Raw Cacao Cookie Dough Smoothie!

Sometimes I like to have dessert for breakfast! I came up with the Cookie Dough Smoothie the morning after I made “PN Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies” (recipe coming soon!). I woke up wanting to have one of the cookies I made for breakfast. Although they taste good and have very clean ingredients, they don’t have enough protein to be considered a healthy breakfast. So, I decided to make the ingredients into a smoothie to satisfy my craving and give my body the protein it needed to start my day right.

This smoothie contains one of my favorite ingredients: raw cacao nibs (found in the health food section of most grocery stores). Cacao can be found in a powder or solid form, and is an amazing food for your body. Raw cacao is chocolate in its original, minimally processed state. If you’re used to sweetened chocolate, like most of us are, it will be a bitter at first, once you are accustomed to its unique flavor profile, just a small handful seems to do the trick in satisfying a chocolate craving. What’s in the raw cacao bean that we love so much?

 

raw cacaoScreen shot 2014-05-16 at 7.10.41 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The combination of important minerals such as Magnesium and Iron, fiber, healthy fat, and antioxidants have countless health benefits:

  • By providing minerals that most people are deficient in, raw cacao may help decrease sugar/carbohydrate cravings
  • Raw cacao promotes a healthy digestive system with all the fiber it adds to the diet
  • Contains “theombromine”, a protein that stimulates the central nervous system, which relaxes smooth muscles and gives the body a gentle boost of energy and feeling of “bliss” we often get from eating chocolate (without the added sugar and ingredients from processed chocolate!)
  • Improves overall mood and may help fight depression due to its ability increase the bioavailability of Serotonin to the brain

Have we convinced you to try out some Raw Cacao yet?! Check out the recipe below and let us know what you think!

Raw Cacao Cookie Dough Smoothie!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 packet "stevia in the raw" or other natural sweetener (honey or maple syrup)
  • 2 TBLS (15 grams worth) unflavored whey protein (we use Standard Process)
  • 2 TBLS raw cacao nibs
  • 2 TSP vanilla extract
  • 2 TBLS coconut flour
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2-3 ice cubes (more if you like it icier)
  • ¼ cup water, or more to desired consistency
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in blender. Blend until the smoothie has reached your desired consistency. Enjoy!
  2. Note: I usually add spinach and/or another leafy green to my smoothies. Since this is more of a "dessert" smoothies, I decided to leave it out. When I don't get greens in at breakfast, I make sure to be extra conscious of getting them in later in the day!
Notes
PN RX:
1 Protein, 1 Fat, ½ Carb

As always, stay well, eat well, and have a beautiful week!

Ana and Amanda :)

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites

photo-5

 

Bacon can be a controversial topic when it comes to the nutrition community. I personally feel that bacon has gotten a very bad name and is unrightfully associated with many health problems like heart disease. The true culprits are refined sugar, processed food, trans fats, and lack of activity. That being said, bacon is still more processed than if you purchased fresh, grassfed steaks or pastured pork chops. For this reason, I think it should be eaten in moderation (2-4 slices),  no more than 2-3 times a week. Another controversy around bacon is the discussion of how harmful nitrites and nitrates are for our bodies. Many people do not know this but we get more nitrites from vegetables than cured meats like bacon. Chris Kresser, an integrative medicine doctor, has a great article on nitrates and nitrites on his website here:  http://chriskresser.com/the-nitrate-and-nitrite-myth-another-reason-not-to-fear-bacon.

One fun fact from his article:

“It may shock you to learn that one serving of arugula, two servings of butter lettuce, and four servings of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 467 hot dogs.”

Most bacon that says “nitrate free” does in fact contain nitrates, however, they are from celery root or beets and usually have even more nitrates and nitrites than regularly cured bacon. This is why whenever you are buying bacon the main concern should be to get organic, pastured bacon rather than only worrying about whether or not it has nitrates and nitrites because all types will.

Overall, I think bacon has a place in a healthy diet, like most foods, when not eaten in excess. These are a really great appetizer to have at a party or family get together and are very low maintenance  to make. Enjoy!

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Ingredients
  • 4 large sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 1lb bacon, cut strips in half
  • tooth picks to keep bacon in place
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. While oven is preheating, cut sweet potatoes into small cubes about 1.5-2 inches. Cut bacon strips in half and wrap each sweet potato cube with half a bacon strip. Use tooth picks to keep bacon in place.
  3. Cover baking sheet with foil and place bacon wrapped sweet potatoes on there spread out evenly.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until sweet potatoes soft and bacon cooked to your liking.
  5. Be careful of tooth picks when eating this delicious treat!

