Tag Archives: Snack

Granola and Flax Crusted Pecans

27 Jan

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Happy New Year!

Better late than never, right?

Maybe that will be the new name of this blog: Healthy Recipes, Better Late Than Never.

I have found myself using the term with a lot of free will these days. The whole work/get-a-life balance mixed with the occassional curve ball has left me appologizing for being tardy or absent more frequently than I’d like to admit. Most of the time when I feel like I am spread very thin in life I get a hankering to push my physical limits. Not sure of the psychology there, but let’s all agree that it’s not worth checking into a mental health clinic. Yet.

Last Saturday with the wheels in my head spinning,  I had a deep longing to get outside for some serious solitude; plug in my headphones, and run. My spirit of adventure and I decided on a trail run at Mount Tamalpais, one that I have never done before.

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Running the trails, amongst the giant redwoods and lush greenery was pretty inspiring. The fact that I never tripped and managed to make it out of the 7 miles or so unharmed was a feat for me. As I am typically pretty klutzy. Pretty klutzy meaning very.

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When I made it to the top of the Steep Ravine I stopped for a snack…. you see where I’m going with this? Granola and Flax Crusted Pecans! And water, so much water.

These pecans are the perfect quick snack, full of protein and quick carbohydrates. The cinnamon and sugar touch is one of my favorite flavor profiles ever, so I am biased in saying that I think they are the perfect treat.

Why you should eat this?

Pecans are full of good, heart healthy fats and fiber. Helping to decrease the overall LDL (bad cholesterol) and promote HDL (good cholesterol). If you are running, hiking, or doing any kind of moderate excercise, pecans are a great anti-inflamatory snack to help speed up muscle repair.  If you are not into physical activivty then just eat these because they are delicious and won’t kill you.

Granola and Flax Crusted Pecans

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons ground flax
1/4 cup dark or light brown sugar (will try maple syrup another time)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Few pinches sea salt
1 large egg white
2 teaspoons water
2 cups pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

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In a food processor, pulse oats, coconut, ground flax (also added a few slivered almonds), sugar, cinnamon and salt.

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Make sure that you do not totally process this mixture, you want some whole oats left for texture. You don’t want to make this a powder or flour texture.

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In a large bowl, beat the egg white and water until frothy.

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Add pecans to the bowl and coat them very well. VERY WELL. Stir the nuts around in the egg white mixture for a few good turns to ensure that every pecan gets a good amount of moisture, this is how the oat mixture will stick to the pecans and that is the point here guys.

Pour oat mixture into bowl with egg mixture and fold very gently. You will have more oat mixture than pecans, but that is all part of the deliciousness.

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Spread all of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake for 20 minutes. Move the pecans around once with a spatula to ensure an even browning for all pecans involved.

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Allow nuts to fully cool. Then break up clusters and store in a tighly sealed container until ready to eat. Or whatever, just eat them straight off of the pan.

Trust me, so good.

Nichole

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Blueberry and Lemon Muffins. Paleo Style.

17 Jan

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DO NOT BE ALARMED.

This blog and myself have not gone Paleo. Though, that would be a good excuse for my absence. Something like: ‘I hate everything and everyone. You can all just piss off. I am so miserable that I have to give up grains and beans that I might die and this blog is just not worth it anymore’! Now THAT would be an excuse.

Instead, same old – same old. Your girl is busy.

Don’t get me wrong here. I respect those who have made a commitment to a Paleo diet. I know someone who had terrible arthritis and has been Paleo for more than a year now, her symptoms are all but gone. There is no doubt that some people have allergies to food and have no idea that their health problems may be affected by what they are eating. It is certainly worth it to give an exclusion diet a shot if you feel like your health might be affected by an allergy.

With that in mind, I asked for this book for Christmas. See what the fuss was all about.

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I had picked it up once before and thought that the basic nutrition principles were great, something that I would enjoy reading. Really concise and easy to follow. The recipes were also right along my lines of healthy and holistic eating. I do really enjoy the book and will have my way with adapting the recipes to my liking. Not that they need much, they are pretty great.

OK: the goods. These muffins caught my attention in that they would be a low-glycemic-protein-packed-snack-on-the-go type of treat. You know how I roll, this is my thing.

Why you should eat this? 

