chocolate protein pudding

Hi loves. Where have I been?? I don’t even know.

I do apologize for the lack of posting and MIA status, but there has just been so much going on. Matt and I went back to Indiana last weekend for a wedding shower that my mom had for us to celebrate with some of the friends and family in Indiana that couldn’t make it out to Arizona for the wedding. Visits home are always bittersweet because it seems like there is just never enough time.  Isn’t that how it always is?  I will do a little re-cap of my visit home later, but I will say it was so lovely to see friends and family that I have not seen in a long time.

Today I bring you a little tasty treat though. Its also been a hot minute since I’ve posted a recipe it seems, and I have a fun, easy and delicious one to share with you today.

If you know me at all you know I love my protein powders. If you really know me, you also know my obsession with Growing Naturals Pea Protein. Their vanilla blast seriously holds a special place in my protein heart.

So imagine my delight and excitement when I found out they were coming out with a chocolate flavor of the pea protein. Life Changing. It may actually be kind of pathetic how excited I was.

My favorite thing to actually do with their pea proteins is to make a simple protein frosting, but when I got the chocolate I wanted to have a little fun with it.

Since I’ve been on a bit of a dairy break and not able to enjoy my delicious frozen yogurt as often, I have been experimenting which new desserts, because I seriously have to have something sweet at the end of the night. I had made a tofu pudding in the past and since I love the creaminess the pea protein adds to most mixes, I thought it would be a perfect combination.

It was.

♥ ♥ ♥

9

♥ ♥ ♥

 Adding in Enjoy Life mini chips didn’t hurt either.

I took my base recipe for the tofu pudding and then added in about 2 tablespoons of the Growing Naturals Chocolate Pea Protein.

 ♥ ♥ ♥

11

♥ ♥ ♥

I put the tofu pudding in the freezer after mixed for about 10-15 minutes hoping it would make it more of an ice cream texture, it ended up more like frozen yogurt which was perfect to me!

Which did I mention it tasted amazing? Because it did.

The combination of the silken tofu and pea protein was just a beautiful creamy dessert.

♥ ♥ ♥

8

♥ ♥ ♥

Chocolate Protein Tofu Pudding

Ingredients:

– 1/2 block silken tofu

– 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa

– 2 tablespoons chocolate pea protein (I used Growing Naturals)

* optional 1 teaspoon NuNaturals Cocoa Syrup

Directions:
-Place all ingredients in a small blender and blend until smooth.

You may need to add a liquid if too thick, but you want the consistency to be smooth and creamy.

♥ ♥ ♥

10

♥ ♥ ♥

This pudding was delicious, but I am very excited to use this new protein in other dishes.

As with the vanilla blast, I am obsessed.

♥ ♥ ♥

What’s your favorite type of protein to use?

This treat was pretty marvelous, how have you  been making your days marvelous?

 

things i’m loving lately

Hello loves!

I hope everyone has a wonderful fourth of July weekend and got some time off to relax and enjoy time with friends and family! We only had a half day on Friday and are closed for Saturday for the 4th, so I am taking advantage of my extra time off. Wish I could say I am doing a lot of productive chores, but that never seems to be the case with me.

So I thought since I had some extra time I would do a What I Am Loving Lately post.

♥ ♥ ♥

1. Holiday Fun

With it being the holiday’s and grilling season (however not really for us in our 115 degree weather) I love seeing all summer time recipes floating around.

It’s no secret I enjoy a nice adult beverage from time to time and this Red, White & Blue Sangria looks delicious!

Red-White-Blue-Sangria-

♥ ♥ ♥

I am also loving everything and all things watermelon! It is one of my favorite fruits of the summer.

I thought this Watermelon Feta & Balsamic “Pizza” was such a unique way of using the fruit.

Watermelon Feta and Balsamic "Pizzas" – a fun summer appetizer or the perfect side dish for anything you put on the grill.

