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Berry Burst with Dark Chocolate, Almonds & Coconut

As veggie and chocolate lovin’ twins, registered dietitians and personal trainers, what’s a girl (or two 😉 ) to do when dessert is to be had?!  We’ve made life simple for ourselves and for you!  This may just become our go-to celebratory indulgent, waist-line friendly sweet! After all, it’s so easy to make, it’s pretty and who doesn’t like a sweet, delicious pile of antioxidants after overindulging?  Nothing like a little burst of anti-inflammatories to help your body to kick some toxins that have entered to the neutralizing curb!

While we’re at it, here are a few more healthy, waist-line friendly desserts (and feel free to search this site for many more!):

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

5 Minute Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Strawberry Mint Ice Cream

 

Pssst… in the photo below the dark chocolate balls are covering blueberries.  #Perfect for our 4th of July celebrations –and for our craving to squeeze in a lil’ brain boosting power whenever we can from the anthocyanins in the blueberries! 😉

 

Best thing about this delicious sweet treat?

Other than it’s only got 65 calories per servings and tastes AMAZING?! 🙂

There’s no wrong way to make this!  You don’t have to use the same ingredients that we did–and you can add your personal favorites instead.  We used raspberries (use your fave berry!), slivered almonds (use any slivered or chopped nut!), dark chocolate covered blueberry balls (go for dark chocolate covered nuts, if you prefer!), and coconut flakes (you can omit these or use chocolate shavings!).  Then just toss on a pretty plate and let the good times roll!

 

Berry Burst Bonus:

All berries, not just raspberries fight inflammation and they’re low in fat and calories and high in antioxidants. They have anti-inflammatory properties—likely thanks to their anthocyanins, the powerful chemicals that give them their vibrant color.

Go for all berries: Research has shown that blueberries can help protect against intestinal inflammation and ulcerative colitis; women who eat more strawberries have lower levels of CRP (a substance produced by the liver that increases in the presence of inflammation in the body) in their blood; and red raspberry extract has helped prevent animals from developing arthritis.

Try this:  Berry Avocado Salad with Yogurt Cilantro Dressing

 

Berry Burst with Dark Chocolate, Almonds & Coconut

Serves 6

Ingredients:

3 cups fresh raspberries

1-1/2 tbsp slivered almonds

1/4 cup chocolate covered blueberries

1 tbsp coconut flakes

Dash of Cinnamon, optional

 

Directions:

Lay berries on plate. Top with chocolate blueberries, coconut flakes, almonds and cinnamon.  Serve!

Nutrition Facts:  65 Calories, 2g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 12g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 4 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 8 mg sodium

Berry Burst with Dark Chocolate, Almonds & Coconut
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Serves 6
  • Ingredients:
  • 3 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1-1/2 tbsp slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup chocolate covered blueberries
  • 1 tbsp coconut flakes
  • Dash of Cinnamon, optional
  • Directions:
  • Lay berries on plate. Top with chocolate blueberries, coconut flakes, almonds and cinnamon. Serve!
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. Lay berries on plate. Top with chocolate blueberries, coconut flakes, almonds and cinnamon. Serve!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 65 Fat: 2 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 12 g Sugar: 3 g Fiber: 4 g Protein: 1 g

 

Chickpea Blondies (Gluten-free, grain-free)

We often describe our parents, who raised us in a loving, healthy, cook-it-from-scratch, granola-making, wholesome home, as being basically hippies, minus the drugs. 😉 Long before it was considered cool to eat and buy locally grown food or to belong to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), our mom was all over it.  Before people were avoiding pesticides, our mom was on the case.  And when the current plant-based movement didn’t even exist and before it was considered cool to worry about sustainability, and saving the planet, our mom was serving us yummy spaghetti and lentil-“meatballs”– and bean “burgers” and vegetarian split pea soup had a regular spot on the weekly dinner menu too.  Our mom was simply out to keep us—and the planet healthy.  And you could see it all over her granola and chickpea covered apron.  🙂

chickpea-blondies-peanutbutter-honey-darkchocolate-coconut-logo

Our mom was eating conscientiously before it was chic.  She didn’t realize that she was savvy and ahead of her time, creating most of our family meals out pulses–the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods you know as dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas—unaware that years later, 2016 would be named International Year of Pulses (IYP) by the United Nations.

