Southwest Breakfast Potato Hash

Potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates and potassium. Our bodies use carbohydrates as energy. This breakfast hash is a great pre-workout meal before your mid-morning workout if you top it with an egg! All varieties of potatoes are much higher in energy and carbohydrates than other vegetables. I was inspired to make this when I spotted a potato medley at Trader Joe’s. Plus I had some left over Black Bean & Corn Salsa from the Superbowl so this turned out to be a win! Potato haters beware – all foods fit.

*Sponsored post


Southwest Breakfast Potato Hash

Ingredients

  • 1 lb potatoes, cubed
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup Black Bean & Corn Salsa
  • 1 tbsp cilantro

Directions

Heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add cubed potatoes to oil then add garlic powder, onion powder and cumin. Toss to coat potatoes in oil and cook until crispy about 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine crispy potatoes and salsa in a baking dish. Place in oven for 15 minutes. Top with fresh cilantro and serve.

Number of servings: 4 | Servings size: 1 cup
Calories: 208, total fat: 9 g, total carbohydrates: 34 g, dietary fiber: 6 g, sugars: 2 g, protein: 6 g

What is your favorite variety of potato? Tell me below! I’m into purple potatoes these days!

Raquel

By posting this recipe I a entering a recipe context sponsored by Potatoes USA and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

recipe-redux-linky-logo

The 411: Blogger Trends

As a Registered Dietitian and foodie I love following a variety of other health and nutrition influencers on Instagram. Each day many of them post about using some products that are a little unusual and may be new to their followers. There are some products they use that I also love and some that most people can skip. Aside from multiple brands of nut butter, protein powders, protein bars and teas there are some more unique products being shared daily. Let’s talk about the most popular products trending with bloggers.

Top Blogger Trends

  • Kombucha – This is one of my favorite products. Kombucha is a fermented tea that is naturally packed with probiotics. The best for gut health! (I love Health-Ade kombucha.) Be aware that this drink does contain sugar and is not calorie free.
  • Matcha green tea – This is a special type of green tea that is produced in Japan. Green tea leaves are ground into a powder. Matcha tea is high in antioxidants and more potent than other teas because the whole leaf is ground. Try a matcha latte for a calming caffeinated beverage.
  • Maca root powder – Not to be confused with matcha! This is a root vegetable grown in the Andes Mountains in Peru. This is especially cool because my family is from Peru! Check out my travels here. Maca root contains amino acids, zinc, magnesium, iron, B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E! It is known to increase energy and stamina. Add the powder in small amounts to smoothies and other drinks.
  • Spirulina – This is a type of blue-green algae available as a powder. Over half the make up of spirulina is amino acids! It also contains thiamine, iron and calcium among other nutrients. Like maca you can add this to smoothie and other drinks.
  • Octane oil – This is derived from coconut oil and made specifically for making “bulletproof coffee.”  If you have never heard of bulletproof coffee don’t bother looking it up! The calories and fat content outweigh the supposed benefits. Go for a regular coffee or matcha tea for energy and healthy fats from real food sources throughout your day.
  • Ghee butter – This is clarified butter that is higher in fat than regular butter because the water and milk solids have been removed. It is another ingredient that can be put in “bulletproof coffee.” Ghee has a history of medicinal uses that originated in ancient India, but again don’t be fooled by the potential benefits. Eat your healthy fats throughout the day from more nutrient dense sources.
  • Maple water – This is actually the substance that comes from maple trees before it is turned into maple syrup. Companies producing maple water claim it is loaded with hydrating compounds including vitamins and minerals, but there is no scientific research to back this. Stick to drinking regular, hydrating H20 and save your money.
  • Drinking vinegar – Apple cider vinegar has some supposed health benefits such as aiding in weight loss, helping to control blood sugar levels and aiding in digestion. Taking a shot in the morning is not ideal for most people so there are some new products called drinking vinegar. It is basically a diluted vinegar drink with some added sugars. Again, stick to drinking water or kombucha and save your money.

Raquel

Double Chocolate Peppermint Protein Cookies

It’s the season for baking! I love getting my hands on holiday cookies from cookie exchanges, holiday parties and family. One of my favorite recipes is a chocolate sandwich cookie with peppermint filling. I decided to change it up into a healthy, protein holiday cookie. There are many great healthy cookie recipes out there, but I like mine without oats and with some added protein. Chocolate doesn’t hurt either! Top your cookies with whatever you have on hand – candy canes, sprinkles or chocolate covered pretzels.


Double Chocolate Peppermint Protein Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flourprotein-cookie-4
  • 1/2 cup chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp peppermint chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, protein powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract and peppermint extract. Add in coconut sugar. Add flour mixtures in a few batches and mix until combined. Stir in dark chocolate chips. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough into balls and gently press on parchment paper to flatten cookies. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for 10-15 minutes before decorating. Create a double boiler by boiling water and placing a glass bowl overtop. Melt white chocolate chips and peppermint chips together. Dip cookies into melted chocolate and sprinkle with toppings of choice. Place in the refrigerator to let chocolate harden. Enjoy!

Number of servings: 12 | Serving size: 1 cookie
Calories: 200, total fat: 11 g, total carbohydrates: 23 g, dietary fiber: 2 g, sugars: 13 g, protein: 6 g

protein-cookie-5

What’s your favorite healthy holiday cookie? Tell me below!

Raquel

Your Guide to Cooking Oils

When it comes to cooking oil I generally reach for the olive oil. But I do have most other cooking oils in my pantry as well. Every cooking oil can be used for something a little different. The best oils for frying have high smoke points which include avocado oil, peanut oil, palm oil and sesame oil. Oils that work well for baking include coconut oil, palm oil, canola oil and safflower and sunflower oil. Most oils are great for sauteing and light oils like olive oil, grapeseed oil and sesame oil are good for dressings.

