Healthy Brownie Recipe!

Yes, we have actually created a healthier brownie that you can enjoy while still living a healthy lifestyle! When making these brownies, we wanted to make sure that we did not sacrifice taste or make them dry and crumbly – we love a fudgy, chocolatey, consistency – so our secret ingredient? Sweet potatoes!

These brownies are coming just in time for Valentine’s Day, and they also have a special meaning for us! Watch the video below to see why…

Healthy Fairburnin' Brownies

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
-1 cup mashed/pureed sweet potato (you can either roast or microwave and then mash)
-1/2 cup pure almond butter, softened
-1/4 cup brewed black coffee
-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/4 cup cacao or unsweetened dark cocoa powder
-1/4 dark chocolate chips or chunks (at least 70% cacoa) or vegan chips, plus extra for topping
-Pinch of sea salt
-1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together the sweet potato puree, almond butter, black coffee, maple syrup, and vanilla. Then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.

Very lightly spray a 5×7 or 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Pour the brownie mixture into the dish and spread mixture out until even. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. If you want to top with chocolate chips too, sprinkle the top of your brownies with the chips when there is about 10 minutes left.

Let the brownies cool before cutting into and eating (although it may be hard to wait)!

Enjoy!

Popcorn: A Healthy Snack You May Not Be Eating

Happy National Popcorn Day!

In honor of today, we wanted to pay homage to this healthy snack! Yes, we said healthy. One cup of plain popcorn only has about 30 calories and is a whole grain that helps you to feel more full and satisfy unhealthy cravings.

Now please don’t run out and buy up a lifetime supply of movie theatre popcorn! Unfortunately, that is not a healthy snack! When you buy popcorns that are already buttered and flavored, the calorie count can sky rocket, and you end up with high amounts of fat and sodium, which is very unhealthy. Rather, buy a bag of kernels that you can pop on your own at home and flavor yourself! Just simply pop 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels in a tablespoon of olive oil, and then drizzle another tablespoon or two of olive oil on afterward, and you have a great treat! Or, you can drizzle a tablespoon of coconut oil and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt for a simple snack.

However, if you want to get creative, here are some of our favorite popcorn topping combinations:

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Cheesed up Popcorn

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1/4 cup kernels
-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
-1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized pot (can also use a microwave safe bag and cook on high for about 1:30-2 minutes, or until kernels stop popping), pour in kernels, and cover with a lid. Shake and stir the pot around a bit as the kernels start to pop. Once there are 3 seconds in between pops, remove from heat. Toss with nutritional yeast and salt, and serve!

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Coconut Curry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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This one is our favorite!

Ingredients:
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1/4 cup kernels
-1 -2 teaspoons curry powder (start with 1 and add according to taste preference)
-1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
-1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
-Pinch of salt (no more than 1/8 of a teaspoon)

Directions:
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized pot (can also use a microwave safe bag and cook on high for about 1:30-2 minutes, or until kernels stop popping), pour in kernels, and cover with a lid. Shake and stir the pot around a bit as the kernels start to pop. Once there are 3 seconds in between pops, remove from heat. Toss with curry powder, coconut oil, shredded coconut flakes, and salt.

We highly recommend that you give the curry a try, but if you are not a fan, you can omit it all-together for a coconut flavored popcorn!

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Chocolate Cinnamon

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1/4 cup kernels
-1 tablespoon cocoa powder
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon sea salt
-Pinch of cayenne pepper powder (can always add more, but start with very little as this can add quite a kick)

Directions:
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized pot (can also use a microwave safe bag and cook on high for about 1:30-2 minutes, or until kernels stop popping), pour in kernels, and cover with a lid. Shake and stir the pot around a bit as the kernels start to pop. Once there are 3 seconds in between pops, remove from heat. Toss with cocoa powder, cinnamon, sea salt, and cayenne. Enjoy!

Don’t like or have cocoa powder? You can melt a couple tablespoons of dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) and drizzle it over the popcorn!

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Nacho Kick

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1/4 cup kernels
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
-1 teaspoon paprika
-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/2 teaspoon onion powder
-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized pot (can also use a microwave safe bag and cook on high for about 1:30-2 minutes, or until kernels stop popping), pour in kernels, and cover with a lid. Shake and stir the pot around a bit as the kernels start to pop. Once there are 3 seconds in between pops, remove from heat. Toss with remaining olive oil, nutritional yeast, and spices. Depending on your taste preference, you can always add more paprika, cayenne, etc., to give a little extra kick!

