Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal BitesThe following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC.

Hey guys! It’s been forever since I’ve posted a recipe. For the last few months, I’ve been in a bit of a cooking rut. I moved, and while I was still settling into the new kitchen, I fell into a lazy pattern of just walking to Whole Foods to make a salad for dinner or tossing together some quinoa, roasting some veggies, topping with an egg and calling it a day (my go-to easy dinner meal). I missed having yummy snacks and leftovers around the house though, so I’m back at it. Let’s blame the hiatus for the overwhelming number of pictures I included in this post…

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites

I was excited to work with FitFluential on developing a recipe using Canadian maple syrup because it’s my favorite way to add sweetness to a recipe without using sugar. 100% pure maple syrup is natural and unprocessed, meaning it has the health benefits of vitamin and mineral content in addition to its amazingly sweet taste. In particular, it’s a great source of manganese and zinc (these minerals aid in muscle recovery—hello, post-workout snack!) and contains 54 different antioxidant compounds. A little fun fact I learned in this project with Pure Canada Maple (Canada produces 80% of the world’s maple syrup) is that the darker the grade of syrup, the higher the antioxidant activity is.

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal BitesToday, I’m using my Canadian maple syrup in these yummy cinnamon raisin oatmeal bites. They’re the perfect snack to fuel your workout or to munch on throughout the day. They’re packed with finger-licking gooey deliciousness and taste somewhere between an oatmeal raisin cookie and a bowl of oatmeal with your favorite toppings.

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites

Yield: 18-25 bites (depending on how big you roll the balls)

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (I used gluten-free)
  • 3 tbsp Canadian maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 small banana, mashed (about ¼ cup)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ c raisins
  • 1/8 – ¼ cup shredded almonds, depending on how crunchy you want your bites (if you only have whole almond, just crush them up before mixing in)

Instructions

  1. Put the Canadian maple syrup and almond butter in a small pan and heat over low heat, mixing until warm and fully combined.
  2. Pour over the oats and cinnamon in a big bowl and mix thoroughly. Add in the mashed banana and continue to mix.
  3. Stir in the raisins and almond bits.
  4. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Cooling the mixture will make it easier to form into balls (they’re supposed to be a little sticky).
  5. Use a small spoon (I used a teaspoon) to scoop the mixture and roll into small bite-sized balls.

Notes

Store covered in the refrigerator. I divided my batch up into small Ziploc bags before storing the fridge so that I could easily grab them as an on-the-go snack.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/10/28/cinnamon-raisin-oatmeal-bites/

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites

For this project, I was also sent a sample of maple water, which I was really excited to try as I’ve seen it popping up in grocery stores lately. It’s the clear water that flows through sugar maple trees, and not at all thick or overwhelmingly sweet like syrup is. It’s actually really refreshing! I’ve been loving using it in smoothies (you can even pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it before tossing into your blender if you want to add some texture to a smoothie). It has half the calories of coconut water and tastes a trillion times better, but I ABHORE coconut water (it tastes like throw-up, you can’t tell me otherwise), so I guess I miiiight be a little biased. :)

Maple WaterHave you ever tried maple water? What’d you think?

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Coconut Encrusted Zucchini Rounds

Coconut Encrusted Zucchini RoundsIt’s a gorgeous summer day during Fourth of July week and I’m…sitting in a Starbucks writing this blog post. Womp womp wommmp. I was planning on being at the Jersey Shore soaking up the sun today, but on Friday night my boyfriend broke his hand during a charity MMA fight (he won though—I’m sure he’d want me to clarify that haha), so travel was out of the question. I’ll still be heading to the Vineyard soon though, so I’ll stop complaining and get to today’s delicious snack recipe. :)

Coconut Encrusted Zucchini Rounds Coconut Encrusted Zucchini RoundsThese coconut encrusted zucchini rounds are SO GOOD. Soft, juicy zucchini slices coated in a crispy coconut crust—the texture is so on point. I may or may not have eaten the entire first batch by myself in under 10 minutes…

Coconut Encrusted Zucchini Rounds

Coconut Encrusted Zucchini Rounds

Yield: 24 bites

Coconut Encrusted Zucchini Rounds

Soft, juicy baked zucchini slices inside a crispy coconut crust.

