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Healthy Eating/ How-Tos/ RECIPES/ Sides

How to Make Perfectly Sweet Caramelized Onions

caramelized onions on a white platter

I am smitten with caramelized onions, and this is coming from a girl who despises raw onion.

One of my earliest childhood memories is requesting that my raw onions would be scraped from my fast-food burger. I would watch my Dad sacrifice a perfectly good french fry and use it as a scraper to get those raw onions off!

Caramelized onions are a whole different food from raw onion. They are soft and oh so sweet!

They add amazing flavor to many dishes and are great for topping sandwiches, burgers, and salads.

They are so popular in our home that they rarely get past the skillet without fingers in them…my Teagan has been known to make a whole pan disappear.

 

Why You Need Sweet Caramelized Onions

I am not only smitten because of how delicious caramelized onions are but also because they are one of the most healthful foods you can eat!

Research has shown that people with the highest consumption of onions (and other alliums) have a lower risk of several types of cancer, as onions contain several anti-cancer compounds. {referrence}

Quercetin is one of these compounds which has been found to decrease cancer tumor formation and inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Onions are antibacterial, antifungal, contain antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties–so don’t be anti-onion–at least until you try them caramelized.

They help maintain gastrointestinal health by creating and sustaining beneficial bacteria.

They reduce symptoms associated with diabetes, improve the absorption of minerals (like calcium and my favorite calming mineral – magnesium) due to the fructans they contain.

With my cancer history and my Todd using a healthy diet to keep blood sugar levels down, getting onions in on a daily basis is a priority to both of us.

I use chopped onions as a foundation of just about every recipe I make, and also am just as happy making them caramelized as a yummy vegetable side to any dish.

 

skillet of caramelized onions

What I Do To Make My Onions Perfectly Sweet

The key to making caramelized onions perfectly sweet is patience and a wide, flat-bottomed high sided heavy pan. A well-seasoned cast iron pan is my favorite pan to use.

The caramelization process takes a little patience, and as you will see in the video I share below, they soften and sweeten in stages.

For caramelization, it can take 15-20 minutes of cooking time.

This usually is not a big deal for me, as I just get them going at the beginning of my meal-making, and they cook away and are done by the time the rest of the meal our meal is cooked, and only need a little attention with just a bit of stirring.

There are several different ways to make caramelized onions, and many cooks will just use oil, salt and pepper.

Some swear by adding a bit of sugar at the end to help speed up the process, but I believe we get quite enough sugar in the typical American diet and don’t need to be adding it to our healthy onions!

I let the onions sweeten themselves, and sometimes add a splash or two of balsamic vinegar at the end for even more darkened sweetness. Delish!

 

dish of caramelized onions

Perfectly Sweet Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

There is nothing like a perfectly sweet caramelized onion! Even if you are not an onion lover, you may just become one after trying them cooked in this way. 

Recipe Type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: onions
Servings: 4 people
Ingredients
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 tbsp oil or butter (avocado oil, coconut oil or grass-fed butter)
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • water (or chicken broth)
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
Instructions
Prep onions & pan
  1. Peel and halve onions through root end and slice into 1/4" - 1/8" thick slices, using the onions natural grain to make strips for you.

  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. butter or oil in a large flat-bottomed heavy pan on medium heat. 

    Note: The video in the post shows a saucepan, but a larger, heavy pan is much preferred. Using a wide base gives water room to evaporate, allowing onions to caramelize rather than steam.

Cook onions
  1. Add onions to the pan and stir. Then season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Let the onions begin to soften and turn translucent.

Reduce heat, stir & add liquid if necessary
  1. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook onions, stirring often to prevent them from getting too much color in one place or sticking.

     If onions stick or get too brown in one place, reduce heat.

Add cooking liquid if necessary
  1. If you see bare, browned spots in the pan, add a bit of cooking liquid and stir. The liquid will help scrape the cooked-on bits and will season the onions. 

Keep and eye and keep stirring
  1. Once the onions began to take on a caramel color, keep a close eye on them. For extra-dark onions, this is when you add balsamic. 

  2. This is the point when your onions need constant attention. Keep stirring until they are the desired color. I like mine a caramel color with a few dark edges.

