July 29, 2015

Mint Chocolate Spinach Smoothie and Berry Banana Hemp Protein Smoothie

Hello folks!

One thing I make a lot of and don't seem to blog much about are protein smoothies. They are great for a breakfast on the go, a midday snack, or to satisfy that pesky sweet tooth craving. Your muscles crave protein, especially if you use weights, so make sure to incorporate lots of protein into your diet. I do have two protein shake recipes here and here, but I have two new protein smoothie recipes coming right up! Read on...

First up is my favorite protein smoothie ever--my Mint Chocolate Spinach Smoothie! I make it so much and am in heaven every time. It lasts about two minutes before I suck it all down. :-)

I know some people are squeamish about putting greens in their smoothies and shakes, but I promise you can't even taste it. More than that, if you're one of those people who really needs to get more veggies in your diet, here's an easy, tasty way to sneak'em in. You can also leave out the mint if you're not a mint person and it tastes like chocolate banana OR you can leave out the mint and add peanut butter for a super decadent smoothie. My boyfriend loves it with the peanut butter. It's really so versatile... you can do kale instead of spinach, add berries, whatever your heart desires.

Mint Chocolate Spinach Smoothie
Makes 1 large or 2 small

1 frozen banana (sliced or broken in half)
1 handful spinach leaves
3-4 mint leaves (optional)
2-3 tsp cocoa powder
1 cup unsweetened cashew milk (or milk of choice)
1 scoop unflavored protein powder (you could sub vanilla or chocolate if you'd like)
1 tbsp dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
1-2 tsp agave nectar (can omit if using flavored protein powder and/or chocolate chips)
2-3 ice cubes (optional, but it thickens the smoothie and makes it nice and cold)
Place all ingredients in a blender and liquify!

Next up is this beautiful Berry Banana Hemp Protein Smoothie. The hemp hearts add in omega fatty acids that are good for your brain, heart, eyes, and skin. You could also use chia seeds or just leave out seeds altogether.

Berry Banana Hemp Protein Smoothie
Makes 1 smoothie

1 frozen banana (sliced or broken in half)
1 cup mixed frozen berries
1.25 cups cashew milk (or milk of choice)
1 scoop whey protein powder (unflavored or vanilla)
1 Tbsp hemp hearts

I hope you enjoyed these smoothies! What kind of protein shakes do you whip up in your kitchen?



July 25, 2015

Double Chocolate Banana Applesauce Cake

Few things in this world are as satisfying as taking a bite of a huge, moist, chocolatey slice of cake. Can I get an amen?

When it comes to baked goods of any kind, texture is key! I just can't stand crunchy cookies and dry cakes. And I gotta tell you, this is one of the moistest cakes I've ever made. And guess what? It's not from oil, butter, or eggs. Nope, a lot of this cake's flavor and texture comes from bananas and applesauce.

As a matter of fact, if you were to use vegan chocolate chips, this recipe is completely vegan. It's a healthified cross between a chocolate cake and a brownie, but it tastes as good as sin.

I start my new school counseling job next week and I have been thinking about how I will win over my co-workers as the newbie counselor. I'm thinking I can just happen to bring in "leftover" baked goods from time to time. This cake should do the trick. ;-) It keeps really well, up to 4-5 days if you can even keep it around that long. If you can, I would suggest putting in a fridge after a couple of days just in case. Oh, and did I mention you make it all in ONE bowl? Yep, all ingredients stirred together in one bowl and poured into a baking pan. It might just be my new favorite dessert.

This is the perfect snack to include in your lunch or after dinner. Low calorie, and low fat, with all the flavor of the real thing. Thumbs up!

Double Chocolate Banana Applesauce Cake
Makes 9 squares in an 8X8 pan


2 very ripe medium sized bananas
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup applesauce (no sugar added)
⅓ cup water
1 tsp white vinegar
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
⅔ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray 8x8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Mash bananas in a medium size bowl.
4. Stir in sugars, applesauce, water, and vinegar until thoroughly combined.
5. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt just until combined.
6. Fold in ⅓ cup of chocolate chips.
7. Pour batter into prepared dish.
8. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top.
9. Bake for 25-33 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. (Oven temps vary, so check earlier rather than later)
10. Let cool, slice and serve.
Original recipe here

July 15, 2015

Two Ingredient Banana Chocolate Chip "Ice Cream" Bites

Good afternoon!

Summer is in full swing and who doesn't enjoy cold, frosty ice cream on a sizzling hot day?

Something I always have on hand is frozen bananas. I use them in smoothies, defrost for pancakes, and now... blend into ice cream! What??

That's right, my friends. You, too, can have scrumptious, healthy little "ice cream" bites with two ingredients, a blender, and a freezer. Couldn't be easier. Simply blend 5-6 frozen bananas (broken into pieces or frozen slices) in a food processor or high power blender.

Then stir in mini chocolate chips...

Now, you can easily stop here and have a soft-serve consistency. Ice cream cone, anyone? Or, for a longer term ice cream product, spoon the "batter" into mini muffin tins sprayed with cooking spray.

Then pop in the freezer for about 1.5 hours and you have cute little ice cream bites to satisfy your sweet tooth and cool you off.

