Blueberry Protein Weight Loss Breakfast Smoothie

As registered dietitians and personal trainers we feel lucky to work with so many awesome clients.  Most want to have some fun and enjoy indulging but also know when it’s time to get back on track and tighten the reigns– and trust us, these twin sisters get it!  Yes, it’s not just our clients who at times feel like they need to undo the damage from too much–we, too have times when we just want to undo the damage that we did over the last couple of days from eating too much, drinking too much or just falling off the healthy track…and we’ve got just the morning dazzler to get your mind and body back on the fast track to slim–while losing the bloat and feeling satisfied!

Often we try to get right back on track with our Kale Recharge and Detox Smoothie or our Detoxifying Green Tea Smoothie which both work magic. We also sip our Raspberry Ginger Detox during the day. Or we go for this awesome Blueberry Protein Weight Loss Breakfast Smoothie! Aside from it being the perfect way to reboot the body (see below), this smoothie tastes yummy, so it’s ideal when your mind and taste buds aren’t feeling like they’re ready to dive in to very bland foods that many people believe are the only foods allowed when they’re trying to cleanse the body from the damage of overindulgence.  Admittedly, especially when we just get back from a vacay, our minds are still a little in la-la land 😉 and our taste buds want to be tantalized (this healthy, cleansing number does the trick!).

Although your body is equipped to detox and cleanse itself on its own, naturally, certain health-promoting foods and drinks, assist it in its process.  And this drink does just that! 

 

This smoothie is a superstar when it comes to weight loss and flushing bloat and toxins from the body!  Here’s how it works:

For weight loss:

It’s super-satisfying– with just 224 calories, it will keep you satiated with it’s 20 grams of protein.  It will power you through your morning keeping your energy levels stable so you don’t experience an energy crash that would have you craving a quick sugar pick-me-up (this means you won’t find yourself diving into the vending machine mid-morning in search of an energy boost).

More reasons to sip this blue smoothie to assist in weight loss? 😉

The blueberries! Research suggests they actually may assist in weight loss (yippee!) since they contain the phytochemical C3G that may increase production of both adiponectin (which enhances fat metabolism) and leptin (which suppresses appetite). Oh yeah!

 

For flushing bloat:

Starting the day with this nutrient and water-filled smoothie helps to flush out excess salt and the bloated and puffy feeling that comes with it. The high water in combination with the potassium from the blueberry and lemon flushes bloat by restoring normal fluid balance so you can kiss puffiness goodbye.

The blueberries are loaded with fiber, which helps to flush waste out your colon (goodbye constipation and unsightly gut bulges from it–hello flatter belly. Oh Yeah!)

 

For mopping up free radicals and toxins that age and damage your body.  Here’s why we like to drink this smoothie in the morning:

There’s no better time to flood your body with nutrients that help to rejuvenate your cells and that help your liver to do its’ job of detoxifying invaders (chemicals, smog, toxins, alcohol, etc.) that could harm the body. However, you can drink this babe any time of day and it will still work is magic.

The blueberries flood your body with anti-aging and disease-fighting phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds as well as bloat-fighting potassium and water!

Lemon helps to promote the activity of a liver enzyme that converts harmful, toxic substances to less harsh chemicals (via the liver through a compound called d-limonene.). Lemon, is packed with vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant which mops up free radicals from environmental toxins, stress, alcohol, fatty foods and other toxins and helps to prevent them from damaging your body. 

 

Blueberry Protein Weight Loss Breakfast Smoothie

Enjoy this sipster for breakfast to take the edge off hunger, prevent overeating, flush bloat and help set your mind & body on the healthy track.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 tbsp almond butter

1/2 cup unsweetend vanilla almond milk

1 scoop vanilla plant-based protein powder (we use Vega One Plant Power or Amazing Grass)*

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (ok, if not fresh)

water to blend

 

Directions: Blend this all together and drink! Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts: 224 Calories, 4 g fat, 19 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 20 g protein

*Note: if you don’t have protein powder, substitute with 6 ounces nonfat Greek yogurt.

Pictured below with 1 teaspoon organic coconut flakes.

