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22

Vanilla Sugar Cinnamon Rolls

Alexandra Williams, MA

Nielsen Massey sent me some vanilla sugar so I decided to make cinnamon rolls. They were delectable. I tweaked a King Arthur Flour recipe to create these. One person is going to win some N-M vanilla sugar along with a 2 ounce bottle of vanilla, so you can recreate this recipe to your heart’s tongue’s content.
picture of Nielsen Massey vanillas

Dough

½ cup sourdough starter

¾ cups lukewarm water

1 tsp instant yeast

1 ½ tsp sugar

1 ¼ tsp salt

2 ½ cups unbleached flour

Combine all the ingredients, kneading to form a smooth dough. Cover and let rise till doubled in size.

Filling

¼ cup (2 oz) soft butter (I use Organic Valley)

¾ cup vanilla sugar mixed with 1 Tbl cinnamon

After the dough has doubled, roll it out to an 11 X 16 rectangle. Spread the butter over the dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over it, leaving the sides and long edge away from you free of the mix so it doesn’t all squish out when you roll up the dough. Roll up the dough into a long log, starting with the long edge near you.

Use a serrated knife to gently cut the dough into 12 pieces, and place them into a lightly greased 9 X 13 pan. Cover and let rise for 30 – 45 minutes (longer and in the fridge for part of the time if you want the sourdough flavor). While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350. Bake the rolls for 20 – 25 minutes. If you want icing, mix 3 Tbl heavy cream with 1 cup powdered sugar and pour over warm (not hot) rolls.

I used sourdough for this recipe simply because I had a lot of starters in my fridge, and I knew the strong flavor wouldn’t come out, as I didn’t let the dough rise very long. If you want the sourdough flavor to come through, let the dough sit longer.

picture of vanilla sugar cinnamon rolls

If you want to enter for a chance to win a bottle of Nielsen Massey vanilla sugar (you must have a U.S. mailing address  – no P.O. boxes), plus a 2 ounce bottle of vanilla, follow the entry instructions below.

As I’m taking a photography class, you get the benefit of my food photo attempts.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

16

Healthy Smoothie Recipe using Frozen Fruit Bars

Alexandra Williams, MA

This is a sponsored post for Socialstars by Crowdtap showcasing my super-delicious smoothie using Outshine frozen fruit bars. All opinions, sips, and resultant good health are mine!

ingredients for Outshine Frozen fruit bar smoothie

These yummy ingredients are calling to you. “Blend me. No, blend me.”

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the lookout for new, tasty and healthful ingredients to add to my morning smoothies, especially now that I’m trying to lose a mean ol’ menopausal ten pound weight gain. Grrr.

When I was invited to create a recipe using either the strawberry or coconut Outshine frozen fruit bars, I hesitated for ooooh, 3 seconds before raising my hand to volunteer a strawberry smoothie recipe. I even spent lots of time learning how to take and send photos using my new tablet so that I’d have pretty pictures to share.

The recipe is pretty complex simple, so you might have to spend a few years at a cooking school seconds staring into your fridge before attempting to create what I’ve dubbed the “Red, White & Bluethie.” Feel free to print out scribble on a post-it note the recipe.

 

 

Red, White & Blue Smoothie Bluethie

fruit for Outshine frozen fruit bar smoothie

“If fruit be the food of love, play on.” – William Shakespeare (sort of)

Strawberry Outshine frozen fruit bar

You can shine both out and in!

One fruit bar (be smart; remove the stick)
1/2 cup Blueberries
1/2 cup Strawberries
2 Tbsp Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp Flax
1/2 cup Almond milk
Squeeze of lime

You will now be amazed bored by my mad cooking skills as I describe the mixing instructions:

Put ingredients into blender or juicer. Push Blend (my blender actually says, “Smoothie”). Pour. Drink. Gain Super Powers and Strength (maybe not the latter).

Outshine frozen fruit bar finished smoothie

Drink this smoothie and you’ll be transported to York, England. Or not.

You don’t need ice cubes, as you have the frozen fruit bar. Every morning I bring my smoothie and hot chai into the car with me, as I drink them on the way to teaching. When my older son drives with me, he likes to hold the cold smoothie for me on the hot days. On the cold days, he holds my chai. And no matter whether it’s hot or cold, he hates to hold my bagel.

