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Pumpkin Love

pumpkin

Featuring my Favorite Fall Muffins:

Toasted Millet Pumpkin Muffins.

 

These muffins contain easy ingredients I normally have on hand. Loving my huge tub of Chobani.

I love toasting the Millet, it smells so good and kinda pops and brown up.

Plus they are so easy to just plop a spoonful into the muffin tin because it’s a thick batter.

I’ve made these Pumpkin Toasted Millet Muffin before in an earlier post.

 

I love this amazing little muffin. It is packed with flavor and crunch, and as a bonus, they freeze well. I love foods that freeze well. I like to keep a few out a few and freeze the rest for another day. Plus their healthy, and who doesn’t like that?

Ingredients:

Makes 12

These muffins offer an intriguing crunch, thanks to the toasted millet. Savor them warm from the oven, or freeze a batch to have on hand.  Allow muffins to cool completely before transferring to freezer bags. Thawed muffins may be reheated in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes or microwaved for 15-20 seconds to give them a little warmth.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup millet
1 egg
1/2 cup Chobani Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup soy or coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (to replace butter)
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
8 Packs Splenda
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Method

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin pan; set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add millet and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and just beginning to pop, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer millet to a plate to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Greek yogurt, soy milk, applesauce (to replace butter), pumpkin, Splenda packets and brown sugar; set aside. Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cooled millet in a medium bowl, then gently fold into egg mixture until just combined. Spoon batter into lined muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Also I wanted to introduce you to a New and Fun Website call Liv360 where you can find The best products to help you look good, feel great, and live better. Just follow the link, sign-up and join this amazing community.

 

I am also going to be a Live Better Ambassador for Liv360.  

Liv360 vision is to create the first marketing and distribution platform for the consumer health and wellness products and brands.

This site features lots of different healthy related products that other health enthusiast have tried or recommend such as: These 5-Blade Herb Scissors

 

5-Blade Herb Scissors

 

Liv360 has just launched Great products, awesome deals, and an amazing community. To Celebrate this launch, please enjoy 15% off by using the code “GiveMe15”! Gotta Love A Coupon Code.

Check Ya Later.

Pumpkin Love.

 

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Special Delivery….#justaddgood…Chobani

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My good friends at Chobani sent me a wonderful box of goodness to try out in some recipes. I used this Conversion Chart from Chobani.

Chobani Ingredient Conversion Chart

Nothing but Good.

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So my first thought was to make some zesty chicken enchiladas. I didn’t use a particular recipe, I just added a few easy ingredients I love and threw them together, or rather rolled them together. So here’s how this very zesty recipe came together. I used the Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or a cheese soup mix like I normally would use. This really kept this recipe light and creamy, plus it gave this dish a real zippy bite. I was really excited at how the dish turned out. One huge benefit of using Chobani Greek yogurt for me is the increase in the protein it added to my meal. It’s a keeper recipe, with a keeper ingredient.

Ingredients

1 Can Yellow Corn
1 Can Black Beans
1 Cup Chobani Greek Yogurt
2-3 Chicken Breasts Cooked and Shredded
6 Large Wheat Tortillas
3/4 Cup Shredded Cheese – 1/4 Cup for Topping Tortillas

1 Cup Medium Salsa – Plus 1/2 Cup for Topping Tortillas

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.

Incorporate all the ingredients together and spoon a large portion of stuffing mixture into each tortilla and roll. Place in a glass baking dish. Spoon additional 1/2 Cup salsa over the rolled tortillas and sprinkle with extra cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbling hot.
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#justaddgood
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Also wanted to introduce my new little girl, Ginger. We rescued her and she is amazing. She loves Stuart and Stuart loves her. She is 6-8 months old (vets best guess). After we lost Killian we decided to let our next dog find us. What we did not know is that she was already looking for us. I will post her story in an upcoming post. For now here’s a few pictures of my Ginger Lou.
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Ginger and Stuart have become fast friends. They nap together, play together and holiday together. Brother love his new Sister!
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Check Ya Later.

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Sad to say, but summer is gone and into Autumn we go. So to ease into the change I made my favorite fall muffin, which happened to coincide with Spry Living featuring the muffin recipe on their on-line publication. I was super excited.

Click here, to follow the link for Toasted Millet Pumpkin Muffins.

This is the second time I have worked with Spry Living, back in July they featured my favorite Kale Smoothie. Click here, to follow the link.

kale blueberry fruit smoothie snack frozen treat dessert health spry

I really love Spry Livings site I have found so many amazing recipes and quite a few new blogs to follow, I highly recommend checking them out.

