I made these quick muffins and recovery drink to have on hand after my intense MommiesRfit Bootcamp workouts and after my training runs. (As Tony says, “The recovery drinks, that’s why I do the workouts.”) The muffins are about 50% carbs and 20% protein, the drink 100% carbs, (49 g carbs, plus sodium,potassium, and vitamins). A serving of the drink and one muffin total just about 300 calories.
To celebrate what feels like the start of Summer in VA, I whipped this up in the blender after a balmy 85 degree morning in the sun. Yummy and refreshing, it gets a whipped froth on top from the canned coconut milk.
Some people are as particular about their granola as others are about tomato sauce. Some buy only one brand while others have recipes passed down through generations with specific ingredients and methods. I don’t typically buy granola because of the high sugar and heavy processing leaving an unhealthy product with no redeeming values (high in oil, refined sugar, refined grains etc.) .
However, when The Sconeage Bakery sent me a sample box with full sized packages of their Fresh Roasted Granola products I was happy to taste! They included a Blueberry Cranberry Granola bar, a Chocolate Granola Bar and a 1 lb. container of their Fresh Roasted Blueberry Cranberry Granola.
The ingredients were plant based and minimal, just what was needed for the texture and taste of each product. These indeed tasted like fresh baked products, things I would have been pleased to have come out of my oven for a special treat.
I was upset when I found the box on my front stoop (a day or two after it had arrived) because the box was bashed in and it had been very hot outside. Although the bars were a little smooshed, the wrapping wasn’t broken and no ants had penetrated the barrier. Whew! The chocolate was a little melty but that ended up being a good thing since it tasted like a giant delicious fresh baked chocolate chip cookie…Oh my goodness Yum. AJ and I had been outside working in the yard, mowing, trimming, planting when I had found the box and as soon as I assessed the damage I broke open the granola for a snack break.
It was super crunchy and sweet, the caramelized pieces tasting just slightly shy of burned, like caramel popcorn stuck to the pan. I loved the dried blueberries and cranberries mixed among the oats, wheat germ, walnuts, coconut, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. The only other ingredients were canola oil, vanilla, salt and brown sugar. This was AJ’s favorite of all three products. I’m sure this would be a delicious addition to coconut yogurt, fronana or on some fresh or grilled fruit, but we ate the majority of it, over a few days, by the handful.
My favorite was the Chocolate Granola bar, in all it’s giant gooey chocolate chip cookie glory. The package stated there were 2 bars in each Granola bar bag even though it was formed into one awesome envelope sized block of goodness. The blueberry cranberry bar was also yummy, but I’m primarily a chocolate girl. The ingredients in the bars were the same except the Sconeage Bakery swapped brown sugar for brown rice syrup to give them their chewy, soft consistency.Thank you so much to the Sconeage Bakeryfor sending me your tasty handcrafted treats to review!If you’re looking for a “somebody else did the dishes” super tasty treat with some redeeming qualities to boot, I highly recommend ordering some of their granola to try. www.sconeagebakery.com. They have many other enticing flavors like pumpkin, apple cinnamon and even make no sugar/unsweetened varieties, nut free varieties and 100% organic granola.
I’ve had clients and friends use this ‘recipe’ for their whole families; as a quick breakfast or yummy lunch on the run, for kids before games, active teens, sick elderly relatives etc. This is just a variation of our favorite, beneficial ingredients. You can read more about why I like this protein powder here.
During Farmer’s Market season, AJ and I love to get up on a Saturday morning and head over to downtown Warrenton. We stop into Great Harvest Bread company for a cup of coffee and then walk over to peruse the tables of fresh local produce. If you haven’t ventured into Great Harvest yet, go take a peak. You’ll be happily greeted by the friendly employees and enveloped in the warm and heavenly scent of baking bread and goodies. Then, you’ll be asked what you would like to sample. Now they say “sample” but many times that means a full size slice of peach cobbler bread or huge broken bits of molasses or pumpkin cookies or butterscotch chip scones. Or maybe a little of each. Yum. We’ve also purchased a few muffins and scones on occasion which are yummy but super sweet. Get a cup of black coffee with them.
One day Pablo overheard me talking to a friend over coffee about my blog. He was kind enough to give me a free loaf of bread to review and after sampling a slice of the Spinach Feta Bread I was sold. (for Free.99 to boot 🙂 )
It’s made with their yummy flour, spinach, honey, yeast, sea salt, feta, eggs from free range hens, garlic, oregano and black pepper. The packaging says there are about 18 servings in the loaf and each one has about 120 calories and 3.5 grams of fat. We ate it in about a week so I think our servings were more than 2 oz. however.
