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
This post and giveaway are sponsored by Hamilton Beach. However, all content, comments, recipes and enthusiasm are my own.
My engine is revving and I’m whirling with excitement to be sharing some of my favorite blender recipes today (including a special nut butter recipe) – you’ll notice there are no smoothies (it’s just too cold for me)! I’m also hosting a giveaway for a new Hamilton Beach ® Professional 1800 Watt Peak Power Blender (ARV $249), whoohoo! This versatile workhorse for your kitchen easily emulsifies oils into dressings, frapees fruit into frozen drinks, purees potatoes into porridge, chops veggies for your moire poux, and makes meat . . .uh, well, minced meat It also makes child’s play of pulverizing the heartiest seeds and nuts into butter.
Check out my recipe for Smoky Sriracha Six Seed & Nut Butter featured today on Hamilton Beach’s Every Day Good Thinking blog. And then, come back to enter the blender giveaway and drool and pin my other favorite blender recipes.
Not much could be sweeter about summer, except maybe a top-crop snack of strawberries. Strawberries balanced with a bit of protein are the perfect healthy snack to fuel the body for one warm-weather activity to the next.
On their own, strawberries are quite the super food, providing a quality source of simple carbohydrates that the body can turn into quick energy for runs, workouts and even power-thinking! The high fiber and water content found in this fruit creates a feeling of welcomed fullness, while keeping the calorie count low – a single medium strawberry only has 4 calories! Plus, a powerful wallop of vitamin C is packed in strawberries, an antioxidant that can help keep muscles, skin and tissues in tip-top shape – just eight strawberries match the vitamin C in a medium orange.
But often, especially for athletes and those with an active lifestyle, merely munching on a handful of berries alone won’t suffice. Pair up strawberries up with a lean protein source for added nutrients and a few extra calories to feel fuller and more fueled for the most vigorous daily routine. Also, eating a snack of carbohydrates with protein (in a 4:1 to 3:1 ratio) 30 minutes after an intense exercise session will help tired and sore muscles recover more quickly.
Check out these Six Strawberry Protein Snacks that can be made in a snap and will fuel you up for running, workouts, climbing and reaching for the sky!
Yes, I have been guilty of eating REAL cookie dough and a lot of it. Once as a kid, my indulgent grandmother let me eat as much as I wanted while my annoyed mother looked shaking her head and telling me I was going to get sick. So, what happened? I barfed . . . mothers are always right. While I still like to make “real” chocolate chip cookies for the family now and again, I try to stay out of the dough (as much as I can). My recipe for Nut Butter Cookie Dough Protein Bites is a healthier option with no raw eggs, no gluten, and no added sugar except for a few chocolate chips.
With less than 100 calories and almost 5 grams of protein, one these yummy little no-cook treats also make a sensible alternative to eating that whole chub of cookie dough and turning into the Pillsbury Dough Boy (but, darn if he isn’t the cutest thing).
Your sweet tooth will be satisfied with the smattering of chocolate chips, but you can also omit these from the recipe.
I’ve added a whey protein powder for sustained energy, muscle-making and to prevent that sugar crash that comes with eating too many sweets. The protein also makes this no-bake recipe a great choice for your post-workout or run recovery snack. You can use your favorite brand of protein powder, but note that it may change the nutritional info depending on the brand and exact ingredient list.
Also, I used Nuttzo Seven Nut & Seed Butter which is my nut butter of choice – again, you can sub in whatever almond butter, peanut butter or other nut butter you like, but I highly recommend this one because it is packed with so much extra wholesome goodness. Save 20% on your order with my discount code FITFORK-20 at Nuttzo.com.
I’m making an extra batch this week to take along on our road trip to Spartan Houston! It has been raining buckets all over Texas so it looks like it’s going to be ANOTHER wild, wet and super muddy course. If you’re thinking about running an upcoming Spartan Race (check calendar here), there is a new limited-time discount code SPRING20 you can use at checkout to save 20% .
Admit it, do you eat raw cookie dough? Have you ever run an obstacle course race, which one? Please share in the comments below — thanks, XOXO, Jennifer
As a food and fitness blogger, it’s fun (and sometimes filling!) to test out all the new products that get sent my way. I’m sharing the best from the last couple months (and some perennial favorites) along with any discount codes I might have. If I’ve listed it here, it gets legitimate thumbs up from me – other stuff gets tossed into the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all pile.”
