Tag Archives: peanut butter

Cinnamon Baked Apple & Peanut Butter Oatmeal

I’ll let you in on a little secret: There are some foods that most healthy living bloggers swoon over I could totally do without. Take brussel sprouts and cauliflower for instance (ick). You’ll find tons and tons of recipes for clever ways to eat brussel sprouts and use cauliflower to craft pizza crusts and make them taste like fries and whatever else you could imagine on foodie blogs, but not on here my friends. Why? Because I am not a fan of those veggies (sue me).

apple pb oats-5

Another good example is oatmeal.

apple pb oats-1

I get in the mood for a bowl of hot oats here and there, but for the most part, I feel very meh about it. Take pancakes away from me and I’d be a very sad girl, but take oatmeal away from me and I wouldn’t even know it was gone. apple pb oats-2

And so, the alternate title of this post was The Only Oatmeal Recipe I’ll Ever Share, because it seriously probably will be. Any time I make oatmeal, I cook it with a chopped up Granny Smith apple and cinnamon, then mix in creamy peanut butter and honey for a winning breakfast. Because I’m a firm believer that peanut butter + apple + honey is one hell of an awesome combination.

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Date Bites

Any time I have guests in town, I make sure to have some good meal ideas, ingredients on hand to prepare to prepare those yummy meals, and restaurants ideas for a couple of delicious meals out. I’m pretty sure that anyone that knows me expects nothing less – After all, I call myself a foodie for a reason! 🙂

When my mother-in-law was in town visiting a few weeks ago, we enjoyed some pretty awesome eats. We strolled around at the Vista Farmers Market one day….


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Vanilla Peanut Butter Cinnamon Smoothie

Now that it’s spring and half the world is starting to get out of freezing temperatures and polar vortex slumps, smoothie season is getting underway.

PB cinnamon smoothie-2

I know what you’re thinking: I live in California and can pretty much drink smoothies year-round. But the truth is, here in the south bay area, the temperature swings are pretty nutty. It’ll get up to 75-80 degrees during the day, then drop down to 35-40 degrees at night. Literally, the temperature doubles most days! When I first moved here I couldn’t believe it.

Vanilla Bean Yogurt

While I drank smoothies somewhat often during winter, my smoothie habit wasn’t nearly as frequent as it has been the last few weeks and will be probably until late fall. You see, the house I’m living in stays really cool – as in, it’s 80 degrees out but I’ll work from my office with a sweatshirt and slippers on, my dog generating heat at my feet, and a hot cup of tea in hand because it’s chilly inside.



Lately, due to the nights being more mild and the days being warmer in general, the house has been staying around a nice 70 degree temperature…which means that my teeth aren’t chattering when I sip on a protein shake. Yes, smoothies have been drank all winter, but they’re so much more enjoyable when you don’t have to bundle up first!



And so, I know that I just posted a smoothie recipe recently, but I’m posting another one today because my smoothie obsession is fully back in action! This vanilla peanut butter cinnamon smoothie was inspired by Sprouts Natural Foods Cafe in Lake Tahoe (you can read all about my eats in Tahoe here), where I recently had a delicious, creamy drink that I wanted to recreate at home.

I’m not pretending like this is one of the most innovative smoothie recipes you’ve ever heard of, but it sure is a winning combo. It may be my new favorite simply because it highlights a few of my long-standing kitchen obsessions: cinnamon, banana and peanut butter. I’m not going to lie to you, I could eat all of these things every single day. Oh wait, I pretty much already do.

PB cinnamon smoothie

Vanilla Peanut Butter Cinnamon Smoothie
Serves: 1
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 6 oz vanilla bean Greek yogurt (or regular vanilla)
  • ½ TSP cinnamon
  • 2 TBSP peanut butter
  • ¼ TSP vanilla extract
  • Ice
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smoothie.
  2. Pour into a large glass and enjoy immediately!


Vanilla peanut butter banana cinnamon smoothie…get in my belly! 😉

Have you been drinking smoothies? What’s your favorite smoothie combo?

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies [Gluten Free & Vegan]

Hi friends!

I am super excited because I’m heading to Lake Tahoe tomorrow for a getaway with my hubby! I’ve never gone skiing before, so wish me luck. We’re also planning on trying snowshoeing, and I found a bunch of restaurants that are my style — including a couple of vegan and gluten free specific eateries that I’m looking forward to trying out. I’ll certainly be recapping my trip next week, but today, let’s talk about another fun topic: cookies, specifically dark chocolate peanut butter banana oatmeal cookies. How’s that for a mouthful?


