Paleo Chocolate Nut Butter Surprise Muffins

Spring is time for many of my favorite combos . . . bare feet and bluebonnets, sunshine and sundresses, chocolate and nut butter. Okay, I won’t lie, I eat chocolate and nut butter all year ‘round!Paleo Chocolate Nut Butter Muffins

My Paleo Chocolate Nut Butter Surprise Muffins make a great on-the-go snack for hikes, trail runs and trips to the lake. They are low carb and higher protein, making them a good choice for a quick breakfast – or even pair up with a scoop of your favorite “ice cream” for a sensible dessert. Sugar free, gluten free and dairy free, but with loads of YUM!  Continue reading

No-Cook Chocolate Protein “Baklava” Bites

Ahhhhh . .  Chocolate. Pistachios. Honey. A hint of cinnamon.  My Chocolate Protein “Baklava” Bites are a muscle-making take on this ancient honey and nut dessert hailing from Greece and Turkey (both countries lay claim to its origin).  Chocolate Protein Baklava Bites

You’ll notice there’s no thin layers of phyllo in this healthy sweet treat! No need to get distracted with difficulty of preparation (and gluten) this adds to the recipe. Instead, I’ve put together a 15 minute recipe that is packed full of great nutrition to fuel your active lifestyle and requires absolutely no cooking. Read on to get all the nutty details along with the full recipe! Continue reading

Wow, It’s a Sugar-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo Chocolate Cake

Posting a little ahead of schedule to give y’all a heads up that National Chocolate Cake Day later this week – on January 27th to be exact. I want to give you plenty of time to start thinking of how you to pay homage to one of the world’s most popular desserts — will you partake in a cupcake, a layer cake, a Bundt cake, a sheet cake or even a single-serve mug cake? Heck, make them all!

Wow, it’s a Sugar-free, Gluten-free, Diary-free Chocolate Cake is a healthier option for dessert and can be made in single servings, in a brownie pan or as a traditional layer cake. This treat is lower carb,  paleo and diabetic diet friendly.

This year, my Wow, it’s a Sugar-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free Chocolate Cake needs to top your must bake list. I’ve topped it with rich butter macadamia nuts, but it’s equally delicious eaten plain with just the ganache or topped with other garnishes like raspberries, pistachios or orange zest. Even though it’s dreamy and decadent-tasting enough for a hardcore chocolatavore, it’s got some decent nutritional value and is even Paleo diet friendly, gluten-free and lower carb

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Sugar-Free Caffe Mocha POPCORN !

National Popcorn Day is coming up (January 19th) and that’s a food holiday on my food bucket list . . . my literal list of foods to eat from a bucket (haha)! But, seriously, popcorn is totally worth its salt as a snack food, it’s a healthy whole grain (a seed, actually) that is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO, gluten-free and a great source of dietary fiber. It’s inexpensive and delicious gobbled up simply fresh-popped or drizzled, coated or tossed with any number of other yummy things. And, “yummy things” is the segue into my recipe for Sugar-Free Caffe Mocha PopcornSugar-Free Caffe Mocha Popcorn makes a healthy snack with under 100 calories per serving.

Yes, Sugar-Free Caffe Mocha Popcorn! It’s like a coffee house and a movie theater hooked up and produced hundreds of perky little chocolatey offspring.  It’s just so delicious, and you don’t even have to feel guilty – only 99 sugar-free calories!

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Ho-ho-ho! Paleo Pistachio Chocolate Beet Cookies for Holidays

Cookies are part and parcel of the holiday season in every family, in every culture, from Christmas sugar cookies, rugelach for Hanukkah, bene Wafers (sesame seed cookies) for Kwanza and more. All of these cookies are so yummy (really what cookie isn’t, chocolate krinkles are a favorite) but so many are loaded with sugar, refined flours and whatnot – and not to mention artificial dyes and colorings in the case of the typical decorations for cutout sugar cookies.

