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

 

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

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.

image.jpeg

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

 

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!

 

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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Why you might want to add Turmeric to your diet…

Turmeric, as most of us know, is a spice most commonly found in Asian and Indian dishes.

However, it is much more than just a spice! It has many health benefits. 

Turmeric contains an active ingredient, known as Curcumin. Curcumin is what gives this spice its bright yellow color and boosts the health benefits.

Why should you add this spice to your diet? Turmeric used as a spice or Curcumin taken as a natural supplement may benefit you in the following ways:

  • Arthritis relief
  • Relief of joint pain
  • May help relieve stomach complaints (nausea, cramping, and flatulence)
  • May help relieve heartburn

Overall, turmeric has been found to cause relief for conditions that cause inflammation. So if you are dealing with inflammation of some sort, it may be worth giving it a try!

Add the spice to your dishes or you can take it as a supplement!

Spices NYC

Resources: webmd.com, dietitiansofcanada.ca