Cheesy Buffalo Bean Dip Recipe

I’ve got a delicious post for you today! Let’s jump right into it. After all, itz What I Ate Wednesday over at Peas & Crayons, so make sure you pop over there.

Breakfast: Plain Chobani Greek yogurt with Muesli Fusion & peanut butter

chobani muesli fusion

Healthy blend of fats, protein, and carbs! Itz mighty tasty, too!

Lunch: Peppers & celery with cheesy buffalo bean dip & roasted red pepper hummus

veggies

Lots of snacks were eaten before and after, which is why lunch was on the smaller side.  But it sure is pretty, isn’t it? Colorful meals are the best! (And the healthiest!)

Cheesy Buffalo Bean Dip Recipe is below!

Snack: Fiber Love Bars for Wellness Wednesday at school

fiberlove

Wellness Wednesday at school is back which means I find different sponsors to provide healthy on-the-go snacks for our staff. We need to lead by example as we teach the kiddies, and properly fueling our bodies is definitely important. Fiber Love Bars are my favorite fiber bars ever. Not only do they provide 48% of your daily fiber needs, but they come in absolutely AWESOME flavors!  Check it out: Peanut Chocolate Chip, Banana Walnut, Blondie Bar, Blueberry Cobbler, Chocolate Brownie, and Cinnamon Raisin.

Mmm, so good!  Also, they’ve got a Fiber Love Club that you can sign up for free to receive 30% off regular priced bars and free shipping.  Fiber Love bars are also kosher and Non-GMO Project verified. All Fiber Love bars – except Blondie, which contains whole milk powder – are also vegan.

Dinner: cheese tortellini with peas and Parmesan cheese

tortellini peas

The tortellini came from Trader Joe’s and I feel like peas and parm compliment tortellini so well.  There were about fifty-five bowls of this eaten last night. 😉

And now for that recipe….

The Superbowl may have passed, but our love for dips certainly has not!  This cheesy buffalo bean dip recipe is sure to please – itz packed with protein, flavor, and spice!

Cheesy Buffalo Bean Dip Recipe

cheesy buffalo bean dip

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 package (4 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 can (16 oz) refried beans
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese mix

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in small pot.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat, pour in serving dish, garnish with additional chili powder.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy!

Itz so easy to make!  (Those are always the best recipes.)  And it can be considered lightened up.  I used light cream cheese and Mexican cheese.  (I would not recommend nonfat cream cheese or Mexican cheese.) I used nonfat plain Chobani Greek yogurt, and I suppose low fat or full fat would work just fine, too.  Use more or less chili powder and buffalo sauce depending on your preference of spice.

What would you dip in the cheesy buffalo bean dip? (Face or fingers don’t count!) 😉

balanced eats

You guys.  We had a snow day here in St. Louis yesterday again.  Not cool.  I’m so over the snow.  Yes, usually I’m over the moon happy about snow days, but this was our sixth snow day (not consecutive) for the school year.  That means we have to make them up.  If it were just at the end of the school year I wouldn’t mind (this year anyway) since I’ll be on maternity leave with Baby Itz.  However, itz not.  We’re saying good-bye to President’s Day and/or possibly a professional development day.  Come on, warm weather, where ya at?

Since I was home all day yesterday for the fourth day in a row (thanks to the weekend, MLK day, and aforementioned snow day), I wanted to focus on eating balanced meals.  I knew I’d have the time to prepare them, so I figured there weren’t many excuses.  Usually when I’m home all day, I’m a huge grazer and rarely put together actual meals.  However, I did a better (not perfect) job yesterday.

Breakfast:

breakfast

One whole egg with two egg whites cooked in coconut oil, topped with plain Greek yogurt, nutritional yeast, and red pepper flakes.  Steamed spinach on the side.  I LOVE this combination and could probably eat it everyday.

Linking up with Peas & Crayons’ What I Ate Wednesday.

Mind you, I didn’t take a picture of everything I ate yesterday.  Not even close.  I still did plenty of grazing, but let’s blame that on my pregnancy, mmmk? 😉

Lunch:

salad

I actually made this salad the past two days and felt really good about all the veggies it included!  The base was spinach and kale, and the extras were beets, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, sunflower seeds, cottage cheese, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic.  I love love love everything about it.

