Nicobella Lifestyle Blog

Creamy Avocado Dill Potato Salad Posted on 18 Sep 19:56 , 0 comments

 

The rich full taste of this completely plant based potato salad will have you fooled when you see how simple it is to make! No processed oils needed here! Just the power of plants! Having some savory potato cravings? Try this recipe to mix it up!


What you will need:

  • 1.5 lbs small gold potatoes
  • 1 ripe hass avocado
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ diced red onion
  • 2-3 Tbsp freshly chopped dill
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ½ cucumber, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Wash and chop potatoes
  2. Steam potatoes over boiling water for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are easily broken apart with a fork
  3. While steaming, mix together all other ingredients into a smooth consistency. You will want to use a fork to adequately mash your avocado.
  4. Allow you potatoes to cool off before mixing everything together

And that is it! You are now ready to enjoy this delicious side dish at any lunch or dinner!

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!


Ingredient Spotlight: Maple Syrup Posted on 13 Sep 17:35 , 0 comments

The warm and rich flavor of maple syrup offers several unique nutritional benefits, unlike most sweeteners which have little to no nutrient value.


Maple syrup, as one of the least processed sweeteners, is recommended above others. It is a naturally occurring sweetener with a lower glycemic index compared to other granulated sugars or syrups. Mayple syrup also contains a complex carbohydrate, inulin, which serves as a prebiotic to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, ultimately aiding in gut health and digestion.  


In addition to helping your gut, maple syrup can help with your immune system, as 1 tablespoon provides 6% of the daily recommended intake of zinc and 33% of the daily recommended intake of manganese. Maple syrup also contains inflammation reducing antioxidants, similar to those contained in molasses and brown sugar, whereas refined sugars and agave nectar do not. Also, make sure that you are purchasing 100% pure maple syrup, and organic if possible. Maple Syrups that are not labeled as pure often contain unwanted additives and filler sweeteners that decrease this spectacular sweetener's power! 


Next time you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, chose maple syrup, the sweet treat with benefits! You can also experience its flavor and benefits in our very popular Maple Nut Munch!

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!

Ingredient Spotlight: Coconut! Posted on 09 Aug 18:18 , 0 comments

 

Coconut has gotten a lot of publicity lately, whether it be from its oil form or water. This tropical food can be classified as a fruit, a nut, and a seed. Coconut is packed with options, as it can be eaten in various ways.   

    Coconut meat can be eaten raw or dried, and is a great source of dietary fiber, protein, fats, and other micronutrients.

Coconut water is excellent for hydration as its rich in potassium and other electrolytes. The water also contains beneficial antioxidants, enzymes, B vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium, manganese and zinc. And to top it all off, coconut water is a perfect low calorie and low sugar beverage!

And last but not least, is the controversial coconut oil. Coconut oil went from being highly promoted to now demonized for its saturated fat content. So what is really the truth?  Coconut oil does contain a high percentage of saturated fats. But unlike many saturated fats from animals, coconut oil has mostly medium-chain fatty acids, which have the potential to raise your good cholesterol, otherwise known as your HDL. But remember, there is still saturated fat, which when eaten in excess can increase your bad cholesterol, your LDL. So like most foods, moderation is key! Another positive aspect of coconut oil is that it is considered a stable oil, which means it is a good fat to cook with because it can be heated to high temperatures without forming harmful by-products like animal fats and some vegetable oils can. Try to remember that fats are not bad, and in fact needed for absorption of fat soluble vitamins. It is the amount that you are eating and the kind that can be detrimental to your health.

    To sum up the benefits, when you eat coconut you are getting:

  •      Hydration
  •      Healthy fats needed for vitamin and mineral digestion &                    absorption
  •      Benefits for skin, hair, and nails
  •      Whole food, plant-based energy
  •      HDL improvement potential when eaten in moderation

    And not to mention…. We LOVE to use coconut in its various forms in our truffles, munches, and power bites!! Grab some today and enjoy yet another healing, plant-based ingredient!

 

 

 

 

 


Cruelty & Guilt Free Plant-Based Queso! Posted on 07 Aug 18:09 , 0 comments

This queso not only tastes amazing, but you will also be getting a much bigger bang for your buck in the nutrient department! This recipe, unlike its high fat dairy friend, is providing inflammation fighting antioxidants, fiber, and plant based protein. The butternut squash base adds a high amounts of Vitamin A, C, E, (all wonderful antioxidants) and B-6, as well as folate, pantothenic acid, and manganese. You will also be consuming a great source of potassium and calcium. The soaked cashews provide a rich creaminess that you will not be able to get enough of! As you can see this queso is guilt free, so whip up this recipe soon to enjoy!

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews
  • 8-10 chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ - 1 chopped jalapeño
  • 1 tsbp smoked paprika
  • ¾ cup original, plain almond milk
  • Sriracha to taste**

    To begin, you want to soak your raw cashews for at least 1 hour. When you are ready to cook, begin with the squash. Peel and dice the squash, and add it with your garlic, and cashews in a pot of water, bring to a boil, and cook until the squash is very tender. I ladled off about 1-2 cups of the water and then added the remaining contents into a blender, plus the vinegar and the almond milk. Blend until smooth. Then add your other ingredients & spices to taste.

