A Berry Simple Smoothie Bowl

Blueberry Banana Smoothie Bowl

This make-ahead breakfast is my favorite for busy mornings. Filled with protein, antioxidants and fiber, this tasty bowl packs in a nutritional punch for few calories (and in no time)! I topped mine with granola, but this smoothie is also delicious on it’s in own in a to-go cup on your way out the door.

smoothie bowl

Ingredients (serves 2):

1 ripe banana

3/4 C frozen blueberries

1/4 C natural, creamy peanut butter (I like Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter)

1/4 C 0% plain, Greek yogurt

1/2 C milk of your choice

3 ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients together – I used my Nutri Bullet! (How easy is that?)

*Chill in fridge in sealed container if not consuming immediately. I like to make my smoothie at night and just give it a quick stir in the morning – breakfast made easy! 

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

Calories 332 calories, Total Fat 17 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 3 mg, Carbohydrates 30 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 13 g, Sodium 154 mg, Calcium 122 mg

*Note: Nutritional analysis uses 1% (low-fat) milk

Greens Smoothie

Greens Smoothie

This has been my new go-to breakfast for busy mornings – you can make it in about 3 minutes or less, or you can even make it the night prior. Even though it’s bright green, don’t let the color scare you away. This smoothie is sweet, nutritious and packed with protein and vitamin C. Also, the vitamin C in pineapple and clementine help your body to absorb the iron present in spinach more readily – talk about a power breakfast. I usually eat 1-2 egg hard boiled eggs or egg whites to increase the protein content, or you can enjoy this smoothie as a mid-day pick-me-up!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

1 cup spinach, packed

1/3 C frozen pineapple chunks (make sure the only ingredient is pineapple – no added sugar or syrup!)

1 clementine, peeled and sectioned

1/2 C plain, 0% fat Greek yogurt

Ready to blend!

Ready to blend!

Directions:

  1. Place spinach all ingredients in blender (I used my Magic Bullet). Blend until well combined (you may need to blend it for about 2 minutes in order to get all of the spinach leaves fully incorporated). How easy was that?! *Note: you can make this overnight and store in your fridge to grab on your way out the door the next morning – just keep it covered.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

Calories 137 calories, Total Fat 0 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 22 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 14 g, Sodium 68 mg, Calcium 185 mg

This breakfast could be grab-and-go, but it took so little time to make that I just enjoyed it at home!

This breakfast could be grab-and-go, but it took so little time to make that I just enjoyed it at home!

 

 

Pumpkin and Spice and Everything Nice!

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Oatmeal with Walnuts

This autumn-y oatmeal has been my go-to this month for a quick breakfast before running out the door. I use instant oatmeal (although I am sure it would be tasty using overnight oats, as well) and pumpkin butter for this quick morning meal. Also, just a fun fact: pumpkin butter is not actually butter at all – it is pureed pumpkin, oftentimes mixed with honey and some lemon juice and typically has less than 35 calories per 1 Tbsp serving. That is a lot of flavor for minimal calories! Plus, pumpkin supplies beta carotene, which your body can convert to vitamin A.  This pumpkin-y bowl full of cinnamon spice and heart-healthy walnuts is a seasonal way to start your day off right with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and a tasty spoonful of beta carotene-rich pumpkin!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

1 packet instant oatmeal (*I like Trader Joe’s Oats and Flax or Bob’s Red Mill brand)

*Note: If you are interested in a heartier breakfast and looking for a way to increase calcium intake, you can prepare the oatmeal with milk in place of water! 

1/2 oz unsalted walnut halves (about 7 walnut halves)

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin butter (*Try to look for a brand that isn’t loaded with sugar – I like Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter)

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Cook oatmeal according to directions on package.

2. Add pumpkin butter and cinnamon and stir into oatmeal. Top with walnuts and enjoy!

(This may be the easiest recipe I have ever posted!)

