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May 29, 2012

Buttery Toffee Oatmeal Blondie Batter

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Mmmm, blondie batter!  Like a mixture between cookie dough and cake batter, but just a little different--not firm like cookie dough and not pourable like cake batter... it's juuuust right!


But here, I delved deeper into the healthy-doughs-and-batters world by using a different bean--the cannellini bean!

Don't worry!  You can't taste them at all!

Cannellini beans are similar in color to chickpeas but have the same fudgy texture as black beans.  Without the beans, this would just be a delicious oatmeal.  Dump some beans in a blender and add it to the mix, and then you get blondie batter, fudgy yummy and sweet blondie batter!  Despite the oats, this doesn't look or taste healthy at all.

It's too sweet, too buttery, too flavorful!  It tastes better than the stuff you can buy in the tubs.  Plus it's healthier and all natural.  Skip the processed storebought stuff and make this instead, you'll save time and gas from driving to the store!  Oh, and did I mention it takes only 10 minutes to make?!?

Win win win.

Buttery Toffee Oatmeal Blondie Batter:  [eggless, low fat/sugar, high fiber/protein, GF, vegan]
(serves 4-6)
   192g (2 cups) Rolled Oats (old fashioned, gluten free if you like)
   84g (1/4 cup + 3 tbs) Granulated Erythritol (or other dry sweetener)
   40g (1/4 cup) Brown Rice Flour
   32g (1 scoop) Vanilla Protein Powder
   one 15oz can Cannellini Beans (drained and rinsed well;  1.5 cups beans)
   1/4 cup + 2 tbs Almond Milk (unsweetened)
   64g (1/4 cup) Raw Almond Butter (natural, any neutral nut butter would work here)
   21g (1 tbs) Molasses
   3/4 tsp English Toffee Stevia Extract*
   1/2 tsp Butter Extract

*Okay, I know it's annoying to buy a new bottle of something, but I am so glad I caved in and bought this--I use it all.the.time.  It's great in desserts like this, overnight oats, and especially coffee.  If you decide to order the toffee stevia, here is a $5 off discount code for iHerb.comBAF165

1.  In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients, mix, and set aside.
2.  In a blender, puree the wet ingredients.  Scoop over the dry ingredients and fold together.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, serve the next day!

Because I used a lot more oats than my other cookie doughs and batters, this needs more time in the fridge for the oats to soften up.  Plus, the flavors meld together overnight and it tastes 17x better after that totally unbearable super long wait a night in the fridge.  But it's 100% worth it.  You have dessert--I mean breakfast--all ready for you by morning!

Wanna know what really makes this blondie batter stand out?

The nutrition label, of course!

300 tasty calories, 8g of healthy fats, 8g of filling fiber and 16g of satiating protein?

Exactly why I ate this blondie batter for breakfast, and you should too.


May 26, 2012

Almond Joy Chocolate Candy Cups

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I like to call these "instant friend makers"


and I think that speaks for itself.

At first people will think these are Reese's, but then they take a bite.

Their eyes burst wide open and their senses clear.  Another bite...

They smile, and then they melt with happiness.

The almond and coconut flavors pair perfectly.

And why not make it better by encasing the two in smooth, milky chocolate?

That's sort of my solution to everything--cover it in chocolate!


I know I'm not alone on that one  ;)

These are divine, even a bit sophisticated, but oh so simple.

These are rich, even indulgent, but oh so nutritious...

(shhh, no one will know these are healthy!)

Almond Joy Chocolate Candy Cups:  [no bake, sugar free, GF, vegan*]
(makes 8 cups)
  3.5oz Sugar Free Milk Chocolate*
  ~1/2 cup Almond Joy Candy Spread

*I used Guylian brand, pictured here.  Vegan milk chocolate is available at many food stores/online, it just might not be sugar free.

