Ingredients are the backbone to any meal but when condensing this and getting it down to 5 ingredients was very difficult. How do you choose between eggplant and zucchini? How about red pepper flakes and honey? The list could have gone on and on but I didn’t want to bore you and so 5 ingredients sounded about right but I may throw a few more in the end to make the 5 ingredients……10.
My first question is what is an ingredient? Do you consider cinnamon an ingredient and not brussels sprouts. I decided that anything I use to make a meal is an ingredient and so you will some spices in this list as well.
1) Cinnamon: I absolutely love cinnamon and have it everyday. The way I always use it is when I make a spread of homemade nut butter and honey. I put about 1 tsp of cinnamon and combine it before spreading it on Suzie’s Thin Cakes for my evening snack. It doesn’t only go there though. I also use it when I am making a mexican dish. The combination of cinnamon, cumin and coriander works perfectly on top of vegetables before they go into the homemade corn tortillas.
Some benefits of using cinnamon include: lowering LDL cholesterol, lowering blood sugar levels, combined with honey it can reduce arthritis pain and can help stabilize blood sugars.
2) Eggs: When I first started going down the vegetarian lifestyle path I eliminated eggs but it became too hard and I really had no reason for not eating them so I added them back in. I am thrilled with my choice to put them back into my diet as my waffles and pancakes come out fluffier but I have also perfected my omelette making skills. Putting eggs into the top 5 ingredients list was not something I would have done a few months ago but they are here and here to stay. As a matter of fact I started buying my eggs from a local farm and they taste so much better than store-bought.
Some of the benefits of consuming eggs include a high-quality protein, beneficial to eyesight, a good source of choline for regulating brain, nervous and cardiovascular systems plus they have the right kinds of fat.
3) Garbanzo Bean Flour: Kicking wheat out of my diet after reading Wheat Belly was one of the hardest things to do as I didn’t know what I was going to use to make bread. I found garbanzo bean flour along the way and the funny thing is that I have not made bread with it but have made plenty of waffles and pancakes with it. I did use the garbanzo bean flour to make a flatbread that came out very tasty. I like that is it a great substitute for whole wheat or all-purpose flour as it has a thicker consistency unlike brown rice flour.
Benefits of garbanzo beans include: high in fiber, help control blood sugar and insulin secretion, and a recent study found they can help lower LDL cholesterol.
4) Brussels Sprouts: If you follow me on Instagram you will no doubt have noticed that brussels sprouts pay a large part in my diet and thus they could not be excluded from the top 5 ingredients. I like them raw in a salad with red cabbage and kale. I like them roasted and paired with sweet potatoes in a hash to go with along with one of the the other top 5 ingredients: eggs. As a a kid I wouldn’t go near them but as an adult they make their way onto my plate 3-5 times per week. As a matter of fact I find myself going back to My Fitness Pal when planning my menu and upping the volume from 100g to 200g because I like them so much.
Benefits of these awesome vegetables include: high fiber content thus aiding in lowering cholesterol, fight inflammation and have a host of antioxidants.
5) Bananas: Virtually no day goes by when a banana does not find its way into my diet. Bananas are high in calories and carbs for fruits but they are so versatile that it is hard not to include them. When making pancakes or waffles substituting bananas for eggs helps, just be sure to adjust your liquid amounts when doing so. I do the usual and put bananas on top of oatmeal. Now, let me ask if you have ever split a banana in half and put a few pieced of dark chocolate in the middle and then baked for 5-10 minutes until the chocolate has just started melting? Or how about cutting pieces and then spreading home-made nut butter in between and having a banana-nut butter sandwich?
Benefits of this incredible fruit: high in fiber but also helps maintain low blood sugar and high in Vitamin B-6 which aids in curbing inflammation.