Snacks

Healthy Cereal Cookies {Gluten-Free!}

Who doesn't love a FRESH new healthy cookie recipe, especially when it's actually got nutrition in it? My kids were so happy when I tested this recipe this past weekend (it's 100% my invention by the way!) and we were all happy when they actually turned out!

Now that gluten is a nemesis to my body's healing from an autoimmune disorder, I avoid it as much as I can...but that doesn't mean I love all things gluten-free - I can't stand how dense many things turn out with a lot of gluten free flours out there.

So this recipe uses a $5 gluten free flour from my neighborhood grocery, nothing too fancy. I bake so rarely now, it's worth the splurge! Try it and see what I mean. No rock-hard recipe here!

Ingredients

ingredients pic healthy cookies.jpg
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (or 2/3 cup brown sugar and no white)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs (we use cage-free, grain-fed)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 scoops fruit and veggies powder (like the one pictured)
  • 2 cups bran cereal (fun sub: fruit n yogurt bran cereal!)

Instructions

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  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on 2 cookie pans.
     
  2. Combine the dry ingredients (first 6 ingredients listed!) and stir together,  then set aside.
     
  3. Mash the butter, coconut oil, and sugars and syrup together by hand, or use a handheld mixer for ease. Set this bowl aside.
     
  4. Whip the 2 eggs, adding in the vanilla extract. Add into the bowl with the sugars, butter and oil and stir all wet ingredients together well.
     
  5. On low speed with the hand mixer (or by hand) slowly add in the dry mixture to the wet ingredients bowl, a little at a time. 
     
  6. Then slowly, add in the fruit and veggie powder and bran flakes until fully mixed.
     
  7. Drop a Tablespoon of dough on the trays, about 1.5 inches apart to allow for rising. 
     
  8. Bake on 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, check the cookies, if they are browning on edges, they are done! Remove them from oven and let them sit on hot cookie pan for about 2-3 minutes.
     
  9. Move them to a cookie rack to finish cooling.
     
  10. Ready to enjoy! You can freeze extras for quick grab snacks for kid's lunches, after-school snack or part of an easy breakfast by serving them with a smoothie or banana!
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If you like, you can always add in nuts, dried fruit or mini-chocolate chips for extra fun or texture. You could also replace the coconut oil with peanut butter, and add in 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips to have a PB and choco snack!

These "cookies" contain enough healthy nutrients to be considered equal to a granola bar! Delicious, nutritious snacks! (This recipe is full of protein, fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals...mmmm!)

After you try them, pop back over here and tell us what you think!

Bet your kids/family won't even know they are eating such a great blend of nutrition!

Easy Oven Kale Chips

Kale has returned to the scene as a popular green that is not only full of delicious flavor, but also as an extraordinary source of vitamins A, C and K. These three vitamins are at the top of the list of immune-boosting benefits to our bodies, so this easy-to-prepare green leafy vegetable is a great option for your family's table. 

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Aside from its rich nutrient value, Kale is great at boosting your immunity, and health! Eating kale is proven to help cancer prevention, lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, promoting compounds for eye health, and more. ALL good reasons to eat more kale!

There's only one disadvantage with eating Kale (besides that it disappears from the plate too quickly!) and that is it can interfere with your body's absorption of calcium. To help prevent this problem, avoid eating calcium-rich foods at the same time. 

Besides eating kale fresh in salads or smoothies or wilted on pasta dishes, these kale chips are a popular way to get enough greens into your family and your own body!

Our friend & healthy lifestyle leader Lolita McNeal shared this easy recipe with our FRESH Start Online Community as a wonderful way to get the satisfaction of a salty crunch into our diet when we are craving chips or other salty no-no's!

LOLITA’S EASY OVEN KALE CHIPS

Here's How To Make Them:

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 heads fresh kale (you can find it in the produce section of your grocery store)
  • 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375-400 degrees.  Cut the greens into 2-inch sized pieces.  Rub the kale with extra virgin olive oil, evenly coating both sides.
  2. Spread out the pieces evenly on 2 parchment lined baking sheets; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake, rotating and switching pans halfway through cooking, until crisp, about 8 minutes.
  4. Optional: Zest lemon over the hot chips.
kale prep pic 1.jpg
 

Lolita shares:

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"From my experience, you need very little extra virgin olive oil, the cooking time was closer to 6 minutes than 8, and it's okay if you leave out the lemon zest.  Some other flavor suggestions included with the original recipe were:  bbq rub, sriacha [a type of hot sauce], ranch dip mix, and sesame seeds. 

