Greek Yogurt Smoothie Bowl

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 When I made this smoothie bowl I did not initially think the finish product would be this large. Typically, I do not shy away from demolishing a dish as delicious as this one, but there was honestly too much this time. In the recipe below you will notice I said this makes 2 servings. Once all ingredients are mixed, I recommend separating it into 2 containers. I ate this for lunch and as a sweet dessert later that night.

I used Stonyfield® organic vanilla Greek Yogurt as the base. This adds twice the protein compared to other yogurts without artificial sweeteners. Beet root powder can be found at Whole Foods or Mariano’s. I know it may sound expensive, but the truth is a little goes a long way. I bought 2 ounces for $3.00 and I have used it for 4 different recipes and have yet to run out. Use it sparingly! Plus it creates a pretty pink/red color that is aesthetically pleasing!

Now, if you do not want to go through the trouble of cutting open a coconut and scrapping the meat out on your own, toasted coconut chips are a good alternative. I personally prefer to use fresh coconut meat because the prepackaged option is usually toasted with added sugar and sodium, but do what you will.

I try to wash and cut all my fresh fruit immediately when I buy them. This always increases your chances of eating them and not allowing fresh foods to spoil. Of course, not everyone will have the time to do this and I certainly am not able to do it every time I come home from the grocery store. I have thrown away fruits and vegetables due to spoilage just like everybody else. Simply aim to get this beneficial tasks completed and hopefully, over time, it will become part of your normal routine. My fruit was already diced and sliced for this recipe making it extremely simple for me to make. All I had to do was mix the base together and top it with what my boyfriend likes to call “My voo doo foods”. (I still don’t know why he is surprised by some of my cooking methods after 8 years of living this lifestyle together. lol)

I could go on and on about the nutritional benefits from this particular smoothie bowl, but that will be too lengthy. If you do have any questions or would like to learn more about proper nutrition, please contact me at rraymundo810@gmail.com for health inquires and nutrition coaching.

Greek-Yogurt-Smoothie-Bowl 

Prep Time: 5-10 minutesIMG_1638

Servings: 2 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tsp beet root powder
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 3 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 kiwi, sliced
  • 1/4 c cantaloupe, diced
  • 1/8 c pomegranate seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp gluten free granola
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tsp cacao nibs
  • 1/2 tsp bee pollen
  • 1/2 tsp chia seed
  • young coconut meat, shredded

Directions:

  1. Combine greek yogurt, maca, and beet root. Blend thoroughly until evenly mixed.
  2. Top with remaining ingredients. Eat quickly before others want a taste, everyone will want to steal this yummy bowl of health.

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Thank you for visualizing nutrition and health with me once again!

Help support by subscribing to my email listing to receive automatic updates when new recipes have been posted.

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

 Per serving: Calories: 334; Total Fat: 14.6 g (Saturated Fat: 6.9 g); Cholesterol: 37.5 mg; Sodium: 123.6 mg; Potassium: 650 mg; Total Carbs: 41.6 g; Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g; Protein: 10.4 g; Calcium: 29.6%; Vitamin A: 21.2%; Iron: 6.8%.

Butternut Squash Mash

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Squash is an extremely versatile vegetable. In fact, among all types of winter squash butternut is the most popular. I have been using it a lot lately, so I hope you do not get tired of seeing squash recipes because I don’t think I ever will. Not to mention, I still have a couple different kinds of squash at home I need to make on top of this. Butternut squash mash is a play off mashed potatoes. I am very careful not to call this mashed potatoes, because as my boyfriend so kindly pointed out, there are no potatoes in it. He did however agree that it still tasted amazing as we almost finished it all. If you really wanted you could add in a few potatoes so the change in flavor will not be as drastic if you are not big on new foods.

Squash is commonly recommended for weight loss/management and high cholesterol because it is low in calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. The amount of squash used in this recipe provides more vitamin A than an entire pumpkin and 1/2 cup of squash provides only 45 calories. It is a rich source of dietary fiber and B-complex vitamins like folate, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, thiamin, and pantothenic acid.

