Why you should avoid storing bread in the refrigerator.

whole-grain-bread

A quick little kitchen tip of the day. The most common mistake I come across with friends and family is storing bread in the refrigerator to slow down the “stale” process. The fridge is known to maintain freshness and quality of fruits and vegetables and many other products.. so wouldn’t it do the same for bread? NOPE!

Why shouldn’t you store your bread in the refrigerator? 

  • This causes the bread to go stale FASTER.
  • Starch molecules in the bread begin to form back into their original shape that they were before baking (hardened molecules).
  • Some findings have shown that storing your bread in the refrigerator can make staling occur 6 TIMES faster versus just keeping your bread at room temp on the counter.

How should you store your bread? Leaving it at room temperature on the counter is your best bet. If you aren’t able to consume it in time before it goes stale, put it in the freezer.

 

Cake Batter Protein Bites (No-Bake)

Cake Batter Protein Bites

It’s not my birthday… or anyone’s birthday that I know of today… BUT cake batter never gets old. These little guys are a healthier swap for my favourite childhood activity….eating the raw cake batter.. AH!!! They are super easy to make and are no-bake. 

Ingredients (makes ~16 protein balls): 

  • 2 1/2 scoops Genuine Health Vanilla Protein Powder (THIS brand gives it the real good cake batter flavour.. however you can use other vanilla protein powders as well.)
  • 1 1/2 cup Unsweetened Silk Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 2 tbsp quick oats (I used Hilray Gluten-Free Oats)
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp natural almond butter, softened
  • 6 dates, pitted and mashed (microwave with 1 tbsp water for 40 seconds to soften and mash with a fork to make a paste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of ground sea salt (to taste)
  • 2 packets of stevia (you can swap this for 1 tbsp honey)
  • Add sprinkles as desired.
  • Directions: Microwave the dates with 1 tbsp of water for 40 seconds to soften them. This will make it easier to mash them into a paste. When they are done and fully mashed, begin to combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl except the sprinkles. Once all ingredients are thoroughly mixed together, fold in the sprinkles. Roll into bite-sized balls and store in the refrigerator in a sealed container. Enjoy chilled! 🙂

Nutrition Information (per 1 bite sized ball): 70 calories per ball, 4g fat, 5g carbs, 4g protein  

Cake Batter Protein Bites2

Trail-Mix Energy Bites

Do you ever hit a wall mid-afternoon? Looking for a quick pick me up to grab on the go and get you over that mid-day slump? Try my Energy Bite Cookies. With a mixture of nuts, raisins, oats, coconut, and much more… you will get a combo of healthy fats, natural sugars, and protein that will satisfy you until your next meal.
126 calories per serving + all the nutritional benefits!  

Trail Mix Energy Bite cookies

Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cup large flake oats (I use Hilray Gluten-Free Oats)
1/3 cup brown rice flour or flour of choice (I use One Degree Organic Foods flour)
1/4 cup baking powder
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (I use Silk Unsweetened)
2 tbsp natural maple syrup
2 tbsp natural almond butter, softened
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (Nutiva is my fav choice.. you can find this at Costco)
2 tbsp natural bee honey
1/2 cup dates (~10 pitted dates), microwave for 40 secs with 1 tbsp water, mash.
1 egg
1/2 tsp ground sea salt
Optional: 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Using your clean hands, form into small cookies (Should make ~16).
5. Bake for ~15-20 minutes until beginning to brown.
6. Let cool…. and enjoy!

Per one cookie made with dark chocolate chips:
126 calories, 4.6 grams fat, 17.5 carbohydrate, 2.6g protein

Why should you include nuts in your diet? CLICK HERE to learn more.

 

Taco Salad Bowls

Taco Salad Bowls

OH baby! These Taco Salad Bowls are drool-worthy and can be made in 20 minutes (if you don’t have to make them pretty and try to take nice photos of them LOL)

Makes 3-4 bowls (depending on how much chicken everyone wants):

Ingredients:
1 lb lean ground chicken
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 head of iceberg lettuce
1 red pepper, sliced
1 orange pepper, sliced
1/2 red onion, chopped/diced
1 1/2 cup frozen corn niblets
1 large tomato, sliced
1 large avocado
Salsa to taste
Plain 0% Greek yogurt to taste (a healthy alternative to sour cream).
As desired: Mary’s Gone Crackers to crumble on top
As desired: shredded marble cheese

Directions:
1. In a large skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil, put it on medium-high heat and cook the ground chicken. You should be mixing it regularly, add in the chili powder, cumin, and garlic. Mix until brown with no pink left throughout. (About ~15-20 minutes)
2. In a small skillet, saute the peppers and onion skin 1 tbsp olive oil (~7-10 minutes). Heat the frozen corn niblets in the microwave following package instructions.
3. Prepare your bowls:
Add the chopped lettuce on the bottom of the bowl, top with avocado, tomato,sautéed vegetables, corn, and chicken.
4. Add Mary’s crackers crumbled on top (a healthier alternative to tortilla/nacho chips) and add shredded cheese as desired.
5. Sauce it up with salsa as your topping and plain 0% greek yogurt!

