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Honey Baked Peaches with Yogurt and Granola (Gluten Free)

These healthy honey baked peaches taste like peach pie for breakfast! Paired with yogurt and granola, this breakfast will keep you full for hours.

honey baked peaches

Are you a sweet or savory breakfast person? I definitely prefer a sweet breakfast, which is why I love oatmeal and yogurt bowls so much! These honey baked peaches with yogurt and granola are the sweet breakfast of my dreams.

While I adore fresh fruit, I also love cooking fruit before eating it. Baking, sautéing, or poaching fruit really brings out its natural sweetness. In this honey baked peaches recipe, the dollop of honey is more than enough added sweetener – you could even leave it out!

honey baked peaches on a plate

How to Make Honey Baked Peaches

These peaches are quickly seared in a cast iron skillet before baking, so they get a nice caramelized crust on top. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can skip this step, and just bake in the oven.

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Heat coconut oil in a cast iron skillet and add halved peaches, cut side down.
  • Once peaches are browned, flip them over and add a dollop of honey in the center of each peach.
  • Place cast iron skillet in oven, and bake until tender and soft.
honey roasted peaches

Ingredients you need to make these honey baked peaches

  • Peaches
  • Manuka Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Yogurt
  • Granola
  • Blueberries

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Choose only slightly ripe peaches for this recipe. It will help the peaches hold their shape when baked.
  • You can use nectarines instead of peaches in this recipe for a similar result.
  • You can use maple syrup instead of honey and non-dairy yogurt to make this recipe vegan.
  • These peaches can be prepared ahead of time and reheated when ready to eat. They also taste great straight from the fridge.
baking dish with peaches

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Honey Baked Peaches with Yogurt and Granola (Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3 1x
  • Category: breakfast

Description

These healthy honey baked peaches taste like peach pie for breakfast! Paired with yogurt and granola, this breakfast will keep you full for hours.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 semi-ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp manuka honey
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups yogurt of choice
  • 3/4 cup granola 
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet. Add peaches, cut side down. Cook peaches for 3-5 minutes, until flesh is browned and caramelized.
  3. Flip peaches cut side up, sprinkle evenly with cinnamon, and add a dollop of manuka honey to the center of each peach.
  4. Place skillet in the oven, and bake for 30-40 minutes, until peaches are soft and tender.
  5. To serve: place two peach halves on a plate and top with shredded coconut, yogurt, granola, and blueberries.


Notes

  • Peaches will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Reheat before serving, or enjoy cold!

Keywords: honey baked peaches, healthy breakfast, yogurt bowl, granola, gluten free

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Featured

Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Feta Cheese

This farro salad is the most delicious easy and healthy grain salad! It’s filled with roasted vegetables, creamy feta cheese, and crunchy walnuts, and is perfect for meal prep.

farro salad with roasted vegetables

I love experimenting with different whole grains in my kitchen. There are so many delicious options! Quinoa and brown rice are my usual staples, but lately I’ve been obsessed with farro. It has a nice chewy texture and slightly nutty flavor that I love!

Whenever I’m in a meal prep rut, I’ll make a big grain salad. I cook a big batch of grains, roast a few different veggies, and mix them all together. I love to add something creamy to the salad, such as avocado, tahini, or a soft cheese. So simple, healthy, and delicious!

farro salad with roasted vegetables

This farro salad features some of my favorite summertime veggies: asparagus, corn, and cherry tomatoes. There is also lots of garlic, fresh basil, and chickpeas for a boost of protein. My favorite part of this salad might just be the walnuts, though! They add such a great unexpected crunch.

How to Cook Farro

There are a lot of instructions out there about how to cook farro. My favorite method that has never failed me is the pasta method. Honestly, this is also the easiest method, and works every time for me!

  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil (just as if you were cooking pasta).
  • Add your farro and reduce to a simmer.
  • Cook for 25-30 minutes until desired consistency is reached. I prefer a slightly chewier farro.
  • Drain the excess water from the pot.
  • Fluff farro with a fork, then use any way you’d like!
farro salad ingredients

Main Ingredients Of This Farro Salad + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Farro: Farro is a type of wheat grain. It’s an excellent source of fiber, and has more than most grains! It is also higher in protein than other grains like brown rice.
  • Asparagus: Asparagus is a good source of many vitamins, including A, C and K. It’s also an excellent source of folate, which is very important during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes have many antioxidants, including lycopene. This antioxidant, which gives tomatoes their red hue, is actually more abundant in cooked tomatoes, like the ones in this farro salad!
  • Corn
  • Basil
  • Feta Cheese
  • Walnuts
farro salad

If you love this farro salad recipe, you may also like

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Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Feta Cheese

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: main dish

Description

This farro salad is the most delicious easy and healthy grain salad! It’s filled with roasted vegetables, creamy goat cheese, and crunchy walnuts, and is perfect for meal prep.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed, and chopped
  • 12 tbsp avocado oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 ear corn
  • 1 can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil, chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add farro, reduce to simmer, and cook for 25-30 minutes until desired consistency is reached. Drain excess water.
  3. While farro cooks, roast the vegetables. Toss cherry tomatoes, garlic, and asparagus with avocado oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 20 minutes, until tomatoes are burst and wrinkly.
  4. Toss cooked farro, roasted vegetables, chickpeas, and basil together in a large bowl with lemon zest, lemon juice, and a generous drizzle of olive oil. 
  5. Sprinkle with feta cheese and walnuts.
  6. Serve warm or cold – it tastes delicious either way!


Notes

  • Farro does not expand as much as other grains like rice, so if you sub another grain, reduce the dry measurement to 1/2 or 2/3 cup.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Keywords: farro salad, roasted vegetables, grain salad

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Chocolate Banana Cream Pie Parfaits (Vegan, Gluten Free)

These chocolate banana cream pie parfaits are full of rich chocolate and banana flavor. This recipe is vegan, gluten free, and easy to make!

chocolate banana cream pie parfaits

If you’re a banana lover, then banana cream pie is a must try! It’s full of creamy banana filling, fresh sliced bananas, and fluffy whipped cream. If you’re like me though, you know that banana is always better when chocolate is involved!

These chocolate banana cream pie parfaits are filled with all the banana and chocolate goodness you could ever want. They are made with good-for-you ingredients that won’t let you feeling weighted down after. Can you guess what makes these parfaits extra creamy?

chocolate banana cream pie parfaits

How to Make these Chocolate Banana Cream Pie Parfaits

These pie parfaits are made up of a few different elements, each of which bring something delicious to the table. Here are the steps you’ll take:

  • Bake some vegan, gluten free crust “cookies”, which you will crumble into your pie parfaits.
  • Prepare the creamy chocolate filling by blending together bananas, avocado (the secret creamy ingredient!), peanut butter, maple syrup, cacao powder, melted chocolate, and a little sea salt.
  • Make coconut whipped cream.
  • Thinly slice a banana, then layer everything in small jars – crust cookie crumbles, chocolate banana filling, banana slices, and whipped cream.
  • Sprinkle with cacao nibs and dig in!
crust cookies

What Do You Need to Make These Pie Parfaits?

These are the main ingredients you’ll need to make these delicious pie parfaits.

  • Bananas
  • Avocado
  • Almond Flour
  • Oat Flour
  • Coconut Oil
  • Maple Syrup
  • Cacao Powder
  • Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Flax Meal
  • Coconut Milk

A Few Recipe Notes

  • You want to have very ripe bananas and avocados for this recipe. The bananas will be sweeter if they are spotty and beginning to brown.
  • You can sub a different liquid sugar for maple syrup, such as agave or honey.
  • If you are not vegan, you can sub regular whipped cream for the coconut whipped cream.

If you love this chocolate banana cream pie recipe, you may also like these other banana recipes:

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Chocolate Banana Cream Pie Parfaits (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: dessert

Description

These chocolate banana cream pie parfaits are full of rich chocolate and banana flavor. This recipe is vegan, gluten free, and easy to make!


Scale

Ingredients

Crust Cookies

  • 1 tbsp flaxmeal + 3 tbsp warm water to make 1 flax egg
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Filling

  • 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder

Coconut Whipped Cream

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar

Toppings

  • 1 large banana, sliced into coins
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make a flax egg using the flaxmeal and warm water by whisking together in a small bowl. Let sit until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Combine crust ingredients in a food processor, and blend until everything is the texture of a fine meal.
  4. Form crust into a ball, then roll into a 1/4 inch thick layer using a rolling pin.
  5. Use a cup or cookie cutter to make 12-13 round cookies from the crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bottoms are browned and cookies are crunchy.
  6. While the cookies bake, prepare the filling by blending together all filling ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Place in fridge.
  7. If making the coconut whipped cream, scoop the coconut cream from the top of the chilled coconut milk can into a mixing bowl. Use a stand or hand mixer to whip the coconut cream with powdered sugar until light and airy.
  8. Crumble the cookies into chunks, then layer everything in 4 small jars – cookie crumbles, chocolate banana pudding, whipped cream, and banana slices. Sprinkle with cacao nibs. 
  9. Enjoy right away, or cover and refrigerate until eating.


Notes

  • Recipe will keep well, covered in the fridge, for up to 2 days.

