Espresso Energy Pops (GF)(V)

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Yes, a caffeinated snack.  I was in MoM’s Organic Market on Tuesday and I picked up a “Coffee Bar” by a company called New grounds.  It was made of the usual Lara Bar-ish ingredients but with ground coffee! I had it the next day for breakfast and fell in love.  However, like all my favorite packaged goods, it was very expensive at $2.99 for just one small bar.  I decided that I would just make my own variation based on what was already in my pantry.  Here is What I used:

  • 1/2 cup of gluten free oats
  • 1 tbsp of finely ground espresso
  • 2 tbsp of coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 8 dates
  • 3 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp of almond butter

Using a heavy duty blender or food processor start with the oats and pulse until you have the consistency of a chunky flour.  Keep adding the indgredients in the order above, pulsing as you go.  When you are done you should have a thick and very delicious dough.  It is encouraged to lick spoons here.

Now you can table whopping tablespoon servings, roll them into a ball and place on a plate with parchment.  Once you’ve created your pops, place them in the fridge on parchment.  After a few hours the almond butter and coconut oil will harden and you can transfer to a Tupperware.  Store these in the fridge and they can last as long as you need them to, however they won’t.  They are so decadent.  I felt like I was having dessert for breakfast at 6:00 am with a big steaming cup of coffee.

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If you are often on the go or need an afternoon pick me up these are a great little jolt for your day. As always they are gluten free and contain no added sugars.  These are a good balance of healthy protein, fat and carbohydrate.  So if you need a light boost before a morning or afternoon workout these would be perfect.  I think they are best enjoyed with a cup (or two) of Joe.

 

 

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Sweet Potato & Kale Quiche (GF)(DF)

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Quiche is a total comfort food. There is just something decadent about it! I have shared a gluten free quiche with you before, but this one is also dairy free. You really don’t need cheese to create a flavorful quiche, and this recipe is the epitome of clean eating.

Here is what you will need:

1 large sweet potato or yam
2 cups of kale
4 eggs
2 cloves of garlic
½ onion
1-2 tbsp of olive oil
Optional: Fresh herbs (I used oregano and parsley)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Crust: Slice the potato into thin rounds. Brush your pie pan with a very thin layer of oil. Arrange the slices into the pan to make the “crust”, cutting rounds to cover any gaps that may show the bottom of the pan or the rim. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. If you have any potato left over after creating the crust you can chop and set aside. Place the crust in the oven for 15 minutes.

Filling: Sautéed garlic, onion and kale in some olive oil. If you have leftover sweet potato chunks you can throw those in as well. Set aside and let cool as you beat 4 eggs. Add the cooled vegetable to the beaten eggs. Add in any herbs you desire. I added fresh oregano and parsley from my garden!

Now all you have to do is pour the filling over the crust and cook for about 30 minutes or until the eggs are set!

Bon appetite :0)

Avo Maria Green Smoothie

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Avo Maria

Because it is that good! Creamy, filling and not too sweet (perfect post workout!)

Simply Blend:

1 cup of fresh pineapple
1 small banana or half a large banana
½ a large avocado or a whole small avocado
1 cup of raw kale or spinach
½ -1 cup of coconut water
A few cubes of ice

Blend and enjoy for breakfast, post workout snack or a light lunch :0)

Product Review: Wild Friends Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter

Today while shopping for a client I stumbled upon this pretty packaging.  I like peanut butter, I love coconut and I LOVE chocolate so I bought it.

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I spend a lot of time in grocery stores.  Honestly,  I probably visit Harris Teeter, Trader Joes, Whole Foods and Safeway once a week.   As a bit of a health food whore, I get excited by Non GMO & USDA Organic stamps on packaging pretty packaging.

Today we are talking about Wild Friends brand Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter.  First of all, it tastes like heaven without out all the added sugar.  The ingredients are simple and natural: Peanuts, Coconut,  Organic Agave, Unsweetened Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt.  I bet your mouth is watering.  You will find only 5 grams of sugar in a serving compared to Nutella’s 21 grams.  The taste is natural and rich.  It is the savory kind of sweet that I crave.

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We are talking gluten free, dairy free, vegan, Kosher and Non GMO.  Peanuts generally pack a fair amount of GMOs.

The protein content comes in at 6 grams, which is pretty dang good for what I would consider a dessert.  Nutella only has 2 grams of protein.   The nutrition facts are pretty comparable to an organic peanut butter.  You will notice there is a slightly higher saturated fat in Wild Friends.   That is due to the coconut.  Coconut is high in saturated fat but it is one of those healthy fats our bodies thrive on.

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So would I buy this product again? ABSOLUTELY.  I will probably have to buy it soon because I don’t think this jar is going to last all too long.  Five Stars.  I would give it six but I only have five to give.

Cheers!

