Two Ingredient Berry Chia Jam (No Added Sugar)

Hands up if you’re and peanut butter and jelly fan! I’ve always loved this classic combination. It’s the ideal two minute meal for beach days, hikes and quick breakfasts. It’s the perfect play on that salty/sweet flavor combo paired with a creamy and jammy texture. Let’s be real, though…pretty much anything tastes amazing when paired with peanut butter!

Conventional jams and jellies you find on the shelves have added sugars. This is partially necessary to increase shelf life, as sugar acts as a preservative and inhibits bacterial growth. And while all fruits/fruit products inherently have sugar in them, the naturally occurring sugar in fruit is nothing to shy away from. Fruit is full of nutritional benefits, including important vitamins and fiber. The fiber in fruit slows down the digestion and eventual release of its sugars into the bloodstream, so it won’t cause a speedy spike in blood glucose the way refined sugars do. If you’re trying to limit added sugars in your diet, preparing this homemade jam is an easy place to start!

This jam takes about 10 minutes to make, and will last in the fridge for about a week. You can customize the size of the recipe, too. If you don’t think you’ll use a whole jar in one week, cut the recipe in half! It’s so versatile – I use it on toast, in my oatmeal, and even as a compote on pancakes. Heating up the berries really coaxes out the natural sweetness of the fruit, so you’ll find you won’t even miss the added sugars. You can use any kind of frozen berries in this recipe – I’ve used blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds
  • Optional flavorings: lemon zest, cinnamon, vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat a large shallow pan over medium heat. Add frozen berries and chia seeds, and stir to combine.
  2. Stir occasionally until berries are broken down and mixture begins to thicken, about 5-10 minutes. You may need to break up larger pieces of fruit with your mixing spoon as they soften for a more even texture.

Note: If using only frozen blueberries, you will need to add about ¼ cup of water to the recipe, as blueberries do not break down and release their liquid as much as other berries.

Have you guys made chia jam before? What is your favorite berry combination? If you try this recipe, make sure to tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations 🙂

Avocado Egg Salad Open Face Sandwich

More often than not, my lunch is a big salad I throw together with some crunchy raw veggies, a protein source, avocado and leftover grains/cooked veggies. It’s a filling, satisfying and quick meal, but sometimes I just crave a good SANDWICH. This craving hit last week after an active morning of a leg workout followed by a hike, and I came home starving. I wanted to refuel my body with some more substantial carbohydrates, and a heartier meal, so this sandwich came to mind.

Even before I was interested in nutrition, I was never a fan of mayonnaise. Potato salad, macaroni salad and egg salad never really appealed to me. I also remember portioning out mayonnaise into single size serving cups when I worked at a restaurant and being completely grossed out! While I don’t count calories, traditional mayonnaise packs a lot with little nutritional value in comparison. I love to swap out more nutritious options for mayonnaise in my cooking. Plain Greek yogurt is a great option for sauces, spreads and dips – like in my Spicy No Mayo Slaw for tacos. Mashed avocado is also an amazing swap when you need something creamy and thick! Avocado is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, as well as other important nutrients like potassium and fiber.

This egg salad recipe has just 5 ingredients: eggs, avocado, lemon juice, garlic salt and Dijon mustard.  You won’t find pro-inflammatory oils, excess added sugars or sodium here! If you have hard boiled eggs already prepped, it takes just 2 minutes to make. This sandwich is an ideal combination of protein, healthy fats, fiber and carbohydrates, so it will keep you full all afternoon! Here’s how to make it, if you’d like to try.

Ingredients

  • ½ of an avocado
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard (I used Sir Kensington’s)
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • ½ cup baby Spinach
  • 1 slice whole wheat sourdough bread, toasted

Instructions

  1. Mash the avocado, lemon juice, mustard and garlic salt together in a small bowl
  2. Add chopped eggs to a medium bowl. Mix well with the mashed avocado sauce
  3. Top slice of toast with spinach then pile on the egg salad

I hope you guys try this easy egg salad sandwich for lunch when the craving hits! Tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations 🙂

 

Shrimp Tacos with Spicy No-Mayo Slaw and Guacamole

Happy Taco Tuesday! Ben and I made these tacos for football Sunday when we had his brother over to watch the Patriot’s game (living with Ben = surrendering the TV every Sunday during football season). We had just come home from grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, where we picked up groceries for the week and a few staples to have on hand. I shared more details on my stories Sunday, but we ended up spending 98 dollars on our entire grocery haul. If we planned correctly, this will last us most of our meals for the week, for less than 50 dollars per person. I’m great at shopping and meal planning for myself, but including another person (who is larger than I am and therefore eats more food) in this weekly task is totally new to me. I’m lucky that Ben is not a picky eater and enjoys healthy and vegetarian meals, but I want to make sure he feels satisfied and fulfilled by what we are cooking each week. I see this as a new challenge to tackle together!

