Banana Nut Muffins

Who doesn’t love muffins!? One of my favorite things about making these and then creating this post has been how many times auto correct wanted to change “nut” to “butt” – these are not banana butt muffins! You could call them that though and they’d still be equally as tasty.

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I’m all about making and baking things that I won’t feel guilty about – that are extremely yummy but that don’t make me feel sick – baked goods that come from whole ingredients. With the exception of some brown sugar, these are just that.

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Nanananananas

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I wanted to eat this with a spoon. #confessions

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These are a great snack to make when you’re having that evening sweet tooth. The recipe makes six little muffins so you won’t have to worry about eating 12 of them – it’s a legit concern – BEEN THERE.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A desire for something sweet
  • The patience to pre-heat the oven
  • The will power to not eat the raw muffin batter
  • 2 ripe bananas – the more ripe they are, the sweeter your muffins shall be
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt – or just a pinch
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sliced raw almonds

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Mash together bananas and egg. Add in remaining ingredients. Grease 6 muffin pan tray (I like to use coconut oil). Evenly distribute the batter. Bake for around 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

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These muffins are DENSE (and not like that girl you knew from High School). They are so flavorful and moist (ugh I’ve always hated that word – soft, squishy, dewy and humid in muffin way?) you get the point.

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LOOK AT THE DENSE-NESS!!!

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Enjoy these with a cup of your favorite tea at night. It’s the perfect bedtime snack 🙂

Nutrition facts below.

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Peanut Butter Love Fudge

The other night I was having a major sweet attack. I wanted cake and sprinkles and rainbow frosting. But I knew that just wouldn’t do. So I looked through my kitchen and decided to experiment. I have officially created a monster – if you can make it through this post without wanting to make these then more power to you!

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I love fudge and for most of my life I’ve made it every Christmas but there’s always SO MUCH sugar that by the time I’m done licking my fingers I feel sick to my stomach with a tummy ache that lasts for hours. That’s not how fun food should be! Nothing should make you feel that sick. And while this recipe does use chocolate chips and honey, I can tell you that even after devouring the entire recipe upon realizing how amazing it is, I didn’t ever get that same painful sick feeling I have with refined sugar.

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One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it only has 4 ingredients. It’s so incredibly easy and delectable, you’ll want to make it all the time – and in bigger batches! Sidenote: I’m seriously leaving my computer right now to grab a spoon of peanut butter – I CAN’T HANDLE all these pictures!

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Here what you’ll need:

  • 3 well rounded TBSPs of peanut butter
  • 1 TBSP coconut flour – I used Nutiva’s Organic Coconut flour – it smells amazing and 1 TBSP of it has 4g of fiber, crazy right?!
  • 1 TBSP Pure Honey
  • 1 TBSP chocolate chips

Directions:

In a bowl, combine peanut butter, coconut flour, and honey. Pour into a small dish lined with wax paper. The smaller the dish, the thicker the fudge will be. Put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Next melt the chocolate chips in 15-20 second intervals in the microwave and then pour over the fudge. Put back into the freezer for at least 45 minutes (if you can wait that long).

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I took mine out and let it sit in the fridge for 10 minutes or so before I cut it into 4 pieces. It made it a little gooey and slightly soft. The creamy texture and sweet taste are a perfect combo.

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Nutrition info below. Let me know how you like the fudge!

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Triple Berry Smoothie

Who doesn’t love berries?! Not only is this smoothie a rich full purple color but it’s also delicious and filled with 18g of fiber!

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Round up your ingredients:

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Blend spinach, water, chia and flax seeds first. Then add the berries! What you’ll have is a 300 calorie smoothie that will keep you full all morning.

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This was my fuel for the morning after a rough T25 workout!!

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What a treat!!

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Let’s talk about MSG – Monosodium Glutamate

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I’ve talked about Monosodium Glutamate quite a bit but the battle never ends to avoid it. MSG is an excitotoxin which means that it stimulates brain cells into such a high state of euphoria that they physically explode. No wonder those sour cream and onion chips taste so good and no wonder Lays says “betcha can’t have just one!” Because you can’t! It’s a drug. MSG is also a flavor enhancer and can make any food and any flavor taste better, more powerful, and more savory.

Why is this bad? Besides having food give you a drug-like reaction, MSG also makes you want to eat MORE! Even after you’re full, even after you’re done eating that specific food. Remember the Dominos times? It makes your brain crave more. So while you may only be eating 1500 calories a day, if you’re consuming products with MSG (which hides under a dozen (more like 40 actually) another names as well) you’ll find yourself having a harder time sticking to your goals. More and more people are battling with good addictions and while it’s a real thing, MSG isn’t helping!

You can view a list of other names for MSG here.

 

The I’m-Not-Sharing Smoothie!

