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Strawberry, Mango, Banana Protein Bread

I have a major sweet tooth and I love carbs. Bread is amazing, but banana bread is LIFE.

“I love bread!”

-Oprah.

The other day, I had three seriously brown bananas. Because of my whole “no food waste” policy, it was time to make some of my famous strawberry banana protein bread. Did I have strawberries? No. But, I did have some freeze dried mango. Hmmm.

banana bread

The freeze dried mango was an AMAZING idea.

It’s banana bread with a subtle tropical flavor that takes you straight to your favorite beach. I really wanted the flavor to be subtle but permeate throughout every slice of this banana bread. I took a 1/4 Cup of the freeze dried mango and beat it with a rolling pin to turn it into a powder.

You could definitely use the whole chunks as well. Personally I’ve never been one for the texture of moist fruit in my bread, that’s why I chose the “powder” it instead. (The freeze dried mango will become moist and taste similar to fresh mango chunks when done baking if it is not pulverized into powder)

I received the freeze dried mango as a gift, but because of how amazing this recipe turned out I might be adding it to my regular grocery shopping list.

banana bread
I want to hear from you!

Comment below and let me know what you guys think! If you decide to make it at home, Instagram it and use #saladsandselfies or tag me @saladsandselfies

I was really appreciative of all the positive feedback I received Sunday when I first posted about this recipe on my Instagram account.

banana bread

Mayo-Free Zesty Potato Salad: A Healthier Alternative

The BBQ’s are heating up big time this summer. There is nothing better than some grilled meat and the classic BBQ side: potato salad. Unfortunately, potato salad recipes are usually filled with mayo, sour cream, and a plethora of anything but nourishing ingredients. Not anymore. I whipped up this quick, zesty potato salad to solve that problem.

Bonus:

It’s perfect for any Fourth of July or Memorial Day BBQ!  I used red, white, and purple potatoes. When cooked, it looks red, white, and blue. Patriotic, delicious, and way healthier for you than traditional potato salad.


What’s in it?

1 bag of the potato medley from Trader Joe’s or 3 of each: small- medium red, white, and purple potatoes.

2 Persian cucumbers

5 fresh basil leaves chopped

1 clove of garlic minced

What did I dress it with?

Balsamic vinegar

Dijon mustard

Olive oil


Some of you may be thinking, “Wtf this sounds weird.” But trust me, it’s DELICIOUS. It’s zesty and flavorful and the Persian cucumbers give it a nice crunch. 


Not only is this delicious, healthier, and much lower on the fat and calorie count than traditional potato salad, but it’s REFRESHING and light. Perfect for attending BBQ’s while maintaining a clean diet or just as a healthier alternative side dish.

Potato Salad Variations

Red onion and/or hard boiled egg would be DELICIOUS in this recipe.

If you prefer a creamier potato salad: divide the cooked potatoes in half. Mash one half then toss in a large bowl with the other half before mixing in the cucumber, basil, garlic, and dressing.

I want to hear from you!

Comment below and let me know if you try this recipe and if you make any variation of it! Don’t forget to post a pic on Instagram and use #saladsandselfies or tag me @saladsandselfies.

From Shy and Awkward to Confident AF

It happened.

Something I never thought would happen, happened. I took a video on my Instagram story: sans makeup, one take, and LOVED it. I loved the sound of my voice. I loved how I looked. I loved how dork-ily genuine I was.

In the past, it took me approximately seven takes, one gallon of makeup, and the perfect lighting of an overcast day in order to pose a thirty second (or less) IG story video.

What changed?

I love myself. I fully and completely love myself.

My world has changed. These past few months I’ve been working hard on re-wiring my brain to find true self love. I’m still working on it, but the differences I’ve found in myself are unreal.

I’m confident AF now.

In junior high (and honestly every grade leading up to junior high), I was so shy and awkward that I barely talked to my classmates. Keep in mind, I had the exact same 30-40 classmates from kindergarten up. (Catholic school probz. Shout out to my St. Mels fam!) Each time I built up the courage to talk to someone, I ended up with this super awkward laugh after practically every syllable that came out of my mouth.

