4 Trail Energy Recipes with Protein Powder

This post is sponsored by NOW Foods via Mamavation.

These four easy, packable recipes use protein powder for added nutrition -- making them perfect to take on a hike or trail run.I’m not going to hide the fact that I’m a meat-eater. I do all the proteins – beef, chicken, fish, and so on.  But often, I’m in such a rush for breakfast in the mornings or after a workout, that I’m not able to cook up a big juicy steak. Nor do I always want to. Using protein powder is a go-to on these days when I have a light appetite, but realize my body needs adequate protein for muscle repair and maintenance.  I ask my body to do a lot at my age and, in return, I try to feed it what it needs!

I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes using protein powder that are perfect for taking on a trail run or stowing away in your gym bag. I’m also reviewing two great options from NOW Sports that each work well in the recipes.  I’ve tried dozens of different protein powders and these two rank pretty high in my book – they are affordable, made with quality ingredients and offer the right ratio of protein to carbs and fat that I prefer.

These four easy, packable  recipes use protein powder for added nutrition -- making them perfect to take on a hike or trail run. 

 

1) Pumpkin Protein Granola

2) Nut Butter Protein Nuggets with Cacao Nibs

3) Apricot Chocolate Almond Protein Bars

4) Chocolate Cherry Protein Trail Cups

 

 

Now Foods Plant Protein

Incorporating protein powder into your diet, it’s all about balance!

Plant Protein Complex (Creamy Vanilla) – Great for vegetarians and vegans (and even meat-eaters who want a change of pace), the NOW Sports Plant Protein Complex is a versatile choice made with a pea, brown rice, hemp and quinoa protein blend. Each scoop provides 22 grams of proteins and 3,900 mg of branched chain amino acids and 1,800 of L-Arginine. Less than 1 gram of sugar and sweeted with Xylitol and Stevia.

Sprouted Brown Rice Protein (Natural Vanilla) – Everyone needs protein to thrive and survive, however those with certain food allergies (such as whey, egg, soy, etc) are often left with few choices when it comes to protein powder. NOW® Sprouted Brown is a great solution and can be used with the confidence that only natural and pure ingredients are being used – no soy or dairy and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

 

Additionally, I recently tried these two other NOW Foods products – thumbs up to both, especially for convenience. When doing healthy things is convenient, I’m more likely to participate!

NOW Foods Slender Sticks - Acai LemonadeLemonade Slender Sticks – These single-serve drink mix packets are so convenient for summer travel or to stash in a gym bag. What I like about them, other than the sweet-tart taste, is peace of mind knowing I’m using a product with made natural sweeteners and non-GMO ingredients, no artificial flavors or preservatives, and contains 50% of nine daily vitamins. Oh, and only 15 calories per serving!

NOW Probiotic 10 + Inulin has 10 billion live organisms per packet to support gut health.Probiotic-10 + Inulin: More single-serve packets, so you can get probiotics anytime, anywhere! This convenient supplement helps to maintain a healthy microbial balance in the gut – thanks to 10 probiotic strains and 10 billion organisms per little packet!  Suitable for vegans, vegetarians and those on dairy-free and gluten-free diets, this easy-to-use powder simply mixes into water for drinking.

 

What is your favorite way to use protein powder? Have you ever used a Probiotic supplement?  Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer 

Baked Gingerbread Protein Donuts with Lemon Glaze {Gluten Free} #AlohaMoment

This blog is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Aloha, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #myAloha and #AlohaMoment  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

With the holiday season in full swing AND my plan to carbo-load for the Dallas Marathon (which was on Sunday, that’s another story for another day), I broke out of my normal eating routine last week to indulge in some scrumptious baked goods! Even though I had Christmas cookies and a big bun with my burger, I was mindful of not eating a ton of low-quality carb crap.

Dallas Marathon 2014 - TheFitFork.com

Despite the marathon carbohydrate mission, I wanted to keep balance in breakfast. My days are just much more productive when I’ve started off with enough protein. One trick I rely on to up my intake is to sneak protein powder into recipes for pancakes, muffins, quick breads and such. My favorite recipe coming out of the oven this week was a batch of Baked Gingerbread Protein Donuts with Lemon Icing – and these little delights are gluten-free and paleo-friendly and actually low-carb enough for me (and hopefully you) to enjoy any day!

Baked Gingerbread Protein Donuts with Lemon Glaze - Paleo & Gluten Free - TheFitFork.com

You will not believe the delicious homemade seasonal scent that wafts through the house as these donuts bake. Am I tempting you yet? Keep reading for the recipe!

