NorthStar Nutritionals Blog

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  1. 4 Healthy Pie Recipes That Are GOOD For You

    Pie Recipes HealthyWho doesn’t love pie?

    Especially this time of year, when it seems like holiday tables are sagging under the weight of desserts!

    If only there were such a thing as a healthy pie…

    Well, guess what? There is!

    Not only are there healthy pie recipes, but there are ways to make your favorite pie recipes a little healthier without making many changes at all.

    Read on for healthy pie tips AND healthy pie recipes.

    Tips to Make Your Favorite Pies HEALTHY Pies

    1. Don’t use store-bought pie crust. The truth is that many pies don’t even need crusts, but for those that do, make your own. Using real ingredients that you can pronounce won’t necessarily cut any calories, but it will make your crust healthier than the chemical and preservative-laden ones from the grocery store baking aisle.

    2. Try new flours. Most cooks use white flour in their crusts. But for a healthier pie, mix the crust flour up a bit. Try swapping in whole grain flour, nut flour, or even ground nuts for at least some of your white flour.

    3. Cut the sugar. You can reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe by as much as 25% before it starts to interfere with baking times or texture. While it may make your pies taste a little different, when using naturally sweet ingredients like fruit, sweet potato, or chocolate, you probably won’t miss it much – or at all!

    Healthy Pie Recipes

    Use those tips on your favorite pies – or try one of these healthy pies for a new take on some old traditions.

    No-Crust Pumpkin Pie – remember we mentioned that some pies don’t need crusts? Here’s a perfect example. Makes 8 servings


    • ¾ c granulated sugar
    • 1 t ground cinnamon
    • ½ t salt
    • ½ t ground ginger
    • ¼ t ground cloves
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
    • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk


    • Preheat oven to 350° F.
    • Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves in a small bowl.
    • Beat eggs in a large bowl.
    • Stir pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture in with eggs in large bowl.
    • Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
    • Pour into glass or ceramic baking dish.
    • Bake until knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
    • Cool on wire rack, then refrigerate overnight, until ready to serve.

    Peanut Butter Yogurt Pie – this is a harder crust to make from scratch, but the rest of the pie is healthy enough that using a store-bought pie this time is an acceptable indulgence. Makes 10 servings.


    • 32 ounces vanilla Greek yogurt
    • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
    • 9-inch crust chocolate cookie crust


    • In a large mixing bowl, stir the yogurt and peanut butter with a wire whisk until blended.
    • Spread into the prepared pie shell.
    • Chill the pie overnight (the pie will be thicker the longer it is chilled). Serve cold.

    Apple Baked Apple Pie – If you think the best part of a pie is the filling, but aren’t ready to give up the crust completely, this one’s for you. Serves 4.


    • ½ recipe of your favorite pie crust
    • 6 medium Granny Smith Apples
    • 1 t lemon juice
    • 1 t flour
    • ½ t pumpkin pie spice
    • ½ t cinnamon
    • ½ c sugar
    • 1 T sugar
    • ½ t cinnamon


    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    • Prepare and roll out your pie crust on parchment paper and place into the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
    • Wash apples and cut the tops of four of them (do not peel). Hollow out the core and some of the apple to make an apple bowl.
    • Place in an 8x8 glass baking dish
    • Peel, core and dice the other 2 apples and place in a small bowl.
    • Add lemon juice, flour, pumpkin pie spice, ½ t cinnamon, and ½ c sugar to the apples. Mix.
    • Spoon apple mixture into the apple bowls. Pack slightly and fill to the top.
    • Remove pie crust from the refrigerator and cut strips about 4 inches by ½ inch.
    • Place 4 strips of the pie crust onto each apple in a lattice pattern.
    • Combine 1 T sugar and ½ t cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle on top of the pie crust lattice pattern on each apple.
    • Bake for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden and apple is soft.
    • Remove from oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes before moving out of the dish ( they are soft and can break if you are not careful).
    • Serve warm.

    Spiced Quinoa Pie Crust – not sure you’re ready for a crustless pie, no matter how healthy? But can’t bring yourself to make a traditional crust? Then try this one. Bonus, it’s gluten free!


