Spaghetti Squash

I don't know about you, but eating healthy often feels like a challenge that will take more WORK and more TIME. The two biggest obstacles stopping people from changing eating habits is that it is "too hard" and they have "no time" - a seemingly insurmountable combination. So, my goal is to find ways to make your life easier, and those healthier meals less time consuming. Enter one of my favourite kitchen tools - the slow cooker!

I have always loved the idea of spaghetti squash, it's a vegetable, that when cooked, comes out like spaghetti noodles - what's not to love? However, it can be quite the task to cook. From cutting the hard-as-rock squash in half, to making sure you have enough time before the meal to bake it - and if not, it can be quite difficult to scoop out. That's all fine and dandy if you A) have the time and B) have some patience. If not, here's a way to avoid those challenging steps - set it & forget it. 

Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
2 cups of water
1 slow cooker/crock pot

Carefully pierce some holes into the spaghetti squash with a fork or knife, and then place it whole in the slow cooker. Add the water, and set on low for 6 hours. 

Afterwards: carefully remove the spaghetti squash from the slow cooker (it will be hot!), cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and discard, and then scoop the rest of the squash out with a spoon - it should easily peel away from the sides. 

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Serve it as a side with a meal, or serve it as the main dish with your favourite pasta sauce, a protein, and some veggies. My favourite combo: pesto with shrimp, peppers, broccoli and mushrooms!

Energy Balls

I don't know about you, but I LOVE granola bars! I love that they are easy to pack in lunches or as a quick snack on the go. I love that they feel like a treat but I can even eat them for breakfast. What I DON'T love about them, is that they can be loaded with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial colours.  Many granola bars contain over 30 ingredients, some of which I have a hard time pronouncing.

This is where energy balls save the day! They are easy to make, take less than 10 minutes, and you don't even have to turn on your oven! One bowl, one spoon, no bake, no fuss. They are a quick snack to keep you going on those busy days throughout the week, or a treat in the evening for a hint of sweetness after supper. When these are in my house, I don't miss those beloved granola bars.


Energy Balls

2/3 cup oats
1/3 cup brown rice puffs*
1/2 cup flaxseed (ground)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 cup all natural nut butter
1/3 cup honey

*Can substitute for more oats. Otherwise, brown rice puffs can usually be found at a bulk food store.
Mix together and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes (they roll easier this way). Then roll into golf ball size, and store in the fridge. Yields 12-16 balls.