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The Ultimate Fitness Junkie Gift Guide
 

From stocking stuffers to fun splurges, we have it all! 

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  1. Adidas Ultraboost Shoes - Currently on my Christmas wishlist! This shoe is great if you are a neutral runner.

  2. Athleta Cozy Karma Asymmetrical Pullover - Because, who doesn't like a good cozy pullover!

  3. Skylar perfumes - Currently my favorite clean, hypoallergenic, and cruelty-free perfume. I know I'm weird, but I have to smell good before a workout. It just makes me think that I won't smell like nasty sweat afterward! Lol, my favorite scent is coral!

  4. Further Food Turmeric Tonic - This powder is great to make instant golden lattes! Bonus, it's made with natural anti-inflammatory & immune boosting ingredients. A win for those really heavy workouts! Here is a discount code for 10% off your first purchase, FROMTHEROOTSBLOG10.

  5. Hair Ties - Great as a stocking stuffer!

  6. Gaiam Yoga Mat - Great for the yogi and they have many patterns!

  7. Mario Badescu Facial Mist - I love these inexpensive mists for post-workouts. Feels refreshing and smells heavenly!

  8. Vooray Workout Bag - The cutest yet functional and affordable workout bag I have seen. Currently on my Christmas wish list!

  9. Elite Surge Jump Rope - If you are a Crossfitter and/or do DU's (double unders), then you will love this jump rope! Personally, I wouldn't get this style if you are just jumping rope as a warm up because the string is very thin=rope burns!

  10. RX Bars - Great to throw in your workout bag for a pre or post workout snack!

  11. Natural Vitality - Anti-stress powder that is great in restoring healthy magnesium levels, supporting a healthy immune system, and keeping bones strong. Magnesium is an essential mineral that supports blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is required for producing and storing energy. I love taking this supplement after a long run, when I'm stressed, or if I'm having trouble sleeping.

  12. Mountain Ocean Skin Trip Moisturizer - This is the only lotion I use! Hands down, the best moisturizer I have ever owned. It also has a very subtle coconutty beach water smell.

  13. Knockout Leggins by VS - Best workout leggings ever and bonus, they have pockets!

  14. Qalo Wedding band - Whether you are engaged or married, these inexpensive rings are great to wear at the gym especially if you do weightlifting, gymnastics, or CrossFit type workouts.

  15. Sports Research Collagen Peptides - Collagen is an important nutrient needed to ensure the health of your skin, hair, cartilage, joints, and bones. I like to add a scoop of collagen with MCT oil in my coffee every morning.

  16. Foam Roller - Because, who doesn't love a good foam roller!

  17. Hydro Flask water bottle - Little pricey but worth every penny! Has a BPA free straw lid and double-walled, insulated which means water stays cold for up to 24 hours, what!?

  18. IABMFG shorts - If you can’t seem to find squat proof workout shorts then look no further. I love this particular style because of the fabric and length but they also have many fun patterns and different inseam lengths. One pair is expensive but this website is always giving out really good discounts!

  19. Nutrition Stripped Good Food Good Vibes t-shirt - Great to workout in because it is lightweight, breathable, and sends positive vibes!

  20. Beats PowerBeats 3 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones - By far, the best pair of headphones. I have gone through many, let me tell you, but these bad boys will stay in your ears through long runs, heavy HIIT and cardio sessions and just casually walking the dog.

Most of these products will be on sale for Black Friday so check them out soon!

Leave us a comment if you love this gift guide! We would love the feedback!

 
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
 

Perfect for the holidays or as a side dish! Bonus - vegan, gluten-free and naturally lower in sugar.

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Let’s be honest, the only time I think about eating sweet potato casserole is during Thanksgiving; amiright?! Like a complete cooked turkey, it seems like sweet potato casserole only falls within a Thanksgiving side dish category.

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Maybe after you make this, you can see that this side dish can be made year-round! I’m thankful for that because when recipe testing a month before Thanksgiving, I was glad this could be eaten with most any dishes. For example, we had this casserole with my pecan crusted spiced salmonand broccolini and it was amazing!

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When it comes to sweet potato casserole, I have noticed the toppings can fall within two categories: marshmallows or with a crunchy texture. I fall in the crunchy texture category 100%! Personally, I am not the biggest fan of marshmallows (I know, I know -- crazy, right?). If you enjoy marshmallows, you can still go that route.

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What I love about this recipe and what sets this casserole apart from the rest is the secret ingredient: oranges. After watching Samin Nosrat’s Salt Fat Acid Heat on Netflix, she made a good point that many Thanksgiving dishes lack acid which is why cranberry sauce is often served. With that in mind, I knew I needed to change that! I’m so glad I did because the orange zest and juices completely elevate the spices and sweetness in the sweet potatoes perfectly!

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The rest of the ingredients are pretty standard for a traditional sweet potato casserole sans butter and heaping cups of sugar. To make them naturally sweeter without adding so much sugar, I simply baked the sweet potatoes instead of boiling them to maintain their natural sweetness.

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With Thanksgiving in mind, I would bake the sweet potatoes a day before the big day so that when you are at the point of cooking all your casseroles/side dishes, you will just need to prepare the mixture and topping and pop them in the oven 23-30 minutes. It’s that easy.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with a crunchy nut topping - Perfect for the holidays or as a side dish! Bonus - vegan, gluten-free and naturally lower in sugar.

ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes

  • 1 cup plant based milk

  • 1/4 cup orange juice (1/2 orange)

  • Zest of 1/2 orange

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp allspice

  • 2-4 Tbsp pure maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp salt

Crunchy Nut Topping

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds

  • 1/3 cup GF old fashioned oats (regular is fine)

  • 1/3 cup GF all purpose flour (regular is fine)

  • 1/2 cup light organic brown sugar (coconut sugar is fine)

  • 4 Tbsp cubed coconut oil

instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Use a fork to poke holes in sweet potatoes and place potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet.

  3. Roast for about 45 min to an hour or until fork tender. Allow potatoes to cool for 5-10 minutes before discarding the skin.

  4. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees while potatoes are cooling. Spray an 8x8 inch pan or a 1 ½ quart to 2-quart oven safe baking dish with nonstick cooking oil. Set aside for later.

  5. Place sweet potato flesh in a large bowl and add milk, seasonings, orange juice and zest, and maple syrup. Use an electric mixer or potato masher to beat mixture until smooth and creamy.

  6. Pour mixture into a prepared baking pan and smooth top.

  7. To make the crunchy nut topping: Whisk together nuts, oats, flour, sugar and oil.

  8. Sprinkle topping all over the sweet potato mixture.

  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Notes

  1. You can make this casserole ahead of time! Cover and place in the fridge. When ready, bake as directed.

  2. If you do not have coconut oil, you can use vegan or regular butter.

  3. Don’t make the mistake I did and use quick oats! First bake is crunchy but reheating will make the topping mushy so use old fashioned oats!