Next up: High School. As a brand new freshman at an all girls catholic high school in Woodland Hills, CA (oh hey Louisville), I began to break out of my shell. Having a whole new group of strangers who did not know my awkward ways helped. I began growing into myself but was still pretty deep in my shell.

Then after two years, I transferred to public school. Public school was co-ed…meaning I’d have boys in my classes again. WHAT. Like seriously, what was I doing to myself? I was in and out of my shell as Elco (the loving nickname we gave El Camino Real High School).  Honestly, I don’t think half my classmates at elco would even remember me if I ran into them today. (’09-ers where you at!? JK I see half of you on TV and YouTube everyday, so proud of you all!)

Fast forward to college where I made a name for myself. I broke out of my shell. I made friends. I spoke my mind. All with the help of alcohol.

Fast forward to after college when I get hangovers from two glasses of wine. Weak.

So wait, where does this whole “I’m confident AF now” thing come in?

I’m getting there, I’m getting there. Patience, my young padawans. (Had to use a Star Wars reference somewhere). Anyways, post undergrad, life did not go as planned for the most part. My degree got me basically nothing. (Beware kinesiology students!) I was falling into a depression because of all my financial difficulties, not to mention that I gained like fifteen pounds and creating even more self-loathing thoughts because I hated my body so much.

Then something happened. I found my purpose, I did some soul searching and decided to change career paths and go right back to school.

Meditation my friends, it does wonders.

Recently, I finished my first semester of the Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential Program at Fresno State. Back in November, when I was accepted into the program, my mentality began changing for the better. In January 2017, I decided this would be the year of self love. This is when I would completely change my mindset. So I did.

To find out more details on how, see my self love article.


Now, I do love myself. I still have my days where I go into a sad spiral and binge eat on junk food, but I can easily and quickly bounce back now. I’m confident. I don’t care what anyone thinks of me, because I like me. I really do. I have no boundaries: I do what I want, I say what I want, I have no filter and I don’t care. This is not to say that I will be rude or mean because of the whole no filter and not caring thing. Definitely not. I believe there is good in everyone and everything.  I’m living a very positive lifestyle and nothing can bring me down now.

Seriously, there is no more freeing feeling in the world. Rid yourself of the negative people, rid yourself of the negative aspects of your life, let go, love yourself. Mean it, truly work on loving yourself. Totally sounding like a broken record, but there is seriously no better feeling than when you love yourself.

I thought I was dying.

Flashback to the beginning of the post when I wrote about how I finally felt good about myself in videos. This isn’t the only thing that’s been positive in my life. I’m getting a teaching job, a new car, and honestly every little thing has been working out for me. Nothing has gone wrong. I felt like I was in a dream. I can’t even explain to you how light and floaty I felt. It didn’t and still hasn’t felt real.

To be honest, I was about to go to the doctor because my body just felt so light and dazed. I seriously thought I must be dying. Most confusing feeling of my life. Now I’m getting slightly more used to it and it just feels so amazing and just really indescribable.

 Have you or anyone you know experienced this?? Please comment! I would love to know I’m not crazy hahah.

Life Update: What Have I Been Up To?

I’ve been brainstorming a lot of posts lately. I’ve been thinking up a ton of new recipes, tips, and even workouts. The thing I’ve been missing though: me! Here’s a quick life update on what I’ve had going on.

Jump for joy

 

What have I been up to?!

I just finished my first semester of the multiple subjects teaching credential program at Fresno State, and boy was it a wild semester. I have never had so many papers, reflections, projects, etc. due constantly ever in my life. On top of that, I was working twenty-two hours a week as a behavior interventionist for children with autism and other developmental delays. On top of that I was trying to keep up with this blog..and workout..and eat clean…and take care of my household and spend time with my man.

I also went out of town every other weekend (sometimes every single weekend) for various weddings, parties, and events. To say I was stressed out is an understatement. Is there a more intense word for stress? If so, I need it because that’s how I felt.

