Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake

     This fall I have discovered something AMAZING. Pumpkin puree freezes extremely well and it makes to most delicious post-workout protein shakes! This treat seriously tastes sinful. Combined with frozen banana, it whips up into a fluffy, ice cream like bowl of awesome.

     Now, freezing both the banana and the pumpkin is what will give you the fluffy creamy consistency, so don't skip this step!

     To freeze the pumpkin, I bought a can of 100% pumpkin puree and using a 1/4 measuring cup measured out portions onto a cookie sheet, I then popped it into the freezer uncovered until set. Then I transferred the little pumpkin "pucks" in to a freeze safe ziplock bag. :) One 32 oz. can should yield you about 14 1/4 cup servings. For my protein shakes I use 2 servings = about 40 calories worth.

You will need:
1 frozen banana, peeled & chopped
1/2 cup frozen pumpkin puree
pumpkin pie spice
sugar free vanilla syrup or stevia (optional)
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
light vanilla soy milk or milk of choice
*you could also add ground psyllium husk powder for extra fiber

The pumpkin can be a little difficult to blend, so make sure you are using a food processor or blender with a little gusto. I use a Ninja.

Start off by adding the frozen banana in pumpkin in the bottom of your blender.

Pulse them together until they look like this:

You want things nice and chopped up without too many large chunks remaining.

Then add a dash of pumpkin pie spice (1/2 tsp maybe? just eyeball it)
1 TBL sugar-free vanilla syrup
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
splash of light vanilla soy milk
*always start off with less liquid and add more as you need to-this maintains the nice thick consistency.

Blend again, stopping to scrape the sides down. Add another dash of milk if needed. The more you blend, the fluffier it gets.

I like to eat mine out of a bowl topped with extra cinnamon and a sprinkling of pumpkin flax granola.

Pumpkin combined with banana and whey protein makes for a powerhouse of a recovery post-workout shake! Pumpkin packs a lot of nutritional benefits without a lot of calories. I've been eating this after my intense leg workouts on Sundays and also for breakfast during the work week. Although I like it so much I could eat it as dessert!
Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Monday, July 1, 2013

S'mores Brownies

     It takes a lot for me to turn on my oven in the summertime. These are worth it.
I'm not sure why, but lately my husband has been nagging me for brownies. He's not much of a chocolate lover usually, so I find it a bit odd. We went camping a couple weekends ago and we had leftover graham crackers and I mentioned I might make some "S'mores Brownies". I showed him a picture of a recipe I had been eyeballing and he asked "that's really a thing - S'mores brownies.?" Yes. It is a thing. A wonderful, delicious, thing.

     I LOVE Lindsay Ann's Dollhouse Bakeshoppe's recipes because they are small-batch and on point! Meaning you can make 8 delicious cookies, or one loaf-size pan of brownies instead of noshing on the good stuff day in and day out. Everything in moderation, right? I wanted to make the regular 8x8 pan size of these, but I knew hubby would want more than that so I doubled her recipe and baked them in a 9x13. Let's just hope he continues to consume them by the double, because I'm trying to watch myself around these bad boys!

     I'm linking you to her website for the recipe, please note the only changes I made were doubling the recipe, and adding a little cinnamon to the graham cracker layer. Make sure you let these cool completely before attempting to cut. I used a dough/bench scraper to cut the brownies, after each cut I wiped the blade with hot water and paper towel and sprayed with nonstick baking spray after each cut. The marshmallows are going to try and give you trouble, so be prepared

S'mores Brownies by Dollhouse Bakeshoppe


Monday, June 24, 2013

Healthy Cinnamon Raisin-Nut Muffins

     This is the very first recipe (that I can remember) that I developed 100% on my own. I will usually use one as inspiration and make minor (or major) tweaks. Not this one!

     I had left over raisins and walnuts from some cookies I baked for my dad for Father's Day and I knew I wanted to put them to use in some muffins.

     I'm so glad I did! These don't have any butter or gobs of processed sugar. Coconut oil for healthy fats, added flax and Greek yogurt for extra fiber and protein. They are so moist and not to mention, versatile. Fruit & nuts not your thing? These would be an awesome base for some cocoa and chocolate chips!

Healthy Cinnamon Raisin-Nut Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed meal
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
2TBL molasses
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cups raisins
1/3 cup cinnamon chips (optional - leave out if you don't want the extra sugar.)

*Cinnamon sugar-optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare muffin pans with liners or spray with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, flax, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, combine melted coconut oil, vanilla, honey and molasses. Add egg to the liquid mixture and fold the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Fold in the applesauce and Greek yogurt, batter will be very thick. Fold in the raisins, nuts, and cinnamon chips. Drop batter into prepared liners, you can fill them fairly full for 12 large muffins, or 3/4 full for 16 medium sized muffins. (They don't expand in size too much.) Gently pat batter to fill the liners completely, rap pan against counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 15-18 minutes to until top springs back slightly when touched. Do not over-bake.

*Optional, at 10 minutes into baking time, remove muffins briefly and sprinkle cinnamon sugar lightly over muffins, return to oven to finish baking time. It melts slightly and adds a little something extra.