Steak and Quinoa Squachos – NachOMG!

Steak and Quinoa Squachos are a healthy take on nachos and gluten-free, low-carb appetizer optionlYou may be thinking, “Ummmm, excuse me . . . but what the heck on God’s green Earth are SQUACHOS”? This quick and easy appetizer is a healthy swap for traditional nachos made with tortilla chips which are typically fried, overly salted and plentiful in carbs (if you’re counting).  Made on slices of summer’s finest squash, my Steak & Quinoa Squachos are, in two simple words, “life changing!”

Steak & Quinoa Squachos - gluten-free and low carb appetizer!

Zucchini and Summer SquashThe farmer’s markets (and personal gardens of you green-thumbers) are exploding with green zucchini and yellow summer squash this time of year — and this fun and fit finger food is a tasty way to take advantage of a bumper crop and squeeze a few extra veggies into the day.

 

Recipes similar to this use panko bread crumbs to create that familiar nacho crunch — but that defeats to purpose of my low-carb, higher protein mission. So, instead, I tossed together almond meal and cooked quinoa with a bit of cheese to create a tasty texture on top of each squash disc.

Steak and Quinoa Squachos -- a low carb, gluten free appetizer!

I used two of my go-to non-GMO, gluten-free and certified organic pantry staples from NowFoods.com Tri-Colored Quinoa  and Raw Almond Flour. This tri-color quinoa a blend of white, red and black seeds and is a great source of protein and iron — I typically serve it as a side dish or salad, but freeze leftovers for speedy recipes like this! Raw Almond Flour (or Almond Meal, as some people call it) is simply finely ground almonds and it makes a great low-carb swap for flour in many recipes. If you can’t find these products in your market, I’ve dropped the Amazon links below.
 

More Protein, More PowerNow, if you’ve been following along on the blog or social media, you know I’ve been sharing my (numerous time) journey on the Protein Challenge and encouraging others to join. This free 30-day challenge sponsored by BeefLovingTexans.com (who I also originally developed the Squacho recipe for) shows you how to tweak your daily protein intake for optimal heath — to be very succinct, you should be getting about 25 – 30 grams of protein at each of your three meals — and also protein rich snacks throughout the day and possibly at bedtime, depending on your activity level. You can register for the Protein Challenge and get tips, support and recipes HERE.

Join the 30 day Protein Challenge

Steak & Quinoa SquachosSo, are you making these Squachos this weekend, or what?!

What are your other plans – a race, a vacation, just catching up on the to-do list? Let’s chat in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

 

 

Steak and Quinoa Squachos are a healthy take on nachos and gluten-free, low-carb appetizer optionl
Steak & Quinoa Squachos
Print Recipe
You'll exclaim "squash-OMG" when you taste these unique beef nachos that swap tortilla chips for discs of zucchini -- almond meal and quinoa create a crunch texture while keeping the appetizer gluten-free and low carb.
Servings
8 as appetizer
Servings
8 as appetizer
Steak and Quinoa Squachos are a healthy take on nachos and gluten-free, low-carb appetizer optionl
Steak & Quinoa Squachos
Print Recipe
You'll exclaim "squash-OMG" when you taste these unique beef nachos that swap tortilla chips for discs of zucchini -- almond meal and quinoa create a crunch texture while keeping the appetizer gluten-free and low carb.
Servings
8 as appetizer
Servings
8 as appetizer
Ingredients
Servings: as appetizer
Instructions
  1. Preheat broiler on high. 2. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil, coat with baking spray.
  2. lice squash into ¼” slices. Place squash, with edges touching each other, onto baking sheets.
  3. In bowl, toss together almond meal with dry fajita seasoning. Stir in cheese, cooked quinoa and almond meal until combined.
  4. Use a tablespoon to pile a big dollop of this cheese mixture on top of each squash slice. If leftover topping in bowl at end of dolloping, sprinkle evenly across tops.
  5. Cut leftover steak or fajita meat into bite-sized pieces. Place a piece of two of beef on top of each Squacho.
  6. Place oven rack on second to top position. Broil Squachos for 2 to 4 minutes, or until cheese mixture bubbling and turning golden brown on edges Watch carefully to prevent burning.
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with drained Pico de Gallo. Serve with other desired accompaniments such as guacamole, sour cream or salsa.
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Healthy Toppings for Yogurt + #KnowYourYogurt Inside-Out