The consistency of my butternut mash is exactly the same as normal mashed potatoes. The end product comes out fluffy and creamy just the way we all like it. I personally think this one is my biggest winner by far. I can only describe it as heaven in your mouth. Please do yourself a favor and make this as soon as possible.

Butternut Squash Mash

Prep Time: 40 minutes bake, 50 minutes total 

Servings: 10 cupsIMG_4407

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp earth balance
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp cumin

Directions:

  1. Bake squash at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender. Once baked, allow time to cool, and peel skin off. Skin should peel off easily. Cut squash into small enough pieces to place in food processor. Make this recipe in two batches; use ½ squash at a time. This is to be sure the food processor is not over stuffed and the motor will not burn out. It also ensures all ingredients are being well mixed.
  2. Add in all other ingredients and blend until smooth. Spoon out with a spatula and enjoy! Best served when warm.

Finish off by topping with fresh chives and thyme (optional). Enjoy along side a delicious salad and piece of lean chicken or your favorite main course to make the perfect dinner.

I love hearing from my followers, so please remember to tag me in any of my recipes you recreate at #brnutritionvision. You can subscribe to my email listing and follow me on instagram, twitter, tumblr, and pintrest to stay updated with my latest healthy recipes and nutrition information.

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Thanks ladies and gents! Keep visualizing nutrition with me daily!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving (1 cup): Calories: 97; Total Fat: 6.8 g (Saturated Fat: 1.2 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 158.1 mg; Potassium: 54.3 mg; Total Carbs: 9.4 g; Dietary Fiber: 1.6 g; Protein: 0.6 g; Calcium: 5.6%; Vitamin A: 8.9%.


Pumpkin-Nut-Butter

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Fact: Most of the world is obsessed with pumpkin, especially when the fall season rolls around.

Fact: Most of the world is obsessed with peanut butter and other nut butters available in today’s market.

Why not mix them together and create the ultimate nut butter filled with protein and phytonutrients?

My signature pumpkin nut butter is so simple and healthy you are going to wish you have been eating it your entire life.

Pumpkin Nut Butter

Preparation Time: 3 minutes

Serves: 1 ¼ cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 Tbsp almond butter or nut butter of choice
  • 1 Tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Place pumpkin puree, nut butter, and milk in a bowl. Mix well until it thickens. Add spices and stir until consistency is creamy and smooth.

 Tip: This can be done with an individual sized blender or by hand to save time spent on dirty dishes.

I love this recipe because it is the perfect basic pumpkin nut butter to create countless varieties. I have made cranberry cinnamon and chocolate in the past. What varieties are your favorite?

Enjoy this as a dip, spread, or use as a topping. This is also a great addition to your smoothies or breakfast bowls. This pumpkin nut butter was enjoyed as a dip with a large spread of organic fruits and vegetables.

Remember, the holidays are coming quickly and that typically means the extra 5 pounds no one wants to gain is not far behind. Staying away from the delicious high calorie, high fat candies, snacks, and desserts is difficult when they are everywhere you see. Get great tips and tricks on how to create healthy versions of your favorite holiday foods with my help. If you are looking to maintain your weight or lose weight the healthy way contact me via email for more information on nutrition coaching.

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 Feel free to share my blog with family and friends, it’s much appreciated!

Thank you for Visualizing Nutrition with me here at MyNutritionVision.wordpress.com. Have a great day!!!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving (2 Tbsp): Calories: 31; Total Fat: 2.2 g (Saturated Fat: 0.2 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 3.4 mg; Potassium: 24.6 mg; Total Carbs: 2.7 g; Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g; Protein: 1.2 g; Calcium: 2.1%; Vitamin A: 50.1%.

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

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I absolutely love the fact that winter squash is in season because I’m kind of obsessed with it. Technically, you can find winter squash August through March, however, buying it during October and November is the time it will be at its best.

