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Archive | July, 2013

{Travel Snacks} Homemade Nut Butters

21 Jul

Sometimes, the food is the best part of the journey.

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One thing I never forget to pack when I am leaving home is my food. Whether it be for a long day of classes as a college student, a road trip for the weekend, or hours in the airport traveling across the country, I always remember to plan.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

That is something I heard awhile back that always stuck with me. It is so very true. The times that I haven’t had time to plan my food for a long day away from the house, I always end up eating unhealthy, last resort foods after becoming too hungry. That is why I’m sharing with you an easy, travel-friendly snack that is a safe option no matter how far your travels are taking you.

I must admit, this is my favorite snack, even when I’m not traveling. It is my go-to food whenever I get those hunger pains mid-day. But when the theme this month for Recipe Redux was travel food, I knew immediately what I wanted to share.

Homemade Nut Butter. All kinds. With fresh, crunchy celery as dippers, or even apple slices. Could there be anything more delicious or refreshing? Is has those healthy fats along with protein to keep you satisfied.  The best thing about it, is they are airport safe! I take a little container of my nut butters every time I fly, and have never had a problem. What is the great result? Instead of eating those salty, oil saturated peanuts, I enjoy my healthy, all natural nut butter with some veggies or fruit!

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I have a couple of homemade nut butters on my site already, like my Pumpkin Pie Walnut Butter, my healthy version of Nutella called “Not-tella“, and my Almond Joy Butter. But I made two new, absolutely delicious butters to share with you today. Something I love to live by for most of my diet, keep it simple, yet keep it tasty. These nut butters are just that. Coconut Cashew Butter & Cinnamon Java Butter

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Cinnamon Java Almond Butter

– 1 cup almonds, toasted
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp instant coffee powder
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions: Place nuts in food processor and blend until butter forms (this will take at least 5 to 10 minutes).

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Cashew Coconut Butter

– 1 cup cashews, toasted
– 1 tsp coconut extract
– 1 tsp coconut oil
– optional: 2T unsweetened shredded coconut, stirred into final product
Directions: Place nuts into food processor. Blend until butter forms (again, about 5-10 minutes). Add extract and oil and blend for about 10 more seconds. Keep in container.

*Neither of these butters need to be refrigerated if consuming within a week!

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Yum. And benefits?

Almond Benefits
1) Reduce Heart Attack Risk
2) Lower Bad Cholesterol
3) Protect artery walls from damage
4) Build strong bones and teeth
5) Provide healthy fats and aid in weight loss
6) Lower rise in blood sugar after meals
7) Alkalize the body

Cashew Benefits
1) Prevents Cancer
2) Heart Health
3) Increases Hair and Skin health
4) Beneficial for Bone Health
5) Good for the nerves
6) Prevents Gallstones
7) Aids in weight loss

Coconut Benefits
1) Fights viruses and bacteria growth in body
2) Fights yeast, fungus, and candida
3) Positively affects hormones for thyroid and blood-sugar control which leads to increase metabolism, energy and endurance
4) Aids in digestion
5) Absorbs fat soluble vitamins
6) Lowers cholesterol
7) Special fat called medium chain triglycerides (Research shows 2T a day allowed women not only to gain less weight but lower abdominal fat)

Sources: doctoroz.com, care2.com

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Reeses Cup Frozen Yogurt Bites

17 Jul

Remember those fruity frozen yogurt bites I shared with you all the other day? Well as the chocoholic I am, I had to make a different variety.

See, chocolate and peanut butter may be my two favorite things. Well almond butter actually,  but peanut butter comes close behind.  That is why I was always a Reese’s cup lover. Unfortunately they are anything but healthy.

That is why I created these. A healthy, cold, refreshing, and delicious take on the typical Reeses cup! High in protein and low in fat, these should be a winner in anyone’s eyes.

Stored in the freezer, they are the perfect little bite of heaven at any time of the day. Even breakfast! Watch out though, mine disappeared extremely quickly :)

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Reeses Cup Frozen Yogurt Bites
Base:
-1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
-1/4 cup Greek yogurt
-1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
-2T honey or 1 packet stevia
-1tsp vanilla extract
*Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Split batter in half.

