Nut-Free Coconut Chickpea Blondies

Nut-Free Coconut Chickpea Blondies

Coconut Chicken Curry with Zoodles

A “blondie” might not seem like a healthy snack, but when you take a peek at these ingredients, you may be surprised to see how nutrient dense, yet decadent, they really are!

Chock full of nutrients, the star of this blondie is the nutty, buttery chickpeas. With both soluble and insoluble fibre they really pack a digestive punch. The soluble fibre, raffinose in chickpeas, gets broken down by the good bacteria in your gut – which means easier and more regular bowel movements. This is great news for all of us, but especially for kids returning to school, as the added stress and change in routine can often lead to constipation in children.

Sunflower seeds are the perfect pairing, providing plant-based protein and fat to keep energy up and blood sugar levels balanced. Sunflower seeds are also a great source of vitamin E, which helps keep hair, skin and nails looking good while protecting your cells from free radical damage. Unfortunately, approximately 60% of North American’s are not consuming adequate amounts of vitamin E daily. Emerging research suggests vitamin E may have a role in regulating allergic airway disease (like asthma)1, so adequate vitamin E consumption may be an important preventative in pediatric nutrition.

Lastly, coconut oil provides even more healthy fats. The type of saturated fat in coconut oil, medium chain fatty acids, is shuttled to the liver to provide a quick and useable energy source. For adults, eating coconut oil regularly has been shown to support increased metabolism and help promote fat burning, as well as raise HDL (good) cholesterol, which lowers the risk of heart disease. In children, coconut oil provides fuel for the brain to help keep them focused during learning.

This blondie recipe combines good fats with fibre and protein all while keeping the sugars low! There’s just 1 tsp of maple syrup in each blondie making these a solid lunch box addition or a super after school snack and best of all they’re NUT FREE!!

They’re quick and easy to mix together in the food processor, and lining your pan with parchment will make clean up a snap! And because it is so easy to make your kids can make it with you.

 

  1. Joan M. Cook-Millsand Christine A. McCary. Feb 3 2012. Isoforms of Vitamin E Differentially Regulate Inflammation. PMC3271790.

Nut-free Coconut Chickpea Blondies

A “blondie” might not seem like a healthy snack, but when you take a peek at these ingredients, you may be surprised to see how nutrient dense, yet decadent, they really are!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 16 servings

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ tsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 cups Chickpeas cooked
  • ½ cup Sunflower Seed Butter
  • ¼ cup Maple Syrup
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Baking Soda
  • cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut plus extra for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF (177ºC) and brush a baking dish with coconut oil (use an 8x8 pan for 16 blondies).
  • Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.
  • Spread the batter evenly into the pan. (The batter will be very sticky, so brushing a spatula with coconut oil first will help.) Sprinkle extra coconut over the top and press in gently.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are slightly browned. Let cool for 20 minutes, then cut into squares. Enjoy!

Notes

Leftovers
Store in the fridge for 5 days or freeze in an airtight container.
No Maple Syrup
Use honey instead.
 
Amount per serving:
Calories – 109
Carbs - 11g
Fiber - 2g
Sugars - 5g
Protein - 3g
Fat - 6g
Green Shrek Muffins

Green Shrek Muffins

Coconut Chicken Curry with Zoodles

Do you ever have trouble convincing your kiddies to eat their vegetables? Do they turn their noses up at vegetables? These muffins are your new best friend at helping to smuggle in greens into your kids diet!

Spinach was a superfood before superfoods were cool, providing too many health benefits to list. Most people have heard that spinach is good for the eyes, and muscles, but did you know it’s also good for your immune system? Spinach is an excellent source of Vitamin K which acts as a cofactor for some proteins used in immune response, including Natural killer cells – the ones that help fight viruses.

Whole grain oats contain a soluble fibre called beta-glucan. This slowly digesting fibre also make you feel fuller, longer by delaying stomach emptying. Beta-glucan fibre only partially dissolves in the gut making a thick, gel like solution that is a friend to your good gut bacteria – and we all need as much immune support as we can find these days! For the adults in the house, oats can reduce LDL (bad cholesterol), reduce blood sugar, and may also improve insulin sensitivity.

Naturally sweetened with both dates and bananas, these muffins provide a solid dose of the essential mineral potassium. In one Canadian study potassium intakes were far below the “adequate Intake” level for all age groups. The European Respiratory Journal found that bananas could decrease wheezing and improve lung function in children with asthma, possibly due to their antioxidant and potassium content. What a simple way to support our respiratory system!

We understand busy families need something quick to prepare. If you’re feeling really keen add some eyes and a smile with a few stevia-sweetened chocolate chips before serving. You can now watch your kids eat their veggies while munching on this delicious Shrek muffin.

