Red Velvet Protein Bites {Recipe ReDux}

Red Velvet doesn’t have to mean cake and artificial food dye. Beets lend the most beautiful reddish-purple to these protein bites, along with an earthy taste. Keep these bites in the freezer for a healthy, nutrient-packed-but-treat-worthy snack!

red_velvet_protein_bites

I know you’re probably already celebrating, but tomorrow is National Nut Day!! On this joyous occasion what else would you want to do besides eat some nut-tastic foods? Well, the ladies of Recipe ReDux are equally as nerdy excited about nuts so they tasked us with sharing a nut-filled recipe for this month’s post.

And who doesn’t also love a delicious protein/energy bite? They are a great way to disguise nutrition as a dessert. Us dietitians love to pull that shit. Healthy dessert? Me? Nahhh.

beet_hands

Well, if there’s one thing I don’t want in my dessert or any of my food, it’s artificial food coloring. I don’t understand why we need it. I mean nature is full of amazing colors and flavors and I quite prefer the natural-ness.

Which is why I’ve never been a big fan of red velvet cake. While true red velvet cake utilizes beets for the red color, most bakeries take the shortcut and use red coloring. And sadly, I can guarantee you that many Americans would choose an artificially-colored red velvet cake over a beet-colored cake. [Sighhh]

This recipe relies on the nutritious and humble beet to provide both a sweet and earthy flavor as well as a gorgeous color. I mean, just look at the number the beets did on my hands ^^.

red_velvet_energy_bites

Red Velvet Protein Bites

Keep these frozen as they maintain their texture best that way. These only have 2 tablespoons of sweetener for the entire recipe but pack lots of protein and healthy fats from the almonds (almond meal and almond butter).

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder, such as Gold Standard Natural
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 small beets
  • 2 Tbsp. honey, preferably local
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash beets well and chop ends off. Then, dice beets and spread on a baking sheet. Bake until soft.
  2. Add beets to a food processor and process until smooth. Then add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT for dark chocolate chips and process until well-mixed.
  3. Line a tupperware container with plastic wrap, then pour beet mixture into the container.
  4. Heat chocolate chips in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.
  5. Using a fork or spoon, drizzle chocolate over beet mixture. Stick the container in the freezer for 30 minutes, then cut into 1″ squares and store in freezer.

For more deliciously nutty recipes, check out these Cookie Dough Protein Bites, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts or one of my all-time favorite nut butter recipes, Toasted Coconut Cashew Butter.

Oh, and did I mention all the amazing nut-filled recipes from fellow ReDuxers? Click the link below for those (and look for even more tomorrow)! 

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Toasted Coconut Cashew Butter {Recipe ReDux}

Wow! I can’t believe it’s already May 21. That means t-minus one week until yours truly’s birthday AND it’s Recipe ReDux time! This month we were tasked with showcasing kitchen staples that we now make from scratch – but in the past purchased.

For me, that’s got to be nut butters. Ever since discovering how easy it was to make nut butter thanks to my Homemade Nutella recipe from a previous Recipe ReDux, I’ve been making a new type of nut butter weekly.

And I literally have to make a new jar weekly. The boyfriend likes to eat massive spoonfuls straight out of the jar, so we go through nut butters pretty quickly in our household. [I also eat it straight from the jar but in much smaller, daintier bites.]

coconut_cashew_butter

After making some bomb almond butter (#nerd) and delicious peanut butter, it was time for the big dog: CASHEW BUTTER.

This started out as one-ingredient cashew butter, but as the butter was “churning” in my food processor, the evil genius in me came out and I felt compelled to elevate the butta’ with, what else but unsweetened shredded coconut. Because coconut is delicious and full of healthy fat (yes, saturated fats can be healthy too). And because I’ve been wanting coconut in everything lately.

Whatever you do, please, pleeaasseee don’t be intimidated by “homemade nut butter” — it’s super-easy and while it takes about 10 minutes to get all dreamy and creamy, it only takes about 2 minutes of hands-on time and the flavor combinations are endless. Add some cinnamon, smoked sea salt, ginger or go savory with paprika, curry or rosemary. This is your nut butter party and you’ll add what you want to.