There are a few kitchen creations that are my go-to recipes when I’m in the mood for something specific. When I get into what I think of as a cookie monster mode, this is definitely one of my no brainers to make. When I felt the need to make them last week, I realized that I had yet to post the recipe on here…so I actually measured ingredients out and wrote them down as I was whipping them up this time so that I could share it with you. You’re welcome.


One of these days, I may try to sub some apple sauce for the oil, but every time I go to make these cookies, I decide that they’re just so yummy and perfectly fine the way they are. Due to my gluten free diet this month, I subbed my usual regular whole wheat flour for gluten free all purpose baking flour (made with garbanzo flour) and used certified gluten free oats this time. If you’re a fan of cookies, I highly suggest that you try these babies out!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies [Gluten Free & Vegan]
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
  • 2 cups gluten free old fashioned oats
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 TBSP gluten free all purpose baking flour
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 flax egg: 1 TBSP ground flaxseed plus 3 TBSP water
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (vegan) dark chocolate chips
  • ½ TSP vanilla extract
  • ½ TSP salt
  • 1 TSP baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine banana, peanut butter, vegetable oil, flax egg and vanilla. Mix together well until mostly smooth.
  3. In another bowl, stir together oats, flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon until combined well. Add chocolate chips and stir until evenly incorporated.
  5. Place spoonfuls of batter onto a large, greased baking sheet. Form 18 cookies.
  6. Cook for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom. Allow to slightly cool on a cooling rack before enjoying (if you can wait a few minutes!).
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cookie, Calories: 107, Fat: 5 g, Saturated fat: 1 g, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Sugar: 8 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 2 g


Question: If you’re a fan of cookies, what is your favorite kind?

PS – Don’t forget to enter my Cocogo electrolyte drink giveaway!

Honey Peanut Butter Banana Bowl

Hello and Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there, especially mine!

With my dad at my civil ceremony

                       At my civil ceremony


Wish I could be with you today dad, but I’ll be seeing you in just a few weeks!

When I popped into the health food store in my town last Friday, I left with a couple of goodies, including this flavor from Peanut Butter & Co:


Peanut butter blended with honey? Yes please.

I also nabbed a couple of speckled bananas. Even though they were about to be too ripe, bananas are a staple in my house so I figured I’d grab a few anyways. As I was walking out, the man working at the store asked me if I wanted to take more bananas for free, since they were going to go bad soon. I obviously couldn’t turn down free produce or let them go to waste, so it’s been a weekend full of banana eats.


I put most of the bananas in the freezer, but used a bunch of fresh ones to make dark chocolate chip banana bread:


And then, when I came home from a gorgeous bike ride through the countryside yesterday…



 …I had visions of a frozen banana bowl in my head. I blended a bit of my new peanut butter with frozen banana, chia seeds, cinnamon, almond milk, and a bit of stevia sweetener, then drizzled it with honey. It was quite the sweet frozen treat!



Exact ingredients in the mix:

  • 1 1/2 frozen bananas
  • 1 TBSP of The Bee’s Knees peanut butter
  • 2 TSP chia seeds
  • 1/4 TSP cinnamon
  • 1/2 TSP stevia sweetener (optional)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, plus a smidge more to adjust texture
  • 2 TSP honey


I’m off to clean my house then have some fun. Have a great rest of your Sunday!

PB Cherry Granola Apple Sandwiches

Hi friends!

Today was just another manic Monday filled with the usual activities. I had a long, sweaty workout at the gym this evening, and now my body is feeling pretty tired. I think it’s going to be one of those nights when laying down on the couch and watching some TV will feel great! But first, I want to share a healthy, easy snack/light meal combo that I make often… in fact, I had it for breakfast just this morning:


I’ve seen variations of apple sandwiches around, and while I may have mentioned eating them on here before, I don’t think I’ve ever shared my take on this yumminess. I think this combo is great for people who don’t have time or energy to prep a healthy snack or late-night bite to eat. I also think this is a perfect thing to whip up for kiddos!

Let’s face it: A lot of us are crazy busy people who want their meals and snacks to be convenient and quick to throw together. Sure, in our society there are fast-food joints that can whip up a pile full of food filled with saturated fat and lacking nutritional value at every turn, but making healthy choices can be pretty convenient too. This 5-ingredient combo takes about 2 minutes to prep, and is one of my go-to staples in the kitchen.