Dannon #KnowYourYogurt

When it comes to feeding my family, I’m all about honesty and transparency. I never was that mom who tried to disguise cauliflower, peas or broccoli as something else – Instead, I just told the kids what they were getting, left it to them for sniffing, prodding and (hopefully) eating! If a certain food seemed to be less loved, I’d just strike up a dinner conversation about its particular powers, still telling the truth, but playing to the action hero infatuation of little boys.

jen  boys birthday 1

This journey of growing three little boys into strapping young men (almost 14, 17, and 19 years old) has been fueled by an enormous amount of food, I’ve found favor with a handful of companies who really listen to their consumers to create and deliver the food products that we really want – not just what’s easiest of most cost-effective to sell to us. While my boys may have been too young to care about exactly how and where their food was source, I sure did!

That’s why The Dannon Company, Inc. has been a brand I’ve trusted for years. We are definitely a family of dairy and yogurt lovers!  I am happy to report the Dannon Pledge to transition some of their top-selling brands toward production with nonGMO ingredients along with removing additives and preservatives. In addition to this customer-driven change, the company is also creating nonGMO feed for cows in their diary supply chain, the first national company to so.  As consumers, we’ll easily and clearly be able to determine which Dannon products are nonGMO by the label – this “transparent” labeling change will be complete by the end of 2017.

Dannon has built relationships with every farm they source milk from, providing us additional transparency in the nonGMO process. You see, Dannon knows what’s going with their dairy farmers from start to finish in the process, they care about the farmers and they care about us! Additionally, knowing who and where the milk comes from has helped Dannon implement and optimize animal welfare practices via the Validus Certification system.  At this time, Dannon estimates that more than 90% of their direct milk supply comes from farms that are Validus certified.

Dannon Oikos Yogurt #KnowYourYogurt

I am a huge Greek yogurt fan and love the Okios Greek Yogurt  — I get the unflavored plain variety so I can stir the sweeteners and toppings of my choosing. Hello beautiful things of Mother Nature, check out the Dragon Fruit, Mango, Blueberry “Flower” on top of Oikos. These are some other favorite flavor combos (not all pictured):

Healthy Yogurt Toppings to add extra yum to your breakfast, snack or healthy dessert.

  • Bananas & Walnuts with Honey
  • Strawberries & Almonds with Vanilla Stevia
  • Peaches & Pecans with Maple Syrup
  • Raspberries, Chocolate Chips, Chocolate Power Os from Love Grown Foods
  • Blackberries & Hemp Seeds with Lemon Stevia
  • Madarin Oranges & Pistachios with Sugar-free Chocolate Sauce
  • Apples, Granola & Peanut Butter
  • Almond Butter & Chocolate Chips

So, are you familiar with The Dannon Company, Inc.? They make something for everyone, learn more about the top-selling brands and the Dannon Pledge at:

dannon logo

 

Sooooo, what is your stance on genetically modified foods? What are your favorite yogurt flavors or toppings? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

This post contains content sponsored by The Dannon Company, Inc. The opinions expressed in my post are my own. For more information on Dannon’s move toward sustainable agriculture, naturality and transparency,and nonGmo ingredients visit www.dannonpledge.com and www.dannon.com/ingredients .

Get Active Outdoors in Austin #FromHereForHere

 

This post was sponsored by Ozarka Water, however all opinions, recipes, and enthusiasm are my own.Hi How are You Mural from AustinI love living in Austin, Texas and, with the exception of a few boomerang moves, I have called this little place (well, now a BIG place) home my entire life – not many folks can say the same! Sure, the live music scene and hipster vibe has made this town trendy and it’s also the place to be for high tech, politics, and a good food truck fix.   However, the opportunities for being active are what I appreciate most about being right here in the ATX. The weather is wonderfully warm and the sun seems to never stop shining on the abundance of parks, lakes and local events where I stay active. And, there are so many local businesses that make products #FromHereForHere (like Ozarka Water) that keep me hydrated and fueled up for my healthy fitness journey.

Sometimes I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.  My neighborhood has over 20 miles of hike and bike trails to run and explore . . . 