5 Ingredient Banana Nut Butter Muffins (Gluten Free & Dairy Free)

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My breakfast is early. If I want to have something substantial I have to eat before 6:00 am, usually around 5:30. I usually end up blending a protein or green smoothie and taking it to my first client. My smoothies are filling and I am usually satiated for a few hours. When my earliest client cancels I feel indulgent when I get to have eggs, but I usually have a pretty wimpy breakfast followed by snacks of fruit, nuts, seeds and on occasion a Lara Bar.

Today I made a client some breakfast muffins and decided to come home and whip up some for myself. I will admit, I usually feel a little sick of cooking after spending time in the kitchen for a client; but these muffins are so easy it was no sweat. I usually make these with mini chocolate chips, but I have been over doing the sweets lately and decided to leave them out. They are way more decadent with the chocolate, so by all means add away.

I mix these 5 ingredients in a blender to create a smooth batter:

1 Large Banana
½ cup of Nut Butter
2 tbsp of Raw Honey
1 Egg
¼ tsp of Baking Soda

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 7-13 minutes depending on the size of your muffin. Mini muffins take about 7 minutes in my oven and regular muffin tins take between 11-13.

I try not to eat raw egg but I licked the spatula and a little bit of the blender…it’s that good.

I like this recipe because it is simple and it is easy to just whip together when a craving or need strikes. If you don’t have Raw Honey you can use regular honey, agave or maple syrup. If you are vegan these work with a flax egg too! I used organic peanut butter but almond, cashew or sun butter would work as well.

Smoothie Bowls are the New Green Juice

Smoothie Bowls

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So I am sure you have seen them trending, smoothie bowls are hugely popular right now. This chilly dish has been a staple treat in my diet since my first trip to Rincon, Puerto Rico a few years ago. Prior to this trip I was sloshing my overly thick green smoothies into a bowl after yoga and topping with chia and raisins. My icy greens were yummy but they lacked direction and presentation. I still remember my first “Acai Bowl” while visiting my friend in San Diego. It was a mixture of acai, banana, oats and honey. In Rincon I experienced more topping ideas and here I am today adding everything but the kitchen sink to my bowl.

I like Smoothie bowls because they are more satiating then drinking the same fruit medley, plus the ability to add toppings adds the crunch and extra flavor I need to call it a meal. You can eat these at any point in the day as a small meal or snack. They are great after a hot outdoor workout, as breakfast or even as a light dinner. I like to have a bowl before I go teach evening yoga because it will keep me full through the night without weighing me down.

I love to eat, and when a meal looks appealing and has presentation I tend to be more satisfied. I usually use berry medleys rather than acai. Acai is pretty expensive to eat frequently and while it is popular for its antioxidant content, blueberries are chock full of antioxidants. Plus with how busy and active I am, I need the extra vitamin C from strawberries. My immune system is fragile with my early mornings and the physical strain of being up and active all day.

While I change up the ingredients I use for each bowl the base is typically a frozen banana, berries and coconut milk. When I need extra greens I will add raw kale or spinach. After a hard workout I will add protein powder and I almost always add toppings. My favorite toppings are fresh or dried fruit, coconut flakes, chia seeds, hemp hearts, granola, walnuts, sliced almonds and nut butter.

I know everyone likes a direct recipe so below is my basic smoothie bowl:

In a blender add half a frozen banana and 1 cup of frozen mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries) and half a cup coconut milk. You can use any kind of milk but I prefer coconut, almond or cashew. Pulse the three ingredients in blender or food processor and add additional liquid if necessary. Do not over blend. You want to have a thick consistency. Pour the mixture into a pretty bowl and top with chia, coconut flakes and fresh fruit.

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Want extra protein? Add your favorite protein powder! Need extra greens? Add spinach or kale. Adjust the recipe to fit your dietary needs or tastebuds. When Im starving I slosh a big spoon of almond or cashew butter on top.  I usually keep the green bowls pretty simple since Kale and nut butter clash…

Share your favorites!

Raw & Gluten Free “Donut Holes”

Well it snowed for about 12 hours today. I was able to make it to one client but even that was pushing it. So I had a bunch of downtime today, which was nice. I got to have a long workout, take a shower long enough to shave my legs, shoveled out our walk way and my car and I caught up on all workout and nutrition plans for clients. I have probably had 10 cups of loose leaf tea as well. Now that I think of it, I accomplished quite a bit. I share all this because I like to bore you, so lets talk “Donut Holes” (heavy on the nuts, sans dough).

I recently inherited my mom’s super retro food processor. While my boyfriend says is sounds like a lawnmower, I love it. It works well and it has a little sentimental value. Apparently my mom made all my baby food in this bad boy Oyster.

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These little protein bites are slightly sweet and packed with protein and fiber. I wouldn’t put them in the dessert category because they lack the decadence I demand in a dessert. I would call them the perfect pre workout snack or addition to breakfast.

Here is what you will need:
• ¾ cup of almonds
• 12 pitted dates
• 2 tbsp of peanut butter
• 1 tbsp chocolate protein powder
• 2 tbsp of chocolate tahini

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My favorite chocolate tahini. Just 2g of sugar!