Shopping seasonal is in fact the best way to get the most for your money, this is the time when you should try to use squash the most. I bought all of this for just under $20 from the farmer’s market last week. It is most likely one of the last times I will be able to go to a farmer’s market because the days are turning extremely chilly quickly and they will all soon be closed, but it was still a steal.

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Squash is considered a starchy vegetables, but research has shown it also provides many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients protecting our immune system against colds.

 The fantastic carotenoid profile squash contains provides an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C (both immune supporting antioxidants). The fantastic health benefits seem to be endless including anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, B vitamins supporting blood sugar and insulin regulation, and a combination of nutrients that promote optimal health. 

Squash is one of the vegetables it is extremely important to buy organic because studies have shown squash is a crop that is likely to be grown in contaminated soil. Making a special point to buy organic will eliminate your chances of buying something grown with contaminated soil.

For this dish I made a hearty spaghetti squash casserole for dinner. I like to replace starchy pasta recipes with squash because it is much more forgiving and provides nutritional value. This allows a person who may have a bigger appetite to eat more with out the guilt. It is still just as filling and delicious. Truthfully, I would pick squash-based recipes over pasta based any day because they are not only healthier and more nutritious, but they are more flavorful and do not leave you feeling bloated. I jam packed my casserole with a layer of fresh organic vegetables and topped it with my special creamy butternut squash sauce. (P.S. The sauce was so good, it could definitely be eaten alone. It’s addicting so if you can I would advise you to double my recipe, I mean triple!)

Make this for parties, family gatherings, or holidays. Everyone will be raving about your dish for the entire night!

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Preparation time: 40-45 min to bake squash, 20 minute for veggies, sauce, and to bake casserole.

Serves: 12

Ingredients:IMG_4007

Base

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 container cottage cheese (3 cups)

Top Layer 

  • 4 cups broccoli flowerets
  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 3 large carrots, chopped

Sauce 

  • ½ butternut squash
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5-7 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ cup veggie stock
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Toppings (optional): 1/4 cup Chives and feta cheese.

Directions:

  1. Bake spaghetti and butternut squash accordingly. I always cut them in half, scoop the seeds out, and lightly brush 1-2 Tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste on the inside. Bake on 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes or under tender. Next, use a fork to scrap out the spaghetti squash into non-stick casserole dish. Mix container of cottage cheese in the squash and press firmly onto dish to form bottom layer.
  2. Wash and cut veggies. Place all veggies in a large sauté pan with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté until tender. (5 minutes) Evenly spread veggies in casserole dish as second layer.
  3. Scoop butternut squash out of skin and place in food processor along with, onion, garlic, cilantro, oregano, chili powder, and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Transfer content into a medium size pot over high heat and add remaining ingredients (milk, stock, thyme, bay leaf). Stir together for 1-2 minutes. Half of the butternut squash plus sauce ingredients will yield 5 cups.
  4. Once blended, pour 3 cups of sauce evenly over veggies. Top with feta and chives. Bake in oven for another 10 minutes to allow the top to crisp. Everything in the dish is already cooked at this point; baking again for 10 minutes is optional.

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Another great thing about squash it the seeds. You can lightly roast them and eat them as a healthy snack for days. Be sure to roast for a short period of time, 15-20 minutes, and at low temperature, 120 degrees, to avoid destroying the healthy fatty oils.

 If you or someone you know are in need of nutrition services, please contact me via blog email for more information on prices. Thank you for visiting!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving (with toppings): Calories: 105; Total Fat: 3.4 g (Saturated Fat: 1.8 g); Cholesterol: 14.2 mg; Sodium: 470.3 mg; Potassium: 380.8 mg; Total Carbs: 15.3 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g; Protein: 8.5 g; Calcium: 11.9%.