♥ ♥ ♥

More unique ways to use watermelon this summer:

Ginger Watermelon Italian Ice – Oh My Veggies

Coconut Lime Mahi Mahi Tacos with Tequila Soaked Watermelon Salsa – Half Baked Harvest

Grilled Watermelon and Feta Salad Stacks – Cooking For Keeps

♥ ♥ ♥

 2. US Women’s Soccer

us-soccer-1-1024

I blame Matt for this one. He is the soccer lover and I managed to make it though the men’s world cup with some interest, but for some reason I am really loving watching the women’s world cup.

Maybe because I’m a woman and I can relate more to their stories? I’m not sure, but I am totally digging it and so excited we made it to the finals.  GO USA!

♥ ♥ ♥

 3. Ellen DeGeneres Spoofs Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln Commercial

I may be late to the game on this one, but my co-worker just showed me this today and I was rolling. I love Ellen DeGeneres and think she is hilarious, so I may be biased, but it’s definitely worth a watch if you want a good laugh.

♥ ♥ ♥

4. Fun Product Finds.

5

– Oolong Shot – grabbed this randomly while walking around in Whole Foods.

Simply Protein – Protein Chips – these seriously taste like Chili Cheese Fritos!

Epic Bites – I love the bison Epic bar and was just as impressed with the Bison Meat with Uncured Bacon, Chia and Raisins bites.

Mamma Chia – Chia Vitality Granola – Vanilla Almond Clusters – this was a random Target find. Target never disappoints.

♥ ♥ ♥

5. From Around The Web:

41 Insanely Awesome Organization Hacks

Is Your Poop Emotionally Disturbed? – sorry, but I like talking about poop

12 Foods That Sabotage Sleep

6 Mistakes You’ve Been Making With Your Flat Iron – #3 really surprised me!

♥ ♥ ♥

Well loves I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Stay safe!

♥ ♥ ♥

Do you have any big Fourth of July plans?

What are some of your favorite summer foods?

delicious tigernut donuts [grain free & egg free]

Happy Monday my loves.

I must admit Monday’s are not my favorite day, but sometimes the little things can make this day a little bit more manageable [and marvelous].

Like donuts. Yes I think donuts make Monday’s a bit better.

Especially when they require few ingredients, are grain free, egg free and incredibly easy to make.

♥ ♥ ♥

7

♥ ♥ ♥

I am very excited to finally share this recipe with you. I posted a few teaser pictures on Instagram and many of you were very curious to know the recipe, maybe because there is a very unique ingredient.

Remember the tigernuts I reviewed in my last post? Well there is also tigernut flour, and I was so excited to experiment with it as just as the tigernuts are a great nut free snack, the flour is great for nut free gluten free baking.

So when I went to start thinking about what I wanted to experiment with first, I remembered a post I had recently seen by the lovely ladies over at Purely Twins.  They are to blame thank for my obsession with plantains and I had seen a recipe they posted using my beloved plantains and tigernut flour. How lucky.

♥ ♥ ♥

8

♥ ♥ ♥

I did tweak the recipe a little bit, but not much considering there are so very few ingredients, but I tend to like my baked goods a little sweeter so I added in some sweetener and of course had to use my absolute favorite pea protein for the protein frosting.

Seriously guys. Growing Naturals vanilla blast pea protein makes the best protein frosting.


 Plantain Tigernut Donuts

Serves 1-2

Ingredients for Donuts:

– 6-7oz peeled plantain

– 5 tablespoons tigernut flour

– 2 tablespoons coconut oil – semi solid

– 1 teaspoon baking powder

– 2 tablespoons maple syrup (may sub honey)

♥ ♥ ♥

1

♥ ♥ ♥

Ingredients for Protein Frosting:

– 3 tablespoons protein powder (I used Growing Naturals vanilla blast pea protein)

– 4-5 tablespoons water

– a few drops of stevia if desired

♥ ♥ ♥

 2

♥ ♥ ♥

Directions for Donuts:

– Peel plantain and measure 6-7oz – chop plantain into approximately 1″ chunks and place in blender with coconut oil – puree until a smooth batter.

