Food Friday – Apple Berry Snacks

Today’s post is going to be a quicky because there is a lot going on here (work, school, yoga retreat, meal planning) basically it is bananas but I didn’t want to leave you all hanging over the weekend. So I whipped up these delicious treats that will help to curb your sweet tooth, fill you up and provide you with loads of vitamins, antioxidants and other feel good stuff for your body.

So without further delay the recipe:

Apple Berry Oatmeal Snacks:

2 cups homemade apple sauce (organic no sugar added store bought is fine too)
1/4 cup blackberry purée
2 1/4 cups organic old fashioned oats
2 tbsp chia seeds

1. Preheat oven to 350
2.Combine everything in one large bowl. There is no real science to this so just toss it all in and stir it up.
3. Grease a mini muffin tray with coconut oil. These little guys will stick if the pan isn’t greased.
4. Scoop about one TBSP into each of the little muffin spaces. It should make between 22-24 snacks.
5. Place tin in preheated oven and cook for 25minutes. The centers should be spongy but not oozing.
6. Allow them to cool and the. Serve.

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I hope you all enjoy this one.

Have a great Friday!

Food Friday – Chocolate Edition

Now I am not a huge chocolate or sweets person, I generally go for food that is overly saturated in sodium, delicious salty food.  But I mean like everyone else every now and again I crave something sweet, something chocolaty, you know something that isn’t an apple.  When this type of craving hits me I try my best to satisfy my sweets craving in a healthy way.  No it doesn’t always happen but in my mind it is always worth the effort.

The other day I was thinking to myself how bored I am with my regular breakfast of oatmeal and a hard boiled egg.  Sure I could have defaulted to my breakfast smoothies, but people it is winter and it is freezing. I don’t always want to start my day off with a cold smoothie, so I got to thinking.  What could I make that would be warm or neutral temperature and potentially full of delicious protein.  I figured it had been a while since I had played around with my protein powders so I figured it was time to test out making another delicious protein type square, this time with chocolate as it’s focus.

So I set myself up in the kitchen and got to baking.  After two attempts (the first one was so dry) I came up with this delicious, sweet, healthy peanut butter protein brownie.   They would be great coupled with some fruit for breakfast, or as a grab and go snack for your day.

Peanut Butter Protein Brownies:

Prep: 10 minutes Cooking: 15-20 minutes  Total Time: 30 minutes

Nutritional Information (9 servings):Calories: 144.3   Total Fat: 3.1g  Total Carbohydrate: 13.8g Fiber: 1.3g Sugars: 4.5g Protein: 15.8g

ingredients.jpg1 cup Oat Flour
3 scoops Chocolate Protein Powder of your choice
1 cup Greek Yogurt
4 Egg Whites
2 Tbsp Organic Maple Syrup or Organic Honey
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix (flower and protein powder) set aside.

3. In a small bowl mix yogurt, egg whites, maple syrup and peanut butter until smooth. Once smooth transfer to larger bowl with dry ingredients and stir.  Stir until well blended, the consistency should be slightly runny, if it isn’t add a bit more greek yogurt or milk/ a dairy free alternative (although you shouldn’t have to do this).

4. Grease a small square pan no larger than 6×4.  Once greased take a bit of extra protein powder and coat the pan, this will help prevent the brownies from sticking.

5. Pour mixture into greased pan and place in preheated oven.  Should take between 15-20minutes to cook.  Do not over cook, the oat flour absorbs quite a bit of moisture and overcooking will leave the brownies dry.

6. Once done baking, use a spatula to separate the sides from the pan and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.   Once cool flip pan upside down to remove brownies, cut into equal portions, yields approximate 9 squares.20140124-102109.jpg

*please note that although these brownies are delicious they are slightly drier than your regular fudge brownie, and much like a fudge brownie should be consumed in moderation.

I hope you enjoy these “brownies” and I hope they bring a bit of variety to your snack and morning routines.

Food Friday – Breakfast Muffins

The other week I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about her breakfast. She was not getting full off of her smoothies and cooking eggs every morning with a 15 month old child was kind of out the question for her. So it got me to thinking about what could be made ahead to grab and go on a hectic morning to help encourage serial breakfast skippers from missing their first meal of the day.

I mean there is granola, pre-packaged homemade oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, protein shakes and the list goes on but sometimes these items don’t hit the spot. So I figured I would take a crack at making a muffin. Now before I dive in here I feel like I need to share my opinion of muffins in general. I personally feel that muffins are just miniature cakes that people forgot to put icing on because the icing would well make it a cupcake.