Now, as registered dietitian nutritionists, the coolest thing for us is that everything is coming full circle since we grew up with pulses and already love them and toot their horn (couldn’t resist! 😉) and our mom had taught us what the UN is currently acknowledging about pulses.  We get to deliver the amazing message about pulses and encourage you to enjoy them more often and take the pulse pledge.

To take the pledge you’ll simply commit to eating pulses once a week for 10 weeks and join a global food movement!

Here’s why you’ll love it! Eating dry peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas helps reduce your carbon footprint – and it’s great for your health. Every 1/2 cup of cooked pulses delivers 9 grams of protein.

Pulses are:

  • nutritious (packed with protein, fiber, iron, potassium, antioxidants, and more!)
  • versatile and tasty (ummm… our yummy spaghetti and “meat”balls were made of lentils! our succulent “burgers” we made from beans—and just wait ‘till you check out the delectable sweet recipe below)
  • affordable (ah, yes….our mom didn’t let us forget that dad was a phD student with 3 kids to feed, so we were taught at an early age that pulses are one of the most cost effective proteins in the world)
  • sustainable (growing up, as proud owners of a “compost heap” in the wooded section of our suburban back yard, we were taught a thing or two about how pulses enrich the soil where they grow, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers. Plus, they can grow in harsh environments and have a low carbon footprint and hardly require any irrigation (they’re water-efficient).

 

And just in case you we’re wondering what pulses do for our crazy sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check—we’ve got this scrumptious golden nugget below.  It’s a throwback to the Blondies our mom used to bake. Only these are even healthier and tastier, if you can believe it! We can’t!  And the protein and the fiber in the pulses help to keep you satiated.  Regardless, it’s hard not to eat the whole batch…they’re that good!

 

chickpea_blondies_horizontal_logoChickpea Blondies

Makes 16 servings

Chickpea_blondies_ingredients_logoIngredients

1, 15-oz can chickpeas, also may be found as garbanzo beans

1/2 cup all natural peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, plus 1 Tbsp, reserve for top

1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes, reserve for sprinkling

Chickpea_blondies_tray_vertical_logo

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  1. Spritz an 8×8 pan with oil in a spray container.
  1. Rinse chickpeas and place in food processor. If using a blender, after rinsing chickpeas, remove their skin before placing in the blender by pinching the chick pea between your fingers. The skin will easily fall off and will take about five extra minutes and will ensure a very smooth blended product.
  1. Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut flakes in a food processor and blend until completely mixed.
  1. Fold in 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips.
  1. Spread batter evenly in pan, top with reserved 1 Tbsp of chocolate chips
  1. Bake for approximately 18 – 20 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. You do not want to overcook these so check on them to see if they are ready sooner in your oven. They should be moist and a little brown around the edges. Insert a toothpick, if it comes out clean they are done. Cool pan on a wire rack until pan is cool to touch, sprinkle with unsweetened coconut flakes.
  1. Cut into squares. Makes 16 blondies
  1. Delicious immediately or cool in refrigerator for a delicious cold treat. If you prefer them to be more firm, simply allowing them to cool in the fridge.

 

Nutrition Facts Per 1 Serving: 123 Calories, 6 g Fat, 2 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 35 mg Sodium, 15 g Carbohydrate, 2 g Fiber, 8 g Sugar, 3 g Protein

 

The Nutrition Twins work with the Pulse Councils to help people to eat more healthfully and encourage them to take the Pulse Pledge.

Chickpea_Blondies_Collage

Chickpea Blondies (Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free)
 
Nutrition Facts Per 1 Serving: 123 Calories, 6 g Fat, 2 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 35 mg Sodium, 15 g Carbohydrate, 2 g Fiber, 8 g Sugar, 3 g Protein
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1, 15-oz can chickpeas, also may be found as garbanzo beans
  • ½ cup all natural peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips, plus 1 Tbsp, reserve for top
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes, reserve for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spritz an 8x8 pan with oil in a spray container.
  3. Rinse chickpeas and place in food processor. If using a blender, after rinsing chickpeas, remove their skin before placing in the blender by pinching the chick pea between your fingers. The skin will easily fall off and will take about five extra minutes and will ensure a very smooth blended product.
  4. Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut flakes in a food processor and blend until completely mixed.
  5. Fold in ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips.
  6. Spread batter evenly in pan, top with reserved 1 Tbsp of chocolate chips
  7. Bake for approximately 18 – 20 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. You do not want to overcook these so check on them to see if they are ready sooner in your oven. They should be moist and a little brown around the edges. Insert a toothpick, if it comes out clean they are done. Cool pan on a wire rack until pan is cool to touch, sprinkle with unsweetened coconut flakes.
  8. Cut into squares. Makes 16 blondies
  9. Delicious immediately or cool in refrigerator for a delicious cold treat. If you prefer them to be more firm, simply allowing them to cool in the fridge.