– Add in tigernut flour and baking power and continue to blend until smooth. You may need to add water to make smooth – add 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrap down sides as needed.

– Lightly grease your donut pan and place batter into molds. I have a mini donut pan and got 3 donuts out of the batter.

– Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes.

♥ ♥ ♥

3

♥ ♥ ♥

While the donuts are cooling, make your protein frosting.

Directions for Protein Frosting:

– Mix together protein powder, water and stevia if using. May need to add more water until desired consistency is reached.

Once the donuts are cooled top with your protein frosting.

♥ ♥ ♥

4

♥ ♥ ♥

You may also sprinkle with any additional toppings that strikes your fancy. Granola, chocolate chips, coconut shreds are all great options.

♥ ♥ ♥

6

♥ ♥ ♥

These can be enjoyed warm straight from the oven, warmed up in the microwave or toaster oven or even cold from the refrigerator.  They last about 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container.

I was so pleased with how these donuts turned out. I love baking with plantains and love the flavor they give to baked goods, but as mentioned above if you do want a more sweeter donut it is so easy to add and adjust the flavor.

Speaking of adjusting the flavor, I do believe a chocolate version is in my near future. Because when I decided to top my last donut with a drizzle of a cocoa drizzle, I knew a chocolate donut would be just divine.

♥ ♥ ♥

9

♥ ♥ ♥

Maybe with a peanut butter frosting?

I’m already drooling over the idea.

♥ ♥ ♥

Notes*:

– Can’t find tigernut flour? Check out Organic Gemini and TigerNuts USA to purchase online.

– If you want to add a protein boost to this recipe feel free to substitute 1:1 ratio of flour with a protein powder of your choice.

tigernuts; an ancient superfood

The more weird a food looks or sounds, the more I want to try it.

I swear I am one of those people who walk around the grocery store produce aisles or the local farmers market and if I see a fruit of vegetable that I have never heard of, I want to try it. I am truly one of those I will try anything once people.

I think this is a great thing, I have discovered so many amazing foods this way.

So of course when I saw these little things called Tigernuts, I had to find out more.

♥ ♥ ♥

5

♥ ♥ ♥

So what are tigernuts?

Tigernuts are not even nuts, they’re considered a vegetable! They are great for people who have nut allergies and are looking for a nut free and gluten free option. They are an ancient superfood that originated in Northern Africa and have a great nutritional value.  According to the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development “tigernuts have long been recognized for their health benefits as they have a high content of soluble glucose and oleic acid, along with high energy content (starch, fats, sugars and proteins), they are rich in minerals such as phosphorous and potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron necessary for bones, tissue repair, muscles, the blood stream and for body growth and development and rich in vitamins E and C”.   There are so many more health benefits to these small little vegetables, check out this great post by The Organic Dietician to learn more!

So what do they taste like? I thought they tasted like a raw almond with a little bit of sweetness and the creaminess of a cashew with a bit of a chew to them.

♥ ♥ ♥

7

♥ ♥ ♥

I have been snacking on the tigernuts plain and straight from the bag, but baking with the flour was incredibly fun and interesting. I didn’t even know where to begin!

 But don’t worry I have an amazing recipe that I will be sharing with you soon.

It may or may not be something that starts with a D and ends in an onut.

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you ever heard of tigernuts?

a sale for you

We all love a good sale.

I know I do. There are so many products that I would have on hand 24/7, but price does sometimes matter. That’s why I love to stock up when there are good deals going on and this is one I’m happy to tell you about!

We all need healthy snacks to have on hand and bars are quick and convenient.

But there are tons of bars on the market, so it’s important to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.

That’s why I love Extend Nutrition products.

These bars are great because they serve multiple populations of needs and goals.

