Chocolate Zucchini Bread Muffins

Ingredients:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
DIrections:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray your muffin tin with nonstick spray.
  2. Place the shredded zucchini in a paper towel and squeeze out the excess liquid, then set aside for later.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips together until combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, yogurt, sugar, and vanilla together until completely combined.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and lightly whisk until combined. Then fold in the zucchini.
  6. Fill each muffin well 3/4 of the way full with batter.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes and enjoy!

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Easy Hard Boiled/Baked Eggs

I love hard boiled eggs, but I won’t lie, they’re a pain in the you know what. I use my instant pot occasionally which is a lifesaver, but sometimes the set up/tear down/clean up just isn’t worth a couple of hard boiled eggs. Alas, I’ve come across the most magical solution: baked eggs.

This takes a total of 30 minutes, start to finish, and is quite possibly the easiest ever way to hard boil an egg. The best part? NO SHELL. AT ALL. Here’s what you need!

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • seasoning of choice (I use Everything But The Bagel from TJ’s)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Crack an egg into each well of a greased muffin tin and season with desired seasonings.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes!

That’s it! They should slide right out and are ready to be stored in the fridge until you need them! An ever better life hack is this silicon muffin tin I use. The eggs come out perfectly with no mess, and it’s dishwasher safe!

Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

Ingredients:
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (I used Swerve brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chunks
Directions:
  1. Combine all wet ingredients in mixer
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a glass bowl
  3. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into the wet mixture
  4. Bake in a greased loaf pan at 350 for 45-50 minutes!

Brownie Baked Oatmeal

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I’m the world’s biggest proponent of a meal prepped breakfast. I know it’s not everyone’s jam, but it’s very much the deciding factor between eating breakfast and not when it comes to my busy weekday mornings. That being said, it’s vital that I prep something on Sunday that I can grab quickly and warm up during the week!

I fell in love with this recipe because I love oatmeal to begin with. The problem is that I don’t always have time to doctor it up and make it just how I like it when I’m trying to run out the door in the mornings. I also feel like it stays hot for FOREVER, which makes it hard even when I do have time to prep it. I can’t sit around and wait for it to cool all morning long!

Needless to say, this has combined my love of meal prep and oatmeal all in one! I can have my oatmeal and eat it too, so to speak! l will definitely be making this all the time this fall. I’m all about warm breakfasts in the colder months, so this is perfect for those chilly mornings! Not to mention, it tastes like a peanut butter brownie in oatmeal form. What’s not to love?

Slice it, warm it up, eat it cold, take it to go, whatever floats your boat! You’ll love it regardless!

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup peanut/almond butter
  • 2 1/2 cup ripe mashed banana (just a quick note: make sure to use really brown/overripe bananas for the utmost sweetness!)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or honey (I can get away with 2Tbsp, but if you like your oatmeal sweeter, go with 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (if you like a less of a dark chocolate flavor, go with 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips for sprinkling on top
  • melted peanut butter for drizzling
  • sea salt for garnish
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a 9×13 baking pan.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, banana, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla until evenly combined.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  5. Smooth into the baking pan, top with chocolate chips if desired.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven off and let the pan sit in the turned-off oven for an additional 20 minutes.
  7. Take it out, drizzle with peanut butter and sprinkle with sea salt!
  8. Garnish with additional peanut butter or maple syrup if desired, and serve hot or cold. This recipe can be enjoyed hot or cold!

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Paleo Pancake Bake

School is back in session which means the days of lounging around, binge watching Southern Charm, and slowly sipping coffee until 11am are longgg gone. I’m back to the 5:45am grind for the next nine months! As relaxing as the last month at home as been, it’s been somewhat lonely and I have been craving routine like nobody’s business so I’m super excited to have some normalcy back in my life!

Because my mornings are back to a tight schedule, meal prepping my breakfasts is the only way I can stay sane when I’m rushing around. Rushing is a term that should be used loosely when on crutches, FYI.

This week I decided to try something new, a pancake bake! I am OBSESSED with this Birchbenders pancake mix, and as much as I wanted to spend my Sunday night at my stove flipping a million pancakes, hoping they all turned out perfectly, it was not in the cards this week. I decided to grease an 8×8 pan, throw some things together, and hope for the best. It turned out better than I imagined, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

This recipe is quick and easy, and can totally be modified to include whatever mix ins you like! I did mine with peanut butter chips, but I can think of 100 different things that would be amazing! Chopped fruit, chocolate chips, pumpkin puree, etc., anything would work, so get creative! I will warn you that it it definitely isn’t super sweet, it’s just a thicker, fluffier pancake! So feel free to top with my favorite, peanut butter and a drizzle of syrup or honey!

