Healthy Eating Archives - ig2go

Sugar, sweets, and sugar substitutes

Just a spoonful of sugar helps the…muscles and body experience a boost of energy, and then likely crash shortly afterward. You know it, we know it, we’ve all experienced a sugar crash once in our lives. Today we’re diving into the sweet stuff to figure out if we really need to be so concerned with sugar, how much we should be including in our diets, and some great sources of natural sugar and natural sugar substitutes.

First off, what is sugar?

When you hear the word “sugar” you probably envision the refined white sugar crystals we all know and love. That would be correct, but more specifically that sugar is called sucrose, and it is also a type of carbohydrate. There are many different types of carbohydrates/sugars, Including Sucrose (refined table sugar), Lactose (found in milk and dairy), Fructose (found in fruit), and Glucose the simplest form of sugar. When you consume ANY carbohydrate, your body breaks it down into glucose, which then enters the bloodstream and provides energy to every cell in your body. Without glucose, your body’s primary functions can’t do their job, and this can quickly lead to life-threatening complications.

So needless to say, sugar is an important part of a functioning diet. That being said, not all forms of sugar are created equal.

As we mentioned, glucose is the simplest form of sugar your body can process. Your body doesn’t have to expend any extra energy to get it into the bloodstream. But the more complex the sugars and carbohydrates get, the more energy it takes to break them down into the basic building block of glucose. This is why you hear so many nutritionists vouch for “Complex Carbs”. These carbs are long complicated chains of molecules that take energy and time to break down. Complex carbs are found naturally in most whole plant foods we consume, such as beans, grains, vegetables, and fruits. So although we don’t usually think of grains, or vegetables as being “sugary” or “sweet”, they actually contain sugars, and you can meet your daily glucose requirements by eating these whole foods. the length of time it takes to break the foods down into glucose also helps mitigate the sugar crash. Rather than your body accessing a bunch of glucose (energy) all at once, that same amount of glucose is slowly released into the bloodstream over a longer stretch of time, providing a stable and consistent flow of energy to the body.

Why is sugar sweet?

So we’ve determined what sugar is, and how important sugar is to a healthy and happy body. And we can see that we don’t need refined simple sugar to meet our body’s needs. But our attachment to sugar goes beyond just our desire to fuel our bodies. There’s something about simple sugars specifically that our taste buds tend to get really attached to. So what makes refined sugar “sweet”?

The sweetness of refined sugar is the result of a chemical interaction between the sugar molecules and the taste receptor cells in our mouths. That specific chemical reaction creates a signal in our nervous system that tells our brain we are experiencing something “sweet”. Studies have shown that our brains are wired to release certain chemicals, such as Serotonin when we consume something sweet. Some theorize this is because it was a high-value food that was beneficial to seek out as humans were evolving before it became such a huge and easily accessible commodity. Either way, there are a number of reasons your body can crave sweet things, including:

  • Mineral deficiencies
  • Blood sugar imbalance
  • Nostalgia and triggered memories
  • Cultural norms and routines

Although we are huge supporters of listening to your body, giving into these cravings too often can be detrimental to your health. Sugar is necessary, but too much of anything is rarely a good idea. If you feel that you are craving sugar more often than normal, it would probably help to talk to a doctor or nutritionist about it, and dig a little deeper in case there is an underlying reason for it.

Sugar Substitutes

The good news is that there are some great sugar substitutes available that we can use in place of table sugar when we’re craving something sweet. Some of our favorites that we use in our recipes are:

