Archive | April, 2013

Pumpkin Coconut Cream Cheese

30 Apr

Pumpkin..Coconut..together?? YES.

We all know how much I love pumpkin, but coconut is surely up there too. I’ve made pumpkin cream cheese a lot before, but this time, I made a new spin off of it.

And let me tell you, it is delicious! Eat it on toast or a bagel, as a dip for cookies or fruit, or even just eat with a spoon if you love it as much as I do:)

I may have already mentioned it once or twice before..but did you know pumpkin is a superfood?? So it not only makes everything absolutely delicious, but it so healthy and good for you to be eating! And, by using low fat cream cheese to make this recipe, the whole thing will be low in fat as well! But the pumpkin makes this dish healthy no matter what:)

You all know my random food obsession..what’s yours?!

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You know you can’t resist that…

Pumpkin Coconut Cream Cheese
-1 8oz tub low fat cream cheese (can use fat free, but won’t have nearly the same taste! And I’m a believer that fat-free stuff isn’t too healthy for you:) )
-1/2 can pumpkin
-2 T canned coconut milk (this makes it SO good, but you can sub almond milk in if you don’t want the extra calories. Again, just won’t be as good or have as much coconut flavor)
-3 packets of stevia+1T agave
-1 tsp coconut extract and vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-sprinkle of sea salt
-Optional: unsweetened shredded coconut for a yummy texture!
Directions: Blend altogether in nutribullet, blender, or any kind of processor. Enjoy!

 

Hummus

25 Apr

What? Do you mean homemade hummus?! Like not the stuff you buy ready in the container?? Yep! That’s what I mean alright:)

You may not already know this, but making your own hummus is SO simple and easy! And so much cheaper than you buy in stores usually. Not to mention, YOU control what you put into it, which means you can avoid any processed or unnatural ingredients :)

Usually hummus is made with a lot of tahini and olive oil, which isn’t necessarily bad for you. But if you’re wanting a dip that’s even lower in fat or calories, than you can follow this recipe and forget the tahini (which is pureed sesame seeds in case you didnt know) :)

Chick peas, which is what hummus is made out of, are beans. That means high in fiber and protein! So hummus is a very healthy way to snack..or add something special to sandwiches without all the extra fat of mayo!

This recipe is like an “original” hummus flavor you could buy..the sky is the limit though! Add any extra flavors you like to give it your own spin. Maybe some olives, or red pepper, or more garlic, or onions..who knows! I know I spice mine up with all sorts of things..but olives is definitely a winner:) Here is the basic recipe for homemade hummus! Use veggies to dip in it, spread it on crackers, or use it on sandwiches..whatever you’d like:)

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Hummus
-1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
-2 T olive oil (more if needed for constancy)
-2 T water
-1 T lemon juice
-1 clove of garlic
-1 T cumin
-1 tsp each: garlic salt, dried onion/onion powder, salt, pepper, season salt, italian seasonings
-Optional add ins: olives, pureed garlic, red pepper, sundered tomatoes, or any flavor you’d want!
Directions: Place all ingredients in food processor. Blend until smooth! Enjoy as a dip or on a sandwich :)

Salmon Cakes with Spinach and Apple

22 Apr

It started with finding canned salmon in my cupboard. I didn’t think it would taste too good just plain. So what did I do?

I created salmon cakes:)

Spinach is a typical add in to patties like this, but apple, that was something I just decided would taste good. And guess what? It did! Extremely good. Plus, with the cake being sprinkled with coconut flour, it had this sweet yet savory taste that was absolutely delicious.

These cakes are high in protein, and packed with fruit and veggies. What more of a healthy snack/meal on the go could you ask for?  Usually cake patties like this are packed with carbs like bread crumbs or flour..but not these. And of course, like all my healthified dishes, they taste amazing as well as being nutritious.

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Salmon Cakes with Spinach and Apple
-1 can of Alaskan salmon
-1/2 apple, diced small
-1 cup cut spinach
-1/2 cup egg substitute/ egg white/ 2 eggs
-2T low fat mayo
-2 T psyllium husk/ 2T ground flax/ 2T chia seeds
-seasonings: garlic salt, sea salt, onion powder, pepper, italian seasonings
-about 1/4-1/2 cup coconut flour
Directions: Place all ingredients in bowl except flour and mix until thoroughly combined(add more psyllium husk if too wet or more egg if too dry). Make into 9 patties. Sprinkle each side of patty with just enough coconut flour to lightly cover. Cook on stove on medium heat, flipping when brown. Enjoy!

Chocolate Salted Caramel Pretzel Pancakes

22 Apr

Long name, but so deserving.

For the last week of the pancake challenge I’ve been telling you all about, the category was chocolate pancakes. After seeing caramel extract and pretzels in my pantry..I knew what needed to be created.

See, I love sweet and salty combinations. It’s always been my favorite. Like those pretzel M&M’s..mmmm!

