Month: December 2017

Chocolate Covered Cherry Smoothie

Chocolate Covered Cherry Smoothie

When you were a kid, did you have a specific holiday gift that you always got a family member year after year? For me it was a box of chocolate covered cherries for my dad. I loved watching him excitedly remove the wrapping from his favorite chocolates even though I am sure he already knew what was in store. Years have passed but this is still one of my favorite traditions to carry on. Thinking about the Christmas celebrations that are just around the corner, I was inspired to make a smoothie that is a nod to this favorite holiday tradition. 



A while back, we posted all about the importance of building “smart” smoothies. Another wards, slurpable meals that provide the right balance of macro and micronutrients to keep you full and satisfied for hours. If you missed that post, you can read more about it here. 



I love the convenience of frozen produce because it allows you the opportunity to consume nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables that may not be in season. Plus, unlike their fresh counterparts which may contain seeds or pits, frozen varieties have had that work taken care of for you!



Nutrition Notes: Sweet cherries are rich in flavonoid compounds known as anthocyanin glycosides, potent phytochemicals which give cherries their deep redish-purple hues. Research points to positive associations between intake of anthocyanin glycosides, like those found in sweet cherries, and protection against cardiovascular disease, cancer cell proliferation, and age-related cognitive degeneration. 



1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

3/4 cup pitted frozen cherries

2 tsp extra dark cocoa powder

1 tbsp cacao nibs

1-2 heaping cups spinach, fresh or frozen

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup almonds

1-2 tbsp cooked sweet potatoes, optional (adds a creamy consistency and natural sweetness) 


Add all ingredients into a blender. Blend away until smooth. Add milk as needed to thin down or to reach desired consistency. Garnish with almonds and cacao nibs for added crunch. Enjoy!


Nutrition Facts (makes 1 serving)

Calories – 385  Fat – 20g  Carbohydrates – 36g  Protein – 20g  Fiber – 12g 

Garlic Sesame Roasted Green Beans

Garlic Sesame Roasted Green Beans

I’ve got a question for all you mommas out there. When you were pregnant, what were your food cravings? You know, those foods you couldn’t live without and could eat without end? Around my second trimester I became a self-proclaimed Green Bean Monster. Savory, spicy, roasted, sautéed, or steamed, green beans were my jam. I was singlehandedly putting away between 2-3 pounds of green beans each week. 😆

When you’re eating anything with that voracity, its nice to have some variety. One of the recipes in my lean mean green bean rotation was these Garlic Sesame Roasted Green Beans. 



They may not look like much but don’t let them fool you. These are a treat. Slightly sweet, mostly savory with just the right bit of crunch (no soggy beans here). These green beans make the perfect side, can be added to a stir fry, or enjoyed all on their own. Plus, they are an absolute pinch to make.


To start, wash and drain your beans. 



Next, whisk together your simple sauce.



Pour sauce over beans,



and toss until well coated.



Next, place your beans onto a baking sheet,



and roast until slightly tender and golden.



For added crunch, add chopped cashews or almonds.



Nutrition Notes: Green beans contain a rich source of vitamins A and C and carotenoids including lutein and beta-carotene which protect the skin, eyes, and immune system. They also contain minerals such as manganese, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, which are important for the bones, heart, and metabolism. Antioxidants and flavonoids found in green beans include catechins, epicatechins, and procyanidins which can promote good heart health, reduce cell oxidation, and may reduce the risk of many types of cancer.  



1 lb fresh green beans

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced 

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tbsp coconut aminos, liquid aminos, or tamarin, or soy sauce


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash and drain green beans. Blot with a towel to remove some moisture. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and aminos. Pour sauce over green beans and toss until well coated. Place green beans on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until tender and garlic is golden (not burnt!) Serve immediately. 



Nutrition Facts (makes 3 servings)

Calories – 94  Fat – 5g  Carbohydrates – 12g  Protein – 3g  Fiber – 4g Vitamin A – 21%DRI  Vitamin C – 31%DRI