healthy snack

Protein Packed Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Right around this time every year I start craving lemon blueberry goodies. This is unintentional, but if you look at my Pinterest boards, it is definitely a pattern!! This year I was in search of a healthy lemon blueberry snack and found these lovely muffins! I love a couple things about these muffins

  1. They are simple: just 5 ingredients!

  2. They are balanced: they have a good amount of carbs, proteins and fats

  3. They are delicious!

Here is how to make them!

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Protein Packed Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats

  • 1 (6oz) container of Vanilla Greek Yogurt

  • 1 (4oz) container blueberries, washed

  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Place paper cups in muffin tins (or spray with non-stick)

  3. Place all ingredients except the blueberries in a food processor and blend until smooth.

  4. Once blended, fold in blueberries.

  5. Pour evenly into muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted into the muffins and come out clean.

  6. Store for a week in the refrigerator, or for a couple months in the freezer.

Sweet Potato Muffins

The 4th week of the CrossFit Open is upon us, and I wanted to find a carb heavy snack to eat before my workout! This one is a real winner!! Here are some highlights:

  • The sweet potatoes give this muffin carbs, but slower digesting carbs, so they are great to have at least an hour before your workout.

  • This is sweetened with a little bit of maple syrup- but mainly banana and applesauce- both of which have some fiber, so provide quick but lasting energy.

  • Oats and oat flour also are great sources of carbohydrates, but do have fiber and protein which make this muffin well balanced.

  • Seeds add fat and protein to this muffin, which again make it more balanced.

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This muffin is great for workout fuel, but in order to best utilize it, I suggest eating it at least an hour before your workout. The fiber, protein and fat in the muffin will ramp up your glycogen stores and provide long lasting energy BUT these components can also be difficult to digest if eaten right before you raise your heart rate which can lead to digestion issues… not what you want as your are burpeeing over the bar :-)

Here is how to make them:

Sweet Potato Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I baked them in the oven earlier this week, so I could scoop and mash them for this recipe)

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed

  • 2 TBSP vanilla extract

  • 1 TBSP almond butter

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 TBSP cinnamon

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 2 TBSP maple syrup

  • 3 TBSP unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 1/2 cup oats

  • 1 cup oat flour (take 1 1/4 cup oats and place them in the food processor until powdered)

  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F

  2. Mix mashed sweet potato and mashed bananas together in a bowl. Add vanilla and almond butter and mix well.

  3. Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well.

  4. Then add almond milk, maple syrup and applesauce and mix to combine.

  5. Add oats, oat flour, flax, chia and pumpkin seeds.

  6. Mix until well combined.

  7. Place muffin cups in your muffin tin and fill each about 2/3 full. This should make 24 muffins.

  8. Place in oven for 30 minutes total, spinning if necessary.

  9. Let cool and then wrap in plastic wrap or tin foil and store in refrigerator for 2 weeks for freezer for longer.

*I only had 1 muffin tin so made the rest into bars by placing them in an 8x8 greased pan and cooking them for a total of 35 minutes.

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More Energy Bites

I love making and eating these little bites!!

A couple tips:

  • buy A LOT of almond butter before you start. Also, make sure you have all the ingredients, because I am prone to realizing I am missing one in the midst of making these.

  • Freeze them when you are done. They will last longer.

  • Use applesauce and a little bit of honey, instead of all honey

  • Pick a protein powder that is unflavored.

You may have to dedicate a chunk of time aside if you want to make all of these, BUT then you’ll be set for snacks for a while!!

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Oatmeal Raisin Bites

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats

  • 1/2 cup protein powder

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon

  • pinch of salt

  • 1 cup almond butter

  • 2 TBSP honey

  • 6 TBSP applesauce

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1/2 cup raisins

How to:

  1. Heat almond butter and honey in a microwave safe bowl for 20-30 seconds, or until warm.

  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until combined.

  3. Form into 24 balls and place on a plate and then in the freezer. Once frozen, store in an airtight container or bag in the freezer.

Chocolate Coconut Pistachio Energy Bites

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shelled pistachios

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (or oat flour)

  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder

  • 3/4 cup almond butter

  • 2 TBSP honey

  • 6 TBSP applesauce

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 1/4 cup protein powder

How to:

  1. Pulse the pistachios in a food processor until chopped into fine pieces.

  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. It may feel like it won’t mix, but keep working at it and it will all come together.

