Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Homemade Blueberry Bliss Bars


I don't know what it is about husbands. Is it normal for them to hate vegetables and fruits?
Like SERIOUSLY, mine claims to be "allergic" to carrots and avocados.
I think he just pretends to be allergic to something when he is trying to avoid it.
Last weekend, he claimed to be allergic to horses when we were out with friends. Really, I think he was just scared of the horses. It was sorta cute. :)
But how can I get mad at that ADORABLE face?


ANYWAY, my point is...sometimes it's hard to please husbands. 
That's why when I made these bars, I was SHOCKED when he LOVED them. 

"These are SO good!" He told me, after taking a bite.
#proudbakingmoment


Take my husband's word for it...these bars are the SHIZ!


If you haven't tried a Luna Blueberry Bliss bar, you don't need to! Because these are just like them!
Except they have...
  • less sugar
  • less fat
  • fewer ingredients



Not only are these incredibly simple to make, but they store well in the freezer. I love storing protein-rich snacks in the freezer because...
  1. they last a long time
  2. they don't lose essential nutrients
  3. in the summer, they are the perfect cold treat!


Less talking and more FOOD!








Homemade Blueberry Bliss Bars

no bake, gluten-free, protein-rich, fiber-rich



Ingredients

4 cups Crispy Rice Cereal
1/2 cup Rolled Oats
2 Tbs. Ground Flaxseed (AKA Flaxseed Meal)
1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 cup Honey
1/2 cup Almond Butter (creamy)
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder (Quest works great!)

1 cup Dried Blueberries 

Icing:
1 cup White Chocolate Chips
1 tsp. Coconut Oil


Instructions
  1. Line a 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cereal, oats, flax and salt. 
  3. In a small (microwave-safe) bowl, stir together the honey and almond butter. Microwave for 30-60 seconds, stirring halfway through. Remove from the microwave and add in vanilla extract. Slowly stir in the protein powder.
  4. Combine the honey mixture with the cereal mixture. Stir in the blueberries.
  5. Scoop mixture into the baking dish and flatten out with your hands (press hard to compress the bars).
  6. For the Icing:
    1. Mix together the white chocolate chips and coconut oil in a double-boiler. Once the water is boiling, stir the mixture until it reaches a smooth texture. Remove from the burner.
    2. Scoop icing mixture into a sandwich bag and snip a corner. Design the treats how you prefer.
  7. Pop the bars in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Cut bars into 9-12 squares.
  8. Store in Ziplock bags in the freezer.



Thank you Jessica at DWB for the inspiration!



NUTRITION FACTS (per bar)
Calories: 270
Fat: 10 g
Sugar: 21 g
Protein: 14 g
Fiber: 4 g

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Churro Protein Balls


Do you see that cinnamon-sugary goodness?
Nom nom nom.




You want to know something crazy?
This is the first recipe for Churro Protein Balls EVER to exist!!
Like seriously, there is no such thing as "Churro Protein Balls" on the Internet!
So basically this post is MONUMENTAL.
Mind = blown.


When making these little babies, I used a vanilla protein powder from Quest Nutrition. I love this protein powder because it has a simple ingredient list, is low in sugar, low in calories, and high in protein (duh!). It tastes just like vanilla ice cream when mixed with water and ice. For real. Plus, it's amazing for baking [and for making Churro Protein Balls].   :)


After mixing the ingredients, it may look a bit like dog food, but DON'T WORRY! Everything will work perfectly in the end.


I promise, these are amazing.


Churro Protein Balls

gluten-free, low sugar, high protein



Ingredients

Dry:
1 cup vanilla protein powder (Quest Nutrition)
1 cup gluten-free oat flour (grind oats in blender)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Wet:
1/2 cup creamy almond butter
1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)

Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, except for the white chocolate chips. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, add almond butter. If the almond butter is a bit dry/hard, microwave for about 30 seconds. Add the milk to the bowl. Stir these wet ingredients together until mixture is smooth and pourable. 
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix well. Add the white chocolate chips.
  4. Form this deliciousness into bite-sized balls (wetting your hands works well).
  5. Roll balls in Cinnamon Sugar Topping (see below).
  6. Store protein balls in a Ziploc bag in the freezer or fridge.
Makes about 18-20 protein balls.


Cinnamon Sugar Topping
2 tablespoons coconut or granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
*Stir sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.