When planning meals for those with varied dietary restrictions and tastes, I find that “build your own” meals are a really good option. Preparing a bunch of different, simple sides is a great way to allow your guests to add ingredients to their meals based off of their preferences. Tacos are a great example, because you can prepare multiple add-ins, such as beans, different protein options, a few veggie options, guacamole, avocado, cheese, salsas and sour cream. Another easily customizable meal is build your own pizzas (provide regular/whole wheat/gluten free crust and a few options for sauces, cheeses, veggie and meat toppings). Your guests have more control over what they would like to eat, and the hands on process of customizing your meal can be really fun!

These tacos took 30 minutes or less to prepare. We made the shrimp, guacamole and slaw from scratch and, included pre-made pico de gallo and canned beans to make for a speedier meal. We enjoyed this meal as tacos for lunch during the game, then had leftovers in the form of taco salads for dinner. Because you can never have too many tacos!

Ingredients:

Slaw

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt or skyr (I used Siggi’s dairy)
  • ½ - 2 tsp hot sauce (use more if you like spicy food)
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 3 cups cabbage, thinly sliced (we used Trader Joe’s bagged cabbage, which has a mix of red and green cabbage and carrots)
  • ½ tbsp jalapeño, minced

Guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocados, halved and pits removed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 plum tomato, seeds removed and diced

Shrimp

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 bag peeled and deveined frozen shrimp
  • 1 tsp Primal Palate Adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic salt

Pre-made pico de gallo, canned beans and corn tortillas for serving

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the slaw: In a small bowl, combine yogurt, hot sauce, taco seasoning, garlic salt and lime juice. Stir well to combine. Place cabbage and jalapeño in a mixing bowl, then toss with yogurt sauce. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the guacamole: Place 3 avocado halves in a mixing bowl with garlic, cilantro onion, lime juice and salt. Mash well with a fork. Add in diced tomatoes plus the remaining avocado half, cubed. Stir to combine.
  3. Prepare the shrimp: heat olive oil in frying pan on medium heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add shrimp, Adobo seasoning and garlic salt. Stir occasionally until shrimp is fully cooked, about 5 minutes.
  4. Heat tortillas in a frying pan or oven (optional). Set all your prepared ingredients on the counter, and have your guests build their own tacos!

 

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

Zucchini Bread Pancakes with Berry Compote

The past few days, it has begun to really feel like late summer. I’ve been lucky enough to have a few weeks with my family on Martha’s Vineyard, and we are experiencing shorter days, less humidity, and cooler temperatures. Before we know it, fall will be rolling around – including pumpkin spice EVERYTHING.

Until then, I am soaking up every last bit of summer I can! Of course, this includes all my favorite summer foods. I’m loving watermelon, tomatoes, basil and peaches. I’ve been filling my plate with an abundance of this fresh produce, but I’ve also been treating myself to some less nutritious treats. One of my absolute favorites to indulge in during the summer is fresh baked zucchini bread from a local farm here on the Vineyard. It’s something that reminds me of my childhood, and I can’t help but reach for a slice when I’m on island.

These zucchini bread pancakes were inspired by my favorite zucchini bread, but without refined grains and excess added sugar. They are super moist and hearty, just like my favorite slice of zucchini bread! I used Elmhurst Unsweetened Milked Hazelnuts ™ in this recipe, as this has become my favorite milk alternative to use daily. I truly believe that when it comes to food, simpler is better, and Elmhurst® shares this same mindset. Their nut and grain milks all contain six ingredients or less, and their unsweetened varieties have just two. They also do not use any added gums or emulsifiers, which is rare to find in milk alternatives! Plus, Elmhurst plant milks have a super smooth consistency and taste creamier than other plant milks I have tried. They have 10 different varieties, including unsweetened and lightly sweetened choices. I’ve been itching to try their Chocolate Milked Peanuts – how delicious does that sound?! You can find Elmhurst products at Whole Foods, and here is the store locator! They also deliver any of their varieties if you order through their website.