Note: this is not the only thing I ate for lunch; however, itz the only thing I plated around lunchtime.  This salad alone would not normally satiate my hunger for very long because of the lack of protein (small amount of cottage cheese).  Be assured, there were plenty of snacks eaten in addition.  Just wanted to throw that out there…

Snack:

nuts fruit chocolate snack

aka BEST SNACK EVER!  Now this is a balanced snack, eh?  Cashews (a very underrated nut, in my opinion), an apple, and a couple squares of Theo’s dark chocolate.  Clearly I’m joking about it being balanced, but it is kind of balanced.  Itz always best to pair fruit with nuts, so you get the healthy balance of carbs, fat, and protein for longer staying power.  And the chocolate?  Well, that’s just a bonus!  And itz dark… so it must be healthy!

Dinner:

dinner

I write all the time how Jonny and I eat with his parents and my parents on an almost weekly basis.  Both of our parents almost always send us with leftovers which is very much appreciated.  This week, we ate at Jonny’s parents’ on Sunday, and my parents’ last night.  The dinners are also usually pretty balanced.  The dinner I have pictured is a bit heavier and more carb heavy than usual, but ehhh it sure was tasty!  It was a burger, scalloped potatoes, Brussels sprouts with bacon sauteed in olive oil, and fettuccine.  Heavy, but darn delicious once in awhile!  Just being real here!

Dessert / Another Snack:

pineapple

Freshly cut pineapple!  Pineapple is Jonny’s most favorite fruit, so when I spotted it at the store for just a dollar, I was quick to drop one in my cart.  Pineapples can be a bit of a pain to cut, but using my Kyocera ceramic knife makes it way easier.  That bad boy cuts through anything!

What is your favorite balanced meal or snack? 

five things friday

Itz Friday!  Yee-haw!  Itz five things Friday which means I get to spill my guts share five random things with you all today for Clare’s Five Things Friday link up!

1.  I made a beautiful green smoothie with hemp hearts.

green smoothie hemp hearts

Mmm!  Isn’t it pretty?  I’d had this sample package of hemp hearts for too long, and decided this week was the time to try ’em out.  Benefits of hemp hearts? 

  • Incredibly nutritious – per 30 gram serving, Hemp Hearts contain 10 grams of easy to digest plant-based protein and 10 grams of Omegas.
  • Hemp Hearts contain more protein and omegas and less carbs than the same serving of chia or flax.  (source)

I found hemp hearts to be pretty flavorless which is a good thing because you can add them to anything to get the benefits of their nutritional value.  Some people say they have a nutty flavor, but I found them to be very mild.  In my smoothie went the hemp hearts, strawberries, bananas, handfuls of spinach, ice, and vanilla almond milk.  Now I’ll need to get a full size package of hemp hearts.  I’m thinking… iherb?

2.  Yesterday morning I emailed my dad a link on how to make a lightbox.  He’s incredibly handy and I thought maybe I’d just give it a shot by passing along the directions.  Literally just a few hours after I sent him the email, he replied with, “BAM!”

lightbox

Is my dad not amazing or what??  I seriously could not believe it!  Now I need to get some light bulbs, start experimenting, and learn how to use it.  My dad is the best!  Thanks, Dad!

3.  Jonny got me a Miami maternity tank right when he found out I was pregnant.  I felt funny wearing it before I was showing, and now that I am, I finally got to rock it!

quarterback in training gym

Quarterback in training, Baby Itz!  It feels good to be back in the gym.  Itz still low key: walking a couple of miles, lunges, squats, push ups, and light weights, but itz something!

4.  I made these delightful cucumber snack bites the other day and forgot to include them in my last WIAW post.  But aren’t they cute?

cucumber snack bites

Itz cucumber slices on Triscuit crackers with Laughing Cow garlic and herb cheese.

5. This guy. Date night.

gender reveal

I’ll never tire of our announcement or our gender reveal photos!  Love them and love him!

Any tips for me on how to use my new lightbox?  Plans for this weekend?

Neapolitan Protein Snack

Summer is going by WAY.TOO.FAST!  Anyone else?  I have just a couple of weeks before I report back to school for the beginning of teacher workshops.  I’m grateful to have summers off, but they always go by so quickly!  You better believe I’ll be enjoying these next couple weeks.

For now, let’s talk food.  That’s always a fun topic.  Speaking of fun, have you checked out the site Peas and Crayons?  The author, Jenn, is who created the wonderful What I Ate Wednesdays and allows almost 200 bloggers to link up their eats.  If you ever need meal inspiration or recipe ideas, you’ve got to check it out!

