Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Banana Protein Smoothie

This smoothie recipe is one of Kristen's all-time favorites.  
It's simple to make and delicious!

Mix 1 frozen banana, 1 Cup of your favorite milk substitute (mine is Silk Pure Coconut or Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk) and a couple of Tablespoons of Hemp Protein Powder
 in your Vitamix or blender until smooth.  That's all there is to it!

P.S.  We ALWAYS buy extra bananas!  When the skin starts to darken and they are too ripe too eat, we just peel them, break in half and freeze.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Twiddle Bars"

This recipe is a homemade version of Lara Bars, a healthy, whole food nutrition bar that can be found in your local grocery store.  If you're not into making your own, by all means, buy theirs.  We think they are the best bars out there.  However, if you're adventurous, try making your own!

Ours are named Twiddle Bars because Judd has always called our daughter Briana "Twiddlebug", and she is the one who suggested the idea to make a homemade Lara Bar.

We use our Vitamix to make these; if you don't own one, you should be able to use your food processor to make them.  

Feel free to experiment with your choice of ingredients, but remember to always use pitted dates as the base ingredient, as they are what gives the bar its consistency and holds it together.  Check out the Lara Bar Website for different flavor options to try out.

Here's our recipe:

1 1/3 Cup Pitted Dates
1/2 Cup Raisins
1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts or Seeds of choice (Peanuts, sunflower seeds, pepitos, cashews, etc.)
1/2 Cup Coconut Flour  (Although coconut flour is a bit costly, one bag will go a long way.  It adds a nicer flavor than regular flour, and it's a healthy, gluten-free alternative.)  We like Bobs Red Mill Coconut Flour.  (Approximately $7.00)

Blend Dates & Raisins in food processor until it has a paste-like consistency, using the "pulse" option on your machine if it has one.

In a separate bowl, add Date/Raisin blend to chopped nuts/seeds and mix together by hand.  (Important:  do NOT add the nuts/seeds to the food processor!  It will dry up the date mixture.)

Roll the mixture into 1" balls, then roll them in the coconut flour and shape them into bars.  Keep refrigerated to maintain firmness.  (NOTE:  We save the excess coconut flour in a separate container to use again.)

Here is a picture of our latest batch of Twiddle Bars.  Our go-to recipe consists of just dates, raisins and sunflower seeds.  Judd made this version by blending 1 1/3 cup of dates, 1/4 cup of raisins and 1/4 cup of Goji Berries, then hand mixing the blended ingredients with 1/4 cup of pepitos and 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds.  You get the idea!

This recipe makes 6-8 bars each containing 195 calories.  We suggest eating one bar as a mid-meal snack.  These aren't diet food, so while you may want to eat all 6 in one day, please don't!!  

Eat your veggies!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sesame Tahini

For the Vegan Pantry:

Sesame Tahini is an all natural creamy puree of sesame seeds that has a light, nut-like flavor.  It is a common ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking.  We love to use it when making Hummus.

Quick and Delicious Tahini Hummus

*Image courtesy of Vitamix

This is our new favorite "go-to" quick snack recipe!  You can find it here on our blog under Recipes-Hummus or by following this link Vitamix Hummus Recipe.  We replace the sesame seeds with a heaping spoonful of Sesame Tahini, which you can find in most grocery stores.  We also like to add some chopped roasted red peppers to our hummus.  Dip your favorite fresh veggies or some homemade baked whole wheat tortillas for a healthy snack option.  (For homemade tortillas, just slice some whole wheat tortillas, coat lightly with olive oil and salt.  Bake on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes at 400 degrees.)

We use and recommend this brand of Sesame Tahini: