Healthy (to die for) Shortbread

Oh, shortbread. It’s one of those things we don’t see/eat very often, but one bite of that buttery, crumbly goodness and it’s enough to throw all of those healthy habits right out of the window and dig in…hard. Just me?? Inspired by Bulletproof’s Shortbread bars (containing collagen, which is great for skin health, hormonal balance, bones and joints, and digestion) this simple, no-bake recipe is full of healthy goodness and tastes just as good as the real deal. Seriously!

Healthy Shortbread (raw & gluten-free)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 4 pitted dates
  • 1 scoop collagen peptides (I use Vital Proteins, but this is optional/tasteless)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • dash of sea salt
  • filtered water as needed
  • coconut oil or parchment paper to coat pan

Slightly melt coconut butter and regular butter until soft or liquid and throw all ingredients together into your food processor. Mix until consistent. You may have to stop to collect mixture a few times. After a minute or two, add water by the teaspoon until mixture starts to slightly stick together into a dough (you should not need much water.) Grease a square or rectangular pan or glass container with coconut oil or cover with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Once dough is mixed and consistent, pour into pan/container. With a spoon (or your fingers!) spread and compact dough until it evenly coats the bottom (thickness doesn’t matter.) Refrigerate at least 2-3 hours. Once solid, use sharp knife or metal spatula to cut into the shape of your choice, remove, and devour.

One Healthy Breakdown: do they call it shortbread because it doesn’t last long?? 😉

Cookie Dough Protein Bites

Cookie dough. One of life’s treasures. What about cookie dough we can feel good about eating? That’s right, no salmonella in these bad boys, just pure protein, natural sweetness, and serious cookie-dough deliciousness. No need for cookies when you’ve got cookie dough protein bites!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can (approx. 3 cups) cooked chickpeas
  • 5 medjool dates (be sure to remove pits!)
  • 2 heaping tablespoon rolled oats (plain, uncooked)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon raw cashews
  • 1.5 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips or cacao chips/nibs
  • optional: 1 scoop vanilla protein powder and/or collagen peptides for added protein

Instructions:

Mix everything together in a Vitamix, high quality blender, or food processor. Once mixture blends and forms into dough, roll into balls and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Devour and enjoy! We dare you to have just one…it’s impossible.

One Healthy Breakdown: just as yummy as the real deal, but super healthy!

Banana Almond Butter Cookies

Banana Almond Butter Cookies? Why, yes, thank you. Megan of ‘Megan’s Morsels’ shares her super simple recipe for these delicious (and nutritious) treats!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 fully ripe (slightly brown spotted) banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 scoops high quality vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 tbsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/3  cup pure maple syrup (or more for sweeter)
  • 2 or 3 spoonfuls of almond butter (yum!)

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Combine all the ingredients in one bowl and mix thoroughly until you achieve a thick cookie dough consistency
  • Form balls with the dough and then flatten to make cookies and place on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly firm and even a little golden brown on top
  • Remove from the oven and enjoy!

One Healthy Breakdown: these cookies are perfect for any time of day!

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*Megan Marcotrigiano is a health coach and Pilates instructor. She also makes and sells organic, gluten and dairy free treats known as Megan’s Morsels.

Pumpkin Treats Two Ways

These are hands-down two of the best pumpkin treats everrrrr invented. Pumkins are not only a fall staple for their color and taste, they also deliver a rich dose of antioxidants to boot. You can feel good about making these treats over and over and over again.

Pumpkin Nut Fudge: (vegan, gluten-free, and can be made sugar free)

IMG_3116Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (I like Farmer’s Market organic pumpkin or you can make your own)
  • 1/4 cup cacoa powder (or cocoa powder)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup or honey (optional, omit for sugar free recipe)
  • 1/3 cup nut butter of choice (peanut, almond, and sunflower seed all work great)
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

You’ll need two separate bowls to make the layers. For chocolate fudge, combine cacoa powder, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and 1 teaspoon maple syrup/honey. Melt briefly (microwave for about 20-30 seconds or use stovetop) and stir fudge until consistent. Pour half of fudge on parchment paper in a square pan. Put in freezer or fridge for 5-10 minutes while making pumpkin layer. For pumpkin filling, combine pumpkin with the remaining coconut oil (2 tablespoons) and maple syrup/honey (1 tablespoon.) In a blender or mixer, add nut butter and sea salt and mix until consistent. Spread this layer on top of fudge once it’s solid and freeze or refrigerate another 5-10 minutes. Once pumpkin layer has solidified, add remaining fudge and refrigerate another 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

*option: for a sweeter treat, simply melt chocolate chips and coconut oil for fudge layer. For a less-rich and more “cookie-like” fudge, add almond meal to fudge layer. Recipe adopted from Detoxinista.

Pumpkin Oat Cookies:

cccIngredients:

  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips

Instructions:

Mix or blend all ingredients together, adding chocolate chips last. Scoop spoonfuls of cookie batter onto cookie pan over parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until outside becomes crispy.

