Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Bread

While I am not on the bandwagon of typical pumpkin spice lattes (sugar, syrup, chemicals, yuck), I AM a huge fan of actual pumpkin, and I love using it in breads, muffins and smoothies. This wonderful, seasonal gourd also boasts plenty of health benefits:

 

The beta-carotene (which gives it the orange color) converts into a form of Vitamin A, improving eyesight.

 

Packed with fiber, pumpkin meat aids in digestion and keeps you full longer.

 

Antioxidants reduce the amount of free radicals in the body, which can help slow the aging process (think wrinkle-free!)

 

More potassium than a banana, making pumpkin puree the perfect addition to your refuel shake after working out.

But just in case you’re tired of the usual pie, here’s a fun variation that would make a tasty on-the-go breakfast, or save it for dessert!
Or both.
Because it’s the holidays.
Don’t worry about indulging, because this loaf is gluten free and each thick slice is 13g of protein with less than 20g of carbs! The Caramel Spice Crumble tops the loaf off with an amazing blend of seasonally-perfect spices.

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SUBSTITUTES:

You could try other protein powders, but if you do, I suggest a whey protein blend similar to PEScience- isolates will NOT work. Vegan powders are usual a hit or miss. There’s a reason why I stick with this brand for baking… so if you sub the powder, please keep in mind that taste and texture will be different and I cannot guarantee exactly how it will come out!

The Caramel Spice cashew butter can be swapped for a different nut butter, whatever flavor you think you’d like!

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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:

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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.

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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.

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

Birthday Cake Protein Waffles

Everything in moderation. Except for sprinkles. You can never have too many sprinkles.

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I used my base waffle recipe for this stack, added vanilla extract for extra flavor, and then, of course, sprinkles, because you cannoy have birthday-themed anything without them.

The YouFreshNaturals Birthday Cake Coco-Nut Butter was the perfect “glaze” on the top layer. This was a post-training meal for me so I also added half of a Lenny & Larry’s cookie for extra carbs and calories to refuel.

Speaking of carbs and calories, if you’re reducing either of those you can easily omit the nut butter and cookie and this stack becomes 215 calories and only 11g of carbs! However, you really won’t get the full celebration-in-your-mouth effect without all that extra birthday fun on top. Trust me on this one.

If you don’t follow me on Snapchat yet, you should (“alphakilo7″…go ahead…I’ll wait…), because I always snap the food on there first before I dress it up and try to use proper grammar and add it to this blog.


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Note: for a more “traditional” waffle consistency, I recommend using a whole egg instead of just the whites. I am sensitive to the yolks, which is why I usually use just the whites. 

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Peanut Butter Oreo Protein Cookies

Sure, you could eat Oreos straight out of the sleeve.
Go on, be normal, be safe.
While you’re at it, avoid talking to strangers, never eat raw cookie dough, print the directions instead of using GPS and always obey the “caution: hot” label on your coffee in the morning.

But why.

Why not pack each Oreo with 7 grams of peanut butter protein and make them into completely epic cookies?

Yeah. Now we’re talking.

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I happened to be making these for someone who loves Oreos, but you could really use anything you want on top of these protein-packed little buggers.
Go crazy!
I know I’m definitely trying more varieties of this down the road.
Reeses?
Cadbury?
You pickin up what I’m puttin down?
You as hungry as I am now?

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