 
Chai Latte Donut Holes
 

Made with nutrient dense filling and a coconut butter glaze, you will soon fall in love with a healthier take on donut holes...bonus - no bake!

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Starting out as a new blogger, it can be easy to follow seasonal trends. For example, my Instagram feed was filled with pumpkin spice this and pumpkin spice that for a month! Now, in all genuineness, I truly love pumpkin and all things pumpkin spice, but I know not everyone feels the same way!

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So I went back to what life was like before pumpkin spice, chai spice! When I was in school, I would have collections of chai teas from coconut chai teas to dark chocolate cayenne chai tea; I was obsessed! Now that I have perfected the chai spice mix, I think this nostalgia will never leave!

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I’m chasing rabbits here, the focus lies on these chai latte donut holes that are out of this world! Probably my favorite “energy balls” to date! The reason why they are called donut holes is because of the mouthwatering glaze! The glaze is made with coconut butter and coconut oil that hardens at room temperature. It provides the perfect shine while cracking just as you take a bite!

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The “donut holes” are made with nutrient dense ingredients that are nothing like a real donut. Unlike a fried donut hole, you will feel satisfied eating one or two. Bonus, these donut holes are naturally sweetened with medjool dates!

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The DIY chai spice mix really takes you down chai latte heaven in these bad boys. With a cup of coffee or tea, these chai latte donut holes are the perfect match!

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If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


ingredients

Donut Holes

  • 1/2 cup walnuts

  • 1/2 cup cashews

  • 1/2 cup almond flour

  • 1 cup pitted dates (about 12)

  • 1 tsp chai spice mix

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 Tbsp water

Glaze

  • 1 Tbsp coconut butter

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

  • pinch of cinnamon

instructions

  1. In a food processor, add all donut hole ingredients and pulse until desired consistency (picture for reference). You should blend until a tacky dough forms. You may need to add more water if the mixture is too dry.

  2. With a tablespoon or cookie scooper, scoop about 1 Tbsp per ball to create 14 round balls.

  3. Place balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet and put in the freezer for up to 10 minutes.

  4. While the balls are in the freezer, make the glaze by adding all ingredients to a small bowl and warm in the microwave in 30-second increments until mixture is melted. (separation is natural - just stir well before glazing).

  5. Take the balls out of the freezer and roll each ball into the glaze mixture using a spoon. Place back onto the parchment paper and put back into the freezer for 30 minutes.

  6. Repeat the previous step again and put back in the freezer for 30 minutes or until glaze is set. You can repeat this step up to three times (or until mixture is used up) but I have found the glaze is perfect in two rounds.

  7. Store donut holes in a storage container for up to two weeks or freezer for up to 1 month.

Notes

  1. Even though the glaze is the best part, the chai latte donut holes will still taste just as good if you omit the glaze; they will just be chai latte balls!

  2. If you would like a single serving amount of chai mix and pushed for time, simply add 1 tsp cinnamon, scant ¼ tsp cardamom, ¼ tsp ginger and a pinch of cloves. Just start slow with each seasoning and taste as you go since these spices are naturally strong.

  3. With that said, if using chai is new to you or you're worried about the donut holes being too spicy, start by adding a ½ tsp of chai spice mix and gradually increase to the desired flavor.

 
DIY Chai Spice Mix
 

A must-have pantry staple that’s perfect for tea, baking, and other recipes.

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It never dawned on me that I needed to make my own chai spice mix until I strolled past every grocery store’s herb and spice section to find no chai mix in sight! Now, sure there is chai spice powder and chai tea but there are times that I would just like to have the seasoning.

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The perfect chai spice mix can enhance so many traditional recipes that you may not have thought of. For example, add a teaspoon or two of chai spice mix to plain pancake batter and you my friend, will have chai spiced pancakes!

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This mix is also great to have on hand if you would like to make a latte, chai latte donut holes or to add to most recipes like pancakes, oatmeal, donuts, bread or vegetables like sweet potatoes...the possibilities are endless!

Seasonings that are used in this chai spice are quite traditional so feel free to mix things up if you would like! For this recipe, I used cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom.

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You can add all the spices to a mortar and pestle to make sure the seasonings are fully incorporated and nicely grounded or you can simply mix all ingredients using a small whisk or spoon. Funnel seasonings into a spice jar and store in a dry place until ready to use!

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To make a chai spice latte:

  • Add 1 cup plant-based milk, 1 cup water, 1 black tea teabag, ½ tsp chai spice mix, 2 tsp honey and simmer in a small saucepan for 5 minutes. Add a cinnamon stick and star anise to really enhance the flavors! Discard tea bag, optional cinnamon stick and star anise, and pour into a mug and enjoy!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!

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ingredients

  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 1/2 tsp cardamom

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

  • 1 tsp allspice

  • 1/2 tsp cloves

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a mortar and pestle or small bowl and combine until fully combined.

  2. Transfer to a spice jar and store in a dry place until ready to use!

Notes: ⅛ tsp black pepper (optional for spicier flavor)

 
How To - Creating A Morning Routine
 
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A great article I read recently explained that the first three hours of your day will make or break the rest of your day. This makes sense since our brain and energy levels are most vulnerable in the morning after being well rested.

When I was in college, I would use this time to do most of my studying since I was more awake and susceptible. Now that I am working and taking classes again, I take about an hour and a half getting ready/commuting to work. As soon as I get to work at 8AM, I tackle the most important tasks. By 11AM, my mind is ready for a break. From the time I am awake until 11 AM, I completely unplug from social media. This has become a vital non-negotiable since I can get VERY easily distracted.

Everyone has their unique constraints so I would encourage you to find a way to apply this in your life. Dedicating the first 90 minutes of your work day completing tasks at the top of your list will make the rest of your day easier. I like to think of the analogy “eat the frogs first”. “Frogs” are basically the things you don’t want to do, but actually need to do. This analogy along with the first three hours of your day not only improves your efficiency and time management skills but also leaves you free to do the things that you enjoy doing for the rest of your day. 

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One thing I know for sure is if my morning routine before going to work is not smooth, then the tone for the rest of my day is off. To help create a morning routine for you I have laid out what my morning routine looks like plus things that I have done/have seen work for others.  

TBH, my morning routine isn’t exactly Instagram worthy with drawn-out yoga sessions and meditation breathing exercises. I do not work from home and have a long commute to work so this routine is very cut and dry. But I am showing this because most people out there follow a limited morning routine before work.

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My morning routine changes seasonally so at this moment, my routine looks a little like this:

  • 6:15AM - “Rise and shine, give God the glory, glory children of the Lord!” My mother used to sing this every morning so it just sticks. This is the time where I only go on my phone to turn the alarm off (no morning technology), snuggle with Rory and Emmy and do morning stretches.

