Celebrate With Healthy, Patriotic Treats

It’s Memorial Day weekend! That means a lot of us might be going to BBQs and parties. And THAT means we are going to be tempted by a lot of food! Stay on track this weekend by making one of these healthy, patriotic treats!

 

fruit-stick

Fruit Skewers

Use raspberries, bananas, and blueberries to make the red, white, and blue fruit skewers! This is great in place of dessert. You can satisfy your sweet tooth, but the added fiber and nutrients make this a way better option than cake and cookies!

 

fruit-and-cheese-tray

Fruit and Cheese Flag Tray

Line up strawberries, white cheddar cubes, and raspberries to make the stripes. Add a bowl of blueberries in the corner to finish the flag! Snack on this instead of reaching for chips. We know how good berries are for us and cheese in small amounts has its benefits, too!

 

usa-pops

Fruit and Yogurt Popsicles

This one takes a little more work, but is totally worth it! Great alternative to traditional popsicles and ice cream!

What you need:

  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • plain, lowfat yogurt

What you do:

  1. Puree blueberries and raspberries separately.
  2. Put all ingredients into separate measuring cups with spouts (this will make pouring easier).
  3. Add a little water to each of the ingredients to dilute a little and make them more pourable.
  4. Layer ingredients into a popsicle mold. First, the blueberries, then alternate the yogurt and raspberries to make stripes.
  5. Put in the freezer overnight or until frozen.
  6. Enjoy!

 

Do you have any other healthy, holiday treats? Comment below and let us know!

Avocado Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is a great summer food! It’s cold, but hearty and can be put on a sandwich for a quick meal on the go. This guilt-free variation omits the mayo and adds in nutritious avocado! Fresh celery, onion, and cilantro also bump up the nutritional content. And chicken, of course, gives you plenty of protein!

 

What you need:

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup plain, nonfat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped (parsley is also really good!)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What you do:

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and enjoy!

 

For a non-dairy option, omit the yogurt and drizzle in some olive oil instead.

Easy Mexican Quinoa

One thing I hear from people all the time is that eating healthy is too expensive or takes too much time. This mexican quinoa recipe is here to bust those myths! It is incredibly easy to make (you only need ONE pan!), the ingredients are inexpensive, and it is packed with nutrient rich food! Quinoa is one of the world’s known superfoods which means that it has a ton of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are good for us. It is high in protein and fiber, too, which keep us feeling full and satisfied. Black beans are also a good source of fiber and protein. The other veggies have great nutritional qualities and avocado is another superfood that has amazing health benefits!

What’s more? This is an excellent recipe for meal prep! Make a bunch and portion out for meals every day. Or keep some on hand for a side dish or topping on salad!

 

What you need:

1 TBSP olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 jalapenos, minced

1 cup quinoa

1 cup vegetable broth

1 can black beans

1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

½ cup of corn kernels

1 ½ tsp chili powder

½ tsp cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

1 avocado, seeded, peeled, and diced

1 lime

Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

 

What you do:

  1. In a large skillet, sauté garlic and jalapeno in oil for about 1 minute
  2. Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked through.
  5. Add in avocado, lime juice, and cilantro.
  6. Enjoy!

Veggie Egg Muffins

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! That’s what we’ve been told at least. And while there is an ongoing debate on the importance of breakfast, we think starting your day with a healthy meal is a good idea. It gives you energy to begin your day, gets your metabolism going, and can keep you from crashing mid-morning. WHAT we are eating for breakfast makes all of the difference, though. It is important to get a good amount of protein and healthy fats in the morning. This will help keep you full until lunch and even helps regulate your blood sugar throughout the day.

These veggie egg muffins are an excellent way to get a lot of protein in the morning and even a serving of vegetables! They are easy to make and can be reheated in the microwave for a quick breakfast on busy mornings. You can also make them using whatever veggies you have on hand!

