Posts

Healthy Homemade Gingerbread Latte

 

’Twas the night before the holidays, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…

OK, so that’s not exactly the way it went down in our house—especially the quiet, peaceful part. 😊 Yes, it was snowing, but that’s about where the story ends. Over here, Tammy’s twin daughters had 3 friends over who were screaming and yelling and playing some sort of slide-someone-around on the floor like they’re dead, yet kicking (don’t ask 😊 ), and these two, twin registered dietitians were dreaming up a new lightened up concoction (and the kitchen is never quiet or peaceful when we’re both concocting! If you watched us on Food Network’s Chopped!, that’s the tame version of what happens at home 😊 ).

The good news is what came out of all of the chaos—this delicious Healthy Homemade Gingerbread Latte. We lightened it up in a major way—shaving 100 calories off a small, typical-size latte—our version has only 33 calories a serving! Plus, our house smells like a gingerbread cookie factory (no joke!) and if you need a ‘lil pick-me-up, this bevvie uses strongly brewed coffee.

And if you need a to flush out the bloat if you’ve overdone it on a little too much holiday cheer—check out these “detox” drinks—and be sure to check out our 21-Day Body Reboot™, which will help you to look and feel your best in no time (it’s our life-altering program that helps you to lose your last 10 pounds or more—while going wild on the weekend!)

Cucumber Blueberry Water Flush
Lemon Ginger Turmeric Tea “Detox”
Lemon Ginger Detox drink
Vitamin C Infused “Detox” Water

  Aside from the heaping calorie-savings in this Gingerbread latte, there’s even another reason to sip it—the cinnamon! And if you like things extra-cinnamon-y, go ahead and sprinkle away!

Cinnamon: Studies have found that cinnamon helps to reduce inflammation and a number of studies have found improved blood sugar levels associated with cinnamon intake. So it certainly can’t hurt to aim for ½- 1 teaspoon of this delish spice daily!

Ginger: Ginger (especially fresh ginger) is also great for reducing chronic inflammation (the kind that’s linked to many chronic diseases), and is a total tummy soother, which means it may just keep you free from nausea or stomach discomfort!

 

 

Healthy Homemade Gingerbread Latte

Yield: 1 latte (8 oz)

Ingredients:
½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
½ tsp blackstrap molasses
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Stevia, to taste (I used 2 drops liquid stevia)
½ cup very strong brewed coffee

Directions:
1. Place almond milk, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and stevia in a pot or microwave-safe mug. Heat on the stove or in the microwave until piping hot.
2. Transfer the almond milk mixture to a 16 oz mason jar, seal, and shake vigorously, until frothy. You can also use a milk frother if you have one!
3. Pour the brewed coffee into a mug, top with the almond milk mixture, and stir gently to combine.
4. Enjoy!

Nutrition info (per serving): 33 calories, 1.3 g fat, 81 mg sodium, 5.4 g carbs, 0.9 g fiber, 0.5 g sugar, 0.7 g protein

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Banana Split

0001__nutritiontwins-banana-icecream-split-cocoa-honey-peanutbutter-almonds-strawberries-almondmilk_logoWe’re back!…

Yup, these veggie- loving twin sister, registered dietitians and personal trainers with a major sweet tooth are back after our cooking competition debut!—and let’s just say, had we made it to the dessert round, this would have been one of our dream dishes, based on taste and health alone!  As you know, we’re always whipping up light, waistline-friendly sweet treats since our sweet tooth requires a lot of attention to keep it in check — Remember these yumsters?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

5 Minute Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

and our Strawberry Mint Ice Cream.

Well, after being inspired by the other twin chefs on Food Network (they were so talented –we had so much fun getting to know how they create the meals in their restaurants!) we got back to the kitchen and guess what was born?…

0002__nutritiontwins-banana-icecream-split-cocoa-honey-peanutbutter-almonds-strawberries-almondmilk_logo

 

A new take on a classic dessert! This dairy free “ice cream” is so easy to blend up and so tasty that no one would ever believe it’s actually healthy enough for breakfast!  (If you do want this for breakfast, simply have a Greek yogurt with it to boost the protein).

 

Playing off of ice cream made from frozen bananas, since it’s all the rage, we took it a step further and added a few embellishments to give it a banana split feel.  To keep this delish dish dairy free, we left off the whipped cream, but we bet this rich dessert will make your nostalgia for whipped cream disappear in an instant.

 

Nutrition Bonuses in dessert?

You bet!

