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popcorn

4 Healthy Christmas Desserts That You Can Make ASAP - Get Healthy With Valentina

4 Healthy Christmas Desserts That You Can Make ASAP - Get Healthy With Valentina

Apart from the pressures of choosing the right presents or catching up with friends and family, the holidays can also be a time of disappointment, financial strain, feuds, travel problems and being alone or far away from loved ones. Instead of enduring another stressful festive season, I'm sharing these amazing and healthy Christmas desserts to put the 'merry' back into your holiday festivities.

4 green spirulina recipes that will blow your mind - Get healthy with Valentina!

4 green spirulina recipes that will blow your mind - Get healthy with Valentina!

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It's spring! Finally, the sunshine gleams so beautifully bright and it warms my hearts. Blossoming flowers, to me, signify that it's a time for new beginnings. It's time to spring into action.  As the wind blows the winter away, we too can blow all of our regrets away and prepare ourselves to really reach our goals before summer. In light of new beginnings, I thought it would be nice to try new healthy ingredients in my recipes. I was so inspired by all the green trees and plants surrounding me that I thought it would be nice to eat green food for a change. The special ingredient in these four recipes is Spirulina. Over the past few weeks, I read that Spirulina is used to treat a range of metabolism and heart health issues, including weight loss, diabetes and high cholesterol. Enjoy these spirulina recipes and let me know how you get creative with your food!

After-Eight Nice Cream - A healthy ice cream recipe that tastes just like after eight chocolate. Made with bananas, spirulina powder, and more. Find the recipe on the Pump Blog!

After-eight 'nice' cream | Healthy ice cream

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe, frozen bananas
  • 1/2 tsp Organic Burst Chlorella Powder
  • 1 tsp Spirulina powder
  • 2-3 drops peppermint extract
  • Raw dark chocolate or cacao nibs for garnish

Directions

At least 5 hours prior to making the ice cream (preferably overnight), peel and chop your bananas into small pieces, place them in a zip lock bag and store in your freezer until you’re ready to make the ice cream. Remove the bananas from the freezer, place them in your food processor and blend.

Scrape down the sides a few times until everything is incorporated. Be patient with this, as it takes a while for the bananas to become a smooth, ice cream-like consistency. Feel free to add milk if you need. Once the bananas have smoothed out slightly, add the chlorella powder, spirulina powder and peppermint extract, then process again until the ice cream has become green. Scoop into a bowl and top with raw dark chocolate or cacao nibs, and enjoy!

Creamy green hummus recipe made with spirulina powder . Use a blender for best results. Find the recipe on the PumpUp Blog courtesy of Valentina M.

Green hummus

Ingredients

  •  3 garlic cloves, minced, more if you like
  • 1⁄4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (19 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina powder

Directions Combine everything (except the spirulina powder) in blender or food processor and process until smooth. The blender gave me the best result for this.  Add a bit more yogurt if you prefer a less viscous consistency. Chill and then sprinkle with the spirulina on the top and enjoy!

Make a different kind of pesto: spirulina pesto. Find the recipe on the PumpUp Blog!

Spriulina-Pesto

Ingredients

  • 3 c fresh basil
  • ¾ c whole raw almonds
  • 1 Tbsp spirulina powder
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions Pulse basil, almonds, spirulina, garlic, and ½ tsp sea salt in food processor to combine. Add oil gradually, processing until mixture is finely chopped, about 1 minute. Pulse in lemon juice. Serve and enjoy!

A popcorn packed with green superfood: it's possible. Find this green superfood popcorn recipe on the PumpUp Blog

Super green popcorn

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon spirulina
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • Dash cayenne
  • Himalayan sea salt, to taste
  • ½ cup organic corn kernels
  • Coconut oil

Directions In a bowl, combine the olive, nutritional yeast, spirulina, garlic powder, turmeric, onion powder, curry powder, basil, cayenne, and some salt. Mix well and set aside. Pour coconut oil into a large, deep pot. The oil should cover the bottom of the pot. Drop 3 kernels into the pot, cover, and turn the heat to medium-high. Once the kernels have popped, add the rest of the kernels and remove from heat to shake and coat all kernels in the coconut oil.Return the pot to the stove, over medium-high heat. Once the kernels begin to pop, shake the pot vigorously with the lid ajar until the pops start to slow (a couple of minutes). Turn off the heat and pour the spirulina mixture over the popcorn. Mix well until the popcorn is evenly coated. Taste and add more salt as needed. And Enjoy!

