Simply Protein Blog
With the leaves changing and Fall in full-swing, parents everywhere are back to packing lunches and stocking snacks to keep their little ones fueled for school. But when it comes to providing a nutritious boost, not all options are created equal. Here are 4 tips to ensure a balanced, healthy, and tasty after school snack experience.
Your afternoon snacks should be:
1) Low in Sugar
It seems nearly every day we hear a new study detailing some new negative impact that sugar has on a person's long-term health. A recent review by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology finds that sugar-sweetened beverages have been consistently linked to problems like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Beyond long-term health consequences of sugar intake, too much can also cause the dreaded "sugar crash," or as it's known by doctors, "Reactive Hypoglycemia." It's tough to do your homework when you're napping on the couch after a sugar-binge.
2) High in Protein
Providing snacks high in protein will help keep their tummies from rumbling. According to a 2015 report in Today's Dietitian Magazine, consuming snacks high in protein will do a better job satisfying a person's hunger than those with a lower protein content.
For the parents' sake, snacks shouldn't have to be a chore to prepare. For the kids, snacks should be packable and portable, ready for any adventure the day might bring.
While we'd all like our kids to reach for a stalk of raw celery as soon as they walk in the door, we know that providing a satisfying snack for young ones can often require a bit more in flavor department. Finding satisfying flavor while minding sugar content can be a challenge, but fortunately there are many great options to choose from, including our SimplyProtein Kids Bars and our regular SimplyProtein Bars.
As another holiday winds down, I am sitting at a cafe with a very large pot of tea. I am utterly wrecked, but thrilled to find myself with nothing but paper and pen to talk to, and blessed to have had this week away.
Why do I tell myself I will return from trips well-rested? I never have. Between airline delays, cramped trains, random lingering smells, paper thin walls, snoring neighbours, forgotten luggage, strange food and language barriers, relaxation was never a possibility. Compound that with the self-inflicted damage of long bike rides , too much cheese, too much champagne, and it makes for a tired, worn-out body.
Yet despite the physical fatigue, I feel as though I am restored and ready to take on new challenges, both in life and at work.
We have been discussing this distinction between rest and renewal a lot recently. Rest is what you do when you plop on the couch at the end of a long day, enjoying a glass of wine or a bath. It requires very little of you. Renewal on the other hand harder, but more rewarding. It gives back only as much as you put in. Good examples are yoga or painting or hikes in the woods. With renewal you drain your energy to zero in order to bounce back up to full. With only rest, you'll never fully operate at your maximum capacity.
This trip has not provided rest, in fact, quite the opposite. But I am certainly renewed.
Share with us: How do you renew? What activities help you recharge instead of relax?
These Spicy Black Bean Burgers are protein powerhouses, thanks to the SimplyProtein chips and black beans. The corn and "salsamole" topping add an extra layer of freshness, which contrasts nicely with the burgers' heartiness. The best part? They're vegan, gluten-free, and can be made in large batches in the oven, so everyone at the barbecue can enjoy these filling, meat-free burgers.
1 c. cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 avocado, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Salt + pepper, to taste
Spicy Black Bean Burgers:
2-1.16 oz. packages of Spicy Chili SimplyProtein chips
2-15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp. cilantro
2 Tbsp. red onion
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and ribbed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. adobo chili powder (can sub regular chili powder)
1 ear corn, sliced off cob (or 1 c. corn, frozen then thawed)
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly mist with nonstick spray.
2. Combine salsamole ingredients in a bowl, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
3. Add chips to food processor, and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Remove crumbs to bowl and set aside.
4. Add 1 can black beans, cilantro, onion, garlic, jalapeno, salt, cumin, and chili powder to food processor. Process until thick paste forms, scraping down the sides as needed.
5. Add black bean mixture to large bowl with remaining can of black beans.
6. Stir in corn and crushed chips until mixture is fully combined.
7. Form mixture into 4 uniform patties and place on prepared baking sheet.
8. Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Flip burgers, and bake for another 8 minutes.
9. Remove burgers from oven and let cool slightly. Serve on buns or over greens, and top with salsamole.
After the all the votes had been counted and results had been tallied, one recipe stood above the rest. Using our Simply Protein herb chips, Sina Faust submitted us a delightful take on a stuffed mushroom recipe that simply won us over. We can't wait to try these delicious stuffed mushrooms along with all the other recipes that were submitted to us! Congratulations to the 3 top prize winners, and thanks to all who participated. We may even use some of our other favorite recipes from this contest in the near future, so stay tuned!
Crunchy Protein Chips stuffed Mushrooms
- 15 fresh stuffing mushrooms
- 3 tbs coconut oil (can substitute butter or margarine)
- 2 tbs thin/finely chopped bell pepper (whichever variety you prefer)
- 1 tbs finely shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 3 tbs fine grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 tbs thin/fine chopped red onion
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning (Basil, Oregano, Marjoram, Thyme, Rosemary, Pepper, Salt, Garlic)
- 1 package (33g) Simply Protein Herb Chips (Processed into fine/medium bread crumbs)
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (205ºC)
2. Cut out the stems of your mushrooms, keeping half of them
3. Finely chop the remaining stems and set them aside
4. In a small pan heat coconut oil, add mushroom stems, onions and pepper, cook on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes (stirring constantly).
5. Remove pan from heat and add your Italian seasoning, Parmesan, shredded Cheddar and your Protein Chips
7. Stir until ingredients are evenly mixed with the oil
8. Fill your mushrooms with the micture, put in the oven for about 15 minutes
9. Take the mushrooms out of the oven and eat right away if preferred hot, or later when cool
We just loved this recipe for BBQ Protein Ketchup from our friend Sarah Martorella (@thenutritiousprincess)! With summer in full-swing, this recipe adds a delicious homemade touch to any meats or veggies grilled at gatherings in the great outdoors. Drizzle it on a burger, or as a dunking sauce for your favorite sweet potato fries.
