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Easy, Healthy No Sugar Added Berry Sorbet

It’s cold dessert season! I’ve loved “nice cream” for years (made in a similar way to the recipe below, but with bananas!) but when one of my girlfriends mentioned she was making a healthy frozen fruit sorbet type dessert in her food processor, I had to start experimenting on my own. I love that this recipe is so quick and easy and that it doesn’t require any fancy ice cream making gadgets. While other frozen fruits may work, I really love using berries for this no sugar added sorbet recipe. Berries are lower in sugar compared to other fruit, contain tons of antioxidants and also have lots of fiber. The Greek yogurt in this recipe helps create a smooth and creamy consistency, plus the protein in it is always a welcome addition! If you are dairy free, you could try using dairy free yogurt options!

Time: 5 Minutes

2 Cups Frozen Berries (any kind will work, or a mix!)
1/3 Cup Greek Yogurt (I use plain but you can use any kind you like!)
2-4 Tbsp Water
Squeeze of Lemon Juice (this is optional but very highly suggested)

1. Add the 2 cups of berries, 1/3 cup of greek yogurt, 2 tbsp of water and squeeze of lemon juice to a food processor.

2. Process on high for 2-3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides down. The consistency may be a little bit crumbly which will resolve after it is processed a little longer and you may also want to add 1 – 2 tbsp more of water!

3. Process until the berries are broken down and the consistency is like a sorbet or ice cream.

4. Divide into bowls and serve immediately.

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Healthier Shamrock Protein Shake

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day Season. Yes, season because when you live in Syracuse, NY – that is what it is. This time of year, you’ve probably seen some ads for McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. My recipe below makes about 24 ounces of shamrock shake, just a little bigger than McD’s 22 ounce size large shamrock shake and quite a bit healthier.

Their version packs in 800 calories, 20 grams of fat, 18 grams of protein, 103 grams of sugar with 84 grams of them being added sugar. The OG shamrock shake ingredients are: Milk, Sugar, Cream, Corn Syrup, Natural Flavor, Mono And Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Glycerin, Contains 2% Or Less: Natural Flavor, Xantham Gum, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Yellow 5, Blue 1.

My healthier shamrock shake is sweetened with dates and banana instead of sugar and high fructose corn syrup while sneaking in some fresh spinach you can’t even taste. This healthier shamrock shake contains 350 calories, 9 grams of fat, 24 grams of protein, 30 grams of sugar with 0 grams of them being added sugar. My version also contains 25% DV Vitamin D, 65% DV Calcium, 30% DV Iron, 165% DV Vitamin A, 60% DV Vitamin C.

I am not someone who is super into minty or mint chocolate stuff, but I cannot get enough of this shake as a dessert or sweet treat! I think I will be making it well outside of the St. Patrick’s Day Season!

Better For You Shamrock Protein Shake
Time: 5 Minutes

2 dried dates, about 20 grams (Medjool are larger and sweeter than Noor dates but either will work)
1 Cup Plain Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 Handful of Baby Spinach, about 25 grams
1 Frozen Banana
1 Scoop Plain Whey Protein Powder, about 24 grams
1 Cup of Ice
1/4 Tsp Mint Extract
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Optional: 1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs

1. Break or cut the dates away from the pit and place in a microwave safe container with 1/2 cup of the almond milk. Microwave for 30 seconds and set aside. This will help soften the dates so they blend easier in the cold liquid!
2. In a high powered blender, add the remaining 1/2 up almond milk, baby spinach, frozen banana, whey, ice, mint and vanilla extract and the date/almond milk mixture.
3. Blend on high for one minute until smooth and well combined.
4. If using them, add in cacao nibs and blend for another 15 seconds, until nibs are broken down.

Pour into a large container and enjoy!

This isn’t your typical green smoothie or shamrock shake but I know you will love it as much as I do!

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Easy, Healthy 4 Ingredient Nutella

Some things just pair so well together…chocolate and hazelnut are two of those things! When we think of this combination, our minds may go to the beloved spread – Nutella. While Nutella tastes great, the first ingredient in Nutella is sugar. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than about 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and 9 for men. A single 2 tablespoon serving of Nutella contains the equivalent of about 5 teaspoons of sugar, the majority of them added sugar! For reference, there are 6 teaspoons in 2 tablespoons, so the fact that sugar is making up 5 of those 6 teaspoons in a serving is kind of crazy! In my version of this healthy Nutella, I use dates as a natural sweetener. My version of healthy Nutella does not contain any milk, making this recipe dairy free and vegan!