One Healthy Breakdown: you’ll be extra thankful for pumpkin this season after tasting these treats!

 

 

Healthy, Happy Gingerbread Men

Once upon a time…

Gingerbread menGingerbread cookies are a holiday staple. Enjoy these little crunchy cookies done right with natural ingredients

Ingredients: (makes about 3 dozen cookies)

  • 3 cups flour (buckwheat, whole wheat, or spelt are good)
  • 3/4 cup baking stevia or succant
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup black-strap molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup organic unsalted butter, soft
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions:

Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl. Mix wet ingredients in separate bowl. Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet ensuring dough is consistent. Feel free to use an electric mixer or food processor on low speed. Once fully mixed, remove dough and divide into two parts. Wrap both in plastic and refrigerate. Preheat oven to 350. After 2-3 hours in fridge, remove dough and roll on a floured cutting board until thin. Use cookie cutters or simply make round cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes (check at 10). Let cookies cool completely before decorating, playing imaginary gingerbread family, or devouring.

One Healthy Breakdown: run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me…

12 Days of Holiday Fun

How about actually enjoying this time we know as ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ spreading cheer instead of fear?! There’s nothing holding us back from keeping calm and embracing the season. Instead of just surviving the holidays, lets slow down, breathe, soak it in, count our blessings, have fun, be silly, make cookies, and spread CHEER this year! Here are 12 ways to keep calm and have a HAPPY holiday season!

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12. Make a shopping list. Put some thought into your gifts and stay organized. Check off as you shop and don’t save it all for last minute! When you’re done shopping, reward yourself with a little something special for yourself. 11. Wear a big, chunky holiday sweater (it doesn’t have to be “ugly,” per se – beauty is in the eye of the beholder…) but it must be too big and super comfy! 10. Make hot chocolate and watch your favorite holiday movie and soak it up. My personal faves include Elf, Love Actually, The Family man, and The Holiday. 9. Did you get your Christmas tree yet?! Blast the tunes and decorate with friends/family! 8. Take a break from it all to focus on you. Get ALL bundled up and take a long winter walk or run. Leave your phone at home and soak up the silence. Enjoy a healthy peppermint smoothie while you’re at it! 7. Open a bottle of wine and throw yourself a gift-wrapping party. 6. Send a card to someone who won’t expect it and will be touched. 5. Make your favorite holiday cookies, from scratch, and share them. Or try a new recipe; TLC Cookies or World Peace Cookies, both of which are made with love. 4. Take a nap (the holidays are exhausting!) english bulldogs dressed up as santa and rudolph 3. Blast your favorite holiday tunes and have a dance party. 2. Family time. Enough said. 1. Have yourself a merry little holiday season. One Healthy Breakdown: we look forward to the holiday season all year. Don’t let the stress distract you from enjoying the most wonderful time of year.

World Peace Cookies

Cookies Fresh Out of the OvenWhat could be better than a cookie recipe entitled “World Peace?” A chocolate cookie recipe titled “World Peace,” that’s what! These cookies are sweet enough for any holiday occasion without going overboard on sugar…the perfectly peaceful combination you can feel good indulging in!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (or half whole wheat flour)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar of choice
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or ¾ cup bittersweet mini chocolate chips

1. Sift flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

2. Working with a stand or handheld mixer in a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, salt and vanilla and beat for two more minutes.

3. Turn off mixer. Pour in dry ingredients and pulse mixer at low speed for a few seconds, about five times. Mix for about 30 seconds more, just until all flour is incorporated. Add chocolate pieces or chips and mix only to incorporate. (Dough should be worked as little as possible for best texture.)

4. Turn dough our onto a work surface, gather together and divide in half. Working with one half at a time, shape dough into logs and 1 ½ inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours (or up to three days).

5. To bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

6. Using a sharp, thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are ½ inch thick. Arrange on the baking sheets, leaving about one inch between them.

7. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes (they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s as they should be). Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let rest until only just warm, then carefully remove the cookies to a rack to cool completely. Store in airtight cookie tin.

One Healthy Breakdown: these cookies are sure to create some peace and quiet in your house this holiday season, enjoy!

Recipe submitted by Emily Herrick, adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours

Indulging in Anke of Anke’s Fit Bakery

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Within minutes of chatting with Anke of Anke’s Fit Bakery, I could tell this woman not only knows her stuff, but was also going to be someone I just want to know. And, I was right. I could chat with Anke all day! I not only learned a ton about baking, healthy eating, and working out, I was enamored by her wit and humor! Anke is definitely someone I’m glad to know, and I know I’m not the only one around here!

Food that tastes good and is good for you? Baked with love by a personal trainer who practices what she preaches? Who happens to be a fun Hamptons local? Like, like, like, a lot. As an athlete, personal trainer, and people-person, with cooking in her blood, Anke was destined to make life’s deepest pleasures healthy. And that she did.

