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7 Crowd-Pleasing Halloween Recipes

Hey ghosts and ghouls, Halloween is less than a week away and it’s time to get festive! We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite Halloween creations that are sure to impress all you party people. These matcha inspired spooky creations are the perfect project for those with a sweet tooth and moderate skills in the kitchen.  

Because you can add matcha to almost all your baked goods, and because little goes a long way in adding a delicious flavor and vibrant green color to all things yummy, it’s the perfect (natural and healthy) replacement to green food coloring this Halloween.

`Here are some great ideas for your Halloween snacks, in no particular order 🙂

These Franken Cookies are an adorably spooky addition to your Halloween festivities. Just look at those little Franken faces! This simple matcha cookie recipe is delicious and easy-to-make, but you may need some artistic talent and patience for the cookie decorating.  

 

Get the whole recipe here: [https://www.brit.co/creeping-it-real-with-these-tea-licious-frankenstein-cookies/]

Get a load of these raw, no-bake Googly Eye Matcha Cupcakes. These cupcakes are perfect for the health conscious Halloween lovers out there who don’t want to miss out on the spooky-themed treats! With no flour, no refined sugar, no fats, and no baking, these cupcakes rely on dates and wheat flour alternatives to create a chewy treat that tastes similar to a matcha oreo cookie. Yum!

Get the whole recipe here: [http://rawfoodrecipes.com/recipes/halloween-no-bake-chocolate-matcha-cupcakes/]

These Zombie Finger Cookies inspired by Hocus Pocus are rich and buttery, colored with a hint of matcha and shaped into severed zombie fingers. Very similar to the classic “Witch Finger” cookies that are popular this time of year, these severed Zombie Finger Cookies use pistachios instead of almonds as the nails to give more of a “rotting” appearance. Gross … but also delicious.

Get the whole recipe here: [http://www.allroadsleadtothe.kitchen/2015/10/zombie-finger-cookies.html]

While there is nothing inherently Halloween about this incredibly simple White Chocolate Matcha Popcorn, the color green is reminiscent of goblins, monsters, and witches brew. White chocolate and matcha are one of the most delicious flavor combinations, and popcorn is an easy-to-make crowd-pleaser. Pro tip: You can fill little clear baggies with this popcorn and draw witch or monster faces on the bag with a magic marker.

Get the whole recipe here: [http://www.alittlerosemaryandtime.com/blog/white-chocolate-popcorn-with-matcha/]

These Chocolate Matcha Whoopie Pies are more adorable than scary, but they are delicious! You can keep it simple and leave them as googly-eyed cookies, or if you’re feeling ambitious, you can add chocolate legs and turn them into “critters” … Either way, these fluffy chocolate cookies, and creamy matcha filling will hit the spot this Halloween!

Get the whole recipe here: [http://www.thetummytrain.com/2014/10/30/chocolate-and-matcha-halloween-whoopie-pies/]

This recipe for Matcha Frankenpudding is a great way to get the kids involved in Halloween baking. These monster-inspired pudding cups are super simple to make and fun for the whole family. This recipe calls for food coloring, but you can just swap the green food coloring for a couple of teaspoons of matcha powder!

Get the whole recipe here: [http://www.parents.com/recipes/holidays/halloween/halloween-treats-kids-can-make/?page=14]

Who doesn’t love using Halloween as an excuse to gorge on Peanut Butter Cups? These Matchabutter cups are a (slightly) healthier version of classic peanut butter cups, and they’re even more delicious! You can serve them at your Halloween party or add a couple to your assorted candy bags. Everyone will love these!

Get the whole recipe here: [http://keepinitkind.com/chocolate-matcha-butter-cups/]

Have a happy, safe and delicious Halloween from all of us at KissMeOrganics!

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7 Ways To Keep Your Skin Glowing Through Winter

The hot summer sun can take its toll on our skin. Sun exposure and sweat can damage and irritate your skin leaving it looking weathered. You might think you’re off the hook now that Fall is approaching, but extremely cold weather can dry out your skin leaving it dull. You can keep your skin glowing all winter long by following a few simple tips during the cold weather!

7. Keep Humid

Turning up the heat will keep you nice and toasty, but it can also dry out your skin. One of the best ways to combat the effects of indoor heating is to use a humidifier. A humidifier will moisten the dry air in your living space, clearing your sinuses, and keeping your skin smooth and supple.

