AB&J Bars (Paleo)

If you were to name some of your favorite snacks from when you were a kid (who knows, maybe you still eat the same?!) what would they be? I can imagine somewhere between mac & cheese and grandma’s homemade cookies, you thought of peanut butter and jelly. There’s just something about the combination of bread, creamy peanut butter and sweet and tangy jelly that is hard to resist. While the bread, peanuts and conventional jelly may not be paleo approved, here’s a great trade off that will surely satisfy all the PB&J cravings you’ve ever had. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas, overripe
  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 tsp cream of tartar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup homemade jam
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Instructions:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).

-Grease a 9×9″ baking sheet with coconut oil. I use a pre-divided pan which takes the hassle of cutting these right out! You can also use a muffin pan instead.

-In a large mixing bowl combine bananas, almond butter, honey, eggs, and vanilla. Mash and mix thoroughly until no chunks remain.

-Add coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt to the banana mixture and stir to combine until smooth.

-Add half of the batter to the greased pan (which ever type you decide to use).

-Then add then jam (make sure it’s laid out evenly and somewhat flat) over the banana mixture.

-Add remaining batter over the top to cover the jam completely.

-Bake for 25-30mins or until these start to become golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before taking a butter knife (or toothpick) to ensure the edges are not stuck and remove from the pan.

-Cut into 12 bars and enjoy! *Be careful, these are addicting!*

Macros! If you are counting or keeping track, the macronutrient profile for 1 bar is: Calories (210) Protein (6g) Fat(11g) Carbohydrates (23g)

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Pecan Pie Tarts (Paleo, Vegan)

Fall… aka #PieSeason! This is the time where I feel terribly for anyone with a pecan allergy, because pecan pie is literally one of the most delicious desserts ever created (in my opinion). These tartlet variations aren’t the most cut and dry of recipes, but one batch makes quite a few and I love being able to grab one here and there versus the looming pie-left-must-eat feeling you get when you try to slowly work your way through a full sized pie. It’s also pretty much guaranteed that these will be scooped up quick at any holiday party as well because they are so *cute* and no one wants to be the first person to cut into a perfectly untouched pie. In the recipe I use fancy little tartlet pans but you can also use a cupcake (or mini-cupcake) pan as well. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

(Tart Shell)

  • 2 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 5 TB coconut oil, melted
  • 3 TB maple syrup
  • 1-2 TB almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

(Filling)

  • 1/3 cup dates
  • 5 TB maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 TB almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans, halved lengthwise

Instructions:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees

-In a small bowl combine almond flour, salt and baking soda

-In another small bowl mix together melted coconut oil, maple syrup, almond milk and vanilla.

-Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined and no clumps are left.

-Grease mini tartlet pans with coconut oil and add in one 1 inch diameter ball of dough to each, pressing them evenly into each crevasse of the mold

-Cut 2 inch squares of aluminum foil and then make one cut to the center of each square. Place a piece of foil into each tartlet pan pressing down gently.

-Fill each mold with a weighted object that wont cook in the oven- I use raw beans.

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-Bake for 12-14 minutes or until a light golden brown appears on the crust.

-Remove from oven, carefully remove the foil with beans and let the shells cool for about 5 minutes.

-Using a toothpick gently reach into the edge of the crust and pan and start to loosen the tartlet on 2-4 sides.

*Sometimes these pop out pretty quickly and sometimes they take some patience and TLC. I’ve found that there seems to be an optimal time to remove these from the pans but have no fear you will learn quickly when they are ready and when they are not.

-While the tartlet crusts are coking you can start the filling.

-Soak dates in hot water for 10 minutes

-In a sauce pan over low heat combine maple syrup, coconut oil, almond milk and vanilla. Remove from heat when melted.

-Add soaked dates,maple syrup mixture and salt to a food processor and process until smooth.

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-Move mixture back into cooled saucepan (or another bowl but I like to minimize my clean up time) and add in finely chopped pecans, stirring until well combined.

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-Add one spoonful of filling to each cooled tartlet then carefully place halved pecans in a star shape.

Enjoy these warm or store in the fridge (14 days) or freezer (up to 3 months)!

