Bytes of Love

Working mommy. Startup daddy. Rascal toddlers.

Category: Snacks (Page 1 of 2)

Taking care of yourself with Nurturico

Guess what I recently got to try? A bunch of amazing goodies and healthy snacks from Nurturico. Kiran, who has a beautiful 3 year old (who I have yet to meet!) sent me these from the Bay area, where she lives with her family. Full disclaimer here: Kiran is distant family, on Anil’s maternal side. However, you guys know how much I love startups, and cool, innovative companies . So, I would have done product reviews of her fantastic snacks regardless, really :-)

A few things to note about Nurturico: even though I’m not pregnant or nursing a whole lot, these are the categories that Nurturico’s snacks are designed for. Why? If you’ve ever had a child, you probably know how hectic that first year can be. You do the very best you can to take care of your new baby, but often forget to take care of yourself. You guys also know how much I hate that. Moms need to take better care of themselves. Period. They also have zero time to whip up something healthy in the kitchen. That’s where Nurturico comes in. Here’s what Kiran sent me:

Finger Millet Cookies – These are devoured in the first day. SO GOOD. I shared a few with the kids, but honestly mostly ate these myself. What I liked the most about these are that they aren’t overly sweet, nice and crunchy, and contain only 7 ingredients. Way more nourishing and healthier than any cookies you can pick up at the grocery store. Millet is also a great ingredient to use at it contains tons of vitamin B, calcium, iron, and much more great nutrients that are really helpful when pregnant or nursing.

Nut crumble – This was my second favorite snack. Made with ingredients such as ghee (clarified butter), pumpkin seeds, and organic raisins, these small balls pack a powerful and energetic punch. You could just snack on a few of these between meals and feel so much better than eating junk food. As a nursing mom, I would have loved to have this handy because like Kiran, I often struggled with trying to figure out what to eat right after giving birth.

Date muffins – These small goodies aren’t muffins in the traditional sense, but that’s actually a good thing. They’re not messy at all because they’re made out of mostly nuts and dates. After doing the Whole 30, you can imagine that I’ve been pretty weary of added sugar in all foods. The wonderful thing about these is that because of the dates, you really don’t miss the sweetness of sugar. Another great snack I would have loved while pregnant / nursing.

Peanut Butter Oats Banana Smoothie Mix – Are you kidding me?! A smoothie mix that tastes like chocolate – LOVE this! When I gave birth to Dilan, my mom was here for about a week to help me recuperate and take care of Dils. She would make me drink these nutrition drinks like Boost and one from Carnation, whose name escapes me now. They were wonderful after having gone through the exhaustion and exhilaration of child birth. This smoothie mix reminds me of that, except for that it’s completely natural and contains NO added sugar – hurray! A really great way to get some nutrients mixed in with your almond milk, coconut milk, or whatever type of milk you’re in to.

As I was saying before, one of my biggest pet peeves is being a mommy martyr. You shouldn’t have to suffer and give up your entire life just to raise children. I’m a firm believer in this. Taking care of yourself before and after you give birth is so, so important. And if that means taking lots of short cuts, then I say do that. Nurturico recognizes this and delivers on healthy snacks that make you feel human again. I’m so proud of Kiran for starting a company that delivers on this concept. Although Nurturico currently serves the Bay area, they will expand beyond that in the near future. I highly recommend giving them a try – you won’t be disappointed!

nurturico snacks

4 Ingredient Chia Pudding

We’ve come such a long way since the chia pet….or have we?! Chia seeds are back in style. You hear as much about them as you hear about kale and coconut-anything these days. With our juice is loose movement still going strong, we’ve been adding chia seeds to our smoothies every morning. Then I read this post and had to try out chia pudding. Four Ingredients and some minor stirring later, Dilan, daddy and I devoured most of this creamy goodness in one sitting. I followed this recipe almost exactly, but reduced the tablespoons of maple syrup to 1.5. The pudding was still fairly sweet, so I may even try to leave it out next time. I used Silk’s unsweetened coconut milk instead of regular milk, but I’m guessing if you use the vanilla kind that you can just omit the vanilla from the recipe. I also used black instead of white chia seeds. I have yet to hunt for the white ones.

