Now that I’ve shared the unsettling facts of last week’s blog post with my coworkers, we are all aware of the shocking amount of added calories at work. The unplanned extra 1,300 calories are there at us when we smell freshly baked cookies in the office on Tuesday afternoons. They are reminding us to think twice when a food rep has tasty samples. 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 birthdays – we gather around the table, we sing and we enjoy birthday cake. I appreciate this tradition because it allows each of us to take a break from our work, come together and celebrate a coworker’s special day. Treats and celebrating together with food in an intentional way has a place in a healthy lifestyle and food relationship. (It’s the mindless bites in front of our computers that we need to reconsider). But after my recent post, the office wanted to make sure they celebrated my birthday in a more balanced way. The 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 a fruity fresh popsicle to enjoy!
The truth is that they put a lot more energy into planning healthy snacks because it was new and thoughtful. We also learned that everyone in the office loves healthy treats! My coworkers were trying and enjoying new foods, that had assumed they wouldn’t like. A true birthday gift to a dietitian. All of it – the thought, the work and the energy of the entire 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.