Trail-Mix Energy Bites

Do you ever hit a wall mid-afternoon? Looking for a quick pick me up to grab on the go and get you over that mid-day slump? Try my Energy Bite Cookies. With a mixture of nuts, raisins, oats, coconut, and much more… you will get a combo of healthy fats, natural sugars, and protein that will satisfy you until your next meal.
126 calories per serving + all the nutritional benefits!  

Trail Mix Energy Bite cookies

Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cup large flake oats (I use Hilray Gluten-Free Oats)
1/3 cup brown rice flour or flour of choice (I use One Degree Organic Foods flour)
1/4 cup baking powder
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (I use Silk Unsweetened)
2 tbsp natural maple syrup
2 tbsp natural almond butter, softened
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (Nutiva is my fav choice.. you can find this at Costco)
2 tbsp natural bee honey
1/2 cup dates (~10 pitted dates), microwave for 40 secs with 1 tbsp water, mash.
1 egg
1/2 tsp ground sea salt
Optional: 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Using your clean hands, form into small cookies (Should make ~16).
5. Bake for ~15-20 minutes until beginning to brown.
6. Let cool…. and enjoy!

Per one cookie made with dark chocolate chips:
126 calories, 4.6 grams fat, 17.5 carbohydrate, 2.6g protein

Why should you include nuts in your diet? CLICK HERE to learn more.

 

Blueberry Coconut Breakfast Bars (Gluten-Free)

Blueberry Coconut Breakfast Bars

Preheat oven to 350F

Mix and combine the following ingredients:
1 large banana, mashed
2 1/2 cups oats (I used Hilray Gluten-Free Oats)
1/3 cup almond milk, vanilla & unsweetened
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp egg whites
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup frozen blueberries, melt for 50 seconds in microwave
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Pack into a baking pan lined with parchment paper OR make into breakfast cookies on a baking sheet line with parchment paper.
Bake for ~20-25 minutes until browning if making bars (cookies will take less time ~15-20 minutes).
Keep at room temperature on the counter for ~3 days or store in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Almond Butter vs. Peanut Butter: The Face-Off

Peanuts & almonds

Almond Butter vs. Peanut Butter

Let’s be real. I don’t think you could go wrong with ANY nut butter. Nut butters are a great source of protein and healthy unsaturated fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are known for their significant role in lowering LDL cholesterol (“the bad cholesterol”) and also lowering triglyceride levels. Therefore, nuts and seeds are extremely beneficial to your heart health; preventing heart disease, type II diabetes, and other health issues.

I absolutely LOVE nut butters before and after exercise. One tbsp of almond butter or peanut butter before a long run has a substantial satiety value (feeling of fullness) from its protein content. It provides me with enough energy throughout the whole exercise. Due to their high fat and protein content, nut butters have a slow release in the gut and have the ability to maintain stable blood sugars.

Peanuts versus Almond: The Face-Off

Between peanuts and almonds, the difference in protein content and healthy fat content (the macronutrients) is minimal. Carbohydrate content between the two butters are the same at 3g per tbsp. Peanut butter/peanuts contain the slightest amount more of saturated fats versus almond butter/almonds but it is hardly noticeable. However, the difference between the two lies within the smaller micronutrient content (and of course the price!!! Almond butter is almost 3x the price of peanut).

Almonds contain a more substantial amount of Vitamin E, calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium in comparison to peanuts. Vitamin E is important to our bodies for maintaining a healthy immune system and healthy bodily processes. Additionally, vitamin E plays a role as an antioxidant and protects our cells from free radicals.

One common concern as to why some people may avoid peanuts is due to their risk of Aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are produced by a fungi (Aspergillus flavus). This fungi is common to crops that have grown in conditions of high humidity and temperature. Aflatoxins manly effect the liver and may increase risk of liver cancer. HOWEVER, Aflatoxin in peanut butters, and other at risk foods, is regulated and inspected by the FDA/USDA to ensure safe levels are always met for safe food consumption. 

Comparison: Based on PC Blue Menu Natural Peanut and Almond Butter

Per 1 tbsp Peanut Butter Almond Butter
Calories 100 cals/tbsp 90 cals/tbsp
Protein 3g 3g
Fat 8g 8g
Vitamin E Not A Significant Amount 35 % of Daily Value
Potassium 100 mg 105 mg

Dark Chocolate Dipped Almond Butter Bites

Dark Choc Dipped Almond Butter Bites

Ummmmm HELLoOooo. Looking for a pick-me-up during your work day or a re-fuel snack post workout? These are definitely the answer…especially because they can be confused between a dessert and a healthy protein snack 😉

All you need:
1/3 cup natural almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1 cup almond meal (ground almonds/almond flour)**
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp maple syrup    
1 tsp coconut oil, melted

Combine and mix these ingredients.

Form into balls and store in the refrigerator.

Wait 10 minutes to give the almond balls some time to chill. Then melt 1 cup dark chocolate wafers in a pot on the stove on medium heat. Stir continuously until all melted and then turn the burner off.

Remove almond balls from the fridge and dip in the dark chocolate. You can coat the entire ball or half of it like I did. Put on parchment paper and store in the refrigerator.

Eat chilled 🙂

**If you are looking to increase the protein, substitute some of the almond meal/flour for a plain whey protein powder. 

Almond Crunch Granola

almondcrunch
This is my favourite granola recipe yet!.. Almond butter was the perfect ingredient to make crunchy chunks 🙂 So tasty in yogurt or to nibble on its own!

Mix in a bowl:

2 cups large flake oats
1/3 cup almond butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup natural almonds
Directions:
Preheat oven to bake at 375F. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Place mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for ~25 minutes (until browning) and stir occasionally.