Summer Sides! Tomato Salad with Savory Ancho Granola

savory granola tomato salad overhead horizontalBotanically a fruit, embraced as a vegetable, the vibrant and vitamin-packed tomato is tops when it comes to versatility. Tomatoes are enjoyed at the annual rate of 31 pounds per person, eaten raw on salads and as a key ingredients in sauces, salsas and many soups. Even my tomato-avoiding son gets his fair share in the form of ketchup!

I’m flashing back to one of my favorite easy recipes of summer, Tomato Salad with Savory Ancho Honey Granola. Get the recipe in an archived post FOUND HERE:

Tomato Salad with Ancho Honey Granola is a gorgeous and good-for-you side dish for your summer meals.

 

 

 

The Tomato Salad with Savory Ancho Honey Granola recipe can be avory Ancho Honey Skillet Granola is delicious eaten alone, but also makes a great crunchy topping for salads, soups and baked fish.FOUN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ancho Honey Skillet Granola recipe FOUND HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like using Love Grown Food”s Super Oats for this Ancho recipe — it’s packed with all sorts of extra nut and seed goodness!


I’m also putting this gorgeous Crab & Heirloom Tomato Salad on my dinner lineup this week — it looks so light and refreshing!

Crab and Heirloom Tomato Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomat-O, tomat-OH, what is your favorite way to eat tomatoes? Please share in the comments below. Also, who’s training for what — I’m looking for some fall half marathons! XOXO, Jennifer 

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:

 

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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Warm Overnight Java Brownie Chia-Oats – More From Your Morning Mug

My mornings can’t be complicated. I have a hard enough time getting out of bed at 5:15 am and then am greeted by a dog extremely needy for attention, kids to get ready for school, email to respond to, social media to monitor and loads of other things – like dishes and laundry! All this needs to happen before I head out the door for my run or gym time– and, believe me, that’s non-negotiable. I need a breakfast that is pretty much ready and waiting for me!

Warm Mocha Brownie Overnight Chia Oats

 

chocolate orange pistachio smoothie bowl with almond breezeIn the summer, a smoothie bowl (like my Orange Pistachio Almond Bowl one make with Almond Breeze Chocolate Almondmilk) or cold Greek yogurt and fruit are just fine, but in the winter, I need and easy, quick breakfast that will fuel me through my workout and warm me up from the inside. My recipe for Warm Overnight Java Brownie Chia-Oats to the rescue – it’s my hybrid take on traditional overnight oats and chia puddings.

This healthy breakfast recipe takes just a few minutes to prep  – I do it after dinner when I’m making the kids’ lunchboxes because it needs at least 3 hours to sit in the fridge and do its thing. In the morning, the nutritious ingredients absorbed the liquid and await a quick blast in the microwave to warm. I can usually barely wait to get my hands on that hot mug of goodness! You can also eat this the chia oats cold too, I just prefer hot!

Time saving tip: Mix up everything in the microwave-safe mug or bowl you plan to eat from – who has time for extra dish washing?!Warm Mocha Brownie Overnight Chia Oats

Since you know I’m a healthy food and fitness nerd, let me just tell you about some of the awesome ingredients in this easy overnight oat recipe and how each helps support optimal health and peak performance for your sport.

Almond Milk*: With just 30 calories per 8-ounce serving, almondmilk is a sensible addition to any meal or recipe. It also has 50% more calcium than 2% dairy milk, is an excellent s source of vicatims D and E and is low on the Glycemic index.  Key for athletes is, adequate vitamin D levels promote good bone density, innate immunity, muscle wasting, and exercise-related inflammation and immunity. It is also suggested, this nutrient could help prevent stress fractures.

Whole Grain Oats: Oats are whole grain by nature add fill you up with lots of fiber, have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and help stabilize blood sugar. Athletes can count on the quality complex carbs in oats to provide non-crashing energy and to refuel muscles after a taxing workout. I really love the Nuts and Seeds Super Oats by LoveGrownFoods.com.

