Thanks to a Groupon offer, I've been spending a significant chunk of my summer vacation at the gym, trying to whittle away a significant chunk of myself. (No, this isn't a guest post; it's really me!) In addition to working out more often, I've also been trying to eat healthier, especially by avoiding mindless eating. Of course, it's hard to avoid snacks when I'm home alone for most of the day, but I'm finding that if I keep healthy snacks on hand, I can give in to my cravings without getting too off-track.
Desserts have always been my weakness. I find myself craving sweet things when I'm stressed, bored, or tired. For the most part, I've purged the apartment of the things that I give in to the easiest; I don't keep ice cream at home, and I buy Bryan desserts that he loves but I don't (banana twin pops... yuck). A few weeks ago, I found an Allrecipes version of protein balls and decided to give them a try. They seemed sweet enough to be satisfying but healthy enough to be acceptable. I made mine into squares instead of balls, partly because I wanted them to resemble fudge, but mainly because I didn't feel like getting my hands messy!
You will need:
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 scoop (approx. 1/3 cup) chocolate protein powder (I used Whole Foods' soy stuff)
- 1 medium banana
- 1 Tbsp flax seeds, ground
- Mash all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. When it's all blended, it should be soft and smooth and feel a little thicker than buttercream icing.
- Line a square baking pan with wax paper or non-stick foil. Spread the peanut butter mixture evenly across the pan and cover with plastic wrap; press down lightly to squeeze out any air bubbles.
- Stick the pan in the freezer for at least two hours. Remove the pan from the freezer and cut the "fudge" into 16 squares. Transfer the squares to an airtight container or bag, separating layers with foil or wax paper. Keep the squares in the freezer until you're ready to eat them.
It's really a very simple recipe. To be honest, the toughest part was cutting them into squares after they were frozen! I think the thinner they are, the easier they are to cut. I have a bag of them in the freezer now, and I've been eating one at a time as I feel like it. I've eaten them right out of the freezer and also waited for them to thaw, and I definitely like them better frozen. When they thaw, they get so soft and gooey that they're difficult to handle.
Do they taste just like fudge? Ofcoursenot. But they are sweet, creamy, and chocolatey, so they're a pretty good substitute. According to Sparkpeople's recipe calculator, each square has 112 calories, 8.5 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of protein, which is way better than you'd do with a cookie or candy bar.