Chocolate coffee shake

chocolate coffee crunch smoothieRunner’s World tweeted a link to post-run smoothies. One particular smoothie jumped out right away: Crunchy coffee fix. This blends (get it??? Instant rimshot time.) the two things I want after a run: Coffee and a smoothie.

Truth be told, I didn’t have this after a run. I had this as an afternoon treat during a running off day. But it worked really well for that. Especially since I had a salad for lunch, it was nice to have a little sweet treat in the afternoon. And that’s what is great about this smoothie. The chocolate, banana and almond are all present in this smoothie, giving it a nice balance and texture. It has things I always have on hand and can whip up after a run or as a healthy afternoon snack. And the foods work well together, as described in the Runner’s World post. The post also have recipes for a few other smoothies, including smoothies that are each savory, green and dessert-like. So check out the article yourself!

Crunchy coffee fix

1 large smoothie

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces chilled coffee
  • 4 ounces fat-free milk
  • 1 banana (preferably frozen), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons whole almonds
  • 2 teaspoons natural cocoa powder

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

What do you crave after a good workout?

Easy chocolate-covered pretzels

Looking for a super easy, last minute holiday treat? Tired of sweets and want a salty-sweet snack? Snowed in and looking for something to pass the time? Well, I have a simple snack for you!

Two ingredients, half an hour plus drying time, and you have a fun snack: Chocolate-covered pretzels! Growing up, I always loved making almost bark pretzels at the holidays. They were fun to make, fun to eat, salty and sweet. This took me back and is a fun, unexpected treat in a sea of chocolates and cookies.

All you need is chocolate of your choice and pretzels!1219121526

I used candy cane Kisses, but you can use whatever you want. I like them because they have sprinkles in them, mint flavor and melt red. Another festive option is green mint chocolate for green. Darn, maybe I should have done half and half. But even almond bark or white chocolate with sprinkles (or regular or dark chocolate if you are a traditionalist) will work.

1219121629To make chocolate-covered pretzels:

Put the chocolate over medium-low heat on the stove. Stir every so often to keep the chocolate melting. Once melted, turn the heat to the lowest (or warm) setting so it doesn’t harden but doesn’t overcook. Dump in a large handful of pretzels and coat. With a skewer or fork, fish out the pretzels, shake a little to rid the pretzels of excess chocolate, and place on wax paper to dry.

So simple, so yummy! Enjoy.

Chocolate, peanut butter and oat bars

If you have noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a health bites kick. It’s a pretty good little dose of sweetness and a great pre- or post-run snack. I tend to make these in balls just because it’s easier for me to make them that way, but by all means make bars if that’s your thing.

These have chocolate, which I’m not a huge fan of normally, but I thought I would give them a shot and I know many of my readers are into chocolate. And I made two batches, one with maple-flavored agave and one without. I started with a recipe I found on (where else?) Pinterest, and adapted it to meet my needs. These aren’t my favorite because of the chocolate, (a little too sweet and not my taste) but I would make them again to mix things up.

Chocolate Peanut Butter & Oat Snack Bars

Makes about 8 balls

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp chocolate chips
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp nut butter
  • 2 Tbsp milk (or milk substitute)
  • 1/2 C oats
  • Optional: 1 Tsp vanilla extract, 1 Tbsp sweetener (Brown/White Sugar, Agave, Maple Syrup or Stevia), 1 Tbsp nuts, seeds or dried fruit

Directions

  1. Melt the first three ingredients together on low heat, stirring constantly
  2. Add the Oats and any optional ingredients, stir to combine. (You want this mixture to be fairly dry. If it’s not dry enough, add more oats one tablespoon at a time)
  3. Press mixture into bars or balls.
  4. Put in refrigerator or freezer for 10 minutes or until bars have set up. Slice or break apart.

Is it worth making homemade bars?

Since I have posted a few different recipes for homemade granola or energy bars, I thought I would take a moment and touch on if it’s worth making your own. This is a personal preference to everyone and I enjoy making them, eating something I’ve made and customizing them how I want.

The Kitchn has a fun series, Make or Buy where they see if it’s worth the time, money and taste to make or buy different foods. here is there take on granola bars.

Do you make or buy your bars? What do you always add to yours?

Easy chocolate croissant

Want a super-easy breakfast or dessert that is a little sweet, a little savory? Me too! So I came up with easy filled croissants one weeknight. They take a few ingredients and about 5 minutes of hands-on time (20 minutes total).

Gather a baking sheet, refrigerated croissants, powdered sugars and fillings. I used almond butter, chocolate hazelnut butter and a cream cheese and powdered sugar filling. You could use (white) chocolate chips or candy bars, peanut butter, Nutella, caramel, jelly or whatever sounds good.

Roll the dough on the cookie sheet. Put the filling in center of the wide part of the dough. Roll the dough up, starting at the wide end.

Cook as directed on the package. When done, take the cookie sheet out of the oven and top the croissants with powdered sugar.

Eat! If you are like me and have a combination of fillings and forget where you put what on the sheet, it will be a surprise filling when you bite into it. But trust me, every bite was amazing. And if you don’t eat them all the first time (It was hard to stop!), just pop the croissants back in the oven for a few minutes to warm up and crisp on the outside.

Do you have a trusty, quick dessert? If you make this, I would love to know what fillings you use!