Chocolate Almond Breakfast Pudding

By now you know that although we are registered dietitians and personal trainers who base our diets on fresh, unprocessed healthy foods, we are suckers for chocolate. 🙂 Yep, in fact, we’re so wild for chocolate, that it wouldn’t surprise us if you told us that you heard us arguing over the last chocolate covered pretzel…or a Hershey’s kiss…or a hot chocolate (we don’t discriminate and would even enjoy one in the summer) for that matter! 🙂 So we’re always whipping up new yummy, waistline-friendly– and healthy– chocolate recipes! Have you tried our Guac-Chocolate Mousse or our Chocolate Drizzled Granola Balls or our Chocolate Coconut Chia Balls, just to name a few.

We whipped up this pudding with breakfast in mind.  For that reason, our goal was to create a satisfying recipe with just a  hint of chocolate so it wouldn’t be so overly sweet that it would set your taste buds off craving more of the super sweet flavor all day.  You know, when something is just so sweet and good, you just want more and more vs. when it’s simply just good and satisfying, when you’re done, you’re done.  The latter is true for this pudding–with just a hint of chocolate, in this satisfying creamy pudding texture, it puts the kibosh on your sweet taste buds and your body will be fueled with fiber and protein without the highs and crashes from sugary foods.

Pudding2

One of the best strategies we use with our weight loss clients to ensure weight loss success is to substitute high-calorie, low-nutrient foods with foods that are rich in protein and fiber. This protein/fiber combo helps to keep you feeling satisfied so you don’t overeat due to hunger. It also helps to keep blood sugar levels stable so you don’t experience energy/ sugar crashes that send you running for simple carbohydrates and sugar for a quick pick-me-up. Our clients who start using this strategy can’t believe how much easier it becomes to prevent overeating.

Chocolate_Almond_Breakfast_Pudding_collageAnd guess what? We’ve got you covered with the satiating protein/fiber combo in this Chocolate Almond Breakfast Pudding. We use chia seeds which are a great example of a food that’s rich in both fiber and protein– in only one ounce they contain 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. (If you’ve never used them before, other than trying them in our pudding, try sprinkling a teaspoon of chia seeds in your smoothies, on top of oatmeal, or mixed into a muffin batter for an added fiber boost that will keep you feeling full for hours.) As an added bonus, chia seeds are high in minerals such as calcium and magnesium and are a good plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Pudding1

Chocolate Almond Breakfast Pudding

This Chocolate Almond Breakfast Pudding combines the satiating combo of protein and fiber (thanks to chia seeds) and a hint of our love (chocolate!) to create a healthy, satisfying breakfast.  We suggest having it with some fruit and eggs for a fab, super satiating meal!

 

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (plain or vanilla)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 T honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Dark chocolate shavings, optional

Directions:

Combine almond milk and chia seeds in a small bowl. Let sit for an hour (or more) so that the seeds can rehydrate. Add this mixture and all other ingredients (except chocolate shavings) in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour into small glasses and refrigerate until chilled. Top with chocolate shavings, enjoy!

Nutrition Facts: 124 Calories, 6 g Fat, 1 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 64 mg Sodium, 18 g Carbohydrate, 7 g Fiber, 9 g Sugar, 4 g Protein

Pudding3

 

Chocolate Almond Pudding
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk (plain or vanilla)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 T honey
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • Dark chocolate shavings, optional
Instructions
  1. Combine almond milk and chia seeds in a small bowl. Let sit for an hour (or more) so that the seeds can rehydrate. Add this mixture and all other ingredients (except chocolate shavings) in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour into small glasses and refrigerate until chilled. Top with chocolate shavings, enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 124 Fat: 6 Saturated fat: 1 Carbohydrates: 18 Sugar: 9 Sodium: 64 Fiber: 7 Protein: 4 Cholesterol: 0

 

Brown Rice Pudding

Brown Rice Pudding

We actually remember the very first time we had pudding as seven year old excited girls! Creamy, sweet pudding truly hits the spot! For some reason, pudding wasn’t a dessert our mom made (all of the desserts in our house, other than ice cream she made herself) and we had seen our TV dad (Bill Cosby) advertising Jell-O chocolate pudding and we couldn’t wait to try it. We both remember trying it for the first time at our friend Robyn’s and licking the cup clean! We loved it, to say the least. 😉

