Paleo Banana Nut Bread

There are so many banana bread recipes out there, but there aren’t many that are both HEALTHY & taste GOOD–I never like to compromise!

I bring to you–my PALEO BANANA NUT BREAD recipe. It’s free of gluten, dairy, and added sugar ++ it’s LOADED with all the good stuff! This loaf is made with wholesome, paleo ingredients that make it incredibly satisfying and nutritious!

This is an absolute staple in my house! It’s the first thing I make when I’m craving something sweet, and I’m always making loaves to share with friends. It’s an EASY recipe that everyone loves!

Ingredients

Wet:

3 bananas

2 eggs + 1 egg white

1/4 cup almond butter

1/4 cup maple syrup

Dry:

1 cup almond flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

Toppings/Add-ins:

1/3 cup nuts/seeds of choice (optional)

2 tbsp chia seeds (optional)

Directions

In two separate bowls, combine wet and dry ingredients.

Then pour one into another and fold.

Add in any desired toppings/add-ins, then transfer to a 9″ x 5″ baking tin.

Bake at 350F for ~ 45 minutes.

Enjoy!

No-Bake Chocolate Almond Butter Oat Bars (V, Gf)

I love a good dessert. Especially one that’s clean and made with just a handful of ingredients. That’s why I love these No-Bake Chocolate Almond Butter Oat Bars!

These guys are my current favorite dessert because they have a little bit of everything! oats as a source of healthy carbs, vanilla protein powder and almond butter for added protein & healthy fats, and chocolate because…well who doesn’t love chocolate?? Each bite is like a little hint if heaven. No joke!!

These are also extremely easy to make! They don’t require any baking on your part–just stir some ingredients together, put them in a baking dish, pour some melted chocolate over it, and you’re all set. I’m always here for an easy way to satisfy my sweet tooth!

Ingredients

Base

1 1/2 cups oats

1/2 cup almond butter

1/4 cup vanilla protein

1/2 cup almond milk

Chocolate Layer

1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all “base” ingredients, then transfer to a baking dish lined with parchment paper (I used a 9 x 9) and store in the fridge.
  2. Melt chocolate chips and evenly distribute over the “base” layer.
  3. Place the dish in the fridge for an hour to set, then remove and slice into squares.
  4. Store in the fridge and enjoy throughout the week.
  5. Enjoy!

Healthy Oatmeal Banana Pancakes

I’m ALLL about balance. Balance between school and sports, balance between workout and recovery, and balance between FOOD GROUPS!

Getting a balanced macronutrient meal is always a recipe for success. It ensures that you’re sufficiently fueling your body to operate at its best. But it doesn’t have to be boring! I’m here to tell ya that you can eat pancakes every day if you’re making them with the right ingredients. AKA, these HEALTHY OATMEAL BANANA PANCAKES!

Ingredients

2 eggs

1 banana

1/4 cup oats (blended to a flour)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

Directions

  1. In a medium sized bowl, mash a banana and whisk in 2 eggs.
  2. Blend the oats to a flour, then add in to the batter with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-low, then distribute the batter into pancakes.
  4. Cook for a few minutes on each side (but don’t press down with a spatula if you want them to be fluffy!)
  5. Add any desired toppings.
  6. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • For a fluffier pancake, allow the batter to thicken for 5 minutes before cooking, and don’t press down with a spatula!
  • Customize them to your liking. You can add vanilla extract, matcha, or some chocolate chips to spice them up.

Go-To Vanilla Chia Pudding

I don’t like to label my diet. I like to eat mindfully and analyze how I feel after eating specific foods. For me, I enjoy lower carb alternatives because they don’t retain as much water, and therefore don’t cause bloat (something i’ve struggled with in the past).

I used to eat oatmeal EVERY DAY, and I loved it! But, our bodies are constantly changing, and I’ve learned since that I can no longer tolerate such large amounts of carbs.

Instead, I opt for chia pudding, an excellent alternative! Here’s what makes chia pudding so great:

– high in protein/fat
– high in fiber
– excellent source of omega-3’s
– low glycemic index

Just a jar of it is enough to fill me up for HOURS. The high protein/fat content is what makes them satiating and naturally low on the glycemic index (so they don’t spike blood sugar). The omega-3’s and the low glycemic index of chia pudding are extremely beneficial to the skin, and give you that clear, vibrant glow.

