Okay, y'all. If you have not tried coconut manna yet, you need to get on that train asap! I only learned of this delicious treat during our recent FASTer Way to Fat Loss sugar elimination challenge. Boy do I wish I had heard of it sooner - I could have used this in my life for the past few years!
Coconut manna is the same as coconut butter. Basically, it's ground whole coconut and the water has been removed. You can eat it like any other nut butter, but I have found a delicious way to incorporate this treat into my low carb days.
Introducing.....COCONUT MANNA CHIA BARK! This tastes like a candy bar, my friends. But it's a healthy one! One that will add healthy fat to your diet, boost your immunity (it contains lauric acid, which wards off bacteria and viruses!), aid in weight loss and supply essential amino acids, calcium and magnesium.
Here's how I make it. In a small dish or ramekin, mix together:
3 Tbls. coconut manna
2 Tbls. chia seeds
a few drops of liquid stevia
Add additional toppings if you'd like, such as coconut flakes, toasted macadamia nuts, dried fruit, etc.
Put in the freezer for a few hours, until frozen solid. When it is frozen, take it out of the freezer, pop it out of the dish, break it into pieces and ENJOY!!
3g net carbs
I know people start rolling out the pumpkin flavored things in September (myself included!), but it really doesn't feel official for me until October. So here we are!! Happy October and happy pumpkin-spiced everything season!
This is a variation of my PB Chia Protein Balls, chock full of healthy whole food ingredients, like natural nut butter, oats and chia seeds. I swapped almond butter for PB, although you can certainly stick with peanut butter, or even use sunbutter if you are looking to keep them nut free. The addition of pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and the pumpkin seed garnish puts on a fall-y finishing touch!
Pumpkin seeds are super healthy, by the way. Eating pumpkin seeds is linked to better heart health, lowered blood sugar and a reduced risk of certain cancers, including stomach, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer.
Pumpkin Protein Squares
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup vanilla protein powder (we prefer vegan to keep these dairy free)
1 Tbls. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup natural almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
Pumpkin seeds for garnish
Grind the oats and chia seeds in a blender. Leave a tiny bit of whole oats for texture! Pour into a mixing bowl, add protein powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Give it a quick stir. Add almond butter, honey and pumpkin. Stir until well combined.
Press the mixture into the bottom of a parchment-lined 8x8 baking pan. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top and press gently so they stick. Refrigerate for a bit until firm. When ready, remove from the pan and cut into one-inch squares.
I like to keep these in the freezer, but the fridge will do just fine too. If you stick to the one-inch size, this recipe makes 64 squares. Enjoy! XO
If you're anything like me, you're probably always on the hunt for something to satisfy your sweet tooth on a low carb day. Well, friend, if so, I have a delicious recipe for you to try that I think is gonna do the trick!
Chia pudding is great for low carb days because chia seeds are low in net carbs - they have tons of fiber, some fat and a little bit of protein. They also are very nutritious and can assist in lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation and aid in digestion.
You can make chia pudding by simply mixing chia seeds with your favorite non-dairy milk and letting it sit in the fridge for a few hours to thicken. But sometimes you just don't want to be digging those seeds out of your teeth for the rest of the day! I have found that blending my chia seeds with the milk makes for a smooth, pudding consistency.
This chia pudding only contains a few ingredients, and when you put them together, I kid you not, it tastes just like Cool Whip, but without all of the funky ingredients! Here's how I make it:
Blueberry Chia Pudding
1 cup light unsweetened coconut milk, canned
2 Tbls. chia seeds
1 cup frozen blueberries
Blend together and pour into a bowl for serving. Refrigerate until thickened (this happens pretty quick, so you don't have to prep these overnight or anything!).
When ready to eat, top with a few more frozen blueberries and your favorite nut butter. I love Abby's Better Date Pecan butter!
We are doing a 21-day Sugar Elimination Challenge in the FASTer Way VIP this month, and it's my goal to figure out how I can still enjoy my favorite foods in a sugar free version!
I eat a smoothie bowl at least 5 days a week, and let's be honest, the smoothie part is just the vehicle for getting the granola into my mouth. So needless to say, if I'm going to be successful on this challenge, I need to find a way to make a sugar free version!
Dates are a great natural sweetener and, as an added bonus, they are really good for you too! They have lots of nutrients, are high in fiber, and contain disease fighting antioxidants. I think this is a winner!
Here is how I made the granola:
Cinnamon Date Granola
200 grams pitted Medjool dates (about 10-12 dates)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pink Himalayan salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
3 Tbls. chia seeds
Preheat oven to 300. In a blender or food processor, blend the dates, water, cinnamon, salt and vanilla until you get a date paste. In a separate bowl, mix the oats, sunflower seeds and chia seeds. Add the blended date mixture to the oat mixture and stir until well combined.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spread the granola mixture in an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes. Stir granola on the pan and bake for another 20 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container.
