Quinoa Pizza Bites

The benefits of quinoa are many, including large amounts of protein (one of the few plant foods containing all 9 essential amino acids, it contains 8g of protein per 1 cup serving), fiber, and various vitamins and minerals.

It is also high in magnesium, iron, B-vitamins, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and antioxidants.

It is gluten free and recommended for a gluten-free diet.

In addition to all those benefits, the bottom line is what is really important….these pizza bites taste GOOD.  Plus, wait till you see how easy they are to make!

1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa (I make this ahead of time)

2 cups cooked and cooled cauliflower florets, pureed (I boil or steam until soft, then once cooled I puree it in a food processor)

1 chia egg

1/4 cup brown rice flour

2 tbsp coconut flour

2 tbsp pizza sauce (I used this sauce)

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Gently form into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.

 

Guacamole Potatoes

There isn’t much to say about this recipe except YUM.

I started with fingerling potatoes, sliced them in half and baked them until fork tender. Once they cooled, I hollowed out the center to make “boats,” then filled the boats with guacamole.

If you want to make this a meal rather than a finger food or appetizer, topping a large baked potato with guacamole is outstanding. It’s the perfect way to skip the cheese and sour cream and enjoy a nutrient-rich baked potato.

  

You only need 2 things:

Fingerling potatoes (as many as you feel like making)

Guacamole

  1. Slice fingerling potatoes in half lengthwise. Place face up on baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes at 450.
  2. Once the potatoes are fork tender, remove them from the oven and let cool completely.
  3. To hollow out the potatoes, I used a rounded 1/4 tsp measuring spoon. Leave a little potato still in the skin, don’t scoop it down completely to the skin (as you can see in the picture above).
  4. Spoon in a little guacamole into each hollowed out potato boat.

Triple Berry Cake – Gluten Free/Refined Sugar Free

If you like light and fluffy cake, then this is the cake for you!

It is a cross between a pancake and a muffin. Only it’s a cake!

This triple berry cake is healthy because it has no refined sugar and is topped with antioxidant-rich berries. You won’t have to feel guilty eating this for breakfast, dessert, or a snack.

Have your cake and eat it, too!

3 cups oat milk (or any non-dairy milk)

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour

3 tbsp aluminum free baking powder

1 tsp himalayan sea salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 cup chopped strawberries

1 cup blueberries

1/2 cup raspberries, cut in half

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and grease an 11×16 inch baking pan with coconut oil.
  2. In a medium sized bowl combine the milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add the vanilla, syrup, and coconut oil to the milk mixture and whisk.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.
  6. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. While the cake is baking, chop the fruit. Pull the cake out after the timer goes off and sprinkle the berries on top, then bake for another 15 minutes. The cake is done with a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

** You’ll want to wait until halfway through baking before adding the berries, otherwise they will all sink to the bottom of the wet batter.**

Puffed Millet Treats

Similar to the rice crispy treats I make, these are another clear winner in my home as a snack my kids love. While shopping one day we spotted puffed millet cereal and had the idea to try that as the base of the treats. Not quite as crunchy as when using the puffed rice cereal, but every bit as delicious.

2 cups puffed millet cereal

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

1/2 cup peanut butter

  1. In a saucepan, melt the brown rice syrup and peanut butter together.
  2. In a large bowl pour 2 cups of the millet cereal.
  3. Once the syrup and peanut butter are melted, pour over the bowl of cereal and mix well.
  4. Press into an 8×8 baking dish and let sit for about 30-60 minutes, until set. These can be stored at room temperature.

Cinnamon Raisin Granola Bars

Soft and chewy. Wholesome and delicious.

With my growing young boys I need to always have a good supply of healthy snacks that contain a good amount of whole food fats and proteins. This is one of their favorites.

The coconut oil and the natural peanut butter (or almond butter) provide healthy fats and protein. The coconut oil also helps add sweetness, along with the little bit of maple syrup and some raisins.

