Peanut Butter Blast Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Here is the last recipe in this smoothie bowl series! What I love about this recipe is the simplicity but deliciousness of this combination! The banana provides sweetness, and the peanut butter creates the creaminess which combine for a very tasty and satisfying bowl. Smoothie bowls have grown in popularity because they are easy to prepare, quick to eat and can be very nutrient dense – which is important when you are looking for ways to save time and maximize your nutrition.

Whether you’re looking for a morning energy boost, pre-workout power-up this smoothie bowl is sure to deliver as between the two feature ingredients you get all three of the macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins and fat!

Peanut butter is a good source of plant-based protein and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They also contain good amounts of vitamin E, folate, niacin, magnesium, and fibre!

Bananas are a great source of carbohydrates and provide great amounts of potassium, vitamin B6 and pectin, as type of soluble fibre which may help lower LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) levels.

Healthy Tip: Make sure you use creamy and natural peanut butter – without the added sugar, salt and emulsifiers!

Top your smoothie bowl with a little shredded coconut, granola, sliced banana or or other fresh fruit or chopped peanuts!

Looking for some other great recipes? Check out the first three in this smoothie bowl series: Berry Bliss Smoothie Bowl, Super Green Smoothie Bowl and Tropical Twist Smoothie Bowl.

Fun fact – This recipe was inspired by the amazing peanut butter smoothie bowl I had when I was in Thailand.

Tropical Twist Smoothie Bowl

This smoothie bowl tastes like sunset on the beach! Tropical fruits have this way of adding a freshness and vibrancy to recipes. This recipe brings together juicy mango, sweet pineapple and creamy banana and a hint of coconut for a healthy and tasty meal!

Smoothie bowls are refreshing, easy to make and contain many nutrients which supports maintaining good health. They are simple to make and easy to eat!

Pineapple provides good amounts of thiamine, Vitamin C and manganese. Manganese is an important mineral used in bone and connective tissue formation and maintenance.

Mango are a good source of beta-carotene, a carotenoid which is converted to Vitamin A in the body, and functions as an antioxidant. In addition, like many fruits and vegetables they provide good amounts of Vitamin C and fibre, specifically a soluble fibre called pectin. Mangos are one of a few fruits and vegetables that contain Vitamin E.

Bananas are a great source of potassium which is important for regulating blood pressure. They also provide pectin.

The fruits in this smoothie bowl provide carotenoids, the yellow-orange pigments, that have many potential health benefits.

Top your smoothie bowl with some extra fruit or shredded coconut.

Make it a regular smoothie by adding extra milk or pineapple juice.

Top your smoothie bowl with some extra fruit or shredded coconut.

Make it a regular smoothie by adding extra milk or pineapple juice.

If you haven’t yet, check out the first two recipes in this smoothie bowl series, check out Berry Bliss Smoothie Bowl and the Super Green Smoothie Bowl.

Stay tuned for next week’s final recipe in this smoothie bowl series!

Super Green Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Week 2 of the March smoothie bowl series. Smoothie bowls are simple, satisfying, and delicious nutritional powerhouses! They provide a solution for an easy nutrition boost whether it is starting your day, getting a mid-day energy boost, or powering up with pre-workout snack.

Eating green leafy vegetables is important. It is recommended for good health to eat one dark green leafy vegetable every day1. but it can be challenging to find enjoyable ways to incorporate them into meals, as they are often bitter and need to be cooked or broken down before being consumed. You can easily achieve the recommendation for a dark green vegetable with this smooth, creamy and very tasty smoothie bowl – you will not even notice the greens!

Kale is a dark green leafy vegetable that has risen to popularity as a widely recognized super green. Kale provides fibre, vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin B6 and phytochemicals and antioxidants which may help reduce free radical damage and protect against some forms of cancer.

Avocado is a nutrient dense super food. Avocados are usual in that they are one of few fruits and vegetables that contain fat. However, the fat found in avocados is the good kind of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Bananas provide a significant amount of potassium, which is important for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance – something that is especially important if you are physically active. Potassium is also important for regulating blood pressure. Bananas also provide vitamin B6 and soluble fibre which helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels in the body by lowering the “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Add sliced banana and shredded coconut for a garnish.

