Tag Archives: snack recipes

PB & J Banana Muffins {vegan + gf}

As with most food bloggers & writers, I love to bake and cook for loved ones. Whenever we have guests in town, I enjoy feeding them well. A lot of the time when I meet up with girlfriends, I’ll bring them some of my latest kitchen creations to try. I show my love for people by making them nutritious, delicious food.

When I stay at my parents’ house in Jersey, it’s fun to make snacks, dinners, and desserts for everyone to enjoy. A few weeks ago when I was there, I was a little off of my Chef Nicole game because I was under the weather, but I still whipped up some yummy recipes for them.

One night I made creamy spring veggie & asparagus puree soup for dinner, because I knew my mom would dig it (She did!).

I also made my most recently published Shape recipe, blueberry banana Greek yogurt muffins.

Continuing with the blueberry theme, I also made bluebery oatmeal chia bars one morning – except when I took the baking dish out of the oven, I mistakenly placed it on a burner that was on low heat….and then left it there for hours. I was in the kitchen the whole time and didn’t even smell the bars and pan burning because my sinuses were all congested! It actually worked out well because my dad loves burnt things. They wound up being super dry, but he was a fan of them anyways…so it was only half a kitchen fail!

Another muffin recipe that I decided to make were peanut butter & jelly banana muffins. I first shared the recipe on here years ago when I was a newbie blogger, and I hadn’t made them in quite awhile. My dad loves PB & J (and so do I!) so I thought he’d like these. I always like having muffins, bars, or energy bites around as a healthy snack, and we all snacked on these muffins throughout the week.

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Chocolate Cake Batter Chia Energy Bites {vegan + gf}

Energy bites are a favorite snack in my household. I’ve even turned my immediate family on the east coast onto energy bites, because I’m always whipping them up when I visit as a healthy snack to have around.cake-batter-energy-bites-1

And as a big fan of keeping things interesting in the kitchen and in life in general, I’m always coming up with new energy bite combinations. Today I’ve got a new one to share: chocolate cake batter chia energy bites!  


Made with oats, plant-based protein powder and chia seeds, these vegan, gluten free bites pack a nutritious punch. They get their cake batter flavor thanks to the combo of cashew butter, cinnamon, vanilla and cocoa, and are sweetened with dates and maple syrup.


They’re the perfect little bite to hold you over until a meal or give you some quick on-the-go healthy fuel.

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Oatmeal Walnut Hemp Energy Balls + Nektar Naturals Honey Crystals Giveaway

Hi friends!

So I noticed the other day that I haven’t posted a new sweet recipe on here since this apple pie autumn granola over a month ago. I figured it’s time to sweeten things up around here today, sound like a good idea? walnut hemp date balls-1

On the topic of sweets, I most definitely have a sweet tooth. Given the choice between sweet or savory, I go with sweet 9 out of 10 times. But instead of indulging in dessert every night and letting my sweet tooth get out of control, I look for healthy ways to satisfy it – like with banana almond butter muffinsbanana berry sorbet or these energy balls.

One of my go-to sweeteners of choice is honey. That’s why when the opportunity to try Nektar Naturals honey crystals presented itself, I was interested in trying it out. Nektar Naturals

Nektar honey crystals is a non-GMO sweetener made with natural cane sugar and honey. I’ve been adding it to my tea a lot, and the thing I like about it more than regular honey is that it isn’t sticky, so I can use just a pinch in my tea without any fuss. I’ve also been throwing a bit of it into my pancake batters and smoothies, and the honey crystals definitely deliver a very similar taste to regular honey.

Being the conscious consumer that I am, I was happy to hear that Nektar Naturals is committed to sustainable practices. There has been a serious decline of bees recently, which puts honey, pollinated food crops, and essentially our food system as we know it in jeopardy, and Nektar Naturals says that they’re supportive of efforts to stop this decline. Yay for companies who care!

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Strawberry Almond Oatmeal Bars

Hi friends!

Check out the best thing I’ve seen all day: Photos That Only Dog Owners Will Understand

It had me cracking up this morning. A lot of them are so true! Here are my favorite photos that are applicable to life with Harley girl:




Okay, so Harley hasn’t actually done that last one per se that I know of, but given the opportunity, I’m sure she would! The bed picture makes me laugh because Harley was terrified of her dog bed when we brought it home. For the first few nights she slept next to the bed and refused to step on it, but now she loves it. She also has a favorite blanket that has a million holes in it from her chewing it, and she literally wraps herself up in it like a person at least once a day. It’s hysterical! Horrible lighting, but case in point:



Moving onto food, check out today’s featured recipe:


 I was inspired to make these babies after nabbing some honey roasted almonds from Trader Joe’s…


When I tasted them, my mind immediately started reeling with all of the things that they’d be good with, including oats. The idea of coming up with a recipe for oatmeal bars with a strawberry preserves filling came to mind:



I think they’re perfect as an on-the-go snack. It’s also great if you pop one in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it up, making for a gooey, yummy, healthy dessert.


Strawberry Almond Oatmeal Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 1½ cups of old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup slivered almonds, preferably honey roasted
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup whole ground flaxseed meal
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup strawberry preserves (I used a reduced sugar variety)
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract
  • ½ TSP salt
  • 1 TSP baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line a 6x9 baking dish with parchment paper.
  3. Combine the oats, flour, salt, flaxseed, almonds, brown sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.
  4. Add in almond milk and vanilla extract, and mix it all together well.
  5. Evenly pour half of the batter into the baking dish. Spread the strawberry preserves on top, then pour the remaining batter on top.
  6. Bake until lightly browned, around 40 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool, then cut into slices.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar, Calories: 220, Fat: 6 g, Saturated fat: 1 g, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Sugar: 12 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 5 g


When making these bars, I was thinking about how I love strawberry and raspberry jam, but am not a fan of other flavors. My hubby, on the other hand, only will eat grape jelly (gross!), and my grandma only goes for orange marmalade (even more gross!). I was also thinking about how I always seem to love the recipes I come up with that center around oats.

What kind of jam/jelly is your favorite? Are you a fan of using oats in recipes?