I used to eat Granola Bars DAILY…for breakfast, for a snack, or as a dessert! They are so QUICK AND EASY! And healthy right??
But after I realized the pre-packaged options weren’t exactly the healthiest thing (full of sugars and not much protein/fiber/nutrients) I reluctantly wrote them off.
And then a few months ago, I found this recipe!! It has lots of good protein from a surprise ingredient (quinoa), but the taste and texture is the bomb! My son loves them too. I changed up a few things from the original recipe (source is listed below) and they are a new staple in my house. You can even customize them by adding more of one thing and leaving out another (nuts, coconut, etc.)
CHEWY QUINOA GRANOLA BARS
Yield: 15 servings
1 cup cooked quinoa (for crunchy bars, use uncooked quinoa)
1 cup oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup nut butter
1/2 cup honey (local is best)
1 Tbsp coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread oats and quinoa on a cookie sheet and toast in preheated oven for 8 minute, stirring once halfway through.
- Place oats/quinoa in a large bowl with unsweetened coconut.
- Grease the same baking sheet you just used.
- In a medium saucepan, combine salt, peanut butter, honey, & coconut oil.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat and immediately remove from heat. (I’ve also used the microwave with good results)
- Pour over oats mixture and combine until dry ingredients are evenly coated.
- Press mixture down into HALF of the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Let cool for up to 2 hours and then cut and serve. (Oven times may vary. Watch your bars carefully to not burn them!)
Adapted from: Instagram.com/ditchthescale
21 Day Fix Container Equivalent: 1 bar = 1/4 Yellow, 1 orange, 3 tsp
TRUTH: I used to despise all smoothies/shakes…maybe because the only ones I had really encountered were those prepackaged weight loss shakes or gritty protein powders?
After becoming a mom, I realized that smoothies were an EASY way to get a dense dose of nutrition into my daily routine…and tons of healthy things that I would never be able to fit in with basic foods alone, even as I’m eating better and having salads DAILY. Plus it literally takes me 2 minutes to blend up each morning!
I truly have seen a difference in my energy, cravings, anxiety, and metabolism just by consistently starting my day off with a superfood smoothie each day.
I prefer Vegan Shakeology because:
#1 It’s got 70+superfoods (not just protein!)
#2 It’s sustainably sourced and high quality
#3 It’s dairy & gluten free (important when you are looking to reduce inflammation & thyroid/autoimmune symptoms)
#4 It actually TASTES GOOD when you find your perfect blend/recipe!
Here’s on of my favorite ways to mix it up…who else is into smoothies for a quick healthy meal? Share in the comments below how you like to mix yours up!
CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRY SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIE
8 oz unsweetened almond, cashew or coconut milk
1/2 cup ice
1 cup raw spinach
1 scoop Shakeology Superfood blend
1/2 cup frozen cherries
1) Add ingredients in the above order.
2) Blend REALLY well, in a high speed blender, to ensure it’s a creamy, thick consistency.
3) Enjoy in place of one meal or snack to give you a natural energy boost!
If you’d like more info on Shakeology, just fill out the “Contact Me” section of the site and I can provide you with more resources to help you in your research!
21 Day Fix Container Equivalent: 1 red protein, 1 green veggie
I used to think I needed special seasoning packets or bottled blends to actually get some FLAVOR when I marinated meat.
But those pre-packaged marinades usually are full of sodium, sugar and not-so-healthy additives, so when I started eating cleaner to relieve my thyroid symptoms (low energy & metabolism, brain fog, etc.) I needed a way to spice up our meat WITHOUT relying on those seasoning packets!
This easy marinade has been a life saver!! It’s super quick and the meat ends up really moist (dry chicken is the WORST right?). You can pair your chicken with brown rice or sweet potato and veggies, or use it on salads, wraps, etc.
What’s your fave way to reuse leftover chicken? Share below in the comments section!
FAST & FLAVORFUL MARINATED CHICKEN
Yield: 6 servings
4 large or 6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1) Pound out chicken breasts and then poke holes in it with a fork on both sides.
2) Place chicken in a glass container or cake pan.
3) Mix up marinade and pour over chicken. Let sit for 1-4 hours!
4) Grill chicken for approximately 15-20 minutes. Or bake in oven-safe dish sprayed with a bit of olive oil for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees.
21 Day Fix Container Equivalent: 1 red, 1 teaspoon
As as life long picky eater, I was never one to get super adventurous with my food…Old El Paso taco seasoning and Taco Bell Crunch Wrap Supremes were about the extent of my exposure to Mexican food (super healthy too, right?).
But after being stationed in New Mexico when my hubby was in the military, I developed an OBSESSION for real, authentic Mexican food…and I’ve found lots of way to make it fit into my cleaner eating lifestyle too!