If you would rather make this smoothie “bowl” into a regular smoothie, just increase the volume of liquid by doubling the milk.

Be sure to check out last week’s Berry Bliss Smoothie Bowl recipe and stay tuned for next week’s smoothie bowl recipe!

Berry Bliss Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Smoothie bowls are easy to make and when using real, wholesome ingredients, super nutritious and delicious! If you are short on time but looking for options to eat well and nourish your mind and body, I highly recommend giving them a try! This is the first in a smoothie bowl series I have created and am excited to share!

This Berry Bliss Bowl will help you start your morning in a state of serenity! No matter what the day has in store for you – a healthy and nutritious breakfast will set you up strong and put you in the right frame of mind to have you ready to take on anything and everything!

Some feature ingredients to highlight in this recipe are:

Berries are extremely nutritious. Their dark colour indicates they are rich in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, which can protect the body from cell damage which may lead to aging and certain diseases.

Flax Seeds are a great source of fibre and omega-3 fatty acids which may help reduce heart disease risk. The fibre in flax is responsible for supporting intestinal health and functioning and may also lower blood-cholesterol. Flax seeds also have lignans which are a phytonutrient which may protect our bodies from certain cancers.

Cinnamon is a spice and beneficial for many reasons, including it’s properties as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

For this recipe I used coconut milk and coconut yogurt. This will make it a vegan option.

Top your smoothie bowl with some extra berries, bananas, cereal or granola if you want a more wholesome meal.

Alternatively, if you want to make this smoothie “bowl” into a regular smoothie, just increase the liquid by doubling the milk.

Stay tuned for next week’s smoothie bowl recipe!

Heart Healthy Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Looking for a sweet treat that is simple to make this valentine’s day – or any day! February is heart health month and nutrition plays an important role keeping our hearts strong and healthy.

The secret ingredient that makes this recipe so rich, creamy and heart-healthy is … avocado! Avocados are an unusual fruit. Unlike other fruits they are high in fat – but this is a good kind of dietary fat! Avocados are a source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids – a healthy fat which helps lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and cholesterol levels which lowers the risk for heart disease. Potassium is another nutrient found in avocados which may prevent or lower blood pressure which reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease. Avocados are also a good source of fibre which is also important for heart health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

Make It A More Empowering Eat Tip: Serve with sliced fresh strawberries of sprinkle with unsweetened shredded coconut or slivered almonds for a flavourful nutritional boost!

Roasted Vegetables Recipe

When it is cold outside, I find a dish of warm roasted vegetables is so comforting. Vegetables are incredibly versatile and this recipe is so easy to prepare. So what’s not to love about them! Roasted vegetables are are a great addition to the table in the fall and winter months. They are a great option for vegan and vegetarian  meal planning.

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You can use any vegetables you like but the combination I have been working with lately includes broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green peppers and onions. I find this combination offers a variety of flavours and textures that go well together. Using a red pepper instead of a green one would create an even more festive appearance to this dish if you are looking for a great addition to you holiday meal menus – just saying!

You can adjust the spices you use as you feel you need. If you want to keep it simple just season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Otherwise, you can use the other spices I recommend (garlic powder and chili powder) for a little extra kick and to round out the flavour.

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Vegetables are nutritionally very important. Besides the different vitamins and minerals they contain which are important for the health and vitality of our bodies, vegetables are a source of fibre which is extremely important for proper functioning of the digestive track and soluble fibre may help with lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol which may reduce the risk for heart disease.

Cooking vegetables, especially fall and winter root vegetables, is important because it makes it easier for us to eat and digest them. Roasting is a healthy cooking method which uses dry heat to cook food. The food is covered and cooked in the oven. This method helps preserve nutrients of the vegetables more than other methods like boiling. The process of roasting does much to enhance the flavours of the food in the cooking process.

Broccoli is a high-fibre, nutrient dense food making it a nutritional powerhouse! Just some of the important nutrients found in broccoli include B vitamins, folate, riboflavin, potassium, iron and vitamin C. Broccoli also provides carotenoids beta carotene and lutein. Beta carotene is converted to Vitamin A in the body. Lutein has been shown to protect vision from macular degeneration by possibly functioning as an antioxidant to protect the eyes from free-radical damaged caused by UV rays from sunlight. Cooking actually makes these caroteinoids more bioavailable so your body can process and start using them more easily!