First I cut a medium apple into circular slices. I usually cut 6 ”sandwich” slices and then just chop up the remaining ends…

sliced apples

Next I spread a serving of peanut butter on half of the sandwich slices. I’ve been using PB 2 powdered peanut butter, and I also sprinkle cinnamon raisin granola and dried cherries onto the slices.

Lastly I put the apple slices on top to make little sandwiches, sprinkle everything generously with cinnamon and devour…

Apple PB Sandwiches

PB Cherry Granola Apple Sandwiches
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 1 medium apple
  • 2 TBSP dried cherries
  • 1 serving of PB2 powdered peanut butter, or any kind of nut butter
  • ¼ cup granola (I use cinnamon raisin granola)
  • Cinnamon, for sprinkling
  1. Cut the apple into circular slices.
  2. Spread peanut butter evenly onto half of the slices. Sprinkle the granola and evenly place the dried cherries on top.
  3. Place the apple slices on top to form little sandwiches, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 265, Fat: 3 g, Carbohydrates: 59 g, Fiber: 9 g, Protein: 8 g


Question: What’s your favorite easy healthy snack or meal to throw together?  

My Favorite Stretches

Happy National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day!

I seriously love anything with peanut butter, and just saw that I apparently posted about this very important holiday last year. 😉  In honor of this day, I thought I’d share a few yummy PB recipes:

Moving onto fitness, yesterday I was feeling achy from my workout the day before – not just sore in one spot, pretty much my entire body. This happens to me sometimes after I’ve had really good workouts  multiple days in a row, and I usually take it as a cue to rest my body for a day. Instead of doing a high impact workout, I elected to go for a long walk with my pup, then do a solid half hour of stretching. It felt fabulous to take my time stretching, and I definitely felt better afterwards.

I think it’s important to stretch both before and after a workout, as well as whenever you feel like you need a stress reliever. I like to do mostly dynamic stretching pre-workout, which is a type of stretching with movement, such as arm swings or front kicks. Post-workout, I always do some static stretching. Below are a few of my favorite stretches. I hold each pose for at least 30 seconds before switching sides.


The Pretzel 

I started doing this stretch a lot while in physical therapy for my calf. It feels great, especially when your booty or legs are sore! To do the pretzel stretch, lie flat on your back with both knees bent. Cross 1 leg over the other, placing your foot on the opposite knee. Bring both knees towards your chest, pulling the uncrossed leg towards you until you feel a nice stretch in your glutes.

Foam Roller Back Stretch 

I just bought a foam roller last year, and I’m not sure how I lived without it before! I use it on a daily basis, and this is one of the stretches I constantly am doing on it: Lie on your back on top of the foam roller, with it placed lengthwise down the middle of your back. Put your arms out to your sides, parallel with your shoulders and palms facing up. Breathe deeply and push your back into the foam roller. This stretch relieves tension in my back, helps me feel like I’m opening my chest up and breathing better, and just feels awesome!


Reclined Hamstring Stretch

This is a great stretch to work out the hamstrings. To do it, simply lie on your back and straighten one leg out on the ground while extending the other leg up straight as high as you can. Grab the extended leg with both hands and flex your foot, holding for awhile, then switch sides.


Lunge with Open Chest

I first started doing this stretch after trying it during yoga one day. To do it, bring one leg forward and bend it until it’s parallel to the ground. Take your opposite arm and touch the ground, then bring your other arm up straight over your head, head turned to the same side as the the bent leg.


Pigeon Stretch

This is another awesome booty stretch. To do it, start in a kneeling position. Cross one leg in front of body while extending the other leg back. Place hands on floor (or elbows if you”re flexible enough!) and sink into the stretch.

I hope that your weekend is off to a nice start!


Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Granola Bars

Hi friends!

This weekend has been a pretty rainy one in San Diego – not that I’m complaining, since it’s still been in the 60s. I’ll take that any day over 25 degrees and snowy! Besides taking Harley for long walks both yesterday and today and having a tennis workout earlier with my hubby, I’ve pretty much been indoors the rest of the time. Rainy weekend activities have included checking out the bookstore, where I picked up a new cookbook on sale….