Blueberry Protein Weight loss Breakfast Smoothie
 
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • Ingredients:
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ tbsp almond butter
  • ½ cup unsweetend vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla plant-based protein powder (we use Vega One Plant Power or Amazing Grass)*
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice (ok, if not fresh)
  • water to blend
Instructions
  1. Blend this all together and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 224 Fat: 4 g Carbohydrates: 19 g Fiber: 4 g Protein: 20 g

Sweet Potato Nachos

A calorie bomb of greasy chips smothered in cheese …not exactly what you’d expect to get from these veggie loving, registered dietitians and personal trainer twin sisters (who just happen to have a sweet tooth), now is it? Thank goodness, you’re (partially 😉 ) right about that. While this may taste like the real deal, this is the souped- up, caloried-down version! You know, more like some of our dishes that watch your waistline but that tantalize the more naughty side of your taste buds like our Smoked Paprika ChipsGuilt-free Kale ChipsSpicy Carrot Fries, and our Skinny Zucchini Fries… And now these yummy nachos nibblers!

 

Are you ready for a cozy comfort food that makes an ideal savory and crunchy lunch (or dinner) and that will keep you satisfied for hours? Then say hello to hot hints of savory chicken and beans and soft hints of sweet peas and scrumptious, crunchy sweet potato chips.

 

Here’s what makes this skinny comfort food work its’ magic:

 

  • Rather than traditional nachos that rack in the calories and bloating-sodium with their fried chips, these nibblers get their crunch from crispy baked sweet potato chips.

 

  • Sweet potatoes provide the quality carbs that your brain craves—this feels so indulgent but in just 4-4.5 ounces 328 calories, the comfort-food carb craving is met with bloat-busting magnesium, potassium and filling fiber. Plus, you get anti-aging, skin protecting beta-carotene!
  • Instead of gobs of greasy cheese, this skinny-cho (you read that right—“skin- nacho!” ;)) uses reduced fat cheese and a surprising creamy twist, from the peas. This works magic on your creamy-texture craving taste buds and on your waistline.

 

  • Adios fatty beef, hola savory chicken for lean protein that keeps you feeling full for hours.

 

  • Beans –rather than refried, these skip the added fat and keep the creamy texture, staying lean and filling!

 

This dish has the perfect balance of flavors that is sure to thaw you out this winter!

 

Savory Sweet Potato Nachos

 

This cozy comfort food is so healthy and filling you can make it your main meal! Or simply take this healthy spin on a fan favorite and serve it for guests!

Makes 3 Servings (entree sized)

Ingredients

3 large sweet potatoes

½ cup black beans

½ cup frozen peas

½ cup shredded chicken breast (or canned chicken)

¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Rinse sweet and thoroughly clean potatoes and thinly slice (about 3 mm thick). This is most easily done using a paring knife and working slowly, and of course carefully!
  3. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place potato slices on the baking sheet to make a nice even layer of slices (it doesn’t have to be neat just even!). The potatoes can be overlapping and it doesn’t necessarily need to be one potato per layer! Place potatoes in oven.
  4. While potatoes are baking, prepare frozen peas as directed on bag, drain and rinse black beans, and pull apart and shred chicken breast OR drain and pull apart canned chicken.
  5. After about 20 minutes, take potatoes out and flip the chips (they should be a little crispy on the side that was facing up and soft and warm on the bottom). Bake for another 15-20 min.
  6. After the potatoes are baked and crispy on both sides, take them out of the oven, place them on a plate and top with peas, black beans, chicken, and cheese. Enjoy this scrumptious meal for lunch, for dinner or with friends! It serves 3!

 

Nutrition Facts for 1 serving

Calories: 328, carbs: 47.3g, fat: 6.3g, saturated fat: 2g, protein: 23.5g, sodium: 479.5mg, fiber: 9.8g

Sweet Potato Nachos
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Serves: 3 4 oz. servings
Ingredients
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup black beans
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup shredded chicken breast (or canned chicken)
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Rinse sweet and thoroughly clean potatoes and thinly slice (about 3 mm thick). This is most easily done using a paring knife and working slowly, and of course carefully!
  3. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place potato slices on the baking sheet to make a nice even layer of slices (it doesn’t have to be neat just even!). The potatoes can be overlapping and it doesn't necessarily need to be one potato per layer! Place potatoes in oven.
  4. While potatoes are baking, prepare frozen peas as directed on bag, drain and rinse black beans, and pull apart and shred chicken breast OR drain and pull apart canned chicken.
  5. After about 20 minutes, take potatoes out and flip the chips (they should be a little crispy on the side that was facing up and soft and warm on the bottom). Bake for another 15-20 min.
  6. After the potatoes are baked and crispy on both sides, take them out of the oven, place them on a plate and top with peas, black beans, chicken, and cheese. Enjoy this scrumptious meal for lunch, for dinner or with friends! It serves 3!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 oz Calories: 328 Fat: 6.3g Saturated fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 47.3g Sodium: 479.5mg Fiber: 9.8g Protein: 23.5g

