We’re not gonna lie—we think this is one of our fave easy snack creations yet! And the crazy thing is it’s not even so unusual, in fact, you’ve likely had your own variation of this, but this version is so good, we wanted to make sure you have this in your recipe toolbox too. After all, a good, healthy snack that you enjoy eating can help to keep you on track for the entire day, boosting your energy, filling you with nutrients and helping prevent cravings and overeating later in the day. Ultimately it can help you to lose weight—if that’s your goal.
This nutrient-rich popsicle feels like an indulgent, satiating treat yet is packed with nutrients that work to keep you calm on the inside while keeping your energy and mood stable, and improving concentration (and attitude! :)) throughout the day. Eating this frozen “popsicle” feels like a dessert—yet it’s entirely wholesome and there’s no added sugar!
Here are just a few reasons this pop-sicle snack is the bomb! Or shall we say, the “pop!”
• The anthocyanins in blueberries have been found to improve memory and protect against age-related deterioration of memory function.
• Not only are blueberries low in calories (80 calories/cup, 3.6 g fiber), but research suggests they actually may assist weight loss (yahoo!) because they contain the phytochemical C3G that may increase production of both adiponectin (which enhances fat metabolism) and leptin (which suppresses appetite). Oh yeah!
• Peanut butter is rich in protein and fiber and is rich, creamy and helps improve satiation.
• Bananas are potassium-loaded, helping to flush bloat from sodium and relax muscles to boot.
PB & Bananaberry Frozen Pops (or Blueberry Banana Boats)
1 large banana
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 strawberry, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped peanuts
For PB & Bananaberry Frozen Pops:
1. Place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper on the bottom of a freezer- safe Tupperware. Tupperware should be large enough to hold a banana. As an alternative simply lay out a piece of wax paper on a flat surface.
2. Cut banana in half horizontally. Carefully push a popsicle stick halfway through each piece of banana starting from the side that you sliced the banana.
3. Spoon a thin layer of the peanut butter over the top half (opposite side of the stick) of each banana.
4. Decorate each banana pop by sticking the blueberries and strawberries to the peanut butter. Sprinkle peanut butter with chopped peanuts, if using. (NOTE: You can eat as is at this stage but we recommend freezing for a really indulgent-feeling treat!)
5. Place the pops on the parchment paper in the Tupperware and freeze for several hours or until desired frozen consistency is reached. If you aren’t using Tupperware, simply wrap the banana in the wax paper and freeze. It will freeze more quickly this way but may get a bit more solidly frozen.
6. Remove from freezer and dig in!
Nutrition facts per serving: 178 Calories, 21 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein (we like to boost the protein sometimes by rolling the fruit & nut covered pop in Greek yogurt before freezing—yum!) or by adding extra nuts!) 9 g fat, 6 mg sodium, 4 g fiber
Directions for Blueberry Banana Boats:
1. Place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper on the bottom of a freezer- safe Tupperware. Tupperware should be large enough to hold a banana. As an alternative, simply lay out a piece of wax paper on a flat surface.
2. Cut banana in half lengthways.
3. Spread a layer of the peanut butter over each half of banana.
4. Decorate each banana boat with blueberries and sliced strawberry and sprinkle with chopped peanuts if you are using. (NOTE: You can eat as is at this stage but we recommend freezing for a really indulgent-feeling treat!)
5. Place the boats on the parchment paper in the Tupperware and freeze for several hours or until desired frozen consistency is reached. If you aren’t using Tupperware, simply wrap the banana in the wax paper and freeze. It will freeze more quickly this way but may get a bit more solidly frozen.
6. Remove from freezer and dig in!
Nutrition facts per serving: 178 Calories, 21 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein (we like to boost the protein by adding extra nuts!), 9 g fat, 6 mg sodium, 4 g fiber
Roasted Asparagus and Grapefruit Salad
Looking for ways to get those greens in? This recipe is full of greens and deliciousness too! The sweet and tart combination of greens, grapefruit and lemon create a light and refreshing dish that makes a fabulous pair with a piece of lean protein such as salmon or grilled chicken! We hope you enjoy as much as we do- you’re body certainly will with asparagus’ ability to help cleanse your system.
While your taste buds dine, your body gets fine! Oh yeah!
Here are three reasons asparagus will help you cleanse your body on the inside:
- Asparagus is phytonutrient-packed and it contains glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps the body break down carcinogens and harmful free radicals.
- Asparagus’ ability to neutralize cell-damaging particles ranks amongst the top of fruits and vegetables— and this seems to help slow the aging process. Fewer wrinkles? Sign us up!
- It has high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which acts as a natural diuretic. Yay! You’ll flush out water through increased urination—and you’ll also flush out bloat and puffiness from excess salt from food… bah-bye unsightly bulges from bloat!
