Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

I don’t know about you, but we’re still in the midst of that post-Halloween buzz. The house is full of all kinds of treats and little snack-sized chocolates, and they’re all just calling out my name. BUT… I’ve been REALLY good at cutting out processed sugar this past month and I don’t want to fall back so I knew I’d need a healthier sweet alternative available that was just as delicious and quick & easy to grab to help satisfy my sweet tooth.

IMG_7019.jpg

In came the idea of “Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls”. I’ve tried them a few times at health food stores and often wondered ‘how hard would it be to make a batch of my own’? Plus, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are hands down one of my all-time fave treats. That chocolate & peanut butter combo seems to hit the spot each & every time. So I set to work to try to make my own version that would be both delicious and wholesome. I usually have a bunch of healthy ingredients on hand, so I looked through my pantry and came up with this quick & delicious recipe. The main star is the all-natural (icing-free) peanut butter and raw cacao, then I added in some oats, chia seeds, and flax seed along with maple syrup and a few dates to sweeten it up!

IMG_7005.jpg
IMG_7006.jpg

These were super easy to make and Asiyah loved getting her hands right in there and helping me make the balls (and also been more than happy to help eat them too!). I promise you, if you love chocolate and peanut butter as much as I do, you will LOVE these. Be sure to give them a try and, as always, tag me in your pics so I can see your creations!

IMG_7008.jpg

Ingredients:

1 cup, Oats (I used steel cut oats and blended them first)

2 tbsp, Almonds

2 tbsp, Flax Seed

2 tbsp, Cacao Powder

1 cup, All-Natural Peanut Butter (meaning, no added ingredients other than peanuts, esp no icing sugar)

3 tbsp, Maple Syrup

2 Mejdool Dates

2 tbsp, Hemp Seeds

1/2 tsp, Vanilla

pinch of Sea Salt

Coconut Flakes (optional, to coat)

IMG_7010.jpg

Method:

In a food processor or blender, first grind the oats, almonds and flax seeds until they become similar to a powder-like consistency. Then add in the rest of the ingredients. Blend and pulse to break down and mix all the ingredients together (you might have to stop and scrap down the sides). If you feel the mixture is too thick, add a little water to get the dough mixing (1 tbsp at a time). Scoop out with a spoon and shape into 1-1.5 inch balls.

Feel free to coat the balls in coconut flakes, crushed nuts or keep them as is. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week!
Makes 20-25 balls .. if you don’t keep eating them as you go along ;)

Green Chutney

Looking to kick your meals up a notch? I‘ve been adding this green chutney to just about everything! It’s got such a nice mix of spice and flavour and adds a tasty kick to whatever you’re having. In addition to using it as a topping/dipping sauce, I’ve also been adding it into my marinades and curries as well as combining it to yogurt when I’m making ‘raita’ to get some of that delicious flavour.

Green Chutney 2.JPG


The secret ingredient here is the coriander. This chutney lasts for week, so it’s just the thing when you’ve got a bunch or coriander lying around in the fridge, threatening to go brown.

Green Chutney 3.JPG

Green Chutney

Ingredients:

1 small bunch Coriander
5-6 Green Chillies
2 cloves Garlic
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
¼ cup Olive Oil
½ tsp Salt

Green Chutney.JPG


Method:

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor. You may find you have to stop & scrape down the sides a few times with a spatula. Once all the ingredients are well combined, taste and adjust any of the ingredients based on your preference.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, or in the freezer for a few months.

Enjoy!

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

It’s that time of year, pumpkins and squash are popping up everywhere. The temperatures are getting colder and it’s the perfect time for soup! This is a fun twist on your traditional butternut squash soup. The addition of red curry paste and coconut makes it spicy, rich and full of flavour. In addition to all the health benefits you’d be getting from the butternut squash, it’s also high in fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 and folate. The perfect soup that will fill you up and keep you full long after :)

Thai coconut butternut soup.JPG

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized Butternut Squash, seeded and cut in half lengthwise

  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil

  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced

  • 1 small Yellow Onion, diced

  • 1 teaspoon Ginger, freshly grated

  • 2 tablespoons Thai Red Curry Paste

  • 3 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth

  • 1 (15-ounce) can Coconut Milk, divided

  • Juice of 1 Lime

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper, plus more to taste

  • 1/3 cup Cilantro, chopped, to garnish

  • 1 small Lime, cut into wedges, to garnish

Thai curry butternut soup-2.JPG


Method:

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees - Cut the Butternut squash lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Rub some olive oil, salt and pepper on the inside of the squash and place on a baking sheet with skin side down. Place in the oven and roast 30-40 minutes, until you can poke a knife into the flesh easily. Remove skin.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the garlic and onion, and saute until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add in the ginger and curry paste and stir to combine with the onion and garlic. Cook for 3 more minutes, stirring often.

