Spicy-Sweet Smokehouse Bacon Almond Granola #GameChangingFlavor

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. Ditch the chips and grab some Game Changing Flavors this football season! Enter for a chance to win the Ultimate Football Party Prize Pack, get great savings and ideas for delicious snack hacks at GameChangingFlavors.com .Smokehouse Bacon Almond GranolaWe take football SERIOUSLY here in Texas.  Friday nights are spent under the lights cheering on the hometown boys and socializing with friends. All day Saturday is set aside for tailgating and stomping boots in the fan stands of our hometown college team (or Pop Warner) and Sunday and Monday we gather ‘round the big screen to rally behind our favorite professional teams. Pop Warner Football - TheFitFork.com

So, during the season, it’s not uncommon to have four straight days of football. Oh, and the holiday bowl games – those may be the best because usually all the family and friends are around to celebrate! You may not believe this, but it’s TRUE – every year my family pushes our Thanksgiving feast from Thursday to Friday just so some of us can attend a very important collegiate game. Like I said, football is serious business in these parts.

Healthy Football Snack StadiumSecond to the serious excitement of the gridiron action is the snack table lineup. Actually, I know some (okay, maybe me) would say that good football grub is the most important part of the day – in fact, I go nuts for football food! Nuts, especially almonds, are always part of my starting snack lineup and they pair with everything from cold-cut sandwiches, pizza, wings and healthier things – including the over-the-top Healthy Snack Stadium I crafted for a big bowl game last year!

 

Salty Sweet Smokehouse Almond Bacon GranolaThis football season, I’m serving up Salty-Sweet Smokehouse Almond Bacon Granola – a real winner based on how many times I have to refill the bowl even before half-time!  People are like “bacon granola?!” and I’m like “heck, yeah!” – it’s spicy, sweet, smoky, salty, what more could you want? Everyone knows that bacon makes everything better, but so do almonds!  Almonds are little powerhouses of nutrition – a handful (about an ounce or 23 nuts) has 163 calories, 6 grams of protein and 14 grams of heart-heathy fat along with all sorts of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.  I especially like almonds for a snack because they are hunger-squashing and keep me satisfied until my next meal!

 Smokehouse Bacon Almond Granola winning snack for game day.Smokehouse Bacon Almond Granola

A bowl full of this Salty-Sweet Smokehouse Almond Bacon Granola is definitely going to satisfy the snack cravings of the biggest armchair linebacker or peppiest cheerleader at your party. The bacon definitely pushes this easy granola recipe into the Snacking Hall of Fame (okay, I made that up), but it is also balanced with healthy ingredients like whole grain oats, dried pears (or apples), quinoa, flax seeds, real maple syrup and more.

 

 

What’s the craziest bacon recipe you’ve made or tried? What is your go-to game day snack? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Smokehouse Bacon Almond Granola winning snack for game day.
Spicy-Sweet Smokehouse Bacon Almond Granola
Print Recipe
Take game day flavor to the next level with with this bacon and almond granola that is spicy, sweet, salty, smoky -- and so amazingly delicious.
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 10 minutes cooling
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 10 minutes cooling
Smokehouse Bacon Almond Granola winning snack for game day.
Spicy-Sweet Smokehouse Bacon Almond Granola
Print Recipe
Take game day flavor to the next level with with this bacon and almond granola that is spicy, sweet, salty, smoky -- and so amazingly delicious.
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 10 minutes cooling
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 10 minutes cooling
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. In small food processor or with knife, chop 3 ounces of almonds (1/2 Blue Diamond can); leave other half of can whole. Set both aside.
  2. In large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high until moderately crispy (don’t over-cook). Remove bacon to drain on paper towels and coarsely chop up. Don’t dispose of bacon fat.
  3. Keep about ½ cup of bacon fat in skillet along with all the delicious crispy bits left behind. Add cayenne pepper and stir into bacon fat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add maple syrup to this mixture, stirring constantly and allowing to bubble up for about one minute. Remove from heat. In medium bowl, toss together oats, quinoa, flax seed, chopped bacon, dried pears, chopped almonds and whole almonds. Stir oat mixture into bacon fat - maple syrup mixture until evenly coated.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Spread granola mixture out onto baking sheet and lightly press down with back of spoon to compact a bit.
  5. Bake at 325 F for about 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes and them break into chunks
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Chocolate Orange Pistachio Smoothie Bowl #EasyAsBreeze

This “Easy as Breeze” post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. For more “Easy As Breeze” recipes made with five ingredients or less, visit Almond Breeze on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Keep things simple and sweet with this 4 ingredient Chocolate Mandarin Orange Pistachio Smoothie Bowl.