The cilantro in this dish is also one of the most DETOXIFYING herbs around, besides just plain tasting amazing! This salsa is YUMMY on chicken, tacos, salads, quesadillas, or just plain chips!
What’s your favorite MEXICAN FOOD? Comment below, maybe I have a *healthified* recipe I can share with you!
CORN & BLACK BEAN SALSA
Yield: About 4 cups
1 15 oz. can of black beans
2 10 oz. cans of diced tomatoes & green chilis
1 large onion, diced
24 jarred jalapeño slices, diced
1/2 bag of frozen corn, thawed
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice
1. Mix everything together. This gets better as it sits, so usually I make it a day in advance. Refrigerate up to 1 week.
21 Day Fix Container Equivalent: 1 cup = 1/2 green, 1/2 yellow
Growing up making waffles was a BIG event! We all got together with our whole family and had *waffle night*…but we used the processed mix from a box, so that didn’t really fit well once I started trying to eat healthier.
I saw my waffle iron in the back of my cupboard and REALLY wanted to be able to carry on this tradition with my son (even if we are trying to eat Gluten Free!). And you know I love easy recipes that require little clean up, so being able to grind the oats, mix the batter and pour all from the blender pitcher is perfect.
Now these are on the menu for dinner at least twice a month…then I freeze the leftovers for easy breakfasts! I pair this with eggs or preservative-free turkey bacon or chicken breakfast sausage and some fruit or cinnamon apples!
Is breakfast for dinner acceptable in your home too? It’s a family favorite around here!
BLENDER OAT WAFFLES
Yield: 6 servings (1 serving = half a round 7” waffle, or 1 small square waffle)
1-1/2 cups oat flour (just blend up oats into flour!)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cinnamon, optional
3/4 cup *room temperature* milk of choice (light coconut milk, nut milk, cow’s milk)
1/8 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Blend 1.5 cups of oats in a blender or food processor until finely ground into a flour.
- Add baking powder, salt and cinnamon and quickly blend/pulse to incorporate.
- In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: milk, melted coconut oil or butter, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, gently heat the wet mixture in the microwave in ten seconds intervals, until it melts again.)
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Blend/pulse quickly until just combined.
- Let the batter rest for 10 minutes so the oat flour has time to soak up some of the moisture. Plug in your waffle iron to preheat now.
- After 10 minutes, give the batter a swirl with a spoon then pour onto the heated waffle iron, enough to cover the center and most of the central surface area, and close the lid.
- Once the waffle is deeply golden and crisp, transfer it to a cooling rack or baking sheet. Don’t stack your waffles on top of each other, or they’ll lose crispness.
- You can keep your waffles warm by placing them in a 200 degree oven until you’re ready to serve!
Adapted From: cookieandkate.com
21 Day Fix Container Equivalent: 1 yellow carb, 1 teaspoon fat
I used to think I didn’t like Stuffed Pepper Soup….what was I thinking?!?! This seriously tastes like Spaghetti Sauce but it’s a full complete meal. It’s a great way to get a ton of extra veggies without realizing it, and you can use quinoa OR brown rice!
I’m a little crazy, I will eat soup ANY time of year! Anyone else like that? PS this recipe makes a TON, so freeze extra for a busy day!
STUFFED PEPPER SOUP
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Serves: 10, about 2 cups each
2 lbs lean ground beef or turkey
3 bell peppers, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 29 oz. can tomato sauce
1 29 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 cups beef broth OR 2 cubes beef bouillon with 2 cups water
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
- In a Dutch oven, brown beef over medium high heat. Drain off any fat.
- Add peppers, onion and garlic to the browned meat and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juice, beef broth or bouillon/water, honey, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
- Stir in rice and Italian seasoning,
- Gets better as it sits, freezes really well!
Adapted from http://www.allrecipes.com
21 Day Fix Container Equivalent: 1 red, 1 green, 1/2 yellow
I LOVE the convenience of the little fruit & veggie pouches they make for kids these days! You can’t beat the portability of throwing one in your purse/diaper bag, OR the ability to get some extra veggies in their diet : )
But even on sale, they are EXPENSIVE! And if you check out the nutrition label they typically have NO nutritional value (fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, etc.) So you’re paying a pretty penny for nothing!
I found these cool reusable pouches online that let you make them at home for much cheaper, with much healthier outcome!
-Hidden ziplock-style opening at the bottom for refilling
-Freezer safe (so you can pop them out and defrost as needed)
This is my favorite recipe, it requires NO COOKING!
1 24oz jar unsweetened applesauce
1 cup chopped raw butternut squash or sweet potato
1 cup spinach
1 tsp cinnamon
Add the ingredients (in order) into a high speed blender; blend until pureed, then fill the pouches and store them in the freezer if you don’t go through them all within a few days.
What’s your child’s favorite pouch type/flavor??