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Mixed Berry Oatmeal Crumble Bars

I’ve been wanting to make a recipe like this for a while. With the snow on Monday and lots of frozen fruit in my freezer, it seemed like the perfect day for a baking experiment! I’m so glad I went for it, because these will be such a treat to munch on all week.

I’m usually more of a chocolate person when it comes to dessert. Brownies and chocolate chip cookies are irresistible to me. But, if there is a fruit based dessert with a warm, cinnamon crumble situation going on, then you’ve got some competition! I absolutely love crisps and cobblers with whatever fruit is in season.

I had an unopened bag of mixed berries (cranberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries) which sounded like the perfect blend for a winter crumble. I highly recommend using this blend if you try these bars, as the cranberries add bold flavor and a little tartness. They also add a big boost of antioxidants! In addition to heart healthy oats, I used almond flour and almond butter to add healthy fats, fiber and protein to these bars. With less than ½ cup of added sugar, these bars are nutritious enough to have for breakfast or a snack, and will keep you fuller for longer than a traditional dessert bar.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 1 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tbsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup creamy almond butter
  • 1 ½ cups frozen mixed berries (I used Cape Cod Select Power Berry Blend)
  • 1 ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tbsp chia seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a square baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Combine almond flour, oats, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add almond butter and use your hands to mix it into dry ingredients. Mixture should be cohesive but crumby.
  4. Add about 2/3 of the crumble into the baking dish. Use your hands to press down firmly into a single layer.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  6. While crust is baking, make the filling: heat berries in a shallow pan on medium heat until berries are soft and break to release their liquid. Stir in maple syrup and chia seeds. Heat for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally then remove from heat to thicken.
  7. Remove crust from oven and spread the chia jam in an even layer on top. Sprinkle the remaining crumble on top of the jam layer.
  8. Bake for another 25-30 minutes, until crumble starts to brown.
  9. Let cool completely before slicing into squares.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

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Zucchini Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas with Avocado Cilantro Cream Sauce

Ben and I took a quick trip to NYC last weekend to visit our family and friends. We went to the Guggenheim and out for dinner and drinks with a group of our NYC people. I love Boston and I know this is where I am meant to be right now, but a piece of me will always belong to New York. The energy there is palpable and unmatched to any city I’ve ever been to. We both have close friends there, and we’ve kind of made a promise to each other to visit when we can so we don’t lose touch with them. Even though we were there for less than 48 hours last weekend, I met up with a good friend of mine for a workout class and coffee date and it was like no time had passed. Those couple of hours we got to spend with each other meant a lot to me, and reiterated the importance of keeping in touch!

Besides friends, another part of NYC I miss is the FOOD. There are an endless number of amazing establishments I would kill to have open in Boston. We didn’t have time to hit up all of my favorites, but I got in plenty of good eats, including Levain cookies. When you’re staying 4 blocks away from the bakery, it’s a sin not to go! After a weekend indulging in cookies and wine, I was craving something light yet filling and super flavorful this week. We both love Mexican food, so I decided to try a lightened up version of enchiladas! These babies are stuffed with some of my favorites (sweet potato, black beans, spinach and red pepper) and wrapped in zucchini! Using zucchini in place of tortillas, the veggie filling and dairy free avocado cream sauce makes these enchiladas quite filling, but not to the point where you want to unbutton your pants and take a nap. There’s a time and a place for those decadent meals, but this recipe is totally what my body was craving!

You can absolutely use tortillas in place of zucchini for this recipe – it will just make fewer total enchiladas because the zucchini ones are smaller than usual. This recipe makes about 20 three-four inch long zucchini enchiladas.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup diced onion (red or white are both fine)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 large zucchinis
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce, store bought or homemade. I made my own, adapted from Oh She Glows

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 ½ tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 ¾ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • Salt to taste

