Banana Bread Bars (Vegan, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free)

You know what coffee shop I love??? Gregory’s. They have delicious coffee and reallllly tasty baked goods. You know what I don’t love about Gregory’s Coffee though? The fact that ONE energy ball is $3.50!!!! Every time I buy one of them I savor every bite while simultaneously kicking myself for spending $3.50 on a tablespoon of rolled mush.

These banana bread bars are inspired by Gregory’s energy bites but TBH they don’t taste anything like them. I made these as simple as possible because that’s how I live my life :)

You can spice them up (literally) with cinnamon or nutmeg; maybe add some coconut flakes; get really wild add some chocolate chips - the world is your oyster. If you have a peanut allergy you could also skip the powdered peanut butter and just add a bit more oatmeal to soak up the moisture. Maybe do a little flax meal - hey I’m down for a good time. These bars are great to grab and go in the morning, as a mid-afternoon snack, or a pre-workout bite to fuel you towards your gains. Whatever it is, enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe medium bananas

  • 2 cups rolled gluten-free oats

  • 3 scoops Naked Nutrition chocolate peanut butter powder

  • 1 T chia seeds

  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • dash of salt

  • Optional add in’s: coconut flakes, nuts, seeds, cranberries, raisins, chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. (We ran out of parchment paper so I had to use aluminum foil - just be sure to spray with cooking spray)

  2. Mash bananas in a large bowl

  3. Stir in dry ingredients

  4. Using about 2 T of “dough” form into a rectangle and place on cookie sheet. This should make about 8-10 bars depending on the size

  5. Bake for 12 minutes

  6. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

  7. Store in airtight container and keep in the refrigerator to last longer. You can microwave for 15-20 seconds to get them all goey again :)

Banana Bread Bars

Banana Bread Bars

Homemade Nutella (sugar-free)

Not going to lie, I was patting myself on the back for this one. This homemade Nutella tastes just like the stuff you’d buy in the store but without all of the added oils and sugars. Not only is it free of the junk, it’s packed with healthy fats and antioxidants! I’d call that a WIN-WIN.

Homemade Nutella

Homemade Nutella

Ingredients:

  • 2.25 cups dry roasted hazelnuts

  • 1 T + 1 tsp coconut oil

  • 2 T cacao powder

  • 8-12 drops liquid stevia

Directions:

  1. Add hazelnuts and coconut oil to food processor or high-speed blender like a Vitamix (if using Vitamix like I did, you’ll need to use the tamper)

  2. Blend / process on high for 1-2 minutes

  3. Add cacao powder

  4. Blend

  5. Scrape from sides with rubber spatula

  6. Add 8 drops of stevia, blend and taste. Add more for more sweetness

  7. Use a rubber spatula to scrape nutella from sides of the blender/processor into a glass jar or dish

  8. Enjoy with apples, bananas, toast or my favorite way, straight from the jar with a spoon :)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tarts (gluten-free, keto)

You guys know I’m always chatting about brain health and omega-3’s. Well this tasty treat is packed with omegas thanks to a nice dose of hemp hearts. No don’t worry, not that kind of hemp; the only high you’ll be getting from these is a chocolate peanut butter high.

So what are hemp hearts? Well, they’re the edible interiors of the seed that hemp grows from. The hemp plant does share the same plant species as the marijuana plant. But the hemp plant contains nearly undetectable levels of THC. Hemp hearts contain less than 0.3%, while traditional marijuana plants can contain levels upward of 10 to 30%.

Per serving, hemp hearts contain 10 grams of plant-based protein and 12 grams of omega-3 and omega-6 per 30-gram serving (which is more than a comparable serving of chia or flax). Combine this with raw cacao powder, an egg, coconut oil and some peanut butter and you’ve yourself got quite a health bomb.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder

  • 1 cup + 2 T Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • few drops of liquid stevia (optional - I didn’t use stevia but if you prefer sweeter, go for it )

  • 1 T coconut oil (melted)

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

  • coarse salt

Directions:

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray mini cupcake tin with cooking spray

  2. In a bowl, mix the cacao, hemp heart , eggs, vanilla extract and stevia until well combined

  3. Spoon about a tablespoon of the mixture into each well in the cupcake tin

  4. Press down to form a little cup - shown here

  5. Bake for 10 minutes

  6. While the cups are baking, melt coconut oil and peanut butter in a double boiler

  7. Remove tray from oven after 10 minutes and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes

  8. Remove cups from pan and place them on a plate or flat surface

  9. Use a spoon to fill the cups up with the coconut oil / peanut butter mixture

  10. Freeze for 30 minutes

  11. Remove and sprinkle salt on top

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Mousse

Does anyone else get annoyed when you look up a recipe and have to scroll for 10 minutes to get past a novel? I get it…blogging. But I’m sure most people just want the recipe……so here you are…. (you’re welcome).