  • Xylitol – A natural sugar alcohol found in many fruits and vegetables and contains about 1/2 or 1/4 fewer calories than table sugar. Although this is still technically refined sugar, it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels so it doesn’t count towards ‘Net Carbs’ from a nutrition standpoint. Xylitol also reduces levels of decay-causing bacteria in [saliva](http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/what-is-saliva), so it doesn’t cause the same tooth decay that table sugar does.
  • Monk fruit – Another natural sugar extracted from a small round fruit native to Southern China. The extract can be 150-200 times sweeter than table sugar, so less is needed when you are using this as a replacement in a recipe. Monk fruit sweeteners are made of compounds called mogrosides, which aren’t digested in the upper gastrointestinal tract, so it has no caloric value.
  • Agave – Agave is often sold as a thick syrup or nectar, and comes from the Agave plant native to Latin America. Agave is primarily fructose, and although it provides a wonderful sweet flavor, fructose doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. It is important to note that your liver can get overloaded if you consume too much fructose, so as with everything it’s still important to moderate how much agave you consume.
  • Honey – Likely the most well-known sweetener on this list, honey is produced naturally by bees and has many health benefits that make it a good substitute for table sugar. Although honey is primarily Sucrose, it also contains trace amounts of other minerals and antioxidants Honey also has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, while at the same promoting the health of good bacteria in the digestive tract.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, you need some form of sugar to function, but it’s best to limit refined table sugar, and hidden simple sugars in heavily processed foods. We love each of our listed sugar substitutes for different reasons, and they all have a specific purpose in our recipes. It is important to pay attention to what you eat, but it’s also important to enjoy it. Life should be sweet! and we hope this deep dive into sugar has inspired to you appreciate what sugar and carbs provide for our bodies, and we hope we’ve inspired you to explore some sugar substitutes for your own sweet recipes.

Feeling creatively jammed in the kitchen? Give these Jam recipes a try!

If you’re like most people, jam may only show up for you on the occasional PB&J, or on a thick slice of breakfast toast or biscuit. But like many ingredients, jam offers a lot more versatility than it gets credit for.

One of our favorites by far is this bottom-of-the-jam jar vinaigrette. Not only does it make use of every last drop of jammy goodness, but it’s a great easy way to add new flavors to even the simplest of salads and greens.

 

Bottom of the Jar Vinaigrette

  • 1 rounded tablespoon of IG Jam – scrape the bottom of the jar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon or spicy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Use with:

  • 8 cups chopped greens and any vegetables
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. To the bottom of an almost-empty jam jar, add the other ingredients and shake to combine. Or, whisk together all the ingredients in a salad bowl, streaming in the EVOO.
2. Toss with lettuce and vegetables and season with salt and pepper.

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Need some more fun jam ideas? Give these a try:

 

  •  Add some to a pan sauce for meat – It not only helps thicken it, it adds sweetness and flavor. Try stone fruit jam like our plum jam with red wine as a pan sauce for steak or pork chops.

 

  • Whip up the ultimate grilled cheese – Jam + melted cheese + golden, toasted bread. (It’s the jam that makes it ultimate.) Staff favorite: our own IG strawberry onion bacon jam

 

  • Top your pancakes – Turn jam into syrup instantly by boiling it with a bit of water. (Sayonara, maple syrup!)

 

  • Serve it alongside cheese – Oh you thought your cheese plates were already fancy? You haven’t even seen fancy until you’ve put a cute jar of jam on the plate.

 

  • Make flavored chocolate – Stir a spoonful of jam into warm ganache and pour it over cakes. Or refrigerate until firm and use it as a filling for French macarons.

 

  • Make better biscuits – Instead of slathering your biscuits with jam, bake jam right into the biscuit.

 

  • Make your own fruit-flavored yogurt – Spoon some jam into a bowl. Top with plain yogurt. Call it fruit-on-the-bottom.

 

  • Bake up some Brie, and top it with your favorite jam – The best part is, you can use any jam for this, fruity and sweet, a savory caramelized onion jam, or if you’re into it, try a jam with a little kick to it. Any option goes well with the warm brie and some slices of fresh crusty bread.

 

  • Spruce up a nice cocktail -Jam is a wonderful addition to your bar. Similar to flavored syrups, but with more body. Try some raspberry jam, vodka, Club soda and a lemon slice for a super refreshing summer cocktail.

