Healthy Banana Chip Bites

My roommate and I have been obsessed with these little things!

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Fortunately for us they are super healthy snacks.

I’ve had bananas for over a week and wouldn’t you know it, they are extremely, extremely ripe. Extremely.

Bananas

I wanted to make banana muffins, but I need something healthy since I’m still doing this weight loss challenge with a group of friends. And I’m always in DIRE need of dessert after dinner, so these things are seriously perfect.

On Monday nights, you can find my roommate, Jess, and I watching The Following on FOX. We’re always munching on something while watching, perhaps the show is so stressful we’re calming ourselves with snacks! Whew, so glad I found a healthy option for watching this show. Every few minutes, I spy Jess going to the kitchen to grab these cookies. She LOVES them. She takes them to work and tries to hide them at her desk so she can save it for an afternoon snack, but I think that plan always fails.

4 ingredients & 3 steps. No sugar. No flour. Done in 15 minutes. Here we go!

Healthy Banana Chip Bites
makes 20 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1.5 tablespoons of chia

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Mash up the ripe bananas in a bowl. Add oats, chocolate chips, and chia. Mix it all together until well blended.
3. Drop in tablespoons of mix on a cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes.

Can these be any easier? The sweetness comes primarily from the bananas. The chocolate chips are optional but also gives the cookie some sweetness. I love the crunch of the chia too! If you’re really craving something sweet, add some honey to the cookie.

Mix

Done

Bite-sized

What do you think? Is this something you can try?

With age comes eating healthier right? What are some of your favorite healthy, homemade snacks?

Muncha buncha cruncha muncha (this song is always stuck in my head),
Jay
—-
Adapted from Skinny Taste

  

Beet Juice

I’m proud to say I’m still juicing! Ever since I’ve taken my oath to be a bit healthier back in September, I’ve actually been trying to drink a glass of fresh juice a day. I can’t honestly say that I’ve felt a huge surge of energy or a difference in weight since I started juicing, but it definitely helps cleanse my system, if you know what I mean *wink*. That must be a good thing right?

I find cleaning the juicer machine to be such a pain. So instead of juicing every day, I actually make enough for four glasses. One glass for myself, another for my husband. Store two other ones in mason jars and leave them in the fridge for the next day. That way I have to clean the juicer every other day. Pretty genius, if I do say so myself.

We have so much leftover pulp that I’m trying to figure out whether or not I should start composting. We live in a town home with a patio but no backyard. Composting seems a bit silly to do since we don’t need fresh soil. But it would be an environmentally friendly way to dispose of waste. City folk, any tips?

Here’s another great juice recipe that I’ve put together – beet juice. Costco has some cooked organic beets in the fridge section. Go take a gander!

Beet Juice

Ingredients: 3 beets, 4 carrots, 1 cucumber, 2 apples, half a head of romaine lettuce, 2 kale leaves, 4 celery stalks

So delicious and nutritious!

Do you know of another great beet juice recipe? Please share!

Cheers to your health,
Jay

  

Avocado/Spinach Smoothie Recipe

Remember when I told you MG and I were eating healthier (post here)? We’re still eating healthy! Obviously, there are splurge meals in between, but we are still juicing every day and drinking it with Chia.

One of my favorite parts about juicing is making up recipes as I go. A little bit of kale, a little bit of spinach, maybe some carrots, and an apple. Voilà! Delicious juice! Next one might be beets, oranges, celery, and carrots. Then, another juice could be a handful of cilantro, carrots, apples, chard, and half a lemon. I think you get the point!

I’ve recently discovered a really delicious smoothie, and I want to share it with you. It’s my avocado/spinach smoothie! For this recipe, you’ll need a blender or a Magic Bullet.

Avocado/Spinach Smoothie

Ingredients (makes 2 servings):

  • 1 avocado
  • Handful of spinach
  • 2 apples (freshly juiced or you can add 1 cup of concentrated apple juice)
  • Chia seeds (optional)

Directions:  Blend avocado and spinach together. Add apple juice. Now add enough water until your desired consistency, and lastly, mix in a tablespoon of Chia seeds. Sip away!

