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

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

Raquel

Three Things


1. Workouts that I can do at home are a lifesaver during the holidays! With so much traveling and no access to a gym at times I love having ideas of what to do with limited resources. Check out these bodyweight exercise that you can do just about anywhere! How do you keep up your workouts over the holidays?

2. Fermented foods are still going strong on the market. As long as kombucha remains on the list I’ll be supporting the trend! Creating new flavors that mask the fermented flavor make this trend more appealing to the general public. My favorite kombucha is the Health-Ade Pink Lady Apple flavor. I love the probiotic benefits of fermented foods.

3. This is one of the best gift guides I have come across! A fitness stocking stuffer gift guide because everyone can use more fitness goodies. From new water bottles and earphones to new Nikes and gear. What fitness gifts are you hoping to get this year?

Raquel

Cheesy Chicken & Spinach Meatballs

I love a good party appetizer that is not only tasty, but provides me with some protein as well. These chicken meatballs satisfy any craving for cheese and also provide 30 grams of protein per serving! I had to sneak a little spinach in there just for good measure. The homemade tomato sauce makes enough to have extra on the side for dipping. Ground chicken is a nice alternative to ground beef. These meatballs would also be good with ground turkey. Enjoy these at your next holiday party!


Cheesy Chicken & Spinach Meatballs with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoesmeatballs-1
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1.5 lbs ground chicken
  • 3 ounces baby spinach, chopped and wilted
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

In a medium pot, saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes until sauce thickens and remove from heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine ground chicken, spinach, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan, egg and a pinch of salt and pepper. In a skillet heat olive oil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Form ground chicken mixture into balls (should make about 18 small meatballs) and brown in the skillet on all sides. In a baking dish, add a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom. Place browned meatballs in the dish and cover with additional sauce, 1/4 cup Parmesan and mozzarella. Bake meatballs until they are cooked through and the cheese is browned and bubbly – about 15 minutes. Enjoy with additional tomato sauce.

Number of servings: 6 | Serving size: 3 meatballs
Calories: 354, total fat: 19 g, total carbohydrates: 16 g, dietary fiber: 4 g, sugars: 6 g, protein: 30 g

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What is your favorite protein-filled appetizer? Tell me below!

Raquel

Individual Apple Cranberry Tarts

Holiday season is upon us! This month for the Recipe Redux we were challenged to share a healthy holiday dessert. My favorite healthy desserts always incorporate fruit as one of the main ingredients. This dessert has apple, pear and fresh cranberries. Cranberries are packed with vitamins C, vitamin E, vitamin K, manganese and copper. They also contain proanthocyanidins (PACs) or tannins which are believed to be related to the prevention of urinary tract infections. Fresh cranberries can be used to make cranberry sauce or baked into desserts. I love using cranberries during the holiday season.


Individual Apple Cranberry Tarts

Ingredientsapple-dessert-1

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pasty, thawed
  • 1 Granny smith apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 Anjou pear, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine brown sugar, lemon, vanilla extract and cinnamon in a large microwave safe bowl. Add sliced apples, pears and whole cranberries. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Remove mixture, stir and microwave again for 30 seconds. Cut puff pastry into 8 squares. Evenly distribute fruit mixture to each puff pastry square. Drizzle with extra syrup at the bottom of the bowl.. Place tarts on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until edges are golden brown. Serve warm.

Number of servings: 8 | Serving size: 1 tart
Calories: 240, total fat: 12 g, total carbohydrates: 33 g, dietary fiber: 5 g, sugars: 12 g, protein: 3 g

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What’s your favorite family holiday dessert? Tell me below!

Raquel

Three Things

threethings12-18

1. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. A new study suggests that fish oil can transform cells from fat-storing to fat-burning. Fish oil works by activating receptors in the digestive tract, which then fires the sympathetic nervous system, and helps storage cells metabolize fat. Fish oil pills are available as a supplement, but omega-3’s are readily available from food sources. Fatty fish, walnuts, and flaxseed are great sources.

2. Ditch the diet fads and quick fixes for your New Year’s Resolution. Try promising yourself a healthful lifestyle instead. Setting practical and achievable goals is key. Making one small change a week can create a large change in yourself! Research suggests habits take three weeks to form so don’t give up so quickly! Make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian to jump start your progress. Ideas for small changes: drink an extra glass of water each day, 15 extra minutes of activity each day, add an extra veggie with your favorite meal, try one new veggie a week! It’s that simple.

3. My top ten healthy holiday tips are keeping me on track so far this season! Here are a few more tips to help you push through. Losing the stretchy pants may not be number one on my list, but getting in your veggies is definitely important.

Raquel

Healthy, Happy Holidays

November has flown by! Thanksgiving is this week and before you know it Christmas will be here. The holidays are a time to savor and enjoy, but they don’t have to mean overindulging. Here are my tips for staying on track throughout the holiday season.

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Top 10 Healthy Holiday Tips

  1. Don’t go to party hungry! Of course there is going to be food at any holiday event, but showing up starving can lead to overindulging. Have a small snack or meal before heading to your event. This will lead to smaller portions and less temptation to overeat.
  2. Bring your own food. If guests are each bringing a dish to the gathering make something tasty and healthy. This will ensure that you will have at least one healthy option to put on your plate. (This tip goes for non-holiday related events too! Think cookouts, tailgating, etc.)
  3. Survey your options. Check out all your options and figure out what you want most! Fill one plate with your favorites and save room for one portion of dessert. If you start filling your plate before viewing everything you may end up taking too much.
  4. Remember portion sizes. A small or reasonable sized portion of unhealthy eats is okay! Don’t restrict yourself too much otherwise you’ll end up wanting everything at once.
  5. Choose beverages wisely. Alcoholic beverages are always going to be offered. Try to refrain from drinking sugar-loaded holiday drinks. Stick to spirits with mixers such as club soda, diet soda, lemon, or lime. Light beers and wine are also better options. Remember to stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water before drinking alcohol and drink water in between beverages.
  6. Cheat smart. Have that one cookie, one slice of pie, or one extra scoop of mashed potatoes. Do it on occasion and do it when you feel like you’ve been staying on track. If you don’t indulge a little, you’ll overindulge by accident.
  7. You can say no! Everyone is proud of the dish they made or the dessert they baked. Of course you’re going to want to try it all. Don’t be afraid to tell someone politely no. You don’t have to take another bite if you’re full or say yes to something you don’t really want.
  8. Always have healthy snacks. Keep an extra protein bar or handful of nuts in your car or purse for when the going gets rough. If you can’t find a healthy option and didn’t bring your own dish you can grab your snack and remain on track.
  9. Make time for exercise. Most days are busy surrounding the holidays, but make time for yourself. Getting in enough workouts is important to take care of yourself. Don’t try to lose weight during the holidays. Make it your goal to remain the same weight.
  10. Focus on socializing. Have fun with your friends and family! Focus on the experience with loved ones rather than the food.

Raquel