Pumpkin Peanut Butter “Buckeye” Balls

Is it really September already?? I’m not sure how every is feeling, but our August flew by. Jeff and I took a much needed relaxing vacation through California (more about that to come later!) and celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it has been 3 years already! Last year was filled with so many exciting changes; I cannot wait to see what this year brings!

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I’m not sure about you, but in our household the start of football season is a big deal. Jeff and I are proud alumni of the Ohio State University (how many of you just cringed…), and the first game is always exciting and much anticipated as September rounds the corner. Our Saturday was very simple this weekend. We watched a lot of football and enjoyed a variety of snacks, dips, and ice cold beer.

If you know anything about Ohio, or Ohio State football for that matter, buckeyes are a tradition that most Ohioans look forward too. Buckeyes (the food, not the nut or football team) were present at our wedding, and I look forward to my grandmother making them each year for Christmas. While the original buckeye recipe isn’t exactly the healthiest, it definitely reminds me of home and is something that will always stay tucked away in my recipe box. These buckeyes are a little different, a little healthier, and have the perfect fall twist that helped me kick off football season!

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While I know not all football lovers cheer for my Ohio State Buckeyes, I am happy to share my Pumpkin Peanut Butter “Buckeye” Balls with you in hopes that they make your game day spread. These are quick, simple, and easy to make and can also serve as an easy snack for busy days or after school snacks for your kids. I hope you give them a try! Happy Sunday y’all!

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Buckeye Balls

  • Servings: 12-15
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsalted, unsweetened smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup organic honey
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • pinch coarse sea salt
  • 3/4-1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

It a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, peanut butter, and honey. Stir with a fork or whisk until all peanut butter is smooth and well incorporated into the other ingredients.

Fold in oats, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until the oats are covered evenly, then sprinkle in the chia seeds. Mix lightly until the chia seeds are well incorporated. Try not to over mix. Chis seeds will start to form a “gel” that helps bond and hold the balls together, but this process can happen too quickly if over stirred and they will become gummy.

Once all ingredients are well incorporated, form small balls (about the size of an extra large gum ball) with your hands. Place on a large dish or cookie sheet and pop into the refrigerator. Re-roll after about 15 minutes, then place back into the refrigerator. Let harden for about 15-20 more minutes.

Once your buckeyes have become firmer, melt 3/4-1 cup of dark chocolate chips in the microwave or double broiler. If microwaving, stop and stir the chips every 20-30 seconds until fully melted to help prevent them from burning.

Dip buckeye balls into the melted chocolate about 1/2 way. Place back on dish or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and put back in the refrigerator for another 15-20 minutes before serving. Keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week!


Cocoa Banana Protein Balls

Happy Monday everyone!!! What a weekend we just had. We had a BUNCH (and I mean a bunch!) of family members come in to town for a surprise party for my father-in-law! Our weekend was filled with so much fun, food, sun, and of course a ton of new memories that I’m so thrilled we got to make! I was so excited to see cousins, aunts, uncles, and of course have a few of them stay in our new home.

To help with preparation and getting the house ready the week before, I made these yummy little balls for on-the-go snacking and to help keep my energy high each afternoon. I love small, easy snacks that I can pop in my mouth after work to help give me a little energy boost before exercising or working on things around the house. These were so easy and delicious, I definitely can’t wait to make them again!

A fun thing about this recipe is it is vegan and gluten free, so if you follow a special diet or have any type of dietary restriction, this may be a good recipe for you to try! You can also add different ingredients to tailor the flavor to your liking. Different additions, such as coconut flakes, can change up an otherwise simple and easy ingredient list.

I hope your week goes by fast and these little tasty bites give you a little extra energy to tackle your to-do list!! Have a great week y’all!

Cocoa Banana Protein Balls

  • Servings: 12-15 balls
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 2/3 cup raw, unsalted almonds
  • 1 large Tbsp unsalted PB
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vegan vanilla protein powder
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cinnamon

Directions

In a food processor, grind cashews, almonds, cocoa powder, peanut butter, banana, cinnamon, salt, and protein powder. Stop to scape the sides once or twice. The ingredients may start to form a paste-like consistency. If a large “doughy” ball starts to form, that is ok. Continue to pulse or grind until you get a consistency you like (I tend to go for a fairy smooth texture with a few chunks here or there).

Use your hands and a small spoon to form small, gum-ball size balls. Put on a plate and cover with foil or in an air-tight container. Let refrigerate and harden for at least 15-20 minutes before trying! Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week (can freeze for longer use). Enjoy!


Super Green Walnut Pesto

Happy Thursday everyone! For me, it’s my Friday, and I am so darn excited to paint a little in our house tomorrow. We decided on… do I dare say it… a shade of gray… that will hopefully warm up some of our rooms and highlight some of our furniture and accents. I swear I do like other colors besides white and gray! (sometimes)

Two nights ago I was driving home from work and couldn’t for the life of my think of what I wanted for dinner. My mom and I were talking about pizza, and somehow pizza turned into pasta, and pasta turned into thinking of a new sauce that I could make from scratch. I decided to make pesto, but a not so traditional pesto, that I could secretly hide some extra green in it. Have a mentioned before how hard it is to get Jeff to eat vegetables?