Avocado/Spinach Smoothie

It’s such an easy and quick breakfast meal. Go on and give it a try. Let me know how you like it!

Is this something you’re interested in making? Do you have a go-to smoothie recipe you can share with us?

Drink away,
Jay

  

A Different Kind of Slider & Fries

MG and I are still going strong on our healthy eating (healthier living post), granted it’s only been a week. We are loving the foods that we consume, and the best part is that we don’t hate ourselves after a meal. Speaking of meals, I have created a variation of your typical slider and fries, Quinoa Sliders and Eggplant Fries with a Side of Garlic Aioli. It sounds a bit crazy, I know. But it’s scrumptious! Here’s the recipe for the quinoa patties:

Quinoa patties
Quinoa from my Trade as One subscription!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of quinoa
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 can of black beans (rinse, drained, and mashed with a fork)
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  • Half and onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of hot sauce
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • Olive oil for cooking

Quinoa patties cooking

Directions:
1. Boil the quinoa and chicken broth in a pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer until the broth has been absorbed and the quinoa is as tender (about 15 minutes). If you want the quinoa to be more tender, add some more broth and continue to cook until broth is absorbed.
2. Mix the cooked quinoa, mashed black beans, egg, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, salt, hot sauce, and cumin together. I like to use my hands!
3. Form patties by scooping up the mixture in a 1/4 measuring cup.
4. Heat up the olive oil in a large skillet, and place the patties onto the pan. Squish the patties with your fingers just a bit to thin them out.
5. Cook the patties thoroughly (about 2.5 minutes on each side).

Quinoa sliders!

With the quinoa patties, I made sliders by using sweet Hawaiian Bread. The sliders are low-carb because I’m using half of the bread roll. Spread mayo, ketchup, and mustard on the bun, add some spinach then the patty, and finally sprinkle some cheese on top. Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm!

Of course with sliders, you have to have fries! I came across a recipe for eggplant fries, and I had an eggplant laying around. How perfect is that? I tweaked the original recipe a bit because I only had dried herbs. These things are so good, I want to make them for snacking!

Eggplant Fries

Ingredients for eggplant fries:

  • Medium-sized eggplant
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for frying

Garlic aioli (1/2 cup): Mix all ingredients below and chill for 30 minutes before serving.

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions for eggplant fries:
1. Peel eggplant and slice it into sticks. Salt the eggplant sticks generously and let them sit for about 30 minutes. This osmosis process helps take out the bitterness of eggplants. Afterwards, rinse the eggplant with cold water and dry them with a paper towel.
2. Combine the flour and all the seasonings.
3. Then cover each eggplant stick with the flour mixture.
4. Heat oil over medium heat in a deep pot, and fry the eggplant in small batches until golden (about 2 minutes).
5. Remove the sticks from the oil, and place them onto a paper towel. Sprinkle with some pepper, and serve hot with garlic aioli.

If you make this for a dinner party, I bet you they will be surprised that it’s so healthy! I know my guests were!

Enjoy your meal,
Jay
—–
Original eggplant fries recipe
Original aioli recipe

  

Healthier Living

Produce

After the retreat (retreat post here), MG and I felt like we needed to change our eating habits. Why after retreat? Probably because we scarfed down sandwiches, extra bowls of soup, ramen, popcorn, and other junk food like it’s no one’s business because we felt deprived of our snacks at home. We weighed ourselves after the weekend, and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

A friend of ours has changed his own life to consume more raw foods (he dropped weight and looks awesome). What spurred his change were food documentaries like Hungry for Change, Food Matters, and Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead. MG and I decided to check these films out, and it’s turned our worlds upside down. Now we are trying to eat healthier and add more fruits and veggies into our diets.