If you guys are holding on summer like I am, these pancakes are for you!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 and ¼ cup oat flour (use a blender to make this out of rolled oats)
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Elmhurst Elmhurst Unsweetened Milked Hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup, plus more for serving if desired
  • ½ cup frozen raspberries
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • Butter, coconut oil or cooking spray for pan

Instructions:

  1. Using a paper towel or clean dish towel, squeeze out excess moisture from grated zucchini
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oat flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon
  3. In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together egg, hazelnut milk, lemon zest and maple syrup
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry, and stir to combine
  5. Fold in grated zucchini until mixture is well combined. Add more hazelnut milk as needed if batter is very thick
  6. In a cast iron skillet or frying pan, heat butter/oil/cooking spray over medium heat. Spoon batter into pan, using about 1/3 cup
  7. Cook pancakes until edges begin to brown, then flip, after 2 minutes or so
  8. While pancakes are cooking, prepare the berry compote: combine frozen berries and chia seeds in a shallow pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until berries are cooked down and mixture begins to thicken
  9. Serve pancakes while still warm with a generous pile of berry compote and a drizzle of maple syrup.

This recipe makes about 10 pancakes.

I hope you guys give this recipe a try! If you make these zucchini bread pancakes, I’d love to see how they turn out! Tag @Elmhurst1925 and @daisybeet on Instagram 🙂

 

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Lately, I’ve been traveling a lot on the weekends. I’ve had a few trips in the past few months, plus visiting my boyfriend, friends and family in Boston. I’ve been away from home pretty much every other weekend. If this were one year ago, all this traveling would have totally stressed me out. I was still in my Dietetic Internship and school, and my schedule was dictated by my preceptors. Since my days were jam-packed with internship and homework, I made sure I was extremely organized with meal prepping. I was on a budget, so eating out every night was not an option! While I still love to meal prep and enjoy cooking and eating a majority of my meals at home, I’ve learned to manage better if Sunday evening rolls around and I am just getting back to the city.

One of my biggest tips for being able to prepare a nutritious meal after coming home from traveling is to stock your pantry with a few staples at all times. In particular, frozen vegetables are a lifesaver! They can be added to stir fries, pasta, or even just rice and beans to finish off a perfectly balanced meal. Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious (if not more so) than fresh vegetables. Frozen veggies are picked and then frozen at peak ripeness, preserving their vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in the process.

I’ve probably made my cauliflower fried rice dish 10 times over the past few months. It’s become my go-to meal when I didn’t have time to batch cook for the week, because I use frozen cauliflower rice, eggs, and seasonings which I always have on hand. I like to pick up a few extra veggies to throw into the mix for color and variety, but this dish already has loads of veggie goodness thanks to the cauliflower rice! You can even add other frozen veggies to this dish if you don’t have time to pick up anything fresh – think peas, carrots and broccoli.

Staying on track with healthy eating when you’re frequently on the go can be a big challenge. A little planning ahead by stocking your kitchen with some essentials will save you time, money and catapult you towards your health and wellness goals! I would love to hear your tips + tricks for staying on track when you’re frequently away from home.

Ingredients:

  • ½ tbsp avocado oil or other cooking oil
  • ½ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup broccoli florets
  • ½ cup sliced bell pepper
  • ½ cup sliced summer squash
  • 1 cup frozen cauliflower rice
  • Squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • ½ tsp sambal olek paste (or a shake of red chili flakes)
  • 1 large handful fresh greens, like spinach, bok choy or kale
  • 2 large eggs
  • Small handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. In a medium cast iron skillet or frying pan, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring so garlic does not burn.
  3. Add broccoli, bell pepper and summer squash (or any fresh veggies you are using) to pan. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring until veggies are mostly cooked through.
  4. Push veggies to the side of the pan with a spatula. Add cauliflower rice to the empty side of the pan plus the lime juice, soy sauce, and sambal olek. Stir into cauliflower rice to combine. Let cook for 1-2 minutes, then mix cauliflower rice into the rest of the veggies in the pan.
  5. Add greens and stir to combine until wilted.
  6. Push cauliflower rice to one side of the pan.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk the two eggs together.
  8. Spray the empty side of the pan with cooking spray, then pour in eggs. Scramble with a spatula, then mix scrambled eggs in with the cauliflower rice.
  9. Transfer to a bowl or plate. Top with cilantro, avocado, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Enjoy immediately!

This meal is great because it:

  • Utilizes pantry staples when you don’t have time to shop
  • Is extremely customizable, as you can use whatever veggies (fresh or frozen) you have on hand
  • Takes less than 20 minutes to make
  • Is super flavorful and tastes DELICIOUS!