Keywords: banana cream pie, chocolate banana cream pie, healthy desserts, vegan, gluten free

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Salmon Tacos with Peach Salsa and Avocado Crema (Gluten Free)

These crispy salmon tacos are full of fresh flavor from a super simple homemade peach salsa and zesty avocado crema. They make the perfect quick and delicious weeknight dinner!

Salmon Tacos

What’s your favorite easy weeknight dinner? For me, tacos are definitely up there!

I love weeknight tacos because they are quick and easy. There are so many delicious ingredient combinations, so you can easily mix it up every time. Tacos are also easy to customize, so your family can choose to add whatever toppings they enjoy.

salmon tacos with peach salsa

My perfect taco equation is pretty simple: pair your protein or veggie base with salsa or slaw, plus something creamy. I paired these salmon tacos with homemade peach salsa and avocado crema. Both are super easy to make!

I’ve been loving fruit salsa lately to take advantage of all the summer produce! I made peach salsa to go with these salmon tacos, and they paired perfectly together.

peach salsa

Why You’ll Love These Salmon Tacos

  • 30-minute recipe: These tacos take just 30 minutes to make. Perfect for weeknight dinners!
  • 10 ingredients: You’ll need just a handful of fresh ingredients for this recipe (besides basic spices and cooking oil).
  • Fresh summer flavor: The homemade peach salsa embraces fresh summer produce.
  • Well-balanced meal: These tacos combine all the elements of a balanced meal – healthy protein (salmon), carbohydrates (fruit, veggies, corn tortillas), and healthy fats (avocado, salmon). You’re sure to feel satisfied after eating these!
salmon tacos

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Salmon: Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids in our diet. These heart-healthy fats are essential because our bodies do not produce any on their own. It is important to get enough omega-3s in our diet because they are anti-inflammatory, can help lower cholesterol levels, and may help protect against heart disease. Salmon is also a good source of B-vitamins, antioxidants, and potassium.
  • Peaches: This stone fruit is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Remember that many of the nutrients are also found in the skin of fruits, not just the flesh, so don’t peel them!
  • Red Bell Pepper: Red bell peppers are one of the best sources of vitamin C. Red bell peppers, compared to green, yellow, or orange, are also high in many different antioxidants. The redder the pepper, the richer it is in antioxidants!
  • Avocado
  • Red Onion
  • Jalapeno
  • Cilantro
  • Lime
  • Tortillas

If you love this recipe, you may also like

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Salmon Tacos with Peach Salsa and Avocado Crema (Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: main dish

Description

These crispy salmon tacos are full of fresh flavor from a super simple homemade peach salsa and zesty avocado crema. They make the perfect quick and delicious weeknight dinner!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 lb salmon, cut into 4 filets
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 small ripe peaches, diced small
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1/2 of a large red onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 handfuls fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes, divided
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 8 corn tortillas

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees.
  2. Heat avocado oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  3. Pat salmon filets dry, then season with salt, pepper, and chili powder.
  4. Place salmon, skin side up, into heated skillet. Cook for 5-6 minutes until salmon flesh is browned and crispy on the outside.
  5. Flip salmon filets, then place skillet in the oven and cook for 3-5 minutes more until fish is cooked through.
  6. While salmon is cooking, prepare salsa and avocado crema. To make salsa, combine peaches, bell pepper, red onion, half the garlic, jalapeno, and half the lime juice in a bowl. Stir to combine.
  7. To make avocado crema, blend together avocado, garlic powder, the remaining lime juice + cilantro, and salt to taste in a food processor until creamy. 
  8. Heat tortillas individually over a low burning flame on a gas burner and flip once tortilla starts to bubble. Alternatively, you can heat them in a skillet.


Notes

  • Sub mango or pineapple for peaches
  • You can use a whole jalapeno if you like spicy food

Keywords: salmon tacos, peach salsa, healthy tacos

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Featured

Almond Butter Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Chips

This zucchini bread is a more nutritious version of your favorite summertime baked treat. It’s filled with whole grain flour, almond butter, and one whole zucchini! Bake up a loaf (or two!) today if you’ve got zucchinis to use up from the garden.

almond butter zucchini bread

Zucchini bread will always remind me of sweet summer days. I grew up going to Martha’s Vineyard every summer, and my family would frequently have a loaf of Morning Glory Farm‘s zucchini bread around. Their version is the best – it’s not too sweet, super moist (sorry), and incredibly soft.

I’ve been on a baking kick lately, and have made a few recipes using almond butter that I’ve loved. I decided to test out an almond butter zucchini bread recipe. It’s instantly become one of my new favorite recipes! Ben and I polished off the loaf in a matter of days, so I think another loaf needs to happen ASAP.

almond butter zucchini bread

This zucchini bread is healthier in a few ways. White flour is replaced with whole grain spelt flour. Instead of oil, almond butter provides moisture and healthy fats. While I’m usually not the biggest fan of nuts in my quick breads, the walnuts in this recipe are a MUST. The toasty flavor and crunch are so good!

I also used Bolthouse Farms new Plant Protein Milk! This milk alternative is SUPER creamy. It’s made with pea protein, so it has 10 g of plant-based protein per 8 oz serving (plus, 50% more calcium than a serving of dairy milk)! This is definitely becoming a new staple in my kitchen. Check out their store locator to find some near you.

slices of zucchini bread

How to Make Almond Butter Zucchini Bread

  • Mix together dry ingredients – spelt flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and apple pie spice.
  • Mix together wet ingredients – egg, applesauce, maple syrup, Plant Protein Milk, and vanilla.
  • Grate zucchini and squeeze out excess water.
  • Mix wet ingredients into dry. Fold in zucchini, then chocolate chips and walnuts.
  • Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
sliced zucchini bread

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Zucchini: One of my favorite summertime veggies, zucchini is super versatile and full of nutrients. It is high in antioxidants, including vitamin C, plus vitamin A. It’s also a hydrating vegetable as it is high in water. Zucchini contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber helps bind cholesterol in our bodies, and it also feeds the good bacteria in our gut!
  • Bolthouse Farms Plant Protein Milk: This plant-based milk alternative is one of my new favorites! It’s got 10 grams of pea protein per 8 oz serving. Pea protein is one of the most easily digestible plant based protein sources. It is high in Branched Chain Amino Acids, which may promote muscle growth. This milk alternative also contains 50% more calcium than a serving of dairy milk, which is wonderful for those who cannot or choose not to consume dairy.
  • Walnuts: I recently wrote about walnuts in this post, but they are a wonderful nut to include in your diet. They are high in ALA omega-3 fatty acids – higher than any other nut. These anti-inflammatory healthy fats are essential in our diet, because we cannot make them ourselves.
  • Spelt Flour
  • Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Egg
  • Cinnamon
  • Almond Butter
  • Maple Syrup

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Almond Butter Zucchini Bread

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices 1x
  • Category: baking

Description

This zucchini bread is a more nutritious version of your favorite summertime baked treat. It’s filled with whole grain flour, almond butter, and one whole zucchini!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-large zucchini, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup Bolthouse Farms Plant Protein Milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Grate zucchini and use a clean tea towel to squeeze out excess moisture.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine spelt flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and apple pie spice.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together almond butter, plant protein milk, maple syrup, applesauce, egg, and vanilla extract.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined.
  6. Fold in zucchini, then chocolate chips and walnuts.
  7. Pour batter into loaf pan. Top with additional chocolate chips and nuts if desired.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool before slicing and serving.


Notes

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Almond butter can be replaced with other types of nut butter, but the flavor may be slightly altered. 

Keywords: zucchini bread, healthy zucchini bread, whole grain

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Thank you Bolthouse Farms for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

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What to Eat Before and After A Workout

As a Registered Dietitian, I am often questioned what to eat before and after a workout. This post outlines everything you need to know about properly fueling your body for athletic performance, and how to replenish after you’ve put in the work.

Hiking for Exericse

Nutrition is one piece of the healthy lifestyle puzzle, but so is exercise. No matter what activity you choose to do, it’s important to just move your body in any way that makes you feel good.

The current physical activity guidelines for healthy adults are 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity, or 75 to 150 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity (1). At the very least, we should be moving our butts for 30 minutes, five days per week for health benefits!

Proper nutrition is essential to help our bodies reach peak performance during exercise and to replenish afterwards. I recommend choosing real, whole foods over supplements whenever possible, because they are more filling, more satisfying, and taste better! Eating properly before and after a workout will make your workouts more effective, help prevent fatigue and injury, and allow you to continue pushing yourself to reach new fitness goals.

What to Eat Before a Workout

There are a few things to consider regarding pre-workout nutrition. First, we need to think about the macronutrient composition of our meal. It’s also important to consider the timing of our pre-workout meal or snack to prevent cramping or bloating during exercise.

Macronutrients: Carbohydrates are Key

Our bodies do not produce energy on their own. We must obtain all our energy from the food we eat. Carbohydrates are definitely the preferred source of energy! Our bodies quickly break them down into glucose, which feeds our cells as energy. We also store glucose in the form of glycogen in our liver and muscles, which the body will tap into once glucose stores are depleted during activity. (2).

It is important to consume a meal or snack predominately coming from carbohydrates before a workout. But, it is also key to include a small amount of protein, especially for weight lifting!