Hawaiian Cinnamon Breakfast Bowl!

I just got back from an amazing trip visiting some friends and family on the Big Island of  Hawaii. Eating fresh, local foods and learning about tropical region medicinal foods and herbs were the two main themes. 99% of my food was from a local source or grower. Consistently eating plants grown without the use of chemicals and consuming protein from animals fed their proper diet immediately brings an abundance of  life and energy to your body.  Whether it was coconut oil from local coco’s, a star fruit I picked from the back of my cabin, or an avocado from a friend’s backyard, I was always snacking on a high fiber, life giving treat! One thing I did a lot of over there in between exploring some delicious new foods was surf! I needed a quick, high protein snack for before I jumped in the water so I could maximize my time in the waves (after all, I wanted to get in as much water time as possible after the 15 hour journey from winter in Connecticut!). Breakfast bowls are big in Hawaii, and I’ve actually posted a recipe involving a blueberry smoothie as a base of a breakfast bowl as a post surf meal in the past. But since I didn’t always want to use the blender on this trip, I adapted this simple yet tasty version of a breakfast bowl that all of us can  enjoy back here on the mainland but still bring back the flavors and aloha from the island!

Screen shot 2014-02-13 at 11.12.16 PM

A beautiful rainbow on a flat day over a favorite surf spot- Pohoiki’s 2nd Bay, Big Island, Hawaii

Hawaiian Cinnamon Breakfast Bowl!
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Enjoy this high protein, energizing treat as a snack, breakfast, or frozen as a sweet treat at night!
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup 2% Plain Greek Yogurt (I like Fage brand)
  • ½ Cup Frozen Mango Chunks OR ½ Cup Fresh Organic Papaya
  • 3-4 Sliced Strawberries
  • ¼ Avocado Diced
  • Pinch of Alfalfa Sprouts (get those greens in as much as you can!)
  • 1 Tsp. Cinnamon
  • Pinch Sea Salt
  • 1 Tsp. Local Honey (optional)
  • 2 Scoops Whey Protein (optional- 15 grams protein)
  • 1 TBLS Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
Instructions
  1. Put yogurt in bowl (mix in protein powder if you are using it), and top with sliced fruit, sprouts and avocado. Sprinkle with cinnamon, sea salt, and coconut flakes. Drizzle with honey and enjoy while thinking about a place or person you love!
Notes
** "Dry mix" of cinnamon, coconut flakes, and sea salt can be mixed in advance to save time
*** PN RX: 1 protein (2 if using protein powder), 1 fruit, 1 fat

Maple Walnut Granola

granola jar

Granola is a delicious, convenient, and healthy snack when you get the right kind/make your own and eat it in the right amounts. I often look at different brands of granola when I’m at the grocery store in the hopes of finding one without a ton of added sugar and canola oil. I found one I liked but it is pretty expensive and didn’t have enough fat for my liking. So of course, I made my own and now I’m sharing it with all of you :) This was my first batch and I plan on trying other flavors but WOW was it good! It does have maple syrup in it so if you are doing one of our purifications I would wait to make this until you are done. It makes a lot so it will last you a while too!

granola

I like to eat with with some unsweetened almond milk like cereal!

Maple Walnut Granola
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 40
Ingredients
  • 5.5 cups dry Bob's Red Mill Whole Rolled Gluten Free Oats
  • 1 cup Raw Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 cups Shelled Walnuts
  • ⅓ cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • ½ cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Carob Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine oats, chia seeds, and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix with hands until combined.
  3. Heat a small pot over medium heat and add in coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Heat until coconut oil melted.
  4. Add liquid mixture to dry mixture in large bowl and use your hands to make sure everything gets coated with the coconut oil and maple syrup. This way it will come out crunchy!
  5. Place granola on a baking sheet with parchment paper on it. Bake for 25 minutes then move granola around and bake for another 20 minutes.
  6. Let cool then mix in the carob chips.
  7. Store in a glass, airtight container in a cool, dry space.
Notes
PN Rx of ¼ cup:
1 Carb, 2.5 Fats, .25 Protein

 

PN Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

pn cookies

 

Do you need a healthy dessert recipe to bring to a family member’s house for the Holidays or maybe just to have at your own? Here at PN we love healthy desserts that won’t leave you feeling guilty. That is why we came up with this simple and nutritious chocolate chip cookie recipe! Check it out!

