Full Belly Sisters: July 2016

Friday, July 15, 2016

Almond Joy Protein Shake

Chocolate, coconut, and almond in an easy smoothie! This healthy almond joy protein shake is fantastic for portable energy.

Somehow, summer seems even busier than the school year. Running around to camps, playdates, afternoons with buddies at the town pool, sports. I don't know. It always seems like we're going to have all this down time but then we end up hauling from one (admittedly fun) commitment to another. Between the busy schedule and the hot weather, smoothies really come in handy: they're packed with filling protein and they're super refreshing. Plus, you can whip 'em up fast!

I usually make shakes in my blender. But sometimes there's not even much time to do that! That's where the new Thermos® #ShakerBottle comes in quite handy. The 24-ounce bottle is leak-proof, BPA-free, and has an integrated mixer—kind of a whisk—that helps blend your ingredients and ensures you don't get clumps of protein powder in your shake. Thermos® is having a giveaway for these cool bottles: go here to enter!

  • 1/2 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter (or almond flour)
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • ice (optional)
  • coconut, sliced almonds, chocolate for garnish (optional)
Pour the milks into the Thermos® #ShakerBottle. The bottle has capacity markings, which is great when you're pouring in your ingredients—no need to use separate measuring cups. 

Add the shredded coconut and almond butter. Then add the protein powder. (When you are adding all of the ingredients to the shaker bottle, be sure to add the protein powder last. This ensures that the integrated mixer will blend it all in smoothly.) Place the integrated mixer in the shaker bottle and screw on the bottle top. Shake for about 30 seconds, or until the ingredients are blended together. Add crushed ice, if you'd like. Drink up!

If you prefer to make this smoothie in your blender, try blending it with about a cup of ice, until frothy. Cool and creamy! 

Then just pour it into your Thermos® #ShakerBottle and take it with you: the bottle is perfectly portable, with a locking, push-button lid to protect it from spilling. The shaker bottle is also super easy to take apart and clean in the dishwasher. I love that there is no impossible-to-effectively-clean straw. And the bottle fits into my car's cup-holder!

My almond joy protein shake, heading out the door with me.

Wouldn't you love one of these shaker bottles? Thermos® brand is offering you a chance to win a Genuine Thermos® Brand Shaker Bottle through a sweepstakes hosted on the Thermos® brand Facebook page. Head on over and enter to win now!

You can find also Thermos® brand on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Natural Baby Food: Cauliflower Breadsticks

These easy Cauliflower Breadsticks from the book Natural Baby Food are the perfect, healthy finger food for your baby—or for you!

Dr. Sonali Ruder—physician, chef, and blogger at The Foodie Physician—is back with yet another great book! I previously shared Sonali's delicious Sesame Roasted Broccoli from her earlier book, Natural Pregnancy Cookbook. Well, this time, she's got the fantastic Natural Baby Food: Over 150 Wholesome, Nutritious Recipes for your Baby and Toddler. It's all about giving your baby a great start to good health by planning a healthy diet.

And it's not difficult to give your baby the best food possible. Sonali offers loads of beautiful and simple-to-prepare purees, from "Pretty in Pink Raspberry Pear Puree" to "Turkey and Taters!"

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I didn't give my son any purees; we went the Baby-Led Weaning route and really loved it. Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) skips the spoon-feeding and goes straight to self-feeding finger foods. The great thing about Natural Baby Food is that it also includes a great variety of recipes for finger foods for babies and toddlers—so it's a great reference book, even if you do BLW.

I don't have a toddler at home anymore but I do still love healthy finger foods! I decided to make the book's Cauliflower Cheesy Bread. It's an easy recipe, and packed with antioxidants and an array of nutrients. Plus, it's gluten-free, grain-free, and low-carb—perfect for many who follow special diets.


  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, divided*
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Marinara sauce for serving (optional)
*I used shredded Locatelli Pecorino Romano

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove the outer leaves and cut it into florets. Place them in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is finely chopped and looks like rice.

Transfer the cauliflower to a microwave-safe dish or bowl.  Cover and cook in the microwave for 10 minutes.  Alternatively, you can steam the cauliflower in a steamer basket or bake it in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes.  

When the cauliflower is cool, transfer it to a bowl lined with a kitchen towel or cheesecloth.  Bring the ends of the cloth together and squeeze as much liquid out of the cauliflower as you can.  I got about ½ cup liquid.  

Transfer the cauliflower to a mixing bowl and add the egg, Italian seasoning, ½ cup cheese, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Mix to combine.

Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Form the dough into a rectangle about 8 x 12 inches and ¼-inch thick. 

Bake in the oven 15-20 minutes until cooked.  Remove the baking sheet and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup cheese over the top.  Bake another 5 minutes until cheese is melted. 

Let cool a little bit and then cut cheesy bread into breadsticks.  Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.   

To order your own copy of Natural Baby Food, click here.
I make a small commission if you purchase through my links—which helps to keep this blog running.

For more kid-friendly cauliflower recipes, check out my Cauliflower Fried Rice:

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks Parmigiana:

Cauliflower Popcorn:

I received a copy of Natural Baby Food for review and was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.
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