Round-Up: 12 Pre-Workout Snacks

A round-up of bars, bites, muffins, toast, and even cookies  to help power you through your next work-out.So you want to have healthy eating  and  exercise habits,  but  don’t know how  to integrate  both into your daily life?  A good place to start is focusing on proper fueling before a bout of exercise  and smart recovery afterwards.  Today’s post emphasizes the importance of pre-workout nutrition with a myriad of  snacks my colleagues helped me ’round-up’. (Stay tuned for more on post workout foods.)

While most attention regarding exercise pays close attention to strength, speed, flexibility and stamina,  we need to support all of these components with good nutrition. Studies are consistently proving, we perform best with some carbohydrates on board.  While I don’t recommend eating a meal just before  exercise, snacks  are a different story. A snack of about 100-200 calories (of primarily carbs can be consumed  just minutes prior to exercise) and will provide energy to focus on correct technique, push intensity, and help you persist through a vigorous energy expending workout.

There are an infinite number to foods to enjoy before physical activity. The key is to select food/foods based  on your preferences, and on the intensity and duration of your activity. Experiment with a variety of foods/fluids to determine what works best for you. Some simple ideas, include a banana, oranges slices, a couple of fig newtons, 1/2 jelly sandwich. You can even make your own energy snacks with a few ingredients. Find inspiration below with this  round-up of  bars, bites, muffins, toast,  and cookies all created to help power through your next work-out

No Bake Granola Bites via Lauren Sharifi of Bite of Health Nutrition

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No Bake Protein Energy Bites via Tawnie Kroll  of Krolls Korner

Peanut Butter Yogurt Bars   via Hungry Hobby. These are super easy to make and especially nice in the summer, because you don’t have to turn on your oven.

Cashew Cookie Hemp Energy Bars via Kelly Jones of EatRealLiveWell 

Sweet Potato Toast via Family Food on the Table

Avocado and Hummus Bagel via No Excuses Health

No Bake Peanut Butter Cherry Trail Mix Bites via Bucket List Tummy 

Snack Bar Madeleines via Queen of My Kitchen. 

10 Minute Healthy Energy Bites via Nourish Nutrition .

 

PB & J Sweet Potato via Jessica Cording Nutrition Oatmeal Peanut Butter Protein Balls via And a Dash of Cinnamon

Soft Baked Zucchini Cookies via yours truely. I posted this back in April, but some of you may have zucchini to spare now, so I’m including it  in this round-up.

Please let me know what your fav pre-workout foods are in the comment section below. Have a terrific day!

 

 

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Slow Cooker Cowboy Beans

Smoked paprika gives these cowboy beans a deep, woodsy flavor, but can you guess the secret ingredient?Summer is for entertaining, and when the crew gathers at my home,  I think about making a BIG pot of beans.  After all, they’re delicious, go with just about anything I dish up, are budget friendly, and usually help me uphold my reputation of putting out the healthiest of spreads! But then I remember the downside,  they take so darn  long to cook and when it’s 90+ degrees outside, I ask myself, “Do I really want to turn on the oven?”   After reading this month’s Recipe Redux theme:

Beat the Heat with the Slow Cooker /Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker   

I’m ready to prepare that pot o’ beans sans the oven, because any recipe that requires a prolonged cooking time has slow cooker potential! My original recipe, requiring 2 1/2 hours of baking time, now sounds promising.    Not only did I tinker  with the cooking method, I also made the recipe vegan using smoked paprika for a smokey taste without bacon.  It’s a little sweet and a little spicy with a secret ingredient that  unifies all the  earthy flavors ; can you guess the  ingredient? (Insert sound of drum roll please.)  A of a mug of black coffee left over from my morning pot. Surprised?

This side is not only delicious and easy to make without heating up the kitchen,  it’s also low in fat, high in protein, high in fiber and delivers 15% DV* of calcium , 25 % DV* iron.

Get out your slow cookers today and discover more ideas from my colleagues in the links below for delicious, healthy recipes to beat the heat.

*Daily Value based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

Slow Cooker Cowboy Beans

by Diane Boyd

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Keywords: slow-cooker side vegan summer

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1 pound dried pinto or navy beans, washed and picked clean of debris
  • 10 cups water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoons brown mustard
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce+2 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • dash of hot sauce
  • ground black pepper

Instructions

1. Soak beans in 6 cups of water overnight. Drain beans.

2. In a Dutchoven add oil and stir in onions ; cook over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes until beginning to brown. Add garlic, and cook for 30 additional minutes.

3. Add beans,water, coffee, . Bring to simmer over high heat and cook for 10 minutes. Add brown sugar, mustard , 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, hot sauce and salt. Return to boil over high heat.

4. Remove from heat and pour contents of Dutch oven into a slow cooker. Cook on high for 6 hours. Add smoked paprika last 30 minutes of cooking. Before serving stir in remaining barbecue sauce, season to taste with black pepper. (Beans can be refrigerator in an airtight container for several days.)

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Roasted Cauliflower Rice with Sweet Peas

The convenience and versatility of Libby’s® Sweet Peas makes them the star in this easy to make side that goes as well with meat and chicken as it does with  fish and plant proteins.

Disclosure: I received free samples of Libby’s® Fruits & Vegetables mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Libby’s® Fruits & Vegetables and I am eligible  to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

What’s old is new again. It holds true for clothing, furniture and now even food!   Today’s hippest food dates all the way back to 1886 when Libby’s® Fruits and Vegetables first began delivering high quality, wholesome products to kitchens. Now more more than ever, consumers want convenience and versatility; Libby’s® canned fruits and vegetables deliver both and are helping busy families get fast, nutritious meals on the table without sacrificing flavor. No wonder it’s on-trend.