Luckily, I’m the type of person who needs to be completely overwhelmed in order to be productive. If I don’t have much going on, I will procrastinate everything until the end of the day, and get so lazy that I probably wouldn’t end up taking care of my responsibilities anyways. Not good. Keeping busy keeps me on track and it makes those lazy days of watching Star Wars or Harry Potter marathons that much more amazing.

campbell water tower

Now What?

It’s summer break! And not to brag but I got a 4.0 this semester, so I’m feeling pretty proud of myself. Fun fact: I’ve never gotten a 4.0 ever in my life. Anyways, I am now working full time as a behavior interventionist with some super cute kiddos with autism; its exhausting but so rewarding.

This blog is about to blow up. There’s enough free time in my life that I can turn all of my ideas into blog posts! There’s a few different bliss ball recipes I need to experiment with and I definitely need to get some more lunch, dinner, and breakfast recipes up! I definitely want to write more on my personal wellness journey as well. Subscribe and/or follow me on Instagram and you’ll never miss a post!

Personal Life Happenings

You guys, I’m halfway through reading You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. It is life changing so far and already has me inspired and changing my routine! I definitely want to get in the habit of beginning my day with five to ten minutes of meditation, followed by a workout, and end each day with some yoga. It also really has me more aware of why I self-sabotage with unhealthy habits sometimes. Honestly, I need to write an entire post about this book and what I’ve learned from it. SO GOOD!

I was doing so well with eating clean, but ever since Easter time, I’ve been having random sugary food binges where I feel completely out of control with my eating habits. Its not okay, but I’m learning the more I beat myself up over it, the more frequent the binges. Usually when this happens, I’ll make my brownies or coconut cacao bliss balls as a healthier sweet alternative and it tends to get me back on track. Unfortunately the thought of having to clean the food processor after making them is killing my vibes. I’m so lazy lately! Help!

I’m also reading The First Days of School by Harry Wong because I get my first classroom in fall! I’m so excited! Today I am actually off to get my fingerprints done so I can receive my new-hire packet and get to work preparing for the new school year! I’ve been fantasizing on how to decorate my classroom. Should I do a Harry Potter or Star Wars Theme, or just go with a bright pretty color scheme? Comment and let me know your ideas! Also, second time I’ve mentioned Star Wars and Harry Potter, I’m a proud nerd.

SF
I’m off to begin my day: first by getting in some steps and walking to Starbucks to get a nice iced black coffee. Caffeine gives me life. Comment below, I’d love to chat with you guys!

Seared Ahi Tuna Bowls: Healthy , Quick and Easy

Seared Ahi Tuna Bowls, Made Easy


You can make seared ahi tuna at home that is just as delicious, if not more, than your favorite restaurant’s seared ahi dish. I’ve experimented and perfected the recipe in the past year or two. The hardest part was figuring out how to season the ahi perfectly, and I learned less is more.

As my first semester of the Multiple Subjects Credential program is coming to an end and the weather is getting warmer (much warmer), I decided it was time to start making my seared ahi bowls regularly again. I am so excited to share these nutritious bowls with you!

I do all of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and Sprouts, so naturally, all of these ingredients can be found at both stores. Most grocery stores in general have all of the ingredients, but I save a great amount of money by shopping strictly at TJ’s and Sprouts. Shocking, right?

The Ingredients:

Trader Joe’s Frozen Brown Rice (1 bag from the box)

Rice Vinegar

Cucumber (I personally prefer Persian cucumbers as they have more of a crunch but any cucumber works)

Micro greens

Sesame Seeds

Green Onion

Avocado

1 Ahi Tuna Steak

Black Pepper

Avocado Oil

Sesame Oil

For the Sauces:

Coconut Aminos (Trader Joe’s now sells them, for an amazing price too!)