Toasted Coconut Cashew Butter

This really is amazing straight out of the jar, but is also fantastic drizzled over Greek yogurt, as a dip for fruit (pears are especially delicious) or as part of the most insane-good cashew butter and jelly sandwich known to man.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay cashews on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant. toasted_coconut_cashew_butter
  2. Let cashews cool for about 15 minutes (or longer) — they get hot in the food processor so the cooler they are, the better.
  3. Add to food processor and process for about 10 minutes, or until it forms a creamy butter. See stages of nut butter chart below.
  4. Once cashews form a creamy butter, add coconut and sea salt and process another 2-3 minutes.

stages_nut_butter

STAGES OF NUT BUTTER

  1. Intact Nuts
  2. Nut Meal/Flour
  3. Giant blob of nut butter (it helps to smash this apart a couple times)
  4. Creamy, dreamy nut butter

Check out more amazing homemade creations from the talented Recipe ReDuxers by clicking the icon below. Enjoy!

6-Ingredient Miso Honey Roasted Chickpeas {Recipe ReDux}

Do you ever rummage through your fridge or pantry and think, ‘I really have to use up x before it goes bad’? It could be a random spice at the back of your spice cabinet, a condiment on your fridge door, a special kind of grain you only needed once (hello, arborio rice!), etc. Well, it’s spring which means it’s spring cleaning time! And spring cleaning should definitely involve food items too — which is why we’ve been tasked with doing just that for this month’s Recipe ReDux:

Spring cleaning: Go through your pantry, cupboards, freezer, or fridge; what ‘treasures’ have you found? Pick an ingredient/spice/condiment that’s been hanging out for a while and give it the attention it needs. Share a healthy recipe made using your new-found pantry prize.

Roasted_Miso_chickpeas

I had almost too much inspiration this month so I decided to combine two neglected ingredients into this recipe, which I have to give myself kudos for since this recipe only involves six ingredients total (for all you math nerds, that means 1/3 of the ingredients).

The first: chickpeas. I pretty much always have either canned or dried chickpeas — AKA garbanzo beans — in my pantry. For the most part, I end up hummus-izing them (yep, I just invented a new word). But then I found miso hanging in the fridge and thought, ‘hey, these could go together’.

Miso has such an amazing, umami flavor and adds a really interesting depth to recipes. I personally like to hit as many different taste buds with my recipes as possible, so added some sea salt, honey and citrus (lemon) to round things out.

This recipe’s beauty comes not just from its taste but also from its simple ingredient list and very hands-off preparation. Hope you enjoy!

miso_honey_roasted_garbanzo_beans

Miso Honey Roasted Chickpeas

These roasted chickpeas get super crunchy — almost like nuts or croutons — and make a great topping for salads and stir fries and are equally as delicious on their own!

miso_honey_garbanzos

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans chickpeas (about 4 cups), preferably organic, no salt added
  • 2 Tbsp. Miso (use a soy-free, chickpea-based version like the one pictured above if you want to go soy-free)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, preferably unfiltered, cold-pressed
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Add miso, olive oil, lemon juice and honey to a bowl and whisk until well combined.
  2. Add chickpeas to the miso mixture and toss to coat. Lay on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.
  3. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until chickpeas are crunchy. (I like mine nice and charred as you can see from the photos). Note: the chickpeas will continue to harden after you take them out of the oven.

Warning: these are extremely addicting so try to control yourself when they come out of the oven. If you can’t, though — no worries. They’re not exactly junk food. 😉

To find out how other Recipe ReDuxers use buried food “treasures,” click the link below. Happy eating!

Southwestern Sweet Potato Romaine Wraps with Cabot Pepper Jack Cheese {Sponsored Recipe ReDux}

I received free samples of Cabot Cheese mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe challenge sponsored by Cabot Creamery and am eligible to win prizes. I was not additionally compensated for my time.