Bonus: If you usually use ice cubes, you need a special blender. I know this because I broke the blender blade. Now I have a magical blender with an ice-crushing blade. With the fruit bars, you do not have to think about these important, yet destructive, details.

P.S. Drinking the Red, White and Bluethie will make you more patriotic, happy, healthy, full of Outshiny goodness.

Be extra smooth and follow us on Google +Alexandra and +Kymberly; on Twitter – AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit; and Instagram – KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

 

22

Perky Pick Me Up Smoothie

Alexandra Williams, MA

An excellent way to start your day is with a healthy breakfast smoothie. If done right, it’s a blended concoction that is nutritious and delicious!

Perky Pick Me up SmoothieAnd if done to perfection, Mr. Smooth himself, Barry White, would hand me this smoooooooth concoction every morning! Come on now, I can’t be the ONLY person who sings, “Never Gonna Give You Up” to my morning beverage!

Since so many of my fitness students do not eat a proper breakfast, I’m sharing this recipe as a way of encouraging all of you to start your day out right. It only takes a few minutes to throw everything in the general direction of your blender, and voila!! – a glassful of your recommended daily intake for so many nutrients is just about signed, sealed and delivered (nope, not Barry White – Stevie Wonder).

As a bonus, this recipe is full of foods recommended for increasing your brain power. I’m making no promises that you’ll get smarter, but it’s nice to start your day with the potential to boost your brain! We go into more detail in our post “Brain Envy” that talks about the link between your brain, your nutrition and your movement habits.

Perky Pick Me Up Smoothie Recipe
ice
2 oz. blueberries
1 oz. plain Greek yogurt
4 Tbl brewed green tea, cooled
2 leaves kale (with spine removed) or other dark, leafy greens (i.e., swiss or red chard)
4 oz. Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened Vanilla
2 Tbl applesauce

smoothie ingredientsCombine all ingredients in a blender or juicer and blend until smooth.

Makes 1 serving

Calories saved by using Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened Vanilla milk instead of low-fat moo milk: 25

 

 

 

 

Okay, anyone can throw ingredients into a blender, but you will be astounded at how fun I make the “ingredient throwing” in this video.

Get even smarter by reading the rest of this post, ‘cause this is the part where I tell you why the almond milk is such a great choice in this smoothie. First, it has less than half the calories of skim milk (30 versus about 80 for a single serving). Second, it is not cow’s milk. I’m somewhat lactose intolerant anyway. Third, almond milk tastes very creamy and delectable (I just love that word). Fourth, I’m a vegetarian, and it’s from the infamous almond vegetable plant! hahaha. Okay, an almond tree. But that’s still something that grows from the ground, not something that walks on it! And finally, it’s GMO-free. I would never feed modified food to my boys, so why feed it to myself?

I’m fond of products that have the word “pure” in them!

Silk Pure Unsweetened Almond Milk

Smooth out your fitness knowledge by subscribing to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click now on the icons above.

Photo credits: Blueberries:  brx0, Almonds:  artizone, Green Tea:  balaam, Kale: urbangarden

Disclosure: I was compensated by FitFluential LLC for this campaign. All opinions, recipes and taste buds are my own.

25

Don’t Be a Pretender: Protein Satiates Appetite

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Product Review of Special K Protein Line

(Be sure to scroll down to enjoy the song we rewrote for this occasion.)

Possibly because Kymberly is known in some circles as “Special K,” we were sent samples of the new “Protein Effect” bars, shakes and cereal by Special K (or maybe because Kellogg’s knows we like to eat)!

I Don't Have to Pretend to Like Protein

We each got four protein meal bars: chocolate peanut butter, cranberry walnut, caramel peanut, and chocolate chip, three protein shakes: strawberry banana, French vanilla, and milk chocolate, and a box of the Protein Plus Special K cereal.

Alexandra: As many of you know, we are all about making healthier choices that are realistic. Heck, even I, a vegetarian who bakes, cooks, has chickens that lay organic eggs, and drinks fruit smoothies every morning, wouldn’t expect you to eat wheat grass and tofu all the time (for the record, I like tofu. Notice how I diplomatically left wheat grass out of that sentence?). So we were very happy to try these products. Meal bars went into my gym bag for my university students who show up for class having had no breakfast, then wonder why they get faint during class. As to the shakes and cereal, the pictures will show you how I got all clever with my bad self!

