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Monthly Archives: October 2015

  • Chewy Vegan Granola Bars

    Vegan Granola Bars 3

    You know that pregnancy craving you get sometimes after lunch, when you want a little something? Something sweet and satisfying, but not too heavy or super-filling? One of these bars is the perfect little something to satisfy cravings until dinner time.

    This recipe makes a huge batch (about 20-24 bars) so keep them in your refrigerator as a grab-n-go snack. No artificial flavors, sweeteners, preservatives.

    It’s important during your to make sure you are sufficiently fueled throughout the day to prevent overeating later. If you find that you consistently overeat during dinner or get the munchies at night, you may need to bump up your caloric intake earlier in the day. This means having a more hearty breakfast and lunch and adding in healthy snacks between meals so that you don’t come to a meal feeling ravenous.

    Vegan Granola Bars 1Choose snacks that sustain energy and digest slower, like whole grains and food with naturally occurring sugar. This is particularly important during pregnancy as many expecting moms are prone to gestational diabetes and are more sensitive to sugar in their diets.

    If you find that you are feeling starved when you sit down for a meal, try to eat slowly and mindfully. Eating slowly is not easy when you are super hungry and super pregnant! Some ways to make this easier is to take smaller bites - smaller than you might think. Also try putting down your fork or spoon in between bites.

    These bars certainly meet the criteria for an A+ snack. Here’s a rundown of the main elements:

    Dates: Filled with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and natural sugars (glucose and fructose) to give quick energy. One date alone has almost 2 grams of fiber, which promotes healthy digestion.

    Oats: Rich in minerals, B-complex vitamins, and amino acids to help your baby develop and stay healthy. This grain is slow-digesting, meaning it will keep you satisfied longer.

    Figs: Lots of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients. One serving of figs contain about 50 times more polyphenol (a micronutrient used to fight cancer and other degenerative diseases).

    Bananas: We all know about the potassium, but bananas also contain good amounts of vitamin B-6, fiber, vitamin C, and magnesium. Bananas also contain high amounts of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin and helps to improve mood.

    Ingredients: (makes about 20 bars)

    3 cups oatmeal

    2 cup puffed cereal (I used puffed kamut)

    ½  cup chopped almonds

    ½ teaspoon cinnamon

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    1 tablespoon sesame seeds

    1 tablespoons poppy seeds

    1 cup medjool dates

    1 cup dried figs

    1/2 cup almond butter

    3 overripe bananas

    1 tablespoon vanilla extract

    Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

    Put all wet ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.

    Fold the wet and dry mixes together until there are no dry spots.

    Press dough into 9 x 13 inch pan lined with parchment. Bake at 250 F for 50 minutes. Carefully flip bars onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 F until edges are golden (about 20-30 minutes). You can experiment with a higher temperature from the beginning, but this is just what I used. Cut into desired size and wrap in foil or parchment paper and store in the refrigerator.

    Vegan Granola Bars 4Enjoy mindfully with tea or almond milk, or just by itself.

    Note: Experiment with different ratios and varieties of dried fruit, nuts, nut butter, and seeds. Customize it to what YOU like. Eating healthy is all about nourishing your body with foods that make YOU feel good.

     

     

     

    All Original Content. Copyright Athena Byers 2015, All Rights Reserved.

     

     

     

  • Vegan Mac & Cheeze - Good and Good for you!

    Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you can't indulge in some yummy comfort food! In fact carbs might be the only thing your body likes or craves in those early months of pregnancy! This Mac 'n Cheeze recipe is one you can enjoy guilt free as it's healthy, vegan and delicious! Make it ahead and have go to meals for days to come!mac and cheese 2

     

    Vegan Mac ‘n Cheeze (serves 4-6)

    10 ounces pasta

    1 cup peeled and diced potatoes

    ¼ cup peeled/diced carrots

    ⅓ cup chopped onion

    ¾ cup water (use liquid from pot of boiled veggies)

    ½ cup raw cashews soaked for at least 3 hours, or overnight

    ¼ cup almond milk

    3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    Salt to taste

    1 teaspoon miso

    ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

    ¼ teaspoon turmeric

    ¼-½  teaspoon smoked paprika

    Bring a pot of water to boil and add in the onions, potatoes, carrots. Boil for 10-15 minutes, or until soft.

    Rinse the soaked cashews with cold water. Set aside.

    Add all ingredients, including the boiled vegetables, to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth.

    Nutrition Facts (per ½ cup scoop)

    calories: 192

    fat: 4 grams

    protein: 5 grams

    mac and cheese 3

    During pregnancy, comforting food can be especially comforting. Many women crave comfort foods - dishes that can be overloaded lots of salt and fat. This classic, comforting macaroni and “cheeze” satisfies cravings and nourishes you and your baby. Made with cashews, veggies, and almond milk instead of cream or milk, it is definitely a smart and healthy choice. Instead of feeling heavy or sick, you will know that you have done your body (and your baby’s!) good.

    Miso is traditionally made from fermented soybeans, making it a better choice than regular salt. This is because fermented foods provide good bacteria to your gut flora. This strengthens our immune and digestive systems and introduce healthy bacteria to your baby a young age. Fermented foods also contain amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.

    Not only is nutritional yeast used to get a great cheesy flavor, it is fortified with Vitamin B12, a nutrient essential for proper brain growth and function. It also helps with the formation of blood. Smoked paprika is another ingredient that helps give this sauce a deep umami flavor. Turmeric acts as a natural food coloring to create a golden color that everyone (especially kids) will love.

    Cashews are another superfood in this delish dish! One ounce of these contains:

    23% of your daily recommended amount of manganese

    31% of your daily recommended amount of copper

    20% of your daily recommended amount of magnesium

    One ounce of milk only contains:

    0% of your daily recommended amount of manganese

    1% of your daily recommended amount of copper

    7% of your daily recommended amount of magnesium

    Making this dish with cashews and almond milk eliminates the need for using dairy milk. Dairy products have been advertised as healthy and essential for decades. Walter Willett, MD, PhD, professor of epidemiology and head of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health reported that, “One of the main arguments for USDA recommendations is that drinking milk or equivalent dairy products will reduce the risk of fractures. But in fact there’s very little evidence that milk consumption is associated with reduced fractures.” The pros of dairy are that it contains calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D. However, these nutrients are abundant in plant sources like leafy greens, fruit, vegetables, and nuts.

    mac and cheese

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