Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were one of my favorites growing up and to this day I have a huge obsession with peanut butter. Since we are at the height of berry season, I wanted to share something easy to make with strawberries. This recipe is also gluten free and dairy free. Super easy to make in advance for breakfast meal prep.
3 Amazing Health Benefits of Berries
Powerful Antioxidant Food
Antioxidants are chemicals in foods that help fight oxidative stress which can lead to illness. All fruits and vegetables have antioxidants, but berries are probably one of the most powerful. One of my favorite antioxidants they contain is quercetin which can help decrease the inflammatory effects of chemicals in the synovial fluid of the joints for people with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of chronic inflammation.
Bumps up Fiber Intake
It is recommended for adults to aim for about 25-30 grams of fiber daily. Currently, the average intake of most American adults is around 15 grams! So why is fiber so great? Fiber is key for weight loss because it is technically calorie free and it helps increase the bulk of the food making it easier to reach satiation. It also helps decrease total cholesterol, increases HDL-c, and lowers blood pressure.
Keeps you mentally sharp as a needle.
Women who eat about two servings of strawberries per week experienced a less mental decline over time than peers who went without eating the powerful berries, research published in the Annals of Neurology found. The reason is linked to the berries having high amounts of anthocyanidins, which is a powerful flavonoid. These compounds which are almost exclusively found in berries cross the blood-brain barrier and locate in learning and memory centers of the brain.
Macrobalanced Tip: If you have berries that look like they are about to go bad or too soft, wash, cut, and add to the blender with milk or like this coconut cream. You can use it in smoothies or like this recipe a base for chia seed pudding.
For the chia seed pudding: (serves 4 ~1/2 cup)
-1 can of organic coconut cream
-1 cup strawberries, halved
-2 ounces unsweetened almond milk
-1/2 cup chia seeds
*Optional: 1 oz. strawberry flavored protein powder
For the peanut butter granola: (serves 10 1/3 cup)
-3 cups oats (use gluten-free if needed)
-2 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
-1/4 cup avocado oil
-1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
-1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
-1/2 cup hemp seeds
-1 tsp. salt
Chia seed pudding:
-In a blender (VitaMix was used for the recipe), add 1 can of organic coconut cream, 2 ounces of almonds milk, 1 oz. strawberry protein powder and 1 cup of strawberries. Blend until fully combined and no clumps. This is usually at medium speed for about 1 minute.
-In a large bowl, add 1/2 cup chia seeds and mix in the strawberry coconut mixture from the blender. Mix together and cover with plastic wrap. Let is sit and activate the chia seed overnight.
Peanut Butter Granola:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
-In a large mixing bowl, add the oats, hemp seeds, and sugar and mix together.
-In a glass Pyrex, add avocado oil, maple syrup, and creamy peanut butter. Warm in the microwave about 30 seconds and mix until fully combined (can also do this on a stove stop). One fully combined and warm, add to the large mixing bowl with the oats.
-Line a large cookie sheet with foil, and add the granola evenly over the cookie sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes or until fully brown. Toss gently around 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
-Let the granola cool for about 15-20 minutes before touching.
-Break the granola up into clumps and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
-Add 1/2 cup chia seed pudding into a mason jar and add 1/3 cup granola.
Nutrition Facts: Chia seed pudding per serving: 346 calories, 5 grams carb, 27 grams fat, and 14 grams protein. Granola per serving: 260 calories, 11 grams fat, 30 grams carb, and 15 grams protein.