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4 Ingredient Brownie Dough Dip That’s Actually Healthy!

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Did you know today is National Brownie Day? One of my favorite desserts in the world is brownie batter. I don’t care for cooked brownies as much- just the dough! Of course, it’s not healthy (or safe!) to eat regular brownie batter. That’s why I decided to create a simple 4 ingredient healthy BROWNIE DOUGH DIP to celebrate today’s food holiday! And the best part- it contains absolutely NO ADDED SUGAR!

This recipe is incredibly simple and it’s actually packed full of protein and antioxidants, so there’s no guilt in eating it up! If you make it, be sure to let me know what you think!

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Brownie Dough Dip
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp 100% cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp oat flour
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter powder
  • 1 pinch stevia
  • 1/4 cup water
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add water gradually to form the dough. Slowly add water 1 Tbs at a time until reaching the desired consistency. Top with dark chocolate chips if desired and enjoy! 

Recipe Notes

NUTRITION FACTS (makes 1 serving) Calories 70 Carbs: 8gm Protein: 3gm Fat: 1gm

 

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High Protein Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies

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Me & my little chef whipping up a batch of our favorite breakfast cookies!

 

The holidays are one of my favorite times of year, but I have to admit, I could live without seeing yet another Christmas cookie. Don’t get me wrong – I love them! But that’s the problem. Everywhere I turn, there’s a sugar cookie, a frosted cookie, a chocolate chip cookie …. you get the picture. And all of those cookies can be hard to resist. And my little man has been becoming quite the cookie monster as well. So what’s a mom to do? Improvise! There’s no need to say ‘no’ to all cookies, instead just make healthy ones that taste just as good. So that’s what I set out to do. After a little trial and error, I was able to create these super easy high protein banana chocolate chip cookies that contain absolutely no added sugar! Since these cookies are packed full of whole grains, fruit, and protein, they can even be eaten as a healthy addition to breakfast or any meal where you need a bit of a sweet fix.

 

High Protein Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookie Recipe

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High Protein Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookie Recipe
Servings: 18
Ingredients
  • 1 large banana mashed
  • 3/4 cup low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 each egg
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mash large banana and add in Greek yogurt; mix well. Whisk egg and add to liquid ingredients. Fold in dry ingredients (everything but the chocolate chips) and mix well. Add in chocolate chips and mix until evening distributed. 

  2. Scoop dough by the tablespoon onto lined cookie sheets. 

  3. Bake for 15-18 minutes until edges are light brown. Serve warm or cooled and store leftovers in refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts (per serving) 64 calories 9gm carbs 3gm protein 1.5gm fat

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How to Help Manage the Holiday Sweet Tooth

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On average, Americans consume about 20 teaspoons of added caloric sweeteners daily.1 This is two to three times the recommendation from the American Heart Association, which suggests that most women consume no more than 100 calories of added sugar (about 6 teaspoons) per day, and most men consume no more than 150 calories of added sugar (about 9 teaspoons) per day.2 Increased intake of added sugars can have a negative impact on health, including decreasing HDL-cholesterol levels and elevating triglyceride levels.3

Reducing your intake of added sugars can be a struggle, especially during the holidays if you find yourself constantly surrounded by sweet temptations. However, food cravings themselves may be brought on by the meal choices you make. One study compared brain activity following consumption of a high glycemic index meal, such as a meal rich in added sugars and refined grains, to consumption of a low glycemic index meal. Eating a high glycemic index meal resulted in lower blood glucose and increased hunger, and stimulated the regions of the brain associated with reward and cravings in the late postprandial period, which could impact food choices at the next meal.4This finding points to the possible value of reducing the glycemic load of meals in an effort to help increase satiety and reduce overall cravings. The good news is, working to lower the glycemic index through simple substitutions, such as swapping brown rice for white rice, may be a tool to help manage the spikes and dips in blood sugar that may occur from more refined, starchy carbs.

