Homemade Nut Butter: The Best Cashew Pecan Butter

Homemade Nut Butter: The Best Cashew Pecan Butter

I have a slight obsession with nut butters.  Some form of nut butter makes a daily appearance in my menu line-up.  I love it with fruit, in my oatmeal or strait from the jar on a spoon (which can be really dangerous).

Nuts are amazing way to incorporate healthy fats into your diet necessary for great hormone function and energy supply. The taste is just a lucky byproduct.

I am not joking…this is delicious. You are going to make it and swear that the sugar fairy dumped loads of sweetness in there when you weren’t looking.

But Pecans…WOW!  Their sweetness really comes through when you emulsify them. Pecans, paired with cashews and a few spices makes what many of my friends refer to as “Nut Butter Crack.”

 

Download this recipe and more in my FREE Macro Recipe e-Book Volume 1.

 

AWalk’s Homemade Cashew-Pecan Butter

 

Ingredients

2 Cups Pecans

2 Cups Cashews (unsalted…unless you prefer more of a salty finish)

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

½ Teaspoon Cinnamon

 

  1. Place pecans and cashews in a food processor. (I have a 14 cup Cuisinart and use that thing all the time.)
  2. Lock lid in place and begin to blend for roughly 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stop blending and use a spatula to mix butter that has begun to stick to the sides as well as the oil that has begun to form at the center.
  4. Add cinnamon and vanilla.
  5. Put lid back on and mix for another 2 minutes.
  6. Repeat step 3.
  7. Blend for another 2 minutes. Butter should be warm and a bit runny.
  8. Pour nut butter into a Mason jar or other storage container and store in the refrigerator.

 

Total Macros in 1 tablespoon:

Fat: 8.5g

Protein: 2.8g

Carbs: 2.5g

Fiber: 1g

 

Looking for my more macro friendly recipes?

Click HERE to down load the entire book!

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

Homemade Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips

Homemade Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips

I love chips and salsa.

Who doesn’t it?

The challenge is they are extremely high in fat and not in the healthy kind. They are typically fried in vegetable oil that leaves that greasy film on your teeth when you are done.

Who wants that?

The average one ounce serving of tortilla chips contains 8 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein and 20 grams of carbohydrates. All that in a measly 10 chips. (wah wah!)

Want more awesome recipes?  Download my FREE Recipe e-Book now for more yummy ideas for your weekly menu.

 

Homemade Is Always Best

An easy option to combat the average tortilla chip dilemma is to make your own.  Making your own chips from your favorite corn tortillas allows you more food and greater control of what you put into that body of yours.  This notion was recently confirmed for me when a friend brought to my attention that the nutritional facts on my favorite bag of tortilla chips was wrong (pure devastation).

 

These will knock your socks off because they taste so good and are sooo EASY! My kids prefer that I make them over any other option. You can eat them with salsa or as a side to a favorite soup or as a homemade nacho.

 

Total Time: 15 minutes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

1 package of your favorite corn tortillas

Sea Salt

Spray olive or avocado oil

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place tortillas on top of one another making one big stack.
  3. Cut tortillas in half, in half again and one more time making eighths.
  4. Spread tortillas on a baking sheet, staggered.
  5. Very lightly spray tortillas with a bit of olive oil. You want just enough to allow salt to stick.
  6. Lightly salt chips to taste.
  7. Place chips in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and crisp. (They brown fast so keep a good eye on them as they cook as oven times may vary.)

 

Bonus Dessert Option:

Spray chips with a light spray of coconut oil and sprinkle with cinnamon and coconut sugar then follow cooking times above.

Total Macros in 24 chips (3 tortillas):

Fat: 1.5g

Protein: 3g

Carbs: 24g

(Macros from Mission Extra Thin Yellow Corn Tortillas)

 

Looking for my more macro friendly recipes?

Click HERE to down load the entire book!

