Thursday, October 3, 2013

A post for the breakfast challenged..

We are all creatures of habit.

I wake up at 6:15-6:30am daily,
grab my Greens+ bar,
a huge glass of water,
turn on some Christian tunes
& enjoy breakfast while catching up on my social media

This is my routine..

So here is to a new month & a new routine.

1st change on the list:
Breakfast, obvi..

Rule #1:
2 bars/week on long run days, only

So where to start?
Overnight Oats

They're super versatile, easy peasy, low fuss & the fact that they're already prepared for you when you get up in the morning will keep you from falling back into your old patterns in a pinch!

Better ingredients.
Better breakfast.
Overnight Oats.

**One of my favorite times to prepare Overnight Oats is when I get to the bottom of one of my nut butter containers.. The oats absorb those last little bits left in the container overnight**

Exodus 20:
Thou shalt not waste nut butter. Ever.

PB Pumpkin Oats
(Almost empty PB container)
1/2 cup oats
1/2 banana, mashed
1 heaping tsp ground flax (or chia) seeds
3-4 tbsp pumpkin
Dashes of cinnamon and pumpkin spice
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Drizzle of pure maple syrup

Toppings of choice!

I stirred in some PB Puffins, but you could also add raisins, chopped nuts, seeds, tbsp PB, unsweetened desiccated coconut etc. :)
I usually add my toppings in the morning so they don't get soggy overnight.

*mix, taste, & adjust portions according to your preference*
Pop these bad boys in the fridge overnight & they'll be ready to go when you rise in the morning. I always add a splash of almond milk in the morning to loosen the oats up a bit, but that's up to you and your personal preference.

Berry Nutty Overnight Oats
(Almost empty PB container)
1/2 cup oats
1/2 banana, mashed
1-2 tbsp EXTRA peanut butter
Mixed berries (fresh or frozen, as they unthaw overnight)
Drizzle pure maple syrup, to taste
1 tbsp chia seeds (or ground flax seed)

Additional toppings of choice!
*mix, taste, & adjust portions according to your preference*

Berry Tart Protein Oats
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 scoop Vega protein powder (could also use 1 tbsp flaxmeal)
1 mashed banana
1/2 cup blueberry +pineapple mix

Additional toppings of choice!
*mix, taste, & adjust portions according to your preference*

Choco-nutty Oats
 1/2 cup oats
1/2-1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1-2 tbsp PB
1 mashed banana
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp ground chia/flax seeds
1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
Sweetener, if desired

Additional toppings of choice!
*mix, taste, & adjust portions according to your preference*

PB Bumper Crunch Oats
(Almost empty PB container)
1/2 cup oats
1/2-1 banana, mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 tbsp PB
1 tbsp chia seeds/flaxmeal
1-2 tbsp unsweetened coconut
Morning add in: PB Bumpers cereal
Sweetener, if desired

Additional toppings of choice!
*mix, taste, & adjust portions according to your preference*

Banana Berry Quinoa Porridge
**One of the easiest tricks with quinoa is to make a big batch and then store it in a glass container in the fridge for the week. Then you can portion it out and reheat it quickly when desired**

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 heaping cup frozen mixed berries
Reheated on the stovetop

1/2 banana + couple Tbsp almond milk + cinnamon, to taste + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Blend & pour mixture over warm quinoa & berry mix.

All of these are simple recipes that can be made the night before, so you now have no excuse to say you didn't have time for breakfast in the morning!

Oh & shout out to my lovelies (Cailin, Danny & Katlyn) for stopping by Starbucks this morning & chatting me up. ;) Mwah!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

(Healthier) Homemade Snickers Bars

Hey Kiddos..
You miss me?
Okay, okay..
Before you get angry with me for falling off the hot bliggity blog bandwagon, again..
I have a gift for ya'll.
Candy bars.
HEALTHY candy bars.
These little gems will satisfy your sweet tooth without going straight to your booty.
Cause let's be real..
Nobody wants that.
So, without further adieu, I present to you..
"Healthier" Snickers Bars
Adapted from: The Detoxinista
--- Makes 6 full-size candy bars or 12 “fun size” bars ---
Nougat Layer:
1/2 cup crunchy organic unsalted peanut butter
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 heaping Tablespoon coconut flour 
Creamy Caramel Layer:
12 soft Medjool dates, pitted
1/3 cup water (quick tip: to soften the dates more & create a more smooth texture, you can let them soak in the water for awhile beforehand. But it's not necessary!)
Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unrefined organic coconut oil (doesn't need to be melted, as the processing warms it enough where it takes care of itself. But you can melt it beforehand, if you so choose)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts (I used raw, unsalted organic peanuts)
Cloaked in Chocolate (totally different process):
1 heaping cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon unrefined organic coconut oil

Now, here's what to do:
Prep your nougat layer by combining all 3 ingredients in a bowl. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, use a spoon or hands to flatten out the "batter" into a rectangle. I left mine at around 1/2 inch thick.

Pop this layer in the freezer to harden up while you prep the date caramel.

While the nougat sits in the freezer becoming frigid like your ex-girlfriend, you can process together all of the caramel ingredients.

Note: You'll only need half to 3/4 of the date caramel for the 2nd layer! Save the rest for raw caramel apples or to use as a dip. Trust me, it won't last long in your fridge. Nom.

Retrieve your nougaty layer from the freezer and slather on dat caramel.

Sprinkle on your chopped nuts & lightly press them into the caramel so they won't jump ship later when you cloak the bars in chocolate.

Place the bars back in the freezer to continue chilling for 30 minutes, minimum. This will help the caramel layer harden a little before you add the final touches.

When your 30 minutes is up, melt your chocolate & coconut oil. Take the bars from the fridge and chop them up into 6-12 bars depending on if you want full sized or fun sized bars.

I found it easiest to place the bars back in the fridge and take them out one by one to cover in chocolate so they didn't get too warm & become hard to work with.

Use a spatula or spoon to put a thin coat of chocolate on the bottom of each bar, place back on parchment paper and spoon them over with chocolate.

It's the final countdown!

Place the chocolate coated candies back in the freezer for a final 15+ minutes before devouring!

Nom. Nom. Nom.
These super simple little treats deliver salty sweet perfection without giving those nasty sugar highs & lows (10g LESS sugar in the full sized bars compared to the real deal! Plus 8g protein & 4g fiber)

Happy snacking. :)