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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

One of the easiest ways to get a variety of nutrition in a meal is to just make a smoothie.  I like to add a few veggies to my smoothies because sometimes I find it hard to get into the veggie eating mood.  Usually when I purchase a hand of bananas, I break each finger up into six pieces and freeze them (banana cubes).  Afterwards, I just simply throw them  along with a few other ingredients into my Vitamix and let the blender do the rest of the work.

Today, my blender has been working overtime in order to make this scrumptious and nutritious glass of goodness for an afternoon snack.  Now it’s your turn to try it.  Here’s what you’ll need:

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

(Makes 1 serving)

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (original, vanilla, or chocolate)

3-6 banana cubes (frozen banana pieces)

1 tbsp natural peanut butter

1/2 tsp unsweetened coco powder

1/2 scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder ( I use UMP)

1 cup spinach (may turn smoothie green)

  1. Add all ingredients into blender.  Blend until mixture is smooth.  Simple and Done!

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Chocolate Cookie Dough Dip made with Chickpeas

For those who know me, they are already aware that I am the queen of anything cookie dough.  Cookie dough cupcakes, cookie dough candy, cookie dough ice cream, cookie dough cookie dough.  You know, I’m still on the lookout for the perfect cookie dough donut.   I prefer to make my own, but I’m open to other possibilities.  Is there a such thing as healthy cookie dough?

I like to think outside of the box, but there is no way in the world that I could have come up with something as clever as this.  Thanks to one of the most creative young ladies of the cyber world, I was able to bring this exciting recipe to you.  I made a few modifications given the supplies that were available at the time, but I must give credit where credit is due.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my version of the awesome No Sugar Cookie Dough Dip inspired by Chocolate-Covered Katie, the Healthy Dessert blog.

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Chocolate Cookie Dough Dip with Almonds

(Adapted from: chocolatecoveredkatie.com )

1 1/2 cups chickpeas
heaping 1/8 tsp salt
tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond butter or nut butter of your choice
1 and 1/4 cups pitted dates
1-2 tsp unsweetened coco powder
2 tbsp coconut flour or oats
1/2 cup almond milk of choice plus more (depending on the consistency you want. I used a few tbsp.)

*Almonds or walnuts for garnish (optional)

*1/3 cup sugar-free chocolate chips (optional)

  1. Soak dates overnight or at least 8 hours in 1/2 cup of almond milk.  Place in the refrigerator to keep from spoiling.
  2. After dates are soaked, combine all ingredients, except almonds and chocolate chips, in food processor or blender.  Katie suggests using a food processor over blender.  I used a Vitamix and would recommend adjusting the power and adding more almond milk until desired consistency.
  3. After mixture is to your liking, pour into a bowl and stir in chocolate chips.  Top with more chocolate chips or nuts for garnish.
  4. Enjoy!

Enjoy this dip with:

Gingersnaps

Graham Cracks

Apple Slices

On top of pancakes

On top of frozen yogurt

Heck, just eat it by the spoonful……!

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Quinoa Chickpea Banana Pancakes

Wow, that title’s a mouth full! But what a mouth full of deliciousness it is.  If you’re looking for a way to get rid of extra garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or just want to try something new, then you’re in the right place.  I found this recipe on the back of a bag of quinoa flour, but made a few adjustments.  Feel free to do the same.  These pancakes are packed pull of protein, whole grains, and the right amount of sweetness.  Well, they’re not as sweet as you!

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Quinoa Chickpea Banana Pancakes

Makes: 4 servings

(Recipe adapted from: http://www.mamatinas.com)

1/2 cup Quinoa Flour

1 cup 100% Whole Wheat Flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp ground cinnamon or pumpkin spice

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

2-3 ripe banana

2 tbsp sweetener (optional)

1 cup almond milk

1 whole egg

1 cup chickpeas, cooked and drained (rinse if using canned)

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2-4 tsp coconut oil (use more if needed)

  1. Stir together all dry ingredients (quinoa flour, wheat flour, baking powder, protein powder, spices).
  2. Blend wet ingredients (bananas, sweetener, milk, egg, chickpeas) in blender or food processor until smooth.
  3. Add wet ingredients into dry mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Add vanilla extract last.
  5. Heat large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add 1-2 tsp coconut oil to pan.  Oil will melt quickly.
  6. Pour about 1/4 cup of mixture into pan.  Depending on size of pan, you may be able to fit 3-4 pancakes in pan at one time.
  7. Flip pancakes over after 2 minutes of cooking or until small bubbles appear.  Depending on the intensity of heat from your stove, you may have to flip sooner.
  8. Enjoy

Substitutes

  • If you’re not a fan of nut milks, feel free to use dairy milk.
  • Banana drive you crazy?  Use unsweetened applesauce to taste.
  • Use any of your favorite spices.
  • Vegan?  Skip the egg and use 1 tbsp of chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp of water.  Let the mixture sit for about 10-15 minutes and you’ll be good to go.
  • If you’re using canned chickpeas, be sure to rinse them to get rid of the extra salt.
  • Use ripened bananas as sweetener instead of agave, white sugar, brown sugar, and other options.