#FromHereForHEre Trail Run in Austin

My house is sublimely sandwiched between two bodies of water. Three miles one way is Lake Travis, the largest reservoir of the Colorado River and home to swimming, boating, scuba diving, and even legal nude bathing in the Hippie Hollow park area (we all want to #KeepAustinWeird). Another three miles down the road the other way is the return of the Colorado River at Mansfield Damn before it turns into downtown’s Lake Austin (more recently renamed Ladybird Lake).

I like to paddle board toward downtown for miles or until my arms tire out . . .

Paddle Boarding Lake Austin

#FromHereFor Here Jet Ski in Austin

 

Some days I get my motor started by taking the jet ski out . . . 

 

 

 

 

 

Or, sometimes I just relax and sit in a chair while my son enjoys after-dinner fishing while our dog standing on guard . . . 

davis fishing with lucy

And, if the water sports in Austin weren’t enough, there is every type of endurance sporting event imaginable – my favorites are probably the Spartan Race in nearby Burnett at Reveille Ranch and the Fit Foodie Race.

Of course, being so active in Austin requires the proper hydration and snacks! And that’s where I can count on Texas to treat me right again! There are so many beverages and foods #FromHereForHere that make it heaven for the adventurous, healthy foodie like myself.

Ozarka Water  by Lake Austin

jennifer ozarkaWith the heat and amount of physical activity I do in the summer, I always concerned about getting enough water. At the top of my cooler you’ll find Ozarka ® Brand Natural Spring Water, sourced from three nearby springs, this water has a uniquely Texan fresh taste! It’s so easy to stay hydrated with this clean-tasting, crisp water that’s available in convenient single-serve bottles and for Ozarka® water delivery at home.

Gotta have that Ozarka ® Brand Natural Spring Water! I try to drink an ounce per pound of my body weight, even more if I’ve run far or worked out hard!

All these outdoor workouts in in Austin makes a girl hungry So, I came up with a super easy nut recipe using a few local ingredients #FromHereForHere . It’s perfect to pack up in a snack baggie for on-the-go munching at the lake or post run!  My Habanero BBQ Almonds use Yellowbird Sauce (a peppery condiment that puts the whoowhee hot yum on EVERYTHING, Sweet & Spicy Mustard Seeds from Taste Elevated that add in interesting mustard sweet-heat flavor and BBQ Sauce from Snow’s BBQ Sauce (named best in the state by Texas Monthly staff).

Habanero BBQ Almonds

To make, heat skillet to medium- high over stovetop. add 1 cup raw, unsalted almonds. Toast, stirring constantly for 4 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup BBQ sauce, 2 teaspoons habanero sauce, 1 tablespoon moist, jarred mustard seeds (with sauce) and 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt. Cook over medium-low for an additional 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Makes 1 cup.

JElly Queens Spice Kings Grill OzarkaI also found some new local ingredients for my grilling creations — I can’t wait to try them! The Black Garlic Rosemary BBQ Sauce from Jelly Queens  is an umami bomb of flavor! I first learned about black garlic about a year ago as an ingredient, but have never seen it used in a prepared artisan product – this stuff will send your taste buds out of bounds!  They also make a fab-looking Steak Rub that will be so on fleek crusting up my flat iron!

Chips Queso Bean Salad OzarkaWhen I’m packing a picnic lunch for the lake, my recipe for Mom’s Best Black Bean, Avocado & Corn Salad is ALWAYS a winner – in fact, the California Avocado Association even named it the winner in the July 4th All-American Recipe Contest in 2014! But add some local love to this salad, I take along Queso con Salsa Escabeche from CookWell & Company  (built around a blend of blue and cheddar cheeses!) and Paqui’s  Tortilla Chips (“better for you” tortilla chips named after the Aztec word for “to be happy”). The family and I are snacking happy until the sun sets!

What do you love most about your hometown? Do you have any must-try local food products? Do you drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water per day? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

 

Sweat Drenching Days & #SummerHydration Drinks

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerHydration #CollectiveBias

thefitfork.com trail runCentral Texas summers are brutal and I know it’s just as hot (if not more so) in other parts of the country —  so I’m not complaining. But, keeping me and my family hydrated sometimes seems like a full-time job, given the active, on-the-go lifestyle we lead.  From traipsing off to an all-day lacrosse tournament then logging a long run on the trails to killing a CrossFit workout in a gym without air-conditioning followed by “playtime” at the pool, it’s easy to see why I’m constantly running the risk for dehydration.

cvs hydraton drinks on grillHeck, it’s easy to go into sweat overload just running errands to get ready for our annual backyard BBQ this weekend. I am so thankful for all the CVS stores on my route that are open and ready to top off my tank with a cool, refreshing drink – and with so many hydration options, it’s easy to find something that suits my lifestyle (and I always bring home something for the kids)! Discover the hydration option you might like best by answering a few questions in my 20-second #SummerHydration Helper.

