Green 'N Glo Protein Granola Bars

Need a quick bite on the go? Then you need to try my Green 'n Glo Granola Bars!  Not only are they super quick and simple to make, they are gluten-free, vegan and can very easily be made nut-free.  Plus they are packed with loads of nutrient-dense ingredients that even your kids will love!

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Green 'n Glo Protein Granola Bars

Ingredients:

1 cup of Pitted Dates (packed)

1/4 cup Natural Peanut Butter (almond butter or sunflower butter would work as well)

1/4 cup Maple Syrup (you could also use Honey or Brown Rice Syrup)

1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds

1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds

1 1/2 cups Rolled Oats

2 tbsp Green 'n Glow Protein Mix

1 tbsp Hemp Hearts

1 tsp Vanilla

1/4 cup Chocolate Chips

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Instructions:

  • First you will need to blend your dates using a high-speed blender or food processor.  If your dates are really dry, soak them in hot water for 20 minutes first and then drain.  Place dates and vanilla in blender and process until a paste forms.
  • In a large bowl, combine your oats, pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts, chocolate chips and Green 'n Glow protein mix and mix well.
  •  In a small pot, warm your peanut butter and maple syrup on low heat until well mixed.
  • Remove from heat and stir in your dates until combined.  Then pour mixture over your dry oat and seed mixture and mix well.
  • It will take a few minutes to make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the mixture will be sticky and crumbly
  • Then pour your mixture into a 9x9 pan lined with parchment paper or plastic wrap and spread evenly.  Use clean, wet fingers to firmly press your granola into the pan.  The harder you press, the better your bars will stick together.
  • Place your pan in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up.
  • Once they are set, use your plastic wrap or parchment paper to lift the bars from the pan.  Then simply cut and enjoy!

These Green n' Glow Protein Granola Bars are full of chocolaty-peanut butter goodness.  Plus, with the addition of the Green n' Glow protein, hemp hearts and seeds you'll also be getting a bunch of great plant based protein along with a sweet treat!

Hemp Chia Protein Balls

Need a little afternoon boost? Or how about a post-workout recharge? Don't reach for those processed snacks or bars...the Hemp Chia Protein Balls will satisfy you with some much needed protein and a little bit of sweet.  But don't worry, there's no processed sugars or fats and they're gluten free, vegan and made from just simple, whole ingredients!

Hemp Chia Protein Balls

Hemp Chia Protein Balls

Ingredients:

  • 12 Pitted Dates
  • 3 tbsp unsalted Sunflower Seeds
  • 3 tbsp Walnuts
  • 2 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Hemp Hearts
  • 1 tbsp Unsweetened Coconut
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon

Instructions: 

  1. Place your sunflower seeds, walnuts, chia, hemp and coconut into your food processor or high-speed blender and blend until they are ground into a coarse powder.  
  2. Then add your dates and cinnamon and blend again until all ingredients form into a thick dough.  
  3. Next roll your dough into 8-10 balls.  Place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge until you need them.

These Hemp Chia Protein Balls can be made in just a couple minutes and make for a delicious grab and go snack.  Each ball contains approximately 3g of protein so enjoy 2 or 3 as a quick energy boost!

Blueberry Vanilla Chia Overnight Oats #Glutenfree #Vegan

Want a quick and delicious breakfast that you can prepare the night before in just minutes? Then you gotta try my Blueberry Vanilla Chia Overnight Oats! They are so simple and delicious you'll want them every morning.

Blueberry Vanilla Chia Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Oats
  • 1/3 cup Chia Seeds
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional)
  • 1.5 cups Non-Dairy Milk (I used a mix of Soy and Coconut/Almond)
  • 1 tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Flax Oil (optional)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Instructions:

In a large mason jar or container with a leak-proof lid add all your ingredients together except for the blueberries.  Put the lid on and shake your booty...and your jar until everything is well mixed. Then divide into  2 containers (with lids) and top with blueberries.  Seal your jars or containers and place in the fridge overnight.

