Tag Archives: easy recipe

Easy and Healthy Breakfast: ‘Green’ Gluten Free Overnight Oats

I love overnight oats for breakfast!! They are easy, healthy & the flavor combinations are basically endless. As you can probably tell from the name, you make them the night before & in the morning you just grab and go! It’s a perfect way to get a healthy breakfast without much time.

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Overnight oats are an ideal breakfast, depending on how you make them, because they cover all the macros: protien, carbs & fat. Oats are a great slow digesting carb, so they won’t spike your blood sugar & they can power you thru a workout or a long morning at work. I add protein powder to give the breakfast a boost and stay full longer. With the nut milk you get some good healthy fats and of course you can also add a drizzle of nut butter.

natural citizen organic greens
source

In this recipe I added some greens powder from Natural Citizen to give these overnight oats a superfood boost. You can’t ever have any greens in your day!!

Green Overnight Oats

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup gluten free oatmeal
  • 1 scoop Quest protien powder
  • 1 scoop Natural Citizen Organic Greens (use SWEETBLONDE for $10 off)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened nut milk (my fav is Silk Almond or Cashew milk)
  • 1/4 cup blueberries – fresh or frozen

Directions

  • Add all dry ingredients in a portable container. My favorite is a mason jar, easy to carry & cute!
  • Mix dry ingredients together till mixed well
  • Add almond milk & mix well
  • Top with fresh or frozen blueberries.
  • Close container and store in fridge overnight.
  • Enjoy next morning!!!

Green overnight oats

Looking for more recipe inspiration? Try this: Cinnamon Apple Crisp Overnight Oats. 

How to Make a Healthy Version of Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

It’s no secret that I love coffee. It is very rare that a morning goes by without me enjoying a cup or two. I also live in the coffee capital, the birthplace of Starbucks. They are on almost every corner & as you probably know, they are constantly launching new seasonal drinks. The lastest one that caught my eye was the vanilla sweet cream cold brew coffee.

my Starbucks version of the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew
my Starbucks version of the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

I usually order very ‘boring’ drinks. I get a black americano, iced coffee or cold brew. Last week I was in Starbucks between personal training clients at the gym and wanted something more than black coffee.  I decided to give the vanilla sweet cream cold brew a try. I asked for very light vanilla sweet cream. I just wanted a splash. Even with the light sweet cream, it was too sweet for me. As I sat there sipping on coffee, I realized that this drink could easily be ‘re-made’ in a healthier version to save on calories & sugar!

My healthy version!
My healthy version!

This healthy makeover also saves you some money & makes it a diary-free drink. I actually liked this healthy version much better than the Starbucks drink. Best part – it’s really easy!!How to make a healthy version of

Healthy Version Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

Ingredients

  • cold brew coffee concentrate
    • my favorites: Chameleon Cold Brew (available at Costco or Target) OR Trader Joe’s Cold Brew (my favorite is the new French Roast – blue label)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
    • my favorite:  Silk unsweetened Cashew Milk
  • vanilla flavored liquid stevia – try this one 
    • OR substitute 1 packet stevia + 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup ice (add more or less according to your preference)

Directions

  • Mix up cold brew according to directions. Usually they have to be slightly diluted with a little water.
  • Add in 1/4 cup of unsweetened cashew milk & a few drops of vanilla stevia OR 1 tsp vanilla extract & stevia to taste
  • Add ice 
  • ENJOY!!!

This makes a 16oz beverage. Increase amounts to 1/2 cup cashew milk,  1.5 tsp of vanilla extract and 3/4 cup of ice for a 20-24oz beverage. You can also play with amounts according to your taste preferences. IMG_5240

In the graphic below, compare the nutrition facts for my healthy version to Starbucks. No sugar in my version and only 12 calories! 

Starbucks Version

With this recipe you can enjoy a delicious coffee that doesn’t pack a ton of calories. Perfect for summer or to change up your daily coffee routine! 

