Tag Archives: peanut butter

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?

How to Make Protein Packed PB&J Pancakes

I talk about breakfast a lot here on the blog. It is easily my favorite meal of the day. Sometimes I think maybe I should have called my blog ‘The Healthy Breakfast Club’ or something like that… haha. I digress. Today I have a new breakfast recipe for you that lets you have your PB&J and eat it too!IMG_7505

Another thing I love almost as much as breakfast is peanut butter. When I was in elementary school, PB&J sandwiches were my favorite lunch. My mom used to make them for me about once a week and that was always my most favorite lunch day. These pancakes allow us to enjoy the delicious PB&J flavors in a healthy, protein packed way. (don’t worry I didn’t skimp on the PB!)IMG_7515

This recipe was inspired by one of my best friend Katie’s recipes. Katie is AMAZING in the kitchen and she has a lot of great healthy recipes on her blog. Check out her awesome recipe page & give her some love!

Why is protein important? 

Protein plays a key role in this recipe. Unlike traditional pancakes, these are loaded with protein! Protein is the macro-nutrient that helps keeps you satiated – aka full. This is one of the reasons why including protein in each meal is so important. It is also important for  muscle synthesis (building/maintaining muscle). 
Our bodies can only use 20-30 grams of protein at a time, so aim to include somewhere around that amount with each meal or snack. If you eat more in a meal, it won’t hurt you, but your body won’t be able to use it.  

These pancakes have about 26 grams of protein from both the egg whites and the Mighty Nut powdered peanut butter. The pancakes themselves have a great peanut butter taste because the powder is actually in the batter. They are delicious & a great way to start the day!IMG_7502

Enter to WIN!

You can enter to win your own jar on Mighty Nut powdered peanut butter. Mighty Nut is made from quality USA grown peanuts. They roast them, and press them to remove most of the fat.  What remains is protein, fiber and delicious peanut buttery taste. You can rehydrate it with water OR use it in powder form. It comes in 4 awesome flavors: chocolate, vanilla, flax & chia and original. IMG_7504

The giveaway will go from Thursday 10/22 to Monday 10/26 at 5pm PST. Here is how to enter: 

Mighty Nut PB
If you do not see a box displayed, click HERE

Check out a few other recipes I have made with Mighty Nut: Chocolate PB Shake & Fun Fruit Dip.

IMG_7513PB&J Protein Pancakes

serves 1

Ingredients
Pancakes
1/3 cup gluten free oats
1/4 cup oat flour (just grind up some GF oats in your blender)
1/4 tsp baking powder
2T Mighty Nut powdered peanut butter – flax & chia flavor
dash of cinnamon
1 cup egg whites 
Topping
1/2 cup raspberries + a few extra
1T Mighty Nut powdered peanut butter – any flavor
1T water

Directions
1. mix all ingredients together
2. in a skillet over medium heat, spoon out half the batter. Cook like a regular pancake, then cook the other half. 
3. While the pancakes are cooking, make the topping. In a small bowl, mash up the raspberries. In another small bowl, mix 1T of powdered peanut butter with 1T water. 
4. Top pancakes with peanut butter spread and mashed raspberries.
5. Enjoy!!!

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*Please note: This post is sponsored by Sweat Pink on behalf of Mighty Nut/Peanut Butter & Co. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting my sponsors!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!!! (see above)

XOXO
Stay Sweet!
Sarah

How to Make My Favorite Post Workout Smoothie

Post Workout Nutrition

You have probably heard that what you eat post-workout is important. In someways it is the most important meal because it affects how your body recovers from the workout. By eating the right things, you can bounce back quicker from a hard workout &  This is the most optimal time for protein synthesis and replenishing glycogen in the muscles. The macro nutrients that our body needs to do this post workout are protein and carbs.  

As you can see, what you eat or drink after a workout is really important! This smoothie gives you carbs and protein in a very delicious way. When I am wrapping up a workout or a run, I am already looking forward to this smoothie. It’s super creamy and the perfect blend of chocolate and peanut butter. Good nutrition doesn’t have to taste bad!IMG_7530

Chocolate & PB Protein Smoothie

serves 1

Ingredients
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup ice
2T Mighty Nut powdered peanut butter + a little extra to sprinkle on top!

Directions
1. add all ingredients to a blender
2. blend for a few minutes so it gets creamy & all ice is blended
3. serve in a glass and top with powdered peanut butter

**You can sub almond milk with any other kind of milk. You can also sub powdered PB for other nut butter if you wish. IMG_7554

*Please note: This post is sponsored by Sweat Pink on behalf of Mighty Nut/Peanut Butter Co. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting my sponsors!