Summer should be a laid back season where kicking back, relaxing and living the easy life is top priority – but, DANG, I’m busier than ever.  Between juggling work projects, shuttling kids to far-away camps, getting my workouts accomplished (that’s a non-negotiable) and lots of organizing and shopping getting my oldest ready to head off to college, I need a break. If I can’t get a break, I at least need things to be easier – like no make-up, breakfast-for-dinner, do-your-own-laundry easy.

One way to keep life easy is to make uncomplicated yet healthy meals and snacks with five ingredients or less – and especially with ingredients that can be stocked in the pantry so there’s no rushing off to the store. I also have a little secret, when the stress starts piling up, I turn to chocolate (gasp). But, I’ve found several healthy ways to satisfy my sweet tooth without completely falling off the semi clean-eating wagon.  One of my treats is a carton of plain Greek yogurt with a bit of flavored Stevia chocolate syrup mixed in along my favorite cereal on top for crunch, don’t worry it’s gluten-free, bean-blend Power Os!

Chocolate Almond Milk and protein bites -- a great snack!But, HELLO, chocolate! The Chocolate Almond Breeze Almondmilk, is pure heaven. It’s rich and creamy and only has 120 calories per 8 ounce serving – plus, it boasts 50% more calcium than milk.  Even though I don’t have any dietary restrictions, this beverage is ideal for vegans and those with food allergies – there is no dairy, soy, lactose, cholesterol, peanuts, casein, gluten, eggs, saturated fat or MSG. Plus did I mention you can buy it either on the refrigerated dairy section or shelf-stable on the  cereal aisle? It’s just super yummy to drink by the glass full!

Chocolate Orange Pistachio Smoothie Bowl made with Almond Breeze

Chocolate Orange Pistachio Smoothie Bowl horizontalShelf stable means I can keep a carton on hand at all times to curb my chocolate needs – and along with a snack pack of Mandarin oranges, mini chocolate chips and pistachios, I’ve created an “Easy as Breeze” Chocolate Orange Pistachio Bowl simplify and sweeten my summer. Check out the printable recipe below!

Coconut Chia Smoothie Bowl makes a quick, easy and healthy breakfast or post-workout snack.If you love smoothie bowls and exotic spices, you’ll love this Coconut Chai Smoothie Bowl I whipped up earlier in the season with the Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk from Almond Breeze along with chai spices, cacao nibs and hemp seeds.

 

Other ways I’m keeping summer easy-breezy and as stress-free as possible is by avoiding rush-hour traffic, taking a break from cleaning the house, living in my workout clothes (oh yeah, that’s nothing new), and making meals that don’t require an oven.

How are you making summer easier on yourself? Please share in the comments below! XOXO, Jennifer

Chocolate Orange Pistachio Smoothie Bowl
Print Recipe
Perfect for a summer breakfast or refreshing post-workout treat -- easy to make and cools you off in the summer.
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Chocolate Orange Pistachio Smoothie Bowl
Print Recipe
Perfect for a summer breakfast or refreshing post-workout treat -- easy to make and cools you off in the summer.
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. Add chocolate almond milk and ice to blender, frappe until well blended. Pour in bowl and let set up in freezer for a couple minutes if needed.
  2. Top with oranges, pistachios and chocolate chips. Enjoy.
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Sriracha Eating Tonight? How About Spicy Almond Halibut

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

Sriracha Almond Halibut with Roasted SeaweedHey there, so “Sriracha” eating for dinner today? I hope you’re hungry because I’m sharing a simple healthy snack followed with a hearty halibut recipe – both with a spicy Sriracha spin.

The Sriracha brand of Hot Chili Sauce that lit a billion taste buds on fire.