 

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

Macro Friendly Hummus

Macro-Friendly Hummus

A Guest Post by Rachel of www.tinylittlebites.com

I am super excited to collaborate with another Mom who share a love for food fitness and HUMMUS.  Rachel is a mom of two littles, fellow foodie, entrepreneur, and creative food photog. Her blog shares some amazing recipes that are both healthy and indulgent.  This week she stretches her wings into the macro world and shares a lower fat version of hummus to share with us.  I am a hummus lover but sometimes the amounts of olive oil and tahini make it a challenge to plan my fat for. 

 

 

Take It Away Rachel…

One of my all time favorite snacks is hummus!  The smoothness and creaminess of the dip mixed with hints of garlic, lemon, and cumin is just the right texture for dipping!  If you’re trying to cut back on some of your fat macros, hummus can be tricky to fit into your diet.  My secret to this lower fat Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is cutting back on the olive oil serving, leaving out the tahini, and upping the amount of beans to create a similar “hummus-like” texture, but that still keeps the flavor on point! To keep this snack low-fat and lower the carbs I like to dip tomatoes, cucumbers, baby peppers, and carrots into my hummus!  If you aren’t counting carbs, then this dip is ideal with pita chips, pita bread, or tortilla chips!  Enjoy!

 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1 can chickpeas, mostly drained (reserve a small amount of liquid 1-2 Tbsp.)

1 can great northern beans, drained

1 lemon, juice reserved

6 cloves garlic

1 ½ tsp. Ground cumin

1 tsp. Sea salt

1 Tbsp. light flavored olive oil

¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

2 large pieces of jarred roasted red peppers (about half of the jar)

In a food processor, pour in beans, lemon juice, garlic cloves, and yogurt.  Pulse for about 1 minute until everything is smooth and no large lumps appear.  Add in cumin, sea salt, olive oil and roasted red peppers.  Pulse again for an additional 1 minute until things are combined and smooth. Process on low for another minute for things to thicken slightly.  Pour contents out into a bowl.  Serve with crudites, pitas, tortilla chips, etc. and enjoy!

 

Total Macros in 2 Tablespoons:

1.5g P/3g C/ 1g F

 

You’ve got the ingredient list for hummus…ready to download my grocery list “Must Have’s” for one of my favorite shopping destinations?

Work Hard Be Kind,

Awalk

 

10 Healthy Recipes That Will Spice Up Your Weekly Menu

10 Healthy Recipes That Will Spice Up Your Weekly Menu

As the first month of the year comes to a close, we face the final days of the #greenplatechallenge.  It has been so amazing to me to open up my Facebook feed, my Instagram and peak into the Green Plate Challenge Private Group to see hundreds of people still being accountable and eating their veggies.  The thank you notes and the domino effect of veggie inspiration have made all the effort of my daily emails and encouragement so worth it.

 

Variety Is the Spice of Life

I think variety is the key to sustainability.  If we get bored we are unmotivated.  If we are unmotivated we are unlikely to complete our goals. One way to avoid veggie boredom is some great new recipes that will spice up (no pun intended) your weekly menu.

 

One thing that has come from the challenge is lots of great recipe sharing.  It motivated me to compile a list of my all-time favorite veggie based recipes that are tried and true (and well loved during the #greenplatechallenge)! These are recipes that will add variety to your weekly menu AND help keep those veggies on your plate.

10 Must Eat, Healthy (and veggie Heavy) Recipes

 

Paleomg 5 Ingredient Pizza Bake

A major family staple for us.  If you follow me on Instagram you will see me share my love for it often. Even further…sub shredded chicken or lean ground beef with enchilada sauce for a Mexican food option.

www.paleomg.com

Skinnytaste Scampi for 2 (or double it for 4)

Um–yes please!  I love shrimp and the Macros on this meal are awesome!

www.skinnytaste.com/

Damn Delicious Garlic Parmesan Zucchini

A great option on the side to add to any meal you can do it with broccoli too.