Spicy Mayo:

1 Tbs Mayo or Mayo Substitute

Sriracha to taste

How I prepare it:

First I cut the cucumber and green onion. Next, I rinse the micro greens. I set each ingredient aside, either on a plate or in small bowls in order to make assemble quick and easy. In a skillet, I pour about 1/2 TBS of avocado oil and heat it on medium, then I grind some black pepper onto the oil, enough so that it covers the entire skillet in a thin layer. While it heats, I open a bag of frozen brown rice and pour it into a microwavable bowl, and place in the microwave for three minutes. Once I hit start on that microwave, I place a TSP of sesame oil in the skillet and continue heating about thirty seconds.

Finally I place the ahi tuna in the skillet and cook 3 minutes on the top and 3 minutes on the bottom. While the Ahi tuna is cooking, I remove the rice from the microwave and shake a little rice vinegar in and mix it into the rice. Also while the ahi is cooking, or immediately following, I mix up a little spicy mayo dress my bowl with. All I do for the spicy mayo is mix 1 Tbs of spicy mayo and a few squeezes of sriracha (to taste) in a small bowl. Immediately after removing the seared ahi tuna from heat, I slice it and beginning putting my bowl together.

How I build the seared ahi tuna bowl:

 

I start my bowl with some brown rice. Then I layer the micro greens and diced cucumber on top. Side by side, I place the ahi tuna and avocado on top of that. Next, I sprinkle the sliced green onions and sesame seeds all over the bowl. Finally, I drizzle spicy mayo over the top and finish it off with a few shakes of coconut aminos. Bon appetite!

Self Love 

Live well, love yourself. That is the rule I’ve learned to live life by. The truth is, it took me a really long time to actually love myself.

Love
I, like most other people, would look in the mirror and begin criticizing myself. I’d grab and pinch my fat rolls, telling myself how much prettier I’d be if they weren’t there. I’d stare and poke at every little acne or chicken pox scar on my face. I’d look in the mirror and just tear myself apart.
This is second nature to most. If you’ve ever seen Mean Girls, you know the scene where the girls are standing in front of the mirror, complaining about different parts of their bodies, and bonding over it. This is a sad truth; we all do this! This just sends us as women, and even men, into a deeper hole of self loathing without even realizing it. That is why learning to love yourself is so SO important.

WHERE TO START

This may be the toughest stage of true self love. A lot of it comes from trial, error, and finding what works for you. My journey began with meditation and yoga. Yes, I am going to sound like a total hippie for this, but meditation really brings you closer to your soul. Meditation is honestly just time to hangout with yourself. How can you really learn about yourself if you don’t spend time with yourself?

“Hangout with your soul. Relax. Let the stress of the past, present, and future melt away.”

Begin and end each day with a little meditation. Even if it’s just for five minutes, it’ll make a huge difference in how you feel about yourself and outside factors that may cause negativity in your life.

Why Yoga Helps

Yoga has this magical way of making you feel like you can conquer anything. After even a short fifteen minute yoga practice, I feel completely zen and confident. Because of yoga, my body feels better. My mind feels better too. Yoga has given me the ability to be mindful of usually mindless actions. I am now so unbelievably aware of how each part of my body feels and is functioning. I know if something is off or what is causing a dull pain or even bloating. Because of yoga inducing a very mindful state, I have learned to block negative thoughts. I’ve also learned to only eat when I’m hungry and not when I’m bored. It is amazing how these little things can help contribute to loving yourself.

“Now, look in the mirror, and point out what you love about yourself.”

 

Fake it until you make it:

Repeat a mantra, “I love you, I love everything about you,” as you look in the mirror. Do this every day. You will begin to believe this and feel it from the inside out. Your own reflection will begin to change as you look in the mirror. You WILL transform into the beautiful, strong person you truly are.


Reaching a state of self love opens you up to a completely new world. You learn to nourish your body rather than stuff it. You learn to feel confident sans makeup. In fact, you begin to care less and less about what others think. Self love is truly an act of freedom. You break free from society’s ideals.
Find what works for you. What do you enjoy most? Do it. Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? Accomplish your goals. It is okay to put yourself first. If you don’t, you will fall deeper and deeper into a hole of self doubt that will become harder to climb out of.