Hasselback White Sweet Potatoes (Paleo)

As an athlete it’s important to fuel your body appropriately in order to maximize your performance and recovery. Having an active job along with a dog that requires a long hike or run daily and somewhere between 1-2.5 hours of training each day, the amount of carbohydrates my body needs is sometimes overwhelming. Being on the go so often my sources of carbs are often the quick and easy varieties such as rice and gluten-free oatmeal, but when I have the opportunity to be in the kitchen for a period of time, my all-time favorite source of carbs are white or japanese sweet potatoes (Japanese have red skin and domestic have golden skin). These tend to get crispier than yams and orange sweet potatoes as they are higher in carbohydrates but still contain a vast amount of micro nutrients. This cooking variation is not only delicious but a sure way to raise some eye-brows and get some “fancy” remarks from your friends and family- as a bonus, it’s also super simple! You can also do this with any potato, but if you’ve never tried white sweet potatoes… you definitely should!

Ingredients:

  • 3 large white sweet potatoes
  • 1 TB melted ghee
  • dash sea salt

Instructions:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees

-Line baking sheet with foil (or parchment paper)

-Thoroughly wash sweet potatoes and with a sharp knife start making vertical cuts from end to end leaving about 1/4 inch from the bottom of the potato all the way across


-Place potatoes on baking sheet and brush with melted ghee then sprinkle with sea salt


-Bake for about 60 minutes or until the potatoes are soft

-Remove from oven and top them with something tasty! Some options are crumbled bacon (you can add this before cooking, simply cook bacon most of the way in a pan, chop finely and sprinkle over potatoes), grass-fed cheese (if you can handle dairy, this can also be added when there is about 5 minutes of cooking time remaining), or something a little more complex like garlic and herb butter (2 TB ghee or grass-fed butter, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary, 1 tsp fresh thyme and 2 tsp fresh scallions.. add to a small bowl and stir together!)

Enjoy! 


Photo by Billy Wilbanks. DSMP marketing. Instagram @wbanks85

 

 

 

 

Berry Cricket Recovery Bars (Paleo)

In my travels this year I ended up in Michigan with the intent to compete in the American Open weightlifting series. Unfortunately I was unable to compete due to an injury but since I had already booked my trip I grabbed one of my best friends and we went out there to see what Michigan had to offer! What we found was: a lot of wineries, breweries, tons of huge crystal clear lakes, and cherries! Most days were pretty rainy so we found ourselves on a variety of wine trails and discovered that a lot of the vineyards were previously cherry fields, which adds a unique note to their locally made wines. We also found that every town had a bakery filled with cherry baked goods… obviously most/almost none were gluten free so I was eager to make some tasty cherry treats when I got back home. I stumbled across this recipe in Steph Gaudreau’s Performance Paleo Cookbook and thought I would give it a try! I have also been reading more about cricket flour lately and its known for its high protein, nutrient and amino acid profile, therefore making this a great recovery workout snack.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup cashews, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cashew flour
  • 1/2 cup cricket flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Instructions:

-Line an 8x8inch baking pan with parchment paper

-Place cashews, cashew flour, cricket flour and sea salt in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely mixed, set aside

-Add dates, dried berries and vanilla extract to food processor and process until one large sticky clump forms

-Add date mixture to flour mixture and using coconut oil mix with hands until well combined, this takes a good amount of time and elbow grease!

-Freeze for 30 minutes then remove and place on cutting board and slice into 8 bars, these can easily be stored in the fridge or freezer for about 12 days. Enjoy!


Photos by Billy Wilbanks. DSMP marketing. Instagram @wbanks85.

Pumpkin Freezer Fudge (Paleo, Vegan)

Fall is my all-time favorite season. Apple picking, pumpkin carving, watching the leaves change colors, brisk mornings and evenings, what’s there not to love! Well- in my opinion- the sugary, artificial “pumpkin spice” everything is a bit overkill. Pumpkin is a squash and therefore it’s not inherently the sweetest ingredient for baked goods but it is easily complimented by natural sweeteners to make some delicious, nutrient dense treats. Pumpkin pie is probably the most common- but this freezer fudge is definitely a new favorite of mine. The recipe is quick and easy and it’s sure to please a wide array of audiences. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cups coconut butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Instructions:

-Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.