6. Hydrate

H2O is always a good idea. Cold winter days are no excuse to neglect your water consumption. If you don’t feel like drinking a tall glass of icy cold water, room temperature water will do the trick. Drinking enough water (about 8 glasses a day) is not only great for your skin, it also helps detox your body, prevents headaches and supports weight loss. Keep a water bottle with you (and set reminder alarms if you have to) so you don’t forget to drink it!

5. Mask It

Dedicate some real time to moisturizing, whether it’s by using high quality (all natural) skin care products or by using DIY methods. Always try to use natural moisturizers such as aloe, avocado, and coconut oil.

4. Exfoliate

Wind, rain and snow can really take a toll on your face during winter. Regular exfoliation will prevent impurities and dead cells from dulling your glow. If you don’t get rid of those dead cells your face won’t absorb your moisturizer or other skin products. For glowing skin, make exfoliation your new winter habit by taking the time once or twice a week to renew your skin.

3. Cover It

Make an effort to protect your skin from the harsh climate as much as possible. Wear scarves and gloves at all times when you’re outside, especially on windy days. One thing to remember during winter is that even though it’s cold the sun can still damage your skin. Wearing sunscreen on particularly sunny winter days will prevent sun damage.

2. Mind Your fabrics

This is particularly important for those who suffer from skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis: be mindful of the fabrics you’re wearing. Also be aware of the detergents you use to do your laundry. Your skin is particularly sensitive in extreme weather, and using certain detergents or wearing harsh fabrics like wool might trigger an allergy or bouts of acne.

1. Moisturize

Wash your face with lukewarm water when you come in from the cold and moisturize right after washing to keep your face from drying out from the cold. You’ll feel so much more comfortable and your skin will love you for it!

What’s your favorite winter skincare secret? Tell us in the comments below.

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Bento-Style Matcha Salad

The Japanese Bento Box is traditionally a single-portion lunch box comprised of protein vegetables and carbs, all of which are separated by dividers. Preparation ranges from simple to elaborate and the final result is intended to be both healthy and pleasing to the eye.

For the salad

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  • ½ cup Red Cabbage, chiffonade   
  • A few Romaine lettuce leaves, chiffonade
  • 3 medium radishes, grated
  • Half an Avocado, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup extra firm tofu (drained and pressed with paper towel, cubed, placed in a single layer on a baking sheet and baked at 350 F for 25-45 minutes–tossing every 10 mins)
  • 1 cup butternut squash, cubed and “healthy sautéed”* (so that they are cooked but firm–About 5-7 minutes, depending on the size of the cubes)  

For the dressing

  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 11/2 tsp Kiss Me Organic Culinary Matcha
  • 11/2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

 

Instructions

Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, matcha and lemon juice.

Arrange the cabbage, romaine leaves, radishes, avocado, butternut squash and baked tofu in sections on a plate.

Serve the dressing on the side.

*add about ¼ cup of water and the chopped butternut squash to a large saucepan, place covered on high heat for 5-7 minutes, until you can easily put your fork through one of the cubes but they remain firm.  

ORDER MATCHA NOW

* This post contains affiliate links. We (pure taste or organization) do receive a small percentage if you choose to purchase, but your price always remains the same. Thanks for supporting our growth!

 

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7 Ways to Eliminate Stress

There’s an expression that I repeat to myself during times of trouble: “Worrying is like wishing for something bad to happen.” When everyday problems become overwhelming they can often lead to chronic worrying. Our worrying then manifests into feelings of anxiousness and hasty decisions which only make matters worse. If we have the right tools though, we can manage our worrying and avoid panic mode, which will ultimately lead us to better, more creative solutions to whatever is weighing on us.

If you’re looking for a way to put some distance between you and our worries, here are 7 great tips to find some inner peace and calm:

7. Breathe

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It’s basic advice, but the fact is that breathing deeply can help oxygenate your blood, and it has shown to lower cortisol levels, chemically helping your body deal with stress and anxiety.

 

6.Cuddle

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There’s scientific evidence to show that hugging has some great health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, boosting oxytocin, and increasing serotonin and endorphin levels. In fact, hugs can even strengthen your immune system. Plus a warm embrace can have positive psychological effects such as helping you feel safe and improving your self-esteem.

5. Let it out

Part of the reason we let ourselves be consumed by feelings of shame or not wanting to burden others with our problems. Confiding in others can do wonders to alleviate stress. If you’re not crazy about sharing, another way to let your feelings out, and ultimately organize your thoughts, is by writing them down. Journaling is a very effective way to emotionally unload without sacrificing your privacy.

