Nicolette Stramara is a night shift registered nurse from Birmingham, AL who has just released her amazing eBook, Clean Quest Creations, with over 50 recipes for mouthwatering treats that all use Quest bars! You can find Nicolette on her blog and on Instagram, and you can buy Clean Quest Creations here.
In today’s QUESTions with…, Nicolette talks to us about Clean Quest Creations, what got her into baking and a whole lot more!
Tell us a little about your background – where are you from, what do you do, and what got you to where you are right now?
I am from Birmingham, AL but have moved around quite a bit since college graduation. I work as a night shift registered nurse on a neonatal intensive care unit and I run a baking business out of my own home.
What got me here today has been my love and desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sports and fitness have always been a large part of my life. I was a competitive gymnast up until 5th grade then began playing soccer. I played soccer on a club team through high school and continued to play in college.
Since then, I still make fitness a priority and have set numerous fitness goals for myself. I recently became a certified spinning instructor and also completed a half marathon and a full marathon in the gorgeous Apalachicola, FL.
Currently, I am focused on weight training while incorporating HIIT, or “interval focused” methods. I also got to where I am now with the astounding support from my family and friends, especially my husband, Kevin, and my parents.
How were you introduced to Quest bars?
Since I am into health and fitness, I saw numerous fitness competitors post pictures of Quest bars on Instagram. I know how dedicated fitness competitors are to their diet and thought I HAD to try them. I have been addicted ever since.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and reaching fitness goals I set for myself inspires me.
What got you into the hobby of creating and baking treats?
When I started my baking business a while ago, I found myself continuously tempted by the unhealthy, but yummy, desserts I made for other people. Since I firmly believe in living a healthy lifestyle, I wanted to be able to incorporate desserts into my eating habits without feeling guilty.
I slowly began to post pictures and recipes on Instagram that, with time, have become more popular. I love to share my love of baking healthy treats with others because I know how much they have helped me maintain my fitness goals.
What’s a Nicolette creation that you’re most proud of? And what makes you proud of it?
I’d have to say I am really proud of the Chocolate & Peanut Butter Quest Bar Cookie Pizza that I made with your peanut butter supreme Quest bar. It made me proud because it was the first recipe your company featured on all of your media outlets. I am also proud because I transformed one of my family’s favorite unhealthy desserts into a healthy Quest bar treat that quickly became a big hit.
What inspired you to write Clean Quest Creations?
After starting my blog and creating healthy protein treats, I was asked by many people if I had an eBook available. I basically set aside the idea of an eBook because, in all honesty, I felt like so many health food eBooks were out there already. I like to be original and wanted to think of a way to create an eBook that no one has seen or done before.
Due to the fact that I am completely obsessed with Quest bars and enjoy making Quest Creations, that is when the idea hit me. I set a goal to make an eBook strictly using Quest Nutrition products, including both the Quest bars and Quest peanut butter cups.
Take us through the process of putting your book together – how long did it take & how did you go about doing it?
I started the process by doing a bit of research on eBooks in general. And that was basically unsuccessful as most articles online are not about “recipe eBooks.” I really had no idea how to make one.
So, one night, I essentially sat down, opened Microsoft Word, chose a template, and started from there. With many days and nights of trial and error, I found my method to the madness and continued for about 2 months. I honestly made multiple recipes a week and dedicated those 2 months to completing the eBook.
Among the 58 recipes in your eBook, do you have a favorite recipe that you think everyone must try?
That’s really hard because I honestly love them all. I will give you two that are a MUST try. I love cookies, so both come from my Quest bar Cookie Chapter. The first recipe is the Cookies & Cream Quest Bar Stuffed Cookies. WOW! I could have eaten the entire batch. The second recipe is the S’mores Quest Bar Cookie. Another WOW and I actually ate the entire cookie! I couldn’t stop myself.
If you had any advice for somebody who wanted to try experimenting with your Quest bar recipes, what would you say?
Since I provided easy, intermediate, and more difficult recipes, my advice would be to start with the easier ones if you are a beginner level cook. Also, the first chapter labeled “Product Reference” is good to read because it discusses my frequently used products and ingredient substitutions. I also list multiple websites that commonly carry ingredients that are used throughout the eBook.
I also want to add that I had and continue to have some epic baking fails in the kitchen so don’t get discouraged. And just remember to have fun with it all! Do some experimenting of your own!
Having written an entire book of Quest bar recipes, you are, quite clearly, THE Quest Bar Recipe Queen. But if you had to make something simple, quick, and delicious using Quest bars, what would you make?
One of my favorite things to do with Quest bars that is quick, easy, and delicious is to microwave the Quest bar for 10 seconds, place either nut butter or sugar free chocolate chips on top, microwave it an additional 5 seconds. I then fold it together (like a taco) and devour! You can also bake them and do the same thing!
Can anyone make and eat the protein treats in Clean Quest Creations?
Yes! Absolutely! As mentioned earlier, I provide easy, intermediate, and more difficult recipes in the eBook. The awesome thing about this eBook is that it provides a wide variety of recipes. For example, there are gluten-free Quest bar creations, no-bake Quest bar creations, low-ingredient Quest Bar creations, and more complex Quest bar creations such as muffins and cupcakes.
Click here to buy Nicolette’s eBook Clean Quest Creations here!