peanut butter coconut flour protein muffins

Hi everyone! I have another recipe to share with you today, starring another cool flour: coconut flour! One reason I love baking with coconut flour is that it is packed full of fiber: a single serving of 2 tablespoons delivers a whopping 5 grams of fiber! It is also gluten-free, low in carbs, and high in protein. Coconut flour is made by grinding dried, defatted coconut meat. {source}

These muffins are light and airy, while also being filling enough to keep you satisfied all morning. You can easily adapt these by mixing in your own favorite goodies — I think they would be great with nuts or dried cranberries stirred in, or maybe even chocolate chips! I love to amp up their peanut butter flavor even more by topping them with additional peanut butter! {As my brother would say, “Out of control…”} 🙂

I hope you enjoy these as much as Allyn and I did!

coconut-muffins-edited

{recipe adapted from Eat Good 4 Life}

Makes: 12 muffins

    • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
    • 1/2 cup coconut butter
    • 2 organic eggs
    • 1 tbsp ground flax
    • 3 tbsp water
    • 1 banana, mashed {about 1/2 cup}
    • 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
    • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut flour
    • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
    • 1/4 cup milk, almond milk, soy milk or rice milk
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin baking pan with paper liners and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix the water and ground flax and set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, stir the coconut flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon.

4. In a large bowl, mix the bananas, eggs, vanilla extract, coconut butter and peanut butter. Using a wire whisk or electric mixer works very well! Next, slowly add in the flaxseed-water mixture, yogurt and milk.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently combine.

6. Scoop batter into your muffin pan, filling each muffin cup 3/4 cup of the way.

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the baking pan and cool muffins on a wire rack.

8. Store in an air-tight container. These muffins also freeze well!

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if you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like:

fabulous friday #38

Happy Friday! You know what this means, right? One week till Halloween!! Do you have any ghoul-tastic plans yet? {Haha, someone is obviously a liiittle too hyped up on caffeine right now… sorry!} Earl Grey before yoga + post-yoga endorphins + pumpkin chai latte from Starbucks after yoga = this version of me you are hearing from right now 🙂

Moving right along… this weekend, Allyn and I are going pumpkin-patching {don’t know if that’s actually a verb, but it is now} and I’m planning to hit up a craft store for a couple last-minute touches for my Halloween costume. If you’re looking for an easy, fun Halloween costume but don’t have any ideas, feel free to check out this post with some costumes that have worked well for me in the past!

Here are 5 things I’m loving right now:

1. This beautiful autumn bouquet from ProFlowers that arrived on my doorstep a couple days ago from my incredibly sweet and thoughtful dad! He sent them just because he was thinking of me and wanted to send some sunshine my way. How amazing is that? I am the luckiest daughter on the planet. I miss you, Daddy!

autumn flowers from dad

2. My favorite dessert of late: peanut butter toast topped with mini chocolate chips!

pb toast

3. Every time this song comes on the radio I do a little happy dance: “Riptide” by Vance Joy.

4. This heart-wrenchingly beautiful and wise short essay my brother wrote for HuffPost called The Girl Effect and My Grandmother. Read it, and believe me — you’ll be glad you did! Here’s a teaser:

“The agony of these missing parts applies not only to our deceased loved ones — it applies to when we allow fear to dampen courage; ignorance to imprison knowledge; and hatred to overwhelm love.”

5. My grandma’s soup. Her chicken tortilla soup just might be my favorite, but she also makes a mean split pea and curried lentil + barley. I’ll try to get the recipes for those latter two up on here soon!

grandma tortilla soup.jpg

Oh yeah, and one more thing that might explain why I’m feeling so dang happy and excited … I FINISHED MY NOVEL!!!

finished novel doc

Happy weekend, friends! Sending lots of love & joy your way! Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the blogosphere. It means a lot to me 🙂

Questions of the day:

  • What are you loving right now?
  • What are your plans for the weekend?

happy 4th of july! + chocolate pb rice krispies treats

Happy 4th of July! I’m taking a few minutes today — as I try to every day, but especially today — to be grateful for all the men and women who have fought to establish and protect our nation’s independence. We are all so blessed to live in freedom. Every human being should have that blessing — in fact, it shouldn’t even be a blessing. It is a basic human right.