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 231 calories, Total Fat 12 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol o mg, Carbohydrates 27 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 100 mg, Calcium 159 mg

Keep It Simple: Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

Avocados are my go-to addition to salads, sandwiches and pretty much anything! The creamy texture is satiating while offering heart-healthy, monounsaturated fatty acids. Also, avocados are rich in many vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins K and C, folate(B9) and potassium, while offering up a hearty dose of fiber. This simple avocado toast gives me my avocado fix while filling me up in a matter of minutes – great for breakfast on busy mornings or as a snack!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

1 slice whole wheat or whole grain bread (I like Ezekiel’s Sprouted Grain bread)

1/2 avocado

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Toast bread until browned (If you are using frozen bread, you can place it directly in the toaster without thawing)

2. Mash avocado in bowl. Top toast with avocado mash.

3. Sprinkle salt and pepper over avocado. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 241 calories, Total Fat 15 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 24 g, Fiber 10 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 237 mg, Calcium 12 mg

Easy Huevos Rancheros Scramble

Huevos Rancheros

Clearly, I had some extra black beans, guacamole and salsa to use from yesterday’s unwrapped shrimp burrito. This morning, I made an amazing huevos rancheros scramble – and it only took about 15 minutes. This is going to be my new summer brunch special. With fiber from the black beans, monounsaturated fat from the avocado, beta-carotene from the tomatoes in the salsa and protein from the eggs, this breakfast is a nutritional powerhouse – and it’s delicious, too!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

2 large eggs

2 Tbsp onion, chopped

2 Tbsp bell pepper, chopped

1/4 C black beans (*Note: If using canned black beans, look for a “No Salt Added” variety and rinse under water in colander.)

2 Tbsp guacamole (Try making your own using my simple recipe here!)

2 Tbsp salsa

1/2 oz. reduced-fat, shredded Mexican Blend cheese

splash skim milk

dash salt

dash pepper

1/2 tsp butter (or margarine)

Directions:

1. Heat butter  in small skillet over medium heat.

2. Add onions to skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add peppers to onions in skillet. Cook another 5-7 minutes, stirring occassionally.

4. Add black beans to skillet. Cook another 1-2 minutes.

5.Crack eggs in medium bowl. Add splash of skim milk, salt and pepper. Whisk well and add to skillet.Cook eggs until dry and cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Continue to stir and scramble occasionally.

6. Add guacamole, salsa and cheese. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 340 calories, Total Fat 20 g, Saturated Fat 8 g, Cholesterol 380 mg, Carbohydrates 20 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 21 g, Sodium 701 mg, Calcium 305 mg

*Note: Sodium content may vary greatly based on brands used for guacamole, salsa, cheese and beans. 

Smoothie Season

With this insanely nice weather, I’ve been craving ice cream and cold treats. However, ice cream can be loaded with added sugar and fat and is not a low-calorie snack. Instead, I’ve been making my own smoothies every morning with plain, 0% fat, Greek yogurt and fresh and frozen fruit. Not only this is a super-quick (it literally takes less than 3 minutes to prepare!) breakfast or snack, but it’s great on-the-go in a thermos. Also, this is an ideal breakfast to make the night before – just store in a covered glass in the fridge and give it a stir in the morning. After making these smoothies, you won’t even be thinking about ice cream, anymore!

Berry Yummy Smoothie

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Ingredients (serves 1):

3 oz 0% fat, plain Greek yogurt (I like Fage – it tastes creamier than many others)

1/2 C frozen berries (I like to use a frozen berry medley of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries)

1/2 tsp honey

3 ice cubes

Directions:

1. Place ice cubes in blender (I am in love with my Magic Bullet – perfect for whipping up smoothies quickly and such little clean up!). Pulse until finely chopped. This creates more liquid so that the smoothie blends well.

2. Add yogurt, berries and honey to blender. Blend until smooth (about 1 minute). You may need to pause the blender and stir every once in awhile in order to incorporate all frozen pieces.

3. Pour into cup or thermos and enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 96 calories, Fat 0 g fat, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 35 mg, Carbohydrates 15 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 9 g, Calcium 110 mg

Ready to blend!

Ready to blend!