When we exercise, our muscles experience small microtears. These tears must be repaired by protein in order to create bigger and stronger muscles. So, including some protein in your pre-workout meal or snack gives your muscles a bit of a head start to repair and grow.

Choose easily digestible sources of carbohydrates and protein before a workout. Avoid heavy meals, anything fried or very fatty, or foods that tend to make you bloated or gassy, like beans. That way, your body won’t be tied up in the digestive process and it can focus on the work.

Timing

Giving your body the proper fuel means nothing if you don’t time it right. Eating too far away or too close to a workout won’t give you the benefits of the nutrients you consumed.

As a rule of thumb, wait at least 30 minutes after eating before exercising, and don’t go much longer than three hours between eating and working out. Try to have a carbohydrate rich snack if you’re exercising between 30 minutes to one hour. You can also have a meal that includes plenty of carbohydrates two to three hours before working out.

My one exception to this rule is if you can’t stand the thought of eating something before your 6 AM workout. There may even be some benefits to exercising after an overnight fast (3). If this is the case for you, just make sure you are prioritizing your post-workout nutrition! FYI, you still need to have water if you’re exercising on an overnight fast.

Pre-Workout Meal and Snack Ideas

If you are exercising in two to three hours, consider having one of these meals:

  • One cup of oatmeal with fresh fruit and peanut butter
  • Two egg veggie omelet with whole wheat toast, sliced avocado, and a side of berries
  • Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and granola
  • Almond butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat bread
  • Brown rice, roasted vegetables and lean protein of choice
  • Whole wheat pasta with roasted vegetables and tuna
  • Smoothie with unsweetened almond milk, peanut butter, frozen banana, and blueberries

If you’ll be working out in closer to 30 minutes to two hours, choose a snack:

  • Rice cake with peanut butter and banana slices
  • Apple nachos
  • A banana with almond butter
  • Handful of trail mix that includes nuts and dried fruit
  • One or two energy balls
  • Granola bar: I like RX bar, Larabar, 88 Acres, KIND bars, and Bob’s Red Mill Oatmeal Bars
apple nachos

What to Eat After a Workout

It is essential to eat after a workout. We need to replenish the glycogen stores we depleted during exercise, and provide our muscles with the protein building blocks to repair themselves and grow stronger.

Refueling properly after a workout helps you avoid fatigue and revs up the recovery process. Then, you can hit the gym again strong to keep meeting your fitness goals!

Macronutrients: Carbohydrates and Protein

We need carbohydrates after a workout because we used up all the energy from the ones we ate before exercise. We also tapped into the glycogen stores in our muscles. Complex carbohydrates are best because they come with fiber and other nutrients that are beneficial for our health. Think whole wheat bread, quinoa, or sweet potatoes versus processed carbohydrates.

You’ll also want to eat a substantial amount of protein after a workout. We want to give our muscles the building blocks to repair themselves while we rest. Try to get at least 10-20 grams of protein after working out. You may need more protein depending on gender, body size, and activity level. For example, strength athletes need 1.2-1.7 grams of protein/kg body weight, compared to 0.8-1.0 grams of protein/kg for the general population.

Timing

The timing of when you consume your carbohydrates and protein post-workout matters, but maybe less so than we once thought. White traditional recommendations say to eat within 30 minutes of exercise, the window or opportunity might actually be wider. One study showed that eating protein immediately to three hours after a workout increases muscle protein synthesis. Combining protein with carbohydrates after a workout may lead to even bigger muscular gains (4).

Another study showed that, depending on the timing and composition of a pre-workout meal, the window for ingesting protein after a workout may be several hours long (5). So, if your pre-workout meal contains adequate protein, you may experience similar muscle protein synthesis changes to someone waiting until after their workout to ingest protein.

Eating after a workout goes beyond just stimulating muscle growth, though. It prevents fatigue, gives us back the energy we used up, and replenishes glycogen stores. Because of this, I recommend eating a meal or snack within one hour of exercising.

Post-Workout Meal and Snack Ideas

Don’t Forget to Hydrate

Make sure to drink water before, during, and after your workout. The amount of water you need depends on the temperature you’re working out in and the intensity of the exercise. You’d obviously need more water working out in a hot or humid climate. The goal of hydration is to replace the fluid lost when we sweat. Here are general hydration guidelines:

  • Consume 14-22 oz two hours before exercise
  • Drink 6-12 oz of water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise
  • Drink 16-24 oz of water for every pound of body weight lost in sweat after exercise

Water is the best choice, but if you are exercising and sweating a lot for over an hour, a sports drink is a good choice to also replace the electrolytes lost in sweat (2).

Every Body is Different

This post is meant to serve as a general guideline for what to eat before and after a workout. These guidelines may vary individually based on gender, body size, type of exercise, age, and many other variables. Listen to your body to decide what’s best for you!

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Blueberry Matcha Avocado Popsicles (Vegan, Gluten Free)

These blueberry matcha avocado popsicles are a cool and creamy summer treat. They’re full of good-for-you ingredients like healthy fats and antioxidants. You just need six simple ingredients and a few hours of freezing time to make these pops!

blueberry matcha avocado popsicles

Nothing feels quite like summer more than frozen treats! I decided to ring in my favorite season with a delicious new popsicle recipe. These blueberry matcha avocado popsicles taste like a decadently creamy version of matcha latte.

All you need are six simple ingredients to make these popsicles. I used blueberries, coconut milk, matcha powder, maple syrup, lemon juice, and California Avocados. Putting avocado in a dessert may sound a little strange, but they actually give homemade frozen treats the creamiest, dreamiest texture! Their mild flavor blends beautifully with the coconut milk, matcha, and blueberries.

blueberry matcha avocado pops

Nutrition Notes About Avocado

I love using avocado as ingredient not just for the creamy texture, but also for the amazing health benefits.

  • Avocados have nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin K, and B-vitamins.
  • 1/3 of a medium avocado contains 3 grams of fiber, which has a host of health benefits, including lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Avocados are rich in heart healthy monounsaturated fats. The fat in avocados actually helps us absorb fat soluble vitamins better (Vitamins A, D, E and K)!
popsicle

How to Make Blueberry Matcha Avocado Popsicles

  • Heat blueberries in a pan with water until their juices release, and stir in maple syrup.
  • Blend avocado, coconut milk, matcha powder, maple syrup, and lemon juice in a high powered blender or food processor.
  • Spoon blueberries into popsicle molds, then fill them to the top with avocado matcha mixture.
  • Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for 3+ hours until solid before removing.

If you don’t have a popsicle mold, you can still make popsicles! Try using paper cups, ice cube molds, or a muffin tin. You can also use a loaf pan and slice into popsicles once frozen.

popsicles

If you love these blueberry matcha avocado popsicles, you may also like these other avocado recipes

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Blueberry Matcha Avocado Popsicles (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 popsicles 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Description

These blueberry matcha avocado popsicles are a cool and creamy summer treat. They’re full of good-for-you ingredients like healthy fats and antioxidants.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp maple syrup, divided
  • 1 ripe California Avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp matcha powder
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Heat blueberries and water in a shallow pan over medium heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until juices release. Stir in 1 tbsp maple syrup and remove from heat.
  2. Blend remaining maple syrup, avocado, coconut milk, matcha powder, and lemon juice in a high speed blender or food processor until creamy.
  3. Spoon blueberries evenly into popsicle molds. Then, fill the remaining space of molds with the avocado matcha mixture.
  4. Place popsicle sticks in molds and freeze for at least 3 hours until hard.
  5. Remove from molds when ready to serve.


Notes

  • If using a silicone popsicle mold, you can remove the popsicles easily by pressing up on the popsicle from the bottom of the mold.
  • These will keep well in the freezer for up to one month.

Keywords: matcha, healthy dessert, healthy popsicles, avocado popsicles

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Thank you California Avocados for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

Featured

Watermelon Feta Salad with Cucumber and Mint (Gluten Free)

This watermelon feta salad is the most refreshing summer side dish. It’s the perfect post-beach or 4th of July Barbecue treat! All you need is five simple ingredients, one bowl, and 20 minutes to get this on the table.

watermelon feta salad

Raise your hand if you could eat an entire watermelon in one sitting…I know it’s not just me! This summer fruit is the most refreshing in my eyes, especially after a day in the sun.

I love combining sweet and savory ingredients in salads for flavor contrast. Some of my favorite salad combinations are strawberry + avocado, berries + goat cheese, and watermelon + feta. The salty, briny feta is surprisingly delicious paired with sweet and crunchy watermelon. If you’ve never tried fruit in a salad, you’re in for a surprising treat!

watermelon feta salad

How to make watermelon feta salad

This recipe couldn’t be easier. Just cut up all your ingredients and combine everything in a bowl!

