Balsamic-Maple Grilled Nectarines

  I love desserts, but they don't always have to be puffed pastries and chocolate (although that is nice ;)  Sometimes you need something sweet and fruity!  The nectarines looked so good in the grocery store so I decided to adopt them, grill them, and top them with  some maple balsamic reduction (a.k.a sticky, goodness).  So yummy! The nutrient content of real maple syrup is higher than that of imitation syrup, which is composed mainly of sugars with no vitamins or minerals.  Real maple syrup has manganese and zinc, minerals that can boost immune health. It also contains small amounts of other beneficial minerals and vitamins, including calcium, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, potassium and magnesium.Balsamic-Maple Grilled Nectarines 4 nectarines or peaches 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp. 100% pure maple syrup (no corn syrup flavored substitute!)And that's all :) Begin by cutting your nectarines in half and removing the stone inside.  They need to be a firm ripe, but not ripe enough that they're squishy or you'll just end up with a mushy, albeit tasty, mess.  Place nectarines cut side down onto your grill or griddle. Grill for only a couple minutes Meanwhile pour the vinegar and REAL maple syrup into a small sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow the reduced maple vinegar to thicken as it cools.  The nectarines are probably done at this point. Place nectarines on a plate, drizzle with maple vinegar and enjoy your sticky guilt-free dessert! Enjoy! 
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{Homemade} Zucchini Muffins

This was a staple food item in our home growing up.  My mom, an avid gardener, always had more fresh zucchini than she needed and that meant lots of zucchini muffins.  So for me, late summer means zucchini muffins.  Since I'm prone to nostalgia, I don't venture too far from mom's classic zucchini muffin recipe, except that it's gluten free and no refined sugar.

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{Homemade} Gluten free Banana Nut Bread

 

You know whenever you see the bananas on your counter start to go brown and get a little mushy that it's time to make banana bread! I may be biased, but my mom makes the best banana nut bread.  I was hesitant to mess with the perfection of her recipe. Obviously it needs to be gluten free so I'm going to have to make some changes anyway, but aside from that I've made a commitment to myself to significantly cut out refined sugars and over-processed foods from my family's diet. I was pleasantly surprised that by switching out a couple ingredients with healthier alternatives, the bread still tasted as good as mom's!

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Chocolate Coconut Dream...

Awww, chocolate :)  It makes you smile just saying it.  Can you believe that this delectable dessert contains no flour, eggs, vegetable oil, butter, milk or sugar? It's not even cooked.  In fact this cool treat is practically ice cream (without the cream). First you'll need a good blender or food processor.1 cup walnuts1/4 cup raw, unfiltered honeyBlend until walnuts and honey stick together and look sort of like crumbs then add remaining ingredients one at a time.  Blending as you go until smooth and creamy.  You're going for pudding consistency.2 tbsp organic peanut butter, almond butter, or sunbutter

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Cool Cucumber Salad

 

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Stuffed Baked Apples

 

 This is a camping favorite, wrapped in tin foil and set in the fire coals. It also is a yummy oven baked dish on any night. The apples are soft, but still with a slight crisp and the stuffing is caramelized and crunchy.  Yummy!

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Melissa Cornwall has spent years researching and implementing nutritionally-based approaches to health and wellness. Her lifelong love of food and health evolved from a hobby to a passion when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.

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