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This pesto was BOMB. Literally, I was eating it with a spoon. Jeff liked it also, and I know it was truly enjoyable for him because he ate the leftovers the next day. Can I tell you just how much it makes my heart swoon when I come home and find leftover containers EMPTY in the kitchen sink. That is how I truly know when one of my recipes is a success!

I called this a “super green” pesto because it truly is really, really green. I don’t mean clean, green… although that is pretty appropriate as well…. but it is literally really green and bright in color. This pesto is so unbelievably easy and delicious, you can bet I will make it again ASAP.

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I hope you give this yummy little recipe a try. Don’t be afraid to play around with it or substitute different greens. Let me know if you find a substitution that you love! I’m sure others would like to know as well πŸ™‚

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Super Green Walnut Pesto

  • Servings: approx. 1 3/4 cup total volume
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • ~3 cups raw greens (I used ~1 cup kale, 2 cups spinach)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • pinch of kosher seal salt
  • pinch of back pepper
  • 3 med size garlic cloves OR 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup water

Directions

It a food processor, pulse greens with olive oil. Once there is a little more room in the food processor, add walnuts, salt, pepper, and garlic cloves. Pulse or grind on low until garlic is fully chopped and incorporated.

Scrape down the sides of the container and add ~1/3 cup of water. Continue to pulse or blend until the pesto is the consistency you prefer. If you like it to me a little chunky, you can just stir in the water to help thin it our instead of pulsing.

Serve over grilled meats, warm pasta, or with warm bread. Enjoy!

 

 


Apple Spiced Baked Oatmeal

Is anyone else in total Christmas mode?! We have our Christmas tree up, decorations out, and cozy blankets all over our house (because believe it or not it is COLD in the morning!). What is better on a cozy Sunday morning than a warm and comforting breakfast?! Don’t get me wrong, I love my smoothie bowls, but sometimes I want something a little more comforting and hearty when the mornings are crisp and cool.

This oatmeal bake is SERIOUSLY so easy. I don’t know if I can really emphasize that enough. All of the ingredients I already had in my house, and it took a total of about 30 minutes form start to finish. It is also delicious, so it was definitely a win all around!

This base of this recipe is very simple: oats, egg, and banana. It is slightly sweet and best straight out of the oven. If you are cooking for yourself, leftover oatmeal can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and re-heated for breakfast as desired!

I chose to top my baked oats with a little peanut butter. Other yummy toppings may include chopped nuts, honey, maple syrup, greek yogurt, or other nut butters. If you are looking for a simple and fast breakfast to serve at your upcoming holiday brunch, this would definitely be a good option! I hope you enjoy this tasty and simple recipe! Happy Sunday everyone!

Apple Spiced Baked Oatmeal

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 brown banana, mashed
  • 1 whole large egg
  • 1/8 c brown sugar, unpacked
  • 1 capful (~1/8 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 whole Granny Smith apple
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • cooking spray

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium size bowl, smash banana until fairly smooth. Whisk in 1 whole egg, ~1/8 cup (or fill 1/4 cup half way) brown sugar, cinnamon, pink salt, and vanilla.

Dice 1/2 of a large granny smith apple (or apple of choice), and cut the other half into thin slices. Granny smith apples are fairly tart and flavorful, which is why they are a great choice when baking.

Add the oats, diced apple, and almond milk to the banana and egg mixture. Mix until all oats are moistened.

In a lightly greased baking dish or pie pan, spread the oats out evenly. Use the leftover apple slices to create a fun design on top of the oats or just place at random evenly across the top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the sides of the oats begin to pull away from the dish and turn golden brown. Let cool for 3-5 minutes and enjoy!


Cranberry Chocolate Pumpkin Bars

Yes… they are as good as they sound! Hi everyone! I feel like I haven’t been on here in ages, but with good reason. I have some fun updates that I will share in a later post this week, but for now… the pumpkin bars!

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These are so easy, gooey, and delicious. I have eaten one literally every day since I made them and they are the perfect ending to any meal. The base of these bars are oats, whole wheat flour, pumpkin, and banana. They are sweetened up with a little dried cranberries and a few dark chocolate chips. They only take about 20 minutes to bake and last for ~1 week covered or in a sealed container (I keep them cold in the refrigerator).

These bars would be the perfect addition to a holiday brunch or get together with family and friends. They are not too sweet and provide just the right about of pumpkin flavor. I hope you give these lovely little bars a try! Happy December friends!

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Cranberry Chocolate Pumpkin Bars

  • Servings: 12-18
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 brown banana
  • 1/2 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (not packed)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg
  • pumpkin pie spice (about 1/4 tsp)
  • cinnamon (~1/2 tsp)
  • pinch pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mash 1 banana with 1/2 can pumpkin puree. Add brown sugar and mix until it’s fairly dissolved. Stir in 1 egg, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.

Add dry ingredients (oats, flour, baking soda, and baking powder) and mix until all when ingredients are moistened. Stir in dried cranberries, walnuts, and dark chocolate chips.

In a greased baking dish, pour batter and spread out evenly. I used a square 9×9 baking dish. If wanting thinner bars, choose a larger size dish.

Let the pumpkin bars bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the edges start to pull away from the dish. Allow at least 10 minutes for cooling before cutting into squares for serving. Store in an sealed container or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.