  • 6:20AM - Take the dogs out to go to the bathroom. I use this time to start drinking my liter of water (recommend getting a hydro flask so that you wake up with fresh cold water) and get my legs moving while soaking up the morning air.

  • 6:45AM - Getting ready. I am a morning shower girl so I will shower, start my skincare routine, apply makeup, fix hair and put on clothes related to that day.

  • 7:15AM - Smoothie time! I usually whip up my morning green smoothie or PB&J protein smoothie bowl and put it in a glass mason jar to bring to work. While that is blending, I start my cup of coffee and put it in my Yeti cup so that it is still hot by the time I get to the office. Lately, I have been adding almond milk creamer, MCT oil, and collagen peptides in my coffee. I get my lunch box packed which consists of a meal prepped lunch, smoothie jar, snacks like an apple and almonds, homemade kombucha, and water.

* Elevated coffee + morning green smoothie is key in keeping me full and energized for the rest of the day!

   +7:30AM - Give Rory and Emmy a little treat, xoxo’s, and head out of the door!

You might look at this morning routine and think, “this seems pretty standard”. Well, not only is this routine standard but there is a lot involved that takes place before the morning starts. Dedicated planning takes place beforehand so that I don’t feel rushed in such a short amount of time. Things like having my water bottle ready, lunch meal preps, and setting the coffee timer to maximize my time getting ready. If I neglect any of these things then I will feel rushed leaving the door and I’ll go in to work frazzled and anxious.

Starting your day off on a healthy start also plays a key role in optimizing your morning! Drinking water and getting your greens in first thing in the morning sets you up for success. There are other things that are healthy/stress-free that can inspire your morning routines. Let’s talk about things that you could look into more.

Tips for Creating A Morning Routine:

  • Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual so that you have more time to practice your morning routine without rushing or use this time to pray, stretch, journal, meditate, etc.

  • Drink water! My teeth are super sensitive so I do this every other morning but lemon water is great first thing in the morning.

  • Set your intention for the day. This practice is used in meditation but if that seems overwhelming, just simply give yourself a few minutes to tune into yourself and to set an intention.

  • Schedule your morning routine the night before. This is a great practice if you are new to setting a morning routine or if you have a week or day that you know will be busy.

  • Meal prep! If you haven’t noticed from my blog, I am a huge meal-prep advocate. This helps so much in cutting time out of your morning to prepare breakfast, lunches, and snacks.

  • Stretch! It’s a great way to increase flexibility, increase blood flow to your muscles, and reduce stress and body ache. Here is a link for simple stretching movements and ROMWOD which is a great mobility program.

  • Sweat it out! If you are a morning person or who has more time in the morning then workout! Working out first thing in the morning is great to release those endorphins, boost your metabolism, and you will most likely be more focused and alert the rest of the day! Due to my schedule, I work out at night but my Saturday morning workouts are my most favorite because of these reasons!

  • Eat breakfast! When we are sleeping, our metabolic rate runs slowly and at a conservative rate, but once we are awake, our bodies need to break out of a fasting metabolic state. Eating a healthy breakfast that’s nutrient dense like whole grains, vegetables, and lean proteins will keep our metabolism healthy!

  • Take it one item at a time. As you are creating a morning routine, take things 1 at a time so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Drinking a liter of water, dedicating 5 minutes to stretching, and meal prepping was not an overnight success for me. You have to be consistent, intentional, and forgiving but you will get it!

I hope that sharing my personal routine and providing informative research about the a.m. will help and encourage you to cultivate your own morning routine. I would love to hear about your morning routines and what you have found really helped you!

Source: https://www.inc.com/benjamin-p-hardy/this-morning-routine-will-save-you-20-hours-per-w.html?cid=search

To keep you motivated and alert here is a From the Roots Morning Routine music playlist:

https://open.spotify.com/user/sonymusic/playlist/68gThuZOHUfzo4f5r4nXg4

 
Spookylicious Green Smoothie
 

Spooky take on the classic morning green smoothie - behold the Spookylicious Green Smoothie!

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Halloween is my Christmas! Hands down! You know that movie, Halloweentown? It is my dream goal to live in Halloween Town where it’s Halloween every day! Wouldn’t that be amazing!?

Any-who, because of my love for Halloween, this recipe was a lot of fun creating!

If you remember anything from my morning green smoothie, this is exactly the same recipe but with fun Halloween garnishes and a small craft project.

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Notice the Frankenstein faces on the glass? I did that using just a Sharpie retractable-fine point marker.  What I love about using a Sharpie pen is that if you make a mistake on the glass, you can wash it off easily with a little soap and water. You can also check out this link for other ways to clean your glass.

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The Halloween garnishes are just as easy as the Frankenstein art. You can choose whatever fruit you would like but for the fruit kabobs, I used kiwi and blackberries. Blackberries reminded me of little brains and I love the contrasting colors in the kiwi with the smoothie color. The fruits should go through a wooden kabob with no problem, I would just recommend cutting your kiwi at least 1” in length so the kiwi doesn’t tear apart.

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This next part is my favorite -- banana ghosts! I usually tell you to use a ripe banana in all my recipes but for this, you need to use a green to yellow banana. The banana needs to be firm so that it’s easier to handle and that it doesn’t fall off the kabob. Instead of using sugar eyes, I used dark chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth. You should have no problem inserting the chocolate chip directly into the banana. If you do, you could probably use melted dark chocolate or peanut butter as a sticking agent.

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And there you have it, Spookylicious Green Smoothie!

Recipe for the smoothie can be found here.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!

 
Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding
 

Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding - Simple, six-ingredient chia pudding that’s thick, creamy and nutritious!

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Whether you are tired of hearing about pumpkin spice or can’t get enough, this recipe is perfect for both parties! The only reason why I know this is a fact is that my husband says so! Haha.

Usually, after photos have been taken, Michael will stick one ear out of the room to wait for those magic words: “Honey, would you like to eat this?” This time, he ate the entire jar before I could tell him what the special ingredient is in my chia pudding! For the record, he despises pumpkin pie spice everything!

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See, I say this to tell you that pumpkin spice is here to stay! Not because of the spice, but because of the pumpkin that usually follows it! Pumpkin is an awesome fruit that is highly nutritious! Two of my favorite health benefits of pumpkin is that pumpkin is a powerful source of fiber and contains beta-carotene.

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Have you ever wondered how orange vegetables and fruits have vibrant colors? It’s because of this powerful antioxidant called beta-carotene! Our body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A which is an essential vitamin for our bodies. We need vitamin A for healthy skin, a strong immune system, and good eye health. That is why I love pumpkin so much!

Enjoy this pumpkin pie chia pudding for breakfast, as a snack or even as a dessert. I’m sure chia pudding would be good warm but I have only tested this chilled. You can also use the leftover pumpkin puree in pumpkin pie protein smoothie or the elevated pumpkin spice latte recipe found on my Instagram.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding - Simple, six-ingredient chia pudding that’s thick, creamy and nutritious! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbsp heaping pumpkin puree

  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds

  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)

  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice seasoning

  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

  • 1 Tbsp honey

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small mason jar or container, combine all ingredients until fully combined.