Nutrition Information (per ball)
Protein: 5.5g       Sugar: 2g       Fat: 4.5g      Carbs: 5.8g      Calories: 86






Wednesday, April 29, 2015

S'mores Protein Balls


I HATE s'mores. Always have, always will. Whenever I was at a summer bonfire and someone said, "Who wants s'mores?" I was the party-pooper. Seriously. Who wants to eat a gooey, hot mess of chocolate and marshmallow sticking all over your hands? Okay, I understand how that sounds appetizing to some (maybe even most) people...but GROSS!


That is exactly why when I saw this the other day, I was skeptical. Maybe even a little perturbed. Who thinks that a s'more would ever be tasty as a protein ball? LIKE REALLY?! But since my husband is currently obsessed with me getting enough protein in my diet, I thought, What do I have to lose by making these? (Other than my precious chocolate chips, haha.)


Well, I will tell you what...I was WRONG! Sorry s'mores protein ball gods for ever doubting your wisdom! First bite turned into first love, which turned into obsession. I promise that if you make these, you will LOVE them! (Yikes, they better be as good as I think they are...)



S'mores Protein Balls

no bake, gluten free, low sugar, high protein



Ingredients

1 1/4 cups rolled oats (gluten free)
1/2 cup oat flour (gluten free, you can simply grind oats in a blender)
1/2 cup gluten free graham cracker crumbs (or any neutral tasting gluten free cereal)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups vanilla protein powder
1 1/4 cup creamy nut butter of choice (I used peanut butter)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
1/4 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup chocolate chips (dark or milk chocolate)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine oats, oat flour, graham cracker (or cereal) crumbs, protein powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine nut butter and honey. Microwave for about 1 minute or until melted.
  3. Stir together wet mixture and dry mixture. Once this is well combined, add in milk.
  4. Slowly stir in mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. (You may want to let the mixture cool down for 1-2 minutes before, as the marshmallows and chocolate may begin to melt.)
  5. Form mixture into bite-sized balls, in the palm of your hand.
  6. Store balls in a gallon baggie. You can place these either in the refrigerator or freezer. Personally, I like storing them in the freezer because they last longer and are easier to store.
Makes about 24 balls.
Nutrition Information (per ball)
Protein: 8g       Sugar: 4g       Fat: 8g       Calories: 130







Sunday, March 29, 2015

Raw Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pie





Nom nom nom.
These were way too fun to make.
Like really. Thoroughly enjoyable.
But even better to eat...you with my dear. ;)
Sorry, we are writing Fairy Tales in my classroom as of late, if you can't tell.


Just a little while ago, it was this beautiful girl's birthday. She turned 27. OMGAASH! She is so old!
Haha, just teasing big sis. I am turning 25 in just a few short months--which is crazy!

Anywhoozles (language from my husband, I apologize), I thought: Man oh man, I need to make something epic for this girl's big day. So I did, and it was glorious. (Insert Heavenly chorus here.)

We're talking layers of dense peanut butter cookie crust, banana soft serve, chocolate peanut butter cups, flecks of gold dust...you get the picture.


Literally.



"And it's happy to see you!" (quote from the movie Mulan)


Sorry, I couldn't resist. (Totally unintentional smile, by the way.)


Mmmm...


Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pie

raw, vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free



Base (inspired by my raw peanut butter cookies):

  • 1 cup raw, whole almonds (or almond meal)
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
  • couple pinches of salt (to taste)
In your food processor, blend the almonds until they resemble a coarse meal. Add the dates, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Process the ingredients until the mixture starts to form into a ball. This will take anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes (depending on the strength of your food processor). If it isn't coming together, add another tablespoon or two of peanut butter, stir, and process again. You can even add in a teaspoon of water. Spread at the bottom of 4 ramekins (or small glass bowls).
*Note: you will have leftover cookie dough--you can thank me later. :)


Banana Soft Serve:

  • 4 bananas
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt

Blend ingredients together until a smooth texture is reached (a food processor works just fine, or a blender if you want to wash more dishes, ha). Pour banana mixture into ramekins (or small bowls) and set in the freezer for 2 + hours.


Peanut Butter Cups:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Peanut butter

Mix together coconut oil, cocoa powder, and maple syrup, in a small bowl. Pour chocolate mixture into the bottom of the mini cupcake liners (no need for a mini cupcake pan), just enough to cover the bottom. Set these on a plate and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove from the freezer and spoon a small amount of peanut butter in the middle of the cups (a small spoonful is perfect). Pour the rest of the chocolate mixture over top of the peanut butter. Try to cover peanut butter completely. Place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to harden the chocolate.