As you can see, you can really get creative and have fun with the spices in your cabinet. What are some of the flavors that you like?

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Happy Popping!

Helpful tip: When buying popcorn kernels, you may see an option for white or yellow kernels. Both are perfectly fine! White kernels do have a slightly higher calorie count (about 50 calories per cup), but it ultimately comes down to your taste preference. 

 

What to Eat After a Workout

We get asked this a lot! Although it can depend slightly on the type of workout that you do (e.g. after a hot yoga or intense cardio workout, drink coconut or maple water to replenish electrolytes), but no matter what, you should always eat something within 30 minutes of working out! This will help to refuel your body, keep your metabolism running, and promote muscle growth so that all of your hard work will not go to waste!

As a general rule of thumb, having protein and some carbohydrates are excellent items to eat after working out! Just keep the healthy fats to a minimum! If you make a smoothie with some almond milk, berries, and protein powder, then you are good to go! Or how about our Fairburn Flapjacks from our plan (we eat these practically every morning after working out)? Our own recipes, especially smoothies and breakfast options are great recovery meals! We purposely created these recipes with the thought in mind that you would be working out prior to eating them!

Here are some of our favorite post-workout meals featured from our plan:

Berry Burn Smoothie (recipe here)

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The Quicky Chickpea Bowl (recipe here)

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More from our Lifetime Plan:

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Pomegranate Apple Coffee Cake

With all of the tempting treats being made this time of year, why not tempt you with one more!? Don’t worry, this treat is actually healthy for you, but shhh, no one has to know!

Remember on our Top 5 Tips to Stay on Track During the Holidays how we mentioned that you could bring your own healthy treat to the family party? Well this is definitely one of those treats! And we are so thankful that Liz from Pumpkin and Peanut Butter is sharing this recipe with us today! Be sure to give her site a visit because she loves to make healthy recipes and is a fitness lover like us! Oh, and guess what? Liz and her husband are also fellow spinners who love to spend their “dates” at the cycling studio too!

Pomegranate Apple Coffee Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
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Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups rolled oat, finely ground
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-4 tbsp coconut oil, solid but soft
-1/3 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup
-1 egg
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 cup milk
-1 cup peeled and diced apples
-1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

For the streusel:
-2 tbsp coconut oil
-1/2 cup chopped pecans
-3/4 cup old fashioned oats
-1/4 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray (I used coconut oil spray).

In large bowl, combine your dry ingredients: ground oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda. Set aside. In a separate bowl, use a mixer to cream coconut oil and sugar together. Add in the egg, vanilla, and milk and beat for another minute. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Finally, fold in the diced apples and pomegranate seeds. Pour evenly into loaf pan.

To make the streusel, combine all the streusel ingredients into a small bowl. Use your fingers to mix until the streusel has formed large clumps. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the coffee cake in the pan.

Bake the coffee cake for 50 minutes. Let the cake cool for at least 20 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan to finish cooling.

Enjoy this cake with our CranBurn Royale for the perfect holiday pairing!

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Thanks again to Liz for sharing her lightened up coffee cake recipe! Be sure to check out our holiday cocktail being featured over on her site here!

Want more great recipes while staying on track with your health and fitness goals? Then what are you waiting for? Start today and be on your way to enjoying healthy and delicious foods, workouts, meal plans, and more!

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Happy Holidays!

Holiday Cocktail: The CranBurn Royale

Happy holidays! Today we are bringing you a healthier champagne cocktail that takes seconds to make and can be served with any holiday meal – the CranBurn Royale! Think of this drink as a mix between a mimosa and a poinsettia, without all of the added sugar!

This is also a great drink to make when you just need to unwind and relax! With the hustle and bustle of the season, we always try to remember to make time for ourselves and one another, so remember that you deserve your moment to relax too!

  • Servings: ”2″
  • Difficulty: ”Easy”
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The CranBurn Royale

Ingredients:
-2 Champagne flutes
-Splash of 100% cranberry juice, nothing added (about 1 tablespoon per drink)
-Half of an orange juiced (about 1 teaspoon per drink, can add more if you like the flavor)
-Your favorite Champagne, Prosecco, or Sparkling Cider for topping off
-Fresh cranberries and/or orange peel for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Pour cranberry juice into bottom of champagne flutes.  Squeeze a little orange juice into each flute and then top off with champagne. Garnish with a couple of cranberries or an orange peel.