Aloha Premium Protein Powder - TheFitFork.com

Yup, I stirred Aloha Premium Protein Powder right into the batter (and even icing) for these delicious baked donuts. Aloha comes either in a big tub or packets – I like the pre-portioned packets for convenience and each one features 18 grams of plant-based protein along with vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. Perfect for vegetarians, vegans and everyone, this great-tasting product (which comes in chocolate and vanilla) helps ensure that you’re getting the complete chain of amino acids. Plus, there are no artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, animal products, fillers or chemicals of any kind. Gluten-Free Baked Gingerbread Donuts - TheFitFork

I also want to mention that my donut recipe below is also gluten-free and fits in with a Paleo style diet – made with protein powder along with almond meal, stevia and other healthy ingredients, these donuts not only taste good but will keep you feeling good.

Baked Gingerbread Donuts with Lemon Glaze Recipe

Ingredients for donuts:

  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup gluten-free baking blend
  • 2 packets Aloha vanilla protein powder (reserve 1 Tablespoon for icing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon stevia powder (1:2 stevia to sugar ratio)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsulphured blackstrap molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Aloha vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon stevia powder (1:2 stevia to sugar ratio)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. In medium bowl, mix together almond meal, gluten-free baking blend, protein powder (2 packets minus 1 tablespoon), baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and stevia power,  making sure there are no clumps.
  3. In another bowl whisk together eggs; whisk in molasses, coconut oil and vanilla. Mix together these wet ingredients with dry ingredients until well-combined, but not over-stirred.
  4. Spoon batter (or use piping bag) into 12-count mini donut pan, filling approximately 2/3 full.  Bake in 350 F degree oven for approximately 12 minutes, or until turning golden brown.
  5. Remove donuts to baking rack to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, mix together coconut milk, coconut butter, remaining 1 tablespoon protein powder, lemon juice and stevia. Drizzle over cooled donuts and sprinkle with lemon zest.
  7. Makes 12 mini donuts.
Chocolate Berry Smoothie

Blend together one packet Aloha Protein Powder with 12 oz. almond milk, 1/2 cup frozen berries and ice, as needed.

Also as a clean-eating, fitness enthusiast, I enjoy a smoothie or recovery shake made with protein powder for my morning meal or recovery. But, I can be picky about texture, taste and macros when it comes to supplementation.  A chocolate berry smoothie made with Aloha Premium Protein Powder is one of my go-to beverages after an intense workout during warmer weather (I aim for between 10 – 20 grams of protein within 30 minutes to assist with muscle recovery). But, it’s also smart to start off the day with protein, so I often mix Aloha into a hot morning drink, in nut butter, or in all types of batter – like with the Baked Gingerbread Protein Donut recipe above!

If you’d like to sample Aloha Premium Protein Powder (while supplies last), check out their free 14 days trial (a monthly subscription, but no-hassle to cancel if not right for you). You can also follow them on Facebook (Aloha), Twitter (@aloha), Pinterest (@alohamoment) , or Instagram (@alohamoment).

What is your favorite way to use protein powder?

12 Ideas for Hosting a Healthy Holiday Breakfast or Brunch

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – it’s a season for eating and greeting and spreading good cheer! If you are hosting a morning get-together over the holidays, it needn’t be fancy or fussy to be successful. In fact, some of the best memories I have are sitting around in my pajamas after the stockings have been unstuffed and ribbons unraveled to share a leisurely breakfast with family and reminisce about the glories of yore.  When I’m in town, I also like to don my most festive “ugly” sweater and invite the neighbors over for a holiday brunch.

Check out 12 Ideas for a Healthy Holiday Breakfast or Brunch

by The Fit Fork at Foodie.com


I have to admit though, the thought of hosting breakfast or brunch sometimes intimidates me – especially knowing I’m not a graceful waker-upper. So, I like to have many of the menu items prepped ahead of time so I’m not running around like an overworked, grouchy elf in the morning. Make-ahead egg casseroles are ideal as are muffins and quick breads that can be baked a day or two earlier. Even pancakes can be cooked and kept in the freezer for a no-stress holiday breakfast celebration. Some of my favorite breakfast recipes are included in the Healthy Holiday Breakfast and Brunch collection I created for Foodie.com.