Just a few facts from the documentaries:

1. When you stress, your body automatically goes into “famine mode.” As a result, you continually crave food and your body goes into survival mode even though a famine will never actually happen. It always wants more and more. That’s the main reason why many people overeat.
2. You don’t necessarily need to eat less and diet. Instead add healthier foods to your daily intake right now. Eventually you’ll feel so good about yourself and your body becomes nourished that you’ll snack less on unhealthy foods. Ultimately, you’ll push away most of the “bad” foods. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.
3. A person needs to consume 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables per day (more veggies because fruits have high sugar levels). This means approximately 20lbs of fruits and vegetables a week per person.
4. It’s pretty difficult to eat the suggested fruits and vegetable servings, which is why juicing has recently become so popular. I can easily juice 5lbs in a day and drink it in the morning. Buy organic so that you do not have a high intake of pesticides.
5. Aloe Vera and Chia seeds help detox your body and clean out your intestines. Add these to your drinks for detoxification.

I really encourage you to check out these documentaries to help kickstart a healthier lifestyle.

Invest in a good juicer. Some are cheaply made, which won’t last long. Some are difficult to clean. And some do not extract juice well so you’re throwing money away when there are still good nutrients left.

Juicer
I own the Breville juicer from Macy’s, and it does a great job extracting all the juice. There are some other great selections at Macy’s, but I really like the Breville brand.

If you’re going to juice, here are some suggested produce to purchase that will last you the full week (based on one glass of juice a day).

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 2 heads of kale
  • 4 cucumbers
  • 6 apples
  • 2 lemons
  • 5lb bag of carrots
  • Celery
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro

Few tips: Cucumbers and apples provide a lot of juice. Apples and carrots help sweeten juice. Lemons help take some of that “raw vegetable” taste away. Kale is rich in antioxidants. Lastly, parsley and cilantro help with body odor.

Chia seeds can be added to your juice for extra health benefits. The seeds provide a range of advantages: high in omega-3 fats, calcium, fiber, manganese, phosphorus, and protein, and chia helps stabilize blood pressure. Once you soak them into liquids, they become slimy and gooey. Makes for a fun drink, more importantly, you’ll have amazing poos! For all you pet parents, chia seeds can also be given to your pet children. I’ve been adding 1/4 teaspoon of chia seeds to water and mixing it until it forms a gel. Then I add it into Chubs’ dry food. Since chia has no taste or smell, it is not invasive, and kitty eats it all up.

Chia seeds

Here are delicious and fun recipes that you can try. Maybe this will get you excited to eat healthier.

Strawberries

Strawberry Chia Jam
Makes 5 servings, lasts up to 7 days (more like 2 since it’s so delicious)

What you need:
1.5 cup of ripe strawberries, chopped into small pieces
1/8 cup agave nectar
1/8 cup chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Combine the strawberries and agave into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until berries soften (about 5 minutes). Then smoosh up the berries.
2. Add chia seeds to the mixture and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring often. Mixture will thicken to a jam.
3. Remove from heat and mix in the vanilla extract.

Strawberry Chia Jam

Strawberry chia jam on crackers
So yummy with some multigrain crackers!

Here’s a juice recipe (it’s sweet!):

Sweet Green Juice
3 full glasses

What you need:
6 kale leaves
3 carrots
2 apples
1 pear (can be substituted with an apple)
1 cucumber
4 ribs of celery
Handful of spinach
Handful of cilantro
1/4 of lemon

Directions:
1. Juice all ingredients except for lemon.
2. Hand squeeze lemon juice into the mixture (don’t juice the lemon because the rind and white spongey layer, called the pith, are bitter).
3. Add chia seeds and mix them into the juice.
4. Pour and enjoy!

Juice

Juice with chia
Crazy green color right?

Here’s a 5-minute breakfast you can try. It doesn’t look like a lot of food, but I guarantee you’ll be full.

Breakfast

5-minute breakfast of champions!
Cut half a grapefruit, cut half a pear, and half an avocado. Stuff some cooked chorizo into the avocado to use as flavoring. Pair with a glass of sweet green juice. Yum, yum, yum! The chorizo avocado is so good, I want it for the next 3 meals.

My body feels more energized based on the past three days. I’m trying to eat like this for at least a month. Keep me accountable!

Have I enticed you yet? What are your thoughts about juicing, organics, and ooey, gooey chia seeds? Which recipe are you excited to try?

Happy (healthy) eating, Jay