Chia Seeds: The industrious Aztecs had a good thing going with chia seeds. This ancient superfood is loaded with nutrition despite it’s teeny-tiny size. Just two tablespoons of chia seeds contains 10 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, more calcium than milk, more Omega-3s than salmon, more iron than spinach, and more antioxidants than blueberries.

Maca Powder: Nearly magical maca powder is derived from a root vegetable indigenous to Peru – don’t confuse it with Macha green tea powder. This natural boost has been prized for thousands of years for its ability to boost stamina, endurance and hormonal balance. It includes vital nutrients such fatty acids, fiber, proteins, carbohydrates and minerals. Don’t miss my past Maca Mint Chip Smoothie.

Cacao Powder: Cacao (or cocoa) powder has been linked to lower blood pressure, a boost in blood flow to the muscles, and reduced cardiovascular demand during exercise. Cacao powder also lowers an athletes perception of fatigue and the boost of caffeine has been shown to improve performance. The higher percentage of cacao in your powder, the better. Try this one.

Coffee: This essential morning elixir has been suggested to reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and boost metabolism. It also actually has some beneficial nutrients like B vitamins, manganese and potassium and the natural epinephrine kick from the caffeine can improve focus and athletic performance.

*Typically, I purchase the chilled almond milk from the “dairy” aisle – however, I always like to stock the pantry with shelf-stable Almond Breeze Almondmilk so that I always have a supply on hand for emergency rations and 11th hour recipe inspirations.  

Mocha Brownie Overnight Chia Oats are easy to take on the go!

Jennifer Fisher trail running Davis Mountans

What are your eating for breakfast these days?  Are you a fan of overnight oat or chia puddings? Did you run a race this weekend or do something fun in winter wonderland? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almondmilk. However, the recipes, opinions and enthusiasm are all my own. 

Warm Mocha Brownie Overnight Chia Oats
Warm Mocha Brownie Overnight Chia Oats
Print Recipe
A welcomed wake-up call and boost of sustaining morning energy, this easy make-ahead breakfast recipe gives you more out of your mug and more out of your day!
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 3 hours
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 3 hours
Warm Mocha Brownie Overnight Chia Oats
Warm Mocha Brownie Overnight Chia Oats
Print Recipe
A welcomed wake-up call and boost of sustaining morning energy, this easy make-ahead breakfast recipe gives you more out of your mug and more out of your day!
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 3 hours
Servings Prep Time
1 serving 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 3 hours
Ingredients
Servings: serving
Instructions
  1. Add coffee, almondmilk and stevia to mug, small bowl or mason jar and stir to combine.
  2. Add chia seeds, maca powder, cacao powder and oats and vigorously stir to combine well. Or, if using a lidded container, top with lid and simply shake to combine.
  3. Chill over night, or at least 3 hours, so that oats and chia absorb liquid.
  4. Before serving, microwave on 50% power to warm up, stirring as needed. If mixture seems to thick, stir in an additional splash of coffee or almond milk.
  5. If desired, top with a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips and dollop of whipped cream. May be eaten cold. Will stay good in the fridge for several days if you want to make ahead several batches.
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Super Oatmeal Stuffed Apples + 10 Best Baking Apples

Cinnamon Super Oatmeal Stuffed ApplesCooler, crisper days have arrived and I have a hankering for a more homey and comfy breakfast than my typical smoothie or on-the-go protein bar. But with the craziness of my morning routine (my personal running, tying up work loose ends and giving rides to school), I rarely have time for anything coming out of the oven. But my recipe for Cinnamon Super Oatmeal Stuffed Apples can be quickly prepped and cooked in the microwave, so I’m winning before sun up. In fact, this is what I ate for breakfast the morning that I woke up really early to drive to Marble Falls, Texas and ended up winning the entire Hill Country Half MarathonSuper Oatmeal Stuffed Apples

My “super” oatmeal is far from the cement-like, sugar-laden and fake-flavored oatmeal packets found next to the Fruit Loops and Pop Tarts. Instead, this powered-up oatmeal stuffed in my apple has been fortified with extra taste, texture and nutrition thanks to the addition of uncooked quinoa, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and spices mixed together with my dry, quick-cooking oats.  I typically will make a big batch and then scoop out what I need in the morning for this apple recipe or just for a simple bowl of oatmeal.

