As I slowly attempt to get into Ironman Shape (or rather good enough shape to begin the training plan for my Ironman next year), I wanted to make some healthy snacks that I can easily refuel with after training. I’ve made a lot of date bars in the past, but I was ready for something a bit more….oatey 😀
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1 cup crispy rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips (or chopped-up m&ms)
- 3/4 cup honey or agave nectar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl, mixing gently so the crispy rice cereal doesn’t get crushed. Mix until well-combined.
Using a cookie scoop (or roll small amounts in your hands), drop rounded tablespoonful-sized portions onto a parchment or wax paper lined cooking sheet. I used my cookie scoop and then rolled the scooped portion out between my palms. Let the granola balls firm up in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
Once hardened, place in a large tupperware-type container or ziploc bags to freeze or refrigerate. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week or for a few months in the freezer.
They taste AWESOME! I love the crispy texture that the cereal adds, and that they are so protein packed 😀
Banana pudding is such a perfect summer dessert. It doesn’t require any time in oven, it takes minimal prep time, and it isn’t too heavy! Especially this version. I lighted it up by swapping out the heavy cream for lite Cool Whip, and mixed the almond milk with the pudding. I also increased the ratio of bananas to pudding and wafers. These little changes make a big difference, and leave you feeling great!
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk
- 1 package vanilla pudding (4 oz)
- 4 large bananas, sliced
- 1 container cool whip
- 3 cups Nilla Wafers, crushed
Salted Caramel Sauce:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 6 Tbsp Butter
- 1 tsp sea salt
Combine the chilled almond milk with the pudding, and whisk until fully combined. Let the pudding chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
While the pudding chills, prepare the salted caramel sauce. Pour the sugar into a large, heavy-bottomed pot, and whisk until completely melted. The sugar will clump in the beginning, but don’t worry…it will melt completely with time. Allow the sugar to cook until it turns a beautiful amber color, and has a nutty aroma. I don’t have a candy thermometer, so I go completely by visual cues. At this point, remove the mixture from the heat. Whisk in the butter, then the cream. The mixture will bubble up, so be careful during this stage (I burned my finger!). The last step is to stir in the salt. Let the caramel cool to room temperature.You can store leftover caramel in a mason jar (I had about 3/4 cup left over). It will last in your fridge for about two weeks.
One the caramel is cool and the pudding has set, layer the pudding. I like to use mason jars, but a giant trifle container or stemless wineglass would work great too. Begin with a layer of pudding, followed by crushed wafers, banana slices, caramel sauce, and cool whip. Repeat until the jars are full, or you run out of ingredients 😀