-Add all ingredients except the walnuts into a food processor and process until smooth.


-Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, use spatula to smooth.


-Sprinkle walnuts evenly over the mixture and freeze for an hour or until firm.


-Remove from freezer and let sit out for 5 minutes before cutting into squares.


-Enjoy!

I typically cut and then individually wrap each square and place them back into the freezer to grab whenever I need a treat! These are best eaten within 2 weeks if stored in the fridge or freezer.

 

 

 

Apple Pie Tarts (Paleo, Egg-Free)

This past weekend I had an Olympic Weightlifting competition up in Concord, NH. It was a pretty small meet and I’m lucky enough to train with most of the people that were there so it was even more fun to compete with a bunch of friends! Some of the highlights of the trip were getting to see my roommate, Chelsea, and good friend Ryan partake in their first ever Oly meet. They freaking killed it and I couldn’t be more proud of them! Flashback to when I had my first meet and I couldn’t feel my legs and hit only 1/6 lifts, HA! Another highlight was crushing some non-paleo (but still gluten-free) pizza afterwards. I think its a rule that after you almost kill yourself trying to cut weight you’re allowed to consume whatever you want that isn’t going to kill you further 🙂 After this meet my coach and I decided it was time to move up a weight class anyways… sooo ALL the baked goods are coming your way!


Oh… and I wore a poop singlet for shits and giggles 😂😂!

Apple picking is one of my favorite things to do this time of year. But then of course there is the task of trying to eat all of those apples before they go bad! So here is a pretty easy and delicious apple pie tart recipe that I hope you all enjoy!

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 5 TB coconut oil, melted
  • 3 TB maple syrup
  • 2 TB almond milk
  • 1 1/2 TB vanilla extract

Filling

  • 2 TB grass-fed butter
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 1 TB apple cider
  • 1 TB honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large mixing bowl combine all crust ingredients and mix until fully incorporated
  • Grease a mini-cupcake pan (or if you want to get fancy use these tart tins) with coconut oil
  • Take 1-2 TB sized scoops of the crust mixture and press them into the tins to create a pocket for the filling, try to keep the thickness of the dough the same on the bottom and the sides
  • Once the dough is set, heat the butter for the filling in a large pan over medium heat
  • After the butter has melted add the apples and apple cider, cook down for 8-10 minutes or until the apples are soft
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the honey, lemon, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir to combine
  • Add 1-2 TB scoops of the filling to each tart crust
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown (I accidentally over cooked mine.. oops!)
  • Make sure to let the tarts cool for about 3-5 minutes before removing them from the pan, using a toothpick to loosen the edges and wedge them out is very helpful!

You can enjoy these as bite sized snacks or make them into a decadent desert by adding this simple whipped cream:

Add all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whip using a hand (or stand) mixer.

Enjoy!!

Monkey Fuel Bars

Hey everyone! Long time no post, and a long explanation will be heading your way soon, but for now I wanted to pick up right where I left off with a recipe using one of my favorite substitute ingredients: Fuel For Fire.

If you haven’t heard of FFF before, you’re welcome! It’s simply a delicious packet of fruit and protein. I regularly use these packets as pre/inta/post-workout snacks but have come to find out that they are a great baking substitute as well! If you don’t believe me, here’s your chance to try it yourself 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 overripe banana
  • 1 Fuel For Fire Banana Cocoa
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 3 TB coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1-2oz dark chocolate, melted (topping)


    Instructions:

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    • Add banana, fuel for fire, almond butter, eggs and coconut oil in a large bowl and mash/mix until fully incorporated
    • In a separate bowl mix almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt
    • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until no chunks remain
    • Pour batter into greased (use coconut oil) 8×8 baking dish (I made a 1/2 recipe and used this amazing baking pan to make the mine)

    • Bake for 17-18 mins, let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack
    • Once cool, melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl or double boiler

    • Drizzle chocolate over each square (I use wilton decorating bags to help with this) and pop them in the fridge for about 10 minutes until the chocolate has cooled and solidified again

      Then enjoy!! These make a great “real food” pre or post workout snack containing a pretty balanced amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates! I’ve used FFF for a substitute for bananas, apple sauce, mashed potato, pumpkin puree, mostly anything that is used as a binder. The bananas add a bit more texture but the results are equally delicious either way. I made this recipe without bananas because… I didn’t have any! It pays to think outside the box sometimes, especially when you regularly stock up on things like Fuel For Fire! Check them out!