I hope you guys give this a try! If you make this cauliflower rice, I’d love to see how it turns out! Tag @daisybeet on Instagram 🙂

Healthy Puppy Chow

Lately, I’ve been feeling nostalgic for the most random things. Maybe it’s because I’m officially an “adult” now being completely done with school and working a full-time job, or realizing I’m only 2 years away from being 30 years old, but time seems to be flying by too quickly!

Last night, my roommate was showing me home video clips she watched after going to her parent’s house for the weekend, and we chatted about all the Disney VHS movies we both owned. Who else was a diehard Little Mermaid fan?

In addition to nostalgia for things like movies, I’ve also been thinking about foods I haven’t eaten in years. I bought a box of shredded wheat cereal to add to yogurt bowls for quick breakfasts last week, and that brought me down memory lane! I used to LOVE frosted mini wheat cereal for breakfast – there was something so satisfying about that sugary flavor and that delicate ratio of milk to cereal that created the perfect texture piece of cereal.

Munching on shredded wheat all week reminded me about a popular snack we had growing up: puppy chow! My own mom actually never made this for us, and I don’t think I was introduced to this treat until middle school at a friend’s house. This crunchy, peanut buttery, chocolately, sugary snack was so addicting.

Puppy chow is traditionally made with peanut butter, chocolate chips, rice chex cereal, sometimes butter and coated in heaps of powdered sugar. I decided I wanted to make a more nutritious version, without compromising on flavor!

My version maintains the same texture and rich peanut butter chocolate goodness, however I swapped the powdered sugar for a blend of powdered peanut butter, cacao powder and cinnamon. Here are some of the benefits of my puppy chow:

  • Whole grain fiber, thanks to unsweetened shredded wheat cereal
  • A boost of antioxidants by using dark chocolate
  • Zero added sugars or preservatives by using natural peanut butter and no powdered sugar

If you guys had puppy chow growing up, I encourage you to try this recipe for a more nutritious trip down memory lane. I plan on making another batch for a Super Bowl snack to munch on!

Ingredients:

  • One 3.5 oz bar of dark chocolate, roughly chopped (or ½ cup dark chocolate chips)
  • 1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 4 cups shredded wheat cereal
  • ¼ cup powdered peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler on the stovetop. Stir in peanut butter once melted.
  2. Add 1 cup shredded wheat cereal to a large mixing bowl. Add a few big spoonfuls of melted chocolate and mix.
  3. Alternate about 1 cup shredded wheat cereal and melted chocolate, and mix gently until everything is combined. (I suggest using a rubber spatula to scrape out as much chocolate as you can).
  4. In a large ziplock bag, combine powdered peanut butter, cacao powder and cinnamon.
  5. Pour chocolate coated cereal into the bag, close and shake until pieces are well coated.
  6. Pour into a bowl or enjoy! This snack will keep well in the fridge.

 

If you try this recipe, tag @daisybeet so I can see your creations! I hope you enjoy 🙂

Creamy Curry Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk

Now that I am working full time while finishing my masters, quick and easy batch cooking is even more essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Training has been great, but I come home absolutely exhausted with little motivation to cook. It is a life saver to have meals like this curry butternut squash soup ready for me when I get home.

This soup is filled with warming flavors that is perfect to come home to on a chilly night. Butternut squash, ginger, curry powder and coconut milk meld together for a creamy, flavorful, nutritious meal. Top with Thai basil pesto for an added punch and texture!

This dish features one of my new favorite products, Thrive® Algae Oil. I love this cooking oil for many reasons. First, it has a high smoke point – 485 degrees to be exact. This means the fats will not oxidize into harmful substances when cooked at a high heat. It also has an excellent fat profile – full of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) that are good for our hearts. It even has more MUFAs than olive oil - Thrive® has 90% compared to the 70% in olive oil. Finally, Thrive® has a very neutral taste, lending itself well to so many different recipes. It definitely helped enhance the wonderful, complex flavors in this soup and pesto!