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And just like that you have breakfast for the next morning.  The recipe makes 2 servings and is packed with loads of great nutrients.  You'll feel good and full from all the Chia and protein and if you add the Flax you'll get some great Omega-3's.  What a great start to the day!

Bodacious Blueberry Muffins #Glutenfree #Vegan

I really hadn't planned on posting 2 recipes back to back, but after devouring my latest muffin creation I couldn't resist sharing it with you! Plus, it's prime blueberry season and I've got 8L of those bodacious berries to use up!

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Gluten Free & Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix (I used a fab mix from Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery)
  • 2 cups Coconut Flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce ( I used my own homemade one from the freezer)
  • 4 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 4 chia eggs (you could use flax or real eggs as well)
  • 4 cups Sunflower Milk (or substitute your favourite nut or dairy milk)
  • 2 heaped cups of blueberries

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your muffin tins.  This recipe makes 24 muffins and can easily be halved for a smaller batch, but why would you want to?!  In a large bowl, mix together all your dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mix together all your wet ingredients.  Add your wet stuff to your dry stuff and mix well.  Then fold in your blueberries. Fill each of your muffin cups with this yummy batter and bake for 18-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are just golden.  Cool in the muffin tins and then enjoy!

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These muffins are moist, nutritious and super delish! Depending on what flours and milks you use they are perfect for kids lunches too! (nut free)

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These bodacious muffins also freeze well....if they last that long!

Strawberry-Vanilla Chia Pudding

Too busy to cook breakfast in the morning? Try this super easy and nutrient dense Strawberry-Vanilla Chia Pudding.  Not only is is yummy, but it will keep you going all morning. And it's just another wonderful way to eat those fresh, local strawberries...mmm!

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Strawberry-Vanilla Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons Chia Seeds
  • 1/2-1 cup of your favourite milk (I use Almond Coconut Milk)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup of sliced Strawberries (any other berry will work too)
  • Ground Vanilla Bean Powder
  • Nuts (optional) - I added some walnuts and pumpkin seeds for a little crunch
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Instructions:

This Chia Pudding couldn't be any easier to make.  Mix your Chia, milk and a sprinkle of vanilla powder (I used about 1/4 teaspoon) together in a bowl and let sit.  I usually mix this first thing when I wake up and then go about my other morning tasks.  Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once your Chia and milk have gelled to your liking, top with berries and nuts and another sprinkle of ground vanilla.  And voila! Breakfast!

Overnight Pumpkin Pie Chia Oats

Have you tried making overnight no-cook oatmeal?  Well, until recently, neither had I.

I love oatmeal in the Fall and Winter, but once it starts getting warm outside, I have no desire to eat the stuff.  But these no-cook oats are a super easy way to still love your oatmeal all year long.  This stuff is fantastic for an on the go breakfast.  Make it in mason jars and you have an easy, healthy breakfast on the go. And I absolutely love that I can make it up before I go to bed and when I first peak into the fridge in the morning it's all set to go!

The flavour combinations are just about endless as the oats & chia are very neutral tasting and can be mixed with just about anything you can think of.  So lets start with the basic Overnight Chia Oats and then I'll share a couple of my favourite flavour combinations!
Basic Overnight Chia Oats

1/3 cup of Oats & Chia  ( You can use all oats or all Chia, but I like combining the two. 2 parts Oats & 1 part chia)
1/2 cup milk - I use Almond/Coconut milk, but any milk you like works just fine
1/8 teaspoon - Allspice or Pumpkin Pie Spice (depending on the flavour you're going for)
1/4 teaspoon - Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon  Vanilla (or 1/4 teaspoon ground Vanilla bean)

Place all ingredients into an airtight container and SHAKE!  This is where the mason jars come in handy, but anything with a good sealing lid will do.

Put in your fridge and that's it.  In the morning you will have some lovely chia oats.  Now time for the flavours!  Here's 3 combinations I really enjoy and I hope you will too!


Pumpkin Pie Chia Oats

1/3 cup of pumpkin puree (I make my own, but you can find it at the store too)
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds or walnuts
1/2 teaspoon Maple Syrup for drizzling
Add ingredients to your Overnight Chia Oats, mix well and enjoy!