PN Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 2 cans organic chickpeas
  • 1½ cups organic peanut butter or other nut butter (unsweetened)
  • 3 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1½ cups enjoy life chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on two cookie sheets.
  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas then process in a food processor or blender until they start to make a paste.
  3. Add in peanut butter, egg, and honey and process/blend until smooth.
  4. Pour batter into a large bowl and mix the chocolate chips in.
  5. Form into small balls (about 1-1.5 inches) then press flat on cookie sheet. My recipe made 34 small cookies.
  6. Place cookies on baking sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes. The cookies will not harden. They stay soft but are done cooking. Store in fridge in airtight container. These cookies also taste great frozen!
Notes
PN Rx for 1/34 of recipe or 1 small cookie: 1.5 Fats, 1 Carb

Tropical Dream Smoothie (Video)

This tropical smoothie will make you forget about the cold and the snow, and it’ll keep your beach vibe going all winter!

 


Tropical Dream Smoothie
 
Author:
Recipe type: Smoothie
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ½ banana
  • ½ cup frozen mango
  • ½ cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 - 1½ cups baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 8-12 fl oz unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 scoops SP Whey Pro
  • Dash of salt
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender and blend to desired consistency!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 smoothie Calories: 324 Fat: 12g Carbohydrates: 41g Sugar: 29g Sodium: 243mg Fiber: 8g Protein: 19g Cholesterol: 25mg

photo (1)

Homemade Breakfast Sausage Patties

bfast saus

 

Are you looking for a healthy way to start your Thanksgiving off? Try our homemade breakfast sausage recipe. These patties are great to cook in the beginning of the week and grab as a quick breakfast or snack on the go!

Homemade Breakfast Sausage Patties
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1lb organic ground pork
  • 1lb organic ground beef
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1Tbsp sage
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 2 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of ground cloves and cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine all of the spices in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Add in ground meat and mix with your hands until everything is combined.
  4. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Form the meat mixture into small patties. I made 14 total.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip then bake for 5 minutes.
  6. Turn oven broiler on high and broil for 1 minute on each side.
Notes
PN Rx of 1 pattie: 1 Fat, 1 Protein

To Snack or Not To Snack!? I Say Snack!

snacks“Snack food” can be our best friend or worst enemy. Those of you who know me can vouch for the fact I’m eating something every 2-3 hours- its fun and restores my energy,  mood and focus almost immediately (if done correctly)! Eating “small frequent meals” is a great way to make sure you don’t eat too much food in one sitting or save the majority of your calories for a certain time of day or night. Both of these habits can lean to weight gain, unstable blood sugar, mood swings/irritability, depressed outlook on life, midday “crash” and abnormal sleep patterns. The good news is that allowing “clean”, mindful snacking to become a part of your everyday routine can transform these symptoms in as quickly as in one week!

Here are two questions I ask myself before I have a snack:

1. What have I eaten so far today? This helps me determine what to choose- assess your day’s intake for protein (chicken, eggs, fish, etc. etc.),  healthy carbs (fruits, vegetables, beans, complex grains- quinoa, etc), and beneficial fats (avocado, nuts, olive oil, coconut, etc.) for the day so far, and make choices based on what foods you might be missing.

2. Am I really hungry? Create a “mental” hunger scale in your mind to rule out eating because your bored, stressed, emotional, tired, etc. 1=real hunger (you haven’t eaten in 4-5 hours, you’re ready for a meal), 5= perfectly satisfied after a nice balanced meal, and 10=thanksgiving day stuffed. Snacks should be consumed when you are around a 3 on the hunger scale, and leave you at about a 4. If you’re unsure of your hunger, drink a big glass of water, get up and walk around for 10 minutes, and reassess the situation (dehydration can be mistaken for hunger). Never let yourself go below a 3 or above an 8 on the hunger scale (unless it’s actually Thanksgiving- that is your one exception!).

Here are some key things I look for/avoid when I choose my snacks for the day (who doesn’t love taking a munchie break?!):

- My snacks almost always contains a fruit or vegetable in one form or another (contains fiber- helps slow digestion and keep you feeling full; also offers the body some hydration)

- I avoid anything that comes in a package that is more than 5 ingredients (ie Seaweed Snax are in a package but they have 3 ingredients; almond butter is in a package but it contains: almond butter, and so on and so forth…)

- All I drink throughout the day is water, 2-3 cups of tea/coffee with limited additives, or the occasional cup of unsweetened almond milk. I avoid all artificially sweetened/low calorie/diet/light  beverages

- I make sure my snacks I pack for the day are a combination of sweet (fruit), salty (seaweed snacks, unsalted nuts that I add a few shakes of sea salt myself to), crunchy (veggies), savory (hummus), and for me a nip of chocolate…yum!

