Tag Archives: gluten free

How to Make Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

Since finding out about my gluten allergy, I don’t eat cookies all that often. I was puttering around Pinterest one day and saw a gluten free, grain free chocolate chip cookie recipe. I was intrigued and thought, “sounds easy enough”. Then I got the crazy idea to use some protein powder and make them into a protein cookie. The result: an amazingly delicious, gluten free cookie that is low in sugar. img_7176.jpg

You may have seen Lenny & Larry’s protein cookies. They have been all the rage, but they are NOT gluten free. I’m also not a huge fan of their nutrition. High sugar, high calorie and high carb. Not much better than a normal cookie. So I set out to make a gluten free, lower sugar, protein cookie. 

These gluten free protein cookies turned out much better than expected and did not last long. I gobbled them up quicker than I expected. I was looking for excuses to eat these! They are great as a snack or a dessert. img_7171

In this recipe, I used my favorite protein powder, Vanilla Milkshake from Quest. One thing to remember when cooking with protein powder is the kind of protein can really change the recipe. Feel free to substitute your protein powder of choice, just know that it may alter the recipe a bit. 

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip
Protein Cookie Recipe

prep time: 20 mins
cook time: 15 mins
total time: 35 minutes

1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons coconut oil (if your coconut oil is a little melty, put it in the fridge for about 10 minutes or until firmer, like softened butter. If you use melted coconut oil, the dough will be greasy)
3 scoops Vanilla Milkshake Quest Nutrition protein powder
6 tablespoons natural almond butter – make sure it has no added sugar!
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
A few Tsp of water, if needed

1. In a mixing bowl, mix almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat together coconut oil and the protein powder until well combined. If you use coconut oil, it may not come together easily. If needed, use your hands to combine it and then beat another 20 seconds.
3. Beat in the almond butter and vanilla extract & mix until combined. Beat in the egg on low and mix well.
4. Stir in the flour mixture until well combined. Then stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. 5. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 1 hour or until the dough is firm.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 °F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
5. Roll the dough into approx 12 balls. Place on baking sheet.
6. Bake for 11-14 minutes or until browned and the center of the cookie is no longer raw.
7. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

1. You can also roll cookies into smaller balls but this will effect the bake time.
2. The bake time will also vary based on protein powder used & your oven. Start with 11 minutes and check cookies. With Quest protein, it took 15 minutes, however this does vary based on oven.
3. If you wish, flatten cookie ball slightly before baking for a more traditional cookie appearance 🙂 

Adapted from TexanErin


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.


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

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


  • 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


  • 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. 

4 Gluten Free Recipes that are Powered by Plants!

Have you ever eaten a ‘meatless’ or plant based meal? If not, it is because you can’t imagine a meal without meat? Do you think it will lack in flavor or taste weird? The recipes I am sharing today will change your mind. Plant based food tastes good! Lightlife, my favorite brand of tempeh, makes a variety of products that you can use to enjoy a delicious meatless meal. Plant based protein does NOT have to be boring. In fact, in these recipes you won’t even know it is missing.  

4 gf plant based recioes

I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, but I tend to be a ‘meat on the side’ kinda girl. I love eating plant based food! That being said, I still need to make sure I am eating enough protein so I build and maintain the muscles I am using during my workouts. I have lots of options as there many ways to get protein other than meat. However when preparing a meal, it can seem like meat is your only option. I like using tofu in recipes or making my own veggie burgers. I had tried tempeh but wasn’t a huge fan until I found Lightlife Flax Tempeh one day at Whole Foods. I randomly came across it when looking for tofu, I was intrigued by the added flax seeds & decided to give it a try. I LOVED it. Ever since, I haven’t bought any other brand of tempeh! I am excited to be working with Lightlife because I already loved them & I know you will too. This post + giveaway is sponsored by Lightlife. As always, all opinions are my own.IMG_4087

Like I mentioned, Lightlife make lots of products that taste GOOD and give you lots of options! I took a salad with the Lightlife tempeh to a dinner party and everyone raved about it. My personal favorite is the tempeh. Due to my food allergies, I have limited options: Lightlife tempeh, the veggie tempeh burger and the smart strips chickn

Eating a meatless meal doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor or taste. You can use plant based proteins to create a delicious meal for your family and/or friends.

