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!

nacho dip1

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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Orange you glad to hear from me?

 

Fresh oranges

Today I thought I would do a spotlight on the benefits of oranges.

  • Oranges are a great source of natural sugars (carbohydrates) to provide your body with energy.
  • Oranges are PACKED with Vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a role in the healthy growth of bones, teeth, skin and other body tissues.
  • Vitamin C also helps with the absorption of iron from plant-based foods! Neat right? So, if you are vegan or vegetarian make sure to get enough Vitamin C in your diet because it will help you absorb iron from your plant foods like beans/legumes.
  •  Vitamin C also plays a role in maintaining a healthy immune system.
  • Oranges are high in potassium, which makes them a great post-workout snack. Potassium is an electrolyte that we lose in our sweat during exercise. Potassium is a mineral important to maintain the health of your nerves, bones, kidneys, and muscles.
  • Food tip: Skip the orange juice and opt for the fresh whole fruit to get all the benefits. Why? During juice processing (“pasteurization”), the high temperatures destroy the good stuff! We lose fibre, nutrients, and enzymes. After processing, we have a drink full of sugar, calories, and no nutrients or fibre. (I like to call this empty calories).

sad oranges

 

 

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!

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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

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Ranch Dip (you can whip it up in under 10 minutes!)

Whip this easy vegan ranch dip up for SuperBowl Sunday… A much healthier alternative than the other cream dressings you find on the market. It also is quick and easy to make. Preparation time is under 10 minutes! Woohoo! 

Why not give it a try?

Ranch Dip Ingredients:
1 cup Vegenaise (or vegan mayonnaise of choice)
1/8 cup plain almond milk, unsweetened
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp parsley
1 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped finely
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Directions: Combine ingredients one at a time in a bowl and mix!

vegan-ranch-dressing

Pair with fresh cut veggies, my cauliflower buffalo bites recipe, crackers, whatever you fancy!