Easy and delicious, these peanut butter chocolate protein poppers are a fun healthier snack option that taste like dessert!  thepajamachef.com
Breakfast, Granola, Recipes

Peanut Butter Protein Poppers

Easy and delicious, these peanut butter chocolate protein poppers are a fun healthier snack option that taste like dessert! 

Easy and delicious, these peanut butter chocolate protein poppers are a fun healthier snack option that taste like dessert!  thepajamachef.com

It’s Fridayyyy! And I’m sitting in my office, eating lunch and hoping no one comes by and thinks I’m not working when really, it’s my lunch break. Does anyone else ever get like that? Paranoid, I mean… it’s my natural tendency. Ugh. But anyway, I shouldn’t be all “ugh” because it’s almost the weekend!! What does your weekend look like? These days, mine are filled with running, playing Duplo trains with my toddler, reading, going to church, and then MAKING ALL THE THINGS to eat on Sunday afternoons because marathon training makes me hungry.

Easy and delicious, these peanut butter chocolate protein poppers are a fun healthier snack option that taste like dessert!  thepajamachef.com

I’m not a hardcore meal prepper by any means, but I do like to be strategic in my weekend cooking: preparing breakfasts, snacks, and a dinner for Monday night make the whole week go so much smoother. Monday night dinner already made? Sign me up! Making a breakfast dish (baked oatmeal, egg casserole/muffins, or a batch of overnight oats) saves me in the mad rush out the door in the morning. Running at 5 am and trying to be out the door by 6:45 am is a little crazy some days, so having a prepared meal that I can easily heat up or take to go is fantastic. Likewise, I need snacks to enjoy at work. My coworkers and the students in the library probably think I eat all day long, and they wouldn’t be wrong. Haha! I do lots of the usual options: veggies and dip, apples and nut butter, cheese, nuts… but my new favorite thing is homemade granola bars and little bites, like these amazing Peanut Butter Protein Poppers! I know you can buy things like this but there’s just something so fun about homemade treats that are on the healthy side.

Easy and delicious, these peanut butter chocolate protein poppers are a fun healthier snack option that taste like dessert!  thepajamachef.com

These little peanut butter bites are made with protein powder, which isn’t something I consume regularly, but I had some samples to use so that was fun to throw in here. Aside from the protein powder, these bites have pantry staples that I use all the time in the kitchen. Oats! Cinnamon! Peanut butter! Honey! Coconut Oil! They are SO easy to make–just stir everything together, shape into balls, and chill for awhile. Then, melt some dark chocolate and drizzle on top. Presto! Tasty little protein poppers that are almost like dessert. I like to eat a couple of these in the afternoon as a snack, but I think they could also be great before/after a workout or even as a healthy dessert. Hope you guys enjoy!

Easy and delicious, these peanut butter chocolate protein poppers are a fun healthier snack option that taste like dessert!  thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Honey Sweetened Banana Berry Oat Muffins
two years ago: Creamy Pesto Pasta with Broccoli and Chicken
three years ago: Red Cabbage, Raisin, and Apple Slaw
four years ago: Healthy Crumb Topped Zucchini Bread
five years ago: Pumpkin Coconut Soup
six years ago: Chocolate Mousse 
seven years ago: Pumpkin Granola
eight years ago: Pizza Sauce

Peanut Butter Protein Poppers

  • Servings: 20 poppers
  • Print

slightly adapted from Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup protein powder – I used half vanilla, half plain
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter – I used a no-stir natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips – for drizzling (optional, but not really!)

Directions:

In a large bowl, stir together oats, protein powder, and cinnamon. In a measuring cup, whisk together peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil. If it is too thick to mix well, microwave it for 15 second bursts until easily stirrable. Pour over oat mixture, then quickly stir to combine. The texture will be similar to cookie dough, and if stirring is difficult, use your (clean!) hands to mix together.

Use a medium cookie scoop (or your hands) to roll into balls. Place on a silicone mat or wax paper lined baking sheet, then refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to set.

