Maple Pecan Granola

After my smoothie bowl post the other day, I wanted to provide you with the newest granola recipe I whipped up for a breakfast nutrition class at Sobeys the other day.

Quick, easy, crunchy, chunky, and delicious!

Maple Pecan Granola (~Serves 15 as a topping)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup large flake oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill extra thick organic oats)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup all-natural maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp psyllium seed husk (for a fibre boost – you can swap this out or add in flax meal, chia seeds etc)
  • 3 tsp spelt flour (or whole grain flour of choice)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275F
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and evenly combine.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Evenly distribute the granola mixture across the pan. Pack it down flat about >1 inch thick on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for ~35-40 minutes when beginning to brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. When it is fully hardened into one giant chunk, break up into pieces 🙂
  7. Enjoy

granola

Very Berry Smoothie Bowl!

Happy Hump Day! Are you looking for a mid-week boost and something to cool you down in this hot weather? This smoothie bowl is the perfect idea to refresh, cool-down and a great way to nourish your body. Adding protein powder is optional.. however I strongly recommend adding protein to amp up the satiety of this recipe. I choose Genuine Health’s Fermented Vegan Vanilla Protein powder…it is my FAVOURITE. Out of all plant-based proteins I’ve ever tried it is not “chalky” or “sandy” in texture like many of the other ones out there on the market.

Why choose a fermented plant-based protein powder?

For one, I choose plant-based because I find I get bloating and gut discomfort from some whey (dairy-based) protein powders. Also, plant-based protein powders are a great way to add additional veggies into your diet.

Fermentation is something I always look for when buying a plant-based protein powder. The fermentation process partially breaks down the plant-based proteins which allows for optimal absorption of protein from the product! (you will absorb a higher percentage of the protein per scoop if it is fermented versus the regular not fermented protein). Look for the words fermented or sprouted on plant-based protein powders for the most benefit. 

Smoothie tip! Always sneak veggies in wherever you can. Since this blend involves dark deep and bright colored berries, spinach will be well hidden in the blend. This helps you meet your veggies goals, lower the sugar per serving, increase folate content and amp up the nutritional content.

smoothie bowl

Very Berry Smoothie Bowl (Serves ~1-2 people)

INGREDIENTS

TOPPINGS

  • 1 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut (desiccated)
  • Fresh berries
  • 1 Tbsp Nuts/seeds/granola

Instructions

  1. Add frozen berries and banana to a powerful blender (I recommend Vitamix or Ninja)
  2. Add almond milk and protein powder (optional), and blend on low again, until the mixture reaches a soft serve consistency. Use a spatula to scrape the walls of the blender to ensure all the protein powder is distributed evenly.
  3. Scoop into 1-2 serving bowls and top with desired toppings. My favourite toppings are homemade granola, shredded coconut, and fresh fruit. You can add flax meal or psyillium seed husk for a fibre boost as well!

 

Special thanks to my friends at Genuine Health for all the amazing protein samples they’ve provided me to play with. If you are interested in learning more about their products please email me at brooke@ateaspoonofbliss.com 

Hope you are all having a wonderful week!

xo

Layered Nacho Dip (With a healthier twist!)

nacho dip.jpg

Don’t we all get the cravings for all the summer snack foods when this beautiful weather comes around? … Dreams of s’mores, homemade pizza pockets on the campfire, chips and dip?

I think most of us can relate. Today I thought I would re-create the fabulous nacho dip my family used to make when we were kids… sour cream, cream cheese, salsa, allllll the cheese. This version is just as fantastic but packed with less calories and more nutritional benefits!

I made a few healthy swaps to the traditional well-known nacho dip and voila! It was a hit. Plain non-fat greek yogurt is a great swap for sour cream as it is packed with protein, calcium, and has no fat. The added black beans give a fibre and protein boost to this dish. Meanwhile, the peppers and tomatoes fire up the antioxidant content and Vitamin C! Give it a try

Ingredients:

Bottom Layer 5:

  • 500g (1 small tub) plain 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning (I used Simply Organic’s Taco Seasoning.. great ingredients).
  • 2 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp lime
  • 1 tbsp Vegenaise (vegan mayo, or mayonnaise of choice)
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • ground sea salt to taste
  • *mix all ingredients together in a bowl*

Layer 4:

  • 1/4 large onion, diced and chopped finely
  • 1-2 large avocados, smashed and mashed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • Ground pepper and sea salt to taste
  • *Mash all ingredients together in a bowl – guacamole consistency*

Layer 3:

  • 1 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • *Layer on top of the avocado layer*

Layer 2: 

  • 2 large garden tomatoes, diced and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, diced/chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced/chopped
  • 1 orange pepper, diced/chopped
  • 1 tsp freshly minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning
  • *Dice/Chop and mix together in a bowl and spread over the beans*

Layer 1 (the top):

  • Sprinkle with shredded cheese of your choice.

