Tag Archives: snack

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip

24 May

Can you believe that before this past weekend, I had never been hiking?! This fact seemed to shock quite a few of my friends. After all, I’m a runner and a lifetime Girl Scout – week-long summer camp was a regular annual experience for me, but aside from walking from our tents to the mess hall, I’ve never been on a proper hike. Until now.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Boy, have I been missing out! Our friends Adam and Jill invited Chris and myself to join them on a hiking day trip in Utica, IL. Sounded like it could be fun, so we were in. Starved Rock State Park is a 2.5 hour drive from Milwaukee, so we left early in the morning to arrive around 10:30am. Being the over-planner that I am, we had figured out all the food & drink, clothes, first aid and emergency supplies that we could possibly need for the day. I was tasked with making a pasta salad that could sit in the cooler all day, homemade trail mix, and some kind of granola bar or bite to replenish the carbs we’d quickly burn through.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Once we walked up to the two “tourist” spots in the park – Starved Rock and Lover’s Leap, we had had enough of all the slow pokes, so we moved the car to a parking lot further away from the visitor’s center to do some real hiking.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.comA quick lunch of sandwiches and fruit salad from Jill, my veggie pasta salad, chips, and perhaps a little something from Wisconsin (cheers!), we hiked out to see a few gorgeous canyons, complete with small waterfalls. The closer we got to the canyons, the cooler it became – a welcome relief from the hot, sunny 80+ degree day. The ground was pretty easy to walk on with a handful of muddy spots. The streams were what got me – too big to jump over (mostly) but too small to warrant turning around. Thankfully, Chris was really good at finding me the best places to cross where my shoes would become only slightly wet (they dried off quickly, too).

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The views really were beautiful. Everything was bright green, we were relatively well-shaded, and the rocks of the canyons had this amazing layered yellow hue to them. Hiking to and from each canyon spot made us work up an appetite, so we stopped for a snack break before hitting the final, steepest trail. The granola bites I ended up making are filled with a tart roasted rhubarb puree. The crust is made up of ground oats, 7-grain cereal, coconut oil, peanut butter, flax, and cinnamon – definitely a hearty, compact snack! I wanted to make sure we were set with carbs, protein and fat, and I think I nailed it! These had to stay in the cooler and the perfect snack break.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Our final trail of the day was the most challenging. The view up looked daunting. It was steep, and lacked a lot of footing. There is a wooden staircase built in for the steepest portion (which is also right next to a county road), but we had to manage the rest on our own. And it was well worth it! A few water stops later, and we were presented with a fantastic view of the river and surrounding park. I can see why people enjoy this! I can now say I’m one of them 🙂

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The descent to the bottom of the trail was almost just as challenging, as we worked to avoid slipping and falling. When we returned to the car, I experienced the most wonderful feeling of taking off my shoes and socks! Haha, yeah, that felt great – I’m so glad I brought flip flops to change into and rest my feet.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

We headed home, with a pit stop along the way for a bathroom and much-deserved cold beer, and finally reached Milwaukee again. I had so much fun, that the four of us are already working on our next hiking trip! In the meantime, I’m going to be making these roasted rhubarb granola bites pretty often. It’s a great way to use your rhubarb harvest, and is a much healthier snack than cake or pie. They’re easy to make, and can be frozen for enjoyment later on!

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites
Makes 12 bites

  • 3 C chopped rhubarb
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp creamy nut/seed butter of choice
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 C Maple
  • 3/4 C Oat flour
  • 1 C Bob’s grain cereal
  • 2 tbsp Flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking pan with foil and spray with PAM.

Spread chopped rhubarb on the baking sheet. Drizzle with honey. Roast for 25 minutes, turning the pan around halfway through, to prevent burning.

Transfer rhubarb to a bowl and mix in the cornstarch. Use an immersion blender to puree the roasted rhubarb. Set aside. Note: leave the oven on!

In a medium bowl, melt together the nut butter and coconut oil. Mix in the maple syrup, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the oat flour, cereal and flaxseed meal until well-combined and hydrated.

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the crust mixture into each paper liner and pat down with the back of the spoon. There should be some crust mixture remaining.

