#NationalBrownieDay – Fudge Protein Brownies

4-Ingredient Fudge Protein Brownies (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Yield: 9 slices

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • Mashed banana (about 6 medium, overripe bananas) – 2 cups
  • Smooth peanut butter (use almond or cashew butter for paleo/low-carb) – 1 cup
  • Paleo/vegan protein powder – ½ cup
  • Cocoa powder – ¼ cup

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a small 8×8 baking dish or 8” skillet with parchment paper or grease well. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, peanut butter, whisk until fully combined. Stir in protein powder and cocoa powder with a wooden spoon. Pour batter into a greased pan. Bake for 12-20 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting. Cover the leftovers and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Enjoy cold or at room temp!

Recipe from: gimmedelicious.com

#NationalCookieDay – Red Velvet Chocolate Beet Cookies!

Red Velvet Chocolate Beet Cookies

Tender and cake-like like red velvet cake. Finish with a swirl of chocolate honey glaze and you’ve got a gold-medal winner of a cookie. Makes about 50 2-inch cookies.

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 1 cup avocado or grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (3 to 4 beets), roasted (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (see note)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Chocolate Honey Glaze:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (55 to 70%)
  • 4 ounces avocado or grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Instructions

Make the cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Slip the skins form the toasted beets. Chop them into small pieces, by hand or in a food processor.
  2. In a blender puree the oil, honey, eggs, orange zest and vanilla.
  3. Measure 1 cup of the chopped beets and add to the blender. Puree until smooth. Marvel at the color. Pour into a large bowl.
  4. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients and beat with the whisk for at least a minute.
  5. Drop by tablespoons (or a #70 ice cream scoop) onto silicone baking mat or parchment-lined baking sheets.
  6. Bake about 10 minutes, until the center of a cookie springs back when touched with a finger. Cool. Remove from the baking sheet with a spatula. (You won’t be able to pick the cookies up before scraping them from the pan.)
  7. Spread a teaspoon or so of Chocolate Honey Glaze on top of each cookie.

Make the Chocolate Honey Glaze:

  1. Place the chocolate, oil and honey in the top of a double boiler, over gently boiling water; the upper pan should not touch the water.
  2. When the chocolate is almost melted, remove from the heat. Whisk gently until the oil and chocolate are incorporated. Cool until spreadable but not cold.

Recipe Notes

  • Whole wheat pastry flour is 100% wheat, ground from low-protein softer wheat berries. You can substitute all-purpose flour or white pastry flour.
  • To roast beets, scrub but do not peel. Slightly trim the root and stem ends. Place them in a dish with about 1/2-inch of water. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and bake at 350° F. for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the beets. Pierce, using a knife or carving fork, to check for tenderness. Allow to cool. Slip off the skins.

Recipe Credit: Letty’s Kitchen

#PieDay & #NationalEataRedAppleDay: Apple Pie Date Bars!

Apple Pie Date Bars

Simple, 8-ingredient apple pie bars sweetened with dates, cinnamon, and a touch of maple syrup. These entirely vegan, gluten-free bars make the perfect on-the-go snack or breakfast seriously reminiscent of Apple Pie Larabars.

Ingredients
• 1 small apple, cored, peeled and chopped (sweet or tart is fine)
• 1 Tbsp maple syrup
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
• 1/4 tsp sea salt, divided
• 13-14 dates (2/3 cup packed), pitted*
• 1 cup raw or roasted almonds
• 1 cup raw or roasted walnuts

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
2. Place chopped apple on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, maple syrup, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and a healthy pinch sea salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Set aside.
3. In a food processor, grind nuts into a meal – a few chunkier pieces are OK. Then add dates and pulse until a loose dough is formed. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl.
4. Give the baked apples another chop with a sharp knife so the pieces aren’t so large. Slowly add apples a few Tbsp at a time until the mixture forms a moist dough. If your mixture got too wet, simply add more ground walnuts, almonds, or even a handful oats. Reserve leftover apples for other use (oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, etc.)
5. Transfer mixture to parchment-lined loaf pan and spread evenly with a spoon or spatula. Top with plastic wrap and use fingers to press it firmly into all corners until uniformly flat on top. For extra thickness, cram the mixture into 3/4 of the pan and reserve a blank space. This will make less bars, but they will be much thicker. Cover and freeze to set.
6. Chop into desired number of bars – anywhere from 4-8.
7. To store, pack in a bag or container and place a piece of parchment between each bar so they don’t stick together. l keep mine in the freezer to stay fresher longer, but the refrigerator is fine, too.
8. If you’re traveling, they should be fine for a day or so. But keep them refrigerated or frozen otherwise.

Notes
*If your dates have gone dry, soak in warm water 10 minutes then thoroughly drain.

#NationalFrenchToastDay – Raspberry Ricotta French Toast

Raspberry-Ricotta French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1⁄4 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1 large omega-3–enriched egg
  • 1 tablespoon fat-free milk
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 slice multigrain bread
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Mash 1⁄4 cup of the raspberries with 1⁄2 teaspoon of the honey in a small bowl with a fork. Add the ricotta and stir to combine. Set aside.
  2. Coat a small nonstick skillet with canola oil cooking spray and place it over medium heat.
  3. Beat the egg, milk, and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Dip the bread in the egg mixture and flip to coat both sides.
  4. Transfer the bread to the skillet and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until the egg is lightly browned.
  5. Top it with the reserved ricotta mixture, and sprinkle on the pecans and 1⁄4 cup of the remaining raspberries. Drizzle with the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon of honey and garnish with additional cinnamon, if desired. Serve with the remaining 1⁄2 cup of raspberries on the side.