I’ll also be thinking today of the Four Freedoms Speech that FDR gave in 1941, and especially of the Norman Rockwell paintings that were published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1943. I was fortunate enough to see the original paintings a number of years ago with my Gramps and brother when a traveling exhibit came to town. I feel incredibly blessed to enjoy all of these freedoms. Clockwise from upper left: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, Freedom from Fear.

What are you doing today to celebrate the 4th of July? We’re going over to my aunt and uncle’s house for a backyard barbeque and pool party. I’m looking forward to a sunny day of relaxing with my family.

I signed up to bring dessert {no surprise there!} and I decided to bust out a new recipe that didn’t require me to turn on my oven. {It’s been so dang hot out!} I was inspired by this recipe on Money-Saving Mom for chocolate oatmeal no-bake bars. I love rice krispies treats, so I adapted the recipe to use mostly rice krispies. Here’s my take on it:

pb chocolate rice krispies

chocolate peanut butter rice krispies treats

– 1/4 cup coconut oil
– 1/4 cup maple syrup
– 1 cup peanut butter
– 2 cups mini marshmallows
– 1 cup chocolate chips
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup rolled oats
– 3 cups rice krispies

1. Grease a 9 x 13 glass pan and set aside.

2. In a big pot over medium-low heat, melt coconut oil, maple syrup, and peanut butter. Stir until melted and well-combined. {Be careful it doesn’t burn!}

3. Add vanilla and chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is all melted.

4. Add marshmallows and stir until the marshmallows are melted.

5. Remove from heat. Add rolled oats and stir. Add rice krispies, one cup at a time, until well-combined.

6. Pour into the glass pan and refrigerate until chocolate has hardened and the bars have “set.”

Enjoy!!

pb chocolate rice krispies

If you liked this recipe, here are a few similar desserts that would be great to bring to a 4th of July party or potluck:

rice krispies treats with mini M&Ms
classic lemon bars
patriotic fruit cobbler
pb cup brownies
red velvet crinkle cookies

my favorite. dessert. ever!

Happy Friday, friends! Hope you have something fun planned for this weekend. 🙂 I am getting ready to head to LA this afternoon for my cousin Amanda’s bachelorette party! I am so excited! It will actually be the first bachelorette party I’ve ever attended. I’m looking forward to seeing my cousins and friends and celebrating Amanda’s final days of singledom!

I have a delicious recipe to share with you today! I made this for my dad’s birthday cake on Monday. He loves peanut butter and chocolate, so I took my peanut butter cup brownies and upgraded them to a “brownie-cake” … and the highlight is definitely the homemade peanut butter frosting! This frosting is SO simple to make, and if you like peanut butter, you are in for a treat! I predict you will be licking the bowl. {Or maybe that’s just me!}

pb brownie cake

I will warn you in advance, I didn’t even try to healthify this dessert … I don’t even want to know how many calories/fat/sugar/etc. is in a slice of this! Sometimes you just have to treat yourself, right? But I did just come across this recipe by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean for healthy sweet potato brownies that I might try using in this recipe in the future! If you try it out, let me know how it goes!

I used my fave boxed brownie mix … Ghiradelli dark chocolate!

brownie mix

I made the batter as directed {if you’re trying to healthify things a little, you could substitute unsweetened applesauce for half of the oil} and poured the batter into a lightly greased 8 x 8 pan. Then I stuck in mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups in a tic-tac-toe pattern.

brownies prebake

Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

brownie cake

Once the brownies were cool, I frosted them with homemade peanut butter frosting!

homemade peanut butter frosting
– 1/4 cup butter, softened
– 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
– 3/4 cup powdered sugar
– 2 tbsp milk {to taste … depending on your frosting consistency preferences!}

1. Mix together the butter and peanut butter until well blended.

butter pb

2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add milk until it gets to desired consistency.

frosting

After frosting the brownies, my final step was sprinkling mini chocolate chips over the frosting layer. Ta da! My favorite dessert ever!

pb dessert

These disappeared from our house in record time!