Tell me: 
What is your favorite post-workout meal or snack?

XOXO
Stay Sweet!
Sarah

Favorite Finds – IDEA World/Blogfest Edition

This week is flying by! I have so many amazing things that are going to be coming up on sweetblondesfitlife.com; giveaways, cool recipes, the anniversary of my blog and more! I am not kidding when I say you don’t want to miss it. If you haven’t already subscribe here so you don’t miss out on the upcoming stuff, especially the giveaways! 

In honor of #throwbackThursday, I have a video for you of all my favorite items from IDEA World Fitness Expo and BlogFest. I am REALLY excited about the items I’m sharing with you in the video, so be sure to watch it because things get a little cray (in a good way)!!!

 Links to items mentioned in video:

Crazy Richards PB Burst 
Crazy Richards Peanut Butter/Cashew Butter
NASM personal training info
Quest Products 
Pumped Up Pancakes 
Safe Catch Tuna 
TRX
‘Drop It Like a Squat’ Tank 

Let’s Chat:
Have you tried any of these products? 
Which one would you want to try?

Stay tuned for the giveaways and exciting stuff!!

XOXO
Stay Sweet!
Sarah

Comparison & Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Such a seemingly random combination, I know. But I promise you that they tie together. (recipe is at the bottom of post)

My sister’s birthday was last week and she had a huge party to celebrate this weekend. It’s always fun to dress up and celebrate a new year in someone’s life – especially when it is your sister!

Photo Oct 26As I have mentioned before, my sister is very fashionable. (I keep telling her to start a fashion blog, we will see if she does :D) She told me that she wanted me to wear this black jumpsuit to her party. It is one of my favorite pieces of clothing that I own. 

When I put the jumpsuit on Saturday night, it felt like it fit me better, looser in certain areas. It was a total NSV (non-scale victory) moment & I was excited!
When I bought it in July, it fit me just fine. It is always exciting to see progress and how your body is changing for the better. My favorite way to see progress is not on the scale, but the way my clothes fit. 
As I was writing this blog post, I was looking for a picture of my sister and I and I came across a picture of me when I first bought the jumpsuit.
CONFESSION: seeing that picture made me a little upset because even though I felt the jumpsuit felt like it fit me looser when I put it on, I felt that I looked slimmer in it when I bought it. 
Let’s see if you can see what I mean:

Photo Jul 11-2
when I bought it

 

Photo Oct 25
Saturday

I’m crazy right? I am sharing this with you and being vulnerable because I want other women who struggle with comparison and body image to know they are not alone.
In hindsight I feel silly and foolish thinking that about the pictures. Our mind can play mean, dirty tricks on us. We have to be stronger than those mind games and know the progress we have made, enjoy the moments in life and not let comparison to our past rob us of that joy. 
Now looking at these pictures as I write this, I don’t see a blaring difference at all. I am not larger in the picture on Saturday. If anything I am smaller in my upper body and hips.  
Your body will go thru changes when you loose weight, try a new workout program for a period of time, train for a big event, etc. Take care of yourself, nourish yourself right, trust the process and embrace it. It’s a journey not a destination. 
Have you ever struggled with thoughts like this? Let me know in the comments, or if that’s too personal send me an email (thesweetblondesfitlife@gmail.com)

ON TO THE NUT BUTTER CUPS! 

My sister asked me to bring a treat to share at her party. I made some brownies (her request) and also decided to try and make some “healthy” chocolate nut butter cups.  They were inspired by Betty Rocker

Photo Oct 24-2
the finished product!

Let me start off by saying these were SO much easier to make than I was expecting. Peanut butter cups sound hard right?! Well – they sounded hard to me, and I am here to tell you that these were one of the easiest things I have made in a long time. πŸ™‚

I made extra dark chocolate almond butter cups. The combo sounded perfect, and let me tell you, it WAS!

Recipe card is below! (makes 6 large nut butter cups)
I used EXTRA dark chocolate (85% cacao) – I loooove dark chocolate, the darker the better. Photo Oct 24-6 You can you whatever chocolate you wish, milk, dark, extra dark…

First, start by melting the chocolate. I just melted it in the microwave. You can also do it on the stove in a water bath or in a double boilerPhoto Oct 24-11. I just microwaved it in 30 second intervals  until it was all melted. 
While melting the chocolate, get your muffin tin and place 6 muffin liners in tin. If you have a mini-muffin tin, that would also work and the recipe would make 12 instead of 6. I only had regular size muffin liners, and you MUST use muffin/cupcake liners because otherwise the nut butter cups will stick and you will never be able to get them out!

