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Pumpkin Pie Muffins!

Pumpkin Pie Muffins!

That was FAST!  October has come and gone…and what’s left is a whole lot of pumpkins! …Maybe you even have some extra cans of pumpkin puree kicking around…if you’re not all “pumpkin’ed out”…you have GOT TO TRY these amazing healthy Pumpkin Pie Muffins!  Super simple and easy to make…and taste amazing for breakfast with a little bit of almond or peanut butter on them…#yum!

Here’s the recipe 🙂

Pumpkin Pie Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • walnuts halves or chopped almonds (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees C.  Line a muffin pan with paper liners.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. In a small bowl, add egg, vegetable oil and milk.  Whisk them together.  Add pumpkin puree.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together with a spatula.  Make sure all ingredients are combined.
  5. Add approximately 1 tbsp. of the batter to the lined muffin cups.  Top with chopped almond slivers or walnut halves.  Bake for 20-23 minutes or until golden brown.
Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars!

Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars!

Ever get tired of reading labels of granola/breakfast bars and wondering what the HECK are these ingredients?!  …You may love snacking on granola bars, maybe your kids do… and we’re okay with that!…but when you are choosing them because they’re a nutritious option…let’s make sure they are…and if you’re confused…Make them from scratch!

We created this amazing Peanut Butter Breakfast …inspired by @sallysbakeblog Breakfast Cookies that are SO easy to make and will blow your mind with how good they taste.  You can actually taste EVERY ingredient. So…take 30 minutes to make this recipe and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars

(makes approx. 15 bars)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of quick oats
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup peanut butter (or almond butter/cashew butter/sunflower seed butter – you choose!)
  • 2 tsp. organic agave syrup (because we had some in the pantry!..you can sweeten with honey too)
  • 2 tbsp. Greek yogourt (2% used here, but you can use 1% or fat free…why not?)
  • 1 large banana (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Combine all ingredients into one large bowl.  Mix until combine.  Dough will be stiff.
  3. Spoon 1 tbsp. of dough and place onto cookie sheet.  Flatten the top to make the bar desired thickness.
  4. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until edges are brown.  Allow to cool completely.  You can freeze them in batches to take out and eat throughout the week!

 

Preppin’ for Thanksgiving Eats!

Preppin’ for Thanksgiving Eats!

Thanksgiving weekend is HERE…and what’s not to love?  Like most holidays ..the 4 F’s are in play…Have you heard of the 4 F’s? – we’re talking about FAMILY, FRIENDS, FOOD & of course FUN!

Whenever the family gets together for holiday festivities, there is usually a lot of food – and a lot of thought that goes into planning that incredible food for specific events.  On a holiday, the focus tends to stray away from “healthy” and move towards “indulgence” “moderation” “sometimes foods”…BUT …question for you?  Is there …maybe…a place for a bit of healthy on a Thanksgiving weekend?

We’ll let you decide…

We’ve gathered a few tips to help you enjoy your flavourful harvest feast without all the full, sleepy, bloated-ness after. But don’t worry we won’t be messing with the pumpkin pie!

First…

If you’re the cook or bringing a main dish the power is in your hands! Try making the dressing from scratch. You’ll impress the family and feel good about avoid using high-sodium boxed stuffings that are often found in the grocery store.  We found an awesome Crockpot Cranberry Apple Stuffing and a Classic Stuffing. Not up for a bread based side dish? Maybe you need a gluten free option that everyone will love! Turn things around all together with this stuffed butternut squash.

Second…

How does your plate look? Try for 50% vegetables. I’m talking grilled asparagus, roasted Brussels sprouts, peas or salad, all the good stuff. Then we do 25% starchy carbs; maybe you choose the mashed potato with gravy, maybe you choose the whole wheat bun your grandma made fresh, or, or, orrrrr a spoonful of stuffing. And – Yesss you can do half stuffing, half potato. Lastly, 25% of that juicy turkey, or any other protein of choice.

Third…

Let’s talk about leftovers. Everyone wants that turkey and gravy sandwich the next day after we have SOMEHOW digested all that food. But you can have way more fun with leftovers than that. How about a cranberry salad with added turkey, a turkey sandwich amped up with lettuce and cranberry sauce (hold the gravy), or making a turkey soup (save the bones for soup!).

This is what we are trying in our kitchen this weekend:

  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic & Rosemary
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Homemade Stuffing

Stayed tuned for some instagram updates on those recipes this weekend! @balanceyourcart

Happy Thanksgiving!

xo Kelly & Johanna

Make Time to Enjoy Meal Time!

Make Time to Enjoy Meal Time!

What’s for dinner? Where are we eating dinner? Do we even have time for dinner?

Between after school activities and lessons, healthy family dinners often take a back seat. Yet, family meals are so important!

Sitting down to a meal after a busy day is an amazing “RESET”.  No matter how big or small your family is, they offer a time for sharing stories, learning manners and eating nutritious foods.  And if you have kids, research shows the benefits go further to helping improve dietary intake and mental & physical health…including lowered risk of substance abuse and the prevention of disordered eating.

Despite these benefits, eating a meal as a family can easily become a rare occurrence…found only at holidays or when celebrating special events.  Don’t feel guilty…it happens…but with proper planning you can make time for family meals throughout the week!

Check out the following article for simple tips to put your meal back on your family agenda 🙂

Take the Complicated out of September!

Take the Complicated out of September!

We’re well into the back to school groove…slowly getting adjusted to the lunch making routine and the need for speedy dinners.  How have you been making out?  Maybe it’s still feeling a bit overwhelming…and that’s okay!  Sometimes it can take a couple weeks to get back into a routine.