So now, in our true fashion, we’ve made yet another guilt-free pudding (check out our Grape Chia Seed Pudding and our Chocolate Chia Raspberry Pudding for more!) by swapping some ingredients in this delicious dessert. This version of rice pudding is insanely creamy and delish! Using almond milk helps get that rich creamy texture and this pudding is sans preservatives, artificial flavors and colors. One cup of uncooked rice becomes three cups of cooked rice so you can adjust this recipe as needed. You’ll love that this pudding will take you back to your childhood and if you’ve got kiddies they will be so happy to have this treat as an after school snack. Plus it is made with brown rice so you get added benefits of selenium, manganese, and anti-oxidants—all which help to prevent damage to your body from free radicals.

You can add a sprinkle of almonds, cranberries, fresh fruit, or even shaved coconut to satisfy your craving of the day.

brown_rice_pudding_collage_logo

 

Brown Rice Pudding

Serving Size

Makes 6 servings – (Each serving is 1 cup)

 

Ingredients

4 cups water

2 cups long grain brown rice

1 ½ cups almond milk

¼ cup honey

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp unsalted butter

½ tsp vanilla

1 tbsp cinnamon

 

Directions

  1. Bring water to boil and add rice. Cover pot and reduce heat to simmer. Stir occasionally and allow all of the water to be absorbed, roughly 25minutes. .
  2. Stir in milk and other ingredients. Simmer for another 5 minutes and stir continuously. The rice pudding should become thick.
  3. Place the pudding in a medium sized bowl or several smaller containersYou can eat the pudding warm or cold depending on your preference. Add cinnamon, nuts, etc. right before you eat it!
  4. Make sure to store contents in the fridge.

 

Nutritional Information per 1 cup

Total calories 147 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 40 mg sodium, 29 g carbs, 1.5 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 2 g protein

Brown_rice_pudding_logo

 

BrownRicePudding-SimmerwSpoon

Brown Rice Pudding
 
Creamy, sweet pudding truly hits the spot! we’ve made this dessert guilt- free and delicious by swapping some ingredients. This version of rice pudding is insanely creamy and delish! Using almond milk helps get that rich creamy texture and this pudding is sans preservatives, artificial flavors and colors. One cup of uncooked rice becomes three cups of cooked rice so you can adjust this recipe as needed. You can add a sprinkle of almonds, cranberries, fresh fruit, or even shaved coconut to satisfy your craving of the day.
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups long grain brown rice
  • 1 ½ cups almond milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Bring water to boil and add rice. Cover pot and reduce heat to simmer. Stir occasionally and allow all of the water to be absorbed, roughly 25minutes. .
  2. Stir in milk and other ingredients. Simmer for another 5 minutes and stir continuously. The rice pudding should become thick.
  3. Place the pudding in a medium sized bowl or several smaller containersYou can eat the pudding warm or cold depending on your preference. Add cinnamon, nuts, etc. right before you eat it!
  4. Make sure to store contents in the fridge.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 147 Fat: 3 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 29 g Sugar: 13 g Sodium: 40 mg Fiber: 1.5 g Protein: 2 g

 

Skinny Sweet Potato Cutie Pies

Sweet Potato Cutie Pies

We’ve gotta admit, there’s something that feels overly indulgent, but at the same time so good—knowing that you can devour an entire decadent pie and no one is going to bother you or even ask for a tiny piece. Well hello, Sweet Potato Cutie Pies! This pie is delicious and scrumptiously satisfying and you can eat the entire thing for only 177 calories! Yep, it’s all yours! And you don’t have to share a sliver—or even a bite. In fact, 9 of your guests get their own pie too!

