Friday Favorites- Granola and Yogurt Edition and BONUSES!

Happy Friday loves!  I haven’t done a Friday Favorites in months!  Without further ado:

It’s so odd to think I gave up both dairy and grains a few months ago to try to be ‘healthy.’ I honestly found that I feel so much better eating healthy protein-packed greek yogurt and granola.  Here are some of my favorite finds I have been LOVING lately!

Siggi’s Skyr Greek Yogurt.

siggis yogurtI love Greek yogurt and Chobani will always have my heart, but I love Siggi’s Skyr Yogurt.  What is Skyr?  According to Siggi’s:

“Skyr is the traditional yogurt of Iceland. It is made by incubating skim milk with live active cultures. The whey, the water naturally found in milk, is then strained away to make for a much thicker, creamier, concentrated yogurt. So to make just one cup of skyr, with all that water going out, you need 3 – 4 times the amount of milk required to make a regular cup of yogurt. As a result of this process skyr comes out with 2-3 times the protein count of standard yogurt.”

*Warning for your sweet tooth: It is a bit more tart than other Greek yogurts and more thick, too.  I love it!  I’ve been having it along with Muesli Fusion and Kind granola for snacking and breakfasts! I also use it as a filling in my egg white ‘crepes’ I eat for brinner!

egg crepe

Strange but oh so good!

Another Skyr yogurt product I found at CVS of all places- B’more Organic Skyr Vanilla smoothie!

shakeIt is a fantastic smoothie with more than 30g of protein per bottle! Plus, no added sugar!  What’s more- they “donate 10% of after tax profits to Jodi’s Climb for Hope—a non-profit dedicated to funding cures for breast cancer and MS.”  Awesome!  I poured this over some granola from Teaism I got near my office for a healthy snack!

Muesli Fusion– I actually have been a fan of muesli- a loose, raw granola-like cereal more common overseas- since I went on a European cruise back in 2008.  The ship was based out of England so their breakfast spread was catered to the European clients- meats and cheeses as well as their version of oatmeal- muesli!  Cold, wet oats with nuts, seeds and dried fruit.

muesli fusion

My favorite flavor!!

Anyway, I got to try, fell in love with, and snagged a couple bags of this awesome stuff while at Blend Retreat.  It is by far the best muesli I have ever had!  I have been making overnight oats- something I never do!- for the past couple of weeks.  My favorite flavor has some great stuff in it, too!  Oats, chia seeds, almonds, cranberries, hemp hearts and unsweetened coconut!  Here’s my recipe for the best overnight oats featuring Muesli Fusion:

  • Scant 1/3 C Muesli Fusion
  • 1/3 C plain greek yogurt (I switch from Siggi’s to Chobani, whatever I feel like having)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 T sugar free jam (any flavor, I love raspberry and blueberry)

Mix all ingredients in a plastic container, store in fridge overnight.  Add a splash more almond milk in the morning, top with favorite toppings (I love more hemp hearts and Kind granola) and dig in!  You can also heat it up in the microwave for a minute or two as well- I love it both ways!

kind granolaKind Granola– I stopped eating granola when I went strict paleo/Whole 30 since granola has oats in it (paleo= no grains of any kind…aka persistent grumpy Krista).  I had heard about Kind granola and seen it in the stores so thought I would give it a try.  I LOVE it- it is super crunchy (a must for granola), gluten free, no funky ingredients, and lots of fiber!  Plus- it has super big clusters!  Totally loose granola like oats is just weird- give me the clusters!

Lastly, a couple bonuses for you guys!!

First, to top off your yogurt edition Friday Favorites, I have a new recipe for you-which includes greek yogurt!

MANGO cranberry almond greek yogurt flax oat powerhouse bars!!

Whew that’s a mouthful (no pun intended 🙂 ) But how do I fit in all the amazingness that are in these bars without such a long title??  Seriously, these bars are packed with yummy stuff and will make a great stick-yo-your-ribs snack!

Onto the recipe!!

mango barMango Cranberry Almond…Powerhouse Bars

Makes roughly 12 bars (inspiration/majorly altered from balanced spoon)

Ingredients:

  • 1 C rolled oats
  • 1/2 C flour
  • Scant 1/2 C flax meal
  • 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/8-1/4 cup cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped MANGO
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 C lil shuga (can substitute honey)
  • 1/4 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/8 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2-3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Cinnamon/cloves to taste (I omitted but I bet it would be yummy!)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a pan with foil and spray foil with non stick spray.