My family's favorite were the ones I rubbed with a little bbq sauce. If you decide to try the bbq kale chips look for low sugar bbq sauce."

 

 

If this recipe was a hit with your family, let us know in the comments below!

Here at FRESH Start, our mission is to share simple steps to better health that the whole family can get on board with - and we want to know how we're doing! Drop a note below and let us know.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread Recipe

If you love banana bread as much as I do, but worry about if it's good for you, worry no more! It's full of nutrition when it's made right, and I've got the perfect recipe for you that you're entire family will love!

This recipe is made with HALF the sugar, with whole wheat flour, and you can't even taste the difference! If you feel the recipe is too heavy, it may need more moisture to lighten it up a bit.  In this case, use 1 extra banana, or 1/4 cup canola oil, or 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce. Try this healthier take on a family favorite (this recipe suggests making muffins out of it) and let us know what you think!

Whole Wheat Banana Bread Recipe

banana bread.png

How To Make IT:

Ingredients

•    1 cup whole wheat flour
•    1 tsp baking soda
•    1/2 tsp salt
•    1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
•    2 eggs
•    1/2 cup sugar
•    1/2 tsp vanilla
•    3 ripe bananas

Instructions

  1. Sift flours, soda and salt in medium bowl, set aside. 
  2. Whisk eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, set aside. 
  3. Prepare a muffin pan OR bread pan while the oven is preheating to 350 degrees.  You can spray the pan with an oil spray, or just use paper muffin cups.
  4. In another medium bowl, mash the bananas well, then set them aside. 
  5. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Combine the egg mix with the sugar and butter mixture, and stir together. 
  6. Add the bananas, stir. Finally, add the flour mixture and stir it all together.
  7. Place the mixture evenly in a 4-5 mini bread pans OR a full-size pan OR 12-count regular muffin pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, or until they are done.  Yummy!

This recipe makes such a great make-ahead dish, and freezes easily. Just remove from freezer when you're ready to eat. You can either microwave to make them warm again, or just let them thaw to room temp. 

Either way, I guarantee this will be a new family favorite!

What's your favorite quick bread to make for your family? 

Jicama Slaw

Looking for a healthy side dish for that next gathering (to replace a maybe-not-so-healthy-choice!) or just to add as a filling and tasty side dish to your grilled chicken or fish? 

This beautiful, super-easy side salad is a perfect pairing to any FRESH entree! Try it and then tell us it's not your new favorite!

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Here's how to make this easy side dish:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Medium Jicama Root, grated with a cheese grater
  • 1/2 finely diced orange, yellow or red bell pepper (or you can use mini-sweet bells, too!)
  • 1/2 de-seeded cucumber, diced finely
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced (less if it's a strong one! You don't want the flavor to overtake the slaw!)
  • Handful FRESH Cilantro, minced lightly with sharp knife (so as not to bruise it!)
  • 1/2 to 1 large lime, squeezing the juice directly into slaw mixture (to taste)
  • 2/3 of small can of Mandarin Orange Slices, diced (add just 1-2 Tbsp of the juice, but not all of it!)

Instructions:

Stir all the ingredients together, adding or tweaking anything you'd like to your unique taste (such as 1/2 fresh jalapeno, diced, for heat.) 

Refrigerate mixture for about 1-2 hours then stir thoroughly again and serve!

Enjoy as a FRESH and healthy side dish that everyone loves! At potlucks and gatherings around our house, this dish gets wiped clean!

How to Make Homemade Hummus {That everyone LOVES!}

Ahhhh hummus.

Most people either love it or do NOT (it's a strong taste and not for everyone, for sure!) 

But for those of us who DO, I'm sharing my awesome (and EASY!) recipe with you right here. If you want to save money and taste a better batch of hummus (homemade really is the BEST!) then read - or watch - on as I share with you

How to Make Homemade Hummus {that everybody loves!}

Hummus can get expensive when you're buying it in a convenient ready-to-go container at the store, but can be a great backup option. No judgy-judgy for store bought hummus here! You'll even occasionally find some in my fridge! If you're ready to taste a fresh hummus that is far and above the store bought version, here you go...

