This “impostor” recipe looks just like a slice of sweet cheesecake piled high with plump berries and pomegranate arils but it’s actually savory-sweet cheese dish to get the flavor party started! Read on to get all the yummy details and easy recipe. Continue reading
Celebrate the sweet vibes of summer with no harm to your bikini bod by treating yourself to a few of my Frozen Yogurt-Dipped Blueberry Cherry Bites. These bite-sized nuggets are at once yummy and so good-for-you, made with only fruit Greek yogurt – 17 calories and 1 gram of protein each!
A healthy little dessert to cool off with while watching July 4th fireworks in the backyard, splashing about at the pool, or just rocking up a storm on the porch. Read on to get all the details and recipe instructions! Continue reading
I’m on this mug muffin kick lately. I have a zillion iterations, from Lemon Raspberry Protein Muffin Mug to this Blueberry Pecan Oat Protein Mug Muffin that I’m sharing today. I usually mix up this protein-packed breakfast scoop by scoop in the morning, but I love this one so much that I big-batched it! Meal prep, y’all – I can’t believe I’m so organized. Haha.
So, come morning, when I’m not feeling human, all that’s left to be done with my breakfast is add two liquid ingredient (egg white and almond milk) to my mix and stick in the microwave. I tried to use an egg white powder in the mix to make even more convenient, but I didn’t like that so much – plus, how is cartoned egg-white not convenient?! Other things to love about this Blueberry Pecan Oat Mug Muffin recipe in addition to the homey taste is the wholesome nutrition – it’s gluten-free, sugar-free, low-cal and packed with protein (32 grams protein and about 240 total calories per serving).
When I say that this is a Master Mix Recipe, it means you can swap out the blueberries and pecans for the other dehydrated fruit and nuts of your choosing — bananas & peanut, pineapple & macadamia nut, raspberries & almond are just some ideas!
I ran the nutritional info for you tracker types!
Instead measuring out the oats, chia seeds and pecans separately, I like to just use Love Grown Foods Super Oats with Chia & Nuts – that stuff ROCKS my world.
Here’s a run down on most of the products I used in this recipe:
What is your go-to easy meal in the morning? If you were swapping out the fruit and nuts, what would you choose? Please share in the comments — XOXO, Jennifer
Wild Blueberries . . . I’m, well, just wild about them. I stir them in my oatmeal, toss in my salads, and blend up in smoothies – like this recipe for Wild Blueberry Coconut Pie Smoothie I’m sharing today. This smoothie is super yummy, and yes it tastes like a coconut cream pie and blueberry cheesecake collided! In one tall glass, you get natural energy and antioxidants from Wild Blueberries, hydration-balancing electrolytes from coconut water and satiating, muscle-making protein from low-fat cottage cheese. I love to make this vibrant Wild Blueberry smoothie for a quick breakfast, as post-workout or long run refueling or as a healthier dessert option after dinner or before bed.
So, back to the berries. Did you know Wild Blueberries aren’t the same thing as regular cultivated blueberries? I was already stalking the frozen aisle to buy these special berries for their intense sweet-tart taste long before I came to learn of all the healthy attributes. For example, Wild Blueberries have double the antioxidant capacity of regular blueberries and recent research is suggesting that they may play an important role in gut and brain health and also lower the incidence of diabetes and certain cancers. Talk about small but mighty!
Wild Blueberries are primarily grown in Main and Eastern Canada and date back more than 10,000 years! About 99% of the crops today are individually quick frozen to lock-in nutrition and taste – it also means you can cater to blueberry cravings anytime of the year just by grabbing a bag out of the freezer. There are many “brands” of Wild Blueberries, and I don’t prefer one over the other — just look for the word “Wild” on the package to ensure you’re getting the most potent and powerful blueberries around!
So, have you ever eaten WILD blueberries? What is your favorite ingredient to put in a smoothie — surprise me, I’m always looking for creative new things to try. Share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer
By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
This post is sponsored by Sverve and Walmart and I was provided compensation for my time. However, all opinions and recipes are my own.
