PB Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

Happy Friday followers! I created this recipe because I recently tried the “Energii Bites” at Freshii and fell in love. I had to re-create them! I think based on my taste investigation as to what they use to create their bites… I came up with a recipe that tastes almost identical.

I added in some chia and flax meal for an additional fibre and healthy fat source. This is my favourite energy bite recipe I’ve created so far (…..that’s not chocolate). It’s a quick one bowl recipe to whip up… with no cooking (winning!). These bites are a great way to curb your cravings during an afternoon work day or fuel you through a weekend hike.

Energii bites

Ingredients (makes ~20 bites):

  • 1 + 1/4 cup large flake oats
  • 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp flax meal
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions: 

  1. Add 1 cup oats into a large mixing bowl. Begin to mix in the rest of the ingredients one at a time. Save the remaining 1/4 cup of oats and chocolate chips to mix in at the very end.
  2. Roll into bite-sized balls and store in the refrigerator.
  3. Store up to 5-7 days.
  4. Enjoy chilled!

Nutrition information per bite:

~90 calories, 5g fat, 8.5g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 4g sugar

Heart Healthy Quinoa Greek Salad

image.jpegJune is Stroke Awareness Month. As the Nutritionist for Sobeys, we are partnering with the Heart and Stroke Foundation to offer you Wellness classes every Monday night of June. Last night our first class topic covered the basic of eating healthy, cholesterol, and nutrition tips that may help reduce your risk of stroke.

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The recipe that I prepared for my Heart and Stroke class last night was a Quinoa Greek Salad that I had altered from the Heart and Stroke’s recipe online. This recipe is fresh, easy, and delicious for summer. It ensures to include all the heart healthy ingredients and can be used as a main dish or a side to any dinner.

I made sure to add in a few of my favourite items. For example:

Chickpeas: A great plant-based source of protein and fibre. The bean I’m sure you know by now is my ultimate favourite! This item has 13g of fibre per 1 cup. 

Avocados: A great source of heart healthy unsaturated fats and soluble fibre (6.7g fibre per 1/2 avocado).

Red & Green Pepper: Peppers have high antioxidant and vitamin C content. This means they will fight off pollutants (free radicals) in the body that can cause cell damage.

Black Olives: Are low in a cholesterol. A source of dietary fibre, iron and copper. However, olives are high in sodium. Make sure to rinse and drain the olives before using them in this recipe and don’t overdo it. Slice them in to thirds to make a smaller amount go a long way.

Heart Healthy Quinoa Greek Salad Recipe

(Serves 10 people as a side dish)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, cook and chill
  • ½ cup red pepper, diced
  • ½ cup green pepper, diced
  • ½ cup cucumber, chopped
  • ¼ cup green onion, diced
  • ¼ cup black olives
  • ¼ cup red onion
  • ½ avocado, sliced, diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese (reduced fat if available), rinse and drain to remove sodium.
  • Optional: Add a fibre and protein boost with ¼ cup rinsed and drained chickpeas or add a salted crunch with roasted chickpeas!

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp basil fresh
  • Ground sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot, cook 1 cup dry quinoa as per package instructions.
  2. When quinoa is fully cooked, remove from heat and allow to cool. Place in the refrigerator while you are preparing the rest of your ingredients.
  3. Prepare diced vegetables and crumble feta cheese.
  4. Whisk together dressing ingredients.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, stir the veggies and cheese into the cooled quinoa.
  6. Pour the dressing over quinoa mixture and toss.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Take aways from our class: 

  • Choose foods lower in sodium (less than 15% Daily Value, always read the nutrition facts label!)
  • Choose healthy fats (UNSATURATED fats), avoid saturated and trans fats where possible.
  • Choose high fibre foods, soluble fibre has been found to have a greater impact in lowering cholesterol compared to insoluble fibre
  • Choose lean protein sources: fish, chicken, turkey, lean meats
  • Avoid highly processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Watch out for canned food items, they tend to be high in sodium
  • Limit added sugars: less than 12 tsp or 48g of added sugar a day!!

