Baked Banana Oatmeal Protein Bites

Have you ever eaten warm banana?

Think pie… bananas foster… breads.

When you bake a banana it becomes a gooey, caramel-y treat.  You don’t even need to use sugar.  Like in these muffins.

I’m not one to take the time to make a baked oatmeal in the morning, but I love having it for breakfast.  Especially as it gets colder outside!  Bake it in advance and you have a delicious instant breakfast, portioned out perfectly.  That’s the idea behind these.

Baked Banana Oatmeal Protein Bites

I’ve done this before as Raspberry Banana Baked Oatmeal and as Sweet Potato Baked Oatmeal.  This round I wanted something reminiscent of bananas foster.  I remembered a technique I used to make a Banana Rum Raisin Banana Bread long ago.

So what’s strange about these?  You actually bake the bananas whole, in the skin.  They come out of the oven 10 minutes later black as night and oozing.  Remove the peel and you have a perfectly caramelized treat.

Baked Banana Oatmeal Protein Bites

From there I used a mix of flavorings, protein, and oats to bulk it up.  Oh, and did I mention avocado?  I’ve done it before in baked goods like these cookies and this cake to replace butter or oil.  You can’t taste it and it’s a terrific way to get more healthy fats in.

They come out dense, like baked oatmeal rather than muffins, which is why I call them bites.

Baked Banana Oatmeal Protein Bites

They are gluten-fee if you use gluten-free oats.  You can even make them vegan with a flax egg (1T flax meal + 3 T water).

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Baked Banana Oatmeal Protein Bites

Baked Banana Oatmeal Protein Bites

  • 3 ripe bananas, skin on
  • 1 /4 C egg whites (or flax egg)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Growing Naturals Rice Protein)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 C rolled oats
  • 1/4 C chopped pecans

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  

Place bananas on a cookie sheet  lined with foil or parchment and bake for 10 mins, until the skins are black and they have just started to seep.  Remove and allow to cool completely.  Go do your laundry or whatever – you want them cool so you don’t scramble your egg whites in the next step.

Prepare muffin tins with cupcake liners, or grease with cooking spray.

With a hand mixer or blender, blend together bananas and egg whites, and extracts.  Add avocado, protein powder egg, and extracts.  Blend just until smooth.  Fold in oats and nuts.

Pour batter evenly into tins.  Bake 20-25 mins, or until golden and slightly firm to the touch.

Enjoy a few fresh, and allow the remaining to cool completely before placing in a freezer bag for storage.  For a quick breakfast, remove muffin from the freezer and microwave ~30 seconds (until warmed through).

Notes: Don’t worry if you don’t have maple extract; you can also use maple syrup or leave out altogether. You can omit the avocado… but it really is good!

Makes 12 “bites.”

Approximate nutritionals (for 1): 119 calories, 3.6g fat, 15.7g sodium, 17.7g carbohydrates, 2.9g fiber, 3.7g sugar, 4.9g protein

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

 

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



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These also freeze really well – I’ve been eating them for weeks!

Have you ever baked a banana whole?

What’s your favorite oatmeal flavor add?

Roasted Brussels, Butternut, & Beets (Recipe)

Fall gets me excited for new produce.

It’s the little things… am I right?!

While I’ve seen a lot of strange in Vegas (some good, some BAD), this strange but good meal was done in advance of the trip.

Side note: I planned ahead?!  Who AM I?

Roasted Brussels, Butternut, & Beets… 

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Pumpkin Tomato Sauce Recipe

Recipe inspiration can come from anywhere.

I like to think this excuses my aimless wandering in Whole Foods.

This particular meandering trip paid off!  I happened down the tomato sauce aisle and a bright orange jar caught my eye.  It was pumpkin tomato sauce!  I immediately put it in my cart… then remembered to look at the price.  For $9.99 I could certainly make it myself, and I had nearly all of the ingredients at home.

I took a quick picture of the back of the label and scurried off to execute.