So this week, I decided to come up with something so unique, in hopes of winning that contest finally on the last week. Unfortunately, yet again, I didn’t. But if it wasn’t just based off looks and off of actual taste, I’m sure I would have in a heartbeat!:)

This whole pancake challenge has been so fun for me. Every week it’s given me a goal to come up with such a unique, healthy recipe. Even though I didn’t win, I have loved every minute of it..and can’t wait for another challenge to arise…I’m competitive if you haven’t already established that :)

But here is my nonwinning, delicious pancake recipe for those of you like me who love that sweet and salty combo!

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Chocolate Salted Caramel Pretzel Pancakes
Batter:
-1/2 cup oat flour
-1 scoop chocolate protein powder
-about 20 pretzels, mostly broken into pieces
-1/2 cup almond milk
-2 T cottage cheese
-2 T cocoa powder
-1 T butterscotch pudding mix
-1 tsp caramel extract and vanilla extract
-1 tsp baking powder
-sprinkle of sea salt
Directions: Put all ingredients except pretzels in blender and blend until smooth. Mix in 3/4 of the pretzels, crushed. Pour into pan on stove. Lightly toss a couple more crushed pretzels on top of cooking pancakes.

Clean Chocolate Syrup:
1/4 cup cocoa powder
-2 T water
-1 packet stevia

And here’s some of my pancake challenge creations in review! All of these recipes are on my site somewhere! :)

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Pumpkin Mousse

21 Apr

Mousse: “A sweet or savory dish made with smooth whipping cream”

Wait..whipping cream? Even if you aren’t a health nut, we all know that anything with “cream” in it, isn’t healthy at all usually! But that doesn’t mean that this girl can’t find a healthy alternative! And guess what..you don’t like pumpkin? Well I made a chocolate variety too! Mmm, now that’s what I’m talking about. Chocolate and pumpkin, my two favorite things<3

How did I make it healthy when mousse is founded upon cream and other fattening ingredients?! Well that’s what I’m about to share with you.

I made a chocolate variety way back last year by accident when experimenting different ways with tofu. (Say what?!). Yep, tofu. But then the need for it sparked my memory. For the pancake weekly challenge I’ve talked about in previous posts (like my mochonut pancakes and berry coconut chai pancakes!) I’ve been attempting to create pancake¬†sandwiches, (a spin off of the loved yet unhealthy ice cream cookie sandwiches). But I needed a healthy filling instead of ice cream. What did I decide upon? You got it! My tofu mousse from long ago! (Please don’t write it off till you try it! You don’t taste a “tofu” taste!)

You can’t tell me that this makes you’re mouth start watering… :)

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Pumpkin Mousse
-6 oz silken tofu (or other tofu brand)
-1/2 cup pumpkin
-2 T cottage cheese
-2 T greek yogurt
-1/4 cup agave
-1 tsp each: cinnamon, vanilla extract, xanthan or guar gum (for thickening!)
**For chocolate alternative: Sub in avocado for the pumpkin+add 2T cocoa powder, or leave out pumpkin and avocado altogether and just add cocoa powder!
Directions: Blend all ingredients together. Let sit in refrigerator to thicken more. Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

17 Apr

Another delicious, healthy shake. I love them. It’s my favorite part about working out, knowing that I get to have something like this after! Or, sometimes as my dessert at night I fix one too, as it tastes just like a good ole’ milkshake!

I experiment with all different kinds of flavors as I have one almost every day. Maybe a little shake obsessed? Well when it’s high-protein, all around healthy, yet absolutely delicious, why not be?!

Call it a smoothie and have it for breakfast, call it a post-workout shake and have it after time at the gym, or call it a milkshake and have it for dessert! It’s so versatile. You can add more carbs and calories if needed to refuel or wanting it to be a little richer as a dessert, or you can make it lighter to have as a quick breakfast on the go! Either way, you won’t be sorry you made it:)

Today, I made this after a morning workout. Yes it was in the morning, but yes, I was craving something chocolate and sweet! So I made this :)

Chocolate. Peanut Butter. Touch of Coconut on top. What more could you ask for?!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake
-1 scoop whey protein powder (either vanilla, chocolate or peanut butter)
-1 cup almond milk
-1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
-1/2 frozen banana
-2 T peanut flour
-1 T cocoa powder
-1 T nut butter
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 packet stevia
-sprinkle of salt
-ice as needed for texture
Directions: Blend altogether. You can add a sprinkle of guar gum to it if you want an extra thick shake like I sometimes do and eat it out of a bowl with a spoon!

Cardio and Strength II

16 Apr

Tired of your usual gym routine? Don’t know what to do when you get there? Want a little bit of both cardio and strength work? This is for you!

I know I’ve shared one with some cardio and strength already, but I thought you all would love to have options to choose from on my site..so I’m providing you another workout I’ve done in the past! It’s great because once again, doesn’t take hours to do. Have just an hour to spare in between classes, meetings, or work? Try this one!