On crazy weeks when I don’t have time to scoop and stir, I like to buy Super Oats Nuts & Seeds.

After pulling my stuffed apple out of the microwave, I drizzle it with Almond Vanilla Opadipity by Litehouse sweet Greek yogurt dip. I love this lightly sweet Greek yogurt dip as a healthy topping on all my family’s favorite breakfast foods including this oatmeal recipe, but also pancakes, waffles and granola parfaits.

Oatmeal Stuffed Apple Scoop 686 x 550I like to use a great big Honey Crisp apple as my vessel to hold my mix of “super” oatmeal, the center is just scooped out with a melon-baller to create the perfect edible bowl.

Now, not all apples are the bomb for baking – some varieties, like the ubiquitous Red Delicious, seem crisp and crunchy when plucked off the tree (or out of the produce bin) but can turn mushy and mealy in the oven. For treats like apple pie, tarts and muffins (and especially my recipe for Super Oatmeal Stuffed Baked Apples), I prefer my apples to remain a little al dente – and I think most would agree!  Here is a list of my favorite 10 apples with flesh that stands up to baking and offer a delicious balance of sweet and tart flavors. Try using a variety of these apples for a more complex flavor and colorful presentation.

TheFitFork.com - Apples10 Best Apples for Baking

  1. Honey Crisp
  2. Golden Delicious
  3. Granny Smith
  4. Braeburn
  5. Jonathan
  6. Melrose
  7. Mutsu (Crispin)
  8. Pink Lady (Cripps Pink)
  9. Rome Beauty
  10. Winesap

If you are looking for more healthy apple recipes, check out this bumper crop collection from CookingLight.com.

Best Apple Recipes - Cooking Light

 

Are you an apple fan? What is your favorite variety to eat out of hand, or bake with? What is your favorite topping for oatmeal? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Super Oatmeal Stuffed Apples
Super Oatmeal Stuffed Apples +10 Best Apples for Baking
Print Recipe
Stuff your morning breakfast with good things like this apple filled with nutritious oatmeal featuring nuts and seed and a cinnamon Greek yogurt topping.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Super Oatmeal Stuffed Apples
Super Oatmeal Stuffed Apples +10 Best Apples for Baking
Print Recipe
Stuff your morning breakfast with good things like this apple filled with nutritious oatmeal featuring nuts and seed and a cinnamon Greek yogurt topping.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Slice top off each apple approximately 1-inch down.
  2. Use melon scooper to scoop out apple flesh, leaving a ¼” to 1/3” thickness on apple.
  3. Pick out seeds and core of flesh and chop remaining apple flesh finely.
  4. In medium bowl, toss together oats, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and Stevia. Stir in chopped apple pieces.
  5. In microwave-safe measuring cup, boil water and stir in ONE CUP into the oatmeal until combined.
  6. Place apples in microwave-safe baking dish. Stuff mixture evenly into the two apple “bowls,” packing down and over stuffing, if necessary. Set “lid” apple pieces in the side of baking dish.
  7. Add ¼ cup water to bottom of baking dish. Cover with dish lid. Microwave for 3 minutes on high, and then in additional 1-minute increments until oatmeal is cooked through and apple is tender (microwave times will vary by appliance).
  8. To serve, top oatmeal stuffed apples with Opadipity Greek Yogurt Dip, extra pumpkin seeds and a dash of cinnamon.
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Rock a Lunchbox |Caramel Banana Protein Cereal Bars

Even though I try to eat with my health in mind, I don’t always say “no” to sweets – but I do try to clean them up a bit. For example, instead of a bowl full of cold, creamy ice cream topped with crumbled cookies, I eat plain Greek yogurt that I’ve sweetened with stevia and topped with a crunch protein-based chocolate cereal (Power Os from Love Grown Foods). I also top that with mini-chocolate chips, it’s my go-to bedtime snack – it’s still sweet, but more balanced with protein to boost my workout recovery and make muscles while I sleep!

