No-Cook Chocolate Protein “Baklava” Bites

Ahhhhh . .  Chocolate. Pistachios. Honey. A hint of cinnamon.  My Chocolate Protein “Baklava” Bites are a muscle-making take on this ancient honey and nut dessert hailing from Greece and Turkey (both countries lay claim to its origin).  Chocolate Protein Baklava Bites

You’ll notice there’s no thin layers of phyllo in this healthy sweet treat! No need to get distracted with difficulty of preparation (and gluten) this adds to the recipe. Instead, I’ve put together a 15 minute recipe that is packed full of great nutrition to fuel your active lifestyle and requires absolutely no cooking. Read on to get all the nutty details along with the full recipe! Continue reading

Nutty Purple Sweet Potato Flatbread | Gluten-Free #PurplePowerToThePeople

Nutty Purple Sweet Potato Flatbread is gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free.White bread ain’t got nothing, not one single thing on my Nutty Purple Sweet Potato Flatbread. That is, unless you actually like gummy simple carbs and are willing to put your bod through the resulting blood sugar surge/crash and gathering of gluten all from eating one puny slice.

Stokes Purple Sweet Potato

This kinda weird, but decidedly delicious flatbread has none of that nonsense. Featuring Stokes Purple®, a special type of California-grown, non-GMO sweet potato with purple skin and vibrant purple flesh that get even brighter when cooked, this bread alternative is nothing to “loaf” about – flat is where it’s at! #PurplePowerToThePeople

The texture of a Stokes Purple® is a little drier and denser than a traditional sweet potato, rendering it perfect for a substitute flour filler in my grain-free, gluten-free flatbread recipe. Purple sweet potatoes offer similar nutritional benefits of regular orange sweet potatoes in the fact that they are both healthy source of complex carbs with a low GI impact, are full of dietary fiber and many essential vitamins and minerals. The Stokes Purple® also has anthocyanins, a plant flavonoid that not only gives the potatoes their distinctive purple hue, but also have been linked to a host of health benefits including reductions in certain cancers, lowering of bad cholesterol,  improvements in vision, liver and heart health, and have also been linked to boosts in cognition.Nutty Purple Sweet Potato Flatbread is a gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free and dairy-free bread substitute! Eat as a starter, sammie, snack or side dish!

So back to the sweet potato flatbread details, the recipe also features almond meal, and coarsely chopped pumpkin and sunflower seeds. There are a couple eggs in the recipe, but otherwise it’s dairy-free and suitable for a vegetarian or gluten-free diet. If you have an allergy to nuts, sub out the almond meal for an equivalent amount of oat-flour to keep it nut-free.

nutty-purple-sweet-potato-flatbread Eat this gluten-free flatbread warm out of the oven, spread with a little honey butter – it’s like eating a sweet potato in portable, easy-to-pick-up format. But, a little more interesting and flavorful than that “sweet potato toast” trend on Pinterest. You can also use two slices to bookend your favorite sandwich fillings – since I made these right after the holidays, my gluten-free sandwich is layered with leftovers including turkey, cranberry relish and spinach!

nutty-sweet-potato-flatbread-sandwich-feet

Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes available in select markets and by mail.

Have you ever had a purple sweet potato? What are your favorite potato toppings or sammie stuffings? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

 