Want to try Lightlife?

1) Find out where to find Lightlife products near you! 
2) Enter to win some Lightlife products at a discount. All you have to do is comment on this blog post! I will pick a winner on 5/4/16.

Recipe Round Up

You will love the delicious, plant powered recipes I’m sharing with you today. You won’t even notice the meat is missing! Even the pickiest eaters love these! Because of my food allergies, I only share or feature gluten free recipes. Some of the recipes below are not gluten free, but I have included the modifications below the link 🙂 

Sarah’s Summer Salad 

It’s already gluten free! IMG_4089

Orange-Ginger Glazed Tempeh

To make gluten free: substitute the soy sauce for tamari (gluten free soy sauce)Orange_Ginger_Glazed_Tempeh_0

Smart Patty Sliders + Blackberry BBQ Sauce 

with a side of baked sweet potato fries… yum!
To make gluten free: Substitute the black bean quinoa burger (not gluten free) for the Lightlife garden veggie tempeh burger or another gluten free veggie burger. Use a lettuce wrap or a gluten free bun. Substitute gluten free beer in making the BBQ sauce or use a GF bottled  BBQ sauce.veggie-slider-01

Tempeh Tacos

I LOVE tacos! You could easily make this into a taco salad!
To make gluten free: be sure to use corn tortillas!Tempeh Tacos - Close-up - RFD_0

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


Sarah's Favorite Summer Salad
Serves 1
Easy to prepare, fresh flavors and plant based, you cannot go wrong with this salad!
Write a review
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
  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
  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!
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!
  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.
  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

My New Favorite Vegan & Gluten Free Cafe on the Eastside

A while back on Twitter, I saw that one of my favorite juice + green smoothie places in Bellevue, Jujubeet, would be moving to a new location. While I’m sad I can no longer walk over & grab a smoothie after spin class, I could not be more excited about this new location + menu. Jujubeet went from having a few food options to having a full blown menu. I no longer have to go to downtown Seattle to get yummy gluten free and vegan food! My favorite place will soon be yours too. Today I am sharing details on the new cafe, the delicious menu and what I’m loving.
jujubeet twitter

The New Jujubeet 

how cute is this? plenty of space to socialize, hang out or work

The new cafe was beautifully designed by H2 Design + Build. This location has longer hours, a kids menu and an expanded selection of organic juices, smoothies and gluten free vegan foods.  They had a ‘soft opening’ last week, and I was fortunate enough to go. new jujubeet cafe
The Menu

I like to call myself a fit foodie. When I find a place that has my kinda food, I get really excited. The new Jujubeet Cafe menu has delicious food that is good for you too. It’s also a great place to grab a healthy lunch or dinner if you are pressed for time, or want to meet up with friends. Some of the items are treats, meaning they shouldn’t be eaten all the time or in high quantities, but at Jujubeet they are made with high quality ingredients that you can feel good about treating yourself with. 

some of the yummy gluten free/vegan dessert options
Some of the yummy gluten free/vegan dessert options on top shelf. Cashew cheese on bottom.
While I was there, I got to meet one of the owners, Bianca, which was such a blessing. When you meet the person behind a business and really connect with them, it makes you want to support that place even more. I really connect with Bianca’s mission, and her passion inspires me. I am beyond excited about this new space and more people getting introduced into how good healthy food can really taste.
Bianca is so genuine and very passionate about her business. She started it because she was a busy mom, spent a lot of time out and about in the car and at coffee shops and there were not a lot of options, especially healthy ones. She decided to fill this need, so they opened the first shop in Bellevue. Since then, they have opened three other locations, Seattle (University District), West Seattle and Redmond. The original location in Bellevue is being replaced by this new store on Main street. The new menu is AMAZING! IMG_3640
Without a doubt, this is going to be my new favorite spot. The space is great for meeting up with friends, a working lunch or grab and go. There are options for any time of day, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, just dessert or a date night. The menu is one that I want to order EVERYTHING. I am thankful that I can come here frequently so I can try it all. Looking at the menu again, I just noticed they have fresh fruit with coconut whipped cream. OMG. 