Avo-Cholocate-Protein-Mouse w/ Vanilla-Chia-Pudding

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I have previously mentioned I am training for my very first marathon and if you follow me, I am sure you have seen my fitness posts and refueling recipes. The Chicago Marathon is now exactly 6 days away and it is a extremely scary thinking I will soon be running 26.2 miles non-stop along with thousands. I am so excited to be a part of such a great event because this has been something I have wanted to do since I was a freshman in high school. I love crossing items off my bucket list and that is exactly what I am doing with this. Come Sunday, I can forever say I finished the Chicago Marathon. Yay!

If you are a fellow marathon runner, short distance runner, or just run for fun I know we can all agree on feeling exhausted afterwards. Especially when the distance traveled is long distance. Our body’s glucose stores are being used up for energy because glucose is the bodies preferred fuel source. Once they are depleted it is essential to refuel our body with proper nutrition for optimal recovery. The rule of thumb for marathon training is to refuel with a meal containing a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein and rehydrate with a beverage containing 4:1 ratio.

Therefore, after my grueling 20 mile run the other day in the heat, I rehydrated with a sports drink to help ignite the recovery process and refuel my body with the electrolytes I lost through sweat. Within an hour I made sure to get a mix of high-carb and moderate protein into my body. The post run meal 3:1 ratio is essential because your body is craving simple carbs for quick energy and complex carbs to balance out your insulin levels.

This avocado-chocolate mouse/chia pudding may not be the easiest thing to make after running long distance, but I planned for this. Account for time needed to prepare this recipe and prep before your run as I did. If you know you will be too exhausted to blend and assemble something like this, than plan to replenish your body with simpler foods such as a banana, yogurt, bagels and muffins, or fruit. Don’t forget to balance your carb to protein ratio with a lean protein. This recipe provides almost 27 grams of complete protein that will help aid in your recovery, repair, and rebuild muscle.

The sound of avocado and chocolate mixed together doesn’t sound like it fits right? I understand all you skeptics out there because if I never tired it, I would think that sounds disgusting too. Remember the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, that is the same motto I always teach when dealing with food. This combination actually gives the mouse a delicious creamy texture that nourishes your body with omega’3 and anti-inflammatory agents. Once everything is mixed together you can’t even taste the avocado. No one has ever noticed it was in there until I told them. The chia pudding recipe is the same one I used in my Pumpkin-Coconut-Vanilla-Chia-Pudding, so check it out if you like this post because they are both very similar. I topped mine off with a plethora of super foods and continued to finish every last bit.

Please don’t get stuck in the mentality of thinking you have to eat less to lose weight even though you are still hungry or eating nothing after workouts because you just “aren’t hungry” and don’t want to eat calories you just burned. Even if you don’t feel hungry your body needs to refuel. This recipe is a serious refueling meal for your body after a long run and most importantly it is done the proper way. The delicious and satisfying taste just so happens to be the added bonus. 😉

Avo-Chocolate-Protein-Mouse w/ Vanilla-Chia-Pudding        

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Serves: 1 (pint)IMG_3970

Ingredients:

Chocolate Mouse

  • ½ avocado, scored
  • 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp honey, organic
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 banana, frozen

 Chia Pudding

  • 5 Tbsp chia seed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger, grated

Optional Toppings: gluten free oats, raw cacao nibs, sunflower seeds, goji berries

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients for chia pudding into a tupperware container and allow sufficient time to chill and expand in fridge at least 6-8 hrs. This is always easiest to do the night before.
  2. Once chia is ready, blend all ingredients for avocado chocolate mouse into a food processor and blend until consistency is smooth.
  3. Place avo-chocolate mouse in cup, layer with gluten-free oats for an added crunch (optional), add chia pudding on top. Sprinkle some of your favorite toppings including fresh fruit, seeds, or nuts. Enjoy!