The recipe is below! If you make it, be sure to send me a picture or tag me on IG so I can see all of your pancake bakes! Happy hump day, yall!

Paleo Pancake Bake
Ingredients:
Procedure
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Thoroughly combine all ingredients
  • Pour into a greased 8×8 baking pan/dish
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes
  • Makes 6 servings

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My Breakfast Favorites

I am a breakfast girl through and through. I would prefer breakfast over any other meal, at any time of day! Growing up, breakfast for dinner was my absolute favorite. I would venture to guess it was probably because it gave me an excuse to eat a Toaster Pastry for dinner, (remember those?!) but nonetheless, the trend has continued into my mid 20’s.

Because I eat breakfast around 6am, and don’t get the chance to eat again until 10:30am, my breakfast has to pack a punch or I’m ravenous by 8am. I’ve spent the past two years trying different recipes and combinations of things that keep me satisfied all morning long, but it really hasn’t been until recently that I’ve felt like I nailed it.

Obviously what works for me, may not work for everyone. I know a lot of people that have more flexibility than I do as far as being able to eat throughout the day, so eating a big breakfast isn’t quite as important as it is for me. Regardless, it is critical to start your day with a well rounded breakfast. I know, such a cliche thing for a food/health blogger to say, but it couldn’t be more true. Eating breakfast gets your brain going, it helps wake you up in the morning, and it gets your metabolism going.

Below are my three favorite breakfast staple recipes/combos. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ve probably seen these make an appearance or two!

Protein Pancake Bites
Cottage Cheese w/ Eggs + Egg Whites + avocado
  • Recipe:
    • 1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 egg, scrambled, on top of 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
    • 1/2 avocado on top
Egg White Oatmeal
  • Recipe:
    • 1/2 cup of oatmeal + 1/2 cup of water, microwave for 1 minute
    • add 1/3 cup of egg whites, microwave for another another minute

In addition to any of these breakfast options, I always pair them with a serving of fruit, as well as a protein. These are always interchangeable, and truly just depend on what’s on sale for the week, what’s in season, and what I have on hand!

Fruit Options:
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 an apple
  • 1/2 a banana
Protein Options:
  • turkey bacon egg cup (recipe is on my Instagram highlights!)
  • hard boiled egg
  • chicken sausage
  • turkey sausage
What my meals typically look like
  • egg white oatmeal + 1/2 cup berries or banana on top + hard boiled egg on the side
  • 4 mini pancake bites + 1/2 an apple + 1 turkey bacon egg cup
  • cottage cheese/egg mixture + 1/2 banana + 2 turkey sausage links or 1/2 avocado

Pancake Bites

My love for Kodiak Cakes is so real. Their pancake/waffle mixes are such a great option for breakfast, no matter how you use them! The protein packed mixes are by far my favorite, but I have tried nearly all of them and they’re all to die for!

These little bites are a delicious way to start your day with a good amount of protein, and they’re made with 4 ingredients … how can you beat that?! If anyone could win an award for worst pancake maker, it’s me, so the fact that you can bake these instead of cooking them on a griddle like normal pancakes, is also a total win for me.

These are a great option for meal prep because they’re so quick and easy! I made 24 of them in less than 15 minutes and that takes care of breakfast for me for the entire week – I eat 4/5 at a time. All it takes is 20 seconds in the microwave when you’re ready to eat them and they’re good to go! Pair these babies up with a hardboiled egg, some fruit, or just by themselves with a side of honey or syrup and you’ve got a delicious, easy, protein packed breakfast!

Side note: you can use whatever Kodiak mix you can find! I’ve done every single flavor and they have all turned out AMAZING!

Ingredients:
Directions:
  1. Combine pancake mix and almond milk/water until thoroughly combined.
  2. Fill mini muffin tins until 2/3 of the way full – they should perfectly fill 24 mini muffin wells or 12 regular sized muffin wells!
  3. Top with chocolate chips.
  4. Stick them in the oven for about 12 minutes at 350!
  5. Let them cool, and enjoy!
Macros (for 1 of 24 pancake bites)
  • 5g carbs
  • 1g fat
  • 3g protein

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

My dad and I went to the farmers market a couple of weekends ago, and ever since then, I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect zucchini bread recipe. I’m not the biggest fan of zucchini on it’s own, but seeing all the fresh/in season zucchini at the farmers market brought me back to when my mom just to make zucchini bread with zucchini from our backyard garden. After a couple weeks of searching, and two failed attempts, I’m here to share with you the very best, you-can’t-tell-it’s-healthy zucchini bread. Ever.