Pumpkin Sauce inspirationNormally I’m too lazy to actually follow through with a sauce idea.  For some reason using a saucepan seems like a lot of effort.  It’s really not.… 

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Kabocha Apple Breakfast Bowl

Squashes make great bowls.

 

Ohhhh… wouldn’t a cereal bowl of squash be cool?!

I make batches and batches of squash each week.  Usually kabocha.  It’s a problem.  Or it would be if it wasn’t also healthy.  I’m not orange yet!

Kabocha

 

I roasted the above at the beginning of the week so I could use it for a quick, homemade breakfast.  All I needed to do was put the kabocha in the over under broiler while I whipped up the eggs, apples, and peanut sauce.  All of these things are delicious, but maybe a little strange to eat together and for breakfast.  Or maybe not.  The moral of the story is that it’s really good!

The best thing about this creation is that It can all be done simultaneously, so even notoriously late to work people (not that I know anything about that) can have a fancy start to the day!

Kabocha Apple Breakfast Bowl

The apples and cinnamon made it feel like pie, but the peanut butter made it divine.  The only way this could have been better is if I’d had bacon.

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Kabocha Apple Breakfast Bowl

Kabocha Apple Breakfast Bowl

  • Chunk of kabocha (or other squash), pre-roasted
  • Eggs
  • Cinnamon
  • Apple, dices
  • Peanut flour sauce (or nut butter)

 

Place kabocha in the over to re-heat and crisp up.

Sauté apples in a small plan.  When softened, remove from pan and set aside.

Scramble eggs (or egg whites) with cinnamon and 2-3 drops of stevia, if desired.  When almost done, add apples.

Remove squash from oven.  Top with egg-apple mixture and peanut sauce (or nut butter).

Enjoy! 

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

 

 

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



***

Annnnnd I’m in Colorado!  Wheeee!

Do you pre-make food for the week?

Do  you eat the same thing for breakfast everyday or shake it up?

 

Dips, Dessert, and a Drink

Happy 4th of July!

 

aka National Sunburn Day.

I have a tradition of running the Peachtree Roadrace (the world’s largest 10K) and enjoying the sweltering heat sunshine.  Since I’m off doing that, today’s #strangebutgood is a round of of things you might like to enjoy during your weekend festivities.

Some are stranger than others, but I assure you they’re all good.  And they’re relatively quick and easy – especially the oh-so-addicting S’Mores Brownies!

Chipotle Corn Hummus

Chipotle Corn Hummus

 

Cilantro Hummus Salsa

Hummus Salsa

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats (Lightened Up)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

 

 

S’mores Brownies

Smore Brownies

 

Piña Mezcalita

Piña Mezcalita

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

If you’re not a blogger, you can still share your recipes on Instagram with the #strangebutgood hashtag.

Sprint 2 the Table

 

 

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



***

I may have to cool off at the mall.  There are sales… all the things… this won’t end well.

What are your plans for the 4th?

What is your favorite poolside treat?

 

Georgia Peach & Tempeh Hash

Invariably when I tell someone I’m from Georgia they exclaim “A Georgia peach!”

 

This annoys the crap out of me.  Same goes for “Hot-lanta.”

What does not annoy me are actual Georgia peaches.  This time of year you can’t walk through a farmer’s market without passing a giant table filled with the fragrant fruit.

I’m a fan of using them in sweet concoctions like Peach Cobbler Chia Pudding, or for a strange-but-summery appetizer like this Peach Caprese Salad.  Having been there, done that, I decided to try something a little more ambitious this week.  A brinner.

GA Peach & Tempeh Hash

 

Standing in the fridge door, I had my own version of Chopped as the strange (but good) idea evolved.  Sweet, yet savory.  I wanted bacon but was unwilling to go to the store.  Tempeh is a good stand in for bacon!  Honey mustard sounded good with a hash, and I finally remembered the horseradish I need to use (it expired in 2013… clearly just a suggestion).

