Banana Bread Protein Balls

You guys know I love my protein balls! I’m a total snacker, and I always have been. I’m constantly grabbing a bite of something if I pass through my kitchen or am heading out the door. This only increases when I’m training or running more than usual.

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I had some super brown bananas that needed to be used or frozen and was trying to think of a creative way to use them yesterday. My go to is always banana bread, but I wanted to try something a little different!

I had been meaning to make a batch of protein balls for snacking and thought, why not mix the two? Hens, my Banana Bread Protein Balls were created! They are delicious!!! The base of the protein balls was a combination of raw cashews, almonds, oats, and peanut butter. I hadn’t planned on adding oats in the beginning, but the banana was so gooey and wet that I needed something a little dryer to soak up the moisture.

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Keep these in an air-tight container or covered with tin foil in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. You can also freeze them for longer use! Hope you enjoy these delicious little bites! Happy Monday everyone!

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Banana Bread Protein Balls

  • Servings: 16-18 balls
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 brown bananas
  • 3/4 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw, unsalted almonds
  • 1/4 cup unsalted PB
  • 1/3-1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder
  • dark chocolate chips

Directions

In a food processor, grind cashews, almonds, peanut butter, cinnamon, banana, and protein powder. Stop to scape the sides once or twice. The ingredients may start to form a paste-like consistency.

Once your nuts are are finely ground and blended into the other ingredients, add the oats (pending how wet the banana was, you may need to increase the amount of oats used) and pulse or lightly grind until incorporated. The texture should be fairly thick and able to easily form small ping-pong size balls without sticking to your hands. You may make yours bigger or smaller based on preference.

Add a dark chocolate chip to the top of a few or all of the balls. Let refrigerate and harden for at least 15-20 minutes before trying! Store in an air-tight container or covered with tin-foil in refrigerator or freezer. Enjoy!


Weekends with Waffles

Ok…. I’m sure by now you have noticed my new-found love on the weekends, waffles! Yes, this was primarily due to the fact that I got a waffle maker at my bridal shower about a month ago, but now it seems to be a new weekend tradition for me (and one that I’m pretty darn excited about!). Waffles to me are a little like oatmeal, a blank slate that you can jazz up with fruits, nuts, spices, nut butters… whatever your heart desires!

When I am looking for a waffle mix, I typically look for something with minimal ingredients, preferably whole grain, and without an added flavorings. This gives me the most freedom in flavoring or boosting up my waffle. Why do I use a pre-made base mix? Because it does just that, give me the most basic base without me having to measure out flour, baking soda, or baking powder, and is just a small step that is easier skipped.

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How do I use this base? It is very simple. For 1 average-sized waffle (not spilling out over the edges and a little crispy on the side) I use:

  • about 1/3 cup Trader Joe’s Multigrain Baking Mix
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 over ripe banana, mashed
  • dash of cinnamon

Now, like I said, this is my base. Depending on what kind of waffle I’m feeling that morning, I sometimes will also add: PB2, vanilla extract, chocolate vegan protein powder, blueberries or other berries, etc. Make sure you spray your waffle maker well before adding your batter. I typically don’t use all of the batter, but if you want a little fluffier or thicker waffle, go ahead and scrape that bowl clean! each waffle take about 2-3 minutes to cook; go more towards 3 if you want it fairly golden-brown!

Once my waffle is finished, let the toppings begin! For my PB&J Waffle show below, I use 1/2 banana, about 1/4-1/3 cup frozen raspberries warmed in the microwave, 1-2 Tbsp nut butter, a little light maple syrup, and an extra dash of cinnamon. Play around with taste, textures, and combinations to find your perfect weekend waffle! Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sunday Brunch: Berry Almond Oatmeal Bake!

I thoroughly enjoy my weekends; one reason isย because I love to put time and thought into my favorite meal of the day, breakfast! This morning, I wanted something warm and comforting and have been itching to use the frozen berries that have been sitting in my freezer. I hadn’t had oatmeal in a while, so an oatmeal bake it was! So simple, easy, and allowed me time to get ready for church while it baked away in the oven.