Spoon in a scant tablespoon of the rhubarb puree. Finally, spoon about a teaspoon of the leftover crust on top of the rhubarb.

Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely in the tin. Transfer the tin to your fridge and let chill a few hours or overnight. This will help set it up.

Remove from tin and serve. Refrigerate leftovers up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Bites + My First Hiking Trip | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Apple Cornmeal Protein Muffins

4 Apr

I’ve been doing a lot more cooking that revolves around running nutrition. I have to consume more carbs, more protein and more fat…and I love it! I’m always hungry and always thinking about food. So I really have no problem working more food into my daily diet. As I train for my upcoming half marathon, I continue to eat as unprocessed as possible, eliminating chemicals and additives. But I’m always looking for ways to add carbs, protein, and fat. On those short run days, that’s pretty easy to accomplish. But on long run days, replenishing those calories can be challenging.

Apple Cornmeal Protein Muffins | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

While I’m hungry all the time, I can only fill my stomach so much. Which is why nutrient-dense foods are a must-have. And thus, I present these apple cornbread protein muffins! They’re full of protein, healthy carbs, and plenty of fiber. They’re also vegan, gluten free, oil free, and free of refined sugars. So, kind of the perfect snack or breakfast. Oh, and they’re completely moist, with a bit of crunch to them thanks to the cornmeal. Naturally sweetened, these muffins will hit the spot any time of day.

Apple Cornmeal Protein Muffins | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Make these scrumptious muffins for a week’s worth of breakfast, an easy snack pre- or post-workout, or just a healthy treat to enjoy when you want something on the sweeter side. Throw a few in the freezer to pull out when you need to refuel after a hard workout (just toss into a 350 degree oven for a couple minutes to warm up from a frozen state).

Apple Cornmeal Protein Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

  • 2 large apples, shredded
  • 1 C nondairy milk + 1 tsp lemon juice (to curdle)
  • 2 flax eggs (or two large eggs if not vegan)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 C cornmeal, medium ground is best
  • 1/2 C oat flour (note: measure after grinding oats into flour!)
  • 1/2 C vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Optional: 12 walnut halves

Preheat oven to 350. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spread the shredded apple in a single layer. Let dehydrate in the preheating oven for 5 minutes. This will help reduce some of their moisture.

In a large measuring cup, combine the milk and lemon juice. Let sit 5 minutes to curdle. Then add the flax or chicken eggs, vanilla and honey/maple syrup. Whisk to combine.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, oat flour, protein powder, baking powder & soda, tartar, salt, and cinnamon. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry mixture and whisk again, making sure to combine well so as to hydrate the cornmeal and oat flour. Fold in the shredded apple.

Spray 2 silicone muffin molds with olive oil PAM; place molds on a large baking sheet. Scoop batter into the molds, filling to the top – these will not rise very much. Press a walnut half into the top of each muffin, if desired.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Then, turn off the oven and let sit inside another 2 minutes with the door closed. Remove from the oven, and transfer silicone molds to a cooling rack. Let sit 10-15 minutes and then carefully pop out the muffins to let cool completely on the rack. Enjoy warm, or store, cooled, in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days. These can also be frozen for up to 3 months!

Apple Cornmeal Protein Muffins | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Linking up with Running on Happy & The Fit Foodie Mama, and Confessions of a Mother Runner & A Whisk and Two Forks for #MeatlessMonday! Also linking up with Running in a Skirt for Best of the Blogs!

Hummus and Feta Cucumber Cups

18 Oct

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra Dipping Co. LLC, and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

We’re in the midst of football season (both American and the soccer kind for me), which means every weekend sees tables full of chips & salsa, burgers, beers, sodas, and everything else unhealthy. It’s hard to resist those snacks, especially in the heat of a neck-and-neck game. My approach? Always offer to bring a snack to share! This way, you can control exactly what’s in it – salt, fat, and empty carbs can be reduced or avoided, but flavor can still lead the way!

That’s why I always do something with hummus. Did you know, #twospoons of hummus per day can fulfill your weekly bean recommendation? Yep, two tablespoons of a delicious snack is GOOD for you. So now comes the question of the best way to serve such tasty hummus. Sure, you can make a veggie tray, or bring tortilla chips. But why not get creative? These cucumber cups combine a fresh crunch of cucumber, savory-sweet sun-dried tomato hummus, and slightly salty feta cheese. Everyone will love these cups at the next game-day get together!