Pistachio Chocolate Beet Cookies

Sometimes it’s fun to create new, healthy traditions with your family that meet your own dietary restrictions, taste preferences and needs for optimizing performance.  That’s why I came up with these Paleo Pistachio, Chocolate & Beet Cookies – there is no added sugar, 75 calories per cookie and only 5 grams carb. Plus, they are gluten-free but not vegan unless you use a vegan egg substitute.

Paleo Pistachio Chocolate Beet Cookies are a smart way to celebrate the holidays and fuel up for winter runs and workouts!

The beet powder (I used Beet Essence from Green Foods) is rich in antioxidants, many of which help to reduce inflammation. Organic Cocoa, Sugarless Sugar (a stevia-based blend) and Coconut Oil from Now Foods create a sweet, chocolatey taste and pistachios give that salty, nutty taste I love – plus iron! Did you know pistachios are the most iron-rich nut of any?

Strange as they sound, everyone loves these Paleo Pistachio Chocolate Beet Cookies – even Lucy!

lucy-and-pistachio-caoco-beet-cookei

Paleo Gingerbread Cookie BrittleLast week, we devoured another winning cookie concoction, Paleo Gingerbread Cookie Brittle. This one is so easy, just smoosh into the pan and break! If you don’t want to cut into tidy wedges, you can just break it off in sweet shards!

 

 

What is your favorite “splurge” holiday cookie? Do you have a healthy cookie recipe you like to make? Have you ever been to a cookie swap? Please share in the comments, XOXO, Jennifer

Pistachio Chocolate Beet Cookies
Paleo Pistachio Chocolate Beet Cookies
Print Recipe
Start a healthy holiday cookie tradition with this sugar-free paleo treat! Recipe is also dairy-free and gluten-free and can be made vegan with vegan egg substitute.
Servings Prep Time
20 cookies 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20 cookies 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Pistachio Chocolate Beet Cookies
Paleo Pistachio Chocolate Beet Cookies
Print Recipe
Start a healthy holiday cookie tradition with this sugar-free paleo treat! Recipe is also dairy-free and gluten-free and can be made vegan with vegan egg substitute.
Servings Prep Time
20 cookies 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20 cookies 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Mix together stevia, potato starch, almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, beet powder, baking powder, and salt until combined.
  2. Stir in coconut oil and egg until all dry ingredients are incorporated. If dough seems too wet (could be if eggs were too large), add coconut flour 1 teaspoon at a time, until dough pulling away from sides of bowl.
  3. Shape dough into approximately 1 tablespoon sized balls. Roll into pistachios and press down slightly so they adhere, if necessary.
  4. Place balls on ungreased baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart. Press down on cookie dough lightly with the bottom of a baking glass to flatten slightly.
  5. Bake at 350 F degrees for 10 minutes. Let rest on pan for 2 minutes before removing with spatula to cool completely.
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Wholly Cannoli Protein Mug Cake #NextLevelNaked

Cannoli Protein Mug Cake with Naked WheyMaybe I don’t do desserts as decadently as the Italians, but after digging into one of my Cannoli Protein Mug Cakes, your taste buds will be exclaiming, “Batta Bing, Batta Boom! And, with 20 grams of protein per serving of cake (yay, the entire cake), so will your biceps – BOOM! Cannoli Protein Mug Cake takes only about 1 1/2 minutes to cook and is a healthy dessert option, post-workout snack, or even breakfast!

I keep the signature chocolate and pistachio garnish of cannoli, but ditch the custard-filed fried shells for a light and tender “cake” made with protein power, a bit of gluten –free baking mix, an egg, and skosh of coconut oil. It’s a healthy option for dessert, post-workout, or even breakfast – and, did I mention it takes less than 90 seconds to cook?

Vanilla Protein Mug CakeAfter “baking” in the microwave, your mug cake is going to look pretty “plain vanilla,” but that’s okay. It is vanilla, after all, made with Less Naked Vanilla Whey Protein from Naked Nutrition. The Cannoli Protein Mug Cake recipe at the bottom of the post, without the garnishes, makes a versatile basic mug cake base that other ingredients (like fruit or peanut butter) can be stirred into before cooking or sprinkled on afterward. But, today we are going healthy CANNOLI all the way, and you’ll soon forget about any diet-busting cravings you may be having – FUHGEDDABOUTIT!

