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Heart-Shaped Edible Cookie Dough Pops

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Heart-Shaped Cookie Dough Pops

Happy Valentine’s Day! OK it’s a day early, but I wanted to share this recipe with you today so you can have plenty of time to make it for your sweetheart tomorrow (or for yourself- I think Valentine’s Day is a great day to treat yourself as well).

 

If you have been wanting to make (or buy) some kind of treat or dessert for Valentine’s Day, your options are pretty much limited to chocolate hearts, conversation hearts, and a variety of other sugar-laden choices. Sure they look pretty (and taste pretty good too), but all of that added sugar could have a negative impact on health. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that if you have a few conversation hearts tomorrow you are going to keel over, but if you can find a sweet treat you love that is actually good for you, why not choose that instead? If you are like me, I don’t want to only have a dessert on a holiday- I would rather have dessert everyday. So finding a dessert that is actually healthy enough to eat every day is definitely a win in my book. And that’s why I created this recipe.

 

I love cookie dough! In fact, I’d rather eat the dough than the baked cookie any day. And I know that isn’t a good idea since eating raw egg is a no-no (although most eggs are pasteurized the risk of food borne illness is reduced, but it’s still not a good idea to risk it). But it’s not just the raw egg in the cookie dough that you want to avoid. All of that added sugar and butter isn’t doing our health any favors either. So the solution I came up with is dough that removes the less healthy ingredients and replaces them with nutritious alternatives.

 

I know what you are thinking- a cookie dough without butter and granulated sugar is not cookie dough! I originally thought the same thing until I worked on this recipe and tasted the result. The addition of the almond flour along with the vanilla extract, stevia, and small amount of maple syrup give you the taste of regular cookie dough, just in a way that is a whole lot healthier! What you are left with is a filling, antioxidant rich cookie dough that you can eat as often as you want.

 

Heart-Shaped Edible Cookie Dough Pops

Makes 4 hearts (but ½ a heart is filling!)

 

Heart-Shaped Cookie Dough Pops

Ingredients:

For Edible Cookie Dough:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon stevia
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
  • Heart shape cookie cutters
  • Popsicle sticks

 

For Toppings:

  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1-ounce walnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup freeze dried strawberries, crushed

 

Directions:

  1. In a bowl or food processor, mix together the flour, vanilla, maple syrup, stevia and salt. Add in the milk as needed to moisten the mixture until you get the perfect cookie dough texture. Finally, mix in the chocolate chips.
  2. On parchment paper, form heart shaped dough. With heart shaped cookie cutter, place on top of parchment paper then spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of dough into heart (filling about ½ up the cutter) firmly pressing down on dough to fill in heart.
Heart-Shaped Cookie Dough Pops
  1. Lightly lift heart cookie cutter up while evenly pushing dough down on to parchment paper. Repeat until all dough is used. Place Popsicle sticks at the bottom point of each heart. Freeze for 20-25 minutes, or until hearts are firm.
  2. While hearts are chilling, melt dark chocolate coating. In a microwave safe bowl, combine dark chocolate chips and coconut oil. Microwave for 1 minute, stirring every 20 seconds, microwave for longer if needed, to completely melt chocolate.
  3. Take cookie dough heart pops out of freezer and carefully dip in (or pour) melted chocolate, covering heart completely. Use spoon to cover all edges, if needed. Place chocolate dipped heart onto a clean parchment paper.
Heart-Shaped Cookie Dough Pops
  1. Top with chopped walnuts and freeze dried strawberries. Repeat for all hearts and freeze for 15-20 minutes, or until chocolate has hardened. Take out and enjoy with a loved one!!
Heart-Shaped Cookie Dough Pops

Nutrition Facts (per pop):

382 calories, 32 g CHO, 29 g Fat, 7 g PRO, 5 g Fiber, 20 g sugar

Boost Heart Health with the Strawberry Banana Sweetheart Smoothie

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and if you are like me, I’m sure you find those boxes of chocolates and little conversation heart candies incredibly tempting. There’s no reason to avoid Valentine’s Day treats all the time, but you also don’t want to have them every day. With February being National Heart, I thought it would be the perfect time to create a sweet treat that not only curbs those Valentine treat cravings, but also one that can boost heart health. So what did I come up with? The Strawberry Banana Sweetheart Smoothie! It’s a combination of my favorite smoothie ingredients along with foods that research has shown can be protective to the heart. And it’s even pretty and red, which makes it perfect for your Valentine’s Day menu!