With Love, Valentina

4 healthy recipes using spirulina powder : After eight nice cream (healthy banana ice cream), green hummus, spirulina pesto, and green superfood popcorn. Find all of these green recipes on the PumpUp Blog

These green spirulina recipes are part of a series of monthly posts by Valentina M. Follow her on Instagram@thehealthymexican9 and on PumpUp @thehealthymexican.

10 Awesome and Healthy Snack Ideas

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Snacking can be a problem for a lot of us, and often we mindlessly eat when we aren’t even hungry. Sometimes you can end up snacking on food throughout the day that causes you to double your calorie intake! Ugh oh! We’ve got 10 healthy snack ideas to satisfy your snacking sweet tooth!

1. Kale Chips

Kale is the biggest new trend, and if you haven’t tried it yet it’s time to jump on the bandwagon! Kale is full of nutrients, good for heart health, eyesight, and weight management. Kale chips are an awesome snack and with limited toppings you are still keeping the good nutrients inside the kale.

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What You Need:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

What to Do:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • First off, wash the kale in water and then dry it in a salad spinner.
  • Cut up the bunch of kale into bite sized pieces and put into a bowl.
  • Drizzle on the olive oil and sprinkle the sea salt.
  • Spread out on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the edges are browned!

Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-kale-chips/

2. Veggies and Hummus

The chickpea mixture we all know and love as hummus has a ton of great nutritional benefits! It is high in protein so you can feel full after eating it, as well as calcium, and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Chickpeas can lower you cholesterol and reduce your cancer risk. It is also an awesome alternative to other spreads or dips that are high in fat with no real benefits. We have the simplest recipe for some delicious hummus to dip with your veggies.

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What You Need:

  • 1 can (15 ounce) garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • 2 gloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • A ton of your favourite vegetables for dipping (celery, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, etc…)

Here’s How You Do It:

  • In a blender or food processor combine garbanzo beans, garlic, cumin, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil.
  • Blend on low speed, gradually adding reserved bean liquid, until desired consistency is achieved.

Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/extra-easy-hummus/

3. Apple Chips

Do you love crunchy chips but hate the calories, fat, and salt in them! Well hello apple chips! These delicious chips are sweet, easy to make, and a great snack to bring with you at any time.

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What You Need:

  • 2 of your favourite apples (we like Golden Delicious)
  • 1 ½ tsp. white sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Cooking Spray

The Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 225F
  • Spray Cookie sheet with non-stick Cooking Spray.
  • Arrange apples slices on a metal baking sheet.
  • Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl; sprinkle over apple slices.
  • Bake in the preheated until apples are dried and edges curl up, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer apple chips, using a metal spatula, to a wire rack until cooled and crispy.

Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/apple-chips/

4. Frozen Grapes

What do we like better than a bowl of fresh fruit on these hot summer days? Well we have something that is better, a bowl of frozen fruit! Yep, we want you to try some frozen grapes, because they are a whole ‘bunch’ of yummy. Grapes are classified as a low-glycemic index food, and studies link grapes to improved blood sugar balance, insulin regulation, and insulin sensitivity. Grapes are packed with health-supportive nutrients, vitamins, and tons of antioxidants phytonutrients. They also have benefits on the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, and blood sugar regulating and nervous system.

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What To Do:

  • Pick your favourite kind of grape and thoroughly wash them.
  • Pat them dry and put into a Ziploc bag, sealed tightly.
  • Freeze them overnight.

