Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


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Banana Oatmeal Pancakes With Chocolate Chips

Pancakes can make every day a lil better no?

Well, my housemate wasn’t feeling the greatest a few mornings ago so I decided to do what I do best and get my tushie in the kitchen to whip up something to lift her spirits.

The result?

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A plate full of fluffy, tender patty-cakes full of caramelized banana and some slighty-naughty chocolate chips.

They did their job well as she was full of smiles as she slathered some natural honey on top and ate it with her finger’s.

#ThatsLoveAtFirstBite

Incredibly simple to make and for not that much batter, you get a four cake tower! Now thats what I call happiness.

Gluten free (if you use certified GF oats) and made without a drop or sprinkle of sugar because that spotty death looking banana truly is a sweetheart despite it’s dark demeanour  😉

Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Serves 1 

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

~1/4 cup oat flour + 2 Tbsp rolled oats
~1 egg (or an do an egg white)
~1 medium RIPE banana
~1/2-1 Tbsp natural almond butter
~1/4 cup almond/cashew/milk of choice
~1 tsp Vanilla extract
~1tsp baking powder
~Cinnamon
~1-2 Tbsp chocolate chips (optional but for chocoholics its kinda mandatory..)

Directions:

1. Mash 3/4 of the banana in a bowl.

2. Whip in the egg, almond butter, vanilla extract and milk of choice.

3. Add your dry ingredients minus the banana and chocolate chips. If the batter is way too thick, you may need a tbsp or 2 more of liquid but that depends on the size of the banana. Batter should be not runny, rather, pourable-but-spreadable

4. Heat a large non stick pan in medium. Add a bit of coconut oil.

5. Take 1/4 of the batter and plop into the pan forming a thick pancake. You can make two or more per pan depending on your flipping skills.

6. Slice you banana and place some slices and some chocolate chips on each cake.

7. Pop on a lid and let it cook low and slow until the bottom is golden and firm. NOTE These won’t bubble.

8. Flip and let cook for about a minute more without the lid. Remove from the pan.

9. Re-spray your pan and make pancakes out of the remaining batter using the same method.

10. Voila all done!

Top with whatever you would like. Honey, maple syrup, more fruit, etc, etc.

I hope you enjoy! 

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I missed fat Tuesday by a long shot, but hey, I play by my own rules. 

-Chelsea


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Clam and Turkey Kielbasa Paella

Friends, a new recipe a new recipe!

Okay so as I typically do when I have downtime and my housemates are busy is I do some meal prepping for them…. You may think that’s lame but I enjoy the creative time spent in the kitchen. This is especially true in situations like now when no one has come back to Guelph yet, it’s freezing outside and I have lil stressed birdies to feed. Rita has been trekkin through the first week of her co-op in TO and unfortunately is stuck commuting for a short while before figuring out better arrangements. That means 5am wake-up calls and 7:30 arrivals at home. So, as you can imagine, if left to her own ways, food would be bought every day…

Of course, Mama can not let that happen, so here we are.

Before you call me out on being judgey, she doesn’t feel good when she eats out too much but she just doesn’t want to cook…

My challenge (yes I even make challenges to myself to make it more exciting…) was to make sure that everything she got was high in iron as she suffers with chronic anemia. I have succeeded thus far with making each of her 3 square meals per day contain at least 15% or more of her daily iron. Also a positive, she loved every meal and because I’m making them, they are not loaded with crap.

Win win if I do say so myself.

So I do have a recipe to show you BUT first I figured I would give a bit of insight into her meals to show you how I got her iron intake up in tasty meals that took no more than 30-40 minutes to make.

Breakfast.

Oats, wheat bran and maybe some cream of rice thrown in too.

Okay, so I did the whole oat’s thing thang because I can stuff them in a glass jar and she can heat them and eat them on the train. I also used oats because 1 serving contains 8% of your daily iron! I also did a blend of oats and wheat bran because the bran contains a wee bit more iron per serving.