Let cool & store
  1. Let onions cool, then transfer to an airtight container OR you can do what I do and eat them right from the pan! 

  2. Chill any leftover onions. They will keep up to one week and can be eaten warmed or chilled right from the refrigerator. They also freeze well!

 

Have you over caramelized onions? Do you have your own tried and true method?

If you have not, and even if you are not a big onion fan, making them this way may just change your mind.

 

Watch this video on The Scene.

{the video uses a saucepan, but I prefer a wide, heavy-bottomed cast iron skillet!}

 

Grab a bag of onions next time you are at the grocery store and get those health-filled onions into you and your loved ones!

Make sure to comment below and let me know if you do, and what your favorite process toward caramelization is.

FEATURED/ HEALTH/ Healthy Eating/ RECIPES

5 Reasons To Eat Seeds Every Day + Super Seed Mix in a Jar Recipe

Jar of layered seeds

5 Reasons To Eat Seeds Every Day

 

HIGH NUTRIENT FOOD

Eat super seeds every day! They are a high nutrient food and they are packed with healthy goodness. Seeds contain all the starting materials needed to grow into a complex plant, and because of this, they are a very alive, nutritious food.

Keeping a jar of super seed mix in the refrigerator is an easy way to have these little superfoods on hand at all times.

 

PLANT PROTEIN

Many seeds (like pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds) are a complete protein source! Seeds have more protein and minerals than nuts and less saturated fat.

 

GOOD FATS FROM A WHOLE FOOD SOURCE

Seeds are rich in ALA Omega 3 fats which feed the brain and plays a key role in metabolism and energy production.

Having a good fat in your diet is important for the absorption of nutrients, including anti-cancer phytochemicals.

 

LIGNANS

Lignans are antioxidants that may help support the immune system and can help balance hormone levels in the body.

They also have anti-estrogenic effects and can prevent naturally occurring hormones from binding to estrogen receptors and exerting their negative effects.

I am especially interested in the lignans in seeds as I am a survivor of hormone-sensitive breast cancer.

 

DISEASE PROTECTIVE

Again, as a breast cancer survivor, I am very interested in all of the health benefits of seeds.

My husband has been pre-diabetic in the past, so he also makes sure to get his seeds in every day, too!

Plant foods, in general, can be very disease protective, and so eat your seeds!

Continue Reading…

Drinks/ Healthy Eating/ RECIPES/ Sponsored

DIY Cold Brew Coffee with Healthy Salted Caramel Whipped Topping

Cold Brew Pitcher and Iced Coffee with a straw

*This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shopko. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

DIY Cold Brew Coffee

Are you a cold brew coffee fan but don’t like paying coffee shop prices? Do you love coffee but wish it were less acidic and easier on your tummy? Do you love iced toddy lattes with dreamy creamy toppings but don’t like the added processed sugar?

 

Whipped cream topped cold brew coffee in a glass

I don’t know about you but I can say yes to all of those questions. I also found a great solution for ALL of them with the help of the Primula 51 Ounce Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker from Shopko, and an amazing whipped cream recipe to top your cold brew!

I’ve dabbled in making my own cold brew for a few years now, and but never found a process that was streamlined and easy enough to keep doing it on the regular.

 

Cold Brew Coffee French Press System

My old way of doing it was with a french press but honestly, it was messy and I had to put too much thought into the measurements and the ratio of coffee to water for it to become an easy habit.

If you want to know how to make it in the french press, you simply stir 1/4 cup of coarse coffee grounds into 1 cup of cold water. Let sit out on the counter overnight.  The next morning, add another cup of cold water. Then press the grounds and pour over ice. This makes 2 cups of coffee.

 

Cold Brew Coffee – Jar System

You could make this in a glass jar instead of a French press, but instead of pressing, strain through a coffee filter twice. Again, it is messy and a slow straining process–not my favorite–but if you are desperate for cold brew coffee and have a glass jar and coffee filters on hand, you can use this method.

Place 1/4 cup of coffee grounds in a jar with 1 cup of cold water. Let sit in the refrigerator on the counter overnight.  The next morning,  add another cup of cold water.  Then strain the grounds and pour over ice. This makes 2 cups of coffee.

 

cold brew coffee pitcher, towel and succulent

 

Primula Cold Brew Coffee Maker

What is my favorite way to make cold brew coffee? With the Primula Cold Brew Coffee Maker from Shopko. It takes all guesswork out of making cold brew coffee and streamlines the process, making it as simple as possible.

Continue Reading…

Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Sponsored

How My Circle of Support Changed My Journey With Breast Cancer

cell phone with cancer app, plant and coffee mug

Thank you Pfizer for sponsoring this post. Join Pfizer’s #InspirationLives initiative by sharing your story with the hashtag on Facebook and Instagram to support and inspire those who have been affected by cancer, and be sure to check out the LivingWith™ mobile app available via iTunes and Google Play!

 

Cancer Diagnosis – A Reason for a Circle of Support

Every person who has been diagnosed with cancer knows exactly where they were when they heard the words “you have cancer.” These 3 little words are so powerful that knees get weak and the wind is knocked right out of you. You lose your breath, your heart pounds, and all of a sudden your whole world becomes a fight to keep breathing.

I’ve heard these words twice in my life.

The first time, I was a young 22-year-old cosmetologist working at a hair salon. I was blow drying my favorite client and was called away for a phone call. It was my dermatologist with biopsy results from a freckle on my stomach that had turned darker and darker. I answered the phone and he said, “I’m sorry to tell you: it tested positive for melanoma. Please make an appointment to come see me right away.”

I had read enough to know that back in 1998, melanoma was very deadly if it was advanced enough to get into the bloodstream. I went back to drying my client’s hair, hoping the dryer was loud enough to block out the sound of my pounding heart. I didn’t tell her the words I had just heard, even though she was my favorite. I needed a moment to take it all in. I needed a moment to breathe.

The second time I heard the words “you have cancer,” I was 34 years old, a wife and a mom of 3 beautiful girls. It felt different: more serious. My doctor called. This time I was at home in my bedroom, my 3 girls and their friends playing downstairs. I wrote about the call in my journal:

The doctor comes on the phone, voice low and serious.

“Amy, I’m sorry to have to tell you that you have invasive ductal carcinoma.”

Silence . . . my breath taken, but my heart beating louder and faster.

“Do you understand what I am saying? That means you have breast cancer.”

I find myself in my closet, the phone still attached to my ear. I am having to concentrate on my breath, and I say the word “OK” 3 times. It is the only thing I can think of to say. My knees feel weird. Is this what they mean by “weak in the knees”?

With the words “you have cancer,” life instantly becomes overwhelming and everything feels different. Life feels out of control. Appointments, doctors, scans, medications, surgeries and staying alive become your new normal. There is a lost sense of stability, and you are faced with your mortality. Your entire life becomes about living, and you fight to just breathe and stay alive.

 

Breast Cancer patient collage

The Importance of Having a Circle of Support

This is a fight that must not be done alone. Some of the most beautiful life moments can happen in this unwanted new normal, and they often involve others.

In my fight, I challenged my 3 young girls to look for treasures in the midst of the hard. We had to find ourselves thankful even when life was spiraling. I knew this would make this new journey bearable, but I don’t think I realized just how much it would change it and not just make it bearable, but beautiful.

Treasures came from above through our circle of support.

We are made for relationships. We are made to give love and receive love. People fighting cancer find themselves doing a lot of the receiving, and that is okay. The key is being willing to. It can be an adjustment if you are used to being the one giving, but, oh, the beauty of receiving love! If you are a cancer fighter, learn how to receive.

My circle of support came around me and taught me so much. I’ve had a front row seat for an extended time to see how it is done. Receiving love and support from others changed my journey and made it a precious one. I now know how to better give support and love others because of how others supported me.

There are treasures to be found even in cancer, in the giving and receiving of love the most beautiful circle is formed. A circle of support.

Living with cancer app on iphone

 

An Easy Way to Reach Out and Form Your Circle of Support

You can form a circle of support through the LivingWith™ app. This app is part of Pfizer’s This is Living with Cancer™ initiative designed to help people manage their lives with cancer and stay connected to their communities. The mobile app is designed to help manage some of the daily challenges faced by people living with cancer and organize certain important information in one place.

I sure wish it was around at the time of my cancer treatment and fight. It would have been helpful to have all of my information in one place.