www.damndelicious.net

Nom Nom Paleo Bacon Brussel Sprouts

Another major go-to for us.  I slightly modify this recipe and use a spray of olive oil rather than all that is called for in the recipes and 3-4 slices of diced bacon.  I promise, it tastes amazing.

www.nomnompaleo.com

 

Paleo Cupboard Healthy Coleslaw

My husband makes some awesome pulled pork in our smoker. I love serving this alongside it and it is even better the next day.

www.paleocupboard.com

 

Iowa Girl Eats Cauliflower Fried Rice

You can add any lean protein you want to increase your protein for the meal and it is yummy.  Add any veggies of choice like carrots, peas, water chestnuts, snow peas, broccoli and an even bigger bonus!

www.iowagirleats.com

Skinnytaste Butternut Squash Soup

This is to die for. I make mine in the Instant Pot and then add in lean chicken sausage or rotisserie chicken to increase protein in the meal.

www.skinnytaste.com

Gluten Free Girl Brussel Sprout Salad

This one was such a hit in my Green Plate Challenge I wanted to share again.  I discovered it at a New Year’s Eve party and have been addicted.  I again make some tweaks and use far less ½ of the oil and you can leave out the cheese too.  The freshness and crispiness of the sprouts is so yummy.

www.glutenfreegirl.com

Paleo Grubs Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats

Kid favorite…because what kid doesn’t like eating their food out of a “boat.” Again, a million variations here that you can create to keep the variety up.

www.paleogrubs.com

Gimme Delicious Protein and Veggies Foil Packets

My kids love this one again and I do too! Foil packets aren’t just for camping and can be a great way to get the kids involved in dinner prep.

www.gimmedelicious.com

Paleo Cupboard Zuppa Toscana

Another popular one from the challenge that I needed to reshare.  I discovered this soup from a friend year’s ago and fell in love.  My husband asks for it all the time.  I use sweet potatoes instead of turnips, lean chicken sausage and little to no bacon if I don’t have it on hand.  The flavor will still be fabulous.

www.paleocupboard.com

 

The beauty of all these recipes is that they can be tweaked to meet your nutrient needs or taste buds.  People are continually asking me how to make recipes “macro friendly”.  The great thing–every recipe can be modified for YOU.  Need help with one…email me and I’d love to help you think out of the box.

With these recipes and their variations alone you have 2 weeks worth of meal ideas.  Just another reason you have no reason not to keep that veggie intake up.

 

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

Afternoon Pick Me Up Shake

Afternoon Pick Me Up Shake

Post may contain affiliate links

When my kids are asleep–it is go time for me!  This includes nap time.  The moment they are resting I am full speed ahead to knock out my “to-do” list.  Before I started tracking my macros, I really hit afternoon lows and was in desperate need of nap time over go-time.  This in fact is one reason I really fell in love with tracking because I noticed a huge difference in my afternoon “lag” and its disappearance.

 

One thing I love while I work is an afternoon beverage (no…not that kind).  I love some type of coffee option that doesn’t provide lots of caffeine, satisfies my afternoon craving and tastes fabulous!

 

So–enjoy this simple recipe to fill your macro day with an afternoon pick me up full of balance and taste.

 

Afternoon Pick Me Up Shake

1/2 Ripe Banana

(A frozen one is even better)

2 oz Cold Brew Coffee (or some of the morning’s leftovers even.  I am lucky enough to have a decaf coldbrew option from Big Red Coldbrew)

10g Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

4 oz Almond Milk (Or other milk of choice skim, 2%)

1 Tablespoon PB fit

1 Tablespoon Cocoa powder

 

 

 

 

Place all ingredients in a blender, I use the Magic Bullet, blend and then drink the heck out of it! I love to pour it over ice and drink from an icy cold mason jar.

 

Total Macros in the Shake:

Protein:12 grams

Carbohydrates: 20 grams

Fat: 3 grams

Enjoy your afternoon pick me up filled with balance, taste and some good macro value!