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Sure yes there are healthy muffins out there but I am talking about the ones you are buying at Starbucks and Tim Hortons and basically any other prepared muffin, they aren’t great for you. So anyways I decided I would try and make a gluten free, refined sugar free, and oil free muffin. The first one turned out alright but I didn’t find it to be sweet or moist enough, luckily with just a couple tweaks I was able to find something that worked, was delicious and good for you.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Muffins
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Makes 12 muffins – 1 muffin per serving
Nutritional Information: 110.2 calories – 3.9g fat – 15.1g carbs – 3.6g fiber – 4.3g protein

1 cup Mashed Sweet Potato/ Yam (no butter or milk just the potato)
2 Bananas mashed
3 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
1 cup oat flour
2 tbsp ground Chia Seeds
1/3 cup ground Flax Seed
1/3 cup Pumpkin Seed

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix all wet ingredients together until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients until combined, and then mix dry ingredients into the large mixing bowl with wet ingredients. Stir until well combined, about 2 minutes with an electric mixer.
  4. Line muffin tin with muffin liners. Fill muffin cups up about 3/4th of the way and pop them into the oven. They will cook for 25-30 minutes. Remove when a toothpick can be inserted into the middle and comes out clean.

I hope you enjoy these muffins  and they help to make your breakfasts and snacks a bit easier.  Pair them up with some protein and vola!

Happy Friday! I hope everyone enjoys the heat, and the weekend!

Food Friday – Flat Bread

It is Friday! It seems that the second the weather starts getting nice it’ becomes painful to be locked up on the 18th floor of a concrete building for 9 hours a day. So today I am so happy to be getting to post this from my backyard.  My deck is probably the best office I have ever had, you get to feel the wind and sun, hear the kids in the school yard across the street and just be outside it is pretty glorious.  But today is about food so let’s get down to business.

Before I dive into the recipe I want to talk a bit about meat.  With the farmer’s market in full swing, I do my best every week to have my meals planned out so I can buy local, antibiotic free meats.  This past weekend at the farmer’s market I lucked out and was able to get a giant grass fed organic flank steak (this cut is so hard to come by for whatever reason).   Seeing we were having a BBQ this week (last night to be exact) I figured it would be great for the evening. However as the evening got closer my husband and I became concerned that we wouldn’t have enough meat for everyone so we picked up another flank steak from the grocery store. We then figured this would be a great opportunity to do a taste test.

I have known for some time now that picking organic, antibiotic free and local meats is the healthiest choice, if you can make the financial commitment, but I had never actually taken the time to see if there was an actually difference in flavour.

So we did them up in the same marinate and grilled them, we kept them separate and had our guests test out a bit from each steak and it was unanimous the grass fed, local, antibiotic free beef was the hands down winner. It was more tender, thicker (it didn’t shrink up as much in the cooking process) and was so much juicer.  Also for an extra 4$ a pound I would say 100% worth it.

Now onto the recipe.  I have been toying with the idea of creating a gluten free dough for a while now, however working with gluten free flours can be pretty intimidating if you don’t have a lot of experience with it.  But I figured that seeing how I am trying to reduce the amount of wheat in my diet, it was time to suck it up and just give it a try, I mean really the worst thing that could happen is that it doesn’t work out.

So this week I set out to make a dough, I wanted it to be something I could use for flat breads but could also be used for pizza if the mood hit me.  I was actually quiet surprised and satisfied with the results and best of all it was husband approved. So here it is:

flatbread cooked Collage

Flat Bread/ Pizza Dough:

1 1/4 cup All Purpose Gluten Free Flour or Brown Rice Flour
1 cup Coconut Flour
2 tbsp Tapioca Startch
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp dried Basil
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup Coconut Milk (you can use any milk that you perfer)
2 tbsp Organic Honey
2 tbsp Avocado Oil or Olive Oil
4 eggs