What I like the most about this superfood, however, is how sustainable it is! It’s filling and doesn’t give you an energy spike/crash, but rather some steady, stable energy that fuels you up all day long.

Ingredients

3 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp vanilla protein
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
3/4 cup nut milk

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a sealable jar, (whisk in chia seeds thoroughly to make sure there are no clumps), then store in the fridge overnight.
  2. Add any desired toppings.
  3. Enjoy!

Haley Colette’s Guide to Cabo: A 48 Hour Adventure!

Cabo is a beautiful place between its sandy beaches, drought-friendly agriculture, and natural beauties. It also happens to be my FIRST TRIP OUT OF THE U.S.!!! I’ll be sharing all kinds of tips, tricks, safety hazards, and must-do adventures, all of which I covered in less than 48 hours!

Weather

The weather met my expectations precisely. It was warm and dry, when I went in the beginning of Spring. The first day, it was relatively overcast, but the sun there is strong, so lather up on sunscreen PLEASE! The last thing you want is to be burnt the first day.

Bring summer clothes! I spent most of my time in a bathing suit, but we walked around town in shorts and t shirts comfortably. The temperature doesn’t change much from day to night, so expect dinner to be warm.

Hydration

It’s really dry there, the sun evaporates all the water out of your system. Make sure you travel with a bottle of water, everywhere and hydrate as much as possible. Drinking lots of water the day before often helps aid your body’s adjustment to the arid climate. We drank from the hotel tap water because it was a resort and a reliable source, but if you go into town, be careful! Since Mexico is a Third World Country, you may want to buy bottled water just in case or even better, bring a filtered water bottle like a Berkey or Brita and save the environment while you’re at it!

Must-Do’s

Since our time was limited and we didn’t have a car to drive, we had to choose one spot to go to for the day. We went to Marina, Cabo San Lucas a great destination if you’re looking to do sight-seeing, whale watching, shopping, etc. We walked around the shops there and got to know the culture. We went on one tourist attraction, the water taxi, and it was WORTH IT! There are solicitors everywhere offering rides, but we went to an established company for safety reasons. The water taxi was a 45-minute boat ride which visited 9 attractions including The Arch, Lovers Beach, Divorce Beach, Scooby Doo Rock, etc. It was gorgeous and extremely affordable at only $10 a person!

Food

The part you have probably been waiting for! The food there is good, but traveling around is really expensive because they don’t have Uber, and taxis are $$! We stayed at the hotel for meals which had a small selection of different restaurants. When we went to Marina, we ate snacks all day instead of formal meals including fruit bowls from a local deli (which are way cheaper than here!), gelato, chips and guacamole.

Only advice–order MEXICAN food. I’m sure you already know this, but don’t order Chinese food in Mexico. It’s not a good idea. Trust me.

Bargaining

The best part (my personal favorite part) about Mexico is that you can BARGAIN! None of their prices are set in stone, so be careful when you make purchases. If they know you are a tourist, they will increase the prices drastically. Evaluate the item yourself and realistically determine how much you’re willing to spend on it before you ask for the price. They usually counteract your question with “How much do you want to pay for it?”, so be ready! We brought U.S. dollar bills in small increments ($10 and $20 bills) and when we negotiated, we took out a bill and put them in a “take it or leave it” situation, and trust me they don’t want to leave it…

Safety

Staying safe is your #1 priority. We made sure that all of our taxi rides, water travels, etc. were all stemming from an established company. At Marina, they had a tourist support center, where they recommended some companies to use for the water taxi and cab ride, and although the ones they recommend are usually more expensive, your safety is worth it.

There are people constantly soliciting products or boat rides up and down the streets. They often try to lead you into back rooms of stores or onto boats for god-knows-what. Make sure you always travel with a friend and have easy access to a way outside. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people offered us rides “for free” and tried to lead us down to their boat. Say NO!

