Nutrient-Packed Late Afternoon Snack Mix

Healthy snack mix

By Nancy Smorch, Foodie Bitch

Do you ever find yourself craving something crunchy?  I know I do – especially in the late afternoon.  Whether it’s merely a habit, something I’m lacking in my diet, or simply the need for something other than fruits and vegetables, occasionally as the late afternoon hours roll around, I find myself looking for something to munch on that gives me a little crunch (and not a carrot!).

Well, today, and the last few days for that matter, I found myself with such cravings.  So rather than reach for the gluten-free crackers with pasture butter, which is what I usually go for, I decided to get a little more creative and put something together that would not only satisfy my craving, but would also provide me with more nutrients.

When I was at the store the other day, I stocked up on a number of different organic nuts and other snacks that would make for a good homemade trail mix.  So I went to the nut and snack drawer and pulled all of them out and put together a quick and fun snack to hold everybody over until dinner.

I had quite a nice mix going: macadamia nuts, pecans, roasted pumpkin seeds, raw cashews, chopped dates, coconut flakes, and banana chips (almost all organic, of course).  But something was missing.  I was remembering my granola based trail mixes I used to make when I was a kid (granola, raisins, marshmallows, coconut and M&Ms), and then it hit me that I should add some chocolate.  Since M&Ms really aren’t in the picture anymore, I thought I would utilize some of the Bulletproof Executive’s new chocolate bars I just ordered.  They are actually quite good – don’t expect them to taste like a Hershey bar or anything (that would be gross), but they are good-quality chocolates.  And, they provided the missing link, for my snack mix.  I just chopped up one of the bars and added it in.

Anyway, here’s what I actually put into my Late Afternoon Nutrient Packed Snack Mix:

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup hazelnuts

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup macadamia nuts

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

6-8 soft dates, chopped

1 dark chocolate bar (at least 70% cacao)

Mix them all together and enjoy!

Look around in your pantry and refrigerator and see what you have that you could make a snack mix with.  Maybe you have some superfoods you could add in?  Maybe some goji berries?  Some chocolate-covered hemp seeds?  Hmm… I’m going to have to go back and add a few things, now that I’m thinking about it!

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Pumpkin Spice Crepes (Gluten Free!)

Pumpkin spice crepes

By Shannon Keirnan, Contributing Foodie Bitch

‘Tis the season for Pumpkin Spice Everything (you know that’s true), and I happen to have a big jar or organic pumpkin spice syrup I’ve been using in my morning coffee, so I figured, why not throw that into other culinary avenues? Why let myself be limited?

Thus came the Pumpkin Spice Gluten-Free Crepe, which absolutely tops my list of favorite breakfasts to date. I may have eaten the entire batch myself. One after the other as they came out of the pan. Zero regrets.

Once the pumpkin spice syrup is mixed up, it’s a no-fuss breakfast you can hammer out in just a couple of minutes and only requires a few ingredients. I was in-between grocery trips, so I just topped mine with a little pastured butter, but you could easily fancy them up by rolling them with any number of things – like some warm fall applesauce, for example.

And of course that pumpkin spice syrup could be ready to add to any recipe. Spice up your morning coffee like I do, or add a little extra kick to muffins. Experiment! Enjoy! And feel free to pass along your successes in the comments section!

Get the pumpkin spice syrup recipe here if you don’t already have it stored in the fridge!

Pumpkin Spice Gluten-Free Crepes

Ingredients: 

2 eggs

1 cup gluten-free flour

1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil

1 tsp. sugar

Pinch salt

1 cup milk of choice (I use unsweetened almond milk)

1/2 cup pumpkin spice syrup

Splash of dark coffee

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Coconut oil

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together with a rotary beater until smooth.

Heat a small amount of coconut oil in a crepe or frying pan, and pour in enough batter to thinly cover the bottom.

When top of the crepe begins to bubble, flip and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute, depending if you like them browned or a little doughy.

Plate, if it can get that far!