  • Peanut butter packs 8 grams of protein for every two tablespoons and helps to keep you satisfied with its good-for-you fats.
  • Bananas are a heart healthy food — and their potassium not only helps to keep your insides calm, lowering blood pressure, but also helps to prevent bloat. And they’re a good source of dietary fiber to keep you feeling full—and to prevent constipation and the bloat that comes with it!

 

Ingredients

Makes approximately 4, ½ cup servings

Ice Cream

3 frozen ripe bananas, peeled

½ cup original almond milk (we used Pacific Organic original)

1 1/2 TBSP peanut

2 TBSP cocoa powder, unsweetened

1/2 TBSP honey

pinch of cinnamon

 

Toppings

½ cup frozen strawberries

pinch of sugar, optional

½ TBSP water

 

1 TBSP toasted sliced almonds, no salt

 

Directions:

 

  1. Combine all ingredients listed for ‘Ice Cream’ in a blender, blend until completely mixed with the texture of a smoothie. (This can be eaten as is or for a firmer more ice cream like frozen texture put the ice cream in a sealed container into the freezer for 2-3 hours.)

 

  1. For toppings: Puree the frozen (or fresh if they’re available) strawberries with a little water and an optional pinch of sugar, if desired to make a little sweeter. Put in fridge to thicken up a little while ice cream freezes.

 

  1. When ready to eat, top ice cream with one tablespoon drizzle of strawberry puree and one tablespoon of salt free toasted almond slices.

 

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 151 Calories, 5 g Fat, 1 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 33 mg Sodium, 28 g Carbohydrate, 4 g Fiber, 14 g Sugar, 4 g Protein

pb-banana-split-collage

Peanut Butter Banana Split
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • Ice Cream
  • 3 frozen ripe bananas, peeled
  • ½ cup original almond milk (we used Pacific Organic original)
  • 1½ TBSP peanut butter
  • 2 TBSP cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • ½ TBSP honey
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • Toppings
  • ½ cup frozen strawberries
  • pinch of sugar, optional
  • ½ TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP toasted sliced almonds, no salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients listed for ‘Ice Cream’ in a blender, blend until completely mixed with the texture of a smoothie. (This can be eaten as is or for a firmer more ice cream like frozen texture put the ice cream in a sealed container into the freezer for 2-3 hours.)
  2. For toppings: Puree the frozen (or fresh if they’re available) strawberries with a little water and an optional pinch of sugar, if desired to make a little sweeter. Put in fridge to thicken up a little while ice cream freezes.
  3. When ready to eat, top ice cream with a tablespoon drizzle of strawberry puree and a tablespoon of salt free toasted almond slices.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 151 Fat: 5 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 28 g Sugar: 14 g Sodium: 33 mg Fiber: 4 g Protein: 4 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

Strawberry Banana Chia Pudding

About a year ago, we were preparing chia pudding on set for one of our TV appearances and we poured the chia seeds out of the container and into a bowl and added a little bit of almond milk.  A few minutes later, the food stylist who had purchased the chia seeds for our nutrition segment came over to us and was in a panic—she thought that the chia seeds disappeared.  She had never seen how chia seeds swell when you add liquid and at first she looked horrified by unidentifiable the gelatinous mixture in front of her, but when we explained that what she was looking at was the chia seeds and their benefits her face quickly changed as she became fascinated with the mighty little seeds, and with good reason.!  As registered dietitians, a lot of our clients ask about chia and wonder why we recommend it.

Strawberry Banana chia Pudding | The Nutrition Twins

So, why is chia so cool?

For starters, they absorb about 10 times their weight in water (wowzers!), so they turn into a thick gel-like texture, which is perfect for pudding making—not to mention, this is also perfect for helping you to feel satisfied.  Think…that same thing happens in your stomach—the seeds swell and fill you up!

They’re also rich in Omega 3 fatty acids– and also in fiber and protein which is the magical combination when it comes to providing satiety.  And chia seeds are packed with antioxidants to prevent cell damage from free-radicals that can lead to diseases like cancer.

Strawberry Banana chia Pudding | The Nutrition Twins

In honor of our love of chia seeds as well as our cravings for a little something sweet, we created this Strawberry Banana Chia Pudding.  This pudding is hits the spot–it’s deliciously sweet and packs in nutrients.  Add a hard-boiled egg and you have the perfect grab and go breakfast!

Strawberry Banana chia Pudding | The Nutrition Twins

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

This strawberry banana chia pudding is so simple to make.  Toss all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender, allow to chill overnight, top with a few banana slices, more berries or enjoy the pudding toppingless and voila!  If you’re like us and sometimes want a touch of something sweet after dinner, take a few bites of this! We keep it in our fridge and take a few bites if we get a sweet craving—it works like a charm!