The Sriracha brand of Hot Chili Sauce that lit a billion taste buds on fire.

If you haven’t been part this condiment craze, Sriracha is an Asian sauce made from chili peppers, garlic, sugar, salt and vinegar. It first was produced by hand in the early 1980s and is sold in a signature squirt bottle with green cap and bearing a rooster on the front (so, I’ve always called it Rooster Sauce). In recent years, Sriracha has developed a cult-like following, but I’ve always been ahead of the curve when it comes to food and have been using it in my recipes since the early 1990s – while you can get it in your local grocery store today (even Walmart, it’s that mainstream), back then we’d have to venture down to the Asian market in Houston to score a couple bottles.

These days, Sriracha is used just about on everything, not just Thai or other Asian food  — you’ll find it used on eggs, meats pizzas, pastas and other entrees as well as a bold flavor for popcorn, chips and nuts. In fact, I’ve been enjoying a couple cans of Sriracha Almonds from Blue Diamond – the flavor is intense and spicy, but not so over-the-top that your taste buds can handle the heat.

Sriracha Almonds by Blue Diamond

We love to enjoy Sriracha Almonds from Blue Diamond just as they are or paired with crispy roasted seaweed for a far eastern-inspired snack. Almonds make a sensible snack any time of day, the protein and heart-healthy fats found in this nut are satiating and take away the “hangries” until mealtime.

Sriracha Almond Halibut with Roasted Seaweed

I love to make halibut for dinner – it’s such a hearty fish and great source of lean protein. However, the mild, sweet flavor of halibut needs a bit of spicing up in my opinion, so I decided to grind up some of the Sriracha Almonds to create a crunchy topping for this baked shrimp recipe. I’ve paired it with black rich (super rich in antioxidants) and edamame beans for a balanced, nutritious meal.

Sriracha Almond Halibut with Roasted Seaweed

This is the can you're looking for in the grocery store!

This is the can you’re looking for in the grocery store!

Are you a Sriracha addict, occasional user, or not so much of a fan?  

What’s the craziest thing you’ve used this chili sauce on?

Please share in the comments below. XOXO — Jennifer

 

Sriracha Almond Halibut with Roasted Seaweed
Sriracha Almond Halibut
Print Recipe
2 tablespoons almond meal ½ cup Blue Diamond Sriracha Almonds 2 sheets paper-thin roasted seaweed Sriracha sauce for drizzle
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Sriracha Almond Halibut with Roasted Seaweed
Sriracha Almond Halibut
Print Recipe
2 tablespoons almond meal ½ cup Blue Diamond Sriracha Almonds 2 sheets paper-thin roasted seaweed Sriracha sauce for drizzle
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Grind almonds to coarse consistency in food processor.
  3. Pat halibut steaks dry and drizzle with olive oil. Rub tops of fish with 1 tablespoon of almond meal and then top with ground Sriracha almonds, pressing down into flesh.
  4. Bake the fish until opaque in the center, about 8 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness.
  5. Garnish with Sriracha sauce and piece of paper-thin roasted seaweed.
  6. Serve with black rice and edamame beans , if desired.
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Memorial Day Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float Smoothie

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

This Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float only has 250 calories and serves up 22 grams of protein and 87% of your daily requirement for calcium! The sun is out for summer and my blender is back in action making smoothies nearly every day for a quick breakfast, healthy dessert or post-workout refueling. I have so made so many crazy, creative smoothies in my day along with all the tried-and-true classics,  I’m sure my family sometimes wonders if I can come up with a new flavor combo. But, fear not my friends of blended beverages, I can!  Today I’m serving up a Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float Smoothie, so line up at the counter in an orderly fashion please.

Make this healthy Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float with Almond Breeze Touch of Honey Flavor for just the right amount of natural sweetness.

I know that a Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float Smoothie sounds sort of decadent, but this one is super healthy. It’s made with Almond Breeze Almondmilk  (Hint of Honey Vanilla flavor), frozen dark cherries, ice, root beer extract and protein powder.  The whole, huge serving has just 250 calories, 22 grams of protein, 87% daily value for calcium and loads of vitamins and minerals – especially vitamins D and E from the almondmilk and vitamin C from the cherries.