Avocado Cilantro Cream Sauce

  • 1 ½ avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions

  1. If making enchilada sauce: Heat oil over medium heat and stir in corn starch until mixture starts to thicken. Add spices, stir to mix and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in tomato paste, vegetable broth and salt. Keep on low heat, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. In a medium pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add diced sweet potatoes, return water to a boil and cook for 5-7 minutes until fork tender, then drain.
  4. Using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, peel zucchinis into long strips. The first couple strips might be too thin to roll, so you can discard them or use them for another recipe.
  5. For the filling, heat avocado oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, spices, salt and pepper, cooking another 2 minutes until fragrant. Add bell pepper and cook until soft. Stir in spinach, sweet potatoes and black beans and cook until spinach is wilted. Stir in heaping ½ cup of enchilada sauce, then remove from heat.
  6. Spread ¾ cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9”x13” baking dish.
  7. Prepare the enchiladas: take 3 zucchini strips and lay them together on a clean cutting board, so that they overlap with each other and make a rectangle. Place about ¼ cup of the veggie filling and roll up to enclose filling. Place in baking dish, with the seam side down.
  8. Repeat until pan is full – I made 2 rows of enchiladas. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top of enchiladas.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until sauce is a little bubbly.
  10. While enchiladas are baking, prepare the avocado cream sauce: add all ingredients to a food processor or blender (I used a NutriBullet) and blend until creamy. Add water 1 tbsp at a time as needed to help blend.
  11. Remove enchiladas from oven. Top with avocado cream sauce before serving, along with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

If you guys make this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

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Buffalo Cauliflower Lettuce Wraps

Let’s talk party snacks. Just like pretty much everyone in America, I love me some good finger foods. Chips and guac, cheese and crackers, bruschetta and mini quiches – I’ll take them all! I’m not really into football, but I’m always down for a Super Bowl party to scope out the snack scene. Sometimes it’s fun to have a whole bunch of mini foods to munch on instead of a formal meal!

The problem with these mini foods is that they are usually not very nutritious. They are often high in sodium, saturated fat and pack more calories than they let on. Looks can be deceiving – one pig in a blanket packs almost 100 calories, 2 grams of saturated fat and 200 mg sodium. These little snacks add up fast!

As you guys might know, my philosophy surrounding nutrition and eating is never about strict calorie counting or taking extreme measures to eat healthier. I focus on eating whole foods (mostly plants) that are nutrient dense a majority of the time, but still leave space to enjoy less nutritious foods. I always want eating to be pleasurable for you, and restricting yourself from enjoying a food you love will likely backfire in the long term.

Tackling situations like Super Bowl parties, where decadent food is in abundance, can be one of the most challenging scenarios to navigate if you are trying to stick to certain health goals. Here are some steps I like to go through with myself in these situations. They help me stay in tune with my body and ensure that I don’t overeat to the point where I am uncomfortably full (and believe me, I’ve done this before and it is no fun)!

Right before the party, I take a second to really check in with myself. I assess how hungry I am. Rating your hunger on a scale of 1 to 10 can help! This will help guide my eating choices during the event. Once arriving, I say my hello’s, offer to help out, and do a quick survey of the snack scene. I like to see all the creative recipes people made, and see if any snacks really jump out to me. I usually find 2-3 treats that I’m salivating over, and know I’ll want a taste of those! When it’s time to eat, I fill half my plate with some nutrient dense, lighter options, such as salad, veggie sticks and hummus or grapes. More often than not, your party will have some sort of crudité platter, so load up on these foods freely! Then, I save the other half of my plate for moderate portions of those less nutritious snacks I’m eager to try  (Spanakopita! Mozzarella sticks!) I try to eat slowly and enjoy each bite of food. Before running back for seconds, I check in with myself again to see how hungry I am, and this helps determine how much, if any, extra food I’ll take.

I hope these tips help! It can take a while to get to the point where you are comfortable listening and acting on your hunger cues, but it really is a freeing feeling! Thanks for reading, but now it’s time for the real reason you came here – buffalo cauliflower lettuce wraps!

