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

 

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

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

Banana Nut Bread (Low Carb, made with coconut flour!

This recipe makes ~9 large slices/servings. It is packed with wholesome ingredients and healthy fats to keep you satisfied longer!

banana nut bread.jpg

Ingredients: 

  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium-sized bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup natural almond butter
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (0% m.f.)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup rye flour (or other flour of choice, gluten-free all purpose, almond flour, etc)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon (I like using a lot for flavour!)
  • 2 packets of stevia
  • Touch of ground sea salt
  • Optional: add pecans, almonds, dark chocolate chips, or what ever suits your tastes buds. Note: I calculated the nutrition information based on adding pecans.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the four eggs and whisk to combine.
  3. Begin to add in the other wet ingredients and continue mixing by hand.
  4. Slowly start to add dry ingredients to the bowl with regular mixing. You can combine quickly using your mixer but, do not over mix as the bread will become gummy.
  5. Optional: if you adding additional nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, or fruit, begin to fold them into the batter at this time.
  6. Spray a baking loaf pan with coconut oil, and pour mix in. Ensure it is all evenly distributed.
  7. Bake for ~50 minutes until browning. Use a sharp knife to assess whether it is cooked fully through the centre by poking within.
  8. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy! P.S. as you can see from my below photo I sprinkled the top of our banana bread with pure maple sugar from FarmBoy!

Nutrition Facts per serving:

Calories: 216 cal Fat: 11 g Protein: 7g Net Carbs: 13 g

banana nut bread 2.jpg

Spicy Cauliflower “Wings” with a Ranch Dip (The perfect Superbowl Snack to keep you on track)

(Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly, Sugar-Free)

cauliflower-buffalo-wings-2

Looking for a healthier snack to make for Superbowl Sunday?? Stay on track with your diet by snacking on these cauliflower “wings”! OMG they are so delicious…. and the ranch dip….omg again.  Adjust the amount of hot sauce used to suit the level of spice you can tolerate. I made them for staff and customers at our Sobeys today and they were a HUGE hit. Many found it so hard to believe it’s actually cauliflower.

Additionally, these guys are BAKED not fried. Let me know how you like them…

For the Cauliflower Wings:

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of a small/medium cauliflower, broken into large chunks (wing size)
  • ½ cup Silk unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free White Rice Flour (or gluten-free flour of choice)
  • ¾ tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup frank’s red hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance vegan original butter spread

Instructions

  1. Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or grease very well with oil. Preheat your oven to 425-450 F depending on your oven.
  2. Wash and cut cauliflower head into bite sized pieces/florets.
  3. Mix the nut milk/water/flour and spices in a medium mixing bowl (set aside the hot sauce and butter for later). Mix until the batter is thick and is able to coat the cauliflower without dripping.
  4. Dip the cauliflower in the batter. You can do this one by one or in batches. shake off excess batter before placing cauliflower on the baking sheet. Lay the cauliflower single layer on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, flipping the florets over half way through to get all sides golden brown and crispy.
  6. While the cauliflower is baking, get your buffalo wing sauce ready. In a small saucepan on low heat melt earth balance “butter” and mix in the hot sauce. Remove from the heat just as it starts to melt. Stir together and set aside.
  7. When the cauliflower is done its first bake in the batter, remove them from the oven and put all the baked florets into a mixing bowl with the wing sauce and toss to coat evenly. Return cauliflower to baking sheet and bake in the oven for another 20-25minutes. Broil for the last 5 minutes to improve crunchiness!
  8. While this is baking, start mixing up your quick and easy vegan ranch dip. It’s so delicious!

For the Ranch Dip:
1 cup Vegan Mayonnaise (Vegenaise)
1/8 cup Silk unsweetened original almond milk
2 tsp Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator until consumption.
  2. Use for dipping for your “wings”, vegetables, chips, what ever you desire!

cauliflower-buffalo-wings-1

Banana Breakfast Bars (quick & easy recipe)

This is a one bowl recipe… quick and easy to make AND you can easily tailor it to your taste buds. Change the nuts that are used, add chia, flax, or a different dried fruit to suit your taste buds!

banana-bars

Ingredients (makes ~12 bars):

  • 3 large bananas, mashed (I used two from the counter and one thawed from frozen)
  • 2 cups large flake oats
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or dried blueberries, raisins, small fruit of choice)
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts, salted (cashews, almonds, pecans)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • touch of ground sea salt
  • 1/2 cup camino dark chocolate dairy-free chocolate chips (>70% cacao)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Mix all ingredients in the order that I wrote into one large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Spray a baking pan or casserole dish with coconut oil.
  4. Pour the mixture into the dish, pack down and distribute evenly.
  5. Bake at 350F for ~20 minutes until browning.

Allow to cool, slice into bars or squares, and enjoy!