Smoothie – Coco-Choco-Banana

After my P90X Kenpo X workout today (my schedule is off a bit, but I’m still working through it), I needed something good to calm my muscles. 🙂 I had some coconut water in my fridge, so decided to use that instead of almond milk, and I’m pretty happy with the result! (Why have I never really given coconut water a chance before? That stuff tastes great…)

So here’s today’s smoothie recipe! 🙂

Today’s Smoothie: Coco-Choco-Banana

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I’ve been using the chocolate Performance Protein by Vega for a little while now, and I’m loving it! So yummy, and dairy/soy free!)
  • 1 scoop GREENSuperFood by Amazing Grass – chocolate flavour (pictured below)
  • 1 tbsp flax seed meal
  • Splash of pomegranate juice
Method:
  • Blend all ingredients together, and drink up! 🙂

 

coco-choco-banana smoothie

coco-choco-banana smoothie

GREENSuperFood

GREENSuperFood

Vegan Coconut-Carob Bars – No-Bake!

I’m proud of myself for cutting out meat properly this time around. I haven’t even eaten fish, dairy products, or eggs, which is a big step for me. Last time I was vegetarian, I still ingested those three things. This time around, I don’t have anyone pushing meat or animal products in my face on a daily basis, so I’ve found it a lot easier to make it through the first couple of weeks of being a vegetarian. (Brief history: I was a vegetarian for a few years, was with a big meat-eater, so it didn’t last long… Tried again, but went back to eating meat after 7 or 8 months.) (And for those of you who always ask, yes – you CAN get enough protein being a vegetarian. No, you don’t need to drink milk and eat meat. I can’t drink milk anyways…More on this coming up in a new “blog project” soon…)

One of my favourite sweet things to eat is carob. In powder form, solid form, whatever. It tastes awesome, and you don’t have to add any sugar to it! Oh, did I mention I’m also not really eating sugar? Some foods I eat have sugar in it, but not a lot… I haven’t opened up a bag/jar of sugar (white or brown) for a month, maybe longer. I was using honey, but then decided to give agave nectar a try. What a good decision! That stuff tastes great.

Anyways, here’s a recipe that I put together to satisfy that sweet tooth that pops up screaming for chocolate every once in a while! I’ve made this a few times now, one of the times being for a presentation in front of a group for a health and wellness class. The response was great, everyone loved them! 🙂 There wasn’t a single one left, which was awesome, because that means a few people had more than one…

I did a print out with the recipe for people, so instead of writing out the recipe here, I’ll just post a picture of the recipe. It’s so simple, anyone can do it! If you decide to make this, and have ANY questions or are confused, ask away! 🙂 Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Note: mix all ingredients together in a food processor!

Note: mix all ingredients together in a food processor!

 

Mmmmm....

Mmmmm....

Late Night Snack Vlog – Easy Apple “Crumble”

Here’s a random vlog! I was hungry, and didn’t know what to make… So put together an apple “crumble”. It’s not quite a crumble in the traditional sense, but my goodness is it ever tasty! This video is MUCH shorter than my last one, and I go through the few ingredients of this tasty little dish slow enough for you to write it down if you need to, so I’m going to keep this a text-light entry! Here’s you go, enjoy! 🙂

Here’s the link to my original apple crumble recipe!

Here’s some pictures!

In the oven!

In the oven!

 

Mmmmmmm! :)

Mmmmmmm! 🙂

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Protein Balls

Here’s a quick and simple sweet fix for people seeking out some energy and protein before or after their workout session! As I was making them, I couldn’t help but eat a few because they were so tasty! I’ve used peanut butter this time around, but have made them in the past with almond butter, sunflower seed butter (not my favourite…), and a mixture of walnut and peanut butter. These are calorie dense because of the peanut butter, though you probably won’t be too hungry after eating a batch of these. Here’s the recipe, enjoy! 🙂

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Protein Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp carob chips
  • 3 tbsp natural peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp honey

Method:

  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with your hands, and roll the dough out into little balls.
  • Place in a plastic baggie, and pop them in the fridge.
  • Let them harden for at least an hour. You can eat them right away if you like, but they taste better after being in the fridge for a bit.
An army of protein balls!

An army of protein balls!

Clean Chocolate-Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to be updating this blog, but I”ll have more to post soon! 🙂 For now, this is going to be an entry that’s short and sweet, just like these cookies! If you’re into eating clean, these are the perfect little things to snack on and not compromise on nutrition. Enjoy! 🙂

Clean Chocolate-Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (quick cooking)
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 scoop carob powder (you can use cocoa powder if you like, but carob powder is naturally sweeter! So no need to add any extra sugar… 😉 This scoop should be the same size as the scoop of protein powder.)
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites (or egg replacer)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Method:

  • Pre heat oven to 350.
  • Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Roll into 12 balls, and place each ball on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Press your thumb lightly into each ball, but keep the cookies thick!
  • Bake for 10-14 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, and enjoy minus the guilt! 🙂

    mmmmm

    mmmmm

 

