Tag Archives: Protein

Breakfast Smoothies Vegan

Mint Chocolate Protein Smoothie

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. The recipe and all opinions are my own.


Hi guys! How is your week going so far? I have a deeeeeelicious smoothie recipe to share with you all today.

In my last job, I had to wake up very early in order to squeeze in some gym time before work. Given that my time in the morning was limited, I was always searching for fast breakfast options that I could inhale in under 2 minutes or easily bring in the car on the way to work. Protein smoothies quickly became my go-to, especially in warmer weather. I loved that I could prep everything the night before and the next morning I would have a nutritious breakfast in under one minute – no cooking required!

Mint Chocolate Protein Smoothie Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Currently, I am very fortunate that my new job allows me a lot more time in the morning. I now have time to cook myself a meal for breakfast (usually eggs or protein pancakes) so protein smoothies have gone to the wayside.

Two weeks ago, I found my protein powder buried far back in my pantry and realized how long it’s been since I’ve made one of my favorite smoothies. The next day this Mint Chocolate Protein Smoothie was born. If you love mint chocolate chip ice cream (like me!), this smoothie is right up your alley! Fresh mint is key here. I’ve tried this with peppermint extract and it not nearly the same (that version tasted very artificial).

Mint Chocolate Protein Smoothie Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

A handful of spinach lends this drink its bright green color, but I promise you won’t be able to taste it at all! The mint are chocolate are the flavors that really shine through.

Try this smoothie for breakfast or even dessert! If you don’t have any chocolate protein powder on hand, I think 1/2 cup greek yogurt and some cocoa powder would be a good substitute. You may need to add a bit of stevia for extra sweetness.



Mint Chocolate Protein Smoothie Recipe
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1
  • 1 cup Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 1 handful fresh spinach (about ⅓ cup)
  • ½ frozen banana
  • 3-4 fresh mint leaves, to taste
  • ½ Tablespoon almond butter
  • 2 ice cubes
  • cocoa powder (optional)
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and cocoa powder.

This Mint Chocolate Protein Smoothie is so refreshing after a workout! It's vegan, dairy-free, and tastes just like mint chocolate chip ice cream! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Gluten-Free Snacks

Nut Butter Protein Bites

When I tell people that I work out at 5AM every morning before work, they usually tell me that I’m nuts. While that may be partially true, I’ve found that it really works with my schedule and I love the feeling of having my workout completed before most people are even waking up!

I won’t lie, it definitely took me a few weeks to make it a habit and find the perfect routine. My biggest tip for anyone who is daring to join the 5AM Workout Club is to prepare everything the night before. For me this means laying out my gym clothes, headphones, watch, and water bottle. Heck, I even unlace my sneakers! That way I can just get up and GO and there is very little time for me to make an excuse to go back to bed. Trust me, the longer you spend trying to find your socks and sports bra in the wee hours of the morning, the more time there is to convince yourself that your bed looks way more inviting.

When I first started this routine I worked out on an empty stomach. I was never hungry as soon as I woke up, so I would just eat after my workout. I started experimenting with eating a little something before I got to the gym and I found it made a big difference – much more than I thought it would. Even half a banana or one of these delicious nut butter protein bites makes me feel a little bit better and provides me with enough energy to complete a great workout.

Nut Butter Protein Bites Recipe

I started experimenting with protein bites because I didn’t want to eat an entire bar before my workout. I’ve played around with the recipe a lot in order to get the right texture and taste. I think they’re perfect now!

Nut Butter Protein Bites Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Every bite contains a solid dose of fiber, healthy fats, and protein! Even better? They’re gluten-free, so they are great for those of you who try to avoid gluten in your diets!

Nut Butter Protein Bites Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

I hope you love these little nut butter protein bites as much as I do. I’ve already finished this current batch, so I think the next time around I am going to experiment with different ingredients such as raisins, dried cranberries, and chocolate protein powder. Do you guys have any other yummy ideas?


Nut Butter Protein Bites
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 8-10 bites
  • ½ cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • ⅛ cup vanilla protein powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ cup almond butter
  • ⅛ cup peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1-2 teaspoons water (optional)
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, chia seeds, protein powder, and cinnamon. In a smaller microwave-safe bowl, combine the almond butter, peanut butter, and honey. Microwave for 15-20 seconds or until the mixture can be easily stirred. Pour the nut butter mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. If you are finding the mixture difficult to stir, add one teaspoon of water and continue mixing. Repeat if necessary*.
  2. Roll the mixture into 8-10 bite-sized balls. Store in the fridge in a sealed container.
*Avoid adding too much water because this will give the bites a gummy texture

Breakfast Gluten-Free Main Meal

My Favorite Protein Pancakes

I am a MAJOR breakfast advocate.

If you’re my friend (or my mom!) and you’ve told me that you tend to skip breakfast, I have most likely given you a “YOU NEED TO EAT BREAKFAST” speech. They’re not kidding when they say it is the most important meal of the day, people. Besides, if you eat a healthy breakfast, you are more likely to start your day on a healthy track and less likely to binge on unhealthy junk for lunch and dinner. It’s science. It’s proven. Believe me.

People often ask me what I often eat for breakfast. The answer is: it changes. But whatever it is, I always make sure it has a big dose of protein and fiber / whole grains to get me going. My weekday morning routine is quite hectic – I like to get to the gym by 5:30AM so that I can be out the door for work by no later than 7:30AM. So weekday breakfasts are most often  protein smoothies (my favorite recipe to come!) because I can make them at home in two minutes, but drink it in the car on my way to work:

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If I have more time in the morning (i.e. the weekends) my go-to breakfast is making these protein pancakes. You may have seen various protein pancake recipes floating around the internet. Most often protein powder is in the mix, but the protein in these pancakes comes from eggs, egg whites, and rolled oats (Gluten-Free).

Protein Pancakes Recipe

I love these pancakes so much that on the weekends I typically jump right out of bed just so I can make them immediately. I eat mine with Almond Butter on top for an added dose of protein and healthy fats. (Dear lord, I really eat a lot of nut butter, don’t I?)

Protein Pancakes Recipe

As someone who must eat every 3 hours, I PROMISE you that these will keep you full for even longer than that.

I also love them so much that on certain weeknights when I don’t have time to make a “real” dinner I have breakfast for dinner and make these instead. It certainly pleases my taste buds!

My Favorite Protein Pancakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1
  • 1 whole egg*
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a few good shakes of cinnamon (about ½ teaspoon)
  • ⅓ cup old fashioned rolled oats (quick cooking oats give a chewier consistency and steel cut won't work here)
  • ½ banana sliced into ⅛" slices
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Almond Butter for serving
  1. Preheat a large non-stick skillet to medium heat. Spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the egg, egg whites, vanilla and cinnamon. Add the oats and banana slices and stir well to combine. The mixture’s consistency won’t look like it will form into pancakes, but I promise it will!
  3. Pour the mixture onto the skillet to form two separate pancakes. Cook the pancakes for 2-3 minutes on one side and then flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan and serve with Almond Butter.
*Alternatively you can sub the 1 egg for 2 egg whites (making it 4 egg whites total)