At some point during America's obsession with Nutella in the past five years, "healthy" became a term loosely associated with the famous cocoa and hazelnut spread. Perhaps this was an attempted justification that was created for warranting extreme usage of the delicious paste. However, the trend of putting Nutella on every slice of toast you consume falls far from healthy.
In 2012, a class action lawsuit was successfully held up in court that ordered Nutella to pay $3 million in a settlement due to a lawsuit filed by a Californian mother on behalf of people who felt they were purposely misinformed about the health benefits of the product from the company. Yes, apparently people were extremely serious enough about their Nutella to eventually resort to the judicial system rewarding them for their nutritional ignorance.
Many were surprised to find out that Nutella actually carried more than 100 calories, 6 grams of fat and 11 grams of sugar in 1 tablespoon. However, there are plenty of variations of the spread available that won't sacrifice that creamy delicious goodness while also boosting more nutritious qualities. Here is a vegan friendly recipe for Nutella lovers who are actually conscious of their health:
You will need the following ingredients:
- 200 grams of organic tofu
- 2 cups of dates
- 1 cup of hazelnuts
- 2 teaspoons of imitation vanilla extract
- 2 scoops of VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake Chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spread out the hazelnuts on a baking sheet. Toast the hazelnuts in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes for ultimate perfection, then let them cool off and scrape the skin off of the nuts once at room temperature.
Next, using a food processor or a high-speed blender, crush the hazelnuts together until they have become smooth throughout. Add in the rest of the ingredients, and sprinkle a few scoops of the VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake Chocolate to give it an extra boost of protein, antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. You can also incorporate a few splashes of dairy-free milk to add to the thickness.
After everything has blended in together, enjoy your homemade vegan version of Nutella!
If you’re tired of winter’s chill and the number it’s done on your health, we have a solution for you. No, we can’t change the weather or take you on a trip to Maui, but we can suggest a way to bring the tropics into your life! Perhaps a mango passion fruit smoothie will do the trick? Mangos are pretty easy to find in most grocery stores – either fresh or frozen – but it can be difficult to find fresh passion fruit. The best place to look is your local Asian grocery stores, which typically have a pretty excellent variety of tropical fruits.
Mango passion fruit protein smoothie
- 1 cup cubed mango
- 4 halved passion fruits
- 1 cup crushed ice
- 1/4 cup coconut water
- 1 scoop VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake, vanilla
This recipe is pretty simple – scoop out the flesh of the passion fruits and add it to the mango, crushed ice, coconut water and protein powder. Blend until smooth, pour into a tall glass, garnish with a bright little paper umbrella and enjoy your high-protein smoothie bursting with tropical flavors!
Just because you're vegan doesn't mean you can't enjoy a creamy, protein-packed smoothie! In fact, there are many excellent soy yogurts on the market, and for an extra punch of protein, you can use VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake protein powder, which contains five non-GMO plant-based protein sources, is dairy-free and has a complete essential amino acid profile. Pair the below vegan smoothie with sweet and tart cherries, soy yogurt and VeganSmart for a delicious protein- and fiber-packed way to start your day. Here's the recipe:
Cherry soy vegan smoothie
- 8 oz. plain soy yogurt
- 1/2 cup frozen sweet black cherries
- 1 scoop VeganSmart vanilla protein powder
- 1/4 cup soy or almond milk
Pulse all ingredients in a blender and serve! If you cannot find frozen black cherries, carefully pit your own fresh ones or use 100 percent cherry juice instead. You can also experiment with this recipe by adding ice to give it a more "slushie" feel, or making it creamier with firm silken tofu. Another option is to add a banana or other fruit, which is a good idea if the cherries are very tart.
Sometimes, it's just one of those mornings where you need cake for breakfast. But do yourself a favor and choose one of the healthiest cakes – carrot cake – and with a little innovation and some protein powder, you can turn it into a high-protein, pretty healthy breakfast in pancake form!