 

Living with cancer app

Living with cancer app

My favorite part would be using the Circle of Support on the LivingWith™ app to inform and connect with my friends and family.

The app helps you assign a proxy who can manage your account on your behalf if desired: Champions, who are the people you rely on the most for daily help, and Supporters, who receive updates and help where and when they can. You can schedule and organize your help right there in the app, staying in touch with your people and keeping everyone up to date.

coffee mug, succulent and a cell phone with a cancer app opened up on it

How My Loved Ones Supported Me During My Breast Cancer Treatment

Despite not having the app, I still had amazing support.

If you are a cancer fighter, I hope the following stories give you ideas on how to answer your loved ones when they ask “What can I do?” If you are part of a cancer fighter’s circle of support, I hope my stories give you some great ideas of how you can support your loved one.

 

FLOWERS
I had 7 surgeries in 3 years, and my recovery room at the hospital or at home was always brightened by flowers. A favorite I remember was an orchid from my sister-in-law. I also remember a simple sweet violet plant. My husband’s workplace sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers with a grocery store gift card attached to it. I loved all of them. You can never go wrong with flowers!

 

HANDMADE ART
A teacher who taught young people at our church gathered their homemade art and get-well notes and delivered them to me. Teens from the non-profit organization that my husband worked for took the time to write letters and sent them to me. These 2 art deliveries touched my heart so much!

Another amazing piece of art I received was drawn by my teenage nephew and delivered to my hospital room. It was a sketch of a warrior, and he said it was me. That image and his love helped me find my courage. It is to this day a treasured gift.

 

FUN FOR THE KIDS
My girls were 10-, 9- and 7-year-old. Seeing their mom fight cancer was hard on them, but they sure loved getting spoiled and were so well loved. One of their favorite memories was getting to go to an indoor water park called CoCo Keys. This was such a generous, thoughtful gift from a sweet friend.

 

KID DATES
My father-in-law would come on a Saturday, pick my girls up and take them to a movie. I tried so hard to be awake and ‘up’ while my girls were home, so having them gone for a few hours gave me permission to relax the tough girl exterior that I kept while my girls were around and take a nap. They remember those special Grandpa dates to this day.

 

COMFORT ITEMS
A reader of this blog sent me a homemade lap quilt. I could not get over the sweet generosity and the time I know she took to make it. I took it everywhere and it got lots of attention in the chemo room. It was a perfect size and so very beautiful. I felt so covered in love.

Another reader crocheted hats for my cold noggin. A friend knitted 3 hats for my girls and one for me too, we were all pretty cute in our lovely handmade hats!

 

OFFER TO TAKE NOTES AT DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS
I have a dear friend who I knew was wired to be resolute and could keep her emotions in check even when hearing hard things. She is so loving but also tough.

She is the one I asked to come with us to our first oncology appointment. My anxiety was so strong that I had to ask for a bag while we sat in the waiting room just in case I got sick. This was before knowing if cancer had spread, and the unknown was getting the best of me.

My husband and I needed someone to focus and take notes on the hard things that were said while our minds swirled, and her strong presence was what we needed.

 

HELP WITH OVERWHELMING PROJECTS
I remember while healing that the simple act of putting my Christmas decorations away was so overwhelming. I remember my sister and mom packing it all away for me as I sat in my jammies on our couch, so relieved when all the boxes were finally put away.

A sweet group of women offered to come and help me organize and add planters to beautify our front yard for spring. I still have those planters sitting out by our front steps, all these years later, a reminder of love every time I come home.

 

PACKAGES IN THE MAIL
So many sweet packages from loved ones, but as a mom, I especially loved the packages that came for my girls. I so enjoyed seeing my worried girls delight in things. It was healing for us all. One package I vividly remember came from a loving aunt and had teddy bears and candy for my girls.

So many cards were sent and I kept all of them. One from my aunt and uncle had some money tucked inside for groceries.

 

HOUSE CLEANING
Oh goodness, what a gift. My sisters often would come and fold laundry and clean while I slept. My mother-in-law arranged for ongoing house cleaning while I was in treatment. The woman who came regularly to clean my home ended up becoming a mentor to me—talk about a full circle of support and a treasure from cancer! I have such sweet memories of being in her home and soaking in her wisdom.