 

 

Zesty & Savory Succotash

When we entered our freshman year of college we already knew what we wanted to do as career—become registered dietitian nutritionists, and possibly with a minor in kinesiology (the study of movement). This was the during same time that we were dabbling with vegetarianism and just as the dining hall food was turning us off and left us turning to meals that we could create ourselves in the dining hall, without relying on someone there to cook it for us. We were former athletes who knew that satisfying, delicious and healthy food was the key to having energy and to feeling great, and since we often found ourselves turning to the salad bar, we knew we couldn’t just eat vegetables to survive. And so it wasn’t long before one of our staple, hearty, delicious meals was born…succotash!

Pssst… here are a few other dishes inspired by our younger days:

Lentil & Chickpea Stew

Spaghetti Squash with Red Lentil Pumpkin Sauce

Black Bean Quinoa Chili with Avocado

Lentil Vegetable Soup 

 

This version below is a spin-off of our college saving grace—only this is amped up a notch! This colorful, fragrant, and delectable vegetable side dish is packed onions, colorful corn and edamame, and a sneaky little bite of crispy turkey bacon (this is optional but recommended to us by our amazing intern Kelly Robison who makes it this way!). This dish leaves you wanting more without fail, every time! With a simple and easy preparation in hardly any time, this colorful dish is one you’ll serve regularly to a crowd…or just make for yourself as a personal favorite! Enjoy!

 

Zesty & Savory Succotash

 

 

 

Serves 5

1-cup servings

 

Ingredients

1 red onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2/3 cup of sweet corn

3 cups shelled edamame

8oz can black beans, drained

4 pieces turkey bacon, nitrate-free

 

Directions

  1. In a pan (we use a 16-inch pan), cook four pieces of bacon over low .

2, Remove bacon from pan and set aside, drain grease from pan and place back on stove.

  1. Add chopped onions to the pan and sauté 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add chopped bell pepper and sauté an additional .
  3. Add edamame, corn, and black beans to skillet and stir over medium heat until entire dish is heated through, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Crumble bacon and mix into the dish.
  • Serve and enjoy!

 

Nutrition Information

Calories 159, Carbs 20g, Protein 11g, Fat 3g, Fiber 4g, Sodium 181g

 

Zesty & Savory Succotash
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ⅔ cup of sweet corn
  • 3 cups shelled edamame
  • 8oz can black beans, drained
  • 4 pieces turkey bacon, nitrate-free
Instructions
  1. In a large pan (we use a 16-inch pan), cook four pieces of bacon over low heat.
  2. , Remove bacon from pan and set aside, drain grease from pan and place back on stove.
  3. Add chopped onions to the pan and sauté 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add chopped bell pepper and sauté an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Add edamame, corn, and black beans to skillet and stir over medium heat until entire dish is heated through, about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Crumble bacon and mix into the dish.
  7. - Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 159 Fat: 3 Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 20 Sodium: 181 Fiber: 4 Protein: 11

 

 

Speedy Skinny Cranberry Almond Cookies

These yumsters were created as part of a winter-holiday inspired recipe challenge.  Our sweet tooth wanted “in” but our jammed-packed schedules and our hopes of keeping our waistline in tact wanted “out”.  And guess which won?  Both of them!!  Yahoo!!

By now you likely know that as identical, veggie-loving, registered dietitians, personal trainer twin sisters with a wicked sweet tooth that we work hard to keep from getting too unruly 😉 , we do all that we can to let our sweet tooth live a little while also preventing it from getting the best of our health and our waistline.  We believe that we all deserve to have a little bit of fun without deprivation and without sacrificing our favorite pants–skinny jeans and all!  Amen to that!  So we’re constantly creating little treats that are so delish that we can turn down some wildly decadent desserts that we’d pay for later because we’d RATHER eat our delicious, waistline-sparing goodies! 🙂

If you like our Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Skinny Speedy Walnut Oatmeal Cookies,  our 5 Minute Microwave Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and our Wild Blueberry Cookies –you know just what we’re talking about!  And thanks for telling us that you love how quick and easy they are to make, perfect for when you want to indulge and need a quick alternative to heading face first into a tub of ice cream.

