Date Smoothie

Date Smoothie

Okay it may sound weird at first. Dates in a smoothie? Yes, it is true… Combine milk, pitted dates, almond butter, and cacao powder with ice, and you’ll have a breakfast or dessert smoothie that is so filing and good! Dates are sometimes overlooked but they provide energy and are great when you’re craving something sweet. They do have calories but also fiber so they are good to help regulate digestion and contain vitamins such as B 6 and niacin. Paired with milk, almond butter and cacao powder, this recipe can be a healthy breakfast, afternoon snack or dessert. If you’re not familiar with cacao powder, you can find it at specialty grocery stores. It’s healthy alternative to chocolate with great flavor but without sugar and any processing. It’s also raw, vegan and a source of antioxidants, iron and fiber. This only takes 5 minutes to prepare, so blend and enjoy!

Blueberry Banana Smoothie Bowl

blueberry Banana Smoothie bowl

 

Yes, I am at it again with this Blueberry Smoothie Bowl perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. I made a banana and blueberry smoothie, but wanted more so I added flaxseed, chia seeds, milk, and protein powder. I prefer to enjoy smoothies with a spoon these days so I topped it with some of my favorite healthy toppings.

Health benefits of Blueberries: Blueberries offer many nutritional benefits. They are packed with Vitamin C, fiber, full of antioxidants and a good source of manganese (which is important in bone health). To find out the health benefits of blueberries see

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber at 10 grams per ounce (about 2 tablespoons). New research suggests that including chia seeds in your diet may help improve cardiovascular risk factors such as lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. It’s said that the amounts of omega 3′s can also work reduce symptoms of depression and increase brain function. A one-ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains 139 calories, 11 grams of fiber, four grams of protein and 9 grams of fat, as well as calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium and B vitamins.

Health Benefits of Flaxseeds: Studies have suggested that flaxseed can also help lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease  stroke, caner and post-menopausal symptoms. Flaxseed contains high levels of fiber and Omega 3 fatty acids. Just two tablespoons of ground flaxseed contain more than 140 percent daily value of the inflammation-reducing Omega 3 fatty acids and more lignans than any other plant food. One tablespoon of flaxseed contains 55 calories, three grams of carbohydrates, 2.8 grams of fiber, 1.9 grams of protein and 4.3 grams of fat. See more about seeds in my article on Fitness Republic.

3 Ingredient Coffee Milkshake

We are HUGE fans of milkshakes at my house, and my kids are always concocting recipes and new variations. Since my youngest son, Zachary, loves coffee ice cream, he blended only 3 ingredients together to make this amazing 3 Ingredient Coffee Milkshake. It’s definitely as good as it looks. I think I have another future recipe developer on my hands :). And don’t forget: Milkshakes can be healthy! They contain milk which is high in protein and our bones need it so enjoy!

Blueberry Crepes

We have been having the best summer so far, but I miss my two boys at camp SO much! I can’t wait until this Friday when I pick them up. I don’t think my daughter, Leigh, has known what to do as an only child, but she’s been helping me out a ton at home. She suggested we make crepes, and before I turned around, she created some beautiful Blueberry Crepes with almond milk. Since we had blueberries on hand, she also suggested  that we create a sauce. These Blueberry Crepes have no sugar, but they are fabulous! And easy too!

 

Blueberry Muffins with Greek Yogurt

When my daughter, Leigh, was bored the other day, I said, “Let’s make some muffins”. We had an abundance of blueberries on hand and came up with this healthier version of Blueberry Muffins with Greek Yogurt. Leigh is 13 years old, and she made this entire recipe on her own. I photographed this picture, but I told her that she just may have a summer internship. Anyway, this is the first of several of her creations coming soon that she made under my (very little) direction. They do taste as good as they look. We started with a dozen, and the next morning there were only 3 left 🙂

Healthy Valentine’s Recipe: Strawberry Kefir Smoothie

I have been doing a lot of research, writing and speaking on super-foods, and Kefir is definitely on my list. I am so excited about Frozen Kefir by Lifeway because it has is only 90 calories per 1/2 cup serving, 18 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of fiber. It is also 99% lactose free, all natural and gluten-free. In addition, it is packed with 10 probiotics which rev up your immunity and are great for digestion. My kids absolutely went wild over the strawberry, especially in this Strawberry Kefir Smoothie. With only 3 ingredients, you will have a refreshing and healthy smoothie perfect for breakfast, afternoon snack or light dessert.

I get a lot of questions about probiotics. What are they? Probiotics, which literally mean “beneficial to life,” are live cultures that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Most probiotics include the live active cultures often added to foods like yogurt. Researchers have studied bacteria extensively and considerable evidence indicates that there are several strains of essential good-for-you bacteria that have an ability to promote healthy gastrointestinal functions. Lifeway Kefir contains seven to ten billion CFU’s of 10 strains of bacteria, plus ProBoost, an exclusive pair of clinically proven probiotics to balance your body’s ecosystem, support digestive health and immunity. That’s 12 live and active cultures per cup to produce a wide array of health benefits. You can find Lifeway frozen Kefir at Whole Foods.