So "Four-tuitous" that I have these to share with my university students

More Protein In Sack Lunch: Special K Pecan Muffins

French Vanilla Fruit Smoothie: Ooh la la, délicieux!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kymberly: As for me, I noticed that having the reformulated Special K cereal for breakfast did fill me up for the morning. The combo of rice milk, Special K protein cereal, strawberries, and one metal ring that accidentally dropped into my bowl off my cell phone kept me energetic through mornings of teaching fitness, running errands, dinking around on the computer, and sweeping the floor.  Normally I want a midmorning snack. Instead the protein effect kicked in and I stayed snackless until lunchtime. Then creative thinking started. “Where did my mind wander,” you wonder? Over to the perfect song for this product review. Basically, the words “I’m Special, So Special” kept running through my head. “I gotta have some of your attention. Give it to me!”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7Hy7uAb_eU[/youtube]

Brass In Pocket by the Pretenders

SING ALONG TIME!

Got box in my mail
Got hunger I’ll outsmart it
My tummy, It feels so rumbly
Want my protein, protein, protein right now

Got hunger Ain’t getting younger
Need Protein Keeps Me So Lean
No Defects, Need Protein Effect
Want my protein, protein, protein right now

Gonna use my bowl
Gonna use my spoon
Gonna use my cookbook
Gonna use my lunchbox
Gonna use my blender
Gonna use my, my, my protein effect, yeah

‘Cause I gonna eat good stuff
There’s no other food here
That’s good enough
I’m so full, yeah, so full
I gotta have Special K protein Give it to me

‘Cause I gonna make you see
There’s nobody else here
No one like me
I’m special so special
I gotta have some of your attention give it to me

Got K Shakes I can’t miss a beat
Made muffins, They’re so sweet
Hey meal bars,  I’m thinking of you
Want my protein, protein, protein right now

‘Cause I gonna eat good stuff
There’s no other food here
that’s good enough
I’m so full, yeah, so full
I gotta have some Special K protein Give it to me

Readers: What tips do you have for people who are trying to “outsmart” their hunger, yet might be tempted to grab an unhealthy snack instead?

Be smart and special when you subscribe to our YouTube channel and our blog. Follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit. Please also follow us on Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click on the icons in the right sidebar.

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this campaign. All opinions are my own.

 

6

Breakfast: Yes or No? Then Go Outside & Play

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Hey Fun and Fit: I recently started exercising for thirty minutes in the morning (after a thirty year layoff). My previous morning routine revolved around eating and coffee. I’m loathe to give them up. Is it better to exercise first, on an empty stomach, or does it really matter? Mike, Santa Ynez, CA

Mutant sugar colorful sprinkle magic donuts

Kymberly:Thirty minutes of exercise times thirty years of a hiatus equals = eat breakfast! Yes, eating relative to exercise really matters. Breaking a fast also matters. Science says many things (So does my sister. Have you heard our radio show?): “eat first so you have energy to maintain intensity;” “eat at least 4 hours’ prior to exercise,” which means getting up at an hour known only to nocturnal animals, graveyard shift workers, and vampires (the “real” ones as in “Twilight”, not the fake ones elsewhere); “eat after working out when your metabolism is revved up and digests food better.” What’s a person to do? Call FunandFitBusters (well, we are not busters per se, but sisters).

What it comes down to is what works best for your body? Do you feel more energized and ready to work out when you have some brekkie in you or do you feel weighed down and lethargic if you eat first? Who cares what statistics and general averages say when your body is having a different conversation.  For me, I have to eat first or I drag and feel lightheaded. For you, it sounds as though you should keep up the (ahem, healthy) eating then attack the day in a fitnessy way.

Alexandra: I was laughing because when I first read your question I thought you were asking if we thought you should give up eating! Hahahaha. No. Just give up eating fake food. Anything covered in sprinkles or glaze is probably fake food! To cheer you up, here is a post we did that gives you some food suggestions.

K: More good news– you do not even have to give up wake-up coffee as it has beneficial properties. You might have to give up your record of 30 years’ avoiding gasp! exercise. But then you might also give up the extra weight and health risks. Woo hoo!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4xNrSbw5Iw[/youtube]