gluten free

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats

The following post is sponsored by ICED Media on behalf of Arrowhead Mills and Maranatha. The opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Chocolate-Covered-Strawberry-Overnight-Oats-1Thank you to my sister Jessica for the lovely photo of me and my oats!

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My favorite thing about overnight oats is that they’re so simple to make, and easy to grab and go in the morning. There is no cooking when it comes to “ONOs,” just combine everything, mix it up, and let it soak overnight while you get your beauty sleep! Then come morning time, you can quickly grab your jar of fully prepped oats amidst the morning madness and eat them on your way to work or while getting ready. There is no excuse for skipping breakfast when it’s already prepared for you! I loveeee eating them cold, right out of the fridge.

Some of you may ask, what is the difference between whole rolled oats & steel cut oats?
The difference between rolled and steel cut oats is that while both contain whole grain oats, they are processed differently. Rolled oats are steamed, rolled, steamed again and toasted, ending up as thin flakes. Steel cut oats are made from oat kernels that have been chopped into thick pieces.

Both types of oats are great choices (especially compared to extremely processed instant oatmeal), but steel cut oats get even more points in my book because they digest slower than rolled ones. Like all other grains in whole or cracked form, steel cut oats rank lower on the glycemic index than rolled oats because they take longer for digestive enzymes to reach the starch inside the thicker pieces, slowing down its conversion to sugar. In a nutshell, they don’t cause a spike in blood sugar!

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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats
Serves 1

1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup almond or soy milk
1/4 cup Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats
1/2 ripe banana, mashed
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and mix until well combined. Cover with lid and store in the refrigerator overnight.

Tip:
If you’re feeling adventurous, add some fun healthy toppings to send your tastebuds over the top into mouthwatering goodness!

Optional Toppings:
1 Tbsp Maranatha Sunflower Seed Butter
1/2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips

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The Rabbit Food Pyramid Breakdown
Produce: strawberries and banana
Whole Grain: steel cut oats
Protein: milk
Plant Based Fat: chia seeds
Free Extras: cocoa powder and vanilla

Show Arrowhead Mills & Maranatha some love!

Arrowhead Mills
Facebook: facebook.com/arrowheadmills
Pinterest: pinterest.com/arrowheadmills
Twitter: @arrowhead_mills
Website: arrowheadmills.com

Maranatha Foods
Facebook: facebook.com/maranathanutbutters
Instagram: @maranathafoods
Website: maranathafoods.com

Apple Pie Oatmeal

For the first time all winter, today actually feels like winter. Since it was gloomy and a super chilly low of 60 degrees, I was craving a warm bowl of oatmeal. This recipe is extremely thick, filling, and naturally sweet. Stay warm little snow bunnies!

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Apple Pie Oatmeal
Serves 1

1 fuji or gala apple, chopped
1/2 cup whole rolled oats
1/2 cup milk of your choice
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Chop apple and combine with rolled oats, milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer/boil, then cover and bring down to low heat. Cover and stir occasionally and until the oats and apple become cooked and liquid is absorbed. Top with chopped walnuts and enjoy!

Toppings: Enjoy with 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts, or if you’re feeling crazy, try 1 tablespoon of peanut or almond butter!

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The Rabbit Food Pyramid Breakdown
Produce: apple
Whole Grain: rolled oats
Protein: milk
Plant Based Fat: walnuts (or 1 Tbsp nut butter!)
Free Extras: cinnamon & nutmeg

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I’m so excited and honored to be featured in Natural Delights free eBook “Nature’s Power Fruit” this month! Click through the image to download the free ebook featuring 5 recipes!

Health & Happiness
xo Catherine

Balela Salad

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you: a healthy Middle Eastern dish!

I’ve been addicted to Trader Joe’s Balela Salad (Middle Eastern chickpea & black bean salad) for a while now. Balela is savory and tangy with a gratifying bite. Plus, thanks to the amazing plant-based protein and fiber, it’s quite filling. I’m pretty sure you guys are going to be hooked like I am!

It’s amazing on it’s own, but if you are following the Rabbit Food Pyramid, you can add some lettuce and tuck it into a whole wheat pita pocket, or serve over a bed of lettuce and quinoa!

Love my new bunny bowl that Brett gave me for Christmas! It’s so photogenic : )

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Balela Salad
Serves 1
1/2 cup chickpeas, cooked (I use Eden Organic – No Salt Added Chickpeas)
1/4 cup black beans, cooked (I use 365 Organic No Salt Added Black Beans)
1/4 cup chopped fresh tomato
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp cup chopped red onion
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
Pinch of cayenne
Salt & Pepper to taste

Rinse and strain cooked chickpeas and black beans. Chop, tomato, garlic, red onion, parsley, and mint. Combine together with the chickpeas, beans, lemon juice, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. Add cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Note: This dish is best after the chickpeas have marinated for several hours of overnight.
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Make your meal RFFMBT Pyramid approved:
Serve over a bed of lettuce and quinoa
or
Add lettuce and tuck it all into a whole grain pita pocket!

