Thursday, 31 August 2017

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies



I've got the perfect school snack for you: high in plant based protein, low GI and high fibre plus nut free πŸ™Œ
How? you ask. CHICKPEA POWER
I love chickpeas. They are low GI, high in fibre, a great source of plant based protein, and are inexpensive to boot.
And even better for the skeptics, you can't even taste them (yay for stealth health!). So bake up a batch and let me know what you think of these chicks. 
😊






Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas (540 ml)
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Drain chickpeas and rinse well
  2. In food processor, finely puree chickpeas
  3. Preheat oven to 225℉
  4. Combine all ingredients
  5. Pour into 8-inch tray
  6. Bake for , remove from oven to cool.
Yield: 16 squares.


Sunday, 20 August 2017

Is Popcorn a Healthy Snack?



What's the story with popcorn, is it a healthy snack, a guilty indulgence or something in between? Let's take a look!


  • Popcorn, in and of itself, is a complex whole grain, so it's high in fibre with a low glycemic index.
  • It's naturally vegan, gluten free and low FODMAP
  • A 2 cup portion is equal to 1 Canada's Food Guide grain serving
  • 2 cups provide less than 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fibre, plus magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and small amounts of many other essential nutrients 
  • Serving sizes on packaged popcorn is huge, ranging from 3.5 cups to 7.25 cups! (Have you ever seen such a large serving anywhere else?!) This is because popcorn is so light and fluffy, so it takes a significant amount to add up. 
  • It is considered a choking hazard, so it's recommended to not give to children under 4 (and also anyone who has difficulty chewing and swallowing)
  • Popcorns' bad rep comes from the recipes and additives to make it 'more delicious' or 'fun': Caramel popcorn, chocolate covered,  marshmallows and peanut butter... Here are 6 delish popcorn recipes that will satisfy your snack cravings and won't lessen popcorn's health benefits

Spicy, savoury popcorn from Cheryl Meyer RD of Dish & Delite


Peanut Butter Popcorn & Chili Lime Popcorn from Sarah Koszyk MA RDN Family. Food. Fiesta 

Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn from Brynn McDowell RD from The Domestic Dietitian

Savoury Vegan "Cheesy" Popcorn from Julie Harrington RD of RDelicious Kitchen 

Sweet & Savoury Popcorn Seasonings from Jodi Danen RD of Create Kids Club


Not sure how to make home-made popcorn? Check out this easy 5 minute 'How-To' from Dixya Bhattarai RD of  Food Pleasure & Health

What's your favorite way to eat popcorn? Comment below, and happy snacking :)

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Veggie Straws: Where are the veggies?!




Anywhere I've seen kids, I've seen veggie chips/puffs/straws. They sound healthy, with that "veggie" in the title and pictures of fresh, juicy produce on the packaging.  But what's the real deal on this kid and mom friendly snack?

Take a look at the ingredients, and you'll see potato starch is the first ingredient, followed by potato flour and corn starch. And while those are vegetables, those likely aren't the ones your mind conjured up from the packaging. Only after all those is there some mention of other veggies in the form of tomato paste and spinach powder.

You might also expect to see some fibre in these vegetable snacks (because fibre is something expected with vegetables). However, on a 28 g serving bag, you will clearly see "less than 1 gram fibre" (a comparable serving of potato chips will have 1 gram of fibre).

What about some of those vitamins or minerals vegetables are famous for? A serving of veggie straws has 2% of your daily iron and vitamin C requirements, most likely from the potato (to compare, a serving of potato chips has 10% of your daily vitamin C requirements, and the same 2% iron).

So despite their name, and snazzy packaging, veggie chips don't actually have much vegetable power.

If you enjoy this snack, I'm not telling you to toss all your packages. And because it's a packaged snack you can hold onto it for a while with its long shelf life! As it is no more healthy than most other packaged snacks, keep it as part of your snack rotation if you'd like, and try some of these other portable snack ideas more often.


  • Sliced favorite veggies and fruit
  • Popcorn
  • Low-sugar fruit leather
  • Baked sweet potato fries
  • Prepared ready to eat beets  (like this or this)
  • Canned carrots or mushrooms
  • Frozen strawberries, grapes, bananas, peaches...
  • Trail mix of nuts, seeds & dry fruit


What's your favorite snack to tote around?


Sunday, 6 August 2017

Roasted Eggplant Tomato Dip


With summer picnics and BBQs going strong, this roasted eggplant & tomato dip is the perfect addition to any party, and an easy and fun way to eat your veggies (you know I'm all about those veggies!). 

It's a forgiving recipe, so you can add vegetables you have sitting around (zucchini works particularly well, and you can try parsnips, onion or leek), play around with the spices... I'm not a stickler for sticking to a recipe πŸ˜‰. This version is garlic & onion free and FODMAP friendly. 


Roasted Eggplant Tomato Dip


Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • cayenne to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375℉.
  2. Slice eggplant and tomatoes in half, place face down on roasting sheet
  3. Roast 45 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, finely dice pepper
  5. When tomatoes are cool to the touch, remove tomato skins
  6. Blend eggplant and tomatoes well
  7. Stir in diced pepper and spices

Total time
Yield:about 2 cups.