Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

Easter is happening so late this year that Ash Wednesday almost completely slipped my mind!

This is a big deal for me because every year since high school (maybe longer?) I’ve given up chocolate for lent. My ultimate weakness. My all-time favourite food. My beloved, sweet, go-to treat in any way shape or form.

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Because I didn’t realize lent started last week until Tuesday night (how did I miss the pancakes posted all over IG and Facebook on Tuesday? I dono… ) I didn’t have the chance to have one last chocolate binge! CRAP!

Good thing I ate 3 cupcakes last weekend…

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So today I’m announcing my chocolate hiatus until April 20, Easter Sunday. Actually… it’s a break from sweets entirely.Β The first year I gave up chocolate I realized it was to easy to replace chocolate with other sweet treats. It was barely a sacrifice when I could still eat vanilla flavoured anything. Not that I eat a lot of sweets anymore but I still indulge in my fair share of vegan treats.

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In addition to giving something up, my mom always said that lent should be about doing something good, so we are working on that as well!

But right now, I’ve got something yummy for you! Yes, the title of this post includes the words chocolate and cookies but they are far from a sugary “sweet”. However, I guess I’ll be subbing raisins for chocolate chips when I make another batch this week πŸ˜‰

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These little protein cookies were inspired by a 3-ingredient cookie recipe that’s been sweeping my Instagram feed. I love the original version but wanted a little more bulk for a mid-morning snack.

Sunwarrior’s raw protein blend has an amazing nutritional profile, especially designed for vegans. I don’t like to rely on protein powders and supplements as a main source of nutrition, because that’s just what they are, supplements. I do, however, like to use protein powder as an “extra” in my diet when I’m lacking my usual variety of whole foods because I’m traveling or low on groceries (oops!).

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Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

Adapted fromΒ Skinny Taste’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
Makes 12 cookies

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1.5-2 scoops protein powder
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips or other mix-ins (raisins, walnuts, etc.)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl then fold in chocolate chips. Bake on a greased or lined baking sheet at 350 F for 13-15 minutes. Let cool at least 5 min and enjoy!

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Nutrition facts per 2 cookies (using 1.5 scoops of Sunwarrior, natural):

Calories = 150
Protein = 6.9 g
Fat = 4.7 g
Carbs = 22.4 g
Sugar = 6.8 g
Fiber = 3.3 g
Iron = 16.7 g {just for fun;)}

What is your ultimate foodie weakness?
Do you use protein powder for a nutritional boost?

Liz xo

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Vanilla Almond Warrior Balls

Hey wellness warriors,

If you’ve tried my Cocoanut Warrior Balls and liked them, you are going to LOVE these. I felt like my first recipe had too much protein powder, leaving a weird aftertaste so I reduced it from 1/2 to 1/3 cup and added 2 tbsp hemp seeds. You can get pretty creative with this kind of no-bake snack and still have an awesome final product πŸ™‚

Vanilla Almond Warrior Balls

Makes 15 balls, 30 g each

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Prep Time: 10 min + 1 hour refrigeration

Nutritional Stats: Per ball: 166 calories, 5 g protein, 9 g carbs, 12 g fat

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt

Directions:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium-large sized bowl.
  2. Melt coconut oil in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Combine with nut butter and sweetener.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and combine until mixture is evenly distributed and crumbly.
  4. Form into 15 balls (~30 g each) and arrange on a baking sheet.
  5. Refrigerate for ~1 hour. Grab. Go. Nom!

I only got 15 balls out of this recipe vs. 16 with the last version. You could stretch it out but I prefer them to be at least this size.

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My next batch of ballz will be something funky so stay tuned πŸ˜‰

If you try these or the Cocoanut version please let me know what you think. Tag me in your pics on Instagram @lizziefit_ or tweet me @ElleGregg. Enjoy!

Liz xo

Cocoanut Warrior Balls

Hey wellness warriors πŸ™‚

Hope you enjoyed a lovely long weekend! If you didn’t get a holiday this week, I hope you your 2-day weekend was extra exciting πŸ˜‰ Mine was filled with good friends & good music back in the homeland. I’ll have some pics of our Natal Day shenanigans later this week.

You’ve probably read in many of my posts that I’m big on keeping my kitchen stocked with healthy foods to keep me on track – a giant fruit bowl on the counter, Larabars in the cupboard, and most of the time I have some homemade bars in the fridge. One of my first posts was for these Cran-Almond Power Bars that I LOVE but they take a bit of time. This week I wanted to whip up something quick for pre- or post-workout fuel and mid-morning snacks.

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I came across the original recipe for these protein balls a while back but I can’t remember where. They took about 10 minutes total to make and I had all of the ingredients I wanted to use on hand. I couldn’t resist calling them Warrior Balls since I love referring to us as Wellness Warriors and I used my beloved, raw Sunwarrior protein powder πŸ™‚

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You can pretty much use whatever you want for the dry ingredients. Oats and coconut can be subbed in equal quantities, any protein powder will work, and flours can replace the cocoa powder. Maple syrup also works instead of agave but the sweetener could be eliminated completely, especially if using vanilla protein powder. I’ll be experimenting with these a bit in the future πŸ˜‰

But for now, here’s what I’ve got for you…

Cocoanut Warrior Balls

Makes 16 balls

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Prep Time: 10 min + 1 hour refrigeration

Nutritional Stats: Per ball, 135 calories & 12 g protein

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup protein powder
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut, shredded
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar

Directions:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium-large sized bowl.
  2. Melt coconut oil in the microwave for ~20 seconds. Combine with nut butter and sweetener and if necessary, microwave for another 20 seconds. I used a fresh nut butter jar so I didn’t need to.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and combine until mixture is evenly distributed and crumbly.
  4. Form into 16 balls (~30 g each) and arrange on a baking sheet.
  5. Refrigerate for ~1 hour. Grab. Go. Nom!

