic.

Honey has also been proven to relieve allergy symptoms. Doctors aren’t sure why yet, but if you add it to your tea, the effectiveness could surprise you.

Studies show that allergy sufferers are more likely to suffer from other things such as stress, fatigue, migraines, and even depression. People with severe allergies know that it can take a huge toll on your life in every season, but it’s good to know there are a lot of simple ways we can reduce allergens in our everyday lives. It goes without saying that if you have serious health concerns as a result of allergies or asthma, it is always best to consult with your doctor. But hopefully, the most effective ways to prevent allergies will lead you to a healthier lifestyle without ever needing to pick up a prescription – and that will keep us happier, too.

About the Author

Amy Nielson is an avid blogger who writes often for health sites. You can follow her on Twitter @NielsonAmy.

This simple watercress salad celebrates all the flavors that define Spanish cuisine, and includes “Mom’s” favorite Spanish cheese, Manchego.

Watercress Salad with Manchego, Membrillo, and Almonds

Ingredients

1 medium garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 bunches watercress, stemmed and washed
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
4 ounces Manchego cheese, shaved into thin slices
4 ounces membrillo, small dice

Preparation

Combine the garlic, vinegar, and a couple pinches of salt in a medium, nonreactive bowl. Whisking constantly, add the olive oil in a steady stream until completely incorporated.

Combine the watercress, almonds, half of the cheese shavings, and half of the diced membrillo in a second bowl.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Divide the salad among 4 plates and garnish with the remaining cheese and membrillo. Serve immediately.

*Recipe and image courtesy of CHOW.com.*