So back to the Pumpkin Millet Muffin, I love this amazing little muffin. It is packed with flavor and crunch, and as a bonus, they freeze well. I love foods that freeze well. I like to keep a few out a few and freeze the rest for another day. Plus their healthy, and who doesn’t like that?

These muffins contain easy ingredients I normally have on hand. Loving my huge tub of Chobani.

I love toasting the Millet, it smells so good and kinda pops and brown up.

Plus they are so easy to just plop a spoonful into the muffin tin because it’s a thick batter.

I’ve made these Pumpkin Toasted Millet Muffin before in an earlier post, I was still learning how to take pictures of food at the time, plus it was in the dead of winter and indoor pictures are a real challenge for me.

Pumpkin Millet Muffins

Ingredients:

Makes 12

These muffins offer an intriguing crunch, thanks to the toasted millet. Savor them warm from the oven, or freeze a batch to have on hand.  Allow muffins to cool completely before transferring to freezer bags. Thawed muffins may be reheated in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes or microwaved for 15-20 seconds to give them a little warmth.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup millet
1 egg
1/2 cup Chobani Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup soy or coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (to replace butter)
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
8 Packs Splenda
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Method

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin pan; set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add millet and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and just beginning to pop, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer millet to a plate to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Greek yogurt, soy milk, applesauce (to replace butter), pumpkin, Splenda packets and brown sugar; set aside. Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cooled millet in a medium bowl, then gently fold into egg mixture until just combined. Spoon batter into lined muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

I am already dreading taking indoor food pictures now that fall and winter are up on us. Having 90 percent of my pictures being taken outdoors in beautiful sunny weather has been a luxury for this beginner blogger and to go back to indoor food shots makes me sad, but I’m hoping to find a lighting solution by making a light box, or rigging a clip on light. I’ve been looking into some options.

So until then, I plan on taking as many outdoor pictures as possible! Natural Light Rules.

Hey, I also wanted to introduce you to a site I recently started to enjoy. Have you ever heard of SlimKicker? Well let me introduce you to them.

SlimKicker is an interactive website that helps you achieve a fitness goal or maintain your current one. It’s really fun to get your profile started. Once you do your off and running. On SlimKicker you log all your food and exercise and enjoy all the other features. One feature I really can not stop using is the challenges feature. I have a thing for challenges and this really keeps staying healthy fun. You can choose from tons of challenges, one I thought was perfect was the, Exercise before Facebook Challenge! Brilliant really.  It keeps you on track and accountable for all your actions and helps you make it fun and easy to stay focused. They also have a database with recipes and calorie counts for practically every food imaginable. Then add in all the support from the community and the blog with so many amazing posts that will inspire and support your health needs. Just thought I’d share, sometimes when you find a gem you have to share the wealth.

Check Ya Later.

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SWAG, How Many Of Us Love It!

This is my final post on the Blend Retreat. I’m sure from time to time I will add comments or bring up things that happened at the retreat. I hope you enjoy this post on some good eats and treats.

Today’s post is dedicated to the Swag we received. So to start we all received these great t-shirts and name badges.

This is what made it home with me. I was nervous packing all these liquids in my bag, I was so worried that my drinks would explode in my bag, but it was worth the risk, and I am happy to report that nothing broke open. I had to laugh at how scared I was to open my bag and see if there was a mess. So with caution I unzipped my bag and on top of my cloths there sat a note from a TSA officer stating that they had checked my bag. At first I could not tell my bag had been opened and checked, it looked just how I left it, then I noticed that the decorative plastic bags that the Xagave was in was torn open. I guess when my bag was x-rayed it must have looked to delicious not to investigate it. I was so glad that they were so respectful and only looked at what looked suspicious.

During the closing ceremonies I won the Nature Box, and I am just so excited that I did, I have always wanted to try out one of these monthly foodie boxes. I will post about it when I receive my prize.

I put all the goodies back in the bag so I could get a picture to share, I guess I forgot to do that at the retreat, because I could not find a picture of one on my camera, bad blogger…or hungry snacker…

Had to take pictures of my boys trying to help themselves. They felt the need to protect this bag, food makes them crazy. They were so cute peeking into the bag.

This bag was taller than Stuart but that didn’t stop him from getting a look.

Killian really stood guard over the bag. He’s always on the ready for things that fall.

Oh popchips how I love thee. I tried most of the flavors at the retreat and I love them all, but I think the spicy jalapeno is my ultimate favorite flavor.

