“Spring” into Fresh, Fruity & Healthy Flavors with Nutri Maqui

As the winter chill becomes a distant memory, and we transition into spring’s vibrant colors and sunny warmth, it’s time for a seasonal shift in our diets as well. Instead of hearty bone broths and root vegetables, spring calls for light, crisp and refreshing flavors that keep us cool as the weather heats up.

So, for a fruity treat that satisfies your sweet tooth, quenches your thirst and fuels your body with nutrients, try these healthy popsicle bites. Featuring the bold tanginess and antioxidant benefits of Nutri Maqui Superfruit Juice, this recipe is a perfect afternoon snack for the kids or crowd-pleasing dessert at your next backyard cookout!

Note: This recipe yields 8 servings, so adjust the ingredients accordingly to feed large groups.


NUTRI MAQUI POPSICLE BITES

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. Nutri Maqui Superfruit Juice

1/2 Fresh Strawberries

1/3 Plain Greek Yogurt

1 sprig Fresh Sage Leaves

1 tsp. Raw Honey

All-Natural Stevia (to taste)

Nutri Maqui Popsicles Ingredient List

Preparation:

  1. Hull the strawberries and slice into bite-size chunks.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree into liquefied.
  3. Line a mini muffin pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper.
  4. Spoon the mixture into eight of the muffin pan slots.
  5. Place the muffin pan in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from the freezer and insert toothpicks in the center of each popsicle mold.
  7. Return to the freezer for another 30 minutes or until the popsicles have set completely.
  8. Lift up the plastic wrap in order to cleanly detach the popsicles from the muffin pan.
  9. Drizzle more honey on top for extra sweetness if desired.
  10. Enjoy…go ahead, it’s guilt-free!

Nutri Maqui Popsicles Before Freezing

Nutri Maqui Popsicles After Freezing


This recipe was originally featured on the Nutri Lifescience website. Reblogged with permission.

Advertisements

New Year. New You. New Fuel! {Product Review}

So…you might’ve noticed something different about the calendar by now. Hint: the date no longer reads “2015.” (Of course, I can never get my years straight, so if you cashed a check from me recently, just scribble out that “15” part. Sorry, Mom.)

But enough about my haphazard record keeping skills. 2016 has officially taken up residence for the next 52 weeks, which — for most people — signals that dreaded New Year’s Resolution season.

Based on The Journal of Clinical Psychology, about 66% of resolution makers center their goals around fitness and nutrition. However, 73% will soon fall victim to burnout.

The take-away? Don’t become another statistic.

Whether you’re planning a dietary overhaul or just curbing a junk food fetish, Manitoba Harvest has the ideal snack time solution. Your 2016 self-improvement list never tasted more delectable.

Introducing (drumroll, please)…

manitoba harvest fueled by hemp

image courtesy of Manitoba Harvest

Fuel this year with the natural protein power of hemp, and healthy eating will become a no-brainer!

These conveniently portioned nibbles support your active lifestyle with nutritious fuel anytime of day. From a portable office snack to a workout energy boost to an after-dinner treat, hemp heart bars offer on-the-go versatility to balance out that busy schedule.

Behold, the health benefits of each 45-gram serving…

The Breakdown:

10 grams Plant-Based Protein

10 grams Omega Fatty Acids

> 10 grams Sugar

Vegan & Non-GMO


The Flavor Profile:

chocolate hemp bar flavor

CHOCOLATE

240 Calories Per Bar — I’m generally not a proponent of calorie counting, but in case you wanna know, there’s your answer.

Natural Ingredients — hemp hearts, organic brown rice syrup, organic coconut palm sugar, organic cocoa mass, organic dutch-process cocoa, organic chocolate flavor, pectin, organic sunflower oil, rosemary extract

My Verdict — All the buttery richness I expect from a chocolate cravings crusher. No complaints from this choco-holic!

apple cinnamon hemp bar flavor

APPLE CINNAMON

230 Calories Per Bar — Blah, blah, blah. You’ve heard my calorie counting spiel, so I’ll leave this here for curiosity’s sake.

Natural Ingredients —  hemp hearts, organic coconut palm sugar, dried apple, cinnamon, organic apple flavor, organic brown rice syrup, pectin, organic sunflower oil, organic caramel flavor, rosemary extract

My Verdict — I’m just not ready to kiss fall flavors goodbye, and this delivers all the spicy seasonal warmth  of a classic apple pie. Seconds, please!

vanilla hemp bar flavor

VANILLA

240 Calories Per Bar — Yeah…I’ll get off my soapbox now. It’s packed with nutrients, that’s all you gotta know.

Natural Ingredients — hemp hearts, organic coconut palm sugar, organic brown rice syrup, organic vanilla flavor, sea salt, pectin, organic sunflower oil, rosemary extract

My Verdict — Distinctly floral and aromatic with a hint of earthiness. The consummate sweet tooth satisfier, in my taste bud’s opinion!


