wellness

siggi's Coconut & Date Protein Bites

I tested out these awesome little energy bites last night as part of the Food & Nutrition Magazine Test Kitchen. They were super easy to make (just throw everything in a food processor) and they taste great too!

These bites are loaded with protein, leaving you full and satisfied until your next meal. Can you believe there's yogurt in them! I love using yogurt in different ways. Siggi's is my fave because they're high in protein and lower in sugar. I love the consistency of the Icelandic style skyr too. These snack bites can be frozen or stored in the fridge for an easy grab-and-go snack (they would be great to refuel after a workout!). A 1-oz ball has 280 calories, so I played around with different sizes for different appetites. I think I like the mini ones best.

Try them out and let me know what you think!

Recipe from Food & Nutrition Mag

Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 18 bites

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup siggi’s Vanilla 0% Yogurt
  • 1 cup Medjool Dates, chopped (about 12 to 13 large dates)
  • 1 cup raw cashews (next time I may try with walnuts or peanuts)
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds, hulled
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut plus more for rolling

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend to desired consistency. We like keeping the pieces larger for a crunchier ball.
  2. When desired consistency is reached, form 1-ounce balls then roll in the shredded coconut to coat.
  3. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy as a quick snack!

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

I woke up with a bit of a sore throat this morning and wanted something nutrient packed and soothing for breakfast. This smoothie definitely hit the spot! It's packed with vitamins and is filling too. 

People seem to give vitamin C all the credit for immune boosting properties. But really there are so many vitamins and minerals that play a role in our immune system - zinc, vitamins D, A, E, and B vitamins too!

Research is actually mixed on whether or not loading up on Emergen-C and orange juice is actually effective in treating or preventing colds. Some studies show that it doesn't prevent the onset of a cold but could possibly decrease the duration. Either way, it can't hurt to get your fair share of oranges, especially this time of year when they're in season and so juicy and delicious!

When it comes to smoothies I try to follow three guidelines:

1. include a VEGGIE
I find all fruit smoothies are typically too sweet for me, so I like to mix it up with other ingredients. As fruit is naturally sweeter it seems to be easier for people to meet the recommended 2 servings per day. People seem to have a harder time getting in at least 3 servings of veggies each day. Adding one into a smoothie is a super easy way to help you reach this goal, often you can't even taste it! I try to always keep spinach or kale on hand to add to smoothies, but I also add carrots, beets, or cauliflower. This was my first time adding sweet potato and I love the orange color it gives it.

2. include a PROTEIN
I also need a source of protein in my smoothie to help fill me up and keep me full longer. Without a protein, smoothies can be a quick burst of energy from all the carbohydrates but can make us crash and feel hungry again soon after. The protein also helps repair muscles if you're eating a smoothie after a workout. For protein I usually add plain greek yogurt, milk, tofu, or I'll top it with nuts.

3. eat it with a SPOON
When you slurp a smoothie through a straw, you can suck it down in just a few seconds. I prefer (and encourage others to as well) to engage in the act of eating my smoothie. Whether I serve it in a bowl or a glass, I always top it with something (nuts, granola, plain oats, chia seeds, etc.) and eat it with a spoon. This helps me slow down and pay attention to my hunger cues. Drinking in calories (whether it be juice, soda, alcohol, or smoothies) is typically not as satisfying and we don't realize how full we are until after. Smoothies can be very filling and even high in calories, so I would encourage you to slow down and eat your smoothie.

Enjoy!

 

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 banana
1 orange
1/2 sweet potato, diced
2 teaspoonfuls tahini
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
~1/4 cup of milk to blend
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Directions:

1. If you can, I would freeze the banana and/or orange ahead of time. It will make the smoothie chilled and frothy. If not, throw in a few ice cubes to chill it a bit.

orange creamsicle smoothie

2. Dice your sweet potato and steam with a splash of water in the microwave for 1 minute. This will soften it up to make it easier on your blender.

3. Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth.

4. Pour into glasses, bowls, or mason jars to go. Top with whatever you may like - dried fruit, nuts, chia seeds, oats, granola, etc. Eat with a spoon and enjoy!

Homemade Applesauce

applesauce-edit.jpg

Did you know over 2,000 varieties of apples grow in the US? They're probably one of my favorite fruits, especially this time of year. I know there's so many choices to choose from but I'm pretty traditional and I think just the classic macintosh are my favorite! What's your fave?

Apples are a filling and healthy snack on their own (or with peanut butter), but one of my favorite fall snacks is homemade applesauce. You could also eat this as a healthy dessert, mix it with oatmeal, serve as a side with dinner, on pork, etc.- get creative!

Homemade applesauce is so much more flavorful and satisfying than store bought, besides, it doesn't get easier than this...

 

Ingredients
4 apples any kind, cored and diced
~1 Tbsp cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
(I've noticed that the amounts seem to vary depending on the ripeness of the apples, adjust to consistency and taste)

Directions
1. LEAVE THE SKINS ON THE APPLES! They give the applesauce a nice pink color and they're a great source of fiber.
2. Heat the apple chunks and a 1/4 cup water in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
3. Simmer until the apples are soft and easy to mash with a potato masher. The time it takes likely depends on the type of apple, but it should about 10 minutes or so.
4. Add the cinnamon. You may need to add more water as well, if the apples are sticking to the pan. You can adjust the water as needed to reach your desired consistency.
5. Mash the apples to the texture you like (leave some chunks if you like!). You could also use an immersion blender or regular stand up blender to puree the sauce until smooth (If you used a cinnamon stick, remove it before blending).