Skinny Mint Cookie Shake with Blue Diamond Almond Milk!

It’s March, the time of year when everything is green (except the mountains of snow still covering everything)…including that famous fast food minty shake. I’ve honestly never actually had one, mostly because I never eat fast food, but also because I have a feeling that if I did have one, I would be addicted. I love mint and milk shakes and ice cream and sugar…all of that rolled into a green, St. Patrick’s-themed shake? I would become Irish for that! However, in an attempt to be somewhat healthy like I tend to do, I made my own version at home. Naturally, I added chocolate cookies, because that cookies ‘n cream taste anything makes it better (in my opinion).

After a little trial and error I came up with this delicious, high-protein version that tastes like a guilty treat – but isn’t! Cottage cheese is the key to making it milkshake consistency – trust me on this, you can’t taste it AT ALL. It just makes it all yummy and frothy. I also used Blue Diamond Vanilla Almond Milk to give it some more creamy flavor and texture, without the guilt. It’s only 30 calories per cup and has no added sugar, yet still tastes like rich vanilla…I don’t know how they do it. Combined with the mint and cookie flavors, I sipped this shake down in the time it took me to type the first few sentences (oops). Definitely will be making more of these, especially this month…enjoy!

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Skinny Mint Cookie Shake

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup Blue Diamond Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 2 tbsp vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp pure mint extract
  • 3-5 drops green food coloring (to make it green and fun!)
  • 10 chocolate snack grahams (plus 2 to crush on top for garnish)
  • 1/3 stevia packet (about 1/2 tsp) or more to taste
  • 5-8 ice cubes

Directions:

1.) Put ice cubes in blender. Add all other ingredients, blend, and enjoy! Add more or less ice cubes depending on desired thickness. Top with crushed cookies 🙂

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

Calories 239
Fat 8 g (2 g saturated)
Fiber 1 g
Carbs 20 g
Sugars 10 g
Protein 23 g

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almond Milk.

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Banana and Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Happy March! Spring is on its way (although we did get 3 inches of snow last night.) But I’m hopeful! Only 2 weeks until I will be down South and away from the snow…I can’t wait!

I also just finished all 12 weeks of the Amanda Adams Bikini Body program (which I raved about here). I loved how the workouts were broken down into 3 phases, 4 weeks each, because you never get bored. I’m now starting back at Phase 1 to go through it for another 12 weeks. Looking forward to seeing even more progress, as well as focusing on my nutrition more this time around. The Facebook support group for the program is the absolute best; it’s so nice to have a support group of fit and fabulous women right at my fingertips!

So now for the best part of this post…COOOOOKIES. Who doesn’t love cookies?? Unfortunately, I try to stay away from them most of the time because 2 cookies often turns into 4 which turns into a dozen which turns into a day full of  stomach aches and regret. Why can’t apples taste like Oreos?

Luckily, there can be such a thing as a healthy, clean cookie. This recipe packs in a healthy dose of fruit, has only 4 ingredients, and each cookie is only 73 calories! They are so yummy, especially warm, and I can’t wait to make another batch. You can also play around with the additional ingredients; try adding nuts, raisins, etc. Enjoy!

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Banana and Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

  • Servings: 10 cookies
  • Print

Adapted from: Skinnytaste

Ingredients:

  • 2 small ripe bananas, mashed (make sure they’re ripe!)
  • 1 cup dry quick oats
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Chips)

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.

2.) Mash the bananas in a small bowl. Add the oats, nut butter, and chocolate chips and mix together well.

3.) Roll the dough into small balls (makes about 10 cookies). Bake for 15 minutes. Enjoy warm!

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

Calories 73
Fat 3 g (1 g saturated)
Fiber 2 g
Carbs 12 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 2 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

Paleo Chocolate and Coconut Bites

So normally I don’t have a huge sweet tooth (unless a DQ Blizzard is within 100 feet of me). However, I think since I’ve been eating a lot of savory items this week (eggs, sausage, nuts, etc.) I suddenly developed a craving for something sweet besides fruit. Since I can’t have a granola bar or flavored almonds, my usual sweet craving go-tos, I found a recipe for little paleo “brownie” bites that looked really good. Last night I had some free time (a rare occurrence in my busy life) so I went to Trader Joe’s, got the food processor out, and made these bites. They were SO GOOD. To the point where I made my roommates try them and they wouldn’t have guessed that they were paleo, let alone that the key ingredient was dates. Something I had honestly never eaten before in my life, but it made them perfectly gooey and delicious. An important note: don’t forget to pit the dates! I almost did…but maybe they would have just been chopped up? Luckily, I didn’t have to find out. It made about 13 balls, so depending how big you roll them, you will probably have around the same. I rolled a few in coconut, put them in the fridge in a closed container, waited about 20 minutes, and they were perfect! Try not to eat them all at once 🙂

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Paleo Chocolate and Coconut Bites

 Adapted from: Our Paleo Life

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cup Slivered Almonds
  • 11 pitted Medjool Dates
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Water

Directions:

1.) Combine all ingredients (except water), in the order listed, in the bowl of a food processor. Process until mixture resembles coarse gravel.

2.) While the processor is running, add a thin stream of water, about ½ tsp. Stop the processor and check the mixture inside. If it sticks together when you smush it, then you’ve got the right consistency. If it’s still crumbly, add more water. You don’t want to add too much water because the bites will be too sticky!

3.)When you’ve got the right consistency, roll mixture into tablespoon-size balls. Roll in coconut, if desired. Store in the refrigerator.

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

Calories 157
Fat 8 g (1 g saturated)
Fiber 2 g
Carbs 18 g
Sugars 14 g
Protein 2 g