How to Make It

Pretty easy, right? Tahini is the "hummusy" ingredient that turns a grainy ground chickpea mix into a silky smooth hummus dip. It's quite expensive (around $8 a jar) but that one jar will last you through DOZENS of batches of hummus, so in the long run, it's much cheaper still to make this homemade than to pay $3-$5 per batch at the store.

and here's the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) rinsed and thoroughly scrubbed with hands to remove the loose hulls
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic (less or more to taste)
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, squeezed
  • 1 tsp (or more to taste) tahini paste
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • sprinkle of salt

Instructions:

Put all of this PLUS a tiny amount of water (start with 1/4 cup and then slowly add more until you get desired consistency) into your blender or food processor (I use my Nutribullet!) and blend, then scrape, then blend, then scrape until you get the desired "feel" of your hummus!

You can serve immediately, or store the hummus in the fridge for up to a week!

We enjoy our hummus with toasted Naan bread, or raw cucumber and bell pepper slices, or our Gluten-free seed crackers. It also makes a GREAT "spread" for wraps and sandwiches!

How to Make Cha Cha Cha Chiata! {Or Chia Pudding, FRESH Start style!}

So I have to confess...

I really thought all the hoopla about Chia Seeds was maybe just another "health food fad" ... but then I kept reading about the energy that people were getting from this miracle seed! And since that was something I so desperately needed to increase in my life, I decided to give this tiny little seed a chance in my diet! Oh boy, am I glad I did!

Energy increase, anyone?

Yes, Chia Seeds increase your energy, and I'm living proof!

But don't ask me, let's look at the long-time use of this miracle seed in other cultures to see how it works!

  • Chia seeds grow natively in South America, since as early as 3500 B.C.
  • They were eaten by the Aztecs and Mayans and used as energy-sources for them, as well as a property of some medicines!
  • Modern day chia seeds are now grown in other parts of the world, including US and Australia!
  • Only 2 Tablespoons of chia seeds produces 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 9 grams of healthy fat! 
  • This same amount also gives your body 30% of it's necessary magnesium and manganese (2 minerals we're often deficient in!)
  • 2 Tbsp of these seeds also delivers 18% of your body's daily need for calcium!

Have I convinced you of the powerhouse these little seeds are?

I was convinced! Now to try them for myself...

I wanted to use chia seeds simply - but found that putting them in my smoothie BEFORE blending just created a texture to the whole smoothie that I was not loving! (I'm texture sensitive, so that's a big deal to me! Anyone know what I mean?) So now, sometimes I add into the smoothie AFTER I've blended it up!

My favorite way to get my daily Chia Seeds though, is by making Chia pudding (or in our case, Cha Cha Cha Chiata!)

I've seen plenty of recipes for Chia Pudding, but again, because of my "texture sensitivities" I found that I didn't really enjoy it made  that thick. So I've created one I absolutely love and look forward to "drinking" as a powerful addition to my energy-meals daily!

{We call it "Chiata" because my Latino hubby says this drink reminds him of his "horchata," a popular drink in his culture! Only this "chata" has chia - hence the new name CHIATA!}

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Here's how to make it FRESH Start style!

Cha Cha Cha Chiata

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chilled almond or coconut milk (or any other unsweetened plant-based milk)
  • 1.5 to 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds (if you want thicker consistency, add a little more)
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract (or just eye it and drizzle)
  • 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup (try it first without and only add if you need extra sweetness)
  • quick shake of ground cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Using a small mason jar, shake all ingredients together for a minute or two. Then place in fridge and enjoy within a few minutes or hours later. 
  2. The chia seeds will swell up, absorbing the liquid and become easily ingested either by using a spoon or drinking straight from the jar.

I dare you to replace one of your current choices for energy drink in the morning or afternoon with this delicious chiata from ingredients you can find anywhere! You'll never miss the ups and downs of the other drink, but will truly enjoy the steady, ongoing energy you get from this drink!

Did you like this recipe? Get plenty more right here!

Then let us know how YOU make YOUR Chiata in the comments below!

Sweet Green Smoothie Recipe

This smoothie recipe is close to my heart as a crunchy mama, because it's the first smoothie recipe I could get my uber-picky 9-year-old daughter (now 13!) to eat and actually enjoy.  She swears by it to all her friends now, and loves the fact that she is getting a serving of veggie in every glass (but can’t taste it!)

Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients

  • 1 to 1.5 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 5-6 ice cubes
  • 3 ounces low-sugar Vanilla Greek yogurt (1/2 small container)
  • 1/2 green apple, peeled and cored
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 cup water (or to taste)
  • Drizzle of honey (if needed for sweetness)

Instructions

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend them on high until smooth (usually about 1-2 full minutes in a regular blender). Serve with a dallop of canned whipped cream on top for a fun extra to this healthy and nutritious smoothie!

