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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Chickpea Chocolate Chip “Cookie Dough” Bites

Chickpea Chocolate Chip "Cookie Dough" Bites (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, no added sugar)These chickpea chocolate chip cookie dough bites are proof that clean eating can still be delicious…and make you fat (I dare you to not eat the entire batch of these in one day). ;)

I needed something to help wean me off my ridiculous Starbucks cake pop addiction (I’m on week three of cake pop sobriety; working the 12 steps; taking it one day at a time; feeling great), so I decided to experiment with vegan, gluten-free, bite-sized treats using no added sugar. It took a few rounds of tweaking—the first batch tasted like…chickpeas—but I think I finally nailed this one. I got the idea from this chickpea cookie dough dip recipe I kept seeing on Pinterest.

Chickpea Chocolate Chip "Cookie Dough" Bites (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, no added sugar) Chickpea Chocolate Chip "Cookie Dough" Bites (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, no added sugar)

If you’re looking for more of a snack versus dessert, skip the outside chocolate coating. If you’re trying to satisfy a sweet tooth, go for the gold—dip your bites in melted chocolate, pop in the refrigerator to let the outer shell harden, and then say hello to your new favorite food.

Chickpea Chocolate Chip "Cookie Dough" Bites (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, no added sugar)

Chickpea Chocolate Chip “Cookie Dough” Bites

Yield: 24 bites

Chickpea Chocolate Chip “Cookie Dough” Bites

These faux cookie dough bites are gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free and have no added sugar.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight)
  • ¾ cup chickpeas (roughly half a can)
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1/8 – ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used mini chips from Enjoy Life)
  • An additional ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips if you want to coat the bites in chocolate.

Instructions

  1. Soak your cashews overnight (or at least for 6 hours). I put them in a mason jar, fill up with water, and place in a cool, dark pantry. Drain the water when done.
  2. Place the cashews, chickpeas and rolled oats in a food processor and grind until smooth.
  3. Add in all the other ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Start by adding 1/8 cup of coconut flour, adding in the additional 1/8 cup only if the texture of the dough needs it.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Using your hands, roll 1” balls of the dough. You can stop here, or…
  6. Melt the additional ½ cup of chocolate chips (I was lazy and just used a microwave, but you can do it on the stove using a pot of boiling water).
  7. Using two spoons, roll the cookie dough balls in the melted chocolate until coated in a thin layer.
  8. Place on a parchment paper-lined dish or tray and put in the freezer for 10 minutes to let the outer chocolate shell harden.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/05/05/chickpea-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-bites/

Chickpea Chocolate Chip "Cookie Dough" Bites (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, no added sugar) Chickpea Chocolate Chip "Cookie Dough" Bites (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, no added sugar)I get back from Mexico late tonight so tomorrow is the last of my pre-vacay scheduled posts. I’ll be tan, bloated, in need of a green juice and a workout, but ready to respond to all the comments and emails you’ve left while I was gone. :)

Chickpea Chocolate Chip "Cookie Dough" Bites (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, no added sugar)

P.S. Sorry I went completely overboard with pictures of these guys. I felt like a mom picking a favorite child—I just couldn’t decide!

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