Just to recap: stir together 1 1/2 cups of coconut (or any other kind) of milk, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of sweetener (maple, agave, or other), 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla, and 1/3  cup of chia seeds. Pop in the fridge for 4 hours or so and you’re done! The pudding will take on a tapioca kind of consistency. Top it with your favorite fruit and you’ve got yourself a wholesome breakfast or snack.

Now one thing to watch out for are chia seed recalls. Lots of them lately. I found a good site to check for these: http://jillsjuices.com/recent-food-recalls/.

Overall, this was delicious, quick, easy, and so much more nutritious than any type of Jello you’ll find in the grocery aisles. As a bonus, I got to sing the chia pet song to Dilan, which cracked him up. Give this a try and please let me know if you come up with any cool variations!

4 ingredient chia pudding

20131223-084318.jpg

Five Ingredient Kale Smoothie

I know what you’re thinking: you’re not quite done sipping on hot chocolate yet. Don’t worry, we do our fair share of sugar and fats damage during the holidays. When we are on staycation for a full 10 days though, we try to get  some more exercise in and slip in some detox foods like this five ingredient kale smoothie. I’m not a smoothie connoisseur, so don’t know a ton of green smoothies to compare this to, but what appeals to me about this one is that it only has five basic ingredients and it doesn’t taste like a ton of grass :-)

Here’s how you whip one up:

Ingredients

About 3 kale leaves, torn up
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup coconut milk (any kind)
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon powder

Directions

Simply add all ingredients to a blender and liquify away! Makes about 2 tall glasses. Enjoy cold.

kalesmoothie

Goodbye Summer: Watermelon & Halloumi Cheese

I have to admit it: I don’t care about summer…at all. I know that’s shocking to most people who live for summer, but I can totally live without the humidity and extreme (85F+ degrees) heat that we have here in North Carolina. I’m all about fall. The weather’s perfect, scenery is gorgeous where we live, slow cooker meals are nice and easy, football season is back, and PUMPKIN BEER.

Watermelon & Halloumi Cheese

On the flip side, I love summer fruits. So if you have any leftover watermelon, give this 10 minute recipe a try:

1. Chop up a seedless watermelon into bite-size pieces.

2. Get your hands on some Halloumi cheese! This is similar to mozzarella, but is much saltier, and is often made out of a mixture of sheep’s, goat, and sometimes cow’s milk. I get mine at Trader Joes.

3. Slice the Halloumi cheese into bite size pieces as well and fry with two tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat, until golden brown and a crust starts to form. Gently pat dry and serve next to the watermelon.

4. Drizzle both with balsamic glaze (Trader Joe’s again, people!) and finely chopped fresh basil. Serve as a snack or lunch. Pair with sangria or wine if you want to be adventurous. I promise you’ll like this. If you don’t, you’ll eat least look fancy 😉

watermelon & halloumi cheese

Spicy Kale Chips

Kale chips are all the rage these days! And why shouldn’t they be? They’re healthy, super delicious and crispy, and don’t take very long to prepare. Anil and I love spicy foods, so instead of the traditional way of preparing these, we decided to add some kick. Kashmiri chili is the perfect addition to these spicy kale chips since it adds a lot of warmth, but not necessarily heat.  I’ve tried many different recipes out there, but had to experiment with the time and oven temperature. This is what I eventually came up with:

Ingredients

A large bunch of organic kale (baby kale works just as well)

Extra virgin olive oil – the best quality you have

Kosher or sea salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

Kashmiri chili (optional) – found at many Asian / Indian grocery stores

spicykalechips1

Directions

1. Thoroughly wash the kale and remove the leaves from the stems. Put on a large, dry, and clean kitchen towel for a few hours, or, if you have a salad spinner, spin away to remove all water.

2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

3. In a large bowl, toss the kale with a few tablespoons of olive oil, salt, cracked black pepper, and Kashmiri chili, if you have it on hand.

