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

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!

apple donut.jpg

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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Roasted Pear & Goat Cheese Salad

roasted pear and goat cheese salad.JPG

Ingredients (serves ~6):

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. brown rice syrup
  • 1-2 bartlett pears
  • 1 cup. fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup goat’s cheese
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • Nonna Pia’s  Classic Balsamic Reduction to taste– found at Costco

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, add in sliced pears and pecans, drizzled with 2 tbsp. maple syrup and 1 tbsp. brown rice syrup. Turn temperature to medium-high heat. Bring to a boil (when it starts bubbling). Lower to simmer and regular flip/mix the pears so they are coated evenly.
  2. Remove the pears and pecans from skillet and place on a piece of parchment paper to harden.
  3. In the same skillet, you can now add in the fresh cranberries, sliced onion, and drizzled with 2 tbsp. maple syrup. Again, bring this to a boil and then allow to simmer. The cranberries will “pop” when they are cooking. When they have all popped they will be ready to be removed from the skillet. The onions will become caramelized.
  4. Pour the cranberries and now caramelized onion onto parchment paper as well.
  5. In a clean small skillet, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and add in your whole garlic cloves. Allow them to slowly roast on low-medium heat. When they have browned and softened, remove from the heat.
  6. In a large salad bowl, add in your spinach. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds, cranberries, onion, garlic and add the pears and pecans last for appearance. Crumble the goat cheese on top and drizzle with a Balsamic reduction when served! Enjoy 🙂

Weekend Waffles!! (Nature’s Path Wildberry GF)

HAPPY SUNDAY! 

Due to the SNOW that has now returned to cover the ground….I needed some waffles this morning to cheer me up. I bought Nature’s Path Organic Buckwheat Wildberry Waffles for the first time…and fell in LOVE. They have many different flavours, homestyle, chia, ancient grains, etc. I love this product. No need to save these waffles for a “cheat day”.. with their amazing ingredients you can have them everyday! Nutrition facts: 9 whole grains, 2g protein, 5g sugar, 190 cals per serving (2 waffles) 

waffles GF

I topped my waffle with a bit of plain 0% vanilla yogurt, coconut chips, strawberries, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Another thing I love to do to add some extra protein is to spread almond butter or peanut butter on the waffle with a few slices of banana on top. Great fuel for the day.

Anyway, if you haven’t tried Nature’s Path waffles yet they are a must try. You can find them at FarmBoy, Sobey’s, Loblaws, etc. This company sells many great products such as granola bars, cereals, and breads too.

waffles GF 2

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Popcorn! #YUM

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Popcorn

I combine two of my FAVOURITE foods! Popcorn + Dark Chocolate. 

Try it out:

  • In a popcorn machine or in a pot on the stove, made your own popcorn in 1 -2tbsp coconut oil (depending on how much you want to make).
  • Spread the popcorn on parchment paper on the kitchen counter.
  • Melt dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) and drizzle all over the popcorn.
  • Distribute ground sea salt to taste.
  • Allow this to sit and harden on the counter…. or don’t wait and eat it warm and gooey with chocolate! and ENJOY.

Why do I choose to make my own homemade popcorn versus microwave bagged popcorn? Make your own popcorn at home with plain popping kernels – it is just as fast and saves you from consuming hydrogenated oils, trans fats, artificial colors, artificial flavours, unneeded sodium, and much more.

Why choose dark chocolate (>70% cacao) and not regular dark or milk chocolate? Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are the least processed forms of chocolate. Therefore, they contain the highest flavonoid content (an antioxidant). As an antioxidant, flavonoids help repair damaged body cells, fight free radical damage, and may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

(Milk chocolate and white chocolate are very poor sources of flavonoids).

Coconut Almond Protein Bars

Coconut Almond Protein Bars

Ingredients (makes 8 small bars):
1/4 cup protein powder (I used Garden of Life’s raw vegan natural protein powder)
1/2 cup dates, mashed (in small container at 1 tbsp water microwave of 40 seconds to soften then mash).
1 cup oat flour
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup almond milk (Silk unsweetened vanilla)
1 tsp coconut sugar
2 tbsp egg whites
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Add: small handful of almonds and dark chocolate chips if desired
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut to sprinkle on top.

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl (except the coconut). Place mixture in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle shredded coconut as desired on top.
3. Bake for ~20 minutes — until knife comes out clean when poked.

Nutrition facts:
Per 1 bar/serving: calories: 140 cal, carbohydrate: 16.2g, fat: 5.4g, and protein: 6.4g

9-Bean Veggie Soup

veggie 9 bean soup

Beans are a great way to increase fibre and satiety in vegetable based meals. This soup is packed with flavour from the various veggie ingredients and spices… ohhhhhhh I LOVE soup. Such a great way to warm up in the cold weather that is coming our way. It is also great to make a large batch like this and freeze individual serving sizes to heat up for lunches or dinners throughout a busy work week. This will help you avoid snacking while preparing dinner… because it will be ready for you when you are home 🙂

This recipe serves ~6 people.
In a large soup pot on low-medium heat, combine the following:
1 carton Campbell’s vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1 carton full of water
1/3 cup 9-bean mix from Costco (substitute for one can of rinsed/drained can of mixed beans if you cannot find the bean mix!)
1 can (796mL) diced tomatoes
1 small cabbage, chopped/diced

In a large skillet on medium-high heat, saute the following in 2 tbsp olive oil:
1 red onion, diced/chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper
1 large carrot, chopped
1 butternut squash (microwave to soften for 4 minutes – then dice and chop into cubes)
1 garlic clove, crushed

After the vegetables have been softened/sauteed for ~10 minutes, add them into to the soup pot.

Add spices:
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp basil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
+ground pepper and salt
+ 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (substitute for parmesan cheese if you do not have this ingredient).

Bring soup to a boil. Then allow to simmer on low for ~4 hours. The longer it simmers – the more the flavours come out!

Enjoy 🙂

veggie 9-bean soup