Ben and I hosted our friends for the Super Bowl on Sunday, and I overestimated the amount of buffalo cauliflower to make, so we had a lot left over. I also had some fresh butter lettuce in the fridge, and thought the combination would be perfect! The warm and spicy cauliflower bites, paired with the cool crisp lettuce works sooo well. A little tangy goat cheese, pickled red onions and creamy guacamole really took these to the next level. To make these cauliflower bites a little more nutritious, I used whole wheat breadcrumbs and almond flour as the coating, baked them instead of frying in oil, and found this sauce that uses pineapple juice as sweetener! The less processed, the better.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
  • 1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Avocado oil spray
  • 1 12 oz bottle buffalo sauce (I used this brand)
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese, guacamole and pickled red onions for topping

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine breadcrumbs, almond flour, garlic powder and Italian seasoning in a small bowl.
  3. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl.
  4. One by one, dip each cauliflower floret into the egg, then coat with breadcrumb mixture. Space out evenly on baking sheet and spray with avocado oil spray.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  6. Combine buffalo sauce and avocado oil in a small bowl. Dip each cauliflower floret into mixture to coat, and return to baking sheet.
  7. Bake for another 15 minutes. You can broil for a minute or so at the end to get them extra crunchy, just be careful and watch that they don’t burn!
  8. While cauliflower is baking, pull off whole leaves from lettuce head, wash and pat dry.
  9. Top each lettuce leaf with 2 cauliflower florets, a dollop of guacamole, a sprinkle of goat cheese and a few red onions. Enjoy warm!

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Featured

Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Chana Masala

I rarely go for Indian food, but a craving hit this week! I absolutely love all the warming flavors and spices in Indian cuisine, and I felt a hot and cozy meal would be perfect for the low temperatures this week in Boston (although, I really can’t compare Boston to what the Midwest is dealing with right now)! Ben won’t be home for dinner for three nights, and when he’s out, I like to have a super easy meal prepped to eat so all I need to do is reheat it when I’m hungry. Gives me more time to catch up on my solo shows 🙂 We watch a show together when we are both home most nights, but we also have our own separate ones! Right now, I’m into Riverdale, but definitely need some suggestions!

Chana masala is an Indian dish comprised of chickpeas cooked in a spicy, tomato-based sauce. I wanted to make a veggie-heavy, one pot meal with inspired by these flavors, so I added butternut squash, cauliflower and spinach in addition to chickpeas. This recipe is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients like ginger and turmeric, as well as antioxidant vitamins A and C. If you’re feeling a cold coming on, make yourself a batch of this to load up on these nutrients! This recipe ended up more than enough for three meals, so it would be perfect to serve your whole family or a larger group.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, grated and finely minced
  • 3 serrano chilies, finely chopped
  • Large handful of cilantro, finely chopped (plus more for serving)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tbsp cumin
  • ½ tbsp turmeric
  • ½ tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tbsp coriander
  • 1 28 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced into bite size pieces
  • 1 whole head cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
  • 2 cans low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 3 large handfuls fresh spinach
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tbsp garam masala

Instructions:

  1. Add avocado oil to a large pot on medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
  2. Mix together garlic, ginger, chilies and lemon zest in a small bowl. Add to the pot and stir to combine with onions.
  3. Add salt, pepper and spices to the pot and stir to combine. Let cook for 1 minute until fragrant so the spices can bloom.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, butternut squash, cauliflower, chickpeas and enough water to just reach the top of all the veggies. Stir to combine, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer.
  5. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until butternut squash is fork tender.
  6. Add fresh spinach, lemon juice and garam masala and stir to combine. Add more salt to taste as needed.
  7. Serve warm with more cilantro to garnish. Can be served over rice (I used short grain brown rice), with bread or naan, or on its own!

This recipe made 6-8 servings.

Can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days. Tastes great cold or reheated.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see you creations! 🙂

 

 

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Maple Roasted Carrots with Ginger Beet Tahini Sauce

When your boyfriend willingly chooses to snack on carrots straight out the fridge, you know you’ve made a winning recipe. As a dietitian, few things give me more satisfaction than seeing people genuinely enjoy eating vegetables. When prepared thoughtfully, vegetables can easily be the most delicious part of your meal!

Many people I’ve talked to grew up having pretty boring vegetables! If I were served a plate of plain steamed or boiled broccoli, I wouldn’t be too excited about things either. When teaching people how to prepare vegetables they enjoy, I have two big tips. The first is to change the way you are preparing your veggies. My favorite way to cook veggies is roasting them in the oven! The high dry heat coaxes out the flavor, caramelizes them, and adds an irresistible crispy texture. Also, try roasting veggies at a higher temperature than you are used to doing. Instead of 350 degrees, try 400! I generally roast in the 400-425 degree range to really maximize flavor. My second tip is to master a few sauces to drizzle over cooked veggies. A good sauce transforms even steamed veggies into something really delicious. Some of my favorites I have in my back pocket are peanut sauce, sesame ginger sauce and pesto! Sauces may seem intimidating, but they are actually quite simple and come together quickly.

