Though holiday traditions are many and diverse, having an abundance of sweets seems to be part of everyone's holiday celebrations. One in particular that many Americans partake in is the cutting out, baking and decorating of sugar cookies. If you love this tradition but are looking for a healthier cookie, try this high-fiber, whole-grain cut-out recipe. It uses chopped oats and whole-wheat pastry flour, and ground flaxseed mixed with water serves as an excellent egg substitute and fiber boost. It's sure to be just as tasty as the rest!
Whole grain cut-out cookie recipe
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup oats, finely chopped
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Mix the ground flaxseed with the water and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. It should be an egg-like texture.
- Pulse the oats in a food processor until they are finely chopped but not powdered.
- Beat the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, and then add the egg substitute and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Wrap the dough in wax paper or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease or line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Spread flour on a clean countertop and remove a small portion of dough, patting it with flour and then rolling it out until it's about 1/4-inch thick.
- Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
- Bake the cookies for eight to 10 minutes, checking occasionally.
- Let them cool before decorating with colored frosting and holiday sprinkles.
These cookies will have a slightly nutty flavor. Though they have less sugar than traditional cut-out sugar cookies, the icing will add enough sweetness to make them perfectly tasty.
Chocolate and peanut butter are a delicious pair, but so are chocolate and banana. And let's not forget the perfect melding of flavors that comes from a peanut butter and banana sandwich. But what if we put them all together? Turns out, it's an awesome trifecta of deliciousness. If you like a little sweet, a little salty and a lot of protein, we've got a recipe for you, and it's vegan to boot!
Vegan chocolate peanut butter banana protein shake
- 1 scoop of VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake chocolate protein powder
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter, chunky or smooth
- 1 cup vanilla almond or soy milk
- 5 - 6 ice cubes
Add all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender and mix them well. You can also vary the recipe, substituting the banana for another fruit that pears well with peanut butter and chocolate, like strawberries or raspberries, or leave out the peanut butter in favor of these fruits. To make your smoothie even more chocolatey, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. Or, if you don't care much for chocolate, try VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake in protein powder in vanilla.
The spicy and sweet mixture of spices known as chai has long been used in places like India, Bhutan and Myanmar. The spices – generally a mixture of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and sometimes pepper – are steeped together with black tea, milk and a sweetener to make a strong, warming beverage that tastes like autumn in a cup. The awesome flavors of chai have caught on in the U.S. in recent years, most notably in pumpkin-spiced tea and coffee drinks.
But you can also add a spicy kick to your morning breakfast with Naturade's VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake in Chai, which is a meal replacement protein shake that will get you going in the morning. Combine it with milk, water, soy milk or another beverage and add raw oatmeal, which is great for your health because it provides fiber, is rich in vitamins and is a good source of prebiotics. Add some bananas or pumpkin to make it sweet. Here's the recipe:
- 1 1/2 cups of soy milk
- 1/2 cup of rolled oats
- 1 scoop of VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake in Chai
- 1 frozen banana
Put all of the ingredients in the blender and enjoy!
The journey of 70.3 miles begins with a single sip… Ha!
So, I’ve got a LOAD of training ahead of me. I mean, I’ve just finished my 2013 season by meeting my first ever fitness goal of completing the Gulf Coast Half Marathon Series. Three 13.1′s along the Gulf of Mexico. That was awesome, and something that 1 year ago, I thought impossible.Now it’s time to up the ante.
In a year, I have to finish the Ironman Austin 70.3 triathlon. My first order of business is to tackle the races I did last year, but this time, with authority. So, that means I have to start my training season. Focus on hill training, heart rate training, bike training, and (my worst discipline) the swim. The good news? Post workout smoothies.
My favorite isn’t far from my go-to breakfast smoothie.
- 2 scoops of Naturade VeganSmart vanilla
- 1 spoon peanut butter
- 1 banana
- Handful of frozen berries
That’s it. It’s smoother than my breakfast smoothie and can get straight to work rebuilding my body. Plus, it’s a delicious treat that I feel like I’ve earned! So, drink up! You deserve it.
If you're a full-breakfast kind of person but you just don't have time to whip up omelets, French toast, cinnamon-apple oatmeal and fresh-squeezed orange juice on weekday mornings, you'll have to settle for something simpler but still filling. So, consider whipping up a banana-orange high protein breakfast shake. It actually tastes like a cozy, slow-rising morning and, as a meal replacement, it is filled with enough protein to last you well into lunchtime. Start your morning off right with this recipe:
- 1 scoop of Naturade Total Soy All-Natural Powder in French Vanilla
- 1 whole banana, mashed
- 16 ounces of fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
Pour all of the ingredients into a hand blender and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Serve with a slice of orange. If you have some extra time and a blender handy, turn the shake into a smoothie with six to eight ice cubes. You can even blend in some oatmeal for a serving of excellent heart-healthy grains, or some spinach for a kick of iron and other antioxidants.