Use Almond Breeze Touch of Honey Almondmilk in your cereal as part of a balanced breakfast.

Use Almond Breeze Touch of Honey Almondmilk in your cereal.

Hint of Honey Vanilla Amondmilk from Almond Breeze is the perfect creamy foundation for any smoothie creation – it’s also ideal for drinking cold right in a glass or pairing up with your favorite cereal, oats or granola.  Made from real almonds and sweetened with honey, this alternative to diary milk contains medium chain fatty acids; is lactose, soy and gluten-free; is an excellent source of calcium; and works with vegan and kosher diets. I also love how it has no added processed sugar and only 60 calories per one-cup serving.  Another great thing – Hint of Honey Vanilla Amondmilk from Almond Breeze is available in a 32-ounce, shelf-stable version which means that I can keep my pantry stocked for impromptu smoothie making or take along for travel without worry of refridgeration.  Of course, you can also get the original in the dairy section.

Memorial Day collage thefitfork.com

What is your favorite smoothie combo? Are you remembering someone special this Memorial Day? Please share in the comments – xoxo Jennifer 

 

This Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float only has 250 calories and serves up 22 grams of protein and 87% of your daily requirement for calcium!
Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float Smoothie
Print Recipe
Slurp right into summer with my healthy, yummy smoothie made with almond milk, cherries, protein power and root beer extract. So refreshing for Memorial Day, Fourth of July or any hot summer day!
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
This Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float only has 250 calories and serves up 22 grams of protein and 87% of your daily requirement for calcium!
Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float Smoothie
Print Recipe
Slurp right into summer with my healthy, yummy smoothie made with almond milk, cherries, protein power and root beer extract. So refreshing for Memorial Day, Fourth of July or any hot summer day!
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. Add almondmilk, protein powder, frozen cherries, root beer extract and ice to blender, process until smooth. Pulse in ice until desired consistency is achieved. Garnish with fresh cherry if desired.
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Apricot Chocolate Almond Energy Bars – Superfood for Superheroes

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

Jennifer Fisher CASA Superhero 5k

Oh Batman, did you not eat your superfoods today?

Runners and obstacle course athletes need superfoods to perform optimally – you know, to run faster than a speeding bullet and jump tall things in a single bound. Not one single wall or hurdle got in my way the other weekend at Spartan Race (recap to come) and nor could Batman beat me to the finish line of a local 5k, probably because I was fueled up with some really good super food energy for superheroes! Almonds make a great healthy snack to take on the go -- packed with satiating protein and heart-healthy fats.

If you’re heading out for some weekend warrioring, it’s not realistic to stick a bunch of kale and quinoa or even a beef tenderloin (I’ve tried) into your backpack. But, there are plenty of superfoods that can take the rough and tumble of nearly any outback course – almonds are one! Stick a pouch of almonds in your bag, and you’ll have a sustaining snack when you need to fuel up the tank. Personally, I love the Blue Diamond Sea Salt Almonds and Blue Diamond Dark Chocolate Almonds (the latter are dusted in cocoa, not dipped — so no worries of melting).

Just hanging out with the superheroes at Hood to Coast Relay.Almonds are going to pump up your super powers by offering protein and heart-healthy fats. One recent study suggest that almonds might help athletes mobilize more previously reserved carbohydrates rather than breaking down fat as an energy source during intense exercise.  This means you might not “hit the wall” – have you ever seen a superhero hit the wall? I think not. Almonds are also a great source of energy-boosting manganese and copper, minerals which minimize the damage free radicals can do to the mitochondria that power our cells.

blue diamond natural almond and apricot snackFor quick energy, I like to pair almonds with a the concentrated complex carbohydrates that come from dried fruit – again, an easy, mess-free food to pack in your bag for races, hikes and expeditions of epic proportions. Dried apricots are a personal favorite because they are high in iron –an impressive 41% DV for a cup. Anemia, or even a moderate iron deficiency (a surprisingly common problem in athletes), can make a superhero feel tired, hinder athletic performance, work capacity and lessen VO2max.

Ingredients for making Apricot Chocolate Almond Energy Bars.