  • Cut a watermelon into cubes.
  • Slice cucumber into half moon pieces.
  • Chop up a handful of fresh mint leaves.
  • Toss watermelon, cucumber, and mint in a large mixing bowl with feta cheese, zest of 1 lime, and a generous squeeze of lime juice.
  • Serve nice and cold!
watermelon feta salad

Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Watermelon: Watermelon is one of the most hydrating fruits, as it is made of over 90% water. Eating hydrating fruits and veggies can actually count towards your daily water intake, so eat up! Watermelon is high in potassium and vitamin C and A. It’s also rich in antioxidants, including lycopene, which is important for eye health and fighting inflammation in the body.
  • Cucumber: Just like watermelon, cucumber is an incredibly hydrating food so it’s perfect for a warm day. It’s also a good source of vitamin K.
  • Mint: Using fresh herbs like mint in your recipes can replace sodium without compromising on flavor. Mint is actually high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It can also help relieve an upset stomach!
  • Lime
  • Feta Cheese

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this watermelon feta salad recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Watermelon Feta Salad with Cucumber and Mint (Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6 1x
  • Category: side dish

Description

This watermelon feta salad is the most refreshing summer side dish. It’s the perfect post-beach or 4th of July Barbecue treat!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 watermelon, cut into cubes
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into half moons
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of half a lime

Instructions

  1. Toss watermelon, cucumber and mint together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with feta cheese, lime zest and lime juice.
  3. Serve cold.


Notes

  • Will keep in an airtight container in fridge for 1-2 days.

Keywords: watermelon feta salad, healthy salad recipes, summer salads, watermelon feta mint

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Featured

Health Benefits of a High Fiber Diet + High Fiber Foods to Eat Today

Fiber is one of the most important nutrients to consume. Learn all about the health benefits of dietary fiber and the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber in today’s post, including a list of delicious foods to include in a high fiber diet!

Fiber is one of the most important nutrients for our diet, but it does not get the attention it deserves. Fiber is certainly less glamorous than other trendy nutrients, as it might evoke images of your grandparents sipping on metamucil. But, the benefits of fiber go so beyond keeping us regular! I’m all in for making fiber the coolest nutrient, and I hope you will be too after reading this post.

What is Dietary Fiber?

Dietary fiber is the indigestible part of plants that we consume when we eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Unlike the macro and micronutrients, our bodies are unable to digest and absorb fiber, so it passes through our digestive system intact.

Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber

There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. They each have unique health benefits. A high fiber diet should include sources of both types to get maximum benefits.

  • Soluble fiber dissolves in water, so it forms a gel in our digestive tract when we eat it. Because of this, it can bind to cholesterol in our bodies to help lower cholesterol levels. Good sources of soluble fiber include oats, beans, flaxseeds, barley, and apples.
  • Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, so it speeds up digestion and increases stool bulk. Good sources of insoluble fiber include nuts, cauliflower, whole wheat products, Brussels sprouts, and raspberries.

Health Benefits of a High Fiber Diet

  • Keeps us regular. Fiber, especially insoluble fiber, speeds up digestion and increases stool bulk. This helps prevent constipation and diarrhea to keep our bowels healthy and regular.
  • Weight management. High fiber foods are very filling, and lower in calories than other foods. Including many high fiber foods in our diets can promote healthy weight management.
  • Lower cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber forms a gel like substance in our bodies, which binds to “bad” LDL cholesterol to rid it from our bodies. Soluble fiber may also help improve other lipid markers (1).
  • Controls blood sugar levels. Fiber, especially soluble fiber, helps slow the absorption of blood sugar when we eat. Studies show that soluble fiber intake can reduce HbA1C, fasting blood glucose, and insulin resistance in people with Type 2 Diabetes (2).
  • Promotes gut health. The good bacteria that live in our guts depend on fermentable dietary products as a source of energy so they can be healthy and grow. Fiber from our diets feeds these good bacteria, so a high fiber diet promotes probiotic health, abundance, and diversity. Healthy gut bacteria also produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which have their own health benefits such as reduced inflammation and reduced risk of chronic disease (3).
  • Reduced risk of chronic disease. High fiber diets are naturally high in plant foods, so they also come with lots of other amazing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help prevent chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and Type 2 Diabetes.

Dietary Fiber Recommendations

The dietary fiber recommendations are 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. For women and men over 50, these numbers drop to 21 grams and 30 grams, respectively. For reference, one half cup of black beans has about 8 grams of fiber, one cup of shredded wheat contains about 5 grams, and one half cup of raspberries has 4 grams (4). As you can see, you need to eat multiple portions of fiber rich foods (i.e. plant foods) throughout the day to meet the recommendations.

One reason why many Americans are not meeting their daily fiber needs is because the standard American diet is low in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. There are plenty of fiber supplements out there, but they are devoid of many of the other health benefits that come with plant foods, like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus, fiber from supplements may not be as filling as fiber from plant foods.

High Fiber Foods to Add to Your Diet

Now, the fun part! This list is by no means exhaustive, but here are some of my favorite high fiber foods to enjoy daily. There are also some yummy recipes to give you inspiration to add more fiber to your diet!

Oatmeal

Contains 4 grams of fiber per 1 cup cooked oats. Try this Cacao Banana Oatmeal or Banana Baked Oatmeal with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips for an easy breakfast!

cacao banana oatmeal

Quinoa

Quinoa contains 2.6 grams of fiber per half cup. These Quinoa Enchilada Stuffed Peppers or this Moroccan Quinoa Salad from Choosing Chia would be perfect to add to your dinner menu!

quinoa stuffed peppers

Whole Wheat Pasta

Swap out white pasta for whole wheat, and you’ll get 3.2 grams of fiber per half cup serving! Some of my favorite whole wheat pasta dishes are this Spring Pasta with Lemon, Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Peas, and this Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Tuna.

high fiber diet pasta salad

Kale

One cup of kale has 2.6 grams of fiber. Even more reason to keep up your kale caesar habit! Check out this dairy free version, this Kale Cobb Salad from Dishing out Health, and this Rose Pasta with Asparagus and Kale from The First Mess to get your kale on!

kale caesar salad

Sweet Potato

One medium sweet potato has almost 4 grams of fiber. Make sure you’re eating the skin, though, as this is where most of the fiber (and other nutrients) lives! These Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are a favorite of mine, and I’ve been dying to try these Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges by Mad About Food!

mexican stuffed sweet potato high fiber diet

Chickpeas

Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are an excellent source of plant based protein and fiber. One half cup contains 8 grams! Fill up on this Chickpea and Roasted Vegetable Salad, Loaded Greek Hummus for a Crowd, or Chickpea and Avocado Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.

chickpea and roasted vegetable salad

Black Beans

Black beans pack 7.5 grams of fiber per one half cup. Try out this delicious mango avocado salsa over my Mushroom Tacos, or this Black Bean Tomato Avocado Salad by Little Spice Jar.

mango avocado black bean salsa

White Beans

Are you guys picking up on a bean trend here? White beans are also a good source of fiber. One half cup will give you 5.7 grams! I love to make this Dreamy Pink Beet and White Bean Dip for dipping, and this Tuscan White Bean and Kale Soup from Kristine’s Kitchen sounds so cozy.

white bean dip

Lentils

I love lentils of all kinds. One half cup has almost 8 grams of fiber. This Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup is one of my favorites. Also, check out this Lemony Lentil Soup by Gimme Some Oven.

coconut curry red lentil soup

Apples

One medium apple has about 4.5 grams of fiber. I love to put sautéed apples in my morning oatmeal and munch on apple nachos as a healthy snack.

apple nachos

Pears

Pears have even more fiber than apples. One pear has almost 6 grams of fiber! Some of my favorite pear recipes are Hasselback Baked Pears and Ginger Roasted Beets, Sweet Potatoes, and Pears.

hasselback baked pear

Chia Seeds

Last but not least, chia seeds are a really excellent dietary fiber source. One tablespoon has a 4 grams! Try this Blended Chocolate Chia Pudding or this Dreamy Coconut Chia Pudding with Blueberries from The Wooden Skillet.

chocolate chia pudding

High fiber diets are super healthy, because as you can see, they include lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. If you’re increasing your fiber intake, make sure to also drink plenty of water, because fiber digests better with water. What is your favorite way to get more fiber in your diet?

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Featured

Shrimp Scampi Zoodles and Noodles (Gluten Free)

This shrimp scampi zoodles and noodles recipe is the perfect light and easy pasta dish. It’s full of fresh summer flavors like basil, lemon, garlic, and zucchini. This recipe takes 30 minutes to make and will please everyone!

shrimp scampi zoodles and noodles

This recipe is a twist on classic shrimp scampi. It still has tons of garlic flavor plus lemon and white wine, but it’s paired with fresh summer basil and served over a combination of pasta and zucchini noodles (zoodles).

Zucchini noodles are a great addition to your diet if you are looking to eat more vegetables. I love to add them to whole wheat or brown rice pasta to add volume, fiber, and nutrients to some of my favorite recipes. They pair really well with spaghetti because the noodles and zoodles all get tangled up together!

shrimp scampi zoodles

How to Make Zucchini Noodles

There are a few methods you can use to make zucchini noodles, depending on which kitchen tools you have.