 

  • Top off some vanilla ice cream – need we say more?

 

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Tag us in your creations! We’d love to see what you come up with. Share you jam dishes with us by tagging @IntelligentGourmet on Instagram and Facebook.

Should You Worry About Hormones In Your Food?

Hormones are chemicals that our bodies produce to regulate the activity of cells. Hormones are also found naturally in food and balancing our hormones is an important part of managing our mood, metabolism, and sleep patterns.

Some of the most important hormones are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Estrogen is the hormone that regulates the menstrual cycle and helps to maintain a woman’s bone density. It also has some role in brain development, mood, and memory. Progesterone is necessary for maintaining pregnancy and for regulating the menstrual cycle. Testosterone is responsible for male sexual characteristics and muscle development.

Vegetables contain estrogen-like compounds called phytoestrogens, which are plant-based sources of estrogen that mimic its effects in the body. Soybeans are a major source of phytoestrogens in our diets; they contain compounds called isoflavones that bind to estrogen receptors on cells throughout our bodies.

However, not all hormones are created equal. Many are hesitant to eat food that has been artificially modified, or injected with hormones.

The use of hormones in cows has been a controversial topic for decades now, with the main reason being that they are used at low levels to increase milk production. It has been shown that these hormones are safe and effective in increasing milk production, which makes them a good option for farmers looking to maximize their profit margins. The use of hormones in cows has been banned in Europe since 1989. Despite that, the US is one of the few countries that still allows it.

However, it has been found that these hormones can increase the risk of cancer in humans.

A study was done on over 13,000 women who were breast cancer survivors and the results showed that those who consumed high amounts of hormone-treated milk had a higher risk of breast cancer recurrence.

As for Chicken and Pork, is it illegal to use growth hormones within the US. Therefore, the claim “no hormones added” cannot be used on the labels of pork or poultry unless it is followed by a statement that says “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones.”

Soy, which is naturally high in estrogen, has also been the subject of much research and study, with the majority of studies indicating that soy consumption has a positive effect on health.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that soy consumption is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Another study found that soy consumption is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer.

So what’s the verdict, are hormones in food good or bad?

Our answer is complicated. We certainly think naturally occurring hormones are unavoidable, as almost every food has some trace amount of hormones. But artificially injected hormones may not be the healthiest solution for our bodies, the animals, or our ecosystem as a whole. The best solution is still to stick to organic, hormone-free, and sustainably raised livestock.

We take all of this into consideration when we curate our recipes, or stock our grab-and-go coolers. At Intelligent Gourmet, we always use Free-range, Organic, Hormone-free, and Locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. From our prepared-to-order dishes to our standard provisions including organic eggs, butter, milk, and plant-based milk alternatives, we value the quality of the options we provide because we believe they taste better and are better for us.

How to Use Food to Rock Your New Year’s Resolutions, All Year Long

This post is NOT about losing weight. In fact, that resolution isn’t even going to be mentioned, because you know why? I’m SICK OF IT! Aren’t you? Of course, you can use food to lose weight (studies show it’s more effective to control your diet than increase exercise if you have to choose), but let’s dig a little deeper this year and go after what we really want to maintain your New Years Health goals.

1. Resolution: Be Happier 

It’s a simple one, but it’s what we’re really after with all the other resolutions isn’t it? Even when you have a great family, work you love, and live in a beautiful part of the country that hovers between 60 and 80 degrees in the dead of winter – you can still feel down more often than you’d like. Stop punishing yourself for being ungrateful – that’s not it. Unless you need to make real changes in your life (maybe you do!), these downtimes are chemical. And that means you can lift yourself back up with food. 

There was an interesting study on PBS recently that linked inflammation with depression. This means that an anti-inflammatory diet could significantly help symptoms of depression. Two especially powerful anti-inflammatory foods (or supplements) you can try are: 

  • Turmeric (curcumin) 
  • Omega-3 (fish, or fish oil) 

2. Resolution: Be Healthier 

Boost energy and fight disease this year by incorporating these 5 foods into your daily life. Yes, daily.

