Zing in the New Year – Juicing Machine #Giveaway

This giveaway is sponsored by Hamilton Beach. 

After a season of sugary, salty, greasy, and not-so-good-for-you good eats, many of us are looking for a nutrition reboot for the New Year. Healthy fruit and vegetable juices are a quick and easy way to top off your tank with all those vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other vital nutrients that makes us all feel so good. Yes, I drink juice a couple times a week, but I’m not an advocate of juicing “diets” or “cleanses” because drinking only the liquid from produce is done so at the expense of proper daily fiber intake and food group balance – where’s the beef protein?

Golden Beet Zinger Juice - TheFitFork.com

However, I think juicing is a FANTASTIC way for people to get an on-demand dose of wholesome fuel – especially those who don’t like fruits and vegetables or are too busy to prepare a home-cooked meal.  As for the fiber deficit, you can add the pulp from a juice machine (and there will be a lot of it) into the batter for pancakes, muffins and other baked goods – or even mix it into a soup or stir-fry. Add the pulp to whole grains and your system will be fiber-fortified and super (ahem) functional.

hamilton beach juice ad

I’ve never owned a juicing machine before, so I was super excited when Hamilton Beach sent me a Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor to test out. With a stainless-steel look exterior, this juicer is both BEAUTY and BEAST – and I’m saying that from the admiration of a CrossFitting, gym-going, functional strength-loving sort girl who still likes a streamlined look and attractive aesthetic.  This extractor ripped through the sturdy produce I slid through the super-sized chute – whole beets, carrots and big hunks of ginger root were reduced to liquid and pulp in three seconds – no peeling, coring or seeding required.  It was so powerful that it startled me at first – and then I became addicted to the high-speed, pulverizing power. If you love the zing of ginger, it’s worth it to own a juice extractor just to get ginger juice – you literally just put the washed-off gnarly root in the feed chute (no peeling), push a button and, voila – liquid ginger gold to use as a digestion, anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory aid.Benefits of Ginger - TheFitFork.com

Head over to Hamilton Beach’s blog at EveryDayGoodThinking.com and find out what else I thought about the juice extractor machine in my guest post.  And, you’ll definitely want to try out my recipe for Golden Beet Carrot Zinger (pictured at top of post)– there is so much goodness in just one little shot of this delicious detox juice.

Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor -- Win at TheFitFork.comAlso, enter below (through the Rafflecopter App)for your chance to WIN a Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor! Whoohoo!

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Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish & #StackandSnap Food Processor #Giveaway

This post and giveaway are sponsored by Hamilton Beach. While they provided products for review, all opinions, editorial comments and recipes are my own.

Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish - TheFitFork.com

Looking for an easy, healthy holiday side dish you can make CHOP, CHOP?! My recipe for Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish is a real winner that beats that nasty canned jelly stuff with a wallop of fresh, zingy flavor. Versions of this recipe have been served at my family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations for as long as I can remember – while Grandma used to dump in a cup of granulated sugar, I keep it lower carb by using Stevia instead.

Cranberries Oranges and Ginger - TheFitFork.com

Can you believe there are only four (FOUR!) ingredients in this simple recipe and it can be whipped up in two minutes or less with the help of a food processor. Seriously, all you do is wash the fruit, quarter the orange (leave skin on!) and peel the ginger, throw all the healthy ingredients along with a touch of Stevia (or you could use honey) into the food processor and pulse for about a minute. Viola, you’re done – it’ tastes even better the next day and can be used as a side salad, relish for lean proteins, topping for yogurt, or as a way to add some seasonal razzamatazz to your turkey sandwich or roast beef wrap. And, for those of you with dietary concerns, this fruit recipe is sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and appropriate for Paleo, vegetarian, vegan and raw diets.

Hamilton Beach Stack and Chop Food Processor -and recipe from TheFitFork.com

I was so excited to receive a brand spanking new Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor from Hamilton Beach just in time for the holidays. My old one is almost 24 years old (wedding gift) and a pain in the butt to use – although, back then it was AWESOME! Today my new awesome is this good-looking Stack and Snap™ processor – it’s super easy to use thanks to a simple function guide that shows you which blade to use and which button to press. Another thing I appreciated right out of the box is that everything assembles with ease — there’s no twisting, turning or locking required when assembling the food processor. Uh, I hated using my old one because I could never remember how to put it together. I would have to holler for my husband to come into the kitchen to fix it because it was “broken.” Hey, don’t judge – I do all the cooking, he should make himself useful in the kitchen too!