Live well, love yourself. It takes time, sometimes a long time, but you should never stop working towards it.
Tell me about your journey, I want to hear how you embarked on a journey to self love. If you’re not on your way yet, why? I want to help you reach a state of pure happiness and self confidence, a state of pure love for yourself. Comment below and let me know.

Easy Golden Milk: Turmeric Ginger Latte

Golden milk is nothing more than a delicious, frothy turmeric and ginger, coffee and espresso free, latte. Turmeric and ginger are proof that food IS medicine. Both these roots have anti-inflammatory properties and are packed with antioxidants which means they fight signs of aging (like wrinkles!). They also prevent heart disease, and help prevent cancer!

Ginger can:

Help with Nausea

Reduce muscle soreness (much needed after a tough workout)

Lower blood sugar

Relieve indigestion

Lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels

Reduce menstrual pain (ladies, we all know how bad those cramps can be)

Fight infections and help prevent cancer

There is no wonder ginger is seen as a miraculous healing root. Now let’s talk about the other miracle root: turmeric. Turmeric contains many medicinal properties and even increases the antioxidant capacity of the body, helping to fight the free radicals that cause degenerative aging.

Turmeric can also:

Improve brain function (which then lowers the risk of brain diseases)

Prevent, and possibly even treat cancer

Prevent and possibly treat Alzheimer’s Disease

Help relieve arthritis pain and symptoms

Help fight depression

And delay aging! (So not only does this stuff heal but it keeps you young!)

So let’s combine these two into a delicious, soothing latte! This is something I whipped up the other morning. I tried to use as few ingredients as possible to keep the recipe as low budget and as simple as possible. I am a twenty-six year old struggling student (again, going back for a post grad program is worth it but expensive) so I don’t have the time or money to make extra fancy and equally healthy drinks. I also don’t have the ability to drink things that taste gross so I made it as delicious as possible.

The ingredients:

Turmeric latte ingredients
1″ Turmeric root

1/2″ Ginger root

Cinnamon

Coconut sugar (honey would work too! I just wanted to keep with my coconut theme)

Coconut milk

That is it. Easy peasy ginger squeezy. (See what I did there lol) I filled the mug I wanted to use with coconut milk, then poured it into a teeny tiny pot on the stove. Then, I warmed it on medium heat (do not let boil!). While it was heating, with a small hand held grater, I grated the turmeric and the ginger straight into the milk. After, I  added the cinnamon. I gave it another stir and added a spoonful of coconut sugar to help the turmeric go down. I crack myself up LoL. I continued to stir, on medium heat, for about five minutes.

Turmeric ginger root
Now to make sure it’s all blended up nice and frothy you have three choices: whisk like crazy, use an immersion bender or use an actual blender. My actual blender happens to be a Nutribullet.  So I poured my yummy golden milk from the pot right into the Nutribullet and blended for less than thirty seconds. That’s all you really need to make it frothy and delicious. Then I poured into my mug and savored every last drop, feeling healthy af. Golden milk latte

Coconut Cacao Bliss Balls (GF, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan)

Bliss Balls

Blissful Bliss Balls

I’ve been craving some Doves Coconut Creme chocolates really bad lately. They’re probably my favorite candy of all time, but you can only buy them around Easter. Unfortunately when I treated myself to them a few weeks ago I ate the entire bag in 24 hours. Holy fudge balls, that was not good. Time for an alternative!

bliss ball
So looking for a snack the other day, I was reminiscing of my Nourishing Brownies. I didn’t want just chocolate, I NEEDED chocolate and coconut. So I decided to take the brownie recipe, amp it up, and create chocolaty coconutty bliss balls. (Or macaroodles as my boyfriend calls them)

bliss ball
This was a complete experiment. I’ve never made bliss balls in my life, let alone looked at a recipe for them. I’ve just seen them all over Instagram in their delicious glory. Luckily, my guessing turned out right in the end.