Mix all wet ingredients in a bowl.  In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients.  Mix wet into dry.  Add additional milk if the batter looks a little dry.

Spread batter (it will be a bit thick!) into pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until slightly puffed and no longer jiggly.  Let cool, cut and enjoy!

And the last bonus for Friday, a few favorite posts this week:

Crafty Hodge Podge via Hey Love Designs  <–featuring yours truly 🙂

A Dream Come True via City Girl Blogs (breast cancer survivor, friend, and new mom!)

6 Basic Things to Look for When Choosing a New Veterinarian via I Still Want More Puppies  <–good to know for the future!

Avett Bros Concert and Some New Races via Geek Turned Athlete

Rowing: How to via Runner Girl Eats  <–this is good info!

What Counts as Cardio via The Family Practice Blog  <–awesome!

The real story about my BolderBoulder via Wonderings of a Twenty Something

Letting Myself Talk and Making Myself Listen via City and the Cubicle

Life as a 20-something via Cookie Dough Katzen  <–love this!!

Have a fabulous Friday everyone!!  And a great weekend!  Those battling Tropical Storm (as I type this) Andrea- stay safe!

Rock on Lovers 🙂

Currently…

I saw this post on Tina, Julie and Chelsey‘s blog, so I just had to join in!

Currently…

Current Book(s): I just finished reading ‘Someday My Prince Will Come’ by Jerramy Fine.  It’s supposedly a memoir, and it definitely has some funny parts, but it’s a bit boring and really dragged on.  I felt like I kept waiting for something to happen. I guess I have too high expectations after finishing the Matched trilogy.book

Current Music: Anything country.  Loving Brantley Gilbert after hearing him live at the Tim McGraw concert last weekend!

tim mcgrawCurrent Guilty Pleasure: Kind Granola.  I guess it isn’t that guilty as it’s packed with awesome ingredients.  But eating it multiple times a day makes that guilty- but to be honest, I am not guilty 🙂

Blog Photos May 2013 001Current Nail Color: Nude…as in au natural. I just took off a light pink color (above) after it chipped a lot Sunday.  You’d think I had been folding laundry with sandpaper or something.

Current Drink: Iced coffee with half n half.  I have been having this every morning for over a week now.  It’s replacing my foamy cap addiction now that it’s getting warmer outside.  I can’t drink something hot when it’s hot!  (But I can have oatmeal?  Oh the weird quirks I have).

Current Food: Salad with chickpeas, veggies, and my homemade carrot ginger dressing.  Every time I go to a sushi restaurant I have to order their house salad to see how their ginger dressing compares to my fav places.  This dressing, while a bit different, is SO flipping good- spicy and sweet, it is perfect for a summer lunchtime salad!  I also have been LOVING my repeat dinners of late:

egg crepeEgg white ‘crepe’ with greek yogurt filling.  #strangebutgood

Current Favorite Show: I am not currently watching any series… though I watched ‘The Following’ religiously.  I also like the Millionaire Matchmaker. The only ‘new’ shows I watch are House Hunters- specifically, House Hunters International. Makes me want to move to another country every time!  Otherwise, I watch random food shows on Food Network, reruns of Sex and the City, and movies on my free HBO.

Current Wish List: Ice cream maker.  I want to make my own greek froyo.  I also want a vita mix.  And I want these flat sandals from Aldo so bad.

flat sandalI almost bought them at the store in the mall, but the clerk was helping someone else and I didn’t have the patience to wait.

Current needs: See above. No, I actually need new running shoes.  I try to get a new pair every year and now is the time!  I also need new walking shoes for my commute to work, but I’ll prob just keep using my old running shoes once I purchase new ones.

Current Indulgence: Starbucks coffee.  I did a post about saving money and I fell off the instant-coffee bandwagon.  I love coffee made for me. I know I know, the shame!!

p shameCurrent Blessing: My family, my health, my friends that have stuck with me no matter what, and my job.

Current Outfit: Typing this up at work, I am wearing my sneakers (hey, no one sees me and I’ll change into big girl shoes when I have meetings), fitted black slacks and a nude/pink long seeve fitted sweater with black trimmed collar (which matched my nude/pink lined blazer).

