Spring Into Nutrition: Healthful Options with Wheat
From a registered dietitian
This blog and the following recipes come from registered dietitian Marina Mansour of Revive Wellness. Revive’s mission is to improve the lives of Canadians through nutrition and wellness coaching.
March is the start of spring, a season of change. The snow melts, flowers start to bloom, and animals come out of hibernation. This season of change is also a good time for us to check in with ourselves and set new goals for our health.
March is also Nutrition Month! This month aims to bring public awareness to making healthier, more informed food choices, and develop lifestyle habits to improve health. This year, the theme of Nutrition Month is “Ingredients for a Healthier Tomorrow”, which encourages individuals to look past barriers and seek the “ingredients” they need to improve their health.
An amazing ingredient that we have access to here in Canada is wheat! What’s even better is that it is full of nutrients. It’s a great source of fibre, B vitamins, and minerals and when consumed as a full grain, whole wheat is also a wonderful source of protein. Just 100 grams (~1/2 cup) of whole wheat has an impressive 13g protein and 10g fibre! You will find that whole wheat flour is used in our Banana Berry Mini Muffins recipe which helps to increase the protein, fibre and overall nutrient content for this lovely loaf that makes a great addition to breakfast or can be eaten at snack time!
Including more foods in your diet that are rich in protein and fibre, such as wheat, will keep you feeling full for longer, manage blood sugar levels, and boost your energy. To top it all off, wheat is very abundant in Canada, making wheat products a great economical choice. With food costs rising, it’s even more important for many households to stay within set budgets while still making sure families get the nutrients they need for their growing children.
A family favourite recipe in my house is the Homemade Veggie Pizza Pockets. These pizza pockets come together easily, are fun to make, and are super delicious! Feel free to change things up a bit with the fillings to make them your own. This is a great way to use those left-over veggies at the end of the week. They also freeze really well, so double to batch and store the leftovers (if there are any!) in a freezer safe bag in the freezer for up to three months. Use them on road trips, school lunches, or fun dinner nights. I know with Spring break coming up, I’ll be making this one with my kiddo. She absolutely loves helping out in the kitchen, and this is a great way for her to explore and taste different veggies without the pressure. I often find her munching on the different veggies as I’m chopping them for the pizza pockets. That’s definitely a win in my books!
About Marina Mansour
Marina’s passion for nutrition comes from understanding its impact on health and wanting to share that with others. Healthy living is a means to promote wellbeing and prevent or manage chronic disease. It’s never too early or too late to start, and she is there to support you in any way she can. Helping empower people to live their best life truly brings her joy. Marina loves traditional, cultural foods and modifying recipes to make them even healthier without sacrificing taste. Eating is so much more than the food on our plate – it’s about the enjoyment, the laughter, and the relationships that come with it as well. As a Registered Dietitian, she wants to help you enjoy healthy eating and develop a positive relationship with food. She is fulfilled by working with families and enabling them to make positive, sustainable changes to their health.
Banana Berry Mini Muffins
PREP 10M | BAKE 10M | ENJOY IN 20M
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 medium bananas, mashed
½ cup pure maple syrup
⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt (2%)
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp butter, melted
½ cup milk (skim or 1%)
1½ cups frozen small mixed berries, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Spray a tin of 24 mini muffin cups with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine bananas, maple syrup, yogurt, egg, vanilla, and butter. Mix well.
- In batches, alternate adding the flour mixture and milk to the banana mixture. Mix just until combined. Do not over mix. Gently fold in one cup frozen berries.
- Pour batter into the muffin tin and top with the remaining half cup frozen berries, dividing equally.
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool and enjoy!
Makes 24 muffins (2 muffins per serving)
Nutritional analysis per serving
2 g fat
4 g protein
30 g carbohydrate (27 g available carbohydrate)
3 g fibre
171 mg sodium
Homemade Veggie Pizza Pockets
PREP 30M (+1HR DOUGH REST) | COOK 25M | ENJOY IN 1HR 55M
Ingredients - Dough:
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup warm water
½ cup milk (1%)
2 tbsp butter, melted
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cornmeal
1 tsp salt
Ingredients - Pizza Filling:
1 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup baby spinach
¾ cup tomato sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
Preparation – Dough:
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
- Combine yeast, sugar and water in a small bowl. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about ten minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together milk and melted butter.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal and salt. Add milk mixture and yeast mixture and stir until dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 – 10 minutes.
- Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rest until dough has doubled in volume, about one hour. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and roll out into circles.
Preparation – Filling & Assembly:
- While dough is rising, heat one teaspoon oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add peppers, mushrooms and spinach. Cook, stirring, until vegetables have softened, about five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Spread one to two tablespoons tomato sauce on each dough circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border around outside of circle. Add three tablespoons of vegetables and two tablespoons of cheese.
- Fold the dough in half and seal the edges to enclose filling.
- Brush with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Cut a small slit in each pocket to allow steam to escape during cooking. Bake until pizza pockets are lightly browned, about 25 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy! Or store in fridge or freezer for a later lunch.
Makes 8 servings
Nutritional analysis per serving
10 g fat
14 g protein
44 g carbohydrate (41 g available carbohydrate)
3 g fibre
626 mg sodium