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Try my recipe for dessert or breakfast. For further questions please contact me via email. I’ll be sure to share my race day fitness and health routine with all of you soon enough. Stay Healthy!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving: Calories: 622; Total Fat: 21 g (Saturated Fat: 1.1 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 81.7 mg; Potassium: 625.6 mg; Total Carbs: 89.2 g; Dietary Fiber: 22.8 g; Protein: 26.4 g; Calcium: 39.7%; Iron: 15.4%; Vitamin C: 32.2%.

Pumpkin Turkey Bean Chili

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Crock pot recipe, woo hoo! When I see the words “crock pot” my mind already says yes, yes, and yes.

Throw in the ingredients, turn on the heat, and indulge. Yes, you can come home for dinner to a house filled with delectable smells and a ready to eat meal? Yep, like I said before, yes.

Now I know it has been a couple week since I have made a post and all my recipes are starting to pile up. With the weather changing from blistering hot days to chilly grey, I think we can all benefits from an appropriate change in our diet. Some people may not particularly like chili, but I have always been a chili and soup kind of girl. It is one of my favorite things when the fall and winter months sneak upon us. If I did not get the crazy stares when I order chili in the middle of June, I would.

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Chili is the best type of food! It warms you right up on a cold night, can be acceptably eaten for days because you always have leftovers (what person makes homemade chili for one?), is one of the best foods to make for football Sunday (Bear Down), makes you feel better when sick, and it is just absolutely delicous. Wow… you would think I am a sponsor for a chili company or something, I just love it so much. Specially, I love my chili ;).

I have turned the original staple meal into a healthy, convenient, fall themed delight. If you asked my boyfriend, he would classify me as “one of the pickiest costumers ever” when it comes to ordering chili or any food for that matter. I rather bypass the disappointing meal and just make my own because I know I can make it exactly how I want it, hearty. (Not that every single place is bad, because I have my favorite spots) My biggest thing, I don’t skimp on the meat people, that’s one of the best parts!

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I also love to play with all my recipes and even though pumpkin chili sounds a bit funky, trust me. I have been making it for years and it is always a hit. I might even go far enough to say I think it’s better then chili without pumpkin.

Adding pumpkin makes your recipe fun and perfect for fall, but it doesn’t stop there.

Just 1 cup of pumpkin puree provides:

-3.4 grams of iron

-contains more than 2x your daily recommended amount of vitamin A

-provides about 15% of your Daily needs for vitamin E

All of which are supportive for a strong immune system. Sounds like a vital quality to have in your food during the common sick month doesn’t it?  Vitamin A also keeps your eyes, bones, and teeth healthy and vitamin E protects your body from cellular damage that can lead to certain types of cancer.

You can add pumpkin to a variety of recipes from sweet to savory making it perfect for so many things. Personally, I have been using it in basically every recipe and I will do my best to get all the recipes up on the blog ASAP.

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Please do not get intimidated because of the ingredient list.

To be honest is may look long, but it is not that bad. Chili has a funny way of needed tons of ingredients, but most are spices or common items you might all ready have in your home. Plus, you can take my recipe loosely and improvise/play with ingredients yourself if need be. You do not always have to go running to the store to spent more money. See what will work for that meal out of the items you already have.

The recipe below is my version including tips and tricks, however, chili is a super easy uncomplicated thing to make. Through everything in a pot and heat. I need to make this more often?

Now it’s time for you to run to the kitchen and whip up a big batch to see just how good this is for yourself.

Pumpkin Turkey Bean Chili        

Preparation time:

-15 minute

Cook time: 

-6-8 hrs

Serves:

~12-14 (2 cup servings)

Ingredients:

-1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)

-1.5 lbs grass fed, lean ground turkey

-2 Tbsp olive oil

-16 bean soup mix, uncooked

-1/4 to 1/2 large yellow onion, diced

-4 cloves garlic, chopped

-3 cups chicken broth (fat free)

-2 medium tomatoes, diced

-1 tsp chili powder

-1 tsp oregano

-1 tsp ground pepper

-2 tsp cumin

-1/4 tsp cayenne powder

-1 bay leaf

-1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

-5 sprigs fresh thyme

Toppings (optional): chives, cilantro, shredded cheese, avocado slices, plain greek yogurt (in place of sour cream).