-1 can tomato puree (156ml)
-1/8 cup honey (vegan option: maple syrup)
-¼ cup apple cider vinegar
-½ tsp pink Himalayan salt
-1 ½ tsp onion powder
-¼ tsp oregano
-1 tsp smoked paprika
-1 pinch of black pepper
-1 pack bbq tomato Simply Protein chips
-Using a food processor or rolling pin, crush the simply protein chips into powder
-Place the tomato puree, honey and apple cider vinegar in a small pot. Add all the spices. Bring to a boil and then turn down to medium heat.
-Add the powdered chips to the pot
-Let the ketchup simmer for 40-45 minutes.
-Store in a glass jar, let the sauce cool and enjoy!
What dish would you use this BBQ Protein Ketchup in?
Thanks to all who entered our Simply Summer Chip Challenge! All of the recipes submitted looked delicious, and it was very hard to pick our favorites. This week we'll be sharing our top three favorite recipes with you from the dozens of delicious options submitted.
In third place - BBQ Tomato Zucchini Patties submitted by Isabelle Lebel:
We loved this recipe for its wholesomeness and simplicity. Using the savory flavors of our BBQ tomato chips to contrast some of the lighter and more aromatic flavors of the zucchini patties makes for a well-balanced entree.
Ingredients (8 patties):
-1 large zucchini
-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (if possible, freshly grated)
-1/4 tsp paprika
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1 bag BBQ Tomato Simply Protein Chips, crushed
-1-2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (for cooking)
-Grate the zucchini, then remove excess water (very important!) by putting the grated zucchini in paper towels or a cheese cloth and squeezing to release the water
-Beat egg with hand whip, then combine with drained grated zucchini, Parmesan cheese, paprika, minced garlic, and crushed protein chips
-Using a heaping table spoon, form 8 patties
-Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, then add patties and cook until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes/side).
Hello again, Whole Foods Canada! We're thrilled to be back on shelves across the country, but be sure to check below for the regional availability of your favourite SimplyProtein products. All Canadian Whole Foods stores will be stocking all varieties of SimplyProtein, with a few exceptions on our other products based on whether you fall into the Eastern or Western halves of the country.
All SimplyProtein Bars
All Whey (except Banana Butterscotch)
All Nut & Fruit
Both Veggie Bars
Raspberry Coconut Crunch
Lemon Cranberry Crunch
New Nut & Fruit (coming in September - stay tuned!)
Kids Bars (launching in September - stay tuned!)
Kids 5pks (launching September - stay tuned!)
If your favorite Simply snacks aren't available at your nearest Whole Foods, fear not, we've got you covered over at SimplyProtein.com. You can use the store locator to find the nearest location, or order them straight to your door.
With long days and plenty of sunshine, summer is the perfect time to get creative with DIY projects. You may not have time for a full-blown renovation, but periodically refreshing your home with easy projects is a great way to shake things up and revitalize both yourself and your space. Here are some simple spruce-ups to try this summer.
1. Plant a garden.
While springtime gets the most press for planting, midsummer is a fine time to start a garden—and nothing will rejuvenate your backyard more. Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale are perfect for second season planting, as well as flowers like pansies, poppies, and sweet peas. Worried that your black thumb can’t handle a whole garden? Start small with a planter of herbs—cilantro, chives, and parsley are all good choices.
2. Create a gallery wall.
Turn those memories of summer fun into a gallery wall that you can enjoy all year long. Gallery walls are a wonderful way to let your personality shine through because they’re so versatile and can showcase anything from family photos to favorite works of art. Check out Pinterest for ideas, or get started with one of these tutorials instead.
If space is an issue, fill a collage frame instead. You won’t have to worry about spacing each frame perfectly, either.
3. Make a fire pit.
Whether you’re enjoying a few drinks with friends, or making s’mores with your kids, there are few things better than cozying up to a warm fire on a cool summer night. You can build one yourself, or let Home Depot do the heavy lifting. It can be as inexpensive or elaborate as you’d like, making it an accessible project for anyone. Arrange a few Adirondack chairs around it, and you’re all set for outdoor entertaining.
4. Paint an accent wall.
The fastest way to brighten up a room is to paint it, but who wants to spend the dog days of summer on such a laborious project? Instead of painting the entire room, try painting an accent wall instead. Not only does an accent wall take less time, but it also allows you to be bold with your color choice and style.
5. Befriend backyard birds.
Bring some life into your yard by setting up a bird feeder, or better yet, a hummingbird feeder. It’s quick, inexpensive, and fun to see which birds live in your area.
Keep squirrels at bay by hanging your feeder on a metal post, which they’ll have difficulty scaling. You can also use safflower seeds instead of sunflower seeds, since squirrels don’t enjoy munching on them as much.
We love hearing stories from customers who tell us how our SimplyProtein bars help give them the extra energy boost they need to get through their day. Stories like those inspire us to find new ways to boost our energy as a company, both in the new products we deliver to our customers, and the way we work together on the Wellness Foods team.
That's why we're experimenting this month with disconnecting the phones in our main office. By minimizing unnecessary and redundant ways of communicating, we're hoping to simplify our workflow and create a more energetic workplace.
On one hand, this could help us streamline our communication into fewer channels. On the other, we could wind up with collectively much fuller email inboxes, and spending more time clicking at a keyboard. We're going to give the experiment two weeks, updating on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn along the way.
Customer service calls will still be answered, of course, but vendors, cold-callers, and solicitors take note: email, snail mail, and even carrier pigeons will have a better chance of reaching us at Wellness Foods HQ.
Would your workplace benefit from fewer unexpected calls?