Okay so that’s only 8% iron…

Wait a minute, you know my oats ain’t no plain jane oats. Let me continue.

She loves savoury oats, so I threw this lil number together and she adored it. So much so that I had to make it again the next day..

Awful picture I’m sorry. I swear it tastes good. Rita vouches for it!

Sundried Tomato and Mushroom OIAJ

~Serving of sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil (8% iron)

~Cremini mushrooms 

~ about 1-1.5 ounces of a homemade sausage of sorts that she picked up during Xmas when all the farmers came into the mall (iron..I have no idea..)

~1 large egg that was roughly scrambled (6% iron)

~1 green onion

~Pepper to taste 

Directions: Sauté all of the vegetables and sausage (or other meat) together in a saucepan that has a lid. Once they are caramelized, add your oats and recommended water. Top with the lid and bring to a boil. Once most of the water has been absorbed, crack the egg in there and let it cook mostly before breaking it up. Put in a jar and voila, donzo.

Something else to consider when thinking about plant based iron sources is that they have primarily non-heme iron and are therefore the iron is not as well absorbed as animal products that contain heme iron. Never fear, if your food also has a good dose of vitamin C, you are better able to absorb iron. So in the case of oats, the sundried tomatoes help the body absorb more of the iron in the meal.

You know what else is high in vitamin C?

unknown-pineapple

And so I rotated sweet and savoury oats by making her a pineapple and coconut oats in a jar one morning as well. The cooking is the same BUT obviously you’re using fruit and not vegetables (although if you want to grate some zucchini in there I wouldn’t oppose…and you can’t taste it) AND the egg is whipped in there such that it dissolves completely.

So even forgetting the iron amount in the sausage, I racked in about 18% iron to start off her day.

Lunches/Dinners

So here was where I got to be more creative. I’m going to apologize in advance that I have no pictures…

The first dish was an Italian/Mediterranean style penne dish but it has a twist!

It used these noodles..

Do you see that iron friends! Oh and check how short the ingredient list is! Score one for Mama and her foodie finds.

Beans, legumes and lentils are a vegetarian staple for more than just protein needs. Iron is huge in these guys so now the are coming up with interesting ways to incorporate beans/lentils into more dishes.

Sundried Tomato, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pasta with Basil Pesto.

For one serving:

~1 serving bean pasta (15% iron)

~1 serving sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil (8% iron + vitamin C)

~a few cremini mushrooms 

~onion

~2 tbsp goat cheese (2% iron)

~2 tbsp basil pesto

~Black pepper and chili flakes to taste 

***I chose not to add garlic here because her goat cheese was a garlic infused one

Directions: Cook up your pasta to the doneness you prefer, rinse and drain. Salute your vegetables until caramelized. Add your pasta and your pesto and stir around to coat all of the ingredients with the pesto. Let it cool for a few minutes before adding the goat cheese in small chunks.

Iron count: 25% DV

***Vegetarian friendly with tons of good protein. Also gluten free. ***

Finally, I made a Cajun seasoned dish of sorts with a turkey kielbasa I picked up from GoodnessMe!

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Cajun Turkey Kielbasa and Pepper Quinoa

For one serving:

~1 serving Kielbasa (6% iron)

~ serving quinoa (cooked from package directions. I used low sodium beef broth for more flavour) (8% iron) 

~1/4 each green and red pepper (Vitamin C!)

~serving of corn (I used salt free, canned) (little bit of Vitamin C)

~1/8 cup onion, chopped

~1/2 tsp (or more) minced garlic

~1 tsp salt-free Cajun seasoning (or to taste)

Directions: Cook Quinoa, fluff and set aside. Saute vegetables with kielbasa until caramelized. Add your garlic and cook for a minute or two more. Add your quinoa and cajun and combine well. Done.

Total iron: 14%

So her total for those three meals alone (approximately as absorption differs, blah blah blah…) was around 57%!

I say I didn’t do too bad eh?

