Protein bars are great convenience for those on the go, but a lot of brands at the store these days are JUNK. Be your own detective and watch for sugar overload in every form... sucrose, brown rice syrup, and high fructose corn syrup to name a few. Yuck! To avoid this all together, consider making your own at home! Keep one of these bars in your bag for a hunger crash emergency or pre/post workout snack.
1 cup medjol dates (about 10-12)
1 cup cashews
3 tbsp 100% whey protein powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Place dates and cashews in a food processor. Process until a crumbly consistency. Add cinnamon, whey protein powder, and vanilla extract and pulse until combine. Line a bread/loaf pan with plastic wrap. Press mixture tightly into pan. Cover and place in the freezer for 15 minutes or until firm for cutting. Cut into 6 bars or 12 for smaller bites.
Nutrition Analysis: 200 Calories, 9g Protein, 28g Carbohydrate, 10g Fat
Tip: Customize your bars! Add chia seeds, puffed quinoa, almond extract, or other spices to switch things up.
It's grilling season! Sometimes burgers, steaks, shrimp... why not veggies?! The beauty of a grilled artichoke is that you need no heavy dipping sauce on the side. The flavor result is smoky with a charred, crispy texture.
3 whole artichokes
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Working with one at a time, cut off the top third of each artichoke. Clip off and discard the sharp points of the outer leaves. Here is a video I found that may help you out with the preparation...
Pour enough water into a large pot to reach a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover the pot and arrange trimmed artichokes, bottoms up, in the bottom in a single layer. Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium and steam until tender, 20 to 40 minutes. Cooking time will depend on size of artichokes. When the leaves pull out easily and the base can be pierced with a knife, they're ready.
Heat grill to high. Remove the artichokes from pot with tongs and drain on a towel. Cut artichokes in 1/2, remove and discard the fuzzy choke, brush the cut side with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place them cut-side down on the grill and cook about 3 minutes, until grill marks form. Remove from grill and squeeze fresh lemon juice over artichokes before serving.
Tip: For easy entertaining, steam artichokes before guests arrive and grill right before serving.
I was exposed to the acai bowl at a recent trip to Hawaii and now OBSESSED and determined to make my own. The antioxidant-rich acai berry comes from the acai palm tree, which is native to Central and South America. Açai bowls are simply frozen açai pulp topped with anything your heart desires, and eaten like a big bowl of ice cream… but with health benefits. You can find acai pulp at Whole Foods- the brand I prefer is SAMBAZON. With the recipe below, you can pump up the protein with almonds, walnuts, or chia seeds.
1 acai pulp packet
1/2 cup almond milk
Toppings- blueberries, strawberries, unsweetened coconut, sliced bananas, and granola
Honey drizzle (optional)
Combine frozen acai pulp, banana, and almond milk in a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a bowl. Top with your favorite toppings and honey drizzle.
TIP: Blend spinach into your acai bowl for a veggie boost!