Peanut Butter Layer:
-2.5T peanut flour (or peanut butter)
-2T almond milk
*Blend 1/2 base with peanut flour and milk. Pour into mini muffin molds, about 1/2 way to the top. Place in freezer until set

Chocolate Layer:
-2T cocoa powder + stevia/sweetener to taste)
*Blend cocoa powder and stevia with the other half of the base. After peanut butter layer is set, take out of freezer and fill the muffin molds to the top with chocolate layer. Place back into freezer. Freeze until set. Store in freezer until eating.

Peanut Benefits
1)Rich in energy, containing many nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins
2)Good levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids
3)Good source of dietary protein
4)Great source of resveratrol, an antioxidant found to protect against cancers, heart disease, and fungal infections
5)Excellent source of vitamin E, which maintains and protects cell membranes and skin
6)Packed with B vitamins

Cocoa Benefits
1)Decreases blood pressure
2)Improves cholesterol levels
3)Prevents heart disease
4)Rich in flavonoids, an antioxidant

Exciting News!!

16 Jul

I could not be more excited or happy to finally tell you all about something a friend and I have been working on!

I’m sure you remember me mentioning her name once or twice, but this lovely lady Amy, who goes by the name FantasticallyFit on Instagram (and also has her own website, FitFunandFantastic.wordpress.com), has become a dear friend of mine. Crazy to think when we live across the country from each other (me in Florida, her in California), but I feel as if I talk to her like I’ve known her for ages! Anyways, after talking a lot we had many people suggesting that we create an e-book of all our amazing recipes. That is when we knew what we wanted to do

We would create an E-BOOK together!!

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So the exciting news is out of the bag now. We have been working so hard these past few weeks in perfecting unique and delicious recipes for all of YOU. We have a couple heavenly ones already, but please feel free to suggest anything you like and would want to see more of on either of our sites, or anything that you have just been wanting to see with any type of foods or diets!

Specifics? First let me clear up what an E-book is! It is a book that will be exclusively online, made up of over 30 recipes that Amy and I have created and tested for perfection. None of these recipes have been on either of our sites or instagrams before. Completely exclusive for those wanting to buy the book! We are planning on it to be done by the end of August, but haven’t set an exact price yet. Stay tuned to some sneak peaks into recipes that will be in our book!

Eeeee, couldn’t be more excited!!

PB & Honey HoneyComb Pancakes

14 Jul

Who said kids are the only ones allowed to play with their food?

I’m not sure about you, but one of the best combinations I can think of growing up that I am still not sick of, is peanut butter and honey toast. If you haven’t tried it, please do. When thinking of what pancake flavor I wanted to make next, I looked over to my little honeycomb honey jar I keep out on the counter, and right then I knew. I needed to recreate this peanut butter and honey flavor in a pancake!

Since incorporating some sweetener back into my life after my sugar detox, I have gone to raw honey. It is delicious, and so healthy for you. Unlike processed honey, it contains many vital nutrients and antioxidants that aren’t killed from the heat that the typical honey undergoes. So, that is what went into these babies!

But that’s when things got creative. See, I didn’t just want to make regular pancakes. After see that cute little honeycomb jar of mine, I ran with the idea. I was going to shape my pancakes like a beehive. And what better way to finish off this creation then to add a couple of little bees as well to the dish?

The result was the cutest stack of pancake that I ever had seen! Unfortunately, they didn’t stick around too long to admire as my mom and I devoured them very quickly.

And guess what? These are competition WINNERS. Just today I found out that the creative pancake competition I entered these cute little pancakes in, WON!!

The lovely taste of peanut butter and honey, the cute creativity that is so fun and pleasing to the eye, and the healthy aspect of it all..why not make them?!

Made with peanut flour and raw unprocessed bran, natural protein powder, and  coconut flour, these pancakes are filled with protein and fiber! For one serving (makes two here), there is 11 grams of fiber and 30 grams of protein!

I usually do not provide nutritional information as I do not count, but this recipe was featured on a site that does count, so the information will be below the picture!

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PB&Honey Honeycomb Pancakes

For cakes:
-1/4 cup each: peanut flour, raw bran, natural protein powder, coconut flour
-1/2 cup egg whites
-1/2 cup almond milk
 -1T honey
-1tsp baking powder

For PB Honey Sauce:
-1T natural pb
-2T peanut flour
-1T honey
-2T almond milk
-2T Greek yogurt
-1tsp vanilla extract

Directions: Combine all pancake ingredients together. Cook in hot pan on stove ( this is where you have to perfect your “moon” shaped pancake making). Make half moon shaped pancakes and half normal circles. Blend all sauce ingredients together. Stack pancakes as seen in picture, reserving one pancake for cutting “bees” out of. Top “honeycomb” with sauce. Cut out bee shapes in leftover cake. Submerge in sauce. Use cacao nibs and cut raisins for decorations. Enjoy!

Nutritional Content

Servings: 2
Calories: 282
Total Fat: 9
Total Carbohydrates: 25
Dietary Fiber: 11.5
Sugars: 5
Protein: 30.5

Raw Honey Benefits
1) Alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, and powerful antioxidants
2)Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fingal properties
3)Promotes body and digestive health
4)Strengthens immune system
5)Eliminates allergies
6)Excellent remedy for skin wounds and infections
7)Stabilizes blood pressure
8)Relieves pain
9)Calm nerves

Source: NaturalNews.com

Coconut Peach Chia Pudding Squares {Beat the Heat Challenge}

12 Jul

Another challenge, another day.

You know when word comes up of a challenge, this girl will be all over it. Not because I have to win (even though its nice of course!), but because it gives me a fun theme and inspiration for new recipes to create!

This new challenge is called “Beat the Heat”, and each day of the four they give a theme, first day was berries, second was stone fruit, third was dairy, and last was melons! So for the stone fruit theme (aka:peaches,plum, and cherries–don’t worry, I had to look it up at first too), I made this!

I’m typically more of a chocolate person when it comes to sweets. I like my fruit just plain or with a dip and that’s about it. But when the challenge arose, I had to try. And I was glad I did! These turned out excellent. Who knew coconut and peaches would go so well together?!

How do you beat this hot summer heat?? I beat it by recipes like this or my Frozen Yogurt Cheesecake Bites.

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Coconut Peach Chia Pudding Squares
1 cup greek yogurt
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup boiling water
1 packet gelatin
1 tsp coconut extract
1T chia seeds
1 peach
2T unsweetened coconut
2 packets stevia or 2T honey

Directions: Boil water. When boiling, remove from heat and add in gelatin and stevia. Stir for about 5 minutes or until it is dissolved. Dice peaches. Add in all other ingredients and stir until combined (reserve 1/2 of peaches and all of coconut). Pour in 8×8 glass pan and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight. When pudding is semi-set (about an hour into refrigeration), add reserved peaches and coconut to top, and press into pudding mixture.

Peach Benefits
1)Rich in Beta Carotene: responsible for eye health
2)Rich in vitamin C: source for skin care
3)High in fiber and potassium: known to remove toxins and pretext kidneys
4)Only 68 calories and contains no fat
5)Rich in vitamins: A,C,E, and K
6)Full of minerals: calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese, and phosphorous

Coconut Benefits
1)Fights viruses and bacteria growth in body
2)Fights yeast, fungus, and candida
3) Positively affects hormones for thyroid and blood-sugar control which leads to increase metabolism, energy and endurance
4)Aids in digestion
5)Absorbs fat soluble vitamins
6)Lowers cholesterol
7)Special fat called medium chain triglycerides (Research shows 2T a day allowed women not only to gain less weight but lower abdominal fat)

Source: doctoroz.com, ihomeremedy.net

Pina Colada Mugcake

11 Jul

The day has finally come. Remember that mugcake contest over Instagram I have mentioned a few times (like here and here)? Like I have told you all before,  Susanna,who is hosting this contest, (TastyHealth), also had a 4 week pancake challenge back in the spring. Unfortunately after entering in each week with the most creative recipes I could come up with, I didn’t win (stil great recipes though that you can find on my site!).

When she began this 4 week mugcake challenge, I knew I had to participate again. The first week was chocolate themed, and unfortunately, I didn’t win (even though my good friend Amy DID win!). This past week was then a new theme, fruit. I knew I had to do something special.

When it comes to desserts, I am usually more of a chocolate lover rather than fruit, but I do love my pina coladas. I knew that is what I’d make! I scooped out the coconut from its shell that I bought at the store, and decided I would make the shell my “mug” for the full pina colada effect.

This recipe has absolutely NO sugar, except all the delicious, fresh fruit in it. It is all you could want in a fruit, healthy dessert, and more! Let this dessert take you away to a tropical island :)

P.S. I won!