Naked Whey protein powder over Cannoli Mug Cake

So, as I just name-dropped, this recipe uses protein powder from Naked Nutrition. It’s definitely “nutrition with nothing to hide.” Naked Nutrition has a variety of products, but I’m focusing on the whey protein today, because that is what I use in my daily routine. This quality whey protein comes from grass-fed cows’ milk sourced from small dairy farms and state-of-the-art manufacturing process that ensures that the product has what it needs, and doesn’t have what it shouldn’t – it’s clean, lean protein with no artificial anything! For example, the Less Naked Vanilla Whey Protein is made with just three ingredients -grass fed whey protein, vanilla, and organic coconut sugar and each serving has 25 grams protein and 5.9 grams BCAAs. And, of course, it’s non-GMO, soy free, growth hormone free, and gluten-free.

I like that Naked Whey is sweetened with Organic Coconut Sugar, sometimes I need a bit of quality carb energy to fuel my workouts, but white table sugar is definitely out of the question for me and zero-calories substitutes don’t put any gas in the proverbial tank.  Coconut sugar is a great option as an energy-providing sweetener because it is lower on the glycemic-index (preventing dramatic rises and falls in blood sugar) – refined white sugar has a glycemic index of 99 and coconut sugar only 35. In addition, coconut sugar (also called palm sugar by some) is inherently loaded with nutritional benefits, notably a high level of inulin (a dietary fiber) that serves as a prebiotic to support the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. Studies have shown that a healthy digestive tract can reduce the incidence of certain cancers and diabetes while increasing fat metabolism and encouraging a healthy body weight. Sign me up.

jennifer naked whey I find the unflavored and vanilla whey proteins to be a great base for my protein-based baking, like protein pancakes, power muffins, and mug cakes like the Cannoli Protein Mug Cake I am sharing today. Oooh, but this girl sure does love chocolate, and a massive 5-pound tub of Less Naked Chocolate Whey Protein makes my mind start spinning with smoothie and healthy dessert-like creations, like protein brownies, protein pops, protein truffles, and more. Thanks to my stash from Naked Protein, I’m sure you’ll be seeing more chocolate protein recipes from me soon.

Less Naked Chocolate Pudding

In the meantime, check out this Chocolate Protein Pudding recipe from the Naked Nutrition Instagram profile. Seriously simple and insanely delicious, just peel the lid off a 6-ounce Greek yogurt and stir in a scoop of powder.  I ALWAYS take a protein-rich snack at bedtime because 1) I’m hungry and 2) muscle most muscle growth and repair happens while we sleep!

In addition to Vanilla and Chocolate whey protein powder, Strawberry and Unflavored are also available. Naked Protein also makes so many other quality protein options to meet a variety of dietary, recipe and taste requirements including Grass-Fed Whey, Goat Whey, Casein Protein, Pea Protein, Egg White Protein, Organic Rice Powder Protein, Peanut Butter Powder and more. CHECK OUT ALL THE PROTEIN OPTIONS HERE.

When you need something sweet, what do you usually grab? To you make mug cakes or mug muffins, what is your favorite mix-in or topping? Racing this weekend? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