In a normal 24-hour period (not even hot, sweaty, fitness-filled days), the average person loses 8 cups of water – and, again, this doesn’t even include exercise or sitting out in the sun.  If this water isn’t replaced, the heart has to work harder and other organ functions begin to deteriorate as well. Symptoms of being dehydrated include headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, muscle cramping, nausea and vomiting.  Dry mouth, chills and flushed skin are other clues.  I also tend to get quite cranky leading up to dehydration and, oddly enough, the skin on my inner forearm gets wrinkly.

I have two quick little self-checks for dehydration. First, I check the color of my tinkle – if it’s dark or even moderately yellow, I know I need to drink more fluid – if it’s pale or clear, I’m good! Also, I pinch the skin on the back of my hand and pull it upwards. Once released, the skin should snap back rapidly – if not, I know I may be dehydrated. Quick — I pull off the road and run into CVS to cool off and top off my “tank” with a hydration beverage!

I like ALL THE BEVERAGES for #SummerHydration

I like ALL THE BEVERAGES for #SummerHydration

Some experts say drink 8 to 10 8-ounce glasses of water per day, others say drink an ounce per pound of body weight – that’s probably a good goal in the summer months.

These are just benchmarks, you may need more or less liquid – however, the main point is to listen to your body and look for any clue that you may be dehydrating.  Better yet, be proactive and stay hydrated in the first place.

cvs hydration bucket of drinksCVS Health and The Coca-Cola Company have teamed to help us all attain our quest for wellness with an important campaign called “Life Quenching.”  Check out “Life Quenching” to learn more about the dangers of dehydration and the benefits of hydration.

Lots of hydration options at CVS from The Coca Cola Company.

Lots of hydration options at CVS from The Coca Cola Company.

And remember, with a CVS on nearly every city street corner (it seems!), it’s easy to make a quick stop to grab the hydration option that best fits your needs and personality.Just head in the front door and make a beeline past the cash registers to the big refrigerated section along the wall bearing a huge sign “BEVERAGES” overhead — you can’t miss it!

Find your hydration option at CVS in the refrigerated beverage section!

Find your hydration option at CVS in the refrigerated beverage section!

Remember, sometimes waiting until you get home to rehydrate is too long! Be proactive, beat the heat, stay hydrated! Also, don’t miss the great deal right now going on at CVS – Spend $5 on these products, get $2 in ExtraBucks rewards in-store with your CVS ExtraCare Rewards Card.  It’s a fantastic hydration deal, I totally loaded up at my last stop!

So, what do you do to stay hydrated? What is your #SummerHydration beverage of choice? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

 

 

Day in the Life of a Watermelon Addict #LivingOnTheWedge

I could have named this post “Watermelon Wednesday,” but the current title seems so much better because variations of the events that unfold below could happen any day of the year. For reals, I’m always #LivingOnTheWedge , y’all!

5:15 am: Wake up, drink coffee, check my Instagram feed and remember that my friends @WatermelonBoard are hosting a fun photo contest on Instagram. Tag your pics of watermelon #100DaysofWatermelon for chances at prizes all summer long.

100DaysSummerWatermelonBanner

 6:00 am: Trying to get out the door fast, so I eat a protein bar and chug some watermelon juice – it’s just the hydration I need to tackle my 8 mile run on this hot and muggy morning.  Also, research suggests that drinking watermelon juice before an intense exercise session can help reduce heart rate and next-day muscle soreness (thank you L-citrulline)!

Tsamma Juice TheFitFork.com

6:48 am: Mid run full-bottle chug of Nuun Active (watermelon flavor, natch) – packed optimal electrolytes, made with clean ingredients, low in calories and sugar – plus vegan and gluten-free. Save yourself 20% with discount code NUUNAMBASSADORFRIEND

nuun ambassador jennifer fisher watermelon

8:41 am:  Snack on Organic Raw Sprouted Watermelon Seeds – why our mom’s told us not to swallow them is beyond me, they are packed with amazing nutrients.

