AB&J Protein Smoothie

AB&J Smoothie 02

AB&J Smoothie 02

 

 

First of all I want to apologize for going MIA on you.  It’s been over a month since my last post!  I’m still new to this blogging thing and getting used to organizing my time, and well life happens.  Oh and there has been a whole lotta LIFE happening in my world!  Between family and our recent India trip which you’ll hear all about soon, it’s been all kinds of cray-cray! I’ts a horrible excuse I know but I’m working on it and trying to get better at posting regularly regardless of what is going on in the rest of the universe.

Now without further ado, I bring you the best smoothie ever!  This is my all time favorite go-to smoothie.  If you are a Nekter junkie like I am then you are familiar with the PB bowl.  The PB Bowl is an acai bowl that literally tastes like PB&J in a bowl accept I always sub out the PB for almond butter so I have dubbed it the AB&J bowl.  At Nekter they include frozen bananas in the mix and top it with amazing stuff like strawberries and granola.  I love the bowl so much that I set out to concoct my own smoothie version!

I rarely eat bananas.  I don’t know why, but I tend to overlook them so I left them out.  Frozen cherries just taste really good in smoothies so I threw those in for the “jam” effect and a little frozen pineapple to sweeten things up.  You can add vanilla or a flavorless protein of your choice and you have yourself a fabulous protein smoothie!  It’s so stinkin’ good!  I make bowls with it too and top them with shredded coconut, cocao nibs, berries, and all that yummy stuff.  The protein powder and almond butter make it a pretty filling smoothie, perfect when you’re on the go.

I usually whip one up after a workout or to take along to soccer practice because this mama needs her protein if I’m going to keep going and going and going and basically never stop!  Especially if you work out on a regular basis replenishing your protein is a must and this smoothie makes for a healthy snack that you can feel good about.  Lately I’ve been using the Vega Sport vanilla protein powder.  I’m not vegan and my body is okay with whey protein but I don’t like all of the artificial sweeteners and unnecessary additives that a lot of companies put in their protein powder.  Vega is an entirely vegan, all natural brand, and their sport line is great for muscle recovery.  I sometimes use an unflavored whey protein, however if you’re trying to keep it vegan or paleo hemp protein is a great add in too.  Whatever protein you go with or if you choose to leave it out entirely, you’re going to loooooove this smoothie!

 

AB&J Smoothie 01

 

 

AB&J Smoothie 03

 

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup frozen cherries (about 9 cherries)

1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks

3 Tbs almond meal

2 Tbs almond butter

1 cup vanilla or unflavored protein powder

 

Method

Starting with the almond milk, put all the ingredients, in the order they are listed, in a blender.  Blend together until all the fruit and everything else it completely blended.  Place in a cup or just scoop it out of the blender if you can’t wait! :)  I really do take a spoon to my vitamix after I’ve poured most of it into a cup.  There’s all that yumminess still left in there that you can’t totally get out and I don’t want to waste it!

Have a great week everyone!

 

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Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies 02

 

A year ago I would have breakfast around noon and eat like 2 meals a day thinking I was doing myself a favor.  I could not have been more wrong!  There is no way I could do that now.  I wake up starving and some days I even need a light snack before bed.  The problem with breakfast though is finding the time to make it and eat it before you have to run out the door.  I usually go with some form of eggs because I love them and they’re quick and packed with protein.  I can’t believe I’m saying this but sometimes I need a break from eggs.

To relieve my breakfast boredom I will have almond meal some days or chia seed pudding and fruit.  Then there are the days where I have to take my brekkie to go.  What am I supposed to do then?  I have actually eaten scrambled eggs in the car while driving.  It was not my finest moment. I usually end up spilling stuff all over myself plus I don’t think eating and driving are the safest option.  When you have to rush like that it takes all the joy out of the meal.  You don’t even taste anything, it’s just to fill up so you’re not passing out later.  I don’t know about you but this girl likes to enjoy her food!

I was looking into some make ahead breakfast recipes and I found a Breakfast Cookie recipe from Against All Grain.  I had all of the main ingredients at home so my five year old and I whipped up a batch.  I made a couple minor changes, but the base of the recipe stayed the same.  They were fantastic!  The recipe called for cinnamon and I love cinnamon so I thought it needed more.  I replaced the currants with cranberries because I didn’t have any currants on hand.  These cookies freeze really well but this first batch did not even make it to the freezer.  They went so fast!  My daughters love them and I gobbled them up so obviously I needed to make another batch and another.  I kept switching up the ingredients to keep things exciting and this last batch resulted in carrot cake breakfast cookies!  Lightly sweetened soft cookies with the yummy flavor of carrot cake and the light crunch of chopped pecans.  I really do love cinnamon though so there is quite a bit in there.  If you’re not a huge cinnamon fan, add 1/2 Tbs instead.

 

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookie 01s

 

 

**Inspired by the Breakfast Cookies recipe from Against All Grain

Ingredients

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup almond butter

5 pitted dried dates, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes

1/3 cups shredded coconut

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 medium eggs (or 2 flax eggs)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup grated carrots

2 tbs chopped pecans

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350* F. If you are planning to use flax eggs prepare them about 10 minutes beforehand so they have a chance to set.

In a food processor, combine the coconut flour, almond butter, and dates. Process until well combined.  Next add the shredded coconut, applesauce, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and baking soda.  Mix until a pretty wet batter forms.  This takes about 30 seconds.  Add in the last few ingredients and stir just enough to mix everything together so that you still have some crunchy bits of pecan in there.

Scoop spoonfuls of the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  You can use a large spoon or a ice cream scoop for this or go old school like I did and use two small spoons.  They pretty much stay the same shape after they are baked so make sure they look how you want them too before they go in the oven.  If you want to flatten them you can do so with a wet spatula.  I like mine kind of lumpy and muffin top looking so I just scoop them into the pan and put them in the oven as is.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the bottoms have browned a bit.

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