Coconut Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats

So now that I have introduced you all to the wonderful invention that is overnight oats…here is another delicious recipe! As much as I love the peanut butter, chocolate, and banana oats, I do occasionally try to switch things up. I had just bought some fresh strawberries, so I decided to mix those with a banana and then add a tropical coconut twist. Almond Breeze’s Almond Coconut Milk was the perfect addition! Everyone knows my obsession with coconut, so when I first saw this milk at the store I had to try it. It’s like drinking a delicious coconut beverage, minus the beach (although I wish there was a beach involved). It’s delicious on its own but it also made these oats so yummy! I added shredded coconut as well, because you can’t have too much coconut, and I gobbled it right up. I also added some ground flax seed for a nice boost of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Quick, easy, delicious, and it kept me full all morning – the perfect breakfast!

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Coconut Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Coconut Almond Breeze
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (I use plain Greek)
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/3 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup (or another preferred sweetener)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

1.) In a small bowl or Tupperware, mash the banana. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and cover. It will be slightly watery, don’t panic! Place in the refrigerator overnight.

2.) In the morning, uncover the bowl, grab a spoon, and enjoy!

Nutrition Info (Per serving, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 421
Fat 12 g (5 g saturated)
Fiber 12 g
Carbs 67 g
Sugars 23 g
Protein 15 g

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almond Milk.

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Cinnamon Apple Pie Bites

It seems like I am always making little bite-sized desserts. I just love having something small that can satisfy my sweet tooth without wasting hundreds of calories! After making chocolate and coconut and peanut butter and honey bites, I decided to switch gears and do a fruit-based bite. This one still contains dates as a main ingredient, making them nice and gooey, but it also has dried apple chunks…yum! I decided to use Blue Diamond Honey Cinnamon almonds as the nut ingredient, since I knew they would add a great cinnamon “pie” flavor to the bites. These are my favorite almonds…they literally taste like cinnamon sugar fried dough. No lie…they are so good! So go get yourself two cans – a can to make these bites and a can to eat on their own. You’ll thank me, I promise 🙂

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Cinnamon Apple Pie Bites

Adapted from: The Healthy Maven

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup dried apple pieces
  • 1 cup quick rolled oats
  • 1 can (6 oz) Blue Diamond Honey Cinnamon Almonds
  • Water

Directions:

1.) Mix everything together in a food processor. Process until everything is ground up into the consistency of gravel. Add a thin stream of water and pulse again until the mixture gets sticky when you push down on it.

2.) Roll into small balls with your hands. You may have to keep wetting your hands so the dough doesn’t stick to them! Refrigerate bites for about an hour to harden them. Store in a container in the fridge and enjoy!

Nutrition Info (Per bite, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 97
Fat 4 g (0 g saturated)
Fiber 3 g
Carbs 14 g
Sugars 8 g
Protein 2 g

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Overnight Oats

Overnight oats…what the heck are those? Basically, they are the easiest and most delicious breakfast EVER! Since I am always on-the-go, and not a morning person, they are perfect for me because they are made the night before. Then in the morning I just grab them and go – no heating or cooking required. I had seen overnight oat recipes all over Pinterest for awhile, but never tried them. I think I assumed they would be too much work or something. But once I tried them, and realized how easy they are to make, I’m hooked!

The main ingredients are whole oats, yogurt, and milk. I played around with the proportions of these for awhile until I found the combo that tasted best. Then you just add your other ingredients – fruit, nuts, cocoa powder, peanut butter, coconut, etc. Just stir everything together in a bowl (I usually use a Tupperware so I can take it with me), leave it in the fridge overnight, and in the morning…boom! The oats get thick and creamy and breakfast is ready! So versatile, easy, and yummy. This banana, chocolate, and peanut butter combo is my personal favorite; it tastes like dessert but it’s good for you and super filling. The perfect breakfast (or snack)!

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Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup milk (I use almond or soy)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (I use plain Greek)
  • 1 tbsp natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup (or another preferred sweetener)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • a few dark chocolate chips for garnish, optional

Directions:

1.) In a small bowl or Tupperware, mash the banana. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and cover. It will be slightly watery, don’t panic! Place in the refrigerator overnight.

2.) In the morning, uncover the bowl, grab a spoon, and enjoy!

Nutrition Info (Per serving, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 434
Fat 13 g (2 g saturated)
Fiber 8 g
Carbs 63 g
Sugars 24 g
Protein 19 g

Honey Dijon Almond-Crusted Chicken

 One of the best things about being a nutrition student is that we have a required food lab where we get to make and eat delicious, healthy foods. I wish I had majored in nutrition in undergrad…I never would have had to deal with the end-of-the-semester-lack-of-meal-plan-money crisis, where I’m forced to eat spinach and water for two weeks since I splurged on food the rest of the semester. I would have probably also not gained 20 pounds because I would have known what is healthy and what is not (although I probably did know Taco Bell wasn’t healthy…but I loved it).

Anyways, the point of this is that in my food lab this semester we made an almond-crusted chicken that was so delicious and so easy. It gets nice and crispy on the outside while staying moist on the inside; when I saw these Blue Diamond Honey Dijon almonds, I knew they would give the tenders a honey mustard taste without having to douse them in a calorie-laden sauce. The end result was indeed delicious! I paired the chicken with roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potato for dinner, and also tried the tenders on a salad one day for lunch…yum!