  1. Lemons – Anti-inflammatory, inhibits cancer cell growth, increases “good” cholesterol levels, vitamin C.
  2. Broccoli – Anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting rock-star, vitamin K & vitamin C combo builds healthy bones.
  3. Dark Chocolate – 1/4th oz daily reduces blood pressure & bad cholesterol, and improves your mood!
  4. Salmon/Fish/Flax Seeds/Walnuts – Omega-3 fatty acids help the brain work better, reduce bad cholesterol, and reduce the risk for heart disease. 
  5. Spinach – Anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, and eye-health-improving. Toss a handful in with your eggs every morning! 

3. Resolution: Spend More Time With Loved Ones 

Invite some friends over to cook a healthy meal together – and schedule these dinners as often as you’d like.  We’re all so busy that if we don’t schedule in time with friends and loved ones, it never happens. So put a few dinner dates on your calendar. Here’s an idea: Make a game of it by inviting a friend to walk through your local farmer’s market with you, choose some “mystery” ingredients, and see what you can do with them when you get back! 

Don’t like to cook, but still want the healthy dinner? We’ve got you covered. Just serve everyone Intelligent Gourmet! 

Share your new years health goals with us! What are your favorite tools and healthy habits?

5 Juice Ingredients That Reduce Inflammation & Bloating

Have you ever woken up and felt bloated? If you answered yes to this question, then you have probably had this happen more than once. While this problem may be familiar, the treatment is often lesser-known. A lot of people tend to look up ways to feel better online, and there are usually some bizarre remedies on different websites that people try, even if they don’t make sense! What many don’t realize is that it is easier to treat bloatedness or inflammation than you think. One way to improve how you feel on a daily basis is to visit a juice bar nearby. At Intelligent Gourmet, your health is important to us and we are dedicated to serving you healthy yet delicious drink options that offer many health benefits, like those that offer digestive relief.

5 Juice Ingredients That Reduce Inflammation And Bloating

Do not be fooled by the internet. You do not need to do anything crazy to feel better when you are bloated or inflamed. There are natural and affordable options to staying healthy, such as eating and drinking properly, so you obtain all of the energy you need throughout the day. Some juice ingredients that can reduce your bloating include

Ginger- This spicy ingredient is a potent anti-inflammatory that reduces the pain associated with osteoarthritis and other inflammatory issues.
Turmeric- Protects fats against oxidation during cooking and shields the body against oxidative stress.
Celery- There are more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in celery and celery seeds.
Cucumber- Cucumbers can lower the inflammatory response in the body and can potentially reduce the risk of certain diseases.
Cayenne- Cayenne has a very powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient called capsaicin.

All of these ingredients offer benefits that your body can appreciate. Some juice options that are offered at Intelligent Gourmet that may reduce your inflammation are Healthy Body, Bottled Sunshine, and Cucumber Julep.

Other Ways To Reduce Inflammation

Juicing is a great way to detox your body, and with a juice bar nearby in Tampa, you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing which ingredients you prefer to reduce your bloating and inflammation. Along with with juice options that offer very healthy ingredients, there are other ways to help reduce your inflammation:

Eat more plant based, nutrient-dense foods.
Focus on gut health.
Make sure you always have plenty of rest.
Reduce the toxins in your food, home, and personal care products.

These are just some of the ways to help reduce your inflammation or bloating. Make sure that when you are researching online, you choose the healthiest options to detox your body. Do not put your body in harm’s way with out of the box remedies.

Contact Us

When you are looking for a juice bar nearby in Tampa, come into Intelligent Gourmet today! We have a variety of juices that can help reduce your bloating and inflammation. Do not follow crazy remedies you find online! There are much healthier and safer ways to lower inflammation. To find out more about the juices we offer call us today at (813) 287-2253 or visit our website! https://www.ig2go.com/.

