Sweet & chewy oat bars

I LOVE these oat bars. They’re ideal for a grab-and-go breakfast, a quick snack, or a healthier dessert.

The sweetness from the bananas and honey perfectly balance out the bitterness from the dark chocolate (or the tartness from the Craisins if you would like to go that route) and wonderfully complement the taste of peanut butter.

This recipe is already egg and dairy free, so if you wanted to make it completely vegan you can just substitute the honey with some maple syrup.

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Low-sugar BREAD MACHINE banana bread

Well… LOWER sugar, at least. This recipe makes about 16 servings, and each one is around 9.5 grams of sugar… which is pretty damn low for a fruit-based bread. This is still as yummy and sweet as ever, and super simple to make because the bread machine does everything for you – from mixing to baking!

This bread makes a killer french toast for breakfast, or warmed up with butter and jam. It’s also perfect if you want it for dessert with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and some berries.

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Banana strawberry ice cream

There’s no doubt that the ultimate summer dessert is ice cream – and though I love store-bought ice cream or something from Mr. Softee, nothing beats homemade ice cream.

Strawberries have been so perfect and delicious this summer, and I have been buying tons of them. I’m not the biggest fan of strawberry ice cream, but I definitely wanted to incorporate some of them into the ice cream without overpowering it.

I was trying to come up with ideas for the base flavor, and I narrowed it down to three – chocolate, peanut butter, and banana. All three pair very well with strawberry, but I decided on banana because it has the mildest flavor and I felt it would truly let the fresh strawberries shine.

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Pumpkin pie protein shake

It’s that time of year where pumpkin-flavored items are dominating the grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants, and coffee shops. You can’t escape it. And you don’t want to, because it’s delicious. Call me basic, I don’t care.

Most of those delicious pumpkin treats are loaded with sugar, and have little nutritional value.

Here is where I step in, introducing you to a thick & creamy shake that tastes like pumpkin pie. It’s also loaded with protein and fiber to keep you full, and doesn’t contain a ton of added sugar. Oh, and it’s also vegan. You’re welcome.

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[Dairy free] chocolate banana oat bread

Bananas are something I purchase every week. I wait until they’re very ripe, and I usually freeze them for protein shakes. But this week, I had a real craving for banana bread.

My husband’s aunt makes the most delicious banana bread I have ever tried. Whenever I make banana bread, I use her recipe. It’s the perfect consistency, it isn’t too sweet, and it has just the right amount of banana flavor. So I started to make her recipe, and realized there was one problem: I didn’t have the correct amount of ingredients at home.

I had to switch things up. Since I had to do this anyway… I figured I would turn this into a healthier version of my favorite. The result was awesome.

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The post-workout “milkshake”

As some of you already know, I have a hard time resisting sweets and I’m constantly craving dessert-like foods. However, I can’t eat foods like this as often as I’d like to.

One dessert I absolutely love is ice cream. I can’t get enough of it – especially if it’s in the form of a frozen, thick shake. As a kid I lived around the corner from a Carvel, and my brother and I would always get large vanilla thick shakes (I was not aware of being lactose-intolerant yet).  I enjoyed this tremendously.

As an adult, I can no longer get these awesome shakes whenever I please… so I have to substitute with something a bit healthier and less sugary (even though its OK to just go out and get the shake sometimes). In the past couple of months, I learned a lot about the importance of increasing my protein intake. Protein helps you build muscle, stay lean, gives you energy, and keeps you feeling full for a longer amount of time. So I decided to improvise, and make a protein-based “milkshake” for when I come home from the gym. The best part is that it’s completely dairy free – so if you are also lactose-intolerant there is no need to take a pill, and if you are vegan you can still enjoy this drink without guilt!

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