  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight.

  3. Eat chilled and top with your favorite toppings like pepitas, coconut flakes, bee pollen, pecans, honey, nut butter, or pomegranate seeds.

 
Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple Tahini Drizzle
 

Roasted acorn squash with maple tahini drizzle - perfect for that simple healthy side dish for Thanksgiving!

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Who else is excited for Thanksgiving like me? The food, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, napping after being full!? Thanksgiving will be here before you know it so if you are hosting Thanksgiving at your house or wondering what you can bring as a side dish, you are probably planning everything now!

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As a side dish, this acorn squash with maple tahini drizzle will soon become a yearly Thanksgiving staple. The squash is cooked in one pan while the drizzle is made in a small jar, making clean up quick and painless. The recipe will not take up much space or equipment so you can continue spending more time on the turkey and other fixings. Not only is it quick to make, but the ingredients are also very simple!

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Bonus! I have teamed up with Wayfair on how to make your Thanksgiving table setting simple yet beautiful! The pieces I have chosen were inspired by my home roots. Thanksgiving is all about family so the colors were inspired by my mother’s favorite color, purple, speckled in the centerpiece with gold furnishings all centered around a rustic/country theme. You may think the rustic theme has been overdone, but personally, I love it! I grew up in Georgia so I was often surrounded by country beauty.

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To make your table setting really pop, add fresh flowers like mums, black-eyed susans, and magnolias. Adding foods like pumpkins, persimmons, pomegranates, and pears will tie the theme together.

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Get creative and have fun!

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Wayfair Thanksgiving Table Ideas:

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I was not financially compensated for this post.

Bonus: To turn this recipe into a soup: Peel the skin off of the acorn squash and blend into a blender with 1 cup plant based milk. Feel free to season to taste and add maple  tahini drizzle to garnish!

Bonus: To turn this recipe into a soup: Peel the skin off of the acorn squash and blend into a blender with 1 cup plant based milk. Feel free to season to taste and add maple tahini drizzle to garnish!


INGREDIENTS

ACORN SQUASH

  • 2 acorn squash

  • 2 Tbsp EVOO

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 2 tsp raw cane sugar

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

MAPLE TAHINI DRIZZLE

  • 1/4 cup tahini

  • 3 Tbsp water

  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • S+P season to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Cut acorn squash in half and take out the seeds. Then slice each half into 1/2 inch slices.

  3. In a large bowl, toss acorn squash, oil and seasonings to combine.

  4. Transfer to two sheet pans lined with parchment paper.

  5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until squash is cooked through and edges are crispy. Will need to flip for the first 15 minutes.

  6. While the acorn squash is cooking, add all ingredients for the maple tahini drizzle in a small mason jar and whisk until combined.

  7. When the acorn squash is cooled, pour the maple tahini drizzle over the acorn squash and top with pomegranate arils and peptitas.

 
Paleo Banana Nut Bread
 

Paleo banana nut bread that is naturally sweetened with just bananas!

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Banana nut bread has been a favorite of mine since childhood. Watching cartoons with my favorite blanket in hand and the smell of banana bread in the air was absolutely comforting! Well, not much has changed because I still love that scenario with the switch from cartoons to Grey’s Anatomy!

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While this paleo bread is naturally sweetened, you are not missing out on anything when it comes to flavor. For this recipe, it’s best to use ripened bananas to really encapture the natural sweetness of the bananas into the bread. I only add the maple syrup in case you desire a sweeter banana bread. Coconut and almond flour is used instead of white flour as the flour combination are lower in carbs, higher in fiber and a better option for people with food allergies/paleo friendly.

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The end result is a healthier moist bread that can be enjoyed for breakfast, dessert or as a snack! My favorite way to enjoy this bread is with peanut butter. Paired with a morning green smoothie, this is a very filling breakfast.

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Have fun with the recipe and add chocolate chips or different types of nuts/seeds if you would like!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


Paleo banana nut bread that is naturally sweetened with just bananas!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 ripe bananas (mashed)

  • 3 large eggs (lightly whisked)

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut oil (melted)

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup (optional)

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour

  • 1/2 cup almond flour (finely ground)

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan or line loaf pan with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, combine bananas, eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Whisk until fully combined.

  3. In a separate bowl, combine baking soda and powder, cinnamon, salt, and flours.

  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until fully combined. Depending on how large your bananas were, you may need to add a liquid like coconut oil if your mixture is too dry. If your mixture is too runny, slowly add more almond flour. The batter should be wet but thick. Gently fold in walnuts to the batter.

  5. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes until cooked through and the top is brown.

  6. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a cool rack. Enjoy!

 
Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie
 

This creamy pumpkin pie protein smoothie is just like pumpkin pie but without the guilt! Great as a post-recovery shake, breakfast or a healthy dessert!

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Tis the season for #pumpkinspiceeverything! Who is with me!? Sure, fall festivals, wearing flannel, and watching football are all great, but October feels complete to me because I get to enjoy pumpkin spice! Even though I hate to admit it, I am your basic white girl, but I am not complaining because I could literally eat pumpkin every day if I wanted to -- and with this pumpkin pie protein smoothie, that is just what I have been doing!

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I made this smoothie on a whim after a workout when I usually make a post-recovery smoothie. I was looking in my fridge for the usual spinach leaves but found leftover pumpkin puree instead. I thought, “Sure, pumpkin pie sounds healthy after a workout!”

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That is what I did and it turned out amazing! Now, when I make this pumpkin pie protein smoothie as a post-recovery smoothie, I do not add the fun toppings. I usually add hemp seeds instead for that added protein! But, if you want to treat yourself to a fun Friyay breakfast, snack or dessert, then load the toppings on!

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If pumpkin is not your thing, then check out my other protein smoothies here: morning green smoothie and  PB&J protein smoothie bowl.

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If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


This creamy pumpkin pie protein smoothie is just like pumpkin pie but without the guilt! Great as a post-recovery shake, breakfast or a healthy dessert!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

  • 1 frozen banana (ripe)

  • 1 cup almond milk

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 2 Tbsp almond butter

  • 1 scoop protein powder

  • 1/2 cup ice

  • couple dashes of pink Himalayan salt

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

Granola, coconut whipped cream, peanut butter, dash of pumpkin pie spice, hemp seeds

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Taste flavors and adjust accordingly; adding honey for more sweetness, more milk for a smoother/thinner consistency.

  2. Garnish with toppings of choice and enjoy!

NOTES

  1. Your banana must be ripe or else this smoothie will not taste sweet. If you do not have a ripened banana, use what you have and add 3 pitted medjool dates or 1 Tbsp honey and taste as you go for desired sweetness.