Strawberry Banana chia Pudding | The Nutrition TwinsStrawberry Banana Chia Pudding

Makes 3 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled
  • 2 cups fresh or thawed (if frozen) strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or sweeten to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp flax meal
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  • Put the bananas, strawberries, and almond milk in a food processor and mix until combined. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender and blend until smooth. Add the maple syrup and adjust sweetness if desired.
  • Add the chia seeds, flax meal and cinnamon and pulse until combined.
  • Place the chia pudding into 3 or 4 serving dishes and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.  Garnish with more berries and a few banana slices.

Nutrition Information per serving

  • Calories 170, Total Fat 3.5 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium 9 mg, Potassium 506 mg, Carbohydrates 33 g, Fiber 8.3 g, Sugar 19 g, Protein 4 g

Strawberry Banana Chia Pudding
 
Author:
Recipe type: breakfast, dessert, gluten free, dairy free, grain free, vegan
Serves: 3 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled
  • 2 cups fresh or thawed (if frozen) strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or sweeten to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp flax meal
  • ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Put the bananas, strawberries, and almond milk in a food processor and mix until combined. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender and blend until smooth. Add the maple syrup and adjust sweetness if desired.
  2. Add the chia seeds, flax meal and cinnamon and pulse until combined.
  3. Place the chia pudding into 3 or 4 serving dishes and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving. Garnish with more berries and a few banana slices.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 170 Fat: 3.5 g Carbohydrates: 33 g Sugar: 19 g Sodium: 9 mg Fiber: 8.3 g Protein: 4 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

Strawberry Chia Pudding Collage

Goat Cheese & Walnut Stuffed Dates

When we were in high school, we’d come home after school and have a large snack before heading out for our run and soccer training.  Lyssie would eat a large canister of dates and immediately head out for a run and to train for soccer.   Yep, no joke!  With a full stomach of dates (Tammy’ loved dates too, but raisins were her thing and her tummy was filled with them. Umm, yum!) we’d sprint out the door and be energized for hours.  We still can’t get over that we didn’t get a stomach cramp running with all of that fiber-filled food in our stomach!  And nowadays as registered dietitians, we get a good laugh when we realize how lucky we were knowing we’d be shocked if any of our athletes told us they would dare take the chance and exercise after eating that for a snack–with all the fiber in their stomach!

But there was something about the delicious, sweet flavor and chewy, satisfying texture of the dates that sucked Lyssie in.  And the long-lasting energy they provide kept her coming back for more! And that was before we even knew they were packed with fiber and health-promoting phytonutrients.

To this day, we both still love our dates (only now we don’t eat them in such large quantities or right before exercising!)  Have you seen one of our favorite ways to squash a sweet tooth with these healthy chocolatey date alternatives? You can see the video here.  Or have you tried our Chocolate Coconut Chia Balls  or our Mini Vegan Carrot Cakes  just to name a few of our recipes that highlight the finger-licking sweetness of the mighty date! And we love to develop new ways to enjoy them.  That’s why we have to share our latest creation, Goat Cheese and Walnut Stuffed Dates!

Date surprise pic

Goat Cheese & Walnut Stuffed Dates

These treats are perfect to serve as an appetizer at a party or a mid-day snack! With walnuts and goat cheese “wrapped up” in a date, topped off with a sprinkle of cinnamon; this is a flavor combination your taste buds will adore! We love the sweet, savory and salty combination of flavors with the gooey, smooth and crunchy textures. Enjoy!

Yields: 1 serving

Serving Size: 1 date

Ingredients

1 pitted date (or you can pit the date yourself by cutting the date down the middle)

½ tsp goat cheese

1 shelled walnut

Sprinkle of cinnamon

 

Directions

Slice the date partially down the middle so that you can see the inside but so that the bottom is still attached.

Take a ½ tsp of goat cheese and use a knife to place it in the date, then stick the walnut inside and partially close the date to avoid the ingredients from falling out.

Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on top, but be careful not to add too much as its’ strong flavor may take away from the rest of the bite.

 

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 43

Carbohydrates: 5 g

Fat: 2 g

Protein: 1 g

Saturated Fat: 0 g

Cholesterol: 0 g

Sodium: 9 mg

Fiber: 0 g

Sugar: 4 g

Goat Cheese & Walnut Stuffed Dates
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Ingredients
  • 1 pitted date (or you can pit the date yourself by cutting the date down the middle)
  • ½ tsp goat cheese
  • 1 shelled walnut
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Slice the date partially down the middle so that you can see the inside but so that the bottom is still attached.
  2. Take a ½ tsp of goat cheese and use a knife to place it in the date, then stick the walnut inside and partially close the date to avoid the ingredients from falling out.
  3. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on top, be careful not to add too much as its’ strong flavor may take away from the rest of the bite!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 date Calories: 43 Fat: 2 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 5 g Sugar: 4 g Sodium: 9 mg Fiber: 0 g Protein: 1 g Cholesterol: 0 g

 

Skinny Speedy Sugar & Spice Apple Chips!