Have your cake (for breakfast) and eat it too with this great carrot cake pancake recipe:
Carrot cake protein pancakes with maple-cream cheese syrup
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 scoops Naturade 100% Whey, Vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons toasted and chopped pecans or walnuts
- 2 tablespoons golden or regular raisins
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 cup whole or almond milk
- 2 cups finely grated carrots
- 3 tablespoons butter for griddle
- 8 ounces softened cream cheese, low-fat
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Whisk together flour, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in bowl.
- Mix in raisins and nuts.
- In a separate bowl, combine the egg, brown sugar and milk, whisking them together thoroughly. Stir in the shredded carrots.
- Slowly combine the carrot mixture with the dry ingredients, stirring them as your pour until they are just incorporated.
- Let your batter rest for five to 10 minutes.
- While the pancake batter is resting, it's time to make the syrup.
- Soften the cream cheese in the microwave and then combine it with the maple syrup using a stand or hand mixer. When adding the slightly softened butter, make sure to use the whip attachment and mix for about two minutes.
- The drizzle should thicken but still be pourable. Adjust the ratios if necessary.
- Pour the pancakes on a greased griddle and cook until browned on each side.
Stack your pancakes and serve them warm with the cream cheese-maple syrup, knowing that even if you're indulging a little, you're having a high-protein breakfast that somehow also incorporates carrots!
Nothing starts off the day right like the early morning classic: eggs benedict. But for those looking for a healthier take on the definitive breakfast staple, here’s a vegan version of the dish that can help lower cholesterol without sacrificing taste. Try it with a VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake for an extra energy boost in the morning.
Vegan hollandaise sauce Ingredients:
- 6 ripe yellow tomatoes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for tossing with the tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon white vinegar or wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon vegan margarine
- 2 teaspoon arrowroot mixed in 1/4 cup cold water
Eggs and bacon substitute ingredients
- 1 block extra-firm tofu
- 3 tablespoon unbleached white flour
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- Pinch of garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 6 slices faux Canadian bacon
- Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dab the tomatoes in olive oil, then place on a baking sheet, roasting them on each side for 30 minutes.
- Remove tomatoes from the oven and place in a blender.
- Slowly add the 1/4 cup of oil and the mustard, white pepper and vinegar. Blend until fully emulsified and strain through a sieve.
- Place the sauce in a sauté pan on medium heat while and add the vegan margarine and arrowroot, and mix until thickened.
- Cut the tofu into quarter-inch slabs and fry in canola oil until golden brown.
- In a bowl, mix the flour, nutritional yeast, turmeric, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Coat the tofu in the flour mixture and shake off any excess.
- After frying the tofu, fry the faux Canadian bacon for 1-2 minutes on each side
- Toast six English muffins.
- Top each muffin with a slab of vegan margarine, while covering half the side with tofu and the other half with bacon.
- Drizzle the vegan hollandaise sauce, and enjoy!
The best kind of cookies are those that you can eat in the morning with no guilt whatsoever – the breakfast cookie, if you will. And we have a great recipe for tasty breakfast cookies that are high in protein and have some fiber too. Check them out:
Cherry, walnut and almond breakfast cookies
- 1/2 cup pastry flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 scoop Naturade 100% Whey, Vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons dried cherries
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Blend the wet ingredients in a separate bowl with a whisk.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir well.
- Add the cherries.
- Drop the dough onto the baking sheeting in large tablespoonfuls.
- Bake cookies for 12 to 15 minutes – make sure they're barely browned and still soft to the touch.
- Let the cookies sit on the baking tray for 2 to 3 minutes before transferring to aluminum foil or a cooling rack.
If you're thinking of healthy last-minute side dishes to make for holiday dinner, it's always a great idea to turn toward local and seasonal ingredients. In many parts of the U.S., hearty, leafy greens like kale, sweet potatoes and winter squashes are all in season around the holidays. Another holiday favorite is the Brussels sprout. While many of us hated these green balls of bitter with a passion during our childhoods, you've likely grown to love the slightly sweet and complex flavors of oven-roasted Brussels sprouts, which are very good for you as they're an excellent source of vitamin C. Also, these veggies are part of the brassica family, which includes cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, which are good sources of folate, vitamin K and fiber.