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Honey Dijon Almond-Crusted Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup whole Blue Diamond Honey Dijon almonds
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken tenderloins
  • 2 large egg whites

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 475 F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray generously with cooking spray.

2.) Place almonds, spices, flour, and salt and pepper into the food processor. Pulse until the almonds are finely chopped and everything is well combined. Drizzle in olive oil while pulsing until it is well mixed. Spread mixture onto a shallow plate.

3.) In a small bowl, whisk egg whites. Dredge tenderloins in egg whites and then roll in almond mixture. You may need to press the mixture onto tenderloins with your hands; don’t be afraid to put it on thick. Place tenders on baking sheet and spray them with cooking spray.

4.) Bake until golden brown, crispy, and cooked through, abut 15-20 minutes, turning the tenders over about halfway through.

Nutrition Info (Per serving, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 236
Fat 13 g (1 g saturated)
Fiber 3 g
Carbs 9 g
Sodium 242 mg
Protein 23 g

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

Quick and Easy Veggie Pesto Pasta

Hello everyone! I have had a busy couple weeks…lots of tests and projects for school, a new position at work, and finally some sunny weather! Time is flying by; I can’t believe it’s already the middle of April and almost the end of my first year of grad school. Ah! But I have to say, I’m ready for this semester to be over and the summer to begin 🙂

Due to the hectic schedule I’ve had lately, I’ve needed to make some super quick and easy meals so that I can continue to eat healthy while constantly being on the go. I found a recipe for pasta with veggies and pesto, and since I had all the ingredients, it was perfect! It was delicious and super filling as well; I sort of forgot how yummy pesto makes everything until I made this dish!

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Veggie Pesto Pasta


Adapted from: iFoodreal

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pasta, uncooked
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, cut in half (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets, steamed
  • 1 bag raw spinach (8 cups)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shaved or shredded

Directions:

1.) Cook pasta, drain, and put back into the pot. While pasta is cooking, cut cherry tomatoes into halves.

2.) In a large skillet, over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic. Saute for 30 seconds and then add spinach, a few handfuls at a time, and stir to wilt.

3.) When all the spinach is wilted, move over to one side of the skillet and add the chopped tomatoes. Add half of the pesto, stir, and let cook for a few minutes. Then add broccoli and stir again. Let cook for a few minutes to let the flavors develop.

4.) Add the pesto veggies to the pot with the pasta. Add cheese and remaining pesto and stir everything together. Serve with a little shredded parmesan on top!

Nutrition Info (Per serving, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 315
Fat 15 g (4 g saturated)
Fiber 7 g
Carbs 32 g
Sodium 407 mg
Protein 13 g

Peanut Butter and Honey Oatmeal Bites

Happy hump day! I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Easter weekend. I certainly did! Now it’s back to the home stretch for this semester – it seems like everything is suddenly due and exams aren’t too far off. But soon it will be May and the semester will be over and maybe it will finally feel like summer! Just need the rest of the snow to melt away…

I made these little bites last week, because I’m always looking for little sweet-tooth snacks that are still clean and healthy. Plus, I had all the ingredients, so I could whip them up no problem! And no baking required, so they can be enjoyed almost immediately 🙂 I also liked that they didn’t require the food processor, so I could just mix everything together, roll into balls, and be good to go. They have an awesome peanut butter and honey flavor, and the oats give them a nice chewy texture. Definitely refrigerate them for a bit before digging in; it will help them stick together better so they won’t crumble when you bite into them (speaking from experience – I’m impatient). I got rave reviews about them at Easter, so I hope you like them as much as I do!!

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Peanut Butter and Honey Oatmeal Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats (I used quick, but I think any would work)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips (I chopped up dark chocolate baking chips)

Directions:

1.) Mix everything together in a large bowl. Roll into small balls with your hands. You may have to keep wetting your hands so the dough doesn’t stick to them!

2.) Refrigerate bites for about an hour to harden them. Store in a container in the fridge and enjoy!

Nutrition Info (Per bite, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 103
Fat 6 g (2 g saturated)
Fiber 2 g
Carbs 10 g
Sugars 5 g
Protein 3 g

Apple Pie Protein Shake

If there’s one dessert I never turn down, it’s pie. I’ll take pie over cake any day, hands down, and I don’t think I’ve ever met a pie I didn’t like! I would probably eat it every day…if only it had no calories and gave me a six pack (I can say from experience, neither of those are true. Sadly.) So I decided to make apple pie in shake form, which turned out to be almost as delicious! I added protein powder to make it the perfect post-workout snack. It tasted like a splurge, but without all the fat and sugar of real pie – I think I’ll save that for special occasions and enjoy these in the meantime!

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Apple Pie Protein Shake

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 apple, sliced into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used soy)
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • Stevia or other sweetener, to taste
  • Ice

Directions:

1.) In a blender, add ice and the rest of the ingredients. Blend to desired consistency. Add stevia/sweetener to taste. Top with more cinnamon and enjoy!

Nutrition Info (Per serving, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 224
Fat 3 g (1 g saturated)
Fiber 7 g
Carbs 28 g
Sugars 16 g
Protein 23 g