To prepare the filling, pick you nut butter of choice. I used chunky almond butter from Trader Joe’s.
Photo Oct 24-10

You can use peanut butter, cashew butter or walnut butter – whatever you like. I plan to experiment with all of them!

Photo Oct 24-9Mix nut butter, a little bit of honey and a dash of vanilla extract.

 

Fill the bottom of the muffin liner with chocolate – then take the filling and scoop same sized balls into the muffin tin on top of the chocolate.
Photo Oct 24-8

Top with remaining chocolate. Use a knife or spatula to spread and make sure it is evenly covered. 
Photo Oct 24-7

Put in freezer for 2-3 hours. 
Photo Oct 24-5

Here they are all done! 
Photo Oct 24-3
Photo Oct 24-2

They are so delicious and so easy to make! They were a huge hit at her party too. Next time I want to try making them in my mini-muffin pan, I just need to find mini-muffin liners πŸ˜€

What nut butter would you make these with? 

Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
Serves 6
no scary ingredients or additives
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 dark chocolate bars (I use 70% dark or higher)
  2. 1/2 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
  3. 1 T honey
  4. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. 1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or create a water bath using a heat-safe bowl and a pan of water. You can also melt your chocolate in the microwave. When finished, set aside.
  2. 2. Combine nut butter, honey and vanilla in a small bowl and mix well.
  3. 3. Line cupcake tins with liners.
  4. 4. Evenly distribute about 3/4 of your chocolate amongst your cupcake tins.
  5. 5. Make even sized dough balls out of your nut mixture, and place them on the chocolate.
  6. 6. Pour the remaining chocolate over top.
  7. 7. Spread the chocolate out so it covers the filling.
  8. 8. Cover and freeze for approximately 2 hours.
  9. 9. Remove from tins and remove liner.
  10. 10. DEVOUR!
Adapted from The Betty Rocker
Adapted from The Betty Rocker
A Sweet Blonde & Her Fit Life http://sweetblondesfitlife.com/
XOXO
Stay Sweet!
Sarah

 

“Healthy” Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies [Recipe]

HAPPY FRIDAY! I am SO excited to share this recipe with you! It’s relatively easy and pretty yummy. An added plus is the sugar content is pretty low, so if you are watching sugar, these are great! They would be a wonderful healthy treat to share at a party, potluck or get together. 

 Someone actually gave me this recipe out of a magazine. I’m not sure which magazine, but I was really intrigued by it because of the garbanzo beans being the main ingredient along with peanut butter!E V E R Y W H E R E ?

Like most people, I love peanut butter. I love all nut butters, but peanut butter by far is my favorite. These cookies have LOTS of peanut butter as you will see. (The whole recipe is listed at the bottom of the post on a “recipe card” if you want to skip the pics) I posted my fresh ground peanut butter recipe before, if you have made that or want to make it, that is the peanut butter that I used in this recipe! 

DSC01119
the ingredients

 You will need:
1 can garbanzo beans
Vanilla extract
Peanut butter (I used fresh ground)
PB2
not familiar with PB2? It’s powdered peanut butter without the fat. I love adding it to smoothies. The calories are also much lower than regular PB. You can mix the powder with water and get a more peanut butter consistency – I have seen it popping up in more grocery stores & you can get it cheap on Amazon
Honey
Baking Powder
Organic Raw Cacao Nibs (or chocolate chips) 

I used Cacao Nibs for two reasons.
One: because I am participating in a Sugar-Less September with some of my #fitfriends, and we are focusing on not eating things with added sugars. Because cacao is like natures chocolate chips, they are okay.  
Two: raw cacao is one of the most plentiful sources of antioxidants and magnesium, and it also contains a plentiful amount of fiber and essential minerals including iron – so why not add that to these cookies instead of chocolate chips?!?

cacao-nibs

Essentially this recipe is dump, blend and then bake. So it’s super easy and no hassle. 

DSC01120I put all the ingredients in my blender (except the cacao nibs). You can also use a food processor. Process or blend until smooth.

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Remove from your blender or food processor and stir in the cacao nibs or chocolate chips. 

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Using a 1/4 cup scoop, portion out the dough into 11 balls/rounds on a baking sheet.

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Bake at 350F for 13-15 mins – then they come out looking like this!

