DIY Watermelon Beet & Chia Energy Blocks for Marathon

This post is sponsored by The National Watermelon Board. However, all opinions, ideas and enthusiasm are completely my own.

Almost six years ago, I started experimenting with making my own edible race fuel. There weren’t as many options on the market back then, and I also liked the control I had over ingredients and flavor when making energy gels, jellies and chews from scratch – not to mention saving a ton of money. Watermelon Beet Chia Energy Blocks

Today I’m sharing my recipe for Watermelon Beet & Chia Energy Blocks that are surprisingly easy to make and take advantage of the inherent health and performance benefits of the featured ingredients. Read on to get the recipe, nutrition info and details on how you can use these chews in your next marathon, triathlon, obstacle race or other endurance event.  Continue reading

(No Bake) Blackberry Dragon Fruit Protein Cheesecake

Cheesecake for breakfast, why yes! My Blackberry Dragon Fruit Protein Cheesecake actually amazingly nutritious food in disguise and makes a perfect morning meal, snack or healthy dessert. Plus, with 25 grams of protein, you’ll be fueled up to slay the day. Blackberry Dragon Fruit Protein Cheesecake

And, don’t bother with the oven, this is a no-bake, no-cook recipe that only needs a little time to set up in the fridge. Meal prep on the weekend and you’ll have several of these gorgeous, gluten-free treats ready to go. Read on for more details and the recipe.  Continue reading

Toasted Coconut, Turmeric and Ginger Overnight Oats

When I wake up, the first two words you’ll usually hear me grumble are “sore” and “hungry”!  I’m almost always in a state of recovery from the previous day’s workout, running low on fuel in my body’s tank and, honestly, a bit foggy because coffee isn’t ready. I need a hearty, healthy, healing breakfast that’s ready to go STAT. A favorite “stumble to the fridge” morning meal is Toasted Coconut, Turmeric & Ginger Overnight OatsToasted Coconut Turmeric and Ginger Overnight Oats are a hearty, healthy and healing breakfast. Perfect for meal prepping and morning meals on the go!

Yes, overnight oats. Before hitting the hay, I dump all the wholesome ingredients in a mason jar, give it a shake, and stick in the fridge. Sometimes I meal prep enough for three days to even cut out that night-time obligation At the crack of dawn, I’ll I have to do is unscrew the lid and spoon into my mouth right out of the jar. Read on to find out just how easy this make-ahead recipe is and how the turmeric and ginger will help you feel fabulous. Continue reading

Overnight Chocolate Cherry Breakfast Pudding #SpoonsfulOfGoodness


 Grape-Nuts has been around forever, for almost 120 years! I’ve been eating it for decades and my parents grew up with it too – probably because their own moms and dads knew it was a great way to start the day.Overnight Chocolate Cherry Breakfast Pudding with Grape-Nuts

While snacking on Post® Grape-Nuts right out of the box or pouring it in a bowl and covering with milk is hearty, filling and exactly the way my mother served it to me (with raisins on top as a bonus), sometimes a girl wants a little more decadent flavor in her day – like, errr, chocolate-covered cherries. Nothing wrong with that, even if being mindful of New Year’s resolutions. I’m sharing right here and now that my New Year’s resolution is to start each day with a delicious, chocolate-inspired breakfast and thanks to my nutrient-dense recipe for Overnight Chocolate Cherry Breakfast Pudding, I’m prepared for sweet success!

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Sweet & Salty Four-Seed Popcorn Bars

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of JOLLY TIME Pop Corn.  The opinions and text are all mine.

Sweet & Salty Four-Seed Popcorn Bars make a nutritious snack!

Jolly Time Popcorn healthy snackPopcorn makes a super on-the-go snack swap, especially as a replacement for common convenience options like granola bars, chips, and cookies that can be higher sugar and fat. Naturally gluten-free and considered a whole grain, popcorn is high in dietary fiber and low in calories – plus for the visual eater, a serving of popped corn looks like a whole LOT of food!  I’m especially fond of JOLLY TIME Pop Corn, their Healthy Pop line gets the thumbs up from Weight Watchers and most products are 94% fat-free and have just around 100 calories per serving (give or take) – that’s about 20 calories per cup!