1.  Melt the chocolate and line this mold or muffin liners with the chocolate, creating a base and walls.  Refrigerate for 40 minutes to an hour, whenever chocolate is completely hardened.
2.  Fill each cup with the spread (I didn't measure, I just put a spoonful in each).  Spoon some chocolate over the spread and anchor the chocolate to the edge of the hardened chocolate.  Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight, when chocolate is completely hardened (I refrigerated overnight)
3.  When completely hardened, pop the candy cups onto a serving plate and serve.

Make these now!

May 25, 2012

Almond Joy Candy Spread

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I never thought I'd say this but ... phew ... I would choose this Almond Joy Candy Spread any day over peanut butter!


Oh, I thought you were going to virtually punch me for a second there.

This Almond Joy Candy Spread is super buttery and creamy, similar to peanut butter, only it's sweet and full of three amazing flavors: almond, coconut, and chocolate... totally unlike peanut butter.  It's like spreadable dessert!

This is probably definitely the best replacement out there for fruit jellies and jams, cream cheeses, butter, and dare I say, other plain nut butters?  Plus, it's lower calorie and lower fat (see nutrition label below)

Almond Joy Candy Spread:  [sugar free, low carb, high fiber, GF, vegan]
(makes ~1 cup)
  64g (1/4 cup) Raw Almond Butter
  64g (1/4 cup) Coconut Butter (or make yours at home!)
  1/4 cup Light Coconut Milk (canned)
  2 packets Sweetener (I used Truvia)
  1/4 tsp Pure Almond Extract
  1/4 tsp Coconut Extract (optional)
  1/4 tsp Chocolate Extract (optional)
  2 tbs Mini Chocolate Chips (optional, but is it really?)

1.  In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the coconut butter and almond butter until coconut butter is melted (took me 40 seconds total with two, 20-second intervals)
2.  Stir in the coconut milk, then add the sweetener and extracts (chocolate chips too if you like).  Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate (if refrigerating, stir before using)

Next time I make this I'm going to add 1-2 tbs of vanilla protein powder and maybe 1-2 tsp more of the coconut milk... Mmmm yummy!

A candy-like spread for about half the calories and fat of peanut butter?!




May 22, 2012

Peanut Butter Butterscotch Granola Squares

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Here I go again with the peanut butter + butterscotch combo!  It's a magnificent match that shocks your tastebuds every time, but in a good way.

We've all seen peanut butter granola bars on grocery store shelves, but these homemade granola squares are so much better... these are 100% whole grain, refined-sugar-free, no bake, and are larger than the packaged varieties for the same amount of calories!

Not to mention, these have butterscotch... rich, sweet and oh so indulgent butterscotch!  This amazing ingredient transforms the typical breakfast granola bar into a unique dessert.  But if you're like me and eat dessert for breakfast, then this will be a delightful change from overnight dessert oats and the other granola square recipes.

These made me hop out of bed in the morning!  Literally...

Peanut Butter Butterscotch Granola Squares:  [no bake, low sugar, high protein, GF, vegan]
(makes 9 squares or 8 bars)
Step 1:
   1 cup Light Coconut Milk, canned
   64g (1/4 cup) Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar/salt/oil added)
   42g (2 tbs) Molasses
   26g (1/4 cup) Ground Flaxseed
   1 tsp Butterscotch Extract
Step 2:
   128g (4 scoops) Vanilla Protein Powder
   96g (1/2 cup) Granulated Erythritol (or dry sweetener of choice)
   1/4 tsp Salt
Step 3:
   192g (2 cups) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (GF if you like)
   120g (4 cups) Crispy Brown Rice Cereal

1.  Line a brownie pan with parchment paper both ways, set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the Step 1 ingredients.
3.  Whisk in the protein powder, erythritol and salt (it should be viscous/thick/syrupy looking).
4.  Fold in the oats, then fold in the rice krispies.  When mixture is fully mixed, pour it into the prepared brownie pan and flatten the surface.  Freeze covered for a day and a half (I know, I know, but those few extra hours are crucial for them so slice easily) then slice.  Once sliced, these can stay in the fridge or freezer.