Toppings:

  • Almond butter or any nut butter
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Preserves
  • Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Syrup (if you just have to have it)
  • Banana Slices
  • Apple Slices
  • Berries
  • Dried Fruit
  • Nuts

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Almond Choco-Cherry Smoothie

Almond Choco-Cherry Smoothie

Almond Choco-berry smoothie

Almond Choco-Berry 

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (40)

1/2 banana, frozen pieces (55)

1 tbsp unsweetened coco powder (12)

1/4 cup frozen dark cherries (50)

½ tbsp almond butter (48)

1 cup spinach (7)

1 scoop protein powder, vanilla or chocolate (120)

*Throw all ingredients into blender until smooth.  Add extra almond milk or water to thin out if you prefer thinner consistency.

Servings: 1

Calories: 332

 

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For the Love of Oatmeal

73b8344832_seriously

“You’re kidding me, right?  How do you NOT know how to cook oatmeal?” I said.

That was part of a conversation I had with my boyfriend during the early stages of our courtship.  I guess I couldn’t fathom that someone would avoid eating oatmeal, not because they hated the taste or the texture, but simply because they didn’t know how to cook it without an awful boil-over.  Now, in all fairness, I’m going to blame it on the fact that like some men, the idea of slow cooking is just a waste of time.  Patience is not a virtue in the kitchen.  Why not turn the burner on high and cook the be-jesus out of those oats?  I am now convinced that he is not the only one out there dreading the awful ring of burnt oatmeal around the stove top left there by boiling, molten oats.  No worries, Folks, I’m here to save your breakfast with these simple tips and a sweet little video demo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu1oiW3AX5Q

Step away from the stove and take a few notes.

Step 1: You’re going to need a ratio of one parts oats to two parts liquid.  In this case we’re just going to start with:

1 cup of oats

2 cups of water

Step 2: Add liquid (water) to a medium-sized pot and let it boil on medium heat.  You can cover the pot with a lid to speed up the process.

Step 3: When the water comes to a boil, you can add a dash of salt for flavor or skip it.

Step 4: Add your oats and reduce heat to medium-low heat.  Stir every few minutes.  This step should take about 8-10 minutes depending on how you like your oatmeal.  If you’re using Scottish oats that are finer in texture, you should use a whisk to keep it from clumping instead of a spoon.

BOOM.  It’s done!

I like to keep my oatmeal slightly wet because this keeps it from getting too clumpy after it cools.  Once it’s done I like to add a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and some of the following fingerlickin toppings.

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Berries n’ Creme Proatmeal

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Peaches n’ Creme Oatmeal

– 2/3 cups oatmeal, cooked

– 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use UMP)

– 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

– 1 tbsp hemp seed

-1/2 tsp flaxseed

-1/2 peach, diced

– 1 tbsp raw almonds

Instructions:

  1. Mix protein powder and milk with oats.
  2. Add rest of ingredients on top.
  3. ENJOY!

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Protein Options:

  • 1/2-1 scoop protein powder
  • 1-2 tbsps. walnuts, almonds, or other favorites
  • flaxseed or hemp seeds

Fruit Options:

  • sliced strawberries
  • blueberries or raspberries
  • mango
  • peaches
  • bananas
  • raisins
  • other dried or fresh fruit.  Frozen is a great option also.

Spice Options:

  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Unsweetened Coco powder

Sweet Options:

  • Drizzle of honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Vanilla Almond Milk or Soy Milk
  • Coconut Sugar (low glycemic index)
  • Stevia

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oatmeal

Benefits of Eating Oatmeal

Can lower risk of high blood pressure and diabetes Type 2

Can lower cholesterol

Fiber keeps you full longer helping with weight loss.

__http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-oatmeal-morning-4112.html______

Photos Courtesy of:

http://fit-wins.blogspot.com/

http://memy.pl/mem_344832_seriously

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