(Healthier) Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake

Oh, hey!

The weekend is drawing to a close, it’s hotter than hot these days, so how about a quick and easy recipe to kick off the week and cool you off? It’s a no-brainer. Of course you want to keep reading…

This is a simplified version of my favorite chocolate peanut butter smoothie that includes only 5 ingredients and is a bit more decadent thanks to chocolate Almond Breeze.

This concoction is peanut buttery and chocolatey, and in my opinion, that’s really all you need :wink:. I’m calling it a healthier chocolate peanut butter shake. Super creative, I’m fully aware.

almond breeze easy smoothie

(Healthier) Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake

  • 1 medium/large frozen banana
  • 3/4 cup frozen kale
  • 1/2 cup chocolate almond milk*
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter or powdered peanut butter

Blend all ingredients together until fully smooth and combined; there should be no lumps and it will be thick! Add more milk if necessary. Drink through straw and enjoy!

*You can always substitute unsweetened vanilla almond milk plus a little bit (or a lot!) of cocoa powder if you don’t have chocolate almond milk on hand!

This “shake” can be considered a breakfast, a snack, a dessert, whatever you wish. It literally is all whipped together in about 2 minutes thanks to the help of the blender. It’s a great way to sneak in another dose of veggies too!

I have to be totoally honest here…it is VERY rare that I ever measure out ingredients, so if you need to add more or less of any of these 5 ingredients, by all means, DO! My shake comes out just a tad bit different everytime, but always tastes fabulous.

What are you waiting for? Get shakin’!

 

This “Easy as Breeze” post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. For more “Easy As Breeze” recipes made with five ingredients or less, visit Almond Breeze on Facebook (http://facebook.com/almondbreeze), Twitter (http://twitter.com/almondbreeze), Instagram (http://instagram.com/almondbreezeus) and Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/almondbreeze).

One Lucky Mama

The perfect Mother’s Day weekend…

On Saturday we went to Bode’s swim lessons and then for a family 3.5 mile run around a nearby lake. The weather was so beautiful which made for a very enjoyable run. I am very excited to get back into running shape. I want to add a half mile on to each week and build up my endurance slowly but surely!

After our run we went and got our BOGO Caribou coffee. They offered BOGO on both May 9th and 10th so of course I had to take them up on that offer both days!

Hubby made us some BLT’s for lunch!

blt

Bode and I watched Dana mow the yard. Bode really liked watching him walk back and forth!

For dinner we grilled up some steaks from our local co-op, red potatoes with onions, and broccoli. Seriously so good. BTW right now I have a little man grabbing at the computer so I need to hurry this post up!

steak

On Mother’s Day (Sunday), Dana got me Caribou and doughnuts in the morning while I was feeding the baby! Have I mentioned how much I now love doughnuts? It all started during pregnancy and it’s a love that hasn’t left. That and burgers!

caribou coffee and doughnut

I was royally spoiled by my family. It’s fun being a mama on Mother’s Day!! Have you all tried the strawberry shortcake Larabars? I am super excited to try them!

Mothers day treats

Sunday night we celebrated my dad’s birthday along with Mother’s Day and I made one of my “famous” ice cream cakes! Caramel chocolate ice cream, Oreos and hot fudge in the center, topped with more ice cream, Oreos and sprinkles of course! So pretty and very tasty! All for under $10!

ice cream cake

The festivities continued into Monday…just how I like it! We celebrated with Dana’s parents and had pizza and pie!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I am one lucky mama.

I am linking up with Becky today!

Friday Favs: Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Happy Friday! Little man could wake up from his nap at any moment but I really wanted to get this post out so I’m making it snappy!! I noticed the theme of this post is chocolate and peanut butter…it doesn’t get much better!

FRIDAY FAVS! Linking up with my lady, Katie!

1. Shrimp, veggie, and black bean noodle fresh spring rolls. Inside the roll: black bean noodles (from Costco), carrots, green onions, cucumber, shrimp and basil. The best part of this whole plate: the peanut sauce! 

shrimp spring rolls

2. This trio of oils to help me fight through seasonal allergies…allergy trio young living

3. Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse pie made by yours truly for Easter. I used this recipe: Chocolate Bottomed Peanut Butter Pie and used almond milk instead of cow’s milk because that’s what I had on hand. This pie did not disappoint!peanut butter chocolate pie

4. Thieves household cleaner. We use this to clean our entire house! Chemical-free is the way to be. I love love the cinnamon smell!thieves cleaner

5. This snack mix from my Easter basket that I demolished in less than 48 hours. My favorite part was the large M & M eggs of course!snack mix

6. Watching Bode grow and develop such a fun personality! He is giggling so much and snickering and nothing makes me happier than hearing those sweet little sounds!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Soft Serve with Almond Breeze

Thank you for all of the love on my last post. It means so much to us. Each day is getting a little bit easier but I still find myself doing things like closing the bathroom door when we leave the house (so he doesn’t sneak in and raid the garbage) and waiting for his howl when the UPS guy comes by. It will take a long time to get used to not having our big guy around. Forever loved and remembered.

moose

 

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On a different note…

I teamed up with Blue Diamond Almond Breeze and whipped up an incredibly delicious (and healthy) dessert or snack!

