Homemade Spinach Ravioli

You know the famous theme song “I’m strong to the finish, ’cause I eats me Spinach, I’m Popeye the sailor man! (toot, toot)” – Popeye (from theme song)

Popeye was right – not only does spinach make your muscles more efficient it also makes them stronger too. Research has discovered that the nitrates found in the vegetable boost the production of the proteins in the muscles, making them stronger and more efficient.

There is talk about the benefits of spinach nourishing the eyes and building bones. But what few know is that it is also very good for digestion. Spinach eases constipation and protects the mucus lining of the stomach, so that you stay free of ulcers… plus it flushes out toxins from the colon.

Did you know cooking spinach actually increases its health benefits? Just half a cup of cooked spinach will give you thrice as much nutrition as one cup of raw spinach. That’s because the body cannot completely break down the nutrients in raw spinach for its use.

Here’s a great homemade spinach ravioli recipe that even Popeye would approve. “A-gah-gah-gah-gah-gah-gah!” (Popeye’s laugh) 🙂

Homemade Spinach Ravioli

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Ingredients
1 cup ricotta or cottage cheese
1/2 cup cooked spinach, finely chopped and squeezed dried
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 small lemon, zested and juiced
Salt and pepper
40 square wonton wrappers
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions
In a bowl, combine the ricotta/cottage cheese, spinach, shallot, egg and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Arrange 10 wonton wrappers on a clean work surface. Top each with a rounded tsp. of filling.

Moisten the edges with water and, working with 1 at a time, fold in half to form triangles; press down around the filling to seal. Transfer the ravioli to the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, drop in the ravioli in 2 batches, letting the water return to a boil between batches. Cook until the ravioli bob to the surface, about 3 minutes per batch; strain.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, swirling, until it browns and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat immediately. Stir in the lemon juice, capers, and half of the parsley; season.

Divide the ravioli among 4 plates, drizzle with the butter sauce and top with the remaining parsley.

* for a healthier sauce option use marinara sauce in place of the lemon caper butter or you personal favorite sauce.

Enjoy!

In health,
Johanna

Go Banana’s!

Banana’s are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world for good reason! This funny looking yellow fruit is packed with nutrition. The health benefits of consuming bananas include lowering risks of cancer and asthma, lowering blood pressure, improving heart health and promoting digestive regularity.

Bananas are available year-round unlike other fruits. What’s great is that like apple sauce, ripe mashed bananas can be used in baked goods to replace oil or butter. Mashed bananas give baked items a moist, naturally sweet flavor. For a quick banana tip, when I have bananas that aren’t looking their freshest, but I don’t have time to bake, I throw my bananas in the freezer to use for future baking or smoothies.

After a fun day picking fruit in the orchard, I was anxious to use my juicy nectarines and what better way than to pair nectarines with my frozen bananas to whip up muffins to be used for grab & go breakfast during the work week. Seriously delicious and nutritious. Your kitchen will smell AMAZING and you’ll feel prepared for the week with a healthy snack.

….it’s okay, you’re welcome 🙂

Oatmeal Banana-Nectarine Muffins

1¼ cup flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill GF flour)
¾ cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup all natural maple syrup
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 bananas, mashed (defrosted if previously frozen)
1 pound nectarines chopped
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine maple syrup, vegetable oil and mashed bananas together in a large bowl.

Add the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nectarine pieces and gently fold together until just mixed.

Pour into muffin tin (greased or into muffin wrappers)

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

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