Easy to make, no added sugar, and protein-rich for a quick, healthy breakfast option.  You just can’t go wrong with this family-friendly smoothie recipe!  

Weight loss tip: Drink down 8-12 ounces of this smoothie at mealtime for a fabulous weight loss meal replacement that keeps you feeling satisfied.

Got picky eaters in your house like me? Try this healthy green smoothie with them, then let us know...did they like it? You can post here in the comments or over in our free FRESH Start Online Community on Facebook.

If you liked this recipe, we think you'll enjoy these as well:

Berry Nutty Smoothie (Our signature smoothie)

Healthy Homemade Pizza

Fresh Bean Relish

This FRESH Bean Relish is easy, Delish, and full of natural fiber! 

Our family enjoys this quick dish often with grilled chicken or as a side to fish. 

Hint: It turns out best with all the ingredients rinsed and completely drained, and then refrigerated overnight.  It’s one of those dishes that just gets better with time!

This recipe has helped our family eat more beans, which are rich in fiber and other nutrients for the body.  I personally have never enjoyed beans, but this dish has a way of hiding the “bean taste” in the goodness of the overall dish, and I have enjoyed it often now.

Here’s the recipe:

Fresh Bean Relish

Ingredients

•    1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas
•    1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
•    1½ cups frozen sweet corn, thawed & drained
•    1/2 cup chopped onion
•    1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
•    1 (4 ounce) can mild green chiles
•    1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
•    1 cup Italian-style salad dressing
•    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

1.    In a medium bowl, combine black-eyed peas, black beans, corn, onion, green bell pepper, jalapeno peppers and tomatoes.

2.    Season with Italian-style salad dressing and garlic powder - mix well.

3.    Cover and refrigerate overnight to blend flavors.

If you prefer fresh tomatoes, substitute 1 3/4 cup for the canned diced tomatoes.  For a spicier relish, switch out the mild green chiles for jalapeno peppers, either fresh diced or canned!

Sweet Corn Salsa

This summery salsa is delicious, combining both the sweet bite of the corn and the tangy goodness of the red onion.  It is a simple salsa to serve over fish or alongside a grilled dinner entree.  

Sweet Corn Salsa 

Ingredients

•    1 cup sweet corn (fresh or frozen)
•    1/4 medium red onion
•    1/4 cup chopped cilantro
•    1/2 pint yellow cherry tomatoes (about 3/4 cup)
•    1/2 small jalapeno, finely diced - (Add only if you like heat in your salsa!)
•    1-2 key limes (to taste)

Instructions

1.    Roast sweet corn over medium-high heat in a small fry pan for about 2 minutes, turning often to prevent burning.  (Use teaspoon butter or olive oil to keep from burning.)  Pull corn off the heat and let cool.  
2.    Chop red onion into thin, short slices, adding it to the corn.  Stir in the cilantro, and halve the cherry tomatoes, adding them in to the mix.  Squeeze the lime onto the salsa, then sprinkle sea salt, cracked ground pepper, and a tablespoon olive oil into mix, stir together.  
3.    The natural crunchy sweetness of the corn and tangy addition of the tomatoes and red onion mix beautifully to make a great summer salsa!

Warning:  May be slightly addictive to your family, and you’ll have to make another batch!

Mini Peanut-Chip Cookies

Everyone loves the classic chocolate chip cookie, so we've been on a search for a low-sugar variety that still tastes good.  On our quest for sugar-less desserts that are still yummy and satisfying, we found this little gem. 

Little is the correct descriptive, but these pint-sized cookies still pack a sweet tooth fixin’ crunch!

Mini Peanut-Chip Cookie Recipe

mini peanut chip cookies

Ingredients

•    1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
•    1 tsp baking soda
•    1/4 tsp salt
•    1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
•    1/2 cup peanut butter
•    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
•    1/4 cup sugar
•    1/4 cup milk (Soy)
•    1 egg
•    1 tsp vanilla extract
•    1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

1.    Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In medium bowl, whisk together first three dry ingredients, set aside.  In large bowl, beat peanut butter and butter on medium speed 2 minutes, or until creamy.  (I hand beat it – and it turns out creamy enough.)  Add brown sugar and sugar, beat 2 minutes.  Beat in milk, egg and vanilla.  Fold in dry ingredients until just combined.  Stir in chips – chill dough for 15 minutes.