Apple Pie Chia Oats

1/3 cup of Apple sauce
1/4 cup of Walnuts or Pecans
1/2 teaspoon Honey or Maple Syrup for drizzling
Add ingredients to your Overnight Chia Oats, mix well and enjoy!

Cranberry Walnut Chia Oats

I started making this to use up my leftover Cranberry  sauce after Christmas, but love it anytime!
1/4-1/3  cup cranberry sauce or chutney or cooked cranberries
1/4 cup Walnuts
1/2 teaspoon Honey for drizzling
Juice from 1/2 an Orange

I'm so addicted to making this stuff and with the chia it keeps me going all morning. What's your favourite overnight oat flavour?

Cheers,


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Tip Tuesday: No Eggs? No Problem...bake away!


Recently I've learned that I'm allergic to eggs along with a host of some of my other favourite foods.  Yes, I liked eggs; scrambled, poached, fried etc.  As a main dish it wasn't so hard to give up, but I did find it more difficult to remove them from recipes. So I thought I would share some easy egg substitutions to get through the holiday baking season.  I've tried a few and surprisingly they work quite well.  Who knew?
  1. Flax Egg - yes ground flax can be used as an egg substitute. I've used it in more savoury dishes as opposed to the sweet.  Simply mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax with 3 tablespoons of water an let sit for about 20 minutes = 1 egg. The mixture will thicken up and then can be added to your recipe.
  2. Chia Egg - pretty much the same as the flax egg.  However, the chia is pretty much tasteless so I find it can be used in sweet and less savoury items.  I've used it in pancakes & muffins and it worked like a dream.  Plus you get the added health benefits too! So 1 tablespoon of whole chia seeds  + 3 tablespoons of water = 1 egg.  Let sit for about 15 to 20 minutes until it's like jelly.  Mix occasionally while you wait.
  3. Applesauce - it's fantastic in brownies, muffins and cakes.  Adds lots of moisture and some nice flavour too! 1/3 cup of applesauce = 1 egg or  1/4 cup of applesauce + 1tsp baking powder = 1egg. 
  4. Cornstarch - it may seem a little strange but I've done it and it works.  Check out my post on cookies.  Great for puddings & cookies! 1 tablespoon of cornstarch + 2 tablespoons of water = 1 egg.
  5. Bananas - you may already know this one.  I used to use them all the time, but alas, I am allergic to bananas.  They work great in muffins, breads, brownies and cakes. 1/2 pureed banana = 1 egg (about 1/4 cup)
There are numerous other egg substitutes out there.  From tofu to yogurt to water to flour and everything else in between.

So whether you're vegan or just ran out of eggs in the middle of your baking marathon, don't worry...you'll likely have something in your pantry to get you through your recipe.

Check out Chef in You for lots of great egg substitutes.  Got a fave egg-less tip? Please share.

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Foodie Friday - Chocolate Cherry Chia Truffles

I found this recipe from one of my fave gluten-free ladies - Kathy Smart!  These addictive bonbons have no added sugar and are gluten-free.  Plus they are a cinch to make and taste unbelievable!  So thought it only fair to share this amazing recipe . I changed it up a bit adding my own little twist!  Hope you enjoy them as much as we have.  (I've made them twice this week so far!)

Chocolate Cherry Chia Truffles
(original recipe from Kathy Smart)

1/2  cup Sunflower Seeds (Original recipe calls for walnuts, but  I wanted to be able to send them in the kids lunches so used seeds instead)
1/2 cup dates - pitted
1/2 cup dried cherries
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
4 tablespoons whole chia seeds
pinch of cinnamon & sea salt
Unsweetened Shredded Coconut - for coating (optional)

Place all ingredients (except coconut) into your food processor or Vitamix.  Blend ingredients until crumbly and sticking together.  Use slightly moistened hands and roll into small balls.  If using coconut,  place some in your hands and  press into the balls. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes and then enjoy! 

