I’m back!

So I haven’t blogged in FOREVER, and that’s because I’ve been so overwhelmed with my life, basically. I’ve just started my senior year of high school, which has proved to be nothing but STRESSFUL!

But…. I decided I wanted to get back into it, and so I present to you my new & improved blog!!! I am so excited to share this with you all.

 

The url is: http://www.itsalwaysbikiniseason.blogspot.ca/ :)

I’ve already put up a recipe (for protein pancakes, go check it out! It’s a good one ;) and I will be putting up many more, plus workouts, progress, and anything you’d like to see. I’d love for you to check it out ♥

Love love love

Jade <3

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Banana bread oatmeal

Quite possibly the most delicious bowl of oats I’ve ever made.

Or, it could be that I haven’t had oatmeal for 5 days and this was my first bowl since.

Still, I can see myself eating this for breakfast, and lunch, and dinner….

Oatmeal never looks as appealing in pictures than it does in real life. Actually, it doesn’t look all that appealing in person either…. but the taste is what really matters.

And the taste is really, really good.

Really good.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened Vanilla almond milk (I used Almond Breeze almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 a banana (the riper, the better!)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Sweetener, such as 2 packets stevia (I have a huge sweet tooth. Also, if your banana is very ripe, it will very sweet already.)
  • 2 tsp chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Bring the almond milk to a boil. If you’d like, you can cook your oats in water or regular milk, or a combination, or whatever you’d wish. You can also reduce the amount of almond milk, but I like my oats to have a little more milk, kind of like cereal.
  2. While your almond milk is heating up, slice your banana and microwave in 15 second intervals, being careful not to burn them. Continue microwaving until your banana is gooey! This will bring out a little of the sweetness. If your banana is very ripe, you can skip this step if you’d like, but it will make your oatmeal sweeter!
  3. Lower the heat to medium-low and stir in your bananas. Add your oats and cook, continuing to stir. Keep cooking until the majority of the almond milk has been soaked up by the oats.
  4. Stir in the vanilla extract and sweetener, and continue to stir until your oats are done cooking.
  5. Top with 2 teaspoons of chopped walnuts and serve!
  6. Optional: because I looooove carob… I added a tablespoon of carob chips to my oatmeal this morning. Yeah. It was great.

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I took pictures without the carob, because it was an after thought. A very, very delicious after thought.

Nutritional Info: (without the carob)

223.6 calories
9.4g fat
1.1g sugar (none added)
1801.mg sodium
6.8g protein

Homemade Naughty Nutty Butters

We all love nut butters.

Unless you are allergic (and even if so), you can’t deny it.

They are just too darn good.

And correct me if I am wrong, but all-natural nut butters are much better than the chemical-filled, sugar-added kind. I was never really one for Skippy’s peanut butter, although my cousins absolutely adored the stuff. One of my cousins would eat it out of the jar with a spoon as her after school snack every day.

But as fun-packaged as Skippy was, he just wasn’t healthy. At all. Added sugars, canola oil… It didn’t take much for me to understand why all natural nut butters are so much better for you. And it opened my eyes to all the nut butters out there.

Wait, what?! It’s not just peanut butter?!

And can you believe it? These all-natural nut butters are made from just a few ingredients.

Well, you can make your own nut butters at home. And in my opinion, homemade nut butters taste even better.

The best part? They are so simple to make, and a cheaper alternative than buying the all-natural organic stuff. And you can customize your nut butter to satisfy your taste buds!

So deliciously creamy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole, unsalted nuts of choice
  • Optional: add-ins (see list below)

Directions:

  1. Place nuts into a food processor and blend, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides. This takes patience, as you’ll begin to see the nuts form a powder. Keep going! You’ll then notice your nut butter will begin to clump. Continue to blend until you get your desired consistency – the longer you blend, the creamier it will be as the natural oils of the nuts come out.
  2. Store in a jar, in your fridge!

Variations:

  • For a chunky nut butter, follow the process above. Once you’ve got a pretty creamy consistency, add in more nuts, about 1/2 a cup (or more or less, depending on what you prefer) and blend so that the nuts are chopped, but not to the point where they become creamy as well. Or, simply chop up some nuts (in your food processor or otherwise) and stir in!
  • Add in some extra ingredients to switch up your nut butters! Use sea salt for saltier nut butters or honey for something sweeter (honey almond butter. Does that not sound amazing?), or maybe cocoa powder and stevia for something a little more decadent and to set that chocolate craving straight. (Chocolate peanut butter? Yes, please!) There are so many ways to change up your typical nut butter. Get creative!
  • Combine different nuts! Try cashew almond, or peanut and hazelnut butter! Find your favourite combination!
  • For a roasted nut butter, place your nuts on a parchment or foil lined cookie sheet and roast for anywhere from 5-15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Play around to find your favourite time. The almond butter I have pictured is raw.
Note: For the pictures, I used almond butter. You can use blanched almonds (which means almonds without the skin), but I really don’t mind the texture or taste, and the skin has amazing health benefits!

Some nut butters to try at home: peanut butter (an obvious choice!), almond butter (pictured in this blog post), hazelnut butter (maybe try a healthy take on nutella? Note to self: try this one out!!), cashew butter… walnut butter?! The options are endless!

Fudge bites

Karena and Katrina’s Krazy Koconut Karob bites…. chocolate-fied.

Because everything tastes better with a little chocolate.

Or, you know, a lot of chocolate.

And I’ve kept the recipe vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, and raw! You can even make it nut-free if you wish.