My Georgia peach needed to be used and it seemed to me that it would go well with honey mustard (it did).  The sweet from both the fruit and mustard balanced out the tang from the tempeh and horseradish.  It was entertaining without being distractingly confusing to my tongue.  #TWSS

Ga Peach & Tempeh Money Shot

 

When you obtain local eggs, you know they need to be placed on all the things.  Besides, how can you have a brinner without #yolkporn?

Don’t skip the egg.  It made for a lovely dressing that tied the whole thing together perfectly.  Like a symphony in mah mouth.

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Georgia Peach & Tempeh Hash

Georgia Peach & Tempeh Hash

  • 2 tsp honey mustard
  • 2 tsp horseradish sauce
  • 6 oz tempeh, cubed
  • 1/4 C red onion, diced
  • 1 medium potato, cubed
  • 1 peach, diced
  • 2 eggs, fried

 

Preheat oven to 400.

In a small bowl, mix together mustard and horseradish.  Toss with tempeh cubes and spread evenly on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Baked 10-15 mins, stirring half way through.

Meanwhile, grease a large skillet (I used coconut oil) and heat over med-high heat.  Add the potato cubes and cook until they are tender and browned on the bottom, stirring occasionally (~15 mins).

Stir in onions and sauté onions until translucent (~5-6 mins).

Removed tempeh from oven and add to skillet along with peaches.  Cook until peaches are heated through (~2 mins).  Stir in any remaining horseradish sauce and with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Transfer the hash to plates, top with the fried eggs, and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

If you’re not a blogger, you can still share your recipes on Instagram with the #strangebutgood hashtag.

Sprint 2 the Table

 

 

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



***

This weekend is the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.  It’s my 4th year going – bring on the beer and donut pairings!

Do you like fruit in savory dishes?

What is your state/town known for?  Any annoying intros?

 

Healthy Jicama Latkes

Latkes.

 

They’re not just for Hanukkah anymore!

Latkes are usually made with potatoes and are a traditional dish eaten during Hanukkah.  They’re also known as potato pancakes.  If you know me, you know I don’t like white potatoes and I’m not Jewish (though I adore matzo ball soup).  Also, it’s nowhere near Hanukkah.  Clearly a strange but good hack was needed!

Jicama Latkes

Never one to be bothered with tradition, I was determined not to let these little details derail me from an idea.  I wanted to use jicama and carrot to make latkes.  

So really, these are just jicama and carrot pancakes… with a Mexican twist.  Why Mexican?  Why NOT?  I love Mexican food!

Jicama Latkes

Call it whatever you’d like, but these ‘cakes will have you celebrating Hanukkah in May.  The bonus is that they’re a bit healthier than the traditional dish.  They aren’t fried in a ton of oil and are less starch-y than a latke.  They cover all the buzz words: gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly, vegetarian.  And they’re strangely easy!

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Healthy Jicama Latkes

Jicama Latkes

  • 1/2 jicama (~150 grams)
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/4 C egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican spice blend

 

Grate jicama and carrot coarsely by hand.  Squeeze excess water.  Mix in a bowl with egg whites and your favorite spice blend.

Heat a bit or coconut oil or cooking spray in pan over medium heat.  Divide latke batter into 4 even parts and press into pan as a pancake.  Cook ~5 minutes on each side, or until latkes are lightly browned.

Plate and top as desired.  I served mine over greens and turkey, then topped it with salsa and avocado.

Makes 4 latkes.

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

 

 

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



***

I’m not home yet, but I’ll be making these again when I get there… especially after all the Swiss treats… #sorryimnotsorry

Have you ever had a latke?

What is your favorite healthy hack for a traditional recipe?

 

Cinco de Strange But Good

I’m stranging-up Mayo!

 

(That’s May, not mayonnaise.)

It occurred to me that many of my Mexican-inspired creations are a bit strange.  Mexican is one of my favorite cuisines, and I’m always looking for a good way to shake it up!

No matter what time of day you celebrate, I have an appropriately themed dish!