I’ve learned throughout the years that one can never have too much cheese. Cheese adds creaminess, gooiness and deliciousness — and also can elevate a dish and make it so much more satisfying.

I should probably write a love song about cheese, but I’ll spare you for now.

Cabot Cheeses are a personal favorite. Because their cheddars are aged, they are naturally lactose-free. More importantly, they give 100% of profits back to the 1,200 dairy farm families that make up their co-op. While browsing their website, I also came across the story of Barstow’s Longview Farm, who actually use their cows’ waste to create enough energy to power their farm AND churn Cabot butter. Awesome! Truly making lemonade out of lemons (aren’t you glad I went with that analogy over others?).

Southwestern_Romaine_Wraps_Cabot_Pepper_Jack

When Cabot tasked us Recipe ReDuxers with creating healthier appetizers fit for Super Bowl and awards show parties — and provided us with LOTS and LOTS of cheese samples — I came up with an infinite list of recipe ideas.

I love apples and cheese, so first I went sweet with my Loaded Apple Cheddar Nachos using Cabot’s Farmers’ Legacy Collection Alpine Cheddar. After making those, all I wanted to do was make more apple-cheddar recipes. Those nachos were seriously delicious.

I was able to control that urge, however, and come up with an equally delicious savory appetizer that combines perfectly-spicy Cabot Pepper Jack cheese with sweet potatoes, black beans, red onions and cilantro to make a fresh and healthy side dish.

Southwestern Sweet Potato Romaine Wraps with Cabot Pepper Jack Cheese

These are the perfect appetizer for game day parties or for a tasty snack. Add chicken or crumble tofu into the sweet potato and black bean mixture to create a full meal. If you like things extra spicy, chili powder would be a delicious addition.

Serves 4 (2 romaine wraps/person)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced into small cubes
  • 1 cup black beans (if using canned, go with a No Salt Added variety)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • Romaine hearts, washed with leaves separated (8 leaves total)
  • 4 oz. Cabot Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add red onion and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add diced sweet potatoes and cook until sweet potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add in the black beans, cumin, paprika, salt and black pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  2. While mixture is cooking, turn oven onto broil.
  3. Lay romaine leaves on a baking sheet and spoon 2-3 Tbsp. of the sweet potato and black bean mixture into each leaf. Top evenly with shredded Cabot Pepper Jack (1/2 ounce per leaf).
  4. Broil for 1-3 minutes, until cheese is melted.
  5. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve warm.

Southwestern_Romaine_Bites_Cabot_Pepper_Jack

See what other delicious Cabot cheese creations Recipe ReDuxers have created by clicking on the link below!

Loaded Cheddar Apple Nachos {Sponsored Recipe ReDux}

I received free samples of Cabot Cheese mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe challenge sponsored by Cabot Creamery and am eligible to win prizes. I was not additionally compensated for my time.

Wowza. When Cabot Creamery tasked us with creating a lightened-up appetizer fit for game day and red carpet parties, I never dreamed that I’d create something as delicious as these Loaded Cheddar Apple Nachos. But I did guys, and I would love nothing more than to share the recipe with you.

It all started when two packages filled with Cabot cheese arrived at my doorstep…so basically the best gift you could ever receive. At first I was a little overwhelmed with all the cheese, but then I snapped back to reality and realized that there is no such thing as too much cheese. It was time to create a delicious recipe.

loaded_cheddar_apple_nachos

It’s all about the cheddar here, guys. I fell in love with Cabot’s Legacy Collection Alpine Cheddar. To me, it’s almost reminiscent of an aged Parmesan.

I also learned that Cabot’s cheddar cheeses are naturally lactose-free (can’t wait to tell all my lactose intolerance clients and friends)!

Even more awesome is the fact that Cabot Creamery is a family-farmer owned cooperative of more than 1,200 farms located throughout New England and New York. One-hundred percent of Cabot’s profits go back to their farmers. Can’t ask for anything better than that!

cabot_cheddar_cheese

I really do have to pat myself on the back for this recipe. It combines sweet and savory, lots of texture from the toppings and is warm and gooey and perfect for game-day parties. I hope you enjoy!