Each 1/2 cup serving: 234 calories, 8g fat, 36g carbs, 6g protein
The traditional "Elvis" combines peanut butter, bananas and bacon... But anytime I'm mixing PB and bananas in any way, shape or form, I "Can't Help Falling in Love" with what I'm eating. Elvis sure had a good thing going.
These overnight oats get me "All Shook Up" on my higher carb days. If you and your family find yourselves with "Suspicious Minds" about overnight oats in general, these may change your mind. They made a great lunch, snack, or sweet treat!
Okay seriously though. These Elvis Oats are awesome! Here's how I make them:
1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup your favorite non-dairy milk
Mix together with a pinch of salt and a few drops of liquid stevia. Refrigerate for at least a few hours, up to a few days! When ready to eat, top with
1 sliced banana
2 Tbls. natural crunchy peanut butter
about 30 Lily's sugar free dark chocolate baking chips
This guy is good with broccoli, but give him ALL the fruits and he's a happy camper. Like, when I give him his plate for a meal, he ALWAYS eats the fruit first!
We made some Cherry Lime Popsicles by blending the juice of two limes, a bag of frozen cherries, two tablespoons of maple syrup, and then thinned it out with some Spindrift lime sparkling water. Ours are a bit tart, so if you like them sweeter, you could add more maple syrup. I found the bags on Amazon HERE!
Cherries are super nutritious and anti-inflammatory. Limes are also full nutrients - they may improve immunity, reduce heart disease risk factors, prevent kidney stones, aid iron absorption, and promote healthy skin.
I feel good about feeding these to my kids! Let me know if you give them a try! XO
This is a fun, festive and healthy side dish to take to your summer BBQs!
Use all of your favorite fruits - I added red and blue berries for the 4th of July! Next, slice a pineapple into circles and use a star cookie cutter to cut star shapes. Apples work too! You could do hearts too for a different occasion, or just for fun!
Everyone will love your creative spin on the traditional fruit salad! Enjoy! XO
When the weather finally starts to feel like summer here in STL, we love to fire up the grill! We tend to make chicken most often, but these ribs make their way into the rotation every once in awhile. Ribs always seem like a special occasion dinner, but this recipe is so easy, you can make it on a weeknight!
Start with a rack of pork baby back ribs. I get ours at Trader Joe's.
This part is a little gross, but you gotta do it, or else you and your family will have a tough time chewing your ribs! Remove the membrane from the bone side.
Rub the rack of ribs with your favorite spice mix. This one from Trader Joe's is great!
Next, wrap it tightly in a few pieces of foil. Bake at 350 for 2 hours.
When ribs are about ready to take out of the oven, heat your grill to medium heat.
Remove ribs from the oven and unwrap. Resist the temptation to pick, HA!
Grill the ribs for about five minutes on each side, and brush with your favorite BBQ sauce. If you are keeping it low carb, try a low/no sugar sauce, such as Primal Kitchen. Since the ribs are already cooked, you just want to get a good char on both sides.
Remove from the grill, slice between the rib bones and ENJOY!! You will feel like you're at a summer BBQ, even though it's a Monday night :) XO
In the mood for a salty and sweet snack? Make a trail mix!
Trail mix is quick to make, easy to pack up for on-the-go, and a great source of carbs, protein and heart healthy fats. I also think it makes a fun gift!
Throw together your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruit (make sure no added sugar), and add in some dark chocolate too (for the antioxidants, of course). You can't mess this up, friends!
For this mix, I used:
Skinnydipped dark chocolate covered almonds
Lily's dark chocolate chips
It is the perfect balance of salty and sweet! Enjoy! XO
When I was a kid, my dad would occasionally make cinnamon apples for a late night treat and the entire house smelled like a warm apple pie. When you microwave apples, the natural sweetness emerges and there's no need to add any sugar! They are a delicious snack on their own, but if you're looking to spice up your overnight oats, give this a try!
Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats
For the oatmeal:
1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or your favorite plant based milk)
A dash of salt
A few drops of liquid stevia
Mix together and cover. Refrigerate for a least a few hours, or overnight.
For the apples:
Dash of cinnamon
Core and chop apple and put into a microwave safe dish. Sprinkle with lots of cinnamon! Microwave for 2-ish minutes, until apples are soft. Give them a quick stir and allow to cool for a few minutes.
When ready to eat, give your oats a quick stir, top with cinnamon apples and your favorite nut butter. I used Abby's Better French Toast Pecan for this serving and WOWZA!
You could eat this for dessert, it's so naturally sweet and delicious! ENJOY! XO
Food is fuel.
I love to cook and bake recipes that incorporate healthy whole foods and those nutritious macro and micronutrients into our daily diets. I also like to make treats though, because let's face it, everyone loves a good sweet now and then! My favorite part about cooking, though, is sharing my latest recipes with others. ENJOY! XO