Quinoa Brownies

Want more protein in your diet? Want more quinoa in your diet?? Want more chocolate in your diet??? Yes to all of those for me! This recipe gives you all of that!

Quinoa brownies!
Quinoa brownies
Yes, I’m serious! I have been adding quinoa to all kind of things recently to try to increase protein and get the health benefits of this amazing grain! These brownies are not your store bought tasting brownies…. They are more dense but just the right amount of chocolate and sweetness! My kids gobble them up (if the kids like them then obviously they are good right?) and I get to satisfy my sweet tooth!

 

Quinoa Brownies

¾ c. cooked quinoa (cooked ahead with plain water)

¼ c. cocoa powder

¼ c. pure maple syrup

¼ c. almond butter

1 egg

8 tsp. unsweetened applesauce

1/8 c. coconut oil

¼ c. unsweetened chocolate or chocolate chips (I use 2 blocks of Ghirardelli unsweetened chocolate)

1 tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp. sea salt

Blend all of this together in a blender until smooth

Line 4×6 bread loaf pan with foil and spray with cooking oil

Pour batter into lined pan and cook at 350 for about 35 min until toothpick comes out clean

Let pan cool and then pull brownies out by pulling the foil out.

Once cool, slice and eat

Store in airtight container in fridge

Quinoa brownie

Sweet potato rounds

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Oh sweet potatoes.  For a long time, I  never ate them.  Then I re-discovered them and they are back in my life.  I have been experimenting with ways to prepare them and this is one of my favorites right now!  These rounds are so versatile and you can top in so many different ways.

When you are choosing your sweet potato for this recipe, the fatter the better!  The wider the potato is, the more you will be able to fit on each round.  You can definitely use a skinnier one, they will just be smaller rounds.

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Wash and scrub your sweet potato

Cut your potato into ½ in rounds.  You will get smaller sized ones from the front and back that are great for dipping, or mini rounds for kids.

Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

You can put some olive oil or melted coconut oil on each if you want… then sprinkle with a bit of salt.

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Bake at 415 degrees for 25 – 35 min until browned flipping each round half way through.

 

So now for toppings.  You can get creative with what you like for toppings.  Just stick with something “sticky” first and then you can top with something not sticky.   Here are some examples:

–        Guacamole

–        Mashed banana and cinnamon or almonds

–        Mashed avocado and chicken, beef, ground turkey, or quinoa

This is one of my favorites right now.  Mashed avocado mixed with garlic salt spread on each round and topped with cooked ground turkey and onion seasoned with italian seasoning, garlic salt, and pepper.

Comment if you try this and what toppings you like!

Healthy snack options

It’s 3pm… and you’re hungry.  You’re hungry and you look in the cabinet, or your snack drawer, or your purse, or the vending machine, and you find Oreos, potato chips, or a candy bar.  You consider an alternative… but these options are just so… available and good!

 

First of all, consider that the candy bar or cookies are not really going to hold you over very well… they are just going to make you feel like your day is blown and make you eat a junky dinner and then a realllly big bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup and whipped cream… just sayin…

 

I am all about easy availability and good things…. And I’m ALL about snacks!   Here are some options for the next time you go to grab those potato chips:

 

Popcorn

Popcorn is a good option because you can eat a lot… but it’s not too many calories.  WIN!  It has some fiber which is great and it will satisfy a salty craving.  Popcorn that you have popped yourself is the best way to go because you know there are no chemicals, extra calories, or extra anything snuck in there that you don’t want (and it’s cheap)… You can pre-pop a bunch if popcorn at home and divide up for when you’re ready to eat.  Or find a good pre-popped popcorn that you like.  Look at the ingredients and make sure it is as simple as possible.  My favorite??  Skinny Pop.  Made with Popcorn, Sunflower oil, and Salt.  Look for something like this.  There are actually a lot of good popcorn options available at the stores now.

skinny pop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Microwavable Edamame

You can get these in single serving sizes at most grocery stores.  You pop in microwave about 3 minutes, sprinkle a little salt, and BAM!  Super tasty and filling snack that’s high in fiber and protein.  From experience, you can put these in your lunch bag, place in fridge while at work, and then pop in microwave at lunch time and they turn out.  This will satisfy a salt craving and will hold you over until dinner.

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Apple and Nut Butter

Sweet and salty.  Need I say anything about how an apple is good for you… and the nut butter has protein and healthy fats to keep you full for the next little bit.  Peanut butter is great, almond butter, cashew butter, whatever you like.

Discover these little packets of “Justin’s” nut butters.  They are single serving size and are so so convenient.  You can easily stash an apple and one of these packets in your car, in your purse, even in your pocket for when you need a snack.  You can do a banana with one of these packets too (yum!)

You can get at most grocery stores with the peanut butters.

justins nut butters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smoothie

A smoothie can be an awesome snack full of fruits, vegetables, and lots of vitamins and minerals!  Find some good smoothie recipes you like and use those!  Experiment and find what you like.  Make sure they have plenty of fruits and vegetables (maybe tofu, spinach, or protein powder) to make it a nutritious snack.  Here are some of the smoothies I like: Smoothies

rainbow-smoothies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trail mix

Find a good trail mix that you enjoy.  This is so easy to keep in your car or your purse for when you need a quick snack!

Keep the extra sweets (like the M&Ms and chocolate chips) to a minimum.  There are all kinds of “trail mix” options available at the stores that are just “candy mixes” with a few nuts in there.  Make sure you are getting plenty of nuts and good for you foods along with the M&Ms.

You can even make the trail mix you like by buying the stuff you like and throwing it all together.  I like to do this because you can put exactly what you want in there.

Trail mix is higher calorie so portion out single servings in little baggies to ensure that you’re not going too crazy with calories here.

Trailmix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy snacking my healthy friends!  Do you have a great favorite healthy snack?