Category Archives: Scary Sides & Snacks

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

How super cute is this Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie in a mason jar?  

OK I admit, I’ve kind of been on a mason jar kick ever since I started canning two years ago.  Everything is better in mason jars!  I’ve been using mason jars for all kinds of things from tea to herbs to hair clips.  I actually received this one at a fund raiser.  They handed them out as labeled drinking glasses, such a good idea right?  

For my absolute fave smoothie, I wanted a special presentation but I confess <<looks sheepish>>, I just don’t get the smoothie bowl thing, they just look like pretty bowls of cold soup.  But a 500ml mason jar worked beautifully, and the best part about using a mason jar is that you can save some for later or take it to go! No matter how you have it, one thing is for certain: my Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie is a real treat!     

For years I religiously started my mornings off with a smoothie, but during the winter season my body started craving a warm breakfast.  This smoothie became my go-to recovery snack, or sometimes I’ll make it for a light lunch or healthy dessert.  This smoothie is super nutritious but you’d never know it because it tastes oh-so-creamy and chocolate-y.  

Did I mention how lusciously rich this smoothie is?  I did?  Ohh…

Using a frozen banana really gives it that milkshake texture. I highly recommend freezing all your bananas right now!  But the best part is that the only sweetener is organic honey, and even though it contains sugar, honey also contains powerful antioxidants.  

Gotta love those blessed antioxidants!

The key ingredient to this smoothie is the raw cocoa powder. Be sure you buy the raw, plain powder as cocoa mixes often contain sugar.  Also, BONUS >> cocoa powder also contains antioxidants.  When consumed with high levels of fiber, raw cocoa powder actually helps improve digestion.  Good thing this smoothie has a big chunk of fibrous avocado!

But enough with those boring health facts (I love health facts!).

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

I was inspired to combine avocado and cocoa after trying the Goop Chocolate Love Smoothie. The cocoa blended with the avocado creates a rich, chocolate creaminess, plus I love avocados in general.  Bring on those healthy fats!  I also added cocoa nibs because I like a bit of crunchiness, it reminds me of a chocolate chip shake (but be sure to check your teeth after, they will give you a wicked smile). Finally as if we didn’t have enough antioxidants already, I added a handful of greens.  I like being sneaky with salad!  Spinach is the easiest to blend unless you have a Vitamix. If you have one, I’m quite envious of you and your ability to pulverize kale.

The L-Glutemine powder is an optional addition – I add it to help repair and maintain muscle.  I’m currently training for my 6th marathon so I need all the recovery foods I can get!  But let me tell you – nothing is more rewarding after a long run than this velvety, packed-full-of-chocolate super green smoothie.  

…except maybe a bagel with peanut butter and banana.

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

51

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 smoothie

Calories per serving: 360

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe frozen banana, peeled*
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cold, filtered water
  • ½ ripe avocado
  • ½ cup fresh greens like spinach or kale, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened raw cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons raw cocoa nibs
  • 1 teaspoon organic or raw honey
  • 1 scoop L Glutemine
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Add a bit more water as per thickness preference.

Notes

*frozen bananas work best in a smoothie, they give them a milkshake-like texture. Simply run the frozen banana under warm water and the peel will slide off

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2017/01/30/healthy-chocolate-green-smoothie/

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

What are your fave smoothie ingredients?  Are any of you training for a spring marathon?  Let me know what you think of my Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie!

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

Time to re-stabilize!  I started my week off with this super healthy Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt as an apology to my poor belly for the last week of abuse.

I took a break from the dreary January weather and escaped to the Dominican Republic with my parents for a week of sunshine and ocean breeze.  Hard to believe, but I think the last time I went on a vacation with my parents I was seventeen!  Growing up, my mom would find last minute deals to the Caribbean, so we managed to escape the frigid Canadian winters almost every year. One Christmas morning I woke up to discover we were jumping on a plane to Mexico, a pretty great gift!  

