Month: July 2014

Chocolate Covered Almonds [Guest Post]

Today you’re getting one of my favorite snacks ever from one of my favorite bloggers ever, Erin from The Almond Eater. I didn’t even tell her to make these! She reads minds, I guess. If you’re not familiar with her, I’m sure you’ll love her immediately. Erin is as goofy as I am, and I love that she lives near me! Another blend (blogger + friend) match! Take it away, gurrrrrl. 

Hi guys! I’m Erin and I blog over at The Almond Eater. When Angela asked me to guest post, I paused and thought, ehhhhhhhhhhhh. I’M KIDDING, I didn’t have to think about it for one second. Ang and I both live in Pittsburgh and have recently become blogger-turned-friends, which is kinda cool. [editor’s note: um, only kinda cool, Erin?? jk.]

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So anyway, my blog is called The Almond Eater because I’m obsessed with almonds. The funny thing is that I usually prefer them raw. They’re just so. darn. good. But if I had to choose another way to have my almonds, I’d choose chocolate covered.
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I have no idea when my almond obsession started… I believe it was a few years ago… but I learned rather quickly that chocolate covered almonds are a food that I absolutely cannot keep in the apartment. Yeah, they’re in the same category as Nutella. What category is that? It’s the if-I-have-these-in-the-house-I-will-eat-all-of-them category. It’s bad, but also so good.
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Try to find me someone who doesn’t like chocolate covered almonds. Just try! Oh, and people who are allergic don’t count–sorry guys.
I had never made chocolate covered almonds before but, as you’d imagine, they’re pretty easy to make. Just see for yourself, and thanks for reading!
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Chocolate Covered Almonds

Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao (cocoa powder will work too, but the raw cacao gives them a richer flavor)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
Directions 
  1. Place the almonds in a mesh strainer overtop of a bowl.
  2. Sift the cacao through the almonds so that they are covered but that the bowl underneath the strainer catches the leftover cacao.
  3. Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds-1 minute.
  4. Pour the melted chocolate overtop of the almonds, making sure they are evenly coated.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the almonds onto the paper.
  6. Place in the refrigerator just long enough for the chocolate to harden onto the almonds.
  7. Enjoy!

More places to find Erin:
Twitter: @TheAlmondEater
Facebook: The Almond Eater
Instagram: @erin_thealmondeater
Pinterest: The Almond Eater
Email: thealmondeater@gmail.com

Questions of the Day:
>> Have you ever made homemade chocolate covered almonds and/or nuts?
>> What’s your favorite flavor of specialty almonds?

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You Already Have A Beach Body [Guest Post]

While I’m off galavanting in the woods this week, I have several guest-posters lined up. I’m very excited about today’s post, which comes from my good blend (blogger friend) Sam. I was lucky enough to meet Sam a few months ago, and she’s as sweet and honest in person as she is on her blog. Enjoy! 

Hi Nutty for Life readers!

If you don’t know me, my name is Sam, and I blog over at Better With Sprinkles, where I talk about food, having a positive body image, my adorable pug Atticus, and how I live a healthy and full life after recovering from an eating disorder.

That’s right – I spent most of my undergraduate years in university suffering from anorexia. Although it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, I came out the other side years later happy and (what I had thought was) healthy. Unfortunately, the physical side effects from my trials with anorexia and my tendency to engage in lots of high-intensity exercise came back to haunt me in the form of HA – hypothalamic amenorrhea. A few months ago, I came to realization that my body wasn’t capable of producing my monthly cycle.

I had to get my body to trust me again and give it what it needed in order to get my hormones functioning properly. I had to stop all forms of intense exercise (I went on walks and did yoga or Physique a few times a week) and I ate a lot more than I had been previously, even though I thought I had been eating ‘enough’.

And I had to gain weight – about fifteen pounds in the matter of two or three months. So I entered ‘beach season’ at the highest weight I’ve ever been as an adult.

A few weeks ago, I made plans to go to the beach with friends – my first beach trip of the season. And the first time I’d be in public in a bathing suit at my current weight. I’m not going to lie, my knee-jerk reaction was panic. Would anybody notice my weight? Could I feel confident in a bathing suit? Should I get a one-piece so I wouldn’t offend anyone’s eyes with my less-than-flat stomach?