      Pumpkin Bacon & Chive Biscuits (Paleo, Nut-Free)

      You might be wondering where I have been the last 9 months… and to answer that in one word, I have been BUSY! There have been a boatload of changes: bought a house, had to buy a new car, started a new full time job while still maintaining two other part time jobs. It’s been a little hectic to say the least. But I am happy to be back and although I haven’t had the time to make many new recipes myself, I wanted to share some that I have enjoyed making and munching on while I’ve been MIA.

      These biscuits are brought to you by The Urban Poser whose blog I peruse quite often to find tasty recipes! So without further ado:

      Pumpkin Bacon & Chive Biscuits (Nut, Dairy and Gluten-Free)

      Ingredients:

      • 3-4 Strips of Bacon, cooked until crispy
      • 1/2 Cup melted fat (Bacon grease works great here!)
      • 1/2 Cup + 2 TB coconut flour
      • 3/4 tsp baking soda
      • 1/4 tsp sea salt
      • 1 TB apple cider vinegar
      • 1/2 Cup  pumpkin puree
      • 3 large eggs
      • 1/2 Cup finely chopped fresh chives (substitute: green onions)

      Instructions:

      -Preheat oven to 350 degrees

      -In a large bowl combine the coconut flour, baking soda and salt

      -In a separate bowl whisk together the cooking fat, vinegar, eggs and pumpkin puree until combined.

      -Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients then add finely chopped bacon and chives

      -Using a 1/4 cup measure, gently pack and drop the biscuits onto a parchment lined baking sheet

      -Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the edges start to crisp

      -Allow biscuits to cool for about 5 minutes and then enjoy!

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      Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (Paleo)

      Well I have some exciting news to share with you all today! I am now officially the nutrition coach for the North East Grid League Springfield Musketeers! If you aren’t familiar with the Grid League, it’s basically crossfit taken to the next level. Teams are drafted and combined to showcase some of the best athletes and their respective strengths. Similar to football in many ways, it gives athletes to really capitalize on what they are good at in a competitive setting. It’s fast paced and uber fun to watch! If you don’t believe me check it out for yourself!

        
      More info to come on that topic, but for now, if you are in the Weatern Mass area come down to Crossfit Swarm on Saturday, June 13th and come chat with me and try some of my delicious treats! I will have a booth at their 80’s themed competition. Should be a great day! 

      In other news this will be the third week of my local farm share delivery from Forty Acres Farm in Granby, MA. I have thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with some new veggies and cuts of meat! I highly reccomend investing in a local farm share. There is no better way to support local farms and receive the freshest meat and produce possible! Not to mention you can trust that you are getting a high quality product. I suggest visiting the farm and getting to know the farmer. Patrick Benson is the owner and farmer at Forty Acres Farm and be only does he do everything pretty much himself but he is super knowledgable, kind, welcoming, and hardworking. He gave me the tour of of farm even before seeds were really sprouting but was able to express his passion for organic, sustainable farming practices as well as pasture raised meats. His animals are also halal raised and humanely slaughtered. He takes great pride in his products, as he should, they have been outstanding! 

      The first week we got a bunch of rhubarb, which I have surprisingly never used before! I  was eager to make various rhubarb treats but unfortunately most of them needed some tweaking to be at my standards. This jam, however, came out great! I’m thinking it will be perfect to use as a filling or spread on cupcakes, cakes, muffins or maybe even some paleo bread if you have some lying atound! 😜

      ingredients:

      • 1.5 cups local rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
      • 1.5 cups organic strawberries, hulled and cut in half
      • 1/3 cup local raw honey 
      • Juice of 1 lemon

      Instructions:

      -Combine all ingredients over medium heat in a large, thick bottomed pot

        

        
      -Simmer for 15-25 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing fruit with fork until the jam starts to thicken to desired consistency

        
      -Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy! 

        
      Jam can be kept in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. It can also be frozen in an airtight container.