Cinnamon and a sprinkle of brown sugar is baked into apple slices to create a sweet and savory guilt-free chip. This is the perfect, healthy comfort food to keep you lean when you feel like indulging.

 Apple Chips

Most of you know by now that we love our apples! We’ve had an apple nearly every day since high school and we hope the apple’s quercitin will work its’ magic and protect our body against damage and disease, including Alzheimer’s disease, which runs in our family. We make these for our family and hope you will love them as much as we do! If you’ve made our Ginger Cinnamon Apple Chips and loved them, these chips are a sweeter version in a ring-shape!

 

Skinny Speedy Sugar & Spice Apple Chips

Serves: 36

 

Ingredients:

 

1 Tbsp. sugar

3 teaspoons cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

3 large apples

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  3. Slice apples into thin slices crosswise. Cut out seeds, core and ends and throw away.
  4. Place apples on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, ever so lightly spray baking sheets with oil in a spray jar.
  5. Sprinkle apples with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.Bake the apple slices until crisp and dry, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Flip apples every 25-30 minutes.
  6. Remove from tray when dry and place on cooling rack. Enjoy on the go or for an afternoon snack!!

Pssst…although this recipe calls for sugar and is absolutely scrumptious as is, you may want to test a few rings by simply sprinking with just cinnamon–we find them so delish both ways!

 

Nutrition Facts: 11 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 0 g protein

 

Skinny Speedy Sugar & Spice Apple Chips!
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 large apples
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees .
  2. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. .
  3. Slice apples into thin slices crosswise. Cut out seeds, core and ends and throw away.
  4. Place apples on baking sheets lined with parchment -paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, ever lightly spray baking sheets with oil in a spray
  5. Sprinkle apples with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
  6. Bake the apple slices until crisp and dry, approximately 1½ to 2 hours. Flip apples every 25-30 minutes.
  7. Remove from tray when dry and place on cooling rack. Enjoy on the go or for an afternoon snack!!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 11 Fat: 0 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 3 g Sugar: 2 g Sodium: 0 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 0 g

 

It’s Grilled Cheese Month!

Like most people, we love an ooey gooey grilled cheese sandwich once in awhile!   It takes us back to the days as kids when we watch our mom make our sandwich and our mouths’ would water as we’d watch the cheese bubble.   We honestly still get the same thrill from watching the cheese grill these days, only what makes a good, old-fashioned grilled cheese sandy even better is when we can doctor it up in an even healthier way without even noticing in the least scrumptious bit, just as we did here with our Apple, Cinnamon,  Brown Sugar Grilled Cheese.

Updated Grilled Cheese

We owe a huge thank you to Cabot Creamery who spoiled us by sending us their delectable Cabot Cheddars.  Their all-natural cheeses are gluten and lactose-free and sooooo good—and allowed us to create the masterpiece below.  Pssst…what we especially love is that Cabot Cooperative is owned by 1,200 farm families throughout New England and New York.

We hope your enjoy it as much as we do!!

 

Apple, Cinnamon, Brown Sugar Grilled Cheese

Serves: 2

Ingredients

4 slices 100% whole wheat bread

1 apple, cored, sliced (about 1/2 cup)

1 tbsp. light butter, softened

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. brown sugar

2 slices of Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese

 

Directions

1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Spread the butter onto one side of each slice of bread and place that side of bread on skillet

2. Place apple slices on 2 sides of bread that are facing up. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar generously.

3. Place one slice of cheese onto each slice of bread to cover the apples. Cover with remaining pslices of bread with butter side facing outward.

4.  Brown in skillet until outsides are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Will need to flip both sides.

5.  Enjoy!!

 

What’s your favorite grilled cheese concoction? Let us know and share!

 

Thank you to our wonderful intern Rachael Heilner for creating this delicious recipe!

 

Nutrition Facts: 225 calories, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 311 mg sodium, 32 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 10 g protein

 

For a 10-day Weight Loss Jumpstart and Detox Plan and more delicious healthy recipes like this, please check out The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure!

Grilled Cheese 1Here is the version we tried the first time we made it when we went a little heavier handed with the apple compared to the cheese.  It was super delicious too–just not quite as gooey!