FOR THE LOVE OF SMOOTHIES - FREE DOWNLOAD!

One of my favorite ways to pack in nutrients and have a grab-n-go snack or meal is to make smoothies. It’s the perfect option when you are running out the door for work, running errands, or need something to hold you over before a sit down meal. Not to mention a great fuel source pre or post workout.

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I am sharing a very comprehensive smoothie guide to help you become a little more creative with your smoothie making and optimize your health at the same time.

Personally, I enjoy smoothies any time of the day and sometimes choose a smoothie as a post dinner snack over another treat.

To keep costs down opt for frozen fruits, spinach, or kale. Or if you choose to buy fresh you can always freeze excess for future smoothies. Another tip is to check out some of the discount grocery stores as many have amazing deals on frozen fruit.

Oh and those weird ingredients like maca, hemp seeds, chia seeds, bee pollen - check your local homegoods, tjmaxx, or discount store as they often have those types of items at a significant savings.

Lastly, I want to talk about protein powder. When my wellness journey began I was introduced to the protein line EAS which I could purchase locally. Over the years, I’ve tried different protein powders and meal replacements and keep coming back to the EAS brand.

I do not believe you need to break the bank on your protein and yes, EAS might not be the highest quality brand or grass-fed, plant based, etc. but DO THE BEST YOU CAN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE ACCESS TOO AND CAN AFFORD!

Not to go on a long winded rant, but I will - I’ve spend a TON of money with different “popular” shake companies and honestly, the only thing I was left with was a dwindling bank account. Don’t fall for the marketing ploys or traps. That’s just my 2 cents on protein powders.

If eating clean or healthy is new to you, keep it basic. Don’t get overwhelmed with a ton of fancy ingredients. You can make due with simple vanilla or chocolate protein, a banana ,ice and non-dairy milk or water.


A FEW BONUS RECIPES:

STRAWBERRY BLISS

  • 1 cup coconut water or almond milk

  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries

  • 1 banana

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1 Tablespoon hemp seeds

  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal or chia seeds

  • Pinch of cinnamon

  • Stevia or raw honey to sweeten

  • Ice (optional)

A GINGERBREAD COOKIE

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk

  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal or chia seeds

  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 banana

  • 1 cup of spinach

  • 1 Tablespoon of almond butter

  • Stevia to taste (optional)

  • Ice (optional)

KIDNEY NOURISHING SMOOTHIE

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk

  • 1⁄2 large cucumber peeled and sliced

  • 1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries

  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal or chia seeds

  • 1 Tablespoon raw, organic honey or stevia to taste (optional)

  • Ice (optional)

  • Cucumbers are a wonderful kidney cleanser and provide you with bounds of energy.

CRANBERRY SWEETNESS BLISS SMOOTHIE

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond/coconut/hemp or rice milk

  • 1 cup of mixed berries

  • 1⁄4 cup unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate

  • 1⁄4 avocado

  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal or chia seeds

  • 1 Teaspoon ginger

  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon

  • Ice (optional)


GINGERBREAD HOUSE SMOOTHIE

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond/coconut/hemp or rice milk

  • 1 ripe banana

  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice

  • 2 Tablespoons honey or stevia

  • Ice (optional)

CHOCOLATE BANANA BLISS SMOOTHIE

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk

  • 1 ripe banana

  • 1/2 cup kale


  • 2 Tablespoons cashew butter or almond butter

  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey or stevia

  • 
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao

  • Ice (optional) 


MOOD STABILIZER

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries

  • 1 Teaspoon maca powder

  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter

  • 1 handful of spinach

  • 1 Tablespoon raw, organic honey or stevia to taste (optional)

NEED MORE NOURISH ENERGY SMOOTHIE

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond/coconut/hemp or rice milk

  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds

  • 1/2 avocado

  • 1 banana

  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal or chia seeds

  • Stevia to taste (optional)

  • Ice (optional)

MANGO DREAM

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk

  • 1/2 cup coconut water

  • 2 leaves kale or Swiss chard, coarsely chopped


  • 1/4 avocado


  • 1/2 cup mango chunks (the freezer section is great for this)

  • Ice (optional)



Let me know which of the recipes is your favorite! I am already dreaming of my morning smoothie and will be sharing it on instagram stories first thing tomorrow!