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They are puffy and delicious! They reminded me of those puffier almost muffin top like cookies sometimes you see at the store (never gluten free though πŸ™ ) I enjoyed these the most when they were fresh out of the oven (isn’t that they way it is with any cookie? LOL) The nutrition facts aren’t too bad on these either. Check them out below:

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies
Serves 11
delicious, puffy peanut butter cookies with a touch of chocolate.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 cups canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  2. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  3. 1/4 cup & 2 tbsp peanut butter
  4. 1/2 PB2 plus 1/4 cup water, mixed together to get liquid consistency
  5. 1/4 cup honey
  6. 1 tsp baking powder
  7. 1/2 cup cacao nibs (or chocolate chips)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350F
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Combine all ingredients except for chocolate chips in blender or food processor and blend/process until smooth.
  4. Remove dough from food processor to a mixing bowl, stir in cacao nibs
  5. Using 1/4 cup scoop, portion out dough onto baking sheet in 11 rounds/balls. Flatten cookies slightly if you would like.
  6. Bake at 350F for 13-15 minutes
Per cookie
  1. 138 calories
  2. 6g fat
  3. 5g protein
  4. 18g carb
  5. 3g fiber
A Sweet Blonde & Her Fit Life http://sweetblondesfitlife.com/

 
XOXO
Stay Sweet! – Sarah

Peanut Butter! [Recipe]

Anyone who knows me, knows that I really enjoy peanut butter. I mean seriously, who doesn’t?

There have been times that I have avoided nut butters, and people are like, what is wrong with nut butter?? There is nothing wrong with nut butter, it’s a great source of protein and good fats, but the problem is the PORTION CONTROL. If you can portion it and only eat 2 tablespoons, then you are okay, but for those of us who like to eat out of the jar, portion control can be difficult at times. haha.

My favorite kind of peanut butter is the fresh ground kind. It has no additives, no preservatives, no sugar, no molasses, just peanuts! I decided to try to make my own fresh ground peanut butter at home – shouldn’t be too hard right?
Add a little bit of body text

I started with raw peanuts, because the roasted peanuts have a distinct flavor, I roasted them first.
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I placed 4 cups (it was a little full) in the oven.
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I knew they were done because my kitchen started to smell like peanuts!
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You can also use already roasted peanuts. I prefer low to no salt peanut butter, so I always buy unsalted peanuts. Buy whatever your preference is. These ones from Trader Joe’s are my favorite.
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I have also bought some from Amazon before too — check them out HERE

IF YOU ARE USING ALREADY ROASTED PEANUTS START HERE 
Place peanuts in the blender (you can also use food processor)
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*My blender has variable speeds from 1 – 10. Use these instructions keeping in mind the way your blender or food processor works*

Start on lowest setting (#1), stop after mostly chopped and use spatula or blender tamper to push down towards blades.
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Slowly increase blender speed to maximum. It will get chunkier as time goes on.
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You may have to keep stopping the blender or food processor to push ingredients down. Once it starts to get semi-creamy, turn back down to medium (#5 on my blender). Continue to blend until you reach the desired consistency.
DSC01112
Beautiful right??

I used a spatula to move from blender to the mason jar I am storing it in.
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I totally did some “sampling” along the way, and I’m pretty sure it amounted to more than 2 tablespoons of PB. Haha. I totally over did it and ate enough PB to last me for the rest of the week I think.
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It is a little messy (see previous pics lol) but it is easier than trying to go to a specific grocery store where I can grind my own, and I also know that my PB doesn’t have any added sugars or ingredients.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

Fresh Ground Peanut Butter
how to make delicious, fresh ground peanut butter at home. No added ingredients, just peanuts!
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts. Shelled. (4 cups is about 1 pound)
  2. Raw (aka-unroasted) peanuts are great too, you can roast them yourself
Instructions
  1. If you have raw peanuts;
  2. turn oven on to 350F
  3. place in a layer on a rimmed baking sheet
  4. roast 15-20 mins (or until your kitchen starts to smell like peanuts)
  5. Peanut Butter;
  6. 1. place peanuts in blender (or food processor)
  7. 2. start on low, after a few minutes, stop the blender and use a spatula or blender "tamper" to push peanuts down.
  8. 3. continue to process, turn blender up to medium high blending mode. peanuts will slowly start to get creamy
  9. 4. stop to scrape down sides as needed
  10. 5. once you have reached desired consistency, stop & enjoy!
Notes
  1. some blenders may take shorter/longer than others, you will know when to stop when the PB reaches the consistency you desire.
  2. There may be a time where the peanuts seem to be chunky and sticking together, continue to blend/process, they will start to get creamy on their own.
A Sweet Blonde & Her Fit Life http://sweetblondesfitlife.com/