Banana-Pineapple-Spinach Protein Smoothie (Vegan option)

Banana-Pineapple Spinach SmoothieThis “green” smoothie might be a verdant colour and it might feature some decidedly good-for-you green ingredients, but the taste is nothing but sweet yellow summer sunshine!  Ripe bananas and tropical pineapple will wow your tastebuds and your body will thank you for all of the extra goodness of GREEN tea and GREEN spinach.  Packed with protein, potassium and quick-acting carbohydrates, this is the perfect pre- or post-workout pick-me-up.  It also makes a great “any time” summery snack or meal.

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(High-Protein) Dark Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oatmeal

Dark Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oatmeal SpoonfulCherry blossom season in South Korea is BEAUTIFUL.  Streets and countrysides are lined with trees whose branches are clouds of pink and white blossoms.  As the season progresses, these blossoms drop away and float down like a soft, warm wonderful kind of snow and blanket the shoulders of the roadways.  But what’s even more beautiful, in my mind, is the bounty of fresh, ripe cherries that follows.  Rich, deep-red cherries with shiny, glossy skins are currently lining the shelves of grocery stores, fruit stands and markets everywhere.  Their fresh, tart sweetness is begging to be eaten and I am eating them in abundance!  I eat them by the handful, the bowful, the bagful, and the whole darn boxful!  And guess what happens to pair perfectly with juicy cherries?  Rich, complex, oh-so-slightly bitter deep-dark chocolate!  I was literally mid-drizzle with my chocolate syrup* poised over a bowl of fresh chopped cherries when my latest idea for Overnight Oatmeal sprang to mind.  Dark Chocolate Cherry is decadently delicious and still as healthful, high-protein and wholesome as ever!

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(High-Protein) Salted Caramel Apple Overnight Oatmeal

Salted Caramel Apple Overnight Oatmeal BowlSince apples are really a fruit of the fall, I guess I could be accused of pushing the season (but not in a lameefficient let’s-buy-new-school-supplies-in-July kind of way).  But summer makes me think of carnivals and festivals (a little shout-out for the Calgary Stampede July 3-12, 2015, a.k.a RIGHT NOW – Mr. Golden Graham’s hometown, yee-haw, ya-hoo!), and carnivals make me think of candy apples!  And deep-fried Oreos.  But I don’t have an overnight oatmeal for that. Yet. So back to the candy apples. Sticky, sweet and, well, apple-y, this overnight oatmeal has captured it all but without the sugar. And regret. No-regret oatmeal! Catchy, isn’t it?

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Skinny Chocolate Zucchini Protein Muffins (Gluten-free, Grain-free, Low-fat, Refined sugar-free)

Chocolate Zucchini Protein MuffinThese are NOT your everyday muffins.  These “skinny” muffins are seriously sensational.  At only 65 calories per muffin (and no, they’re not mini-muffins!) and super low in fat (dare I say “fat-free”?) but packed with protein, there is some serious macro magic happening in this healthy muffin recipe.  Plus, they’re downright delicious, with rich, moist chocolate flavour and the added bonus of high-fiber, nutrient-rich zucchini.  Oh, and they’re free of gluten, grains and refined sugar, too!  Perhaps I should call them “Freedom Muffins”?

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Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie

Peanut Butter Banana Protein SmoothieIt’s time to break out your blender (again)!  I’ve got a delicious new addition to my Smoothie Lineup, and this time it’s the classic combination of peanut butter and banana.  Starting with a pairing like that, how can you go wrong?  Frozen bananas provide natural sweetness and thick creamy texture, and peanut butter protein powder packs a punch of protein with less fat than regular peanut butter.  I’ve also used almond milk as the liquid in this recipe for added creaminess but fewer calories and carbohydrates than dairy milk (you can of course substitute to suit your personal preference!).  It’s quick and easy and tastes great – what’s not to like?

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(High-Protein) Banana Cream Pie Overnight Oatmeal

Banana Cream Pie Overnight OatmealIn case you missed it, summer is (officially) here (in the Northern hemisphere, anyway – Aussie readers, you can make this anyway, or Pin It and check back in six months).  Summer cookouts abound and no one wants to turn on the oven, or even the stove if it can be avoided.  Good news – this recipe requires neither!  And while many summer desserts trick us with their emphasis on fruits, they can still be deceptively high in fat and calories.  Not so with this decadent dish!  I’ve taken the classic banana cream pie and turned it into a healthy, high-protein breakfast with the goodness of whole grain oats.  Make mornings happier, especially if you have a few extra mouths around the breakfast table to feed (school summer vacation, anyone?  You can always omit the protein powder and reduce the liquid slightly for the junior set).  Enjoy the taste of a classic cool & creamy sweet summer-time dessert with none of the guilt (or excess fat or calories) in this healthy, high-protein make-ahead breakfast!