Two Ingredient Banana Chocolate Chip "Ice Cream" Bites
Makes 24 mini muffin sized bites

5-6 large frozen banana pieces or slices (you'll want to peel and slice BEFORE you freeze; it's impossible to peel a frozen banana!)
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips + more for sprinkling on top

1. Spray two mini muffin tins (or one if yours has 24 cups) with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Remove frozen bananas from freezer and let thaw for 5-10 minutes.
3. Place bananas in food processor/high powered blender and blend until completely smooth and no chunks remain.
4. Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips with a spoon or spatula.
5. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, fill each cup to the top.
6. Top each cup with a little more chocolate chips and then place in freezer for 1.5 hours minimum.
7. Once frozen, you can pop them out with a butter knife. It's easier if you let them sit for a few minutes.
8. You can transfer ice cream bites into a freezer safe container with parchment paper separating any layers of the ice cream bites.



P.S. Can I just tell you how panicked I became trying to photograph ice cream on a hot day?! Stay tuned for more healthy homemade ice cream machine recipes! I got one as a gift that I need to break in and use. I'm pretty excited. ;-)

July 10, 2015

Margarita Cupcakes

Is it 5:00 yet? Well, it is somewhere! Have a margarita... cupcake.

Originally, I wasn't going to post this recipe on Bikini Baker. However, after I got rave reviews, I thought it deserved a share after all. Perhaps you know a summer birthday coming up? A get together? Girls' night? These cupcakes are a definite crowd pleaser; and trust me, you'll want to share (or you'll eat all 12)!

There's quite a bit of tequila in these little cuties, but don't worry, most of it cooks off. They won't have anyone weaving out the door. :-)

The cakey bottom is a soft tequila limey flavor and it's complemented by a zesty tequila lime buttercream frosting. I also very scarcely brushed the tops of the warm cupcakes with tequila. I told you there was a good amount in these!

If you are a sucker for lime or lemon desserts, these are a must. And you can definitely omit the tequila and just have creamy lime cupcakes. But if you opt to make these with real tequila, then I'd recommend a top shelf brand so you don't risk having a bitter bite or weird taste ruin your cupcakes. That well stuff is questionable.

So, who's the margarita lover in your life? I'd love to know!


Margarita Cupcakes

Makes 12 Cupcakes
Based off this recipe


For the Cupcakes

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 1½ limes (about 2 Tbsp)
2 tablespoons tequila
¼ teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract (or regular vanilla)
½ cup buttermilk (you can also use regular milk and add in 1 Tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes to curdle the milk)

To Brush the Cupcakes:
1 to 2 tablespoons tequila

For the Tequila-Lime Frosting:*
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoon lime juice
1-2 tablespoons tequila
1/4 tsp Mexican vanilla (or regular vanilla)
Pinch of coarse salt
Optional: lime zest to sprinkle on top

*You will have to experiment here. My butter was really soft so I had to add more powdered sugar to get a thicker consistency. I also added more lime juice because I like a tangy lime flavor. You get to taste test for this part.

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
3. In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
4. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and tequila. Mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, but don't worry, it will all come back together, power on!)
6. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.
7. Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just slightly golden and a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pan at the halfway point.
8. Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 1 to 2 tablespoons of tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.
9. To make the frosting, whip the butter on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Give it a mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the lime juice, tequila and salt mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes and garnish, if desired, with lime zest, an additional sprinkling of salt and a lime wedge.

*If you would prefer to not use liquor in these cupcakes, you can absolutely omit it from both the cupcakes and the frosting with no problem. If you do omit it, I would add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to the frosting.

July 6, 2015

Crockpot Skinny Peach Cobbler Oatmeal

Good morning!

There is nothing like a ripe, juicy peach in the summertime. Being from the Texas Hill Country, I grew up eating the BEST peaches on earth from Fredericksburg, TX. Growing up, my neighbors had a peach tree in their backyard. I have awesome memories of playing with my two neighbor friends, Jenny and Kate, and eating the peaches from their tree. What's even better is that my dad would make peach cobbler out of the peaches. We would be playing in the yard, running around under the blazing sun until the lightening bugs started to flicker, and then my mom would call us in to come eat fresh from the oven peach cobbler. Life was good...

Trust me, I love to indulge in peach cobbler every now and then, and I actually just did when I visited Texas for a wedding last month. However, the summer is also swimsuit season (how inconvenient!), so I try to limit my cobbler consumption. But man, have a I been craving peaches. So I opted to make a warm, sweet, cinnamony peach oatmeal instead. I used no butter and replaced brown sugar with coconut sugar.

Don't worry, it's okay to have seconds. ;-)

Crockpot Skinny Peach Cobbler Oatmeal

2 cups cashew milk (or milk of choice)
1 cup dry old-fashioned oats
1 can diced peaches (I used canned peaches in juice and cut into chunks)
3 Tbsp coconut sugar (can use brown sugar)
2 Tbsp. maple syrup (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt


1. In your crockpot, lightly mix all the ingredients together.
2. Set for low 4 hours. Note: the cooking time really depends on your slow cooker! I cooked on high for 2 hours. The oats will be soft when finished, so just keep an eye on it.
3. To serve, you can pour milk or additional syrup and nuts on top.
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