 Add  in pine nuts, fresh basil, and taste of lemon.  (I know I’m making you hungry.) The result is a wholesome plant based side with a garden fresh taste made in under 30 minutes!    On the day I prepared this, I served it  warm along with grilled kebabs (chicken and tempeh).  The following  day I served it cold (picnic style) with an accompanying sandwich.  Roasted Cauliflower Rice with Sweet Peas is a satisfying side that helps fill you up with a generous amount of fiber (6 grams to be exact). It also packs in  a healthy dose of vitamin C  (60% the daily value based on a 2000 calorie diet). Let Libby’s® Fruits and Vegetables be your ticket to getting nutritious and delicious  foods to your contemporary table fast. For more information on all of Libby’s® Fruits & Vegetable products be sure to visit www.getbacktothetable.

Roasted Cauliflower Rice with Sweet Peas

by Diane Boyd, MBA, RD, LDN

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 10 ounces (about 2 1/4 cups) riced cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 15 ounce can Libby’s® Sweet Peas, drained
  • 1/4 cup toasted Pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Toss the riced cauliflower with canola oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice until golden brown. Allow to cool .

3. Just before serving, transfer cauliflower to a serving bowl and add the Libby’s Sweet Peas, pine nuts, fresh basil and lemon juice. Gently toss together and serve immediately.

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Grilled Chicken with Cheddar and Berry Coulis

Cabot Cheddar Cracker Cut slices paired with a berry coulis makes a great appetizer with or without the cracker or an amazing topping for a grilled chicken breast.
Disclosure: I received free samples of Cabot Cheddar Cracker Cut Slices as mentioned in this post. I was not expected to write this review nor was I compensated for my time. Opinions are my own,

Summer should  be easy. ..as in air dried hair, bare feet, and cut offs. Summer meals should match the carefree spirit we embrace this season. I’m happy to share that the  good folks at Cabot agree and are making summer effortless with  their award winning cheese in packages of 26 cracker cut slices. No slicing required!  So open a package and make an appetizer with or without the cracker! Here’s my first attempt … Cabot Vermont Seriously Sharp  Cheddar paired with my berry coulis and topped with a sprig of cinnamon basil..

I also used 2 of these  Cabot cracker cuts on my latest grilled entree that combines fresh cinnamon basil, berries and cheddar over grilled chicken.  What’s not to love about this?

 

Grilled Chicken with Cheddar and Berry Coulis

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 (6 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cracker Cut Slices
  • 4 tablespoons berry coulis
  • cinnamon basil for garnish

Instructions

1. Place each chicken breast between sheets of wax paper and pound to 1/2 inch thickness with a mallet or rolling pin

2. Combine lemon juice , olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place chicken breasts in a zip lock plastic bag. Add juice mixture to bag. Seal bag and turn to coat chicken evenly. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

3. Heat grill. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Cook about 5 minutes per side or until done, adding 2 cheddar cheese slices to each breast during the last few minutes of grilling.

4.When cheese is melted, remove chicken from grill and top with berry coulis and cinnamon basil.

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CheeseCake Bites with Berry Coulis

A healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean shunning desserts, it means satisfying a  sweet tooth with  small portions of dessert like these cheesecake bites with berry coulis.
Consumers are interested in nutrition. But more often than not,  our attention is focused on  what to eat,  rather than on how much. Make no mistake:  size does matter, and changes to portion sizes  can make a BIG difference. Today we’re celebrating the Recipe Redux‘s 6th birthday and the emphasis is on portion size! Here’s our challenge:

Small Bite Desserts: In honor of our 6th birthday, we’re celebrating with cake or another small bite dessert than suits your fancy. Show us your small bite dessert creation.

When I eat dessert, the first bite is the most satisfying, and I experience  diminishing returns for each bite thereafter.  I’ve learned that what I really want is a small bite or taste, not a ginormous plate piled high with sweets. Small bites are not only figure friendly, but satisfying.

This past weekend I conceived some new ways to use what’s growing in my garden: cinnamon basil. Here are the results:  this delicious  sauce made with a medley of berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and red raspberries), served over  mini cheesecake bites and garnished with cinnamon basil.My small bite creation requires only 6 ingredients (besides the coulis). Why do I think this is healthy? There are primarily two reasons. 1. I  shrunk the size of the cheese cake keeping calories, sugar and fat in check. 2. Berries are good for you! Be sure to  visit the links below for more small bite dessert recipes to satisfy your desire for dessert within the  framework of  healthy lifestyle.

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CheeseCake Bites with Berry Coulis makes 2 dozen

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 24)

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 24 mini vanilla wafers
  • cinnamon basil for garnish

for the berry coulis

  • 16 oz. frozen or fresh fruit medley
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup berry jam

Instructions

1. Place a mini cupcake liner in each cup of a muffin pan.

2.Beat cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer, until fluffy.

3.Add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon beating well.

4.Add egg beating well after addition.

5. Lay a mini vanilla wafter, flat side down, in each muffin cup. Spoon cream cheese mixture over wafers.

6.Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Serve with berry coulis. Garnish with cinnamon basil.

for berry coulis

add ingredients for coulis in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Serve warm or cool.

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