These carrots are both roasted and topped with a new favorite sauce recipe – packing DOUBLE the flavor punch! I added some maple syrup to the carrots before roasting, which really elevates their flavor and brings out their natural sweetness. This ginger beet tahini sauce is super creamy, zingy and versatile. It would be great served with other vegetables, drizzled on a grain bowl, or as a creamy salad dressing!

Ingredients:

Carrots

  • 2 small bunches of carrots, tops removed and scrubbed
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley and ¼ cup crushed pistachios for garnishing

Ginger Beet Tahini Sauce

  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 small Love Beets organic cooked beets + juice from package
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Add carrots to baking sheet and drizzle with avocado oil and maple syrup. Add salt and pepper and toss to coat carrots evenly.
  3. Roast for 40-45 minutes until carrots are fork tender and beginning to caramelize, turning carrots halfway through.
  4. While carrots cook, prepare the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time as necessary to aid blending.
  5. Arrange carrots on a serving platter. Drizzle with beet tahini sauce and sprinkle with fresh parsley and crushed pistachios. Serve warm. These carrots are also delicious cold, so if you have leftovers, save them to munch on or throw into salads!

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Tofu Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

What’s your favorite take-out cuisine? For me, I’ll always choose any restaurant that offers fresh summer rolls. When I lived in Providence, there was a great Thai and sushi restaurant down the street. They had the most delicious summer rolls with the best peanut dipping sauce. Honestly, give me anything drizzled with peanut sauce and I’ll be happy!

I love to experiment with healthier alternatives to my favorite restaurant and take-out meals in my cooking. By preparing food for yourself, you have total control over all the ingredients you add. Restaurants liberally add salt, oils and other fats to their cooking because, well, it makes their food taste delicious! But, you can still enjoy the vibrant flavors without taking in a day’s worth of sodium or saturated fat. I really love Asian cuisine, so I’ve developed some delicious sauces, like a stir fry and sesame ginger sauce.

I think I’ve finally perfected a peanut sauce I’ve been working on for a while, so I had to share it with you guys! I was also craving summer rolls and decided to just make a meal out of it! Why must we limit them to appetizer course? I paired these vegan rolls with some steamed + lightly salted edamame for a better-than-take-out meal. This sauce is not just for dipping; you can use it as a salad dressing, drizzled over avocado toast or tossed in a stir fry.

Ingredients:

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
  • 1-2 tsp chili paste
  • 1 tbsp mauka honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter

Summer Rolls

  • 1 block firm tofu, water pressed out for 10 minutes
  • 2 tsp Trader Joe’s Mushroom & Company seasoning (or just salt and pepper)
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup baby spinach, stems removed
  • Large handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 7 spring roll brown rice paper wrappers
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise, or peeled with julienne peeler
  • Half an avocado, thinly sliced
  • Half a small cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice tofu into thin steaks, season with TJ’s Mushroom & Company, toss in avocado oil and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until browned and crispy.
  2. While tofu is cooking, prepare peanut sauce. Whisk together avocado oil, sesame oil, tamari, lime juice, vinegar, chili paste, honey, garlic and ginger. Then whisk in peanut butter until smooth. Add more chili paste if you like heat!
  3. Prepare veggies and avocado as outlined.
  4. When tofu is done cooking, slice each piece in half lengthwise.
  5. Set up a little assembly line on your countertop: start with rice paper wrappers, then spinach and mint, veggies, avocado and tofu.
  6. Fully submerge 1 rice paper wrapper in water, then place on a clean plate.
  7. Arrange about 5-7 spinach leaves and 2 mint leaves in the center of the wrapper, and then top with the remaining ingredients.
  8. I found it easiest to fold in the sides of the wrapper first, then roll the front edge away from you to form the wrap.
  9. Place finished rolls on another clean plate. You can leave them whole or slice in half with a sharp knife.
  10. Serve with peanut dipping sauce!