Lets Get Blissfull

(Or scroll straight to the bottom for the oh so easy recipe)

First, I counted out 17 dates. Plopped them straight into the food processor. (I LOVE food processor recipes! So easy and SO fast!)

dates
To give it a doughy texture and increase the coconut flavor, I added 1/3 Cup of coconut flour. Trader Joe’s coconut flour is delicious, organic, and at a great cost!

coconut flour
Then, of course, almond butter! Almond butter helps hold all of the ingredients together, adds protein, healthy fats, and it’s super yummy. Plus thanks to Almond Joy, we all know how amazing coconut, chocolate, AND almonds go together.

almond butter
Some chia seeds and flag seeds for extannutrients and omegas go in next. Then, the miracle of all miracles: Coconut Oil. Seriously, coconut oil can solve any problem. Trying to lose weight? Coconut oil. Need energy? Coconut oil. Yellow teeth? Coconut oil. Dry hair? Coconut oil. Acne? Coconut oil. I could honestly go on and on and never stop gushing about the gold that is coconut oil. So yes: next ingredient COCONUT OIL.

coconut oil
Time for a little chocolate goodness. But in super-food form: Cacao!

cacao
Of course we gotta sweeten things up a bit. Cue: 2 table spoons of honey. Since this is a chocolatly coconut treat, I added a tablespoon of coconut sugar in too. Because, coconut.

honey
Time to blend!!! Food processors make life SO easy. I blended it on “mix/purée” for maybe a full minute (with breaks every 15-20 seconds) until it formed one giant doughy ball of deliciousness.

dough ball

Almost done!

This is the pleasant surprise moment that I realized these bliss balls are going to have an AMAZING cake like texture. Also, right after, when I tasted a piece and went straight to heaven. All that was left to do was take a small spoon out of my cutlery drawer and begin scooping portions of the “dough ball”, rolling it between my palms to form a ball and then rolling it in a bowl filled with unsweetened shredded coconut to coat them.

Simply place in the fridge for about thirty minutes so they can firm up, then enjoy the heck out of them!

I want to hear from you!

Comment and let me know if you try these out! I’d love to hear from you! If you do and Instagram a pic, include #saladsandselfies !!

Protein Packed Strawberry Banana Bread (Gluten Free!)

Strawberry Banana Protein Bread GF

As a kid, I had an obsession with strawberry banana smoothies, strawberry banana flavored candies, and strawberry banana yogurt. Honestly, strawberry banana flavored anything was heaven to me. The two flavors compliment each other so, so, SO well! Now as I’m older I try to stay away from almost all of my favorite childhood treats. The amount of sugar or artificial colors in all those strawberry banana flavored snacks and drinks is horrifying.

strawberries

A Healthier Alternative:

So sitting at home Friday morning with a couple of super ripe bananas and some strawberries, I got to thinking. What is something healthy but equally delicious, that feels naughty but isn’t, that I can make with these magical fruits. Then I opened the cupboard and saw our giant tub of Gold Standard strawberry protein powder. It was way too cold and rainy for a smoothie, buuut it was perfect weather for some baking! That’s when I decided to experiment and make some protein packed strawberry banana bread that is also gluten free and GUILT FREE!

Strawberry Banana Protein Bread GF

Honestly, I am so proud of myself for this recipe. I’ve NEVER made up my own baked goods recipe before because they seem so scary and intimidating to create. I never went to pastry or culinary school, I just have an imagination and a passion for cooking/baking. Taking a risk, I experimented anyways and feel so confident now. The recipe turned out AMAZING. It is the grown up version of all those artificial, sugar filled strawberry banana treats from childhood.

 

Strawberry Banana Protein Bread GF

How I did it:

I started off with one cup almond flour. Almond flour is life. I almost never use all purpose flour anymore. Almond flour not only adds nutrients but it has great texture and flavor! I get mine in bulk from Costco because of how often I use it.

Almond Flour

Then I added a scoop (about 1/4 C) of Gold Standard strawberry protein powder. There are no artificial flavors or colors in this protein. I’m also really excited about this recipe because I can actually use our protein powder in it without having to buy another flavor. Every time I look up protein powder baking recipes it calls for either vanilla or chocolate; never strawberry. So for all  my strawberry protein powder lovers out there: this one is for you.