Oh and all of that (plus the recipe to come) was maybe 40 bucks. Cha-ching! or rather, lack of cha-ching…#StudentBudgetWin.

Okay okay, now that I have sufficiently babbled on and on, here’s the actual recipe for the post.

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Clam and Turkey Kielbasa Paella

Serves 3-4

~2 servings Kielbasa (12% iron)

~2lbs clams in shell or about 6-8 ounces of meat (~130% iron in one serving!!)

~1 cup rice (I used white jasmine) (8% iron)

~1/2 each green and red pepper

~1/2 a small-medium zucchini

~1/2 can of corn (no salt)

~1/2 can tomato paste (no salt) (4% iron)

~1-2 tsp spanish paprika

~1 tsp oregano

~2 bay leaves

~ pinch of saffron threads (I happen to have this on hand, I don’t know an alternative to this for taste, but you can just make it ‘spicy tomato rice’ without it)

~chili flakes or cayenne pepper AND black pepper to taste

Directions: Saute your vegetables with the kielbasa in a large pan with a lid for a few minutes until they are browned. Add your tomato paste, spices, rice and liquid (as required for your rice to cook) and stir. Place the bay leaves in the rice and pop a lid on dish and bring it up to a boil. Once it begins to boil, turn it down to a simmer and allow the rice to cook with the lid on. Once the rice has absorbed most of the water, wash and scrub your clams and add them to the pan and put the lid back on. The dish is done when the shells open up. You can than remove the shells and any clams that didn’t open up. Also make sure to remove the bay leaves. Than enjoy!

Iron Count per serving (4): just under 40% DV iron 🙂

What have we learned?

If you’re iron deficient, eat your mussels, clams and/or oysters friends.

That is all. I hope you enjoy it and perhaps add a lil iron in your diet. Good for them energy gainz ya feel me?

-Chelsea


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“Basic Bi***” Oatmeal

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Friends!

So I finally got around to doing a tutorial on how to make my oats. I have been asked a lot throughout the past decade (wow that feels weird saying that) how I make my oats because, I’m an oatmeal pro and I ain’t afraid to say it.

It’s not hard you just have to put a lil creativity and patience into it. Trust me, it’s well worth it.

Anyways, I decided this morning was going to be the time to do it so I hope you enjoy it. Please excuse my poor video quality. I know I say this all the time, but for real friends, it’s the best I can do currently. I hope the content is enjoyable enough to make up for the crap-tastic video aesthetics.

Click the link below the video picture to take you into the tutorial to make oatmeal from every white girl’s dreams….

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-Chelsea


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Muuufffiin Mondays

Hey Friends,

Happy Monday! Fresh start to the week.

What are your goals this week?

Today I’m hoping to tackle some ice cream, which I haven’t had in about 2 months so I’m trying not to work myself up about it too much because I do have a hint of excitability about it because it’s Jays, and I truly do love Jay’s homemade creme de la creme and I miss it. Wish me and my tummy luck.

So, I’m starting off this week with a recipe as I made some muffins to take to the gym last night and I got asked for the recipe.

Now, I have been experimenting with flourless baking for a while and now have ventured into making my own blends up and they still have been working nicely. The basic idea comes from a few very good recipes that everyone that I have baked them for has lapped up, so check them out here and here. If you’re okay with oats, here is another goodie! Gluten-free baking can be tricky because the ‘flours’ often leave the goodies dry, tasteless or they just fall apart due to lack of structure. Hint hint gluten is a protein and gives goodies structure.

What I have found is that the ‘formula’ in these recipes has always turned out nicely and although they are more dense than your traditional goodies, most people don’t mind it because they are so moist due to the heavy hand on the healthy fats.

Yes friends, healthy fats.

The base of all of these recipes is nut butter. So rather then flour bases, you use fats and they turn out great!

Fat is not bad, fat is flavour. Remember that!

So any who, want some muffins that will leave you more satiated than a traditional sugar-laden muffin? Well checky checky.

