Birthday Cake Protein Bites

I knew I would be back with more protein bites sooner or later! They’re one of my favorite things to meal prep on a Sunday. Simple to make and a great snack to take to work. These are sweetened naturally with dates. Dates can be eaten fresh, but are generally used dried. There are many different types of dates with one of the most popular varieties being Medjool dates. One date contains about 66 calories, 2 grams of fiber (soluble and insoluble), tons of potassium, vitamin A, and is equivalent to one serving of carbohydrates. Dates are going to be making an appearance in any recipe I make similar to this one! You can’t go wrong with a protein bite recipe like this.


Birthday Cake Protein Bites

Ingredients

  • 6 pitted dried dates
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup creamy cashew butter
  • 1/4 tsp butter extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp rainbow sprinkles

Directions

Soak dates in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Reserve water. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. You should add 3-4 tbsp of reserved water to the mixture while blending. Roll dough into small balls (should get about 12) and roll in additional sprinkles. Store in the refrigerator.

Number of servings: 4 | Serving size: 3 bites
Calories: 282, total fat: 12 g, total carbohydrates: 33 g, dietary fiber: 4 g, sugars: 9 g, protein: 13 g

What is your favorite snack made with protein powder? Tell me below!

Raquel

Wild Blueberry Power Smoothie

Wild blueberries are different than regular cultivated berries. They have a much more intense flavor that is tart and sweet. These flavors are perfect for a sweet smoothie! Wild blueberries have twice the antioxidant capacity than cultivated berries. Plus they are packed with manganese and fiber and have less sugar than cultivated berries. Frozen wild blueberries are incredibly easy to use and are great in many baking recipes or used to top yogurt, pancakes, waffles, etc. Look for wild blueberries at your favorite grocery store there are many brands including store brand wild blueberries.

*Sponsored post


Wild Blueberry Power Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen mango
  • Handful frozen spinach or kale
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 scoop unsweetened protein powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Directions

Add all ingredients to a blender (I like to add the milk last) and blend until smooth!

Number of servings: 2 | Serving size: 1 cup smoothie
Calories: 132, total fat: 4 g, total carbohydrates: 14 g, dietary fiber: 6 g, sugars: 8 g, protein: 10 g

What is you favorite way to enjoy wild blueberries? Tell me below!

Raquel

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

Peas, Prosciutto and Parmesan

This month we are celebrating 2016 for the Recipe Redux! I scoured all of my favorite cookbooks to find a recipe I wanted to share with you all that was on page 216. The original recipe I found was Peas, Pancetta and Prosecco from Giada de Laurentiis’ cookbook Happy Cooking.

Green peas are a great simple veggie to cook with. You can add frozen peas to many dishes and they will thaw out and be perfect by the time you are done cooking. They have dietary fiber, vitamin K and vitamin C among other nutrients. This dish turned out so yummy I took it to a holiday party this past weekend it it was a hit! You wouldn’t expect mint to work well with these flavors, but it adds a great fresh bite.


Peas, Prosciutto and Parmesan

Ingredientspeas-2

  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place prosciutto in a single layer on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Let cool and prosciutto will become crispy. Meanwhile heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute shallots until translucent about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add peas and vegetable broth. When peas have thawed add fresh mint and Parmesan. Remove from heat and crumble prosciutto over the top. Serve warm.

Number of servings: 6 | Serving size: 1/3 cup
Calories: 161, total fat: 10 g, total carbohydrates: 7 g, dietary fiber: 2 g, sugars: 3 g, protein: 12 g

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What’s your favorite simple veggie side dish? Tell me below!

Raquel

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Coconut Date Power Bites

These little bites pack in the protein! Not only are they a healthy post workout snack or afternoon pick me up, but they’re sweetened naturally and could be a light breakfast on the go. Dates are my favorite natural sweetener. They can be eaten fresh, but are generally used dried. There are many different types of dates with one of the most popular varieties being Medjool dates. One date contains about 66 calories, 2 grams of fiber (soluble and insoluble), tons of potassium, vitamin A, and is equivalent to one serving of carbohydrates. Dates are a great sweet binder for recipes similar to these. They can also be stuffed as a delicious appetizer!


Coconut Date Power Bites

Ingredientscoconut-balls-1

  • 6 pitted dried dates
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tbsp creamy cashew butter
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions

Soak dates in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Reserve water. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. You should add 3-4 tbsp of reserved water to the mixture while blending. Roll dough into small balls (should get about 18) and roll in additional coconut. Store in the refrigerator.

Number of servings: 6 | Serving size: 3 bites
Calories: 270, total fat: 12 g, total carbohydrates: 35 g, dietary fiber: 8 g, sugars: 18 g, protein 10 g

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Want to see more recipes like this? Tell me below!

