No-Bake Seasonal Cranberry-Chocolate-Chia Slice

Jannine Myers

I thought this week I’d take the opportunity to share a recipe that some of you might like to make in place of other traditional Thanksgiving desserts such as pumpkin and pecan pie. In one of the social media groups that I belong to, we were asked earlier this week to share a “revamped” fall recipe; revamped in the sense that it contains less sugar, calories, and fat, and more wholesome ingredients. So I took a recipe that I shared some time ago, and tweaked it a little – to make it more fall-appropriate – by using as the main ingredient cranberries.

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Ingredients

for the base:

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 tablespoons IsaLean Chocolate Powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

for the berry layer:

  • 1 cup organic dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 4 tablespoons water, plus additional if needed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil

for the chocolate topping:

  • 1/4 cup Hersheys Special Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted

Directions

  1. Grease a small square baking pan with coconut oil.
  2. Process the oatmeal and shredded coconut in a food processor, then transfer to a small bowl. Add the IsaLean powder and salt, and stir to combine. Melt the coconut oil and whisk together with the agave syrup and vanilla extract, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Press the mixture into the baking pan and set aside in the freezer.
  3. To make the berry layer, place the cranberries, frozen blackberries, and coconut oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. As the mixture starts to warm, add the chia seeds and water, and stir everything together. Reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer, continuing to stir regularly and adding more water if necessary. The mixture should thicken as the chia seeds absorb the liquid. Once the mixture has thickened into a paste-like consistency, take it off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the baking pan from the freezer and pour the berry mixture over the base; return pan back to freezer.
  4. To make the chocolate topping, melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring to combine. Remove the slice from the freezer and pour the chocolate mixture over the top of the berries; spread evenly. Place the baking pan in the fridge to set for an hour or so. Once set, leave the slice at room temperature for a few minutes before cutting into squares. [I recommend storing in the freezer, and letting it sit at room temperature for several minutes before eating].

[Nutrition Info – per slice: Calories 110; Carbohydrates 16g; Sugars 9g; Protein 2.25g; Fat 4.5g; Saturated Fat 2.25g; Fiber 2.8g]

A Protein Powder Solution For Runners On A Budget

Jannine Myers

A question I am sometimes asked is if I can recommend a reasonably priced protein powder. Protein powders seem to inhabit the kitchens of almost anyone who exercises these days, and I can see why since they take the guess work out of calculating recovery and performance-gain nutrition needs. But they’re really quite expensive, and while I can’t recommend a more affordable product, I can suggest a much cheaper alternative.

Powdered milk is an often over-looked nutritional gem. Although not as rich in protein as actual protein powders, it’s still a very good source, and also a great source of magnesium, calcium, and Vitamins A and D. I always have powdered milk in my pantry – admittedly, because I live in a location where typhoons love to stop by – but I actually do use it when I’m out of protein powder. It’s so versatile that it can be used in baking recipes, in smoothies, in oatmeal, and even in sauces and soups.

To help get you started – should you decide to pick up a bag of dry milk powder the next time you’re at the supermarket – here’s a recipe I created that’s quick and easy, and perfectly nourishing after a run or workout.

Milk Powder Protein Cake-In-A-Cup

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Ingredients
4 tablespoons Non-Fat Dry Milk Powder
1 tablespoon Coconut Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 packet Stevia
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Coconut Milk/Cream
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Frozen Blueberries

Directions

Add all the dry ingredients to a large mug

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In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, coconut milk, and vanilla.

Pour wet ingredients into the mug and mix well with the dry ingredients.

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Add the blueberries and gently fold into the mixture.

Put the mug in a microwave and cook for about 90 seconds.

Remove the mug from microwave and allow to sit for a couple of minutes to cool slightly.