These will keep in the fridge for 1-2 days, just bring them to room temperature before eating so the wrappers soften.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Dreamy Pink Beet + White Bean Dip

First recipe of 2019! I hope you all had a happy New Year’s Eve and are feeling ready to conquer any goals you may have set for yourself. I’m not huge on resolutions, but I am committed to using less plastic this year! Have you guys set any for 2019?

New Years is probably the most popular time for people to pursue health and wellness goals. I applaud anyone who is seeking to better their health! I hope you are able to create lasting lifestyle changes during your journey.

One thing I’ve noticed on social media is people partaking in restrictive eating patterns for the month of January, in an effort to kick off better health. I’ve specifically seen people dedicating the month to consuming no sugar and Whole30. While it is very beneficial to limit added sugars, and while Whole30 does include healthy, nutrient dense foods, these patterns are hardly sustainable for the long term. When we restrict ourselves completely from having certain food groups, we may miss out on important nutrients, and we may also miss out on a little bit of life! Eating should always be a balance between nourishment and enjoyment. We should be giving our bodies what they need, but also what they crave. I believe it is this balance that allows us to maintain good physical and mental health, because it cultivates a healthy relationship with food.

So, if you guys were considering eliminating entire food groups for the month, I encourage you instead to focus on what you can ADD to your diet for better health! Maybe that means you try 3 new vegetables this month, or switch up the type of whole grain you usually make with dinner. This could also mean finding creative ways to add nutrient dense foods to dishes. Adding greens to smoothies, zucchini noodles to pasta dishes or BEETS to a homemade dip are all simple, fast ideas.

I made this white bean dip to snack on for the week, and it is the prettiest shade of pink, thanks to the addition of beets! This root veggie sometimes gets a bad rap for tasting earthy (I happen to love the taste), but it really is a nutrition powerhouse. Beets are high in nitrates, which, when converted into nitric acid in the body, can lower blood pressure. They are also high in antioxidants! If you’d like to include beets in your diet for the health benefits, but aren’t keen on the taste, try this dip! You really can’t taste the beet flavor, thanks to the delicious lemon juice, tahini, garlic and spices.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium cooked beet, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • Crackers and veggie sticks for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine ingredients and puree until smooth.
  2. Serve with crackers, pita or veggies for dipping.

Can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days after making.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Blended Chocolate Chia Pudding

When I first tell people that I am a dietitian, they tend to ask some typical questions:

“What do you think of X diet?”

“How much should I be eating to lose weight?”

“Am I getting enough protein?”

One of my favorite questions to help answer is “How can I eat a healthy breakfast when I’m super busy during the week?” If you guys follow me on Instagram, you know that I LOVE breakfast! I always have a filling meal to start the day, whether that be peanut butter and banana toast, a loaded sweet potato yogurt bowl, or oatmeal with a hasselback baked pear. When we sleep, our bodies use up some of the glycogen we store in the liver as energy. It’s important to replenish those lost stores upon waking with breakfast! Including some carbohydrates like whole grains, fruit or dairy helps replenish these stores and allows our bodies to use the glucose in these foods for energy. As with every meal, pairing these carbs with protein, fiber, and healthy fats makes for a balanced meal that will keep us feeling full.

Preparing breakfast the night before to take with you to work is an easy solution to skipping breakfast because you are too busy. Some great options include overnight oatmeal, egg muffins, and chia pudding! Each of these choices are balanced mixes of the macronutrients + fiber.

If you’re not keen on the gelatinous texture of chia pudding, try blending it! Blending turns it into a creamy, smooth pudding that is so dreamy. This recipe will turn any chia pudding skeptic into a lover! It really tastes like a rich dessert. In fact, I would definitely make this for dessert and be completely satisfied! It’s naturally sweetened with just dates, gluten free and paleo friendly. I hope you guys give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 5 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp creamy almond butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Dash of sea salt
  • Toppings of choice: I used banana, pomegranate seeds, hemp hearts, chia seeds and pepitas.

Instructions:

  1. Combine chia seeds and water in a jar, close lid and shake very well. I shake the jar a few times, wait a minute, and shake again. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. Add chia gel to a blender along with the other ingredients. Blend on high speed until creamy.
  3. Divide between two bowls and add any toppings you desire! This can is easily prepared ahead of time – just store in a jar in the fridge, so it’s ready to grab and go in the morning.

This recipe makes 2 servings.