Breakfast:  Pumpkin Patch Oatmeal

pumpkin patch oatmeal

I’ve recently begun a new fitness challenge through Fit Women’s Weekly.  There are tons of fabulous recipes including this Pumpkin Patch Oatmeal.  I’ve only done one workout so far and it was tough.  My body can already feel it and this is just the first week!

Lunch:  Garden Veggie Sandwich from The Market at the Cheshire (no picture, sorry)

I had lunch with the lovely Bianca Jade from MizzFit as she was in town for a few days.  My sandwich could have used a boatload more veggies as it was pretty skimpy for a veggie sandwich, but Bianca and I had fabulous conversation.  Bianca is a professional blogger and so knowledgeable about everything from blogging to fitness to fashion!

bianca

Snack:  Neapolitan Protein Snack

detour neapolitan

Detour has come out with lower sugar protein bars and Neapolitan is their newest flavor.  Neapolitan reminds me of my Great Grandma Rose and Grandpa Joe as they always had Neapolitan ice cream.  Not only does the bar taste good, but it brings back sweet memories, as well.  The bar is 170 calories, 15 grams of protein, and 3 grams of sugar.  Itz a dense and filling protein snack.  Detour has three other flavors in their lower sugar protein bars: Caramel Peanut, Peanut Butter Cream, and Chocolate Chip Caramel – all of which sound fabulous!

I first tried Detour bars at Blend Retreat.  I liked them immediately, so when I received an email offering a box for a review on the blog, I was more than willing to accept!  Jonny is also a fan and occasionally eats them for a quick morning breakfast.

Also, Detour is hosting a Summer Photo Contest.  They’re looking for pictures showing off your #SummerDetour aka a new activity you’re doing this summer.  All you have to do is post a picture on Instagram with #SummerDetour @DetourProtein.  Weekly prizes include gear, Detour products, autographed items, game tickets, and more!

Dinner: Sweet Potatoes and Pinto Bean Enchiladas

sweet potato pinto bean enchilada

Not the prettiest picture, but let me assure you that they taste great!  With only five ingredients, they are easy to make.  Great for a meatless meal.  And that’s all, folks!

Are you a fan of Neapolitan?

Tropical Granola

My sweet tooth has been kickin’ lately, so I’ve really had no choice but to give in.  And when I heard about Kretschmer’s Granolapalooza, I knew instantly I had to create a recipe to contribute.  Since I was reviewing their wheat germ, I decided to combine the two tasks and created this unbelievably delicious (and sweet!) Tropical Granola.

Tropical Granola

Since this recipe does use wheat germ and itz not a super common ingredient, I’m going to give you a few brief facts about it straight from the Kretschmer website:

“At only 50 calories per 2-tablespoon serving, Kretschmer Wheat Germ delivers a protein-packed punch of vital nutrients, including:

  • Vitamin E: This fat-soluble antioxidant helps to protect cells and tissues from damage and may ward off certain diseases.
  • Folic Acid: A must-have for pregnant women—and a good idea for everyone else—this B vitamin helps make healthy new cells to protect against certain cancers.
  • Magnesium: This mineral helps keep your heart, bones and immune system strong. Recent data also suggests it may even slash your Type-2 diabetes risk.
  • Thiamin: This B vitamin helps convert carbohydrates into energy. It’s also essential for the proper functioning of the heart, muscles and nervous system.
  • Phosphorous: Working with calcium to build strong bones and teeth, this mineral is also necessary for the growth, maintenance and repair of all tissues.
  • Zinc: Your body uses this mineral for hundreds of functions, such as fighting off viruses, helping wounds heal, DNA synthesis and proper cell division.

BONUS: Wheat germ is also a fiber-rich source of high-quality non-animal protein and only contains heart-healthy polyunsaturated fat. Extra bonus: There’s no sodium.” (source)

*Kretschmer provided me with the product for review purposes only.  All thoughts and opinions are my own (as well as the nutritional benefits from the wheat germ!).

Now how about the recipe with this nutrient-rich powerhouse, eh? #Granolapalooza

Tropical Granola

Tropical Granola

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup Kretschmer wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup dried tropical fruit (pineapple, papaya, mango), finely diced
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Directions:

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Pour coconut oil throughout and stir.  Add honey.
  3. Evenly spread mixture on greased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake at 300 for 25 minutes tossing halfway through.
  5. Allow granola to cool and harden before enjoying!