Caramel Banana Protein Cereal Bars make a healthier lunch box treat.

I also like to implement my “protein-hacks” in my kid’s lunchbox desserts as well. A study has shown that children ages two to 18 years old get 40 percent of their daily calories from junk foods like sugary sodas and fruit drinks, cookies, donut, candy, fried foods and more – that’s unconscionable. Kids of all ages want sweets, I get it – believe me I GET IT! I would try and trade the raisins my health-nut mom would pack in my lunch for a friend’s Hostess Cupcake – she never would trade, but started bringing me an extra cupcake on the sly.

So, as a parent myself now for more than 18 years, I’ve allowed my kids to eat sweets so that they don’t feel deprived but talked about limits and the effects of eating too much “less than quality food” – but that a small amount also be fine occasionally in the context of an overall healthy lifestyle. I also like to make our cookies and cakes at home, so I know exactly what is going into the recipe and into our bodies – choosing more nutritious alternatives when possible. Like heart healthy fats, sugar swaps, no chemicals or preservatives, organic when possible – you get the drift.

Caramel Banana Mighty Cereal Bars made with Love Grown Mighty Flakes make a healthier lunch box treat.

Caramel Banana Cereal Bar Today I’m sharing a healthier version of classic crispy yet chewy cereal bars. They are perfect for lunch boxes, backpacks, after school snacks, picnics, and pot lucks and bake sales! I used less butter and marshmallows than the traditional “crispie” recipe and supplemented with a reduced-sugar caramel and dried fruit for sweetness. For long-lasting energy, I threw in some nuts and a bean-based cereal for extra protein. Enjoy!
Caramel Banana Cereal Bars using Reduced Fat Caramel from Litehouse Foods makes a healthier lunch box treat.

What was your favorite treat to find inside your lunchbox as a kid . . . or today? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Caramel Banana Cereal Bar
Caramel Banana Protein Cereal Bars
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
18 servings 15 min
Cook Time
0 min
Servings Prep Time
18 servings 15 min
Cook Time
0 min
Caramel Banana Cereal Bar
Caramel Banana Protein Cereal Bars
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
18 servings 15 min
Cook Time
0 min
Servings Prep Time
18 servings 15 min
Cook Time
0 min
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add banana chips and walnuts to medium bowl and lightly break up into coarse chunks with mallet or back of spoon.
  2. Add cereals to bowl with banana walnut mixture; toss to combine. Set aside. In large microwave-safe bowl, add marshmallows, caramel dip and butter. Microwave on 50% power for one minute, stir until creamy. Return to microwave and cook at 50% power for additional 1 minute; stir until creamy. If marshmallows aren’t completely incorporated, continue and stir in 20 second blasts.
  3. Add dry cereal mixture to caramel mixture and stir with spatula until everything well coated.
  4. Line 8” x 8” baking pan with wax paper or spray with oil.
  5. Press mixture down firmly into pan. Let cool for 5 minutes and then cut into 9 bars, or size of your preference.
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Chocolate Cherry Trail Cups + Workout to Flip For

Chocolate Cherry Protein Trail Cups - No Bake - TheFitFork.comSnacking, snacking, snacking – lots of snacking going down at my house because I am my three teen boys are always so hungry. I’ve been experimenting with some homemade energy bars and trail mixes and have come up with the perfect combo – Chocolate Cherry (Protein) Trail Cups.  My husband mentioned after gobbling one up that it reminded him of a Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte Lara Bar  — so, I made a Larabar copycat recipe without even realizing!

Nut Butter, Dried Cherries, Oats and More - TheFitFork.com

So many wholesome yet yummy ingredients in this recipe.

Food Processor - Cherry Chocolate Trail Cups - TheFitFork.comThese healthy snacks are super easy to whip up and using a food processor makes the task even less time consuming. The tip to making sure these treats hold up to any adventure is to make sure the crumbly mixture is moist enough to stick together when pressed between fingers. If it seems too dry, throw more nut butter or sugar-free chocolate syrup in 1 teaspoon at a time.