You’ll never believe that these new sweet treats have no sugar added, boast only 82 calories per delicious cookie (plus, they’ve got fiber and nutrients!)—and they take just 5 minutes to mix and 5 minutes to cook in the microwave!  We gotta admit, we’re pretty smitten with these lil’ numbers.

cranberry_almond_cookie_stack_logo2

 

One of the things we love about these cookies is how truly easy they are to whip up!

 

cranberry_almond_cookie1

 

Serves: 4 small cookies or 1 large cookie

Ingredients:

1 very ripe banana, mashed

3 Tbsp. rolled oats

1 Tbsp. almond butter

1/8 -1/4 tsp almond extract (use the higher amount if you like it more almond-flavored)

1 Tbsp slivered almonds

2 Tbsp dried cranberries

 

Directions:

  1. If using an oven rather than microwave, preheat to 375°F.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, smash banana. Add almond butter, almond extract and oats, stirring until thoroughly combined. Stir in cranberries and almonds.
  3. If using microwave: For one large cookie, simply spread mixture in bowl and microwave on high for 4-1/2 minutes. If you are making four cookies you can spray a plate, 4 small bowls or 4 ramekins. (The ramekins are nice to keep the cookies contained and perfectly round.)
  4. Scoop out about 2-1/2 tablespoons each, and flatten on the plate or in ramekin. Repeat for each ramekin.
  5. Place the four ramekins or the one plate in microwave on high for 4 minutes. Depending on the strength of your microwave cooking time may vary. Simply use a toothpick or a fork and poke cookie the whole way through. *If wetness comes off on fork or toothpick, continue to put back in microwave in 30 second increments until cooked.

If making one big cookie, you may want to place plate in fridge or freezer to help “congeal” for a minute after cooking.

*If using oven: Place 2-1/2 Tbsp of mixture on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven when cooked completely through.

Makes 4 Cookies.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (1 Cookie): 82 Calories, 12 g carbohydrate,3 g fat, 2 g protein, 25 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

One large cookie: 327 Calories, 49 g carbohydrate, 12 g fat, 8 g protein, 2 mg sodium, 8 g fiber

Speedy Cranberry Almond Cookies
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 cookies
Ingredients
  • Speedy Cranberry Almond Cookies
  • Other than the fact this cookie has no added sugar and tastes insanely delish and perfectly sweet, it’s packed with wholesome goodness. They serve up protein, nutrients and fiber.
  • Serves: 4 small cookies or 1 large cookie
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • 3 Tbsp. rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp. almond butter
  • ⅛ -1/4 tsp almond extract (use the higher amount if you like it more almond-flavored)
  • 1 Tbsp slivered almonds
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. If using an oven rather than microwave, preheat to 375°F.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, smash banana. Add almond butter, almond extract and oats, stirring until thoroughly combined. Stir in cranberries and almonds.
  4. If using microwave: For one large cookie, simply spread mixture in bowl and microwave on high for 4-1/2 minutes. If you are making four cookies you can spray a plate, 4 small bowls or 4 ramekins. (The ramekins are nice to keep the cookies contained and perfectly round.)
  5. Scoop out about 2-1/2 tablespoons each, and flatten on the plate or in ramekin. Repeat for each ramekin.
  6. Place the four ramekins or the one plate in microwave on high for 4 minutes. Depending on the strength of your microwave cooking time may vary. Simply use a toothpick or a fork and poke cookie the whole way through. *If wetness comes off on fork or toothpick, continue to put back in microwave in 30 second increments until cooked.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cookie (when making 4) Calories: 82 Fat: 3 g Carbohydrates: 12 g Sodium: 25 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 2 g

 

 

speedy_skinny_cran_almond_cook_collagespeedy_craberry_almond_cookiescollage

 

Pumpkin Pie Oat Breakfast Muffins

Pinch us, these twin sisters who are registered dietitians and personal trainers with a sweet tooth must be dreaming! Pumpkin pie for breakfast?!without guilt or regrets?!  You bet!  These healthy breakfast muffins prevent all excuses to skip breakfast.  Most people tell us that when they skip breakfast it’s either because they don’t have time to eat it, or they’re not in the mood, or they’re just not hungry.

Well with these pups, time becomes a non-issue because you can simply make them in advance and grab ‘em and go—then eat ‘em on the run! And if you’re not in the mood for breakfast, that just may change if you add delicious pumpkin pie into the breakfast mix because guilt-free pie that just happens to boost your energy is hard to resist!

Not hungry for breakfast? No worries, toss these in a bag and eat them mid-morning when you do get hungry!  A healthy, energy boosting breakfast is just as good mid-morning!