 

Wanna try this deliciousness for free? Then, enter the “Fueled By Hemp” social media photo contest! Tag #sweatpink #hempheartbar #fueledbyhemp @manitobaharvest @fitapproach for a chance to win your favorite flavor. The posts don’t need to include Manitoba Harvest products, but of course, it’s fabulous if they do!

Check out the full contest details here. Open to U.S. and Canada residents. Or, if you need instant hemp gratification (which…understandable!), order online using the discount code hhbarlaunch1016 for 15% off your purchase (Expires 3/31/2016).

manitoba harvest hemp heart bars

image courtesy of Manitoba Harvest

 

Hasta la Vista, Candy Corn. Make It a Healthy Halloween.

So, you just carved that jack-o-lantern, huh? You chiseled, sawed, and sliced away. You also gutted its innards, so now stringy orange slime has taken up residence on your kitchen floor.

Awesome.

Well, you could trash the goop. Or, you could extract the pumpkin seeds and turn them into something fabulous. I don’t know about you, but Option #2 has my personal vote!

Many of us already associate roasting pumpkin seeds as a tasty fall tradition. But, were you aware that these festive little munchies are also nutritional powerhouses? Uh huh. They’re regular superfoods. According to an article posted on the alternative medicine website, Mercola.com, here are some health benefits of our pal, Mr. Pumpkin Seed:

  • Magnesium for cardiovascular circulation, DNA/RNA synthesis, and skeletal strength
  • Zinc for immune system support, cell growth/division, insulin regulation, and enhanced senses
  • Omea-3s for anti-inflammation, blood oxygenation, and defense against cognitive aging.
  • Tryptophan for melatonin/seratonin production, resulting in a restful sleep cycle
  • Fiber for bowel normalization, decreased cholesterol, and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Antioxidants for protection against free radicals and harmful UVA skin exposure

There. That’s all the persuasion you need. Now, go roast those seeds for a savory afternoon pick-me-up that you can feel great about!

(And, just in case you need pointers on pre-cleaning the seeds before cooking them, I borrowed this simple strategy from SimplyRecipes.com: After scooping out the pumpkin’s flesh, transfer a large handful of seeds into a colander and run them under a strong stream of water until they have been separated from the flesh).

  • Ingredients:
  1. 1 tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  2. 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  3. 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  4. 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
  5. 1 c. Pumpkin Seeds (pulp removed)

roasted pumpkin seed ingredients

  • Preparation:
  1. In a small skillet, pre-heat the olive oil on a medium stove-top setting.
  2. Add the pumpkin seeds into the pan and season them with sea salt.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, then saute the seeds for 3-5 minutes, while stirring.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  5. Transfer the seeds onto the baking sheet and spread them around evenly.
  6. Sprinkle the seeds with chili powder and smoked paprika, to taste.
  7. Place the baking sheet in the oven and allow to roast for 5-10 minutes.
  8. Once these seeds have turned golden brown, remove them from the oven.
  9. Let them cool before eating, then nibble to your heart’s content on this healthy seasonal snack!

roasted pumpkin seed saute

roasted pumpkin seed pre-bake

roasted pumpkin seed cooled

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts: Lots of Love to Go Around {Product Review}

I’ve recently had the privilege of participating in my very first product review through the Sweat Pink Ambassador community. So, here’s a quick shout-out to the fabulous SPA founder Alyse for this opportunity. Much appreciated!

Now, onto the real business. Today, I’ll be reviewing hemp hearts from Manitoba Harvest, a sustainable manufacturer of hemp-only foods, based in Winnipeg, Canada.

Confession Time: Until about 20 minutes ago, I’d never tried hemp hearts before. Scratch that, I’d never tried hemp anything before. I thought hemp was just rope material that middle-schoolers use to make friendship bracelets. So, let’s just say…prior to receiving my free sample in the mail this morning, I was a hemp virgin.

But, nevertheless, they arrived to put the breaks on my virginity, and I eagerly tore into the packaging.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

First Impressions: Okay, they’re all natural: check. Each serving has 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of omegs-3s: check, check.

Moving right along, then…

*opens bag*

Well, they’re not exactly what I’d expected. To be honest, I’m not even sure what I was expecting, — maybe granola pieces in the shape of a heart? I don’t know! — but these disc-like things resemble lentils more than seeds. Hmm…intriguing!

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Seeds

The Taste Test: Nutty. Buttery. Tender. Just a slight crunch. Yep, I can get on-board with these little guys!

So far, hemp hearts get an A+ rating.

And that concludes our preliminary round. Time for the finals.

