Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hemp Powder Bars

I was at the local farmer's market recently and ran into a guy selling his own hemp powder.  I love experimenting with new things, so I bought a bag.  Hemp powder is a great protein source that is plant based and full of fiber.  Many people make this the base of their protein shakes.  I prefer to make something that is eaten with them, so away I went with trying out a few recipes.  This one is by far my favorite.  It is sweet and very satisfying! 

10 Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup mixed nuts
1 tbsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. hemp powder
1/4 cup peanut butter

1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until it forms a thick batter.
3. Spoon mixture into loaf pan, spread, and place in fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Cut in to bars.  Keep refrigerated.

Nutrition Info: (makes 9 bars)
Calories: 152
Fat: 5.6 g
Carbs: 21.9 g
Protein: 3.5 g

Banana Bread Bits

It is too hot to be baking! So I have been experimenting with no bake recipes.  These remind me of cake balls but without the sugar.  The banana gives you a sweet fix and energy to fuel yourself for whatever the day may bring.  If you choose to add protein powder, you can get an extra boost there.  I did add a scoop of vanilla Shakeology to mine.  As you may have heard in one of my recent FB live videos, I got off of Quest brand protein bars and subsequently, their powders as well.  They were not agreeing with my gut and I also was finding them way too sweet.  Shakeology has been a good alternative for me, but feel free to substitute any protein powder you like if you choose to.

2 tbsp. almond or peanut butter
1 scoop protein powder (optional)
1 cup oat flour
Pinch of salt
1 banana, ripe as can be
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
Cinnamon (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  If you do not add protein powder, you may want to start with less almond milk and add as you go until you get a batter.
2. Roll into balls.
3. Optional: add a sprinkle of cinnamon on top of each ball.
4. Keep refrigerated.

Nutrition (makes 16 balls):
Calories: 60
Fat: 1.8 g
Carbs: 8 g
Protein: 2.8 g

Homemade Lara Bars

I have a goal to make snacks where I do not have to add honey or maple syrup.  Sure, you can argue that they are healthier than straight up sugar, but I was challenged by my husband as to how much healthier are they?  I decided that I was up the challenge and found a super easy recipe for homemade Lara Bars.  I am currently out of country traveling for business and I wrapped up 6 of these in parchment paper for the road.  They made it in my suitcase, no problem!  This recipe only requires 3 ingredients and a food processor or blender.  I use my Ninja blender and these bars come together in a flash.  I personally think these taste better than the store bought Lara bars, the nutritional profile is about the same, and I am guessing that they are cheaper though I have not worked the math on that yet. 

No maple syrup and no honey - so what the sweetener/binder?  It is...dates!

Dates are natural - yes, they have sugar but a low glycemic you don't get that sugar high followed by a crash.  I love eating these before a workout.  They are great for fueling a long run. baking required.  Another great time saver!

10 Medjool dates, pits removed
1 cup nuts (I like to use mixed nuts)
1/4 cup raisin

1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
2. Combine ingredients in food processor or blender.  Work that mix until it gels together.  It will be thick.
3. Spoon mixture into loaf pan.  Flatten and place in fridge for 30 minutes or freezer for 15 minutes.
4. Remove and cut into squares.  You can keep these at room temperature or in the fridge, depending on how you like them.  At room temp, they are a bit more gooey but they hold up well.

Nutrition Info (makes 8 bars):
Calories: 190
Fat: 7 g
Carbs: 30.4 g
Protein: 3.4 g


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Banana Apple Oat Cookies

This recipe is super easy to make in less than 5 minutes.  There is no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, and no flour used in this recipe.  It is a great snack when you are on the go or a good way to start your morning if you are not a big breakfast eater.  I also find it a good pre workout food!  This is a staple for me when I travel, because it does not require a fridge to store it.  This makes them easy to pack on a flight or on the road.  

It is called a "cookie" but please note that this is not a super sweet dessert and I would consider it more of a snack.  If you would like to make it sweeter, instead of applesauce substitute in 1/4 cup of peanut butter.  Also, make sure you have a very ripe banana to get it as naturally sweet as you can.  Finally, instead of raisins you could use chocolate chips to sweeten it up.

This recipe makes 8 cookies.

1 very ripe banana
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce*
3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 oz raisins

* As mentioned above, you may substitute 1/4 cup peanut butter instead of 1/4 cup applesauce if you would like a sweeter cookie.  This will alter the nutritional content of what is listed below.

