Wow, it’s December 1st, time for my (Gluten Free) Upside Down Cranberry Cornmeal Coffee Cake. Keeping it super simple and sweet today as I have a 26.2 mile road race on Sunday and a chore list that’s even longer than the marathon!
Read on the get this yummy breakfast, brunch or dessert recipe and a great tip on storing fresh cranberries: Continue reading →
This post sponsored my Bard Valley Natural Delight Dates. However, all content, opinions and enthusiasm are my own!
Growing up, Dad had a joke in our house that cookies eaten outside of normal dessert consumption hours were called “Breakfast Circles,” or “Energy Rounds.” This soon became my line of defense when Mom caught me with my hand in the cookie jar. Thank goodness, my Date & Protein Chocolate Cookies need no explaining away!
These little rounds of goodness are loaded with quality and sustaining energy my family needs to smash through the day’s goals – both physically and mentally. My youngest teenager and I are the athletes of the family and my older two boys are the “math-letes” – bodies and brains BOTH need healthy carbs (backed by a bit of protein) to optimize performance. My cookies, made with absolutely no refined sugar (only Medjool dates and a few other smart ingredients), make the perfect snack to fuel running, workouts, sports practice, and racing to the head of the class! Read on to get the recipe and all the delicious, body-boosting benefits: Continue reading →
Weekends are for waffles, especially around the holiday season! I “leggo” the typical waffle a long time ago, they are so carb heavy and the straight-up sugariness would always leave me with the hangries an hour or two later. But, not so with my Almond Protein Waffles with Dark Cherry Syrup when I pump up my waffles with a little protein powder, almonds and a little Greek yogurt on top, I get a morning meal that makes me feel fuller longer.
I’ve used a gluten-free flour blend to keep it friendly for those with intolerances and it’s also dairy-free if you choose not to dollop with Greek yogurt at the end. Depending on what type of preserves you choose at the store, the recipe can also be refined sugar free.
Feel free to make a double batch, let cool, and then stick in the freezer for a quick and easy breakfast later – they are so good sandwiched with nut butter in the middle (and convenient for car munching)!
My old-school, weary waffle maker is on it’s last legs and I’ve asked Santa to take me to the next-level of waffle making with the Smart Slice Waffle Iron from Breville. It has “Waffle IQ” — I need those smarts!
Also, please take a look-see at these other healthy waffle recipes that will start your morning off most magnificently – I have a sweet and a savory option for you! Why not make some for your holiday guests?!
Place gluten-free flour blend, protein powder, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl and whisk to combine.
In smaller bowl, whisk together legs, vanilla extract, butter and milk until frothy.
Stir wet mixture into dry mixture until combined; okay if a few lumps.
Using a 1/2-cup measuring cup, scoop mixture onto waffle maker. Spread evenly and close. Let cook for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
To make syrup, add frozen cherries to medium sauce pot and pour in juice. Stir in cherry preserves and real maple syrup; bring to light boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat and let simmer until thickened and syrupy, approximately 20 minutes.
To serve, pour syrup over waffles and top with a dollop of greek yogurt and toasted almonds.
I make no excuses, I have a sweet tooth. Almost daily I eat chocolate, coated on almond for balance. Ha ha! I love fruit just as much as chocolate, and in my dream life would have a personal chef at my beckoned call to serve me sliced watermelon and pineapple drizzled with passion fruit. Oh, and figs. Give me all the figs, especially figs with honey.
However, even too much of Mother Nature’s “candy” can start to rack up the calorie and carb count and that’s why I have fallen in love with a new product from a brand we all know, Truvia® . Truvia® Nectar is a blend of stevia and honey that makes a great substitute agave, sugar, and honey – and it only has 10 calories and 2g carbs per serving.
Since I love having my “sweet” protein things for breakfast – protein shakes, mug cakes, fruit-speckled oatmeal and such, decided to make a protein mug cake using Truvia® Nectar – I’m calling it ‘Stevia-Honey Blend’ Fig Cardamom Protein Mug Cake and it works equally well for a healthy dessert as it does a protein-packed, lower-carb breakfast.