It’s cold/flu season! What you need now is antioxidants. Blueberries are full of antioxidants and these muffins are not shy of blueberry goodness. In fact, I feel as if the ingredients in this muffin that are not blueberries, are just there to showcase how much blueberry goodness there is in these muffins. Added bonus that the muffins are hearty in egg which makes them packed with protein and gluten-free which makes them low glycemic. Perfect snack to make you feel full until the next meal.

Rejoice in these muffins, guys. They are healthy and delicious.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Source: Diane Sanfillipo (Servings: 12)

  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • ½ cup coconut flour (I feel like you can use Almond flour or Oat flour if your not going Paleo here)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the eggs, butter or coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup, and lemon juice/zest.

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Fold in the blueberries.

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Add mix to lined muffin pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

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They won’t rise very much, so keep an eye on how brown they get.

Eat warm with a slather of butter or just as they are.

Trust me. So good.

Nichole

Raw Zucchini Hummus & Veggie Chips

28 Aug

 

I’ve stepped up my training for an upcoming race.

I’m running about 25 miles per week. In my mind I can do more, my body on the other hand? Beat up. Considering I stand all day for work, my conditioning is pretty good and I supplement my runs with yoga to help keep my muscles limber and avoid them from seizing up in agony…. I don’t want to be THAT photo during the race: the red-faced runner grabbing their calf after it cramps up and  they fall over in pain. Fellow racers jumping over the felled runner to avoid trampling her. Chaos all around.

PLEASE don’t let that be me. PUH-LEEEZE.

This is my normal run route. Not too shabby, huh?

With the increase in miles, my calorie burning is at a frantic pace. I am constantly hungry. So it is important to have easy, quick, healthy things to eat before my blood sugar totally crashes and I threaten to cause harm to puppies if I don’t get a pizza delivery.

This is something I have been into lately. Its easy to tote around with some cleverly cut veggies. Deceptively creamy and satisfying.  This is a really basic recipe. Try it once and then get creative. If you have fresh herbs throw them in, basil or cilantro come to mind. If you are not sticking to the idea of this being a raw recipe, then sun-dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers work wonders.

Being that this is the end of summer, you should be able to find a lot of zucchini (at really good prices) this is something that you can make a lot of and freeze in serving sizes, then thaw out over night in the fridge. Take it to work the next day and boom – delicious. You can also thin this out with some really good extra virgin olive oil and use it as a salad dressing. If you are tired of your old vinaigrette routine, this is a creamy treat.

Why you should eat this?

Zucchini is a vegetable that is low in calories, it’s high in potassium, vitamin A, and folate. Which are great for athletes recovery, but the star here is the nutritional yeast.

People, meet nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast, meet people.

Nutritional yeast is grown on mineral-enriched molasses and is pasteurized at the end of the growth period. The yeast is then inactive, so it is safe for those with candida, but if your case is bad, I’d just avoid it. Nutritional yeast is wheat and gluten-free, which makes it different then the baking yeasts that most of us think of when we hear the word “yeast”. Nutritional yeast contains 18 amino acids and is rich in 15 different minerals and the B complex vitamins. Because of its amino acid and mineral content, nutritional yeast is an important part of a vegetarian or vegan diet.

I buy it in the bulk isle at Real Foods here in SF, you can certainly get it at Whole Foods too. It stores nicely in a jar with a tight lid in the cupboard.

The flakes will impart a cheesy flavor. So it is great in dips, dressings, soups, and pasta dishes.

I like this dip as opposed to a garbanzo bean hummus before runs because beans are heavy and can make you gassy or bloated. Both feelings that you don’t want to have while on a long run. OR while you are sitting in your cubicle.

Raw Zuchini Hummus  (Servings: 6-8)

  • 2 Italian Zuchinis, Chopped
  • ¾ c. Raw Tahini
  • 3 Garlic Cloves , Chopped
  • 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 ½ tsp salt

 

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend. Doh. This picture kills me… sorry about the blurry.

Easy, right?

 

While that is going, you can cut up some veggies like this. Makes for a nice dipping “chip”. I do this with cucumbers and carrots. You can also eat it with baby carrots, celery, or pita chips, anything that you’d eat with normal hummus.

Then, eat up!

SO good. Trust me,

Nichole

P.S. Guys, I am running the SF Giants race and raising money for Project Open Hand. Donate tomorrows coffee money here or meet me at the finish line with a sandwich. Either one works for me.

Donate here: http://www.race-sfgiants.com/TheGiantRace2012/GetThisGirlaSandwich