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or aluminum foil with non stick cooking spray.
2. Mash banana in a large bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until smooth.
3. Drop batter into 15 spoonfuls on to the baking sheet.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
5. Enjoy!

Nutrition: (per cookie)
Calories: 50
Fat: 0.5 g
Carbs: 10.8 g
Protein: 1.1 g

All baked up and ready to eat.
These keep well in an airtight container or ziplock bag.
No fridge required.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Turkey Vegetable No Bean Chili

After a week of eating chicken twice a day, I was tired of chicken.
This turkey chili fit the bill for a healthy and non chicken chili!  The meat in this case is ground turkey.  There are no beans in this chili, because my husband can't stand beans in general.  He doesn't like the texture of them, and that is that for him.  So this recipe took that in to consideration!  
I will list the vegetables I used, but you can substitute others such as celery, peppers, or other root vegetables as well.  I like a colorful chili, so the organic carrots are fun for this purpose.

16 oz ground turkey 
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 zucchinis, sliced
6 oz carrots, chopped
15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup cumin
1/4 cup onion powder
32 oz. chicken broth

1. Brown turkey in a large pan.  Drain fat, add onion and garlic and cook through.
2. Transfer to a stockpot.  Add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Cook on low 1-1.5 hours or until veggies are soft.
4. Garnish with your favorite toppings - such as guacamole, a scoop of plain Greek yogurt, or cheese.
5. Enjoy!

Nutrition Info (12 servings, info per serving):
Calories: 205
Fat: 8.5 g
Carbs: 10.2 g
Protein: 23.3 g

Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Tacos

Make it a meatless Taco Tuesday this week!  I was looking for a light dinner after a day that I knew we were having a heavy lunch.  I figured that it would be a good night to experiment.  Lo and behold, I found a real keeper in this recipe that I adapted from Eating Well magazine.

Sauce - 
1/4 cup lime juice (squeezed from about 2 limes)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp cumin
Sprinkle of oregano
2 cloves garlic
Sprinkle of salt
1 small chipotle dried chili (adjust to taste)
1 tbsp honey
The rest - 
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 red onion, sliced
15-oz can refried black beans, warmed
Corn tortillas and/or tortilla chips
For serving: sliced red cabbage, chopped lettuce, guacamole, lime wedges, sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.  Add chilis to taste as desired during this step.  I listed one small, as that is all I can handle!
3. Place cauliflower and sliced onions in a large bowl.  Pour sauce on and toss to coat.  Transfer to the baking sheet.
4. Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring once at the halfway point.  It is done when the cauliflower is tender and browned in spots.
5. Serve!  You can use tortillas, tortilla chips, or even on top of a bed of lettuce.  The refried beans give a great complement to the zesty cauliflower/onion mix.  Feel free to add additional garnishes as desired.

Nutrition Info (makes 4 tacos, facts are for 2 tacos):
Calories: 288
Fat: 7 g
Carbs: 48 g
Fiber: 11 g

Tossing to coat before roasting
In the pan, before roasting
Serving time!
In a whole wheat soft tortilla
Another view, just before eating

Here is an open serving, on top of lettuce

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Banana Coconut Muffins

I love banana muffins but the store bought kind are full of all kinds of stuff I am trying to avoid.  This recipe is so easy.  You mix everything in one bowl.  It delivers a moist muffin without any artificial sweeteners or sugar.  Make sure your bananas are very ripe so you can enjoy the natural sweetness!

I am a huge fan of coconut flour.  It works very well in this recipe.  I cannot vouch for how other flours would work in this batter.  Coconut flour is known to absorb a lot.  It can be risky to use other types of flour.  The coconut flour also gives you a bit of that coconut flavor, along with the banana.  It's a great combination.

This base recipe makes 6 muffins.  Please see my note on the egg white versus egg.  I have made it both ways.  I think most may prefer the whole egg.  It seemed to make the muffin sweeter.  I preferred it less moist so the egg white for me worked well.  The nutrition info below is based off the egg white, not the egg.

2 very ripe bananas
1 egg white (NOTE: use 1 egg for a more moist muffin)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Mash all bananas in one large bowl. 
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined.
4. Spray a muffin pan with non stick cooking spray.
5. Spoon batter in to pan.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Nutrition Information (per muffin):
Calories: 59
Fat: 1 g
Carbs: 11.6 g
Protein: 2 g

Close up view

Overhead view
Side view