    • 1 c quinoa flour
    • 2 T coconut sugar
    • ¼ t baking powder
    • ¼ t salt
    • ½ t each ginger and cinnamon
    • ¼ c coconut oil, semi-firm
    • 3 T cold water


    • Preheat oven to 350. Grease the base and sides of a standard pie plate.
    • Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add coconut oil and mash through with a fork until well combined and crumbly.
    • Stir in 2 T of water first then add the final T if needed – ‘crumbs’ should hold together when pressed but not be wet.
    • Turn into prepared pan and press evenly across base and up sides, using a large spoon.
    • Refrigerate for 10 minutes, then bake in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes until lightly golden.
    • Fill with any healthy pie filling you love best.

    Pie is great. But healthy pie – well, that’s even better. Enjoy!

  2. Eating Cheap: How to Feel Full on a Strict Budget

    cheap eatingWhen you’re on a strict budget, it’s easy to think that you can’t eat well.

    Because yes, organic foods cost more and fresh foods cost more – generally.

    But they don’t have to.

    You can eat healthily, well, and feel full even on a strict budget.

    It just takes a little planning and creativity.

    1. Think fresh and freeze. Fruits and vegetables in season cost less than when they’re in season. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them year-round. Buy them cheap when they’re fresh and freeze them for use in six months, when the prices are up at the grocery store. Are the fruits and vegetables you want to eat out of season – and expensive – now? Remember the frozen section of your store. Frozen vegetables are as healthy AND cost less than out of season fresh ones. Plus, you can often find great deals, think 10 for $10, on frozen vegetables. Which ties into…

    2. Do your own prep work. Yes, pre-sliced vegetables are incredibly convenient. Unfortunately, it’s a convenience you pay for. Grab bunches of carrots instead of the prepackaged sticks, loose lettuce instead of the bags, whole cauliflower and broccoli rather than pre-cut. Then, prep them when you get home and it’s time to use them. For a little extra time, you can save a lot of money. And don’t forget the meat…

    3. Prep your own chicken. Have you looked at the difference in price between chicken thighs with skin on them and the skinless, boneless chicken breasts that have been so popular since the 1990s? There’s a huge savings to be had there. And here’s another tip – chicken thighs taste better. They’re juicier and more flavorful. So save some money and get better flavor, all by being will to skin your own chicken thighs.

    4. Stock up. When you find those sales on frozen veggies, load up. But also make sure your pantry is stocked with staples. While smaller, individual sizes may seem to make more sense, the larger portions of dry goods tend to be less expensive, so work better on a tight budget. Get the largest size of foods like flour, rice, pasta, and spices, that you have room for and you’ll save enough to enjoy the fresh foods you love, too!

    5. Stretch your food. Soups, stews, casseroles, even meat can be filled out and expanded with the addition of beans and grains. Small servings can become budget-friendly full meals simply by throwing in some brown rice, quinoa, or legumes. Those are dry or canned staples that are inexpensive to purchase, last a long, and taste good in so many different dishes that they’re perfect when you’re eating on a tight budget.

    6. Make the most of leftovers. Not much is less appealing, or will have you reaching for the take-out menu, faster than the thought of a reheated plate of last night’s dinner. But if you’ll take the leftovers and turn them into something new, you’re more likely to stick to your budget. Soups, casseroles, and omelets are all delicious, creative ways to repurpose leftovers. Which is easier to do when you…

    7. Stay organized. What does staying organized have to do with eating on a strict budget? Well, it doesn’t matter if you save your leftovers or prep your own vegetables if they get shoved into the back of a crowded refrigerator and you don’t see them for a week or more. By keeping your fridge organized, you can find your food and use it in a timely manner, rather than having to throw it out because it spoiled in the back.

    8. Think “nutrient dense.” When you’re on a strict budget, it’s important to get the most bang for your buck. That’s where nutrient dense foods come in. These are foods that offer many of the vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber you need in one small serving. They fill you up, nourish your body, and give you energy without needing to eat huge amounts of them – or anything else – just to get all their nutritional benefits. Nutritionize your meals with foods like salmon, eggs, and blueberries.