Easy Cocoa Protein Granola Bars

I really like granola bars because they’re a quick snack that you can have on the go. As much as I enjoy those chocolate dipped peanut butter granola bars, they’re really not that healthy. I’ve made granola bars before, but there’s just something about these ones that stand out above the rest. This recipe makes anywhere from 6-9 granola bars/cookies depending on how big you make them. Enjoy! 🙂

Easy Cocoa Protein Granola Bars

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup protein powder (I used Bodylogix Vanilla Protein Powder)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • pinch of sea salt
Wet Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (or any nut butter of your choice)
  • 3 tbsp vanilla almond milk (or any milk of your choice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • about 1/4 cup of your favourite dark chocolate (try to keep it above 70%)
Method:
  • Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a non-stick baking mat. Set aside.
  • Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, and set aside.
  • In another bowl, mix all wet ingredients, and microwave for about 25 seconds.
  • Stir all wet ingredients together until incorporated. The peanut butter and almond milk may separate a little bit, but that’s okay! If everything isn’t completely melted and in liquid form, just microwave it for a few more seconds.
  • Add all dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients, and stir until a dough forms.
  • Form a small handful of dough (about 1/3 of a cup) into either a bar or a cookie shape, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Repeat this with all of the dough until you have used it all.
  • Place baking sheet in the fridge for about 20 minutes to allow the bars to firm up, and then they’re ready to eat!
  • Bars can be kept in the fridge for up to a week in an air tight container, however the quantities of this recipe are small enough where the bars can easily be finished within a couple of days! 😉
Yummy! :)

Yummy! 🙂

Cocoa Irish Oat Cakes

When I was trying to find a new cracker recipe on the Whole Foods app for the iPhone, I came across a recipe for Irish oat cakes. The original recipe seemed a little boring, and it used butter (which I try to avoid), so I decided to make my own version of the recipe inspired by the original. These little guys go great with some raspberry honey that I purchased from The Bee & Me tent at the Milton Farmers Market this weekend. I also used the honey in the recipe instead of just plain liquid honey.

Here’s my take on Irish Oat Cakes, with a little cocoa! 🙂 Enjoy! 🙂

Cocoa Irish Oat Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oat flour (you can purchase this already made, or you can simply grind rolled oats in the food processor/blender until it resembles flour)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp raspberry honey (or regular liquid honey if you like)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg white (use two if dough is too dry)

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 325 F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a silicon baking mat, and set aside.
  • Add all ingredients into a bowl, and mix together.
  • The mixture will be quite crumbly, so once it’s all mixed together well, transfer the ball of dough to the baking sheet and roll/press it flat. It should be about 1/4 of an inch thick. If the edges are starting to crumble off, just use your fingers to press the dough back together.
  • Once the dough is flat, use a knife to make lines in the dough where you’ll want to cut it once it’s done.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes. The edges will be slightly darker (but not by much), and the dough will feel dry to the touch.
  • Remove from the oven, and use a knife to cut into each line. Set aside to cool completely before eating.

    Yummy :)

    Yummy 🙂

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Waking up this morning, I was presented with a few dilemmas:

  1. There are three bananas on the counter coming up to that point where they’re past their prime, and I already have about 20 bananas in the freezer for smoothies.
  2. I have a nice, nasty little cold right now, which makes me crave sweets as a comfort food. I’m trying to eat healthy, so I don’t want to go out to get junk food.
  3. Because I’m sick, there’s no way I’m going to go out and get junk food. I’m surprised I can even get off of the couch for more than five minutes.

The solution: healthy cookies with bananas! These turned out so soft, and so yummy… There’s no butter, no eggs, no junky stuff, and barely any sugar. They’re filled with a whole bunch of flavour and goodness! This recipe makes 12 medium-sized cookies, about an inch thick. They almost have a cake-like texture, very similar to a chocolate crueller or something. I am embarrassed to admit that I’ve already eaten four of these. Anyways, here’s the recipe, enjoy! 🙂

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp ground flax-seed
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp organic cane sugar (this obviously isn’t a wet ingredient, but is mixed in with them anyways)
  • 1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ripe banana

Solid Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup carob chips (you can use regular chocolate chips if you like, I just really LOVE carob chips.)
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnut pieces (this is optional also, so feel free to omit if you don’t like walnuts.)

Method:

  • Pre heat your oven to 325 F for convection ovens. (If not using a convection oven, pre heat to 350 F)
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat (or any silicone baking mat), and set aside.
  • In a bowl, sift together all dry ingredients.
  • In another bowl, mash the banana, and add all wet ingredients to the mashed banana.
  • Pour the wet into the dry.
  • Add the solid ingredients, and stir together until everything is combined.
  • Because it’s a dough that’s a bit on the dry side, I like to get my hands right in there and mush it all together, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!
  • Using your hands, shape pieces of the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball (or a little bigger), and press into a patty that is about 1 inch thick. These don’t really spread while baking, but you also want to make sure that they maintain that cake-like texture because it’s pretty darn good!
  • Once all of the dough is shaped and on the baking sheet, pop it into your oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Make sure to check the cookies at 15 minutes. The bottoms of the cookies will be slightly darker than the rest of the cookie. If it’s looking a lot darker, take them out!
  • Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then eat and enjoy! 🙂
  • Note: I made these in a convection oven, so my cooking time was longer. (Lower temperature, slightly longer cooking time, however they cook perfectly even.) So if you don’t have a convection oven, keep it at 350 F, and cook for 10-15 minutes.

