Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Organic vs. Conventionally Grown Produce

Photo from EWG

Organic refers to produce produced without synthetic chemicals or fertilizers, genetic engineering, radiation or sewage sludge. Sounds like we should be eating only organic, right? But just because it's labeled "organic" doesn't mean it's healthy. Examples: organic gummy worms, organic cookies, etc. It's also confusing because there are some that say that it's just a waste of money to buy organic and others that say it's the best dollar(s) spent. So what's a person to do? Well...there's a group, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) comes out with a list each year of the most pesticide ladend produce and ones with barely any at all based on extensive testing from the US Dept. of Agriculture. It feels like a safe bet to me :) 

The Dirty Dozen
  • strawberries
  • apples
  • nectarines
  • peaches
  • celery
  • grapes
  • cherries
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • sweet peppers
  • cucumbers
  • hot peppers
  • kale

Clean 15
  • avocado
  • corn
  • pineapples
  • cabbage
  • sweet peas
  • onions
  • asparagus
  • mangoes
  • papayas
  • kiwi
  • eggplant
  • honeydew
  • grapefruit
  • cantaloupe
  • cauliflower
Hopefully this helps a bit when buying produce.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Clean and Easy Protein Balls

My son is obsessed with these delicious protein balls at our local clean eating tea place (and frankly, I am obsessed with them as well). So today when I asked Carter what he wanted for a snack, he said "protein balls, please." Since the baby was down for her afternoon nap, Carter and I looked through our pantry and decided that we could totally make our own clean protein balls out of stuff we had laying around. So we 10 minutes flat...and they are rock-star protein balls! PLUS, you can make them with all sorts of stuff. You could add flax, chia seeds, chocolate, fruit, etc

What you need:

  • Parchment paper lined cookie sheet
  • 1 cup nut butter (we used raw salted creamy natural peanut butter but almond butter or sunflower butter would be great too)
  • 1/2 cup sweetener (we used raw organic honey but agave or maple syrup or brown rice syrup will do)
  • 54 grams of protein powder (we used 2 1/2 scoops IsaPro vanilla...just make sure it's unsweetened and just protein powder)
  • 1 cup oatmeal (we used gluten free quick oats)
  • 22 chocolate chips
What you do: 

  1. On medium-low heat, combine peanut butter and honey and stir until smooth (be careful, it can burn!)
  2. Remove pan from burner and let cool for a minute stirring continuously.
  3. Mix in protein powder and oatmeal in (you get a bit of an arm workout since it gets pretty thick)
  4. Make into tablespoon sized balls (or use a cookie dough scoop if you're resourceful... like me).
  5. Top with a chocolate chip (totally optional :) ) 
  6. Refrigerate for around an hour and eat 'em!

Nutrition stats:
(per ball...recipe makes 22)
115 calories, 6 grams fat, 11 grams carbs, 6 grams sugar, 1.5 grams fiber, 5.5 grams protein

EDIT: I made another batch using half the sweetener and added 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk and they were perfection, plus you shave off 15 calories and 3 grams sugar :)