My recipe for Chia Berry Breakfast Crisp with Stevia-Sweetened Vanilla Greek Yogurt puts the “able” in your morning table – especially if your diet requires you to steer clear of the gluten found in many traditional breakfast foods like bagels, pancakes, cereal and the like. Even some granolas can be off limits if the oats are not certified organic, but eating Nature’s Path Gluten Free Granola or using it in a recipe will put your mind and body at ease because knowing that all the ingredients are free of gluten.
So, you guessed it – I made this healthy fruit breakfast recipe with Nature’s Path Gluten Free Granola for some wholesome crunch with no worries of those little gluten buggars ruining my day. Eating a “crisp” or “crumble” might sound a bit unusual or induldgent for breakfast – but it shouldn’t. Served with a stevia-sweetened vanilla 0% Greek yogurt instead of high-fat and sugar laden ice cream, this morning meal solution also provides a hearty serving of protein for long-lasting energy. Chia Berry Breakfast Crisp with Stevia-Sweetened Greek Yogurt is so simple to make, let me show you how:
Chia Berry Breakfast Crisp with Stevia-Sweetened Greek Yogurt Recipe
- 2 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tablespoon Chia seeds
- 3 teaspoons stevia (divided)
- 1 cup Nature Path Summer Berries Granola (Gluten-Free)
- 2 cups plain 0% fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 375°F. In an ungreased 1 quart baking dish, mix frozen berries, chia seeds and 1 ½ teaspoons of the stevia together until fruit is coated.
- Sprinkle top of fruit with granola and lightly pat down.
- Bake approximately 20 minutes or until top light golden brown and fruit bubbling.
- Meanwhile, prepare yogurt by stirring together yogurt, vanilla extract and remaining 1 ½ teaspoons of stevia. Store in refrigerator until serving.
- Remove crisp from oven and let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt mixture per serving. Serves 4.
There is so much to love about Nature’s Path Organic Summer Berries Granola. First of all, and most importantly for many with gluten and wheat allergies and intoleances, it’s totally gluten-free without scrimping on taste. It’s also certified organic, non-GMO verified and free of synthetic preservatives and additives. But, another big selling point of Nature’s Path Granola is that it’s easy to find and affordable – I picked up my bags at Walmart.
In fact, Walmart has a surprisingly large selection of Gluten-Free products for less including Udi’s, Glutino, Van’s, Nature’s Path and more! As a frugal mom and healthy food blogger, it’s my job to create and prepare recipes that speak to the dietary needs of those on the other side of the fork and for all budgets. With huge increase in those living a gluten-free lifestyle, I take my responsibility to suggest ingredient swaps, recommend balanced pre-packaged foods, and offer meal planning ideas, all free of gluten, very seriously.
I’ve found that Walmart has really stepped up to the plate when it comes to addressing the needs of their gluten free customers. If you don’t see what you need on the shelves, swing by customer service to fill out a product request form. And, if you DO see the gluten-free products that you need, but they are cheaper elsewhere – bring in the other store’s advertisement for Walmart price matching! Later this month, Walmart will be holding a Gluten Free Event at participating locations – check out the event information, find the participating store nearest to you, and discover other useful information for your gluten free journey on the Walmart Gluten Free for Less website.
What are your favorite brands for gluten free living? Let me know in the comments below. Also, please feel free to share your own gluten-free recipes on social media with #gfwalmart – enjoy!
You can’t beat a big salad for a beautiful, easy-breezy summer meal — and one topped with blueberries and sugar snap peas adds just the right sprinkling of sweetness along with a saturation of whole body wholesomeness. My Mixed Greens Salad with Chicken, Blueberries & Snap Peas was inspired by the recipe for Creamy Blueberry Chicken Salad in the August 214 edition of Cooking Light magazine. Of course, I had to do my own spin based on the fresh ingredients in my fridge!
