Date Roll

Date Roll // 24 Carrot Life #vegan #healthy

When you’re trying to live on a budget, or at least not spend your entire paycheck on food, you have to start making some of your favorite prepared foods at home. I’m constantly thinking of ways I can make homemade items for a fraction of the price of the store-bought versions (hello nut butters and granola).

Date Roll // 24 Carrot Life #vegan #healthy

At work the other day I saw this amazing date roll on my friend’s desk. I was eyeing it, so kindly he offered me a piece and I was instantly in heaven. I detected some butter in it, and since I’m trying to eat dairy free for a couple weeks I knew I had to make this at home using coconut oil.

Date Roll // 24 Carrot Life #vegan #healthy

Of course, you want what you can’t have, so I kept imagining this date roll paired with some aged gouda. Man, it would be soo good with cheese. In the meantime, though, I plan to enjoy a few slices of this as a snack or dessert. It is naturally sweet with a nice crunch from the nuts and a touch of texture from the shredded coconut. Now, this is what I call a guilt-free treat!

Date Roll // 24 Carrot Life #vegan #healthyDate Roll // 24 Carrot Life #vegan #healthy

I think dates are one of those magical ingredients that can do anything- What are some of your favorite ways to eat dates? 

Date Roll
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1 large date roll
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (packed) pitted medjool dates (about 18-20 large dates)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted, unsalted hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Add the dates and coconut oil to a food processor and process until completely combined and made into a paste. Add vanilla extract and sea salt and process again until combined.
  2. Remove date paste and add to a bowl with nuts. Using a spoon or your hands, mix to incorporate completely.
  3. Once incorporated, mold into an even roll shape.
  4. Add shredded coconut to a shallow plate and roll the date roll in the coconut to coat.
  5. Place in the fridge for a minimum of an hour to firm before slicing.
  6. Store in the fridge in a closed plastic bag.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 of 20 slices Calories: 101 Fat: 41 g Carbohydrates: 17.4 g Sugar: 14.6 g Fiber: 2 g Protein: 1.1 g

 

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5 Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake

5 Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake // 24 Carrot Life #protein #iifym #macros #healthy

I’ve been pretty lax with my healthy eating lately due to a few different reasons. One, I wanted to enjoy Mexican food as much as I could before I left Oaxaca to come back to Philly so I went a little hard on the tortillas and cheese. Then, I came back to the U.S. and was distracted by looking for a new apartment, getting settled in, and then enjoying having Daniel visit me for a few weeks in July/August. Now, I have no excuses and I’m ready to get serious.

One of the things I always focus on when I’m trying to lose a few pounds and get fit is making sure I’m eating enough protein. Protein is SO important for fat loss and muscle gain (not just the bulky kind of muscle but the lean kind too). When I was tracking my macros (post to come soon about my experience) last year I realized how much protein you really need to see serious progress. It’s kind of shocking!

I’ve learned a few tricks over the years to sneak in as much protein into my diet as possible without having to eat pounds of plain chicken at every meal. Here are a few of my tricks:

1. Befriend Cottage Cheese and Greek Yogurt

If you’re not vegan, of course, cottage cheese and greek yogurt can be your best friends. Low fat versions are high in protein and low in calories. I like adding them to recipes, as well as eating them plain with some fruit and granola. Cottage cheese is particularly great added to smoothies to make them thicker, to pancakes to make them fluffy (this is my favorite recipe from Ambitious Kitchen), and to cheesy pasta dishes like Cottage Cheese Baked Macaroni and Cheese or Cottage Cheese Cornbread. I also love mixing some cottage cheese into my scrambled eggs to make them extra fluffy and protein packed. Or, want a protein packed dessert? Then these Mini Protein Cheesecakes with Raspberry Sauce are perfect for you!

Greek yogurt is a great substitute for mayonnaise, sour cream, or whipped cream like I used it on top of these Honey Roasted Peaches. Of course, greek yogurt is a great breakfast option and can be layered with fresh fruit and granola… a la Honey Roasted Fig Parfaits.  It can also replace some of the fat in baked goods. But don’t just limit greek yogurt to sweet treats, it can be savory too like in this Vegetable Gratin.

