3 Ingredient Lemon Energy Bites

3 Ingredient Lemon Energy Bites

I don’t know what I would do without my food processor. It’s likely one of my most used kitchen appliances. One thing I’m regularly making are energy bites! With a base of dates and almonds, there are endless combinations and flavours to make. These lemon energy bites are one of my favourites and are always a big hit! Sweet, tangy and refreshing like lemonade!

These bites are great as a sweet treat after a meal, afternoon snack or quick pre-workout bite.

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3 Ingredient Lemon Energy Bites

Course Snack
Author Andrea Docherty, RD

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • Juice of a lemon

Instructions

  1. 1. In a food processor blend up dates, almonds and lemon juice. 

    2. Blend until it starts to form a large ball but try and leave some chunks of almond for texture. 

    3. Remove from the food processor and roll into 1 inch balls and then place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to harden.

Recipe Notes

These also taste delicious rolled in unsweetened coconut!

Raw Vegan Fudge Brownie

Raw Vegan Fudge Brownie

I can’t really decide if this is more like a fudge or brownie. So I am just naming it both! Seriously, you will not believe that lentils are in here. The versatility of lentils makes me want to throw them in almost any type of dish. These powerhouse little legumes are high in protein, a great source of fibre and also a source of iron. With only 4 ingredients and no baking required, these are almost too easy to make.

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Raw Vegan Fudge Brownie

A satisfying healthy dessert. With the mix of protein, fibre and healthy fats, this dessert won't cause a blood sugar crash. 

Course Dessert
Author Andrea Docherty, RD

Ingredients

  • 1 cup canned cooked lentils drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup dates pitted
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, crushed walnuts or pistachios optional

Instructions

  1. 1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

    2. In a small baking dish or pyrex, press down and make the bars about ½ inch thick.

    3. Top with pumpkin seeds (or other nuts) if desired. 

    4. Place in fridge for at least 30 min to chill. Serve cold. 

No Added Sugar Energy Bites

No Added Sugar Energy Bites

These no-bake energy bites make a tasty, filling snack. I wanted to see if they would stick together without honey, and they did! So there is no added sugar – it’s sweetened with some mashed banana and dried currants.

You could make these nut free by using sunflower seed butter or soy butter (Wow butter) so that they are school-friendly. Recipes like these are great for getting kids involved in the cooking.

Store these in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.

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No Added Sugar Energy Bites

Course Snack
Author Andrea Docherty, RD

Ingredients

  • 1.5-2 cups quick oats
  • 1 ripe banana mashed
  • 0.5 cup almond butter
  • 0.25 cup ground flax seed
  • 0.25 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp dried currants
  • 0.5-1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Use a fork or potato masher to mash your banana in a large bowl

  2. Add the almond butter and mix. Add the oats (start with 1.5 cup and add the addition 0.5 cup at the end if the mixture is too wet) and ground flax and mix. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.

  3. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to harden. Form 12-16 ~1 inch size balls. 

Recipe Notes

You can substitute the currants and pumpkin seeds for other dried fruit, nuts or seeds. 

High Protein Oatmeal Recipes

High Protein Oatmeal Recipes

Oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to start the day! It’s packed with fibre and slow releasing carbohydrates. The type of fibre it contains is soluble fibre, which can help to lower cholesterol. Oatmeal is whole grain so its complete with antioxidants, B vitamins and other nutrients. Not all oatmeal is created equally though. When shopping, you may come across:

  • Instant Oats
  • Quick Oats
  • Large Flake Oats
  • Steel Cut Oats

From the top left and clockwise: Steel cut oats, large flake oats, quick oats.

What’s the difference?

There is not much of a difference in terms of the calorie, fibre and protein content. However, because they have been processed to varying degrees, our body digests them differently.

  • Steel cut oats are the least processed – the oat grain is chopped to make it cook quicker. They will keep your blood sugar more stable and keep you feeling fuller longer.
  • Large flake and quick oats are steamed and rolled and slightly more processed.
  • Instant oats cook fast because they are the most processed so that they cook very quickly. These instant individual packets of oatmeal often have added sugars.

What should you choose?

Your best bet is large flake or steel cut oats. Steel cut oats take 30 minutes on the stove – too long for most people to spend making their breakfast. Make a batch on the weekend to reheat (on the stove or on the crockpot) or try the instant steel cut oats – I love the PC Blue Menu Plain Instant Steel Cut Oats.

Creating a balanced, energizing meal

Oatmeal alone isn’t super exciting, nor does it make a balanced breakfast! You’ve got to add some protein, healthy fats and ideally some fruit as well. Protein at breakfast will keep you feeling fuller longer.

Below are some ways to boost the protein and flavour in your morning oats! You will find two recipes – Lentil Oatmeal and Oatmeal with Eggwhites. At the end of this article, you will find some high protein toppings for your oats!

