Now that I’ve shared the unsettling facts of last week’s blog post with my coworkers, we are all informed of the added calories consumed in the workplace. Fortunately for our health, but unfortunately for our cravings, we can’t unknow those numbers. They are looking at us each time we walk into a kitchen and sample the dish our executive chef is perfecting in the back kitchen. The unplanned 1,300 calories are looking at us when we smell freshly baked cookies when we arrive back at the office on a Tuesday afternoon. Those numbers are reminding us to think twice when a food rep brings samples on his sales call. And, yes, those extra 1,300 were on the office’s mind when they planned my birthday treat celebration.
The office has a beautiful tradition of recognizing each birthday – we gather around the table together, we sing and we share a birthday treat, usually a delicious cake or homemade cheesecake. I really like this tradition because cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts. I especially love this tradition because it allows each of us to take a break from our work, come together and celebrate a coworker’s special day. Enjoying treats and celebrating together with food in an intentional way holds a perfect place in a healthy lifestyle and relationship with food. (It’s the mindless bites in front of unread emails that we need to be most careful to avoid). But after my recent post, and the fact that my typical afternoon snack is an apple with almond butter, the office wanted to make sure they celebrated my birthday with a treat that I would truly enjoy and appreciate (and that may not contribute to too much of the 1,300 extra). The end result was something much more special to me than a piece of cake.
They came together to plan a birthday celebration that was nutrient dense and made my heart happy. We had a “hummus nachos” of pita chips and vegetables topped with hummus, feta, olives and parsley.
They searched everywhere for an almond butter chocolate dessert recipe, and even made the popsicle recipe that I had posted from June!
The truth is that they put a lot more time and energy into planning healthy snacks because it isn’t something that we typically do here at the office. We also found out that everyone in the office loves healthy treats! My coworkers were trying and enjoying things they had never had before and thought that they wouldn’t like – which really is a birthday gift to a dietitian. All of it – the thought, the work and the energy of the entire healthy birthday celebration meant so much to me.
Almond Butter Banana Cups
I have never had a Reese's Cup. I have a peanut allergy and have always traded my Reese's on Halloween for non-nut alternatives. People always said they felt sorry for me never had one, but I think I'm doing just fine with these tasty treats.
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1 medium banana sliced into 16 rounds
- 1/4 cup all natural almond butter you can use any nut butter you prefer
- 1 tbsp melted cocounut oil
- 16 small baking cups
Place a sheet of wax or parchment paper for prep with sixteen baking cups aligned.
Melt chocolate in double-boiler or a small sauce pan over low heat. Allow to cool slightly.
Combine melted coconut oil and almond butter in a separate dish.
Add about 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate to the bottom of each baking cup.
Add a banana slice to each baking cup.
Add a teaspoon of the peanut butter coconut oil mixture to each banana and top with another teaspoon of chocolate.
Place sheet in freezer for about 1 hour until set.
Enjoy chilled when ready!
This is a perfect appetizer or snack! Full of protein and fiber - especially if you pair it with fresh chopped vegetables.
- 1 cup hummus homemade or store bought
- 1 cup feta
- 1/2 cup olives chopped
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup sliced pepperoncinis
- 1/4 cup red onion chopped
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
Spread the hummus as a base layer in a bowl or serving container.
Sprinkle feta, olives, tomatoes, pepperoncinis, onion, and parsley on the hummus layer.
Serve with pita chips and your favorite vegetables.