You can eat watermelon seeds!

9:29 am: Brush teeth with some Watermelon Toothpaste – yeah, it’s for kids, but it’s totally free of yucky stuff . . . . and it tastes like my favorite fruit, so don’t judge.


1

10:43 am:  Purchase two of the cutest watermelon tank tops evvvvvahhhh for my trip to Los Angeles in July to share my love for watermelon (and demonstrate watermelon workouts) on behalf of Watermelon.org at IdeaWORLD Fitness Convention & Expo (yes, my job is awesome).

watermelon tank 2 watermelon tank 1

12:32 pm:   Lunchtime, how ‘bout a breadless with chicken, bacon, basil and provolone – and watermelon for the bun! I’ll have the recipe on this one posted tomorrow!

watermelon bacon  chicken sandwich

2:01 pm: Practice a little #WatermelonYoga ‘cause I’m crazy like that.

watermelon headstand jennifer fisher thefitfork.com

4:08  pm:  Take an afternoon work break and search watermelon-related hashtags on Instagram — #watermeloncake has  21,838 photos (yet my Chocolate Cherry Watermelon Cake is still the best) and #WatermelonYoga isn’t exactly trending with 12 posts – 11 are me (!!) and 1 is some pregnant lady – hahah!

Celebrate special summer days with a healthy "cake" made from watermelon!

6:00 pm: Make a batch of my Super Red Watermelon Quinoa Salad that almost got me on a season of Master Chef, but got thumped in the end. My delicious jumble of healthy foods and warrior spirit couldn’t quite compete with the OCD craziness of a lady who cried when her raspberry rolled 1 millimeter out of place.

“Super Red” Watermelon Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds is perfect for outdoor summer entertaining and packs well in lunch boxes

 8:09 pm:  Peruse through some past pins on my Living on the Wedge board and wonder if this “skinning a watermelon” really works. Must try tomorrow.

How to Skin a WAtermelon

9:17 pm:  Make my “to-do” list for tomorrow the old-fashioned way, with paper and pen (hello awesome watermelon pens)  — at the top of the list “Buy More Watermelon” !!!

watermelon scented pens

10:27 pm: Drift off to sleep and dream of watermelons growing in a field . . . . that means good fortune is on the way (and no, not a baby!)

Love WATERMELON as much as me?! Check out a bumper crop of my watermelon posts compiled in one place for more recipe ideas, watermelon workouts and helpful watermelon tips.

Tell me something, anything watermelon! Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

BBQ Shrimp Kebabs with Pineapple & Kumquats – Foodie Flag Flying for July 4th

July 4th festivities will be firing up through the week . . .and I bet your grill is too! It’s no coincidence that July is National Grilling Month considering 200 million Americans own a grill and 72% plan to put a gas or charcoal grill to use on Independence Day (HBPA data). Personally, I enjoy the freedom from cooking in the kitchen and, while it’s traditional to throw down some burgers, dogs or steaks on the grates, my recipe for Sticky-Sweet Shrimp, Pineapple & Kumquat Kebabs gives you the liberty to let your creative food flag fly.

Pineapple Kumquat BBQ Shrimp Kebabs are a quick and easy grilled dinner solution with loads of flavor!

kumquatsWhile I’ve skewered up shrimp, pineapple and kumquats, it’s your inalienable, edible right to use the proteins, fruit and veggies you like best on a kabob.  However, I highly recommend the kumquats, grilling makes them even more fabulous. However, in the USA, this fruit (that is like a mini orange with edible skin) is in season from November through July – so hurry up and grill some! If you can’t find kumquats, you can substitute orange wedges.

Nutritional and Health Benefits of Kumquats: 

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a serving of eight whole raw kumquats (including peel) has 108 calories. This same serving size is an excellent source of dietary fiber, providing 9.9 grams — more than 25% of the Daily Value for men, and nearly 40% for women. Kumquats are also a great course of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, riboflavin and even calcium (providing almost 10% of the adult daily needs).

