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Bits & Bites

~All Is Well~

Yogurt Granola Bowl

Jackie Winkler

Layer 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt (or in my case, dairy-free yogurt0 into the bottom of your bowl. Add your choice of fresh berries or any topping you desire! I usually go for a handful of blueberries.

Option 2: Use a tall glass,  alternate layers of fruit and granola with yogurt if you would like to make a yogurt parfait until glasses are filled to the top. Serve parfaits immediately to keep granola crunchy.

The simpliest, yummiest breakfast!

Healthy Banana Bread

Jackie Winkler

Want to make someone’s day? Bake them some banana bread! The warmth and delicious smells that banana bread delivers, makes this an all-American comfort food. 

I have been on a mission though to make a banana bread recipe that is much more healthier than the hallmark, classic banana bread. I wanted to make sure that it still was fluffy, moist and infused with that sweet banana flavor we all love. After numerous attempts, I have found a recipe that speaks truly to me. It is extra healthy, incredibly moist and I never feel guilty about having a slice for a quick snack in between meals during my busy day. 

you might be wondering what makes this recipe so healthy- let me explain!

  • This banana bread recipe is made with 100 percent OAT flour, unlike traditional banana bread calls for refined flour and lots of processed sugar.
  • This banana bread is naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup, which offer some trace nutrients that white sugar does not.

With this healthy banana bread recipe, you’re only a few simple ingredients away from the best banana bread ever! It’s made with whole wheat flour and naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup. You can easily make this banana bread vegan or gluten free—check the recipe notes for details. Recipe yields 1 loaf.


  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil 
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 ½ medium or 2 large bananas)
  • ¼ cup milk of choice or water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (NOT baking powder; they aren’t the same!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
  • 1 ¾ cups OATS ground up in food processer 
  • Totally optional: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit, fresh banana slices…



  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave.)
  3. Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. Some lumps are ok! If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.
  4. Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. If you’d like a pretty swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
  5. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (typically, if I haven’t added any mix-ins, my bread is done at 55 minutes; if I have added mix-ins, it needs closer to 60 minutes). Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.

So Fresh, So Green Smoothie

Jackie Winkler

Living in downtown Chicago, there is never a shortage of juice and smoothie places to try. I absolutely love going to new, healthy restaurants and discovering something new.

One of my favorite workout places is a wonderful spin class located in River North in downtown Chicago. In addition, they have a smoothie/juice/bowl stand right when you walk in. It is so convenient to grab a quick, healthy smoothie on your way out of your workout class. This totally makes my day. GRAZE is the smoothie shop, and they take price in crafting the highest quality, energy boosting smoothies and Acai bowls for on-the go people. 

So, this recipe is inspired after having one of their very healthy smoothies. I really take pride in treating my body right, especially after a workout and I hope you will too! 

You probably don’t juice everyday (I definitely don’t), so when I do I want to make it count !Get in all that good stuff, all those vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in a nice BIG glass of green juice.


  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 banana (I like to use a frozen banana) 
  • Cucumber
  • handful of kale
  • a couple mint leaves
  • Agave (optional)
  • tablespoon of Spirulina
  • one lemon




Maple Vanilla Cookies

Jackie Winkler



The cookies are made with only 6 ingredients, which are almond flour, maple syrup, vanilla bean ghee, vanilla extract, baking soda, and sea salt!  These cookies are soft, and pair perfectly with a warm cup of tea as an afternoon treat!

You always have the option to switch ingredients, such as coconut oil for the ghee, however, make sure to add additional vanilla extract to enhance the flavor.

Maple Vanilla Cookies

Makes 8 cookies


1 cup almond flour

1 Tbs. vanilla bean ghee, melted

3 Tbs. maple syrup

½ tsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp. baking soda

pinch of sea salt

Drizzle of Almond or Peanut butter if you desire!

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Grease a small baking sheet with coconut oil. Next, in a small bowl, combine all ingredients together until well combined. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet, and press each cookie down with a fork. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies appear slightly golden. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet, and then remove and enjoy!

