Salted Caramel Crunch Protein Bites

Once again, I’m making little dessert bites. I love portable, bite-sized snacks that you can eat anywhere or when you just need a little something sweet (see my recipes for other¬†bite-sized treats here, here, and here). I’ve been really busy lately, so these will be perfect to take with me on long days so I don’t go hungry! I topped the bites with Blue Diamond Salted Caramel Almonds for a little crunch. The salted caramel flavor is so yummy and gives the bites a little added sweetness too. The bites will keep in the fridge and can probably be frozen too….although mine have never lasted that long. ūüôā

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Salted Caramel Crunch Protein Bites

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • about 21 Blue Diamond Salted Caramel Almonds (1 per bite)

Directions:

1.)¬†In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients except the almonds. Mix together until well blended. Put bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to harden the “dough” (feel free to eat some, too).

2.) After 30 minutes, roll the dough into small, golf-ball sized balls. Put onto a plate or container with a lid. Top each bite with one salted caramel almond, refrigerate, and enjoy!

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

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The Perfect Dip Utensil: Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins

I am a dipper. I would never just eat a tortilla chip or a pretzel or a buffalo wing plain. I need salsa, hummus, guacamole, ranch, Nutella…I just think things taste better when they’re dipped in¬†something! I don’t like things to be plain. Probably indicative of my personality ūüôā I also like things that are made with natural ingredients and allow me to eat a lot for less calories. Veggies are always a¬†smart choice, but sometimes you just want something more crunchy and carb-y (is that a word?) These Blue Diamond Nut Thins fit the bill perfectly! Only 6 ingredients, which you can actually recognize and pronounce, and you can eat 16 crackers for only 130 calories. Perfect! They are very crunchy and taste like a tortilla chip – great with hummus, guacamole, salsa, you name it. I’m excited to try one of the¬†other flavors next!

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This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Nut Thins.

Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfait

Hello everyone! This last week has been a whirlwind of events for my birthday and the long weekend. I had the chance to catch up with almost all of my family and friends, went to the casino for a fun night out, and ended the long weekend with a friend at the beach. Life couldn’t be much better right now ūüôā

However, as busy as I’ve been, I’ve still had time to whip up some delicious meals in the kitchen! You probably know by now how much I love breakfast, and how important it is for me to eat a filling breakfast so I’m not raiding my snack drawer by 10:30 AM. So this week, since it’s been really warm (yay for summer coming!), I decided to make a yogurt parfait for breakfast. Simple, refreshing, yet filling enough to get me to noon without my stomach grumbling. This actually ended up being so filling that I ate it in two servings; half for breakfast and half for an evening snack.

I like my parfaits to be crunchy, so I wait and put the granola and nuts on right before eating so it doesn’t get soft. The Blue Diamond Dark Chocolate Almonds add the perfect crunch; they also add a nice chocolate flavor without all the extra sugar and calories of chocolate chips. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did – perfect for a warm summer day!

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Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfait

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup¬†granola
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • handful of Blue Diamond Dark Chocolate Almonds, chopped
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut

Directions:

1.) In two small bowls or Tupperwares, layer the yogurt, cinnamon, granola, and strawberries. Top with a little more yogurt, coconut, and chopped almonds. Enjoy!

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

 

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 ūüôā

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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 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 ūüôā 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

Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Chickpeas

I just got back from my North Carolina/South Carolina vacation (or, as my sister coined it, the #brewcation). We went to a ton of breweries and checked out a lot of different towns and scenic mountain areas. Turns out there are so many breweries in Western North Carolina because it has great water – who knew! I tried all different kinds of beer and had a lot of fun being with my sister and brother-in-law for the week. However, it was kind of nice to return to my routine (minus the grad school homework)…and needless to say, after 10 days of not being at the gym, I’m sore today! But back to my salads, healthy snacks, and home-cooked meals (although my sister cooked us up some delicious stuff while we were there!). Luckily I had some¬†meals stashed in the freezer, since I came back on Tuesday and didn’t have time to shop and cook. I did want to switch up my salad toppings, though, so this morning I whipped up these roasted chickpeas to take place of my homemade croutons. They were super easy and super yummy! They would be great as a snack too. I’m also thinking some taco-seasoned ones would be good on a taco salad…next week perhaps!

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Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Chickpeas


Adapted from: The Skinny Fork

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and dried (as well as you can)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400 F. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and spray the foil with a little bit of cooking spray.

2.) Mix ingredients in a bowl. Place in a single layer on cookie sheet, then spray lightly with spray. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until crispy!

Nutrition Info (Per 1/4 cup serving, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 59
Fat 1 g (0 g saturated)
Fiber 3 g
Carbs 10 g
Sodium 169 mg
Protein 3 g