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Snacks

The Best Banana Nut Muffin…EVER

Best Banana Nut Bread

This recipe is hands down one of the best banana nut bread recipes out there. Personally, I prefer making muffins to the traditional loafs. In my opinion muffins are prettier than slices of bread and trick me into thinking I am eating something more substantial. I highly recommend making extra and freezing some in individual baggies for snacks or breakfast on the go. Trust me, these won’t last long 🙂

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • ¼ c almond butter
  • 2 T coconut oil, softened
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ c coconut flour
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ½ t baking powder
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ¼ t salt
  • ½ c chopped walnuts

Extras:

  • ¼ c-½ c Enjoy Life chocolate mini chips (they are dairy, nut, gluten and soy free!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, or use muffin liners, set aside.
  2. In the medium-large bowl combine bananas, maple syrup, vanilla, almond butter and coconut oil and mix until well combined on medium speed with an electric mixer. When mixture is smooth and creamy add in eggs, one at a time, mix on medium speed until combined.
  3. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add in coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; mix again until just combined. Gently fold in walnuts and chocolate chips if using.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Fats:

Per muffin, makes 12 servings

Calories 126

Protein 3.7g

Fat 6.8g

Carbohydrate 14.5g

Fiber 3.5g

Sugar 6.9g

Homemade Chocolate Energy Bars

Homemade Chocolate Energy BarsWho doesn’t like chocolate? If you know someone who doesn’t they probably don’t like puppies either which means you should probably stay away from them! 😉 Hahahaha, just kidding. But seriously, if you like chocolate these bars are for you. I came up with this scrumptious recipe because several clients were asking for a gluten free/dairy free bar. It can be difficult deciphering the ingredients of some of the bars on the market. Invertase, ferric orthophosphate, erythritol, disodium phosphate anyone? So why not avoid highly processed bars all together and make your own? I can be a control freak especially when it comes to what I put in my body and these bars only contain 12 ingredients, all of which I can pronounce.

 

Chocolate Energy Bars are a fantastic pre or post workout snack. The ratio of carbs to protein is perfect for muscle building and quick energy. If you don’t feel like exercising that day, grab one for an afternoon snack or a healthy dessert. Really you can eat them anytime! I suggest refigerating them in an air tight container. They also freeze really well so you can enjoy them at a later time.

IngredientsEnergy Bars

  • 1 can adzuki beans
  • 1/4 c. flaxseeds soaked in 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. coconut nectar
  • 1/4 c. chopped dates
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 1.5 c. gluten free oats
  • 1 c. pea protein
  • 1/4 c. cacao powder
  • 1/2 c. walnut
  • 1/2 c. coconut shredded

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine beans, binder, sweetener, soft fruit, extract, spice, and salt until smooth.
  2. Add the oats and dry base ingredients and pulse just to combine.
  3. Add stir-ins and pulse again just to combine.  If the consistency seems spreadable, you’re good.  If it’s too dry, add 1/4 cup of water; if it’s too runny, add an additional 1/4 cup of the dry base ingredient.
  4. Grease 13×9 pan with baking spray or rub with 1 tablespoon oil, then spread mixture into pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Nutrition Facts Calories: 142 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 1g Sodium: 126mg Total Carbohydrates: 20g Sugar: 2g Fiber: 6g Protein: 6g

Chocolate Pudding

This delicious recipe is packed full of healthy fat, protein, complex carbohydrates. It tastes so good you wouldn’t guess that it is actually good for you! It is sweetened with maple syrup which is mineral and antioxidant rich. Researchers at the University of Rhode Island found that maple syrup is filled with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich compounds that may help prevent several chronic and inflammatory diseases like diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s. In addition, this guilt-free pudding packs 14 grams of satiating protein per 1/2 cup serving. Not too shabby for a dessert.

 Chocolate Pudding

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 banana, save a few slices for topping
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder ( I used pea protein)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, grade B
  • 2 tbsp cocao powder (not cocoa powder!)
  • 2-6 tbsp unsweetend almond milk, depending on desired consistency

Directions:

  1. Blend ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Top with sliced bananas, strawberries or other clean toppings of your choice.

Banana Nut Cookie

It is as easy as 1-2-3-4! With only four ingredients you can whip up a healthy batch of cookies in no time at all.

 Banana Nut Cookie

Banana Nut Cookies

 

  • Bananas + Oats (GF) + Walnuts + Cinnamon 

Mash 2 large overripe bananas in a bowl. Add 1 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and tsp of cinnamon. With a melon baller drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350°. Makes 1 dozen cookies.

Nutrition Facts:
(per cookie)
Calories: 71
Total Fat: 2g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 1 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 11g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 2g
Protein: 2g

Tuna Salad Stuffed Red Bell Pepper

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 4-6 oz. can of tuna or salmon
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • Lemon juice
  • ½ celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 tsp. chopped olives
  • 1 tbsp. light mayo, egg and soy free (Brand I like: Earth Balance Mindful Mayo made with olive oil)
  • Sea salt and pepper if desired

Directions:

  1. Drain tuna. In a medium bowl, add the tuna, onion, lemon juice, celery, olives and mayo. Mix to combine. Add salt and pepper, if desired.
  2. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill. Meanwhile, slice the red pepper in half and remove the seeds. Add the chilled salad to the red pepper halves.
  3. Serve over a bed of lettuce.

 

 

 

Photo by Maria Corcuera

Kale Chips

I love kale chips!! They are a fantastic snack and incredibly easy to make. When I find myself searching for something to satisfy a craving, I turn on the oven and make some kale. Feel free to experiment with toppings. Some of my favorite include: sea salt and black pepper, nutritional yeast, brewer’s yeast, and cayenne pepper.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale, rinsed, dried and trimmed
  • 1-2 tbsp xvoo
  • 1 tsp roasted garlic salt. or regular sea salt
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 275°. Prepare baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
  2. Rinse then pat dry kale leaves. Remove stem then tear leaves into small pieces.
  3. In a large shallow bowl, combine kale with oil and toss lightly to coat. I like to massage oil in the leaves with my hands before adding seasonings. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  4. Arrange leaves in a single layer on baking sheets. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until leaves are crunchy. Be careful not to burn the kale.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer leaves to a wire cooling rack or serving dish to cool.
  6. Sprinkle with spices, if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

I came across this recipe from www.steamykitchen.com and was instantly intrigued. I just finished my first batch and must say, I am thoroughly impressed. Personally I am a fan of chickpeas, more commonly known as garbanzo beans, but haven’t tried a roasted version until now. They are crunchy, crispy with a little spicy kick. I like to add cayenne pepper to my crunchy snacks, i.e. popcorn and sweet potato fries, to prevent me from eating too much, too fast. I think this would make a great addition to any party or to munch on with an evening glass of wine.

Ingredients:

  • One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Spice blend of your choice (I used cayenne pepper, paprika and a dash of cumin) or check out The Kitchn for 15 different ideas

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Drain the can of garbanzo beans in a strainer and rinse with water for a few seconds to clean off the beans. Shake and tap the strainer to rid of excess water. Lay paper towel on a baking sheet, and spread the beans over. Use another paper towel to gently press and absorb the water on the beans. Roll the beans around with the paper towel to also remove the thin skin from any of the beans. Discard the skins and the paper towels.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil over the beans and use your hands or a spatula to toss around and coat. Roast for 30-40 minutes until the beans are a deep golden brown and crunchy. Make sure that the beans do not burn.
  4. Season with salt and spice blend.