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk them together until they are blended.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the coconut milk, honey, oil and eggs. Add wet ingredients to the large bowl of dry ingredients.  I would recommend using an electric mixer for this mainly because it will be faster and easier on your arm.
  3. Mix all ingredients together until it is no longer lumpy and everything has been blended. Use a spatula to help you form a bit of a “dough ball” then cover with plastic wrap and set it aside for 20 – 30 minutes.Flatbead Collage
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. If making flat bread, divide the dough ball into four equal parts and roll it out in between parchment paper or plastic wrap.  The dough is very sticky and will stick to your rolling pin otherwise, even if you dust the pin with flour.  If you are making pizza you can divide the dough in two for two personal size pizzas or leave it as one for a large sharing pizza.
  6. For cooking use a cookie sheet or pizza tray without any holes. Line the tray with parchment paper and place dough on top.  Top with your favourite toppings, I choose to make two flat breads the first was an arugula, peach and prosciutto combo and the second a tomato, basil and feta.
  7. Pop the flat bread or pizza in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the crust begins to golden. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then enjoy!

Note: the dough will look very moist, do not continue adding flour, the dough will not look similar to dough made with wheat flour so just go with it, it will cook up great. 

Now let’s all just hope for some nice weather and think some really loud positive thoughts to make the chances of thunder-showers for the weekend disappear. 

Happy Friday everyone. Have a great weekend. 

Contest Winner and Food Fridays

Today is a great combination, not only is a Food Friday I will also be announcing the contest winner at the end of this post! So first the food. While on this clean eating challenge I have been attempting to reduce the amount of wheat I ingest, also when it comes to quiche I have little to no patience for making my own crust so when I saw this on Pinterest, I couldn’t resist trying it out for myself. I loosely followed the directions so if you would like the original recipe click on the link.

Gluten Free Quiche:

20130531-065350.jpg1 small-medium Spaghetti Squash
1 small bunch of Asparagus (about 6 stems)
1/4 Yellow Onion
1 cup chopped, cooked, shelled and deveined Shrimp
Fresh cracked Salt and Pepper to taste
5 eggs
1/4 cup Unsweetened Soy Milk (rice, almond and dairy are fine too)
1/4 cup Organic Goat Cheese Feta

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the squash in half (horizontally) and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Discard the seeds. Place squash cut side down on a cookie sheet, and put in the oven for approximately 50-60 minutes, until it has some give when you push on it. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  3. While the squash is cooling in a medium bowl mix eggs, salt and pepper and soy milk and set aside.
  4. In a small frying pan cook the asparagus and onion for about 7 minutes, the onion will become translucent and the asparagus will become a deep green.
  5. Now that all the ingredients are ready to go, take a fork and scrape the inside of the squash to remove the meat. Transfer squash into a 9inch pie pan and press it down. As you are applying pressure you will see the squash strands start to mash into each other, don’t be afraid to use a good amount of pressure.
  6. Once you are satisfied with your “crust”, place cooked asparagus and onion, shrimp and egg mixture into the shell, make sure everything is well coated. Then top it off with the feta.
  7. Place pie in oven (at 350) for another 30-40 minutes. It is ready when the middle is no longer liquide and you can shake it without it moving.
  8. Cut and serve

Now for what you have all been waiting for….The Giveaway!!!

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The winner of the amazing Tosca Reno Eat Clean package. I truly wish I could have entered my own contest for this one. The winner of the giveaway will win an Eat-Clean Diet and Raw Elements Inc sponsored goody bag which includes Tosca Reno’s favorite Sunwarrior supplements, a special recipe from Tosca and two titles from Tosca Reno’s best selling Eat-Clean Diet series!

The winner of this contest was selected at random, using RANDOM.org. I assigned a number to each entrant based on when they logged their comment (i.e. chronological order).
random number

The 11th entrant was Liv with the following comment:

liv on May 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm said:

I miss deli meats. There. I said it. But I do love making sandwiches starring avocado now

Congrats Liv, if you could please contact me with your mailing address we will get your gift bag shipped out to you as quickly as possible. Also congrats on moving away from deli meats and finding a healthy substitute. I hope you are starting to notice a plethora of healthy positive benefits to eating clean, and that this gift bag will help you on that path.

I have also hand picked two winners to win a Gingersneezes water bottle. These winners are Wendy B and staubin357egan. If you could both contact me with your addresses I will send out your water bottles asap.

wendy b on May 18, 2013 at 1:03 am said:

My favorite clean eating treat would be organic fruits like grapes and strawberries. I miss processed foods like cookies and cheetos.

staubin357egan on May 16, 2013 at 6:31 pm said:

Brittany! What an amazing challenge! My fav “Clean Eating” treat is to take frozen bananas and raspberries and grind them up in a food processor until it’s smooth. It is THE most delicious thing ever

Thank you to everyone that entered. It was great to hear about what you are eating and how you satisfy your snacking, I really liked some of your tasty ideas.