    Eating on a strict budget doesn’t have to mean eating badly or eating too little. You don’t have to choose from those two options!

    Not when you can tweak your shopping, your pantry, and your meals just a little and eat well – and cheaply – all year long.

  3. The Ultimate Guide to Avoiding Dementia

    For generations, avoiding dementia – or not – was a roll of the dice. Essentially, you would get older and hope you kept most of your cognitive abilities in the process. But no more. These days, researchers have learned that avoiding dementia is possible, and more importantly, relatively easy. Continue reading →
  4. Your Stuffy Nose Could Mean Something More

    It’s almost winter and that means it’s stuffy nose season. Colds, flu, dust, even allergies can all cause a miserable stuffy nose. But it could be something else, too. Something that’s supposed to help, not make it worse. To understand it, though, it helps to understand how and why your nose gets stuffy in the first place… Continue reading →
  5. My Eyes Are Dry - Now What?

    dry my eyesWhen your eyes are dry every day feels like an annoyance. No, there’s nothing seriously wrong, but there’s certainly nothing right, either. On bad days, life can become an itchy, scratchy irritation one just has to get through. That’s no way to live life! Luckily, just because your eyes are dry doesn’t mean you have to live with it. Let’s take a closer look at dry eyes, and the natural ways you can manage them. Continue reading →
  6. Don't Ignore These 9 High Blood Pressure Warnings

    warnings high blood pressureToo many people are unaware that high blood pressure comes with warnings. They think that high blood pressure is something you can’t identify until you’re in the doctor’s office waiting for the cuff to release. But that is a false and quite frankly dangerous misunderstanding of how high blood pressure works. High blood pressure warnings do exist, and you can identify them. You just have to know what they are. Continue reading →
  7. 8 Rules for Defeating Anxiety That Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You

    anxiety defeatingAlthough defeating anxiety is one of the most important things you can do, it’s also one of the most intimidating. After all, part of anxiety is the feeling that you can’t ever get better. How are you supposed to defeat anxiety when the very fact that you have it makes you feel like you can never defeat it? First, it’s vital that you lose the stigma about having anxiety. Talk to your doctor. Admit you’re struggling with it. There are ways your doctor can help. But your doctor isn’t the only one who can help with defeating anxiety. You have a powerful ally where you might not expect it: yourself. In spite of what the anxiety may have you believing, you really can help manage, control, and defeat it. Continue reading →
  8. Fight a Cold With These 5 Ultra-Nutritious Drink Recipes

    cold fightYou wash your hands regularly, use tissues when you sneeze, and make sure to get plenty of sleep. But with winter upon us, it’s sensible to wonder if you’re doing everything you can to fight a cold and stay healthy. If you’re looking to go the extra mile and supercharge your immune system – and who isn’t this time of year? – try these ultra-nutritious drink recipes, the easy and delicious way to fight a cold. Continue reading →
  9. The Ultimate All-Natural Ear Wax Treatment

    treatment ear waxLet’s be honest – ear wax is not something people talk about. It’s hardly something people think about. But if you’re looking for an ear wax treatment, suddenly you wish more people would talk about it! Because even if you’ve never thought about it a day in your life before now, by the time you need an ear wax treatment, you’ve probably been thinking about it a lot! Continue reading →
  10. Clean Your Lungs Naturally in 12 Easy Steps

    lungs clean yourDetoxing is all the rage these days. You’ll find articles on how to clean your liver, your kidneys, your digestive tract... But did you know you could also clean your lungs? And doing so is important! So many people smoked when they were younger, before society knew just how bad it was for your health. But even if you’ve never smoked a day in your life, you’ve inhaled pollutants, toxins, and chemicals. There’s just no way to avoid them all. Luckily, it’s easier than you may realize to clean your lungs. Simply follow these steps, and you’ll clean your lungs naturally, in just three days! Continue reading →
  11. What Does Your Tongue Say About You and Your Health?

    health tongueYou can’t always tell much about your health just by looking in the mirror – unless you’re looking in the right place: your tongue. That’s right. You may be able to tell what’s going on with your health by paying attention to your tongue! Look for any of these tell-tale signs, because your tongue could be telling you more than you ever imagined. Continue reading →
  12. Shrink Your Stomach Naturally with 10 Quick Techniques

    stomach shrink yourIf you’ve already turned your health around, or if you’re just looking to start, there tends to be one stubborn area that seems hardest to shrink: your stomach. Belly fat has a reputation for being some of the hardest to lose – which is even more frustrating because it’s also some of the most detrimental to your health. However, there are ways to shrink your stomach, even if you’ve already changed up your diet and embraced crunches! Continue reading →
  13. What Does Your Eye Color Say About Your Health?