So here’s how to make these delicious fudge bites!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted dates (about 8, but of course, this will vary. Also, I only cut the dates to take out the pits; otherwise, I didn’t chop them up)
  • 1/3 cup preferred nuts, such as almonds, cashews, or walnuts. I used cashews. You can leave them out if you’re allergic to nuts or if you just don’t like them.
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp dutched cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed (You can use more or less. I just added these for added nutritional value.)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Sweetener, if desired. I have a major sweet tooth, so I’d add in 2-3 stevia packets of stevia. However, you can opt to leave the sweetener out if you’re not a huge sweets person. Also, depending on the sweetness of your dates, you may want to cut back on sweetener.
  • Optional: add ins, such as carob chips (my favourite!), dark chocolate chips, dried fruit, or unsweetened coconut flakes.
  • Water, as needed

Directions:

  1. Place all your ingredients in your food processor and blend. You can chop up your dates if you’re concerned about your food processor, but I skipped this step.
  2. Add water as needed, 1 teaspoon at a time. Add just enough until the mixture sticks together. The amount will vary depending on the stickiness of your dates. You can also wet your hands slightly, then rolling your bites to add in moisture.
  3. Roll into balls to form mini bites, like I do. Or you can make bars, use cookie cutters…. Get creative!
  4. Pretty your bites up! I used cocoa powder, unsweetened coconut flakes, and crushed walnuts, but you can get creative with this as well. Crushed chocolate? Or chocolate covered fudge bites? Yes please! Remember to wet your bites in a little water before rolling them in whatever you choose so they pick it up easier.
  5. This is optional, but I like freezing my bites! I wrap them in aluminium foil and freeze. Still fudgey, but I like them a little harder and cold.

I think these would be perfect party appetizers, or for a dessert buffet, or, of course, as a little treat! This made me about 15 bites, but the recipe yield and calories per bite varies depending on the size of your bites and your optional add-ins and garnishes. Feel free to double, triple, or quadruple the recipe, or halve it if you’re prone to binging. That way, you can have your treat but not be tempted by the 10 other bites sitting in your freezer. Add different garnishes and different ingredients to switch it up and custom-make them for your taste buds!

Nutrition Facts:
(based on a 15 bite yield, with cashews and no extra garnishes or add-ins)

69 calories
2.4g fat
8.7g sugar
1.2mg sodium
12.3g carbohydrates
1.4g protein

Yes, these are quite calorie dense due to the dates (2 Medjool dates is 140 calories!) and nuts, but remember that the raw ingredients are so much easier to metabolize than all the junky, “low-calorie” foods out there. Remember: portion control! One or two as a little treat or pre or post workout snack is perfect and much better for you than junky brownie mix. (Yes, these remind me of brownies!)

I actually just thought of this recipe yesterday, but I made another batch to bring to tomorrow’s Easter dinner at my aunt’s house. I’m not going to tell anyone they’re healthy. I want everyone’s honest opinions! I really do believe they taste good, but I want a normal person’s taste bud’s point of view. I want my recipes to taste good to everyone, not just “good for healthy food,” which is what I often hear from my family. I’ll let you all know how that goes!

Question: I asked on twitter if you guys would like for me to include the nutrition facts for this recipe, and I got replies saying yes. Would you like me to include them for all my recipes? Let me know, because I’d be happy to add them in.

Next bite to try: protein bites! Maybe protein fudge bites? Or peanut butter fudge? Or cookie dough bites? Or… you get the idea. ;)

An Experiment: Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Protein Pancakes!

Hey everyone!

So I’ve kind of been craving protein pancakes constantly over the past two days. I think it has something to do with my pancakes no longer being scrambles… LOL! I made one yesterday, just the one from the Tone It Up website, but today, I wanted to try something new.

I decided to try a Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Protein Pancake! I’ve never made this before…. It’s not really a recipe in the Fat Burning System, but I kind of combined two of the recipes and added a little bit here and there.

Here’s the ingredients I used:

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Chocolate whey protein, egg whites, crunchy organic peanut butter, Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze, non-fat plain Greek yogurt, and ground flaxseed. I would have preferred Chocolate Almond milk, but I ran out!

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And look at this sticker on the banana! Isn’t that so funny?! Haha :)

To start off, I mixed:

1/4 cup egg whites
1 scoop Chocolate whey protein powder
3 tablespoons Vanilla Almond Breeze
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/2 a tablespoon crunch organic peanut butter

Then, I mashed up half a banana and added it into the mixture. I cut up the other half of the banana like so:

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And mixed it into the pancake batter, careful not to mash it because I wanted the little chunks! I used medium heat and sprayed a little olive oil spray on my pan. I actually made two pancakes using a smaller pan instead of one bigger one…. My first one wasn’t as pretty but I took a picture of my second one!

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Look how well that turned out! Haha :) I’ve started getting the hang of this… They all used to turn into scrambles! I think I’m going to do a blog post on a few tips & tricks in making the perfect protein pancake… and maybe a video?! Hehe :)

I felt like the pancake lacked a little taste…. So I added a little bit more of the crunchy peanut butter. Not a whole lot, but just a bit to give it a little more flavour. I’m going to try to tweak the recipe here and there to add more flavour, but I have to say, it was pretty good!

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And of course, I enjoyed it with a little bit maple syrup. Ahhhh! Such a satisfying and perfect breakfast. So delicious!

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If I come up with a perfected recipe, I will definitely let you all know! For now, what’s your favourite protein pancake?! Have you tried making your own recipe up? :)


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