How to Make My Favorite Breakfast: Protein Pancakes

Y’all know that my favorite meal of the day is breakfast. I look forward to it the night before; I love breakfast food! Pancakes are one of my all time favorite things to eat for breakfast, or any time of day, especially protein pancakes. You will find that these protein pancakes are easy to whip up on a morning when you have more time and are great to make ahead of time for the week – meal prep style. IMG_4929

When I found Natural Citizen products on Twitter, I instantly wanted to try them. They are a company that believes in quality ingredients and giving back – two things that I’m all about too. They were kind enough to let me try their Organic Digest ‘smoothie booster’. While it’s called a smoothie booster, you can use it to boost baked goods too like I did here. I have also tried it in smoothies and it makes them super smooth & delicious. IMG_4926

As you may be able to tell from the name, this ‘booster’ helps support digestion and keeps things ‘regular’. I love that it tastes good and that it does its job in a gentle way – if you get my drift πŸ˜‰ Be sure to check their products out! I highly recommend PLUS you can save $10 on your order with code SWEETBLONDE πŸ˜€ You can buy with confidence as they guarantee their products, so if you don’t love it, they will give you your money back. IMG_4924

You can jazz these pancakes up however you want. I love to throw frozen blueberries into the batter or top with some fruit. They are packed with protein and make a great breakfast. My favorite time to eat this is post long run with a cup of coffee! IMG_4927

One more thing – you can use any kind of protein powder in the recipe. I have tried several different ones and my favorite is Quest Protein as it bakes really well. If you are looking for a plant based protein powder, use the Natural Citizen proteinIMG_4933

Organic Digest Protein Pancakes
delicious, protein packed pancakes!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Dry Ingredients
  1. 1 scoop protein powder
  2. 1/2 cup gluten free oats
  3. 2T flax seed meal (ground flax seed)
  4. dash of cinnamon
  5. 1 scoop Natural Citizen Organic Digest powder
Wet Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  2. 2.5 egg whites (about 8 Tablespoons)
Instructions
  1. Blend all of the dry ingredients. (I used my NutriBullet)
  2. Transfer dry mixture to a bowl.
  3. Stir in liquid ingredients.
  4. Spray skillet lightly with coconut oil & cook in skillet like pancakes!
  5. It makes ~4-6 pancakes, sometimes more, depending on size of pancakes you make.
A Sweet Blonde & Her Fit Life http://sweetblondesfitlife.com/

How To Make my Favorite Summer Salad

With spring in full swing, summer is getting that much closer! My favorite part about summer, besides the amazing weather, is all the fresh fruit & veggies! I love going to a farmers market or even my local grocery store and picking up the freshest produce I can find. I call this my favorite summer salad because it highlights the flavors of summer. While the ingredients in this salad are freshest in the summer, you can enjoy it year around. It’s delicious, refreshing, quick and super easy to prepare. I know you will love this salad as much as I do! FullSizeRender-1

Why I Love It

This salad is my favorite for a LOT of reasons. Not only does it taste AMAZING, it’s ready in less than 15 minutes. This is my go-to on super busy days when I don’t have a ton of time to prep or when I need a last minute dinner idea. It is also super filling! Sometimes people don’t like to eat a ‘salad’ for dinner because they don’t feel satisfied – not the case here! Another reason this is my favorite summer salad is it’s 100% plant based. I am not a vegan or a vegetarian, but I love to eat meatless meals from time to time. I tempeh as the protein in the salad and it is sooooo good! I never used to be a fan of tempeh until I found a brand that I really like. Don’t worry, if you aren’t a fan of tempeh or prefer to eat animal protein, I have included a few substitutions below.favorite summer salad blog_tweet

Before we get to the recipe, here are a few tips:
1) The best way to eat this salad is in a HUGE bowl. If you don’t have a huge bowl, grab a mixing bowl. It is the best way to get to enjoy all the flavors and not make a huge mess.
2) Not a fan of tempeh? Substitute cooked tofu to keep it plant based. Want animal protein? Substitute grilled chicken breast or salmon. 

My Favorite Summer Salad Recipe

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Sarah's Favorite Summer Salad
Serves 1
Easy to prepare, fresh flavors and plant based, you cannot go wrong with this salad!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 package of tempeh, sliced (my favorite is Lightlife, I find it has the best flavor)
  2. 4 cups of mixed greens
  3. 1/4 cup fresh blackberries
  4. 1/4 cup fresh raspberries
  5. 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, thawed (see instructions below)
  6. 1 small orange, sliced (my favorite is a minneola orange)
  7. 2T walnuts
  8. 1 avocado, sliced
Instructions
  1. To cook tempeh: Cut into thin slices and place into non-stick skillet on medium heat. Cook until lightly browned. Flip and cook other side until lightly browned. Remove from heat and place on salad.
  2. To thaw blueberries: place 1/4 cup frozen blueberries in microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 1 minute until thawed. Pour blueberries + juice over the salad. I love to thaw this way and use the juice as a way to add extra flavor to the salad.
  3. The salad: Place greens in bowl. Layer ingredients as you like. My favorite way is in this order: lettuce, walnuts, berries, orange slices, avocado, tempeh. Be creative and make this salad yours. Layer it how you want!
ENJOY!!!
Need more than one serving?
  1. Multiply the ingredients and prep this in an even bigger bowl to enjoy family style, or serve it up for each individual!
Substitutions
  1. Use your favorite protein. My favorite way to enjoy is with tempeh. Animal proteins that taste good with these flavors are salmon or grilled chicken breast.
Note
  1. You can use frozen fruit if you cannot find fresh. Just let it thaw or warm in microwave prior to using.
Adapted from Inspired by Jen Rowland
A Sweet Blonde & Her Fit Life http://sweetblondesfitlife.com/

I know this salad will become a staple in your house as it has in mine.  