When set, drizzle with melted dark chocolate. I like to melt chocolate in the microwave, using 50% power for 15 second bursts. Stir between bursts until chocolate is completely melted. Drizzle chocolate over Peanut Butter Protein Poppers, then return to refrigerator for at least another 10 minutes until chocolate is set.

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Notes: my protein powder had chia seeds in it, but if yours doesn’t, you could add a little in place of a little protein powder or oats… maybe like a tablespoon or so.

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This post for #Choctoberfest is sponsored by Barlean's. I have received sample products for writing this post. All content and opinions are mine. These Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites are a healthy sweet treat... and they pretty much taste like a brownie, so there's that too.
Breakfast, Granola, Recipes

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites #Choctoberfest

This post for #Choctoberfest is sponsored by Barlean’s. I have received sample products for writing this post. All content and opinions are mine. These Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites are a healthy sweet treat… and they pretty much taste like a brownie, so there’s that too.

This post for #Choctoberfest is sponsored by Barlean's. I have received sample products for writing this post. All content and opinions are mine. These Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites are a healthy sweet treat... and they pretty much taste like a brownie, so there's that too.

Another day, another #Choctoberfest recipe! This one slightly healthier than the delectable cake from Monday. 🙂 Energy bites, granola bites, energy balls… whatever you call them… are SO tasty and SO fun to make. Just mix, roll, and chill, pretty much. They’re great to have on hand for a healthy yet filling snack option or even a quick breakfast on the go for busy mornings. Most recipes use nut butter as the base, so I was excited to find a version that used PUMPKIN as the binder. I always gotta do something different, haha.

This post for #Choctoberfest is sponsored by Barlean's. I have received sample products for writing this post. All content and opinions are mine. These Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites are a healthy sweet treat... and they pretty much taste like a brownie, so there's that too.

Since we’re smack-dab in the midst of #Choctoberfest, I decided to try to make an uber chocolately energy bite recipe. Thanks to a healthy dose of dark chocolate cocoa powder AND dark chocolate chips, these Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites pretty much taste like a brownie. I’ve been keeping some in the fridge at work, and they are perfect for a mid-afternoon snack. Healthy, yet satisfying.

This post for #Choctoberfest is sponsored by Barlean's. I have received sample products for writing this post. All content and opinions are mine. These Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites are a healthy sweet treat... and they pretty much taste like a brownie, so there's that too.

I’m so thankful that Barlean’s is a sponsor again this year for #Choctoberfest! They sent me a great package filled with Chocolate Silk Greens (think chocolate protein powder, but powdered greens instead–this stuff is great for smoothies!), Essential Women Omega-Swirl Chocolate Mint (mint-chocolate syrup that just so happens to be full of Omega-3s), and Butter-Flavored Coconut Oil, which I used in this recipe. It’s the perfect butter substitute with all the health benefits of coconut oil. I don’t use coconut oil for everything but I really like it in granola bars/energy bites. You can find out more about Barlean’s by following them on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or YouTube.

This post for #Choctoberfest is sponsored by Barlean's. I have received sample products for writing this post. All content and opinions are mine. These Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites are a healthy sweet treat... and they pretty much taste like a brownie, so there's that too.

One of the best parts about these Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites (besides how chocolately they are!) is that it only uses 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree. Sooo it’s a perfect recipe to have on hand to when you have a little pumpkin puree to use up! Waste not, want not. And how could you not want these yummy chocolate energy bites??! Enjoy!

Find more chocolate recipes here today at the #Chocotoberfest linky! And don’t forget to enter this great giveaway before Saturday!

one year ago: Pumpkin & Sausage Pizza
three years ago: Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
four years ago: Funfetti Cookies
five years ago: Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sour Cream Sauce
six years ago: Roasted Vegetable Soup
seven years ago: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites

  • Servings: 32 bites
  • Print

slightly adapted from A Kitchen Addiction

Ingredients:

Directions:

In a large bowl, stir together oats, flaxseed, cocoa, and pumpkin pie spice. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, whisk together honey, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, and coconut oil. Bring to a boil, and allow to boil for 4 minutes. Stir constantly so it doesn’t burn! Remove from heat.