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

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Macro Friendly Camping Tips

Camping, Tracking and Planning…Oh My!

I grew up camping.  I have vivid memories of waking up early in a chilly tent, my dad waiting for me to wake with his coffee in hand.  We spent our days discovering the woods, my parents sharing stories of their childhood.  Our evenings were spent around the campfire, roasting marshmallows and snuggling each other tight as we fell asleep under the stars.  I want those same experiences for my kids too.  We attempted our first camping trip about a year and half ago.  I woke up in the middle of our first night with….food poisoning from a very atypical fast food stop.  Literally the worst night of my life spent puking and um…pooping my brains out…in a tent…in a forest.  Needless to say, it took me awhile to rally back from the experience for round two.

 

Camping Revenge

I recently took revenge on that camping trip. This time around, I was determined to make sure my food was under my own control while still getting the traditional camping experience.  Like any travel, keeping your macros in check can easily be done with proper planning and 100% commitment.  Nothing is worse than working overtime to prepare your nutrition for a trip and then giving up 100% mentally.  When I travel, I do my absolute best to track because I feel better, rest better, and have zero post vacation regret.

 

Tips to Camping Tracking Success

 

1. Map out your weekend.

Just like a normal week at home, map at your weekend.  Decide what you will be eating for all meals and what snacks you plan to have available.  Pack those foods ahead of time and use Ziploc bags and containers to pre-pack meals and snacks

 

2. Pick meals that fully utilize the campfire.

Seriously–all food tastes better on a campfire. Period.  And you don’t have to let it soak in grease or other unwanted fat sources. Making meals on the fire gives it a taste spin you won’t get at home so use it fully.

 

3. Pack only what you want to eat.

Seems simple right?  If you pack an unhealthy option that doesn’t meet your goals, the whispering pines will whisper in your ear…EAT IT.  So don’t pack any last minute snacks that just won’t fit your macro budget.

 

4. Plan for 1 camping treat.

Yes–allow yourself the opportunity to enjoy.  It keeps the rest of your day on point and honestly, you enjoy that treat so much more.  The goal is balance not restriction.

 

5. Don’t overindulge in alcohol.

The more you drink, the less likely you are to stay on track with your plan you so diligently worked hard to prepare.  Plan for a few drinks, drink them slowly and with plenty of water in between.

 

6. Pack Your Snacks

Snacking and camping go hand-in-hand.  When you are relaxing in the great outdoors, reading a book or playing cards, snacks are usually nearby. So make them yummy and goal oriented.

Here is a list of some possible snacks that will keep you right on track:

Jerky

Dried Fruit

Fresh Fruit

Pop Chips

Deli Lunch Meat Rolls

Homemade Trail Mix (with your favorite options)

Simple Snack Idea Recipes:

Fresh cut veggies and homemade Greek yogurt dips: This is SO easy to do! Cut up lots of fresh veggies before you leave for the big trip.  Bring several small containers of plain Greek yogurt and pre-made seasonings.  You can mix in the seasoning of choice and enjoy some fresh veggies along with them to satisfy the snack sensation while filling up on micro nutrient rich volume food.

Popcorn (over the campfire is the best): Put kernels in a loose foil packet with a small bit of olive or avocado oil (try coconut for a sweeter taste). Hold foil packet over campfire with tongs or skewer and allow to cook until popping stops.  Once done you can salt, drizzle melted chocolate over or whatever sounds good to your camping mood.

Homemade corn tortilla chips: This is another one that is easy to prep ahead of time.  Cut corn tortillas into as many wedges as you like.  Place over camp fire on top of a griddle, on layers of foil or on a foil tray and allow them to cook until crisp to your liking.  You can lightly salt the wedges or add cinnamon and some coconut sugar for a sweet treat.