Chunk Bites

Jackie Winkler


 ~17 balls (depending on size)


  • 1 1/2 cup coconut shreds
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 TBSP ground flax seed 
  • 2 TBSP cacao nibs
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup + 1 TBSP coconut oil, melted first then measured
  • 3/4 cup coconut butter, melted first then measured


  1. Add all of your ingredients to a food processor EXCEPT cocoa nibs. 
  2. Melt your coconut butter and coconut oil. To melt, leave it in the sun for a few hours, on top of a warm oven, in a bowl of steaming hot water, or scoop some out and melt it in a saucepan over low heat on the stove. 
  3. Process ingredients in a food processor for 1 minute. You may need to stop every now and then to scrape down ingredients.
  4. The last 10-15 seconds, add cacao nibs. This will ensure they stay chunky and whole!


  • I topped with blueberries and almond butter as well for taste!

Good Morning Bowl

Jackie Winkler

Option 1














Two Options for Good Morning Bowls!


Ready to get fueled up for your day ahead? My good morning bowl is simple, tasty, healthy and easy! Enjoy!

1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal 

1/2 cup of berries of choice

optional toppings: 

bananas, coconut shavings, chia seeds, almond butter, berries, flax seed, hemp hearts


Option 2



Daily Harvest

Jackie WinklerComment

 I have been absolutely loving Daily Harvest! If you've never heard of this company, they deliver real, unprocessed, unrefined foods in the most convenient format possible: frozen. From smoothies, to soups and parfaits, the choices are packed with nutrients that relieve stress, support the immune system, keep skin looking glow-y, improve energy and focus, and keep you at your best.

I ordered a box of 6 smoothies to start, and seriously after my first choice, I was hooked, All I had to do was fill my smoothie cup with almond milk, dump everything in a blender and go to town! The ready-to-blend smoothies have been such a time saver and I feel incredibly good after having them. 


Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies With Rose Cashew Cream

Jackie WinklerComment

[Makes 24 cookies]

For the cookies:
4 cups almond meal or oat flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 flax eggs
1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped

*Dried rose petals for garnish on top *

For the cashew cream:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for 4-6 hours
1/4 cup nut mylk (I used homemade cashew mylk)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 Tablespoons coconut nectar (or maple syrup)
2 Tablespoons sunflower lecithin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon rosewater
Optional: 1 teaspoon pitaya powder OR a couple teaspoons of beet juice for pink color

1.) Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients except pistachios in a food processor and process until well-combined. Dough should be sticky and feel slightly greasy.

2.) Roll dough into 24 1-inch balls. Roll in the chopped pistachios, and place on 2 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Using your thumb, make an indentation about 3/4 of the way down into the center of each cookie. You might want to reform the edges of the cookies if any cracks form.

3.) Bake cookies in preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes.

4.) While cookies are baking, make cashew cream filling by combining all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend on high until very smooth (2-3 minutes)

5.) When the cookies are done baking, let sit for about 10 minutes or so until cool. Using a spoon, dollop some of the cashew cream into the thumbprint of each cookie. Top with dried rose petals, if using. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Jackie Winkler


I am the first one to admit I have a mean sweet tooth...chocolate is my vice! With that being said, I am always trying to find healthier alternatives for my dessert recipes. I am posting this recipe on Valentines Day, meaning that we all get a free pass to indulge in something sweet. I wanted to switch up the classic chocolate mousse recipe (but without the dairy!) Instead of the butter this recipe asks for avocado instead. With the chocolate flavor coming through deliciously and smoothness from the avocado, I was pleasantly surprised.

This recipe was given to me by my cousin Sam who originally made this recipe. I had to share this with you all! It's easy to make for those who aren't the best "bakers" with a beginner cooking level for sure and healthy enough to enjoy guilt free. It would make a wonderfully romantic dessert to make for you and your significant other for a night in. I would recommend serving in a champagne glass and top with raspberry or other fancy toppings. 




  • ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 4 very ripe large avocados, chopped
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup light agave nectar or other sweetener of choice 
  • 1 tablespoon +1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk 
  • For garnish, raspberries or other toppings of choice!