I hope you all try this soup and/or pesto. The pesto is great with pasta or on eggs, as well. Remember to tag #Daisybeet so I can see your creations!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash (3-4 pounds)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • ½ bag riced cauliflower (I used frozen)
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 ½ tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1-2 tbsp Thrive® Algae Oil
  • 8 oz unsalted or low sodium veggie stock
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • Batch of Thai Basil Pesto (Optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Pierce butternut squash with a fork several times. Cut butternut squash in half by separating the long, narrow part from the wide part. Cut each piece in half. Scoop out seeds (discard seeds or save for roasting).
  3. Drizzle squash flesh with 1-2 tsp Thrive® Algae Oil and a little salt. Place cut side down onto foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until squash can easily be pierced with a fork.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp Thrive® Algae Oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and salt to taste, and cook 3-5 minutes until translucent, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add garlic, ginger, thyme and cauliflower rice and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add more salt, turmeric and curry powder and stir to coat mix.
  7. Scoop out roasted butternut squash from skin and add to soup pot.
  8. Add veggie stock and stir, letting flavors combine for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Transfer contents to blender (I recommend a high-speed blender like a Vitamix) and blend on high until smooth and silky.
  10. Pour soup into large container or back into soup pot, and stir in the can of coconut milk until well combined.
  11. Serve as is, or topped with a scoop of Thai basil pesto (optional).

 

Ingredients for Thai Basil Pesto:

  • 2 cups Thai basil
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Thrive® Algae Oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1-2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • Shake of crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions for Thai basil pesto: Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until combined. I like to keep a little texture in my pesto, but if you prefer a smoother pesto, blend for longer.

 

Raw Cashew Coconut Snickerdoodle Truffles

Raw desserts sound intimidating and expensive. Sometimes, there is a laundry list of obscure ingredients involving multiple layers and complicated steps. But, they can actually be surprisingly easy to make, and man, are they satisfying! I secretly dread dragging out my food processor and the ensuing clean-up to make them, but these cashew coconut snickerdoodle truffles took no time at all. I could easily devour the entire recipe in one sitting because they taste incredible.

If you told me these truffles were made from less than 10 simple ingredients, I wouldn’t believe you. I also wouldn’t believe that they are nut based and full of healthy ingredients! No expensive, hard-to-find add-ins here. In fact, I bet you actually have most of what you need to make these on hand already. Free from refined sugar, flour, dairy and eggs, these truffles would be a perfect addition to your holiday dessert line up. I guarantee they’ll be a hit, and will suit the dietary needs your guests may have (vegan, gluten free, and paleo).

Here are some of the highlighted ingredients:

And the nutrition breakdown:

  • Cashews are one of my favorite nuts. Their neutral and mild flavor lends itself nicely to a variety of recipes. Compared to other nuts, they become particularly creamy when blended, making for a great cream replacement. Cashews are an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral that is essential for energy production in our bodies, but one that many of us may fall short of in meeting our daily requirements. One serving of cashews provides about 20% of our daily magnesium needs! Reach for a handful of cashews for a protein packed snack that is also rich in minerals and healthy fats.
  • FlavaNaturals chocolate bars are one of my recent favorite products. I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic with a huge sweet tooth, so I was thrilled to create this recipe. These bars come in creative flavors like blueberry matcha, so they are delicious eaten on their own. What separates FlavaNaturals chocolate bars from others on the market is their flavanol content. Flavanols are the reason we consider dark chocolate to be a healthy treat. These powerful antioxidants are anti-inflammatory and may promote good heart heath. Unfortunately, many of the flavanols in chocolate are lost during processing. FlavaNaturals takes painstaking steps to ensure the flavanol content of their chocolate is preserved as much as possible, so you reap all the health benefits!

Now, on to the recipe! You’ll be able to whip these babies up in 20 minutes with minimal cleanup. No baking required, too! Raw desserts really are a beautiful thing 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 6 large pitted medjool dates
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 5 bars of FlavaNaturals classic dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine cashews, coconut, dates, spices, vanilla extract and salt in a food processor. Process until ingredients are well combined and stick together easily.
  2. Roll “dough” into 1 inch balls (will make about 15 balls).
  3. Place balls in freezer for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt chocolate bars with coconut oil in a double boiler.
  5. Remove balls from freezer, and dip in melted chocolate.
  6. Place chocolate coated truffles back in freezer or fridge for 10 minutes.
  7. Can be eaten right from the fridge or freezer, or brought to room temperature.

 

I hope you guys enjoy these easy, delicious treats! Tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see what you whip up 🙂

Ginger Roasted Beets, Sweet Potatoes, and Pears

Even though Thanksgiving is still a week away, I can’t help but feel excited for Christmas. I get very nostalgic around this time of year, and start to miss my family even more than usual. There is nothing I love more than to be surrounded by everyone I love with a cozy fire, good food and lots of laughter. Growing up, my extended family would gather for a huge Christmas Eve party every year.  My sisters and I LIVED for these parties, as we got to stay up late with our cousins, eat plenty of cookies, and meet Santa Claus (AKA my Uncle Erik). These days, my favorite part of the holidays has become helping my mom out in the kitchen. I love preparing big batches of roasted veggies and desserts with her in our pajamas, listening to Christmas music. I truly cherish these moments, and hope it never changes.