The way I saw it, I had two choices:

  1. I could panic. I could run out and buy a bathing suit that would cover my body, spend all my time huddled on my towel in a cover-up. I could be ashamed of myself and convinced that other beach-goers were judging me. Basically, I could spend my time at the beach wishing I were anywhere but, lamenting my lack of traditional ‘beach body’.
  2. I could be my usual happy, confident self. I could buy a suit that made me feel sexy, and focus on enjoying my time on the beach with friends, sitting in the sun and running around in the waves. I could accept my body the way it was, and not let negative self-talk ruin my day.

It didn’t take a lot of thought to realize that number 2 was the better option.

Beach Bodyimage source

Every summer, tons of women (and men) freak out about their lack of ‘beach body.’ We worry that other people will judge us by the fact that our stomachs aren’t perfectly flat, or that our thighs jiggle.

But quite frankly… who cares?

In all honestly, we’re all so freaked out over our ‘bikini body’ to notice the person next to us… so it’s highly likely that the same thing will happen to them. Do you really want to miss out on some of the best things in life because you’re uncomfortable with your body? Don’t wait until you have your ‘ideal body’ to feel confident in what you want to wear or what you want to do.

So, with my dedication to my positive body image in mind, I went down to Target (yay summer bathing suit sale!) and picked up a few bikinis to try on.

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I picked out a cute two-piece that I felt flattered me and that I felt confident in. When I went to the beach later that afternoon, I was happy to strip down to my new bathing suit and didn’t give a second thought to what anyone else could have been thinking.

On the beach

Over the last few months, I’ve learned that my body will always be deserving of love. In the coming months and years, I might stay at this size. I might not – I might lose weight, or I may gain more. In the end, it doesn’t matter. No matter what my body looks like at any given point in time, I can be confident and continue to love my body.

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[editor’s note: Sam, I love the suit & you look beautiful!]

So just a reminder – be confident this summer. The idea of the ‘beach body’ is ridiculous – if you have a body and you walk onto a beach, there’s your beach body. And really, that’s all you need.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to stop by my blog to say hi, or shoot me an email at betterwithsprinklesblog@gmail.com.

Have a good one!

More places to find Sam:
Twitter: @Sprinkled_Sam
Facebook: Better With Sprinkles
Instagram: @betterwithsprinklesblog
Pinterest: Samantha Koplin
Email: betterwithsprinklesblog@gmail.com

Questions of the Day:
>> Do you agree with Sam? Do we already have a ‘beach body?’ I do! It just takes confidence (something I’m still working on all the time).
>> Where’s your favorite place to shop for swimsuits? I like Target, too!
>> How do you find confidence in your swimsuit?

Double Chocolate [hidden beet!] Muffins

I’m not joking when I say that I’ve been trying to get this recipe blog-ready for like… three months. It’s become a slight obsession that I’m almost embarrassed by. I say “almost” because, if you know me by now, you have just come to expect these things. I like to hide vegetables in baked goods, dinners, under my bed.

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I was joking about that last one. I’m not trying to attract anything that doesn’t have a six pack to my bed. HAHA I’m joking about that, too. Promise.

Well, now that I’ve sufficiently made things kind of awkward here, let me tell you about these wonderful baked goods. You could trick a five year old into eating vegetables with these. You could also trick a fifty year old into eating vegetables with these (I did!). These babies are family-approved. I mean – they’re double chocolate muffins. You really can’t go wrong.

Double Chocolate [hidden beet!] Muffins - Nutty for Life

My dad almost didn’t believe that I snuck beets in there, which made me really proud of myself. Make these ASAP. You’ll get a little dose of vitamins and a good chocolate rush. You can have your chocolate and your vegetables, too.

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Double Chocolate [hidden beet!] Muffins

Makes one dozen muffins
Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients

  • 1 c. oat flour (just grind down oats)
  • 1/2 c. coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1- 14.5 oz. can no salt added sliced beets, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 c. 2% Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix together all dry ingredients, except chocolate chips.
  3. In a high powered blender or food processor, blend down beets and greek yogurt until completely smooth.
  4. Transfer to a different bowl and add the rest of the wet ingredients.
  5. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until well-combined, but do not over mix.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Prepare your muffin/cupcake pans with non-stick spray (I used coconut oil spray).
  8. Fill tins (no liners!!) 3/4 of the way.
  9. Bake muffins for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes. A toothpick will come out clean when the muffins are done.

Questions of the Day:
>> What was the last baked good you made?
>> Do you prefer muffins as breakfast or a snack? 

More places to find me:
Twitter: @angiggy
Facebook: nuttylifeang
Instagram:@angiggy
Pinterest: Ang @ Nutty for Life
Email: nuttylifeang@gmail.com