Litehouse Foods Organic Vinaigrette– I develop recipes for this awesome employee-owned company based in Idaho – they have delicious, healthy products ranging from artisan cheeses to Greek yogurt based dips and freeze dried herbs sold all over the US. Right now, I’m really digging their updated organic line which includes new flavors like two of my favorites — Organic Rosemary Balsamic and Organic Ginger Honey. Look for these in the refrigerated section of your produce department, purchase online or enter to win my GIVEAWAY for Five Free Litehouse Foods product coupons (use them on anything they make, not just the dressings – enter at bottom of post).
Somersaults Sunflower Snacks – Available in sweet and savory flavors, these yummy little crackers are made mostly of sunflower seeds and offer up healthy fats, protein and vitamin E. My favorite way to use them is as a crouton alternative on my #BombAssSalads !! Use NEWFAN10 to get 10% off your order.
Nuttzo Nut & Seed Butters – My nutty shines through, Nuttzo has named me a VIP Ambassador for their organic and non-GMO Nut & Seed Butters. This stuff is so good, you’ll want to spread it on everything – or just eat right out of the jar. Save 20% on purchase with discount code FITFORK-20
Bright Planet – There is so much to love about this small, woman-owned bath and skin product company – not only are there eco-friendly, human and organic products wonderfully pampering (loved the scent), but they also are mindful of their place in the bigger world. For example, for each purchase made, Bright Planed donates two healthy meals to children in need. Get Bright Planet on Amazon
Nuun Hydration Tablets – This is not your standard Nuun Ambassador shoutout – I’ve been on the team for years, and am so happy to report that just recently the formula has been improved! They’ve added non-GMO sourced dextrose to help body absorb fluids more efficiently (still keeping under 1g sugar), using only clean ingredients such as plant-based sweeteners, and are gluten, dairy and soy free and given a “Clean Sport Certification” by Informed Choice. Use code NUUNAMBASSADORFRIEND at checkout to receive 20% off order.
Vitamin Dose Beverage – I don’t know about you, but I hate swallowing pills. That’s why I was all over these little specially blended cans of drinkable vitamins. They are non-carbonated, caffeine-free, low-calorie and taste good too. Get your Vitamin Dose on Amazon
TsaGnarly Nutrition – I am a protein powder nerd, I love trying all the new ones I find. Totally into the “Chiseled Chocolate” Grass Fed Whey Protein Supplement. It’s made with quality New Zealand Whey (happy cows there, I guess) and offers 12.5 g protein along with BCAAs, Glutamine and no artificial anything. Also, other full-on sports nutrition products including some vegan stuff. Get Gnarly on Amazon
Superior 2 from Altra Running – Okay, disclosure, I’m an Ambassador and admitted junkie of their super light and flash-fast The Ones 2.5 (and all previous versions!). So, it took the color golden yellow and the promise of “more grip and less weight” to get me to try the award-winning trail shoe that everyone’s raves on. I was looking for something that was still light on the feet, take me from trail running to gym and me obstacle course appropriate – score! Get Altra Superior 2 on Amazon
Tsamma Juice — Tsamma Juice from Frey Farms makes me swoon plus, it’s another woman-owned biz. Everyone knows what a huge watermelon fan I am (for both healthy recipes and sports performance benefits). It’s so awesome to have access to sweet, yummy handcrafted watermelon juice during the middle of winter – look for it at your grocery store in the produce section, Costco or buy online.
Have you tried any of these health and fitness products? What are you favorite new finds? Please share in comments! XOXO – Jennifer
I love how the Protein Pantry at VitaminShoppe.com helps me put more “flex” into my fall baking and recipe making. I can turn a puny breakfast or snack into a pumped-up powerhouse of nutrition that makes achieving my goals possible. So, what is #ProteinPantry ? Online and in nearly 700 stores nationwide, the Protein Pantry is a specially curated, fitness-focused assortment of 40 protein-packed foods such as pancake mixes, nut butters, powdered peanut butter and more! Stocked in this cupboard of kick-butt awesome yumminess are some of my favorite brands like Buff Bake and About Time along with some new products to fall in love with like D’s Naturals, Mancakes, P28 Foods, FlapJacked and more. Look at some of the goodies that came my way:
Ya’ll know how I feel about getting enough protein and love to create and share protein recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Adequate protein intake helps to build and repair muscle, supports weight management by satisfying appetite and boosting metabolism, lessens cravings and mindless snacking, can lower cholesterol and support heart health, and offers a wide range of vitamins and minerals for optimal health.
Research shows that it’s best to spread out protein consumption evenly throughout the day, aiming for about 25g to 30g per eating opportunity – including refueling with a protein-rich snack within 30 minutes of an intense workout or long run.
