Breakfast Brownies

Who here can get their children to eat multiple servings of vegetables every day? I’m sure they are obsessed with nutrition, right? Anybody have toddlers who understand that omega-3 fatty acids are the building blocks for brain growth? Do your kids readily gobble up all the protein they need to get “big and strong”?

I have to admit that my kids are some of the best eaters I have ever met. That said, they are still 3 and 5 years old and definitely form their own opinions about food. One week they are all about sweet potatoes, the next week they won’t touch them. One day they will eat an entire avocado with a spoon, the next day it’s “Mommy, avocados are spicy” (‘spicy’ is the term my kids now use for things they don’t like. I have no idea how that happened, but here we are).

Sound familiar?

I’ve found a few ways to sneak things into foods that they already like (spinach in smoothies is nearly invisible as far as taste goes, flax meal blends great in pancakes, etc), but I am always looking for more ways to do it!

These yummy and easy Breakfast Brownies are packed full of important vitamins, protein and fats that will keep young tummies full and start the day off right! Perfect for busy on-the-go mornings or a nutritious after-school snack. Forget the cereal and bagels, check out the health benefits of just some of the ingredients:

Almonds – vitamin E, magnesium, protein and antioxidants.

Avocado – more potassium than bananas and loaded with fiber.

Carrots – antioxidants, vitamins A, C, K and B8, potassium and protect the central nervous system.

Coconut oil – the fatty acids kill harmful pathogens and prevent infection, keeps you full longer, and supply energy to brain cells.

Eggs – lots of protein, zinc, iron and rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Zucchini – anti-inflammatory and contains manganese and vitamin C to keep the heart strong.

img_5122

Feel free to substitute the protein for another brand, just make sure it’s a whey blend or pea or plant base; isolates won’t work. Been there done thaaaaaaat.

img_0573img_0574

img_4929

 

German Chocolate Protein Brownies

FACT:
Did you know that German Chocolate Cake has nothing to do with Germany? that was actually created by an American? Yeahhhhh ‘Murica. We come up with the best stuff, I swear.
In the 1850’s a man named Samuel German created a dark chocolate especially for baking, and the manufacturing company named it after him: “German’s Baking Chocolate”.
Well, somewhere along the years that “s” came off the title, and the traditional chocolate cake with coconut-pecan frosting that we know and love became known as German Chocolate Cake.

While my brownies are a stretch on the original concept, the idea is similar, which is why I kept the title. Just in case there are any foodies out there currently scoffing at my dessert for lack of authenticity… consider that opening paragraph my disclaimer.

Anyway. Here’s a picture to distract you from your judging:

image

ANOTHER FACT:
The brownie itself is Paleo! Usually I use a whey/casein protein blend in my recipes, but this time I opted for a plant-based protein.
Also, I used one of my favorite flavored nut butters for the frosting, but if you sub what I used for plain cashew butter, then the entire recipe is Paleo! You know, exactly like a caveman would have baked it. Obviously.

image

OKAY JUST ONE MORE FACT:
The base for this is made with avocado.
AVOCADO.
(wait what)
Chill. It does not taste anything like avocado. I added way too much chocolate in there for that. What the avocado does is make these brownies so soft and incredibly fudge-like that it’s impossible to believe there’s an entire one hiding in there. Plus you get the added benefits of healthy fats, potassium and fiber. You’re welcome.

image

imageimageimage

image
Are you seeing this crazy fudgey-ness right now???

Creamy Cashew Hazelnut Bars

Simple can be fantastic. Yes, a lot of things I make require some special ingredients or certain proteins in order to get just the right taste and consistency, but these? These decadent bars have less than six ingredients and are so simple to prepare.

The bottom layer is filled with two main ingredients—cashews and coconut—which provide these treats with antioxidants, essential minerals and plenty of vitamins. The healthy monounsaturated fat in the cashews is similar to that found in olive oil, and much of the coconut fat comes in the form of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are transported to the liver and used as energy in the body. How’s THAT for a healthy dessert?

image

For the top layer I used one of my favorites: Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. This stuff is basically Nutella, except WAY BETTER because it is made with REAL ingredients like nuts, organic sugar, sea salt, vanilla… you know, things that happen to be found in nature. Then I drizzled chocolate over each bar because quite frankly I couldn’t see a reason not to.

image

Completely free of gluten, soy and dairy plus being almost Paleo… these bars are proof that healthy doesn’t have to mean boring or gross!

imageimage

Note: FiberYum can be substituted for another sticky syrup like honey, maple syrup or agave… just know that it will change the macros.

image

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Brownies

One day I will post something that has nothing to do with peanut butter or chocolate…

[in best Viggo Mortensen voice] “…BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY.”

image

Three things you should know:

1) These things are the most fudge-y, chocolate-y, peanut butter-y brownie I have ever made.

2) I purposely divided the pan into 9 HUGE servings instead of the typical 12 you find in most recipes. Because I don’t believe in eating small brownies. Ever.

3) On top of all that, they are also gluten free! Okay well the brownie is, can’t speak for the P28 on top, but that’s okay, we aren’t perfect here. If you don’t tolerate gluten or dairy you can easily omit the P28 Caramel Turtle spread and substitute with another favorite nut butter. Whew. Problem solved.

image
imageimage

image

Triple Layer Protein Cookie Dough Cups

Growing up, my comfort food was cereal. It was my breakfast 99% of the time and also solved virtually every problem in life. When I was five and the mean boy stole my crayons or when I was sixteen and he broke my heart, a bowl or two or five of milk and cereal would instantly make me happy.
My two favorites were Cinnamon Life and Cinnamon Toast Crunch (sensing theme here?). I could put away an entire box if my Mom allowed. Which she didn’t. But figuring out how to do life was hard, and cereal always helped.

While my kids and I usually enjoy a fairly simple, whole food diet, there are certain staples from my childhood that I get for them on occasion; one of those being a fun cereal of their choice.
I love the Mom’s Best Brand cereals because they have lots of popular flavors made without all the yuck like preservatives, food dyes, chemicals and high fructose corn syrup. They’re also not expensive; I usually find them on sale for $2-3 a box.
If you are looking for a cleaner alternative to the cereal game, I highly recommend giving this brand a try!

image

This time around, we had Toasted Cinnamon Squares, and I wanted to make something fun that reminded me of being a kid again…  with protein, though, because gains.

With a dark chocolate base, chewy protein cookie dough center, crunchy cinnamon toast crust all stacked and drizzled in a high-protein snickerdoodle glaze, it’s an absolutely fantastic little bomb of yum.

image

image

image