Cranberry Relish in Food Processor - TheFitForkWith a powerful 450 Watt motor, this healthy-food-making bad boy can chop, slice, shred, mix and puree in no time, making my recipe prep time nearly non-existant. The Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor is also leak-proof, has a lock-down blade that won’t fall out when pouring and a Big Mouth® feed tube that can handle many whole-sized food (less pre-chopping by me)! Oh, and clean up’s a breeze, the parts (except for the base) are dishwasher safe.  So, you know it – I’m giving one away! Enter via the Rafflecopter app at the end of the recipe. 

 

Raw Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish Recipe

  • 1 lb. package fresh cranberries
  • 1 large navel orange
  • 2-inch chunk of ginger root, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons powdered Stevia
  1. Rinse cranberries and drain in colendar.
  2. Wash and quarter orange, remove any seeds but leave peel on.
  3. Peel ginger with paring knife and cut into chunks.
  4. Place all ingredients in work bowl of processor and pulse intermittently for one minute, or until coarsely chopped.
  5. Serves 6 – 8.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - bourbon cranberry apricot pecan relishIf you’re looking for another cranberry relish idea, check out this Bourbon Apricot Pecan Cranberry Relish recipe I did for last year’s feast. It is also sugar-free, but has a more syrupy, cooked on the stove top taste.

 

 

 

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Balsamic Honey Chicken – 3 Easy Recipes + Slow Cooker #Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Hamilton Beach. However, all opinions, suggestions, recipes and content are my own.

Now that we’re well into the back-to-school routine, it’s time to kick back and enjoy the blessings of fall – however these are busy blessings that require chauffeuring, chaperoning and cheering from the stands. So, how am I supposed to provide a hot home cooked meal and gather the family round the table with everyone coming and going and looking at me for a ride? And, when I’m rewarded with a couple rare hours to take a break from mom mode, I’m often finishing up a work project or squeezing in a run  — typically cooking dinner is not at the top of my priority list, even as a food blogger!

slow cooker gone running

You parents with equally over-the-top schedules already know the two lifesaving words I’m going to say – SLOW COOKER! It was only just a few years ago that I fell in love with slow cooking, my prior history with the method was only that of an innocent child dutifully eating her dinner – I have some not-so-fond memories of old-school slow cooker meals. Mom, I know you’re reading this and it wasn’t you, I think mushy carrots and fatty meats were just culinary trends of the 70s.

artichokes in crock pot litehouseThese days, there are many creative and healthy recipes that can be made in a slow cooker. One of my favorite recent creations is a side dish recipe for Slow Cooker Caesar Artichokes. Side dishes, desserts, beverages – all these things can be made in a slow cooker. But, probably the most convenient slow cooker recipe is to make a big batch of beef, chicken or pork that can be rationed out over the week or frozen for later in the month. Since I’m a big fan of doing some global variation of chuck roast in the slow cooker (insane flavor and fall-apart fork tender), I thought I’d branch out and do some chicken breast  — enough to last me through a few recipes for my family of 5!

HB_OCT_33967_slowcooker_blogger_7

Needless to say, I was pretty excited that Hamilton Beach sent me the Set ‘n Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid – the stainless-steel beauty is a real workhorse in the kitchen that will cook up ever your biggest batches in hands-free, stress-free style. It’s really helpful that this particular model has three modes — program, probe and manual. The “program mode” is super convenient for those SUPER busy days – just set the cook time and then when it’s up, the slower cooker automatically shifts over to warm.  To avoid overcooking, I really appreciate the “probe mode” – here you stick a metal probe into the thickest part of a roast or other hunk of meat and, once the internal temperature you’ve indicated has been reached, it switches to warm.

Do you like to bring hot meals to holiday parties or pot luck gatherings? Another useful feature of this slow cooker is that it has travel-friendly clips that lock down the lid so you don’t end up with a big batch of chili all over your car. Want to get in on the fall slower cooker craze? I have a great chicken recipe below that can be used in three meal variations and I’m also hosting a giveaway for the Set ‘n Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker with Spoon/Lid (bottom of post).

slow cooker chicken

You get the idea — shred it up and use it in a zillion quick dinner recipes!

Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Chicken Recipe

  • 5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion (like 1015 or Vidalia)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cup balsamic vinegar (don’t use your best)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (this can be omitted if you don’t want spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1.  Place chicken breasts in bottom of 6-quart slow cooker; cut into pieces if needed. Cover chicken with chopped onion
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together broth, vinegar, ketchup, honey, Worcestershire, sriracha, garlic, pepper and salt. Pour over chicken in slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 9 – 10 hours or high for 5 – 6 hours.
  4. Transfer chicken breasts out of liquid and place on rimmed baking sheet. Let cool for 10 minutes and then shred with fingers or fork.
  5. Take 4 cups of cooking liquid (discarding any fat) and place in medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for approximately 30 – 40 minutes or until volume reduced in half.
  6. Drizzle approximately ¾ cup sauce over shredded chicken and lightly toss. Reserve remaining in refrigerator for use in other recipes.
  7. To serve, serve between a bun or with one of the three recipes below. Leftovers may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Serves 20.

loaded bbq chicken baked potato

Balsamic Honey Chicken BBQ Baked Potato Recipe

  • 1 lb. cooked, shredded Honey Balsamic Chicken (recipe above)
  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce (may use reserved sauce from chicken recipe)
  • Suggested toppings: pico de gallo, fresh cilantro leaves and queso fresco crumbles
  1.  Bake potatoes in microwave or oven until steaming and fluffy.
  2. Slice each potato lengthwise (without cutting through bottom) and top with ¼ pound warm shredded chicken.
  3. Drizzle with bbq sauce and favorite toppings.Serves 4.

fig salad with chicken

Balsamic Honey Chicken with Fig & Snap Pea Salad Recipe 

  • 1 lb. cooked, shredded Honey Balsamic Chicken (recipe above)
  • 6 ounces baby spring mix lettuce
  • ½ pound figs, quartered
  • 4 ounces sugar snap peas, halved lengthwise
  • 2 ounces blue cheese crumbles

For dressing:

  •  1/4 cup reserved cooked down sauce from chicken recipe (or any BBQ sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Divide lettuce among 4 plates and top each portion with ¼ pound shredded chicken.
  2. Add figs and sugar snaps; sprinkle with blue cheese
  3. In small bowl, whisk together sauce, juice, vinegar, oil, parsley and black pepper. Drizzle over salads. Serves 4.

honey balsamic chicken pineapple pepper stir fry

Balsamic Honey Chicken Pineapple Pepper Stir Fry Recipe

You just get the photo today – recipe coming next week so check back!

To enter the giveaway for a Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker with Spoon/Lid, just follow the rafflecopter instructions below:

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Grate Expectations – Seared Steak Thai Salad – #GrillIt #WinIt

There’s something special about summer grilling – relaxing in the great outdoors, keeping the grill master company with good conversation and a cold beer, and enjoying the season’s bounty sizzling off the grates.  It’s the perfect way to wind down after a long day, except for when it isn’t.  When the thermometer is hovering over 100 degrees, the mosquitos are as big as dragonflies, and dirty barbeque smoke is making your eyes water, it’s time to head back indoors!

Man Grilling

Dean on grill duty, getting a little smoke in his eyes!

But, how can you get that that grilled outside flavor from the cool comfort and convenience of your kitchen? Well, I have had some luck with a grill pan that sits right on your stove top, but even better is the Searing Grill from Hamilton Beach – it heats to a really high temperature to lock in the natural juices in the lean protein or produce you are grilling. The grate marks it makes are gorgeous, food looks like it has been flipped around by Bobby Flay. Clean up is easy, the grates can go in the dishwasher and slide-out drip pan washes easily in the sink – no more standing out in the backyard with your grill disassembled and for a spray nozzle hose blasting.

healthy grilling recipes thefitfork.com

I’ve tested a few of my favorite grilling recipes on this awesome indoor grill –- from my Tuscan Grilled Eggplant to Mojo Chicken Breast with Citrus pictured above.

seared beef mango thai salad I also created a delicious recipe for Seared Beef & Mango Thai Noodle Salad Recipe for Hamilton Beach’s blog, EverydayGoodThinking.com. This easy recipe keeps things cool, the lean beef and mango sear quickly on the grill while the rest of the veggies don’t need any cooking – even the thread-thin noodles only need to soak it hot water from the sink. Head over to EverydayGoodThinking.com right now to get the recipe and more!

win it searing grill

So, yay! Thanks to Hamilton Beach, I get to give away one of these Searing Grills so you can #GrillIt !  Enter via the Rafflecopter app below and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you are the winner!

Oh and speaking of grilling, it’s not too late to register for my “Live Well, Grill Well” class at the downtown Whole Foods in Austin, Texas. I would love to have a packed house!

live well grill well

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Strawberry Margarita Baby Bundt Cakes (Lightened) & Mixer Giveaway!