Instructions: 

  1. Make each layer separately one at a time in their own bowl and mix ingredients together. Starting with Layer 5, once all ingredients are thoroughly mixed, spread into a baking pan or Tupperware container.
  2. Continuing layer 4-1. Adding one layer on top of another one at a time.
  3. Store in the refrigerator until consumption.
  4. Enjoy!

nacho dip1

Coconut Chocolate Chunk Energy Bites

oat chocolate coconut

Ingredients (serves ~20 bites):

  • 1 ½ cup Quick Cooking Oats
  • ½ cup natural almond butter
  • 3 ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tsp hemp hearts
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chunks, chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp ground sea salt

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats and room temperature almond butter. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Add in the melted coconut oil. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Combine the rest of the ingredients with regular mixing. Fold in the chocolate chunks last.
  4. Roll in to bite-sized balls and store in the refrigerator.
  5. Enjoy chilled.  🙂

THE BEST Southwest Dressing (Wholesome Ingredients, Vegan, & Delicious!)

I tried out Vegenaise for the first time back in December…. and fell in love! It is an egg-free mayonnaise. You can opt to use regular mayo or ..I would recommend trying out Vegenaise for this recipe. You won’t regret it. I think it tastes better than the traditional egg mayo. No need to be vegan to enjoy this dip.. it will be a hit with the whole family!

mayo

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Vegenaise “egg-free mayonnaise”
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp honey or agave
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • Pinch of cayenne

Directions: Mix ingredients together, in the order above, using a whisk. When all ingredients are combined, store in the refrigerator to chill. Serve cold.

*You can top this creamy dressing on salads, sandwiches, use it as a dip for chips, veggies, and much more! It is by far my favourite dressing I have created. Try it out!* This is the same dip that I featured in my sweet potato fry recipe. Great for dipping 🙂

image

Chocolate Chunk Energy Bites… with a surprise ingredient!

Guess what these energy bites are made of?! Primarily CHICKPEAS! Who would have thought?

Chickpeas are a low fat alternative to use in many recipes. Chickpeas are also a great plant-based source of protein, fibre, B vitamins, and iron. Tonight I am hosting a class on this Versatile Bean at our Sobeys Stratford. This is one of the few recipes I came up with to demonstrate this little bean’s great versatility! More recipes will be coming your way after our class.

chocolate chunk energy bites

Ingredients (Makes ~ 24 small bites):

  • 1 ½ cups canned unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup natural almond butter
  • 3 tbsp natural honey
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 1/3 cup oat flour (gluten-free Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 70% cacao dark chocolate chunks

 

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine the rinsed/drained chickpeas, almond butter, honey, cinnamon powder, and vanilla.
  2. Process these ingredients until completely combined into a thick puree.
  3. Using a spatula, scrap the mixture from your food processor into a large mixing bowl.
  4. In the large mixing bowl, add the oats (a small amount at a time) and mix in thoroughly.
  5. Next add the maple syrup and mix.
  6. Finally, add your flour. Add ¼ cup at a time with regular mixing. (It is difficult to combine so the smaller amount at a time, the better).
  7. Fold in your dark chocolate chunks.
  8. Form the mixture into bite sized bites and place in the refrigerator for storage.
  9. Eat chilled and enjoy 🙂

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

 *This recipe is a low carbohydrate alternative to regular pizza dough.  It can also be made gluten-free.*

TIP: If you do not want to end up eating your pizza with a fork and knife, I recommend going light on the cheese or cooking both sides of the crust before doing your toppings. How? Cook the crust for ~10-15 minutes until browning and then use a plate to remove the crust from the parchment paper. Slide/place the cauliflower crust back on the parchment paper so that the bottom side is now turned up. Bake for ~10-15 minutes again until this side is browning. After both sides are baked – add your toppings and put in the oven one last time.

cooked final pizza
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Crust Cook time: 10-15 mins (more if you are cooking both sides)
Total time: ~40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of fresh or frozen cauliflower florets (500g)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan (from container)
  • 2 tbsp spelt flour (or gluten-free flour of choice.. e.g. almond meal)
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • ¼ tsp ground sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cheese cloth

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Place the chopped cauliflower florets in the food processor. Pulse for approximately 30 seconds until the cauliflower resembles snow.
  3. Place the ground cauliflower in the microwave-safe container. Microwave for 3 minutes covered.
  4. Remove from the microwave and allow to cool.
  5. Place cauliflower on the cheese cloth and ring out as much water as you possibly can. (Squeeze as hard as you can! The more water removed the better your crust will turn out).
  6. When finished removing the water, place the cauliflower in a large mixing bowl.
  7. Add every ingredient except for the egg. Mix.
  8. Add the egg last and stir until the mixture is fully blended together.
  9. When evenly combined, spread and pack down the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make into your desired shape.
  10.  Bake for ~10-15 minutes until browning. Remove from the oven.
  11.  Add your favourite pizza sauce, toppings, and whatever your heart desires!
  12.  Bake for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy 🙂

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