Fiber

A diet high in dietary fiber is beneficial to the health of your heart and gastrointestinal tract. Eight raw kumquats provide 9.9 g of dietary fiber. The amount of fiber recommended daily by the Institute of Medicine is 25 g for women and 38 g for men. Dietary fiber also controls blood glucose and insulin concentrations and reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant and is necessary for the health of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments and bones. According to the USDA, eight raw kumquats have 66.7 mg of vitamin C. The National Institute of Health has set the daily recommended amount at 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. Adequate vitamin C is also necessary for proper wound healing.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes vision and is necessary for the health of teeth, skeletal tissue and skin. Eight raw kumquats have 441 IU of vitamin A. According to the Institute of Medicine, men need 3,000 IU of vitamin A daily and women need 2,333 IU. Vitamin A also functions as an antioxidant, protecting your body from free radical damage.

Riboflavin

Kumquats provide the B vitamin, riboflavin, which is a component of various enzymes involved in energy metabolism. Eight kumquats provide 0.137 mg of riboflavin. The daily amount of riboflavin recommended by the National Institute of Medicine is 1.1 mg for women and 1.3 mg for men.

Calcium

Calcium is essential for nerve transmission, muscle contraction and for formation of teeth and bones. The USDA National Nutrient Database shows that eight kumquats have 94 mg of calcium. The Institute of Medicine recommends adults consume 1,000 mg of calcium daily.

stubb's sticky sweet bbq sauce on shrimp kebabs

The little secret that pulls this super easy kabob recipe together is brushing on Stubb’s Sticky Sweet Bar-B-Q Sauce – seriously, why you make your own barbeque sauce when you can buy Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q sauce (available in six different flavors) down at your local market?! The Sticky Sweet Bar-B-Q Sauce is my current infatuation of the moment – it’s got real southern flair, is rich and thick and loaded with brown sugar and gooey molasses.  Plus, I really appreciate how this product and the other sauces, marinades and rubs make it easy to add flavor to a meal while avoiding the fat, calories, or artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors or preservatives often found on the condiment aisle.

stubb's sticky sweet bbq sauce on shrimp kebabs

Looking for a side dish to serve with this tropical take on BBQ skewers? My recipe for Coconut Macadamia Fried Rice makes a pleasing pair-up – it’s been a frequently requested dinner on it’s own at my house.

Coconut Macadamia Nut Fried Rice

 

Cooler of Frozen Sizzlefish

As far as selecting your shrimp, you can grab a bag from the market, but I prefer to get mine from SizzleFish.com because I really trust their commitment to bringing me a responsibly sourced, perfectly-portioned seafood products with no additives or yucky stuff. additives – plus all their products are healthy, high-quality perfectly portioned and have an athlete’s lifestyle in mind! From these shrimp to Coho salmon to halibut and more, their products are vacuum-sealed in individual serving size packets, nestled in dry ice and shipped straight to my door for ultra convenience — I always have a lean protein on hand in the freeer to make a quick and easy dinner!

Get the recipe for Coconut Macadamia Nut Fried Rice here!

What are you grilling for the 4th of July weekend?  Have you ever had a kumquat? Do you like a spicy, sweet or vinegary BBQ sauce? Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer    

 

BBQ Shrimp Kebabs with Pineapple & Kumquats
Print Recipe
1 lb jumbo shrimp with tails on, peeled and deveined (approximately 24 shrimp) 2 cup fresh pineapple chunks 24 kumquats (or orange slices/ wedges with peel on) 1 cup Stubbs BBQ Sauce Sweet & Sticky flavor (divided equally into 2 bowls) Garnish, toasted unsweetened coconut
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
BBQ Shrimp Kebabs with Pineapple & Kumquats
Print Recipe
1 lb jumbo shrimp with tails on, peeled and deveined (approximately 24 shrimp) 2 cup fresh pineapple chunks 24 kumquats (or orange slices/ wedges with peel on) 1 cup Stubbs BBQ Sauce Sweet & Sticky flavor (divided equally into 2 bowls) Garnish, toasted unsweetened coconut
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Use 8 metal skewers or soak 8 bamboo sticks in water for 10 minutes. .
  2. On each skewer, thread on 3 shrimp, 3 pineapple chunks and 3 kumquats in alternating pattern.
  3. Place skewers on grill heated to approximately 400 F degrees, cook for approximately 2 minutes, brush sides with bbq sauce and then grill for 1 additional minute.
  4. Flip skewers, brush with additional bbq sauce and cook for approximately 2 more minutes or until shrimp are pink and no longer translucent.
  5. Discard bbq sauce used for brushing on shrimp. Sprinkle kebobs with coconut and serve with rice and remaining ½ cup bbq sauce for dipping or drizzling.
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Kiss of Honey Strawberry Hot Chocolate #BeeSweet + Giveaway