I feel like I’m a broken record in saying “this is the best” zucchini bread I’ve ever had, because I say that about everything I share with you guys, but I only take the time to blog and share the best recipes here so I feel justified in saying it! And truly, this is the BEST. It’s moist, (I know, I despise this word too, but when referring to zucchini bread, it’s a good thing so bare with me!) it’s dense, it’s chocolatey but not too sweet, it’s everything you could ever want in a zucchini bread! And if the zucchini thing makes you uneasy, trust me when I say you cannot taste it one single bit.

I will preface by saying this recipe took me probably two minutes longer to make than my usual super quick and easy recipes, and that is solely because of the fact that I had to take those extra two minutes to grate the zucchini. However I feel like that’s kind of a goes-without-saying step when you’re contemplating making zucchini bread. Nonetheless, it was still incredibly quick and easy, and I guarantee you have everything you need on the ingredients list already!

I also want to mention that cannot take any credit for this recipe because I did not create it, however Krista, from Joyful Healthy Eats did, and is an absolute genius. If you’re ever looking for a healthy version of your favorite baked treats or you just need a little recipe inspiration, scroll through her website for two seconds and tell me you don’t have the urge to bake something. She is amazing and I’ve made so many of her recipes, and loved every single one! And nothing of hers ever tastes healthy … a win win for everyone.

The recipe is below – mine looks slightly different than Krista’s because I swapped/omitted just a few things, but click here for her exact recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cup grated zucchini (about 1½ zucchinis)
  • ¾ cup Enjoy Life mini chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a 8×8 loaf pan by greasing the bottom and sides (you can grease with coconut oil, butter, or PAM cooking spray) Lightly dust with flour and shake out excess flour.
  3. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. Whisk together.
  4. In a large bowl, add honey, unsweetened applesauce, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until smooth.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until everything is combined.
  6. Fold in the zucchini, chocolate chip, and walnuts.
  7. Add the batter to prepared loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Serve.

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Macros – 1/10th of a loaf:

  • 170 calories
  • 7.7g of fat
  • 25g of carbs
  • 3g of protein

This recipe has good fats from the coconut oil, good carbs from the whole wheat flour and the natural sugar form the honey will give you lots of energy, making it the perfect early morning pick me up, or even pre workout snack! I plan on eating this for breakfast for the foreseeable future, as in until Christmas. Enjoy!

XO, A

Meal Prep Magic: Kodiak Cakes Muffins

Lately, I’ve had a ton of people ask me what my favorite things are to meal prep. Because I go back to work this week and will be needing to ramp up my meal prep game anyway, I figured this would be a great time to start a little mini series on my favorite meal prep recipes!

I have raved about meal prepping ever since I started this blog, and to this day it is still something that is SO important to me. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, meal prep is my number one piece of advice when it comes to staying on track with healthy eating habits. Having food that is readily available, pre-prepped, and even portioned out, is my absolute saving grace during my crazy hectic work week.

I meal prep just about everything I eat during the week, on Sundays. I wash and chop all my veggies, steam/roast whichever ones need to be steamed/roasted, I portion out all my morning and afternoon snacks into ziplock bags, I cook all my protein, etc. Once I’m done prepping, I portion out all of my lunches and put them into my meal prep containers. That way, when I’m putting my lunch together at night for the following day, I just throw everything in my bag! It makes it so quick and easy and it saves me so. much. time.

I have a few tried and true meal prep staples that I come back to over and over again, but every once in awhile I’ll come across something new that I love, which is the first order of business in this “Meal Prep Magic” series!

Okay, on to the good stuff. I will preface by saying I am a nut job and I am already ready for pumpkin spice everything, (I know, I’m that girl) which is maybe probably one of the only reasons I landed on this recipe out of the hundreds I searched through on Pinterest. But besides the pumpkin factor, I also chose this recipe because it has minimal ingredients, it’s fairly low carb for a muffin, and the ingredients are on point. On point meaning healthy, but also meaning I already had them all on hand which is the real reason I pick most of the recipes that I do … And truly, who doesn’t love a warm pumpkiny chocolatey muffin in the morning?!

This recipe is total meal prep magic for me because I can prep an entire pan of muffins and be donezo with 7 days worth of breakfasts in less than 20 minutes. And they’re macro magic too! These muffins are packed with healthy fat from the coconut oil, protein from the Kodiak Cakes mix, and they have the perfect amount of carbs to give me energy and keep me full until my mid morning snack. To round out my breakfast for the week, I’m pairing a muffin with two egg cups (on the blog later this week) and some fresh blackberries!

The Recipe

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease muffin tray, or line with paper liners
  3. Mix all ingredients until smooth
  4. Fill muffin tins evenly
  5. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown
  6. Enjoy!