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First place almonds in a food processor or vita-mix. Process until you have an almond meal consistency. Move your meal to a mixing bowl. Process your dates for about 30 seconds or until you have a sticky paste. Add the rest of the ingredients including the almond meal to your date paste. Pulse continuously as needed until you everything is combined. Move your “dough” back to the mixing bowl to roll into tablespoon sized balls. I keep my donut holes in the refrigerator but they are perfectly fine covered at room temperature.

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Almonds post processing

If you want to make these a little more dessert like you can add some mini chocolate chips. You may find you need a little honey to help the chips stick.

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Enjoy!

Choco Coconut Protein Bars

When you spend most your mornings on the go like I do, it is hard to sit down and eat a balanced clean meal before the sunrises. I have been making gluten free breads, but this week I wanted something a little higher in protein and whole grains.

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Let me introduce you to my Choco Coconut Protein Bars. The ingredients are simple, clean and you most likely have everything you need sitting in your pantry! Here is what you will need:

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup gluten free oats
1 cup uncooked quinoa
½ cup coconut flakes
½ cup chia seeds
1 cup dried fruit/nut blend of your choice
½ cup chocolate protein powder
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp raw honey
3 tbsp coconut butter or oil
¾ cup organic peanut or almond butter
¼ cup tahini

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degree. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread your oats and quinoa, then toast for about 10 minutes. While the grains are toasting line a 9X13 with parchment paper and set aside. In a mixing bowl combine coconut, dried fruit/nut blend, protein powder, chia seeds and the toasted oats and quinoa. Now combine the salt, raw honey, coconut butter (or oil), peanut butter (or almond butter) and tahini in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Pour the heated mixture into the dry ingredients. Move the combined mixture into the 9×13 pan, patting down firmly into the rectangle. Bake on 350 for 20 minutes. Let the mixture cool completely, for about an hour. When cooled cut into individual servings and wrap each piece in plastic wrap or in mini plastic bags. Yum breakfast!

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I have posted picture of the raw honey, protein powder and coconut butter I used in this recipe. When buying coconut make sure you purchase the unsweet flakes. When it comes to quinoa I try and buy the unsprouted version. I used peanut butter in this recipe as well as jumbo raisins, raw almonds, raw walnuts and raw pecans.

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These bars are toasty, earthy and the perfect amount of sweetness.

Chocolate for Breakfast

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My recipe game has been weak, but this post should definitely make up for it! This is a GLUTEN FREE Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread. If it sounds like edible heaven, that’s because it is. As a bonus, this recipe is so easy to make. I bet you already have all the ingredients in your kitchen. I found this recipe on another blog and made a few modifications. Here is what you will need to concoct this loaf:

In Bowl One: Whisk egg then mash in the bananas

1 egg

3 ripe bananas

In Bowl Two: Combine the below ingredients

3 tsp baking powder

1 pinch salt

1/3 cup organic peanut butter

3 & 1/2 tbsp coconut butter or 3 tbsp coconut oil (I used coconut butter)

3/4 cup almond milk

½ cup cocoa powder

1 cup gluten free flour ( I used Bob’s Redmill)

1 cup gluten free oats

½ cup of chocolate chips

Fold bowl two into bowl one and bake at 350 degrees for 75 minutes.

You can use any nut butter that tickles your fancy.  I used peanut because it is the most inexpensive.  I save almond butter for eating by the spoonful.  Personal preference….

Gooey Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Blond Pic Stitch

Gluten free, dairy free, vegan, full of fiber, guilt free and absolutely delicious.  This recipe screams fall without an over powering pumpkin spice flavor.  I wish I could say I came up with the genius secret ingredient, but the credit goes to the Purely Twins.  The ingredient that makes these bars gooey and flour less is pureed plantain.  I had all the necessary ingredients in my pantry, with the exception of a plantain, so chances are you have most of these ingredients already at home! I modified the original recipe just bit.  See below:

Pumpkin Blonde DoneBlonde Pumpkin

Ingredients

  • 1 medium ripe plantain
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup turbido sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (1oz), liquid
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Puree the plantain in a blender or food processor
  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl but hold the chocolate chips
  • Add the plantain, pumpkin and coconut oil to the dry ingredient bowl and mix well with a spatula
  • Fold in chocolate chips if you so desire
  • Spread the mixture into an 8×8 baking dish greased with coconut oil and bake for 20-25 minutes

These bars are gooey and decadent, but are best when stored in the refrigerator.  They are moist and prone to molding if you leave them out for days at a time.  I have a bar recipe similar to this one and I always keep cool or even freeze if I know I cannot gobble them up in less than a week.  I usually do not have that problem…

This recipe packed with fiber and makes for a great snack, breakfast or dessert.  Feel free to experiment and add your own mix ins.  I think pecans or sliced almonds would add a great crunch! If you try anything out, let me know how it goes 🙂