What more could an Irish girl like myself want on the week of Saint Patrick’s Day than to celebrate the potato?! Who doesn’t love a good potato, or better yet, a potato chip? If you feel like you have to avoid potato chips because they are fried or (gasp!) white, then I have exciting news for you!
Potatoes are actually a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and iron- especially when you eat the skin. And you can even enjoy potato chips without all the added oil! How? By making your own baked one. And don’t worry- it’s super easy, quick, and a whole lot healthier & cheaper!
Celebrate National Potato Chip day with me by whipping up a batch of my healthy baked potato chips seasoned with chili powder and cayenne. The great thing about homemade potato chips is the endless seasoning combination! Next I will try garlic and onion powder—but for now I like it spicy!
What’s your favorite flavor of chips?
- 2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/8 inch slices
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large bowl, lightly coat potato slices with olive oil and add chili powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Mix until slices are fully coated in seasonings and olive oil.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Arrange potato slices in a single layer on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until slices start to crisp and brown on the edges. Take out of oven and cool completely.
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.
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp stevia
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp low-fat milk
- 3 tbsp dark chocolate chips
- heart shape cookie cutters
- popsicle sticks
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips melted
- 1 tbsp coconut oil melted
- 1 ounce walnuts chopped
- 1/4 cup freeze dried strawberries crushed
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
Nutrition Facts (per pop): 382 calories, 32 g CHO, 29 g Fat, 7 g PRO, 5 g Fiber, 20 g sugar
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:
Eating walnuts affects various heart health markers such as reducing total cholesterol, decreasing blood pressure, reducing inflammation and improvements in arterial function. (1)
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.
- 6 each strawberries frozen
- 1 medium banana frozen
- 1 ounce walnuts
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- whipped cream
- freeze dried strawberries
In a blender, combine strawberries, banana, walnuts, milk, orange juice and chia seeds. Blend until smooth.
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
- Heart Health. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2017, from https://www.walnuts.org/health-and-walnuts/health-research-initiatives/heart-health/
- California Strawberries. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2017, from http://californiastrawberries.com/health_and_nutrition
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!
- 10 each mini pancakes cooked and torn into pieces
- 2 (5.3-ounce) container low fat yogurt (your favorite flavor)
- 1 cup blueberries fresh or frozen
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
Add ½ of yogurt container to a bowl or cup. Then add some blueberries on top. Add some pancake pieces over the blueberries.
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