Cookies for Lactation (and not)

With a toddler and an infant, I’m pretty much in the thick of it over here. Some days are harder than others. Do you know what always helps? Cookies.

Ok, now that I’ve got your attention, this recipe is actually for “lactation cookies” No, these cookies will not make you lactate if you’re not a nursing mama and they are delicious and healthy for anyone. The ingredients, like oats, almonds, and brewers yeast, are known to enhance lactation. They are also super healthy foods for anyone and will give you a nice dose of healthy carbs, protein, fiber, and B vitamins, so don’t knock ’em til you try ’em!

…and if you are a nursing mama, the good news is that you can eat these cookies and feel GOOD about it! Not that you should ever feel bad about treating yourself to a cookie or two, but these ones make you feel like a superwoman because you’re helping to feed and grow a human being, so therefor you ARE a superhero!

Ingredients: (yields approximately one dozen small cookies)

  • 3/4 c oats
  • 1 heaping tablespoon brewers yeast
  • 1 heaping tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup OR honey (option to sub for unsweetened applesauce to avoid added sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4c dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (if you have it, I’ve made them a bunch of times without as well)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • optional: 1/2 mashed banana, 1/4 cup nuts or nut butter of choice, coconut flakes, raisins or other dried fruit

If you’re a baker, you would mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another and then combine. If you’re me, you throw everything in the Vitamix (except chocolate chips) because what new mom has time for that? Roll into balls and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Cook at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Let cool and enjoy.

One Healthy Breakdown: just another excuse to eat cookies!

P.S. apologize to the new moms who I promised this recipe months ago. I have no excuse other than motherhood and I think you get it 😉

Super Green Pancakes

Green pancakes have become baby girl’s favorite breakfast. I was looking for a way to get more veggies into our diet on the mornings when we weren’t in the mood for a smoothie. These hit the spot, so we share a stack of pancakes almost every morning. Greencakes are so simple to whip up, packed with super clean ingredients, and full of healthy nutrients you can feel GREAT about serving every single day! Wonder how long until my babe figures out that not all pancakes are green….shhhhh, don’t let the secret out!

Ingredients: (makes 1 batch – about 6 small pancakes)

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (or flour of choice – I’ve also made with oat, coconut, and quinoa flour)
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • optional: 1-2 scoops collagen peptides, fresh or frozen berries, or even chocolate chips

Blend all ingredients and heat up your large pan. I use my Vitamix to blend, Greenpan’s non-stick pan (the best pans!) and Chosen Food’s coconut or avocado oil spray to ensure there’s no sticking – they come out perfectly that way. Just flip, cook, and top with your favorites – we like grass-fed butter or coconut butter, and sometimes, organic maple syrup for a treat.

One Healthy Breakdown: Hope you and your family enjoys greencakes as much as we do!

Basil Guacamole Dip and Sweet Potato Chips

Since it’s been a hot minute (ok, a loooong while…blame it on my need to soak up every single waking second with baby girl…and the fact that she lets me get very little else done!) since I’ve posted a recipe, the big come back better be double good…and it is!

A creamy, zesty, bbq-friendly but good enough for a dinner party too chips and dip. If you can’t decide between pesto and guacamole, this recipe is going to be your best friend. Not that we’re into labels or anything, but it also happens to be diary and gluten free and vegan too.

The icing on the cake? The perfectly roasted crunchy sweet potato chips so good that they put sweet potato fries to shame. Not that you’re not already salivating, but allow me to also mention the fact that this is super simple and easy to whip up. In fact, I did it before baby girl’s attention span ran out…which is pretty damn quick! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 1 handful arugula
  • 1 small or 1/2 large avocado
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Blend everything together in a high powered blender or food processor (I use a Vitamix) until it’s thick and creamy. That’s it!

For the chips, take 1-2 sweet potatoes (I used one large) and cut into thin round discs. Roast in olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper at 400 degrees until crispy (about 45 minutes at 400 degrees.) Let cool and arrange around your dip.

One Healthy Breakdown: good luck making this one last more than a few minutes!

 

Creamsicle Power Smoothie

Spring is arguably the most promising of seasons, showing signs of growth, vibrance, sunshine, and rejuvenation. Unfortunately, spring also brings about unreliable weather, the peak of allergy season, and those end-of-flu-season germs that have us needing some serious Vitamin C. Ditch the pills and give your immune system a healthy boost with this tasty treat instead!

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange or 2 clementines or 1 grapefruit (peeled)
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop high quality vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk or coconut water
  • 1 handful romaine lettuce (optional)
  • dash of turmeric or small piece of turmeric root (optional)
  • ice cubes (optional)

Add all ingredients to a blender, starting with the liquids. Blend until smooth. Add ice cubes if you wish. Pour into a glass and enjoy, knowing that you’re feeding your body right.

One Healthy Breakdown: real food cures all most!

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?? 😉

Homemade Larabars

I’m always on the hunt for on-the-go bars. Not only should they taste delicious, but the perfect bar must be made of real, whole foods. Larabar gets an A in my book because of their minimal ingredients – real, whole food that we’re all familiar with…which also means that they’re pretty easy to recreate, customize, and they involve no baking whatsoever. Shall we?