If you’re worried that the wheat germ affects the taste, don’t be.  You can’t even taste the wheat germ (but your body still receives the benefit!), and I’m pretty sure Jonny has no clue this granola contains wheat germ. That is, until (if) he reads this post, of course.

This granola is definitely on the sweeter side, so feel free to cut back on the honey a bit if sweetness is not your preference.  Jonny and I can’t get enough of it, and have especially been loving it mixed with plain Chobani for a late night treat.

Tropical Granola 1

The tropical taste of this granola reminds us of our honeymoon in Jamaica.  While we’re not going back there anytime soon (unfortunately), we’ll settle for this granola.

What’s your favorite tropical fruit?  Are you a granola lover like me?

Healthy Weekend

Itz been a healthy weekend over here, my friends; how about for you?  I think that the term “healthy” refers to so much more than merely exercising and eating right.  While those factors are definitely incredibly important to living a healthy life, being “healthy” also involves taking care of yourself, both mentally and physically, and fostering relationships with those you choose to surround yourself with.

All of such which are, of course, marvelous, which is why we’re starting the week off celebrating Healthy Diva’s Marvelous in my Monday! #MIMM

MiMM

Healthy is… spending time with your family.  On Friday night, we went out to dinner at The Pasta House to celebrate my nephew Jackson’s fifth birthday!

jacob jackson

Of course Jacob had to help hold the cake and blow out his candles.  Those two boys do everything together!  Best of cousins, best of friends.

Healthy is… nourishing your body with healthy food and fueling it when itz hungry.

chobani

Apple Cinnamon Chobani topped with more cinnamon and almond butter makes the most delicious and satisfying snack!

Healthy is… hanging out with your friends and sitting around a newly built backyard fire pit enjoying each other’s company.

fire pit

On Saturday night, our good friends Stevie and Whitney invited us over for dinner.  They grilled flank steak, asparagus, and potatoes.  Very delicious!

Healthy is… moving your body.  Exercise IS important!  Don’t forget to enjoy the beauty nature offers when the weather permits, too.

pond

Diana and I headed out Sunday morning for a five-mile walk around her neighborhood.  While it was a simple walk, we got in our workout for the day, kept a brisk pace, and took in the views along the way.

Healthy is… doing things you love with people you love.  Jonny, his parents, and I went to the Cardinals game on Sunday afternoon.

jonny cards

My Running Skirts red and white headband and my Oakley sunglasses match perfectly with the rest of our Cardinal red!  While we didn’t exactly bring home a winner, we certainly loved the hot weather and sunshine on our faces!

Healthy is… rooting for the best baseball team ever – the St. Louis Cardinals!

St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis IS Cardinal Nation!  The atmosphere is always a blast at Busch Stadium as St. Louis fans are constantly pumped up and cheering on our team.  I love how you can see the Arch in Busch Stadium; it makes for a very pretty backdrop.  Now how many cities can say that about their stadium?  That’s what I thought.  Go Birds!

What was healthy about your weekend?  Favorite baseball team?  Cardinals…

Balance Bar Dark Giveaway {CLOSED}

What does this look like to you?

balance bar peanut

Dessert?  Cuz that’s what I think.  Itz not (even though it tastes like it!).  Itz the all-new Balance Bar in the dark chocolate peanut flavor.

Spring is here and April is all about celebrating Mother Nature! In time for Earth Month, Balance Bar Company, maker of one of America’s original nutrition energy bars, is excited to share the new Balance Bar Dark linethe first nutrition bar line on the market to bear the well-respected Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal.

balance bars

Available in three decadent flavors all featuring a dark chocolate coating – Dark Chocolate Crunch, Dark Chocolate Coconut, and Dark Chocolate Peanut – the Rainforest Alliance certification assures consumers that our cocoa beans are grown on sustainably managed farms that protect people and their surrounding ecosystems of water, soil, and wildlife.

The kind souls at Balance Bar not only sent me several bars in their new flavors, but other eco-friendly goodies, too.  (Check ’em out on Facebook here!)

balance bar goods

Pretty marvelous for any diva life!  Can’t ever have too many notebooks, reusable totes, or healthy snack bars that are totally balanced.  Heh heh. 😉

The new Balance Bar Dark bars are high in protein, certified gluten-free, an excellent source of antioxidants (Vitamins A, C, E), certified kosher dairy, and contain 4 grams of fiber per serving.