Current Excitement: Going to VA Beach with Michelle next weekend!

michelle and IShe had mentioned needing to get away for a bit, so we decided to hit our favorite low-key spot down there.  We actually found our accommodations on airbnb!  I am soo excited for a mini girls weekend away!!

Happy Thursday Lovers!!

Question: What are you- Currently reading?  Currently wanting/needing?  Current guilty pleasure?

Out of (South) Africa Part 2 and a Recipe!

Hello and happy Monday lovers!  I hope everyone had a great weekend- we had some fantastic weather in DC and I definitely took advantage!  I took a nice long walk Friday evening with the bf and Saturday evening my roommate, her bf and mine all sat outside and grilled.  It was glorious!

First- congrats to the Rhino Bracelet giveaway winners at the bottom of this post!

Well the much anticipated Part 2 recap is here of my South Africa trip!  In case you missed it, click here to see part 1!

The very first full day began bright and early with a 5am wake up call.  After a quick muffin breakfast we boarded our game vehicle and drove to the gates of Kruger National Park.  We were super lucky- no one else signed up from our lodge for the game drive so we got an exclusive VIP game drive experience- just the two of us!

South Africa 2013 091

Wide-eyed and bushy-tailed for our first drive!

Game drives begin before dawn so we can watch the sunrise over the park (well, mainly because the animals are up at dawn to feed before it gets too hot, but the sunrise notion is much better, don’t you agree?).  Isn’t this amazing?

South Africa 2013 101

Not 20 minutes into our drive and we saw the first of the ‘Big Five’- the holy grail of animals people fly from all over to see, which include Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo, Lion and Leopard.

South Africa 2013 107

A white rhino munching on breakfast!  Robert, our amazing guide, told us that the Rhino was actually named the Wide Rhino by Bushmen, by contrast the very rare Black Rhino has a more narrow head.  But when outsiders started coming to the area they misunderstood the Bushmen, thus the White Rhino name stuck.

A few minutes later Robert spotted some cheetah tracks- and said they were fresh!

South Africa 2013 104

We did end up seeing a cheetah for a brief moment, and I did snag a photo- unfortunately it’s really difficult to see her tiny head in the grass- they are definitely well camouflaged.  I decided to post the photo- can you spot her?South Africa 2013 130*hint- look to the left of the horizontal branch, the top of her head/ears is right in the middle pf the photo!

Even though we only saw her for a few moments, it was so neat- we saw her stand up and then lye in the grass contemplating going for a kill!

After watching the cheetah until we couldn’t see her anymore, we went off deeper into the park and crossed crocodile bridge. Sounds like a Disney ride!

South Africa 2013 125South Africa 2013 121While sitting on the bridge a herd of elephants came to the pond for their morning drink. It was amazing timing, like they waited for us to stop on the bridge to arrive!  And check out the babies!! So cute! That’s two/five of the Big Five!

South Africa 2013 135South Africa 2013 136

We also saw a bunch of these guys crossing the road.  Monkeys are so cute!

We drove around for a bit on some different back roads, seeing a variety of different plant life and birds, including eagles and Zazu!

ZazuUnfortunately I didn’t get a photo of the real bird…so Zazu will have to do 🙂

When we came across quite a few vehicles stopped in the road we knew something good must have been spotted!

Simba!

Simba!

And indeed- number three on the list spotted- a male Lion, basking in the sun!  There were three bachelors total, the others were a bit shy hanging out in the shade.  We watched him for a bit until he joined his mates in the shade- his paws were enormous!

After second breakfast/rest stop, we drove around the park, spotting a few more amazing animals:

South Africa 2013 165

South Africa 2013 168

South Africa 2013 171

The zebras and giraffe, along with impalas, were quite plentiful in the park and we saw them quite frequently.  On our way out of the park headed back to the lodge, we saw the best sighting ever:

South Africa 2013 161 South Africa 2013 160

A leopard!  Hanging out in the shade on the side of the road.  How lucky is this? We had seen four out of five of the ‘Big Five’!  We were even more excited/grateful for the leopard sighting as Robert said some people come to the park for weeks and never see the big cats!! He said leopards are pretty rare to see, so this was certainly a treat!

What a great way to end our first game drive!…

Or so we thought…

South Africa 2013 174Buffalo!  The last of the ‘Big Five’!  Bam!