Cauliflower provides vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6 as well as potassium. It is also low in calories and an excellent source of fibre.

Carrots offer a great source fibre, potassium, vitamin B6. Carrots appropriately contain compounds called carotenoids, which may have antioxidant properties. Beta carotene is one of these which can be found in carrots but carrots also provide alpha carotene and lutein.

Olive Oil is a source of healthy fats like mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) which have improved blood cholesterol levels. Olive oil is also a source of Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin with powerful antioxidant properties.

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This is an easy side dish to prepare and serve with any sort of entree or cooked meat. The simplicity of the recipe means that it won’t clash with anything else you are cooking. The vegetables will have a subtle but substantial presence in your meal. You can also add chopped up roasted vegetables to pasta, rice or quinoa to make a more substantial meal or add them to a salad to boost your vegetables intake. Either make them for one of these meal planning options specifically or reinvent your leftovers. You can easily double or triple this recipe which makes it great for batch cooking!

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Big Batch Vegetarian Chili

When it starts to get cold, and there’s a chill in the air, there’s nothing like having a warm hearty bowl of something tasty. This is a very basic chili recipe which is easy to make, filling and perfect for meal prep or batch cooking. It’s also vegetarian and vegan friendly. Check out the recipe as well as tricks and tricks below!

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Not only does this recipe have spices to give it flavour but several key ingredients boost the nutritional power. All these ingredients are plant-based.

Tomatoes are a good source of dietary fibre, potassium, iron. Like other fruits and vegetables, tomatoes are source of antioxidants. Tomatoes are one of the major sources of the carotenoid lycopene. Lycopene is of particular interest because it may possibly reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers. Cooking tomatoes actually enhances their lycopene content.

Sweet Peppers are a good source of Vitamin C and dietary fibre. They give some colour and added flavour to this recipe.

Capsaicin is a phytochemical found in chili powder and paprika. This is the compound that gives peppers their spiciness. Capsaicin has been widely studied for many different properties which include boosting metabolism and decreasing the risk of some cancers.

Beans and lentils are an incredibly good source of fibre. They also are a vegetarian and low-fat source of protein. This combination of nutrients it was makes them very sustaining. Not only is fibre filling the soluble fibre in beans and lentils may also help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol. Folate and B Vitamins are also found in beans. Some other minerals can be found in beans and lentils including potassium, magnesium, selenium and iron. Iron is of particular importance for anyone following a vegetarian or vegan diet to try and incorporate into their meals.

Recipe Suggestions: Serve topped with some crushed whole grain tortilla chips, diced avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, or even low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt!

 

Tips and Tricks

When batch cooking sometimes it is easy to get bored of eating the same thing over again. Here are five variations or hybrid recipes for the basic chili recipe. You will never get bored of batch cooking this recipe when you have these easy variations to mix up your meal plan!

Tex-Mex Casserole – Mix basic chili with cooked rice or quinoa. Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Broil in oven until topping is golden brown and cheese melted.

Taco Salad – Start with a base of your favourite salad greens. Layer with chili, chopped avocado, shredded cheese and tortilla chips.

Chili Pie – Put chili into a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Top with either a batch of cornbread or mashed potatoes, or sweet potatoes. Bake in 350 F oven until cornbread is baked or potatoes are golden brown.

Chili Stuffed Peppers – Clean bell peppers and chop off their tops. Cook peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and stuff with chili then top with shredded cheese. Bake, covered, in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes until cheese is melted.

Chili Pasta – Use the chili as a pasta sauce for whole grain pasta and top with grated cheese.

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Zucchini Bread Recipe

Finding easy to prepare, portable and nutritious snacks is challenging. Healthy food is not always easy to find on the go.  If you are on-the-go and trying to stay healthy, it’s important to pack healthy snacks that will help support your energy levels throughout a long or busy day. It’s when we get tired and are low on energy that we can fall into the temptation of not so healthy food choices and break with the routines and strategies we worked so hard to set in place for ourselves. Look no further than this empowered version of Zucchini Bread to help you stay motivated and on track with your healthy eating habits.

