Vegan Pumpkin Spice Protein Bites

When on the go I always like to carry an arsenal of snacks with me. It is easy to bring along nuts, fruits, etc. but in terms of protein sources, it can be a little trickier. I try to stay away from prepackaged protein bars as they tend to have super funky ingredients, so I decided to set out to create my own fun protein treats!
These pumpkin spice bites are vegan, high in protein, a good source of fiber and super easy to take on the go. They also taste like cookie dough so who wouldn’t want that?! These are perfect as a snack or dessert, and if you eat the entire recipe it’s only ~160 calories.

Ingredients:
1 serving vegan protein powder (I used Earthblends Non GMO Vanilla Pea Protein)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
2-3 teaspoons syrup of choice (I used a pre biotic fiber syrup but agave, honey, maple syrup, etc. all work)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ – ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (can also use just cinnamon or a mixture of cloves, cardamon, etc.)
⅛ teaspoon butter extract, optional, but surprisingly vegan!
½ tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Sweetener to taste

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Directions:
Whisk together the 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water to create a “flax egg”. Place this mixture in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
Remove flax mixture from fridge and add in protein powder, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and optional butter extract and sweetener (liquid stevia works great). Stir and then add in 2 teaspoons of syrup and stir entire mixture with a spoon. Depending on how try your mixture is, add in another teaspoon of syrup. Do not lose faith though, and keep mixing! It will take a bit for a thick dough to form. If mixture really is too dry then, add in a teaspoon or two of water, but be wary of adding in additional liquid.
Once dough is fully formed, using your hands create 4-5 balls. Place these fridge and allow them to set up for at least 15 minutes. After this time has elapsed, place about a ½ tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa on a dish and individually roll each ball to coat in the cocoa.
Keep in the fridge for optimal texture, but refrigeration is not necessary.

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Cucumber Hummus Boats

Hummus is a great, high protein vegan spread, but all that health can take a wrong turn when you pair it with a Costco sized bag of pita chips (I am very much singling out my boyfriend here).
For a light snack or app that looks festive, make these simple cucumber hummus boats. They are easy to make and the combo of creamy hummus and crispy crunchy cucumbers is on point. Any type of hummus or really any type of dip/spread will do for that matter. I’ve used sriracha hummus, black bean dip and more and they all work great!

Ingredients:
2 cocktail cucumbers
2 tablespoons hummus of choice
4 cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

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Directions:
Slice cucumbers in half and using a small spoon or grapefruit spoon, remove seeds to create a boat like shape.
Scoop a half tablespoon of hummus into each cucumber half and spread evenly.
Slice cherry tomatoes and place on top of hummus.
Sprinkle each cucumber boat with ¼ teaspoon of sesame seeds.

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Cheesecake Popsicles

Even though my OG favorite dessert will always be ice cream, sometimes a more portable and lighter alternative is exactly what I’m craving.
I came up with this recipe after realizing I had perfectly good cottage cheese in the fridge that had an expiration set for the end of the week. Not sure what else I would do with it, I decided to craft a recipe.
Thanks to the cheese-ness of the cottage cheese and creaminess of Greek yogurt, these pops really do have the essence of cheesecake.
These are also the perfect light snack with under 40 calories and 3 grams of carbs, yet almost 7 grams of protein! So have a pop, or 2 or 3!

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Ingredients:
1 cup cottage cheese
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons milk of choice
Sweetener to taste
Optional ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
Place cottage cheese in a blender and blend u too curds are broken up and consistency is smooth.
Place remaining ingredients in blender, optionally adding more milk if mixture is too thick.
Evenly pour mixture into 6 Popsicle molds.
Freeze 5-6 hours or overnight.

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