Juice Your Way Into the New Year

Resolutions… Goal setting… Intentions… Sometimes, these words hold too much weight at the dawn of a New Year. Let us put those aside and juice your way into the New year!

Our goal is not to lose weight or change your diet – but instead, share with you why adding juicing to your diet can lead to a happier & healthier year.

Resolution: Be Happier

It sounds so simple, but this is one resolution that we would all like to obtain! Even if everything adds up – your family dynamic is great, your work is your passion, and live somewhere with plenty of sunshine, we can still feel down more often than we would like. There is no need to punish yourself for feeling down – oftentimes, it is what is inside of you that does it. Typically, these downtimes are chemical and that means you can lift yourself back up with good-for-you food.

There was an interesting study on PBS recently that linked inflammation with depression. This means that an anti-inflammatory diet could significantly help symptoms of depression. Adding both of these two foods (or supplements) to your diet or throwing them into your daily juice or smoothie is very easy, and are very powerful, anti-inflammatory foods:

  • Turmeric (curcumin)
  • Omega-3 (fish or fish oil)

Resolution: Be Healthier

Boost energy and fight disease this year by incorporating these 5 foods into your daily life. Yes, we really do mean, daily! Upping your juice game by adding a couple of these to your daily creation can add so many benefits to your diet.

  • Lemons: Tart but delicious, they are anti-inflammatory, can inhibit cancer cell growth, increases “good” cholesterol levels, and have a good amount of vitamin C.
  • Broccoli: These little trees are anti-inflammatory and are cancer-fighting rock-stars. Plus, they are packed with Vitamin K & Vitamin C; this combination can help build healthy bones.
  • Dark Chocolate: Only a fourth ounce, enjoyed daily can reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Bonus, it can improve your mood!
  • Salmon, Fish, Flax Seeds, & Walnuts: All of these hold Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help the brain work better, reduce bad cholesterol, and reduce the risk for heart disease.
  • Spinach: Just call us Popeye! Spinach is an anti-inflammatory food, cancer-fighting, and help with improving your eye health. We suggest tossing a handful in with your eggs every morning

Cooking not your thing, but still want a healthy dinner? At Intelligent Gourmet – we’ve got you covered! Stop in today, enjoy some of our fresh juices & grab a few of our favorite dishes to go, #gourmetontheGO.

How to Use Food to Rock Your New Year’s Resolutions, All Year Long

This post is NOT about losing weight. In fact, that resolution isn’t even going to be mentioned, because you know why? I’m SICK OF IT! Aren’t you? Of course, you can use food to lose weight (studies show it’s more effective to control your diet than increase exercise if you have to choose), but let’s dig a little deeper this year and go after what we really want to maintain your New Years Health goals.

1. Resolution: Be Happier 

It’s a simple one, but it’s what we’re really after with all the other resolutions isn’t it? Even when you have a great family, work you love, and live in a beautiful part of the country that hovers between 60 and 80 degrees in the dead of winter – you can still feel down more often than you’d like. Stop punishing yourself for being ungrateful – that’s not it. Unless you need to make real changes in your life (maybe you do!), these downtimes are chemical. And that means you can lift yourself back up with food. 

There was an interesting study on PBS recently that linked inflammation with depression. This means that an anti-inflammatory diet could significantly help symptoms of depression. Two especially powerful anti-inflammatory foods (or supplements) you can try are: 

  • Turmeric (curcumin) 
  • Omega-3 (fish, or fish oil) 

2. Resolution: Be Healthier 

Boost energy and fight disease this year by incorporating these 5 foods into your daily life. Yes, daily.

