A snack is always complete with a crunchy and sweet apple treat! Today I’m showcasing three simple apple recipes, that help to control your sweet tooth!
This post was developed in partnership with Ontario Apple Growers and Produce Made Simple. Ontario apples can be enjoyed all year round and really are the perfect snack – no prep work required! However, these three snacks that I have here don’t take any time at all to make. Which one would you try?
In a blender or in a food processor, combine all the ingredients except water and apples, using just 3 1/2 Tbsp of maple syrup.Puree until the mixture is smooth, about 30-60 seconds. Add water 1 Tbsp at a time to create the desired consistency.
Taste the chocolate hummus and add remaining maple syrup if desired.
Cut apples in half through the stem and use a knife or a spoon to remove the core, stem and seeds. Brush a tsp of avocado oil evenly over the cut sides of the apples, then sprinkle over ½ tsp of cinnamon.
Mix topping ingredients together in a small bowl, then spoon on top of the apple halves evenly.
Place the apple halves carefully into the air fryer basket, then cook for 15 minutes or until softened.
Caffeine is certainly in my daily meal plan! I don’t think I would be as productive in a day without my morning and afternoon coffee. Especially with Daylight Savings Time approaching, I will be leaning on caffeine a bit more to assist me with alertness. Many use caffeine to cope with this time change! However, we should all be aware that it is important to be mindful of our caffeine consumption.
Do you know how much caffeine that you’re having in a day? What is caffeine anyways, and how can it impact your health?
If you have these questions, I’m breaking them all down, as part of Caffeine Awareness Month. I’m teaming up with the Canadian Beverage Association to present this information to you today!
What Is Caffeine
Caffeine is one of the world’s favourites “pick me ups” and has known and loved benefits such as decreasing fatigue, increasing focus and concentration. In fact, coffee, tea and tap-water are the most commonly consumed beverages by Canadians, between the ages of 18-79. As well, more than 29 million servings of coffee were consumed in Canada in 2015.
Caffeine is a bitter alkaloid that is naturally found in 60 different plants, including coffee beans, cola nuts, guarana nuts and yerba mate. It can also be synthetically produced and added to soft drinks, energy drinks, dietary supplements and energy bars.
Although there are some health benefits, caffeine should be consumed in moderation to ensure optimal functionality and sleep hygiene.
Health Benefits of Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant and it works by temporarily blocking the systems that slow us down. Due to it being a stimulant, it can help improve physical performance and cognitive function.
In fact, it has been found that caffeine before exercise in doses of about 200 mg improve endurance performance, team sport performance and high intensity-type activities (sprints, weight lifting) with little to no risk of side effects at that level of consumption.
In terms of long term health benefits, the following have been found in the literature:
However, it is important not to get too excited about the health benefits of caffeine, as too much is not always a good thing. Risks of too much caffeine intake include:
Over-consumption in pregnancy increases risk for low birth weight and preterm labour
How Much Is Safe?
Health Canada, the Food and Drug Association FDA, and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) consider 400mg of caffeine to be a safe moderate consumption for the healthy average adult (excluding pregnant and breastfeeding people). EFSA also considers 200mg of caffeine to be a safe single dose of caffeine that most consumers can consume without negative effect (even before sport).
Health Canada recommends that pregnant women or women of childbearing age keep their caffeine intake below 300 mg.
138 mg in Starbucks double shot energy coffee drink (444 ml)
Tracking Your Caffeine Intake
It may be an interesting exercise to track how much caffeine that you are having in a day – to get a picture of your typical caffeine consumption. I used an app called HiCoffee for a week to track what I was consuming for caffeine in a day and my caffeine intake surprised me! I thought I was consuming under 400 mg of caffeine most days, however there were a few days that I was consuming 500 & 600 mg of caffeine!
I suggest that you try out an app like this. With daylight savings time approaching, this may be a good time to try it out, as our caffeine intake may increase!
Caffeine has health benefits and can assist with alertness, especially during the Daylight Savings ‘Spring Forward’ Time. However, it is important to be mindful of caffeine intake so that we don’t exceed the 400 mg/day or 300 mg during pregnancy. Potential negative effects of caffeine can range from increased anxiety to sleep deprivation.
There is an overwhelming number of protein bars on the market to choose from. A number of these protein bars are not much different than chocolate bars, while there are a few that really are great choices.
Plant-Based and Paleo eating patterns are taking the world by storm and are arguably the most popular diets/ eating patterns right now. What is ironic, is that these two diets differ widely in their recommendations. There are strong advocates for each diet – so which is the best one to follow? Let’s explore.