Snow Men Milk Bottles - Kid's Craft - TheFitFork.comIf your gathering is anything like mine, there will probably be at least a dozen kids racing around the Christmas tree high as flying reindeer jacked up on candy canes. I have an entertaining little activity that will slow down these busy bodies for a just a few minutes and also provide the opportunity to pump them with a wholesome glass of milk (soy, almond or whatever!).  These Snowman Milk Bottles are adorable and a super easy craft that most any youngster can make with minimal supervision – however, I suggest pre-cutting the felt and assisting with the glue gun lest there be no emergency room trips on a holiday. And, BTW, TheFitFork.com has not turned into a DIY Craft blog, but these were just too fun not to share!

Snowman Milk Bottle Christmas Craft - TheFitFork.com

Supplies needed for each Snow Man Milk Bottle:

  • Empty mini milk bottle (available at craft store or recycled Starbucks Frappuccino bottle)
  • 1 ½ inch x 8 inch piece of colorful felt
  • 3 black buttons
  • Glue gun or glue dots
  • Scissors
  • Striped paper straw

For the scarf, use scissors to snip ½” long fringe into each end of the felt. Wrap around neck of bottle and knot to one side; secure with glue or glue dot if needed. Glue three buttons down front of bottle.  Fill with milk and add colorful paper straw.

So, what do you like to serve on Christmas or holiday mornings?  Do you have a once-a-year special holiday recipe or do you stick with your standard-issue morning meal?

This post was sponsored by Foodie.com, however all recipes and editorial comments are my own.

Honey-Sweet Pecan Apple & Hemp Granola Recipe

hemp protein granola apples and pecans

I have more granola for you! You just need to run over and grab a handful before it’s long gone. Sprinkling a couple of crunchy tablespoons on my Greek yogurt in the morning is a must; however, my husband prefers to munch it straight out of the bag. To create a more satiating snack, I almost always add a couple scoops of whey power and some raw, shelled hemp seed to my granola recipes for an extra protein boost. By the way, check out my granola recipe round up post for some other healthy breakfast, dessert and snack ideas.

pecan apple hemp granola with honey

Honey-Sweet Pecan Apple Hemp Protein Granola Recipe

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup organic honey
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (2 scoops) vanilla or plain protein powder
  • 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (Gluten-Free, if needed)
  • 1/3 cup shelled hemp seed
  • 1 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup honey pecans, chopped*
  • 3/4 cup dehydrated apples, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
  2. Place the coconut oil, honey, applesauce, water and protein powder in a medium saucepan. Turn heat to medium-low and whisk until mixture is smooth, thick and creamy and just beginning to bubble. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla.
  3. Pour oat, hemp and cinnamon into pot, stirring to combine and coat. Pour mixture out evenly on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes, stirring once or twice. If granola still seems moist, keep baking in 5 minute increments until dry. Remove from oven and let cool completely on sheet. Crumble up in bowl and stir in chopped pecans and apples.
  5. Store cooled granola in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.

*Sugared and honey-coated nuts tend to burn easily, so I add them after baking. However, if you substitute raw nuts, they may be added with the oats before cooking.

healthy ingredients coconut oil and honey

I love trying out new ingredients and brands in my recipes; it makes me feel like an experimenter of epicurean proportions! I was recently sent some new products to try out, and give a thumbs up to both. First, I was surprised to find that the LouAna brand made a coconut oil. This great southern company, in business since 1894, has been making nearly every type of cooking and salad oil imaginable.  LouAna Coconut Oil is ideal for baking, sautéing, stir-frying and more – the scent is enticing and there are no trans fats or cholesterol. You also get all the benefits of this heart-healthy “super fat” at a budget-friendly price – I’ve seen it at my local market for $6.00 per huge 30-oz. container.

I’ve used all types of sweeteners in my granola before including maple syrup, stevia and (gasp) real brown sugar. We have a couple honey-lovers in the house, so I decided to try Wholesome Sweetener’s Organic Honey. Here in Austin, Texas, it’s not hard to get my hands on some pretty delicious local honey – but, I must say, I did love my bottle from Wholesome Sweetener. It was a beautiful amber color and really did have the “butterscotch essence” as advertised! Aside from the superior taste, I feel confident using this product in recipes and letting my kids squirt it all over their biscuits, bacon and yogurt – that’s because this honey is fair trade-certified, non-GMO and organic.  One thing I did notice is that it’s important to reduce the baking temperature by 25 F degrees; honey tends to caramelize (and burn) fairly quickly.