Macros

  • 153 calories
  • 17g carbs
  • 7g fat
  • 6g protein

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Cold Brew Protein Shake

I never imagined I’d have so many direct messages and texts about this cold brew protein shake I came up with a couple of weeks ago, but I’m so glad you guys are asking about it! Instead of continuing to respond to individual direct messages, I figured it would be easier to go ahead and do a blog post about it so that it’s here for you guys to refer back to if you need it! This “recipe”, I keep putting it in quotes because I don’t even know if you could classify it as that because it contains two ingredients, is something I threw together by accident one morning.

I came home from the gym one morning a couple of weeks ago, made a glass of cold brew coffee, and was heading back out the door in a rush. In one hand I had the coffee, and in the other I had a Premier protein shake. My hands were full and I had other stuff to grab, so I decided to dump the protein shake in with the cold brew. Voila, the cold brew protein drink was created! Call me a recipe developer.

You can find the Premier protein shakes almost anywhere but they’re definitely the cheapest at Sams Club or Costco. I like these shakes because they’re convenient to grab and go, and I really like the flavor of the chocolate ones. They come in other flavors that I’m not the biggest fan of, so use other flavors with caution. I have a friend that loves them with vanilla, so if you’re not a chocolate person, try that! I realize these shakes are not made with the most “clean” or “natural” ingredients. However, like always, I preach about having a healthy balance – moderation is key.

For those of you asking what cold brew I use – I get it from Sam’s Club and it comes in a container with three boxes of cold brew coffee for $12. It’s called “Steep18 Cold Brew”. However, any cold brew will work, so use whatever you like and can find!

It honestly tastes like creamy mocha chocolatey milk. I promise it tastes better than it even sounds. But truly, it’s the perfect boost of protein, it tastes like chocolate milk, and it suffices my caffeine fix on my early mornings. Win, win, win.

Ingredients:

coffee

The macros:

  • 3g of fat
  • 5g of carbs
  • 30g of protein

Let me know if any of you guys try it! I hope you all have a great weekend! See you next week!

XO, A

Rachel Mansfield Banana Bread (Bars)

Truth be told, I’ve never met a banana bread anything I didn’t like. Bananas are my favorite fruit and banana bread is one of my favorite (and only) things I like to bake. Self control and fresh banana bread are two things that do not belong in the same sentence for me, so finding a recipe with with simple, few (only 8 in the original recipe), and good-for-you ingredients is important. Because if you’re going to eat half a loaf by yourself in one day, as long as it has healthy ingredients it’s fine … right?

For those of you who don’t follow her, @rachlmansfield is the absolute queen of all things amazing in the world of food blogging. She is a “real food recipe developer”, she’s hilarious, she’s real, and 99% of my food inspo comes straight from her. If I’m being honest, I don’t know that I’ve made a recipe that wasn’t hers in the past three months.

That being said, I’ve tried tons of her recipes, but this might be one of my all time favorites. Her original recipe is called “Flourless Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread“. The title alone makes you want to run to your kitchen does it not? You can click the link to go directly to her page to see the recipe (and drool over her pictures while you’re at it) but I’m also going to post it below. I followed the recipe almost exactly, but I did swap two things and add one of my own, which made my bread more of a bar consistency!

Ingredients:

Wet ingredients –

  • 3 medium/large ripe bananas mashed
  • ½ cup Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter (or your favorite peanut butter of choice)
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon melted & cooled coconut oil
  • Splash of vanilla extract

Dry ingredients:

Topping:

  • ½ cup of Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups cut into small pieces (I used Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips because I didn’t have these on hand!)
  • ⅓ cup of Justin’s Banana Chips (I omitted these!)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray your bread dish with coconut oil OR line it with parchment paper
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together wet ingredients with Kitchen Aid (if you don’t have Kitchen Aid just mix well with spatula)
  3. Once creamy, add in dry ingredients then mix together until well combined, make sure there aren’t any chunks of coconut flour in the mixture
  4. Pour into bread dish and bake for 20 minutes
  5. While the bread is baking, chop up dark chocolate peanut butter cups (I cut each 4 ways)
  6. After the bread has been baking for 20 minutes, top with chopped peanut butter cups and banana chips
  7. Bake for another 20 minutes then cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
    • Will stay good for about 5 days in fridge or you can freeze for longer*

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And that’s it! 9 ingredients, a few quick steps, and just 40 minutes will leave you with the some of the best banana bread/bars you’ll ever have. I’m posting the macros to my bars below, but just keep in mind this is for the recipe I followed which includes a couple of ingredient swaps! Now, go gather your ingredients and get to baking & go follow @Rachlmansfield for more amazing recipes!

Macros for 1 slice (mine made 8 total):

  • 236 calories
  • 18.7g carbs
  • 15.2g fat
  • 10.1g protein

Happy baking! Enjoy the rest of your week!

XO, A