Low-Sugar Chocolate Oat Cookies

Hi guys! Hope your week is off to a fabulous start!

I’ve been spending lots of time with friends and keeping super busy when I’m not! Lots of beach time as well, because, well I think I’m turning into a mermaid.

And now… I have a fun recipe to share with you! It has a pretty funny story behind it.

First of all, I don’t know who to credit for the original recipe for this, because I got it from my Nana, who got it from someone. However, I did tweak it a little bit and make my own version of it because I love doing that!

Last month I went to visit my Nana and Pawpaw. When I go see them, my Nana ALWAYS has some sort of sweet treat made for me. Ever since I can remember, she’s always had fresh cookies, brownies, or some sort of yummy treat waiting because she knows my love for sweets! Well this time, since she knows that I’m trying to maintain a healthy diet and enjoy finding new healthy recipes, she made me some healthy cookies similar to no-bakes (my FAV)!! How thoughtful is that?! Ugh she is the sweetest.

But when she told me about the cookies she made me, she said “Bethany, I made you these cookies because they’re healthier than regular ones and I know you’re eating healthy… but THEY ARE AWFUL!” Hahaha. So of course, when I tried them I loved them, and they were certainly not awful. *Disclaimer: we ended up making real no-bake cookies that weekend because we just needed the real thing too! Balance, right?* I just thought it was so funny that she thought they were so gross. She’s too modest – everything she makes tastes like heaven in your mouth.

That being said, these do not taste quite like no bake cookies. HOWEVER! They are not a bad alternative if you are counting calories or avoiding sugar! I honestly did enjoy them, and will definitely make them again. One of the main changes I made is adding a small amount of NATURAL sugar. When you look at most cookie recipes, there’s a minimum of a whole cup of sugar, so this still keeps them minimal sugar!

I’m not hating on normal cookies, but moderation is key! Sometimes ya just need a healthy alternative, especially with summer right around the corner!

Here is the recipe, including my changes I made:

3 ripe bananas
2 cups oats (I prefer old fashioned over quick)
1/3 cup peanut butter (I use natural!)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey
*If you still need more sweetness, you can add stevia.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash the bananas. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Let the batter stand for 20-30 minutes. Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!

I hope you guys have a lovely week! You are amazing. Thanks for reading!

XO beth

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3 Ingredient No-Bake Peanut Butter Cups

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Hi guys, and happy hump day!! I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day!

As many of you probably know, I am all about eating clean MOST of the time, and making healthy snack choices ALMOST all the time. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — MODERATION is KEY!

You have to learn how to BALANCE your healthy choices with a few indulgences here and there.

One of my favorite times to indulge is Valentine’s Day! I love chocolate. Like, A LOT. Like if my house caught on fire, I’d be real tempted to save the chocolate. Although I usually can’t keep any in my house because it tempts me too much. ANYWAYS.

This V-day, I decided to try a new sweet treat based on my favorite candy – Reese’s hearts! I made up my own peanut butter cups, using minimal ingredients to avoid the long list of crap-like ingredients. I included a picture of the long list of ingredients on a Reese’s (still love Reese’s don’t get me wrong).

I know I know, these aren’t the healthiest snack BUT they do have much fewer things in them than normal candy. It’s nice knowing exactly what goes into what you’re eating! I shared them with a couple friends for V-day treats and they seemed to be a hit! Here’s the recipe!

3-Ingredient No-Bake Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1tsp coconut oil

Peanut butter filling:
1/3 cup natural peanut butter *look at the ingredients when choosing PB; less ingredients is best!
1 tsp coconut oil
*you may want to add a small splash of water here, depends how thick you want your filling. if you want it thinner but creamy, add a small splash of water.

Line a mini muffin pan with mini muffin cups (if you don’t have any cups that’s fine, just lightly coat the pan with oil!). Heat up chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Drop a small dollop of the melted chocolate into each mini muffin cup so that the whole bottom is covered. Melt the peanut butter and coconut oil, then add splash of water if necessary. Stir until mixed and smooth. Place a small dollop – slightly smaller than the dollop of chocolate on the bottom – of the PB mixture on top of the bottom chocolate layer. Then, top them all off with another (slightly larger) dollop of chocolate, so that the peanut butter is covered, for the most part. Freeze for 20 minutes. ENJOY!

Once frozen, these can be stored in either the refrigerator or freezer, just personal preference! You can also top with nuts, granola, etc. to add a little crunch! I’m trying it with dark chocolate and walnuts next time 🙂 Hope you guys enjoy!