Strawberry protein powder

Next, I added two super ripe bananas (mashed) to the mix. Honestly, three super ripe bananas would make this recipe taste even better! I just only had two when it was time to test out my vision.

Ripe Bananas

Then three eggs to hold it all together and as an additional protein source. I mixed the eggs up with a fork before adding it to my mixing bowl just so it was easier to combine all of the ingredients together.

eggs
To make the bread fluffy, I added a teaspoon of baking soda.

baking soda

I gave the bread a super-food boost and hint of chocolate flavor I added a teaspoon of raw cacao. Because honestly, chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered bananas are both amazing so why not add a little chocolate love to this bread?

cacao powder

To sweeten things up naturally, I added 1/4 C of raw, unfiltered, local honey. Then I mixed everything together before adding the final ingredient.

honey
mix

Finally! I diced 3 fresh strawberries and folded them into the batter. Make sure the strawberries are medium-small in size. Do not add more strawberries. Because they are so juicy, over-doing it on the strawberries will result in a soggy bread and cause you issues while baking. The same will occur if you use frozen strawberries! FRESH STRAWBERRIES ONLY!

diced strawberries

I sprayed a small bread pan with coconut oil (which I get at Trader Joe’s). Spray-able coconut oil makes life oh so easy. Finally, I placed it in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes (35-45 depending on your oven, bake until a tooth pick or knife comes out clean).

Strawberry Banana Protein Bread GF

Let it cool for 30 minutes. Then slice, and ENJOY the heck out of it. I baked this yesterday and had leftovers for breakfast this morning warmed in the microwave with grass-fed butter spread on top: YUMMY IN MY TUMMY!!! Comment below and let me know if you try this recipe and how it turned out or comment with any ideas or twists to make this recipe even better! I’d love to hear from you!

Strawberry Banana Protein Bread GF

 

Nourishing Super-Food Brownies (GF and Vegan!)

Lately I’ve been on a downhill spiral with my sugar addiction. I’ve been craving chocolate and sweets pretty much non-stop for about three weeks now. I even downloaded the Girl Scouts’ “Find Cookies!” app! I needed to do something to calm down these cravings before I completely reverse all of my progress. About twenty minutes before I had to leave for work yesterday, I had the craving BAD. I nibbled on a date, and then it came to me: nourishing super-food brownies. Boom.


I thought how dates are super sweet and  make a delicious ooey-gooey sugar replacement in desserts. So I placed 15 large, pitted dates into the food processor.


Then I thought to myself, “Reeses peanut butter cups sound BOMB diggity right now, I’m going to add some peanut butter up in this mix.” Not just any peanut butter, Trader Joe’s natural peanut butter that contains flax seeds and chia seeds. Mind blown: I just made it that much more nourishing (and easier to make).


I didn’t 1/4 of the pb container (which was all we had left) was enough so I added a spoonful of almond butter.


Chia seeds add delicious texture and fiber AND protein AND are like a fun glue that would help hold the brownies together. So I added about a tablespoon of those too. Ch-ch-chia yeah! (Fun fact: chia seeds soaked in water until they make a gel-like consistency are a GREAT substitute for eggs when making vegan versions of your favorite baked goods!)

Finally, I needed them to taste chocolatey. Non-chocolate brownies just don’t sound fun. So I added 1/3 C of raw, organic cacao. When making any brownie or chocolate cake recipe from scratch, you always add a little bit of vanilla extract so of course I topped it off with a dash of vanilla extract.

Blend it all up in a food processor until it is all combined. Next Press it into a baking dish. Chill for thirty minutes until it firms up. Then slice and enjoy!

I am really proud of myself for this recipe. Within twenty minutes I thought it up, whipped it up, and took fancy pics of the steps for this blog. *bows*

Comment below with your reviews of this recipe! Let me know if you try anything different, as I’m writing this I’m already imagining that adding shredded coconut to it would be DELISH!