Welcome!

Thanks for stopping by! I'm a Zucchini Runner, which means I eat healthy, plant-based foods, live my life to its fullest and stay active through running and cross-training workouts. If you need inspiration, or help reaching your goals, click the contact button below.

CONTACT
  • Adrenaline Night Run :: Race Recap

    Adrenaline Night Run :: Race Recap

  • Fresh Fruit Sushi

    Fresh Fruit Sushi

  • Every Runner’s Worst Nightmare – Phoenix Marathon Recap

    Every Runner’s Worst Nightmare – Phoenix Marathon Recap

  • My Fitness Journey

    My Fitness Journey

  • Vegan Chili recipe featured on My Family Recipe Rocks!

    Vegan Chili recipe featured on My Family Recipe Rocks!

Recipes

Recipes

Healthy, vegan, fulfilling and delicious! Everything your body needs, including flavor!
Read More
Life

Life

Live life to its fullest, for it is the only life we have.
Read More
Fitness

Fitness

Runner or not, this section will have something for you!
Read More
Reviews

Reviews

Constantly on the lookout for new products and tools that will make your healthy lifestyle more efficient? Me too!
Read More

NuttZo Review and Giveaway + Blueberry Jam

Thanks to the assistance of my latest running connection with Run, Eat, Tweet AZ, you’ll be seeing more product reviews on this blog! What does that mean for YOU? That means you will be (potentially) introduced to new products, and almost always have an opportunity to win said product in a giveaway! So stick around through this review to hear how you can enter to win some organic NuttZo nut butter for yourself and family; seriously, these folks are generous! Look at the product samples I received in the mail to taste test!? I was having a particularly crummy day, and when this arrived I was all smiles. I LOVE nut butters and all things organic, so I couldn’t wait to give a To-Go packet a try!

IMG_9221
As I was kneading away at the packet, I noticed it was also vegan and kosher. Bonus points. (Not that I care too terribly much about Kosher, but some people might. :))

IMG_9223
Since I’m also a lover of chocolate and peanuts, I decided to go with the 70% Peruvian Dark Chocolate packet for my first taste test. I believe reviews should be about honesty, not just talking up the product because you got some free samples. So my honest opinion was I didn’t really like this flavor – which was unfortunate since I was so excited to try it! Despite kneading the packet for a LOOOOONG time, I was unable to get the oil and nut butter to mesh… so when I opened it, it was very separated still. :( It was also messy and got all over my hands! Dashed were my hopes of using this during a long run as fuel.

IMG_9222
The next time I tried a sample, I was smart and got a spoon and took my sampling to the kitchen. Power Fuel was MUCH better tasting than the chocolate, in my personal opinion, and I also paired it with a banana. (One of my favorite snacks is Mr. Zucchini Runner’s homemade peanut butter on a banana!)

Win!

I did try these samples more times than pictured, and eating them by themselves (like I sometimes do with peanut butter, cause I’m crazy like that) wasn’t really an option for me. Because of their seven nut and seed blend, one of those nuts/seeds would always get stuck to the roof of my mouth and it drove me NUTS. (Pun intended!) NuttZo = Good with other stuff.

IMG_9436
I will say, I did experience one exception to my own NuttZo rule. When I was craving something salty on a 7.5 mile trail hike in the middle of nowhere, NuttZo sans banana was amazing! I brought 3 sample packs on our hike, one of each flavor, just in case the urge to try a nut butter struck when on the trails. I’m SO glad I did! We had stopped at the halfway point and ate lunch – but I couldn’t shake the need to eat something salty. BOOM! NuttZo to the rescue.

IMG_9710
I again opted for the Power Fuel flavor, and kneaded it sufficiently before opening. Since they were warm, they were also softer, which made it easier to squeeze from the package. A word of caution; you can’t scrape your teeth on the outside of this packaging like runner’s like to do with gels on the go — because the paper/ink/packaging isn’t equipped to handle that very well! I felt like I was scraping off flecks of paper and ink the first time I sampled the chocolate, so this time I changed it up (see below)!

IMG_9715
I was very happy I got my salty fix on the trails! And since it was so melty, it didn’t really stick to the roof of my mouth! WIN AGAIN! :)


Then I decided to make some homemade blueberry jam to accompany my full jar of NuttZo Smooth Power Fuel. Note, that’s not an accidental upside down label, they store all their jars upside down, until they are opened and stored in the fridge. This prevents the nut oils from separating from the nuts! Genius.

IMG_9870
Fresh off the stove to my NuttZo sandwich. Yes, sometimes we eat PB&J in our house.

IMG_9876
Partnered with jelly and bread, it was amazing! The only true downside for me with NuttZo, is the strong flavor of Brazil Nuts in the mix.  So when I put it on bread, with jelly, that strong flavor was far less noticeable. All in all, I would definitely give NuttZo a shot if you haven’t already! If you can’t have peanuts or have a mild peanut allergy in your family, the Power Fuel flavor in both smooth and crunchy are peanut free! (But please note, they are still processed in a plant that contains peanuts.)

Intrigued? Want to try some of your own delicious samples?

You could be the lucky winner of a jar of Crunchy PowerFuel PLUS 24 to-go packets!   

Just head on over to the Run Eat Tweet AZ Facebook Page.  A quick “like” on the giveaway post, and a comment enters you in to win! Deadline to enter is Oct. 6th!

*This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook*

Best of luck to you! Be sure to also follow NuttZo on social media for the latest updates and product info!
Twitter: @eatnuttzo
Instagram: @eatnuttzo
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/GoNuttZo

BLUEBERRY JAM RECIPE BELOW>>>>>>

IMG_9877

Now, for those of you interested in how I made my blueberry jam, here is the simple recipe:

7 cups washed, organic blueberries
1/2 cup 100% pure maple syrup
3 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Place blueberries in a large stock pot and smash with a potato masher. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir. Set heat to low and simmer, stirring every 10 minutes. Cook for a total of 45 minutes, stirring frequently with no lid.