0007__nutritiontwins-baked-oatmeal-pumpkin-pie_logo

 

Pssst… looking for more healthy recipes?  Please feel free to search this site! And here are a few to try…

Lime Shrimp with Coconut Rice

Greek Quinoa Salad

Smoked Paprika Chips

Chocolate Drizzled Granola Balls

Breakfast Quinoa Nibbles

Coconut Fruit Pops

 

0006__nutritiontwins-baked-oatmeal-pumpkin-pie_logo

 

What makes Pumpkin Pie Oat Breakfast Muffins so awesome (other than the fact that they’re guilt-free, energy boosting, pie-on-the-go)?

Oats: Starting the morning with whole grains helps get your day started on the right foot. Think quality carbs for energy.  Whole grains help you feel full longer and help maintain blood sugar levels until your next meal.

Pumpkin: The bright orange pumpkin color does more than just lift spirits, it’s packed with fiber, antioxidants and vitamins!  It’s got vitamin C, a great immune system booster, and it’s got vitamin A, great for eye health and for preventing the damage that occurs naturally with aging. Beta-carotene has many benefits including keeping your body younger/ helping to prevent degenerative diseases and it helps in the prevention of cancer.  Pumpkins also boast a healthy serving of fiber, to help you stay fuller longer.

Pepitas (aka, pumpkin seeds): These little seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan an important part of the production of serotonin… aka a mood booster!

 

0009__nutritiontwins-baked-oatmeal-pumpkin-pie_logo

 

Pumpkin Pie Oat Breakfast Muffins

Celebrate all things pumpkin in this on-the-go baked oats treat; it’s filled with a nutritious blend of your fall favorites.  Pair these with a serving of vanilla or plain nonfat Greek yogurt—the perfect way to add protein (up to 18 grams).  Think of the combo as kind of a pumpkin pie with whip cream, minus the guilt.

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

2 cups old fashion oats or rolled oats (not instant)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup almond milk (we used unsweetened vanilla)

3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin

1 egg (we used Egglands Best because they have 25% less saturated fat compared to other eggs)

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup dried cranberries (if you’d like these a little sweeter we suggest adding an additional 1/4 cup).

3 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds

1 Tbsp seed & grain blend (we used Trader Joe’s Super Seed & Ancient Grain blend,  you can use whatever type of seed or grain you have on hand!)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 12 cup, cupcake pan with muffin papers or coat with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine all ingredients and mix completely until thoroughly combined in a bowl.
  4. Divide batter into 12 cups so that it’s evenly distributed.
  5. Bake for 18-22 . When done, the tops will be firm and not gooey or moist. Poke with a toothpick—and when it comes out clean, the muffins are ready! Be careful not to over bake.

 

0008__nutritiontwins-baked-oatmeal-pumpkin-pie_logo

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 105 Calories, 2 g Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 16 mg Cholesterol, 75 mg Sodium, 20 g Carbohydrate, 2 g Fiber, 8 g Sugar, 3 g Protein  

 

The Nutrition Twins work with Eggland’s Best to help people get more nutrients from their food.

Pumpkin Pie Oat Breakfast Muffins
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2 cups old fashion oats or rolled oats (not instant oats)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond milk (we used unsweetened vanilla)
  • ¾ cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1 egg (we used Egglands Best (www.egglandsbest.com) because they have 25% less saturated fat compared to other eggs)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (if you’d like these a little sweeter we suggest adding an additional ¼ cup).
  • 3 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp seed & grain blend (we used Trader Joe’s Super Seed & Ancient Grain blend, you can use whatever type of seed or grain you have on hand!)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 12 cup, cupcake pan with muffin papers or coat with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine all ingredients and mix completely until thoroughly combined in a bowl.
  4. Divide batter into 12 cups so that it’s evenly distributed.
  5. Bake for 18-22 minutes. When done, the tops will be firm and not gooey or moist. Poke with a toothpick—and when it comes out clean, the muffins are ready! Be careful not to overbake.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 105 Fat: 2 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 20 g Sugar: 8 g Sodium: 75 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 3 g Cholesterol: 16 mg

pumpkin_pie_oat_muffins_collage

Oil Free Basil Spinach Pesto

Do  the scents of certain foods take you back to happy days?  Oh the memories!  This Basil Pesto brings us back… 🙂