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The combination of fibre, protein and healthy fats in this recipe make this a snack that will give you sustainable energy to power you through any day. This is a great addition to back-to-school lunches to start the school year strong!

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Key featured ingredients that make this an “Empowering Eat” include zucchini, walnuts, and flax seeds.

Zucchini is the feature ingredient here, obviously. Like many fruits and vegetables contains nutrients and antioxidants which support good health. Zucchini is also a source of lutein and zeaxanthin which can protect our eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration.  While it is a bland tasting vegetable (so you won’t taste it in this recipe at all–I promise!) zucchini provides moisture to the recipe and a way to sneak an extra serving of veggies into your day!

Flax Seeds are a fabulous nutritional powerhouse. It always amazes me how there is so much goodness contained in so small a package! Flax seeds provide plenty of fibre and omega-3 fatty acids which may help reduce heart disease risk. The fibre in flax is responsible not only for supporting intestinal functions but may also lower blood-cholesterol. Flax seeds also have lignans which is a phytonutrient which may protect our bodies from certain cancers. Find out more about flax seeds here.

Walnuts are a source of heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Healthy sources of fat are essential in our diets for many reasons such as promoting healthy skin and hair, and supporting the integrity of cell membranes. Like other nuts walnuts also provide a source of plant-based protein and some fibre.

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I’ve used a variety of different flours to give variety and provide texture and contribute unique nutritional advantages to this recipe. All these flours are gluten-free. You could alternatively substitute other types of flours as long as the volume is 1 cup. Amaranth flour may be new to you. It’s available in most bulk food stores. Amaranth is an ancient grain growing in popularity for many reasons. It is higher in protein than other grains and is a source of fibre while not having an overly strong ‘healthy’ aftertaste, so it blends well into this recipe.

 

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Instead of a loaf pan you could also make this in an 8×8 glass baking dish and have zucchini bread squares.

Summer Squash Salad Recipe

Summer may be almost over, but summer squash is available well into September so I took advantage of that fact to create this recipe. This is a simple but tasty and easy to prepare salad. It is rich in a variety of different vegetables and features quinoa, a well-known super-food and plant protein powerhouse.

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Summer squash and quinoa are the stand-out ingredients I find in this recipe.

The benefits of summer squash are that, like many fruits and vegetables, it is low in calories and provides a good amount of fibre, vitamin C, and potassium. Zucchini is a specific summer squash and a great source of the carotenoid pigments lutein and zeaxathin which can protect our eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration. Did you also know zucchini is the most popular type of summer squash available?

Quinoa is an incredible source of high-quality plant protein. It is one of the few plants that is a complete protein source (i.e. contains all the essential amino acids). It also offers riboflavin, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and fibre.

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This recipe can make a stand-alone meal on its own or try serving it as a side dish with a grilled chicken breast. What’s even better is how quick to serve and portable it is. It is a great option for packed lunches. Because the recipe yields a good number of portions you can make it at the start of the week and enjoy for several days. Perfect for meal planning!

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Power Fruit Popsicle Recipe

Popsicles are a fun and refreshing summer treat. I created this recipe to upgrade the traditional versions, which are mostly just a lot of sugar in water, by using wholesome, real food ingredients.

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Berries are a nutritional superstar and one of nature’s richest sources of antioxidants. Like many other fruits and vegetables, berries are a good source of Vitamin C and because of their small size and large surface area they are an excellent source of fibre.

The four berries I used in my recipe were blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries.

Blueberries are probably the most researched berries and are renown for their antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, which can protect the body from cell damage which may lead to aging and certain diseases. Pectin, a type of fibre found in blueberries, may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and is good for the functioning of the digestive system.

Raspberries contain pectin and quercetin, the latter may slow cancer growth.

Blackberries may have the highest antioxidant content of any berries!

Strawberries are the berry with the highest Vitamin C content!

Using coconut milk and coconut yogurt (or another type of yogurt) gives these popsicles a little more substance and additional nutritional benefits. If using a dairy-based yogurt, you will add calcium to your diet. Calcium is important for bone health.

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If the natural sweetness is not enough for you, consider adding a natural sweetener like a tablespoon of honey to the recipe.

For a slightly different taste and a more interesting version add a teaspoon of cinnamon.

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