    This is queso goes great as a dip for chips & veggies, on top of your favorite bean burrito, and also as the perfect addition to your plant-based chili! 

 

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!

Addie has been vegan for 6 years, and promotes her recipes, love for animals, and nutrition journey on her blog: https://beansandblessingsblog.wordpress.com. In her free time, Addie enjoys running, creating vegan meals and baking, spending time with her husband Nathan and her best friend and sidekick, Kimba the rescue German Shepherd! 

 


Blueberry Blender Waffles! Posted on 17 Jul 18:04 , 0 comments

Waffles are a fun breakfast option, however, they typically are not very nutrient dense and made with processed grains and sugars. Because of this, they are seen more like a dessert than an healthy breakfast. So next time you are craving a pancake with abs, try these Blueberry Blender Waffles! They are a true game changer, filled with whole grain goodness, antioxidant rich berries, and a TON of flavor! Not to mention they are incredibly easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

How to make: 

 Place all of your ingredients in your high speed blender and blend until smooth. Put the blue batter in your heated waffle iron and wait until they are ready to go! This recipe will yield around 2 large waffles. Feel free to double or triple the recipe for larger groups or for freezing to have a fun treat throughout your week!

Top them off with bananas and walnuts as show, with your favorite maple syrup, nut butters, or even one of our delicious munches like the Omega, Maple, or Coconut Munch!

Addie Dulaney Majnaric is a graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and will be sitting for the RDN licensure exam this summer. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthier selves through a vegan diet!

Addie has been vegan for 5 years, and promotes her recipes, love for animals, and nutrition journey on her blog: https://beansandblessingsblog.wordpress.com. In her free time, Addie enjoys running, creating vegan meals and baking, spending time with her husband Nathan and her best friend and sidekick, Kimba the rescue German Shepherd! 

 


Gluten Free Vegan Oatmeal Walnut Hemp Scones Posted on 18 Jun 19:03 , 0 comments

Are you a scone lover? What's awesome about scones is that you can enjoy them as an afternoon treat with a cup of tea or grab one for breakfast on your way out the door. What's even more awesome about these particular scones is that they are lower in sugar than traditional scones and high fiber, omega 3's, protein and healing phytonutrients. 

We added walnuts for extra crunch and nutrition but you can add pretty much anything you want — cranberries, blueberries, pecans or any other healthy ingredients you have in the fridge. 

They only take about 20 minutes total to make and once they are made they make a perfect quick grab and go breakfast or snack. 

Make sure to let us know what you think!

Ingredients

Dry

  • 1 3/4 c gluten free oats
  • 1 1/4 c brown rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 c chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 c hemp seeds

Wet

  • 2 Tbsp vegan margarine (we recommend Miyoko's Kitchen because it's palm oil free!)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (we used avocado oil)
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond or soy milk
  • 1/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

How to make:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray or place parchment paper on a cookie sheet or use what we used — silicone molds (We love them! No sticking and cooks evenly.)
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Whisk well so they are all blended. 
  3. On the stove top in a small pot, melt margarine. Add oil, almond or soy milk, maple syrup and vanilla and stir. 
  4. Once margarine is melted and wet ingredients are stirred together pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture. With a spatula mix the wet and dry ingredients together until it forms a dough like mixture (might have to use your bare hands a bit too!). 
  5. Flatten the dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 8-10 wedges or scoop with a spoon into silicone molds. Bake for 12-15 minutes. 
  6. Top it with your favorite nut butter or preserves. We blended pecans, maple, coconut oil and a splash of bourbon together to make a delicious maple bourbon pecan spread!

Enjoy!

 


Apple Crisp Power Bites Are Here! Posted on 08 Jun 19:01 , 0 comments

According to the American Pie Council (yes, it’s real thing), nearly 1 out of 5 Americans prefer apple pie as their flavor of choice. If only you could take the great sweet taste of an apple pie, but with less sugar and more protein. Introducing nicobella organic’s newest product – Apple Crisp flavored POWER Bites.

These yummy, 45 calorie bites made with REAL dried apples, spices and a healthy blend of nuts and seeds, which have been shown to reduce cholesterol and help prevent cancer growth. POWER Bites are all vegan and made with organic, non-GMO ingredients. The Apple Crisp flavor offers a sweet, pop in your mouth treat that contains only 2 grams of sugar per serving. Each one-ounce serving has 3 grams of fiber and plant-based protein, which makes it a perfect way to keep you fueled before a workout or a summer hike. They also make a great healthy addition to anyone’s lunch box at any age!

Get the comfort of eating an apple pie, without the guilt that comes along with it – grab a bag of nicobella organic’s Apple Crisp POWER bites today!

 

Guest blogger:

Anthony Chiu is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a double degree in Dietetics and Consumer Foods. He is currently a dietetic intern at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut and is also working on his masters in nutrition; he would love a dream that combines his passion for helping people, food, and digital media. Still a child at heart, Anthony loves to stay up late to play video games, eating ice cream and chocolate when his parents aren’t looking, and running till the sun goes down.