Now the good stuff. My mother and AJ will confirm, I am very particular about bread. I never was one for subs or sandwiches as a kid and I rarely eat them as an adult. I like a good artisan bread with a crusty outside and I usually toast it so every surface is browned and slighly crisp with a good soft chewy interior. And it must be warm.
However, this bread was delish solo. It was moist and tender like a good cake yet sturdy and chewy like the interior of my favorite artisan breads. It needed no accouterments and no toasting to be perfection. We could have easily snacked on it plain but that sounded like a bad plan. : )
I served it on the side of soups and salads and tried it toasted with eggs for breakfast. It was scrumptious in every application.
Wednesday is Spinach Feta day so go grab a loaf, they go fast!
I keep a ready supply of frozen ripe bananas in a ziplock bag. Feel free to use the one on your counter, just mash well. I save all my glass PB, Brown Rice syrup etc. jars and reuse them for overnight oats. The possibilities are endless, try with a sprinkle of chocolate chips or a swirl of peanut butter.
Half a frozen banana
¼ cup rolled oats
2 tbl. - ¼ cup Steel Cut Oats
1-2 tsp. Chia Seeds
Sweetener of choice (Agave, Honey or Zsweet)
1 tsp. Vanilla
Sprinkle of spices: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves
sprinkle of raisins
Stick banana in jar, microwave 20-40 seconds or until melted.
Add oats, spices, vanilla, Chia seeds, raisins, sweetener, and enough milk to cover.
Stir, taste, adjust seasonings & sweetener.
Put on lid, stick in fridge overnight.
Add more liquid if needed. Eat as is or microwave for 1½- 2 minutes.
To taste like actual dough, get good quality dates like Medjool. I've tried Sun-made and Amport "chopped dates" and they didn't work quite as well, but still tasted good. The high quality get processed very smooth and become like brown sugar whereas the Amport and Sun-maid remain a bit chunky. I buy good quality Medjool dates at Costco in the produce section, usually by the pineapples and melons.
200 g (1⅔ cups) good quality pitted Medjool dates
75 g (1/2-2/3 cups) cashews (raw, organic, unsalted are best)
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup oats
sprinkle sea salt
handful chocolate chips
almond milk (if needed)
In the food processor, blend the dates, cashews, and vanilla.
Add the oats, sea salt and chocolate chips and give a final whirl to stir in.
(If too dry add a almond milk by the teaspoon).
Form into balls (or eat with a spoon right out of the bowl like real cookie dough)....
There are so many types of Protein Powders on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide what is best for you. You want something easy to digest, as your body uses the amino acids in protein to continuously rebuild enzymes, tissue, hormones, and other important molecules. Did you know most protein powders are created using chemical extraction? Many protein powders have been mechanically separated, heated to high temperatures, and processed using chemicals like hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide which can damage the amino acids like immunoglobulins (antibodies), and glycomacropeptides (help calcium absorbtion & boost immune systems). Just like with any food, the closer to the original form it is, the healthier, more nutrient rich and cleaner burning it is for your body. Something that tastes great would be nice too, right? In this post I have reviewed and pooled information on some great products that will help make your protein powder choosing easy and tasty!
Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Chocolate
Sunwarrior makes awesome stuff. All their proteins have 98.2 assimilation rate and are about 83% protein. One scoop of the chocolate is 15g of protein, 80 calories, 1 g of fat, 5g of carbs and only 1g sugar. And it’s YUMMY! I love it in my Mocha-Flax shakes (below) or just mixed until creamy with 1/4 cup almond milk like a protein pudding (or heat for 10 seconds and its like a warm pudding mouse mmm). Ingredients: Whole brown rice protein (Bio-Fermented Raw Sprouted Whole GrainBrown Rice Protein), Cocoa, Pectin, Xantham gum (Natural Bio-Fermented Stabilizer), and Stevia (all natural plant-based sweetener).