Pour honey mixture over oats and stir until combined. At this point, you can stir in the pepitas and chocolate chips so the chocolate melts and gets all gooey OR you can wait for 5 minutes before stirring in the mixins. I stirred everything together right away.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for mixture to cool and chocolate to harden, then remove and roll into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least an hour before transferring to an air-tight container. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. Enjoy!

Disclosure:  Though I received products for free as part of my participation in #Choctoberfest, I was not compensated in any other way and was not asked to provide positive feedback.

Desserts, Other, Recipes

SRC: Homemade Magic Shell

Just three ingredients and a few minutes til you have delicious, homemade magic shell… just looking for an ice cream home! 🙂

Just three ingredients and a few minutes til you have delicious, homemade magic shell... just looking for an ice cream home! :)

Hello and welcome to another edition of the Secret Recipe Club! I haven’t been around for a few months, but I’ve had a good excuse in the form of this sweet baby boy. This has been my longest–and only–hiatus from SRC since I joined… but this little guy has been well worth it. 🙂

Isn’t he cute?!?? I may be a little biased but I think so… he was born in May and is doing great. 🙂 Anyways, I’m happy to be back blogging and back at it with SRC. This month I was assigned to Kirstin’s blog, Loving Life, which is filled to the brim with dozens of easy family recipes. Kirstin lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family, an area of the country that I’m not very familiar with but she did live in Ohio so we have that in common. Woo! It was so hard to choose what to make from the many delcious treats she shares on her blog. This fall I want to make these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars and at Christmas, this Cranberry Apple Casserole will be sure to be on the menu. But for now, I had to go for a summer recipe… and what’s more summery than ice cream?!? Not a whole lot…

Just three ingredients and a few minutes til you have delicious, homemade magic shell... just looking for an ice cream home! :)

Ben and I have been going through half gallons of ice cream like nobody’s business this summer. Seriously. It’s been so hot and I haven’t had much time to bake, so ice cream is an easy and wonderful dessert option. Ben also has an ice cream pocket [a special space in his stomach to store ice cream, duh] and I am developing one, so we don’t mind a bit. Usually, we go for flavors like Peach, French Silk, Moose Tracks, Black Cherry, etc… you know, flavors that don’t really need toppings. But sometimes it’s fun to go for a classic vanilla bean and add toppings to suit your needs. Yes, I said needs. See ice cream pocket above. 🙂 I like adding chocolate chips and a little bit of melted peanut butter, while Ben prefers chocolate sauce or caramel sauce. One topping we almost never have at the house because it’s so dangerous is magic shell. That stuff is FUN to watch harden on your ice cream, isn’t it? I remember when my mom bought it for the first time. We were all in awe! So when I saw that Kirstin had a homemade magic shell recipe, I had to try it out. It just takes three ingredients and a few minutes to get to magic shell perfection. I wasn’t sure if it would really work like the store bought stuff, but it DOES! I was so impressed. I know this is a recipe I’ll be making over and over again, and I hope you will too. Thanks, Kirstin! Enjoy!

Just three ingredients and a few minutes til you have delicious, homemade magic shell... just looking for an ice cream home! :)

one year ago: Eggplant Caponata Sandwiches
two years ago: Baked Cauli-Tots
three years ago: Quinoa Black Bean Burritos with Southwest Sauce

four years ago: Summery Squash and Chicken Lasagna
five years ago: Kale Frittata
six years ago: Jambalaya

Homemade Magic Shell

from Loving Life

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until melted, then allow to cool for a few minutes before spooning onto ice cream.

Be sure to check out other SRC recipes at the link below!