Baking cakes with thefitfork.com

I have a lot of love for kitchen gear . . . it ranks right up there with my passion for fitness gear. On birthdays, Mother’s Day, Christmas and special occasions, I will be over-the-moon giddy with excitement if you gift me with the latest in running shoe technology or a shiny, new kitchen gadget that I “absolutely must have” and will probably only use once. But the great thing about being a food and fitness blogger is that I can rationalize all these frivolities in the name of workout research and recipe development – it’s a tough job, but someone has to suffer losing toenails because she wore the wrong compression socks during an endurance event or got “too cold” in the winter because she insisted on making smoothie after smoothie in search of perfection.

A couple pieces of kitchen gear I never grow tired of are my mixers. Hamilton Beach recently sent me two of their mixer models to try out – the 6 Speed Stand Mixer (Model 3326) and the SoftScrape™ 6 Speed Hand Mixer with Case (62637) (and another pair of these mixers are available in my giveaway at the bottom of this post).  Whoohoo, I was so excited because I have had some pretty traumatic mixer distress over the last year. First, my cheapie hand mixer received as a wedding gift bit the dust in the middle of party preparations. To be fair, I had used this mixer quite a lot in the 20+ years of its life. Although, it was very convenient to have a hand mixer available for quick baking projects, I never replaced it since I had the highly-coveted Kitchenaid stand mixer begging to be put into use. But, let me tell you what happened next –  the horror!  One day, I was mixing the ingredients for a (I can’t believe I’m admitting this) Paula Deen-esque Truffle Pie, I turned my back on the machine while the machine did its thing. Then all of a sudden, a “clank” followed by a hideous, grinding noise and then total silence fell over the room.   Apparently, the Kitchenaid logo metal piece-a-part (where the big attachments screw in) had become loose and the continued vibrations from the beating shook the entire thing loose. The big screw thing, fell into the bowl, got jammed between the beaters and broke a mechanism in the engine. I was so upset, I cried.

win a stand mixer

You could win this Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer to help you with your healthy baking!

I’m over it, especially now that I have these two new mixers! The big stand mixer is awesome and does pretty much everything the brand-that-shall-not-be-mentioned does, from what I can tell. It features that same single paddle of the “other guys” that spins while rotating around the entire perimeter of the 3.5 quart stainless steel bowl. There are three attachments for a variety of recipe needs (the paddle, the whisk and the dough hook). There are also six speeds as well as a special, slower folding setting. I could go on and on, but you can read more for yourself about this reasonably priced ($129) yet powerful Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer.

Win a mixer

You’ll love how this hand mixer stands upright when not in use.

I also got to test a really cool hand mixer, the SoftScrape™ 6 Speed Hand Mixer.  Love, love, love this easy-to-use mixer that retails for just $39. It has 6 speeds, so it can tackle a range of different tasks.  It comes with regular beaters, a whisk attachment and also (drumroll) these really genius “SoftScrape” beaters that are coated in silicone (like a flexible spatula) to promote thorough mixing while keeping bowls and nonstick pots from getting scratched up. Another super practical feature of this hand mixer is that it comes with a storage case that attaches to the bottom and accommodates all the attachments and power cord.  It also props up really nice on the counter when between tasks too, without toppling over and leaving a sticky mess.

Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer and SoftScrape Mixer details.

Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer and SoftScrape Mixer details.

If you’d like a chance to win one of these fantastic Hamilton Beach mixers, head down to the bottom of this post and complete the instructions in the Rafflecopter app. Meanwhile, let me tempt you with the recipe I made while I tested my new kitchen gear out – “Lightened-Up” Strawberry Margarita Baby Bundt Cakes. I used a sugar substitute baking blend and no-fat milk to take some of the guilt out of this fun dessert – oh and the strawberry sauce isn’t much more than pureed berries and lime juice with a little splash of tequila!