Here's a healthy, slaw-like Brussels sprouts salad that contains other wintry ingredients, making it a worthy side for just about any main dish:
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate, Hazelnuts and Fennel
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts (about 40 sprouts)
- 1 cup toasted, coarsely chopped hazelnuts
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 small, thinly sliced fennel bulb
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- juice of one lemon
- juice of one small orange
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Peel off the outer layers of the Brussels sprouts and rinse. Using a mandolin, shave them over a large mixing bowl into rounds and ribbons, occasionally going through and pulling out pieces that seem too thick.
- Wash the fennel bulb and use the mandolin to cut it into small slices.
- Set aside the fennel bulb and Brussels sprouts slaw.
- Spread the hazelnuts in a parchment lined baking dish and bake them for about 15 minutes or until the skin blisters. Let the hazelnuts cool and rub them with a clean cloth to remove the skin. Coarsely chop them and add to the slaw along with the Pecorino Romano cheese.
- In a separate bowl, juice the lemon and orange. Use a wire whisk to mix the juice continuously as you pour in a steady stream of olive oil.
- Add the lemon zest, minced shallots and a healthy shake of salt and pepper to the dressing before mixing again.
- Top the slaw with pomegranate seeds.
- Pour dressing over and mix just before serving!
This recipe serves 12 to 15 people with generous portions.
Do you like frappuccinos – a mix between the words "frozen" and "cappuccino"? How about chai – a combination of spices like cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg? If so, consider spicing up your boring old protein shake into a chai frappuccino smoothie. Naturade makes a great chai version of its VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake that you can use for this recipe. It is completely dairy- and soy-free, has a complete protein blend and 22 vitamins and minerals and is gluten-free. Here's the recipe:
Chai frappuccino protein shake
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 2 scoops of Naturade VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake mix in chai
- 10 – 12 ice cubes
Add all of the ingredients to the blender and mix! If you'd like a more traditional protein shake meal replacement mix, you can use Naturade 100% Whey in vanilla flavor or Naturade Total Soy in vanilla and then add 1/8 teaspoon each of ground cardamom and ground cinnamon. You might also want to add baking cocoa to give it a chocolate chai flavor. Bananas added to the mix have been said to be a home-run in flavor as well.
While people generally need varying levels of protein based on their body composition, weight and daily activities, if you're gearing up for a big fitness competition or trying to bulk up a little, it's guaranteed that you'll want to eat a good amount of high-quality protein each day. Start your morning with a high-protein breakfast like this banana almond protein smoothie. It has different types of proteins to ensure that you work your way toward getting each of the essential amino acids each day. Here's the delightful recipe:
Banana oatmeal almond high-protein breakfast shake
- 1 whole banana
- 2/3 cup milk, any type
- 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
- 6 ice cubes
- 1 scoop Naturade Total Soy, Vanilla
- 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
Add all of the ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth. If your almonds are whole, you might want to do a rough chop before blending them with the other ingredients. You can also use walnuts, pecans or any other type of nut for a punch of healthy fats, fiber and protein. Also, the oatmeal does not necessarily have to be cooked – in fact, some people prefer it in its crunchy "raw" state. Do whatever works for you.
In most areas of life, routine can get pretty stale. If you're tired of your plain chocolate or vanilla protein shakes, get a little fancy and mix things up with a cookies and cream recipe! You don't even need to buy a new protein powder; instead, you can just use the chocolate or vanilla Naturade Total Soy protein powder that you already have to make this easy cookies and cream shake. Here's the recipe:
Cookies and cream protein shake recipe
- 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt, plain
- 1 scoop Naturade Total Soy in Vanilla
- 1 cup ice
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- chocolate animal or graham crackers
To give the shake a chocolate flavor, you will use chocolate graham or animal crackers because they have less fat and sugar than chocolate and cream sandwich cookies. Use seven to 10 animal crackers or one to one-and-a-half "sheets" of chocolate graham crackers. Add all of the ingredients to the blender, crumbling the cookies into the blender while adding them. Finally, simply mix and enjoy! You can also add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or half of a frozen banana for variation.