Nicobella Lifestyle Blog

Ingredient Spotlight: Lavender! Posted on 18 Oct 18:14 , 0 comments

The versatile flower with all the plant based power, Lavender can do it all. From natural oils to beautiful bouquets, lavender has shown that it is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also beneficial for our health! 

 Lavender oil has both antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory capabilities as a topical ointment. Studies show that lavender’s aroma is quite useful in treating mental ailments such as anxiety and depression as well as having calming effects to help with insomnia.  

 In addition to oils, lavender is also a common component of tea and used as a cooking ingredient in its flower form, with benefits relating to digestive health. Lavender has been proven to relieve vomiting, nausea, and even gas pains related to poor digestion.

 If the healing powers of lavender haven’t intrigued you enough, wait until you hear the nutrition facts! The tiny purple flowers pack many key nutrients that we need daily. Vitamin A and calcium can be found in small, but beneficial amounts, relating to eye, skin, and bone health. One serving of lavender (about 100 g) also contains an impressive amount of your daily recommended iron intake, needed for generations of hemoglobin and myoglobin for proper oxygen and nutrient transport in the blood.

 If you are still not wowed by the abilities of this beautiful flower, try lavender paired with mint and dark chocolate in our Lavender Mint Dark Chocolate Truffle. One bite and you will most definitely be a fan of this plant based wonder!

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN is a graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie is a nutrition & wellness consultant in the greater Atlanta area, focusing on plant based eating and improving health across the stages of life. She believes that wellness & nutrition go hand in hand to maintain and improve health, and loves to work with those adapting to a plant based lifestyle, whether it be individuals or families. 


Ingredient Spotlight: Cinnamon! Posted on 11 Oct 18:00 , 0 comments

Cinnamon is quite popular as the holiday season nears, but at Nicobella we love cinnamon all year round! Whether it be from its various health benefits or variety of uses, cinnamon should be a part of your annual routine too!


Health Benefits

Cinnamon is yet another rich source of antioxidants. In fact, it is one of the most antioxidant rich spices there is! The antioxidants found in cinnamon have been found to be extremely helpful with inflammation related pain in the body, with uses in treating muscle soreness, premenstrual pain, allergic reaction, and stress related inflammation.

Cinnamon has the power to aid in blood sugar regulation for those diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. The compounds in cinnamon form a mechanism with muscle tissue for glucose absorption, as well as positive anti-inflammatory effects associated with hyperglycemia.

Cinnamon even has antifungal, antibacterial and even antiviral capabilities! Increasing your cinnamon intake can help those afflicted with allergies, infections, and even the common cold.  

And lastly, cinnamon has even been shown to have positive effects on brain function, as well as aiding in concentration. Start burning those Fall scented candles everyone!


Ways to Incorporate Cinnamon Into Your Routine

While cinnamon is a common ingredient in baked goods, this spice can be used throughout the day in different meals or beverages.

Try adding a teaspoon of cinnamon to your coffee grounds before brewing for a naturally flavored start to your day. Add cinnamon to your oatmeal along with antioxidant rich berries. Cinnamon can be sprinkled on top of cut fruit as well as on a baked sweet potato. Like making green smoothies? Try adding cinnamon to spice things up!

And of course, you can find cinnamon in a variety of your plant based products, like our Apple Crisp Power Bites featured today!

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN is a graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie is a nutrition & wellness consultant in the greater Atlanta area, focusing on plant based eating and improving health across the stages of life. She believes that wellness & nutrition go hand in hand to maintain and improve health, and loves to work with those adapting to a plant based lifestyle, whether it be individuals or families. 


Ingredient Spotlight: Pumpkin! Posted on 04 Oct 17:52 , 0 comments

Fall means pumpkin everything - pumpkins everywhere! While these gourds fill the stores and your home decor, there are a cornucopia of reasons they should also be filling your plate this season!


Pumpkin is packed with antioxidants! First and foremost is the antioxidant Beta-carotene, which is converted in our bodies into vitamin A. A diet rich in beta-carotene has been shown to have cancer risk reducing benefits, as well as helping to alleviate inflammation related conditions such as asthma and heart disease. Pumpkin is especially beneficial for our hearts, as it contains high amounts of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C along with vitamin A.


Along with vitamin A, pumpkin also contains high amounts of antioxidant such as vitamin C and E. The three are widely known for being essential for maintaining skin and eye health.


The fiber found in pumpkin is of great benefit as well. Most people do not reach the recommended fiber intake of 25-30 grams per day. An unfortunate fact since fiber is essential for regulation of bowel movements, intestinal health, blood sugar regulation, and optimal digestion.


While pumpkin on its own is a notably incredible plant food, combine it with the nuts, seeds, and healing spices in our Pumpkin Pecan POWER bites and you will surely be unstoppable! Grab a bag today to start enjoying the tastes and health benefits of the fall essential: Pumpkin!