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Oatmeal is great for many reasons; it’s containsย fiber which help keep you feeling full and helps lower cholesterol, is hearty, filling, and a blank slate for flavors. I used a mixed berry blend of raspberries, blueberries, black berries, and cherries, but a variety of other fruits would be great substitutions: strawberries, apples, pears (just to name a few!).

You can also play around with the spices or flavorings. I used a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Use what you like best! This can easily be tapered for fall when pumpkin season is in full swing or for an early Christmas brunch with cranberries and nuts.

Hope your Sunday is filled with yummy smells and tastes!

Berry Almond Oatmeal Bake:

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 chia egg (1 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp water, let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1-2 cups frozen berries
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Combine your banana, liquids, spices, and “egg” first. Mix until well combined and sugar is partially dissolved. Add your oats last and toss them until they are all moistened by the liquid. Spray a round baking dish or pie pan with a little cooking spray and spread out the oat mixture until it is even. Top with frozen berries of your choice and slivered almonds

Bake on 350 for about 25 minutes. Allow the oatmeal to sit and cool for about 5-10 minutes then serve warm! Serves 3-4 people. Enjoy!

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Smoothie Scene

Smoothies seem to be the new trendy way for people to start their day, so I thought I’d take some time to give my take and share with you some of my favorite smoothie recipes! Personally, I love the new smoothie trend! Why? A few reasons. How many people actually count how many serving of fruit or veg they are getting in a day? Although I’d like to think everyone, I’m also a realistic person, so I know that it is not happening. For some people, like my fiance, fruit and veg servings don’t even cross their mind, and well….he did choose to get engaged to a dietitian, so he had to realize I was going to start to push the fruit and veg on him sooner or later.

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My recent solution to his lack of interest in trying different vegetables or fruits (or really eating any for that matter): make him a colorful, tasteful smoothie a few mornings duringย the week that he can down in a few gulps without even stopping to ask what’s in it.ย Tricky… I know ๐Ÿ˜‰

Smoothies are a great way to be sure you, your children, or your spouse are in fact getting in AT LEAST 1 serving of fruits and vegetables each and every day. Believe it or not, leafy greens such as spinach or kale are not even noticeable taste-wise when blended with a helping serving of fresh or frozen fruit. I pack it in there when I make one for myself. Jeff, I have to be a little more conservative with so that I don’t get a funny brown color mixing greens with berries.

When it comes to green smoothies, one of my favorite new recipes is:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/2-3/4 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup ice water (if too thick or having trouble blending)

Jeff often likes berry smoothies, so my go-to very berry smoothie is:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or any low-fat or fat free milk of your choice
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 banana
  • 3/4 cup frozen mixed berry blend or frozen blueberries
  • few leaves of fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup ice water

For a little added fiber you can always add 1/4 cup rolled oats, or 1 tsp ground flaxseed for some added omega-3’s. If looking for a little extra protein, omit the milk, use 1 cup of Greek yogurt and 1/4-1/2 cup ice water to thin it out. Protein powder is also another great alternative, although I haven’t really used this in mine so I can’t give you any tips or advice for recipes!

However you choose to make your smoothies, remember that often times it doesn’t matter what fruit combo or veg you choose, it will typically taste fine! Experiment with your smoothies, and see what you like best!


Vegan Banana Blueberry Bread with Cocoa

A treat that is oh so delicious, gooey, moist, and contains no animal products! This simple, yet tasty banana breadย is the perfect treat to satisfy your sweet tooth without breaking your calorie bank! Try it out and let me know what you think ๐Ÿ™‚ImageImage

Vegan Banana Blueberry Bread with Cocoa

Ingredients:

  • 2 over-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup Truvia
  • 1/3 cup light vanilla soy milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup enriched white flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • handful of blueberries

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mash your bananas and mix in the soy milk, sweetener, and cocoa. Make sure your cocoa and sugar is well incorporated and there are no major clumps. Add in your dry ingredients (flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt) and stir until all of the ingredients have been moistened. Spray a loaf or bread-pan with cooking spray and evenly distribute your batter. Top with a handful of blueberries. My blueberries stayed plump because I keep them in the freezer rather than the refrigerator. Refrigerated blueberries would be fine to use, they may just burst a bit more on top (but will still be delicious!). Bake your banana bread for 22-25 minutes, then allow 5-10 minutes for it to cool before serving. Enjoy!