*I actually made this entire recipe in my NutriBullet Balance blender. It was super convenient just adding all the ingredients to one container – easy cleanup!

What are your favorite breakfast on-the-go recipes? I would love to hear! If you guys try this chia pudding, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations 🙂

Ginger Spice Molasses Cookies

Do you ever wake up with very specific cravings? The other morning, I immediately began thinking about chewy ginger spice cookies. I almost always choose classic chocolate chip when it comes to cookies, so it was quite out of the blue for me! Maybe I had seen some scrolling on Instagram the night before, but I knew I wanted to make them that very day!

As you guys know, I have a sweet tooth and I am an advocate for eating “real” sweets on occasion to satisfy those cravings. I’ll never turn down my mom’s homemade cookies or a slice of birthday cake. However, I really do enjoy experimenting in the kitchen with alternative ingredients and creating more nutritious versions of my favorite treats! I’ve recently been experimenting with almond flour. It bakes  up quite well, and I love that it adds healthy fat, fiber and protein to baked goods!

These cookies offer up a double dose of almond, as I also used almond butter. Because of the high fat content in almond butter, there was no need for any added oil or butter to this recipe! I slightly under baked them so they are SUPER soft, and the turbinado sugar coating adds a delicious crunch to every bite. They are the perfect gluten free, paleo treat to bring to your holiday gathering! They stay super moist when you store them, and become even more flavorful a day or two later.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy almond butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Primal Palate Apple Pie Spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar

Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together almond butter, maple syrup and brown sugar.
  2. Add in egg, vanilla extract and molasses and beat until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Slowly beat in dry ingredients until combined.
  4. While you preheat oven to 350 degrees F, place dough in fridge for 30 minutes or freezer for 10 minutes.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put turbinado sugar in a small, shallow bowl.
  6. Roll ~1-2 tbsp size balls of dough in turbinado sugar, and press down to flatten lightly on baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Cookies will be very soft when you remove them from the oven, so let cool for a few minutes before moving.
  8. Sprinkle with extra ground ginger if desired. Can be stored in an airtight container for 4-5 days after baking.

 

I hope you guys try this festive, flavorful recipe! Tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations 🙂

Loaded Greek Salad Hummus For a Crowd

What’s your favorite appetizer to snack on at parties? One of my go-to choices is a hummus! It’s a humble yet nutritious food, packed with plant based protein and healthy fats. You can use veggie sticks, better-for-you crackers or whole wheat pita for dipping to up the nutrition factor. Pulses, which include beans, lentils, peas (and the chickpeas found in hummus) are substantial sources of important minerals like iron, magnesium and potassium, and they are also rich in fiber. Many of the world’s longest living populations eat diets rich in pulses!

Recently, someone asked me to bring an appetizer to a holiday party. When bringing a dish to a gathering, I like to choose something nutritious to balance out some of the heavier foods that will be served. Naturally, I thought of hummus! Store bought hummus usually gets the job done, but homemade is ALWAYS better. If you haven’t made your own before, you are missing out! Think about how creamy, smooth and fresh the hummus is at your favorite Mediterranean restaurant. You can have that at home in about 5 minutes with this recipe! To up the “wow” factor, I added some delicious toppings to this hummus, so it was a really beautiful presentation to show off. Your guests will never know this took you less than 20 minutes to make 🙂 This recipe makes A LOT of hummus, so make sure you have a hungry crowd ready to dig in.

Ingredients:

Hummus

  • 1 28 oz can low sodium chickpeas, drained and liquid reserved
  • ¼ cup reserved chickpea liquid
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt, or more to taste

Toppings

  • ¼ cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted red pepper
  • 5-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4-5 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • Paprika and extra virgin olive oil for garnish
  • Veggie sticks and crackers for serving (I used Simple Mills Sprouted Seed crackers)

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients for hummus in a high speed blender or food processor. Blend on high speed until creamy. Add a few tbsp of cold water if needed to aid blending.
  2. Move hummus to a medium shallow serving bowl. Arrange toppings on hummus so they cover about half the hummus.
  3. Serve with veggie sticks, crackers or whole wheat pita immediately, or refrigerate until serving. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika before serving.

I hope you guys try this easy, beautiful recipe! Tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations 🙂