Boost your energy and clear your brain fog with these recipes

Indy Style Recipes

She’s sharing the POWER of food and nutrition and how together, they help boost energy, clear brain fog and help you feel your best!

In our kitchen today, Tara Rochford, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Healthy Living Blogger, Tara Rochford Nutrition, is celebrating National Nutrition Month with a few recipes. Here’s more from Tara:

(Also from Tara:) There are two common daily ailments (for lack of a better word) that I think most people can relate to feeling at one point or another:  Low energy and brain fog!  

Believe it or not, there are foods we can incorporate into our daily eating plan that can help boost energy and enhance focus and mental clarity.

Let’s talk about low energy.

Before we dive into talking about how food can help increase energy levels, I do want to mention that SLEEP is also an important factor here. The amount of sleep we need is unique to the individual, but we are all the same in the fact that the amount of sleep we get correlates with how our bodies are able to function.

Other ways to boost energy are focusing on stress management and daily activity.  Have you ever felt like you were totally out of energy and unable to complete a task?  When I feel like this, if I step away from the computer and take the dogs on a quick walk my energy is lifted and I feel ready to get back to work.

Now that we have discussed other ways to boost energy, let’s focus on the food!

Our star ingredients are:

●    Purple Grapes
●    Tofu
●    Walnuts
●    Swiss Chard

Energy Boosting Veggie Burgers

Yields: 4 burgers

Ingredients:

1 block of firm or extra firm tofu
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped green onions, only the top green part (about 8 green onions)
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 carrot, grated
1 cup swiss chard, finely chopped
½ bell pepper, chopped
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce (or tamari for low FODMAP or gluten free)
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp almond butter
¼ tsp black pepper
½ cup grapes

Directions:
1.    Press the tofu for about 30 minutes by placing between to paper towel lined plates and resting something heavy (cook books or cans usually work) on top of the plate.
2.    While the tofu is pressing, you can get the rest of the burger mix ready.
3.    Pulse the carrots and bell pepper a food processor fitted with a sharp s-blade a few times until the veggies are chopped.
4.    In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the green onions, oregano, and salt and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5.    Mix in the carrots and bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6.    Place this vegetable mixture in a bowl and set to the side.
7.    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
8.    Place the pressed tofu in the food processor and pulse a few times. Next, add the cooked vegetables, swiss chard, soy sauce (or tamari), dijon, almond butter, and black pepper. Pulse until the mixture is combined.
9.    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
10.    Shape the tofu mixture into 4 patties and place on the prepared baking sheet.
11.    Add the grapes to the baking sheet and roast the burgers and the grapes at 375 for 35-40 minutes, or until the burgers are firm.
12.    Serve on your favorite whole grain bun, gluten free bun if necessary (or my fav…on a bed of greens) and top with fresh basil, dijon mustard and the roasted grapes.

BRAIN FOG!

These brownies are not only delish but they contain functional foods to help clear your mind and promote mental clarity.

The star ingredients are:

●    Coffee
●    Cocoa
●    Lentils

Toss these into your lunch box to avoid that afternoon slump AND enjoy a sweet and nutritious treat.

Brain Fog Brownies

Yields: 24 brownies

Ingredients:
●    ½ cup oil (can sub with 1/2 cup applesauce or use ¼ cup applesauce and ¼ cup oil)*
●    ½ cup cooked lentils (red or green work well)**
●    ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (dairy free if necessary)**
●    ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
●    3 large eggs
●    2 Tbsp instant coffee granules
●    1 Tbsp vanilla extract
●    ¾ cup cane sugar or maple syrup
●    ¾ cup all purpose flour (can sub gluten free 1:1 blend if necessary)****
●    1 ½ tsp baking powder
●    ½ tsp kosher salt
●    ½ cup chocolate chips for topping, optional
Directions:
1.    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.    Spritz a 9.5×11 baking dish with your favorite non-stick cooking spray.
3.    In a food processor fitted with a sharp s-blade, process the oil (or applesauce if using), lentils and cocoa powder.
4.    Melt ½ cup of chocolate chips and add to the lentil mixture in the food processor. Pulse a few times. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
5.    In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla and sugar.
6.    Stir the warm chocolate lentil mixture into the egg mixture.
7.    In a separate medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
8.    Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
9.    Pour this into the prepared baking sheet.
10.    Sprinkle chocolate chips on top if you want.
11.    Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until the brownies are firm in the center and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
12.    Allow to cool thoroughly before cutting into 20-24 squares.

Takeaways:
●    Nutritious foods can help solve simple daily ailments like low energy and brain fog.
●    Purple grapes, walnuts, tofu and swiss chard can help increase energy.
●    Lentils, cocoa powder and coffee can help decrease brain fog.

You can find me at:
http://tararochfordnutrition.com
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