So there you have it! How to do Cabo San Lucas in less than 48 hours. If you have any questions, please reach out and I’d be happy to help you! Please leave any favorite spots/activities in Cabo in the comments below. I’d LOVE to hear about your favorite places!

Soft Baked Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

There’s really nothing I crave more than a warmed, soft-baked, cookie with a latte in the morning or for a little something sweet after dinner. These Soft Baked Vegan Gingerbread Cookies prettyyy much do it for me. They’re so soft, they almost melt in your mouth, and they have the perfect touch of sweetness to ease a sweet tooth.

Also, they’re naturally VEGAN. No need for any flax egg/ banana substitutes to try to get the recipe to work out, I got you covered. There’s also tons of substitutions you can make if you see some ingredients you don’t have on hand. This recipe is meant to be easy and available for anyone to make–let alone all the benefits that come from a…COOKIE!

Ingredients

Dry:

1 cup almond flour

1 cup oat flour (1 cup oats, blended into a flour)

1/3 cup coconut sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp baking powder

Wet:

1/2 cup almond milk

3 tbsp molasses

Directions

  1. In two bowls, combine wet and dry ingredients, then pour one into the other and fold.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then use 2 spoons to distribute the batter into cookies (I did 18), leaving a little room for expansion.
  3. Top with more cinnamon and coconut sugar, then bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool, then indulge in your healthy, soft baked treat!
  5. Enjoy!

Notes:

    If you don’t have coconut sugar on hand, sub in brown sugar at a 1:1 ratio for the same results.
    Oat flour can be made by blending 1 cup of rolled oats in a blender or food processor for a few seconds to achieve a fine flour.
    Almond flour and oat flour can be substituted with any other flours in a 1:1 ratio (with the exception of coconut flour)
    To achieve a crispier/firmer cookie, bake at a higher temperature, and check it periodically to prevent the cookies from burning.

Nut Free Fat Balls

Lately I’ve been a huge fan of FAT. I know, sounds strange but it’s legit. Healthy fats are an essential part of a balanced diet, because they aid in satiety unlike carbohydrates or sugars. This is because fats take longer to digest, therefore they provide sustained energy (not that awful sugar high/crash cycle), which makes them perfect fuel for a workout, or a snack between meals!

As much as I love incorporating healthy fats in my meals, I don’t go crazy with them. I like to keep my diet as balanced as possible, so these balls aren’t totally loaded with oils (unlike some that have 1/2 cup of straight coconut oil!). These guys have the perfect amount of seeds and supplementing oil to give them a good consistency and taste, while still allowing them to hold up their notable reputation for providing some solid energy!

They’re portable, pop-able, and an absolute go-to snack for me. They’re completely vegan, high in proteins and healthy fats, and taste JUST LIKE creampuffs (I swear the resemblance is uncanny)! I love to eat a few for breakfast, snack on them between meals, or have a few for dessert.

Ingredients

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup watermelon seeds

1 tbsp ground flax seeds

1 scoop vanilla protein

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp coconut oil + coconut butter

1/4 cup plant based milk

5-6 pitted dates (or to taste)

Directions

  1. In a food processor pulse together all seeds, vanilla protein, and cinnamon until the seeds are roughly ground (remember they’re going to be processed more, so don’t ground them to a flour consistency!)
  2. Add in coconut oil and coconut butter and plant milk, then process until evenly combined.
  3. Pulse in the dates in divided amounts, scraping down the edges if needed. If your mixture is still crumbly, add more dates to create a more sticky batter.
  4. Use a tablespoon measure to create 18 balls, then line them up on parchment paper and store them in the freezer.
  5. Once frozen, transfer to an airtight container (I use a Stasher Bag), and keep them in the freezer for a quick and easy snack!
  6. Enjoy!

Notes:

    Store them in the freezer for a firm consistency, or the fridge if you prefer them to be softer.
    Swap in any seeds in this recipe, just make sure it’s the same quantity.
    Use desired amount of dates based off the level of sweetness you prefer.
    Any flavor of protein powder can be used to customize this recipe, or you can swap in collagen peptides for a hair, skin, and nails supplement.
    Feel free to add matcha, turmeric, cacao powder, or any other flavors to customize your balls!