Tag Archives: chocolate

Jamie Eason’s Homemade Chocolate Protein Bars

13 Jun

Ever since jumping on the healthy train a few months ago, I found myself navigating around websites on the internet to gather as much information as I could about living a healthy lifestyle.  I picked up magazines dedicated to clean eating and exercising.  I researched information about the body and how it really works when it’s fed carbs, proteins, fats, and so forth and so on.   All of these things let me to discover Jamie Eason – A fitness model, writer, and spokesperson for Bodybuilding.com.  She is such an incredible woman to look up to because she changed her life around at just 22-years-old when she had a breast cancer scare.  Her doctor suggested she start changing her eating habits which ultimately motivated her to begin living more healthily by eating cleanly and exercising regularly.

She is my go-to person to get nutrition and fitness advice from.  Between her blog and Bodybuilding.com, I’ve collected recipes and fitness tips that have contributed to my own weight-management and fitness successes.

This is one of my favorite recipes of Eason’s.  Store-bought protein bars can be extremely expensive, not to mention ridden with sugar and artificial ingredients.  These protein bars (more like brownies or pieces of cake, if you ask me) are not only easy to make but a great on-the-go snack you can count on for nutrition and a chocolate fix!

Ingredients:

1 cup oat flour (just a cup of rolled oats ground up to a flour consistency)

4 egg whites

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

1/2 cup Splenda

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

8 oz berry flavored baby food

3 tbsp. cocoa

4 oz water

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Mix dry ingredients (oat flour, protein powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa) in a large bowl.

3.  Mix wet ingredients (egg whites, Splenda, baby food, water) in a medium bowl.

4.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.

Don't let the baby food scare you - the berry flavor brings out the cocoa flavor like whoa!

Looks and smells like cake batter now!

5.  Spray cooking dish with non-stick spray and add batter to dish.

6.  Bake 20-30 minutes and let cool completely before cutting.

I like to individually wrap these in plastic and keep them in the fridge.  My favorite way to eat them is to chop up one square and mix it with a cup of nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt.  It tastes like cookies n’ cream!

I eat this as a snack or even as a guiltless dessert 🙂  Enjoy!

– Alex

After-Dinner Delight

6 Jun

Last week Keira and I went on a nice long walk downtown where we spent some time shopping around and just getting some good old fashioned exercise.  It was nearing lunchtime and so I decided we head back home.

On our way back home we passed a Muscle Max that must be somewhat new because I don’t remember seeing it there before.  It’s a sports nutrition store that sells all different kinds of supplements and vitamins.  I decided to check it out, mainly to see what the prices were like, and ended up being in there for almost 30 minutes.

I got chatting with the person who worked there.  He was very knowledgeable about nutrition and fitness and had a lot of good pointers for me.  I learned that in order to achieve the kinds of results I’ve been working so hard to achieve, I should increase my protein intake.  Protein is essential to build muscles as well as to maintain them.  Protein powder is one great way to reach your required protein intake instead of constantly trying to shove chicken and fish down your throat.  If you’re following a weight training regimen like me, your body needs 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight in order for your muscles to not only get bigger and stronger but also to recover.

That being said, I left the store learning that I really need to include even more protein in my diet than I already do.  You know I absolutely LOVE those protinis but there’s only so much I can really stomach every day.  There’s got to be MORE ways to use protein powder and enjoy it all at the same time.

Protein smoothie bowl, anyone?  I had read about these in the past but was never inclined to make one because I was so satisfied with my protinis.  This, my friends, could probably be considered dessert, especially since it’s chocolaty and I had it tonight after my light and low-cal dinner of chicken breast and Mama Roy Salad.  Not only did it satisfy my chocolate craving, it is jam-packed with nutrients from spinach (yes, spinach), almond milk, peanuts and protein powder.  For everyone who’s skeptical about this right off the bat – I don’t blame you.  But give it a chance – it tastes more like a very thick and cold chocolate pudding or frozen yogurt than anything else.  And for the record I promise you, the spinach is overpowered by all the other ingredients that you won’t taste even the slightest trace of it.  I love this protein smoothie bowl so much that I will have an entire category dedicated to them all.

This makes one HUGE smoothie bowl.  Feel free to cut the recipe in half for a smaller portion.  This left me FULL!

