There’s something about the word “cookie” that makes us smile. Memories of childhood, perhaps, when our biggest worry focused on which cookie to choose from Grandma’s cookie jar? But we don’t always have time to bake in our busy adult lives — and we also don’t want to resort to grabbing processed products at the store. Here’s the solution: no-bake cookie bars. This wholesome recipe is beyond simple, and better yet, it can be customized with your favorite dried fruits and berries, nuts or nut butters.
A handful of nuts can really hit the spot, both in terms of satisfying hunger and packing in quality nutrition at snack time. If you choose walnuts, a palm-ful (about half a cup) brings in 9 grams of protein, plus omega-3 essential fatty acids, fiber and a decent dose of copper and manganese. Give your taste buds a new take these healthy faves with a dash of spice and some sea salt, baking for 15 minutes to add crispy crunch.
No matter how you slice it, a sandwich is still a carb-heavy meal—not what you want when you’re trying to sculpt a lean bod. Skip the bread and blend up an oldie but goodie, smoothie style, instead. Creamy peanut butter and sweet strawberry jam are whirled together with Greek yogurt, Six Star whey and a splash of milk for a frosty, drinkable lunch with extra protein punch.
Why waste time on white sugar when safer sweeteners make cookies just as craveable? Here’s a new one to try: lucuma. From a tropical superfruit native to Peru, this off-white powder is packed with vitamins and minerals, with a naturally sweet, malty flavor similar to maple. In this recipe, it’s combined with quinoa flakes (a nice change of pace from oats!), raw honey, coconut oil and other natural favorites for a sweet yet healthy cookie that won’t send your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride.
The simmering of soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger transport us to the far eastern corner of the globe – which is exactly how these Asian-inspired lettuce wraps so graciously honor the Chinese New Year. You’ll find all those familiar flavors sautéed into mixed veggies and protein-packed tofu. Whether you’re celebrating this momentous day or gearing up for a socially slammed weekend of your own, this low-carb dish is a light and delicious way to kick things off.
Ta ta, tomatoes! This salsa’s gone tropical, filled with chunks of mango, colorful peppers and fresh, flavorful herbs. Scoop it up with whole-grain crackers or organic blue corn chips for a healthy, hearty snack. It’s also great on grilled salmon (who needs creamy sauce?) or piled on a bean burger as a sweet and colorful condiment. Dip, dunk and heap on to your heart’s content—the whole bowl comes with just 311 calories and a little more than a single gram of fat.
Hummus lovers know tahini—a thick paste made from ground sesame seeds—as the star ingredient in their favorite dip. But a jar doesn’t have to sit neglected in the fridge until it’s time for another creamy chickpea creation. Thinned with lemon and lime juices and spiced with peppers and parsley, tahini can be turned into a sassy sauce to drizzle on veggies, salads, sandwiches or any dish for an instant calcium, protein and omega-3 boost. Try it as a topping on my Mini Beanie Burgers—ketchup will become a condiment of your past!
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