Healthy Kiss of Honey Strawberry Hot Chocolate uses Honey Crystals, Fresh Strawberries, and Fat Free Milk that froths up!This Valentine’s Day, treat your sweetie to my Kiss of Honey Strawberry Hot Chocolate – it’s a mug of hot, steamy love. There is no better way to warm up on February 14th, with the exception of a great big hug from your honey. Homemade from the heart, your favorite guy or girl will be tickled pink to sip away at this berry blissful beverage – and you’ll fall in love with how simple it is to make. Read to the bottom for giveaway.

Healthy Kiss of Honey Strawberry Hot Chocolate

Oh, and something else to adore – instead of fake flavorings, peculiar preservatives and corn syrup sweeteners found in many hot chocolate mixes, this made-from-scratch recipe uses fat-free milk (for the best frothing!), real strawberries and just a touch of added sweetness from Nektar Honey Crystals.

Healthy Kiss of Honey Strawberry Hot Chocolate

Can you believe this recipe makes it’s own whipped cream?! Well, not really cream, but the air that gets whipped up while blending makes a nice creamy top that is dense enough to hold sprinkles or colored sugar! I don’t really know the science behind it, but fat-free milk works the best for creating foam in the blender or with a frother. If you don’t do dairy, you can swap out for almond, coconut or cashew milk and still end up with a delicious drink.

Dark Chocolate Pretzels Covered with Nektar Honey CrystalsSince this recipe isn’t over-the-top sugary sweet, indulge your loved one with the perfect pairing – Dark Chocolate Covered & Nektar Honey-Crystal Dusted Pretzels. Ahh, strawberry hot chocolate and dark chocolate pretzels ARE a delicious duo, trust me!

And, it’s always tasteful to express your sentiments with food, words are also nice! Send a FREE “HoneyGram” to your sweetie – along with your personalized note comes with a complementary packet of Nektar Honey Crystals to melt your loved one’s heart. Go HERE to send a HoneyGram – hurry, ends 2/7!

Nektar Honey Crystals productsI first discovered Nektar Honey Crystals when looking for a way to pre-sweeten the homemade holiday tea bags I was gifting family and friends  – you must check out my DIY Tea Bag post, it’s genius. You also need to check out Nektar Honey Crystals, an equally clever and convenient idea Forget about the sticky mess usually associated with honey, these 100 percent natural crystals are super yummy sweet and deliver the familiar flavor of honey and the convenience of cane sugar anywhere — at home or on-the-go. They are non-GMO and naturally gluten free – pick up a bottle of spoonable crystals or a box of individual on-the-go packets at your local Walmart and also enter my giveaway at the end of this post!

Kiss of Honey Strawberry Hot Chocolate

Kiss of Honey Strawberry Hot Chocolate (serves 1)

  • 8 ounces fat-free (skim) milk
  • 2 to 3 large strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 ounce quality white chocolate, broken into bits
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Nektar Honey Crystals (depending on sweetness preference)
  • Garnish: colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired

To make, place milk and strawberries in a blender.  Blend together for approximately 45 seconds until strawberries are incorporated and froth areating up on top (strangely enough, skim milk works much better than higher fat milks).

Place blended mixture into small saucepan along with honey crystals and white chocolate.  Heat over medium-low heat, stirring gently until white chocolate is melted and drink is heated through. Pour into 12-ounce mug, top with colored sugar or spinkles if desired.

Enter giveaway below to try a bottle of Nektar Honey Crystals!

This post and giveaway sponsored by Nektar Naturals, however the recipe, opinions and enthusiasm are all mine! 

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Better-For-You Chocolate Mint Syrup and Greek Yogurt Parfaits

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SweetNewYear #CollectiveBiasChocolate Greek Yogurt Parfait has no added sugar and sweetened with stevia.

