While munching on one of these blondies the other night in front of the TV, I thought about how much I’m learning to love relaxing with a sweet treat and an episode of whatever I’m feeling. Serious statement. I really haven’t been into TV shows since Dawson’s Creek and Felicity.
At this point, I think I can admit to you that I’m terrible at relaxing. I don’t like to do it and in general, makes me feel bored. I have this rationale in my mind that tells me TV is a waste of time and that I could be doing a million other things with my time that’s both productive and satisfying.
The truth is, sometimes we need to zone out and just chill. As a person who gives nearly 110% to nearly everything in her life, it can easily become exhausting and overwhelming. In fact, it’s quite common that I run myself into the ground trying to accomplish a to-do list or anything that feels more, more, more! On most days I probably operate at an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10.
Of course, in my mind it’s easy to want to stay at that level all the time because of how much you can achieve but how gratifying the work feels. Yet doing more isn’t always realistic and one can only operate at that high of a capacity for so long. So every few months (or maybe weeks) I have a breakdown and vow to do less.
But how do I do less? The cycle is vicious. Half of me wonders if that’s just the person I am: a perfectionist seeking success.
For now, I’m trying to focus more on giving myself breaks throughout the day and in the evenings. Breaks to meditate and focus on peaceful, loving thoughts. Breaks during the evening where I watch an episode of The Americans and remember how much I love Keri Russell. Exercise breaks where I take a walk or go on a run instead of lifting heavy weights and throwing around a kettle bell until I’m sore beyond belief.
Another favorite break? Enjoy a 3pm snack or treat with a cup of coffee before I finish up work for the day. These vegan banana blondies have been a new favorite because of their fudge-like consistency and wholesome ingredients like almond flour, bananas and pea protein. I prefer them cold so normally I stick them in the fridge. The combination of a cold blondie and a hot coffee is beyond epic.
If you haven’t baked with pea protein, it’s something you might want to try! It’s a wonderful dairy free and vegan protein option that I’ve been obsessing over — mostly because it’s more gentle on my tummy and still provides all the benefits that protein offers (muscle building, nutrition, etc).
Over the past year, I’ve committed to eating more pulses (beans, chickpeas, dried peas & lentils) by taking the Pulse Pledge online. The United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses, which aims to increase awareness of the many benefits of pulses, including their nutritional profile, environmental and sustainability benefits, affordability and potential to address global food security.
Pea protein just so happens to fall into the pulse category. I win for putting it in a dessert you can devour.
A few tips on choosing a pea protein:
Most pea protein powders are flavored, and I do have a few favorites: Vega, Aloha & Whole Foods Market Plant-Based Fit Protein. There are various flavors to try, so it’s really up to what flavors you like. Generally I tend to stick with vanilla, but I think these blondies would be excellent with a chocolate flavored pea protein.
Hope you love. If you make these, please leave a comment to let me know how you liked them. You can also tag me on Instagram #ambitiouskitchen! xo.
- Serves: 12 blondies
- Serving size: 1 bar
- Calories: 206
- Fat: 15.5g
- Saturated fat: 6g
- Carbohydrates: 12.6g
- Sugar: 8.1g
- Fiber: 2.6g
- Protein: 6g
- 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 large ripe banana)
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/3 cup pea protein (I used Aloha Vanilla Protein Powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together mashed banana, coconut oil, coconut sugar and vanilla extract until well combined. Add in almond flour, protein, baking soda and salt and mix until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips, reserving a few for sprinkling on top. Spread evenly in pan towards the sides. The batter will be slightly sticky so do your best.
- Bake for 12-16 minutes or until edges become slightly golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Cut into 12 squares.
This post was sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada. All opinions and thoughts are my own. Thanks for continuing to support AK and the brands that help make this site possible!