Raquel

Alternative Flours and How to Use Them

With so many allergy friendly recipes floating around you’ve probably seen some that use alternative flours. They aren’t ingredients to be afraid of, but they definitely bake differently than traditional all-purpose flour. If you are not gluten free or disinterested in alternative flours I recommend using whole wheat flour to bump up the nutrition with one simple exchange!

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My Top 6 Alternative Flours

  1. Almond flour – Almond flour is made of blanched almond that are ground into a meal (you may see it labeled as almond meal). Because it’s made from almonds this flour is high in protein, healthy fats and vitamin E. This is a great alternative for bread crumbs and it works well in baked good such as brownies, banana bread and pound cake.
  2. Coconut flour – Coconut flour is made from dried coconut meat that is ground into a flour. Coconut is high in fat and fiber so the flour is as well. This type of flour has a slightly sweet taste and works well in baked goods that are dense. It should be used in combination with other flours and ingredients that help recipes rise, such as eggs.
  3. Oat flour – Oats are gluten free if they are labeled as such. Oat flour is made from ground oats. The bonus to this flour is that you can make it at home from regular old oats! If you’re in a pinch this will work just fine in most recipes. Grind oats in a food processor until it forms a fine powder.
  4. Buckwheat flour – Buckwheat is also gluten free even though it contains the word “wheat.” Buckwheat seeds are ground to make buckwheat flour. This flour has a slightly nutty flavor and it is rich in fiber, calcium and protein. Use this flour in recipes that do not need to rise, such as pancakes and cookies.
  5. Chickpea flour – Chickpea flour (gram flour) is made from ground garbanzo beans (chickpeas). This flour is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. It does taste like chickpeas so it is great to use in chocolate baked goods and pizza crust. You can even use it to make a super easy hummus. It should be combined with other flours in recipes that need to rise. This flour is high in fiber.
  6. Quinoa flour – Quinoa flour is made from ground quinoa seeds. Quinoa is a complete protein meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids. This is another type of flour that you can make at home! Quinoa flour should be combined with other flours in most recipes.

P.S. Ground flaxseed is one of my favorite things to add to baked goods, salads and other meals to add fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Raquel

Wild Blueberry Jam Crostini

Wild blueberries are different than regular cultivated berries. They have a much more intense flavor that is tart and sweet. These flavors are perfect for this holiday appetizer recipe! Wild blueberries have twice the antioxidant capacity than cultivated berries. Plus they are packed with manganese and fiber and have less sugar than cultivated berries. Frozen wild blueberries are incredibly easy to use and are great in many baking recipes or used to top yogurt, pancakes, waffles, etc. Look for wild blueberries at your favorite grocery store there are many brands including store brand wild blueberries.

*Sponsored post


Wild Blueberry Jam Crostini

Ingredientsblueberry-crostini-5

  • 10 oz frozen wild blueberries
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Whole wheat baguette
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp honey

Directions

In a small saucepan, combine frozen wild blueberries, juice of half a lemon and thyme leaves from 2 sprigs. Cook for 10-15 minutes until mixture reduces and thickens while stirring on occasion. Meanwhile, cut baguette on a diagonal into 1/2 inch slices. Toast the slices. Spread each slice with goat cheese and drizzle with honey. Top each slice with wild blueberry jam and sprinkle with some fresh thyme.

Number of servings: 6 servings | Serving size: 2 crostini
Calories: 120, total fat: 4 g, total carbohydrates: 17 g, dietary fiber: 2 g, sugars: 10 g, protein: 4 g

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How do you like to use wild blueberries? Tell me below!

Raquel

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

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are so versatile. They can be sweet or they can be savory. There are so many herbs and spices that pair well with them. Some of my favorite combinations are brown sugar & cinnamon and garlic & rosemary. These twice baked sweet potatoes are simple and I hid a little turmeric in there as well! I listed these under Side Dishes, however I like eating these as my main dish with a salad or some steamed veggies on the side. Take your pick!

That bright orange color of sweet potatoes signifies vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene (just like carrots). They are also a great source of vitamin C, copper, potassium, vitamin B6 and fiber. Sweet potatoes are considered a complex carbohydrate.


Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Ingredientssweet-potatoes-2

  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 slices turkey bacon
  • Chives for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Wash sweet potatoes and poke holes around then with a fork. Cook sweet potatoes for 45 minutes-1 hour depending on their size. Let cool until you can handle them. Cut sweet potatoes in half and scoop out the pulp. In a bowl, combine pulp, nonfat Greek yogurt, salt, pepper and turmeric. Put mixture back into sweet potatoes evenly and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Meanwhile, cook turkey bacon until crispy. When sweet potatoes are done top with more yogurt, crispy bacon and chives.