——

There are many more examples I could give, specifically in the area of FOOD and PRESENCE—both were huge for creating a circle of support around me. Notice I said presence, not presents. Both are great but the former is so, so important.

I will talk about these 2 things extensively and share more stories in an upcoming post!

So what about you?

  • Do you have stories of your own circle of support?
  • Do you have a loved one that you are surrounding with support right now? If so, send them this post and tell them about the app!
  • What are specific ways or ideas you have for showing support?

 

Are you a cancer fighter that needs a circle of support? If so, get the app!

For more information and to download the LivingWith™ mobile app, please visit www.ThisIsLivingWithCancer.com. Patients and their loved ones also can find the initiative on Facebook and Instagram.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Healthy Eating/ RECIPES/ Sides

Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

I cannot get enough oven roasted sweet potato fries lately. I made this pan and ate over half of them in minutes! Sweet potato fries satisfy my love for all things salty/sweet. The starch and fiber in them keep me nice and satiated.

If any do remain on the pan after my ‘straight from the oven’ snacking, I will use them in wraps (they pair well with black beans), top my salad or lunch bowls (they are great eaten cold), will tuck them away in an omelette, or on top of my avocado toast.

Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

 

These are nice and crispy when they come out of the oven, but after being in the refrigerator they soften up…there is just no way around that.

I enjoy eating them soft and cold, and have even been known to grab a jar from the refrigerator and throw it in my bag for on-the-go snacking! I really like having them on hand, and they are becoming a staple part of my food week and have been added to my weekly food prep list.

My local health food co-op deli always has these sweet potatoes sitting inside their case–roasted, seasoned and ready to eat. I ordered them so often that I just knew I had to learn how to make them myself! My co-op always add a sprinkling of curry and I  love the flavor, so I have been doing the same.

 

Vegetarian Lunch Bowl Sweet Potato Fries

 

In the above lunch bowl, I have 3 foods that I have been prepping at the beginning of each week—-quinoa, ‘refried’ beans (without the refry!) and roasted sweet potato fries. This makes it really easy to make a quick and healthy lunch.

The salad above is greens topped with beans and quinoa for protein, sweet potato fries for a healthy starch, gluten-free chips (from Aldi!) for crunch, salsa in place of salad dressing and seeds sprinkled on top. Gotta get those daily seeds in! This salad bowl would be awesome topped with avocado for a nice healthy fat or even a poached egg for a breakfast salad!

 

Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

 

You could take these ingredients and roll up in a wrap. Delish! Today I made the above bowl but without the greens–I topped quinoa (you could use brown rice or riced cauliflower if desired) with all of the ingredients in the picture and added guacamole. I then had my Everyday Green Smoothie later for a snack, so I still got my leafy greens in!

Roasted sweet potatoes fries are a great staple to have on hand! These are packed full of vitamin A and are a great way to add an orange food to your plate to achieve the goal of eating the rainbow throughout your day!

 

Vegetarian Lunch Bowl Sweet Potato Fries

Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Recipe Type: sides
Ingredients
  • 1 sweet potato organic since you will be eating the skin
  • 2-3 tbsp avocado oil  a healthful oil that has a nice high smoking point, could use coconut oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • pinch of curry powder optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash, scrub and dry your sweet potato. Do not peel. There are great nutrients in the skin!
  3. Place potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with avocado oil to cover.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until coated evenly and thoroughly.
  5. Lay them out onto a baking tray so that none of them are touching. This will help them caramelize and allow them to get that deep, delicious, golden-brown color.
  6. Roast for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Don't be afraid to get some color on them...that will give them crispiness and flavor. Flip them over halfway through cooking.
  7. Sprinkle with a pinch of curry powder to taste.
Recipe Notes

If you want the fries crispy again after storing in the refrigerator, you can lightly fry them in a cast iron skillet with avocado oil before eating.

Meals/ RECIPES/ Uncategorized

Easy Steak Quesadillas

Easy Steak Quesadillas. Nice and brown and crispy!

This Steak Quesadilla recipe is a keeper. I just made it for the first time last week, and it is a recipe that will for sure go into our frequent meal rotation.