They can help with sports fitness goals, weight loss goals and are great for people with diabetes.  Their products can help control blood sugar up to 9 hours.

They also happened to come out with two new delicious flavors.

Cookies & Cream and Chocolate & Caramel.

♥ ♥ ♥

2

♥ ♥ ♥

These are their anytime bars which are great for…well anytime!

I’m pretty obsessed with anything cookies & cream so I knew that was the first flavor I had to try.

♥ ♥ ♥

3

♥ ♥ ♥

Anything with chocolate chunks in it wins me over. They were pretty tasty.

Next the chocolate & caramel.

♥ ♥ ♥

4

♥ ♥ ♥

If you like ooey gooey caramel, you will love this.

And the good news? These bars and other Extend Nutrition products are  on sale at your local Walgreens.

Sales include:

Bars: $1.50 off per 4 bar box

Crisps: $.40 off per bag

Drizzles:$.40 off per bag

But hurry because these deals are only good for the month of June!

You can find most of their products near the pharmacy in the diabetes section.

And I highly recommend if your stores have the drizzles… grab all the bags.

Because they are beyond delicious…and addictive.

♥ ♥ ♥

1

♥ ♥ ♥

Do you stock up when your favorite products are on sale?

♥ ♥ ♥

Disclaimer: I did receive free samples from Extend Nutrition, but was not paid for this review. All opinions are my own.

what i’m loving lately

Hey loves.

I know I have mentioned it briefly on here about Matt’s mom’s recent health issues, but it’s been awhile since I’ve given an update. Long story short, Matt’s mom has a history of an auto-immune disorder, it’s something she has been on medication for, for a really long time. Honestly, I think since I’ve been with Matt, so at least 9 years.  As most of you I’m sure know, a prolonged use of steroids and medications are horrible for your gastrointestinal tract. She had a surgery where she had part of her GI tract removed, but recovered quite well from that. Right around our wedding though things started getting bad again. She was having bad reactions to certain foods and soon was not able to keep any food down without vomiting. I’m talking she probably went a good month of this, not being able to eat and vomiting everything she attempted to eat. That is a long time to be with out nutrition. What was even more frustrating was her local hospital was doing nothing to figure out what was going on. Basically if one medication wasn’t working they would just try and put her on another one. Which caused another set of problems where she basically was displaying symptoms of Alzheimer’s. It was heart breaking to watch, especially since we had no idea what was wrong or any way to fix it. We finally convinced her to transfer to a hospital in Tuscon, AZ where she was able to get more specialized care.  Fast forward, she is doing much better. As imagined though she lost almost all of her muscle and strength during her bout of malnutrition, but I am happy to report she is on the mend.

♥ ♥ ♥

The reason I bring this is up is Matt has actually been up with his mom taking care of her for the past week.  His dad had a retreat to attend that he had planned long before Matt’s mom had gotten ill.  And being the amazing son Matt is, he took a week to go up there to be with her and help her.  Lucky for him he can work remotely as he does web design, I however am not that lucky and could not join him.  Needless to say I have been very lonely (and bored) without him.

So what better time to do a what I’m loving lately post.

I’m not loving Matt being gone, but I am loving that since I can’t actually see him and be with him, I am sending him multiple pictures through out my day to keep him up to date.

Cause I know he cares when I’m drinking my coffee, driving to work (tired and super happy about it), giving a dog a bath and getting waffle mix for my co-workers.

♥ ♥ ♥

6

♥ ♥ ♥

He cares now. (or he better pretend he does)

I’m also loving all the cuteness that has been coming into my work lately.

Working at an animal hospital, I’m typically surrounded by some sort of cuteness in my day. But it seems to be kitten and puppy overload lately!

♥ ♥ ♥

4

♥ ♥ ♥

5

♥ ♥ ♥

2

♥ ♥ ♥

7

♥ ♥ ♥

Non adorable animal things I’m loving?

Sweet Spreads coconut butter in… basically everything.

So much another jar bit the dust.