Directions:

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Place turkey in skillet and cook until brown. Transfer turkey into slow cooker, add all other ingredients, turn heat on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours.

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There is the shortened version for all ya’ll. Now for what I did…
I used the bullet to chop garlic cloves in 5 seconds, transferred it into the crock pot along with all other ingredients expect turkey. I bought grass fed organic turkey from Mariano’s.
Did you know they cook the meat for you right in front of you? If you live by a Mariano’s save time by getting your meat cooked in the store. They even season it how you want with a variety of seasonings available. If it’s convenient for you, kill two birds with one stone like I did. The turkey I used was cooked in store and I walked off to finish my grocery shopping for the week, came back in 15 minutes, and it was done. When I got home I added the turkey in the crock pot, stirred and allowed to simmer for another ten minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
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This chili is dairy free, but feel free to add cheese. It is also gluten free and can easily become vegan friendly if you omit the turkey and use veggie broth. Vegan or not this recipe will provide you with a good source of protein and energy. If using meat, choose lean protein like turkey, it’s less fatty than beef typically used.
 Thanks for visiting and keep visualizing nutrition with me. Bon appetit!
Follow MyNutritionVision if you are on wordpress.com or subscribe to the email listing on the home page.
I love hearing from all of you so continue to follow me in Instagram, twitter, tumblr, and pintrest.
❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving: Calories: 225; Total Fat: 4.9 g (Saturated Fat: 1.3 g); Cholesterol: 40 mg; Sodium: 450.9 mg; Potassium: 103.8 mg; Total Carbs: 35.1 g; Dietary Fiber: 17 g; Protein: 21.8 g; Calcium: 5%; Vitamin A: 32.7%; Vitamin C: 9.2; Iron: 18.2%.

Pumpkin-Coconut-Vanilla-Chia-Pudding

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Listen up everyone, this is some vital information…

When making this recipe be sure to make an abundance because you will want some for later. I made four mason jars filled with this good stuff and in all honesty, 1 mason jar can easily be shared and split into two servings. The recipe below is for a half pint so feel free to multiple it to achieve desired yield.

Pumpkin-Coconut-Vanilla-Chia-Pudding       

Preparation time: 5 minutesIMG_3824

Serves: 1 half pint (8oz)

Ingredients:

Chia Pudding~

  • 3 Tbsp chia seed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Pumpkin Pudding~

  • 1/2 can pumpkin puree (15oz can) NOT PUMPKIN PIE FILLING
  • 1 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, soaked
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 2 Tbsp organic honey

Toppings: Pumpkin pie spice, cacao nibs, and unsweetened desiccated coconut.

Directions:

1.  Mix chia seed, spices, vanilla extract, and dairy free milk (or milk of your preference) in a container and refrigerate over night to allow time for seeds to soak and expand. Soak dates in water overnight to soften, they will blend a whole lot easier so do not skip this step.

2. Blend all ingredients for the pumpkin layer in a blender for 15-20 seconds. Your done! That’s it! Layer the two in a cup and top with your favorite goodies. My personal toppings are listed above.

(Note: The longer chia seed sits in liquid, the thicker the consistency will become. The chia pudding in this recipe was prepped the night before, as usual.)

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Since I am not the person who has a serious sweet tooth, try using natural sweeteners if you need. For example, add more dates, bananas, honey, or even sugar.

I absolutely love using mason jars to store food because it creates the perfect portion size and a ready to go breakfast, lunch, or dessert. Ladies and gentlemen, this one really hit the spot and it tastes even better than it looks! (If you can believe that.)

 If you or someone you know are in need of nutrition services from a Registered Dietitian, please contact me via blog email for more information on prices. Thanks!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving: Calories: 225; Total Fat: 7.2 g (Saturated Fat: 3.4 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 30.8 mg; Potassium: 395.3 mg; Total Carbs: 33.5 g; Dietary Fiber: 10 g; Protein: 4 g; Calcium: 37.1%.

