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Updated: Jun 27, 2019

A sweet and salty combination of strawberries and pretzels, mixed with healthy, high fiber oatmeal makes a quick snack.




If you're an energy ball fan like myself, you'll love these strawberry pretzel energy balls. They're perfect for a quick snack on the go. Easy to make, healthy, full of protein and these are high in fiber, too.


They're especially great for:

1. School lunch boxes

2. Long car trips

3. Post sports practice

4. The beach/park

5. Post gym workout

6. Anytime you need a healthy, protein-rich little pick me up

They’re perfect for kids who need healthy snacks during the day to keep up their higher energy demands and for adults who need a portion-controlled snack to fuel their metabolism and ward off sluggishness.


If you love no bake energy balls, see my other recipes:



I used dried strawberries in this recipe which prevents the balls from getting to mushy (and because I happened to have a bag from Rite Aid (for only $1.00, might I add). I also like the slightly tart taste of the dried strawberries in these.


Because I love sweet and salty together, I folded in crushed pretzels as well. A note on the pretzels, though - they'll get mushy if the energy balls are refrigerated, SO, if you're using the pretzels, you may not want to put them in the fridge. You'll, therefore, need to eat them within 2 days. (Which isn't exactly hard - these are super yummy! (I'm quoting my 4 year old...lately everything is "super".))


Super pro-trick (the super superlative is catchy, isn't it 😉)-- use a food processor, vitamix or blender or Nutribullet. At first I didn't because it was yet another gadget I had to lug out of the cabinet and eventually wash. But it actually makes the whole process less messy - otherwise it's all sticky on your hands and you need flour to prevent all that honey from coating your hands. But, your choice - you can certainly make these quick energy balls without any fancy gadgets.


Oats are the base of the energy ball recipe. Quick cooking Old Fashion Oats and either the 1 minute or 5 minute oats are fine. Natural peanut is best to use because it's healthier and adds more creaminess, so you'll need less sticky sweeter.


Energy balls can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks. You can freeze energy balls, too. Lay them flat in a plastic storage bag and remove air from bag. (Although they might be a little soggy when you defrost them; I haven't tried. My guess would be that energy balls would be nice still chilled from the freezer.)




What's your favorite kind of energy ball??


Happy eating!











No Bake Strawberry Pretzel Energy Balls


Ingredients:

1 cup oats (can be 1 minute or 5 minute oats)

1/3 - 1/2 cup All-natural smooth peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup dried strawberry piece (just break them up a bit)

1/3 cup broken pretzel pieces


Directions:


Add all ingredients to a food processor except dried strawberries or pretzels.

Blend until combined. Add a little water if it's too thick.

Remove mixture to a bowl, mix in strawberries and pretzels by hand. Refrigerate until mixture firms slightly.

Roll into tablespoon sized balls.

Try not to eat them all at once!


Nutrition Facts: Serving size: 1 ball. Makes about 15 balls.

Calories: 95 Carbohydrates: 12 grams Fat: 4.6g Protein: 3g Sugar: 5.6 g


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Shallots, sunflower seeds and pomegranate molasses add variety to traditional avocado toast. A quick and simple way to add heart healthy fats and fiber to breakfast that will awaken your taste buds.



Avocado Toast with pomegranate molasses, sunflower seeds and carmelized shallot
Avocado Toast with pomegranate molasses, sunflower seeds and carmelized shallots

I’m all about open faced sandwiches and hacks to cut back on white carbs. This avocado toast is no exception! I think of breakfast like insurance. Start the day off in a healthy way and the chances of ending it the same way are higher. (This is an article that associates a high protein breakfast to eating less fat and carbs during the day and less sugar in the evening. https://academic.oup.com/cdn/article/2/11/nzy074/5085354)


Are avocados fattening?


This is a common question. A medium avocado does contain about 30% of its calories from fat. But you’re not likely eating a whole avocado in one sitting. And it’s good fat - monounsaturated fat. The kind that helps to lower your bad cholesterol (ie, LDL cholesterol – remember, the L is for lousy. HDL is the good kind of cholesterol. That’s the kind you want. High (get it? – “H” for high). A whole, medium, avocado contains about 230 calories, 21g total fat, 13g monounsaturated fat, and 9 g of fiber. Yep, fiber. I bet you didn’t think avocados had fiber!


Avocados also have vitamins and minerals. Now, when you’re only eating ¼ of an avocado at a time, you’re not consuming a substantial amount of vitamins, but it contributes to your daily total. Avocados contain vitamins K, C, folate, E, riboflavin, ad niacin. Avocado also contain magnesium copper, manganese, magnesium and potassium (which helps to lower blood pressure).


Are avocados good for diabetics or blood sugar control?


