Butter Cookies with Saffron and Pine Nuts!

Ingredients

  • butter cookies 3 1 Stick of Butter
  • 1 Cup of Flour
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 40 Grams of Honey
  • 50 Grams of Pine Nuts
  • 4 Grams of Saffron (one small packet)
  • Icing Sugar for Decoration (Optional)

Preheat the oven at 175 C.

This recipe is super easy to make, all you need is an electric beater/mixer!

Here’s what to do:

  • Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature and to have toasted slightly the pine nuts in a small pan (only a minute or two, they don’t need much time).
  • Place the butter, egg yolk, honey and flour in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until you get a homogenous mix.
  • Add the saffron and beat at low speed until incorporated.
  • Incorporate the Pine Nuts.
  • Divide the dough in half. Take one half of the dough and roll it into a long “log”, about 5 cm in diameter. Then, butter cookies 2with a clean knife, cut the cookies so that they are about 2 cm thick. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  • Optional: Sprinkle more pine nuts in the top of each cookie!
  • Place all the cookies in a tray with baking paper and place in the oven for 15 minutes, until they are golden brown on top.
  • Sprinkle some icing sugar on top for decoration and serve while still warm for MAX Enjoyment!!

This recipe yields about 40 small cookies.

xoxo,

Yoggi B.

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Homemade Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients

  • Oatmeal Bars 81 Cup of Oat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup of Almond Flour
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 tablespoon of Honey or Agave Nectar,
  • or 3-4 tbs of Sugar or Sweetener
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Filling: 

You can use anything you want as a filling! I personally decided to make a few different ones: Regular Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam; Peanut Butter and Strawberry jam (both sugar-free); and Chocolate and Peanut Butter (also both sugar-free)

  • Preheat oven at 200 C

Oatmeal Bars 6I got the idea to make these bad boys when I asked my mom to send my from Venezuela some Protein Granola Bars or Quest Bars if she found (they don’t sell those in Greece). Anyways, my mom did not really have ANY CLUE of what I was asking her for…but she still said she would find them! In the end, she sent me a care package with these Quaker Oatmeal Bars (not even close to what I wanted) that weren’t bad, but weren’t really tasty either….

When I tried them I thought: I like the crunchiness and taste of the actual bar, but the strawberry filling is Terrible!! So I kept trying to mask the bad flavor by adding my own sugar-free strawberry jam on top and peanut butter and what not…..Finally, one day I decided to just go for it and make my own version of these Oatmeal bars….

Here’s how I did them:

  • oatmeal bars 1I make both the Oat Flour and Almond Flour by placing the required amount in a blender and blend it until it has a flour-like texture.
  • Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon, fork or your hands until it becomes a dough ball.
  • Divide the dough in 5 equal pieces and place on a flat, clean surface so that you can stretch the dough using a rolling pin. Basically we want to end up with 5 square pieces of dough.
  • Using a knife or cookie cutters, feel free to make some cute design on the one side of your dough.
  • Oatmeal Bars 3Choose your fillings! You don’t need very much of it, only about 1 tablespoon or 2 per bar. If you choose Sugar-Free Jam, just add it directly to the bar, however, if you choose chocolate or peanut butter, make sure you melt them a bit in the microwave so that they become easier to spread. If you do a Peanut Butter and Jam, mix one tablespoon of each before spreading it on the granola bar…this way you get a much fuller mixture of tastes in each bite!
  • Oatmeal Bars 4Add the fillings in each one of your squares, only on one half of your dough; take the half of dough and cover the filling with it, like a sandwich.
  • Using your fingers or a fork, press the edges of the oatmeal bars to close them up properly and so the filling doesn’t come out.
  • Place in prepared tray and in preheated oven at 200 C for 8-10 minutes or until they start to brown in the edges.

And they are ready to eat!! This can easily be a snack you can carry on the go, post-workout or when you are in a hurry. Because of the almond flour and honey, plus the peanut butter and chocolate filling, to me, it tastes like a really clean version of Snickers!!

Oatmeal Bars 5

Oatmeal Bars 7

As you can see from the picture, these Homemade Oatmeal Bars are about twice the size of the store-bought ones but the Oatmeal Bars 13same calories and carbs! Meaning that each bar contains about 15 grams of Carbs, but all healthy carbs and it only has the healthy fats from the Almond Flour; this does not include the filling, since it depends on what you decide to add….But so that you have a guideline: the Total carbs in the PB&J (Peanut Butter & Jam) Oatmeal Bar is 23 carbs, whereas the store bought Oatmeal bar has 24 grams of Carbs per bar.

Oatmeal Bars 11Oatmeal Bars 9Enjoy!!!!

xoxo,

Yoggi B.

