Gingerbread Pecans (Sugar-Free)

Reduce inflammation and keep your heart healthy with omega 3s.

Pecans roasting on an open fire… and toasted to perfection! These roasted nuts have a festive twist and provide plenty of nourishment. Nuts are packed with omega 3s which reduce inflammation and keep our hearts healthy. Specifically, one study found that pecans may help lower levels of LDL cholesterol enough to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease by as much as 25%. These spiced pecans are free of refined sugars and make a great snack on their own, or are lovely sprinkled on oatmeal or granola. Warning: may cause kitchen to smell like a bakery.

Gingerbread Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • 1/4 tspn ginger
  • 1/4 tspn all spice
  • 1/4 tspn nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • splash of pure maple syrup

Gingerbread Candied Pecans

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 deg F (cooking nuts above 250 deg F can produce harmful toxins).
  2. Stir oil, spices, and syrup in a small bowl.
  3. Drizzle over pecans in a larger bowl and toss to coat them.
  4. Spread out pecans in one layer on a baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper) and cook for 40-50 minutes.

PCOS Powers:

  • pecans = high in ellagic and oleic acids which may help lower LDL cholesterol, protect against cardiovascular disease and lower breast cancer risk, high in magnesium which is anti-inflammatory and lowers blood pressure
  • cinnamon = may help balance glucose levels, lower cholesterol, and decrease triglycerides in blood
  • ginger =  anti-inflammatory, may help decrease LDL cholesterol, fasting blood glucose and HbA1c
  • coconut oil = anti-inflammatory, may positively impact thyroid function, may improve cholesterol profiles by increasing HDL cholesterol, use is controversial in the scientific community due to high saturated fat content so I use in moderation
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Gingerbread Candied Pecans (sugar-free)

References:

  1. S. Rajaram, K. Burke, B. Connell, T. Myint and Joan Sabate’. 2001. A Monounsaturated Fatty Acid-Rich- Enriched Diet Favorably Alters the Serum Lipid Profile of Healthy Man and Women. Journal of Nutrition 131:2275-2279.
  2. Sherman L. Cinnamon improves blood pressure and blood sugar in diabetics. The Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2011:76.
  3. Najarzadeh A, Mahammadi M, Jalali B, Mozaffari-Khosravi H, Talaei B, Fallahzadeh H. The Effect of Ginger on Blood Glucose, Lipid and Lipoproteins in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Controlled Trial. Journal of Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences. 2012;20:383-395.
  4. Grzanna R, Lindmark L, Frondoza C. Ginger-an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory action. J Med Food. 2005;8:125-132.
  5. Assunção ML, Ferreira HS, dos Santos AF, Cabral J, Cyro R, Florêncio, Telma M M T. Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity. Lipids. 2009;44:593-601.
  6. Yeap SK, Beh BK, Ali NM, et al. Antistress and antioxidant effects of virgin coconut oil in vivo. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 2015;9:39-42.

Cinnamon Turmeric Pumpkin Seeds (Anti-Inflammatory)

A fun and nutritious snack idea.

One of my favourite fall activities is carving pumpkins and then roasting the pumpkin seeds. I think you may fall in love with this recipe (pun totally intended). These make a great snack on their own, or to sprinkle on overnight oats or granola. Not only are pumpkin seeds packed with magnesium, manganese, copper, protein, and zinc, but they also have amazing health benefits specifically beneficial for women with PCOS (read more below in ‘PCOS Powers’). What are you waiting for? Get carving, cooking and snacking!


Turmeric Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds (2 large pumpkins made this amount)
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tsp pumpkin spice (2 parts cinnamon to 1 part each all spice, nutmeg, ginger)
  • pinch of salt

How to:

  1. Scoop out pumpkin seeds along with the inside of the pumpkin.
  2. Separate pumpkin seeds from pumpkin goop (technical word, I know) and rinse clean.
  3. Spread seeds out on baking pans, pat dry with paper towel, and leave out overnight to dry.
  4. Preheat oven to 200 deg. F (very low).
  5. Mix spices and oil together in a small bowl.
  6. Pour over seeds in a large bowl and mix to coat seeds.
  7. Spread out seeds in one layer on parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  8. Cook at 200 deg. F for about 45 min.

PCOS Powers:

  • pumpkin seeds = contain tryptophan which is a precursor for serotonin (induces relaxation and improves brain health), contain phytoestrogens which increase HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure, contain beta-sitosterol which inhibits conversion of testosterone to DHT
  • cinnamon = may help balance glucose levels, lower cholesterol, and decrease triglycerides in blood
  • turmeric = anti-inflammatory, helps lower blood glucose levels
  • ginger = anti-inflammatory, may help decrease fasting blood glucose and HbA1c