Chocolate Overnight Oats – 2 Ways!

When you’re as busy as I am, especially heading into a new school semester, overnight oats are the perfect on-the-go breakfast. You can make them in less than 10 minutes the night before and in the morning you just grab them on your way out. I try to save time anywhere I can – yet I am still always 5-10 minutes late for everything (I’m working on that). I love chocolate, so I usually try to make chocolate-based oats, which ends up tasting like a dessert for breakfast! Here I am sharing my go-to recipe, which can be adapted to fit any chocolate-y craving. My favorites are chocolate, coconut, and almond and chocolate, banana, and peanut butter!

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Chocolate Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

Directions:

1.) Mix all ingredients together in an airtight container. Top with desired toppings and leave in the fridge overnight (covered).

2.) In the morning, mix everything together. Add more maple syrup if not sweet enough. Enjoy hot or cold!

Whole-Wheat Almond Joy Blondies

When I think of blondies, I think of the delicious chocolate chip blondies from the bakery I worked at in college. I used to pray there were some leftover at the end of the day so I could take them home. And by home, I mean devour them on the less-than-a-half-mile walk to my dorm. Or eat them for breakfast. Yet more reasons why I gained weight in college. But who can say no to an ooey gooey blonde brownie? Whoever invented the blondie is a genius. Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies, everyone loves brownies…let’s mesh them into one delicious, mouthwatering dessert! Here’s hoping I’ll be responsible for the next earth-shattering food creation like the blondie…

In the meantime, I can make this delicious whole-wheat version to satisfy my sweet tooth in a slightly healthier way. I decided, rather than stick with the safe chocolate chip version, to kick these up a notch by adding chewy coconut and crunchy Blue Diamond Sea Salt almonds. I also used dark chocolate to make them even more decadent. Keep in mind that these do still have butter and brown sugar; however, they have less sugar and calories than a normal blondie as well as more nutrients from the whole-wheat flour. The key is to brown the butter first to give it more flavor, and it certainly succeeded! These are chewy, soft, and delicious, and they were also a hit at a potluck with some friends this week. Feel free to switch up the add-ins by using more nuts or adding dried fruit, white chocolate chips, etc. Enjoy!

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Whole-Wheat Almond Joy Blondies

  • Servings: 24 brownies
  • Print

Adapted very slightly from: Eating Well

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (8 tbsp)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes (I used half sweetened and half unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup Blue Diamond Sea Salt Almonds
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao and chopped them up)
  • Coconut oil cooking spray

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a glass baking pan (about 9 x 13) with coconut oil cooking spray.

2.) Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant and starting to brown. Remove from heat, whisk in brown sugar, and let cool for 15 minutes.

3.) Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Prepare mix-ins by chopping nuts and chocolate chips into small pieces. Reserve 2 tbsp of each.

4.) Once butter mixture has cooled, whisk eggs and vanilla into mixture until combined. Fold in the flour mixture in 2 additions until just combined. Fold the coconut, chocolate, and almonds into the batter and spread evenly into the pan. Top with the reserved mix-ins.

5.) Bake the blondies until light brown around the edges, around 18-20 minutes. They may appear a little underbaked in the center, but will become firmer as they cool. Leave the pan on hot plates or a wire rack to cool completely for about 2 hours. Cut into 24 bars.

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

Calories 131
Fat 6 g (4 g saturated)
Fiber 1 g
Carbs 15 g
Sugars 10 g
Protein 2 g

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

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.

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

Banana and Coconut French Toast

There’s nothing better than sleeping in on a Sunday and then making a yummy breakfast. My breakfasts during the week are always taken on the go, so it’s nice to have a hot, sit-down breakfast once in awhile! Today I was craving French Toast, so I whipped this recipe up. It was really yummy, quick, and easy – perfect for a lazy Sunday. Have a great week! 🙂

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Banana and Coconut French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices Ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread (or your favorite whole wheat bread!)
  • 1/8 cup soymilk (or milk of choice)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I didn’t have nutmeg!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2/3 small banana, sliced
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup

Directions:

1.) Mix milk, spices, vanilla extract, and egg whites in a bowl and whisk together. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray.

