Nutrisystem Update Week 14: Getting More Veggies with Green Smoothies! #NSNation

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green smoothie for weight loss

Happy to report that the hubby and I had another great week on our  Nutrisystem program! We love that our meals are already prepared and portion controlled but one thing we sometimes struggle with is how to get enough veggies every day. In one of my earlier updates I wrote about 4 yummy ways to eat your veggies, and we still use those, but I find that it’s good to change things up a bit and am trying to build more variety into our eating routine.

I’d been interested in making my own green smoothies for quite some time, and finally got myself organized to get started. Turns out it’s super easy and fits well with the Nutrisystem guidelines. The only thing to watch out for is the higher calorie and higher sugar ingredients that some recipes call for. My strategy is to include 2-3 servings of vegetables and 1 SmartCarb per smoothie. There’s lots of room for experimentation, and you can use ALL the veggies you want, but if you use multiple types of fruits in one smoothie, remember to still stick to the guidelines. For example 1 SmartCarb could be 1/2 an orange plus 1/2 an apple. Or 1/3 an orange plus 1/3 an apple and 1/3 cup of berries.

It’s fun to experiment and I’ll share the recipe for one of my favorites so far. I like making it as my afternoon snack but you could juggle things around a bit and have it earlier or later in the day depending on how you like to use your SmartCarbs and Extras.

I like using the NutriBullet Blender and here’s what’s in this green smoothie:

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Frozen Brown Rice Crunchies – Ridiculously Easy Dog Treat Recipe!

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frozen brown rice treats for Dogs, dog treat recipe

Here’s a fun and ridiculously easy frozen dog treat you can make at home using leftover rice! It’s SO easy, it’s not even really a recipe…more of a how-to! Use any type of plain rice but do NOT add any seasoning, oil or butter when you steam or boil it. We like brown rice so I always cook a bit extra to have leftovers for Daisy. These frozen rice treats have a nice crunch that dogs love, and are a healthy, inexpensive treat. They are FUN to make, so let your kiddos help!

organic brown rice

Cook plain brown or white rice according to directions on package. No seasoning or oils. Just rice.

cooked brown rice

Fluff the rice and allow it to cool. Or finish preparing your dinner and set some aside for later.

brown rice in ziploc bag

Place the cooled plain rice in a freezer bag. You can mix in a little sodium-free chicken broth or a bit of mashed up banana if you want to make flavored crunchies, but it’s not necessary to add anything. Smoosh the rice into one flat layer and squeeze out the air, then zip. Make sure it’s all smooshed together and well flattened…otherwise you just end up with a bag of frozen rice. Tastes the same, but not as fun.

rice in the freezer

Stick the flattened bag of rice in the freezer and leave it for several hours or overnight.

bag of frozen rice treats

Once the sheet of rice has frozen solid, break it up into pieces (similar to making peanut brittle). Store treats in the freezer and use them as a simple, healthy snack for your dog anytime. Enjoy!

Bake for Your Dog: Banana Carob Biscotti Recipe {Courtesy of Dog Pack Snacks}

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banana carob biscotti recipe for dogs
Banana Carob Biscotti Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups organic oat Flour (if your dough is too wet add more flour 1/4 cup at a time.)
  • 1-1/2 cups organic quick cook oatmeal
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup carob chips (DO NOT USE CHOCOLATE CHIPS)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all the ingredients, except the carob chips, together in a bowl.  Use a stand mixer if you have one. Once a thick dough has formed (somewhere between a cookie dough and a bread dough), add the carob chip and mix in gently.  Use your hands to form the dough into a loaf shape.  HINT: this dough was too fat.  Make your dough flatter and longer.

    banana carob biscotti dough

    Bake on the middle rack on a lined cookie sheet for 20 minutes.  Remove the loaf from the oven and let it stand on the counter for 15 minutes before cutting into 1 inch slices.  HINT: Use a serrated knife.  

    banana carob biscotti recipe for dogs

    After cutting, put the pieces back on the cookie sheet, return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until  you have a crispy cookie.  Remove from oven and let cool.  For a seriously crunch worthy snack, turn the oven off and  leave the cookies to dry in the oven for a few hours.  Keep the cookies in a sealed container on the counter for a week.  If you only have one or two pups, or did not make them super crunchy, it is suggested that you refrigerate.

    Thanks to Dog Pack Snacks for inviting me to share their recipe with YOU!

    Meet Coco the Diva Dog, and her mom Debbie: Deb runs DogPackSnacks.com and Coco is the Chief Taste Tester. They make all their Dog Snacks and Treats in small batches with 100% human grade ingredients to insure that you know exactly what you are feeding your pup! Be sure to visit Dog Pack Snacks and pick up some yummy and healthy dog treats and snacks including Chicken-N-Cheese Bones, Turkey Chips, Beef Florentine Bars, Homemade Chicken Jerky and more!

Easy Recipe: Make Pumpkin Cheesecake for Your Dog! {Courtesy of Dog Pack Snacks}

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Pumpkin cheese cake recipe for dogs

 

Diva Dog Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Crust – mix the following ingredients together into a thick, sticky dough which should have the same consistency as cookie dough:

– 2/3 cup quick oats

– 1 teaspoon molasses  (I use blackstrap molasses)

– 2 teaspoons peanut butter

– 1/8 to 1/4 cup water

Scoop a teaspoon full of the crust mixture into the sections of a mini muffin pan.  then use the spoon to shape the crust to the muffin pan by smushing it along the sides and the bottom.

 

Filling – mix the following ingredients together until the cream cheese is fully integrated into the pumpkin:

– 1/3 cup of  cream cheese

– 2/3 cup of canned pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)

– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

– a dash of ground ginger

– two slices of cooked bacon for garnish.

Spoon a tablespoon of the mixture into each crust.  Garnish with pieces of bacon and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 mins.

 

Makes 12 mini cakes if you use a mini muffin pan.  However, feel free to make one big cake using a small baking dish.  This may take longer to cook so be sure to test  the center with a fork.  Optional: put a drop of honey on the top of each cake.  Please store in the refrigerator.

Thanks to Dog Pack Snacks for inviting me to share their recipe with YOU!

Have you met Coco the Diva Dog, and her mom Debbie? Deb runs DogPackSnacks.com and Coco is the Chief Taste Tester. They make all their Dog Snacks and Treats in small batches with 100% human grade ingredients to insure that you know exactly what you are feeding your pup! Be sure to visit Dog Pack Snacks and pick up some yummy and healthy dog treats and snacks including Turkey Smackers, Pea-Nutter Cookies, Beef Florentine Bars, Homemade Chicken Jerky and more!

Bake Your Own Dog Treats, Cookies and Cakes with Supplies from K9 Cakery!

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Are you interested in making healthy treats, cakes and cookies for your dog…or maybe you’ve considered starting a dog bakery or dog treat business or want to throw a fundraiser bake sale for your favorite pet nonprofit.  Either way, I just discovered this really cool online store for K9 Baking Mixes and Supplies! Whether you want to buy in bulk or just pick up a couple of dog bone cookie cutters, check out this cool site for ideas and everything you need to make yummy and healthy treats for all the dogs in your neighborhood!

cake kit for dogs

I like the looks of this Dog Cupcake Kit as well as the Sugar Free Peanut Butter Biscuit Mix!

peanut butter dog biscuit mix

They also have sugar free yogurt frosting mix, decorator chips, cool cake pans and lots more! They have some great sales going on right now, too! Visit the K9 Cakery here to check it out!