Anke sells her cookies, muffins, granola, breads, crackers, and energy bars, across Long Island and NYC. Don’t be silly, this is not diet food, Anke told me straight up, her cookies are not going to make us all skinny minnies. A cookie is a cookie is a cookie. (Ah, honesty from the chef, how refreshing!) Anke’s cookies may just be a miracle our bodies need, though. There’s a lot to be said for a personal trainer who started baking to incorporate satisfying, healthy sweets into her client’s diets (and it worked.)

Anke’s baked goods use pure, natural, wholesome ingredients combined by the expert to give your body nutrients while simultaneously satisfying our sweet tooth. Anke explained that the difference between her cookies and the common large-chain packaged cookies we can buy at any grocery store (or gas station for that matter) is simply pure ingredients. Anke’s cookies are made with pure oats or spelt flour, both of which our bodies are familiar with. Our bodies know how to digest these foods, they’re nutritious, high in fiber, and low on the glycemic index. In other words, these healthier ingredients digest slowly in our bodies, aka we get long-term energy and satisfaction that lasts. Those processed sweets have tons and tons of added sugar and salt just to cover the taste of other fake ingredients, which is why most people can never just have one cookie or a few potato chips. Processed food covered in more salt and sugar is addicting.

As Anke says, granola bars should have oats, nuts, and sugar. Read the package of your favorite granola bar, the long list of unfamiliar ingredients is shocking enough to turn you off forever. If not, the feeling in your stomach after eating these foods, your body knows you’re not giving it the good stuff. These processed snacks spike our sugar levels, so we’re wired and then we crash. Wholesome ingredients, on the other hand, give us the long-lasting energy we need for our busy lives. It’s simple, as Anke explained, when using real, nutritious ingredients, you can’t go wrong.

After our meeting, I was more than happy to come home to taste test some of Anke’s Fit Cranberry Almond Oat Cookies and Rosemary & Black Olive Flatbread as I prepped dinner. An hour later, I set a home-cooked meal of salmon, rice, broccoli, and brussel sprouts on the table with the flatbread on the side…the flatbread was the hit of the meal! Afterwards, I had to test out the Chocolate Cake (yum!) and the granola…mmmm the granola! These definitely are not diet foods, I can attest to that! And I can also attest to feeling good about eating good ingredients, knowing you’re feeding your body with nutrients and great taste.

Anke’s go-to ingredient? Spelt flour. While spelt flour has been cultivated for centuries, it’s less common than white and wheat flour because it doesn’t mass-produce like wheat; however, a little bit goes a long way. With slightly less calories and slightly more protein than wheat, spelt flour is as pure as pure can be. Anke said that some of her clients with gluten sensitivities do really well with spelt because it’s far less-processed. Even though spelt actually higher in gluten, our bodies know how to digest it. She uses organic maple syrup (yum!) or sucanat to sweeten, as they’re far less processed than other sugars, and, again, our bodies know how to break them down and maximize the benefits.

The woman doesn’t just know about baked goods, she’s all about weight training, experimenting in the kitchen, and listening to the body. A brilliant Anke quote to wrap up: “the cleaner you eat the more your body will tell you what you need.” Meaning, that the more real food you put into your body, your mindfulness and that mind-body connection will strengthen. Anke’s example was when she went through her vegetarian stage, as lots of women do, thinking they’ll be way healthier and lose tons of weight. She said that every few months or so, she would get this intense, unavoidable craving for a burger. She’d call her friends and say “we ARE going to get burgers tonight, I need one.” She’d eat the burger, loving every bite, satisfy her desire, and the craving for red meat would go away for months. If you feed your body real food, you will become more in-tuned to what you really need. It’s amazing to me that this is true. When your body needs nutrients found in certain foods, your taste buds will crave them.

One Healthy Breakdown: Anke’s Fit Bakery combines her two passions: exercise and baking. The perfect ingredients for a good life…Anke and I have lots in common!

Mom’s TLC Oatmeal Cookies

These healthy, hearty cookies are a favorite in my family, my mom always has a batch or two in the freezer to snack on any time of day.  They’re comfort food with good-for-you ingredients.  Enjoy these TLC oatmeal cookies for breakfast, snack, or dessert.  They deliver protein, healthy fat, fiber, and a sweet nutty taste that’s sure to satisfy.  Crumble over yogurt for a chewy granola with a peanut butter twist that’s totally comforting, just like mom’s TLC.

Ingredients (makes 54 cookies):

1/4 cup butter (organic, unsalted is best)
1/4 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
3 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 cup oatmeal (rolled oats)
1 cup sweetener of choice (ie: stevia, xylitol, palm sugar, etc.)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup walnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.  Cream applesauce/butter, sweetener, peanut butter, and eggs in a large bowl until light.  Blend in baking soda, vanilla, and oats until well mixed.  Stir in chocolate chips, raisins, and walnuts.  Place balls of dough on cookie sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes.  Enjoy!

One Healthy Breakdown:  Crunchy, Healthy, Hearty, Chocolatey TLC Goodness!