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No-Bake Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites (#MadeWithChobani)

No-Bake Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites (#MadeWithChobani)

If Thanksgiving is all about pie and Christmas is all about cookies, when does cheesecake get its day?
Today, my friends . . . in a healthier, bite-sized, no-bake, holiday-flavored form.
No-Bake Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites (#MadeWithChobani)

Graphic by Brianna Kolota

The truth is that I fully intended to make a cheesecake, but lazy, post-law-school-exams me wanted no part in that baking ordeal. I bet you’re too busy for that nonsense too, which is when I decided a healthier, raw snack version of cheesecake was the way to go.

I started with the main ingredient: Chobani non-fat plain yogurt . . .  <— One of my favorites!

. . . and added mascarpone, ground flax seed and a few other ingredients to give the bites that distinctive gingerbread flavor.

After making the cheesecake base, I rolled the balls in two different toppings: cocoa powder (affiliate link!) for my inner chocoholic . . .

No-Bake Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites (#MadeWithChobani)

Photo by Brianna Kolota

. . . and lightly salted, crushed brown rice cakes for a sweet and salty flavor combo.

No-Bake Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites (#MadeWithChobani)

Photo by Brianna Kolota

You can roll your bites in any crushed cereal, nuts or even protein powder (affiliate link!) if you feel so inclined. It didn’t occur to me until after I made the bites, but crumbled graham crackers would probably taste AMAZING. Maybe like pie crust?

Anyhoo, no matter how you roll, make sure you share these gingerbread munchkins with the ones you love. Bring them to a holiday party. Make a batch for your kids, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. Gifts don’t have to be store-bought, and I can personally vouch for the fact that people appreciate homemade gifts, especially homemade desserts, MUCH more than any item you’ll find in a mall.

So without further adieu, here’s the recipe.

No-Bake Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites (#MadeWithChobani)

Makes about 24 bites

Total preparation time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 5.3 ounces Chobani non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 4 dashes of powdered stevia (affiliate link; or your other favorite sugar substitute)
  • 1/8 cup cocoa powder (affiliate link; optional; for rolling the bites in)
  • Four crushed, lightly salted brown rice cakes (affiliate link; optional; for rolling the bites in)

 

Steps:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, except for the cocoa powder and crushed brown rice cakes.
  2. Once the mixture is even, roll into small balls and roll the balls in whatever mixture you choose.

If you like these bites, be sure to check out more Chobani recipes too. It’s seriously incredible how many things you can make with Greek yogurt, and I’m always a fan of adding a protein punch to my recipes.

Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions in the post are entirely my own and do not reflect the views of Chobani. Chobani did not compensate me or provide products for me to use in making this recipe.

 

Questions:

  1. Are you a fan of cheesecake?
  2. Do you cook or bake with Chobani yogurts?

 

Related HGG Posts:

Berry Cheesecake Smoothie

Berry Cheesecake Smoothie from Hungry Gator Gal

Overnight Strawberries and Cream French Toast




Dreaming of Holiday Sweets

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Chocolate PB & J Smoothie (made with PB2)

Chocolate PB & J Smoothie (made with PB2)

With Florida’s temperatures reaching the upper 80s every day, smoothie season is in full swing.

Chocolate PB & J Smoothie (made with PB2) from Hungry Gator Gal

So much so that I’d rather drink one of my favorite sandwiches than eat it.

Chocolate PB & J Smoothie (made with PB2) from Hungry Gator Gal

I have nothing against regular peanut butter and jelly. However, I used powdered peanut butter (PB2) <— affiliate link!, which blends a bit easier than the spread. I also used unsweetened cocoa powder, frozen mixed berries and a few other healthy ingredients to make this thick, creamy summertime treat.

I topped my smoothie with roasted, salted sunflower seeds and coconut butter, but feel free to add whatever toppings your heart (or stomach) desires. Cereal, chocolate chips, almonds, peanuts, etc.

See the recipe below to learn how you can make a slurpable PB & J too.