I’ve been practicing these one-armed pull-ups so I can get my workout in AND much granola at the same time. Well, just kidding – it was a dare and I figured out a way to make it happen. Sorry the video is sideways, oops.

 

Love at First Bite! Nut Butter Crispies with Cacao Nibs Recipe

Valentines Day Healthy Treat Nut Butter Crispies

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!

Healthy Gym Snack Protein Nut Butter Bites

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.

cocoa_nibsYou 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.

healthy snack nut butter crispies

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.

Makes 18.

Granola Recipe Roundup . . . Starring Avocado Pineapple!

As promised, I’ve rounded up my recent granola recipes in honor of National Oatmeal Month.  For years, I just mindlessly bought granola at the store until I realized how insanely easy it is to make at home. Not only is it super fresh and more economical, but my favorite reasons for baking homemade granola are the creativity factor and control over the ingredients.  Try one, try them all!

homemade granola and granola bars A) Chocolate Cherry Protein Granola – This chocolate granola is so scrumptious I could eat it for dessert! Problem is, my kids and husband always have the batch polished off before lunch!

B) Smashing Pumpkin Protein Granola – Pumpkin shouldn’t be a seasonal food; I stock up on canned pumpkin in the fall so I can show my thanks to this super nutritious squash all year long.

C) Tropical Caramel Cashew Granola Bars – Coconut and cashews hugged with gooey caramel, these chewy granola bars get a protein boost with raw shelled hemp seeds.  Perfect for gym bags and lunch boxes!

D) Gingerbread Cranberry Protein Granola  – One whiff of this granola wafting from the oven will give you that warm fuzzy feeling of being at grandmother’s house and helping with the baking. Nostalgic noshing!

avocado recipe with pineapple pumpkin seeds

 

AvocadOMG! You’re going to think “oh no she didn’t,” but OH, YES I DID! I’ll stop shouting now to share the news about my recipe for Avocado Pineapple Granola, not only is it strangely delicious but also over-the-top nutritious. By substituting mashed avocado for the coconut oil I typically use in my granola recipes, I was able to significantly reduce the amount of saturated fat.  Did you know the fats found in avocados are healthy and satiating? Check out some new research on avocados and satiety that I think you’ll find . . . .full-filling!  Eating 1/2 an avocado with a meal can make you feel satisfied and reduce the urge to snack following a meal.

Avocado Pineapple Granola Recipe

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cups raw, shelled hemp seed
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 large avocado (approx. 1 cup mashed)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 4 – 6 single-serving packets Stevia (depending on sweetness preference)
  • 4-ounce unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup dried diced pineapple

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, toss together oats, hemp, coconut, and pumpkin seeds. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, add peeled avocado, almond milk, Stevia and applesauce. With a fork, mash together until combined and creamy.
  4. Add avocado mixture into bowl with dry ingredients; mix with spatula until completely coated. Do NOT add pineapple before cooking.
  5. Spread granola onto prepared baking sheet, pressing down slightly, and bake for approximately 1 hour. Stirring every 20 minutes, taking care not to break up all the clusters.
  6. Remove from oven, stir in dried pineapple, and let cool on pan at least 15 minutes before breaking into clusters

 

 

Healthy Chocolate Recipe Round-Up!

healthy chocolate recipes small

Have yourself a merry little Christmas and let all your treats be light. Dig into my favorite healthy chocolate recipes and your troubles will be out of sight. Troubles out of sight? Okay, there are still a few holiday headaches going on at my house (nothing major), but at least sabotaging all my hard work on the track and in the gym isn’t one of them. Now, if you’re looking for splurge chocolate recipes, check out my Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies or Chocolate Mint Crinkle Kiss Cookies.

When friends and family gather near over the holidays, many of my delicious chocolate recipes are made as special requests – some I even package up in pretty wrappings to give as Christmas gifts. How can you not love holiday treats that are as healthy as they are heavenly tasting – it’s a win-win when your willpower is waning!

I don’t even need to rationalize making all my healthy chocolate recipes; research does it for me. Studies have shown that the flavanols (compounds found in cocoa) have antioxidant properties that help repair damage done by free radicals. The flavinols can also help reduce the risk for heart disease by relaxing artery walls and preventing blood platelets from getting clogged up.