This year, I am absolutely bringing these roasted beets, sweet potatoes, and pears to the table. I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys. If you’re looking for a healthy side dish to share with your family and friends, this is the one! It’s simple, inexpensive, and mouthwatering.  I’m so happy with the way this turned out! The flavors blend so beautifully thanks to fresh ginger and thyme, and is a celebration of fall produce. This recipe will suit many dietary needs - it is vegan, paleo and gluten free!

Traditional side dishes are often laden with unhealthy ingredients. While I am ALL for indulging a bit during the holidays, I definitely feel run down and lethargic after a few days of eating like this. What I love most about this recipe is how nutrient dense it is, without compromising on amazing flavor! Beets are an excellent source of fiber and contain organic nitrates. These nitrates are converted into nitric oxide in the body, which helps blood vessels relax, and thus may play a role in lowering blood pressure. Sweet potatoes are a richer source of vitamins and minerals, like beta-carotene, than their white counterparts. They also have a low glycemic index, so the sugars from sweet potatoes are released slowly and steadily into the blood. This does not cause a sharp spike in blood sugar levels like more refined carbohydrates.

I hope you all try this recipe for a holiday gathering and share with your loved ones! What are your favorite holiday traditions? I would love to hear all about them!

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium-large beets, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes (I actually keep the skin on as it does not bother me, but most people prefer beets without the skin)
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, diced into 1 inch cubes (peel or keep skin on, either works)
  • 2 green anjou pears (ripe but still firm)
  • 1-2 tsp fresh thyme
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine beets, onion, garlic, ginger, salt and about 1 tbsp avocado oil. Toss so veggies are well coated in oil. Spread beet mixture evenly on baking sheet, and roast for 15 minutes.
  3. While beets are roasting, combine sweet potatoes, pears, thyme, salt, and remaining oil in bowl.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes and pears to the baking sheet and mix to combine.
  5. Place mixture back into the oven and roast for an additional 40-50 minutes. Toss mixture halfway through.
  6. Add more salt to taste after cooking, and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy warm or cold – it tastes delicious either way!

 

Hasselback Baked Pears

This warming bowl of oats is the perfect way to start a chilly morning! Naturally sweetened with banana, this breakfast is topped with a caramelized, soft, hasselback baked pear. Prep the pears the night before, and you can throw this bowl together in 5 minutes! Baking fruit may not sound appealing, but it makes them SO sweet and juicy. I have tried baking pears in the fall and peaches in the summer. Both taste like dessert when added to a hearty breakfast bowl. I hope you all give it a try!

Pears are definitely an underutilized fruit in my eyes. They have a smooth, not overly sweet taste that is enhanced when cooked. Pears, just like apples, come in many different varieties! Bosc pears are one of my favorites for this recipe because of their soft and creamy texture. If you're looking for a more firm, tart variety, try Bartlett or D'anjou. Pears are an excellent source of fiber, and just like any fruit, they are part of a well-balanced diet. I would love to try replacing some of the apples with pears in a Thanksgiving apple pie!

I love seeing all of your Hasselback pear creations on Instagram - they are stunning! I decided to post the recipe here so you have a permanent place to refer back to it. I can't wait to continue to see all  your delicious baked pears 🙂

 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry oatmeal (old fashioned or quick)
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1 USA Bosc pear
  • Coconut oil
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice or Apple Pie Spice
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • Creamy almond butter (other nut butter is fine)
  • Blackstrap molasses (optional)

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Slice pear in half and remove seeds. Cut side down, make narrow slits into each half, being careful not to slice all the way through.
  3. Grease a small cast iron skillet or baking dish with coconut oil. Place pears cut side down in skillet.
  4. Sprinkle with a little more coconut oil and Pumpkin Pie Spice. Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour until soft and tender.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the oats with water or milk, according to package instructions.
  6. Mash banana in a bowl, and add to cooking oats with chia seeds and 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice.
  7. Stir well until oatmeal is cooked to desired consistency.
  8. Divide oatmeal evenly into two bowls. Top each bowl with half of the baked pear, a scoop of almond butter, molasses and other toppings of choice. Enjoy immediately!

If preparing the pear the night before, microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute to reheat.

Tag your baked pear bowls with #Daisybeet so I can see your creations 🙂