  • Vegetable spiralizer machine. Just cut off the ends of the zucchini and push it through the machine This method allows you to also spiralize other vegetables, including harder ones like sweet potato. You can also make different sized noodles! But, it takes up a lot of cabinet space, and is a little difficult to clean.
  • Handheld spiralizer. This tool is a little cheaper and takes up less room than the tabletop vegetable spiralizer. It’s a great option to purchase if you have a small kitchen or are new to spiralizing! You won’t be able to spiralize as many types of produce with this option, though.
  • KitchenAid mixer attachment. If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, you can purchase this attachment to make zucchini and other vegetable noodles! It’s more expensive than other options, but will take up less room than the full spiralizer machine.
  • Julienne peeler. This method is the most simple and requires just a simple julienne peeler. While your zucchini noodles won’t be as long and stringy, the julienne peeler method will give you thin strips of zucchini to add to your meals.
zucchini noodles

Once your zoodles are prepared, all you need to do is cook your pasta and shrimp. The shrimp is sautéed right from frozen with plenty of garlic, fresh lemon juice, and white wine for that classic shrimp scampi flavor. When the shrimp is done, toss the pasta and zoodles in the pan to coat everything in the scampi sauce, and serve!

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Zucchini: Zucchini is a super hydrating vegetable – it is made of over 90% water! It’s also a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Just like all veggies, it’s packed with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Shrimp: Shrimp is a high quality source of lean protein – one 3 oz serving has 18 grams! Shrimp is also one of the best food sources of iodine, which is a nutrient essential for thyroid health. While shrimp is high in cholesterol, it will not greatly affect body cholesterol levels, because it is low in saturated fat.
  • Garlic: Garlic has been used for medicinal purposes for ages. It contains sulfur compounds, which may help prevent and lessen the severity of illnesses like the flu or a cold. It also contains antioxidants that may promote brain health and prevent dementia.
  • Lemon
  • White Wine
  • Olive Oil
  • Brown Rice Pasta
shrimp scamp zoodles and noodles

If you love this recipe, you may also like

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Shrimp Scampi Zoodles and Noodles (Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3 1x
  • Category: Main Dish

Description

This shrimp scampi zoodles and noodles recipe is the perfect light and easy pasta dish. It is full of fresh summer flavors like basil, lemon, garlic, and zucchini. This recipe takes 30 minutes to make and will please everyone!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 16 large frozen shrimp
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 pound brown rice or whole wheat spaghetti 
  • 2 large zucchinis, spiralized
  • 1 large handful fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet.
  2. Add garlic, shallots, and salt and pepper to taste, cooking 1-2 minutes until fragrant, stirring and being careful not to burn.
  3. Add shrimp to the pan in an even layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until pink and opaque. 
  4.  Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and white wine. Simmer shrimp in wine until it has reduced by half.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. 
  6. Reduce pan with shrimp to low heat, and toss in zoodles until they start to soften, about 1 minute. 
  7. Remove from heat and toss in cooked pasta, using tongs to evenly coat each strand.
  8. Serve immediately, and garnish with plenty of fresh basil, red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese. 

Keywords: healthy shrimp scampi, shrimp scampi zoodles, zoodles, zucchini noodles, gluten free

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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

Featured

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad with Strawberries and Goat Cheese (Gluten Free)

This corn, avocado, and tomato salad just screams summer, with plenty of fresh produce, tangy goat cheese, and fragrant basil. It’s the perfect easy side dish to accompany your next dinner al fresco.

corn tomato avocado salad

Summer, can you please stay forever? I love the longer days, warm breezes, evening walks, and the bounty of summer produce. Ben and I are in some (semi) serious talks about moving to San Diego so we can live this life year round. Who’s coming with?

This corn, tomato, and avocado salad basically has all my favorite summertime flavors dumped into one bowl together. Cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, creamy avocado, fresh basil, goat cheese, and juicy strawberries – it’s like a party with every bite!

corn tomato avocado salad

Tips for Making Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad

  • Choose firm avocado for this recipe. The cubes will hold their shape better if the avocado is not super ripe.
  • Use whole fresh corn. I love the big chunks of corn kernels you get from slicing fresh corn right off the cob in this salad.
  • Sub another berry or summer fruit for strawberries. Are strawberries sold out? No worries! Sub another fresh summer fruit for this recipe and it will still be delicious. Blueberries, blackberries, and peaches would all taste amazing.
salad ingredients

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Strawberries: Berries of all kinds are some of the greatest sources of antioxidants in the diet. Antioxidants fight free radicals in our bodies to prevent cell damage and inflammation. Diets high in antioxidant-rich foods have been linked to health benefits such as reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, more favorable cholesterol levels, and much more.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are one of the best sources of the antioxidant lycopene. Including sources of lycopene in the diet has several health benefits, including reduced risk of chronic disease and better skin health.
  • Basil: Use fresh herbs like basil in place of salt when you cook to reduce sodium intake without giving up flavor. Basil, just like leafy greens, is a good source of vitamin K, and contains antioxidant compounds.
  • Corn
  • Avocado
  • Goat Cheese
corn tomato avocado salad

More Delicious Salad Recipes to Try

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad with Strawberries and Goat Cheese (Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Side Dish

Description

This salad just screams summer, with plenty of fresh produce, tangy goat cheese, and fragrant basil. It’s the perfect easy side dish to accompany your next dinner al fresco.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 quart strawberries, washed and halved
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 ear of corn
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 large handful fresh basil, chopped

Dressing

  • 1 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  2. Husk the corn and boil for 3-5 minutes, until kernels are bright yellow but still crunchy.
  3. Remove corn from water, and run under cold water until cool enough to handle. Slice off kernels with a sharp knife.
  4. Combine strawberries, tomatoes, corn, avocado, goat cheese and basil in a large bowl and mix together.
  5. Prepare dressing by whisking together shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the bowl and continue to whisk with your other hand until emulsified.
  6. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine, until ingredients are evenly coated.


Notes

  • Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Keywords: corn tomato avocado salad, strawberry avocado salad, goat cheese, gluten free recipes, summer salad recipes

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Featured

Avocado Key Lime Bars (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free)

These key lime bars are a no-bake, vegan version of one of my favorite summertime desserts – key lime pie! They’re full of healthy fats and pastel green color thanks to avocado (nope, you can’t taste it). Grab a fork and dive into one of these creamy, dreamy treats!

key lime bars

While it might not be the most patriotic, key lime pie reminds me of the 4th of July. My mom, an excellent baker, has made one for the holiday for the past five years or so. When you really think about it, it truly is the perfect summer dessert! It’s served cool, full of fresh, zingy flavor, and feels light enough to eat after an afternoon of barbecued food.

As a Registered Dietitian who loves sweets and baking, I love to experiment with more nutritious versions of my favorite desserts. I view these recipes as additions to my diet, rather than substitutions to the the original. Creating a treat that tastes delicious, and provides me with important nutrients at the same time? Such a win! But, life is all about BALANCE and living in the moment, so I’ll never pass up a slice of my mom’s key lime pie on the 4th of July. (PS – this is the recipe she uses, if you’d like to try that)!

key lime bars

The avocado in these key lime bars may sound strange, but I promise, you can’t taste it! Avocado makes these bars thick, incredibly smooth, and creamy. Plus, it adds that beautiful green hue!

Why These Bars are the Perfect Summer Dessert

  • No oven required. These key lime bars are no-bake and no-cook, because they are raw and set in the freezer!
  • Easy to make. All you need to do is throw ingredients into a food processor and pour them into a baking pan.
  • They’re cool and creamy. These bars are served chilled, so they’re wonderful to serve after an afternoon in the sun. Plus, they’re super creamy – just like ice cream!

How to Make Key Lime Bars

  • Combine crust ingredients – dates, nuts, coconut, molasses, cinnamon, and salt – in a food processor and blend until crumbly.
  • Squish down crust ingredients into a pan in an even layer.
  • Clean out food processor and blend together lime filling layer ingredients – coconut milk, avocado, lime zest + juice, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  • Freeze, then slice and serve with (optional) coconut whipped cream.
key lime pie bars crust
key lime pie filling

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Avocado: One of my all time favorite healthy fat sources is avocado. It’s high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and potassium. Replacing saturated fat with mono- and polyunsaturated fats can lower cholesterol and risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Walnuts: Almonds get all the glory these days, but walnuts are where it’s at! They’re higher than any other nut in alpha-linolenic-acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid. These anti-inflammatory compounds are mostly found in animal products (primarily fatty fish), and are essential for our diets, because our bodies do not produce them. Include walnuts in your diet for a good plant-based source of omega-3s!
  • Lime: Just like all citrus fruits, limes are an excellent source of Vitamin C! In fact, British Royal Navy sailors were called “limeys” in the 1800s because they were given lemon and lime juice to prevent scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) on the ships. Limes are also full of other antioxidants – plus they have such a zingy flavor!
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Coconut Cream
  • Molasses
  • Dates
key lime bars

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Avocado Key Lime Bars (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 9 bars 1x
  • Category: dessert

Description

These bars are a no-bake, vegan version of one of my favorite summertime desserts – key lime pie! They’re full of healthy fats and pastel green color thanks to avocado (nope, you can’t taste it)


Scale

Ingredients

Crust

Filling

  • 1 can coconut cream (or full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours)
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 2 limes (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Coconut Whipped Cream

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor. Blend until ingredients are crumbly and stick together easily, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Line a 9″x9″ baking pan with parchment paper, and pour crust “batter” into pan. Use your hands to press crust firmly into the pan, forming an even layer. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse out the food processor (or use a high speed blender), and combine all filling ingredients. Blend until very smooth and creamy, until avocado is fully pureed. 
  4. Remove crust from freezer, and pour filling on top. Smooth into an even layer.
  5. Place pan in freezer, and freeze for at least 1 hour, until filling is hardened enough for slicing.
  6. Remove from freezer when ready to serve. You may need to let it sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing to soften a bit, depending on how long it was in the freezer.
  7. If using, make coconut whipped cream right before serving bars. 
    • Place metal mixing bowl in the freezer to chill.
    • Scoop the thick layer of coconut cream from your refrigerated can of coconut milk into the chilled bowl. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then increase speed and beat for 1-3 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Add powdered sugar in the final 30 seconds or so of beating.