…cleaning, and seeing Zero Dark Thirty at the movies last night. I’ve also spent some time in the kitchen. I have soup cooking at the moment that will hopefully turn out yummy, and yesterday I whipped up this delicious recipe:

I found out last Thursday via Twitter and a few blogs that it was National Peanut Butter Day. I wanted to celebrate my love for PB and come up with a recipe using some, but we were completely out of it in my house. Oh the horror, that hardly ever happens! I typically have our staple kind of peanut butter that we use, a few packets of Justin’s PB floating around the pantry, and also a jar (or 2 or 3..) of my favorite local peanut butter goodness. But since I was strangely fresh out of peanut butter, I had to wait until I went food shopping to stock up on some and come up with these yummy bars.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Granola Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
  • 2 cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 TBSP ground flaxseed meal
  • 6 TBSP water
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 TBSP safflower oil
  • 2 TSP vanilla extract
  • 1 TSP cinnamon
  • ½ TSP baking powder
  • ⅛ TSP salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Make flax eggs by combining the flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl, then let it sit.
  3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the peanut butter, brown sugar and honey.
  4. Mix in the oil, vanilla extract, and flax eggs, and beat until smooth.
  5. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, and mix together well with a spatula.
  6. Mix in the oats, cherries, almonds, and chocolate chips and stir well.
  7. Pour the batter into a 9x13 baking pan coated with baking spray. Bake until lightly browed, around 20 minutes.
  8. Let them cool completely before cutting into 18 bars.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar, Calories: 220, Fat: 9 g, Saturated fat: 2 g, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Sugar: 18 g, Sodium: 34 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 5 g

I think that these bars are great for a snack, dessert or breakfast on-the-go paired with a piece of fruit. I doubt that they’re going to last long in my house!

Crispy Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Treats

”Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can heal the patient with food.” – Hippocrates

A work event today took me out of my home office and near the beach… and a Sprout’s farmers market. I obviously had to make a stop there to see what foods caught my eye. Besides picking up some spirulina tablets (I just recently discussed algae here) and getting excited to find my favorite kind of apples, Macintosh, for the first time since I’ve lived in California, I spotted brown rice syrup and immediately knew what I’d use it for:

This recipe is from Alicia Silverstone’s book, The Kind Diet. I’ve played around with some of her meal recipes and haven’t been crazy about any yet, but I really like the desserts I’ve made from the book. All of her recipes are vegan, but I always seem to sub a dairy ingredient in –  this time being regular chocolate chips instead of nondairy/carob ones (If I’m being honest here, my tendency to eat Greek yogurt or cheese on a daily basis makes me far from a vegan!). These peanut butter treats will definitely satisfy a sweet tooth and are also really filling, not to mention ridiculously easy to make:

First, pour the brown rice crisps in a big bowl…

…and then heat the brown rice syrup in a saucepan over low heat with a pinch of salt.

Once the syrup liquifies, add the peanut butter in and stir until well combined…

…then pour over the rice cereal and mix together well with a wooden spoon.

Let the mixture cool completely, then stir in the chocolate chips…

…and press the mixture into a 9×13 baking dish.

Let them sit for around an hour before cutting into bars.

Crispy Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Treats
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 1 box brown rice crisps cereal
  • 1¾ cups brown rice syrup
  • ¾ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Pour rice cereal into a large bowl.
  2. Heat the syrup with a pinch of salt in a saucepan over low heat.
  3. When syrup liquifies, add the peanut butter and stir until well combined.
  4. Pour mixture over the cereal and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  5. Let the mixture cool completely, then stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Spread the mixture evenly into a 9x13 baking dish, pressing with the wooden spoon.
  7. Cool for around an hour before cutting into 12 bars.
Cutting the treats into 12 bars makes big portions! Feel free to cut into 16 bars for smaller treats.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar, Calories: 390, Fat: 10 g, Carbohydrates: 71 g, Protein: 6 g

Banana PB & Jelly Muffins

Late last night I decided I was in the mood for making muffins. I resisted the urge to bake right before I went to sleep, but may or may not have been deciding what kind of muffins to make and concocting a recipe while laying in bed. My requirements were that they came out yummy and moist, yet under 200 calories a piece. First thing this AM before beginning work, I whipped up these babies:

Banana PB & Jelly Muffins

Makes 12 


  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c peanut butter
  • 1 c (soy) milk
  • 3 TBSP (light) butter
  • 1/4 c fruit preserves (I used raspberry)
  • 2 TBSP baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin cups.

In a saucepan, combine the butter, peanut butter, and sugar over medium-low heat. Heat until everything is melted, mixing together well.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine flours, baking powder, mashed banana and soy milk. Add the peanut butter mixture and mix everything together well.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups until they’re halfway full. Spread 1 TSP of fruit preserves onto each muffin, then fill the cups up to the top.

Bake until lightly browned, around 20 minutes. Let the muffins cool on a wire rack before eating.

Nutrition Stats: 175 calories, 6 g fat, 5 g protein, 27 g carbs