Good glorious fruits of unicorn rainbows, is this smoothie ever delicious. I made this first thing this morning and took a giant gulp from my straw and said “MOTHER OF GOD.” It’s so tasty that I don’t think I’d ever share it. MAKE YOUR OWN! This is MINE! I will retreat back to being 5 years old and have no issues with that.

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So what’s in this glorious milkshake of mayhem? All things healthy! And with 13g of fiber and 11g of plant-based protein you’re going to feel full and satisfied for a WHILE! I drank mine around 9am this morning and wasn’t hungry until around 3pm.

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It’s like drinking a milkshake for breakfast without the guilt (or the awful tummy aches) of drinking a real milkshake.

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What you’ll need:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 TBSP peanut butter
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1 TBSP ground flax meal (these are optional but are great superfoods that add fiber to your drink!)

Add spinach, water, chia seeds, and flax meal to your blender and blend first. Then add in bananas and peanut butter. This will ensure you don’t have any huge chunks of spinach that can be hard to get through a straw 😉

Enjoy! And feel free to brag about the fact that you’re drinking homemade milkshakes for breakfast every morning and still losing weight!

 

Zucchini Lasagna

I love lasagna and I love cheese. With that being said, I’m always looking for ways to make dishes a little healthier (even if they still have a lot of cheese). The other night I was craving lasagna like crazy but didn’t have any lasagna noodles. I’d heard about using squash before but was always a little hesitant.

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Luckily, I usually have fresh produce in my fridge and zucchini was the perfect experimental substitute for the job. The dish came out amazing and even my husband loved it. The first thing he said was “Wait! Where’s the pasta? There isn’t pasta in this?!” and then chowed down another bite.

I’m excited to try making this again soon and adding new things. The great thing about dishes like this is that there’s really no wrong way to make them and you can add as much (or as little) of anything in them as you want.

I forgot to take an after picture because we devoured it.

What you’ll need:

  • Fresh kale
  • Fresh spinach
  • 2-3 zucchini
  • 1 jar marinara/tomato sauce of choice
  • crumbled feta
  • mozzarella cheese
  • fresh Parmesan
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • oregano
  • onion or onion powder
  • salt/pepper

Start off by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. I then took about 4-5 cups of spinach and another 3 or so cups of kale and added them to a pan over low-medium heat with 2 TBSP of olive oil. Stir and add in seasonings to taste: garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, onion.

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Next, start laying and building your lasagna. Make sure your pan is lightly greased with olive oil. Then pour marinara for the base, add thin slices of zucchini, spinach/kale mixture, and cheese as you like.

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I just did two full layers and then topped it off with more marinara and mozzarella over the entire thing.

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Bake for about 30-35 minutes until cheese is fully melted. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes to let it solidify. You’ll need to use a spoon to dish it up and will want to eat it out of a bowl. It was heavenly. One thing I’d recommend trying is using a cheese grater to make long, thin slices of the zucchini. I just sliced them with a knife and didn’t get them as thin as I wanted and risked cutting my fingers about eight times.

It’s even amazing the next day heated up in the microwave.

Green Lime Smoothie

I recently liked the FoodBabe on Facebook and have loved getting all of her amazing, healthy, and toxic-free recipe in my news feed. The other day my husband told me about this smoothie using lime juice and cucumber – which I’ve never tried before. Let me put it this way – it’s outstanding and tasting how fresh it is and smelling all of the ingredients in the process instantly made my morning glow.

This recipe is from FoodBabe’s site under her Sunrise Green Smoothie. I altered it sightly by changing measurements and adding in chia seeds and ground flax meal.

I was worried that using cucumbers might make the smoothie consistency different – I’ll be honest, I’m worried anything will ruin my morning smoothie but it was quite the opposite. Using cucumber not only smells amazing and fresh but gave the smoothie a rounded taste that’s hard to describe.

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I was also very intrigued to use fresh lime juice. I was also amazed at how much smaller organic limes are – about half the size – makes you wonder about all of those GMOs. The lime juice gives this smoothie a tangy kick that’s unique to anything else I’ve made before.

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Strawberries are one of my most favorite things, ever. They are beautiful, they taste like angel berries, and I can eat them every day if I want. They also make me feel super patriotic on the 4th of July 😉 Just one cup of strawberries has only 50 calories, 1g of protein (plants have protein, too!), Vitamin C, Vitamin A, folate, magnesium, and almost 4 grams of fiber!

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I’m big on making the every day things fun. It’s why I have cute ice cube trays like this one with stars. You can add a few ice cubes to this smoothie to add a little texture and to keep it cooler. Throw a few stars into your drink!

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And now for the recipe. I also added in 2 TBSP of chia seeds and 2 TBSP of ground flax meal for extra fiber.

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Tangy, sweet, refreshing, and vibrant – this smoothie will boost your day in more ways than one. Enjoy!

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Banana Almond Butter Blondies

These.

