Sunday, November 29, 2015

White Christmas: White Chocolate Covered Pretzels

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the treetops glisten and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
With every Christmas card I write.
May your days be merry and bright,
And may all your Christmases be white.

I love the movie White Christmas with Bing Crosby. 
Bing Crosby + Danny Kaye = AMAZING
Bing Crosby + Danny Kaye + Rosemary Clooney + Vera-Ellen = AMAZINGLY MAGICAL

One time, my sister Leah and I sang the song "Sisters" from that same movie for a school talent show. As soon as the music came on, we sang our hearts out. After the song was over, I bowed for my "star" performance (haha), and realized that my mic wasn't on--it actually hadn't been turned on for the entire song. So while I could hear myself clearly, the crowd assumed my sister was singing a solo--as for me, I might as well have been dancing up there with the Teletubbies

Anywho...I try to block out that certain memory. I wouldn't wish that sort of shame on anyone. ;)

Here are some wonderful renditions of one of my favorite aforementioned songs: White Christmas...

*If you know any other great renditions, LET ME KNOW in the comments!

Let's get to the recipe...FINALLY!
Because who can say NO to anything dipped in white chocolate?! 
Anything and everything is better dipped in white chocolate--raisins, nuts, and pretzels (especially pretzels).

White Chocolate Covered Pretzels

gluten-free + dairy-free & vegan option


  • 1 (10 ounce) bag white chocolate chips (or white chocolate candy melts)*
  • 1 (14 ounce) bag Glutino gluten-free pretzels 
  • Nonpareils (or sprinkles)


  1. Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. Fill a small saucepan 1/3 of the way with water. Place a small metal bowl in the saucepan (should be a snug fit). If you have a double-boiler, that works as well. Turn your stovetop on high and wait for the water to boil.
  3. Once the water is boiling, turn down heat to medium-low. Pour in the white chocolate chips. Stir until melted. (If you are using just white chocolate chips, and not a combination of chips and candy melts, the chocolate may seize up. If this happens, simply add in a spoonful of shortening or coconut oil.)
  4. Once chocolate is completely melted and smooth, remove from heat. Leave the bowl in the saucepan. 
  5. Place the pan on a towel (on the counter) to do the next step. Add about 5 pretzels to the bowl. Cover the pretzels with chocolate. Using a fork, lift one pretzel out at a time, letting the excess chocolate drip off. Place each pretzel on the baking sheet. Sprinkle on nonpareils (or sprinkles). If you have a child (or husband) handy, have them sprinkle these on in-between batches!
  6. Repeat this process until all the chocolate has been used. (You will have extra pretzels left over). If the chocolate cools and hardens, simply reheat it on the stovetop. 
  7. Allow the pretzels to cool before storing. They will keep for several weeks in the freezer, fridge, or on your countertop--if they last that long! :)

*Dairy-free & Vegan Option

Follow the same recipe above. Replace the white chocolate chips with these dairy-free chips. You may need to add a tablespoon of coconut oil when/if the chocolate starts to seize.

While we eat mostly dairy-free at home, I did have these on hand. And they made for the perfect combination of white chocolate. Seriously, try half Coconut Candy Melts and half Ghirardelli White Chocolate chips.

What says "White Christmas" more than deer in your yard?
I love this time of year.

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.

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, [can be] vegan


4 cups Crispy Rice Cereal (gluten-free)
1/2 cup Rolled Oats (gluten-free)
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 (I used Orgain, a plant-based protein)

1 cup Dried Blueberries 

1 Tbl. coconut oil
4 Tbl. Vanilla Protein Powder
+ almond milk (or water) until desired consistency

  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 coconut oil and protein powder in a small mug. Mixture should be pasty. Add water (or almond milk) one teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. 
    2. Drizzle with a fork over the bars.
  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!

Calories: 270
Fat: 10 g
Sugar: 21 g
Protein: 14 g
Fiber: 4 g

I adjusted this recipe so it was completely plant-based and I formed them into balls instead of bars. (See the recipe above for changes.) They turned out perfectly! The only thing I noticed was that I had to add a few drops of almond milk to the ball-mixture so they would form correctly. When you are forming the balls, simply wet your hands, grab a small handful of the ball-mixture, and squeeze the life out of each one. Haha. Instead of the 9-12 squares, you get 24 balls! Nutrition Facts adjustments are below.

Fat: 4 g
Sugar: 8 g
Protein: 4 g
Fiber: 1 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


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

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

  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


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)


  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 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 get the picture.


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

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


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.


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.

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