Date & Dark Chocolate Banana Oat Muffins

Nothing like a snowy grey Sunday to make me want to bake some healthy muffins as a great grab & go snack for the week!

Note: If you're looking for a light airy fluffy muffin - this is not it. These will come out super rich but heavy with the bananas, dates, and peanut butter. However they'll also keep you fuelled up sans sugar crash compared to a normal coffee shop muffin.

Makes: 24 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups + 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 2/3 cup pitted dates, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes to soften (discard water once soft)
  • 3 bananas
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or your favourite nut butter)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 cups milk - I used unsweetened almond but any milk variety will do
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

The How-To:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and either line muffin pan with muffin papers or spray pan with coconut baking spray.
  2. In a food processor blend 3 cups of the oats, along with the flax seed, baking powder, and cinnamon until oats become flour consistency (a little chunky is okay!).
  3. Remove dates from water, and add dates, bananas, nut butter, coconut oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Blend until well mixed, and dates are thoroughly chopped.
  4. Pulse in or mix in by hand the additional 1 cup oats, chocolate chunks, and shredded coconut.
  5. Scoop by heaping ice cream scoops into muffin pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.

 

Recipe credit: Inspired by runonveg.com "Peanut Butter Banana Bread"

Pumpkin Power Bowl

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my smoothies. But sometimes I feel like I drink them without realizing I've pretty much just had a whole meal in a few gulps. All these beautiful bowl posts lately got me trying out making smoothies with a little less liquid, and some crunchy toppings, to take my smoothies from just a drink to feeling more like a meal that I actually consciously enjoy bite by bite, rather than gulping down in the car. And hey - there are stil definitely times when sitting with a bowl and spoon just isn't possible, and a fast smoothie is still your best option to get some nutrients in. But if you have some time, try out a smoothie bowl.

I have no shame in admitting I jump all over pumpkin every fall. So, here's my first smoothie bowl post, pumpkin spice and all. I did include options though if you can't stand pumpkin, or have already over done it this season.

Pumpkin Power Bowl

Base Ingredients:

  • Pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Vanilla protein powder
  • Splash of milk (almond, dairy, or your choice)
  • Cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice

Toppers:

  • Sliced banana
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almond butter

Notes:

No protein powder?

Replace the protein powder with plain Greek yogurt, and add a bit of honey or 1-2 dates to sweeten to taste, prior to blending.

Hate pumpkin?

Skip the pumpkin spice and just stick to cinnamon, and swap the pumpkin out with banana. Instead of topping with more banana, use a tart berry like raspberries to balance out the banana base sweetness.

Mix up your fats

Play around with different nut-butters, seeds, and nuts as your toppers. If I'm craving extra crunch time I'll sprinkle a few tablespoons of granola on top as well.

Enjoy!!

 

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries

Weeknights, no need to complicate things. Also, no need to take delicious things out of your life - like fries.

Super quick to prep, cook, and minimal ingredients needed. Oh - and these ones won't leave you feeling like you do after a McD's trip - no deep frying here, and only healthy ingredients on the list!

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries

Makes 2-3 servings

1 large sweet potato, sliced into fry-sized wedges
1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cumin
Coarse salt & pepper

Place sliced potato in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on seasoning, and mix to coat evenly. Spread out fries on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees- time may vary depending on the size of your fries. Flip wedges half way through bake time to allow for even crisping.

Enjoy:D

Chocolate Cherry Protein Cookies

I was convinced there had to be a way to make a healthier cookie that wasn't bone dry and could satisfy both an after-dinner sweet tooth plus chocolate craving all in one. Mission accomplished! With this list of clean ingredients and the protein content, you could even use these as a pre or post workout snack.

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Chocolate Cherry Protein Cookies

Makes 10 cookies: 5 servings

Per serving (2 cookies): Protein 14 g || Carbs 30 g || Fat 6 g || Calories 216

2 bananas, mashed
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1 cup oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp cocoa
1/4 cup dried unsweetened cherries, or other chopped unsweetened dried fruit
2 TB chopped pecans
1 TB chunky almond butter

Preheat oven to 325, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl, all wet ingredients in another then combine until mixed. Drop by large spoonfuls onto lined cookie sheet, and bake for 15-20 minutes - time will vary based on your oven and how large/small you made your cookies. Note: because of the banana they will be a little sticky even once thoroughly cooked, so be sure to not overcook them! I kept parchment paper between the layers for storing as well to avoid cookies sticking together.

Happy hump day!