  • Put the chocolate chips in a heatproof medium bowl. Set over a small saucepan of barely simmering water.
  • Stir until the chocolate is melted and free of lumps, for 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a food processor, combine the melted chocolate, the avocados, cocoa powder, agave, vanilla, salt, and almond milk. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Spoon into glasses and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 1 day.
  • Place your toppings when ready to serve!


Mediterranean Farro Bowl

RecipesJackie WinklerComment


You might be asking yourself, what the heck is "Farro?!" I was wondering that as well, the first time I heard of this grain. It not only add a lot of protein and fiber to your salad but is delightfully chewy that goes well with the other toppings.  This recipe was originally created by my cousin, Samantha Baffes who introduced me to this wonderful meal. It is so easy to prepare and you can keep the ingredients in a fridge all week to assemble whenever you want a fresh salad.   


(see for more info).

Farro is high in protein, fiber and B Complex vitamins and it’s pretty low in gluten.

When cooked, farro looks a bit like barley but it has a chewier texture. That chewy texture remains even after long-cooking so it’s great in soups and stews where it never gets soggy. That chewy texture also makes for tasty salads. 


Makes 4 servings 


 IMAGE CREDIT: Samantha Baffes

IMAGE CREDIT: Samantha Baffes

1 package of farro
1 rotisserie chicken or 2 cooked chicken breasts
2 Roma Tomatoes diced
1 Seedless cucumber diced
1 jar of pitted and sliced Kalamata olives
1 8oz package of feta cheese
Toasted Pine nuts for garnish
Salt & Pepper to taste
Yogurt Sauce

1 cup of not-fat plain Greek Yogurt
2 cloves of garlic pressed or minced
1 tsp of oregano 


      Cook farro according to package directions. While farro cooks shred the chicken and dice the tomatoes and cucumbers.  Once the farro is cooked drain and season with salt and pepper to taste.  To assemble portion out farro into four bowls. On top of the farro add the chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, crumbled feta, and olives.  Mix together yogurt, garlic and oregano for the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the top and sprinkle on the toasted pine nuts(optional).  Enjoy right away

Heart Healthy Valentines Day Pancakes

Jackie WinklerComment

Valentine’s Day has become synonymous with flowers, chocolates and sweets. What better way to show someone you love them than with treats, right? I am the first to admit I haven't been able to avoid the indulgence of sweets during this time. This recipe calls for better quality ingredients that overall will satisfy your cravings but also substitute "healthier" alternatives that are better for one's health. 

Whether you are taking the time to indulge in some self-care for Valentines Day or with a loved one, make sure to spread some love and get your day off on the right foot with these pancakes!

Heart Healthy Valentine’s Day Pancakes


  • 2 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Cup unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted then cooled
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 C fresh or frozen strawberries, quartered and sliced (thaw if using frozen)


Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk, eggs, butter, and almond extract. Combine with dry ingredients. A thick dough should form.

Let batter sit for about 5 minutes and heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.

When skillet is ready, scoop 1/4 – 1/2 C of batter at a time and cook pancakes 4-5 minutes per side. You’ll know they are ready to be flipped when the outside edges begin to bubble. Be careful not to burn.

**I added a dash of red food coloring to make these beautiful pink pancakes!*

Serve with strawberries or other berries of choice!


Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan

appetizerJackie WinklerComment

With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip this recipe up in no time. It makes for a delicious side dish for any meal!

The garlic and parmesan are actually the stars of the show here- tossing them with the asparagus makes for a delicious add of savor. As one of my favorite vegetables, its not only nutrient-dense, but also high in folic acid, potassium, fiber, vitamins A, C and Thiamine. Research also has shown the positive effects on its ability to reduce the effect of cell-damaging free radicals because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. If the versatile ways to make asparagus in different dishes isn't enough, I hope the nutritional benefits sway the decision to make this recipe!