  1. Lemons – Anti-inflammatory, inhibits cancer cell growth, increases “good” cholesterol levels, vitamin C.
  2. Broccoli – Anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting rock-star, vitamin K & vitamin C combo builds healthy bones.
  3. Dark Chocolate – 1/4th oz daily reduces blood pressure & bad cholesterol, and improves your mood!
  4. Salmon/Fish/Flax Seeds/Walnuts – Omega-3 fatty acids help the brain work better, reduce bad cholesterol, and reduce the risk for heart disease. 
  5. Spinach – Anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, and eye-health-improving. Toss a handful in with your eggs every morning! 

3. Resolution: Spend More Time With Loved Ones 

Invite some friends over to cook a healthy meal together – and schedule these dinners as often as you’d like.  We’re all so busy that if we don’t schedule in time with friends and loved ones, it never happens. So put a few dinner dates on your calendar. Here’s an idea: Make a game of it by inviting a friend to walk through your local farmer’s market with you, choose some “mystery” ingredients, and see what you can do with them when you get back! 

Don’t like to cook, but still want the healthy dinner? We’ve got you covered. Just serve everyone Intelligent Gourmet! 

Share your new years health goals with us! What are your favorite tools and healthy habits?


New Years Health | How to Use Food to Rock Your New Year’s Resolutions, All Year Long

Juice Your Way Into the New Year

Resolutions… Goal setting… Intentions… Sometimes, these words hold too much weight at the dawn of a New Year. Let us put those aside and juice your way into the New year!

Our goal is not to lose weight or change your diet – but instead, share with you why adding juicing to your diet can lead to a happier & healthier year.

Resolution: Be Happier

It sounds so simple, but this is one resolution that we would all like to obtain! Even if everything adds up – your family dynamic is great, your work is your passion, and live somewhere with plenty of sunshine, we can still feel down more often than we would like. There is no need to punish yourself for feeling down – oftentimes, it is what is inside of you that does it. Typically, these downtimes are chemical and that means you can lift yourself back up with good-for-you food.

There was an interesting study on PBS recently that linked inflammation with depression. This means that an anti-inflammatory diet could significantly help symptoms of depression. Adding both of these two foods (or supplements) to your diet or throwing them into your daily juice or smoothie is very easy, and are very powerful, anti-inflammatory foods:

  • Turmeric (curcumin)
  • Omega-3 (fish or fish oil)

Resolution: Be Healthier

Boost energy and fight disease this year by incorporating these 5 foods into your daily life. Yes, we really do mean, daily! Upping your juice game by adding a couple of these to your daily creation can add so many benefits to your diet.

  • Lemons: Tart but delicious, they are anti-inflammatory, can inhibit cancer cell growth, increases “good” cholesterol levels, and have a good amount of vitamin C.
  • Broccoli: These little trees are anti-inflammatory and are cancer-fighting rock-stars. Plus, they are packed with Vitamin K & Vitamin C; this combination can help build healthy bones.
  • Dark Chocolate: Only a fourth ounce, enjoyed daily can reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Bonus, it can improve your mood!
  • Salmon, Fish, Flax Seeds, & Walnuts: All of these hold Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help the brain work better, reduce bad cholesterol, and reduce the risk for heart disease.
  • Spinach: Just call us Popeye! Spinach is an anti-inflammatory food, cancer-fighting, and help with improving your eye health. We suggest tossing a handful in with your eggs every morning

Cooking not your thing, but still want a healthy dinner? At Intelligent Gourmet – we’ve got you covered! Stop in today, enjoy some of our fresh juices & grab a few of our favorite dishes to go, #gourmetontheGO. 

Happy Holidays – It’s Cookie Time!

Happy Holidays – it is time for cookies! Really, we weren’t kidding!

The holiday season is not complete without something sweet and cookies are too good to pass up. But, if you need a nutritionist’s blessing over your Holiday table to feel less guilty about indulging – well, here it is! There are many ways that you can make healthier cookies with ingredients such as vegan butter, finely ground nuts, gluten-free flour, and agave nectar. And even if you make your Christmas cookies with white sugar and shortening, the spices in your recipes still have healthy qualities. 

