Chocolate Peanut Butter Power Oats with Life Time Protein

Keeping my nutrition in check with my busy family, work and training schedule can sometimes seem like one of the hardest tasks at hand. If I don’t put a priority on properly fueling first thing in the morning before my workouts, and then afterward, I definitely notice an increase in my recovery time, dip in my overall energy and concentration levels, and a reduction in performance the next day. Day after day, this can become a downward spiral. For example, if the stress starts getting to me, I’m prone to lose weight and stop sleeping and that’s no good for an athlete trying to maintain and/or grow muscle mass.Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Power Oats

Thankfully, I plan ahead more these days with simple solutions for success, like putting up portions of leftover steak in the freezer for future salads, meal prepping a week’s worth of whole grains like quinoa or oatmeal, and placing my scoops of protein powders and recovery drinks into single-serve baggies for a grab-and-go before the gym. Read on to get the recipes for my easy make-ahead Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Power Oats and learn about some of the sports nutrition products I rely on from Life Time Fitness. Continue reading

Pumpkin Maple Peanut Butter Panini with Bananas

 

Busy morning school routines combined with dwindling daylight hours can make waking up in September a challenge. My boys have become snooze button beasts, but not anymore! They are up and at ‘em earlier with much more enthusiasm now that I’ve added some yummy breakfast eating options to the morning menu.

Pumpkin Maple Peanut Butter Panini with Pepperidge Farms Swirl Oatmeal Bread

We all are totally loving the new Pepperidge Farm Swirl Oatmeal breads, the thick and hearty whole grain slices make a yummy foundation for slathers for spreads, sandwich fillings, and such. Today, I’m sharing ways to use this delicious breakfast bread, including my Pumpkin Maple Peanut Butter Panini with Banana! Continue reading

Muffin Mania | Multi-Grain Peanut Butter Banana Muffin Recipe

jennifer fisher -thefitfork.com - multigrain pb banana muffins

It’s midnight muffin-making mania! Once again, I have stayed up way to late, but this time it is for the sake of having a healthy breakfast in the morning – after all, it’s still Better Breakfast Month! Two of my kids take a brown-bag breakfast to school to eat after sports practice. I often feel bad that they’re missing a hot meal at home (yes, I often scramble eggs, but that’s all I’m capable of at 5:45 in the morning). I feel even worse when I send them off with a meal where everything comes out of a wrapper – the protein bar, the fruit bar, the juice pouch and so on. New rule, only ONE wrapper per meal!

For this super yummy Multi-Grain Peanut Butter Banana Muffins, I tweaked a few recipes to make a new and improved muffin experience. In terms of baking concepts, I cut some of the oil and replaced it with a natural peanut butter – you could use any nut butter you like. I reduced a great deal of the white processed flour by substituting in whole wheat flour, bran cereal and flax seed.  There’s a whole lot of whole-grainy goodness going on in these morning, afternoon and night muffins. Another muffin recipe of mine you should try is the Berry Cheesecake Power Muffins, it has a totally different consistency (yet amazing taste) while these muffins today have a traditional texture.

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If you haven’t put flax seed into baked goods before, you really should. There are three healthy benefits from sneaking a little flax seed into this muffin recipe. First, it adds extra fiber to the muffins, each tablespoon of flax seed has 8 grams of fiber. Second, flax seed is a plant-based source for omega-3, an essential fatty acid that provides and anti-inflammatory role in the body. Third, flax seed contains lignans, a compound that helps our body metabolize estrogen in a safer way. Studies have shown that consuming lignin may reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer. Remember to use your flax seed in a ground state, that’s how you reap all the nutritional benefits.

I also have two cooking tips to share for this recipe. First, I used a little in-a-pinch baking solution my grandmother taught me. A great substitution for buttermilk  (which is so good in most muffin recipe but always ends up going bad in the fridge because who really uses it for anything else), is to sour your regular milk (even low-fat milk) by adding 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Let it sit for a few minutes to get to the right consistency.   The other tip is new to me tonight – and that is to spray muffin papers with cooking spray before pouring in the batter. This seemed like a weird thing to do, but I gave it a try – wow, the muffins didn’t stick at all inside the baking liners.

Next up in my Better Breakfast Month rotation, one of the quick and easy recipes from the gallery of Cooking Light’s Grab and Go Quick Breakfast ideas.  Fig, Applesauce and Almond Loaf (below) immediately caught my eye , but there are tons of other speedy and satisfying recipes on the site that will help make mornings easier.

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jennifer fisher -thefitfork.com - multigrain pb banana muffins IG

 

Multi-Grain Peanut Butter Banana Muffins Recipe

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup natural style peanut butter
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup bran cereal
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½  cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For Streusel Topping:

  • ¼  cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

 

Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Line muffin cups with paper baking cups and lightly spray with cooking spray.

In large bowl, combine oil and peanut butter together with a whisk or electric mixer. Add brown sugar, stirring until combined. Next add egg, cereal, mashed banana, Greek yogurt, and vanilla, stir until just combined (will be a bit lumpy).

In non-reactive small bowl, add milk and vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes to sour, will look slightly curdled. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, flaxseed meal, and nutmeg.   Stir this dry mixture into wet mixture alternating with soured milk. Repeat until ingredients are combined, but not over-mixed.  Pour batter into prepared muffin cups approximately two-thirds full.

In medium bowl, add streusel ingredients. Mix together until combined but crumbly. Sprinkle streusel on top of muffin batter.

Bake in 375 F degree oven for approximately 20 – 22 minutes or until top lightly browned and toothpick pulls clean when inserted into the middle.

Cool on wire rack.

Makes 20 muffins.

McD’s in the Athlete’s Village? Try No-Bake Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe for Olympic-Sized Snacking

Over the last couple months, I’ve developed an Olympic-sized appetite which I am attributing to my twice-a-day workout schedule. Run in the morning; CrossFit in the late afternoon.  Today, mindlessly influenced by the fact that there is a McDonald’s in the Athlete’s Village at the London Olympics, I headed on over to my local golden arches for lunch. No, I didn’t woof down a gut-busting Big Mac, fry and milkshake meal and I hope our USA athletes aren’t either! I responsibly ate the Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken which is actually quite good with a roasted corn, tomato and black bean salsa and sprinkling of cheese and tortilla chips. However, with only 290 calories (yet supplying a decent 27 gram serving of protein), I was fiercely famished a few hours later.

Today, to address the needs of my rumbling stomach, I whipped up a batch of No-Bake Chocolate Chip Protein Bars. Ready in no time, my afternoon treat was ready just in time to kick back on the couch and enjoy seeing the women’s marathon. Sadly, I realized that my favorite event isn’t until Sunday, August 5th.   Oh well, table tennis and badminton will have to do today!

No-Bake Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe

  • 2 cups minute oatmeal
  • 4 scoops vanilla whey protein powder (my 4 scoops measured 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon stevia sugar substitute
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Line loaf pan with plastic wrap. In large bowl, add oatmeal, protein powder, flaxseed and stevia; mix these dry ingredients together until well-combined. Next, add peanut butter and water; knead with clean hands until incorporated (you can try to use a spoon, but my wooden one busted right in half). Sprinkle in chocolate chips, knead a bit more. Press mixture into prepared loaf pan and firm up in freezer for 20 minutes. Pull mixture out of pan by plastic wrap; slice into 12 equal sized pieces. Store in the refrigerator.  Serves 12.

Nutritional info (per serving): calories 221, total fat 10g, sodium 99mg, potassium 94 mg, total carb 22g, dietary fiber 3g, sugars 10g,  protein 11.g