breakfast, recipe, snack, workout fuel

Smoothie Bowl 101


I have a certified obsession with smoothie bowls. Take a smoothie and top it with delicious, antioxidant rich toppings, add a dose of protein and your post workout smoothie is ten times better! However, store-bought smoothie bowls are expensive, higher in sugar, and will often charge extra to add protein or greens.

Along with the high price, many store-bought smoothie bowl can have more calories than an ice cream cone or a hamburger at a fast food restaurant. To ensure that I am creating a nutrient dense instead of a calorie dense smoothie bowl, I follow 3 main rules:

  1. Veggies
  2. Protein
  3. Non-juice base

I accomplish this by starting with a water base, 2 heaping handfuls of greens, and addition of a protein source (protein powder, almonds, Greek yogurt). This ensures that my smoothie is nutrient dense, slowing digestion and stabilizing my blood sugars to keep me satisfied until my next meal.

Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 packet frozen acai (I purchased mine at Whole Foods)
  • 2 heaping handfuls spinach/kale or greens of your choice
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1/4 c frozen pineapple
  • 1/4 c frozen peaches
  • 1/4 c frozen berries
  • 1/4 piece frozen banana
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 TBS chia seeds + more for topping
  • 1/4 gluten free granola (I’m obsessed with Boulder Granola and Purely Elizabeth granola)
  • Fruit of your choice (since it’s summer, I’m obsessing over peaches and nectarines with berries! YUM)
  • Goji berries, hemp seeds,

Directions

  1. Run acai packet under cool, running water for 20 seconds. Break acai into pieces and add to blender bottle, along with frozen fruit, water, and chia seeds.
  2. Add almond milk by the tablespoon.
  3. Blend smoothie. It should be thicker than a drinkable smoothie. If smoothie mixture is too thick, add more almond milk.
  4. Once blended to desired consistency, pour into a bowl.
  5. Top with granola, and add sliced fresh fruit on top. Sprinkle with goji berries, hemp seeds, and chia seeds.

If you make your own smoothie bowl, experiment with different fruits and toppings. The different combinations are endless and each bowl will be delicious!

Let me know if you make your own smoothie bowl. Tag your smoothie bowl with #karionnutrition on Instagram, I would love to see your creations!

#karionnutrition

baking, blogging, breakfast, brunch, dietitian, healthy

Best Ever Banana Bread 

Its been awhile…but I’ve been waiting for a very special occasion to share a new recipe with y’all! I’m a blogger for Food and Nutrition Magazine’s blog, Stone Soup and had one of my all time favorite eats posted today! Be sure to check out my post on the Stone Soup Blog and read below! 

Looking for a recipe for Mother’s Day brunch? You need a crowd-pleaser — but instead of overloading the table with more egg dishes, appetizers and salads, how about baked goods?

My mom has been making variations of her banana bread for years. Sometimes she will add walnuts or pecans — or, if she’s feeling indulgent, chocolate chips (my personal favorite). Regardless of the additions, it is hands-down the best banana bread I have ever eaten!

In honor of Mother’s Day, I decided to pay homage and put a dietitian’s take on the best banana bread ever.

The “3 R’s”: of Baking: “Reduce, Replace or Remove”

I substituted in whole-wheat flour and cut back on the sugar and fat. Applesauce keeps the bread moist and bananas provide enough sweetness that no one will be able to tell I reduced the amount of sugar.

If you feel like getting fancy for your next brunch, you can also turn this delicious banana bread into an even more delicious banana bread French toast! This recipe also makes great muffins — but be sure to reduce the cooking time to 35 minutes.

Mother's Day Banana Bread | Food and Nutrition Magazine | Stone Soup Blog

Mother’s Day Banana Bread

Recipe by Kari Ikemoto, RD

Ingredients

  • 2 mashed, ripe bananas
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk (I make this from scratch: add 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk)
  • ¼ cup oil (I prefer coconut or canola oil)
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs whites
  • 1¾ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Scant ¾ cup sugar (a little less than ¾ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon hemp seeds
  • Optional: ½ cup chopped nuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Spray pan loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. Combine banana, buttermilk, eggs, applesauce and oil in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the flour, sugar and baking soda.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir in nuts or other additions (like blueberries or chocolate chips).
  6. Pour into loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
baking, breakfast, dietitian, gluten free, nutrition, recipe, snack, training

No Bake Protein Oat Bars

Three day weekends are the best! Especially when they fall on a holiday! This past weekend was filled with beach volleyball, friends, love, and absolutely gorgeous So Cal weather. I won’t go into too much detail (especially as I know the East Coast has been decimated by blizzard after blizzard..sorry New England friends!) BUT I thoroughly enjoyed summer weather and beach cruises this weekend.