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Mousse

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Mousse

Ingredients: (serves 3)

  • 7 oz firm tofu (I used House Foods)

  • 6 T powdered peanut butter (I used Naked Nutrition)

  • 1/2 cup cacao powder

  • 1 T raw honey (use more or less depending on preference)

  • 1 small ripe banana

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

  • Optional Toppings: cacao nibs, shredded coconut, banana slices, nuts, peanut butter drizzle

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth

  2. Divide into cups and refrigerate for 30 minutes

  3. Serve cold with or without toppings

Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Seed Bites

Does anyone else feel like they need a bite of chocolate after dinner to seal the deal before they feel truly satisfied? I’m not sure what that’s all about but these bites are perfect for satisfying that sweet tooth and potentially, simultaneously lowering your blood pressure, reducing your risk of diabetes and improving insulin sensitivity. Yes, you read that right.

Dark chocolate is high in flavanols, (antioxidant) which may actually protect the heart. Dark chocolate is also rich in magnesium, zinc, iron, phosphorus and copper. As always though, quality matters - look for a higher % like 72-85% and read the food labels. Food companies like to pump in tons of added sugars and other garbage to make their product hyper-palatable. Although there are health benefits to dark chocolate, like most things, there is a point of diminishing returns. Aim for 1-2 small square of high quality dark chocolate per day. For more information check out this site.

Pomegranate seeds are also high in antioxidants. They contain flavonoids, polyphenols, tannins, and anthocyanin. Additionally they are rich in vitamin c, fiber, and potassium. So basically you’re doing your body right by making and consuming these bites.

Ingredients (makes ~16 bites):

  • 3, organic 72% dark chocolate bars

  • 1, 5 oz box pomegranate seeds

Instructions:

  1. Break up bars of chocolate and place into a microwave-safe dish (you could also use a double boiler to melt the chocolate).

  2. Heat the chocolate at 30 second intervals, stirring every 30 seconds, until the chocolate is melted. I heated and stirred about 4 times.

  3. If you are using a silicon mold, place a cookie sheet under the mold so you are able to transfer it to the freezer once you’ve poured in the chocolate.

  4. Pour ~1 Tablespoon of melted dark chocolate into each square of the silicon mold or lined mini-muffin/cupcake pan.

  5. Freeze for 5 minutes so the chocolate hardens a bit and the seeds don’t just sink to the bottom.

  6. Remove from freezer and spoon ~1 teaspoon of pomegranate seeds into each section.

  7. Cover with another 2-3 teaspoons of melted dark chocolate.

  8. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving (or ~15 minutes in freezer to make sure chocolate is completely solidified).

  9. Enjoy (with a napkin nearby).

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Grain-free, Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free peanut butter protein cookies

Grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free peanut butter protein cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15.5 oz) can organic pinto beans, rinsed

  • 15 medjool dates, pitted

  • 1 T coconut oil, liquid

  • 1 T vanilla extract

  • 1/8 tsp baking soda

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 1/3 cup natural chunky peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter powder (I used Naked Nutrition’s)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  2. Add pinto beans, dates, vanilla extract and coconut oil to a high speed blender or (ideally) food processor, and blend until well combined (using the tamper to continuously press the mixture down and away from the sides).

    (If you’re using a good food processor you can honestly probably throw everything in that and blend it up - my Vitamix was not behaving)

  3. Use a rubber spatula to transfer mixture to a large bowl.

  4. Stir in remaining ingredients.

  5. Refrigerate dough for 15-20 minutes.

  6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

  7. Roll doll into 1” balls and place on to cookie sheet.

  8. Flatten ball down using a fork. Press down once, lift, turn the fork 90 degrees and press down again to make the classic PB cookie marks

  9. Bake for 15 minutes.

  10. Allow to cool.

  11. Enjoy!