 

Taco Salad bowl

I used my moms home-made salsa to top. I will be posting our family recipe for that very soon if you are a dare-devil and into the hard work of canning. It is delicious!

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Until next time friends. xx

Say Hello to your new Nutrition Specialist Intern with World Vision Canada! (ME!!)

World Vision 1st Day

I am excited to announce that today is my first day in the office at World Vision Canada. I have taken on the new role as a Nutrition Specialist Intern for the next 8 months. I will be working on The ENRICH Project. This project is focused on enhancing nutrition services to improve maternal and child health. World Vision is leading a group of Canadian development organizations in this new $41.5 million project to improve nutrition in five countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar (Burma).

The ENRICH project will leverage the expertise of the Micronutrient Initiative, HarvestPlus, the Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH), the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and the Hospital for Sick Children. Together with World Vision, these organizations will offer a full package of nutrition programs to help reduce maternal and newborn mortality, stunting and wasting in children, and break families out of the cycle of poverty. I’m thrilled to begin my new position and create a positive impact on the nutrition sector internationally.

I will not be travelling to the field until November BUT when I do… make sure to keep following A Teaspoon of Bliss for updates on my travels, THE FOOD, and my experiences in Bangladesh! I am looking forward to sharing my experience with all of you.

xoxo
B

#MoveReady

Hi Friends!! Today I’m doing a Guest Feature about a new forum called #MoveReady. The two creators of this project wanted to find a way to help active individuals in the Toronto area get connected. This forum is a way for you to connect with other active individuals, create recreational sports teams, find a sports team to join, or even just find a pal to play tennis with in your area! – Very cool idea.

Thanks Alin for connecting with A Teaspoon of Bliss to promote MoveReady. Friends, if you are in the GTA, I strongly suggest you check this out! 

A better way to discover and play recreational sports in Toronto with #moveready

MoveReady1

Have you ever wanted to play in a recreational sports league with your friends? Tried to find a recreational team to join? Find players for your team? Or an activity partner?

You might have taken the usual steps to find what you’re looking for: ask your friends, search on Google (because, let’s face it, who Bings or Yahoos!?) or social networks, browse Kijiji and Craigslist, and maybe even Meetup.com.

Speaking from experience, these methods are very time-consuming, and by no means comprehensive.

Enter #moveready.

MoveReady2

#moveready simplifies how like-minded people connect, discover and play recreational sports.

Imagine no more Google searches that you have to filter through. No more endless browsing through directories like Kijiji or Craigslist. No more skipping out on playing your favorite sport because you can’t find a way to play.

Think of #moveready as your recreational sports hub.

A safe and secure community where you get access to the city’s latest recreational sports games, players, teams, and leagues right at your fingertips. Without having to do the work of finding them yourself. We also give you the tools to organize activities yourself. And provide coaching, nutrition, fitness and wellness tips to help you become a better recreational athlete.

Join the community today!

Register for free: https://activlistings.typeform.com/to/TgAsc3

Check out our wesbite: http://moveready.co/.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Go Green! The famous King Kale Juice

 

KingKaleCottage

I got my hands on a delicious King Kale today from Juice Matters. Kale is becoming such a famous green and for all the right reasons! It is high in vitamins A, C, K and contains Calcium.

Functions of these nutrients:

Vitamin A: maintains healthy eye sight and a healthy immune system

Vitamin C: maintain a healthy immune system, may reduce risk of certain cancers and diseases, helps your body absorb iron

Vitamin K: involved in making body proteins (e.g. when bleeding, helps with blood clotting to prevent excessive blood losses)

Calcium: keeps your bones and teeth strong!

Therefore, Kale will give your body a true nutrient boost. Adding kale to your salads, blending it in your smoothies, juicing kale, and just drinking kale juice is extremely beneficial to your health. This cold-pressed juice by Juice Matters has no added sugars, preservatives or GMOs so you know you are getting the real stuff! It is low in natural sugars as it contains 71% vegetable juice. Natural sugars will not cause a drastic glycemic response in your blood sugars as a pasteurized, concentrated, sugary juice would. Cold pressed juices contain more fibres, pectins, enzymes and nutrients.

Moral of the story… GET YOUR GREENS and choose REAL juice 🙂