Recipe Credit: Excerpted from the book Slim Calm Sexy Diet by WH nutrition expert, Keri Glassman.

 

#FitnessFriday – The Lateral Hip Shift

Lateral Hip Shift

Our hips are the basis for almost our entire body’s movement! The hips are also our power source for so many things. Try this lateral hip shift exercise to promote more fluid hip movement!

 

  1. Stand with your feet just wider than shoulder width apart – hip hinge back to the wall – legs straight, both bum cheeks touch the wall at the same time.

2. Shift over to the right side, and slowly shift over to the left side – don’t go past your knee.

3. Come back to the middle – squeeze your glutes and stand up tall.

#NationalCakeDay – Birthday Cake Energy Bites!

Healthy Birthday Cake Energy Bites

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup rolled oats*
  • ¼ cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 5 medjool dates (make sure they’re soft!)
  • ½ tablespoon nut/seed butter of choice (I obviously used sunflower seed butter)
  • 1 teaspoon milk of choice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Optional: Rainbow sprinkles, white chocolate

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, pulse oats and pepitas until flour-like consistency forms. Remove from processor and set aside in a small bowl.
  2. Process dates, nut/seed butter, milk and vanilla extract until a paste-like consistency forms.
  3. Slowly add in the oat/pepita mixture until combined. You may need to continuously scrape down the side of the bowl so all ingredients are well combined. The mixture will be sticky.
  4. Remove from the food processor bowl and add 1 tablespoon rainbow sprinkles, if desired. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on wax paper. Optional: Drizzle melted white chocolate over the top and let harden. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

*Note: If you wanted to add some protein powder that should work, just cut back on the amount of oats by 1 tablespoon. I have not tried it, however!

Serving size: 1 ball Calories: 120 Fiber: 2.5 Protein: 3.3

And just like that you have birthday cake in the shape of a ball!

 

Recipe Credit: C it Nutritionally

#WednesdayWorkout – The Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

1. Kneeling – one knee up and one knee down – try to keep the hips straight

2. Kneeling – one knee up and one knee down – try to keep the hips straight. Gently push the hip forward to feel a stretch in the front of your thigh.

**Hint: Keep your front heel down for a better stretch. If you’re finding it difficult to balance, use a wooden dowel to stabilize yourself.**

#FitnessFriday – Lower Body Rolls

Lower Body Rolls 

  1. Lay on your back – arms out to the side and legs straight
  2. One knee is going to lift to 90 degrees – and rotate over to the other side of the body
  3. When your shoulder starts to come up off the ground bring the leg back and down and switch sides

*Tip* If you find that this is too difficult or you cannot get a stretch without your should coming off the floor or , place a couple pillows under your leg once you have rolled. Then allow your leg to rest on the pillows.

 

#CleanOutYourRefrigeratorDay

Tips and Tricks!

  • Go Shelf by Shelf
    • Instead of emptying the entire fridge out, it’s best to go shelf by shelf. That way food doesn’t sit out too long, and allows us to
      avoid potentially getting into the temperature “danger zone.”
  • Food Removal
    • As you remove the food decide whether it is going to go back in or needs to be thrown away. Check the expiration dates on any items you want to keep.
    • Remember that sometimes the expiration date means if not open. If you have opened an item see if it needs to be used within a certain time frame. Use the look and smell test too – if it looks funky or smells funky get rid of it (unless it is supposed to smell that way). The best thi g to do with a bunch of produce that is going to go bad is make a big old soup out of it!Plus, don’t forget to wipe off packaging as needed!
  • Remove Shelves and Wash
    • Take out shelving and other removable pieces as you go. If you have glass shelves let them sit out for a bit to warm up before washing them in warm soapy water. Plastic pieces you can wash right away. Dry well.
  • Wipe Down Inside Walls
    • While you have the shelving out, now is the time to wipe down the inside walls of the fridge. I use warm soapy water on this too with a clean rag.
  • Cracks and Crevices
    • Of course the spills always go into those hard to reach places. Use that soft toothbrush in warm soapy water again to help clean out those areas and then wipe dry well with a clean cloth.
  • Remove the Drawers
    • Take out any drawers and wash well and wash the interior walls of the fridge that are covered by the drawers usually. When replacing be sure to re-adjust any air flow levers you may have.
  • Clean the Door Shelves
    • Follow the same steps as the shelves for checking food, washing dividers, and general cleaning.
  • Freezer Cleaning
    • It is basically the same kind of thing. Throw out expired food or any that has freezer burn or lots of ice crystals inside. This is a good time to try and organize a bit in here too when you put things back in.
  • Replace Filters and Bulbs
    • If you have water filters or light bulbs of any kind (inside or out) now is a time to check them and replace any that need it.
  • Check and Replace Door Seal
    • The seal around the inside of the door keeps the cold air in and the hot air out. These get worn. Use a piece of paper to test the seal by placing it between where the door closes and if you can pull the paper out easily you need to replace the seal.
  • Check the Thermostat
    • It is easy to bump dials when cleaning. Make sure you note what temperatures (numbers) your refrigerator and freezer sections are set at before you begin and then re-check that they are set there when you are done.
  • Replace the Baking Soda
    • Yes, baking soda really does help with smells inside your refrigerator. Now is the time to replace with a new fresh box. Tip: You do not have to throw away the old box, use that for cleaning the sink drains out!