Want to save this recipe for later? Pin this!!favorite summer salad

How to Make Gluten & Grain Free Paleo Granola

Granola is like trail mix – I’d rather make my own and decided what to put in it and what to leave out. It’s not fun to pick thru the mix to eat only what you want. It wastes both food and time. This lead me to come up with my own granola recipe, and *gasp* I left out the oats. This paleo granola is all nuts and seeds, zero grains, and it turned out delicious! IMG_9089

There are multiple benefits to making your own granola. You get to decide what goes in it & you can control the amount/type of sugar. Granola is usually pretty calorie dense on it’s own (meaning the serving size is small). Adding lots of sugar and sweeteners to this only makes it worse. Pre-packaged granola is usually full of sugar. There are lots more options now, but I still prefer to make my own. It also allows you to adjust ingredients based on allergies or dietary needs. IMG_9098

This granola only has naturally occurring sugar in it coming from honey. Your body digests this sugar differently because it is a natural source of sugar, so the insulin spike is not as great. As with anything, natural sources of sugar should  still be consumed in moderation. In granola recipes, honey is great to use for this reason because it also serves as a sticky ‘binder’ to help hold the granola together and create those delicious clusters. paleo granola

While I don’t eat a paleo diet, this recipe is paleo friendly. I loved the seed and nut combo in this recipe because it allows me to eat my carbs from other sources. The dried fruit and honey add some carbs, but this granola is high in fat and much lower in carbs compared to average granola. IMG_9096

You can switch up the dried fruit in this recipe depending on the season and what kind of fruit you like. I always recommend using unsweetened dried fruit, because fruit is naturally sweet!  I used golden berries which were delicious, but you could use anything. 

paleo granola twitterGluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo Granola 

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Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo, Homemade Granola
Yields 1
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup raw walnuts
  2. 1 cup raw cashews
  3. 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  4. 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  5. 1/2 cup dried fruit (chopped) - I used golden berries, use whatever dried fruit you like
  6. 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  7. 1 T water
  8. 1.5 T coconut oil
  9. 1/4 cup honey
  10. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  11. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  12. 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 300F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or with baking sheet liner.
  2. 2. Add first 3 ingredients to blender or food processor. Pulse a few times to chop the nuts, but do NOT grind into a fine meal.
  3. 3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg white with water until bubbly and kinda foamy.
  4. 4. Melt the coconut oil in microwave.
  5. 5. Add melted coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon & salt to the egg white/water mix and whisk together well.
  6. 6. Pour the chopped nut mix into the mixing bowl, along with the dried fruit & shredded coconut. Stir everything to make sure it is well coated.
  7. 7. Spread the granola mixture evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes or untill browned and crispy. Stir once after 10 minutes.
  8. 8. Remove granola from oven and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. DO NOT STIR. This is when the delicious clusters are formed!
  9. 9. Use a spatula and lift granola to break into large pieces.
  10. 10. Once cool, store in a glass, air tight container
  11. 11. ENJOY!!
TIP
  1. ** Granola can go from done to burned very quickly. Be sure to watch it!
  2. Can sub honey for maple syrup to make the recipe vegan. Add 10 minutes to cooking time.
  3. Can sub olive oil or avocado oil for the coconut oil.
A Sweet Blonde & Her Fit Life http://sweetblondesfitlife.com/
Want to save this recipe for later? Pin this! paleo granola pin

 

My All Time Favorite Protein Shake – Just 4 Ingredients

If you are anything like me, you love delicious food that is easy to make. The recipe I am sharing with you today is exactly that; it’s quick, easy and healthy! In fact, it’s my favorite protein shake recipe. I rotate through a few different recipes and combinations for my protein shakes, but in the end I always come back to this one as my favorite. The best part, it’s only 4 ingredients!IMG_2736

The reason this is one of my favorite protein shake recipes is probably because it features the best flavor combo – peanut butter and chocolate! This shake is extra creamy and really satisfying. It’s perfect for breakfast, as a snack or after a workout. If creamy shakes aren’t your thing, I’ll show you how to customize the recipe. 