Healthy Tip: On The Go Snack – Chacha’s Power Mix

Ingredients

chachas mix 5All the nuts and dried fruits you like!! For Example:

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnut
  • Brazil Nut
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Goji Berries

chachas mix1

My very dear friend Chacha shared with me a few weeks ago her amazing Morning Power Mix idea! She told me that her usual breakfast is:

  • 1 handful of the nuts and dried fruits mix made with the above mentioned ingredients
  • 1 Fresh Fruit 
  • A splash of Milk of your preference!

This power mix idea, as my friend said herself, “is extremely delish and gives energy for the rest of the day! And in Summer weather, combined with some Homemade Mango Sorbet, this breakfast is to Die For!!”

I believed her, but since I am not a Breakfast person I twitched her idea a bit and made it into an On the Go Power Mix for snacking! This has been saving my life the past weeks! I simply carry a jar with me everywhere I go and when Hunger strikes I am ready!! Guys this is how you keep yourself from eating something unhealthy and greasy, always, always, always be prepared!!!

Chachas mix 2What Exactly did I do for this On The Go Power Mix?? I went to this store in Athens called CARPO (they also have one in London) where they sell Sundried Fruits with NO ADDED Sugars!! Super healthy, I think. So I got this time:

  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Banana
  • Nectarine
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries

chachas mix 4Then I went to the farmers Market and got some nice, big variety of nuts:

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Pistachios 
  • Cashews

Now just get creative and mix in the colors you like best! I made several of these little Jars with the Power Mix, closed them up and just take one every time I need to go out for errands. Because they are closed very well, they have lasted me about 10 days or so….

chachas mix 3

A big thanks to Chacha for suggesting this great idea!!

xoxo,

Yoggi B. 

 

My Homemade Hummus

hummus 1Ingredients

  • 3 Cups of Chickpeas
  • ½ Cup of Water
  • ½ Cup of Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbs of Salt
  • 1 tbs of Pepper
  • 1 tbs of Cumin
  • 4 tbs of Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Sesame Oil

 

I love hummus!! Its another one of my favorite complex carbs…so its hard for me to only eat a sensible serving of hummus, but I try!! The original recipe called for a lot of more ingredients and a lot more olive oil! I cleaned it up a little bit without really sacrificing the outcome! I know some people love their hummus “garlicky”, if you do, go for it! I am highly intolerant to garlic, so I don’t use any…

So, Here’s how I make this cleaner version:

  • If you are using already cooked chickpeas (the ones they sell in the jar) you go straight to the next step. If not, Leave the chickpeas in a bowl covered in water overnight (for a good 8 hours more or less). Wash the chickpeas and throw out the “soaking water”; then place the chickpeas in a pot with fresh cold water in the stove over high heat. Bring the chickpeas to a boil; a “foam” may rise from the chickpeas, just scoop it out and throw it away. When the water is boiling, Lower the temperature to medium, enough so that the chickpeas are simmering, cover and allow to cook for about an hour. Once ready, rinse them out and let them cool.
  • Place the chickpeas in a blender together with the rest of the ingredients. Blend all together until reaching the desired texture, stopping to taste along the way and adjusting the spices accordingly. If the hummus is too thick, add a little more water or just one more tablespoon of olive oil. Be patient with your blender, you may need to stop and stir with a spoon and then start again until reaching the desired consistency.
  • I like my hummus smooth but thick, my BF prefers it to be smooth and thin…for him I usually add more olive oil or even Tahini, I use a tablespoon or so. Feel free to adjust the amounts based on your personal preferences!
  • Refrigerate for an hour, I find hummus is best served cold. You can use some of my Homemade Pita Bread…with Oats to go with this recipe!

hummus 2

hummus 3Enjoy it!

xoxo,

Yoggi B.

Oat’s Series 9: Homemade Oatmeal Pita Bread

pita bread featuredIngredients

  •  ½ cup of Water
  • 1 ½ tbs of Dry Active Yeast
  • 1 cup of Oat Flour
  • 4 tbs of Whole-Wheat Flour
  • ½ tbs of Olive Oil
  • Salt, Pepper and Spices

 

Since I have been living in Greece, I’ve realized how addicted I am to pita bread!! and since I would love to eat it very often, I thought I would try and find a healthier version to replace the original white flour pitas.