oil_free_basil_pesto_1_logo

As kids, every day after school we’d have a play date with our best friend and next door neighbor, Mary.  Our routine?  As soon as we got home, Mary would come over to our house for a snack.  Both our mom and Mary’s mom had super health-food filled homes.  The exception to the healthy rule? Our mom had cream cheese and Mary’s mom had Skippy peanut butter (vs. the pure crushed peanuts, where the oil often separated out, at our house).  So we’d have two snacks—first we’d stuff celery with cream cheese at our house, we’d giggle for hours as we always did when we were together, and then we’d go to Mary’s and stuff celery with Skippy peanut butter.  By the time we’d arrive at Mary’s it was closer to dinner time and her Mom always had something fragrant cooking on the stove that she was preparing for dinner.   One of the dishes that smelled the best—and that stole our attention away from celery with Skippy peanut butter was Mary’s Mom’s Basil Pesto.  Mary’s mom, Janet, would find us with our spoons in her pesto rather than in the Skippy jar where they were on other days.  We still dream about that pesto!  This Oil Free Basil Spinach Pesto was inspired by Mary’s mom’s pesto.  But as registered dietitians, we’ve lightened up traditional pesto and had to share it with you!

 

oil_free_basil_pesto_2_logo

 

 

 

Pssst… looking for more healthy recipes?  Please feel free to search this site! And here are a few to try…

 

Lime Shrimp with Coconut Rice

Greek Quinoa Salad

Smoked Paprika Chips

Chocolate Drizzled Granola Balls

Breakfast Quinoa Nibbles

Coconut Fruit Pops

 

oilfreebasilpestocollage

 

Typically, pesto contains a lot of oil and dairy, and adds mega calories.  To make this zippy condiment a bit more nutritious and lower in calories, we removed the oil and cheese, added lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and spinach (we promise you can’t taste it!)—and you won’t believe how delish it is!

 

Wondering what nutritional yeast is and why we add it? We actually learned about this vegan, cheese alternative months ago and curious what it tasted like, we gave it a whirl, and we were hooked! We’ve been sprinkling it on everything we eat since! 😉 It’s got a cheesy, nutty flavor and looks like a yellow powder that is actually an inactive form of yeast.  It’s the same strain of yeast that bakers use to leaven bread, but bakers use the active form.   It’s a vegan source of protein and vitamin B12 (so it really hooks a plant-eater up!) and provides a savory quality to dishes it is added to and has zero sodium.  Yes please!

oil_free_basil_pesto_3_logo

Other star ingredients in this Oil Free Basil Spinach Pesto:

  • Walnuts | Omega 3 Fatty Acids (hello, gorgeous, moisturized skin and a healthy heart!), Copper, Manganese, Biotin
  • Spinach | Vitamin K, Vitamin A (goodbye damaging free radicals, beta carotene from vitamin A mops up these trouble-makers and fights cancer, aging and inflammation), Iron, Manganese, Vitamin C
  • Basil | Vitamin K (hello healthy bones and proper healing from cuts and blemishes), Manganese, Copper

 

Add this flavorful and nutrient-packed condiment to your summer (or spring, fall or winter, for that matter!) meals!

 

Oil Free Basil Spinach Pesto

This is one of our favorite ways to add flavor to just about any dish (think chicken, shrimp, salmon, zucchini noodles, veggie dip…)!

Makes 16 Tbsp Servings

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup basil leaves, gently washed
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 3 Tbsp walnuts pieces
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp chives, optional
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp water

Directions:

  • Using a steel blade in the bowl of a food processor (or a high-powered blender), add the basil, spinach, walnuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, chives, and salt.  Blend until evenly ground.
  • With the machine running, slowly add 1-2 Tbsp of water to the mixture and blend until smooth.

Nutrition Information per Tablespoon:

  • Calories:  20 Fat:  2g Cholesterol:  0mg Sodium:  8mg Potassium:  37mg Carbohydrates:  1g Fiber:  0.5g Sugar:  0 g Protein:  0.7g

 

Oil Free Basil Spinach Pesto
 
Nutrition Information per Tablespoon: Calories: 20.2 Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 8mg Potassium: 37mg Carbohydrates: 1g Fiber: .5g Sugar: .1g Protein: .7g
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup basil leaves, gently washed
  • ½ cup spinach
  • 3 Tbsp walnuts pieces
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp chives, optional
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp water
Instructions
  1. Using a steel blade in the bowl of a food processor (or a high-powered blender), add the basil, spinach, walnuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, chives, and salt.  Blend until evenly ground.
  2. With the machine running, slowly add 1-2 Tbsp of water to the mixture and blend until smooth.