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Making Your Own Nut Butter

15 Apr

I’ve posted before about specific recipes for different flavors of nut butters I’ve made, but I’ve gotten a lot of questions as to how to even go about making homemade nut butter!

So I’ve decided to dedicate today to showing you all the steps in making it:) It seems appropriate since just yesterday I made a huge container of fresh, homemade almond butter. It was heavenly. There is just something about the homemade stuff. Something that tastes so much better than the store bought butters!

And guess what? Not only is it easier, just requiring whatever nuts you desire plus the food processor, but also very healthy without all the extra added oils and sugars, and cheaper than store bought!

Yesterday, I even took it a step further and split it up into two containers, making a chocolate caramel almond butter, and a coconut vanilla one. Talk about delicious creations. I was eating it by the spoonful!

But first, let me take you step by step as to how to make it!

Step 1: Toast almonds (or whatever nut you are using) in oven on broil, watching very closely until they are slightly browned. I emphasize watching closely, because I have burnt many batches of good nuts myself by taking my eyes off of them for just a quick minute!

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Step 2: Place toasted nuts into food processor.

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Step 3: Turn food processor on, and let those babies grind and grind and grind!

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First it’ll just look like chopped nuts, like above. Then, it’ll become finely processed like an almond flour type consistency.

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After a couple more minutes of food processing, it’ll finally begin to look like butter! You may have to stop a couple times to scrape down the butter from the sides, and then proceed to process again.

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Finally, you will be done! And you will have an excellent, creamy, homemade butter!

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This is when you can get creative and add in your own flavors of liking:) I split my batch up this time, and put a tablespoon of cocoa powder and a teaspoon of caramel extract.

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And the other half, I put vanilla and coconut extract in, with just a little bit of unsweetened shredded coconut! So delicious:)

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Hope you can now go and make your very own nut butter!:)

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

14 Apr

Okay, so I cheated with this one. Not necessarily a homemade recipe this time. But I’d like to think I made it my own by adding in certain things:)

Are you a big mint fan? York Patties. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. Shamrock Shakes. Well this is for you!

It was my boyfriend’s birthday and I was trying to think of what to make him. He loves Mint. He loves Chocolate Chip Cookies. So what did I come up with? Chocolate chip cookie cake!

But I was a little too lazy and short on time to make homemade dough. So I went the easy way out :)

This is made with store bought dough. Yet..special ingredients added it! So I guess I can still call it my own:)

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Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
-1 pouch of sugar cookie mix
-ingredients on back of pouch for cookies
-1 bag of mint and dark chocolate chip
-1 tsp mint extract
-Optional: green food coloring
Directions: Preheat oven according to back of mix. Made sugar cookie dough as instructed on back of mix. Add in extract and chips. Add green food coloring in for a fun effect if desired. Cook according to back of mix for cookies, or make in a round pan for a cake!

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Here’s another time I made this recipe but added green food coloring and made as cookies instead! So fun for the holidays especially:)

Overnight Oats

13 Apr

I decided to join in on the overnight oats parade.

Haha, but seriously, it’s definitely the most popular breakfast among so many people these days! Yet in hot, sunny Florida, warm oatmeal has just never been my kind of breakfast..at least most days.

But sometimes, a warm, comforting, big bowl of oatmeal tastes just right. Especially after it’s been absorbing all the delicious flavors while sitting overnight in the fridge. Mmmm.

And if you’re in a rush, having it in a jar makes it all the more convenient to literally, grab and go.If you’ve got time at home to eat, then take that baby out, microwave, add whatever toppings seem good at the moment, and enjoy!

For me, the other day I was in a chocolaty Peanut Butter kind of mood. But then again, what’s new? That’s basically my mood 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week. What? I’ve got a sweet tooth:) Good thing when you eat clean, you can have your chocolate and live healthy too!

This provides a breakfast that is high in protein and fiber. One that will keep you satisfied all morning and not reaching in the pantry for snacks continuously. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! For so long I would skimp out on this meal or not eat one at all..so bad! If you aren’t eating breakfast, I highly recommend that you begin today. And this is a great place to start. A healthy, quick and easy idea:)

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Overnight Oats Base
-1/2 cup oats
-1/2 cup Chobani Greek yogurt (flavor of choice)
-1 cup almond milk
-sweetener of choice and a touch of salt

-For my chocolate version-
-2 T cocoa powder
-2 T agave
-1 T chocolate peanut butter
-1 tsp cinnamon
-Toppings: Chocolate Fiber One cereal, 1 T homemade almond joy butter(recipe on site)

Directions: Place all ingredients in a jar except for the toppings. Screw lid on and shake until all combined. Let sit in fridge overnight. In AM, either cook in microwave and place toppings on, or just enjoy cold and immediately put toppings on. Enjoy!