Chocolate PB & J Smoothie

Difficulty: Easy

Total preparation time: 2 minutes

Makes one smoothie-in-a-bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used Voskos nonfat raspberry.)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons powdered peanut butter (I used  (PB2.) <— affiliate link!
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1/8 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Add more milk if your blender has trouble blending the ingredients.)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • One large handful of spinach
  • One scoop Amazing Grass Green SuperFood (Optional but you get extra veggies without being able to taste them.) <— affiliate link!
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed (Optional but makes the smoothie taste “nuttier.”)
  • 1 teaspoon maca powder(Optional) <— affiliate link!
  • 1/8 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds (Optional topping)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter (Optional topping)

Steps: 

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend.
  3. Pour into a HUGE cup or bowl and eat.

Question:

  1. What foods or meals do you crave in the summertime?

Related HGG Posts:

Berry Cheesecake Smoothie

Berry Cheesecake Smoothie from Hungry Gator Gal

Chocolate Blueberry Smoothie

Chocolate Blueberry Smoothie from Hungry Gator Gal

Very Berry French Vanilla Smoothie

Very Berry French Vanilla Smoothie from Hungry Gator Gal #OneChange #VegaOne

Chocolate Blueberry Smoothie

Chocolate Blueberry Smoothie

It’s only the first of May, but Florida’s lovely summer weather has already arrived.

I’ve been running 2 miles outside every day to practice for a fitness test. Let’s just say Gainesville is called ‘the Swamp’ for a reason.

The humidity and temperatures reaching upwards of 90 degrees Fahrenheit have been making me crave one thing . . .

Chocolate Blueberry Smoothie from Hungry Gator Gal

Smoothies!

Chocolate Blueberry Smoothie from Hungry Gator Gal

Aaaaaand as always, my smoothies are too big to fit in a cup. Bowl it is!
Chocolate Blueberry Smoothie from Hungry Gator Gal
Get your blender and spoon ready for some thick and creamy cocoa action. Top this antioxidant-filled treat with cereal, coconut butter, nuts, more blueberries, chocolate chips or all of the above! 
See the recipe below. Enjoy. 🙂
 
Chocolate Blueberry Smoothie

Serves One

Difficulty: When is using a blender ever difficult?!?

Total Preparation Time: 2 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • One 6-ounce container blueberry Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries (Note: You can use fresh ones, but the smoothie will be thinner and more liquidy.)
  • 1/2 small frozen banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 scoops of your favorite chocolate protein powder
  • Slightly less than 1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk.)
  • 1 scoop Amazing Grass Green SuperFood (optional) (affiliate link!)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds(optional but highly suggested!) (affiliate link!)
  • 1 cup kale or spinach leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend away.
  2. Eat!

Questions:

  1. What’s your favorite summertime food?
  2. Is it ridiculously humid where you live?

Related HGG Posts:

Chocolate Cherry Doughboy Smoothie

Very Berry French Vanilla Smoothie

Very Berry French Vanilla Smoothie from Hungry Gator Gal #OneChange #VegaOne

Healthy Vanilla Shamrock Smoothie

Banana Creme Overnight Oats

Banana Creme Overnight Oats

You know that saying “calm before the storm?” I never believed in it . . . until this week.

Seriously though. It feels like one day I had oodles of free time. I caught up on class readings, scheduled some blog posts and even started watching a new TV series. Is anyone else an Ally McBeal fan?!? TV shows from the 90s are my jam.

Anyway, 10 pages of a research report, three exams, a project and a few blogging-related assignments came out of nowhere. Lucky for me, they’re all due this week.

Needless to say, crunch time for the fall semester has arrived, and I’m doing everything in my power to remain level-headed. I spent an hour last night prepping meals for the week so I don’t live on carrots, hummus, peanut butter, granola bars and protein powder this week.

I could live on snacky foods alone, but here’s one of my latest creations that gives me an excuse to sleep in for a few extra minutes and bring breakfast to school.

Fans of the snooze button – this one’s for you!

