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Double Chocolate Chunk Protein Shake

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As a little kid, my mom would hide pureed greens, carrots, and zucchini in our pasta sauce to ensure we were getting our servings of vegetables. I find it peculiar because I do the same exact thing today, but with my smoothies! I’ll throw in anything from dark leafy greens to pureed veggies to nuts and seeds, just so that I can reap the benefits of the earth’s most nutritious super foods, but still get that yummy, sweet, smoothie flavor.

hidden-beet-chocolate-protein-shake

The recipe I’m sharing today features pureed beets and you’d never even know it was in the recipe! I like to buy my beets already steamed and vacuum-sealed, so that I can easily puree them without the hassle of peeling and steaming. To puree your steamed beets, all you have to do is place them in a magic bullet, blender, or food processor with about a tablespoon or so of water, and puree away! Place in a tupperware and store in your refrigerator for a couple of days.

So, grab your blender and chocolate protein powder because we’re making a smoothie you and your family are going to love!

Double Chocolate Chunk Protein Shake

Makes 1 smoothie

chocolate-protein-shake-anytime-fitness

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large banana, frozen
  • 1/3 cup frozen raspberries
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons pureed beets
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate protein powder
  • 1 + 1 tablespoons chocolate chip (1T for topping)
  • 1 cup milk, your choice

Directions

Place all ingredients in a blender or magic bullet. Blend until smooth. Top with an additional 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips.

What’s your favorite healthy smoothie?

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Fruit

Three-Ingredient Summer Melon Salad

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There are a lot of wonderful things about summer that make it easier to stick to a healthy lifestyle: The nicer weather makes heading outside for a walk, bike ride or swim more tempting; fresh veggies are abundant and affordable at roadside stands and farmers’ markets; and dessert is easier (and healthier) than ever thanks to the availability of ripe, fresh, sweet fruit!

Of course, there’s room in our diets for the occasional piece of pie or fudgy brownie, but for a healthy everyday treat, you can’t beat fresh fruit. And summer is the time to really get your fill! We absolutely love fresh summer melons because they’re not only super tasty and naturally sweet, but they are packed with water and tons of nutrients (not to mention, bright and beautiful to the eye!).

Watermelon slices are great for a quick and easy weeknight dessert for your family, but here’s a way to elevate your fruit and its appearance for something a little more special. This super simple, three-ingredient summer melon salad still comes together in a flash. And you’ll be amazed at how melons taste even fresher and tastier with a little bit of lemon zest. It’s the perfect way to celebrate summer!

Melon SaladThree-Ingredient Summer Melon Salad

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup watermelon balls
  • 1 cup cantaloupe balls
  • Zest of one lemon

Directions

Combine all three ingredients. Toss until well-combined. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Per Serving

47 calories, 0.1g fat, 13.1g carbohydrates, 0.9g protein

 

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Food

How to Cut a Pineapple the Correct Way

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Cutting up a whole pineapple can feel like a daunting task. Its prickly exterior seems to ward off invaders of its delightfully sweet insides. It is not, however, as difficult a task as it seems. Although there is no miracle “quick” way to free the bright yellow fruit from its bristly skin, here are the steps for making it a less discouraging experience.

Pineapple 101

Start with a ripe pineapple. Ripe will be easier to cut. How do you know?

  • Smell the butt. Bad advice in the context or humans and animals, however in the case of pineapples, this is the first tell-tale sign to determine sweetness. If the bottom of the pineapple smells sweet, it is ripe. If there is no odor, it is not ready. If the smell is fermented or vinegary, that’s bad news, because it’s over ripe.
  • Watch for color. The best pineapples have a yellow or golden color. The higher the yellow rises from the bottom to the top, the more sweetness it will have. (Note: Once harvested, pineapples don’t continue to ripen.)
  • Pluck a leaf. If you can easily pull out one of the center leaves at the top, it is ripe.

Another tip: Use a sharp serrated knife. Pineapple is fairly fibrous as well as juicy, so it can be slippery. A serrated blade makes your job of cutting easier. And don’t worry about getting every little piece of the pineapple’s “eyes” (brown spots) cut off. It may be more esthetically pleasing to have them removed, but personally, we don’t believe it’s worth the effort to remove them all—and they won’t hurt you. (Neither will the core; it actually has some great health benefits, but can be very woody, so you may want to cut it off.)

Getting the Job Done

Directions:

  1. Trim off the top. Be generous with your slice; the top of the pineapple can be woody and fibrous.
  2. Trim off the bottom. Again, be generous.
  3. Trim the sides. Stand the pineapple on its end and slide down the sides in a slightly curved motion, following the curve of the fruit. Work your way around taking off just enough so there is no dark green or brown skin remaining.
  4. Split lengthwise. Keep the pineapple standing on its end and split each half lengthwise again into quarters.
  5. Trim the core. Like the top and bottom, the core can be very woody so it’s best to remove it. Stand the pineapple quarter on end and use the knife to feel where the fibers start to “give” more.
  6. Slice quarters up into desired size/shape pieces and serve!

 

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Breakfast

Vanilla Blueberry Yogurt Parfait With Steel Cut Oats

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When posed with the task of creating a delicious, low calorie parfait recipe my mind instantly went to ‘Shrek’. I realize that this movie has very little to do with exercise, lifestyle, or even healthy eating, except for one pertinent quote by the character Donkey:

Parfait’s gotta be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet.

And in fact, he’s quite right. Parfaits are delicious and can be nutritious if assembled correctly.

ingredients-parfait

blueberry-parfait-image

Vanilla Blueberry Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cooked steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup vanilla granola
  • 1/4 cup roasted blueberries (on tinfoil lined bake sheet at 350F for 10-15 min or until bursting)
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
  • Optional: hemp or chia seeds for extra oomph

Directions

Combine ingredients using a layered method: (1) steel cut oats (2) yogurt (3) granola (4) blueberries and coconut.

Nutrition Facts: 323 Total Calories, 9 g Total Fat (5g Saturated Fat), 53 g Carbs (5 g Dietary Fiber, 19 g Sugar), 11 g Protein

 

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