  2. Toppings: I used So Delicious Coco Whip, Nature’s Path dark chocolate macaroon granola, and Trader Joe's pumpkin pie spice seasoning

  3. Protein powder: Garden of Life

  4. I also add this brand of superfood green powder. Doesn’t change the smoothie flavor, just gives it a sweeter taste.

 
Fall Harvest Grain Bowl
 

Fall Harvest Grain Bowl is that perfect main dish filled with the most favorite seasonal produce!

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I was inspired to make a harvest bowl after eating at a sweetgreen for the first time. My husband ordered their famous harvest bowl and absolutely fell in love with it. Now, this doesn’t happen too often where he will love something healthy, so I knew right then that I had to create a recipe similar so that he can continue to enjoy healthy foods like a harvest bowl.

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Not only can we both enjoy a healthy meal, but I also get to make our harvest bowls with best seasonal produce! As you make this fall harvest grain bowl, here is a list of fall seasonal produce to look forward to in your local grocery store or market:

Apples

Beets

Broccoli

Brussel Sprouts

Cabbage

Carrots

Cauliflower

Fennel

Figs

Garlic

Greens

Mushrooms

Pears

Parsnips

Pomegranates

Radishes

Sweet potatoes

Winter squash

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The grain that puts this dish together is farro. If you haven’t had farro then you are missing out! Farro has a brown rice / nutty taste with a nice, chewy texture. This ancient whole grain is also very healthy as it contains a hefty dose of vitamins A, E, and minerals like iron and magnesium. What’s great about farro is that the texture pairs perfectly with soups and main course salads like this fall harvest grain bowl!

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A new tip I learned recently from Nutrition Stripped is to massage kale. Not only will your kale last longer in the fridge, but your body will digest the kale more easily by physically breaking it down. You can read more in her post here for the nutrition/science break down. For this recipe, we will be massaging the kale with lemon, olive oil, and salt.

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Have fun with this recipe and swap out ingredients based on what your favorite fall produce are as well as preference. For example, if sweet potatoes are not your thing then use butternut squash instead!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


Fall Harvest Grain Bowl is that perfect main dish filled with the most favorite seasonal produce!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup cooked farro

  • 1 sweet potato (cubed)

  • 16 oz brussel sprouts (halved)

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 large bunch kale

  • 1 red apple (diced)

  • 1 lb grilled chicken (or rotisserie chicken)

  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic glaze

  • 1 Tbsp EVOO

  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

  • 1/2 lemon

toppings:

Pepitas and pomegranate seeds

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts with a little EVOO, S&P, and garlic powder. Cook for 15 minutes and then turn for an additional 10-15 minutes or until cooked through and crispy.

  2. While your sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts are cooking, de-stem the kale leaves from the stem by slicing out the center. In a large bowl, add the de-stemmed kale leaves, 1 Tbsp EVOO, squeeze of 1/2 lemon and a couple dashes of salt. Using a massaging action, start to tear the leaves apart and massage. Continue to massage until the kale leaves turn a more vibrant green.

  3. On medium-high heat, add diced apples to a large skillet with 1 tsp oil. Saute for about 2-5 minutes. Add the kale leaves along with the cooked sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, and cooked farro.

  4. Mix together maple syrup and balsamic glaze and drizzle over the skillet mixture.

  5. Once the mixture is fully incorporated with the balsamic reduction, turn the skillet off and plate your harvest grain salad with grilled chicken (or other types of protein). Top with pomegranate seeds and pepitas and enjoy!

 
Dark Chocolate Chip Protein Bites
 

If you are looking for a classic protein ball, then look no further! These dark chocolate chip protein bites are perfect for treating a sweet tooth, perfect as a pre-workout snack, or to cure that 3pm crash!

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In light of the team series and various competitions my CrossFit gym has been doing this past month, I thought it would be fitting to make protein bites. Although I am not competing, I do want to make sure that I have the energy and stamina to complete my workouts successfully. That is why I incorporate this recipe into my weekly meal prep so that I always have a quick go-to snack right before my workout every time.

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It can be so easy to purchase protein bars instead because of the convenience but most protein bars are loaded with artificial sweeteners, preservatives and can be high in calories. If it’s convenience you are looking for, these protein bites are super easy to make! Added bonus: if you do swap these out for your regular protein bars but miss the flavor, these taste just like Larabars!

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These dark chocolate chip protein bites are made with plant-based ingredients that are nutrient dense and worth every little calorie. They are naturally sweetened with Medjool dates which contain potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and calcium to name a few.

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Medjool dates are great workout fuel since they are packed with slow-burning carbs (about 66 calories and 15 grams of sugar). These carbs are in a low glycemic form which means that glucose is released into the bloodstream slower which allows for steady energy during a workout.

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If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


If you are looking for a classic protein ball, then look no further! These dark chocolate chip protein bites are perfect for treating a sweet tooth, perfect as a pre-workout snack, or to cure that 3pm crash! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups GF oats

  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (vegan)

  • 1 cup (packed) or 12 medjool dates

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

  • 1/4 cup almond butter

  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds

  • 1/4 cup cold water

  • Couple dashes of ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak medjool dates in warm water for 10 minutes.

  2. To a food processor or high powered blender, add soaked dates, oats, protein powder, almond butter, chia seeds, cinnamon. While pulsing on low, slowly add the water until the mixture is evenly combined but not overly processed. (may need to use more water for desired consistency)

  3. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add the chocolate chips. Fold in the chocolate chips until combined.

  4. Using a cookie scoop or 1 Tbsp measuring spoon, roll into 1-inch balls.

  5. To set, place balls onto parchment paper lined baking tray and place into the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes or eat right away! Will keep for about a week in an airtight container or you can freeze them for longer term storage.

NOTES

  1. Makes 22-24 protein bites

*Protein is derived from plant based vanilla protein powder

 
Turkey Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats
 

Turkey taco spaghetti squash boats is a great recipe to make for a guilt-free, low carb taco night. Perfect for meal preps and a hit among kids!

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When I think of spaghetti squash, I think spaghetti = Italian, right? So, that is pretty much all I have done when cooking spaghetti squash. I have made shrimp alfredo, chicken parmesan, and the classic marinara to name a few, but it never occurred to me to use spaghetti squash in a different way. After posting a poll on my IG, it turns out many of you would like to see how spaghetti squash can be used for a Mexican inspired dish!

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Needless to say, after experimenting I was surprised at how spaghetti squash and Mexican flavors paired so well together! My husband was hesitant at first but it was love at first bite for him -- he now asks for these squash boats every week!

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Hey, if I can make this every week then I would be happy as a clam. For a #tacotuesdaynight, it has to be the easiest recipe to bake while preparing the toppings. While your spaghetti squash is cooking, you are preparing the meat mixture that goes inside the boats while prepping all the fun and healthy toppings. As soon as your boats are done baking, add all your favorite toppings and dig in! And the best thing when you’re done eating? You don’t have as many dishes to wash!!