Banana Creme Overnight Oats

 
My friends at All-Pro Science, an all-natural supplement company, sent me Banana Creme protein powder to try earlier this month. Since then, I’ve been experimenting with new ways to incorporate the powder into my favorite meals, including this batch of overnight oats.

APS’s Banana Creme protein powder and vanilla Greek yogurt make this latest overnight oats in a jar (OOIAJ) creation extra creamy. If you’re a fan of banana creme pie, you’ll love this healthy version that tastes like dessert for breakfast.

I made my overnight oats in an almost-empty jar of White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter. After “cooking” the oats overnight, I removed the jar from the fridge and topped everything off with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and banana slices. Feel free to add your favorite fruits, nuts, seeds and/or butters before digging in.

Enjoy! 🙂

P.S. Look for a full product review of the Banana Creme protein powder, a second recipe using this powder and a special discount later this week!

Banana Creme Overnight Oats

Serves One

Difficulty: None

Total Time Involved: 5 minutes of prep work + 7-8 hours of overnight “cooking”

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • One 5-to-6 ounce container of vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk + more for the morning, if desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 to 1 scoop of All Pro Science Banana Creme protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Banana slices, if desired

Steps:

  1. Mix oats, chia seeds, yogurt, milk, cinnamon, protein powder and vanilla extract in an almost-empty nut butter jar, to-go container, or bowl.
  2. Cover and place in fridge for seven to eight hours of overnight “cooking.”
  3. Take out of the fridge in the morning and add desired toppings. Bring to school/work or eat immediately!

Questions:

  1.  Do you have any big projects or deadlines approaching for school or work?
  2. What’s your favorite TV show right now?

Related HGG Posts:

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

Toasted Coconut Almond Overnight Oats

Banana Split Overnight Oats

Plantain Banana Bread

Plantain Banana Bread

Once again, I find myself baking as the thermometer nears 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Someone needs to rewire my brain so that I only crave baked goods during cooler months.

Plantain Banana Bread

Recipe Adapted from The Merry Gourmet

This bread was a happy accident. I planned to make a traditional banana bread but awoke one morning to find that my brother had eaten two of the four bananas I saved for this recipe. Rather than run to the store or ditch my baking plan, I rummaged through our fruit basket to find two very large, almost-black plantains.
I peeled the on-the-verge-of-death plantains, mashed them with my two small bananas and hoped for the best as I stirred the ingredients together and poured the thick batter into a bread pan.
After one hour, I removed the bread from the oven and let the sweet smell of brown sugar and cinnamon fill my parents’ house. Between the aroma and cracked top, I knew this accidental recipe was going to be a winner.
I ate my first slice of this moist, plantain-speckled bread with a pat of butter and a 6-ounce cup of
I didn’t think of it at the time, but a tablespoon or two of Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter or Earth Balance’s Creamy Coconut & Peanut Spread would probably taste amazing. If you’re not a fan of almonds or coconut, try your favorite spread. I don’t think you can go wrong with any topping.
Also feel free to add mix-ins to the batter. I think chocolate chips, chopped and pitted dates or unsweetened, shredded coconut would complement the slight sweetness of this bread.

Plantain Banana Bread

Recipe Adapted from The Merry Gourmet

Makes one loaf

 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

 

Cook Time: One hour

 

Difficulty: If you can mash fruit, this recipe is easy peasy. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Two small, ripe bananas (Tip: Speckled bananas are sweeter and easier to mash.)
  • Two large, almost-black plantains
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (four tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • One egg, beaten
  • One teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt (I used Cabot’s version.)
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour (I used King Arthur’s variety.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a 9-by-5-inch bread pan with cooking spray.
  3. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the bananas and plantains with the brown sugar in a large bowl.
  4. Add in the melted butter, whisked egg, vanilla extract and Greek yogurt. Stir until the mixture is well-combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. 
  6. Add the flour mixture to the banana and plantain mixture. Stir until the two mixtures are well-incorporated. Do not over-stir.
  7. Pour the batter into the bread pan and place it in the oven.
  8. Bake for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. A few crumbs are O.K.
  9. Eat!

 

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