FATHEADS & GUACAMOLE

Have you ever been at work or in a class all day dreaming about dinner? That's me on a regular basis, but yesterday my foodie daydreams were on another level. It was mid-day when I remembered we had several ready-to-eat avocados at home and the daydream of chips and guacamole started dancing in my head.

For those flirting with KETO - you know you have to eliminate all chips from the picture. I've made a few Bread/Stromboli recipes in the past but decided to give fathead crackers a try.

I used this recipe as inspiration with a few modifications as listed below:

  • About 1 1/2 cups of almond flour (started with 3/4cup as per the recipe)

  • 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1 ounce of cream cheese

  • About 1/4 cup of egg whites (this should have been one egg, but we ran out)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

In a microwave safe dish: Combine almond flour, sharp cheddar cheese and cream cheese in the bowl - mix well and then warm for about 1 minute. Remove from microwave and mix well - return bowl to microwave and heat again for 1 minute.

 

Then add 1 egg and mix well before rolling out the dough.

 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then place dough onto parchment paper and top with a second piece of parchment before rolling out the dough. Roll dough and then cut into small square bite size pieces before baking.

 

Once dough is cut into small squares and pop into the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and flip dough over and bake for another 5 minutes.

 

As for the guacamole:

We used three ripe and ready to eat avocados - a pinch or two of dried red pepper flake, a dash of sea salt and a bit of lime juice.

 

#whatamandaeats #keto #paleo #gaucamole

ZUCHINNI CHIPS

As soon as I finished my day at the gym and my training session was over, I came home to pre-heat the oven and whip up a batch of zucchini chips.  The first batch I made in the oven and had a bit of success, still a bit too mushy and watery.  Instead of throwing the batch out, I plugged in our dehydrator and let the chips finish for a few hours. Honestly, I struggled to not open the lid and sneak a chip every time I walked into the kitchen.

Over the weekend, I made a second batch and I am much happier with outcome. While you could bake the zucchini chips in the oven, I would highly suggest using a dehydrator to maximize the chippiness!  (yep, I'm making up words!)

A few things:  You'll need a ton of zucchini or squash if you are looking to replace an entire bag of potato chips.  Slice and dice your zucchini first thing in the morning and let the dehydrator do all of the work for about 5 - 6 hours, checking on occasion to make sure the chips aren't too dried out.  And lastly, wait for the addiction to begin.

To make your own you'll need: 

  • At least 3 - 5 medium to large zucchini's

  • Melted coconut or olive oil (no more than a 1 - 2 teaspoons)

  • Seasoning of choice

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How To:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

  • Cut the zucchini down in to chips and make the slices a bit thicker as they will shrink during the baking/dehydrating process

  • In a large bowl mix chips with oil and seasonings of choice

  • Line chips on a baking sheet and be sure not overlap the chips

  • Place into the oven for about 10 - 12 minutes

  • Flip and put back into the oven again for 10 - 12 minutes

At this point, you can decide to keep using the oven to dehydrate your zucchini chips or move them to the dehydrator. 

Store in a storage container provided that they last that long! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WAIST FRIENDLY PUPPY CHOW / MUDDY BUDDIES

Confession: This recipe isn't paleo, but it is gluten-free!

If you are familiar with Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies you know it isn't the healthiest of options - typically made with peanut butter and confectioner sugar making sticky, sugary, delicious, but not exactly waistline friendly.

Overcome cravings of a crunchy, sweet treat with this childhood favorite. It's a remake and still as tasty, but a little healthier! (scroll down for the recipe)

 

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How to make Protein Puppy Chow / Muddy Buddy Mix

You'll need:

3 cups of rice chex

3 tablespoons of melted peanut butter*

3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil*

2 - 3 scoops of protein powder of choice (we used vanilla)

*melted using the microwave for ease and convenience, however, you could melt on a stove top. Remember slow and low to not burn the peanut butter or coconut oil.