If you want something a little more “fancy” than almonds and dried fruit, it’s not hard at all to make your own energy bars with ingredients like nuts, apricots, feel-good chocolate and dash of salt for extra electrolyte balance. My no-cook recipe for Apricot Chocolate Almond Energy Bars can be whipped up in the food process in less than 10 minutes. Stick them in the freezer for 30 minutes to cut precise bars if you’re into perfection – you can also roll them up into balls and carry along for race fuel. And, they taste really, really good!  If you’d like to make these more abundant in protein, like if you think you might me skipping a meal or have intense workout recovery need, just swap out the almond meal (although keep the ground up chocolate ones) and swap measure-for-measure with your favorite brand of protein powder.

 

Apricot Chocolate Almond Energy Bars are a great take along for your next hike or trail run.

 

Also, depending on how strict your interpretation of Paleo diet is, these should fit in your diet — definitely Paleo-ish and made with whole foods. Drop the chia seeds and protein powder if these rub you the wrong way. Apricot Chocolate Almond Energy Bar

Have you ever tried to make homemade energy bars? What flavor and how did it turn out, please share in the comments!

 

 

 

Apricot Chocolate Almond Energy Bar
Apricot Chocolate Almond Energy Bars
Print Recipe
This no-cook recipe for Apricot Chocolate Almond Energy Bars are great to grab for breakfast, a sensible snack or for pre and post workout fuel.
Servings Prep Time
12 bars 10 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 bars 10 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Apricot Chocolate Almond Energy Bar
Apricot Chocolate Almond Energy Bars
Print Recipe
This no-cook recipe for Apricot Chocolate Almond Energy Bars are great to grab for breakfast, a sensible snack or for pre and post workout fuel.
Servings Prep Time
12 bars 10 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 bars 10 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: bars
Instructions
  1. Line and 8 or 9 inch baking pan with plastic wrap, and set aside.
  2. Pulse Blue Diamond Chocolate Almonds (these are dusted chocolate almonds, not chocolate coated) in food processor until coarsely ground, leave in work bowl.
  3. Add in coconut, apricots, almond meal (or protein powder), palm sugar, chia seeds and sea salt in food processor and process until apricots chopped and well combined with other ingredients.
  4. Drizzle and pulse in coconut oil one tablespoon at a time until mixture begins to stick together when pinched between fingers. The amount of coconut oil you need to use will depend on the size of apricots and whether you used almond meal or protein powder as a binder.
  5. Gently pulse in mini chocolate chips. If using regular sized chocolate chips add them to step 3.
  6. Firmly press the apricot mixture into the baking pan, using the flat surface of a measuring cup or drinking glass to create a flat even layer.
  7. Place pan in the freezer for 30 minutes, then remove and cut into 12 rectangle bars or roll up in balls (size of your choosing). Keep in an airtight container and store for up to one month in the fridge.
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Bold and Sweet Almonds + Trail Run Tabata

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond

A handful of almonds (about 23) makes a hunger-curbing, healthy  snack.

Almonds are little powerhouses of nutrition and one of my favorite snacks on the go. I love to use them in recipes (like for granola) too! A handful of these crunchable, munchable nuts are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and heart healthy fats.  Almonds are one of the most abundant sources of protein, fiber, calcium, niacin and vitamin E when it comes to tree nuts.  So, you’re nuts if you don’t eat this nut!

Blue Diamond Almonds - sweet and savory!

If you’re wondering what a handful serving is, it’s an ounce or about 23 nuts. This ounce of almonds has 163 calories, 6 grams of protein and 14 grams of fat – but, don’t worry about the fat.  The fat found in almonds is monounsaturated fat, the kind that is beneficial for your body – like olive oil.  This kind of fat has been linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and a myriad of other problems.

Almonds are ideal for entertaining!

A recent study from Spain suggests that eating almonds and other nuts can keep you from gaining weight. After 28 months of a diet with or without nuts, the test group who ate nuts at least two times per week was 31 percent less likely to put on pounds than the group who never or rarely ate nuts. One reason may be that the fats and protein in almonds and other nuts curb hunger longer that other food choices, leading to less mindless snacking throughout the day.

