Holiday Happenings, Healthy Snacks, and High Protein Vegan Banana Bread

by Sara on November 16, 2012

Happy Friday, everyone! Holy buckets this week flew by at warp speed–can you believe we’re less than a week away from Thanksgiving?! Where has 2012 gone?

I’m fairly certain that one of the reasons I lost track of time is because I spent nearly every free minute dreaming about pinning the delicious food I plan on making next week….

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes {source}

Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Cranberries and Walnuts {source}

Roasted Garlic Mushrooms with Rosemary and Sage {source}

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake (Gluten free) {source}


…And maybe because I was lusting over Channing Tatum, People Magazine’s newly-named Sexiest Man Alive.


…I also started compiling a wish list for Santa. Let me introduce you to the hawt (and eco-friendly!) ride he’ll be leaving by my fireplace on Christmas Eve. 😉

Whatever the reason for the super speedy week, thank heavens Friday is here because I’m hopping a plane in a few hours and heading home to kick-start the holiday season with my family. I still have lots of packing to do, a workout to squeeze in, and a paper to finish…and just a few hours to get it all done. Welp!

As usual, I’ve loaded my carry-on with healthy snacks, because, well, you never know when you’ll be spending a night in the Minneapolis airport due to a missed or canceled connection (this has happened to me three times!).

I used to pack big salads, but I always manage to make a huge production on the plane when I go that route. Wobbly fold-down trays = spilled dressing. On my clothes. And let’s not even talk about how awkward it is when you elbow the man sitting next to you because you can’t cut a tomato with a plastic fork. Yeah.

The mess free solution: sweet and savory snacks that require nothing but hands:

Savory: Trader Joe’s Zesty Nacho Kale Chips (addicted) and Cruncha Ma Me (filling and kicks salt cravings to the curb)

Sweet: Perfect Fit Peanut Butter Cookie (SO good! 10 grams protein); Vega Vanilla Chai Shake (full nutrition–I can easily mix this with water in the airport); KIND Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt (tastes like an indulgent candy bar).

Sip: Yogi Ginger Tea (x’s 3)

I may or may not have a few slices of this tucked away in my bag as well.

I promise to never ever ever claim that an egg-free banana bread containing protein powder tastes “just like Mom’s.” Because 1) that’s just plain blasphemy and 2) let’s face it, only Mom’s banana bread tastes just like Mom’s banana bread.

For what it is though, this high protein healthy take on a classic favorite is good. In a high protein healthy good-kind-of-way. 😉

Vegan Gluten-Free High Protein Banana Bread (aka the bread with way too many labels)

yield: 8 slices

¾ cup oat flour (or other gluten free flour)

¾ cup vegan protein powder (I used SunWarrior) or peanut flour

½ t. salt

1 T. baking powder (essential for an egg-less bread)

¾-1 cup mashed banana

2 t. vanilla

¼- ½ cup sugar (or stevia equivalent)

Optional: ¼- ½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 355°F.

2. Grease an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray (you can also use a standard loaf pan).

3. In a bowl combine the first 5 dry ingredients.

4. To dry ingredients, add in mashed banana, vanilla, milk and sugar and mix until combined.

5. If using, stir in chocolate chips and spoon out mixture into muffin cups or prepared pan.

Nutrition per slice (with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup chocolate chips): Calories: 175; Protein: 18 grams; Carbs: 25.5 grams; Fat: 3 grams; Fiber: 3 grams



Have a wonderful weekend! Catch ya in Boise!


What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish or holiday dish?

Forget the turkey; the sides make the meal! When I was little, I was into mashed potatoes, but now sweet potatoes are my #1, followed very closely by roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts (it’s a draw).

What are your essential carry-on travel snacks?

I always have some kind of protein bar and something salty. I also always have a packet or two of ginger tea, in case my stomach decides to misbehave.

Who is the “Sexiest Man Alive” in your opinion?

I’ve always had a thing for Ryan Reynolds!








