January is packed with inspiration and motivation to get back on track after a sweet-filled holiday season. It can feel extreme, and it also can be depleting to cut oneself off from everything indulgent after weeks of eating favorite sweet and savory recipes. For sugar lovers who believe going cold-turkey feels intimidating or overwhelming, nutrition-packed desserts are a great way to stick to healthy food goals without the guilt.
Quinoa Breakfast Bars
This recipe is a classic favorite. If you cut the bars into 16 pieces, they are around 270 calories each. They are very filling, packed with healthy goodies and taste, oh so delicious. If you can't finish them yourself (it makes a lot!), bring samples along to your next workout class to share the love. Your accountability group will be asking you for the recipe! These come in handy for a quick breakfast on-the-go or an afternoon snack. You'll want to taste these out of the oven once they cool a bit...simply scrumptious.
- 1 cup wheat flour
- 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
- 2 cups oats
- 2/3 cup of your choice of chopped nuts
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2/3 cup raisins or raisins
- Optional: chocolate chips as desired
- Optional: add additional seeds or nuts on hand such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
Notes: Boil quinoa at a 2:1 water to rice ratio. For estimating, 1/3 cup of uncooked quinoa yields 1 cup cooked quinoa.
Add this mixture slowly to combine:
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup peanut butter, almond butter or sunflower butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 banana
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until when the edges get golden brown. Bake in a 9x13-inch glass dish. After they cool, slice and enjoy. Keep them covered to maintain freshness.
Frozen Peanut Butter Bites
Danger ahead: this snack is amazing. It's the easiest of the bunch and also satisfies a sweet tooth craving. This can be whipped together in just 5 minutes and makes just a small amount. Feel free to take creative liberty here with your amounts, but if you make it to this recipe, they are around 90 calories per bite.
1. Cut a banana into 8-10 small slices, around 1/2 inch each.
2. Spread 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter (or your choice of nut butter) on each banana slice.
3. Drizzle a small amount of melted chocolate chips or caramel over each bite.
4. Freeze for 15-20 minutes and enjoy!
Pro tip: A dash of sea salt flakes on top of these can be *chef's kiss.*
These are great to keep on hand in the freezer all weeklong. Once they set, add them to a closed container to keep the bananas from browning.
Protein Cookie Dough Bites
Late night snack cravings are real! When finding yourself rooting through the cabinets for a sweet fix, these protein cookie dough bites are a great way to curb temptation. This recipe yields around 20 small bites, which can be cut into small squares or rolled into dough balls. Each bite is around 105 calories. If you find the dough is a little too dry, add a dash of milk as needed.
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup peanut butter (or alternate nut or sunflower butter)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Chocolate chips as desired
Pro tip: Use mini chocolate chips and for a dash of savory add sea salt flakes on top.
Once combined, store the bites in the refrigerator in a covered container to keep them moist.