Superfood Smoothie For Energy!

superfood smoothie

By Nancy Smorch, Foodie Bitch

I was feeling great this morning.  I got up, took Missy (our Dutch Shepherd mix) for a walk.  Let the horses out of the barn and fed them. Played with one of our horses – had him do a little work before putting him in the pasture (he was a little mouthy this morning!).  Played around in the garden for a bit and picked some cucumbers to snack on.  Took Frankie up to the school for her driver’s training at 9:30.

I was full of energy, and came home buzzing around the house.  I hadn’t taken he time to eat breakfast yet and because I was feeling so good, I was tempted to keep going until I got hungry.

Thankfully, my instincts kicked in (and I listened to them), and reminded me that the reason I was probably feeling so good was because I had a good night’s sleep and I had a good dinner yesterday evening.  So fortunately, rather than pushing myself to the limit (which is what I have done in the past), I stopped what I was doing, and decided to make a snack.

I was thinking a power-packed smoothie would do me good and keep this higher energy level going, so I set out to create just that.  I used some of the recipes that Martha Stewart posted of their most-pinned smoothies, and then enhanced them with what I had available, and some superfood additions.

I had to do some adapting (which I have gotten used to), because a lot of smoothie recipes I see call for yogurt.  Since I am off dairy for a while, I had to figure out a way to get that creamy, dairy feel and taste… without the dairy.

I gave whole fat coconut milk a try and it worked really well – and without much of a coconut taste.

I looked in our pantry on the “Superfood Shelf” to see what I could add to the basic smoothie.  I decided to add some hemp seeds, collagen protein powder (from Bulletproof Executive), and Vanilla Powder (also from Bulletproof Executive).  I also decided to put in some Sacha Inchi Powder which is high in protein, iron, fiber, and calcium.  I decided to throw in some almonds for fun (and some vitamins, minerals, fat, and protein).

I was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out – and it kept me feeling full for quite a while.  Give it a go and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

1/4 cup rice milk (or milk of choice)

3/4 cup quick gluten free organic oats

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. almonds

1 Tbsp. collagen protein powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla powder (or vanilla)

1 Tbsp. Sacha Inchi Powder

1 Tbsp. hemp seeds

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Adjust the consistency if needed – if you like a thinner smoothie, add more rice milk.  If you like a thicker one, add more frozen strawberries.

Honestly, how great are smoothies?  If I put all of these ingredients in a bowl and tried to eat them and get all of the nutrients from them, it probably wouldn’t go so well – not only would it not look appetizing, it wouldn’t taste good.  But put them all in a blender, and it turns into something quite magical – I say magical, because it tastes good and gives me the energy I need to do the things I want.  Love that!

Even if you don’t have all of the superfood ingredients in this recipe, play around with what you do have – experiment with ingredients and let me know if you come up with some winners too!

It’s Strawberry Season! Strawberry Sorbet Recipe

Strawberry sorbet

By Nancy Smorch, Foodie Bitch 

I was so excited last Wednesday to see fresh strawberries at the Holland Farmer’s Market!  I love strawberry season.  Actually, there are many seasons I love in the summer (raspberry, cherry, peach, blueberry, tomato…), but I can’t help but be especially excited for strawberries!

I wanted to try something new this year, so I went to my trusted Food52 site, and found a strawberry sorbet recipe.  The basic recipe for their strawberry sorbet can be found right here.

It was a good base, but I tweaked it a bit because when I tried it, it didn’t have a strong enough flavor, despite the fact that I used fresh strawberries.

So, here’s what I did:

I combined in a blender (Vitamix) the

Ingredients:

4 cups fresh strawberries

1/2 cup fresh strawberry jam

1 pinch of sea salt

3 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. honey

Then I put it in a 13 x 9 glass pan in the freezer for about 4 hours.  I scooped it out and blended it again, and served.  It was still a little soft for me, so I just had a little bit (I couldn’t resist), and put it back in the freezer in a covered container to harden some more.

It is soooo easy and everyone really loved it.  It’s quite refreshing and a fun summertime dessert for your family and friends.

By the way, how many of you have a Vitamix?  I’ve had mine for over 8 years and it’s still going strong.  This is the 4th time I’ve used my Vitamix today – once for a smoothie for breakfast, once to make the sorbet, once to make a Bulletproof Coffee, and once again to blend the sorbet after it was frozen.  You gotta love Vitamix!