The more cocoa in the chocolate the better it is for your health; this means darker chocolates are healthier than milk chocolates. Eating raw cocoa can be a bitter shock at first; ideally you should try to eat chocolate that is made from 70% cocoa – even this takes some getting used to. But, I think we’re all willing to hang in there when it comes to eating chocolate, right?! So, let’s get to the recipes!

jennifer fisher core power chocolate peppermint sorbet

It’s still pretty warm here in Austin, so we’ve been enjoying this frosty and festive Chocolate Peppermint Sorbet I created for the Core Power blog. Made with the Chocolate Light flavor of Core Power High Protein Shakes, it’s the perfect treat for recovery after a long run or hard workout.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - salted pistachio chocolate cookies

If you have company coming and they are living the caveman lifestyle, you might what to whip up a batch of these Salted Pistachio Chocolate Cookies. The cookies are dairy-free, gluten-free with a sweet-salt addictive quality!

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - chocolate date candy bars

Craving a candy bar, but aren’t willing to give in? My recipe for Chocolate Date “Candy Bar” Bites makes a healthy and heavenly substitution. Also Paleo-friendly, these chocolate treats make a thoughtful gift packaged up inside a sparkly gift tin – that is, if you don’t eat the whole batch up front.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - chocolate strawberry protein donut holes

Power up a holiday breakfast with a handful of Chocolate Strawberry Protein “Donut” Holes. Protein powder giveS my baked doughnut holes a little extra oomph and will satisfy your hunger until lunch!  I’ll let you in on a secret; I like to sneak a few as a bed time snack!

baked chocolate protein donuts

If you want the whole donut, then I’ve got you covered with these Baked-and-Better Chocolate Protein Donuts – ahh, the chocolate glaze is delish!

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com choco cherry protein granola

Another chocolate breakfast yum-yum (and fantastic healthy snack) is my Choco-Cherry Protein Granola. Eat by the handful right out of the container or sprinkle over Greek yogurt – this doesn’t last long at my house.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - paleo pumpkin bread chocolate chip cranberry

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is great anytime of the year; have a piece with your salad, as a snack or a sensible addition to your morning cuppa Joe. Oh, and this one is paleo-friendly and gluten-free too!

jennifer fisher thefitfork corepower chocolate chai

And finally, check back next week and I’ll share my blog post for steamy, silky Chocolate Chai made with Core Power protein drink (and other healthful stuff) – they sell something similar at Starbucks, but this is way better for you!

Christmas Cravings | Choco-Cherry Protein Granola #Recipe

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com choco cherry protein granola

Deck the halls with bowls of granola, fa-la-la fa-fa-la, la-la-la! Okay, I’ve been getting a little bit crazy with the protein granola over here. But, my family is gobbling it up almost faster than I can make it. In October, I made Smashing Pumpkin Protein Granola and in November I whipped up Gingerbread Cranberry Protein Granola and for December my special mix is Choco-Cherry Protein Granola given extra crunch with almonds and coconut.  Of course, we’ll be enjoying the healthy goodness of these three seasonal flavors all year long and I hope you will too!

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com choco cherry protein granola 1

Choco-Cherry Protein Granola is a delicious treat for the morning; serve with milk or sprinkle on top of Greek yogurt. Think beyond breakfast and enjoy this satiating protein-boost any time of the day or night. I’ve even scarfed this fit granola straight out of the container to conquer my chocolate cravings!

jennifer fisher granola sock monkey

Here’s a great healthy foodie gift for the holidays – scoop granola into a mason jar or cellophane bag and tie up with a festive ribbon.  Sure to be welcomed by friends and family; who wouldn’t literally be fulfilled by this tasteful gesture?!

Choco-Cherry Protein Granola Recipe

  • 8 ounces black cherry juice (or pomegranate juice as substitute)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup chocolate or vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon liquid stevia concentrate
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 cup raw almond slivers
  • 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (GF if needed)
  • 1 cup dried cherries

 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
  2. In large pot, over medium-low heat, add juice, coconut oil, cocoa powder, protein powder, salt and Stevia liquid. Whisk together until incorporated and smooth and mixture is beginning to bubble (but do not boil).
  3. Remove pot from heat and stir in coconut and almonds. Next add oats, stirring mixture until everything is evenly coated. Note: do NOT add dried cherries; they are mixed in later when granola is done baking.
  4. Spread granola onto prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake, stirring every 10 – 15 minutes, until granola is no longer sticky, approximate 35 – 40 minutes. Remove from oven and mix in dried cherries.
  5. Granola will stay fresh, stored in an airtight container, for up to 4 weeks.