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So onward we go to the recipe.

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The basics.

Peanut Butter Apple Muffins

Gluten-free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free

Makes 12 muffins

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine the following wet ingredients:

1 cup (about 250g) natural peanut butter

1/2 cup (about 125g) apple butter

125g (or more) shredded apple

1/4 cup (about 65g) liquid egg whites (or a whole egg, I was out)

125ml unsweetened cashew milk (or other liquid)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix those in your bowl and then add the following dry ingredients:

1 tbsp coconut flour ***

1 tsp cinnamon (or more)

1 tsp baking powder

1 Stevia packet (adjust for sweet tooth)

*** if you don’t have coconut flour, you should be okay to reduce the milk by half

***Feel free to add other mix-ins: nuts, raisins, etc

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Here is the consistency you are looking for.

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Thick but still pourable.

Once you have combined everything, pour into a muffin tin lined with liners. Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes (rotate once half way through) or until they are just firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack and allow to cool and set for at least 15-20 minutes.

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Then enjoy!

Macros for each muffin if you’re interested. 

Cals: 160 Carbohydrates: 12g Fat: 11g Protein: 6g Sugars: 8g Fibre 2g

…..

These lil babies should be put in the fridge as they don’t have any preservatives to keep them as fresh like a typical processed goodie would be if left on the counter.

Tell me what you think if you try them out 🙂

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Have you had success with gluten free baking?

Favourite gluten free products?

-Chelsea


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Healthier Sammich Cookies

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Happy Humpday my Friends!

Half-way through the week and I’m pulling out a random recipe for you! I have been baking goodies a lot lately, like twice weekly, but have been on a recipe follow, rather then a recipe create, type of mood. Well, I recently made these wonderful cookies by Monique over at Ambitious Kitchen for my gym and they really seemed to enjoy them. So, in regular Chelsea fashion, I decided to take her recipe as inspiration, twist it a bit and then double the fun by turning them into cookie sammiches.

I mean, I don’t think there are many people who will say they don’t like a good ol’ cookie sammich. Am I right? These lil guys just happen to be a lil bit more wholesome then your regular off-the-shelf or from the freezer (depending on how you roll) sammich treats.

The centres of these beauties are a ‘frosting’ of sorts that lacks any type of processed crap. Only 3 very real ingredients make up this rich and aromatic icing and none of which are sugar. You will have to start scroll-a-rollin to find out what is in said frosting but it was also inspired by another great blogger, Angela from Oh She Glows. Check out her recipe (which was a big hit as well) here.

So without further ado, I bring you my take on a healthier cookie sammich inspired by two wonderful bloggers. I hope you enjoy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies

With a healthy peanut butter and banana ‘frosting.’

Makes 8 filled cookies

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Wet Ingredients

~1 medium/large banana (about 110g), ripe.

~1 cup natural peanut butter

~1 egg

~1/4 cup coconut sugar *

Cream the ingredients together with a wooden spoon and set aside.

*Can probably leave out if you or those you are cooking with don’t have a super sweet tooth. I was cooking for a bunch of people so wanted to add just a bit.

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Dry Ingredients

~1/2 cup quick oats

~2 tbsp peanut flour (or PB2, or Chocolate PB2. I used Nut’s n’More Chocolate peanut flour)

~1/2 tsp baking powder

~Pinch or two of salt

Mix together in a bowl.

Add as many chocolate chips (or cacao nibs for a sugar free option) as you would like. I used Enjoy Life mini chips.

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Set your oven to 350 degrees and on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, form heaping tablespoon balls of dough and plop them on the sheet about 2 inches apart. Once they are all on the cookie sheet, take your hand or spoon and smoosh them into thick pancakes.

Pop them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until they are just set.

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Let them rest on the cookie sheet for a few minutes to firm up. Remove to a rack and let completely cool.

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While they are cooling, you can make your ‘frosting.’