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You can make this recipe kid-friendly by omitting/using less of the spicier seasonings. Other than that, these squash boats would be great to add to your taco night! With that said, you will find that this recipe can be customized to your preference. For example, in my hubby’s boat, I added extra beans and cheese while my boat sticks to the recipe but with 5 maybe 20 dashes of hot sauce (love my spicy food)!

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If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


Turkey taco spaghetti squash boats is a great recipe to make for a guilt-free, low carb taco night. Perfect for meal preps and a hit among kids!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 2 cans low-sodium black beans ((drained/rinsed))

  • 1 large spaghetti squash

  • 1 cup fresh salsa or pico de gallo*

  • 1 tsp each garlic powder, ground cumin, and chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp each smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • couple dashes of red pepper flakes

Toppings

Lime wedges, fresh salsa, pico de gallo*, romaine lettuce, cheese, avocado, cilantro, jalapenos, peppers, hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.

  2. Drizzle halves with olive oil and season with S&P. Place squash cut side down on baking sheet and roast for 45-50 minutes. When done, use a fork to scrape out the squash flesh.

  3. While your spaghetti squash is cooking, make the meat mixture.

  4. Drizzle oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic to the skillet and saute for about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the ground turkey and cook until slightly pink, then add all of your seasonings, fresh salsa, and black beans.

  5. Turn the heat off and set meat mixture to the side.

  6. Transfer cooked squash flesh to the meat mixture and combine. At this point, taste mixture to see if you need to add more S&P/seasonings/hot sauce for personal preference.

  7. Transfer squash mixture to your now scraped spaghetti squash bowls and top with optional cheese.

  8. Bump up the oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until your cheese is nice and bubbly or your naked boat is nice and warm.

  9. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

NOTES

  1. Pro tip: Place the whole squash in the microwave for 5 minutes for an easier slice!

  2. Pico de gallo recipe

  3. If you are using a smaller spaghetti squash, then use just 1 can black beans.  

 
Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola and Berry Parfait
 

Chocolate peanut butter granola and berry parfaits are great for a healthy breakfast, snack, or dessert!

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Breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day. The thought of breakfast literally gets me out of the bed in the morning! I leave the house early in the morning so that I can sit down at my desk at work to really enjoy it with a nice cup of coffee. I certainly do my best to find the joy in the little things!

Usually, I am more of a savory breakfast person. I prefer eggs, avocado toast or a breakfast skillet like my sweet potato hash breakfast skillet. Sometimes, though, you need to mix things up! What better way to “mix things up” than with layers of granola, berries, and yogurt?!

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Still not convinced? Here are five reasons for you to prepare these parfaits!

  1. With so few ingredients, you can easily incorporate them into your meal prep.

  2. Parfaits are versatile -- switch out the ingredients depending on your mood, or season! I originally debut these on Instagram for 4th of July, hence the whole red, white, and blue theme, but you can easily make these for the fall if you do a simple switch! For example, for fall parfaits you could switch out the berries for apples and cinnamon. For the spring, use apricots with honey! The possibilities are endless.

  3. Make these for breakfast, dessert, or as a snack. I won’t judge you if you make them for dinner, too.

  4. They are easy to grab and take with you! Just prepare them in mason jars!

  5. Impress your friends! Parfaits look adorable and most people don’t realize how little effort it takes to make them!

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If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


Chocolate peanut butter granola and berry parfaits are great for a healthy breakfast, snack, or dessert! - GF/DF/Low sugar

INGREDIENTS

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola

  • 2 cups GF oats

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

  • 1/4 cup flax seeds

  • 1/4 cup oily peanut butter

  • 2 Tbsp cacao powder

  • 1-2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Yogurt

  • 2 cups plain greek yogurt or dairy free yogurt

  • 1-2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or honey

Toppings

  • Assorted berries

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Mix granola ingredients together and spread onto a sheet pan covered in parchment paper.

  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes until crispy and the granola mix is dried out.

  4. While the granola is cooling down, mix the sweetener into the yogurt until you reach the desired sweet taste.

  5. In a mason jar or cup, do two layers of yogurt, granola, and berries. Enjoy!

 
Strawberry Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca
 

Strawberry watermelon mint agua frescas are a refreshing seasonal drink that’s great on a warm, summer day!

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Sadly, summer is coming to an end, which means my favorite fruit, watermelon, will no longer be in season. Well, instead of being sad about it, I’ve decided I am just going to make strawberry watermelon mint agua frescas until I can’t anymore!

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Agua frescas are refreshing fruit drinks that are made simply with blended fruit, lime juice, and sometimes sweetener. It is best to use seasonal fruit so that it’s fresh and naturally more sweetened, making it unnecessary to add sugar.

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What I love about agua frescas is that the juice can be unfiltered, which means more fiber and more nutrients! You do not need to add any extra sweetener unless you absolutely want to, especially if you have picked a perfectly ripe and sweet fruit! So, not only are you avoiding extra sugar, you are also getting in your vitamins with this refreshing drink!

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I’ve raved about the benefits of watermelon in other blog posts (check out my watermelon salad and watermelon lime refresher recipes)! However, you can make agua frescas with just about any type of fruit like cantaloupe, cucumber, pineapple, strawberries, melon, mango or watermelon. This recipe is crazy simple and easy to follow, so feel free to mix things up depending on what you have on hand that’s ripe and in season.

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If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


Strawberry watermelon mint agua frescas are a refreshing seasonal drink that’s great on a warm, summer day!

INGREDIENTS

  • Half of small seedless watermelon

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries

  • 2 large mint leaves

  • Juice of two limes

  • 1-2 Tbsp sweetener (if you are using a perfectly ripe and sweetened fruit, then this is optional)

  • 1/2 cup filtered water

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste, and add more lime or sweetener if necessary.

  2. Serve immediately, over ice.

 
How to Create a Healthy Stress-Free Summer Picnic + Watermelon Salad
 

Insider guide on how to create a healthy stress-free summer picnic plus a watermelon salad recipe!

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A couple of weeks ago, I hosted a summer picnic with my friends Maria, Rebecca, Kayla, and Liz before some of us separated. It was such a fun time enjoying each other's company while eating delicious food! The biggest reason why we were able to enjoy the moment before the big farewell was because it was stress-free!

Now, it seems like it can be tiresome setting a time, location, menu and actually prepping the food but I have some secrets that can make this picnic experience pretty fun and stress-free! If you are wanting to host your first summer picnic, here is what you need to know to make this as stress-free as possible:

KEEP IT SIMPLE

From the decorations to the menu, keep it simple, simple, simple! The summertime is the best season to host a picnic because the flowers are blooming and the grass is green - what’s great is that you don’t even have to pay for it!