Then came the Fitmixer swag. We each received a blender bottle and a full size amino powder. Fitmixer was at the retreat with us and they participated in all the activities. Having them at the retreat worked out really well for me because I start the Fitmixer Boot Camp on May 14th. So I asked lots of questions and got a great preview of the products. I will be doing posts on my progress during the Fitmixer Boot Camp. I’m working on building muscle and strength.

Xagave gave us each a full size container and recipe cards, plus they provided an amazing breakfast on Saturday morning. I look forward to baking with this real soon.

Bob’s Red Mill also sent a full size product for us in our swag bag. I have had pearl couscous before, but never whole wheat so I am excited to try this.

Beanitos were also in our bag and I had never tried them and they did not disappoint, they were a great snack.

Love the flax seeds in the chip, they give it a nutty flavor.

Cheribundi is a cherry juice, it is tangy and tart, and I loved it. I am hooked on the Ginger Cherry flavor, and have already experimented with it in a cocktail. Check out this post for a refreshing Adult Cocktail. There are 50 cherries in each container and they are packed with an abundance of antioxidants and nutrients.

Chobani sponsored our breakfast on Sunday morning, we also had lots of bags of Love Grown granola to add to our yogurt. Love Grown also gifted us a full size bag of granola.

 

Our swag bag had this little gem in it. I love Larabar and here they gave us a 4 pack of their new Uber bars.

 

Bobo’s Oat Bar Amazing. The texture and flavor were out of this world. I really dug into this one. It was like eating a wonderful piece of cake.

The Simply Bar was our Flat Iron Hike sponsor and we also received a few bars in our swag bag. They were a great treat and really tasted good. I love nutrition bars and this one is a new favorite.

Cascadian Farm sent us away with a full size box of cereal and some trail mix bars. Really excited to break into that box of cereal.

Core Power was always available at the retreat, which was great because I think I had one after each of the three workouts. I was excited to try this premixed protein drink, and I am so glad I did. Tons of flavor, lots of protein and I loved the smooth texture.

Twin Cakes Bakery also sent us away with some really taste treats. Loved the flavor of the Chia Brownie Bites they were a rich chewy brownie that will satisfy your chocolate cravings. Perfect balance of sweetness. Perfect for an afternoon treat.

Pure Bliss Eats gave us this cute little packages of their Goji Berry Granola. I am saving this one for a special occasion, it looks so delicious I do not know how long I can hold out.

Lush Gourmet Nuts which happen to be made in Kalamazoo Michigan. They are  handcrafted sweetly coated peanuts. Love the sweet flavor and love that they are a Michigan company. Here at 40 Fit in the Mitt I totally love to support companies in my State. Go Michigan.

Nuts about Granola made a special batch of granola for the Blend Retreat. Here’s what they made for us. Ingredients: Whole oats, honey, almonds, organic chia seeds, dried cherries (Bing cherries, sunflower oil), coconut oil, organic wheat bran, pure cherry extract, cinnamon, natural sea salt. Let me say this, “Amazing” look at the size of those Cherries.

 

NuNaturals gave us bottles of their liquid flavored NuStevia and their NuStevia packets. I am really looking forward to trying this out in some baking I have planned soon.

Colorado Fudge Maker, I did not get to try this, my husband got to it before me, but he said this about it, “I want more”! It was packaged so cute for us, I loved all the detail some companies went to. Classy, very classy.

Hanna’s Herb Shop, scored with this one, I get to try out five different types of supplements, again classy touch with the drawstring bag.

 

Pangea Organics gave us a facial scrub and a mask, I plan on using these next week after I have a massage, it will be like a spa day.

Optimun Nutrition , gave two large samples of their Whey Protein Powder, I will be making some smoothies with those babies soon. They were kind enough to give us a chocolate and a vanilla sample.

Attune Foods gave us a box of Erewhon cereal, which I love to make my version of a healthy crispy treat bar.

Mix1 was in our swag bag also, but I drank it on Saturday night and I forgot to take a picture of it, but let me tell you this, I really like it and enjoyed the vanilla flavor, plus it really filled me up. Protein shakes are such a great way to add protein to your diet.

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Also Dry Soda was in our swag bags and available for us to drink in the Mission Lodge, I tried the cucumber and the vanilla bean. Love them. They were light, sparkling and refreshing, not heavy like a cola.

 

Another fun thing during the retreat was getting other bloggers business cards, some cards were just so darn cute. I might have to think about getting some cards for next years retreat.

So this concludes my Blend Retreat posts. I tried to cover all the events, meals, bloggers and treats from the retreat. I had a great time and feel like I am even more apart of the blogging community, everyone was so nice and I enjoyed the fellowship with all the bloggers. Thank-you Blend for a lifetime of memories.