Seeds may be tiny, but they pack a super-sized nutritional punch!

So, y’all know I’m big on getting protein into my snack too! A bag (5 cups) of JOLLY TIME Pop Corn has about 4 grams of protein, which actually surprised me – I thought it would have zip, nada, none! I was wrong, popcorn does have protein! But, I like to pump it up with additional whole food add-ins – especially seeds! Tiny little seeds are powerhouses of nutrition – they are an excellent source of heart-healthy fats, protein and essential vitamins and minerals. For example, hulled hemp seeds are one of the most nutritionally complete sources of plant-protein – containing every essential amino acid an fatty acid the body needs for optimal health.Sweet & Salty Four Seed Popcorn Bars make a nutritious snack that is nut-free and gluten-free.

Check out my recipe for Sweet & Salty Four-Seed Pop Corn Balls made with Healthy Pop Kettle Corn hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds. Instead of a caramel to hold it together like you’d find in a traditional popcorn ball, I’ve whipped up a nutritious binder made from sunflower butter and agave syrup, a low-glycemic index, natural sweetener.  This great snack or healthy dessert recipe is gluten-free, nut-free and has no added refined sugar – so enjoy and #haveaJOLLYTIME !

Trail Mix Pop Corn is also a family-approved winner at my house!

Trail Mix Popcorn

Also, please check out the Healthy Pop Challenge – get a free workout band, enter to win a FitBit Altra and grab coupons for JOLLY TIME Pop Corn. I love the idea that they have to workout while waiting for popcorn to pop – even little bursts of exercise add up. Depending on the length of your popping session and microwave settings (plan on an average of 4 minutes), you can get quite a few exercises done. Try these simple exercises in the kitchen while you wait:

Perform each exercise for 1 minute, as many times as you can safely, while you wait for  JOLLY TIME Pop Corn to cook:

jolly time exercise

  • Overhead band pulls (or pushup against wall, if no band)
  • Air Squats
  • Alternating Leg Lunges (in place)
  • Jumping Jacks

 

 

Sweet and Salty Four-Seed Popcorn BarsAre you a regular popcorn snacker, or only at the movies? Favorite popcorn mix-ins? Butter or no butter?

Please share in the comments below, XOXO, Jennifer 

 

 

Sweet and Salty Four-Seed Popcorn Bars
Sweet & Salty Four-Seed Popcorn Bars #HPChallenge
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Sweet and Salty Four-Seed Popcorn Bars
Sweet & Salty Four-Seed Popcorn Bars #HPChallenge
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Prepare popcorn according to package instructions. Pour in large mixing bowl and let cool.
  2. In small bowl, mix together hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas and chia seeds. Set aside.
  3. In small sauce pan, add sunflower seed butter and agave syrup, stir to combine. Bring to medium heat, stirring continuously. Once mixture begins to bubble, keep cooking and stirring for an additional 30 seconds.
  4. Drizzle hot sunflower-agave mixture over popcorn and quickly stir to combine as evenly as possible. Sprinkle in seed mixture into popcorn mixture in about 3 batches, stirring quickly each time to distribute.
  5. Spray 8 x 8-inch brownie pan with baking spray and fill with popcorn mixture. Using a piece of wax paper and hands or back of spoon, press down over entire top to compact firmly.
  6. Cut into 9 squares.
Recipe Notes

****Or the nut butter of your choice, I love Power Fuel from Nuttzo.com

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Giant Gluten-Free Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie #TheNaturalCitizen

Sometimes I stumble onto something while shopping and I’m all like “ooooh, I want that so bad. . . but I totally don’t need it right now, I have way too many.” Usually, I cave in . . . and quick! Case in point, the continually growing size of my already enormous running shoe, compression sock, flip flop, trucker hat, miniature bowl, exotic herb, flavored tea and protein powder collections.

