Chocolate Covered Fruit Pops

On Saturday we celebrated the soon-to-be motherhood of one of my best friends. In preparation for the 53 confirmed guests, we got started cooking on Friday night and basically didn’t stop until 3 PM the next day (my feet were killing me from the kitchen tile)! With six pairs of hands we managed to pull of decorations, goodie bags, and 17 menu items! So expect a few finger-food posts this week.

These fruit pops were a total party hit! I saw them go by on Pinterest (where would we be without it) and thought they’d be a fun little treat for the guests. Plus the fruit and dark chocolate has got to make them kind of healthy… right? I’m actually thinking of making a chocolate-free version as an everyday frozen treat.

They’re really easy to make, but do require about an hour with all the fruit chopping, chocolate melting and pop freezing.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 bananas, each cut into 12 pieces
  • 12 medium strawberries, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 pineapple, cut into 24 bite-size pieces
  • 150 g dark chocolate
  • 2 tsp coconut oil, though any oil will work
  • 24 toothpicks
  • 2 tbsp each flaked coconut and chopped almonds for topping

DIRECTIONS

  • Skewer a piece of strawberry (on top), banana and pineapple (on bottom) onto each toothpick.
  • Arrange all pops on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for at least 30 minutes. I had left them over night to break up prep time for these.
  • Melt chocolate with coconut oil using a double boiler. You can also do this in the microwave, but use short 20 second burst to avoid burning the chocolate.
  • Remove pops from freezer and dip half of each piece in chocolate, press in topping (coconut or almond separately, or both together!) and return to baking sheet, standing them up on their side.
  • Return tray to freezer. Remove 5 minutes before serving to let soften and then enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 24 pops.

Per pop (not including toppings): 50 calories, 8 g carbs, 2 g fat, <1 g protein, 1 g fibre

 

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Fruity Fibre Optics

Post run, this smoothie was a great way to tie us over until we finished making dinner, which turned out to be shredded wheat, berries and soy milk… Figured we’d treat ourselves for the sweat. Actually, we just got lazy after preparing our yogurt snacks and lunches (chicken, broccoli, sweet potato, quinoa and white cheddar) for work today.

Packed with tons of fruit (and therefore mega antioxidants and fibre), with a touch of undetectable spinach for an iron boost, it was so sweetly delicious you could probably have it for dessert. The banana and Greek yogurt really give it the perfect level of creaminess to leave you satisfied.

Fruity Fibre Optics is what Dave would call this creation if he owned a smoothie stand.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups frozen mixed fruit
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple
  • 100 g nonfat Greek yogurt

DIRECTIONS

  • Throw it all in a blender and let er rip!

I have a Vitamix, like they have at Booster Juice or any commercial smoothie joint, that works like a charm. They aren’t exactly cheap, but do come with a 7-year warranty and grind through frozen fruit, ice, avocado pits, flax seeds, etc. like nothing else. I highly recommend this machine for anyone serious about smoothies.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 270 calories, 57 g carbs, 1 g fat, 12 g protein, 12 g fibre

THE BEST BREAKFAST: Steel Cut Oats and a Side of Egg Whites

I can’t tell you how excited I am to make this post! This recipe is held very dear to me as it’s what Dave and I eat without fail every morning for breakfast.

I often hear people say they just don’t have time to do a hot breakfast in the morning, but the trick is to make everything the night before so that breakfast makes itself while you get ready for the day with literally a flick of a switch and a couple of stirs.

With such little hassle there’s no reason not to take advantage of a hot and healthy breakfast. A big bowl of oats is such a comforting way to start off your day (we all deserve a little spoiling) and with all that water, fibre and protein pumping through you, you’re sure to stay full well into late morning. Oatmeal (plain instant or large flake) itself is a super healthy breakfast option as a whole grain packed with heart-helping fibre, but I find the steel cut variety, being the least processed of them all, also offers a thick, hearty, chewy texture that’s truly hard to beat.

And what’s a bowl of oats without a super sidekick of protein!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 granny smith apple, chopped
  • 1 very ripe banana, sliced
  • 3/4 cup blueberries (I keep a bag of frozen on-hand at all times)
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 plain low fat yogurt
  • 3/4 cup (366 g) egg whites

DIRECTIONS

  • Assemble all ingredients but yogurt and egg whites, in a medium pot, mix well, cover and let soak over night. The soaking isn’t necessary, but it sure beats chopping and measuring in the early morning!)
  • Pour egg whites into a microwave-safe dish. Store in fridge over night.
  • First thing when you wake up in the morning, take egg whites from fridge and place into microwave.
  • Stir oats and cook at temperature 3 (low-medium). Go hop in the shower and get ready for the day!
  • Stir once after 30 minutes and let cook for 1o more minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low to keep warm until you’re ready to serve.
  • Microwave eggs on high for 4-5 minutes, depending on your microwave.
  • Use a fork to release egg from edges of dish. Turn dish upside down onto plate and divide into servings.
  • Crack a whole lot of pepper on the eggs for flavour, or explore your spice cupboard.
  • Place oats in serving dishes and top with yogurt.
  • Serve and enjoy the best way to start the day!

 

 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings (of which Dave eats 3!).

Oats & Yogurt

Per serving: 249 calories, 47 g carbs (11 g sugars), 3 g fat, 7 g protein, 8 g fibre

Egg Whites

Per serving:  43 calories, 10 g protein and that’s it!

Banana Apple Pumpkin Muffins

Part 2 of making brinner was baking these muffins. The girls just raved at how flavourful and moist they came out and gluten&eggyolk-free Sophia was even able to enjoy them.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/4 cup large flake oats
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon stevia powder
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 ripe medium banana, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 green apple, chopped
  • 2 tbsp orange zest (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  • Grind oats into a flour in a food processor.
  • Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Mix all wet ingredients, expect for chopped apple and orange zest, in a medium bowl.
  • Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and stir until moist. Fold in apples.
  • Distribute batter into 12 silicone muffin cups or muffin tin. Sprinkle with orange zest.
  • Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 12 servings.

Per serving: 143 calories, 22 g carbs, 10 g sugar, 6 g fat, 4 g protein, 3 g fibre