What makes these tortillas so appealing is the brown, crispy outside of the tortilla. There is something about a crispy crunch into oozy gooey of cheese and the slight tender chew of the steak strips — this all makes the dish very memorable. It is texture heaven for the mouth!

The steak is well seasoned and smells amazing while cooking. Between the scent of seasoned steak and the aroma of bits of cheese that fall from the tortillas into the pan, your home will smell amazing and your people will come running!

My people did, and they all really enjoyed this meal. We are not huge steak eaters around here, so having a few bite-sized bits of steak in a crispy tortilla was perfect for our family. We also don’t do a ton of cheese in our meals, so I love that it is easy to control the amount of cheese in this dish. Just sprinkle your preferred amount!

I kept our steak quesadillas pretty plain, but they still had a ton of flavor! Dipping them in salsa adds more layers of flavor. If you use the suggested cilantro, tomatoes and green onions inside of the tortillas, even though not necessary your quesadillas will be colorful AND flavorful.

Don’t let the length of the recipe below make you feel like this recipe is hard. It is super easy and cooks quickly. You do need to cut and season the beef about 20 minutes ahead of cooking, allowing it to come to room temperature before putting into the hot pan.

Also, make sure you have all ingredients prepped ahead of time! This is key as the dish comes together very quickly and is done in a jiffy!

Easy Steak Quesadillas. Nice and brown and crispy!

Easy Steak Quesadillas

(from How Jen Does It)

8-12 Flour Tortillas (or corn for gluten-free), cut in half.

 

1 pound Tri-Tip Steak, cut into thin strips against the grain

3-4 Tbsp Oil (I use Avodaco oil)

2 tsp Chili Powder

2 tsp Garlic Powder

2 tsp Cumin

Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper

 

1 c Shredded Colby Jack Cheese

1/4 c Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

1/2 tomato, chopped (optional)

2 green onions, chopped (optional)

 

Salsa for serving

Sour Cream, for serving (optional)

 

Prep Ingredients:

Cut tortillas in half. You will be folding each half in half, which helps keep the filling from falling out.

Cut steak into strips against the grain. Sprinkle steak with seasonings and toss. Let sit and come to room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Prep all ingredients ahead of time, as the assembly and cooking process goes fast!

 

Cook Steak Strips:

Heat oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add steak strips and cook just a couple of minutes until cooked through but DON’T OVERCOOK! It will get tough. Take off of the heat right after the steak is cooked through.

 

Assemble Steak Quesadillas:

Heat more oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.

Work with 4 tortilla halves at a time. Lay the tortilla halves in the hot pan with points touching each other in the center, and the opposite points of each tortilla half hanging over the pan edge.

Working quickly, add cooked steak onto each tortilla. Sprinkle each with cheese. Fold each tortilla in half, grabbing the point that is hanging over the pan and folding over the other point.

Cook until nice and brown and crispy on the bottom. Crispy is key! Do not flip prematurely. Enjoy the sizzle!

 

Flip and Fill Steak Quesadillas with Toppings:

Flip each steak quesadilla over. Once flipped, pull the top over and sprinkle with cilantro, tomato, and green onion, if desired. Then refold and cook until brown and crispy on the bottom and cheese is melted.

Serve with salsa and sour cream to dip. A big green salad is a great side to add color and vegetables to your meal.

To see a video of the cooking process, visit How Jen Does It.

 

Easy Steak Quesadillas. Nice and brown and crispy!

{For Your Pinning Pleasure!}

You might also like:

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Baja Fish Tacos

Easy Seasoned Taco Lentils

Healthy Eating/ RECIPES

RX Protein Bars with Nut Butter and Chia for Breakfast or Snack

RX Protein Bars topped with nut butter & seeds. Super filling and super nutritious!

*not a sponsored post

I’ve been having a little love affair with RXBar’s.  I was so happy to finally find a protein bar that had just a few ingredients that were actually real ingredients. I’ve had them for breakfast when I’m in a hurry, but I mostly use them as a snack when I’m craving something sweet but want something that adds to my total daily nutrition.

It has been a goal of mine lately to squeeze as much nutritional value from my snacks as possible. I’m also trying hard to stay away from processed sugars and artificial ingredients. This is why these bars are so appealing!