The Natural Citizen Organic ProteinYeah, yeah, I have a stock pile of protein powder of all different ilks and ingredients . . . some of it I found, must most found me for review or recipe development.  Naming a “best” protein powder is really so subjective, basically it boils down to individual nutrition needs, lifestyle, taste and tolerance. But, dang, some protein powders are definitely choices than others! My practical side tells me to use up all my stash before I actually BUY the product I prefer.But let me tell you, I recently found a protein powder that had me running to the trash with my mother lode of “meh” products – it’s the Organic Protein from The Natural Citizen. By the way, use coupon code THEFITFORK to get $10 off your purchase at TheNaturalCitizen.com        

Baking with Organic Protein from Natural Citizen

This new plant-based Organic Protein powder is totally on point to boost your next smoothie, but I’ve also used it for baking everything from pancakes and cookies – check out my Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie recipe below!  This protein powder is sublimely simple, and that gives me control over what I do or don’t put it my recipe. On its own, this powdered supplement has just four organic, whole food ingredients – hemp protein, brown rice protein, pea protein, and sacha inchi protein. One serving delivers 15 grams of vegan protein per serving along with fiber, omega fatty acids and amino acids – oh, and for only 80 calories!  Plus, there are no added flavors and other undesirable “extras” so the taste of Mother Nature’s other wholesome food can shine through.Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie is a single-serve, gluten-free recipe for a quick and balanced morning meal or snack.

So, raise your hand if you want a cookie for breakfast but thing you shouldn’t?!  Well, my single-serve Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie will make you think you’re really splurging first thing out of bed, but actually its super healthy and balanced with 25 grams protein for sustained energy and muscle-making and 25 clean carbs to help power your body and brain for the morning’s tasks, workouts or whatever you do! In about 15 minutes from start to finish, you’ll be enjoying a super-sized, under-300-calorie cookie with your morning coffee – and that’s my cup of tea!  It’s also gluten-free, if that is a concern.

Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie is a gluten-free, single serve way to start the day -- or eat later for a healthy snack.

The Natural Citizen has a full line of other wonderful products that are all non-gmo, organic, gluten-free and vegan including Organic Digest, Organic Greens, and  Organic Energy.natural citizen productsAs a totally on-the-go person who probably doesn’t get as much sleep as she needs, I’ve fallen in love with the Organic Energy. This blend features maca, quinoa, green tea and Rhodiola rosea to offer truly balanced and uniquely simple energy support – no more getting jacked up on too much caffeine.  I found the ripest, sweetest Texas melon yesterday and blended up this recipe for a Honeydew Natural Energy Smoothie.

Honeydew Natural Energy Smoothie features maca, quinoa, green tea and Rhodiola rosea to offer truly balanced and uniquely simple energy support.

Honeydew Natural Energy Smoothie - Natural Citizen

This is how you make the Honeydew Natural Energy Smoothie:

Blend together and pour in tall glass (or melon bowl):

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 2/3 cup chopped honeydew
  • 1 scoop Organic Energy
  • Stevia,  to taste
  • Ice, as needed

 

This post is sponsored by The Natural Citizen, however all opinions, recipes and enthusiasm are my own!

Use coupon code THEFITFORK to get $10 off your purchase at TheNaturalCitizen.com

What is your go-to morning meal? Are you getting enough protein at breakfast (you need around 25g)?! What are your non-negotiables in a protein powder? What do you “collect”? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie is a single-serve, gluten-free recipe for a quick and balanced morning meal or snack.
Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie (Gluten-free)
Print Recipe
3 tablespoons 2 tablespoons 1 tablespoon gluten-free baking blend 1 teaspoon 1 tablespoon 3 tablespoons e 1 teaspoon coconut oil 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon dehydrated cherries (about 10)
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 2 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 2 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie is a single-serve, gluten-free recipe for a quick and balanced morning meal or snack.
Giant Cherry Almond Protein Breakfast Cookie (Gluten-free)
Print Recipe
3 tablespoons 2 tablespoons 1 tablespoon gluten-free baking blend 1 teaspoon 1 tablespoon 3 tablespoons e 1 teaspoon coconut oil 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon dehydrated cherries (about 10)
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 2 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 2 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: serving
Instructions
  1. In small bowl, mix together protein powder, oats, baking blend, stevia and chia seeds until combined.
  2. To these dry ingredients, add coconut oil and egg white and stir until incorporated. Use hands to form into one large dough ball.
  3. Spray center of baking sheet with cooking spray, or use silicone baking sheet. Set dough ball on top of this spot.
  4. Use hands or spray a flat-bottomed bowl with cooking spray and press down on dough ball until spread out approximately 5 inches in diameter. Use hands to shape sides, if needed.
  5. Top cookie dough with dehydrated or dried cherry pieces and almonds and lightly press down with bowl again to “set” them. You can also just mix these into the dough, if you don’t want to get fancy.
  6. Bake at 350 F degrees in the oven (or toaster oven) for approximately 10 to 12 minutes, or center set and edges and top turning light golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and let rest on pan for 2 minutes. Eat.
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Blueberry Pecan Oat Mug Muffin – Master Mix Recipe

