Craving Wellness

Nutrition & Fitness

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Black Bean & Avocado Gluten-free Protein Brownies

If you’ve never tried black bean brownies, you must! Seriously, they are so soft, moist, and chocolate-y with the nutritional benefit of fiber and many vitamins and minerals, and I promise you won’t even notice the beans!


¼ cup Butter, melted
2 oz Coconut oil
¼ cup Maple syrup
1 Avocado
1 12-oz can Black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp Vanilla extract
1 cup Whey protein powder (chocolate or cookies & cream)
¼ cup Almond meal/flour
½ cup Flaxseed, ground
½ cup Cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Baking soda
1 dash Salt
1/3 cup Stevia, powdered
6 oz Semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Grease a 9″x13″ baking pan with cooking spray or butter.
  3. Add butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, avocado, black beans, and vanilla extract into a blender or food processor and blend/process until smooth.
  4. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
  5. In a medium bowl, add protein powder, almond flour, flaxseed, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and stevia.
  6. Mix dry ingredients until well-combined.
  7. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.
  8. Mix in chocolate chips until well-dispersed throughout the batter.
  9. Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 20-30 minutes.
  10. Check brownies with a toothpick at 20 minutes and continue checking every 2-3 minutes after until toothpick comes out clean or with minimal residue.
  11. Let cool for 20 minutes, then cut into desired number of pieces and enjoy!

Makes 20 brownies.

Nutrition Facts (1 brownie): kcals: 164, total fat: 10 g, sat fat: 6 g, MUFA: 1 g, PUFA: 1 g, cholesterol: 16 mg, sodium: 254 mg, potassium: 91 mg, carbohydrate: 14 g, fiber: 2 g, sugar: 8 g, protein: 7 g

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Quick Gluten-free Protein Pancakes

These pancakes are seriously fantastic. I’ve done quite a bit of experimenting with high-protein, gluten-free ingredients in baked goods, but the texture (dry, dense, and crumbly, anyone?) and flavor are often far different from the original recipe. I really enjoy coming up with my own recipes by substituting ingredients and using similar ratios of recipes I know work. Here’s a pancake recipe I came up with when I was craving a high-protein breakfast and needed a change from my go-to veggie-egg scramble. The texture is very similar to pancakes made with wheat flour. The eggs and flax seed are essential to keeping these pancakes from falling apart, in addition to adding important nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and many vitamins and minerals.

Almond & Coconut Flour PancakesGF pancake with bananas


  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2-2/3 cup vanilla or plain almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 tsp honey or other sweetener (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Heat a skillet on medium heat. Coat pan with butter or non-stick spray.
  2. Combine dry ingredients (flours, flax seed, baking soda) in medium bowl or blender.
  3. Mix eggs, milk, sweetener, and vanilla extract together in separate bowl.
  4. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and whisk or blend until just combined.
  5. Add 1/4 cup batter to skillet per pancake. When bubbles begin forming or pancake is golden-brown and releases easily, flip over and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden-brown and easily releases from pan.
  6. Add favorite topping–like fruit compote or maple syrup. Enjoy!

Servings: 3 (3 pancakes each)

kcals: 287, total fat: 21 g, sat fat: 4 g, MUFA: 2 g, PUFA: 1 g, cholesterol: 141 mg, sodium: 522 mg, potassium: 56 mg, total carbohydrate: 17 g, fiber: 10 g, sugar: 6 g, protein: 13 g

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Veggie Quesadilla

So, quesadillas are one of my favorite foods. I love them so much, and it’s absolutely because I love cheese (pizza is another favorite of mine). Unfortunately, cheese is high in saturated fat and sodium, so I constructed one loaded with veggies and with less cheese than those you would find at a restaurant.

First, I thinly sliced zucchini and bell pepper, then heated it through on a dry pan. Meanwhile, I shredded some Tillamook cheddar cheese and spread it evenly on a whole wheat tortilla. I added the warm veggies to one-half of the tortilla and topped it with arugula. Next, the tortilla was placed on a pan over medium-high heat and heated until the cheese was melted and the bottom was golden-brown. I folded it in half, cut it and enjoyed with some chunky salsa!


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Oat, Almond, and Banana Pancakes

This morning, I was in the mood for something sweet and healthy… and well, I’ve always been a fan of pancakes. So, I decided to take a basic pancake recipe and transform it into something with more nutritional value! And honestly, I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious these healthier pancakes were, and I’m quite sure you will be, too!

banana pancakes

 Oat, Almond, and Banana Pancakes


–       1 ½ cups skim milk
–       2 eggs (or 3 egg whites)
–       ½ tsp vanilla extract
–       ¼ tsp almond extract (optional)
–       ¼ tsp lemon extract (optional)
–       ¼ cup canola/vegetable oil or melted margarine
–       1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
–       ½ tsp baking soda
–       ½ tsp baking powder
–       ½ tsp salt
–       1 tsp cinnamon
–       ½ cup oats (old-fashioned or quick)
–       ¼ cup wheat germ
–       ½ cup sliced almonds
–       1-2 bananas, sliced
–       Maple syrup (a light version will save some calories and sugar)


  1. Heat a skillet on medium and coat with cooking spray or a little oil.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, egg, all extracts, and oil or butter.
  3. In a larger bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix in oats and wheat germ.
  4. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir until incorporated. Add in almond slices.
  5. Pour ¼ to 1/3 cup batter onto skillet for each pancake. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until bubbles begin to form on the top. Flip and cook for 1-2 more minutes or until cooked through.
  6. Top with banana slices and syrup, if desired. Enjoy!

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Blueberry Muffins

These blueberry muffins are super simple and have fewer calories and fat than than your regular muffin, while still packing that sweet blueberry yumminess. I used whole wheat pastry flour to keep the lightness of all purpose flour while adding some protein, fiber, and whole grains.

Makes 24 muffins.

4 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
2 tbsp baking powder
¾ cup canola oil
¾ cup sweetened applesauce
1 cup skim milk
4 cups blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, applesauce, egg, and milk together; add to the flour mixture, and stir. Fold in the blueberries.
3. Fill the muffin cups to the top, and bake for 20-30 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick; it will come out clean when the muffins are cooked through. Take the muffins out of the cups when they are cool enough to touch to prevent overcooking.