Vanilla Coconut Nutritional Truffles

This is what I came up with one hot day when I wanted to whip up a decadent, nutrient-rich snack for my fellow trainers and clients…without turning on the oven.  Mix, roll into balls, and throw in the freezer.  That’s it!

photo (62)Makes 8 balls.

  • 4 TB quinoa flakes or oats
  • 2 TB organic peanut butter
  • 1 TB vanilla whey protein powder (I use Designer Whey or Met Rx Protein Plus)
  • 1 TB raw shredded coconut
  • 2 1/2  TB almond meal (I use Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 TB agave syrup
  • 4 TB unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I use Almond Breeze)

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly
  2. Roll into 8 balls
  3. Line ’em up in a tupperware, cover and freeze.
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Almond Meal, Blueberry Banana Muffins

photo

These quick and easy muffins are low in added sugar and are gluten-free (use GF oats).  They make a great quick breakfast, dessert or snack.  They are delicious “as is” or with toppings (i.e. peanut, almond or cashew butter, a drizzle of honey, fruit preserve, butter, etc.), served warm or chilled.  I sometimes substitute dark chocolate chips for the blueberries.  Recipe makes 8 muffins.

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 TB agave or maple syrup
  • 3 TB unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 medium, ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup almond meal (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp oat flour (in lieu of flour, can also finely grind oats in blender)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin sheet with 8 cupcake liners (I used silicone cups).
  2. Mix all liquid ingredients, including mashed banana.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients separately.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients, and then gently fold in blueberries.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then remove muffins from pan and cool completely on cooling rack.  If using silicone liners, wait until muffins are completely cooled before removing from liners.
  7. Store muffins in covered container, but crack the lid open slightly to avoid excess moisture buildup.
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Questions about protein??

This recent article explains why protein is important, what the best sources are (and aren’t) and a general goal for daily intake.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/06/15/why-meat-and-protein-are-not-the-same/

And what about protein powders?

Below is a link to an excellent, comprehensive article that covers the pluses and minuses of these powders, what makes one protein source better than another, and which is best for you.

This article comes from Consumerlab.com, a privately held company that purchases supplement products on the open market for independent, third party lab testing and publishes a report on the results.  A valuable service.  You can get a free 24 hour pass to this article (getting us access to this site is one thing Dr. Oz got right) by providing an email address.  It’s worth the extra minute, and you can print the article and read at your leisure.

https://www.consumerlab.com/trialsignup.asp?CODE=DROZTRIAL

 

 

 

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Fit but not healthy?

You can’t exercise your way out of an unhealthy diet.

http://news.discovery.com/human/health/how-you-can-be-fit-but-not-healthy-140328.htm

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Sweet vs. all the other potatoes: which are healthier?

I think most of us are currently under the impression that sweet potatoes are healthier (lower on the glycemic scale and contain more nutrients) than white, yellow or purple-fleshed potatoes.  This in-depth article explains why one type does not necessarily trump the other, and that both types can be an excellent addition to your diet.

I particularly like the section “The Problem with GI/GL” and the explanation of some factors that can influence (change) the gylcemic index of a food.  Have a look…

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/regular-vs-sweet-potatoes

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Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 TB coconut oil                                                   photo (94)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (15 oz.) can 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala*
  • Garnish: 0% Greek yogurt and sliced raw almonds

Heat coconut oil in a deep pot over medium heat.  Stir in the onions and garlic, cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Then add all ingredients except the pumpkin and coconut milk.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Whisk in the pumpkin and coconut milk, and cook another 5 minutes.

Ladle into bowls, then stir in 1 TB 0% Greek yogurt and top with sliced raw almonds.

Alternate garnishes:  lime zest, and toasted shredded raw coconut or crispy sliced shallots

*The Garam Masala I used is a (World Market) blend of Northern Indian dry roasted spices including cardamom, black pepper, coriander, cumin, nutmeg and cinnamon.

 

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Spinach Salad with Fuyu Persimmon

photo (90)

Fuyu persimmons (or Jiro or sharon fruit) look like bright orange tomatoes.  This crisp fruit is wonderful eaten raw (peeled or unpeeled) and can be diced and added to salads.   In season from September-December.

Compared to apples, persimmons have higher levels of dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and manganese.  They also contain vitamin C and provitamin A beta-carotene.

For a quick salad, start with fresh baby spinach, top with diced persimmon and a few crumbles of goat cheese, and pair with a balsamic dressing (1 part balsamic vinegar, 3 parts olive or flax oil, salt and pepper to taste).  Optional toppings: slivered red onion, sliced raw almonds, or…?  Let me know if you come up with any other great variations!

photo (91)

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