Thank you also for the sweet birthday wishes! I had a wonderful birthday. My family took me out for dinner and even surprised me with sunflowers! How pretty and happy are these flowers?

bday girl

Thanks also to everyone who took part in my birthday beauty giveaway, and welcome to all our new subscribers! The two randomly selected winners are:
– Big Beauty Basket: Anna Wang
– Travel Beauty Clutch: Jo Tran

I will email you both to get your mailing addresses to send you the prizes!

Happy weekend, everyone! Eat something yummy and spend time with those you love!

MPM-Spring
This post is linked up as part of Menu-Plan Monday!

march foodie pen-pals recap

The Lean Green Bean

This was my first month participating in Foodie Pen Pals through The Lean Green Bean, one of my new favorite blogs! I had a ton of fun and am definitely looking forward to participating next month and into the future.

Here’s how it works: you visit The Lean Green Bean and enter your contact info to sign up for the next month of Foodie Pen Pals. Then the amazing Lindsay matches you up with two other bloggers or food lovers: one person to send a foodie package to, and one person who will send a package to you! Then you spend $15 putting together a box of fun, yummy treats for your pen pal, pop it in the mail, and eagerly await the arrival of your own foodie package!

Lisa from Lisa’s Lentils sent me a package this month. {Check out her great guest post recipe for vegan toffee bars!} She sent me a box filled with treats:

march foodie pp

  • 4 flavors of Justin’s almond butter, which I had never tried before but am now addicted to! So great spread on apples or toast or swirled into oatmeal.
  • a package of NanaCakes Oatmeal Baking Mix, which is a great base for pancakes, muffins, and bread.
  • Justin’s organic peanut butter cups — um, devoured these immediately after snapping this picture!
  • a pb&j flavored Lara bar: a great post-workout pick-me-up.
  • Chocolove Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate bar … heavenly!
  • Celestial Teas Herbal Tea Sampler — I have loved pairing mugs of these teas with the rich dark chocolate. So satisfying!
I would encourage all of you to check out Lisa’s blog! And, if this kind of thing sounds fun to you, go sign up for April Foodie Pen Pals at The Lean Green Bean. It only takes two minutes and it is a blast to be a part of!
I’ll be back tomorrow with this week’s Year of Kindness challenge & recap post!

review of “blackberry winter” by sarah jio

Happy Friday, everyone! I don’t know about you, but I am *so* excited for the weekend! I’m getting together with some friends for dinner Saturday, and Sunday afternoon a group of us are going to see Circus Oz  at Purdue. I’m also just looking forward to sleeping in and getting some rest. We’ve been having a long string of gray, gloomy days and it’s been a little more of an effort to keep myself cheerful this week — I think the winter blahs are trying to settle in! But I am resisting … perhaps I’ll make some more peanut-butter cup brownies or chocolate-chip cookies this weekend to build up my defenses! 🙂

One highlight of my week was reading this month’s PB Fingers Book Club pick, Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio.

sarah jio

Here’s a brief synopsis: the book alternates between two storylines that gradually merge as the book progresses. The first takes place in Seattle in the midst of the Great Depression, when single mother Vera Ray is forced to leave her treasured 3-year-old son Daniel home alone one night while she goes to work. In the morning, she leaves work to a city blanketed by a freak May snow, termed a “Blackberry Winter.” When she arrives home, her small apartment is empty. Her son has disappeared.

The second storyline takes place during another Blackberry Winter in Seattle in 2010; it centers around reporter Claire Aldridge who is assigned to write a story about the phenomenon. She recently suffered a loss of her own and in the face of her devastating grief, she is growing further and further apart from her husband. Claire becomes obsessed with the story of Daniel’s long-ago disappearance and trying to find out what happened that long-ago Blackberry Winter. Cue the dramatic music!

I was completely swept into the mystery of this story and snuck in bits of reading time whenever I could this week. I just finished it last night and the ending was so sweet and satisfying.

Sarah Jio’s writing style is lyrical and lovely. I have only been to Seattle once, more than a decade ago on a family vacation, so my memory of the city is not too clear. But Sarah describes the city so vividly — both in the present and back in the 1930s — that I felt like I returned there every time I opened this book. It was neat to “go back in time” in Vera’s storyline, and I thought the themes of wealth vs. poverty and greed vs. generosity rang very true to the world today. {Yet another book that confirmed my passion for my #yearofkindness challenge!}

A main theme of this book is motherhood, and I thought of Mr. Jude a LOT while reading. I treasure him beyond words and I can’t imagine not being able to see him, cuddle him, and watch him grow. Mike and I miss him so much between visits, but I am grateful we at least get to see him every month. It was viscerally painful reading about Vera losing her son Daniel in Blackberry Winter — Sarah Jio writes very vivid, real, compelling characters who seem like real people, and my heart just broke for Vera. Her pain is so real. In the book, both Vera and Claire’s lives change in an instant. This book will make you grateful for not just the children you love, but all the loved ones in your life — it will make you want to hold them close, just a little longer and tighter than usual. And of course always, always tell them you love them!

This is a moving and wonderful read that will warm your heart even on the coldest winter day. 🙂

Happy weekend!

peanut butter cup brownies

Thanks to everyone who joined in Monday for this week’s #yearofkindness challenge {delivering valentines to a nursing home} and those who were with us last week for my fave romantic movies and easy, inexpensive homemade Valentines ideas. Today we’re continuing “Valentine’s Week” with a delicious recipe that you can make for your sweetie, friends, coworkers, or even yourself!

valentines week

Peanut butter and chocolate may be my all-time favorite dessert combo, so it’s no surprise I was inspired to combine peanut butter cups and dark chocolate brownie mix! I thought I was soooo clever for using my muffin tin to make these cute little brownie cups, but one of my friends told me she and her mom have been making these babies for years. Maybe I’m a little late to the party, or maybe it’s just true that great minds think alike! 🙂 Either way, these are de-li-cious and so easy to whip up. Enjoy!

peanut butter cup brownies

– 1 package brownie mix {i like the dark chocolate variety}
– 1 package mini peanut butter cups
– 1 egg
– 1/3 cup vegetable oil
– 1/3 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper cups or spray with vegetable spray and set aside.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine brownie mix, egg, vegetable oil, and water. Stir until ingredients are well-mixed and there are no lumps in the batter.

3. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way to the top with the batter.

4. In the center of each cup, gently press an unwrapped peanut butter cup.

reeses brownies

5. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean.

reeses brownies

YUM! These are dangerously good. You’ll want to eat the whole batch yourself!

What are some of your favorite Valentine’s Day memories? Are you planning to do any Valentine’s baking this year?

More tomorrow!
-Dallas ❤

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Looking for more Valentine’s Day treats to make? You might enjoy these earlier posts:
red velvet cupcakes with coconut cream-cheese frosting
rice krispies treats with m&ms
chocolate strawberry coconut cookies

my aunt elaine’s peanut butter blossoms

I have a delicious holiday cookie recipe to share with you today! My mom makes these every holiday season and they are always one of my favorite treats. You could make them any time of year, but in my family they are a special sign of Christmas!

I made these as a treat for my students for the last day of class. They are a classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate — what could be better? I like that they look special and pretty yet are very simple to make. I even health-i-fied my aunt’s recipe a little bit by cutting down on the sugar and substituting whole-wheat flour for regular white flour, and they turned out just as delectable as I remembered.