Notes

  • Keeps well covered in the freezer for up to 1 month

Keywords: vegan, gluten free, key lime pie, raw key lime pie, vegan key lime pie, healthy desserts, , key lime bars

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Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (Vegan, Gluten Free)

These Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes are a vegetarian dream meal! The sweet potatoes get super creamy and caramelized when roasted, and their flavor pairs beautifully with Mexican spices. Plus, learn some easy ways to increase your vegetable consumption!

Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes

These Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes are so fitting for Meatless Monday! As a Registered Dietitian, few things bring me more joy than helping people fill their plates with more vegetables. The USDA recommends we eat at least three cups of vegetables per day, but a majority of Americans (about 90 percent!) do not meet this recommendation.

Good nutrition is a proactive practice for better health outcomes throughout the life cycle. Plant focused diets have been associated with a plethora of health benefits, such as weight control, longevity, and reducing the risk of several chronic diseases. One of my favorite parts of my job is to educate people about this, and get them excited to eat more vegetables!

Benefits of a Plant-Focused Diet

  • Fruits and vegetables are full of powerful vitamins and minerals that we all need, as well as antioxidants for anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Plant foods are naturally low in calories and fat and rich in fiber, so they fill us up without consuming excess energy. This helps greatly with weight control!
  • Dietary patterns that are high in plant foods, like the Mediterranean diet, are associated with lower risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
  • Eating mostly plants is better for the environment! Plants use far less resources and produce lower emissions than animals. Take it one step further, and seek out locally grown produce to have the lowest environmental impact.
Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes

My favorite veggie burger company feels the same way about good nutrition! They are just as passionate about vegetables as any dietitian I know. They just created an incredible resource, called the Veggie Tracker, to help people adopt good nutrition habits for a lifetime.

The Veggie Tracker provides a platform where you can easily log your daily vegetable intake, with a goal of eating three cups of veggies per day. The website also includes tons of veggie-forward recipes and resources to help make these positive changes stick! When you sign-up, you’ll also receive a free e-book, a seven day meal plan, and have access to a private Facebook group monitored by a nutritionist! Plus, you’ll be eligible for some awesome prizes 🙂

Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Easy Ways to Increase Vegetable Consumption

  • Swap out half your spaghetti for zucchini noodles
  • Add spinach to a fruit smoothie
  • Use vegetables as a base for soups and stews
  • Try using cauliflower rice in stir fries, or use cauliflower pizza crust for pizzas
  • Make a vegetable omelet or frittata
  • Try baking with different vegetables
  • Swap out bread, wraps, or buns for collard greens or lettuce
  • Dip crunchy veggies into a delicious homemade sauce or dip
  • Add vegetables to traditionally meat heavy dishes, like lasagna
  • Make stuffed peppers
  • Or, make these delicious stuffed sweet potatoes!
Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes

These stuffed sweet potatoes are a super easy way to turn any veggie skeptic into a veggie lover! The sweet potatoes are roasted to caramelized perfection, then stuffed with a delicious mixture of corn, bell pepper, green onion, and Dr. Praeger’s. These are AMAZING, and one of my absolute favorites! Add some quick guacamole and cilantro, and you have yourself a perfect plant-based meal.

Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes

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Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3 1x
  • Category: main dish

Description

These Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes are a vegetarian dream meal!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 medium to large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup corn (about 1 ear)
  • 2 Dr. Praeger’s black bean quinoa burgers
  • 1/2 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Use a fork to poke several holes in each sweet potato. Roast for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until fork tender.
  3. While sweet potatoes cook, prepare the veggie burgers according to package instructions.
  4. Heat avocado oil on medium heat in a large skillet. Add bell pepper, green onion, cumin, and chili powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes. 
  5. Chop cooked veggie burgers into small bite size pieces, and add to the skillet, along with the corn.
  6. Remove from heat, and stir in enchilada sauce.
  7. Prepare the quick guacamole by mashing together avocado, garlic powder, lime juice, cilantro, and salt to taste until smooth.
  8. Slice cooked sweet potatoes in half. Top each half with about 1/3 cup of the filling. Serve with scoop of guacamole and extra cilantro if desired.

Keywords: mexican stuffed sweet potato, vegan, gluten free, plant based

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Thank you Dr. Praeger’s for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

Featured

Peanut Tofu Lettuce Wraps (Vegan, Gluten Free)

These tofu lettuce wraps are the perfect light meal for a warm summer night. Tofu and mushrooms are sautéed, then drenched in creamy peanut sauce before served on crunchy lettuce!

tofu lettuce wraps

If you’ve been here before, you know I absolutely love peanut sauce. I make it all the time for a variety of meals, and pretty much always have the ingredients on hand. These tofu lettuce wraps were basically just another vehicle to satisfy my peanut sauce cravings, but now this is one of my favorite summertime recipes!

It’s tough to turn on the oven during the summer, so I am all about quick meals that require minimal heat. For these tofu lettuce wraps, you only need one pan and only need to turn on the stove for about 10 minutes! You’ll sauté green onion, mushrooms, tofu, and water chestnuts together until browned. Then just pour on delicious homemade peanut sauce and mix together!

In this recipe, you’ll crumble the tofu, rather than slicing it into cubes. This gives the tofu a meatier texture, and ensures the peanut sauce gets into all the nooks and crannies!

tofu lettuce wraps

How to Make Tofu Lettuce Cups

  • Press a block of extra firm tofu between two plates for at least 10 minutes to remove excess water.
  • Chop up half a box of mushrooms and sauté them with sliced green onion.
  • Use your hands to crumble tofu into small, bite size pieces, and add them to the pan.
  • Cook until tofu is browned.
  • Toss tofu mixture with water chestnuts and homemade peanut sauce.
  • Scoop tofu into whole lettuce leaves, and sprinkle with green onions, fresno chilis, and chopped peanuts.

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Tofu: Tofu is a soy-based product that is a staple for vegetarian diets. It is one of my favorite protein sources because it is inexpensive and versatile. Tofu is low in saturated fat, and is also a good source of iron, magnesium, and calcium! Tofu tastes very plain on its own, but soaks up any sauce or dressing you add beautifully.
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms are another staple for vegetarian diets, because they have a meaty texture and savory, umami flavor profile. Unlike other fruits and vegetables, mushrooms are a good plant-based source of vitamin D, a nutrient many Americans do not get enough of!
  • Ginger: Ginger has been used for ages to treat a variety of ailments. It is effective in fighting nausea, and contains powerful antioxidants. It also has antibacterial properties, so it can be used to help fight infections.
  • Water Chestnut
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Peanut Butter
  • Lime Juice
  • Garlic
tofu lettuce wraps

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Peanut Tofu Lettuce Wraps (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3 1x
  • Category: main dish

Description

These tofu lettuce wraps are the perfect light meal for a warm summer night. Tofu and mushrooms are sautéed, then drenched in creamy peanut sauce before served on crunchy lettuce!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed for at least 10 minutes
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed
  • 1 head of butter lettuce, leaves removed, washed, and dried
  • 1/4 cup crushed peanuts
  • 1 fresno chili, sliced thin

Peanut Sauce

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp low sodium tamari
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 12 tsp chili paste
  • 1 tbsp mauka honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp creamy natural peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Heat avocado oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add mushrooms and half of the green onions to the skillet, cooking for 2-3 minutes until mushrooms begin to release their liquid.
  3. Use your hands to crumble the tofu into small chunks directly into the skillet. Continue cooking for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tofu begins to brown nicely and mushrooms are cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the peanut sauce by whisking together all peanut sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl until smooth and creamy.
  5. Once tofu is done, remove from heat. Stir in water chestnuts and peanut sauce until everything is evenly coated.
  6. Scoop about 1/4 cup of tofu mixture into each lettuce leaf. Top each lettuce wrap with a sprinkle of the remaining green onion, crushed peanuts, and fresno chili slices.


Notes

  • If you can’t find butter lettuce, any sturdy leafy vegetable will work. Try romaine or cabbage!

Keywords: tofu lettuce cups, vegan, peanut sauce, gluten free, tofu

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magnesium rich foods Featured

Why You Should Add These Magnesium Rich Foods to Your Diet

Learn about the mineral magnesium and why it’s so important for us! This post also includes a list of delicious magnesium rich foods you can add to your diet.

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an extremely important mineral for the human body. It is required as a cofactor in over 300 enzyme systems that perform all kinds of biochemical reactions! Magnesium is needed for protein synthesis, blood pressure regulation, blood sugar control, and muscle and nerve function, just to name a few.