What I’m Loving 

1) Green Smoothies

I have loved them and always will. They have great combos and unique offerings. My favorites are the Dandelion Detox & Power Green. Looking for a less green smoothie, try Cacao Wow. It’s delicious and amazing, especially post workout.IMG_3643

2) Gluten Free Crepes

That is really all that needs to be said. These are one of the new additions to the menu; they have a sweet cardamom crepe and a savory harvest crepe. I am particularly excited about these because gluten free crepes are impossible to find!

3) Raw Cashew Cheese Platter

This comes with three different kinds of cashew cheese: truffle basil, pesto, & cracked pepper, a pecan mushroom pate and gluten free bread. I got to try some of the cashew cheese, and you guys it’s AMAZING. I have had a lot of vegan cheese, and this cashew cheese is some of the best. It was smooth and yummy. They will also be offering wine. I want to come here for a date night and get the cheese plate with a glass of wine. YUM!
pictured here is the carrot hummus platter with a side of the pesto cashew cheese 

4) Coffee!

Now I can support JuJuBeet and my coffee addiction at the same time. They are serving Cafe Umbria coffee and have almond milk, soy milk and coconut milk along with regular milk. They also use the Holy Kakow cacao products in the coffees like mochas. oh and, there is a matcha latte and a turmeric latte on the menu!!! So if you want a warm beverage without the coffee, you have options. IMG_3650

5) Cinnamon Oat Waffle

PARTY PEOPLE – Gluten free waffles have made it to Seattle. This is Biana’s favorite new menu item, and one of the best sellers since the debut of the new menu in Bellevue.gluten free waffle
Come and grab a bite, a smoothie or a coffee at the new Jujubeet cafe. I highly recommend it, you will NOT be disappointed and you might even see me! 🙂
picture from Jujubeet’s instagram
Jujubeet Cafe
Address:                                                          Hours:

10246 A MAIN ST                                     Sun-Thu 7a-9p
BELLEVUE, WA 98004                          Fri-Sat 7a-10p

The Amazing Gluten Free Eats I Found In SoCal

California has a special place in my heart for a few reasons. One, I went to college there and have a lot of fun memories. Two, the beach! Three, the amazing food options available. There is green juice all over the place, almond milk at all the coffee shops, smoothie bowls galore & so many gluten free options + restaurants! On my most recent trip to SoCal, I got to combine all of my favorite things: college friends, good gluten free food and the beach. 

College Friends

I got to spend time with my college roommate, Ari, and run with her! Since fitness takes me to California fairly frequently, I usually get to see her about once a year. She is one of my favorite reasons to visit San Diego, we always have a lot of fun. We ran the one mile race, saw an improve show and ate delicious food. More on that below.IMG_6492

Good [Gluten Free] Food

This is what this post is really about: all the good gluten free eats I found in SoCal. I hit up most of my favorite places and tried a few new ones as well. 

The Waffle Affair

I flew into LAX on an early flight so by the time I arrived I was starved. I looked for a place on Yelp to grab a bite to eat on the way down to Carlsbad. I found ‘The Waffle Affair‘ that was right next to Fashion Island where I planned to stop for a freeze from Pressed Juicery. They serve specialty gluten free waffles that are DELICIOUS. It was savory and sweet all at the same time. I paired it with an almond milk latte. The perfect start to the day.IMG_3418

Pressed Juicery

Then I stopped at Fashion Island for my freeze. They are my all time favorite thing from California. It is soft serve, and it is only made from all natural ingredients. For example, chocolate flavor only has dates, cacao, and almond milk. My favorite is the greens, it’s like frozen green juice. SO YUMMY!IMG_3425IMG_3429

I picked up a few juices too! 

