Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegetarian

To Brownie or Not to Brownie?

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I didn’t want to call these brownies because I don’t think of these as a true brownies without chocolate chips, so I settled on bars. Plus, are brownies ever really healthy? Maybe, maybe not. (Deep, pondering life thoughts by Annie to be continued . . . .) Whatever I call them — Dark Chocolate Coconut Raspberry Bars — can be a dessert or double up for a snack. Made grain-free using cocoa powder and plant-based chocolate powder as the base, these bars came out darkly dense made tart with raspberries.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

The Best Grain-Free Oatmeal & Porridge

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This is actually like porridge! I’ve been a little oatmeal’ed and overnight oats’ed out, but after all these brisk mornings, I wanted something with the same feel. You may be skeptical when mixing together flaxseed and chia seeds and nuts and coconut . . . but it is! Trust me. I was surprised too. I popped this concoction in the microwave thinking it wouldn’t absorb the milk and become fluffy quite like oatmeal does, but the result is like steel-cut oats or cream of wheat — just less gnarly and grainy; this Grain-Free Porridge with Fresh Figs has a much smoother and lighter finish. I had the last of my fresh figs left, so naturally I topped porridge with those and the some dried cranberries for a late summer, early fall feel.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Late Summer Peach Muffins with a Pseudo-Streusel

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Happy meal prep! Class is about to start up again after a two week hiatus. Having 9 am to 9 pm class on Mondays is going to be a wee bit rough, so obviously I need some new muffins in my life. I concocted a batch of Almond Peach Protein Muffins since I love fresh, ripe, juicy peaches with almond extract in the summer. Topped with a little brown sugar and chopped almonds, the muffins aren’t overly sweet and hit the spot with just a hint of summer as we move to the fall.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Cha-cha-cha Chia Blueberry Muffins

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I’ve been taking a little hiatus from posting — midterms, the 4th, a summer cold . . . Here’s a recipe for Blueberry Chia Protein Muffins that I made to get me through midterms two weeks ago. I swear I had a childhood blueberry muffin recipe that used orange juice and orange zest. Obviously I had to incorporate that orange flavor into my TIU muffin adaption. It’s subtle and complements the blueberries perfectly.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, Smoothie, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Orange You Glad You Found this Orange Smoothie

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Goooooood morning and happy July! Wake up with the randomly delicious combo of an Orange Avocado Mango Smoothie.  The avocado is creamy and adds a natural thickness to the smoothie. The mango adds sweetness, along with the orange, also tossing in a little vitamin C and natural juice. As breakfast or as a snack, it all perfectly blends together into a decidedly different smoothie from your usually berries and banana.

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Guilt-Free Brownies (Yes!)

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I think I found my new cheat brownie recipe. These Five Ingredient Protein Brownies grain free, contains no refined sugar and has a bit o’ protein. Plus it hits the spot when you want a brownie without having a real brownie, so it’s like a guilownie — a “guilt-free brownie” obviously. I’ve really enjoyed making protein muffins lately, so I thought why not try something similar with desserts?

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Not Gingerly Eating These Ginger Matcha Protein Muffins

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The muffins are back for meal prep Sunday! I tried another recipe from TIU. I liked the Piña Colada Protein Muffins so much that I decided to try a Snickerdoodle version, so here we are with Ginger Matcha Protein Muffins. (I foresee a twist with blueberry muffins in the near future, so you’ve been warned.) I have the Matcha Green Tea packets from Trader Joe‘s so I used those to cut down the “greenness” that matcha sometimes has. I also added some ginger and doubled the bananas to combat this, but the doubled banana made the muffins a bit flat and less likely to rise. I even had my mom taste test them when I went home to surprise my dad for his birthday! They’re yummy, not too sweet and a great pick-me-up.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, Vegetarian

“Snickerdoodles” for Breakfast

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It’s meal prep time! I liked the Piña Colada Protein Muffins so much that I decided to try a cinnamon version. (Obviously, we knew this was next because I love cinnamon and add it to a lot of things.) I made Snickerdoodle Pecan Protein Muffins to enjoy as a snack or as a breakfast on the go. Again, I added protein powder* to give these muffins a bit more oomph to get you through your day. The original recipe called for adding dates along with a banana, but I don’t like super sweet things and swapped dates for a little agave instead. The pecans add a nice crunch to the muffins –AND– they keep well in fridge for the week!

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, Snack, Vegetarian

Power Piña Colada Protein Muffins

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Snack time! Who knew muffins could be healthy and filling without leaving you sluggish? I always like doing Tone It Up’s daily workouts and following their weekly schedule and have done so on and off for the last three years. However, I think I do a fairly good job of eating healthy, so I’ve never tried their meal plan. I had a deal with my friend, Steph, that she’d send over the meal plan in exchange for the handful of Beach Babe videos I have. I’d say it was a fair trade. After making Tuna Sushi Bowls, I tried my hand at some meal prep and made  Piña Colada Protein Muffins. I’ve had the equivalent of two muffins as a breakfast or three minis as a snack and I must say — I was surprisingly satisfied. You miss that post-carb/sugar crash. Packed with protein powder and using banana and pineapple as natural sweeteners, these muffins are a great way to grab breakfast or snacks on the go!

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Smoothie, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Tastily Vibrant Tropical Smoothie

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Tropical Turmeric Smoothie Bowl seemed like the perfect combo due to its tropical flare to pretend it’s spring up in the Northeast. Pineapple, mango, banana . . . feeling like you’re on a beach yet? Also, do you guys like my sad attempt at “plating?” 😂 That aside, this smoothie was delish. I saw the idea for adding ground turmeric to smoothies from Gimme Some Oven and thought I needed it to fight the Monday blues from studying pharmacology. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. I turned the smoothie into a bowl because I found DRAGON FRUIT!! It was my first time working with dragon fruit, and I must say, the interior fruit is so mild and melon-like in comparison to its vibrant, funky exterior.

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