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Another way to keep your decorations simple is by using things you already own. By doing a quick scan around the house, I was able to scrounge up blankets, trays, plates, forks and mason jars that had a simple color scheme that reflected summer colors. So not only are you using your environment for decorations, you are also using things you already own so a win-win on the wallet!

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What’s great about the summer is that it’s hot so people typically like to eat lighter, more refreshing type foods. This will make creating the menu that much easier!

SERVE YOURSELF

I could literally devote an entire page on food allergies from all five of us combined, but I will refrain. With that said, you will most likely have someone in your group with a food allergy/sensitivity. This may seem a little overwhelming as your creating the menu, but if you create simple dishes and give them the opportunity to serve themselves then it puts the pressure off of you.

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A charcuterie board is a prime example. A charcuterie board mostly consist of a variety of meat and cheeses, with fruits and nuts. You can also cater to your board to your friend’s palettes. My board was kept pretty simple as I had to be sensitive to food allergies but even though one of my friends is allergic to nuts, I was able to separate the nuts by keeping them in their own bowl.

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My classic healthy chicken salad is a great main dish that is simple and can be catered to preference. This chicken salad is always a hit in the office so I knew it would be great for the picnic! Again, there were allergies so I just simply omitted the carrots and sunflower seeds and kept the spices neutral and it was still a great main dish! If you have friends that are gluten-free, use lettuce to make chicken salad lettuce wraps.

HYDRATION

You can totally get away with bringing water to a summer picnic- it’s actually encouraged! The summer heat may seem like you’re melting so your guests won’t notice that you didn’t bring rosé or something fancy - they will be looking for water! To take that summer drink up a notch, why not infuse them with herbs and fruit like mint, lemon, and blueberries.

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Another great way to take that water up a notch is with my newest recipe, watermelon lime refreshers! You can bring them for drinks or go a simple step further and make them into popsicles. The popsicles were the best part because by the time everyone finished stuffing faces, it was time for something sweet, light and refreshing to end a perfect picnic!

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What are some ways you like to create a healthy stress-free summer picnic?  Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your summer picnic photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love to see your healthy and stress-free summer picnic photos!


Summery watermelon salad that is sure to be a hit at your next summer picnic! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 small seedless watermelon (cubed)

  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta

  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

  • juice of 1/2 lime

Toppings

Balsamic glaze

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients the day of the picnic or as your setting up the picnic and drizzle balsamic glaze as a nice touch!

 
Watermelon Lime Refresher
 

Watermelon lime refresher is just that! A refreshing drink that is sure to cool you down and keep you hydrated during the summer time!

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This drink was actually made by mistake as I was creating an agua fresca recipe which is coming to the blog soon!

Here’s the story if you are interested: I only had thirty minutes to make the recipe, take pictures of my lovely creation, and clean up before working out so I had to go fast! My husband helped me out by walking the dogs so that I could focus. As soon as he came back I would be done. It would have been perfect timing!

https://fromtherootsblog.com/watermelon-lime-refresher/

https://fromtherootsblog.com/watermelon-lime-refresher/

Well, we executed our plan. When he came back inside, I let him sip the drink and he was like, “This tastes amazing, but weren’t you supposed to be making a thicker drink?”

That’s when I noticed I used a cheesecloth to strain the pulp from the juice. (face slap!)

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Even though it wasn’t my originally planned agua fresca drink, it was still refreshing, tastes way better than just regular water, AND is perfect for mixing in my pre-workout powder!

I highly recommend using this watermelon lime refresher for your pre-workout powder or just to drink on its own before or after a workout. Watermelon contains the amino acid citrulline which promotes blood flow, which leads to improved circulation and reduces muscle soreness. Also, watermelon is about 90% water -- hello, hydration!

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I also played around with my new popsicle molds and made this drink into watermelon lime refresher popsicles! They were a hit at a summer picnic I hosted last month (blog post coming soon on that! :) ) The frozen juice created a beautiful stained glass appearance with bright, summery colors!

Regardless if you make these watermelon lime refreshers for a pre/post-workout drink, popsicles, or just sipping by the pool, they are great in promoting hydration and kicking boring water to the curb!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


Watermelon lime refresher is just that! A refreshing drink that is sure to cool you down and keep you hydrated during the summer time! 

INGREDIENTS

  • Half of one small seedless watermelon (rind cut off)

  • Juice of 2 limes

  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint

  • 1-2 cups filtered water

  • 1-2 Tbsp pure maple syrup (optional for sweeter taste)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put all ingredients into a high powered blender and blend until smooth.

  2. Transfer mixture into a cheesecloth covered bowl. Strain mixture until you are left with just the juice.

  3. Pour juice over ice and enjoy!

 
Grilled Shrimp Summer Salad
 

Grilled shrimp summer salad is loaded with protein, antioxidants and summer produce that will quickly become a summer meal staple!

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The grill is my kitchen during the spring and summer seasons. Grilling is a straightforward process -- it’s easy and quick. Plus who wouldn’t want to be outside with sun rays and the amazing aroma of grilled food in the air?

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That’s why this grilled shrimp summer salad has been playing on repeat all summer long! When my husband and I come home after our evening workout, we usually just want to eat something light yet nutrient dense to replenish our bodies, but we don’t want to be slaving away in the kitchen while we are starving! A salad is a perfect solution to this dilemma.

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What’s great about salads is that they are versatile so even if you do not have all the ingredients or the produce is no longer in season, you can add whatever you like.

Aside from the grilled shrimp, this recipe has three components: pineapple salsa, blueberries, and basil vinaigrette. So, for example, if pineapples are not in season, use another fruit like peaches or oranges. Have fun with the ingredients and customize this salad to YOUR preference!

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Another great thing about salads is that if you make everything in bulk then it just takes minutes to prepare a salad each night. Just put everything in containers and add/take away things to your salad depending on what mood you are in!

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If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!  


Grilled shrimp summer salad is loaded with protein, antioxidants and summer produce that will quickly become a summer meal staple!

INGREDIENTS

Grilled Shrimp Marinade

  • 12 oz large raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp cumin

  • 2 dashes red pepper flakes

  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon

  • 2 Tbsp EVOO

Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple

  • 1 jalapeno

  • 1 small bunch cilantro

  • 1 large red tomato

  • 1/2 red onion

  • Juice of 1/2 lime

  • S&P to taste

Blueberry and Basil Vinaigrette

  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries

  • 4-8 basil leaves (depending on preference)

  • 1/2 lemon

  • 1 tsp dried minced onion

  • 1-2 tsp honey

  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup EVOO

  • S&P to taste

Grilled Shrimp Marinade

  1. Combine shrimp, seasonings, lemon, and oil to a Ziploc bag-making sure the shrimp is fully covered. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, soak 6-10 small skewers in water.