We came back to the lodge for lunch and regaled our fellow lodge mates with our sightings, making everyone jealous that we saw the ‘Big Five’- PLUS a cheetah!!- on our very first game drive!!

The next day we planned on something S really wanted to do since we booked this trip last year- an elephant interaction including a ride!  I had never done this so I was pretty excited as well, especially when we got to say hello up close!!

South Africa 2013 185

Behind the ears are super soft!

After meeting this big guy and kicking back and forth the soccer ball, we climbed aboard his mate for a ride!

South Africa 2013 196

So excited!

So excited!

It was such a blast!  She gently walked through the park, pushing over trees ‘showing off’ according to her handler, and her mate behind us picked up and handed S a branch- which the handler said is a sign of affection- the handler joked he proposed to S with the branch!  She gladly accepted 🙂  Even our elephant picked some branches and handed them to her handler.  It was so cute! Stay tuned this week for Part 3- a photo sneak preview:

South Africa 2013 213

Now for the recipe as promised!  This dessert we sadly only had once on our trip- but man will I remember it for the rest of my life- it was THAT good! Malva pudding!  It wasn’t like our Jell-O pudding, many other countries call all desserts pudding like we call them desserts!  It was a luscious, moist cake that was out of this world!

Malva Pudding (adapted from food.com)

South Africa 2013 074

Ingredients (for the pudding):

3/4 C Sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon apricot jam
1/2 C plus 2 T all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter (a generous tablespoon)
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/3 cup milk

For the sauce:
3/4 cup fresh cream
Scant 1/2 cup butter
1/2-3/4 C sugar (to taste)
1/3 cup hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Grease an oven dish. i used a pie pan. I suggest something with bigger sides and mine was a bit thin. 
  3. Beat or whip the sugar and eggs. It’s quickest in a food processor, or use electric beaters. Beat until thick pale yellow, then add the apricot jam and blend well.
  4. Melt the butter (don’t boil) and add the butter and vinegar to the wet mixture.
  5. Sift the flour, soda and salt.
  6. Add this mixture with the milk to the egg mixture in the mixer. Beat well.
  7. Pour into an oven-proof dish and bake until pudding is brown and center is not jiggly–depending on your oven and oven dish this will be between 30 – 45 minutes. (Mine was done in 30 minutes with my shallow pan).

While the pudding bakes:

  1. In a pot, melt together the ingredients for the sauce, and stir well.
  2. Pour it over the pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  3. Leave to stand awhile before serving. Serve warm. Attempt to not consume the whole cake yourself 🙂

Have a marvelous Monday– hopefully with some Malva pudding for dessert tonight 🙂

Question of the day: How did you spend your weekend?  What was the best thing you saw on a vacation?  What was the best dessert you’ve had that you’ll always remember?

Rhino Bracelet Winners: I had a bonus bracelet I found while finishing unpacking- so we have three!

Alison: ‘I would like to win to help bring awareness to what seems like a very good cause. The thought of poaching animals just makes me sick and I feel so many people know so little about it’

Wantsmorepuppies: ‘Really fantastic post. Be the Change for Animals had a post about elephant poaching in Thailand last month (http://btc4animals.com/weekly-cause/tell-thailand-ban-illegal-ivory-trade/), so I’m definitely interested to read more about the Rhino Force and the situation in South Africa.

Sarah @ Nourish and Flourish: ‘Wow, this post breaks my heart. I had no idea that rhino poaching was such a serious problem, but I’m now inspired to spread the word. So many people in the Western world are ignorant about practices like this; imagine if we all banded together to promote awareness and change! I’d like to win a bracelet so that I can start doing just that. Hugs! <3′

Congrats!  Email me (tinynfit@gmail.com) your mailing address so I can ship them out to you!

Quinoa and Oat Breakfast Muffins- Two ways!

Hello and happy hump day!  I hope everyone’s having a great week- and that you had a stellar weekend like me!  Here’s a quick recap:

I drove to my momma’s house this weekend with the bf for a quick visit.  I didn’t get to spend time with my niece, nephew or sister as they headed to a cheer competition a few hours away.  I’m sad I didn’t get to see much of them but they won several titles!!  Proud auntie right here 🙂  Friday night we had a fabulous Mexican dinner out, followed by movie night where we saw ‘Olympus has fallen.’  While the firearm-instructor bf and federal-government-employee-self kind of nitpicked the validity of the movie, it was still very entertaining and suspenseful!  Plus, this man in any movie is a great movie!