  3. Make into 24 balls and place on a plate and then in the freezer. Once frozen, place in an airtight container or bag and freeze until ready to eat.

Fig Newton Energy Bites

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Ingredients:

  • 15 figs

  • 7 dates

  • 3/8 cup almond butter

  • 3/4 cup oats

  • 1/4 cup protein powder

  • 2 TBSP flax meal

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp vanilla

How to:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it starts to form together.

  2. Form ingredients into 18 balls. You may find that you’ll have to pack the mixture tight to make it stay together.

  3. Place balls on a plate and stick in the freezer. Once frozen, place in an airtight container or bag and stick back into freezer until ready to enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!




The Best Simple Granola You'll Ever Eat

I was on the hunt for a granola with no added sugar, which is extremely hard to come by, BUT I have found one and perfected it. This is something we ALWAYS have in our pantry. We will use it on yogurt, on smoothie bowls, with milk, and sometimes I’ll grab a quick handful if I’m hungry!!

What I love about it:

  • It is simple and easy to make

  • It tastes simple, so can be used on a lot of different things

  • NO ADDED SUGAR!!!

  • It is a fun way to get a variety of nuts and seeds in

Once you make it, you’ll feel the same :-)

The Best Simple Granola

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds, chopped

  • 1 cup cashews, chopped

  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds, chopped

  • 1 cup raisins

  • 3 cups oats

  • 2 TBSP cinnamon

  • 1 tsp ginger

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

How to:

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350F

  2. Roughly chop almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds.

  3. Place nuts and seeds in a large bowl with oats and spices.

  4. Melt coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Mix into nut and seed mixture with applesauce.

  5. Mix until well combined. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.

  6. Cook for 35-45 minutes total, mixing every 15 minutes. In the final 15 minutes, mix in the raisins.

  7. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

**You can add the raisins in earlier, we find that they get too hard if they cook the whole time.

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Banana Oat Muffins

Okay, if you know me, I am forever obsessed with peanut butter and bananas. You can always make this recipe with almond butter too! These muffins do not have any added sugar and use applesauce for sweetness!!

These muffins could be paired with yogurt or hard boiled eggs to make it a full meal or snack!

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Banana Oat Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup milk/almond milk

  • 2 overripe bananas

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 3 cups oats

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, or other nut or seed

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a muffin tin with oil.

  2. Mash bananas and mix in with other wet ingredients.

  3. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

  4. Spoon into muffin tins and cook for 25-30 minutes.

  5. Let cool and remove from tins. Store in fridge or freezer until ready to eat.



Chocolate Mint Energy Bites

I am always looking for new snack ideas! I have been making energy bites a lot lately. I have also been wanting chocolate mint EVERYTHING, so decided to channel that craving into a fun snack!

When I make these energy bites, I make a couple swaps to the ingredients to decrease the added sugar and increase the protein- making them a more balanced snack. I generally sub out unsweetened applesauce for most of the honey. The consistency of the applesauce helps bind the ingredients- which is one of the purposes of the honey. I also generally add protein powder. Protein powder is tricky and usually I am not a huge fan, but I do tend to use it in snacks like this and smoothies. I don’t have a favorite kind, but I do look for brands that don’t have a lot of added ingredients. And for instances like this, getting a powder that doesn’t have a sweetener or flavor is good too. This time, I used Trader Joe’s Pea Powder.

I morphed this recipe from a recipe I already make for chocolate coconut pistachio energy bites, so you can totally take the basics of this recipe and make it your own too!

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Chocolate Mint Energy Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

  • 1/3 cup oats ground to make 1/4 cup oat flour

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

  • 3/4 cup almond butter

  • 2 TBSP honey

  • 6 TBSP unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 tsp mint extract

  • 1/4 cup protein powder

How to:

  1. Grind oats in a food processor until they become a flour like consistency. Place in a large bowl.

  2. In the food processor, pulse almonds to chop into small-ish chunks (you can also hand chop)

  3. Mix everything in a large bowl. I usually mix with my hands, because without fail, every time I don’t believe it is going to mix fully. Just keep mixing, and everything will eventually stick together.