Mini Strawberry Margarita Cakes Lite

“Lightened-Up” Strawberry Margarita Baby Bundt Cakes Recipe

  • 1/2 -cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar substitute baking blend with 1:2 replacement ratio*
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/3  cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ½ cup chopped fresh strawberries

* if using regular sugar, double the amount to 1 1/3 cups

For the Sauce:

  •  1 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon tequila
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour 6-count mini-Bundt pan. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar substitute until fluffy.
  2. Beat in the lime juice, lime zest, and eggs until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl stir together the cake flour and baking powder. Add alternately with the milk to the egg mixture. Beating just until combined after each addition.
  4. Sprinkle scant amount of coarse sea salt into to bottom of each mini Bundt pan, distributing the 1 teaspoon equally across Bundts. Next divide approximately ½ cup chopped strawberries equally among the bottoms of each cake (about 2 teaspoons each). Add the batter to prepared pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven and let the cakes sit in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife between the cakes and the pan, if needed, and remove to a baking rack to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, make sauce by blending remaining 1 ½ cups chopped strawberries with 3 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon tequila in blender until pureed. Transfer mixture to small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve sauce over cakes and garnish with fresh strawberry, if desired.

skinny strawberry lime cake

Disclosure: Hamilton Beach has provided me with product to review and giveaway. However, all opinions, recipes and commentary are my own.

 

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Pick-Me-Up Apple Pie Smoothie & #Smoovember Blender Giveaway

Hello November, what a wonderful time of year! I am always so thankful for the opportunity to visit with family and friends, enjoy fabulous (mostly healthy) food and soak up the spirit of the upcoming holidays.  But, to be honest, things get crazy up in the Fisher house by mid-November. School and extra-curricular activities are in full swing, meaning band concerts, sports banquets, robotics competitions, community volunteer opportunities, and more – whew! Oh, and did I mention I am running the San Antonio Half Marathon (Nov 17) and Dallas Marathon (12/8)? Through all of this, I’m also keeping up with my CrossFit  — some days I just feel like I’m barely hanging on!

jennifer hanging on bar 1

Some days I’m barely hanging on!

So, when I start going crazy in the mom brain, I want to reach out and grab something immediately comforting for breakfast, something like Fruit Loops or cinnamon rolls or (still being honest here) my kids’ Halloween candy.  But, I know starting the day off with a carbohydrate sugar bomb makes me feel even more tired and crazy, so I try to switch my focus to protein. Starting the day off with about 25 grams of quality protein just makes me feel better, perform better and curbs between meal snacking. But, sometimes the thought of eggs yet again (although I love them) doesn’t sound so appealing compared to something like my favorite dessert. . . . apple pie!

So, why not a smoothie with the flavor of apple pie a la mode? And, why not add a little caffeinated tea to help me tackle the day?   Yesterday, I whipped up a Pick-Me-Up Apple Pie Smoothie that satisfied all my morning requirements – easy, sweet and protein-packed.  I tried out the recipe in the Single Serve Travel Blender Hamilton Beach sent me to test for their #smoovember promotion.

dean smoothie

Enjoying a smoothie straight out of the blender jar. Yay, one less glass to wash!

This little blender is pretty cool; you can mix up a 14-ounce smoothie and drink it straight from the jar. That means, if you’re in a rush, you can mix up your favorite elixir and head on your way, snippity-snap.  You’re not going to spill any smoothie in the car or subway thanks to the tight-fitting lid with slide-shut opening. Plus, it’s so light and compact; I’d even consider packing it in a suitcase along with my tub of protein powder for a weekend getaway.  At less than 20 bucks (at Target), this blender would make an affordable holiday gift for any fitness fan on your list.

SAMSUNG

Not only am I giving away one of these Single Serve Travel Blenders courtesy of Hamilton Beach and #smoovember, but I also get to treat one of you lucky readers to its super-sized sibling – the Smoothie Smart™ Blender. The 40-ounce capacity blender is perfect when I’m making more than one smoothie at a time.  One of the neatest features is the 45-second smart blending cycle that is pre-programmed with the exact number of pulses and speeds needed to whip up the perfect smoothie. And, at the end of the cycle, it shuts off automatically – perfect for this easily distracted mom. Another perk, the no-mess spout means that my countertops stay clean when serving it up into glasses.

I’m including my recipe for Pick-Me-Up Apple Pie Smoothie, you’re going to love it – and you’re going to love it even more in one of these new blenders! You know, Hamilton Beach has been making blenders for over 100 years and they really know what works best! Don’t forget to enter my giveaway at the bottom of the post.

jennifer fisher thefitfork apple pie smoothie

Pick-Me-Up Apple Pie Smoothie Recipe

  • 3 ounces water
  • 1 cinnamon tea bag
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • Dash sea salt
  • 4 ounces vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (“scoop” varies by brand)
  • A few ice cubes
  • Optional Garnish: dollop of whipped cream and cinnamon

In mug, boil water in microwave. Let tea bag steep for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place apple slices in a microwave-safe dish and stir in brown sugar, spices and dash of salt. Microwave mixture on high for 3 to 4 minutes; stopping once to stir. Stick in freezer to cool for a few minutes.