 

To make:

Pour 3 cups of chex into a large mixing bowl and pour melted peanut butter and melted coconut oil over the chex. Mixing together using a rubber spoon or spatula. Once the mix is well coated, transfer chex into a large bag, and add protein powder. Close bag and shake until chex are well coated.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour mixture onto tray and avoid clumps or piles of chex from forming. Place tray in refrigerator for 2 - 3 hours to set. Divide mixture into single servings (approx. 1oz) snack bags and store in the refrigerator.

 

A note: due to the addition of coconut oil you may notice the chex will become wet or sticky if left sit out, this is simply because the coconut oil is liquefying with the room temperature.

GLUTEN FREE BLUEBERRY BLACK TEA INFUSED POP TARTS

I love a good foodie challenges and my friends over at Progressive Nectar sure challenged me this week. As a member of their new community, Marinate, I received a box of ingredients to play with. This week our challenge was to use the following:

  • Gluten Free Flour

  • Blueberry Black Tea

  • Dried Blueberries

Throughout the week, my mind started to wonder with ways to use these ingredients. A cobbler crossed my mind, scones with blueberry black tea glaze, a fig newton style breakfast bar, and pop tarts.

The idea of pop tarts won the internal culinary battle and recipe development began.

Let me be honest and say, that these babies will take a bit of time to make, but the end result will be worth it!

 

Blueberry Pop Tarts - Infused With Blueberry Black Tea

Dough Ingredients:

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  • 1 cup of gluten free flour

  • ¼ cup of water

  • ¼ cup of maple syrup

  • ¼ cup of melted coconut oil

  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt

  • Dash or sprinkle of cinnamon

  • 1 egg

 

TO MAKE THE DOUGH:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until a dough ball is formed. To speed up the process a food processor can be used.

Once the dough is formed - place dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll out dough into about a ¼ of an inch thickness.

Or use a pastry mat - be sure to sprinkle a bit of flour to prevent sticking on both the mat and rolling pin.

Once you have rolled the dough square the edges with a knife and cut dough into a rectangular shape. Depending on how large you make your poptarts you will be able to have anywhere from 6 to 8 finished poptarts.

 

 

 

TO MAKE THE JAM FILLING:

This recipe can be universally used for any flavor you wish to make.

  • ¼ cup of dried blueberries

  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds

  • ¼ cup of maple syrup

  • ½ cup of blueberry tea (brewed)

On the stove top combined brewed tea, dried blueberries, and maple syrup in a sauce pan or pot and bring to a light boil. Once the dried blueberries start to soften and begin releasing their juices added in chia seeds.

Reduce heat and continue to stir for about 15 - 20 minutes. To create a jam like consistency remove sauce pan or pot from heat and pour the mixture into a high-powered blender such as a vitamix and blend on a jam or paste-like consistency is reached.

 

Note: if you opt to use a different fruit/ flavor and do not wish to use a brewed tea for additional flavor substitute the tea for water. This jam is also wonderful for toast, english muffins, as a waffle or pancake topping.

 

 

THE ASSEMBLY PROCESS:

Once you have cut the dough into rectangular shapes - sprinkle a light dusting of cinnamon onto the dough before adding the filling.

 

Fill the “bottom” piece of dough with about 1 - 2 tablespoons of jam before placing the top on. Use a fork to crimp the edges like a traditional poptart and continue the assembly process for the remaining poptarts. Use a fork to poke holes into the top layer of the poptart before baking.

 

Once all of your poptarts are assembled gentle transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 - 25 minutes at 350 degrees. If you wish you can frost the top of the poptarts you can do so once the poptarts have fully cooled.