    Three tasty (and guilt-free!) cookies with an almond milk latte. Now that's a tasty snack! :)

    Three tasty (and guilt-free!) cookies with an almond milk latte. Now that’s a tasty snack! 🙂

Strawberry & Date Jam

After making apple butter so many times, I decided I wanted to try some other fruit spreads. I wish I would have known how messy this jam was going to be… So be warned: this will splatter while cooking! Luckily the taste more than makes up for the mess… 😀

The dates add a thickness to the jam that makes it taste quite rich, with a sweetness that isn’t too much to handle. The lemon zest and spices add a little “something else” that you won’t find in many other jams. I love fruit spreads, and find this to be pretty unique when compared to other ones I’ve had. I enjoyed some of this jam on some whole wheat bread with goat’s milk cheese, but you could really put it on anything!

This recipe filled one 310 ml jam jar. Enjoy! 🙂

Strawberry & Date Jam

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups strawberries, cleaned with the tops cut off
  • 1/2 cup pitted honey dates, finely chopped
  • Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar (you can add more if you like, but I found this to make the jam pretty sweet!)
  • 2 tbsp liquid honey

Method:

  • In a deep pot (trust me, it splashes…), place all ingredients and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender, puree the contents of the pot, and adjust the temperature to high heat.
  • It will come to a rolling boil pretty quickly, so you need to keep stirring or the bottom will burn. If you have a heavy bottom pot, use that.
  • Continue to stir the mixture for 20-25 minutes. I don’t use a thermometer, I judge it by eye. When the mixture is thick, it’s ready to come off the stove. A good way to judge the right thickness is to pull the spoon through the middle of the mixture. Once it’s at a perfect thickness, the mixture will fall back together quite slowly. Also, when you scoop some of it up on the spoon, and tip the spoon upside down, it will “glob” off of the spoon instead of pour off nicely. For me, with the quantities of ingredients I used, it was good to remove from the heat after 25 minutes exactly. Once it’s done, remove from heat and stir a few more times until it’s cooled slightly.
  • I didn’t make a recipe for preserving, and haven’t attempted to do so yet, however if stored in a sterile glass jar (old jam jars are great), or in a clean and sterile container, you can keep this in your fridge for up to 1 week. If you like, you can also freeze this for however long you’d keep jam in the freezer, but I’ve never really been a fan of freezer jam in the past. If you do preserve jams, you can preserve this and store for as long as you normally would any other jam.
Mmmmmmm!!!!!!!! It tastes best after having sat in the fridge over night... So fruity...

Mmmmmmm!!!!!!!! It tastes best after having sat in the fridge over night... So fruity...

Balsamic Marinated Strawberries With Goat Cheese On A Whole Wheat Baguette

Some very good words: sweet, fruity, rich, creamy, decadent, tangy, spicy…

Some very good foods: strawberries, goat’s milk cheese, whole wheat baguette, balsamic vinegar, cinnamon, nutmeg…

I know it’s not quite strawberry season, so I can’t get strawberries locally, but I just couldn’t resist grabbing some on my way home today anyways. On the weekend, I had a salad that consisted of simply: strawberries, goat’s milk cheese (so smooth and creamy!), candied pecans, and lettuce. It was so good that I’ve been craving something with a goat cheese and strawberry mixture constantly since eating that salad. I usually enjoy a strawberry or raspberry balsamic vinaigrette with my salads, but wanted something more filling for my pre-dinner snack. So I decided on this! Two things I can promise you: this is simple, and this is tasty.

Balsamic Marinated Strawberries with Goat Cheese on a Whole Wheat Baguette

Ingredients:

  • Skim goat’s milk cheese (less fat and calories than regular goat’s milk cheese!)
  • Whole wheat baguette
  • 1/2 lb strawberries (this will serve quite a few people, but if it’s just for you that’s okay, the left overs can be used to make some jam! Recipe coming soon! 😉 )
  • About 4 tbsp raspberry balsamic vinegar (you can use regular balsamic vinegar, however I really love the taste of this stuff… I’ll post a picture of it at the end of this post!)
  • About 1 tbsp organic raw cane sugar (or any type of sugar you like)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg

Method:

  • Wash the strawberries, and then thinly slice them. Place in a bowl.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir, cover, and place in the fridge for about one hour.
  • Lightly toast as many slices of the baguette that you want, and spread some of the goat’s milk cheese on each slice.
  • Place a few slices of the marinated strawberries onto each slice of the baguette, and enjoy! 🙂

There’s nothing more to it! So simple, so tasty… Such an interesting blend of flavours! 🙂

You need to taste this! It tastes like it should be bad for you... But it's soooooo good! ;)

You need to taste this! It tastes like it should be bad for you... But it's soooooo good! 😉

The balsamic vinegar I really like :)

The balsamic vinegar I really like 🙂