4. Jam away your troubles

Music can have soothing effects on your body and brain. It can also improve your immune system, and help you get motivated for the gym or other activities. While slow serene music can be great for quiet meditation, blasting your favorite tunes of any genre can also help you blow off some steam and release tension. Dance around your house, or sing your heart out in the shower!

3. Trade coffee for tea

When you’re particularly stressed, swap your coffee for tea. While coffee can actually spike your blood pressure leading to more stress and anxiety, green tea will energize you without making you anxious and irritable. Try brewed green tea or matcha for a steadier and more relaxed boost.

2. Shake it, baby

Sometimes we’re so used to sitting for hours in front of the computer that we fail to realize the negative effects a sedentary lifestyle can have on us. Getting up and exercising, even if it’s just walking a couple of blocks to buy a salad, can release endorphins. Some fresh air will also do wonders for a bad mood.

1. Eat and sleep right

Eating and sleeping are two of the best ways you can care for yourself. Eating when you’re hungry, and keeping a regular sleeping schedule will allow your body to recharge so you can tackle problems with a level head. Proper self-care begins with basics and if you’re nourished and well-rested, you’ll be able to handle whatever life throws at you.

When you feel like stress is getting the best of you, make time for yourself with these different techniques. There are things you won’t be able to control, but you can shift the focus on what you can do to best cope with the things that make life feel overwhelming. Namaste!

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5 Reasons You Should Never Count Another Calorie

We use the word calorie to measure the amount of energy provided by each food and drink we consume. Many diets are based on balancing the number of calories consumed with the number of calories burned through physical activity.

Historically, we’ve based our diets on calorie intake, taking careful note of the calories we consume, and organizing our diets and “cheat meals” around the idea that calories, regardless of where they come from, have the ability to “make or break” fitness results.

Anyone who is or has ever been a calorie-counter knows the effort and time it takes to be vigilant, the pain of carefully portioning out 3 cashews or 2 m&ms when we want to reward ourselves.

The trouble is, often times these calorie deprivation diets don’t work, because they’re just not sustainable. Even though you’ll probably see some results when you obsess over your calorie intake, these results are usually temporary.

Here are 5 reasons why you should never count calories again:

5. Low in calories does not equal healthy:

The idea behind counting calories is that you’ll get the same amount of energy from a cookie or a carrot, provided they both have the same caloric content. While an unhealthy food and a healthy one can have the exact same amount of calories, that’s not the only thing your body takes into account during metabolism: bad quality calories do not provide the same nutrients or energy.

While a small portion of unhealthy foods (like potato chips) can have as many calories as a healthy snack (like baby carrots), they don’t provide nearly the same nutritional value. You might be staying well within your caloric allowance, but you’re also feeding your body with low-quality calories that won’t give you the necessary energy, and also will not keep you satisfied for very long. You’ll find yourself hungry again in no time.

4. Caloric absorption is not universal:

The body does not absorb every single calorie it consumes, and there are some foods that offer very little nutrients that your body can absorb. The amount of calories your body absorbs also depends greatly on your individual gut bacteria, and varies from person to person. Individual people have individual caloric needs and there is no universal “magic number” of calories one should consume.

3. You’re probably eating more calories than you think:

Food companies take a lot of liberties when it comes to estimating calorie content in their packages. Due to the fact that there are five different methods to do this calculation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) actually allows up to 20% inaccuracy when it comes to caloric count in products. In other words, if something is marked as having 150 calories, the true caloric content can be anywhere between 130 and 180 calories.

Calories vary when you cook foods, so that’s another change to take into account when obsessively looking at food labels. It’s always better to eat whole foods that have not been processed so you know the quantity and quality of calories you’re putting into your body.

2. Starving yourself won’t make you lose weight:

A lot of people looking to lose weight quickly end up going on crash diets with drastic calorie deprivation of as little as 1,000 calories a day. Not only will that leave you feeling hungry and without energy all day long, it will also send the wrong message to your body: needing sustenance, your body will look for it elsewhere, and burn muscle instead of fat. It will also slow down your metabolism and take up every last ounce of fat it can find in every bit of food you do eat, all while you’re feeling cranky and miserable. It’s just not worth it.

