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!


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
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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!


Chickpea Peanut Butter Protein Cookie

Happy hump day everyone! Boy was today actually a huge hump day. After a busy day at work, all I really wanted to do was go for a fast-paced quick run. Nothing feels better to me when things are a little hectic and stressful than tuning out and falling into a repetitive stride.

You know what else can really help on hump day? Cooking a delicious and guilt-free fun dessert. Ginormous cookie anyone? If you add a little peanut butter and chocolate to just about anything I am satisfied, so I started to think of how I could transform my original Chickpea Cookie Pie recipe. This is already one of my favs, so why not amp it up a bit?

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This recipe is fairly fast to make and lasts for about 5-7 days in the refrigerator. I think it tastes just as good cold as it does warm and is perfect for a quick after-work snack or a yummy after-dinner dessert. If you like peanut butter and chocolate, this is definitely a dessert for you!

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Chickpea Peanut Butter Protein Cookie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

  • 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 banana
  • ¼ c coconut flour (have not tried with other flours, but coconut tends to absorb more water so less is typically needed)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • ¼ cup PB (unsalted)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (have not tried with other milks)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp veg vanilla protein powder (have not tried with regular whey protein)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 dark chocolate bar (I used sea-salt, almond dark chocolate)

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, add all ingredients except for the chocolate. Pulse to help break apart the chickpeas, then blend until smooth. Stop a few times to scrap the sides of the processor to assure all pieces of chickpea are well blended and incorporated.

Once smooth, lightly grease a springform pan and evenly distribute the batter. Roughly break apart the chocolate bar (may use chocolate morsels or chips instead). Add the chocolate on top of batter and lightly press down. Top with a small pinch of salt.

Bake for ~35 minutes. The top should start to be a light golden brown. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving!

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Simple Cilantro Guacamole

Happy hump day everyone! With my family being here this week I haven’t had much time to test out new recipes, but I made this for taco night a few nights ago and it was a big hit! My mom isn’t a huge fan of cilantro and even she enjoyed it! I definitely made too much, but it gave me the opportunity to have a little leftover which is always a plus!

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This recipe is super easy and can be made in the food processor or a high-quality blender. If you like chunkier guac, I’d recommended just mashing the ingredients yourself with a fork to get a more hearty and chunky texture. While I love avocado, it doesn’t keep for long in the refrigerator, so I’d recommend consuming within 24-48 hours!

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If you are an avocado lover like I am, good guacamole is a must for taco night! While everyone has their own preference for guac flavors, I like fresh and light with a lot of garlic! I use lemon juice for my guac recipe, but I know lime juice is also popular. Avocados are filled with heart healthy monounsaturated fat, so don’t let the high fat content scare you away! They are also high in B vitamins, Vitamin C and E, and other important nutrients such as folate and potassium. While I don’t believe in “super foods”, avocado is pretty high on my list of nutrient-dense food favorites!

I would love for you to give this recipe a try during your next taco night and let me know what you think! Thanks for reading!

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Simple Cilantro Guacamole

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 soft avocados
  • 1 heirloom tomato
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • handful of fresh cilantro
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp garlic granules
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1/8 tsp dried basil

Directions

In a food processor, pulse tomato and onion. Add avocados, seasonings (salt, pep, garlic, basil), and lemon juice. Pulse until you achieve your desired consistency. Add cilantro and either mix in or pulse a few times to incorporate. Decorate with a few leaves of cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice before serving!


Vegan Carrot Cake Protein Bites

Happy Sunday everyone!!! Is anyone ever ready for Monday? I think my case of the Monday’s gets worse with each week, especially when there is a holiday around the corner. This week, my family flies in from Ohio and I can’t wait to see them! Even though they were just here in Christmas, it seems like forever since they have been here soaking up the Arizona sun!

With Easter coming up next weekend, I was trying to think of something a little creative and fun to make for the week. Jeff and I are still going strong with our Lent goal of no sweets until Easter Sunday, so while pastries, breads, and cookies, sounded fantastic, I couldn’t bring myself to cheat! While these little protein balls may taste like dessert, they are made without any sweetener or sugar. The sweetness you taste is from one of my favorite ingredients, dates, and maybe a little from the protein powder.

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These are raw and require no cooking, freezing, or chilling before being eaten (although I do think giving them some time in the refrigerator enhances the flavor — they are also better cold!). They are made with all vegan products, including the protein powder. I am happy to say they came out better than expected as this was the first time I actually put a raw vegetable into one of my protein bite recipes!

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These are best kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for about 5-7 days. I used a vegan vanilla protein powder from Sprout’s Farmers Market. Sprouts does not pay or endorse my page, I just truly love their products and their store!! I am not sure how other protein powders would compare, and I tend to by vegan brands regardless so if you use something different I don’t know if it will alter the taste. I really hope you give this one a try! If you celebrate Easter,  I hope you have a wonderful and relaxed week! I’ll be enjoying the time I have with my family, so HHK will take a back seat for a few days, but expect an update on some of our local eats once they leave! Enjoy!

Vegan Carrot Cake Protein Bites

  • Servings: 12-14 bites
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 6 dates
  • 2 Tbsp vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsalted peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrot

Directions

In a food processor, grind all ingredients except the carrot and raisins. Stop and stir occasionally. Grind until a find meal forms that can be pressed together with your fingers to form a solid. Add the carrots and pulse a few times to incorporate them into the meal.

Remove the blade and stir in raisins. Rolled gum ball sized bites with hands and place on a cookie sheet or large plate. Once finished, either cover with foil or place in an air-tight, sealed contained and refrigerate. Will keep for 5-7 days in refrigerator.

 

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