*Winners have 5 days to contact me with their addresses. Unfortunately if I don’t hear from you within 5 days I will have to reselect a winner. jus click on the link and fire off an email gingersneezes02@gmail.com

Happy Friday everyone and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Food Time Friday – Flavoured Cheese

It is that time of the week again when I attempt to bring you a delicious and healthful recipe.  This week is inspired by the Tea Party I had last weekend.  As the tea party landed right smack dab in the middle of the Gingersneezes Eats Clean challenge my co-host and I wanted to do our best to make sure everything that was served was clean, healthy, and most importantly delicious.  For the most part I would say we were wildly successful, however I think that I might need to work a bit on my “moose” for the next time, I have some good ideas I will be trying out in the future.

One of the recipes that I whipped up and was actually pretty surprised at how well it worked out was a flavour infused goats cheese.  Yes, of course you can just buy the cranberry or fig or herbed goat chesses in the store but with that comes some additives and likely some sulphites, so the morning of the party I decided I was going to give it a go and make my own flavoured goat cheese spread. It was ridiculously easy and super fresh and dillicious (I am dill-obsessed I couldn’t help but try and put it in). It went great with some Mary’s Organic Crackers (they are gluten, dairy and nut free), but would also be great with some veggies or rice crackers, and would also probably go great as a spread on toast.

Dill and Cucumber infused Goat Cheese:

Dill and Cumber Cheese

1 140g log (the small log) of plain goat cheese (organic if you can get it)
1/4 of cucumber
2 tbsp fresh dill (1 tbsp if using dried)

  1. Place goat cheese in a medium sized bowl and mash up so it is no longer in a log.
  2. Cut 1/4 of cucumber in half down the middle.  Remove seeds with a spoon.  Once seeds have been removed grate the cucumber with a cheese grater.  This should make about 1/4 cup of grated cucumber. Depending on the size of you cucumber you may need to cut more.
  3. Take grated cucumber and in a fine mesh colander press out access water. Once water has been drained place cucumber in the bowl with the goats cheese.
  4. Add in chopped fresh dill, and mix together until.  Transfer mixture to a small serving bowl and enjoy.  There is no need to let the mixture sit the flavours are so fresh they will burst through right away.
  5. This can be made the night before to save you some time when preparing for a party.

Hope everyone is looking forward to the weekend. I know I am, it is my 10k race this Saturday evening and I couldn’t be more excited for it!

Happy Friday!

Food Fridays – PB Banana Protein Pancakes

I hope everyone is having a great day, it looks like the weather is working with us for the upcoming long weekend and I couldn’t be more excited.  I am not going anywhere for the long weekend, but it will be nice to have several consecutive days off and I am co-hosting a tea party so that should be pretty nice, I will be sure to snap a lot of photos for my weekend update on Monday.

Now for what Fridays are all about, sharing tasty tasty foods.  The other day I had an over load of bananas at home and I have been experimenting with various protein pancake combos so I figured this might just be a completely delicious mash up, and it was! It really turned out to be so delicious. So here it is:

PB Banana Protein Pancakes:

1 cup Oat Flour
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1 Egg
1 tsp Organic Peanut Butter
1/2 banana
1/2 cup – 1 cup Water

PB Banana Pancakes 2Method:

  1. In a small bowl combine oat flour and protein powder.
  2. In a separate medium size bowl, mash up ripe banana until smooth. Add in egg and peanut butter and stir.
  3. Once combined add dry ingredients to the wet and stir.  Mixture will become thick and hard to stir, begin adding water, and stir until you have reached a runny consistency.  I have made these twice and the amount of water I used was a bit different each time.  When adding water just make sure it doesn’t become soupy, but it is still runny enough to pass a fork through without much resistance.
  4. Using a 1/4 cup scoop out the mixture and place in a heated frying pan. When the pancake begins to bubble it is ready to be flipped. It should take about 3-5 minutes per side.
  5. Serve hot or package them for later, they go great with the jam that was mentioned last week. PB Banana Pancakes

These have made great breakfasts or a quick post work snack.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I am.

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all have a great weekend! 

If you haven’t already don’t forget to sign up for the Gingersneezes Giveaway it ends next Thursday!