This company website features several tantalizing recipes, so component number 2 of this product review is to experiment with hemp hearts in one of these recipes.

I’m a sucker for superfood smoothies, so I chose to blend up my own twist on Manitoba Harvest’s Cinna-Butter Bliss Smoothie. The original recipe has been copied below for your convenience:

  • Ingredients:
  1. 2 tbsp. Almond Butter
  2. 1 tbsp. Hemp Hearts
  3. 1 Banana*
  4. 1 Date*
  5. 1/2 tbsp. Cinnamon
  6. 1 cup Hemp Bliss Organic Beverage*
  • Preparation: 
  1. Combine all these ingredients together in a blender.
  2. Pulse until the mixture is thoroughly smooth (yields 1 serving).

* Notes: I don’t particularly care for bananas, so I substituted roughly 1/3 cup frozen mangoes. I didn’t have any dates on-hand, so I omitted that ingredient altogether (although I’m sure dates would add tons of flavor). Instead of Hemp Bliss, – because, if I barely knew what hemp hearts were, why would I just happen to have drinkable hemp lying around?! – I substituted coconut milk.*

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Smoothie Ingredients

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts SmoothieDespite these variations, the smoothie still tasted absolutely incredible. In fact, I can see it becoming my standard post-workout recovery fuel.

And now, for the overarching question: Do I recommend purchasing Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts?

110% YES!

This product has earned my seal of approval and exceeded whatever preconceived notions I had about hemp (which, by the way, is so much more than just a pre-teen fashion statement!).

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Seal of Approval

So, sprinkle the deliciousness on top of salads, oatmeal or yogurt. Toss them into a protein shake or smoothie, like I did. Cook or bake with them in your favorite dishes (or try a brand new recipe, like those displayed on the website). You can even enjoy a handful straight from the bag, as a nutritious and satisfying snack.

Sold, yet? Well, maybe this will persuade you:

During the months of October and November, you can score 20% off all products at ManitobaHarvest.com.

Use the promo code HHSweatPink14 before check-out (and send a cyber thank-you to the awesome folks over at Sweat Pink and Manitoba Harvest for making this special offer possible!).

* Reminder: This promotional discount will expire November 30, 2014. *

Believe the Hype: Juicing Is Your Brand New “Bestie”

…When it’s done right, anyway.

While I don’t necessarily advocate going on a 100% juice diet (there is something to be said for detoxing your system periodically…just not enough evidence yet to support this trend with science), juicing – as a nutrient-rich snack, sweet-tooth satisfier, or breakfast supplement – is a tasty way to sneak that recommended daily dose of fruits and veggies into your diet. So, blend up some wholesome deliciousness, and let’s drink to good health!

(Just be warned: juicing as a meal replacement should be cleared with your doctor beforehand).

juicing   

(image courtesy of healthyjuiceblends.com)


For a Metabolism Boost:

  • The Fruit: 1/2 cup strawberries (sliced)
  • The Veggies: 1/2 cup spinach (chopped)
  • The Protein: 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (plain)
  • The Liquid: 1 cup green tea (brewed)
  • The “Extra”: 1 tsp. cinnamon (ground)

For a Clear Complexion:

  • The Fruit: 1/2 cup watermelon (cubed)
  • The Veggies: 1/2 cup kale (chopped)
  • The Protein: 1 tbsp. walnuts (chopped)
  • The Liquid: 1 cup coconut water (unsweet)
  • The “Extra”: 1 tsp. turmeric (ground)

For a Healthy Heart:

  • The Fruit: 1/2 cup red grapes (sliced)
  • The Veggies: 1/2 cup carrots (chopped)
  • The Protein: 1 tbsp. peanut butter (organic)
  • The Liquid: 1 cup almond milk (unsweet)
  • The “Extra”: 1 tsp. honey (raw & organic)

For a Strong Skeleton:

  • The Fruit: 1/2 cup banana (sliced)
  • The Veggies: 1/2 cup watercress (chopped)
  • The Protein: 1/4 cup oats (whole grain)
  • The Liquid: 1 cup rice milk (unsweet)
  • The “Extra”: 1 tsp. ginger (ground)

For an Immunity Kick:

  • The Fruit: 1/2 cup apricots (sliced)
  • The Veggies: 1/2 cup sweet potato (mashed)
  • The Protein: 1/4 cup egg whites (whipped)
  • The Liquid: 1 cup orange juice (organic)
  • The “Extra”: 1 tsp. cloves (ground)

For an Energy Injection:

  • The Fruit: 1/2 cup avocado (sliced)
  • The Veggies: 1/2 cup cucumber (chopped)
  • The Protein: 1 tbsp. almonds (chopped)
  • The Liquid: 1 cup beetroot juice (strained)
  • The “Extra”: 1 tsp. dark chocolate (70% cacao)