Nutty Purple Sweet Potato Flatbread is gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free.
Nutty Purple Sweet Potato Flatbread
Print Recipe
Enjoy as a sandwich, starter or side dish, Nutty Purple Sweet Potato Flatbread is nutritious, delicious, and gluten-free option for dinner, lunch or snack.
Servings Prep Time
12 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Nutty Purple Sweet Potato Flatbread is gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free.
Nutty Purple Sweet Potato Flatbread
Print Recipe
Enjoy as a sandwich, starter or side dish, Nutty Purple Sweet Potato Flatbread is nutritious, delicious, and gluten-free option for dinner, lunch or snack.
Servings Prep Time
12 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: slices
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400F degrees. In small food processor, coarsely chop sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Add to small bowl, along with other dry ingredients including almond flour, salt, pepper, chili powder and garlic powder.
  2. In small blender, add milk, eggs and 1 cup of pre-cooked sweet potato mash and process until smooth. Stir in remaining cooked sweet potatoes with spatula, adding a splash more milk if needed, but consistency should remain fairly thick.
  3. Scrape this wet mixture into bowl with dry ingredients and mix with spatula until well combined.
  4. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread batter from end to end, corner to corner, keeping even thickness. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin and sunflower seeds, if desired.
  5. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until edges and top are turning lightly golden brown. Remove from oven to cool on wire rack.
  6. Cut into pieces and serve warm or at room temperature. Save leftovers in zip-top bag in refrigerator – reheat in microwave or toaster oven before serving.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Almond Eaters Make Better Athletes + Almond Apricot Bar Recipe

Eating almonds may boost athletic endurance, or so says a recent study published the Journal of International Sports Nutrition.  Professional cyclists in the study snacked on either almonds or cookies over the course of four weeks. At the conclusion, almond eaters made the most improvements on bike time trials and researchers concluded that eating almonds helped mobilize more previously reserved carbohydrates rather than breaking down fat as an energy source during intense exercise. Just hanging out with the superheroes at Hood to Coast Relay.To put it simply, almonds are a food for superheros on the course — you may not BONK or HIT THE WALL (as quickly) is you’ve noshed on some almonds leading up to and during intense exercise like long runs, Spartan races, triathlons, ultra marathons and more. 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 and also help keep electrolyte levels in check. Salty almonds, yum!

A handful of almonds (about 23) makes a hunger-curbing, healthy snack.Whether you are a hard-core athlete or not, the nutrient profile of almonds is a natural fit for fueling healthy, active lifestyles.

A 1-ounce serving of almonds (about 23 almonds, a handful or ¼ cup) has 6g protein, 4g fiber, heart-healthy fats, and lots of vitamin E and other important nutrients – and 163 calories (much less than a candy bar).

unleash-the-crunch-power-of-almonds

Another thing I appreciate about almonds? Almonds are super portable and can go anywhere – toss a handful in a little container and stick in your purse, gym bag, backpack or race belt.

I also like to toss almonds in with fresh fruits for a carb-protein balanced pre or post workout snack.Fruit and almonds make the perfect snack

Sometimes I get “fancy” with almonds and use them in a recipe, here is one of my favorites that is perfect for on-the-go snacking!

Apricot Almond Chocolate Energy Bars

Almond Apricot Energy Bars are the perfect snack for lunch boxes or fueling runs, workouts and post-exercise recovery.

Oh, FYI, I just wanted to know that I’m now sharing my recipe on as a publisher on Yummly, visit my Yummly Page! Also, use the Yum button below (in the bar of share buttons) to save my recipes to your personal recipe box on Yummly. If you’re not familiar with Yummly, you should be — it’s a huge recipe database that not only features a digital recipe box for you to save your favorites but also recipe recommendations, shopping lists, and supporting Iphone and Android apps to help you with meal ideas on the go!

Are you an almond eater? What is your favorite nut? Who your favorite superhero? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Ancho Chile Honey Granola on Summer Tomato Salad

Ancho Chile Honey Granola adds a sweet and savory crunch to soups, salads, baked fish and more.If someone says “granola” and do you instantly think sweet, crunchy and  . . . spicy?  Probably not, but I’m here to share my recipe for Ancho Chile Honey Granola — it might just be the most delicious and versatile granola recipe ever. The secret is a dash of ancho chile powder — don’t worry, ancho chiles (referred to as poblano peppers when fresh) aren’t super hot, they are the sweetest of the dried chiles and most commonly used in authentic Mexican cooking.

