I don’t know about you guys, but my laziness level this summer is, well, on another level as the kids say. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a little emotionally drained from the first 6 months of 2020—aren’t we all?—or that, hailing from Massachusetts, I’ve waited so. freaking. long for this amazing summer weather, but it feels like all I want to do these days is sit outside on my deck.
Errands? I’d rather not.
Home projects? They can wait.
Workouts? I mean, I walked the dog, isn’t that enough?
Unfortunately though, as a real-life, (relatively) well-functioning adult, I know the to-do lists don’t go away just because I want them to. And while I’m certainly not piling anything extra on my plate (see current laziness level above for reference), there are some non-negotiables I always commit to getting done—the most important being, you guessed it, meal prep.
To be fair, meal prep is something that, in its very nature, is meant to make your life easier in the long run. While the effort right out of the gate might feel daunting, I promise you’re going to be thanking your lucky stars when you don’t have to both decide on lunch and then execute that decision when you’re already starving, ya feel me?
Plus, there’s no reason to make it any more than what you have the time or mental capacity for. Look, there are some weeks where I’m crushing it—motivated AF, spending hours researching, trying, and tweaking new recipes. And then there are other weeks, like the present, where I really can’t be bothered to do any more than the actual least.
Luckily, what I’ve come to learn in my ripe old age, is that the actual least can still actually lead to some pretty great results. Case in point? These Green Machine Protein Muffins.
There are literally two steps to making these: (1) combine all ingredients in a food processor and (2) bake. And while the easy instructions are pretty damn enticing, it’s the ingredients that really take these muffins to the next level. Nutritionally speaking, these are on (*clap*) point (*clap*). They are free of dairy and refined sugars and packed with protein and healthy fats.
Oh, not to mention, veggies. That’s right, these babies also contain spinach, which you wouldn’t even know if it wasn’t for their distinct green color because it’s literally undetectable taste-wise. I love to have one slathered with peanut butter in the afternoon to power me through my workou—OK, dog walk, or after dinner when I just can’t fight off the sweet craving, or in the morning if I’m rushing out the door. Hell, there really isn’t a time I wouldn’t have one if I’m being honest.
As always, be sure to tag me in your photos and stories if you happen to try these! Happy (easy) baking, kiddos! 🙂
Green Machine Protein Muffins
Notes: This recipe yields 8 muffins. I usually just add the oats to the food processor as is, but if you want a smoother batter consistency, grind them down to oat “flour” first before adding in the other ingredients. The muffins will keep in the fridge for about 4 or 5 days, but also freeze really well. I usually go ahead and freeze half of my batch right out of the gate and then pull out 1 or 2 as needed!
- 1 cup of old-fashioned oats
- 2–3 cups of spinach
- 1 very ripe banana
- 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
- 2 tbsps honey
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1.5 tsps vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- Optional toppings (chopped nuts, unsweetened coconut flakes, dried fruits, or chocolate chips are great options!)
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2: Combine all ingredients in a food processor. I like to add the spinach and the oats first, as they will require the most “breaking down,” and the closer they are to the blade initially, the easier this will be. In addition, I find it helpful to sprinkle each ingredient around the whole food processor when you add it (as opposed to just dumping the peanut butter in one section, the banana in another, etc., etc.).
Step 3: Run the food processor until all ingredients are well combined, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides. It’s OK if the spinach or oats aren’t completely broken down, though the smoother your batter, the smoother the overall texture of your muffins will be (see the Notes above).
Step 4: Coat your muffin tray with nonstick spray (I like to use a coconut oil one) and fill each tin between three-quarters and completely full. Now is the time to sprinkle on any toppings if so desired.
Step 5: Bake for ~30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops of the muffins have browned. Allow to cool completely before eating or refrigerating. Enjoy!