Why Christmas Cookies Are *kinda* Healthy For You

Gingerbread Cookies: Combining ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg make gingerbread cookies rich, spicy, delicious, and healthy! A true superfood, ginger improves blood flow, prevents colon cancer, reduces inflammation, strengthens the immune system, and can help fight respiratory problems.  Cinnamon helps reduce bad cholesterol and cloves are packed with antioxidants and manganese, which help you control your weight and improve your mood. Nutmeg contains trace minerals that strengthen the immune system and antibacterial properties that help protect your teeth and gums – you can even find nutmeg oil in some brands of toothpaste.

Find a healthy Gingerbread Cookie recipe using spelt flour here.

Snickerdoodles: The main ingredient flavoring delicious, soft, and chewy Snickerdoodles is cinnamon. Cinnamon reduces LDL cholesterol levels, which can help reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cinnamon also helps fight ulcer-causing bacteria and pathogens, is an anti-inflammatory, and helps balance hormones for women.

Find a vegan Snickerdoodle recipe here.

Lebkuchen: This German Christmas cookie is made with a number of spices, candied citrus peels, hazelnuts, and almonds. The combination of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves is powerful enough to make these cookies healthier than the average circular morsel. And, when you add ingredients like flavonoid-rich orange and lemon peels, constipation-reducing dates, and good fat-packed nuts – this cookie starts looking more like a breakfast bar!

Martha Stewart’s Lebkuchen recipe here.

From all of us at Intelligent Gourmet, we wish you a Happy Holidays! We hope that you enjoy everything on your table this year – we’d love to help you with a few dishes too! Shop our Holiday Menu HERE – Christmas orders need to be placed by Wednesday, December 16th. Don’t delay!

Find these recipes and more on the Intelligent Gourmet Holidays Pinterest Board

Health Benefits of Pumpkin – So Good, it’s Scary!

We don’t know about you, but we are loving all of the pumpkins & Halloween fun we are seeing this year! With pumpkin and squash season upon us, we love how festive they are – plus, the health benefits of pumpkin are scary good.

Trust Us, Pumpkin Eaters Will Survive the Zombie Apocalypse!

Just one cup of pumpkin is 49 calories and contains more than 200% of your daily recommended dose of Vitamin A. Plus, a lot of fiber, more potassium than a banana, and almost 20% of women’s recommended intake of Vitamin C.

So don’t be scared, ‘treat’ yourself to some pumpkin. Pumpkin-eaters will see better in dim light to fight off the undead(!), and have their electrolytes restored with all of that since all that potassium, which improves muscle function in case you have to run from a zombie or two.

Pumpkin Seeds – a Ghoul’s Best Friend

There is so much goodness packed into a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds – phytosterols, zinc, beta-carotene, and tryptophan (like Turkey).

But let us explain: combined, these nutrients can help reduce wrinkles, and make you feel amazing. Often, Tryptophan is known best for inducing post-Thanksgiving snoozes, but it is also an important amino acid for producing serotonin – the feel-good chemical in your brain. These nutrients also lower bad cholesterol, boost the immune system, and prevent cancer. You’ll live so long, your neighbors might think you’re immortal!

Pumpkin Pie Spices Up Your Love Life

No need for sexy Halloween costumes to get you in the mood… That pumpkin pie will do the trick (and treat)! The spices that make pumpkin pie taste delicious are just as healthy as the gourd, with one very sexy added benefit.

Pumpkin Pie Spice is a mix of Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, and Nutmeg. And there’s no bewitching here – just some fun facts:

Cinnamon has been linked to lowering bad cholesterol.
Powdered Ginger decreases blood pressure, aids digestion, and stimulates the circulatory system, which is great for your skin and increasing blood flow.
Cloves have a higher antioxidant content than any other food, can boost memory, and help with flatulence.
Nutmeg has been said to work as a powerful aphrodisiac.

It’s no wonder that Jack-o-Lantern is grinning – he’s living longer, is happier, and having a little fun.