XO beth

Egg White Breakfast Muffins

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Hey y’all! I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately, experimenting with healthy recipes and meal prepping! Now that operation honeymoon bod has commenced, I’m trying to take my meal prepping to the next level. Not that I don’t normally eat well regardless of upcoming tropical vacations, but I’m beyond motivated.

And we all know abs are made in the kitchen! Therefore, having healthy meals and snacks on hand helps avoid the temptation of less healthy options 🙂

Now don’t get me wrong… I still give in to those temptations here and there. But being on Team A to Z (the fitness team I joined in Nov. and have loved ever since) the last couple months has really helped keep me accountable and more motivated than ever! **if you have any questions about fitness/nutrition coaching by my trainer please let me know!**

So, I am a huge breakfast person. If I were to have to eat ONE meal for the rest of my life, I’d pick breakfast every single time. And now that I’m increasing my workouts, it’s really important to get plenty of protein! Enter these egg white breakfast muffins! They’re packed with protein and nutrients from the veggies and are so easy to grab on the go when you’re rushing out the door in the morning! Or as a post workout snack! Plus they can be super versatile – if you don’t like the veggies I put in mine, experiment and use ones you love! An easy way to add more protein/calories would be to line the muffin cups with a piece of ham!! I chose not to, but this is a great addition!

Egg White Breakfast Muffins
(Yields about 6 muffins)

1.5 – 2 cups egg whites
1 bell pepper
1/2 an onion
2 cups spinach (use as much or as little as you want honestly)
dash of garlic powder
dash of black pepper
shredded cheddar cheese, if needed (I left a couple of mine without cheese for myself but I like to add a little cheese to my hubby’s!)

Preheat oven to 375. Dice up your bell pepper and your onion. Cook the diced peppers and onions on a skillet until they’re tender and slightly browned; about 5 minutes. While that’s cooking, separate your egg whites if not using from a carton, add in the seasonings and stir, and pour into muffin cups. *If lining with ham, do that before pouring egg whites in! Roughly chop your spinach. Sprinkle a handful of peppers and onions into each muffin. Sprinkle in spinach. Top with cheese, if using. Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, or until eggs are cooked! Enjoy!

Hope your Saturday is as awesome as you are!

XO beth

Resolution-Friendly Snacks

Hi babes! I hope this post finds you well! I’m so glad it’s Thursday; this week has been super busy, and this weekend is going to be even busier but in a good way! I am regretfully really behind on Grey’s AND Scandal right now (I know I’m ashamed), and I feel like my Thursday would be significantly better if I could actually watch tonight’s episodes. Ugh. First world problems?

ANYWAYS. Let’s talk about healthy snacks! I’ve seen so many people post about their healthy resolutions for the year, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite snacks that are yummy and nutritious without going overkill in calories!

First is baked apples. GAME. CHANGER.

I have allllllways been an apple a day kinda gal. Like since high school I have eaten apples all the time. Sometimes more than one a day – and let me tell ya, I don’t think it’s true that they keep the doctor away haha. But they are great snacks!

Somehow, I have never really thought to bake them, I’ve always just sliced them up and eaten them with peanut butter or almond butter. One night my dear friend Nora mentioned something about baked apples for dessert and I immediately thought, “okay I need that in my life.”

So here we are, a few weeks later, and I have baked many an apple since. Thanks Nora 🙂 It’s such a great cure for those nights when your PMS is screaming at you to eat all the dessert in the world but you don’t want to cheat on your meal plan so you bake an apple, melt some PB, and if you really wanna get crazy with it, serve them warm with Halo Top ice cream. Thank me later.

Recipe:
1 apple (if single serving – more depending on # of people)
cooking spray
stevia (1 packet usually does it)
cinnamon (to taste)

Slice up your apple (my current apple of choice is the Fuji; they’re big so even one is shareable! this recipe is husband approved). Spray a baking dish, glass is best, and line your apples on it. Sprinkle your apple slices with cinnamon and Stevia. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

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Next up we have rice cakes. Which sounds really boring. However, if you top it with the right things, it’s actually amazing. My toppings of choice for rice cakes are peanut butter (or almond butter or PB2) for a sweet one and avocado for a savory!

Now, if you’re on a strict meal plan and don’t want as many calories, then consider just using PB2 on this one. These rice cake snacks are healthy, but they are high in unsaturated fats – the good fats! but still fats, which means calories. So if you have the room in your plan, these make a great post-workout snack!