Researchers are also exploring the role of added sugars in leptin resistance.5Leptin, a hormone released by fat cells, helps signal the brain to decrease food consumption and increase energy expenditure. Leptin resistance has been referred to as the hallmark of obesity.6 A recent study found a significant correlation between plasma leptin levels and carbohydrate cravings.7 This may be especially valuable information for those with diabetes or prediabetes, as insulin resistance has been associated with leptin resistance.8

To help curb cravings this holiday season, one strategy may be to reduce the overall glycemic load of their meal choices, while simultaneously working to reduce the intake of added sugars. This combination may help fight cravings, as well as manage hunger. As mentioned earlier, certain meal swaps may help reduce the glycemic load and limit added sugars without sacrificing flavor. For instance, find whole grain alternatives to common refined grain choices such as whole grain pasta over white pasta or steal cut oats over instant oatmeal. Added sugars can also be reduced by making simple swaps, such as seltzer for soda, 100% juice for fruit juice, and unsweetened teas for sweetened varieties. 

Making a few easy swaps to meals and snacks may help boost satiety, rather than stimulate cravings. When cravings are diminished, the goals of improved blood glucose management and reduced body weight may become easier to work towards, and our overall health may be enhanced.

 


1. American Heart Association. 19 May 2014. Frequently Asked Questions About Sugar. Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Frequently-Asked-Questions-About-Sugar_UCM_306725_Article.jsp#.Vk4AKBNViko

2. Johnson R, et al. Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health. A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. 2009.  http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/120/11/1011.full.pdf. Accessed November 10, 2015.

3. Welsh JA, et al. Caloric sweetener consumption and dyslipidemia among US adults. JAMA. 2010 Apr 21;303(15):1490-7. doi: 10.1001/jama.2010.449. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3045262/

4. Lennerz BS, et al. Effects of dietary glycemic index on brain regions related to reward and craving in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Sep;98(3):641-7. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.064113. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3743729/

5. Shapiro A, et al. Prevention and reversal of diet-induced leptin resistance with a sugar-free diet despite high fat content. Br J Nutr. 2011 Aug;106(3):390-7. doi: 10.1017/S000711451100033X.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21418711. Full text accessible at http://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FBJN%2FBJN106_03%2FS000711451100033Xa.pdf&code=b39b75fcef66d9e30244640216120c97

6. Lustig RH, et al. Obesity, leptin resistance, and the effects of insulin reduction. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Oct;28(10):1344-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15314628

7. Licinio J, Negrao AB, Wong ML. Plasma leptin concentrations are highly correlated to emotional states throughout the day. Transl Psychiatry. 2014 Oct 28;4:e475. doi: 10.1038/tp.2014.115. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4350520/

8. Fischer S, et al. Insulin-resistant patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus have higher serum leptin levels independently of body fat mass. Acta Diabetol. 2002 Sep;39(3):105-10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12357293

Orange Cranberry Sauce Mojito Recipe for Thanksgiving Eve

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Orange Cranberry Sauce Mojito Recipe

It’s Thanksgiving Eve! What does that mean? Well for some of us, it’s one of the biggest party nights of the year. For those of us with a two year old at home and a second baby due to make his arrival in T-minus 5 days like me, it means staying home, wearing stretchy pants and watching a made-for-TV movie. Sure I can’t sip on a cocktail this Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want you to have a chance to celebrate! It is Thanksgiving after all and I am so thankful for each one of you that takes the time to read my blog, comment, and let me know how you are doing with your health goals throughout the year.

 

So I wanted to celebrate you. I enlisted my intern Kelly for the very tough job of taste testing a variety of holiday cocktail recipes to find the perfect refreshing, yet not too high calorie, mixture that your taste buds will love. I know it was a dirty job, but someone had to do it, right Kelly? After painstakingly sipping on cocktails over the course of this past week, I think she came up with an amazing combination- The Orange-Cranberry Sauce Mojito. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it tastes like Thanksgiving in a glass (so I am told- I have to wait a few more days before I can test it out for myself).

Orange Cranberry Sauce Mojito

Whether you are celebrating this Thanksgiving with family and friends or relaxing on your own, why not sip on this mojito while reflecting back on all you are thankful for this past year. What are your cocktails to enjoy as you celebrate the holiday season?

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Orange-Cranberry Sauce Mojito
Servings: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp whole cranberry sauce
  • 8-10 each mint leaves
  • 4 each orange slices
  • 3 ounce rum
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 4 ounce sparkling club soda
  • ice
Instructions
  1. Divide ingredients among two glasses. Put cranberry sauce, mint leaves, and orange slices at the bottom. Muddle ingredients and mix well.

  2.  Add rum and mix. Add ice, orange juice and club soda. Gently stir.

  3. Garnish with orange and mint and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts per serving: 178 calories, 16 g CHO, 1 g PRO, 16 g sugar 

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