  • Khushboo

    OMG those sweet potatoes look divine- almost too pretty to eat! I just clicked over to the recipe and it looks so easy too…definitely going to be making soon!

    I always carry food on the plane but I try to make sure they are travel-friendly. I gave up a long time ago with plastic cutlery- I always carry a regular fork & spoon on board! Snacks are also crucial just in case of any delays and let’s face it, airport options are either unappealing or grossly overpriced! I usually have some kind of bar (preferably one which has a decent protein content) and like you, something salty too- my taste buds like a balance ;)! That vegan banana bread looks like the perfect travel snack- anything involving banana & choc chips is bound to be a win…even if it isn’t exactly like “Mama’s Banana Bread” (love the disclaimer ;))!

    Have a safe flight and more importantly, have a wonderful time with your family, Sara!

  • Claire

    I just did a double and then triple take on those potatoes – wowzers they look amazing!! So pretty too.
    It is such a good idea to take your own food on the plane, I always try and take my own healthy snacks – edamame, yoghurt covered fruit, popcorn and chopped cucumber for hydration. So much nicer than the over-priced junk you can buy. I also never, ever drink alcohol on a flight. I can understand a celebratory glass before and after but never during, I find I’m so thirsty anyway without that!
    The vegan banana bread looks divine! I haven’t actually eaten banana since I was two (apparently mum massively over fed me it and I’ve been grossed out by it ever since!) but I’m determined to try baking and cooking with it.
    Have a great weekend Sara!

  • Alexandra

    Those taters? DROOL. That bread? DROOL. Those snacks? DROOL. Channing Tatum? DROOL. hahaha
    Hope you have a safe flight and a fabulous weekend Sara!! Can’t wait to hear all about it! <3

  • Danielle

    Love all the packed airport snacks! You always seem to find the best snacks. Love this recipe and can’t wait to try it out. I do love your disclaimer though…whenever I make “healthier” recipes I know they’re not going to taste “just like” the real thing but they are usually a much healthier close second 😉 Have a safe trip!

  • Jessiejoshua21


    I hope you have the most wonderful time with your family over the holiday. I know how much they mean to you, and how much you love the west coast. Enjoy your time & soak up as many amazing memories as you can. I already can’t wait to hear all about it :).

    Those twiced baked sweet potatoes looking amazing. I don’t know how they make them look so pretty though. I know for sure mine will NOT turn out looking like that haha!

    Safe travels girl <3.

  • Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    I do NOT get the Channing Tatum thing, lol. He is such a terrible actor and scrawny as hell. Oh well :S

    Have a great time with your family xoxo

  • Sally

    Counting down the hours ’til you arrive! Let the cooking begin! :)

    • Sonya ter Borg

      I want to try Mom’s banana bread! Fingers crossed for no missed connections!

  • HealthyDiva

    How about Anthony told me yesterday he wants his hair cut like Channing, lol! Maybe Anthony is running for pre-teen sexiest? Oh my! LOL!

    I need to make those mushrooms, look so damn good! I would seriously eat ALL those to myself!

    Love your travel snacks! SO happy you will be home for Thanksgiving with your mom and family! Enjoy it girl! Safe travels today too!

    Love you!!

  • Chelsea A

    Mmm those twice baked sweet potatoes look so good. My favourite holiday side dish is my aunt’s spaghetti squash casserole – she didn’t make it for Thanksgiving this year though so I’m crossing my fingers she makes it for Christmas!