And did you know that cinnamon is more than just a little brown spice? It has great benefits, too! It’s actually one of the healthiest spices on the planet. It can lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease risk, is loaded with antioxidants which fight against free radical damage (free radical damage leads to chronic inflammation which is at the root of all chronic diseases including cancer). Cinnamon even reduces insulin resistance!

These bars are the snack that gives back! It gives back your health!

1 1/2 cups quick oats

1/2 cup oat flour (which can be made by grinding oats in a food processor until a fine powder/flour forms)

2 tsp cinnamon

2 chia eggs (2 tbsp chia seeds + 6 tbsp water, let sit for 1-3 minutes)

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup raisins

  1. Grease a 9×9 baking dish with coconut oil.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
  5. Fold in the raisins.
  6. Pour into baking dish and spread out in an even layer using the back of a spatula, pressing down until it is tightly packed and smooth.
  7. Let sit for 1 hour at room temperature until set. To speed the process along, you could place it in the refrigerator.

Gingerbread Energy Balls

Keep healthy alternatives around for snacks and you’ll never miss the pre-packaged varieties of who knows what with an entire list of ingredients you can’t pronounce. These energy balls are sure to be that sweet snack you reach for when you need something sweet without the damaging effects of processed sugars. And since there is no sugar added (the sweetness comes from the dates) there will be no crash later. The natural sugars from dates give your cells all the whole-nutrition energy they need.

Dates are jam packed with fiber which alleviates digestion issues. The potassium in dates can treat upset stomachs and diarrhea. It can also help “move things along” when you are constipated. Dates are also rich in magnesium, manganese, and selenium. These minerals are needed for keeping bones and blood strong and healthy. What is really amazing about dates is that the potassium in them reduces your risk of stroke and can lower cholesterol.

Can’t say all that about bags of chips and cookies! You get a snack AND a health boost at the same time.

This recipe also has buckwheat groats. If you have never used them before you’re in for a treat. They add such great taste and texture. Buckwheat is actually gluten free despite the name. They are a relative of rhubarb. Buckwheat contains all eight essential amino acids, low glycemic and high in fiber. Studies have also shown buckwheat can be beneficial in the management of blood sugar levels, this is especially important if you are dealing with diabetes.

1 1/2 cups pitted dates

1/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup buckwheat groats

3/4 cups quick oats

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp ground cloves

  1. Blend all the dry ingredients in a food processor until a fine flour forms.
  2. Add in the dates and process until combined. It will seem loose, but you will be able to squeeze it together and form balls. (If not, add more dates)
  3. Roll the dough out into balls about an inch thick. You could also flatten them after rolling and make them cookies if you chose to.

Pumpkin Oat Bars

With pumpkin being high in nutritional value and sweet at the same time, it is commonly used in sweet treats. Usually those sweet treats are packed with sugar, though, which negates the benefits you would have been getting in the first place.

I made these Pumpkin Oat Bars to be a sweet treat, or breakfast, yet have no added refined sugar (except for the optional chocolate chips).

Pumpkin is full of fiber. Fiber helps you feel full longer which keeps you from eating more, therefore can help aid in your weight-loss efforts. Fiber can also “grab hold” of the toxins in your body and you’ll eliminate them.  Being backed-up means your body will continue to reabsorb the toxins your body is trying to get rid of. High fiber diets are also helpful in keeping your heart healthy

Since pumpkins are a great source of vitamin A, they are a great boost to your eye health. Vitamin A also helps maintain healthy skin and bones, too!

It is a common misconception that you can’t eat healthy and have sweet delicious treats. But that just isn’t the case. Whole foods are delicious, nutritious, and sweet! Try these, and you’ll see what I mean!

2 cups oats

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1 chia egg 

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup non-dairy milk (almond, cashew, or oat work well)

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips (optional) ** raisins are also a good optional add-in

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Add dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine well.
  5. Pour mixture into a greased (I used coconut oil) 8×8 baking dish.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until set and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Let cool for 5-10 minutes until attempting to slice.