Hummus and Feta Cucumber Cups | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Hummus and Feta Cucumber Cups

Makes 20 cucumber cups

  • 4 cucumbers, peeled
  • 1 package Sabra Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus
  • 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • paprika, to serve (optional)

Slice cucumbers into rounds, about 1.5″ thick. You’ll get about 5 per cucumber.

Use a small spoon to scoop out the seeds from each cucumber piece, leaving just enough in the bottom of the “cup” to hold some hummus. Discard the seeds and repeat for all of the cucumber.

Stir up the package of Sabra Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus, mixing together the seasoning on the edges and the sun-dried tomato puree in the center. Spoon two teaspoons into each cucumber cup, or until full. Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese on top of each cucumber cup.

At this point, you could refrigerate the cucumber cups a couple hours, until your party guests arrive. Before serving, sprinkle lightly with ground paprika. Enjoy!

Protein Carrot Cornbread Muffins

30 Jul

Sometimes all you want is cornbread. But the fatty, carb-loaded version just won’t cut it. Especially when you’re bringing a snack to a friend who just had a baby. In her case, health, protein and nutrients are key with all food choices. So I knew I had to step it up a notch.

Protein Carrot Cornbread Muffins | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

These cornbread muffins are far from ordinary. They’re loaded with shredded carrots, have tons of protein from a powder, are vegan, and crazy flavorful. Oh, they’re also low in fat, gluten free and wonderfully moist! You can pretty much please anyone with these bad boys, new moms included 🙂

Protein Carrot Cornbread Muffins | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Of course I had to bust out the corncob-shaped silicone baking mold! There are only so many uses for that thing 😛

Protein Carrot Cornbread Muffins, adapted from SuzLyfe

Makes 12 muffins

  • 1.5 C shredded carrot
  • 1 C gluten free cornmeal
  • 1/2 C gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1/2 C vanilla protein powder of choice (gluten free)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 2 packets stevia
  • 1 tsp cream of Tartar
  • 1 C skim or nondairy milk mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 350° and spray silicone muffin molds with PAM.

Spread shredded carrots on a pan lined with aluminum foil. Place in oven for 5 minutes go reduce some of the moisture.

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl mix together the wet ingredients.

Add wet to dry, mix well, then add in the carrots.

Scoop batter into prepared silicone muffin molds. Make them full to the brim! You should get 12 muffins. Optional set filled silicone molds onto a baking sheet – this will make it easier to put into and get out of the hot oven.

Bake 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool down enough to pop them out of the molds. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Eat immediately, and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Protein Carrot Cornbread Muffins | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

BBQ Hummus

22 May

This month’s Recipe Redux challenge was “DIY Kitchen Essentials.” We were tasked with creating a recipe for a homemade version of the foods or condiments we always want on hand, but are so much better when done from scratch. Since going meat-free, hummus has become a personal kitchen essential.

Whether as a dip for snacks, spread for sandwiches, replacement for butter in biscuits, or a potluck staple, hummus is my go-to! I used to buy the packaged varieties, but quickly discovered it tastes better and is SO much cheaper when you just make it at home! A jar of tahini will last quite a while, and chickpeas are easy to come by. Besides, the flavor combinations are many! It’s fun to experiment and play around with different varieties of hummus. And when I made my own BBQ sauce earlier this week, the idea popped in my head to make a BBQ hummus!

BBQ Hummus | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Doesn’t this just scream summertime to you? I think it would be amazing spread onto a burger bun for veggie burgers. Or into a tortilla for a fresh veggie wrap. However you eat it, be prepared to make it often! It’ll go fast – I guarantee it.

BBQ Hummus
Makes 2 cups

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 C Tahini
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed & drained

Blend all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust spices as needed. You might prefer more salt or tahini.

Transfer to a serving bowl. You could eat it immediately, or cover and chill in the fridge overnight to let the flavors develop.

Serve chilled with tortilla chips, pita chips and sliced veggies.

BBQ Hummus | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy!

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