2.    For each cookie, roll 2 tsp dough into a ball and place on baking sheet 2 inches apart.  With floured fork, flatten each ball into a round, making a crosshatch pattern.

3.    Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned around edges.  Let cool on sheets 1 minute, then transfer the cookies to a rack to finish cooling.

*Original recipe found in Family Circle – "Coach Bess" altered for sugar content.

Easy (and Healthy!) Homemade Granola Recipe

Make this easy (and healthy!) homemade granola recipe to have breakfast cereal on hand and ready to eat for busy mornings! As a kid, I spent half my childhood on a farm in the mid-west, so good wholesome food was always available! We drank fresh goat's milk, plucked our own fresh eggs from the coop every morning, and ate fresh, home-grown vegetables from our quarter-acre garden. For years, my mom would make our own homemade cereal, too. A delightful sweet and crunchy concoction from our backyard walnut tree's harvest, old-fashioned oats, and other delicious grains.

So developing this recipe was a real treat, taking me back a few years. The warm cinnamon smell as it roasts brings the comfort of homemade goodness back, and my kids now get to experience a peek of the farm life right here in our suburbia kitchen!

You can make this recipe too, it's easy, low-sugar and keeps well if you freeze in a ziploc, or place it in an airtight container. (Glass jars are best!)

Loaded with magnesium and potassium, this easy granola is a high-fiber quick choice for breakfast! Choose this granola over commercial cereals, which are mostly sugar-laden and sometimes lacking real nutritional load per serving.

Homemade Granola Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped or sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil (OR 5-6 Tbsp alternate plant oil)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
     
  2. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
     
  3. Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the last six ingredients in a medium bowl until completely blended. Pour the liquid over the dry mixture, and toss together until coated. Spread the mixture into the baking pans.
     
  4. Bake on the lowest rack, stirring every 15 minutes or so, for about 30-45 minutes or until evenly browned and crispy. Let the mix cool completely in the pan before serving or storing in airtight container.

Ta-da!  That's it! 

A few minutes to stir, a few more to bake, then let it cool - and you have several quick breakfasts ready to pull out for those busy school mornings. 

How to enjoy this granola:

  • Add a sliced banana or some fresh berries to the top, and pour cold unsweetened almond, coconut or soy milk over it!  
  • Heap spoonfuls of it over a few ounces of low-sugar Greek Yogurt , and add fresh fruit or berries to make a "parfait."
  • Place a half cup or so in a small bag or container to enjoy plain, as a "snack" for energy between meals.

If you enjoyed this recipe, check out more breakfast ideas here. Then let us know in the comments how you eat your granola!

Super Simple Tabouleh Recipe

Since sharing this super simple tabouleh, an easy Mediterranean diet staple, with our Fresh Start Coaching Team at our Fall ReFRESHed Conference, there have been tons of requests for this recipe! In fact, several of our coaches were very surprised at how simple this dish is AND how totally delicious it is as a great left-over snack.

Enjoy it with seed crackers or cucumber slices, on sweet potato chips or with warm Naan or Pita bread. It’s a perfect vegan super-fresh protein main dish if you just double the quinoa! This is also a great go-to dish to take to potlucks and get-togethers too. This Tabouleh dish is ALWAYS wiped clean at any gathering!

Super Simple Tabouleh

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1/3 Sweet Onion
  • 1-2 Small Tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1 FRESH Lemon
  • 1/2 -1 cup Cooked Quinoa (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Chop the parsley fine, dice sweet onions and tomatoes, and stir them all together in medium bowl.
  2. Drizzle olive oil (about 1 Tablespoon) into mix and add a good sprinkle of the seasonings.
  3. Squeeze the lemon juice into the mix, add in the cooked quinoa and stir it all together.
  4. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least a couple hours (even overnight is fine!) to allow the flavorings to blend.
  5. Serve with seed crackers, feta cheese and olives for a Mediterranean FRESH snack!

We would LOVE to hear how you like this healthy snack too, so stop by our Facebook Page and let us know what you think of this Super Simple Tabouleh recipe!

What do you love to serve with your Tabouleh? Our favorites are seed crackers and cucumbers but we are always looking for fresh new ideas!

Protein Energy Bites Snack Recipe {Healthy No-Bake!}

This no-bake Protein Energy Bites Snack Recipe is just the fix when you need a quick dose of natural energy!