 

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!


Pumpkin + Kale Garlic Sauce with Crunchy Chickpeas Posted on 02 Oct 17:55 , 0 comments

It is finally Fall, and pumpkin spice is in the air! As more of a savory alternative to your pumpkin indulgences, today we are sharing a creamy pumpkin garlic sauce packed with kale and topped with crunchy roasted chickpeas.


For the sauce you will need:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 15 oz. cans of pumpkin puree
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. Miso
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

What to do:

  1. Cover with water & soak raw cashews for 1 hour
  2. Rinse and drain cashews, place in a food processor/blender
  3. Add nutritional yeast, miso, and almond milk and blend until smooth
  4. In a saucepan, begin sauteing the garlic
  5. Add in the chopped kale, and drizzle with lemon; cook until bright green and tender
  6. Add in both cans of pumpkin puree, and then your cashew mixture
  7. Stir until smooth, adding more liquid as needed. You may opt to add additional garlic powder, depending on your taste
  8. Pour sauce over whole wheat pasta & enjoy!


For the crunchy roasted chickpeas:

  • 1 15 oz. can of garbanzo beans
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ Tbsp olive oil
  • dash of salt

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Rinse, drain, and dry beans
  3. Put beans into a bowl and add olive oil and spices
  4. Mix until beans are completely covered in spices
  5. Place beans on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper
  6. Bake for 20-25 min, or until brown and crispy
  7. Add to garnish your pasta dish (also great addition to salads!)

We hope you enjoy this nutrient dense, plant based meal to kickstart your fall festivities!

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!


Happy National Chocolate Milk Day! Posted on 27 Sep 20:38 , 0 comments

Think you have to sit out of all the festivities today? Think again! Plant based chocolate milk is delicious AND nutritious! Our hot cocoa mix blends perfectly when mixed with your favorite plant based milk to give you that rich chocolate-y you are craving! 

Did you know that cacao powder is packed with nutrients? It may be hard to believe that the famous dessert drink, chocolate milk,  can be good for you but it's true! As we have talked about before, dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants, but cocoa powder, being less processed, is even more beneficial for your health. Cacao powder contains substantial amounts of iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc; all of which are essential for healthy bones, red blood cell development and immune system function. The flavonoids in cocoa function to help with blood circulation throughout the body, as well as the health of blood vessels by decreasing inflammation and blood pressure.

If you are looking for flavorful twist on the typical chocolate milk, give this ancient Mayan recipe a try! Aka: the OG of chocolate milk with all the health benefits!

What you need

  • ½ cup roasted cacao nibs
  • 2 medium sized chilis
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Seeds from one vanilla pod
  • Coconut sugar or agave if desired
  • 4-6 cups of water

What to do

  • Grind all of your ingredients in a blender.
  • Poor into a small pot and heat over your stove and heat until warm, but not boiling.
  • Add in sweetener if desired.

Ancient Mayan Hot Cocoa Using nicobella hot cocoa mix

What you need

  • 2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 4 Tbsp nicobella hot cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extra
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne

What to do

  • Warm the milk on the stovetop just until hot but not boiling.
  • Add the vanilla and stir.
  • Add the dry ingredients.
  • With a wisk blend well.
  • Top with additional cocoa powder.
  • Sip and enjoy. 

We hope you have a wonderful & decadent National Chocolate Milk Day! 

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!


Lemon + Poppy Seed Muffins! Posted on 25 Sep 17:34 , 0 comments

100% plant based and gluten free, these muffins lack nothing in flavor, texture or nutrients! The bright aroma of freshly squeezed lemon and the crunch of the chia & poppy seeds will brighten up your day for sure!


What you will need:

  • 3 Tbsp chia seeds + 6 Tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 lemon for zesting as well as juicing
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup GF all purpose flour blend

What to do:

  • Preheat your oven to 375 and prepare your muffin tin with either liners or grease with coconut oil so that the muffins do not stick
  • Prepare your chia seeds + water mixture and let congeal while you prepare the other ingredients
  • Add all wet ingredients to a bowl and mix well, then add in your dry and finally your chia seed mixture
  • Your batter should be thick, and easily spooned into your muffin tin
  • Divide the batter into the muffin tin, filling 9-11 muffins depending on how large you like your muffins
  • Bake for about 20 minutes and ENJOY!

 

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!


Ingredient Spotlight: Green Tea Posted on 20 Sep 22:01 , 0 comments

Want to know why green tea and dark chocolate are a ‘matcha’ made in heaven? The antioxidant content of course! Not to mention the perfectly paired flavor. Both of these reasons are why we created the Ginger Green Tea Truffle!