Loaded Cheddar Apple Nachos

Servings: 2-3

If you don’t have walnuts, use almonds or pecans. Don’t like cranberries? Try tart cherries or raisins. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup if you’re avoiding grain sugar. I used the ever-so-fast microwave method to make the apple chips, but if you’d rather bake them, you can cook each side in a 200 degree oven for about 1-1.5 hours.

loaded_cheddar_apple_nachos_baked

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 medium apples, such as Gala or Honey Crisp
  • 2 oz. Cabot Farmers’ Legacy Collection Alpine Cheddar, grated
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

loaded_cheddar_apple_nachos_ingredients

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice apples thinly using a mandolin or sharp knife. They look prettiest when you slice horizontally, though they are harder to control, so feel free to slice vertically if that’s easier. Don’t worry if you don’t get a perfect slice — slivers work just as well here.
  3. Line a large, microwave-safe plate with parchment paper. Working in rounds, lay apples on parchment paper in a single layer. Microwave for 3-4 minutes, or until edges of apples start to curl. Flip slices over and microwave another 1-2 minutes. Lay apples out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and let sit. They will start to harden the longer they sit. Make sure to keep a close eye on the apples to ensure they’re not burning (ruined a few slices this way).
  4. Once all the apples are “chip-ified,” arrange them on the parchment-lined baking so that they overlap slightly. Sprinkle with cranberries, walnuts, cinnamon, sugar and then finish with grated Cabot Alpine Cheddar.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and slightly toasted.

loaded_apple_nachos_unbaked

loaded_apple_nachos_baked

With all that cheese awaiting me in the fridge, there are bound to be more recipes coming. In the meantime, check out other Recipe ReDuxers’ Cabot cheese creations:

Toasted Maple and Smoked Sea Salt Almonds {Recipe ReDux}

Smoking is so in right now. It seems like everybody’s doing it — from young to old.

……………………..

No, silly — I’m talking about SMOKED FOODS. There are herbs and spices, sea salts, proteins, vegetables, butters and even cocktails that use smokiness to lend a unique and deep flavor to foods and drinks. I have been a fan of smoky foods for some time now (I know, I’m like SO ahead of the trends!) and was thrilled when I found out the theme for this month’s Recipe ReDux, “Start Smoking in the New Year:”

The New Year is heating up with smoke and spiciness. From boldly flavored smoked salts to actual smoking techniques, subtly smoked food is on-trend. The same can be said for spice as we savor heat from harissa, sriracha and smoked paprika. Show us the healthy dish you’re heating up with smoke and/or spiciness.maple_smoked_salt_almonds

I contemplated trying to create a small home smoker for a hot minute but decided my tiny, poorly ventilated kitchen would probably not be the best environment for said cooking technique.

I do love smoked paprika, but I thought I’d use something that isn’t already part of my cooking repertoire: SMOKED SEA SALT. This stuff is amazing and truly elevates any recipe, turning it into a sultry, smoky, savory, seductive dish of the gods.

And who doesn’t love a salty-sweet combo? Add smoky into the mix and it’s divine. Thus, I bring you Toasted Maple and Smoked Sea Salt Almonds. These contain five ingredients and come together in less than 20 minutes. Just watch yourself — they are seriously addicting.

Toasted Maple and Smoked Sea Salt Almonds

These almonds make a great snack, or try them sprinkled on a salad with dried fruit. If you want even more flavor, these would be great with chili powder, dried rosemary, curry and/or cumin added to the mix.

maple_salted_almonds

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. raw almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. smoked sea salt

maple_smoked_salt_almonds_ingredients

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Add almonds, egg whites, maple syrup and smoked sea salt to a large bowl. Toss to coat almonds in the mixture
  3. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with brown sugar
  4. Bake for 5 minutes, then toss the almonds and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until toasted

raw_maple_salted_almondstoasted_maple_salted_almonds

For more “smoky” recipe inspiration from fellow Recipe ReDuxers, click on the link below!