  4. Make into bite sized balls. I try to make 24 per batch.

  5. Store in fridge for a couple days or freezer if you’ll have them around longer.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

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Who's stoked about pumpkin spice anything?! Funny enough- most pumpkin spice products don't contain any pumpkin at all. It is generally the spice mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves/allspice (or a synthetic version of this) that we crave. And all because those spices are generally linked to positive and cozy memories!

This weekend, we tried making a pumpkin spice coffee creamer (kinda like a latte) and used real pumpkin because pumpkin is full of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants! Here is what I came up with:

  • 2 cups almond milk (or other milk)

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

  • 1 TBSP cinnamon

  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp cloves

  • dash of ginger

  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Mix in a blender until well combined. Pour desired amount into coffee and then add maple syrup to sweeten to your preference. Store the rest in the refrigerator for later use!

O and yes, the pumpkin will separate out, so mix well before you use it again. And, mix into your coffee well too!

Hope you enjoy!

Trail Mix Bar

Alright, I am coming at you with another post about snacks. One of my goals in life is to create a perfect bar- so I don't have to buy them. When I look for a bar I look for calories, protein, and how the bar is sweetened. Ideally, I find a bar with about 200 calories is a good snack amount. Protein is hard- but I usually look for 7g or more, but avoid ones with too much protein (because it is unnecessary). I look at the sugars and then check how that bar is sweetened. I tend to choose bars that are naturally sweetened with fruits. I also always chose one with mostly whole ingredients. On my quest for a good bar recipe, I found this one! It is sweetened with banana :). The protein comes from nuts. It is spiced up with some dried fruit, cinnamon and I added cocoa nibs too! I found it was easy to make, easy to store and quite delicious!!

Ingredients: 

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  • 1.5 cups ripe banana, mashed (about 3-4 bananas)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 cups rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup dried cherries

  • 1/2 cup walnuts

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

  • 1/2 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

  • 1/2 cup almonds

  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds

  • 1 TBSP cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup cocoa nibs

How To:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper.

  • In a bowl, mash bananas and add vanilla extract.

  • Add oats to a food processor and pulse until oats are coarsely chopped. Add to banana mixture

  • Place cherries in food processor, pulse until chopped. Add to banana mixture and mix well.

  • Place walnuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas, and almonds in the food processor and pulse a couple times until coarseley chopped. Add to banana mixture along with hemp seeds, cinnamon and 1/2 of the cocoa nibs.

  • Mix well. Spread into prepared dish, pressing down and evenly distributing.

  • Sprinkle the rest of the cocao nibs on top.

  • Place in oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

  • Let cool. The cut into 16 pieces. I wrapped mine individually and stuck them in the freezer.

A few fun facts about the ingredients:

Hemp seeds: are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Also, high in protein. These seeds contain about 25% protein for weight, which is comparable to most meat sources. Also, they are considered a complete protein- meaning they have all the essential amino acids- which is very hard to come by in the plant world. 

Cocao nibs: Come from the husk of the cocao bean- which is removed during the drying and fermentation of the cocao bean to ultimately make chocolate. The chocolate we know has things (sugar) added to it to make it sweet and delicious. The cocao nib doesn't. It still has a slightly sweet taste- but don't expect it to taste like the chocolate you are used to! It is considered a superfood. It is high in antioxidants, has caffeine, and contains nutrients like magnesium. 

 

A healthy muffin?!

We are always searching for new snack ideas. We often find ourselves relying on bars as snacks, which is okay-especially if you find a bar made with whole ingredients and limited added sugar. On days that we aren't working out, I try to choose a non-bar option. In my search I came across a recipe for some pretty healthy looking blueberry muffins. I decided to play with it a little and decrease the added sugar and increase the protein to make it a healthier snack option. Here is what I came up with!

PS I suggest eating with a little bit of peanut butter or almond butter:-)

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup ground flax seed
1 cup oats
1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 1/2 cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup blueberries (I used frozen)

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, ground flax seed, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix until combined.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine maple syrup, yogurt, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix until combined and yogurt is dispersed.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined. Add blueberries (if using frozen don't allow them time to thaw or they will turn everything blue!) Fill all 12 muffin containers with equal amounts of batter.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
  6. Store in refrigerator if they will be eaten in about a week. If not, wrap individually in foil and store in the freezer.