I’ve mentioned it before and I will mention it again: Banana Soft Serve. This time I added cocoa powder and peanut butter to create Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Soft Serve!!

chocolate peanut butter banana soft serve

This is the EASIEST dessert ever!

All you need is:

  • frozen bananas (about one medium or large banana per person)
  • A few splashes of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 scoop of peanut butter (I generally use Smuckers Natural but used Smart Balance this time)
  • 1 heaping spoonful of cocoa powder (add more or less to your liking)
  • Optional: vanilla wafers and sprinkles to top the creamy soft serve

almond breeze banana soft serve

In your blender, blend bananas, almond milk, cocoa powder, and peanut butter until smooth and creamy.

banana soft serve

banana soft serve

Serve it up and eat right away! Feel free to top the creamy soft serve with vanilla wafers, fresh berries, sprinkles, chocolate chips, whipped cream, or whatever you have around!

Smooth and creamy and such a naturally sweet little dessert!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

Chocolate Chip Date Cookies

Happy Friday! I’m keeping it short and naturally sweet…

MAKE THESE NOW!

chocolate chip date cookies chocolate chip date cookies

 

K, that was a little bossy but seriously, you should make these. These cookies are sweetened with dates and dark chocolate chips, are grain free and insanely delicious in my opinion!

Chocolate chip date cookies recipe courtesy of:  https://cheffingit.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/date-sweetened-chocolate-chip-cookies/

This girl knocked it out of the park.

YUM.

xoxo

My KIND of Giveaway!

So here’s what happened…I wrote up this post on Friday to link up with Katie’s Friday Favorites but neglected to post it. I realize it’s now Monday but you know what? I’m still going to post because there is a serious treat at the end of the post!

My “Monday” Favs:

1. My family. My family is ALWAYS on my favorite list because they are incredible day in and day out.

2. My first postpartum outdoor run. On Thursday, I bundled up and hit the pavement for a 2.25 mile run! I was kind of nervous about it because I hadn’t run for over a year and I was afraid I would be disappointed with how out of shape I am, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it went! Moose was my motivator through it all. Plus, the frigid wind got me running faster too—it got me home faster! To think that this run was about 30 degrees warmer than this one…

Polar Dash 2013

dana and melanie polar dash 2013

I have some toughening up to do!

3. Supportive moms.

4. Caribou Coffee. K, so really this may be a least favorite to my wallet, but a favorite to my tummy and to-do list. So delicious. I’ve actually informally vowed to myself not to buy any signature ($5) drinks from any coffee shops for the whole month of February.

caribou

5. The KIND Snacks company for sending me these delicious bars! They are the perfect on-the-go snack.

KINDLogo_Pantone_Pos

kind snacks

They sent me:

  • Kind Fruit and Nut bars: whole nut and fruit bars
  • Kind Plus bars: whole nut and fruit bars plus a nutritional boost
  • Kind Nuts and Spices: made with whole nuts flavored with delicious spices
  • Kind Healthy Grain bars: granola bars made with five super grains: Gluten Free Oats, Millet, Quinoa, Amaranth and Buckwheat

Talk about spoiling me, right?!

What I love about these products is that I can pronounce all of the ingredients and they are absolutely delicious and healthy.

And you know what else I love about them?! They are offering all of you 15% off and free shipping on a case of KIND using the code KINDNUTRITION! You have the entire month of February to use it (limit one per customer)!! Don’t miss out on this!

And if that weren’t enough, they are also going to give away a prize pack of 10 BARS to one of my Beautifully Nutty readers!

kind bar

Enter to win by :

1. Like Beautifully Nutty on Facebook

and/or

2. Tweet “I want to win @KINDSnacks from @NuttyMelanie! http://www.beautifullynutty.com/kind-giveaway/”

Do both for two chances to win! Just make sure you comment on this post telling me what you did! 

You have until Thursday, February 5th to enter. On Friday I will randomly select one winner!

Have fun, be KIND!

Disclaimer: I received free products from KIND but all opinions expressed on the products are 100% my own!

Cinnamon Roll Waffles and Blueberry Pie

Happy FRIDAY! My favorite day of the week has arrived! Ahhhhh….

I am definitely linking up with Katie and Clare for Friday Favorites because I have lots of goodies to share from the week (as if you couldn’t tell from the post title)!