“By using a unique natural wholistic bio-fermentation process and by combining the sprouted endosperm and the bran from raw sprouted whole grain brown rice, (the result of this amazing process is) a massive increase in Lysine and all 9 essential and non-essential amino acids forming a perfectly balanced amino acid profile. At 80% pure protein, Sunwarrior has created the highest and first raw complete vegan, hypo-allergenic superfood protein on the market. Not only does it taste superb but it blends exceptionally well and is easy to digest. In fact our protein is so easy to assimilate that it has 98% correlation rate to mother’s milk and a 98.2% digestion efficiency rating making it one of the highest digestibility and efficiency ratings of any other protein source. Sunwarrior Protein is also naturally rich in Vitamins and Minerals and contains high amounts of Antioxidants, Tocopherols, Tocotrienols and other essential nutrients — such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorous, iron and potassium. Using Sunwarrior Increases the efficacy and absorption of vitamins and minerals. There has been a direct correlation between the use of Sunwarrior Protein and the absorption of vitamins. Because Sunwarrior Protein is so digestible it can be easily assimilated by infants, the elderly and adults — The World Health Organization may be using Sunwarrior Protein in the future to feed malnourished individuals because of the hypoallergenic profile and superior absorption that Sunwarrior has been shown to have.There is currently a clinical trial which shows promise that Sunwarrior Protein aids in the absorption of vitamins in Aids patients. There has been a direct correlation between the use of Sunwarrior Protein and the absorption of vitamins in Aids patients where other proteins do not provide such synergistic affects during the intake. Weight Loss – Clinical studies in Japan have shown that by providing Rice Protein as a staple in a diet it can act as a weight control vehicle. This is especially because of superior absorption rates. Cholesterol – Clinical studies have shown promise that Sunwarrior has cholesterol lowering potential and the USDA is currently using Sunwarrior in trials to see if it may help control high blood pressure.”
Sunwarror is our favorite. So much so, that I joined their affiliate program. If you’d like to order some, you can find it here.
NutriBiotic kindly sent me a full size 22 oz. of their Nutritionally Balanced Drink Mix. “NutriBiotic’s naturally flavored Vegetarian Vanilla Bean ProZone is more than a supplement or “meal replacement” product. ProZone is formulated to contain the performance enhancing and healthy living balance of essential macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates.” 1 serving has 14g protein, 184 calories, 6g fat, 19 carbs, and 12g sugar. Ingredients: Enzymatically processed rice protein from whole grain, sprouted brown rice; pure crystalline fructose; medium chain triglycerides; natural vanilla flavor; guar gum; and xanthan gum.
“If you are on a weight-loss program, you may use ProZone Nutritionally Balanced Drink Mixes to replace two meals and one snack each day. ProZone can help create and sustain optimum metabolic function, which helps your body produce the right ratio of insulin to glucagon, so you’ll burn excess calories, release stored body fat, build lean muscle, and lose excess pounds.”
We thought this was pretty tasty and blended fine. When I tasted the first time I had to re-read the label to reassure myself it really was all natural vanilla and sugar as it tasted so sweet…we now tend to mix in a quarter to a half scoop of plain Pea or Rice protein with this one to cut the sweetness.
Living Fuel graciously sent me their full-sized can of their Living Fuel, “A revolutionary Protein and Fiber Formula derived from healthy plant sources, with 21 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, probiotics, prebiotics, and enzymes”. I definitely think Living Fuel is on to something including their own natural sweetener blend and pro&prebiotics in all of their products (they also make the CocaChia bars and snack mix). A serving has 21g protein, 140 calories, 4g fat, 10g carbs, and 1g sugar. Ingredients: Enzymatically and Mechanically Extracted Protein from non-GMO Organic Brown Rice & non-GMO Yellow Pea Proprietary Complex, Stabilized Brown Rice Bran, Xylitol (from organic hardwood trees), Natural Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Mannitol, Organic Vanilla Extract and Stevia Proprietary Complex.
This is a great product with healthful, naturally derived ingredients but must be mixed with something else (unlike the Sunwarrior which is great on its own) because of the flavor or lack thereof. Pea protein can tend to have a chalky mouth-feel and unpleasant play-dough smell and taste, so just mix it in the blender to make a fruit smoothie and you won’t notice!
This was one of the first vegan protein powders I bought and I still have some left…like I said above, unflavored Pea protein has a distinct taste and smell so I don’t use it by itself. I usually mix this one with the vanilla or put small amounts (1/4-1/2 scoop in bars, oatmeal etc.) It has 28g protein, 130 calories, 2g fat, 1 carb, and 0g sugar. Ingredient: 100% Pure Non-GMO Pea Protein Isolate[from yellow peas (Pisum sativum)]. Allergen-Free.