Cannoli Protein Mug Cake
Print Recipe
Coconut oil cooking spray 2 tablespoons Vanilla Protein Powder 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking mix 4 teaspoons zero-calorie measure-for-measure sweetener 1/8 teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 1 large egg 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon water 1 teaspoon coconut oil 2 teaspoons chopped pistachios ¼ cup “coco whip” or non-dairy whipped topping 1 teaspoon mini chocolate chips ½ teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 2 minutes
Cook Time
90 seconds
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 2 minutes
Cook Time
90 seconds
Cannoli Protein Mug Cake
Print Recipe
Coconut oil cooking spray 2 tablespoons Vanilla Protein Powder 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking mix 4 teaspoons zero-calorie measure-for-measure sweetener 1/8 teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 1 large egg 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon water 1 teaspoon coconut oil 2 teaspoons chopped pistachios ¼ cup “coco whip” or non-dairy whipped topping 1 teaspoon mini chocolate chips ½ teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 2 minutes
Cook Time
90 seconds
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 2 minutes
Cook Time
90 seconds
Ingredients
Servings: serving
Instructions
  1. Spray a large microwave-safe coffee mug with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. In small bowl, combine protein powder, gluten-free baking mix, sugar substitute, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir together until combine well.
  3. Mix in egg, lemon juice, water, and coconut oil until combined.
  4. Pour into sprayed coffee mug and microwave 1 minute 15 seconds, or until cooked through. Microwave times may vary depending on your appliance.
  5. Remove mug and invert onto plate, gently slide out cake. Let cool for 2 minutes. Using serrated knife, carefully slice cake crosswise through center, remove top and set aside. Put ½ of whipped topping on one cake piece, sprinkle with a few of the pistachios and chocolate chips. Add top layer of cake and add remaining whipped topping, sprinkle with remaining toppings including lemon zest, if desired.
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Hazelnut Pecan Protein Fudge #MySignatureMoments

Thank you Randalls and Albertsons for sponsoring this post. Check out the new Signature family of brands from Randalls and Albertsons, with more than 4,000 Signature products available and a 100% money-back guarantee.

Today I’m sharing my recipe for Hazelnut Pecan Protein Fudge Balls, a healthier dessert option for those days when the sweet tooth is acting up (pretty much all the time with me). This no-cook recipe is quick and easy and fits into my healthy, busy lifestyle so nicely – my family and I enjoy it as a more balanced option to candy – it has no added refined sugars, only honey.Hazelnut Pecan Protein Fudge Balls make a healthier dessert option and are great for workout fuel and recovery.

With an approximate 3:1 carb-to-protein ratio, these energy protein balls also make a nice little workout recovery snack or race fuel to eat on the course.

Hazelnut Pecan Protein FudgeIt’s been my experience that the success of a no-bake recipe can only be as good as the quality of the ingredients that found within. I was a national name brand devotee in the past, but have found that many of the store-label products are just as good (if not better) than the items I grew up with. Randalls and Albertsons grocery stores are making it easy to tackle my shopping list and keep whipping up healthy recipes with their new, exclusive line of Signature products. From coffee to juice, soup to cereal, fresh fruits and veggies to fried chicken and other yummy pre-prepped foods, there are more than 4,000 different products available that help make my life tastier, easier and all-around neater (that’s because they also stock all my must-have home staples like paper towels and cleaning products)!   Oh, and I’m saving money, too! Whoohoo! Hazelnut Pecan Protein Fudge Balls = with Randalls Signature Select

I used Signature Kitchens Chopped Pecans, Signature Kitchens Clover Honey and Signature Select Hazelnut Chocolate Spread from Randalls in this yummy, easy protein snack recipe.

Randall Signature Select CoffeeSeriously, I can’t express my love for Randalls enough, and not just for the Signature line. When they opened a location at the front of my neighborhood a few years ago, I literally cried from sheer joy– I’m not kidding! Prior to this, “a quick trip to the store to grab a few things” was a 1 to 2 hour time commitment depending on the time of day.  I would have to drive about 10 miles one-way to make an emergency coffee restock for the morning or to pick up ingredients that were left off my list. Because of this, we often did without! Imagine the horrors and distress this created for me, an unorganized food blogger!

Randalls supporting my neighborhood fun run!

Randalls supporting my neighborhood fun run!

The staff at my neighborhood Randalls rock! The cashiers and managers know me personally, always take the time to smile and say hi, and answer my questions if I can’t find a particular product I need for a recipe. If I ever have a problem with a purchase (a rarity), it’s always resolved immediately — Randalls stands behind their 100% money-back guarantee on the Signature line of products. Management at this nearby location supported my oldest son’s Eagle Scout Project with a huge donation of bottled water and bakery cookies and promote health, fitness and an active lifestyle as sponsors of an annual fun run in the neighborhood. I am always the first one over to their tent to pick up water and goodies!

randalls signature spaghette

Dinner super quick, easy and yummy with go-to pantry items in the Signature line!