As with all Balance Bar products, the new Dark line follows the 40-30-30 nutrition principle – a proven formula developed by scientists to help stabilize blood sugar levels that represents the caloric ratio the body needs to enjoy lasting balanced energy and satisfy hunger for longer; 40% of total calories from carbs, 30% from quality protein, and 30% from dietary fat.

balance bar dark

Now itz YOUR turn to win some tasty Balance Bar Dark bars!  Leave a comment on this blog post sharing how you will celebrate Mother Nature during Earth Month (mandatory).  Additional optional entries include:

  • Follow Itz Linz and Balance Bar on Twitter and tweet the following, “I’m celebrating Mother Nature during Earth Month with a chance to win the new @BalanceBar DARK bars from @ItzLinz! 🙂 http://wp.me/p2WMfo-1uE” and leave a comment here saying you did so.
  • Subscribe to Itz Linz by entering in your e-mail address and confirming your follow via e-mail.

One winner per household, email address, or home address. If you have won this prize on another blog you are ineligible to win again.  U.S. only (sorry!).

This giveaway will be open until Thursday, April 11th at 8:00 pm CST.  One winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Friday, April 12th and will have 48 hours to contact me or another winner will be selected.  Good luck!

Congratulations to #74 Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl!  Please e-mail me your shipping information.

*Balance Bar provided me with the box for review purposes only. All opinions are my own.

Healthy Goals

Goals.  They’re funny things, aren’t they?  Some people love ’em.  Some people hate ’em.  There are big goals; there are little goals.  Goals can be an avenue to achieving greatness.  Goals can also be the bane of your existence.

I have goals.  I don’t always verbalize them, but they’re there in my mind.  Take handstands, for instance.  An unspoken goal of mine was to master the one-arm handstand.  I did it.

one arm handstand

It took several tries, but eventually I built enough strength and stamina to hold it while leaning against a wall.  I’ve been trying to get better about handstands and holding them in the air without leaning against something.  I figured a good way to start would be with a headstand.  So I’ve been working on those, and moving further and further away from the wall.  Itz a work in progress.

headstand 1

When we set goals at school (and goal setting is extremely important for students and educators, alike), we follow the principles of S.M.A.R.T. goals.

 

SMART goals stand for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.  They make so much sense, and when trying to achieve a larger, bigger-picture goal, you must start with “baby steps,” or smaller goals first.

One of the many reasons I love Best Body Bootcamp is that incorporates healthy goals.  Each participant is encouraged to set two goals to work towards throughout the week.  We have the option of keeping our goals the same, or changing them throughout the eight weeks.  My itz healthy goals:

healthy goals

Goal #1: Drink at least 80 ounces of water every day.  Sometimes I’m really good about drinking water and other times I’m not so good.  Lately, itz been the latter.  Here’s how my day usually works: I drink 32 ounces during my morning workout, 16 ounces at lunch, and another 16 ounces with dinner.  That’s 64 ounces (8 cups).  I’m going to increase this by 16 ounces (2 cups) throughout the day.  During my eight hour school day, I should be drinking more than a measly two cups, so that’s where I’ll fit it in.  An additional two cups shouldn’t be difficult, and I wanted to keep my goal attainable.

My fellow FitFluential Ambassadors have some pretty powerful posts on reasons why we should drink more water and tips for how to do so:

Goal #2: Choose one snack.  I mean, choose one snack at a time.  Whenever I go to my parents house, I instantly open their fridge, pull out a bunch of items, and have a few bites of each.  Then, my dad tells me I’m like my mother and calls me a grazer.  Well, this habit has transferred to my own home, particularly after school when I’m super hungry.

Instead of preparing a proper snack, I take a bite of this, a bite of that, a spoonful of this (almond butter, I’m talkin’ to you!), and a spoonful of that (itz you, sunflower seed butter!).  When all is set and done, I’ve eaten quite a bit more than one would consider a snack.  Time for the madness to end!

They’re small goals, but goals nonetheless.  They’re goals that will lead to healthier habits.  Any and all goals matter – no matter how small or how grand.

headstand

Do you set goals?  What goals are currently reaching for?