If you are entertaining and want to spruce the drink up even more, you could freeze the cranberries so they look frost covered and keep your drink cold longer.  You could also make a large batch of this drink in advance and keep in a beverage dispenser or bowl. Enjoy!

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p.s. – we hope you enjoy our Charlie Brown tree in the background! 🙂

 

 

Berry Burn Smoothie

Today we are featuring a smoothie from our plan that is quite common in our house. Often times after a run, we cannot wait to get something in our bodies, and this smoothie is a quick, easy, and delicious way to refuel! It is also great in the morning if you are in a hurry to get out the door.

This smoothie is so refreshing, filled with powerful antioxidants from the berries, plant protein, and even a little healthy fat!

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Berry Burn Smoothie

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Very Easy
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Ingredients:
-1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries and/or strawberries
-½ frozen banana
-1 scoop vanilla or natural flavor plant protein
-1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter
-1 cup almond milk

Directions:
Blend all ingredients together until smooth.  Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Helpful note: sometimes we will make smoothies in advance, pour them into mason jars, refrigerate them, and then grab and go when needed!

Want to enjoy more smoothies like this one? From time to time we will post them on our site, but you can also become a member here, where we offer more smoothie and other delicious recipes!

Maple Nut Breakfast Bowl

Today we are featuring a recipe that has been a favorite of the FIO team! This bowl uses quinoa instead of oatmeal as the base (yes, it is delicious, we swear) and is blended with a banana and topped with pure maple syrup! We assure it is worth making some quinoa so that you can indulge in this healthy breakfast option.  You could even enjoy this again for lunch!

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Maple Nut Breakfast Bowl

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
– 1/2 cup cooked or uncooked quinoa* see directions note below
-1 cup almond milk*
-2 tablespoons chopped pecans or chopped walnuts
-1 banana, mashed (if you prefer not to mash in a banana, you can always slice one and place on top of quinoa bowl when eating)
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
-1/4 cup craisins or raisins (optional – Elyse is not a fan, but David loves them!)

Directions:
If using cooked quinoa (we usually always have a container filled with cooked quinoa in the fridge, ready to go), place the quinoa, milk, nuts, banana, and cinnamon in a saucepan and cook until most of the liquid has absorbed and you have a creamy texture that you prefer. Remove from heat and stir in craisins (if using) and maple syrup.

*If using uncooked quinoa, cook quinoa in a sauce pan, but use1 ½ cups of almond milk instead of just 1 cup (uncooked quinoa will need more to absorb). Once the quinoa begins to cook and some of the milk begins to absorb, stir in nuts, banana, and cinnamon. Continue cooking until it is the texture you desire. Remove from heat and stir in craisins (if using) and maple syrup.

As with other quinoa bowls, this recipe can easily be doubled and prepared in advance for those on the go! Just store in the fridge, heat when ready to eat, and voila! Breakfast is served!

If you are not a member yet, check out Our Burnin’ Meal Plans page where you can learn about joining and getting more healthy recipes like this one!

Healthy Quinoa Bowl

Quinoa is a staple in our house! We have it practically every day, so we always have a large batch of pre-cooked quinoa in our fridge ready to go.  This also really helps with meal prep and ensures that we have something (like this quinoa bowl) to eat for lunches or have as a side.

For those of you who have never tried quinoa or unsure of what it is – think rice and oatmeal.  However, it is not a starch like rice or oatmeal! That is the beauty of this superfood. Quinoa is a close to the texture and taste of rice, so you feel like you are eating grains, but really, it is a great source of plant protein.  See why we love this stuff? Below is a quick and easy way that you can incorporate this nutrient packed item to make a hearty lunch or dinner.

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Healthy Quinoa Bowl

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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 Ingredients:
-½ cup cooked plain Quinoa
-1 cup leafy greens (We love kale and spinach – you could also use broccoli, green peppers, lettuce, etc)
-¼ cup black beans, drained and rinsed
-¼ cup diced tomatoes (can also cherry or grape tomatoes or salsa)
-½ avocado, diced
-Pinch of salt and pepper
Optional:
Combine 1/2 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for light dressing.

Directions:
Pour the cooked quinoa into a bowl or onto a plate, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Top the quinoa with the black beans, tomatoes, and leafy greens. Then, slice the avocado half and place on top! Stare at your beautiful creation for about 30 seconds before digging in and making it a jumbled mess! 

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