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The other night I was craving a Hershey’s bar so bad I was making noises and embarrassing myself at the grocery store. I KNEW though that if I caved, I’d be upset. Not because indulging is bad but because Hershey’s bars are now made with more fake ingredients and isolates (ingredients found naturally that are then isolated and put into products in higher amounts than found in nature) than they once used to. Without going on a rant with this alone, I’ll get to the story about me laying in bed for over an hour pouting that my life was over that night because I wanted a chocolate bar and I couldn’t have it. The 26 year old version of a tantrum.

But I didn’t cave. Instead, I thought about what I had in my kitchen and decided to come up with a healthier recipe to satisfy my sweet tooth. Thus, the birth of the banana almond butter blondie bars was born and let me tell you, these are dynamite delicious! So much so that my husband and I inhaled the entire 12 bars within 20 minutes of them coming out of the oven. But you know, it was for science…and blogging…and all of you! I took one for the team! ….erm. Good lord I already want more of these!

This was also my first time buying and using dates. I’ll be honest, I was always hesitant because they look like a pile of bugs. But great odin’s raven are these things sweet and amazing! In fact, of all the dates I’ve experienced, these were definitely the sweetest (see what I did there – my Dad humor has no end). And while dates are high in fructose, they also are packed with magnesium, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. In other words. they are a MUCH better alternative to get some sweet in your baking that just using refined sugar.

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I’ll stop teasing and give you the recipe already 😛

Recipe:

  • 3 bananas
  • 6 pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup whole grain oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a smaller baking dish (I used a glass 6×8 or so) with wax paper and cooking spray. Mash together bananas until creamy. Slice up pitted dates. Combine all ingredients into a bowl with mashed bananas. Pour mixture into lined baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

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The beauty of these is you can eat them immediately for more of a bread pudding type treat. If you were really being bad you could add ice cream. Letting them cool for at least 20 minutes though gives them time to solidify more into bars. I can’t tell you what they are like cooled further or even refrigerated because we ate them too fast (nom nom nom) but I will do an update soon.

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Slice them into 12 pieces for the following nutritional info per serving.

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Springtime Smoothie & Antioxidant Benefits

Spring is here and the colors are bright. Today after my workout I decided to whip up something with LOTS of berries. This smoothie is sweet, tangy, creamy, and ever so healthy! What a treat for lunch to enjoy outside in the sun 🙂

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I’m not sure what I love most about my recent smoothie kick. All the ingredients are plant-based and make me FEEL clear-headed and energized. The more whole foods I eat, the clearer my mentality and focus, the better my mood, I find myself just randomly smiling more often and feeling excited about the little day-to-day things in life. Eating healthy and clean really does make me feel better and then in turn I want to workout more and keep the process going.

This smoothie also contains 2 cups of berries which are full of antioxidants. I feel like we all hear that we should eat more foods rich in antioxidants but we often don’t know why and how they work. Well, I’ll tell you.

Antioxidants play a vital role in combating free radicals in your body by counteracting the oxidation process in your cells.  Did you know that antioxidants aren’t actually a substance but a behavior? Free radicals are unstable molecules that latch onto or give electrons to other atoms. When free radicals have their way, they can damage various cell structures which can lead to cancer, Alzheimer’s, and various other diseases we’re constantly trying to avoid and cure.

When we eat foods rich in antioxidants we’re helping keep our bodies healthy but this doesn’t mean that eating pounds of strawberries everyday will keep you save from cancer either. While all of these choice we make are important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, feeling good and keeping energized, they are all just one piece in the giant puzzle of our health.

You can find a list of foods with high levels of antioxidant properties here. The importance of eating a balanced diet filled with fresh fruits, veggies, berries, etc also provides you fiber and tons of other nutrients! Ok so enough with the science talk. Let’s get to the recipe!

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  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any milk of your choice)

Blend ingredients together and pour into you favorite glass or mug. I just happened to have a huge wine glass in front of me. I want to invest in some cute glass jars soon so I can take smoothies with me. I also topped it with a few of the frozen berries that are fun to chew. The consistency is super creamy thanks to the avocado. Just make sure to check your teeth for berry seeds before you head out the door!

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The entire smoothie has around 350 calories and almost 20 grams of fiber!

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Blueberry and Greens Smoothie

Something about making yourself a smoothie feels indulgent and satisfying all on its own. Knowing you hold something in your hand that’s blended together with whole ingredients that’s going to give you energy, make you feel refreshed, and will nourish your body is ultra satisfying. I keep experimenting with new smoothie recipes, trying to see just how many things will go well together and so far I haven’t been disappointed.

I will admit that using fresh spinach gives you a heavier consistency and that if you’re not careful you’ll end up with blueberries in your teeth like I did. But a smoothie in the morning gives me energy like nothing else!

For this one I blended:

  • 1 green apple
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

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