So, what’s so special about these salad toppings? Well, grilled chicken breast offers a great source of lean protein, I always try to get about 25 – 30 grams of protein per meal. Blueberries are loaded with a wide rand of antioxidants that help me stay healthy on the inside and out and, as with most berries, are relatively low on the glycemic scale compared to many fruits. If I’m not careful, I can eat the whole pint – I guess there are worse things that could happen. Now, sugar snap peas are a childhood favorite, my mom used to grown them in the garden. So crisp, refreshing and surprising low in calories (only 26 calories per cup!), sugar snap pea are a great source of fiber, vitamin C and vitamin A.
Mixed Greens Salad with Chicken, Blueberries & Snap Peas Recipe
- 6 ounces baby spring lettuce mix
- 1/2 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, halved lengthwise
- 1/4 cup torn fresh basil
- 12 ounces shredded skinless, boneless poached or grilled chicken breast
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- ½ cup favorite balsamic vinaigrette or Litehouse Food’s Huckleberry Vinaigrette
To prepare, divide lettuce evenly among four plates. Top each plate with equal portion of onion, snap peas, basil, chicken breast and blueberries. Drizzle with salad dressing. Serves 4.
Now, if you’re wondering what to eat for a dessert that won’t leave you feeling like Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, check out my delicious recipe for Blueberry Frozen Yo!
For even more inspiration on how to make a healthy sweet treat from a batch of these popular summer berries (second choice only to strawberries), check out Cooking Light’s collection of Blueberry Desserts – you’ll find everything from blueberry cobbler to blueberry popsicles.
Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, oh my! With the season turning warmer, berries are finally starting to have a delicious ripe flavor. Nothing worse than a middle-of-winter, unripe, white-bellied strawberry, am I right?! I’ve been known to put a berrry or two atop my salads so I came up with this beautiful Triple Berry Red Quinoa Salad to take advantage of a bounty of berries.I think you’ll love it as a light lunch or side dish; in fact, you could even make a heartier meal of this salad by adding some shrimp, fish or other lean protein. Actually, the recipe starts off with a pretty decent amount of protein thanks to the red quinoa. Quinoa is an ancient grain that is not only high in protein (14g per serving) but also a good source of dietary fiber (7g per serving), plus it is gluten-free and popular with vegetarians and vegans. Oh, and it’s easy to store, easy to cook and has a satisfying crunch.
Triple Berry Red Quinoa Salad Recipe
- 1 cup red quinoa
- 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 pint strawberries
- ½ pint blueberries
- ½ pint raspberries
- ¼ cup minced red onion
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh jalapeno
- ½ cup Raspberry Lime Vinaigrette*
- 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- Add quinoa, water and salt in medium pot, bring to boil. Cover and let simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.
- Spread out cooked quinoa on baking sheet and set in refrigerator for 15 minutes for quick cooling.
- Meanwhile, wash, drain and dry berries. Chop strawberries and cut blackberries in half if they are large.
- In large bowl, add cooled quinoa, berries, red onion, jalapeno and dressing (*see note about dressing below); stir to combine.
- Serve sprinkled with feta cheese.
- Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days.
*I love the convenience and taste of Litehouse Food’s Raspberry Lime Vinaigrette – it’s also a certified organic product and I’ve noticed that it’s one of the dressings (out of their dozens) that most stores stock. If this is not available in your area – order online! Or, make fresh by blending ½ cup fresh or frozen berries with ¼ cup champagne vinegar, ¼ cup fresh lime juice and 1 tablespoon honey. After this mixture is pureed, slowly blend in ¼ cup canola oil and continue blending until emulsified.
By the way, I got yet ANOTHER kitchen gadget when out shopping the other day, I just can’t help myself. This little “berry keeper” preserves the freshness of delicate raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and other small fruits (or veggies), meaning no more rotten waste. The inside stackable tray layers berries to keep them from bruising and also serves as a handy little colander.
