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 (Gluten Free)

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 🙂

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!

 

Chocolate Chip Almond Flour Blender Banana Bread

Hi guys! Thank you for following along with my journey to this website. I am so incredibly grateful for your support! I’ve been wanting to get this up and running for a while so that I can share more details about my life and provide inspiration for a healthy, balanced life. As some of you know, I recently became a Registered Dietitian (RD). I’ve worked very hard to get here, and could not be happier to be considered a nutrition expert. One thing I admire about dietetics so much is that it is a science-backed field. I can’t wait to share recipes and lifestyle tips that are based off of scientific evidence.

 

One of my goals for this blog is to share “RD approved” recipes. The recipes I share on this blog (and through my Instagram) will all meet certain evidence-based criteria. This way, you know when you create them for yourself, you are making a nutritionally balanced recipe that you can feel good about eating. In each recipe, I will also share the health benefits of some highlighted ingredients.

 

I am so excited to share this recipe with you all – it’s definitely a keeper! I love this recipe for many reasons. First, and most importantly, it is absolutely delicious! You would never know there is no processed flour and is only sweetened with banana and a minimal amount of maple syrup. Second, it is full of nutritious ingredients. Third, it is SO easy to make! I love one bowl recipes, and this one is a one BLENDER recipe!

Here are some of the highlighted ingredients:

 

And the nutrition breakdown:

  • Bananas: Bananas are rich in potassium, which is an essential mineral and an important electrolyte. Potassium has many functions in your body, such as maintaining fluid balance, lowering blood pressure, and regulating muscle contractions.
  • Almond Flour: Nuts are an excellent addition to a healthy diet! They are full of the “healthy” unsaturated fats to keep you full, a good source of plant-based protein, and contain important micronutrients and minerals. Almonds are always a great choice – even in almond flour form – because they are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and low in saturated fat. Make sure the almond flour you’re purchasing has just one ingredient – almonds!
  • Eggs: Eggs are one of my favorite vegetarian protein sources. They protein in eggs is one of the highest in terms of bioavailability – this means that pretty much all the protein in eggs will be utilized by your body. Egg yolks are a good source of Vitamin D (a vitamin many of us are deficient in) and choline, which is another heart-healthy nutrient.
  • Primal Palate Apple Pie Spice: Spices in general are an important part of a healthy diet. Not only can they reduce sodium intake by contributing delicious flavors and aromas to food, but spices also have nutritional actions of their own. Ginger, found in Primal Palate Apple Pie Spice, can help with nausea and an upset stomach, and may also be anti-inflammatory. Cinnamon is full of antioxidants, and may also be anti-inflammatory.

These superstar ingredients all combine to make this RD Approved Recipe. Ready to get baking?

 

Ingredients

2 medium-large very ripe bananas

2 large eggs

3 tbsp avocado oil

2-3 tbsp maple syrup or honey (can use less if bananas are riper)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

2 cups almond flour

1 tsp Primal Palate Apple Pie Spice

½ tsp salt

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or grease pan.
  3. In a small bowl, mash bananas with a fork.
  4. Add mashed bananas, eggs, avocado oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract to a high-speed blender, and blend on medium until smooth.
  5. Add almond flour, apple pie spice, baking powder and salt to the blender, and blend again until smooth and well combined.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Pour batter into the loaf pan and smooth out with a spatula. Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips, if desired.
  8. Bake for 30-45 minutes until edges are just starting to brown
  9. Let cool before slicing. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week.

 

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Tag your photos with #Daisybeet so I can see your creations 🙂