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

Fudgey Chocolate Chip Protein Bites!

Lately I’ve been in need of a pick me up mid-afternoon. I think I’m probably not the only one who might get a mid-afternoon slump of energy on a busy day? I created this recipe to give you a burst of nutritious energy and protein to keep you satisfied during your busy day. Of course.. I used my favourite Genuine Health Fermented Vanilla Vegan Protein Powder (I just can’t get enough of it!)

In all honesty, if I made these bites solely for myself I definitely would add in shredded coconut or coat them in it buutttttt.. not everyone likes coconut. So, I thought I would relax on the coconut today. However, if you love coconut like me… feel free to add in a tablespoon of coconut (or two) or roll them in coconut at the end before refrigerating. Chocolate and coconut is just too good to be true…

fudgey protein bites

Ingredients (makes ~18-20 bites): 

  • 1 1/2 cup large flake oats
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 scoop Genuine Health’s Fermented Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder*
  • 1 tbsp Kirkland natural almond butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pitted packed dates**
  • 2 tbsp Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (may swap for an alternative oil e.g. flax oil)
  • 1 tbsp psyllium seed husk (adds a fibre boost – you can swap for ground chia or ground flax)
  • 2 tsp ground flax
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free or dark chocolate mini chocolate chips

Instructions: 

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup large flake oats, cocoa powder, protein powder, and flax meal. Mix.
  2. In a small microwavable dish, add 1/2 cup dates with 2 tbsp water. Heat on high for 40 seconds to soften the dates. Mash the dates.
  3. Add the dates to the mixing bowl.
  4. In the same microwavable dish, melt the coconut oil. Add to the mixing bowl when it has turned liquid.
  5. Pour this mixture into your food processor, Vitamix, or Ninja. Add the maple syrup, vanilla, and almond milk. Blend.
  6. Remove the pureed mixture from the processor and add back into the mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup large flake oats and psyllium seed husk using a spatula. It should be dense and hard to mix. Use your muscles!
  7. Last but not least, fold in your dark chocolate chips and shredded coconut if desired.
  8. Roll into bite sized balls (make sure each bite has some chocolate chips! They tend to fall to the bottom of the bowl). Store in the refrigerator.
  9. Enjoy chilled. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy for up to 5 days. 

 

*I use Genuine Health’s Vegan Protein powder because of its great taste and vanilla flavour it adds to recipes. It is also fermented so your body will absorb a great percentage of the proteins! If you swap this protein powder for another I cannot guarantee the flavour or consistency will stay the same. Feel free to swap at your own risk!

**I buy dates in pitted and packed blocks. To make it easier for blended and even distribution in recipes, I always heat the dates to soften them with 1 tbsp water per 1/4 cup pitted packed dates. This makes for easier mashing. 

Nutrition Facts Per bite:

Calories: 67 caloriesCarbs: 9.6g, Fibre: 2g (Net Carbs: 7.6g), Fat: 2.3g, Protein: 3g, Sugars: 3.8g

fudgey protein bites 2

 

One-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake (Vegan-friendly)

Tomorrow night I will be running a class for a group of single ladies. “Cooking for one!” We all need something a little sweet and sometimes its hard to come up with the time and energy to whip up a treat when it’s just for yourself. Well…very little time and energy is required for this tasty treat! Get excited…you can whip this delicious dessert up in just a minute in the microwave or 14 minutes in the oven.

I tried the recipe in the oven and microwave. Both options work equally as well. So it is really up to you. If you have a microwave you can save some time and do it this way. If you want to make more than one (you’ll probably want to) I recommend mixing up a few to bake in a muffin tray.

This mug cake can hardly even be considered a cheat as it’s made with wholesome and limited ingredients. I adapted this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipe. Absolutely love how it turned out. Ooooey goooey, moist, and delicious. I topped ours with SoDelicious Coconut Whip Cream  (heaven) and a little shredded unsweetened coconut. You can also add dark chocolate chunks (>70% cacao) for an antioxidant boost!

chocolate mug cake 1 min

One-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp spelt flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of stevia (1/8 tsp)
  • 3 tsp coconut oil, melted
  • 3.5 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Directions:

  1. In a microwave-safe mug or small bowl combine the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Melt the coconut oil.
  3. Add all liquid ingredients and mix thoroughly with a spoon.
  4. Microwave in mug for 40-45 seconds.
    1. OR if you choose to bake this item. Preheat the oven to 350F.
    2. Spray a muffin tin with coconut oil spray or desired greasing ingredient.
    3. Pour into greased muffin tin.
    4. Bake for ~10-14 minutes.
    5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  1. Enjoy warm or cooled. Top with melted chocolate, shredded coconut, coconut whip cream, whatever your heart desires!chocolate mug cake minchocolate mug cakee

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.

image.jpeg

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!)

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.  🙂

Apple Cider Vinegar: What’s the hype?

apple cider vin

Apple Cider Vinegar has been making headlines all over lately…so what’s all the hype about? I’m writing this post to give you a short and sweet description of what Apple Cider Vinegar is and what it may be beneficial for.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar? Apples are crushed and their juice is added to barrels or casks along with yeasts to ferment the natural sugars. The result is alcohol. Next, the bacteria are added to convert the alcohol to acetic acid. Finally, the mixture is allowed to ferment for weeks or months, depending on the maker. During this time, non-toxic goo made up of yeast and acetic acid bacteria forms within the mixture

What is “the mother”? This is the goo that I mentioned above. Some companies choose to pasteurize and strain out the goo. Others keep the goo for potential health benefits.

What may be the benefits to consuming apple cider vinegar with “the mother”?

  • May help fight infections and promote a healthy immune system
  • May improve blood pressure and cholesterol
  • May decrease your risk of diabetes and heart disease
  • May help maintain a healthy gut
  • May improve calcium absorption
  • Vinegar is associated with cancer fighting properties similar to antioxidants
  • May help with acne when used as a natural toner (balance the pH of your skin)
  • May help with weight loss

How can you drink it? Mix 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar into a large glass of water. Add a teaspoon of natural honey.

braggs

For more information visit Bragg’s website: http://bragg.com/products/bragg-organic-apple-cider-vinegar.html