Chocolate & Peanuts Protein Smoothie Bowl

Serves 1

Into the blender went….

1 cup almond milk

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1/2 frozen banana

1 1/2 tbsp. cocoa

1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (a thickener commonly used in gluten-free foods – this will make it super thick like cold pudding

1 generous handful of fresh baby spinach

3 tbsp. dry roasted peanuts (optional)

5 or 6 ice cubes

Splash of cold water

Blend all the ingredients up until the mixture is thick, smooth, creamy and dreamy.  Your muscles with thank you and your taste buds will love you.  P.S. – This makes a GREAT post-workout breakfast!

Onnnne more little side note:  This smoothie bowl is perfect for an evening nosh especially with the added peanuts.  Why?  Peanuts (and all other types of nuts for that matter) contain healthy fats that slow the absorption of protein in your body which is particularly beneficial for your muscles overnight since we go 6-8 hours (or more if you’re super lucky) without eating.  But feel free to enjoy this in the morning for breakfast or even at lunch time!  It’s THAT delicious and nutritious!!

– Alex

Dark Chocolate Truffles

2 Jun

For Easter this year I wanted to make each of my siblings-in-law (is that even a real term?), parents-in-law (and again?) and my mom and dad something special for their Easter bags.  I swore I wouldn’t cave in and buy the same old junk from CVS that everyone else does.  I wanted to do something a little more special.

My father-in-law (Jackie’s daddio) is a dark chocolate fanatic.  He must have a piece (or two or three) every single day.  And so, I tucked away homemade dark chocolate truffles into his very own Easter bag.

I can’t say these are the healthiest chocolatey bites ever but dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and can help keep blood pressure and cholesterol down.  So while the family is harping on Dad for eating too much chocolate, he might just be the one with the healthiest heart of us all.

Makes about 20 truffles

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup dark chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli 60% Cacao)

Splash of vanilla extract

Any kind of coating your heart desires – I like cocoa powder, shredded coconut, crumbled oreos, chopped almonds, peanut butter chips, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

1.  In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer over low heat and add the chocolate chips.  Continue to simmer and stir occasionally until the mixture is smooth.  Add vanilla.

2.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour.  When it has reached room temperature, beat the mixture on a low to medium speed until the chocolate becomes light in color.  Smooth out in your bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours until firm.

3.  While your chocolate is chilling, crush up some fun ingredients you’d like to coat your truffles with.  I finely blend up (separately) oreos, shredded coconut, peanut butter chips, almonds, cashews, etc.  You could even just use cocoa powder.  Put each of your coatings in separate small bowls.

4.  Use a melon baller to scoop out your truffles.  Roll them between your hands to get them round.  This might be a little messy but when truffles melt a little in your hands they are easy to coat!  You might have to rinse your hands with cold water every so often to get a “clean slate” going.

5.  Pop them all into the coatings of your choice and roll them around until they are evening coated.  Transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper and let them set in the fridge for a few minutes.

Tip:  They freeze well – just put them into an air tight baggy and grab one whenever the chocolate craving calls!

– Alex

Chocolate Banana Soy Protini

2 Jun

What is a “protini” you ask?  It’s a protein shake with a cute little spin on the word.  No, there isn’t any alcohol in any of our protini recipes but hey, if you’re feeling kinda frisky, go for it.  I suggest a touch of rum..

This is my favorite protini to make.  Maybe it’s because bananas are my new favorite ingredient to work with.  I’m not sure I’ve gone a breakfast without it in some form or another for the past two months. The banana makes this drink so creamy and rich.  The end result shockingly tastes like a milkshake from an ice cream shop minus the guilt.

5 Minutes – Makes 1 serving.

1 small banana, sliced and frozen

1/3 cup soy milk

1 serving chocolate protein powder (I use CareOne Whey & Soy Rich Chocolate)

A small handful of ice cubes

1/2 cup of cold water

1.  Throw all the ingredients into a blender (yay for the Magic Bullet) and blend until smooth and creamy.  Thin it out with a little water if necessary.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 240, Fat: 0, Sat Fat: 0, Carbohydrates: 28 g. Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 15 g, Protein: 28 g

– Alex