Let’s take a look at the research behind the heart-healthy ingredients so you can see why I added them to the recipe:

 

Walnuts

Eating walnuts affects various heart health markers such as reducing total cholesterol, decreasing blood pressure, reducing inflammation and improvements in arterial function. (1)

 

Strawberries

Clinical research suggests that eating just a serving of eight strawberries a day may improve heart health, help manage diabetes, support brain health, and reduce the risk of some cancers. (2)

 

What better way to celebrate a day that’s all about love than taking care of your heart.

 

 

Strawberry Banana Sweetheart Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Sweetheart Smoothie Recipe

Serves 2

 

Ingredients:

 

For smoothie:

  • 6 strawberries, frozen
  • 1 medium banana, frozen
  • 1- ounce walnuts
  • 1 cup almond milk (or your favorite nut milk/soymilk)
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds, optional

 

For Toppings:

  • Whipped cream, optional
  • Freeze-dried strawberries and bananas, optional

 

Directions:

 

  1. In a blender, combine strawberries, banana, walnuts, milk, orange juice and chia seeds. Blend until smooth.
  2. Smoothie will be thick so add liquid for desired texture. Top with whipped cream and freeze-dried fruit. Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (without toppings)

143 calories, 22 g CHO, 6 g FAT, 3 g PRO, 82 mg sodium, 14 g sugar

 

 

 

  1. Heart Health. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2017, from https://www.walnuts.org/health-and-walnuts/health-research-initiatives/heart-health/

 

  1. California Strawberries. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2017, from http://californiastrawberries.com/health_and_nutrition

 

 

Blueberry Pancake Yogurt Parfait

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Today is National Blueberry Pancake Day. Yup, it’s a thing! As you probably already know, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. If you skip it, your more likely to have an increased appetite and an increase in cravings the rest of the day. Not to mention, skipping breakfast can drain your energy levels and even make it harder to think straight or be productive. Since I am already in a constant state of sleep deprivation thanks to my newborn, I don’t need anything to add to my lack of energy or forgetfulness.  So yes, breakfast needs to be a priority, but it doesn’t need to be boring. I find myself making the same typical breakfasts day after day, so I decided to step up the creativity a bit.

In honor of National Blueberry Pancake Day, I thought I’d mix together two of my favorite breakfast options, yogurt and pancakes, to create a Blueberry Pancake Yogurt Parfait.  I love a good yogurt parfait, but everything is better with pancakes, right? Since today is specifically about blueberry pancakes, I whipped up this creation with those little antioxidant packed blue powerhouses. What I love about this recipe though is that the varieties of fruit combinations you can use is endless! 

Note: You can also make your own mini pancakes for this recipe, but when you are short on time (or sleep!) heating up frozen mini pancakes can be a lifesaver. I recommend whipping up a bunch of mini pancakes once, freezing them, and then having them on hand anytime you want to make this parfait!

Blueberry Pancake Yogurt Parfait to celebrate National Blueberry Pancake Day!

Blueberry Pancake Yogurt Parfait to celebrate National Blueberry Pancake Day!

Blueberry Pancake Yogurt Parfait Recipe

 

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 10 mini pancakes, cooked and torn in pieces
  • 2 (5.3-ounce) low-fat yogurt (I used strawberry banana yogurt)
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Directions:

  1. Add ½ of yogurt container to a bowl or cup. Then add some blueberries on top. Add some pancake pieces over the blueberries.
  2. Add other ½ of yogurt container (1 full container per parfait) and top with more blueberries, more pancake pieces and sprinkle some chia seeds on top. Enjoy!

Tip: Add some nuts or more fruit to this breakfast and enjoy a scrumptious and filling meal.

 

 

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

324 calories, 61 g CHO, 6 g FAT, 8 g PRO, 365 mg sodium, 37 g sugar

Blueberry Pancake Yogurt Parfait to celebrate National Blueberry Pancake Day!

Blueberry Pancake Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients

  • 10 mini pancakes, cooked and torn in pieces
  • 2 (5.3-ounce) low-fat yogurt (I used strawberry banana yogurt)
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Takes ,serves 2.

Directions

  1. Add ½ of yogurt container to a bowl or cup. Then add some blueberries on top. Add some pancake pieces over the blueberries.
  2. Add other ½ of yogurt container (1 full container per parfait) and top with more blueberries, more pancake pieces and sprinkle some chia seeds on top. Enjoy!

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