 

Green Shrek Muffins

Naturally sweetened with both dates and bananas, these muffins provide a solid dose of the essential mineral potassium. In one Canadian study potassium intakes were far below the “adequate Intake” level for all age groups. The European Respiratory Journal found that bananas could decrease wheezing and improve lung function in children with asthma, possibly due to their antioxidant and potassium content.What a simple way to support our respiratory system!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 12 muffins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil
  • cups Baby Spinach
  • 2 Banana ripe
  • ½ tbsp Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 2 tbsps Pitted Dates
  • ¾ cup Organic Coconut Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 cups Oats rolled
  • 2 tbsp Baking Powder

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF (177ºC) and line a muffin tin with liners. Brush the liners with coconut oil or use silicone cups to prevent the muffins from sticking.
  • In your blender, combine the baby spinach, bananas, protein powder, dates, and milk. Blend until smooth, then add the eggs, oats, and baking powder. Blend again until a batter is formed.
  • Scoop the muffin batter into the cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
  • Let cool and enjoy!

Notes

Recommended Protein Powder
This recipe was developed and tested with a plant-based protein powder. If using a different type of protein powder, results may vary.
Leftovers
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days, or freeze for two months or more.
Add-Ins
After blending, stir in chocolate chips, fresh berries, walnuts, or anything else you like to add to banana muffins!
Amount per serving:
Calories – 131
Carbs - 16g
Fiber - 2g
Sugars - 4g
Protein - 7g
Fat - 5g
Healthy Lunch Box Challenge

Healthy Lunch Box Challenge

Mother and son preparing lunchbox in kitchen

It has been a long time since our kids were at school and going back to school this year will not be the typical back-to-school experience. With staggered classes, online learning, COVID-19 looming, as well as kids adjusting to a “new normal” after 6 months off, it’s making for a stressful time. 

But putting lunches together should not be stressful! At Koru Nutrition we want to make sure you have the tools and some lunch ideas to help give your child a solid nutritional foundation, whether they are learning from school or at home. Healthy lunches are not only conducive to optimizing their learning experience, but also help to support healthy immune systems! 

 

Lunch Box Goals

#1. Eat the Rainbow

Health Canada recommends that children 11 and under should be consuming 5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily. If your children are 12 to 13 years, they require 6 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and for teens 14+ females require at least 7 servings of fruits and vegetables daily and males 14+ need 8 servings of fruits and vegetable a day. 

Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) indicates that approximately 70% of children aged four to eight years, and 65% aged nine to 13 years, do not consume the recommended minimum five servings of fruits and vegetables daily (11). Fruits and vegetables contain fiber to help regulate the bowels and support a healthy gut flora. They contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients to support brain health, mood, and immune system. So, it is vital that we ensure our kids are getting these foods into their diet—ideally at every meal!

If your kids don’t like vegetables, it is amazing where you can hide them. Check out these “Green Shrek Muffins”.

Goal: Incorporate at least one fruit and one vegetable into your child’s lunch box each day.

 

#2. Choose Healthy Carbohydrates

It’s important to avoid the temptation of putting sugar-laden processed treats into our child’s lunch box. Your kid might be happy in the moment, but you are not doing them any favours with their ability to remain focused, learn and maintain a stable mood throughout the day. Blood sugar imbalances can occur leading to behavioural and emotional challenges both during school hours and after school, which can make it tough on everyone.

Complex carbohydrates not only include the fruits and vegetables above, but they also include whole grains, legumes and lentils. Some healthy options include roasted chickpeas, a whole grain sandwich or wrap, whole grain muffin sweetened with apple sauce (not sugar), left over dinner of brown rice or whole grain pasta, brown or basmati rice (not white rice), or vegetable chilli in a thermos. You can even make some healthy sweet treats from these ingredients such as black bean brownies or chickpea blondies. Complex carbohydrates will help fuel your child’s brain during the day.

Goal: Incorporate 1-2 complex carbohydrates into your child’s lunch box.

 

#3. Don’t Forget Good Fats

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of healthy fats in your child’s diet and avoiding the bad fats, such as saturated fats and trans fats, because these bad fats can displace the good fats from your child’s brain. Healthy fats make up 60% of your brain and are critical to support healthy brain function. Research shows that good fats such as omega-3 can help boost memory and cognition and help support a healthy mood. Healthy fats include raw nuts and seeds, nut/seed butters, eggs, coconut oil, ketogenic recipe snacks, raw energy balls, avocado, and olives, although you may need to avoid nut-based products on days your child is at school. The standard western diet does not tend to provide enough healthy fats for our health, but we can change this!