1. Moose definitely got in on the Friday favorites this week when he got to clean up an empty jar of peanut butter. Lucky pup!

Moose peanut butter

2. The beauty of fall makes me so insanely happy I can hardly explain. I love fall.

 

 

 

 

fall

3. Blueberry pie while celebrating my mom’s birthday. I can’t tell you the last time I had blueberry pie but I can tell you I wish it would have been sooner because this stuff rocked.

 

 

blueberry pie

4. Mind you the sweet tooth is in full force….this cinnamon roll waffle. OMG this thing was no joke. Cinnamon waffle with cream cheese icing. Um okay!

 

 

cinnamon roll waffle

5. Going through old bins and finding gems like this one. The fabulous four roomies from college at Mankato!

 

 

 

melanie angela heidi katie college

6. Weeknight dates with Dana. We kept putting it off because we have been so busy remodeling our upstairs bathroom and would really like to finish it before baby arrives, but we decided this is something we really wanted to do. We went to Ciao Bella in Bloomington and I got spaghetti and meatballs. I cashed the whole plate except for a couple of bites. I loved it.

 

 

spaghetti and meatballs caio bella

7. Crock pot meals. These were simple chicken tacos made with chicken breast, salsa, chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder. They were set in the crock pot for a little while and were ready for us when dinner came around.

 

 

crockpot tacos

8. New Larabar flavors. When we were in La Crosse we went to this ginormous grocery store called Woodman’s. We stumbled upon the Larabars and loaded up on some seasonal flavors like snickerdoodle and gingerbread! YUM!

 

 

larabar

 

I told ya–lots of goodies in today’s Friday Favs!

 

No updates on the baby front; I am definitely still very pregnant. It is so exciting to know it could be any day now that we meet our precious guy!

 

I hope you all have a great weekend!

 

What were some of your Friday favorites?

What’s your favorite kind of pie? 

I usually go for French silk pie but this blueberry pie opened my eyes to fruit pies again!

36 Weeks Pregnant!

It’s that time again. Time for a lil’ bump update!

I am now 36 weeks pregnant. Next week, at 37 weeks, baby is no longer considered pre-term. It’s amazing to think that he could present himself to the world at any moment. He could on the other hand, choose to wait another 4 weeks. We will see won’t we?!

36 weeks pregnant

At 36 weeks, baby’s average weight is about 6 lbs and length is 20 inches long. Most of his systems are fully developed, and he is continuing to plump up and build up his baby fat. Bring on the baby rolls. There’s nothing better!

Watching how the body changes and grows during pregnancy is one of the weirdest, most miraculous things. To actually think that there is a little human growing inside of me right now is beyond me. I am supporting a life. With every bit of food that goes into my mouth I think of the baby. It’s been strange seeing the changes happening: seeing my bump grow, my legs get thicker, and seeing my weight go up. It’s strange, but it’s lovely. Do I miss my non-maternity clothes? Of course I do, I’m only human, but I know that some day I will be wearing them again. For now, I am trying to embrace the bump.

So how am I feeling, you might be wondering?

Mentally…

It’s hard to focus on anything but the baby at this point. Mentally I feel my brain is a bit scrambled. I am still able to work just fine but notice myself making lots of little mistakes that I’m not used to making. This could be due to some serious lack of sleep also.

Mentally I feel I have prepared myself for birth as much as possible. I am fully aware that labor and delivery in regards to your own “birth preferences” can alter in an instant and that has to absolutely be okay. What is important is that baby and mom are both healthy in the end. I have heard horror stories, I have heard incredible stories also, and I choose to remember the good stories and focus on those rather than letting fear get the best of me.

Physically…

You know what? I really can’t complain a whole lot. I feel very lucky to have felt this good throughout pregnancy. I’m slowing down a little bit but still going pretty strong. I walk nearly every day and continue to do my yoga stretches daily. I am getting stronger Braxton Hicks contractions that feel like menstrual cramps and that sometimes radiate to my back. This is perfectly normal and it’s my body practicing for the real deal. At night I am waking 6-8 times either to go to the bathroom or just to switch sides due to discomfort. So yes, lots of broken-up sleep. Again, my body is preparing me for what’s to come. :smile:

Other pregnancy symptoms I’ve noticed: clumsiness, forgetfulness, increased hunger (and yet some days I feel my appetite is completely normal), some mild swelling, dramatic mood swings, hot flashes, super hot hands, and nesting.

 Eats

What’s been tickling my fancy these days?

  • I am still drinking my chocolate peanut butter smoothie EVERYDAY. I still can’t believe it.
  • I’m still really into burgers but am also branching out a lot!
  • I have been wanting more fresh veggies and salads lately, so that’s good!

veggies and almond butter with craisins

  • My sweet tooth is pretty much insane. Chocolate and ice cream are dear friends of mine right now and I am okay with that.

