Recipe: Fall-Inspired Pumpkin Pie Protein Bars

Finding healthy snacks that you can enjoy on the go can be difficult but it’s a worthwhile exploration through very delicious territory.

To help you fill your gym bag with yummy, and energy-inducing, snacks, we’ve sourced a fantastic recipe that you’re going to want to try this Fall: Vegan Pumpkin Pie Protein Bars.

We found this recipe over on Nutritionist in the Kitch and happily put it to the test. Needless to say, we were blown away by the flavor that was packed into these little bars of goodness. As a side bonus, these bars look super pretty, too!


1 cup pitted dates
½ cup raw cashews
2 Tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
2 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
⅓ cup vegan vanilla or pumpkin protein powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup pure pumpkin puree

Bars Garnish:

2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons toasted coconut flakes
2 tablespoons chopped pecans

To get the rest of the recipe, and complete instructions on how to make them, head on over here. And, if you do make them, leave us a comment below to tell us what you thought of them!

Here’s to holding onto pumpkin-everything for a little bit longer…



Healthy German Chocolate Brownies

Healthy German Chocolate Brownies


Gooey chocolatel-y, dense brownies topped with our own protein powder frosting concoction, pecans, and shredded coconut.

This decadent dessert will satisfy your chocolate cravings, and you can feel extra good about it too because there’s no added sugar or oil. We used agave nectar as the sweetener and Greek yogurt and pumpkin puree instead of oil and eggs.

On a side note, did you know that German chocolate cake isn’t really German? It owes its name to American Sam German, who developed a brand of dark baking chocolate used for the cake.

Brownie Cake Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • half of a 3 oz dark chocolate bar (70% or higher)*, roughly chopped
  • cooking spray or coconut oil

Frosting & Topping Ingredients

  • 3 scoops protein powder, vanilla or chocolate flavored**
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 3 oz water
  • 1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

* We used a 100% dark chocolate bar. It’s very rich and bitter but once you mix it with the other ingredients, we think it has the perfect amount of sweetness and dark chocolate decadence… but it might be too much for some people so that’s why we recommend 70% or higher.

** Make sure whatever protein powder you use tastes really good. Our current favorite for this recipe is Optimum Nutrition Natural Vanilla or Chocolate.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly oil a 9×9 glass baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together whole wheat flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients – pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, agave nectar, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  5. Fold in dark chocolate pieces.
  6. Pour into baking dish and spread evenly.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then begin preparing frosting. Don’t make the frosting too far ahead of time because it thickens up quickly and gets sticky so you need to make it and put it on the brownies fairly quickly.
  9. In a small bowl, sift protein powder and cocoa together so the cocoa is evenly incorporated and doesn’t have any lumps.
  10. Mix together the protein powder and cocoa mixture, peanut butter, and water until thoroughly incorporated. The texture will be need to be like a chocolate sauce so that you can pour it onto the brownies, but not too thin that is runny and watery. However, as mentioned above, it does set up after a few minutes so err on the side of being too thin than too thick (it has to be spreadable).
  11. Pour frosting/sauce over brownies and spread evenly.
  12. Top with chopped pecans and coconut.
  13. Let brownies set up and cool for about 20 minutes before serving (if possible).


Ground Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini

Ground Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini


Most healthy foodies would agree, ground turkey breast can be a bit… dry and bland. So we’ve been on a mission to make this great lean protein option a bit more exciting.

A few weeks ago we decided to give Jamie Eason’s Italian turkey burger recipe a try. The burgers have grated zucchini and seasonings, which add so much moisture and flavor with minimal extra calories.

We’ve tweaked the recipe (only slightly) and turned them into meatballs, for a great make-ahead meal, served with marinara, or even as an appetizer.


  • 20 oz package of ground extra lean turkey breast
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1/4 onion, grated
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

If you have a cooling rack, spray it with cooking oil and place it on top of a half sheet pan. If you don’t have a cooling rack, spray the top of the sheet pan with cooking oil.

In a large bowl, combine the grated zucchini, grated onion, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, pepper and turkey. Mix well.

Scoop small palm-size portions, shape them into balls, and place them on the cooling rack in rows. Continue until all of the mixture has been used.

You should have about 3 dozen meatballs.


Place the meatballs in oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve warm, topped with marinara sauce and served over spaghetti squash or whole-wheat pasta. You could also serve them on toothpicks with a side of marinara for an appetizer.