 

What you need:

– 5 whole eggs

– 5 egg whites

– 1 red bell pepper, chopped

– 1 yellow onion, chopped

– 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

– 2 cloves garlic, minced

– 1 tablespoon olive, coconut, or avocado oil

– salt and pepper to taste

 

What you do:

  1. Whisk eggs together in a large bowl or measuring cup (the spout on a measuring cup will make pouring easier).
  2. Sauté bell pepper and onion in oil until tender (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add spinach and sauté 2 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute.
  5. Add veggies to eggs and combine.
  6. Pour mixture, evenly, into a greased, 12 cup muffin tin.
  7. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately or refrigerate and enjoy later!

 

Honey Dijon Salmon for Two

Valentine’s day is a great time to get together with your significant other and spend quality time together. Many couples opt to celebrate the holiday at a restaurant, but the crowds can be crazy! Or, we are on a budget and can’t spend hundreds on a pricey meal. Sometimes, it is just a better idea to stay in. But, you don’t have to sacrifice a delicious meal! Buy a couple of quality salmon filets, some fresh veggies, and cook a fantastic (and healthy!) Valentine’s meal this year!

 

What you need:

– 2 large, fresh salmon filets

– 2 tablespoons honey

– 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard

– juice from ½ a lemon

– 1 clove minced garlic

– ½ teaspoon dried parsley

– salt and pepper to taste

 

What you do:

  1. Combine honey, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Place salmon in a lightly greased baking dish.
  3. Pour combined ingredients over the salmon, coating the filets completely.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and flakes with a fork.
  5. Enjoy with a side of roasted veggies (recipe below)!

 

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

These brussels sprouts are an easy, healthy side for any meal! And you can use other veggies in this recipe, too! Broccoli, carrots, asparagus, and zucchini are all great when roasted. Use this same recipe using any of them, just adjust the cooking time!

 

What you need:

– 2 cups raw brussels sprouts

– 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

– salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

 

What you do:

  1. Wash brussels sprouts, cut off stem, and halve.
  2. In a large bowl combine brussels sprouts, oil, and seasonings. Mix well so all of the sprouts are coated with oil and seasoning.
  3. Spread brussels sprouts on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until brussels sprouts are tender.

 

 

How to Build the Best Smoothie

Smoothies are very popular among those trying to lose weight or eat better. They are a great way to get in a ton of nutrients at once and can even be their own meal. However, it is important to build a smoothie the right way in order to make it as healthy as possible. You want to make sure you get all of your core nutrients – protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fiber – to help you get the most out of your smoothie and keep you feeling full. For example, an all fruit smoothie will get your carbs and fiber in, but will leave you hungry sooner than if you add in a good protein source. Another important thing to remember when making smoothies is to use as many whole, unprocessed foods as possible and not to add extra sugar. Use these four steps to build the best smoothie!

  1. Pick your fruit: Pick 2 – 3 different fruits to be the bulk of your smoothie. Berries are great because they are flavorful, nutrient rich, and low in sugar. Adding a banana will add a good amount of fiber to your smoothie to help you feel more full. Also, adding mango or pineapple will add a vitamin C boost and great flavor!
  2. Pick your veggies: Pick 1 or 2 veggies to add more vitamins and minerals to your smoothie. Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are great! They are very nutritious and when mixed in with the fruit and other ingredients, nearly impossible to taste. Avocados are also a great addition. They are a known super food and will add fiber and healthy fats to your smoothie.
  3. Pick your protein: Use ¼ of a cup of organic almond, hazelnut, or peanut butter for a great protein source! We want to stick with using whole foods that are unprocessed, so we try to stay away from protein powders as much as possible. If you do choose to use protein powder, though, try pea, hemp, or rice protein. These varieties contain no dairy or other animal products and usually don’t contain artificial sweeteners.
  4. Pick your liquid: Use ½ a cup of liquid to blend your smoothie. You can use more or less depending on how thick you want your smoothie and how much of the other ingredients you are using. The best choices are water, chilled green tea, or coconut water. Fruit juices and milk add unnecessary sugars. If you want a creamier smoothie, try using unsweetened almond or coconut milk.

 

smoothie-1

Nuts and berries smoothie:

½ cup blueberries

½ cup strawberries

1 banana

1 cup spinach

¼ cup almond butter

½ cup coconut water

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

 

Eat This, Not That: Energy Packed Holiday Cookies

It’s the holiday time which means here come the holiday parties! Need to bring a treat, but don’t want to be so unhealthy? Try this amazing alternative to traditional cookies or cupcakes!