 

Three Easy Campfire Meal Ideas

Here are my favorite camping meal ideas that are simple, fun and macro friendly:

Kebabs: Pre-cut your favorite lean meat such chicken breast or flank stead, into 1-2 inch chunks and marinate in Ziploc bags.  Bring along metal or wooden skewers to roast meat over open camp fire.  You can also pre-cut potatoes, peppers and onions to add onto the skewers as well for a great balanced meal option.

 

Fajitas: Pre-cut beef or chicken into portions that work for you and lightly spray with olive or avocado oil and store in a Ziploc bag.  Do the same with bell peppers and onions.  When you are ready to cook, place on the griddle or into a disposable tin pan to cook over the fire.  Serve with tortillas warmed over the campfire and your favorite fixings.

 

Foil Packet Meals: The sky is the limit here!  You can make foil packets in so many variations.  Use a large piece of aluminum foil and lightly spray with oil.  Place a lean chicken sausage, with onions, peppers and cubed potatoes in side.  Again, lightly coat the contents and sprinkle with your favorite seasonings.  Fold to close packet and place on open campfire until contents are cooked throughout.  You can place any kind of meat and potato option in foil packets and the kids will have a blast!

 

Enjoy the great outdoors and a campfire along with some healthy food options that will keep you right on track!

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Fall=Pumpkin Everything

 

Pumpkin Lover

I am totally guilty of pumpkin obsession.  I am also guilty of stocking up on pumpkin everything so I can enjoy it well after the Fall has come and gone.  My pantry usually has a few boxes of Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pancake mix and a far (or 5) of their pumpkin butter well after the holidays.

One of my favorite guilty pleasures when the Fall rolls around used to be the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. It truly became synonymous with the word Fall and now even has a cult following (literally it’s own IG page).

I had to severe that relationship then I discovered its nutritional content.

What the what?

One Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte, made with 2% milk contains 14 grams of fat, 52 grams of carbohydrates and 14g of protein for a grand total of 380 calories.  Did I mention they use artificial pumpkin flavoring?  Not even the real deal!   All that in one drink…seriously almost a whole meal!

 

My Version Of The Simple PSL

I love taking some of my old favorites, like the Starbucks PSL, and recreating them into a healthier, macro friendly and higher quality version.  One without chemical laden ingredients and instead things that are fresh, simple and easy to find.  I’ve tried many recipes for Pumpkin Spice lattes.  Some required 20 minutes of preparation, boiling and way too much prep for my half asleep, coffee-craving self.  I’ve taken my favorites pieces from those recipes and merged them into a Pumpkin Spice Latte that is full of Fall, rich in flavor and macro friendly. Did I mention it saves you money…like a whole lot of money per year to make your morning cup of Joe at home.

 

Ingredients:

8 oz freshly brewed coffee

1/2 cup of milk of your choice (skim, 2% or whole cow’s milk, almond, coconut, cashew)

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ tablespoon of Kerrygold butter (You can pass on this to reduce fat but I love the rich flavor it adds)

¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (combination of cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg, cardamom)

 

Combine all the ingredients in your super festive Fall mug and then use my favorite coffee accessory, the Aerolatte frother.  Once you have a nice foam head, add a dash of cinnamon on top and enjoy the heck out of it.

 

Total Macros in the Mug:

This coffee option rocks in taste and nutritional information.  It contains 97 calories including 4 grams of fat, 14 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of protein (based on the use of unsweetened almond milk).  The fat content could be reduced by passing on Kerrygold, using skim milk or increased with the use of whole or coconut milk.

This is also another great place to add Vital Proteins Collagen.  It is a supplement with all kinds of awesome benefits, including 10 grams of protein in one scoop.

Enjoy the cooler weather, fall festivities and your own PSL!

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

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Carb Up on Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is too easy to pass up!  Watch this quick tip video to see how easy it is to prepare with your dinner tonight!

,

Chicken Salad

I love a chicken salad..it is easy to adjust to meet your macro needs and a great way to get lean protein in!  Check out this recipe for a quick and simple version of Chicken Salad.