  • ½ pound fresh asparagus
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2-3 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Rinse the asparagus and trim off woody end pieces. Spread out in a thin layer on top of the prepared cookie sheet.
  3. Spray the asparagus lightly with a coat of olive oil spray. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, and parmesan cheese. Use your hands to mix the asparagus with all of the ingredients, then lay out into an even layer again. Spray with one more light coat of olive oil.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Almond Butter Granola Bars

SnacksJackie WinklerComment

Home made granola bars on the menu today! I love this baking involved, simple ingredients and dont provide a sugar overload unlike many of the granola bars found in the grocery store. I've added a list of my top three favorite PACKAGED snack/granola bars after this recipe if you are looking for healthier options and don't have the time to make these from scratch. 


  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cashews, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried coconut
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 cups almond or peanut butter 


  1. Combine all your ingredients in a large bowl but the almond butter into a large bowl 
  2. Mix everything together with your hands.
  3. Add your almond butter slowly 
  4. Line a baking tin with parchment paper and freeze for 3+ hours 
  5. Cut into pieces and keep frozen.




FIRST! Read the label

The first thing to do is to start reading the ingredient list on the back of the food package. It's something I've gotten into a habit of doing over the years.  Look for bars that feature simple foods: if the primary ingredients are foods like nuts, berries and fruits, rather than complicated ingredients with names you can’t pronounce, you’ve likely found a bar with a good ratio of fiber, protein and healthy fats

  1. RX Bars: Each have about six easily recognized ingredients, like nuts and dates
  2. KIND healthy grain bars are high in nutrients, and while they do contain a little added sugar, it’s typically low
  3. Lara Bars Much of the sugar comes naturally from the dates-making up just one of the six simple ingredients 


Avocado Toast

RecipesJackie WinklerComment

We all know avocado toast is much more than that- one bite and we realize breakfast will never be the same again. This recipe was adapted from my cousin, Sam, who knows how to make some of the best breakfasts...I;m talking cozy, breakfast-in-bed type of meals. So, thanks Sam for this wonderful breakfast! 

I find that using the thick slices of bread makes the best contrast between the softness of the toast, creamy avocado and egg. Getting into the nutrition aspects of this meal, The star of the show, aka our avocado, is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and contain around 20 different vitamins and minerals. 

My tip to make this meal a tad healthier would be to pick a "toast with the most," The second most important ingredient for the avocado toast is, well, toast! Whole grain bread is a good option—a logo created by the Whole Grain Council that indicates a product contains at least 8 grams of whole grains per serving.. Organic breads is also another great options which means they're  unprocessed, compared to many other natural breads and conventional breads.


White breads made with white or enriched flour are much lower in nutrients than whole grain breads,- which means you are probably getting more "empty' calories. But, if I were you, please enjoy this meal as guilt free as possible :)


  • 1 slice whole grain bread, toasted (other bread options are sourdough or bagel)
  • 1 oz mashed (1/2 small) avocado
  • cooking spray
  • 1 large egg
  • Feta Cheese
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • hot sauce (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions to Poach Egg's

  1. 1 Heat water to a bare simmer: Fill a saucepan with a couple inches of water. Heat the water on high until it reaches a bare simmer and bubbles start appearing at the bottom of the pan, or bring the water to a boil and then lower the heat until the water is at a bare simmer (just a few bubbles coming up now and then).
  2. Crack egg into a small bowl and gently slip it into the water: Working with the eggs one at a time, crack the egg into a small bowl or cup. Place the bowl close to the surface of the hot water and gently slip the egg into the water.
  3. Turn off heat, cover pan, set timer for 4 minutes: Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Set a timer for 4 minutes (or count out loud to 60, four times). At this point the egg whites should be completely cooked, while the egg yolks are still runny.
  4. Remove eggs with slotted spoon: Gently lift the poached eggs out of the pan with a slotted spoon and place on a plate to serve.

Instructions for avocado toast:

  1. Mash avocado using a fork.
  2. Toast the bread 
  3. Spread the avocado mix onto each slice of toast and top each with a poached egg.
  4. Sprinkle over the feta cheese, serve and enjoy!





Carrot Bliss Balls

Jackie WinklerComment

Protein Balls


Protein balls are my all-time favorite snacks to made. For one, I can make a batch of them, leave in the fridge or freezer, and take as I please throughout my busy week. They're loaded with nutrients to help keep me energized, packed with antioxidants, healthy fats and essential vitamins/minerals for a great healthy snack. 