  2. From the shrimp from the fridge and thread 6-8 shrimp on each damp skewer.

  3. Very lightly brush a cast iron griddle or grill grate with oil. Heat the grill to medium. Grill the shrimp for 5-7 minutes, turning over once halfway through.

  4. Place the shrimp skewers on a plate to cool. Sprinkle additional red pepper flakes if you like!

Pineapple Salsa

  1. Finely dice all ingredients and in a bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in fridge until ready to use.

Blueberry and Basil Vinaigrette

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Add additional oil or water if the mixture is too thick.

  2. * Due to the natural pectin found in the blueberries, this dressing will quickly begin to gel. Use immediately or blend in additional liquid to make it pourable.

Directions:

  1. Prepare your salad by adding greens, alfalfa sprouts, grilled shrimp skewers, pineapple salsa, vinaigrette and your favorite toppings! Enjoy!

 
Lavender Scones and Lavender Latte
 

Lavender scones and lavender latte, need I say more! Lavender scones are flaky and buttery without the guilt. Lavender latte made with lavender-infused coconut milk that is sure to wake you in the best way!

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I’m not quite sure why I don’t make scones enough. They’re super easy to make, with simple ingredients, and they taste amazing! Let me show you how!

I have tried many lavender baked goods in my time and what I have found is that it is too easy to use too much lavender! It seems as though the flavor is overpowering, “soapy” tasting, or just nonexistent. The best way to use lavender is to use it sparingly so it adds the perfect hint of flavor and aroma. In this recipe, I simply infuse the milk with the dried buds, resulting in just the right amount of the lavender flavor.

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On the subject, it is best to cook with dried culinary lavender rather than fresh. I love using lavender for many uses so I purchase this bulk dried lavender brand from Amazon.

The next thing you need to know is that scones are not like most pastries. The dough doesn’t require a lot of kneading and doesn’t need to rise. Actually, the less you mess with the dough the better!

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These lavender scones are healthier than the typical scone as some of the classic main ingredients are swapped for healthier options. For example, a scone cannot be a flaky, buttery scone without cold cubed butter. I have tried this recipe with cold vegan butter but what I have found to be healthier and actually better tasting is using cold coconut oil. I also use 100% stone ground whole wheat pastry organic flour which I have found is the best base for this scone. Bob’s Red Mill brand is what I use for this recipe.

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Before putting the scones in the oven, you’ll need to use your leftover infused lavender milk mixture and brush the mixture over the top of each scone.  Sprinkle coarse sugar on top and dried lavender to pretty them up! The lavender milk and sugar will help create a crunchy outer layer which pairs great with the flakey, butteriness of the scones.

If you have leftover lavender milk mixture, why not make a lavender latte to pair with your scone!? It's super easy -- just add some to your choice of coffee!

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You really don’t need a glaze for these scones as they stand on their own but if you must, I love drizzling honey over them. If you have been following me on Instagram, you’ll see that I love putting lavender honey over my scones to take it to the next level. Savannah Bee Company is what I use!

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If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!  


Lavender scones and latte, need I say more! Lavender scones are flaky and buttery without the guilt. Lavender latte made with lavender-infused coconut milk that is sure to wake you in the best way! |Dairy Free|

INGREDIENTS

Lavender Scones

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry organic flour

  • 1 Tbsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 Tbsp organic cane sugar

  • 6 Tbsp cold coconut oil ((small cubed))

  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

  • 2 Tbsp dried lavender flowers

Lavender Latte

  • 8 oz hot coffee

  • 1-2 Tbsp lavender coconut milk*

  • 1-2 Tbsp sweetener (honey, maple syrup, cane sugar)

DIRECTIONS

Lavender Scones

  1. *In a small saucepan, combine coconut milk, vanilla, and lavender flowers and heat until boiling. Just when the mixture boils and the lavender is fragrant, turn the burner off and let steep for about 10 minutes. Strain the mixture using a fine strainer and let cool to room temperature.

  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, powder, salt, and sugar.

  4. Add the small cubed coconut oil and cut into the pastry using your hands or two knives moving in opposite directions resulting in a crumbly dough mixture.

  5. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add 1 cup of the room temperature lavender milk mixture. Gently mix using your hands until the dough is fully incorporated (do not over knead!)

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and form into a circle just under 1-inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges and transfer them to the parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of each scone with the lavender milk mixture and sprinkle with pink organic cane sugar.

  7. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the scones rise and turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.

  8. Once scones have cooled, eat right away or drizzle honey over them and enjoy!

Lavender Latte

  1. To a Vitamix blender or milk frother, add 8 oz hot coffee, 1-2 Tbsp lavender milk mixture, and 1-2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup.

  2. Blend until fully incorporated, showing signs of milk froth.

  3. Enjoy right away with a scone or two!

NOTES

  1. I prefer making the lavender coconut milk mixture a day before and keeping it in the fridge until I am ready to make the scones. It’s best to have the milk on the cooler side as coconut oil melts very quickly.

  2. Must use cold coconut oil because if the oil melts when kneading the dough then your scones will be very hard and dry.

 
Sweet Potato Toast 5-Ways
 

How to make sweet potato toast plus five different topping combinations.

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I might be a little late on the sweet potato toast (SPT) train but I am so glad I got on! Here is a From the Roots spin on this trendy recipe that is circulating the web.

Sweet potato toast is a great bread substitute to get in the added nutrition of vitamin A and fiber. It’s also nice for people who are gluten intolerant, tired of eating regular toast or wanting a little more fiber in their diet. The sweet potato slices cook evenly in the toaster and can hold up toppings really well. The subtle sweetness in the sweet potato compliments most flavor combinations - like the ones that are featured here!

Most people cook the sweet potato by simply cutting both ends off and slicing lengthwise about ¼ inch thick. You can cook them in the toaster by setting the toaster on high and then flip them twice. You can also set your oven to 350 degrees and bake 15-20 minutes per side until the sweet potato is tender and cooked through.

Now that your sweet potato is cooked to perfection - let’s get to the fun part - the toppings!

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The Parfait Sweet Potato Toast

  • Almond milk yogurt (or yogurt of choice)

  • Raspberries

  • Granola

  • Honey

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The Classic Sweet Potato Toast

  • Avocado

  • Fried egg

  • Red pepper flakes + Pink Himalayan salt

  • Everything but the bagel seasoning (Trader Joe's)

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The Ultimate PB&J Sweet Potato Toast

  • Almond butter

  • Bananas

  • Strawberries

  • Cacao Nibs

  • Honey

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The Lox Sweet Potato Toast

  • Dairy-free cream cheese (or cream cheese of choice)

  • Smoked salmon

  • Capers

  • Fresh Dill

  • Red onion

  • Lemon

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The Honey Goat Sweet Potato Toast

  • Goat cheese

  • Pear

  • Walnuts

  • Honey

I love them all but if I had to choose a favorite, it would definitely be the Lox. I’m a sucker for anything salty and smoked so this one gets my heart every time!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!