Because more than half of the magnesium in our bodies is found in bone (50%-60%), magnesium levels are difficult to measure. However, many Americans are not getting the recommended amount of magnesium in their diets. The current Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA’s) for magnesium for adults is between 310-420 mg per day, based on age and gender (1).

Magnesium Health Benefits

Magnesium plays a crucial role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the human body. Because of this, it has significant health benefits.

  • Cardiovascular Disease: Magnesium might help to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure/hypertension is a known risk factor for stroke and heart disease. There is limited evidence that magnesium supplementation is associated with lowering blood pressure. However, one study showed that increased dietary magnesium from the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet lead to a drop in blood pressure (2).
  • Type 2 Diabetes: Diets high in magnesium are beneficial to prevent Type 2 Diabetes, likely because magnesium plays an important role in glucose metabolism. One meta-analysis showed that increasing magnesium intake by 100 mg per day significantly lowered the risk of Type 2 diabetes (3). Type 2 Diabetes causes higher urinary losses of magnesium, so it’s also important for those with the disease to get enough in their diets.
  • Bone Health: More than half of the magnesium in our bodies exists in bones. It is a part of bone formation, and helps regulate concentrations of other factors needed for strong bones. Even though we stop accumulating bone mass by the age of 25, research shows some positive associations between magnesium intake and bone mineral density in adults (4). This is especially important for post-menopausal women, who are at higher risk of osteoporosis! Magnesium may be just as important as calcium and vitamin D to promote good bone health.
  • Sleep: Magnesium supplementation may help with sleep and insomnia. One study showed that 8 weeks of daily magnesium supplementation lead to improved measures of insomnia, such as sleep time and serum melatonin levels (5).

Eight Magnesium Rich Foods

Now that we’ve gone over the importance of magnesium, and recognize what a powerful mineral it is, here are some delicious ways to add it to your diet!

Spinach and Leafy Greens

kale caesar salad

Half a cup of cooked spinach contains 20% of your daily magnesium needs. Enjoy it as a base for a salad, sautéed in an omelet, or blended into a green smoothie! Spinach and leafy greens are also good sources of fiber, and vitamins A, C and K. Try this Kale Caesar Salad with Spice Roasted Chickpeas or Spinach, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Quesadilla recipe to get your daily dose of leafy greens!

Beans and Legumes

mushroom tacos with mango avocado salsa

Beans and legumes are an inexpensive source of plant based protein, plus tons of other nutrients. Half a cup of black beans contain 15% of your daily magnesium needs, and half a cup of kidney beans contain 9%. Beans are one of the foods that people in all five Blue Zones eat regularly, which are areas of the world where people live longer than average. Try out these Quinoa Enchilada Stuffed Peppers or Mushroom Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa, both which include black beans.

Avocado

chickpea avocado stuffed sweet potatoes

We all know that avocado is full of healthy fats and potassium, but it also contains magnesium. One cup has 11% of our daily needs. Avocado is such a yummy and filling addition to salads, grain bowls, and even smoothies! Check out my Chickpea and Avocado Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Vegan Avocado Quesadillas for some new avocado filled meal ideas.

Tofu

crispy baked tofu, magnesium rich foods

Tofu is a versatile vegetarian diet staple. It is an inexpensive, easy to prepare source of plant-based protein, and it also contains minerals like magnesium, calcium, and iron. A 3.5 oz serving of tofu contains 13% of our daily magnesium needs. Some of my favorite tofu recipes include these Peanut Tofu Vermicelli Rice Noodle Bowls with Quick Pickled Vegetables, Tofu Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce, and Crispy Baked Tofu.

Edamame

edamame

Another soy product, edamame are immature soy beans. They are eaten steamed, and are delicious on their own with just a little salt! Edamame is a nutrition powerhouse, as it contains fiber, healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates. It’s also a good source of Vitamin C, iron, and magnesium – one cup has 24% of our daily needs. Try steamed edamame as one of my favorite Healthy Snack Ideas or in this Broccoli Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing.

Nuts

chocolate coconut balls, magnesium rich foods

Nuts are one of my favorite foods to snack on. They’re a good source of healthy fats, plant-based protein, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals. Almonds and cashews are particularly good source of magnesium. One ounce of either will give us around 20% of our daily needs! I love making healthy sweets using nuts, nut butter, or almond flour. Check out these recipes that use nut based ingredients: Almond Butter Zucchini Brownies, Freezer Cookie Dough Fudge, and Chocolate Coconut Balls.

Seeds

cauliflower sweet potato salad

Like nuts, seeds are also a wonderful food to snack on. A tablespoon of flax, chia, or sesame seeds gives us around 10% of our daily magnesium needs. I love to sprinkle seeds on top of oatmeal bowls or salads, and include them in my baking. This Cauliflower Sweet Potato Salad with Tahini Citrus Vinaigrette recipe uses sesame, or try this Blended Chocolate Chia Pudding.

Dark Chocolate

Fudgy Tahini Brownies with Chocolate Drizzle

Saving the best for last, dark chocolate is probably everyone’s favorite magnesium rich food! A one ounce piece contains 16% of our daily magnesium needs. Dark chocolate is also rich in flavanol antioxidants, which are protective against cardiovascular disease. Dark chocolate is obviously delicious on it’s own, or in desserts! Try these Fudgy Tahini Brownies or Raw Cashew Coconut Snickerdoodle Truffles.

Magnesium is a super important mineral for a ton of biochemical processes in our bodies, and has many health benefits. Load up your plate with magnesium rich foods to get your daily doses! As you can see, including a variety of foods from different food groups will give you a healthy dose of magnesium, as well as other necessary vitamins and minerals.

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magnesium rich foods
Featured

Kale Caesar Salad with Spice Roasted Chickpeas (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

This kale caesar salad will be your new favorite way to eat kale! For this recipe, you’ll toss kale in a homemade, dairy free Caesar dressing and top it with crunchy roasted chickpeas. This recipe is perfect for meal prep!

kale caesar salad

Kale has become one trendy vegetable over the past decade or so. This hearty, leafy green has become the epitome of the modern wellness scene, gracing farmer’s markets, restaurant menus, and even clothing! While kale is chock full of nutrients, in its raw state, it can be a bit unappealing.

One of my favorite ways to prepare kale is in a salad. The secret to turning this fibrous green into something delicious is to massage the dressing into the kale. It sounds a little extra to massage your vegetables, but this simple step transforms kale into a tender salad you’ll be happy to eat!

kale caesar salad

One great benefit to using kale as a salad base is that it keeps very well in the fridge without getting soggy. I usually prep a big batch, then add whatever salad toppings I feel like having! For this batch, I roasted up some chickpeas and tossed them in my favorite spices. They add such a nice crunchy texture and plant-based protein to this kale caesar salad.

How to make a massaged kale salad

  • Wash and dry one bunch of kale leaves.
  • Remove the stems and discard them, or save them to throw into smoothies.
  • Chop the kale leaves into bite size pieces.
  • Place kale in a large mixing bowl and pour dressing of choice on top. You can go super simple with just olive oil + lemon juice, or get fancy with this dairy free homemade Caesar dressing!
  • Use your hands to massage the kale for 3-5 minutes, until you feel the leaves soften and become tender.
  • Top with whatever salad fixings you’d like!
roasted chickpeas

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Kale: Kale is a very nutrient-dense food! It’s filled with vitamins A, C, and K, and is an excellent source of fiber. Kale is part of the cruciferous vegetable family along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. These vegetables are all rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
  • Cashews: When blended with some liquid, cashews turn into a great vegan replacement for cream in recipes, thanks to their mild taste. They are also great for us! Cashews are a good source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. They also contain important minerals like magnesium, copper, and iron.
  • Chickpeas: I wrote about some benefits of chickpeas in this post, but I’ll say it again – they are one of the healthiest foods to add to your diet! Pulses, which include legumes, beans, lentils, and peas, are excellent sources of plant-based protein, fiber, and other nutrients. Based on research done in the world’s Blue Zones (areas where people live much longer than average), regularly including pulses in your diet may be one contributing factor to good health and longevity.
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Avocado
kale caesar salad bowls

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Kale Caesar Salad with Spice Roasted Chickpeas (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40-45 minutes
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x
  • Category: salad

Description

This salad will be your new favorite way to eat kale! For this recipe, you’ll toss kale in a homemade, dairy free Caesar dressing and top it with crunchy roasted chickpeas. This recipe is perfect for meal prep!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • Large bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 avocado

For the Caesar dressing

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water 10 minutes, then drained
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a clean tea towel, thoroughly dry the chickpeas, and remove as many skins as possible.
  3. Toss the chickpeas in the avocado oil. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until browned and crispy.
  4. Once chickpeas are removed from the oven, toss with salt, pepper, and spices.
  5. While the chickpeas roast, prepare Caesar dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  6. Place kale in a large mixing bowl, and pour in about half of the dressing. Use your hands to massage the kale leaves for 3-5 minutes, until they begin to feel soft and tender. Add more dressing as desired.
  7. Divide kale into bowls, and top with chickpeas and pieces of avocado.