This recipe is as simple as lining a 16-ounce coffee mug with sliced fresh figs, adding a drizzle of the stevia-honey blend and then topping with my go-to recipe for a vanilla protein mug muffin (that has been sweetened with Truvia® Nectar and spiked with cardamom, cloves and cinnamon). You can use the protein powder of your choice and a regular flour or gluten free mix. The, just pop in the microwave for about 90 seconds and get your figgy jig on!
After “baking” in the microwave, you can enjoy this sweet treat right out of the mug with a spoon, but I prefer to serve it upside-down cake style and invert it only a dessert plate so that I can see the beautiful figs on top. A dollop of Greek yogurt, extra slice of fig and drizzle of Truvia® Nectar make this mug cake recipe extra special.
I thought the taste was fantastic and have also used it to sweeten my coffee, stirred into plain Greek yogurt topped with nuts, and in other recipes like this Salted “Honey” and Ginger Broiled Grapefruit. Truvia® Nectar is truly a sensible way to replace honey’s calorie content without sacrificing sweetness.
Spray a large microwave-safe 16-ounce coffee mug with cooking spray. Line figs in bottom of mug and halfway up sides, drizzle figs with 1 teaspoon of Truvia Nectar. Set aside.
In small bowl, combine protein powder, gluten-free baking mix, baking soda, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Stir together until combined well.
Whisk in egg, almond milk and remaining Truvia Nectar until combined.
Pour into sprayed coffee mug, over figs, and microwave 1 minute 30 seconds, or until cooked through. Microwave times may vary depending on your appliance. Cake will rise above rim and then “fall” once removed from microwave.
Remove mug and invert onto plate, gently slide out cake. Let cool for 2 minutes. Top with Greek yogurt, additional figs and Truvia Nectar drizzle, if desired.
Sometimes I stumble onto something while shopping and I’m all like “ooooh, I want that so bad. . . but I totally don’t need it right now, I have way too many.” Usually, I cave in . . . and quick! Case in point, the continually growing size of my already enormous running shoe, compression sock, flip flop, trucker hat, miniature bowl, exotic herb, flavored tea and protein powder collections.
Yeah, yeah, I have a stock pile of protein powder of all different ilks and ingredients . . . some of it I found, must most found me for review or recipe development. Naming a “best” protein powder is really so subjective, basically it boils down to individual nutrition needs, lifestyle, taste and tolerance. But, dang, some protein powders are definitely choices than others! My practical side tells me to use up all my stash before I actually BUY the product I prefer.But let me tell you, I recently found a protein powder that had me running to the trash with my mother lode of “meh” products – it’s the Organic Protein from The Natural Citizen. By the way, use coupon code THEFITFORK to get $10 off your purchase at TheNaturalCitizen.com
This new plant-based Organic Protein powder is totally on point to boost your next smoothie, but I’ve also used it for baking everything from pancakes and cookies – check out my Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie recipe below! This protein powder is sublimely simple, and that gives me control over what I do or don’t put it my recipe. On its own, this powdered supplement has just four organic, whole food ingredients – hemp protein, brown rice protein, pea protein, and sacha inchi protein. One serving delivers 15 grams of vegan protein per serving along with fiber, omega fatty acids and amino acids – oh, and for only 80 calories! Plus, there are no added flavors and other undesirable “extras” so the taste of Mother Nature’s other wholesome food can shine through.
So, raise your hand if you want a cookie for breakfast but thing you shouldn’t?! Well, my single-serve Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie will make you think you’re really splurging first thing out of bed, but actually its super healthy and balanced with 25 grams protein for sustained energy and muscle-making and 25 clean carbs to help power your body and brain for the morning’s tasks, workouts or whatever you do! In about 15 minutes from start to finish, you’ll be enjoying a super-sized, under-300-calorie cookie with your morning coffee – and that’s my cup of tea! It’s also gluten-free, if that is a concern.
The Natural Citizen has a full line of other wonderful products that are all non-gmo, organic, gluten-free and vegan including Organic Digest, Organic Greens, and Organic Energy.As a totally on-the-go person who probably doesn’t get as much sleep as she needs, I’ve fallen in love with the Organic Energy. This blend features maca, quinoa, green tea and Rhodiola rosea to offer truly balanced and uniquely simple energy support – no more getting jacked up on too much caffeine. I found the ripest, sweetest Texas melon yesterday and blended up this recipe for a Honeydew Natural Energy Smoothie.