    You and your doctor use several markers to predict your health, but you may not even be aware of this one – your eye color. As it turns out, eye color can indicate health risks you may be facing. Now, eye color isn’t a diagnostic tool – just because your eyes are a certain color doesn’t guarantee you’ll have any of these conditions – but it may help you understand and take precautions. Continue reading →
  14. How Much Exercise is Enough Exercise?

    exercise enoughEveryone talks about the fact that staying active is vital to maintaining overall health and independence. Nobody talks much about what that means, though. How much exercise is enough? What kind of exercise do they mean? What’s the difference between exercise and activity? The list of questions goes on and on. So we’ve compiled all the information you need in one place. From activity to exercise to avoiding over exercising. You’ve got questions. We’ve got the answers… Continue reading →
  15. Why Am I So Thirsty?

    thirsty soBeing thirsty occasionally is normal. Everyone goes too long without a drink of water. But if it seems you are just so thirsty all of the time, then you may be wondering what’s going on. Let’s look at seven common conditions that might cause you to be thirsty. Then, you can deal with them appropriately, instead of guessing! Continue reading →
  16. Coffee and Headaches – Is the Caffeine Helping or Hurting?

    headaches and coffeeWhenever there are two schools of thought on a topic, it’s hard to know which is true and which is false – as is the case with caffeine and headaches. Some people swear by caffeine’s ability to relieve headache pain. Other people swear that coffee is the cause of their headache pain. So which is it? Will coffee help your headache – or make it worse? The truth is: it depends. Read on, and we’ll look at how caffeine helps your headaches, and why it might cause them, too. Continue reading →
  17. My Doctor Gave Me the Wrong Diagnosis – Now What?

    diagnosis wrongGetting the wrong diagnosis for a medical condition isn’t just an irrational fear. It’s a fact of life for 12 million Americans every year. That’s almost 1 in 20 people who are given the wrong diagnosis. Suddenly, that concern feels far more plausible. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the most common misdiagnoses, and then empower you to get the medical advice you need in the aftermath of a wrong diagnosis. Continue reading →
  18. Why a Lack of Fiber Could Be Killing You

    fiber lack ofThe average adult needs between 25 and 30 grams of fiber per day. Unfortunately, the average American adult only gets about 15 grams of fiber per day – just about half the amount you need! And it turns out this lack of fiber could be killing you. Sound alarmist? That’s because it’s alarming – but it’s also the truth. Getting enough fiber isn’t just about feeling fuller, longer, so you stick to your diet. It’s not even only about the sustained energy that comes from the healthy carbohydrates where most people find their fiber. Getting enough fiber is about fighting off diseases that can actually kill you. Now that we’ve gotten your attention, let’s look at what a lack of fiber is doing to your health… Continue reading →
  19. 8 Critical Metabolism Vitamins Missing From Your Diet

    vitamins metabolismYou don’t worry about metabolism vitamins because you’re healthy. You eat well most of the time with a treat or two just often enough to keep you from feeling deprived. So you don’t worry about metabolism vitamins because you don’t have to. Except you probably should. Here’s why – Continue reading →
  20. What Correcting Bad Posture Could Mean For Your Health

    bad posture correctingWhen you were younger, you were probably taught to sit up straight, walk with your shoulders back, and generally maintain proper posture. But that was years ago, and you’ve let it slide a bit. You don’t really think about correcting bad posture these days. That’s okay, right? Interestingly enough, it might not be. It turns out that correcting bad posture may have positive effects. And not just on your height, but on your overall health. Continue reading →