Our poptarts were frosted with a combination of maple syrup, coconut oil, and a teaspoon or two of the brewed tea with a small amount of the dried blueberries. This step was trial and error and the ratios will depend on how many poptarts you make and how thick you would like the frosting.

Try using

  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil in solid state

  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup

  • 1 -2 teaspoons of brewed tea

Combine all ingredients listed above to form a frosting type paste and add dried fruit if you wish or simply omit the dried fruit

#whatamandaeats #cheatmeal #glutenfree #poptarts

ALL THINGS BUFFALO CHICKEN

One of our favorite appetizers to order is buffalo chicken dip - yet, we are fully aware of the extra creamy goodness from excessive amounts of sour cream, cream cheese, and mayo which isn't waistline friendly. In an effort to keep our clean eating in check we've revised this popular appetizer to be much healthier and really easy to make!

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You'll need:

  • A rotisserie chicken (opt for the breast meat)

  • Homemade Paleo Mayo or plain greek yogurt

  • Powdered Garlic - a dash or two

  • Buffalo, Hot, or Wing sauce (tip: look at the added sugars in your sauces, if you are cutting out sugars Frank's Hot Sauce is always a great option)

How to make the buffalo dip:

Dice chicken breast into smaller chunky sized pieces and place into a mixing bowl. Add in 1 - 2 tablespoons of paleo mayo or greek yogurt, add a dash or two of powdered garlic, and mix well. Next, add in your preferred amount of buffalo/hot sauce - this will vary depending on your desired level of heat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.

Alternative Options/Add - Ins

  • Instead of using mayo or greek yogurt you could substitute ranch or blue cheese dressing

  • Add in blue cheese crumbles

  • Dice celery and incorporate into the mixture and eat with a spoon (personal favorite)

  • Use as a topping in a spaghetti squash boat - (love this idea!)

#whatamandaeats #recipe #buffalochicken #appetizer #crowdpleaser

APPLE BACON SLAW

Looking for a twist on coleslaw for your next family picnic? Give this crowd please a try, APPLE BACON SLAW. A refreshing alternative!

 

You'll need:

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  • 1 medium cabbage shredded

  • 4 apples of choice cut into matchsticks (we used pink lady apples)

  • 2 spring onions chopped

  • 4 strips of turkey bacon chopped

  • 3 - 4 big spoonfuls of coleslaw dressing

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix in coleslaw dressing. A bit of advance go lighter on the dressing as too much dressing will overpower the flavors.

 

No access to a food processor and short on time?

 

Look for pre-shredded cabbage, opt for onions and bacon off the salad bar, and use pre-made coleslaw dressing - our personal favorite is T. Marzetti

 

Refrigerate before serving.

Our batch of Apple Bacon slaw served about 10 - 12 people and we had leftovers (thankfully!)

 

#keto #recipe #whatamandaeats #grainfree #glutenfree

 

NO-BAKE KETO KEY LIME CHEESECAKE

Truth be told, this recipe came together on a whim. We had planned an impromptu Mother's Day dinner at my parents and following suit, we put together this plan at the last minute. With any clean eating, paleo, keto or vegan lifestyle you know it's often difficult to find a product on the shelves at the grocery store that will suit. Which means, you are spending more time in the kitchen making meals and desserts from scratch.

I walked in the door from the grocery store with heavy cream, cream cheese, a lime, and eggs less than 2 hours before dinner and the pressure was on.

Thankfully, this No-Bake Keto Key Lime Cheesecake wasn't overly labor intensive and hit a homerun!

Pie Crust Ingredients:

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  • 1 1/2 cup of almond flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

  • 1/3 cup of granulated erythritol

  • 2 packets of sweet leaf (stevia)

  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease pie pan with butter or coconut oil

Mix all of the dry pie crust ingredients well and then add egg and melted butter to the dry ingredients into a dough ball. Transfer pie dough into greased pie pan and press into the dish with your fingers. Once you have the pie crust pressed into the dish use a fork to pierce the dough to keep dough from bubbling. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes until golden brown. To keep pie crust from burning - place foil over the edges of the pie crust at 8 - 10 minutes of baking and place back into oven with foil covering the edges for the remaining time.