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Piña Colada Mugcake:
▫2T coconut flour
▫2T oat flour
▫1/2 cup cubed pineapple
▫1/4 cup melted ripe banana
▫1/4 cup egg whites
▫1T fresh coconut (or unsweetened shredded)
▫3T almond milk
▫2T cottage cheese
▫1/2 tsp vanilla and coconut extract
▫1tsp baking powder
▫1 coconut shell (if desired to cook cake in)

For Pineapple Coconut Cream:
▫2T cottage cheese
▫4 one-inch cubes of pineapple
▫1/4 tsp coconut extract

◻Directions: Melt half a very ripe banana in microwave for 30 seconds. Place all other cake ingredients with banana in blender (except coconut shell) and blend until smooth. Pour batter into 1/2 a coconut shell (filling only 3/4 full) or normal coffee mug. Cook in microwave for 2 minutes. For cream, blend all ingredients until smooth. Top cake with a spoonful of cream. Sprinkle with chopped macadamia nuts, and toasted coconut if desired!

Carrot Cake Mugcake & Notella Covered Strawberry Mugcake

10 Jul

Yes, two last mugcakes that I wanted to share. I promise, after this I will stop. They are just so good and easy! I usually can’t wait for desserts to get done baking before I just snack on other things, so these work perfectly for me.

The Carrot Cake mugcake was inspired by a friend I have met through instagram. He is an amazing Texan chef, and trains hardcore as he is an incredible triathlete. If you haven’t been to Jason’s website, you should go check him out here! Anyways, he liked to make jokes about these mugcake creations, as he likes to keep his food real and would rather bake a dessert (I guess it makes sense, he is a chef!). BUT, after my many mugcake creations, I think I tempted him a little bit, and he told me if I could make a dairy free mugcake (preferably carrot cake or pecan pie), he would make it and eat it! I instantly got into the kitchen. I knew I needed to make one so he would finally have one.

What resulted was a delicious, carrot cake mugcake that even my mother said was the most delicious one so far (well, an equal competitor to my pina colada one which I’ll be posting soon).

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Carrot Cake Mugcake
-2T coconut flour
-1 ground flaxseed
-4T almond milk
-4T egg whites
-1/2 small ripe banana
-4 baby carrots, cooked
-1T each: chopped walnuts,shredded coconut, honey
-1/2 tsp baking powder
Directions: Combine all ingredients in blender except nuts and coconut, and blend until smooth. Add in nuts and coconut. Pour into mug and cook in microwave for 1.5 minutes. Top with Coconut Cream if desired!

Coconut Cream (Dairy-Free)
Option1: Whip the contents of canned coconut milk until stiff
Option2: Blend 2T soft tofu, 1T honey, 1/2 tsp coconut extract

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Remember that healthy version of nutella I made, called not-tella?! Well, I made a chocolate strawberry mugcake as well one day, with that delicious “not-tella” taste! If you haven’t seen it yet, you better go check it out soon right here. If you are wanting a fruity yet chocolate-y (I know it’s not a word, but it fits in my lifestyle great) mugcake, this one is for you! If you want the sweet taste of carrot cake, that the first one is for you! For me, I had to compromise and make one for dessert one night, and one the other night:)

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Not-tella Covered Strawberry Mugcake

For Cake:
-2T hazelnut flour
-1T flaxseed
-3T egg whites
-1T Greek yogurt
1tsp baking powder and stevia
**Separate into two small bowls
In one: add 2 mashed up strawberries+1T water
In other: add 1 tsp cocoa powder+1T almond milk

*Spray mug. Place strawberry “batter” in first, then chocolate batter on top. Cook for 2 minutes.

For Strawberry Cream:
-2T Greek yogurt
-2T ricotta/cottage cheese
-1T almond milk
-2 strawberries
-Sweetener to taste, pink food dye optional
*Blend altogether until smooth

Not-tella Dip/Spread
-For every one-cup fresh nut butter, blend one very ripe banana and 2T cocoa powder in until smooth (can add milk or water if desiring a thinner consistency.

*Assembly: Place half strawberry cream on plate. Place mugcake on top. Top with rest of cream. Place a spoonful of “not-tella” spread on top along with a not-tella dipped strawberry. Enjoy!