Tomato Salad with Ancho Chile Honey Granola

Ancho Chile Honey Granola can be made in a skillet on the stove top in less than 10 minutes. Packed with pumpkin seeds, almonds, chia seeds, this easy granola recipe is a fantastic way to get the benefits of the heart healthy fats that nuts and seeds offer.It’s lightly sweetened with honey to complement the mild ancho heat.Use the savory-sweet granola to top a tomato salad (as pictured), to add a crunch factor to green salads, atop soups, as a crispy topping on baked fish or chicken — or simply eaten straight out of the container!

 

Ancho Chile Honey Skillet Granola ingredients

Oh, and you’re going to LOVE that it’s super easy to make — just requiring 10 minutes in a skillet on the stove top rather than the lengthy baking of traditional granola recipes. I originally created this recipe for the Living Litehouse Blog at LitehouseFoods.com, check it out — I’m a big fan of their Instantly Fresh Herbs.

Have you every tried a savory granola? What is your favorite flavor of granola — spicy or sweet?  Please share in the comments below? XOXO, Jennifer 

 

 

Ancho Chile Honey Granola
Print Recipe
Add a slightly spicy, slightly sweet kick to your salads, soups and entree recipes with this savory granola -- also great for a "right out of the bag" snack.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ancho Chile Honey Granola
Print Recipe
Add a slightly spicy, slightly sweet kick to your salads, soups and entree recipes with this savory granola -- also great for a "right out of the bag" snack.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
For Salad
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add coconut oil to large skillet and bring to medium-high heat.
  2. Add pepita seeds, slivered almonds and chili powder to skillet and stir for 1 – 2 minutes or until beginning to toast. Add honey and stir to combine.
  3. Mix oats, chia seeds, dried cilantro and sea salt to skillet, stirring well to coat with honey mixture. Continue to stir over medium heat for approximately 5 – 6 minutes longer, taking care that honey doesn’t start to burn.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes in skillet. Transfer to air-tight container using spatula to break up any pieces stuck to skillet.
  5. Make salad by slicing tomatoes and sprinkling with yellow bell pepper and cilantro. Top with a dollop of ranch dip and ancho chile honey granola.
Share this Recipe
 
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

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.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

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.  

Chocolate Cherry Trail Cups + Workout to Flip For

Chocolate Cherry Protein Trail Cups - No Bake - TheFitFork.comSnacking, snacking, snacking – lots of snacking going down at my house because I am my three teen boys are always so hungry. I’ve been experimenting with some homemade energy bars and trail mixes and have come up with the perfect combo – Chocolate Cherry (Protein) Trail Cups.  My husband mentioned after gobbling one up that it reminded him of a Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte Lara Bar  — so, I made a Larabar copycat recipe without even realizing!

Nut Butter, Dried Cherries, Oats and More - TheFitFork.com

So many wholesome yet yummy ingredients in this recipe.

Food Processor - Cherry Chocolate Trail Cups - TheFitFork.comThese healthy snacks are super easy to whip up and using a food processor makes the task even less time consuming. The tip to making sure these treats hold up to any adventure is to make sure the crumbly mixture is moist enough to stick together when pressed between fingers. If it seems too dry, throw more nut butter or sugar-free chocolate syrup in 1 teaspoon at a time.

I’m taking my batch of trail cups for some long-lasting energy when the family heads out on a ski trip soon. I created this recipe with protein power as one of the ingredients to balance the dried fruit and chocolate.   I don’t want to hear ANY “I’m hungry mom” complaints when we’re dangling our skis and snowboards off a lift 10,000 feet up.