Now, you can either place the jam in individual jars and freeze them (to avoid canning) OR if you enjoy canning and preserving, you can can them! I chose to can them for the pantry.

If you go the canning route, you will need a second large stock pot filled with water. The first step is to sanitize your jars. Place your canning jars (I used 4-8 oz. jars), with lids and rings in the pot. Bring to a boil on high heat, cover and reduce heat to medium once it reaches the boil. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes. Once they have been sanitized, it’s important to keep them in the water until ready to fill and seal. Do not to touch the jars on the inside or the rims; same goes for the lids and rings; unless it’s with a sanitized tool. (They have canning tongs you can purchase, but I didn’t have those the first few times I canned. I just used regular old tongs and an oven mit – which was dicey – so be CAREFUL!) Anyway, once the 10-15 minutes is up, turn off the heat. Carefully extract one jar from the water, dumping out any water back into the pot. Pour the jam directly into the jar. (I didn’t use a funnel or anything, I was able to go straight into the jar. But if you need a funnel, make sure you sanitize it too.) Then pull out the lid from the hot water using tongs, and place directly onto the jam-filled jar. Next once again using your tongs pull out the ring directly from the hot water, and place it on the jam-filled jar. It takes some patience, but it’s so worth it to save the valuable jam from spoiling! Secure the ring using oven mits or towels and set aside. Complete these steps for the remaining jam. I had a little left – probably 4 oz. that I put into a clean jar in the fridge, for immediate use. :D

Once all the jars are filled and the lids are screwed on tight, place them BACK in the stockpot full of water and boil again for 15 minutes with a lid on the pot. It will be messy. I used towels to stop some of the excessive sputtering and steaming. :) Once the 15 minutes is up, turn off the heat and allow the water to stop bubbling. Remove the lid and carefully remove the filled jars from the pot. As they cool on the counter, you will hear a tiny little metal “ding” when the lid seals and protects your jam from spoiling. They are now safe to store in the pantry! NOTE: If you go to use your jam in a week, or a couple months time and that little dimple is back UP, don’t eat the jam! That means the seal was broken and bacteria is growing – even if you can’t see it. Happy jam making! :D

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pumpkin Pear Pecan Pancakes

These pancakes are a spin off my favorite Gluten Free Banana Walnut pancake recipe! We desperately — yes, I said WE desperately — wanted PUMPKIN pancakes for the past week or so. Despite Mr. Zucchini Runner posting this pic to Facebook today…

spongebob_pumpkin

 

…he wanted them just as much as I did! :) So these came about from a need to FEEL like it’s fall in AZ, despite still reaching temps in the triple digits. Which reminds me, we did a trail run last night that was HOT, HOT, HOT! Second day into the Autumn Equinox and I was overheating on a night run. It left my stomach upset the rest of the night, so I ate a super light dinner. I made up for it tonight with these bad boys however. ;-) I must say, the sore stomach was worth it for these views.

IMG_9476

Ok, back to the task at hand. PANCAKES. These are the perfect way to kick off fall and enjoy some in season pears! Have fun with it and enjoy!

This recipe will make ~ 13 pancakes

Combine in a large bowl:

2 2/3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour* (see below)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 – 3/4 tsp. pumpkin spice (depending on your taste buds)
1/2 tsp salt

Combine in a separate, small bowl:
3/4 c. pumpkin puree
3/4 pear chopped (I used a d’Anjou; save the rest to top your pancake stack before serving)
2 cups water (add more or less depending on desired consistency of pancake)
2 flax “eggs” (2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water; combine and set aside for 5-10 minutes)
2 chia “eggs” (2 tbsp chia seeds + 6 tbsp water; combine and set aside for 5-10 minutes)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c. chopped pecans
extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil for the griddle or pan

*If you are new to gluten-free baking, I would purchase the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free flour. It is a great combination of flours: garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, whole grain sweet white sorghum flour, and fava bean flour. It’s a great value to get the right combo of flours in one bag. If you are familiar with gluten-free baking however, feel free to use your favorite combo of flours.

Preheat a griddle to 390ºF

Once you have everything combined in their separate bowls, with nuts and pears chopped and ready to go, add the liquid ingredients to the dry using a large spoon. (A whisk will be a mess…) At this point you can add more water if you want a runnier pancake. Fold in chopped pecans and chopped pears.

Use coconut oil to coat your griddle, before dropping 1/3 c. of batter onto the griddle. Gently push it down with your measuring cup to flatten it out like a pancake. Let cook for about 5 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden brown. (These won’t bubble like traditional pancakes…) BEFORE you flip them onto the other side, coat the pancake with a little bit of coconut oil using a basting brush (or coconut oil spray if you want). Because these are gluten free, and contain no fat, they stick like CRAZY if you don’t oil them enough. We like to use extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil because it is one of the most stable oils due to the saturated fat content. It’s also a medium chain fat, so your body burns it as fuel right away, versus storing it elsewhere in your body.

IMG_9504

The pears were SO good!! :)

IMG_9505

Lastly, I topped our pancakes with a pumpkin syrup recipe from my friend Kristin’s (Cook and Run with Kristin) latest blog post. It MADE the pancakes for sure! Fall was in the air in our house tonight, despite the temps.

IMG_9517

I wasn’t planning on posting this to the blog, but after the first bite, I kind of knew I had to. So you’ll have to excuse the sparse photos, with terrible lighting, I was really, really hungry and didn’t want to wait any longer to eat!

IMG_9512

 

Do you ever eat breakfast foods for dinner? :)