Note:  these are pretty sticky, so once you slice them it helps to keep each individual slice on a piece of parchment paper (plus it's pretty!).  Feel free to add 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts for more peanut flavor, or maybe even add a handful of mini dark chocolate chips!

The only con to making these granola squares is knowing that you have to let them freeze for over 24 hours before you can indulge!  I've gotta say, stirring the "batter" was quite torturous... it had an incredible scent!

I purposely didn't wash the mixing bowl for a few hours later so I could smell the peanut butter + butterscotch for as long as possible...  I hope that's not gross..........

With 8g of healthy fats, 4g of fiber and 17g of protein, these granola squares are the perfect replacement for storebought protein bars and meal replacement bars.

Skip the processed stuff and make this just-as-delicious version at home!

May 19, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

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Oh no, I couldn't stop at Peanut Butter Protein Balls, and I certainly couldn't stop at the Hazelnut Fudge Protein Cookies!

Chocolate + Peanut Butter = Magic

... the combo just had to be done.

To tell you the truth, I was so happy with the basic peanut butter recipe I didn't even think of making a chocolate version until recently...

OH NO, is there something wrong with me?!?   *bites nails*

Well, if I could make these, then there is definitely nothing wrong with me... I'm sane, I swear!

Says the girl with melted chocolate all over her face.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls:  [no bake, high protein, GF, vegan]
adapted from Peanut Butter Protein Balls
(makes 4-5 balls)
    32g (1 scoop) Chocolate Protein Powder
    1/2 tsp Dark Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
    32g (2 tbs) Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar/salt/oil added)
    42g (2 tbs) Honey (or maple syrup/agave)

1.  Put the protein powder and cocoa powder in a bowl and mix.
2.  Add the peanut butter and sweetener of choice and stir until moist and crumbly.  Using your hands, form the mixture into one large ball and then divide that by how many servings you want.  Eat immediately or refrigerate for later.


Make these now, you will not regret it  :)

May 18, 2012

Coconut Shortbread Truffles

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Finally, a dessert where we can have eight four servings and not feel guilty one bit!  These Coconut Shortbread Truffles are sweet, sophisticated, satisfying, and packed with natural coconut flavor.  But these aren't your average truffles, these are made with ingredients you can feel good about eating!

And they look super fancy, don't they?

So lift your pinkie and grab a truffle.  Take a bite and melt into buttery, coconutty bliss.

Coconut Shortbread Truffles:  [sugar free, low fat, high fiber, GF, vegan]
(makes 25 truffles)
   96g (1 cup) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, blended to a flour (GF if you like)
   96g (1/2 cup) Granulated Erythritol (or dry sweetener of choice)
   60g (1 cup) Reduced Fat Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)
   40g (1/4 cup) Brown Rice Flour*
   32g (1 scoop) Vanilla Protein Powder
   one 15oz can Garbanzo Beans (drained and rinsed well;  1.5 cups beans)
   1/4 cup + 2-3 tbs Light Coconut Milk, canned
   3/4 tsp Butter Extract
   1/4 tsp Coconut Extract (optional)
   1/4 tsp Vanilla Paste (optional)

*I'm sure more oat flour would work, I was just trying to finish the last bit of rice flour in the package

1.  In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.  Set aside.
2.  In a blender, puree the wet ingredients (this mixture should be a little more liquidy than my other cookie dough recipes, but it should still be somewhat thick).  Pour over the dry ingredients and fold to combine.  Press the mixture down in the bowl so the surface is flat, cover and refrigerate overnight.
3.  The next day, scoop the mixture (it should be fairly firm) into equal size chunks and roll into balls.  Roll in more coconut or leave plain.  Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator covered (serve chilled for best texture!)

Feel free to coat these in white chocolate (yum!) or even add a couple tablespoons of coconut butter to the mix.

Grab onto something!  Put down your hot coffee!

And prepare to be shocked...