Chocolate & Cherry Energy Cups - TheFitFork.com

Chocolate Cherry (Protein) Trail Cups Recipe

  • 1 ¼ cup Love Grown Super Oats*
  • 1/3 cup chocolate protein powder (like Quest Nutrition Chocolate Milkshake)**
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup nut butter of choice (I used almond)
  • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
  • 2 tablespoons Stevia-sweetened cocoa syrup***
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips

*You may use regular rolled oats and add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. 
**If you don’t want to use protein powder, add an additional ¼ cup oats and 1 tablespoon nuts.
** I used NuNaturals Cocoa Syrup, but you can use any chocolate syrup

  1. Add oats, protein powder, cocoa powder, raisins and pecans in work bowl of food processor. Processes until ingredients are broken down but still fairly coarse
  2. Pulse in nut butter and syrup until mixture is moist and sticks together when pressed between fingers.
  3. Pulse in cherries and mini chocolate chips until just combined.
  4. Place approximately ¼ cup loosely scooped mixture into muffin tin that has been prepped with a paper liner. Press mixture down with back of spoon of fingers until compacted.
  5. May be stored in the refrigerator in airtight container for several weeks. Makes 15 :”cups.”

Oh, and I have a workout you’re going to flip for – if you don’t have a tire, a heavier med ball can be substituted.Tire Flip Full Body Workout = TheFitFork.com

 

What is on your workout and / or snacking schedule this week?  Have you ever flipped a tire?

Lettuce Party! 8 Healthy Appetizers for New Year’s Eve

Eight Healthy Appetizers - TheFitFork.comRing in the New Year without all the “oh I shouldn’t have eaten all that” guilt. Whether watching the ball drop in Times Square at home in your jammies or hosting an elaborate cocktail party, all your clean-eating resolutions can start early thanks to my eight healthy appetizer ideas – each under 100 calories!

blue diamond natural almond and apricot snackApricot Almond Chocolate Bites – It’s hard to believe that this little trio of tasty goodness has only has 20 calories, but it’s true! Plus, dried apricots are rich in iron, so there are no worries about having a few!

Mini Gorgonzola Cheese Balls - TheFitFork.comMini Gorgonzola Cheese Balls – Each little ball of bold, beautifully creamy cheese has just 85 calories – even less if you substitute fat-free cream cheese for the gorgonzola.  You can check out the full recipe along with variations I put together for the Living Litehouse blog.

litehouse roasted chickpeas title

Lime Coconut and Basil Roasted Chickpeas – With 95 calories for ¼ a cup (a handful), you get loads of Thai-inspired taste plus a bonus of fiber and protein.

Southwestern Shrimp & Avocado Starters - TheFitFork.com

Southwestern Shrimp and Guacamole Starter –    You’ll say “ole” to this avocado and shrimp pairing, especially when you find out it only has 55 calories (and that includes licking the little cup).

 

mushrooms stuffed with pepper jack, hatch green chile and kaleHatch Green Chile Stuffed Mushrooms –  Mushroom caps are the perfect healthy vessels to be stuffed with delicious ingredients — that’s because mushrooms sop up flavors like little sponges, have virtually no calories, and are packed with tons of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Each one of these succulent, almost meaty (although no meat – vegetarian recipe) mushroom caps has only 67 calories!

carrot beet parsnip firesBaked Root Vegetable Fries –  A fantastic substitute for traditional chips or fries, these root vegetable “fries” are baked in the oven and have only 53 calories per serving. If you add in 1 tablespoon of a light dip (I like the OPADIPITY line by Litehouse Foods made with Greek yogurt), you add only another 35 calories, bringing the grand total up to 88 calories.

Grape Blue Cheese Walnut Bites - TheFitFork.comGrape, Blue Cheese and Walnut Bites – This recipe was inspired by a much-requested fall fruit salad with the same ingredients.  No official recipe to follow, just skewer up a single grape, small hunk of blue cheese and raw walnut half on a little toothpick for a big explosion of flavor —  only 30 calories each!

Veggie Cups with Dip - TheFitFork.comVeggies-‘n-Dip Cup – Another “no-recipe” recipe, just place 1 tablespoon of your favorite light dressing (again, I used OPADIPITY Greek Yogurt Ranch) into a condiment up and add in the veggies of your choice. This fun finger food assortments has only about 50 calories per cup, depending on your exact dressing and produce selections.

What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?  What do you reach for first when it comes to party food?