Protein balls are such a great and healthy snack, and so versatile! I've been having a lot of fun coming up with different variations. Stay tuned for more!
I know some people don't love fruit in their desserts - i.e., raisins in their cookies, but trust me on this one. The very small amount of raisins in these protein balls adds just the right amount of sweetness to offset the salty peanut butter. So if you are one of those people (ahem - my husband!) I encourage you to be open to it! It just may change your life :)
Here's how to make them!
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Protein Balls
1.5 cups gluten free rolled oats
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used Orgain)
2 Tbls. raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon
I blended my oats in the Ninja for a few pulses to make an oat-y/whole oats mix, but totally up to you! Then throw them into a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Using a hand mixer, mix the ingredients until combined.
Roll into balls. I used a cookie scoop that is about a tablespoon (#70). My recipe made 28! Store in a container or freezer bag in the fridge or freezer and pull one or two out when you're ready to eat. ENJOY! XO
You don't have to be hosting a Mexican-themed fiesta this Christmas to serve and enjoy these festive cranberry margaritas!! It may look fancy, but it's just a regular old marg with a splash of cranberry juice. If you want a little extra "pop," top it with some club soda. Don't forget the garnish!
Festive Cranberry Margarita
2oz fresh lime juice
1oz triple sec
Splash of cranberry juice (100% juice preferred!)
Splash of lime club soda, optional
Shake above ingredients with ice and pour into a glass with ice that has been rimmed with salt or sugar. Garnish with fresh cranberries and a lime wedge. Enjoy! XO
My beautiful grandma made this cranberry relish every Thanksgiving and Christmas, and after she passed away in 2009, I have taken over making it for our holiday celebrations. I love making it, and when I do, I think about her, and how she would have done things, from picking up the ingredients at the store, to being very orderly about how everything had to be put together, to putting the finishing touch on top with orange slices and her favorite maraschino cherries.
I know she would be so happy that her tradition continues. She would also love knowing that every holiday season, I get multiple requests for her recipe!
Gigi’s Cranberry Relish
1 large package Jell-O (cherry or strawberry)
1 c. water
1 package fresh cranberries
1 orange (peeled)
2 c. sugar
1-2 apples (seeded, with peel)
1 c. nuts
1 can crushed pineapple (drained really well!!)
Add Jell-O to one cup of boiling water and set aside. In a blender or food processor, grind the cranberries with the orange. Put in a bowl, mix with sugar and set aside. Grind apples and set aside. Chop nuts and set aside. Let all ingredients sit for two hours. Mix together with crushed pineapple and refrigerate until set.
I’m not sure why you have to keep everything separate, or why it has to sit for two hours before you mix it, but I don’t recommend straying from her exact recipe. It turns out great every time, and I think it tastes even better over the next couple of days. I usually double the recipe because everyone wants to take some home for leftovers!
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
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