The Rabbit Food Pyramid Breakdown
Produce: tomato, garlic, red onion, parsley, mint (1 cup of lettuce if desired)
Whole Grain: None (1/2 cup of cooked quinoa – or 1/2 whole wheat pita pocket if desired)
Protein: chickpeas & black beans
Plant Based Fat: olive oil
Free Extras: lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, cayenne, salt & pepper

… I love rabbit food!

Lightened Up Date Shake

Living in Southern California my entire life, I grew up going to Palm Springs every Easter with my family. Every trip to palm springs always included a quick stop by the date gardens in Indio to get a date shake. Since you guys know I love “healthifying” comfort foods, today is the day for a Lightened Up Date Shake. Traditional date shakes consist of full fat vanilla ice cream, whole milk, and dates. My recipe still consists of 3 ingredients, but adds up to nearly a fraction of the calories! Plus it’s vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, paleo, and low-fat!

A traidtional date shake adds up to:
Calories: 626
Fat: 25.3g
Sugar: 77.5g
Fiber: 4.5g
Protein: 13.2g

And my Lightened Up Date Shake totals:
Calories: 330
Fat: 1.25g
Sugar: 57.5g (all natural unrefined sugar)
Fiber: 8g
Protein: 3g

Not all sugars are created equal. Say a candy bar (refined sugar) has the same amount of sugar as a banana (natural sugar). They process through your body completely different. Whole fruit has a lot of fiber, which actually slows down your body’s digestion of glucose, so you don’t get the crazy insulin spike (and crash) that candy causes. That also means your body has more time to use up glucose as fuel before storing it… as fat.

That’s the #1 reason why I love using Medjool Dates as a sweetener in baking and other recipes versus regular table sugar!

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Lightened Up Date Shake
Serves 1

3 Natural Delights Medjool Dates, pitted
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup unsweetened original almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Remove pits from dates. Blend blend blend until smooth and creamy!

Tip: To make this more filling as a meal replacement, try adding 1/4 cup of dry rolled oats to the blender!

Huge thank you to Natural Delights for supplying the dates for this recipe!

Juice Pulp Crackers

Hi everybunny!

I hope you guys are having a great week so far!
I wanted to start by saying THANK YOU for your support with my last post. There are so many times that I struggle with body image and/or eating and just want to crawl into my bed and lock myself in my room because I’m ashamed, upset, and flat-out sad… but time and time again you guys have shown me that I am most definitely not alone, and have nothing to be embarrassed about. Your comments were so empowering and I appreciate your vulnerability and honesty. You are all so strong and seriously beautiful writers! I love you guys so much. My readers make me so incredibly happy each and every day. Expect a giveaway this week, to show my love and appreciation!

So I just found out this week that my “advertise” contact form has not been working. Ahhhh! This is the WORST! I apologize to anyone who has messaged me in the past few weeks and not gotten a response. I feel so unprofessional and cannot even imagine how rude people must think I am. I am working with my web host to get my contact form working again. In the meantime, if you have a professional inquiry please email me at: Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 11.12.39 PM.

I also wanted to say sorry for being MIA last week! I was in Texas for a wedding and then in Arizona visiting my friends at Natural Delights and judged the recipe contest at the 2nd Annual Yuma Medjool Date Festival! There will definitely be some new Medjool date recipes coming up and possibly a giveaway for you guys!

Finally, here is the recipe I promised!
Sorry for the delay : ( and thank you for your patience!

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Don’t you hate seeing food or nutrients go to waste?

Although most of us use juice pulp for compost or unfortunately throw it away… many people don’t realize that they are leaving behind all of the great fiber that the fruits’ and veggies’ skins contain.

Fiber serves a very important role in our diet. When eating whole fruits and vegetables, the natural fiber helps to slow down the process in which the body breaks down and releases sugar, which prevents blood sugar from spiking and crashing. Fiber can also help you feel fuller longer and keeps your digestive system running smoothly and efficiently.

Bottom line, there is value in this often-neglected pulp!

Next time you make a juice, think twice before tossing the pulp!
It’s easy to transfer your fibrous juice pulp into hearty and delicious Juice Pulp Crackers.

Juice-Pulp-Crackers-9I love slathering hummus on my Juice Pulp Crackers!

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Juice Pulp Crackers
Makes about 25-30 crackers

2 cups juice pulp
1/2 cup ground flax meal
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp thyme (I used dried)
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup water

*Make sure that all inedible seeds and skin are removed from produce before juicing if you intend to use the pulp for crackers!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Slowly add water until the mixture is well combined but still sticky (The amount of water may vary based on how watery your pulp is). Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the mixture out very thinly (you want this as thin and even as possible). You will want this to be as thin as possible or your crackers may turn out bready versus crunchy. Bake for 30-40 minutes until crispy. Remove from oven and cut into 1.5 inch squares.

Note: Like kale chips, these don’t store very well, so they are best to eat the same day they are made!
Dehydrating: If you have a dehydrator you can spread the mixture evenly onto a teflex or “fruit leather” dehydrator sheet. Set dehydrator to 115 and for 5-6 hours, flip the cracker over, and dehydrate for an additional 4-5 hours until crunchy.

The pulp for these crackers was from my Glowing Green Juice so I thought that thyme, salt, and pepper was a great addition, but feel free to experiment with different spices and seasonings! Cayenne would give a ice kick to your crackers!

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