Swoon

Swoon

Source

Saturday I spent a couple hours tossing out junk I saved from my childhood so momma could have her garage back.  I still have several more boxes to go through in her basement, but it felt good to clear out stuff I no longer need.  (PS- this site has great advise on when to let sentimental things go).  Other than a few key pieces (my high school diploma, old photos) I said a quick goodbye to my pogs and tossed the rest out.

Aside from the normal GCL- grocery/chores/laundry- the rest of the weekend was pretty relaxing.  At Crossfit I found my 1RM (1 rep max) for overhead squats- 55#.  Not much, but it’s a good starting point, and I can only progress from here! I also dead-lifted 65#- more than I ever thought I could do!  I am seriously in love with Crossfit.  I am doing so much and pushing my body more than I ever imagined and it feels amazing!! I have never been more sore but it hurts so good!

muscle hurt

Truth

Source

Well, what better way to finish off a great weekend and break up the work week than with a recipe?  I never really had the intention to post these until Bethany urged me to after seeing this pic on Instagram:

Wow, that pan needs some scrubbing!

Wow, that pan needs some scrubbing!

I was in such a baking mood I decided to make two different kinds of muffins- cinnamon and blueberry (pictured).

These sucker’s are dense and lightly sweet and packed with healthy ingredients that make a great addition to any breakfast- and they have some serious staying power!

Ok ok, enough tempting, now get to baking!

Blueberry or Cinnamon Quinoa Flake and Oat Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 2 eggs
  • just under 1 T ground flax seed
  • 1/2 C oats
  • 1 C quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 T lil shuga (or stevia to taste)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice to taste

Pick one (or add your own! Get creative!):

  • 1/2 T Cinnamon (for cinnamon muffins)
  • roughly 1/2 C frozen blueberries (for blueberry muffins)
YUM!

YUM!

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners- and spray the paper ones with non-stick spray, this batter sticks! Whisk eggs, applesauce, vanilla, almond milk and spices in a bowl until well combined.  Add quinoa, flax seed, and oats and mix until just combined.  If making blueberry muffins, add the barely-thawed blueberries (just take out and let them thaw while you prep your other ingredients) and mix until combined.  Spoon into muffin tins and bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool a bit and serve!  I topped mine with a little sunbutter- well, because I put that shizzle on everything! (ha ha like Franks redhot, but BETTER!)

Get creative with these- add in mini chocolate chips, use other frozen berries or dried cranberries, add a couple tablespoons of nutbutter- or sunbutter!!- add chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds.  The possibilities are endless!

Have a great week everyone!

Rock on lovers 🙂

Fresh new salad idea for Spring!

This past weekend I did a grocery trip to Whole Paycheck.  I love love that store so much, even if it is a big money suck.  They always have fun samples of new items to try, friendly staff, and great healthy and unique food selections.  I always leave spending way more than I wanted but leaving with some great stuff!

Saturday I had one of the best samples I have ever had here.  It was a simple spinach salad with the best dressing I have ever tasted. I even went back for seconds…is that a Whole Foods Sample no-no?  Dont care, I had no shame like Abu here:

abuLooking at the ingredients next to the mixing bowl I recreated this amazing salad as soon as I got home with my empty bank account bounty.  It is ridiculously simple but tastes so amazing you wont believe how easy it is!

Crazy Simple Parmesan Lime Spinach Salad

Ingredients:

  • Baby spinach
  • Good Olive Oil
  • Fresh-from-the-round Parmesano Reggiano Cheese (no green lidded tubes!)
  • Freshly cracked S&P
  • Fresh lime juice

Method: Add your greens to a bowl and gently drizzle a little olive oil over your spinach.  Next squeeze a lime wedge all over.  Add some grated Parm Reg and crack some S&P.  Gently toss and devour!

Seriously I was blown away by this flavor combo.  Parm and Lime may sound weird but definitely try it- it is so fresh and bright and perfect for Spring!  Liven up your work lunch salad!

And check it out- you can get your very own WHEEL of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for only $930!!

Rock on Lovers 🙂

What’s your favorite salad dressing?  How about cheese?