Before You Ditch Those Strawberry Leaves... Posted on 25 Jul 13:40 , 0 comments

...consider the multitude of health benefits in the leaves (not to mention reducing waste🌱). Dried strawberry leaves have been used to make herbal tea that may help with poor digestion and nausea. Although research is limited, the leaves have also been used as a diuretic, alleviating painful swollen joints and symptoms associated with PMS.

What is known is that strawberry leaves contain 

🌱vitamin C

🌱iron and calcium

🌱cafeic acid (a natural diuretic)

🌱tannins (polyphenols that fight oxidative damage, i.e. antioxidant)

🌱ellagic acid (prevents cancer)

You can chew on the leaves (they taste super mild but are a little tough), toss the entire berry with the leaves into your smoothie, or steep as a tea (add ginger for extra digestive benefit🙌🏼). Don't forget to choose organic! (Part of the dirty dozen🍓 )

 


Mama's Nutrition Needs During Pregnancy Posted on 21 Jul 17:08 , 0 comments

Before I leaped into the chocolate world, my work revolved around sports nutrition and women's health. I LOVED them both (and still do!). My goal with launching a chocolate company was to reach and inspire more people about the health benefits of plant-based eating through our chocolates, blogging, social media and events. Little did I know that the logistics of running a chocolate company alone would be more than a full time job! While most of my day revolves around packaging and shipping chocolates, working with natural retail stores and keeping nicobella running, I still try to find space to reconnect with my true passion, which is nutrition and whole plant-based foods.

One area of focus as a nutritionist has been nutrition during pregnancy. During pregnancy, moms need more protein for baby's growth, omega 3's for baby's eye and brain development, fiber to prevent constipation, iron to prevent anemia, calcium for bone strength and growth, potassium to prevent high blood pressure and cramping, and folate to prevent neural tube defects. 

Our chocolate snack, Mama Munch, was created specifically with the special needs of expecting mothers in mind. We use a one to one ratio of walnuts to 75% organic dark chocolate, making each bag a good source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids. We also add flaxseeds which help to provide 3.5 grams of fiber per 1 oz serving (there are 2 oz per bag). What's more, dark chocolate has shown to help prevent high blood pressure during pregnancy. This is a great snack for moms on-the-go, as a topping on oatmeal or yogurt or in a smoothie (recipe below!). 

If you are looking for personal plant-based nutrition advice, please email me for rates. I'd love to work with you to help you reach your nutrition and vegan lifestyle goals. 

Mama Munch Smoothie

  • 2 oz bag of Mama Munch 
  • 4 oz of almond milk
  • 1date
  • 1/2 banana
  • handful of ice

Add all ingredients to blender and pulse. Once it's nice and creamy, enjoy!

This smoothie could be split into two for two small snacks or as one meal and contains the following nutrients:

  • 500 calories 
  • 10 grams protein
  • 10 grams fiber
  • 57 grams carbohydrate (with 10 of those being from fiber, therefore 47 grams usable carbohydrate)
  • 23 grams fat (mostly in the form of omega 3 fatty acids, contains over 2,000 mg of plant-based omega 3 alpha-linolenic!)
  • 16 mg iron
  • 240 mg calcium
  • 35 micrograms folate
  • 648 mg potassium


8 Superfoods For Heart Health Posted on 18 Feb 12:18 , 0 comments

Did you know that February is National Heart Month? Here are the top 8 superfoods, selected by nicobella intern and nutritionist Rebecca Van der Sluis, to better your heart health!

  • Oatmeal-High in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol in the body.
  • Berries-Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are all high in antioxidants, which help decrease blood pressure and fight LDL "bad" cholesterol.
  • Walnuts-Walnuts are high in monounsaturated fats, which work to reduce the LDL cholesterol and increases the HDL “good” cholesterol. Walnuts are also high in Omega 3’s which are beneficial for heart health.
  • Legumes-Legumes are high in soluble fiber which helps reduce the bad cholesterol in your body and increase the good cholesterol. Black beans are also highest in antioxidants!
  • Olive Oil-High in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fats, this oil is an ideal pick for a heart healthy diet. 
  • Dark Chocolate-Chocolate made up of at least 60-70% cocoa has been shown to reduce nonfatal heart attacks and strokes in a 2012 study. Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure through its flavonoids and theobromine. 
  • Avocados-Who doesn’t love some Guacamole? Knowing that it was made with avocados which are high in monounsaturated fats and beneficial to your health just makes it even better.
  • Citrus Fruits-Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C which has been linked to lower risk of heart disease. Plus the high fiber content helps to reduce LDL cholesterol. 

Eating whole plant-based foods is the best prevention of heart disease and long term health. Plants are power-packed with so many phytonutrients (many we are still discovering today through research). Make sure to include lots of colorful plant-based foods with each meal and choose organic whenever possible!

Written by Rebecca Vander Sluis, nicobella dietetitian-to-be