4. Place on a large baking sheet in a single layer and bake for about 20-25 minutes. If you like the spicy kale chips to be more crispy / crunchy, go with 25 minutes and a slightly more brown color. If you prefer them less crispy, go with 20 minutes and the edges just starting to brown. Serve warm with just about anything, though we recommend a nice, cold beer!

spicykalechips2

Potato & Kale Samosas

As my fellow busy girls know, short-cuts are your best friend when you’re short on time. A few weeks ago, I really wanted to make samosas, but had no time to make the dough from scratch and had a ton of farm-fresh kale on hand that I really needed to use up. My solution: puff-pastry sheets and potato-kale filling! Although less authentic than the original version of the Indian samosa, it worked out fantastic. Here’s what I did:

Ingredients
(for 16 samosas)

2 puff pastry sheets (found in the freezer section of your grocery store)
2 medium organic Russet potatoes
half a bunch of organic kale
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of whole cumin seeds
2 teaspoons of coriander powder
2 teaspoons of red chili powder
2 teaspoons of ginger-garlic paste
2 tablespoons of olive oil (more as needed)
salt to taste


Directions

1. Take the puff pastry sheets out of the freezer to allow them to defrost. Boil potatoes (you can leave the skin on) and lightly mash them so they form small bite-size chunks. Wash and cut the kale into bite-size pieces as well.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan and saute the kale for about 10 minutes, or until soft.

3. Take the kale out and set aside. In the same oil, add the cumin seeds and fry for about 3 – 4 minutes. Add the ginger-garlic paste and the rest of the seasonings. Stir and add in the kale and boiled potatoes. Add salt last and saute for about 10 more minutes to allow all flavors to blend.

4. Turn off the heat and move the skillet to allow the filling to cool. Cut the puff pastry sheets into 8 triangles, as shown in the picture below. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

5. Make cone out of each triangle and spoon enough filling in so that the samosa will close without breaking. You can add a tiny bit of water to the edges of the triangles so that edges will stick more easily.

6. Place each samosa on a parchment lined backing sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite chutney!

 

Apple Date (or Prune!) Bars

Here’s another recipe that I found online and thought was worth re-posting. It’s delicious for breakfast or as a snack and contains tons of great vitamins, fiber, and nutrients. Instead of using regular flour, I opted for the gluten-free kind since I sometimes cut out all gluten products for a week. I find that going gluten-free for periods of time gives me more energy. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with using regular flour. Since I did not have dates on hand (which the recipe requires), I chose to use prunes instead. The results were fantastic, even without the dates. I added some extra cinnamon to the recipe as well. If you don’t have ground cloves or nutmeg on hand, you can use pumpkin pie spice as well, which is an excellent substitute. Here’s the full recipe…let me know what you think!

Rustic Bruschetta

If you’re looking for an easy snack or light meal, rustic bruschetta is great because there’s no measuring required to make this traditional appetizer taste good! Here’s what I like to whip as a light dinner or lunch when I’m too tired to cook:

Take a loaf of French or Italian bread and cut it into small logs.  Brush half the loaf with good quality extra virgin olive oil and lightly rub with a clove of garlic. Take two medium tomatoes, remove the seeds and dice the tomatoes along with some fresh basil leaves and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Toast all the bread until the crust is crispy, but bread is still soft. Top half the loaf with the tomato mixture. Sprinkle with some finely grated Parmesan cheese.

Spread the other half of the loaf with Mascarpone cheese and sprinkle with some dried oregano, dried basil, and crushed red peppers. Be sure to spread the cheese right after taking the bread out of the toaster, so that it melts into the bread (yum!).  Serve warm with a glass of vino and enjoy!

 

 

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I know the combination of chocolate and zucchini sounds weird to a lot of people, but this is probably the best bread I’ve ever eaten. It beats the banana-walnut-chocolate chip bread that I often bake. I got this recipe from the Producebox and will make it as long as I can find zucchinis!

Ingredients

3 large eggs
2 cups of sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups zucchini, shredded (this is about 1 medium zucchini)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa or Ovaltine
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
Cooking spray or butter to grease pans

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Directions

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Stir in zucchini. Combine dry ingredients, add to zucchini mixture and mix well. Pour into two greased 8x4x3 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the breads comes out clean. Enjoy!!

Cool as a Cucumber Sauce

This cucumber sauce can be used on grilled meats, inside pita sandwiches, or on top of meat or veggie kabobs. The mint in this sauce adds a nice, refreshing touch.

img_3601

Ingredients

1.5 cups of plain yogurt
1/2 medium cucumber, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons of sour cream
1 tablespoon of powdered mint leaves
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
A few sprigs of cilantro, finely chopped

Directions

Chop the cucumber and cilantro and add all ingredients together. Mix well.

We usually make our own yogurt, which comes out thicker and
richer than store-bought yogurt. I’ll be sure to post the recipe for this sometime soon!

img_3598

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén