Homemade Chocolate Banana Protein Bars

Most store bought protein bars are loaded with sugar and preservatives. Even worse...they're so expensive! Take some time before your busy week to prepare homemade protein bars. You control the ingredients, the taste and the cost. 

Chocolate Banana Protein Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 Ripe Bananas
  • 1/2 cup chocolate protein powder (I use Garden of Life)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Blend all wet ingredients together
  • Fold in protein powder and flour
  • Mix until well combined
  • Add in baking powder, salt and chocolate chips
  • Grease an 8x8 baking pan 
  • Pour batter into pan and bake for 20-30 minutes (or until edges are golden brown)

Love these as a delicious, healthy snack or for some pre-workout fuel. Enjoy! 

Rachel Agranove
Chewy Apricot Energy Bars

Happy Monday!! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. It was low key over here. I worked pretty much all day on Friday and when I finally got home around 7:30, I was POOPED! I think I passed out at 9 p.m. #grandmastatus. Saturday I worked in the morning, got a facial in the afternoon, and then Michael made freaking awesome pasta which was immediately followed by an outing for ice cream.  Yesterday we went on a nice walk before the heat was at full force to Maple Acres Farmers Market, a wonderful farm near our place that has all sorts of amazing fresh produce and meat! We bought $8 worth of produce that would have probably been $20 at any grocery store. I'm talking 25 cents for a massive eggplant. And 3 for $1 cucumbers. Shop local - so worth it! If you're in the Philadelphia area or surrounding suburbs I definitely recommend a trip to Maple Acres.

We chilled by the pool, watched the olympics and browsed properties to buy in Italy for the rest of the day. No we're not moving to Italy, but one can dream! If couch lounging was an olympic sport, we would have gotten gold yesterday. And then we had more pasta for dinner last night with homemade marinara...can you tell we really, REALLY want to go back to Italy?!? 

Lazy weekend for the win after a crazy few past weekends.

Chewy Apricot Energy Bars

My friends bought me this new cookbook for my birthday in attempt to motivate me to post more recipes on the blog and it totally worked.

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You know I'm all about my power snacks. I just tweaked a few ingredients in the recipe to make it my own and to use up what I had and I absolutely LOVED this recipe. Its chewy, gooey, nutty, crunchy and perfectly sweet. 

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Chewy Apricot Bars via ahealthfulheart.com
Chewy Apricot Bars via ahealthfulheart.com

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter*
1 apple peeled, cored and coarsely grated
1 2/3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup oat flour**
1/2 cup chopped walnuts***
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cups dried apricots, diced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper
Heat oil & sugar in saucepan over low until sugar dissolves
Remove from heat & stir in nut butter
Add apple, oats, flour, walnuts, sunflower seeds and mix well
Spoon about 2/3 of mixture into pan
Sprinkle with apricots (press them into mixture) and dot the remaining oat mixture over the apricots in a thin layer
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top is golden brown
Let cool until almost cold (or else they will crumble apart!) and then cut into 16 squares
Store in fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for later

**Recipe called for almond butter, but I only had PB on hand and it worked great - could use any nut butter!
**Recipe called for brown rice flour but I stuck with oats here
***Recipe called for almonds, again adapted here with walnuts because I love walnuts in baked goods

Hope you all have a great Monday!

XO - Rach

What did you do this weekend?

If you could travel anywhere right now, where would it be?

Birthday Weekend + Recent Eats + Workouts

Last weekend was my birthday weekend and it was filled with so much delicious food and wine! This whole month (like every other summer) I've kind of let myself relax a lot in terms of eating and working out. I've really been enjoying life and eating all the good things. I've also been a little less strict about my workouts because I started to feel a bit burnt out with everything going on. Going into this new month I'm going to try to be a little bit better about my eating habits and try to switch up my workouts a little bit. 

Buck's County Wineries

Last Saturday we took a little tour of the Buck's County wineries - such a cheap and fun thing to do! We stopped by Rose Bank Winery, Wycombe (my personal favorite), Buckingham Farms and Rushland Ridge Winery. 

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Wycombe Winery was my favorite overall because of the delicious wines and complimentary food. They had this olive garlic dip that was so tasty I've already re-created it at home and it's already gone. Rushland Ridge was a close favorite, mostly because of our expectations. We read this Yelp review before going there:

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This review was a blessing in disguise - we all love dogs, 'abundantly poured' tastings sounded pretty great to us, and 'personal residence' sounded like a laid back and relaxing environment! And then we went and were greeted by the most adorable black lab, we got to pour our tastings on our OWN, and the laid back feeling was everything. Melissa from Conshohocken, you suck. AND my favorite wine I tried all day was from this winery. I thought it was "up to snuff," Melissa. RUDE. 

Recent Eats

Anyway, here's what I've been eating lately...lots of eggs, salads, chicken, beef, the usual!! 

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Breakfast of eggs, spinach, tomato, banana and peaches with peanut butter.

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An egg, spinach, avocado, Sriracha, and a banana with peanut butter! 

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A delicious lunch salad with romaine, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, castelvetrano olives (best olives ever), basil, a burger and my homemade olive garlic spread from Wycombe Winery (told you I made it).  

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Another hearty salad this time with avocado, feta and chicken made in the crockpot. 

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I've been making whole chickens lately either in the crockpot or in the oven and it's the best. Such a cheap way to have delicious protein all week. Look at that beauty. I've been saving the carcasses to make homemade bone broth. No food goes wasted! 

We went down to DC for a wedding this past weekend and all healthy eating goes out the door when on vacation - here's a pic of us devouring a Mortadella and Fontina pizza in the car...

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And a pic from the wedding to capture that I do in fact sometimes shower...

Workouts

Monday - Unite Fitness class - I'm going to start coaching group fitness classes at Unite so I try to pop in when I can! This workout was great. All of the workouts focus on 30 minutes of cardio, 30 minutes of strength circuits and 15 minutes of yoga! 

Tuesday - 20 mins incline treadmill walking + a Thrive strength workout

Wednesday - Thrive strength workout. Butt was sore from this one - lots of split squats! I did this workout with one of my clients and it was fun to push each other! 

Thursday - taught 60 minute spin + Thrive team workout:

3x: Overhead slams, broad jumps and bear crawls 

3x: 10 KB swings, 3/3 KB snatches, 5 KB Goblet squats, 5 push-ups

10 min: one lower, one upper and one core (moving with purpose) I did jump squats, chin-ups and weighted sit-ups. 

We then ended with a nice little burst of spin that I taught! I don't know if these guys had fun with it but I certainly did ;)

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Friday - Hill sprints with my co-workers. We only did about 20 minutes (if that) and my hamstrings were sore ALL WEEKEND!!! 

Saturday and Sunday - Heavy lifting of the fork to my mouth. Best workouts all week. 

Happy Tuesday!! Hope everyone's week is off to a great start. Running to work now to train clients for the rest of the night :)

How was your weekend?

Wineries or breweries?

What was your favorite meal all week?