Honey Dijon and Honey Cinnamon Almonds from Blue DiamondWhile I never tire of almonds, sometimes it’s always fun to add a little extra flavor. But sweet or savory flavor, that’s hard to decide!  Blue Diamond Almonds has so many varieties of roasted almonds dusted with flavor – Honey Dijon and Honey Cinnamon are two of my newest favorites. One flavor is bold and the other is sweet as honey – sorta like me!

The six-ounce cans are perfect for popping open when friends drop by – or for dropping in your purse for nearly a week’s worth of snacking.  That’s one thing I love about almonds is that you can keep them on-hand for refueling in a gym bag, purse, desk drawer or glove box without worry of spoilage. Take almonds on vacation!  Another place I like to carry along my Blue Diamond Almonds is on a hike or trail run – perfect for nipping “hangries” in the bud!

Speaking of trail running, I have a fun/tough workout that combines running with a series of Tabatas.  Have fun and don’t forget to eat your almonds!

Try adding a series of Tabata exercises on your next trail run for a full-body workout!

 

Tell me your thoughts about almonds, trail running and Tabata training in the comments below.  

Wasabi Almond Shrimp Salad Bites + Football #GameChangingSnacks

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. For more Game Changing Snacks, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

An interception, a fumble, an unexpected player injury, crazy weather . . . . a (gasp) deflated ball. These are all “game changers” in football. In the blink of an eye, the tables can turn – that’s part of the excitement of being a sports spectator. If you’re having people over to your house this weekend to watch the Big Game, add to the excitement by kicking up your gridiron grub with #GameChangingSnacks !

Blue Diamond Almonds for Football Party - TheFitFork.com

The same-old football finger foods can get boring – enough with the potato chips, hot dogs and pizza. Whip up some easy (and healthier) snacks) that your friends and family will devour with the lip-smacking satisfaction of a hungry linebacker. You can’t go wrong with a can of almonds on your starting snack lineup, especially one of Blue Diamond’s yummy flavors like Wasabi & Soy or Smokehouse.

Wasabi and Soy Sauce Shrimp Salad Bites - TheFitFork.com

You can even become the MVP of football party food by adding plain or flavored almonds to a unique and healthy recipe – one that will have your guests eating like the true champions that they are. I put together this quick and healthy appetizer recipe for Wasabi & Soy Sauce Shrimp Salad Bites – between the veggies and almonds, it’s got a lot of crunch factor not to mention a blast of wasabi “whoohoo” – talk about #GameChangingSnacks ! Low-cal and low-carb, you won’t bust your training diet scarfing down the whole plate.

Wasabi & Soy Sauce Shrimp Salad Bites with Almonds - TheFitfork.com

 

 

Jennifer Fisher 3m Half Marathon Blue DiamondThis past weekend, I had my own “game day” of sorts running the 3M Half Marathon in Austin, Texas. The weather was perfect, the point-to-point course is fast and I was pretty well rested. Alas, there was no PR, I was a good 4 minutes of my best time on this fast course. But, I also didn’t also do too shabby (1:28:12) considering I haven’t be training anywhere near my max and I’m another year older. Perhaps it was those #GameChangingSnacks at the start – a banana and handful of Blue Diamond Almonds!

Healthy Snack Stadium - TheFitFork.com

 

 

Also, if you’re looking for other healthy snack ideas for your football party, check my instructions on how to build a Healthy Snack Stadium filled with fruits, veggies, healthy dips and a whole-grain sandwich station. Pop open a few cans of Blue Diamond Almonds in the end zones and you’ll score you a gazillion high-fives!

Wasabi and Soy Shrimp Salad Bites with Almonds - TheFitFork.com

 What snacks are you making for the Big Game?