They also help to curb any sweet cravings I might have. The secret to these delicious bliss balls is they actually have carrots in them..! (can you believe.) They were so yummy and these new bliss balls may be my favorite yet. Of course, I always prefer these homemade, no bake babies to their packaged counterparts.


  • 12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp cinnamon and or nutmeg
  • 2 medium sized carrots
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup almonds


  • black sesame seeds
  • Cardamom
  • Chia Seeds
  • coconut flakes
  • goji berries


  1. Place all the ingredients for the balls into a blender and process until everything is fully mixed together. Dough should easily be rolled together
  2. Place your optional toppings 
  3. Roll the dough into balls. Then, roll your balls through the toppings and place them on a piece of parchment paper on a baking tin.
  4. Place in freezer for one hour.
  5. Keep frozen for up to 2 months. Enjoy!



Trendy Toast Ideas

RecipesJackie WinklerComment

I decided to take a spin off the classic avocado toast this weekend! There are so many versatile ways to make these super delicious and healthy meal- for breakfast, or even for lunch and dinner. You can make it sweet or savory depending on the different toppings. You can add vegan yogurt, hummus (my favorite is black bean hummus..), Nutella, nut butters (peanut, almond, sunflower...etc), fruits, vegetables and nuts.

With the endless options, no wonder toast is so "trendy" right now. I had a tough time deciding what kind of bread to have, but I chose simple whole-wheat bread. You can also choose flat breads, sourdough, Ezekiel, or whatever you have in the house. Just remember, do not be afraid of carbohydrates! Bread can be an every day stable as a healthy part of your diet.  

Toast Options:

  1.  Avocado, Radish and Parsley
  2. Almond Butter, blueberries, pistachios and bee pollen
  3. Yellow beats and yourt
  4. Cucumbers, chocolate nut butter and parsleyvv
  5. coconut yogurt, figs, ground flax seed
  6. hummus, avocado, grilled mushrooms, parsley, olive oil
  7. coconut cream, wild mushrooms, garlic, salt, lemon, chives "creamy mushroom toast"
  8. olive tapenade, and fresh herbs


Granola Berry Bowl

Jackie Winkler

 I urge people to always start there day with a healthy breakfast, but not all of us have the time to make a gourmet, balanced meal during the week-days. This meal is super simple, very versatile where you can really be creative with toppings and other choices.



1/2-1 cup oats
1 cup water
1 cup blueberries, raspberries and/or blackberries
1/2 chopped banana (add apples and/or strawberries)
1/3 cup almond milk (cashew, coconut or regular milk)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon honey sprinkled over (optional)
1 teaspoon almond or peanut butter
2 tbs pumpkin & sunflower seeds (optional)
2 teaspoons of goji berries (optional) 

Optional 'Super Foods" 

Chia seeds, sprinkle of nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia, brazil nuts..), hemp, flax seeds



Spinach Cashew Soup

Jackie Winkler

I wanted to share this wonderful veggie cashew soup, not only for the  health benefits but also for the short time commitment in preparing the recipe. I was able to eat this soup throughout the week and bring it with me to work. I found that the soup is also very good cold, so you do not necessarily need to heat this up!

I hope you enjoy!

2.5 cups of cashews

2 handfuls of kale or spinach

1 cup of carrots

2-3 celery stalks

3 gloves of garlic

1 T unrefined coconut oil

2.5 cups of vegetable or chicken broth

1 cup of cauliflower

1/2-1 onion

1. Chop vegetables (carrots, celery, cauliflower and onion) and garlic

2. melt coconut oil in pan, throw the garlic in and sautee vegetables until tender,

3. In a separate pot, heat broth

4. When vegetables are ready, transfer to pot, bring to a boil.

5. Once broth has gotten to a boil, throw kale or spinach in and stir for a couple of minutes

6. Bring down heat and pour cashews in the mixture, let simmer for 4-5 minutes.

7. If you have a puree stand-still mixture, use to puree the mixture in pot until creamy. Otherwise (what I did..) pour into blender and go to town!