♥ ♥ ♥

4

♥ ♥ ♥

I’m currently on a bulletproof coffee kick and usually add regular coconut oil, but decided to switch it up a bit and added my Sweet Spreads coconut butter instead.

Verdict?

♥ ♥ ♥

5

♥ ♥ ♥

 Delicious.
I just love the frothy-ness of bulletproof coffees.

And I’m totally making frothy-ness a word.

I am also loving the new EPICbar flavors.

♥ ♥ ♥

1

♥ ♥ ♥

I thought nothing could get better than the Bison with Bacon and Cranberry, but this new Pork with Pineapple is giving it a run for it’s money.

I am dying to try their new Hunt and Harvests mixes and also their new bites, both look amazing!

Also, why am I now just trying Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP popcorn?

♥ ♥ ♥

3

♥ ♥ ♥

Crazy addictive. Crazy good.

I’ve also been loving everything and anything from Simply Protein.

I’ve worked with Simply Protein for some time now and have never been disappointed when they release a new product.  They recently released new protein chips which I am obsessed with.

♥ ♥ ♥

2

♥ ♥ ♥

Their bars are also a great emergency bar and I almost always have one in my work bag.

And last, but not least, I am loving that even though I am lonely without Matt, I am no where near alone. My four legged furry children has been keeping me company.

In the cutest way possible.

♥ ♥ ♥

IMG_5331

♥ ♥ ♥

What do you do when you’re bored or lonely?

Any new favorite foodie finds?

banana ice cream adventures

We all know I have a sweet tooth. If you follow me on Instagram you are no stranger to my frequent frozen yogurt night caps. I can’t help it. I love the stuff.

Fully loaded.

♥ ♥ ♥

5

♥ ♥ ♥

But recently I have been having some stomach issues that I have been trying to figure out. I’ve done multiple elimination tests not being able to find the cause of my bloat and discomfort. Clearly dairy was last on my list of things I wanted to attempt to cut out of my diet.

I mean really. How could I say goodbye to this delicious-ness.

♥ ♥ ♥

3

♥ ♥ ♥

But after multiple failed attempts I decided it was time to take the plunge.

I was going to have to cut out dairy for some time to see if it was the root of my problems.

So I said goodbye to my beloved fro-yo, not for forever, just for a little while.

♥ ♥ ♥

13

♥ ♥ ♥

So of course I had to find a non-dairy substitution for my fro-yo addiction. I know they offer some dairy free options, but non that really struck my fancy. So it was time to get creative.

So what did I do?
Made banana ice cream of course.

Now I know this is not a new idea. Not in the slightest, but the thing I love about making banana ice cream is you can customize it so many ways. Just like fro-yo!

My first round I kept it simple.

♥ ♥ ♥

3

♥ ♥ ♥

I added just a touch of vanilla to give it a little something extra and topped it with Enjoy Life mini chips, because yay, they are dairy free!

My second round I got a little more creative.

♥ ♥ ♥

1

♥ ♥ ♥

I made a chocolate version adding some unsweetened cocoa and a little stevia.

I had just gotten my Graze box for the month and just in time.

♥ ♥ ♥

2

♥ ♥ ♥

In my box was a chai latte mix that included coconut strips, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and granola.

Perfect topping.

I think it goes without saying that I still miss my frozen yogurt, but until I figure out this whole gut thing, banana ice cream is where it’s at.

♥ ♥ ♥

Base Banana Ice Cream

Ingredients:

– 1 ripe frozen banana cut into 1/2″ chunks (I let mine thaw a little bit first)

Directions:

– Place banana chunks in food processor and process in 30-40 second intervals, scraping down sides as needed.

– After banana’s become a smooth mixture you can eat immediately or place back in the freezer.

If you process the banana’s too much the ice cream will begin to melt, which is what happened to me. I just stuck it back in the freezer for about 10 minute and it was more solid.