 

So, Here’s what I did:

  • Warm up the water to a comfortable temperature; if you were to put your pinkie finger in the water it shouldn’t burn, it should feel like your are having a warm bath, more or less.
  • Place the water in a Bowl.
  • Sprinkle the yeast and cover with a kitchen cloth or plastic paper for 10 mins, allowing the mixture to sit still and the yeast to activate.
  • Once the 10 mins have passed, add the oat flour and the whole-wheat flour and mix it together. You can do this with a kitchen-aid (if you have one), with a spoon, or just use your hands like I did.
  • Knit the dough until it becomes a manageable ball, that doesn’t stick to your fingers nor to the walls of the bowl.
  • Place the ball of dough in a clean bowl previously brushed with olive oil. Place the dough in a warm place and allow to “grow” for about 1 to 2 hours.
  • Once the inactive time has passed, the dough should be doubled in size. Then, cut the dough into equal size balls; I made 8 small pitas from this dough.
  • Using a rolling pin or just with your hands, shape each of the pita breads to the desired size. I wanted my pitas to eat with some of My Homemade Hummus so I made them small and about ½ cm thick (0.2 in).
  • Once all the pitas are shaped, brush with a little bit of olive oil, sprinkle salt, pepper and oregano, and place them in a hot pan over medium-high heat (they get a crunchier texture by doing this step). If you don’t want them to be too crunchy or you want to minimize the amount of oil you are using,  only brush the pan with olive oil, add the spices directly on the pitas and then place them on the pan until they are slightly browned on each side.
  • Serve hot! If they get cold by any reason before serving, just warm them up in a hot/high heat oven for a couple of minutes on each side.

And there you have it, My healthier version of pita bread, made with Oats… Another recipe for the Oats Series!! I enjoyed these healthy pitas with some of my homemade hummus…give them a try!!

 pita bread 2pita bread 1

xoxo,

Yoggi B.

 

Pet Tips: Healthy Dog Treats


snack
Hey, Hey, Hey!!

So, today I had this mid-day snack: Green Apple slices with 1 tbs of sugar-free homemade Peanut Butter! and I generally follow the mentality of “Sharing is Caring”…specially when it comes to food!!! For me, I find it to be an excellent way to downsize my meals without even realizing of it myself!!! And of course, Sheldon is my perfect companion to share some meals….

Do not worry, I do care about my dog’s health, so I don’t always share human food with him, but I will occasionally, and I will generally try to give him human food that is also beneficial for dogs to eat!  A friend of mine, who is studying to become an odontologist, told me that the process of eating apples can actually help in keeping dogs’ teeth healthy, as well as keeping their breath fresh!! 

my snackfor shellySo, When I have a healthy green apple with peanut butter snack, I always make sure to share some of my apple with Sheldon, making sure, of course, that I do not feed him any of the seeds, I cut it into slices he can handle and that he doesn’t eat too much of it at once…

After having done a bit more of reading upon the subject, I found out that what my friend told me was in fact accurate and that apples are considered to be a healthy snack for dogs, since it provides them with different vitamins and healthy fibers! Just do not over do it, I give my dog only a couple pieces every few days or so…

So, there you have it, in case you didn’t already know about this wonderful healthy snack that you can share with your pet!! It is healthy for both!!

xoxo,

Yoggi B.

 

Choco-Peanut Butter Banana

Ingredientshealthy choco banana main

  • 1/2 Banana
  • 1 tbs of Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1 square of Sugar Free Chocolate

This mouth-watering treat can be made in only 15 minutes!!
It may look like its decadent, but its made with all healthy ingredients and small quantities of them!! Check it out:

  • I melted some of my homemade, all natural, sugar-free peanut butter in the microwave, about 30 seconds. (I’ll share how I make my own peanut butter in another post!)
  • Placed half of a banana on some baking paper and poured the melted peanut butter until completely covering the half banana.
  • Place in freezer for 5 mins.
  • In the same cup I melted the peanut butter, I melted the sugar free chocolate square, about 40 seconds in a microwave, stoping at intervals of 10 seconds to stir with a spoon and mix with whatever peanut butter may have been still stuck to the cup.
  • Take the peanut butter banana out of the freezer and pour the melted chocolate until completely covering the banana.
  • I sprinkled some shredded coconut for decoration and placed back in the freezer for another 5 mins.

I am the biggest peanut butter lover…so I think this is heaven!!! It very fulfilling even though it was only half of a banana, and I used what I consider to be moderate amounts of healthy peanut butter and chocolate!

Super quick, easy and indulging!!

healthy choco banana 1

healthy choco banana main

healthy choco banana

 

* FYI: I used about 60 gr of banana which yields to aprox 60 cals; 1 tbs of peanut butter (homemade, sugar free, no additives) that has aprox 100 cals; 1 square of dark, sugar free chocolate (8 gr), having aprox 50 cals; and I usd 1/2 tbs of shredded coconut (unsweetened), aprox 20 cals.
So, in total this sweet snack has only about 230 cals!!!

Enjoy!

xoxo, 

Yoggi B.