Remove tea bag from mug and add almond milk to help cool liquid.

Add tea-milk mixture, apples and protein powder to blender jar. Pulse mixture until smooth.

Add ice cubes and continue pulsing to achieve the desired consistency. Garnish with a little dollop of whipped cream and cinnamon for an extra treat.

Yield: 1 smoothie

Tip: I often steep the tea and cook the apples the night before, so they are already chilled for the morning. Also, you can make a warm smoothie by omitting the ice cubes and an ounce or two of liquid. Sounds weird, but it’s really good – like drinking pie! However, NEVER make the smoothie with very HOT ingredients, this can be dangerous – the lid can fly off or the glass can crack and explode. 

Smoovember_PrizePack_3

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Egg-celent School Morning Idea! Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker Giveaway

I have a keen sense of smell and an uncanny ability to track down delicious food being made anywhere, anytime. I’ll run faster than you to get there, elbow you out of the way to nab the last piece; all while smiling politely, of course. Survival of fittest, right? This past June at BlogHerFood, my food sample seeking senses were in major overdrive. In the expo hall, every nook and corner of this epic epicurean event was filled with all the latest food products and gadgets on the market. I kept making the rounds over to the Hamilton Beach booth, hoping that they wouldn’t recognized my variety of disguises – like the greedy trick-or-treater kids swapping Halloween masks in the bushes by your front door.

thefitfork turkey spinach egg sandwich

Hamilton Beach was cooking up breakfast sandwiches in a really nifty looking machine. Take a look. Take a good look because I am giving one away! You’ll need to keep reading down to the bottom of the post to enter.

Breakfast-Sandwich-Maker-by-Hamilton-Beach

What I loved about this little breakfast sandwich machine is that it wasn’t just another use-once-and-then-stick-in-the-cabinet gizmo. It was a lean, mean breakfast sandwich-making machine that I knew I could train my ‘tween and teenage boys to use. I feel it’s important to start off the day with a good breakfast, especially one that is packed with protein – about 20 -25 grams of lean protein is the best way to start the day. Last year I met Dr. Heather Leidy, an expert in nutrition and exercise physiology from the University of Missouri, and learned about her recent research that shows how eating enough protein at breakfast can prevent unhealthy snacking in the evening and thus help control weight.

That’s why I like to get my brood of breakfast eaters off to school with something of more substance in their stomachs than Lucky Charms or a Pop Tart.  Eggs are always a favorite, and I’ve tried my hand at making breakfast sandwiches by making an egg patty in a custard cup in the microwave and then putting it on an English muffin. Actually, that technique works pretty well, but then the remaining steps to get the sandwich finished up can be a chore. Enter the Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker. In one fell swoop, this gadget toasts your bread product of choice, melts cheese and warms veggies and meats – all while cooking up your egg scrambled or sunny-side up!

It’s the perfect little machine for streamlining the back-to-school morning chaos. It only takes 5 minutes to make a sandwich and an on-off indicator light lets you know when everything is done. Then, with a pull of the lever, your egg is released between the bread and other fixings – ready to eat! The non-stick finish makes everything easy to clean up.

jennifer fisher thefitfork breakfast sandwich maker

To make sure we had a handle on this machine before school started (goodness knows I didn’t want to decipher an instruction book on the first-day-of-school morning), we tried it out at our last hurrah of summer at the beach. With six hungry boys in the condo, I had no trouble selling these sammies – here’s my cute nephew giving it the thumbs up.

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com sam

There really isn’t a recipe to follow for this machine; you just add the ingredients you like. We used whole-grain sandwich thins (those skinny buns), bagels, sourdough bread cut to shape with the top of a glass, and even waffles. Inside, I offered up a selection of cheese and meats ranging from bacon to deli-style turkey. And, don’t forget the egg – it is recommended to use real eggs, not those from a carton (especially with egg whites). You can see my personal Turkey, Spinach, Tomato and Egg Breakfast Sandwich creation in the first photo of the post. Hamilton Beach has some official breakfast sandwich ideas, if you are interested.

I’m excited to be giving away a Breakfast Sandwich Maker to simplify one of my reader’s morning routines. Trust me; you’ll appreciate not being tempted to hit a greasy fast-food drive-thru. Follow the simple Rafflecopter instructions below to enter.

 

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