Okay, I guess it's not so shocking that you'd throw your hot coffee in someone's face, but it was pretty shocking to me.  It reminded me of the day I walked into Godiva (I bet I used to be their #1 customer) and asked the employee for the nutritional facts of my favorite chocolate truffle.  One truffle had 180 calories and 15g of fat.  Yeah.  So I believe these healthy truffles are a great replacement, and they don't leave you feeling deprived one bit!

Hmmm... I'm sensing a void here.

Oh, that's just the gaping hole in the mound of truffles.
I guess the only solution is to eat all of them  ;)

May 15, 2012

Almond Joy Candy Fudge

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Ohhhh yes.

Almond Joy Candy Fudge.

My heart just skipped a beat!

Ohhhh yes.

Wait, did I say that already?

It appears I did, but would you take a look at that bite?

So smooth, so chewy, so fudgy!

Chocolate and coconut pair like no other, but the almond flavor is what brightens each bite.

You will be in heaven once you sink your teeth into these!

And to make it better, they do not taste healthy at all!  They are just as sweet as the real-deal candy bar, just without the guilt, sugar, trans fats, and other heavily processed ingredients.  I still can't believe it, and I bet you won't either, enjoy!

Almond Joy Candy Fudge:  [no bake, low sugar, high fiber, GF, vegan]
(makes 16 squares)

   Chocolate Almond Base:
       128g (1/2 cup) Coconut Butter
       42g (2 tbs) Brown Rice Syrup (or honey/agave)
       1/4 cup Light Coconut Milk, canned
       1/2 tsp Almond Extract
       48g (1+1/2 scoops) Chocolate Protein Powder
       30g (6 tbs) Regular Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
       1/8 tsp Salt

   Coconut Layer:
       64g (1/4 cup) Coconut Butter, soft
       1/4 cup Light Coconut Milk, canned
       3/4 tsp Stevia Extract*
       1/4 tsp Coconut Extract (optional)
       48g (1/4 cup) Granulated Erythritol (or dry sweetener of choice)
       64g (2 scoops) Vanilla Protein Powder
       45g (3/4 cup) Reduced Fat Shredded Coconut

*I made this again without the stevia and it was fine, it was just much less sweet (so less like the candy bar and more like a sophisticated treat)

Directions (for the bottom layer):
1.  Line a brownie pan (or loaf pan if you want a taller/thicker fudge) with foil or parchment paper.
2.  Add the protein powder, cocoa powder and salt into a small bowl and set aside
3.  In a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the coconut butter and brown rice syrup.  Microwave for 20 seconds, until coconut butter becomes soft and slightly melted
2.  Stir in the coconut milk and extract.  Then stir in the prepared protein powder/cocoa/salt mixture one spoonful at a time (mixture should look like a dark paste).  Scoop this into the prepared pan, spread to the edges and flatten with a rubber spatula.  Freeze while you make the coconut topping.

Directions (for the top layer):
1.  In a large bowl, add the coconut butter (it should be somewhat soft, like play-doh or fudge), coconut milk and coconut extract.  Stir this mixture until the coconut butter "dissolves" and it looks like a paste.
2.  Stir in the erythritol.  Add the protein powder, one scoop at a time, pressing the powder into the coconut mixture with the back of a spoon until it dissolves (it will look like there is too much but it will dissolve soon)
3.  Repeat with the shredded coconut.  When mixture is fully mixed, scoop it over the chocolate crust and flatten with a rubber spatula or pastry roller.  Refrigerate covered overnight.  Slice and serve the next day.

Feel free to press whole almonds onto the top layer before refrigerating.

Feel free to drizzle these with chocolate... I have no idea why I just thought of that now (?!?)

Oh well, yet another reason to make these again

May 14, 2012

"Nutella" Fudge Protein Cookies

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For quite some time, I was making Peanut Butter Protein Balls on a daily basis!  They are just so incredibly easy to make and I love the short and healthy ingredient list.

