Kelly the Culinarian: What We Ate at #NowGetFit

Friday, May 15, 2015

What We Ate at #NowGetFit

You may recall that I spent a fabulous 24 hours earlier this month getting educated on supplements and natural products at NOW Foods. It was an amazing trip - I learned about the science and care that goes into creating NOW's more than 1,400 GMO-free products, as well as the deliberate moves they've made to ensure their growing fleet of staff is happy and healthy. In addition to filling my brain, NOW Foods topped off our tummies at every turn, too. Here are some of the culinary highlights, complete with recipes. For more, check out the NOW Foods recipe database, where you can search based upon dietary restrictions.

Pre-workout, we fueled up at the hotel super early with these coconut flax crunch bars. They were awesome: super dense, delicious and power-food rich, they gave my stomach something to digest throughout a relatively intense spin class. Here's how they were made:

#NowGetFit Coconut Flax Crunch Bars Recipe

2 tbsp NOW Real Food® White Chia Seed Meal
2 tbsp NOW Real Food® Organic Golden Flax Seed Meal
1 tbsp NOW® Sports Sprouted Brown Rice Protein
3⁄4 cup NOW Real Food® Tropical Fruit Dices
1⁄2 cup brewed NOW Real Tea® PomeGreenate Tea
1 cup NOW Real Food® Organic Rolled Oats
1⁄2 cup NOW Real Food® Macadamia Nuts, chopped
1⁄2 cup NOW Real Food® Organic Hemp Seed Hearts
3⁄4 cup NOW Real Food® Organic Coconut Sugar
1 cup Living NowTM Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
1⁄2 cup Ellyndale Organics Canola Oil
1⁄4 cup NOW Real Food® Grade B Maple Syrup
1 tsp NOW Real Food® Certified Organic Vanilla Extract

1) Preheat oven to 350 F (325 convection). Line quarter sheet pan with parchment paper.
2) In large bowl, combine flax meal, chia meal, brown rice protein, and tropical fruit dices.
3) Pour tea over mixture, stir well and set aside.
4) In a separate bowl, combine oats, macadamia nuts, hemp seed hearts, coconut sugar, flour, nutmeg, and salt.
5) In another bowl, mash the banana. Stir in canola oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
6) Add banana mixture to flax/chia mixture.
7) Once all wet ingredients are well mixed, fold into dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
8) Spread mixture onto sheet pan so that the granola bars are 1⁄2 inch tall.
10) Allow granola to cool for 30 minutes or until it has firmed but it still soft to the touch.
11) To remove from the pan, run a sharp knife along the edges to make sure granola has loosened. Over a clean table or cutting board, flip sheet pan upside down, and tap to release granola.
12) Cut into 4 inch bars and serve.

Next up, after spin and yoga, we were treated to a post-workout recovery shake. I sipped this en route back to the hotel. It was very creamy and rich, and with the shaker bottle they provided, easy enough to tote to the gym and mix while commuting.

#NowGetFit Cinnamon Chocolate Protein Shake Recipe 

3/4 cups almond milk
1⁄8 cup NOW® Sports Plant Protein Complex
1 tsp. NOW® Organic Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp. NOW Real FoodTM Organic Turbinado sugar
1 drop BetterStevia® Cinnamon Vanilla Liquid

1) Place all ingredients in protein shaker and shake well for 30 seconds, until consistency is uniform.
2) Serve chilled and enjoy before a workout for extra energy or after for swifter recovery.

While we were tasting the various oils and coconut infusions NOW Foods makes, we were treated to a green smoothie that was packed with all sorts of good-for-you veggies, but didn't taste like it at all.  This is a great recipe for my Vitamix, which doesn't get nearly the use it should. The avocado in this really pulls it all together and makes the mix super creamy.

#NowGetFit Green Chia Smoothie Recipe 

1/2 cup organic banana
1/2 cup organic kale leaves
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup ice
1⁄8 cup organic spinach
1⁄8 cup organic avocado
1⁄8 cup NOW Real Food® Organic Raw Sunflower Seeds
1/2 tbsp NOW Real Food® White Chia Seed Meal
1/2 tbsp NOW Real Food® Organic Golden Flax Seed Meal
1 drop BetterSteviaTM Lemon Twist Liquid
1) In a blender, combine all smoothie ingredients.
2) Blend at medium speed until smooth. Serve immediately and enjoy!

The final activity in our tour and outing was baking in the NOS Foods test kitchen. It's a great facility with every tool and toy you can image. My group made these gluten-free snicker doodles, which turned out so light and fluffy I would have never guessed they were missing gluten. Now follow these directions carefully, since I neglected to do so the first time.

#NowGetFit Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe 

(Makes 12 Cookies)

1⁄2 cup NOW Real Food® Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, solid
1 cup NOW Real Food® Organic Turbinado Sugar
1 1⁄2 cups Living Now® Organic White Rice Flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1⁄4 tsp. salt

1) Preheat oven to 350° F (325° F convection).
2) In a large bowl cream coconut oil with turbinado sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3) Whisk in eggs until mixture has a uniform consistency throughout.
4) In a separate bowl, sift white rice flour, cream of tartar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
5) Add flour mixture into coconut oil mixture and combine until dough is formed.
6) Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
8) Cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

My team did not make the next batch of cookies, which was by far my favorite treat of the day. They were salty and sweet, and the perfect texture for my ideal dessert - just slightly crumbly but mostly just chewy and amazing.  I'd like to try this with golden raisins and dried cranberries.  Mmmmmm ....

#NowGetFit Ultimate Organic Oatmeal and Goldenberry Cookie Recipe

(Makes 4 Dozen Cookies)

1 cup NOW® Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
1 cup NOW Real FoodTM Organic Turbinado Sugar
1 cup NOW Real Food® Organic Coconut Sugar
2 tsp Ellyndale® Organic Vanilla Extract
1 cup NOW Real Food® GoldenBerries, chopped
1 cup NOW Real FoodTM Organic Rolled Oats
2 large organic eggs
2 cups Organic All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sea salt

1) Preheat oven to at 350F.
2) In a mixing bowl combine coconut oil, turbinado sugar, and brown sugar until the mixture is fluffy.
3) Add 2 large eggs and vanilla extract and mix until you have an even consistency.
4) Fold in all dry ingredients, including Goldenberries and Oats until you have a homogeneous mixture.
5) Place in freezer for a minimum of 30 minutes.
6) Form 1⁄2 inch balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
7) Bake 10-15 minutes.
8) Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Want the ingredients to make some of these yummies? Stay tuned .... 

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