almond butter + oat + chia protein bites

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there are often days when i am dragging like crazy in the afternoon. days when i did not get that second cup of coffee in the morning and by 2 pm all i want to do is go crawl back in bed and go to sleep. usually i try to snack on something packed with protein for a pick me up, whether it’s a hearty homemade granola with loads of chia and flaxseed (on a good day) or a huge spoonful of peanut butter with an apple (on a normal day).

for a few years now, i have been a huge fan of juice plus complete protein powder. it is a staple in our home and we go through it super fast. it’s one snack that i can get in my kids’ tummies that is easy AND good for them (how rare is that?! well with MY kids it is…). we make shakes daily and i add it to a lot of things, including smoothies and snack recipes, like this one. use your JP complete, or if your family uses a different brand of protein powder, you can sub it in this recipe (as long as it’s vanilla). the egg white is optional, if you want to make the bites vegan – but they add an extra punch of protein (and i like the glossy finish it gives the bites 🙂

almond butter + oat + chia protein bites
makes 12-14 balls

ingredients

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup almond meal (or we love guiltless superfoods’ new flour)

1 scoop (1/4 cup) juice plus vanilla complete powder

1/2 cup nut butter (almond or peanut butter are our favorites)

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 heaping tsp vanilla bean paste)

1 tbsp local honey

1 egg white (optional)

directions

  1. mix all ingredients well in a bowl with a spatula or your hands. roll into 1-inch diameter balls (packing them as you roll so they hold their shape). place on a small plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before eating so they can firm up. transfer to an airtight container – will keep for about a week in the fridge.
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cinnamon roll palmiers

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ah what loveliness can happen when you get distracted.
the other day i was supposed to be making a healthy, well-rounded meal for my good friend who just had a baby, but i was a bit distracted by cinnamon and sugar. palmiers had been on my mind for quite sometime and i was itching to play with an idea.

about a month ago, while nursing a sick little one on the couch, we were watching the barefoot contessa make these savory palmiers, which had goat cheese, pesto, and pine nuts in them. (SWOON) i jotted down a note to make them asap, but then i began to play with the palmier in my head… what if i made them sweet instead of savory? (i know this has actually been done before and i am not the first to come up with this genius idea, but up until recently i had not made a palmier… but ooohhhoo i have eaten my share though!) and what could i do with them?…

i finally got the chance to test out these palmiers i had been dreaming about and come up with a recipe for them. they were barely out of the oven before i was drooling and googly-eyed and talking to them and telling them how pretty they were. then the icing happened…

let’s just say there weren’t many left to take to my friend.

[frozen puff pastry generally comes in a box with 2 sheets – if you want to defrost & use the whole box, just simply double this recipe. *ALSO make sure you follow the box’s instructions to thaw the pastry.]

cinnamon roll palmiers
makes 12

ingredients

1 sheet (1/2 box) frozen puff pastry, thawed*

2 tbsp softened/room temp butter

3 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

for icing:
2 cups powdered sugar

2 tbsp milk (plus a tsp or so, to thin the icing)

2 tbsp melted butter, slightly cooled

1 tbsp brewed coffee

1/2 tsp maple syrup

pinch of salt

directions:

1. preheat oven to 400. line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. on a clean work surface or a large cutting board, unfold and lay out the thawed puff pastry. gently spread the softened butter evenly over the entire pastry. in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon to combine, then sprinkle evenly over buttered pastry. use your fingers to spread out and press in just a tiny bit.

3. starting with the left side of the pastry, fold over 1/4 of the sheet. next fold over 1/4 of the right side. repeat, so that the left and right side are now just touching in the center. now, fold the left side over the right side, forming a roll. using a sharp knife, cut the roll into slices – you should get 12 slices out of one rolled pastry. lay flat on prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart (they will spread). bake for about 15 minutes, until the edges of each palmier are just beginning to golden. remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes.

4. while the palmiers are cooling, make the icing: combine all icing ingredients and stir with a small spatula to combine. add a little milk if the mixture is too thick. it should not be too runny – you want to be able to easily drizzle it. (use icing pretty soon after you make it. the top will harden up after a bit and you won’t get that perfect consistency for long.)