This #ThrowbackThursday is feelin’ like a Friday because it’s a holiday weekend, heeeey! :)
And because I’ve been so busy with all sorts of other projects, I’ll be making this year’s red, white & blue recipe on 4th of July. So I have a little throwback post with last year’s light and refreshing summertime dessert that is perfectly patriotic.
I’m really looking forward to a three day weekend because those Monday mornings come around way too fast! I have plans to work on a couple blog-related projects (hint: protein popsicles), hit up a new restaurant, try out a local young adult church group for the first time, and start packing for NORTH CAROLINA (!!!!). Plus take advantage of getting my workouts done in one session per day instead of splitting them up half before work, half after. But before we get too carried away with weekend plans, I bring you today’s throwback blog post:
Originally Posted: June 23rd, 2014
4th of July means a Friday off of work to celebrate. If you’re making a festive and patriotic menu (nothing like a theme party, right!?) then you’ve probably taken to Pinterest to plan. Red, White, & Blue Overload!
I contemplated dipped & decorated pretzel rods, a berry cobbler, and a parfait before deciding on cute fruit skewers. Who doesn’t love shish kabobs! (I actually just like the word “shish kabob.” SHISH KABOB. Okay I’m done.)
This dessert is easy breezy because it takes 4 ingredients, minimal time & effort, and the skewers keep the portion control in check. Light, fresh, and beauuuuutiful if I say so myself.
Strawberry slices and whole blueberries are interupted with fat chunks of Angel Food cake. Angel Food cake mixes require only water. Can’t get much simpler than that. I set out a dish of light whip cream for dipping.
Last year I brought you Light Cherry Berry “Pies” which I can’t wait to recreate now that cherries are back in the produce section. Loooooove me some summer fruits! I used to say without a doubt that peaches were my favorite summer fruit. Then it became a close tie with strawberries. Now I’m hooked on cherries…grapes…apricots…pineapple. I CAN’T CHOOSE. Luckily, I don’t have too. :)
Confession: I eat and love packaged protein bars way too much. The nuttier, chunkier, chocolate-ier, the better. Mint Chocolate Quest Bars are my crack.
My favorite aisle in the Sprout’s store is the ‘nutrition bar aisle’ because SO MANY new brands and flavors of protein bars have popped up in the last couple of years. Anytime I see a new brand or flavor, I just have to try it. Luna, Clif, Quest, Kind, Larabar, Pure Protein, Raw Revolution, Nugo, Balance, Kashi – you get the picture.
Anywayyyys, my dependency on packaged bars to supply my protein and energy (or just satisfy my sweet tooth) sort of contradicts my goal to create a more ‘natural’ diet. I’ve been experimenting with lots of colorful and nutrient-packed Clean-Eating recipes over the past couple of years, and these power balls are my new clean alternative to the delicious-but-processed bar aisle!
On Thursday, I left you with a little throwback post of my mom’s Power Balls recipe. As promised, I recreated the recipe this weekend with some modifications to lighten the calories and fat content. Even clean recipes can be unbelievably high in calories, because nutrient-dense ingredients tend to be calorie packed. For example, chia seeds pack 60 calories per tablespoon, medjool dates 120 calories for 6 dates, and nut butters around 200 calories for 2 tablespoons. Though quality trumps quantity when it comes to fueling our body, I use bars and protein bites as snacks or pre-workout fuel so I would like to cut out some calories and fat where possible.
Substitute 1 Cup Powdered Peanut Butter (2/3 cup powder + 1/3 cup water) for 1 cup regular nut butter
*The process of dehydrating the nuts removes 75% of the fat content, leaving a 2 Tablespoon serving with 55 calories.
Substitute 1/2 cup of food-processed medjool dates + 1/4 cup agave for the honey as a sweetener.
Add 2 Tablespoons Chia seeds.
Remove 1/2 cup ground flax seeds (I don’t care for the stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth texture).
Optional: Add 1/2 cup protein powder of choice
Find your favorite mix-ins.
I used some clean, some not-so-clean mix-ins. This batch was broken up into 3 flavors: Chocolate Cherry Chunk, Pecan Chocolate Chip, and Coconut Pineapple. The chocolate chips aren’t considered clean and could be removed or replaced with cacao nibs if you want to be really strict about it. The possibilities for mix-ins are endless! Cocoa powder…goji berries…get creative!
Homemade Energy Bites:
- 2/3 powdered peanut butter (I used PBFit) mixed with 1/3 cup water
- 10 medjool dates, ground in a food processor to make date paste
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups rolled outs
- 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
- 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
- 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
- Mix-ins of choice: mini chocolate chips, pecan pieces, dried cherries, coconut flakes, protein powder, etc.
1.) There really aren’t any “directions”…..mix all above ingredients, roll into 1-inch balls, and store in the fridge or freezer! :)
Ready for the week:
Happy #Throwback Thursday :)
I’m bringing back up this nutrient-dense little recipe because I’m ready to make another batch this weekend! I have never tried a batch with powdered peanut butter replacing regular peanut butter so I think we’ll be doing some experimenting in the kitchen this weekend after my long run.
Update on the group fitness classes from Tuesday…LOVE the Body Works + Abs class on Tuesday nights & I’ll definitely go back. (The yoga class on the other hand was not life-changing.)
Kelly’s Famous Energy Bites
Originally posted on August 14, 2014
Kelly (AKA my mom…) whips this recipe up at least once a month now, and I asked her for the measurements so I could share with you! They are so versatile, you really just need a rough guide to start with. Then let you’re creativity take over. (My favorite version includes dried tart cherries and dried apricots, though she has made some butterscotch chip balls that are melt-in-yo-mouth drool-worthy).
There’s nothing too earth-shattering in these. They are simple to throw together and they require no baking (AKA you can make them in your dorm room!) But they are such a hit! Everyone we share them with asks for the recipe to make their own.
(Makes 40-ish bites)
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup dried fruit
- 1/3 cup crushed pecans
- 2 tsp vanilla
Combine ingredients and roll onto parchment paper in 1″ balls. Pop them into the freezer and try not to eat the whole batch in one day.
I’m dying to recreate these on my own pretty soon, using pumpkin to replace some of the peanut butter, and smashed banana to replace some of the honey. I’m thinking they’d be pretty great with some crushed pistachios or even a little bit of toasted coconut.
OH THE POSSIBILITES :)
It has the texture of raw cookie dough. Probably the reason why it’s so dang delicious. It feels wrong ;)
And now I’ve shared TWO dessert-y recipes in a row, so I guess we’re due for a little fitness post next, huh?