Blueberry Pecan Oat Protein Mug Muffin -- food prep the master mix and have breakfast read in less than 2 minutes.I’m on this mug muffin kick lately. I have a zillion iterations, from Lemon Raspberry Protein Muffin Mug to this Blueberry Pecan Oat Protein Mug Muffin that I’m sharing today. I usually mix up this protein-packed breakfast scoop by scoop in the morning, but I love this one so much that I big-batched it! Meal prep, y’all – I can’t believe I’m so organized. Haha.

Blueberry Pecan Oat Protein Mug Muffin -- food prep the master mix and have breakfast read in less than 2 minutes.

Love Grown FoodsSo, come morning, when I’m not feeling human, all that’s left to be done with my breakfast is add two liquid ingredient (egg white and almond milk) to my mix and stick in the microwave. I tried to use an egg white powder in the mix to make even more convenient, but I didn’t like that so much – plus, how is cartoned egg-white not convenient?! Other things to love  about this Blueberry Pecan Oat Mug Muffin recipe in addition to the homey taste is the wholesome nutrition – it’s gluten-free, sugar-free, low-cal and packed with protein (32 grams protein and about 240 total calories per serving).

When I say that this is a Master Mix Recipe, it means you can swap out the blueberries and pecans for the other dehydrated fruit and nuts of your choosing — bananas & peanut, pineapple & macadamia nut, raspberries & almond are just some ideas!

Blueberry Pecan Oat Protein Mug Muffin Nutrition Label

I ran the nutritional info for you tracker types!

Instead measuring out the oats, chia seeds and pecans separately, I like to just use Love Grown Foods Super Oats with Chia & Nuts – that stuff ROCKS my world.

 

Here’s a run down on most of the products I used in this recipe:

What is your go-to easy meal in the morning? If you were swapping out the fruit and nuts, what would you choose? Please share in the comments — XOXO, Jennifer 

Blueberry Pecan Oat Protein Mug Muffin -- food prep the master mix and have breakfast read in less than 2 minutes.
Blueberry Pecan Oat Mug Muffin - Master Mix Recipe
Print Recipe
Whip up a big batch of this yummy protein-packed mug muffin mix and enjoy a quick, easy and healthy breakfast all week. Microwaves in less than two minutes!
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
90 seconds
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
90 seconds
Blueberry Pecan Oat Protein Mug Muffin -- food prep the master mix and have breakfast read in less than 2 minutes.
Blueberry Pecan Oat Mug Muffin - Master Mix Recipe
Print Recipe
Whip up a big batch of this yummy protein-packed mug muffin mix and enjoy a quick, easy and healthy breakfast all week. Microwaves in less than two minutes!
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
90 seconds
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
90 seconds
Ingredients
Wet Ingredients for Cooking:
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. To make master mix, add protein powder, baking mix, oats, chia seed, pecans, stevia and dehydrated blueberries to large mason jar or storage container and shake to blend.
  2. To prepare individual serving, add approximately ½ cup mix into large mug or microwave-safe bowl. Stir in 3 tablespoons of egg white and 5 tablespoons of almond milk. Microwave on high for between 1 and 2 minutes – exact time will vary by microwave strength (the magic time at my house is 90 seconds). Mug cake will rise dramatically while cooking and then settle back down and is “done” when no longer wet and has consistency of a bread pudding.
Recipe Notes

*In lieu of these three ingredients, you can swap out with just a little skosh more than 1 ¼ cup of Love Grown Food Super Oats with Chia & Nuts

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