We stayed at the Bahia Principe Ambar Green, part of the giant Bahia complex in Punta Cana.  A picture perfect beach, delicious food and lots of mojitos made for a relaxing, non-thinking vacation.  Now I’m back in the real world, where there are no more breakfast buffets, nacho bars or four course meals every night.  

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt Punta Cana

Punta Cana

This quick and easy yogurt makes for a nutritious and satisfying breakfast, snack or dessert.  My lactose intolerant boyfriend bought a big tub of coconut yogurt, so I decided to go dairy free and took a big scoop.  I might have gone overboard with cheese last week sooo I was due for some dairy relief!  The yogurt is sweetened with some homemade apple butter and I diced up an apple for some crunch.  I also added raisins for some bonus fiber and sweetness.  Now I know a lot of people object to raisins, but they’re totally optional and you could substitute for any other dried fruit like dates or apricots. 

I topped off this mega yogurt with a dash of cinnamon to spice things up and also added unsweetened shredded coconut to help bring out the coconut flavour.  Visions of palm trees and coconuts are still dancing in my head!

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt Punta Cana

Punta Cana

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

51

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Calories per serving: 374

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vanilla flavoured coconut yogurt*
  • 1/2 medium apple, diced**
  • 3 tablespoons sultana raisins
  • 1 tablespoon apple butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon + a dash for topping

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, saving a few pieces of diced apples and raisins for garnish. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top. Enjoy!

Notes

*We like the Yoso brand **I prefer Gala apples

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2017/01/16/apple-cinnamon-coconut-yogurt/

Awesomely chunky with bits of crunch, bursts of sweetness and that classic apple cinnamon flavour combination, this yogurt is a fun, low calorie way to stay on track in the New Year. Totally addictive, I swear I could eat a tub of this stuff!  Thankfully this Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt recipe is pretty filling and kept me going until lunchtime!

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt

What are your fave ingredients to add to yogurt?  Let me know if you liked this Apple Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt flavour combination! 

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

Sweet Potato Squash Soup

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that as we grow older, eating becomes more tiring?  First world problems I know but whew!  After this past weekend I still feel like I’m in a food coma.  In general, I eat pretty healthy throughout the year so I think my body just shuts down when affronted with so much fat and sugar.  I love pigging out over the holidays, but I was really craving something healthy.  This Japanese-inspired Asian Sesame Sweet Potato Squash Soup was just what I needed after an overly indulgent weekend.

Over the years I’ve made every variation of sweet potato and squash: roasted, mashed, baked.   This holiday season, I really wanted to try something new.  Butternut squash soup is popular, but I decided to add sweet potato, to bring out the sweetness of the squash.  I had to keep this soup dairy free, so I used a bit of miso instead of cream for a richer taste.  Building on this Asian-inspired flavour, I included some mirin (sweet cooking wine) to add acidity to the dish.  For the garnish I topped with toasted sesame seeds and nori (dried seaweed) for a bit of salty crunch.

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

Festive and easy to prepare, I loved this healthy, hearty soup on a cold, winter’s night.  The nori, mirin and miso can be found in the Asian aisle of a big chain supermarket, or at any Asian grocery store.  If you don’t want to buy a whole bottle of mirin, you can substitute for sake and keep on drinking this holiday season!

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup mirin (sweet cooking wine)
  • 2 tbsp light miso paste
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 6 snack size sheets of nori (dried seaweed)
  • 3 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat sesame oil in a large pot or saute pan on medium-high heat. Saute onion, garlic and ginger until softened, about 2 minutes. Add squash and sweet potato and sauté 1 minute longer.
  2. Whisk together mirin and miso paste. Add to vegetables along with chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
  3. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree soup until smooth. Return to pot and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a toaster oven or in a small pan on the stove top over low heat.
  5. Serve and top with toasted sesame seeds and pieces of nori.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/11/14/asian-sesame-sweet-potato-squash-soup/

Sweet Potato Squash Soup

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato Squash Soup

What is your favourite holiday soup?  Let me know if you enjoyed the Asian flavours in this Sweet Potato Squash Soup!