 

But why all the talk about antioxidants? They are nature’s top defense mechanism, only found in plants. Antioxidants protect your cells and help repair already damaged cells from free radicals that you may have consumed from food or in your environment. All the cells of the body are susceptible to free radical damage, but with a plant based diet rich in antioxidants and fiber, you are one step ahead of the game!


The high quality, and extremely high percentage of antioxidants per serving found in green tea are called catechins. Catechins, like other antioxidants help target damage done to blood vessels, like that seen with heart disease and hypertension, and help protect against cancer. Green tea is also known for it purifying benefits for skin as well as an aid for blood sugar control for those suffering from diabetes. And to top it all off, studies have shown potential benefits for memory and brain health from green as well!


To reap all of these plant based benefits, it is recommended to drink at least 2 cups of green tea on most days. While green tea comes in many forms from powders, to cold bottles tea, to capsules, the best form with the highest content of antioxidants comes from the tea you brew yourself. But you can never go wrong with having a little green tea with your antioxidant rich dark chocolate right? Experience the benefits & flavor with a box of our Ginger Green Tea Truffles today!

 

 

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!


Creamy Avocado Dill Potato Salad Posted on 18 Sep 19:56 , 0 comments

 

The rich full taste of this completely plant based potato salad will have you fooled when you see how simple it is to make! No processed oils needed here! Just the power of plants! Having some savory potato cravings? Try this recipe to mix it up!


What you will need:

  • 1.5 lbs small gold potatoes
  • 1 ripe hass avocado
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ diced red onion
  • 2-3 Tbsp freshly chopped dill
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ½ cucumber, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Wash and chop potatoes
  2. Steam potatoes over boiling water for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are easily broken apart with a fork
  3. While steaming, mix together all other ingredients into a smooth consistency. You will want to use a fork to adequately mash your avocado.
  4. Allow you potatoes to cool off before mixing everything together

And that is it! You are now ready to enjoy this delicious side dish at any lunch or dinner!

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!


Ingredient Spotlight: Maple Syrup Posted on 13 Sep 17:35 , 0 comments

The warm and rich flavor of maple syrup offers several unique nutritional benefits, unlike most sweeteners which have little to no nutrient value.


Maple syrup, as one of the least processed sweeteners, is recommended above others. It is a naturally occurring sweetener with a lower glycemic index compared to other granulated sugars or syrups. Mayple syrup also contains a complex carbohydrate, inulin, which serves as a prebiotic to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, ultimately aiding in gut health and digestion.  


In addition to helping your gut, maple syrup can help with your immune system, as 1 tablespoon provides 6% of the daily recommended intake of zinc and 33% of the daily recommended intake of manganese. Maple syrup also contains inflammation reducing antioxidants, similar to those contained in molasses and brown sugar, whereas refined sugars and agave nectar do not. Also, make sure that you are purchasing 100% pure maple syrup, and organic if possible. Maple Syrups that are not labeled as pure often contain unwanted additives and filler sweeteners that decrease this spectacular sweetener's power! 


Next time you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, chose maple syrup, the sweet treat with benefits! You can also experience its flavor and benefits in our very popular Maple Nut Munch!

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!

Southwest Sweet Potato Fries! Posted on 28 Aug 18:00 , 0 comments

 

This fun blend of spices & flavors is sure it step up your fry game as well as give you a healthier option to this commonly craved indulgence! As our long Labor Day weekend approaches, consider adding this fun side dish to your BBQ menu! These no oil sweet potato fries are full of vitamin A, fiber and a plethora healthful herbs & spices!  


What you will need

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 bundle of fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

What to do

  1. Preheat your oven to 450
  2. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper
  3. Wash and peel your sweet potatoes
  4. Cut your desired fry shape (we chose large wedges)
  5. Place the wedges on the parchment paper so they are not stacked on top of one another
  6. Sprinkle your fresh lime juice over the fries
  7. Next add your spices and top it off with freshly chopped cilantro (*have some cilantro to add as a garnish if you would like)
  8. Bake for 20 min, then shuffle your fries around and bake for another 10-15 minutes depending on how thick they are cut

These fries are delicious on their own, or paired with a smoky and sweet BBQ sauce! Enjoy this side & have a wonderful holiday weekend! 

 

 

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!  Addie has been vegan for 6 years, and promotes her recipes, love for animals, and nutrition journey on her blog: https://beansandblessingsblog.wordpress.com. In her free time, Addie enjoys running, creating vegan meals and baking, spending time with her husband Nathan and her best friend and sidekick, Kimba the rescue German Shepherd! Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!

Addie has been vegan for 6 years, and promotes her recipes, love for animals, and nutrition journey on her blog: https://beansandblessingsblog.wordpress.com. In her free time, Addie enjoys running, creating vegan meals and baking, spending time with her husband Nathan and her best friend and sidekick, Kimba the rescue German Shepherd!