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I could have eaten the entire batch. Good thing I have a big, hungry bf who enjoys my healthy treats πŸ˜‰

Stay tuned for some yummy variations!

Liz xo

Favorite Salads

I love salads!

So much so that I probably eat salad for lunch at least 6/7 days a week. You may think this sounds a little crazy… that you could never eat that much salad… that you’d be so bored and sick of freakin salad… right?!

Not if you’re eating my kinda salads πŸ™‚

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I don’t usually opt for dinner unless I’ve eaten a heavy lunch or I’m at a restaurant, but here are a few reasons why I choose salad for lunch:

  1. Several servings of fruit and veggies
  2. A lighter choice to allow a productive afternoon at a physically demanding job.
  3. Low in calories & carbs
  4. High in nutrients, vitamins & minerals
  5. Instant energy from easily digested, fresh produce
  6. Simple & quick to make the night before work or to take on the road
  7. A dose of essential healthy fats to make nutrients more bioavailable
  8. Often the healthiest option at restaurants but be wary of the dressing and “extras” (see bottom)

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So how does one eat salad EVERY day?! When it’s not just salad, but a party on your plate! I could never share all of my favorite combinations in just one post but here are some of my staple combos that will leave you full, satisfied, and ready to take on the rest of your day πŸ™‚

1. Strawberry Spinach Salad

  • 1-2 cups greens of choice
  • 1/3 cup chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cucumber, sliced and halved
  • 1 tbsp nuts of choice

Service with raspberry or balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

2. Avocado, Cran-Almond Salad

  • 1-2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced
  • 12 whole almonds
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds

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Serve with balsamic vinaigrette dressing

3. Santa Fe Salad (Boston Pizza Inspired)

  • 1-2 cups spinach or lettuce
  • 1/3 cup black beans
  • 1/3 cup corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup corn tortilla chips, broken over top

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Serve with salsa & (Tofutti) sour cream if desired

4. Quinoa Salad

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 tbsp hummus
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • pinch basil, oregano, sea salt
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, sliced & quartered
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1-2 cups spinach, optional

Option 1: Combine quinoa, hummus, lemon juice & spices then stir in chopped veggies. Serve atop a bed of greens if you wish. Drizzle with balsamic. Nom!

Option 2: Line plate with greens, top with chopped veggies, top with quinoa-hummus mixture, drizzle with balsamic. This is amazing even without the quinoa!

5. Sweet Potato & Sultana Salad

  • 1-2 cups greens
  • 1/2 sweet potato OR 1/2 cup butternut squash, baked
  • 1/3 cup chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp sultana raisins
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

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Serve with homemade “honey” mustard dressing. I love Dreena Burton’s recipe but a store bought dressing or balsamic works too!

6. Dinner for Lunch Salad

  • 1-2 cups greens
  • 1 serving of any dinner left-overs (baked tofu, veggie burger, fajita filling, sweet potato, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped veggies (cucumber, tomato, mushrooms, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup fruit (orange, apple, berries)
  • 1 tbsp dried fruit (optional)
  • 1 tbsp seeds or nuts
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Spinach, sesame-orange baked tofu, cucumber, orange, pumpkin seeds, “honey” mustard dressing

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Spinach, lentil burger, mushroom, cucumber, peach-mango salsa

Serve with dressing or left-over side of choice. My mango salsa recipe can be found here!

7. Asian Pear Salad

  • 1-2 cups greens
  • 1/2 Asian pear, sliced
  • 1/3 cup chickpeas, optional
  • 1/2 cup sprouts
  • 1 tbsp slivered almonds

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Serve with any of the aforementioned dressings πŸ˜‰

Tips:

  1. At a restaurant, read all ingredients on the menu and don’t be afraid to ask for healthy substitutions: Sub light dressing like balsamic or Italian for anything creamy. Ask to omit toppings like croutons or cheese. Request extra good stuff like root veggies or salsa to make up for the things you removed.
  2. No fresh fruit on hand? Sub for 1-2 tbsp dried fruit or a few pickled beets to add sweetness.
  3. No dressing? Try olive oil & lemon juice, salsa, hummus, or mashed avocado with spices.
  4. No greens? Use extra chopped veggies and fruit.
  5. No nuts or seeds? Try an oil-based dressing. Always include a healthy fat to help your body absorb the nutrients from your produce.

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You can pretty much do anything you want with a salad and make it different every day. That’s the joy of it. Haul out whatever veggies, fruit, protein, beans, nuts and left-overs you have around and see what combinations work for you.

If you have any questions or requests leave them in the comments box and I’ll be happy to help you amp up your salads πŸ™‚

Liz xo