Find out what I’m raving about yourself! I buy my Signature products here in Austin at my local Randalls and Albertsons stores, but they are also found in the whole family of Albertsons Companies grocery stores including ACEM, Jewell-Osco, Vons, Pavilions, Safeway, Tom Thumb, Shaw, Star Market, United Express, United and Carrs/Safeway.

Also, enter for a chance to win one of 40 $25 gift card to Randalls so you can fall in love with the new Signature line of products, too!  The giveaway ends on May 6, 2016 – must be 18+, a US resident and only one winner per household.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Hazelnut Pecan Protein Fudge
Hazelnut Pecan Protein Fudge Balls
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
18 balls 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 balls 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Hazelnut Pecan Protein Fudge
Hazelnut Pecan Protein Fudge Balls
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
18 balls 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 balls 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Instructions
  1. In medium bowl, mix together hazelnut chocolate spread and honey.
  2. Stir in chopped pecans and chocolate chips.
  3. Stir in protein powder until beginning to ball up. Use hands to knead mixture until smooth.
  4. Divide “dough” into 18 equal parts – about 1 tablespoon each. Roll between hands to form into ball.
  5. Eat! Store leftovers in refrigerator to maintain firmness.
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Chocolate Speckled and Seeded Protein Cookie (Single Serve) + Toaster Oven Giveaway

This post and giveaway sponsored by Hamilton Beach, but all opinions and enthusiasm are my own!

I never thought I needed a toaster oven and, boy, was I soooo wrong. I changed my mind when recently developed a recipe for Hamilton Beach that would work in their fancy 4 Slice Easy Reach™ Toaster Oven with Roll-Top Door. Honestly, it was my first time using a countertop toaster since back in my childhood days when this is how I made my buttery, cinnamon toast for breakfast! I love the convenience and quick clean up so much, I’m giving away one of these amazing appliances to one of you (enter at bottom of post).

Single Serve Chocolate Speckled and Seeded Breakfast Cookie for Toaster Oven can be made in a conventional or toaster oven! It's also gluten-free and nut-free, plus sugar-free and dairy free without the chocolate chips.  268 calories and 16g protein for this jumbo, giant cookie!

Chocolate Speckled and Seeded Breakfast CookieThe recipe I made for Hamilton Beach was a single serve breakfast cookie Chocolate Speckled and Seeded Breakfast Cookie, a much healthier option than the sugar and butter on white bread treat I would cook up as a kid. Fresh baked from the toaster oven, this cookie is packed with flavor and nutrition thanks to whole grains, seeds, and just a smattering of chocolate to soothe a sweet tooth. The entire huge cookie has just 268 calories and 16g protein – plus it’s gluten-free and nut-free plus sugar free and dairy-free (if you don’t use the chocolate chips). Get the full recipe on Hamilton Beach Every Day Good Thinking blog

Chocolate Speckled and Seeded Breakfast Cookie - TheFitFork.com

So, what’s so awesome about a toaster oven?  Well, for one thing, it doesn’t heat the whole house up, and that’s a major concern here in Texas! But you still get that fresh-baked, crispy texture on foods that the microwave just can’t deliver – the little slide out tray will accommodate so many healthy food options – broil salmon, roast asparagus, bake eggs, make muffins and, yes, even make toast! It fits four slices of toast or even a 9” pizza! A smaller appliance is also so convenient when just preparing a meal for one or two people and works well in a dorm room, RV, cabin, office kitchen or other places where space is tight. Plus, the 4 Slice Easy Reach™ Toaster Oven with Roll-Top Door has several unique features including a removable roll-top door than makes it super easy to clean up!

Hamilton Beach 4 Slice Easy Reach™ Toaster Oven with Roll-Top DoorEnter my giveaway to win a handy-dandy 4 Slice Easy Reach™ Toaster Oven with Roll-Top Door , just follow the Rafflecopter instructions below:

 

 

 

 

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