Notes

  • You may have leftover dressing – save it for another salad!
  • The massaged kale will keep well in the fridge, so it’s a great recipe to meal prep for the week.
  • The roasted chickpeas enjoyed fresh, and are best stored at room temperature for only 1-2 days. They begin to lose their crunch with time.

Keywords: kale caesar salad, kale, dairy free caesar dressing, homemade caesar dressing, gluten free

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kale caesar salad

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

Featured

Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This edible chocolate chip cookie dough is perfect for cookie dough lovers! Say hello to your new favorite healthy dessert.

edible chocolate chip cookie dough

Are you one of those people who eats spoonfuls of cookie dough before it makes its way to the oven to become cookies? I definitely am, and think cookie dough is one of the most delicious things to eat! While I’ve never personally gotten sick from eating cookie dough, it’s not good food safety practice to eat it because it contains raw eggs.

This edible chocolate chip cookie dough eliminates the risk of food poisoning because it doesn’t contain eggs. It actually doesn’t contain any other traditional chocolate chip cookie ingredients (except for chocolate chips). Made with chickpeas, tahini, oats, and maple syrup, this cookie dough is actually a good source of fiber and healthy fats!

edible cookie dough jar

How to Make Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

While it sounds strange, chickpeas make an excellent base for edible cookie dough. They have a mild taste and a super creamy texture when blended. Here’s how to make the most delicious edible cookie dough:

  • Purchase low sodium chickpeas. This will allow you to better control the amount of saltiness in your cookie dough!
  • Remove the skins from the chickpeas. This takes about 10-15 minutes, but is totally worth this extra step! This process allows your cookie dough to become even more creamy and smooth. To remove the skins, rub the drained and rinsed chickpeas between a clean tea towel. You’ll see that this removes some of the skins. Gently pinch the chickpeas to push them out of their skins, then discard the skins.
  • Combine chickpeas, maple syrup, tahini, oats, ground flax, vanilla extract, and salt in a food processor. Blend together very well for 3-5 minutes until super creamy. Stop blending occasionally to scrape down the sides so everything is well combined.
  • Stir in mini chocolate chips. Your cookie dough is now ready to eat!
edible cookie dough in food processor

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Chickpeas: Chickpeas are a part of the pulse family. Pulses also include beans, legumes, peas, and lentils. Pulses are an incredibly healthy and affordable source of plant-based protein. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals. In fact, pulses are staples in the diets of those living in the world’s Blue Zones (areas where people live longer than average)!
  • Tahini: Tahini is a good source of heart healthy polyunsaturated fats. These fats are important to include in your diet because they can help lower LDL cholesterol, and therefore have a positive impact on heart health.
  • Ground Flax: Flax is also a good source of polyunsaturated fats, and is one of the few plant based sources of omega-3 fatty acids! It’s also a good source of fiber, plant based protein, Because we are unable to digest the hard outer shell of whole flax, it is important to consume ground flax in order to get all the nutritional benefits.
  • Oats
  • Maple Syrup
edible chocolate chip cookie dough in jar

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Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Description

This edible chocolate chip cookie dough is perfect for cookie dough lovers! Say hello to your new favorite healthy dessert.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Remove skins from chickpeas by rubbing them between a clean tea towel to loosen the skins. Use your fingers to gently pinch the chickpeas out of the skins, discarding the skins.
  2. Place chickpeas, tahini, oats, flax, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla extract in a food processor. Blend for 3-5 minutes, until very smooth and creamy. You may need to scrape down the edges a few times to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
  3. Stir the chocolate chips into the dough. Serve immediately or store in the fridge.


Notes

  • This edible cookie dough will thicken slightly in the fridge, just like regular cookie dough.
  • Store in an air tight container for 3-5 days.

Keywords: edible cookie dough, edible chocolate chip cookie dough, vegan, gluten free, healthy desserts

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Featured

Six Healthy Snack Ideas from a Registered Dietitian

Looking to step up your snack game? This post outlines how to choose a healthy snack, along with six easy, healthy snack ideas approved by a Registered Dietitian – me!

As an RD, people ask me all about snacks. Are they good for us? How often should we have them? What are some healthy snack ideas? Snacking is ingrained in American food culture – we are bombarded by snack advertisements in the media every single day. From fruit roll ups to 100 calorie packs, this post will help you weed through the media messages and give you nourishing, filling, and simple snack ideas.

Is Snacking Good or Bad?

Like most questions about nutrition, the answer to this one is not black and white. Snacking is neither inherently good nor bad, and it may benefit some people more than others. Remember that our nutrition needs are highly individualized, and what works for one person may not work for the next.

Snacking has been studied as it relates to weight status, blood sugar level, and hunger prevention. Overall, snacking is probably not necessary for the average person to maintain weight status OR maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day. But, studies show that snacking may prevent hunger, and therefore prevent overeating at mealtimes later on.

Given this research, it is important to consider a few things when snacking. First, contemplate your motivation for snacking. Are you craving food because you are truly hungry, or does it relate to an emotion like boredom or stress? Second, snacking is highly individualized. A very active person will probably benefit from more frequent snacking, as they are naturally expending more calories than a sedentary person. Finally, it’s WHAT you snack on that really matters. Consuming balanced snacks, just like balanced meals, will have positive effects on weight, blood sugar level, and hunger prevention.

How to Make Healthy Snack Choices

Here are some of my tips for making mindful, balanced snack choices.

  • First and foremost, tune in to see if you are truly feeling hungry. Many of us, myself included, fall into emotional eating to satisfy a need that is not based on hunger! Take a step back before reaching for a snack to determine your motivating factor. If you find you’re not really hungry, do something to tackle the negative emotion you are feeling, such as taking a walk around the block.
  • Be mindful of portion size. Snacks are not meant to be as energy dense as meals. While I don’t count calories, a good size snack for most people is usually around 200 calories. This may vary based on age, gender, body composition, and health goals.
  • Start with fiber. Fiber is a nutrient many Americans don’t eat enough of. Since it slows digestion and absorption of nutrients, fiber helps keep us full. It also has a host of health benefits, which include promoting gut health, lowering cholesterol, and keeping our bowel movements regular. Use high fiber foods as your starting point for a balanced snack, such as whole fruit, whole grain products, or vegetables.
  • Add protein and/or healthy fats. Pairing your fiber-rich snack with some protein or healthy fats will further help slow down digestion and keep you fuller for longer. For those looking for snacks to help regulate blood sugar levels, choosing higher protein snacks seems to be best, based on research. Choose proteins like yogurt, egg, nuts/nut butter, and seeds, and healthy fats like avocado, olives or nuts/nut butter. The combination of fiber + protein/healthy fats makes us feel more satisfied, so we are less likely to keep reaching for more.
  • Make it simple and tasty. Snacks shouldn’t take you tons of time or energy to prepare – you’ve got other things to get done during the day! Keep it simple, and make sure your snack is enjoyable 🙂

Six Healthy Snack Ideas

Apple Nachos

Cut a small apple into wedges. Drizzle with 1-2 tsp nut butter, add 1 tbsp granola, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Serve with ¼ cup low fat yogurt for dipping.

apple nachos

Mini Protein Box

This is a totally customizable snack. Mix and match different sources of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Some examples include a hard boiled egg + small handful of nuts + 3-5 strawberries, or ½ cup grapes + 1 string cheese + 5 whole grain crackers.

mini protein box snack idea

Popcorn Trail Mix

2 cups air popped popcorn + ¼ cup of your favorite trail mix makes for a voluminous, portable snack that is great for munching.

popcorn trail mix healthy snack idea

Steamed Edamame

1 cup of steamed and lightly salted edamame is the perfect snack, as it contains fiber, protein, and healthy fats!

steamed edamame healthy snack idea

Bell Pepper + Quick Guacamole

A refreshing snack to much on in warmer months. To make quick guacamole, mash ½ of  ripe avocado with a squeeze of lime juice + a dash of both salt and garlic powder. Top bell pepper slices with guacamole and enjoy.

bell pepper and guacamole healthy snack idea

Chocolate Coconut Balls

These little bites are delicious, easy to make, and portable for on-the-go snacking. Filled with nuts, dates, coconut, and cacao powder, they only take 10 minutes to whip up. They taste incredibly decadent and dessert-like, so if you’ve got a sweet tooth, this is the snack for you!

chocolate coconut balls

What makes these balls a healthy snack? They’ve got fiber from the dates and oats. Healthy fats and protein come from cashews and coconut. Plus, they’ve got a boost of antioxidants from the cacao powder! One or two of these little guys will tide you over until your next meal.

chocolate coconut balls

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Chocolate Coconut Balls

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1012 balls 1x
  • Category: Snacks

Description

A sweet, chocolately, and delicious snack to make. These chocolate coconut balls are full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants!


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Blend together for 3-5 minutes, until a sandy consistency is reached. Scrape down the edges occasionally, if necessary.
  3. Remove “dough” from food processor and use your hands to form a large ball. Break off ~1 tbsp sized pieces and roll into 10-12 smaller balls.
  4. Roll each ball in additional shredded coconut, if desired.


Notes

Best stored in the refrigerator. 

Keywords: chocolate coconut balls, coconut, healthy snacks, healthy snack ideas

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