Absolutely! The fiber in avocados helps moderate blood sugar, especially when replaced for other starchy foods in the diet. They also have a low glycemic index (which means avocados give a slow rise to blood sugar levels.) They are great for those with high blood sugar, diabetics, or the keto crew.


What’s the best way to ripen avocados?


You know the feeling…when you need an avocado for dinner tonight, but you didn’t pick one up until a few hours ago…ugh! You’re out of luck. Avocados take a bit of advanced planning. (Unless you have frozen, sliced avocados around: see where I mention them here.) They do not ripen on the tree, but after they’ve been harvested. So, that means you’re either purchasing them once they’re already soft to the touch (which I’m sometimes able to find at my local fruit stand) or you’re ripening via the standard brown paper bag method. Place avocados in a brown paper bag with a banana or apple for 2-3 days until soft to the touch. (That ethylene gas that the apple or banana emits helps to ripen the avocado.)


Ok, so now what is pomegranate molasses?


Pomegranate Molasses
Pomegranate Molasses

Popular in Middle Eastern cuisines, it’s simply pomegranate juice reduced down, with or without sugar, to a thick syrup. I first heard of it when I was chatting with a physician at work about the this new superfood, pomegranates, (when it was “new”) and he came in the next day with a bottle for me to try.


Pomegranate molasses is a great marinade to meats and topping for hummus (as well as ingredient in other Middle Eastern cuisine), and I really like it on avocado. The sweet acidic taste of the pomegranate molasses pairs nicely with mellow avocado.


In the event you went out and bought a bottle of pomegranate molasses and don't know what to do with the rest, The Food Network has some nice ideas on ways to use it.


So, to make this avocado toast, I mashed up ¼ avocado in a bowl with a little sea salt and pepper and spread it on some nice bakery whole wheat bread. Then I caramelized a shallot and placed it on top. Finally, I drizzled a little pomegranate molasses and sprinkled sunflower seeds for nutty crunch and a little protein.


What a great, easy way to start your day. What’s your favorite avocado toast recipe?



Avocado Toast with pomegranate molasses, sunflower seeds and carmelized shallots
Avocado Toast with pomegranate molasses, sunflower seeds and carmelized shallots


How to Make Avocado Toast with Shallots, sunflower seeds and Pomegranate Molasses

Mash ripened avocado in a bowl with some sea salt and pepper.

Warm a skillet with a touch of olive oil and add a thinly sliced shallot.

Toast a piece of bread.

Shmear avocado on toast, top with shallots.

Drizzle ~1/2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses on top along with ~2 teaspoons of sunflower seeds.

Enjoy with a cup of your favorite coffee

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Bored of plain ol’ tuna and mayo? Jazz up your tuna sandwiches with these quick twists for a healthy lunch!


Healthy tuna fish sandwich

I won’t lie to you.


I. love. Canned. Tuna. Fish…With mayo. It’s one of those comfort foods from my childhood…canned tuna (with mayo) on warm toast. As a kid, I HATED when my mother would sneak icky celery, scallions or - heaven forbid - onion in it. I just wanted it plain. With mayo. Did I mention the mayo?


Well, I’ve since grown up to have a more mature palate (perhaps ;) and am aware that slathering mayo on toast probably isn’t the healthiest lunch. And I know the science behind all the heart healthy omega three fatty acids in tuna and why fatty fish should be added to your weekly routine at least twice. (Click here to read my easy guide to cooking fish) So, I’ve come up with a few quick and easy healthy canned tuna recipe ideas to integrate in my family’s routine.


Canned tuna is also a great backup pantry item. It’s always there, just waiting to be opened when you’ve run out of other ideas. If I don’t make a lunch for my husband, he buys lunch out every day. He works in an area with a great selection of restaurants, so I can’t blame him, but this can easily add up to $50.00 per week. Absurd. Even if I can whip up a couple quick lunches each week, it’ll save quite a bit of money. (In case you’re worried about mercury in tuna, read my article on how much fish you (and little kiddos) should, and can, eat safely.) Canned tuna (or other fish) has always made a healthy, quick lunch. (And still does.)


These 5 variations of a quick and healthy tuna salad recipe should keep the boredom down and the omega 3’s up!


Mix 1 or more cans of solid white tuna with a little mayo, or a little extra virgin olive oil, and enjoy experimenting!


5 Simple Tuna Fish Recipes

Simple, Easy and Healthy Canned Tuna Recipes


1. Fresh, thyme, chopped celery, shredded carrots, chopped scallions

2. Black olives, capers, grated red onion, celery, garlic

3. Dijon mustard, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber

4. Italian tuna (packed in oil), fresh lemon juice, chopped fresh parsley

5. Chopped avocado + halved cherry tomatoes


What's your favorite healthy way to make tuna?

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