These little bites are chewy, chocolaty and decadent.  The kids loved them!  And so did I.  Thinking I may make a grown-up version for the holidays spiked with a little liqueur.  Yum!
 

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This post was shared on the following the Girl Meets Nourishment blog, check it out to read more great articles!

Foodie Friday - 3 Ways to Make Mushy Bananas Marvelous

I was inspired by my breakfast this morning and thought that you might enjoy a few of my banana saving recipes.  A lot of people don't care for or know what to do with brown mushy bananas and just end up pitching them before the fruit flies set in.  But before you resort to banana abandonment check out these super fast, easy and tasty ways to use up those browning bananas.

1.  Smoothies - this is the easiest way to use up bananas.  Mushy bananas are a great addition to any smoothie by providing some sweetness and a little extra thickening.  We don't use a lot of fruit in our smoothies, but the kids love a little banana in theirs.  Not ready to make a smoothie in the morning?  Just peel the banana and freeze in a container to use for next time.  I always have a few frozen at any given time.  Great for a quick breakfast smoothie or to whip up some last minute muffins or bread.  Speaking of muffins...

2. 5 Minute Muffins - seriously - 5 minutes!  I found this recipe recently and thought it was too good to be true. But after making them I discovered they are just too good...period.  I made them with peanut butter, but the next batch will be with Wow Butter so my daughter can take them to school.  I froze half and they still come out great from the freezer.  Just pop them in the toaster oven or just take them out the night before; so delicious and moist.  Can't believe they are gluten-free and grain-free. Amazing!  Thanks to Whole Lifestyle Nutrition for sharing this recipe.

 Prep Time: 5 minutes   Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins or 24 mini muffins
Recipe adapted from The Sweet Spot
  
Ingredients
  • 1 cup nut butter (ex. cashew, peanut, almond, and sunflower seed)
  • 2 medium sized bananas (The more ripe, the sweeter!)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (try making your own!)
  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey(or other sweeteners such as maple syrup, stevia, etc.)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Toppings: dehydrated unsweetened coconut, raisins, flax seed, dark chocolate chips, cinnamon, and/or anything else you can think of. I dotted the tops with blueberries and I'm having visions of strawberry coconut or raspberry & dark chocolate.  The options are endless!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor. You can also use a stick blender if you have one.
  3. Blend until well mixed.
  4. Pour batter into a greased muffin tin. You can also use a mini muffin tin to make 24 mini muffins.
  5. Add additional toppings of your choice to each muffin and lightly stir into each cup
  6. Cook time: 15 minutes for full size muffins and 10 minutes for mini muffins.
  7. Reheat in a toaster oven for about 4 minutes at 350 degrees F, or eat at room temperature.

3.  Chia Pudding - if you haven't tried Chia pudding yet, you really need too.  Chia is a power-packed seed from South America.  These tiny mild flavoured seeds are chalk full of vitamins and nutrients.  They are full of fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, manganese and protein and can be added to just about anything.  I've used them in smoothies and added them to muffins and cookies, but my new fave is Chia Pudding.  When placed in liquid the seeds soak it up and turn to gel. I liken it to a tinier version of tapioca.  So here's my super easy Tropical Chia Pudding Recipe:

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of Chia
1/2 cup of Almond Milk (or any other type of milk)
1/2 a ripe banana
1 teaspoon of unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
* Optional Stevia to taste

Instructions

Mix the Chia, Almond Milk, Coconut (and Stevia if using) in a bowl.  Stir every 5 minutes or so to break up any lumps.  You'll notice fairly quickly that the seeds start to gel in the bowl.  Now some sites tell you to mix the pudding the night before.  I've done mine first thing in the morning and it's been ready to eat in about 20-30 minutes.  Feel free to add additional milk if the pudding is too thick.  If your banana isn't super mushy then simply slice on top.  If it's really brown, mash with a fork and mix into your pudding.  And voila!  A super healthy, tasty and easy pudding for breakfast or dessert. Enjoy!

Tried some of these recipes?  Let me know how you like them.

In the meantime, I'll be waiting for my bananas to ripen!
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