RX Protein Bars use dates to sweeten, which still adds sugar, but it is sugar from a whole food and is lower on the glycemic scale. When eaten in this bar form, the protein and fiber help keep blood sugars stable. The dates are rich in fiber, potassium, and copper, and are said to promote digestive health, reduce blood pressure and fight inflammation. This is what I mean by getting nutritional value from my snacks! Plain sugar does not have these benefits, and corn syrup certainly does not!

RX Protein Bar Topped with Nut Butter & Chia Seeds! Extra nutritious & filling.

The matte packaging is on point and you must admit, seeing the simple ingredients listed on the front is brilliant. I told my teen girls that B.S. stands for “boring stuff.” They didn’t believe me. Seeing just 4 ingredients in the list is so refreshing. Compare that to a PowerBar protein bar…brace yourself…

Seeing just 4 ingredients in the list is so refreshing. Compare that to a PowerBar protein bar…brace yourself…

POWERBAR Ingredient List:

TRISOURCE PROTEIN BLEND (SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, CALCIUM CASEINATE, WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE), MALTITOL SYRUP, CHOCOLATE FLAVORED COATING (SUGAR, FRACTIONATED PALM KERNEL OIL, COCOA, WHEY, NONFAT MILK, SOY LECITHIN, NATURAL FLAVOR), OLIGOFRUCTOSE (FROM CHICORY ROOT), FRUCTOSE, WATER, CANE INVERT SYRUP, PEANUT BUTTER, PARTIALLY DEFATTED PEANUT FLOUR, SOY CRISPS (SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, RICE FLOUR, SALT), PEANUT OIL, AND LESS THAN 2% OF: SALT, GROUND ALMONDS, NATURAL FLAVOR, SOY LECITHIN, BUTTER (CREAM).

Whoa. lots of caseinates which can be rough on the stomach, and look at all of those syrups, & GMO Soy! I’m wrinkling my nose as I type.

In RXbars, there is no gluten, no soy, no dairy, no added sugars or GMO’s. They are preservative free and the protein is from eggs instead of dairy, so if you have a dairy sensitivities you need not worry! My digestive system has been reacting negatively when I have dairy, so I like that the protein is from eggs.

My one complaint about RX Protein Bars is that some of them have “natural flavor.” I never love seeing that phrase in the ingredient list, as it can mean several things and often the “natural” is not so natural. The peanut butter RXbar does not have natural flavors, so I tend to lean towards that one.

RX Protein Bar Topped with Nut Butter & Chia Seeds! Extra nutritious & filling.

I like to doctor these bars up a bit. They are delicious on their own, but are even more delicious topped with a dollop of almond butter and a sprinkle of chia, which add even more health benefits. The almond butter acts almost like a frosting and truly satisfies when I want to eat dessert. Plus, look how pretty it is!

The bars contain 12g of protein, but by adding almond butter and chia, you up the protein to 20g! It adds more filling fiber, too!

I try to eat at least 1-2 tablespoons of chia a day. They have all eight essential amino acids and a bunch of trace minerals and micronutrients. Just 2 tablespoons of Chia has 5 times the omega-3 content of a 1/4 cup serving of walnuts, twice the iron and magnesium of a cup of spinach, as much calcium as a half-cup of milk, and more than twice the fiber of a cup of oatmeal! These little seeds are powerhouses!

Almond butter acts like a creamy frosting on these bars, I just love it as a topping! It truly satisfies when I want to eat dessert. Plus, look how pretty it is! Almond butter offers fiber and protein, just one tablespoon= 4 grams of protein!

RX Protein Bar Topped with Nut Butter & Chia Seeds! Extra nutritious & filling.

{above image for your pinning pleasure}

RXbars are on the pricey side, but the cost is worth it to me, especially when I cut a bar in half and eat one half as an afternoon snack, and the other as an evening snack. Two for the price of one, plus I bust my sugar cravings with a nutrition-filled snack!


What about you? What are your favorite high protein and filling snacks?

What is a favorite grab & go breakfast?

Have you incorporated chia into your diet? If so, how do you like to eat it?


Interested in using dates in your cooking? Check out this Date Paste recipe. Caramel-y delicious!

Want another way to incorporate chia into your diet? —> Overnight Chia Oat Breakfast Pudding

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