Pour in the stock and mix well. Add in the cooked butternut squash and slowly pour it in while stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Blend soup (in the pot with an immersion blender, or pour the soup in batches into a stand-alone blender) until smooth. Before serving, remove the soup from the heat and mix in the coconut milk (saving a few tablespoons to garnish) and lime juice. Mix well. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

When ready to serve, drizzle the remaining coconut milk over each bowl and garnish with fresh coriander and lime wedges.

Enjoy!

5 Simple Ways to Rock Your Monday!

Happy Monday! Hope you had a beautiful weekend and are pumped for the week ahead! I know, it’s easy to dread Mondays, and sometimes it feels like we’re already behind before the week has even begun, but what if we were able to shift our perspective even a little and could retrain our brains to look at Mondays as an opportunity to start fresh, to reinvent ourselves for the better, and to take positive action towards achieving our goals?

Here are 5 simple but super important tips you can put into practice RIGHT NOW to help make sure you hit the ground running this week.

_EB_7182.jpg

1. Get outside -  I swear it feels like 90% of my problems can be solved by getting some fresh air and sunshine. As long as the weather isn’t downright miserable where you are, take advantage of that to get outside.  Getting out into nature has numerous physical and mental benefits for us, yet if we’re not careful, it’s easy to sometimes go the whole day without seeing anything green. So make a plan for how you can fit an outdoor break into your day, whether it’s a short walk on your lunch break, or unplugging from your devices in the evenings to get outside.

2. Take 3 Minutes for Gratitude - Take just three minutes at the start or the end of the day to practice gratitude.  No need to overthink it, just think of 3 specific good things that happened that day. The good things could be anything - bumping into an old friend, a positive remark from someone at work, a pretty sunset.  Celebrating small wins has a proven effect of powering motivation and igniting joy. As you make a practice of noting good things on a daily basis, the better you will feel. It’s also a great activity to do together with the whole family at bedtime  

ZA-0306-27.jpg

3. Drink More Water - We all know how important it is in get in that H2O, but sometimes it can be a real struggle to remember and drink enough water on our busy days. Make today the day where you finally start getting in that 1L. Grab your favourite bottle, fill it up, and set up a timer on your phone to remind you to take a few swigs every hour.  Don’t love drinking water on it’s own? Try adding in some flavours by throwing in some mint, lemon, or berries!

4. Move - You knew this was coming, right?! Our bodies were created to MOVE! So get up and just do it. Movement can take any form you wish, from dancing with your kids, to doing squats while you’re brushing your teeth, or getting in a quick but awesome bodyweight workout. Don’t wait for the perfect time, otherwise it may never happen. Just make it a point to move more than you did last week. Get your heart rate up and those endorphins pumping and you’ll quickly find yourself in a

4H7A9098.jpg

5. Smile - You know that old saying “Fake it till you make it”? Well even if you start your Monday off and you already feel like you’re behind, just take a deep breath, pause for a moment, and smile. The simple act of smiling can lead your body into feeling genuine happiness, joy, or amusement. Smiling on purpose changes brain chemistry and can help if you’re feeling overwhelmed. What do you have to lose?

Like I said, these are super simple things you can put into action right NOW. Remember, none of us has any control over what the day throws at us, but you DO have control over how you react to it. Follow these 5 tips to upgrade your Monday and you’ll be better equipped to take on the rest of your week!

xoxo,

Zehra

Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

A9D5FE1A-3CEC-49A9-940F-69DF6D502FBC.JPEG

Here’s a tropical twist on your regular chia seed pudding.  The best thing about this pudding is that you can make a batch ahead of time and then keep them ready-to-grab, perfectly pre-portioned breakfasts or snacks throughout the week. The coconut milk adds a rich flavour not to mention some healthy fats that will keep you feeling full longer. I love to switch up the fruits toppings (based on whatever I have on hand), but mango and coconut just go so well together.  

IMG_7577.JPG


Ingredients (amounts per 1 serving)

  • 1 ½ cups Coconut Milk

  • 2 tbsp Chia Seeds

  • 1 tsp Maple Syrup

  • ½ tsp Vanilla

  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon

  • Fruit to top (here I used mango, peach and blueberries)

  • Shredded Coconut

  • Toasted Almonds

IMG_7603.JPG


Method:

I like to prepare and portion out the puddings in separate 250mL mason jars (although any container with a lid will do). Line up the jars and first add in your coconut milk then your chia seeds. Mix well, since the chia seeds might like to hang out at the bottom. Add in the vanilla, maple syrup and cinnamon and mix well once again. Let the pudding sit for a few minutes to thicken up while you cut up the fruit. Give it another quick mix and add in the fruits, coconut and almonds to the top. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Feel free to add in more fresh fruits & nuts when you’re about to eat.

Enjoy!