2.) When skillet is hot enough, dredge one slice of toast in egg white mixture, making sure to soak both sides. Lay on skillet and cook both sides evenly until browned and egg is cooked. Repeat with second slice.

3.) Cut up banana into slices and put on a plate. Drizzle with a little maple syrup and coconut and heat for about 20-30 seconds in the microwave. Lay banana slices on top of French Toast, drizzle with maple syrup, and then sprinkle the rest of the coconut on top.

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

Calories 361
Fat 3 g (2 g saturated)
Fiber 8 g
Carbs 70 g
Sugars 33 g
Protein 15 g

Seriously Yummy Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Bars

Thursday night I did my first Krav Maga class, which is basically a combo of self-defense/boxing/martial arts. It was a ton of fun and I learned a lot, but I’m still sore…what a workout! The most fun part was wearing boxing gloves and just punching the daylights out of a bag, talk about a stress reliever! I signed up to try cardio kickboxing next Thursday, which the instructor told me burns 1,000 calories a class – wish me luck 🙂

During the blizzard earlier in the week I figured I had no choice but to stay in and whip up a yummy dessert. Luckily I had stocked up on all the ingredients beforehand! These were so easy to make and are seriously so good. Just be careful; at about 350 calories each, you can’t get away with eating too many! However, they are packed with healthy fats (from the coconut and peanut butter), very filling (high in fiber and protein), and require only a few ingredients. Who said clean eating has to be boring?

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Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Bars

Adapted From: Money Saving Mom

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup wildflower honey (made by my very own friend Bill and his bees!)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds (could substitute other nuts/raisins)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • coconut oil spray

Directions:

1.) Melt the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil over medium low heat in a saucepan on the stove. Stir continually until fully melted to prevent it from burning.

2.) Once it is all melted together, remove from heat and stir in the oats, cocoa powder, coconut, nuts, and vanilla until well mixed.

3.) Pour into a greased brownie pan or 9 x 13 pan and cool in the fridge (I left it overnight). Remove from brownie wells or cut into bars. Store in the fridge or freezer; they get soft if left at room temp too long!

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

Calories 355
Fat 26 g (12 g saturated)
Fiber 5 g
Carbs 28 g
Sugars 12 g
Protein 9 g

Paleo Coconut Cream Carrot Cake Bars

My 30 days of paleo is almost coming to an end! So before I finished I wanted to make another paleo treat, since the chocolate and coconut bites I made a couple weeks ago were delicious (but sadly gone). I had pinned this recipe and decided to replicate it over the weekend. I followed the recipe exactly, except that I decided to make them in my Pampered Chef brownie pan rather than a pie pan so I wouldn’t have to cut it (I’m lazy). So basically they are mini bars! They are also seriously delicious; the crust tastes just like carrot cake and the coconut cream layer has sort of an ice-creamy texture. And no baking required! I put all of the bars in a Tupperware and left them in the freezer, so I just take one out when I want a sweet treat! Each bar is relatively high in calories, but this is mostly from the nuts and coconut milk (good source of fat!) They are also pretty filling, so you certainly won’t need more than one! You could also cut the bars in half for a lower-calorie treat. Enjoy!

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Coconut Cream Carrot Cake Bars

Adapted from: The Diva Dish

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 3/4 cup shredded carrot (squeeze all the liquid/water out with a paper towel)
  • 6 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cup soaked cashews (soaked in water for about an hour and then drained)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk (make sure you mix the milk in the can before measuring out the milk)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Directions:

1.) Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor until all ingredients are fine and stick together when pressed down. Grease a pie pan or brownie pan with coconut oil spray, then press crust into pan with fingers until packed down.

2.) Combine all filling ingredients into a food processor. Blend until creamy and there are no lumps. Pour on top of prepared crust.

3.) Place in freezer for a few hours to set. Once it sets, remove the bars from the pan with a spatula (unfortunately they didn’t slide right out, but weren’t too hard to remove!) Put bars in a storage container and keep in the fridge or in the freezer for longer storage.

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

Calories 392
Fat 30 g (14 g saturated)
Fiber 3 g
Carbs 31 g
Sugars 26 g
Protein 6 g