Enjoy! 🙂

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aunt elaine’s peanut butter blossoms

– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1/3 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 cup butter
– 1/2 cup peanut butter
– 1 egg
– 2 tbsp milk {I used soy milk}
– 2 tsp vanilla
– 1 & 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 25 Hershey’s kisses {I used the dark chocolate variety!}
– extra 1/4 cup or so of sugar for rolling the dough in before baking

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Blend in peanut butter and milk.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir together.

cookie batter

5. Spread a thin layer of sugar in the bottom of a shallow dish {a pie pan is perfect!}

6. Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into small balls and roll them around in the sugar until they are evenly coated. Place them onto the cookie sheet, evenly spaced.

cookies prebake

7. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies are golden brown and cracked open and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

cookies postbake

8. While cookies are baking, unwrap the Hershey’s kisses so they are ready to go when cookies come out of the oven!

9. When cookies are still warm, place a Hershey’s kiss in the center of each cookie, gently pressing down to attach the chocolate to the cookie as it cools.

pb blossoms

What are some of your favorite holiday cookie recipes?

Happy Friday!
-Dallas

You might also enjoy these holiday recipes:

white chocolate m&m pretzels
chocolate-covered popcorn
perfect pumpkin pie

marvelous monday: apple-banana oatmeal muffins

You know how much I love muffins, especially healthy, hearty and delicious muffins that will get your day off to a marvelous start! Here’s another recipe that I found and tweaked slightly to make it more nutritious. I will be enjoying for breakfast all week and I hope you like it, too!

apple-banana oatmeal muffins
{recipe adapted from this one at Rock Recipes}

– 1 & 1/2 cups oatmeal
– 1 cup  whole wheat flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 2 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp nutmeg
– 2 eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2/3 cup milk {I used soy milk, but any kind will do!}
– 1/4 cup applesauce {I used no-sugar-added}
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1 ripe banana, mashed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper wrappers.

2. Peel the banana and mash it until the biggest lumps are out.

3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, applesauce, milk and vanilla. Set aside.

4. In a different bowl, mix together oatmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

5. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing well.

6. Add in the banana. If batter is too thick, add more applesauce.

7. Spoon batter into muffin tins until they are about 3/4 of the way full.

8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean.

These muffins are SO good served warm! Inspired by Julie at the blog Peanut Butter Fingers, I topped mine with some dark chocolate peanut butter for a healthy breakfast that tasted decadent. It’s the perfect way to get an ordinary day off to a special start!

You can download a printable version of this recipe here: apple banana oatmeal muffins.

Have a marvelous day! 🙂
-Dallas

marvelous monday: grocery store surprises

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope your Thanksgiving weekend wrapped up well and that you made it home safe if you were celebrating out of town. I am happy to report that Mike and I arrived back safely in Lafayette last night, with enough time to hit up the grocery store, do a bit of work, watch an episode of Arrested Development, put all of our clean laundry away {thanks, Mike’s mom, for letting us do laundry in your lovely machine instead of having to trek to the quarter-eating machines in our apartment complex!} and even put up a few Christmas decorations. The wreath is on our door and my mini tree is on display!

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that add a big smile to your day. I love surprises, and one of my favorite things is to discover a new treat when I’m browsing the grocery store. Look what I found last night:

PUMPKIN SPICE ENGLISH MUFFINS!

I know we are transitioning from autumn into winter, but I remain pumpkin-obsessed. And I’m okay with that!

I enjoyed every bite of a pumpkin spice English muffin for breakfast, half smeared with chocolate peanut butter and the other half with regular peanut butter. I can’t decide which topping I like better. I also want to try cream cheese. I might have to eat another one for a snack later to do further research! 😉

What grocery store finds have you been delighted with lately? Anyone else still obsessed with pumpkin?

Have a marvelous day!
-Dallas