Your Guide to Cooking Oils

  • Olive oil – Made from pressed olives and a mainstay in the Mediterranean diet. It is high in monounsaturated fats which make it heart healthy. Regular olive oil has a high smoke point of 470 degrees F while extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has a low smoke point of 325 degrees F. Use olive oil for high heat cooking and vinaigrette’s and EVOO is great as a finishing oil.
  • Coconut oil – Made from pressed fruit of the coconut palm tree. It is high in saturated fats. Use it for light flavored dishes as it has a distinct taste.
  • Grapeseed oil – Made from the seeds of grapes this oil is high in polyunsaturated fats. This oil has a high smoke point at 420 degrees F. It is great on salad or with herbs for dipping.
  • Canola oil – Made from pressed rapeseed plants. It has omega-3 fatty acids and it is low in saturated fat. The smoke point is about 400 degrees F. Use it for sauces and desserts such as soft cakes or brownies.
  • Avocado oil – Made from pressed avocados this oil is high in monounsaturated fats. This oil has a high smoke point at 520 degrees F. It is great for sauteing, roasting and making a vinaigrette.
  • Sesame oil – Made from sesame seeds so this oil is high in antioxidants. The smoke point is 410 degrees F. Use it for sauteing, roasting and frying. Toasted sesame oil has a more distinct flavor.

Raquel

Game Day Ranch Pretzel Bites

Football season is here! These are my favorite game day snack and they’re perfect for tailgating as well! I like to use Wege Broken Sourdough Pretzels for this recipe, but if you can’t get them any other sourdough pretzels will also work. This recipe uses quite a bit of coconut oil. While I wouldn’t recommend always using coconut oil due to its high saturated fat content, using it on occassion is totally acceptable. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which increases absorption of these fats. There are many other believed benefits to using coconut oil, but I prefer olive oil for most of my cooking. Coconut oil helps make this recipe so delicious. Try not to get addicted to these pretzels!


Game Day Ranch Pretzel Bites

Ingredientsdsc_1462

  • 30 oz broken sourdough pretzels
  • 1 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning mix
  • 1/2 tbsp dill weed
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl combine coconut oil, ranch seasoning mix, dill weed and garlic salt. Break up any large pieces of pretzel. Add broken pretzel pieces to oil mixture. Stir to cover all of the pretzels. Layer pretzels on two baking sheets and place in oven. Bake for one hour stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool and enjoy while watching your favorite team!

Number of servings: 20 | Serving size: 1/2 cup
Calories: 196, total fat: 12 g, total carbohydrates: 20 g, dietary fiber: 2 g, sugars: 0 g, protein: 2 g

dsc_1470

What’s your favorite game day snack? Tell me below!

Raquel

Orange Cranberry Protein Muffins

Minneola oranges are a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit. They are a bit tart, but sweet as well. You can absolutely make this recipe with regular oranges, but I had Minneolas on hand! This type of citrus is available from January to April. Oranges of course are a great source of vitamin C. Don’t forget they also have fiber, folate, and thiamine. One orange is approximately 120 calories and has 3 grams of fiber and 83 milligrams vitamin C! The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 60 mg per day. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for collagen production and repairing and maintaining skin, bones, and teeth. It acts as an antioxidant which protects cells against damage caused by free radicals and boosts our immune system against viruses and bacteria, as well as improves iron absorption.

Bonus: this recipe is made using protein powder. Baking with protein powder can be tricky, but it’s a fun way to add protein to baked goods. Make sure to store any baked items made with protein powder in the refrigerator! More protein powder recipes to come.


Orange Cranberry Protein Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powderDSC_0704
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp Minneola orange zest
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • Juice 1/2 Minneola orange
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together protein powder, almond flour, baking soda, and orange zest. Add in egg whites, almond milk, coconut oil, and orange juice. Stir until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Fold in dried cranberries. Spray 6 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Add batter evenly. Bake 15 minutes. Let cool before removing from muffin tin. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Serves: 6 | Serving size: 1 muffin
Calories: 176, total fat: 12 g, total carbohydrates: 9 g, dietary fiber: 1 g, sugars: 5 g, protein: 7 g

DSC_0693

Have you baked with protein powder before? What’s your favorite recipe? Tell me below!

Raquel

Three Things

threethings1-8

1. Do you know your nutrition facts from fiction? Let’s set a few things straight. Sugar does not cause diabetes. The main risk factors for diabetes are overweight/obesity, inactivity, and family history. Fats are a necessary part of our diet. Yes, some fats are better for you than others, but they are important. Unsaturated fats promote heart health. Low carb diets may help you lose weight, but this is mainly due to the fact that you are also restricting calories. Carbohydrates are found in most foods, fruits and dairy products included! So it is not possible to avoid carbs altogether. “Cleanses” do no cleanse your body. Your liver and kidneys will do the work for you!

2. Coconut oil has become recently become popular due to some diets promoting its use. Coconut oil is high in saturated fatty acids. This type of fat can increase your risk for heart disease. The positive side of coconut oil is the medium chain triglycerides which are easier to absorb. This can be helpful in people with absorption issues. Coconut oil can be good for baking, but in general I recommend using other types of oil, such as olive oil, for cooking.

3. Apparently, Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady stick to a very restrictive diet. Their private chef has spoken out and shared what the couple eats. The diet consists of 80% vegetables and 20% lean protein. They don’t eat white sugar, white flour, MSG, coffee, caffeine, fungus, dairy, and fruit. Sounds like it takes a lot of work to be a supermodel… I’ll keep my occasional cupcake and slice of pizza.

Raquel