Breakfast, Granola, Recipes

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars

These healthy, flavorful granola bars are full of that wonderful chocolate peanut butter goodness that EVERYONE knows and loves. And they can be made in ten minutes, perfect for any busy schedule… even that of a new mama. 🙂

These healthy, flavorful granola bars are full of that wonderful chocolate peanut butter goodness that EVERYONE knows and loves. And they can be made in ten minutes, perfect for any busy schedule... even that of a new mama. :)

Hi guys! Another new recipe! Who am I?!? I just had to take some of my free time to share this no bake granola bar recipe with you… because frankly, I’m obsessed with them. I’ve made two batches in just as many weeks… and eaten almost all of them myself! 🙂 You know what else I’m quickly becoming obsessed with? Babywearing! Having two hands to use during baby naps [that he prefers to take on me or on Ben] is priceless. I have a Baby K’Tan and it’s purple and fabulous. I can even cook while wearing it! Well, cooking is a bit of a stretch, but I definitely can make really easy recipes as long as they don’t involve putting something in the oven or any potential splatters from the stovetop. Paranoid, safety conscious new mom here! Probably for a good reason, but still.

These healthy, flavorful granola bars are full of that wonderful chocolate peanut butter goodness that EVERYONE knows and loves. And they can be made in ten minutes, perfect for any busy schedule... even that of a new mama. :)

Anyways, back to this deliciousness! And no, I’m not talking about this cute ONE MONTH old baby here. Though he IS delicious and adorable, huh? What do you think I should call him on the blog? Due to his privacy and not wanting to make more of an online trail for him in the future than necessary, I don’t want to share his full name here. Before he was born, we joked around that his name would be “Volde,” as in Voldemort so his current Instagram hashtag is #BabyVolde. We might stick with that, or we might adapt one of his [many] family nicknames. Most of them have to do with foxes, because we chose woodland animals as his nursery theme. Gah, I way overthink EVERYTHING. Haha.

These healthy, flavorful granola bars are full of that wonderful chocolate peanut butter goodness that EVERYONE knows and loves. And they can be made in ten minutes, perfect for any busy schedule... even that of a new mama. :)

This cutie has his eyes open more and more these days… he’s so fun! Moving on… no good transition, but I gotta get moving as naptime will be coming to a screeching halt any minute now. 🙂 These granola bars. They are no bake, amazingly delicious, and SO simple to throw together. Since I made my first batch, I’ve eaten one just about every day. Err, night. Middle of the night feedings make me hungry! Or maybe it’s just being up in the middle of the night that makes me hungry. Either way, I learned very early on in this little one’s life that I needed a healthy snack to eat in the middle of the night when I was up with the babe. Granola bars are the easy choice, right?

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars3

For a couple weeks I was buying [or sending Ben to buy] the more wholesome granola bars from the grocery store… but then I felt like baking. So I decided to make my own using healthy ingredients that I had on hand! Some oats, Rice Krispies cereal, nuts, honey, peanut butter, and chocolate later, these babies were born. I was a little unsure of how they would turn out using natural peanut butter as the base, but I’m happy to report that they stick together just fine if you store them in the refrigerator. Score! They do get a little melty at room temperature, but I’m sure you can eat them quickly enough to remedy that problem. I know I sure do! The classic combo of peanut butter and chocolate is one that I don’t tire of easily. Reminds me of eating candy, so much so that I have to stop myself from setting the baby down partway through a feeding to go get another granola bar. No joke. These granola bars are that good! With that in mind, it’s probably for the best they need to hang out in the fridge so they last a little longer. I bet they would freeze well too, though I haven’t tried that yet. Hope you can make these granola bars soon–you won’t regret it! Enjoy!

