From the Kitchen of Robyn Maher
Life can get pretty hectic! As a single, working mom of three, I’m often not sure how I’m going to get everyone (myself included) where we need to go. In contrast, when I was a child, my mother stayed at home to raise five kids. She always had time to bake something for us and made almost everything from scratch. One of her most famous recipes is her banana nut bread. I remember coming home after school to a freshly baked loaf cooling on wire racks, just waiting for a thick slice to be cut, with a big smear of melting butter soaking right into it. It was heaven!
These days I don’t indulge in Mom’s banana bread too often, but the scent of it baking instantly brings the familiar taste to memory and gets my mouth watering. Inspired by my mother’s delicious after-school snack, I created these quick banana nut–flavored protein bites. I use cleaner ingredients and much less sugar than old-fashioned banana bread recipes call for.
When you’re busy and always on the go, it’s a great idea to have healthy snacks on hand that will keep you on course and help you stay fit. That said, you’ll find countless “healthy protein bite” recipes out there that, when you look closely, call for copious amounts of nut butters, oats, and honey. Your body processes honey in the same way it processes sugar. Basically, it is sugar.
Eating just one or two of those less-than-ideal protein bites can hijack your fitness goals. Try my more healthful, cleaner version to get more protein and much less sugar and carb.
Banana Nut Protein Bites
1 cup Quest Banana Cream protein powder
1/3 cup Quest Multi-Purpose Mix protein powder
1/3 cup baking stevia
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon butter extract (optional)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
Blend all the ingredients in a mixer until they’re well incorporated. Scrape down the sides often, turning over the ingredients repeatedly until you get an even mixture. Remove the mixer bowl from its stand, and set a large plate next to the bowl. Using a 1-inch melon baller, scoop the dough into equal portions. Roll each into a 1-inch ball, and set on the plate. You should get about 16 equal-sized balls. Chill until ready to eat. Keep refrigerated, or freeze in snack-sized plastic bags, 3 protein bites per bag.
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