It takes a bit of work but the benefits of being prepared with healthy snacks overwhelmingly outweigh the hassle it takes to pack them. Here are some of my favorites: 

- Carrot/celery sticks dipped in almond butter, hummus, or sesame tahini (a sesame seed butter- so good!)

- Seaweed Snax with avocado slices and tuna if I need some protein

- 2 cups organic popcorn with 2 tsp olive oil and sea salt; in addition have some fresh sliced peppers and hummus

- Hard boiled egg mixed with 1/4 avocado on 10 rice crackers

- Simple Smoothie (made with whey protein, almond milk, stevia, coconut flakes, and 1 cup frozen blueberries- no blender needed, drink like a glass of milk with extra nutrition!)

- 1/2 cup canned organic pumpkin, 1 scoop protein powder, and dash of cinnamon

- Frozen (or fresh) grapes with 8-10 brazil nuts (super tasty, nutrient packed nut!)

- Greek yogurt with stevia, cinnamon, and fresh blueberries

- Hummus with cucumber slices

- Chai tea (brewed strong) blended with 1 scoop protein powder and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk; 1/2 apple on side

- 1/2 grapefruit mixed with 1/4 of an avocado with dash of sea salt

- Add a bit more protein to any of these to help make it a more substantial meal

One more thing…a lot of people ask me if its okay to eat before bed. My answer is pretty simple and can be applied to almost anyone: if its 2-3 hours after you’ve had dinner and you feel hungry again…have a snack! Ask yourself the questions outlined above and follow the guidelines above for any time of day and you’ll be fine. Listening to our bodies is a lost art…separate your emotions, stress from the day, and habitual food routines from your bodies physical needs… begin to trust that your body will tell you when it needs to eat. The key is listening and responding to that enough times in a row to form a new habit :)

Get creative, be prepared, and you will feel amazing! Its not about a diet or restricting the foods you love…and it sure isn’t about being perfect all the time…its about being in the mindset that food is powerful and experiencing the fact that it can transform the way you think, feel, and respond to the world.

As always, stay well, eat well, and have a beautiful week!  

 

Ana Elisabeth

Post-Workout Superfood Smoothie

Who wants to spend time in the kitchen after exercising? This simple fruit drink tastes great, is easy to make and is just what your body needs to for rejuvenation. It may be the perfect way to end a workout.

Post-Workout Superfood Smoothie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Drink this scrumptious superfood smoothie after a workout for a dose of quality calories and protein. It'll help kick start recovery and keep you on top of your game!
Author:
Recipe type: Smoothie
Serves: 1-2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 scoops Standard Process Whey Pro (15g protein)
  • A pinch of Real Salt
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender for 15 seconds.
  2. Drink!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 418 Fat: 11 g Carbohydrates: 63 g Sugar: 35 g Sodium: 204 mg Fiber: 14 g Protein: 20 g

 

Banana Pumpkin Pie Muffins

Here at PN we like to make things realistic and practical for people. I am currently doing the 21 day cleanse and to be honest it is pretty hard. Doing the  21 day purification isn’t about not having a treat for 21 days (that just wouldn’t be realistic for me!)… plus it’s fall and I LOVE pumpkin. Needing to come up with “cleanse friendly” treats led me to developing a cleanse friendly pumpkin muffin! (to learn more about the 21 day purification program I am talking about, click here!)

Banana Pumpkin Pie Muffins (Cleanse Friendly)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Treat
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • Dry:
  • 1 cup of gluten free rolled oats
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 T pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3 scoops Whey Pro Complete or unflavored whey (60g)
  • ¼ tsp stevia extract
  • Wet:
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 4 large organic eggs
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut or almond milk
  • 3 T red palm oil or coconut oil
  • 3 T organic almond butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place bananas in food processor or blender and blend almond or coconut milk until smooth.
  3. Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the blender/food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Combine all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix.
  5. Add wet ingredient mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix with a whisk until evenly incorporated.
  6. Grab a paper towel and put some solid coconut oil or palm oil on it then coat a muffin tin with oil so the muffins do not stick.
  7. Fill each muffin tin ¾ of the way.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Notes
*If you do not have almond flour or want to leave out nuts you can use ½ cup of coconut flour and add an extra egg (so use 5 instead of 4), and leave out the almond butter or replace it with sunflower seed butter. I wouldn't replace with peanut butter because of its distinct flavor.

For those of you following a PN prescription:
Serving size: 2 muffins (2 Fats, .5 Pro, .5 Carbohydrate)