Keep things simple …especially during times where a lot of change is taking place.  First place to keep it simple is…in the kitchen!  Don’t overcomplicate your life with elaborate weekday meals.  Here we have a delicious Pear & Apple Chicken Salad Wrap that can easily be made as a quick weekday dinner…or even for work/school lunches if you have leftover chicken from the night before! Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients

Serves 4-6

  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked in garlic and lemon juice
  • 2 cups of salad greens of your choice
  • 1 Bartlett Pear, washed, cored and sliced
  • 1 Gala Apple, washed, cored and sliced
  • 1/8 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped finely
  • 4-6 whole-wheat tortillas
  • 4 Tbsp. of Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped dill
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Feta Cheese (optional)

Directions

1. Cook chicken at 375 F in oven for about 40 minutes – until internal temperature reaches 165 F. Slice into bite sized pieces and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise with the chopped dill to make a dressing.

3. Wash and chop apple, pear, red onion and celery.

4. Spread each tortilla with the mayonnaise mixture. Divide the salad greens and bite sized chicken pieces between each tortilla. Top with apple, pear, red onion, celery and feta cheese.

5. Fold the sides of the tortilla to enclose the filling.

Place in a container for school lunches. Make sure it’s kept in the refrigerator or a cooler if going to be in room temperature for more than 2 hours!

Lemonade Fruit Popsicles

Lemonade Fruit Popsicles

Hydrating is SUPER important in the summer, fall, spring and even winter.  Sometimes even when you aren’t feeling thirsty – you are still on the verge of becoming dehydrated.  Symptoms of mild dehydration could be as simple as a headache or feeling tired.  Bottom line: make sure you stay hydrated!  Of course the go to is good old H2O (water)…but you can also stay hydrated with flavour 😉

Try this recipe for Lemonade Fruit Popsicles …great for kids after playing sports or being in the pool all afternoon!

Lemonade Fruit Popsicles: (Serves 8)
Lemonade with 1.5 freshly squeezed lemons

1 tsp of rose water, 1-2 Tbsp

brown sugar or agave (depending on preferred sweetness)

1 liter of water.
Assorted fruits: 1 cup of assorted strawberries, kiwis, blueberries and raspberries

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together and pour into popsicle holders.  Freeze until solid.  Easy as that!

Recipe created by Elis Halenko @elis_eats 

Go Smashed Potatoes!

Go Smashed Potatoes!

Looking for an awesome side dish for your long weekend BBQ?  Potatoes always come to mind…Here we had a bit of an issue…

One wanted mashed, the other wanted roasted…so what to do? Go with SMASHED!  Try the below awesome recipe that’s a healthy addition to your BBQ favourites.

Go Smashed Potatoes

Ingredients
Serves 6-8 people as a side dish

1 lb. pre-washed mini potatoes (any colour)
5-6 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 pinches Himalayan pink salt

Directions:

1. Fill a large pot with water. Add the pre-washed mini potatoes to the pot. Cover the pot and bring to a boil for 12-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender/soft. Once cooked, you should be able to put a fork through the potatoes.

2. Strain cooked potatoes and place them evenly on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Using the bottom of a glass/container flatten the potatoes so they are all smashed!

3. Preheat oven to 400 F. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle Rosemary sprigs and salt evenly over the mini potatoes. Roast in the oven on convection for 30-35 min until potatoes are golden brown.

4. Serve as a tasty and healthy side dish with chicken, pork or beef.

NUTRITION FUN FACT! Potatoes are a great source of potassium which is important for heart health! Keep the skin on your potatoes to get even more potassium!

Eating Healthy on Summer Vacation – Is it possible?!

Eating Healthy on Summer Vacation – Is it possible?!

It’s August – and the weather is HOT HOT HOT..For those who are lucky enough to take summer vacations – where does health and nutrition come in to play?  Or do you think about it at all?

I get it …vacations aren’t suppose to be a time to stress about …anything really…But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat somewhat healthy on your summer vacation.

Read the following tips to find out how on my article about How to Eat Healthy on a Summer Vacation 

Trust me …your vacation will still be fun! 😉

Keep Shining 🙂
Kelly

Balanced Diet, Balanced Meals, What’s it all Mean?

Balanced Diet, Balanced Meals, What’s it all Mean?

When it comes to eating healthy, how many times do you hear “it’s about a balanced diet”?  …Probably a bazillion!  Does it ever get frustrating?  What does that actually mean?  Well, the short answer is – it’s different for everyone (I know…way to make it even more complicated!).  But it’s true, eating a balanced diet is different depending on your age, activity level and what your body needs in terms of nutrients on any given day.

If you just ran a marathon, your balanced diet is going to look A LOT different than if you just went to work and an evening yoga class…LOVE yoga though, just saying 😉

One thing that will stay consistent is the idea of what makes up a “balanced meal”…Want to learn more?  Read the following article I wrote on What does a Balanced Meal Mean 

How do you make your meals balanced?

Keep Shining! 🙂
Kelly

Eating Slips You Should Avoid!

Eating Slips You Should Avoid!

Anyone on a Summer health kick?  How’s it going?! ..perhaps patio has tempted you in more ways than just leaving work early!  These are all hurdles to eating well that we go through on a regular basis.  You have the BEST intentions but then there’s a road block.  Not to worry – there are ways to avoid these slips.  Check out this article from Chicken Farmers of Canada I wrote about Eating Slips You Should Avoid  …Get on track to healthy eating one step at a time…and don’t be too hard on yourself!!!

Keep shining 🙂

Kelly