Goal: Incorporate at least one healthy fat into your child’s lunch.

 

#4. Eat Clean & Lean Protein Sources

Protein has many important functions for the body and the brain. It helps to make neurotransmitters to help us focus, stay motived, plan and problem solve. However, so much of our children’s options for protein are highly processed and loaded with hidden sugars, artificial colourings and preservatives that only serve to hinder their brain function and health as opposed to help it. Examples of these “unhelpful” protein foods include processed deli meats, luncheon meats, hotdogs, processed cheeses, and Cheez Whiz.

Alternatively, healthy proteins include a boiled egg, left over dinner such as chicken, steak, salmon, cans of tuna, seeds, chickpeas, hummus, seaweed, quinoa, non GMO soy, plain Greek yoghurt, kefir, hormone free sausages, protein powder etc. 

Goal: Include a healthy protein into your children’s lunch each day.

 

#5. Stay Hydrated

We all hear that we need to drink water, but it helps to know why. Just a 2% drop of hydration can cause fuzzy short-term memory and a 5% drop in water levels in the body can cause 25- 30% loss of energy. But it is important to consider what your child is drinking as most people, including children, are consuming their excess sugar intake from sugar-sweetened beverages. There is no need to pack juice boxes for kids’ lunches as the health benefits of the fruit juice has been lost in processing leaving a sugar-loaded drink with limited nutritional value. Just stick to good old plain water!

Goal: Have a water bottle packed each day for your child. If they are not partial to plain water, you can use stevia-sweetened flavourings or cut up fruit in it. If it is a hot day add in ice cubes. 

 

Putting It All Together

Following these guidelines, will be a great start to help give your child the nutrients and fuel they need to stay focused and engaged in learning as well as support a healthy immune system, which in these current times is just as important.

So, each day in your child’s lunch aim to include:

      • At least one fruit
      • At least one vegetable
      • 1-2 complex carbohydrates
      • A good fat
      • A healthy protein
      • Water

With these nutritional bases covered, not only will you be providing your child with the foundation for optimal physical functioning, but you may find other improvements such as improved mood, less tantrums, better sleep and better interactions with their peers and family members. 

All the best during this back-to-school season, and good luck with your lunch box challenge!

Chocolate Cauliflower Shake

Chocolate Cauliflower Shake

Coconut Chicken Curry with Zoodles

Does cauliflower seem like an unlikely breakfast food? Just trust us, keep reading!

The cacao powder in this recipe contains is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available on the planet! But, cacao is also responsible for that familiar chocolatey flavour you know and love! Cacao boasts dense mineral content including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc and phosphorus. Plus, it contains a whole host of vitamins and antioxidants along with fibre. Cacao is a superfood, if there ever was one!

Most of us have heard of adding spinach to a smoothie or shake! Well, we’re just taking it up a notch with cauliflower! This vegetable lends itself to a mild flavour and a creamy texture, but that doesn’t mean it won’t pack a nutrient-punch. Cauliflower is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, and this family of foods has an affinity for supporting our bodies’ detoxification functions. It contains choline, which is critical for learning and memory, b-vitamins to spark your energy and metabolism, and antioxidants known to protect against cancer.

One ingredient in this recipe you may not be familiar with is maca. Maca is a herbaceous root native to the Andes mountains in South America. Like cacao, maca is a nutritional powerhouse. But, it’s also an traditionally used as an adaptogen – a group of plants that help us manage stress more effectively. On top of that, maca is known to improve fertility and boost libido.

Almond milk, almond butter and banana round out the recipe ensuring a delicious flavour and desirable texture.

Cauliflower for breakfast? Give it a try in this Cauliflower Chocolate Shake!

 

Chocolate Cauliflower Shake

The cacao powder in this recipe is nutrient-dense!It is not only responsible for that familiar chocolate flavour you know and love! Cacao boasts dense mineral content including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc and phosphorus. Plus, it contains a whole host of vitamins and antioxidants along with fibre. Cacao is a superfood! 

  • 2 cups Cauliflower (Fresh or frozen)
  • 2 Bananas (Frozen)
  • 2 tbsp Almond Butter
  • ¼ cup Cacao Powder
  • ½ cup Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 2 cups Almond Milk (Unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp Maca Powder
  1. In your blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth, pour into glasses and enjoy!

Make It Mocha

Replace half of the almond milk with chilled coffee.

Like It Sweeter

Add pitted medjool dates.