This is how you make the Honeydew Natural Energy Smoothie:
Blend together and pour in tall glass (or melon bowl):
What is your go-to morning meal? Are you getting enough protein at breakfast (you need around 25g)?! What are your non-negotiables in a protein powder? What do you “collect”? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer
Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie (Gluten-free)
I’d love to be in New York City this Labor Day weekend, binging out on fabulous foods and Broadway shows. The last trip I took to the Big Apple with my mom, we took in a show every night for nearly a week – such an entertaining escape from reality! Check out the sweepstakes at the end of my post sponsored by Stella® cheeses; the winner and a guest will enjoy a trip to NYC to take in a show, dinner and the sights – it could be you!
While I’m not doing a Broadway boondoggle this fall, the hubby and kids do what we can to take in the ample arts and events in Austin – last week we sat in jaw-dropped amazement at Kooza by Cirque de Soleil and tonight the family is just taking it easy with a movie at home. I’m trying to keep my diet cleaned up now that I’m deep into training for Spartan Beast and a subsequent marathon and have retooled my salty snacks too be less processed, gluten-free and more protein-oriented.
For tonight’s movie (Wild), I whipped up a batch of Gluten-Free Asiago Almond Crackers – bite-sized, crispy and filled with grain-free goodness. Not only to these herby crackers work for folks with gluten intolerances, they also fit into a Paleo (paleo-ish) diet that is willing to allow for a bit of cheese and butter.
Made with artisan cheeses, my Gluten-Free Asiago Almond Crackers are sophisticated enough for a fancy cocktail party – but the kids love them as well. They’re actually not at all difficult to make and a sensible snack option you can feel good about feeding your family with ingredients that include Stella® cheeses, gluten-free baking mix, almond meal, flax seed, thyme and butter. Simple goodness!
When rolling out the gluten-free crackers, it’s easiest to do so between parchment or wax paper – use your favorite little cookie cutter or use a pizza cutter to make squares, diamonds or other shapes. I would also strongly suggest baking on Silpat or a sheet of parchment to prevent sticking and burning. The crackers made using Italian-style cheeses can be frozen for up to six months, so make a couple extra batches!
I really loved using the Asiago from Stella® cheeses – it had a distinct, aged flavor and natural saltiness that added addictive yumminess to the recipe without having to add extra salt. I’m a little bit of a cheese snob and Stella® cheeses really rock – made with old world craftsmanship and a rich dairy heritage that dates back to 1923, this company makes all sorts of cheeses from shredded to crumbled and sharp to sweet. Some of the products I think you’ll love are the Asiago (used in recipe feature), Rosemary Medium Asiago, Fontina, Fontinella®, Italian Sharp, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Mediterranean Parmesan, Provolone, Ricotta, Romano and Black Pepper Romano.
So, back the sweepstakes I hinted at earlier – enter here for a chance to win a trip for two people to New York City with a $500 gift card, dinner for two, and two tickets to a Broadway show. You may enter once per e-mail address per day through October 31, 2015. For full rules, please visit Stella® cheeses. : #StellaTakesManhattan
Add flour, almond meal, flax seed thyme and cheese to work bowl of food processor. Pulse food processor to blend.
Add one tablespoon of butter at a time, pulsing between, until dough is crumbly.
Slowly drizzle about 4 tablespoons of ice water into dough while food processor is on. Stop adding water as soon as the dough is moist enough to start pulling off edges of work bowl.
Place ball of dough onto parchment paper. Flatten into a thick disk, wrap the dough up in the paper, and chill in the refrigerator one hour to overnight.
After chilling and ready to make, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roll dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it is evenly 1/8 inch thick. Use pizza cutter to cut dough into squares or use small cookie cutters to punch out shapes. Place uncooked crackers on a parchment-lined baking sheet into top one-third of preheated oven (to prevent burning).
Cook for 8- 10 minutes until lightly golden brown. Let cook for 5 minutes. Store in air-tight container.