In a bowl mash and combine 1 large ripe banana + 2 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or crunchy) + approximately 1/4 – 1/3 cup of peanut flour (or PB2).

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Once the cookies are cooled you are ready to make them sammiches!

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I think we all know how to make a sammich but for recipe purposes, take a spoonful of frosting and dollop it on the underside of one cookie. Place another cookie on top and voila…

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…You get frosting filled sandwich cookies that are made with wholesome and natural ingredients.

Hows that for snackin?

Want one?

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Well I just told you how to, so what are you waiting for? Get baking! 😉

What are your favourite filled cookies?

Peanut butter cookies or chocolate chip?

-Chelsea


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Friday Fitness Questions #3

Hey Friends!

Okay so this week I wanted to share a lil fun thing with you all and not have it be so long and research-y if that is okay. Give your minds a bit of a break. I will give you a bit of information but I will keep it short because, instead, the main focus will be these guys…

So what are these cute, seedy teddy’s you ask?

These are Strawberry-Orange glutamine infused gummy bears. This particular recipe was from the North Coast Natural’s website, which produces fermented L-Glutamine powder, and I was quite excited to find it as this idea of turning my glutamine powder into gummies has been something I have wanted to do for a quite some time now.

So a bit on L-Glutamine

L-Glutamine is an amino acid (the most naturally abundant actually) that helps in the body’s ability to repair tissues. If you have heard of it, you have probably associated it’s usage with bodybuilders and athletes to help reduce muscle soreness but it’s benefits have been found to go beyond that. Check out the facts page on the North Coast Natural’s website (link) for all of it’s benefits, but to mention a few:

~It has been found to help heal the gut. For anyone with IBS or other inflammatory bowel diseases, glutamine can be used as an aid to help rebuild some of those damaged tissues and alleviate some symptoms of those gut disorders. Many studies (such as this one) have also shown that it maintains the integrity of the gut lining in post-operative patients, which may prove beneficial in their recovery process.

~Because glutamine is also a major fuel source for the cells of your immune system (lymphocytes, neutraphils, macrophages, etc), it has been shown to be beneficial for illness prevention. This may be especially helpful in athletes where the incidence of illness may increase due to greater stress on the body. (Link Link2).

~There is mixed evidence on whether soreness post-workout is alleviated in all athletes, but many articles support its usage in sparing protein for the rebuilding of tissues and possibly increasing lean muscle mass (see link).

So there’s just a few of the other great benefits of glutamine, but if you want to learn more just check out the first link I posted!

So do you need to supplement with it to gain it’s benefits?

Generally no. Perhaps supplementation would be required in those needing/wanting higher doses (post-illness/intense training for repair and/or gut problems) but for a general dose there are other natural forms of this amino acid.

Like Gelatine!

Vegans may be cringing right now, so if you are vegan you will have to find another source. Apparently red cabbage is the highest of the veggies, with fermentation helping to increase bioavailability. Overall, like all things it seems though, your best sources are animal based (link).

I digress…

So going way back to the gummies….

If you’re not using a supplement form of glutamine, like in the first recipe, then you can still make the gummies! Never fear! Try out this easy recipe for blueberry gummies.

As stated in the recipe, you can take out the maple syrup for a sugar-free version, as I’m sure the frozen fruit you add will be sweet enough and provide a good flavour.

I hope you found this post interesting and let me know if any of you have tried making something like this or working with gelatine.

So tell me…

Have you ever tried helping your gut with Glutamine?

All my athletes out there, do you find it helps with muscle soreness?

-Chelsea


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A Recipe…Say What?!

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I know right, how long has it been?

I have heard from some of my readers that they miss my random recipes. I never felt like my food posts were anything special, but hey, if they’re easy and tasty, why not share them?

Oh…

Happy Green St. Pattys Day y’all!

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Celebrating?

For me, I’m not a drinker, so this holiday that is pretty much based off of getting wasted for cheaper is really just an excuse for me to put green into as much of my day as possible.

Cue wearing a sparkly green shamrock headband to the gym.