1-Minute Vegan Chocolate Chips

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Chocolate lovers, look no further! Pure, organic, and raw ingredients is all it takes to create these rich chocolate chips. If I knew it was this easy, I would have done this a long time ago.

I typically buy raw cacao nibs in place of chocolate chips, but this time I wanted something bigger for my Mint-Chocolate Chip Ice-(No)Cream recipe. While I rummaged through my cabinets to see what ingredients I had, I realized I didn’t need any more then 4 things. Cacao powder, coconut oil, vanilla, and honey is all it took to create these healthy vegan chocolate chips.

Raw Cacao Powder   

Cacao powder is made of 100% pure cacao that is certified as organic, kosher, non-gmo, gluten free, dairy free, and raw. It is a good source of fiber and cold-pressed to protect existing nutrients. This can be used for a variety of foods including raw desserts, baking, sauces, spreads, smoothies, or juices.

1. Rich in antioxidants. Cacao naturally contains a rich supply of antioxidants protecting our cells from damage caused by free radicals. It is known as one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium, flavanols and polyphenols. In fact, it contains a higher level of antioxidants per 4 oz compared to acai berries, goji berries and blueberries. 

2. Improves your mood. Cacao powders contain dopamine and phenylethylamine (PEA), two types of neurotransmitters. They aid in mental alertness, improve mood to make you feel good and help with weight loss.

3. Increases weight loss. Flavonoids have also been shown to increase production of the hormone known as adiponectin. This hormone works to regulate metabolism of fatty acids, thus assisting in weight loss and reducing obesity. 

The big question when it comes to raw cacao is:

“What’s the difference between cocoa and cacao?” 

Cacao is not so different from cocoa because they are both made by grinding cocoa nibs to a paste or liquor and then removing the cocoa butter (the fat). The process to make cocoa powder it called hydraulically pressed. This is basically roasting at high temperatures changing the molecular structure, this ultimately reduces enzyme and antioxidant levels. The cocoa butter removal process to make cacao powder is cold-pressed, this preserves the vital nutrients.

The main benefit to using raw cacao versus cocoa powder is the antioxidant level. Raw cacao contains over 3x the antioxidant profile that cocoa powder due to the heating process. When using raw cacao, keep in mind the addition of any dairy products will decrease the absorption of antioxidants. Using vegan friendly products such as almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, or water will help to avoid this.

Coconut Oil 

The use of coconut oil is beneficial for the heart healthy diet. The existing saturated fat are not harmful to the body as you often see in other oils, such as vegetable. It contains roughly 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing a variety of heart problems. Among the numerous health benefits, here a list of a few ways coconut oil can benefits you. 

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1- Minute Vegan Chocolate Chips 

Preparation time: 1-2 minutes, freeze 15 minutes

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Serves: 16 oz

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp organic honey

Directions:

1. Heat all ingredients, expect cacao powder, in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Once ingredients are blended add the cacao powder to the saucepan and continue to heat until sauce is smooth and all ingredients are well combined. Take roughly 1 minute. IMG_1372

2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour chocolate sauce over lined cookie sheet evenly. Place cookie sheet in freezer for 15-20 minutes or until completely hard. Gently break hardened chocolate sheet into pieces big or small. Use as topping for ice cream, smoothies, or cakes.

NutritionVision Tip: You do not have to freeze right away! Before freezing my chocolate mix, I used it as a dipping sauce for freshly cut fruit.

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Enjoy this simply 1 minute sweet treat and Visualize Nutrition with me everyday! 
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❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving: Calories: 55; Total Fat: 3.7 g (Saturated Fat: 3.1 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 1.7 mg; Potassium: 37.4 mg; Total Carbs: 2.8 g; Dietary Fiber: .5 g; Protein: 0.4 g; Calcium: 0.3%.