Halloween is upon us, and that means candy galore. But if you're health-conscious and have a major sweet tooth, you can feel conflicted about the ingredients on the back of the candy bar – if you can't pronounce it, can it really be safe to eat? But why not treat yourself to some homemade candy? Since you make it, you'll know exactly what goes in it! Try these sumptuous homemade vegan candy bars for a healthier treat:
Vegan chocolate, almond and coconut candy bars
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons maple or agave syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 pinch salt
- 20 – 24 roasted, unsalted almonds
- 6 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
Put all ingredients, except for almonds and chocolate, into an s-blade food processor until they stick together. Shape the filling into 10 to 12 rectangles, place them on wax paper-lined baking pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate, whisking in a bit of sea salt if you'd like. Then, press two almonds into each bar before dipping it into the chocolate. Refrigerate the bars for 20 more minutes, and then dip them again, giving them a double-coating of chocolate. Refrigerate one last time for 20 to 30 minutes and serve!
It's good practice to consume protein within an hour of working out to help your muscles repair themselves, especially after lifting heavy weights. But during flu season, it's also important to give yourself an immunity boost. While moderate exercise is typically very good for the immune system, going to a gym is not – think of all the germs just floating around on the machines and free weights! And it's nearly impossible to avoid touching your mouth, face or eyes while working out, so you could potentially transfer these germs into your system. Thus, add a boost of immune-supporting colostrum to your post-workout protein shake with this great recipe:
Immune-boosting post-workout recovery shake
- 1/2 cup non-fat milk
- 1 cup Greek yogurt, plain
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1 teaspoon Symbiotics Colostrum Plus Powder
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 1 teaspoon honey
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a scoop of Naturade Pea Protein if you want an extra kick of protein in your shake, and use other ingredients like berries, which are packed with powerful antioxidants to complement the colostrum. Flax seed is great because it has omega-3s and protein, but you can also try chia seeds.
Football is a very American sport. In fact, in other parts of the world, it's called "American football" to distinguish it from the football played with the feet – also known as soccer. The celebration of a truly American sport brings up other ideas of other things developed or well-appreciated by folk in the good ol' U-S-of-A, like apple pie, John Deere, Route 66 and Jazz music. Since none of these are really good for tailgating, let's go with potato salad. Every good American party needs a tasty potato salad, and this one happens to be both vegan and delicious:
Vegan potato salad
Ingredients (for 10 to 12 servings)
- 12 medium potatoes
- 1 cup eggless mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup yellow mustard
- 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the potatoes in cubes before boiling them – the smaller the cubes, the quicker they will be done. Drain them and let them cool before mixing them with all of the other ingredients in a bowl. Season with paprika, salt and pepper, and refrigerate until tailgating time!
If you're a super loyal football fan, there's not much that can keep you from a game – you're just like the postman: "Wind, snow, sleet or hail." But if you're tailgating outside in frigid temperatures – enjoying yourself, no doubt – you need something hot and hearty to keep you warm. So whether you're a vegetarian, just looking to curb your meat addiction or trying to add some variety into the tailgating fare, here's an awesome vegan chili recipe that everyone will love:
Easy celebration chili
Ingredients (for eight servings):
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1-2 jalapeños, chopped
- 16-ounce can of black beans
- 16-ounce can of pinto beans
- 16-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds (for thickening)
- Chili powder to taste
- Salt to taste
If you're in the mood for something hearty, whip up this quick and easy vegan chili in no time. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large pot until the onions become soft – about five minutes. Add the peppers to the mix and saute for a few more minutes. Then mix in the tomatoes, black beans, chia seeds and chili powder, simmering it for 30 minutes. Salt to taste and serve with vegan sour cream and cheese.
Football season is in full swing, and if you're a fan, you're probably doing some serious tailgating, either at home or at a game. But tailgating doesn't have to be all about the chicken wings, brats and burgers! In fact, there are plenty of meatless options that are excellent pre-game snacks. What's wrong with eating veggies at a football-viewing party? Here's an excellent, quick and mess-free recipe that is both healthy and delicious for your next tailgating party:
Caprese salad skewers
- Grape or cherry tomatoes
- Mini fresh mozzarella balls
- Fresh basil leaves
- Balsamic vinegar
- Toothpicks or plastic party picks
These are so easy and quick to make! First, cut your tomatoes in half width-wise so they will have a flat surface to sit on. Skewer a tomato, flat side down, followed by a basil leaf and a mini mozzarella ball. Set each skewer on a sheet or serving plate with wax paper. When you're done, drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top of them, et voilà!
Get creative and serve up other vegetarian creations on skewers for a no-mess, delicious pre-game snack.