Tip: buy the UNsalted unflavored rice cakes 🙂

For the sweet one, I just spread nut butter of choice on the rice cake, throw on a few slices of banana for extra nutrients, and about a teaspoon of chia seeds. If you want extra sweetness, drizzle with honey!

For the savory one, simply slice and mash up about half of an avocado, spread it on the rice cake, and sprinkle with a tiny bit of pink himalayan salt (I get mine from Trader Joe’s, it’s lasted a while) and pepper. If you’re into spicy foods, add some red pepper flakes! I’m not brave enough for that, but if you are I admire it about you.

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That’s all for now! Hope you make it to Friday in no time! You are beautiful. Thanks for reading!

XO Beth

Sweet Potatoes: My Spirit Veggie

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Hi y’all! I hope this post finds you well! I’m so excited that it’s December (although a little confused how time flew so fast)! I absolutely love Christmas time. I’m pretty sure I’m like 3/4 elf.

The other fourth of me that isn’t elf is probably just sweet potato. Ask my husband – I am obsessed and eat them at least once a day. (Watch- I’ll get sick of them in a month from burning myself out).

I’ve gotten lots of questions about how I cook my sweet potatoes — if you follow me on Instagram (@bethtayreas) or Snapchat (bethtayrich) then you’ve definitely seen me post lots of sweet potatoes with my meals. The last person who asked how I make them is when I realized I’ve never put it on the blog!

So, while there are about 1,000,000 ways you can prepare the sweet potato, here are my two favorite ways! PS- these are the easiest recipes ever! Whether you cook or not, you can do this 🙂

Diced Skillet Sweet Potatoes:

Chop the ends off of your sweet potato, and cut it into coins. Then cut those coins into little squares. You can make your little squares as large or small as you want – all preference. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat and add just a touch of EV olive oil (I barely use any, because of the meal plan I’m currently on. You may use up to 2-3 tbsp if you want.) Add the diced up potato to the skillet and stir around until all pieces are coated somewhat. Sprinkle them with garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. I skip the salt, but again, preference! Sautee until they’re crispy on the outside but soft on the inside! Probably 10-15 minutes. Hint: poke the thickest one with a fork to see if they’re done. If your potato is larger or you are in a hurry, a trick is microwaving it a minute or two before cutting it up.

Enjoy! I love eating these with eggs in the morning, or as a side for lunch or dinner!

Baked Sweet Potato Wedges:

Pre-heat your oven to 415. Chop the ends off the potato and cut in half (like you’re cutting into two large coins). Then turn each piece on its end and cut long ways into fry-like pieces (or wedges…obvi). You can make your wedges as thick or thin as you want. Toss them in a little olive oil, then place them on a baking sheet evenly spread out. Sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. Bake at 415 for 15-20 minutes (until soft all the way through). Enjoy! Great with ketchup if you’re into that 😉

Hope you guys like these! Thanks for reading, hope you’re having the best day!

XO beth

Chocolate PB Homemade Oatmeal

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Hi and happy hump day! If you don’t know me personally, then I’m sure you’ve gathered by previous recipes that one of my favorite combinations is chocolate and peanut butter. If you didn’t know, now ya know. Obviously, that can be a dangerous obsession, so lately I have tried to find healthy, or at least lighter, ways to incorporate it.

So, I used my favorite meal – breakfast. Lately, I’ve seen all these fancy food bloggers posting all these amazing pictures of their oats, and I honestly couldn’t decide which one to turn to. Overwhelmed by the yumminess of them all, I decided to just wing it and create my own version. I didn’t use a recipe for this, I just kept trying different things until it worked how I wanted it. It keeps things interesting, right? ((complete recipe at bottom of post))

Just bring your milk to a boil, then add your oats. I use Quaker Old Fashioned oats. I usually turn the heat down about halfway, but not all the way to simmer. Stir occasionally; milk likes to stick to the sides/bottom of your pan if it sits hot too long so stirring is important.

After a minute or so, add a little brown sugar and cinnamon, and a stevia packet if you want. (I do!)

It takes about five minutes or so for the oats to get to the right consistency, but it all depends on how thick you like your oats. Use your own judgment there!

Once they are cooked how you want them, pour them into your bowl. Top with a tablespoon of *natural* peanut butter, a small handful of chocolate chips (it doesn’t take much), and any other toppings you want. I use chia seeds, sometimes chopped dates, and raisins would also be yummy! Let it sit for a hot minute, as everything gets all melty and wonderful. Then give it a solid stir, and all that melty, ooey gooey chocolate and peanut butter will mix up in there and your heart will explode. Enjoy! (You can also add more stevia if you want extra sweetness, but with the chocolate, you probably won’t need it!)