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Yeah, I dress up to go sweat. 😀

Anywho, back to the recipe

…what’s a recipe again? HA

Savory oats. 

….Crickets….

Yes I realize I just said savoury and oatmeal in the same sentence BUT hear me out.

Oats are really like a blank canvas. Just like rice, or for a more similar texture, polenta or risotto. They are a neutral base screaming for flavour blasting toppings. Many of us have come to perceive oatmeal as purely a sweet dish, but really, you can turn it savoury just as easily and it will still be that warm bowl of comfort you know and love.

So before you say “bleh!” give them a chance. I made this particular bowl for my housemate, Rita, and she absolutely loved them. My other housemate, Emily, on the other hand was stuck in ‘sweet oats only’ mode and was afraid of them despite saying they smelled awesome.

I will convert her just you wait.

😉

So I went to the internet searching for some inspiration. I can confidently say that this girl knows how to make a pretty damn good bowl of proats but I had too many thoughts going on and needed something to calm them down a tad. Plus, I didn’t want to screw up the first bowl of savoury oats for zee housies because then they would never touch them again.

Can’t have that can we?

Hmmm..

Mexican? Rita loves avocado, beans…not so sure.

Taco! Spicy, yes, avocado, yes…hmm..

Wait, what is that seaweed in the cupboard…?

Sushi oats. Bam, sold. 

So with that, the bowl you see before you was created. Now if only I had some wasabi and pickled ginger….

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I hope you will conquer your fears and try this out. It legit smelled like sushi so if you swing that way, it’s something you would enjoy I’m sure.

Asian Sushi Oats. 

Serves 1

Ingredients for the Oats:

~1 Serving of Rolled Oats (1/2 cup)

~1 cup Chicken or Vegetable Broth

~1 egg or 1/4 cup egg whites

~1 tsp oil of choice (coconut, avocado, sesame or peanut)

~1 tsp minced garlic

~1-2 tbsp diced onion

~approximately 1/8 cup dried seaweed or other sea vegetable (I used dulse)

~1 chopped green onion.

NOTE. I did see many sites saying to add a dash of fish or oyster sauce to the base so if you have it on hand go for it. Just only use a little bit. 

Directions.

  1. Heat your oil in a pot (use one that had a lid) on the stove at medium/high heat. Chop up your vegetables. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and onions and sauté until they are softened and fragrant (a few minutes).
  2. Add your oats, sea vegetable and broth, place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil.
  3. When it comes to a boil, remove the lid and bring it down to a simmer (medium heat). Stir your oatmeal consistently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. If it soaks up too much liquid too quickly, simply add some water. When the oats have ALMOST reached the consistency you like, crack your egg (or add your liquid egg whites) to the pot and stir quickly to prevent scrambling the egg. *It should stir in with little to no white bits.
  4. Cook for a final minute or two and then remove from the heat. Stir in half of your green onion and keep 1/2 for garnish. Keep warm while your prep your toppings.

For the Toppings

~1 egg

~1 tsp roasted sesame seeds

~other half of the sliced green onion

~Chili flakes to taste (optional)

~Drizzle of sesame oil and/or soya sauce.

~any other sushi like topping of your liking. I would recommend some seaweed (Rita has this cool dried and sticky seaweed-sesame strands), avocado and perhaps some pickled ginger. Smoked salmon would make an amazing topping as well if you are all fancy and such.

Simply fry up you egg for a runny-yolk doneness. While that is cooking, place all of your toppings on your oats. Top with the egg and drizzle with your topping of choice. If using sesame oil BE CAREFUL that stuff is strong!

Take pretty picture for IG and then dive in…

Oh wait…

Break the yolk. Then take another picture of that #YolkPorn

Then you can dive in.

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So yes, savoury oats sushi style. Good protein, complex carbs and healthy fats. Fuel up my friends.

Enjoy!

Have a safe St. Patty’s Day night!

Are you afraid of savoury oats?

-Chelsea