Oh, and did I mention they taste sooo.freaking.good?

But sometimes it's good to change things up a bit.  Lulu commented on the PB Protein Ball post saying how she made a maple-vanilla-cashew version, and it made me think of all the variations the recipe had to offer.

Naturally, the first thing that came to my mind was chocolate.

Then I thought of Nutella.

And that's when these babies were born...

Just as tasty as the peanut butter version, only these have a little extra oomph...  chocolate!

They're so rich and fudgy, it feels like you're eating something unhealthy.  It's hard to believe these are actually nutritious and full of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, fiber and protein!

Yes, all that in a cookie.

They may look small, but they are surprisingly filling and totally satisfying.

I added some chopped raw hazelnuts to the cookies because they add a nice crunch, but if you're really up for some decadence, add some mini chocolate chips instead...

Because you deserve it  ;)

"Nutella" Fudge Protein Cookies:  [no bake, high protein, GF, vegan]
(makes 4 cookies)
   32g (1 scoop) Chocolate Protein Powder
   28g (2 tbs) Hazelnut Butter (natural, no sugar/salt/oil added)
   42g (2 tbs) Pure Maple Syrup (or honey/agave)

1.  Add the protein powder to a small bowl, then add the hazelnut butter and syrup.  Stir until protein powder has dissolved.
2.  Scoop 1/4 of the mixture and roll into a ball, and do the same with the rest of the mixture.  Put the balls on a plate and freeze for about 30 minutes.  Flatten the balls into cookies (or keep them in ball form, like these) and press on any toppings you like (for some ideas, see this post)

Feel free to add 1/2 tsp of dark cocoa powder...  you know, just to make it a little more chocolatey  ;)


May 12, 2012

Scotcheroos (Peanut Butter Butterscotch Krispy Treats with Dark Chocolate Ganache)

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I absolutely love butterscotch flavor--it's so intense, creamy and warming...

A perfect match for peanut butter and chocolate, yes?  Yes.

These Scotcheroos are unbelievably unique and sophisticated, nothing like what you see in those bright blue packages at the grocery store!  Everyone was stunned when they saw these.  First of all, they are just so fancy!  No one believed these were homemade... in my dorm.  And second, they are actually healthy!  No one believed it, these are sweet from the butterscotch, rich from the peanut butter, and indulgent from the dark chocolate ganache.

These treats are simply gratifying.  Every bite feels like you're cheating on your diet, when really, you're not.  These are the decadent treats you can feel good about eating!

Scotcheroos:  [no bake, high protein, GF, vegan]
(makes 9 large treats)

    150g (5 cups) Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
    48g (1/2 cup) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (GF if you like)
    13g (2 tbs) Ground Flaxseed
    1/8 tsp Salt

    168g (1/2 cup) Brown Rice Syrup
    128g (1/2 cup) Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar/salt/oil added)
    42g (2 tbs) Pure Maple Syrup
    1 tsp Butterscotch Extract
    64g (2 scoops) Vanilla Protein Powder

    4oz Unsweetened Chocolate, chopped (or dark chocolate)
    84g (1/4 cup) Pure Maple Syrup

1.  Line a brownie pan with parchment paper both ways.
2.  In a large bowl, stir together the cereal, oats, flax and salt.
3.  In a large microwave-safe bowl, stir together the rice syrup, peanut butter, maple syrup and butterscotch extract (not the protein powder yet!).  Microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until mixture is runny.  Stir in the protein powder one spoonful at a time.  Scoop this mixture over the dry ingredients and fold together.  Scoop into the prepared pan and flatten.
4.  Add the chocolate to a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until melted.  Stir in the maple syrup (it should look like a frosting).  Scoop this over the krispy treats and spread to the edges, trying to make the surface somewhat flat.  Refrigerate for ~30 minutes, flatten the surface with a pastry roller or a cylinder object (like a mug).  Slice and serve!

Mmmm... the perfect bite:  chewy, crunchy, sweet and rich.

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