Foodie Pen Pals: February

innsbrook

Snow is beautiful and all, but I’m totally ready for summer.  Wishful thinking on the last day of February, I suppose.  What the last day of February does bring is Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day!  This month, Haley at The Saucy Apple sent me a package.

foodie penpals

  • Whole Foods Organic Dark Chocolate Pretzels: Such a delicious treat that did not last long at all!  Jonny and I kept going back for more.
  • Food Should Taste Good Jalapeno with Cheddar Chips: Mmm!  We love spicy and we love cheese, so this was a winning combination.
  • Sea Salted Peanut Butter Croutons from Sweet Lola Yogurt Bar: Holy cow. I may or may not have basically eaten these for dinner one night.  Seriously ridiculous.  They are like miniature peanut butter cookies and the hint of sea salt was perfect.  I want more.
  • Whole Foods Cherry & Berry Mix: Haven’t opened these yet, but I have plans to add them to my oatmeal, trail mix, and granola.

All four foodie items were awesome – thanks, Haley!  See what I sent my foodie pen pal Ashley by checking out her blog Sweetpea Lifestyle.  Another successful FPP month!

The Lean Green Bean

There’s still time for YOU to sign up for next month’s Foodie Pen Pals!

How’s the weather where you live? Best package you’ve received lately?

Almond Seed Cranberry Balls

Well hello and Happy Wednesday to you, friends!  As you know, I’m participating in the New Year New Rules program which means my eats have been super clean (even more so than usual) as of late.  Today I’ve got a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner to share, as well as a very tasty snack (no-bake & will give you energy)!  All of this is courtesy of Jenn at Peas and Crayons where What I Ate Wednesday is officially hosted.

Breakfast: Despite the frigid temperatures here in St. Louis, I’ve been on a smoothie kick.  Most recently: Coconut Peach Smoothie.

Coconut Peach Smoothie

Mmm so good!  Totally worth the after chill of it all.  In the blender: ice, 1 cup frozen peaches, 1 banana, 1 cup coconut milk, 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds (optional), 2 tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut, a few drops of honey for added sweetness.  The banana is a MUST, my friends.  If you’re not a banana lover, no sweat; you can barely taste it, but the creaminess that the banana adds is awesome.

Lunch: Yesterday, my co-worker (friend) kindly and unnecessarily bought my lunch.  We rarely order out, so when we do itz quite a treat!  She chose Dave & Tony’s, one of my favorite spots to order from since you can create your own burger, sandwich, or salad.  I ordered a salad with grilled chicken, black beans, roasted peppers, cucumbers, and banana peppers.

lunch

#PROOF that eating out can be healthy and taste good!  Honestly, I didn’t even use dressing because the vegetables had so much flavor on their own.

Dinner:  Leftovers from the weekend.  I had a ton of the turkey, bean, veggie mix, so I used that and coupled it with kale that I roasted in the oven.  I washed the kale, ripped it up, sprayed it with EVOO, and sprinkled nutritional yeast on top.  Popped it in the oven at 425 for about 8 minutes (careful not to burn!), and wah-lah!  Dinner is served.

dinner

We love leftovers over here as we’ve eaten a similar version of this for the past couple nights in addition to the original night I made it.  Batch cooking at itz finest!  I do have some soup in the crockpot today, so we’re changin’ it up tonight.

Now for the recipe you’ve all been waiting for…

Some background: since I am participating in NYNR many pre-made bars are off-limits as they are loaded with preservatives, artificial flavors, and added sugar.  I’ve been snacking on apples, almonds, and raisins (per usual), but I wanted something a little more.  So I dug through my pantry, threw a bunch of ingredients in the food processor, and out came these wonderful balls.

Almond Seed Cranberry Balls

Almond Seed Cranberry Balls

~makes approximately 20 balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups oats (divided 1/2 cup and 1 cup)
  • 1 cup unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Directions:

  1. Combine almonds, milk, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, ground flaxseed, dash of cinnamon, and 1/2 cup oats in food processor.  Grind until a creamy consistency is reached, scraping the sides as necessary.
  2. Transfer mixture to bowl and add 1 cup oats, cranberries, and honey.  Stir. (Mixture should be very thick and tough to stir.)
  3. Form into balls.  Place in freezer for two hours.  Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

These balls are great for on-the-go snacks!  They contain protein, healthy fat, and complex carbs, so they’ll give you energy and keep you full.  Win-win.

Best meal or snack you’ve eaten recently?