Enjoy your mug cake; you should have a nice blueberry sauce at the bottom of the cup 🙂

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 Nutrition Information: 265 Calories, 6g Fat, 12 g Carbohydrates (4g Sugar), 9g Protein, 15% Calcium, 10% Iron, 8% Vitamin A

Energy-Loaded Chia-Coco-Walnut Cookies

Jannine Myers

I’m “that person” who never lets any food or ingredient go to waste. I will find a way to use pretty much everything in my refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, even if what needs to be used up doesn’t seem to go with anything else I have on hand. Earlier this week for example, I had about a 1/4 cup red miso paste left, so after a quick scan of my refrigerator I knew I had enough vegetables to make an easy coconut-miso curry. Yesterday, as I was taking something out of the pantry, I saw a few almost-empty packages and jars and decided to get busy baking 🙂

The end result: these energy-loaded Chia-Coco-Walnut cookies!!! Delicious!

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Here’s how I think I made them (hard to remember since I didn’t follow a recipe, but I’m pretty sure the following ingredients and directions are accurate):

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 cup Bob Redmill’s Gluten Free 1-to-1 baking flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1 cup Bob Redmill’s Gluten Free oats, plus an additional cup pulsed into flour
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup organic raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup black chia seeds

[You don’t need to use gluten free or organic products; that’s just what I had on hand]

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Heat coconut oil and agave nectar in a microwaveable bowl, then mix well and leave to cool slightly.
  3. Combine all remaining ingredients (reserving 1/4 cup oat flour) in a large bowl.
  4. Add the slightly cooled coconut oil and agave to the dry ingredients and mix well. If the mixture is too moist and sticky, add more of the oat flour until you reach a dough-like consistency that holds well.
  5. Roll mixture into balls and place on baking trays and press the balls down using the bottom of a glass.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. After the cookies have been out of the oven for about 10 minutes, place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Baked Cashew Oatmeal Bars

Jannine Myers

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe, so here’s one that can be enjoyed by everyone in the family. I got the idea actually from a friend’s Facebook page; she’s a fitness and health coach who advocates as I do, a mostly whole foods approach to diet. On her page, she showed a picture of her young son demolishing a baked oatmeal bar, and in her comments she added, “It’s the perfect low glycemic option and high in fiber…….”

Admittedly, my bars probably don’t meed the same standards as hers (she didn’t post her recipe so I have no way of comparing), but I am taking a guess since the glycemic and fiber profile of mine are not quite as favorable. However, on the plus side, they are much more nutritionally dense than commercial bars – they contain less sugar, healthy fats, and 4g of protein per slice -.and they’re perfect for rushed on-the-go breakfast snacks or mid-afternoon energy slumps. Give them a try and see what you think!

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup cashew butter (soak raw cashews in hot water for at least an hour and then pulse into a butter)
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1/8 cup raw honey and
  • 1/8 cup agave
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • ¾ cup Bob’s Redmill gluten free one-to-one flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cashew butter, coconut sugar, honey and agave, egg, coconut oil, and vanilla until fully combined.
  3. Add in the oats, flour, salt, and baking soda and mix until combined. Add the chocolate chips and fold into the batter.
  4. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  5. Allow to cool in the pan, then cut into bars and store in a sealed container (they freeze well too).

Spirulina Breakfast Bowl

Jannine Myers

Are you familiar with the health benefits of Spirulina? Spirulina is a natural algae powder that’s impressively rich in protein, antioxidants, B-vitamins, and other nutrients. It’s often recommended to vegetarians because of it’s high protein and natural iron content, and that also makes it a fantastic food source for pregnant women, or for anyone recovering from illness or surgery, and most certainly for female athletes. 

Here’s a super nutritious “Spirulina” breakfast recipe for you to try:

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Ingredients

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 ripe nectarine, pit and skin removed

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Handful almonds

2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds

1 tsp organic spirulina powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

3 ice cubes (or 1/2 frozen banana if you prefer a slightly sweeter taste)

 

Directions

Throw everything into a blender and pulse to the consistency of a smooth puree. Pour into two serving bowls, add some home-made granola, and top with a little shredded coconut.

[Recipe adapted from PoppiesandPapayas]

Re-Creating Cafe Favorites

Jannine Myers

Something I love to do in my free time is to get in my kitchen and re-create some of my favorite cafe meals. It’s always nice going out to eat but it’s also nice to cook my own food and I can usually save a little money at the same time, since one cooking session will typically result in two or three meals.