1. Your body is wiser than your calculator:

When you fill up with the right foods, such as leafy greens, grains, and even grass-fed beef, your body will feel full no matter the number of calories you consumed. The safest bet is listening to what your body is telling you instead of trying to maintain a rigid diet based on misguided assumptions about calorie intake. The healthiest approach to fitness is eating moderate portions of high-quality calories often, that way your blood sugar levels are steady and you don’t end up depriving yourself and then binging.

 

There’s more to calories than the number, and merely counting them won’t help you reach your long-term fitness goals. The best approach is to choose whole foods containing high-quality calories that will nourish you.

 

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10 Reasons You Should Start Yoga Practice

image showing Yoga Practice

Anything that requires work to attain is usually extremely rewarding and yoga is no exception. I don’t know first-hand what it’s like to be “really good” at yoga, but my instructor assures me it’s not about that, it’s about patience. I’m the girl at the back of the class “walking” my downward dog, forgetting to breathe, and letting my mind wander to the person in the front row, who seems to defy the limits of the human body. Needless to say, I am not an expert on the mat, but I am learning to love my yoga practice for the journey. I know that my skills will develop as I continue my yoga practice, and that’s nice. I imagine the discipline it will take will give me a great sense of accomplishment, and that’s nice too. But I also feel good each time I finish a practice, and here’s why:

10 Ways Yoga Practice Is Great For Your Physical & Mental Health

10. Your flexibility will improve:

It’s one of the most obvious benefits of yoga. Your first attempts at yoga will probably be challenging, especially if you have limited flexibility. Over time, though, you’ll be able to deepen your stretch and release all kinds of tension hiding in your joints and muscles. Better flexibility also means that aches and pains will lessen. Tight muscles can put a strain on your joints, and cause poor posture which can cause all kinds of problems in the long run.

9. Your muscles will be strong:

Strong muscles protect us from arthritis and chronic back pain, they also help make us sturdier as we age. Yoga is great for building muscle strength because it builds flexibility at the same time. Often when we weight train for muscle strength, it comes at the price of our flexibility. Yoga practice is great because, on a physical level, it’s all about building strength with flexibility.

8. You’ll be protecting your cartilage & joints:

It’s good to keep your joints moving to prevent them from stiffening. Stiff joints can lead to injury and permanent damage. When you practice yoga, you put your joints through a full range of motion which can also help prevent arthritis. It can help make sure your joints are receiving nutrients, and prevent them from deteriorating.  

7. You’ll get your blood flowing:

Yoga helps your circulation, especially in your extremities. It also increases the flow of oxygen to your cells, helping them function better. Those twist poses that feel so good are said to release the venous blood from internal organs. Inverted poses are said to help blood from the legs and pelvis to flow to the heart. Because yoga gets your blood flowing, it also helps reduce swelling.

6. You’ll feel happier:

There is evidence that a consistent yoga practice can help with anxiety and depression through interoception. Interoception is described as a mindful awareness of the body intended to bring us closer to our physical experience. In addition, practicing yoga has been found to increase serotonin levels, the neurotransmitter connected to feelings of happiness and wellbeing.  

5. You’ll be more focused:

Yoga practice is all about being in the present. Making time for practice allows you to refocus your energies so you don’t become overwhelmed. Some studies have also found that regular yoga practice can improve your coordination, memory, and it might actually make you smarter. This may be due to the fact that yoga practice can help clear your mind of the thoughts and conversations that are on an endless loop inside your head.

4. You’ll have better balance as you age:

Proprioception is your unconscious perception of your body’s movement and spatial orientation. Having bad proprioception means you have bad balance, which means you are likely to have bad posture. As mentioned above, poor posture can lead to joint problems and back pain. Regular yoga practice will increase your strength and balance, which can mean fewer falls as you get older.

3. You’ll develop greater inner strength:

Yoga helps teach discipline. The discipline you develop through regular practice will extend to the rest of your life and fuel change. Many people find that practicing self-discipline affects change in all areas of their lives, helping them eat better, exercise more, and quit unhealthy lifestyle choices.

2. You’ll have better relationships:

Because yoga helps you to be more mindful, it also helps develop your compassion for others. Many of the things you practice in yoga (setting intentions, clearing your mind, developing patience) can work towards strengthening  your relationships with others. You’ll probably find better relationships and a strengthened sense of community are side effects of your growing inner peace.

1. You’ll have less pain:

Yoga can help relieve chronic pain, which can improve your mood, and keep you active. If you’re happy and active you won’t need as much medication to manage pain. According to studies, yoga can help reduce the pain of arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic back pain, and other chronic conditions.