Wasabi and Soy Shrimp Salad Bites with Almonds - TheFitFork.com
Wasabi & Soy Sauce Shrimp Salad Bites with Almonds
Print Recipe
Packed with big flavor from wasabi, these cucumber slices are topped with shrimp salad and a crunchy almond. Healthy finger food for your party!
Servings Prep Time
12 2 appetizers per person 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 2 appetizers per person 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Wasabi and Soy Shrimp Salad Bites with Almonds - TheFitFork.com
Wasabi & Soy Sauce Shrimp Salad Bites with Almonds
Print Recipe
Packed with big flavor from wasabi, these cucumber slices are topped with shrimp salad and a crunchy almond. Healthy finger food for your party!
Servings Prep Time
12 2 appetizers per person 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 2 appetizers per person 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Instructions
  1. In medium-sized bowl, whisk together soy sauce, yogurt and wasabi powder until combined.
  2. Add thawed shrimp, radishes, bell pepper, water chestnuts an d green onions to bowl, toss gently until coated with Greek yogurt mixture.
  3. Spoon 1 tablespoon of shrimp mixture in center of cucumber round; top with almond. Repeat to finish remaining appetizers.
Recipe Notes


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Honey Buzz! Not So Chunky Monkey Granola with Blue Diamond Almonds

Sometimes a girl needs a treat, and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of sweet. But, before you reach for a pint of ice cream, cupcake or even diet soda, you should think about enjoying a wholesome treat made with the oldest sweetener around – honey!  Even though honey contains simple carbohydrates and its fair share of calories, honey is in no way comparable to refined white table sugar.

honey

The combination of fructose and glucose in honey help to regulate blood sugar, meaning you won’t be jacked around with the jolt and subsequent crash found with regular sugar. An abundance of cancer-preventing antioxidents are inherent to honey as are gut-friendly bacteria (probiotics) that can help tame digestive issues.  Also, some believe eating locally-sourced honey can also help lessen certain seasonal allergies. The jury still out on this, but because honey tastes so good, I’m willing to take a daily spoonful for . . .er, medicinal purposes!

chunky monkey almond granola

Lately, a honey-sweetened (and pollinated) treat I’ve been enjoying are a couple new flavors of Blue Diamond Almonds – Honey Roasted Vanilla and Honey Roasted Chipotle. What’s not to love? Sweet, salty and crunchy with just the right level of supporting flavor – it’s impossible to say whether I love the Honey Roasted Vanilla or the Honey Roasted Chipotle better. Both are creating major buzz with my taste buds! Of course, almonds are perfect for eating right out of the can (I always keep them in my purse) but they also make recipes rock – like my honey and almond inspired Not Quite So Chunky Monkey Granola!

honey granola with chocolate, almonds and banana protein

 

“Not Quite So” Chunky Monkey Granola with Blue Diamond Almonds Recipe

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup organic honey
  • 1 medium banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (2 scoops) vanilla or plain protein powder
  • 1 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (Gluten-Free, if needed)
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup freeze-dried banana slices
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 6 oz. can Blue Diamond Honey Vanilla Almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
  2. Place the coconut oil, honey, mashed banana, water and protein powder and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Turn heat to medium-low and whisk until mixture is smooth, thick and creamy and just beginning to bubble. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla.
  3. Pour oats and coconut flakes into pot, stirring to combine and coat. Pour mixture out evenly on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes, stirring once or twice. If granola still seems moist, keep baking in 5 minute increments until dry. Remove from oven and let cool completely on sheet. Crumble up in bowl and stir in dehydrated bananas, chocolate chips and almonds. .
  5. Store cooled granola in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.

*Sugared and honey-coated nuts tend to burn easily, so I add them after baking. However, if you substitute raw almonds, they may be added with the oats before cooking.

honey_badgeYou know what else I love about theses Honey Roasted Blue Diamond Almonds? The company donates money to help support honeybee research – to date, Blue Diamond has backed more than 70 studies in support of bee health. The almond industry, as a whole, is 100-percent reliant on honeybees to pollinate almond trees every season – and 1/3 of the world’s food crops are also pollinated by bees!

 

As an athlete, I also appreciate honey as a way to supplement my nutrition before and during a race or intense workout. As you probably know, carbohydrates are the primary (but not only) source of fuel the body uses during exercise. Honey offers 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon, making it a dense and efficient source of energy while on the run – literally. I will often stash restaurant “take-out” honey packs or convenient honey sticks in my pockets during a long run. And, as an athlete, I also appreciate almonds as a way to recover from a workout – it’s best to take in a protein-rich snack within 30 minutes post-exercise and almonds are a convenient, perfectly portable for travel, non-messy snack to stick in a gym bag.

I'm a sweet nut

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds, but all recipes and opinions are my own.