No-bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Protein Balls (5-ingredients, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, High-protein, Vegan option)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Protein BallsApparently, it’s THAT time of year (no, NOT Christmas – the other “THAT” time of year): back-to-school!  (I say “apparently” because I’ve been out of school for longer than I care to admit.)  Or it’s back-to-work or back-to-the-gym or maybe even Back to the Future (!) for you.  Wherever (or whenever) your day takes you, these balls make a perfectly portable pick-me-up.  And in this more hectic time of year, what’s more magical than hearing that a recipe is no-bake, and only requires five wholesome ingredients?  Much easier than homework, I promise!

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Review: Quest Bars (Non-Chocolate Category)

Quest BarsAs I mentioned in my review of all of the Quest Nutrition Quest bars containing chocolate, it just wouldn’t be fair to rate them against the Quest bars that don’t feature chocolate.  That being said, these bars are all delicious in their own right.  And sometimes (only sometimes), I’m actually in the mood for something OTHER than chocolate (shocking, I know, but it DOES happen).  When the mood for Cinnabon strikes, or some other delectable delight such as apple pie or strawberry cheesecake, I know that Quest bars have got my back in case I need a high-protein, portable option instead of the real deal.

So, here’s my (totally unofficial, non-sponsored) ranking of the Quest bars that DON’T have any chocolate in them.  As I’ve said before, I am (sadly) not compensated in any way by Quest Nutrition for my *expert* opinion, so while this post is plastered with Quest bars, all content, views and opinions expressed herein are my own and I have no affiliation with Quest Nutrition (other than as a very loyal and vocal customer) – yet (here’s hoping!).

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Review: Quest Bars (Chocolate Category)

Quest BarsAs a reminder, I LOVE QUEST BARS.  I don’t think they’re the “cleanest” or most “natural” or best “whole food” choice out there, nor do I think they’re a great snack choice for non-active bodies, and I certainly don’t agree with feeding them to young children (I’ve seen posts on the Quest Nutrition Facebook page of parents giving their TODDLERS Quest bars “for teething” – give your heads a shake, people!).  But for ME – I just can’t get enough of them.  I shudder to think how many hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars I’ve spent on Quest bars in the just under two years that have elapsed since I was introduced to them (had I known at the time what a staple they would become in my diet, I would have kissed the person who introduced me to them).

All that being said, I don’t love all Quest bars equally.  So I decided to stack ’em up for you.  And remember, I am (sadly) not compensated in any way by Quest Nutrition for my *expert* opinion, so while this post is plastered with Quest bars, all content, views and opinions expressed herein are my own and I have no affiliation with Quest Nutrition (other than as a very loyal and vocal customer) – yet (here’s hoping!).

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(High-Protein) Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut “Almond Joy” Overnight Oatmeal

Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut Almond Joy Overnight Oatmeal BowlPieces of rich, decadent dark chocolate.  Slivers of slightly-sweet, crunchy, nutty almonds.  Flakes of coconut adding taste and texture to every bite.  Am I describing the famous Almond Joy chocolate bar or breakfast?  Guess what?  With my new “Almond Joy” Overnight Oatmeal, the answer is both!  Except that the oatmeal version packs the goodness of whole grain oats, extra protein to fuel your day and no added sugar.  But you can still pretend you’re having a candy bar for breakfast and no one will be the wiser.

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How-To: Make (Raw) Cashew Butter at Home

Homemade Cashew ButterIt’s time to fire up your food processor!  I’ll take you through the process of making your very own raw cashew butter at home.  I learned so much from The Healthy Foodie in her post All Natural Homemade Raw Cashew Nut Butter, and I can’t wait to share it with you! Keep reading

Coconut Oatmeal Cookie Protein Smoothie (Vegan option)

Coconut Oatmeal Cookie Protein SmoothieA creamy, cool protein smoothie that tastes just like an oatmeal cookie with coconut. The extra fiber and healthy fats offer more staying power than your average protein shake!  Whip it up in the blender in mere minutes and enjoy at home or on the go.  Depending on your protein powder, you can even make this recipe vegan, too.

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Weeknight Winner Wednesday: (Paleo) Honey-Lime Spicy Shrimp Stir-fry (Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free)

Honey-Lime Spicy Shrimp Stir-fry PanOther than sticking with Wednesdays, I guess I haven’t been very faithful with Weeknight Winner Wednesdays!   But hey, as in all things fitness and nutrition-related, you do the best you can with what you have, when you can.  So here is the long-awaited (?) fourth installment and this time we’ve got seafood back on the blog (or perhaps you’ll consider this the first appearance, if you’re grouping seafood such as shrimp separately from fish).  It’s heating up outside, but there’s no reason you can’t add some heat in the kitchen with the spices in this Honey-Lime Spicy Shrimp Stir-fry!  Make it as hot (or not) as you like!

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(High-Protein) Carrot Cake Overnight Oatmeal

Carrot Cake Overnight Oatmeal Mason JarCarrot cake is sneaky.  Delicious, but sneaky. It promises to be “healthy” with its grated carrot (a great source of beta-carotene!) but many traditional carrot cake recipes can feature up to TWO CUPS of refined white sugar!  Not to mention, added oils, white flour and all those other ingredients that seem to make baked goods taste so darn good and yet aren’t necessarily so darn good for you.  Well, the buck (or won, or yen or dollar or kroner or whatever) stops here!  It’s time to faithfully represent the true health benefits of carrot cake with this recipe that is FREE of refined sugar, FREE of gluten, FREE of flour and FREE of added fats/oils (but no, not free of calories – what world are you living in?) – all those FREEBIES add up to a BIG, FAT SPENDING on FLAVOUR!  Woo-hoo!

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(High-Protein) Healthy Banana Cream Pie (Gluten-free, Low-fat, No added sugar)

Banana Cream Pie PlatedThere is nothing quite like the creamy, cool, sweet, custard-y taste and texture of a banana cream pie to transport you to summertime picnics of yesteryear and call to mind long summer nights spent over simple suppers (likely a grill was involved) with friends.  And there most certainly is a time for those self-same recipes, packed as they are with egg yolks and refined sugar (see how I bemoan the Banana Cream Pie in my Banana-Coconut Cream Pie Bowl recipe).  But NOW is the time for a HIGH-PROTEIN Banana Cream Pie (but of course!).  And it’s also gluten-free, low-fat and has no added sugar.  Let’s get baking!

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