And as I am doing, feel free to experiment with flavors. You can add some frozen strawberries to make strawberry ice cream, a scoop of peanut butter, a few drops of mint and chocolate chips, or since cherries are in season a cherry flavor would be amazing as well. The possibilities are endless!

The great thing about this ice cream is it is so much more healthy than all the frozen yogurt I was eating.

But I’m not going to lie, if I find out it’s not dairy that causing my upset stomach be prepared to see more of this in my future!

♥ ♥ ♥

IMG_9823

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you made banana ice cream?

Need flavor ideas? I found this blog post that has great ones!

i cooked…once

That basically sums up my eating lately. Needless to say I have not been cooking much, not anything of interest anyways.

This is about as fancy as my meals have been lately.

♥ ♥ ♥

14

♥ ♥ ♥

That would be zoodles in a Japanese miso broth that I got in my latest Graze box.

I know. Fancy.

I must really be dropping the ball in the cooking department because Matt even stepped up his game and made us dinner one night. I guess he wasn’t impressed with my coffee cup dinners.

I’m glad he did though because he made the most amazing chicken tacos.

♥ ♥ ♥

6

♥ ♥ ♥

He even wanted to plate them all pretty for the picture. I soon ruined their beauty made them more amazing by adding about half more of an avocado to mine. I don’t know what’s been going on with me lately, but I have been obsessed with avocado lately. I can’t get enough.

But that’s about it in the home cooking department. There has been a lot of eating out, but I like to say with good reason.

We got invited out for a double date and at our company’s request, sushi was on the menu.

It has actually been awhile since Matt and I have had sushi, so we didn’t hesitate to accept the offer.

We started with the most amazing tuna sashimi.

♥ ♥ ♥

7

♥ ♥ ♥

This was before the whole tuna scare, I’m not sure it would have stopped me anyways.

We then both ordered a sushi roll. Matt ordered the eel tempura roll and I got the salmon roll.

♥ ♥ ♥

8

♥ ♥ ♥

We usually end up sharing each others rolls which works out because both were very delicious.

There has been another reason for the lack of creative meals as in Matt has been traveling a lot and hasn’t been home. His mom has been sick and in the hospital basically since our wedding. It’s been a frustrating month of the doctors not being able to tell us what exactly is wrong and it has been a headache with poor hospital care and a total lack of communication between hospitals and staffing. It’s a long story and I could vent for hours, but I’ll save you that drama.
So with Matt on the road I have had a lot of nights and dinners alone.

♥ ♥ ♥

15

♥ ♥ ♥

Some nights were simply Whole Foods sushi, eaten on the floor.

At least I have my kitties and pup to keep me company. Other than the begging, they are pretty good dinner company. Not so great in the dinner conversation department.

When Matt returned however we thought we would have a night out to spend together.

We decided to go to True Food Kitchen which is one of our favorite restaurants. Their food is always so fresh and delicious.

We of course got cocktails to start.

♥ ♥ ♥

10

♥ ♥ ♥

For an appetizer we decided to stick with a favorite of the herb hummus.

The pita had a perfect crisp to it and as per usual I stole all the feta.

♥ ♥ ♥

11

♥ ♥ ♥

For our dinner entrees Matt decided to go with the fish tacos.

♥ ♥ ♥

12

♥ ♥ ♥

I ordered the papaya salad and added salmon.

♥ ♥ ♥

13

♥ ♥ ♥

And of course one of my favorite parts of this salad was the half avocado it was served with.

This salad really is becoming one of my favorites.

After dinner we got some gelato from an amazing gelato shop that is conveniently located next door to True Foods and headed home to veg out on the couch.

♥ ♥ ♥

IMG_0534

♥ ♥ ♥

A perfect date night if you ask me.

Sadly I think my future holds more dinners on the floor or eaten out of coffee cups, but that’s just life right now. And I just have to rolls with the punches.

♥ ♥ ♥

Sometimes I think lazy dinners can be quite marvelous. What are some of your favorites?