The entire recipe, ingredients + instructions is listed below. First I want to take a moment to explain 3 of the 4 ingredients: protein powder, peanut butter powder, cacao powder and a banana.favorite protein shake

Protein Powder

My protein powder of choice is Quest. I love the different flavors they offer, they use really high quality whey protein and each scoop has anywhere from 20-23g of protein depending on the flavor. While I avoid dairy, the low levels of lactose in the Quest protein does not bother me. 

You can use any brand of chocolate flavored protein in this recipe. Not all protein powders are created equal, so be sure to buy the highest quality protein powder your budget allows. Remember, expensive doesn’t mean it’s the best. Pay attention to the ingredient list, what kind of protein they are using and watch for added sugar.

Peanut Butter Powder

Are you familiar with powdered peanut butter? It’s basically peanut butter that they have removed the fat from. I like to use powdered peanut butter mostly in smoothies and prefer regular peanut butter for other uses. 

My favorite powdered peanut butter is from Crazy Richard’s. Again, it is all about the ingredient list for me. As Crazy Richard’s likes to say “there is one ingredient, peanuts”. The Pure PB+ is peanut powder with added vitamins. You can use regular peanut butter instead. Just be sure that the only ingredient is peanuts! There is no need for oils or sugar in peanut butter. 

Cacao Powder

Cacao powder is NOT the same as cocoa powder. It’s confusing, I know. Cacao is raw chocolate, nothing else. It’s the purest form of chocolate you can consume & much less processed. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Cocoa has very similar health benefits as long as you get a cocoa powder that has no added sugars or oils. 

My favorite cacao powder is a local brand, Holy Kakow. You can find a huge selection of cacao powder on Amazon or at a health food store like Whole Foods.   This is an optional ingredient, I like to add it to make it extra chocolatey. You can use cocoa powder if you wish, just be sure it is unsweetened

favorite protein shakeChocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

Ingredients
1 scoop Quest chocolate protein powder
1 tsp cacao powder
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup almond milk**
1/2 cup water**
1/2 cup ice**
1 T powdered peanut butter (set aside)

Instructions
1. Place all ingredients, except powdered peanut butter, in a blender.
2. Blend until reaches desired consistency.
3. Sprinkle powdered peanut butter on top. 
4. ENJOY!

**If you want the shake to have a thinner consistency, leave out the ice. If you wish, you can also increase the amount of liquid.

favorite protein shake

What is your favorite protein shake recipe?

Two Easy & Delicious Recipes Perfect for Christmas Morning!

As you may know, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I love breakfast food! Breakfast on Christmas morning is particularly special. The tradition in our family is to open stockings with coffee or hot chocolate, then eat breakfast together. Because I always look forward to Christmas breakfast (or brunch), I love to create special recipes for that day.

The two recipes I am sharing with you today would be PERFECT for Christmas. They are both delicious and gluten free. I love to enjoy these year around, and they will for sure be making an appearance at Christmas this year. 

FullSizeRenderOat Cashew Waffles 

serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
Β½ cup raw cashews
1 dash sea salt
1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup mixed berries (can sub any fruit here)
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (can substitute honey)

Preparation:
1. Preheat waffle iron.
2. Place oats, cashews, and salt in food processor or blender; pulse until coarsely ground.
3. Add oil, water, and extract; pulse until well blended. Batter will be thick, but if it is as thick as paste add 2 to 3 additional Tbsp. of water.
4. Pour ΒΌ of batter into waffle iron, lightly coated with spray; cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until waffle iron indicates waffle is cooked, or until waffle is cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter.
5. Serve waffles topped with fruit and maple syrup.

IMG_7638Kale & Tomato Frittata

serves 8

Ingredients:
10 large egg whites (1ΒΌ cups)
6 large eggs
ΒΎ cup almond milk (can use dairy milk if desired)
Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
Β½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups chopped & de-stemmed kale
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350Β° F.
2. Combine egg whites, eggs, milk, salt (if desired), pepper (if desired), and nutmeg in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
4. Add onion and kale; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until tender. 
5. Lightly coat sides of pie pan with spray. Add onion and kale along with remaining oil to bottom of pie pan.
6. Add tomatoes and egg mixture pie pan.
7. Place pie pan in oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffy and set.

Tip: You can use spinach or other favorite greens instead of the kale. You can also mix the greens (i.e.: kale & spinach) for a total of 2 cups.

Tell me: what are your Christmas morning traditions?

XOXO
Sarah