Happy Friday and Happy National Nutrition Month!!
National Nutrition Month (NNM) is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Each year there is a different theme that highlights the importance of making informed food choices and developing healthy lifestyle habits.
This year the theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right”. To quote the Academy, “Consumer research confirms that taste tops nutrition as the main reason why one food is purchased over another. While social, emotional and health factors also play a role, the foods people enjoy are likely the ones they eat most. This year’s key messages for NNM focus on how to combine taste and nutrition to create healthy meals that follow the Dietary Guidelines recommendations.”
This has been my favorite theme of NNM month to date. After all, the idea of healthy and tasty coexisting was the driving force behind creating Dishing Out Health.
To honor and celebrate this theme, let’s talk food :D. So much good stuff to share with you today!
1. Ladera Granola
I can confidently say this is the best granola I have ever tried. I usually never buy pre-packaged granola because it’s either too hard or filled with too many preservatives and added sugar. Ladera Granola is a blend of almonds, pecans and whole grain oats roasted in olive oil, pure maple syrup and spices.
The ingredient list is short and sweet, yet the flavor is robust and delicious. It’s actually lower in sugar and higher in protein than most of it’s wholesale counterparts.
As soon as I opened the bag, I smelled inviting aromas that reminded me of a freshly baked pecan pie or apple crisp. It was love at first smell. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this granola all week. It was the perfect topping to smoothies, yogurt parfaits and overnight oats.
Yogurt parfait made with chia seed pudding, sliced strawberries, Greek yogurt, Ladera Granola and shredded coconut. Divine!
My decadent vanilla almond protein smoothie topped with Ladera Granola and cinnamon.
Check out Ladera Granola online for ordering information. You will be hooked!!
2. You Fresh Naturals Coco-Nut-Butters
Oh my God. My nut butter obsession is pretty evident around here so it should come as no surprise that opening one of these jars sent me into kid-on-Christmas-morning mode.
These nut butters are so good, they are actually dangerous.
I made an honest attempt to not engage in the familiar spoon->jar->face sequence of events. Though who am I kidding, there was no stopping me. These coco-nut butters are made of a delicious blend of coconut butter and almond butter combined with other all-natural ingredients. Flavors include Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Maple Vanilla.
So delicious on top of protein pancakes, in smoothies, on fruit or straight out of the jar. Check out You Fresh Naturals website for ordering info. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you
3. Real Beanz Refresh Iced Coffee
Every now and then I find a low calorie drink that I just can’t get enough of. Meet this week’s—and for many weeks to come- pick: Real Beanz Refresh Iced Coffee with Coconut Water.
With summer right around the corner, I picture this being the perfect cool-down drink after a morning walk or run. Not too sweet, crisp flavor and delightfully smooth texture.
As far as the nutrition low-down, it is made with all natural coffee beans and no artificial flavorings, colorings, sweeteners or preservatives. It’s low in calories (70 per bottle) and enhanced with nutrients including vitamins A, B6, B12 (what?!), C and E. The addition of coconut water makes it ultra refreshing and hydrating. There is no better pick-me-up than a mid-afternoon chilled coffee, in my opinion, and Real Beanz hit the nail on the head with this one.
I found Real Beanz at Whole Foods, however you can use their handy store locator to find retailers near you.
4. The Ultimate Homemade Iced Coffee
I have had countless unsuccessful attempts at homemade iced coffee in the past. It always ended up tasting weak and watered down. After far too much money spent at Starbucks, I finally figured out a solution to ameliorate my sub-par homemade iced coffee: Iced coffee CUBES.
I saw this idea on Pinterest a while ago and I’m so glad I finally gave it a shot. Simply brew a cup of coffee and pour it evenly into an ice-cube tray. I added 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract to the coffee for a flavor enhancer. Freeze the cubes for at least 3-4 hours, or until solid.
In the meantime, brew a standard cup of coffee and refrigerate or freeze until nice and chilled. When the coffee is chilled and the cubes are frozen, assemble in a glass and pour some rich vanilla almond milk over the top. I also added 1 packet of Stevia for a hint of sweetness. It is SO refreshing and the perfect afternoon treat.
5. Makeshift Starbucks Almond Milk Latte
My beautiful friend, Allie, at Keep Your Balance Studios posted this genius idea last week that I just had to share. A lot of people I know, including myself, WISH Starbucks offered almond milk. I think most of us also wish Starbucks espresso drinks were a little more affordable.
Allie was super resourceful and brought a mason jar of almond milk to Starbucks and ordered a double shot over ice. Result? A $2 almond milk latte! Kudos, Allie! Can’t wait to try this.
Check out Keep Your Balance Studios on Instagram for daily motivation from Allie. She is a health and fitness enthusiast with a positive, radiating energy. Thanks for the inspiration, KYB!
I hope there was enough caffeine in this post to get you all through the last day of the work week! Here’s to having a wonderful weekend filled with delicious eats and nutritious treats.