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars2

one year ago: Cherry Chipotle Chicken Salad with Cherry Lime Salsa
two years ago: Dark Chocolate Double Coconut Macaroons

three years ago: Pretzel Rolls
four years ago: Orange Glazed Chicken Stir Fry
five years ago: Strawberry Chocolate Coconut Pancakes

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars

  • Servings: 16
  • Print

from It’s Just Laine

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter – I used natural creamy
  • 3/4 cup honey – I used mostly honey but a little maple syrup because I ran out
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder [dark chocolate if you have it]
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • up to 2 cups of mix-ins–I’ve been using the following:
    • 1/2 cup peanuts
    • 1/2 cup Reese’s chips
    • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Grease a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt together peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, and cocoa powder over low heat. No need to boil, just heat until melted together. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. This step can also be done in the microwave if desired–just mix in a bowl and heat on 50% power until melted. For me, this was about 45 seconds.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats and Rice Krispies. Pour peanut butter mixture on top and stir to combine. Fold in mix-ins, then transfer to prepared pan. Use a sheet of wax paper or a spatula to press down and flatten. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour, or up to overnight to set.

After bars have set, cut as desired. Store in the refrigerator or freezer, especially during warm/humid months.

 

Breakfast, Muffins, Recipes

SRC: Zucchini Apple Walnut Muffins

Take zucchini muffins up a notch with some sweet bits of apple and crunchy walnuts. You’ll always be coming back for just one more muffin, I promise. 

Zucchini Apple Walnut Muffins for #secretrecipeclub | find the recipe for these  healthy 'n delicious muffins on thepajamachef.com

This month for Secret Recipe Club I was assigned Chelsy’s blog, Mangia. Mangia means “eat” in Italian and boy does Chelsy make some good things to eat! She lives in Texas where she is a personal trainer, prefers pjs/workout clothes to jeans [ME TOO!], and loves sharing her food with family and friends. Fun fact: Chelsy started her blog in July 2010 just like me. We’re practically twins. 🙂 Since she’s been blogging for SOOOO long, there were so many great recipes to choose from. Eventually I settled on these muffins but first I was sidetracked by other deliciousness–Tahini Chickpea Salad, Ultimate Mushroom Soup,  Lemon Sweet Potato Muffins, and Toasted Coconut Espresso Mini Muffins. NOM! I’m going to have to try allll those recipes, asap.

But in the meantime, I’ll be over here munching on these Zucchini Apple Walnut Muffins. They are amazing, you guys! Where do I start? For one, like most muffins I make, they’re really fairly healthy and as such, a great snack or breakfast [though let’s be real: one muffin is not my idea of a filling breakfast, but I digress]. Agave is the only added sweetener in these muffins. I have mixed feelings about agave, so you could always use honey if you prefer. I just had a bottle that I’m trying to use up! :/ They’re also made with white whole wheat flour, coconut oil, and walnuts for some crunch! I’m normally not a fan of nuts in baked goods, but they work here for sure!

Zucchini Apple Walnut Muffins for #secretrecipeclub | find the recipe for these  healthy 'n delicious muffins on thepajamachef.com

Zucchini and apple combine to make a super moist, super flavorful, super delicious muffin. Though they don’t really need anything else to make them yummy [besides the aforementioned walnuts], some pumpkin pie spice [because I can’t wait for pumpkin season and didn’t want to use just cinnamon] and coconut emulsion really spiced these babies up a notch! Speaking of babies, I made them over the weekend when my mom, sister, brother-in-law, and my cute nephew were here. Let me just say everyone inhaled these. So they’re family approved and ready for making in your kitchen! 🙂 Enjoy!

P.S. I forgot to mention that Chelsy’s original recipe used coconut flour and as such, are gluten free. I just used ingredients I had but check out her original recipe if GF is your thing!

Zucchini Apple Walnut Muffins

  • Servings: 20-24 muffins
  • Print

adapted from Mangia

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour [240 grams in weight]
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice –> or an equivalent amount of cinnamon with a bit of nutmeg would work too
  • ~2 cups grated zucchini, with water gently squeezed out in a dishcloth –> from 2 small/medium zucchinis
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon coconut emulsion/flavoring/extract –> I’ve seen it sold all three ways
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice. In a medium bowl, whisk together zucchini, apple, eggs, agave, oil, and coconut emulsion. Gently add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, then stir until just combined. Fold in walnuts.

Divide batter between muffin cups, filling 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Enjoy immediately, or cool on a wire rack for later. Muffins freeze well!

Check out the other SRC recipes below!