Gluten Free Graham Crackers

I wanted to make a crispy graham cracker but also incorporate the texture and nutritional benefit of oats.

Oats are full of soluble fiber which is a great addition to the digestive tract to keep things moving along and help you expel toxins. But did you know oatmeal has many other benefits as well? Such as helping to lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and lower your risk of colon cancer (again, because of that soluble fiber moving things OUT of the body). Oatmeal has a low glycemic index, so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels, it has 6 grams of protein which makes it great for athletic performance (oats have been shown to boost athletic performance when consumed at least an hour before exercise!).

Oatmeal can help you sleep, too, because oats have melatonin and complex carbs that can help more tryptophan get into your brain. They also have vitamins, like B6, which is a co-factor in producing more serotonin in the brain. Oats are also a great source of antioxidants. Avenanthramides, which are antioxidants unique to oats, inhibit inflammation and produce nitric oxide which reduce hardening of your arteries.

You can see why I like to incorporate the use of oats any chance I get. I love a warm bowl of oatmeal topped with berries and bananas. But this time I used oatmeal to make a cracker. A snack I can feel good about serving my kids. They get a snack and they get to boost their nutrition at the same time. You just can’t find that in the bottom of a bag of chips!

1 1/2 cup gluten free oats

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or maple sugar or date sugar)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 tbsp coconut oil, softened

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tbsp water (may vary)

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the softened coconut oil and vanilla, and mix with a fork.
  4. Add the water 2 tbsp at a time until a soft dough forms. Not too wet and sticky, not too dry and crumbly. You want just enough water to create a dough ball.
  5. On a sheet of parchment paper, roll or press our your dough to desired thickness. You can cut shapes with a knife, pizza cutter, or cookie cutter. I use a cookie cutter and keep rolling up and pressing out the left over dough until all the dough is used.
  6. Carefully place each cracker on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Flip over each cracker then bake another 7-10 minutes until they are crisp. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn.

Strawberry Oat Bars

Having nutritious snack options is a must in my house. Though I personally am not a big snacker, my two growing boys ARE. And with the amount of food they can put away in a day, I need to make sure they are making the most of those snacking opportunities. No empty calories here!

This recipe is similar to the raspberry bars but are made slightly different. The addition of the banana in this recipe changes it quite a bit.

I am categorizing this one under snacks and breakfast because they can be either. A nutrient dense breakfast or a nutrient dense snack. With the addition of chia seeds (you can read about why chia seeds are so amazing in this post here), plus the highly antioxidant power of strawberries, fiber from the oatmeal, and no processed sugar these strawberry oat bars are sure to please.

Making the jam:

2 cups frozen strawberries

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract

Making the bars:

2 cups oatmeal (divided)

1 tsp baking powder

2 medium over-ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Make the jam first, because you need it cooled before baking the bars. In a medium sauce pan add the strawberries and maple syrup and heat until the strawberries break down and thicken. Keep stirring occasionally.
  2. Add in the chia seeds and vanilla and cook another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. You could make this ahead of time, maybe the night before or in the morning before baking the bars in the afternoon/evening.
  4. To make the oat bars put 1 cup of the oats in a food processor and grind into a flour. Pour the oat flour and remaining 1 cup of oats in a mixing bowl and mix in the baking powder.
  5. Add the mashed bananas, syrup and vanilla. Stir until combined.
  6. Transfer 2/3 of the oat mixture into a baking dish and gently press down tightly and evenly. Spread the jam on top. Crumble the remaining oat mixture on top of the jam and press down gently.
  7. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes. The top should be a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before cutting.

These taste great using blueberries, too! Just substitute the frozen strawberries for frozen blueberries when making the jam. Everything else stays the same. You could even use 2 cups of frozen mixed berries, too!