AND AT LAST!

Once everything is completed and ready to go, remove the ramekins and peanut butter cups from the freezer. Roughly chop the peanut butter cups. Place the peanut butter cups on top of the banana soft serve bowls. Use as many as you like. Serve and devour! :)




It was a fun day! To see pictures of the process of making this dessert, look below!


Devin pretending that our nephew Shem locked him out of the house. :)







Inspired by this recipe.
And of course by my peanut butter cookies.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

"Raw" Peanut Butter Cookies (vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free)



Okay seriously, I LOVE peanut butter. I have a slight obsession with the stuff. Sometimes after school, I come home and just dip a spoon into the jar. I deserve it---it's exhausting teaching 3rd graders! ;)

This weekend, my sister and her cute family came to visit us. It's her birthday on Wednesday and I wanted to make her something special. Both her and I are health-fanatics and don't eat the regular sweets that people enjoy on their birthdays---cake, ice cream, cupcakes, cookies, etc. I really wanted to make her something somewhat birthday-oriented, so of course my mind went straight to peanut butter! 

And the end result? Raw Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pie. (That's a mouthful. Really it was, and it was delicious.) I will post the recipe later this week. Keep an eye out for it! For the base, I made this Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Crust. I had extra so I made little peanut butter cookies with the traditional criss-cross pattern.



Raw Peanut Butter Cookies

vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free

  • 1 cup raw, whole almonds (or almond meal)
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • couple pinches of salt (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. If you are using whole almonds, process them until they resemble a coarse meal in the food processor. If you are using almond meal, simply pour the almond meal into the food processor and you can move to step two!
  2. Add the dates, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Process the ingredients until the mixture starts to form into a ball. This will take anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes (depending on the strength of your food processor). If it isn't coming together, add another tablespoon or two of peanut butter, stir, and process again. You can even add in a teaspoon of water. (That's what I had to do because my dates were a tad dry.)
  4. Form the dough into bite-sized balls and place on a baking sheet (or plate) covered with parchment paper. Press each ball gently with a fork to make the classic peanut butter cookie criss-cross pattern.
  5. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.






Those are my cute little peanut butter crusts just ready to be made into birthday pies!





 Thank you Sweetest Kitchen for the inspiration!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Peanut Butter Snowballs


This weekend it's supposed to snow. A lot...apparently. ;)
Snow--please make your way to Wyoming! This girls needs to go snowboarding.


Even if the lack of snow prevents me from hitting the slopes, I will not let it stop me from making Peanut Butter Snowballs! Not on your life.

I found this recipe in a magazine this winter. And I am so glad I did. It has been the hit of many parties. But don't you fret, I "healthified" it. :)




Peanut Butter Snowballs

gluten-free, can be dairy-free


What you need:
  • 1 cup all-natural peanut butter (salted)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey, melted (adding more honey will hold mixture together better)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup chocolate chips of choice
    • white chocolate chips for "snowball" look
    • semi-sweet chocolate chips for dairy-free option
    • half milk chocolate & semi-sweet chocolate for pure deliciousness


What you do:
  1. In a bowl, combine peanut butter and honey. Stir in vanilla.
  2. Take a spoonful of peanut butter mixture and roll into a ball. Place on a baking sheet covered with wax/parchment paper. Repeat this process until all of the peanut butter mixture is gone.
  3. Place baking sheet in freezer for about 20 minutes, until peanut butter balls are firm.
  4. In a double-boiler, melt together chocolate chips with coconut oil, over medium heat. Stir until smooth. (Don't skip adding in the coconut oil, it is essential for all over melting and effective covering of the peanut butter balls.)
  5. Remove baking pan from freezer. Take a peanut butter ball and roll it in the melted chocolate, (with a spoon) until completely covered. Place peanut butter ball back onto the wax/parchment-covered baking sheet. Repeat this process until all peanut butter balls are covered. Place pan back into the freezer for about 20 minutes.
  6. Once "snowballs" are firm, remove pan from freezer and place balls in Ziploc baggies. Store in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to chow down!
NOTE: If you use another type of peanut butter, such as Jiffy/Skippy--you will need to add in a few tablespoons of powdered sugar to "firm up" the peanut butter mixture. If you skip this step, you will end up with a gooey mess.




As you can see, these Peanut Butter Snowballs have been quite the party animals. Once you start making them, they will be requested by everyone. Trust me.






Similar to these guys: Healthy Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs
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