Source: http://www.builtlean.com/2012/07/16/frozen-grapes/

5. Frozen Banana Nibblers

Bananas are one of the healthiest fruits around, and we should all be upping our intake of this superfood (don’t believe us? Read our blog on bananas to be convinced). We give you banana nibblers, a frozen treat that are way to easy to be as delicious as they are!

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What to Use:

  • 5 medium ripe bananas
  • 1 tbsp. all natural creamy peanut butter
  • 2 oz. nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt

How to Make Them:

  • Peel one banana and mash it with the peanut butter and yogurt. Set aside.
  • Peel the other four bananas. Slice into half-inch thick slices.
  • Smear the banana, peanut butter, and yogurt mixture on half the banana slices and top with the other halves, making banana sandwiches.
  • Place on a wooden cutting board or a plate and freeze for at least two hours.

Source: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=2290591

6. Sweet Potato Fries

There are times when no matter what we cannot satisfy that fry craving. Sweet potatoes are a great healthy alternative and you can easily turn them into restaurant quality fries. Move aside Gordon Ramsay, here is a delectable sweet potato fry recipe that is high in iron, magnesium, vitamins C and D, and potassium.

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What You Need:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Any other spices you like! (garlic, taco seasoning, oregano, etc…)

To Make Them:

  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Peel and slice the sweet potatoes so that they look like fries.
  • In a large mixing bowl drizzle the oil over the potatoes and then sprinkle on all of your spices, salt, and pepper.
  • Lay the fries down evenly on a non-stick cooking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then flip, and bake another 10 minutes.
  • Fries are done when browned on the outside and soft on the inside.

Source: http://www.food.com/recipe/baked-sweet-potato-fries-368895

7. Yogurt Parfait:

Dress up your plain old greek yogurt and add some fun things to turn it into a yogurt parfait that is good for you and tastes like it came from the Greek gods!

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 Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cups of your fave granola
  • 2 cups of fresh berries, sliced, or any other fruits you like (raspberries, strawberries, bananas, peaches, etc…)
  • 4 tablespoons of honey

Directions:

  • Line up 4 tall glasses to put the parfaits into.
  • Spoon 2 tbsp. of yogurt into each glass.
  • Spoon 1 tbsp. of granola on top of the yogurt.
  • Spoon 2 tbsp. of fruit over top the granola.
  • Keep repeating the process and add a bit of honey to sweeten it up!

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/granola-yogurt-berry-parfait-recipe.html

8. Guacamole

Guacamole to dip in some some whole-wheat tortilla chips or crackers is an awesome snack and tastes so darn good. Avocados are high in fat, yes, but it’s all good fats that we should be consuming every day. They are also high in fiber, rich in vitamin B, E and K and have 60 percent more potassium than bananas!

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What Do You Need:

  • 3 medium avocados, halved
  • Juice from 1 lime (or lemon)
  • 1/3 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, mashed
  • 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

How to Do It: 

  • Place the pulp from the avocados in a medium bowl and slightly mash with a fork or a potato masher leaving some large chunks if you like!
  • Add lime or lemon juice, salt, pepper, cilantro, red onion, garlic and mix thoroughly.
  • Tip: If you are serving this at a later time, a great tip to keep the guacamole from turning brown is by placing the pit in the bowl with the guacamole and cover.

Source: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/01/guacamole-4-pts.html

9. Apple Peanut Butter Goodness

We love apples any time, all the time, so try turning this fruit into a really great snack or dessert!

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 Ingredients:

  • 1 of your favourite apples
  • 2 tbsp. Peanut Butter
  • A handful of Chocolate Chips

What to Do: 

  • Chop up your apple into bite sized pieces and put into a small bowl.
  • In a separate bowl add the peanut butter and melt in microwave for 30 seconds, or until it is warm and gooey.
  • Scoop peanut butter on top of the apples and sprinkle the chocolate chips on the peanut butter.
  • Mix it all up and enjoy!

10. Popcorn:

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Air pop your own popcorn for a serious treat. Popcorn is actually full of fiber and has more antioxidants that most fruits and veggies, and is also a natural whole grain! So skip the movie theatre and bagged popcorn that is full of salt and butter, and try popping your own for an awesome snack!