While most Americans get enough protein, they tend to overdo consumption at dinner and skimp on breakfast. But, breakfast is covered thanks to all of the convenient and easy-to-make products in Vitamin Shoppe’s Protein Pantry, like the FlapJacked Mighty Muffins that cook in 35 seconds in their own container. No excuses!
Since apples are everywhere this time of year (and also good for you), I’ve created an easy Apple Ring Cinnamon Protein Pancake recipe using a packet of Mancake Cinnamon Oat Protein Pancake Mix (feel free to swap for the protein pancake batter you prefer).
This easy breakfast recipe offers a full serving of both protein and fruit – the protein will keep you satisfied and skipping right over a mid-morning sugar crash while the apple offers lots of fiber and is a healthy source of complex carbs to fuel your body and brain.
You also might digging into the Tart Cherry Chocolate Protein Pancakes recipe I made a few months ago with the About Time Protein Pancake Mix. Time savings hint — make multiple batches and keep extra stored in single-serve portions in the freezer — on busy mornings, take out, reheat, enjoy!
What do you eat for protein in the morning? What is your favorite topping for pancakes? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Vitamin Shoppe. All opinions are mine.
Who doesn’t love a crispy rice treat? I do, but not those prepackaged ones made with corn syrup, white puffed rice and a ton of other ingredients and preservatives I can’t pronounce. Plus, there’s only a scant trace of protein in one of those gooey squares; that means I’ll be crashing lickity-split from my carbohydrate high. What’s a girl got to do to satisfy her sweet tooth and get a little snap, crackle and pop going on? Mix up her own healthier version of this favorite treat from childhood, that’s what! I have a hunch you are going to fall in love with this healthy snack recipe – package them up and give them to your favorite sweetie for Valentine’s Day!
My version of crispy rice treats, Protein Nut Butter Crispies, features puffed brown rice, a 100% whole grain, that hasn’t been enriched or fortified with any weird stuff. A couple scoops of protein powder (you can use any brand or flavor) adds long-lasting energy that is perfect before a workout or to help build back up damaged muscle tissue afterward. Almond butter and honey helps hold everything together with delicious taste while cacao nibs lend an extra dose of crunchiness to this fun-to-eat treat.
You may be wondering, “Just what are cacao nibs and why should I be eating them?” Cacao nibs are little pieces of cacao beans that been have roasted, hulled and prepped for the chocolate-making process. While I like to think of them as “nature’s chocolate chips,” cacao nibs don’t really add any sweetness to a recipe. In fact, they are a tad bitter (in a good way) and have a slightly nutty flavor with chocolate undertones. Here are some other good things to know about cacao nibs:
- Cacao nibs are abundant with magnesium, a mineral needed for in excess of 300 biochemical reactions in the human body including muscle and nerve function and maintaining a steady heart rhythm.
- Unlike chocolate bars, cacao nibs pack in a lot of fiber in a small serving – one ounce of cacao nibs has nine grams of fiber.
- Cacao nibs are rich in iron, a necessity for the production of red blood cells — and a good thing for women, runners and other athletes who need more iron (up to 30% more) than the average Joe. One ounce of raw cacao nibs provides six percent of the daily recommended value.
- Cacao nibs provide more antioxidant benefits than eating the darkest chocolate bar around. You’ve probably heard that the darker the chocolate, the better – experts suggest picking a bar with as much as 70% cacao (it can take a while to get used to the less sweet taste). Since cacao nibs are the basis for chocolate candy (after being ground into a paste and mixed with sugar and milk solids), you’re skipping all the unhealthy stuff and going straight to the unsullied source of nutrients..
- Get creative with cacao nibs! You can eat cacao nibs straight out of the bag, mix them into oatmeal or sprinkle on Greek yogurt – or mix in cacao nibs into any of your recipes for baked goods.
Protein Nut Butter Crispies with Cacao Nibs Recipe
- 2 cups puffed whole grain brown rice cereal
- 2/3 cup (2 standard scoops) chocolate protein powder
- ¼ cocoa nibs
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup honey (I like Wholesome Sweetener’s Fairtrade Organic Honey )
- Optional: 2 Tbsp. chocolate candy-covered sunflower seeds
Place puffed rice, protein powder and cocoa nibs in a medium-sized bowl and toss together until combined.
Warm almond butter in the microwave for about 20 seconds so it’s more malleable. Spray spatula with baking spray and scoop out warmed nut butter on top of dry mixture. Drizzle honey on top of this and stir everything until combined. Mixture may be a bit crumbly, that’s okay.
Using hands, form mixture into approximate 1 ¼” diameter balls, packing tightly. Repeat process with remaining mixture.
If desired, lightly press tops of nuggets into candy-coated chocolate sunflower seeds or another topping of choice.