 

Psst… we’re always whipping up recipes with sweet potatoes– here’s just a few…

Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges with Pumpkin Dip

Kale Salad with Warm Roasted Sweet Potato and Carrots

Sweet Potato Cutie Pies

Sweet Potato and Carrot Mash

Sweet_Potato_Cutie_pies_logo

 

 

Sweet Potato Cutie Pies

 

10 servings

 

 

Ingredients

3 small sweet potatoes, roughly 3 ounces each

2 Eggland’s Best eggs (we use Eggland’s Best because they have 25% less saturated fat than ordinary eggs)

2 T. butter, soft

1 T. brown sugar

½ c. skim milk

1 t. vanilla extract

1 t. pumpkin pie spice

½ t. cinnamon

Oil in a spray bottle or non-stick cooking spray

1 9’’ unbaked pie crust

Nonfat whipping cream (optional)

Sweet Potato Pie Ramekins-2

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

 

Using a fork, stab each sweet potato six times in separate spots. Place in the microwave for about 6 minutes (depending on your microwave) or until very soft and a knife can easily go through them. Once fully cooked allow potatoes to cool for roughly 5-7 minutes or until they are not too hot to handle and, you are able to use a potato peeler or a knife to remove the skin from the potato.

 

Cut the potato into chunks and place it in a medium bowl along with the eggs, butter, brown sugar, milk, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Using a fork or whisk, mix the ingredients together completely.

 

Remove the unbaked piecrust from the box. If the crust is too hard that it starts to break when you unroll it, place it in the microwave for 5-10 sec to soften it. Once soft, unroll the piecrust. Spray the bottom and sides of 10 ramekins with non-stick cooking spray. Next, flip the ramekin upside down, on top of the piecrust and trace around the ramekin with a knife. Remove the ramekin and pick up the sliced circle. Place it inside the ramekin and firmly press it against the bottom and sides of the ramekin. Using a fork, prick the bottom of the crust in 2 separate places.

 

Pour 1 T. of sweet potato batter into each piecrust evenly. Place the ramekins in the oven for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, check the pie to see if it comes out clean when you stick a toothpick or fork in it. If it comes out clean, then you may remove the pie from the oven and allow it too cool. If batter still appears on the toothpick or knife, place the pie back in the oven for 5 minutes at a time until toothpick or knife comes out clean.

 

After the pies have cooled, use a knife to slice around the edges of the ramekin and carefully pop out the pies. If you desire, you may add a tablespoon of whipping cream to the top. Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Facts (per serving w/o whipping cream): 177 Calories, 9g Fat, 4g Saturated Fat, 21g Carbohydrate, Protein 3g, 2g Fiber, 133mg Sodium, 43mg Cholesterol

 

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

 

Sweet Potato Cutie Pies
 
Nutrition Facts (per serving w/o whipping cream): 177 Calories, 9g Fat, 4g Saturated Fat, 21g Carbohydrate, Protein 3g, 2g Fiber, 133mg Sodium, 43mg Cholesterol
Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 3 small sweet potatoes, roughly 3 ounces each
  • 2 Eggland’s Best eggs (we use Eggland’s Best because they have 25% less saturated fat than ordinary eggs)
  • 2 T. butter, soft
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • ½ c. skim milk
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 t. pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ t. cinnamon
  • Oil in a spray bottle or non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 9’’ unbaked pie crust
  • Nonfat whipping cream (optional)
Instructions
  1. Directions
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  3. Using a fork, stab each sweet potato six times in separate spots. Place in the microwave for about 6 minutes (depending on your microwave) or until very soft and a knife can easily go through them. Once fully cooked allow potatoes to cool for roughly 5-7 minutes or until they are not too hot to handle and, you are able to use a potato peeler or a knife to remove the skin from the potato.
  4. Cut the potato into chunks and place it in a medium bowl along with the eggs, butter, brown sugar, milk, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Using a fork or whisk, mix the ingredients together completely.
  5. Remove the unbaked piecrust from the box. If the crust is too hard that it starts to break when you unroll it, place it in the microwave for 5-10 sec to soften it. Once soft, unroll the piecrust. Spray the bottom and sides of 10 ramekins with non-stick cooking spray. Next, flip the ramekin upside down, on top of the piecrust and trace around the ramekin with a knife. Remove the ramekin and pick up the sliced circle. Place it inside the ramekin and firmly press it against the bottom and sides of the ramekin. Using a fork, prick the bottom of the crust in 2 separate places.
  6. Pour 1 T. of sweet potato batter into each piecrust evenly. Place the ramekins in the oven for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, check the pie to see if it comes out clean when you stick a toothpick or fork in it. If it comes out clean, then you may remove the pie from the oven and allow it too cool. If batter still appears on the toothpick or knife, place the pie back in the oven for 5 minutes at a time until toothpick or knife comes out clean.
  7. After the pies have cooled, use a knife to slice around the edges of the ramekin and carefully pop out the pies. If you desire, you may add a tablespoon of whipping cream to the top. Enjoy!