Number of servings: 4 | Serving size: 1/2 sweet potato
Calories: 138, total fat: 4 g, total carbohydrates: 19 g, dietary fiber: 2 g, sugars: 7 g, protein: 6 g

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How do you like to top your twice baked potatoes? Tell me below!

Raquel

Dark Chocolate Cherry Oat Bars

The perfect afternoon pick-me-up is some chocolate. These Dark Chocolate Cherry Oat Bars totally satisfy my chocolate craving. Dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate. Plus, I’m sure you know that chocolate is packed with antioxidants! A good quality dark chocolate will contain extra flavanols and fiber compared to other types of chocolate. Flavanols are a phytonutrient that may be beneficial for heart health. One ounce of dark chocolate contains 2 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar (less than other chocoalte) and 13 mg of calcium.


Dark Chocolate Cherry Oat Bars

Ingredientsdark-choc-cherry-2

  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup agave
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

In a microwave safe bowl melt together the almond butter and agave for about 30 seconds. Add more time if needed. In a large bowl, combine oats, flaxseed, cinnamon and salt. Add warm almond butter and agave mixture. Next, stir in dried cherries and chocolate chips. The chocolate chips should melt some from the warm almond butter mixture. Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Press oat mixture into the dish and freeze for one hour. Cut into bars and store in the refrigerator.

Number of servings: 9 | Serving size: 1 bar
Calories: 207, total fat: 11 g, total carbohydrates: 41 g, dietary fiber: 4 g, sugars: 8 g, protein: 6 g

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What is your favorite snack to make at home? Tell me below!

Raquel

Breakfast Habits to Keep

Breakfast should start your day off on the right foot. Making good choices at breakfast can help sustain your healthy lifestyle and keep you on the right track. Plus, don’t forget about your daily coffee. You breakfast and totally make or break your day! My breakfast habits are hard to break and I hope you can make these your habits too. Try my Quinoa Breakfast Oats, Easy Egg Bake or check out my other breakfast recips for new breakfast ideas!

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5 Breakfast Habits to Keep

  1. Actually eat breakfast. Don’t skip the opportunity to kickstart your metabolism and add all sorts of nutrients to your day! Set some time aside to make a quick breakfast or have some options ready to go.
  2. Make breakfast at home. Props to your for eating breakfast. Now the challenge is making sure to make it yourself! Grabbing breakfast out on the go can pack in extra sugar, too much fat and not enough nutrients.
  3. Add extra protein. Don’t settle for boring cereal or a granola bar. Add some eggs, milk, breakfast meat or protein packed grains to keep you feeling full until lunch. Even protein powder or yogurt in a smoothie will give you an extra boost.
  4. Incorporate fruits and veggies. A side of fruit or veggies can sometimes be hard to add at breakfast, but get creative! You want all the extra fiber they provide. Berries, bananas, citrus fruit and tropical fruit are good with waffles, pancakes and yogurt. Fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, etc. are great with eggs. Plus avocado on the side adds healthy fats.
  5. Make your coffee smart. Don’t overload your coffee with sugar and fat. Lattes, flavored coffees and mixed coffee drinks will pack on the calories. Aim for low fat milk or milk alternative and a sugar substitute or limited sugar for a healthier option.

Raquel

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie {Low FODMAP}

Okay guys, it’s pumpkin season! I haven’t indulged in a Pumpkin Spice Latte yet… however as soon as it hits 70 degrees it’s happening. So in the meantime I’ll settle for this delicious low FODMAP smoothie with REAL pumpkin and my favorite pumpkin pie spice. Pumpkin is actually a great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants. It is packed with carotenoids that give pumpkin its bright orange color. One cup of pumpkin contains 7 grams of fiber, 505 milligrams of potassium and 10 milligrams of vitamin C. Plus there’s a bit of protein in there – about 3 grams per one cup. Enjoy everything pumpkin because fall will be here and gone before you know it!


Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Ingredientspumpkin-smoothie-2

  • 8 oz French Vanilla ProNourish
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • Ice cubes

Directions

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth. Sprinkle with extra pumpkin pie spice and enjoy!

Number of servings: 2 | Servings size: 1 cup
Calories: 166, total fat: 2 g, total carbohydrates: 28 g, dietary fiber: 3 g, sugars: 15 g, protein: 8 g

This recipe was developing using low FODMAP ingredients but the recipe itself has not been tested for its FODMAP content.

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Who’s ready for fall flavors? Tell me below!

Raquel

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Nestlé Health Science and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. As a participant in this contest, I also received a free trial sample of ProNourishTM, a low FODMAP nutritional drink developed by Nestlé Health Science. I was not compensated for my time.”