    Channing Tatum is okay… but I love Ryan Gosling! Ryan Reynolds isn’t too hard on the eyes either. 😉

    You must be SO excited to be going home! I hope you have an amazing time with your family – you deserve it after this stressful semester. Have a safe trip! xoxo

  • Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola

    Omigosh we were on the same page on this post! My recent blog post is featuring some of the items I’m going to make for Thanksgiving! I’m in love with all the things you are considering too especially those twice baked sweet potatoes?? YUM! And yay for getting to go home for the holidays! So excited for you! I hope you have the most wonderful time! I love all of your travel snacks too- that Kind bar is seriously the best, it reminds me of eating those nut chocolates from Sees as a kid! And thank you for the recipe! I cannot wait to make it! xoxo

  • Caitlin Croswell

    You are so talented, darling. OMG I adore how yummy AND healthy that bread looks/is. I want to try it! Also, I LOVE THOSE TJ’S KALE CHIPS HOLY MOLY. And the dry roasted edamame…where’s that from? I want it in my life!!!
    Wow, we have the exact same taste. All 4 of those Thanksgiving ideas you put up need to get in my belly NOW. I adore cheesecake just like you and twice baked sweet taters? Why didn’t I think of that?! Those roasted mushrooms…OMG I’m still dreaming of some that I had at Ruth Chris Steakhouse a few weeks back. They paired so well with the meat. They are like meat in themselves! Have a great trip darling and give your fam lots of hugs!

  • runwithspoons

    I’m so incredibly jealous of all of the delicious Thanksgiving food that I’ve been seeing around the blogworld! Canadian Thanksgiving was last month, so next week is just another week for us. I may have to celebrate with you guys, though… you know, just so I don’t feel left out 😉 And when it comes to holiday dishes, I actually have to say that I look forward to the turkey the most… especially when cranberry sauce is involved. You definitely won’t find me turning down a healthy helping of whipped mashed potatoes though 😉

    I hope you have a safe trip, hun, and that your holidays are awesome 😀

  • Allison @ Life’s a Bowl

    I would definitely have no trouble agreeing that he is Mr. McSexy 😛 You’ve definitely scoped out some tasty eats and treats and I totally agree about sides making the meal- serve me up some stuffing, sweet potato + apple + carrot mash, balsamic green beans with bacon, garlic mashed potatoes, and a slice of cranberry orange bread = happy girl :)

  • Lisa

    I need those twice baked sweet potatoes. Yum. Jealous of all the Thanksgiving food you’ll get to eat! My Thanksgiving was pretty low key. It’s always just such basic food, nothing too special. I also need that banana bread stat. It looks so good! Have a safe and amazing trip!!!

  • Maura

    Hope you have a safe flight and a wonderful holiday with your family, Sara!! Now you’ve got me drooling over those twice baked sweet potatoes…I cannot get enough of sweet potatoes this year!! They’re the perfect side and snack for me.

    I have to second your nomination of Ryan Reynolds too :)

  • Angela

    I really admire that you straight up tell us that it won’t taste like mom’s hearty old bread .. it really drives me nuts when I see bloggers promising that their high protein bread tastes just like the real thing – I try it .. and it’s really not lol. Not that I dislike the taste of healthified breads .. but I would much rather know that it’ll be healthy-tasting before I bake them!

  • Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl

    I need those twice baked potatoes! And the pumpkin cheesecake! They both look so insanely delicious.

  • Marylegarewhaley

    Those mushrooms look so good…my favorite side is my mom’s cornbread stuffing. And sexiest man alive? Not that Channing goofball. Rob Lowe. Always.

  • Heather Waxman

    Oooo la la! That banana bread looks DIVINE! :-) I can’t wait to have my grandma’s yam side dish. It’s UNREAL. As for travel snacks, I love Vega Vibrancy and Raw Revolution bars, Trader Joe’s Conadria dried figs, baked sweet potatoes, and kale chips. AKA we’re twins. I am that girl who brings a salad on the plane…NO SHAME. Haha. Sexiest man alive goes to RYAN GOSLING. Always and forever. I mean…um…Matty. 😉

  • managedmacros

    Good questions! I just posed the ‘favorite side dish’ on my FB…the clear winner was stuffing however, that is not my pick. Mine would have to be roasted Brussels. I have to say I am NOT disappointed with People’s pick of sexiest man…Channing Tatum get my vote any day…ooolala!!! 😉 What is in the vegan powder? Pea? Soy?
    Great fun post!!

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