No-Bake Keto Key Lime Cheesecake Filling Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese at room temp

  • 1/3 cup of sour cream

  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream

  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter

  • 3 tablespoons of key lime juice

  • 1/3 cup of erythoritol

  • 1 packet of sweet leaf (stevia)

Combine all ingredients above in mixing bowl and mix well until filling becomes smooth. Depending on the type of erythritol you use, you might notice lumps in the filling. We used a coarse blend of erythritol which did, in fact, leave our filling a bit on the lumpy or bumpy side.

 

Taste the filling as you go as you may choose to add more key lime juice to the filling depending on how flavorful you'd like the cheesecake to be. If you have fresh limes you can zest one lime to use as garnish on the top of the cheesecake and/or mix some of the zest into the filling. You could also add unsweetened coconut flakes into the filling or top of cheesecake.

 

Once the pie crust has been removed from the oven and cooled, pour filling into crust and place into the refrigerator to firm and cool. The longer the better and the more the flavors will enhance. Serves 8 - 10 depending on how large of a slice you cut.

 

Additional options:

You could make individual No-Bake Cheesecakes using gluten free nilla wafers as the crust in a muffin tin, make a cheesecake in a springform pan, use the key lime filling in a keto danish, or simply use the filling as a treat on it's own without the crust to keep your carbs low.

 

Original Recipe Inspiration found on ruled.me

 

#whatamandaeats #keto #dessert

 

OATMEAL WHOOPIE PIES WITH ORANGE BUTTERCREAM

It's pretty hard to visit Lancaster, Pennsylvania and not leave with a few whoopie pies for the journey home. A whoopie pie is a cross between a cake, cookie, and pie with plenty of flavor combinations to make any dessert lover happy. However, the most traditional of flavors are chocolate, red velvet, and pumpkin filled with white buttercream frosting.

While there is a lot of controversy surrounding where whoopie pies originated from and being born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania - I'll say that if the whoopie pie you are eating isn't from Lancaster, it isn't a traditional whoopie pie!

In my quest to health-ify everything we make/eat, I took on the challenge of re-creating whoopie pies in a gluten free, full of flavor way.

RECIPE

What you'll need for the Whoopie Pies:

  • 4 tablespoons of kerrygold butter

  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

  • 1cup of steel cut oats (cooked)**

  • 1 cup of gluten free flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt

  • a handful or two of dried cranberries

  • a handful of shredded coconut

  • orange zest

  • a generous squeeze of fresh orange juice

  • 3 droppers of TeaZen - Defense

What you'll need for the orange buttercream filling

  • 2 cups of powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon of almond or coconut milk

  • 1/4 cup of kerrygold butter

  • 1/4 cup of palm shortening

  • a bit of orange zest

  • a generous squeeze of fresh orange juice

  • 3 droppers of TeaZen - Defense

Whoopie Pie Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

**You will need to cook the steel cut oats in order for consistency to be correct. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt. Pour oats into the boiling water and reduce the heat. Oats will take 10 - 15 minutes to cook until desired consistency. Allow oats to cool before incorporating into the batter.**

Once the oats have cooled mixed all of the above ingredients together. And use a small ice cream scoop for each whoopie pie portion or about 1 1/2 tablespoon size. Quantity will vary depending on how big or small the whoopie pies are.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper to place dough on and bake for about 12 - 15 minutes. Use a toothpick or fork to check the batter to be sure the cookies are thoroughly baked.

Allow whoopie pies to fully cool before frosting/filling

To make the buttercream - combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat to a frosting like consistency. Depending on the thickness of the frosting you can add additional almond or coconut milk to think out the frosting.

Use a cake decorator piping bag to fill the whoopie pies and store in the refrigerator. The whoopie pies may weep due to the moisture in the steel cut oats. Which is simply reason enough to share with friends!

[Buttercream recipe was modified from Brittany Angell]