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • ¼ heaping cup shredded coconut (you can use sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut zucchini into 1/8-1/4” slices.
  3. Beat egg and coconut milk in a small bowl. Mix coconut flour, shredded coconut and sea salt in a separate bowl.
  4. Dip the zucchini slices into the egg mixture then into the coconut mixture, making sure they’re evenly coated. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, flip slices, and then bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until outside crust is golden brown.

Notes

Try to spread the coconut flour thinly and evenly over the zucchini. If there are globs not fully adhered to the egg mixture, they’ll remain powdery when you place in the oven.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/06/30/coconut-encrusted-zucchini-rounds/

Coconut Encrusted Zucchini Rounds Coconut Encrusted Zucchini Rounds

Anyone else putting in a short workweek before the 4th? How many out-of-office email replies have you gotten today—I’m at three… :)

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Nutty Strawberry Protein Smoothie

Nutty Strawberry Protein SmoothieHello from California! I’m actually writing this yesterday on the plane so no updates on the Stitch Fix & LUNA blogger vacay—if I were to take a stab at foreseeing the future though, I’d say I’m having a blast today! And now that I’ve totally confused you…

Nutty Strawberry Protein Smoothie

I don’t regularly supplement my diet, but after a particularly long or intense workout (for example, when I take back-to-back megaformer and spinning classes), I do pay more attention to my post-exercise nutrition. In general, I don’t think of diet/nutrition as a science or numbers game, I just make an effort to put more of the good stuff and less of the junk into my body each day. It works for me. But that being said, if you’re working out regularly, you absolutely need to be getting enough protein so that your muscles can repair themselves and strengthen (grow).

Within 30(ish) minutes of finishing a tough workout, I try to have a snack or meal that’s high in protein—and I like to keep it easy. If I workout before breakfast, that might mean I’ll have a couple scrambled eggs or a smoothie packed with protein as my morning meal. If it’s later in the day, I’ll grab a piece of toast with almond butter and bananas, or maybe a quinoa salad topped with nuts.

Nutty Strawberry Protein Smoothie

If I’m going the smoothie route, I’ll typically just put protein-rich foods into the blender—spirulina, hemp seeds/protein, a handful of nuts, peanut butter, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love spirulina and hemp protein, but unless you’re making a green smoothie, it turns everything brown. When my friends at Game Plan Nutrition sent me a sample of their vanilla whey protein powder, I couldn’t wait to make a strawberry smoothie that actually looked like a strawberry smoothie. Beautiful, right?? :)

Nutty Strawberry Protein Smoothie

Not only is it beautifully pink, but it’s SO GOOD–I really loved the taste of Game Plan’s vanilla protein with the almond and berry flavors. Also super important to me, Game Plan doesn’t use any chemicals or hormones in their protein powder.

This smoothie is also super filling. I made this thinking it’d be a single-serving but I had to split it into two. And I think I’m going to start topping all my smoothies with crushed nuts from now on because the texture added by the almonds was unreal.

Nutty Strawberry Protein Smoothie

Nutty Strawberry Protein Smoothie

Yield: 16 oz

Serving Size: 8 oz

Nutty Strawberry Protein Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used a Game Plan sample pack = 30g)
  • 1 heaping cup fresh strawberries, greens removed (7-8 depending on size)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • Handful crushed almonds (put some in the smoothie, top with the rest)

Instructions

  1. Put everything in a blender, top with some crushed almonds and enjoy!
http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/06/11/nutty-strawberry-protein-smoothie/

You will fall in love with this smoothie! Let me know if you try it out. And you can check out Game Plan HERE.

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