 

Thank you all so much to those of you who came out to our first Heart and Stroke Awareness Month Class at Stratford Sobeys last night! It was so much fun sharing my knowledge with all of you who are so eager to learn. We will be offering these classes every Monday night at 6:30 PM here. Please email me for more information if you are local and would like to attend! brooke@ateaspoonofbliss.com

 

Layered Nacho Dip (With a healthier twist!)

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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!

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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 🙂

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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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Baked Spicy Sweet Potato Fries with a Vegan Southwest Style Dip

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For this recipe I used the Japanese Sweet Potato (reddish skin with yellow inside). The Japanese sweet potato has slightly lower carbohydrate content than the yam (orange inside). Therefore, this makes the Japanese sweet potato a bit more diabetic friendly than its competitor…it also has a slow carbohydrate release time. Sweet potatoes are packed with fibre, beta carotenoids, and vitamin A. Be sure to cook your potato fries with the SKIN ON! The skin of fruits and vegetables pack the highest nutrient content.

Fries – What you will need:

  • 4 medium-large sized sweet potatoes (more if desired)
  • olive oil
  • ground sea salt
  • ground pepper
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • optional: chili flakes

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
  2. Scrub and wash your potatoes. Creat a few holes with a fork in each potato. In a microwave safe dish, microwave your potatoes for 3-4 minutes with 1/4 cup of water just to soften them. (This saves cook time and makes for easier slicing).
  3. Remove potatoes from microwave once they have been slightly softened. Cut into French fry sized slices.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread your fries evenly on the sheet.
  5. Drizzle your fries with olive oil, sprinkle with chili powder, ground pepper, garlic powder, and sea salt.
  6. Place them in the oven to bake for approximately 40-50 minutes (until browning). Regularly mix the fries around using a spatula. If you like your fries crispy, place them on broil for the last 5-10 minutes! Keep your eyes on them during this time to prevent burning! 🙂
  7. Give them a taste and add more spices, salt and pepper as desired.

Serve with my Southwest Vegan Mayo Dip (it’s SO good!)

Vegan Southwest Mayonnaise:

  • 1 cup Vegenaise (vegan mayonnaise)
  • 2 tbsp plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp Bragg’s Apple cider vinegar
  •  1/2 tbsp chili powder (add more to taste if needed)
  • 1 tsp cumin (add more to taste if needed)
  • 1/2-1 tbsp minced garlic
  • ground pepper
  • ground salt
  • pinch of paprika to taste

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Add more spice to suit your taste buds (increase the chili, cumin, and paprika as desired… Be careful with too much paprika as it can be overpowering!) *store the dip in the fridge if you are not using it immediately.*

Apple “donuts”! A fun snack that lets your kids to get creative in the kitchen.

I was playing around in our kitchen today at Sobeys. We have some upcoming children’s classes and I wanted to test out recipes to make sure they were kid friendly. This recipe is DEFINITELY a keeper. It is so easy and can be tailored to many picky-eaters. The kids can get creative in the kitchen and let their inspiration stem from their own taste buds!

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What you will need: 

  • Large apples of choice
  • An apple corer (remove the core and allow for easy slicing)

Toppings: 

  • Natural Almond butter, natural peanut butter, or a nut-free spread (e.g. SunButter), Daiya dairy-free strawberry or regular cream “cheese” spread, etc. Pick a spread best suited to your kids taste! Aim for healthier alternatives like those that I mentioned above.
  • Add chopped up fruit (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes)
  • Add granola of choice, oats, nuts, chia, hemp hearts, chocolate chips, etc.

Have some fun with it. Let the kids get creative and decorate their apple donuts to suit their food preferences. 

An easy and delicious snack that contains all 3 macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats, and protein.

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