Pearl Street Brewery Ice Cream

  • I’m eating three meals a day (usually smaller meals) and 2-3 snacks. My favorite bedtime snack is still Greek yogurt with honey.

Greek Yogurt

Let’s see, what else?

We have our last shower on Saturday! After that we will do some shopping and get anything else we feel we will need. Overall though we are feeling very ready.

I’ve left my wedding rings off because they were getting too snug for comfort and I know too many people who have had to have their bands cut off. Yikes.

How about I stop there? I could go on all day about all of the excitement I’m feeling. There is just so much anticipation!

Check in with you all later gators!

State Fair Food & Home-Cooked Meals

Well, hello! It’s time for a little what I ate link up with Jenn! As always, thanks for hosting!

Are you ready for these eats? Let’s start with some from the state fair.

We got to the fair early to get to LuLu’s for some gorilla bread (like monkey bread—gooey caramely pull apart bread). We got in line and as we were waiting the guy behind me said that they are out of gorilla bread. WHAT?! That is what I was most looking forward to eating at the fair! But life goes on….

Runner-up was mini doughnuts, which truly shouldn’t even be considered runner-up because they were so darn good. The little warm gems melted in my mouth and were thoroughly enjoyed.

mini doughnuts

Caramel apple ice cream. It was really good but not something I would probably get again.

caramel apple ice cream

Fried pickles and cream cheese, aka a pregnant girl’s dream food. These were my favorite thing I ate at the fair!

fried pickles state fair 2014

Not pictured: chocolate malt, pretzel cheese curds, and a salted nut rolls. EVERYTHING was shared and we walked 7 miles while we were there. Yes, I’m justifying my calorie and fat intake. #yolo

I can promise you these foods haven’t become part of my normal diet.

Now let’s talk about home-cooked meals.

I actually have been cooking a bit around here. I am really aching for fall weather and have been making comfort meals despite the warm weather.

Tacos. Tacos are seriously so quick and easy to put together and just so amazing.

tacos

Deconstructed burger made with beef, quinoa, black beans, onion powder, Worcestershire, and salt and pepper. They were supposed to be burgers but completely fell apart. I melted Muenster cheese on top. I realize it’s not a purdy picture, but it was super good!

deconstructed burger

Beef and veggie lasagna with spinach, onions, and mushrooms. Delish.

lasagna

And the grand finale….homemade turkey breast and homemade mashed potatoes and gravy! Oh yes I did. Thanksgiving meal is my FAVORITE meal. Who says you can only eat it one time a year?

turkey mashed potatoes

Although there hasn’t been a ton of recipe creation happening over here, I am at least managing to get myself back in the kitchen once again! Can I get a whoop whoop for that?!

What’s your favorite comfort meal?

Have you ever tried fried pickles?!

Carbolicious

Alright Becky, I’m linking up with you again today for Treat Yourself Tuesday!

This weekend I treated myself to LOTS of family time! I went dress shopping with my “second family,” had lunch with Dana’s parents on Saturday, and saw my parents and a bunch of family at my cousin’s wedding reception on Sunday! I loved every second of it. No wonder I was exhausted on Sunday night and yesterday! That, and it was 90 plus degrees and crazy humid.

I treated myself to a Shirley Temple (aka kiddie cocktail). I love that the bartender made it fancy for me and didn’t forget to put maraschino cherries in there. That is the best part!

shirley temple

We treated ourselves to some Indian food. We ordered chicken tikka masala and a cauliflower dish. It didn’t stand a chance to our Indian meal in London, but it was still good! Oh, and I love naan!

indinan food

 

We made a stop at Sebastian Joe’s for ice cream this weekend. The Nicollet pothole flavor is absolutely insane. I also got salted caramel which was really good. The last time I had Sebastian Joe’s was when I was meeting up with a bunch of bloggers in April 2013! That was the first time I met Katie and Becky!

sebastian joes

 

Yesterday I treated myself to all of the carbs. That is seriously all I wanted. I ate cereal, pb and j, a sandwich thin with laughing cow and cucumbers, watermelon, grapes….I couldn’t stop! I must have been tired if my body was craving such an abundance of carbs. Clearly I haven’t been following gluten-free too closely lately.

 

pb j

 

I treated myself to some couch time; some lazy time. I gotta soak up those moments while I have the chance right?!

I treat myself to (nearly) daily walks. Sometimes the walks are forced, but I am still doing it! I am finding it more comfortable to walk on my treadmill because I know I am closer to the bathroom (to be perfectly honest).

How did you treat yourself this week?

What does your body crave when it’s tired?