My latest meal re-creation was taken from the menu at Green Leaf’s Yomitan Cafe; I love their Molokhia Noodle Salad (original Green Leaf version on the top and my re-created version below):

13149973_10156778911470562_1786881234_n   13336199_10156864711120562_1284422151_nThe ingredients were not exactly identical, but the taste was very similar and I’ve since made this cold noodle salad for myself several times. Here’s how I made it – so fast, simple, and delicious:

Ingredients

1 100g package Molokhia noodles (I bought mine from Green Leaf)

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Salad greens – your choice

Carrots and Japanese Daikon, shredded

Alfalfa sprouts

Mixed seeds and dried berries

Sesame Dressing Ingredients:

2 tbsps Vegan Mayonnaise (or your choice of mayonnaise)

1/2 tbsp Tamari Sauce

1/2 tbsps Sesame Oil

1/2 tbsp Rice Vinegar

1/2 tbsp sesame seeds

Dash of organic sugar (optional)

Water (if the consistency is too thick)

 

Directions:

Bring a medium size saucepan of water to the boil, then immerse the noodles and cook for just a few minutes. Drain the noodles and set aside.

Layer your bowl with the salad leaves, noodles, raw shredded vegetables, and top with the seeds and dried berries.

Make your dressing by simply whisking all the ingredients together; add desired amount to your salad. Enjoy 🙂

 

[Green Leaf also makes a delicious soy taco rice; I didn’t try to duplicate their recipe but I used their idea to make a similar meatless taco rice. Instead of using soy textured protein to make the “ground beef,” I used pulsed and blended cauliflower, walnuts, and hemp seeds. For the full recipe visit my trail running page here]

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Green Leaf soy taco rice on left and my meatless taco rice on the right

Turning Kid-Favorite Meals into Kid-Healthy Meals

Jannine Myers

Even at the age of 12, my younger daughter is still incredibly picky, but I generally don’t let her eat foods that have no place in our home; i.e. those foods that come in packets and boxes and with ingredient lists a mile long. I do understand however, her frequent cravings for the types of comfort meals that many kids – and even adults – are drawn to. Still, we compromise with such meals and she lets me “re-create” them; in other words, I make them from scratch using the most nutrient-dense ingredients. Last night for example, I made her a healthy version of sloppy joes and received no complaints.

[Note: making these sloppy joes from scratch did cost more because I added fresh vegetables and used organic ground beef, but I’d rather contribute to my child’s health than to a slightly greater spending allowance]

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound organic ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Shredded cheese
  • Whole-wheat kaiser rolls

Directions

Brown the meat in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Pour the drippings out of the pan and discard, and set the meat aside. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, and red pepper to the pan (with a little olive oil) and saute for 5 minutes or more, stirring occasionally. Transfer half the vegetables to a blender, and add half the tomato sauce. Pulse into a puree and pour into a jug or small bowl. Do the same with the remaining vegetables and tomato sauce. Return the meat to the pan, along with the pureed vegetable sauce, and all remaining ingredients. Bring back to a boil over medium heat, and then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve over toasted bread rolls, with a little melted cheese and a side of vegetables (I added roasted cauliflower and raw carrots).

Lots of Reasons To Try Molokhia Noodles

Jannine Myers

I had lunch yesterday at Green Leaf Cafe in Yomitan, and I ordered one of my favorite meals on their menu: the Molokhia Cold Noodle Salad. If you’ve never tried molokhia noodles before (or any recipe that contains molokhia leaves), here’s a very brief post for you:

Molokhia is a dark, green leaf with a slightly bitter taste. Mostly consumed in Egypt, the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern region, Africa, and also in Japan, molokhia is used in a variety of ways; it’s used to make soups, curries, salads, spices, and as the title indicates, even noodles. With more than 30 vitamins and minerals found in molokhia, it’s health benefits are significant; check out the chart below:

molokhiainfo

If you’d like to try molokhia noodles, you can buy them in small packages at Green Leaf’s store. Or, you can just do what I do and visit the cafe instead where you can order their amazing molokhia noodle salad.

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It’s Beet Season Again

Jannine Myers

It’s beet season again and I’m making the most of it; I was busy yesterday cooking with beets and one of the recipes I made was a delicious soup that I learned the recipe for just recently at a cooking class.