Check Ya Later.

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So now for the Blend Retreat Part #2.

The hike was my favorite activity. I looked forward to doing it from the moment I signed up for the Retreat. This hike was legit, it very challenging and the terrain was rocky. Then add the altitude and the elevation and there you have the 4 mile Flat Irons Hike.

My heart was pounding out of chest within the first few minutes of the hike, I was feeling really out of breath from the altitude, so I adjusted my pace so I could enjoy the hike and the scenery. But you really had to keep your eyes on the path, it was a very rocky path once you got off the main trail leading up the hill.

Stopping to take a picture with Katie was a great way for me to catch my breath.

It was so cool to see the line of bloggers making their way up the mountain.

Felt like I was on a stair stepper for most of the hike. There were portions of the hike that these short little legs had to really stretch out and up to get up on a rock, but that was the best part of the hike, I love a challenge.

The trail winded up and around and sometimes seemed to get quite narrow.

Again, stopping to take pictures helps one catch their breath.

Along the way we were greeted by this little hiker, Bella. She was so cute, and seemed to hike effortlessly.

On the hike I found myself with different groups of bloggers/hikers along the way. Kim and Meghan were great company.

At the Sentinel Pass I found Tiffany, and from there we hiked the entire way back down the hill together.

The landscape is so amazing in Boulder, it’s picture perfect. I swear it was like looking at a postcard.

Loved all the boulders in Boulder. I love rocks, I love taking pictures of rocks, clearly.

Post hike protein shakes provided by Core Power. I needed fuel after that hike and the vanilla shake hit the spot, it was very taste. It was real milk protein designed for post workout recovery. Recovery is just what I needed.

After the hike we cleaned up and headed out to lunch. We went to lunch at the Mountain Sun Brewery and Restaurant.

Mountain Sun had so many beers to choose from, and I was not sure what to order so I was given a sample, but unfortunately another side effect from the high altitude is alcohol can go straight to your head, and after just the sample glass I realized alcohol was not a good idea for me, so I went back to water. I think I drank gallons of water over the week-end. The shuttle bus driver told me it was a great way to help ease altitude sickness when I first arrived in Boulder, so I took his advice and chugged. I was bummed out that I could not sample a few different beer flavors, I love me a nice cold beer.

Beers, beers and more beers, I did not get to drink.

Lunch was a blackened shrimp and blue cheese wrap with a side salad, it was so good. After lunch I headed back to my cottage and took a nap, I was tired.

When I woke up I wanted a snack so I looked in my swag band and found some popchips. Can I just say this, I am in love with popchips, they have so much flavor. They are all natural popped snacks. I had several different flavors at the retreat, but I think the Jalapeno and the chili lime are my absolute favorites. Spicy, tangy and crispy. Perfection. I love it when I find a really good healthy snack.

Zesty also comes to mind.

Most of the girls went back out for dinner and drinks later in the evening, but I stayed back and relaxed on the back porch and had some more snacks from my swag bag. I called my husband and took a long hot shower. I went to bed early in anticipation of the Boot Camp that we were having bright and early on Sunday morning.

Putting my feet up is all I wanted to do.

Sunday morning Boot Camp was led by Tiffany at Chobani Fit, she kicked our butt’s, plus it’s 7am and it’s cold.

She was very good at motivating us, she really got my pumped up and ready for a great workout.

No excuses here, these girls are tuff and a little cold and an early start time can not stop them.

Learned a new stretch called the Pigeon Pose. Where have I been, this stretch was perfect for my tight hips.

After the workout we all headed to breakfast which was sponsored by Chobani. I had the pineapple yogurt with some simply oats Love Grown granola. Talk about a perfect combination.

Then came the Closing Ceremony and Raffle. Which made me super sad because I knew that this was our last activity and that we would all be going home soon.

I was super excited when I won the Nature Box Raffle. This entitles me to one month’s worth of healthy snacks. So looking forward to getting this package in the mail.

After the raffle took place, all the ladies went outside and we took our group photo. Photo taken from Ashley at Edible Perspective.

After the photo it was time to checkout of our cottage.

A bunch of us meet outside the main lodge and waited for our taxi’s and shuttle bus.

Last minute hugs and goodbyes were everywhere.

I made my way to the airport and had my gopicnic in the laptop/cell phone charging station area.

This lunchbox has all my favorites.

Hummus and crackers always make me happy.

I am really looking forward to Blend 2013. Our hosts were amazing, the swag was stellar and company was outstanding.

Check Ya Later.

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