Say hello to…
Roasted Asparagus and Grapefruit Salad
½ large bunch asparagus (1 c. chopped)
1 c. arugula
1 c. romaine, chopped
1 T. basil, fresh, chopped
1/8 c. water
1/4 c. shaved Parmesan
Ground pepper, to taste, at the very end
3 T. lemon juice
1/4 c. Balsamic vinegar
First, rinse asparagus and chop into pieces about 1 inch long. Spray a pan with oil in a spray bottle and allow it to warm on medium heat. Once warm, place asparagus on the pan and allow it to cook until tender, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, peel grapefruit, eliminating as much pith (white skin) as possible and cut it into medium sized chunks or thin slices (whichever you prefer). Place it in the pan with the asparagus and add water to get the pan simmering. Once water has absorbed and asparagus is tender and heated, remove the pan from the heat.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix asparagus, grapefruit, arugula, romaine, basil, and parmesan.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together balsamic, lemon juice and pepper. Next, pour it onto the salad mix and lightly toss. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 85 Calories, 1g Fat, 0g Saturated Fat, 15g Carbohydrate, Protein 4g, 12g Fiber, 52mg Sodium, 2mg Cholesterol
- Calories: 85
- Saturated fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 15
- Sodium: 52
- Fiber: 12
- Protein: 4
- Cholesterol: 2
- ½ large bunch asparagus (1 c. chopped)
- 1 c. arugula
- 1 c. romaine, chopped
- 1 T. basil, fresh, chopped
- 1 grapefruit
- ⅛ c. water
- ¼ c. shaved Parmesan
- Ground pepper, to taste, at the very end
- 3 T. lemon juice
- ¼ c. Balsamic vinegar
- First, rinse asparagus and chop into pieces about 1 inch long. Spray a pan with oil in a spray bottle and allow it to warm on medium heat. Once warm, place asparagus on the pan and allow it to cook until tender, stirring occasionally.
- In the meantime, peel grapefruit, eliminating as much pith (white skin) as possible and cut it into medium sized chunks or thin slices (whichever you prefer). Place it in the pan with the asparagus and add water to get the pan simmering. Once water has absorbed and asparagus is tender and heated, remove the pan from the heat.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix asparagus, grapefruit, arugula, romaine, basil, and parmesan.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together balsamic, lemon juice and pepper. Next, pour it onto the salad mix and lightly toss. Enjoy!
Everyone loves a little makeover from time to time. We revamp our hairstyles and our closets, but it seems like the kitchen food stash is always neglected. When was the last time you showed your pantry a little love? If your kitchen pantry is in need of some TLC, look no further. We have all the answers to get you on your way to a flavorful and nutritious kitchen and pantry. These are no-fail picks to have on hand and are the perfect items to bulk up the nutrition of your meals and add flavor while still being kind to the waistline. Having a solid inventory of superfoods and minimally processed staples will help keep you on track for all of your health goals, even on those nights when you think “Let’s just order pizza”, these goodies will help you whip up tasty, easy meals in no time. We are willing to bet they will even excite your taste buds so much, you will be saying “Sayonara!” to that stack of take-out menus.
Flavored Vinegar From balsamic and fruity raspberry, to our new love coconut vinegar, flavored vinegars are brilliant kitchen staples. Add a splash of these ultra-low-calorie flavors to your salads, veggies, lean proteins like fish and poultry, and healthy, high-fiber grains. You can also kiss creamy jarred dressings like ranch and heavy sauces like alfredo goodbye—along with their fat and calories—as you enjoy these vinegars on their own or add a teaspoon of olive oil, lemon and spices for a tasty twist.
Sardines In your grandmother’s or your mom’s pantry, tuna was likely the canned fish of choice, but sardines are the new tuna. With this staple superfood in your kitchen, you have a healthy protein to turn to at any time. With sardines you don’t have to worry about mercury like you do with tuna, nor do you have to fear PCBs like you do with salmon. These small fish are very low in both toxins, yet are packed with omega-3 healthy fats. Just like canned tuna, you can keep sardines around for a long time without worrying about them going bad, and the no-sodium-added variety packed in water is our go-to choice. Add lemon and fat-free feta and enjoy this combo on cucumbers or crispbread, or try adding them to eggs, tomato sauce or salad with a little bit of olive oil.
To see three more of the most serious game changers for your pantry, head over to our article on ACE fitness. With your kitchen stocked with these must-haves, you will be eating your way to a healthier you! The best part is you will never feel like you are sacrificing the enjoyment of food for the sake of your health. Now that is definitely a kitchen victory!