Matt works a busy schedule so I try to keep granola bars (<10 g sugar, ❤ g fat, and 3 g fiber/serving- a lofty goal!) and other healthy snack options on hand. Today as he was packing his lunch, said healthy items were no where to be found. So to remedy that situation, I made use of some extra sunflower seed butter and decided to make my own granola bars!

Homemade granola bars are SUPER easy and you can control what ingredients you add. Want more protein? Add nuts or protein powder. Fiber? Chia seeds and oats can provide a soluble solution. They are so customizable that it makes you question why you spent $3.99 on that box of granola bars from TJ’s (which I did once I was done making these!) Plus, have you read the label on a protein bar from health food stores? Most have ingredients you can’t pronounce and aren’t the “clean eats” that most active individuals want to put into their body. Instead of spending the money on store bought granola/protein bars, control the ingredients and make your own! It’s healthier and YOU’RE in charge of the additives!

Everything I used in the bars today, I had on hand- that’s how easy they are! Add your favorite mix ins and experiment with what works for you! It literally took me 10 minutes start to finish to make these!

granola bars

No Bake Protein Oat Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 c sunflower seed butter (or any nut butter)
  • 1/2 c pepitas
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (any type, I used whey)
  • 2 TBS chia seeds
  • 2 TBS hemp seeds
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • drizzle of maple syrup
  • almond milk

Directions

  1. Add oats, sunflower seed butter, pepitas, protein powder, chia and hemp seeds, and cinnamon, stirring to combine. Mixture with be very thick.
  2. Add drizzle of maple syrup and a pour of almond milk. Combine mixture. It should begin to form together. If it is too thick to stir, add more almond milk.
  3. Combine until the mixture resembles cookie dough.
  4. Line a 9×9 baking dish with wax paper. Press granola bar mixture into dish. Fold over wax papper and remove from dish
  5. Place in the freezer to hardern for 15-20 minutes. Remove and cut into bars. Store in the freezer/refrigerator or airtight container.
breakfast, dessert, dietetic intern, dietitian, gluten free, instagram, nutrition, RD2Be, recipe, salad, snack

Greek Yogurt with Blueberries, Watermelon & Basil

image-2

Summer in LA has brought warm temperatures and a plethora of summer produce. On a recent trip up north to Sacramento, California’s bounty was on full display. I picked up tree ripened nectarines, peaches, apricots, plums, and pluots of every variety along with okra and a sun ripened watermelon! (See our Instagram post last week for more info on how to choose a watermelon!)

I love taking a road trip to Northern California solely so that I can visit all the farms that dot the highways! They have some of the BEST produce I have every tasted and I love that I can meet the person who grew the food that I am about to DEVOUR! This recipe makes a great breakfast, snack, or dessert! The basil adds amazing flavor without having to add extra granola or sweetener. Lots of filling protein from the Greek yogurt and antioxidants from the berries, this recipe is sure to please! Plus the colors are so pretty, how could you resist?!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c nonfat Greek yogurt (LOVE Fage brand- absolute creamiest nonfat Greek yogurt around!)
  • 1/4 c blueberries
  • 1/2 cup cubed watermelon
  • 2 basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • honey or agave (if desired)

Directions

1) Scoop Greek yogurt into dish. Top with blueberries and watermelon. Sprinkle basil on top.

2) Can drizzle with a little honey or top with homemade granola!

baking, breakfast, dietetic intern, gluten free, nutrition, RD2Be, recipe, snack

Cranberry Quinoa Power Bars

This recipe makes a delicious heart healthy snack or breakfast option for when you’re on the go. Chock full of omega 3’s, fiber, whole grains, and healthy fats, it’s filled with hearty guilt-free goodness.

Ingredients

  • 2 c cooked quinoa
  • 2 c raw oats
  • ½ c dried cranberries
  • ½ c pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • ½ c smooth almond butter
  • ½ c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 c brown rice syrup
  • 1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ c ground flaxseed
  • ¼ c chia seeds
  • ¼ c unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

1)     Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2)    Toss all ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine

3)    Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Press into a 8×8 baking dish and put into the oven.

4)   Cook for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

5)    Slice into bars and enjoy. Store in an airtight container.

For a special heart health treat, drizzle with melted dark chocolate! Dark chocolate has antioxidant properties that may have some benefit to reducing blood pressure.