...without a too-much-sugar-penalty to your FRESH eating plan!

It's a new favorite in our house after we made them for our neighbors and friends as a Christmas goodie a few years ago! They are gooey, chewy and just barely sweet, but not too much! Packed with fiber, whole grains and nut butter, they’re just loaded with good nutrition. Yum.

These bites are “no bakes,” and that is TRULY why we love this delicious recipe! It's a flexible recipe, too - if you end up omitting one of the dry ingredients (such as coconut or flaxseed), just add in some "extra" of any other dry ingredient is remaining in the recipe (for example, the oats.) If you feel like they come out too dry, add in a drizzle of extra honey or peanut butter. Although it’s also not required to refrigerate this dough, it helps the balls stick together much better. We think they are also tastier if they are a bit chilled!

Protein Energy Bites Snack Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (dry) old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter (or any other nut butter of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 cup MINI chocolate chips (optional!)

Instructions

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1 1/2" in diameter, to keep portions in check.)
  3. Store in a glass container (preferred) or gallon Ziploc or airtight container. You can keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  4. Makes about 20 balls.

Substitution ideas: There are plenty available for most of these ingredients! Substitute your favorite nut butter (almond or sunflower butter, etc.) for the peanut butter. Wheat germ works in place of some or all of the flaxseed.

Hint: I would caution though against substituting agave nectar for the honey, as the honey’s thickness helps hold things together, and as most of you know, I don’t much appreciate agave nectar LOL!

Some other add-in ideas for this recipe (but make sure that if you add more dry ingredients, you need to add wet ingredients to keep the consistency right):

  • dried berries (cranberries, cherries, etc.)
  • chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts, or sunflower seeds
  • other grains (different kinds of oatmeal, rice cereal, etc.)
  • Chia seeds (only 1 Tbsp or so)

Source: Found on Gimme Some Oven blog, and slightly adapted from a recipe on Smashed Peas & Carrots.

Berry Nutty Smoothie

I have discovered how to have real, lasting (non-crash-and-burn) ENERGY in the morning - and it's with my Berry Nutty Smoothie!  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my cup of coffee, too...so of course I was THRILLED to find that coffee, made "right" has powerful benefits! (Did I just say coffee has BENEFITS? Yes! More on that in another post soon!) 

This smoothie is full of vitamin, mineral and energy-increasing benefits! It is the answer for morning POWER...raise your hand if that sounds like something you could use!

It is like drinking your vitamins every morning! Only takes about 3-5 minutes to whip up and enjoy...oh, and even my picky kids love it!

Smoothies have been around a long time,

so this idea of a liquid breakfast is nothing new.  There are many variations of healthy shakes - many brands, powders, and formulas to choose from out there. But so many of those are loaded with sugar, additives, coloring, etc...why not go FRESH instead? It's too easy! Like so many of my busy-bee clients, I used to struggle with getting a good breakfast eaten before the busy day started...so this easy, quick smoothie has solved that problem!

Are you ready for more energy in your mornings without the “help” of sugar or caffeine? 

Here you go!

Berry Nutty Smoothie

Ingredients

smoothie step 1.jpg

1/2 cup plain or low-sugar Greek yogurt
1 cup unsweetened almond, coconut, rice, or soy milk
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed (start with less for first couple smoothies)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries such as strawberries, cherries, or blueberries
1 banana for creamier, sweeter smoothie
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil or other Nut Butter
5-6 cubes ICE (If berries aren’t frozen)
1/2 cup water, or more if desired
OPTIONAL but RECOMMENDED: add in 1-2 handfuls FRESH baby spinach or kale

Instructions

  1. Blend at high speed until ingredients are smooth. (Add water or milk as needed to achieve desired consistency!)
  2. Makes 2 – 3 smoothies

This snack also makes a great meal replacement, afternoon snack, or dessert when that sweet tooth starts calling!  FULL of protein, natural energy and detoxifying ingredients, this smoothie is more than a non-guilty pleasure - it's GREAT for your health!

smoothie Jov.jpg

Squirt a little whipped cream over the top for a beautiful and delicious splurge.  We often serve it up in wine glasses, just to feel pampered!

Are smoothies new to you? Or something you've been including in your healthy habits all along? Would love to hear from you in the comments below! Oh and be sure to JOIN THE CONVERSATION in our FREE community! We talk smoothies, FRESH food and healthy habits DAILY over there!