I have a serious sweet tooth. It’s not a secret that I like to start (and end) my day with a little bit of chocolate goodness. Studies have shown that certain flavonoids in chocolate may decrease recovery time and improve endurance in athletes and, goodness, how I hope that is true! However, munching down on chocolate candy or ice cream isn’t really going to help me achieve my 2016 health and fitness goals – there’s a lot of extra sugar and fat I don’t need in those treats.  When I eat less processed sugar, I have more room in my diet for protein, vegetables and healthy whole grains and that’s what keeps me fueled up to kick butt on a daily basis.

Variation of Side Crow with leg up

Eating for optimal performance and well-being is all about BALANCE!

However, I’ve still been enjoying my daily chocolate but living life with less sugar thanks to Truvia® Natural Sweetener Spoonable. This zero-calorie, stevia-based sweetener is ideal for my healthy lifestyle and keeps me training smart for all my fitness goals – to get on the Spartan Race podium, to nail that next yoga pose, to bring my 5k road race time back down to freaking fast.

Aside from the great taste of Truvia® Natural Sweetener Spoonable and help it gives me to reduce the unnecessary sugar in my life, I also appreciate the product’s versatility. From a spoonful in my coffee or sprinkled on grapefruit, there are so many uses.  Two favorite other uses revolve around my chocolate obsessions – the first is to stir right from the jar into unflavored, plain Greek yogurt (to avoid the added sugar that many brands have) and the second is to make a “better-for-you” chocolate syrup that can be poured on / into  everything from hot almond milk, protein pancakes, fruit slices, and yogurt.  When I stir this chocolate syrup into my Greek yogurt, it’s like eating ice cream – but with lots of protein and very few carbohydrates.Better for You Chocolate mint syrup

Today, I’m sharing the recipe for “Better-for-You” Chocolate Mint Syrup (which can easily be tweaked without the mint) and my favorite ideas for Greek Yogurt Parfaits. I could eat a chocolate Greet yogurt parfait at breakfast, post-lunch and as a bedtime snack . . . and sometimes have!

Ingredients for Truvia Chocolate Syrup

“Better For You” Mint Chocolate Syrup (Stevia)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, or freeze-dried mint
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons Truvia® Natural Sweetener Spoonable
  • 1 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Add mint to teaball / tea infuser and drop in small saucepan with water. Bring water to a rolling boil over medium high heat for 1 minute; turn off heat and let steep for 5 minutes.  Remove and discard mint.
  2. Mix in Truvia Spoonable into hot water, stir until dissolved. Turn burner back on to medium low, whisk in cocoa powder until incorporated and smooth, cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. If needed whisk in a tiny bit more water to achieve desired consistency if too thick.
  4. To make “regular” non-mint chocolate stevia syrup, simply bring water to boil in first step – but omit mint.
  5. May store in refrigerator for up to a month. Makes about 12 ounces.

As I mentioned,  “Better For You” Mint Chocolate Syrup is the bomb drizzled over Greek yogurt, but even better STIRRED in! Check out these yummy ways, I used the chocolate syrup made with Truvia Spoonable Natural Sweetener:

Greek Yogurt Parfait with Stevia Chocolate Syrup

As a Chocolate Greek Yogurt Parfait layered with syrup, granola, nuts and fruit –  I used pomegranate and cocoa granola, but you can substitute your favorite ingredients!ingredients for truvia yogurt parfait

As Chocolate Ombre Greek Yogurt Shooters — they are so tastefully trendy and good for you. Start with a big dollop of syrup in the bottom of glass and then spoon in yogurt that has been mixed with varying amounts of chocolate syrup to achieve gradient shades of chocolate brown.Ombre Chocolate Greek Yogurt Shooters sweetened with Stevia

It’s easy to find Truvia® Natural Sweetener Spoonable on the baking aisle at Walmart – it comes in a 9.8 ounce container, so there are plenty of scoops for your beverages, snacks and recipe ideas. Save SAVE $1.50 on any ONE (1) package of Truvía Natural Sweetener (excluding 7 ct.), Truvía Baking Blend or Truvía Brown Sugar blend – get the coupon HERE.

truvia at walmart

Check out other delicious recipes using Truvia Spoonable HERE and request your free sample!

Do you have a health or fitness goal to share? OR, what would you drizzle chocolate syrup on? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer