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

 

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!)

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.  🙂

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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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!