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(High-Protein) Mango Coconut Overnight Oatmeal

Mango Coconut Overnight Oatmeal Spoonful“Carry on my wayward son” (Kansas) – I’m not sure what it is about blogging that makes me want to sing, but random ditties always seem to pop into my head as I’m posting. In this case, I was thinking about carrying on with all of my great Overnight Oatmeal ideas.  I can’t believe no one called me to task for failing to post a new flavour combination last week!  But never fear, The Golden Graham Girl is here!  (Or back.  Or whatever.)  And I’ve got a great new summer-themed idea, just in time for the first official day of summer (happy Summer Solstice and International Yoga Day, everyone!  And FATHER’S DAY – yes, you can make this for Dad!  And since you can make it the night before – if you hurry – you won’t have to get up early to present dear ol’ Dad with breakfast in bed!  Win-win!).

As I’ve mentioned before, South Korea may not always have what I’m looking for in the local grocery store, but they do have a fantastic selection of seasonal produce.  And guess what’s in season right now?  MANGOES!  Sweet, juicy and downright delectable, I was more than happy to make a mess making this oatmeal.  And of course you know that I’m all about all things coconut.  Mango and coconut is a great summer duo and for great reason – they taste great together!  Not to mention they’re healthyhealthful and good for you in oh-so-many ways.  As always, I’ve added my signature high-protein twist to this dish (you can always omit the protein powder if you don’t need this boost!) and it’s just as easy to make this recipe as ever.

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Strawberry-Coconut Chia Protein Smoothie

Strawberry-Coconut-Chia Smoothie“Hot town, summer in the city, back of my neck getting dirty and gritty…” (“Summer in the City” from The Lovin’ Spoonful, in case you weren’t keeping up with me there).  Or, “Sunny days. Oh, sunny, sunny, sunny days…” (“Sunny Days” from Lighthouse – I didn’t even know this was a Canadian group until just now!).  That just about sums up life in Ulsan, South Korea these days.  So, with the mercury rising, I’m looking for great ways to stay cool and hydrated.  Ice cream comes to mind, as do slurpees, slushies and sno-cones.  But what about something with a little more oomph and a little less refined sugar (not to mention artificial colours and flavours)?  With more than 35g of protein and none of the junk, this Strawberry-Coconut Chia Protein Smoothie will power you up AND cool you down.  It looks, smells, tastes and even FEELS like a strawberry milkshake – your tastebuds will be none the wiser.  Bonus?  The sound of your blender will drown out my summer ditties!

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Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Spread (Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Refined sugar-free)

Maple Cinnamon Cream CheeseMaple Cinnamon Cream Cheese.  It’s embarrassing to admit that I’m Canadian and yet I’d never even thought of this before.  But it wasn’t until I decided to make my (High-Protein) Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oatmeal that I thought about combining maple syrup, cream cheese and cinnamon into one smooth, creamy spread.  Sure, I love plain cream cheese on my bagels.  And I slather my pancakes and waffles with pure maple syrup, straight from my home province of Nova Scotia (until my current stash runs out).  But why limit yourself when you can spread either or both with this awesome Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese?  It’s also great as a dip for fresh fruit (apples and bananas are my top contenders – let me know what else YOU try in the comments) or on crackers or breadsticks.  Or heck, just eat it straight out of the bowl (I’m in no position to judge, trust me).

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(High-Protein) Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oatmeal

Cinnamon Roll Overnight OatmealCinnamon gets to me.  Every. Single. Time.  It can be the height of summer, and I will still turn on my oven for a recipe featuring cinnamon (Salted Caramel Apple Bake has been on repeat for dessert here this week – it’s the lazy man’s – or woman’s – way to a crisp/crumble and really is so great with vanilla dairy ice cream OR coconut ice cream for the Paleo purists).  But keep in mind that I AM Canadian, so baking in the summer heat of South Korea also means that I have my air conditioning unit on full blast (not energy efficient, I know).  So, here’s my compromise: no oven required for this Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oatmeal!  I still can’t resist microwaving it before I eat it, though, to send the scent of cinnamon throughout my office and make everyone jealous of my awesome breakfast (but don’t worry, I generously share this easy, healthy recipe, and I hope you do, too!).  High protein, gluten-free and just as easy (easier, even) as pie.

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