Homemade Larabars: (makes 10 bars)

Ingredients:

  • 10 dates
  • 2 generous tablespoons nut butter (peanut, almond, or cashew butter are all great)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of sea salt
  • water as needed
  • totally optional modifications:
    • 1/3 cup oats (for a serving of healthy carbs)
    • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips
    • 2 tablespoons coconut butter or shredded coconut
    • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds (for added protein)
    • 2 tablespoons high quality protein powder (for added protein)
    • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (for picky kids with a serious sweet tooth)
    • replace 1/2 of dates with other dried fruit of choice, like apricots or goji berries
    • 1/4 cup blueberries for blueberry flavor

Add all ingredients (except water) to food processor and mix. If mixture is too dry to stick together, add a teaspoon of water and continue to blend. Once mixture is consistent, transfer to a square pan or glass container and smoothly spread it as evenly as possible. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Remove and cut into square or rectangular bars and remove bars as you wish (ideally with a flat metal spatula.) You can either keep in same container or individually wrap bars for travel. Enjoy a bar as a snack, pre-workout energy boost, or a sweet treat!

One Healthy Breakdown: oh the possibilities with homemade Larabars!

PB & J Sorbet

This super simple sorbet is easy to whip up any time of day for a tasty treat in as little as three ingredients. If you have a little sweet tooth, you’ll love this alternative to ice cream. No dairy, gluten, or added sugar involved. Basically, think of it like a dessert smoothie…but better. Oh, you may have noticed that I’m kinda in love with anything PB & J…if you don’t feel the same way, just omit the nut butter for a classic berry sorbet.

Ingredients: (makes 2 servings)

  • 1 cup frozen berries (I use a mix of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon peanut or almond butter
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon cacoa powder for a slight chocolatey taste
  • Optional: 1/2 cup plain yogurt (Greek for protein, coconut for dairy free)

Simply blend all ingredients together until it’s the consistency of sorbet and enjoy! Feel free to add some toppings, like coconut, chopped nuts, granola, cacoa nibs, etc. for a crunch.

One Healthy Breakdown: if you’ve had a bad day, sweeten it with sorbet!

Paleo Strawberry Beet Bars

What looks like a brownie but has zero grains, dairy, chocolate, or added sugar? Another experiment gone right in the OHH kitchen, Paleo Strawberry Beet Bars, of course! These babies are chock-full of superfoods and taste, so much so that even the littlest critics will enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1-2 cooked beets (I used 2 precooked Love Beets)
  • 2 tablespoons goji beries
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 heaping tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup almond or peanut butter
  • 5 whole figs or dates
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil
  • splash of almond milk (if necessary)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a brownie pan with coconut oil. Combine all ingredients in Vitamix or high-powered blender/food processor. Once mixture is blended, pour into pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Test with a fork or knife to make sure bars are solid, they may need a little bit more time depending on your pan size. Let cool, cut into bars, and enjoy for breakfast, snack, post-workout fuel, or a healthy dessert all week long!

One Healthy Breakdown: these bars are paleo-rific!

One Healthy Gingerbread Recipe

All I have been wanting to eat lately is food that tastes like Christmas…anyone else?! Spices like cinnamon, clove, ginger, and foods like citrus fruits, pomegranates, and cranberries are lighting up my life. Homemade gingerbread, however, is brand new to me…until now!

Growing up, we always had gingerbread in the house this time of year, but I don’t even know what was in it. After looking at several gingerbread recipes online, I decided to create my own version with more spices and less sugar. Just one taste of this healthy homemade gingerbread and I know it will be a new holiday tradition. I love it THAT much and you will too!

The best part is that this gingerbread contains no granular sugar, just honey, maple syrup, and molasses. (To be honest, I don’t even think I own sugar. There’s just no need for it when there are delicious natural substitutions out there.)

It’s also dairy free and can be made gluten-free as well! Let’s get started, shall we?!

One Healthy Gingerbread Recipe:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2  cups healthy flour of choice (I used spelt)
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp grated fresh ginger

Toppings:

  • Pomegranate seeds
  • canned full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients, then mix together. You don’t need a fancy mixer, a regular old fork will do. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and fill the pan with batter, leaving a few inches at the top (this stuff rises!) Bake for 45-50 minutes.

To make the frosting, skim the top half of the coconut milk from the can (be sure not to shake it as to only get the thick paste on top). Add in honey, (or maple syrup if you prefer) vanilla extract, and whip it together. This will make a thicker frosting. If you prefer a thinner frosting to drizzle on the bread instead, you can water it down with the thinner coconut milk from the can (or a little bit of water) use 1-2 tablespoons at a time until you get the right consistency.

Once the bread is cool, frost and top with pomegranate seeds, which are equally nutritious, delicious, and festive. Feel free to get creative and try different toppings, like chopped nuts, red and green sprinkles, crushed candy canes, or cinnamon. Make one loaf to have at home and others as gifts. The perfect Christmas breakfast or healthy dessert this time of year!

One Healthy Breakdown: Happy holidays and happy baking!

*Caroline O’Neill is a year round Hamptons resident and health and wellness lifestyle blogger of Bloom & Spark with a passion for nutrition, yoga, food, spirituality and personal development.

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!