Easy, Healthy 4 Ingredient Nutella

Time: ~10 Minutes
Servings: 8

2 Cups of Peeled, Dry Roasted Hazelnuts (I used Nature’s Garden Roasted Hazelnuts from Costco)
2 Tablespoons of Navitas Organics Cacao Powder (This is different from cocoa!)
3 Medjool Dates, Pits Removed
1 Pinch of Salt

1. Add the hazelnuts to a food processor or high powered blender. Blend them until they form a butter. Turn off machine and scrape sides down as needed. This will take a few minutes for the butter to form, but the exact time will depend on the machine you are using!

2. Once the hazelnuts have been blended into a smooth butter, add the cacao powder, the medjool dates and the salt. Blend until everything is well combined and there are no chunks of dates left.

3. Transfer to a jar and store in your pantry. Some natural separation may occur, so be sure to stir before using! This will keep for a couple weeks.

This makes 12 servings of 1.5 Tbsp each. There are 150 Calories per serving, 12 grams of fat, 3 grams of protein and 1/5 of the amount of sugar as regular Nutella!

We love this spread on fruit, rice cakes and pretzels! I would love to hear how you are using it!

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Easy Chocolate No Bake Cookies

No bake cookies are a favorite of mine because they require so little effort and are ready so quickly! Unlike traditional cookies, these can be made using your stovetop (or heck, even your microwave!) and you don’t have to wait for them to bake. These no bakes contain antioxidant rich cacao powder, fiber packed oats and chia seed as well as antioxidant packed cacao and goji berries. YUM.

Easy Chocolate No Bake Cookies

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 2 Minutes
Makes ~20 Cookies

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
1/3 Cup Almond Milk (or milk of your choice)
2 Tbsp Real Maple Syrup (You could use up to 3 depending on how sweet you like things!)
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Cacao Powder (Navitas is my favorite!)
Pinch of Salt
1 3/4 Cup Instant Oats
2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1/4 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
1/4 Cup Dried Goji Berries (If you cant find these, consider subbing something like raisins!)

1. Place coconut oil, milk and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until until coconut oil is melted, about five minutes.
2. Turn off stovetop and stir in vanilla extract, cacao powder and salt to the coconut oil/maple syrup/milk mixture.
3. Add the oats and stir until well combined. Add in chia seeds, coconut flakes and goji berries.
4. Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, place tablespoon sized scoops of the mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave raised or using a piece of parchment and your palm or the back of a spoon, press down on the cookies to flatten.
5. Place in the refrigerator for ten minutes or until the mixture is cool. Transfer the cookies to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

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5 Tips to Building A Healthier Charcuterie Board

There are very few things that I love more than a good charcuterie board. This time of year is full of gatherings and people stopping over. A charcuterie board is a simple but elegant way to feed a crowd and allow people to pick and choose items that they want to eat. While I love charcuterie, I am a firm believer that not all charcuterie boards are created equal and I have come up with five tips to help you up your charcuterie board game to make a healthier charcuterie board for your next gathering or fun, casual meal.

  1. VARIETY: With so many people who have dietary restrictions and food sensitivities, have lots of choices for everyone. Having an assortment of meat, cheese, olives, fruits and/or veggies, dips, crackers (like my absolute favorite Simple Mills Fine Ground Sea Salt Crackers that those who do and do not eat gluten love!), nuts, pretzels, bread sticks, dark chocolate, etc.
  2. HEALTHIER CONDIMENTS: Add in healthier condiments and dips to accompany the items on the charcuterie board such as mustards, hummus, yogurt based dips, homemade pesto and raw honey.
  3. BETTER MEAT CHOICES: While cured meats are inherently salty, choose options that aren’t also loaded with preservatives! Look for organic meats, meats labeled “all natural” and meats labeled “uncured” (they’re still cured, just typically in a more natural way!) when choosing your meat for charcuterie boards. Many times, prosciutto is made with just ham and salt. While these are better choices, don’t eat tons of these cured meats as the salt content is typically pretty high!
  4. BETTER FRUIT & NUT CHOICES: Use better dried fruit and nuts! If you are adding dried fruit, check the label for added sugar, oil and preservatives. If you are buying nuts, look for ones that are raw or dry roasted (roasted but using no added oil).
  5. HAVE FUN: Be creative and don’t stress about it! You can’t mess this up!

If you follow Based Wellness on Facebook or Instagram, tag me in your next charcuterie creation so I can check it out!