Oats:
1 cup milk of your choice
1/2 cup oats *your oats will have directions on them for cooking – the milk to oat ratio may be different for some! or if you are extra hungry, do 1.5 cup milk and 3/4 cup oats! just play with it*
2 teaspoons brown sugar
a couple shakes of cinnamon
Toppings:
1-2 teaspoons semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon natural creamy peanut butter
Optional: nuts, raisins, chia seeds, etc.

I have loved this breakfast, especially after spin class! It’s so filling, and so tasty. Hope you guys like it!

XO beth

Shrimp n Grits 

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A few weeks back, I made shrimp and grits for dinner. I got a ton of recipe requests when I posted a pic of it, so here it is! It’s super easy and even more yummy! Not to mention shrimp is super lean and very low fat 🙂

I looked at several recipes on Pinterest and eventually just took a little from each one and winged it on my own (I tend to do that a lot; sometimes it ends well, sometimes not). Though it’s versatile and easy to tweak, here’s what I did:

1 lb peeled and deveined, ready to eat  shrimp  *depending how many people you’re feeding — I got mine in the frozen section at the grocery store, just sit it in cool water for five minutes to thaw it! So easy.

1 cup instant grits *I chose this kind to save time; you can use stone ground.

3 tablespoons of butter

2 cups of cheddar cheese *I found that this is SO yummy with smoked gouda!! Experiment with different cheeses!

4-6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

4 tsp lemon juice (optional! the first time I made it, I used zero lemon juice and it was still just as good!)

2 tbsp chopped parsley *I just used the dry parsley I had in my spice cabinet to save time

scallions (aka green onions)

minced garlic (about a clove, but up to you as well)

First, if you bought frozen shrimp, put it in a bowl of cool water to thaw. While it’s thawing, get your grits going on the stovetop. The package will have instructions for that.

Fry up your bacon but save the grease when it’s done!

Chop your scallions, bacon, garlic if needed, and parsley while the grits cook. Once the grits are almost done cooking, add the cheese and butter. Stir until it’s well mixed. Remove from heat when done. Once shrimp is thawed and the tails are off, dry them off. Add them to the skillet you cooked the bacon in, and cook them for a few minutes (about until they turn pink) then add the scallions, bacon, garlic, parsley, and lemon juice. Saute it all together for a few more minutes, then remove it from heat.

Serve grits in a bowl, then scoop the shrimp mixture on top of them. Sprinkle on more parsley and bacon if you want, and enjoy!

So easy, so quick, and SO GOOD. Happy weekend friends, thanks for reading!

XO beth

 

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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Happy Friday! I hope you’ve all had a good week!

I started off my Friday with a delicious new recipe that is so good I’m gonna share it with you guys. It’s one of those recipes I found and then put my own twist on it, so just bear with me. I absolutely love sweets, but we all know we have to eat them in moderation. So lately I’ve tried to put a healthy twist on certain recipes that aren’t as healthy as I’d like. It’s also so simple you probably have ALL of these things in your pantry right now!

This recipe was perfect for that. Jon and I were watching the debate last night, and I realized I had 3 bananas that were almost too ripe to eat, so I hopped on Pinterest to find something to use them in, with something we could have for breakfast in mind. I found this Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin recipe that sounded amazing so I went with that! I found it here, and I loved her blog, I’ll definitely be back.

At the last minute, I decided I wanted to do a bread version, rather than muffins (don’t ask why, I have no idea). So the only thing I did different for that was pour the batter into a loaf pan and bake it for about 40-45 minutes instead of 20.

Here’s the original recipe:

Ingredients
  1. 1 cup white sugar
  2. 2 cups flour
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 3 tablespoons sour cream
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  8. 2 or 3 ripe bananas – I always use 3 bananas
  9. 3/4 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together until moistened.
  2. Pour into greased muffin baking tray or use muffin paper liners.
  3. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Recipe makes 12 muffins.

Here are my changes:
-Replaced flour with whole wheat flour
-Used nonfat sour cream
-Used 1/4 cup regular butter, other 1/4 low fat butter (from olive oil)
-Like I said, for muffins keep it the same baking time but for bread bake it twice as long, or just until it looks baked all the way through the center!

These won’t make a huge difference, but they will help cut down on fat and calories in this recipe! And the best part is they don’t alter the flavor – it’s still yummy!! Enjoy it with a big glass of milk or coffee and you’re set. Jon and I both had a piece for breakfast and both loved it!

Have a great day, and remember you are so loved!

XO beth