Resealing lids attach to the top and bottom so that moisture can be drained from either end. The dial on front is an adjustable vent that regulates air coming in and out of the container and extends the edible life of produce – a guide tells whether it should be open or shut for each specific fruit. Anyway, I highly recommend this kitchen gadget and I don’t ever expect it will be stashed in my junk drawer with the regrettable impulse buys.
Okay, my parting share for the day is a workout I created for Core Power Protein Shakes. It’s an outdoor workout you can do at the beach or really anywhere. The beach is my all-time favorite place to be and I hope that when I grow up (or retire), I get to relocate to a tropical island!
Imagine nervously waiting at the start line of the most important race of your life, a run that would be the final test of more than a year of dedicated, intensive training and one where you have put the reputation of your family, faith and country on the line. Now imagine that instead of carefully monitoring your diet and eating “clean” for maximum performance leading up to and on the big day, you are fueled on cheesecake and will be running in the nude.
As crazy as it sounds, historical records reveal that cheesecake was served to athletes participating in the first Olympic Games in Greece back in 776 BC. However, the ladies didn’t have to worry whether or not a slice of this decadent dessert would give them a glycogen-depleting bonk or big ole naked bodonkadonk come race day – female athletes weren’t allowed to compete, nor were married women even allowed to spectate.
But, let me stop my digression on discrimination here and get back to the cheesecake nutrition plan. I can’t imagine that a slice of cheesecake, such as we enjoy here in the 21st century, could be the best way to finish off a pre-race meal. A single slice of Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory tops out at over 1,300 calories and 40 grams of fat per serving; even a low-carb, Splenda-sweetened slice of Original Cheesecake from the same restaurant has 570 calories. Sheez, instead of the aforementioned cheesecake offender, you could eat more than HALF of my Whey Cool Strawberry Protein Pie.
But, don’t get me wrong, I love cheesecake. I just don’t eat it everyday and when I do indulge, I share a slice with a partner in crime. Since National Cheesecake Day is July 30th I wanted to honor this icon of the dessert cart in a more nutritious way. I found a description by the rhetorician and grammarian Athenaeus on how cheesecake was prepared back in ancient Greek times. While it looked like the recipe was actually filled with healthy carbs and protein, the lack of measurements left me puzzled.
“Take cheese and pound it till smooth and pasty; put cheese in a brazen sieve; add honey and spring wheat flour. Heat in one mass, cool, and serve.”
Instead, I came up with a cheesecake-inspired recipe with a healthy spin; a nutritious little nosh that could be enjoyed before running a race without any negative consequences on my gut or butt. Since I’m usually running and racing in the morning, a muffin was the perfect solution. Sized just right to take on the go, my recipe for Berry Cheesecake Power Muffins offers more than 8 grams of protein and less than two grams of fat – all for about 100 calories per muffin.
Berry Cheesecake Power Muffins Recipe
- 2 cups rolled oats, ground in a blender
- 1 cup fat free cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar-free maple syrup
- 1 cup egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp Stevia
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- ½ cup fresh strawberries, chopped
- ½ cup fat free cream cheese
- 1/2 tbsp Stevia
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
Grind up oats in blender using pulse button. In pitcher of blender, add ingredients for muffin batter –cottage cheese, applesauce, syrup, egg whites, vanilla extract, Stevia, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Blend in blender until smooth and divide mixture up equally in a 12-muffin tray fitted with muffin liners (or coated with baking spray).
In a separate bowl, mix together cream cheese and 1/2 tablespoon of Stevia. Sprinkle blueberries and chopped strawberries on top of muffins; then dollop cream cheese on the center top of each muffin. The fruit and cream cheese will sink down to the middle during baking.
In 350 F degree oven, bake muffins for 20 – 22 minutes or until lightly browned.
Let cool before removing from muffin tins.
Makes 12 muffins.
Nutritional info: per muffin: Calories: 103, Total fat: 1.9g, Total carbs: 12.1g, Sugar: 2.7g, Protein: 8.3g