Berry Detox Smoothie from The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure Book
This sweet smoothie is light and makes a great energy-boosting breakfast or a refreshing snack. The berries and spinach pack an extra antioxidant punch, while the protein in the yogurt will keep you satisfied. If you’ve had a heavy meal last night and are paying the price with bloat, this liquid elixir will help to quickly rid the bloat and get you back on the lean and svelte track.
Two key ingredients in this smoothie are the spinach and blueberries.
• Spinach: It has the brilliant combination of water, potassium and fiber to flush you out and give you that flat stomach, but what makes spinach really standout is the role it plays in the body’s detoxification process; it plays an important partin the first phases of the liver’s two-step detoxification process– and actually starts to break toxins down.
• Blueberries are little blue dynamos; they’re especially high in fiber and at just 80 calories per cup, they contain potent phytonutrients called polyphenols that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that play an important role in lessening the the inflammatory process associated with chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, cancer and age-related decline. Plus they’re simple to incorporate in many meals and add a delicious sweet flavor.
Variation: If you don’t want to use the milk and yogurt, you can replace them with roughly 130 calories of a high-protein alternative. This is generally 1-1/3 scoops of whey protein powder. Then add 1 cup of ice and ½ banana. Or if you’re vegan you could use 5 tablespoons of hemp protein powder and 1 cup of ice and half a banana to replace the milk and yogurt. Please note that this will slightly change the viscosity and the flavor.
Serves 2 (8 ounces per serving)
1/2 cup skim milk (Vegans: use 5 tablespoons of hemp protein powder or split pea or brown rice protein, 1 cup ice and ½ banana; this will slightly change the viscosity and flavor)
1/2 cup flavored, fat-free yogurt (we like fruit flavors, especially berries) 1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup raw baby spinach, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground flaxseed (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 cup frozen blueberries, unsweetened
Combine all ingredients in a blender, and puree until smooth.
Tip: We’ve found it’s best to layer smoothie ingredients into the blender jar in the following order: liquid, spinach, spices, then frozen ingredients on top. This allows the blender to make a slurry with the liquids, which draws the frozen fruit down to the blades while keeping the blender from getting hung up on the frozen ingredients.
Variation: For an extra boost add 1/4 cup walnuts. For best results, soak the nuts in water for 15 minutes, drain, then add to the blender with the rest of the ingredients to the process.
Per serving (not including optional flaxseed or walnuts): calories 150, total fat 1g, saturated fat 0g, cholesterol 2mg, sodium 76mg, carbohydrates 33g, dietary fiber 4g, sugars 26g, protein 6g
With school and work in full swing, it is only fitting that we share our list of guaranteed brain food. Although you’re likely quite aware that as we age, it becomes essential that we get foods in our diet that help boost our memory, enhance our sharpness, and prevent neurodegenerative diseases, it may come as a surprise that there are foods that we can eat at age 25 that help improve memory as well! And in case you are unsure how to get more of these foods in your diet, we’ve got you covered. We’ve included some our absolute favorite ways to incorporate these goodies that are not only easy, but also delicious! By noshing on these five foods throughout the day, you will be performing your best or acing those tests in no time! Pick up these five foods at the store ASAP, and you will be eating your way smarter, in no time.
- Eggs: When it comes to the brain and eggs, don’t forget about the yolk. Yolks contain one of the most important nutrients for building better brains: choline. Choline contributes to healthy and efficient brain processes. Getting adequate amounts of choline, especially during fetal development and early childhood, may help us learn more readily and also help us retain what we learn. Plus, sufficient choline intake early on may give us the mental building blocks we need to help keep memory intact as we age. As we age, our body’s natural choline output declines, and its neurochemical action weakens. So this is the time that you also want to eat choline-rich foods to increase your production of acetylcholine, which will improve your brain power.
Eat more eggs:
- Have a hard-boiled egg and fruit for breakfast or a snack.
- Veggie omelets for breakfast—or dinner!
Psst… we use Eggland’s Best eggs since they have 25% less saturated fat than other eggs.
- Apples: Apples contain compounds that may be able to protect the brain from the type of damage that triggers neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. One of those compounds, a flavonoid called quercetin, has been shown to protect the brain from oxidative damage. We’ve had an apple nearly every day since high school, usually with breakfast. We hope it works its magic on us, as Alzheimer’s has affected members of our family.
Eat more apples:
- Have an apple with string cheese as a snack.
- Munch on apple slices with peanut butter.
- Try these ginger apple cinnamon chips
Talk about food for thought! To find out the rest of the make-you-smarter list, head over to the article we wrote for fitbie.com. Eating foods from this no-fail list will improve mental clarity, boost memory, and keep you sharp well into old age. Fueling your mind has never tasted so good!
The Nutrition Twins work with Eggland’s Best to help people get more nutrients and live healthier lives.