I’m taking my batch of trail cups for some long-lasting energy when the family heads out on a ski trip soon. I created this recipe with protein power as one of the ingredients to balance the dried fruit and chocolate.   I don’t want to hear ANY “I’m hungry mom” complaints when we’re dangling our skis and snowboards off a lift 10,000 feet up.

Chocolate & Cherry Energy Cups - TheFitFork.com

Chocolate Cherry (Protein) Trail Cups Recipe

  • 1 ¼ cup Love Grown Super Oats*
  • 1/3 cup chocolate protein powder (like Quest Nutrition Chocolate Milkshake)**
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup nut butter of choice (I used almond)
  • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
  • 2 tablespoons Stevia-sweetened cocoa syrup***
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips

*You may use regular rolled oats and add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. 
**If you don’t want to use protein powder, add an additional ¼ cup oats and 1 tablespoon nuts.
** I used NuNaturals Cocoa Syrup, but you can use any chocolate syrup

  1. Add oats, protein powder, cocoa powder, raisins and pecans in work bowl of food processor. Processes until ingredients are broken down but still fairly coarse
  2. Pulse in nut butter and syrup until mixture is moist and sticks together when pressed between fingers.
  3. Pulse in cherries and mini chocolate chips until just combined.
  4. Place approximately ¼ cup loosely scooped mixture into muffin tin that has been prepped with a paper liner. Press mixture down with back of spoon of fingers until compacted.
  5. May be stored in the refrigerator in airtight container for several weeks. Makes 15 :”cups.”

Oh, and I have a workout you’re going to flip for – if you don’t have a tire, a heavier med ball can be substituted.Tire Flip Full Body Workout = TheFitFork.com

 

What is on your workout and / or snacking schedule this week?  Have you ever flipped a tire?

{Slow Cooker} Salted Caramel Chocolate Crunch Holiday Gift Recipe

Slow Cooker Salted Caramel Chocolate Crunch - TheFitFork.com

I would be thrilled if you would head over to Love Grown Food’s Facebook and/or Pinterest page and vote for my holiday recipe creation (by “liking” or pinning) – {Slow Cooker} Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Crunch! This scrumptious salty-sweet snack couldn’t be easier to make in the slow cooker . . . . yes, Crock Pot power! Just dump in everything but the chocolate and let it mingle and caramelize together while you tend to other holiday tasks like wrapping gifts, addressing cards and hauling out the holly. Chocolate chips are melted in at the end and then it just cools for a bit on parchment paper. By using Power O’s, a crunchy cereal made from a blend of beans that adds protein, I’m able to bring a little balance to this sweet snack mix.

If you don’t gobble up the entire recipe at once, this Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Crunch makes a nice addition to any holiday party snack lineup or can be packaged up in jars with pretty ribbon for gift-giving.  Remember to go vote through the Facebook or Pinterest links, it’s really easy.  Thank you.

Slow Cooker Salted Caramel Chocolate Crunch - TheFitFork.com

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Crunch Recipe

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups “O’s” cereal like Cheerios or Love Grown Power O’s
  • 2 cups mini pretzels
  • 2 cups oyster crackers
  • 2 cups toasted almonds
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt

1. Melt butter in a saucepan.
2. Stir in sugar and vanilla until well blended.
3. In a large slow cooker, combine cereal, pretzels, almonds and crackers. Pour in melted butter mixture and stir to coat.
4. Cook on high for 2-3 hours with the LID OFF, stirring occasionally. Mixture will be done when sugar caramelizes to create a glaze over ingredients. Please keep an eye on ingredients, as slow  cooker temperatures can vary from model to model or with age of the appliance.
5. Turn heat to low and stir in chocolate chips. Put lid on slow cooker and let chocolate soften for about 5 minutes.
6. Remove lid and stir mixture to distribute melted chocolate.
7. Spread mixture on parchment paper and immediately sprinkle with coarse sea salt. After mixture has cooled and hardened, store in an airtight container.

Makes about 10 to 12 cups.