Gone Bananas For Mango Smoothie

Ingredients (serves 1):IMG_0954

3 oz. 0% fat, plain Greek yogurt

1/2 C frozen mango chunks

1 small banana (or cut a large banana in half and save the other half in the fridge)

1/2 tsp honey

3 ice cubes

Directions:

1. Place ice cubes in blender and pulse until finely chopped.

2. Add yogurt, mango, banana (in small chunks – I usually break my banana into quarters) and honey to blender. Blend until smooth (about 1 minute). You may need to pause the blender and stir every once in awhile in order to incorporate all frozen pieces.

3. Pour into cup or thermos and enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 204 calories, Fat 0 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 44 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 9 g, Calcium 94 mg

Interested in other smoothie ideas?

Instead of the banana in the mango smoothie (above), I’ve used 1/4 C fresh pineapple chunks – and it tastes amazing! Other fun  smoothie ideas? strawberry kiwi, banana berry, or, for a more filling option, banana-peanut butter! I’ll post some other great smoothie recipes as the warm weather continues and feel free to post your favorites!

 

 

 

Ever Wonder How The French Stay So Thin? They Eat This!

French Toast with Strawberries, Cinnamon and Maple Syrup

Okay, maybe not. But this slimmed down French toast is pumped up with extra nutrition and skimps on fat, so you can enjoy this childhood favorite. This recipe uses whole wheat toast and one egg with one egg white, so you can fuel up with fiber and protein. Also, some studies suggest that eating cinnamon with bread may help to maintain blood glucose levels and prevent a spike in blood sugar. Plus, it’s delicious!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

2 slices whole wheat bread (I like Vermont Bread Company Soft Whole Wheat)

1 large egg, 1 large egg white

Splash of skim milk (about 1 Tbsp)

4 medium strawberries

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp butter

nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

1 Tbsp maple syrup

dash ground black pepper

dash salt

almost ready to flip!

almost ready to flip!

Directions:

1. Spray medium sized pan with nonstick vegetable cooking spray and warm over medium heat.

2. Crack 1 egg into bowl. Crack second egg and separate the egg white by transferring the yolk back and forth between the two halves of the egg shell, allowing the egg white to fall into the bowl below. Discard shells and one remaining yolk (*note: you can also buy a carton of egg whites and use the equivalent of 1 large egg).

3. Add splash of milk (about 1 Tbsp) to eggs. Add salt and pepper and scramble well with fork.

4. Soak each piece of bread in the egg mixture (coating well) and transfer to pan.

5. Cook bread about 7-10 minutes on each side, until French toast becomes golden brown and egg is cooked thoroughly. Transfer to plate. Top with butter, cinnamon, strawberries and maple syrup. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 300, Total Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 196 mg, Carbohydrates 42 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 14 g, Sodium 729 mg, Calcium 114 mg

Green Eggs, No Ham

Sunny Side Up Eggs with Avocado on Toast

This easy breakfast is filling, delicious and offers protein, healthy monounsaturated fat and fiber, along with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, folate and potassium. I know the morning can be rough, but this breakfast takes about 10 minutes to make and will keep you full for hours, without compromising your calories.

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Ingredients (serves 1):

2 large eggs

1/4 avocado

1 slice whole wheat bread

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

mashed avocado on toast (also amazing on its own!)

mashed avocado on toast (also amazing on its own!)

Directions:

1. Spray small pan with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Warm over medium heat.

2.Slice avocado in half and slice one half in half again. Remove fruit from skin and transfer to small bowl. Mash with fork. (*Note: If you save the half with the pit, the avocado will not brown as fast. Store in refrigerator in air tight plastic bag for 1-2 days)

3. Place bread in toaster and warm until toasted and golden brown (about 5 minutes).

4. Crack eggs into pan (or into bowl first, if you prefer, and transfer into pan), add salt and pepper and cover. Cook until white is solid but yolk is still somewhat liquid (about 5 minutes). There should be a fine white film over the yolk.

5. Remove toast from toaster and transfer avocado on top of toast, spreading evenly in a thin layer. Add egg on top once cooked. Serve hot and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 323 calories, Total Fat 17 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 372 mg, Carbohydrates 27 g, Fiber 5 g, Protein 17 g, Sodium 711 mg, Calcium 82 mg

*Note: This nutritional analysis includes a bread that is not low sodium and also a dash of table salt. Salt content may vary.

ready to eat!

ready to eat!