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Sanae-Sensei showing us how to make her delicious beet soup

Incidentally, I received a rather timely email this afternoon with the link to a post about the benefits of eating beets; the following information was included in the post:

Why Eat Beets? 6 Top Reasons

1. Lower Your Blood Pressure

Drinking beet juice may help to lower blood pressure in a matter of hours. One study found that drinking one glass of beet juice lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points.
The benefit likely comes from the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide, in turn, helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.

2. Boost Your Stamina

If you need a boost to make it through your next workout, beet juice may again prove valuable. Those who drank beet juice prior to exercise were able to exercise for up to 16 percent longer. The benefit is thought to also be related to nitrates turning into nitric oxide, which may reduce the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercise as well as enhance tolerance to high-intensity exercise.

3. Fight Inflammation

Beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress. It’s also known to help fight inflammation, protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, enhance performance, and likely help prevent numerous chronic diseases.

As reported by the World’s Healthiest Foods:
“[Betaine’s]… presence in our diet has been associated with lower levels of several inflammatory markers, including C reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. As a group, the anti-inflammatory molecules found in beets may eventually be shown to provide cardiovascular benefits in large-scale human studies, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits for other body systems.”

4. Anti-Cancer Properties

The powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson color may help to ward off cancer. Research has shown that beetroot extract reduced multi-organ tumor formations in various animal models when administered in drinking water, for instance, while beetroot extract is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers.7

5. Rich in Valuable Nutrients and Fiber

Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.

6. Detoxification Support
The betalin pigments in beets support your body’s Phase 2 detoxification process, which is when broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be excreted from your body. Traditionally, beets are valued for their support in detoxification and helping to purify your blood and your liver.

So, with all of those great reasons to eat beets, give this soup a try; it’s fast, easy, and really delicious!

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Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 beet, peeled and diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 corn husk (corn removed)
  • 1 tbsp sake (or white cooking wine)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • 600ml to 800ml water

Directions

  1. Dice the beet, onion, and tomato
  2. Put oil and garlic in pan and simmer at low heat for a few minutes
  3. Add the beet, onion, and tomato to the pan, and add the salt and sake
  4. Slowly pour water into the pan, and bring to boil at medium heat
  5. Add the corn husk, and continue to cook at medium heat (uncovered), for approximately 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper
  6. In a couple of batches, puree the soup in a blender
  7. Serve hot, and garnish with herbs of choice

 

Creamy And Tart Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake

Jannine Myers

At the request of a few WOOT members and friends, here is the recipe for my passionfruit yogurt cheesecake. This recipe is different from one that my daughter and I have made in the past for her bakery; it contains far fewer calories, sugar, and fat! But the good news is that it’s an equally delicious cheesecake, so give it a try.

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Ingredients

  • 20 small ginger snaps
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 3 tbsps coconut oil
  • 2 cups plain greek yogurt
  • 1 pkg reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup sweetened passionfruit pulp
  • 1 tbsp Manuka honey (or your favorite honey)
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsps unflavored gelatine
  • 5 tbsps hot water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a round baking tray with a little coconut oil.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the gingersnaps, walnuts, and melted coconut oil. Transfer the crumb mixture to the baking tray and press evenly across the surface. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven and allow to cool.
  3. In a small heatproof bowl, combine the gelatine and water and stir until gelatine is completely dissolved. Allow to cool for several minutes.
  4. To prepare the filling, put the yoghurt, cream cheese, lemon juice, passionfruit and honey into a food processor and process until mixture is smooth and creamy.
  5. Add the dissolved gelatine to the food processor and blend well with the cream mixture.
  6. Carefully pour the cream cheese filling on top of the base, and smooth out evenly. Place in the freezer and leave to set for at least 2 hours.
  7. To serve, remove from the freezer and leave to thaw slightly. Top with extra passionfruit pulp, and store any remaining slices in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Info: Serving Size 1 slice – 150 calories, 8.35g Total Fat, 4.75g Saturated Fat, 13g Total Carbohydrate, 8.16g Sugars, 5.27g Protein