 

Breakfast

Cocoa-Cayenne Sweet Potato Oatmeal

Sweet Potato CCC Oatmeal

Mex-Fast Tortilla Stack

Mexi-fast Tortilla

 

Small Plates

Tofu Jalapeño Poppers

Tofu Stuffed Jalapenos

Avocado-Mango Soup

Avocado-Mango Soup

Mexican Pineapple and Beet Salad

Pineapple Beet Salad

Mexican Cauliflower “Rice” Bowl

Mexican cauliflower rice bowl

 

 

Entrees

Mexican Socca Pizza

Mexican Socca Pizza

Seitan Chorizo

chorizo

Tequila-Lime Tilapia

Tequila Lime Tilapia

Sweet Potato Mexican Pie

Sweet Potato Mexican Pie

 

Libations

Piña Mezcalita

Piña Mezcalita

 

Dessert

Mexican Chocolate Cake

Mexican Chocolate Cake

Mexican Black Bean Fudgy Brownies

Mexican Black Bean Brownies

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

 

 

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)



***

Check out the FitFluential Cinco de Mayo Round Up for more ideas!

What’s your favorite cuisine to add a #strangebutgood twist to?

Do you have Cino de Mayo plans?  Any special meals?

 

Protein Lessons + WIAW

Learning lessons is a theme in my life lately.

 

Some I’d rather not learn, but that’s another story.

Despite having done this cleanse 3 times before, I’m learning a whole new lesson with this one.  It’s about protein.  I had NO idea how much energy and strength I was getting from all the protein I took in!  The first 10 days of the cleanse are meat-free.  It also eliminates common allergens, so I can’t even replace that protein with soy, dairy or eggs.

I have a delicious, clean pea protein powder from Growing Naturals that accounts for most of my intake.  I also have some from quinoa, lentils, and seeds… but that’s really not much.  With the “rules” of the cleanse, I end up eating about half my normal amount of protein and twice the carbs.  Carbs give energy, right?  Notsomuch.  I’m tired.  I’m sleeping more and having to lift lighter.  Apparently carbs give energy when you have enough protein.

back/tri workout

I did get through my back and tri workout.  Fueled by dates and tahini, I took a moment to twerk in the empty squat rack for Arman and Lucie.  Refueled with a protein smoothie made with strawberries, raspberries, basil, coconut, and spinach.

 

Lesson two is hunger.  I’m a bottomless veggie pit.  I eat stacks of vegetables (and fruit), but they don’t have the same staying power that protein does.  Kudos to the vegan body builders out there… I have no idea how they do it!

Curious about protein?  Click here for a piece I wrote for Growing Naturals on the importance of protein before and after a workout.  And then check out these 30 High Protein Breakfasts from many of my FitFluential friends!

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This WIAW is the end of my first week on the 21 day cleanse.  I’m definitely in a good groove, but anxious to add some lean protein in on Friday!

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Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else’s delicious creations!… 

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Cleaning Up My Act + WIAW

It is time I clean up my act.

 

Let’s be real – its beyond time.

It’s generally pretty easy for me to keep my diet in check during the week.  The weekends…. it’s another story.  Since I’m not competing this year I haven’t been following any real nutrition plan.  Of course I took that to the extreme.  

What I know about myself is that I love to indulge.  I also know that when that starts happening too much, I feel like crap.  It affects my physically and mentally.  I’ve been struggling lately, and I know it’s time to reign it in.

bulking

 

For a few years now I’ve been doing a version of the Standard Process Cleanse.  That’s the protocol I’m following for the next 21 days, except using my own supplements rather than buying their program.  Basically, it’s eating super clean and eliminating common allergens like eggs, dairy, nuts, and gluten.  The first 10 days is meatless.  The last 11 days includes chicken and deep sea fish.

I’m only through Day 1, but here’s my first reactions:

  • Not taking pre-workout is hard
  • I’m going to need to buy a lot more veggies
  • Some of the dishes I made when doing this previously are really good – I’m excited to bring them back
  • Fruit can make a fun ice cream dessert
  • Good lord, I miss meat

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This WIAW is my first on the 21 clean(se) train.  I’m still working out the best foods to bring and when to time protein and carbs to get the energy I need.

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Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else’s delicious creations! … 

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