Urban Plates

I grabbed dinner with Ari that night at Urban Plates. They have a gluten free menu, so it makes ordering easy. I loved their salads. So many options, fresh ingredients & really good. I enjoyed it so much that we even went back another night! This is on my ‘must visit’ list for the next time I’m in SoCal. IMG_6476 IMG_6531

Cafe Gratitude

After the 1-mile race, Ari and I took off to downtown San Diego to try Cafe Gratitude. It is a vegan restaurant that was on my list of new places I wanted to go and it did NOT disappoint. I took me forever to decide what to order, everything on the menu sounded amazing.FullSizeRender-1

95% of the menu is gluten free. My favorite were the kale chips. SO GOOD. I could have eaten another bowl. IMG_6511

Everything we ordered was delicious. I got a tumeric latte and a savory gluten free brioche french toast. (insert heart eyed emoji)IMG_6512

The gratitude vibe filled the whole place. Another new favorite on my ‘must visit’ list when I go to Cali!IMG_3469

Nektar Juice Bar

Saturday night for dinner, I grabbed a green juice and smoothie bowl from Nektar Juice Bar. This whole trip I was in disbelief that I was able to find so. many. smoothie bowls. It was awesome! IMG_6523

Both the bowl and the juice were really good. I loved that they served the juice on ice if you wanted. All the juices and smoothies are gluten free and they have a gluten free granola option for the smoothie bowls.

Swami’s Cafe

Sunday after the All Day 20K, I went to my favorite breakfast place in North County San Diego – Swami’s Cafe. They have gluten free pancakes that are really yummy. My favorite is the omelettes! They offer gluten free toast. FullSizeRender-2


For dinner that night, I tried out Pieology, a create your own pizza place. They had gluten free crust and vegan cheese, so I created my own gluten & dairy free pizza with chicken, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, spinach, bacon, tomatoes and red pepper. I was in total heaven – it was DELICIOUS. The crust was perfect, not too thick, not too thin.  This pizza was the best I have had in a long time. I so wish Pieology would come to Seattle! IMG_3592

Healthy Creations

Monday, my last day, I grabbed breakfast at Healthy Creations cafe in Encinitas. I found it on Yelp and got really excited about their menu – everything was gluten free & very healthy. Once I got there, it took me a good 10 minutes to decide what to order. I’m not used to having so many options!! I decided on the breakfast sammie. #yum. I highly recommend this place for their huge gluten free menu and healthy options. It is unassuming but SO good. It is also on my ‘must visit’ list, there is more I want to try on the menu. IMG_3597

Choice Juicery

To finish off the trip, I got a smoothie bowl from Choice Juicery in Carlsbad. The atmosphere is so unique. There is a small building where they make the smoothies + bowls, and the rest is outdoor seating. IMG_3604 IMG_3602

I loved that you could make any smoothie a bowl or any bowl a smoothie. The menu was very customizable. They also sold protein brownies and banana bread! I got a banana bread for the flight home and ordered a PB&J smoothie bowl. IMG_3607

The chia jam was DELICIOUS, it made the whole bowl. I definitely want to come back to Choice Juicery and try more of their menu. The chocolate chip mint bowl and the green milk (kale+almond milk) are on my ‘must try’ list!

The Beach

IMG_3613Need I say more. We definitely don’t have this in Seattle. I love the sand, the crashing waves, the sunsets & the beach culture. It is my happy place. So much inspiration, beauty and peace. I can’t get enough.IMG_6471 IMG_3609

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 


Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo, Homemade Granola
Yields 1
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
  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
  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!!
  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