A Muffin You’ll Be Nuts About: Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Muffins

Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Muffins

This chillier weather makes me want to bake and enjoy the scent of warm, freshly baked muffins filling my apartment with some hot tea. I slimmed down banana walnut muffins by swapping out some all purpose flour for whole wheat flour, replacing oil with fat free Greek yogurt and increasing the amount of bananas, so the muffins stay moist and sweet – naturally! These muffins are great as a snack to pack for work or school, or amazing with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning. A great bonus? walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to decrease inflammation. Who says you can’t have your muffin and eat it, too?

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Ingredients (yields 18 muffins):

1 C whole wheat flour

1 C all purpose flour

1.25 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

4  medium, overripe bananas (*note: it is important that the bananas are almost entirely brown on the outside, or else your muffins will not be sweet)

2/3 C honey

still chunky mashed bananas

still chunky mashed bananas

1/3 C light brown sugar

3/4 C 0% fat, plain Greek yogurt (I like Fage)

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 C walnuts, crushed or chopped

almost ready!

almost ready!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in medium sized bowl. Set aside.

3. Mash 2 bananas with a fork until just mashed (bananas should remain slightly chunky)

4. Beat remaining 2 bananas with honey and brown sugar (about 2 minutes). Add yogurt, eggs, vanilla and beat well for another 30-45 seconds.

5. Mix in about half of the dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula. Add remaining half of dry ingredients. Fold in nuts and mashed bananas to batter.

6. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Spoon batter into muffin tins so that each cup is about 3/4 full.

7. Bake for approximately 25 minutes (until the muffins pass the “toothpick test” – a toothpick should come out of each muffin mostly clean). Serve warm or at room temperature.

oven-ready!

oven-ready!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving (1 serving is 1 muffin from a batter that makes 18 muffins):

Calories 159, Fat 3 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 10 mg, Carbohydrates 31 g, Fiber 2 g, Protein 4 g, Sodium 168 mg, Calcium 20 mg

warm, fresh baked banana walnut muffins!

warm, fresh baked banana walnut muffins!

A Homemade Granola Recipe That’s Lip Smackin’ Good!

Granola with Dried Raspberries, Dark Chocolate and Almonds

This granola is great paired with milk, as part of a Greek yogurt parfait, or plain as an on-the-go snack. Better yet, this granola contains less fat and sugar than many store-bought brands and is super easy to make! Oats offer up way more than fiber – they also are suspected of having strong anti-microbial properties and also contain a ton of antioxidants! Paired with dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) and raspberries, this snack is full of compounds that reduce oxidative stress! Grab a handful after a workout and neutralize potentially harmful free radicals while fueling up with carbs and protein!

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Ingredients (yields 2.5 C, serves 10):

2 C rolled oats

1/2 C sliced almonds (unsalted)

1/3 C dried raspberries

2 oz dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)

1 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp canola oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.IMG_0587

2. Combine wet ingredients (water, honey, oil, vanilla extract) in medium bowl.

3. Add rolled oats to bowl and mix into wet ingredients with hands.

4. Place parchment paper (or aluminum foil) on baking sheet. Pour contents from bowl onto parchment paper and spread into thin, even layer.

5. Place baking sheet in oven and bake approximately 45 minutes. Stir ingredients every 10-15 minutes.

6. Remove baking sheet from oven. Add almonds and mix ingredients. Spread into thin, even layer. Place back in oven for 20-25 minutes.

7.Remove baking sheet from oven and allow granola to cool (about 15 minutes). Transfer contents into large bowl, Tupperware or plastic bag. Add dried raspberries. Break chocolate into small pieces and add to granola. Serve or store (granola should last approximately 2-3 weeks, if stored properly).

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving (1 serving is 1/4 C granola)

Calories 171 calories, Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 2 mg, Carbohydrates 20 g, Fiber 4 g, Sugar 6 g, Protein 5 g, Calcium 33 mg