No Maca Powder
Leave it out or use cinnamon instead.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving:
Calories – 449
Carbs – 50g
Fiber – 17g
Sugars – 20g
Protein – 31g
Fat – 16g

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Foods To Boost Your Libido

Top 5 Foods To Boost Your Libido

Woman Eating Chocolate

    Lack of libido can create problems for relationships and couple’s ability to feel connected. There can be a number of factors that impact a person’s desire to “get frisky”; including psychological reasons such as stress, depression, and anxiety, medications, self-esteem, and so on. Low libido may also be due to hormones being out of balance, or circulatory problems such as poor blood flow.

    Consuming a diet high in healthy fats, whole fruits and vegetables, and antioxidants is a good start to supporting a healthy libido; and avoiding trans fats and saturated fats, sugar, and processed foods can help too. But are there any foods that can specifically help boost your sex drive and performance?

    Yes! Here are our top 5 foods that you might want to incorporate into you and or your partner’s diet to help keep the “fire” going or to get that “spark” started.

     

    #1. Ginkgo Biloba

    Ginkgo Biloba is a a tree, native to China, that has been grown for thousands of years for a variety of uses. Ginkgo has the ability to improve blood levels of nitric oxide, which improves circulation via the dilation of blood vessels (1).

    As a result, ginkgo biloba may also be useful for treating various symptoms of sexual dysfunction by improving blood flow to those areas of the body.

    Research has been done on the use of ginkgo biloba for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction. After consuming 60–120 mg of ginkgo biolba daily both male and female participants said they experienced positive effect on all 4 phases of the sexual response cycle: desire, excitement (erection and lubrication), orgasm, and resolution (afterglow), although effects appeared stronger in female participants (2). This herb can be consumed in capsule, tablet, liquid extract, and dried leaves/tea form (2).

     

    #2. Eat Chocolate

    Throughout history, chocolate has been a symbol of desire. Not just because of its delicious taste, but because of its power to improve sexual pleasure.

    Dark chocolate increases serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, making us happy and help put us in the ‘mood’. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, which is a compound that we have been shown to produce when we are in love. Given that low mood and stress can be strongly linked with lower sex drive, a few squares of dark chocolate daily is a good way to pump up the passion. Plus, cocoa increases blood flow, which aids in stimulation during sex. 

    As a result, chocolate can produce some aphrodisiac feelings of love and mood-lifting effects. Although the role it plays in boosting a healthy libido may be more psychological than physical (3,4).

     

    #3 Pistachio Nuts

    Pistachios may have a variety of health benefits, including helping lower blood pressure, control weight and reduce the risk of heart disease (5,6,7).

    Moreover, they may also help reduce symptoms of erectile dysfunction. In one small study, men who consumed 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of pistachio nuts per day for three weeks experienced increased blood flow to the penis and firmer erections (8).

     

    #4 Oysters

    Research shared at a 2005 conference of the American Chemical Society that oysters, clams, and scallops contain compounds that raise testosterone and estrogen levels. This is due in part to their vitamin D and zinc levels (9). A boost in healthy hormone production translates into heightened sexual desire in many cases.

    As noted above, oysters are an excellent source of zinc and vitamin D. Six raw oysters contain 32 mg, or 291% of the Daily Value for zinc, and 269 IU or 67% of your Recommended Daily Intake for vitamin D; both of which can help boost testosterone levels, and subsequently aid in blood flow to sexual organs in both genders.

    Don’t care for mollusks? Feast on lobster or crab instead. Both types of shellfish are loaded with zinc too (9).

     

    #5 Maca

    Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a root vegetable that mainly grows in the Andes of central Peru. Maca is a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. It has been used for years to enhance fertility and sex drive.

    A 12-week study noted that 42% of men who took 1,500–3,000 mg of maca daily experienced an increased sex drive (10). Furthermore, in a review of 4 studies in 131 people, taking maca consistently for at least 6 weeks improved sexual desire. It also helped treat mild erectile dysfunction in men (11).

    Additionally, some evidence suggests that maca may help combat the loss in libido that may occur as a side effect of certain antidepressant medications (12).

    Most studies found that taking 1.5–3.5 grams daily for at least 2–12 weeks was sufficient to boost libido (13, 14). You can buy supplements in various forms including powders, capsules, and liquid extracts.

     

    So, eat a whole foods-based diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, incorporating our top 5 foods to boost your libido, to kick your sex drive into overdrive. Feel the love!

     

    References

    1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18446847/
    2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9611693/
    3. https://works.bepress.com/emmanueloheneafoakwa/90/
    4. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2006.00236.x
    5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24980134/
    6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20833992/ 
    7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21228801/
    8. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-03/acs-oc030805.php
    9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12472620/
    10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20691074/
    11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25954318/
    12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12472620/
    13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20691074/ 

     

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    © 2020 Koru Nutrition Inc. All Rights Reserved.