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Lentil Oatmeal

Use a 2:1 ratio of oatmeal to lentils. Double that amount and add that much water (for example if you used ½ cup total of lentils and oats, add 1 cup water). You can also try using milk or milk alternative. 

Course Breakfast
Author Andrea Docherty, RD

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup red lentils
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1.5 cup liquid (water or milk)

Instructions

  1. In a pot, bring the oats, lentils and liquid to boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until all water is absorbed.

  2. Add your favourite toppings. 

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Oatmeal with Egg Whites

The yolk contains half the protein and most of the vitamins and minerals, however adding the egg yolk to the oatmeal really changes the flavour. In this case, stick to just egg whites to mix in with your oatmeal. 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup oatmeal (quick or large flake)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup egg whites

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, add your serving of quick oats. I use about 1/3 cup quick oats and 2/3 cup water. Microwave for 1 minute until it starts to cook but is not completely done.

  2. Remove from microwave and add egg whites. Start with 1/3 cup and you can always add more depending how much protein you want to add or the texture you prefer. Stir this into the oatmeal.

  3. Place back in the microwave and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring midway. You want the egg whites to start to cook but don't overcook them or else they don't mix well into the oatmeal. You'll have to play around with the time since microwaves vary, but you don't want the eggs too runny or too firm. 

  4. Once finished, remove from microwave and stir to incorporate all the eggs into the oatmeal. 

  5. Add any toppings like fruit, cinnamon, or flax, chia, hemp seeds, nuts and nut butters for healthy fats. 

Recipe Notes

You can also cook this on the stove top. Add the water and oats and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer (low-medium heat) and add egg whites, stirring often until proper consistency is reached and oats and eggs are cooked. 

High protein toppings:

  • Plain Greek yogurt – just mix it right in with the oatmeal or serve on the side

  • Cottage cheese – also works well mixed in or had on the side
  • Raw nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, etc – keep to 1/4 cup max. depending on your individual needs)
  • Nut butter (almond, peanut butter etc)

Sweeten your oatmeal naturally with fruit like sliced bananas, unsweetened apple sauce, dried fruit or whatever fruit is in season.

Cinnamon and vanilla extract can also add flavour without having to add too much extra sugar.

What is your favourite way to enjoy oatmeal?

Will you make any changes to your breakfast after reading this?

-Andrea Docherty, RD

Sweet Potato Breakfast for Athletes

Sweet Potato Breakfast for Athletes

Athletes require more carbohydrates than sedentary individuals. I love the idea of this stuffed sweet potato for breakfast because its very easy to customize the amount of carbs at this meal based on one’s own needs.

Why Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes may not be exactly what comes to mind when you think breakfast food. However, they are a great fuel source for athletes and non athletes.

  • Sweet potatoes are a long lasting fuel source. The carbohydrates are released slowly into the blood stream, preventing a spike and crash in your blood sugar.
  • High in fibre, which is helpful for weight management and digestion.
  • High in betacarotene and other antioxidants that help you stay healthy and recover after workouts. A diet high in antioxidants (these come from fruits and vegetables) can help prevent heart disease and cancer.
  • Good source of potassium. Potassium is a mineral that helps to control blood pressure, maintains fluid and electrolyte balance and has a role in muscle contractions.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup sweet potato provides:

121 calories

28 g carbohydrates

4 g fibre

474mg potassium (10%)

0g fat

2g protein

Stuffed Breakfast Sweet Potato

Microwave your sweet potato in the morning or bake a large batch beforehand. Slice in half and top with toppings of choice (as pictured), or just cut a slit in the middle and stuff your sweet potato. A half may be a good snack size, but to meet your carbohydrate needs a large, whole sweet potato may be needed at meals.

Toppings for your sweet potato:

To increase the carbohydrate content:

  • Granola
  • Drizzle of honey or maple syrup
  • Jam
  • Dried fruit
  • Sliced fruit (bananas, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, etc)

For a protein boost:

  • High protein peanut butter (pictured)– In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp peanut butter (natural) and ½-1 scoop of protein power, a generous amount of cinnamon and 1 tbsp almond milk. Add the almond milk slowly and use more if needed to get to desired consistency.
  • Plain or flavoured Greek yogurt
  • Peanut butter Greek yogurt – 2 tbsp peanut butter and ½ cup Greek yogurt

Healthy Fats

  • Nut Butter (Natural peanut or almond butter, sunflower seed butter, etc)
  • Chia, hemp or ground flax seeds – adds healthy fats, fibre and the hemp seeds provide extra protein

Flavour additions:

  • Cinnamon, nutmeg or pumpkin spice

This could also make a great snack or recovery meal!

-Andrea Docherty, RD