5 Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake // 24 Carrot Life #protein #iifym #macros #healthy

2. Peanut flour vs. peanut butter

Peanut flour is a great way to cut down on fat while still getting the flavor and protein of peanut butter. And boy, do I love peanut butter! You can use peanut flour in any place that you would use regular flour, and it’s a great way to spruce up some Banana Oatmeal Bites. If you’re a peanut butter addict like me then add peanut flour AND natural peanut butter to a recipe for even more flavor and more protein…hey there Copycat Juice Generation Peanut Butter Split Smoothie.

3. Find your favorite protein powder

I found my favorite protein powder when I started getting serious about fitness and healthy eating at the beginning of college. In addition to adding it to protein shakes, I love adding 1/2 scoop to 1 scoop of it to hot or iced coffee, which usually replaces the need for sweetener. This is best if you are using whey protein powder (here’s my favorite brand- Vanilla Ice Cream and Double Rich Chocolate are great!) since it dissolves much better than vegan options. If you’re adding it to hot coffee make sure to add it once the coffee is hot since the whey has a strange texture if you microwave it afterwards. I also like adding a scoop of protein powder to overnight oats, baked goods, microwave cakes, or banana protein soft serve. I’m trying a little dairy-free experiment so I bought a jar of Vega One vegan protein powder to see if I like it. Have any good recipes?

4. Add egg whites to everything

Egg whites pack such an amazing protein punch. Did you know that when a baked good recipe calls for an egg, you can replace it with two egg whites for the same ratio and more protein. Mug cakes are a lighter option for a healthy dessert and I like using egg whites to make them fluffy, like in this Strawberry Peanut Butter Cup Microwave Cake. Don’t get me wrong, the fat in egg yolks is great for you and I often pair a few whole eggs with liquid egg whites for a balanced meal.

5. Green veggies have protein!

Green veggies are packed with protein and are a super low cal way to get in some of your most important vitamins and minerals. Have a Fall Za’atar Salad for lunch, add broccoli to some Vegetarian Mushroom “Meatloaf” Cups, or throw some spinach or kale into your smoothies, like I did in this Protein Shamrock Shake (which is delicious any time of the year)!

5 Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake // 24 Carrot Life #protein #iifym #macros #healthy

6. Lentils are high in protein

Lentils are surprisingly high in protein- about 18 g per 1 cup serving, which is higher than many other beans! I love making Lentil Hummus on Sunday as a snack during the week or prepping a big Potato Lentil Salad with Cilantro Pesto for lunches and dinners. Lentils are great in winter stews and chili too!

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So there you have it- just some of my favorite tips to get eek in as much protein as you can. Don’t underestimate how much you need and do your research to find out the exact amount according to your goals.

What are your favorite ways to pack in a little extra protein? I can’t wait to hear your tips!

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Healthy Fall Comfort Food: Pasta

Healthy Comfort Food: 12 Delicious Pasta Dishes // 24 Carrot Life #pasta #healthy #comfortfood

24 Carrot Life images clockwise from top left: Cottage Cheese Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Lightened Up Summer Vegetable Lasagna, Crispy Prosciutto, Fresh Pea, and Mozzarella Whole Wheat Pasta, Weeknight “Baked” Ricotta Pasta, and Skinny Spaghetti and Meatballs from Pinch of Yum

I’m gonna talk about the weather because I have this feeling that fall is right around the corner. It is already September, after all, and I’m excited for cooler weather since I had a limited (read: non-existent) winter in Mexico last year. Wherever I am, I always crave carb-heavy comfort foods like pasta when the weather gets cold. I mean, who doesn’t love pasta?!

The problem is that pasta isn’t the healthiest meal option, so I’m always looking for ways to make my favorite pasta dishes just a touch healthier. A key element missing from most pasta dishes is protein so I like to add chicken, “skinny” meatballs, or low fat ricotta cheese. And as hard as it is, I try to keep my portions in check, because pasta is still pasta no matter how healthy you try to make it. I also like to start off with a light salad so I’m not starving when I get to the pasta.

I rounded up 12 of my favorite lightened up pasta dishes so we can all get a head start on comfort foods for fall and winter. Many of these recipes are from my own blog, and a few others I have personally tried and I promise they are so delicious. You’ll wonder why you ever wasted time on the extra creamy, super cheesy, completely unhealthy options.

Check out Healthy Pasta Dishes

by Katie Oberwager at Foodie.com

This post is sponsored by Mode Media. I was compensated and all opinions are my own.

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