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chia seeds



13 Yummiest Must-Eat Recipes of 2013

It’s time to get listicle, kids! It’s the end of the year and we’re gearing up for the barrage of end-of-year lists. We’re part of the problem, or maybe it’s the solution. Either way, we have no shame! We love a good year-end roundup. It makes for fun memory-making, a time to reconcile and take stock of the year. And in the case of this list in particular – eat the best stuff around.

In order from #1 to #13, we’re sharing the recipes that YOU ranked as most popular this year. Eat visit counted as a vote. Let this be your recipe guide for year-end celebrations and new year resolutions.

Healthy, fun, simple, indulgent, and satisfying – these are the must-eat recipes of 2013!

Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches - Mashed banana, flax seed and agave nectar keep these childhood treats moist and delicious, but still healthy.

Healthy Oatmeal Cookie Sandiches Recipe

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Waffles – Waffles should come out of an iron, not a box. This recipe doubles easily for holiday house guests.

Cinnamon Apple Oat Waffles


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6 Non-Egg Protein-Filled Breakfast Ideas

What’s not to love about eggs? They are inexpensive, readily available, and easy to cook. Despite their former bad wrap, they are actually a nutritional powerhouse with good fat and the vital nutrients vitamin D and choline. They seem like the answer to everyone’s breakfast protein problem.

Until you simply can’t look at another egg.

cottage cheese and fruit

Burnout happens. But you still need to start your day with a breakfast that will stay with you and keep your willpower strong as you stroll past the donuts in the break room. Here are five breakfasts with plenty of protein and where eggs aren’t the star. I guarantee they will fuel your long run or keep you from hitting the vending machine before lunch.

Cottage Cheese: This dieter’s staple found popularity for good reason – one half-cup has 16 grams of protein! Sprinkle with some milled flaxseed and your favorite fruit (I hear kiwi is awesome) for a heartier-than-it-looks morning treat. You can even use it to make these breakfast brownies.

Protein pancakes: The eggs are hiding in many varieties of this fitness staple, but you’ll never know it. Try my Vanilla Coconut Protein pancakes. Make a big batch on the weekend and reheat throughout the week for a quick breakfast.
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Fat Fix: Getting Your Omega 3s Back in Balance

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

How’s your fat? Don’t worry—I’m not talking about your thighs or belly. I’m referring to the fat on your fork. You’ve heard about all the great things omega-3 fats can do for you, including boosting your mood, keeping your brain sharp and reducing your risk for heart disease. One reason for its stellar health creds: It fights chronic inflammation. But it can’t do its job if it’s outnumbered by its chief rival—omega-6 fats.omega 3

These two polyunsaturated fats compete for entry into your cells, and for most Americans, omega-6 is winning handily. Our bodies evolved to thrive off an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio anywhere from 1:1 to 4:1. Instead, the ratio is 16:1 or higher. That imbalance may literally be killing us.

Where does all the omega-6 come from? Soybean oil is a major source; processed and fast foods are rife with it, and it’s the oil in “vegetable oil” sold in the supermarket. Meanwhile, we eat very few omega-3 rich foods, like fatty fish, chia seeds and flaxseed.

Here’s how to get back in balance:
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Chia Bar Battle and a “No Bake Cookie” Chia Bar Recipe

Not all chia seed bars are made equal. We realized this in a recent taste test where we faced Health Warrior Chia Bars with Chi Innovations Chi Bars to see which one came out on top.

So what’s the big deal about chia seeds? For starters, one 16 ounce bag contains the same amount of Omega-3 fatty acids as 10 pounds of salmon. Yes, 10! As Health Warrior points out, Omega-3s are essential for brain function and cell and tissue growth. One pound of chia seeds also contains the same amount of protein as three pounds of tofu, and the same amount of fiber as four pounds of oatmeal. That’s a lot of nutrients in a tiny package.

Our competitors both tout the superfood chia seed as their star ingredient, but beyond that the two brands are worlds apart. Let’s dig into what makes them unique.
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3-Ingredient Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

If you’ve heard of chia seeds but are still unsure how to use them, this is the recipe for you. It’s a simple, 3-ingredient strawberry jam that’s so easy a kid could make it! Plus, it can be modified to suit your taste in just about every way, be it with different fruits or making it extra sweet, thick or thin.

I whipped this batch up one night last week and couldn’t wait to dig into it the next morning over some whole wheat toast. The result was perfect – thick, subtly sweet and not too tart. Plus, the chia seeds provided a subtle crunch and creamy thickness that I just adored. That’s the power of chia seeds – they absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, lending themselves perfectly to this jam.


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