Our energy packed holiday cookies are sure to be a hit at your next party. Avoiding ingredients like butter, salt, and oil help keep the calorie count low while still being delicious. Check out the recipe below and be sure to bake these up as soon as possible!

 

Ingredients:

2 cup of Oats (not steel cut)

1 cup of cinnamon apple sauce

2 mashed bananas

1 cup of “extra” ingredient: we prefer either dark chocolate chips, blueberries, or craisins

3/4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Directions:

Mix and form into balls (about the size of a golf ball) and put on a greased baking sheet

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, let stand for 2-3 minutes, and ENJOY!

 

Do you have another healthy alternative for holiday treats, either sweet or savory? Comment below and let us know!

 

Eat This, Not That: Avocado Cream Sauce

Who doesn’t love avocados? They are so nutritious and, of course, great tasting! Avocados are loaded with vitamins and minerals and are a great source of healthy fats and fiber that keep us satisfied and energized throughout the day. They are also a very versatile food and can be used in so many dishes. This recipe makes a great alternative to traditional cream sauces. Instead of using heavy cream, which is loaded with unhealthy fats and not very nutritious, we are using avocado and greek yogurt. These ingredients are, instead, going to provide healthy fats, essential nutrients, fiber, and probiotics to make a delicious and healthy cream sauce you can put on anything!

 

What you need:

  • 1 avocado
  • ½ cup of plain greek yogurt
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What you do:

  • Peel and pit avocado
  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth
  • Serve over pasta, spaghetti squash, or grilled chicken or salmon

avocado pasta

For a vegan option, use 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in place of the greek yogurt!

Drink This, Not That: Detoxifying Infused Water

Heading into the cooler months, we all seek out that comfort food that keeps us warm and cozy. However, we need to be careful with what we’re eating to make sure we don’t consume too many inflammatory ingredients. What is inflammation in terms of our diet and nutrition? It’s a swelling, and sometimes painful, reaction our body creates when we eat certain foods, such as refined carbs, sugary drinks, dairy, and alcohol. Now, temporary inflammation in the body is a good thing when we’re trying to fight off an injury or infection—it’s our body’s way of mounting a defense against “intruders.” But, when the inflammation is chronic due to improper diet and nutrition, our body can start to attack our good, healthy cells.

We’ve started drinking an incredible, and easy to make, drink to help fight the inflammation that gives us that bloated feeling and appearance. The drink includes anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as ginger, and alkalinic ingredients, such as cucumbers, which help fight acid build-up in our bodies. It is also very low in sugar, making it a great alternative to soda and sports drinks!

Next time you go to the grocery store, make sure you buy these ingredients to create the perfect drink to help decrease your inflammation and get you feeling and looking great again!

 

ginger_lemonade_ingredients

What you need:

  • 2 liters of water
  • 1 teaspoon grated, fresh ginger
  • 1 medium lemon, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 10 to 15 mint leaves

What you do:

  • Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and let sit for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator
  • Drink 4-5 glasses during the day and enjoy!

Eat this, not that: Veggie Chili!

Happy first day of fall! We are celebrating by making this awesome vegetarian chili. Chili is a great meal; it is inexpensive, easy to make, and warms you up on cold days. However, traditional meat chili, usually made with ground beef, is not necessarily the healthiest, when not made with lean, grass-fed beef. It is full of fat and doesn’t offer many good nutrients. This version cuts out the meat and replaces it with nutrient-rich vegetables and legumes, while keeping all the flavor!

 

What to use:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 jalapenos (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1, 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes, not drained
  • 2, 15 oz. cans black beans, drained
  • 1, 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Chop onions, peppers, and zucchini and mince garlic
  2. In large pot, sauté onions and peppers in olive oil about 4 minutes
  3. Add zucchini and garlic and sauté another 4 minutes
  4. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, and spices
  5. Simmer for about 30 minutes
  6. Serve with multi grain bread, corn bread, or tortilla chips. Top with cilantro, lime juice, avocado, or low fat cheese!